Disclaimer: Glee belongs to Ryan Murphy and Fox, not me.
Kurt stared at the list in his notebook, dismayed. None of his gift ideas were good enough. Even with his phenomenal shopping skills, he couldn't think of the perfect gift to give Blaine for Valentine's Day. It had to be just right. It had to say "thank you for being a mentor" but also hint of "but if you ever want anything more I will definitely not say no."
I don't even like Valentine's Day very much, Kurt thought. Screw this. I'll just get him a card.
Wes and David plunked down on either side of him at the lunch table; Kurt jumped and slammed his notebook shut.
"Hey, Kurt," Wes said. "We need you to sign this. Be discreet."
"Why?" Kurt asked warily.
David slid a garishly bright birthday card towards him. "Warbler tradition," he explained.
Wes handed him a pen. "We always do a little something on Warbler birthdays," he said. "You know. A card, a cake...singing 'Happy Birthday' in exquisite eight-part harmony."
Kurt uncapped the pen and searched for a blank space to sign his name. "Whose birthday is it?" he asked.
Kurt dropped the pen. "What?" he stammered.
"You didn't know?" David said. "It's on Valentine's Day."
"He never told me," Kurt said. "Great. Now I definitely have to get him something."
"We don't worry about individual presents," Wes shrugged. "Just chip in a few bucks for the cake."
"Wait a second," David said. He leaned in closer. "Were you already trying to think of a present for him? You were getting him a Valentine's Day present?"
Kurt nodded miserably. Wes frowned. "I don't see why..."
His voice trailed off as David nudged him and nodded towards Kurt. Kurt felt his cheeks turn red. David smiled smugly. "You like him," he said. "You were trying to come up with the perfect present for him."
"I would really appreciate it if you didn't mention this to Blaine," Kurt said.
"Oh, we won't," Wes said. "But what are you going to do? You do realize Blaine is a hopeless romantic, right? If you play your cards right, this could end quite well."
"Quite," David agreed.
Kurt toyed with the spiral binding of his notebook. "I suppose," he said. "I just don't have any idea what I should do."
"I'm sure you'll come up with something," Wes said.
"We'll help you as much as you need," David promised. "We are at your disposal. Our girlfriends as well."
"I probably won't be able to come up with something," Kurt sighed. "Most likely I'll give him a gift card to Barnes and Noble or something."
"Ooh, who's getting a gift card to Barnes and Noble?"
David yanked the birthday card off the table and shoved it in his Latin class binder as Blaine loped over to them, grinning affably. "Jo," Wes said quickly. "I was asking Kurt what I should get Jo for Valentine's Day, and he suggested a gift card to Barnes and Noble. So thank you, Kurt."
"Don't mention it," Kurt mumbled, averting Blaine's gaze as he sat down across from him.
"So what are you doing for Valentine's Day, Blaine?" David asked, his eyes darting between Blaine and Kurt. Kurt tried to shoot him a glare that said you are being as subtle as a brick through a plate glass window.
Blaine shrugged. "Nothing, really," he said. "I'm afraid it's another Singles Awareness Day for me this year."
Wes raised his eyebrows suggestively at Kurt. Kurt struggled to maintain composure and not chuck the salt and pepper shakers across the table at him. "You're not even doing anything for your birthday this year?" Wes asked.
"My parents are out of town, so we're going to have the traditional family birthday next weekend," Blaine explained. "I thought about having a party, but ever since the incident with Francey and the scuba divers, they don't allow us to have parties when they're not around. So any kind of a birthday party will have to come later."
Kurt froze. His mind was already beginning to race, the pieces falling into place much faster than he expected. Wes, David, and Blaine continued to chat (while David kept his elbow on his Latin binder) while he zoned out, thinking frantically.
He blinked out of his reverie when Blaine patted his hand. "Are you all right?" he asked.
"Mm?" Kurt said. "Oh. I'm fine. Just…running through my French conjugates for class."
"Well, the bell rang," Blaine smiled. "Lunch is over."
"Oh," Kurt said. He gathered his things. "Well, I'll see you guys at Warblers rehearsal."
"Don't be late," Wes warned.
"I'm never late," Kurt protested. Blaine flashed him one last smile as he got up from the table and hurried out into the hall. He fumbled in his pocket for his phone, juggling his bookbag and his textbooks as he selected Wes, David, Jo, and Lucy as his text recipients.
I'm going to plan a surprise party for B. I need your help.
Kurt nearly tripped over the toes of his own boots as he made his way down the stairs. The dorms were quiet; it was Sunday morning and the only people up at the moment were the churchgoers trying to tiptoe out without waking their snoring roommates. Well, and himself.
He couldn't sleep the night before. He just kept turning back to his notebook, flipping through his lists and plans and schedules, trying to make sure they were perfect. Hopefully nothing would go wrong.
He opened the door to the rehearsal hall with his hip and set down the box he was carrying. "That should be it," he said aloud, his voice echoing slightly in the quiet, empty room. Three boxes and a dozen plastic bags were heaped in the middle of the floor, full of various pieces of party equipment. He carefully rolled up the sleeves of his red sweater and got to work unpacking and untangling strings of white twinkly lights.
