Author: misskaterinab PM
Kurt and Blaine meet in a line at the airport and get bumped from their flight. Written for BloodRedLust as part of the FicAwesome Gift Exchange- 3some,Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Blaine A. & Kurt H. - Words: 16,183 - Reviews: 25 - Favs: 95 - Follows: 16 - Published: 11-22-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7571957
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
FicAwesome Gift Exchange- 3some
Written for: BloodRedLust
Written By: misskaterinab
Rating: K+/T for a little swearing/talk about bullying
Summary/Prompt used: meeting in a queue – Kurt and Blaine meet in a check-in line at the airport.
Special thanks to acrosstheskyinstars for the banner for this story.
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A/N: I don't pretend to know how getting bumped from a flight works. We'll just pretend that it's close enough.
"Attention passengers. Delta flight 898 to Columbus Ohio has been overbooked." A chorus of groans could be heard from the line of passengers still waiting to check in at the gate. "We are currently looking for volunteers to accept a spot on the next flight out, which will be departing in approximately five hours at 10:47pm."
"SHIT," Blaine heard a voice exclaim softly. "I really need this flight."
Blaine turned around to find an attractive man about his age, maybe just a bit older, standing behind him. He was dressed fashionably and not a hair was out of place. This amount of "put-togetherness" might make anyone else appear snobby, but it seemed to suit him. Blaine didn't detect any sort of full-of-himself vibes from this one. As he raised his eyes to meet this man's, he noticed that although they were troubled, they were beautiful – a mix of blue, green, and gray – and they were also becoming glassy with tears.
"Well, I plan on allowing them to bump me," he said to the man. "Maybe that will be enough."
He nodded slightly. "I sure hope so. I have to get home."
Blaine caught the desk agent's eye and waved her over. "Hi. If you're looking for volunteers, I don't mind taking the next flight. You CAN put me on the very next flight, right?"
"Oh yes, sir, thank you. Currently the next flight is only about half full, so there shouldn't be any problem. Can I see your ticket, please?"
He handed her his ticket and she made a note of his choice on her passenger listing. "Thank you so much, sir. Please stick to this area for further instructions."
The Delta employee made her way down the line of people waiting to check in. The man behind him continued to scan the area, watching for people to approach the ticket counter, but only a couple people did. After about ten more minutes of waiting, the airline rep made her way back over to the line of passengers still waiting to check in.
"I'm sorry to inform you all that out of the passengers who had already checked in, only two were willing to give up their seats in favor of taking the next flight out. We will be able to take the first two passengers in this line, but the rest of you who have not yet checked in will need to make alternate plans for your travel. As soon as the last passenger is checked in, my partner and I will be at the desk ready to assist you in finding flights, rental cars, hotels, or whatever else you may require. Again, on behalf of Delta, I sincerely apologize for your inconvenience."
The man behind him, who had been reasonably composed until the announcement had been made, rushed up to the desk to be the first in line to speak with an agent. Blaine followed a short distance behind him, in no particular hurry to make the arrangements for his return to Ohio.
Blaine arrived at the desk just in time to hear the man say, "No, NO! You can't do this! I – I need to get HOME!" He took a breath to calm himself. "Please, please don't bump me," he begged.
"I'm so sorry, sir, but I'm afraid there's nothing more we can do. I can put you on the next flight out, or I can help you arrange for alternative travel, but I cannot put you on this flight."
Resigning himself to the fact that he was absolutely not getting on this airplane, he asked, "Do you know when the next flight of any airline is leaving for Columbus?"
"The next flight leaving here is on United, but unfortunately, it is departing only about a half an hour sooner than our flight. You may find it easier to just stick with us for your return flight."
"You're probably right. This really sucks. I know you're just doing your job, but please pass along the fact that this really and truly SUCKS along to your superior."
"Again, I'm really sorry, sir…" Waving her off, the man pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. He left the ticket desk while he was waiting for the call to connect. Before he was out of hearing range, Blaine heard him say, "Hi Carole? It's me. Look, I know this is the last thing you want to hear, but…" and he was gone.
Blaine wandered back into the waiting area and found it fairly crowded. He found a pair of seats in a secluded corner and sat his bag on one while he plopped himself down in the other. He rummaged through his bag and retrieved his iPod and the bottle of water he had purchased as soon as he made it through security. He could have really gone for a cup of coffee, but he knew that if he dared leave his seat, someone else would snatch it up in a heartbeat, and he did NOT want to stand for five hours. Hopefully, once some of the flights at the other gates sharing the combined waiting area had left, the place would empty out a bit so he'd feel more comfortable grabbing some of his preferred rocket-fuel strength coffee and a bite to eat.
He chose his "relaxation" playlist and settled back in the marginally comfortable chairs. He was all set to kick back and perhaps try to snooze a little when he saw the man from the check-in line standing near the entrance to the waiting area scanning the seats for an empty one. Blaine immediately tried signaling him. The man didn't seem to understand at first, but finally he pointed to himself questioningly, and when Blaine nodded, he carefully picked his way through the crowded rows of chairs to where Blaine was sitting.
"Hi. This seat's open, if you want," he said as he grabbed his bag off the spot next to him and stowed it underneath his own chair.
The man sat down delicately with a huge sigh. "Thank you. This is the best thing that's happened to me in the last hour. What a nightmare."
Blaine stuck out his hand. "My name's Blaine."
After hesitating for a split second, the man grasped his hand and replied, "Kurt."
A tingly-sparky type feeling shot through his hand, and Blaine dropped Kurt's hand in surprise. "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry," Kurt apologized profusely. "I tend to carry static electricity around."
"No worries. I get the same way. Every winter I have to ground myself before touching anyone or anything so I don't shock the heck out of them or myself."
Blaine continued carefully. "Um, is everything okay? I couldn't help but notice how upset you were when they bumped you…"
Kurt sighed again and thought for a moment, as if he was trying to decide exactly how much information he should disclose. "Well, yeah, I'm okay, I guess. But it's Thanksgiving, and my dad just got out of the hospital after having a heart attack last week. I wasn't able to get home sooner because of some intensive theatre courses I have this semester, and this was the first chance I've gotten to go home. All I wanted was to get home as soon as possible to see for my own eyes that he's okay, and now my homecoming has been delayed even further and it just really upsets me," he said, noticeably choking up.
"Hey, hey, it's all right," Blaine soothed, placing his hand on Kurt's shoulder in a comforting gesture. It was such a natural reaction for him that he didn't even think until after he had done it that, wait, this was a complete stranger, maybe I shouldn't touch him. He withdrew his hand and went on. "So he's okay now, right?"
"Yeah, I think so. My stepmother Carole has told me that his prognosis is really good as long as he changes his diet drastically and gets more exercise and everything. But it was so scary. He was in a coma for a week, and they weren't sure if he'd come out of it, and all I wanted was to go home and hold his hand like he's done for me during every tough time in my life, and I was stuck here."
"That's really good, though. I'm sure he'll be thrilled to see you, too." Remembering something Kurt had said about theatre classes, Blaine asked, "So, where do you go to school?"
"Oh, I go to NYADA – that's the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts. I'm majoring in musical theatre."
Blaine perked up. "Really? NYADA was actually one of the schools I've been considering for next year. I interviewed there a couple of days ago. I was visiting Juilliard and NYU also."
"Oh really? Are you into musical theatre also?"
"Musical anything, really," enthused Blaine. "I play a bunch of instruments, though piano and guitar are my favorites, and I like to sing, and I scored the lead role in my school's musical my junior year… oh my God, I'm bragging my butt off. How embarrassing."
"No, don't worry about it. That's awesome! I mostly sing and act. I can play a little piano, but since that was really my mom's idea, I haven't played in awhile. It hurt too much to play after she passed."
"I can understand that. Luckily piano was my idea, so there's probably not much in this world that can take it from me, especially since playing and singing has provided me with such a source of comfort over the years."
Kurt nodded slightly, certainly understanding the need for a creative outlet. "I've told you where I go to school – what about you?"
"I live in Lima, so I go to McKinley High."
Kurt's jaw just about hit the floor. "Holy shit."
"What?" Blaine asked, wondering what he had said wrong.
"I went to McKinley my freshman year before I transferred to Dalton Academy."
"Holy shit is right – we sang against them at show choir Sectionals last year."
"Are you KIDDING me? You were at Sectionals, too? How is it that we don't recognize each other?" Kurt wondered.
This is where life had started to get tricky for Blaine. "Umm…well, I wasn't able to go to Sectionals last year. Extenuating circumstances." At this point, Blaine clammed up. It was like someone slammed a door shut and deadbolted it.
Noticing how quickly and how far Blaine had withdrawn into himself, Kurt desperately tried to change the subject. "Hey, listen, since we're going to be here for awhile, how about I go get us some snacks and beverages while you hold our places? Or if you want to stretch your legs, you could go? It's still really busy and I don't want to lose our seats, but I could KILL for a big cup of coffee right now."
Blaine's mood brightened immediately at the thought of coffee. "GOD yes, I'll be your best friend forever and ever if you bring me coffee."
Kurt grinned. "Well that sounds like a good trade. What do I get if I bring you back some food while I'm at it?"
