The Boys of Summer: part 2
The Boys are Back in Town: part 1
The Boys are Back in Town: part 2
Feels Like the First Time: part 1
Feels Like the First Time: part 2
Part IV: Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin
Kurt checked himself over in the mirror again. It was the first time he would be “seeing” Blaine in nearly three weeks, and after, well, everything, he wanted to look perfect.
There. It had taken Kurt a bit longer than usual to style his hair; since he was at Bobby’s he had been letting it lay a little more natural and, honestly, he needed a haircut. His skin was as flawless as he could make it--there was no SPF available that would keep him from getting any color, but the healthy glow was nice and subtle. Kurt made a mental note to add a little more moisturizer to tonight’s regime, but overall he looked good. Kurt smiled at the mirror. It almost reached his eyes.
Kurt slumped. There was no reason to be nervous. This was Blaine, his wonderful boyfriend. His first love. Kurt hadn’t done anything wrong. He was tested and remained true. Kurt squared his shoulders. It was time.
Once back in his room, Kurt opened his laptop and logged into Skype. He still felt nervous, butterflies dancing though his bones, but he could tell himself it was excitement. It was still a little bit of a relief when he saw Blaine wasn’t yet online.
Kurt glanced at the clock. They had said seven, and it was just seven now. He would give it a few minutes before he panicked.
Though the open window he could hear the faint strains of the Impala’s radio as it blasted, of all things, Don’t Stop Believing. Kurt smiled when he recognized Puck’s voice trying to harmonize with--was that Dean? Kurt raised his eyebrows at the window. Dean’s voice wasn’t half bad, though very untrained. Kurt smirked.
He looked back at Skype. Still no Blaine.
Well, he could always check Facebook while he waited. He logged in, quickly dealt with his notifications (he really needed to tell Finn to stop spamming him with Farmville requests), and idly scrolled down his newsfeed.
Oh, it looked like Blaine had been tagged in some photos. Looks like a party. Well, it’s good to see that he’s having fun.
Kurt checked Skype. Still no Blaine. He clicked on the Facebook photos.
His eyes widened. He grabbed his phone.
Puck stretched out where he lay on the hood of the old Chevy that was parked next to where Dean had parked the Impala. The Hunter had been in a good mood--and if Puck had heard what he thought he had heard earlier that day? Dean had reason to be--and had pulled Puck aside to talk.
“If you’re gonna be a Hunter,” Dean had said. “There are a few things you should know, things that no training will prepare you for. Are you ready?” Puck had nodded and Dean continued. “One: Death is constant. Everyone dies. And anyone can die at any time. Hunters are not known for being long-lived.” Dean had ticked off on his fingers, “Two: family is everything. Everything. And not all family is blood.” Puck had nodded at that one. He could see how Dean treated the others; they were definitely a family. “Three: Once you’re in, you’re in. There’s no out of this life.”
Puck had frowned. “What about Mr. Hummel.”
Dean had snorted. “Look at the way he raised Kurt. You really think Hummel is out?”
Puck had frowned at the ground, and Dean had clapped his shoulder. “It’s also not all gloom and doom. We are professional badasses. And that,” Dean had grinned. “That’s pretty sweet.”
And somehow, that had lead them to where they were, Dean tinkering under the Impala’s hood while they sang along to Journey. It was the first time Puck had sang since he had left Ohio. It felt good.
Right up until Kurt stormed out of the house, yelling into his phone: “--next time you cheat on someone? Don’t tag it on Facebook!” Kurt hung up, standing in the middle of the yard. Puck sat up, watching. Kurt had cleaned himself up, and looked more like the Kurt Puck was used to seeing in school, though Puck didn’t think he had ever seen Kurt that angry. His boy was bright red, and Puck could see the way he trembled.
“Kurt?” He called out. “You okay?”
Kurt looked over, sniffing as he raised his nose in a posture Puck knew too well from those dumpster dives.
“Fine,” Kurt said, his voice deeper than usual. With measured steps, Kurt walked over to the porch and placed his phone on the wood. With the same eerie calm, Kurt picked up a metal headed mallet and walked over to the Mustang he and Puck had slated for scrap earlier that week. Puck realized Dean was watching Kurt with the same wary tension.
“Kurt?” Dean said.
