Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, nor any of its characters.
Warnings: AU, futurefic, Klaine, but also mentions of Kum (in the past)
Rating: M for swearing and possible (light) smut
This story doesn't follow canon:
1) Blaine and Kurt never met each other in high school. They meet as co-workers at the Lima Children's Hospital.
2) At the beginning of this story, Kurt is 26 years old, and still recovering from the sad ending to a long-lasting relationship.
3) Blaine also has a significant romantic history, which will become clear in the following chapters. You might be in for a little surprise there
I made Blaine 5 years older than Kurt, for story-technical reasons.
Also, thanks to my wonderful beta Cat!
If anyone would have ever told sixteen year old Kurt Hummel he would be required to wear a pink uniform at work, he probably would have scowled and squealed at the same time.
Yet here he was, ten years later, in the locker room of Lima Children's Hospital, changing into his male nurse uniform.
He pulled up his soft pink cotton pants, and threw on the matching, short sleeved, V-neck tunic.
Young, teenage Kurt would have thrown a fit at the idea of not being able to express himself through crazy fashion on a daily basis.
The grown up, wiser Kurt, well, he didn't mind as much. At 26 years old, he'd already learned the hard way that there are more important things in life than clothes.
Sure, he still liked fashion, and wouldn't be caught dead wearing baggy jeans and a sweater, but the days of the extravagant, ridiculous outfits were long gone.
He grinned as he pinned his brightly colored sunflower brooch on his breast pocket. It didn't hurt to stand out just a little bit, now did it? Plus, the kids liked it. He wore a different brooch or pin every day, and his little patients were always eager and looking out for the new "mascot of the day".
And whenever one of the children would leave the hospital after an extended stay, he would remove the small decorative item and give it to the child as a little parting gift.
Yesterday, his blue care Bear pin had gone home with Sophie, a five-year-old sweet, blue-eyed angel, suffering from leukemia. The girl had given him the most radiant of smiles, a big hug, and a soft kiss on his cheek.
Smiling at the memory, Kurt's eyes slowly drifted to the picture hanging on the inside of his locker door.
The blonde, bright-eyed boy in the picture was looking adoringly at him.
Letting out a wistful sigh, Kurt slammed his locker door shut and looked right into the honey colored eyes and radiant smile of Blaine Anderson.
Kurt gave a startled shout.
"Jesus fucking Christ! Are you trying to give me a heart attack or what? How long have you been standing there?"
Blaine just shrugged, leaning against an adjacent locker door, his beaming smile still plastered on his face.
"No need to get all worked up, Kurt, I need to change clothes too, you know. Besides, you do know I can fix that heart of yours, if ever it's in mortal danger…?"
"Yes, yes, I'm well aware of that, Dr. Anderson," the blue-eyed man retorted.
The curly haired man frowned and sighed.
"Seriously, Kurt, when are you going to start calling me Blaine when we're in private?"
Raising one eyebrow, Kurt leaned his shoulder against his locker door, mirroring Blaine's stance.
Pointing his finger at the curly haired man, he answered.
"Look, you're Blaine Anderson, well respected pediatrician and son of one of the most important benefactors of this place."
Pointing his finger at himself, he continued
"I'm Kurt Hummel, lowly nurse and caregiver. So I guess that makes YOU Dr. Anderson, and ME nurse Hummel, Kurt, 'Hey you' or whatever you want to call me, take your pick… I don't know, maybe I'll start calling you Blaine when we're married?"
Kurt flinched back at the loud bark of laughter that was emitted by the man in front of him.
"Oh wow, that's rich", Blaine breathed, still chuckling, "How in the hell do you think we'll end up married if you won't even go out on a date with me?"