Just then, Blaine's stomach growled loudly. The two men both laughed. "Gee, I don't know. At this point I might just offer to carry your firstborn child, I'm so hungry!"
Kurt mumbled under his breath. Blaine thought he had heard, If only, but when he asked Kurt for confirmation, he only shook his head and took out his phone. "Let's see – we've got a Starbucks, a Panera, and a Burger King right here. What can I bring back for you?"
Blaine thought for a moment and settled on a Bacon Turkey Bravo sandwich from Panera and "the biggest vat of coffee" that Kurt could get at Starbucks. "No, seriously," Blaine said. "If I can swim in it, it might be big enough."
Laughing, Kurt said, "I totally get you. If I could mainline coffee, life would be so much more tolerable." He quickly typed Blaine's order into his phone so he wouldn't forget. Blaine made an attempt to get at his wallet, but Kurt quickly waved him off saying that they'd settle up later.
About a half hour later, Kurt finally returned with a large bag from Panera and a cup carrier from Starbucks. "My god, the lines! This place is so crowded it makes me think half the people in New York have been bumped from their flights!" He carefully set the drinks down and dug into the paper sack of food. He unearthed a sandwich and a bag of chips and passed them to Blaine. "You looked more like a chips kind of guy than a baguette or apple guy."
Blaine laughed. "Truthfully, I'm a 'whatever doesn't move' kind of guy. If you had brought me random leftovers from a random refrigerator, I'd probably still chance them, even if they did look like a science experiment."
"You remind me of my stepbrother, Finn. If we had proof that he had ever been in Africa, we'd be able to blame the famine on him because he probably would've eaten everyone's food." Blaine was torn about whether or not he should laugh at that. Famine was not a funny thing, but damn, it sounded like Kurt's stepbrother could pack it in more than he could. He caught Kurt's eye out of the corner of his own and they both grinned at each other.
Kurt and Blaine sat back in silence to enjoy their meal. Blaine inhaled the sandwich almost embarrassingly fast and was just about to devour his bag of potato chips when his phone rang. Kurt raised an eyebrow when he recognized it as the Wicked Witch music from The Wizard of Oz. Blaine rolled his eyes at his phone, shrugged at Kurt, and answered the call.
"Hello, Mother." Kurt's eyes opened wide at that. Blaine almost laughed at loud at his reaction, but he was able to contain himself and held up a finger to let Kurt know that he'd tell him in a minute.
"No, I wasn't on the flight. I allowed them to bump me onto the next flight."
"Because there wasn't any reason I needed to be there right away."
"Well, there were other people on that flight that needed to be home more than I did. And some of them still didn't get on the flight."
"What do you care, anyway? It's not like you were planning on being home to greet me or anything."
"I don't really care that you sent the driver on a wild goose chase, Mother. That's why you pay him the big bucks, isn't it?"
"I can't help it that I'm 'too nice,' as you put it, Mother. I prefer to call it being a human being. Maybe you should try it sometime," he spat out as he hung up his phone.
"One thing that sucks about cell phones – you can't slam them down. What I wouldn't give for a corded phone right now to just slam it the fuck down," Blaine seethed.
Kurt flinched. "Are you okay?" he asked cautiously.
"I hate my parents. They treat me like crap. I wish they would just disown me or something. My life would be a lot easier if they would." Blaine was so incensed that he was practically panting. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't dump this all on you."
"It's okay. All of us have those people in our lives that drive us to insanity."After a short pause to allow Blaine to calm himself, Kurt ventured, "Dare I ask?"
Blaine considered it for a moment. He wasn't sure, but he thought that somehow Kurt might be able to relate to his situation in some way. Looking around him, noting that thankfully the waiting area had cleared out some, he said quietly, "I'm gay, and they don't like it. They deal with it because I'm still seventeen and they're obligated to provide me with the basics and education and all that, but they don't approve of what they call my 'choice,'" he said with finger quotes, "to like men. Like I'd CHOOSE to be harassed and ridiculed every day of my life."
"To quote a good friend of mine, Preach," Kurt said.
"You too, huh?"
"Gay, yes," Kurt confirmed, "but bad relationship with my family, thankfully not. I'm sorry your family isn't supportive. Do you at least have good friends that have your back?"
Blaine cracked a smile. "Yeah, actually I do. Our Glee club is pretty awesome. We're all the bottom of the barrel when it comes to popularity, so we all hang out with each other and everyone's there for each other. They're probably the only reason why I'm not in a padded room wearing a pretty white jacket that ties in the back."
Kurt snorted ungracefully. He covered his face in embarrassment but continued to laugh. "Oh my goodness, you sound so much like me sometimes. I would SO say something like that!"
Kurt and Blaine continued to talk and laugh until a voice came over the loudspeaker. "Attention all Delta passengers. Flight 245 with service to Columbus Ohio and continuing on to Milwaukee Wisconsin is about to begin boarding. Will all passengers who were bumped from today's earlier flight please proceed to the ticket counter for seating assignments and preferred boarding. Thank you."
"Preferred boarding, ooooh, aren't we special?" Kurt said.
"It could be worse. They could've pointed out the window to seats on the wing and warned us that there would be no drink service to our section."
Kurt giggled. "Shut UP! You're going to make me snort again! It's SO undignified!"
They gathered their belongings and made their way over to the ticket counter. "Hello, Mr. Hummel, Mr. Anderson. Again we apologize for your inconvenience earlier today. Looks like we'll be able to offer you seating in business class this evening if you'd like. We have seats 4A and 4B available, otherwise we have single seats in row 1 or row 3."
"What do you think, you want to sit together?" Kurt asked.
Blaine nodded enthusiastically. "Absolutely. This way I won't have any strange ninety year old ladies falling asleep and drooling on my shoulder like on my last flight," he said, shuddering.
"Yeah, you'll just have a strange eighteen year old guy falling asleep and drooling on your shoulder."
"As long as you don't wear dentures that haven't been cleaned in three years, I am certain you'll be a step up."
They turned back to the desk agent, who was laughing along with their quirky banter, and agreed to take the two seats together in the fourth row. She handed them their boarding passes. "Here you go, gentlemen. The plane is ready, so if you'd like to be the first ones to board, you're all set. Thank you for flying Delta."
"Thank you for getting stuck with Delta, more like it," Kurt mumbled under his breath so that only Blaine could hear, and Blaine chuckled. In his opinion, it could have been a lot worse, since he just made this amazing new friend thanks to the airline's screw-up.
They quickly made their way through the jet bridge and stepped through the door of the plane. They were met by a handsome male flight attendant with bleached blond hair and thick black plastic framed glasses. He smiled brightly at them and greeted them warmly. "Good evening, gentlemen, welcome aboard! My name is David, and I'm serving the business class section tonight." They showed him their tickets, and David's smile grew wider. "Excellent! It looks like I'll be taking care of you during our flight. Please let me know if you need anything!" The flight attendant looked at both Kurt and Blaine appreciatively, and rather lingeringly, if you asked Kurt, before he turned to greet the next group of passengers making their way onto the plane.
They quickly stowed their carry-on bags in the overhead compartment, making sure to grab necessities like iPods and magazines before doing so, and then they sat down to wait for the rest of the passengers to board.
"Well, I guess the stereotype about male flight attendants is true, huh?" Blaine said to Kurt, glancing in their flight attendant's direction.
"Which one of us do you think he's going to try to hit on?"
"Are you kidding? He looked at us like we were a two-for-one drink special. I think he's hoping for both but would be happy with either!"
They both giggled conspiratorially as the flight attendant looked in their direction and flashed a flirty smile. "Wanna drive him nuts?" Kurt deliberately leaned way over and whispered directly in Blaine's ear.
Blaine returned the whisper just as closely. "Judging by the crestfallen look he's just gotten on his face right now, I think he's already there."
"We've still got the whole flight ahead of us, and I think he's probably going to be very… thorough… with his job tonight. Is he your type?"
Blaine considered. "No, not really. He seems far too flamboyant for my taste."
"Hey, I'm flamboyant too, ya know!" Kurt said with mock indignity.
"Oh my God, I didn't mean anything by that you know! I didn't mean to offend you or anything!" Blaine backpedaled frantically.
Flirting some more for David's benefit, Kurt buried his face in Blaine's shoulder and laughed. "Blaine, it's okay. I'm just teasing you. Besides, he's not my type either. There's only room for one diva in a relationship, and that diva is me. We'd kill each other."
"I don't think you're a diva," Blaine offered shyly. "You just seem like a confident, take no prisoners, work for what you want and get it kind of guy."
"Oh Blaine, Blaine – you haven't seen me when I truly get going, but thanks. I appreciate that. Oooh, he's coming back this way. Play along!"
Kurt reached over and grabbed Blaine's hand and yanked it to him. The staticky, shocky feeling was there again. He wasn't sure if it was stronger than the previous time or if he was just more aware of it, but it almost HURT. Blaine shuddered from the discomfort, but Kurt smiled at him. The shudder could be misinterpreted as something else, and David caught it. He was frowning, so they knew he had definitely interpreted it as something other than it was.
