The dawn was brutal.
The sun was shining right in Kurt's face, waking him up. He let out a groan.
Two taller bodies stirred on either side of him.
Elliott made a pained little sound, and jumped up to open the curtain and run for the bathroom. Unfortunately Kurt could hear everything as Elliott got sick.
Adam rolled over, bumping into Kurt. "Forgot the mayonnaise," he muttered in his sleep.
It would have been cute, if it weren't for the throbbing in Kurt's head that felt like a jack hammer.
He would have enjoyed the sight of Adam, his soft blond hair a mess on Kurt's favorite pillow, his beautiful lips parted in sleep. But the snore Adam let out shot right through Kurt's poor hung over skull.
Kurt was stumbling into the kitchen for water and pain relievers when Elliott came out of the bathroom.
Kurt held a finger up to his lips, signalling Elliott to be quiet. Kurt's eyes were at half mast, his mouth in a frown. He pointed his thumb toward the kitchen, and Elliott followed him, as Kurt managed to reach for two tall glasses in a cabinet and fill them with water.
He handed one glass to Elliott, who gratefully gulped down the water, while Kurt drank his own.
Kurt filled his glass again, grabbed the tiny white bottle on the counter and took two pills. Handing the bottle to Elliott, he filled a third glass for Adam and went back to his room. He drank more water and put his glass and Adam's on the dresser, wincing at the sight of the empty booze bottles next to them.
Kurt climbed onto the bed where Adam was spread out and nudged him.
"Move," Kurt managed.
"Are you awake?" Adam asked Kurt. He sounded confused.
"Yes, Adam I'm awake," said Kurt sharply. He put his head down on his pillow and curled up next to Adam, who rolled over and tossed an arm around Kurt's waist and placed a sleepy kiss on Kurt's forehead.
Elliott stumbled into the room and joined them on Kurt's bed.
"How are you two?" mumbled Adam.
"Terrible," said Kurt.
"I want to die," said Elliott.
"I brought you water," said Kurt to Adam.
"Oh bollocks. Did I really finish the whiskey?"
"You don't remember?" said Kurt.
"No," said Adam running a hand through his hair.
"You drank some of it, and then you said 'this stuff is evil' and poured the rest of it down the toilet."
"What the bloody hell?" Adam yelled.
"Not so loud," said Kurt, wincing. "You were...um...reminiscing about the night we bought it."
Kurt tried to hide the sadness in his voice.
"Oh Kurt," said Adam sorrowfully. "I'm so sorry."
"It's okay," Kurt whispered.
"So who wants breakfast?" said Adam lightly, changing the subject.
Elliott and Kurt both groaned.
"Yes, please," said Kurt.
"God yes," said Elliott.
"I'll go start the pot," Adam soothed. "You poor lads."
Elliott and Kurt were still in bed when Adam came back.
"How do you take it, Elliott?" he asked.
"If I weren't in the throes of death, I'd make a witty remark," said Elliott.
Kurt chuckled, but he stopped when the laughing hurt his head.
"You know how I like it," said Kurt.
Adam squeezed his lips shut while his eyes danced with mirth.
"MY COFFEE!" Kurt said loudly. "Ow." He clutched his head.
"Milk please, no sugar," said Elliott.
"Coming right up," said Adam.
"Coming right up, he says" muttered Kurt to Elliott. "I can't deal with all these straight lines."
"Honey, there is no one making STRAIGHT lines here."
Kurt rolled over and put the pillow over his head in protest. "Stop. That actually hurt."
"I would hit you with a pillow if I weren't dying."
"I would hit you back," said Kurt.
"Here you go, boys," said Adam, returning with two steaming mugs. "Kurt, yours is in the Wicked mug. Elliott, yours is the one with the butterflies on it."
"I love you, man," said Elliott, sitting up and reaching for his cup.
"Coffee," said Kurt reverently, gazing over at his cup like a lover, before he sat up as well.
"I'll be in the kitchen making myself a cup of tea," said Adam.
Elliott and Kurt sipped their coffee in Kurt's bed, sitting for a few moments in companionable silence.
"Are you okay?" said Elliott gently.
"I should be asking you that. I heard you getting sick."
"I'll be fine," said Elliot. "And I wasn't talking about physically."
"I know. " Kurt looked down at his coffee, his eyes still puffy from crying the night before.
