Kurt's legs seemed to wobble underneath him as he slowly followed the crowd down the stairs, the constant hum of noise and florescent lights only adding to the faint headache he had. People rushed all around him, bumping him with bags and speaking rapidly in different languages. Kurt stifled a tired yawn into his hand and looked half-heartedly through the group of Warblers for someone to stand with. Two months into his transfer to Dalton and he still couldn't shake the nagging feeling he was the outsider, still unsure of traditions, friendships and even Blaine. He scanned the crowd for familiar dark hair, biting his lip as he watched Blaine's hand slip with a friendly pat from Simon's shoulder.
'I've lost my lip balm,' Trent announced mournfully, lifting his bag he slowly upturned it over the airport floor to the exasperated exclamation of Mrs James. 'What?' He looked around in confusion as Mrs James sighed loudly, his various possessions slowly rolling across the floor. Blaine exchanged a smile with Kurt, walking closer as behind him Mrs James stopped a rolling bottle with her foot and looked at Trent with a long-suffering expression.
'Mrs James thinks everything I own should be fitted with a tracking device,' Trent announced, breaking through Kurt's thoughts, standing by his side. 'Actually, she thinks I should be fitted with one too,' he admitted with a sheepish shrug. 'Lip balm?' He offered it out to Kurt.
'I'm fine, thanks,' Kurt grasped the top of Trent's bag as it threatened to upend again. 'Are you looking forward to the trip?'
Trent flashed him a wide grin, blue eyes bright under his fringe. 'Definitely. I've been looking forward to it since I joined the Warblers. Apparently the partner school's choir is brilliant.' He frowned as he craned his neck over the crowds of people, 'my bag was black, wasn't it?' Trent dropped his carryon beside Kurt's feet and dropped to the ground, crossing his legs under him as he propped his chin on his palm.
Kurt shifted his weight to his other leg as he watched the luggage slowly circle the carousel. 'I think it was blue actually.'
'Oh? Alright, thanks,' Trent seemed to accept that without surprise.
'Who are you room-sharing with?'
'Adam,' Trent craned his head back, peering through the crowds before pointing at a dark haired boy in a tight red top. 'You?'
'Blaine put me down on the list with him,' Kurt tapped his toes within his shoes, suppressing the vague thrill the thought produced.
Trent inclined his head knowingly. 'Ah.' Kurt hesitated at that response, eager to press that further. 'Isn't that yours?' Trent pointed at the luggage carousel before he could reply.
Fighting through the press of people, Kurt stuck his arm through a seized the handle of his suitcase as it slid past. Refusing to let go, he scrambled awkwardly along the edge of the carousel as his luggage tugged him along.
'Sure you packed enough?' Someone teased warmly, a larger hand closing over his on the handle and heaving.
Warm hazel eyes met Kurt's as he turned in surprised thanks, smile widening as Blaine smiled back. 'It's winter clothes,' he patted the top of his suitcase, 'they take more room.' Blaine hauled a small black suitcase form the carousel and dropped it with a pointed thud beside Kurt's large red case. 'Well,' Kurt amended, 'I wasn't sure which boots to bring. Snow or city? Night or daytime?'
'Or you could bring just two pairs,' Blaine countered, kicking the bottom of his case out onto its wheels.
'Are you sure you're really gay?' Kurt heaved his tottering suitcase onto wheels, awkwardly swapping his hands as he dragged it.
'Gay and practical,' Blaine grinned at him. 'Here,' he stopped and held out his hand, 'give me yours.'
'My what?' Kurt stumbled forward as his case slammed into the back of his legs.
'Your Godzilla suitcase,' Blaine was already pulling it from his grasp, 'I'll swap.'
'I-' Blaine's hand brushed over his and he swallowed, 'really, it's not a problem, once it's going it's fine re-' he trailed off as Blaine carefully peeled his hand off the handle, finger by finger.
Blaine raised his dark eyebrows as he dragged Kurt's suitcase behind him. 'So you bought this many shoes because you're secretly a millipede?' He asked conversationally.
Kurt grinned and hit him half-heartedly. 'I'm prepared for any weather and any occasion.'
