|in wake of restless sunrises
Author: imperfectandchaotic PM
Blaine makes a choice that might just change everything, in the best way possible. Post "New York."Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Romance/Friendship - Blaine A. & Kurt H. - Words: 4,617 - Reviews: 18 - Favs: 68 - Follows: 4 - Published: 05-31-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7037472
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
in wake of restless sunrises
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee.
Note: Inspired by this tumblr post (wow the people of tumblr flipped out Tuesday night. I laughed and revelled in it.) :
SO CAN THE OPENING SCENE OF SEASON 3 BE KLAINE HOLDING HANDS AT MCKINLEY.
Couldn't have said it better. Makes reference to my own personal head cannon, specifically Apprentissage and Midnight Mettle. So if you want to be in the loop every step of the way, I recommend reading them first. :) On that note too, you can also ignore Sunlight Goodbyes, because for some reason I thought there'd be something after Nationals...besides summer, obviously.
Post New York. (THE "I LOVE YOU"S. *FLAILS*)
No one asks him if he's sure.
His parents take the news over dinner after weeks of careful consideration. The last two weeks of school and one into summer (days and afternoons and evenings and nights filled with Kurt after not enough, never enough time) thinking about it, agonizing, contemplating. After all this silent deliberation, Blaine finds himself just blurting it out.
"I want to transfer to McKinley."
His mother carefully puts down the first piece of bread. She and his father exchange a look that their only son can't interpret, no matter how hard he wishes he could. Blaine focuses very determinedly on holding his father's stare, if only in the hopes of proving how serious he really is. As much as John Anderson said he accepted Blaine and everything about him, his eyes told a different story.
Blaine cannot begrudge his father, as much as the younger Blaine of two summers ago rails in anger and sadness in a deep, dark place inside his heart, and as much as he really truly is envious of Kurt and his own paternal relationship. The Blaine of today is calm, assured, steadfast in his own skin. Not even the man from whom he inherited all his features—so similar yet so strikingly different on two faces—can take that away from him.
"Son..." And he braces himself for some kind of sharp rebuke or lecture, but it doesn't come.
"Give us some time to talk about it, okay?" Mary Anderson puts a hand on her husband's arm, and even Zoe, Blaine's younger sister, seems to shrink in the sudden stony silence. She doesn't say anything at the table, not after dinner, not until pale moonlight streams into his bedroom window.
The (hopefully) soon to be ex-Warbler pulls his glasses away from his face, as though that would somehow help him see better. He peers towards the door to see his seven year old sister, standing here with her favourite stuffed dog under her arm. Riley, their real-life golden retriever, is already half-way into the room. His tail thumps against Zoe's leg, and the sound is eerie in the dark.
"Zoe? What's wrong?" She doesn't say anything at first, prompting her brother to reach over and turn on the lamp on his bedside table. Blaine looks again at his sister and dog. Zoe is crying. Riley whines.
"I don't want you to go away."
Blaine puts down his phone. "Oh Zoe..." He runs a hand through his hair, gel free like it always is at home. "I'm not going away forever. I just want to change schools. I'll still be here, like normal."
She sniffles, and Riley whines again. "Really?"
He sighs. "C'mere."
As she hands him her puppy and climbs onto the bed, Riley clears the floor in a single leap and settles by their feet. His large form radiates heat. Blaine's dog hasn't slept with him in years. Zoe thoroughly wavered Riley's loyalty to his owner, but Blaine has no problem with that. He wraps one arm around Zoe and she curls into him. She feels so small then, so small and vulnerable that he can't help but feel a little guilty.
"I'm not leaving home, Zo. Not for a while, at least." He smooths her hair away from her face like his mother does for him. He hopes the comfort of the gesture transfers. "Why did you think I was going away"
"You love Kurt," Zoe says quietly. As if this were the most simple explanation ever. "You're going to his school to be with him, right?"
"Right," Blaine concedes, even as his heart warms at the mere notion and his brain wonders when she got so smart.
"So what if..." She sits up and turns to look at him, her deep blue eyes wide. "What if you think you like Kurt and Lima better than me and Westerville? What if you want to stay there forever?"
He's tempted to laugh, but manages to hold it in. "Where would I live?"
"With Kurt." The duh is silent. Blaine's stomach turns, although not unpleasantly. Live with Kurt? New York is technically already on the table...He has to blink several times to dispel the image.
"I can't live with Kurt, Zoe. He has a big family already. As big as ours. There wouldn't be any room for me."
