“You wanted to see me, Mr. Lambert?”
Blaine was wearing a cheery red and gray striped sweater vest pulled on over his Dalton-issued shirt and slacks, his blazer draped casually over his arm, as he pushed open the door to Adam’s office and stepped inside, closing the door carefully. He turned to face Adam with a smile, his dark eyes wide and bright and innocent.
Again, Adam felt the intense desire to wipe that false innocence from the boy’s face with his fist – but he resisted. Giving in to the impulse to make Blaine pay for how deeply he’d hurt Kurt could only result in more trouble for all concerned – and least of all for Blaine.
No, there were wiser ways of dealing with situations like this.
“Have a seat.”
Adam nodded toward the chair across from his, waiting until Blaine was seated, his blazer hung neatly across the back of his chair, before rising to his feet and coming around the desk to lean against it, only a few feet remaining between him and the boy with the confident gaze and the questioningly raised brow.
“We need to talk.”
Blaine blinked in apparent confusion, his expression still bemused, the hint of a smile on his lips. “Okay. About what?”
Blaine’s smile fell from his lips, but his dark eyes sparkled with a malicious glint of amusement. “My ex-boyfriend?” He paused, his measured tone going cold. “How, in any universe you can imagine, is that any of your business?”
Unfazed, Adam observed quietly, “You’ve had a lot of boyfriends at Dalton, haven’t you, Blaine?”
“Are you calling me a slut, Mr. Lambert?” Blaine’s eyes were wide with false, exaggerated dismay. “Because that would be incredibly inappropriate. In fact – I’m pretty sure everything about this conversation so far is incredibly inappropriate.”
“No,” Adam replied, his words measured and calm. “What’s inappropriate is you trying to take advantage of a vulnerable underclassman, then spreading rumors to humiliate him when he refuses to let you do it.”
Blaine just silently held Adam’s gaze for a long moment – and then his appraising expression slowly shifted into a smug smile. His voice was quiet, almost secretive, when at last he replied.
“Oh, Kurt didn’t refuse to let me do anything, Mr. Lambert.” Blaine hesitated just a moment, glancing away, as if still undecided as to exactly how far he wanted to take this – and then added with a subtly defiant upward tilt of his chin as he met Adam’s eyes again, “In fact, he was all too eager to give it up. Of course, ‘skills’ like his, you’d have to give away.”
Adam glared down at the boy, resisting the impulse to lash out in defense of his friend. With an effort, he managed to restrict his response to words alone.
“You’re not fooling anyone, Blaine. I know Kurt.” Adam paused a moment before adding softly, “And I know you.”
“Yeah.” Blaine’s eyes narrowed over a cold smile. “You know Kurt really well, don’t you? In fact, that’s why I’m here, isn’t it? Jealousy is very unattractive on you, you know.”
“I’m not jealous of you!” Adam spat out, his voice rising with anger. “I’m worried about the vulnerable, innocent boys you keep targeting!”
Blaine rolled his eyes. “I haven’t done anything to anyone,” he scoffed.
“Tyler is dead because of you!” Adam snarled, standing up straight, towering over Blaine.
Blaine didn’t even flinch, his legs crossed casually, elbows resting on the arms of the chair as he replied without hesitation. “He’s dead because he was the kind of idiot who allows a single relationship to determine his self-worth. I broke up with him. That’s all. So how is it my fault if he decided that meant his life wasn’t worth living anymore?”
Adam closed his eyes for a moment, fighting back the hot sensation of frustrated anger building up in his chest at Blaine’s gross simplification of their shared history. “That’s not what happened…”
Blaine continued as if he hadn’t spoken. “I didn’t make that choice for him. I didn’t make Kurt’s choices, either. You’re just pissed off that he chose to give it up to me…” Blaine’s face twisted into an ugly sneer. “… and he didn’t tell you all the delicious details.”
The twisted accusation in Blaine’s words made Adam feel sick, as his frustration mounted at Blaine’s utter unflappability, his casual dismissal when faced with his own guilt. It didn’t matter, though. Adam should have known by now, he realized, that there was no way he was getting through to Blaine. He still had a chance to help Kurt, though, and he was going to do everything in his power to do so.