'I believe you,' Blaine said earnestly.
'Well,' Kurt hitched his slingbag higher with an aloof expression, 'don't come crying to me when you haven't got anything to wear.'
'Aw,' Blaine slung his arm around Kurt's shoulders, squeezing and rubbing his arm before releasing him, 'teasing, Millipede,' he bent his head to look up into Kurt's with a warm grin.
Kurt kept his expression neutral, voice normal despite the stutter in his chest at the weight of Blaine's arm across his shoulder. 'You're going to call me that, aren't you?'
'Depends how irritating I'm feeling,' Blaine placed a light hand at the small of Kurt's back, gently pressing him forward first in the queue. Kurt winced as he was crushed against the side barrier, smiling his thanks as Blaine placed a steadying hand on his arm.
'Don't stand, don't stand so-' Adam sang placidly, his face pressed up against a woman's back, 'don't stand so close to me-' the queue shifted and he winced as the man behind was crushed further against him, 'don't stand-' he raised his voice, ' don't stand so, don't stand so close to me.' The woman in front turned an irritated face over her shoulder at him, Adam smiled politely and continued singing. Kurt exchanged a grin with Trent as Mrs James craned her neck further ahead in the crowd, head bobbing in and out of view as she scanned the scattered Warblers.
'So, what you said about everyone in the Warblers trying to fit in?'
Blaine laughed. 'United insanity?'
'Thanks for putting me down as your roommate,' Kurt shuffled forward with the queue, 'I don't really know anyone else-'
Blaine waved it away with a smile. 'I wanted you as my roommate,' he shrugged, 'I'm actually kinda hoping you don't snore, Wes and David do.'
'I take a while in the bathroom in the morning,' Kurt warned.
'So do I,' Blaine flashed him a grin.
'So we're always going to be late for breakfast?' It was hard to resist smiling in response to that grin.
'Yep,' Blaine said cheerfully. He nodded towards where Trent stood in the line, 'You get on well with Trent though, don't you?'
Kurt gave a one-shouldered shrug, tugging the hem of his jacket down. 'Not very well,' he quirked his lip, 'it still feels awkward. Friendly,' he hastened to assure Blaine, 'but just,' he hesitated, 'awkward.'
'Give it time, you will fit in. We are a good bunch,' he coaxed a smile from Kurt. 'Think you might need to take this beast back,' he shifted closer and manoeuvred the cases across. He squeezed Kurt's shoulder before the crowd separated them down the customs lines. Kurt bit his cheek lightly before dragging his suitcase away with a faint smile.
The bus made its slow rumbling way through the city of Dusseldorf and Kurt curled up tiredly in his seat. In the seat opposite Blaine's hair was slowly escaping from its neat styling as each jolt and turn of the bus rubbed his head back against the seat. Kurt let his eyes linger as Blaine snored quietly before looking away. Further down the aisle Trent sat slumped with his back against the window and his legs stretched across Adam's lap. Deep snuffling snores came from Mark, his head drooped sideways into the aisle and one hand dangling and swaying limply with the movement on the bus. Kurt wished he could sit beside Blaine and sleep on his shoulder, sprawl across his legs with the ease and friendship the Warblers seemed to share with each other.
'My teeth feel disgusting,' Wes murmured in the seat in front. 'I hate long flights.'
'I just feel,' Kurt could see David's reflection in the window as he rubbed his hand with a grimace over his face, 'slimy.'
'Igetfirstshower,' they said simultaneously then laughed quietly.
Kurt let his eyes slide close in sleep and slumped his head against the seat.
'Imagine sliding across this in socks. How epic would that be?' Giles screeched his foot on the smooth marble floor of the hotel lobby. He ducked guiltily behind Mark as it echoed loudly.
'It looks nice,' Nathan cast his eyes over the large lobby and the wide staircase leading up to the dining room on the left. 'Not like that place we stayed in for hiking camp.
'That was,' Mark yawned widely, voice weak and stretched through it, 'gross.'
'Remember when they told Blaine he couldn't shower for four days for the hike?'
'Oh, come on,' Blaine protested.
