"Don't any of you ever want to get out of this place?"

Kurt was wiping the glitter from his eyelids to apply a new coat. Mercedes was on her break, and as always, spent it backstage with the performers. Tina had just arrived with Daniel, setting the infant boy's seat down against the one wall not cluttered with costumes and props, changing into her uniform for the upcoming shift. Rachel was sitting next to Kurt, staring into the dusty mirror and smoothing out invisible wrinkles in her skirt. All were half-heartedly listening to Lucy go off again about how she wanted more out of life then burlesque.

Lucy scoffed at their inattention and turned back to her own mirror, a tiny slab of reflective glass propped up against the wall. Kurt, who'd been paying a little more courtesy to her usual rant than the others, decided to patronize her with conversation. "Out of here?" He almost laughed, but judged against it, knowing it would only send Lucy into an endless rant until show time.

"Yes, out of this hovel," she repeated, straightening a damp red curl between her fingertips. Nobody in all of Iowa had redder hair than Lucy Quinn, and while most admired it, she couldn't tolerate herself in the mirror. This young woman was never satisfied with herself, so long as she was staring into a ratty mirror backstage at the Sun Spot Cabaret. "I dreamt it again last night, and I swear on my daddy's money that I will make it out to Hollywood and make myself a star if I have to shove my beauty down all their throats."

Those were the two things Lucy had going for her: her daddy's oil fortune, and her gorgeous face, sans the hair. And none of the others working at Sun Spot ever heard the end of either.

"If you want to head out there, you'd better be carrying a sack on your shoulder," Tina joked, retrieving a bowl of creamed corn from on top of the stove. She returned to her son and started to feed him.

Mercedes nodded, agreeing. "Everyone knows that regular people actually making a career for themselves out in California is only a myth," she added, a bit more seriously, toying absently with a button on her blouse. Even the attire set for the waitresses was nothing if not tight and slightly revealing.

Lucy lowered her eyebrows to the point where they were almost hovering just above her thick long lashes. "I wouldn't expect you to know anything about it," she scoffed, turning her nose up in contempt. "I'll show you all how big a star I'll be."

"Yeah, Lucy, we've heard it all before," Rachel mumbled, arms crossed against her demure chest. "You'll be off in LA with your name up in lights, and we'll be here still, wondering where our lives went wrong.

It was almost scary how Rachel had Lucy's exact words memorized like that, but not really surprising considering how much they all had to hear it.

"Well, it's true..." Lucy retorted, a bit uneasy at her owns words being repeated. She'd never meant to sound so harsh.

Jimmy stuck his smirky little face through the curtain. Tina, startled and still changing, quickly covered herself up and threw a boot at him. It hit his cheekbone and he winced. The performers laughed at the stagehand's expense. Jimmy just shook it off and turned his attention to Kurt. "Your fans await you, sweetheart."

Kurt's performances were done for the night, but he still had to go out on the floor and strut about for the perverts so that they'd definitely come back to see him. Kurt was called the "rare gem of the show," a special treat for the men in the audience who would just love seeing a small-framed teenage boy dress like a qhore and walk around for the pervs to make his ass feel like a pin cushion. Some would even let their grubby little hands linger for a quick, often painful grope to one of the lace-clad cheeks. Cat calls and horny yowls echoed through the noisy room whenever Kurt was out.

Half an hour later, Kurt half-limped over to the bar, where Tina's husband Mike was wiping down the counter and new employee Sam Evans was drying a mug with an old rag. "You okay, Angelface?"

Ah, the dreaded stage name. Only about half the people working here knew Kurt's actual name. Kurt decided to increase that ratio in his favor. "It's Kurt, you know..." He replies absentmindedly.

"Oh." Sam looked a bit dumfounded, his thick lips pressed into a thoughtful line. "Sorry about that." The apology sounded earnest enough. "You okay, Kurt?" he corrected.

Kurt laid his arms on the counter and rested his chin in his hands, pondering the real answer to the question. Not only did he highly detest having his ass abused like that, but the hated the place in general. But it could always be worse, couldn't it? Maybe? "Yeah, I'm alright, I guess…" he murmured. "Get me a shot?"

Sam nodded and grabbed a bottle from the back counter, filling a small glass with the brown liquid and handing it off to the teen. Kurt nodded a thanks and took a sip. Maybe if he got as drunk as all these dirty men he'd appreciate their unwanted advances a minute bit more.

"Hey, sweet cheeks," a familiar voice slurred. Kurt cringed, scrunching up his nose at the heavy odor of whiskey on the man's breath. Most of the men at the club were regulars, coming in several nights a week just to see the little show, of music and of skin. Kurt was therefor forced to encounter them frequently. A strong arm draped itself across Kurt's shoulder, but Kurt shoved it off.

"What do you want, Puckerman?" he damanded, voice coming down to a high-pitched hiss. Noah Puckerman was the deputy sheriff of Nellville, and would frequent the Sun Spot at leats three nights a week. Ironically, it was easier for the crowd to get out of hand when the deputy was actually among them. Everyone knew that he wouldn't arrest them if he was drinking and having fun with the rest of them. Was it wrong that the performers were more at risk of harrassment or more from the patrons when the chief of police was in the same room?
"You look gorgeous tonight. I really enjoyed the show," Noah grinned, warpping his arms around the small waist and caressing the smooth procelain skin just under the hem of a peach-colored tunic, which only came down to just above Kurt's naval. "Maybe wanna join me in my office tomorrow for a little personal performance-?"

Kurt pushed the bigger man off. "As if I'd do such for the likes of you." He pulled away completely and stormed back off across the floor, heading for the small quarters behind the stage. He felt the sharp sting of a swift slap to his ass as he marched past Artie Abrams, another regular.

He heard the clack of heels making their way across the floor. He turned and saw Tina marching with determination over to Artie's table. She held a tray of six glasses of different alcohols, balanced skillfully on one hand. As she walked past Artie, she tilted just slightly to the side, enough for one glass to tip and spill all over the pervert's head. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" he apologized dramatically. As he took a rag to his hair to half-heartedly clean him up, she turned to Kurt and winked. Kurt smiled and nodded, continuing backstage.


A/N: I read an reply to all reviews in the next chapter (which I'm working on now! :D) R&R 3