The plane was finished boarding and the safety demonstration was broadcast throughout the cabin. Blaine and Kurt busied themselves by checking that their seatbelts were properly fastened and their electronic devices were off and stowed for takeoff. After the instructions were complete and the plane began taxiing to the runway, the flight attendants scurried around with last moment preparations before seating themselves. The jumpseat for the business class flight attendant was located just behind the cockpit facing the passengers. David was able to see Blaine and Kurt clearly from where he was sitting.
Kurt again took hold of Blaine's hand. "I hope you don't mind," he said softly, "but I'm a terrible flyer. Normally I have to deal with this on my own, but I don't usually have a friend sitting next to me so I'm hoping you will humor me until we get up in the air," he finished, rambling.
"Do you feel that?" Blaine asked, not really addressing Kurt's question. "We've touched, like, three times now, and every time it feels like lightning bolts shooting up my arm. I know we initially thought it was static electricity, but we've barely even moved in the couple of minutes since it happened last."
"I do feel it. I don't know what to think of it, but I'm beginning to wonder if there isn't something to it. No matter what the circumstances, this hasn't happened with anyo- oh holy crap we're taking off!" Kurt blurted out as the plane's nose left the ground and the plane shot up into the air.
"It's okay, Kurt," Blaine said comfortingly, squeezing his hand. "The scary part will be over with soon and then we'll just be gliding along, minding our own business, 'til we get to Ohio. No big deal." Kurt sat stiffly until the plane did exactly what Blaine said it would and leveled off. He let out a big breath and smiled at Blaine.
"Thanks, Blaine. It's great having someone next to me. I didn't even yell 'we're gonna die' once!"
Blaine grinned. "Well, now I feel like I've done the rest of the passengers a service. You're welcome."
Ten minutes later, David pushed his beverage cart into the aisle. He quickly served the three rows in front of Kurt and Blaine, and when he arrived at their row, he looked wistfully at the pair.
"There's no point in passing either one of you my phone number on a napkin, is there?" he asked sadly.
Both shook their heads. "No, I'm afraid not. Sorry."
He nodded slowly. "Looking at you two sitting there, I should have figured." Forcibly brightening his expression, he asked, "What can I get you to drink?"
After serving the diet coke for Kurt and the water for Blaine, David paused and said to them, "Well, you two make a beautiful couple. I wish you many good years together."
"Oh but we're not – " Blaine started to say, but David had already turned to serve the passengers on the other side of the aisle, and Kurt had placed his hand over Blaine's mouth to shush him.
"Unless you really do want his phone number, hush. We need to keep up the façade," he said with a smile.
The beverage service ended shortly, and once all the flight attendants had had the chance to stow their carts safely, the lights in the cabin were lowered. It was quite late by this time, and even though the flight was relatively short, they were provided with the conditions to snooze if they so chose. Kurt reclined his seat the little bit it would go back, and he slouched down in an attempt to get comfortable enough for a little cat nap. Just as Kurt was about to doze off, out of the blue, Blaine blurted out, "I was beaten."
"Um, what?" Kurt asked in confusion.
"You wondered why you hadn't seen me at Sectionals last year performing with the New Directions. It was because I was lying in a hospital bed recovering from having the shit kicked out of me."
Kurt's jaw dropped and his mouth went dry. "I-I'm so sorry, Blaine." He didn't know if he truly wanted the answer to his next question, but he decided to ask and get it over with. "Do you know who did it?"
Blaine nodded slowly. "It was…" He swallowed hard, not wanting to say the name.
Kurt sat there chanting to himself. Please no, please no. Not him, please…
"… a guy named Dave Karofsky and a few of his minions."
"No…" escaped from Kurt's mouth in barely a whisper.
Blaine looked startled. "What do you mean no? Do you know this guy?"
Taking a deep breath, Kurt said, "Yes. He harassed me on practically an hourly basis at McKinley. It's why I left and went to Dalton before you knew me." Tears streaked down his face. "I'm so sorry. Maybe if we had tried harder… maybe if I hadn't run… Karofsky wouldn't have been around to hurt you. But they just wouldn't LISTEN. He was so careful to only toss me into lockers when no one was looking, and if they saw, no one dared speak up against him. It was his word against mine, and unfortunately his word spoke louder. They wouldn't even believe me when I showed them the bruises I got from being constantly slammed into the wall. Can you believe that they had the nerve… the fucking NERVE… to accuse my FATHER of doing that to me?"
Kurt's voice had started out in a whisper, but Blaine quickly grabbed his hand and squeezed before his voice could get loud enough to disturb the other passengers. Blaine's heart broke for his new friend.
"I'm sorry, if you knew my father, you would be almost as furious as I still am. But anyway, the McKinley administration was useless, and they couldn't guarantee I wouldn't be harassed again. So I transferred to Dalton. I ran. Like a coward. I'm so sorry, Blaine. I could have tried harder and maybe gone to the police and maybe got him sent away somewhere, but I didn't, and instead he was around to hurt you. I'm so-"
"Kurt, stop blaming yourself. Of COURSE it wasn't your fault! You couldn't help that Karofsky was a scared, closeted boy that was terrified to come out, so he took it out on those of us who WERE brave enough to declare ourselves."
"Wait, Karofsky's gay?" Kurt said in shock.
Blaine nodded. "Yep. He cornered me in the hall once. I had had enough. I yelled at him and goaded him, and he kissed me. Three days later, I woke up in the hospital with a whole lot of broken and battered body parts, and Karofsky was sent to jail. He was eighteen by that time, so he was tried and convicted as an adult. He's gone. And by the time he's out, I'll be gone, too. I'll be in New York."
"Wh-what did he do to you?" Kurt asked softly.
"He waited until I had to stay late at school. The New Directions had a late rehearsal to get ready for Sectionals, and since I was supposed to have a solo number, I stayed later than anyone that day. He ambushed me behind my car, he and his friends beat me up, and then they tossed me on my front lawn for everyone to see. My parents aren't home often, but thank God my dad was home that night. He stood over me for a moment, shrugged, and said something to the tune of, 'This is just something that someone like you is just going to have to get used to.' He picked me up and put me in the back seat of my car when he probably should have called an ambulance. He wasn't careful with how he handled me, so I passed out from the pain on the way there. All total, I ended up with four broken ribs, a broken nose, a black eye, bruises as far as the eye could see, and surgery to remove my ruptured spleen."
Kurt gasped. "Oh Blaine."
"I'm okay now, don't worry. Physically I still have to take it easy once in awhile, and as far as other things go, I've been seeing a counselor since it happened, but things are okay now."
After Blaine finished his story, the lights in the cabin came up, and the captain's voice was heard over the intercom. "Attention passengers. We'll be landing at the Port Columbus International Airport in approximately fifteen minutes. Local time is 12:35am, and the temperature is a not so balmy twenty-two degrees. I'll be turning the seatbelt sign on now, so please buckle up and begin to stow your belongings for landing. Thank you for flying with Delta."
The flight attendants swept the cabin with their trash bags looking for any last minute discards before descent. After they had returned to their stations, Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine tightly and pulled him close. The once startling shock upon contact seemed to have settled into a contented buzz. "I think our funky little connection has sensed that we've had somewhat of a moment," Kurt remarked with a chuckle. "But I kinda thought after that story, you could use a hug."
"And you thought right. Thanks," Blaine said gratefully. "Though I hate that you were on his victim's list as well, it really truly helps to have someone to talk to who can say, 'I know how you feel,' and actually have that statement be true."
They fell into silence as the plane began its approach to the airport, and Blaine held Kurt's hand tight as they descended and landed. It was as smooth a landing as anyone could hope for, and for that, Kurt was grateful, though he was even more grateful for the hand providing him warmth and security. He couldn't keep from thinking that maybe this was what he didn't know he was looking for.
The moment the passengers were informed that it was safe to turn on their electronic devices, both Kurt and Blaine pulled out their phones and sent texts informing their rides that they had officially arrived and would be ready to go home soon.
Kurt got a response right away. "My stepmother is already here waiting," he said with a big smile. "My dad wanted to come, too, but his doctor wanted him away from the hustle and bustle of the airport, and my stepbrother is with him, since it really hasn't been that long since he got out of the hospital. I hope everything is okay. I love Finn, but sometimes he's a few fries short of a Happy Meal."
Blaine laughed. "I know a few of those people. My friend Jeff is the best and most loyal friend you could hope for, but you start to wonder how many times his parents dropped him on his head as a baby after awhile."
They made their way off the plane and found a monitor with current arrivals and departures listed. Under arrivals, they found their flight and noted that their luggage would be reunited with them at Carousel C. They walked together and made polite conversation on their way.
Kurt grew quiet for a few moments before he gathered the courage to ask, "Soooo… are you dating anyone?"
Blaine was somewhat surprised by the question which came totally out of the blue. "Um, no. You know McKinley. Shallow dating pool. There a couple of out guys, but… no. Just no."
Kurt laughed at the look of distaste on Blaine's face. "Yeah, I totally get that. There was no one out besides me when I was there. The pool was so shallow I ended up having a crush on a straight guy… who ended up becoming my stepbrother two years ago." They had a chuckle over that one. "And the few guys there were at Dalton were already paired up, so I pretty much flew solo during my time there."
Blaine bounced the question back. "Since you asked me, it's only fair that I get to ask you. Any good catches out there in New York?"
