|Ace of Cups
Author: Araidel PM
Blaine Anderson never expected that the Kurt Hummel, newest fashion designer to rise to fame, was the same Kurt Hummel whose name was scarred across his palm. But they were soul mates, destined and determined to be together even through photographers, tabloid gossip and rumours. Soulmate fic, GKM fill.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Blaine A. & Kurt H. - Chapters: 14 - Words: 91,484 - Reviews: 131 - Favs: 346 - Follows: 275 - Updated: 08-17-12 - Published: 08-03-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8389390
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognise including (but not limited to) characters from Glee and real life people (who are only referenced).
Ace of Cups
Upon his return to halls, Blaine had fetched his laptop and had set up shop in Nick's dorm room. He was sitting on the neatly made bed with his legs crossed, the laptop resting on his knees and notes spread around him. Nick was sitting at the desk with his notes in a similar state of disarray but neither boy was working on their essay.
Sugar had knocked on the open door and come into room without an invitation. She was chewing a piece of gum and her eyes sparkled as she bounded into the room and sat on the bed.
"You need to tell us what happened, Blaine!" She insisted patting his sock covered foot with her hand. "What was Kurt like? Is he as cute in real life? What did he wear?"
Blaine laughed at her excitement. "I didn't actually see Kurt, Sugar." He slowly closed the laptop lid and moved it off his knees onto the bed. "I never thought I would. I saw his assistant instead."
"And?" Sugar stared at Blaine with expectation. "What did Kurt's assistant say?"
"Nothing." Blaine shrugged one shoulder. He hadn't gotten an answer and he'd texted Nick, Jennifer and Sugar as soon as he'd left the store. It was typical Sugar though, to want to hear the story in person even though she already knew it. "She took my number and said she'd call me. I doubt I'll even hear anything."
Nick and Sugar exchanged a look. "When you do get a return call," Nick added, jotting down something on a piece of lined paper he'd been using as a plan for the essay, "I can't wait to rub all of your insistence in your face."
Blaine pointed his finger at Nick. "And when you meet your Jeff, I'll be happy to return the irritating favour." He frowned at his friends. "Why are you guys obsessed with my Kurt being the Kurt anyway?"
Sugar squeezed his foot, her painted nails brightly coloured against the black of his socks. Blaine wiggled his toes unconsciously to her squeezing right by them.
"If he is your Kurt, Blainey-" Blaine scowled at the nickname "-then we don't want you missing out just because he's famous! Plus, we'll get lots of free stuff as your friends and he can totally use my ideas in his clothing!"
Both boys laughed affectionately at Sugar's excitement and Blaine uncrossed his legs, swinging them over the side of the bed. He looked from Nick to Sugar and back again. "Drink? Anyone want a drink?"
Nick ordered a coke and Sugar wanted a fruit smoothie so Blaine took a moment to slip on his shoes before leaving the dorm. He tucked his hands into his pocket, feeling for his ID card and some change. Laughter rang out from the dorm just as he started to walk down the hall and for a moment he wondered what his friends were talking about.
How Tina had reacted at hummels had retrospectively surprised him. Blaine had expected Tina to turn him down immediately. Of course, he had no idea if Tina knew who Kurt's true soul mate was. If you accidentally saw the name on a person's palm, it was deemed polite to pretend as if you'd never seen it. Only when someone physically showed you the palm of their hand could you act on the knowledge of who their soul mate was. Tina might not even know who Kurt had been looking for. And she certainly hadn't gasped with surprise or thrown her eyes to the heavens in joy when Blaine had given his name.
But there was something. She asked for his number and for him to write his name down. And it was obvious that asking someone who was claiming to be your boss' soul mate for their number wasn't standard practice.
As he walked down the stairs, Blaine ran his hand over his hair in restlessness. He probably wasn't going to hear anything from hummels. Tina had probably thrown away his number as soon as he left the shop. And that's what he needed to tell himself to get through this period of where he thought far too much.
Upon reaching the cafeteria, Blaine grabbed a can of coke and tucked that into the fold of his elbow. Holding the cold can against his waist, he took a bottle of sparkling water off the shelf in the fridge and then made his way to the bar. He dropped both drinks on the counter and leaned over, grabbing the attention of the single person on duty. She'd been flicking through a gossip magazine and looked entirely unimpressed that Blaine was disturbing her break.
