Stop Loss: Chapter 32, Part 1

Aug 31, 2012 00:13

So close so close so close...

(also so late--this is why we can't have nice international travel)



We're nearing the end! Review responses are going to be another couple of days (sorry!) because I'm out of the country right now, and don't have much computer time. One response that I will make now, and publically, because it seems that a couple of people need to hear it: I will never, ever delete a review, positive or negative, because everyone's entitled to their opinion. But there is constructive criticism and there's bullying, and if you won't own up to your own vitriol by signing your name, don't come looking to me for validation. Frankly, typing this paragraph is more time than I have to spend on this topic as it is.

And, forward:

Kenneth McClaren's studio was hidden away on a tree-lined road in Bellefontaine, and only Kurt's slavish dedication to his GPS had kept him from missing it the first time. By his third lesson, he knew to make a left turn between the two street-side Blue Ash trees in order to avoid overshooting the small parking lot, and having to turn around at the cul-de-sac at the end of the road.

Even three lessons in, however, he still wasn't used to the sheer quantity of water coolers crammed into the small studio: ten giant blue containers spread throughout the four-room, one story building.

"Let me show you where the restroom is, first thing," Kenneth had greeted him on his first day, after Kurt had introduced himself. "I guarantee you'll be visiting it with some frequency."

And he wasn't wrong-halfway into his seventy-five minute session, Kurt was sculling his third cup of water with lemon, while Kenneth looked on approvingly. "Good," he praised, as Kurt finished drinking and set the cup down on a nearby shelf with the rest of his things. "How did that last set feel?"

Kurt swallowed, testing his throat. "A little weird," he admitted. "It didn't sound shaky to me, necessarily, but it didn't feel as solid as it should have-I know I've sung high F's before."

Kenneth nodded knowingly. "Not in quite a while, though, correct?" he wanted to know, refilling his own cup of water from the cooler directly next to the piano and taking a sip. Like Sarita Jackson, Kenneth had aged well, his sharp blue eyes and unwrinkled, tan skin belying his sixty-something years-although unlike Sarita, he'd allowed his thick hair to go completely gray.

Now, those eyes were trained contemplatively on Kurt's throat. "From the sound of it, I'd say it's been at least three or four months, if not longer," he judged evenly.

Kurt thought about it. "You're right," he admitted, impressed. "The highest note I had in Vocal Adrenaline last term was a D#, and I don't think I went any higher than that in my Evaluations."

Kenneth nodded again. "You know you're capable of it, but your vocal cords are relearning the notes; stretching to reach them," he explained. "Don't push them too quickly, or you'll damage something, understand? We'll build back up to an F-there's no reason you need to be hitting it this week. Better safe than in surgery."

Kurt and Kenneth spent the rest of his lesson working on Kurt's lower range and diction, with a necessary bathroom break after Kurt's sixth cup of water.

"So, how's that teacher of yours doing?" Kenneth wondered out loud after they'd finished for the day, Kurt packing up his things. "She must be moving any day now."

"Friday," Kurt confirmed with a sad frown. "She and Beth came to the zoo when Vocal Adrenaline was singing our fundraising concert, to say goodbye to everyone." Beth had been awake that day, and Kurt had briefly gotten the chance to hold her before one of the girls had snatched her away from him, cooing over her tiny little fingernails.

Shelby had hugged him hard, and Kurt had barely managed to hold back tears as she'd tugged the back of his hair affectionately, making him promise to write. "I mean it, Kurt Hummel," she'd told him sternly, her warm hand on his cheek softening the order. "If this is the last that I hear from you, I'll be extremely disappointed. Don't let me down."

"She did a good job with you," Kenneth confirmed, interrupting Kurt's thoughts. "Gave you a good, strong base to work with. I know Sarita was pleased to hear it; so often it's the fringe vocal parts-countertenors, very low second altos, etc.-that end up neglected and underdeveloped."

Kurt closed his bag. "I do feel bad that I couldn't make The Academy work this summer," he admitted, slinging it over his shoulder. "But I'm so grateful that she put us in touch and asked you to give me a chance-I feel like I'm learning so much already. And especially with Shelby being gone…"

Although Kurt hadn't meant to imply anything other than his gratitude, Kenneth narrowed his eyes slightly. "Who did you say that the new coach at Carmel was, now that Shelby's out?" he asked.

