"So who was that guy?" Finn asks, coming to a halt by Kurt's locker. Kurt in question looks like Finn's interrupting something important, so Finn cranes his neck around the locker door and realizes that Kurt has a picture of "that guy" hanging in there.

"Yeah, that guy," he points.

"That's Blaine," Kurt's voice sounds strained. He doesn't give any other explanation, either, as if Finn should know who Blaine is.

"Yeah, and who is he?" Finn presses. Kurt sighs and snaps his locker shut.

"He's the lead singer of the Dalton Academy Warblers, and before you jump down my throat, no, he's not trying to get our set list," Kurt sounds annoyed. "Which, now that we're on the subject, is nonexistent and we should really get working on that if we want to win. But back on topic, because I'm sure you won't rest until I tell you everything, Blaine is my friend. He's not Jesse St. James and he's not about to break my heart. He's just a friend. Who is also gay."

It takes Finn about ten seconds to digest all that information.

"Cool," he shrugs. "So do I get to meet him or something?"

"Dalton's almost an hour away," Kurt starts walking down the hallway. "So probably not."

"Wait, so why was he here today if it takes an hour to get here?"

Kurt sighs again and Finn thinks that means he's supposed to pick up on something. They walk down the hallway in silence for almost a full minute before Kurt answers the question.

"I'm going through a really rough time right now, Finn," he finally admits, "and I wouldn't expect any of you to understand what it's like. But there's only so much I can put up with before I snap, and when I snapped, Blaine was there to help me. He knows what this is like. He gets it. He gets me."

Kurt may still be scowling, but Finn can see something in his eyes that makes him think that maybe everything's okay. Maybe Blaine really is helping Kurt out and maybe it's about time Kurt had a friend like that.

"I'm happy for you," Finn says, grinning.

"What?" Kurt looks surprised, so Finn repeats himself.

"I'm happy for you." He punches Kurt on the arm playfully. "I'm happy you found someone that makes you happy. And who you can relate to and stuff. That's really cool, man. Can I be your best man at the wedding?"

The joke doesn't go over like he wanted it to. Instead of laughing, Kurt looks like he's about to cry, which makes Finn think that maybe he hasn't heard the whole story.

"Whoa, chill out, dude. I was just kidding."

"I'm fine," Kurt insists, but even Finn can tell he's lying.

"No you're not. What's the deal? You're not about to go off about how marriage is 'just an institution designed by the higher authorities who get off on excluding the worthy and making money,' are you?" Finn's kind of proud of himself for quoting Kurt's latest tirade word-for-word, but he's not looking for a thumbs-up or anything. He just wants his almost-step-brother to know he cares.

"No, but I appreciate that you actually listened to that," Kurt smiles at him, and even though Finn knows it's not a real smile, it's a start. "I just have too much to deal with right now to even joke around like that."

Finn's even more confused by that.

"He didn't ask you to marry him or something, did he?" Finn asks, trying to figure out why Kurt's so sad and defensive and anti-marriage jokes all of a sudden.

"No," Kurt insists, turning on his heel and coming to a halt, facing Finn with a serious expression on his face. Finn tries to mirror the expression. "And it's really none of your business, even if he had. I'm sorry, Finn, but I really don't want to talk about this right now."

Kurt walks away, striding down the hallway toward the main doors. Finn doesn't miss the fact that he didn't return – or seem to notice – Mercedes' wave. Mercedes looks confused, and when she catches sight of him, they exchange a shrug.

There's a tap on Finn's shoulder, and he turns around to see a very smug-looking Jacob Ben Israel.

"What do you want?" he asks, tone impatient.

"Bet you're wondering what's got your boyfriend down, aren't you, Hudson?" Jacob's voice is just as smug as his expression, and he has an ugly sneer on his face that makes Finn want to punch something.

"Uh, Kurt's not my boyfriend, he's like, my brother, so that's kind of illegal," Finn defends himself as if by reflex. "And anyway, I'm not gay, but whatever. Just leave me alone. And Kurt, too."

"Fine," Jacob's grin widens. "Then I won't show you what's on the tape from the hidden camera I had inside the boys' locker room."

