So I got this idea from the episode "Sexy" when Blaine was speaking to Burt in the garage. He said this: "One of his many attempts at bonding." Which made me think: what were the other attempts?
And so here they are.
When his dad walked into his room with a baseball cap and shirt on, Blaine was pretty sure something bad was going to happen. Then his dad waved two tickets in front of him and he knew something bad was going to happen. He should have told him he had homework and couldn't go, but Blaine was 14 and stupid, so he had to say yes.
Baseball was not his favorite thing. In fact, it was his least favorite. Blaine could watch football all day, but other sports he could barely stand.
And he had to have to only father in America who hated Football, but seemed to love every other sport on the planet.
His dad's attempts at bonding were paper thin; Blaine knew that his dad probably knew he was gay, though he had never told his parents, and probably wouldn't for a while…when he was ready.
Blaine was pretty sure that stunts like this were attempts to make him straight. Lock that closet door so it couldn't be opened.
Which lead to Blaine sitting in the stands, hot and sweaty from the sun beating down directly on them, with his dad trying to pretend to enjoy the nine innings of hell.
Blaine knew that his dad knew he wasn't enjoying it. The drive home was silent, after one attempt from his dad to get a conversation started about the fourth inning, but Blaine had no idea what he was talking about.
His dad didn't try to take him to another baseball game.
How Blaine found himself in the woods, in a cold tent and cooking things over a fire, he wasn't sure. He should have been smart enough to get out of it, but he wasn't. He was just a kid that wanted to please his dad….
But ended up failing.
Five months after the disastrous baseball bonding experience and two weeks after Blaine came out to his parents, his dad had suggested a father/son camping trip, sans an RV or anything to help them actually survive.
No, he had wanted to go all out: tent, fishing, fire and ghost stories around said fire. Except neither of them really knew any ghost stories. During fishing today, they had little luck and his dad caught one fish. Blaine fell into the lake. He also wasn't the biggest fan of fish in the first place and still hungry.
Then Blaine accidentally rubbed up against some poison ivy and couldn't stop scratching himself as they sit around the fire that night. His dad had grudgingly decided that yes, they were going to leave in the morning to go back home since Blaine's rash was getting worse.
Blaine just wasn't the outdoorsy type. He didn't mind a bike ride around the neighborhood or maybe playing some flag football with his friends (when he actually had friends); before he came out, but camping…it wasn't for him. Blaine liked things clean.
His dad, though a business man, could be a complete mountain man. He was a boy scout and had tried to get Blaine into, but after a few times of going to meetings, Blaine refused and instead asked for singing lessons.
And so as Blaine tried to sleep and not scratch, he filed this under another failed bonding experience with his dad.
His dad avoided him for the rest of the week after that.
Blaine couldn't even understand why his dad had bought the '59 cherry red Chevy. He thought that maybe it was some sort of midlife crisis, but then, why didn't he actually buy something that worked, like a convertible or a motorcycle? The truck was so beat up, Blaine was surprised it started.
Then on one of the first days of summer, his dad woke him up early and started talking about going into town to look for parts and Blaine knew why.
It took all summer to fix up that car, and at first neither of them knew what they were doing. Blaine was forced to do research and could probably rattle off some of the most obscure facts about '59 Chevys. He memorized what the parts of its engine looked like so when they went to spare metal heaps and auto part graveyards, they could find them.
Blaine knew that again, his dad was trying to make him straight; more manly. It wasn't that Blaine was particularly stereotypical gay, besides liking musicals and reading fashion magazines, he just wasn't…his dad.
Maybe that was what all dads wanted, their sons to be like them. Which meant liking baseball and camping and liking girls, too.
Blaine couldn't do all that.
In the end, building the car was sorta fun, especially when his dad let him drive it. Blaine still resented the intent that his dad did this with him, but it was the closet one of his attempts ever came to succeeding.
The next time his dad tried bonding, Blaine humored him. He was taken to a shooting range and given earmuffs and a gun. Blaine didn't see the point. He would never go hunting, mostly for moral reasons, and he doubted that he would ever actually be able to defend himself like this, but Blaine had finally come to terms with all of this. His dad's bonding attempts, that is.
He wasn't the ideal son. He tried his best. He was a good student and had a talent for singing, but he wasn't what his dad had dreamed about as his pregnant wife laid beside him.
He was gay, something that his heterosexual father could not relate to. His dad could have probably handled giving him a packet of condoms at sixteen and warning that if he got a girl pregnant, he would be skinned alive. He would be told to treat women right and all the other advice fathers usually pass to their sons about girls.
His sexuality caused headaches for the whole family, especially went it meant bullying and switching schools.
So if his dad wanted to try to connect to him…who was he to stop it? So he picked completely wrong activities….Blaine should deal. He was seventeen now and just starting his junior year at Dalton. He would be an adult soon…maybe then, his dad would see him as more of an equal.
