The first in what I have dubbed the Blangst Verse. If things don't get properly resolved with Finn and Blaine - and I mean where Finn gets called out on it properly, has to deal with what he's done, a sincere apology and then going from there - then I'll lose a lot of faith in Glee. Finn knows what Kurt went through, what it was like for his own step-brother to be an outsider and now he's trying to do the same to his boyfriend.

Plus, who can turn down some Blangst? Not me.

Nobody's perfect.

Finn had been hearing it all his life; an attempt at showing him that even though he had screwed something up - losing the football game, breaking up with Rachel, fighting with Puck, getting mono, kissing Rachel on stage, breaking up with Quinn, unable to dance - he wasn't alone. People were screwing things up every day and all he could do was pick himself up and keep on going.

So under that logic, it was entirely unfair to watch certain people just float through life without so much as stumbling and Finn wasn't going to stand for it any longer.

He had been trying since the first week of school. At first it had just been the old 'put the new guy in his place' routine but Blaine hadn't so much as flinched and well, that had irked him. Did Blaine really think he was that far above them that he could stroll in, sing in their courtyard, set the piano on fire and then just waltz into Glee club and join?

Apparently so.

And it hadn't stopped either. Lead role in the musical, one day at booty camp before he was pronounced as a competent dancer - and Finn had seen them at Regionals and a two step shuffle was not competent, thank you - and everybody just liked him. Santana was the only other one who had seen a problem with it but then she had gone and bailed on them so Finn couldn't really consider her a partner in crime on this one. The rest of the Glee club were wrapped around his little finger, joining in on his songs and staring at him like he was some kind of singing god while he bopped around singing Katy Perry. Katy Perry of all things.

(So maybe Finn had joined in but it had been an excuse to dance with Rachel. That was all.)

Finn knew full well that Blaine had been the lead singer for the Warblers for at least a year, probably longer. Yeah, Blaine was talented, but Finn also knew money would buy you anything and if Blaine was going to a school like Dalton, clearly he was loaded. Whatever the reason he had been their singer, Blaine had been at the top for too long and he needed to know that things weren't so easy at public school where you had to fight to stay on the social hierarchy. Blaine hadn't learned that the natural way yet (and Finn couldn't understand that either, the boy wore bow ties and he hadn't so much as been slushied!) so it was up to Finn to show him.

It was what was best for Blaine, but that wasn't all. It was also what was best for Kurt.

The whole nobody's perfect thing had been applied a lot around about when Kurt was being bullied and Finn hadn't done anything, but it had also come with a condition - do better next time. This was his next time and Kurt was family now; there was no way Finn was going to let somebody come into Kurt's life and hurt him again, especially not this Blaine.

It was how Kurt looked at him was the issue. It was like Blaine could never do any wrong in his eyes, like he was this super perfect boyfriend who would always do whatever Kurt wanted and it wasn't even to get in his pants Finn seriously hoped. It was just to make Kurt happy, and nobody honestly did that anymore. Finn knew Rachel would do things like try to get him to play as Tony so he could apply for NYADA with her and he was okay with it because that was part of a relationship. Relationships got a little manipulative but it's alright because the other person loves you. So the fact that Blaine continued to pretend he only cared about Kurt's happiness and nothing else was too much for Finn. He was hiding something.

And Blaine even got along with their parents. If they went on a date, Kurt was always home by curfew and they spent a maximum of two minutes saying goodbye, satisfying Burt that nothing untoward was going on to the point that he'd extended Kurt's curfew on weekends. If Blaine came to visit, he would stop in the living room and chat to Burt and his mom first to see how they were and he honestly cared. He'd come over for dinner occasionally - far more than Rachel did - and he and Kurt would cook together, their chattering and laughter spilling out into the family room where the rest of them waited. Blaine couldn't do anything wrong in their parents books either.

And yeah, that was it. Finn needed to prove to them that Blaine was just another teenage guy, that he got angry and irrational and selfish and made stupid mistakes. He needed them to know that nobody could be trusted not to hurt Kurt and Kurtneeded to know that too, otherwise when Blaine broke up with him down the track Kurt would be heartbroken.

His irritation simmered silently under the surface throughout dinner - cooked by Kurt and Blaine of course - while the others chatted away about their days. He watched as the two told some story about something Tina had done during fifth period, swapping between storytellers effortlessly without so much as looking at each other as they did. Kurt's face was glowing and Finn knew it wasn't because of the story; that happened any time Blaine was around and Finn knew what love looked like enough to see it written across Kurt's face.

