AN: So! I figured I'd give it a few days since the finale before I continued to post. Personally, I'm okay with the final episode. Could have been better, and they left a lot of things open, but okay. At least I have three months to catch up with my writing and get to Nationals in my fic XD

Chapter Seven

Kurt was making his way towards his first class on Monday morning when he felt someone grab him and push him against the lockers. An undignified squawk escaped his lips, memories of shoulder checks and locker slots-shaped bruises rising instantly in his mind; but there were arms around his shoulders, one hand protecting the back of his head, and a warm body pressed against him. Then lips, soft and gentle, covering his own.

Kurt relaxed into the embrace, Dave's scent (the leather of the letterman jacket, and just a little too much Hugo Boss this morning) calming him once he recognized it. Suddenly the coldness of the lockers was less biting on his back, and his hand, which he'd brought up to his chest to protect himself from what he'd thought was an assailant, curled instead around the lapel of the jacket.

Then Kurt came back to his senses – they were in the middle of a hallway at school. Dave had never kissed him there before, in such a public setting. True, he'd more or less been outed in the very same location only a week ago, and no-one had harassed him after Azimio. But still it made Kurt's head spin. Or maybe that was just the way Dave was using his tongue.

Finally they broke apart, to wolf-whistles (that was probably Puck) and snorts of laughter from students in the hallway. No-one seemed to be disgusted. Kurt looked up at Dave, who was grinning sheepishly at him. "Good morning," Dave said. His arms were still around Kurt, and the thumb of one hand rubbed little circles under Kurt's shoulder-blade.

"Is it, now?" Kurt replied, smiling as he put his arms around Dave's waist. "I take it you worked things out with your mother last night?"

"Mmm, not exactly smooth sailing, but she'll get her head wrapped around it some day."

"I'm really proud of you, Dave," Kurt said, rising up on his tip-toes to kiss Dave lightly. "You're handling all this coming out business so well."

Dave shrugged. "No-one's said or done anything to us ever since last week. Even Azimio's backed off. The hockey team's been great about it. Nobody seems to care that we're gay, or dating." He leaned in to steal another kiss. "I love it."

Kurt laughed, stepping out of Dave's embrace and taking his hand. "Come on, I'll walk you to your first class. Physics, right?"

"Did you steal my schedule or something?" Dave smiled as Kurt's tinkling laugh filled his ears again. He'd never get tired of his boyfriend's laughter.


Kurt and Dave parted ways at the physics lab, and Kurt went off to his first period English class. Mercedes was already there, sitting with Tina. He could tell by Tina's excited smile that Mercedes was telling her about Saturday's date with Anthony. He hurried to catch a seat next to them, sitting backwards in his chair so he could face Mercedes.

"I hope you haven't started the 'tell' part of 'kiss and tell' without waiting for me," he teased Mercedes.

"Oh don't worry, baby, you'll get a full play-by-play at lunch," Mercedes grinned at Kurt. "I was just giving Tina the basics of what happened last night."

"Yes, shush, don't interrupt!" Tina said, waving a hand at Kurt. "What happened then?"

"Well, he asked what I wanted to get from the Japanese place and then he was about to order for me, but I guess the look on my face stopped him."

"Oh, dear," Kurt laughed. "Are you sure Anthony's ready to handle your divalicious attitude, Mercedes?"

"Well, he wised up real quick after that, he even let me pay for the ice-cream."

"Oh, you let him pay for the rest of dinner?" Tina teased.

"Well he is a gentleman, and I am a lady," Mercedes said, sitting up straight and affecting an arrogant tone of voice.

The three of them broke out in giggles as Mrs. Graves walked into the classroom, and they continued to grin at one another throughout the class.


True to her word, Mercedes grabbed Kurt by the arm and led him to the auditorium the moment they'd bought their lunches at the cafeteria. They sat on the stage with their legs dangling over the edge, sandwiches, fruit and cartons of milk and juice spread around them.

"So," Kurt said once Mercedes had eaten a few bites of her sandwich to take the edge off her hunger. "Spill!"

"Okay, okay," Mercedes chuckled. "You saw that he picked me up. And he got me a rose."

"Yeah, that was Dave's idea," Kurt said, grinning.

"Oh, really?" Mercedes raised an eyebrow at Kurt. "Sure it wasn't yours?"

"No, really!" Kurt insisted, slapping her arm lightly. "I can even show you the text he sent me. It appears that my boyfriend is a closet romantic."

"Well he ain't hiding in there himself, so..."

"It's funny, that's exactly what Dave said."

"So anyway. Enough about your boyfriend, on to mine."

