Title: Closed Off (5/?)
Rating: PG-13 (rating will go up, most likely)
Chapter Word Count: 4, 500
Summary: Ever since his mother's death, Kurt Hummel hasn't been able to sleep at night and shut the rest of the world out, just trying to forget everything. Yet, when a mysterious boy with hazel eyes moves into town everything becomes harder to avoid. Klaine AU
Author's Note: Trying to keep to my "One chapter a day" thing. I really should write out a proper outline for this story though, because I haven't yet for some insane reason... yeah, I'll probably do that tonight. Anyways, chapter five!
Kurt and Blaine's interactions were rather… well, they were actually normal, as far as Kurt was concerned. They really only talked in pre-calculus, and ever since the night when they talked in the snow they hadn't seen each other outside of school despite Blaine claiming that he really didn't sleep often, like Kurt. Regardless, they stuck to normal subjects, ones that didn't involve snow or spring or insomnia.
Even though the sun had started to come out the day after Kurt figured out the question and got his answered verified, the gray clouds came back halfway through the school day and the temperature dropped again. It started snowing later that night, and Kurt couldn't tell if the weather was trying to tell him something, since the first half of school he had actually been in a rather good mood, though it steadily declined just before lunch time for some reason.
He ended up brushing it off as a coincidence. The weather didn't really give people signs, after all, since all of that stuff was just rather ridiculous.
His views on snow didn't exactly change, either, especially because he got nailed in the face by a snowball from one of the idiotic jocks one morning two or three weeks after he and Blaine had talked in the park, when he was trying to make his way towards Rachel and Mercedes unharmed. It had been a shock, of course, as the snow melted against his face and slowly dripped down his skin, and he honestly had to bite the inside of his mouth to keep himself from screaming in frustration or just pure anger. Instead, he wiped at his face, gave the laughing jocks the best bitchy glare he could, before closing the distance between himself and the girls, both of whom had already began rushing over to him worriedly.
Needless to say, snow was still an absolute bother to Kurt, and he just wished that it would all melt away into water—spring. He wished that the snow would just melt into spring, so it could be warm and beautiful, and so the flowers could start to bloom once again. Of course, since it was still the middle of February, Kurt knew very well that such a thing wasn't about to happen, so he tried to walk into school with his two best friends as calmly as possible.
The girls talked about something—Kurt wasn't listening, he was too busy trying to mentally will the water not to drip too far into his shirt—and they all said their goodbyes at the proper times, turning into their respective hallways. Kurt walked as quickly as possible down his, his boots clicking against the floor as he tried not to wince at the squeaking of wet rubber soles that were all around him. The noise that was always there when it snowed or rained was yet another thing to dislike greatly.
Kurt opened his locker quickly, reorganizing everything much faster than he normally would have, before grabbing a towel that was hanging there. It was always good to be prepared, after all, and he wiped the soft fabric over his face before hanging it back up, reaching for his can of hairspray next. He promptly turned to the mirror that hung on his locker door and restyled his hair carefully, making sure there were no strands of his bangs left hanging in front of his forehead. Such things were just a nuisance, and Kurt honestly looked like a twelve-year-old (well, he thought so) when his bangs were styled properly. So, after restyling his hair he set the can of styling product back in his locker before grabbing his pre-calculus stuff since he only had three minutes until class started.
Luckily, he got into his classroom just before the bell rang, somehow. He sighed softly to himself as he walked over to his shared table, setting his books down and sitting as gracefully as possible next to Blaine, who was staring over at him questioningly. Kurt ignored the gaze as he started to organize himself, faintly aware of Mrs. Reynolds still standing at the door talking to another teacher.
"Almost late for class," Blaine finally stated, and Kurt had to resist the urge to roll his eyes when he noticed the teasing smile on his face, "that's not like the Kurt Hummel I know."
As per usual with most things that Blaine said/did, Kurt didn't know if he was irritated by this or just amused, since Blaine really didn't know him that well. They talked about music, homework, and other rather miscellaneous things. It wasn't like Blaine knew his innermost secrets and desires. Blaine didn't know the pain that Kurt felt constantly but didn't pay much attention to. Nor did he know that it was actually quite hard for Kurt to look Blaine in the eye because of his stupid hazel eyes.
