In the California sunset he's a beacon against the darkness that's shadowed your life lately, and it's a glorious, glorious one. His fingers reach for yours and he hauls you into the light and suddenly there's a chance you can come back from this.
Your heart is the sort of broken that feels like it's literally fallen to pieces, cracking and settling on the tabletop into sparse little fragments barely recognizable to what it used to be, really.
It's lonely in this room, in this city, so far away. You sit alone at the coffee shop sometimes, book open and reading but you're not processing anything, instead watching the world go by you, the pretty people and their friends, family, significant others.
You write letters, sometimes, emails, other times, all painting how wonderful Los Angeles is and how much you love it here, using light fluffy words to describe the most indescribable place in the world.
Everyone's always moving, scrambling to make it here nor there, head held high and on the next project, mission, party or event.
You're struggling, you're not too proud to admit it at least while alone in your room with a carton of ice cream and an uninspired screenplay open in your lap.
There's insipid blondes, vapid actors, artists with too much pride in mediocre work. Back in Lima, Ohio, you were bigger than McKinley High. In Los Angeles, you're one of many – and you're alone.
You see him on the 3rd Street Promenade in front of the Starbucks playing guitar, small, deft fingers gliding over strings. He's dressed heinously; skinny jeans and stretched out v-neck tee and Chuck Taylors, but there's something about him, really. It's his smile, you think, recently acquired purchases weighing down your arm. Mothers with small children in tow maneuver around you from where you're stopped right in the middle of the walkway, somewhere to your left there's some B-list actress talking loudly on her phone, clearly trying to get noticed.
You're not his only audience, because he's drawn a bit of a crowd. There's a group of teenage girls on the other side of you eyeing him appreciatively and you feel silly for being just like them, eyes stuck on that smile and the stubble and the sweet voice. He's not amazing but he's got something.
He reminds you of boys past, boys you'd always reached out for and never got, boys that you knew were perfect for you but you were never perfect for.
You leave then and don't look back; there's nothing like a sudden crush on a guitar playing boy on the streets of Santa Monica to remind you that you are one in a million.
You stop going to auditions a week later and instead take more and more of the temp jobs being offered to you – answering the phones for an insurance company; working the front desk at a doctor's office.
You think about Rachel in New York, avoid her facebook pictures and de-friend everyone from McKinley that isn't Finn or Mercedes, and then de-activate your account all together.
The next time you see him it's not an accident even though you pretend it is in your head because you don't like to think you like torturing yourself, but you've always been a little bit of a masochist.
He's there again, in front of the Starbucks, with his guitar. There's less people there this time, more people not even looking his way as he hums along with the melody he's plucking with easy easy fingers. You sit at an unoccupied bench a bit down from where he's playing and you watch, you watch, you watch.
When he finishes up his facade slips, the frontman image he seems to exude folds into itself and for a moment you feel like you might be looking at a boy that feels just like you do sometimes. It's gone, though, after that moment, and then he's looking up at you and your eyes lock and everything – it just stops.
You're feet and feet away and there are tourists and shoppers and people between you but he looks at you, hazel meeting blue, and he's giving you this little half-smile. Instinctively you look away, unsure of the gesture, unsure if you're making it up, and by the time you look back he's gone.
The next time it is an accident and you're just – thrown by seeing him that you stare blankly, so blankly that you know you must look like an owl there at your table at Intelligentsia. It's your favorite little pretentious coffee shop two blocks from your place in your favorite little pretentious LA neighborhood and it's everything you both love and hate about Los Angeles – tons of celebrities and terrible coffee fit with the perfect ambience to write about how ambivalent you feel about Los Angeles and it's inhabitants.
He's on line, texting someone and he's wearing his uniform of skinny jeans and Chucks and his hair is a mess, but he sort of looks like he's just rolled out of bed, so. Jayce, the hot blond barista takes his order ("Medium drip," You hear him say, before he's back to glancing at his phone) and he stands there at the counter looking Godforsakingly and unfairly handsome in the morning light.
He takes his drink and never sees you, slipping out of the shop just as randomly and quickly as he'd come in.
"His name is Blaine," Jayce, the hot barista says, and you have to stop being so obvious with your staring, "He plays at La Mill sometimes. Don't tell anyone I told you that; I don't want them to think I'm advertising for the enemy."
"I've seen you around," A voice says, and suddenly you're looking up at that boy – the boy from the promenade and Intelligentsia – the one with the guitar named Blaine – he's standing above you with that smile he has. You feel your face start to heat up and your heart climbs into your throat and he just invites himself to sit across from you.
"I'm Blaine," He leans across the table and into your space.
"Kurt," You reply, and his hand is warm and dry and actually pretty small but so soft, nails perfectly trimmed and fingertips just a little rough with callouses.
"I've seen you around," He repeats, leaning in like you're sharing a secret. You know your face must be flushed but he's got that smile on you, the smile that had forced you to stop to begin with.
He takes you the Santa Monica Pier, crushed with fanny-packed tourists and over-priced carnival food but the beach is empty and he looks like an angel against the setting sun burning on the horizon. You're not sure what you talk about but there's a discussion about music in there somewhere; he plays air guitar to the Top 40's soundtrack pumping through the sound system and you laugh at his cheesy dance moves.
