Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
"He called you a what?"
Quinn glanced up from her history homework and the oatmeal crème pie balanced on her belly. Mercedes sat on her bed, hugging a pillow like she was going to strangle it.
Quinn frowned. What's wrong? she mouthed.
Mercedes shook her head and held up her hand, listening intently to her phone. "Honey…Kurt, please don't do that," she pleaded. "Just take a deep breath, okay? Calm down."
Quinn absently broke off a piece of her oatmeal crème pie and popped it in her mouth, trying to listen in on the conversation. She had never seen Mercedes look that angry before. This was going to be interesting.
"Do you want to come over here?" Mercedes asked. She paused for an answer. "Okay. Okay, do you want me to come get you, or can you drive? Okay. I'll see you in a little bit, babe. Love you."
Mercedes hit end so ferociously that Quinn thought she was going to put her thumb through the touch screen. "What's wrong with Kurt?" she asked.
"Your stupid ex-boyfriend decided to call him a fag," Mercedes said.
Quinn sat up, her snack cake sliding off her belly, forgotten. "What, you mean Puck?" she said. "Puck's always saying crap like that. Kurt wouldn't care."
"Not that ex-boyfriend, the other one," Mercedes said.
Quinn laughed. "Oh, no," she said. "Oh, no, Finn would never do something like that. He doesn't think before he speaks, and he's sort of dumb sometimes, but he would never…"
Her voice faltered at the out-for-blood look on Mercedes's face. "Finn called Kurt a fag," she said. Mercedes nodded. "How could he do that? To Kurt?"
"I don't know," Mercedes said. She ran her hand through her hair, untangling the ends. "He's really upset. I told him to come over and spend the night. I hope that's okay."
"Sure, that's fine," Quinn said. She smiled. "I've never had a sleepover with a boy before."
Mercedes' angry expression relaxed a little. "Really, Little Mama?" she smirked, glancing pointedly at Quinn's round belly.
Quinn picked up her discarded snack cake. "Our tryst was after school," she said primly. "He was gone before my parents got home."
Mercedes started humming "Afternoon Delight" under her breath. Quinn grabbed another oatmeal crème pie out of the box and chucked it at her head. Mercedes ducked and jumped off her bed. "I'm going to go see if we have any baking supplies," she said. "I might have to run out to Kroger if we don't."
"What for?" Quinn asked. She grabbed the edge of Mercedes' dresser and pulled herself up slowly so she could follow her to the kitchen.
"Kurt bakes when he's stressed," Mercedes explained, keeping her pace slow so Quinn could keep up with her down the stairs. "You should have seen him before the diva-off. I was eating pumpkin muffins for weeks."
"Were they any good?" Quinn asked curiously.
Mercedes rummaged through the various kitchen cupboards, checking for sugar and flour and chocolate chips. "Yeah, they were," she said. "He used to bake with his mom when he was little."
Quinn sat down on one of the barstools at the kitchen counter. "What was his mom like?" she asked, gazing longingly at the unopened bag of chocolate chips.
"He doesn't like to talk about her, even with me," Mercedes said as she dug through the refrigerator. "She was really sweet, though, from what he told me. Really sassy."
"I guess he got it from her," Quinn said.
"He didn't get it from his dad, that's for sure," Mercedes snorted. "Have you ever met Kurt's daddy? He's the most sensible blue-collar guy I've ever seen. You look up 'practical' in the dictionary, there's his picture." She closed the refrigerator door. "Okay, I think we have all of his usual ingredients. We should be pretty good."
The doorbell rang and they glanced towards the foyer. "He's here," Quinn said quietly.
"Time for damage control," Mercedes said. Quinn slid off the stool and followed her to the entryway.
Mercedes flipped the overhead light and opened the door. Kurt stood on the front doorstep, clutching the strap of the duffle bag slung over his shoulder like his life depended on it. Despite the chilly March evening, he wasn't wearing a coat. "Hi," he said in a tiny voice.
"Oh, you look awful," Quinn blurted out without thinking.
Kurt bit his lip, his already blotchy face going redder. Mercedes elbowed her sharply in the side. "Baby, come inside before you freeze to death," she said, grasping him by the wrist and pulling him into the foyer.
