Pairing, Character(s): Klaine, ensemble
Word Count: 3300/15000+
Spoilers: To Special Education. Will also be some references to details of Blaine's past discovered in 'Sexy'.
Summary: Blaine at McKinley AU. Blaine had to transfer. There was no question about that. There was no point breaking into his college fund for a school like Dalton, though, when he could just transfer to another public school and keep his head down and not try so hard to stand out.
Notes: Hopefully I'll be able to keep posting a part of this every day, so that it's all up by the end of haitus; it's mostly written already, so it'll just be getting each chapter edited and ready to post. Please review -- reviews make my day! :)
Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four
Kurt paced nervously back and forth in the front foyer, checking his watch. Dad was out and Blaine was due to arrive at any minute. Kurt coaxed himself to the living room so that he could be sitting in front of the television portraying an aura of calm when Blaine arrived, then he heard the sound of a car door from outside and was back at the front door, waiting so that he could open it the moment that Blaine rang the doorbell.
After their brief discussion in the library, Kurt had invited Blaine over that afternoon so that they could see each other without anyone else around. Blaine had smiled shyly and nodded and Kurt had inwardly kicked himself at how suggestive his words had come out.
The doorbell. Kurt opened the door to reveal a blushing Blaine, standing on the doorstep with a bouquet of roses.
“These are for you,” he said, handing them to Kurt.
Kurt led Blaine through to the kitchen so that he could put the flowers in a vase. Neither of them wanted to be the first to break the silence, which was rapidly becoming awkward.
“I thought your Lady Gaga costume was fantastic,” Blaine said eventually.
“You like Gaga?” asked Kurt.
Blaine agreed effusively.
That was enough to break the ice. They ended up ostensibly watching a movie, though Kurt wouldn’t remember a thing that happened because they spent the whole time talking about everything under the sun: Lady Gaga; Patti LuPone; politics; Neil Patrick Harris; Project Runway. They had so much in common.
For the first time in his life, Kurt felt like he didn’t have to censor himself.
There was no real PDA. Well, Kurt’s knees bumped against Blaine’s as they sat on the couch and halfway through the movie, Blaine reached over and took Kurt’s hand, smiling nervously. Kurt squeezed it back.
Kurt was startled when he looked up at the clock and realised that it was six o’clock and Blaine had better get going. He walked Blaine to the door. Blaine was about to leave when Kurt stopped him. “Wait.”
He hesitated, then stepped forward. His lips brushed against Blaine’s lightly, in a chaste peck on the lips. Blaine’s cheeks went red and he grinned broadly at Kurt.
“Thanks,” Blaine said after a moment. “I’ve had a great time. I—” He cut himself off, flushing even redder. “Thanks. I guess I’ll see you...?”
“Tomorrow?” Kurt supplied.
Blaine ducked his head before walking out the door.
Kurt had had a great time, too.
Blaine’s first date with Kurt: amazing. He would never be able to describe why to anyone else, because it wasn’t due to anything concrete. It was mostly just good conversation about things that Blaine should probably have thought of as trivial but didn’t with someone else who seemed to understand just how important it was to care about Gaga or LuPone or Project Runway or Neil Patrick Harris. It was nice to not have to pretend that they were guilty pleasures.
Then, to top it off, Blaine’s first kiss.
In less than twenty-four hours, Blaine’s world had transformed from a cold and lonely place to a place of sunshine and butterflies and rainbows and chocolate and freshly mowed grass and more rainbows. In addition to his new relationship with Kurt (boyfriends!), things had improved at school. In Mandarin, Tina and Mike started talking to him again.
“Kurt says that he forgave you,” Tina explained, “so that means we can’t hold a grudge on his behalf.”
Mike nodded his agreement.
“I am sorry for what I said,” Blaine explained. “I didn’t mean it.”
Tina looked at him speculatively but didn’t say anything. Blaine hoped to God that she was trying to figure out if he meant what he said and wasn’t on to his secret, but it was hard to tell – a couple of lessons ago she’d spent the lesson talking about the ho yay potential between Light and L in Death Note, so she was both open minded and inclined to look for that sort of thing.
Artie also came up with him in the library asking him to come back and sit with the A/V club at lunchtimes, having also been told that Blaine had fixed things with Kurt.
“Good on you, bro,” said Artie, offering Blaine a fist bump.
