If there was one thing that Rachel had always known, it was that there were Spies and Saboteurs lurking everywhere. Jealous rivals who skulked in shadows and infiltrated meetings, setting out to steal set lists, solos, and chances to shine that were meant to belong to her alone.
It was just the way things were; a normal part of life, to be expected when one had as much talent and pure star quality as Rachel Barbra Berry.
That’s why she liked living with Kurt. He was a considerate roommate; tidy, organized, and willing to do most of the cooking. He was interested in the same things she was, always ready to give her praise and encouragement. And though Kurt was immensely talented, it was in a unique way that rarely got much notice or understanding from those around them, keeping him out of direct competition. Kurt was kind and self-sacrificing, understanding of his place in the world and always willing to help those more deserving of opportunity. Namely, herself.
This idyll lasted until January, when Kurt became a full time student at NYADA.
Something changed then. Kurt became suddenly stingy about lavishing due praise on her after Vocal Performance classes and listening to her 45 minute morning shower concerts. He became less willing to drop whatever he was doing and take care of her needs, claiming he was too busy. Suddenly, Kurt became short-tempered and irritable, demanding that Rachel do her own share of the chores, even when she was involved with more important things, like preparing for her next ‘impromptu’ singing opportunity, or saving her energy for the rigors of keeping up with her adoring fans at school.
The day Kurt called her out and demanded that she stop treating him like a servant, Rachel knew something was very wrong with her friend. She had never treated him like she didn’t appreciate him! On the contrary! She shared the everyday tribulations of her life with him and he should have been very grateful for the opportunity to feature prominently in the Autobiography that she would one day pen about her early years as a struggling artist in New York.
It wasn’t as if Kurt would have ever gotten into NYADA without her encouraging and advising him on what to sing that night, when Dean Carmen had put him on the spot at Winter Showcase! That had been very giving on her part, especially considering that without the need to devote a few minutes to his unexpected addition to the night’s program, Rachel would undoubtedly have been asked to perform another encore.
Okay, so maybe she hadn’t actually been asked to perform the first one. The audience had clearly wanted a second song from her, so how could she refuse them?
Kurt did not see things her way. He had the audacity to call her a nightmare and imply that he was just as talented, and could even be more so if they ever went head to head. He had said those things to her! His best friend and mentor! Even claiming to have thrown away his own chance during their long-ago “Defying Gravity” battle, just to save his father some kind of embarrassment. It was ridiculous.
But being challenged to a duel at Midnight Madness was no joke. She would have to do it, to prove to everyone that she was in fact the superior talent. It would be a shame to have to put Kurt in his place, but his pride was a sacrifice she was willing to make.
Only . . . things didn’t quite turn out the way she had planned. Three days after the show-down, Kurt Hummel was the new top dog of the NYADA freshman class, while Rachel Berry was yesterday’s news.
And Kurt wasn’t even sorry! Sure, he claimed that he was when they were in the public hallway at school, but when he came home later to find her in bed, wallowing in the misery of her defeat, he just shook his head and told her to get over herself. He had done it for her own good, he claimed.
Kurt didn’t even have the courtesy to make sure she got up and dressed, had something to eat, and showed up for the Funny Girl auditions to reclaim her glory in a shimmering blaze of Broadway light!
There was only one explanation. Kurt Hummel would never act this way. He was clearly possessed.
Sure, it could have been a brain tumor or something, but possession seemed more logical.
There were tons of rumors in the theater community. Tragic stories of the ghosts of actors killed in tragic circumstances like stage falls, prop accidents, and suicides over bad reviews. And Kurt had started acting self interested only after he had started classes this winter. Stage Acting 101, Musical Theater History, Beginner Stage Combat, Costume Design … all classes practically designed to keep Kurt locked at ground zero for theatrical supernatural activity. He didn’t have Rachel’s emotional stamina, or enormous self-discipline. (Kurt called it Ego, but what did he know? He was possessed.)
Some restless ghost who had died of jealousy over losing a part to some more talented and deserving Diva from the past had clearly taken over Kurt’s soul during a weak moment.