"What?" Finn takes a step closer. He knows that some pretty serious stuff goes down in the locker rooms, and if Jacob's actually telling the truth, he might have enough proof to get someone expelled for violence or something.

"That's right," Jacob holds up a small video camera. "It's all on here, just waiting for me to post it on my blog. A private, preview viewing is gonna cost you."

"How much?" Finn asks automatically.

"Fifty bucks."

"Come on, man, I don't have that kind of money!" Finn's not lying, either. He's still working to pay off the money he and Puck owe Ms. Corcoran from last year, which means he can't even take Rachel out on a proper date yet. There's no way he has fifty bucks to pay Jacob to watch some video that might be fake. Or not even worth it. He's got half a mind to just walk away when Jacob presses the play button on the video camera and he hears Kurt's voice yelling, "Hey! I'm talking to you!"

"Oh, shit," Finn's face pales. What the hell was Kurt thinking, going into the boys' locker room to yell at someone?

"Fifty bucks," Jacob repeats, knowing Finn's intrigued.

"Meet me in the choir room in five minutes," Finn says. "I'll have your money by then." Jacob nods curtly and starts walking in that direction. Finn, on the other hand, starts walking towards Rachel's locker. Maybe she'll be able to help him out.

But wait. If he asks Rachel for money, she'll want to know what it's for, and he's a terrible liar. And no offense, Rach, but she's got the biggest mouth in the entire school. Well, after Mercedes, probably. So Finn makes a U-turn in the middle of the hallway and is halfway through chasing Jacob down the hallway to call the whole thing off when he almost trips over Artie.

Artie!

"Sorry, man," he says hastily. "Look, can I borrow some money? I know you and Puck got a ton at lunch the other day and I'll pay you back, I promise."

"Um, okay," Artie looks confused and surprised. "How much do you need?"

"Fifty bucks."

"Damn, you tryin' to clear me out?" Artie asks, raising an eyebrow. But he digs in his pocket and pulls out his wallet, counting out the money he has inside. He hands Finn a twenty and a ten, then shakes out three quarters and two pennies.

"That's all I got," he says as he stuffs his wallet back in his bag.

"That's good enough," Finn decides, figuring he could always threaten Jacob with a dumpster toss if need be. "Thanks, Artie. I'll pay you back tomorrow, I promise." And with that, he runs down the hallway and into the choir room. Jacob's already there, sitting in one of the chairs and tossing his video camera back and forth between his hands.

"Here," Finn shoves the money at Jacob. "It's thirty bucks and some change, and it'll have to do. I don't have anything else on me."

For a minute, Jacob looks like he's about to walk out, but then he takes the offered cash and shoves it into his pocket.

"Fine," he slaps the seat of the chair next to him. "Have a seat, Hudson, and prepare for your mind to be blown."

Finn sits down quickly, eyes already fixed on the video camera as Jacob flips the little screen open. He presses the play button, and Finn can see that the camera had been hidden inside one of the lockers. There are two black stripes across the screen, but he can sort of see the inside of the locker room behind the stripes.

As he watches, a blurry figure steps in front of the camera.

"It's got an automatic focus," Jacob tells him, right as the camera does exactly that, focusing in on the movement. Though it's hard to tell because of those black stripes – that are there because, duh, the camera's inside a locker – Finn can tell that it's Karofsky. His stomach clenches; he knows what that guy's capable of.

"Hey! I'm talking to you!" He hears Kurt's voice, the same as before, and his hands tighten into fists. What had Kurt been thinking, confronting Karofsky like that? He hadn't seen any bruises on Kurt's face before, but that doesn't mean Karofsky hadn't hit him somewhere else.

"The girls' locker room's next door."

"What is your problem?" Kurt's voice got louder and, sure enough, in a few seconds Finn could see his almost-step-brother's figure come in at the edge of the frame.

"Excuse me?"

"What are you so scared of?"

"Besides you sneaking in here to peek at my junk?"

