A/N: I suck so bad that I am giving you permission to curse my name and hate me forever and ever and ever. Three months (shit) is a ridiculous amount of time to leave you without an update, and I have no excuse whatsoever apart from that I am terrible and need a good punch in the face every now and then. But there's this for now? I guess? Hope you like it and I know I should be shunned forever for leaving this for so long, but review? Maybe? Any ideas on where this is going?

A month.

That was how long it took before Kurt managed to have his life changed yet again by random strangers in public places. This one, however, managed to be so much less, and at the same time so much more than he had ever expected.

The Lima mall was always teeming with people at this time, when people had made their way out of work and for some unknown reason decided that shopping was the perfect way to spend their afternoon. Kurt loved it in there, but not when he had to elbow his way past middle-aged sweating women, and men with complicated phones and coffee stains on their shirts. This time, he was accompanying his Dad in search of some new, smarter clothes that weren't work overalls. It wasn't going well.

"Kurt, I don't see why I can't just wear this with my jeans."

"Because it would look ridiculous, Dad- just try the grey ones." With a sigh, Burt made his way back into the changing room, leaving Kurt standing in the expensive shop alone.

"Hi, I'm sorry- I've been looking for a specific shirt everywhere and I just can't find it at all.. can you maybe help me?"

The boy was shorter than Kurt, dark-haired and enthusiastic as he spoke, and his eyes were so golden that it took Kurt what felt like a lifetime to get his lips to work.

"I-I actually don't work here." His voice came out too high, and cracked as he replied, watching the other boy's face fall slightly as he realized his mistake.

"Really? Oh my god, I'm so sorry- I really thought you did, I-"

"Hey, it doesn't matter, don't worry about it, it's weird to see someone this well-dressed in Ohio, I can understand the mistake," He shot a smile in the other boy's direction, holding in the giggle when he noticed the red blush rising in his cheeks, "I'm Kurt, I'm here with my Dad."


"So what are you looking for, exactly? I don't work here but I might be able to spot something…" Blaine's face lit up as he bounced back slightly on his heels, describing the purple shirt he was trying to find and carrying on his search with Kurt at his side. They talked about school, about Glee, about everything- in between Kurt attempting to get his Dad to be more adventurous with his fashion choices. Blaine went to a school called Dalton, not too far away but still a million miles away from the shabby hallways of McKinley. The way he talked about the lavish decorations, the polished floors and the complicated classes was with an air of reverence, and Kurt couldn't help but imagine the place as heaven for him, where he wouldn't have to worry about the daily dangers of attending a school like McKinley. It was summer by this point, and the blistering heat of the days hadn't quite been enough to make him forget the torment of last year, or what was clearly to come. Kurt's summer so far had consisted of shopping and attempting to avoid the sunlight in the garden, but as the air started to cool and the leaves started to brown, he could feel the next school year looming.

Would it be better? Now that he had friends and the glee club and that he would be a junior, no longer the youngest? Or would it be even worse? He could imagine the jocks coming after him once more purely because he wasn't the youngest anymore; targeting him because he didn't fit into the social order that they had tried so hard to maintain. At least Finn was sort of on side now- their parents dating had caused a fuss for the boys at first, but Kurt had decided to just ignore their past and be at least civil to each other. Finn had taken it in his stride too, surprisingly, even going as far as to support Kurt when they decided to tackle Gaga for a week.

As much as the glee club had helped, however, Kurt entertained the idea of Dalton for a little longer. He swapped numbers with Blaine, his heart fluttering as the other boy stumbled over his words and eventually just handed over his phone, cheeks turning red, and decided that he would wait and see what school was like before he got too invested in the thought of transferring. His Dad would be tough to crack when it came to this, unless Kurt truly believed his days would be even worse than last year at McKinley.

He didn't plan on becoming completely smitten with Blaine, of course.

It just kind of… happened.

