”I dare you to hold Soulmate Seeker’s hand and take a picture of it,” Rachel says loudly and pompously despite the fact that her sibilants are extra hissy due to the alcohol she has consumed.
Kurt groans. “That’s just stupid, and we’d have to leave the house.”
“Ha! Hummel is refusing a dare!” Santana cackles from the other side of the circle.
“No, I’m not!” Kurt stands up from his spot, leaning heavily on Finn’s shoulder. Getting up makes him a little dizzy. Maybe he has drunk more than he meant to.”I just think that’s stupid and unimaginative.” Or maybe not, since he got that out without stumbling over the word.
“You were hoping that she’d dare you to kiss Sam, and now you’re mad,” Santana says.
Kurt hopes that they’ll think his flaming cheeks are caused by the alcohol instead of guilt. Maybe he had secretly hoped for that, just to have the experience. Kurt has never kissed a boy, and Sam is boyishly cute on top of being nice to him, which is a lot on McKinley standards. Kurt wouldn’t mind getting his first kiss from Sam in a drunken game of Truth or Dare.
“Is anyone coming with?” Kurt asks the room, since it seems like he has to brave the temperature outside to hold some statue’s hand.
Brittany is lying on the table in nothing but her underwear, talking to herself. She is clearly not coming outside. Artie sways in his chair by the couch next to the circle of people, staring into his solo cup, seemingly a little out of this world. Mike and Tina are practically dry humping on the love seat. The rest of the New Directions sit in a haphazard circle on the basement floor.
“Nah, I’m too lazy to move to go watch Hummel holding hands. You should have dared him to make out with Soulmate Seeker instead, Rachel,” Puck drawls. “That might have made things interesting enough.”
“I’m not going either,” Sam says. “It’s way too cold out there.”
“Somebody needs to look after these idiots, that they don’t get up to anything stupid,” Mercedes says. Kurt is pretty sure her answer has more to do with Sam’s arm around her shoulders than keeping an eye on what is happening, but he says nothing.
“I, for one, am coming,” Rachel says and starts to push herself up off the floor. “I want to see this with my own two eyes and I’ll even take the picture.”
“We are staying here,” Quinn says, holding on to Finn’s arm. Her tone is more than a little commanding, and that’s probably because Santana dared Rachel to kiss Finn a while back. That triangle never seems to settle, and frankly Kurt thinks it’s getting boring.
“Berry can be your witness. I’m fine with just seeing the picture.” Santana leans her back against the couch and smirks. “Make it a good one.”
Kurt rolls his eyes and huffs in an exaggerated manner to make everyone see what he feels about this dare. It’s ridiculous, but he guesses the whole game is. He should have stayed out it. Watching from the sidelines would have been enough, and he wouldn’t have to deal with Rachel’s brainchild of a dare of going out to the freezing cold night to hold hands with some stupid statue. Kurt can’t emphasize how stupid it is. He takes his coat from the rack and climbs up the stairs, Rachel trailing right behind.
It is indeed cold outside. The sky above is endless with stars, and the trees lining the street are covered in snow that glitters in the yellow glow from the streetlights. It’s beautiful, but too cold for Kurt to appreciate it fully. It was so warm down in the Berrys’ basement, and now he has to freeze his nose off to complete this dare. Rachel locks the door behind them and then takes Kurt’s arm. They head down the street, turn left and start for the old town square.
Soulmate Seeker is a nickname for the statue standing in the west corner of the old town square. No one knows where it came from or how long it’s been there. The statue portrays a boy or young man walking with his left hand outstretched, as if looking for something. Kurt has never actually really looked at the statue, he has just passed it by, snorting at the people gathered around it. From what he’s seen, the boy looks handsome, but that’s that. A handsome statue should be just that. Instead, there’s a legend that makes people behave stupidly.
According to the legend, the boy is looking for his soulmate, hence the nickname. He is waiting for the right person to take his hand to come back to life. That’s why everyone who comes to Lima goes to the statue and takes its hand. It has turned into a selfie hotspot in the last year or so. People pose, holding hands with the statue, and take pictures to post online. Kurt has heard that some people have taken to traveling to Lima just for a picture with the statue. It has turned into a thing, no one really believes that the statue might come alive. Well, except for that one girl at school, Ann Kurt thinks her name is, who was certain the statue was her soulmate. She was in love with the boy trapped in the statue and it took her months to prepare to take his hand. When nothing happened, she collapsed and didn’t show up to school in two weeks.