It was up to her, his friend and idol in all things musical, to help him through this terrible ordeal.
Unfortunately, Kurt did not agree when she shared her theory. Apparently the demon-ghost had a strong hold on him. He did not appreciate at all her decision to chant next to his bed, waving sticks of incense over his sleeping body, or trying to sprinkle his food with Holy Water. (True she wasn't a Christian, much less a Catholic, but that really should have worked. She had slipped a vial of water directly out of the fountain in front of Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow on her way home.)
Maybe it was impossible to exorcise an atheist.
In spite of her best efforts, Kurt continued to enjoy his new found appreciation at school. He continued to spend his free time with those losers in the Glee Club (What did Kurt mean, her attitude was ironic?), and he had started to bloom under the growing approval of his peers and professors. Soon, Kurt was trying out for roles in student productions, making himself the darling of the Combat jocks, and even considering starting up his own cover band outside of school, for God’s sake!
How could he not realize that he was possessed? Lima Kurt would never have done any of those things! And with every month that passed, his popularity continued to eclipse Rachel’s. Couldn’t he see that something very unnatural was happening here?
When Santana Lopez showed up out of the blue one day, Rachel tried telling her the suspicions she had about Kurt. After all, Santana claimed to have a ‘Mexican Third Eye’ that knew when strange things were happening, but Santana just laughed in her face and told her to get over herself. She and Kurt actually became friends. Again, not something that ever would have happened in high school.
Santana must be possessed too. It was becoming a regular epidemic in this city!
And maybe it wasn’t just the school. If demon-spirits were hanging around the loft, then that meant they were probably on the prowl for their next victim!
With her best defenses of self-confidence and intense inner focus (Santana called it Narcissism, but what did she know? She was possessed.), weakened by losing her rightful spot at the top of the heap, Rachel might soon be vulnerable to spiritual intervention.
Kurt was clearly too far gone to be saved. She had to accept that fact. He seemed to be picking up new friends (Or was it cult members?) all the time. Strange people, boys with eyeliner and tattoos, girls with blue hair and nose rings, friendly guys in beanies who offered tea and cookies to lull the unwary into a false sense of security. The loft had become a never-ending parade ground of suspicious activity!
Rachel had made a last-ditch effort to save her friend by trying to break up Kurt’s new relationship and coax him back to a safer choice. Someone from Lima, who would remind Kurt of the sweet, biddable, un-possessed soul he had once been.
Kurt had flat out refused to take that bait. He had been down-right rude when she suggested that he should dump the enabling cookie-pusher and go back to someone who could remind him of his proper place in the universe.
If she wanted Blaine back in their lives so badly, Kurt snarked, then maybe she should go back to Ohio and invite him to play a game of Spin-The-Bottle, because Kurt was done being unappreciated by both of them. He had a mutually-fulfilling relationship now, lots of great new friends, and he had finally found his place in the world.
So that was it then.
Sad as it was, Rachel couldn’t continue living in the loft. It would only be a matter of time until she succumbed to possession. Her dads were a bit confused when she requested that they call NYADA and set her up in the dorms again, but they were more than willing to give up paying the extra cost for her monthly rent.
The day she moved out, Kurt was distressingly sweet. He understood, he said. Things were different now and they both needed their own space. But he would always be her friend, and if she ever needed anything …
Rachel cried her eyes out. For a moment, it felt like the good old days, when Kurt had cared more about giving her what she wanted than anything else. But then one of his new friends had called, inviting him to Happy Hour down at Callbacks. Kurt had been kind, asking if she wanted to come, or maybe have him skip the get-together to have one last home cooked dinner for just the two of them, but Rachel had seen the happy light in his eyes when he was invited out and she shook her head, claiming the excuse of having a lot of organizing to do.
It was a tragedy, but the demon-spirits had won. Kurt Hummel was her Best-Gay no more. It was time to pick up the pieces and move on. Perhaps find someone among the incoming Freshman who was in need of mentoring and inspiration.
But first, she would try to arrange an exorcism for Miss July. She was definitely possessed by the spirits of NYADA. It was the only possible explanation for how she could have failed Rachel’s final performance in Dance 101.