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19 September 2013 @ 06:31 pm
Fic: Fidelity, Chapter 25 - Wild Ginger  

Fic summary: An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: That old truism about finding beauty in unexpected places is, in fact, true. ~5,500 words
Rating for this chapter: PG-13

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 25: Wild Ginger

Dave: I was thinking about bringing Kurt flowers.

Blaine: Just when I think you can't be any more perfect, you go and say something like that.

Dave: I wanted to make sure it would be okay with you.

Blaine: Of course it's okay with me. Kurt will love it.
Blaine: No lilies, though. They remind him of his mom's funeral.

Dave: No. I was thinking of something else.

Blaine: OK, just don't tell me what kind. He should be the first to know.
Blaine: Although, as a general rule, I like the idea of secretly plotting Kurt's happiness with you.

Dave: You're kind of amazing.

Blaine: I was about to say the same about you. He's pretty smitten with you, you know.
Blaine: If I didn't already know you were awesome, just that fact would make me realize it.

Dave: Um OK.

Blaine: Be that way. So I was thinking. You and I have spent a lot of time together without Kurt, but you and Kurt haven't spent much time together without me.
Blaine: That doesn't seem right.

Dave: He's your boyfriend.

Blaine: He's yours, too.
Blaine: Hello?

Dave: Processing.

Blaine: It's nice being in love, isn't it?
Blaine: Fine, I won't make you answer that. Anyway, you can think about it.

Dave: Okay.

Blaine: I’m so excited about the flowers!

Dave: Me too.

Blaine:  :D  :D  !!!

* * *

"Remember how I said maybe you and Dave should go on a date?" Blaine and Kurt are eating lunch outside on McKinley's lawn, sitting on the blanket that Kurt keeps in his car. It still has grass stains and traces of clay on its underside from the Saturday night they spent at the river with Dave.

"Yeah." Kurt pops a jicama stick into his mouth, chewing with his mouth half-open. As much as Blaine loves Kurt's cultivated elegance, he also loves the moments when he forgets himself and reverts to being as unselfconsciously ill-mannered as the rest of the kids at McKinley.

"Well, it's more that I think you guys should have the opportunity to spend some time together, without me around."

Kurt tips back his head so he can look down his nose at Blaine. "I am suspicious of your motives."

Blaine blushes and looks down at the picnic blanket, tracing the edges of its quilted squares with his finger. "Not like that. I just – we get to spend a lot of time together on our own, and Dave and I have spent a lot of time together on our own. But you guys haven't. And I thought you guys might have things you want to talk about or, you know, to get to know each other better."

Kurt still hasn't removed the haughty look from his face, but a sparkle begins to light the edge of his eyes. "Get to know each other better?"

"Not like that." Blaine smiles bashfully. "I mean, unless you're both ready."

Kurt takes another bite of jicama before responding. "I kind of doubt that. I mean, there are probably things we should talk about first."

Blaine nods. "So, Sam and Rory asked me if I want to watch a geeky comic nerd movie that would totally bore you after school today. And I thought, if you guys want, I could do that and you guys could have a couple hours together. If you want privacy, you could have my house. I mean, I know it isn't a hot place for a date or anything –"

"Speak for yourself. I've had some seriously hot dates there."

Blaine blushes again, but doesn't look away from Kurt. "Well, if my house is too hot for you, you could always go somewhere else."

Kurt reaches for Blaine's hand. "No. It's kind of become home for me. If it's okay with Dave, then sure. I think – I'd like that, Blaine."

Kurt continues munching on jicama while Blaine unwraps his sandwich and starts eating it in small, delicate bites. They eat in silence, alternating between beaming at each other and watching a group of sophomores about 20 yards away play a game of ultimate frisbee.

"You know," Kurt says, "before I met you, I had this picture in my mind of what the perfect boyfriend would be like."

Blaine swallows his bite of sandwich. "Yeah? Tell me about him."

"It's kind of irrelevant," Kurt answers, his eyes darting to Blaine's lips, then back to his eyes. There's an earnestness in Kurt's face that makes Blaine's heart skip. "You're so much better than anything I dreamed about."

