[personal profile] wowbright

Fic summary:  Blaine is drunk at Scandals and asks Dave Karofsky to tutor him in math. An unlikely friendship forms among Dave, Blaine and Kurt. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Sebastian turns out to be more dangerous than anyone thought. A chapter with canon elements. Assumes familiarity with 3.11 “Michael.”
Notes: Sorry for the delay in posting this. Work, migraines, computer problems, life …
Pairings in this section: Kurt/Blaine, background unrequited Dave/Kurt
Rating:
NC-17 overall, this chapter PG-13
Warnings: violence consistent with canon, discussion of eye surgery, Sebastian and Santana saying things that Sebastian and Santana would say

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Chapter 8

At the end of January, Dave gets a call from Kurt.

Kurt's texted Dave before, but he's never called – even digitized, his voice makes Dave's heart beat faster.

"Kurt." Dave sits down on the edge of his bed.

"Hey. I just wanted to let you know – Blaine can't – no tutoring tomorrow." There's something wrong with Kurt's voice, not quite panicked but definitely edgy.

Dave tries to inhale, but his lungs only stretch so far before the knot in his stomach stops them. "Are you okay? Why didn't Blaine call me?"

"Um, he's asleep. On, um, opiates. His eye. Sebastian hurt Blaine's eye."

 

"Wait – wait. What?"

"Sebastian threw a slushie and Blaine's face caught it and I guess – the doctor said it scratched Blaine's cornea."

"But Sebastian doesn’t even go to McKinley." It’s a nonsensical response, Dave realizes after he’s said it. But slushie-throwing and McKinley are indelibly intertwined in Dave’s mind; the administration doesn’t tolerate it at his new school, or any of the other schools he know of.

Kurt doesn’t seem thrown off, though. "Has Blaine talked to you at all about our conflict with the Warblers over Regionals?"

"No."

"Okay. I guess the short version is that Sebastian found out our set list for Regionals so we had a dance-off today to get it back – I know it doesn't make any sense, but it seemed to at the time – and Sebastian brought a slushie and he threw it and I don't know, I guess there was a sharp piece of ice in it or something –"

"Slushies can hurt people?"

"It was news to me, too. I mean, I always knew the citric acid kind of stung, but – I don't know, I guess if the ice is sharp enough –" Kurt's voice fades, the high-strung energy that has powered his speech so far dissipating.

"Can he see? Is he going to be okay?"

"He can see with the other eye. The scratched one – the doctor used some kind of glue to close up the scratch and put a patch over it. She said they watch it for a day or two and if it doesn't start healing, they'll have to do surgery so he doesn't go blind. Or half-blind – well, she actually said 'to preserve his sight.' I guess she was trying to be gentle with us. Blaine's mom let me stay for the explanation."

"Jesus." Dave tries to think of every person he's ever slushied – Santana, Artie, Tina, Puck, Sam, Finn, Rachel, Mercedes, Mike, Kurt – perplexed that nothing worse came out of it but their humiliation and his bottomless guilt.

"Dave? Are you still there?" Kurt's voice is worried.

"Yeah, I just – I don't understand. I thought Sebastian was into Blaine."

Kurt doesn't say anything immediately. For a moment, Dave thinks they've lost their connection. "Dave, Sebastian's not into anyone but himself. You understand that, right?"

"I –"

"Sorry. I just don't want to see you getting hurt by him, too."

Dave swallows heavily. "Okay," he says. "Okay."

“Anyway, I’m pretty sure Sebastian meant it for me.”

To his own surprise, Dave doesn’t get any more freaked out by this news than he already was. He just stays at the exact same 10-alarm level he’s been at since the call began.

"Dave?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm – kind of stressed out."

"I can imagine."

"Blaine says it's like a fire burning a hole in his head.” There’s silence for a moment, and then the shuddery sound of Kurt’s breathing. “I just – I shouldn’t have antagonized Sebastian so much. I get carried away and –”

“Stop!” Dave almost shouts it, but it’s not anger. It’s panic. Kurt is not supposed to talk like this, or feel like this, ever. Not if Dave can help it. “It’s not your fault. Nothing that bastard does could possibly be your fault, Kurt. Nothing anyone does is your fault. Okay?”

