Kurt is mere seconds away from missing the bus that stops in front of the school, which means it’s already so full of students that he’s forced to stand near the front of the bus. Sure, things will clear out as the route goes along, but for now he’s pressed tightly against the bar, trying desperately not to touch anybody. He grips the bar, purposefully glaring out the window as the bus starts up, the music blasting in his ears allowing him to tune out the inane chatter of the students around him.
As the bus rattles, Kurt considers getting off a couple of stops early to grab a pizza at Little Caesars. He had a shitty day at school today, after all, and he did just get paid. It would be nice not to have to cook for once, plus he knows his mom secretly loves Little Caesars, even if she pretends she doesn’t.
It’ll suck having to either walk the rest of the way home or wait for the next bus, though.
The bus stops and somehow a few more people cram themselves in. A middle-aged woman is pressed up against Kurt’s back, and Kurt grips the bar even tighter.
Maybe he can convince his mom to drive him to the pizza place. She’ll probably go for it once he tells her he’s springing for it. Or he can just fuck it all and order delivery from Giovanni’s, in West Lima. It’s been a while since he treated himself to pizza that cost more than five dollars.
Fuck it. He had a really shitty day at school. He deserves Giovanni’s.
Someone reaches across Kurt’s face to press the stop button, and Kurt scowls. He can’t wait till he’s saved up enough to buy himself a car. Even the shittiest clunker would be better than this.
Several people get off the bus at the next stop, though, enough for Kurt to feel like he actually has room to breathe. He turns around and leans against the bar instead of gripping it, eyes lazily flicking over the rest of the people on the bus for the first time.
He smirks when his eyes fall on the new kid, sitting near the back door with his backpack in his lap, staring worriedly up at the next stop indicator at the front of the bus.
He doesn’t know the kid’s name, but he does know that he’s gorgeous. He’s a year younger than Kurt, from what he’s gathered, and just moved to Lima over the summer. He’s sat alone at lunch every day for the past two weeks, earphones jammed in his ears, slowly eating packed lunches out of brown paper bags.
He also takes the same bus as Kurt home from school, getting off four stops before Kurt does.
The boy’s eyes turn to Kurt, but Kurt doesn’t look away. He smirks and raises an eyebrow instead. The boy holds his gaze for several seconds, then rolls his eyes and looks back up at the next stop indicator.
He’s done the same thing every day for two weeks now. And honestly, Kurt is getting ready to move their relationship to the next level.
The talking level.
There’s a possibility the guy isn’t into dudes, but Kurt doubts it. Every time Kurt sees him he’s wearing one of two bowties. They’re tattered, mind, and ugly as hell, but they’re still bowties. Kurt doesn’t know any straight guy who goes out of his way to wear bowties to school.
So, either he just isn’t into Kurt, or he’s playing hard to get.
Kurt really hopes it’s the latter. The dude is smoking .
The bus stops and the girl sitting beside Bowtie Boy stands up. Kurt doesn’t hesitate, pushing his way past the few people still standing and sliding into the seat instantly.
He pops his earphones out of his ears and grins. “Hey,” he says.
Instead of turning to look at him, Bowtie Boy turns his head toward the window, prominently displaying the earphones in his ears. Kurt can see his reflection in the window, though, and grins as they make eye-contact.
The boy rolls his eyes again, then turns to look at Kurt. He plucks one earphone out of his ear and raises an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”
Kurt grins. “I think you can,” he says. He holds his hand out to the boy. “I’m Kurt.”
The boy doesn’t even glance at the proffered hand, instead keeping his eyes glued to Kurt’s. “How can I help you, Kurt?”
Kurt tilts his head. This boy’s got an attitude. “Well, you could tell me your name, for starters.”
Bowtie Boy’s eyebrow rises further. He looks over Kurt’s face, eyes briefly lingering on his lips. Then he looks back up to the front of the bus. “Blaine,” he says quietly. He places his earphone back into his ear, and Kurt smirks.
Kurt watches him for a while, but it’s clear that Bowtie Blaine isn’t going to budge. Still, he can see the way the boy is clutching his backpack tightly, fingers clenching the plain black fabric far harder than he needs to.
Definitely playing hard to get.