'And he went ape and refused to take his hat off,' Nathan joined the others in sniggering laughter. 'You remember? It was that one with penguin-'
'Eagle,' Blaine said with a long-suffering expression.
'Blaine, it was a penguin. You tried to sleep with it on then, who was it that stole it? George?'
'Matt,' Blaine shook his head, 'God I hate you all,' he tried to hide his smile. 'Why do you always have to bring that up?'
Kurt patted his hair as the Warblers bickered, cringing as his hand touched mussed and limp hair. Adam laughed loudly at something David said and Kurt glanced between them with an uncertain smile. Blaine cast him a sideways glance and ducked behind Giles, coming to stand beside Kurt. 'School camp last year,' he explained.
'You don't sound thrilled?'
Blaine laughed. 'It wasn't terrible, I'm just not much of a hiker or camper. I like showers, and beds, and not being eaten by wildlife,' he shrugged, 'little things like that.'
'Fussy,' Kurt said reprovingly before laughing with a light touch to Blaine's arm. 'My parents made me go camping once when I was little. I cried the whole way there.'
'That must have gone well,' Blaine's crooked smile was gorgeous.
'I think, according to my dad, I refused to change out of my shoes to put on hiking boots and tried to start the car to take myself home.'
'That's actually quite adorable. I bet you were a pretty cute kid.'
Kurt knew his laugh was slightly too high as he tried not to overreact. 'Mm,' he ignored the flush creeping across his cheeks, 'thanks. What about you? Any embarrassing little kid stories?'
Grey hoodie pulling across his shoulders as he shrugged, Blaine dipped his head with a smile. 'My brother could tell you plenty.'
Kurt yawned and swayed tiredly on his feet, 'Sorry,' he apologised through another stifled yawn. He blinked and smiled his thanks as Blaine wrapped a steadying hand around his arm.
'Didn't sleep much on the flight?' Blaine guessed.
'I was next to Mark,' Kurt didn't need to explain further as Blaine grimaced in sympathy.
Blaine bumped his shoulder lightly into Kurt's. 'You should have swapped and sat next to me. The worse I would have done was tried to sing along to the movie I was watching.'
'That's not necessarily a bad thing.' Was this flirting? Was he flirting? Kurt chewed the inside of his cheek and tried not to smile too stupidly.
'These are the swipe cards to get into your rooms,' Mr Rowley held up a card and cut their conversation short, 'do not lose them.' Trent shifted uncomfortably. 'You're all on the,' he flipped the card over to doublecheck, 'third floor, so no running in the corridors, no excessive singing, no yelling and please, nothing stupid. Best behaviour.' Juggling the cards, Mr Rowley held up the list of names. 'Your room numbers are on your cards. Adam and Trent,' he reluctantly placed Trent's card in his hand, fixing him with a warning look. 'Mark and Nathan,' he looked up from his list with a shake of his head, 'I reserve the right to split you two up. Wes and David, and don't think your well-behaved appearance fools me,' he stared at Wes before slowly handing him his card. 'Kurt and Blaine. Blaine, if you're not down to breakfast by 8.30 by the latest I will personally cut the electricity to your room.'
'So you were serious when you said you spend ages in the bathroom in the morning?'
Blaine dipped his head towards Kurt. 'Feel it.' Kurt gingerly patted the top of his head, eyebrows raising in surprise. 'That's how much product it takes to get my hair back,' Blaine shrugged, 'it takes a while.'
'Just leave it natural?' Kurt suggested. Blaine just laughed at that, shaking his head. 'Why not? What's it like naturally?' Kurt ran his eyes over Blaine's dark hair.
'Trust me,' Blaine heaved the suitcases into the lift, 'it looks better like this. What floor are we again?' His hand hovered over the buttons.
Kurt inspected the card, 'Third floor, room 331.'
'Next to me,' Giles shoved Blaine in the side. Blaine rolled his eyes theatrically. 'And Simon,' he added, throwing Blaine a pointed stare under raised eyebrows. Behind him Wes coughed loudly, staring ahead with a badly concealed smirk.
Kurt flicked a quick glance between the faint flush on Simon's cheeks and the exasperation in Blaine's face before awkwardly fixing his gaze on the metal wall.
