"Kurt, I just-" Blaine hesitated, glancing down at his shoes and dragging a hand over his gelled-down hair. "You could be in New York this time next year, and I'll just be starting my senior year. It isn't fair to either of us to expect-"
"I can't believe we're having this conversation," Kurt huffed, folding his arms defensively. "We talked about this before I even applied, Blaine! You were completely fine with all of this at the beginning of the year!"
Blaine's eyes narrowed at Kurt's raised tone. "Kurt, please. Just listen to me, alright? I'm not saying we should take a break indefinitely. Just- soon we're going to be thousands of miles apart. You know that I'm right about-"
"Stop presuming that I automatically agree with you about things, Blaine Anderson." Kurt's voice was sharp in irritation. Why were they even having this conversation, again? "Why are we even talking about this right now? I don't leave for college for another six months!"
"I know that, but-"
"Wait." Kurt's voice chilled, eyes widening slightly in realization and jaw tightening. "We're… not talking hypothetical futures here, are we Blaine?"
His voice was careful, measured. Anything but panicked. Kurt was honestly proud he pulled it off- maybe he actually had a shot at NYADA with acting skills like this.
Blaine glanced at Kurt through the fringe of his curls, expression twisted with guilt.
"Kurt," He beseeched, voice lowering to barely above a whisper. "Be honest for a second."
Kurt's eyes narrowed but he waited for Blaine to continue, his jaw still tight.
"We haven't been us in a long time, have we?"
The question was like a punch to Kurt's gut. It hurt. It hurt that Blaine would even think to ask such a thing, that he would have to ask at all. It hurt because it was the truth.
It took him a moment to find his voice. "No," he finally agreed softly, "we haven't."
Blaine's smile was heartbreaking as he dropped his gaze again, taking one of Kurt's hands between both of his own. He lifted damp eyes to meet Kurt's once again. "You are an amazing man, Kurt Hummel." He brought Kurt's hand up to his lips and pressed a gentle kiss against Kurt's knuckles. "New York isn't going to know what hit them."
Kurt's responding laugh was weak, forced.
"Well, that we can still agree on."
One of the most annoying things about high school is the ability for a rumor to pass around the student body like wildfire.
Kurt hadn't even made it out of the parking lot before the sympathy sessions began in full swing.
He had just locked his car up and turned to head for the school when Rachel fell into step beside him, sliding her arm through his and tilting her head against his shoulder.
"I'm sorry about what happened with you and Blaine," she wasted no time in consoling, glancing up at him as they walked.
Kurt fought a longsuffering sigh, simply shoving his hands deeper into his coat pockets and steering Rachel over towards the sidewalk and out of the middle of the parking lot. "I really need to stop telling Finn anything," he remarked flatly.
Rachel frowned at this. "Don't get mad at Finn. He's only worried about you, Kurt." She tugged on his arm lightly to get his attention. "And he has a right to be. How are you handling… things?"
"You mean "how am I handling being dumped?"" Kurt clarified tonelessly. At Rachel's flinch he decided to take pity on his friend. After all, she did mean well. She was just Rachel Berry- meddling was practically encoded in her DNA. "I'm fine, Rachel. Really. It's high school- this sort of thing happens."
He shrugged noncommittally, hoping that his response didn't sound too practiced. Even if it was.
Rachel suddenly perked up. "You're right, Kurt! This is high school. Finn and I have rough patches all of the time, but we always end up together in the end." She smiled up at him earnestly. "This is just yours and Blaine's first trial to get through. You two are too crazy about each other to not make it past this."
Kurt fought another sigh. If there was one thing worse than an empathetic Rachel, it was an optimistic Rachel. "Maybe," he allowed half-heartedly.
If only things were ever that simple.
Another thing that sucked about high school? Once you broke up with someone, you noticed them everywhere. In the halls, in the lunch room, in classes, in the bathroom for chrissake. It seemed that the instant you hoped to actively avoid someone, you were doomed to see them around every corner.
Still, Kurt had somehow managed to survive the day without any serious encounters with Blaine- until glee club, of course.
