When my baby smiles at me, I go to Rio
That's when I go to Rio
Rio- Rio De Janeir-eiro
Kurt let the final notes of I Go to Rio ring out through the theatre. Not long after, he was taking his final bows as Peter Allen; he had just closed his first run on Broadway in a revival of The Boy From Oz.
It didn't matter how he got here, because he was finally where he was meant to be. On stage, on Broadway. He made it.
"I didn't get in," Kurt breathed.
"Kurt, I'm so sorry," Rachel said, rushing over to pull her best friend into a hug.
"I didn't get in," he repeated. "I was so sure I had nailed that audition. Carmen Tibideaux said I was a smash. I don't understand."
Finn cautiously walked over to the pair clinging to each other and reached a hand out to place on his brother's shoulder in comfort.
"Oh, Kurt," Rachel whispered, tears flowing freely from her eyes now as she tightened her grip around his shoulders. "We'll figure something out, Kurt, I promise. This isn't the end."
After watching the curtains close in the Imperial Theatre for a final time, Kurt found himself standing center stage, completely alone. He looked around at the set, replaying the entire show in his head. Forget Carmen Tibideaux and her precious NYADA, he thought, I made it.
He caught himself doing a little dance, resembling that of a teenage girl after receiving her first kiss, before managing to pull himself from the stage. He walked the short distance to his dressing room, where he promptly collapsed onto one of the remaining leather couches. He wasn't ready to leave, he wasn't ready to give this all up.
While still on the couch, Kurt looked around the room. He checked and double-checked that he wasn't leaving any of his personal belongings behind. He slowly pulled himself off the couch and began to undress quickly; wardrobe never took too long to come by and pick up each costume for cleaning. He hurriedly changed into clothes of his own; shimmying into dark jeans, pulling a cream-colored sweater over his head, lacing up his boots, tying a warm scarf around his neck, and slipping into his coat. He grabbed his phone and keys from the vanity, before heading to the stage door, he paused for a brief moment and took one last glance around the room.
When he slipped out the door, he had not expected to be bombarded with applause. There was a large gathering of people crowding around, apparently waiting on him. He answered countless questions from reporters, signed hundreds of Playbills and posters, collected a few bouqets of flowers, and even kissed one blushing little boy on the cheek after he asked for a picture. What seemed like an eternity later, Kurt said goodnight to his fans and climbed into the back of a big, black SUV waiting to take him home.
The first thing Kurt did when he returned home was pour himself a glass of red wine and drank it while submerged in a hot, bubble bath. After thoroughly relaxing himself, he climbed into bed with his cat, Malia, and quickly fell asleep.
It had been two days since The Boy From Oz closed, and Kurt was struggling to come down from his Broadway high. He had decided to treat himself to a little shopping spree in celebration.
Perusing the various racks of clothing, Kurt had his arms laden down with jackets and pants and scarves he knew he didn't need. It was as he was picking out a uniquiely-patterned shirt that he heard a very familiar, shrill voice.
"Kurt Hummel!" the voice called from ten feet away.
He tried to hide his face, turn and walk the other way, but he knew it was a lost cause; he had been spotted.
"Kurt Hummel, you turn around and talk to me right now!"
Kurt pivoted around and came face to face with a determined-looking Rachel Berry.
"Hi, Rachel," he greeted the petite brunette.
"Kurt," she nearly whispered, throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him into a tight squeeze.
"Rachel," he snapped, his words laced with bitterness, "I didn't get in. There's nothing else I can do!"
"Don't say that, Kurt," she persisted and pleaded, "there's always something. Look at me!"
Rachel had opened her letter first; accepted, of course. Finn was next, and by some happy miracle he had been accepted into the Actors' Studio as well. Kurt was determined to make the trio three for three, until he began to read his letter.
'Mr. Hummel, we regret to inform you..'
That's all it took. He hadn't read past that line; he couldn't. How could he be so stupid, so naive to think that he had a chance of beating out thousands of applicants for one of the twenty slots in the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts' Freshman class?
"It's not fair," he muttered, barely loud enough for even himself to hear.
Rachel looked up at him, tears still running down her cheeks. "W-what?"
"It's not fair!" he yelled at her, wrenching himself out of her arms and away from his brother's reach. "I worked my tail off all year, I killed my audition, the first time, but you choked. You choked the first, the second, and the third times. But you're Rachel Berry, the girl the world bows on bended knee to, so you get all the second chances. You get all over the re-dos. You get everything you want, and it's not fair!"He snapped at Rachel, what does she know about failure? She gets everything!
"Woah," FInn spoke up, "dude, chill. It happens. You'll get it next time."
There is no next time!, he wanted to yell, but instead Kurt just glared at the couple before turning on his heel and stalking out the door. He hadn't talked to his brother or his best friend since.
"Rachel," he said, extracting himself from the small girl's arms, "w-what are you doing here?"
"I live here, silly!"
"Oh," he muttered, looking down at her, "I must have forgotten."