"Thanks for letting me come over," he said.
"Don't worry about it," Mercedes said, smiling. "Go put your stuff in my room, okay?"
He nodded and headed up the stairs. Mercedes rounded on Quinn. "When God handed out the gift of tact, someone else got your share," she said.
"Sorry," she apologized. "Blame it on the baby hormones?" Mercedes scowled; Quinn cleared her throat. "He just startled me. I don't think I've ever seen him like that before."
Mercedes stomped back towards the kitchen. "Yeah, well, me neither," she said. "The last time he was this upset, it was because Alexander McQueen died."
"Oh, was that when he wore that black veil thingy for a week?" she asked.
"I need you to play nice," Mercedes said.
"Not your version of nice. I'm thinking so nice that a Disney princess looks like a bear next to you," Mercedes said. "He's really upset. He doesn't need you getting on his case."
Quinn raised her hands in surrender. "I'll be good," she promised. "I swear. I swear on a stack of Bibles."
Mercedes raised her eyebrow and pointed. "If you don't play nice, I will cut you," she warned.
Quinn just laughed and shook her head. Kurt walked back down the stairs minus the bag. He was nicely dressed in a thin white button-up shirt and a gray pinstriped vest, but his clothes were wrinkled and the hems of his pants looked like they had been drabbled in mud. It was highly unusual.
"Hi, Kurt," she said. "You, uh…you look a little better."
"No, I don't," he mumbled unhappily.
Mercedes put her hand on his shoulder. "Okay, what sounds better?" she said. "Movie or baking?"
He sighed, wrapping his arms around his stomach. "Movie, I guess," he said. "Baking means too much thinking."
Mercedes squeezed his shoulder. "Go sit down on the couch," she ordered. "I'll pick the movie. Quinn, be nice."
"I am nice!" she protested again. She huffed as Mercedes headed up to her bedroom. "Ugh. Come on, Kurt."
She headed towards the living room, then stopped when she realized he wasn't following. "Kurt?" she said curiously.
"Hm?" he said. He blinked. "Sorry. I zoned out."
"You really are upset," she said. She slipped her arm through his and tugged him towards the couch. "Did Finn really do that to you?"
He sat down on the couch, curling into the armrest. "I'd rather not talk about it," he whispered.
Quinn stared at him. He looked like he was actually about to cry. "I'm sorry," she said as she sat down beside him and put her hand on his knee. He didn't pull away, and she squeezed gently.
"Okay," Mercedes sang as she made her way into the living room, waving a pink DVD case. "I know this'll cheer you up. Nobody can hate Mean Girls!"
"I've actually never seen that," Quinn said.
"Oh, girl, have you been living under a rock?" Mercedes said. "Ugh. Now we have to watch it."
She popped it into the DVD player and plunked down in the recliner. Quinn glanced at Kurt out of the corner of her eye. He just stared at the television thoughtfully, his chin resting on his hand. And even though the movie was funny, it still looked like Kurt was moments away from crying.
I can't believe Finn could do something like that, she thought. He's always so sweet.
Maybe it wasn't as bad as she thought. Maybe Kurt was just exaggerating. Maybe they were just fighting about something, and maybe it just upset Kurt.
It had to be something like that.
Kurt started to relax as the movie kept going, especially when Mercedes started quoting along and goading him into it. He even laughed a little bit, even though it didn't quite reach his eyes.
The credits had barely started rolling when Mercedes flipped on the lights. "Okay, I don't know about you guys, but I'm starving," she said. "Kurt, go bake something."
He sighed. "I don't always bake when I'm upset, you know," he said.
"Yes, but if you don't bake something, Little Mama here is going to go back to her boxes of Little Debbie snack cakes," Mercedes pointed out.
Kurt whirled around. "You've been eating what?" he said.
"I like oatmeal crème pies," she admitted in a small voice.
"She inhales them," Mercedes said solemnly. "Stuffs 'em in her mouth like…like there's going to be a zombie invasion and she'll never see them again."
"Oh, now you're just thinking about the guy in Zombieland who likes Twinkies," Quinn scoffed.
"You've seen Zombieland, but not Mean Girls?"
Kurt shook his head. "Fine, fine, I'll bake something," he sighed. "But only for the sake of your poor little baby. Drizzle needs better sustenance than chemically enhanced sugar."