Just another reason to cut Blaine down to size a little.

Finn helped with the washing up before wandering into the living room where Kurt and Blaine were sitting together on one of the couches. "… just don't think any of them have thought about it," Kurt was saying as Finn entered, falling into one of the armchairs. "We only have a few weeks, no setlist and not enough people."

"What're you talking about?"

Blaine answered, adding more fuel to Finn's fire. "New Directions not having enough people to go to Sectionals," he explained. "We're still two people short, even with Rory on board. And it's not like the Troubletones have enough either so we just can't understand why they haven't talked about combining for the competition season."

Blaine quite often answered for the both of them as well which was just stupid because Kurt had his own voice, he could speak up. But Kurt just nodded before resuming the conversation. "I get where they're coming from - I mean, I've had many days when I've wondered why on earth I sit in the background and let Rachel get every solo under the sun - but still, if its a choice between going to Sectionals with Rachel leading or not going at all, I know which one I'd choose."

"I know what you're saying -"

"No, you do not."

Blaine and Kurt glanced up, surprised, but that had pretty much done it. "You don't get what he's saying," Finn continued. "You've never had to be the one in the background, dude. You got given everything back at Dalton because they thought you were a hot shot and you're still trying it here. I bet you're gonna ask for the male lead at Sectionals, aren't you?"

"Well actually -"

"Of course you are," Finn continued, ignoring Blaine completely. "You wouldn't dream of anything less, you probably don't know how to do anything less. All you've ever been is the lead, the popular one, the person everybody loves and admires and wants to be and that's not gonna happen here."

"Finn," Kurt said, his voice low and warning. Finn ignored that too because Kurt would understand one day and thank him for it. Maybe even today if he played this right.

Blaine's eyes had dropped to his hands now which were clenched in his lap and Finn knew he was starting to get angry, irrationally so. And when he snapped and demanded solos, just like Finn knew he would, Kurt would see. They would all see. "You don't get what it's like here in public school, dude. Okay? It sucks here, you have to deal with people not worshipping your every move and I don't think you can handle that."

Finn was aware of his mom and Burt standing in the doorway and soldiered on, not letting them interrupt either because it felt so good to get all of this out. "You don't get what Kurt went through." He could hear Blaine's breath catch in his throat from across the room and felt a twist of satisfaction because at least that had gotten through to him. "It's not like your precious Dalton, people don't like people like you around here. You've gotten lucky so far but soon enough you're going to get noticed and then the jocks are going to be on you and you'll understand what we go through, why we're nothing special. You're not special here, Blaine, you're just another Glee club member, just another voice."

"Finn, stop-"

"And you know what?" Finn continued, his voice rising. "We don't need you trying to pretend to be the team leader or act like you know what's best for us. You don't, because you don't understand what it's like to be hated every day or looked down on or -"

"Stop," came the voice, followed by a choked sob. And Finn stopped because that wasn't Kurt.

That was Blaine.

And then there was a flurry of movement and Kurt was dropping to his knees in front of Blaine, prying his hands from his face and cupping his own there. "Blaine, Blaine, sweetheart, look at me," he was murmuring urgently. "Come on, it's alright, I promise you, it's alright, you're here with me and nobody's going to hurt you. Please don't cry, honey, please. I've got you."

Blaine buried his head in Kurt's shoulder, sliding off the couch to get closer to Kurt and Finn could see him shaking from across the room and then he was sobbing and okay, Finn had screwed this one up really badly but he just didn't know how. All he knew was that his presupposition that seeing a girl cry was the most heartbreaking thing ever was wrong because seeing someone like Blaine - always strong, always holding it together, never seeming to have a reason not to hold it together - crying in his boyfriend's arms actually hurt. Like, a lot.

The other occupants of the room were in shocked silence. Carole had a hand over her mouth and looked suspiciously close to tears as she stared at the two boys. Her other hand was firmly clasped with Burt's who, instead of looking uncomfortable at the outpouring of emotions like Finn had expected, was watching them with what looked like sympathy and was that understanding? He couldn't get that because Finn was still as confused as anything, all he knew was that he had been trying to get Blaine to understand what it was like to be hated and then -


Oh god.

Finn had always just assumed - something he had been told was a bad habit but everybody did it so yeah - that Blaine went to Dalton because he was a rich kid who was going to go to an Ivy League and got everything he wanted whenever he wanted. In fact, his entire argument had been based on that, his entire opinion of Blaine had been based on that now that Blaine was one of them.

