Hi, I'm C Coulter, your author for this fic.

That last episode seemed to have earned me more comments than in any of the previous two, and I am truly delighted to discover that you all have enjoyed the latest episode.

(I have seen a link of my story moving around Tumblr's fandom. May I know who posted it there so I may properly thank you? :) )

However, I do believe it's high time that we explored Dalton relations a bit more, to begin what will be a defining line between houses and the students.

I would like to thank each and every one of the commenters for their words of support. It is you who inspire me. As a thank you, today's episode arrives a little bit earlier, and it goes from me to you hoping that you enjoy this one as well.

(I do not own Glee-it would not be as amazing as it is if I did.)


Dalton

Episode 4: Crossed-Swords


For the first time since he moved into Windsor, Kurt woke one morning to his actual alarm clock and not for any other mad reason—and it felt fantastic. He yawned and shoved off the comforter and sat up in bed, blinking into the early light. Speckles of dust glimmered through the sunbeams that filtered through the windows. He sighed and rubbed his face, then got up and turned to his room properly…

…to heave a deep, exasperated sigh.

Like yesterday, his room was, once again, overrun by what must be dozens and dozens of coffee cups resting on top every surface—from mugs and teacups to thermos cups and Styrofoam ones.

Kurt glowered at the mess of it all (which took forever to get rid of yesterday) then turned to his closed door and called, "You guys can stop doing this every morning!"

There was an eruption of barely restrained chortling and snickering from the other side of the door as the mass of Windsor boys immediately fled for their lives, running to their respective rooms, feet pounding on the wood floors and slamming of doors echoing down the hall.

Kurt glared at turned back to the mess. He looked to his bedside table and saw that, like yesterday, one particularly dainty latte cup was sitting there with a post-it (while all others remained unidentified).

Look at it this way: we clearly must really like you. –B

Torn between wanting to laugh and wanting to strangle the sender, Kurt just smiled and scooped up the coffee cup, determined to find a lock for his doors that the twins couldn't possibly crack.


I'm Kurt. And this is Dalton Academy.

After a few days, I did end up getting a bit more used to the strange things inside Windsor. They all mean well, but they're also clearly insane.

I've also started to get used to the daily grind at Dalton. But somehow I still have this feeling that I've only scratched the surface, and that there was something more I should be aware of.


Today was Friday and everyone was looking forward to going home for the weekend—except for the Warblers. With Sectionals scheduled on Tuesday, Mr. Harvey decreed that each and every Warbler was to stay in campus for rehearsal over the weekend. As much as Kurt would have wanted to return to Lima, he knew he had to stay as he only had this little time to be ready for Sectionals.

And besides, Mercedes' texts told him that there was trouble in paradise (as usual) back in McKinley. At best, he should stay out of the crossfire for now.

"A whole weekend of practice," Wes groaned, leaning against the wall as he, David and Blaine waited for Kurt to get out of Art History. "That should be fun."

"What else are you going to do all weekend? Marathon Mythbusters for the fifteenth time?" David raised an eyebrow. "And it's not like you've got to look after Tabitha this weekend."

"I miss Tabitha," Wes admitted.

David stared. "WHY?"

"She's never boring, at least."

"Wes, you'll be stuck all weekend with us, including the twins, inside Windsor," Blaine raised an eyebrow, looking up from his Blackberry. "I would hardly think that a group of cabin-fevered Warblers will be boring all weekend."

"You'll be boring," Wes protested. "You'll just be looking to flirt and rehearse—" air quotation marks, "—with Kurt all weekend." An Earth Sciences book hit his face in the next instant.

David considered. "May have a point there."

"I hate you both."

"You might want to think about doing something," Wes reminded him. "I can pretty much see a bright red laser dot on Kurt coming from Logan's sniper rifle. I mean did you see the way Logan was looking at him yesterday? He looked like he wanted to grab him or something."

"Don't remind me," Blaine said, expression changing for only a brief instant. "I've already planned on doing …something."

David blinked in surprise. "So you do have plans to flirt with Kurt? Seduce? Throw him onto your bed and perform loudly to the point that it will have the entire dorm evacuated within fourteen seconds?"

"Why are we evacuating the dorm?" asked Kurt as he now came out of the classroom.

