There's a screech of brakes and the swerve of headlights and everything goes black – dark, dark, dark.
And it begins again.
If you asked Blaine Anderson where he'd thought he'd be when he was sixteen the answer wouldn't be New Orleans, Louisiana. He is in New Orleans, Louisiana, though, teaching kids as young as three to play an array of instruments. It's a job that's often an uphill battle – between funding for public schools being awful and the tedious (yet fulfilling) difficulties that lie in teaching very young kids with short attention spans how to learn music, there are often times Blaine finds himself in his small, closet-like apartment off of Decatur in the French Quarter crying, just crying – feeling trapped and stuck.
He perseveres, though, because that's who he is. That's who he's always been.
On weekends he stands in the corner of Jackson Square playing his beaten up old acoustic guitar or violin next to Willis Abraham, the scruffy hipster artist who wears clothes straight out of a 40's film and sells prints of his hand-drawn work – mostly ghostly images of forgotten mausoleums and post Hurricane Katrina abandoned buildings.
Blaine usually plays mournful ballads while Willis smokes and revels tourists with his bohemian looks and native New Orleans yat accent. Sometimes Willis will make up lyrics to his songs.
They've never really ever spoke, not ever.
At the end of the night Blaine goes back to his apartment, alone, greeted only by Macy, the stray cat that'd followed him in one night and had proclaimed his place hers.
Sometimes Blaine thinks of the past. Most times he doesn't.
Once a long time ago Blaine Anderson lived in Lima, Ohio and went to a private school named Dalton Academy. He had friends. He had a singing group that reveled in his talent, who liked to see him happy, just as much as he liked making them happy.
Once there was a boy named Kurt Hummel that he'd met on the winding staircase at Dalton Academy, tall and handsome and utterly the worst spy Blaine's ever seen.
There's something about him, though. There's always been something about him.
Blaine Anderson lives in Brooklyn, New York, as a freelance writer and part-time bartender in Park Slope. The neighborhood is mainly young successful families, usually artist-types – painters, writers, musicians.
The bar is called The Backwoods and it sort of has a cabin-like theme, complete with a working fireplace and deer antlers on the walls. His co-workers are all plaid wearing, beard donning hipsters (more than one of which wear glasses that they don't need) but he likes them well enough and he makes enough in tips during the weekend pretending to be too-cool for society that he doesn't need a day job.
During the week he retreats to his small one bedroom apartment and sits at an open laptop and forgets how to write, staring at a blank Word document, wishing for the words to come. Sometimes he chain smokes and pretends he's going to quit the next day.
Usually he gets nothing done.
This Blaine rides the subway into Manhattan sometimes and walks slowly down East Fourth, looking for a familiar face or a ghost-like apparition. He thinks he sees him, sometimes, even though there's no such thing as Kurt Hummel, not anymore.
Blaine Anderson hates to see Kurt Hummel cry because Kurt – he's just so pretty and stunning and even though he's gorgeous even when tears are dripping down his face, it hurts to see Kurt in pain.
There's a boy out there – a boy named Dave Karofsky – that's doing this to Kurt; that's taking away the spirit in Kurt's eyes every day. It lights a fire under Blaine, makes him want to find this boy and ruin him the way he's ruining Kurt, makes him absolutely livid and dark. Blaine doesn't like what Karofsky is doing to Kurt and he also doesn't like what he's doing to Blaine. Blaine's never hated someone so much, not ever.
He sits with Kurt on his bed, sometimes, and his palm itches because he wants to take the other boy's hand in his, wants to run a thumb on Kurt's wrist and feel his pulse fluttering under his finger. He doesn't though – just settles, shoulder-to-shoulder with Kurt, pressing gently, and listens to him cry, wishing Kurt's tears burnt out the anger in his heart instead of ignited it just so.
In Los Angeles, California, Blaine Anderson is the newest assistant to be promoted to agent at CAA, the most well-known and cutthroat talent agency in the entertainment industry. He's worked about 60 hours a week for two years to get here, and he finally has his own desk, his own assistant, his own clients.
