Disclaimer: I don't own Glee!
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
"A rose is the visible result of an infinitude of complicated goings on in the bosom of the earth and in the air above…"
As the limousine followed the winding turns on the gravelly dirt path, intent on its destination as it twisted through the Los Angeles countryside, Kurt Hummel stared vacantly into the champagne flute that he cradled in the elegant fingers of his right hand. He watched with an unnecessary amount of concentration as the golden, effervescent nectar swirled in its crystalline vessel as he made minute, circular movements with his arm. Kurt had hoped that, with at least some alcohol in him, he would be able to put his mind at ease. The only thing the man had learned, however, was that three glasses of thirteen percent proof alcohol did nothing to calm his jitters, only question the practicality of being liquored up in a moving vehicle with twelve other well-dressed men. If the need for him to spew arose, he would feel awful for the man sitting opposite of him.
'What are you so scared of?' Kurt thought as he mentally shook himself from his reverie. He turned his head away from his companions to look out the window behind him as their visible anxiety was doing nothing to lessen his own. The only thing the darkly tinted windows did for him was grant him the reflection of his own incredibly ashen face.
Kurt sighed and slumped back in his seat in defeat, trying to convince himself that this was it. This was what he had been dreaming of for as long as he could remember. Just because the combination of the limousine tint and a cloudless night made the gorgeous, rolling green Agoura Hills almost impossible to see, didn't mean it had been pulled out from underneath him. Tomorrow, he would wake up and the hardest part of tonight would be over and for the first time, he would be able to see what he had previously only been able to experience from television and movies.
That is, if he was still here tomorrow morning.
Kurt suppressed the urge to scoff as he shook his head at his own absurd thoughts. That was preposterous. Of course he would still be here. Kurt Elizabeth Hummel was far too irresistible for even the most in-denial gay man to reject, and there was no way that his dream of making it big in California would be snatched away from him so quickly.
'Just a couple of weeks,' Kurt thought. 'That's all you need.'
Kurt had to admit, this may not have been the best way of trying to get his talent and obvious good looks recognized. But as Kurt looked up from his perfectly pressed slacks and into the shiny lens of a camera being held by a burly cameraman, Kurt had to admit, this was probably the best—and only—option he had.
It had all started about a year ago while he was making his weekly commute to Lima from Columbus where he had since moved to after graduating from college with his major in Performing Arts and his minor in British Literature. The entire one hour and forty-five minute drive Kurt spent fuming behind the wheel of his steely-gray Ford Focus, so enraged that he neglected to turn on the radio until he was about half way there.
The theatre group that Kurt worked with at Ohio Theatre had just wrapped up their last showing of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Kurt couldn't be happier that their last performance had resulted in a full house, but it wasn't until a couple of days later, after their auditions for their next show, Evil Dead: The Musical, had been cast, that Kurt was given the news that he was so pissed off about.
"You won't believe what happened," Kurt growled in frustration, shutting the door behind him perhaps a little bit too forcefully after stepping past the threshold and into the Hudson-Hummel residence. He didn't bother with knocking. His family was already expecting him, just like every other Friday evening.
"Good to see you too, Son," Burt Hummel said in a joking manner, but still with enough concern in his voice that any father would have for their obviously distraught child.
"I'm sorry, Dad," Kurt sighed as he smiled apologetically at his father who made his way from the kitchen in order to meet him at the door. Kurt put his overnight bag on the floor and wrapped his arms around his dad's middle. He could be twenty-seven or forty-seven years old and he would always be a Daddy's Boy, despite all the drama that occurred during high school. And lucky for Kurt, he was the former, not the latter, and so far, no signs that he had inherited his father's male pattern baldness had yet to make itself known, thank you very much.
"Hey, Kurt." Kurt looked past his father after breaking their hug to see his stepbrother sitting on the couch. He didn't have nearly as long a drive as Kurt did considering he managed to find his own place in Lima. Kurt regarded Finn fondly as the taller of the two wiped his upper lip free of the milk mustache from the frothy liquid he just took a gulp of. "How's everything going, man?" Kurt had opened his mouth to explain everything that had gone wrong in the past two weeks when another voice interrupted him.
"Is that my favorite fashion consultant that I just heard coming through the door?" Kurt turned around to see his stepmother enter the living room from the kitchen, wearing a pair of hot mitts on either hand.
