DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee, nor am I associated with it or Ryan Murphy. I am just an out-of-college daydreamer who sometimes gets into these writing funks and ends up tossing out a story after letting the idea sit in my brain for a few days!
Give Me Strength
By: xSlythStratasfaction (formerly known as LadyStrata821)
Pairing: Kurt x Blaine
A/N: Hello lovelies! This is the continuation/sequel fic to my other story Sometimes You Need More Than Courage (SYNMTC). You can read this without having to read the other fic, if you'd like, but there may be some things from that previous story that will show up in this one (so by suggestion, I recommend reading SYNMTC and then reading this so you won't be confused). Anyways, this takes place a little bit before and during the episode Original Song.
"So how do you think your audition went?"
Kurt looked up at the person who was getting ready to sit down across from him. Blaine set his lunch tray down first before he plopped down in the seat across the table, offering Kurt a genuine smile.
The sweet gesture was enough to make anyone flinch.
It had been a couple of days since the boys' disastrous goodbye in the Dalton parking lot; the two had a little bit of a disagreement over their relationship following a night of exposed secrets and random boundary-pushing comforting. Kurt had wanted Blaine to take a step forward and change their relationship from 'just friends' to 'more than friends.' However a certain someone had other plans and once again pushed his infatuated best friend away.
Just the memory of the fallout in the parking lot made Kurt's stomach turn. Frowning, he pushed part of his lunch out of the way and started to nitpick at his tossed salad.
"Earth to Kurt?"
Glasz met hazel as Kurt looked up and locked his eyes onto Blaine's. The other boy looked downright concerned as he leaned forward a bit into the table, his darkened eyes watching his friend closely.
"You okay today?"
It took every shred of power in his body for Kurt to hold himself back from throwing his diet soda into Blaine's face. Of course he was not okay! He had thrown his heart out on the line months ago and was still sitting on the sidelines waiting for Blaine to pick up the ball and run with it.
Oh, a football reference… gotta stop watching games with dad and Finn, Kurt's mind scolded as he shot a nasty glare to Blaine.
Unfortunately, the oblivious boy had glanced down at his tray to pop a bite of mashed potatoes into his mouth. After Kurt's glare had faded from his face, Blaine looked up and offered his friend a cheesy closed mouth smile.
Kurt swooned, despite the fact that he wanted to throttle his crush with his bare hands. Damn that Blaine and his dashing charm.
"If it means anything," Blaine said once he swallowed his food, "I thought you sounded amazing back there. The council would be foolish not to give you a solo for Regionals."
A blush crept across Kurt's face as he glanced down at his salad. He hoped that what Blaine had said rang true; he sang his little heart out in the hall just minutes before and hoped that his audition number wasn't showy enough to cost him a solo at Regionals. Then again, perhaps Mika's Grace Kelly was a little bit too showy… but he kicked that song's ass straight out of the park – whoa, another dad/Finn like reference – so he had to have at least scored some sort of solo for the competition.
"I thought you sounded pretty fantastic as well," Kurt said as he took a bite of his salad. He watched as Blaine's face brightened up with a puppy-like grin; he always took compliments well. Blaine Anderson was like a sponge: give him praise and he'll absorb it up quick.
"Thanks. I had originally thought about singing something newer, something Top 40ish, but then I remembered how well received Hey Soul Sister was, so I had to go with another Train song!"
Kurt let his mind flashback to about a half hour previously when Blaine had stood in front of his fellow Warblers, belting out Calling All Angels as he danced around the room. Every time the boy performed, Kurt was entranced. He could watch Blaine sing and perform numbers from the phone book and still be entertained; the guy was just that good.
Hell, even though Kurt was really pissed off with Blaine at the moment, he couldn't keep his eyes off the boy as he auditioned for a solo. It was hard to even act mad at his crush; Blaine was just so charismatic and stuff that sometimes, when you just looked at him, you fell out of anger.
The only other times Kurt could remember being mad at the boy was during Valentines following the Jeremiah fiasco and during the Blainchel/Raine alcohol induced dating extravaganza. It took him a few more days than usual to really make up with Blaine following the Rachel ordeal, but after they apologized, they hopped right back into the swing of things and became besties again.
And now here they were once more: chatting it up like the weekend never happened, like the two of them hadn't spent all Friday night curled up in each other's warmth.
It was so odd to Kurt that they could keep doing this: being friends with no boundaries. He wanted more; he wanted to throw the boundaries out the window and be with Blaine in every single way he could imagine - well, every single PG way he could imagine. He didn't want to beat around the bush and worry about what lines he was crossing when the two of them brushed up against each other in the hall or when they batted eyes at each other in Warblers practice.
