author's note; hello, everybody. i'd like to apologize for the length of this chapter, because it's kind of short. buuuuuut i promise, next chapter will be longer. and better. i just wanted to get this out, and i felt it would be too long if i wrote everything i wanted to. so i cut it off, and the rest will be a seperate chapter. kurt and blaine make a little progress in this chapter, but i promise you, it won't be THAT easy. ;D we're only on chapter five, after all.

it's official; i have been recced on livejournal. can i just take a moment to FREAK THE HELL OUT! i don't even think this story is that good! but i am oh so excited. if anyone wants to send me the link, i'll be eternally grateful. i really just want to fangirl over a fan of my story. this is just so exciting. okay, i'm done now.

on another note, i was wondering. what do you guys think about nick/jeff fics? you know, three and six? warblers? yeah, them. i'm working on a story involving them and i almost have the first chapter done. and you should totally let me know if you'd be interested in reading it. yes, i know, i know, i promised a marching band au, WHICH i plan to start this week. promise. hopefully. (fingers crossed.)

disclaimer; the songs mentioned in this chapter belong to panic! at the disco, fun., gym class heroes, the hush sound, and the amazing musical RENT, respectively. i don't own anything, really. not even the plot, because, hello, totally ripped off of xmen. yeah.

c'mon, c'mon,
with everything falling down around me
i'd like to believe in all the possibilities.

Quinn hugs her books closer to her chest, and the binding starts to unravel under the pressure. Mike taps her on the shoulder helpfully and she loosens her hold, smiling gratefully. Blaine's not really paying attention, because they're talking about their duet and Blaine doesn't really care about theirs. He doesn't really care about his, honestly. Kurt can pick whatever song he wants, can pick whichever part he wants to sing, as long as Blaine remains alive and functioning. Blaine knows Kurt can do some nasty things to his intestines with nothing more but a flick of the wrist. He's not about to chance that.

"So it's the sea's wine red, this is the death of beauty, and then you dip me," Quinn's saying, and she bends back a little like it means something. Mike smiles and nods.

"And I don't have to sing that much, right?" he asks, rubbing the back of his neck.

"You have an awesome voice," Quinn says dismissively, "I don't know what you're worried about. But yeah, it's only a few lines."

Mike beams, and he's about to respond when he's interrupted by a shrill call of, "Blaine Anderson!" Blaine groans and drops his head. Quinn squeezes his arm gently—gently, meaning Blaine will have a nice bruise in a few days' time—and smiles a little wryly.

"Have fun, Blaine," she says, and Mike gives him a sympathetic shrug before Quinn pulls him away.

"Blaine Anderson!"

Blaine turns around to see Kurt shoving past people and barking at anyone who gets in his way. He's holding a stack of papers that might be sheet music, might be lyrics. Blaine's too scared to care, really, because Kurt's got this look on his face that says he's going to get what he wants. When Kurt finally reaches him, he shoves the papers in Blaine's hand and snaps, "I've narrowed our duet options down to songs that I feel fit both of voice superbly. You can make the final choice," he pauses, and then sniffs, "With my approval, of course."

"Okay," Blaine says easily, shuffling through the papers. He sees a few that he recognizes, but most of them are foreign to him. "I'll look them up tonight when I get home, and I'll Facebook message you when I pick one."

"See that you do," Kurt says, turning his noise up. He abruptly stops, turns around, and walks the other way, leaving Blaine to stare after the enigma that is Kurt Hummel.

"Me and Wheels are doing Clothes Off, Gym Class Heroes. He's rapping, I'm singing," Santana says, dropping her tray unceremoniously on the table. A drop of gravy flies off her mashed potatoes and hits Blaine's cheek. Brittany puts her tray down a lot nicer and shoves a forkful of macaroni into her mouth. Blaine wrinkles his nose, and wipes at his cheek.

"I have to try to teach Finn to dance," Brittany says softly. Her voice drops into a stage whisper as she adds, "Don't tell him, but he's really bad."

Finn frowns. "I'm right here, Brittany."

"I had originally planned for Sam and I to sing the Broadway classic, Light My Candle," Rachel sniffs, "But Sam is being difficult."

Sam shrugs. "I'm sorry, but I don't feel comfortable doing a love song with someone who's not my girlfriend. In front of my girlfriend," Mercedes smiles just a little brighter and leans against Sam's shoulder.

Rachel mumbles something that sounds suspiciously like, "You and your damn morals," before settling back in her seat. Finn pats her arm awkwardly, looking anywhere else.