Blaine couldn’t talk to Kurt at school. He couldn’t. That didn’t stop him doing little things. He smiled in Kurt’s direction when they passed each other in the halls and was glad to see Kurt smile back. He left little notes in Kurt’s locker – little tiny shreds of paper that Kurt could pretend to ignore if anyone else was around – with random questions and observations and comments on the television shows they shared.
On the day that Kurt seemed to be in down, Blaine arrived on Kurt’s doorstep with another bunch of flowers (bought from a store two towns over so that no one would know) and presented them to Kurt.
“We’re doomed,” Kurt said. Regionals were coming up and Kurt was worried about their chances against Vocal Adrenaline.
“You’re not doomed, silly,” Blaine said. “I’ve heard you sing. You’re amazing.”
“Vocal Adrenaline are better,” Kurt said. “They came to visit and—ugh, we’re in such a funk at the moment.”
“Well,” said Blaine, “Vocal Adrenaline don’t have a Kurt Hummel. That’s got to count for something.”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “When have you even heard me sing.”
Blaine shrugged. “I heard you sing with the Cheerios, remember? ‘4 Minutes’? You and Mercedes were on fire.” Blaine swallowed. “I also heard ‘Defying Gravity’. You were amazing. I’ve never understood why you threw that note.”
Kurt’s jaw dropped. “What...how? You weren’t even there when I sang ‘Defying Gravity’.”
“I was, uh, walking past the choir room at the time. Can you blame me for stopping to listen?” Blaine said, trying not to make himself sound like an absolute stalker.
Kurt said something so quietly that Blaine had to ask him to say it again. “I did it for my dad. We got a phone call – you know, the anonymous kind? My dad, well, he’s always been supportive. He fought for me to get to audition for that solo. But he wasn’t ready to deal with things like that. I threw one note and I saved him a lot of phone calls.”
“I can understand that,” Blaine said.
Maybe they were more alike than Blaine had thought.
Regionals came. Blaine sat in the crowd to cheer New Directions on. When they came in third, he had to fight the urge to stand up and boo at the judges. He couldn’t go over Kurt’s that afternoon – Kurt was going out with New Directions to a post-performance dinner – but when he went over the next afternoon, he came bearing the sappiest romance and the most gory slasher flick he could find, since he wasn’t sure if Kurt wanted to be distracted by something warm and happy or to take his frustration out by watching people be killed in increasingly bloody ways. Blaine was relieved when Kurt chose the romance.
He shared Kurt’s sigh of relief at New Direction’s last minute reprieve. He spent that afternoon helping Kurt go through songs for him to audition with next year.
“It’s cheesy, but it’s fun!” Blaine argued, waving around a copy of the High School Musical soundtrack.
“Please,” said Kurt. “You only like it because you think Zach Effron’s hot.”
Blaine pouted. “Not as hot as you,” he said, causing Kurt to blush. “Come on. It’s perfect for your group of underdogs.” He pressed play on the soundtrack and sung along.
“It's hard to believe
That I couldn't see
You were always there beside me.”
Blaine inclined his head for Kurt to take the next line.
“Thought I was alone
With no one to hold
But you were always right beside me.”
They sang the next part together.
“This feeling’s like no other
I want you to know
I've never had someone that knows me like you do
The way you do
I've never had someone as good for me as you
No one like you
So lonely before, I finally found
What I've been looking for.”
Blaine stared into Kurt’s eyes. He was in love with a guy who actually liked him back and that was more than he’d ever expected to have while at high school. For once, things seemed to be going his way.
“I can’t believe my first duet with a guy is to a song from High School Musical,” Kurt muttered afterwards.
“You liked it,” said Blaine. “Don’t deny it.”
“Okay, fine, I liked it,” said Kurt. Actually, it had been amazing. Kurt had never heard Blaine sing before. He had a confidence while singing that he lacked the rest of the time. It felt like Kurt was seeing the real Blaine, under all his insecurities. Kurt liked what he saw. “I don’t think that would work for a solo audition, though.”
“Maybe not,” said Blaine, shrugging. “Maybe I just wanted an excuse to sing a duet with you.” He grinned at Kurt. Kurt could tell that Blaine really liked him.
Kurt felt a twinge of guilt again and worked hard to bury it.
“Seriously – all the duets in the world and you chose that one?” Kurt said.
“Fine,” said Blaine. “You can choose the next one.”
In Mandarin, the teacher surprised the class by coming in pushing a karaoke machine on a trolley.
