Disclaimer: Nope, still not. I'll let you know if I somehow invent a time machine and go back to write the Glee pilot before Ryan Murphy.

13. Dealing with One Dinner

"Kurt! You're home early today," Carole exclaimed as she set the groceries backs on the kitchen table, craning her neck to see what Kurt was cooking. Kurt set down the half of a cheese he'd been shredding. After today he didn't feel like counting calories.

"Coach Sue kindly suggested I take a break from practicing today." Kurt replied curtly, as he moved to break two eggs into a bowl. Carole stopped what she was doing as soon as she heard the tone of his voice. "What happened, Honey?" she asked, instantly worrying. It seemed like his parents were just waiting for the moment things turned back to south at McKinley.

He hurried to ease her worry. "We just clashed wits and she managed to pull out on top this time." Kurt wanted to make it clear that he wasn't giving up yet; he didn't want his father and Carole to think that their honeymoon trip had been a mistake. Even if he had to fight tooth and nail, he'd make sure they wouldn't think doing something for themselves was money wasted. "I just need to figure out how to make her stumble."

The assertiveness in his voice let her relax a little so that she could get back to putting away the groceries. "I'm sure you'll think of something," she said, all supporting confidence.

"Yes, and I'll get to it as soon as we are finished with dinner."

"So, what are we making tonight?" Carole asked, taking another look over his shoulder as she passed by to put some cans into a cupboard on the other side of the room.

Kurt sighed. "Chili rellenos casserole. I need to convince Blaine that I'm eating healthy."

Carole frowned and stopped once more. "Why would he think otherwise?" Perhaps she thought there was some weight behind the worry, but she seemed to think that even if he finished an entire cake by himself, that he still needed more beef around his bones.

"Sue planted some ridiculous thoughts in his head."

"So, he's coming over for dinner?" She asked, clearly trying to sound more casual than she was actually feeling.

Kurt ignored the hint of excitement he detected. "If you and dad won't mind."

"No. We'd be glad to get to know him a little better." Kurt decided to ignore the implication of those words as well.

Carole glanced over the recipe Kurt had set on the kitchen counter and started to spray a baking dish to ready it for the ingredients. Together they finished fast and got the casserole in the oven – now they'd only have to wait. To kill some time while they waited, they started work on the dessert ad Kurt was glad that Carole didn't deem it necessary to comment on the detail.

About fifteen minutes into the dessert making, Kurt could hear the TV in the living room shutting down. Soon after Burt was poking his head into the kitchen. "Smells delicious, what are we eating today? Is that dessert?" After his heart problems had appeared, dessert had been a rare delicacy in the Hummel household.

"This is an exception. Besides, I've made sure to use healthier fats so we don't have to worry. I would like you to keep an eye on the food portions, just to make sure." Kurt commented, as he took a look at the face his dad was making; practically drooling on the floor.

"Blaine is coming over", Carole quipped in unnecessarily. This made Burt's ears pique as well. "The kid from Dalton?"

"The same one."

His father hummed in a way that held too much meaning for Kurt's liking and he resisted slapping a hand to his face. Inviting Blaine over was starting to sound like a bad idea with the way his parents were acting. Add Finn's awkwardness to all this and it would definitely turn out to be a disaster. "Speaking of dinner, do you know when Finn's coming home?" he asked in hopes of distracting his parents.

"He had something to work for the Glee club today, so he said he'll be late." Carole told him, going along with him easily. Kurt held back a forfeiting groan. If he'd had a chance to warn Finn, they might have had a chance of saving the dinner, but if his brother was to barge in during the dinner with Blaine at the table, there was no knowing what he could say.

Blaine arrived at the door almost in time with the casserole coming out of the oven. Carole took over finishing the cake they'd been working on so Kurt could go let him in. He was greeted with a small, slightly uncertain looking wave. "Hi, Kurt."

"Hi, come in!" Kurt tried not to smile too wide. He didn't want to give his dad or Carole any ideas, but it was great to see Blaine. Although they had talked only earlier today, they didn't get to spend as much time together as they'd gotten used to at Dalton. Kurt reached out to take the jacket Blaine had shrugged off. As he was setting it aside, Blaine walked further in to greet the adults of the house. Dapper as ever.

Kurt noticed that his father was acting stiffer than usual and Carole was chirping away happily, but tried to keep his own actions as normal as possible. Maybe they would get the hint. He asked Blaine to sit in the living room to wait, but after a quick look at Burt Hummel, the boy offered to help set the table. Kurt didn't oppose because he could guess how uncomfortable his father could make others feel when he wanted.

Finn arrived home when they were just about finished with setting the table, chattering away about his assignment with glee club as soon as he entered the entrance hallway. When he entered the dining room, his words died when he froze mouth open to stare at Blaine. Blaine responded with a small smile, seemingly trying to soften the blow of his existence inside the house.

"Please close your mouth, Finn." Kurt commented as he carried the casserole to the table. "And go wash your hands. We're ready to eat when you are." It took a couple seconds for Finn to jump back into motion, but whatever story he'd been telling when he came home had been forgotten. He rushed into the toilet to wash his hands and was soon back, ready to eat.

