Title: Leap of Faith
Summary: Kurt can jump from one universe to another but when he does, things can never be the same. After he meets Blaine, Kurt struggles to find a way to stay anchored to the boy he loves.
Warnings: Boy kissing, and other sexual themes.
08 November 2010
Kurt walked down the hall of McKinley High chatting with Tina about fashion when Dave Karofsky slammed him into the lockers.
"Are you OK?" asked Tina.
"Yeah, I'm fine," Kurt answered.
He might have avoided it if he'd been paying attention. He always did avoid the worst situations but sometimes the little things snuck up on him. Some days he was tempted to jump so far that this daily torment wasn't part of his life but he'd learned young that there was a price to be paid. Sometimes he lost things and going back was never an option.
Kurt wasn't like other people. When he was young, he didn't realize that making choices, seeing possible paths, and jumping to them wasn't normal. Games of chance were trivial for him because he always chose winning. It was so easy that he didn't understand why anyone played them at all until he was old enough to realize that not everyone could do it. In fact, as far as he knew, no one else could.
It was much later that he started researching it. He still didn't understand it even after reading about alternate universes and quantum physics. It was all so theoretical but he lived it. Kurt could see the universes around him and simply choose the one he wanted. The world was filled with a million small decisions and each of those spawned universes that were different from that point on. Small differences were close, larger ones were farther away. At least, that's how he perceived them.
It was always better to choose as close to the point of the split as possible. To do otherwise meant not remembering things the same way other people did. Or worse, losing people that he loved. His mother had been fine when he'd made the farthest leap of his life. He didn't even remember why he'd been so mad. He'd only been eight years old and not as in control as he was now. In a fit of rage, he started randomly traveling, shifting farther away from the fight with his mother until he'd come home to find his father crying alone in the kitchen. She was dead. Except that wasn't his mother and that man wasn't his father. Sure his name was Burt and he looked like his father but he didn't remember the same life that Kurt did. He'd lost his family and his entire life in one foolish uncontrolled dash. He'd learned a valuable lesson that day. It's not possible to find your way back. He could probably find some version of his mother but how would he even know if it was the universe that he'd come from? Later, he realized that he'd never had a home because he'd probably been leaping his whole life.
He loved the father he had now and didn't want to lose him. The distinction between Burts seemed unimportant. He just tried to stay as close as he could so that the differences didn't add up to an entirely unrecognizable relationship. Of course, when Burt had died of a heart attack, he had leapt to a line where he woke up instead. The man who woke up seemed to be the same so Kurt could only assume whatever quantum event that led to his recovery happened after the heart attack or at least not so far in the past.
If he really wanted to keep his life, his family, and his friends, he wouldn't leap at all but he couldn't seem to avoid it. Sometimes, he did it out of instinct to avoid being hurt. Sometimes his motives were less pure but leaping was such a part of him that he might as well resolve to not be gay with more success than avoiding it all together. It seemed harmless enough to choose Finn pulling his name from the hat during their ballads exercise. He got to spend more time with Finn even if the assignment hadn't really gone as planned. He couldn't see the future after all just possible nows.
Sometimes, he wondered how he did it. He wondered what happened to the other Kurts when he moved from one line to another. What part of him moved? Were there other versions of him that could do it too? Mostly, he tried to avoid thinking about it because it made his head hurt trying to resolve the tangled mess of questions with no answers.
Kurt arrived in Glee in a bad mood. It seemed there weren't many good mood days lately. Between Santana's homophobic jokes and Pucks threats of violence against the elderly, it just didn't get much better.
"...moving on. Since it seemed to get you guys jazzed about sectionals last year, I want to make this week our second annual boys versus girls tournament. So split up into two groups and uh figure out what songs you're going to sing."
Kurt walked to the girls' side not really expecting to get away with it.
"Kurt, gonna say it again. Boys' team."
He looked see if there was a close jump to avoid it but apparently Mr. Shue's ignorance ran deep and he'd have to travel too far to escape it. He walked reluctantly to the boys' side and sat down with a resigned and bored expression. If only Mr. Shue would stick to drawing assignments out of hats.
He walked down the hall again and saw Dave coming right toward him. Damn, now is the time to find a better line. Unfortunately, there weren't any close where Dave wasn't coming directly for him so he took the slam. His second of the day.