As the weeks passed, they spent more and more time together- lying in the back yard, criticizing reality TV on Kurt's small couch and comparing their large selection of bowties in Blaine's navy bedroom. Kurt had quickly learned that Blaine was gay after an awkward blurted question mid conversation, and the two could spend hours talking about anything and everything. Kurt's Dad thought it was good for him, to have someone to speak to about 'stuff', but Kurt was more preoccupied with Blaine's hair and eyes and hands than to talk about any serious issues. Blaine was charming, and sweet, and funny, and everything that Kurt had ever wanted in a boy, and it didn't take long before even other people started to notice.

"So that prep-school boy, huh?" Mercedes asked, sipping at a cold glass of coke and lounging back in one of the lawn chairs that had survived the roof fiasco of '09.

"What do you mean?" Kurt was on the other half-broken chair, head ducked low and sunscreen smeared on to prevent any chance of freckles.

"You're spending a lot of time with him. Almost as much time as you spent with Se-"

"-Blaine's my friend, 'Cedes," Kurt chipped in; ignoring the pang he felt as he cut off the name, "That's all. It's not like that with him."

"Do you want it to be?" she asked, pulling her green sunglasses down her nose so that she could stare him in the eyes.

"Well, yeah, kind of, but it doesn't matter. I can't do a repeat of last time." She rolled her eyes and sat up fully to face him.

"Kurt, I think it's highly unlikely that every guy you meet is going to randomly up and go to France."

"That's not what I mean. Shut up."

"Still hurt, huh? Has he ever…"

"Contacted me? Nope. No reason to, I guess- he's probably got a much more interesting life over there than he would ever have over here with me around." Kurt spat, bitter still even with the passed time. It was true- Sebastian was probably having the time of his life in Paris, all memories of Lima and Kurt and stupid Glee wars long behind him and almost forgotten. After all, Paris was exotic and new and sophisticated, and Kurt was still… Kurt. Still the kid from Lima with weird clothes and hair that wouldn't co-operate.

"Okay, enough of the self-pity; we've been over this, it'ss his loss, and you shouldn't beat yourself up just because he decided to emigrate to Europe without warning, okay?" Kurt gave a quick nod, breathing deeply and relaxing his shoulders, "Plus you're forgetting that I actually saw the kid, Kurt- he's a total nerd. If anything he's probably sitting around in some weird café in Paris pining over you and writing terrible sonnets in notebooks about your eyes," Mercedes laughed, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she sipped at the lemonade Kurt had poured her, "Or your ass."

"Mercedes, you know when I said shut up?"

"Shutting up, shutting up… But seriously, don't let one bad experience hold you back from going after what you want. Blaine likes you, right?"

"Well yeah, but not like-"

"You'll never know if you never try…" She sung softly, leaning closer and grinning widely.

"I'm going to pretend that wasn't a High School Musical reference before I kick you out of my backyard and into the terrible-movie hell where you belong." Kurt snapped, leaning back and sighing deeply.

"There's one little thing that stops you every time…" She mimed a microphone, looking pained as she dramatically sung the words across the small space between them.

"I will kill you if you continue."

"Shutting up. Really shutting up, I mean."


She hummed still under her breath for an hour or so, and if Kurt caught a soft whispered rendition of the chorus from his friend, he didn't say anything, and definitely did not hum it back to her without thinking.


"It's catchy, okay!?"

When school started up a couple of weeks later things got worse. Blaine couldn't hang out anywhere near as much as he did before, and Kurt was back to being at the bottom of the food chain. Sure, this time around there were things to focus on, such as Rachel's feud with the new kid and his campaign to sing Britney in Glee, but school was… school. Nothing had really changed, except now he had a new group of friends to share his time with, rather than sitting alone all the time.

"Kurt!" He turned to face whoever was shouting, less inclined to flinch when he vaguely recognized the voice. "Kurt we're here!" Rachel was yelling, waving a hand in the air and flashing a wide grin at him. She was seated at a table with the rest of the Glee club, all picking at the cafeteria food with varying looks of sadness and confusion. He strolled over and dropped his homemade lunch on the table, eyeing the brown sludge of the day that occupied everyone's plates.