Blaine – he drives a BMW and has the newest Apple gadgets and listens to people being cut down and pushed aside everyday. He watches untalented people make millions of dollars; sometimes even makes his commission off of those very same people.
If he's not in the office, he's at the gym, and if he's not at the gym he's networking – getting drinks or dinner or both. He's attending premieres and award shows and talking up his clients to the studios and the biggest screenwriters and directors, hoping to get an edge.
On the outside, he seems well-adjusted, confident and straddling the line between successful and arrogant.
What most people don't see is that he goes home to his large home on the hills with the beautiful overlook to nobody, not even a pet to greet him at the door. Usually he eats dinner with his television as company and needs at least three glasses of wine to get to sleep.
Blaine Anderson was a lying liar who lies when he basically insinuates that he doesn't have feelings for Kurt Hummel, because it's absolutely the complete opposite.
He always had the feelings, and he always knew it. He just didn't know what to do, didn't know how to handle it. Blaine – he's not good at handling feelings, not good at being aware of himself and what everything means.
Kurt's like this beacon – this giant star that shines so brightly that Blaine can't even get to sleep, sometimes, if he's thinking about him. Kurt has a quiet strength and a strong will and he's compassionate, stunning and the most talented person Blaine's ever met. He's Blaine's best friend, always there to offer words of encouragement and praise or a quick humorous quip.
Blaine's been watching Kurt's fire die out at Dalton, watched his spirit get dimmer each day. Kurt's safety is important, of course, but Kurt's not Kurt without McKinley, not really. The only time he ever sees a glimpse of the old Kurt is when they're alone together; sitting side by side studying or having a friendly argument at the Lima Bean.
He knows something will have to break, eventually.
Sometimes, Blaine – he stands on Bourbon Street in the middle of the craziness, all by himself, and thinks about times past, standing stock-still as drunk tourists bump into him with giant footlong neon-colored plastic bottles filled with alcohol. Sometimes he sits under his favorite tree in Jackson Square, colored plastic beads dripping off its' branches like frozen colored rain.
One day, Willis finally talks to him in that lilting voice of his; talks about his art, New Orleans, his childhood. Blaine listens, but turns down Willis' offer for dinner as they pack up to part ways and goes home to Macy who meows at his return.
The next day he finds a sketch in his mailbox – a drawing of him playing violin. It's beautiful, really, but Blaine can't stop looking at the drawing's eyes – they're just sad – so sad.
He spends the next twenty minutes staring in the mirror, wondering if that's really what everyone sees.
Sometimes, Blaine – he rides the subway in and out of Manhattan on a loop – all the way uptown, into Queens and then back. It usually takes two hours if he's on an express or three if he's not, but he sits in the third car back in the handicap seat (unless someone needs it) and he puts his headphones in and tries to remember what his own voice sounds like.
Sometimes he stands in Times Square at midnight, letting the brightness envelope him, drunken tourists stumbling back to their hotels after nights out. Sometimes he does rush for a random Broadway show, whatever's available, and sits in his mediocre seat and tries to get lost in the characters and the music and the words of the actors. He only sometimes succeeds, if he's lucky. Mostly he daydreams through the performances but stagedoors anyway, getting each Playbill signed by whichever actors will sign to add to a growing collection in a box under his bed.
New York is all lights and brightness and it's impossible to feel alone even when you're alone. Blaine likes/loves/hates it – all at once. It's always a reminder that there are eyes everywhere, but a lot of those eyes don't particularly care, not at all.
Sometimes Blaine – he'll sit in Washington Square Park or Central Park and people watch; eyes lingering on the couples walking hand and hand and the young families happily spending their days together.
Most of the time, though – he sits in his railroad apartment and smokes and stares at his blank screen and thinks about what could have been, once.
Sometimes, Blaine – he'll go to Hollywood's biggest hotspot with his coworkers and he'll talk a lot – a lot a lot a lot – and won't remember what he talked about the next day – mostly because nothing said is ever really worth anything, not at all.