An hour and a half later he was stringing the last garland around the room, balancing precariously on a stepstool that was most likely too short and too wobbly for this kind of job. He was just about to finish when-
He gave a startled yelp and fell backwards onto the floor with a hard thump. "Wes!" he scolded. "You can't just scare a man while he's hanging twinkly lights!"
David offered him a hand. "Sorry," he apologized. "I couldn't stop him in time."
Jo surveyed the room, hands on her hips. "The lights look good," she said.
"Thank you," Kurt said, brushing off the knees of his dark wash skinny jeans and wincing just a little bit. "This is only the tip of the iceberg, though."
Lucy reached up and smoothed a stray lock of his hair. "So what do you need us to do, oh fearless leader?" she asked.
Kurt opened a red one-inch binder and flipped to the proper page. "I've written out detailed to-do lists for all of you," he said. "Plus a full itinerary. If you follow this perfectly, everything should work out just fine and Blaine will be completely surprised."
Wes looked at his to-do list and frowned. "Where are you going to be?" he asked.
"Distracting Blaine," Kurt said. "I have to keep him away from the rehearsal hall and from any Warblers who might accidentally spill the beans."
"Jeff," David said darkly. "You mean keep him away from Jeff."
"Fine, I'll keep him away from Jeff," Kurt said. "Now, can I trust you guys to get everything ready? Please tell me I can trust me."
"Don't worry about anything," Jo said. "We've got this. Your to-do lists are so detailed that a child could follow them. And they're color-coded, which means Wesley will understand them." Wes scowled.
Lucy gave Kurt a one-armed hug around his waist. "Go on and get Blaine," she said. "Begin the seduction."
"I'm not seducing him!" Kurt protested. "I'm just planning a birthday party for him!"
"Yeah, yeah, you just keep telling yourself that," David grinned. "Hurry along. We've got this covered."
Kurt gave the pile of boxes and bags one last longing glance. "Please don't mess this up," he said.
"We won't, now go," Jo said. "We'll text you if we need anything."
Kurt sighed and left the Warbler rehearsal hall, closing the door securely behind him. He checked the time on his phone. 10:45. Perfect. He typed out a text message to Blaine.
I need some help with a song. Can you meet me in the music room?
He held onto the phone, waiting for to buzz. Any second now. Blaine would definitely be up and showered by now; he usually spent his Sundays either with his family or practicing in the music wing. So this would just be perfect
And sure enough, his phone vibrated in his hand just a minute later.
Sure! See you in a few.
Kurt bounced up on his toes midstep. So far, so good. And hopefully he could go the whole day without Blaine suspecting a thing.
He made his way to the third music room, flipping on the light switch as he walked in. Yesterday he had scoped out the handful of practice rooms, deciding on this one because of the glossy black baby grand's position against a set of floor-length windows that looked out over Dalton's immaculately landscaped courtyard. In short, it was perfect.
The sheet music was already propped up on the piano; he sat down at the bench and played a few scales, humming along to warm up his throat. It had been a while since he had played, so his fingers were a little clumsy, but the baby grand definitely had a prettier sound than his mother's old upright.
Kurt turned at the sound of Blaine's voice, struggling to control both the childish grin and the blush that attempted to overtake his face. "Hey yourself," he said.
Blaine strolled over to him, hands in the back pockets of his jeans. "So you need help with a song?" he said.
Kurt nodded. "I've, um, been asked to sing something for a friend's party," he said.
That was a lie. But at least Mercedes had been coached to come up with a story. Just in case Blaine wised up and wanted confirmation.
"Sounds like fun," Blaine said. "What did you pick?"
"Well, it's a little unorthodox," Kurt said, sliding the sheet music towards Blaine as he leaned over his shoulder. He held his breath. Blaine was mere inches away from him. It was just slightly nervewracking.
"Oh, the Hush Sound," Blaine said. "I like them."
"Me too," Kurt said. "I just can't focus on playing and singing at the same time, and I was wondering if you could play the accompaniment."
"Sure," Blaine said, sitting beside him. He squinted at the sheet music and played through the first few measures. "About this tempo?"
"Mm-hm," Kurt said. "Perfect."
Blaine flexed his fingers. "Well, start whenever you're ready," he said.
Kurt sat up straighter, taking in enough breath to start, and nodded. Blaine started the piano introduction, and Kurt struggled to keep his heart from beating out of his chest.
"Why do you sing to everybody but me? Why do I let it go on?" he sang, his voice clear and resounding in the quiet acoustics of the music room. "You've got such a music box song in my head all day long."
Oh, no, he thought while he sang and Blaine played. This song is too obvious. Way too obvious. He's going to notice.
"I could love you much better, if you can't see it you're blind," he sang. "I can love you much better, and you know someday I'm gonna make you mine."
