Rating: NC-17 for the last bit, PG-13 before that
Word Count: 14,000-ish. Oh, God.
Summary: Glee/Dr. Horrible AU Fusion fic. “I still don't understand why people insist that just because you're a supervillain you have to wear the same rubber outfit every day. Just because everyone else seems to lack imagination in the costume department doesn't mean I have to.”
Notes: Thank you to S and N and Kent for the beta work! I love you guys
Kurt pushed the chunky black D&G frames farther up on his nose as he glared haughtily into his laptop's camera lens.
“And while it's true that my plan to destroy Coach Sylvester by posting her incredibly embarrassing jazzercise routine to Olivia Newton-John's Physical was ultimately foiled, the video has received upwards of four million views and counting,” he said, pausing to run a thumb and forefinger against his bangs to settle them in place.
“As a result, this has become a partnered channel. The money I make from advertising will go towards funding my future diabolical schemes to bring McKinley High School to its knees, and, of course, to pay for an update in my wardrobe.” His eyes became glazed over and distant, his lips tilting down at the corners. “Dad... cut up all my credit cards... last week.”
Kurt cleared his throat and briefly tightened his bow tie.
“Anyway, it's time for e-mails,” he said, flashing a falsely bright smile and pulling a few sheets of paper out of his desk drawer. “'Golden Star,'” his fingers flicked up into air-quotes, “writes, 'Dear Professor Porcelain, I will no longer waste my time attempting to gain your membership with the New Directions Justice Task Force. We have allied ourselves with the National Syndicate of Heroism, and though you showed a small amount of ingenuity and skill in our last encounter,'” he huffed and rolled his eyes, “'you made it clear you will refuse to cooperate. I'm sure you'll be happy to note that New Directions Justice Task Force, in joining the National Syndicate, has added its name to the ranks of such superhero greats as Jane Addams' Avenger and the Ice Queen, leader of-' blah, blah, blah.”
Kurt's eyes snapped up from the document.
“For your information, Rachel, I would rather use Two-in-One shampoo-conditioner than join that egregious group of grossly gratuitous do-gooders.”
He crossed his left arm over his stomach, propping his right elbow there, hand gesturing in a swoop before he loosely folded the fingers against his palm.
“The last thing this world needs is more people prancing around in poorly sewn spandex costumes thinking they're doing everyone a favor, when really, they're just reinforcing the painfully corrupt status quo. Also, last time I checked, being incredibly irritating doesn't count as a super power.”
He smirked and shot a nonchalant glance at his nails.
“Besides, it's only a matter of time before I put the finishing touches on my Slush Ray and pull off a heist that will bring my exploits to the attention of the Society of Maniacal Fabulosity. Fashionista, as leader of that esteemed institution, will undoubtedly be impressed not only by my style and class, but by the way that I'll mercilessly-”
Kurt was cut off when the upstairs door banged open.
“Kurt!” Burt Hummel bellowed. “Mercedes is here to see you!” Then, more quietly, “He's downstairs in his room, Mercedes.”
Kurt clicked the record button off and frowned in exasperation.
“It's an underground lair, Dad! God.”
Kurt couldn't be sure, but he thought he heard his father snort. Mercedes walked down the stairs and across the room to give him a brief hug.
“Did I interrupt a recording session?” Mercedes asked when she pulled back. Kurt smiled, took off his glasses and loosened his bow-tie. He sat down on the couch and patted the seat next to him.
“It's okay. I can finish later. What's up?”
“Just wanted to bring you this,” Mercedes said. She sat down and pulled an electronic swipe card out of her purse with a grin. A picture of a megaphone was printed on the back. Kurt snatched it out of her grasp excitedly.
“Oh my God, is that the key pass to Coach Sylvester's office?” he squealed.
Kurt looked at her in awe.
“How did you get it? I've been trying to override her security system for weeks.”
“Puckzilla owed me a favor,” she said slyly, hand sweeping up to flip her hair over a shoulder. Kurt raised an eyebrow.
“I thought he was with the New Directions Justice Task Force now,” he asked.
“He's only a member when it suits him,” Mercedes said with a shrug. “And he's always had a problem with authority, anyway.”
Kurt slipped the card into his front pocket.
“So what are you gonna do with the key?” Mercedes asked.
