DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee, Fox does. And Ryan Murphy.
Oh my god what is wrong with me. Why have I written two different stories in under twenty-four hours. Why am I not working on Silent Dreams? I will soon, I promise :(
There are really no warnings for this story. A few swear words and that's about it. Also, this story focuses solely on Blaine! I've never written a story focusing solely on that, so this was an adventure. It's going to suck next season when Blaine's home life (hopefully) becomes canon and all my ideas are unusable.
When Blaine was seven his second grade class was assigned to spend two hours of one bitterly cold winter day writing about their dreams and aspirations, what they wanted to do when they grew up and how they saw themselves now. It seemed a little hefty for a class of six- to seven-year-olds to write about, but it was commonplace for a private, all-boys preparatory school.
More than half the class would give generic answers of "vet," "doctor," "fireman."
They wanted to be happy in their lives.
They saw themselves in reflective surfaces. That was about it.
They're just kids; what do the educators think they're going to do? At seven boys still play with dinosaurs and go camping and tell scary stories with the bright yellow beam of a flashlight casting ominous shadows up over their face from under their chin. They catch bugs and frogs and don't care if they're outside when it starts raining.
A few boys had parents that were already constantly breathing down their necks about grades and what they wanted as extracurricular activities when they moved on to middle school, high school. What colleges they might possibly wish to attend. Those boys took the assignment seriously, sitting behind their desks with little legs swinging slightly above the ground, their generic number two pencils pockmarked with teeth imprints the way a man with a history of bad acne, chicken pox gone wrong would have golf ball-like dimples dotting his face.
These boys, they wrote down their life's plans according to their parents. They mentioned Brown, Yale, Columbia. NYU. They said they wanted to be lawyers, doctors, CEOs. Anything with a six-figure paycheck. These boys, with their grubby little fingers wrapped tight around their pockmarked pencils, they have no conception of monetary value. All they know is sunshine and good weather, the smell of fresh-cut grass and the leather of softballs.
These are their parents' words coming out of their pencils.
Blaine, whose legs swing a good few inches higher than nearly every boy in the class, keeps his pencil neat and smooth. His brow is furrowed in thought and his tongue pokes between his lips as he stares at the blank lined sheet of paper in front of him. The graphite at the tip of the pencil is still dagger-sharp.
Several times their teacher, Miss Annie, has crouched by his desk, the sweet notes of her floral perfume surrounding Blaine and she smells so much like his mom that if his eyes are closed when she drops by he thinks, for a moment, that he's still at home. His heart clenches. He really misses his mom when he's at school.
Miss Annie's voice, it has this raspy quality to it that doesn't fit her face, the face that's reminiscent of the pretty, slim women Blaine sees on the covers and glossy pages of the various magazines that his mother reads while he curls up at her side in the evenings. Miss Annie sort of sounds like Blaine's father and it makes Blaine cringe a little, shoulders hunching tight when she speaks to close to his ear.
Blaine's mother always reads the magazines to him, pointing out the pretty women and brightly-colored advertisements for the grown-up stuff that he sees his mom put on her face in the morning before she takes him to school. His mom always smells like flowers and comfort. Her voice is as warm as fresh chocolate chip cookies.
When Blaine's mom reads to him his father is always mysteriously absent.
"Blaine, honey," Miss Annie says softly, her dark brown hair tumbling over her shoulder. "Aren't you going to write anything?"
Blaine starts to shake his head but stops himself. "I… will," he says eventually in a soft voice.
Miss Annie sighs and straightens back up, placing a comforting hand on Blaine's unruly hair before walking away. Blaine might write something soon, he doesn't know. He's always had a hard time with words.
An hour and fifty minutes into the assignment, many of the boys are done. When Miss Annie checks on Blaine this time, she's surprised and slightly relieved to see that the tip of his pencil is worn down considerably. Eraser shavings litter his desk and stick to the black fabric of his uniform and there're the telltale black smudges of graphite on the edges of his hands.
He hands her the paper and she adds it to the pile already held in her manicured hands, giving him a smile before walking away. Class dismisses for lunch ten minutes later and the cacophony of sliding chairs fills the room as all the boys rush to be the first in line. She loses Blaine in the shuffle of uniforms.
His paper is the first she reads. The Anderson boy is somewhat of an enigma to her; outwardly he's respectable, as polite as anyone can expect a seven-year-old boy to be and he's rarely too messy. But she'll often catch him staring off into space when she's teaching, or fixing his attention on other boys without somehow realizing that he is.
Blaine's handwriting is surprisingly neat, though it often spaces out from the lines and jumbles in with other letters, but she never has a problem deciphering his assignments, something she can't say for most of the class. She reads the paragraphs a few times, confused, before realizing that Blaine hasn't really written anything.
His paper is the remembered stanzas of various songs that he's somehow pieced together to make relative sense to the original assignment. She sighs.
