[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: They go to Scandals. Things happen, and don’t. ~6,400 words
Rating for this chapter:
NC-17

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Interlude | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Second Interlude | Chapter 12| Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19

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

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Chapter 20: Tantalus

Kurt kicks ass at his NYADA audition the next week and Blaine and Dave take him to Scandals to celebrate. Everything is good and sweet and laughter and the dull heartache that has been an undercurrent to Dave’s life as long as he can remember seems to have vanished. Dave is no longer the guy in the Greek myth who was condemned to stand hungry under a grape arbor for eternity, the fruit always out of reach.

Kurt is more radiant than ever tonight. He's wearing an outfit that Dave has seen once or twice before – a snug white Henley with a fitted navy vest and tight jeans and no handkerchiefs in his back pockets – but somehow he looks different. His muscles seem even fuller against the fabric of his shirt; the lapels of the vest grace his chest with more reverence. Kurt smiles and peppers Blaine with indulgent kisses and sometimes he touches Dave on the back of the hand for no particular reason, which at first made Dave wonder out loud if there was vodka in Kurt's Coke, but Kurt just blushed and said, "No, I'm the designated driver, remember?"

It doesn't keep Kurt from touching him again, and every time he does, Dave's heart beats faster.

Still, there's no ache in his chest.

Desire is supposed to be riddled through with pain. But tonight it's lovely and warm. Tonight it's delightful.

Dave might be a little drunk, but that's not what's making him feel this way. Being drunk never made life this simple.

Kurt is uncharacteristically ebullient even after some guy obsessed with country takes over the jukebox, and when Blaine says it's time to teach Dave swing dancing, Kurt leaps out of his chair and grabs them both by the hands and drags them to the dance floor.

Dave says, "No no no," because he's awkward and a lug and they are smooth and unselfconscious and he's happy to just watch them.

But Kurt says, "Yes yes yes," and it's too charming not to acquiesce.

There's hardly anyone out on the floor. Kurt and Blaine stand on either side of Dave and show him the rock step and the single step, and they walk through it again and again until it's natural and they graduate him to the triple step, which is hard at first with the right-left-right and the left-right-left, but as soon as Dave stops thinking the words and just feels the music, it becomes easy. And then Blaine takes Dave's hands and whisks him across the floor and spins them both until Dave is too dizzy to continue, so Blaine grabs Kurt and they flip over each other's backs so many times that the guys at the bar put down their drinks and start whistling through their fingers and Dave does, too. They go for the whole song like that until Blaine is drenched with sweat and giggling.  He walks to the bar for a glass of water, and Kurt turns around and takes Dave's hands and bellows, "Your turn!"

And it's so easy – easy to hold Kurt's hands and easy to look into his eyes and easy to laugh with him and easy to find the same rhythm. It's easy to let Kurt roll over his back, to feel their weight shifting, their muscles rolling together and apart and back together again. It's easy to hold Kurt and not let him fall.

They dance and dance and dance and Blaine comes back with, like, five dudes from the bar and gets them all lined up and he's standing in front of them, demonstrating the steps, and pretty soon the dance floor is filled with people and Blaine takes turns dancing with every one of them and Kurt just keeps dancing with Dave.

Dave does not object.

All three of them dance until they're sweaty and breathless, a bit dehydrated and a lot starving.

The food is crap at this bar. They go to IHOP.

They eat omelets and Nutella crepes and buttermilk pancakes and drink lots of water and more coffee than one should at 10 p.m. because, every time they empty their carafe, the waitress just brings a new one. They laugh at jokes that really aren't that creative, and Blaine makes a portrait of Mr. Schue from a pancake, bits of egg, a pat of butter, some blueberries, and a generous sprinkling of Splenda. The resemblance is actually quite startling.

Kurt isn't sure if Blaine is giddier from the beer or the coffee. Blaine starts singing wimoweh, wimoweh, wimoweh and gets sweetly petulant when Kurt refuses to join in with In the jungle, the quiet jungle, even though the waitress says she accepts serenades. Kurt wants to sing – his heart is bursting with it – but not for a restaurant of people who may not understand. So they pay the bill and Kurt takes Blaine's hand and Dave follows them and the waitress says, "Come back again," with a delighted smile. The busboy doesn't look as charmed, but they don't concern themselves with him.