“Are you kidding? This will speed up my completion of the Slush Ray by months,” Kurt gushed, clapping his hands together once before clasping them in front of his chest. “All I need is to get a hold of some of Coach Sylvester's Mega-Confetti-Cannons, and I'll be able to use the air propulsion system to get the amount of thrust I'm going to need. My final blueprints turned out to require a couple hundred extra PSI than I originally thought.”
“Sounds complicated,” Mercedes said with a frown.
“Not at all. Procuring the hardware will be the most difficult part,” Kurt said. “I just need a plan to get into her office when I know she won't be there.”
They were both silent for a moment.
“Well... there is the Regional Super Invitational next month,” Mercedes offered tentatively. “Coach Sylvester will be there because her Cheerios will be doing a demonstration, and I think the New Directions Task Force will be performing too, so that gets them out of the way.”
“That's perfect,” Kurt said. “Everyone will be concentrated more or less around the auditorium, which is on the other side of the school, and there should be a lot of regular students, parents, and visitors milling about. They'll be so focused on keeping order there, I should be able to slip through unnoticed.”
“That only leaves The Fury-” Mercedes began.
Kurt cut her off with a disgusted scoff.
“Ugh, don't call him that. I swear, the greatest travesty wasn't the radioactive spill during Karofsky's fourth grade trip to the science museum, it's that the neanderthal managed to survive it.” He looked down and to the side briefly, letting out an angry sigh. “With mutated-DNA created super strength, no less. It's absolutely unfair. Besides, there's no reason he needs the stupid superhero moniker, anyway.”
“You have a supervillain moniker,” Mercedes pointed out, quirking an eyebrow.
“Yes, but I need to maintain a secret identity. And as an evil genius, I can actually pull it off. Karofsky couldn't keep a secret if his steroid-riddled biceps depended on it.”
“Yeah, and the fact that Professor Porcelain is always dressed in the latest high couture fashion doesn't tip anyone off,” Mercedes said.
“I still don't understand why people insist that just because you're a supervillain you have to wear the same rubber outfit every day. Just because everyone else seems to lack imagination in the costume department doesn't mean I have to.”
He smoothed his palms down his chest, straightening the material of his bright pink button up.
“Besides,” he continued, “There are two subatomic perception filters in my glasses and bow-tie. No one suspects a thing.”
“Sure they don't,” Mercedes said, patting his arm consolingly.
Kurt stuck his lower lip out in a pout.
“You are the worst evil side-kick ever,” he whined.
Mercedes smiled sweetly.
“Bitch, I ain't nobody's side-kick.”
And at that, they both broke down into hysterical giggles.
One month later, and Kurt was fidgeting next to his locker after school hours, gripping his messenger bag strap so hard his knuckles were flushed white, compulsively checking his cell phone every three seconds. Any minute now, Mercedes would text him the all clear, he would duck into the janitor's closet to change into his supervillain persona, and then... well, then things would go off without a hitch, because he'd planned out every detail, and there was no way he could fail at this.
Absolutely no way.
Kurt did his best to fade into the background, which wasn't exactly the easiest thing to do when wearing a shirt with gold buckles across the chest and tight black skinny jeans. But then, Kurt Hummel, while definitely eye-catching, was not as alarming a sight as Professor Porcelain lurking ominously in a dimly lit hallway. Students scurried past him in their hurry to get to the auditorium. A teacher's heels clacked rhythmically on the tile floor. Lockers slammed shut. Kurt checked his phone again.
Kurt startled in surprise and looked up into the hazel eyes of quite possibly the most gorgeous guy he'd ever seen. Kurt stared. The boy stared back. Kurt glanced to either side of him, then back again.
“Uh... yes?” Kurt asked finally.
And as if the guy couldn't get any more gorgeous, he gave Kurt a completely charming grin. It sparkled. Kurt felt his stomach promptly plummet into his Jimmy Choo sneakers as his Adam's apple started to tap-dance on the top of his aorta.
“Hi,” the boy said. “My name's Blaine.” He offered a hand. Kurt shook it numbly and swallowed in a way he hoped wasn't too audible.
“Kurt,” he said.
“Good to meet you,” Blaine said.
“You too,” Kurt blurted on autopilot. But, seriously. Why was the cute guy talking to him now? Why couldn't he have approached Kurt when he wasn't in the middle of a heist, when he wasn't feeling the obsessive need to check his phone every five seconds, when his nerves hadn't already been jittering out of control, when – Blaine was talking again.