"You don't really know me that well," Kurt muttered as he grabbed his pencil and set it down, finally turning to Blaine and staring him dead on, trying not to flinch while at the same time attempting to maintain a rather detached, cold expression on his face. Yes, it was immensely easy to talk to Blaine but that didn't mean that he was going to open himself up to a guy he still barely knew. Kurt was stubborn, and trusting someone wasn't something he was about to just… do.
Blaine's smile didn't disappear, much to Kurt's dissatisfaction, but it did get smaller and… more meaningful? More emotional? Why was Blaine even smiling at him like that? Kurt felt a slight edge of apprehension slice through him and he resisted the urge to bite his bottom lip. "You would be surprised at how well I might know you, Kurt," he said softly, and Kurt knew that his cold expression was ruined by the sudden confusion that filled him.
The confusion soon turned into irrational anger, and Kurt leaned slightly towards Blaine, trying not to glare, which he kind of succeeded at, "Listen, Anderson. You don't know me, nobody really knows me, so stop pretending that you do and stop pretending that you care. And, hey, I only started talking to you because I pitied you, the new kid, who didn't know anything about this insane school," that was a blatant lie, and Kurt actually felt a little bad about telling it. "Just leave me alone, because I'm not interested."
With that, the classroom door shut and Mrs. Reynolds stepped to the front of the classroom, saying good morning, and Kurt turned away from Blaine, trying to ignore the hurt expression that was definitely in his eyes. Instead, Kurt just turned his head and leaned it against his hand so that he wouldn't have to look at Blaine, concentrating on the lesson and on taking notes.
He wasn't going to feel guilty or bad for this. He wasn't actually affected by lying for once.
Well, that was what Kurt kept telling himself, anyways.
That afternoon, when Kurt got home, he couldn't sleep at all. Instead, he laid in bed and stared at his ceiling—okay, he glared at it, but whatever—trying to figure out why he couldn't sleep. It was weird, and it was something that Kurt didn't really want to think about because all he wanted to do at that point was sleep, because he knew he wouldn't be able to sleep later that night, just naturally.
A couple of hours of staring/glaring at the ceiling was what it took for an epiphany to occur in Kurt's mind. One that he wanted even less than being unable to fall asleep like he normally did. It was the singular thing that, maybe, Kurt's mind had been trying to avoid because it was just something he didn't want to think about whatsoever. In all technicality, no one would want to realize such a thing after trying to hard to push all things similar to it back…
Kurt Hummel was afraid.
He was afraid of letting someone really know him. He was afraid of those somehow knowing hazel eyes that simply gazed over at him and made him feel… weird. He was afraid of the smile that calmed him down for some reason. He was absolutely terrified of the fact that he actually felt like he could trust Blaine even though he didn't trust anyone in the entire world before Blaine just dropped into his life.
The thought of opening up to someone and being emotionally vulnerable was one of the most petrifying things Kurt had ever thought about. It was scary… but, somehow, there was something else that freaked Kurt out just a little bit more than anything else, even though he'd fiercely deny it if anyone tried to tell him that he ever thought about such a preposterous thing.
What if Blaine really never talked to him again?
With a soft groan, Kurt reached for one of his numerous pillows and plopped it on top of his head and he screamed into it, trying to release the high amount of pent up frustration he felt. It only got rid of a little bit of it, and Kurt was left lying there with a pillow on top of his face and his limbs sprawled out; his arms were above the covers, while his legs were below them.
It wasn't like the thought was caused by irrational paranoia. Blaine was ridiculously polite and kind and compliant. It wasn't hard to imagine him actually never speaking to Kurt again… and the thought was actually kind of unnerving.
He was pulled from his train of thought when he heard a brief knock one his door, and he pushed himself to sit up, letting the pillow fall into his lap as he blinked a few times, trying to clear the spots from his vision as his bedroom door opened. Carole stepped inside of his room, smiling at him, that same concerned expression on her face. Kurt really wished that that look would go away… but, still, he smiled welcomingly at his stepmother as she walked over to his bed and sat down on the edge of it.
