written for Seblaine Week 2016, day 7: 10 years later.
Rewrite the Final Lines
It starts, as their previous story did so long ago, with a cup of coffee.
A hint of Courvoisier, sat opposite each other at a small table.
It's been three weeks since the reunion, and he'd convinced himself he'd made the night into a bigger deal than it had been; people often talk about reunions as places to revisit past glories, regret past mistakes or missed opportunities, and for the most part he'd been exempt those things.
That was until he caught sight of Blaine Anderson.
If at all possible Blaine had looked even more breathtaking than he recalled. He'd always looked good, groomed to perfection, dressed to the nines, but the subtle changes ten years solidified had spun him into a man rather than the schoolboy who once sat blushing opposite him in the Dalton commons. A lot of it is the hair, he decides, no longer weighed down by an excess of hair gel Blaine used to strangle his curls with, but a loosely styled pompadour, his curls combed out. And it suits him.
More than anything though, more than the hazels which caught his eye in a room filled with past faces, more than a smile he misses, a new kind of confidence, even more surprising than the fact that Blaine Anderson willingly divorced Kurt Hummel, he had difficulty wrapping his mind around one significant change.
Blaine Anderson is a dad.
Blaine is an honest-to-God all-American dad with a Broadway career, a fancy wardrobe by the looks of it, and one ex-husband crossed off the list. If he didn't know Blaine any better (does he?), he'd hazard calling him a walking cliché.
"You have a daughter?" he inquires, seated opposite Blaine at a Starbucks no less, the scene both reminiscent of a history they once shared, and refreshing to recapture.
"Selene." Blaine nods. "She's three."
And like a real dad Blaine unearths a picture from his designer wallet, all thumbed out and perhaps a little tear-stained, and shows him a girl younger than three with a big smile, bright hazel eyes and matted black hair done up in pigtails.
The comment slips out involuntarily, while he's caught in the near identical hazels of Blaine's eyes, though Selene Anderson-Hummel sounds closer to a name Kurt would choose.
"We mixed our—" Blaine shrugs. "She could've just as easily looked like Kurt."
"Can't really picture you as a dad," he says. "Sleepless nights, diaper changes, all the mess."
Blaine's smile reaches up to his eyes, embedded with so many memories; coffee dates at the Lima Bean, Skype calls late at night. It's hard to imagine himself as the guy who'd pined after Blaine Anderson, wanted him to notice him as something more than a friend, who did what he could to stand out, however misguided and downright juvenile those attempts were.
"Selene's worth the mess."
Blaine's smile has changed, not quite as bashful as it used to be, but not quite as naïve either. It's not surprising; he's always known Blaine to be unabashedly passionate about everything, and that included Kurt.
So who is Blaine Anderson without Kurt Hummel?
It's not a line of questioning he'll follow through; he never thought highly of Kurt in spite of Blaine's obvious affections, but the past is in the past, and he and Blaine have somehow settled into this dynamic of friendliness. He won't go as far as calling them friends, but it's a pleasant idea to play with.
"What?" Blaine asks, when his staring grows silent for too long.
His mind reels at his own honesty. He never minced his words, not back then and certainly not now, but he usually gave his words more thought. One of the effects Blaine has on him.
"It's been ten years," Blaine says.
"And they've been good to you."
Blaine faces away to smile, softly shaking his head, and he's oddly pleased to find he can still make him blush after all these years, however strange it might feel to slip into that part of himself. Blaine Anderson's as marvelous as he's always been, maybe even more now that ten years have sunk confidence into his shoulders, in the bold amusement at things he doesn't voice, but he can definitely guess at. He won't be stupid and be too forward again like last time though; Blaine's obviously going through a tough time and taking advantage of that would be a new low, even for him.
"Anyone special in your life these days?" Blaine asks, changing the subject unsuccessfully.
"Besides you, you mean?"
Blaine laughs. "Stop."
"Not really, no." He smiles, consciously dialing back. He's not the delinquent he once was, likes to think himself more of a man now too, a man with his own share of sad love stories and broken hearts. "I lived with someone a while back, but—"
No fiber in his body actually wants to think about Brian, about the three years he lost thinking he could be the man he would spend the rest of his life with, about the dog they almost bought, their gorgeous apartment, the sappy love notes he left everywhere, only to be taken for a fool in the end.
Brian was one of the first to earn the word boyfriend; smart and strong, wonderfully argumentative; he cooked and cleaned, sold art in a small gallery not too far from where they lived. They could talk about anything, from high-end art to the best Game of Thrones episode; they could visit museums or stay out drinking all night; they could fuck, and make love, or cuddle on the couch. Brian was perfect, up until the point where he ceased to be.
"He left me for someone who could afford to be at his beck and call."
"That doesn't seem fair."
"Whatever." He shrugs, but can't help but agree. He sacrificed a lot to be with Brian, turned in the sort of lovesick fool he thought he'd never be and still wasn't enough. It'd been a long time since he'd sought anyone's approval and Brian stomped all over that.
Even after all these months it's hard for him to admit he'd allowed Brian to break his heart.
"I've never been particularly good at relationships."
"Just means you haven't found the right one."
He chuckles. "Such a cliché, killer."
"I thought you liked that about me."
The clear counter strike Blaine launches proves exactly why he suggested meeting up in the first place. Blaine keeps up with him effortlessly, despite his less than laudable behavior in high school, but the easy back-and-forth in any of their conversations, back then, and now ten years later, leave him with a distinct sense of belonging.