"What is your problem?"
"You talkin back to me? You want a piece of the fury?"
"That's what I named my fist."
"Well with that level of creativity you could easily become assistant manager at a rendering plant."
Uh oh. Maybe he shouldn't have said that he realized belatedly as 'the fury' was about to pummel his face. He jumped to the line where Dave was still just yelling instead.
"...if I find out it's bad, the fury's gonna find you." Slam. Three in one day. It was a new record but at least he didn't have a broken nose.
To top it off, he had to listen to a condescending lecture from Mr. Schuester regarding his attitude. As if his attitude were the problem here.
Apparently, the lesson Mr Shue learned from the encounter was that his assignments were boring. Typical. At the following day's Glee Club meeting, he rearranged the assignments so that the boys were to sing songs traditionally sung by girls.
"Don't worry gentlemen, I have this one under control," Kurt assured his teammates. "Give me an hour to prepare and meet me in room 204 to go over our strategy."
Kurt quickly put together an idea board for a Diana Ross medley.
"Now, obviously for this medley to work, I'm gonna have to sing lead. And of course when you're singing Diana Ross, Bob Mackie-esque feather boas are a must!" Kurt finished triumphantly. He was excited at this turn of events. With his countertenor voice, he rarely had been given the chance to sing a lead. This was better than working with the girls where Rachel was sure to steal the spotlight.
"Isn't this lesson about opposites?" Artie asked annoyingly. "I mean, you in a sequined gown and a feather boa is exactly what you'd expect."
"OK, who said anything about a gown?" Kurt protested.
"Dude, why don't you make yourself useful and go put some rat poison in them old folks' Jell-O" or visit the The Garglers," suggested Puck.
"The Warblers," Kurt corrected.
"Whatever. See what they're up to. You can wear all the feathers you want - you'll blend right in!"
"Fine," he conceded. Kurt took his board with him and left to go home. He would go to Dalton Academy the next day. He looked it up on Google maps and decided to just skip school. It wasn't like anyone would care or notice.
10 November 2010
He picked his outfit carefully for the outing. Who was he kidding? He picked all of his outfit carefully but he needed to look as preppy as possible. Walking around Dalton, he felt supremely out of place. Of course, they wore uniforms. He should have known. If anyone asked, he'd just say that he just transferred and didn't have a uniform yet. Better yet, he'd just pick a line where they didn't ask.
As boys swirled around him in a hurry to get somewhere, he stopped a tall blond boy and asked him, "Excuse me? What's going on?"
"Warblers. Senior commons, you'd better hurry," he answered before scurrying off.
Kurt had no idea where the senior commons was but he started to follow the crowd. Instinctively, he looked at other lines as he went. It was a habit that was difficult to suppress no matter his intentions. When he saw the handsome boy holding his hand, pulling him along with a sly smile on his face, Kurt didn't hesitate. He took it. He figured, any line line where he was here at Dalton had to be one close enough to be safe. He'd only decided to come last night.
His heart raced as he looked around. The boy's hand firm in his as they ran; Kurt didn't care where they were going or why they were holding hands.
The boy let go of him and said, "Here we are. The senior commons as promised. I told you it was a shortcut. I hope you enjoy the performance," he continued with a flirty smile.
He opened the doors and they walked into a room full of boys clearing a space.
"Oh, I stick out like a sore thumb," Kurt complained nervously.
"Next time, don't forget your jacket, new kid," the Dalton boy said touching Kurt's lapel.
He definitely flirting with me! Kurt thought. Then he touched Kurt again as he continued with, "You'll fit right in. Now, if you'll excuse me."
He left to join the boys that had started singing Katy Perry's Teenage Dream.
Not only did every boy in the room get into the performance but the lead singer seemed to be singing the entire song directly to Kurt. Kurt couldn't help but wonder if Santana had actually been right in her assessment. Was this a gay school?
Once the performance was over, most of the singers and other students started to dissipate. The young man who had dragged him through the halls came up to him with two other students.
"Kurt, what did you think of the performance?"
"It was amazing," he replied enthusiastically. You're amazing. Kurt thought he might be in love which was crazy since he didn't even know this boy's name.