'So,' Blaine broke the silence, 'this is all of us. Kurt?' He gestured Kurt forward first.
'Not a fan of the carpet,' Kurt tapped his foot on the thick green carpet.
'It's very-' Blaine paused.
'Vomit?' Kurt suggested.
'What you roll dead bodies in?'
Kurt exchanged a smile, widening to a grin as it always seemed to do with Blaine. 'Do you-' he shifted his hand on his suitcase, 'was it hard to fit in when you came to Dalton?' His voice sounded quiet even to his own ears.
Blaine leant against the door, card in hand, and lifted his eyes to steadily meet Kurt's. 'I was desperate to blend in,' he lowered his gaze and tapped the card against the door, 'to just become part of a crowd,' he straightened and a smile fell into place, 'that's not you.' He swiped the card and the door clicked open, Kurt followed, unsure if he'd just been complimented or reprimanded.
'I never asked,' Kurt dropped his suitcase en route to the wide window. 'Do you speak German?'
Blaine nodded, propping his palms on the window ledge. 'Most of us took it as our second language at Dalton. You?' He tilted his head, Kurt blinked and flicked his gaze away from warm hazel eyes.
'No,' he wrapped his arms loosely around his stomach, 'I've always learnt French,' he twitched a smile, 'imagine if I'd learnt German, I might actually fit in more. Couldn't have that.' Kurt didn't risk looking into the eyes he knew would be sympathetic and kind. He gazed in silence at the sea of buildings surrounding the hotel instead. Eventually Blaine gave a little sigh and bumped their shoulders together, dipping his head to meet Kurt's reluctant eyes and coax a smile.
'What bed do you want?'
'Um,' Kurt glanced between them before pointing at the one nearest the wall, 'this one. If that's ok.'
'Suits me,' Blaine threw himself onto the bed, spreading his arms and legs as he sank into the mattress. Kurt settled carefully by his pillow, giving the mattress a prod before bending to unzip his suitcase. Blaine propped his head up on his palm, watching Kurt curiously as he pulled a pillowcase from his case.
'Is that your own pillowcase?' Blaine pushed himself up sitting.
'I'm not,' Kurt stuffed the hotel pillow into his own white case, 'putting my face on hotel one.' He gave it a pat and settled it back against the bed head, glancing up as Blaine waved a blue pillowcase with a smile.
'I brought my own too,' he confessed.
'No way!' Kurt leaned forward with a grin, rubbing the fabric between his fingers, 'I thought it was just me-'
'That was being precious?' Blaine finished through a wide grin, hazel eyes laughing with Kurt's.
'Yeah,' he bent to undo his shoes, straightening to push himself off the bed. He padded across the short distance to the bathroom door, poking his head around. 'It's quite nice in here,' he admitted, 'a little bit heavy on the decorative tiles,' he drew back the shower curtain, 'but overall not as bad as it might have been.'
'Please tell me they aren't pictures of ducks,' Blaine's groan was muffled into the bed.
Kurt bent closer to inspect them. 'Just patterns, it's all relatively subtle.'
'Good.' Kurt watched in the mirror as Blaine rolled onto his back, top riding up slightly.
Kurt clapped his hands together lightly, 'I'm going to get ready for bed.' Blaine grunted vaguely in response, eyes already closed and breathing slowing. Kurt gave the thin strip of skin across his stomach one last look before turning away. Room-mates with Blaine. He took a deep breath. He wouldn't deny he hoped this trip would mean more acceptance within the Warblers. At McKinley he had been only too aware of where he stood whereas the polite friendliness of the Dalton Warblers left him confused as to how far the friendship extended. Kurt neatly zipped his case closed again and shut the bathroom door quietly behind him. Finally hidden from view he pressed his hands together and bit his lip excitedly. Room-mates.
Blaine was sound asleep by the time Kurt had finished in the bathroom. The golden glow of the side lamp cast soft shadows across the room and his still form as Kurt quietly flicked the bathroom light off. He stood in the door way, clothes clutched to his chest as he gazed at Blaine. He had been so kind and supportive of him, charming and just nice. His only other real crush had been on Finn so Kurt hoped they were good enough reasons for having a crush. It wasn't as though he could ask anyone about it given Blaine was the only one he could talk to.
