God I love writing book-themed AUs.
The one thing Lima had going for it was that its public library was awesome. It was a gorgeous old brick building with large, arched windows and plenty of stacks and tables, and the librarians would move heaven and earth to find copies of the particular books patrons were looking for. The armchairs were perfectly worn out, the atmosphere was quiet and calm, and there were plenty of private nooks for reading in pleasant solitude.
It was basically what Kurt imagined heaven would look like if it turned out that heaven really did exist.
The day he found the first note, he was browsing the young adult section and trying to decide whether he wanted to check out something new to him or an old favorite. Sure, there was no reason he couldn't check out more than one book, but he didn't like trying to juggle five books at once because everything was so engaging. Besides, taking one book at a time meant he had to come back more often, and that would never be a problem in his world.
He bent over and pulled a well-worn copy of Dash and Lily's Book of Dares off the shelf, thinking that the title sounded interesting enough. As Kurt flicked to the summary on the inside flap, he knocked a piece of looseleaf paper out of where it had been tucked near the binding. Curious, he unfolded it.
In the spirit of this novel, I've decided to write my own note and plant it in here for the next reader to find. Why shouldn't life imitate art, right?
Don't worry about sticking too close to the narrative, though - I'm only looking for a pen pal. I'll be checking this book every week to see if someone responded, so don't be afraid that your note will be lost to the ages, either!
Some basic info about me: I like love stories, both realistic and sappy; Top 40 songs, especially Katy Perry; and using semi-colons whenever possible. What about you?
Kurt's smile grew bigger and bigger as he read the upbeat note. His mind made up about which book he should take home that week, he headed for the check-out desk, folding the note carefully and slipping it into his pocket along the way.
God I'm glad most of the kids in this town are barely literate, he thought as Selma scanned his book. I get the feeling I'm going to want to write to this person for a while.
Six days later, Kurt was back at the library and making a mad dash for the teen section. He had been back a couple days earlier, but his note hadn't been replaced yet, giving him the impression that he had found that note almost as soon as it was planted.
Hoping for a success this time, he pulled out Dash and Lily and flipped to the front cover, revealing a new note.
Oh my God, someone actually found my note! Hi, K!
I'm glad you ended up loving this book as much as I do. It's so nice seeing Dash and Lily develop both personally and in their relationship, even if it takes them a couple tries, isn't it? (Also, Lily's dedication to the Christmas spirit makes me think we'd be best friends if she were real.)
Thanks for the book rec of your own! I'd been meaning to pick up Let It Snow for a while now, so reading your rave review of it finally motivated me to go check out a copy. Don't feel like you have to stick with the Christmas theme, though – after all, it is only October!
Oh, and I'm a boy, since you were wondering! I can't believe I forgot to say that in my first note. Maybe my friends are right about saying all the hair gel I use is melting my brain out my ears.
Kurt pumped his fist in a silent, victorious gesture and grabbed Dash and Lily, stacking it with the books he had to take out for class. He started brainstorming his next letter to B as he looked around for his pleasure read of the week, wondering what other books B might like. Kurt himself didn't really care if a book was a "girl book" or a "boy book," but he knew plenty of other people who thought that his preference for romantic novels was another manifestation of his gayness. He figured B wasn't like that, though, especially since he gushed a bit about Dash and Lily's relationship in his note.
I wonder if he'd tell me if he's gay, Kurt mused, shaking his head in frustration after he finished thinking. No, he said he just wanted a pen pal. I'm not going to turn this into some weird courtship device, especially since he might not even swing my way.
Still, Kurt couldn't help but feel a little affection for the boy who was so genuinely passionate in his love of books. It probably wouldn't turn into anything anyways, so what was the harm?
Kurt was dead wrong.
His tiny spark of affection for B turned into a full-blown crush as weeks passed and they kept exchanging letters, talking about books and musicals and snippets of their lives, both of them trying to straddle the line between anonymity and openness.
Even after nearly two months, Kurt got a little tingle of excitement when he found a new letter in their book. It made his good days even better, and gave a bright spot to his bad ones. That day was one of the bad ones, so he was hoping to find a new note from B to make up for it. He was trying to check his phone for a text and bend over to grab Dash and Lily simultaneously, so he didn't notice the other person trying to reach for the same book.
He did notice knocking heads with the other person, though.