Kurt breathed deep and heaved the mallet up over his head, bringing it down through the windshield with a crash. Puck jumped, sliding down the hood of the car. Next to him, Dean was on high alert, but didn’t move beyond tensing. Kurt paid them no attention, lifting the mallet once more to break the side windows, working his way around to the back. He climbed up onto the trunk to smash the rear window, and kept swinging, caving in the roof of the car.
Puck heard a commotion at the door of the house, and a quick glance told him that the noise had brought the household outside. No one tried to interfere, and Puck didn’t blame them; nobody wanted to get near Kurt while he had that mallet.
With a wrenching scream the roof of the car gave in, and sank into the frame. Kurt stood on the trunk, looking at the wrecked frame. He opened his mouth, and the sound that came out sounded just like the screaming of the metal. He dropped the mallet into the car, his shoulders curving in on themselves, as he covered his face with his hands and started to shake.
Puck slid the rest of the way off the car, rushing to Kurt. Mindful of the glass, he managed to coax Kurt down off the car, and once they were both on solid ground, he wrapped Kurt up in a hug as Kurt cried against his shoulder.
Puck was distantly aware Cas leading everyone else back inside, but his attention was on the boy in his arms.
The summer sun was setting before Kurt’s sobs eased. Puck pulled away to look at Kurt. Kurt wouldn’t meet his eyes, but let Puck tilt his face up. Puck felt a twinge of guilt for noticing that Kurt was a pretty crier, but it was true. His face was flushed, and the setting sun caught the tears on his lashes, making them shine. “What happened?” Puck murmured.
Kurt shook his head.
“Okay,” Puck said. “Not here.” He turned them towards the house, intending to lead Kurt up to his bedroom, but Kurt balked, and wouldn’t move.
“I--” Kurt said, “Not yet.”
Puck nearly smacked his forehead when he realized. His room was where he found out, and if they went inside there were several men who were worse mother-hens than Puck’s Nana.
“I know,” Puck said. “Come on.” Pulling Kurt by the hand, Puck really didn’t want to leave the boy alone, he brought them into the garage and grabbed several army surplus blankets Bobby kept with his other “crazy-old-man” supplies. Puck thought about grabbing a Powerbar or two, but those tasted like shit and he’d have to let Kurt go for that, and no way in hell.
Puck lead Kurt back out of the garage and to the west end of the lot and there it was, right where he remembered it; the old VW minibus. The engine was long gone, but the frame was still intact. “Here, hold these,” Puck said, handing Kurt the blankets. Kurt grabbed them, still looking like someone had killed his puppy, and boy eyebrows was gonna get it the next time Puck saw him, even if it was in the hospital after Kurt was through with him, but he no longer looked about ready to cry.
Taking the blankets one by one, Puck lined the bed of the van and crawled inside, pulling Kurt in after him. He settled against the metal wall, wishing Bobby had kept pillows, too, but whatever; this wasn’t about him. He held his hand out to Kurt, gesturing for Kurt to sit back against him. Kurt cocked his head at him, and raised an eyebrow.
“You...want to cuddle with me?” Kurt asked.
Puck rolled his eyes, but felt relief too. If Kurt could snark, he wasn’t numb anymore. “Shut up,” Puck said, instead. “My sis had night terrors. She says I give badass cuddles.”
“So now I’m your little sister?”
“Dude, stop stalling and let me comfort you.” Puck said, opening his arms wider. “Hug the Puck, and kvetch.”
Kurt snorted, but he did crawl into the van, and settled, back to front, against Puck. Puck wrapped his arms around Kurt’s waist, and smiled against Kurt’s shoulder when Kurt started trailing his fingers over the backs of Puck’s hands.
“So,” Puck said. “Am I gonna need an alibi when we get back to Lima, or what?”
Kurt snorted again. “You won’t, but I might.” He said. “Or, at the very least, I need glasses. How did I not see this coming?”
“See what?” Puck murmured.
“Blaine was late for our video-date,” Kurt said. “So I was killing time on Facebook when I see that he’s tagged in a bunch of new photos. And in all of them he’s with this guy. And whatever, he could just be a friend, I mean, he didn’t look obvious the way Blaine and I can, but there was something in their body language maybe. I dunno, but I didn’t like it. Then, in, like, the last five pictures, he’s in the background and they’re” Kurt’s voice breaks, but he goes on. “I can’t even call it kissing. They were all over each other. Blaine’s hand was on the guy’s ass, and he never--” Kurt did stop there, and Puck squeezed, getting a hiccupping noise out of Kurt.
