A/N: I do not own or get any money out of this. Just the pleasure of writing, which will be increased by reviews.
Edited by I AM AIR
Kurt walked in the garage ready to work. He had his coveralls and gloves on, both perfectly sized for him. Hey, just because he was a kick-ass mechanic didn't mean that he need the greasy proof under his nails.
As he walked out to the car closest to the door, Kurt heard laughter. Not just any laughter, but the 'buddy-buddy' laughter that seemed to be everywhere now days. The laughter that showed that even the garage wasn't a Burt-Kurt zone anymore. No, Finn had invaded the last place where Kurt felt close to his dad.
Kurt watched as Finn and his dad become closer and closer with very envious eyes. The two, to him, seemed almost connected at the hip now days. While it was true he wanted them to be a family, he never thought that he was going to be left out.
It seemed to start slowly: a game here, a TV show there. Now, during dinners, Burt and Finn would talk endlessly about Finn's last game, or the chance at a favorite team actually making the playoffs. Kurt knew that he wasn't the kind of son that Burt had probably wanted, but that didn't mean that Burt should use Finn to fill in the gaps where Kurt was lacking. Considering how much time Burt now spent with Finn, there must have been a lot of things the Burt felt was lacking in Kurt.
The laughter from the back of the garage broke Kurt out of his daze. Part of him wanted to throw a huge diva fit and make sure his dad knew how much it was hurting him but... His dad was awesome. His dad needed someone who wasn't such a freak or drama queen. Someone who knew when games were on and who was the favorite. Someone who enjoyed doing the rough and tumble outdoorsy stuff without freaking about their hair-care. (Hey, Kurt liked nature as much as the next guy's but after twelve days of hiking and no soap, Kurt wanted it to be over. It was a great trip though. Kurt even managed to catch the biggest fish much to the annoyance of his dad and his fishing buddies. He actually wanted to back next year and hopefully he would find some cleaning products that didn't really need water for the trip.)
Kurt smiled at the customer, who had just come in with a 1997 Toyota Camry, while he tried to ignore the laughter that hurt him as much as any knife through the heart. "Hello and welcome. How can I help you, today?"
"...so then I told her that maybe if she wasn't such a skank she might be able to pull that off." Mercedes said excitedly to her friend as they walked through the halls of their 'beloved' high school.
"That's great." Kurt replied very lackluster. After going home from the garage last night, Kurt felt even worse. His stomach had started churning and it still hadn't settle completely. He felt nauseous and more than a little out of sorts. He just couldn't shake the feeling of uneasiness after seeing how happy his dad had been the other night with Finn.
He had watched his dad teach Finn how to do basic maintenance on the cars coming in as well as oil changes. The whole time Kurt was there, all his dad did was nod hello and turn back to the boy-who-would-be-his-son. It was a punch in the gut as far as Kurt was concerned. Before, Burt would have been next to him working on the same car just to spend some time with him even though Kurt could take apart and put together most of the cars that came through the garage in his sleep. Now, not even a "hello" or "how was your day?" was offered. Was he losing his dad because he had set him up with Carole? Kurt could understand wanting to make Finn more at ease the transition but wasn't completely ignoring Kurt taking it a little too far? Shouldn't his dad also be worried about what Kurt felt about having a new person trying to take over his mom's spot in his home? Or had Kurt given up the right for comfort when he introduced the two of them?
"What's up with the 'tude, baby boy?" Mercedes said as she sat down in Glee next to him.
Kurt sighed. He didn't want to get into his issues at all, much less in a room full of people who knew Finn and might leak his moment of insecurity to the jock. "Just didn't get my beauty sleep and it put my whole day off. Not to mention the jock squad was in top form this morning."
Mercedes shook her head in disgust. The tormenting had stopped for a little while right after Puck had joined Glee, but apparently the jocks had found a new king of the bullies and it had started again, worse than before.
