"Ow! That's my toe!" We really were the worst spies ever. When Puck had suggested it would be a good idea to have a look at our competition for sectionals, I hadn't thought it would involve crouching behind bushes with Rachel. I'm sure she was only here to see who the main soloist was, and if he was better than her. Having a girl and a guy with no uniforms sneak around a boys school hadn't been my idea either but Artie, Finn and Brittany had all been ruled out and Mercedes, Sam and Mike were at the old people's home, so I suppose we had the best deal.
"Sorry" I peered over the bush at the castle like building we were trying to enter and saw a small gap in the hedge nearby. It was going to ruin the blue dress Rachel was wearing, but if she really wanted to see if Dalton knew their arpeggios from their woah woahs she could squeeze through it. I signalled for us to go and we scampered over, my heart beating faster from the adrenalin of it all.
You had to admit, Dalton was a beautiful school. The halls were covered with photos of uniformed boys playing hockey, soccer, even croquet. Normally I would have been distracted by it all, but these weren't the boys we were looking for. Stalking across the patterned wooden floor we followed signs until finally we heard the sounds we were searching for – singing.
At first it only seemed like one universal voice, a very tuneful voice at that, but as we got closer harmonies began to appear and weave through each other like a musical painting, making my pulse race faster. When we finally reached the door to the music room and peered through the window we saw they were dancing too. These guys were good.
"Wow." I turned to look at Rachel and saw her expression was livid – the soloist was your typical prep school boy, side parting and manly good looks, smartly dressed as all the other boys were. His voice was exceptional and he led the rest of the group perfectly. I watched him for a while, transfixed at the beauty of it all, before suddenly the peace was disturbed by a short sharp and terrifying cough.
"Excuse me?" I whipped my head round and immediately my stomach dropped. We'd been caught. "What exactly do you two think you're doing here?"
"Umm…um…" Rachel, normally never able to keep her mouth shut, was lost for words. I'm sure we'd gone through excuses on the trip here, but due to our clearly unfound arrogance had simply assumed we wouldn't be caught. Dammit.
"Um…" I was struggling too, the beady-eyed professor, with wispy grey hair and a rather ugly tweed jacket flexing his fingers as if he was ready to grab both out collars and march us off the premises.
"We're waiting…for our brothers." Immediately Rachel shot me a look, this not being part of our carefully orchestrated plan. The professor smiled.
"Oh really? And who might your brothers be?"
"Him!" Rachel suddenly blurted, pointing to a boy that had just appeared near us. I had a stop myself from hitting my forehead – as he was small and ginger, looking nothing like either of us it was a pretty stupid decision.
"No Rachel, not him, our real brothers are in there remember?" By now the professor was having a field day, his snide grin stretching almost from one pointy ear to the other.
"Well well, if they're inside we might as well go and say hello." Before we could protest he opened the music room door and pushed us both inside.
The sound of our entry made the Warblers stop and all turn in sync to look at what had interrupted their practice.
"Hello boys." The professor chimed gleefully. "Sorry to interrupt proceedings, but it seems two of you have people that have come to pick you up." The gazes switched to us and I felt my cheeks flame up like a stove. Oh god, we were in so much trouble. "Do any of you happen to recognise your siblings, or will you give me the satisfaction of removing them forcefully from the school?" There was a painful silence. I closed my eyes waiting for bony fingers to press against me again. Surely spying wasn't a terrible sin… Dalton had a no bullying policy. Although we were definitely not students.
"Well thank you-" The professor had been about to embark on a satisfied speech, however he was suddenly interrupted by another voice.
"-He's my brother." I froze. What? There was another stunned silence, this time from the professor and slowly I opened my eyes to see who our saviour was. It was the soloist – he'd been examining us before I'd closed my eyes and now he was staring right at me. I blinked in confusion.
"What do you mean Blaine?" The professor now sounded angry, if I hadn't been so shocked I might have laughed. The soloist gave me a pointed look and I realised I was going to have to co-operate.
"He's my brother. R…Rachel's" I'd mouthed the name to him as discreetly as I could, "brother has gone to…the toilet." He smiled, satisfied with his performance and I let out a sign of relief.
