Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.


"Okay, so, I've got to run," Rachel called as she sped through the apartment at top speed, picking up things and stuffing them in her bag. "Brody and I are going out tonight."

Kurt glanced up. "We were going to work on our dramaturgy project tonight," he objected.

"I know, I know, I'm sorry, but Brody was able to snag some really great tickets at the last second and I really have to go," she said as she rummaged through her lipstick collection. "Plus he got us reservations for dinner at this new vegan place in Chelsea. You understand, I just can't" She held out two different tubes of lipstick. "Which one? Is the Flamingo Pink too much? Or should I go with Russian Red?"

Kurt rolled his eyes. "Go with the Dior Sari Pink I got you for your birthday, it's a classic," he said.

Rachel huffed, rolling her fingers around in her lipstick rack. "Mm, I think I'll use the Viva Glam," she said, twisting up the tube and applying a liberal layer. She smacked her lips in the mirror, practiced a few smiles, and ran her fingers through her hair. "How's this? Too much?"

"Let's just say you shouldn't walk past any children's birthday parties," Lucy said dryly as she continued to type. "They might start asking you to make balloon animals."

Rachel frowned in the mirror and rubbed the tip of her pinky finger on her teeth. "Oh, well, it's New York at nighttime, it'll be fine," she said. She picked up her new black coat. "I'll be home late, and I might bring Brody with me. You put new batteries in the white noise machine, right?"

Kurt pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'll run out to the bodega before you get back," he sighed.

She beamed. "You're the best," she said. She kissed him on the cheek. "See you later. Bye, Kurt. Bye, Lucy."

She spritzed on a layer of perfume and waltzed out of the apartment, the door slamming behind her. Lucy coughed. "Oh god, she's still using that Viva La Juicy crap?" she said. "Oh, god. It smells like the bottom of an old lady's purse."

"Yes, but Brody bought it for her, so she won't stop dousing herself in it," Kurt sighed. He stretched out across the couch, turning a page in his script. "Well, I guess I get to analyze the social background of Moliere's Tartuffe by myself tonight."

Lucy frowned, pausing in her typing. "When's your presentation due?" she asked.

"Friday," he said.

"So…basically Rachel has tomorrow afternoon to finish her part of the project."

"Uh-huh."

"But she has jazz technique till five."

"Yep."

"So…you're going to have to do this on your own."

"Pretty much."

Kurt turned back to his script, but Lucy set her laptop aside and tipped down the cover of his book so she could look him in the eyes. "Why are you doing this?" she asked.

He blinked. "Doing what?"

"This," she said, gesturing at the pile of papers strewn over the coffee table.

"Hey, don't make fun of my organization methods," he complained.

"I'm not-" Lucy stopped, exhaled slowly, and tried again. "I mean with Rachel."

"What about her?" he asked.

"Don't play dumb with me," she said, sitting down on the edge of the coffee table and crossing her arms. "You're letting that girl walk all over you and you know it."

He shrugged. "It's just the way she is," he said.

"Kurt," Lucy said, her eyebrows drawing down. "Just because someone is naturally an asshole doesn't give them carte blanche to act as one."

"She's not an asshole, she's just…spoiled," he said. "And kind of selfish. But she doesn't realize it. It's just the way she was raised. Her dads have always spoiled her."

"Yes, and now she's eighteen, and you're not one of her dads," Lucy pointed out. "You don't have to coddle her."

"I don't coddle her," he grumbled, sliding down and putting his book over his face.

Lucy pulled the script out of his hands and tossed it aside. "She leaves you to pick up the slack on your project, she invites her boyfriend over for sleepovers without asking if it's okay, she doesn't listen to you, and since she basically lives on a pedestal waiting to be cherished and admired, it's up to you to be her number one fan," she said. "Seriously, Kurt? She's not your friend. She's…I don't even know what she is." She leaned back, crossing one leg over the other. "But she treats you like a member of her entourage. Not a friend."

"We're friends," Kurt retorted, jutting out his chin. "We're best friends."

"Best friends don't act like that," Lucy said flatly. She sighed. "Kurt, this girl is a leech. She only wants you around to be her prop. She can pull you out and parade you as her 'gay best friend,' she can go to you for needless self-esteem boosts and consoling when things aren't going her way, but at the end of the day she doesn't reciprocate. And she won't."

Kurt rubbed his temple. "Lucy, I have a lot of work to get done…" he said half-heartedly.

Lucy leaned forward, clasping her hands together. "I have watched this girl use you since your junior year of high school," she said softly. "Sure, she has her moments when she can be genuinely sweet to you, but Kurt…this girl treats you like crap. And things are never going to change. She's too self-absorbed." She sighed, resting her chin on her hands. "She's just on a whole different plane than you. Her worldview is so much smaller than yours."

"What does worldview have to do with anything?" Kurt sulked.

"To Rachel, tragedy means watching you get your NYADA letter when she felt she deserved it more, and not being popular in high school, and not being the best or the most well-liked in her class" Lucy said. "And to her, those are the worst things she can imagine. And I've watched her, Kurt. I've watched you bring up things that are hurting you, and every time she says 'oh, I know exactly how you feel.' And then it turns into her talking about her issues, instead of yours, and asking you for advice that she never takes."

"That's just the way she is," Kurt said, but it sounded weak in his own ears.

"She's silly, and shallow, and self-absorbed, and it doesn't matter if you're fond of each other or not," Lucy said. "You're too good to be around this girl."