Blaine, deep scarlet, jumped up and subtly proceeded to crush David's foot with his heel as he did so. "Nothing. Well, I just thought that since you wouldn't want to be stuck in there with the twins while they have cabin fever, you can watch the fencing meet later after class."

"Damn it, Blaine—I think you just hacked off my big toe!" David howled, hopping on one foot.

"He needs his toes to dance for Sectionals, Blaine…" Wes warned.

Kurt looked in confusion at the two and then back to Blaine who giving them a "would you be quiet" look and leading Kurt away. "What is wrong with his foot and what fencing meet?" Kurt asked him.

"We're playing host to a fencing meet with St. Patrick's Academy later today," Blaine answered. "It's the only thing happening in school other than Warbler practice. …And there's nothing wrong with David's foot, he's overreacting."

"Overreacting?" David demanded, aghast, having somehow taken off his shoes and sock as they stopped in the hall. "The nail's turning black and gross!"

Kurt found it all highly entertaining, especially since it was David, who was usually a little primmer in appearance, and had to stifle a burp of laughter. David just made a face at him and Blaine and sat down on a nearby cushioned bench, putting his sock and shoe back on as he mumbled about "repressed hormones" or something like it.

Kurt glanced away for a moment, trying to stop shaking with laughter, and thought he spotted a familiar face at the other end of the corridor. He was right—along with a small band of Stuarts, Logan was walking into another corridor and met his eyes just for a brief moment. The taller boy smiled briefly before he disappeared.

Turning back to the other three, he tried to stop his pounding chest, swallowing hard. He didn't know if it was just his imagination all over again, but he felt as though he had been seeing an awful lot of Logan in the halls in the past few days. Or maybe he had simply always been around, he only noticed now as he'd actually met him. It was starting to get somewhat unnerving.

The other three didn't notice a thing. Wes rolled his eyes and looked to Kurt. "Look, whatever—go to the meet and cheer for Blaine, Kurt, that's what he's asking you."

Now Kurt stared in surprise. "You fence…?"

"A little," Blaine coughed. "You don't have to cheer. I just thought you might want to go if you've nothing else to do before Warblers' practice."

"Of course I'll go," Kurt grinned, in spite of the fact that he about a million miles of homework to get to. "I want to see you break the stereotype to little pieces. And besides, I heard that school sports meets allow students to come in casual clothing." He of course did not add that he wanted to see Blaine in one of those fencing suits.

"Great," Blaine smiled. "Looking forward to it."

Wes and David looked at each other with knowing expressions, smirking.


It wasn't often that the twins separated from their usual compatriots, but when they did it was usually for a good reason. Sitting in the cafeteria, they both looked at Reed, concerned.

"Say that again?" Ethan said, tilting his head.

"I don't know, it just…it didn't sound really nice," Reed said uncomfortably, holding a hot cup of chai in his hands. "I'm probably overthinking. But you know as well as I do that Logan…he's not that much of a team player. And he gets his way."

"Of course we know," Evan muttered.

"They didn't actually say anything about Kurt? Logan and Derek?" Ethan prompted.

"Just…that Derek said he hadn't heard Logan sing with anyone—suppose he meant just one person—in a long time. And that Logan said he was "too interested"." Reed looked up and flailed somewhat. "I just thought the way they said it was worrisome."

The twins looked at each other, then back to Reed. "Anything else?"

"Not really," sighed Reed. "I'm just really worried." He paused and added, "I mean, Blaine really likes Kurt, right? And Logan…he… I just thought that he might be trying to ruin that." He fidgeted. "But I'm not sure. Don't quote me. Whatever."

"We did see Logan watching Kurt and Blaine during Warblers' meetings…" Evan murmured, but Ethan shook his head and continued for him, "…but it might be that he just really does like our little Alice, and nothing personal about Blaine at all."

"Pfft. Right. Sure."

"But I wouldn't want to try and figure out what goes on in his head."

"Of course you don't."

"Who would?"

"Must be like walking into an HP Lovecraft novel."

Reed flailed. "Guys!" The twins looked at him. Reed hesitated for one moment, and then blurted out, "There's something else."

