A goodbye isn't painful unless you're never going to say hello again. ~Author Unknown

Kurt POV

This wasn't going according to plan. None of it was, and I had no idea how to fix things. When it was all happening in my head, Dad and Carole fell for each other immediately, which had happened, then decided to move in together, which had also happened. Then Finn and I would be roommates, and he would see me as more then the weird little gay kid who he hung out with sometimes, and we would be the ones falling madly in love. That was the part that wasn't happening.

In fact, it seemed to be the antithesis of happening. Instead of being happy about the move, Finn had flipped out; refusing to so much as look at the carefully chosen appetizers I had set out. Like it was my fault that his mother hadn't bothered to tell him that they were moving in until it was actually about to happen. Like any of this was my fault.

Seems to me that all of this is your fault. You set up your parents, you convinced your father to seize the day and ask her to move in, and you were the first to let him know that you didn't mind sharing your basement with your wonderful new stepbrother. I see a lot of things that can be laid at your feet. The voice in the back of my head sounded disgusted with me.

Well, when she put it that way, I guessed maybe my motives hadn't been anywhere near as pure as I usually tried to tell myself that they were. But were they really that bad? All I wanted was a chance with Finn, and this was the only way I was going to get it.

Only everything was going wrong. Finn was looking at me like I was some sort of pervert, like he was afraid of me, and every time I tried to fix things, it just seemed to get worse.

Honey, he is afraid of you. You aren't flirting with him any more; you're scaring the shit out of him.

It wasn't like that! I was just letting him know that he had options that weren't slutty cheaters or extremely loud mouthed divas. If what I was doing was bothering him, he could always tell me to stop. If he wasn't saying no, it was the same as saying yes, right?

I don't want to move in with you. I don't want to share a room. Mom, I don't like this. Don't touch me! Seems to me that he's been saying no over and over, and you haven't been respecting that. No wonder he's upset. If some guy were treating you the same way you're treating him, you would be screaming 'rape' so loudly that they would hear you over in Canton. Kurt, he's afraid to be in his own bedroom, and you don't see anything wrong with what's going on?

Shit, she was right. When it was laid out like that, when I went back over everything Finn had said and done over the past week or two, it was pretty clear that he had been saying 'no' as clearly as he could without being totally rude.

Fixing this meant letting Finn go, not trying to dig even deeper into trouble. Like it or not (and the answer, for me at least, was 'not' most of the time), he and I were going to be a family for now, and I needed to start thinking of him as well as myself. The tension between us was very nearly about to explode and I had the power to stop it before one of us said or did something that we couldn't take back.

Talk to him. When you aren't being a jerk, he actually treats you like a pretty cool little brother. Try actually using the words 'I'm sorry' for once, and fix this. Otherwise it's going to be a very long two years until college.

That was, of course, provided that Dad and Carole stayed together that long. If they broke up soon, then it wouldn't matter what Finn thought and we could avoid this entire awkward conversation….

Don't even think about it. You got yourself into this mess; now get yourself out of it.

I stood up resolutely, determined not to let Finn Hudson make a coward out of me. A quick stop in the bathroom confirmed that I was looking my best, because I refused to leave the basement looking anything less then perfect, and I started my Finn hunt, which was significantly less fun than it had been for the past few days.

My house really isn't that big, and there were a limited number of places for him to hide. First stop was the kitchen, where he could usually be found raiding the fridge. Nothing. Next was the living room, but the plasma was off and the computer was on screen saver mode. Odd. The only thing upstairs was my fathers bedroom, which was now my father and Carole's bedroom. The thought bothered me, but I guessed if I wanted Finn in the house, I had to put up with some other woman moving in on my mother's territory.

Still, it was too cold for him to be outside, and I would have heard it if someone pulled up in the driveway, so I crept up the stairs. Almost immediately, I heard two voices.

"Mom, please! I promise I'll be back later and I'll do anything you want but I have to get out of this house! I don't like it here." Finn wasn't whining in the slightest. If anything, he sounded close to tears.

"Finn, you aren't even giving this a chance. I know that you've gotten spoiled with it just being me and you, but I'm with Burt now and you need to get used to that. He's willing to step up and act like a second father to you. Besides, how many years did I have to listen to you whine for a brother, and now you have Kurt. See? You've gotten exactly what you wanted." She was obviously exasperated with him.