Kurt twisted his mouth. "I didn't say, I don't think," he realized, thinking back. "But his name is Dustin Goolsby."

Kurt saw a spark of recognition in Kenneth's eyes. "Dustin Goolsby," Kenneth repeated slowly, contemplatively. "Interesting. And do you like him?"

Kurt hesitated. If there was a polite way to say 'Honestly, no; he reminds me of the Exceptionally Handsome Love Child of Dakota Stanley and Jesse St. James', he couldn't think of what it was.

Kenneth watched him perceptively. "I'll tell you this, Kurt, because it's rare that Shelby and Sarita manage to work past their professional rivalry to go to bat for the same student, and because from what I've seen of you so far, you don't seem like the type to let your ego get the best of you if I tell you that your teachers are only human, like you," he offered frankly, getting up from the piano bench and looking out the window at the overcast summer sky. "Dustin Goolsby knows how to coax results out of a choir collectively, he does. But he's not as smart as he thinks he is, and he doesn't always have the best interests of his individual singers in mind. And his pettiness is something of a legend, at times."

Looking back at Kurt, he frowned seriously. "Don't poke a sleeping dragon in the eye," he warned Kurt, "but if he tries to get you to do something that doesn't sound right to you, or that Shelby or I have specifically told you not to do…take his orders with a heavy grain of salt. There are more important things in this world than Show Choir, and the long-term health of your voice is one of them."

By the end of the following week, Kurt had had five voice lessons with Kenneth McClaren, and six Vocal Adrenaline rehearsals with Dustin Gooslby as the primary, then only, director.

He was definitely certain which one he preferred.

"Your good looks and your talent are the only two advantages you've got going for you," Dustin declared one afternoon as he surveyed the room, after arbitrarily deciding that any student who had eaten carbs that day would be spending the remaining two hours of Boot Camp doing crunches on the auditorium floor. "I would know; those are my only positive attributes as well. Come into rehearsals looking puffy, and you've voluntarily weakened your lead over your competitors."

Kurt, who had mercifully made omelets for breakfast that morning, watched Dustin with a carefully blank expression.

Dustin fiddled with the Bluetooth he wore everywhere, before rounding on the remaining two-thirds of the choir. "The rest of you, split into three groups," he ordered, folding his arms over his chest and watching intensely as Vocal Adrenaline scrambled to obey. "I'll be judging all of the choreography you worked on yesterday using secret criteria that only I know about, just like a real judge. The losing group will be washing my car after rehearsal, so feel free to sabotage the other teams."

He smiled, his admittedly-handsome face growing even handsomer. "The winners will be driving two counties east to Cayuga High School, to deliver this pre-written hate mail that I printed off of the internet," he continued, holding up a thick sheaf of paper that Kurt hadn't noticed that he was carrying. "Their show choir was the only other team within 200 miles to rank in the Top 10 at Nationals this year, and we're going to break their spirits early. They should be extra-vulnerable to an attack right now; my sources tell me that their director just returned to school three days ago from maternity leave, so it shouldn't take much to send her back home in tears."

Kurt missed Shelby already.

As the incoming funds collected by the Save Our Lion campaign slowed dramatically, and Kurt's understanding of the legalities that governed soliciting donations grew firmer, Kurt's contact with Desra and Mr. Patrickson went from twice-daily, semi-panicky phone calls to bi-weekly check-ins.

Which was fine by Kurt, who was thoroughly tired of devoting hours upon hours every week to the cause that he had impulsively championed. Once the initial rush of organization and adrenaline had passed, keeping the community interested in what was happening at the zoo, or at least taking a leaf out of New Directions' book and simply annoying people enough that they'd write him a check in order to shut him up, had become infinitely more difficult. Also fairly trying was keeping all of the people he'd recruited to help him with the project on task:

The Warblers had held a charity bake sale in conjunction with their sister school after hearing about McKinley's results, but the meager $78 their efforts netted suggested that either the draw of the project had been less on baking and more on spending time with private school girls, or that they'd neglected to add Noah Puckerman's secret ingredient into their recipes. New Directions had managed to scam an additional $45 out of the father of one of their members by pretending to be affiliated with a Christian Animal Rights group, but the discrepancies between what Rachel reported collecting and the amount of money handed over to Kurt by the sharp-eyed, shark-smiled cheerleader who had perpetuated the scheme led Kurt to believe that a few bills had potentially been skimmed off of the top by someone. And Rachel herself caused Kurt to lose nearly three days of strategizing, in order to talk her out of writing and starring in her own ASPCA-like commercial-MySpace broadcast only-complete with captioned photos of sad-eyed animals and an exclusive, impassioned, Rachel Berry-cover of a Sarah McLachlan tearjerker as the background track.