They looked at him expectantly. Reed ducked his head and whispered, "…Derek…said that he saw how…upset you guys looked when you saw them in the room together. And Logan…said that was interesting."

The twins slowly leaned back.

"Well…"

"That's…"

"…rather different." A pair of odd twin smiles appeared.

Reed looked up quickly. "Please don't tell Blaine, Wes and David. I saw the looks on your faces when they came out of the room with you two and Kurt. We can't have problems now, I mean, we're almost to Sectionals and we need everybody—and everybody includes Logan and Derek. I told you, I'm just telling you what I heard, I don't know anything. I just thought it was something to be cautious about!"

"You know the problem with nice people is that you can't tell whether one of them has a temper or not…" Evan began.

"…and I'm not sure where to classify Blaine in that," Ethan nodded.

"They'll be fencing on the team together later, though," Reed said thoughtfully.

"Perfect." The twins now smiled at Reed. "Keep Alice busy, little Dormouse—keep him away from our dear Rabbit and that tart-stealer until the meet. We'll be doing a little field research in the meantime."


All right, universe, you can take it back now, Kurt thought inwardly as he returned, alone, to Windsor carrying a bulging satchel full of homework. Challenging is great, but not this challenging! There were too many things now to worry about, homework being a major one. If he didn't keep up his academics, it would be doing disservice to the fact that his parents did sacrifice their entire honeymoon just to send him here.

He was just about to start on his arts assignment when the knock came. He got up, opened the door and saw Reed standing there with a nice hopeful smile. "Hi, Alice—I mean Kurt." He laughed.

"You've been hanging out with the twins, I'm sure," Kurt smiled. "Come in."

Reed came in, holding a box in his hands, looking around. "Your room's a normal one… Mine is the only odd one, I suppose. All that padding, and I can't have a roommate." He laughed embarrassedly. "And Dwight's room too. A whole lot of creepy things. I don't know how his roommate manages it."

"I kind of like your room," Kurt remarked, smiling as he remembered the white softness of everything in Reed's room. "It's incredibly plush. And heaven forbid anyone spill anything into it. Getting stains out of that gorgeous sofa must be a pain."

"Speaking of spills, all the coffee is still here?" Reed chortled as he saw the cups everywhere—a few having been emptied. Kurt rolled his eyes. "It was one outburst, it's not going to happen again."

"And we're just making sure of that!" Reed exclaimed with a grin. He laughed and thrust the box to Kurt's hands. "Here. A welcome present from me."

"Oh…" Kurt looked stunned. "You didn't have to…" But Reed, after checking the sofa carefully for foreign things, plopped down into it and gestured for him to open it.

Kurt undid the ribbon, and it revealed the maker's imprint on the box. His eyes widened to their full limit and he tore the box lid off to lift out a soft Hermés stole in printed cashmere. "Oh…" he stared, at a loss for words.

"Do you like it?" Reed said, a bit worried.

"Are you insane—this is amazing!" Kurt hugged the stole and then hugged Reed for good measure. Owing to the financial situation back in Lima, he had never actually been gifted anything quite so luxurious. "Thank you, thank you!"

Reed burst out laughing and hugged back. "Don't be ridiculous—I'm relieved you like it. You realize you're the first person other than Blaine to have that kind of reaction out of everyone I've given welcome gifts to?" He looked at Kurt seriously. "When Dwight came here, I gave him a Versace belt. He's currently using its notches as places to hang mini glow-in-the-dark skeletons over his bed."

Kurt burst out laughing in amazement and horror. Reed smiled. "So you're watching Blaine today, right?" His smile broadened as he observed Kurt's instant slight reddening. "Have you figured out what to wear yet?"

Kurt, busy trying on the stole, gestured to his closet door where an outfit was hanging. Reed considered it with an expert's gaze. "…hmm…it's nice…"

"But…?" Kurt raised an eyebrow.

"The pants are good but the top… You could do much better. Especially since it's for Blaine?" Reed grinned. Before a deep scarlet Kurt could even protest, Reed was running to his closet and started looking through it. He tutted soundly, and Kurt protested, "It's all I could bring from my stuff at home!"