Zoe seems to seriously consider this. "Can't you live by yourselves?"
He does laugh this time. "We're not old enough. Mom and Dad would kill me. Not to mention Kurt's dad." Blaine catches her eye. "I'm not going to leave you, okay? Not for a whole year at least, until college. That's a long time, right?"
She nods, clearly hesitating. "Okay." A beat. "Can we stay with you tonight?"
As his sister drifts off, Blaine lies awake and wonders when she figured something he only just realized himself two weeks ago.
When he tells Wes and David, the former hands the latter a five, much to Blaine's astonishment and mild mortification. They're already packing for college together out of state, and Blaine is struck just then by how much he's going to miss them.
"What did Kurt say?" Wes asks, after explaining the Warbler-wide betting pool. David is about to win a lot of money. "Is he excited?"
"I...I haven't told him yet."
David puts down his box of comic books. "Why?"
"I wanted to be in the clear before I said anything." An unexpected rush of panic sets in. "Do you think he'll be mad? What if he thinks I thought he couldn't handle being alone? Like, he's...weak, or something? What if—"
"Blaine." David puts a steadying hand on his arm. "There's no way. I'm sure he'll be thrilled. He knows how strong you think he is. How much you believe in him. He'll know you're doing this because you love him."
And there everyone goes again with this knowing. His mother had it too. Blaine's father had been silent during that part of the conversation. But it's official: he can go to McKinley in the fall.
"Guess our plan's out now, huh?" says David now, looking over at Wes, who seems to catch on and nods kind of...mournfully. "Yeah."
"Plan?" Blaine looks curiously between them. "What plan?"
The two former Council members exchange a glance. "We were going to formally induct you as a senior Council member." Wes smiles wistfully as Blaine gapes. "You could have taken them far, Blaine. But this is better. Now we're sure you'll be happy."
"I..." He looks from Wes, to David, and back again. "I don't know what to say."
"How 'bout," David reaches the cans of soda his mother had left for them minutes ago. "When I'm part of New Directions I'll fight for at least one solo?"
Wes snorts. "Have you forgotten Rachel Berry? Or Kurt, for that matter?"
Blaine smiles, and that wave of sadness crashes against him again. "I think I can try, at least."
"That's our boy." David is grinning. Wes gives in quickly, copying the gesture. "We'll miss you, Blaine."
His chest hurts. "I'll miss you guys too."
After a small silence, Wes reaches out with his Coke. "Cheers."
They all drink to that.
He asks Kurt to meet him at the Lima Bean, knowing that a mere phone conversation will not suffice for news like this. The barista, Bri, keeps putting iced medium drips next to his elbow as he drinks his nerves into even more jitters. It's not until the third silent delivery that Blaine realizes something. Bri has been working almost every time he and Kurt have come in for coffee, and if memory serves, has been privy to every milestone that has occurred between them at the coffee shop, just a few feet away behind the counter.
He wonders how much the college student knows about them now.
"Don't be so nervous," she says suddenly, and he starts. "He'll be so happy." The curly-haired brunette smiles reassuringly. Blaine swallows, acutely aware of how warm his face is.
"Wes." It's not a coffee this time; she hands him a clear class of water. "He was here a little while ago to say goodbye. I don't know what I'll do without all my Warbler regulars." Blaine is too taken aback to do anything but accept the drink. Bri smiles again and squeezes his shoulder. "Promise you guys'll come back?"
He nods mutely and she disappears. Five minutes later and right on time, Kurt walks in and spots him. As he makes his way over, Blaine notices the iced coffee on the other side of the table. He looks up and over to the counter, where Bri catches his eye and winks.
"What's up?" Kurt reaches for his hand, running his thumb across Blaine's knuckles as he slides into his seat. In spite of everything Blaine cannot help but feel comforted by the gesture, and a rush of affection swells inside his chest. He's suddenly absolutely certain. He wants this.
"I have to tell you something."
The gleam in Kurt's eye falters. He is visibly bracing for something awful, that much is obvious. Blaine swallows again, not wanting to prolong Kurt's anxiousness. "I just need you to know that I really want to do this, everything's set, and that I'm not going to change my mind."
"I want to transfer to McKinley. If that's okay with you."
He really should have lead with that, the ex-Dalton student thinks belatedly. Kurt's eyes widen, and his face pales. Blaine's mind is starting to collapse with fear. His boyfriend—his beautiful, wonderful Kurt—gets up and walks away. Kurt's steps are steady (good or bad sign?) and he's almost out the door before Blaine can even summon the proper motor function to follow.