"Drizzle likes the pies," Quinn said She shook her head. "Not Drizzle. Beth. I keep forgetting. Finn just kept calling her that…"
She glanced up at Kurt, who had gone pale again. "I think I'm going to go change," he said, turning to walk up the stairs.
Mercedes groaned. "Crap, we brought up the F-word," she said. "Crap, crap, crap."
"Do you have to do this often?" Quinn asked, dragging herself off the couch. No one had warned her that seven and a half months of pregnancy was going mean it took ten minutes to stand up.
"Do what?" Mercedes asked as she went into the kitchen.
"You know," Quinn said. "Damage control. Trying to fix him. Calling him 'baby' and 'honey' and watching silly movies and making him bake stuff."
Mercedes sighed. "I have to do it sometimes," she said. "Never at this level before, but yeah. Sometimes."
"He's not a baby, Mercedes, can't he fight his own battles?" she said.
Mercedes drummed her fingers on the kitchen counter. "When you found out you were pregnant, didn't you want to run to your mom and cry and let her hug you so she could make you feel better?" she asked.
She blinked. "Well, yes," she said.
"But you couldn't," Mercedes said. "So you found Finn and cried on his shoulder. And you've got Brittany and Santana following you around, and hey, you've got me."
"So who does Kurt have?" Mercedes said quietly. "His daddy loves him, but he doesn't know how to help him. And his mom isn't here. He didn't have any friends before glee, so he literally has no one to turn to."
"Oh," Quinn said quietly.
"Yeah, 'oh'," Mercedes sighed. "Don't let him fool you. That boy is a hot mess behind all that hairspray."
"But do you really think Finn would say something like that?" she said. "It doesn't sound like him."
Mercedes shrugged. "All I know is that Kurt's not a liar, and he's really upset," she said. "All I can do is try to make him feel better, and all I want you to do is not make things worse, okay?"
"Okay, okay," Quinn said, rolling her eyes.
Kurt thumped down the stairs. He had changed out of his fancy designer clothes and into a pair of plaid pajama pants and a brown tee shirt that had a guy doing karate and "I Have a Black Belt in Crazy" written on it.
The girls just stared at him. "That…that shirt…" Mercedes stammered.
Kurt sighed heavily. "My relatives never know what to get me for Christmas," he said.
"Are those pants…pink plaid?" Quinn said.
"They're warm and they have pockets," Kurt whined. "Stop making fun of my sleepwear choices, or you don't get any cup pies."
Quinn frowned. "What's a cup pie?" she asked.
"It's like a cupcake, but it's not a cake, it's a pie," Mercedes said. "Ooh, are you going to make the gooseberry ones like you did for my birthday?"
He brandished a rubber scraper. "Do you know how hard it is to find gooseberries?" he said. "No. See, that was a special occasion. This is not a special occasion, so what do you have in the way of fruit?"
"I think we have some canned peaches," Mercedes shrugged.
"Really?" Kurt sighed. "Fine. That'll work." He pulled out three mixing bowls and set them out on the counter.
"Q, don't you have homework to do?" Mercedes suggested.
"Don't you have a huge essay for English to finish?" Mercedes.
Quinn frowned. Mercedes was giving her a look that clearly stated "Um, find somewhere else to go, because I need to have some time with Kurt and you are most definitely a third wheel." She sighed. "Yeah, I suppose I should go finish," she said. "But I want some of those pies."
Kurt set down his measuring cups and patted her round belly. "Don't worry, Beth, I'll give you something better than mass-produced snack cakes," he cooed.
Quinn pinched his cheek lightly. "I'm sure Beth will be very happy," she said. "Call me when they're ready, okay?"
"Sure, sure," Mercedes said. "Have fun with your essay."
Quinn headed back up the stairs. She could hear Mercedes talking animatedly to Kurt as she walked away. I don't know what the fuss is about, she thought as she put her notebook and two (or maybe three) oatmeal crème pies on Mercedes' bed and pulled herself up carefully. I'm nice. I can help keep Kurt company. I'm very empathetic.
She wrote her name in clear letters on the top of the page and started into her English essay. I am nice, aren't I? she thought. Absentmindedly she opened another oatmeal pie and nibbled on it. I mean, when my friends have problems they come to me.
