AN- This coming Thursday, July 11th, will mark one year to the day since I posted my very first chapter of fanfiction. It's been an amazing ride, loves. Thanks for coming along.

Much love and sloppy cyber kisses,

PickingViolets


A sickeningly heavy sense of realization settled into Blaine's gut as Luke's words finally sank in. They bounced around in his head, echoing loudly as if Luke had shouted them. In reality his voice had barely been a whisper.

"Flexy? Meet assface."

So... this was the guy. This was the mysterious man who had messed with Kurt's heart. The man, who Blaine had now heard of multiple times, yet knew almost nothing about. This was the stupid mouth breather Luke had hinted about at dinner. This was the bastard of an ex-boyfriend Kurt had once mentioned, the one he had referred to as not "the nicest guy in the world." Blaine suddenly had a feeling that that particular sentiment was the understatement of the year. This was, most likely, the arrogant fuck Kurt had referred to when he had mentioned hopping back into bed with someone who you knew was bad for you, but was a good lay... just as Blaine had done with Celeste.

He had an overwhelming urge to double check whether that previously perfect nose attached to that irritatingly perfect face was actually broken. One more solid punch couldn't hurt.

Luke sensed the sudden tension in Blaine's body and tightened his grip on the shorter man's shoulders once again, whispering in his ear.

"Easy does it, my halfway gay. Let's try and keep you from getting arrested for assault and battery. M'kay?"

Blaine recognized the wisdom in Luke's statement, even through his rage, and calmed himself by turning away for a moment, unable to bear the sight of that self-absorbed shit if he wanted to regain his composure.

"What the fucking hell is wrong with you, you stupid cunt?!" Vince growled menacingly in a muffled and nasal voice as he covered his nose and mouth with his hand to stop the dripping blood. "I can touch my fucking boyfriend whenever I damn well please! Just stay out of-"

Blaine whipped around at this, betrayal and shock flooding through him like a tidal wave.

"What?" Jared interrupted with a gasp, turning his gaze accusingly upon Kurt.

"He's not your fucking boyfriend anymore, assface!" Luke shouted at the exact same moment, making sure to emphasize the nickname. He let go of Blaine and stepped forward. "I was standing right there when he broke up with you a year ago, you ignorant fuck! Or are you so self-involved that you are literally blind to people you'd like to pretend aren't there?"

Blaine sagged in relief at this, and promptly felt a wave of guilt wash over himself for doubting Kurt's integrity. One glance at Jared told Blaine that he was feeling the exact same thing.

Blaine's focus turned to Kurt then, and he was concerned to see that his boyfriend's expression was slipping back towards inexplicably emotionless. It was as if the entire situation was just more than he could handle, and he was shutting down. To be honest, it terrified Blaine just a bit. This wasn't his Kurt. This wasn't the man he knew and loved... but the moment that thought entered his mind he softened. Even in the midst of all that chaos he reminded himself that his love for Kurt hadn't, and wouldn't, change, regardless of what was happening right now.

"That's between Kurt and I, you interfering little bitch," Vince snapped, eyeing Luke darkly. "A breakup has to be mutual, and I never agreed to anything. It's over when I say it's over."

"You're fucking psychotic!" Luke shouted in furious disbelief, wildly throwing his hands up in the air.

Blaine simply stared at Kurt, having no fucking idea what he was supposed to do. Kurt just stood there, his face still void of emotion, shaking his head from side to side as he stared at the floor.

"Oh, that's where you're confused," Vince smirked, sending Blaine a vindictive glance as he spit another mouthful of blood onto the floor. "That bushy haired dwarf over there is the one who's psychotic. I imagine I'll be pretty convincing when I show up at the police station looking like this and anxiously tell them of the man who started beating me out of nowhere when I, oh so innocently, popped in to say hi to my long lost boyfriend."

"I'm pretty sure it's been made clear that Kurt is no longer your boyfriend," Jared spoke in a low, intimidating tone of voice. "I'm also fairly certain that we have four witnesses who can verify that you were NOT invited to enter these premises, so you are trespassing right now, my friend. You also basically sexually harassed your ex-boyfriend in the process. We have just as good of a reason to press charges against you."

"Oh, please!" Vince scoffed, somehow managing to look superior, even with both fresh and drying blood crusting and dripping down his face. "I didn't force myself anywhere! Not one of you tried to stop me... and Kurt loves for me to touch his ass, don't you baby?"