The fact that it so clearly wasn't true turned everything on its head.

Finn suddenly remembered the weeks following Kurt's first visit to Dalton, the way that the boy was suddenly glued to his phone, smiling fondly at it every time he had gotten a text. The brief glimpse of Kurt's locker door he had gotten one time with a photo of a Dalton boy and the word courage written underneath it in magazine scraps. Things he had never thought about, never connected to this Blaine who Kurt had suddenly started talking about one day and then introduced as his boyfriend and was it his fault that Blaine looked the perfect image of a wealthy prep school boy?

That thought was immediately followed by the realization that Blaine probably looked that way for a reason and Finn was kind of feeling like the worst person in the world right now.

Kurt was whispering in Blaine's ear and Finn could see his own eyes were suspiciously bright, like he was doing everything he could to hold back from crying himself and the realizations just kept coming. Finn hadn't just hurt Blaine, he had hurt Kurt too. His misguided attempts to protect the closest thing he had ever had to a brother had backfired so dramatically because if Finn was being real honest with himself, his main motive hadn't been to help Kurt. It had been to hurt Blaine, to knock him down and bolster his own pride and ego, to remind himself that he was the leader of New Directions.

He had succeeded and all it had left him with was a hollow feeling of guilt and a crying boy in his living room.

Blaine's sobbing had stopped but Finn could tell he was still crying and every now and then his breath would catch, prompting Kurt to hold him a little bit tighter. Still nobody moved, clearly not knowing what to do to make the situation any better or easier on Blaine who was now talking, quietly enough that nobody could catch it. "Of course," Kurt said softly. "Can you walk or do you need -" More whispering and Kurt nodded. "Come on then."

They stood, Blaine turning away from them all immediately and Finn could see the red flush creeping up his neck. He's actually embarrassed about this, Finn realized, biting his lip. He's ashamed of breaking down.

"Go on ahead," Kurt told Blaine who nodded, quickly leaving the room. There was silence for a few seconds until Kurt turned back around to face them, his expression inscrutable. "Dad, we'll be up in my room. I'll leave the door open but I'd appreciate no intrusions."

"Tell Blaine he can stay the night," Burt said, softer than Finn had ever heard. "Do I need to call his parents or are they out of town again?"

That again niggled at Finn like he should understand more about it and Kurt nodded. "They won't know. Or care," he muttered a second later. "Thanks, dad. I'll set up the couch later."

Finn was sure he would be next but Kurt didn't so much as look at him. "Kurt," he called out before wincing. He knew Kurt had an explosive temper and he had probably just set himself up for the scolding of a lifetime and he probably deservedit but still.

Kurt slowly turned to him but there was no fire in his eyes. "I can't deal with this right now, Finn," he said quietly, his voice tired. "My boyfriend is up in my room, crying -" Kurt broke off, taking a deep breath, "and he will always be my priority. I don't have the energy to be angry at you on top of that, and anything you have to say should be said to him first, not me. Just…" Kurt trailed off, shaking his head. "Just think about it."

Finn watched, stunned, as Kurt left without a single glance back. He had tried to prepare himself for the reaming out that he was sure was to come but nothing had prepared him for that. Somehow Kurt's disappointment was a million times worse than any yelling he could have done and whether Kurt did that intentionally or not, Finn didn't know, but he was feeling pretty damn awful.

"What happened?"

The two adults finally entered the room, taking the now unoccupied couch. "Finn?" Burt asked again when he didn't answer. "What got you that angry?"

"I - I guess I had this idea of Blaine that didn't end up being right," Finn managed to get out. "Did you guys know he'd been through - well, I don't even know, whatever it was?"

His mom nodded, to his surprise. "He's never told us but Finn, honey, it's as clear as day sometimes. You've seen what he's like whenever we talk about a more sensitive issue, whether it be what Kurt went through or what's going on with that Rory kid. That's not sympathy, that's empathy."

Finn frowned. "Can you explain that?"

"Empathy is not just feeling bad for them but actually understanding it," Burt told him. "Blaine understands because he's been through it. Even with Prom, Kurt made it pretty clear that Blaine had gone through something that he was afraid of reliving. How did you not know?"

"He never told us," Finn echoed. "All I knew was that he was this big hot shot from Dalton, lead soloist guy and Kurt was into him and I didn't know whether he was trustworthy."