"Oh, Carole. You look lovely as ever," Kurt gushed, giving her a once-over with a watery smile. How he missed his perfect little patchwork of a family. Once every two weeks was not nearly as often as he wished he could see them, but his schedule at the theatre was often hectic as a result of having to perform on the weekends, when the demand for shows was at its greatest considering the amount of people not having to work. But every so often there would be "special" productions, such as the ballet or assorted music groups, that would allow Kurt and the rest of his troupe a much needed break.
"Can you believe I was able to put this outfit together? Ten years and I think I've finally gotten the hang of this," she laughed, giving him a crinkled-eye smile as she turned around to flaunt her look.
"Let me just say, Carole, that mock wrap design, y-neck shirt with the tie waist along with the white trousers…" Kurt said crossing his arms and contemplatively tapping a finger to his lips. "I couldn't have done it better myself. That olive green fabric totally works with your skin tone and the blond highlights in your hair." And he clapped his hands together approvingly.
"You are a sweetheart," Carole said, rubbing her mitten-clad hand across his back in a motherly fashion.
"Yeah, mom… That bow-tie totally rocks," Finn voiced with his usual dorky grin that he had yet to grow out of as he raised his glass in salute causing her to narrow her eyes at him playfully.
"Oh, Kurt! Your father was helping me with dinner, why don't you come in the kitchen with us so you can tell us what happened at work."
"Oh my goodness," Kurt bemoaned as he traipsed after the two of them into the kitchen. "You're not going to believe me when I tell you what our idiot director did—Here, Dad, I can chop those carrots," Kurt said as he took the knife from his dad's hands, shooing him away from the cutting board. It was the least he could do considering how seldom he was able to see them. Or perhaps he still felt guilty for the time that he told his dad that Friday night dinners were worth missing out on if it meant procuring the sixth season of Grey's Anatomy DVD's. He wouldn't take a single dinner with them for granted ever again, especially after his dad's heart attack.
"I thought it was about time I taught your father how to cook," Carole said winking at him from where she came up after leaning over in front of the hot stove, with her hands full with a large baking pan containing a lemon-pepper coated chicken, cooked to golden-brown perfection. "Anyways, tell us what your 'idiot director' did that has you so upset."
"I got my role for our next show Evil Dead: The Musical-
"Oh, dude, I would totally see that!" Finn yelled from the other room, having apparently overheard them. Kurt rolled his eyes as he chopped the peeled carrots with much agitation.
"Well, what role did you get?" Burt asked curiously as he leaned against the opposite counter and took a swig from his bottle of Miller Light.
"Zombie… Number Three," Kurt disclosed coolly through gritted teeth as he slammed the knife down on the surface of the cutting board, giving up after slicing only half a carrot with much gusto.
"Oh, Kurt…" Carole said empathetically.
"How could they do this to me?" Kurt threw his hands into the air. "I've been with this theatre for nearly five years. Good grief! I was Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. That's the lead role. Have they forgotten that simple little notion?"
"Come now, Kurt. It's just one measly role," Burt said logically in a half-hearted attempt to calm his son down as he paced about on the tile floor. "There will be plenty of other roles after this one, you know."
"Yeah, Sweetie. We all know how hard you work, and not to mention how talented you are. But think of when you and Finn were in Glee Club in high school. The solos weren't always given to the same person, right? All they want to do is showcase the different talents they have available."
Kurt did think back to when he was in high school. The only time he was given a solo in competition was, incidentally, when he was at Dalton Academy with the Warblers; and that was in a duet. As annoyed as Kurt was at the moment, he didn't have the heart to correct Carole in the fact that it was her biological son who landed the solo ninety-five percent of the time—and without having to audition for it. Maybe that was why he was so obsessive when it came to landing the lead roles at his job—because his unique voice wasn't the subject of solos like Finn's or Rachel's while they were in school
"I just… When I graduated college I was just expecting to get something more out of the time I spent there, you know? I… I worked so hard and received so many praises from the teachers there that I expected that, sooner or later, I would be able to get out of Lima and be a part of something bigger. Sometimes I wonder if I had been better off just… Taking off for L.A. or New York right out of high school." Kurt couldn't help but think of his dear friend Rachel. He was happy for her, but he couldn't help the hint of jealousy he felt when he thought of her fulfilling her dreams in New York City. Even she agreed that he was her only competition while they were in Glee Club together.