He winked slyly at Kurt then, and for the first time, Kurt's eyes genuinely began to narrow, and a small tremble of anger ran through his body.

It took both Jared and Luke to hold Blaine back this time.

"Get the fuck out of here, assface!" Luke grunted. "No one needs to see the abomination that is your ugly mug!"

"Try and make me!" Vince shot out, suddenly sounding like a whining child.

"Get out. Get out before I fucking kill you," Blaine growled. "If you touch my boyfriend again I will-"

"You'll what? Kick me in the shins, shrimpy?" Vince mocked. "You only got in that last punch because I wasn't ready! I'll-"

"Be quiet."

The voice was so low and calm, differing so vastly from the rest of the angry shouts in the room that it actually stood out above everything else, resonating in the air and bringing the other four men to a halt.

Kurt coolly gazed out at them all, letting his order hang heavily in the air. The seeming instantaneous flip-flop of his demeanor was so bewildering that they all, even Vince, simply stared back, obeying immediately.

That was the other thing. Not only was Kurt calm and collected, he was commanding. Underneath the steady calm in his eyes, however, there was a fiery spark. It wasn't quite definable, but whatever it was, it was intimidating. He was actually so calm that he seemed to be on the very edge of making a full circle, and losing his shit completely. None of them were anxious to see that happen.

Luke alone felt a tiny grin fight to turn up the corners of his mouth. He was beginning to see what this was. Kurt's chilling, pee your pants, quake your insides until they turn to mush "bitchy side" was about to rear its terrifying head. This was a rare and awe-inspiring experience that few people had the opportunity to witness and even though it chilled Luke to the bone, he was practically bouncing and shouting for joy, on the inside at least, knowing what lay in store for good ole' assface.

"Ku-"

"I said be quiet," Kurt hushed, leveling Vince with a look and successfully shutting him up, at least for the moment.

Kurt purposefully let the tension hang heavily in the air as he collected his thoughts and forced himself to come back to his senses. The initial, nauseating shock of seeing Vince at his front door was finally beginning to fade, along with the utter disbelief at the things he had said and done. His alarm at Blaine's aggressive behavior was quickly fading, too, and some feelings that he honestly didn't understand had taken its place.

With a steadying breath, Kurt silently crossed the kitchen to pull a couple dishtowels from a drawer. They all watched on in silent confusion, but the look in Kurt's eye was beyond intimidating by now, so all four men wisely kept their mouths shut. He dampened one towel at the sink and brusquely offered it to Vince, quietly telling him to head to the bathroom and clean his face. Vince did so, purposely sending Blaine a pompous smirk as he walked past.

Next, Kurt moved to the refrigerator, pulling some ice cubes from the freezer and wrapping them in one of the towels.

"I apologize for dragging you into this, Jared, and I'm sorry you got dragged BACK into it, Luke," Kurt spoke softly as he moved to stand in front of Blaine, meeting the gaze of both of his friends.

"Dude," Luke rolled his eyes. "I got your back against assface any day. You know that. You say the word and I'll make my little nickname for him a reality."

Kurt smirked, in spite of himself, and gently took Blaine's left hand in his own.

"Don't even worry about it," Jared reassured firmly, patting Kurt on the shoulder. Kurt nodded his appreciation, sending both Luke and Jared a stoic look.

"Would you mind just stepping into my bedroom for a minute? I need a moment with Blaine."

With apprehensive glances at the couple, their best friends quickly ducked from the room, leaving an exponentially apprehensive Blaine to watch his boyfriend in confusion, waiting to find out what the hell was going on here.

Kurt heaved out a heavy sigh, examining Blaine's knuckles carefully. Blaine looked down too and was shocked to see that they were already swelling slightly and purpling in a couple of spots. He hadn't realized that he'd hit Vince that hard. He had been too angry to feel the pain right away, but he felt it now.

"Ouch," he whispered as Kurt pressed on the swollen skin, as if checking to see how much he had injured himself. He glanced up cautiously, but Kurt was focusing on the hand in front of him. His eyes were glassy, and with a resigned nod he wrapped the ice filled towel around Blaine's hand. He looked up then, and Blaine was shocked to see a small smile on his face. It was a bit sad, but it was a real smile. With a roll of his eyes and a tiny laugh that cracked and turned into a sob, right at the very end, he leaned in, kissing Blaine hard on the mouth.

"God, I love you, you... Neanderthal!"

His voice wavered and he threw his arms around Blaine's neck, clinging to him desperately. Relief flooded through Blaine's body as he hugged Kurt to him, lifting him off the ground for a quick moment as he squeezed him tight.

