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Title: Friendly Competition
Fandom: Glee
Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Blaine
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,089
Summary: Kurt passes his audition for the Warblers; Blaine offers his congratulations.
Notes: Written for/based on a prompt from [livejournal.com profile] sotto_voice: "I just want to see them have a conversation about something that is not about bullying or trauma."



Kurt is still not quite used to how open people at Dalton are. Well, most people anyway, because there's a zero-tolerance bullying policy, not a rule that everyone has to be friends. But even the ones whose names he doesn't know, or who run in different social circles than him, they're always respectful and offer him a passing smile. He does the same in return, hesitantly, still finding his feet in this new school.

But things like today, he nails his rendition of, "Defying Gravity,"—which he chose more for the way it shows off his range than the symbolism, but the fact that the neither the director nor any of the Warblers bat an eye is reassuring, and they even seem impressed by the way he hits the high F. Only moments after he finishes, the director pronounces him officially a Warbler and he's suddenly surrounded by his new group mates. The director gives him a pat on the arm, and several upperclassmen clap him good-naturedly on the back. Wes and David even actually hug him. It's kind of shocking; he's never made friends so quickly before.

Conspicuously absent from the welcome is Blaine, and Kurt is momentarily upset by that until he sees Blaine hanging back at the edge of the crowd, clearly waiting until there is time to offer his congratulations one-on-one.

Eventually the crowd disperses and the room starts to empty as everyone heads off to their next extracurricular or to the library to start on their homework. Kurt stays, waiting Blaine out, until finally there are only a few other Warblers left in the choir room.

"Where are you headed next?" Blaine asks finally. He hitches his bag higher onto his shoulder while Kurt gathers up the set list, demos, and sheet music he has to catch up on.

"I guess I should go to the library," Kurt sighs. "I have a lot to catch up on."

Blaine nods. "Mind if I walk you?"

Kurt minds Blaine walking him to the library just about as much as he minded Blaine holding his hand as they ran through the halls during Blaine's not-so-short "short cut." Which is to say: not at all.

"All right," he answers. He's really proud of the evenness in his voice.

"After you, then," Blaine says, and gestures towards the door. Kurt goes, Blaine only a pace behind him as they pass through the door, and then beside him once they're in the open hall outside.

"Welcome to the Warblers, by the way," Blaine says. "Not that I had any doubt you'd make it."

"Thanks."

"Nice song choice, too. Really showed off your range. We don't have many guys who can hit notes like that, so it'll be really good to have you with us."

"Right," Kurt says flatly. "Because I sing like a girl and you're an all boys choir."

"No," Blaine says slowly. "I mean, yeah, we are an all boys choir, but I didn't say you sang like a girl. You sing like you. You just happen to have impressive range."

Kurt turns that over thoughtfully for a moment, then decides that Blaine really is just trying to compliment him. And it's definitely not a lie, so he'll take it.

"Thanks," he says finally. "I like to think so."

"After he'd finished tackle-hugging you, David told me he thinks I might have some competition for solos now."

"I'm sure you had competition before," Kurt replies. They're climbing the stairs to the library now and their arms are brushing together as they stay side-by-side in the smaller space. "Wes has a really smooth voice."

"He does," Blaine agrees. "He's not really that competitive, though. He'll take solos when Mr. Bradford gives them to him, but he never really volunteers. He wants to be a veterinarian—the Warblers is just something he does for fun. You, though…"

Kurt laughs. "Right. I want to lead."

"Me, too," Blaine points out. "So I'm guessing David was probably right."

Kurt considers that for a moment, thinking about New Directions, the constant competition, and the bitterness it fueled. He doesn't want that with Blaine. Quite aside from his burgeoning crush, he wants to make a new start here. He wants to have friends, both in glee and not. He wants to sing lead on the occasions when he has earned the right. What he doesn't want is jealousy and backstabbing and sending innocent people to crack houses.

"I—" he starts, but Blaine's face breaks out in a grin.

"I'm not gonna take it easy on you just because I find you endearing," Blaine says, and nudges Kurt with his shoulder. It's friendly and light and it's very much not a diva-off.

"Didn't ask you to," Kurt points out, just as playful in return.

"Guess we'll just have to make sure it stays a fair fight then," Blaine agrees, and comes to a halt. "We're at the library."

Kurt actually knew that, but his new friends have taken to being his unofficial tour guides since he transferred and Kurt appreciates the way they've taken him under their collective wing.

"You coming in?"

"Nah, I've got a chem test to make up from the day I came to see you at McKinley." He says it delicately, as though he doesn't want to touch the concept, and Kurt agrees. It hadn't exactly been the best day of his life and he appreciates Blaine not bringing it up directly.

"Ah," Kurt acknowledges, and shifts his weight to his other foot. "Listen," he starts, just as Blaine says, "Kurt—"

"You first," Kurt adds after a moment of silence.

"I was wondering if maybe you wanted some help learning that set list," Blaine offers. "I've got some free time all this week. If you wanted to."

Kurt arches an eyebrow. "What about me being the competition?"

"It's hardly a competition if you're not caught up enough yet to really compete," Blaine teases. "Besides, all's fair in love and war."

"That's not—" Kurt starts to say, because Blaine is using it the exact opposite way it's intended. Then his brain catches up to his mouth and he stops, flushing.

"Oh," he says, and Blaine grins back at him shamelessly.

"Tonight, then? Text me when you're ready for a study break."

"Sure," Kurt breathes, and watches until Blaine has disappeared into the crowd at the end of the hall.

If this is what passes for "competition" at Dalton, Kurt has a feeling he's going to do very well here.
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