The air outside is warm, the sun momentarily blinding. For a moment Blaine is just lost.
And then Kurt is there: lips and hands and solid lines, earnest and tangled in Blaine's hair and flush with his body. It is so stunning (all fervent and wanting and mesmerizing) that it takes a second (or three) for Blaine to register the breathless words Kurt's mouth is forming against his: "I love you I love you I love you—"
He starts to taste salt. Blaine tugs Kurt into the shadowed alleyway, suddenly mindful of the Lima Bean audience Kurt had undoubtedly been trying to avoid. There he drinks in the tears of joy and the crackling laughter from this boy he loves so much, and Blaine can't help but think this might be the second best decision he's ever made.
The first, of course, being the one he made during Blackbird all those weeks ago. He'd chosen Kurt, chosen to truly see him, to feel him, and to want him. Now Blaine chooses to try and never miss his boyfriend (man he'll never get tired of saying that) as much as he had during Nationals. He hopes this will do the trick. If anything, Blaine just gets to be with Kurt more than ever (gets to watch him sing and dance and be where he's always been meant to) and that is just fine with him.
Three days before the beginning of term, Blaine finds himself calling his mother into his room in a fit of near-numb hysteria.
"Blaine? Honey what's wrong?"
He just stares forlornly at his closet from the bed, feeling as though his mind is close to actually shutting down. "I don't know what to wear."
Mary crosses the room, knowing of course that her son doesn't mean now, and not even tomorrow. "All those years of uniforms," she hums in understanding. First day clothes always mattered before. "Let's just take a look here, shall we?"
Blaine just watches as his mother goes through his closet, feeling nothing but a weak sort of gratitude. "Thank you, Mom. You know, for everything."
"Of course, Blaine," comes her voice, slightly muffled, buried somewhere between his t shirts. "I just want you to be happy."
"And Dad?" It's out before he can clamp down on the bitterness.
"Your father..." Mary pauses before appearing with a hastily balled up t shirt in her hands. She sits down beside Blaine, smoothing the wrinkles and folding it neatly in her lap. "He wants what he thinks is best for you. Even if he's wrong sometimes Blaine," His mother turns to catch his eye, her gaze almost imploring. He can see the veiled sadness in the gorgeous blue depth of her eyes, and his throat constricts.
"It doesn't mean he doesn't love you."
Blaine can't bring himself to respond, so he concentrates instead on the garment in her hands. It's a grey tee emblazoned with the Dalton crest over the heart. Every new student is given one when he starts. His throat nearly closes altogether.
"You know what I find helps my nerves on big days?" Mary asks in what Blaine assumes is a rhetorical question, "Wearing clothes that I feel great in, or mean something special to me, like my favourite blouse or the earrings your father bought me for our first anniversary. Gives me that extra boost of confidence, you know?"
He just looks at her until she waves her hand in a "Go on," kind of gesture. So Blaine gets up, only having to debate a moment before pulling out a red cardigan, a white v neck t shirt, and black skinny jeans.
"I bought these with Kurt," he says, feeling strangely vulnerable as he holds up the shirt and jeans. "The day of our first kiss."
Mary puts a hand over her heart, her eyes shining, and Blaine flushes. "And that?" she asks, point at the cardigan in his other hand.
"I-I...I um," he stammers, realizing too late that he's never admitted his feelings towards Kurt to his mother, "I was wearing it the first time I told Kurt I love him."
It's quiet for a long moment as Blaine stares at the floor. When he finds the courage to look up, he is already being pulled into familiar, safe arms. She kisses the top of his head and smooths back his curls. "I am so proud of you."
Blaine isn't ashamed to admit that his eyes fill with tears.
He settles on the Dalton tee, knowing the cardigan will cover the crest, but wanting his old school close to his heart anyway. He'll bring the v neck, just in case. The night before senior year begins, Blaine finds himself staring at the dark ceiling of his room, anxious like he hasn't been in years. Not since his last transfer...to Dalton. It feels as though he's just waiting for the sun to come up and deliver the verdict on how his life is going to change.
He's reaching for his phone before his brain can catch up with his arm.
"Blaine?" Just his name, a single syllable, but already he feels better. Man, he's in deep. "You okay?"
"Kurt," he starts, after realizing he's just been holding the phone next to his ear in silence, "I'm sorry to call so late, I'm just..." He falters. Just what?