They pulled back after a moment, just staring at each other. There was so much to say. Kurt had a lot of explaining to do, and he knew it. He didn't feel judged though, and he somehow knew, deep down, that Blaine wasn't going anywhere. They would work this out.

Blaine needed to apologize for attacking Vince with no thought for the consequences, and he knew it. Kurt wasn't angry with him though. He knew that Kurt realized that this was his way of standing up for him, protecting him, and he loved him for it.

There was a lot to say, but not just now. Not in this moment. They were too overwhelmed. Kurt swallowed roughly, wiping at his face and taking a steeling breath as he pulled out of Blaine's arms.

"I need to take Vince somewhere to talk. Tonight. I don't know what is going on in his fucked up head but I have to put a stop to it right now."

Blaine just stared back at him at first. His first response was to tell him flat out that he forbade him to go anywhere alone with that asshole.

Somehow he had the feeling that that particular statement wouldn't go over too well.

He crossed his arms over his chest stubbornly and looked at the floor.

"I don't like you being alone with him," he spoke stiffly. "Talk to him here. He's clearly a couple French fries short of a Happy Meal, if he thinks that you're still together. He's also incredibly possessive of you, babe. He just said that this wasn't over till he says it's over. Plus, he's a total asswipe. And did I mention that he's fucking crazy?"

Kurt smirked indulgently and pulled an obstinate Blaine back into his arms.

"Everything you've said is true, but you're acting like I can't take care of myself, which I can. I can throw a mean punch, too, sweetheart. Also... remember that incredibly wise thing you said to me only a day ago? That I didn't have the right to decide what's best for you, that I didn't get to make that call? That goes both ways, Blaine."

Blaine rolled his eyes, pursing his lips in irritation and tightening his arms around his body. He didn't pull out of Kurt's arms, but he purposely made himself stiff and unyielding.

"Throw my own wise words in my face, why don't you," he sniffed petulantly. A tiny smile was trying it's best to crack through his angry mask though, and Kurt could tell. The model quickly tickled his sides, causing a decidedly girlish giggle to escape from Blaine's mouth before he could stop himself.

"Stop it," he smacked at Kurt's hands with a snort. "You're undermining my manliness. If you don't stop making me giggle like a little girl I'm gonna have to go break something else belonging to the ex-boyfriend from hell to prove how macho I am. Do you want that on your conscience?"

Kurt sighed, pouting a little as he leaned down onto Blaine's shoulder.

"It would probably make me a bad person to say that it wouldn't bother my conscience in the slightest. That it would actually give me great satisfaction to hear another one of his bones crunching like that, huh?"

"Well," Blaine smirked, holding Kurt once again. "That was actually cartilage, not bone, but I'd be more than happy to oblige, sweetcheeks."

He swatted Kurt's ass at that, and Kurt shook a little with laughter, playfully wiggling his ass up against Blaine's hand.

"I'll keep your offer in mind, my crazy frat boy," he mumbled into Blaine's neck.

Blaine closed his eyes at the nickname, soaking in the word "my". They stayed quiet then, with nothing else to say for the moment. All other discussion would have to wait. They heard the water turn off in the bathroom and knew that Vince was coming out soon. He needed to be dealt with, and as much as Blaine despised the idea, he needed to let Kurt handle this his own way.

"I don't like this," he growled when he heard the handle on the bathroom door turn. He pulled back from Kurt and crossed his arms again, turning to glare towards the door.

"I know," Kurt sighed, grabbing another towel and stepping toward the freezer once more. "You don't have to."

"So," Vince sent a condescending glance toward Blaine as he stepped through the doorway and walked straight past him and stood in front of Kurt. "Did you muzzle your dog? I really don't care to be attacked again. All I-"

"Stop talking, Vincent." Kurt responded coldly. He put more ice in the towel he was holding and roughly shoved it in Vince's face. Vince gasped in pain as the ice hit his nose and he stared back at Kurt shock.

Blaine smiled slowly in spite of himself, finding a significant amount of delight in the fact that Kurt was finally standing up for himself. Luke and Jared stepped cautiously from the bedroom, watching the situation with wide eyes. Kurt ignored them all and focused on his ex with a frigid stance.

"Listen to me very carefully. You and I are going to leave here and have a conversation. This will be a very specific conversation, in which you will have very specific lines. You are allowed to tell me, very briefly, what the hell is going on in your brain, and I will be reminding you, regardless of your reasoning, why we are no longer boyfriends and that you don't have a chance in hell at getting back together with me."