"It's okay," she assured him. "What are you doing here? Are you in college?"
"Uh no, actually, I uh-," he began before plastering a very satisfied smile on his face. "In fact, I work here."
"Oh," she said, "I'm still at NYADA, but I have been in a few small shows. Off-Broadway, mostly. What do you do? Costume? Design?" she asked him.
Kurt's smile just got a little bigger with each word she said. "No, Rachel, I'm an actor."
"Kurt, that's great!" she exclaimed. "What show? I simply must come see you!"
"Actually, I just closed a show two nights ago."
"Oh?" she sounded surprised. "Which one? Forgive me if I haven't heard of it, I don't know too much under Off-Broadway productions."
"The Boy From Oz," he stated simply.
"W-what?" she asked, her jaw dropping.
"Yes," he affirmed, "we just closed the revival at the Imperial Theatre."
She stood there staring at him, speechless.
"Well Rachel," he said, "as much fun as this little..thing has been, I really have to get going. I'm meeting some friends for lunch."
He turned to leave but not before she reached out and grabbed his arm, stopping him in his tracks.
"Wait!" she yelled. "I- Congratulations, Kurt. I'm glad your talent is finally being recognized."
"Thank you, Rachel."
"Uh," she said, kicking her feet at the ground and chewing on her bottom lip. "Kurt, could I- uh, maybe we could- here," she said, thrusting her iPhone into his hand. "Put your number in. I'd really like to catch up, Kurt. I feel so bad about what happened in high school and I really miss you."
He stared down at the phone in his hand, contemplating whether or not he was ready to move on and forgive her. Deep down he knew he had been somewhat childish, he supposed. He quickly tapped his number into her address book before he could change his mind, and handed the phone back over to her.
As he turned to leave this time, his phone began to vibrate softly in his pocket. He pulled it out and stared down at the screen, furrowing his brow at the unfamiliar number. Sliding his thumb across the screen, he accepted the call. "Hello?"
"And now you have my number, too," he heard Rachel say.
He chuckled to himself before turning around and genuinely smiling at his ex-best friend. "Bye, Rachel," he said, hanging up the phone and walking to the registers to purchase his new outfits.
A full week had passed before Kurt heard anything from Rachel Berry again. It started with a simple text.
Kurt was washing dishes from his dinner the previous night, when the screen on his phone lights up and a soft vibrate causes it to come alive on his laminate countertops. He quickly dries off his hands and thumbs over the screen, opening his new message.
From Rachel: I want you to be my date.
From Kurt: I'm waiting for the punch line.
Kurt sighs to himself before accepting the call.
"Hello?" Kurt greets her.
"Please, Kurt," Rachel is practically begging, "I really need a date."
"Rachel," Kurt begins, "I know we haven't talked in a few years, but your memory cannot be that bad."
"Fine then," he says, "let me refresh it for you: I'm gay."
"That is all the more reason for you to come with me!" she squeaks from her end of the line.
"Okay, I'll bite," he concedes. "Where do you need a date?"
"The New York Theatre Charity Millionaire Bachelor Auction."
"The what?" Kurt asks.
"It's a bachelor auction," she explains, "and all of the proceeds go to the underfunded local children's theaters in the city!"
"Why do you have to go to this?"
"I don't have to go," she admits, "but I want to. It's for charity, and who knows? Maybe I'll meet the one!"
"What happened to Finn?"
"Oh my gosh," she gasps, "don't tell me you don't even talk to your brother still?"
"Then I won't tell you."
"Kurt, we broke up seven months, one week, and three days after graduation," she says as if it's the most obvious thing ever, "I can't believe Burt or Carole didn't even tell you."
"Even though they weren't thrilled with my choice to cut you two out," he told her, "they still respected my decision and we went on with our lives."
"But he's your brother," she scolds him.
"You just said that," he deadpans. "Anyway, is there a reason you want me to accompany you?"
"I miss you."
"And this would be the perfect opportunity to catch up," she explains. "We could get all dressed up and go fawn over cute boys, maybe even get a couple of phone numbers. It would be just like old times, Kurt!"
"Rachel, we never did those things."
"You are completely missing the point," she sighs.
"If I agree to be your date," he wonders out loud, "what all would that entail?"
"Oh, just attending with me," she states. "And being a perfect gentlemen and not stealing any of my bids."
He rolls his eyes, knowing full well that she can't see him. As if any guy Rachel Berry is interested in would ever be my type.
"Fine," he agrees. "When is it?"
"Oh, thank you thank you thank you, Kurt!" she squeals. "It's tomorrow at seven! Don't worry about the location, just text me the address for your building and I'll swing by around five to pick you up!"
"Sounds peachy," he deadpanned.
"Okay, well I have to run!" she says. "I'll see you tomorrow, Kurt!"
With that the line dies and Kurt sets his phone on the kitchen counter. He quickly drops his head into his hands wondering what he has just gotten himself into.