Kurt drives them down to the river and Blaine gets his "Lion Sleeps Tonight." Dave joins in on the wimoweh, voice smooth and rich like a just-ripe avocado, becoming louder and more confident with each refrain. Neither of them have ever heard Dave sing before and this is – wholly unexpected. How much has he been hiding?

The image that comes to Blaine's mind is one he's never actually seen, but imagined dozens, maybe hundreds of times during Sunday school lessons: an oil lamp burning brightly until a pair of hands lowers an inverted bushel basket over it. And then, just before the flame suffocates from lack of oxygen, another pair of hands coming along and removing the basket. The weakened flame flickering, wavering, then bursting back into full light.

It's clear that Dave can more than handle the wimowehs. They resonate in Blaine's chest almost more than his own voice. So as Kurt starts the solo, Blaine wanders off to weave trills and owehoheh, wehohumbawehs through the other two voices. He goes wherever the music leads.

They sing and sing and sing, and soon they are tossing parts around like beanbags, and as they get out of the car at the edge of the river, Dave and Blaine agree that the talent is stacked in Kurt's favor, because not only is he the best of the three at the high notes – no surprise there, even Kurt concedes that – but also the trills and the owehohehs and – "Oh my god, Kurt, do that sound again!"

"Yes, yes! The one with your tongue! What's it called again? Ululating?" Blaine bounces on the balls of his feet.

Kurt's blush is invisible in the moonlight. He rolls his eyes, inhales deeply, and thrusts his tongue out between his lips, waggling it rapidly as he lets out a high-pitched shrill. His tongue starts to tingle within five seconds.

The other two boys watch him studiously before sticking out their tongues in an effort to recreate the noise. They fail spectacularly.

"No, not lalalalalala. It's more like – " He tries to think of a metaphor that they will both understand. "What's that punching bag called, that small one that you hang up above your head and it bounces back at you when you hit it?"

"A speed bag?" Dave says.

Kurt looks at Blaine, who nods. "Yeah. Well, it's like that. Your tongue's like the speed bag."

Blaine and Dave try again, and do not fail quite so spectacularly this time.

Kurt drags a blanket out of the back of the car and spreads it on a patch of scraggly grass on the bank as Blaine and Dave keep trying to ululate. They would probably improve a lot more quickly if they didn't keep looking at themselves in the car’s sideview mirrors and laughing.

"Why do we look like dorks when we're doing this?" Blaine protests, throwing his arm around Dave's shoulders and pulling him toward the blanket. "Kurt does it and it's so hot."

"Because Kurt is magic and we, apparently, are not," Dave grunts between guffaws.

"I refuse to believe I can't be magic." Blaine lets go of Dave's shoulder and crumples down onto the blanket, settling his head in Kurt's lap. Dave remains standing.

"You're each magic in your own way," Kurt says, tracing his fingers around Blaine's hairline and making eye contact with Dave.

Dave smiles and looks away.

He wanders off – not far, but too far (anything further than the blanket's edge seems too far to Kurt) — and squats down occasionally to pick a stone from the ground and skip it across the water. Well, it sounds like they might be skipping; Kurt can't really see how far they get in the dark.

Kurt listens to Blaine's breath slowing from his laughter, to the whirring and moaning of the narrow passage of water below. The river – really more the size of a creek, but everyone calls it a river these days because back when they called it a creek, people thought that meant it was okay to use it as a sewage dump – is always better in the dark. Tonight, the nearly full moon makes it pale and luminous. One can't see how brown and muddy the waters really are; it's easier now to think of them as the metaphor for renewal that water is supposed to be.

"Oh, no," Blaine mutters.

"What, dearest?" Kurt looks down at Blaine's face, chiaroscuro in the moonlight.