Ten years later and Blaine hasn't changed. He hates English assignments that involve a word processor and his own imagination. He doesn't really know what he wants to do with his life, but he does know that as soon as he graduates high school he's moving to California.
That's what he tells himself for ten years, all the way up until he meets some lost-looking boy wearing the wrong outfit to be the student that he claims to be. Blaine can almost see a soft golden halo above this boy's well-coiffed hair and arcing white wings behind him. He's gorgeous but broken.
This boy, Kurt Hummel from McKinley, changes everything.
Since transferring from Westerville Central to Dalton, Blaine's built up an outer armor of wide smiles and faked confidence. He's not ridiculed here for joining the Warblers like he was at Central for joining their glee club. He can walk down halls without that coil of tension waiting, spring-loaded, in his body.
At school, at home, Blaine is polite and well-mannered, always saying "please" and "thank you." He uses the correct fork for his salads and entrees. He delicately places a napkin over his lap before each meal and he never talks back to his father even when his father is wrong.
In his room, in the shower, when he's alone it's rare to see Blaine not crying.
He cries because he's different. He cries because everyone expects him to be this perfect archetype that he's never been nor will ever be. He cries because he misses his old friends at Central and is too afraid to go within distance of the school, afraid he'll see the familiar letterman jackets and remember the feeling of knuckles slamming into his skin, hard kneecaps moving upward into his stomach and knocking the air from his lungs, the earthy taste of dirt mixed with the penny taste of blood.
Blaine's known that he likes boys since grade school. That early type of acceptance should lead to him being more comfortable in his body, but it only ever led to problems. He dressed differently than the other boys at Central. He rolled up the bottoms of his dark-wash skinny jeans and always had a different colored cardigan for each day of the week. He kept his hair semi-long and messy and deep-conditioned to perfection.
He sang showtunes and top forty and danced awkwardly and he was himself.
Only… "Himself" wasn't what the other kids wanted him to be.
He cut his hair after the last dance he attended at Central. He hid all of his cardigans at the back of his closet and dumped his jeans into a wicker basket and shoved it behind a pile of blankets. He took his dad's credit card and bought surplus of what they'd require at Dalton. Hair gel became something of a comfort for him, like he was unbeatable and tough and nothing—hurtful words or glares or insults—could get through to him.
When he first transferred he was still healing from the Sadie Hawkins dance. His ribs were still slightly sore and the bruises were slowly fading, but no one stared at him with contempt or threw cutting words at him as he walked to his classes. At Dalton he was finally safe to be who he wanted to be and do what he wanted to do.
He could be himself again.
It wasn't long before he became happier than he could ever remember being and by the end of his sophomore year he'd gained enough status in the Warblers to make him lead soloist when the new term started up the following September. Slowly his cardigans and jeans intermingled with the rest of his casual attire again. He smiled more and cried less. He went out on Fridays and threw himself into his schoolwork again.
Despite all of this, Blaine is very much an actor when he sings. He chooses each song as carefully as he chooses what he's going to say next. When he leads the Warblers he lets himself fall into the shoes of the songwriter, lets each and every word flow through him and out his mouth. He's still very much closeted not with his sexuality but with his emotions.
He's never been fully able to speak what he feels. Words don't come to him like they should, like he wants them to, even though he can rattle off the latest college football stats as well as tell you what colors of lipstick are hot for the season or not.
Blaine runs his thoughts through his head, over and over and over. He never opens his mouth unless he knows that what he's about to say is pertinent and correct. He doesn't like speaking before thinking, and he's never really been an impulsive and hasty person, but then again, maybe he's never had a reason to be.
When it comes to feelings Blaine gets uncomfortable and it's like his tongue swells up and his body freezes up and he's left a yammering mess. He can't think these things through because they're too natural and frightening and he gets antsy. As he's gotten older and seen the world for what it really is song becomes more than just a means to express what he doesn't have words for.
After being beaten up and chased away from friends Blaine withdraws further into himself. Before, when he'd been at least willing to talk a little bit about his feelings when pried, he now refuses. The insults spit at him as he was pummeled by fists and boots float through his mind, and a small rational part of him knows that who he is isn't wrong, that it's okay to like boys and be open about it.
Blaine can't believe that small part of him because he's been told since he was little that it wasn't right. Using someone else's pain or happiness is his only method of communication for those messy things like emotions. He took to singing because songs always provide the right things to say and know just when to pick you back up from where you've fallen.
Blaine doesn't realize it yet, but he's fallen harder for Kurt than he ever has for anyone else and not even song can save him now.
Kurt, who sticks through it with him after he's chased out of his own school by a closeted bully with a thing for Kurt's lips and the gall to spew death threats, who transfers to Dalton because Blaine is there and its zero-tolerance policy is the breath of fresh air in the stagnant, humid room of his life, he's the song that Blaine will never be able to sing.