"A fruit smoothie without mango, please." He ordered. Sugar detested mango and would sit there picking out even the smallest pieces if a fruit salad contained the fruit.
Blaine pulled out the loose change in his pocket and dumped the whole lot on the counter. Out of the mess of coins he extracted what he could, quarters and dimes to make up three dollars. Then he scooped the rest of the mess and dumped it back into his pocket. For the rest of the cost of the drinks, he pulled out dollar notes and handed the mess of coins and notes to the girl. She sent a second very unimpressed look as she counted out the three dollars in coins but couldn't fault Blaine's math. Giving a contrary smile, Blaine tucked the coke into the fold of his arm again, held his water in one hand and Sugar's smoothie in the other.
He began his return journey, swinging the bottled water in one hand while keeping a close eye on the smoothie as it slopped around the plastic cup. It would be just his luck that the drink spilled over the edge despite the plastic dome lid the girl had slipped on the smoothie before he'd left the bar.
A vibration in his pocket made Blaine pause and count the vibrations: two for a text, more for a phone call. When the vibrations continued passed two, he swore. Of course someone would ring him right when he had no free hand to use. He looked from his left arm, holding the coke at his elbow and the smoothie in his hand, to his right hand with the sparkling water and tucked the bottle into the small space between his waist and forearm. He pressed tightly with his arm to hold the two drinks but didn't squeeze the plastic cup.
He fumbled with his phone and saw an unknown number.
"Hi, is that Blaine?" A familiar female voice answered, sounding cheery.
Blaine nodded as he replied, a habit that often brought teasing from people watching him talk on the phone. "Yeah. Who's this?"
"It's Tina from hummels." Blaine's eyes widened and he'd have been staring at her had they been face to face. "We spoke earlier?"
"Yes. Yes. I remember." Blaine swallowed, his mouth suddenly dry.
"Well, if you aren't busy tomorrow, we'd like you to come back to the store." Tina was saying, her voice sounding tinny through the phone, "We can talk more about what we spoke about then."
"Any specific time?" Blaine had lectures all morning and one late in the afternoon but he'd miss them if needs be. It wasn't like he could mess Tina around; she would have a far busier schedule than the student who's missed lecture notes would be uploaded to the intranet soon after the lecture. And he might end up meeting Kurt, who would have a far busier schedule than even his assistant.
"How about after lunch. Say four o'clock?"
"Four's fine." Blaine licked his lips and pressed his phone closer to his ear. "I can get to you for four. Thank you, for ringing me back."
"It's no problem. See you tomorrow at four." The phone call cut off a beat later and Blaine was left staring up the staircase with three drinks pressed against his left side.
Oh G-d, Blaine thought even as he held the phone to his ear. Kurt Hummel's assistant had not only called him back but had actually invited him back to the store this time tomorrow. Something told him that this wasn't a normal situation that the people close to someone famous did when there was a claim of a soul mate. He had imagined being turned away, even laughed away, when he'd gone to hummels earlier in the day. He'd also imagined never hearing from Tina again and assuming that no contact was a no.
But to not only get a reply from Kurt's assistant but to be invited back? How was that a normal situation.
Blaine finally lowered the phone, pressing the button on the top to lock it and slipped it into the pocket of his pants. Blindly, he reached for the bottle of water and continued his walk up the stairs to Nick's dorm room.
Every angle he took, every thought path he went down, led to one conclusion. The little voice at the back of his mind that agreed with Nick, Jennifer and Sugar every time they argued for the Kurt Hummel being his Kurt Hummel was cheering. The rest of Blaine's mind was soon catching up: except for the cynical, pessimistic part that wanted physical proof.
Physical proof like seeing Blaine Anderson written in Blaine's own handwriting across the heart line of Kurt's palm.
Kurt stayed late that evening, long after the store had closed and Tina had locked the front door up for the night. After Tina had given him the paper with Blaine's number on it, he'd left his office to get a coffee and to tell Tina to ring Blaine and "get him back here ASAP".