Kurt’s heavy sniffle crackles over the phone line. “I know. But it doesn’t always feel that way. It doesn’t feel that way right now.”

“Well, it is that way.”

Silence, and then a breath, and then, “I just – I just wish it had been me."

"No, Kurt. It should have been me," Dave says. It wouldn't make up for the things he's done, and it would pale in comparison to the kind of punishment he really deserves, but it would be fairer than letting Blaine suffer. If anyone deserves that kind of pain, it's Dave.

*

Dave can’t sleep that night. He keeps replaying in his mind all the times he’s slushied people – and Kurt, especially. How he might still be doing it, if it hadn’t been for Santana and the disguised gift of her blackmail

A light goes on in his brain. Everyone has something they’re hiding, and Sebastian is such a schemer he must be hiding more than most.

Dave gets out of bed. By the time he crawls back under the sheets at 3 a.m., he knows exactly how to keep Sebastian from bothering any of them ever again.

*

Dave visits Blaine the next day, despite Blaine telling him over the phone that he’s really boring when he’s strung out on painkillers and he couldn’t possibly try to do geometry because his depth perception is gone and he can’t tell a circle from a sphere.

“I just thought you could use some company,” Dave answers.

“That would be nice, but … I’m not a very good host right now. Like, I even had trouble opening the refrigerator door this morning. And Kurt says I kept falling asleep when he was reading me Us Weekly last night. I just – I don’t like not being a good host.”

“It’s really okay, Blaine. I can open the refrigerator myself if I need to get something. And if you fall asleep, I can just do some homework like I usually do.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, Blaine. It’s fine. It would be nice to see you.”

“Really?” A smile is audible in Blaine’s voice.

“Yeah. We’re friends, remember?”

“Hee-hee,” Blaine squeaks out like a two-year-old. “I still haven’t gotten over how awesome that is.”

When Dave gets there, some girl Dave’s never seen before opens the door. She looks like maybe she’s in college, or a little bit older. She introduces herself as the home health aide.

“Is he that bad?” Dave says.

“He said I could tell you that he’s mostly fine,” she says. “He just needs someone to give him his medicine and bring stuff to him since he has trouble negotiating the stairs. His parents couldn’t stay home so they called the agency.”

“Huh.” Dave’s not sure if he should be jealous that Blaine’s parents can afford that, or weirded out, so he decides to forget about it in favor of not having any opinion at all.

As many times as he’s been to Blaine’s house, it’s his first time in Blaine’s room. Dave is surprised how alike Blaine’s room is to his own, in some ways: Dark walls, stripes and plaids, models from kits, and trophies galore. Of course, Blaine's trophies are for music and rich people's sports, not football and hockey, but they’re just as bright and flamboyant.

Blaine is in bed, sitting up against the headboard, in an odd ensemble of striped silk pajamas and a black eye patch. He starts bouncing lightly against the cushions when he sees Dave. "Hey! It’s my favorite-ever best friend in the whole world next to Kurt! Yay!” He claps his hands together and a sweet, childlike smile spreads across his face. Then he suddenly goes still, tipping his head in thought. “My best bro-friend. That’s what you are. Come here!” He starts bouncing again.

A laugh escapes from Dave's mouth before he can stop it.

Blaine smiles. "What's so funny?"

"Nothing. Just – glad to see you."

"I'm glad to see you, too. Come, sit closer." Blaine pats the empty space next to him on the bed and Dave is tempted, because maybe the smell of Kurt's shampoo is embedded in the pillows there, but instead he walks over to the dresser with the model cars, trying not to spend too much time lingering on the black-and-white picture of Kurt in a tuxedo behind them.

"Did you build these?" Dave points to the model cars.

"Yeah," Blaine nods, a fuzzy-brained smile on his face. "Did you ever make cars?"

"A couple," Dave says. "But then I was more into airplanes.”

