A friend and I were recently talking Mike/Kurt and I like that idea, so I've decided to try out a future-fic. Fair warning, this story does not start out in my usual happy and sweet manner. In fact, I am quite mean to poor Kurt in the beginning. : (

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Kurt grimaced as he rolled his neck, massaging the nape as he tried and failed to work out a kink that had been there all day. He needed to find some time to schedule a nice, relaxing massage and let go of some of his stress. There were times when he thought that his schedule really was going to kill him. He gave voice and piano lessons by day and had spent the last several years working as director/costumer/choreographer/set designer or whatever else was needed at any given time in a series of off-Broadway (Okay, fine, off-off-Broadway.) shows by night. It was challenging, and sometimes frustrating, but it was satisfying and he really did love it. Most of his voice-clients were rich enough not to bat an eye at the prices he charged, liking his patience and the fact that he knew how to combine theatricality with his perfect sense of pitch. It paid very well, lucky since most of his theater gigs had proven to be more entertaining than lucrative. Most of the time it was great fun, though the urge to sweep in and take over when various actors were not performing up to their full potential was often maddeningly hard to resist.

Tonight had been closing night for his latest show and it had been just plain exhausting. The show had been experiencing a lot more ups and downs than Kurt had come to think of as normal, and tonight's performances had been only decent. The audience, what little there had been of one, had seemed to genuinely enjoy the production but he would not be sorry to see this one go. Even so, he felt a little down when the final curtain swept closed. Endings always had left Kurt feeling a little empty and sad, and seeing everyone back stage crying and hugging and wishing each other well after the show, he knew that he could not tolerate the emotional closing-night party, so he made his excuses to his production partner, Emily, and left.

He had always hated going to events alone but his boyfriend had begged off tonight, citing a deadline for his latest feature. Zachary wrote freelance articles for several of New York's many special interest newspapers and magazines, and Kurt had not argued the need to skip out tonight even though an opening or closing night performance never felt quite right without Zach by his side.

Still, it had given him an excuse to skip the party and it would be nice to just go home and have a quiet evening alone with the man he loved.

Kurt smiled as he walked along the bustling Manhattan streets toward home. He had needed a little air to clear his mind and had not bothered with a taxi, but the slow pace allowed him a chance to look around and be a part of the frantic nightlife of New York. While it was true that he wasn't exactly living the lifestyle his boyish self had once so lovingly dreamed about, full of Broadway stardom, adoring fans, luxury penthouses, a string of gorgeous guys and all the designer couture a person could ever desire, what he had in reality was close enough. He lived in New York City, in a clean, decent sized apartment. He had a comfortable amount of money in his bank accounts. His bills were paid on time. His clothing was still good enough quality to fool all but the most discerning eye – Kurt Hummel was still the best discount mix-and-match designer shopper in all fifty states – and best of all, he had Zach.

Kurt nibbled his lip absent-mindedly. The deadline excuse really had been a valid one, but it seemed like he had been hearing similar excuses an awful lot lately. They hardly spent any time together any more, always busy completing some project or planning for their next one.

Maybe it was time they took a little vacation together. After all, there were three new productions that he had been offered work on, but he had not made up his mind which to accept yet, so technically he was between jobs right now. Elise and Emily were more than capable of doing inventory for all the costumes and props tomorrow, he had already arranged for the sets to be struck and the final paychecks had been signed. There was no real reason he could not do something romantic and impulsive for a change, sweeping Zachary away somewhere for a whirlwind getaway.

Of course, his partner would probably squawk and fuss about his workload, but Kurt was confident that he could be persuaded. It was high time they both got their priorities straight. He needed to let his lover know how much he had missed him and wanted to spend time with him. Zach deserved to be reminded of how much he loved him.

Feeling a surge of renewed energy, Kurt bypassed the elevator and jogged up the four flights of stairs to his apartment. The work he did kept him in excellent shape and he was barely breathing hard when he reached the top. A dozen different vacation destinations and a hundred different romantic gestures were tumbling through his mind by the time he reached his own door. He was smiling broadly as he unlocked it and walked inside, tossing his coat into a handy chair next to the table where he and Zach always dropped their keys.

As he looked around the apartment, Kurt's eyes sparkled. Zachary had left soft music playing and there was a delicious odor filling the air. An experimental sniff suggested spinach lasagna. How sweet. Zach loved to cook, but he did not always have time for anything fancy, and it meant a lot to know that he had gone out of his way to prepare Kurt's favorite meal.

There was also a whiff of cologne in the air and a light coming from the direction of their bedroom. Kurt's heart beat a little faster. Maybe he was not the only one who had felt the need for the rekindling of their romance.

Removing his tie, Kurt ran a hand through his hair to mess it up a little and had managed to get his shirt halfway unbuttoned by the time he reached the bedroom door – it was a look that Zach always claimed was super sexy on him – but then the expectant smile on his face froze, melting slowly into an expression of absolute horror.

Zachary, his Zachary, was on his knees on their bed, back facing Kurt and his entirely naked body glistening with sweat as he energetically pounded into a happily moaning, equally naked stranger.

