DISCLAIMER: Do not own anyone; Glee and its characters is the property of FOX and RIB. This is a bit angsty with a really corny ending. And only a few swears!
All it takes is a flighty whisper, words hanging heavy in the air like ripe apples or peaches on a tree branch. A soft brush of the hands, a flutter of the eyelashes that's as imperceptible as the individual beat of a hummingbird's wings. People live to decode these messages, watching picture after picture, studying limbs and eyes and proximity, glued to the computer screen as if it were the only thing keeping them alive, the pumping of blood through the network of mazes in their bodies.
Little drones, mindless drones, pressing "Next" and "Back" repeatedly, like a mantra, eyes narrowed and crow's feet forming at the creases. Pupils contracted into little black dots against harsh glares. It seems like they don't eat, breathe. Poop. Live. They do. Lipstick smudges the white lip of their ironic dainty coffee mug, the coffee or tea or hot chocolate inside gone cold and tasteless. Cigarette butts float in the soup of their crude masculine coffee mug.
Smoke curls in the air of these offices, basements, hovering, grayish and phantasmal, omnipresent around all these photos of beautiful, genetically perfect men and women traipsing along Rodeo Drive or Fifth Avenue. Boy or girl pressed tightly to a side or two feet apart. Together or maybe just fucking for fun.
The people being studied, those celebrities and CEOs leaving nightclubs and whorehouses, a lot of those photos are faked. Staged. A lot of them, they called those paparazzi ahead of time, tipped them off and paid them. Then those paparazzi, they sell it to the tabloids for a couple thousand a shot, getting richer and richer, and then those tabloids bring in "body language experts" who then break down the photos movement by movement. A play in two, three, four acts.
But that's Hollywood, Paris. London. Madrid. New York.
This is Ohio. No one looks here. Magazines don't pay top dollar for kids' photos here. No one outside of their towns knows they exist, and here, without the haze of city lights and smog from too many cars and despair from too many shattered dreams, too many people who just couldn't take it anyone and walked right out into the middle of Sunset Boulevard, they're none the wiser.
A lot of them, they don't know what jaded is. It's maybe some pretty green stone found in some Chinese or Japanese alp. Either way, they're wrong, but naïve like a newborn, and maybe that's a good thing. A lifesaver.
Kurt Hummel likes to think of himself as a budding body language expert. The human body and its many intricacies is a fascinating thing. The simple brush of knees or grazing of fingers can indicate budding romance. The tilt of a head or position of someone sitting down can indicate annoyance or interest. A twitch of the lips is either a smile or the beginning of a snarl.
He also knows when someone is faking it. Getting bored.
Kurt Hummel can see right through Blaine Anderson as if he were just smoke. Sure, at the beginning everything had been going beautifully. The dates and kisses and gentle everything was pleasant and long overdue and for once Kurt felt safe. He had the perfect boyfriend who always, always got him off first, always opened doors and paid for meals and movies without a complaint.
Gradually, though, those things slowed down. They went out less frequently. Less often their movie nights would end with clothes on the floor and sticky, sweaty bodies suffocating each other and reeking of sex and more often the credits would roll with a note of finality and a heavy silence would settle over the air. Blaine or Kurt would pull on their shoes and leave with a quick goodbye.
They never spoke of it.
Their lives at Dalton would go on normally. Warblers practice was all coy glances and brushing fingertips, too-wide smiles and feigned interest. If only there had been someone there to take pictures, sell them for thousands of dollars.
Then Kurt transferred back to McKinley, back to home. The fabulously-dressed Kurt-shaped void in New Directions was filled again and life went on as normal. Everyone assumed he and Blaine spent hours Skyping each other every night, singing Disney songs and various showtunes and being so happy together. Those were the expectations.
In reality, Kurt managed to go through most of season one of Queer as Folk in that first week just because everything else reminded him too much of Blaine and it was a good enough distraction. In the saved messages folder of his iPhone "Courage" was still there, glaring at him whenever he opened it. Oftentimes his ears would echo with the faint strains of "Teenage Dream" or "Candles."
The butterflies that used to frequent his stomach would momentarily reappear before everything vanished and he was empty and silent. A hole, a void, just a shell of something that was once happy and great and full of music.
He still missed Pavarotti.
He hated Pavarotti for bringing together something that lasted a shorter time than Miss Pillsbury's marriage. He hated him in his stupid bedazzled grave singing pretty songs up there in Heaven to James Dean and Judy Garland.
Even though he played along, the distance growing between him and Blaine was more than a little upsetting. He was not a man of conflict but rather timidity with a well-practiced tongue.