"I'm so conflicted," Blaine says, but he doesn't really sound all that troubled. "I could stay in your lap, or I could skip stones with Dave. I love it when you hold me, and I love to skip stones."

"You don't go to the river every day, but you see me every day."

"I never see you nearly enough."

Kurt bends down to kiss Blaine, their noses brushing against each other's chins. Kurt is surprised by how different it feels from how they usually kiss – Blaine's stubble scratching at the tip of his nose – and how familiar.

He pulls away, just enough to hover his eyes above Blaine's. "We probably shouldn't start making out in front of Dave," he murmurs, placing a kiss to Blaine's temple.

"Oh, I bet Dave would love it," Blaine whispers with a conspiratorial wink. "I bet we could get him to join in."

The familiar heat spreads from Kurt's cheeks to the edges of his ears. He pushes Blaine gently up from his lap, pretending to be annoyed, before Blaine can feel the bulge growing there. "Go throw stones."

"Skip stones," Blaine says. "I'm a master of all kinds of skipping." And to illustrate his point, he skips over to the parking lot to gather his own cache of rocks, skips about as he scoops them into his hands and pockets, and skips back to the bank to join Dave.

They throw in silence at first, all their concentration focused on the release of rocks from their hands, on the slight changes in their posture and the alignment of their arm muscles that affect how far, how smoothly they can throw. Of course, they can only see where the stones skip or sink about a third of the time, given the large swaths of shadow that the trees cast on the water's surface. It doesn't seem to affect the earnestness of their efforts.

"Good one!" Blaine calls out when one of Dave's stones makes it almost to the other bank before sinking in a soft patch of moonlight near the shore.

"Are you sure that wasn't yours?" Dave says. "I can't really track them through all these shadows."

"No, I didn't throw anything just now." Blaine tosses one of his own stones then, but he messes up the spin and it goes hurtling down, splashing with a loud plunk into the river.

Dave flings another across the water. "I don't know. I think that one you threw earlier went a lot farther."

Blaine shakes his head. "No, that was just a trick of the light."

Kurt shifts on the blanket, curling his legs underneath him and tilting forward toward the boys. "What is it with you two? Neither of you can take a compliment."

They both turn to him, shaking the pebbles absentmindedly back and forth in their hands. Their faces are illuminated by the moonlight and he almost laughs when he sees how both of them have their eyebrows furrowed in stunned curiosity. They're like identical twins who look absolutely nothing alike.

"That's not true," says Blaine. "When Mr. Schue tells me I've done a good job, I thank him."

"That's because you're being polite, not because you believe him," Kurt retorts.

Blaine shrugs. "Well, yeah, but – well, his opinion isn't exactly the most important. I mean, he hardly ever gives you a solo, and you're so much better than me."

Kurt hops up, smiling, and steps toward Blaine. "I think you just illustrated my point exactly."

"But it's true. You are." Blaine glances down at Kurt's feet.

Kurt wraps an arm around Blaine's waist and pulls him to his side. "We are both equally awesome, in different ways," he says, and lays a brief kiss to Blaine's cheek.

"If you say so," Blaine mumbles sheepishly, but Kurt hears a smile in his voice.

"And you – " Kurt says, letting go of Blaine and turning toward Dave.

Dave looks over his shoulder like he's hoping Kurt is talking to someone else.

"I have never heard you accept a compliment from anyone," Kurt says.

Dave shrugs it off. "You've never heard anyone compliment me."

"You're so full of it. Chandler was trying to talk his way into your pants last weekend.” Kurt realizes that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but Chandler did pile flattering words on Dave, and Dave didn’t respond to a single one. “And those guys that fawn over you at Scandals —"

"They're not fawning. They're just – "

Blaine interrupts. "Oh, that football player from Bluffton was totally fawning. He'd, like, marry you."

Dave shuffles his feet and looks down. "Well, I'm not exactly ready to get married. And I still don't think that's legal in Ohio. And I don't – I don't really know anything about love, anyway."

Kurt crosses his arms. "So are you telling me you can take a compliment if it's not from some Mennonite football player who wants to marry you?"