"Come on, Hon," Carole said, taking the carrots that she finished chopping and putting them into the pot of water she put on to boil. "Why don't you go into the living room and ask Finn to help you set the table. And stop thinking about it so much, okay? You'll have plenty of other opportunities to shine," she said kindly as she kissed his cheek and smoothed down his perfectly parted hair. Kurt nodded as he scooped up four sets of knives, forks and spoons from the silverware drawer and shut it with his hip before sauntering into the living room. Finn was still sitting on the couch, flicking through the channels with the T.V. remote.
"Hey, Finn. Your mom wants you to help me set the table," Kurt said as he began placing the silverware on the table, leaving enough space in between the spoon and the knife and the fork of each sitting for where the plates would go.
"So could you do me a favor and go get the plates out of the cabinet and maybe bring in the chicken so Carole doesn't have—"
"What?" Kurt asked exasperatedly as he turned around to acknowledge Finn.
"Dude, you should see this."
"Finn, I know how much you love this show, but I would much rather watch this when there are twenty-five gorgeous men trying to find love, not twenty-five women who can't seem to keep their strapless dresses from falling past their boobs," Kurt retorted as he walked over to where Finn had the channel on the television show The Bachelor.
"What? Kurt, no," Finn said, blushing profusely, but not bothering to give an excuse such as he was only "flipping through the channels." He picked up the remote and pressed the Rewind button to go back a minute or so. "Just… Just look at this okay?" And Finn pressed the Play button to resume where the DVR left off on a commercial for the next season of…
"Wait? The Bachelor?" Kurt mused aloud. "But they usually alternate between the Bachelor and the Bachelorette. Why would next season also be the…? Oh…"
"On the Next Season of The Bachelor."
"In the past 18 years, we've seen more than thirty men come onto this show in the hopes of finding true love. But more often than not, seasons have come to a close with nothing more than heartbreak and betrayal to show for it—"
"Good Lord, Chris Harrison. How on Earth did you manage to stay so good looking after all of these years?" Kurt asked distantly as he stared dreamily at the host on the screen.
"Dude, shut up!" Finn cried as he pointed at the screen. Kurt only huffed indignantly as he looked on.
"…the extraordinary event taking place next summer on The Bachelor."
Kurt moved to sit on the arm of the couch next to Finn. Even after settling down, he couldn't help leaning forward, placing his hands daintily over his crossed legs in anticipation. What was it with reality shows and their hypnotic affect on people?
"For the first time ever we present to you—our viewers—the first gay bachelor in 'Bachelor' history."
Kurt tongued his cheek as he stared blankly at the screen which had cut from Chris Harrison to where they filmed the Bachelor in the Agoura Hills in Los Angeles. Kurt reached over and snatched the remote off of Finn's lap, a move that, ten years ago, would have had Finn hanging from the ceiling like a scared cat. The fact that the expression on Finn's face remained hopeful spoke volumes as to how far they both had come as brothers, and obviously why Finn felt showing this ridiculous commercial to him was absolutely necessary.
"Well, dude? What do you think?" Finn asked with his lopsided smile still plastered on his face.
"What do I think of what, Finn?" Kurt asked stoically as he stood up, smoothing the non-existent creases in his perfectly pressed vest.
"Kurt, did you go temporary deaf and blind? At the same time?" The grin on Finn's face slowly began to fade into confusion. "This is gold. The first gay bachelor in history? I thought you would be all over this?" Finn took no measures in hiding his disappointment.
Only moments before, Kurt was facing away from Finn and towards the television, but then he turned around to face him accusingly.
"I'm painfully aware of how single I am, Finn. I don't need to be told by my own brother about that fact, especially when the said brother is doing no better in that department," Kurt said icily. He wouldn't be surprised if the temperature in the room dropped about ten degrees. Finn seemed to sink back into the cushions of the couch at Kurt's lack of enthusiasm towards the idea.
"M'still dating Rachel," Finn mumbled under his breath, seemingly trying not to piss off Kurt any more than necessary by contradicting him. "And you don't have to get mad at me, dude." Finn shook his head sadly. "'M just trying to help."
Kurt just barely stopped himself from saying something along the lines of "there's no point in trying to help someone when there is nothing wrong with them." Instead he sighed, closing his eyes as he pinched the bridge of his nose, his features becoming pinched as well. The disappointment in Finn's voice made Kurt's heart clench somewhat guiltily.