"You can look at them if you want to," Blaine says. "I mean, touch them. I like popping the hoods."

Dave's pretty sure that's something that Sebastian could turn into a sexual innuendo – Sebastian. Dave feels a flare of anger at the thought, but he smothers it as well as he can. It won't do Blaine any good right now. He picks up the black convertible and lifts the hood to look at the tiny chrome-plated engine. Even the hood's underside has been painted a smooth black.

"It's a nice paint job," Dave says. "No runs."

"Thanks. I was kind of obsessed with making the perfect Corvette until my dad got a real one for us to fix up a few summers ago. Not so much anymore."

"Why not?"

"I don't know. I guess I liked model cars because I – I had control of them. And I could forget everything when I worked on them."

Dave nods. "Like if you follow the directions, everything will turn out how it's supposed to?"

Blaine grins. "Exactly. But with the real car, it was more complicated to put all the pieces together. It didn't just have to look good, it had to run right. And also I didn't really want to be spending time with my dad because everything he said, it felt like he was telling me to be less gay."

"Was he?"

"I don't know. That's how it felt, though."

"Is it still that way? With your dad, I mean?"

"I don't know. He never actually says anything bad, you know? But he doesn’t really say anything good, either. Well, no, actually, he's said some nice things about Kurt. He likes that Kurt can cook. He says that every man should know how to cook."

I kind of know how to cook, Dave thinks, because apparently he's trying to impress some possibly homophobic WASP whom he's never even met. Dave puts the black car down and picks up the red one, admiring the little rust spots that Blaine painted on the undercarriage. "I worry about my dad. How he'll react."

"Everyone does," Blaine says. "But for me, at least, I think it's better that it's out in the open. And my mom's pretty cool about it. She's, like, in love with Kurt." Blaine draws "love" out so long that it takes up half the sentence. He's starting to sound a little loopy again.

"Isn't everybody?" Dave says before he can tell himself not to. He doesn't look up, just pretends to be fascinated with the door hinges and the sunroof that slides open.

"If they're not, they should be."

Dave looks up then. Blaine isn't looking back at him; he's staring at the picture of Kurt, his one eye glazed and dreamy.

"I love him," Blaine says to the picture. "I love him so much."

Dave has the overwhelming urge to hug Blaine. Instead, he puts the car down next to the picture of Kurt and sits down in the red chair at the side of Blaine's bed.

Blaine smiles at Dave. "You love him, too, don't you?"

Dave's heart stops. And starts. And stops again. And then it speeds up, the thumpkathunkkathunk almost constant, spinning blood and adrenaline out to every cell in his body. His eyes are blinking too fast and his hands are starting to shake and his body is awkward in this staid room. "I'm glad Kurt's my friend," he finally manages.

Blaine doesn't seem to have registered any of Dave's panic, just gazes at him with a sort of happy delirium. "I'm glad you're our friend," Blaine says airily. "You should have been here earlier when Kurt was here. We took a nap and it was so nice because he’s all warm and he smells so good, and you could have cuddled with us too and it would have been even warmer. Like a pile of puppies!”

Dave laughs, because it's the only thing he can do.

Blaine shifts toward the center of the bed, patting the spot next to him as he resettles. "Sit next to me so I can take a nap on your shoulder. I promise it's not sex. It's like brothers. Except you're nicer than my brother. My real brother hasn't even called."

There's so much packed into those words that Dave doesn't even know where to begin, so he stops thinking and does as he's told. He kicks off his shoes and settles onto the bed next to Blaine, rearranging the pillows – wow, they really do smell like Kurt – to prop up his back.

Blaine leans his head against Dave's shoulder and closes his eye – or maybe both eyes, Dave has no idea. "You are sooooo comfortable, oh my god it would have been the best puppy pile. I can't believe Kurt is missing this. Oh, we have to do this again so Kurt can use you as a pillow, too."

Dave humors Blaine by not pointing out that he's probably the last person next to Sebastian that Kurt would want to cuddle with. Instead, he breathes in the smell of Kurt mixed with the scent of Blaine's raspberry hair gel, intoxicating and soothing at the same time; and he closes his eyes and lets himself feel Blaine's warm weight against his arm, remembering that this is what it felt like when he used to fall asleep on the couch next to his mother, back before everything fell apart.