The name of the boy’s stop plays over the speaker, and Bowtie Blaine quickly tugs the string down. He stands up immediately and gives Kurt a withering look.
Kurt stretches out, biting down on his lip. Bowtie Blaine sighs and rolls his eyes. He takes an earphone out of his ear again and says, “My stop is coming up.”
“Not for a bit,” Kurt replies. “Why are you in such a hurry to get away?”
Bowtie Blaine rolls his eyes again. “Can you just move, please?”
Kurt stares at him, daring him to back down, but Bowtie Blaine seems resolute. When Kurt doesn’t move after about ten seconds, the boy rolls his eyes again and starts stepping over Kurt’s legs.
Kurt stays still, watching the boy struggle. He’s clearly determined, and manages to get out of the seat before the bus comes to a full stop. He stumbles a little as his foot catches Kurt’s leg, but rights himself quickly.
Before he steps off the bus, he purposefully turns around and glares at Kurt. He then shouts, “Back door please!” at the driver, and once the door opens he leaves without another glance back.
For a brief second Kurt considers getting off the bus after him, just to see where the guy lives, but before he can make up his mind the door is closing and the bus is starting back up.
Kurt slumps in his seat, tossing his backpack onto the now-empty window seat and putting his headphones back in. Whatever. It’s probably better that he doesn’t stalk this guy. As hot as he is, Kurt doesn’t need to get in over his head with a guy – again.
‘Glad You Came’ comes on his shuffle, and he scowls, shoving his hand into his pocket and pulling his phone out, pressing the next button with probably too much force. He doesn’t care. He doesn’t feel like thinking about Sebastian now. Not after the day he’s had.
He slumps further in his seat as a song that decidedly doesn’t remind him of his ex comes on. One of the people still standing gives him a dirty look, glancing to the empty seat next to him, but Kurt ignores him He’s in a mood, and he needs people to see it so they’ll back the fuck off.
Honestly, he’s surprised it took everyone at school this long to find out that Sebastian dumped his ass as soon as he left the state. After all, Sebastian was a bit of a legend at McKinley, seeing as he was one of the few students that actually had money, was an ace lacrosse player, and good looking to boot.
When they got together everybody said it would never last.
He fucking hates that they were right. And now they get to rub it in his face.
The bus is practically empty by the time Kurt’s stop rolls around. Santana Lopez is the only other student who rides the bus all the way into Lima Heights, and she’s the next stop down. She isn’t on the bus today, though, which Kurt appreciates. She was practically the head of the ‘Sebastian is too good for you, you Lima Fucking Loser’ brigade, and she’s been giving him this annoying smirk ever since he got on the bus to school that morning. He’s glad he didn’t have to deal with her bullshit all the way home, too.
He hops off the bus with a casual wave at the driver and starts heading in the direction of his apartment building.
He decides to briefly pop into the corner store and pick up a bottle of Coke to have with his pizza; he doesn’t feel like paying for Giovanni’s overpriced soda. The college student behind the register gives him a far too judgemental look when Kurt pulls out his debit card to pay instead of the usual crumpled bills. Kurt swipes his card and scrunches his face at the employee. This asshole’s been giving him shit ever since Kurt’s card got declined for a $1.49 bag of Cheetos.
Fucking prick. It’s not like he’s living it up, working in a convenience store in Lima Heights. Kurt grabs his soda and his receipt and resists the urge to flip the guy off as he leaves.
He takes a brief swig of the two litre bottle as he walks the last few minutes between the corner store and his apartment building, considering calling Giovanni’s on his way home so he can get it at soon as possible.
When he reaches the front door to his building, his eye briefly catches on a gorgeous motorcycle in the guest parking lot. He whistles lowly, eyes roving over the gorgeous machine. It’s either new or very well taken care of.
He hopes whoever owns it has enough sense to get it out of this neighbourhood before nightfall.
He unlocks the front door and pushes it open, pausing to let a couple that lives a floor above him out. Then, he heads to the stairwell, climbing up to the third floor easily.
Their apartment is right by the stairwell, which is a pain in the ass during the weekends, but is nice after school. He unlocks the deadbolt and opens the door, calling out, “Mom, I’m home!” as he does.
He turns to lock the deadbolt back up, tossing his keys on the little table they keep by the door. It’s only when he turns back around that he notices the muddied boots sitting in their entrance.