"Look, let's just get this over with, okay?" the taller man sighed, "We've been over this already. Every other week, you ask me out, I say no, you ask why, I tell you it's complicated, you ask what the hell that's supposed to mean, I tell you I don't want to talk about it, you get all pouty and puppyish for a day or two, and then you spend two weeks forgetting what I said, and mustering up the courage to ask me out again…. It's getting kind of old…"
"Exactly!" Blaine beamed so brightly, Kurt had to refrain from squinting his eyes,
"That's why I suggest we do it differently this time around, change the boring routine you know, how about you say 'YES' to dinner with me, this Saturday night?"
Kurt rolled his eyes and opened his mouth to say no for the hundredth time, but then his eyes met Blaine's, and the warmth and hope in those big orbs took him aback.
He snapped his mouth shut and swallowed heavily.
He looked at Blaine. Really looked at him... and allowed his thoughts to wander.
He's attractive alright… I mean, just look at him. Those curls, those eyes, damn that smile… those soft lips… that neck… those shoulders… Wait; better stop my eyes from wandering any lower before he notices I'm checking him out… Not that I haven't done that before… Okay, looking back at his face again… Oh dear Lord, how can he look so sweet and adorable… and I know he's a nice guy… so wait… why am I pushing him away then? Oh… yeah right…Sam… that's why…
Kurt mentally slapped himself and prepared to give Blaine a negative answer, but when he met his eyes, and saw him raise his big, triangular, furry eyebrows, giving him a hopeful expression...
He just couldn't.
Blaine sensed Kurt's mental struggle, and decided to drop the funny act.
"Look, Kurt, all joking aside for a minute, okay? This isn't some lame attempt to get into your pants... This isn't about the hot doctor wanting to screw the sexy nurse."
Kurt raised one eyebrow and snorted at the same time.
Blaine ignored the sound and continued his plea. There was no more laughter in his voice, only pure, raw emotion.
"I just... I really, really like you... and I guess I just want to get to know you better. I need to know if there's a possibility for something more... Just give it a chance, Kurt. Please... give us a chance?
Kurt's eyes were now focused on Blaine's mouth that had turned into a tentative, vulnerable smile.
That smile did it.
All of a sudden, Kurt felt his walls beginning to crumble. The feeling shocked him to the core. He saw a tsunami of emotions speeding towards him, and all he wanted to do was run away. Hide. He had to get out of here now. He had to get Blaine out of this locker room, so he could collapse without any witnesses present.
"I don't know… I mean…" Kurt stammered, "I'll think about it… Okay?"
Well, Blaine was a puppy again all right, but a happy, bouncy, yapping puppy this time.
"Oh man, that's great! You just let me know right? It doesn't have to be this Saturday, you know, any day is good if you want to, I mean, we'll have to look at our work schedules, but we'll pick a night that goes for both of us, and…"
"Whoa, whoa, easy there!" Kurt retorted, "I haven't said yes yet, you know!"
"I know, I know," the other man smiled "But you haven't said no either. That brings me one step closer to you calling me Blaine one day!"
He leaned into Kurt, gave him a small peck on the cheek – making the other man gasp slightly - turned around and walked briskly out of the locker room.
Kurt brushed his hand against his cheek, feeling the spot where Blaine had kissed his cheek, and turned with his back against his locker.
Dropping his hand and letting his head fall backwards with a thud, he closed his eyes and whispered hoarsely, "Oh God... Sam… my sweet, sweet Sam… what am I doing? What the hell am I going to do?"
He slowly slid to the floor into a sitting position, put his arms around his knees, and for the first time in almost two years, he just let the wave of emotions wash over him, and with a broken sob, he started to cry.
Half an hour later, Kurt emerged from the locker room, silently thanking all the non-existing deities that nobody had walked in on him having a breakdown.
He'd spent at least a full twenty minutes crying hot, bitter tears. And then he'd wasted ten more minutes washing his face and trying to remove the evidence of said tears.
His eyes still looked a bit swollen and red though.
Turning into the corridor of the children's oncology ward, he immediately spotted Rose, the tall blonde night nurse, pushing the file cart towards the entry of the staff room.
"Hiya Kurt!" she called out, waving frantically, as he was striding towards her. "Hurry up; you're almost late for the morning briefing!"