"The boy was here most days during summer," Carole said slowly as if explaining something to a small child, "spending all of his free time with Kurt, doing whatever Kurt wanted and not once asking for something for himself in return. He is genuinely happy to just be with Kurt and you thought he wasn't trustworthy?"

"I - I didn't -"

"Tell you what, kid," Burt cut in. "Out of you and Rachel or Kurt and Blaine, if I had to leave a pair of you alone in the house, it would be those two. And considering Blaine's woken up drunk in Kurt's bed once, that's saying something."

Finn latched onto that immediately. "Yeah, isn't that a sign though? And that whole Valentine's Day thing where Blaine jerked him around, we all saw how upset he was over that."

"Rachel cheated on you." The words were like a slap and Finn raised stunned eyes to his step-father. "You took her back. Quinn cheated on you and her child wasn't yours, you took her back too. Are you saying that Blaine should be in a different category when all of those things happened before he and Kurt started dating?" Finn opened his mouth to reply but was cut off again. "I think you have some serious thinking to do about your motives behind trying to convince people that Blaine is a bad guy."

"But -"

This time it was his mother. "Alright, you think Blaine's only interested in hurting Kurt? Let me tell you a story. Halfway through summer when I was on night shift, I got in at four in the morning one day, just an average day, to find those two sitting on the couch in a very similar state that they were in before. Except this time it was Kurt who had been crying and Blaine doing the comforting. From what I got out of them, Kurt had woken up from a particularly bad nightmare around two and called Blaine who got in his car and drove out here just to comfort him."

Burt whistled and Finn understood - Blaine's house was just over an hour away and he had gotten up in the middle of the night and driven over because Kurt had had a nightmare? That was…

As much as he hated to admit it, that was prime evidence that Blaine really did only care about Kurt's welfare.

"Why didn't I hear about this?"

"They swore me to secrecy, honey," Carole said placatingly, placing her hand on Burt's arm. "Not because they were up to anything but because Kurt didn't want to worry you or let you get ideas that they would start having midnight rendezvous. Blaine left before I went to sleep, once he was sure that Kurt was okay." She turned her attention back to Finn, her expression almost stern. "Do you understand yet? Whatever your reasons are to dislike Blaine, him not being a good boyfriend to Kurt can never be one of them. Anything else is your prerogative to deal with and if you find a reason to dislike him then that is your business. But at the very least you owe Blaine an apology for getting him that upset."

Finn nodded reluctantly. "I know. Should I go now?"

"Give them some time. For now… how about you just go up to your room and think about this?"

He was halfway out the door before realizing. "Wait, are you sending me to my room?" There was no reply and with a sigh, Finn did as he was instructed, grumbling about never having been sent to his room since he was five. At least his video games were up there and he'd be able to pass the time somehow.

Twenty minutes later Finn dropped the controller on the bed next to him with a sigh. Usually video games cleared his mind but there were too many thoughts rushing around for him to ignore. After all, everything he had thought was true only a few hours ago had all flipped around and Blaine wasn't even close to being the bad guy that Finn had painted him out to be. He had a lot to readjust but more than that, he had to give an apology and his mind wasn't going to leave him alone until he did.

Kurt's light was still on and Finn headed down the hall quietly, trying to work out what he could say until he heard the soft murmur of voices. Blaine's voice, steady but still teary and actually clenching at Finn's heart. "… know you want to say it."

"Say what?"

"I told you so." Blaine chuckled but it snagged a little at the end, threatening to break into another sob. "I know you've been thinking it."

"Maybe so but what kind of person would I be to say it to you now?" Kurt sighed and Finn saw him crossing the room through the crack in the door, heading towards the bed. "I wish we had dealt with it earlier, yes, but that's only because you're hurting now and I can't make it go away. If I said I told you so, that would mean I was anticipating this and I just… I never expected that. Finn is many things but I never thought he was just flat out mean."

That hurt and Finn was just about ready to burst in there and start throwing around some accusations of his own when some common sense kicked in, reminding him that doing that was kind of how this all started. Instead he took a deep breath and leaned against the wall, listening.

"I - can we just leave it?" Blaine asked. "I don't want to remember any of that, I just want to focus on now. On you."

Finn didn't have to look in to know Kurt was smiling. "Of course. I sent Carole a text before and she said if you fall asleep up here, she just wouldn't have the heart to wake you and make you take the couch like last time. Which means you are mine for the rest of the night and you know what that means?"

