“The thing I don’t understand,” Kurt said, staring at his laptop, “is how she gets so many hits.”
Blaine leaned his head on Kurt’s shoulder and inspected the screen. “She does have really awesome opening credits. I feel compelled to watch and maybe get crazy and eat some cheese.”
“But the questions!” Kurt said. He tried his best to not sound shrill, but he wasn’t entirely sure he succeeded. “They’re asinine.”
“Your ass’s a nine,” Blaine mumbled.
“What?” Kurt said, distracted. He glared at the comments on Brittany’s latest interview, a supposedly hard-hitting look at cafeteria food ingredients that was mostly Brittany talking about whether corn dogs should be eaten with ketchup or mustard. Her interviewee was a stuffed parrot.
“I mean, it’s totally asinine,” Blaine said. “But, you know, so’s the internet.” He nuzzled Kurt’s neck.
“She’s letting Lord Tubbington and the parrot have a one-on-one conversation,” Kurt said, ignoring Blaine’s mouth on his throat in favor of scrolling through Brittany’s youtube account and blanching when he saw exactly how many hits she was getting consistently.
“You could do way better,” Blaine agreed. “Do scarves keep your neck this soft?”
Kurt had scorned sharing his talent with the online world around the time he’d realized how many hate comments Rachel Berry got and how little he wanted to give the school that much leverage over him, but seeing how Brittany’s show was doing…
“Blaine,” he said suddenly, “I have an idea.”
“This is brilliant,” Blaine said cheerfully. He adjusted a drape that was part of the backdrop and stepped back to inspect his handywork. Kurt thought that the drapery had been perfectly arranged already, but he was noble enough to allow Blaine to think he was helping.
“I think that it has the pizzazz that Fondue for Two is lacking,” Kurt agreed. They’d made a miniature theatre in the unfinished basement with red curtains and a light-encrusted sign that would have their show’s name on it just as soon as they came up with a name. There were two director’s chairs set up in front of it: Dior grey for Kurt, and an alarming shade of orange for Blaine. He claimed it would ‘pop’ on camera. Kurt strongly disagreed.
Kurt took a calming breath and pointed out the fact that the majority of the backdrop was red.
Blaine looked at it. “It is,” he agreed, as though he had no clue why Kurt was pointing this out.
“Dalton’s uniform has completely robbed you of any sense of color coordination, hasn’t it?” Kurt said.
“Too much coordination is boring,” Blaine said with an easy shrug.
“You are wearing your school uniform. On a Saturday.” Kurt was morally obligated to say it.
“And you said I could bring any chair I wanted, so long as it was a regulation size director’s chair,” Blaine replied.
“I didn’t think they actually made them in such offensive colors,” Kurt admitted.
“That was your bad, then,” Blaine replied. “So who are we going to interview for our first episode?”
Kurt had spent a really long time on his color swatches for the set design. “Um.”
“Hey, Kurt,” Finn yelled down the stairs. “Is this bread safe to eat? It’s got like, seeds on it.”
He might constantly leave his clown shoes all around the house for Kurt to trip over, but Finn had fantastic timing. Kurt clapped his hands together and said, “Yes, of course. Come down here, please!”
Finn clomped down the stairs, loaf of bread still in hand. “Is there a certain way I have to eat it?”
“What? No, it’s just bread, Finn,” Kurt said.
“Hi, Finn!” Blaine said from his perch on his orange chair, waving cheerfully.
“Hi,” Finn said. He looked around. “Are you doing something weird down here? Because I can go.”
“We invited you down,” Blaine said. “Well, Kurt did, and I agree. You would be a great first guest on our new internet talk show.”
“Like Fondue for Two?” Finn asked. “I went on that once and Brittany had a vat of hot chocolate. We dipped marshmallows in it.” He sounded dreamy.
Kurt briefly wondered if Brittany had attempted to melt hot cocoa, or if Finn was talking about actual fondue chocolate. He decided not to ask. The two of them were probably lucky they hadn’t burned Brittany’s house down. “We don’t have food on ours. Just talk.”
“Oh,” Finn said, clearly disappointed.
“We could sing to you?” Blaine offered.
“No, thanks,” Finn said. “I’m not really comfortable with that.”
“Finn’s not so good with the serenades,” Kurt stage-whispered to Blaine. “I think he gets embarrassed and a little jealous. Two left feet.”
“You should work on your charisma,” Blaine recommended. “That overpowers a mere inability to dance.”
“Isn’t charisma one of those things you just kind of have?” Finn asked. “Like karma or whatever?”
“He’s right,” Kurt had to say. “You can’t really practice charisma.”
“I do,” Blaine said. He adjusted his tie. “I think it works.”
Kurt patted him on the arm fondly. “The point is, Finn, that we want to interview you.”
