The first time someone noticed that Kurt and Finn were getting weirdly close was when Burt came home during lunch one rainy Monday at the beginning of summer. He assumed that the boys would be out, with friends or significant others, enjoying the luxuries of malls and movie theaters and libraries to escape the rain. But as he entered the kitchen, he heard shouting from the living room.
"God, you're such a-"
"Insulting me won't help you, Porcelain."
"Don't bring up that nickname, Frankenteen."
"Oof! Dude, that hurt!"
"Oh, shut up. You play football. I think you can handle me, you pansy."
"Someone's vicious. Is it your time of the month?"
"Why are you such a tool, Finn? Ow!"
"Now who's a pansy?"
"You douche, I'm bleeding!"
"No. Ha! Gotcha!"
"Bite me, Finn. OW! Not literally!"
"What are you boys doing?" Burt walked into the room, brow furrowed.
On the floor in front of him, Kurt had Finn pinned to the ground, cheeks flushed with anger. Finn looked partly amused and partly in pain, holding a phone from Kurt's reach.
Kurt, in the act of elbowing Finn's face, looked up. "Getting my phone back. Someone thought it would be funny to text Blaine while I was in the bathroom."
Finn sighed. "Because it was. Besides, it's payback for you telling Rachel about my fear of clowns. She's been analyzing my childhood for the past week."
"It's not my problem that you're dating a psychopath," Kurt said snidely.
Burt cleared his throat, causing Kurt to look up again. Using the distraction to his advantage, Finn flipped Kurt over, sitting on top of him. Kurt coughed and struggled and kicked, but Finn had his height and weight on his side.
"Well…um…" Burt was at a loss. "Finn, stop texting Blaine. And don't kill each other. Um…" He paused, scratching his neck. "I'll see you kids at dinner."
He left the room, lingering in the kitchen as he grabbed the sack lunch he had forgotten that day. Through the door, he could hear his sons bickering.
"Finnegan Christopher Hudson, I swear to Grilled Cheesus that if you don't give me back my phone, I'll-"
"What? Spit on me? Good luck, buddy. Ooh! Blaine is a dirty texter. He's almost as bad as Puck."
"STOP SEXTING MY BOYFRIEND, YOU WHORE."
"Wow, Kurt, really. Watch your language. Save that for Blaine."
"If you don't give me my phone back, I'm telling Rachel about the time you threw up on the waitress at Applebee's!"
"You-! I told you that over warm milk. Those ladychats are sacred."
"Hand it over, King Kong."
"You're such a bitch."
"You love me."
Burt left the house, shaking his head in confusion. Sometimes he just didn't understand those boys.
Not a week after Burt found his sons wrestling on the floor of the living room, Carole stumbled upon the boys lounging on Finn's bed, both cradling mugs of warm milk. Kurt was stroking his fingers through Finn's hair absently as he ranted about Sam's refusal at Kurt's offer of a free haircut. Finn played with Kurt's feet, which were propped up in his lap, listening with amusement.
"And I know it's mostly because he's too proud to accept charity, but I think part of it is because he doesn't trust me, and- oh, hello, Carole." He stopped his rant to smile at his stepmother. "Are you heading off to bed?"
She quickly recovered from the initial shock and nodded. "Um, yes. Just came in to say goodnight."
"Night, Mom!" Finn said cheerily, rubbing Kurt's foot without thinking. Carole blinked, certain she was hallucinating.
"Goodnight, Carole. Dinner was delicious, by the way. Tomorrow's my turn," Kurt said, smiling at her affectionately.
Finn was already distracted. "Dude, even your feet are soft. Don't tell me you moisturize those too!"
Kurt huffed. "Of course I do! Unlike you, I take care of my body." He took a sip of his warm milk. "Have you been using that lotion I gave you?"
Carole shook her head, walking out of the room softly. As she crawled into bed minutes later, she looked over at her husband. "Do Finn and Kurt seem…weirdly intimate lately?"
Burt looked up from his book, eyes wide. "You too?"
Carole nodded. "Finn was practically giving Kurt a foot rub. While they gossiped."
"Huh," Burt said, scratching his head. "At least that's sweet. I walked in on them wrestling in the living room because Finn stole Kurt's phone." He paused, then said, "And Carole, you should know that Kurt doesn't like touching people. He barely hugs me, and I'm family. When I first saw him hold hands with Blaine, I nearly died of shock."
"Well, Finn's always been a hugger," Carole said, speaking slowly. "But after what happened last year…I didn't think either of them would ever be so…comfortable around each other."
