|Slow Down, You Crazy Child
Author: Highway Lights PM
Of a summer's day when time seems to still.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Blaine A. & Kurt H. - Words: 2,645 - Reviews: 16 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 3 - Published: 03-15-11 - Status: Complete - id: 6826195
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title comes from Vienna by Billy Joel.
It's not that Kurt particularly hates summer. It's probably more that the nights get unbelievably heavy and thick, and he feels like a child, kicking at his sheets and flipping his pillow to get to the cooler side. On nights like these, his mother used to come in at midnight, make sure he didn't suffocate in his tangled cocoon of sheets, her cool hand brushing back bangs from his forehead and she used to smell like jasmine, he remembers.
Today he's working in the garage, grease-stained shirt (it's too hot for overalls) sticking to his body with sweat and for some reason he can't get the damn engine to stop spluttering out of life. He can feel a swipe of grease on his left cheek, but he can't be bothered to wipe it off, even though he's pretty damn sure that it'll clog his pores and ruin his skin care regimen for two weeks, at least. But it's summer, there's plenty of time to worry about things like these.
Kurt from a year ago would have been shocked speechless at the lack of care Kurt takes with his skin these days, but now that there isn't exactly anyone for Kurt to keep his image up for (last year there had been Finn, and then earlier this year, Blaine), Kurt finds himself skipping his moisturizing routine on the days that he's too tired to do anything but fall into his bed and wish his air conditioning worked better.
Blaine's voice floats through the doors, he can hear it, a light and conversational "How have you been, Mr. Hummel?" that momentarily steals Kurt's attention from the engine. Blaine walks in, dressed more casually than Kurt's ever seen him, in jeans and a thin plain white T-shirt that looks like it was thrown on as an afterthought, and it's like he's too shocked to say a word when he sees Kurt with his hands buried in the hood of the car, because his mouth sort of hangs slightly open and Kurt's never been so struck with the urge to drop everything and kiss Blaine right there and then, and possibly smear grease all over Blaine's upper arms.
"Wow," Blaine says, finally, "I never knew you worked here, Kurt."
(And truthfully, when Carole said over the phone that Kurt was at the garage, Blaine had expected to find Kurt poring over accounts and spreadsheets with his reading glasses on his nose, looking impossibly cute. Well, Kurt ends up being absolutely filthy and working on a car, like a picture of some sort of delicate masculinity. This is new, this is stirring all kinds of feelings in Blaine, feelings that he shuts away because he's too tired and too lazy to think about them.)
Kurt shrugs, turns back to the engine because if he keeps looking at Blaine, he's pretty sure he'll blush. Blaine seems to snap out of his reverie and steps closer, handing Kurt a cup of coffee.
"I appreciate it," Kurt says, as he takes the coffee, "but it's far too hot for coffee." He sets the cup on the nearby counter, thinking maybe he'll stuff ice in it when he gets home.
Blaine says, "I expected that," and he peers into the hood of the car like it's the most interesting thing in the world. "Are you busy?"
Kurt shrugs noncommittally. "Plans?" he asks, feigning disinterest.
"It's summer, Kurt," Blaine says. "Let's take a walk."
Kurt bites back a retort that the day is absolutely sweltering and that he is in no mood at all to take a walk under scorching sun, but Blaine looks so excited, like a puppy, and Kurt says, "Okay."
They end up walking the streets, bumping shoulders occasionally, and Blaine says, "Don't you just love summer?"
Kurt looks at him as if he's gone mad, and Blaine backtracks. "Not a summer person, then?"
Kurt shrugs, pulls at the hem of his grease-stained T-shirt and fights back the urge to laugh at how clean Blaine looks compared to him, oh the irony. Blaine even smells clean, like he just stepped out of the shower, and Kurt is pretty sure he smells like grease, and he wishes Blaine would've let him gone home to change before their walk.
Blaine laughs, and he turns slightly to face Kurt, lifting his hand and swiping his thumb over the grease mark on Kurt's cheek. Time seems to stand still then, but just for them, like everyone else is rushing by and Kurt and Blaine are just… stagnant there, paused on the pavement, with Blaine's hand cupping his jaw and thumb smoothing over the grease stain.