“Okay,” Finn said. He looked at the loaf of bread in his hands. “Will you make me a sandwich in exchange for my appearing on your show?”
“That seems fair,” Blaine said.
Ten minutes later, Finn was settled in the hastily procured interviewee chair, eating his sandwich in alarmingly large bites. Kurt adjusted the light for the seventh time, trying to find the perfect brightness to both minimize shadows yet not wash everyone out. Finally he got it right and set up the camera.
“Welcome, kind viewers, to…” Kurt froze, aghast, realizing that they’d never gotten around to naming the show.
“Kurt Talk,” Blaine said quickly.
Kurt shot him a look. “Really? A name pun?”
Blaine smiled at the camera and waved his hand dismissively. “And here’s our first guest, the very tall and coltishly awkward Finn Hudson!”
Finn shoved the last bite of sandwich in his mouth.
Kurt straightened his shoulders and tilted his head in the way he’d practiced in the mirror, the angle that made him look interested yet inquisitive. “So, Finn, the topic of our first show is popularity. How does it feel to have had and lost this elusive state of being?”
“I haven’t lost my popularity,” Finn said. “I won a football championship! I kissed every girl in school!”
“And exactly how many of them did you give mono to?” Kurt said. “I heard there was a Finn Hudson voodoo doll being passed around the girl’s lacrosse team.”
Finn flushed. “That was Santana’s doing.”
“So you deny being the patient zero,” Blaine said.
“I thought this interview was supposed to be about how awesome I am,” Finn grumbled.
“We’re just reporting the facts,” Kurt said airily.
“That sandwich was not good enough to deal with this,” Finn said, and without further ado got up and left.
“Did he just flounce?” Blaine asked.
“I can’t believe that, out of everything, that’s how Rachel rubbed off on him,” Kurt said.
Blaine opened his mouth and Kurt realized what poor wording choices he’d just made, so he hurriedly turned the camera off.
Blaine was laughing when Kurt turned back around. “I can’t believe you’re ending our first episode with a comment about Rachel rubbing off on Finn.”
“Oh god,” Kurt said. “Maybe we’ll just hold this one back. Like a lost classic.”
“But it’s got such a great story arc,” Blaine argued, pulling Kurt down onto his lap. Kurt momentarily worried about the weight limits on director’s chairs, though his worries were quickly chased away by Blaine, who leaned his forehead against Kurt’s and said softly, “Practice makes perfect, right?”
“Right,” Kurt breathed, mouth brushing against Blaine’s. “Practice.”
Blaine began to say something else, but Kurt closed the distance between them and hushed him with a kiss.
“I don’t know why I didn’t ask her first,” Kurt said cheerfully, adjusting the pillows on the couch they’d moved over to their set after Blaine’s director’s chair had broken. “Mercedes is the perfect guest for Kurt Talk. She’s witty and fabulous and has the best dirt.”
“Plus I could sing a really slammin’ duet with her,” Blaine added.
Kurt considered it. “We could break with the traditional online format and do a variety show,” he mused. “Taking into account the talents of the people involved.”
“That was the mistake we made with Finn,” Blaine agreed. “If we’d asked him to do Finn-things, he might not have flounced.”
“We can go more Ellen than Oprah,” Kurt said. It seemed obvious now that their show had so much more potential than mere journalism. Now that the possibilities stretched out in front of him, he wasn’t sure why he’d ever aimed so low. This was going to be a production.
“Can I dance?” Blaine asked hopefully.
“Of course,” Kurt said, “it’ll help draw in viewers.”
Upstairs, the doorbell rang. Kurt clapped excitedly. “Mercedes!”
He hurried upstairs to find Mercedes and Tina chatting with Carole. Carole offered to get snacks, but Kurt sent her back into the den to keep watching the Ice Road Truckers marathon with his dad.
“The set’s down here,” Kurt said, and Mercedes and Tina gave him pained looks.
“Look, Kurt, I’m really sorry,” Mercedes began. “But…”
She looked helplessly at Tina.
“We signed exclusive contracts,” Tina said. “With Fondue for Two.”
Kurt looked at them incredulously. “Brittany has exclusive contracts? Brittany knows what an exclusive contract is?”
“Santana sure does,” Mercedes said. “I love you, sweets, but… Santana.”
“She managed to get incriminating photographs of us and will air them on Fondue for Two if she finds us in breach of contract,” Tina explained.
Mercedes nodded. “I was going to go on anyway, but she showed up at my house and decapitated a stuffed pony. She left the head on my front porch. It was eerie.”
“I could protect you from Santana,” Kurt offered, but it was an empty gesture and they all knew it. “Dammit. I hate to say it, but I liked it better when Santana and Brittany were fighting.”
“Bitch’s gotten fierce over protecting her bestie,” Mercedes agreed.
“Makes you kind of glad they aren’t dating,” Tina added. “Santana would be hell on wheels then.”
