AU: Kurt has never crossed paths with Blaine. He survived high school, but has never had a boyfriend. Burt and Carole never met.

I don't own anything.

Kurt took a deep breath and hit the "submit" button. It was done - there was no going back. He would just have to hope that, if against all odds lightning did strike, his dad would understand. Since he had beaten the deadline by just a few minutes, he only had to suffer in suspense for two weeks before the e-mail arrived in his inbox.

He had considered telling his dad about it, even thought about getting his opinion of the video, but decided that he would most likely be getting his dad upset about nothing. Now, he wondered if it might have been better to drop a few hints to give his dad a chance to get used to the idea. Kurt laughed ruefully. He hadn't even opened the e-mail yet, and already he was imagining trouble. He looked at it again. The subject line gave nothing away - Project Runway College Edition. Kurt steeled himself for rejection and clicked his mouse.

Dear Mr. Hummel,

We are pleased to inform you that you have been chosen to move on to the second round of the selection process.

There was more, but Kurt couldn't read the words that swam around and ran together on the screen as his eyes filled with tears. "Dad!" he called as he went downstairs to find his father.

"Kurt, slow down. I can't understand you. You aren't making any sense." Burt was trying, he really was, but Kurt was nearly incoherent. He had heard that sometimes hysterical people needed to be slapped, but he could never do that to his son. He settled for yelling instead. Since he almost never raised his voice, he figured it would get the boy's attention.

"Kurt, stop talking! Let me ask questions. You just nod or shake your head, okay?" Kurt shut his mouth, looked at his dad in surprise, and slowly nodded. "Okay." Burt took a deep breath, preparing himself for the worst. "Has something bad happened?" Kurt's jaw dropped. How could his dad think it was something bad? Oh, right … the tears. Add that to the many bad experiences Kurt had in high school and he could see why his dad assumed the worst. Sure, he was in his first semester of college now, but he was still in Lima and there were still a lot of narrow-minded cretins around who weren't afraid to tell, or worse, show Kurt exactly how they felt about people who didn't conform to their definition of 'normal'.

Kurt needed to reassure his dad as quickly as possible. Although his health was much better than it had been at the time of his heart attack a little over two years ago, Kurt still worried about him constantly. It was the main reason he hadn't gone away for college, choosing instead to live at home and take his basic classes at Columbus State Community College Westerville campus before transferring for his junior year. He was saving money and taking care of his dad at the same time. Since CSCC didn't offer any classes in design or marketing, he didn't declare a major. He was very unhappy about that at first, but now it looked as if it had worked out for the best after all. When he had thoughts like this, he could hear his mother's voice in his head. She had been gone a long time but he still remembered it as if it were yesterday, maybe because she had said it so often. "Kurt, don't worry so much. If it's supposed to work out, it will. Things always happen for the best." Kurt still didn't see how his mother's death could have ever been 'for the best', but he had to admit, except for that, she was right. Most of the time, things did seem to work out for the best, even if it wasn't immediately evident.

Shaking his head in a violent negative, he enveloped his dad in a fierce hug. "I'm calmer, now, Dad. Let's sit down and I'll explain." They settled themselves on the couch and Kurt began. "You remember Project Runway, right Dad?"

Burt rolled his eyes. "How many episodes did you make me sit through with you? Of course I remember Project Runway. I like watching Heidi and you like watching all the cute designers. Has the new season started? Is that what this is all about?"

"No. Well, sort of. They're trying something new as a mid-season replacement show. All the contestants have to be college students."

"Okay, cool, Kiddo, I'll watch with you. When is it on?"

Kurt laughed. "It's a little more exciting than that, Dad. I applied to be on the show, and I just got an e-mail that I made it to the second round."

Burt sighed. This could end badly in so many ways. Kurt deserved every happiness he could find, but he might be setting himself up for a huge disappointment. "Kurt, you know I believe in you and I want you to be everything you dream of, but that show is full of mean people and they all have experience. I know you've made some of your own clothes, but you can't go up against guys like that," Burt said, concern written all over his face.

"No, that's what so great about it, Dad. You can't even apply unless you are a college student with absolutely no professional experience. You aren't even allowed to have taken any classes in design or construction, or anything related to the industry. And I know the first few seasons had a lot of angst and backbiting, but it hasn't been that way for a long time. Last season, people helped each other out and took care of each other."

Burt was still dubious. "So what does this entail? What do you mean 'second round'."

"The first step was to submit a video introducing yourself and saying why you thought you should be on the show. Some of the film students at school helped me, and I guess the producers liked it." Kurt was bouncing up and down on the couch.

"So what is the second round?" Burt repeated with a smile, placing a hand on Kurt's leg in a futile attempt to settle him down. It had been a long time since he had seen Kurt this excited.

"Well, the producers are doing their best to work around everyones college schedule. The second round is Thanksgiving weekend, so I won't miss any school." He bit his lip. This next part was going to be tricky. "I have to go to New York for three days."

"New York? Kurt, that's going to be expensive, and I really don't like the idea of you going to New York by yourself."

"No, wait, Dad. Remember how the prize is usually $100,000 and a really expensive car? Since this show is all college students, they've made the prize smaller and they're spending part of the money to pay all the expenses for the contestants to go to the second round, and anyone under 21 can bring a parent or guardian along. You and I get to go to New York for three days for free! We'll be met at the airport and they will take care of everything. Even if I don't get past the second round, we get to go to New York!"

Over the years, Burt had gotten pretty good at hiding his feelings. Kurt stared at him but was unable to discern what Burt was thinking. "Kurt, I … I don't know how to say this, but," he began, "you know I love you, right?" Kurt felt his heart sink. "I think you need to go up to your room right now," he continued sternly. Kurt's face was a study in misery until he heard his dad's final words. "You only have two weeks to figure out what to pack."

I don't have any idea how they really cast this type of show. I'm making it all up for the sake of the story.

I should probably warn you that this story is not about fashion because I don't know anything about fashion. This is a story about Kurt and Blaine.

Reviews would be lovely!