He smiles. "Oh, I do."
Kurt usually uses his spare key to come inside whenever he brings over Selene, but today his arms are loaded with Selene's bags and some of his own, and some odds and ends he seems to have picked up along the way.
"Daddy!" Selene cheers, making grabby hands the moment he appears in her field of vision.
He sweeps her up into his arms, letting her kiss all over his cheek while he follows Kurt into the kitchen, more oxygen flowing to his lungs now that his little girl is back for the week. Sometimes he's not sure the divorce affected him much at all; it's not being able to see Selene every day of the week that gets to him the most, even though he and Kurt managed the co-parenting pretty well. Selene spends every other week with Kurt, her own bedroom at both their apartments, more toys than she can really play with, the least affected of the three of them. For all she knows, this is how it's always been.
"Rachel baked." Kurt groans, depositing a bag on the kitchen counter.
He surveys the half dozen sundries inside the blue tote. "For how many?"
"This is for you." Kurt pats a green Tupperware box. "Gluten-free cupcakes, just the way you like them."
Rachel doesn't normally go all out like this; she babysits from time to time when her schedule allows it, like today, but she tends to limit her attention to the baby girl she brought into this world. Safe to say she didn't take the divorce well; she didn't understand how they could justify starting a family only to disband it two years later, and for a few weeks after the divorced was finalized it had seemed they wouldn't be talking to Rachel for a long time. Luckily she couldn't stay away from Selene.
Eventually even Rachel had to admit she wouldn't have wanted Selene to grow up with dads who'd sacrificed their happiness to take care of her.
"Daddy, auntie Rachel is fat!" Selene squeals in his ear.
"She's not fat, honey." He barely stifles a laugh; Rachel pregnancy wasn't the same as the last one. "She's having a baby."
"Just like she had you, yes."
He lowers Selene to the floor. "Go put your stuff in your room, okay?"
He pats her tiny butt and kisses her hair, and before he has to repeat himself Selene grabs the pink suitcase by Kurt's feet, waddling to her room like a little duckling.
"Fair warning," Kurt says. "Rachel let her have chocolate chip cookies."
"I thought we said—"
"You try arguing with the pregnant woman next time." Kurt waves a dismissive hand. "She's driving Jesse stir crazy."
"Baby shower should be fun."
They share a knowing smile
"I hear you've been seeing Sebastian."
"Who told you that?
Kurt cocks an eyebrow. "Rachel."
He takes a deep breath, gives his hands something to do by pulling up his pants. "I'm not seeing him," he says, even though 'seeing' might be the perfect word to describe what he and Sebastian have been doing—they've been talking and drinking coffee. There was nothing to it, other than the ease he remembers so clearly stitched in all their high school interactions.
There's nothing wrong with wanting a little more of that in his life, and he knows he doesn't have to justify that to Kurt. Both of them have been taking it slow in the dating department, and, in any case, that's not what he's doing with Sebastian.
Or is he?
He shrugs. "We've been out for coffee a few times."
"Like old times."
"I saw him at the Dalton thing." He stacks the boxes of food into the fridge. "We talked. Nothing more to it."
"Do you want there to be?"
Once upon a time he might've called the look Kurt throws him judgmental, though he's come to read it more like curiosity, laced with a concern for his wellbeing Sebastian brought on himself after the infamous Slushie Incident—if anything that's even further in their past than anything else, they'd talked that through a long time ago, and he realizes all too well, with the added ten-year perspective, that all the stupid things teenagers get up to shouldn't haunt them the rest of their lives.
But Kurt's question strikes a different nerve, one he's become acutely aware of since Sebastian came back into his life, a possibility that lay rooted in his past that never went anywhere, but the seed of that could still lay buried in their groundwork. Sebastian never made it a secret that he liked him, and if he's honest he liked Sebastian too, maybe even as something more than a friend—his love for Kurt and his loyalty to him had always pushed those kinds of feelings aside, but now...
"I'm—" He stutters, at a loss for words.
He's never been particularly good at voicing what he wants, but he's terrified that he still wants something more with Sebastian. Their coffee dates have proven they're not the same men, Sebastian pointed out as much, so what's left? Do they start dating? Do they try to get to know each other again?
He's not sure he's ready for that.
"I know." Kurt nods. "Me too."
"Things still going slow and steady with Jason then?" he asks, even though he tries to ask about Kurt's new relationship as little as possible. He can't deny it didn't sting, but Kurt's always been the one to move on more easily—he tended to feel a break-up more acutely, more deeply, and let it affect him a great deal more. After three break-ups, and the divorce being the final one, one would think he'd gotten the hang of that by now.
Kurt shrugs. "I don't want to rush into anything."
Somewhere in the living room, the TV comes to life, Selene's presence a needed reminder for why they had an amicable split. Their past break-ups weren't like this; they were never able to remain friends without something feeling off, like the air flowed coarse against their skins unless they were together.
Now, Kurt can give him advice without it sounding disingenuous.
"Stop being so hard on yourself." Kurt kisses his cheek. "You deserve someone who makes you happy. Even if it's for a little while."
Sebastian could be that man, he supposes, but he's been living in the past for a long time in an attempt to break free from it. Then again, the Blaine that Sebastian knew, Blaine Warbler—he's always considered that to be one of the better parts of himself.
"Even if it's Sebastian Smythe?"
"Water. Bridge. Under." Kurt rolls his eyes, but he scarcely believes that's the whole truth.