Dave looks up at Kurt and smirks. It's almost flirtatious. It may be a challenge. "I might," Dave says.

Kurt starts pacing back and forth in front of Dave, as if he's a prosecutor and Dave is the accused on the witness stand. "Fine, then," Kurt says, turning on his heels and stepping toward Dave, stopping two feet in front of him. Kurt looks him in the eye and why, when Kurt does that, does Dave always feel like he's looking up at Kurt, even though he's looking down?

"You, David Karofsky," Kurt starts, "have one of the most beautifully expressive pairs of eyebrows this side of the Mississippi."

Dave’s heart starts to crack. "No, I don't," he says. "They make me look like Liberace."

"Strike one!" Blaine shouts gleefully from behind Kurt.

Kurt rolls his eyes. "Blaine, you're not supposed to be happy when he fails to take a compliment."

"But it makes me feel better. 'Cause I'm not the only one." He steps toward Dave with his fist stretched out. "Give me a fist-bump, bro."

Dave complies.

Blaine bounces on his toes like a kindergartener waiting to sit on Santa's lap. "Okay, my turn," he says.  "Dave, you have a great ass."

"Oh, Jesus," Dave groans. "Now you're just making fun of me."

Blaine is stricken. "No. I'm completely serious. It's round but it's firm and muscley, and when you wear your football uniform, it's just – "

"Okay, you can stop now," Dave says.

"He's completely sincere," Kurt says. "He's mentioned it to me more than once." It's hard to tell in the waxen blue of the moonlight, but Kurt's pretty sure he sees Dave blushing.

"You two are trying to kill me, aren't you?" Dave turns, tossing the few pebbles in his hand out like confetti over the water.

"No," Kurt says, shaking his head slowly. "It's just that a lot of people have told you you're not … beautiful. And amazing. And they'll keep telling you you're not. And …"

"They're liars," Blaine says.

"Every single one of them," Kurt says, taking Blaine's hand and stepping in closer, resting his free hand right above Dave's heart. "You're one of the strongest people I know."

Dave has to look away. His body will unravel if he doesn't. He looks toward the river that's not even a river, just a rust-colored creek that people call a river because they want it to be something more than it is. "Don't – " he murmurs.

He feels a hand on his, and he immediately knows it's Blaine's.

"It's true," Blaine says. Dave looks at him. "You could have kept running away from yourself, running away from everybody. But you stopped running."

Dave smirks, steps back from Kurt's touch, from Blaine's hand. "Which brings us right back to me running away from friendly guys who flirt with me."

Kurt wraps his hand around Dave's forearm and pulls him to the blanket, Blaine at their side. "So I guess I was right that you can't take a compliment," Kurt says. "Somehow it feels like a hollow victory."

The three of them settle down, Blaine offering Kurt his lap as a pillow. Kurt lies down on his side, his cheek warm against Blaine's thigh. He's facing Dave, who's cross-legged, and begins to fiddle with Dave's shoelaces.

"I don't know." Dave looks away, toward the river. The light of the moon catches in his hair, making it glow soft and blue. "I think there might be hope for me."

Kurt's heart catches. "Yeah?"

"Yeah." Dave looks down at Kurt. "When I'm with you guys, I feel like – like there's still a chance for me to become a real person."

Kurt sits up and takes Dave's hand. (They're all connected, now, with Kurt's hand around Dave's and Blaine's hand moving down Kurt's back in soothing arcs.) "I'm glad, Dave." He smiles – a smile so wide and tinged with so much sadness that it breaks Dave's heart. "But I think – I think you already are."

"Why are you sad, then?" Dave says, without really thinking, because it's so hard to think when Kurt looks at him that way.

Kurt swallows hard, his Adam's apple bobbing in the moonlight. "Because you don't know it."

"I'll try to know it, then." Dave wonders if that's too much like a confession. But it's too late. He's said it.

And Kurt – he doesn't cower away. He rubs lazy circles on Dave's hand and the darkness disappears from his smile. It's all silver lining now.