Kurt knew that he was doing the right thing-for Rafiki, for Blaine, for the zoo staff, for his college transcripts-and that, as much as he just wanted it all to be over, if he had to choose all over again, he would have done the exact same thing.

Still, there were a number of dark moments where Kurt resentfully wondered why Blaine's parents couldn't have bought him a dog or a bird or a kitten that Blaine could have grown horribly attached to instead.

Kurt had originally intended to go straight home to practice for his next voice lesson after his meeting with Desra on Thursday afternoon. After walking out of the zoo offices, however ("Only $460 more to go, Kurt; that's barely a drop in a very expensive bucket, compared to what you've already raised"), Kurt's feet carried him down the path toward the lion exhibit on autopilot. By the time that his brain caught up with his body and realized that he was headed away from the parking lot, he was already within sight of the enclosure. With a tight, wavering sigh, Kurt kept walking instead of turning back. Maybe spending some time with the actual lions-rather than their fuzzy little photographed faces on all of the fliers and posters and promotional materials that Shelby had let him use the Camel copiers to make, immediately before handing in her faculty ID-would inspire him with some new ideas to raise the final chunk of money that they needed.

Or, at least, maybe watching the lions romp around or cuddled in a sleepy pile would be enough to remind Kurt that it was the stress of the project that he was growing to detest, not the animals themselves.

As it turned out, the lions were doing neither. Scattered around the outdoor enclosure, they didn't seem to be doing much of anything in particular, with the exception of the cub who was scratching herself on a tree trunk, much to the delight of a large group of kids who were watching.

Kurt smiled ruefully. Zoo traffic had picked up noticeably since the local newspapers had caught wind of Rafiki's potential fate and the fundraiser to try and stop it, and whole hoards of people who had probably never been to the Lima Park Zoo in their lives were suddenly packing the dirt paths, loudly exclaiming over all the "exotic wildlife"-the lions in particular.

Lemmings.

One of the lions was stretched out on an expanse of rock near Kurt's end of the exhibit, blinking lazily at the entire scene, and Kurt knelt down as close as he could get to her. "Hi, Mali," he greeted quietly, glancing around to make sure that nobody was watching him as he leaned into the fence. As usual, he wasn't 100% sure which lion he was dealing with-he knew all of their features, thanks to his Christmas gift to Blaine, but had somehow never really distinguished which cub was which in the process-but there was a one in three chance that he was right, in any case, and he doubted that the lion knew the difference anyway.

Kurt cleared his throat, voice hoarse from all of the singing he'd done in rehearsal that morning. "I really hope he gets fired," he grumbled, continuing that train of thought out loud. "Or that he and Dakota Stanley fill the room with so much hot air that all I have to do to get rid of them both is light a match."

Mali moved her head slightly, her tail thumping heavily against the ground. Kurt took it as a sign of encouragement. "It's just culture shock, I guess," he admitted, tugging absently at a blade of grass next to the fence. "Shelby and Kenneth and Sarita, they're all incredibly well known and respected in their fields, and even if I still don't think that what Shelby did with Rachel was right, she still taught me so much. Dustin hasn't taught us anything so far, except how to cope with the beginning stages of PTSD."

Kurt sighed wistfully. "And almost all of my friends are gone," he added, twisting his mouth into a deep frown. "Transferred or moved or graduated, and…I don't know. I don't know if there's anything left for me at Carmel, anymore. Not if I have to do it on my own."

It was the first time that Kurt had admitted any of it out loud, and the seriousness of what it might mean shocked him into silence for a few minutes.

Before Kurt had managed to change the subject-a distinct advantage to having a conversational partner that didn't speak-Kurt heard a semi-familiar voice call his name, and he turned his head to look. Dylan, decked out in his usual veterinarian-khaki, was walking up the path toward him.

"I heard the good news," he told Kurt with a smile. "We're in the final stretch, then, right?"

Kurt smiled back thinly. "Right," he agreed, standing up and brushing the dirt off of his pants. "Less than $500 to go."

Dylan's grin was far more enthusiastic. "Well, I think that you can do it, no problem," he promised, before continuing up the path toward the indoor part of the enclosure. "See you later, Kurt."