"So Blaine tells me that you're new here," said the Asian boy as he extended his hand. "I'm Wes and this is Thad."
Blaine. Even his name is dreamy.
"Hi, pleased to meet you. Yes, um...I haven't had time to get a uniform that's why...uh..I'm not wearing one."
'That's OK, Kurt," replied Thad. "We've all been there on our first day. Let us take you to have some coffee. We have a coffee shop right here in Dalton."
Kurt dutifully followed them making eyes at Blaine the whole way. He was shocked that he was getting away with this but maybe prep school boys weren't suspicious of strangers.
"Nonfat mocha latte, please," Kurt told the barista.
"Caramel Macchiato," added Blaine.
A bit of a sweet tooth.
"I'll have a cappuccino," ordered Thad.
Wes finished out the order with a green tea latte and paid for all of them despite Kurt's protests. Kurt turned to find them a table and ran into another patron. Scalding hot coffee hit his chest and he jumped without thinking. He was standing in the same coffee shop with a different outfit sans coffee. He glanced behind him and was pleased to see he was still here with Blaine, Wes, and now a tall black student instead of Thad. Damn. He needed to keep his cool. Now that he'd met Blaine, he didn't want to lose him jumping randomly.
The four of them took their seats and waited for their order to be up.
"So how do you like Dalton?" he asked to pass the time.
"You don't need to keep up the pretense," commented Wes.
"What do you mean?" asked Kurt with what he hoped was an innocent expression.
"We know you're a spy," answered Blaine.
"Oh. What gave me away?"
"We know our competition," explained Wes. "We've done our homework on both the teams we'll be competing against. Dave recognized you from the New Directions videos that we've been studying."
"That and the lack of a uniform," added Blaine. "No one goes to Dalton without one. Not even on the first day."
The order was called and Blaine went to get it and brought it back to their table.
"Latte," said Blaine as he slid Kurt's drink across the table. "This is Wes and David," he introduced the two other Warblers. Kurt was used to people remembering things differently than he did so his face showed no hint that the introduction of Wes was redundant to him. Since Blaine didn't introduce himself, he assumed that in Blaine's timeline he'd already done that. Kurt wondered if this Blaine remembered running through the hall with him. He felt a pang of loss at the idea that he might not. He'd only known this boy for less than a day and he was desperate to stay in the same line with him.
"It's very civilized for you to invite me to coffee before you beat me up for spying," Kurt said, only half joking. He didn't think they would but he'd learned to expect the worst from the world.
"We are not going to beat you up," assured Wes.
"You were such a terrible spy, we thought it was sort of delightful," added Dave.
"Which made me think that spying on us wasn't really the reason you came," Blaine said looking a little smug. He actually had no idea why Kurt was here but his gaydar was off the charts and he hoped he wasn't wrong about the boy from Lima. Blaine thought he was sexy and admired his eye for fashion.
"Can I ask you guys a question?" Kurt asked hesitantly. When he received nothing but expectant looks he continued, "Are you guys all gay?" He was already fairly certain about Blaine and who called another boy delightful unless they were gay? On the other hand, the overly civilized nature of the entire school was enough to throw off his instincts.
The three Warblers chuckled at his question before Blaine answered, "Uh, no. I mean, I am but these to have girlfriends." Blaine was proud of the way he managed to telegraph to the boy that he was both gay and single. From the look on Kurt's face, he guessed that it was welcome news.
"This is not a gay school," insisted Dave. "We just have a zero tolerance harassment policy."
"Everyone gets treated the same. Not matter what they are," added Wes. "It's pretty simple," he continued as if he really believed it.
Kurt teared up because he couldn't believe there was a place like this. A place where someone could believe that.
"Would you guys excuse us?" Blaine asked and the other two boys left them alone.
Once they were gone, he let it out. He opened up to this complete stranger that he'd just met. Kurt didn't like letting anyone see him cry but he felt safe with Blaine. He was sympathetic and tried to tell Kurt he understood but when Kurt looked into his eyes when he talked about his life before Dalton, he didn't see much pain there. Blaine seemed like a rich kid who'd never seen true sorrow in his entire life but Kurt didn't mind. He was gay and sweet and he was trying. His speech about confronting his tormentor seemed driven more by his own regrets than Kurt's current situation but somehow it gave him courage anyway.