"An impressive collection, but it really won't do!" Reed struggled in mini-panic for a moment after getting snagged on a dry-cleaning bag, but popped out safely with tousled curls and plastic shreds in his hair before Kurt could help him. He was grinning. "Mom sends me things every week. Would you object to rooting through my closet?"

Kurt's astonished expression was all he needed.


"Where's Blaine?" Wes muttered sideways to David, who was working on a project proposal in the common room. Without looking up, David answered, "Already off to the gymnasium. Why?"

Wes' expression was dark, watching blazer-wearing boys with red shields approaching from the outside. "We're being invaded by Stuarts."

"Whoa!" David threw off his book and leapt up, joining Wes in running to the foyer. From the upper banisters, Dwight looked down, yelling, "I sense evil!"

"You sure do," David muttered. "Where are the twins and their paintball guns when you need them…?" He arrived at the door and opened it just as the three Stuart boys were beginning to knock. David frowned. "Hello, Derek."

"Hello, David," smiled the tall boy, the athlete from the Warblers' Hall. "We were wondering where Hummel was."

Wes stepped up next to David. "Upstairs, in his room. Why?"

"Logan wanted us to give him this," he held out a plain brown envelope.

"What's in this that you need a colour guard with you?" asked Wes, taking it gingerly. "Anthrax? To ensure the complete knockout of our entire in-house Warbler lineup? You already did get everyone when you put laxatives in our drinks before we could perform A Very Potter Musical and steamroller you last year, but with Kurt here…"

Derek's smirk hardened. "No, actually, it's chunk of C4 to get back at you people for replacing our centennial sculpture's head with the head of the Pillsbury Dough Boy." He snorted. "No, I'm afraid it's a present. Why Logan would have any more interest in someone from Windsor, though…"

"You jealous, Derek?" Wes smiled now. "No, honest question. Worried about competition after having Logan all to yourself since he chased away his last Windsor conquest? Thanks for breaking his heart, by the way—we were so happy when second lead soloist moved away—"

"Wow, you really think you're funny—"

"Whoah!" Dwight ran in between the two boys when Derek took a step forward. "Now, now. Everyone keep calm and I won't have to spray you." He looked back and forth between them. "Past is past, what's done is done. And nothing was ever proved. As far as we're concerned, we're all innocent. Let's not throw accusations all over again. Nothing's happened this school year, right? It's a giant clean slate. We're still all good?"

"Nothing's happened…yet." Wes said with a hard smile.

"I'm sure if anything does, it's from you pranksters," Derek remarked. "Seriously? A bonfire in the middle of the night for the newbie, with all the dry leaves everywhere? His voice is fantastic, but I don't think it's worth setting fire to campus for. This is not an episode of Jackass."

"Why can't you all get along outside of Warblers' Hall the way you do inside?" Dwight practically whined.

"Derek's not even a Warbler, Dwight," Wes snapped.

"Whatever," the cloaked boy snapped back. "Can we not do this? I'd like to pass midterms with a clean student record."

"You may leave now," David declared with a cold polite smile. "We'll give Logan's regards to Kurt."

"Why thank you, David." Derek returned the smile and left.

Wes slammed the door shut and all three Windsor boys leaned back on the door, sliding down in relief. "Could you guys maybe not start anything while Blaine and Charlie aren't here?" Dwight begged, clutching his chest.

"Like Charlie would've stopped us," snorted Wes.

"He might," David reminded him. "He did say he'd had enough of this…fight or whatever it is we've got against Stuart. He doesn't want any of us suspended and tarnish our immaculate records while he's away."

"David, it's being going on for twenty-five freaking years; we don't even know who started it! I bet not even our dads know. I don't think it's going to stop just because Charles Amos, our poor injured House prefect, says so."

"It might if our Acting House Prefect says so."

Wes snorted. "Like ol' lovestruck Blaine wouldn't get pissed off if he finds out Logan's going for Kurt. He saw him first."

"Wait a minute—they're after Hummel now?" Dwight demanded. "What did he do to them?"

"Apparently? Catch Logan's attention." David stood, holding the envelope. "For either being his type or too good at singing, or both—I don't know, whatever it is, I don't trust him."

Wes brushed off his pants as he stood and gestured to the envelope. "Are you going to look in it?"

