Author's Note: Written as a gift for rainbowkitten in September 2012. Set post-3.22, but slightly AU (as in that there is no real Kurt/Blaine or Sam/anyone around).

Knock. Knock.

"Come in," Kurt called out, his voice hoarse from crying. He was happy for Rachel. He'd be lying if he said that he wasn't, because Rachel had a good voice and had undeniable levels of talent. But he couldn't help but feel like all of his dreams and everything that he had worked for the past few years had crumbled into rubble at his feet, and it was the fall of the Roman Empire all over again, and Rome couldn't be rebuilt in a day, not when everyone was insisting on pouring fuel on the rubble and reducing it to ashes. He furiously wiped at his face and hoped that it wasn't immediately obvious to whoever was at the door - probably Burt or Carole with the dinner he had skipped - that he had been crying.

A familiar blond head popped his head inside the door. "Hey," Sam said, walking into Kurt's room and sitting down at the foot of the bed. "You okay?"

"Does it look like I am?" Kurt snapped, before feeling almost instantly guilty. Sam was just trying to be nice. That was Sam, nice and pleasant to a fault, and at least Sam wasn't making him talk about his feelings and try to find explanations for his emotions in those crazy ink blot tests that looked like spilled coffee. "Sorry. I - I'm taking this hard."

"Because you didn't get in, or because Rachel did?"

"Both?" His voice almost cracked as he said it. Damn it. He was trying so hard to put on a tough exterior, and already, Sam had penetrated through it.

Sam nodded and frowned slightly, pushing his lips out into a pout. "Want me to, um, try to cheer you up? I miss seeing you smile, Kurt."

Kurt raised an eyebrow. "What could you do that would cheer me up? I don't think you know the admissions people at NYADA, or any comparable school of that caliber. So you can't exactly, uh, bribe them with the fifty-seven cents you have in your back jeans pocket."

"No, I don't. And it's a buck-twenty. But - just go with this, okay?" He smiled at Kurt and made eye contact with him, and he bit his lip nervously. It was one thing to do this for the faceless, nameless horde back in Kentucky for handfuls of sweaty ones and fives. It was another thing entirely to do a private, one-time-only engagement in the privacy of a good friend's bedroom for free - and to cheer said friend up. He lifted his t-shirt above his head and proclaimed, as the fabric skimmed up his sides, "Presenting, for a limited engagement in Lima, Ohio, Kentucky's own White Chocolate!"

Kurt thought his eyes were going to pop out of his head. He knew about Sam's stripper past. Everyone did. It wasn't like it was some sort of secret. But when Sam was also the dorky guy who ate Cheerios with his father at breakfast and filled up the DVR with Star Trek: TNG reruns from BBC America, it was easy to forget that Sam-the-stripper and Sam-the-dork were the same guy and not two halves of a split personality. And damn. Sam had spectacular abs. Not that this was anything he didn't already know. As the shirt went further and further up his chest, over his shoulders and head, and slowly found its way into Sam's hand to use as some sort of impromptu whip, Kurt found himself enthralled.

"Like what you see?" Sam asked, snapping the shirt behind his head and rolling his hips in Kurt's general direction.

"Yes," Kurt replied, almost hissing out the last sound of the word as he focused his attention solely on the guy standing before him - the guy performing a striptease for him. Never in his wildest imagination. Never. And yet, he found himself wanting more. Now. He wasn't sure if what he was more surprised about was the fact that it was Sam that was enthralling him, or that he was witnessing a striptease up close and personal. He rocked forward on his knees. He wanted to feel all of Sam under his hands. Feel the flat plane of his abs against his palm.

Sam smirked, although, on him, it was more of a lopsided smirk, which was even more endearing than just an ordinary smirk, or so Kurt found. "Do you want to touch?"

"Can I?" He was incredulous. After all, he always thought that stripping was one of those things that was look-but-no-touch. That was the tease part of striptease. There for a reason. And he felt a smile tugging at the corner of his lips at the thought of touching Sam like this.

Sam shrugged his shoulders, which had the effect of rolling his pecs back just enough where Kurt picked up on the motion. It was the sexiest shrug he had ever seen. "Sure." And Sam took Kurt's palm in his and ran his fingers over Kurt's. He hovered Kurt's hand over his chest and re-established his eye contact with Kurt - "where?" was the only word Sam could say, as both of their abilities to breathe were becoming labored.

"Wherever you want."

"S'posed to be 'bout you," Sam murmured, gently guiding Kurt's fingers to flutter at the edges of his abs. "Not me."

Kurt laughed. "Not like this was in my plans for the night." He let his eyes travel up and down Sam's body: he was already so far in, and Sam was still wearing his jeans, for crying out loud. If they weren't careful -

"What were you doing when I knocked?"

He bit his lip. "Thinking about NYADA. You know that."

