Written for a glee_angst_meme prompt that I've misplaced. Why Kurt is adversed to being touched.
“You are such a boy,” Kurt nags at me. “You’re going to have to use a moist towelette if you want to get that makeup off.” He bounds across the room and snatches up one of the towelette thingies and instead of handing it to me like a normal person he just comes at me.
I roughly slap his hand away and burst from my chair. “Don’t touch me!”
For a split second he looks startled, but then his face darkens with indignant anger. “What is your problem, Finn? It’s just a moist towelette!”
But it’s not! It’s not just a towelette thingie. It’s…it’s everything! Why can’t Kurt just be normal? I mean it’s not just him his spectacle is affecting now. I don’t like the way everyone looks at me largely because of him. A lot of the guys started to look at me like I’m some sort of freak just because I like to sing and--well I don’t really like dancing, but I kind of have to do it because of Glee and everything--and they hate me even worse now because I’m living with Kurt. And Kurt’s just…he’s anything but normal. I mean look at him. He’s…he’s…he’s standing there in his bizarre silver dress thing looking like he can’t decide whether he’s pissed, hurt, or…well…kind of frightened.
I avert my gaze quickly, telling myself that he deserved it. It’s his fault I’m getting so much flak at school. I know how he looks at me all moony eyed and stuff. I know he’s got some sort of stupid crush on me. And I know that if I know it, others must see it, too, which only adds to the ridiculing I get. I’m not gay. So he just needs to back off. And I shouldn’t feel guilty for slapping him. He had no right to touch me.
Even if he was only trying to help.
I don’t feel bad.
But I can’t make myself look at him and see the sparks of fear and hurt hiding behind his furious gaze. “I’m going to finish in the laundry room,” I declare, already moving in that direction.
“Grow up, Finn!” he calls after me, his voice practically shaking with anger.
I close the door, and lean against it, closing my eyes as though it will block out that ugly little scene. I flinch as I hear him throwing something.
I should apologize. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I just…
No. This wasn’t my fault. He’s the one who makes me feel so uncomfortable here. He’s the reason that Karofsky and Azimio have it in for me. It’s not that Kurt’s a bad person. He’s not. For the most part I really like him, even. I just wish he wasn’t so…
I swallow the bitter taste that fills my mouth. I didn’t mean that. I don’t have anything against gay people. The way Kurt acts around me makes me uncomfortable sometimes. It’s fine that he’s gay, by I’m not, and I don’t want Kurt going around giving anyone else the impression that I am.
I hate math. Finals are coming up and I just can’t get this! It’s supposed to be review, but I never really got the hang of it when we were going over it months ago.
I crumple up yet another piece of paper that has yet another wrong answer. I toss it toward the waste basket, scowling as it bounces off the rim and onto the floor directly at someone’s feet. I scowl as I start to get up, but before I’m even out of my chair, I see a familiar hand reach down, pick it up.
“Would you like some help?” Kurt asks me as he tosses the paper into the wastebasket.
I hesitate for a moment, catching Karofsky and Azimio eyeing us from a couple tables away.
“I’ve got it,” I tell Kurt, even though I don’t.
He raises an eyebrow as he glances from me to the wastebasket, which is almost overflowing with the crumpled pages I’ve been sending its way.
“How is knowing how to dissect triangles ever going to help me in real life, anyway? I don’t know what tanning has to do with signing or cosigning stuff, either,” I complain.
“Bisecting triangles,” Kurt corrects, though he smiles as he sets his messenger bag down beside my table. I glance over at Karofsky and Azimio, feeling my face flushing slightly as I see them smirking at me. “Here, let me show you,” Kurt offers as he picks up my pencil and begins explaining the problem to me. “You might catch on a little faster if you actually pay attention to what I’m doing,” he says very quietly.
“What?” I snap my attention back to him. He smiles again, and I feel my face heating up slightly with embarrassment. “I mean, right. Thanks,” I reply hastily and watch as he draws out a little diagram, labeling it with the information in the problem.
For the next couple minutes he shows me step by step how to work the problem. And it makes total sense. Not that I understand why they want us to solve problems like this because really when do you ever need to split a triangle in half in real life? Well…sort of if you have a piece of pie or something and want to split it, but even then, it’s not really a triangle and who cares if the pieces are exactly even? Except maybe the guy stuck with the smaller half. But still, Kurt’s instructions make it seem easy. Why don’t teachers ever explain stuff that way?
“Now you try it with the next one,” he urges, handing me my pencil.
I start and it’s going well at first, but then I get a little bit stuck.
“Now you just need to…” Kurt leans over my shoulder, his hand resting on my back. I didn’t really think anything of it until I heard Karofsky make a loud kissing noise.
And suddenly everyone’s staring.
I burst out of the chair and away from Kurt, accidentally knocking him back. He stumbles and goes down with a soft grunt.