Kurt sniffed. “So I called him. And he answered like I was calling out of the blue; he had forgotten our date. And I could hear people in the background and I snapped. I just started yelling, every nagging insecurity I’ve had about us, and I just threw it all in his face. I don’t even remember now everything I said. I just--I broke it off. I’m not staying with someone who thinks they can cheat on me, not after--”
Kurt didn’t say it, but Puck knew what he meant. Not after Kurt had resisted that same temptation.
“Well, fuck him.” Kurt said. He giggled, but it was slightly hysterical. “Fuck.” It was strange, hearing Kurt curse, but really, there were no other words.
“I’m sorry it happened this way,” Puck said.
“But not sorry it happened,” Kurt said, bitter but without real bite.
Puck shrugged and chose his next words carefully. “I think you’re better off without him, and I’m not gonna lie and say I’ve been hoping you’d break it off with him. But this? This just sucks.”
“Ha,” Kurt said. “Is it wrong to feel relieved and like the world is ending at the same time?”
Puck thought about Lauren. And about Beth. “No,” Puck said. “Not at all.”
Kurt fell quiet then. “Well,” Kurt said. “There goes my first boyfriend.” He sighed. “So much for living the dream.”
“You know,” Puck said. “I never really got that. I mean--my dreams can be really fucking weird. I wouldn’t want to live in any of them.” He paused. “Except that one where I was Batman. I could live in that dream.”
Kurt had gone still, but that comment pushed something in him, and he laughed, and it grew until he was laughing as hard as he had cried earlier. Puck found himself laughing along, and it was a good feeling.
Kurt calmed, wiping at the corners of his eyes with his fingers. “Thank you Puck,” he said.
“Don’t mention it,” Puck said.
They sat in silence for a long while, just listening to themselves breathe, and the crickets outside in the dark end of twilight.
“You know,” Kurt said. “Considering how I felt before, how unsure I was--I’d pretty much accepted that we weren’t going to be together much longer, I don’t know why--I think I’m more upset about how I found out than that it happened. I mean, shouldn’t I be more upset that Blaine cheated? He is--was--my boyfriend.”
“Hmm,” Puck said. “Are you more upset that Blaine cheated, or that your boyfriend cheated.”
Kurt just sighed. “I never should have dated him in the first place,” he said. “I just--I was chasing after him for so long. When he finally said he liked me back, it was like a dream come true. But--I don’t know that I ever really saw him, and not what I wanted him to be. He sure as hell never saw me, if he thought this was something he could get away with.”
Puck snorted. “You don’t cross Kurt Hummel,”
“Damn, straight.” Kurt said, and then snickered. “For certain definitions of the word.”
Puck chuckled, and Kurt leaned his head back on Puck’s shoulder. They still didn’t move, but the atmosphere had shifted from something tense to something warm.
“You know,” Kurt said at length. “This means I’m single again.”
“Oh?” Puck said as casually as he could when his whole body tensed in anticipation.
“And I’m probably going to be messed up about this for a while,” Kurt said. “So I’m not about to jump into anything new. Yet.”
“Yet?” Puck asked.
“Yet,” Kurt said.
Puck nodded. “I can handle ‘yet.’”
Puck had gone home, dragged away by Sheriff Mills, who had appeared in full uniform when Puck hadn’t turned up. Her expression had softened when she saw Puck and Kurt walking in from the lot--Kurt guessed he still looked a fright, and he was sure Puck wouldn’t get into too much trouble.
But that left Kurt alone, no one his age to talk to. He could go upstairs, see if Finn was online, or any of his girls, but--he couldn’t go back in that room yet. He dreaded to think what his Facebook wall looked like at the moment. He looked at the phone on the table next to him, and almost picked it up. But if he picked it up, he might call Blaine, and that wouldn’t end well at all.
So Kurt sat on Bobby’s couch, staring at the bookcase opposite him in the yellow lamplight, and tried not to think. It wasn’t easy. His mind kept spiraling back, looking for a moment when he should have seen, and instead saw several where he had seen, but simply ignored.