"Oh my God, I'm so sorry!" he said softly, trying not to attract any scowls from nearby patrons. "I wasn't looking!"
"I'm fine, really," the other boy said. "I should've given you more room." He pushed up with one hand onto his knees from the sprawl he'd fallen into, and Kurt noticed that in his other hand was-
"-A note!" Kurt said, staring and kneeling up next to the other boy. "Wait, were you going for Dash and Lily?"
"How did you – K?" the boy asked, looking stunned.
Kurt just nodded. "And you're B?"
"Guilty as charged," B said, smiling in a way that made Kurt's insides fill up with butterflies. "I've gotta say, this isn't really how I imagined us meeting for the first time."
"At least I'm not drunk off my ass on peppermint schnapps, right?" Kurt joked, knowing B would get his reference to the book that started it all for them.
"There is that," B agreed. "My full name's Blaine, by the way."
"Kurt." Kurt shook Blaine's extended hand, feeling a tingle run through him when their hands met.
"Kurt," Blaine repeated. "I don't think I would've guessed that, unless maybe you told me you shared a name with a Sound of Music character."
"I never would have gotten 'Blaine,'" Kurt said. "But I think it suits you. It's unique."
Before Blaine could respond, a librarian bore down on them, hissing a violent "Shhhh!" and glaring.
"You wanna go grab a coffee with me?" Blaine said, standing up and offering a hand down to Kurt, who took it and levered himself up. "I know we only just met, but we've been talking for months, and now that we've found each other, I really don't want to let you go just yet."
"Coffee with a cute boy is never a problem for me," Kurt said thoughtlessly. He clapped a hand over his mouth and blushed bright red the second his words caught up with him. "I mean-"
"I can't say I'm complaining, either," Blaine said, eyes twinkling. "My friends want to muzzle me every time I find a new letter from you and talk about it for days."
"I may or may not be keeping all your letters in an old hatbox of my mother's," Kurt said. "They're too meaningful to just leave out in the open."
"Yours are hidden in with my scrapbooking things so my brother doesn't find them the next time he comes home and noses around my room," Blaine said. He squeezed Kurt's hand – neither of them had let go – and started leading them toward the exit.
"So what was in the note you were gonna leave for me today, anyways?" Kurt asked once they were outside.
Blaine handed Kurt the note. "Why don't you just read it for yourself?" he said, blushing slightly and stepping away.
Kurt unfolded the note.
I have a confession to make, K.
I think I've got a crush on you.
Every time I get a new note from you, my heart soars and I smile uncontrollably, and I end up reading and re-reading your message, hoping to learn more about what you like and what's happening in your life.
I know you might not feel the same way – after all, we started this as pen pals, nothing more, and that's all I can expect. But if you're interested too, would you maybe like to meet me for a coffee some time? My treat. I'll even buy us some festive Christmas cookies if we manage to get together before the holiday.
Let me know. I'll be ready whenever.
Blaine (I figured you should know my full name if we're potentially going to meet.)
Kurt was quiet for a moment after finishing the note before leaning in and kissing Blaine softly on the cheek. "I've been crushing on you for months, too, Blaine."
"Really?" Blaine asked, and oh, his eyes were far too pretty when they got that big and hopeful.
"Really," Kurt confirmed. "I was hoping you felt the same way, too, but I didn't want to presume."
"This is possibly the luckiest I've ever been in my life," Blaine said. "I can't believe the intelligent, funny, kindhearted guy I've been writing to is also one of the hottest men I've ever seen."
"You and me both, B," Kurt said, used to thinking of Blaine by his initial. "I'm kind of afraid this is some kind of cosmic practical joke."
"I think it's more of a Christmas miracle," Blaine said, smiling gently.
"I think I prefer that outlook," Kurt said. "I also think I'm about to lose a toe to frostbite."
"Well, we can't let that happen," Blaine said, holding out his hand. "C'mon, I know a great coffee shop nearby that has the best peppermint mochas I've ever tasted."
"Lead the way," Kurt said, taking Blaine's hand. He leaned in closer to Blaine as snow started swirling down around them, making Lima look picturesque for once.
Dash and Lily may have been the catalyst for Kurt and Blaine's relationship, but at that moment, Kurt could only think of Lorelai Gilmore and her belief that snow made magical things happen. As far as Kurt was concerned, she had a point. How else could he explain Blaine?