"What about you guys?" Finn asks, eyes shooting between Kurt and Blaine. Blaine shrugs.

"We haven't really decided yet," he says, and then he catches Kurt's eye to make sure he's said the right thing. Kurt nods shortly and takes a sip of water.

"We've narrowed it down," Kurt adds carefully, and Mercedes gives him a small, secretive smile.

"We'll have it decided by tomorrow, probably," Blaine says. He takes a bite of his sandwich.

Sam grins at him and makes a face at Kurt once his back is turned. Blaine snorts into his ham and cheese, tries to cover it up with a cough once Kurt glances at him distastefully. Mercedes shoots both of the disapproving looks, elbowing her boyfriend in the ribs. She doesn't say anything, and Kurt turns back to Brittany. Sam rubs the sore spot with a wounded look on his face before he says, "Don't forget, first practice is after school today, Blaine."

"Yeah," Blaine says, feeling suddenly nauseous, "I know."

Kurt sits up a little straighter. Finn reaches over to pat Blaine on the back. "This is gonna be awesome," he says cheerfully.

Blaine nods weakly. "Totally."

"Hey, Blaine!"

Blaine drops his paper bag, filled with a half eaten sandwich and an untouched bag of chips, into the trash can on his way out of the cafeteria. He hikes his backpack a little higher on his shoulder and tries to ignore the voice calling for him.

"Blaine Anderson, wait!"

Blaine stops abruptly, and a thinner body crashes into his back, nearly knocking them both to the ground. Blaine turns around to see Kurt straightening out his vest, looking disgruntled. He says nothing, only waits for Kurt to speak.

"Give me a little warning before you try to kill me, would you?" Kurt snips. His face falls. "I'm sorry, that's not what I came over here for."

Blaine waits.

"I just," Kurt struggles to find the right words. "You'll be fine today. During practice, I mean."

Blaine lets this sink in. He registers Kurt's earnest expression, the way he's fidgeting with his bag. Finally, he asks, blankly, "Why do you care?"

Kurt frowns. "What do you mean?"

"You don't like me, remember?" Blaine prompts, "Why do you care?"

Kurt's face contorts into an annoyed expression. "Just because I don't particularly like you doesn't mean I want to see you get pummeled into bits by a Neanderthal jock. Please, give me a little credit here." He turns away like he's about to storm out, which, Blaine has gathered, Kurt is very good at doing.

"Wait, okay?" Blaine hurries to say, and he grabs at Kurt's wrist. Kurt freezes. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to like, offend you. I know you're not that horrible." Kurt cracks a tiny smile. Blaine maybe does an internal victory dance.

"Yeah, well," Kurt sighs. Blaine grins.

"You're extremely confusing, Kurt Hummel," he says, and Kurt looks mildly surprised. He recovers quickly, and he's back to the epitome of grace in a matter of seconds.

"That's what I was aiming for," he says airily. He looks down for just a second and adds, "You can let go now, Blaine."

Blaine glances down, only to realize that he's still holding onto Kurt's wrist, and that he's been holding Kurt's wrist for an unnecessarily long time. He jerks his hand away like he's been burned. He starts to stutter out an embarrassing apology, only to stop short once he catches sight of Kurt's eyes. They're as beautiful as ever—and oh, god, no—but there's this mischievousness to them that Blaine's never seen before. They're practically sparkling with contained laughter. Blaine knows he's staring. Blaine doesn't really care.

But in the next second, it's gone, and Kurt's disappearing through the crowd.

Blaine's standing next to Coach Beiste in the locker room, trying not to look as terrified as he feels. Puck's leaning menacingly against a locker a few feet away from him, and that makes him feel a little better. It's still no enough, though—one look at these jocks, and he knows he's going to be eaten alive.

"This is your new teammate, Blaine Anderson," Coach Beiste barks, "I expect you to treat him with respect, because he's gonna take our asses to finals this year."

"He's small," one of them says, looking only mildly interested. Blaine rolls his eyes.

"He's a damn good player, that's what he is," Coach Beiste says, and she gives Blaine a fond smile. She pats him on the back and retreats into her office. Puck stands up.

"No one messes with Anderson," he says, voice clear and loud. A few jocks snort. "I'm serious, I'll kick your ass."

"I bet he can't even play," another jock jeers, and the back of his jersey says Azimio. The jock grabs a football off of the floor and pegs it at Blaine's face. Blaine catches it without blinking, and hurls it back. It hits Azimio in the shoulder, just as Finn charges at him.