They gaze at each other for a lingering moment and Dave doesn't know what it means, but that doesn't worry him. He's happy and Kurt looks happy and Blaine looks happy, kissing Kurt gently on the neck and whispering something that makes Kurt blush – yes, even in the darkness, Dave is sure that was a blush – and smile even more broadly, and then Blaine is over next to Dave, wrapping his arm around Dave's back and leaning his head against his shoulder. "You two are the best," Blaine says. "I love you both so much."

* * *

The drive home is quiet – no singing, this time, just the hum of the engine and whistling of the wind against the windows. Blaine insisted that Dave take the front seat – "You have longer legs than I do, anyway, I don't know what I was thinking before, sitting up there" – which seemed like a ridiculous reason to Dave, given that they're riding in an SUV. Every time Dave looks in the rearview mirror, he sees Blaine's contented smile.

Mostly, Dave looks out at the road ahead of them or, sometimes, when he's feeling as brave as his two friends think he is, he looks at Kurt, at the shadow and light playing over his face and chest and arms. At the first stoplight, Kurt looks in the rearview mirror and smiles at Blaine, then turns and smiles at Dave in a way so open and genuine it makes Dave want to kiss the tops of Kurt's feet. He wonders what Kurt sees in him that he could smile at him like this. But there it is, on Kurt's face.

When the light turns green and Kurt starts the car up again, Dave turns around.

Blaine looks a lot like he does when he's drunk – ebullient and buzzing – but more so, even though he can't still be drunk by now. Dave only saw him have a few drinks at Scandals, and the last one must have been three hours ago.

Blaine keeps his smile-squinted eyes on Dave's, and Dave thinks those eyes are trying to tell him something, but he doesn't quite catch their meaning.

Kurt drops Blaine off first, because Dave lives closer to Kurt and because Blaine asked him to. When Kurt pulls into the driveway, Blaine unbuckles his belt and leans forward toward Dave, squeezing his shoulder. "You're awesome," Blaine says. "I'm so glad we all became friends."

Kurt steps out of the car with Blaine and they walk to the front door, hands clasped and swinging between them. They linger under the porchlight, leaning close so that their foreheads almost touch, something shy and conspiratorial in the hunch of their shoulders and the broadness of their smiles.

They finally kiss. It's not the deepest or the longest kiss Dave has seen between them, but there's still something electric about it, the way they seem to meld into each other, giving and expecting nothing in return.

Blaine opens the door and enters the house backward, facing Kurt for as long as he can and still talking. Whatever he says elicits a love-punch to the upper arm from Kurt. Blaine feigns wounding, but Kurt just grabs him by the lapels and gives him a quick peck on the cheek or lips – Dave can't tell because the back of Kurt's head blocks the view – and then turns back to the car, calling goodbye after him.

"I'll call you when I get home," Kurt hollers as he swings the driver-side door open.

"I'll wait up as long as it takes," Blaine calls back, and Dave thinks he sees Kurt shoot a glare at Blaine, but he blinks and it's gone.

"Sorry for the wait," Kurt says when he steps back into the driver's seat.

"No," Dave says. "That was hardly a wait."

Kurt turns on the ignition.

"Anyway, I figure it must be hard to say goodbye to him at all."

Kurt looks at Dave, his brow lifted in surprise. "It is." A teasing smile spreads across his face. "And you say you don't know anything about love."

Dave looks away as the car backs out, pretending that the budding bushes that line the Anderson driveway are the most interesting thing he's ever seen, even though they're the exact same kind that skirt the periphery of his backyard. "I know a little, I guess," he says.

"Like what?" Kurt says. It's just above a whisper.

"That I'd be lucky someday to have even half of what you guys have," Dave says.

Kurt pats Dave's knee. "You will," he says. "You'll have more than that. I know you will."

They drive the rest of the way to Dave's house in the same comfortable silence that suffused the car before Blaine got out. Well, not quite the same. There's something heavier permeating it, something asking to be spoken. But Dave can't speak it, because he's not even sure that the words for what it is exist.