He'd continued drawing but his eyes had strayed to the folded paper left on his desk. Kurt had moved the paper around the whole afternoon. It was first lying on his lap where he'd glance every few moments. Then he'd rested the paper, utilising the fold Tina had created, against a picture of him and his father outside the first hummels store. After the paper had closed one too many times, Kurt had taken some sticky tape and tacked the paper to the front of his desktop Mac. When it was stuck to the computer, he had to physically turn his head to gaze at the handwriting. Handwriting that he frequently compared to the scars on his own hand; the two matched every time.
"For G-d's sake." Kurt had muttered when he looked back at his sketch book to see that he'd managed to complete one basic sketch of a new outfit in the past three hours. He glanced at the clock ticking away on the wall by the window. It read quarter to ten. Mentally taking away three hour to account for time difference, he picked up the phone and dialled Mercedes' number.
The long distance dialling tone sounded in Kurt's ear and he rubbed his forehead as he patiently waited. At quarter to seven in LA, there was still every possibility that Mercedes was busy with a music video or a rehearsal for the concert tour she'd be singing as a backup singer for. His friend had been out in LA for years now: in Kurt's eyes, it was high time she moved from the background to the foreground.
"Hey Kurt!" Mercedes' cheerful voice sounded through the phone. "Hang on one sec'." Kurt heard movement through the call, smiling to himself as he imagined her setting down whatever she'd been doing to talk to her close friend. "Ok, what's up?"
Kurt licked his lips. "Someone came into the store today, claiming they were my soul mate."
"Again?" Mercedes echoed Kurt's earlier annoyance. "I saw that that one girl yelled out before you opened that shop of yours. Some people are crazy."
"You're just one of the lucky ones!" He insisted. "You don't need to look anymore."
The laugh that sounded down the phone line was filled with fondness. "What was so special about this guy then," she asked, returning to the original topic of conversation, "like how come you're ringing me about another poser."
"I don't think it's a poser." There was silence from LA so Kurt continued. "Tina met him: he wanted to talk to a manager and she said she didn't want someone complaining a day after we opened. And he said his name was Blaine, 'Ceds."
Mercedes gasped. "His name was Blaine? As in Blaine Anderson?"
"Yeah." Kurt sighed and leant back against the leather cushion on his chair. "Tina even got him to write it down. The handwriting matches."
"Why is this a bad thing?" Mercedes sounded excited through the phone line. "Kurt, you'll meet your soul mate soon. That's nothing to be worried about. If that's why you're ringing-"
"You know it is." Kurt confessed. "What if Tina's wrong, or this Blaine's just got a similar handwriting to my Blaine?"
Kurt heard his friend take a deep breath and let it out in a loud sigh. "This is just nerves talking." She said. "You'll know as soon as you look at each other. You know what connecting looks like: you saw it happen to Sam and me."
Kurt gave a lopsided smile to the empty room. He'd been walking in the halls of McKinley with Mercedes when they'd heard the name of the new kid at the school. Mercedes had gone pale and Kurt had had to practically drag her to the exit, where they'd sat outside for the whole of the break between first and second period. It had been lunch time when she'd first seen Sam and Sam had first seen Mercedes.
Connecting was also known as love at first sight. Soul mates would see each other and connect even without asking each other's names on some occasions. Names were always exchanged prior to accepting that the two people were soul mates but that was tradition.
What Kurt had watched when Mercedes and Sam had seen each other from across the hallway would have cracked even the thickest wall around the coldest heart. And at the time, Kurt was still dreaming of the romance seen in Broadway musicals, where Maria and Captain Von Trapp would dance with each other and fall deeply in love. Of course, it was later revealed in the gazebo after Maria came back at they were each other's soul mates but Kurt would still smile wistfully at their dancing while they connected.
In a small voice, Kurt said "And what if it isn't him?"
"Oh honey." Mercedes' voice was filled with comfort. "If it's not your Blaine then you keep looking. Because your soul mate is out there and he'll be waiting for you just as impatiently."
Kurt shook his head to clear it. "Enough about my soul mate; tell me how Sam is."
They spoke for a while after that, crossing topics from Sam to the music video Mercedes was staring in as one of two backup singers. Talk then swung to Kurt's store and how he was eagerly drawing the first designs for his third line, a line that was currently unnamed but wouldn't be shown to the public as an official line until the following year.