Kurt wanted ice cream. And Mercedes. Maybe Rachel, if she was having a good day. Something with Patti Lupone in it. Or Liza. He could take Liza in a pinch. Just--no West Side Story. He sighed. If only there was a Wicked movie. It wouldn’t be the same without the stage presence, but it’d do the trick.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” he sang softly under his breath. “No act of charity goes unresented...” He trailed off, sighing. Blaine was certainly no Fiero, and Kurt was not that girl.
Kurt was about ready to hunt down a copy of The Wizard of Oz, for the blending of both Wicked source material and Judy, when Castiel entered the study. Kurt froze, feeling his heart stutter in his chest. So far he had avoided any direct contact with the former angel--there was something deeply unsettling about his existence and Kurt was in no state to think about what it was. But there was nowhere to run, and Castiel came closer. He stopped at the edge of the couch.
“Kurt,” he said in that (unfair, so unfair!), gravel deep voice. “May I speak with you?”
If there was anything that would mark Castiel as inhuman, Kurt thought, it would be the way he speaks.
“Fine,” Kurt said, and scooted closer to the arm as Castiel sat next to him on the couch.
“I make you uncomfortable,” Castiel began without preamble.
“Do you always state the obvious,” Kurt snipped, looking at the carpet.
“Generally, yes.” Castiel said. He stared straight ahead as he talked, as if aware that looking at Kurt would make him run. “I have not always had the best grasp of what is obvious and what is not; everything is obvious to an angel.” Castiel paused. “Or so I thought. My time with Dean has taught me otherwise. I am--lucky.”
Kurt frowned, finally looking at him. Castiel was smiling. It looked new. “Lucky.”
“Yes,” Castiel said. “I am.”
Kurt narrowed his eyes, and looked away. He ached, and he was in no mood to talk. It sharpened his tongue. “Well good for you,” he snapped. “If you feel like sharing, please, let me know.”
Castiel looked at him, then, his eyes too big, too wide, to be human. “What are you afraid, of, Kurt?”
Kurt felt his laugh strangle in his throat; it hurt like swallowing a pill. “Why do you care? Who are you--” Kurt cut himself off, wiping a hand at eyes that had teared without his permission.
“I care.” Castiel said. “You were one of mine, Kurt. Born on a Thursday.”
“Then where the fuck were you?” Kurt hissed, anger flashing bright behind his eyes. “Where were you when my mom died? When they called me names and pushed me around and threatened my life, where were you?!”
After a moment, Castiel said softly, “Nowhere you would forgive. And for that, I am sorry.”
“Sorry doesn’t cut it,” Kurt said. Then he sighed. “But it’s a start.”
“I want to be your friend, Kurt.” Castiel said, and damn him for being so earnest. Though, he was falling now, or fallen. Maybe he already was. “I couldn’t be there for you before, but I can be here for you now, if you let me.”
“You want my trust,” Kurt said. “Is that it?”
“I will settle for you staying in the room when I am there.”
Kurt raised an eyebrow. “I’m here now, aren’t I?”
“Because I trapped you,” Castiel said. He paused for a beat. “Sorry.”
Kurt snorted. “It’s alright. I’m not so far gone that I don’t know this is necessary.” And Kurt meant it; it would be impossible to live at Bobby’s for the summer and not speak to Castiel at all. Or Gabriel, but, for all Gabriel was a full-fledged angel, he didn’t put him off the way Castiel did; maybe it was because Gabriel acted more human.
“I--” Castiel faltered. It was fascinating to watch. Very--human. “You have questions.”
“Oh, oodles,” Kurt drawled. “Will you answer them, if I ask?”
“Yes,” Castiel said. No hesitation. And Kurt found he believed him. So, he began to talk.
“It’s no secret that I am--was?--an atheist. I’ve seen nothing--until you, anyway--that would make me believe there was a God. Would God take my mother? Would God make me this way, and then make me hated by almost everyone I meet? What God would do that?” Kurt glared at Castiel. “So I said he didn’t exist and I was fine, then you’re you, and that means He’s Him, and if He’s Him, then I’m fucked.” Kurt took a deep breath, calming himself as best he could. “So--you wanted to know why I don’t like you? That’s why. You’re a constant reminder of every time someone told me ‘God hates fags.’”
Castiel’s expression didn’t change, but something like compassion flickered behind his eyes. It made Kurt look away. “My Father doesn’t care about your sexual orientation,” Castiel said. “My Father cares that you love, and that you choose to love.” Castiel gestured with towards the door to the kitchen, where Dean and Sam were cleaning their guns. “Look at Dean and Sam; they are both slated for Heaven, and neither of them loves a woman.”