Ugh. So obvious, he thought. I should never have let Mercedes borrow my Goodbye Blues album, then she would have never talked me into this.
He resisted the urge to break off in the middle of the song when he reached the second verse. It was even worse.
"And while you kiss everybody but me, I just sit back and watch, but one day soon I'm gonna grab you by the collar and kiss you all I want."
So, so obvious. Helen Keller would have been able to see this coming, he thought. Oh, no. I just cracked a Helen Keller joke. Stop being so nervous, Kurt. Or you're going to say a Helen Keller joke out loud, and you'll never recover from that.
He did his best to keep singing without his anxiety showing in his voice. At least he picked a song that wasn't too vocally challenging. And apparently Blaine didn't notice a thing.
Blaine drew his hands back from the keys as Kurt finished singing. "Whoa," he said. "That's amazing."
Kurt shrugged, looking down at his hands folded on his lap. "It's not a very difficult song," he said.
"No, no, it's…well…" Blaine said. "It's hard to explain. I mean, you sing challenging pieces like 'Don't Cry for Me' so beautifully, but…this is just a nice, laid-back song, and you still have such a great handle on it. Your vocal quality is…wow."
"Oh," Kurt said. "Well, thank you." He brushed a stray lock of hair off his forehead. "It's not my…usual sort of thing."
Blaine grinned at him. "You should sing that sort of thing more often," he said. "Just remember to sit up straight. You started staring down and slouching while you were singing."
He placed his hand on the small of Kurt's back, gently guiding him to sit up straight. Kurt swallowed hard at the warm, solid touch of Blaine's hand. "I'll remember," he said softly.
Blaine smiled and put his hands back to the keys. "Shall we try again?" he said.
"Mm-hm," Kurt said. He nearly forgot to sing at his cue.
They ran through the song two more times, Blaine playing the piano and Kurt singing, until the clock in the courtyard chimed noon. Blaine sat back and grinned. "I think you're ready," he said.
"I hope I'm ready," Kurt said. He glanced nervously down at the clock. "Do you want to get some lunch? Off campus? My treat. As a thank you for helping me."
He knew he was babbling, but Blaine just kept smiling, seemingly unfazed. "Sure," he said, unfolding himself from the piano bench and pulling the cover over the keys. "Any place in particular.?"
"Anywhere you want," Kurt promised. "And I'll drive, so don't worry about that either."
Blaine grinned, one corner of his mouth tugging up more than the other. "Sure," he said.
Kurt waited for Blaine to turn around and pick up his jacket, then whipped out his phone and typed out a text message to David.
Phase I complete. Initiating phase II. Wish me luck!
"Ready to go?" Blaine said.
"Ready," Kurt said quickly, stowing his phone in his pants pocket. "Do you know where you want to go to eat?"
"Still thinking," Blaine said. He put his hand on Kurt's shoulder. "But we can think about that on the way into town, right?"
"Right," Kurt said breathlessly.
His phone buzzed in his pocket with a reply from David, but he didn't get a chance to check it until they were in the parking lot. Kurt ducked to the side as Blaine climbed in the passenger seat.
Roger that. Proceeding as planned. Godspeed, Kurt Hummel.
He climbed into the driver's seat and drummed his fingers anxiously on the steering wheel as his best friend, sometime mentor, sometime crush settled into the passenger seat beside him. "Let's go," Blaine said with a grin, squeezing his kneecap lightly.
If this doesn't succeed, then God save my broken heart, he thought as he pulled out of the Dalton parking lot.
So why am I writing this when I have eighty million other stories to write and finish?
BECAUSE IT'S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY, YOU GUYS!
So I gave Blaine my birthday. This whole story idea stemmed from someone suggesting to my husband (then fiance) that we should get married on Valentine's Day. P's eyes got real big and he said "No! No, you don't understand. Because then it would be her birthday, and Valentine's Day, and our anniversary, and I would have to get her like a pony or something every year." And that gave me the idea for this.
Originally this was going to be a oneshot, but it's shaping up to be kind of longish, and I wanted to go ahead and post something. So it'll be three chapters long.
The song Kurt sings (as sort of a reverse "Baby, It's Cold Outside") is "Love You Much Better" by the Hush Sound. I love that band so much.
So yeah. I'll finish this up soon. And then you can expect more chapters of Knife Going In, You and I, and Someday You Will Be Loved. The last chapter of SWYBL sort of burned me out (I wrote about 9,000 words in one day!) and killed my desire to write for the past week. Hopefully it's back now.
And now I'm going to have some birthday fun! My husbter threw me a super fun party yesterday, with Apples to Apples and Rock Band, and Kat made me a Dapper Blaine birthday card with lots of glitter (because it was Kurt approved). And P took me out for pancakes and shopping this morning, and now we're going to see a movie and get dinner and I'm going to get a cocktail with cotton candy in it. AWESOME.
(Also, my dream birthday present is fanart. Especially if it's of Baby!Kurt and Mollie. But that's optional. You could always just go to my Tumblr and ask me stuff! I love answering tumblr questions!)