It's as if everything is in slow motion, Kurt can feel his heartbeat thrumming throughout his body, and he wonders if Blaine can feel it too, pulsing under the pad of his thumb. Blaine's grin is slow, but so wide, and Kurt just stares because he wants to memorize Blaine like this, grin on his face and hair loose, just barely sweating into his T-shirt, breath smelling like coffee.
An overexcited kid bumps into Kurt, and it shatters the moment, Blaine's hand falling from Kurt's face to rest sheepishly at his sides.
The kid yells, "Sorry, Mister!" and Kurt thinks yeah, me too.
The playground is empty, probably because it's two o' clock and too hot for children to be playing. Blaine leads him onto the swings and they swing a little, languidly, and Kurt's swing twists from side to side instead of front to back, and Blaine laughs when they bump together.
A gust of wind rushes by and ruffles their hair, and Blaine takes it as a sign to start swinging. He pushes himself forward and backward and Kurt watches as he gets higher and higher, and it's as if he's getting lighter with every swing, as if all his worries are disappearing. Kurt joins him, and they swing side by side in perfect unison.
Blaine hops off, five minutes later, pulling Kurt with him, and they stumble when they land, laughing. Blaine pulls him towards the slide and Kurt looks back at the swings still swinging along like a lazy pendulum.
Blaine stands on the top of the slide, the sun on his back, and Kurt can see that his T-shirt is plastered to his body, sticky with sweat, and Blaine exclaims, "I'm the king of the world!" and it's so cliché that Kurt bursts out laughing from where he's sitting at the base of the slide, arms slung lazily over his knees as he stretches out.
"Don't break the slide, Blaine," he drawls, lazily, and Blaine scoffs, running down the slope, socked feet slipping on the plastic. He sits beside Kurt, seemingly buzzing with adrenaline.
"When I was a kid," Blaine says, "I used to love slides. It's like a nice, long ride downhill. If you're not careful, though, there's the crash landing. The bigger kids used to push me down the slide and I'd sort of tumble into a heap at the end. The crash landing hurt."
Kurt remembers being six and skinning his knees every time an older kid pushed him down. If he closes his eyes and thinks about it, he can lose himself in the memory of summer when it smells like burgers and his mother keeps a wary eye on him even as she talks to someone else's Mom. If he concentrates, he can even hear the mismatched noises and words, thrown into a mess and running smoothly around him, a Hey, Davie, don't climb that, a Mom, look what I found and the shy voices of girls coming up to him and saying, can I play with you?
He tells Blaine about it, lets his words hang in the air, and Blaine closes his eyes, resting his head on the metal frame of the slide and exposing his neck, as if he's lost in the imagery himself.
Blaine brings out a packet of cigarettes, worn like they've been tossed between hands multiple times, but unopened. With trembling fingers he tears open the top and pulls out a cigarette, fumbling around his pockets for a lighter.
"Do you want one?" he asks Kurt, and Kurt shakes his head.
"Do you smoke?" Kurt asks, before Blaine lights his cigarette, and the curly-haired boy laughs, shaking his head.
"No," he replies, "but there's a first time for everything."
Blaine doesn't light it, though; he just keeps holding it cautiously like he's waiting for Kurt's approval, or some sort of response.
Kurt doesn't say anything, just nods that he understands, briefly, and Blaine lights it and takes a drag. It has him spluttering and coughing, and Kurt watches, half-amused, half-concerned. He tugs the cigarette from Blaine's grip and takes a drag of his own, and ends up spluttering and choking for air. He tosses the cigarette somewhere, he'll find it later and make sure it's put out, but right now he's just doubled over, coughing and spluttering for air.
Blaine's neck is exposed as he throws his head back, gulping for air, and Kurt stops coughing long enough to watch that line of Blaine's neck, slightly raised where his Adam's apple bobs, and he tears his eyes away. There's no reason for him to be observing Blaine so closely.
So he stands, hunts around for the cigarette, which ends up to be a good ten feet away, smouldering in a patch of grass. He stubs it out with his toe and bends over to pick it up, and when he tries to stand again, Blaine is behind him, arms around his waist and tickling his sides.
Kurt squirms and it knocks both of them to the ground, Blaine leaning over him to tickle his sides and mess up his hair, and Kurt surges forward, reversing their position, and suddenly he's straddling Blaine, and Blaine's eyes are wider than he's ever seen them, and Kurt is very conscious of how their legs are tangled together.
He leans down, just millimetres away from Blaine's lips and Blaine says, softly, "Kiss me," and Kurt can feel the warm expel of breath against his lips.