Kurt glanced back down at Mali. "Hey," he called after Dylan, suddenly remembering something he'd been wondering about for a while. "Do you ever let people pet the lions? I mean, is it safe?"

Dylan laughed. "No way," he answered emphatically. "These guys were born in captivity, sure, but they're still wild animals, and out insurance company would have a stroke if we allowed that."

Seeing the disappointed frown on Kurt's face, Dylan took a couple of steps back down the path toward him. "I'll tell you what, though," he told Kurt conspiratorially. "I was just on my way to go feed them. If you promise to listen to everything I say, no exceptions, I'll let you help."

Thinking several months back to the winter, when Blaine had surreptitiously tossed strips of bison meat to the then-little cubs, Kurt smiled.

July had faded imperceptibly into August. Kurt's routine stayed the same-voice lessons, Vocal Adrenaline rehearsals with the increasingly-smarmy Dustin Goolsby, shifts at the garage, Tai Chi with Burt, and endless campaigning and strategizing (on his own or with Rachel Berry, who continued to be an ever-present source of quality vocal duets, frustration, and truly horrible baked goods) for the Save Our Lion campaign (the ironic initials of which had not gone unnoticed by Kurt; they needed to think of a new moniker, and fast).

The one very noticeable difference was Blaine-or, rather, the lack thereof.

"We'll be back in six days," he promised Kurt on Thursday evening as he packed to leave for Montreal, his voice distant and crackling over the speakerphone. "I might get a chance to call from the hotel, but the long-distance fees are pretty awful, and I've never gotten reception on my cell phone in Quebec."

Kurt swallowed the lump in his throat. "No, it's fine," he replied, his effort at sounding 'breezy and nonchalant' falling utterly short of the mark and landing somewhere around 'pitchy and strained'. "I'm a little jealous, obviously, since my French is très magnifique and yours is terrible, but I'll make it through somehow. Have fun with your Grandma."

"That is what I get for taking Spanish," Blaine agreed soberly, and Kurt could hear the faint sound of him zipping up whichever bag or suitcase he'd doubtlessly been haphazardly tossing things into. "I'll send you a postcard, though? And maybe buy you something with a French label, so that you can show off your superior linguistic skills."

Kurt swiped at his suspiciously damp eyes before blinking rapidly. "Hmmm," he sniffed haughtily. "You'd better."

After rehearsal on Friday, which Kurt had found mildly traumatizing-the work itself wasn't any worse than usual, but an overwrought sophomore who had yet to swallow the Goolsby Kool-Aid had burst into tears in the shower afterward and had clung to Kurt, desperate for comfort, before he had had the chance to dry off and change out of his towel-Kurt stopped at the store for a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of sparkling water, watching the clock with more than a little annoyance as he managed to hit almost every red light possible on the way home.

Of all the times that he could have been behind schedule, it had to be the afternoon that he had a pan of lasagna to bake from scratch for his dad's quasi-date with Carole Hudson.

Although he had yet to meet Carole's giant son, Finn, Kurt already had some idea of what to expect when he tagged along with his mother to dinner that night, thanks to the mother of all coincidences: Rachel Berry had, somewhat recently, started dating him.

"I'm certain that our inevitable union would have occurred sooner," Rachel had informed a bewildered Kurt, when he'd seen the captioned yearbook photo of McKinley's show choir that Rachel had hung in her room and had made the connection to his father's potential new girlfriend, "but there were tragic and extenuating circumstances driving us apart, and it wasn't until Finn was freed from the shackles of potential teenage fatherhood that he felt free to pursue other options and to follow his heart. To me."

Kurt, avoiding that undoubtedly sordid tale with a ten-foot pole, had diverted the conversation to what Finn was like as a person, reading between the lines over the course of the following hour-Rachel was extremely passionate on the subject-that, while perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer, Finn was generally a decent guy who was good at sports, singing, and off-the-cuff inspirational speeches.

Cautiously optimistic-he did opt out of going to McKinley for a reason, after all-Kurt decided to reserve judgment until he had the chance to see for himself.

One Kurt had made it home from the store, the rest of the afternoon flew by in a flurry of preparations-cooking, tossing salad, rolling his eyes in despair when Burt came home not only later than usual, but wearing extra-greasy coveralls-and Kurt had just changed into a nicer shirt and was pulling the lasagna pan out of the oven when the doorbell rang.