'Blaine,' Kurt carefully touched his shoulder. He hoped he didn't look too ridiculous smiling back as Blaine's long eyelashes flickered and hazel eyes slowly opened.
'S'not morning, is it?' Blaine asked sleepily.
'It's been about fifteen minutes. The bathroom's free now.'
Blaine buried his face back into the pillow with a non-committal murmur.
'Come on,' Kurt wheedled and lightly flicked the back of Blaine's neck. He wasn't prepared for the utterly ridiculous giggle and wriggle as Blaine tried to bury himself further into the mattress. Blaine lifted his head with a sleepy boyish grin drew his hoodie tighter around his neck.
'Ticklish,' he explained and dropped his cheek to the pillow with a thump. Eyes closed, he stretched his hand out to Kurt. 'Help me up,' he instructed.
Kurt squeezed his hand around Blaine's and pulled him slowly up to his feet. Blaine yawned and stretched with a faint groan before sleepily shuffling towards his suitcase and the bathroom.
It was dark when Kurt's eyes slowly opened. Disorientated and panicked he immediately drew in a quick breath and froze, eyes roving from side to side in the dark. Germany. Dusseldorf. Something rustled quietly beside his bed and Kurt let out a slow sigh as he forced himself to relax.
'Wrong. Winnie the Pooh,' Blaine whispered.
Kurt shuffled up onto his elbows and strained his eyes in the dark. 'What are you doing?'
There was a soft guilty chuckle in the dark and further rustling. 'Midnight snack. Did I wake you up?'
'I woke up at 1.30, I've just been dozing.'
'Well,' the mattress creaked, 'fancy some snacks? I've got,' there was a pause and another rustle, 'actually I have no idea because it's dark and I don't have my glasses, but it's food.'
Kurt swung his legs out of his bed and inched carefully across the gap, arms outstretched blindly. 'Ooh,' he whispered and snatched his hand back as it collided with something soft and warm, 'sorry,' he apologised, 'was that you?'
'My cheek to be precise.'
Kurt could hear the amusement in his voice and walked slowly until his knees touched the edge of the bed. He paused. 'I'm not about to crawl on you, am I?'
'No idea,' Blaine whispered cheerfully.
Hands patting tentatively across the blankets, Kurt clambered awkwardly up in the dark and wriggled his back against the wall. He pulled up the spare blanket from the end of the bed and tucked it around himself, offering it silently to Blaine before realising he couldn't see. He chuckled.
'What?' Blaine tore open a packet of something with a loud crackle.
'I just offered you the blanket in the dark,' Kurt smiled to himself and wriggled down in the warmth, 'I must be jetlagged.' He automatically looked sideways as the mattress bounced and then Blaine was pressed against his side.
'I'll trade you some delicious unknown confectionary for some blanket?' Kurt heard the packet being shaken enticingly.
'Deal,' Kurt leaned over throw part of the thick blanket over Blaine and a biscuit was pressed into his hand. The crunch of the biscuits were loud in the 3am silence and Kurt wriggled his toes contentedly under the blanket. 'This is what I always imagined school trips to be like,' he confessed. 'A fantasy I'm sure is shared by many twelve year old girls.'
'I'd have you know I've been an active campaigner for movie nights with an emphasis on Moulin Rouge at Dalton for a very long time. Not judging.'
Kurt bit into another biscuit and laughed quietly. 'How'd that going for you?'
'Strangely I keep being shot down,' Blaine mused.
'We should have one together when we're back,' Kurt suggested, 'Moulin Rouge and Chicago.'
'They had it coming all along,' Blaine sung softly.
'I didn't do it-'
'But if I'd done it-'
'How could you tell me that I was wrong?' They sang quietly together, shoulders touching as they laughed. Kurt settled comfortably against Blaine as the conversation turned to different movies, wandering vaguely through topics with laughing, curious, incredulous prompts.
When Kurt eventually fumbled his way back to his own bed and crawled beneath the bedding he fell asleep with a smile playing across his lips.