Burt turned to his wife again. "This is weird."
"Maybe we're dreaming."
"It's a possibility."
"Maybe they've lost their minds."
"Maybe they're having an affair."
Burt stared at Carole, mouth gaping. She shrugged.
"I've been watching too many crime shows lately. There's always an affair involved."
"You don't think…?"
"Oh, God…" Burt said, screwing his eyes shut. "I did not need that idea in my head."
"Oh my gosssh!" Blaine slurred, hanging onto Rachel's shoulder. "This is even better…than your lassst party!"
Rachel, being sober this time, smiled at her wasted friend. "Alright, Blaine Warbler, why don't you come over here and hang out with Mercedes…?" She set her friend down on Mercedes' lap, speed walking away. She heard laughter from across the room, and someone started singing.
"Hey, Rach, can you handle the others until I get Kurt home and in bed. I'll come back to drive people, I swear, but Kurt…well…"
Rachel turned to find Finn seated against the wall, a half-asleep Kurt in his lap. Kurt was humming to himself, nuzzling up against Finn's shoulder with a sleepy grin. Rachel felt her eyes bugging.
"Um, sure, Finn. Sam's not too far-gone, he can help me with the others until you get back. Is…Kurt alright?"
Finn looked down at his brother, grinning. "Yeah. He just gets like this when he's drunk or tired. He's like a giant kitty-cat, really."
Rachel felt her breath hitch as Kurt wrapped his arms around Finn's neck, burying his face into the crook there. Instead of pushing away, Finn just laughed, kissing Kurt's hair.
"Mmmgh I don' feel goo-duh…" Kurt mumbled, curling up like, as Finn had said, a giant cat. Finn made a sympathetic sound.
"Alright, c'mon, buddy. Up we go." Finn stood up, hoisting Kurt into his arms. Kurt groaned, pressing himself closer.
"Too high. You…you're too ta-all…" The smaller boy whined, eyes fluttering sleepily. "But you're soft. And warm."
Rachel watched in stunned silence as Finn carried his plastered brother from her den, up the stairs and out the door like the boy was made of feathers.
From across the room, she heard Blaine giggling. "Brothers! That's so…cool!"
Blaine walked hand-in-hand with Kurt through the mall, smiling happily. Sure, people gave them weird looks, but the gorilla that walked closely behind them kept the public in line. Finn, unaware of his use in this shopping trip, slouched with boredom.
"Kurt, how many more stores do we have to go to? I'm hungry."
Kurt turned, smiling at his brother with a mock sweetness. "Finn, dear, you're forgetting that we came here to do some early back-to-school shopping. You need some new shirts."
Finn paled. "No I don't! I like my shirts! You can't make me!"
Kurt let go of Blaine's hand in favor of his brother's, squeezing tightly and authoritatively. "No choice. C'mon, boys."
Finn let himself get dragged into Kurt's favorite store, pouting at Blaine as Kurt piled clothes into his arms. Blaine just giggled at the sight, watching with sympathy as Kurt shoved Finn into the dressing room.
"Is it wise to let him try those on by himself? He might get stuck," Blaine teased, pressing a quick kiss to his boyfriend's temple. Kurt sighed.
"Please don't say that. It'll actually happen."
Blaine grinned, wrapping one arm around Kurt's waist. "Don't worry. I have full faith in your brother's ability to dress himself."
Finn's voice came from the dressing room. "Um…guys…?" Kurt looked at Blaine. "I think I'm stuck."
"Ow!" Blaine clutched at his arm, pouting at Kurt. "What was that for?"
Kurt huffed. "You jinxed it! Hold on, Finn. Open up the door, we're coming in."
The door opened slowly, and Kurt rushed in, leaving Blaine to trail after him awkwardly. Finn stood in the corner, tangled in some fancy sweater Kurt had forced on him.
"C'here, sweetie." Kurt pressed up against Finn casually, grabbing at the sweater. "Hold still, or I'll end up strangling you."
"You would kill me with clothing," Finn muttered, voice muffled by the cashmere. "Kurt, can we get milkshakes after this?"
"No." Kurt said harshly, working on pulling the sweater from Finn's arms. "But we can get frozen yogurt. It's healthier."
Finn beamed. "Cool!" With one last tug, Kurt freed Finn's head from the deadly sweater. Finn sighed with relief, then grabbed Kurt in a tight hug, spinning him around. "Froyo time!" Barely remembering to pull on his shirt, Finn ran from the changing room, dragging Kurt behind him.