So Kurt kisses him, and Blaine tastes faintly of cigarette smoke, but there's an undertone of coffee and Kurt wonders how many cups of coffee Blaine had today, hell, how many cups of coffee Blaine had in his life, to get that taste of coffee almost permanently there, ingrained into the back of his tongue.
Kurt's arms are supporting him, and they're wavering now, he's too tired and too shocked to support his own weight, so when Blaine tugs on his hair, he collapses onto Blaine and they just keep on like that, lying on the ground, legs tangled together and Blaine murmuring against Kurt's lips, empty promises and silly love song lyrics but Kurt's willing to believe them.
When it starts to drizzle, they make their way back, and Kurt apologizes to his Dad for abandoning his work, but his Dad just grunts, sets a hand on his shoulder and asks if Blaine is staying for dinner.
Blaine's got this hopeful can-I-really? look in his eyes when Kurt asks, so Kurt has to kiss him, just a quick press of lips before he tells his Dad that yeah, Blaine's staying for dinner.
Dinner isn't as awkward as Kurt would have expected, and Finn doesn't actually make any stupid, unconsciously homophobic remarks, so Kurt could pretty much write this whole thing off as perfect. After dinner they settle down in the living room with an old movie whose lead looks almost exactly like Blaine and Blaine mimics the actor's accent terribly and they laugh more than they pay attention to the movie, but they've all seen it one too many times, except Finn, who's actually interested in some old Hollywood, for once.
Kurt falls asleep with Blaine's head on his chest towards the end of the movie, and when Carole wakes them up, it's far too late for Blaine to drive home.
(Kurt suspects that Carole knew this beforehand, and that this is one of her nefarious plans to get them together, and he decides that the next time he goes shopping, he's going to buy her that casserole dish set that she wanted so much.)
So she says, "Blaine, it's too late for you to drive home, do you want to crash here and drive home tomorrow?"
Blaine nods, still sleepy and eyes half-lidded, and he sinks onto Kurt's chest, his head warm and ear pressed against Kurt's heartbeat.
Kurt prods him awake, says, "I know you're sleepy, but you have to call your parents," regretfully because he likes Blaine's warmth on his chest. "Come on, Blaine. At least change out of your jeans. You'll thank me for this later."
Blaine stretches, lazily like a cat, his back arching, and he says, "My parents aren't home, they won't mind. But a shower would be nice."
In his bedroom, Kurt hands Blaine a towel, a loose shirt and some old pyjama pants that he grew out of, and waves him to the bathroom. Blaine comes out, dressed in Kurt's clothes, and wow, Kurt never knew how much of a turn-on that is, and he just wants to rip his clothes off Blaine and worship every bit of Blaine's tanned skin, and okay, he's hurtling too fast here.
Instead he smiles, takes a decidedly cold shower, brushes his teeth and pinches himself once or twice to check if he's dreaming.
When he exits the bathroom, Blaine is flopped on his bed, and he's breathing evenly, eyes closed. Kurt swallows, attempts to calm the raging pit of arousal in his abdomen and says, "Blaine, you have to sleep in the guest bedroom."
Apparently Blaine is already asleep, because he doesn't move, only whimpers something that sounds suspiciously like Kurt and Kurt sighs. He looks from Blaine to his room door, pondering if Burt will come in and chase Blaine out tonight, and what if Burt comes in tomorrow morning and sees them tangled together, Blaine would never be allowed over again.
But Blaine shifts in bed, curls up a little, forces his eyes open and mumbles, "Kurt, come to bed," and it just feels like home. Kurt finds himself gravitating to the bed, so he sighs, decides screw it, and locks his room door. He turns off the lights, shuffles his way onto the bed, and the minute he sinks onto it, Blaine curls up to him, his back against Kurt's chest. (Kurt's sure that Blaine's wide awake and just playing, that sneaky little bastard.)
Kurt lets his breathing fall into the same pattern as Blaine's and in the dark, colours dance around behind his eyelids and he closes them, blocking out everything except Blaine's warmth, his even breathing, and their feet, tangled together like some sort of promise handshake.
In the early hours of morning, Kurt wakes up with Blaine's hair tickling his nose and smelling of sandalwood, and they're both sweaty and sticky, bare skin sticking wherever they're touching.
Blaine says, "Good morning," and Kurt agrees.