Ever since transferring to McKinley, there were a number of things that worried Blaine on a daily basis. It was probably easier to make a list of what didn't make him worry. Kurt didn't worry him in the least. They had been together since a few months ago, they were happy and Blaine thought he might very possibly be in love with him. Not just puppy love, honest-to-goodness 'I will love you until the end of time' love. He hadn't told Kurt yet, mostly because he still couldn't believe that someone as perfect as Kurt would ever want to be with someone like him, but the nervous feeling he got in his stomach whenever he thought of his boyfriend was definitely nervous-good, not nervous-bad. Kurt was the only thing keeping him sane in the chaos that had become his life ever since he'd transferred a couple of weeks ago.
Bullies, for example, were his major source of concern. By now he'd figured out that there was no risk of getting beaten up or even pushed around in the corridors, especially with Coach Sylvester patrolling the corridors. (Of course, there was also the possibility that Coach Sylvester herself would push a hapless student against the lockers, but that wasn't bullying, it was a lesson on the cruelty of life. Or so she claimed. Blaine always ran away whenever she saw her around.)
However, even without physical abuse, the threat of a slushie to the face was ever-present. Blaine didn't even like drinking the stuff, and he lived in fear of icy, raspberry-flavored hell. Plus, quite aside from everything else, he still had a Pavlovian reaction to letterman jackets. He had almost passed out the first time Puck had came up to him from behind and greeted him with a slap on the back.
There was also the fact that, having transferred in the middle of the semester, he didn't know any of his teachers or his classmates. Everyone else already knew each other, making Blaine feel even more of an outsider, and whenever Blaine introduced himself as a member of the glee club he usually got looks of pity. Then people made excuses to get away from him as quickly as they could. He had always thought that Kurt was being modest when he said that at McKinley the glee club wasn't popular, but it was even worse than that. They were social nullities. Nobody cared about what New Directions did, and they cared even less about what Blaine did. Blaine was still trying to cope with that.
Then there was glee club itself. That was always Blaine's happy moment of the day, because he got to sing and to be with Kurt and, even better, to be with Kurt without getting any judgmental looks from anyone in the room. (Apart from Santana. "She's very upset that the hot new guy is already taken," Brittany had explained to Kurt in her usual dreamy tone, not caring that the 'hot new guy' was standing right in front of her. "Be careful, she might flash you her boobs to turn you straight." Blaine had laughed at that. Then he'd got to know Santana, and being flashed in the corridors had become another of his worries.)
It was also hard to adjust to New Directions' completely unique (for lack of a better term) approach to organization. Mr Schue gave assignments for the week, and then changed them for no reason at all. He had them perform incredibly elaborate dance numbers, with costumes and lights and choreographies that took days to put together, then after they'd perfected their moves he'd just move on to another song. He didn't even have a plan for Nationals, and the general consensus among glee club members was that they'd be very lucky to see a set list one week before their competition.
It didn't seem to worry them in the least, which in turn made Blaine worry even more. He was a planning guy, he made plans, otherwise he'd just fall apart. He wasn't used to performing a number that he hadn't worked on for days, if not weeks. New Directions' quick rhythms were wearing him down. And, speaking of rhythms, their dance routines were crazy. Blaine was glad he could always call on Kurt for help with those.
There was also a slew of other seemingly-unlikely but very real threats to Blaine's safety and well-being. Getting food poisoning in the cafeteria, being paired with Lauren Zizes during a dance number, Coach Sylvester, witnessing one of Mr Schue's impromptu rap numbers and Coach Sylvester were only the most frequent of them. Blaine was gaining a new respect for Darwin since it seemed that everyone at McKinley was trying to adopt 'survival of the fitting' as their unofficial motto.
Blaine had always been a straight-A student, his chief concerns being studying and rehearsing and , during particularly stressful moments, color-coding his notes. However there was just too much going on in his life after transferring. His impending European History test didn't even make the top ten of his current worries.
They got their tests back on Tuesday at the end of second period. Kurt grinned at his A- (not bad at all, considering he and Blaine had spent most of their study sessions making out rather than actually studying) and grabbed his bag as soon as the bell rang.