"Why don't I give you my phone number in case you want to talk some time?" Blaine asked slyly.
"Sure," Kurt answered suppressing a giggle as he slid his phone over to Blaine. The day had turned out much better than he'd could have expected in his wildest dreams. OK, maybe not his wildest but still a very good day. "Why don't I give you mine too?" he asked boldly.
Kurt entered his name and number in Blaine's phone, occasionally looking up through his lashes in a flirty way.
They said their goodbyes and Kurt thanked him for being such a good listener. They didn't make a date to meet up but they had each other's contact information so Kurt was sure they'd see each other again. He promised himself that he wouldn't jump again. Everyone else managed to to stay firmly planted in one universe, surely he could do it.
Kurt sat in front of his mirror gathering his nightly moisturizing supplies. He didn't know why he put off looking until the last thing but he always did. Once he'd finished his nightly routine, he finally opened the vanity drawer and looked at the dice. He'd thought of this trick years before. If the dice were the same as they were when he rolled them in the morning then all of his jumps were between universes that had split since then. Otherwise...Not that he could do anything about it after the fact but he liked knowing. It meant he hadn't lost anything. Not really. He could live with the small changes like the fact he chosen a different outfit to wear. But even small changes could lead to big ones. Dave had joined him for coffee instead of Thad. What if Blaine hadn't come? What if he hadn't gotten his name and number?
He looked at the dice. Four, two, six. The same as he'd left this morning. He sighed with relief.
11 November 2010
The day started out much better than the one before. First of all, Blaine texted him several times. Then the girls team performed a riveting heavy metal rock number. Kurt walked down the hall completely oblivious to the worlds around him as he looked at Blaine's message again. He didn't see Dave's latest slam coming.
He ran down the hall after the bigger boy heedless of the risks. He'd had enough.
Kurt burst into the locker room yelling, "I'm talking to you!"
"The girls' locker room's next door," Dave snarked.
"What is your problem!" Kurt persisted. He was too angry to even think why he was doing this.
They yelled back and forth and later Kurt wouldn't remember what was said. Only what was done. The first kiss was shocking enough but then Dave grabbed Kurt and shoved him against the locker, pinning him with his body as he forced another one on his unwilling lips. Kurt could feel Dave's arousal shoved up against his leg and when Dave's hand made toward his belt, Kurt couldn't take it. He had to get out of here. He looked and saw Dave in another line, slamming his hand against the locker and running away in frustration. Kurt made the leap and stood stunned alone in the locker room. He carefully kept from looking into to other lines. He didn't want to see. That was the worst part about leaping. The bad things still happened - they just didn't happen to him. He couldn't even really understand what that meant. If he tried too hard it just made him sick with confusion.
He'd been so stupid. He'd seriously underestimated the situation. His lips were bruised and he could still taste Dave on his mouth. He ran to the bathroom and brushed his teeth until his gums bled.
He couldn't handle this alone but he thought a long time before he called Blaine. Especially after he looked at his dice. Not the same as they'd been in the morning. He had no idea what he changed when he'd leapt away from molester Dave. Maybe Dave in this universe wasn't as bad but if he had leapt far enough for that to be true than no one was the same. But Blaine's number was still in his phone. The texts were there too so maybe it wasn't so bad. Maybe Dave was on such a hair trigger that really small things made the difference in his behavior.
He made the call.
"Kurt!" Blaine sounded excited to hear from him. That was good.
"Hi, Blaine. How are you?" Kurt started because he had no idea how to ask for a favor this big.
"Fine and you? Did you get my texts? You didn't text me back."
"Sorry, I meant to but something happened," he choked back a sob but Blaine must have heard it.
"Kurt, what? Tell me what's going on. You're upset."
"Karofsky - that's the guy I told you about. He did something."
"Oh my god, Kurt. I'm so sorry. What happened? Are you OK?"
"I'm fine. He... He kissed me. Apparently all that hostility is because he's a closet case. I can't face him again Blaine. I know you said..."
"Nonsense. Forget what I said, Kurt. I'll come and meet you at McKinley tomorrow and talk to him. Maybe I can reason with him. You know a complete stranger might get through to him. I'm so sorry that this happened. I mean...You didn't want him to kiss you, did you?" Suddenly Blaine realized that he know nothing about Kurt's preferences and maybe...
