Wes and Kurt weren't friends.
They weren't unfriendly, by any means, but they'd never socialized together, never had a real heart-to-heart. For a period of time, they had sung together. And after Kurt had transferred back to McKinley, they'd seen each other sporadically when Blaine brought him along to Warber parties.
They weren't friends, though. So when Kurt saw Wes' name on the caller ID at 10:45 on a Tuesday night in October, he paused before answering.
"Kurt, hello. It's Wesley Lee, from Dalton."
"Hi, Wes. What's up?"
"I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time."
"No, no, just working on pre-calc homework. What's up?"
"Normally I wouldn't call at this late an hour–"
"Wes?" Kurt interrupted. "What's up?"
There was a silence, before Wes said tentatively, "Remember that mixer we had, where the Warblers invited the Crawford Crooners over for a party?"
"And I was busy making sure people weren't sneaking alcohol or other illicit substances into the party, so I was sort of... neglecting my girlfriend, I guess, and then Christopher cornered her and started hitting on her?"
"Well," Wes said, "you came and told me. No one else did. That was really decent of you."
Kurt stared at his wall. "Uh, Wes, that was like a month and a half ago. Why are you thanking me for it now?"
There was a slow exhale that traveled through the line, and then, "There's a new guy at Dalton. He just joined the Warblers. And he wants Blaine."
Kurt had heard about the new guy, of course. Dalton wasn't that big a school, and students who not only transferred in for their senior year but were also then accepted into the Warblers... well, they were a subject of fascination.
He'd ended the call with Wes in a nonchalant fashion, and then opened his Facebook to do some recon. There was a private Warblers page that somehow he'd stayed a member of – probably due to Blaine's influence – and he saw the most recent addition to the group right away.
His name was Maxwell Gregory. And he was gorgeous.
He asked Blaine about him on their next date.
"Maxwell?" Blaine chewed on a breadstick thoughtfully. "He's a solid baritone. Needs to back off the vibrato a little, but his blending is getting better. Choreography is a breeze for him, though, his footwork is excellent–"
"No, I mean, what's he like as a person."
"Oh. He's nice."
Blaine smiled inscrutably. "I've only known him for a few weeks. We do Warblers together and he's in my physics class. I don't know the guy well enough to tell you more."
Kurt smiled back, and felt his heart sink. Blaine was keeping something from him. He was sure of it.
It wasn't that Kurt didn't believe that Blaine loved him. He trusted him, he really did.
But there just weren't that many gay teen boys out of the closet in Western Ohio. When the pickings were slim, it was easy to settle. And while Kurt was utterly convinced of his own fabulousness, he knew perfectly well that there were other, hotter fish in the sea.
It was the only thing he really dreaded about leaving high school and moving to New York City. Attractive, experienced, cultured men were sure to descend upon Blaine instantly, and all Kurt could hope for was that Blaine would be too attached to him by then to leave him.
It was depressing, yeah. But a lot of things about his life were depressing.
"Hey, Wes, it's Kurt Hummel. Uh, formerly from Dalton."
"Hi, Kurt," Wes said kindly. "Had some time to process?"
They talked the situation through, and it sounded more and more bleak. Maxwell had come to Dalton from Los Angeles. His hair was naturally that blond, and his eyes were naturally that green. He was six feet tall and was one of the top fencers on the Dalton team.
"But how do you know he wants Blaine?" Kurt pressed.
"He started off kind of cool about the whole dating thing," Wes said. "No one knew if he was gay or straight for a few weeks. He friended us all on Facebook, but his profile didn't list a preference or anything, so we weren't sure. But about a week ago, he started asking people about Blaine's relationship with you."
"Oh." Kurt struggled to stay calm.
"People told him you and Blaine were a solid couple, and he kept asking how solid any high school couple really is."
"Well that's just rude."
"He and Blaine are partners in physics class, and Trent told me that he keeps overhearing Maxwell dropping hints about how far away McKinley is, and how Blaine would be better off dating someone at Dalton."