"Man, I wish! There are tons of gay men in musical theatre. TONS. But most of them are even more diva-like and more narcissistic than me, and I have my moments. I haven't had the chance to weed through them and find a normal one for myself. My program is intensive, and the competition is cutthroat, so it doesn't leave me a lot of time to date around."
"Maybe you need to look outside of theatre," Blaine ventured.
"Maybe I do," Kurt said as he looked directly at Blaine. Blaine caught the look and blushed, but the mood was broken by their arrival at the baggage claim area.
"Okay, so Carousel C is way down there," Blaine pointed. It took them several minutes to walk to nearly the end of the building, but before they could get any closer than Carousel D, Kurt was nearly run over by an older brunette woman who gathered him in a huge bear hug.
"KURT! It's so good to see you, honey! You've gotten thinner, have you been eating nothing but your rabbit food again? We need to – "
"Carole! Enough! I love you but get off me!" Kurt said. He turned to Blaine. "Blaine, this is my stepmother Carole. Carole, this is my brand new friend Blaine who witnessed my bad attitude after getting bumped and decided to talk to me anyway."
"Aww, you weren't bad at all, Kurt. You had a good reason to be upset."
"Kurt, you didn't treat any airline staff rudely, did you?" Carole asked in her mother tone of voice.
"Weeellll… not TOO rudely," Kurt said.
Carole raised her eyebrow at Blaine as if she was questioning Kurt's honesty. Not wanting to throw Kurt under the bus and potentially ruin a new friendship, he was quick to assure her that though he had been upset, Kurt hadn't done anything to embarrass himself.
"Kurt, I probably better get my bags and wait out at the curb for my ride. Our family's driver," he rolled his eyes as he said the word driver, "tends to get impatient when he's kept for more than, oh, forty-five seconds," he said sarcastically. Holding up his phone, he asked, "Can I get your phone number? I had fun talking to you, and it would be really nice to keep in touch. I mean, if you want to, that is. If not, it's okay."
"No, no, that's a great idea. I'd love to chat." As the boys eagerly traded their phones so they could type in their information, Carole stood back watching. Oh, these boys are so blind, she thought. If they could see what I see…
Just as they were giving each other a hug (not the usual man hug that was half hug and half handshake, but a real one), Blaine got a text. "Oh, that's probably the driver letting me know he's here. Carole, nice meeting you! Kurt, I will call you really soon, okay?"
Turning to dash to the carousel to grab his bags, he opened his phone to view the text. Before he was out of earshot of Kurt and Carole, he stopped dead in his tracks. "SHIT," he cursed when he saw what it said.
Kurt jogged to where Blaine was standing, Carole following closely behind. "Blaine, what is it?"
"This isn't a text from the driver. It's from my mother. Basically, I'm screwed."
Blaine handed Kurt his phone to read.
Blaine – get your own way home. Not paying Frank for another trip. Use your allowance to get a cab. – Mom
"So what, she's just going to leave you here?" Kurt asked incredulously. "How'd you get stuck with such assholes and still turn out as decent as you are?"
"KURT!" Carole scolded.
"No, Mrs… "
"Hummel, but you can call me Carole. All of Kurt's friends do."
"Carole… Kurt's pretty much right. My parents and I do not get along, and we pretty much only put up with each other because we have to. Listen, I better get moving before all the cabs are taken."
"Blaine, you are NOT taking a cab to Lima. That will cost you a fortune!" Kurt exclaimed.
"No, it's okay. I'll be spending my parents' money anyway. I'm planning on using their credit card to pay for the ride. Serves them right."
"Well, yeah, it kind of does, I guess, but it's stupid for you to take a cab home when you could ride with us in a comfortable car with good company," Carole offered. "I brought Kurt's SUV instead of my own car so there's plenty of room. Well, less room after we get his luggage loaded, but still enough to shove you in a corner somewhere," she said with an evil glint in her eye.
"Oh shush you," Kurt said, shoving her playfully. "Don't be telling him ALL of my secrets just yet!" He turned to Blaine. "But really, come with us? Please?" he asked, practically bouncing.
"You sure it's no trouble?"
"Goodness no! As a mom, I feel better knowing you're with us instead of some random cabbie, and also as a mother, I'm rather disgusted that your mother doesn't feel the same. You're coming with us, young man!" she ordered.
Blaine saluted. "Yes ma'am!"
"YAY!" Kurt squealed. "Come on, let's get our stuff. We've taken so long that our bags are probably the last ones on the carousel so I bet we'll be able to find them quickly." He ran off to go grab his stuff.
"Is he always like this?" Blaine asked Carole.
"When he's happy, he is. I haven't seen him like this in a long time, though. You're good for him. I hope you guys become good friends so we see you around more often."
"He seems amazing…" he trailed off as he walked off to join Kurt in getting his bags.
Carole followed behind and her heart fell at the sight of all the bags Kurt was dragging off the belt.
"Good grief, Kurt – did you really need a full bag for every day you're here?" Carole grumbled.
"You know very well that I needed a garment bag for my hangables, a suitcase for my foldables, another for my shoes, and another for my products, Carole."
"And let me guess – there was no way that any one of those could peacefully coexist with any other?"
"I'll have you know, Carole, that – "
"NEVER MIND!" she chuckled as she waved off his explanation. "I don't even want to know. I'll just go get a cart. Or a forklift. Or something."
Blaine felt out of place as he grabbed his small suitcase that was only just barely large enough to not qualify as carryon. As Kurt had predicted, it was the last bag there.
"You owe me $5 for the cart rental, young man."
"Yeah yeah yeah, you'll get your money, old woman. Now let's get out of here!"
Blaine smiled at their easy, teasing banter. He kinda wished he had a relationship like that with someone. Though, who knew. Maybe he'd have one very soon.
Blaine moved to help Kurt load the cart, but Carole held him back. "Nope, let him do this himself. In fact, toss your bag on there too, just for grins."
Kurt glared but didn't say a word when Blaine winked at him and carefully balanced his suitcase on the very top of the stack.
"Are we done harassing me now?" he asked with mock indignation and irritation.
"Maybe," Carole said innocently. "We still have a whole drive to get on your nerves."
"Fabulous," Kurt muttered sarcastically.
The three headed for the parking ramp and Kurt's vehicle. It didn't take too long; Carole had hung Burt's temporary handicapped placard on the rear-view mirror and was able to grab a close spot.
"I know, I know," she said as Kurt was about to protest. "I feel guilty for taking up a spot while we're all able-bodied. But this ramp was FULL earlier. We would have been parking practically in Indiana! I promise you I circled for like ten minutes before I finally pulled out the permit and hung it in the window."
"You know what? I don't think I even care. I'm so tired that I'm actually grateful we don't have to walk to the boonies. All I want is to get home, hug my dad for like an hour, and crash onto my 800-thread count sheets."
Blaine was jealous. "Damn that sounds nice."
They finished loading the luggage into the back of the Navigator and piled into their seats. "What about you, Blaine? Looking forward to getting home?"
Blaine shrugged. Noticing that it was a sensitive issue, Kurt changed the subject. "So, tell me Carole, who's Finn dating this week?"
Carole laughed and launched into a full description of the stream of girls that Finn had brought home from various freshman mixers and tailgate parties. It was fortunate that Finn was not the promiscuous sort or Carole wouldn't have had much to laugh about. "He's so anxious to prove that he isn't still in love with Rachel that he's kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel. The sooner he admits it, the better."
"It's kinda pathetic that we actually WANT Rachel back in our lives, isn't it?" Kurt remarked.
"Well, at least she's colorful. All these other girls are so dull and boring they are all variations of beige."
"I will have you know that there is nothing wrong with beige!" Kurt exclaimed. "Beige provides an excellent backdrop for so many different colors!"
"Exactly. We need to get all these beige girls to fade into the background so the colorful girl can make her way into the spotlight again," said Carole.
"Point taken." Noting that they had been chatting back and forth for at least the last twenty minutes and ignoring Blaine completely, Kurt felt a little guilty and addressed Blaine in the back seat. "So, Blaine… what are your plans for the holiday weekend?"
Blaine hesitated. "Um, I don't really know, I guess. My parents aren't exactly the big family gathering type. If my mother doesn't choose to ignore the holiday completely, she will probably buy a giant premade 'feast' from Kroger's that will probably suck. Then all three of us will sit down at the table, either shovel it in without tasting it or pick at it without actually eating it, for approximately twenty minutes until we can't stand each other's company anymore and make excuses to leave the table. Personally, I'm voting for ignoring it altogether."
Kurt's heart hurt after hearing Blaine's description of their potential holiday meal. Carole looked horrified at the thought of Blaine's holiday not being as enjoyable as she was sure her own would be. "Is it really that bad at home, Blaine?" she asked.
Kurt turned in his seat and looked in the backseat at Blaine. "Can I tell her what you told me?" Pressing his lips together, trying not to cry, Blaine nodded once, anxious to get this over with and get away from the entire topic of conversation completely.
Kurt quickly summarized the little bit he had learned of Blaine's recent past and family situation for Carole, and by the time he was done, he heard a faint sniffing coming from the back seat. He said lowly to Carole, "Can you pull over for a sec?" She quickly figured out the reasoning for his request and pulled over onto the shoulder. Kurt got out of the vehicle and hopped into the back seat with Blaine. When he was resettled, Carole got back on the highway to continue the trip home.