Blaine exhales, startled to find a twisting knot in his stomach. Has it been there this whole time? "Yeah."
"Me too." A pause, in which the only audible sound is that of two boys trading breaths from miles apart. "You didn't have to do this, you know."
"I wanted to. I...I missed you." It comes out hoarse. Blaine tries to clear his throat, but something is just stuck.
"Oh Blaine..." He can hear that smile. "I love you for it."
For a moment or two Blaine just listens to Kurt breathe, content in the silence in a way that he couldn't find on his own. His mind begins to wander, and a memory pricks fondly on the edges of his consciousness.
"What are you thinking about?"
"The first time you ever called me." He smiles in spite of himself, as Kurt makes a low groaning noise.
"That was so embarrassing."
"I'm glad you called me," Blaine says. This is—for whatever reason—the first time they've ever talked about it. "It made me feel like you trusted me."
"Of course I did." The adamant inflection is surprising and endearing."You were one the only one I could trust back then, especially with what happened." Kurt sighs, and protectiveness sparks sharp and hot in Blaine's gut. "I don't know if I've ever properly thanked you for everything."
"You don't have to Kurt, okay? Not then, and certainly not now. I love you, I care about you, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make you happy. No thanks necessary."
Kurt is quiet for so long Blaine wonders if he's fallen asleep. "Hey Blaine?"
"I'll see you tomorrow. At school." And then a breathless kind of quiet laughter that causes Blaine's heart to skip a beat. "I missed saying that."
"Me too." He can't stop smiling. He's not so nervous anymore. "Goodnight, Kurt."
And to Blaine's surprise, they actually are.
"Ready for this?"
The twitch of Blaine's lips is involuntary as he turns to look at Kurt, standing outside his car door and offering his hand. "This feels familiar."
"It should. You started it." Kurt's eyes are bright in the September sun, and for once Blaine can't help but give in to one of his more ridiculous desires. He stands and folds his fingers in between Kurt's, before lifting them up to brush his lips against the back of Kurt's hand.
His boyfriend is flushed a lovely pink, which only makes Blaine want to kiss away that wide look in his eyes. He restrains himself however as Kurt just tugs him forward. They fall into step, and Blaine tries to inconspicuously take in the chaos of William McKinley High School. There are people everywhere. The number alone is staggering, but as he keeps looking he sees every kind of clique imaginable, every fashion sense, any and every high school story that has ever been or need to be told, embodied by the people around him.
It's actually kind of cool.
Kurt's grip on his hand tightens as they walk into the school. After prom, it wasn't exactly a secret that they were dating. Blaine's transfer however, had remained between them. The last thing either of them wanted was a hailstorm of hate before Blaine had even stepped into McKinley. They round the corner towards their lockers, on either side of the hallway and only a handful apart.
Blaine sees them first.
Two huge guys wearing letterman jackets, carrying equally huge plastic cups. He can't help but think that he's finally going to see what this whole 'slushie facial' thing is all about. They're already gearing up, reaching out, when Blaine shoves Kurt behind him, just in time to catch both on either side of his face.
"Welcome to McKinley, Lady Boy!"
The boys jeer until they disappear from sight, not that Blaine can see much of anything anyway. In fact, for a good ten seconds all he can really focus on is how cold it is. And then he feels cold ice dripping from his hair, into his ears, past his collar.
At least it's not cherry flavoured. He hates cherry.
When Blaine gets enough out of his eyes to see, Kurt's wide eyes stare back. "Oh my god, Blaine I—"
"Hey." He would take his boyfriend's hand, but he's pretty sticky at the moment. "I said I was ready, remember?"
Kurt's lips twist in what looks like a cross between a smile and imminent tears. Yet when he speaks, his voice is as steady as ever. "Come on. Let's get you cleaned up."
They duck into the girl's bathroom for a reason Blaine decides quickly not to ask about. Mercedes and Tina give them a look (a look that says "we're going to go with this but damn boys, you have some explaining to do") before shooing everyone else.
"We'll keep people out," Mercedes promises, and Kurt smiles at her gratefully.
"Well this explains a lot," Blaine says as young girls stare openly while filing out. "I wondered why you refused to drink slushies this summer."
"Yeah," comes Kurt's voice, clear across tiles as he disappears behind the row of stalls, reappearing with a folding chair, a bottle of shampoo and a small stack of towels. "They lose their appeal after a few in the face like that." At Blaine's raised eyebrow he says, "Slushie facial kit."
