Warnings: minor character death, crime show-level gore
Summary: Detective Kurt Hummel has a brand new and completely unnecessary partner, Blaine Anderson. To make matters worse, their first case is at his old high school. AU/future!fic.
By the time Kurt pulls their unmarked sedan into the main parking lot, McKinley High is an absolute zoo. The small lot had already been filled to capacity with limos and student vehicles when the crime occurred. Without any legitimate spots to park in, the uniforms had simply pulled their patrol cars onto the sidewalks or left them running in the middle of the aisles while they directed tearful teenage girls in ill-fitting dresses and their confused and equally poorly dressed dates into some semblance of order. Near the marquee the school uses to advertise PTA meetings and football game times, a handful of news crews are set up, already reporting live about the tragedy.
Watching the children get herded away from the school, Kurt can’t help the derisive sneer that is surely on his face. If it were his homecoming, he would have no doubt been the best dressed person there, male or female. Of course, in his four years at McKinley High School, Kurt Hummel had been the best dressed person on any given day. He still was, even if his current occupation called for a somewhat somber tone to his wardrobe. Nowadays, instead of knee-high Doc Martens and fabulous hats, Kurt expressed himself through brilliantly patterned ties, exquisitely cut suits, and, at the moment, his brand new houndstooth trench coat.
Kurt’s attention is torn from his internal critique of a particularly hideous dress (seafoam green satin with a bubble skirt that just barely covered the poor girl’s ass, a giant bow across the bodice, and matching elbow-length gloves) by a question from his new and completely unnecessary partner.
“Why haven’t the uniforms cleared these kids out of here? They should really be gone before the coroner brings the body out.”
“I suspect it’s because our bumbling colleagues don’t realize that the students’ names would be on an attendance roster and their arrivals and departures would be checked off by a chaperone. Clue them in, will you Anderson?” Kurt says, not breaking his stride and heading deliberately for the front door. His irritation with Anderson grows when he ignores Kurt’s directions and keeps pace with him effortlessly.
“First, I already told you; call me Blaine. Second, I’m your partner, not your errand boy. Clue them in yourself if you want to share your boundless knowledge.”
Anderson (Kurt is absolutely not going to call him Blaine) sounds annoyed and Kurt mentally cheers. Two days was longer than it normally took to piss off a new partner, but Anderson was more composed than most of the Sherlock-wannabes that he’d been paired with over the past two years. Now that his unflappable demeanor had finally cracked, Kurt gave it maybe two weeks before Anderson requested an assignment change and he could go back to doing things on his own.
A uniform opens the door for them and it’s only his years of practice at projecting confidence that prevents Kurt from hesitating before he crosses the threshold. Nothing can prevent the cold knot of anxiety and revulsion that forms in the pit of his stomach, but no one has to know about that. They pass locker 612, the one he’d had sophomore year, and Kurt briefly relives throwing a slushie on his own face. They pass the bathrooms and Kurt’s fingers twitch with the need to make sure his hair is in place and not dripping wet from yet another swirlie. He never wanted to come back here, not even for his 10-year reunion. He hasn’t set foot in these halls since his graduation and he has to fight not to choke on the flood of memories.
Principal Figgins’ office is the same as Kurt remembers it. The same green pleather chairs and couch, the same hideous blue carpet. Only now, the carpet is soaked with blood and instead of sitting behind his desk, Principal Figgins is sprawled awkwardly on the floor. His body is sprawled awkwardly on the floor.
Next to the body lays a blood-spattered cheerleading trophy. When he leans close to examine it, Kurt sees that the plaque on the base reads “Ohio State Championship 2019 – Second Place” and that a tiny pom-pom had broken off of one of the golden figures. Kurt looks around for the missing piece and finds it embedded in the back of Principal Figgins’ skull.
It’s completely inappropriate but all Kurt can think is, Be Aggressive, B-E Aggressive.
“You know Ms. Sylvester personally? Don’t you think I should question her alone?” Anderson asks.
“Oh, sure, go ahead. I’ll just wait out here. Just come and get me once she’s finished making fun of your hair,” Kurt says, leaning against the wall opposite Coach Sylvester’s office door. Anderson gives him a perplexed stare but pushes the door open without comment.
Three full minutes pass before Anderson emerges again; Kurt times it. He looks dazed and a little angry and Kurt is sad he wasn’t present for their first meeting. He wonders if she reused any of the quips she’d blasted Mr. Schuester with over the years, but then if she’d never shown any sign of running out of mocking material before, why start now with a fresh subject?
“That took longer than I expected. Did you fight back?” Kurt asks idly.
“Uh, no.” Kurt hasn’t known his partner for very long, it’s true, but this is the first time he’s seen Anderson flustered and it’s a disconcertingly adorable look on him. “She started on my height when she finished with the hair. I think she might open up more if she’s questioned by someone she knows.”
Kurt says nothing in response, just pins Anderson with his best “I told you so” look and sweeps into the room, depositing his coat on the back of his chair before sitting primly on the edge. Anderson follows him in and settles against the wall somewhere behind his left shoulder.
He wonders if Coach Sylvester puts polyurethane in her protein shakes or something, because it’s been eleven years since he started high school as an awkward, pimply teen, yet she hasn’t aged a day since he first saw her screaming into her bullhorn.
“Porcelain! I see you’re still letting your talent waste away out of some sort of misguided sense of civic duty. Does the leprechaun need to be here while we talk? Shouldn’t he be off guarding his pot of gold?”
Kurt irrationally wants to protest that Anderson isn’t even that short but he firmly stamps down on the urge. If there’s one thing he learned from his time in this hell-hole, it was that one should never fight back against Sue Sylvester.