"S'not mine to look into," David sighed. "As long as it doesn't feel like there are wires in it, I hear no ticking and it doesn't leak gas, I think it's safe to give it to him."

Wes followed David up the stairs and Dwight tailed, grumbling something about being cursed again.


"All right boys," said the coach as the fencers gathered around him. The crowd murmur was echoing to the roof of the gymnasium. "You've all taken these guys before and they can barely keep up with your footwork. Bring it home for the third year in a row, all right? I want the final to be two Dalton fencers, you got that?"

"Yes sir," the boys chorused, nodding and the coach ushered them on out into the open area.

There was an explosion of cheering from the supporters of both Dalton and St. Patrick's in attendance, majority of which were Dalton boys, as it was their home turf. They were waving flags with the Dalton crest on them as their fencers entered the arena with its mass of mats and towering scoring columns.

"Just in time!" Reed breathed as he and Kurt arrived into the gymnasium with the rest of the Windsor boys. David couldn't take his eyes off of Kurt's crazy outfit and he was sure that it would drive Blaine to distraction.

Kurt was wearing tight black pants and some highly expensive-looking boots with low heels. The sleek silvery-gray belted turtleneck that he was wearing was hugging him distractingly well-placed locations, and his black coat had to have been something from Reed's reserves. The shade of the turtleneck amplified his eye color.

The twins smirked at each other at the outfit and said, "And in three…two…one…"

"Kurt!" Blaine was running towards them as they stood behind the barricade, smiling. He was wearing his white fencing suit that had the Windsor crest on one shoulder, and the Dalton crest on the other.

"Like clockwork," Evan sighed, pleased at predictability.

"Like a moth to a flame," Ethan agreed.

"Hello to you too, Blaine," David gave a sickly sweet smile to him when he got to the group. "Don't mind us or anything. We're just your best friends. Willing to throw ourselves in harm's way for you…"

"Willing to listen to Teenage Dream on loop for you…" added Wes.

"Willing to sacrifice sanity for you…"

"Willing to give you our share of Medel's post-performance brownies?"

"Hell no, I'm not giving him my share of those brownies!"

"Hello, Wes, hello David," Blaine said in monotone, humoring them with a grimace. It seemed to satisfy them. He looked at Kurt, who was smiling a little. "Hey."

"Hi," Kurt breathed, smile getting a bit bigger. "Good luck. Rooting for you."

"So you'll be really mad if I lose, right?" Blaine grinned. He stared at Kurt's outfit as though he just noticed it and was already sure that Kurt must've broken the necks of the Dalton boys, who must have never seen anyone arrive in that level of dress. The most they had given themselves to were waistcoats and tails. "Wow, you look… Well you're out of the uniform." He laughed. "You got all dressed up for this."

"It was my idea," Reed said, grinning. "He looks really good in that. I was thinking of giving it to him. Too big for me anyway."

Kurt turned to Reed with huge "what are you doing?" eyes before looking back to Blaine. "Just go win it, I'll cheer for you guys. By cheering I mean like just waving this little flag, not cheering cheering—like with the cartwheels and basket tosses and…" he trailed away looking awkward.

Blaine decided to pry into that little tidbit a little bit more later on.

"So does that mean you're cheering for me too?"

All the Windsor boys froze as Logan walked up to them. Kurt met the full force of Logan's pale green eyes and didn't waver. "Hey, Logan. I didn't know you were on the team too."

"Did you get the present I sent you?" Logan asked coolly, ignoring the stare that Blaine was giving him.

At the inquiry, Wes and David pushed their way to the front, the twins pulling Kurt a little back to make a somewhat protective cocoon. "Yes, we gave it to him," David said with another polite smile that somehow looked utterly forced. "But you should send the next one yourself, because your fellow Stuarts are a real pain in the ass."

Instead of getting angry, Logan just laughed. "I apologize about Derek, then. You know how testy he gets."

Blaine tore his eyes away from Logan and looked at Kurt and found their eyes meeting. Without prompting of any kind, Kurt's hand closed over his from on top of the barricade—he was just looking at him. Blaine was rather surprised but he smiled. Kurt just smiled back—and it was a conversation in itself.

"Good luck. I mean it."

"Thank you."