“So, you go here?”
“Yeah, um...” Kurt trailed off, then realized he was still awkwardly shaking Blaine's hand and dropped it like a hot potato. “You... don't.” Smooth.
Blaine smiled again.
“Nope. I go to Dalton Academy. Hence the uniform,” he said.
Kurt's eyes flicked down to take in the navy blazer and snapped up again immediately.
“Oh. Uh. What brings you to McKinley?” Kurt asked, even as his brain screamed, Obviously the same event that brought everyone else here, you idiot!
Blaine didn't seem to notice it was a stupid question.
“I'm supposed to be meeting some friends here to watch the Regional Super Invitational,” he said. “Some people in my class are competing. It's supposed to be a big deal; I heard that there are heroes coming from all over the state.”
Kurt snorted and checked his phone again.
“Yeah, because what better way to be a superhero than to leave multiple locations unprotected all at once just to have a posturing, macho contest that will most likely end with massive damage done to the tax-payer funded auditorium?” he muttered without thinking.
There was silence. Kurt belatedly looked up from his phone. Blaine was staring at him. Kurt felt the tips of his ears heating up in embarrassment.
“...Sorry,” Kurt said. “I can come on a little strong, I guess.”
Blaine stopped staring long enough to flash another of those butterfly-inducing smiles.
“No, you make a really good point,” Blaine said. “I was surprised, is all. I mean, I've always sort of hated these things, but I didn't think anyone else did. My friends love them so much I get dragged along every time in spite of my very vocal protests.”
Kurt tilted his head slightly.
“Is that why you've taken to slinking around by yourself off the beaten path and striking up conversations with random strangers?”
Blaine laughed. Kurt's heart thumped so loud it felt like someone punching him in the chest from the inside out. The strange sensation made his lips involuntarily stretch into a grin.
“To tell the truth, I think I'm a little lost,” Blaine said. He leaned in closer to Kurt. “I thought you looked like you'd be good with directions. Don't suppose I can trouble you to show me where the auditorium is, can I?”
Blaine arched an eyebrow teasingly. Kurt had the sudden, warm thought that maybe Blaine was actually flirting with him. With the vain hope that he wasn't beginning to blush uncontrollably (curse his perfectly pale complexion), Kurt reached out to touch Blaine's elbow and point him in the right direction.
Which is, of course, when Azimio came out of nowhere and nailed Kurt with a grape slushie to the face.
“Are you okay?” Blaine asked. Kurt winced and splashed his face with another handful of lukewarm water before taking the paper towels Blaine was handing him. It would just figure that the first time a genuinely nice, cute guy struck up a semi-flirtatious conversation with him, not only would Kurt be in the middle of something kind of important, but he'd be publicly humiliated on top of it.
But then, Kurt had figured out a long time ago that the universe probably hated him.
“Fine,” Kurt said, dabbing ineffectively at his shirt. “It's an... occupational hazard.”
Blaine's brow furrowed.
“What do you mean?” he asked.
Kurt's breath caught in his throat for a second, the old fear of rejection rushing in, but trial and error told him it was best to get this part over with as soon as possible. And it's not like Kurt was anything but glaringly obvious, anyway.
“Being McKinley High's token gay kid doesn't make you many friends,” he said softly, flicking a few chunks of slushie out of his hair.
Blaine was silent for a moment.
“Ah. Yeah. I know how that goes,” he said, voice a little choked.
Kurt looked up sharply. Their eyes met in the mirror over the bathroom sink. Kurt raised an eyebrow in question, biting back the totally selfish hope that he hadn't just been reading into things like he always did, misinterpreting totally platonic, friendly signals as something more.
“I used to go to public school before. I got taunted for being gay,” Blaine explained. Kurt felt all the air rush out of his lungs, disbelief mingled with hope and sympathy hitting him like a kick to the diaphragm.
“It really pissed me off,” Blaine continued, eyes going distant. “Least of all because they didn't even know-” He cut himself off. “Anyway. I'm sorry.”
The apology surprised a laugh out of Kurt.
“What for? You didn't throw frozen high-fructose corn syrup at me.”
Blaine smiled sadly.
“Yeah, but still, I feel bad it happened at all.”
“Don't be,” Kurt said, turning to face Blaine and offering a smile of his own. “I'm used to it.”