He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. “For fuck’s sake,” he whispers.
His mom pops her head out through the doorway into the kitchen, blonde hair curling up at the edges and smiling softly. “Hey, baby,” she says. “How was school?”
“Please tell me those don’t belong to who I think they belong,” he says, pointing at the boots.
His mom’s smile instantly falls. “Kurt…”
The sound of the toilet flushing rushes through the apartment and Kurt shakes his head, jaw already clenching.
“Kurt,” his mom repeats. “Be nice.”
“Why is he here?” he hisses.
She doesn’t have time to answer. The door to the bathroom flies open and Puck steps out, rubbing his hands together and saying, “Quinn, that two-ply shit is fucking awful. You have to get yourself some three-ply paper at least; I had four-ply out in LA, felt like God was licking my ass every time I wiped.”
Puck is still laughing at his own disgustingness when he catches sight of Kurt. Instantly, he smiles. “Hey, buddy!” He opens his arms up and starts walking toward him. “Long time no see, huh?”
Kurt manages to avoid the hug, squeezing past him through the tight hallway that leads straight to the living room. “Whose fault is that?” he spits, scowling.
“Kurt!” His mom is glaring at him, but Kurt ignores her, keeping his eyes on Puck.
“It’s cool, Q,” the man says, raising his hands as if accepting defeat. They’re still wet. “I get it. Kid’s got a right to be upset that his old man isn’t around as much as he should be.”
Kurt narrows his eyes. “Why are you here?”
Puck grins. “To see you, of course. And your mom. Missed you guys.”
“Yeah, I bet,” Kurt says, snorting. He turns to his mom and says, “I’m not sleeping here if he is.”
“Kurt, come on,” she says, voice going soft in that way it always does when she wants something from him. “Your dad drove all the way here just so he could spend some time with you.”
Kurt turns to Puck, jaw still clenched. “You drove?” he asks. That’s new. Normally the guy shows up on a bus, to gain extra pity points from his mom.
“Yeah. I got a sweet new ride. It’s out front, if you want to check it out?”
“She’s my baby,” Puck confirms.
Kurt presses his lips together, glancing over at his mom. She has a pleading look in her eye, one she only gets when Puck’s around.
“Right,” Kurt says. “Look, I was planning on going out tonight anyway, and I’m not going to cancel my plans because you decided to grace us with your presence.”
“Kurt!” his mom scolds yet again. Kurt ignores her.
“That’s cool,” Puck says, hands once again raising in defeat. “I’m gonna be sticking around for a while, so we’ll definitely have time to catch up.”
“Fantastic,” Kurt drawls. He turns on his heel and heads through the living room toward the door in the far corner, pushing it open without looking back and shutting it tight behind him.
He can hear his mom and Puck talking quietly behind his door and groans, throwing his backpack onto his desk chair and setting the bottle of coke on his desk. He kicks his shoes off and falls onto his bed.
So much for his awesome relaxing plans.
He hates when Puck does this. Decides he wants to be a dad for a week. Not that that’s ever his real reason for coming back to Lima, but he always claims it is.
Kurt groans again and turns so that he’s lying on his stomach, face pressed against his pillow. He desperately wants to scream.
As if today hadn’t been shitty enough already.
There’s a soft knock on his door, and he doesn’t have time to tell his mom to go away before she’s opening the door and coming in.
He hears the door click shut behind her, but stays where he is.
For a while she doesn’t say anything, and Kurt hopes that it’ll keep up. Maybe she’ll change her mind about whatever bullshit she wants to spew at him. She does that from time to time.
Never with Puck, of course, but Kurt can dream.
After a few minutes of silence, she says, “You know he’s just trying to be your dad.”
Kurt snorts, moving his head so he’s facing his wall. “Sure.”
“Kurt,” she says quietly, footsteps moving toward his bed. She sits down at the edge and puts a hand on his shoulder. “This isn’t like the other times, okay? He’s in a good place. He isn’t here-”
“To ask for money?” Kurt finishes, sitting up. He shakes his head. “Mom, come on. You don’t seriously buy this motorcycle shit, do you? He hasn’t paid child support in eight months, but suddenly he’s in a good enough place to buy a motorcycle ? Come on, mom. Money’s the only reason he ever comes here.”