Sometimes he'll sit at La Mill in Silver Lake with A-list celeb of the moment, drinking fancy breakfast drinks and over-priced egg whites and telling them how amazing he thinks they are (he doesn't) and how much he believes in them (not at all).
Sometimes he'll read scripts that he thinks are shit but tries to sell them anyway, signing the dotted line when the money rolls in, knowing the film will tank at the box office.
Most times, though – most times he takes long drives and thinks about that sharp turn on Mulholland and what would happen if he accidentally drove too fast one day. Most times, it looks like the way out.
Only most times, though.
Blaine Anderson's never known anyone like Kurt Hummel before and he never will again.
He's sixteen when he gets his head on straight and kisses him in the senior study room as Kurt decorates a tiny casket for a canary. They spend the next two years learning one another inside and out – all quirks and habits, positive and negative. Blaine kisses the insecurity out of Kurt, uses his hands to map out every lovely thing he adores about Kurt and his body, worships him cheesy love lines and fierce kisses and ridiculous dates. They're not perfect; no one ever says they are – but they work, and they fit. They find a quiet contentedness in one another that some people never find, not ever. They settle into one another's bones; become part of one another in a way that few couples ever succeed in doing.
While their friends are planning next weekend, Kurt and Blaine are planning forever. It's a disconcerting realization at first, not for the boys themselves but for their friends and family, people who are used to teenagers being typical teenagers.
Blaine and Kurt, though – they're not concerned. They don't even blink an eye, not really, not even when the topics turn to weddings and the maybe-eventual kids and careers and where they're going to live.
"New Orleans," Kurt says one day, bundled up warm in the coziest sweater Blaine's ever seen. He can't help but sidle up to him, nudging his head against Kurt's arm until Kurt gets the picture and wraps the arm around his shoulder. Blaine slides one arm around Kurt's waist and tucks it under Kurt's open button-down sweater on the other side, right under his arm.
"New Orleans?" Blaine asks, because it's such a random city for Kurt to consider. He looks up at Kurt from under his eyelashes and Kurt's cheeks are pink.
"I don't know," He answers honestly, "I saw a documentary about it on tv the other day. It looks beautiful."
Blaine leans up and kisses the underside of his jaw.
"New Orleans, if you want. Lots of history there. Vampires, too." Blaine teases, and Kurt rolls his eyes.
"Okay, Mr. Anne Rice," Kurt replies. He pinches Blaine's side when Blaine giggles at him, "Or – we could always do New York. We've talked about New York since junior year."
Blaine nods, "We could. But just because we had talked about it doesn't mean we have to go there. So – New York or New Orleans or -"
"LA?" Kurt asks. Blaine curls into Kurt a little more, thinking of New York, LA, New Orleans.
"LA could be nice. Lots of sunny days and the beach and warm weather year round." He says, imagining walking hand in hand with Kurt in LA under the palm trees.
Kurt sighs a little and Blaine looks back up at him, sees the slight smile on his lips; the softness around his eyes. Kurt looks down at him, too and their eyes meet. No words need to be said, because they know one another enough that wherever they end up, they'll be together.
They'll always be together.
In New Orleans, Blaine Anderson feels hollow a lot of time. In New York, Blaine Anderson unknowingly searches for what isn't there. In LA, Blaine Anderson hides, so so far away.
It happens the second week of their summer vacation between senior year of high school and freshman year of college and it's nothing more then a squeal of the brakes and a swerve of some headlights and everything's changed forever.
It's an accident of the simplest and the not-so simplest nature, because it's no one's at fault, not really. Mistakes are made and a teenage boy is gone, he and his boyfriend's dreams of forever shattered.
Kurt Hummel – he finds out by phone call by Mrs. Leslie Anderson on a Friday evening as he sits down with his family for their weekly Friday night dinner.
The last text he'd gotten from Blaine was an hour earlier.
It reads, New Orleans, New York, Los Angeles. Wherever you'll be, I'll be, my love 3
Someday, Kurt Hummel will move on.
Blaine Anderson, though, will always, always keep looking, waiting. Always.
New Orleans, New York, LA.