Set some time after Furt and before Never Been Kissed.

Kurt tapped his finger tentatively against the string and looked away with a grimace as it twanged with a flat whine. Sinking back in the couch he crossed his legs and chewed his lip irritably. It had all started with the move to their new house with Carole and Finn. Hidden and covered in dust he had found the violin once owned by his mother, the violin he never knew even existed. It was a stupid idea, Kurt flicked a glare at the violin propped in the corner of the couch, a really stupid romantic unrealistic idea that he could learn too. Just because it had been his mother's didn't mean he'd magically develop virtuosic skills and connect with her. She was dead and the violin was disgustingly out of tune and it was just a stupid idea. The slap of Kurt's hands on his jeans was loud in the silence of the living room as he pushed himself up to his feet and paced between the door and chairs. Now the teacher, tutor, whatever was going arrive and be all professional and serious and mistake loneliness and confusion for actual interest. Apparently he was around his age, according to the friend of the sister of Carole's friend's husband that knew him. The guy had apparently been playing since he was 6 years old or something ridiculous like that. Kurt glared at the violin. He immediately felt guilty and looked away from it. He jumped as the doorbell rang and nervously smoothed down his top. Just plain grey with dark jeans. Neutral. Of course his voice usually made people step back like he'd walked in naked with just a feather boa but there was nothing he could do about that.

Pulling the door open he froze instantly.

'Sorry,' the guy apologised immediately and quickly brushed a mess of dark brown curls off his forehead before stretching out his hand, 'I think I'm a bit late. Got a bit lost. You're Kurt, yeah?'

'That's me,' Kurt's smile remained frozen in place. Hazel eyes. Curly hair. Hot.

The guy smiled again and squeezed their hands firmly together before letting go. 'My name's Blaine.'

Still slightly dazed, Kurt stepped aside and gestured him in. Ducking his head, Blaine smiled his thanks and angled his violin case first through the door. He was slightly shorter than Kurt, Kurt took the opportunity standing on the side to run his eyes down Blaine's neck, shoulders and back. His mouth tightened as he tried to smile. Blaine was definitely cute. Things were looking up.

'Your parents out?' Blaine ran his eyes over the living room.

'Yeah, my dad and step-mum are working and Finn, my step-brother,' he added, 'is over at a friend's. I thought I should probably spare them the sound of my playing,' he smiled at Blaine and received a smile in return.

'So,' Blaine bumped his case awkwardly against his leg and stood in the centre of the room, 'I guess we should start with how much you know?'

'Nothing,' Kurt said promptly and crossed his arms as he looked at the violin.

Blaine looked between him and the violin and chewed slowly at his lower lip. Kurt tried not to stare. He had nice lips. 'I've gotta ask, is this like your parents forcing you to learn or something?'

Kurt felt his lip curl and his shoulders slump slightly. 'No, this is my choice.'

'Okay,' Blaine said slowly and kept swinging his case slowly around his leg, he shrugged quickly and twitched a lopsided smile, 'you don't look totally thrilled.'

Kurt threw up his hands and let them drop with a slap. 'It sounds revolting. I tried and it dug into my neck and I stabbed myself with the stick, bow thing and then something unravelled and hit me in the face and it hurt my fingers and-' he just threw up his hands again. 'Why does it sound so awful?'

Blaine just grinned and dipped his head down, clearly trying to hold back laughter. 'Okay,' he lifted amused hazel eyes to Kurt's and bit his lip against a small smile. 'First things first. Can I have a look at your violin?'

Kurt pulled a face and gestured shortly at it. 'Be my guest.' He couldn't help but smile ruefully back as Blaine flicked a little laughing glance at him and shook his head, curls flopping forward again. 'Can I get you a drink?'

'I'm good, thanks.' Blaine lifted the violin and held it confidently in his hands, running his eyes over it before tilting it up and peering through the holes in the side.

Kurt moved slowly forward and watched curiously. 'What are you doing?' He even smelt nice. The thought of spending a hour a week with this guy made learning the violin seem much more enjoyable.

'Trying to see the make.' Blaine's thick dark eyebrows rose steadily as he looked over the violin before looking back at Kurt with a mix of amusement, disbelief and...fondness? 'Kurt, when was this last played?'

'Years ago, it was my mother's.'

It was a real lip-trembling smirk that Blaine bit back on this time. 'Kurt,' his voice was gentle and rippling with badly concealed amusement, 'have the strings been changed?'

Kurt raised his shoulders doubtfully. 'No?'

Blaine just nodded and turned his face away. 'Right. Okay. Um, do you know if the bow has been rehaired?'

'I would say no.'

'How did,' Blaine drew a slow breath and turned to face him, 'how did you play it? Just when you played around with it?'

'I sort of,' Kurt mimed an awkward lifting gesture, 'picked it up and I know they go under your chin and you sort of pull the bow across and-' he broke off as Blaine lost control and burst into spluttering laughter. 'What? What is it?' He demanded.