Blaine moved in closer and placed a hand on Kurt's shoulder. Kurt forgot to breathe.
“You shouldn't have to be used to it,” Blaine said kindly, his gaze locked on Kurt's. Kurt tilted unconsciously into Blaine's touch. The moment stretched out.
And then Kurt's phone started beeping madly in his pocket.
“Shit,” Kurt breathed as he read the message. Mercedes was giving him the all clear. It was go-time. “I, uh, I really have to leave. Thanks for, um- well. Auditorium's on the east side of the building, down the hall to the right.” Fighting back every sudden impulse that told him to stay, he grabbed his messenger back from where it was propped against the wall and rushed out of the bathroom.
“Kurt, wait-” Blaine called after him, stepping into the hallway.
“Sorry, bye!” Kurt tossed out over his shoulder, breaking into a jog towards the janitor's closet on the west side of the building.
A few minutes later, he slammed the door shut behind him and locked it. He tossed his bag on the floor haphazardly, then leaned back against the wall in between the brooms and mops, eyes closed, breathing hard. Eventually, he pulled himself together and slipped the thick black glasses over his eyes.
Kurt told himself his heart was still beating so quickly because of the run.
Kurt huffed and puffed a bit as he lugged the last Mega-Confetti-Cannon out through the back freight entrance. Really, it'd been like taking candy from a baby; quick swipe of the card to get in, grab the goods, and only a 30 meter walk to the exit where he'd parked the Hummel Hovercraft in stealth mode. The entire wing of the school was still abandoned, the Regional Super Invitational undoubtedly still going strong. Trust the heroes to spend all their time showing off, not even noticing when their doom slipped out the back door. He suppressed an evil chuckle that threatened to bubble up; Professor Porcelain was not an exposition spouting, maniacal laughing, B-movie villain. There were standards.
Kurt double-checked the securing straps before hopping into the driver's seat and putting the hovercraft in gear. He started humming to himself as he pulled away from the freight entrance and around the corner of the school. That much-sought-after sense of accomplishment settled comfortably in his stomach. He was practically home free.
“Professor Porcelain! We meet again!”
Kurt's eyes widened, and he looked to his right. Standing approximately 100 yards away was Karofsky, the hands clamped on his hips bunching up the polyester blend of his boring football uniform-inspired costume. Panic began to claw at Kurt's throat. He slammed the hovercraft into high gear.
Karofsky started running, full tilt, towards him.
“Crap. Crap-crap-crap-crap-crap,” Kurt muttered feelingly. Karofsky was gaining. The hovercraft was peeling out of the school parking lot at 40 miles per hour and he was gaining.
And then he wasn't just gaining, he was jumping onto the platform next to Kurt.
“It's over, Professor,” Karofsky bellowed as he advanced on Kurt's position menacingly.
Kurt groaned and resisted the urge to smack his head into the steering wheel in frustration.
“Look, I know you think it's your mission to, well, be a total dick, but could you please not just this once?” Kurt asked.
Karofsky frowned and shook his head angrily. He stomped forward, elbowed Kurt in the chest, and sent him sprawling into the pile of Mega-Confetti-Cannons. Kurt sputtered and sat up after a stunned moment of lying on his back to see Karofsky punching randomly and repeatedly into the controls until sparks started flying and, Oh my God, what a fucking moron.
“Stop!” Kurt shouted. “You're going to short the controls-”
And with a popping sound and a wheeze like a deflating balloon, the hovercraft started careening out of control. It whipped around on the road, wobbled off to the shoulder, and then started spinning out in the direction of the school parking lot.
Karofsky kept pounding his fists into the control panel ineffectively, grunting with the effort.
Kurt rolled his eyes, crawled under the pile of Mega-Confetti-Cannons, and ripped open a panel on the floor underneath the storage area. He pulled apart and re-routed a couple wires frantically, then braced himself for impact as the hovercraft began screeching to a halt.
When there was no crash, Kurt pulled his hands away from where they had lifted to protect his head. He peered around the Mega-Confetti-Cannons that were obscuring his view to see they'd stopped mere feet in front of a red BMW. A few feet next to the BMW and inches from the front of the hovercraft stood a person. Kurt's eyes followed the line of tailored trousers up to a navy blue blazer and his jaw dropped in horror. Standing next to the BMW, keys clutched in his fist, a look of total shock on his face, was Blaine.