"I know, I'm sorry, babe, let's go in,"
He followed Rose into the room, and sat down on his usual spot at the square table, while greeting the rest of the staff. Rose parked her cart and took a seat right next to Kurt.
This meant that everybody was looking in his general direction, as Rose started to run through the files and give a brief summary of the happenings during the night, and the current condition of their patients.
Kurt was only half listening. His brain felt numb and mushy from that freaking crying fit, and he mindlessly let his eyes drift around the table, contemplating his co-workers, without really seeing them.
There were five other people in the room. Rose, of course, the 38-year-old night nurse, who was the spitting image of Lisa Kudrow.
There was Jenny Ortiz, the 52 year old head nurse and mother hen of the nurse team. Kurt liked her a lot. Jenny doted on him as if he was her son. He'd cherish the little moments when she would lovingly pat his cheek, ruffle his hair, or just pull him into a hug for some reason. She'd remind him so much of his mother at times like that.
Next to Jenny sat Emily Morris. Em was a short, sturdy girl, with spiky red hair, a nose piercing and way too much make up on her face. At 24 years old, she was the youngest nurse in their team. She was a cool girl, but basically still very much of a kid, and therefore rather popular with the young teens staying on the ward.
And then there were the two doctors.
The 42-year-old children's oncologist, Jonathan Taylor, was sitting next to Blaine.
Dr. Taylor was a slender, short man, about the same height as Blaine. His gray crew cut hair, his close-cropped goatee, and his icy blue eyes hidden behind a fashionable pair of glasses all added to his attractiveness.
Kurt knew for a fact that at least three nurses in the hospital had a serious crush on Dr. Taylor. But the guy was married, had three kids and he did not have an affair, because if he did, Kurt would've known. Being around Jenny Ortiz meant overhearing all the entertaining and juicy gossip firsthand.
Kurt's eyes now zoomed in on Blaine, who was scribbling down notes as Rose was going on about the side effects little Chloe Turner had been experiencing during the night, after an intensive chemo session.
Strangely enough, the gossip circuit hadn't been able to catch onto the details about Dr. Blaine Anderson's past.
The only thing they knew for sure was that he was 31 years old, and that he had worked in a hospital somewhere in Manhattan up until ten months ago, before he transferred and moved to Lima. As to the reason for his career and life switch... well, they pretty much didn't have a clue.
So the new doctor certainly was a man of mystery.
Oh yes, it was also widely known that he was gay, thanks to some guy at the hospital cafeteria who had accidentally overheard Blaine during one of his enthusiastic and clearly too loud attempts to woo Kurt.
The impertinent imbecile had just gone on to enlighten the whole hospital about Dr. Anderson's sexual preferences. Nosy, indiscrete little son of a bitch.
Blaine didn't seem to mind that much that people knew he wasn't straight. If anything, it made his advances toward Kurt even more blatant.
In those ten months Blaine had been working at the hospital, the curly haired doctor had managed to win over the hearts of the staff and his little patients, with his charming, sparkling, lively personality, while melting hearts with that cute, dazzling smile of his.
And let's not forget those honey colored, captivating eyes... that were boring into Kurt's right now.
How long exactly had Kurt been looking at Blaine? Too long, judging by the way Blaine now raised his eyebrow, gave him a coy little smile and then just fucking winked at him. In front of everybody.
Kurt felt his face flush.
As everybody got up from their seats, it registered into Kurt's mind that the briefing had ended, and that he had to get out and start his initial morning routine around the ward, to tend to his patients.
But first things first, he needed some battery acid.
He got up and sped towards the coffee machine against the wall and filled his cup with the hot black liquid that would kick start his body and mind. Since working at the hospital, he had taken to drinking his coffee simply black, without frills. He hadn't had a grande nonfat mocha in years.
Turning around and leaning back against the counter, he noticed the room had emptied.
Rose was sitting on the table, dangling her legs, looking intently at him.