Vince slowly lowered the ice from his nose, staring at Kurt in disbelief. His eyes narrowed and he turned suddenly to glare at Blaine. His mouth opened as he sneered at the other man in disgust but Kurt stepped forward and tipped Vince's chin back toward his own face.

"No, no, no. See, you talking to him does not work. You have nothing to say to him. You walked into this apartment, disrespecting me and disrespecting him. You acted like you belong here, which you clearly don't. Not only are we no longer together, you never even lived here. Now, Blaine? Not only is he my boyfriend, he actually lives here. Not only am I his, this is his apartment, too. He had every right to break your damn nose, which wasn't yours to begin with so you can easily go right back Dr. Somers and ask him to give you another James Franco knock-off."

Luke snorted loudly, practically bending in half as he slapped Jared on the shoulder and burst into laughter. Jared covered his mouth with his hand, trying to be slightly more discreet in his laughter. Vince turned to glare at them sharply, basically seething by this point. Blaine, however, was staring at Kurt, jaw dropped.

Did he just say that I live here? Did I just hear that?

Kurt glanced back at him guiltily, knowing full well why Blaine was looking at him that way. He shrugged his shoulders uncertainly, honestly not sure why he had said what he'd said. It had just sort of popped out. He actually wondered briefly whether it was a subconscious attempt to smooth things over with his boyfriend. A sort of olive branch.

Blaine smiled slowly as he bit at his lower lip and shrugged back. Living together. Him. Living here. With Kurt. This would be their place.

He could handle that.

Their momentary connection was quickly broken, though when Vince lunged toward Luke, who was still cackling hysterically, and Kurt had to grab his arm to keep him in place.

"You need to shut the hell up! You are such a freaking punk! Why are you even here? Do you seriously STILL have this little of a life that you need to follow Kurt around and act like his guard dog?"

Luke managed to look distinctly unimpressed, though Jared could practically feel rage radiating from him.

"Whatever, assface," he smirked, strongly emphasizing the 'ass' in assface. "Go on and continue to insult people to make yourself feel better. I know it's all you've got in life so I'll let you have it."

When Vince growled once again Kurt jerked him toward the door. He tossed a reproving look at Luke who threw his hands up defensively.

"That's enough, children," Kurt muttered. "We've had enough name calling and bloodshed for one night. Come on, Vince. We're gonna talk."

Blaine trembled uncontrollably for just a moment as he watched them walk out. A combination of his extreme anger toward Kurt's ex and fear that Kurt would actually be okay took him over, just briefly. He sighed with relief though when Kurt turned back and kissed him softly on the mouth, lingering longer than he probably would have under normal circumstances. Blaine vindictively hoped that it was specifically to put Vince in his place.

"I won't be long, okay?" Kurt whispered against his lips. "Definitely not more than an hour. I'm just gonna take him to the bar on the corner. I'll call him a cab from there."

Blaine nodded, yanking Kurt in for one final kiss and ignoring the smug look on Vince's face that clearly said he planned on keeping Kurt a lot longer than that. The man would have needed more than a nose job otherwise.

"Don't forget your bag," Jared spoke in a low voice as he tossed the heavy duffel to Vince's arms.

Vince grunted in pain as the bag bumped into his nose and Kurt quickly pushed him into the hall before yet another fight could start.

They all looked up in surprise, however, when the door across the hall opened and a smiling Mrs. Moscowitz stepped out with a couple of tins in her hands.

"My, my you boys are up late! Good thing the Twilight Zone marathon is on tonight or I'd be fast asleep and you'd have missed my cook…"

She trailed off as she finally took in the entire scene before her, including Vince with his bloody nose along with Blaine's wrapped hand. Vince seemed to visibly sag as he heaved out a deep sigh along with an irritated groan.

"Well," she sniffed, standing up as tall as her four foot eleven inch frame would allow. "Can't say I'm entirely happy to see you standing in my hallway young man, but how are you doing?"

"Bleeding, exhausted and pissed the hell off," Vince responded in a tight voice. Mrs. Moscowitz eyed him darkly.

"Good."

Kurt surprised them all by snorting in laughter then, but quickly cleared his throat and spoke up, seeming shocked at himself by his momentary break in character.

"Um, I'm really sorry if any of the noise disrupted you, Mrs. Moscowitz. I'm taking Vince out of the building now so we won't be bothering you. He won't be back either," he glared at Vince with this, "so don't worry. This will be the last time you'll see him here."