"Oh, are you official already after one date?" Kurt grinned.

"Okay, potential boyfriend," Mercedes amended. "Did you see that he opened the car door for me?"

"I did," Kurt sighed. "He's a gentleman."

"Yeah, and he's totally aware that I'm in Glee and he has nothing against it, unlike most jocks. He even asked me what my taste in music was before he put any on in the car."

"That's considerate," Kurt nodded, impressed. "What car does he drive? I was too excited to even notice ... what?" Mercedes was looking at him strangely.

"Nothing, it's just so... hetero of you to ask about cars," she chuckled.

"Well, my father is a mechanic, what do you expect? So, what does he drive?"

"I dunno, Kurt. I'm a girl, I don't know cars." Mercedes shrugged. "A Honda, maybe? It's his dad's, anyway."

"Well, I guess I'll let it go this time. Where did he take you?"

"We'd decided on Italian before we went out – he said he knew a nice place and asked if I trusted him."

Kurt laughed. "Are you sure he wasn't wearing a turban and invited you on a magic carpet ride after that?"

Mercedes choked a little on her sip of juice. "Oh, shut up, my life is not a Disney flick."

"I apologize," Kurt bobbed his head in a little bow. "Well, go on, so how was the Italian place?"

"Closed!" Mercedes exclaimed, laughing as she dusted sandwich crumbs off her jacket. "He said he couldn't believe it, he'd just been there with his folks a few weeks ago and suddenly the place was closed. He was so embarrassed, but I thought it was funny. At least it took the first-date jitters out of the picture, 'cause we had to get creative about food." Mercedes opened up a container of salad and began picking out the tomatoes with a plastic fork. "We ended up driving to the mall and getting a bunch of different take-aways from the food court. Then we sat on a picnic bench at the park and shared everything."

"Awww," Kurt sighed, grinning as he finished his own sandwich and moved onto the small portion of vegetable lasagna he'd purchased. "That's so sweet!"

"I know, it was really magical," Mercedes said. "I introduced him to falafel, and he taught me how to use chopsticks for the sushi."

"Mercedes, even I couldn't teach you how to use chopsticks properly! Are you saying that Anthony managed it in one date?"

"I don't know what happened, it just... when he explained it, it made sense!"

"Now that's magical," Kurt nudged Mercedes's shoulder with his own. "Sooooo. Did you kiss?"

"Yeah, but he waited until he dropped me off at my place. He walked me to the door and everything, and he said he hoped I had a good time –"

"I hope you assured him that you did?"

"Of course I did, you silly boy. Now stop – interrupting – or – I – will – make – you – eat – your – scarf." Each word in the last sentence was punctuated by a light slap to Kurt's arm, shoulder, or head. Mercedes had had about enough of her best friend interrupting her while she tried to tell him about her date.

"Okay, okay, stop hitting me!" Kurt laughed, putting his arms up to defend himself from the onslaught. "I'm sorry, I'm just excited! Dave's and my dates were all sort of low-key and secretive; I didn't get to feel that excitement and get all worked up. And now we've gone to just hanging out together instead of actually going out now, so I'm living vicariously through you."

"How is it that you've had a boyfriend for like two months now and you're living vicariously though me when it's my first date?" Mercedes rolled her eyes. "Now, seriously, stop talking. Let me tell you about my first kiss!"

"Ooh, ooh, first kiss!" Kurt clapped his hands together. "Okay, shutting up now." He mimed zipping his mouth closed.

"Well, you know how they say that when you kiss the right person, there's fireworks?"

Kurt nodded silently, remembering how his first kiss with Dave had left only the feeling of shock in both their cases, while their second kiss had made Kurt see flashes of color and light behind his eyelids.

"Well... last night, I coulda sworn it was the fourth of July," Mercedes finished with a huge grin. Kurt couldn't contain his excitement anymore, and he hugged his best friend, squealing loudly.

"Oh my god, Mercedes, I'm so happy for youuuu!"

Mercedes laughed, "And it's all thanks to you and your boy Dave. Oh, did you tell him I owe him a slushy?"

"Yeah," Kurt said, pulling back, "but I still want to see his reaction when you walk up to him holding one. I think he's still sort of scared the Glee Club is going to slushy him, after all this time." Kurt laughed. "And after Azimio did it to him, he finally knows what it feels like. But anyway, I'll bet he's already talked to Anthony himself. But you know, even though he's bisexual, Dave is still a guy's guy, so he probably won't get too much info, considering you and Anthony didn't do anything more than kiss." He glanced sidelong at his best friend. "You didn't, right?"