Blaine popped his head out of the basement door. “Hey girls! What’s the holdup?”
“They got godfathered into backing out,” Kurt explained. “Santana’s protecting Brittany’s show, and Mercedes and Tina are some of her best guests.”
Tina pulled a finger across her throat, just for dramatic effect.
Blaine blinked. “You know, you just don’t hear about things like that at Dalton. McKinley kids really know how to take things to the extremes.”
“All that time we aren’t spending learning,” Mercedes explained.
“Fair enough,” Blaine said.
“Sorry,” Tina said. “Mike can’t appear, either. It was a very thorough contract.”
“I kind of thought it was just a waiver, in case Lord Tubbington went wild,” Mercedes said with a shrug. “We were wrong.”
Tina offered, “We can still hang out, if you want? Just not on camera.”
“Cool!” Blaine said. “Who’s up for Guesstures?”
Mercedes rolled her eyes as Kurt led them to the kitchen for snacks, mind whirling as he tried to decide on his next guest.
The less said of the attempt to interview the Warblers, the better.
“I can’t believe they all showed up in uniform,” Kurt said.
“Um, that was my idea,” Blaine said, leaning his head against Kurt’s shoulder and scrolling through the shows in Kurt’s tivo. “You’re kind of really judgey, fashion-wise, and I didn’t want you to have some sort of fit when you saw what Wes wears outside of school.”
“Do I want to know?” Kurt asked, flicking Blaine’s leg when he paused just a little too long on a Smallville episode.
“Not if you want to continue to be Wes’ friend,” Blaine said, picking an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that Burt had recorded. Kurt refrained from judging, just to prove Blaine wrong.
“At least the performance was good,” Blaine pointed out.
“They do-wopped behind you while you sang Katy Perry,” Kurt said.
“I’m thinking about making some of them wear cupcake hats and giant peppermints on their heads,” Blaine said thoughtfully.
“No,” Kurt said. “Just… no.”
“It’d be adorable,” Blaine said, grinning. Kurt realized that he was being made fun of, and retaliated by grabbing the remote and choosing his favorite episode of ANTM. Blaine attempted to wrestle the remote away, but Kurt had gained some excellent experience at this with Mercedes and went in for the side-tickle just before Blaine got control of the remote.
Blaine, however, fought dirty and, while still half-gasping from laughter, kissed Kurt’s neck, distracting Kurt enough that he forgot about the remote until he felt Blaine take it from his grasp.
“Meaniepants,” Kurt managed.
“You love it,” Blaine mumbled into his ear before kissing him for real, slow and sure.
Blaine’s entertainment choices weren’t really that bad, Kurt had to admit.
Quinn flat-out refused to appear, citing both friendship with Brittany and a complete refusal to go to Finn’s house, which Kurt couldn’t really blame her for.
Artie was reluctant to leave his X-Box, and besides, Kurt thought it was tacky to ask his main competition’s ex for his opening show. That sort of ploy should wait until the mid-season slump.
“Puck and Lauren are free,” he announced after some furious texting. “Sam had some flimsy-sounding excuse about being too homeless to participate. I suspect he’s just using that as a cover for something at this point.”
“We could do some hard-hitting investigative journalism,” Blaine suggested. “Finn has binoculars.”
“We are not spying on Sam,” Kurt said. “It would be hypocritical.”
“Damn,” Blaine said. “Lauren kind of intimidates me.”
“Don’t let Puck hug you,” Kurt advised. “He gets emotional and then you have to google how to get tear stains out of satin.”
“Duly noted,” Blaine said seriously.
An hour later, Puck and Lauren were settled on Kurt’s couch.
“I brought nun chucks,” Puck said. “This is gonna be like Ellen, right? I get to be awesome?”
Kurt didn’t expect Puck of all people to get the point of their show. “Exactly! Let’s see it!”
Four seconds later, Blaine, Kurt and Lauren were all hiding behind the couch while Puck waved the nun chucks around with what he clearly thought was extreme dexterity and skill.
“That is not how nun chucks work,” Kurt yelled.
“Don’t bust your own nuts!” Lauren called. “I have plans!”
“Gross,” Blaine said, watching carefully.
“Like you aren’t checking out his ass,” Lauren said.
“That’s it,” Kurt said, “I’m intervening.”
He climbed out from behind the couch and said, “My turn! My turn!” until Puck handed him the nun chucks.
“Awesome, we can stop hiding,” Blaine said.
Kurt looked at the nun chucks. They were kind of awesome. “How do you twirl them? Like this?”
He gave them an exploratory wave.
“Twist your wrist more,” Puck suggested. “Kind of flick.”
“Dirty,” Lauren said. She was peeking over the back of the couch, but both she and Blaine seemed more interested in watching the carnage happen than entering the fray.