* * *

Blaine: Have you had enough time to think about a date? Because Sam and Rory invited me to watch the Comic-Con movie with them this afternoon.

Dave: The what?

Blaine: Um, it’s a movie? About comic geeks?

Dave: You’d really rather do that than hang out with me?  ;)

Blaine: Just this once.

Dave: Well, if spending time with me is such a hardship …

Blaine: Don’t be ridiculous. :D

Dave: So what’s the idea? I'll hang out at your house with Kurt?

Blaine: That's an excellent plan!

Dave: I won't try anything.

Blaine: That's sure to disappoint Kurt, but fine.
Blaine: Seriously, though, whatever you two do or don't do is okay with me a long you're both okay with it.
Blaine: And I guess this is a weird conversation to be having over text.

Dave: Every conversation I have with you is a little weird. I'm getting used to it.

Dave: If they start being normal, I might worry.

* * *

They exhale their greetings with breathy shyness. Kurt closes the door behind Dave; the house is empty of life except here in the vestibule, where their hearts beat.

Dave has a plastic soda cup from the Circle K. He passes it nervously back and forth between his hands. His backpack, slung loose over his right shoulder, begins slipping down his arm from the motion. "Hi," he says again.

"Hello." Kurt reaches for Dave's backpack strap, and Dave moves the cup into his left hand. "Kitchen?"

"Sure. Okay.”

Kurt slides Dave’s backpack off his shoulder and onto the floor, takes the cup from Dave's hand and places it on the entry table. "Or –"

The look in Kurt’s eyes is something like the way he looked at Dave in the car that night after the river. He's blinking a little, and pulling his bottom lip into his mouth with his teeth, and his terrifyingly everything eyes are steady on Dave's – steady except for one not-very-surreptitious glance at Dave's lips.

Kurt puts his hands on Dave's chest, slides them up to his shoulders. "I missed you," he says. He's not looking at Dave's eyes at all now, just staring at his mouth.

"Me, too." Dave's knees give and he leans back against the wall. "All the time. So much."

Dave's not sure when the kiss begins. All he knows is that Kurt is there, and here, and everywhere, the feel and the taste and the scent of him, the pale of his skin and the flashing silver-green of his eyes, like cottonwood leaves and tornado skies.

Dave tries to pay attention to all of it, but there's too much for his brain to process, everything so new and strange. Kurt sucks on Dave’s bottom lip and Dave hears himself whimper, weak and needy, the kind of sound that could get you mocked for months if you made it on the field. But here, there's no shame in anything.

Kurt pulls back, the smile crinkling the corner of his eyes. He traces the fingers of one hand over Dave's eyebrows, the bridge of his nose, the bow of his lips. "I can't decide," he says, "whether to kiss you all afternoon, or stare at you all afternoon."

"Anything," Dave says, because it's all he can muster for an answer.

"Not yet," Kurt says, taking Dave’s hand. "Soon, I hope." It's not until Kurt's face flushes bright red that Dave registers what Kurt means by that. He feels every string of muscle in his body tremble, piano strings struck and humming.

Kurt picks Dave's backpack from the floor and tugs on Dave's hand. "C'mon, beautiful."

Dave picks his drink cup off of the entry table and follows.

In the kitchen, Kurt grabs a can of Mountain Dew and a can of raspberry Klarbrunn from the fridge and sets them on the counter. "Oh, duh.” He glances at the soda cup still in Dave's hand and blushes. “You already have a drink. I guess I’m a little distracted.”

Dave blushes. "Actually, it's not a drink." He stands next to the counter where he usually does his homework and fiddles with the lid of the cup, trying to gather the will to pry it off. It was a stupid idea.

Kurt raises an eyebrow. "It's not confetti in there, is it?"

"No."

"A glitter bomb?"

Dave chuckles. "No."

"Good, because as much as I love a good glitter bomb, that stuff gets all over the place and Blaine's parents would not be excited about finding sparkles in the grout." Kurt tilts his head contemplatively at Dave. "You'd look nice, though, with a bit of glitter right –" Kurt steps closer, brushes his index finger across Dave's cheekbone. "– there." His breath is warmth and strawberries.