They took seats around the table and started scooping casserole on the plates. The silence around the table was unnerving to Kurt who'd hoped for some resemblance of normalcy. "So, Finn," Blaine started suddenly, of the glee club; what are you working on now?" He sniped on the one topic he knew they had in common.

"Well, I can't tell you too much, because we're getting ready for Regionals, but Mr. Shuester has us working on songs from musicals."

"What song are you working on?"

Finn eyes his fork as if he felt like he was doing something wrong. "Sorry, but I'm hoping Mr. Shuester chooses my song for the Regionals, so I can't tell you." He said, sounding deadly serious. As if this decision to keep it to himself was dooming them all back into the silence.

Blaine cocked his head slightly. "But.. We haven't gotten the theme for Regionals yet. How could you know what kind of song to choose?"

Finn's eyes brightened up at the note of that. "You're right!" and he started eagerly tell Blaine what he had planned. The conversation managed to jump-start the mood and soon they were conversing like usual over the food. After the main dish, they got a short break. Carole decided to finish the cake that came out of the oven and Kurt offered to make some tea to accompany it. Blaine followed close on his heels.

"I'm not sure if I can eat even one spoonful more", he noted contentedly as he was leaning against the counter while Kurt busied himself with the tea.

"You'd better. The cake took much more effort to make than the casserole did." Kurt replied falsely solemn look on his face. Blaine complied instantly. "In that case I'll make sure to eat as much of it as physically possible." Carole finished spooning the sauce over the cake before they were done with their task and took it to the dining room to cool, leaving them to their own peace.

Blaine jumped at the opportunity to bring up his worries again. "But Kurt, you have to agree that this looks like you're trying to prove a point," he pointed out quietly, leaning in so that his words couldn't be heard from the other room. While he might have had a point, Kurt couldn't believe how easily Sue had managed to seed this idea into his head.

"Blaine, you have to believe me when I say there is no problem with my eating habits. Coach Sylvester was just using you for her own gain."

"Okay, I admit that it was weird that she asked me not to tell you about our conversation, but you can't deny that you've been growing thin lately."

Kurt set the tea pot down. It was ready, but he couldn't take it to the dining room with the conversation they were having. This topic needed not to get into his parents ears. "I've been exercising more than I'm used to, so of course I've been getting trim, but getting more defined muscles doesn't mean I'm losing weight. It's the opposite actually."

"So the thing the coach said about your diet being mainly liquids wasn't true? It can't be healthy."

"Blaine. My diet is liquids only when Sue Sylvester forces them down my throat. I might care for my form, but I also appreciate good cooking. You should have figured out as much with what you just ate." He had to convince Blaine to drop the topic. The tea was cooling right in his hands. He set it on the stove with a low setting so that their procrastination in the kitchen wouldn't be quite as clear for the others.

"I'm just going to get a quick drink from the fridge," Finn's voice said loudly, just outside the kitchen. Kurt stepped in front of the tea pot so that Finn wouldn't pay attention to it. His brother entered the room, scratching the back of his head apologetically as he strode across the floor to the fridge and back. In mere seconds he was already out of the room. Kurt hurried after him to take his chance at the escape. "Finn! You can't eat Coke with a lemon cake," he complained loudly as he went.

"It's a drink like any other," Finn whined back at his complaint.

"All the chemicals are going to mix with the taste. You can drink that after." He poured a cup of tea and set it to Finn's seat, pointing the chair sternly before moving to pour for the rest. Little later Blaine joined them in the dining room, clasping his hands together with an eager look on his face. "Can we cut into that cake now?" he asked like they hadn't just been having an absurdly serious conversation just a minute ago.

The mood of the dinner returned to what it had been before and Kurt almost forgot about their short conflict in the kitchen. That was, at least, until after dessert when Carole retired to the kitchen to take care of the dishes and Burt settled down for a food coma in front of the television. Finn grabbed his cola and took it with him to their room.

When they were left alone, Kurt noticed the look on Blaine's face changing again. "Please don't start again," he pleaded in a muted tone. The serious look softened and Blaine let out a heavy sigh.

"I don't want to be over-bearing, but you need to understand that this all comes from a place of caring." He reached over to lay a hand on Kurt's arm. "I do trust your judgment, but would you let me ease my mind by keeping an eye on you for a couple days at least?" he asked. Kurt was about to respond how that was unnecessary. "It's not that I don't trust your word. It's just to go along with my whims. Please?" The puppy dog eyes were hard to resist, so Kurt found himself giving up.

He leaned into his chair. "If that's what you need to belive me," he sighed. Blaine didn't seem to have inkling what a hassle Sue Sylvester could be. Hands full with dealing with her, Kurt would have hoped that he wouldn't have to spend any energy on this issue after the dinner. Apparently the world wasn't ready let let him spare any of his punches. He could just sent out a silent wish to the universe that it wouldn't take all that much effort to ease these worries of Blaine and he could turn his full attention to his war against Sue before the coach had a chance to deal too much damage.