Kurt followed Puck’s advice and narrowly missed whacking himself in the face. “Wait, I can do this,” he said, concentrating.
“No, like this,” Puck said, coming up behind Kurt and grabbing his wrist, guiding it in the proper formation for nun chuck waving.
“Oh, I see!” Kurt said, catching on and managing to twirl the nun chucks without flailing horribly or nearly breaking a bone.
“Good job!” Puck said. “Now it’s my turn.”
“Just a minute,” Kurt said, as he was getting the hang of it and was relatively sure that he was well on his way to becoming a ninja. This could open up entirely new avenues of fashion for him. He could get morning star cufflinks made. Or a sai tie. That would be amazing.
“Kurt,” Blaine said after a minute, “I’m going to need you to hand the nun chucks back over to Puck, because I’m pretty sure you’re going to accidentally kill someone if you keep flailing like that.”
“He’s actually not bad,” Puck offered, but Lauren shushed him as she left her refuge behind the couch.
“Sweetiepie, you’re not really qualified to teach martial arts,” she said, patting his arm.
“I have skills,” Puck said. “Mad ones, even.”
“Of course you do,” Blaine said. “Extremely dangerous ones. Which is why we really have to end this segment.”
Kurt reluctantly handed the nun chucks back over to Puck, who tucked them in his back pocket casually.
“Boys and their toys,” Lauren said to Blaine, rolling her eyes.
“Tell me about it,” Blaine agreed, looking wistfully at Puck’s back pocket. “Maybe I should have a turn.”
Lauren turned off the camera. “I’m not risking an off-season injury for this. Let’s go, Puckerman.”
Puck shrugged and followed Lauren up the stairs, promising he’d drop by another time.
“That went surprisingly well,” Blaine said a moment later. “No one bled!”
“It was really fun!” Kurt agreed. “Let’s watch the playback and see what we’ve got.”
Two minutes into the playback, Kurt turned to Blaine and said, “This can never see the light of day.”
“Why not?” Blaine said. “Your concentrating face is precious.”
“I look like a constipated kitten,” Kurt said. “This is never going on the internet.”
“We’re kind of getting a giant stack of unusable footage,” Blaine said. “Brittany doesn’t seem as picky.”
“Brittany is beloved by all,” Kurt said. “She won them over with make outs.”
“We could make out with people?” Blaine suggested, but Kurt could tell his heart wasn’t into the idea.
“We’ll pull out the big guns,” Kurt sighed. “I didn’t want to, but sometimes, you have to share the limelight.”
“Finn expressed his doubts, but I find that the more time I get on camera, the better prepared I will be for my inevitable life of fame,” Rachel said, settling down on the couch and smoothing out her argyle miniskirt. It was offensive on its own, but the fact that she’d paired it with a floral blouse was making Kurt want to go to her house and burn down her closet.
However, she’d agreed to come on his internet variety show, so he refrained from giving her outfit any dirty looks and tried his best at maintaining professionalism.
“Blaine will be here shortly,” Kurt said. “His performance at Six Flags ran a little over, thanks to the projectile vomit of a toddler.”
“The perils of performing for the general public,” Rachel said sagely. She clasped her hands together. “I was thinking that I would perform a medley of Barbra’s songs spanning her career. I’m considering starting with a selection from Hello, Dolly.”
“The show isn’t that long,” Kurt said. “Youtube has limits.”
“You can just edit together a montage of my most soaring, emotional notes,” Rachel offered. “You know, Patti LuPone once told me—“
Kurt interrupted before he was forced to sit through the hundredth retelling of Rachel’s brush with fame. “I’m not sure that would feature the best facial expressions.”
“You’re right,” Rachel said, looking aghast. “I have to work on making intense emotional outpourings look delicate and beautiful.” She started opening her mouth and making faces that were horrifying when they weren’t accompanied by her admittedly stunning voice.
Kurt checked his phone again. No update on Blaine’s location, and realistically Kurt knew he couldn’t expect Blaine to get there any sooner than half an hour. There was no way he was going to watch Rachel make faces for that long. There was only so much a man could reasonably be expected to take, and that was well past Kurt Hummel’s personal line.
“Maybe we could start the show,” Kurt said. “Maybe talk about our Broadway experiences and perhaps sing a duet? Those have been mutually complimentary in the past.”
Rachel clasped her hands together, beaming. “I could talk about how my romantic heartbreaks have prepared me for the harrowing experience of being a Broadway legend.”
Kurt really didn’t want to spend his show talking about Finn or Jesse or Puck or, worst of all, Blaine, so he tried to dissuade Rachel. “Since you haven’t actually become a legend—“
“Yet,” Rachel interrupted.
“I think it would be best if we stuck to more relevant topics,” Kurt finished. It was very diplomatic, he thought. Blaine would be proud.
“Like Patti LuPone’s belief in my aspirations,” Rachel said.