"You're right. I apologize, Finn. It's obvious that I had a terrible day at work and I'm taking it out on you. And that's not right." Kurt smiled apologetically. "I'm genuinely happy that you and Rachel, somehow miraculously, managed to stay just as close as you were in high school despite the fact that her career in New York has blossomed extraordinarily." Kurt moved to sit next to Finn on the couch once more and he placed a hand on his arm, which had since freed itself from it's stiffly crossed position in front of his body. Kurt continued, "But as of right now, finding a boyfriend is not a priority for me. I need to focus on my career and hope that the next talent agent that winds up in Ohio, for whatever reason, can clearly recognize my talent whilst I stagger amongst my fellow undead cast mates, harmonizing in the background." Kurt rolled his eyes, patting Finn's shoulder once more. Finn gave him a sympathetic smile as he nudged his leg and regarded him sideways.
"Don't worry about it, dude," Finn said, shrugging nonchalantly as if it wasn't a big deal. "I mean, I may not care much for fairies or understand half of what was said in that… Midday Dream… Thing… But it's obvious you have more talent in one pinky than all those other guys put together." Kurt smiled in surprise as he tilted his head to regard his stepbrother thoughtfully, not bothering to correct Finn as he butchered the title of one of Shakespeare's most famous works.
His eyes followed Finn as he stood up and stretched his long limbs, groaning softly from having sat in one position for too long, the proof being the indentation of his backside on the couch cushion.
"That may be the nicest thing you've ever said to me, Finn Hudson. Thank you. And," Kurt rolled his head on his shoulder, flipping his hair dramatically, "Probably one of the few things we agree on." Kurt stuck his tongue out in jest before saying soberly, "But no. Right now, I can't have any distractions. I mean… I can remember so many Seasons where the contestants go on the show only to end up leaving because they realize their career or family or whatever is more important. What a waste that would be."
"Yeah, I was gonna say, if you weren't such a nice guy, you could probably go on the show to get recognized, ya know? There was that guy a while back… What was his name?" Finn looked up at the ceiling as he tried to recall the name of the man. "West or something. I think he was actually able to get a record deal after he was on the Bachelorette a while back. And the same with that guy who was on that show mom used to watch, The Doctors, remember? He was on the Bachelor before getting his own T.V. show. Weird, huh?"
Kurt continued to stare up at Finn, his mouth gaping slightly in awe as if Finn somehow acquired the intelligence of Einstein himself.
"Anyway, Mom and Dad are probably gonna get mad at us for not setting the table already. You comin'?" Finn asked, not noting the incredulous look on Kurt's face.
Kurt shook his head, breaking himself out of his stupor, "Yeah... I'll just be a second. There something I need to do," Kurt said breathlessly.
Finn shrugged with a hesitant smile at the strange look of awe on Kurt's face. "Sure thing," he said before going into the kitchen.
Kurt counted to three, staring at the door that closed behind Finn before hastily fumbling for the remote. Once he had it pointing in the direction of the cable box he pressed Play.
"This is ridiculous," Kurt mumbled under his breath as he watched a succession of clips play across the screen, mostly consisting of the beautiful California countryside and a number of clips of what Kurt assumed to be the new Bachelor.
The gay Bachelor.
Kurt rolled his eyes. Apparently, the producers of the show had gone a great length at concealing the identity of their newest Bachelor, considering the succession of clips flashing across the screen revealed nothing of the man from the neck up, but a whole lot of the neck down. And to make it even cornier, they threw in a handful of shots of him getting out of a pool and running through the crashing waves of a white sandy beach… And in slow motion.
'Good grief,' Kurt thought as he attempted care less about the delicious sight of the wet, wispy hairs sticking to the man's tanned legs. 'They'd do anything to get viewers, don't they?'
Kurt made a 'harrumphing' sound as the screen showed water dripping down the solid body as the man stood underneath a shower head as water sprayed down upon him. Strong arms reached up to presumably wipe away at the water droplets that may have gotten into his eyes.
Kurt licked his lips. They certainly had his attention.
Kurt couldn't help but think of what Finn had said. Could this be his only opportunity to get the hell out of Ohio and start the career he always dreamed of?