In the car, later, Blaine suddenly said:
"Maybe we should go to a musical together some time."
His dad looked at him for a long moment.
"Yeah, I guess," he finally said, not taking his eyes off the road for the rest of the trip.
Maybe it was something.
"Dad," said Blaine, stepping into his office. His dad looked up and nodded. "I wanted to invite you along to a musical….Kurt's dad got tickets last week. He got one for you, too….I wasn't sure if you would be busy or not."
Blaine still wasn't sure about mentioning Kurt around his family. He was his first boyfriend and while they hadn't been angry when he told them about Kurt, they hadn't been overjoyed, either.
"No. That sounds good," said his dad, turning in his chair. "I think we did say something about going to see a musical together."
Blaine himself hadn't even remembered that conversation until this moment. "Oh. Great. It's this Saturday…"
"Good. We picking up Kurt and his dad?"
"They'll be meeting us here, actually. It's here in Westerville."
And Blaine found himself, his dad, his boyfriend and his dad sitting in a row at the local performance of Guys and Dolls. Kurt was next to him and his dad on his other side, next to Kurt's dad.
It seemed like Burt and his dad were getting along, at least. They both were talking about how they didn't know anything about musicals, despite both of their son's interest in them. Then he heard Burt say, "Blaine tells me that you rebuilt a '59 Chevy…"
The conversation seemed to flow.
Then the musical started and Blaine grew more nervous. The first time he heard his dad laugh out loud, Blaine's heart jumped. He kept his eyes on his dad a lot, pleased that he seemed to enjoy the show.
After the show ended, they went out to dinner at a steakhouse.
"I liked that one song, the lucky lady one?" said his dad as they were seated. Blaine held on to Kurt's hand absently, smiling at his dad.
"It's called 'Lucky Be a Lady', dad. It's one of my favorites, too."
"Did you like it, dad?" asked Kurt expectantly.
"It was way more exciting than that Sound of Music movie you like so much," admitted Burt.
"Good," said Kurt with a nod.
A waiter, a man in his 50's, came up to their table and Blaine felt more than saw him glare at his and Kurt's joint hands, then his refusal to meet Kurt and Blaine's eyes. He turned to Blaine's dad instead, still cold. "What can I get you?" he asked shortly.
Blaine dropped Kurt's hand as if burned, his head falling to look at the menu in front of him.
"You can get us a new waiter, if you're going to continue to be like this."
Blaine's head shot up, looking at his dad with wide eyes. His dad's features, which were so like Blaine's own, were in a cool glare at the man that now resembled a fish. "Excuse me, sir?"
"Don't pretend like I didn't see your glare at my son, or the way you pointed at him and his boyfriend from across the restaurant. So please, send us a new waiter, hopefully more accepting than you. Or the manager."
His dad spoke smoothly, like he usually did while on a business call and wanted to get something from the person on the other line: demanding but strangely polite - in a scary way.
"Yes, sir," muttered the waiter, turning and walking away.
"Good going, Charlie," said Burt, slapping Charlie on the back once. "I can't stand it when stuff like that happens. Kurt told me I'm not allowed to defend him anymore, though," said Burt, turning to look at Kurt.
Kurt reached for Blaine's hand again and Blaine gripped back appreciatively. "That's because it's embarrassing, dad, and if you want to fight everyone who hates me, you'll have your hands busy with more than half of the town."
"Not gonna stop me," said Burt.
"It's sick," said his dad. "I admit, it took me a long time to accept that Blaine was how he is, but he's my son," said his dad, turning to look at Blaine with a significant look. "Changing him wouldn't do anything but make him a stranger."
"Thanks," said Blaine and he really, really hoped that his dad understood what he meant with that one word: thanks for what you just said, to me and the waiter. And even the 'I forgive you for all your bonding attempts and trying to make me straight' shoved in the middle of that 'thanks'.
"No problem," said his father.
The new waitress was polite and quick; if she had a problem with Kurt and Blaine, she was professional enough to not let it get in the way of serving them.
After dinner, in the car, his dad suggested doing more of this. "Nights when all of us do something," he said.
"Father/son bonding?" asked Burt.
"I guess so," said his dad. "You should invite your step-son, too."
"I'm sure Finn would love that," said Kurt with a nod. "He really looks up to my dad, Mr. Anderson," he said to Blaine's dad. "He never really knew his own."
"Shame," said Blaine's dad. "And call me Charlie, Kurt."
"Of course," said Kurt after a moment. "Maybe Noah wouldn't mind coming along one day. Keep the number even and he could do with a good father figure."
"You're really considerate, Kurt," said Blaine, slipping his hand around Kurt's waist.
"Yes, well, not everyone is lucky enough to have fathers like us," he said, shaking off the compliment.
Blaine smiled and looked at his dad. "True," he said absently.
Blaine counted this as one of many more successful bonding nights with his dad.
I hope you enjoyed that. I finally got to writing this, after racking my brain for other bonding activities Charlie would try.