Hands full, Kurt paused to listen just long enough to ensure that his dad was on his way down the stairs to let their guests in, then continued easing the pan onto the waiting stovetop. Snapping the oven off, Kurt opened the cutlery drawer and began grabbing forks; in his haste, he'd only managed to set half of the table.

Kurt had just placed the last knife by his own plate when a giant shadow appeared in the doorway-a hulking, vaguely familiar-looking boy about his age was lurking there, awkwardly clutching a bouquet of pink and white carnations.

"Um, hey," Finn Hudson greeted Kurt, waving halfheartedly. "Your dad said to bring these to you, and that you'd know where to put them?"

Kurt couldn't quite suppress his smile-the juxtaposition between the enormous teenager and the little, delicate flowers clutched in his oversized fist was a bit much.

"Sure," he answered, once he was sure that he wasn't going to laugh inappropriately and risk offending Carole's son. "I've got an extra vase around here somewhere." He held out his hand. "I'm Kurt, by the way."

Finn shook his hand docilely. "Finn," he replied, briefly holding out the flowers for Kurt to take, before seemingly changing his mind and pulling them back. "Uh, hang on," he stalled, furrowing his brow in concentration.

After a few seconds, his face lit up in recognition. "Thank you for having me in your home," he recited, suddenly more confident. "Rest assured that I come as an ally of the Gay community, with an open heart and mind, and that I bear you no ill will or harm. Also, I'm dating a charming young ingénue who happens to have Two Gay Dads, and I have personally witnessed the complete normality of what others would incorrectly portray as an alternative lifestyle, and wish you all the best in your formative years."

He thrust the flowers at a speechless Kurt, looking proud of himself.

After a few shocked seconds, Kurt closed his eyes. "I'm guessing Rachel told you to say all of that, didn't she?" he sighed, gently taking the flowers from Finn and opening the lower cabinet next to him where he stored the extra vases.

Finn's face fell slightly. "I had to memorize a notecard," he admitted. "There was another sentence about Human Brotherhood in Tarbulant Socio-something Times, but I kept messing it up, so she took it out."

Kurt shook his head, amused in spite of himself by Finn's earnestness. "You could have just said 'Thanks for having us'," he pointed out, walking over to the sink and filling the vase with water. "Despite Rachel's no-doubt best of intentions, she didn't have to write you a speech."

Finn leaned against the counter next to the sink, a small frown on his face. "She's usually good at knowing what to say when I don't, though," he protested, watching as Kurt peeled the plastic and tissue paper from the carnations and neatly trimmed the stems. "And I've never had dinner with a gay dude before, so…I don't know. I thought she could tell me what to do, since she's got Two Gay Dads and everything."

"So she'd said," Kurt countered dryly, shutting off the water and frowning back at Finn appraisingly:

He was easily a foot taller than Kurt, but despite his sheer physical bulk, he seemed more genuinely clueless and slightly uncomfortable than actively hostile, the way the bullies in middle school had been.

The same bullies that were now Finn's classmates. "Finn," Kurt asked warily, putting the flowers in the vase and arranging them tastefully, "how many gay people do you actually know? Besides the Berrys, I mean."

Finn's forehead wrinkled as he thought. "Uh, none?" he replied, looking at Kurt for confirmation. "I mean, there was this one teacher, but he got fired and now he, like, sells drugs and collects dolls and stuff." He scratched at the back of his neck. "There aren't any gay guys our age at school, though," he finished apologetically.

Kurt sighed. "I can almost guarantee you that that isn't true," he stated, delicately avoiding the painfully creepy description of Finn's teacher. "But that's not the point. All I want to know is, do you have a problem with me being gay? Because if you do, and our parents start seeing each other, I'd rather find out that you're uncomfortable with me now than at their wedding."

Finn's eyes bulged. "Wait, wedding?" he demanded in a hushed whisper, glancing at the doorway-as did Kurt, because seriously, what was taking his dad and Carole so long? "You think they're gonna get married?"

Kurt sighed again. "Not anytime soon," he promised sardonically. "Focus, Finn. Gay. Problem. Yes or no?"

Finn held up his hands defensively. "Dude, I don't-I mean, like I said, I don't really know any gay guys," he explained. "I guess it would be weird if one had a crush on me or whatever, but I don't, like, hate you or not want to have dinner here, just because you're not into girls or anything…"

He trailed off with a shrug, and Kurt nodded. "Okay," he agreed, a slight smile forming on his face. "I can work with that, for now."

