Disclaimer: I own nothing and am making no profit off of this.
He has no idea how this started, but somehow it's become almost second nature. This year has been hell for him and he's needed, really needed, someone to be there to cheer him up. He knew that, fuck the pink and purple polka-dotted elephant on Mars knew that, but he didn't expect that person to be who it is.
He thought it would be Mercedes that he'd rely on or Rachel maybe even Tina or Mike, but it's not. It's Brittney. Brittney, the girl who taught him how to kiss and do a back flip, who when his father had a heart attack gave him a report about how heart attacks were caused by loving too much. He has no idea how, but whenever he feels bad he calls her and by the time he hangs up he feels better.
He remembers calling her after Mercedes confirmed that awful suspicion he had about her using him as s substitute for a boyfriend. The threat from Karofsky hadn't really sunk in at that point, because he was still aching from the confirmation from Mercedes. His fingers automatically found Brittney's number and dialed.
"Kurt, you were right! My math teacher really doesn't know about rainbows!" She had answered, bubbly and energetic. He smiled just hearing her voice.
"I told you that was the reason he was such a stick in the mud. How has your day been, darling?" Kurt liked calling Brittney pet names, they usually made her giggle or clap happily. He didn't think it awkward that they had made out all of twice anymore, so he felt free to call her nicknames and pet names and make her happy.
Brittney immediately launched into a story about how her day went, which was filled with seemingly nonsensical antidotes, but made a lot more sense if he thought of them as metaphors. He finds himself laughing so hard at some of the things she says that his chest hurts. When she says that she's on his side of the town and can she please come over so he can be jealous over the new boots Santana bought her, what else can he say but yes?
Kurt sees it happen in slow motion, Carole's fingers slipping, the pot sailing towards the floor, and then the porcelain shattering and spreading across the floor, like ants. He can feel his breathe quicken, because he knew he shouldn't have let anyone touch the tea pot, this is all his fault and he think he hears Carole try to talk to him, but it sounds like he's underwater.
His mother's tea pot is shattered on the ground and it was dropped by the woman his father intends to marry and this seems vaguely symbolic and Kurt is backing away, feeling his eyes burn as he desperately tries to not cry.
He somehow manages to get his bedroom door in between him and Carole before the tears come.
"Kurt, Kurt, Honey, please talk to me. I'm so, so sorry!" Carole is pleading with him on the other side of the door and Kurt is stuck between wanting to scream at her and wanting to assure her that it's okay, that it was an accident and please don't worry about it.
"Carole, please just…go away. Please, just…go away." Is what comes out instead and he feels horrible for saying it, but can't take it back. He's always been a silent crier and this time is no different as he turns the lock on his door and heads down the stairs to his bedroom.
The room seems all at once too big and too small and there's buzzing in his head and he collapses on his couch, feeling drained and wanting to just sleep the pain off. He feels like this shouldn't hurt nearly half as much as it does, it was just a tea pot for heaven's sake, but…
It was his mother's tea pot. She used to serve tea and coffee and hot cocoa from that tea pot. She used to sit at the table and help Kurt with his maths while drinking tea poured from that tea pot. She used to pour coffee from that tea pot into a cup for his dad before he left to work.
His phone rings, the melody of Ellie Goulding's Guns and Horses identifying the caller as Brittany, and he answers before he can even think of ignoring the call.
"Kurt! Hey, I was wondering, if dolphins are gay sharks, what are sting rays? Are they lesbian sharks, you think?" Brittany doesn't even bother saying hello, just enthusiastically gets to the point. Kurt sniffs, wiping at his face, trying to think of a suitable answer.
"Then what are whales?" Stumbles out of his mind from some corner that understands Brittany and Brittany makes an epiphany sound, kind of an "a ha!"
"Whales are lesbian sharks and sting rays are something else entirely, I get it now! Did you know that Pocahontas was real, only she married someone other than John Smith when she was, like, 13? I learned that today in English!" Brittany says. Kurt smiles, because what else can he do to that statement?
"Yeah, I learned that in History a few years ago…remember when they taught us about the first settlers?"
"Are you crying? What's wrong, was a dolphin mean to you? I'll set a shark on them, if they were!" Brittany sounds fierce and Kurt's touched, he thinks, at her thoughtfulness.
