A/N: This was a dream I had the other night. I quickly jotted it down before I had the chance to assess whether it was crap.

Note: I don't own Glee.

Glee- Deflection

"I hope you guys are happy," Wes growled, pacing again past Kurt and Blaine. "I really hope it was worth it."

Blaine chose this unfortunate moment to stifle a sneeze into the back of his hand. Wes froze and glared at him.

"Sorry," he muttered, a red flush spreading up his cheeks. Kurt watched his friend sympathetically before turning on Wes.

"It's not like we got sick on purpose," he protested in a husky voice.

The blaze in Wes's eyes when he turned on the younger man was positively terrifying.

"Neglecting your health is just as bad as getting sick on purpose," he insisted through clenched teeth. "What were you thinking anyway?"

Kurt's mind flashed back to the day before. There had been pouring rain and Blaine's breath had fogged in his peripheral vision as they cheered on his old school's football team. McKinley had actually won and the New Directions halftime show had been outstanding. Huddling next to his new best friend in an attempt to stay warm hadn't been so bad either. At the time, it had been a perfect day.

"Relax, Wes," Blaine's sniffling assurance didn't inspire much confidence but Kurt wondered how Wes could avoid melting at that sweet smile. "We've got three days before we've got to compete. We'll be fine by then."

"I hope so," he said reluctantly. "Because with Kurt sounding like Kermit the Frog and you sneezing every other minute we'll be a shoe-in for the most ridiculous team at Regionals."

With this proclamation he spun on his heel and headed from the common room. At the door he stopped and turned around.

"At least try to pass this on to your step-brother," he begged Kurt as he left.

Kurt rolled his eyes and murmured "bitch" under his breath before turning back to Blaine. His delicately sculpted jaw line slackened as he was tormented by an impending sneeze. Kurt sighed to himself as Blaine whipped forward in a violent sneeze, only just captured by his Dalton Academy handkerchief.

"Gesundheit," he said for the fifteenth time that day.

"Thanks," said Blaine, simultaneously wiping his nose and rubbing his eyes. "And hey, don't mind Wes. He's just really stressed out about the competition."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Kurt croaked.

He actually sounded much worse than he felt. Especially compared to Blaine whose nose and cheeks were comically pink and whose eyes swam with irritated tears.

"Stop staring at me," he said through a wide and flirty smile.

Kurt blushed faintly. "I'm sorry," he murmured pityingly. "You just look so sick."

Blaine rubbed his nose ruefully. "Well how about you? You sound like you went through puberty overnight."

Kurt furrowed his brow as the smile dropped unwillingly from his lips.

Afraid that he'd hurt his friend's feelings, Blaine smiled even more brightly and nudged Kurt's shoulder. "Relax, I'm just teasing."

After finally receiving a small grin, Blaine grasped the other boy's shoulder and began to steer him towards the door.

"Come on," he continued, "I'll buy you a cup of tea for your throat and then we can take turns coughing on Finn's pillow."


An hour later they were across the couch from each other at Kurt's house. Singing in the Rain played dimly in the background as Kurt concentrated on cooling his steaming mug of tea. With a blanket around his shoulders he hunched forward and attempted another sip. This time his tongue didn't burn.

He glanced over the mug at Blaine who was being thrown forward with the force of the eighth sneeze in a lengthy fit.

"Goodness," said Carole, propping a laundry basket on her hip as she entered from the kitchen. "Are you all right?"

Blaine tried to nod through streaming eyes as he sneezed again into his handkerchief.

"He's been doing that all afternoon," Kurt told her, almost longing for adult intervention. "I've never heard anyone sneeze so much."

"My father never sneezes less than six times," Blaine said. He had finally gained control of himself although his breath wavered with a lingering irritation. He pressed the handkerchief under his red nose and spoke thickly around it. "I read somewhere it's genetic. Have you ever noticed that?"

Carole shrugged. "Finn's father always sneezed twice and so does he. It makes sense that it's in his genes."

"Carole, do we have any cold medicine to give Blaine?" Kurt asked, trying to draw her attention back to his friend's infirmity.

"Let me go dig through the medicine cabinet after I've put these in the wash," she answered, shifting the weight of the basket, and studying the boy. "Do you have a fever, honey?"

Blaine chuckled and shook his head. "I don't need anything. Thanks anyway, Mrs. Hummel, but you seem pretty swamped. Do you need any of Kurt's help with the housework?"

They laughed together at the joke while Kurt frowned. He was starting to notice a pattern.

Before he could speak up though, Finn burst loudly in through the front door. The trio in the living turned to stare at the sight of a white surgical mask on the jock's face. Finn rolled his eyes.

