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EZ Bake Ovens- Girlyman

This is what Blaine remembers about his childhood:

He'd played Little League for three summers before he'd decided he liked soccer more; Thomas drove him to games and practices but his parents only came when his team made it into the championships. Thomas had been the one to drive him to the clinic when he'd sprained his ankle sliding into first. His parents had been waiting for him at home with ice packs and stacks of books, but Thomas had been there the whole time.

When he was nine he wanted to be an engineer, and he'd spent hours with all of the construction sets he really hadn't played with since he was six. His father accidentally knocked over the tallest tower Blaine had made, and Blaine had bitten his lip and done his best not to cry.

 

What Do You Hear in these Sounds- Dar Williams

Blaine goes to psych services three times a week once he's back from the Kyles' and out of medical. He doesn't feel hungry at all anymore, no matter how much or how little he eats, so he just... doesn't, as often as he can get away with it.

He picks absently at his cuticles, looks out the window and doesn't hear a word the psychiatrist is saying.

"Blaine," he says, "are you paying attention?"

Blaine doesn't care, and he doesn't want to be there. He looks out the window and doesn't see anything.

 

Sympathy- Goo Goo Dolls

He doesn't care if he never has another Holder. He'll never be good enough or strong enough or smart enough; he'll crack under the strain of trying to be perfect and failing.

Emma listens to him, and it's strange, but there are days when he gets tired of saying no to every request that she's given. He's fairly sure that the ones she brings to him have passed some test of hers, because for some unknown reason, Emma likes him.

Today is one of those days, and when she comes to him at lunch with a folder and an apprehensive expression, he knows that he's going to say yes just to make her happy. So she hands him the folder and he glances over the offer without even reading it, then nods. Emma smiles at him and tells him that he's meeting the prospective Holder at three, when he's done with his shift in the office.

At three, he reports dutifully to the meeting rooms. Emma spots him and waves him over to where she's sitting with a man in a dress shirt and slacks. He looks unremarkable, brown hair and brown eyes, but there's something about him that feels... off. Unsteady. He smiles pleasantly at Blaine and gestures for him to kneel.

Blaine folds himself to the floor with all the grace he can remember, and the man smiles. "Lovely," he says. He pauses, then smiles again, shows his teeth. "Do you scream when you're fucked?"

There's white noise in Blaine's ears and he's aware enough of Emma ending the interview to stand and leave when she asks. Then he walks back to his room, back straight, and curls up on his bed. He doesn't think or move or breathe for hours.

 

Sister Blister-- Alanis Morisette

Quinn hates Rachel. Always has, always will, because even though Quinn has everything Rachel does not-- she's blonde, athletic, popular, queen of this idiotic backwater school-- Rachel doesn't have to worry the way that Quinn does. Rachel doesn't have to keep being perfect at everything, Rachel can be Rachel and not worry about getting marked.

Rachel will never have to regret one dumb night the way that Quinn will.

Quinn curls up around her abdomen and prays that she's wrong.

 

32 Flavors-- Ani DiFranco

Burt runs for Representative because it's the right thing to do. It's not just about arts funding, and it's not just about kids like Kurt-- it's about kids like Quinn, it's about his employees and the guy at the doughnut shop. And yeah, part of it's to get back at that Sylvester lady for beating on the glee club, but it's mostly about Burt, and what he can-- what he needs-- to do.

So he takes a deep breath and signs the papers, sets up a desk at the shop to gather signatures, and works his ass off to get through it. He wears a suit more days than he doesn't, cozies up to the local politicians, makes the friends he's always half-avoided. Kurt manages his campaign the same way he'd managed Burt's wedding, and Quinn is impeccable as always.

Somehow, through perseverance and hard work (and a truly terrifying week where he'd wondered if they were going to have to take in Santana, as well, after that ad aired), it's election night. And he's standing up there for Kurt, for Quinn, for the kids who need arts funding and the guys who go to work for him every day.

Burt Hummel takes a deep breath, smooths the notes for the speech Kurt had helped him write, and taps the mic once. Showtime.