"Oh, yeah, every straight guy's nightmare, that all us gays are secretly out to molest and convert you." Finn's stomach, already uncomfortably tight, knots itself further at Kurt's words. He's suddenly reminded of another face-off, this one taking place in a dimly-lit basement, where he was the one shouting hurtful words because he had been afraid of just that.

"Well guess what, ham-hawk? You're not my type!"

But I am, Finn tried to reason with himself. Kurt actually did like me, so it was okay for me to go on the defense, right? But another voice in his head told him, But that wasn't defense. That was just pent-up anger making its way out because there was an easy target right there.

Finn's so caught up in this mental battle that he misses the next few shouted sentences. He makes his inner battle shut up and starts listening again. He can fight with himself later. Right now he needs to concentrate and watch and see what the big deal is.

"Don't push me!" Karofsky slammed his locker shut and Finn watches as he advances on Kurt. But Kurt doesn't back down. Instead he almost eggs Karofsky on, daring him to do it because it won't make him change. Finn feels an almost misplaced sense of pride at seeing Kurt sticking up for himself.

"You are nothing but a scared little boy who can't stand how extraordinarily ordinary you are!"

Finn watches Karofsky tense up, looking like he's about to beat the crap out of Kurt, but that doesn't happen at all. Instead he leans forward, his mouth catching Kurt's in what has to be the most un-romantic and unexpected kiss Finn has ever seen. And then Karofsky's got his hands on Kurt's face and even on this tiny screen Finn can see him grabbing and squeezing Kurt's cheek and why the hell did it go on for so long?

Finn almost lets out a whoop when Karofsky pulls away. But then he tries to lean in for another kiss and Finn's tensing in his seat, about to spring up out of it and go kick the crap of out him, but Kurt pushes him away.

Jacob pauses the video and it's then that Finn realizes he's breathing so heavily it's actually painful and that his nails are digging into his palms and that's starting to really hurt. So he unclenches his sweaty fists and wipes his palms along his jeans, counting his breaths and trying to calm down.

"This is gonna be a hit on my blog," Jacob says smugly. "I get to out Dave Karofsky. Who else gets this kind of gold? Nobody."

"You're not going to post that," Finn's voice is anything but even.

"Why not?" Jacob pulls the camera into his chest, cradling it like a baby.

"Because if you do, my brother will be humiliated too."

"Added bonus," Jacob shrugs. "Or occupational hazard, in your case."

"You can't do this to him," Finn pleads. "Come on, even you have to know what this could do to him. To both of them."

"What will you give me for my silence?" Jacob asks, and Finn is stumped.

"What do you want?" he finds himself asking, dreading the answer.

"I want Rachel Berry," Jacob is practically panting, and it makes Finn feel sweaty and uncomfortable, because nobody thinks like that about his girlfriend. Besides, he can't give Rachel away. She's a person with feelings and rights and free will.

"That's not my call, dude," he says. "Rachel may be my girlfriend, but she's still her own person." It makes him happy to say that. Rachel would be proud of him.

"Fine," Jacob is smirking again. "Then I guess your brother's boy-kiss is gonna be all over the internet by this time tomorrow."

Finn's not sure what makes him do it, but the next thing he knows he's got Jacob in a headlock and they're both shouting and he's almost positive that a teacher's gonna find them. And then the door opens and he cringes because he's so busted and they'll probably kick him out because he's on thin ice already what with the tire slashing last year and the underwear thing last week, not to mention this whole thing with Coach Beiste, even though that totally wasn't his fault (even though it kind of is).

"What the hell?"

It's just Puck, and he's smart enough to not question what's going on. Jacob shrieks in fright and tries to curl into the fetal position, but Finn's so not holding him, so that doesn't really work. Puck comes over and neatly pries the camera out of Jacob's hands, handing it to Finn.

"Now beat it," he says as Finn releases Jacob from his headlock. Jacob doesn't need telling twice, and he bolts out of the room.

"You okay?" Puck asks Finn, who's breathing heavily and clutching the camera like it's the most important thing in the world, because in a way, it is.

"Yeah," Finn nods. "Thanks."