Wincing, Finn made to move away - the intimate details of his step-brothers love life were not necessary for his ears because one should not exist full stop - but Blaine spoke before he could. "I get to be the little spoon?"

The light went out. "Come here," Kurt said softly and Finn could hear them lying down, arms being wrapped around bodies. "We've both been through hell and sometimes it's still going to hurt and we'll regret the past but look what it brought us. To quote a very smart and handsome man, we got each other out of all of this."

"I could never regret you."

Blaine's voice was choked up again and Kurt gave a little murmur of sympathy. "Come here," he whispered again; softer, more meaningful. "And neither could I. I love you, no matter what anybody says or thinks. I know who you are better than any single person out there and I know you are someone who is worth loving and worth treating right. We'll deal with all of this in the morning and what's going to happen with Finn but my priority right now is showing you just how much I love you."

Finn took that as his cue to leave, heading back to his room to attempt sleep of his own.

It was late when Finn awoke but that was normal for a Saturday. What wasn't normal was the feeling of dread in his gut like he had to do something unpleasant that day. There wasn't extra football practice and he hadn't fought with Rachel lately so what else -


Blaine might have already left though, Finn reasoned as he pulled his clothes on, checking the clock as he did. It was almost one in the afternoon and he knew Kurt woke up at six every morning no matter whether it was the weekend or not. But his hope was short lived as he descended the staircase to hear the sound of Blaine's voice coming from the dining room. Before he could figure out whether he could escape upstairs again, the voices quietened then; "Finn? Could you come in here, please?"

Yeah. Crap.

Finn slowly entered the room, a preemptive cringe in place. "Morning?" he tried.

"It is," Kurt said flatly. "Sit down, shut up and listen."

The chair on his side of the table was kicked out and Finn sat down in it, not daring to speak. Usually he wouldn't care when Kurt told him to shut up but Kurt had never looked at him like this before - like anything Finn did right now would be worth spending a few years in jail for if Kurt could just react to it. He tensed, waiting to see what was going to happen, preparing again for Kurt to rip shreds off him.

And then Blaine was standing, unknotting his tie and what? "I've been at Dalton for three years," he told Finn, his voice forced calm. "Before that I was at Westerville High, a public school that had issues with homosexuals. McKinley likes slushies; Westerville favored the day old dairy products that were tossed in the dumpster the previous night from the cafeteria. The first time Kurt made me warm milk, I threw it up."

"Dude," Finn couldn't help but mutter because Kurt's milk was delicious and Blaine couldn't enjoy that?

"Naturally that was just the tamer of evils," Blaine continued, his fingers slowly working down the front of his shirt, undoing buttons. "Locker shoves are universal. Cruel words will never stop. Courage is hard to find and when you do…"

"Oh my god," Finn choked out.

Blaine had shrugged his shirt off, revealing a long scar along the side of his torso from hip to rib cage (broken glass Finn's mind informed him immediately but no way did he want to go there). A bruise that clearly hadn't healed properly was on the other rib and Finn had been injured enough in football to know it had resulted in a cracked rib upon impact (Blaine doesn't play football). Others scars were littering his body, a story behind each one. And before Blaine even turned around, Finn knew he would see the locker handle imprints as well as more scars, more, too much.

"Sometimes courage backfires," Blaine said softly as he turned back around. Finn could see the tears shimmering in his eyes but also the determination that meant Blaine wasn't going to cry.


As he buttoned his shirt back up Kurt took the tie and knotted it around his neck tenderly, lovingly, before kissing him. "Call me when you get home."

"I will," Blaine told him, swiping his keys off the table and leaving without another look in Finn's direction. Kurt's head turned towards the front door and stayed there long after Blaine had left, after his car had disappeared down the drive, down the road. Every muscle in his back was tight and Finn knew he was trying to hold himself together, probably trying not to cry after what he had just seen.

"I have seen that boy cry three times," Kurt began, his back still to Finn. Each word was deliberate, measured, careful and made Finn want to flinch away even though Kurt wasn't even getting angry yet. "He's teared up a few times, yes, but actual crying? Three times. One, at the start of summer when his grandfather died. Two, three days after his transfer to McKinley when his father came home from Thailand to discover his son had followed his boyfriend to public school and his wife had let him. And three, last night. Now, two of those times I couldn't do anything. I couldn't make the grief go away and I couldn't stop his father from yelling at him and being a homophobic ass. But I can do something now and that something is to ask you what the hell you were thinking?"