He had hardly walked through the choir room door before Kurt was ambushed. Brittany and Santana flanked either of his sides, wrapping their arms around his shoulders and middle as they walked with him towards the risers. Quinn and Tina had clearly saved the trio seats with them, and for once Tina wasn't sitting with Mike.
In fact, the risers seemed to have been divided by gender today. Several of the guys were sitting slumped around Blaine, talking quietly amongst themselves. Kurt was abruptly reminded that his ex-boyfriend had somehow accomplished the one thing that Kurt never could- he had become "one of the guys."
Kurt swallowed back the bitter taste that came with that revelation as he took his seat between Brittany and Santana. When Quinn and Tina twisted in their seats to offer him sympathetic smiles he did his best to return the favor in kind.
Honestly, Kurt's friends were being far more dramatic about the entire breakup than he was.
Mercedes and Sam arrived together then, and Kurt was sure his surprise showed when the pair- as in, both of them- didn't hesitate to come and claim the seats behind Kurt. He actually jumped a bit when he felt Sam clap a hand on his shoulder.
"You okay, dude?" was all Sam asked, leaning forward to actually get a look at Kurt's face.
Kurt nodded a bit numbly. "I'm fine, guys."
"Good. But if you change your mind, I can totally kick the Hobbit's ass."
Quinn and Tina exchanged a glance, their mouths falling open in shock even as they clearly did their best not to laugh. Kurt's expression undoubtedly mirrored their own.
"Uhm," he stammered, eyes widened a bit in surprise, "Thanks, Sam. I don't really think that's necessary, though."
Sam shrugged and sat back. "The offer still stands."
Mercedes was grinning when she caught Kurt's eye.
Rachel and Finn finally filtered into the classroom, taking seats their usual seats in front of Tina and Quinn without missing a beat.
At that point Mr. Schuester made his way into the classroom, drawing everyone's attention from their respective conversations as he made his way to the center of the room.
Kurt felt Brittany curl closer against his side and rest her cheek against his shoulder as they listened to the glee teacher explain their week's assignment. Santana's arm was stretched behind the back of Kurt's chair, fingers idly toying with Brittany's ponytail as she watched Schuester boredly. Her other arm was still hooked with Kurt's own.
Kurt tipped his head against Brittany's and watched Schuester scribble their lesson plan out on the white board, his lips tilting into a reluctant smile.
Maybe Blaine had become "one of the guys" somewhere along the way, but Kurt wouldn't trade Sam, Finn, and the girls for anything.
It took about a half-hour of arguing with himself before Kurt finally decided to go to the Lima Bean to do his homework. After all, it wasn't like he had any reason to avoid Blaine- neither of them had technically done anything wrong. All things considered, their breakup was quite amicable.
It didn't mean that it didn't suck.
Still, Kurt had homework that needed to be done, and Finn and Sam were camped out on the living room couch and playing Call of Duty. The only thing that drowned out the blaring game was the pair's yelling. If Kurt had any hope of getting started on his French paper he would have to find some place much quieter to work.
He sat in his car for fifteen minutes before he finally got up the nerve to make his way inside of the coffee shop.
Kurt had barely stepped through the door before he noticed Blaine sitting at a window table with Sebastian. His jaw set and he quickly looked away, simply walking over to the counter to place his orders without a backwards glance.
He forced himself to exhale a careful breath, composing himself while he had the chance and forcing his stance to relax once more. By the time his macchiato was in hand and Kurt was turning to find a corner table to claim, he had even managed a distracted half-smile that he hoped made him appear to be lost in distant, happy thoughts.
He pretended not to notice Blaine and Sebastian as he passed by their table, going so far as to hum the song they were working on for regionals beneath his breath.
In true Smythe tradition, Sebastian wasn't about to let Kurt get away so easily.
"Well speak of the devil- there you are, Gayface. I was beginning to worry that Blaine had somehow slipped his bedazzled collar and made a run for it." Sebastian smirked, glancing between Kurt and Blaine mischievously.
Kurt's tight-lipped smile nearly slipped. "Didn't he tell you already, Sebastian? Blaine's a free man now," he kept his voice light, flippant- and maybe just a little scathing. "By all means, have at him."