"It's –" Dave starts. He keeps fiddling with the lid.

Kurt waits, eyelashes fanning with every blink.He’s the most beautiful thing Dave has ever seen. And he was yesterday, and the day before. How does he keep doing that, just getting more and more radiant with every breath?

"You're being rather mysterious," Kurt says.

"Sorry," Dave says. "I'm not trying to be. I'm just … nervous. Because it's – it's for you." Kurt's lips turn up into a small smile, but Dave has to look away before he starts thinking about what Kurt's face will look like when he sees his very weird gift. Dave pries the lid off the cup and reaches in, carefully lifting it from the crumpled paper that holds it in place.

It's a small cylinder of a vase – a bit narrower and taller than a shot glass – with a tiny fern leaf and small cluster of exotic short-stemmed flowers that, four weeks ago, Dave wouldn't have been able to name if his life had depended on it. The flowers are tiny, their bases shaped like wine glasses but small enough to fit into a thimble. The triangular petals are the dusky pink of well-loved lips.

Dave doesn’t look up at Kurt’s face at first. If Blaine were here, he’d look at him for clues. Blaine's eyes would tell him if Kurt was happy.

Kurt's fingers wrap around the glass. "What are they?" His voice is light and reverent, like a Chopin nocturne.

Dave looks up. Kurt is beaming.

"Wild ginger," Dave says. "From our garden. They're not the prettiest, but –"

"No." Kurt shakes his head. "They're beautiful. I've never seen anything like them."

"Well, I hadn't either until last week. Even though we've had wild ginger in our yard as long as I can remember."

"I thought ginger grew in the tropics,” Kurt says with a raised eyebrow. (Does he have any idea how hot that is? It takes a significant amount of willpower for Dave not to derail the conversation with kisses.)

"It does. This is a different plant. It grows in some of the woods around here. You might have seen it before and just not noticed, because it looks kind of like violets – I mean, not the flower, obviously, but the leaves. Heart-shaped."

Kurt bites his lip. "Heart-shaped? You'll have to bring me one of the leaves, too."

Dave's face heats up. He glances at Kurt's lips, at the flowers in his hands. "I will," he says. It's barely above a whisper, but still it has Kurt bouncing on his toes and leaning forward to kiss Dave's cheek.

"Can I –?" Dave starts, gesturing toward the vase in Kurt's hand. "Can I hold your hands? I want to tell you something."

Kurt nods, swallowing slowly, the line of his Adam's apple bobbing against his neck. Dave wants to kiss it. He wants to kiss every spot on Kurt, really – his eyelids and the boney ridges behind his ears and the insides of his wrists. He wants to slip past the open button at the top of Kurt's orange oxford and map out his collarbone – it must be so perfect, prominent and ethereal, like the curve of a warbler's wing.

Dave closes his eyes and inhales. He wants to kiss everything, but he has to tell Kurt this thing first.

Kurt puts the glass on the counter, running a finger lightly over the opening of one of the flowers before turning back and giving his hands to Dave. "Okay." Kurt breathes. "Tell me."

Dave sees, in Kurt's pupils, his own face reflected back at him. It gives him the courage to speak. "So we've had this wild ginger in our garden for years. Do you remember the birch trees back by the garage?"

Kurt nods.

"Well, it's all over the place there. Anyway, I was back there last week digging up a buckthorn, and I kneeled down to push the ginger aside and I saw these flowers hidden under the leaves. So I started, um –" Dave exhales a laugh. "Basically, I ended up crawling through the whole patch and turning over every leaf to see if there was a flower under it. The neighbors must have thought it was pretty amusing."

Kurt opens his mouth like he's about to say something, but he doesn't – just smiles so wide his eyes crinkle. The beauty of it makes it both easier and harder for Dave to keep talking.