"Gotta make this quick, babe," Zach grunted, thrusting harder. "Kurt never stays at those parties for very long and I need enough time to get you out of here and clean everything up before he gets here."

In spite of this practical and entirely unromantic speech, the other man just redoubled his efforts, his ass slapping revoltingly loud against Zach's pelvis. "Fuck, yeah. Give it to me." Lifting his face out of the comforter, the stranger got up on his hands to give himself better leverage, then casually asked, "Are you ever gonna dump that guy? It's not like you're in love with him anymore."

Kurt's gut twisted when the man he had poured his whole heart into for the last two years just laughed and said, "No. Why should I dump him? You got to admit, this is a damn nice place to live. Things have been slow at the papers these last few months and I could never afford something this classy on my own. Besides, he keeps me warm at night."

They laughed, then the words disappeared into a matched groan of pure sexual pleasure that made Kurt want to vomit.

Zach's callous words had been spoken far too easily to be anything less than truthful and each one had driven a fresh blade through Kurt's heart. Zach did not love him. He did not even care enough to feel bad about cheating on him! Apparently, all those so-called urgent deadlines over the last few months had been nothing but excuses to fool around with other men while Kurt blindly supplied them with a convenient hook-up location. Zachary was, plainly and simply, using Kurt for whatever he could get out of him.

"You lying, freeloading bastard." Kurt heard his own voice, faint and shocked, before he had even realized that he intended to speak.

The two startled man pulled apart with a disgusting slurp that made Kurt's stomach roil even harder than before. The stranger scrambled to his feet and grabbed a pillow to cover himself, eloquently muttering, "Shit! Shit, shit shit, shit!"

Zachary just looked stunned. "B-babe, you're home. I-I wasn't . . ."

"Don't call me that," Kurt snapped, knowing he would never enjoy that endearment again after hearing his lover casually use it toward another man. "Especially since you so obviously were."

Picking up a bundle of discarded clothing, much too small to belong to his tall and muscular boyfriend, he flung it at the stranger. "Put your damned clothes on and get the fuck out of my apartment. Your dildo will be joining you shortly."

"Now, hold on a minute, Kurt! You can't-"

"Fuck you," he snapped, cutting off Zach's irritated protest. "You lost all right to tell me what I can and cannot do the moment I walked in to find you balls-deep in another guy! How long has this been going on? How long have you been cheating on me, Zach?"

Those lips, those sensual rosy lips that Kurt had always thought so sexy and beautiful, twisted into an ugly sneer. "You sure you want to know?" Uncertain now, Kurt nodded. He did not want to know, but he had to hear the truth. "Last summer; that guy we met on the shore over the 4th of July. Oh, don't look so shocked, Kurt! He was flirting with me all day long, and you didn't say a God-damned thing!"

"I trusted you!" Kurt bellowed, picking up the nearest object, a book, and flinging it at Zach's head just to get that horrible smile off his face. "I didn't think I had any reason to get angry just because some stranger thought I had a hot boyfriend!"

"No, you just couldn't be bothered to notice what other men did," he snapped back, tossing his thick, curly blonde hair and planting both hands on his naked hips. It should have looked ridiculous, especially since he was still sporting a healthy erection, but instead it just rubbed in how little their relationship had meant to him. He was proud of what he had done, not remotely ashamed that he was admitting to seeing other men behind his lover's back. "Come on, Kurt. Think! When was the last time you pulled your head out of your work long enough to look around and see what was happening? Or was work really all you cared about? Yeah, you probably think I haven't seen you with all those pretty little chorus-boys you spend all day with. I'll bet you've boned every last one of them so don't blame me for getting my share."

"Don't you dare turn this around on me!" Kurt grated. "Don't make me the scape-goat for you not being able to keep it in your fucking pants! I loved you, Zach. I have never once been with another guy since the first day we met! I haven't wanted to! Ever! If you weren't interested any more and you wanted to break up, why couldn't you have done it honestly? It would have hurt, but it wouldn't have been this awful, ugly thing tearing my heart out!"

He finally looked a little bit guilty, a little less self-righteous. Picking up his bathrobe, he put it on and took a step closer to Kurt. "I didn't want to hurt you, Kurt. I never thought . . ."

"What? That I'd find out? That I'd stop wanting to be your meal-ticket and bed-warmer?"

Zachary finally flinched at those cold, bitterly spoken words, apparently realizing that Kurt had heard what he had said to his bed partner. "I'm sorry."

A horrible, strangled laugh burst from Kurt's chest. "You're sorry. Well, that just makes it all better. You fucking slut. How could you do this to me? To us? If you really felt like I was too devoted to my work, or was taking you for granted, you could have said something. You should have said something! I would have done anything for you, Zachary. You didn't have to fucking cheat on me!"

Kurt had no idea how he was managing not to cry. He felt as if a scalding hot waterfall of tears were waiting just behind his eyeballs, but on the surface they were totally dry.

"Get your things, leave your key and don't ever talk to me again. You think you can do so much better than me? Isn't that what you said? Well, go the fuck ahead and try." His words were hard and distant as he moved to the closet and yanked out a suitcase, ripping Zach's half of the wardrobe off their hangers with no regard for whether or not he tore them and throwing the clothing haphazardly on top of the case. "Goodbye, Zachary. If I find anything else of yours still here in the morning, I will throw it in the dumpster out in the alley. Feel free to dive in with the rest of the rats and fight for it."