"No, I'm fine, I was just…thinking of stuff. I'm fine, really." He says and this is why he talks to Brittany when he's upset, because she can make him feel better in an instant.
He has to remember to apologize to Carole when he hangs up with Brittany.
Dinner that night is awkward. Kurt is caught between wanting to tell his dad that it's okay that he proposed and asking if this means he's going to get rid of his mother's dresser. He swallows too much and has even less appetite than usual. Forks and knives scrap across plates and it feels like Kurt is in Algebra, trying to explain something to Tina, who is so helpless with equations it's funny. Not that Kurt feels she should be good at Algebra just because she's Asian, it's just he knows she can do Trig, so algebra should be simple, right?
"Kurt." His father's voice sounds loud and it makes him jump and for an instant he imagines hands clenched around his face, holding him in place, taking all his power and will away from him, and he wants to throw up.
"Yeah?" He managed to breathe out, wanting to cry because his father, especially his father, should not remind him of Karofsky.
"Are you okay?" Something must have shown on his face, because his father is looking at him like he just found a micro-crack on an engine block. Kurt mentally counts backward from twenty in French, just to calm him down. (Counting in English no longer helps - hasn't since overexposure to Rachel Berry's sense of fashion.)
"I'm fine." Kurt says once he feels he can talk without choking. Burt looked at him for a few seconds more, before turning back to his dinner. The dinner Kurt made.
"Will Carole make dinner when you're married?" Kurt mutters, not sure if he wants an answer or not.
"So your attitude is because of the proposal. Kurt, we went over this – I thought you were, you know, happy about this? Happy for me." Burt sounds disappointed and Kurt just wants to start crying, which is ridiculous because when did he get so sensitive?
"I am, I just…It's just…" An image of a shattered teapot and Carole's voice filtering through his closed door. "I…I am happy for you. I…" His throat closes on him and for some reason he remembers the last hug he had with Blaine.
He stands abruptly, grabbing his plate and takes it to the sink. He hears his dad get up and he's still trying to find words, get his throat to open and let him speak.
"You'll need more room for both sets of clothes." Kurt says. He can almost feel his father's eyes on his back, confused but patient. And isn't that a great analogy of their whole relationship? Kurt turns around. "Mom's dresser." He can't get out much after that and Burt looks away, as if guilty.
"Kurt, I'm not going to -"
"I want it." Kurt cuts in, wincing as it comes out way louder then he intended it to. His dad looks at him with this unreadable expression and Kurt is starting to panic because he doesn't know what that expression means and he's supposed to know what his dad's expressions mean. Their whole relationship is based on expressions and tone and sacrifice and what does it mean that Kurt can't read his father? Where will they be if Kurt can't understand the other man?
"Okay. When we move, you can have it." Burt says and Kurt bolts. He's crying by the time he gets his phone and he wants to talk to Blaine, because Blaine makes things better, but his fingers must have slipped because the next thing he knows it's not Blaine answering but Brittany.
"Hello, Leprechauns don't really protect gold at the end of the rainbow." Brittany's voice bubbles out and Kurt wipes at his face, trying to stop crying for fuck's sake!
"Hey, Britt, it's me. What are you doing?" Kurt says, trying to sound normal, as he sits on his couch.
"Hi, Kurt! I'm getting ready to go on a date with Artie. I'm trying to figure out if I should wear a skirt or jeans, what do you think?" Kurt could kiss Brittany for giving him something easy to think about.
"Where are you going for this date?"
"The movies – we're going to see Rango – and then the park to see if the ducks are still there, then he's dropping me off at my house because Santana is coming over." Brittany says all in one breath and he thinks he can hear Michael Jackson's 'Bad' playing in the background.
"If you're wearing a T-Shirt I'd go with a pair of jeans, since it sounds rather casual." Kurt replies. Brittany hums in response.
"I think Artie likes how my ass looks in jeans, but Santana likes it when I wear skirts so she can slide her hand up them." Brittany says and Kurt internally cringes at the mental image.
"TMI, Britt, TMI. I think you should go with the jeans, though, since you're dating Artie and not Santana." Kurt says. Brittany is quiet for bit, just humming along with 'Bad'.
"Tomorrow, you and me should get our nails done. We can skip last period and everything." Brittany says and Kurt smiles because that sounds amazing.