Karofsky finally stopped punching the control panel and looked down.
“Hey, dude,” he said to Blaine. “You okay?”
“Yeah,” Blaine said, voice weak. “Yeah. That was nuts.” The stunned, blank look left his eyes. He looked up - at Karofsky - and said, “Thanks, man. That was pretty cool.”
“Don't mention it,” Karofsky said, a strong note of self-importance creeping into his voice. “The least I can do is stop people who get caught in the crosshairs from becoming roadkill.”
“Well, thanks again,” Blaine said.
From his spot hidden in the back of the hovercraft, Kurt silently seethed.
“Hey,” Blaine continued. “Is that Brutus Buckeye on the arm of your jersey?”
Karofsky puffed up a little before jumping down from the hovercraft's platform.
“Yeah. Kinda my tribute to OSU,” he said. “Figure I might be a superhero and all, but I can still have Buckeye pride, ya know?”
“Oh, totally,” Blaine enthused. “I shouted until I was hoarse at Tressel's 100th win-”
“It was awesome, wasn't it?” Karofsky said excitedly.
Kurt felt the sudden urge to throw up. Discretion being the better part of valor, he wrapped his arms around a couple of the confetti cannons and snuck out through the back hatch as quietly as possible, thumbing the emergency lockdown button on the hovercraft on his way out. He'd steer it home remotely later.
He had an evil plan to execute. The cold tightness twisting like a vise against his heart would just have to wait.
Kurt spent the next week alternately working on the Slush Ray and sulking. Well, his father called it “sulking,” but Kurt called it “manfully nursing a broken heart.” Sure, Kurt had only known Blaine for less than three hours when Karofsky had inadvertently and impossibly stolen him away under the pretense of a common love of college football, but it was the principle of the thing. Kurt had long ago given up any hope of ever experiencing normal teenage romance; To have that hope rekindled and then crushed under the heel of Karofsky's cleats hurt. Kurt had earned a little wallowing, thank-you-very-much.
If Kurt was being completely honest, though, listening to I'm Not That Girl on repeat for five hours Friday night had distracted him somewhat from perfecting his latest diabolical plan. And maybe the exercise had been the tiniest bit melodramatic, because Karofsky and Blaine were just friends, unless Kurt had grossly misread Karofsky's personal feelings about homosexuality, which- so not going there. That way lies madness.
On the following Monday, Kurt had resolved that he would shake himself out of his funk and get back to being unapologetically evil and brilliant, which is what he was good at. He wore his brand new bright yellow wellies and similarly yellow Alexander McQueen cardigan, flipped his hair into an elegant coif, and spent his walk to homeroom shooting off subtly superior glares through veiled lashes.
Kurt realized that maybe all the glaring hadn't been the best idea when he was shoved violently into a locker on his way to lunch. He let out a short hiss of pain when he toppled over, knees smacking the ground sharply. Kurt breathed in deeply and tried to ignore the cruel chuckles coming from the direction of the letterman jacket he saw out of the corner of his eye as it moved past him. After taking a moment to collect himself, he straightened the strap on his messenger bag. He began to gather up the folders that had been thrown across the floor and started in surprise when he felt a hand on his elbow. The light pressure helped him to stay steady as he stood up.
“Thanks,” Kurt said on autopilot, keeping his eyes locked on his feet.
“Don't mention it,” a familiar voice said.
Kurt's eyes darted up. Blaine stood there, looking as amazingly gorgeous and dapper as he had when they'd met, his uniform jacket cutting elegant lines across his chest and waist. Kurt's jaw went lax before he snapped it shut with an audible click.
“Blaine?” he asked incredulously, eyes widened. “What... what are you doing here?”
Blaine gave Kurt a pleased grin and rocked back slightly on his heels.
“Hoping to find you, actually,” Blaine said. Kurt's heart started beating double time. “I came to bring The Fury the finalized roster for our fantasy football league-” Kurt's heart plummeted sickeningly, “-and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to track down the elusive boy who practically dropped a glass slipper at my feet before disappearing.” Kurt's heart started ping-ponging around his ribcage.
Seriously, at this rate, Blaine would give him a heart attack. Kurt glanced down at his boots again.
“Glass is completely impractical for footwear,” Kurt said, slightly breathless. “At least during the school week.”