When Vince glared at the other woman darkly and leaned forward as if to say something, all three of the other men quickly stepped toward him, staring him down as if to tell him that he would leave here with even more injuries if he spoke rudely to the older woman.

He huffed and stomped down the hall without another word, pressing the button for the elevator with an angry punch. Mrs. Moscowitz let out a sad sigh and stood on her tiptoes to kiss her young neighbor's cheek.

"You go on and do what you need to do, sweetheart. I'll take care of this one for you."

She stepped forward then, handing her tins to Jared before taking Blaine's injured hand in hers, clucking her tongue as a gentle reprimand while she looked it over. Kurt smiled as he leaned down to kiss her back, and without a word he jogged down the hall to catch up with Vince.

They all watched them disappear, the air thick as their differing thoughts and emotions hung heavily on their hearts. Finally, Mrs. Moscowitz sighed and put her little arms around all three men as she steered them inside.

"Come on, youngins. Be gentlemen and help this little old lady inside. While you're at it you can tell me when hell froze over and pigs started to fly, because I swear I never thought I'd see that spawn of Satan darkening my doorstep ever again."

Luke howled as he offered his arm to her fully.

"Come on in and we'll give you the scoop. Just out of curiosity though, have you ever considered dating a younger man, cuz I'm fairly certain I just fell in love with you."

She tipped her head back to gaze up at him appraisingly and gave him a wink.

"Play your cards right, Lucas and we'll see what we see."

They both laughed as they slowly headed to the couch, and Jared and Blaine followed, snickering quietly as they glanced at each other with a loving roll of their eyes.

Blaine quickly sobered though; sagging against Jared, drained beyond belief and having no clue what to do next. Jared pulled him close, squeezing him with both arms as he steered them toward the couch.

"It's gonna be okay, honey. I promise. You guys are gonna be okay."

Blaine didn't respond, simply let Jared hug him and lead the way. He would feel a whole lot better once Kurt was back home and in his arms again.

It was gonna be one long fucking hour.


"Sit."

Vince worked his best to not glare darkly at his ex, knowing that if he was going to have a shot in hell he had better lay it on pretty thick right now. He looked distastefully to where Kurt was pointing at two empty bar stools and peered deeper into the pub.

"Can't we at least sit at a booth, honey? I'd like a little privacy to discuss our relationship."

He pointed to a dimly lit booth in the far back corner of the bar and smoothly whipped his arm around Kurt's waist in an effort to seem gentlemanly and guide him through the crowd. Kurt disentangled himself just as smoothly, however, and moved instead to a booth right in the middle of the action and surrounded by people.

"A. we don't have a relationship to discuss, and B. you try to touch me like that one more time and I will be taking a page out of Blaine's book. Do you read me?"

Vince nodded meekly, or at least what he hoped was meek… he wasn't entirely sure what that word meant if he was completely honest with himself… and followed Kurt to sit down.

Once they were seated Kurt sighed heavily, placing his face in his hands for a brief moment before looking up and crossing his arms over his chest.

Vince felt a flicker of confusion and discomfort as he took in Kurt's stance. Something was different. There was something new and not altogether welcome in Vince's book about the way Kurt was carrying himself. He seemed stronger, more confident.

Now, over all, Kurt had always been strong and confident. That was something that had drawn Vince in right away, in fact. As he had gotten to know the model, however, he quickly found out that when it came to relationships, Kurt was definitely a bit on the insecure side. Part of him always seemed to believe that he wasn't quite good enough. It seemed to shock him when men showed interest, as if he believed he wasn't quite deserving of their attentions. Whether consciously or not, at least in the beginning, Vince had used those insecurities to his advantage.

A passive aggressive statement here, a blanketed criticism there… as long as he did it just right he found ways to ensure that Kurt would always come back to him.

It was as if Vince was saying "Hey, the rest of the world may hate you and see your many faults, but your loving boyfriend will always be there for you", and Vince was a very loving boyfriend.

For a good two years this lie had actually worked, or at least enough to say so. Kurt was obviously smart enough to know full well that Vince wasn't "the one". He didn't delude himself into believing that this was the man he would marry. He never even introduced him to his father. He was also painfully aware that no one else was standing in line to date him though. Vince took great care to tell him so, though always in some duplicitous way. A boyfriend who could be a bit of an ass was better than no boyfriend at all, right? He just hated being alone… so, so much. The dark days of "Bruce", his boyfriend arm pillow still haunted him and he vowed to never stoop to that level again.