Though Blaine texts him Courage and spins this monologue about not running away and staying true to yourself, Kurt is honestly a hell of a lot braver than Blaine has ever been in his life. He ran because he couldn't handle things and his dad didn't care enough at home to go down and talk to the school's principal.
His dad has never cared, but there was always Blaine's mom. All that Blaine has left of her now is a magazine subscription to Vogue that he fills out year after year with her name still on the subscription window. His favorite cover is the one that the French beauty Marion Cotillard did.
Ironically, it turns out that it's Kurt's favorite as well. Blaine falls even harder, though he still doesn't realize it yet. Now they've progressed to politics and fashion and the newest episodes of America's Next Top Model for the both of them, Grey's Anatomy for Kurt, and House for Blaine.
Kurt talks about scarves. Blaine talks about football. They're the best friends they each wish they had growing up.
Blaine sings a suggestive song for the blond-haired Jeremiah and Kurt watches. Blaine isn't even sure if the song is the correct choice but he just wants Jeremiah to like him back and not think of him as the naïve virgin that he really is. Blaine pretends like he knows what he's doing but he rarely does.
It's a disaster and the words aren't Blaine but he somehow finds them fitting, finds the suggestive tone perfect for what he (thinks) he's trying to get across.
Jeremiah gets fired and Blaine is again reminded that he doesn't know what the hell he's doing no matter how hard he pretends. Kurt only looks at him with an unreadable expression and sighs.
When the Warblers sing for a special Valentines Day event at Breadstix Blaine catches Kurt's eye as he sings I love you.
Accidental or intentional, Blaine doesn't know, but he does catch Kurt's blush and the way he fumbles over his part in the song and can't look Blaine in the eye for the rest of the performance.
Blaine feels stirrings of things he's never felt before.
He doesn't talk to Kurt, though. He acts like nothing's changed and maybe nothing does. He kisses Rachel Berry while drunk and finds it kind of nice. Bisexuality wouldn't be so bad, he thinks. It means he's at least half-normal.
I am normal, he angrily tells himself when those words run across his mind. He grits his teeth and takes a few Tylenol to try to tone down the hangover headache and presses the cold water bottle against his throbbing forehead. Being gay is nothing to be ashamed of.
Kurt's words when he tells him about his impending date with Rachel after the phone call crack his façade a little and it fucking hurts. Kurt is sitting there, blue-gray eyes narrowed and his mouth set in a thin line. His eyebrow is arched up in that perfectly disbelieving and haughty way that draws Blaine's attention to it every time.
How could Kurt be one of those people? Blaine had thought, with his similar though quite tamer past, that Kurt would understand his internal struggle to truly be at peace with who he is despite his father's chilly silence and the death of the one person he knew would always love him. He storms out of the Lima Bean and angrily pulls his car keys from his coat pocket and wonders why everyone thinks he's this perfect kid.
Then Pavarotti dies unexpectedly and Kurt's rightfully upset. All the Warblers are. They let Kurt sing a woeful rendition of "Blackbird" and Blaine watches him, follows the paths of tears as they trail down Kurt's face and catch in the light. His voice is high and clear and absolutely breathtaking like usual and suddenly it's only them in the room. No Warblers, no music, just him and Kurt and white noise in the background.
It's like everything has gone from 280P to 1080P.
Blaine's eyes widen and his breath and heart stop for a second and oh.
There he is.
The first time that Blaine confesses anything to anyone since he began high school is with Kurt. Kurt, the perfectly gorgeous and equally-as-broken boy that Blaine now realizes he's loved since the moment their eyes first met. It's a damn cliché but Blaine loves it, loves Kurt.
He has no music, no words written in someone else's heartache and drowned in their tears when he sits down next to Kurt. He has only the unending train of thought running across his mind and this is terrifying. Blaine is truly scared for the first time since transferring and it's not even for the same reason.
When he speaks, unscripted, it feels funny in his mouth, like cotton balls. He takes Kurt's hand and it's warm. Though they've held hands before, this is entirely new. Kurt stares down, eyes wide, and it's like he knows, too. Blaine stumbles over his words, forces them out several times over before they go hiding back like groundhogs.
He kisses Kurt and Kurt kisses back.
Blaine sits back in his seat, flush high on his cheekbones and hands shaking with adrenaline. He breathes out a shaky laugh, looking at the table and the various jewels Kurt's been gluing to Pavarotti's casket.
They kiss again, Kurt leading this time, and Blaine has never felt so right.
Slowly he opens up again, uses song less and less to express himself and performs solely for fun. He holds hands with Kurt and kisses him, finally tells him that he loves him and realizes that he barely thought it over, that the words slipped out as Kurt took a break from talking to take a sip of his latte. It was hasty and spur of the moment and Blaine doesn't want to change a thing.
He can't change anything because Kurt already has.