“Detective Anderson is my new partner, so yes, he needs to be here,” Kurt says. He isn’t sure whether he manages to hide his own annoyance at Anderson’s presence but the words are true enough.
“Your new partner? How long have you been dating?” she asks shrewdly.
Kurt is blindsided by the question. He’s not sure if she’s deliberately misunderstanding or why she would even care in the first place. Then again, this wouldn’t be the first time she’d shown an unexpected amount of interest in his personal life.
“He’s my work partner, Sue. He’s not—we work together, that’s all.” Anderson clears his throat quietly and it reminds Kurt that there are other topics that need to be discussed. Not that he needed to be reminded. “Coach Sylvester, I think you know why we’re here. Principal Figgins was bludgeoned to death with one of your Cheerios trophies. I need to know where you were between 6:30 and 7:30 PM.”
“I was here, helping to prepare for the dance, which started at 7 o’clock,” she says, finally putting on her serious face and leaning forward over her steepled hands.
She doesn’t seem surprised by the question and Kurt really hopes that’s due to the amazing efficiency of the McKinley High gossip mill and not an indication of guilt.
“And is that ‘here’ as in ‘alone in your office,’ or ‘here’ as in ‘in the gym, with other people present’?” Kurt asks, notebook flipped open and pencil poised to record information.
“I was in the gym,” she says dismissively. “All of the chaperones were supposed to be at the gym at 6 PM to supervise the dance committee and make sure that none of the little delinquents spiked the punch.”
Kurt is undeniably relieved. Of course, they’ll have to check that her alibi holds up, but he really doesn’t want to have to arrest one of his former teachers.
“Were all of the chaperones and the students on the dance committee accounted for?” Blaine asks.
“We hadn’t started checking the students in yet, so I can’t be sure about them. I can tell you that both Will Schuester and Shannon Beiste showed up just before the dance started.” Coach Sylvester looks like she’s been waiting to say that all night and Kurt can’t help but flash back to the screaming match he’d witnessed his sophomore year.
Coach Sylvester and Mr. Schuester had looked ready to kill each other; over what? It’s been so long that Kurt can’t even remember any more, just that he and the rest of the glee club had stormed out, fed up with witnessing their teachers’ petty squabble.
“Can anyone else confirm that they were late? It’s no secret that you seriously dislike both Mr. Schuester and Coach Beiste. You’ve attempted to have them fired on more than one occasion,” Kurt says boldly. He’s pretty sure that just qualified as fighting back and he’d never actually admit it out loud but Coach Sylvester scares the crap out of him. He hopes her random concern for how he lives his life will translate to allowing him to speak to her like an equal.
Behind him, Kurt can hear Anderson scribbling fiercely and he’s once more reminded how unsuited Anderson is for this job. He didn’t grow up here; he doesn’t know this town or its history.
“Are you implying that I would frame my colleagues for murder, Porcelain?” Sylvester asks, leveling a hard stare at him. She doesn’t seem all that upset by the accusation and Kurt bets the idea has crossed her mind once or twice.
“I’m simply asking if you think anyone else noticed their absence.” He considers holding his hands up in surrender but thinks that might be too much. She hasn’t bitten his head off yet, so that’s something.
“Sherry Duncan. She’s the new biology teacher who’s been chasing after Schuester, hoping he’ll give up on that ridiculous crush he has on Ol’ Doe Eyes,” she says with a flippant wave, clearly irritated by Mr. Schuester’s ongoing soap opera of a love life.
“Doe Eyes? You mean he’s still in love with Mrs. Pilsbury-Howell? But she’s been married to the hot dentist for practically forever now!” Kurt hasn’t completely forgotten that he’s supposed to be conducting a murder investigation, it’s just that the pull of McKinley High gossip is impossible to resist. Really though, Mr. Schue should have gotten over her by now.
“Disgusting, isn’t it? Anyway, ask Sherry, she’ll probably know the exact moment Schuester and his surrounding oil slick entered the gym.”
“Alright, Coach Sylvester, that’s all the questions we have for now,” Kurt says, flipping his notebook closed and standing gracefully.
“Oh good. I was worried that if you stayed any longer, Frodo’s eyebrows would spin themselves little cocoons and metamorphose into butterflies,” she says, looking at Anderson with open disgust.
Kurt’s only response is to roll his eyes and lead Anderson out of the office. Once on the other side of the door, Anderson raises a hand to smooth over an eyebrow. Kurt slaps his hand away without thinking.
“Oh, stop that. Your eyebrows are perfectly shaped and they give your face character. She just terrorizes people for a living and I don’t think she knows how to turn it off any more,” Kurt says, irritated with himself for showing sympathy. He stalks away, heading for the front entrance and leaving Anderson standing in the hallway, virtually beaming at him.
By the time Anderson catches up with him, he’s back at the car, which is surrounded by a sea of girls in candy-colored dressed and ridiculous up-dos.
“Ladies, is there something we can do for you?” Anderson asks politely.
“You can’t arrest Coach Sue, she didn’t do anything! We need her for the competition next Saturday!” one of them blurts out. Kurt recognizes the seafoam green atrocity from earlier and he can’t stop himself from dissecting just how bad the dress is. He thinks the neckline might have been saved if it were a halter instead of strapless, but there is just no excusing the hem being four inches too short or the fact that her shoes are a bright pink.
“What’s your name, miss?” Anderson seems unaffected by the girl’s fashion suicide and his smooth, quiet tone calms her down slightly.
“Andra Williams. And please, you can’t take Coach Sue away, she’s our only shot at getting to State. We need her!”
Behind Andra, the other girls, who Kurt realizes must also be Cheerios, chorus in with how important Coach Sylvester is and how she couldn’t have killed Figgins. Beside him, Anderson holds up his hands in supplication.