"Sure, honey, sounds like a plan."
Sectionals was amazing and horrible and so many things at once that Kurt can't think about them all. It's kind of like his feelings about Dalton, now that he thinks about it. Amazing and horrible and oppressive and freeing and contradictions and confusion and rage – so much rage, just bubbling under the surface, at the Warblers, at Blaine, at Karofsky, at himself, at the tuition costs, at the lavish and unnecessary common rooms, at the four hour commute that he has every weekday now, at that tacky lamp over there, just…everything. He feels like he wants to just find somewhere and sing but is terrified of doing it. What if that's against the rules? God knows expressing one's self in other ways is, so who knows?
He takes a deep breath, turning his attention forcefully back to his Chemistry homework. If there's one good thing about Dalton, it's that the classes are worth it. He actually has to pay attention in class and can't just goof off – not that he has anyone to goof off with here, but that's not really the point. He doesn't have any classes with Blaine and even if he did, something told him that the other boy would go out of his way to make sure that goofing off didn't occur.
'God forbid he do something like show Dalton who he really is…'Kurt thinks moodily to himself. He sighs again, because this chapter is so obviously not going to get read right now. He doesn't want to think about Blaine. Just…
"Fuck this." He mutters, getting his phone out. He calls Mercedes, who doesn't answer. He feels irrationally hurt by that, even though she might be doing something else or busy or…something. He almost calls Rachel out of spite, but then decides that what he needs is somebody that makes him feel better not someone who only sometimes makes him feel better.
He calls Brittany.
"Hello?" Brittany answers, bubbly and for once with no adorable add on.
"Hey, boo, it's me. Saw you at Sectionals, you were amazing!" Kurt gushes – and it's truly gushing, he might have even bounced a little for no reason – and Brittany lets out a squeal.
"Kurt! It's been so long! I saw you too, you looked so cute! I never noticed how tall you had gotten! You looked really weird in that outfit though, not sexy at all. The blazer made you look like a square, which was weird, because squares are so not sexy and you can totally be sexy." Brittany's commentary on his uniform makes him laugh so hard he has to pull the phone away so he doesn't deafen her.
"Thanks, boo, I needed that. How's your day been?" He asks, still smiling.
Brittany always makes him feel better without even trying.
Kurt just wanted the floor to swallow him up. That was…so, so embarrassing. Granted, Kurt is happy he can go to his dad about…stuff…but that doesn't make The Talk any less mortifying!
And now he was sitting here with his…pamphlets. They were just laying there, all innocent like, and every time Kurt went to touch them he swears he feels his face heat up. HE CAN'T EVEN TOUCH THE THINGS!
He's already played Robot Unicorn Attack twenty times, sang through all of Pink Floyd's The Wall (Yeah, just because he was gay didn't mean he didn't love rock, Mr. Schue!), and went through his closet to see which articles he needed to get rid of. (Seriously, why was that Christina Aguilera shirt still in there? He could have sworn he got rid of that before high school…) He was running out of things to preoccupy his time with.
Mercedes was at Quinn's, probably talking about Finn (Well, Mercedes would be telling her she didn't need a man to be happy and Quinn would vehemently deny that was how their relationship was), Tina and Mike were doing Asian-Date-Night (Dear God, he's referring to it with "Asian" in his head now…), Rachel and her dads were in Columbus for a Shakespeare play (lucky. Kurt totally could have gone if not for the fact that he has to get up at like 4 to get ready for school.), and…
He could call Blaine. Or he could call Brittany.
His eyes caught the dreaded pamphlets out of the corner of his eye and he immediately clicked on Brittany's name. He needed a conversation that was full of rainbows and kittens and light, not seriousness. (Even though, eventually, he's going to have to confront this. And the reason why suddenly he's not okay with sex. But that can wait. Blaine can wait.)
"Hi, Kurt!" Brittany answered happily.
"Hey, Britt, how are you?" He leaned back in his chair, re-opening his laptop. The smiling faces of New Directions, plus Mr. Schue, staring at him from his desktop made warm fuzzies bubble up.
"I'm fine! The stork on my roof is really happy too, I gave it milk the other day, and it squawked at me."
"…stork?" Kurt asked in confusion. Brittany hummed positively.