By the time he figured out exactly how much of an ass Vince really was he actually longed for the days of Bruce. Admitting to owning a boyfriend pillow was actually less embarrassing than admitting to dating Vince.

"Just," Kurt shook his head in quiet disbelief, "what is going on in your head right now? And speak carefully. You're on the clock and I have very little patience left for you."

Vince swallowed, looking down at his hands.

"I missed you," he whispered.

"What was it that you missed exactly?" Kurt sputtered. "Did you miss all the sneaking around and cheating on me? Did you miss lying to my face? Did you miss criticizing my every move while carefully assuring me that you would always love me despite my faults? Yeah, I caught on to that depraved little trick of yours! Did you miss the look on my face when you would disappoint me, time after time? Did you miss the feeling of satisfaction you must have gotten when I fell for your lies, over and over and over? Cuz let me tell you, Vincent! I did not miss any of that!"

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence when the tables surrounding them grew quiet, unable to help overhearing since Kurt was basically yelling by the end of his rant. Vince cleared his throat, reaching for every humble bone in his body and hoping he managed to show it on his face.

"You're right, Kurt. I was terrible. I was the worst boyfriend in the world. I didn't deserve you."

He reached forward, taking Kurt's hand cautiously, preparing for him to yank it away. He didn't, but he didn't grip it back either. He simply sat there, eyes narrowed as if he was trying to figure out what Vince's angle was.

"Listen," Vince swallowed, shaking his head desperately and willing his dry eyes to fill up with tears. This would be so much more affective if he could just fucking cry. "I never treated you right, and I realize that now. I loved you though! You have to believe me! I still love you!"

Kurt didn't respond except for rolling his eyes with an exasperated sigh.

"You have to know, Kurt," Vince forged ahead; "I thought that our break-up was more of a… well, just a break. I thought it would be good to have some space, but I didn't think we had separated completely!"

Kurt's eyes narrowed and he pulled his hand away.

"How the hell could you misinterpret, 'Get out of my face, get out of my apartment, get out of New York, get out of my life. We are over, so completely over. If I never see your face again I will die a happy man?'"

Vince's eyebrows shot up his forehead as Kurt deadpanned his parting words from over a year ago without batting an eye.

"Wow," he coughed, blushing. "I dunno… um, I guess I just thought you were being dramatic. You can do that sometimes, honey."

"Do NOT… call me honey," Kurt gritted his teeth. "You lost that right around the fourth time I caught you with your dick in some twink's mouth."

"Right," Vince's blush deepened, though it was partly from anger now and not embarrassment. If there was anything he hated it was having his mistakes shoved in his face. He could only take so much before lashing out, and he was drawing near that line. "No more 'honey'. I guess I just want you to understand that I didn't think we were broken up. I haven't dated anyone since I left, Kurt! Not a single person!"

"You're such a liar," Kurt muttered as his shoulders shook with a humorless laugh. Vince swallowed his mounting anger and chose to ignore that statement for the time being.

"Can you imagine," he pushed on, "how I felt when I came home to surprise you and that dickwad punches me in the face?! And then I find out that he's living with you?! Seriously, Kurt! I can't believe you would hurt me like that! We were gonna work things out!"

Kurt slowly closed his eyes, certain he must be dreaming.

"Vincent," he sighed, then opened his eyes. He reached across the table taking both of his ex's hands in his own. "You need to find a way to come out of your special little world and listen to me very carefully."

Vince immediately grew cold. If there was anything he hated more than having his mistakes thrown in his face it was being condescended to, and Kurt had done both in the last few minutes. He was dangerously close to losing it. Kurt went on, either not seeing or not caring how icy Vince's demeanor had grown.

"When we were together, you treated me like shit. You lied, cheated and were demeaning. I forgave you and put up with it, God only knows why. Even after we broke up the first time I continually let myself get sucked back into your little traps and you would do the same shit every… fucking… time."

Kurt let go of his hands then and leaned forward to make sure that his ex caught every single word.

"We are over. We have been over for a long time now. I don't believe you for one second, both when you tell me that you thought we were still together and that you haven't been with anyone for the last year. Do you know why?"

Vince glowered but Kurt went on in an even voice, unconcerned.

"Because you have never once, since the day that I first met you, given me any reason to believe that you are trustworthy. You are vicious, and selfish, and cold, Vincent. You're... you're toxic... and I refuse to be poisoned by you for one more second."