“Yes,” Kurt said, “that is perfect.”
Twenty minutes later, Kurt had managed to get three sentences in around Rachel’s very earnest and frankly terrifying speech about her own ambitions. It was like the presence of a camera amplified all the aspects of Rachel’s personality that had kept Kurt from even considering her as a friend for the first year he had known her. He tried to steer the conversation to something a little more universal than Rachel’s hair care routine, but to little avail.
It was gauche, but Kurt found himself checking his phone mid-interview, hoping for an out. He almost cheered when he saw Blaine’s almost there!.
Rachel was running through her scales, pausing every so often to explain just why it was important that she enhance through practice what nature had gifted her with, when Blaine popped in the door, still wearing his ridiculous Six Flags uniform and announcing loudly, “Did you ask her about the kissing?”
Rachel paused, mid-scale. “Kissing?”
“No,” Kurt hissed. They’d discussed this.
“I wanted to know how I ranked,” Blaine said cheerfully. He settled down beside Rachel on the couch. “I understand you’ve made out with a good number of male vocalists, and I want a definitive ranking.”
“Four is not a good number,” Rachel said. “That’s a terrible thing to say.”
Maybe Kurt had been wrong. This was turning out far more interesting than his more business-oriented questions had. “Yes, Rachel, where does my boyfriend rank?”
Rachel looked at them suspiciously, then considered it. “Well. Definitely below Jesse.”
Blaine looked indignant, but Kurt waved his hand at him to get him to shush. “So Jesse’s number one.”
“I didn’t say that!” Rachel said. She pursed her lips. “Okay. Jesse, then Puck, then Blaine.”
“Number three?” Blaine said. “No way. Come here, I’m going to at least crack the top two.”
“You have very fierce competition,” Rachel said reassuringly. “It’s not a critique.”
“And Finn?” Kurt said.
Rachel blinked. “Oh. I forgot about Finn.”
“So I’m definitely a better kisser than Finn,” Blaine said. “Awesome, he had way more chances than me to make an impression.”
“I’ve never heard good things,” Kurt said. “Santana and Brittany once did an entire episode comparing him to a golden retriever.”
Rachel looked like she really wanted to argue, but couldn’t quite come up with a defense for Finn’s skills. “He’s a very nice boy,” she said finally. “All of you were very different. It’s really not fair to rank anyone.”
“Are you sure you don’t want to make out?” Blaine asked. “I’m like ninety percent certain I could improve my position on the list.”
“Your boyfriend is right there,” Rachel said primly.
“You’re number one on my list, sweetie,” Kurt said to placate him.
“You totally beat out Rachel on mine,” Blaine told him, and Kurt blew him a kiss while Rachel looked like she was reconsidering Blaine’s standing on her list.
Then Blaine turned to her and said, “Let’s duet!”
Kurt realized halfway through “Elephant Love Medley” that there was no way he was ever going to air this episode, no matter how much editing he did.
Rachel stayed for dinner that evening.
“Blaine is an amazing singing partner,” she gushed to Carole and Burt. Kurt ladled out soup and tried to resist the urge to spill some on Rachel’s sweater, because he was pretty certain she’d just iron on a Pegasus patch over the stain and he’d then be responsible for such a monstrosity entering the world.
“You’re not so bad yourself,” Blaine said, and offered her a fist to bump, which she did with a delighted giggle.
Finn stared like they were from another planet. “Wait, you did a duet with my girlfriend?”
“Sure did!” Blaine said. He pointed his spoon at Rachel. “We’re awesome together. Vocally speaking.”
“If we’d just had a giant elephant, it would have been perfect,” Rachel said.
“It was stunning,” Kurt agreed. “Blaine is just as dreamy as Ewan.”
“Aww,” Blaine said, and hooked his foot around Kurt’s, smiling at him.
“Dude,” Finn said. “You can’t just sing duets with other dude’s girlfriends.” He looked to Burt for confirmation.
Blaine nudged his knee against Kurt’s. His shoulders shook in a manner that Kurt found distinctly adorable.
“Don’t look at me,” Burt said with a shrug. “When I was in high school, we just went to makeout point with other dudes’ girlfriends.”
“Dad!” Kurt said, scandalized.
Carole laughed. “Oh, I remember that. One time I let Joey McMillon put his hand up my shirt with half the basketball team watching just to make my boyfriend mad.”
“Mom!” Finn gasped.
“This duet nonsense doesn’t make much sense to us old fogeys,” Burt said with a shrug.
“Well, it’s not cool,” Finn said. He glared at Rachel.
“Finn,” Rachel said calmly, “I can duet with anyone I want. It certainly doesn’t mean what you think it means.”
“You only duet with people you like like!” Finn said. “Look at Nationals!”
“Kurt and I have dueted,” Rachel pointed out. “Are you worried about him, too?”