“Karaoke is Japanese,” Mike muttered.
“Don’t complain,” Tina whispered back. “It’s an excuse to sing.”
Blaine stared at the shiny black machine. He hadn’t sung in public in almost a year, but after spending the last couple of afternoons singing with Kurt he wasn’t sure if he could resist. It wasn’t that much of a risk, Blaine decided. The other guys in his class were joining in, after all. He just had to choose the right song.
When Blaine was handed the microphone, he flicked through the catalogue with shaking hands before making his selection. He closed his eyes and nodded through the opening beats.
“You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs,
But I look around me and I see it isn’t so...”
Watching his classmates begin to respond, Blaine realised how much he’d missed this. A jock in the back corner was snapping his fingers along to the beat. A Cheerio was staring intently at Blaine with a broad smile on her face. Tina and Mike were dancing along.
“I love you, I love you,
I love you, I love you...”
He loved doing this. He spun around on a chair on “here I go” and jumped on the teacher’s desk. His classmates clapped and cheered. Even the teacher was smiling at him.
Why had he ever stopped?
“Love doesn’t come in a minute,
Sometimes it doesn't come at all
I only know that when I’m in it
It isn't silly, no, it isn't silly, love isn't silly at all,
Not at all.”
After he sang the final, “And what’s wrong with that?” he jumped off the teacher’s desk and went back to sit next down to Tina and Mike.
“Good job, bro!” said Mike.
“Wow! You’re really talented,” said Tina.
“You should join Glee,” said Mike.
Tina nodded in agreement.
Still high on the performance, Blaine said, “Sure, why not?” By the time he’d come down enough to regret it, he was already being dragged towards the choir room for his first ever New Directions meeting.
Kurt had his back turned and was chatting to Mercedes when Blaine walked into the room. The chatter stopped as everyone noticed the new arrival. Kurt turned to see what had caught everyone else’s attention. When he saw Blaine, his expression froze into something unreadable.
“Hey, everyone,” said Blaine.
“We heard him sing in Mandarin class and he was great,” Tina explained.
Blaine scratched his neck at the compliment – agreeing seemed arrogant. “I was in Glee at my old school,” he said. “I’ve already met a few of you, I guess,” he added after a moment, staring at Kurt trying to draw him into some sort of response. Shit. This was a terrible idea.
Maybe it wasn’t too late to back out.
“I haven’t decided if I’m joining yet,” he said quickly. “I mean, I see the crap that you guys go through and I’m not sure if you’re looking for extra members—”
“You should stay,” said Kurt.
He still wasn’t meeting Blaine’s eyes, but his words were enough. “Okay, sure,” said Blaine. He went and sat in the free seat beside Kurt.
Since it was after competitions season, they were mostly just mucking around and bonding as a group. Blaine had been quiet for so long that he wasn’t sure how to fit in among this sudden explosion of voices and discussions and competition for solos. That was okay, though – he was perfectly happy to sit back and dance along and sing backup. They needed someone to sway in the background and it was more than Blaine had done in a long time.
Blaine found it hard to be in the same room as Kurt without knocking knees with him and striking up a conversation about Grey’s Anatomy or at least staring lovingly in Kurt’s direction. They hadn’t even been together that long – only a couple of weeks. He shouldn’t be feeling like this, like he was more and more in love with Kurt every day as he got to know him better and better.
Kurt was obviously fine with feigning indifference. In between songs, he turned to Mercedes to gossip, leaving Blaine to chat with Artie and Tina. Blaine tried not to feel jealous. It had been his idea not to admit that they were dating at school, after all. This was what he’d wanted.
After a full week of rehearsals, Blaine was walking out of the choir room when he was hit full in the face by a slushy. The jock smirked at him and walked on. Blaine was hoping that Kurt would help him, but it was Mike who grabbed him and pulled him into the men’s room.
“It gets easier,” Mike said. “They don’t go after us as much, anyway. It’s the girls and Kurt who get the worst of it. They want to send you a message because you’re new, but if you’re quiet like me it probably won’t happy too often.”
Strangely enough, even after months of dreading the idea, it wasn’t as scary as Blaine had expected. It was cold and painful, but it was just frozen water. It didn’t cause any permanent damage and was outweighed by the happiness of being in Glee.
In the final week of term, Mr Schuester offered Blaine the chance to sing a song to express his feelings. Blaine hesitated before choosing the Police classic that he’d heard sung at a cousin’s wedding.