“Ladies, please. We can’t discuss an ongoing investigation. I can tell you that at this time, we have not made any arrests and that includes Ms. Sylvester. Now please, I’m sure this has been a distressing night for all of you and I suggest you head home.” He turns to a pair of uniforms who have been loitering off to their left, not helping at all, and motions for them to shoo the girls off.
Once they’re in the car, Anderson breaks into quiet laughter.
“What’s so funny?” Kurt asks, ready for a rude comment about Coach Sylvester or the backwater antics of the Lima population.
“Nothing, really. It’s just – did you see that girl’s dress?” He gives a fresh peal of laughter and Kurt can’t help but join him, because seriously.
Kurt hates talking to the loved ones of the victims on his cases. He supposes he should be more sympathetic to their pain, considering that he’s experienced more than his own fair share of loss, but the most he can scrounge up is a little distant sorrow on their behalf.
The scene is almost always the same and he thinks that should make it easier, at least let him work up a script along the lines of, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” but every time, Kurt finds himself tongue tied and awkward. He wants to run away and leave the tears and casseroles and hovering family members behind.
This visit with Principal Figgins’ widow is no different from any of the others. The poor woman is distraught, as she should be. The dining room table, which Kurt can see through the far doorway, is strewn with baking dishes and baskets and he can hear soft whispers filter in from the kitchen. He hopes her family members can give her some comfort because Kurt has none to offer. Not yet anyway; not until they find whoever killed poor Principal Figgins.
“They all hated him. All of them!” Mrs. Figgins shrieks.
“Who did, the teachers at McKinley?” Kurt asks, resisting the urge to cover his ears.
“The teachers, the students, the parents, everyone! He was just trying to do his job, but no one cared that it was really the school board making those budget cuts. Just that he was the one to deliver the bad news.” Mrs. Figgins breaks into fresh tears and Kurt just barely refrains from rolling his eyes. They’re going to be stuck here all day if she doesn’t get a hold of herself.
Beside him, Anderson scoots forward to the edge of the couch to offer Mrs. Figgins a crisp white handkerchief. Honestly, who carries a handkerchief these days? She accepts it with a stuttered thanks and dabs at her eyes but the tears continue to fall at the same rate.
“Mrs. Figgins, we want nothing more than to bring your husband’s killer to justice. A crime like this is personal and it is extremely likely that the killer is someone he worked with. You knew him best; was there anyone who he might have had reason to fear? Did he ever speak to you about any threats that might have been made?” Anderson’s voice is soft and soothing and Mrs. Figgins calms noticeably as he speaks to her. “I know it’s hard but we need you to concentrate. Any information you might have could be a great help to us.”
He looks so damned earnest and caring that it’s mere moments before the widow is spouting off anecdotes and half-remembered tales about how Principal Figgins thought some chemistry teacher broke the copier on purpose and one time when the whole school got food poisoning from bad cafeteria pizza. Kurt and Anderson dutifully write down everything she says, nodding at appropriate times and asking for names and when these events occurred. When she recounts a candy bar fundraising scandal from five years ago, though, Kurt decides he’s had enough.
“Okay, Mrs. Figgins. I think we have what we need. You’ve been a great help to our investigation and we’ll notify you when we learn something. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call my partner or me.” Kurt stands smoothly and hands her a card. He can be diplomatic when he needs to be.
Anderson looks startled at the abrupt end to the interview but closes his notebook and stands without comment. Mrs. Figgins tries to give Anderson his handkerchief back, but he just shakes his head and gives her a compassionate smile.
“Oh, no, ma’am. You keep it. You need it more than I do right now,” he says.
Obviously charmed by Anderson, Mrs. Figgins has a ghost of a smile on her face by the time she closes the door behind them.
“Does that just come naturally to you?” Kurt asks, honestly baffled by how nice the other man is.
“Does what come naturally?”
“That—” Kurt waves his arm in Anderson’s direction as he searches for the right word, “dapper gentleman thing you have going for you.”
“Well, my mother taught me to be a gentleman, though, it does come more naturally around some people than others,” Anderson says.
Kurt tries and fails to interpret the look Anderson is giving him over the hood of the car. He doesn’t know the other man well enough to be guessing at his expressions, especially since what he’s currently reading is a mix of annoyance and arousal. Kurt just shakes his head at his partner and gets in the car, promising himself that he’ll stop caring what Anderson thinks about him. Once they’re done with this case, Anderson will probably request an assignment change so fast; it’ll make the Captain’s head spin.
“So do you want Will Schuester or Shannon Beiste?” Anderson asks, looking over their interview list.
“I’ll take Beiste. Mr. Schue is my old glee director. He might want to hug me or sing about his feelings with me,” Kurt says, ignoring Anderson’s questioning look and heading for Interrogation Room 2.
Kurt is an idiot. Choosing Beiste is the stupidest decision he’s made since he passed up the last Macy’s sale so he could go on a date with that barista who turned out to be really into stuffed animals. If Kurt were smart, he would have remembered that Beiste has a tendency for creepily graphic mixed metaphors and he could have foisted her onto Anderson. Then it would be Anderson listening to her go into far too much detail about her sex life, which apparently involves Mr. Schuester. Kurt is never, ever going to be able to get the image of them “rutting like Galapagos tortoises on Spanish Fly” out of his head.
He must look a little shell-shocked when he finally calls a halt to the interview, because Anderson is already waiting at his desk and his amused expression morphs to worry as soon as he sees Kurt’s face.
“Is everything okay? Did you learn anything that can help us?”