Mrs Harris asked Blaine to stay behind and Blaine mouthed "Go ahead" to Kurt as he passed his desk, but on Tuesdays they usually walked to French together so Kurt waited for him in the corridor. He was still giddy over the fact that he had a boyfriend, and that said boyfriend was a student at McKinley too, and he wasn't going to give up on his walking-to-French-together privileges so easily.
That was probably the reason why, when Blaine came out of the classroom a couple of minutes later, Kurt didn't notice the slump in his shoulders. He did, however, notice that something was wrong when Blaine flung one arm around his shoulders and buried his head against his chest.
"My life is over," Blaine declared, his test still clenched in his other hand.
Kurt raised a perfectly-shaped eyebrow at him and decided that, considering his current state of distress, Blaine could get a free pass on messing up his clothes. "It's not that bad," he said, patting Blaine's back. "I got A- too. I mixed up some dates, I always confuse the War of the Roses with the 30 Years' War..."
Blaine lifted his head for just enough time to pout. "I'm serious," he said. "Dead serious. You might as well kill me here and now and put me out of my misery." His penchant for dramatics had only increased after leaving Dalton's severe atmosphere and dress code, but Kurt felt that this time Blaine was going too far.
"How bad is it?" he asked, trying to get Blaine to detach himself from his jacket. He loved cuddling just as much as anyone, but not in the middle of a corridor with everyone watching.
"Very bad," Blaine replied, his voice muffled by Kurt's shoulder. He thrust up his test paper.
Kurt took it and unfolded it carefully. "I wouldn't worry," he said, smoothing the creases. "Even if you got a B, it's only your first test and... Oh. My. Gaga."
He stared at the mess of red marks on the test, then at the name on top of the page. It definitely read 'Blaine Anderson' in Blaine's careful copperplate script. He stared at the red marks again.
"I got a C!" Blaine whined.
"Okay, calm down," Kurt said. His eyes widened more and more as he scanned the page. It was a complete and utter mess. Wars ending years before their beginning, battles taking place in the wrong nation and between the wrong armies, peasants causing the king to revolt. Charlemagne showed up in the middle of the sixteenth century. "What happened here?"
Blaine shook his head and finally let go of Kurt's jacket. "I don't know," he sighed. "I've never, ever got anything less than A-. And that was in grade school. What am I going to do?"
He gave Kurt his best sad puppy look, the one Kurt had been seeing a lot lately. Either Blaine didn't feel like keeping up his confident façade any more (he had transferred to be free to be himself, after all) or he had found out just how effective it was to get what it wanted, be it sympathy or hugs or homework help.
"What did Mrs Harris say?" Kurt asked. He clenched the strap of his bag, willing himself not to jump on Blaine and kiss his frown away. Not now, at least.
Blaine shook his head. "She said that, since this was my first test in a new school, I can take it again tomorrow," he replied.
"That's great!" Kurt exclaimed. "Come on, we'll be late for French."
He tried to take Blaine's hand and pull him along, but Blaine seemed rooted on the spot. Even worse, he didn't seem relieved at all at the prospect of retaking the test. "It's tomorrow," he moaned. "I'd have to study about three centuries of European history in one day! I thought I'd studied it but apparently I did not, and now it's too late, and I'm going to take another C or maybe even a D, and Mrs Harris will realize that all of my grades until now have been a lie because clearly I'm a moron, and..."
"Okay, okay, whoa, calm down," Kurt said, cutting off Blaine's rant. He took both of his boyfriend's hands into his. "You're not a moron, you're just nervous. We could have a study group this afternoon," he offered. He'd planned to work on his glee assignment, but Blaine came first. Kurt blamed the puppy look.
"Really?" Blaine asked. His face lit up. "Yeah, that would help."