"What?" He asked, between sips of the glorious beverage.
"What was going on between you and Anderson there?" Rose asked with laughter in her voice.
"What?" He just repeated dumbly.
"Come on! You were staring at him for like a full ten minutes, and then he made that face at you and winked..." Rose gasped, a light bulb going on in her head, "Wait! Did he ask you out again?"
"Yes... this morning in the locker room."
"Well that doesn't make sense; he should be moping around like that droopy dog right about now then. Unless... did you actually agree on a date this time?"
"I didn't... But, I didn't decline either. I told him maybe, and that I would think about it."
Rose was really getting excited now.
Kurt knew this wasn't out of some misplaced curiosity. Rose really cared about Kurt, and vice versa. They often worked together during the nightshifts, when Kurt would join her as back up during those periods when there were just too many patients on the ward for just one person to handle through the night.
During the calmer, dark hours, they would sit together and just talk. It was just that nightly atmosphere, that eerie calmness, the feeling that they were together alone when everybody else was asleep, that made it possible for them to confide into each other.
There was an unspoken agreement between the two nurses that anything they discussed during those nights would remain between them.
And thus Rose knew.
She knew about Kurt's past. About his pain. About his heartache. And about the wall he'd built around his heart as a result of all that. It pained her to see him like that, because Kurt just wasn't like any other coworker, she considered him a friend.
More than anything, she really wished for him to be happy.
Because he wasn't. Not by a long shot. He wasn't even living, since living meant moving forward, or at least looking forward to something. Anything.
Kurt couldn't do that. He was caught in the past, and too lost to find his way out of this maze on his own.
Rose believed Kurt needed someone to guide him out, to get him onto the path towards happiness again. And Rose felt that Blaine Anderson could possibly be the one to pull her friend out of his funk.
So with that in mind, she spoke up.
"Look honey, I know I said this before, but just do it. Give it a chance. You have nothing to lose and everything to win. I've seen the way you look at him… you like him. And I don't blame you; he's a gorgeous man, inside and out."
Kurt turned his head and stared out of the window.
"It's a little more complicated than that... you know it is" he said, hinting at the many talks they'd had about this.
"I know, I know... but it'll never be easy, sweetie, no matter how. I see what you do, Kurt. You're trying to protect yourself. You never want to get hurt like that again. But can't you see how it's harming you instead? You refuse to let anyone in. You think you're shielding your heart from injury and pain. But you're not. You're shutting out every chance at love, every possibility of happiness. You're refusing to live! And you're doing it all out of guilt and fear."
A lone tear was trickling down Kurt's cheek. "No..." he whispered, bowing his head, "It's because I still love him. I can't let him go."
"You HAVE to let him go!" Kurt's head snapped up, but Rose didn't recoil under his glare. "You know Sam didn't want this! You owe it to him and to yourself to try and be happy again!"
For the second time that morning, Kurt felt his emotions get the better of him.
"HOW?" he yelled, "You seem to have figured it all out! How can I let go of him? How can I be happy? I fucking loved him! He loved me! We were going to grow old together! He wasn't supposed to DIE on me!"
Rose stayed silent for a moment.
Then she hopped off the table, strode towards Kurt and pulled him into a fierce hug. Kurt immediately buried his face into her shoulder.
"I'm sorry," he shuddered.
"Shhhhh..." she cooed. "It's okay, baby."
She pulled back to look into his eyes. Kurt straightened his posture.
"You ask me how..." Rose continued, "I don't have all the answers. But I do know you'll need to take a leap of faith to get through this... So please, go out on a date with Anderson. Talk to him. Let him in... He might be just who you need right now."
They gave each other a tentative smile.
"I'll think about it... I promise. I really will. Okay?" Kurt said softly.
Rose planted a gentle kiss on his forehead. "Okay."
They let go of each other and stepped out of the staff room, Rose heading towards the locker room to change and leave, Kurt speeding towards his first patient of the morning.
Author's note: I'm not gonna lie. Reviews turn me on.