Kurt placed an arm around Blaine's shoulders. Instinctively, Blaine leaned into Kurt, and Kurt responded by wrapping his other arm around Blaine, too. "It's okay, Blaine," he said softly as Blaine struggled to control his feelings.
"I'm so sorry for breaking down on you like this, Kurt. I barely even know you and here I am pouring out all my troubles on you that you probably don't even care about. And now I'm crying on you and probably ruining your coat and I bet you just can't wait to get rid of me and – "
"Okay, okay, that's enough self-deprecation, Blaine. First of all, I care. I don't know why you haven't figured out by now that I care. I already care so much that it freaking terrifies me, but I don't care that it does, because I find myself caring about you more than I've cared about anyone. Unless I'm totally crazy, we have this insane connection after knowing each other for only a couple of hours that makes me feel like we've known each other for years. We have so much in common. It's not quite like you're another me, but it's like you're a perfect complement to me. You feel free to cry on my shoulder as much as you want.
"And secondly? The fabric on this coat is amazing. Tear stains? No problem. They'll come right out." Carole snickered from the front seat, knowing how particular her stepson was about his clothing. "No comments from the peanut gallery!" Kurt called up front.
Kurt grabbed a tissue from the box he kept in the console and handed it to Blaine. Blaine carefully wiped the remaining tears on his face and noisily blew his nose. "Is that a flock of geese I heard overhead? Oh wait, it was just Blaine," Kurt teased, and a tentative smile spread slowly across Blaine's face. "Awww… there's that smile. I've already grown to love it, and I already missed it."
"Feeling better now?" Kurt asked after letting Blaine compose himself.
"Yeah, I do. Thanks." Blaine looked out the window and noticed that they were nearing Lima. "Still doesn't mean I want to go home, though," he murmured.
"Blaine? If you want, you could come home with us," Carole offered.
Blaine was momentarily stunned. He most certainly didn't expect that. But as much as he wanted to accept the offer, he felt he had to decline.
"As generous as your offer is, Mrs. Hu – " Blaine caught a stern look from the rearview mirror, "CAROLE, I think I should probably go home and at least check in with my parents."
Carole nodded solemnly. "Then you should probably start giving me directions to your house, 'cause if I'm not mistaken, the address you gave me earlier is on this side of Lima. But before we get there, I do have to ask… is there any reason we shouldn't bring you home? Are your parents…" She trailed off, but Blaine caught on right away.
"Are they abusive? No. Their M.O. is generally to ignore me as much as possible, and when it's not possible, then they pretend I'm the perfect son they had always thought they would have but didn't. It sucks, but it works for us."
"Carole, what about tomorrow? Can I?" Kurt asked. She nodded, and Kurt turned back to Blaine. "Blaine, would you like to come eat Thanksgiving dinner with us? There won't be too many people there. Probably just us, my dad, and Finn. Maybe a flavor of Finn's week, who knows. None of us has much for extended family, and the little there is is quite far out of state, so it's usually just the immediate Hummel-Hudson crew."
Blaine took a moment to weigh his choices. Did he really want to meet more new people? Kurt's family, no less? On the other hand, did he really want to have to nuke a turkey TV dinner and call it good?
Blaine slowly nodded his head. "Yeah. Yes, I think I'd really like that. I will have to check the fridge and see if my mother bought a boxed dinner that I'm expected to choke down, but if not, I would be happy to come."
Kurt squealed and bounced in his seat. "OutSTANDing!" he said excitedly. Blaine knew immediately he made the right decision.
Blaine noticed they had just about reached the exit for his part of town and gave Carole the directions to his house. Unfortunately for him, it didn't take long to get there. They pulled up in front of a large, dark house. Blaine figured no one would be waiting up for him at this time of night, and it looked like he was right.
"Home sweet home," he sighed. Once Carole parked, he unbuckled his seatbelt and went to the back of the Navigator to extricate his modest suitcase from Kurt's pile of bags. While he was standing there, he noticed that pretty much all of the luggage was resting on one big suitcase in the back. Unable to tame a mischievous streak, he decided to trick his new friend. He yanked on the supporting bag and the whole stack started to shift. He yelled, "Oh my God, HELP ME!" and hid behind the side of the vehicle as the entire stack toppled over and clattered to the ground.
"BLAINE!" Kurt screamed as he flew out of the car. Carole jumped out, too, but she spotted Blaine immediately as he was hiding on her side. Blaine quickly shushed her with a grin and a finger across his lips.
They heard Kurt pull the first two bags off the pile on the ground, but he must have noticed almost immediately that though Blaine was smaller than him, there was no way he would have fit underneath the entire stack of luggage and been entirely concealed. Kurt appeared at the side of the vehicle with his hands on his hips. Blaine choked back a giggle as Kurt gave his best bitch brow and said, "You asshole." That was all it took to make both Blaine AND Carole laugh until they cried. Kurt glared and ordered Blaine to put all the bags back in the car. "And if even ONE DROP of my moisturizer has escaped its container, you are buying me a new one! And you'll regret it because it costs me THREE DAYS WAGES at my father's garage for every single bottle!" He turned and stomped back to his seat in a huff.
"SO worth it," Blaine managed to say in between guffaws.
Carole grinned. "He'll get over it. But… good one! You'll get along with the family just fine tomorrow."
Blaine quickly rearranged the bags in the cargo area of the Navigator and after determining that they'd make the rest of the drive to Kurt's house safely, he swung the back doors shut. Grabbing his own bag, he rounded the vehicle and stood outside Kurt's door. The door was shut tight, the window wasn't even cracked, and Kurt was facing straight ahead, his patented "I'm ignoring you" look pasted on his face. He's spunky, I'll give him that, Blaine thought.
Blaine knocked on his window. Kurt faced straight ahead and waved his hand in that universal "talk to the hand" gesture. Blaine knocked again. No response. He knocked, Dun da da dun dun, and after he spotted Kurt's eyes rolling, he added Dun dun! to the end of the pattern.
Kurt pressed the automatic window button and said, "What do YOU want?" as the window lowered.
Blaine grinned. Kurt may have THOUGHT he was showing his best poker face, but it didn't take Blaine long at all to notice that Kurt had a tell. It was very, very subtle, but the corners of Kurt's mouth twitched a miniscule, almost invisible, amount. He totally thought it was funny!
"So, I'll call you when I figure out if I'm free tomorrow?"
"No. I have revoked your invitation due to immature behavior."
Carole piped up. "I hereby override his revocation!"
Blaine grinned. "Thank you Carole. Since Kurt here doesn't sound like he'll be cooperative, can I have YOUR phone number to get directions?"
"Sure! It's 555- "
"NO!" Kurt interrupted. "If you're invited regardless of my wishes, you might as well just call me. Carole has no filter and will tell you WAY more than you need to know."
"In that case, I DEFINITELY need that phone number, Carole." She nodded enthusiastically, and Blaine knew that when he arrived the next day, he would be finding a way to speak with her long enough to get some good dirt on his new friend.
Blaine stepped away from the vehicle. "I'll talk to you tonight, Kurt."
Kurt tried everything he knew to paste his best bitchface on, but it was no use; the corners of his mouth tweaked up even more than he had before. He hid his face and mumbled, "Yeah, I guess."
Blaine received a quick thumbs up from Carole, and the two backed down the driveway on their way home as Blaine waved. He turned the key in his front door and immediately noted the chill in the air and the dead silence. He made his way into the kitchen and found a note weighted down by a dirty drinking glass on the counter.
Went to Grandma's for the holiday. Couldn't wait for you to return to travel. Food in the fridge, or just use your allowance to get takeout. See you Sunday.
He sighed. He should have figured his mother hadn't even been calling from home when she rang him to bitch him out for missing his ride. It was just like them to do their own thing without any regard to his feelings. Sometimes he wondered why they had become parents if they were so willing to cast away their child if he had grown into something other than what they had expected…
Oh well, at least I don't have to worry about whether or not it'll be okay for me to go to Kurt's house. No one's here to give a shit, he thought.
About an hour after arriving home, Kurt had finished greeting his father and brother and was unpacking his belongings in his old room for the long weekend. His phone buzzed beside him with a text. Checking the screen, he noted it was Blaine. He had to admit, the Great Bag Incident really was pretty funny, and his precious skin care products had made it without a scratch. Really – if they had made it through airport baggage handling, a little tumble from the Navigator was nothing.
He had made up his mind to play with Blaine a little bit, but when he read the text, he immediately felt bad for wanting to give the boy crap.
K – Parents aren't even here. Haven't been here for days. Mom bitched at me from "on location." Shouldn't be surprised I've been abandoned. What time tomorrow? - B
Any thoughts of teasing went right out the window. Here he was with a family that practically charged the door as he walked in to greet him, and all Blaine got was a scolding and an empty house.
B – You're welcome here any time. Give us 'til about noon – any time after that is good. Dinner around 5. Directions in next message. – K
He quickly tapped out a message with his address and brief directions based on what he remembered from the drive to his own house and figured that Blaine would find them somehow even if he made a mistake.