Logan, who did not miss the action, smiled at Kurt, who now looked at him and also nodded. "Yes, I got your present, that original vinyl record of Broadway music. Thank you—you really didn't have to."

"Just thought it suited you," Logan shrugged.

"Good luck. Hope you guys win." Kurt gave him a quick somewhat awkward wave.

Logan nodded and gave Blaine another glance—which was returned steadily—before he left to join the others onto the benches. Looking utterly triumphant, Wes now swept between the two and lifted Kurt's hand from Blaine's. "Now get lost!" Wes told the fencer kindly. "Go fence and win, please."

Blaine made a face at him but nodded to his friends, who waved their flags in reply as he ran back to the rest of the team.


The meet went down to two—both Dalton boys as the coach wanted. But every Dalton student was hanging on the edge of their seats, blue Windsor flags and red Stuart flags flailing, as Blaine and Logan walked to the Dalton bench and began to put on their gear.

"I've never ever seen him fence like this before," said Ethan, rather amazed as Evan clapped wildly. "Are you our new good luck charm, Alice?"

"Please—that's all him," said Kurt, who can't help but feel a swell of pride. "He's just that good."

"Get him, Blaine!" Wes hooted, thumping his flaglet against the barricade.

"Man, Logan has yet to lose, though," David admitted, looking at the scores. "If he beats Blaine, he'll be on an all-kill for the second year in a row."

"Then I hope to old Herman Dalton that Blaine kicks his ass," Wes replied.

"Wes, come on," Kurt looked at him disapprovingly. "He's from Dalton and he's also a Warbler. Why are you all so on his case?"

"We'll tell you later," Reed whispered. And more loudly, "For now, cheer for who you want to win!"

Kurt turned to the floor, where the two were now headed towards the central mat, the Dalton boys cheering and their flags fluttering like flocks of red and blue birds.

"Want to tell me what all that was about with Kurt, Stuart Prefect?" Blaine muttered from alongside Logan.

"I'm not sure now's a good time to discuss this, Acting Windsor Prefect," replied Logan, and Blaine could hear the smile on his face. "Tell you what—you beat me and I'll tell you."

"Are we going to do this again, Logan?" Blaine asked coldly as he stopped at his en garde line.

"Only if you want to, Blaine," Logan answered casually, going to the other end. "You did lose last year."

Blaine gripped his sabre tight. Don't let him get to your head, don't let him get to your head. That's what he did last year.

The crowd cheered and started to fall silent as the umpires now signaled preparation. There was a salute with respect measured to the most exact levels. "En garde!" The marks were on, sabres were raised, the two combatants tense. "Prêt!"

The Dalton boys held bated breath as Windsor and Stuart came down to a final five-point match.

"Allez!"

As soon as the signal went off, the metal clangs of the sabres filled the air. Between the two of them, Logan was the stronger one, but Blaine was faster. Though he could outstep Logan, the taller boy began bearing down on him.

Reed was biting his nails so much that they were starting to bleed—Kurt pulled them away from his mouth without taking his eyes off the match.

"Come on Blaine…" hissed David, watching their every move.

There was a thwip through the air and a sudden jab—and the bell went off. "Point!" A green block appeared on Logan's score column.

The Stuarts exploded into cheers, red flags waving. The Windsors looked frantic, yelling for Blaine to get him back for it. Wes cursed soundly under his breath but he yelled, "Come on, Blaine! Get him!"

The battle resumed—and Blaine, seemingly fueled by the taken point, now started to become a little less cautious in his movements and started his attack. The Windsor boys cheered on their support, Kurt clutching onto the rail so hard he was sure that his nails were going to chip.

Logan dodged the quick assaults and made to take his second point—until Blaine made a sudden forward maneuver with his weapon—swatting the other sabre away just enough to jab forward and land a clean hit directly to the chest.

"Point!" Blaine's green block lit and Windsor erupted into cheers amidst Stuart howls.

"Oh man!" David slammed his fist onto the barricade in excitement. The twins were jumping up and down like mad.

Blows were exchanged again, with Logan forcing Blaine back to his en garde line. By far, the bout was the most aggressive one that either Blaine or Logan had participated in and their exertion was obvious. There were a few calls of "Halt!" as they kept maximizing their eight sabre touches.