"Did Jewfro get a video of you and Rachel doing the nasty?" Puck asks, eyebrows waggling.

"No," Finn shakes his head. "He got Karofsky," he pauses, not wanting to tell Puck what's on the tape either, "bullying Kurt. Like, shouting stuff that's worse than usual."

"Stickin' up for your almost-literal bro," Puck holds up a fist. "Respect. Pound it." Finn touches their fists together lightly.

"So, thanks," Finn repeats. "Um, I'll see you later."

"Yeah, see ya," Puck nods and Finn takes that as his cue to leave. He passes Santana in the hall, who has a very smug expression on her face, which explains why Puck went into the choir room. Finn winces, because, um, ew, they really should not start that kind of thing in there.

He calls his mom on his way home.

"I've gotta stop by Kurt's place," he tells her, "so I'll be late. We're, um, working on a glee thing."

"Of course," he can hear the smile in her voice. "Tell both of them hello from me, okay?"

"Will do," he promises, then hangs up because it's really not a good idea to talk on the phone while you're driving. You'll probably end up running over a mailman or something. And Finn really doesn't want that to happen. Again.

He pulls into the Hummel's driveway and immediately notices that Kurt's car is parked there, too. Good. That means he can get this over with quickly. There's another car there too, but Finn hopes it's one of Burt's friends or something, because if Mercedes or someone is here, he's gonna have a hell of a time getting some one-on-one with Kurt.

Even though he still has a key, Finn knocks on the front door. He taps his foot while he waits, feeling the weight of the camera in his jacket pocket. He wonders if anyone is actually home. Maybe everyone's out and they all just met here to carpool or something. He raises his hand to knock again when Kurt pulls the door open. Finn almost punches Kurt in the face because he's about to knock.

"Hi," he says, lowering his hand quickly.

"Hello, Finn," Kurt looks and sounds confused. "Can I help you?" Another boy appears behind Kurt, and Finn recognizes him from earlier today and from the picture in Kurt's locker.

"Oh, hey," his face breaks into a smile and he holds out a hand to this boy. "You're that Blaine guy, right? It's cool to meet you!" Kurt pushes the door open further and steps to the side, allowing Blaine to come forward and shake Finn's hand.

"And you must be Finn," Blaine guesses correctly, making Finn smile even wider. "Kurt told me you were tall but, man, I feel like a hobbit."

"What's a hobbit?" Finn asks.

"Nevermind," Blaine shrugs.

"What are you doing here?" Kurt asks.

"I wanted to talk to you," Finn lowers his voice, even though Blaine's standing right there and can probably hear him anyway. "It's important."

"You're not still on about the whole wedding joke, are you?" Kurt ventures to ask, rolling his eyes. "Finn, I told you, it's fine."

"No, it's not about that," Finn assures him, but then backtracks. "Well, yeah, it kind of is. But it's really not, because I know what's going on now and I wanted to talk to you about it because I'm a really big jerk and so is Karofsky and I wanted you to know that you're, like, one of the coolest dudes I know, because you're probably still really mad at me. And I don't want you to be mad at me."

"Wait, how do you know Karofsky did something?" Kurt tenses and Finn mentally slaps himself.

"Can I come in?" he asks, thinking this conversation might be a little less awkward if he wasn't hovering in the doorway.

"I think that's best," Blaine answers for Kurt, stepping aside so Finn can come in. Finn does just that, darting in before Kurt can tell him to stay out or go away or something. He digs in his pocket and pulls out the video camera, holding it out and saying, "Jacob Ben Israel hid a camera in the locker room."

Kurt's face pales and for a second Finn thinks he's going to faint. Blaine obviously thinks so too, because his arm goes around Kurt's waist and he looks really, really worried. The three of them stand there in silence, Finn still holding out the camera and Blaine still with his arm around Kurt, and then Kurt breaks the silence.

"Is it on there?" His voice shakes, and Blaine's other hand comes to rest on the crook of Kurt's elbow, squeezing his arm tightly.

"Yeah," Finn's voice is soft.

"Did you watch it?" Kurt demands next, sounding accusing and Finn almost wants to say no.