But maybe that wasn't quite as true as she thought. After all, the only friends she really had were Santana and Brittany. And Santana was more like a frienemy, and Brittany didn't seem to talk to anyone but Santana. Well, who cares, anyway? They were still Cheerios, so they probably didn't count anymore.
Mercedes was her friend, though. After all, Mercedes had been nice enough to talk to her parents and let her live with them, so she didn't have to deal with Puck's filthy bedroom and his crazy mother and all their weird kosher rules. And she had been nice to Mercedes in return, right? She kept her room clean (well, her brother's room) and helped with the dishes and did laundry, and hey, wasn't she the one who solved Mercedes' attempts at anorexia by giving her a granola bar, right?
Well, maybe she wasn't a really close friend to Mercedes.
What about the other girls in glee? Maybe Rachel…no, Rachel still hadn't forgiven her for the picture on the bathroom stall. And for the whole breaking Finn's heart over the baby thing. But Tina…no, she hadn't ever really spoken to Tina.
Never mind the girls. She was friends with the guys in…no, no, not really. Mike rarely talked, Matt even less. She and Artie had sung together for that stupid ballad project, so they sort of knew each other. And then there was Finn. And Puck.
Well, that was just a hot mess.
Maybe she wasn't as sweet and friendly as she thought she was.
Mercedes poked her head in. "Hey, Little Mama," she said.
Quinn glanced up, blinking. The clock said it was an hour and a half later, but all she had done on her essay was her name and the word "the," and there were three empty oatmeal crème pie wrappers across her knees. "Uh…yeah?" she said.
"We're all out of milk, and Kurt's having a conniption because he says that he can't eat anything he bakes without milk," Mercedes said. "So I'm going to run to Kroger. Can you stay downstairs and keep Kurt company?"
"Sure," she sighed, sliding carefully off the bed. "I'm not getting much done on this essay anyway."
Mercedes grabbed her wallet and car keys off her desk. "You can always blame it on the baby," she laughed.
She turned to leave, but Quinn caught her by the arm. "Hey, Mercedes?" she ventured. "Am I a nice person?"
"Sure," Mercedes said. "You're just…well, you can be kind of scary sometimes. That whole popular HBIC thing, you know."
Quinn bit her lip. "I see," she said.
She followed Mercedes down the stairs. Kurt was working over a cupcake pan, pressing pastry over the tops of his miniature pies. "I'll be right back, okay?" Mercedes said. "Twenty minutes tops."
"Mmkay," Kurt said absently.
"Quinn's going to keep you company," Mercedes said.
"See you later."
Quinn sat down at the counter as Mercedes left, watching Kurt crimp the edges of the miniature pies. "You're really good at that," she said.
"Thanks," he said.
"Mercedes said your mom taught you to bake," she offered.
"Yep. Then she died."
Quinn resisted the urge to facepalm. Maybe she should just not be allowed people anymore. She mentally sorted through options of things to say. "Are you still mad at Finn?" and "Want to talk about your dead mom?" both seemed like poor choices, so she just meekly said. "I'm sorry."
The doorbell rang, offering a decent distraction. "I'll get it," she offered.
"Mmkay," Kurt said.
She walked over to the front door and opened it, realizing belatedly that she should have checked through the side window first.
Finn stood on the doorstep, his hoodie hanging awkwardly on his shoulders and his hands jammed in his jeans pockets. "Can I talk to Kurt?" he asked.
She stared at him. "What are you doing here?" she said.
"Look, I know he's here," Finn said. "His car's in the driveway. Just let me talk to him."
"Why?" she said warily.
He shifted his weight awkwardly. "We got into a fight," he said. "I…I said some stuff I shouldn't have said, and his dad got pissed and kicked me out."
"Wait, you got kicked out?" Quinn said. "Did you really…you really called him a fag?"
"I didn't mean to," Finn said desperately, pulling his hands out of his pockets and pacing up and down the porch. "He freaked me out, and I started yelling at him, and…and…Quinn, I've got to talk to him."
"What did he do to freak you out?" Quinn said skeptically.
Finn screwed up his face. "He redecorated our room."