"Are you doing okay, Blaine?"

Blaine doesn’t say anything for a minute. When he does, his voice is still childlike, but it’s lost the happy exuberance. "I'm scared. I went back today and they said I have to go for surgery."

"Kurt told me you might."

"I like seeing. It's hard to walk with only one eye. I have to hold the railing to go down the stairs, and even then it’s weird and I feel like I’m going to fall. I don’t know – my parents found this surgeon in Cincinnati who’s supposed to be, like, perfect. But apparently you have to stay awake the whole time and you can see them poking you in the eye and that’s like my worst nightmare ever.” Blaine sighs. “Well, next to nobody liking me."

Dave pats Blaine's arm. He wants to tell him everything will be okay, but he doesn't really know that it will. "For what it's worth, Blaine, I’m here for you."

"Thank you," Blaine says. "It means a lot."

*

Dave goes to Scandals that night, even with the risk of running into Jerry – because there's someone else that Dave really, really needs to see.

Jerry’s not there, thankfully, so Dave plays pool with some of his pre-Blaine-and-Kurt buddies and waits. They talk about hockey and the Super Bowl and getting drunk and some movie Dave hasn't seen. It’s almost like old times, and he could almost pretend he was enjoying himself if it weren’t for the incessant buzzing of his nerves.

And then the one that Dave’s been waiting for strides through the entryway that same way he always does: like he owns the place and is entitled to everyone in it, grinning disingenuously like – what does Kurt call it? Oh, yeah. Like a meerkat.

Dave hands off his cue and walks over to grab Sebastian's hand. "Outside," he says.

Sebastian looks up and smiles. "Cool down, tiger. Let me get my beer first."

"Come on."

Sebastian raises his eyebrow. "Not that I wouldn’t like to fool around with you, but what about your boyfriend?" Dave assumes he's talking about Jerry and is prepared to ignore the diversion, but Sebastian continues. "With Blaine down for the count, I was sure you'd take advantage of the opportunity to be alone with her royal highness." Sebastian gives a lascivious wink.

Dave can't pick up Sebastian by the collar and throw him against the wall. Not inside. That would get him exiled from Scandals, for one; and possibly arrested, for two. Also, he has to exercise some control. He can't hurt Sebastian the way Sebastian hurt Blaine; Sebastian deserves it, but it would still be wrong. Or, at least, it wouldn't make Dave feel any better. He's learned that much by now.

Sebastian misreads the fire in Dave's eyes. "Oh, fine. Let's go, horndog" he says, and pulls Dave toward the exit.

*

"So do you want me to finally fuck you?" Sebastian starts as they round the corner of the building toward where his car must be. "Because you seem pretty wired. It might do you some – " His words are interrupted by Dave's hands on his collar and the wind being knocked out of him when his back hits the wall. His face twists up more than usual and he lets out a surprised, “Oof!”

"What I want is to never, ever see you here again," Dave says through clenched teeth.

“The easiest way to achieve that would be for you to never come here again.” Even with wracked breath, Sebastian manages to sound condescending.

“And stay away from them both.” Dave pulls Sebastian forward a couple inches and thrusts him back against the wall one-handed. Not hard enough to cause permanent damage, but definitely enough to cause pain. He wishes he could slam himself against the wall instead, but this will have to do.

“Shit, that actually kinda hurt.” Sebastian grimaces. "Don’t you think your strength would be better used for something a little more fun?” He starts to waggle his eyebrows, but abruptly stops when Dave slaps the wall so hard with his free hand that little specks of rotten brick skitter down to the ground.

“Come on, Dave. What’s the big deal? I hurt your competition. You should be thanking me.”

Dave reaches into his jacket and pulls out a pen, clutching it in his fist with the end pointed toward Sebastian’s face. “Or maybe I should try a little eye for an eye.” He gets the same stomach-sick feeling that used to seize him whenever he would to threaten Kurt, but tries to ignore it. Sebastian is no Kurt.