"Call me tomorrow, after you meet him." Mercedes ordered when the conversation had reached a natural end. "I want to know how it goes."
"I will," Kurt promised. "I'll speak to you soon."
They put the phone down simultaneously and Kurt's eyes immediately went to the handwritten Blaine Anderson stuck to his computer. G-d how he wished it was tomorrow already. Getting through the night knowing that this time tomorrow he could have connected to his soul mate was not going to be an easy feat.
Blaine had taken far longer to dress for his second trip to hummels. Again he knew he couldn't wear anything designed by Kurt just in case the first impression he gave his soul mate was one of someone who was looking to freeload some fame.
He'd finished his morning classes and had spent two hours after lunch standing in front of his open wardrobe, eyes running from the pants to the shirts to the sweaters folded on the shelves. The one stroke of genius he'd had was to take out a white shirt and a red and blue striped bow tie. He wanted to look his best, after all.
Red bow tie needs red pants, he thought. Blaine reached out for a pair of bright red pants, flicked his eyes to the bow tie again and then grabbed a pair of muted red pants instead. He'd quickly gotten dressed and was tying the bow tie when he spotted a white sweater vest. That would work. Last but by no means least, Blaine yanked a grey stripy cardigan off the hanger and slipped his feet into dark blue brogues.
He pulled the door open after triple checking his hair was gelled and no curl was left untamed. He knocked on the open door to Sugar's room and stuck his head inside.
"Do I look ok?" He asked, spreading his arms wide and twirling on the spot.
Sugar nodded, her pen poised over the sheet of notebook paper she'd been writing on. "What's going on?" She asked when Blaine hurried out of the room. She quickly stood and walked to the entrance of her dorm room. "Where are you going? Somewhere interesting?"
Blaine didn't stop walking but he replied over his shoulder. "Maybe!"
He didn't see the smile Sugar gave or the jump she made, her head tipped back and her arms spread wide, but he heard the gleeful squeal. Blaine shook his head fondly as he heard her cheer. His friends were more excited about this whole situation than he was: and they didn't know the half of it. Once he'd brought the requested drinks back to Nick's dorm room, he'd managed to get all emotions under control. Inexplicably, the conversation had turned to the latest movie releases and which ones they'd go out to the cinema to see. Not that Blaine was ungrateful to have to focus off him and his soul mate for a while.
With the topic of conversation changed, he hadn't mentioned the phone call. He didn't want them to pester him with texts every five minutes while he waited to see Tina, and probably Kurt. He definitely didn't want to be pounced on when he returned to his dorm and any and all information dragged out of him. He'd rather keep what would happen today to himself until he could fully process it himself.
As he sat on the subway, Blaine's leg bounced with nerves. He was resting his chin in his hand, elbow leaning on the arm rest between him and a large lady chatting loudly to her husband.
What would he do if Kurt really was his soul mate? Blaine had spent so long denying the possibility that someone famous could be predestined to be with him. The likelihood was impossible so why ponder what could never be, he'd argue to himself.
However, he was now faced with the very real possibility that he'd have a famous other half by the end of the day. How would they even get to know each other? The unfortunate reality was that some soul mates didn't end up together. Even being soul mates didn't deter from personal circumstances and events in people's lives that made each other incompatible. Blaine had wished hard all throughout his youth that he did end up with his soul mate, wishing from even before his palm had scarred with Kurt's name.
What would it be like, having someone famous for a soul mate? Blaine wasn't kidding himself and thinking that it would be easy. They'd have very little privacy, if at all. Maybe it was best that Kurt was a fashion designer rather than, say, an actor: an actor would be famous amongst all types of people while a fashion designer would be known to the fashion conscious of the world. There might be a fair amount of people who didn't know Kurt's name.
But with the people who did know Kurt's name and with the fans who would do like the girl did at the opening of Kurt's store? How could Blaine, who'd no doubt be standing next to Kurt, handle that? What about the rumours that Kurt was in a relationship with Chandler Kiehl? If that were true and an unwanted soul mate turned up, how would he be treated?