I grab my books and head for the exit. I’ll finish my math later.
I’m not sure if Kurt heard me apologize over the laughter that follows me out of the library.
School’s out for the summer and Rachel thinks it’d be really cool if we all go to the movies to celebrate.
I kind of think she meant for us to go see some romantic comedy or something, but she got outvoted by most of the guys (Kurt voted for some weird French thing, but since none of the rest of us actually speak French he was alone with that) plus Santana and Brittany (who probably didn’t know what she was voting for and was following Santana’s lead) so we’re watching Chainsaw Warriors 4 at the multiplex.
It’s awesome. Seriously. Lots of screaming. Blood gushing everywhere. Hot chicks inexplicably showering in the middle of the day. Really good stuff!
And bonus, Rachel’s all clingy, burying her face against my neck.
This is what movies are all about.
Kurt’s on the other side of me, and he keeps flinching and making disgusted little noises. A couple times I’ve looked over and he’s practically hovering over the armrest, oozing into Mercedes’s lap. She doesn’t look like she minds too much, though.
Midway through the movie, though, I hear Mercedes and Kurt whispering. I can’t really hear what they’re saying, but Kurt seems a little more agitated. “Fine, see if I invite you over for the next ANTM marathon,” he pouts at her as she eases out of her chair and heads up the aisle toward the exit. He watches her go for a few moments before turning his attention back to the screen, sinking down in his chair just a little bit.
A couple minutes later I notice that Kurt’s hand is gripping the arm rest between us so tight that his knuckles are turning white...er than usual. I start to grin when suddenly something happens on the screen that startles the entire audience. Damn, I wish I hadn’t been looking down! And then suddenly Kurt’s hand is no longer on the arm rest--it's clutching my shoulder and his face is tucked against my arm.
“Dude!” I hiss, pushing him away quickly.
He looks up at me wide-eyed, then stammers, “S-sorry!” He chances one last glance at the screen before picking himself off the floor and scurrying out to the lobby after Mercedes.
Rachel gives me a fairly horrified look as I turn toward her.
I wonder what I missed this time.
It’s Friday night again, and I’m the last one to arrive at Breadsticks for our “family” dinner.
As usual, Mom and Burt are sharing one side of the booth, which leaves me to sit next to Kurt.
He looks up as I approach and flashes me one of those weird shy little smiles before he scoots over to give me more space.
He doesn’t move over enough, though, and as I slide into the booth I find myself having to scrunch a little bit so that I’m not plastered up against him. He doesn’t seem to notice, though, he just sits there gushing at Mom and admiring the earrings he bought her. And then he jabbers on some more about some shopping that they should make. Burt’s good at pretending to listen, but I’m just bored. And really hungry.
The longer he talks, the more annoyed I am that he won’t move over just a little bit. I mean come on. He’s tiny. He doesn’t need to take up half the booth while I’m practically hanging over the side.
He’s probably doing it so that I’ll have no choice but to press against him. As it is, every time he shifts a little bit he brushes against me. Like it means nothing. He just doesn’t get it.
Mom and Burt both look up as the waitress approaches, our meals barely balancing on her outstretched arms. As he rises to help her, I take the opportunity to push Kurt over, to make more room for myself. I shove a little bit harder than I intended and he thumps against the wall.
His eyes widen for a moment, and I brace myself to be scolded by my mom when he tells her what I just did. Instead his mouth snaps shut and he gives me a little nod.
I feel bad as he stays pressed against the wall and strangely quiet while he eats his salad.
“So, she wants me to go to this after party thing, and she wants me to be,” I hold up my fingers to indicate quotes, “’up to par’ with this waltz dance thing,” I explain to Mom. “But she’s so busy with rehearsals that she doesn’t have time to teach me.”
“And when do you have to learn this by?” Mom asks.
“This Saturday night.”
Mom winces. “Oh, Finn. I’m sorry, but I really am swamped this week. I don’t know when…I can maybe try…” she trails off, her brow furrowed as she tries to come up with some time for me.
“Kurt knows how to Waltz,” Burt offers. “He could teach you, I bet.” Burt raises his eyebrows and looks at Kurt pointedly.
“Could you?” Mom asks before I can protest. “That would be great!”
Kurt glances at me hesitantly. “I don’t think Finn would wan…I don’t think I’d be very good at teaching Finn,” he begs off.
“Oh, come on,” Burt urges. “If you can teach a lug-head me the foxtrot, I’m sure you can teach Finn the Waltz.” I’m not so sure of that. I’m a pretty terrible dancer. Plus it’d be kind of weird dancing with Kurt. As if Burt can read my mind, he gives me a look. “C’mon, Finn. You two are pretty good friends, right?”
“Okay, so it’s settled. Kurt’ll teach you. You two can start while we take care of the dishes,” Mom suggests.