“Here it is, Blaine,” he snapped, refusing to so much as acknowledge Blaine’s baiting words. “I’m just going to lay it out for you. You’re going to stop talking about Kurt.”
Blaine raised his eyebrows, clearly amused, but said nothing.
“You’re going to tell your friends that you lied. And you’re going to stay the fuck away from him – or I will see that you regret it.”
“Are you threatening me?” Blaine replied slowly, incredulously. “Because you can’t punish me. I haven’t broken any rules…”
“Who said anything about punishment?” Adam shot back, a grim smile coming over his face as he shrugged slightly and leaned back against his desk. “Maybe I’ll just make the executive decision that it’s time for the Warblers to branch out a little… start showcasing some of their more underused talent...” Just in case Blaine was missing his point, Adam stated it a bit more clearly, holding the boy’s gaze and taking an admittedly petty enjoyment in watching its smugness give way to a very real apprehension. “… Maybe it’s time for them to start giving someone else a chance at all those solos they keep giving to you for every single performance.”
“You… you can’t do that!” Blaine sputtered at last, rising to his feet as Adam casually moved around the desk to take his seat again. “You have no right…”
“Actually,” Adam cut him off with quiet authority, “that sign on my door says I do.” He picked up a pen from his desk and pointedly positioned it over a form he’d finished filling out hours ago. “That will be all, Blaine. I have work to do.”
“We’re done here, Mr. Anderson. Now get out of my office.”
Blaine stood there for a moment, his jaw set with stubborn resentment, fist clenched at his side, and Adam almost hoped he’d refuse to obey, and give Adam a reason to mete out some actual disciplinary action – but unfortunately, Blaine was smarter than that. After a few tense moments, Blaine’s fist slowly unclenched with a visible effort, and he turned toward the door, his movements stiff and choppy with anger.
“Yes, sir,” he muttered in a voice that was low and seething, before almost-but-not-quite slamming the door behind him.
Adam couldn’t suppress a smile of satisfaction as he collected his things and prepared to go home for the day.
Maybe now, when Kurt got back to Dalton, he’d find it a far more welcoming, comfortable place to be.
Burt Hummel glanced at the clock above the office door and sighed with relief as he stepped through said door, grabbing a rag from the shelf and wiping his hands clean before sitting down behind his desk and preparing to close out the garage’s books for the day. The day had been longer than usual, as he’d tried his best to focus on his work, and keep his mind off what was going on at home.
Of course, he’d failed miserably.
For the first time in quite a while, Kurt had unexpectedly come home for the weekend.
He’d walked through the front door on Friday evening, dropped his bags on the living room floor, and immediately given his startled father a tight, almost desperate hug. He didn’t let go for a long time, just tightening his grip and hiding his face against Burt’s shoulder when Burt had finally, cautiously attempted to pull away.
“You okay, kiddo?” Burt asked, but Kurt didn’t answer, and to his dismay, Burt could feel his son trembling, knew that although he was completely silent, Kurt was crying.
Eventually, Burt led Kurt to the sofa, and they sat there a while, Kurt’s head leaned against Burt’s shoulder as he sniffled quietly every now and then, but didn’t answer Burt’s concerned questions. Finally, all Burt could do was just give up and simply wait until Kurt was ready to talk.
When Kurt did, Burt’s blood began to boil as he listened to Kurt’s story of how Blaine had broken his heart, leaving him confused and devastated and desperately hurting. Kurt told his father that there was another boy, and that Blaine hadn’t given him any warning, had simply dropped him in favor of someone else, and then proceeded to spread rumors about Kurt all over Dalton.
Somehow, Burt felt that there was more to the story than that, but he didn’t push. Kurt seemed to be having a hard enough time talking about it already. Regardless of what exactly he was holding back, Kurt seemed to feel better after pouring it all out to his dad; the last thing Burt wanted to do was to make Kurt feel like he couldn’t talk freely to him.
But now, he was sitting at home alone – and Burt just wanted to get back to him and make sure he was all right.