"Yeah," he says honestly, but he still wants to lie, because Kurt kind of crumples even though he's still standing up. His body angles towards Blaine, who takes the hint and pulls him into a hug. Finn wants to help too, so he reaches out with his other hand and pats Kurt on the back.

There's a loud gasping noise, and Finn realizes that Kurt's crying into Blaine's shoulder. Blaine just holds him tighter, whispering something to him, and Finn keeps patting him on the back.

"It's okay, dude," he says. "I mean, I've got the tape or whatever now, so we can delete it and make it go away, right? Isn't that good?" Kurt shakes his head, still leaning on Blaine's shoulder, and Blaine looks up at Finn and just gives him this look that says shut up, you moron, but not really because he seems like a nice guy who wouldn't call Finn a moron, even though Finn kind of feels like one for not knowing what to do.

The three of them stand there for what feels like hours, and then Kurt pulls out of Blaine's hug and sniffs really loudly and then he apologizes for getting upset.

Finn says, "No, dude, you're totally allowed," at the same time Blaine says, "Never apologize for your feelings, Kurt. Especially when they're justified." Finn wishes he could be eloquent like that, because Kurt smiles at Blaine even though he's got tear marks all over his face and he completely ignores the fact that Finn said something.

"Let me see it," Kurt demands, turning to face Finn and holding out his hand. Finn takes a step back, suddenly thinking this was a terrible idea.

"I don't think you should," he tells Kurt, knowing that it'll probably make things worse. "You already had to do it in real life, so why do you want to see it again?"

"I'm not going to watch it," Kurt decides, still holding out his hand. "Well, not all of it. I just want to make sure that what I think is on the tape is really on the tape."

Finn gives Kurt the camera and doesn't miss how Blaine now has a hand on Kurt's back. He watches as Kurt flips the camera open and presses play, the video picking up where it had left off. Finn hears a bang that sounded like something hitting a locker, and both Kurt and Blaine flinch. Kurt quickly pauses it, eyes swimming with tears again.

"That's it," he nods. "He got it all on tape." He fumbles with the camera and asks, "How do I delete it?" Finn shrugs, but Blaine lays a hand on Kurt's arm.

"Wait," he says, voice soothing. "Don't erase it yet."

"Are you crazy?" Kurt's angry and he turns on Blaine, jerking out of the boy's hold. "Why would I want this to… to… to keep existing?"

"Because you can do something about it if you want," Blaine reasons. "Kurt, if you're this worried and shook up about what happened, then you need to figure out what to do about it. Before it was just your word against his, now you have proof that it really happened. You can press charges for something like this."

"It's a kiss," Kurt says it like it's physically paining him to admit. "Nobody's going to think of it as anything but that."

"He slammed you into a locker before that," Blaine reminds him. "And that was in the hallway. I'm sure someone will vouch for you."

"Yeah, because people will just be lining up to speak on the gay kid's defense," Kurt shouts, throwing his arms in the air. "This isn't Dalton, Blaine! Nobody cares about me at McKinley, and nobody will care about me. I'm just the gay kid everyone picks on and that's all I'll ever be."

"I care," Finn butts in. Kurt rounds on him instead now, eyes flashing.

"Oh, you care? You care, Finn? Well let's recap what our relationship has been like over the past two years. You start off throwing me in dumpsters and tossing pee balloons at me, then once I think we're actually friends you abandon me and then turn on me. And then, when I think I finally have a chance at being normal and having a normal relationship with another guy, you call me a fag. So excuse me for not taking you seriously when you say that you care."

"Hey!" Finn jumps to his own defense, even though he knows arguing is a bad idea. "Look, I know I shouldn't have said those things, but come on, you were going way too far that time. You can't keep warping the story like that, dude. And I'm trying here, to be a good friend and maybe like a brother or something, so come on, give me a little credit!"

"Do you have any idea how hard it is to not be free to be yourself, Finn?" Kurt shouts back. "You wouldn't even let me sing a duet with another guy because you were afraid someone would find out. Well newsflash, Finn, what happens in glee club can stay in glee club if some of us could learn to keep our mouths shut!"