Kurt snorted. “I find that a little hard to believe. Dean loves you, a fallen angel--doesn’t say much about approval there, does it? And Gabriel is a woman when he’s with Sam.”
Castiel cocked his head to the side. Kurt thought he looked like one of those online videos of dogs; but he refused to find it cute. “My falling was a gift from my Father; a chance for a life of love. And it was a gift to Dean as much as to me. As for Gabriel, and myself to a lesser extent; Angels are genderless. I call myself male because I am bound to this form. Gabriel prefers a male form, as his vessel is male. Gabriel becomes female because Sam is heterosexual, and Gabriel would not last in a sexless relationship. But Sam loves Gabriel, who is not a woman. And Dean loves me, and I am a man, now.”
Kurt shook his head. “I don’t know if that’s better or worse.”
“It is better,” Castiel said. “More pure. Those who love will enter heaven, and those who hate will descend into Hell, to wait on line for all eternity.”
A surprised laugh escaped from Kurt. “You made a joke,” he wondered.
“I--wish I did,” Castiel corrected gently. “Hell has recently come under new management. He prefers the order of eternal waiting.”
Castiel shrugged. “So is Crowley.”
Kurt looked away. “I can’t talk about this anymore.” He scrubbed a hand over his face. “My boyfriend--ex-boyfriend--is a cheating bastard, and I just want to wallow in ice cream and musicals.”
“Sounds like a party,” Gabriel said from the doorway. “Whatcha got planned?”
Kurt looked at Gabriel, and felt a smirk twitching his lips. “Well...we could always watch Anything Goes.”
Gabriel raised an eyebrow. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Wouldn’t I?” Kurt countered. Castiel looked between them.
“I don’t understand.”
“Do you hear that playing?” Kurt said.
“No?” Castiel said, confused.
“Yeah, I hear that playing.” Kurt went on. Gabriel was shaking his head. “Do you know who’s playing?” Kurt was nearly grinning now.
“I still do not hear anything,” Castiel said.
“No, who is that playing. It’s Gabriel, Gabriel, playing!” Kurt sang, his voice lifting strong as a trumpet. “Gabriel, Gabriel, saying: Will you be ready to go, when I blow my horn!”
Gabriel lost it, bending over laughing, and Kurt settled back in the couch, smiling. Castiel was still looking confused, and Kurt took pity on him. “It’s Patti LuPone,” he said, and smiled when Castiel grew more confused. But Gabriel’s laughter was easing, so Kurt said:
“I was thinking about The Wizard of Oz, for some Judy. If Bobby doesn’t have it, which wouldn’t surprise me, I can always get it on my laptop.”
“I like you, kiddo,” Gabriel said. “So I can do you one better.” He snapped his fingers and, while they were still very much in Bobby’s study, the couch was now extremely comfortable, lush, and Kurt was between two mostly-naked male models, one of which was holding popcorn, and the other a diet coke. Castiel was on the other side of the model to the left, and Gabriel to the right. Kurt was holding a giant bowl of Rocky Road, and though the bowl wasn’t cold, the ice cream looked to have no signs of melting. In front of them, a giant projector screen had appeared, and the Metro Goldwyn Mayer logo was playing across it. The sound came from everywhere and nowhere at once, and was crystal clear. Kurt turned wide eyes to Gabriel, but was distracted by the way the dim light reflected off the model’s perfect chest. Kurt realized he was reaching out to touch only when the bowl in his lap tilted sharply.
“Gabriel,” Kurt said. Gabriel looked at him over a giant Sunday of his own, piled high with whipped cream and fudge and candy and nuts and--Kurt looked over to see Castiel slowly eating a bowl of something that smelled like--bacon and maple syrup? Really?
“I have never seen this movie before,” Castiel said quietly, leaning in close, not looking away from the opening credits, “nor any others that do not feature the pizza man. Do they all have so many words?”
Kurt looked at Castiel. The pizza ma--oh, God. They showed him porn!
“You were saying, Kiddo?” Gabriel prompted. Kurt looked back at Gabriel, thought very clearly, fuck it, and grinned.
“Thank you,” he said, and settled back to watch the movie.