"Of course not!" Mercedes slapped Kurt on the arm. "What kind of girl do you think I am?"

"Well I don't know, you were so anxious to get a boyfriend, I thought maybe you'd jump him the moment you had a chance," Kurt teased.

"Oh, bullshit. I told you, I'm a lady," Mercedes held her head up haughtily, holding the pose for several seconds before the two of them collapsed into giggles on the stage. "I don't know, I do sort of want to go further... but I'm scared, at the same time. I've never had a boyfriend, and Saturday was the first time I'd even kissed a boy. I don't think I'm ready for anything more than that at this point."

"Well, you should go at your pace," Kurt nodded. "Don't rush things and don't let anyone rush you either." He wrapped an arm around Mercedes's shoulder, picking up his milk carton and taking a sip.

"How far have you and Dave gone?"

Kurt promptly choked on his milk, bringing a napkin up to cover his mouth. "Mercedes!"

"Whaaaat?" She grinned at him. "I'm just curious."

"Well – I – I don't think my sex life is in any way relevant to yours, when we're two guys and when we've already been a couple for two months and – and when there's so much history between us, and –"

"Oh my god, calm down, you big drama queen," Mercedes laughed. "You two are all over each other now, with the PDAs in the hallways and texting each other in classes... Just tell me, have you two gotten to second base already?"

Kurt cleared his throat, straightening his tie in a nervous gesture. "Yes," he said, and no more.

Mercedes must have caught the blush on his cheeks, though, for she continued to prod: "Did you get past second base?"

"Um," was all Kurt said, but he could feel his ears already turning red, too.

"Oh my god!" Mercedes bounced up and down on the edge of the stage. "Kurt, did you get to third base?"

Kurt sighed, defeated. He started gathering the disposable plastic containers from their lunches, watching as Mercedes's eyes widened and her jaw dropped.

"Kurt Elizabeth Hummel!" she shrieked. "Did you and Dave –" her voice dropped to a stage-whisper, "did you do ... oral?"

Kurt got up from where he'd been stuffing their trash into a plastic bag, wandering over to the piano sitting at the corner of the stage. "Can we maybe go back to talking about your love live instead of mine?"

"No!" Mercedes exclaimed, scrambling up to follow him. "Why, was it bad?"

"No!" Kurt said vehemently, instantly regretting it and flushing crimson again. "No," he said again, this time more quietly. "Actually it was great."

"Ooh!" Mercedes waggled her eyebrows. "So does that mean he..." she made a vague gesture towards her mouth, "you?"

"What? – Oh, uh. No." Kurt sat down on the piano bench, opening the cover and sliding his fingers over the ivory keys. "Um, I did, uh, him."

"Wow," Mercedes said slowly as she sat on the piano bench next to him, her hand finding his and lacing their fingers together. "What – what was it like?"

"Seriously, Mercedes, I can't even talk about it," Kurt jerked his fingers out of her grasp and covered his flaming cheeks with both hands. "It was awkward enough actually doing it, and I haven't even talked to Dave about it; I can't talk to you. If you want tips on fellatio, maybe you should ask Santana."

"Kurt, baby, calm down." Mercedes took Kurt's hands in hers and brought them down from his face. "I'm sorry I pried." She cupped one of his cheeks in her hand. "I just... I was surprised to hear you'd gotten that far. I got sort of ... I dunno, excited."

"Pervert," Kurt said, smirking.

"For you," Mercedes emphasized. "And I'm not a pervert, I'm just a hag." Kurt let out a snort of laughter, just as she'd hoped. "Do you really not want to talk about it?"

"Yes," Kurt said vehemently. "Let's please go back to talking about you." He ran his fingers over the piano's keyboard again, playing a few notes at random. "I know," a smile lit up his face. "Let's think of solos for us to do at Regionals. Prada knows, we'll have to convince Mr. Shuester to give us a chance; this'll be our fourth performance and so far we've only done back-up vocals. I mean, even Santana got a solo for Sectionals!"

"Well, you gotta admit, girl's got a mad voice," Mercedes said, in a rare moment of generosity.

"True, Santana's voice is pretty unique, but it's nowhere near as smoldering-hot as yours," Kurt bumped shoulders with Mercedes, who gave him a million-watt smile.

"Nobody's got your range, though," she said, bumping Kurt back. "Your voice is amazing, and you probably know more about Broadway and show-tunes than Rachel even."

"Oh, no-one knows more about Broadway and show-tunes than Rachel," Kurt laughed. "The girl's obsessed – I mean, so am I, but I keep the obsession at a healthy level. Rachel is beyond hope."

"So what should we sing?"