"But Kurt's…" He trailed off there, not willing to say…what exactly? Kurt's flirting with me and it's freaking me out? Kurt's going to get in my bed one night and molest me? Kurt might actually take me shopping and get me some halfway decent clothes? He could have said any of those things and turned Carole against me, but, for some strange reason, he didn't. Funny, I wouldn't have hesitated if it had been me talking to my Dad. "Look, you're going out tonight, why can't I? I promise that I'll be home by 1. Please. Thing are actually getting kind of good with Puck and I again, and I don't want to ruin it. I'll have my cell phone and everything."

"Puck gets you into trouble." She was weakening, though; I could hear it in her voice. "Where are the two of you planning on going?"

"Just around. We'll bowl of Mr. Flannery can squeeze us in, otherwise I guess just for pizza. I promise I won't get into any trouble. Please?"

"Alright, fine. But if you aren't home by 1, or if you do let him talk you into doing something foolish, there will be no end to the trouble you will be in, Finnegan, got it?"

"Got it." The was a rustle of clothing and I knew he had jumped up to give her a hug. "Thank you, Mom, I love you."

"I love you, too." She got quiet for a minute. "Finn, are things really that bad here? You would tell me if something was really wrong, wouldn't you?"

"Yeah, yeah, of course." I could hear the lie in his voice, and I knew that if I could, so could his mother. "It's just…I don't know, adjusting pains. I wasn't really ready to share a room and I'm not sleeping very good because of it. Do you know when Mr. Hummel is going to start getting that addition up?"

The hope in his voice hurt. Even though I guessed I understood why, it still bothered me to know that he couldn't wait to get away from me. Carole paused again. "I don't know. I think he wanted to be able to talk to you about it and see what you wanted before he did anything. And you can call him Burt, you know."

"I know. It's just that every time Kurt rolls over or something it wakes me up and makes me all nervous. It'll be cool though, I guess I'll get used to it." His voice was coming closer, and I bolted back down the stairs so as to not be caught eavesdropping. Luckily, I'm faster then he is, and by the time he got into what was now our shared room, I was laying on the bed, seemingly absorbed in a fashion magazine. "Hi, Finn."

"Hey." He drew back, his body tense and his eyes wary. "Uh, what are you reading?" I could tell that he was ready to flee at the slightest movement from me.

"Vogue. The French one, not he American one because the American one is literally months behind and how can they possibly expect anyone to keep up if they-" I remembered why I was down here and forced myself to be quiet. "Finn, can we talk?"

"Uh, ok." My words didn't seem to be calming him down. If anything, he seemed more nervous then before. "Look, Kurt, I think you're a really cool guy and everything, but stuff needs to change."

I nodded. "Yes, it does. They way I've been treating you is unfair, and I'm sorry."

He breathed out in an explosive rush. "Really?"

"Yeah. It was mean, and you have enough to deal with without me making everything worse. So, yeah, I'm sorry and I'll try and be more like a brother from now on."

His eyes met mine, and I could tell that he was still nervous, trying to figure out of I was being truthful or if this was some sort of trick to get him to let his guard down. "It's cool, I guess. Um, can you and I just sort of start over? You know, as brothers this time?"

That was very nearly the last thing I wanted in the world, but I nodded anyway. After all, my ruining this for every one would be the absolute worst thing in the world, and if I had to give Finn up for everyone else's happiness, I could do that. Even if it would break my heart. I smiled weakly at him. "I would like that."

He gave me that smile that went straight to my heart, along with other parts of my body. "Me too. So, cool, we start over. Do you want to come bowling with me and Puck?"

Aw, that was a very sweet gesture. Even though a part of me jumped and tried to claim that I had just been asked on a date, the larger part knew that he was just being brotherly. I also knew that I was probably the biggest part of what he was trying to get away from. "No, you and Puck have fun."

"Ok." I couldn't help but notice how relieved he seemed. When he got back, I was going to have to do a lot of work to repair our relationship. "Well, how about we watch a movie when I get back?"

It was a testament to how pathetic I had become that my heart started pounding at the suggestion that he and I should spend some time alone together. "Sure, about what time to you think you'll be home?" I knew of course, but there was no way I was about to admit to eavesdropping.

"Uh, about 1ish I guess. Mr. Flannery will let us bowl for free, but we have to help him close the alley down after." He cocked his head. "Is that too late? Cause, we could do something tomorrow."

It was late for me, considering that I needed at least 9 hours of sleep to maintain my complexion, but I was capable of recognizing the olive branch when it was extended. "That would be cool. I'll pick the movie."

"Great!" I heard a car in the driveway, the extra loud muffler telling me that Puck was here. Finn grabbed his wallet and jacket and gave me one last look. "You sure you don't want to go?"