Sebastian scrunches his eyes shut. “You can’t be serious.”

Dave drags the pen against Sebastian’s cheekbone. “Only one way for you to find out.”

“My father is a state’s attorney.”

“Yeah, you’ve mentioned that before. Funny thing, though, is I looked it up. And it turns out that Ohio doesn’t have ‘state’s attorneys.’ We’ve got prosecutors and district attorneys.”

Sebastian doesn’t respond.

“So then I looked more stuff up.” Dave taps the side of the pen against his cheek. “Your dad is a pencil pusher in the Delaware County courthouse. Lima isn’t exactly under their jurisdiction, and I’m not exactly scared.”

“You’re smarter than I gave you credit for.”

Tap-tap-tap. “A lot of people make that mistake.”

“So,” Sebastian mutters petulantly, “are you planning to blind me with that pen?”

Dave stops tapping. He stares at the pen for a second before tossing it onto the ground. “No. I thought about it, but I decided I’m not as much of an asshole as you are.”

Sebastian squints his eyes open. “Ah. You’re going to do the noble thing and beat me into submission.”

Dave shakes his head. He lets go of Sebastian’s collar, giving him a final small shove toward the wall. “Nope.”

Sebastian grins. He really does look like something from Animal Planet. “So, remind me again why I’m supposed to be scared of you?”

“Because I’m going to tell all your little Dalton friends the truth about your parents.”

Sebastian gives Dave a wary look. “That doesn’t matter,” he says weakly. “Your princess isn’t exactly of high breeding, and got along fine at Dalton, I hear.”

Dave snorts. “Yeah, which was why he was so desperate to get back to McKinley.”

Sebastian shrugs.

“Anyway, there’s the other thing I could tell them, too.”

“What’s that? That I have poor taste in men?” Sebastian gestures grandly at Dave. “Exhibit A.”

It shouldn’t hurt; it does, anyway. But Dave is used to hurting. He plows on. “I found out where you were last year.”

Sebastian goes perfectly still, the way a rabbit does when it senses a predator approaching; it’s just for a moment, and then he’s moving again, tugging at the wrists of his sleeves and smiling haughtily – but it’s long enough that Dave knows he’s already won. “My rendezvous at le Château de Vaux-le-Vicomtewith select faculty of l’Université Paris-Sorbonne can hardly be called a scandal – except, perhaps, for them.”

Dave folds his arms across his chest. “The reason you weren’t at Dalton last year wasn’t because you were studying in Paris and drinking snooty French crap and fucking snooty Frenchmen by the Riviera. It’s because you were in juvie for credit card fraud and taking a joyride in your neighbor’s Lexus.”

Sebastian goes still again, and sickly pale. For a second, Dave thinks he might be in actual physical shock, but then he speaks. “How did you find out? Only the headmaster knows.”

Dave scoffs. “The headmaster might be the only one who knows at Dalton, but us public school kids have learned how to use a thing called the internet. And I don’t know much about private school, but I’m pretty fucking sure that the parents of the future aristocrats of America wouldn’t want someone like you in charge of their little doo-wop choir. Rich people prefer their criminals not to get caught.” Holy crap. Dave almost sounded as smart as Kurt for a second there. Not quite as sharp, but still – he gets distracted for a moment by the utterly foreign feeling of pride in himself.

Sebastian slides down the wall, plopping his skinny butt next to the building’s frozen foundation.

“Plus,” Dave says, “I assume you’re still on parole, which means if your parole officer finds out what you’ve been up to, you get a one-way ticket back to juvie.”

“First, you never put out. And then this.” Sebastian sinks his head into his hands. “I hate you.”

“Well, I kind of hate you, too. But I won’t tell anyone if you stay away from Blaine and Kurt forever.”

Sebastian peers up at Dave. “Like, forever-ever? They’re kind of fun to harass.”