Blaine composed himself with effort and drew closer by Kurt's side and held the violin out. Their arms brushed lightly and Kurt squeezed his hands together. 'Okay, well, to start with the strings are starting to unravel,' he touched his finger to the mess of silver looking strands unravelling from the strings, Kurt looked away as warm brown eyes looked sideways into his, 'and um,' laughter shook his voice for a second, 'there's no chin rest or shoulder rest and the bridge is warped and the pegs have worn and slipped.'

'So,' Kurt looked down at the violin and tilted his head, 'it's broken?'

'Not broken,' Blaine stroked his hand down the smooth wood as though Kurt had just gravely insulted it, 'it just needs a bit of work and it'll be fine. It hasn't been played in a while, that's all. Here,' he handed it to Kurt and left him clutching it awkwardly like it was a baby, 'I'll show you mine.' The dark fabric of Blaine's coat pulled tight across his shoulders as he bent and unzipped his case and Kurt looked down with interest. Well practiced hands flew over the straps and swung the violin up with ease. 'See,' Blaine bent his head closer to Kurt's again and held the violins side by side, 'see how this is straight,' he touched his finger to the weird wooden thing under the strings, 'and this,' he plucked lightly at a string, 'is how it should sound. Of course yours will sound a bit different, but this is what a violin sounds like.'

'Oh,' Kurt blinked and tore his eyes away from the gentle stroke of Blaine's finger up the string, 'right. So I can't play mine until it's fixed?'

Blaine shrugged and dropped his violin to his side. 'Find a store and take it in and they'll do it right there, the bow might take longer though. You might even be better getting a new one, it depends.'

The couch squeaked as Kurt dropped down heavily. 'So I basically wasted your time today?'

Blaine flashed him a crooked smile and sank down beside him. 'I live nearby anyway. You couldn't have known. So do you go to school around here?'

'McKinley, you?' He couldn't help sneaking a sideways glance at where Blaine sat next to him. Something nervous and sad curled in his stomach. Guys never sat that close to him. Blaine wouldn't want to once he realised he was gay and that thought made Kurt's heart sink more than being slammed into a locker, it was always the little things that hurt the most.

'Carmel.' The corner of Blaine's mouth twitched up in a brief bitter smile before his expression smoothed back.

'Ah, Vocal Adrenaline?'

'Yep,' Blaine danced his fingers absently across the strings, 'that's us. Not me, of course,' he flashed Kurt a small smile.

'Singing not your thing?'

Blaine shrugged. 'I like singing. I would say more I don't have quite the status to be part of Vocal Adrenaline.'

Tracing patterns over the wood of his violin Kurt smiled ruefully. 'Come to McKinley, joining glee club means giving up your status.'

'Sounds nice.'

The bruises fresh from yesterday's locker slam ached down Kurt's back. 'Not really, no.' He flicked his nail against the wood with a sharp crack. 'So, I guess I should probably stop wasting your time and fix this,' he tapped it again, 'before next time. If you want to, that is,' he added quickly.

'I was thinking, totally get it if you don't want,' Blaine set his violin carefully aside and shrugged out of his coat, Kurt's breath caught as Blaine's sweater hitched up several inches with the tug of the coat to reveal lightly tanned bare skin. Then he froze, there was also a pattern of bruises along his side, just above his hip. Old and new bruises in the obvious colours Kurt knew only too well. Knew too well because he had mirroring bruises above his own hip, the trademark of a sideways shove into a locker when your arms twisted and you hit hip first and slid. '-so if it's alright,' Blaine kept talking, oblivious to Kurt's staring, 'I could come with you? I know the man that owns the store and I can help. Of course-'

'The violin store?' Kurt cut him off and tore his eyes away as Blaine sat back and his sweater slid down over the bruises.

'Violins and cellos, yeah.'

'Tomorrow, after school?'

'If you're free?' Blaine blinked long dark eyelashes and rubbed his hand along his jaw.

'That would be great,' Kurt said firmly.

Blaine's smile started shy then widened quickly. 'Awesome. I can pick you up if you like?'

Kurt already had his phone out. 'Mind if I get your number? It's written somewhere but if you could just put it in my phone now?'

'Sure,' warm fingers brushed Kurt's as Blaine swapped their phones over.

'So,' Kurt stared at again at the pull of Blaine top across his back as he put away his violin, 'how much do I owe you for today?'

Blaine just chuckled and turned around, shaking his head and smiling. 'It's fine. It wasn't a lesson.'

'Blaine-'

He shook his head again and stood up, violin case in hand and coat draped elegantly over his shoulder. 'We'll start next week. Seriously,' he spoke over Kurt's protests. 'It was nice meeting you,' he held out his hand again and Kurt tried not to smile too idiotically as firm calloused fingers wrapped around his hand. Blaine flashed him another crooked smile and blinked those impossibly long eyelashes. 'Guess I'll see you tomorrow.'

'Yeah, yeah, you will,' Kurt squeezed his hand before he stepped back and opening the door for him.

'See ya, Kurt,' Blaine gave him a short wave and smile.

'Bye, Blaine.' Kurt waited until his car pulled away before slumping back against the closed door. Did straight guys sling their coats over their shoulder like that? Was he straight? Kurt looked at his violin with stronger interest, he did at least know that Blaine looked gorgeous.