He just wanted Blaine… but Blaine didn't want him.
And that's why they were sitting across from each other at the lunch table, alone. Their usual lunch mates were still in the Warblers' rehearsal hall debating over who would get solos for Regionals. Blaine, Kurt, and the rest of the Warblers who weren't on the council had to exit for lunch and to give their councilmen some time to decide who was going to be the stage hog for Regionals.
Kurt hoped it wasn't going to be Blaine, as horrible as that sounded.
Blaine was like the Rachel Berry of the Warblers, the Jesse St. James of Dalton Academy. The Warblers respected him as if he were some sort of musical god that fell from the sky and bestowed upon them charisma, sex appeal, and a great voice. Sure, Blaine had all those fabulous qualities about him, but he wasn't the only talent in the glee club. Kurt had heard plenty of the other guys sing solo and he wondered what in the world the council was thinking when they passed up a few of the other guys to give Blaine a certain solo, especially on songs that Blaine's voice really didn't work on.
As his mind clouded with thoughts of his fellow Warblers' voices, Kurt found himself torn away from his daydreaming when he heard Blaine snapping his fingers.
"Did you hear what I said? You sort of spaced out a little bit."
Kurt flushed and took a quick bite of his salad, letting his eyes drop to the table. "Umm, yeah. Sorry about that, I was just thinking about the auditions. What were you saying?"
Blaine smiled, "I was just asking if you thought that me picking Train to sing again was a good job? Like I said earlier, I usually go for more recent Top 40 hits and-"
"That song was in the Top 40 years ago, so it counts." Kurt said as he stabbed at another piece of lettuce, "Plus, you've done older songs before: remember Valentine's Day and the Gap? Or the Lonely Hearts Club dinner at Breadstix?"
He couldn't help but notice the way Blaine's face fell when he mentioned that dreaded holiday of love. Kurt knew the subject was a sensitive one towards the other teen, but he thought that Blaine should just get over and put the past behind him. Kurt had… or at least he had tried to. Sometimes though, he would have a nightmare of Blaine walking off hand in hand with that grungy Jeremiah as he stood in the shadows teary-eyed.
It was a pretty horrid nightmare, to be honest.
Sighing, Kurt leaned his head on his hand, "Sorry. I didn't mean to bring that drama back up."
The dark haired boy across from him smiled weakly, "No, it's alright. Don't worry about it; you're right though, those songs I sang then weren't recent Top 40 hits either."
Both boys stayed silent after that. Kurt lazily picked at his salad, much too nervous to eat anything since his stomach was still in anxious knots; Blaine shoveled the rest of his lunch in his mouth, as if he weren't nervous at all. After a few minutes of everything being quiet, Kurt reached into his bag and pulled out his phone: it was almost time for their next class to start.
"I didn't realize time flew by that fast," he whispered as he stuffed his phone back into his bag pocket.
Blaine glanced up at him, "Is it almost time for class to start again?" He watched as the Kurt nodded and he quickly finished off his glass of iced tea before he politely dabbed at the corners of his mouth with a napkin. "So I suppose I'll see you at Warblers practice then?"
Kurt nodded as he stood up from the table, tray in hand. "Yeah, I think I may go hang out in the library after school is over so that I can get my homework done before I have to go back to Lima. If you… umm… want to tag along, you are more than welcome."
"I'd love to."
"Great, well then I'll see you soon!"
Kurt stalked out of the dining room like a bat out of hell. He couldn't believe himself. He just sat there and invited Blaine to join him in study hall after school, even though he was still clearly trying to avoid the boy. He also couldn't believe how pathetic he actually was; he wanted to push Blaine away more than anything and yet he couldn't even place a distance between them. He was so hopelessly in love.
It was so unfair!
"Mind if I sit here?"
Classes at Dalton had been over for at least an hour. Kurt was sitting in the library putting the finishing touches on a History worksheet when Blaine had finally decided to make his presence known.
"I thought you weren't coming," Kurt said softly as he scribbled down another answer about Cleopatra and Egypt. "Classes have been over for an hour."
"I got sidetracked," Blaine explained as he took the seat across from Kurt. He reached into his bag and pulled out a couple of large textbooks before setting them gently down on the table. "I had to stay after class in Literature to talk about my grade on the recent Shakespeare exam."
"You mean the one that we spent hours studying for in this very library?"