Dave draws an infinity sign in the air with his pointer finger. “Forever-ever. If they show up at Scandals, you leave. Better yet, just don’t show up at Scandals. Or the Lima Bean, or McKinley, or those weird dance-offs that you glee clubbers do.” He feels like he’s forgetting something. “And don’t harass them from a distance, or harass other members of the glee club, or any group that Kurt or Blaine are a part of now or in the future. Which includes their families.”

“You might have to write that all down for me.”

Dave glances around his feet for the pen he dropped earlier. He picks it up and tosses it in Sebastian’s lap. “Take your own damn notes.”

“Fine. You win.” Sebastian pushes himself off the ground, raising his hands in placation as he walks backward toward his car. "I guess I underestimated you, Liberace."

“Don’t call me Liberace, either.”

Sebastian doesn’t answer, just gets into his car and drives away. The anxiety that Dave’s been ignoring this whole time hits his stomach like a wave, and soon he’s bent over in the shrubs next to the dumpster, vomiting the remainders of his rage into the dirt.

*

Dave’s parents are in bed when he gets home, but he’s too wired to fall asleep. So he lies in the dark, staring at the model airplanes that dangle from his ceiling and listening to Prokofiev's Piano Sonata No. 7 (Op.83) on repeat. It’s not exactly the best music for winding down, but it suits his mood perfectly.

When it’s on the fourth repetition, his phone buzzes.

Blaine: You awake?

Dave:  Yeah.

Blaine: Thought I was the only one.

Dave: No. I went to Scandals. Now I can’t sleep.

Blaine: Oh! Any cities there?

Dave: Cities?

Blaine: Damn autocracy.
Blaine: Autocorrect
Blaine: CUTIES
Blaine: It’s hard to test with one eye.
Blaine: TEXT.

Dave hits the dial icon. “Thought it might be easier if you didn’t have to type,” he says when Blaine picks up.

“I didn’t want to wake you up. I mean, if you were asleep. That’s why I texted.” Blaine’s voice comes befuddled and affectionate over the phone line.

“I’m awake.”

“Kurt’s not. I already tried texting him,” Blaine says, and Dave swears he can hear him pouting. “I wish he could’ve slept over, but it’s a school night and anyway my parents are home and sometimes they’re weird about it when they’re home.” Blaine sighs loudly. “But I guess it’s just as well because I would have kept him up all night anyway.”

Dave gets an image in his mind that is both welcome and unwelcome. It distracts him from responding like an intelligent human being. All he can get out is, “Um.”

“Oh my god!” Blaine squeaks out. “That’s not what I meant, you dirty – you dirty –”

“Bastard?” Dave ventures.

“Hmm, I guess that’s the word that goes there. But it’s not very nice. Just because someone’s parents weren’t married when they were born doesn’t make them a bad person.”

“True,” Dave smiles. He really enjoys talking to Blaine when he’s high as a kite. Actually, he really enjoys talking to Blaine, period.

“Hey, you wanna know a secret?”

“That depends. Is it something you wouldn’t usually want me to know? I mean, ’cause you’re kind of high right now.”

Blaine lets out a loud huff that crackles in Dave’s ear. “I’m not high.”

“Um, okay. You just have impaired judgment.”

“No I don’t.” Blaine pauses. “What were we talking about anyway?” And then he giggles. “Oh my god, I’m so high.”

Dave doesn’t answer. He’s too busy laughing.

Blaine announces that listening to Jeremy Irons read Brideshead Revisited while high on painkillers and unable to sleep is the most depressing thing ever. Dave offers to bring by his Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter CDs tomorrow. Blaine squeals like a miniature piglet that’s just discovered mud.

“You’re the best, Dave. I miss you.”

“I saw you a few hours ago.”

“Yeah, but we didn’t do geometry.”

Dave laughs.

“Don’t laugh!” Blaine says, but Dave can hear that he’s still smiling. “I love doing geometry with you because you’re my best bro-friend ever! ”

Of course, Dave starts laughing even harder and feels his cheeks flush red with embarrassment. Still, he forces himself to say it back, because it’s true and because it’s so much better than everything else that’s happened tonight. “You’re my best bro-friend, too, Blaine.”