“No, but I may have been scarred for life. She gave Mr. Schuester as her alibi.” He sits down in his desk chair heavily, trying to think about anything except his two former teachers screwing on the locker room floor.
“Oh,” Anderson breathes out. “Yeah, I can see how you wouldn’t want to learn about your old teachers hooking up. Schuester gave her as his alibi as well. This complicates things, though. While I do tend to believe them, there’s no way to prove that they aren’t lying for each other.”
“Did Mr. Schue tell you anything else? Beiste claimed she didn’t know Figgins very well, just that he seemed happy to cut every budget except the football team’s.” He’s starting to recover from the emotional trauma. Maybe if he can just focus on the case, he’ll be able to burn the mental image out of his mind.
“Actually, yeah. He spun a pretty colorful tale of bribery and blackmail and outrageous demands about Sue Sylvester.”
“Oh, that? Yeah, that’s been going on for years. Whatever it is that he’s accusing her of, I can almost guarantee that it’s provided for in her contract,” Kurt says with a dismissive hand wave.
“Her teaching contract. She has the entire school board wrapped around her little finger because no one else can secure wins like she can. She won Nationals something like 15 years in a row. I heard the UCA was considering banning her from competition because they wanted someone else to have a chance, but she got the president to intervene or something.” Kurt shrugs as if that’s normal because when it comes to Sue Sylvester, these types of rumors are completely normal.
“The president of the UCA?” Anderson asks, plainly clueless about what the UCA even is. Of course, he doubts anyone but cheerleaders would care about the Universal Cheerleading Association.
“No. The President of the United States.” He waits for Anderson to catch on that he’s serious and almost laughs at the shocked look on his partner’s face. “Like I said, whatever Schuester accused her of, I guarantee it’s in her contract.”
“Well if Sylvester’s such a winner, why was the murder weapon a second place trophy?” Anderson asks, obviously believing that he’s on to something.
“Ah, that. Yeah, it was all over the news last year. Coach Sylvester blamed it on Principal Figgins and his budget cuts, but she bullied the UCA committee to allow the Cheerios to continue on to the next level and they swept the competition for the rest of the season. As far as I know, they’ve had a winning season this year.” He really didn’t want to know what she had put those poor girls through to recover from their loss.
“So it seems likely that whoever killed Figgins was still angry about that second place finish,” Anderson says.
“It’s possible,” Kurt says with a shrug, “except the loss didn’t turn out to be consequential, so I can’t imagine who would still be upset about it. I mean, Coach Sylvester, obviously, but her presence is accounted for at the time of the murder.”
“Maybe she hired out a hit.” Anderson looks almost excited by the idea and Kurt decides his partner has obviously been watching too many mafia movies.
“That doesn’t fit the personal nature of the crime. A hired hit man wouldn’t have used that specific trophy. It would have been cleaner, more orderly.” Kurt glanced down at the crime scene photos, which were spread all over his desk. There was nothing orderly about Figgins’ death. He’d been hit from behind, so there was no struggle, but there was plenty of blood spatter and Figgins had fallen against his desk as he fell, knocking most of its contents to the floor.
He sighs and gathers the photos together, placing them neatly into the appropriate folder and beginning to tidy his desk so he can leave for the day.
“You heading home?” Anderson asks.
“Yeah,” Kurt responds distractedly. Papers tidied, he turns his computer monitor off and grabs his satchel.
“Do you want to go grab a coffee? I hear the place around the corner is good.” Anderson’s hands are in his pockets and he’s leaning forward slightly, just barely within Kurt’s personal space.
“It is. But like you said, I’m heading home.” Kurt says, stepping around Anderson and heading for the exit. He’s not in the mood for partner bonding time. There’s no point anyway, Anderson will be gone soon enough.
“Well I thought it might be nice to get to know each other since we’ll be working together. You know, talk about something other than death and motive for a change,” he says cheerfully, accompanying Kurt out the door and to the parking lot.
“Sorry, I’m not really in the mood for coffee. It keeps me up,” Kurt says briskly, hoping his oblivious partner will get the message.
“Well how about dinner, then?” he asks, smiling brightly.
They’ve reached Kurt’s car now and he wants to just get in and drive away without even saying anything but even he’s not that rude.
“I just don’t really feel like going out. Sorry, maybe some other time, okay?” He gives Anderson a weak, close-lipped smile and gets in. As he pulls away, he can’t miss the disappointed slump of Anderson’s shoulders or the way his eyebrows are drawn together in confusion.
Kurt feels like a bit of a jackass. It’s not that Anderson’s all that bad as a partner. The way he seems to hypnotize any female who isn’t Sue Sylvester could come in handy on future investigations and he certainly smells better than his last partner. It’s just that Kurt doesn’t want any partner. He likes solving cases on his own and likes not having to count on anyone except himself. He knows the Captain is going to keep forcing an ever-growing string of partners on him, but he’ll resist it for as long as he can.
The knock at the front door is unexpected and unwelcome, and when Kurt spies the top of Anderson’s curly-haired head through the peep hole, he seriously considers just pretending he’s not home. As he weighs his options, Anderson looks directly at the peep hole, raises an eyebrow in amusement, and lifts his arm to show that he’s carrying a white plastic bag.
“Let me in, Hummel. I brought food and it’s getting cold.”
Anderson’s voice is louder than he expects it to be, even through the door, and Kurt involuntarily jumps back a step. Once he opens the door, Anderson smiles widely at him and pushes his way in, not bothering to wait for an invitation. Kurt isn’t sure he would have given one.
“What are you doing here?” Kurt asks as he trails after Anderson, who is well on his way to making himself and his food at home in Kurt’s living room.