"The very one… I, uh… did so well on it that Professor Milton asked me to tutor another one of the students. I had to decline, I mean, I wouldn't have passed that blasted test if it weren't for you and your ridiculous amount of Shakespearean knowledge!"
Kurt blushed and ducked his head, jotting down another answer on his worksheet. "Pssh, shut up! You could've passed that exam without studying easily! You're so smart, Blaine. You have some of the best grades here at Dalton; I could only wish to have grades like yours!"
"But you do! You've got a great GPA and academic standing here and you've only been here for a few months."
"The workload here is so much harder than it was at McKinley. Granted I wasn't being challenged academically there at all, but when I got here, I thought I was going to drown underneath all this work they give you guys. If I weren't for you, I'd-"
Kurt trailed off then as he found himself staring at a very forlorn looking Blaine. The other boy was leaning against the desk, his hazel eyes flashing with some emotion that Kurt just couldn't read. Frowning, Kurt swallowed the lump of nerves that formed in his throat and raised an eyebrow.
"Everything okay, Blaine? Is there something on my face?"
That line alone snapped the distracted teen from his thoughts and he glanced down at his stack of books, "Everything is fine," Blaine started, "I was just remembering how nasty the workload was when I first got here."
Then the memories came pouring in. Flashes of Friday evening and the things that had been said and done that night took over both boys' minds as they sat there in the silent library.
"I'm such a coward."
"For what it's worth, Blaine, I think you are the bravest person I know."
"Thanks… for umm, staying with me last night, Kurt."
"I'd stay forever if you needed me."
Neither of them bothered to speak as their minds replayed the scenes of the weekend over and over in their heads. Kurt went back to working on his worksheet, absentmindedly chewing on the end of his pencil as he stared blankly at his History text. Across from him, Blaine opened up his Trigonometry book to a random page and gazed at the numbers that were printed on the paper.
Neither boy spoke for the rest of the hour as they sat there in that quiet library. They both stayed locked in their own little sheltered world away from one another, even though they were so close to each other psychially.
"It's almost time to go."
Blaine's voice broke Kurt from his reverie and the blue eyed boy nodded, putting his incomplete worksheets in a folder as he began to gather up his things. From the other side of the desk, Blaine was closing up his books and stuffing them into his messenger bag. Both boys finished cleaning up their area and then stopped to look at one another.
"Walk with me to practice?"
Kurt walked alongside his friend to the Warblers' rehearsal hall. As they walked, Kurt found himself growing lightheaded from all the exertion his bodily organs were going through. His heart was pounding wildly from being so close to Blaine (as it always did), his stomach was flipping something fierce due to his nervousness of the Regionals solo outcome, and his brain throbbed from the assault his memories had thrown at it. If he didn't faint in practice, it would be a miracle!
"You alright? You look a little pale."
Glasz eyes shot up and then flicked back down as Kurt stopped his stride and looked at his best friend. Blaine was watching him curiously, one thick brow cocked upwards as he stared.
"Are you sure you're well enough to go to practice? You look ill."
"I'm just nervous, that's all." Kurt waved a hand to brush off any sort of concern his crush had for him. "I am freaking out over this whole solo thing. I just want a competition solo so bad… I've wanted one since I joined glee club a year ago and have yet to get one. New Directions never bothered with me, so I'm hoping the Warblers would at least give me a try."
Blaine smiled as he started walking again, Kurt rambling away at his side. "I'm sure you'll get a solo; you have an amazing voice, like I've said time and time again. Plus, the council will take into consideration how well you sang with me when we dueted for Animal just a few weeks ago. They know your voice. I'm sure you'll do fine!"
The two boys finally reached the rehearsal hall and stepped inside together, receiving cheesy grins from their choir mates. Wes, David, and Thad nodded at them as they walked past the council table and the two juniors sat down next to each other in their usual seats on one of the couches.
"Well now that everyone is here," Wes started as he tapped his gavel down hard onto the table, "practice may begin."
The silence was unbearable.
Kurt sat in his seat with his right leg bouncing wildly up and down as his nerves fully took over his form. Usually he wasn't that nervous over something as trivial as a solo – as seen during his first audition tryout with Don't Cry for Me Argentina; he barely batted an eyelash while Jeff and Nick sat next to him sweating bullets – however, this time Kurt knew that he was going against many other stunning voices and that virtually anyone could be chosen for a solo.
Wes rambled on and on about their judging process for the auditions and how he and the other councilmen were proud of their Warblers for stepping up and trying out for solos. Overall, several boys had sang during their last meeting and a couple of those boys would be the lucky ones to get solos for the two mystery numbers that the council had selected for competition.