"I don't even know how long I was out there, but they were all over the place – like, a flower under every single plant. And I just kept thinking how you can think you know something and then you find out you didn't know it at all, that you just saw what was most obvious or easy to see, and –"

Dave stops then, glances down to where their hands are wrapped together, feels the warmth of Kurt's skin against his. Sometimes, when he's near Kurt, he feels like the whole world is about to drop out from under him. A couple years ago, when it first started happening, he thought it meant that the world would disappear. Now, he knows what it really means: He's learning to fly above it.

"But you don't do that. You see everything. At least with me. You see things I don't even know about myself until you show them to me. You show me that I'm a nerd and that it's good to be a nerd, and that I love tiny birds with names I can’t even pronounce, and that I don’t have to give up on my dreams when people try to break me, and that I can be brave, and that I am so, so, so incredibly gay."

Kurt's eyes are welling up with tears. He squeezes Dave's hands and laughs. "I think you knew you were gay before I did."

Dave shakes his head. "No. Not really. I mean, I knew I was attracted to guys and I wasn't into girls, but I just thought that meant I was fucked up, not that I was gay. Like I was created to be straight, but my body didn’t get the memo, you know?"

Kurt sniffles and nods. "Yeah, I do."

"And even though you had no reason in the world to be nice to me, you sat with me in those PFLAG meetings and just waited for my eyes to open. Even though they never really did."

"I had a reason, Dave." Kurt cups Dave's jaw in his hand.  "I wanted you to be happy."

"Why?"

Kurt lowers his eyes, blushing. "Well, at first – so you'd stop acting like such a jerk."

Dave turns his head slightly and kisses Kurt's palm. "I was a jerk," he whispers.

"And then because you weren't a jerk anymore."

"You made me believe I could change."

Kurt wraps his arms around Dave's shoulders, pulls him down against his chest, Dave's forehead resting in the curve of Kurt's neck, his cheek against the wing of Kurt’s collarbone. "And then because you were pretty awesome, and the idea of you being happy made me happy in a way I couldn't explain to anyone, not even myself."

Dave kisses at Kurt’s tears, follows the trail up Kurt's neck and jaw to his cheeks. "I didn't mean to make you cry."

"I always cry when things are too wonderful to fathom."

*

They end up on the couch again, almost lying down, Kurt pressing Dave into the pillows but keeping his hips maddeningly tilted away from Dave’s own.

“I could kiss you forever.” Kurt’s lips are still touching Dave’s when he says it.

“Liar,” Dave whispers, then flicks his tongue into Kurt’s mouth as a sweet tease before adding, “You need to eat. And you’d miss kissing Blaine.”

Kurt tilts his hips a little closer to Dave’s, but not close enough. “I wish I could kiss you both at the same time.”

The sound that erupts from Dave’s chest is one he didn’t even know he could make. He’s heard it on porn videos, usually by a guy whose ass is being perfectly, sweetly fucked. His cock swells, pressing uncomfortably against his zipper; without thinking about it, he reaches down to adjust himself through the front of his jeans. When his fingers make contact, another indecent sound rumbles from his chest.

Kurt stops him with a hand on his wrist. “Let me.”

“Oh god yes,” Dave groans before his brain catches up. “Or – no, I mean, wait, I mean –” Dave startles upright, sliding Kurt off his body.

Kurt straightens his alluringly disheveled oxford shirt. “Sorry, I, um – maybe we should stay off of this couch for a while? I think it’s drenched in pheremones.”

“I think we’re drenched in pheremones.”

Kurt smiles sheepishly. “You may have a point there.”

“Maybe this sounds weird, but ... I’d feel better if Blaine was here.”

Kurt raises one eyebrow. “You mean –?”

“Yeah. I mean, to do that.” Dave’s stares down at his own twiddling thumbs. He clears his throat. “With you.”

Kurt puts a hand on Dave’s, putting an abrupt end to the thumb-twiddling. “Okay.”

Dave looks up. Kurt’s face is pink and glowing and should be memorialized on the ceiling of every Italian cathedral.

“Okay?” Dave says.

Kurt lets out a long breath. “Better than okay.”

"You think it would be okay with Blaine?"

Kurt's face turns even pinker. It's starting to clash with his shirt. "Way better than okay."

“Okay.” They might sound a bit like a skipping CD.