Finn slams him against the wall roughly by the collar. Blaine makes his way across the locker room and says, cheerfully, "You'd lose that bet, dude."

Kurt Hummel: Are you home from Football yet?

Blaine Anderson: uh yeah. how'd you kno?

Kurt Hummel: Finn just got home. How did it go? Are you still in one piece for our duet?

Blaine Anderson: i actually had a lot of fun. finn and the guys helped loads.

Kurt Hummel: That's good.

Blaine Anderson: yeah…

Kurt Hummel: So did you pick out the song yet?

Blaine Anderson: well i just got home and all, but I rlly love c'mon by panic and fun. one of my favorite songs.

Kurt Hummel: that's…actually what I was thinking.

Blaine Anderon: we're brain twins :)

Kurt Hummel: lol not really. Come over my house after school tomorrow, we'll work it out.

Kurt Hummel has logged off of Facebook Popchat.

Blaine Anderson: sure. no problem. i can totally work around you. :P

"So," Blaine says casually, managing to catch up with Kurt right before he turns the corner. Kurt raises an eyebrow.

"So," Kurt repeats dryly.

"I think we should be friends."

"And why's that?"

"Because you don't hate me," Blaine grins cheekily. Kurt remains unimpressed.

"That doesn't mean I like you."

Blaine snorts. "Half of New Directions hates each other, but they're still friends. Why should we be the exception?"

Kurt sighs heavily. "Fine, Blaine," he says, like he's doing Blaine some kind of favor, "We can be friends. You can leave now."

"Friends walk in the hallway together," Blaine grins. Kurt rolls his eyes but says nothing else. Blaine counts that as a win. He follows Kurt into the choir room with a bright smile, and drops down in the seat next to Kurt's. At the other boy's surprised expression, he says brightly, "Friends sit next to each other in glee club."

Kurt opens his mouth to say something, but Tina's already launching into some graphic Dresden Doll's song. Blaine leans back and crosses his arms, satisfied. Kurt does his best impression of a fish.

"Santana drives you, right?" Kurt asks airily, and Blaine hurries to keep up as they cross the parking lot. He nods.

"Yeah, but I told her I didn't need a ride today," he says. Kurt gives a short nod and leads him towards a huge black Navigator. Blaine's jaw drops, because seriously, what is it with McKinley kids and huge cars? Kurt smirks. "You like it?" Blaine nods wordlessly. "You should see the '77 Cadillac I've got at my dad's garage. We're fixing it up. Slowly, but it's getting there."

"You work on cars?" Blaine asks, momentarily stunned. Is there anything Kurt doesn't do?

Kurt gives him a sharp, sideways glance. "Yeah," he says shortly. He unlocks his car with a snap of his fingers and the door flies open. Blaine's door nearly knocks him to the ground. Kurt tries and fails to hide his smirk.

"Mature," Blaine mumbles, climbing into the passenger's seat. He watches at Kurt starts the car without touching anything, his keys safely in his bag. It's kind of hard not to be awestruck. "Do you ever do anything manually?"

Kurt looks at him like he has some kind of mental disease. "Why would I do that?"

"It's a wonder no one's found out about you yet," Blaine retorts. Kurt's hands tighten on the steering wheel until his knuckles are white. Blaine's startled, and he thinks randomly that it's a good thing Quinn's the one with super strength.

"Who says no one's found out?" Kurt says sharply, teeth clenched. Blaine's fingers twitch in his lap, and the desire to disappear is becoming more and more prominent with every passing second.

Kurt pulls out of the parking lot with so much force, he almost flatten a mini-coop filled with Cheerios. There's a loud honking behind them, and Kurt throws his arm out the window to flip them off. Blaine sinks down in his seat, frowning. Kurt's hands fall of off the steering wheel but it keeps moving, one of his hands floating inches about it to keep control. Blaine's hand instantly flies to handlebar, panicked. Kurt rolls his eyes and mutters, "Relax. I'm still steering."

"Who found out?" Blaine asks, carefully, and the car swerves a little.

"That's none of your business," Kurt snaps immediately.

"Did it end badly?" Blaine presses, because he's never exactly had a filter. He never knows when to stop.

"No, Blaine, we became best friends and skipped off into the sunset, okay?" Kurt's voice is rising, and his tone is clear. Blaine closes his mouth before he can say something stupid, again. He leans back, looks out the window, and tries not to picture all the nasty things Kurt can do to his insides.