Kurt whirled to face him and oh my god, Finn was in so much trouble. Swallowing, he searched around for an answer, a solution to make it go away. "I -" he began, shaking his head when he found the limit of articulacy to be at that word. "Kurt -"

"Blaine is one of the strongest people I have ever met and you, Finn Hudson, reduced him to a sobbing wreck last night. Do you know what happened when we woke up this morning?" Kurt didn't give him time to answer. "He was embarrassed around me of all people! He thought he should be ashamed of what had happened, that it had weakened him and made him less of a person. So not only did you upset him and give him flashbacks, you made him feel like he had done something wrong."

"Kurt, I didn't -"

"Did you wake up in the middle of the night at all?" Finn frowned, shaking his head and Kurt gave a bitter laugh. "Everybody else did. You know why?" He paused again, weighing up his words. "Do you remember that time when you were up late working on your World History assignment and you heard me screaming from down the hall?" Finn nodded quickly, wincing. That had been painful and he hadn't known what to do about it until Burt had rushed in and done something to calm Kurt down. "Like that, Finn. That's what I woke up to, that's what our parents woke up to; my boyfriend having a nightmare from the flashbacks my idiot of a step-brother gave him."

"I -"

"What he did this morning was his decision." Kurt's voice dropped and he sunk back into his chair, gripping the edge of the table more for stability than out of anger. "I told him he could just explain, that I'd explain if he couldn't find the words but he wanted you to see that firsthand. Something that it took him months to even tell me about, much less show me, you saw. Blaine doesn't usually let himself be vulnerable like that unless there is no other option. Remember the milk comment?" Finn nodded. "I only found out why because I was the one in there rubbing his back while he threw up. So to see what you saw this morning, you only saw that because last night you baited him with information you had no idea about, things that were so wrong, until there were no other options for him but to break down."

Kurt, it seemed, had finally run out of steam but Finn had no idea what to think, much less say to make it alright again. His mouth worked for a few seconds trying to find those words that everybody else seemed to be able to pull out that could make sense and make everything alright again but nothing was there. "I'm sorry," he finally said.

"Well that's a start, but I'm not the one you need to be saying that to," Kurt began immediately.

"I know but I can't really say it to Blaine if he's gone."

Kurt nodded. "And he's gone for a reason; a few actually. For his sake because he's still quite upset and he needs some down time before dealing with anything else."

"Is he going to be okay?" Finn cut in quickly. "I mean, he'll be alright driving home and being on his own?"

Kurt's face softened a little. "You might be redeemable," he muttered, quiet enough that Finn barely caught it. "Yes, I made completely sure that he's safe and he'll call me as soon as he gets there, or earlier if he needs to. But here's the main reason he left; why are you sorry, Finn?"

Finn frowned. "Because I made him cry," he said like it was obvious because it kind of was.

"And there it is." Kurt crossed his arms, leaning back in his chair. "You're sorry because of his reaction to what you said. If he had kept his cool, you wouldn't be sorry that you lashed out at him for no reason whatsoever, that you presumed things about him and classed him as some prep school snob straight off the bat. You aren't sorry for the obvious jealousy you've harbored since the day he walked into our school, for shooting him down when all he wanted to do was be a part of the team. You are only sorry that he got upset."

"Kurt you don't get it -"

"No, I don't," Kurt cut in calmly. "So enlighten me."

"He's got everything, alright?" Finn finally exploded, slamming his hands onto the table, not even noticing Kurt's full body flinch in response. "He's got the good education, he can do whatever he wants with his life and probably has it all mapped out even though he's a Junior. He's got the voice, the leading voice that everybody would probably happily sing behind and he's got experience with singing all of the solos that could be thrown at him. Everybody loves him and all I've ever heard you say since you got together is what a perfect boyfriend he is and it's like there's no flaws and that just isn't right. Nobody's perfect and there's clearly something lurking under the surface, waiting to come out and surprise us all at the worst time and I just want to make it clear to him that it's not going to happen, we won't stand for it."