“I told you, I brought food. I wasn’t sure what you like, so I got a little of everything. There’s honey walnut shrimp, Mongolian beef, salt and pepper chicken, and vegetable chow mein. I haven’t tried this place before, but it smells great, right?”
Anderson offers him a greasy cardboard container and Kurt cautiously takes a whiff. It does indeed smell delicious and Kurt’s empty stomach clenches a little in response.
“There’s probably about a hundred calories in every bite,” Kurt says derisively.
“I know. That’s why you have to help me eat it. It smells so good, I’ll probably finish it all if I don’t share it with you. Come on, have some sympathy for my waistline?” Anderson turns the biggest, most pathetic pair of puppy dog eyes on him and Kurt silently promises himself an extra hour on the treadmill this week.
“Oh fine. Just let me go change first. I wasn’t exactly expecting company,” Kurt says, gesturing to his thin T-shirt and sweatpants.
“No, don’t,” Anderson says, catching his wrist before Kurt can move away from the couch but removes it when Kurt looks down at it pointedly. “I mean, you don’t need to change, you look great.”
His eyes sweep the length of Kurt’s body and the open admiration in his eyes almost makes Kurt believe him, never mind that he wouldn’t even wear these clothes to the gym. Anderson’s eyes linger on the bare skin exposed by the short sleeves of his T-shirt and Kurt has the ridiculous urge to either flex or pull the material down.
“They forgot to give me chopsticks, do you have any? Or forks would be okay, I guess.” Anderson says, snapping out of his blatant leer with a small embarrassed smile.
Kurt shrugs and saunters off toward the kitchen, suddenly too hungry to care why Anderson is here in his apartment or if he stares at his ass as he walks away. As his fingers curl around two sets of chopsticks, he hears his own voice blare from the living room and he can’t help but heave an exasperated sigh.
“It wasn’t enough for you to barge in here and demand that I eat an entire day’s caloric content in one meal, you have to commandeer my TV too?” Kurt asks, stomping back into the room and glaring at his partner from behind the couch.
Anderson swivels around, remote still in hand and mouth open in shock. “Is that you? You’re amazing!”
“Yes, I am. Give me the remote.” Kurt holds his hand out expectantly but Anderson cradles the remote closer to his chest. On screen, a 16-year-old Kurt transitions into the fifth minute of a Celine medley. He’d been reviewing – okay, reminiscing about – his old Cheerios performances when Anderson had shown up. He’d turned off the TV to answer the door and the video must have restarted on its own when Anderson turned it back on.
“No, I want to hear this. Please?” Anderson tries the puppy dog eyes again but it isn’t going to work this time. Kurt lunges for the remote but miscalculates and ends up half falling against Anderson’s chest.
“Anderson, seriously. Give me the remote.” Kurt braces one hand on Anderson’s shoulder and grabs for the remote, which is now being held at arm’s length, with the other.
Their faces are close and Kurt can feel Anderson’s breath on his lips. Kurt still wants that damn video turned off as soon as possible. However, he’s not exactly upset about the way Anderson’s left hand is pressing into his side, helping to keep him from tipping over the back of the couch, or the way Anderson keeps glancing down at his lips.
“I told you, call me Blaine.” His voice is light and teasing, which only irritates Kurt more.
“No. Give me the remote.”
“Stop calling me by my last name and it’s yours,” Anderson says solicitously.
“It’s already mine,” he grinds out.
Anderson ignores this perfectly valid argument and instead stretches his right arm out further. He huffs out a sigh and pushes off from Anderson’s shoulder until he feels his heels settle back onto the floor.
“Fine. Blaine. May I please have my remote back now?” Kurt asks with exaggerated patience.
Anderson – Blaine smiles widely and offers the remote over the back of his arm like a sommelier presenting a bottle of wine. “Of course you can. All you had to do was ask.”
Kurt rolls his eyes at him and turns the television off before coming around to sit on the couch, keeping a good two feet between himself and Blaine. When he hands over the second set of chopsticks, their finger brush in a way that has to be intentional, and Kurt wonders if Blaine has been hitting on him from the beginning and he only just noticed or if this is something new. He considers just going ahead and asking, because the direct route has always gotten him results before, but decides he doesn’t care. He’s hungry, so he’s going to eat his damn shrimp and then he’s going to kick Blaine out.
“So. You were a Cheerio,” Blaine says, gesturing toward the TV with his chopsticks.
“I was. I won us Nationals with that number. Coach Sylvester had a really hard time topping it the next year. I think that’s why she wanted to shoot Brittany out of a cannon.”
Blaine’s eyes widen, “She couldn’t just have you sing Cher or something?”
“No, no,” Kurt laughs, “I only did Cheerios my sophomore year. She was too demanding and I had more fun in glee anyway. I only joined the Cheerios so I’d have a chance to perform solos.” He shrugs, trying not to get caught up in the messy emotions that memories of high school always seem to bring.
“It’s a shame you won’t let me hear the rest of your performance. You have a wonderful voice,” Blaine says, smiling at him and looking up through his eyelashes.
Kurt blushes a little at the compliment. He hasn’t sung in public in years and he misses the praise more than he wants to admit. It doesn’t hurt that the compliment is coming from someone who looks like a young Marlon Brando and is obviously interested in him. He’s tempted to turn the TV back on, but instead he just shakes his head and takes another bite of shrimp.
“I really should have stuck with it until I graduated,” Kurt says after a moment. “I didn’t know it at the time but the Cheerios were so well known that all of the girls were essentially guaranteed a cheerleading scholarship to the school of their choice. Just about every competitive college in the country sent scouts out to watch McKinley cheer. One of my friends got hired by the Dallas Cowgirls right out of high school.”