Later you walk on the shoreline despite the fact that you hate sand and are wearing the absolute worst shoes for this, obliging him when he offers to help you toe them off. He throws his sandals and your shoes into this worn tote he's been lugging with him all day ("My man purse," He giggles, showing you his 'inspiration notebook' and a paperback dog-eared on the ends) and then chases you against the waves singing 90's pop hits at the top of his lungs.
Later he takes your hand and you have to look away from his brightness, the star he's formed in your sky, citing sand in your eye because you're pretty sure you're going to cry.
You've forgotten what it's like to have someone see you, really see you.
By date four you learn he's a musician by trade but a teacher by day; he's got a classroom full of eighteen inner-city eight year olds that he calls his "kids" and spends his evenings making lesson plans for.
By date four he's sitting across from you as you tell him you'd moved to Los Angeles to be famous someday, or at least, you had. You tell him that you work short stints in no-name offices and you hate it because it's uninspired and boring and it's just not you.
By date four he's reminded you how wonderful it feels to be held by someone, warm arms tight around your waist as you fold yourself to tuck your head under his chin, reminds you how nice it is to cry in the presence of another person, for once, instead of alone over a bowl of watery pasta.
By date four you learn he kisses with as much passion as he plays guitar, and he touches you as reverently as he does his Gibson, fingers gentle but guiding as he lays you down and whispers your sadness, your loneliness away.
He's got you close, holding you tight, and you hadn't realized how touch-starved you were until that moment. Beyond the windows of his apartment, Los Angeles slows to a crawl. Inside, your heart is beating in time with his.
You find out he's from Ohio a few days later, over your poor attempt at homemade manicotti and vegan meatballs and you stare at him through the flickering candlelight on the cheap checkered tabletop.
He was the lead singer of The Warblers of Dalton Academy, he tells you, and you're immediately back at McKinley somehow, walking the halls in fear, remembering Dave Karofsky and his hulking threats. You remember sitting at your desk in tears, staring at the Dalton website, the school coda in front of you and rolling through your head like a mantra:
"Here at Dalton Academy, equality and happiness is our student's greatest success."
You remember daydreaming about it, about being around boys who didn't see you as a disease, who wouldn't push you down in the hallways, who wouldn't force themselves on you.
You also remember crying yourself to sleep when you'd seen the cost of tuition; how you knew you couldn't do that to your parents.
Sitting across from you at the table at this moment is Blaine Anderson, the sort of boy you'd always wished you'd meet at Dalton. You crumple then, feeling silly; foolish. You've only been seeing one another for a few weeks but he's always picking you back up, saving you from the fall.
He does it again this time, cradling you close to his chest while he listens to the story, curling himself up against you on the couch.
He tells you stories about Dalton; good and bad and everything in between, and tells you what it was like, how he wishes you'd been there, too.
The sun is coming up by the time you drop off and he's getting up to get ready for work and as you fall asleep to the feeling of a kiss at your temple, you realize you're not quite sure you deserve him, not sure if you ever will.
You listen to him play on 3rd Street sitting at the same bench you did what feels like so long ago, focused on his voice and his smile and the way he chats with those flirty teenage girls. He throws you a wink when he starts his next song and you just smile, rising to get him a cup of tea for when he's finished.
Later you'll walk on the beach like you did on your first date and chase him into the waves as the sun goes down.
You start writing because with his words, his voice, his presence – it's hard to not, really, everything he does being poetry and prose. You can write forever about the cadence of his voice, the strength in his arms and the blinding white of his smile and you do, however self-indulgent it is.
Sometimes he kisses those words right into your body, whispering sweet-nothings against your skin as he worships you in the early morning sunlight. Sometimes you let him curl up against you asleep as you write feverishly, his touch still lingering on your skin.
You realize, then, how he's steered you back and helped you find your footing. Everything is a bit brighter; Los Angeles starts seeming more beautiful, light – you see the art on the streets with wider eyes.
Sometimes you just run your fingers through untamed curls and giggle helplessly at how he talks in his sleep. Sometimes you just lay and hold him near, thanking him as he drifts for everything he's brought back to you.
It's raining and gross and kind of cold for Southern California but for some reason he's there, outside of your temp assignment this week, cup of mocha and rain-soaked hoodie and blinding smile so you don't have to take the bus. You stare at him there, in the glass vestibule of the building for a few moments, because you'd never wish Los Angeles traffic at rush hour in the rain on anyone.
"What are you doing here?" You ask when you slide up to him but he's not having it, leaning in to kiss you with chilled lips and a sweet smile. Instead, he takes your hand and slides your arm around his waist so you both could tuck close under the umbrella he's opening as you step outside in the downpour.
As the rain comes down, he's laughing over the sound of it; the feeling of water splashing over your pants and shoes and the water running down your faces. You press him against the side of the damp old Toyota he drives and kiss his rain-slick lips, kissing the star-bright smile away and holding him near.
He looks up at you then, the beacon in your darkened tunnel, bright, so so bright with that smile that drew you to him what seems like forever ago.
In another place and time Blaine Anderson meets Kurt Hummel on the staircase of a private high school in Westerville, Ohio.
You meet Blaine Anderson in the hipster pretentious coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake in Los Angeles, California, in the beginning of the summer in one of the darkest years of your life.
Somehow they both seem perfect, and as Los Angeles swims in a summer storm, you press your face into his neck and hold him tight, his warmth on your side like a beacon drawing you home.