Kurt zoned out as he watched the rest of his club mates coming in the door. The club had changed since Mr. Schuester became the teacher in charge. There were more people and the school was more aware of their little group. That didn't mean that they were more popular than before, but at least there were more people. Considering the competition they had for regionals, any decent singers were really helpful.
In glee now, the jocks were mixing with the geeks, leading to some very weird groupings. The singing so far did not suffer because of the additions so Kurt was hopeful that the new members would just help add some much need variety to the group. As much as he liked glee before, he knew that they were a little prone to showboating and musicals. The new members seemed to enjoy more modern hits and created a different feel for the group.
Three of the new guys (Puck, Mike and Matt) had just walked in, probably talking about sports of some kind. The weirdest addition was really Noah 'Puck' Puckerman. Who would have thought the Jew-jock would give up some of his popularity just to sing? Not that he wasn't talented, but Puck just didn't seem like the type of person who would go against the crowd.
No, he was more like the type of person who would push the crowd to new and frightening heights, before ever thinking of taking a step back and saying what they were doing was wrong. Not that he changed that much. The slushies were still part of his routine and if he could fit in a dumpster dive or two he was totally for it but Puck was a Glee member though... A hot one at that.
Mike was kind of cool. He was on the quieter side, as far as singing, but he could dance better than most of the guys. Especially when it came to break dancing. He had a fluidity that most of the guys did not get. Heck, some of the girls probably would have trouble with the moves that Mike did.
Matt was still up in the air. He did not speak much, but when he did, he was pretty cool. He could dance, but that was all Kurt really knew about him. He seemed like the typical jock, but he hadn't bothered Kurt since he joined Glee.
Right after the trio, Finn came strolling in with Rachel by this side. It seemed pretty cold that Rachel had pushed her way to Finn's side even when he was dating Quinn but since the very advertised break up, the pair hadn't started to date each other, yet. Heidi Klum, if they ever reproduced they would have the dumbest, most stuck up babies with no fashion sense.
Kurt shook his head. He knew he was being unfair especially since he used to have a huge crush on Finn for not so long. But after having dealt with the jock in his house, Kurt did not feel so forgiving anymore. He might be cute and extremely friendly but that's where the wonderfulness ended for Finn. He had no depth. The adorable cluelessness of some of his statements started becoming more and more ridiculous statements of stupidity. The shy helpless smile that had made Kurt at one time feel like rescuing Finn now seemed like a default setting on the tall jock whenever he was the least bit confused. Honestly, some days it seemed like it was Finn's only facial expression. Also, Finn was trying to steal Kurt's dad away.
Gucci, Kurt felt bitchy today. Maybe he shouldn't have had that extra coffee on the way to school. The caffeine crashes were especially rough if he hadn't had enough sleep... Then again he only had the extra coffee when he hadn't slept enough. There might be a pattern there.
Mr. Schu walked in excitedly. "Okay, guys. I have noticed that we have had some tension in the group for a while."
Kurt rolled his eyes. Tension, what tension? Baby-gate, the Finn-Rachel saga, Finn taking his dad, the Finn-Puck fight, the Rachel-Quinn hatred, the Puck-is-dick-problem or general teen drama? Which of these had finally gotten Mr. Schu's attention? This room seemed like a powder keg of tension most days.
"So I want to do an exercise where we do a Secret Santa like project except instead of presents you have to sing a song for the person you picked. Since someone stole my hat," Mr. Schu glared at the students as he picked up a cardboard box from behind him, "you are going to grab a name from the box."
The saddest part was that it looked like Mr. Schu had tried to decorate the box to make it more exciting. There seemed to be a little glitter on it and some wrapping paper trying to give it some color. Kurt almost felt like he should grab the box and fix it for the oddly sweet Spanish teacher. "You will be performing the songs starting next week and the rest of the group will try and guess who the song is for."