“Well, this is going to sound completely selfish but I’m glad you didn’t. Imagine if you had. I’d have ended up with Stankowski as my partner,” Blaine says, wrinkling his nose.
“I’ve had him as a partner. Believe me when I say that you never, ever want to go on a stakeout with him,” Kurt says and they share a laugh.
“I’m thirsty,” Blaine announces, getting up and placing his cardboard container on the coffee table. “Do you mind if I get something to drink?”
“Sure, go ahead,” Kurt says with a wave of his hand. “There’s beer and a water pitcher in the fridge. Bring me a beer?” Kurt knows he shouldn’t, but he figures he’s already blowing his meal plan for the day with the Chinese food, so why not?
Blaine comes back with two beer bottles and sits down next to Kurt, close enough that he can feel the heat of Blaine’s skin through the fabric of their pants. He takes his beer from Blaine and their fingers brush once again. Kurt can’t decide if he wants a lot more contact or a lot less. Blaine is clearly asking for more, if the way he meets Kurt’s eyes as he drinks from his bottle is any indication.
Kurt finishes his beer and the last of the shrimp while he thinks it over. On one hand, it’s been a while and Blaine is more than a little attractive. On the other, he’s his freaking partner and there’s no way sleeping with his partner could end well. On a third imaginary hand, he doesn’t expect to have Blaine stick around as his partner for very long, so how bad could the damage be?
Taking one last pull from his beer, he takes Blaine’s empty bottle from his hand and sets both down on the coffee table. He turns to find Blaine angled toward him with one elbow propped up on the back of the couch and an amused smirk on his face.
“So you liked the food?” Blaine asks casually. Kurt kind of wants to smack him.
“I did. Thanks for dinner.” He props one hand on the couch between them and leans into it a bit, bringing their faces closer together.
“Anytime.” He sets his free hand on Kurt’s knee and strokes his thumb against his thigh twice before just letting it rest there.
“Yes, Kurt?” Blaine asks, the corner of his mouth tipping up even further.
“You should really just kiss me al—“
Kurt’s griping is effectively cut off by Blaine’s lips and he’s pleased to learn that his prim and proper partner is exactly the opposite when he’s making out. He uses too much tongue and teeth but the way he bites on Kurt’s lower lip makes it more than okay. He’s handsy, too, pulling at the hair at the back of Kurt’s head and rubbing progressively higher on his thigh.
He’s enjoying the attention but he wants a chance to touch, too. He pushes Blaine back until he’s lying on the couch and leans over him to unbutton his dress shirt. Quickly getting the picture, Blaine bats his hands away and sits up a little to shed both his button-down and his undershirt. Kurt loses his own shirt and leans back down to enjoy some more of Blaine’s enthusiastic kisses, scraping his fingernails lightly down Blaine’s chest.
As enjoyable as this is, Kurt can’t quite turn his brain off. He wants to lose himself in this gorgeous man’s body, but all he can think of is the time Mercedes passed out trying to follow Sue’s Master Cleanse and the time Brittany gave Coach Sylvester their set list for Sectionals. He thinks about his own brief period of Sylvester-inspired insanity and how the rush of popularity and power led him to do a lot of things he wouldn’t normally have considered. It’s not that Blaine isn’t plenty distracting with the way he’s writhing beneath him or that he isn’t caught up in the feel of Blaine’s skin on his; he’s just very good at multi-tasking.
“Okay, what’s wrong?” Blaine asks and Kurt realizes they’ve stopped kissing.
“Nothing!” Okay, so maybe he isn’t as good at multitasking as he thought.
“You don’t seem very into this.” Blaine sits up, pushing Kurt off of him.
Kurt notices him looking around for his shirt and he pulls him back for another kiss.
“No, that’s not it. You’re seriously hot and I am definitely into this.” He kisses him one more time for emphasis, putting more feeling into it, before he pulls away to rest his forehead on Blaine’s. “It’s just that I think I have a theory about the case.”
“A theory? Now?” Blaine asks in disbelief.
He looks a little hurt that Kurt is doing any thinking at all, so Kurt kisses him one last time before getting up to pull on his shirt. Blaine just falls back onto the couch with a disappointed groan.
“I think it was one of the Cheerios. Any one of those girls would do anything for her,” Kurt says, throwing Blaine’s shirt on top of him. He needs to cover up or Kurt is going to end up right back on that couch and he’s pretty sure he’s on to something here.
“Who, Sue Sylvester?” Blaine asks, ignoring the blatant hint.
“Yes, of course. They all follow her around like baby ducklings. She says ‘jump’ and they say ‘back handspring or back tuck?’” Kurt says, pacing in front of the couch.
“And you think she ordered one of them to kill Principal Figgins?” Blaine asks doubtfully.
“Not necessarily. As a breed, the Cheerios are not known for independent thought, but hey, I was one. They’re clearly not all idiots. I think one of them thought that getting Figgins out of the way would increase their chances at getting their budget restored.” Kurt pauses to glare at Blaine, who’s still stretched out on the couch, shirtless, with one arm tucked behind his head. He looks entirely too hot to be having a serious conversation.
“Can you get dressed? You’re distracting me.”
“That was kind of the point,” Blaine mutters, but stands and finally puts his shirt on anyway. “So this isn’t going to happen tonight, is it?”
Kurt feels torn but just shakes his head, knowing he won’t be able to concentrate and that it’s probably a bad idea anyway.
“Right,” he says with a sigh. “Well, I’ll see you at work tomorrow. We can look into your theory then.”
Blaine looks so forlorn; Kurt can’t help but pull him in for one last kiss before he pushes him out the door.