Kurt pressed his fingertips to the bridge of his nose. "Well, it's not like I have anywhere else to turn," he said bitterly.

Lucy paused. "What do you mean?" she said.

"I'm not good with people, Lucy," he snapped, leaning forward. "I never have been. I didn't have friends until the tenth grade when I joined glee club. Do you know how lonely that is? I didn't have anyone." He tipped his head back, rubbing the back of his neck. "God, and going home wasn't much better, because my dad doesn't talk. I mean, he's better than he used to be, but after my mom died…I mean, there were days where we barely said two words to each other because my dad doesn't do feelings and he couldn't figure out what to say to me."

Lucy fell silent, hands knotted on her lap. Kurt pushed himself off the couch and started pacing back and forth. "God, and then I finally had friends, and then that fell apart too," he said. "Mercedes and I stopped talking after the whole…religion thing, when my dad was in the hospital. And besides, that whole time…all she could talk about was herself. How she felt about everything. It didn't matter what I was going through, no. Not at all. It was all about her, and how I'd hurt her feelings." He laughed bitterly. "I mean, never mind that I was going through one of the toughest times in my life I've ever experienced. For the second time. Bad enough to watch my mother die slowly in a hospital, then I almost got to do it again with my dad."

He kicked viciously at the coffee table as he paced by again, rocking it unsteadily and sending a stack of papers ruffling to the floor like a small flock of agitated birds. "And my other friends…I don't know," he said. "I mean, we're friends, but…I never felt comfortable with them, you know? With serious things. I couldn't talk to them about what was going on in my head. I could just picture it, them squirming and looking around for an escape while I talked about my feelings."

"You don't know that," Lucy said softly. "Not if you never tried."

"Yes, well, can you blame me for not wanting to?" Kurt said sharply. "The only guy I've ever talked to about everything, that I've felt comfortable talking to about everything, is Blaine, and now…and now…"

He faltered, staring blankly at the darkened fire escape through the window. "Now I don't know anything," he said. "I can't talk to him like I used to. We talk, but…it's not the same."

He spun around and glared at Lucy, who looked down at the floor. "So that's why I'm still friends with Rachel," he snapped. "Because at least I have someone. Because at least I don't feel completely alone out here."

"Kurt, you're not-"

"Stop it!" he said. "Think about it. Think about it, Lucy. I'm in this city by myself. I'm eighteen years old, living in a place dangerous enough that I don't want to leave my apartment by myself if the sun's gone down. My dad's busy dealing with politics in Washington and keeping the garage going in Lima- in between doctor's appointments. My stepbrother is having an existential crisis of his own. My high school friends are busy living their own lives. My boyfriend, my boyfriend that I loved, cheated on me, and he can apologize from now till eternity but nothing's going to change that, and nothing is going to make me forget the way that hurt." His voice caught in his throat. "He told me to go here. He sent me away, and then blamed me for cheating because I had left."

Lucy slid off the couch slowly and stood up. "Kurt…"

"And dating Adam isn't the same," he said. "I like Adam. I do. He's smart and funny and handsome and charming. But it's not the same. I don't talk to him like I used to with…with…"

Lucy took a step towards him, reaching out tentatively to take his hand, and he pulled away.

"I don't have anyone, Lucy," he said, his eyes smarting, hot and painful. "I don't. I'm alone. I'm completely alone. If I don't have Rachel…as awful as she is…then who do I have?" He knuckled fiercely at his eyes, trying to will the tears back. It hurt, but it made him feel a little better. "I'm hungry. Rachel's not here so we don't have to order from that vegan place. Do you want to do Italian? I haven't done Italian in a while."

"Sure," she said quietly. She sat down in the armchair, pulling her legs up to sit Indian-style and settling her laptop on her knees. "Do you want me to call it in?"

"No, I can do it," he said, sounding harsher than he meant, and he stormed away to grab his phone. He went out on the fire escape to call in their order and stayed there for a while, breathing slowly until his chest stopped feeling so tight.

He wasn't sure how long he'd been there when Lucy leaned out on the windowsill. "Dinner's here," she said softly.

"Oh," he said, starting a little. "Oh, okay, my wallet's-"

"I paid," she said. She held out her hand. "Come on in and eat before it gets cold."

He took her hand and climbed back into the apartment. She squeezed lightly before letting go, just the tiniest bit, and he grabbed onto her fingers just before she pulled away. "I'm sorry," he said. Lucy rubbed her thumb over the back of his hand and he swallowed hard. "It's just…everyone leaves, you know? Eventually…eventually they all leave."


Author's Notes:

Wow, that was a lot more feels than I was prepared for.

So this began as this prompt from collapsiblespace:

"I have a question for you regarding Kurt/Lucy/Rachel: I'm pretty sure that anyone with a brain can see that the Hummelberry "friendship" is just TOXIC. I don't think it's healthy at all simply because Rachel is so egotistical. She's made it clear that she would leave Kurt out in the cold if it benefitted her. With that said, my question is this: does Lucy have reservations about Kurt being "friends" with Rachel and living with her? She's very protective of Kurt, so I could see her having some very strong feelings about it and being wary of any red flags that Hummelberry would raise. I'm curious about what you have to say regarding how Lucy feels about Rachel."

So I was going to write a drabble about Lucy ragging on Rachel, and it turned into this.

I know a lot of my opinions aren't going to be popular, but this is what came out as I kept writing. So...yeah. Here it is!