Blaine followed, wondering if someone drugged his coffee that morning. No way any of this was real.
The pool party was going wild, and the only person not yet in the Lopez's pool was Kurt, who sat on a lounge chair nearby.
"Kurt, get in the water!" Brittany cried, shrieking with laughter as Mike drenched her with the water gun.
"Yeah, Kurt!" Rachel called. "Blaine's getting lonely!"
In fact, Blaine was in the middle of a game of Chicken, perched on top of Sam's shoulders and laughing hysterically. Against him was Santana, who was balanced on top of Puck. Kurt could have sworn he saw claws on the ends of her hands.
"No, it's okay!" Kurt called back, settling himself back against the chair. "I'm fine."
"Come on, party pooper!" Finn shouted, hoisting himself onto the side of the pool. "No one here cares if your hair gets messed up!"
Kurt shook his head. "No, I'm fine right here."
Finn laughed evilly, and approached Kurt's chair, dripping water everywhere. "It'd be really stupid to try to resist, Kurt."
Before he could protest, Kurt was hoisting over Finn's shoulder and carried over to the pool. Unceremoniously, Finn dropped his brother into the water, bowing as the rest of the club clapped and cheered.
Kurt's head broke the surface, sputtering and cursing and shouting at Finn. "Oh, it's on, brother dearest!"
He jumped up and grabbed Finn's arm, pulling him back into the water, wrestling his way onto Finn's back. Finn laughed and coughed and fought back, ultimately losing as Kurt latched on like a baby koala. Finn dove under the water, trying to shake Kurt off, but he clung to his brother like a lifeline, spewing out petty insults and mock-angry words whenever their heads were above water.
Finn finally managed to flip Kurt over his shoulder, wrestling him into his signature "straight-jacket hold" – chest-to-back, victim's arms pulled across their torsos, hands bound by Finn's so they couldn't move. Kurt struggled, attempting to bite at Finn's arms. Noticing an eerie silence, Finn looked up, met by the shocked stares of New Directions.
"What?" He asked, tightening his grip on Kurt. Kurt sighed and gave up, glaring over his shoulder at Finn. "What are you all staring at?"
Santana spoke first. "Incest. Wanky."
From the back, Blaine muttered, "They worry me sometimes," joined by Rachel's cry of, "You noticed that, too?"
Kurt and Finn exchanged a look. What was the big deal? Had everyone gone crazy?
Finally, Brittany asked, "Is it incest if they're stepbrothers?"
"I think people think we're sleeping with each other," Finn said that night, lounging on Kurt's bed as his brother swiped cream across his face.
"Well, technically…" Kurt trailed off, amusement in his voice. Finn let out a small chuckle, face still serious.
"But really, Kurt. I think Blaine and Rachel think we might be cheating. You know how Rachel gets…"
Kurt turned around, locking eyes with his brother. "They're both smarter than that, Finn. You're straight, and we love our respective partners."
"Mom and Burt have been looking at us funny," Finn said, voice almost a whisper. "I just don't get it. Has our relationship really changed that much?"
Kurt crawled onto the bed, rolling his eyes at Finn. "Of course it has. This time last year we couldn't even be in the same room as each other. Now we're sharing a bed three nights out of the week."
"I guess I just didn't expect people to notice – or care," Finn said sadly, nestling himself under the covers. "Mike and Brittany are always on top of each other, and Santana and Tina don't seem to mind."
Kurt settled against his pillow, eyes fluttering sleepily. "Brittany and Mike have been friends since Elementary School, Finn. You and I have been acquaintances since the beginning of sophomore year, brothers since the middle of junior year, and friends since…I don't even know when."
Finn flipped off the lamp, then snuggled closer to his brother. "Well, whatever. If people wanna think we're weird, let them. I just wanna cuddle with my brother."
Kurt laughed, running a hand through Finn's hair. "You've come so far, Finnegan. I'm proud of you."
"You do realize my first name isn't Finnegan. It's just Finn."
"Well, it should be Finnegan. Makes you more exotic."
"Is that…is that something girls like?"
"How old do you have to be to legally change your name?"
"Go to sleep, Finn."
"Finnegan. What is that, French?"
"It's Irish. Now go to sleep."
"Do you think Rachel would like that?"
Kurt clapped his hand over Finn's mouth and pecked the boy's cheek. "You silly, silly brother of mine. Sleep. Now."
Finn grinned goofily at him, snuggling down into his brother's embrace. Summer was so awesome. So was having a brother. And cuddles. Those were pretty cool, too.