They have no idea how to narrow down a team of 40 girls and forensics is no help. The attack had been a surprise, so there weren’t any defensive wounds. The trophy only had Sue’s fingerprints on it, but it was her trophy, so that was to be expected. Kurt wished real life was more like CSI, where killers always left hairs and fabric threads behind.
“Forty girls? Why on earth is her cheer squad so huge? And this is just the varsity team!” Blaine whines.
“Do you think we should talk to the JV too?” Kurt asks, sincerely hoping it won’t come to that.
“We’ll move on to them if we have to but the varsity girls seem more likely since they’ll have spent more time being indoctrinated,” Blaine says, flipping through the list of names with a look of dread. “Why are there so many Emmas?”
“Blame Friends,” Kurt says distractedly. He’s too busy sifting through transcripts and permanent records to care what the girls’ names are.
They end up deciding to go through the list alphabetically. Based on the information Kurt can piece together from McKinley’s terrible record-keeping, every single one of the girls are dim-witted sociopaths, not that he’d expect anything different from a group of girls molded into an elite cheer squad by Sue Sylvester.
The interviews devolve into gossip and name-calling by the time they get to Bennett, Ashleigh and again, Kurt isn’t exactly surprised. They know what they’re there for and none of them will hesitate to point their finger at whichever girl is higher than them on the pyramid. They get through the interviews, but all Kurt really learns is that oral sex is now first base and that Coach Sylvester makes them all lay on nail beds for an hour a day.
Kurt finds Blaine at his desk the next day, glumly clicking through photos online. Photos of young girls.
“What are you doing?” Kurt asks, almost afraid of the answer.
“Facebook stalking the Cheerios.” He looks like he can barely keep his eyes open and Kurt slides his coffee mug across the desk to him. “Thanks.”
“Find anything useful?” Kurt asks.
Blaine clicks through at rapid speed and after a few seconds, all Kurt can see is a blur of too-bright dresses and too-orange fake tans.
“Not really. I’m not even sure what I’m looking for. I just thought I’d look through the pictures of that night to see if I could spot anything unusual.” He closes one window and opens another.
Most of the thumbnails on this page show a group of three girls and their dates posing in someone’s front yard and hamming it up for the camera, which appears to be operated by one of their parents. Further down the page, the pictures are still of mostly the same group, but they were taken at the dance and the girl who had been wearing a bright pink halter dress in the first set is gone and replaced by the girl who had been wearing the seafoam green monstrosity Kurt remembers from the parking lot.
“Weird, I wonder why this guy switched dates,” Kurt says, pointing at the boy in the bright pink vest and bowtie.
Blaine cocks his head to the side and opens one of the parent-staged shots from earlier in the day before clicking on one of the dance pictures, showing the boy in bright pink and the girl in seafoam green with their arms around each other.
“He didn’t. That’s the same girl. Andra Williams, remember? She’s the one who begged us not to arrest Sylvester.”
They nearly spill the coffee fighting for the phone.
They do the interrogation together this time. He and Blaine are on one side of the table with Andra and her mother opposite them.
“There has to be some kind of mistake. Andra could never do something like this!” Mrs. Williams cries.
Andra is noticeably silent. Kurt watches as she stares at the table, unwilling to meet their eyes, and he can feel her jittering leg shake the table every time it bounces against the underside.
“Andra, we found your pink dress under your bed. It had quite a lot of blood on it. Do you want to explain to us how it got there?” Blaine asks gently.
Kurt doesn’t know how he can manage to exude such calm. He wants to tear the stupid girl’s hair out. Andra makes no response and her mother squeezes her hand.
“Tell them, honey. Tell them how it got there.” She’s isn’t crying but she’s very close to doing so.
“It was his fault,” Andra says quietly.
Kurt almost breathes a sigh of relief, thankful this is going to go easily, just this once.
“What was his fault? Why did you do it, Andra?” He needs a full confession, not just vague mutterings.
“I had a full ride to Duke all but promised to me and his stupid budget cuts ruined it all. The scout said he couldn’t use someone who couldn’t even win State. He said he’d consider me again if we could pull off Nationals this year.”
“And you were afraid Figgins’ new cuts would ruin your chances,” Blaine says, filling in the blanks.
“He wouldn’t let us practice for more than an hour a day! How were we supposed to get to Nationals with no time to prepare?” Andra yells.
Beside her, her mother finally succumbs to tears. “Oh, Andra. How could you?”
“So you killed him?” Kurt asks, still needing her to say it.
Andra finally decides she’s said too much and she crosses her arms over her chest and stares at a point on the wall somewhere behind Kurt’s right shoulder. Kurt sighs and turns off the camera. He and Blaine stand up to leave and wave a uniform in to finish processing the dumb girl.
They might not have gotten an actual confession but they have more than enough to convict her and he hopes she spends a long time in prison learning what the word “remorse” means.
“So. Case closed?” Blaine asks, perching on the edge of Kurt’s desk.
“Yeah. Nothing left but the paperwork.” He stares glumly at the pile of notes in front of him that he now has to transform into a detailed report.
“You want to leave this until tomorrow and come get a beer with me? We solved our first case together in less than a week, I’d say that’s worthy of celebration.” Blaine is practically bouncing on the balls of his feet but Kurt is immune to his infectious cheer.
“No, I need to get this done while it’s still fresh in my mind.”
“Are you sure? We don’t have to go out. We could just go back to my place,” Blaine says, trying to meet Kurt’s eyes.
Kurt knows what he’s offering but he can’t let himself give into that. He’s almost certain now that Blaine won’t be leaving him behind for greener pastures and he doesn’t even think he wants him too. They really do work well together and splitting the work between two people makes everything go so much smoother. He doesn’t think he wants to give up such a surprisingly successful working relationship for a quick romp in bed.