"No. God no. He's a disgusting sweaty ignorant jock and no...just...no."
"OK, we've got that straight," Blaine chucked. "It'll be alright. I'll talk to him. What time should I be there?"
"Don't you have to be in class, Blaine?"
Blaine smiled and shook his head wryly before remembering that Kurt couldn't see him.
"It's OK, I have some leeway. I can miss one day. How about I meet you at about 11:00?"
"OK. Do you need directions?"
"I'll look up the address just tell me where should I meet you."
Kurt gave him directions from the parking lot to a good meeting spot.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Kurt. Goodnight."
"Goodnight, Blaine. Thanks."
12 November 2010
The talk didn't go well. Kurt surprised himself by pushing Karofsky off of Blaine. He wasn't used to dealing with things like this. Being anchored to Blaine gave him the courage. Blaine was calm and collected even with a boy twice his size assaulting him. Kurt wondered if it was courage or naiveté that gave him nerves of steel. He didn't care.
As they sat on the steps and Kurt confessed that Karofsky had stolen his first kiss, he saw something change in Blaine. His flirting was gone. He was still kind, understanding, and caring but Kurt knew that they were no longer dancing around a romance. He hoped the change was only temporary. He was tough and if Blaine thought one stolen kiss was going to traumatize him, he didn't know Kurt Hummel.
Blaine took Kurt to lunch in Lima but they ignored the elephant in the room. Karofsky, the kiss, the constant bullying. Instead, they stuck to lighter topics. Fashion, music, books and all too soon Kurt needed to get back to school. He was supposed to sing to Coach Beiste with the other Glee Club boys. Not that they needed him - as usual he was to be left singing in the background as they took turns singing the lead. Except Mike who couldn't sing anyway.
"I should get back to school now," sighed Kurt reluctantly.
"Are you sure? Is it safe? Maybe you should..."
"No, it isn't safe but I can't put my life on hold because of Dave Karofsky. I'll be OK Blaine; I can take care of myself."
"Yeah, some backup up I turned out to be. You rescued me," Blaine replied with a smile.
"I'm tougher than I look. Everyone thinks that I'm a delicate little flower but some day they'll all know that I'm a force to be reckoned with," Kurt said fiercely.
Blaine drove Kurt back to McKinley in his Mercedes. Kurt's first assessment of Blaine's status as a rich boy had been right. Everything about him screamed privilege from his car to his demeanor. When Kurt got out of the car, Blaine surprised him by getting out as well and giving him a goodbye hug.
Kurt hung on a little longer than was probably appropriate but Blaine didn't seem to mind.
"Do you want to hang out with me after school?" Blaine asked when he let Kurt go.
Kurt could only nod because his mouth was dry and his brain didn't seem to be working. He stood dumbly, frozen in his tracks as Blaine drove away.
They met at the Lima Bean immediately after school, mainly because there weren't many choices in Lima. It was casual and no one bugged them for taking up a table for hours. Kurt connected with Blaine in a way he'd never felt before. They had so much in common. They liked the same books, the same fashion (though Blaine wasn't the fashionista that Kurt was. He was wearing his school uniform after all), and movies. Music was a different story. Blaine was more top forty while Kurt loved the Broadway classics.
"I'm going out with some friends of mine to Columbus tomorrow night, do you want to come with us?" asked Blaine.
"I wouldn't know anyone; are you sure?"
"You know Wes and Dave. And me. Come on. It will be fun. We're doing Rocky Horror so bring toast."
"Isn't that rated R?"
"Uh...yeah," Blaine replied with a puzzled look.
Kurt blushed and felt like an idiot. Smooth. Let the guy know that you're the kind of guy that doesn't sneak into rated R movies.
"Hey, if you don't feel comfortable with seeing it, we could see something else."
"No, of course not. I'd love to."
"Great! Don't worry about getting in; I know the guy at the box office."
When they said their goodbyes, Blaine hugged Kurt again. It was confusing because Kurt wasn't sure if they were dating or just friends. He decided to act like it was the later. They'd just met after all and just because they were both gay didn't mean they would hook up.