After Glee, Blaine was on his way out of school when Kurt pulled him into a supply closet.
“Seriously?” Kurt asked.
“I thought it was romantic,” said Blaine.
“It’s a stalker song,” Kurt told him.
Blaine thought about it. “Huh. I never realised. That actually makes a lot of sense.”
“We really need to work on your song choices,” Kurt said affectionately, taking Blaine’s hand. “Anyway, weren’t you the one who wanted to keep this quiet? What if they’d realised?”
“I wasn’t that obvious,” Blaine muttered. “They probably thought that I had an unrequited crush on some girl that I’m far too shy to talk to.”
Kurt smiled at him.
“Anyway,” Blaine added, “wanting to keep this private doesn’t mean that I don’t still want to sing my boyfriend a song to tell him how much I love him.”
Kurt pulled his hand away. “You what?”
Blaine mentally replayed what he’d said and oh, shit, he’d used the L-word and it was way too early in their relationship to be saying things like that. “Just a figure of speech,” he said, trying to backtrack.
“Okay,” said Kurt. His fingertips brushed against Blaine’s for a moment as he stepped out of the closet.
As Blaine waited until a reasonable time had passed before he could step out without raising suspicion, he hoped that he hadn’t ruined everything.
Blaine loved Kurt. He might have tried to take it back, but he loved Kurt. Kurt had known that. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. He’d seen the expression on Blaine’s face when he’d first asked Blaine out. He’d gotten the notes and the smiles in the hallway. He’d sung a duet with Blaine and had even heard about the song Blaine had sung in Mandarin class. He knew how much this relationship meant to Blaine.
Blaine loved Kurt.
Kurt didn’t love Blaine.
He wanted to. He hadn’t expected much when he’d asked Blaine out. He’d just wanted to have a boyfriend. He hadn’t thought beyond that. Then these past few weeks had been amazing. Kurt and Blaine had so much in common. Kurt could talk to Blaine more freely than he could talk to anyone else, even Mercedes. If things had been different, Kurt was sure that Blaine would have become one of his best friends. Scratch that, he was becoming one of Kurt’s best friends.
But Blaine loved Kurt and Kurt didn’t love Blaine.
That meant that Kurt was leading Blaine along. He was using Blaine to get what he needed when he couldn’t give Blaine what Blaine needed in return.
Kurt hadn’t minded Blaine’s suggestion that they keep things private. Kurt was the sort of boy who needed to express his feelings. He’d always thought that when he got a real boyfriend, he’d shout it from the rooftops. They’d hold hands and slow dance at prom and sing flirty duets in the choir room. If he couldn’t have that, then it couldn’t be a real relationship. In asking to keep things private, Blaine had given Kurt the out he needed, because if Kurt couldn’t do all those couple things then he didn’t need to feel anything because what they had wasn’t real.
Except, it was real, because Blaine loved Kurt even though Kurt didn’t love Blaine.
Maybe it could have worked, if they’d stuck to avoiding each other at school. Kurt could have let feelings develop within the four brick walls of his house, where the two of them could sing flirty duets and knock knees under the kitchen table when they had a coffee, and not have had to hide them elsewhere. But Blaine had joined New Directions, so Kurt couldn’t let himself develop feelings and keep them a secret. Kurt wasn’t subtle. Everyone had known about his crush on Finn.
Blaine wanted their relationship to be a real relationship with feelings but didn’t want everything that went with it. Kurt couldn’t let it be a real relationship with feelings without having everything that went with it.
Blaine loved Kurt and thought that Kurt felt something back. Kurt didn’t. That meant that Kurt was using Blaine and Blaine was too naive to realise.
That night, Kurt phoned Blaine.
“Hey,” said Blaine, sounding very much like an excited puppy dog. There was a shuffling sound from the other end of the line as Blaine shut the door of his room and turned off his stereo. “Listen, I’m sorry about before. I didn’t mean—“
“I’m sorry, too,” said Kurt.
“What for?” Blaine asked. He sounded concerned for Kurt, concerned that Kurt felt bad for something that wasn’t his fault. He had no idea of what was coming.
“I can’t do this anymore,” Kurt told Blaine. It wasn’t fair on either of them.
He hung up the phone before Blaine could say anything, so that he didn’t have to hear the heartbreak in Blaine’s voice.