Kurt stayed silent for a long moment, shaking his head. "And do you not now see that he is far from perfect?" he finally asked. "If last night didn't make it clear, let me spell this out to you. Blaine has his life mapped out because he's meant to be a Senior - that beating he got kept him out of school for an entire semester and then transferring to Dalton put him behind to the point where he had to repeat sophomore year. He sings for the love of the music, the reason we're all meant to sing, and has never once tried to be the group leader. That one time he stood up was to try and encourage the group, get on board with what you were doing, support you, and you shot him down. There's no way he'll try again. And people love him because he's a lovely guy and he's the perfect boyfriend for me. Simple. He's not perfect, he's just another guy who tries his hardest at everything he does and wants people in his life to care about him."

The problem was, when Kurt put it like that it was actually simple. But Finn still needed something he could cling to because admitting he was completely wrong was just too hard right now, especially after how much he had upset Blaine. "But he still just walked in like he belongs here -"

"Do I belong here?"

The question caught Finn off guard and he could only stare for a second. "Dude, of course you do! McKinley's your home."

"But I went to Dalton, didn't I? I spent a few months as a prep school snob."

Finn shook his head. "That didn't change you or make you any less a part of the group. You went because you had to."

Kurt nodded in satisfaction. "Exactly. I ran to Dalton to get away from a potentially life threatening situation, to get some time to get my feet back on the ground and stop flinching all the time, to learn how to be brave again. Then I came back. Why is that any different to what Blaine's doing now?"

Kurt was really infuriating when he was right.

"One more thing," Kurt said, his voice quiet again. "Do you remember the first few weeks at Dalton when I would come home complaining how I didn't feel like part of the group, how it was so different to New Directions and it was like I didn't even have a voice?"

Finn nodded, remembering that clearly. He had tried to use it to his advantage at first, poking at Kurt every time he complained until Kurt had finally snapped (not quite like today but any time Kurt snapped was enough to back off) and told him that of course he would be back at McKinley if he could. But it had also made him kind of want to go out to Dalton and punch a few of those guys out for making Kurt feel like he didn't belong somewhere else, somewhere that he was meant to be safe.

"How do you think Blaine feels?"

And there it was.

"Oh my god."

Kurt nodded. "So what are you going to do about it?"

Apologies had never been Finn's strong suit. He always stumbled over his words, afraid it wouldn't sound sincere enough or be believed and seriously, why would someone do that in public on top of all of that and run the risk of being rejected and having to deal with it in front of everybody else?

So of course it made perfect sense for Finn to stand up in the middle of Glee practice (waiting until afterRachel had finished singing of course, he didn't need to be in her bad books too) and request to make an announcement. He caught Kurt's eye who nodded and then Blaine's who just looked confused. "So," Finn began, scratching the back of his neck. "I'm a teenage guy."

"Um, Finn," Mr. Schuester immediately spoke up, "are you sure this is an appropriate conversation topic for the classroom?"

Finn nodded a little too eagerly and Kurt sighed. "Let him speak," he said reluctantly when Finn turned begging eyes on him. "I know what he's saying and if my ears can handle it, yours can too."

"Yeah." Finn nodded again, shuffling his feet. "So, basically teenage guys kind of suck at apologizing and this is me apologizing. I've been a jerk from day one to someone in this room and I've seen the error of my ways. Or been forcibly shown them, anyway, in a way I never wanted to see." Blaine winced and Finn backtracked immediately. "Not, like, because I didn't want to but because seeing someone hurt because of what you said really does suck and I got on Santana's case about calling me names when really I was doing something just as bad."

"Get to the point," Puck muttered.

"Blaine," Finn said quickly, turning to the boy, "come down here for a minute."

A sigh of relief could be heard and Tina murmuring "about time!" to a smirking Kurt. Finn pushed it aside (really, he had thought they were all on his side, none of them had exactly spoken up in Blaine's defense, why was he the only one out here?) and focused on Blaine who was now standing in front of him, looking as comfortable as ever. It was only because Finn knew what he was looking for that he caught the uncertainty in the boys eyes, spurring him on.

"I could go on about why exactly I'm sorry but I don't think that would be helpful. So I've only got one thing to say."

Finn held out a hand, Blaine staring down at it for a moment before hesitantly taking it. "What?"

"Blaine, welcome to New Directions. We're glad to have you."

It didn't matter that Puck was commenting loudly in the background that Blaine was already a part of the group and Finn was clearly on something. It didn't matter that Mr. Schuester was looking at him with something akin to dawning recognition and he would probably be having a 'serious talk' after the meeting. It didn't matter that he had just pretty much embarrassed himself in front of the entire group.

Blaine was smiling, Kurt was beaming and Finn had actually made things right.

As far as Finn believes, anyway.