Kurt remembered when he was in high school and how easy it was to manipulate people for his own self-gain: First Rachel by dressing her up in a promiscuous ensemble and whorish clown makeup in an attempt to disgust Finn, as well as getting his parent's together to, once again, try to get closer to Finn. If it was so easy at that time to pull at the strings of the only people in school who accepted him at that time. What was so difficult about doing something similar to someone he didn't even know?
'What are the chances that I'd be chosen anyway?' Kurt thought to himself as he grabbed the notepad that was next to the telephone and hastily scribbled down the website that appeared on the screen.
'I can tell him that I'm an aspiring actor,' Kurt thought confidently. 'There, I can show off my good looks and amazing talent. He'll eventually realize I'm not what he's looking for and send me home. I'll play the victim and stir up some melodramatic scene and have casting agents lining up to cast me in their next productions.'
He tore off the single piece of paper with the information regarding the casting website and stuffed it into the pocket of his pants. He had plenty of time to make up his mind as to whether he was going to call and maybe, by the time he got home, he would forget all about the little crumpled up bit of paper in his pocket and Finn's ludicrous idea until he found it sodden and limp in the bottom of his washing machine.
But no… Kurt was stupid and somehow managed to remember to check the pockets of his pants before doing laundry, a habit he attained from when he was in high school and would search the pockets of his dad's worn jeans to make sure they didn't contain any receipts from the Carl's Jr. from across the street from Hummel Tire and Lube.
So now, Kurt sat in the back of a sleek, black limo with twelve of the other twenty-five prospective, and not to mention gorgeous, love interests.
Kurt couldn't help but wonder if the months leading up to this day were worth it. Having to wait for a call-back after sending in his application followed by numerous interviews and head shots. He couldn't lie, he loved hamming it up in front of the camera, interviewers as well as the big name producers of the show once it was confirmed that he had been one of the lucky twenty-five to be on the show. But it was what had led up to his departure from Ohio that required a lot of thinking and a carefully constructed plan on his part. After giving his two week notice to the director at the Ohio Theatre, he told his parent's and Finn that their next production of West Side Story would be going on tour after closing up Evil Dead (which was a complete success, much to Kurt's dismay of not being the one responsible for its popularity amongst the Ohioans) and that he would be gone for a couple of months.
Kurt knew that, eventually, his family would discover his whereabouts. But he was twenty-six years old gosh darn it, an adult and free to make his own decisions and go wherever he wished. It's not like anything bad was going to happen to him. He just didn't want to see the disappointing looks on his parents' faces when they found out the lengths he was going in order to achieve his own ends. Not that it was his idea in the first place. Nobody was going to get hurt. Kurt was there for business purposes only, and, in the off chance that The Bachelor falls for him before Kurt has the chance to get the hell out of dodge, the man could count himself lucky that he has at least twenty-four other guys to fall back on.
Kurt exhaled shakily as the rest of the men had began craning their necks to see out the windows and chattering animatedly as they pulled up and circled around a wide expanse of a redbrick driveway which narrowed off into a winding walkway leading directly into the house. Unlike the drive to the house, Kurt could actually see out of the windows now, considering the lights that were scattered around the building illuminated the path and the house itself. But it wasn't the house that they were trying to get a glimpse of, but the figure that could partially be seen standing on the walkway.
Kurt had to roll his eyes at the irony that, once again, the man's face was hidden from view, much like it was on his promo, but only this time by the low hanging branches of the trees surrounding the house. But from what he saw in the commercial, his broad shoulders and chest were covered and his form itself was looking particularly dapper in a jet black tuxedo.
"Alright, fellas," the front window in the limousine, which separate the driver from the contestants, opened to reveal one of the producers who was sitting in the front passenger seat. He unbuckled his seat belt and turned around so that his elbows rested on the opening so he could face the guys. In one hand he held a clipboard and in the other a pen, which he had stuck in his mouth and was gnawing on the end thoughtfully as he looked at the contents of the clipboard.
"Okay, so…" said the man who Kurt had only met briefly in the interview process a couple months back. The man, Mike, had short hair cut close to his prematurely balding scalp and Kurt felt inclined to slap the person who told him that red-tinted, black framed glasses were a good look for him. "The first limousine arrived not too long ago, and the first thirteen guys are already in the house." All of the men were turned in their seats facing him, listening with rapt attention as he rifled and flipped through the papers on his clipboard.