* * *

Kurt stands on stage with the rest of the Glee Club. It’s seven minutes past the time the Warblers are supposed to show. Of course, the entitled douchebags would make them wait, when the only thing that Kurt’s had to look forward to all day is shooting metaphorical daggers at Sebastian while singing ‘Don’t tell me you agree with me when I saw you kicking dirt in my eye.’

(Over the past few days, he’s fantasized repeatedly about throwing actual daggers at Sebastian, and once he got out his sai swords and contemplated them for longer than he would want to admit to anybody. But then he heard his own voice giving a lecture to Dave last spring about non-violence, and he put them back in their case and closed it.)

A door at the back of the auditorium creaks open, and the Warblers file in. He watches them enter, one by one, until they are all gathered at the foot of the stage.

Sebastian isn’t there.

The New Directions start murmuring, and Santana steps out to the front of the stage. “Where’s Whorish McWhoremouth?” The Warblers look at each other in confusion, and Santana immediately loses her patience, if she ever had any in the first place. “Se-bas-tian, you ingrates. Who the hell else would I be talking about?”

Warbler Trent steps forward. “He couldn’t come.”

Santana huffs and rolls her eyes. “Why? Did the hair start growing so fast between his eyebrows and his asscrack that he had to go in for an emergency wax?”

Trent moves his eyes nervously between Santana and Kurt and the auditorium floor. Finally, he clears his throat and lifts an envelope up toward Kurt. “Um, he said to give this to you, Kurt.”

He accepts the envelope warily. Trent’s always seemed like a good guy, but it’s hard to trust that belief, now that the Warblers are under Sebastian’s thrall. Inside is a cream-colored card embossed with the Dalton seal. It reads:

Princess,

I spoke with your bear cub last night and he made a very persuasive argument that avoiding Blaine and your highness would be best for all parties involved. His rhetoric stirred me to the core, and I pledged to abide by his request. While I am not a man of morals, I am a man of honor. You can expect never to see me again – with the exception of longing for me from a distance at Regionals, since I am also bound by honor to lead the Warblers to victory. Sadly, it won’t be much of a challenge.

Yours never,

M. Sebastian Smythe

P.S. That bear cub is much smarter than I thought. You would be wise to keep him by your side.

The rest of the New Directions are crowding around him, peering at the note. “Bear cub,” Puck mutters. “What the hell does that mean? Are you and Blaine into that plushie stuff?”

Kurt folds the card and stuffs it back into the envelope. “I guess it means that Sebastian will miss our lesson on the true meaning of Michael. But the rest of the Warblers are here. Shall we?”

*

Blaine is asleep when Kurt gets to his house. He sits in the armchair next to Blaine’s bed and just watches him for a while.

Then he texts Dave.

Kurt: What did you say to Sebastian?

* * *

Dave stares at the phone. He’s been wondering if Kurt and Blaine would find out eventually, and weighing in his mind how much to tell them. Yes, Dave had promised not to reveal Sebastian’s secret, but sharing it with Kurt and Blaine would hardly count as violating that confidence. They’ve proven already that they can keep things under wraps when he asks them to.

But he’s not sure he wants them to know. Blaine has hemmed and hawed over pressing charges out of misplaced concern over what it would do to Sebastian’s future, and Kurt kept talking in his texts earlier today about “taking the high road.” If they out that reporting Sebastian would be an automatic ticket back to juvie, Blaine’s definitely not going to press charges.

Dave: Oh. That.
Dave: Just that I know something about him that he doesn’t want other people to know.
Dave: Nothing that would surprise you. But I probably shouldn’t tell you what it is. That was kind of part of the deal.
Dave: Sorry.
Dave: Anyway, he shouldn’t be bothering you guys again.

* * *

Kurt stares at the screen a long time. He’s curious, but he understands the importance of keeping secrets. Anyway, it’s probably something boring and predictable, like inbreeding in Sebastian’s aristocratic ancestry.

More than curious, though, Kurt is relieved. Not as relieved as he’ll be when Blaine comes out the other side of this okay. But as relieved as he can be, all things considered.