Kurt hoped he was one of the two.
Finally, after minutes of cruel torture, David pulled a sheet of paper out of a manila folder and handed it to Thad. Thad looked over it, nodded, and then handed the paper to Wes. The Asian boy smiled at whatever was written on the thing in his hands and he smacked his gavel to the table.
"While everyone's auditions were extraordinary, we were finally able to make a decision. You fellows didn't make it easy on us, that's for sure. Anyway, let us get down to business. Thad, if you will…"
Thad stood up and looked out amongst the sea of navy and red blazers. Anxious eyes stared back up at him as he cleared his throat. "We've decided to go with Junior member-"
At this, the five junior Warblers who auditioned – Blaine, Kurt, Jeff, Nick, and Trent – leaned forward excitedly in their seats. Blaine reached over and gripped Kurt's hand, causing the younger boy to blush fiercely as he gazed over at his friend. Blaine's golden eyes were sparkling in a smile and Kurt returned the gentle grin along with a squeeze to his friend's hand.
Kurt's grip on Blaine's hand slackened a bit. He cocked an eyebrow at the councilmen and opened his mouth quickly, "What about the other solo? We're supposed to perform two songs, am I correct?"
Thad nodded, "Yes, we are performing two songs. The council has decided to go with a medley of Pink songs for Regionals and we've decided that Blaine would be the best lead for both of those songs."
The hand that folded within Blaine's slowly went limp and then slid from his grasp. Blaine's eyes widened as he looked at the council; part of him wanted to protest and the other part wanted to cheer in excitement. Never the one to be rude, the dark haired boy slowly stood to a round of applause – even Kurt was clapping, though his hands weren't coming together as quickly or as enthusiastically as the others – and Blaine nodded to each and every one of his glee mates in thanks.
"Thank you so much for this honor. I am humbled that you have chosen me to lead the Warblers during Regionals."
"You blew us away with your audition, Mr. Anderson," Wes said, formalities in place since they were at a meeting. Despite their friendship, it would've been called favoritism if he would've called Blaine by any other name. "Your voice best suits the Pink songs we have chosen for the competition. While everyone else's auditions were stunning, we did not feel as if their vocals would match Pink's as well as yours."
Kurt rolled his eyes and leaned back against the couch – he had been sitting ramrod straight earlier from nervousness; a sigh escaped from his lips. Next to him, Blaine sat back down and shot him a look that was full of apology. Unfortunately, Kurt's attentions were everywhere but on Blaine. He couldn't even face him; he was mad as well as embarrassed that he once again failed to win a solo for a competition.
The faster Warbler practice ended, the quicker Kurt could leave and throw a bitch fit. He felt he deserved it.
The rest of practice went swimmingly for the rest of the Warblers. Wes passed out some songs to help them warm-up and then he gave them their copies of their parts for the Pink medley. Kurt stared down at his soprano part in annoyance. He didn't know how long he could manage singing jengas, dings, zings, bops, and what nots. He hated being background; he was meant to stand out.
If his voice was so spectacular (so rare that Wes almost cried the first time he heard it, according to Jeff), then why was it that no one wanted to feature it? The farthest he got with a solo in this group was when he and Blaine dueted to Animal and even then Kurt thought they were given that duet by the council because Wes and David were wanting Blaine to 'take a bite of Kurt's heart' or something along those lines.
Other than that, he was just background. Blaine was the star… and even though watching Blaine perform was something that Kurt loved to do, he found himself growing tired. Growing tired of being in the shadows, tired of seeing Blaine in the spotlight, tired of being ignored… by both the Warblers and Blaine.
Sure, it was probably his inner drama queen diva that was making him feel this way, but he couldn't help it. Grumbling under his breath, he finished up the rest of Warbler practice and then practically jogged out of the rehearsal hall when Wes dismissed them with a thud of the gavel. Luckily for Kurt, they had asked Blaine to stay behind for a discussion, so he was able to skip out without the golden eyed boy cornering him.
They'd talk sooner or later. Later rather than sooner probably.
With a sigh, Kurt climbed into his SUV and started on his way back to Lima. As he drove, he wondered if the two hour drive – to and from - was even worth it anymore… and these thoughts would stay with him all the way down the interstate from Westerville to Lima.
A/N: Hope you like this so far! I'm trying to split my time between updating this and updating Confused, so don't be surprised if you see this one updated one day and the other story updated a day later! I really, really appreciate reviews and I love my reviewers! Thanks for reading!