This is just a little ficlet, because someone sent me an ask about Kurt & Mme Tibideaux in the Dance 'verse, and then a couple of my followers made me think. (Mostly typed up on my phone in fragments during work breaks, or like, during elevator rides. Hence the total lack of spell check)
Takes place between the sixth and seventh chapters of "Dancing in the Dark" - that'd be between chapters 27 & 28 here.
As usual, I don't own a single thing except a way too vivid imagination and a never ending bitterness regarding RIB and Blee.
Oh, and ever and always: for my dear obsessivecompulsivereadr
The first time Kurt goes on stage with actual lines there's a small basket of violets for him, next to David's roses and the mixed bouquet from his dad and Carole. The card reads "in honor of what's surely to be only the first in a line of successful performances".
It's signed Carmen Tibideaux.
She's just kissing up, Kurt thinks, but. Flowers are always nice (almost always) and truth be told, so's kissing up.
Not that it happens to him that often, but. He definitely deserves it, and so he'll enjoy it while he can.
It's not like it'll happen again, after all.
It happens again.
Every time Kurt goes on in a new role, or a new show, there's another basket of violets and a small card. After a while he even begins to think that the congratulations are sincere. Oh, there is, or at least was, some guilt involved, but really. Who sends flowers like this, for this long, and to someone they don't even really know, just because of guilt?
When Kurt's musical premieres the (by now expected) basket of violets is a little larger than usual, and accompanied by a small but in no way cheap bottle of champagne.
More unexpectedly it's also accompanied by the madame herself, something that makes Kurt almost choke on air.
He knows from experience that the New York to Toronto flight is an easy one, short and not particularly expensive, having taken it himself on several occasions. Still, for Carmen Tibideaux to actually buy a ticket for his show (his!) and travel to be there, when Kurt knows she could go see any number of shows for free just a short subway trip away, is shocking and honestly more than a little intimidating.
If he'd been less of a professional Kurt probably would have stumbled over his own feet or forgotten the lyrics (regardless of the fact that he's written them himself) but by now he's used to pressure. He allows the madame to become just another face, another body, and focuses on becoming someone else. And then he proceeds to knock everyone's socks off.
Afterwards, when he's still riding the high of the performance and the applause Kurt talks to Carmen Tibideaux for the first time since hearing her repeat Rachel's, and Mr Schue's, lies. Looks her in the eyes for the first time since, and tries to not feel too pleased about the lingering shame he sees there.
He wants to be better than that, and he is better than that, most of the time. Petty impulses be damned.
So Kurt pastes on a pleasant smile, the one he uses for clients and investors and reporters that don't rate a real on, and greets the woman who once ruined all his hopes about experiencing exactly this.
They talk about the show, and the songs, and the performers, and Toronto, and do most certainly not alk about NYADA or anything related to that.
Until it's time to part, that is.
"Mr Hummel? From what I've seen tonight, NYADA is a poorer place for not having you. Now, I know that that is on me, and not you, but that doesn't make it any less true. You would have been an asset to, and a great pride for, our institution for many years.
"However, I'm not sure we would have done quite as well by you. What you've accomplished so far... I cannot honestly say that NYADA would have helped you - or even allowed you - do so. So, as much as I wish I could have claimed you as one of mine, I truly think you made the better choice."
She lifts a hand, waving off an argument Kurt hasn't made, and is that a blush on her cheeks?
"Oh, none of that makes up for how things went down - nothing can, really - but it eases my guilt a little that I didn't completely ruin things.
"I wish you the best in your future endeavours, Mr Hummel, and I expect many great things to come from you."
It doesn't make things miraculously perfect, no, but the words do soothe some remaining hurts. As Kurt mull over the talk he comes to the surprising conclusion that he's ready to let it go. He's done hating Carmen Tibideaux.
Because she's right. NYADA could never have been this good to him.
When the show premieres on Broadway Carmen Tibideaux sends Kurt the customary basket of violets. He sends her a ticket to opening night.
It's not a competition, but. He wins.