Blaine received Kurt's message with his address and noted that he knew exactly where Kurt's house was. He had only been home for an hour and a half and was already extremely lonely; it was taking all of his willpower to keep himself from making a dry run to Kurt's house right then, even though it was extremely late.
His phone buzzed once more with a message from Kurt.
B – By the way, I'm really sorry your parents suck. For the record, I have no idea why they don't see in you what I already do, but they're missing out. Call me anytime if you need to talk. See you tomorrow. – K
He smiled softly and quickly replied with a simple thank you and put his phone back in his pocket. Feeling much better, he dragged his suitcase upstairs and fell into bed, exhausted, but not before saying a word of thanks for whatever twist of fate brought him Kurt.
Blaine woke up on Thanksgiving morning freezing. A quick trip downstairs led to the discovery of a burnt out pilot light in the furnace. He lit it and decided to hop into a scalding hot shower to help him warm up while he waited for the heat to kick in. He spent a few extra minutes under the water trying to chase the chill from his bones, and when he got out he was happy to find the furnace happily chugging away and the house slowly becoming warmer.
He perused his closet. Knowing that Kurt was extremely fashion conscious, he took extra time carefully choosing a nice outfit for the day. Settling on a soft royal blue cashmere sweater and dark gray dress pants, he got dressed and went downstairs for a bite of breakfast that wouldn't mess up his clothes should he accidently spill. And let's face it – he was getting nervous at spending a family holiday at the house of someone he barely knew, so shaking hands and spills were a distinct possibility.
His plain frozen waffles and glass of water were quickly, and safely, consumed, and he went upstairs to spend some time on the internet while he waited for it to be time for him to leave to go to Kurt's house. Being the curious young man he was, the first thing he did when he connected to the internet was load Facebook and attempt to track Kurt down. Luckily it was quite easy; they were both part of the Lima and McKinley networks (even though it had been years since Kurt had attended the latter), so even though Kurt's profile pic was not of himself, he knew he had found the right person. He clicked the friend request button, and to his surprise, the request was accepted almost immediately.
A chat window popped up moments later with Kurt's name on it.
Kurt Hummel: Good morning!
Blaine Anderson: Good morning to you as well.
Kurt Hummel: Sleep well?
Blaine Anderson: Yeah, I guess. It was really quiet, but then, I'm pretty used to no one being around. I woke up to find the pilot light on the furnace had blown out, though. Brrr!
Kurt Hummel: Did you get it fixed? Need any help?
Blaine Anderson: I got it, thanks. Between getting the furnace back on and taking a hot shower, I no longer resemble an iceberg.
Kurt Hummel: Oh, that's good. So what are you doing now?
Blaine Anderson: Aside from sitting here chatting with you, nothing. I was just killing time 'til it was time to come over.
Kurt Hummel: Oh! Well, I say it's time to come over now, then! I can't sleep in – I'm too used to waking up early for school – so I've been up and dressed for hours. The others are still a little groggy, but they're awake and decent, so come over now! We can watch the parades on TV and make fun of all the garish floats and stuff.
Blaine Anderson: Sounds like a blast. I'll go ahead and head on over, then. There's really nothing here for me right now. See you in about twenty?
Kurt Hummel: Sounds great, talk to you later!
The little green dot beside Kurt's name on the chat immediately disappeared as he logged out. Blaine then gave his email a quick scan, and finding nothing but advertisements for Black Friday sales and penis-enlargement spam (Not needed, thank you very much, he thought smugly to himself), he highlighted everything and clicked the delete button before logging off himself.
He patted his pockets to check for his wallet, cell phone, and keys, and he peeked in the mirror in the foyer before putting on his coat to make sure his clothing hadn't suffered any since he got dressed. Finally he was ready to head out to the garage and go to Kurt's house.
His GPS brought him to a modest house in a decent part of Lima. He parked in the street and made his way up the walk. A little nervous, he stood on the front stoop for a few moments before reaching to press the doorbell. He could hear a thundering from just beyond the doorway and suddenly the door was yanked open, a breathless Kurt peeking his head out from behind it.
" I SAID I got it, FINN!" he called, somewhat indignantly, into the room behind him.
"HI!" he panted out. "You'll have to excuse me. My STUPID BROTHER," he yelled over his shoulder, "thinks it's FUNNY to make me run!"
Blaine heard a voice from a person he couldn't see replying, "I just like to see Mr. PERFECT Kurt Hummel break a sweat once in awhile. It's good for you!"
"I TOLD you I don't sweat. I forbid it!" Kurt yelled back. He turned his attention back to Blaine. "Sweat doesn't go with a single one of my outfits. Not even the unfortunately named 'sweatpants' I have for the gym," he said, shuddering at the thought.
"OH! Pardon my manners. Come in?" he said, stepping back and pulling the door open as he did so.
Blaine smiled as he stepped inside. "Sounds like you all have fun together."
"Oh, we do. We've all been through our own really rough times and we've all kind of bonded because of it. Individually we were all handed our own pile of suck to deal with, but together we've made it through. It works for us."
"I envy you that. Not the rough times, of course, but the closeness. In my family, it pushed us apart rather than pulled us together."
"Well, if you ever need anything, you know who to come to. Combined, we have enough coping mechanisms and strategies to get through pretty much anything. So anyway, you can take off your shoes and coat and leave them here and I'll introduce you to my dad and Finn. They're probably still hovering around the kitchen. Finn's always hungry, and Dad's probably trying to convince Carole that a couple of strips of bacon won't hurt him now that he got his arteries cleaned out, but we beg to differ."
As soon as Blaine lined his shoes up neatly on the rug and hung his coat on the coat rack, Kurt grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the kitchen. He loved the contented hum he felt when their hands touched and was rapidly getting attached to it.
They entered the warm, cheery room to find the other members of Kurt's family. As predicted, his father was trying to pilfer some leftover bacon, Carole was smacking his hand, and the person he presumed was Finn was hanging out of the refrigerator, his rear end all that could be seen.
"Blaine Anderson, you remember Carole. This is my father Burt Hummel, and the butt you see in the fridge is Finn Hudson. Finn, please present your debatably more photogenic side to Blaine. "
"Nice to meet you, Mr. Hummel," Blaine said politely, feeling a bit intimidated by the looks he was being given. "You too, Finn." He fist bumped a greeting with Finn and shook Burt's hand firmly.
"Good to meet you too, Blaine. Kurt hasn't shut up all morning about you."
"Daaaaaaad," Kurt whined, his cheeks beginning to redden.
Burt turned back to Blaine. "No worries, kid. It was all good. For what it's worth, I'm sorry you had to deal with Karofsky, too. I feel horrible that you were hurt, but it makes me breathe a little easier that he's been put away now. That boy was never quite right in the head."
Not really knowing what to say to that, Blaine just nodded. "Yes, sir. I think the student body, gay and straight alike, all breathed a collective sigh of relief."
Everyone looked awkward for a moment until Kurt clapped his hands together. "All right then! Blaine, did you get something to eat?"
"Thanks, I'm good," he replied.
"Great! Time to go watch the parades on TV! Don't worry, boys, you will get your precious flat screen back well before the football game commences."
Blaine followed Kurt into their living room and noted how comfortable it appeared. In his own home, he wouldn't even sit in their "living" room unless his parents had company that they insisted he be present for. There wasn't much living being done in such a pristine, sterile environment. But here…HERE he could sink back into the sofa cushions and actually be comfortable… relax. So that's exactly what he did. Taking a seat on a sofa that looked so cushy it could swallow him whole, he sprawled out, much to the amusement of Kurt.
"Could I help you get more comfortable, Blaine?" he asked sarcastically.
"Well, if you were offering beverage service, I might be able to get a WEE bit more comfortable, but otherwise, no, I think I'm doing okay," he said, returning Kurt's grin.
"OH! I'm sorry, can I get you something to drink?"
"Kurt, I didn't mean for you to wait on me."
"No, it's okay. Now that you're on that couch, it's probably not going to let you get out of it any time soon, so if we want anything I should get it before I park my own self down."
"Just a water, then, if it's not a problem."
"Not at all! I'll be right back!"
Kurt came back five minutes later with some water bottles and a bowl of popcorn. "It's early in the day, but any sort of major television viewing requires popcorn. And Finn was already up in his room, so I was able to sneak it past him without any casualties."
Kurt plopped himself down on the sofa much closer to Blaine than he would have figured, but he wasn't complaining. Kurt set the bowl down between them and turned on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They each took turns snarking about the floats ("Now really, who would put THOSE flowers right there? They look like zits!") and the balloons ("They seriously needed to pop that balloon years ago – no one cares about Olive Oyl anymore!") and spent most of their time laughing. Between floats and balloons, they chatted about everything and nothing and had a wonderful time with each other, without the stress of airplane travel to mar it.
After the parades ended, Kurt found a marathon of Project Runway on cable and looked at Blaine as if to ask if he minded watching that. Blaine didn't mind at all – it didn't take long for him to become absolutely bored out of his mind while watching it, but it gave him the opportunity to look at Kurt while he watched.
God, was Kurt beautiful. His dazzling smile, his sparkling blue… or was it green? eyes that said so many more things than the mouth could ever say, the delicate but confident way he carried himself. Blaine was a little shocked… and a bit scared, too, if it got right down to it. He had NEVER fallen this hard for someone this fast. He'd had crushes and cases of puppy love. But this was different. This was SO different.