"I totally thought it was here to give me a baby, but apparently that's not why it's here."
And suddenly the reason why Coach Sylvester thought New Directions was going for "sex appeal" made much more sense.
"…Britt, you remember Quinn and babygate from last year, don't you?" Kurt asked, caught between wondering if Brittany was just fucking with him or if she really still thought storks brought babies.
"Oh, yeah, but mom and dad told me that storks brought babies, so I figured there must be multiple ways to get babies, you know? Sex and storks. And since Santana makes sure I remember to take the pill, I can't get babies from sex so I figured the stork was here to give me one anyway." Brittany responded cheerfully and Kurt thought he heard the beginnings of Ray William Johnson's 'Club Villain' in the background.
"Oh…Britt, are you on Youtube?"
"Yeah, I'm listening to one of those cartoons from that guy that does equals three! They're really funny."
"Oh, thought so. So…the stork is fine though? No babies?"
"No babies. I think Artie's still mad at me about it though, because he hasn't invited me over to his house tonight, and usually he does."
They talk for an hour and by the time they hang up, Kurt is ready to tackle his pamphlets, because he does not want to be the gay equivalent of Brittany who thinks babies come from both sex and storks.
Wes bangs his gavel and dismisses them and Kurt just melts back into the couch he's on. He loves certain things about Dalton, and the Warblers, but this orderly Glee club is still weirding him out. Blaine shoots him a sympathetic smile before his eyes light up and he leans against Kurt a little, which feels warm and amazing and this is totally the best part about Dalton: He has a boyfriend. A boyfriend who can hold his hands in hallways, lean on him, kiss him between classes, all that jazz. It's epic.
His cell phone buzzes from his bag and he only hears it because the room is so quiet. He's quick to grab it.
"Hi." Brittany's voice sounds from the earpiece. She sounds a little like that time last year when she swallowed all her allergy pills and didn't remember how to leave the Glee room.
"Hey, boo…you okay?" He asks awkwardly, not sure how to deal with Brittany when she's not bubbly.
"You're, like, my favorite ex-boyfriend, you know that? Like, even though you're capital G, I still really like you lots." Brittany says. Kurt frowns.
"I don't know what to wear for school tomorrow. I usually ask Santana…but she's being weird." Brittany says monotone.
"Weird how?" Kurt honestly can't imagine a world where Santana is "weird" to Brittany, it's just unnatural.
"She told me she was in love with me, but she's still dating Sam and now she won't hang out with me. She went home without me yesterday and when I went over to her house, she had her mom tell me she wasn't in, but I know she was because her car was there."
Kurt can feel his stomach drop. He feels like sweeping Brittany into his arms and trying to comfort her and finding Santana so he can do the same. (Yeah, like Santana would let him. She'd cut him, he knew that.)
"I imagine she's doing these things because you don't love her back?" Kurt prods when Brittany doesn't say anything more.
"I told her I love her but I also love Artie."
"Oh." Kurt doesn't even really know how to respond to that, it's not something he has experience in. After a while, Brittany continues.
"Can't I have both? Why do I have to choose?"
Kurt closes his eyes and he feels Blaine nuzzle his neck, which makes him smile despite the headache he can feel coming on.
"Have you asked Artie and Santana if you have to?" Kurt asked, not sure where his head is going, but it sounds good.
"Santana wanted me to. I haven't talked to Artie about it."
"I see." Except that he doesn't – he hasn't seen any of them in awhile, so he has no real way of "seeing" anything about this situation. He doesn't know what to say or if he's supposed to be giving her advice or what.
"I don't know, Boo." He finally says, defeated.
"Neither do I. But, you don't know either…so it's okay for me not to know, right?" Brittany sounds unsure.
"Of course, Boo, it's a very confusing and complicated situation, it's perfectly alright for you not to know what to do. Or say or how to say it or feel." Kurt says, never more sure of anything in his life.
"Thanks. I'm going to call Artie now. Bye, Kurt, I love you!" She says happily and Kurt is a little confused as to why she sounds so happy, but is glad for it nonetheless.
"I love you too, Britt." He says and hangs up. Blaine moves away to look at him properly and arches his eyebrows.
"Brittany. I've told you about that time I dated her for all of three days, right?"