"And how does Blaine respond?"
"He just laughs and changes the subject."
Kurt didn't find that at all reassuring. "So what changed?"
"What do you mean?"
"You said this has been going on for a week. And you're just calling to tell me about it now. So something must have upped the ante. What changed?"
Wes sighed. "Maxwell is really good friends with Phillip Livingston. Old money, you know. And Phillip let it slip to George Carlisle, who let it slip to–"
"He's going to try to break you two up."
Kurt ran a hand shakily across his neck. "How?"
"I don't know. But it's coming soon, and I felt like you should know. Especially since you'll probably meet him at our Halloween concert."
At midnight on the Saturday before Halloween, the Warblers held their annual Haunted Harmonies concert. It was the one time of year when the wretched blazers were set aside, and everyone – Warblers and audience members alike – was expected to come in costume.
Knowing he would be meeting the dastardly Maxwell that night, Kurt decided to take the opportunity to dress to the nines. He chose his tightest pair of white skinny jeans – the ones Blaine had told him repeatedly were too distracting to ever be warn in public. Then he pulled on a long-sleeved white V-neck that was a size too small, so that it left about two inches of creamy skin exposed above his hips. His royal blue knee-high lace-up boots were next, and then the pièce de résistance: his white straightjacket, to the back of which he'd affixed a pair of large, hand-crafted white feathery wings.
He checked out his reflection in every mirror, and smiled with satisfaction.
Maxwell Gregory had no idea who he was dealing with.
Kurt arrived at the concert early, taking a seat near the back. A couple of Crawford Country Day girls asked if they could join him, and they spent the next half-hour discussing the latest issue of Vogue while the rest of the audience trickled in.
Then, promptly at the stroke of midnight, the Warblers took the stage.
The girls applauded wildly, and Kurt joined in when he saw Blaine walk in the door. He was dressed as Westley from The Princess Bride – black mask and all – and Kurt felt his heart start to flutter. Then, it stopped completely.
Maxwell's costume was nothing but a tiny blue Speedo.
Kurt's jaw dropped, and stayed open through the entire duration of the concert. The new student had an absolutely flawless body. He was tall and muscular, and deeply tanned all over. His sun-kissed hair framed his face perfectly and drew attention to his large green eyes and long eyelashes. His smile, though, was the most stunning feature about him. Rows of perfect, straight, blindingly white teeth, and adorable dimples.
Kurt sat back in his seat, looking down at his outfit – a straightjacket, really? – and nearing despair.
After the concert, the singers dispersed into the crowd, mingling with their families and friends. It took several minutes for Blaine to reach Kurt, and when he did, he froze, his eyes widening almost comically. "You– you–" he stammered.
Kurt felt his self-confidence start to creep back. "You like?" he asked, giving a little spin. He'd left the bottom of the straightjacket undone, so the peek at his hips was still there, and Blaine's eyes focused on the spot at once.
"You dressed as Warren Worthington," Blaine gasped.
"He's my favorite of the X-Men."
Kurt cocked his head coyly. "Is he really? Huh, I guess you did mention that once or–"
He didn't get to finish the thought, as Blaine grabbed him by the shoulders and kissed him senseless. At one point, as Blaine's lips were traveling across his neck in a wholly-inappropriate-for-the-public-setting kind of way, Kurt looked up to see Maxwell staring at them from across the room, his eyes narrowed.
Kurt just pulled Blaine back up for another scorching kiss.
The next Wednesday, Kurt sat in the Lima Bean at their usual table, feeling very pleased with himself. If Blaine's reaction to his costume – especially with Maxwell gyrating practically naked next to him – were any indication, he didn't have to worry about Surfer Boy stealing his man.
His cell phone pinged, and he checked his new text message.
Our physics study session ran late, and we're going to have to continue it after the coffee break. Is it okay if Maxwell comes with me to the Lima Bean? He keeps insisting that he needs coffee too, and I don't want to be rude. xoxo.
Kurt's lip rose in distaste, but he typed back, Of course. See you soon. xoxo.