"I'm sure. Have fun with Puck." I didn't get up, didn't make any moves towards him. Nothing that might give him an excuse to freak out.

"See you later, then." He bounded up the steps, suddenly looking like a man sprung from prison. I laid back on the bed and listened to the truck pull away. I thought I had done pretty well. I had managed to keep a happy face and not cry while I was letting go of the only man I had ever loved.

Did you really? It seems to me that if you had actually loved the boy, you wouldn't have to make such an effort to change him. What's his favorite color? What's his favorite song? Do you have any idea what he wants to do with himself after high school? You like him because he's sweet to you, and he's the only person who's ever been that way to you, at least until Glee.

No, I didn't know any of those things. Furthermore, I had made zero effort to find out. I wanted the idea of Finn, not the man himself. That thought did make the tears start, and I pressed my face into the pillow while I tried to control the sobs.

Oh, it's not that bad. At least you realized the error of your ways before anything really bad happened. You have a second chance now, and you can learn all of those things about him. Now cry if you have to, but then get up and make things better.

Both of those things were alright with me. So cried for a while, until I was out of tears and my face was a blotched up, snot covered, mess. For the first time since I had set up this oh so brilliant plan, I was glad that Finn wasn't around to see me like this.

Dad came down to tell me that he and Carole were leaving for their date, but I pretended that I was sleeping. If he saw me right now, he would know that something was wrong, and I was not about to try and explain that I had set him up with the new love of his life just so I could look at her son without his clothes on. It made me sound a little…


The voice in my head was such a bitch. But sure, sociopathic pretty much fit the bill for that entire plan. But I was going to do better now. I had to. From now on, I was going to treat Finn like a brother and nothing more.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Determined to prove her wrong, I sat up and pulled myself together. First order of business: a shower. I was repulsive and I refused to be seen by anyone looking like this. I didn't even want to look in the mirror.

While I was standing there in the shower, allowing my pores to open up in the steam, it suddenly occurred to me that I could give my fantasies about Finn one final ride. Or maybe that wasn't a good idea.

Gee, you think? I'm pretty sure that masturbating to thoughts of your brand new stepbrother is not the best way to get over your crush on your brand new stepbrother. There are millions of attractive men in the world, think about any one of them.

Alright, alright, I got it. I took a mental trip through my fantasy men, but nothing was doing it for me. Had I really done it to thoughts of Finn so often that nothing else was going to work? Sometimes I hated my life.

I gave up on the thought of finding something that might get me off when the water started getting cold. I washed off as quickly as I could and wrapped myself up in a robe and fluffy towel. As nice as it was to have Finn around sometimes, there were times when I appreciated having the bedroom all to myself. Now I could undress and not have to either worry about his staring or me doing something to embarrass myself.

My iPod was waiting for me on the desk, exactly where it was supposed to be. Even though I hadn't gone as far as to draw a line down the room to divide my space from his, Finn acted like I had and wouldn't go anywhere near my side of the room. Even if he was expressly invited, he didn't like it. I put the buds in my ears, humming happily to myself as Lady Gaga blasted out. Even though I had already performed my piece (which, by the way, had been awesome! Even if it would have been better if we could have convinced the boys to let go of their homophobic ideas and join us), it was still fun to dance around and have fun.

If anyone in the family, including Finn, could have seen my doing this, they would have been surprised by how carefree I seemed. It wasn't like at school, when I had be restrained for my own safety. This was my basement, my place, and even if I was currently sharing it, Finn wasn't here right now, was he? Unfortunately.

It was nearly 10 by now, and it was looking likely that Dad and Carole would be spending the night in Akron, where they had gone to dinner and a play. Dad had told me that he would call while I was still lying in bed and sulking, but not to count on them coming home tonight.

When Dad had announced their date four days ago, I had been thrilled. An entire night alone with Finn, no adult supervision? Yes please. Now it was just a depressing reminded that even though Finn and I had plans, we certainly didn't have a date. And now, we would never have a date. Period. Game over. Finn was slipping through my fingers, and instead of squeezing tight, I was going to have to open my hand and let him go.

Finn wouldn't be home for another three hours, but I wandered up to the living room anyway. His taste in movies was not my taste in movies, and I figured I better watch something enjoyable before I was roped into Rambo or Die Hard or something else involving men with bigger biceps then brains.

After a brief debate, I put Footloose in and lost myself in a world where the biggest problem was not being allowed to dance. Though the homoeroticism between Ren and Willard could have been cut with a knife and all it served to do was make me hurt to have Finn even more.