The bell over the main entrance to the garage rang at just after five, when he was finishing up the last of his paperwork, and Burt’s heart sank. He immediately began trying to think of the quickest way to get rid of whoever had just walked through his door without coming across as rude.
When he saw who it was, however, any concern about courtesy vanished from his mind.
The last person he had expected to see was the dark-haired boy in the Dalton blazer whose framed picture currently adorned the wall of Kurt’s bedroom.
“Mr. Hummel?” The boy gave Burt a disarming smile, his head ducked self-consciously as he took a hesitant step into Burt’s office. “I’m Blaine Anderson. Do you – have a minute? I’d like to talk to you.”
“About what?” Burt carefully kept his tone neutral, though he was a bit more forceful with the papers he was shoving back into the filing cabinet than was strictly necessary. He took a breath and reined it in, well aware that if he allowed his anger to show, it’d only let Blaine know how badly he’d managed to hurt Kurt – and Burt wasn’t willing to give him that satisfaction. “You broke up with Kurt a few days ago, right? So what have we got to talk about?”
“Actually, no,” Blaine replied, and Burt looked up with a frown. “Mr. Hummel…” Blaine’s dark eyes were sad and troubled. “… Kurt broke up with me.”
“Really.” Burt studied the boy closely. “That so.”
“Yeah,” Blaine continued, nodding as he looked up at Burt with a pleading expression in his eyes. “Just – out of the blue. He wouldn’t even tell me why, but… but I think I know. And – and I’m worried about him, Mr. Hummel.”
Blaine was staring down at his feet, one arm crossed protectively over his chest as he bit his lip and shifted uneasily back and forth. Burt’s frown deepened; this didn’t seem like the self-assured playboy brat that Kurt had described. But Kurt had no reason to lie to him; Kurt didn’t lie to him, in fact. Ever.
“Why?” Burt demanded, fixing his suspicious glare on the boy in front of him, feeling a sharp sense of satisfaction when Blaine flinched slightly under his gaze, looking away. “What is there to worry about?”
Blaine was quiet for a long moment, drawing in a deep, shaky breath before meeting Burt’s eyes again. “Mr. Hummel…” His voice was soft and hesitant. “I – I hate to even bring this up. It – it might be nothing. But – well – have you met our music instructor? Mr. Lambert?”
Monday morning found Adam in his office, getting ready for the week ahead of him – and trying not to think about Kurt, and how his weekend at home had gone, and how he was doing. After all that he’d been through in the past week, it was a good thing, Adam knew, for Kurt to return to more familiar territory, to the comfort and security of his family, and try to regain his bearings.
And maybe when he comes back, he’ll understand a little better why we had to end things. Maybe all he needs to level his head is a good talk with his dad…
Adam frowned, suddenly uneasy as it suddenly occurred to him to wonder just what all that “good talk” might entail.
Kurt wouldn’t tell his dad about… about us… Adam winced, immediately guilty at that thought. Not that he shouldn’t tell his dad… it’s not like he has to keep this a secret, if it’s hurting him, if it’s one of the things he has to work out, but… but if he does tell his dad…
Adam tried not to think about what would happen if Kurt decided to do that – but throughout his day, the idea lingered in the back of his thoughts. It was even more frustrating and upsetting because it was completely outside of his control – not that he would have tried to control it if he could have.
If Kurt wants to talk about it… if he needs to talk about it… then that’s what he should do.
No matter what that means for my career… my life…
There was no use worrying about something that was completely out of his hands. However, Adam couldn’t stop worrying about it. The first couple hours of his day were highly unproductive, and by mid-morning, he had decided that he was simply not going to accomplish much that day – or until Kurt got back to Dalton and he could find out about his time at home.
The firm knock on his door just before lunch time was a welcome distraction.
“Come in,” he called.
His stomach dropped at the sight of Burt Hummel striding purposefully into his office, firmly closing the door behind him. Adam swallowed hard as Mr. Hummel turned to face him, his eyes blazing with anger.
“M-Mr. Hummel,” Adam managed with a weak smile. “How can I help you?”
“Need to talk to you,” Mr. Hummel replied grimly. “I think we have a problem.”