Kate Hummel prided herself on three things: her impeccable fashion sense, her level head in tense situations, and her perfect alto tone that both surprised and impressed those who heard it. So, it was easy to see that, improperly dressed and speechless in the middle of the Dalton School for Girls, she was completely out of her element. But, sure enough, she was surrounded by a sea of navy blue blazers in the main hallway of the school, being sung to- serenaded- by the most beautiful girl she had ever seen. The brunette had grabbed Kate's hand without so much as an introduction beyond first names, dragged her through the marble-floored hallway to the very antechamber in which they were standing. In which the girl was singing "Lovestoned" directly to Kate.
Blair. Her name was Blair.
Her hair fell in soft, glossy curls over her shoulders. Her eyebrows, thick and sculpted, danced along with her body, showing off the full range of emotions she expressed. Her blazer ended just a few short inches above the hem of her gray wool skirt, and the knee socks and mary janes... Kate couldn't even bring herself to look that way. She knew her eyes would get caught on Blair's perfect knees (because why shouldn't her knees also be perfect?), and she would miss the cute smirks she was making and the way that the fluorescent lights caught the sparks of green and hazel in her eyes.
Wasn't it just yesterday that Kate had been pushed into a locker? That Dana Karofsky, the biggest bully to end all bullies, had elbowed her so hard that there was still a bruise on her ribs? That her teachers had told her to "buck up" through all her tears and write whatever essay they had required? And somehow, twenty-four hours later, Kate was looking directly into Blair's eyes as she sang lines like "she's got me sprung, and I think that she knows." Kate blushed against her better judgment, dropping her eyes to her own shoes. Curse her excellent choice in footwear... her bright red wedge heels stuck out amongst all the black mary janes and brown suede loafers of the feet around her.
Twenty minutes later, she was nervously shaking her foot under a table in the school's coffee shop. Blair was stirring a coffee and staring her down, two backup singers sitting next to her.
"I'm not spying, I promise." Kate sighed, picking at the plastic of her coffee cup's lid. Even looking at the cup, she could feel Blair's eyes on her. Finally, the words fell out of her mouth. "Okay, I came here to spy. But I have to say that I'm so impressed with the Warblettes that I don't know if I could even badmouth you guys back to New Directions."
Blair chuckled. "Badmouth us away. We're really not nervous about our chances at Sectionals."
Kate smiled for what felt like the first time in forever. The laughter subsided. "On a totally different note," she began, "can I ask about the school itself?"
Blair leaned back into her wooden chair and uncrossed her legs. "By all means, Kate."
Kate blushed at the sound of her own name on Blair's tongue. "Since Dalton is an all-girls' school, does it ever get, you know, catty?"
A mousy brunette on Blair's right snickered.
"We have a serious no-bullying policy at Dalton." Blair offered. "Why do you ask? Are you being bullied at school?"
Kate nodded, looking down at the pattern of the tiles on the table. "I kind of stick out." She said, pointing to her short blond pixie. "I'm the only openly gay girl at school. It sucks."
Blair shrugged. "I used to get made fun of at my old school. I would get called 'dyke' and 'lez' so much, I was scared they would put it as my name in the yearbook. But then I transferred here to Dalton, and things have been so much better."
With courage she didn't know she had, Kate looked into Blair's eyes, falling into the bottomless pit of her pupils. "Are a lot of the girls here...?"
"Lesbians? Not really. Deidre and Wendy here both have boyfriends. But, yes, there are a few of us. And the best part is that we really don't have to worry about the coming out process to each other. There are no repercussions for being 'out,' it's just kind of an accepted thing."
"I should go." Kate mumbled, gathering her bag.
"Wait." Blair said, holding up her hand. "Kate, you need someone to talk to, since it sounds like you're getting no support at your school."
Kate slid back into her seat.
"Give me your phone."
"I'm going to program my number in."
Kate gulped hard.
"I know that not everyone can afford the Dalton tuition. But no one deserves to be harassed." Blair said, typing furiously onto Kate's iPhone. "If you need me, I'll be there. I don't sleep much and I'll sneak out of class if you need someone to talk to."
"Oh." was all that Kate could say.
On her bus ride home, Kate felt a buzzing in her pocket. She pulled out her phone to see a message from Blair, just reading "courage." She smiled to herself, turning the Justin Timberlake in her headphones up a little louder.