"You were crying about NYADA, and I refuse to see you cry. Especially over that." Sam kneeled over and looked Kurt close in the eyes. "You - if anyone I know - can make their future from anything. You don't need it to be famous. And then they can look back when you're some awesome bigshot out in Hollywood with an equally famous boyfriend on your arm and be like 'And we rejected him? Were we high?'" He mimicked the voice of a sophisticated woman, and the smile was back on Kurt's face in full force. He'd almost forgotten how good Sam's impressions could be, and the juxtaposition between the impressions and the striptease just further highlighted how multi-faceted the guy in front of him really was. "So what do you say we forget about stupid New Yorkers and get back to this?" He ran his hands up and down his chest, and Kurt inhaled sharply.

"Yes. Good idea."

Sam kissed the side of Kurt's jaw. "Good."

Kurt rubbed the pads of his fingers over the place where he'd just been kissed, and continued to smile, as Sam edged away from him. "W-what are you doing?" He wanted to continue touching Sam, not be deprived of the brief contact.

He went back to gyrating, moving to the movements of a silent song playing only for him, as he fumbled clumsily with the button and zipper on his jeans. "What does it look like? It's not like we're playing hopscotch."

This wasn't a playground game. Kurt could definitely agree with that, as Sam pushed his jeans down. And now he was standing before him, wearing only in the thin cotton briefs that Kurt knew he wore, thanks to seeing them go through the laundry spin cycle more than once. It would have made the playground so much more interesting if they were populated with boys like Sam running around clad only in underwear.

Sam was larger than he expected, although, he wasn't sure what he was really expecting. This was all so new to him, and at the same time, it was familiar in so many ways. "D-do stripteases -" His eyes were wide and he ached to reach out, be daring, and brush his fingers along the fabricc, take it in his hands, learn all of what made Sam tick. It was hard to believe that all of this was going on, and yet, he was still as fully dressed as he had been when Sam first came in.

"Depends on the person," Sam said. "Look and don't touch, y'know, though - what goes on behind closed doors -"

"What about you?" Kurt secretly wondered how Sam could be so composed standing before him like that. Maybe he was thinking of Kurt as simply another client and this was simply another performance in a long string of performances, but he wanted to believe differently. He wanted this to be special.

"Some people could jump off the high dive their first day. Others worked their way up through the shallow end."

"What are you saying?"

"I never made it that far before Finn and Rachel found out about me and dragged me back to Lima - willingly, but I think Rachel would have pulled me back by the hair if it was necessary for us to win. Girl has a scary-strong grip."

"Sam." He inwardly breathed a sigh of relief.


"The last thing I want to think about right now, when I have a hot, almost-naked guy taking off his clothes for me, is Rachel."

Sam kissed Kurt again, this time ducking along the edge of Kurt's chin, his lips grazing at the fine lines of day-old stubble that Kurt hadn't shaved that morning. "All I see in front of me is you. No one else." He knelt onto Kurt's lap, pressing his chest against Kurt's and grinding his hips downward in a shake and a thrust, creating a new rhythm of lust and comfort.

Kurt could feel his cock hardening at the motion of Sam rocking against him - not that it hadn't been for a while now, but now it was becoming painfully obvious - and he hoped that Sam didn't notice. Although Sam would have to lack sight and touch to be oblivious to that one. Adding to it, he seemed to notice that Sam wasn't completely limp and flaccid at what he was doing. Maybe it was pure primal instinct - or maybe he got turned on doing this to him? He fluttered his eyelashes and gasped. If he had to die, this was one of the best ways he could think of to go. Death by chocolate would be good too. Could Sam get some chocolate right now and kill two birds with one stone?

Sam pulled back. "Kurt - I -"

"You don't feel comfortable anymore?" And this was just how he expected it to end, Sam running off into the night and him left even more alone than before this started. "If you -"

"No. I'm - I'm more than comfortable. Kurt -"

And with that, he kissed Kurt for a third time that night, except this time, instead of teasing him with jaw or chin kisses scraping right along the edge of friendliness, this one was two lips meeting in a fiery passion, melding together, exchanging what had been shifting just beneath the surface all night, and Kurt let out a little whimper at the sensation. Damn. Sam was a good kisser. Great, even.

Things he wished he knew earlier.

The clothes that were shed to the floor did not make their way off in a languid tease of skin and fabric, but instead in a rushed flurry of motion; one moment, Kurt was still fully dressed, and the next, they were tangled together in an embrace, feeling the heat of each other's skin beneath each other.

They were dancing on the ashes of his future. But his future could be rebuilt, slowly but surely, or he could strike out into the distance and build a new future somewhere completely unexpected. After all, there had been more than one great empire through history.

It would take one step at a time. And for now, Kurt was content to live in the moment. The future could wait until the sun rose tomorrow and he'd have to face it head on.

Maybe it would be with Sam, now?