"I," Finn starts to make a retort, but Blaine steps in between them, holding up his hands.

"Stop it!" he commands both of them. "Just stop!" He pauses, looking at Kurt and speaking mostly to him when he continues, "Look, I know you're angry and upset and I get that you two clearly haven't had the best of relationships, but don't go shooting the messenger. Finn's trying to help you and he's clearly trying to apologize for what he's done before. I think you should listen to what he said and give him a little credit."

"You too?" Kurt throws his hands up in exasperation, walking away from them and sitting down heavily on the couch in the living room. "Why does everyone expect me to apologize? Why should I? I just want to be able to live my life the way everyone else can."

"And dude, you totally should," Finn follows Kurt into the living room, Blaine quickly hopping in front of him and claiming the spot on the couch next to Kurt. "I get that and I'm really sorry I was such a jerk to you. And yeah, I was totally wrong about the duet thing, but we really wanted Sam to stick around and we figured he'd want to stick around more if he did a duet with…"

"A girl," Kurt finishes for him. "I know."

"I'm sorry," Finn apologizes again as he sits down on the chair opposite the couch. "I was a jerk. A big, scared-of-gay-people jerk. And that was really stupid, because you're like, the coolest brother ever. Even though we're not officially brothers yet."

Kurt stares at his lap for about two minutes, dragging the silence out. Finn watches as his breathing slows, and when he finally looks up he has a small smile on his face.

"I'm sorry too," he says. "You were right, too. Sometimes I'm so desperate to be normal that I expect others to go along with what I want. I should know better by now than to expect that, but there you go."

"No, people should go along with what you want," Finn decides. "And I mean, if someone's not gay, then whatever. But it sucks that you have to worry about that. I was kind of freaked out when you had a crush on me, but isn't that like the same thing as me crushing on a lesbian or something?" He blinks, then adds quickly, "Not that I have a crush on a lesbian or something. Because Rachel's totally straight. We've made out enough times for me to figure that out."

"That's lovely, Finn," Kurt's expressing seems to have softened a little. "And even though most of that made no sense, I understand what you're saying. Thank you."

"So basically, we're both jerks who just apologized for being jerks?" Finn asks, wanting to make sure they're all on the same page.

"Well go with that," Kurt decides. Then he holds out the video camera again, putting it on the table. "Now I need to figure this whole thing out."

"Sleep on it," Blaine tells him, reaching out to touch Kurt's arm again. "Take some time to think. If you decide now, when you're still shook up and angry, you'll make the wrong decision. Even if it's the decision you would have made otherwise, you'll constantly be second-guessing yourself about it."

Finn wonders how this Blaine guy got to be so smart. He seems to always make sense. Maybe he's a jedi or something.

"I think that sounds good," he decides to give Kurt his own opinion too, even though he's basically just agreeing with Blaine. "He's smart."

"Thanks," Blaine chuckles. "You two are going to be all right, I can tell. You both truly care about each other."

Finn smiles at Kurt, who smiles back. They hold eye contact for a few seconds before Kurt clears his throat and looks back at the camera.

"So I sleep on it," Kurt says firmly. "I can do that. And what do I do if I decide to keep it?"

"Then you decide if you want to press charges," Blaine reminds him.

"I'll vouch for you," Finn butts in. "I mean, I wasn't actually there for any of this stuff, but I've seen him push you around before. And stopped him," he adds, wanting to look like the good guy in front of Blaine.

"And stopped him," Kurt echoes. "In a giant red dress made out of a shower curtain."

Blaine snorts, saying, "You have got to tell me that story later." Kurt laughs, promising he will, and Finn starts laughing too. It's kind of nice, being happy with Kurt and Blaine, and Finn wishes that all the messed up stuff could go away and they could just hang out like normal people, because Blaine seems really cool.

The door opens and then slams shut, shaking all three boys out of their little moment. Kurt hastily wipes his eyes, even though his face is devoid of tears, clearing his throat and fixing his expressing into a smile just as Burt walks in.

"Oh, hey, Finn," Burt raises a hand. "And another random stranger. Who's this, Kurt?"