“Then you'll definitely have to show me your weekend wardrobe sometime,” Blaine said with a wink. “In the meantime, I was wondering if you'd eaten already?”
Kurt swallowed and clutched the strap of his bag tightly.
“Uh... no. I was on my way to grab a bite actually,” he said.
Blaine beamed at him and reached out to squeeze Kurt's shoulder companionably.
“Well, then come on, I'll buy you lunch,” Blaine said.
Then Kurt's head was suddenly spinning, because Blaine didn't stop to see if Kurt would say yes, he just slid his hand down from Kurt's shoulder to pry Kurt's grip off of his bag strap, turned and started to drag Kurt down the hallway toward the school entrance. The entire motion was completely natural, like it was normal for two teenage boys to be holding hands as they walked briskly down a crowded school hallway. Kurt briefly wondered, slightly detached, how the hell Blaine always seemed so damn sure of everything. Then his ears started ringing, a strange cross of elation and fear practically choking him until the elation won out in the end, because how could it not, because Blaine was holding his hand.
Maybe it was luck, or maybe it was because they were walking so fast, but they made it to the parking lot without anyone noticing. Blaine didn't let go of Kurt's hand until they got to Blaine's car, and even then only so he could hold Kurt's door open for him, gesturing for him to take a seat with a tilt of his head and a charming smirk.
Kurt eventually managed to buckle his seat belt even though his fumbling fingers didn't want to cooperate with him.
“So, how were you able to make the trek all the way out from Westerville on a school day?” Kurt asked twenty minutes later, seated across from Blaine in a booth at Breadstix. He fidgeted a little in his seat, trying to crush the ridiculous, girly hope by chanting – Not a date, not a date, not a date – in his head.
“The Academy has a half day today,” Blaine said. “Something about it being the 150th anniversary of the Daltonator liberating Westerville from some-villain-or-other's evil clutches. Apparently he foiled a scheme at what used to be the local haberdashery.” The word rolled off his tongue in a comical fashion as Blaine waggled his eyebrows in a mocking attempt to add some intensity to the story. “The teachers weren't too specific on the details. I don't think anyone really remembers. Or cares.”
“Hooray for the proud history of Westerville,” Kurt said, monotone, eyebrow arched.
“Yeah, tradition is king there, even when no one really appreciates the point of it anymore,” he said. He paused to munch on one of the ancient bread sticks, winced briefly, and shoved the stale carbohydrate under his napkin. “It's kind of sad, really. You'd think if anyone dedicated their life to helping people, they'd be remembered for who they were and what they did, not blown up into some sort of over-dramatized, unrealistic propaganda piece.”
“Because heroes are usually so down to earth, and they definitely don't wear brightly colored tights while declaring at length how they're going to save the day,” Kurt said.
“Okay, point,” Blaine said, gamely. “But they aren't all complete windbags. Some of them can be really nice. I mean, I-” Blaine paused to clear his throat, raising a fist to his lips briefly. “I mean, earlier, I was telling you how I came to McKinley to talk to The Fury-”
“Ah, yes,” Kurt said, wrestling to not let his smile slip. He dropped his eyes and focused on poking his fruit salad around with his fork. “Our resident superstar.”
“I met him last week after I ran into you,” Blaine began to explain. “Well, I guess 'met' isn't really the right term. He saved my life. It was really awesome, actually -”
“Yeah I can imagine,” Kurt cut him off, because there was no way he was going to listen to Blaine gush about Kurt's near-failure with his eyes all bright and enthusiastic like that. God.
“And afterwards, we got to talking,” Blaine said. “I mean, I would've thought The Fury is the kind of guy whose brain is made of nothing but muscle-”
“You'd think right,” Kurt muttered under his breath.
“But he turned out to be a really interesting guy,” Blaine continued, talking over him without noticing. “I mean, things like that, they can really show you how you should give people a chance. That your snap judgments can sometimes turn out to be totally wrong.”
Kurt looked back up at Blaine.
“... and sometimes,” Kurt said, “it seems like your initial judgment was wrong, but then later it turns out that the sun shining on that Jamaican beach was just the sort of lighting that was strangely flattering, and they were really awful the whole time just like you first thought.”
There was a short silence.
“Uh... what?” Blaine asked.
“Like Jennipher on season three of America's Next Top Model,” Kurt explained. “So is this fantasy football league going to become a regular thing?”