“Maybe we should take a little break from kissing right now. You kind of … do things to me. When we kiss.”

Dave opens his mouth, but it’s a minute before any words come out. “We could look for warblers.”

Kurt pecks Dave’s cheek. “Excellent idea.”

*

They wander in the wooded area next to Blaine’s house, faces tilted up toward the treetops.

“I’m not sure I would see a warbler right now if it perched on my nose.” Kurt hands Dave the binoculars.

“No?”

“No. I’m still thinking about what a wonderful kisser you are.” Kurt winks. “Seriously, where did you learn?"

"I really don't have that much experience. But if you insist on knowing –"

"I do." Kurt smiles smugly, giving an encouraging squeeze to Dave’s arm.

Dave starts with the ones that Kurt already knows about: Jerry (which was barely a kiss at all) and Gavin-Patrick. "Good," Kurt says of Gavin-Patrick. "I'm glad he at least kissed you before putting his hands in your pants."

“Fortunately we got interrupted before his hands were in my pants for long.”

Kurt hides his face against Dave’s shoulder. “Don’t remind me. I was such an ass that night.”

“You were? I thought that prize went to me.”

“Are you serious?” Kurt looks up with an expression of genuine surprise.

Dave shrugs. “Well, I was the one who was fooling around with a stranger in the bathroom.”

“Yeah, but it’s not like that’s unheard of in a gay bar. Or that it’s illegal, or unethical, and as long as everyone’s safe –”

Dave comes to a halt. “Really? I thought you thought –” I was a slut, he’s about to say, but then he thinks about the title of the book Blaine lent him and how that word has so many meanings he’s not even sure how to use it anymore.

“Making out with randoms isn’t for me, but as long as you’re not hurting anyone … I don’t know. I think Chandler probably does it, and he’s okay. And Brittany used to, and she taught me how to kiss, so it would be kind of hypocritical of me to judge her for her experience.”

“But –” Dave stops himself before he says something stupid.

“What? Sebastian? I hate Sebastian because he’s evil, not because he gets around.”

“Yeah, Sebastian, but also –” Ugh. Why does he keep opening his mouth? “Forget about it.”

Kurt lets go of Dave’s arm and moves so that they’re standing face-to-face. “I know that look and it’s not one you get when something’s easy to forget. Tell me.”

Dave’s tempted to look away, but he doesn’t. “That night. With Gavin or Patrick or whatever his name was. You were mad at me.”

Kurt’s mouth drops open. No sound comes out.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have mentioned it.”

Kurt shakes his head. “No, it’s fine. I just – I thought you knew.”

“Knew what?”

“I wasn’t mad. I was upset. Because I, I was –” Kurt looks down at his hands, then back up at Dave. “I was jealous. Of him.”

The muscles in the back of Dave’s knees go wobbly like Jell-o. He leans against the nearest tree trunk. “Oh.”

“Yeah.” Kurt shrugs. “I’d kind of known before that I was attracted to you, but seeing you in there with him – I couldn’t really ignore it.”

Dave replays that night in his head – how pale Kurt was, and quiet, and how he kept looking away every time Dave looked in his direction. He understands, for the first time, why Kurt kept looking away from Blaine too.

“I’m so sorry,” Dave says.

Kurt smiles and reaches for Dave’s hand. “Oh, silly,” he says, and out of his mouth the word sounds as precious as sweetheart or dear. “That’s nothing to be sorry for.”

*

When they reach the creek, Dave moves on to the next easiest one to tell: the one that Kurt also kissed in his misspent youth.

"Brittany?" Kurt dissolves into giggles. "I should have known that. She told me she'd made out with every guy in the school but I didn't –" Kurt leans his cheek against Dave’s shoulder. "One degree of separation."

Kurt seems so charmed that Dave decides to wait until later to tell him the other thing that happened with Brittany. Instead he says, "I kissed Sebastian, too.”

"I know," Kurt sighs. "He told me.”

"When?" Dave supposes he shouldn't be surprised. Sebastian isn't exactly a no-kissing-and-telling kind of guy.

"In January," Kurt says. “But I didn't want to believe it."

"But why would you care?"