"I'm Blaine," Blaine stands up and takes a step closer to Burt, holding out his hand.

"He's a friend," Kurt says firmly, because Burt has a look on his face that reminds Finn of the look his mom gave him when he first brought home Quinn. But Burt shakes Blaine's hand anyway and says, "Nice to meet you. You in glee with these two?"

"No, I'm actually from another school," Blaine says honestly. "I met Kurt earlier this Monday when he came to visit." Burt raises and eyebrow and Kurt says quickly, "I'll explain later, Dad, okay?"

"Okay," Burt's not buying any of this and even Finn can tell. "You two staying for dinner?"

"Sure," Finn shrugs, and Blaine says, "That'd be great." Kurt looks like he wants to disappear into the couch, but Burt beckons with a finger, saying, "Kurt, let's have that talk now."

Kurt makes a grunt that clearly says he's not happy about this, but he follows his dad into the next room anyway. Blaine gives Finn a meaningful look and they walk into the kitchen because it's another room over. Finn notices that there are dishes in the drying rack, and he's taken aback when Blaine grabs the towel hanging off the oven handle and starts drying them.

"You know where all these go?" he asks Finn, handing him a plate.

"Uh, yeah," Finn opens the cupboard with the plates and bowls, putting it away. "But why are you doing their dishes?"

"It's called being courteous," Blaine isn't talking down to him. "I like helping out."

"Okay," Finn shrugs, piling the plates in his arms as Blaine hands them to him. They do this in silence for a while, then Finn ventures to ask, "So what's the deal with you and Kurt?"

"Hmm?" Blaine looks up from the mug he's currently drying. "What do you mean?"

"Are you guys, like, dating?"

Blaine laughs, handing Finn the mug and saying, "No. We met, like, four days ago. You don't date someone after four days. We're friends. And I'm helping him out." Blaine's expression darkened, then he turned to look Finn straight in the eyes. "He doesn't have anyone, and he's put up with a lot more than I ever did. You have to give him credit for that, but there's only so much one person can put up with without having someone there who gets it. That's what I want to be for him."

"But you're totally gonna ask him out, right?" Finn's having a hard time comprehending the fact that Blaine doesn't want to date his step-brother. "Because Kurt's awesome and you seem cool."

"Maybe some day," Blaine shrugs a shoulder noncommittally. "I mean, don't get me wrong, Kurt's a great guy and I do like him, but that's not what he needs right now. He needs a friend, and I want to be what he needs."

"So you're totally gonna ask him out when he's like, happy and stuff?"

"Sure," Blaine chuckles a little and hands Finn a handful of silverware.

"Awesome," Finn grins at him. He starts putting away the silverware, feeling really happy that he totally knows Blaine's gonna be Kurt's first boyfriend before even Kurt knows.

Hang on.

"But what if things get all weird after you ask him out?" Finn asks suddenly, still holding a steak knife and pointing it accusingly at Blaine.

"How do you mean?" Blaine asks, taking a step away from Finn and his knife.

"What if you guys shouldn't go out because it's better to be friends because then things won't get awkward and you won't end up hurting him?"

"Whoa, you're jumping the gun here," Blaine holds up his hands as if in defeat. "I haven't asked him out yet. I don't even know if I will ask him out. Right now I just want to help him get through this, and forcing myself on him as a boyfriend isn't the way to do that."

"Good," Finn nods. "Because if you hurt him, I'll totally cut your junk off." He brandishes his steak knife and hops forward, laughing when Blaine jumps back.

"Just kidding," Finn giggles as he puts the knife away. Blaine takes another handful of silverware from the drying rack, but doesn't give them to Finn. Instead, he starts putting them away himself. Finn, still giggling, chooses another steak knife and holds it out towards Blaine again, saying, "En guarde!"

When Burt and Kurt come into the kitchen, they find two giggly boys sword-fighting with steak knives. Kurt yells something about that being really dangerous and that they should really stop now before someone gets hurt, but Blaine and Finn just keep laughing.

(They put the knives away when Burt yells at them.)