"11:47," Kurt says when he pulls up in front of Dave's house. "Thirteen minutes before this coach turns into a pumpkin."

"I won't keep you then." Dave unbuckles his seatbelt and turns toward the door.

Kurt touches his arm. "It's only five minutes to my house from here. You can keep me for a little while. If you want."

Dave stops, stares at his own fingers curling around the door handle. He's pretty sure his heart has stopped, too – except then, he's sure it hasn't, because it's pounding against his sternum.

He turns to Kurt, who's looking at him in a way he can't quite decipher. Dave wants to say I do want to keep you, but he can't figure out how that fits with I want Blaine to keep you forever, for you to keep each other forever.

"I – " Dave starts. "Thank you for tonight. For dancing with me tonight. I haven't let myself dance in a long time."

"You're a natural." Kurt smiles, He's still holding on to Dave's arm, his thumb rubbing lightly against the sleeve of Dave's shirt. When Kurt's hand stills, Dave wonders if Kurt can feel the blood and adrenaline pounding through the muscles there. "And Dave – "

But Kurt stops right there, watching Dave's face as is asking for permission to continue.

Of course he has permission. He has Dave's permission to do anything he wants.

"What?" Dave says, finally.

"You've spent a long time not letting yourself do the things you want. You can, now."

"I – " Dave's about to say I know, except that he doesn't know. So instead, Dave says, "Okay."

"Okay," Kurt echoes. His hand is still on Dave's arm, resting there like it's found its niche. There is something flickering through the muscles of Kurt's face, making his eyes blink. Kurt's eyes wander Dave's face and Dave feels – He doesn't know what he feels.

Kurt doesn't look away, and a minute, two minutes must pass that way, just looking at each other – mostly at each other's eyes, though sometimes Kurt's flicker to Dave's forehead, or his chin. Dave thinks he should feel self-conscious, but instead he feels seen.

Like Kurt knows who Dave is, and is expecting something because of that, but won't demand it. That he'll wait for it, patiently, for as long as it takes.

Dave wishes he knew what it was. The thing Dave wants it to be – he knows it's not possible. Not when Dave is Dave, and Kurt is so well-loved by Blaine.

"I guess I should – " Dave starts, and it's like a blast in the silence. "I guess I should let you go."

Kurt's hand falls away. "For now. But – " Kurt bites his lower lip. "We'll see each other soon."

Dave tries to find the door handle without looking away from Kurt's eyes, but he can't. So he turns away, unlatches the door and steps out.

"And Dave – "

Dave turns to look at him. The cabin light has turned on – of course it's turned on, Dave just opened the door. So why does it catch him by surprise to see Kurt in the full light, make his breath catch in his throat to see the rosy flush across Kurt's lips and cheeks? It's probably been there the whole time, at least since Kurt came back into the car at Blaine's house – a residue of that amorous goodbye.

Dave tries to say Yeah?, but it comes out more as a gasp.

"Thank you," Kurt says.

Dave's still not sure he can speak, so he raises his eyebrows.

"For tonight. And for everything. And –" Dave thinks Kurt's face gets a little pinker "– I meant every word I said at the river. I want you to know that."

The only word Dave can squeak out of his mouth is, "Oh," which probably sounds stupider than saying nothing at all. He's pretty sure his own face is bright red by now; a feverish burn flares across his cheekbones and spreads over his ears.

"Goodnight," Kurt says, his smile reaching his eyes. "Don't be a stranger."

"I won't, Kurt. I won't." Dave lets himself stare just a bit longer, try to memorize this moment – its weight and tenor and the way his heart clutches in his chest. "Goodnight."

He forces himself to turn then, to walk up the garden path to his front door. His hands are shaking and he fumbles with the key, but he manages to get it into the lock on the third try, waving over his shoulder at Kurt as he turns the handle.

He doesn't dare turn around, in case Kurt's not watching him.

He lets the weight of his body sink against the door as he closes it behind him. The dark of the sleeping house cradles him.