"So now I am going to have you all go, one by one and in alphabetical order, to meet The Bachelor. So if you don't have any questions I am going to wish you all good luck and officially welcome you to the Villa de la Vina." He gave them all an excited smile as all the occupants of the limo cheered and hollered, excluding Kurt who only sat anxiously waiting for further instruction. If he believed in God, he would be swearing to Him that he was in a limo full of heteros.
"So, without further ado, Craig Deweese…? You are up first."
Kurt looked to see a man with long, curly and swept back blond hair make his way to exit the vehicle. He looked like he could be something out of a sunscreen commercial if it wasn't for the fact that he was dressed in a crisp navy blue suit. He gave a toothy grin, flashing his straight white teeth to a couple guys he had made acquaintances with since their drive from the airport, and stood up as best he could in order to make it out the door. Kurt watched the retreating form with a thudding heart as he made his way up the walkway to greet the man standing not more than fifty feet away. After only four minutes or so, and the producer calling the names Brent Goodlow, James Hawkins and Martin Hubbs did the director raise his gaze from his clipboard and say, "Kurt Hummel?"
Kurt gripped the empty champagne glass firmly in his hand, which he had drained in a single gulp only minutes ago upon arriving to The Bachelor house, and quickly set it down behind him when he realized it wouldn't bode well for him to shake The Bachelor's hand with his own bleeding and glass embedded appendage, so instead he set the glass down behind him and gave a saccharine-sweet smile to no one in particular before ducking out of the limousine.
Kurt sighed gratefully as he was greeted with the night air, which was incredibly chilly as it was winter, and the show didn't air until summertime. Kurt could sympathize for the ladies who came on the show wearing silky gowns. The brisk air was already beginning to permeate his polyester charcoal gray and black plaid suit.
Kurt knew, in the back of his mind, that the man waiting for him at the pathway could probably see him, so he took a deep breath, fixing a confident, sexy smile on his face and sauntered up the walkway and through the low hanging branches of the trees, making sure to add an extra sashay of his hips as he drew closer to the man of the hour.
Once Kurt was finally past the trees that were impeding his view he discovered what a travesty it was that this man's face had been such a secret for so long because this man was handsome. Medium length, chocolate-brown hair adorned the top of his head—a rather generic haircut to be honest, but it was free of product, unlike Kurt's. It seemed as though his genes couldn't come to an accord as to whether his hair should be straight or curly because a few strands seemed to have a mind of their own as they swept stubbornly onto his temples and above one of his severely arched eyebrows. It made him all the more want to rake his fingers through it.
In the last few steps that Kurt took towards him, he noticed the man's thin lips part into a somewhat dumbfounded expression. Kurt couldn't blame him—he knew he looked hot in his perfectly tailored Tom Ford suit, and, considering what he saw in the limo, none of the other men had quite the acquired taste for fashion that Kurt did, gay or not.
Not only until Kurt was standing in front of the stranger did he realized how much taller he was in person; but then again, the fact that there was now a head attached to his body could have added an extra eight or nine inches. Kurt wouldn't be surprised if he was just a hair shorter than his brother.
As Kurt held his hand straight out in front of him (Kurt didn't consider himself the type of person who could hug someone upon just having met them) in order to greet the man for the first time, he couldn't help but notice a hint of mirth mingling with the warmth in his hazel eyes, and the previously befuddled "o" shape of his mouth morphed into that of an amused smile.
Just as Kurt went to open his mouth to introduce himself did the man opposite him beat him to the punch.
"Holy. Shit." The man said ineloquently with a bark of a laugh and sparkling eyes. It was Kurt's turn to look dumbfounded.
"Excuse me?" Kurt cocked his head in confusion and after realizing that his hand was still stuck out rather stupidly in front of him did he let it drop to his side. The man shook his head as he palmed his face in what Kurt assumed to be a disbelieving way.
"Ah—I'm… I'm sorry. Did I miss something?" Kurt asked. Perhaps the plaid on plaid on plaid of his tuxedo, vest and undershirt was a bit too much. Or maybe he should have gone with the plaid tie as well?
"I can't believe you don't recognize me," the man said incredulously, regarding him with a frown. His eyes still held their previously glittering amusement, however.
"Shit, Kurt. It's me, Dave…"
This was originally going to be written for the Pirate Big Bang, but I pulled out because I realized I would never get this story done by October.
I hope you enjoyed the first chapter!