Shoving his way past the now-fully-dressed stranger, he walked stiffly out of the bedroom. It had been his intention to storm out of the apartment, but the scent of dinner baking changed his mind.

Diverting to the kitchen, he shut off the oven and grabbing a mitt. Taking the glass lasagna pan out, he dumped it straight into the garbage, not caring that it was red-hot and already melting the plastic liner as he grabbed the fire extinguisher off the wall and gave the container a good dousing. He smiled oddly when the freezing cold liquid hit the hot pan and shattered the glass with a loud pop. It had been Zachary's favorite pan, part of a set Kurt had given him for Christmas, and it felt extremely satisfying to destroy it.

Dumping the oven mitt on top of the mess, Kurt grabbed his coat and keys and walked out with a firm slam of the door.

In spite of what he had said to Zach, Kurt had no intention of entering the apartment again that night. In fact, right at this moment, he was not certain that he could ever face that once-happy living space again. The lease was paid for two more months, but he just could not imagine living in it.

Thundering down the steps, he breezed past the desk clerk and back out into the cold night. Hailing a cab, Kurt climbed in and said, "JFK, please."

The driver nodded and cruised along the familiar route, leaving his fare lost in a tumble of conflicting thoughts and emotions. Oddly enough, the urge to cry had departed. Kurt just felt empty and lost, so numbed by the hurt and confusion of the last few minutes that he could muster no physical reaction. He just stared blankly out the window at the bright, bustling New York crowds; seeing a life that suddenly seemed so desperate and fake that he could not stand it.

All the meaning of the last two years had vanished in the space of fifteen impossibly long minutes. Two illusory years of happiness and love and good times with a man he had been convinced was "the one" since the day they had met at a party. The A&E section of one of the local newspapers had been covering a benefit for local theater arts programs. Zach had been there covering the event and Kurt had been representing one of the plays being showcased. They had hit it off immediately, dating within a week, spending nights together within a month, and moving in to Kurt's apartment together within six months. He had given his heart, freely and foolishly, believing that he had gotten a fair trade in Zach's.

Now he was nothing but a fool with a large empty hole in his chest.

How had he never once suspected that things were so wrong between them? He had acknowledged that he and Zach had been growing apart lately, but he had fooled himself into thinking they were just busy and things would be fine once they had a little time to themselves. Kurt snorted softly, filled with self-disgust as he remembered his earlier plan for a nice romantic getaway. Sure, that would have fixed everything. Splurge on the lying sack of shit and provide him open opportunities to find some cabana-boy to bang the moment Kurt's back was turned.

How could he not have known this was happening?

Kurt suddenly noticed his eyes, reflected in the glass of the taxi-cab window. They looked huge in his narrow, shocked-white face, like one of those cartoons of little waifish children. That's what he was, wasn't it? A child, running away from something that had hurt him, destination unknown. He had made no plans, he carried no possessions outside of his wallet, keys and phone, and he had no idea where he was running to.

Suddenly, his cell rang and Kurt looked at the read-out, halfway expecting it to be Zachary, full of apologies and panic, begging him to change his mind and give him another chance. Part of him was even hoping for that, much as he had no intention of granting such a request. It would be nice to think the past couple of years had been worth one lousy phone call.

Instead, the readout showed the smiling photo of his good friend and production partner, Emily Switek. Swallowing, he clicked the receive button and said, "Hey, Em."

She chattered for a few minutes, telling him what a great party the cast was having and asking if he was sure he wouldn't like to swing by, just for a few minutes.

"Hey," he said shortly, cutting her off. "Listen, I'm sorry to do this to you on such short notice but I'm heading out of town. Is there any way you and Elise can wrap everything up for me tomorrow? I have a couple of voice lessons I need to cancel for Tuesday and Thursday as well."

An exclamation of surprise, followed by assurance that they'd take care of everything, then the concerned and entirely expected question as to whether he was all right.

"No," he said honestly. He and Emily had known each other for nearly ten years, ever since he first came to town on a music scholarship to NYU and answered her ad for an off-campus roommate. They had seen each other through good times and bad and he could not bring himself to lie to her. "I'm . . . I'm really not okay. I just broke up with Zach. No, this is for good. The bastard has been cheating on me, Em. Apparently for months now. Tonight I just got home early enough to catch him in the act."

The last word came out choked and barely audible. Emily reacted with a long volley of creative cursing that would have reduced Zachary to a smoking pile of cinders if she could have aimed it at him, then her voice turned sympathetic and tender as she asked if he needed a place to stay for the night. She would be happy to kick everyone out and give him a quiet space and a shoulder to cry on for as long as he needed them.

Kurt could not help smiling a little at the offer. He knew she meant every word. "I appreciate that. I truly do, but right now, I . . . I just really need to get away for a while." She asked where he was going and as the cab pulled into the passenger unloading area at JFK, the answer suddenly came to him. "I'm heading for Ohio. I'm going home."