Kurt stood up, taking a moment to pull his jacket on before gazing down at his ex one last time. Vince was focused on the table, looking as if he had no idea what had just happened. All anger was gone and an emotion that he was entirely unfamiliar with was taking its place.

"Kurt," he pleaded. "I... I love you though. You have to-"

"No," Kurt shook his head, giving another humorless laugh. "You didn't. You were obsessed with me. You didn't love me. I don't know if it was just me or if you actually don't know how to love, but you might want to work on figuring that out."

When Vince just stared blankly, shaking his head as if he couldn't comprehend what he was being told, Kurt sighed and zipped up his coat.

"Believe it or not, I genuinely hope that you find happiness someday, Vincent... It's just not going to be with me."

Without a second glance he walked out, leaving Vince to realize that the tears he had been trying for earlier were coming just a few minutes too late.


"Shut the front door!"

Blaine snickered in spite of himself at Luke's squeaky, disbelieving voice, laughing silently as he listened to his three friends talk.

Honestly, before this evening, he wasn't sure that he would have called Mrs. Moscowitz a friend, per se. An acquaintance for sure, a friendly neighbor, someone for whom he had admiration and respect most definitely. But, friend? This was new. How could he not think of her that way though? Not after the way they were hanging out and talking. This special type of sitting and talking, the way they all were connecting and enjoying each other's company in such a relaxed way... that was reserved for true friends.

Who'd have thought?

Blaine stretched out his legs over top of Luke's, making himself comfortable and fully taking advantage of the fact that they were all spoiling him at the moment. It had been a pretty fucked up few days. He desperately felt the need to know that he was loved and cared for by those close to him, and knew very well how blessed he was right now. Not everybody was this lucky.

They had all cozied up on the couch after Mrs. Moscowitz had cleaned his bruised knuckles with witch hazel while Luke filled her in on what had happened.

Apparently she was quite familiar with Vince's handiwork and was just as irritated to see him back in Kurt's life as anyone else in the room. Kurt was like a son to her after all, and no good mother wants to see her son with "such an unpleasant fellow."

She quickly changed the topic, however, seeing how frustrated Blaine seemed by the whole situation.

After settling on the couch, Blaine with his head on Jared's lap and his legs propped up on Luke's while the elderly lady stroked his hair gently, she began regaling them with tales from her youth.

"Am I astonishing you?" She asked with a twinkle in her eye as she gazed over Blaine's head toward Luke.

"Yes, quite frankly, you are…" Luke paused in his laughter. "Can I call you by your first name? Mrs. Moscowitz just feels really formal and long."

"Of course," she smiled. "It's Daniella."

Her voice was suddenly and exotically prominent with an accent as she spoke her name, one that they hadn't noticed in particular before.

"Daniella," Jared repeated softly. "That's beautiful."

"Why, thank you, young man," she patted his leg. "Now, do you find my story quite so hard to believe as young Lucas over here?"

Jared peered at her carefully for a moment before shaking his head with a grin.

"Not at all. I can totally picture you stowing away on a train and jumping off while still in motion."

"You better believe it," she piped up as she snatched her cane from next to the couch and waved it in the air. "How do you think my hip got injured in the first place?"

They all laughed at this as she wrinkled her nose and shrugged.

"Okay, so it was already rolling to a stop as I jumped, but I still did it!"

"You are one of the most interesting people I have ever met, Daniella," Luke grinned, reaching out a fist so that she could bump it. She looked at him in confusion until Blaine saw what was happening over his head and took her hand, forming it into a fist and showing her how to bump Luke's. She giggled adorably as they helped her out, patting them each and telling them what "spectacular, young men" they were.

"You just wait until you hear some of my stories about my lovers. Oh, I've got some hot and steamy ones there, my darlings." She sighed thoughtfully, a dreamy smile crossing her face. The silence of the three young men next to her didn't register until Blaine noisily sat up, wedging himself between Luke and Jared and moving his hair out of reach from her stroking fingers.

"What?" She asked innocently, giving them a sassy wink. Blaine snorted as he settled back down on Jared's lap, and Jared and Luke cracked up.

"The most interesting part of those memories, though," she reflected quietly, twisting one of Blaine's curls around her arthritic finger, "is considering how each lover affected me, how they changed me."

Blaine stilled. Her words suddenly feeling monumentally important, and strangely directed straight toward him.

"I've had amazing experiences and not so amazing experiences, as you will, too. Just listen up, my young bucks. When we're young we have this misconception that life ought to be perfect. We regret all our mistakes and wish and hope for bad things to never happen to us. We revel in the good experiences and think of the bad ones as some kind of curse."