"But you liked them before?"
Kurt nods and hands him a towel. "Lime was my favourite."
Blaine's heart lurches. He looks down at the soft towel in his hand and up Kurt, only to find himself giving in to yet another impulse. He closes the space between them, sealing Kurt's lips with his until the taste of Burt's Bees gives way to cold lime ice. Kurt makes a low sound in the back of his throat, deeper than anything Blaine's ever heard from him, and before he can give into the desire to shove his boyfriend into one of these stalls, he pulls away.
"How 'bout now?"
Blaine watches as Kurt licks his lips, an unreadable expression in his pale features. It might just be the sexiest thing Blaine has ever seen.
"Still my favourite."
For a long moment they just stare at each other. And then Kurt unfolds the chair. "Start with your face, okay? I can help you with your hair."
He feels bad for staining the towel so badly, but when his face and neck are clean and his cardigan salvaged from staining by Kurt's careful ministrations, he sits Blaine down and begins to wash out his hair. Blaine isn't sure anyone has ever given his head this much attention, but he's not going to complain. He forgets about the towel completely. It feels absolutely incredible.
"Can I tell you a secret?" Kurt asks as he begins to rinse. Blaine rolls his eyes up to catch the blue that haunts his dreams.
The corner of Kurt's mouth tilts up in a way that is breathtaking and delightfully familiar. "I always liked your natural curls. They made you look more...real."
"Well," Blaine says when he finds his voice, "Good thing you're washing out all the gel, isn't it?"
The boy above him just smiles and turns off the tap. He looks down at Blaine's ruined Dalton tee, trailing his fingers over the crest (—beatnothingnothingbeat) and frowning. "You don't have an extra shirt, do you?"
"I-I..." Blaine clears his throat, trying to settle the uproar of butterflies in his stomach. "Yeah. In my bag." He stands, turning to watch in the mirror as Kurt pulls out the shirt, staring down at it, and then up at him.
"For good luck," Blaine says simply. Kurt's eyes are definitely glassy as he hands over the garment and turns to face the other way. Blaine tugs the ruined one over his head, his TWLOHA tag dangling freely as he puts an arm through the sleeve of the clean shirt. His watch clangs against the chain, only to get stuck there.
"What's—" Kurt stops short, as though someone had just smacked all the air out of his lungs. Blaine's eyes jerk to meet his in the glass, but Kurt isn't looking at his face. He's looking at his back, where a dark scar angles up from his left shoulder blade up to the curve where his shoulder and neck meet. It's been there a long time, and Blaine can't help but realize that Kurt has never seen it.
"Kurt?" Shame crawls up his spine and stains his cheeks as their eyes final lock stares.
"Is that..." The other boy swallows. "From..."
"Yeah." It comes out kind of rough. "Eleven stitches."
Kurt crosses the room as Blaine finally detaches his arm and gets it through the other sleeve.
"Blaine?" Kurt's eyes are bright, brighter still because he's right there. "Have I ever told you how brave I think you are?"
Something locks Blaine's vocal chords together. Something that is tight and hot with bitterness and regret, so paralysing that he doesn't resist when Kurt reaches for the hem of his shirt and Blaine's arms just follow. Right before he guides the hem across his back, Kurt leans down. His lips, soft and smooth, brush over the top of the scar and all mental faculty fails. When his heart restarts, Blaine looks up at Kurt's reflection, just a little too afraid to do anything else.
Kurt slips closer, leaning over and pressing his forehead just above Blaine's ear. Eyes closed, Kurt presses his lips against the skin of his jaw, just once.
"I love you."
This time Blaine does move. He whirls around and captures Kurt in his arms until they're lips and hands and lines again (although Blaine is careful about his hands and Kurt's hair, because Kurt would be very upset with him) well on their way to forgetting about silly school (and when Blaine murmurs "I love you too" between breaths he wonders if Kurt understands how much he truly, deeply means it)—until the bell rings. When they break apart they're both breathing deeply, smiling with hearts thumping, and Blaine just knows.
He's going to like it here.
Author's Note: Yay for writing! I've been planning/writing this for days and days. It's two thirty in the morning. I should really get some sleep. Pretty sure this is my longest oneshot ever. Mary Anderson inspired by Beverly Anderson, of aspiringtoeloquence's beautiful 'verse. Because Blaine deserves a mother who adores him.
Blaine at McKinley better happen. Just saying.