Blaine blinked, frowning incredulously. "Kurt," his tone was as disapproving as his expression. Blaine moved to stand then, and Kurt was quick to make his retreat before he had the chance.
"Sorry boys, I'm actually here on business. Another time."
He pretended not to notice Sebastian's gob smacked expression as Kurt took a sip of his coffee and continued past them to claim a table.
He claimed the table in the back corner, pulling his laptop from his messenger bag and setting up his books and papers. After a few moments of situating Kurt finally sat back and pulled up his laptop. He determinedly resisted the urge to peak at Blaine and Sebastian's table over the top of his computer.
He needn't have bothered, though, because before he could even pull up a Word document to begin work on his paper, someone dropped into the seat across from him.
"Blaine, I'm serious. I need to-"
"What happened with you and Anderson?"
Kurt's eyes snapped up at that, gaze narrowing at the person across from him. He quickly slipped his carefully crafted mask back into place. "What do you want, Smythe?"
Sebastian raised his eyebrows expectantly. "An answer would be nice."
"Civility is a stretch for us, meerkat. Let's not test our boundaries just yet."
"You are in quite the mood," Sebastian appraised, the amusement apparent in his voice only serving to irk Kurt even further. "This must have been some break-up."
"Actually, it was pretty uneventful." Kurt offered dismissively. He returned his attention to his computer screen and opened the Word program he had been searching for when the other teen had elected to join him. He distracted himself by flipping through old documents saved on the program until he found the file that he needed.
After several moments of silence passed he finally glanced up at Sebastian, surprised to find that the other boy was simply watching him, expression uncharacteristically schooled.
"Honestly? I'm at a loss for words." Sebastian shrugged and took a sip of his own coffee.
"I'll bet you'd find them if you were sitting elsewhere," Kurt suggested tonelessly. When his snark failed to earn the anticipated response from the other teen, Kurt finally shifted his attention to Sebastian fully.
"…What do you think you're doing?"
Sebastian glanced up from his book. "I'm knitting a sweater, Hummel."
Kurt's eyes widened and he very nearly choked on the sip of coffee he had just taken. He covered his sputtering with an inelegant cough against the cuff of his sleeve and pointedly ignored the raised eyebrow his actions earned from the brunette across from him.
It took clearing his throat lightly before Kurt felt that he could trust his voice again.
"You just called me Hummel."
"Well that is your name, isn't it?" Sebastian drawled disinterestedly, allowing his attention to shift back to the book propped between the edge of the table and his knees.
Kurt wasn't deterred. "Is this you trying to be nice or something? Because honestly- it's more creepy than flattering."
Green eyes rose to meet Kurt's, crinkling in amusement.
"I don't think I've ever seen you out of your element before," Sebastian remarked with a lazy grin.
At this Kurt simply scowled and pointedly turned his attention back to his computer. He once again distracted himself, beginning to read over the document he had previously pulled up. He quickly became absorbed with proofing the partial essay as he reread it.
Half an hour later, Kurt startled when Sebastian suddenly stood.
"Do you want a fresh coffee?" Sebastian inquired, grimacing as he eyed his own cup in distaste. Kurt recognized the expression immediately- it was the look of disgust that followed taking an absentminded drink of cold coffee. He was intimately familiar with the dilemma.
It took a moment for Sebastian's offer to sink in.
"Oh," Kurt stammered, once again taken off-guard by the brunette's words, "Uhm-"
Sebastian rolled his eyes. "What are you drinking, Hummel?" It was hardly a question.
"Caramel Macchiato," he admitted warily. Kurt continued to scrutinize Sebastian in search of a second or third head; clearly, something was seriously wrong with the other boy. He briefly considered whether Finn's body-snatcher theory could hold any merit. Before he could come to any definite conclusion, though, Sebastian had already turned and made his way to the barista counter and was placing their coffee order.
Kurt caught himself staring at the Warbler and sharply turned his attention back to his essay, features twisting into a stubborn scowl. He pulled his French book towards him a little more vindictively than was necessary as he began to check over his conjugations.
This week was turning out nothing like Kurt had intended.