"Well..." Kurt studied his best friend. "You know, you're still glowing from when we talked about your date with Anthony. Why don't you sing something about that?"

Mercedes laughed. "Channel the emotion, huh?"

"Yes, exactly." Kurt settled more comfortably on the piano bench. "How about..." He started playing the piano introduction of 'When Love Takes Over.' Mercedes grinned at him and turned around on the bench so she was facing the empty auditorium.

"It's complicated, it always is
That's just the way it goes
Feels like I waited so long for this
I wonder if it shows."

Oh, it shows, thought Kurt, rolling his eyes at the piano as Mercedes sang. She'd been wanting a boyfriend ever since freshman year.

"Head underwater
Now I can't breathe
It never felt so good
Cause I can feel it coming over me
I wouldn't stop it if I could.

"When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
You know you can't deny
When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
'Cause something's here tonight."

Mercedes auditioned for her solo that afternoon in Glee Club. She unceremoniously told everyone – including Mr. Shuester – to sit down while she stayed standing by the piano. She handed Brad and the band the music sheets which she and Kurt had printed out from the library at lunch, and with a final glance in Kurt's direction, she continued singing.

"Give me a reason
I gotta know
Do you feel it too?
Can't you see me here on overload?
And this time I blame you.
Mmm, looking out for you to hold my hand
It feels like I could fall
Now love me right, like I know you can
We could lose it all."

Mercedes's voice, as always, rang out strong and sultry in the choir room. Kurt thought she'd had more emotion in her voice when they'd practiced in the auditorium, but she controlled her pitch better the second time around, and her voice was more powerful.

"When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
You know you can't deny
When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
'Cause something's here tonight.
Tonight, tonight, tonight,
Tonight, tonight, tonight,
Tonight, tonight, tonight...

"And I'll... be loving you all the time
It's true.
'Cause I... wanna make it right
With you..."

The whole Glee Club got into the song, clapping and dancing in their seats. Only Rachel was sitting still in her chair, leaning forward intently and following Mercedes's performance with calculating eyes and ears. She was probably still smarting over not getting a solo for Sectionals, but Kurt and Mercedes would be damned if they let her hog the spotlight one more time. They deserved their chance, too.

"When love takes over...
When love takes over...
When love takes over, over, over, over, over
Over, over, over, over, over, over!

"When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
You know you can't deny
When love takes over, yeah-ah-eah
'Cause something's here tonight."

Mercedes finished the song with her head held high and a hand on her waist. The entire Glee Club cheered and applauded her performance, Kurt being the most enthusiastic and Rachel the most subdued. Mercedes laughed and hugged Tina and Brittany back when the other girls rushed to embrace her, and then stood looking expectantly at Mr. Shuester and the rest of the club.

"Well," Mr. Shuester stood up slowly and moved to stand next to Mercedes. "What do you guys think?" Rachel was the first to raise her hand. Kurt tensed, and Mr. Shuester sighed. "Yes, Rachel?"

Rachel dropped her hand and took another moment to collect herself before she spoke. "I have to be honest, Mr. Shuester, I still think I should get a solo for Regionals. But," she added, when Mercedes got that I-will-cut-you look on her face, "but, I was also one of the most disappointed when the Jane Adams Academy girls stole Mercedes's ballad during our first competition." She smiled at Mercedes. "I wanted to hear you sing for Sectionals. But maybe it wasn't meant to be at the time – maybe you're supposed to get your solo now, at Regionals this year."

Silence stretched for several seconds in the choir room. Had Rachel Berry just said something ... selfless?

"Yo, what she said!" Artie finally broke the silence, pumping his fist into the air.

"I think Rachel just about summed it up," Mr. Shuester said with a relieved smile. "Mercedes gets the solo for Regionals."

Mercedes squealed in delight, running over to Kurt to hug him. "All thanks to you, boo, all thanks to you!" she whispered in his ear.

"However," Mr. Shuester continued. "I'm not sure that number was what we need for the competition. I understand it matched your emotions now, Mercedes, and I'm happy for your romantic development – but not everyone will be able to relate to that song. So now we have to brainstorm. What other songs do you guys think Mercedes should sing for Regionals?"

The room exploded with suggestions and ideas, and all the while, Mercedes sat next to Kurt, hugging him deliriously.

Disclaimer: 'When Love Takes Over' is © of David Guetta and Kelly Rowland. I found it amusing back in season one when Mercedes said "I'm Beyoncè, I ain't no Kelly Rowland," when in fact Kelly Rowland's career has kinda skyrocketed since 2008 or something, and Beyoncè has toned down xD