“No, I’m going to stick around here. I’ll see you tomorrow, okay?”
He hears Blaine sigh and walk away but doesn’t see it because he keeps his eyes glued to his pile of notes. He spends the next two hours trying to decipher them, but he can’t concentrate on them long enough to convert them into any kind of intelligible prose.
Kurt doesn’t hesitate before he knocks on Blaine’s door. He’s already spent ten minutes sitting in the car, inspecting his hair in the rearview mirror and convincing himself that he’d made the right decision. Then Blaine opens the door with a smile and he immediately regrets that choice. If the wide, happy grin weren’t enough to make Kurt want to run in the other direction and pretend he’d never been there, the way Blaine is dressed certainly cements the feeling. He’s still wearing most of his work clothes but his shirt is untucked and unbuttoned to frame a tight white tank. He looks relaxed and more than a little pleased that Kurt has shown up unexpectedly.
“Hey, come in! What brings you here?” He steers Kurt toward the couch but they both remain awkwardly standing.
Kurt doesn’t want to touch that couch. Sure, it looks soft and inviting, but he’s fairly certain that if he and Blaine ever share a couch again, things will go exactly as they did last time and that’s definitely not why he came here tonight.
“I thought we should talk. Can I get a glass of water?” Kurt isn’t really thirsty but he’s willing to bet there won’t be a couch in the kitchen.
“Oh! Of course.” Blaine looks ashamed by his bad manners and they both move into the kitchen and a comfortable distance away from the treacherous piece of furniture.
Glass in hand, Kurt leans against the kitchen counter, stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the way Blaine is leaning toward the doorway and the living room beyond. He waits until Blaine gives up and leans against the opposite counter, hands propped on either side and letting his dress shirt fan out around him. Kurt allows himself one long look at his lean torso before setting down his prop without even taking a drink and folding his arms across his chest.
“I came here to tell you that you were a big help on this case and that I’m glad you were assigned to be my partner.” It’s almost painful to say out loud but it’s true. Blaine is the first in a long line of partners who has actually managed to make a meaningful contribution to a case and it’s for that sole reason that Kurt is willing to give up any and all couch or bed or floor or wall-related activities that might potentially occur with him. Not that he’s thought about it much.
“Oh, is that all? You looked so grim; I thought you were here to tell me awful news.” Blaine’s brows unfurrow and that wide, happy smile makes a reappearance.
“No, that’s not all. I want you to know that I don’t make a habit of hooking up with my coworkers. In fact, the other day was the first time that’s ever happened.” He pauses, waiting to see if Blaine gets it, but he still looks gently amused. “And it’ll be the last time too.”
Blaine pushes off from the counter and takes a step toward him. The kitchen is tiny and he ends up well within Kurt’s personal space. Kurt wants to take a step away but the counter at his back prevents him. He settles for unfolding his arms and adopting Blaine’s previous pose, regaining at least a few inches of negative space between them.
“I don’t make it a habit either but I have to admit, I’m more than willing to make an exception for you,” Blaine says hopefully.
“I’m afraid it’s a deal-breaker.” He knows the words come out of his mouth, but he’s not sure how he managed to say them when all he can hear is his heart pumping, “o-kay, o-kay, o-kay,” into his ears.
Blaine looks down at his sock-clad feet for a long moment and he looks so saddened, Kurt wants to take it all back. Screw the couch, he wants to drag Blaine back to his bedroom and spend the next few hours getting to know his partner on a decidedly more intimate level. Blaine looks back up at him and nods once, apparently having reached some important conclusion in his mind.
“In that case, you should know that I’m going to hand in a request for an assignment change on Monday.”
“What? No! This is exactly what I came here to avoid. You’re the first decent partner I’ve ever had. If you leave me, they’re going to keep sticking me with CSI fanboys who can barely tie their own shoelaces!” This is not how this conversation was supposed to go. He expected a couple awkward confessions and small expressions of regret before parting as amicable colleagues. “I really don’t think being able to get in my pants is a reasonable trade-off for jeopardizing your career.”
“That’s my decision to make though, not yours. And getting in your pants sounds pretty damn good right now.” He looks Kurt up and down slowly, sending a shiver of anticipation down Kurt’s spine.
“Blaine, don’t be ridiculous. We work well as partners, let it just be that,” Kurt says, almost pleading with him.
“We do work well as partners. I like working with you and I’d really like to continue being your partner. But if I had met you at a bar or the gym or the damned grocery store, I would have asked you out on the spot. You’re gorgeous and funny and I know we basically just met but I love just being around you.” Blaine takes another small step closer as he speaks, sliding his hands to Kurt’s hips. “If there’s any chance you feel the same way, I think we have to take a shot at it.”
Kurt leans in, his lips drawn to Blaine’s like a magnet. This kiss isn’t anything at all like the ones they shared before. It’s sweet and soft and Kurt realizes it’s because Blaine is afraid to push for more. He pulls away to stare down at Blaine, who looks so hopeful, it just crushes whatever resolve Kurt had come here with.
“I don’t want you to request an assignment change,” Kurt says quietly.
“I thought it was a deal-breaker,” Blaine teases.
“I guess I lied,” Kurt admits.
Blaine smiles and lunges forward to kiss him again, this time pushing for whatever he can take from Kurt. Kurt gives him everything he has.
Highest rating preffered: NC-17
Prompt(s) used: 1. Whodunnit, 2. Celine Dion, 3. Zoo, 5. Blaine’s eyebrows
Want the chance to win a raffle just by commenting? Learn about our Comment Frenzy contest here!
Don't forget to post 'Comment frenzy!' in your subjects!
Missed a day of fic? Check the exchange tag!