Over the following weeks, Kurt saw more of the Hudsons. Carole's work schedule prevented her from coming over for dinner more than a couple of times per week, though Kurt knew that his dad, who wasn't quite back to a full-time schedule at the garage, would occasionally take a couple of hours off during the day to meet her for lunch, or for a movie, or for some other socially sanctioned activity for the middle-aged and tragically-clothed. When Carole did make it over, however, she typically brought Finn along as well, citing her concern about his ability to feed himself in her absence.

Kurt had assumed that she was exaggerating, until Burt mentioned over quinoa and roasted vegetables one night that the Federman family down the street had recently installed a hot tub in their backyard. Finn had turned red and quietly excused himself to use the bathroom, and Carole's whispered explanation vis-à-vis Finn's conception misconceptions forever put an end to Kurt giving Finn's intelligence the benefit of the doubt.

Although falling painfully short of Mensa-candidate standards, and perhaps not someone that Kurt would have sought out as a friend of his own accord, Kurt found that Finn's presence in his house bothered him less than he thought it would. Some nights, Kurt barely noticed that he was there-an astounding oversight, given Finn's general bulk-hunkered in front of the television with his dad, watching repetitive highlights on ESPN. Other nights, when Burt and Carole would watch sappy romantic comedies-which disinterested Finn, and which Kurt wouldn't watch with just the pair of them for all the couture in Milan-Finn was content to dig through Kurt's sheet music and compare notes on their show choirs.

"What was Nationals like?" Finn had asked him one night, and Kurt had edited all of his personal complications out of the trip to L.A. in order to give Finn the highlights-the competition itself, the other teams, the hotel they'd stayed at-

"Wait," Finn interrupted, forehead wrinkled in either concern or confusion. "You had to share a bed with another dude? Wasn't that-I mean…"

Kurt raised an eyebrow, unimpressed, and Finn struggled to explain. "I didn't mean it in a bad way or anything," he assured Kurt, "just-wasn't that kind of weird for both of you?"

Kurt sighed. "Are you attracted to every girl you meet, Finn?" he asked, feeling slightly…uncomfortable in a way that he wasn't used to, not after two years of schooling in an environment where homophobia was dealt with in the same manner as any other form of intolerance or bullying-harshly.

But McKinley, Finn's school, was different. "No," Finn answered honestly, "just the hot ones."

Kurt nodded. "Exactly. It's the same for gay guys," he explained, with almost exaggerated patience. "We're not attracted to every boy we meet; just the ones that happen to meet our personal standards. Since I'm not attracted to Andy, us sharing a bed at Nationals wasn't any different than you sharing one with one of your guy friends on a school trip. And even if I did like him, it wouldn't have mattered, because I know Andy's straight. You wouldn't keep pestering a girl to go out with you after she tells you that she's not interested, or that she already has a boyfriend, would you?"

For some reason, Finn's face flushed at the idea. "Uh…no, because that's bad, right?" he suggested, looking at Kurt for confirmation.

Kurt ignored Finn's sudden weirdness in favor of making his point. "Right. And again, it's the same for anyone, gay or straight," he stressed. "If I were to pursue a guy after he's made it clear that he's straight-and it really does help if you actually say it," he added, "since so many people are closeted in backwater states like this one-it wouldn't be wrong because I'm gay, it would be wrong because I'm showing that I have no sense of personal boundaries. Does that clear things up?"

Kurt waited while Finn thought it over, and he could tell the moment that the message landed by the simple, sweet smile that broke out on Finn's face. "Yeah, I get it now," Finn beamed, clearly pleased with himself for having worked it out. "Thanks, man."

Before Kurt could breathe a sigh of relief at the straightforward explanation going so well, at least for the moment, or deal with the lingering discomfort he'd felt at the insidious reminder that outside of the safe bubble he'd been living in, there were millions of people that wouldn't accept Kurt's reasoning as easily as Finn had, Finn started leafing through Kurt's music again. "So where else did you go in L.A.?" he wanted to know. "Are there palm trees there, or not, since it's a city?"

Kurt smiled.

fanfiction, warbling on, writing, klaine, santana will cut you, lungs + vocabulary, finn, glee, rad bromance, "jesse st james jesse st sucks", not on kurt hummel's bucket list, oh blainers

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