|Pairing:||Kurt Hummel/Rachel Berry|
|Alternative name(s):||Hummelberry, Kurchel|
|Gender category:||M/F (het)|
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Kurt/Rachel, or Hummelberry, is the pairing of Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel from the TV show Glee. The two characters openly express their love for each other on in the show but this is ostensibly meant to be platonic. Consequently, some fans ship this pairing romantically, while others see them as more of a best friends (brotp) relationship.
Because Kurt is canonically gay, fans who wish to portray them in a romantic or sexual relationship often write them into unusual extenuating circumstances - historical AUs where Kurt can't openly conduct a romance with a same-sex partner, circumstances where they're both lonely and turn to each other for comfort, contrived situations where they need to share body heat, etc. Others simply portray Kurt as more pansexual or having a more fluid sexuality than he'd previously realized. As of 2014, Kurt/Rachel is the only M/F Kurt ship which has managed to gain any prevalence in the Glee fandom.
In season one, Kurt and Rachel are largely presented as enemies who occasionally shared a common goal. Kurt's vocal range extended so far that he and Rachel found themselves competing for solos; notably, in episode 1.09 with "Defying Gravity." Further separating them, both were "secretly" in love with Finn Hudson at the time, and in episode 1.11, Kurt even sabotaged her efforts to win his affections by giving her a bad makeover. Rachel arguably had no close friends in season one, while Kurt got along better with other girls in the glee club.
Having decisively won Finn, in early season two Rachel abruptly approaches Kurt and offers her friendship, pointing out their similar interests. Kurt was cautiously receptive. When bullies at McKinley High began to target Kurt more intensely, causing him to switch schools, the last element of competition between them was temporarily removed, allowing them to see each other as a source of comfort and advice. By episode 2.12 they were happily attending a sleepover together with Mercedes. Even when they found themselves briefly competing for Blaine's affections in episode 2.14, it didn't fully destroy the trust that had built up by that point. In the season finale, set in New York City, Kurt and Rachel sneak off together to explore the city on their own, express their mutual dreams of making it on Broadway, and make plans to move to New York together after graduation. By season three, Kurt and Rachel are completely united by their Broadway dreams and wind up working together much of the time in their efforts to get into NYADA - a fictional college in New York City, which turns out to be the school of their dreams.
Since Rachel was accepted to NYADA while Kurt was not, season four begins with Kurt miserable in Lima and Rachel miserable and alone in New York. However, Kurt ultimately decides to go to New York on his own and make his own way, and very dramatically surprises Rachel on arrival. The two get a loft in Bushwick together, work together at the same diner, and aside from the occasional bitter re-ignition of their old rivalry, are generally inseparable.
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