Elliott reached over and patted Kurt's shoulder, and got out of bed. He stood up and looked in Kurt's mirror.
"Oh God. I'm a mess," he said, running his fingers through his thick black hair.
"I'm scared to look at myself," said Kurt.
"I'm so bloated," said Elliott, frowning into the mirror. "I look like I gained twenty pounds."
"Hey, none of that. You're beautiful," said Kurt.
"You're sweet," said Elliott softly. "Thank you. But I still think I look like crap."
Kurt sighed and got out of bed, joining Elliott in front of the mirror. Kurt saw puffy eyes and blotchy skin, and he looked away quickly. "Ugh. I'm not going anywhere today."
"The people on the subway are going to love me," said Elliott, scowling over Kurt's shoulder at his smudged eye makeup and his messy hair.
"Do you want to take a shower?"
"Yeah. Thanks Kurt."
"Let me find you a towel."
Kurt's phone rang.
Elliott watched as Kurt turned pale.
"Are you okay, Dad?"
"What do you mean," said Kurt stiffly.
"He did WHAT?"
Kurt's mouth was open.
"I don't know what to say."
"Look, Dad, can I call you right back?"
Kurt hung up and started scrolling through his phone. "Oh shit," he cursed. "Oh God..."
"Is everything okay?" asked Elliott.
"No," said Kurt, sounding as if his heart was breaking.
From the kitchen, they heard the sound of the tea kettle whistling.
Kurt looked like someone had died.
He called Burt.
"I saw the picture."
"Yeah I took it but I was just..."
"I know dad, but it's not..."
"We were just goofing around!"
"You're right," Kurt said in an icy voice. "it's none of your business."
Kurt's expression quickly turned from angry to sad.
"No, I'm sorry, I just..."
"You should have seen the one he sent me."
"Yeah. It should on a porn site!"
"Actually Blaine didn't send it. The other naked guy in the picture sent it."
"Of course I'm serious."
"Dad, that's exactly why I was drinking!"
"I'm sorry I yelled. I don't want to yell at you Dad."
"That's not fair. You can't judge me for that. "
Kurt's eyes softened. "I know you do Dad."
"I know," said Kurt sadly.
"I know." He sniffled.
"I think about it all the time."
"I broke up him."
"No, Dad. I'm the one who should be sorry."
"Yeah, well that's not the way it works, is it," said Kurt bitterly.
"I love you too dad. I'm really sorry."
Elliott waited, concerned.
"Kurt?" Adam was holding back the curtain with a worried expression.
Kurt looked up at Adam. "My dad called. He sounded so upset. It scared me."
"How is he?" asked Adam, his forehead creasing.
"He's fine. But apparently last night I sent Blaine a picture of the three of us in bed together, drunk. It's pretty innocent, but look what I wrote.
I can do better and I already am.
"Oh my God," said Elliott.
"Wow," said Adam.
"I don't even remember sending it. But I'm glad we were all wearing clothes," said Kurt sarcastically.
"You sent it to your dad?" asked Elliott in disbelief.
"Oh no," said Kurt angrily. "That's the best part. Blaine sent it to my dad."
"I'm calling him."
He picked up his phone. "Blaine? What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"I'm not talking about Eli, whoever the hell he is. I'm talking about you sending my picture to my dad."
"You know he has a heart condition, Blaine!"
"Yeah, well you just leave him the hell alone!"
"The name Sam doesn't start with a B, Blaine," Kurt sneered.
Kurt let out a loud sarcastic laugh.
"Well, you and Sam can take your...kinky superhero games, and shove them up your ass. Leave me alone, and leave my dad alone. He doesn't need this."
Kurt ended the call and tossed his phone down on the bed. "Why me? I'm a nice person."
"And Sam is?" asked Elliott.
"A friend from home. Well I guess he's just Blaine's friend now. He used to be my friend too," said Kurt bitterly. "So check this out. Blaine claims that he meant to send the picture to Sam instead of my dad. And he said Sam is listed in his phone as Blond Chameleon. Apparently they have superhero names for each other. I'm going to puke."
Elliott looked disgusted.
Adam looked stunned.
And then Elliott started giggling.
"What?" demanded Kurt.
"It sounds like a porn star name," said Elliott.
Adam giggled too.