Kurt: Thank you.

He puts the phone down on the bedside table and watches Blaine some more. The phone lights up again a few minutes later.

Dave: That’s what friends are for.

*

On the morning of the surgery, Blaine sends a group MMS to Dave and Kurt. It’s apparently supposed to be a reassuring, friendly “See you soon!” but Kurt can barely understand it for all the opiate-induced misspellings and smiley faces.

Kurt asks for a bathroom pass from his English teacher, goes to the janitor’s closet, and tries not to cry. He cries anyway.

If Blaine were here, he would tell Kurt that everything’s going to be okay. He’d say that even if the surgery doesn’t work out, it’ll still be okay – that having two working eyes had started to make Blaine feel profligate, and that having just one would be an adventure in moderation. Then he’d snap the elastic of his black eye patch and say in the worst pirate accent ever, “Ahoy, matey, shiver me timbers, ‘cause I’d sure like to walk your plank,” and they’d start kissing, Blaine coming up for air every few minutes to say something awful like, “Oh you scallywag, I love it when you pillage my booty.”

 

But Blaine’s not there, and Kurt can’t call him because he’s under the knife now. Or laser. Or whatever it is they use for eye surgery.

So Kurt just keeps crying, instead.

He’s been crying for four minutes when his phone buzzes.

Dave: Hey Kurt. I just wanted to see how you’re doing.

For the first time today, the barest of smiles breaks out on Kurt’s face.

Kurt: I'm freaking out.

Dave: Do you want me to say reassuring things, or just listen, or go away?

Kurt: Say something reassuring.

Dave: I looked up the clinic online. The surgeon there is supposed to be really good. Like, so good that when I was reading about all the groundbreaking techniques she uses, I couldn’t understand any of it.

Kurt makes a sound halfway between a sob and a snicker.

Dave: Also, she’s in Mensa, and she must have excellent fine motor skills because she makes these super detailed doll quilts in her spare time. One of them is 10 inches by 10 inches and has 1012 pieces of patchwork in it.

Kurt: You’re making that up.

Dave: No I’m not. Go look on the website.

Dave sends a link, and Kurt should probably be looking at all the information about the successful eye surgeries, but he goes straight for the quilts instead. He zooms in on the stitching: tiny, tight lines that are flawlessly straight.

For the first time since Sebastian threw the slushie in Blaine’s face, Kurt feels hope.

Kurt: Thank you. That actually made me feel better.

Dave: I’m glad I could help.

They keep texting on and off throughout the day. When it’s time for Blaine to come out of surgery, Kurt sends Dave a panicked, ‘Freaking out again.’ Dave responds with a link to another one of the quilts and then distracts Kurt with a play-by-play of a debate that’s going on in his government class about whether the First Amendment should be repealed. By the end of it, Kurt is smiling and his stomach no longer feels like it’s going to push its way up out of his throat.

Kurt finally gets a text from Blaine’s mom in the middle of glee practice. The news is good. Ignoring the twenty-third Finn-and-Rachel duet of the year at the front of the room, Kurt tips his screen to show the message to Santana, who’s sitting next to him. She smiles so big that he’s tempted to hug her.

He thinks better of it, though, and instead messages Dave with the news.

Dave:  :0<=   :D><  
Dave: That was me jumping for joy, in case you couldn’t tell.

Kurt giggles, and Puck nudges him from behind. “Dude, Blaine is totally sexting you right now, isn’t he?” He leans forward, trying to catch a glimpse of the screen over Kurt’s shoulder.

Kurt abruptly turns his phone off.

* * *

 

Date: 2013-06-30 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kluv19.livejournal.com
Dave is brilliant and precious and I truly adore the friendship you're building between the three of them. I an also totally glad that Sebastian is out of the picture and hope he stays that way.

High Blaine is incredible and I really hope Blaine has that talk with Kurt soon - if it's going where I hope it is.

Date: 2013-07-05 02:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wowbright.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad that Sebastian is out of the picture, too, even if he was fun to write.

And now I must get on posting the other chapters so you can find out!

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