Dave tells himself that the loss he's feeling right now isn't a tenth as bad as what Kurt and Blaine must feel every time they say goodbye. He has no idea how he would ever survive it.

* * *

Kurt starts dialing Blaine's number as soon as he's in his room. He doesn't even turn the light on first. "I wish you were here," he says as soon as he hears Blaine's voice, before he even starts unlacing his boots.

"I take it you're not making out with Dave right now?"

"You're so crass." Kurt rolls his eyes, forgetting Blaine can't see him. "I didn't try anything with Dave."

"But you wanted to."

Kurt undoes the knot at the top of his left boot with a practiced tug. "Yes," he says. He holds the phone up to his ear with his shoulder so he can loosen the lace from the eyelets with both hands.

"So why didn't you?" Blaine says.

Kurt slips the boot from his foot. "You’re his best friend, Blaine. I don't want him to think that I'm trying to cheat on you or something."

"You could never cheat on me with him, Kurt. It wouldn't be cheating at all."

"Well, he hasn't been privy to any of our conversations on the topic." Kurt works thoughtfully at the laces of his second boot. "If you’re serious about this, we should look at that book again. I mean, to figure out what to do next. I don't want to put him in an awkward position."

"Really? I’d like to see you put him in a lot of awkward positions. I think he'd enjoy it. I certainly would."

"Blaine." Kurt tries to sound stern, but it's difficult when he's stifling a giggle. He gives in. "Which awkward positions?"

"All of them." Blaine's breath is jagged on the other end of the phone line, and Kurt wonders if he's already started to touch himself.

"Is that so?" Kurt tugs off his second boot and sets it on the floor.

"I – You haven't even kissed him, Kurt. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself to think about that."

"Oh, come on." Kurt undoes the top buttons of his vest. "I thought about lots of things with you before we'd even kissed."

"Like what?"

"Hands, mostly." Kurt shirks his vest off and hangs it over his desk chair.

"Kurt." Blaine sighs heavily.

"Blaine, take your hands off your cock. I'm not even undressed yet."

"My hands weren't on my cock."

Kurt sinks to his bed, lightheaded from the image that appears before his eyes.

"And," Blaine continues, "I still have my briefs on, so I'm not entirely jumping the gun."

"They must barely be on if you can reach that far." Kurt tugs his socks off with his toes.

"They're still on, though."

"Which ones are you wearing?"

"The blue ones with the diagonal stripes."

"That meet in a ‘v’ in the front?”

”Yes.”

”Those are hot.”

”Why thank you.”

”Take them off."

"Yes, sir."

Kurt pulls his Henley over his head in one swift motion and drops it to the floor. He lies back on the bed – the pillows still smell of Blaine from where he napped here this afternoon – one hand holding his phone to his ear, the other undoing his belt and pants in quick succession.

"Kurt?"

"Yes?"

"Have you made any progress in getting your clothes off?"

"Almost done. Jeans are coming off right ... now."

"Kurt?"

"Yeah?"

"What about your briefs?"

Kurt blushes. It always flummoxes him that he'll blush when Blaine can't even see him. "I didn't wear any tonight."

"God, Kurt," Blaine groans. "Let me touch myself again."

"You have my permission." Kurt relaxes into the bed and grabs a hold of his cock, and it's Blaine stroking him. "But it actually turned out to be a tad shortsighted. I leaked a little precome on them thanks to all your dirty-talking. Those are expensive jeans, Blaine."

"I'll get you a new pair, Kurt. And the ones you had on tonight – never wash them. Just give them to me and I'll – " Blaine gasps.

"And you'll what?"

"I don't know. Keep them in my bed next to me. Smell them. Put them on an altar and pray to them."

"Your mom would love that."

"They're a relic. It's totally orthodox to venerate relics of the saints."

Kurt lets out a guffaw that turns into a delighted chuckle on the upstroke.

"I wish you were here," Blaine says.

Heat surges in Kurt’s lower belly. "Blaine?"

"Yeah?"

"Tell me what you're doing."