"Mercedes told Rachel that you were sick," he said to his brother. "She's insisting I spend the night at Artie's. She doesn't want the germs to get over to New Directions."

He turned to his mother who was valiantly struggling not to laugh.

"Is that okay, Mom?" he asked her, his voice muffled by layers of gauze.

"Let me just grab your PJ pants out of the dryer," she answered with a sigh. She disappeared down the stairs as Finn strolled over to the couch.

Just as he was perching on the arm of an easy chair, Blaine exploded forward into a sneeze that had tortured his features for nearly a minute. Finn jumped at the volume of the eruption.

"Whoa, are you sick too?" he asked.

Blaine waved his hand at the question.

"Just barely," he said dismissively. "But I sound better than this guy."

"Ha ha," Kurt said sardonically.

"No kidding," laughed Finn. "You guys should try adding a Barry White number to your set list. I think Kurt's got it covered."

"I'm still not convinced I'm any worse off than you are," he said to Blaine. "I'm not sneezing my head off anyway."

Kurt was surprised to see the deep flush that appeared on the singer's face. Blaine quickly changed the subject.

"Are you guys ready for Regionals?" he asked, turning back to Finn.

Finn shrugged and scratched his face under his mask. "It depends on who you ask. I think we sound pretty good but if you ask Rachel we're about on par with that deaf choir from last year."

They all laughed at this until Carole re-emerged empty- handed.

"Didn't you put your PJs in the wash?" she asked her son.

Finn looked at her cluelessly for a moment and she sighed and headed upstairs in search of the missing clothes. Finn glanced guiltily back at the boys before taking off after her.

Blaine turned back to Kurt with an expression of tired amusement.

"Is Rachel always like that?" he asked.

"Are you kidding? The fact that she even let Finn come into the house is a big step for her," Kurt answered, allowing himself to be distracted by his memories of Rachel's bittersweet leadership. He was jerked from a daydream by the sound of a car horn.

"Oh God," he groaned, rolling his eyes.

"She's actually waiting outside?" Blaine asked, astonished. He rose to cross the room.

Kurt watched his friend peer out the window and then stared as his shoulders jumped convulsively, in a smattering of soundless and tightly constrained sneezes. Well if he thought he could fly under the radar he had another think coming…

"Gesundheit," Kurt sang out. Attempting to expose Blaine, though, backfired as the effort of raising his voice forced him to start coughing.

Blaine turned quickly on him; his dark eyes alight with concern.

"Are you alright?" he asked in alarm. Instantly he was back by Kurt's side, holding out a glass of water. Kurt took it gratefully and the irritation in his throat was quickly subdued.

As he leaned forward to place the cup back onto the coffee table, his hand grazed Blaine's arm. By now he was pretty much immune to the rush of electricity he felt whenever touching Blaine. This time, though, a new sensation struck him.

"Blaine, you're really hot," he exclaimed, wrapping his whole hand around his friend's forearm.

Blaine grinned. "Thank you," he joked.

"No, I mean you're feverish."

"Are you saying you don't think I'm hot?" Blaine pretended to be hurt.

Kurt pulled his hand back from where he had rested it on Blaine's scalding cheek. He stared into the sparkling green eyes, still rimmed with tears from the last sneezing fit, feeling a rush of frustration and apprehension.

"Why do you do that?" he asked quietly.

"What do you mean?" Blaine asked lightly, leaning forward to refill Kurt's mug of tea.

Kurt maintained his serious tone. "You keep deflecting. It's like you don't want to admit how crappy you feel."

"I really don't feel that bad," Blaine said. He was still smiling, almost robotically now.

Kurt ignored that.

"You know," he went on. "Just because you've helped me out a lot in the past, that doesn't mean you always have to be the strong one."

Although Blaine's lips were still curved up and easy, the expression in his eyes as he glanced up at Kurt was pained. For a long minute it was as though he were pleading silently for the sympathy he didn't dare ask for.

Finally he shrugged.

"You think too much," he whispered.

Blaine sank back into the couch cushion and allowed the words to float unaccompanied in the air.

He didn't look up when Kurt raised his hand again to feel the pulsing heat under his forehead. Silently, Kurt pulled a blanket from the couch's arm and draped it casually over his friend's shoulders. He shivered once but pulled the soft edges around his chin without protest. He kept his eyes fixed on the television all the while and a tiny smile fixed to his lips.

Kurt took the silence as surrender and with a soft word, rose in search of Tylenol.

Only then did Blaine eyes rise again to follow Kurt as he left.


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