Everyone at the table watched Finn. Kurt had no idea how he was going to get himself gracefully out of this mess, and he was fairly certain everyone else was wondering this, too.
“Dinner hasn’t been this exciting since Quinn lived with us,” Carole stage-whispered.
“Of course not,” Finn attempted to answer Rachel’s question. “It’s just that I want you to duet with me and me alone.”
“Well, that’s selfish,” Rachel observed, swirling her spoon into her soup bowl. “And a waste of my talent.”
Finn blinked a few times. “Oh.”
“Are we having a main course?” Burt wondered aloud.
Kurt whacked his hand lightly with the ladle, hissing, “Finn’s about to have a revelation, hush!”
“Is it a bad time to say I was wondering about the real food, too?” Blaine whispered. He tilted his bowl hopefully.
Kurt shook the ladle threateningly at him.
“So you don’t want to always sing with me,” Finn concluded on the other side of the table.
“It’s nothing to do with our relationship,” Rachel said gently. Kurt respected her patience. “We were just performing for the first episode of Kurt and Blaine’s show.”
Finn turned to them. “You told me I was going to be the first guest.”
“Well,” Blaine hedged.
“You left,” Kurt said. “Flounced. We couldn’t air that!”
“You asked very mean questions!” Finn said. “About the kissing booth!”
“Oh, did they make you rank girls?” Rachel said guilelessly. “Is that a running bit?”
“Wait, you ranked kisses?” Finn said. “The New York one won, right?”
“I’m just going to go get the eggplant parmesan,” Kurt volunteered quickly.
“I’ll help!” Blaine said, scrambing out of his seat.
Burt raised his eyebrow.
Kurt and Blaine escaped to the kitchen, though they could still clearly hear the conversation in the other room. Kurt hissed to Blaine, “I’ll defend you, but there’s only so much I can do against him. He’s very tall.”
Blaine looked very nervous. “Do you think I could offer to like, give him pointers? Maybe that would help. A practical demonstration! Those are handy.”
“Yes, dear,” Kurt deadpanned. “Offering to make out with him is exactly what will calm him down.”
Blaine shushed him as Rachel began to speak in the other room.
“Now, Finn,” Rachel said, “it’s not about winning. And really, the fact that I’m dating you means you won overall.”
“Darling, you should stop while you’re ahead,” Carole advised. Kurt could practically envision the fond look Carole was giving her, as his stepmother had proven herself inordinately fond of Rachel. Kurt supposed that it had to do with the whole Quinn thing.
“Why did Kurt and Blaine leave so quickly?” Burt asked. “It’s not like they’re involved in who Rachel thinks is a good kisser.”
“Oh my god,” Blaine whispered.”Your dad secretly hates me and wants me to die.”
“Oh my god,” Finn unconsciously echoed. “You think Blaine’s a better kisser than I am.”
There was a choking sound. Kurt wasn’t sure who it came from, as Rachel was prone to melodrama, Carole was strangely unused to New Directions-type drama, and his father had a really terrible sense of humor.
“I said it wasn’t fair to rank!” Rachel protested. “It’s not your fault.”
“Not my fault?”
Kurt had been utterly unaware that Finn was capable of making such a high pitched noise. He began to mentally revise the list of songs that he was going to suggest Finn try outside his classic rock oeuvre.
“Blaine just happened to get a really good one in there, that’s all,” Rachel tried.
“He only kissed you once and he ranked higher than me!” Finn said.
“Twice, really, and if I were ranking based on the second kiss alone, you would have definitely made the top three,” Rachel said reassuringly.
“Hey!” Blaine said a little too loudly. Kurt thumped him on the arm with a potholder.
“Sorry, but you know it’s true!” Rachel called back.
“Wait, number three?” Finn said.
“I think we’re probably safe to go back in there,” Kurt said. “Now Finn’s just going to be pissed at Jesse and Puck.”
“And that’ll have him way more riled up than just me, since I’m not really competition,” Blaine agreed. Kurt had showed him the flow charts the glee club used to remember who dated who in what order. He grabbed the eggplant parmesan and they re-entered the battle zone.
“Cowards,” Rachel hissed.
“Food!” Blaine said, gesturing grandly to the dish in Kurt’s hands. It was a really poor attempt at a diversion.
“Food!” Burt exclaimed, equally grateful for a diversion. Kurt kept glancing at Finn as everyone served themselves, but he seemed wholely focused on the meal.
Maybe food was a great diversion.
Kurt happily ate in silence thankful that the matter seemed to have been dropped entirely when Blaine decided to open his big fat stupid mouth.
“Maybe you’re too enthusiastic,” he said to Finn, gesturing with a breadstick. “Do you slobber too much?”
Finn looked as horrified as Kurt felt.
“He has no style,” Rachel offered unhelpfully.