"Blaine, is everything okay?"
"Um, yeah!" he scrambled. He had been caught staring. "I was, uh, just trying to figure out what in the world that designer was thinking when they paired those two patterns…"
"I KNOW, right? He must be absolutely blind. Not to mention those fabrics…" and Blaine's mind was off in space again.
After seemingly endless episodes, Carole called Kurt into the kitchen to help with the last few dishes for their grand meal, and Blaine followed him, hoping that maybe there was something he could help with to keep from having to sit all alone in a strange house. Thankfully as soon as Carole saw Blaine, she pointed him to a pile of china and silverware and he smiled. He knew EXACTLY what to do with this, since he had been forced to sit through way too many dinner parties with his parents.
As Blaine placed the last fork by the last plate, Kurt spoke from behind him. "You set a beautiful table, Blaine. If we had trusted Finn to do this, which we usually do, we'd be trying to locate our knives under our placemats and drinking our water from our bowls."
Blaine smiled, and Kurt patted him on the shoulders as he turned to go drag his father and brother away from whatever they were doing and call them to the table.
After they had gathered at the table, Burt said, "Well, Blaine, in this family we don't really do the cheesy 'go around the table and say something you're thankful for' thing, but we do take a quick moment to privately reflect and say our own personal thanks. After that, we dig in. Every man or woman for themselves. If you see something you like, act quickly – Carole's got me on a tight food leash, but it doesn't apply to Finn, and he's like a ninja. And Kurt eats more than it looks like he does, too."
"Hey!" Kurt protested weakly.
"Sorry kiddo, but it's true. Your leg must be hollow or something."
Burt was silent then, and Blaine assumed this was the reflection time he had spoken of. Blaine felt it strange to actually be thankful that he hadn't wanted to go home and that his mom was a jerk and left him stranded at the airport, but it led to the first holiday meal that he'd actually wanted to be a part of in ages, and as he took his first few bites in the moments that followed the silence, it was also the first holiday meal in a long time that was actually edible and delicious. He couldn't help but moan when a bite of the perfectly made mashed potatoes practically melted on his tongue.
"Mmm this is so good!"
Kurt's head whipped around almost violently when he heard the noise Blaine made; he blushed when he realized that pretty much everyone had seen what he had done. All except Finn – Finn never noticed anything, especially when there was food in front of him.
Kurt blushed and went back to his meal, his gaze glued to his plate.
Blaine broke the silence and complimented Carole on the meal. "Thank you, Blaine," she said, "but even though I did all the cooking today, a lot of these dishes are Kurt's recipes. He's a really good cook and has taught me a few things."
"Really?" Blaine asked. Kurt's head nodded almost imperceptibly. He was still embarrassed over his earlier reaction. "Well, it's all amazing, Kurt."
"Thanks," Kurt whispered.
The meal continued for about twenty more minutes, Finn practically shoveling in the food almost the entire time. Blaine ate slightly more politely, though he still made sure to stuff himself with as much of the good food as possible. Kurt sat glowing with pride over how much everyone seemed to love his creations.
Finally, everyone left the table and reluctantly made their way into the kitchen to help with the cleanup.
Carole stopped both Blaine and Kurt and pointed into the living room. "Blaine, you're our guest today, and guests don't help with cleanup. And Kurt, since he was your friend first, you are also excused to entertain him. Burt and Finn and I will see you in the living room when we've finished."
"Thanks Carole!" Kurt cheered. "I've never gotten out of cleanup duty. I HATE it. Do you have any idea what dish soap does to my hands?" He shuddered. "It's not pretty. On non-holidays, I almost always cook because those who cook don't have to clean. It's much safer for the state of my skin."
Blaine grinned. "The cooking thing seems to work for you because you've got the softest skin I've ever felt."
Kurt felt Blaine's eyes on him for a beat too long and was anxious to break the awkwardness. "WELL! Guess what it's time for?"
"I can't guess. What?"
"Only the best part of Thanksgiving! The planning for Black Friday shopping!" Kurt whipped out a newspaper with a flourish and discarded all but the glossy sale advertisements. "Do you know what you need to get this year, Blaine?"
Blaine shook his head. He very rarely bought anyone gifts. Not even his parents. Most of the time, his parents considered him staying over at a friend's house for the night gift enough, so he didn't even bother to try to purchase presents for them. They just bought what they wanted when they wanted, so what was the point?
"Well, who do you normally buy for?"
Blaine shifted uncomfortably. "No one. Can we drop this? Let's just say Christmas isn't any better than Thanksgiving and leave it at that, okay?" he said a little more harshly than was truly warranted for the situation.
Kurt flinched slightly. "I'm sorry, Blaine. Well, you can help me, then. I never know what to get Finn. He's SUCH a boy, and I'm just not good with boy things. He likes football and the drums and girls. Mostly girls. But since I'm not going to buy him a girl for Christmas, maybe you can help me with something that has to do with the other two?"
Blaine nodded eagerly. He loved football and he played the drums as well, so this was an area he knew he could be of use in. He grabbed the stack of ads that Kurt wasn't currently poring through and began his own search through the ads.
The boys settled themselves on the floor next to each other in front of the coffee table, each fighting for space for their own sales flyers. Kurt would sneak an inch more space, thinking that Blaine wouldn't notice, but he did and sneaked it right back. Occasionally their fingers would brush and they would look shyly at one another.
"Hey look!" Blaine said suddenly. He pointed out a picture of various college football and NFL printed drumsticks. "Football AND drumming in one. Would this work?"
"Hmm… kind of tacky, but then, so is Finn. I think those would be perfect. Thanks Blaine!"
Kurt made a note of the store, the item, and the price from the ad and wrote them down on his master list of stores to visit the next day. Kurt set Blaine another task and Blaine grabbed another ad and began his gift scavenger hunt again. Kurt was impressed with his shopping abilities. It was really too bad Blaine didn't really shop for anyone – he was a good gift-picker-outer.
Halfway through their ad perusal, Finn and Burt joined them in the living room and flipped the channel on the TV to the game. At this point, Blaine devoted half of his attention to the screen, but he still kept his ears open to Kurt as well. His attention continued to drift more and more towards the game; he felt bad, but he had REALLY wanted to see the game, too.
Finally Kurt pushed the table back and tossed his pen down. "I think I have my final game plan set! Look out world, here comes Kurt Hummel. Take no prisoners!"
Blaine giggled. "I'm sure you are a forced to be reckoned with at the mall!"
"You bet your cute butt I am!" Kurt slapped his hand over his mouth and his face turned deep red all the way to the tips of his ears. His head whipped around the room and was grateful to find that neither his brother nor his father seemed to have noticed what he said. Blaine quirked an eyebrow and flashed a knowing smile, but he kept his mouth shut, not wanting to embarrass Kurt any further.
"I-I-I th-thought I'd start w-with Best Buy," he stuttered, desperate to change the subject, and showed his list to Blaine. Blaine helped him reorganize the list into a route that made the most sense according to store location and order of item importance. By the time they had finished, the game was almost finished, and he turned his attention fully to the television.
When the game ended, Blaine stretched and reluctantly admitted that he should probably head home. Kurt pouted, but after a moment Blaine practically saw the proverbial light bulb flash on above his head.
"Hey! You wanna go shopping with me tomorrow?" Kurt asked excitedly. Finn and Burt gestured wildly in the background, shaking their heads and drawing their fingers across their throats. Blaine gathered that it probably wasn't a good idea to shop with Kurt, but he found himself not caring.
"That sounds like fun!" Blaine said cheerily. Finn and Burt both groaned and shook their heads as if to say, You have NO idea what you've gotten yourself into, but Blaine ignored them.
"Excellent!" Kurt clapped his hands together once and immediately turned toward his father. "Dad, if he's going to come shopping with me, he's going to have to get up early. If he stayed here, we wouldn't lose any time meeting up with each other in the morning. Can he?" He turned his attention to Blaine. "Is that okay with you? It makes more sense, and I can lend you some toiletries and some sleeping clothes."
Blaine nodded. "Actually, I don't spend a lot of time at home so I already have a packed bag in my car. I crash on a lot of couches and floors. So it's no problem."
"See Dad? It's no problem. Is it okay if he stays?"
Burt looked the boys over carefully. "Well, I guess it's okay with me. I gather that you kind of have implied permission to stay wherever you want from your folks?" he asked Blaine.
Blaine sighed and nodded. "Yeah, pretty much."
"Okay. But Blaine has to either stay in Finn's room or down here on the couch."
"But Dad, we're just friends," Kurt protested.
Burt mumbled, "Like hell you're just friends." A little more loudly, he said, "I wouldn't let any girls stay in Finn's room, either, dating or not. Finn's room or couch, Kurt."
Kurt huffed. "FINE. Blaine, I recommend the couch. You've seen how comfortable it is, and from prior experience, I know that Finn tends to snore when he overeats. You saw what a glutton he was today – I predict something rivaling a lumberjack competition tonight."
Finn said, "HEY!" and moved to smack Kurt upside the head, but Kurt, in a move with ninja-like stealthness, had spun around and caught Finn's hand before Finn knew what hit him.