Kurt rolls his eyes. It sends a tingle right all the way to Dave’s toes. "You know why. Because you deserve better than what he was giving you." Kurt looks down at the bubbling creek. "And because –” The color on his cheeks is high and bright when he turns to look Dave in the eye. “I’m not as good as you and Blaine at not being jealous when people touch things I like."

* * *

It's not until later, shortly before Blaine’s due home, that Dave tells Kurt that a lot more than kissing happened with Brittany.

"Oh." Kurt feels the dam behind his eyes start to leak, and why? Why is he being so selfish about this?

"Kurt?" They're sitting next to each other on the loveseat in the gazebo. Dave reaches for Kurt's hand, and Kurt has to resist the urge to pull it away, pull himself away, to run back into the house and grab his keys and drive home because he's being so selfish, so selfish to react this way.

Dave and Blaine don't get possessive like this. Why does he?

"I'm sorry." Kurt wipes his cheek with the back of his hand. "I wasn't expecting that. I don't know why I'm –" He feels more tears threatening so he leans back against the cushions, closes his eyes and inhales deeply. He holds his breath for a count of three, exhales, does it again.

He looks at Dave. "No, that's not right. I do know why I'm reacting this way."

"Do you want to tell me?"

"Well, I'm sad that your first time was with a girl –"

"It's okay. She pretty much helped me figure out I was gay. Actually, I think she told me I was. She seemed to think that it was ... hot."

"Brittany's much smarter than people give her credit for."

"So as first times go with someone of the wrong gender," Dave says, "it was actually perfect."

Kurt smiles. "That's not the only reason I'm upset."

"No?"

Kurt swallows. This should be easy to talk about – he's had so much practice with Blaine – but it's not. "I'd assumed – I'd hoped –” He didn’t think his face could possibly go any hotter than the tears have already made it, but it does. “I wanted your first time to be with me."

Dave’s eyes are calm and brown like the acorns that are strewn across McKinley’s lawn each fall. He squeezes Kurt’s hand. "It can be."

*

After Blaine comes home, after he and Dave practice their duet and Kurt bounces on his toes from watching the way their hands work so effortlessly together, after Dave leaves with long lingering kisses from Kurt and hugs from both of them, Kurt goes up with Blaine to his room – even though no one else is home and no one else will be, not for hours.

They lie down on the bed, one of Blaine’s arms wrapped around the back of Kurt’s shoulders, the other draped across his chest. Here in Blaine’s compact little room, in the snug fold of Blaine’s arms, Kurt’s safe.

“You’re beautiful,” Blaine whispers.

Kurt rolls his eyes.

Blaine nudges his nose against Kurt’s cheek. “You are. I could stare at you for hours. It’s good we don’t share any classes. I’d never get any work done.”

“You have no problem studying around me. Geometry homework, to wit.”

“Only because you won’t respect me anymore if I fail all my classes.”

Kurt frowns. “Don’t joke about that. I love you. It’s not contingent on you being perfect.”

“I know.” Blaine kisses Kurt’s temple. “I hope I didn’t sour your mood.”

“No,” Kurt sighs. “I guess I’m just feeling a little … contemplative.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Kurt turns in Blaine’s arms so that they’re facing each other, each with a cheek pressed against the pillow. “Dave and I talked today.”

“About …?”

“Sex.”

“Oh.” Blaine’s cheeks go a little pink, and the corners of his lips twitch upward, but he stops them before they turn into a smile. “Is it – Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. I mean, I almost got carried away, but he stopped me, and –”

“W-wait,” Blaine beams. “What do you mean by ‘almost’? I want details.”

Kurt laughs. “In a minute. I need to tell you what we talked about first.”

Blaine blinks sheepishly. “Okay. Sorry.”

Kurt holds onto Blaine’s hand. “You never need to apologize for your interest in my sex life.”

Blaine laughs, little crows feet forming at the corners of his eyes. (He’s going to be so beautiful when we’re old,Kurt thinks.)

“Anyway we both, when it happens –” Kurt bites his lower lip to keep from smiling too big. “Dave said he wants you to be there.”