Knock it off. If you can't behave yourself around him, go to bed right now. He's completely on edge with you, and, if you ever want him to trust you again, you need to back off.

I got it already. Since I didn't trust Finn's ability to properly choose a movie, I preselected a few titles. Bourne Identity was good, since Matt Damon was beyond hot in it. Dogma was fine, since it was funny and it had the bonus of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. Little Miss Sunshine was good also, since it was hysterical and I didn't think Finn had seen it already. Now all I had to do was wait for Finn to come home.

1 o'clock came and went, and thee was no sign of Finn. I wanted to call, but I made myself sit tight. He had said '1ish' not 1 on the dot. Still, by 1:30, I was starting to get a little worried.

At 1:45, I gave in and called him, only to get his voicemail. I left a message asking him to call me. If he had changed his mind about watching a movie it was fine, but I needed to know that he was safe.

He didn't call back. I sat there on the couch, clutching the phone. If something had happened and Finn was hurt, I needed to know. On the other hand, this was Lima, Ohio. How much trouble could he possibly be in? It was much more likely that he and Puck had decided that they could have more fun somewhere else and he had ditched me. I mean, Finn does have a history of doing things like that.

I tried calling twice more and texted three times, each message getting progressively more exasperated. Finally I left him a huffy 'If you'd rather go whore yourself around with Puck its fine, but at least let me know so that I can cover for you with Dad and Carole.'. Still nothing.

By 2:45, I had given up entirely. Finn wasn't coming home and we weren't having movie time. I was trying not to be pissed, but it was hard. Still, I called the hospital, just to be sure, and was told that no one matching Finn's description had been brought in. Basically, he was avoiding me.

Truth hurts. I couldn't tell if the voice was smug or pitying.

By now I was beyond frustrated, and not in the mood to deal with Finn Hudson or his constant drama. Fine, you know what? I don't care any more. I don't care if Finn never comes back. He's not mine, he'll never be mine, and it'll be nice to have the basement to myself again and not have to listen to him talk in his sleep.

Nice temper tantrum.

Great, now my thoughts were fighting with the voice in the back of my head. I threw all three movies on the coffee table, the clattering noise making me feel good. Now I understood why Finn liked kicking things so much when he was upset.

I considered locking the basement door so Finn would have to sleep on the couch when he finally drug his (probably drunk) ass home, but that wasn't a fair thing to do. I needed him to be able to get downstairs, so I could properly bitch him out tomorrow morning.

My bed was warm and inviting, and I tumbled happily into it. Today had been a rotten day all around and I was ready for it to be over. I had lost my chance with Finn and, even though he had accepted my apology, he didn't seem to even want a friendship any more. Other then him getting Rachel pregnant, I just didn't see how things could get any worse.

He could bring her to fool around in your shared bedroom.

Thank you voice, you have officially made this the worst day ever. I curled up, trying not to ignore the fact that the basement felt oddly empty now. Finn tends to fall asleep early, long before I usually went to bed, and, even though it had only been a few days, I kind of missed the big lug.

Get used to missing him, because he's being pretty clear that he doesn't want to be anywhere near you.

I changed my iPod over to the soft songs I always used to calm down and help me fall asleep. I was so heartsick and worn out and just plain tired with life that I fell asleep quickly and slept deeply, nearly comatose until the next morning.

At least I was until I felt gentle hand shaking me awake. I squeezed my eyes shut, because I knew that it was Finn and I didn't want to hear his lame apologies for ditching me last night, or worse, his excited play by play of him groping Rachel.

You do realize that when he tells you those things, he's trying to treat you like one of the guys, right? Granted, it's an awkward attempt, but at least he's trying, which is more then I can say for you.

"Kurt. Kurt, kiddo, wake up." The voice wasn't Finn's at all, it was my fathers. "Kurt, come on now."

I sighed and opened my eyes, glancing over at Finn's empty bed. "What's going on?"

Dad wasn't smiling. "Kurt, where is your brother?"

A cold feeling started between my shoulder blades. "What do you mean?"

"Not funny, kid. I don't care if Finn asked you to lie for him, if you know where he is; you need to tell me right now. Carole is getting hysterical."

"He and Puck went bowling. He didn't come back last night?" I sat up and checked over the bed across the room. It was unmade, like always, but there was still an abandoned T-shirt laying on it in the exactly same position it had been in when I fell asleep. Finn would have at least tossed it in the general direction of the hamper if he had been home.

Dad shook his head. "No. Finn never came home last night and neither did Puck. No one knows where they are."