“Maybe we can not discuss this,” Finn said. “At dinner. With my mother.”
Carole was hiding her face in her napkin. Burt patted her arm and said, “Don’t worry. You’re number one on my list.”
“Too much tongue can be bad, too, though,” Blaine continued. “Don’t just go at it. Use finesse.”
He turned to Kurt, as if Kurt was supposed to give a glowing recommendation of his kissing skills right there in front of his father. Kurt mutely took another bite of his dinner.
“Seriously,” Finn said, “what do I have to do for this conversation to end immediately?”
“Amen, brother,” Kurt muttered.
Burt’s shoulders began to shake and Carole snorted into her napkin. Kurt nobly resisted the urge to crawl under the table and die a slow horrible embarrassed death.
“Maybe you could do a seminar,” Rachel suggested to Blaine.
“That would be amazing,” Blaine said, entirely too sincerely.
“No,” Kurt said.
“That could be our next episode!” Blaine said.
“Can’t you shut him up somehow?” Finn asked Kurt plaintatively.
“We could break down techniques,” Blaine continued. He turned to Finn. “It’s like dancing. You just go where the music’s taking you.”
“Bad example,” Kurt said out of the corner of his mouth.
“Seriously, dude,” Finn said. “You aren’t helping.”
“Let him speak,” Rachel said. “He might have useful hints.”
“I don’t need useful hints! You’re being a very bad girlfriend right now,” Finn scowled.
“Honey, don’t be mean,” Carole said. “She’s just trying to help.”
“Mom!” Finn said, affronted.
Burt said thoughtfully, “You know, your mother likes it when I—“
“Dad!” Kurt yelped. “No.”
“I wasn’t going to say anything dirty,” Burt said. “I was just going to say cup her cheek.”
“That’s a good move,” Blaine said, nodding his head.
Finn had turned the exact shade of Kurt’s new summer scarf. Kurt was concerned about his blood pressure.
Blaine added, “Kurt did that when---“
Kurt freaked out, thought, screw it, and shut Blaine up the best way he knew how, before he could say something that Kurt would never, ever live down.
Halfway through the kiss, he could hear Finn grumble, “There is no way I’m worse than that.”
“Take notes, sweetie,” Rachel hissed.
Kurt kept thinking of what Blaine might say when the kiss ended, so he kept it going. Maybe everyone would leave and he wouldn’t have to deal with Blaine’s complete lack of tact. Or maybe they would be magically transported to somewhere that wasn’t the dinner table with his dad right there, like in a sparkly shower of stars and hearts like in Moulin Rouge.
It was just dawning on him that he’d definitely made the situation worse when Blaine pulled away and said very seriously to Finn, “See? Just do that and you’ll be irresistible.”
“I took notes for you,” Rachel said seriously, offering Finn a scrawled-on napkin. Kurt was suddenly even more grateful than ever that Blaine and Rachel had decided they were incompatible, because their children would probably be evil geniuses who managed to take over the universe through inappropriate means.
Burt and Carole were no longer even pretending that they weren’t laughing.
“I’m just going to… go,” Kurt said, and fled. He could hear Blaine continuing to give Finn earnest advice even as he hurried up the stairs.
“Finn really doesn’t seem receptive to advice,” Blaine said later, flopping onto Kurt’s bed. Kurt couldn’t have prevented his grin at that if he tried. “I was just trying to help a brother out.”
“First off, please never use that phrase again,” Kurt said. “Secondly, it was kind of emasculating, getting lectured on kissing techniques at the dinner table.”
“So you’re saying the venue was wrong,” Blaine said. “I can see that. Finn’s mom did keep giving me those looks.”
“That’s what lady chats are for,” Kurt agreed.
“Boys are more open with their feelings at Dalton,” Blaine said.
Kurt gave him a skeptical look.
“Okay, fine, I made that up,” Blaine said. “But at least Rachel looked appreciative. Though I don’t get why she hasn’t taught Finn herself. She’s a great kisser.”
“Maybe it’s awkward,” Kurt replied, holding back a comment about sexy penguins. “Speaking of which. Did my dad say anything?”
“He told me to leave the door open,” Blaine said. “I’m pretty sure that he’s going to start chaperoning our dates.”
Kurt nodded. “I’m formulating a plan where we only go to really long classic films, so he’ll fall asleep twenty minutes in.”
“Then we can Ferris Bueller it up!” Blaine said excitedly. “Oh man, that sounds excellent. I hope that happens.”
“I was thinking that we could make out in the back row and still enjoy the Gregory Peck, but that could be fun, too,” Kurt said.
“So we’re definitely on for that To Kill A Mockingbird feature in Westerville,” Blaine said. He high-fived Kurt.
“Of course,” Kurt said. “Gregory Peck on the big screen!” He paused, trying to figure out what Blaine was doing with the laptop. “We don’t need to know showtimes immediately.”