Blaine’s eyes go wider than Kurt has seen in – well, actually, he saw them go that wide just the other day when Blaine was about to orgasm.

Blaine coughs. “Did you – Was he just agreeing with you, or –?”

“No, he’s the one who brought it up.”

“That’s –" Blaine thinks for a moment, as if searching for the perfect word. “That’s hot.”

“You’re well-spoken.”

“You can’t expect me to spout poetry when I’m thinking about you two. My brain short-circuits.”

Kurt sinks his head a little further into the pillow. “Well, there’s something else, too. Can you un-short-circuit your brain long enough to talk me through it?”

“As long as it doesn’t involve your penis and Dave’s penis doing things to each other.”

Kurt barks out a laugh. “Um, no. It doesn’t involve my penis.”

“But it involves Dave’s?”

Kurt’s not laughing anymore. “Um, yeah. I guess you could put it that way.”

Blaine looks at Kurt quizzically.

"Did you know –" Kurt starts, fishing for the words. "Did you know he's had sex with a girl?"

“Wait. You mean –?”

“Brittany. Two years ago. She gave him a blowjob.”

Blaine’s eyes are wide again. "Really?"

"Yeah."

"Huh." Blaine rubs his palm comfortingly along Kurt’s bicep. “Well, Brittany once told me that I was the only upperclassman at McKinley she hadn't made out with. So I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised.”

“I know, right? But I’m just – I'm torn up, Blaine."

"Oh, Kurt." There's such tenderness in Blaine's voice that Kurt wants to be happy for his boyfriend's sake. It's the same tone Kurt's mom used with him when she had no easy grown-up answers for the problems he was facing, like the afternoon in preschool when Max Breckenridge made him cry by announcing that he was no longer going to marry Kurt, but was instead going to marry show-offy Mandy Feldman when he grew up.

“It's just – I feel awfully selfish right now.”

“Because –?”

"When he told me, I got – I got jealous. Not angry-how-dare-you kind of jealous. Just – more like devastated."

"Oh, honey." Blaine wraps his arm around Kurt's shoulder.

"I know I’m being ridiculous, but I wanted to be his first. I wanted us to be the ones to – to show him what sex can be." Kurt sighs. “I want him to know that he matters.”

Blaine brushes Kurt’s hair back from his ear. “You can still show him that, Kurt.”

“But I wanted – I feel like Brittany's stolen something from me, and that’s so stupid. Dave doesn’t belong to me.”

“He kind of does,” Blaine says, but Kurt ignores him.

“And you guys – you’re not like that. You guys don’t get jealous of each other over me, and I should – I feel like I should be like that, too. I want to be as good as you.”

Blaine sighs. “It’s different, Kurt.”

"It's different, alright. I'm a self-absorbed bastard and you aren't."

There's a flash of anger in Blaine's eyes. At least it looks like anger to Kurt. Anger or deep-seated disappointment. He's seen the fire before – last fall when Blaine would talk to or about Finn, this spring whenever someone mentioned Sebastian. But Kurt's always seen it from the periphery. Now, it’s looking straight at him.

"You're not, Kurt." Blaine is barely controlling the register of his voice. It's raspy and near-breaking. "Please tell me you don't really believe that."

"I – I don't know what to believe, Blaine." Kurt pulls Blaine's arm tighter around him. The tension in Blaine’s body starts to disperse.

"You're not selfish or self-absorbed, Kurt. You just want to protect people. You don't want him to get hurt."  

"But the book says I should share, and I don't want to share you with anyone, except maybe Dave when we're all in the same room, and I don't want to share Dave with anyone, except maybe you when we're all in the same room –"

“Look, I know I've been really into the book, but I'm starting to think it's not the last word on everything. What we have is fine. We're each getting what we want."

Kurt is about to protest, but something stops him. "That's the same thing Dave said the other day."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Basically."

"Well, if we both said it, it must be true." Blaine grins. "You're outvoted. You're going to have to stop feeling guilty."

"Are you guys always going to gang up on me this way?"

"Only when it's for your own good." Blaine kisses Kurt firmly on the lips. "I promise."