"I said NEVER TOUCH THE HAIR, Frankenteen!" Kurt growled. There was a silent moment before Blaine burst out into laughter.
"Oh my god, Kurt, you actually growled! And Finn looks like he's about to pee himself! I love it here – you guys are so funny together!"
Kurt and Finn were both surprised at Blaine's outburst, but as Kurt let go of Finn's hand, they both began to laugh themselves.
"Don't get me wrong, Blaine. Kurt can get scary when his coif is threatened!"
"Shut up, Finn, or I'm going to bake a double batch of double chocolate chip cookies right in front of you and not let you have a single one of them."
"You wouldn't do that…" Finn said, more than a little worried.
"Like hell I wouldn't!" Kurt retorted.
The boys stared at each other for a moment and then began to laugh. Kurt and Finn gave each other a one armed man hug and Finn bade them both goodnight, heading upstairs to have a Skype conversation with "a friend."
Kurt said softly to Blaine, "Bet that friend is a girl, and bet that conversation won't have much talking going on."
Blaine looked scandalized. "REALLY? He doesn't look the type to… man, I don't think I wanted to know that!"
"Been there, done that, Blaine. And I didn't want to know, either, but just think – my room's right next to his!"
Blaine shuddered. "You are a far better man than I am to deal with that!"
"Let's just say I've bought really good earplugs!" They both laughed, and Kurt said, "Okay, you're probably going to want to get to sleep fairly soon, so why don't you go grab your bag? Then I can show you where you can get ready for bed."
Blaine agreed and hurried outside to his car. When he retrieved the bag and retreated back inside, he immediately pulled his sleeping clothes out. It was cold outside, and the more time his clothes had to breathe, the sooner they would warm up. He was shaking them out as Kurt walked into the living room with an armful of bedding for the couch.
"Oh, those are probably cold," he said. "Can I toss those in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up for you?"
"That's a nice offer, but they'll be fine in a couple of minutes. Thanks, though!" Blaine replied. "Now – where can I change and brush my teeth?"
"Come on, you can use the bathroom I share with Finn upstairs. There's a shower in there."
"Oh no, I don't need a shower. I can just brush and be done and I'll be good 'til I get home tomorrow."
"Trust me, Blaine, you do NOT want to sleep on that grease bomb you call hair. You'll feel so much better after you wash it out. And you are not going to have time in the morning to fix the damage that sleeping on gel-soaked hair will do."
Seeing Kurt's interactions with his brother made him realize pretty much immediately that it was pointless trying to argue with Kurt, so he acquiesced and followed Kurt obediently up the stairs to the bathroom. Kurt showed him where the towels and spare toiletries were kept and headed off to his own room to get ready for bed.
Blaine had to admit, it did feel good to wash out his hair. It was so WILD, though, after a shower. He desperately tried to tame the frizzball that had taken up residence on his head but gave up quickly; he was only making it worse. Sighing, he put on his sleep clothes, carefully folded his sweater (hey, it was cashmere!) and pants, and put them in his bag. He exited the bathroom and almost physically ran into Kurt on the steps.
"Oh hey, you're all done. I… um, I really like your hair like that. It has more personality."
"Is that the polite way of saying it's a 'hot damn mess'?"
"No, actually. Not hot damn mess. Just… um, hot." Kurt blushed a deep red. He stared at Blaine's hair for a few moments and then shook his head to snap himself out of his thoughts and practically ran down the stairs. Turning to face Blaine behind him, he said, "Okay, so I've got the couch all set up for you. The others are upstairs in their rooms for the night. Guest bathroom is over there, and if you get thirsty during the night, you're welcome to raid the fridge for whatever you need." He fidgeted with the blankets and pillows while he spoke, and Blaine thought it was adorable.
"So anyway, stores open at 4am, and I want to be in line no later than 3am, so we've gotta get up by 2am, okay? I know it's not much sleep, but part of the fun of Black Friday is fighting for deals on little to no sleep with nothing but coffee and each other to get us through to the other side."
"Sounds good. Do we have our own team cheer and everything?" Blaine asked facetiously.
"Shut up and go to sleep," Kurt said, rolling his eyes but still laughing at Blaine at the same time.
It was just 10pm by that time, but the nerves of meeting Kurt's family had caught up with Blaine, and he was exhausted. Between that and the comfyness of the couch, Blaine drifted off to sleep quickly.
At about midnight, Blaine was jolted out of his sleep by the sound of something crashing to the floor and a voice whisper-yelling, "OUCH! Dammit!"
"Kurt?" Blaine asked sleepily, rubbing his eyes.
Kurt approached the couch. "Oh crap, Blaine did I wake you?"
"No, no, it's okay. I was asleep but… what's up?"
"No, I'll just go back upstairs and you can go back to sleep." He turned to go back to the steps, but Blaine reached out and grabbed his hand before he could get too far. The buzzing they had felt every time they touched was still there, but it seemed like it was a little more frantic. Like it was trying to tell them something. Like it was trying to say, something's wrong – fix it!
"Kurt, stay. Please. Is something wrong?"
"I – I just hoped you were having trouble sleeping too. Well, I don't wish you to have trouble sleeping, but I just kinda wanted someone to talk to. Well, I wanted to talk to YOU. But I didn't want to wake you. Oh God, I'm rambling. I always do this when I'm nervous. I should really just shut up now."
Blaine squeezed the hand that he still hadn't let go of since he had stopped Kurt from leaving. He pulled Kurt down onto the couch next to him. "Kurt? You wanted to talk?" he asked softly.
"What is this?" Kurt blurted out.
"What is what?"
"THIS," he gestured back and forth between us. "I mean, this is insane. I have NEVER connected with anyone as fast as I've connected with you. And everyone seems to see something. Every time I looked up at Carole during dinner, I caught her staring at us with this goofy look on her face. Dad has never NOT allowed me to have anyone, guy or girl, stay overnight in my room. Even the flight attendant thought we were together. And…"
"Yes, Kurt?" Blaine asked, holding his breath, hoping to hear what he wanted to hear from Kurt.
"And… I think I want there to be something. I mean, I think I want to try to see if there's something," he said, very quietly, afraid to look at Blaine in case his feelings were not reciprocated.
Blaine noisily let out the deep breath he had been holding.
"But if you don't, that's okay, too. Oh God, um, if you don't think there's anything worth looking into then that's okay. I mean… oh crap I just made a total fool out – "
Kurt whipped his head around to look at Blaine, a broken look on his face.
"Kurt, that was a huge sigh of relief I just let out. I was holding my breath PRAYING that you were feeling the same thing that I am. Everything I know about you so far is something I've always wanted in a boyfriend, a partner, and I can't even begin to tell you how much I want to explore whatever 'this' is with you."
"Oh thank God," Kurt whispered, a couple of tears beginning to streak down his face.
"C'mere," Blaine said, pulling Kurt's hand to his chest. Kurt scooted closer to Blaine.
Blaine leaned over to within a couple of inches of Kurt's face. He could feel Kurt's breath on his face and Kurt's hand tremble in his own.
"I've wanted to do this all night," Blaine murmured. "May I?"
"Yes," Kurt breathed.
Blaine leaned in the rest of the way, hesitantly pressing his lips to Kurt's. Even though he had gotten permission, he still wanted to make sure that this was okay. He needn't have worried, though. As soon as their lips made contact, Kurt let go of Blaine's hand and wrapped his arms around Blaine's shoulders, pulling him close, almost smashing their lips together in the process. They kissed chastely for a few moments before they broke apart, only to stare deeply into each other's eyes.
"Wow…" they said in unison.
"Um, yeah, I definitely think there's something there!" Blaine chuckled.
"Understatement," Kurt replied. "So… how do we want to do this? I mean, I go back to New York in a couple of days."
"Damn, I forgot about that," Blaine said sadly.
"That's not a deal breaker, is it?" Kurt worried. "I mean, if it is, it's good I know this now..."
"Oh, no. NO. Totally not a deal breaker. It just makes things more complicated." Blaine paused to think for a moment. "For starters, let's go with this: Kurt, will you go out with me tomorrow night?"
"Absolutely," Kurt accepted enthusiastically. "But only if you agree to let me take you out on Saturday."
Both boys stared at each other with huge grins on their faces.
Kurt clapped his hands. "Well! I'm going to let you get a little more sleep in. Black Friday is a big event and you'll need your rest. 2am comes quickly!" He bounced up off the couch and spun around to give Blaine one more fast peck on the lips. "Nighty night, Blaine!"
Blaine watched Kurt practically fly up the steps and shook his head amusedly. Truth be told, he felt like he was flying, too. He knew sleep would not return to him, but he turned out the light and laid back down, determined to give it a try anyway.
As he lay there, he thought to himself, "I bet I am the only one who's ever been truly grateful to have been bumped from their flight."
He smiled and burrowed into his pillow. For the sooner he fell asleep, the sooner he would wake up, and the sooner this new chapter of his life could begin.
A/N: So anyway, I got to write this fic for my wifey and one of my best friends in life, BloodRedLust. I know you love the shmexy times, and I don't have shmexy times for you, but I have lots of cutesy times for you, and I hope you love it. I less than three you. HARD.