Kurt smirked. "You're right." He turned to Adam. "So how was your cup of tea?" Kurt asked him fondly.
"Lovely," said Adam cheerfully. "Are either of you hungry?"
"Ugh, don't talk about food," said Kurt.
"I really need to get going, but maybe we could grab something on the way," said Elliott.
"All I can offer you is some toast," said Kurt. "We're out of everything."
"Do you want to stop by the diner, Adam?" asked Elliott.
Adam looked at Kurt.
"You two go ahead," said Kurt. "I'm going to stay here. Lick my wounds. Wallow a bit. Chocolate may be involved."
"Hold on," said Adam. He left for a minute and came back carrying a DVD case.
"I'm taking the box of my things, but why don't I leave Downton Abbey here for you Kurt?"
"You're the best," sighed Kurt. "I don't deserve you."
"And there are some clean shirts in the box if you want one," said Adam to Elliott.
"Awesome," said Elliott. "Kurt, about that towel?"
"Coming right up."
Elliott looked directly at Kurt with a sassy expression, raising one eyebrow. Kurt slapped him gently on the arm and went to get the towel.
When Adam and Elliott were dressed and ready to go, Kurt walked them to the door.
Elliott hugged Kurt gently, tucking his face down into Kurt's neck, the stubble on his warm cheek gently scratching Kurt's face. "Talk to you soon," he said.
"Bye," said Kurt. "Thank you for cheering me up."
Adam put his box down by the door. Kurt moved toward him for a hug.
Adam hugged back a bit stiffly, and very gently rubbed Kurt's back.
The tender look on Adam's face had Elliott turning away and busying himself with the zipper on his backpack.
"Bye, Adam. Thank you," said Kurt.
"Not a problem," said Adam, raising his hand in an awkward little wave.
Once Elliott and Adam were gone, Kurt grabbed some chocolate ice cream from the freezer and a spoon, and went to his room to wallow under the covers with Downton Abbey.
He could be fierce again tomorrow.
At the Spotlight Diner, Adam put his box under the coat rack, and slid into the booth next to it.
Elliott joined him while they waited for their waitress.
"So this is awkward," said Elliott.
"I guess." Adam chuckled.
"Do you think Kurt will be okay?"
"I hope so. He's very strong," said Adam. "But I think he's tired of being strong, to be honest."
"That Blaine guy doesn't help," said Elliott.
A cloud passed over Adam's cheerful face. "No. He never did."
"Look, I'm just going to say this, Adam. I think you're beautiful. "
"I figured that out last night when you were kissing me," said Adam drily.
"Yeah. And you obviously like Kurt."
"Obviously," said Adam.
"So what do you think?"
Adam paused, weighing his words. "I think I need to proceed very carefully here."
The waitress brought Adam's tea and Elliott's coffee and set them down, and they thanked her.
Adam picked up his cup and took a sip. "Which means I'm in love with Kurt."
"Ah," said Elliott, nodding. He put his hands on his hot coffee cup to warm them up.
"And his well-being is my first priority," said Adam.
"Before your own?"
"Well, there's the problem, you see," said Adam.
"Yeah, I hear you." Elliott took a sip and they were both quiet for a bit.
"I'm not going to do anything to jeopardize the fragile peace I just made with him," said Adam.
"Or drive him away again," said Elliott.
"Exactly," said Adam.
"And I don't want to do anything sneaky," said Elliott. "I'm not interested in settling down, but I'm also not interested in hurting anyone, or causing any trouble. You're beautiful. I'm interested. End of story."
"And you're interested in Kurt, too," said Adam.
"Yeah. And so are you," said Elliott.
"Exactly," said Adam. "So what are we going to do about it?"
There was a flicker of a challenge under Adam's polite warmth.
Elliott was suddenly very tired. "Go home and sleep off this hangover, for now."
"And decide the rest later?" said Elliott.
"A sensible man," said Adam, raising his tea cup in a toast.
Elliott laughed and looked down at the table with a smile, before raising his own cup in return.
Back in Lima, Blaine Anderson sent another person the picture of Kurt and his two friends laughing drunkenly in bed together.
Blaine: do you see what I have to put up with?
Sebastian: I know what would cheer you up
The photo he sent raised Blaine's eyebrows.
Among other things.
Blaine: On my way.