“Not this time,” she says. “He… he misses you. He misses us.”
Kurt closes his eyes. He can feel the tears wanting to come, but he refuses to let them fall. “Mom, no. Don’t do this.”
“I’m not – look,” she huffs and pushes a lock of hair out of her face, “your dad came to see you, and you’re being an asshole to him. Can you at least pretend to be civil? I thought I raised you better.”
Kurt can’t help but smile at that, despite the situation. “Yeah, right,” he says, bumping their shoulders together. She chuckles.
They’re quiet for a few moments. Then Kurt says, “He’s just going to use us again.”
“I promise it’s not like that this time.”
“That’s what you say every time, and it’s always like that. Come on, mom. Don’t be naïve.”
She turns to him, green eyes as cold as steel. “It’s not naïve to want us to have a normal family for once, Kurt.”
“We are a normal family!” He gestures between them. “You and me. That’s all we need. We don’t need him to be normal. We’ve never needed him.”
She shakes her head and stands up. “This isn’t a discussion I’m having with you again, Kurt. Your dad is staying for a few days and you will be civil to him. Got it?”
Kurt bites the inside of his cheek. She gives him a challenging look, the one he used to try and mimic for hours in the mirror. He sighs.
“Whatever,” he says. “I still have plans tonight, though.”
“I thought you weren’t working tonight.”
“ Social plans, mom. With my friends.”
She licks her lips, and he tries to ignore the way her eyes soften in pity. He hates when she does that.
“Whatever, mom,” he says. “Can you just leave? Go give him some placating story about how everything will be fine soon enough, how I’ll come around, or whatever it is you tell him that makes him think it’s okay to keep coming back here. I have to change.”
She stares at him for a few more moments, then nods. She heads back toward his door, but briefly pauses when she gets there.
“He just wants to get to know you, Kurt,” she says quietly. “He’s your dad.”
“No, he’s not,” Kurt says. “If he was my dad he wouldn’t have fucked off like he did.”
She doesn’t respond for a moment, and Kurt worries that she’s trying to come up with some kind of retort. Instead, she just shakes her head and leaves the room. He watches her go, feeling bad for taking his frustration out on her.
Still, it’s not like she’s about to tell Puck to fuck off, either.
He watches the door for a bit, then pulls his phone out of his pocket. He scrolls through his contacts, finding who he wants relatively quickly. He presses the call button and raises the phone to his ear.
It rings a couple of times before a deep voice answers with a surprised, “Kurt?”
“Hey,” he says, hand clenched at his thigh. “I, uh.” He clears his throat. “There’s a situation at my house. Is it okay if I stay with you guys tonight?”
He instantly receives a positive response, and he thanks his friend before hanging up, telling him that he’ll be there soon. He shoves his phone back into his pocket, then heads to his desk. He quickly empties his school supplies out of his backpack, leaving them lying askew on the desk. He then shoves a pair of sweatpants, a ratty shirt, some clean underwear, and his work uniform into it. He manages to fit the bottle of Coke in with his clothes as well. He makes sure he has his wallet too, then slings it over his shoulder, pulls his shoes back on, and heads out of his room.
Puck and his mom are sitting on the couch whispering. They stop when he emerges, and he rolls his eyes.
“I’m going to stay at a friend’s,” he says.
Puck is the one who replies, with a suspicious, “Is this a guy friend?”
Kurt turns to glare at him. “The fuck’s it to you?”
“Hey,” his mom says, standing up.
Puck puts his hand on her arm. “It’s fine, Q.” Then, to Kurt, “I was just asking, bud. Just want you to be safe.”
Kurt rolls his eyes. “Yeah, sure,” he says. He heads toward the front door, grabbing his keys from the table and unlocking the deadbolt. “Oh, by the way,” he says as he opens the door. “You’re going to want to put your baby in the garage for the night. It’ll be cramped, but at least it’ll be indoors. Nothing that nice lasts long sitting out in this neighbourhood.”
He doesn’t give them a chance to respond, walking out the door and slamming it shut behind him. He doesn’t even bother to stop and lock the deadbolt, instantly heading to the stairwell.
What an amazing fucking day.