"And why" the professor began, his anger audible in his voice now, "did you refrain from telling me this until now?"
"I haven't seen him in a while." Blaine said smiling at me "He's been on holiday to New York with my parents." And that explained my slightly lighter complexion compared to his. God he was good. A growing more good looking the more I looked at him. I turned to look at Rachel, who almost seemed ill with relief and the professor, whose complexion now looked like he'd been in a sun bed for too long.
"Well, I guess now that's cleared up we can wait outside again-" I said, trying not to sound too smug but definitely feeling it.
"-Oh no, don't worry – you can wait here. We're nearly finished." Spinning round I saw a wicked grin on Blaine's face in response to my once again confused expression. Dammit, I guess we weren't completely out of the woods, but it certainly beat being manhandled by the professor.
"We can take it from here Professor Hardy." With an exasperated sigh the professor spun round and left the classroom, prompting a few sniggers from the boys. As the door closed silence descended on the room again, an awkward silence and Rachel and I both tried to figure out what to do. Blaine was looking at me again and it was making me feel uncomfortable.
"Well, why don't you sit down? We'll be finished in a minute."
If the Warblers didn't want us to see their songs for Sectionals they did a pretty bad job – we were treated to a private concert with acoustics far better than they'd been the other side of the door. I couldn't tell if they were showing off, or simply nice guys. One thing that couldn't be debated however was how good they were. Very good. Rachel and I exchanged glances throughout the performances, her looking very worried and me just happy to be enjoying the music. After all, it wasn't always about competing.
When the old looking clock on the wall struck 5pm exactly the boys finished their practice, an element of precision I guessed ran through most of their lives at Dalton. Boys straightened their lapels moved slightly out of place by exaggerated swaying and combs came out of pockets to put back wayward stands of hair. I looked at Rachel wondering if we should make a run for it now and she seemed to agree. We tried to stand up as quietly as possible but my leg caught against the seat of the wooden stool I'd been sitting on making it scrape loudly across the floor. Blaine, who'd been collecting up sheet music and placing it neatly in a leather-bound folder, glanced up.
"Leaving so soon? Surely you'll stay and have a talk." I almost winced at the charm in his voice and the friendly smile on his face - it was hard to tell if he was playing a game or generally being nice – he had saved our butts after all. Rachel nudged me and signalled towards the door, but for some reason I didn't want to leave. I tried to kid myself it was because if we spoke to them we'd probably get an even better jist of what their tactics were, but really I was just intrigued, especially by Blaine. Nervously I stayed where I was and he smiled, closing the folder and heading our way.
As he walked towards us he was immediately flanked by two other boys – something that made me think he must be an extremely important part of the group. Maybe if we could crack him we could get them all. He walked slowly and casually, stopping a foot away from both of us and holding out his hand.
"Hi, I'm Blaine. You are Rachel and you are?"
"Kurt." He smiled, shaking my hand and then Rachel's. His grip was strong and firm.
"This is Wes and this is David." Attention was now turned to the two guys flanking Blaine, one of them tall with coiffed blone hair and the other muscular with dark skin and a frizzy black afro. Both of them smiled equally as cheesily, however David was looking at Rachel with what could only be described as lust in his eyes.
"I have a boyfriend! Don't get any ideas." I heard her snap, stepping away from his outstretched hand and I had to stifle my giggle as his expression immediately fell. When I looked back at Blaine I saw he was staring at me again and failed to stop my cheeks from flushing slightly.
"Come on Kurt, let's go." Rachel grabbed my arm and began dragging me out of the room. I tried to protest but she was surprisingly strong and I only had time give a quick sorry glance to the three boys before I was back in the corridor. Ironically the last words I heard was David's sad expression of
"But she was so hot!"
Rachel was livid the whole journey back to McKinley. I'm not sure if it was having another boy come on to her, or the fact that we were now in serious trouble for sectionals, but it took several Streisand songs for her to even begin to smile again.
"They were generic. Anyone can put together some harmonies and sway in time. I was doing that with my Barbies when I was three." I smiled at her grumbling and thought about Blaine's smile. At least we would have some real competition this year.