Blaine smiled, the slightly puzzled look leaving his eyes.
“Yeah,” he said. “We're even getting together to watch the game this weekend.”
Kurt tried to offer an encouraging nod, secretly afraid it came off as an agitated jerk of his head. His fist clenched around his fork.
“Kurt?” Blaine said.
“Mmmm?” Kurt hummed, keeping his eyes level with Blaine's.
“You're smashing your fruit salad into a smoothie with your fork.”
Kurt paused and looked down at his plate.
“...It helps release the anti-oxidants,” he said before shoveling a goopy forkful into his mouth.
There was a silence. Kurt casually ignored the awkward. He stopped eating his squishy fruit in favor of taking a long sip of his Diet Coke.
“So,” Blaine began stiltedly, “have you read Patti Lapone's new book?”
It was like flipping on a switch. Kurt forgot all about his general malaise when it came to Blaine and Karofsky's recent bonhomie. Actually, he had to suppress the urge to squeal happily like the fanboy he was. And apparently the subject caused him to lose his filter, because he started rambling semi-coherently for the rest of lunch. Blaine didn't seem to mind. If anything, Blaine was probably more gushy about Patti Lapone than he was, which was quite an accomplishment.
Kurt tried really hard not to fall completely head over heels, but he suspected it was already too late.
Lunch with Blaine became a regular thing. Which made absolutely no sense to Kurt for a lot of reasons, the least of which was the by now habitual disbelief that someone as amazing as Blaine could possibly want anything to do with Kurt. For example, Breadstix, where they'd taken to meeting at noon on Tuesdays, was a two hour drive from Dalton. Blaine always managed to make it on time, even though it shouldn't be geographically possible. Blaine spouted blithe excuses like, “Our lunch period starts earlier,” and “Oh, I have independent study after lunch, it's not like they actually need me to be there,” or, “I know a short cut,” or, “New engine; 500 plus horse-power.” Maybe Kurt was being a little suspicious, but it all seemed too convenient to be true. Mercedes smacked him and told him to stop questioning a good thing.
She also told Kurt he should tell Blaine the truth about his new best football buddy. Kurt wasn't entirely sure why he refused to do so; part of it was shame, part of it was a desire to keep Blaine happy, part of it was the complete uncertainty of how to tell him. How exactly was Kurt supposed to bring it up? “Oh, by the way, your new best friend has been systematically torturing me since we were in grade school together. Why? Oh, he's my arch-nemesis and more recently he's taken to foiling all my evil plans.” That would certainly go over well. Besides, coming clean about Karofsky meant coming clean about being Professor Porcelain. Kurt refused to discuss his alter-ego until he at least had some kind of accomplishment to show for it. Nothing big, maybe just the unseating of a local public official or the successful dominion over a congressional district or two. Kurt wasn't too picky.
In any case, with every lunch they had together, Kurt became less and less sure that he'd ever be able to tell Blaine the truth about any of it. Full disclosure risked the possibility of losing Blaine; a possibility that was becoming only more terrifying to Kurt as time went on. There was a direct correlation (and Kurt could prove it, he'd done the math) between his level of infatuation with Blaine and his exposure to Blaine. Even after Kurt had realized Blaine was kind of a dork, and sort of uptight, and surprisingly not perfect, the climb in attraction hadn't abated. If anything, it'd hit an exponential curve. Kurt was totally, totally screwed, and he was definitely keeping his mouth shut. He would not tell Blaine about Karofsky, and he would not tell Blaine that he might, kind of, be a little bit in love with him.
All it took was a single run in with Karofsky to solidify Kurt's resolve.
One side effect of lunches with Blaine was that Kurt always felt like he had blinders on (Mercedes called it his doe-eyed lovesick puppy mode) when he got back for afternoon classes. It was like he was walking in a bubble, oblivious to any commotion around him, sort of floating through the hallways. So understandably, Kurt didn't see Karofsky coming until he was being pushed against a locker.
Kurt's elbows slammed painfully into the metal doors, and he couldn't quite suppress a yelp. He managed to keep his feet and after mentally gathering his Bitch Nerves of Steel™, Kurt turned around. Karofsky stood there, arms crossed over his chest, watching Kurt in an eerily intent way. Kurt grimaced and rubbed at his injured elbows. When Karofsky just smirked at him, Kurt lost his head for a second.