"Mmmm … My legs are open for you and I – I'm teasing my hole the way you do with your tongue. It's – It's delicious, Kurt."

"Wait, how are you –? You don't have me on speakerphone, do you?" Kurt feels the redness return to his face.

"No, I have my earbuds in."

"Oh, good idea." Kurt sits up and rifles through the nook in the wall that serves as his nightstand. "I must have left mine downstairs. Guess I'll have to go one-handed. Which is –" He settles back against the pillows and lets himself feel, thinks of Blaine's hands and what they're doing right now, what they do to Kurt when they're together. "Which is pretty awesome, actually."

"Kurt – tell me. Were you hard before you called me?"

"Yeah."

"For how long?"

"On and off all night. When I was kissing you at the bar, and when you were teasing me at the river, and when –” The heat rises in Kurt’s face again. “When we were in the car and Dave was looking at me and you were looking at him –"

"Oh, that was hot. It was so raw and –” Blaine lets out a tense, breathy moan. “I love to watch him look at you."

"Fuck, Blaine." Kurt's hand twists on his cock just the way Blaine likes to do.

"And he hasn't even seen you naked yet. He hasn't seen your cock and – Kurt – have I told you lately how much I love your cock? And the skin right near the tip? Touch it for me."

Kurt does.

"He would be such a good lover to you, Kurt."

"I’m – oh," Kurt says breathily.

"Tell me what you wanted to do to him tonight."

"I wanted to – I wanted to kiss him. Maybe just on the cheek at first."

"I wish you had."

"Why?" Kurt traces his fingers lower, whispering them against his balls, pretending they're Blaine's tongue.

"You know why, Kurt."

"I – I’m not sure I do."

"Because I love you both and I know you care about him, and I know you would like it. He would be so, so good to you. You would feel how much he needs you and … and how much I love you, and I would – oh god. You guys make me feel things." Blaine moans quietly, the shape of the sound not unlike when they're together and Kurt's shoulder is too far away to bite, so Blaine clamps his teeth down on his own lower lip, instead. "Tell me. How hard was it not to kiss him tonight? After you dropped me off?"

Kurt draws his finger over his slit, picking up the drop of wetness there, pictures Blaine lapping at it with the tip of his tongue. His hips rise off the bed of their own accord. "He kept – he kept blushing, Blaine, and it made his skin so – alive. It was – It was hard not to touch him."

"So did you touch him?" Blaine's voice is ragged.

"His arm. His knee. And I – I looked at him. We looked at each other for … a while. It was – " Kurt sees Dave's eyes, feels Blaine's hand on his cock, gripping more mercilessly, willing him toward ecstasy. "He wants me."

"Of course he does, Kurt. He'd be crazy – oh fuck me – he'd be crazy not to."

"Tell me what you're doing."

"Your finger's inside me, Kurt. It feels really – fuck. I love thinking about you two together."

Kurt shudders. "Touch your cock and tell me – tell me everything."

"I think he wants – god, Kurt – I think he wants you to teach him what sex is."

"Oh fuck.”

”And I want you to teach him. I want you to fuck his mouth and his cock and – and I want him to feel you and I want to watch your face, and I want – I want to watch you make him fall apart. Do you – do you want that?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me, Kurt. Tell me what you want.”

”I want – I want you to show him how you touch me and then to – I want – oh fuck – I want to fuck him. I want to fuck his cock and see what he looks like when he's about to come. I want to be the one doing that to him. I – "

"Kurt, I'm gonna – "

"I want it so bad. I want you so bad. I want – "

"I'm yours, Kurt, I'm – "

Kurt hears the teeth-clenched groan, sees Blaine's face, the beads of sweat that always break from his brow when he comes. When Kurt spills over his own hand, he feels it as Blaine on him.

They don't say anything at first. But they can hear each other through their phones, the soft laughter and the slowing of breath.

"Kurt, that was – " Blaine starts after a minute. "That was … amazing."

Kurt’s heart feels big enough to hold him and Blaine both inside. "You're amazing, Blaine."

"Mmmm, no. You are."

"We all are."

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