I’m not sure I’m really all that comfortable with this. After all Kurt kind of has that crush on me and I don’t know that I want to encourage that. But I really need to learn this stuff. And I don’t want Mom and Burt to think I’m not cool with Kurt or something. I don’t really want to get banned from even visiting the Hummel’s house.
“We don’t have to do this,” Kurt assures me a little while later as we make our way down to his room. “I’m sure that Rachel’ll be able to find some time if you tell her that your mom couldn’t help.”
“No!” I blurt out quickly, even though part of me really thinks I should agree with him. “It’s okay. Let’s do this.”
He looks at me for a moment, as though sizing me up, then nods. “Okay.” His face flushes as he moves to stand directly in front of me. “We’re going to start really simple.”
“Good,” I reply, grinning.
He smiles lightly, his cheeks pinking more than usual. He steps around behind me. “Your right hand is going to go here.” He taps my back really lightly.
Um…okay. That seems a little weird and…”I’m not sure I can reach that spot.”
Kurt giggles at that. “On me,” he replies as he steps back in front of me. It’s not until I see his eyes that I realize this is the first real smile he’s given me in a long time. I grin back as I put my hand on his back, where he indicated I should. He places his hand very lightly on my arm. “And you’ll take my--Rachel’s--right hand in yours,” he informs me nervously.
Once I’m holding his hand, he adjusts our position slightly.
“This is the box step. Now you’re going to step forward with your left foot. Always lead with your left foot,” he repeats. “Just step forward, kind of between my legs.”
I gape at him for a moment. I can see his cheeks pinking more. “I mean…not…you’re going to put your left foot forward while Rachel’s right foot is going to step back. Make sure you don’t step on her, but kind of move your foot to where hers was.”
Okay, I can do this. It’s weird but as I start stepping forward Kurt does, indeed step backward. Success. “Okay, now right foot you’re going to step sideways to the right.” I do that while he mirrors the move with his left. “Try not to take such a big step. My legs--Rachel’s legs--are a lot shorter than yours. You need to make it nice and easy for her,” he directs. “Okay. Now bring your left foot over beside your right.” He then instructs me the next steps where I step backward with my right foot. Even though I thought he said to always start with my left, I don’t argue. And then back and sideways with the left. And together. “Just remember. One. Two-three.” He counts the first beat long, the next two short. “One. Two-three.” He repeats.
We go through the steps several times until it’s almost feeling natural.
I grin down at Kurt.
“I think I can actually do this!”
“Oh, we’re just getting started,” he replies.
And he’s not kidding. He teaches me several more steps, a few turns, and a few additional tricks. And he tells me, most importantly, how to lead so that Rachel knows what we’re going to be doing next.
“Well, Finn Hudson,” Kurt says at last. “I think we’ve got you not just up to par, but I think you may just be an ace!” He gives me a big smile, his eyes shining.
And suddenly I realize that I screwed up big time. He’s looking at me that way again.
Instinctively I push away from him. He lets out a startled squeak as he steps backward, trying to keep his balance. He stays upright, but when he looks back at me, his smile has vanished and he looks as though I’ve struck him. I didn’t even push him that hard. After a few beats, he lets out a small huff and his features are drawn tight. “I was wrong. Once a buffoon. Always a buffoon,” he utters as he turns, flouncing away from me as he heads toward the stairs.
“Wait!” I call after him. “Kurt, I…”
He stops a couple stairs from the bottom. When he turns back to me, I kind of wish he looked angry. Instead he just looks upset.
“I’m sorry,” I apologize. “I didn’t mean to push you I was just…”
“Finished with me?” he asks, his voice dangerously soft. “Got what you wanted so you can push me aside?”
“What? No!” I protest.
He steps back down and stands before me once again. “Do you think we’re friends, Finn?” he asks curiously his head tilting to the side a little bit as he looks up at me.
“Of course we are!”
“You really think that, don’t you,” he says sadly.
“You don’t think we are?”
He looks at me for a few moments before speaking again. “We’re not friends, Finn. We haven’t been for a long time.”
I feel like he just punched me in the gut. “What do you mean?”
“You can’t stand being around me.”
“That’s not tru--"
“At least not where anyone can *see* us.”
My mouth snaps shut. That’s not true…exactly. I mean we’re in Glee together and all and I don’t care if they see us. And we hang out all the time at home. And it’s not like I go out of my way to avoid him or anything.
“You don’t let me touch you.”
I feel my face turning bright red. “I’m not gay, Kurt!”
He lets out a laugh that doesn’t really sound amused. “Don’t you think I know that?” he asks. “I didn’t mean it that way!” I look at him questioningly. “You’re friends with Puck, right?”
I nod slowly, unsure where he’s going with this.
“Do you freak out and shove him whenever he puts a hand on your shoulder?”