Kurt sat there praying to a God that he didn't believe existed that Finn's name would not be the one he pulled out of the box. He would take Rachel or even Puck over Finn.
Mr. Schu went from student to student with the box. He started with Mercedes, who looked excited about who she had gotten so Kurt was sure it was either him, Artie or Tina. Next was Artie, who looked relieved. Then it was Kurt's turn at the box. Kurt picked out a slip of paper and slowly opened it to see who he had for the "Secret Santa."
Thank Marc Jacobs, he thought. It was Puck. Okay, so it wasn't his first choice but at least he wouldn't want to sing something horribly bitchy about lower IQ or something. Kurt shook his head. He really needed to stop these awful thoughts about Finn. Cindy Crawford, did he need this day to end. Mr. Schu continued to talk about new song challenge and how it would be important in the long run for team spirit. Kurt thought that it might help him win back some brownie points after he purposely messed up 'Defying Gravity' so that was good. Okay, so no one in Glee knew that he had purposely messed up the song but he wanted to get his spot back as one of the better singers in the group. He had lost that spot after he had messed up the song. To Kurt's annoyance, Finn was now the golden boy of the group.
As he started to pack up to go home, Finn came up next to Kurt. "Hey man, I'm kind of excited about this new song thing. I think Mr. Schu's right. It would be good for the group if was let some of this drama go. I mean, if we act more like a team we might be able to win sectionals next year."
Kurt froze for a second. "Yeah, it sounds great." Kurt said as sarcastically sweet as he could.
It must have gone over Finn's head since he smiled widely at Kurt. "Hey, maybe we can work on it together since I'm coming over to watch the game with Burt tonight."
Kurt winced. That's what he needed. Another bonding moment between Burt and Finn where he was totally ignored.
"Actually, I'm busy tonight. I have other plans. Maybe some other time." Kurt said quickly as he thought of some excuse out of what promised to be a painful afternoon. Luckily Finn didn't ask for any details because Kurt really couldn't think of anything off the top of his head.
The smile dropped from Finn's face. "Oh, okay. I'll see you later." Finn turned and walked out the door looking a little downtrodden.
Kurt shook his head. He didn't know what to do now. He couldn't go home since Finn would know he lied and he knew Mercedes was having a family night so her place was out. He walked to his car as he pondered. Throwing his bag in the seat next to him, Kurt decided that maybe a drive was exactly what he needed. Even when he was a little kid, Kurt always felt better when he was riding in a car. Even if it was for a five minute drive around the neighborhood, Kurt felt his worries slowly fade away. It was probably something to do with the soft vibrations from the engine but Kurt never really got over the soothing feeling that he got when he was in a car and he wasn't going to question it since he didn't want to loose one of his few comforts.
As he drove around, Kurt tried to curtail his jealousy over Finn. It wasn't as if the other boy was doing it on purpose but Finn was stealing the spot light. He didn't want to be upset but Finn was so much more like the guy he should have been. The one that his dad had probably wanted. A son who could be like a new shiny version of Burt's younger self rather than Kurt whose only really shared interest with his dad was cars.
As he drove, Kurt started to felt famished. He noticed the bright neon sign saying Barb's on the roadside. Kurt loved Barb's though he rarely ate there between worrying about his dad's health and his friends continuously being off and on diets. Maybe a slice of homemade apple pie would cure what ails him. Especially, if it was followed by a chocolate sundae.
Spirits slightly renewed, Kurt almost bounced into Barb's and sat down at a booth in the back. Barb's had been the place where his mom had taken him when he was little. They would share stories and tell jokes until it was time to meet up with his dad after he was done at the shop. They kept it a well-known secret from his dad. Well-known since Kurt would usually slip up and tell his dad where they had been a few hours after he had been swore to secrecy. The diner had some very good memories and some bittersweet ones, too.
As he was looking at the menu for a suitable entree before his two desserts, a familiar voice reached his ear. "Hey Hummel, what are you doing here?"