A/N: Using the Klaine Advent Drabble prompts balance, fall, twist, uniform, year, zigzag. (Sorry this one is late, but meh…)
It was 2:30 in the afternoon, and Kurt - traveling between A. P. French and A. P. Calculus – took his afternoon run through campus, zigzagging dangerously close to unaware members of the student body, mussing up hair, knocking books out of hands, and causing generally irritating mischief like a modern day Peter Pan. He laughed out loud as he ran with no fear of being caught.
In order to get caught, Kurt would need to be seen.
Kurt had had the ability to turn himself invisible since as long as he could remember.
Kurt's "special gift" was a carefully kept secret in the Hummel household. His parents didn't understand it. As far as they knew, no one else had ever had it, and for fear of Kurt's safety, they never went to anyone to have it investigated or explained. Too many nightmares of her beautiful boy strapped to a gurney with military medical personnel performing gruesome experiments on him made Elizabeth Hummel keep her son pretty much locked down for a good portion of his life…
…until her death, when his father decided Kurt would need to learn some self-control and attend public school. Working full-time to put food on the table didn't leave Burt Hummel any time to keep up the rigorous homeschool program his wife had initiated, and he wasn't going to allow his brilliant son to flounder and fall behind.
Kurt tried to maintain balance in his life. He didn't overuse his ability. It mostly triggered itself on instinct to keep Kurt safe, flicking on like a switch when he was frightened, as a way to escape the bullying. But sometimes he wasn't fast enough. Sometimes the bullies got to him anyway. He got into the habit of being invisible more and more, to head the bullies off before they could find him.
Kurt didn't mind becoming invisible since most of the time that's exactly how he felt.
Ultimately, very few people – bullies, friends, or teachers - seemed to notice how often he was gone. Sometimes he would sit through whole classes invisible, hanging out in the back of the room, listening more to people's private conversations than he did to the lesson. It was funny for him also to note in how many of those classes was he actually marked absent.
Not many. It seemed that his impact on the McKinley High School population was practically non-existent.
When his father caught wind of the bullying, he sent Kurt to finish out his school year at a private school two hours away. Dalton Academy in Westerville, OH, had an exemplary reputation and a zero-tolerance bullying policy. The academic subjects were harder but the students were nicer (even if the uniform was nearly unbearable), and Kurt tried to make an effort to be visible more often than not.
He gave it his best shot, he really did, but being invisible had become a way of life for him now, and that was a difficult thing for him to change.
Being invisible meant the same as being free. Maybe he was lonely - only an observer to the world around him and not an active participant - but he could give up being visible for feeling free.
Until he saw a boy in show choir who made Kurt want to be seen.
A boy who looked like Elvis and sang like a dream.
A boy who made Kurt's heart race and his mind whirl.
A boy who was every fantasy Kurt had ever had wrapped up in the dapper confines of a prep school blazer and tie.
A boy who even had the name of an old-school, 1950s crooner – Blaine Devon Anderson.
Sometimes an invisible Kurt would sit in the back of the choir room and stare at Blaine, picturing him in black-and-white, singing into a vintage microphone, top two buttons of his shirt unbuttoned, collar pulled askew, tie hanging undone from his neck…
Kurt wanted to get to know him, but Kurt had spent so much time being invisible, he didn't know how to be around people.
Which was why at 2:30 every afternoon, he raced through campus from one building to another to catch Blaine on his way to Calculus – the same Calculus class that Kurt had.
Kurt didn't talk to him. He hadn't introduced himself. He didn't have a clue what he would say to Blaine if the two of them were stuck somewhere alone. So, lacking in any usable social skills, he did the only thing he could conceivably do without revealing himself.
Kurt bugged the hell out of him.
Kurt pulled loose a few curls from Blaine's carefully gelled coiffure. He tugged at Blaine's tie. He bumped Blaine with his hip – not enough to knock him over, just enough to put a skip in his step.
No matter what Kurt tried, it didn't seem to faze him, and Kurt wanted a reaction – a grumble, a yell, a laugh, something. He wasn't getting one the way he was going, so Kurt figured he needed to step up his game.
He waited till Blaine stopped walking – in this instance, pausing at a bulletin board outside the math building to look at a flier – and untied Blaine's shoelace. Kurt pulled the right lace loose, tugging it hard at the end so that Blaine would notice. He didn't want Blaine to take off, trip, and twist an ankle. Blaine had a lot of important dancing to do later on in show choir, after all. Blaine looked down and saw his laces undone. He rolled his eyes and took a knee, retying his shoe. Blaine started to stand, but before he could straighten completely, Kurt yanked on the laces again, undoing the fresh tie. Blaine huffed, but he didn't sound frustrated the way Kurt thought he would. Kurt didn't necessarily want to irritate Blaine, but toying with him was kind of fun. This time Blaine tied a double-knot, smiling to himself as if he thought he'd won some kind of victory. Kurt wanted to chuckle, but he didn't want to give himself away. Biting his lip to keep from blowing his cover, he reached down to untie the left shoe – but suddenly, he stopped.
A hand locked around his wrist stopped him.
Kurt's face snapped up and he looked into Blaine's eyes – eyes that Kurt was certain couldn't see him, even though they stared straight into his own.
Kurt started to tremble.
It's nothing, he assured himself. He can't see me. It was a lucky guess. That's all. Blaine knows he's grabbed something, he just doesn't know what.
If Kurt stayed perfectly still, Blaine would let go, and Kurt could run away. Then Kurt would never indulge in this hobby of teasing Blaine again.
He made the universe that promise.
But Blaine didn't let go. He continued to stare, and he smiled – the mischievous nature of that smile stopping Kurt's heart dead in his chest. Blaine leaned in closer, until his forehead almost bumped Kurt's, and to Kurt's unadulterated shock, Blaine spoke softly, barely above a whisper…
"I see you."