“I was setting up the camera,” Blaine said, inspecting the computer’s angle.
“We’re in my bedroom,” Kurt said blankly.
“Perfect venue,” Blaine said. He winked. “Instructional video time.”
“Dearest Finn,” Blaine began, as Kurt wondered if he should crawl under the comforter and die. Probably it would be better to go with it then secretly erase the video, he decided. “It was pointed out to me that perhaps a Friday Night Dinner was the wrong venue for offering kissing advice, so I’m making you an instructional video!”
“Not my idea,” Kurt added.
“First off,” Blaine began, “is working up to the kiss. I saw the youtube footage of your Nationals pucker-up and while gazing into someone’s eyes can be quite romantic, eventually someone will have to blink and it will get awkward, so I think you should add some moves in there.”
He cupped Kurt’s cheek, and Kurt tried his best to not make stupid faces as Blaine leaned in and said, “See, Finn? Build-up is all well and good, but contact makes it better.”
And then Blaine was kissing him, and Kurt forgot about the camera. He was pretty sure that he could kiss Blaine forever. He was just getting into it when he heard Blaine say, “Finn.”
Kurt jerked around, looking for Finn, when Blaine continued to give the camera a serious talking-to about kissing technique.
Kurt sighed and waited for the next practical demonstration.
“You know,” Blaine said a few days later, “with creative editing, we really did pull off an amazing show.”
Kurt was forced to agree. “It really helped when we brought in bits from all the interviews. I especially like the cut from Puck with his nun chucks to Finn fleeing the room.”
“Hilarious,” Blaine declared. “We are going to trounce Fondue for Two in ratings.”
“No matter how many fake youtube accounts we have to make to like it with,” Kurt said. He uploaded the episode and grabbed Blaine’s hand. “Celebratory frozen yogurt?”
“I’m getting a sundae,” Blaine said.
When they got back, there were dozens of comments waiting.
“I knew it!” Kurt said cheerfully. “Our episode is way better than the episode of Brittany and Lord Tubbington re-enacting her favorite Cheerio routines.”
Blaine looked mildly skeptical. He started to read the comments. “Um.”
“What is it?” Kurt asked, peering over his shoulder. “Why did Jacob Ben Israel write, hubba hubba?”
“Does anyone actually say hubba hubba?” Blaine wondered. “Oh look, Santana wrote, bow chicka bow wow. That seems like a strong reaction.”
Kurt had a sinking feeling that something had gone terribly awry. “Blaine, play the video.”
Kurt watched his bedroom materialize on the internet, followed by Blaine cheerfully addressing Finn and then sucking Kurt’s face off.
“Oh my god,” Kurt said blankly. “We made internet porn.”
“It’s not really porn,” Blaine said, just as tiny digital Blaine let out a breathy moan. “Oh god. Delete. Delete, Will Robinson, delete.”
Kurt frantically jabbed that the keyboard, trying to remember how to they worked. On the internet he and Blaine continued to make out. “Why the hell did you name that file Kurt Talk Webisode? I can never show my face again.”
“Because it was a joke!” Blaine said. “The real one was titled Nun Chucks Are Cool.”
“How the hell was I supposed to figure that out?” Kurt yelped. Then he noticed the hit count. “Wait, we totally beat Fondue for Two.”
He pointed to the screen.
“Dude,” Blaine said. “We were only gone two hours. That’s a lot of views.”
“I’m still deleting it,” Kurt said pointedly.
“Just let me take a screencap first,” Blaine said hurriedly. “That’s awesome, we’re like famous.”
Kurt figured another few seconds couldn’t hurt, and allowed Blaine to take his screencap. He skimmed the comments; most were of the wanky! variety, though he snorted when he saw a few comments hoping Finn would take the advice to heart and asking for kissing booth refunds.
“Hey!” Finn yelled from the other room. “That wasn’t cool, dudes! I don’t need instructional videos!”
They ignored him.
Kurt deleted the episode, breathing a sigh of relief. “Maybe everyone will forget this,” he said hopefully.
“Maybe,” Blaine said doubtfully. “Short attention spans. Hey, look! A new Fondue for Two.”
He clicked on the episode. Santana was straddling Brittany’s lap and said, “Boys, this is how it’s done,” before doing a sensuous wiggle and kissing Brittany like her life depended on it.
“I don’t know if I should be annoyed with them for winning,” Kurt said after a moment, “or grateful, because that’ll totally override our infamy.”
Blaine’s head was tilted to the side. “What’s she doing with her tongue? I think I want to try that.”
“That?” Kurt said. He watched for a minute. “Yeah. Yeah, I think you should try that out. For science.”
“For science,” Blaine agreed, and pushed Kurt into the bed, kissing him intently, and then flicking his tongue just right.
Kurt was pretty sure he was going to have to buy Santana flowers for this.