"What is that?" He tentatively asked, wondering if it would crawl off the plate if he looked away. Puck was quick to reply, prodding at the mysterious food with a plastic fork.

"No idea, dude, but it tastes like sh-"

"Where do you stand on the Sunshine issue, Kurt? Do you think she might be a threat to the solo options of the team?" Rachel cut in swiftly, brown eyes boring into his as she lifted an apple to her mouth. Kurt took in the tilt of her eyebrows and the meaningful look from Finn, sitting behind her.

"Um… maybe? No? I figure if she's good, that's good… right?" It wasn't the answer she'd hoped for. She visibly deflated and took a large bite of the apple, sinking into her seat. The team wasn't exactly happy after the crackhouse stunt, and she was paying the price one dirty look at a time.

"Look Rachel, it'll be good for us, having more members, 'kay? Besides, we need as many people as we can get." Mercedes said, her eyes drifting to the blond that had seemed interested in joining before, sat several tables away.

Rachel nodded sadly at Mercedes and turned back to her apple, staring at it for several seconds before biting once more. Kurt resisted the urge to roll his eyes yet again and watched as Finn ran a hand over her back to soothe her.

At that moment his phone buzzed, his bag moving against his foot.

"Ooh, is that Blaine?" Mercedes asked, tearing her eyes away from- Steve? Simon? No, Sam- and leaning in to catch a glimpse of his phone as he read the text.

Hey! I was thinking maybe you could swing by Dalton after school if you wanted? There's someone I want you to meet, also we do amazing lattes here and I'll buy :D

He smirked at the overenthusiastic smiley, so typical of Blaine, and ignored Mercedes' craning as he typed out a reply.

Sure thing, see you at 5!

"Seriously, you need to get on that before it's too late- your smile when he even breathes the same air as you is getting sickening," Santana drawled as she walked over from the cheerio table to lean on the back of Rachel's chair.

"I thought you weren't talking to us anymore, Santana?" Artie asked, looking confused at the girl's sudden appearance.

"Whatever. The bitch squad is getting boring and I figure loser drama is better than no drama. What's the latest, Hummel? This one ran off to Rome?" She shot a sly look in his direction, an eyebrow raising as she smiled slowly.

"No, actually. But I really must run off right now- I have more interesting things to do than talk to you." With this he grabbed his bag and stood, his chin high as he strolled away from the table and pretended not to hear her shouting after him.

"I really doubt that!"

He disappeared into the building, glancing at the clock in the hallway and mentally counting the hours until he could see Blaine.

Not long now.

It took him a while to find Dalton, but when he did, it took even longer to take it in. He was overwhelmed by how nice it was, and how little it looked like an actual school. When his car pulled into the parking lot, it was accompanied by cars that would have made his Dad scream like a teenage girl, and the hallways alone were so clean that they sparkled. Blaine ended up having to come and find him, because he knew that Kurt would get completely lost if left alone, and if Kurt felt a thrill when Blaine took his hand and showed him a short-cut to the common room, he tried not to show it.

"Okay, so I know I haven't talked about him a lot, but I have this friend and he's awesome and he's so smart and you have to meet him because you're gonna love him, just wait!" Blaine said, bouncing a little as he half-jogged along the hallway. "And you can meet the warblers! They've heard so much about you, they're so excited!"

His excitement was infectious, Kurt found as he grinned at Blaine, feet finding their way along until they saw brown double doors and a set of steps, presumably leading to the Dalton common room.

"Ready?" Kurt nodded once as Blaine pushed the doors open, revealing around fifteen boys dressed in red and blue lounging on couches and reading at tables scattered around the room. Kurt smiled at some of the students that caught his eye and let Blaine lead him to a small table in the corner. He was distracted by the sheer size of the room, complete with huge windows to let in as much light as possible. The couches looked comfortable, the leather soft after years of use but still a deep brown in the afternoon light.

"Kurt, I want you to meet-"


The whispered word snapped him out of his daydream of sinking into one of the couches. Kurt's head spun around, blue eyes frantically searching until they met deep green.