Privately, Blaine wasn't sure that a study group would be a good idea. He'd never say it out loud to Kurt (he didn't even like admitting it to himself) but he was in this situation because of too many study dates with Kurt. Having Kurt in front of him while he was trying to read about Lancasters and Yorks was a terrible distraction. It had been bad enough before they started dating, when Blaine had to limit himself to stealing glances in between turning pages and sometimes he asked to confront notes so that he could brush their fingers together as Kurt gave him his notebook.
Now that they were together, it was a thousand times worse. Blaine still couldn't refrain from staring at Kurt, only now Kurt smiled at him whenever he caught his eyes. And then, for all of his talk about Blaine being the flirty one, he kept asking questions and checking dates with Blaine and overall making sure that Blaine concentrated on nothing but the sound of his voice. It was a really nice voice, even when it was just inquiring after the spelling of a French name.
Not that Blaine could blame Kurt for his own inability to concentrate. Almost every time, it was Blaine who cut their study time short by leaning over the table and attempting to kiss his boyfriend senseless. He got over his sense of guilt by thinking that he still had plenty of time before the day of the test. One week, four days, two days, one day...
On the night before the test, Blaine had stayed up all night trying to finish the last 50 pages he'd never got around to reading. He'd crammed dates and names, drank his body weight in coffee and got to school after a grand total of zero hours of sleep. He didn't remember anything about the test, save that at some point there was a question about cows, but he might have fallen asleep and dreamed about that part.
Blaine had known that McKinley had lower standards than a private school, he'd seen how much Kurt had worked to catch up with everyone else when he was at Dalton, so he'd naively thought it would be easy to get good grades even without studying during all of his free time. Now he felt awfully guilty about the whole situation. Getting in a good college would be even more difficult if he graduated from McKinley instead of Dalton, but Blaine had plans. He thought he'd be fine if he kept his straight-A record intact and had some extra-curricular activities to add to his already impressive list. If he didn't more than make up for his C, he was facing a lifetime of flipping burgers, or possibly singing in theme parks if he was lucky.
Overall, Blaine wasn't completely sold on the merits of a study group until Kurt invited Finn to come along. He was failing European History too, and he needed to scrape a pass to stay on the football team, and having him around meant that Kurt and Blaine would have to refrain from any public displays of affection. (They didn't tell Finn that last part.) Finn agreed to join them.
However, Kurt made the mistake to ask Finn at lunch in front of half of the glee club. "As a straight-A student," Rachel said, flashing everyone the smile that she no doubt practiced in the mirror, "I feel honor-bound to share my knowledge with you. I'd be happy to tutor you. There's no need to thank me," she added as Kurt started to voice an objection.
Then they had to invite her along to Blaine's house too. And it seemed like the perennial love triangle (or square or pentagon or whatever it had grown into since last week) involving Rachel and Finn and Puck was still in full swing, because Puck glowered at Finn and insisted to join them at Blaine's.
"Blaine's?" asked Santana who was passing by just then, flashing him a calculating look. She wasn't a straight-A student, and she wasn't failing European History. In fact she wasn't even taking European History. Despite this, she was adamant that she needed to see Blaine's house, pardon, join their study group.
In the end they agreed that she could come along to chaperon Brittany, who wasn't taking European History either but didn't seem to remember it. Anyway she was failing so many of her classes that it wouldn't hurt her to spend one afternoon on her textbooks. ("Usually I just watch the movie version," she'd said.)
At this point it was more like an outing of the glee club than a study session. Blaine half-expected Mr Schuester to tag along and start playing some soulful tune on his guitar to inspire them. He was glad he didn't, because in that case he would have had to strangle him with his own tie.
It was only later, when Kurt linked their arms together and dragged Blaine away to their last class of the day, that Blaine realized that this was New Directions' way of trying to help him out. Which, like most of what New Directions did, was chaotic, not very well planned and doomed to end up badly.
For some reason, he couldn't stop smiling at the thought.
Author's note: I'm thinking to end this story after the next chapter. I've got it planned out and everything, but after that I wouldn't know how to continue. I loved how Kurt and Blaine got together in Original Song and I think my story can't hold a candle to that. So yeah, I'll probably abandon this now-AU after tying up a couple of loose ends.