"They're not?" Jared asked skeptically.

"No," she smiled, chucking his chin lightly with her gnarled finger. "They're not. They shape us. They teach us what not to do. They make the amazing moments in life that much sweeter."

"So, we're supposed to hope we have bad experiences and be excited when they happen?" Luke eyed her with a grin, but it was clear that he was genuinely curious how she would respond.

"No, you whippersnapper," she chuckled. "That would be just plain ridiculous. The point though is that they do happen. There's no stopping them. That's life. What are you going to do, though? Curl up and cry like a little girl every time they happen? No! You learn and move on. Someone breaks your heart, you find someone else to mend it."

Blaine blinked slowly as the weight of what she said settled down on him, or more accurately, the weight he had been carrying for the last hour floated away. He felt more than a little silly at how big a deal he was making over this whole thing, shock or not.

Blaine had baggage. Kurt had baggage. They had both had bad experiences, now they had each other. It really wasn't that complicated.

"You're awfully wise, Mrs. Moscowitz," he grinned, turning his head to peer up at her. She ruffled his curls in response, smiling down at him.

"She totally is!" Luke exclaimed, bouncing on the couch excitedly. "I'd never thought about it before but that's so true! I've always resented that time in the tenth grade when Sheila Watkins scratched the shit out of my dick trying to give me a blow job right after she'd gotten braces."

Mrs. Moscowitz's mouth hung open. Jared and Blaine closed their eyes, shaking their heads slowly.

"And why exactly are you now grateful for that bad experience?" Jared asked, cringing slightly and feeling that he would regret asking the moment the words left his mouth.

"Because," Luke rolled his eyes as if it was obvious. "If it hadn't been for Sheila, I never would have gone out with Lily May, that girl with no teeth. Twenty-four year old girl with no teeth? That's some freaky shit! If I hadn't had my cock wrecked by my metal mouthed girlfriend when I was fifteen I never would have given Lily May a chance, but DAMN! I'm so fucking glad I did! Best. Blowjob. Ever."

Mrs. Moscowitz bit her lips indecisively before patting him on the knee with a gracious smile.

"Yes, sweetheart. That was exactly what I was trying to say. Good job. Good job."


"Can I buy you a drink? You look like you deserve one."

Vince looked up from where he was moodily nursing his whiskey to find a beautiful but extremely drunk blonde leaning on the table in front of him, purposely giving him a prime view of the cleavage that was spilling out of her shirt.

"That's sweet and all," he snorted sarcastically, "but you're barkin' up the wrong tree, honey. I like me some cock, not titties, lovely as yours are."

"Damn it all to fucking hell!" She exclaimed, buttoning a couple of the buttons on her blouse as she slammed herself down into a chair next to him then crossed her arms irritably. "Is every fucking man on the planet now gay?! Even the guy with blood crusted on his face is turning me down in favor of dick! I have so fucking had it with supposed gay men!"

Vince watched her for a moment, taken aback by her outburst, before throwing his head back and barking out a laugh. He motioned to the bar for another couple of drinks.

"So what's the deal? You date too many guys in the closet? You got some defective gaydar? Do tell, cuz your little outburst was too dramatic for me to leave alone."

"It's slightly more involved than that," she responded in a slurred, flat voice, snatching up the drink he had bought for her and toasting him before tossing it back.

"I've got the time," he shrugged, taking a smaller sip of his own drink. "I've literally got nowhere to go tonight."

"If you were interested in twats you'd have a place to go," she gave him a crooked grin. "Too bad. I'm only looking for a hookup, not love."

Vince looked at her closely to see if she was serious, and then carefully watched her for a second longer to gauge just how drunk she was. He shrugged after a moment, determining that she still had at least some of her faculties about her.

"Well," Vince drawled, "lucky for both of us I'm not completely turned off by the female body. We may be able to work something out. How good are you at sucking cock?"

"They used to call me Dyson back in college," she purred, running her tongue over her lips.

They stared at each other for exactly three seconds before practically falling off their chairs with laughter.

"I'm sorry," she cackled, "that sounded so much sexier in my head!"

"Well, it gave me a good image anyway," he chuckled, wiping at his eyes. "So, Dyson. What do they call you now?"

She wiped at her own watering eyes with a bar napkin before sniffing back more laughter and holding out her hand.

"I'm glad it was a success then… I'm Celeste."