"Quinn, it was so weird!" Finn defended. "It was all…you know, there were curtains and freaky lanterns and sparkly stuff and, and I'm a dude! I can't live in a place like that!"
"And that's a good enough reason to call Kurt a name like that?" Quinn demanded. "You didn't like how your room looked?"
"You really hurt him, Finn," she continued. "Mercedes has been trying to calm him down and make him feel better all night, and there is no way I'm letting you talk to him and make it worse."
"I didn't mean to make him cry," Finn mumbled.
"Yes, well, you did," Quinn snapped. "Goodnight, Finn. And I can see Puckerman sitting in his car at the curb waiting for you, you can tell him that I'm not going to talk to him either."
Finn wrapped his arms around his stomach. "Can you at least tell him…that I'm sorry?" he said.
"Maybe," she said. "Now go away."
She slammed the door and walked back to the kitchen, her hands on her rounded belly. "Who was it?" Kurt asked. He leaned his back against the kitchen counter and tilted his head. "What's wrong? You look like fury."
"It's nothing," she said. She looked him up and down. His pajamas were smeared with flour, and there was a little bit of brown sugar on his nose. He looked like he'd been brushing his hands through his hair, since it was sticking it up in funny spots, and his blue-green eyes were concerned.
All of that, and he was concerned over her.
She approached him carefully and put her hands on his waist. "Kurt," she said gently. "That was Finn."
He blanched. "I don't…is he still here?" he said.
"I made him leave," she said, tightening her grip. "It's okay."
"I really don't want to talk to him," he said, taking a deep, shuddering breath. "I really, really don't want to."
"I didn't think so," she said. "And do you know what? I don't think he deserves to talk to you right now."
He bit his lip, and for some reason it just made her heart hurt. There was something awful and vulnerable about it. She didn't know why she hated it so much. Maybe it was baby hormones. She didn't know.
Quinn pulled him into a hug. "I'm sorry," she said. "I'm really, really sorry."
He dropped his head against her shoulder. She rubbed his back gently, feeling him tremble just a little. "I messed it up, though," he whispered. "I…I just…Quinn, I like him. Or, at least, I liked him, but…"
"I know," she said.
He pulled back slightly. "You did?" he said miserably.
She rubbed the back of his neck. "Everybody does," she said. "Well, except Finn. Until now."
He rubbed his eyes. "I really messed up," he said.
"Maybe you pushed a little harder than you should have," she said. "But he didn't need to call you that. You don't deserve it." She placed her hand on his arm and squeezed lightly. "It'll get better. I'm sure it will. And someday, you'll have a crush on someone who will love you back."
He sort of smiled at her, his arms crossed over his stomach. "Thank you, Quinn," he sad quietly.
"You're welcome," she said. She pinched him lightly. "Now, are those cup-pies ready yet? Drizzle's hungry."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Oh, that is such a stupid name," he said.
"I know, right?" she said. "But seriously. I need those pies. They smell amazing, and you should know by now that you shouldn't piss off a pregnant girl. My motherly rage is formidable."
Kurt laughed, and she smiled.
Maybe she wasn't always as nice as she could be. But she supposed that could still change.
This has been sitting on my hard drive for like ages, and I feel bad because the new chapters of KGI and SYWBL aren't ready yet, so I decided to toss this up there. I hope you like it!
I always wondered what Kurt did after Burt kicked Finn out. Did he just curl up in his bed and cry? Poor baby.
I totally own those pajamas, by the way. They're awesome.
This story also continues my running gag of Kurt being a stressbaker. So cute. And also, have you ever had gooseberries? SO GOOD, Y'ALL. I had gooseberry jam for the first time when I went on the theater department mission trip to Wales. Our host family had it on the breakfast table and it was SO GOOD.
So yes. I hope this didn't suck.
Also, if you have the time, I would appreciate some love on "Knife Going In" and "Someday You Will Be Loved." My motivation has been dwindling, and I REALLY DISLIKE IT. I have everything planned, but I have no desire to sit down and write. If only I could just smoosh my face against my computer screen and be like "OSMOSIS GO!" and it'll all magically show up in a word document.
But alas, tis not to be.
Oh, well. Hope you liked this! Tell me if you did...or if you didn't so I can fix it!