Kurt and Rachel reach the square. Luckily Rachel lives close to the old town square. There’s no one else there – Lima is practically dead after the stores close, and the few bars the town has to offer aren’t very close to here. It’s almost eerie, walking over the empty square, their footsteps crunching in the snow and disrupting the otherwise quiet night. The cold air has started to prickle on Kurt’s cheeks, but it has also sobered him up some. He really wants to get back inside. Rachel doesn’t seem much better, since she shivers on his arm.
“Can we just head back?” Kurt asks. He doesn’t really feel like touching the statue. “It’s so cold.”
“We already came all this way, Kurt. It’ll only take a minute, you take his hand and I snap a picture of it.” Rachel looks at him and Kurt sighs. His breath turns white in the air.
He takes a long look at the statue as Rachel lets go of his arm. The statue stands up on a podium, but it still seems small for a statue, more human size than actual statue size. There are lights surrounding the statue, throwing shadows on its face and turning it eerily life-like. The boy is better looking that Kurt ever thought from farther away. His jaw line is to die for, and he has nice cheekbones. The statue’s hair is slicked back against the subject’s skull, but there are some curls behind his ears, an intricate detail. Kurt takes in big, expressive eyes and finds himself wondering what color they should be. Also, the statue has long lashes. Kurt isn’t quite sure how that’s even possible – how does one craft eyelashes on a bronze statue?
The boy in the statue is dressed in a flowing shirt and a vest, and for some reason he has no coat. If Kurt would have to guess he’d place the outfit to the civil war era. The boots on the statue’s feet look heavy but Kurt appreciates the aesthetic.
“What are you waiting for now, Kurt?” Rachel complains, breaking Kurt from his thoughts. “You were the one in hurry. It’s really cold, and my phone is going to die – can you just take his hand so I can take the photo?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kurt says, still staring at the statue. Nothing will happen. Still he dreads touching the statue. Kurt doesn’t know what he’s afraid of, but he feels like he shouldn’t disturb the statue. What if something happens? No. Kurt shakes his head. That’s a stupid fancy that people like to tell tales about. It’s just a statue. Now Kurt is the one being dumb.
“Camera ready?” Kurt asks, reaching up towards the statue’s hand. He sees his own gloved fingers shaking and wills that to stop. Nothing will happen. He takes the statue’s hand.
The bronze isn’t cold through Kurt’s glove, and that’s everything Kurt has time to register before he has to brace himself as his arms are suddenly full of boy, and Rachel is screaming. The podium is empty, and Kurt is holding on to a very living person. There’s a hand in his hand, and his other arm is around firm shoulders, and his nose is brushing black hair. There’s a hot breath on his jaw, and long, warm fingers are clutching onto his gloved ones like a lifeline.
The statue came alive.
Kurt has time to wonder if he passed out in Rachel’s basement, but he knows this is happening for real. Soulmate seeker’s legend is true, and apparently Kurt is the one he was waiting for. The boy in his arms is very much alive, heavy and panting, and shivering.
“Hey, hey – are you alright?” Kurt asks and pulls away to look at the boy properly. He meets the most beautifully colored eyes he has ever seen. Honey brown, almost golden, though his pupil eats away most of the color because it’s dark. Just because it’s dark, Kurt tells himself.
The boy smiles a breathtakingly beautiful smile, and Kurt’s knees feel weak. The only thing shattering the image is that the boy’s teeth are clattering. Kurt quickly takes off his coat – he has on four layers even without it, and one of them is a thick cardigan, so he has more clothes than the boy in his arms even without the coat. He places the coat on the boy’s shoulders, and the boy sighs contently, closing his eyes.
“Thank you…” the boy trails off, opening his eyes to look at Kurt expectantly, with more than a little wonder.
“Kurt. Kurt Hummel,” Kurt manages to say. His heart is beating wildly in his chest, and his hands have found their way back around the boy. Just to make sure he gets warm, Kurt lies to himself. The boy’s eyes flick to Kurt’s lips, and then back to his eyes.
“Kurt Hummel. My name is Blaine Anderson, and I’ve been looking for you forever.”