Kurt's finger hovers over the face of his iPhone, Blaine's speed dial up on the screen. All he had to do was press it. Let it ring. Let Blaine's voice, once sticky-sweet with honey, now icepick-sharp with indifference, fill his ears and chase away the dying strains of "Raise Your Glass."
These ghostly songs, memories, kill him, but he daren't admit it out loud. Let his body language be as frigid as the Celibacy Club. Let him mimic Blaine; show him that these new feelings aren't so one-sided.
But… they are.
Ending it would only take a few minutes. Ten, tops, if they actually spoke about their feelings. But they've barely spoken in the past few weeks and those brief conversations were far from being emotional. His scathing words could say what his mind continuously thought on a loop.
This isn't working…
Obviously, you've turned into a total ice queen…
I'm sorry, but I'm not.
But he is sorry, that's the clincher. Blaine was his knight in shining armor, his Prince Charming. This wonderfully talented, sweet, gorgeous hunk of a boy that just so happened to awkwardly hold his hand and lead him to his very first Warblers performance. He brought him somewhere safe and light when his life was perilous and dark and taught him that standing up for yourself and not running away were the most important things he could do.
Funny, Kurt thinks as he opts out and texts Blaine instead, look at the hypocrisy.
Anyone studying Kurt's body language right now would see an angry, scorned teenage boy texting furiously. Any expert looking deeper would see the bite of a lip, furrow of a brow, jerky cross of the leg that indicated anger. Scorning.
My house. Now.
The quick reply: Was on my way over.
Ten minutes later finds Kurt on his front lawn, Marc Jacobs lounge pants carefully tucked inside his Doc Martens, dew glinting off the deep green blades of grass, moon hanging full and round in a starry sky. Somewhere off to his right a dog barks twice, shrill yips that grate at his ears.
At the end of a street two yellow beams get brighter and larger until Blaine's car pulls into the driveway. There's the moment of breathless limbo where anything at all could happen. Kurt clenches his fingers tight, nails digging into his palms, sucking in a deep, terse lungful of air as Blaine kills the engine and steps out.
He looks silently at Kurt for a second, Kurt who's still standing in the grass looking for the entire world like a beautiful, pale statue, and finally comes close. His face is hard-lined, expressionless, and Kurt thinks indifference, uncaring, distant as he finally stops a few feet away.
Right now Kurt wishes there were a team of paparazzi hidden in the bushes, noisily snapping photos with a blinding flash that would then be analyzed. He wants to sit in a dingy office that smells of ashtrays and stare intently at photos of him and Blaine to discover what went wrong and when. How this midnight confrontation looked to outsiders.
Kurt's the one who speaks. "I—I don't think this is working."
Blaine sets his jaw and crosses his arms, keys jingling merrily from around the ring that's looped around one of his fingers. His eyes glint slightly, but that could be a trick of the silvery light. "Kurt, you know I still like you—"
"But liking me is perfectly equivalent to ignoring the annoying kid in class who has a crush on you, right?"
…But I'm not.
"But you're not, right?" Kurt's voice is malicious and edged with steel, the razorblades Santana keeps in her hair. "You're going to admit this was a huge mistake and move on."
Blaine looks genuinely surprised. "I wasn't driving over here at midnight to break up with you."
Kurt's not backing down, not yet. Hell hath no fury like a diva scorned. "Then what the hell has been going on these past few weeks?" He takes a few steps forward—dominance—and narrows his eyes—anger. "We've spoken about six times since I transferred. Before that it was like we'd never once shown romantic or even friendly interest in each other."
"I was just saying," Blaine says, a puts his right foot behind him—submission—as if to take a step back, "that maybe we should take things slower. I don't want to screw things up with you."
It's almost laugh-worthy, this soap opera. Blaine continues. "I didn't want you getting bored with me. You already mentioned my numerous solos, and let me tell you, that opened up my eyes. Everything was starting to become too monotonous, so routine that I was afraid one day you'd just up and leave. Transfer back to your school and forget about me."
Kurt's eyes widen—shock—and he steps forward to place a hand on Blaine's shoulder—communication, understanding. "Blaine…" His voice is soft, whispery like the wind rustling the tree's leaves above their heads. "No." He gently cups Blaine's cheek—affection—and leans in to gently press their lips together—you know what this means.
"I'm sorry I was such an ass," Blaine says when they part and press their foreheads together. His voice is sincere, apologetic and so very, very sticky-sweet. Kurt says nothing, just pulls him closer and wraps his arms around Blaine's shoulders before leaning in for another kiss.
Anyone studying these photos would see misunderstanding, teen love and many, many other things. Experts studying these photos could see the exact moment Kurt Hummel realized that maybe he wasn't such a budding body language expert after all and the exact moment that both boys forgave each other.