No, he thought. He had to stop this thought process right away. There's still that chance that Kurt isn't my soul mate. I'll deal with the technicalities another time. With him, actually.
The stop was announced and Blaine stood, rubbing his hands together to keep himself occupied and to keep his thoughts from wandering further. He retraced his steps from the previous day, once more dodging shoppers who walked in and out of shops. His breaths grew shorter and shorter as he neared the shop and the hammering of his heart grew louder and louder.
Blaine gazed into the store from just outside for a few seconds. The shop itself was less busy today but there was no shortage in customers for the large queue by the tills. Behind them, Blaine could make out the double doors leading to the back of the shop.
He quickly checked his appearance in the reflection on the windows. He straightened his bow tie, patted down his gelled curls and tugged at his sweater and cardigan so that they lay perfectly arranged on his chest. Blaine rubbed sweaty palms on the back of his coat and pushed the door open. A woman strode out with three heavy bags and Blaine took the time to take a deep breath while he allowed her to exit the shop before he entered.
The shop was quiet in comparison to the hustle and bustle of the busy street outside. People weren't shouting across the shop floor in here, instead they hurried from side to side as they searched for the perfect outfit or saw exactly what they'd been looking for forever on the other display. Blaine ignored everyone in the shop and walked right to the back of the store.
He returned to the same till as yesterday but a woman was serving there now. She ignored him. Blaine licked his lips and waited until the customer at the till had left and the new customer was walking towards the empty till.
"You'll have to go to the back of the queue." The employee informed Blaine with a tired voice. Somehow he imagined that she'd experienced a lot of people just walking right to the front of the tills in her retail experience.
"No I'm not buying." Blaine hurriedly assured her. The new customer had dumped the clothes onto the top of the counter and panted a little with the effort of carrying them. "I'm here to see Tina? My name's Blaine Anderson."
The woman sighed and lifted the small microphone closer to her lips, pressing the earpiece into her ear like the man had done yesterday.
"I just love these clothes, don't you?" The customer said, turning to look at Blaine while the employee spoke to someone. Blaine nodded but didn't strike up a conversation.
"She'll be right out." The woman barely gave Blaine a second look as she sharply opened a carrier bag and placed it on the counter to bag up the newly bought clothes easily.
Satisfied, Blaine backed away. He licked dry lips again and stared at the double doors. Yesterday it had taken a little while before one of those doors opened and someone stepped out onto the shop floor to speak to him. Today, the customer who'd spoken to Blaine was just handing over her credit card when the door further away from where Blaine stood opened and Tina walked out.
She was wearing another dress, this time one of Kurt's early designs, and heels and she beckoned to Blaine. He walked closer, glancing nervously at the tills as he walked behind the people working. No one commented and Tina gave him an encouraging smile.
She didn't speak until Blaine had walked passed her into the backroom of the shop. As she closed the door, she spoke in a soft voice that wouldn't carry through to the public area of the shop.
"Thank you for coming, Blaine." She turned around and gestured in the direction they would go. "I know that meeting today was at short notice. I'm glad you could make it."
Blaine shrugged as if to say it was no trouble. Which it wasn't. "Um," Blaine tugged at the hem of his cardigan with nerves, "can I ask why we're meeting? I think I know but I wasn't sure."
Tina's mouth twisted into a lopsided smile. She stopped at a door, a nondescript door that was painted white like the rest of the backroom she and Blaine had been walking down. She leant against it and knocked twice. Blaine had continued walking for a couple of steps as Tina had stopped so abruptly but was watching her curiously as she pushed the door open without a vocal invitation being heard from the corridor.
She held the door open and stood in the doorway. From the hall, Blaine saw a long oak table with at least eight chairs situated around it, a large screen at the far end and a projector on the ceiling. He was being shown into a meeting room.
"I'll let Kurt answer that question." Tina's voice was quiet as Blaine passed her, walking into the room first.
The room was flooded with light coming from two large windows on the opposite wall. Blaine turned his head and followed the line of the windows, looking back towards the wall that separated this meeting room from the corridor. He caught sight of the bluest eyes he'd ever seen.
And all his worries faded away to dust.
AN: Thanks so much everyone. Seeing that you guys like my story is seriously amazing. Making me smile all the time I swear.