He went back to the counter and ordered their usual coffees and a plate with just two biscotti on it. It was a pointed comment without being blatantly unfriendly, he thought. He prepared the coffees and then returned to their table, settling in and sipping at his mocha.
Blaine came in the door moments later, looking apologetic as Maxwell trailed behind him.
"Hey," Kurt said, accepting Blaine's kiss to the cheek. "This must be Martin."
"Maxwell," the blond said, stepping forward to offer his hand. "Maxwell Gregory."
"Charmed," Kurt said sweetly. "I'm afraid I'd already gotten our usual orders when Blaine texted me, and I didn't know what sort of coffee you prefer."
Blaine looked a little embarrassed, as though that violated his gentlemanly code. "What would you like, Maxwell? I'll get it for you."
"That's so nice of you, thanks. I'd like a venti nonfat soy hazelnut cinnamon white mocha, please."
Blaine blinked, then offered a dapper smile and left to join the long line.
Once he was out of earshot, Maxwell leaned forward at once. "I don't have a lot of time, so hear me out, Kurt."
Kurt felt his heart start to race. This was it. He wasn't giving Blaine up without a fight. "Okay."
"I know what I want, and I get what I want."
He felt his eyebrow rise disdainfully. "Uh huh."
"I can have my pick of any guy, believe me."
"How nice for you," Kurt said, taking a sip of his coffee.
"And I want you."
Kurt choked, struggling to swallow the coffee. "You what?"
"There aren't any guys worth having at Dalton. They're all preppy little gentlemen. I was so bored there, until I saw a photo of you on Blaine's Facebook profile page. Then I went through all his albums, and you're just... you're absolutely perfect, Kurt." Maxwell sounded a little breathless. "Your skin is like pure ivory, and your eyes are the most gorgeous shade of blue, and your hair, I'm sorry, I want to run my hands through it so badly–"
"You–" Kurt couldn't get a sentence out.
"And your body, god, your body. The things I would do to your body."
Kurt let out a little undignified squeak.
Maxwell leaned forward earnestly, as they saw Blaine reaching the front of the coffee line and placing his order with the barista. "I can take you to Paris, Venice, Hong Kong. We can go to the top fashion houses and get private tours."
Kurt's eyes glazed over a little at the thought.
"I want you so badly, you have no idea. You're all I can think about." Maxwell took his hand across the table, stroking his palm suggestively. "Tell me what you want. Anything. Anything you could possibly want, it's yours."
"I..." Kurt cleared his throat. "I want Blaine."
"Blaine?" Maxwell frowned. "He's short. And, like, hairy. And his eyebrows look like triangles. And–"
"And I'm madly in love with him."
Maxwell stared at him as Blaine returned to the table, pretentious coffee order in hand.
"Here you go," Blaine said cheerfully.
"Thanks," Maxwell said dully. "I think I'm actually going to take this to go. Meet you back at Dalton, Blaine?"
"Sure, sounds good."
Blaine watched him leave before turning back to Kurt, looking a little insecure. "So did he hit on you?"
"Did he what?"
"He's been obsessed with you for weeks. Won't stop asking about you, and trying to convince me that you'd be better off with him." Blaine leaned forward, confiding sheepishly, "He's kind of been a jackass about it."
"Why didn't you tell me?"
"I don't own you, Kurt. If you liked him better than me, I wasn't going to stand in your way. And besides..." Blaine shrugged, smiling at him fondly. "What's he really done that's so wrong? Fallen head over heels for Kurt Hummel? Who could blame him?"
Kurt shook his head, feeling as though his heart might burst. "I can't believe this."
"I figured I might as well get used to it," Blaine continued. "The moment we set foot in New York, the men are going to be all over you–"
Kurt silenced him with a long, slow kiss. When he pulled back, Blaine's eyes were still closed, and he was smiling blissfully.
"I think we might just make it," Kurt murmured. "You and me, I mean. Long-term."
Blaine leaned forward to kiss his fingertips. "As you wish."