"Clock's ticking…" Reed bit his nails again.

At one point, Logan made a misstep and Blaine saw it—he dived forward and struck the taller boy in the shoulder. When his score block lit, Windsor went crazy. "I think I'm going to have a heart attack," Kurt muttered. "I haven't felt this scared since being a kicker."

The twins gave him an odd look, shrugged, then resumed cheering Blaine on.

Logan looked incredibly tense, and it had to be with rage. That was all his body language was saying. He had won his previous bouts cleanly, receiving only one hit at a time. Blaine had scored two. It was his turn to return the favor.

The clock continued to tick. Before the boys even knew what was happening, there was the smack of the sabres—Blaine's nearly went flying out of his hand—and Logan struck him full on the right side of the chest. The green block lit and Stuart erupted into cheers.

Panting, both combatants were standing apart again. "Last one, Blaine…" Logan whispered, not caring if Blaine could hear it or not.

"It's on, Logan," Blaine muttered as he flexed his wrist. Cheering reached a fever pitch and Kurt, leaning out, saw that if they didn't end it soon, it would go into a draw. And those two looked as though they would rather receive injury.

"Last one, Blaine, last one!" the twins called, clapping hard.

Stuart's cheer block was chanting in unison, overpowering the scattered Windsor cheers. Kurt felt a bit disoriented, but turned back to the pair.

The sabres went up again carefully, perfectly still. "Allez!"

One blow—two—three—four… Logan was forcing Blaine back again, moving faster now.

Blaine was pushing back, forcing them to the center again. Reed ducked under the barricade, not prepared to see this. In spite of all bounds of propriety, the Dalton gymnasium was going to blow with all the cheering.

The clock continued to tick as the two stopped for an instant—and then resumed with great speed.

Five—six—

"Come on, Blaine!" Kurt yelled from the stands, his voice drowned down by the crowd, but he didn't care—he couldn't watch him lose. Blaine's focus made a single flicker.

And Logan dived for the kill.

The hall screamed. Blaine saw the sabre coming at him and in a sheer moment of pure divine intervention, made the one half inch back that made the miss. He moved without thinking the next instant.

The bell sounded.

Windsor exploded, pouring out of the barricades in a single mass, followed by Hanover boys and day students. In a single body, the victorious Windsors launched themselves onto Blaine, knocking him clear onto the floor pinned mainly by Wes and David.

Kurt stood to the side, not willing to take part of the hysteria, with Reed next to him. Reed was elated, pumping a fist into the air in delight. Kurt was smiling broadly, clapping hard as he watched his friends struggle to help Blaine up from the ground.

Next to Kurt, Logan materialized, laughing softly and shaking his head. His hair was damp with sweat. He held out a hand to Kurt. "Congratulations on the win."

Puzzled, Kurt nodded and gave him his hand—which Logan squeezed for a moment and held onto for a full second longer than protocol allowed—before he walked to the rather disappointed Stuarts.

Kurt turned back to the others and saw Blaine standing free of the crowd going crazy in the middle of the fencing area. He had just been given his medal. Blaine laughed and walked to him, and he gave him a tight hug.

"Congratulations," Kurt grinned, patting his shoulder before releasing him. "That was quite a match."

"You nearly distracted me back there," Blaine admonished with a huge grin. "I heard you scream and it was so shrill I thought you were trying to hit a high F."

Kurt punched him on the shoulder, mouth open in shock, unable to believe he just said that, but he was too happy to really care. "Whatever, you won. You were lucky I saw that. Logan totally had you."

"Yeah, I can't even remember how I did that," Blaine agreed with a grin.

"PARTY!" The twins were yelling from on top of the judges table. "PARTY AT WINDSOR, NOW!"

"Party?" Kurt demanded as the Windsors pulled him and Blaine apart and started pulling them along. "Don't we have practice? Sectionals?"

These went unheeded as the triumphant boys, all but carrying Blaine, made their way across campus back to their House.


On the next episode: One weekend in Dalton never hurt anyone-at least, not seriously. That was what the twins will be assuring Kurt. The people back at home are getting a little worried, and Kurt isn't sure if he's prepared to have assess the living conditions in Windsor when they decide to see for themselves why Kurt would not come home.