“What is your problem?” Kurt shouted.
Karofsky's smirk vanished.
“You talkin' back to me?” he asked, walking closer menacingly. “You want a taste of The Fury?”
“Oh, yes, and what a fine example of a hero 'The Fury' is,” Kurt sneered. “Pushing civilian high schoolers around? The National Syndicate of Heroism would be so impressed.”
Karofsky's fists clenched, and Kurt took a step back. In that moment, Kurt was ashamed to find himself desperately glad that Karofsky had always been too dumb to figure out his secret identity; if the guy had had a couple more brain-cells, Kurt would undoubtedly be getting beaten to a pulp right now. As it was, Karofsky saw Kurt as an annoyance rather than a threat.
“Just watch yourself, fag,” Karofsky spit out after a tense pause. Then he grunted. Kurt wasn't sure whether the grunt was to emphasize the point or a simple reflex due to the fact that Karofsky had the sophistication and IQ of a 300 pound farm animal. Kurt's eyes narrowed.
“Excuse me?” he asked without thinking.
And apparently, the other side-effect of lunches with Blaine was an unwarranted feeling of invincibility. Shame, really. Kurt probably could have used the self-preservation instincts right about now.
Karofsky clenched his fists even tighter and stalked closer. The vein in his forehead was standing out in sharp relief against his sweaty forehead. It would be kind of terrifying if it wasn't so disgusting.
“Fine, I'll spell it out for you,” Karofsky growled. “I know what you've been doing.”
A rush of white hot fear clenched Kurt's throat closed. Karofsky couldn't know about Kurt's secret supervillain status. He couldn't know about the Slush Ray. He couldn't. Kurt had been exceedingly careful to keep the whole plan under wraps, he was almost finished with the final prototype, and if Karofsky knew-
“Santana saw you with him at Breadstix today,” Karofsky continued, oblivious to Kurt's internal debate over whether he should just start punching himself in the face now to stop Karofsky from having the satisfaction. “He's a good guy, Hummel, and if you're trying to get all creepy and gay on him-”
“Wait,” Kurt interrupted, blinking as the fear slowly started to leave him. “This is about Blaine?”
Karofsky's face collapsed into confusion. It made him look like more of a cow than usual.
“What else would it be about?” he asked.
Kurt wisely chose not to answer.
“I mean it, Hummel,” Karofsky said when Kurt kept quiet. “Stay away from him. I don't want you putting your homo hands all over him.”
The slowly ebbing fear was replaced by a sharp, sudden rage. That was just it. Dumpster tosses, slushies to the face, getting slammed into lockers he could handle, but if they started thinking they could dictate who he was allowed to be friends with-
“Like you get to tell me how to live my life?” Kurt whispered, practically shaking with the anger, the indignity of it. “You don't get to make that decision, ham-hock.”
Karofsky raised a fist menacingly. For a second, Kurt thought Karofsky was actually going to hit him. But then Karofsky slowly lowered his fist down to his side, and he did something worse.
“...Doesn't matter, anyway,” Karofsky said after a moment. “He probably just feels sorry for a pathetic piece of shit like you.” He let the insult sink in, his twisted smile curling wider. “You know,” he continued, voice menacingly smooth and quiet, “maybe I'll take him on a double-date with Santana and Brittany; make him forget all about you.” He leaned close, breath curling sour and sickening over Kurt's face. “Trust me, those ladies'll show him a good time. Something a freak like you would never be able to give him.”
Karofsky's eyes darted down to Kurt's lips before he licked his own. He leaned in even closer until Kurt's back was digging into the lockers. Kurt pushed his feet into the tile, pressing back to try to get farther away, heart thundering in his chest. Karofsky just stared at him for what seemed like an eternity.
Then, with a grotesque wink, Karofsky sauntered off. Kurt was left gaping after him, frozen with humiliation. A disgusting, oily feeling curled into the pit of his stomach.
His legs gave out from under him when Karofsky rounded the corner. Kurt slid slowly down the lockers until he hit the floor, knees folding up awkwardly, breath coming sharp and deep. After a few minutes, he reached into his pocket and pulled his phone out with numb fingers. Almost unconsciously, he navigated into his contacts list. His thumb hovered over the 'Call' button next to Blaine's number.
Kurt stared at the screen. Then he turned his phone off and put it away.