“Of course not!”
Kurt looks at me patiently, a wintery smile gracing his lips, but leaving his eyes dull.
“It’s different. Puck doesn’t want to…” I flush and clamp my mouth shut as I realize what I’m saying. “I mean…well…you like me.”
He sighs. “This may come as a complete surprise, Finn, but I haven’t liked you for a long time.”
I blink. What?
“I had a crush on you.” He tells me, though I already knew that. I think it might just be the first time he’s ever admitted it, though. “I thought I was in love with you, even,” he adds, his cheeks pinking and his smile growing slightly warmer for a moment. “But I deserve better than you.”
My brow furrows. What’s that supposed to mean? Not that I think I’m perfect or anything, but…
“Don’t worry. I know you’re still a nice guy. And you’re tall and handsome,” he continues. “And I’m sure you’ll make some girl that isn’t totally self absorbed and doomed to relationship hell like Rachel really happy someday.” He smiles faintly, and I know he’s only teasing about the Rachel thing. Or at least I think he’s only kidding. Perhaps it’s best I don’t know for sure. “But I’m not a masochist. And I have too much self esteem to want to be with someone who only abuses me.”
My mouth goes dry. I don’t know what he means about the masothing but abuse? I wouldn’t ever…
“Finn, I know you didn’t mean it, but do you realize that every time I’ve touched you in the last six months you’ve ended up hitting me? I get it. You don’t want me to touch you. And I won’t. I’ve really tried not to. And I wouldn’t have tonight except…well…Dad and Carole. I’m am over you, Finn. And I have been for a long time. All I’ve wanted from you is your friendship, but clearly I still make you too uncomfortable, so…I’m done. I don’t hate you, or even dislike you. I’ll remain civil. I’ll help you when you need help because we’re…sort of family now. But make no mistake, Finn. You and me? We’re not friends. I can’t and won’t be friends with someone who is only going to hurt me.”
I know my mouth is kind of hanging open and I reach out, intending to put my hand on his shoulder. Somehow assure him that it’s not like that. I never meant to hurt him. And it’s okay now. I get it. He’s not in love with me anymore. We’re okay.
Except we’re not. He pulls away before I can touch him. “You don’t get to touch me,” he informs me. “Never again.” He says it with strong conviction even though his eyes are glistening with unshed tears.
I nod, though I don’t want to agree. I just don’t know how else to respond.
“And,” he says, “If you ever hit or shove Rachel, or any other girl, around like you have me, I promise you, I will make you sorry. I know where you sleep at night.” He says the last part lightly, but I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he means it. “Good luck at the dance, Mr. Astaire. I hope Rachel is sufficiently captivated.”
With that he turns and heads up the stairs again, leaving me alone to try and sort out everything he said. He has to know I’d never hit a girl. And…I didn’t mean to hurt him. It was just a misunderstanding. Or, I guess, several months’ worth of misunderstandings.
And who the hell is Mr. Astaire?
Mom and Burt are getting married on Saturday.
True to his word, Kurt hasn’t touched me since he taught me to Waltz. I hadn’t noticed until he pointed it out that he’d stopped, but once I noticed, it’s weird, but I kind of miss it. Also true to his word, he hasn’t let me touch him. I tried, the day after Burt’s heart attack. I only meant to comfort him, but he made it clear, though, that he was still off limits.
He still talks to me. And some days it really does seem like we’re okay, but then I mess up and I start reaching for him and he flinches away.
We don’t talk about it.
I’m too ashamed to.
“So, are you bringing Mercedes to the wedding?” I ask.
He shrugs. “She’s invited already. And I’ve made her promise to save me a dance, but I don’t think I’m bringing a date. I told her she should bring that new guy she’s been eyeing up.”
He’s looking longingly over at Sam as he says it. I guess he has a thing for quarterbacks…or at least ex-quarterbacks.
I can’t help but smile a little bit. I know something about Sam that apparently Kurt doesn’t. Part of me wants to blurt it out, but it’s not my secret to tell. ”You could invite Sam…you know, as a friend,” I encourage him. Yeah, that’s not too obvious, right?
He blushes a little bit. “I don’t think…I don’t think he’d be terribly comfortable with that.”
“He might surprise you.” In fact, I’m sure he will.
Kurt sighs. “Well. Pretty much everyone else in Glee is coming as an invited guest, already. It wouldn’t hurt to invite him, too, I suppose. And I don’t want him to feel left out or something.”
I grin.”Go for it.”
And so he does. He walks right up to Sam’s locker. He reaches out to tap Sam’s shoulder. But he stops. I can see his hand hovering mere inches away from Sam. And then he pulls back, clearly unsure. He takes a step back. He glances back at me, looking almost helpless.
And I realize in that moment that he can’t touch Sam because he’s thinking about the way I treated him when he touched me.