 

Bullet in a Gun-- Coyote Grace

Kurt has a blister the size of Texas on his thumb, and half of his fingers are bleeding.

It's the night before his last final, and his collection still isn't perfect, so he's working, because if it's not perfect, if he can't convince someone-- anyone-- to fund a kid just out of school, then they're fucked. All of them-- him, Quinn, Beth-- they'll have nothing and he'll lose them and he can't, he can't; he's worked too hard to fail now.

"That dress won't be helped by bleeding on it," Quinn says mildly from behind him.

Kurt jerks and stabs himself in the pad of his thumb with his needle. He hisses and sticks his thumb in his mouth for a moment. "If I don't finish--"

"It's done, Kurt," Quinn says. He bites the inside of his lip and tries not to hear we're done. "Come on-- if you don't get any sleep, you're going to be a wreck tomorrow, and then we'll be in trouble."

Kurt sighs and accepts Quinn's hand up.

"I'm not going to be able to sleep regardless," he says. Normally there are a million biting things he could say that would make her leave him alone, but he's exhausted enough that his mind is entirely clear of them.

She shrugs. "Then at least you'll rest," she says. Anything he says now is going to sound infantile, so he lets her push him into bed.

 

Lucky- Bif Naked

Quinn meets Lucille when she's waiting to meet with her Foster and knows that she is lucky. Lucille is what Quinn used to look like-- kind of pudgy, mediocre teeth, unimpressive nose-- enough that it's like looking in a mirror. Lucille is wearing the institutional uniform of Defs everywhere (t-shirt, cotton pants, thin-soled shoes: nothing warm enough to survive in, nothing useful for killing yourself), but Quinn is wearing a skirt and sweater that her mother had left in a bag for her on her old back porch. Quinn doesn't look like a Def. She will never look like a Def, no matter what the bracelet on her wrist might indicate.

"Hi," Lucille says, and Quinn smiles tightly back, arms crossed on top of her abdomen, which is growing bigger every day. "Waiting for an interview?"

Quinn shakes her head. "Check-in with my Foster. I'm on assignment already."

"Lucky you," Lucille says.

Quinn looks down at her stomach and thinks that neither of them are really lucky at all.

 

Hey Jude-- The Beatles

Paul Anderson sets pen to paper time after time, willing the words to come. He never gets further than Dear Blaine.

 

Kittery Tide- Girlyman

"I could make a break for it," Kurt says, looking down at his toes.

Tina sighs and leans against him. They're not quite great friends, but they're good friends, and even if Kurt hasn't outright told her the reason he's so nervous, she can guess.

"How much of your closet can you fit in your car?" she asks.

Kurt sighs. "Not nearly enough. Maybe it'll end up okay." He sounds like he's trying to convince himself.

"You can always hide out at my house," she offers. With her brother away at college, they could at least keep someone hidden for a few days-- long enough to let things blow over. And her parents care, they really do (it's why she's even there, after all), and she thinks they'd be fine with letting Kurt stay with them, if he needed to.

"Thanks," Kurt says, and they sit quietly for a few minutes.

"So, about that Beyonce number..." Kurt says, breaking the silence, and it sends them both giggling.

 

Mortal City- Dar Williams

It's cold. It's freezing cold; there's ice spiraling on the windows and Blaine can almost see his breath inside. He folds up the sofa-bed and tries not to shiver.

There's bread to be made (and breakfast, later); there are things that he needs to do but it's so cold. It seeps into his skin, into his bones, and it makes him sluggish and weak. Instead he gathers one of the throws around his shoulders and shuffles into the kitchen, makes himself a cup of tea and watches the city wake up. He watches the lights come on, watches the dawn break over the high-rises and the occasional flashes of green.

Maybe back at the beginning he was angry with Kurt, still unknown, for taking his first sight of New York, but this is his hundredth sunrise and the city is still a surprise, most mornings. He still doesn't feel like he belongs, most of the time, but he feels safe inside this apartment.

He leans back against the counter and watches the city through the ice, through the glass.