Kurt knew it didn't take much for Carole to be pleased, so he figured that she'd just ask if everything was all right, and as always he'd lie and say that everything was perfectly fine despite the fact that it definitely wasn't.
"Kurt," Carole began, tilting her head to the side a little bit, "I heard you scream earlier." At this, Kurt blinked a few times, a little confused as to how his stepmother heard his frustration. "You didn't press the pillow down against your face properly, I'm guessing." Well, that explained that. "But, regardless… darling, is there anything you want to talk about at all? You know you can tell me anything, right?"
With a small sigh, Kurt shrugged his shoulders, "It's nothing, Carole. I'm fine. Just… I did something rather thoughtless today and I'm kicking myself for it." His stepmother's eyebrow arched upwards a little bit and Kurt took a moment, weighing his choices. He would either continue to brush it off as nothing or… he could seek motherly advice. The thought was rather painful… "I snapped at someone who didn't deserve it, and he's one of my friends, I guess… I'm just worried he won't talk to me again."
Carole nodded a little bit, before reaching over and patting Kurt's shoulder gently, "Well, Kurt… the only thing I can tell you is that you should apologize to your friend and explain what happened, especially if you don't think he didn't deserve it and if you're worried he won't speak to you again. Apologizing can do wonders… and, if he's really a friend, then he'll forgive you. I'm sure that you've already thought about apologizing," Kurt almost hit himself. How had he not thought about that? It was a basic thing to do… but, no, he had been too busy freaking out about other things, "But it would probably be a good idea to."
Kurt nodded a little bit, wanting to run his fingers through his hair, though he didn't. It probably wouldn't have hurt to do so, since he had just been lying down, but whatever, "You're right, Carole… it'd be a good idea to apologize to him… thank you."
With a small smile, Carole nodded and stood up after squeezing Kurt's shoulder gently, turning and walking out of the room, leaving her stepson sitting there, staring down at the pillow in his lap, just thinking quietly to himself.
For the rest of the day, Kurt went through his motions almost mechanically, absolutely stuck on thinking about how to talk to Blaine in school. If Blaine would even properly hear him out… plus, apologizing before or after pre-calculus just sounded really weird and rather stupid. It wasn't like Kurt saw Blaine outside of that classroom very often, and the school hallways were impersonal and crowded… but at the same time, Kurt didn't have Blaine's number, meaning that he couldn't call the other teenager or anything, which made everything just that more annoying to deal with.
After dinner, Kurt immediately went back up to his room and started on his homework, which he really didn't put much effort into, sadly. But, even with that fact, Kurt was pretty sure that he would get decent grades on the assignments and it wasn't really like a few Bs or Cs would destroy his GPA. He was too distracted to really completely concentrate, and he found it far too difficult to try to clear his head.
It was around midnight when Kurt could finally close his final book and set it down on the floor (one of the bad things about being unable to properly concentrate for Kurt was that he worked much more slowly than usual), and the rest of the house was absolutely silent, informing the brunet that his family was all asleep. He didn't feel tired at all, even though he hadn't slept at all since the night before, so he slid out of his bed and staggered towards his window, groaning a little bit because his legs and feet were both asleep, making it both painful and difficult to walk.
With a sigh, he pulled the curtain aside and glanced outside. It wasn't snowing, thank goodness, and from what he could see from the weak streetlights that were scattered along the street he lived on it hadn't spontaneously snowed the entire day. Footprints were still everywhere and the street didn't look quite a gross, because most of the slush was cleared off to the sides of the roads. He continued staring over his street before lifting his gaze to the sky, and he blinked when he noticed that the moon and some faintly shinning stars were visible against the dark sky. There were no clouds out.
Suddenly, he saw a yellow figure rise up from behind houses and trees, and Kurt rubbed at his eyes, blinking a few times in surprise to make sure that he wasn't just seeing anything. And, sure enough, there was that yellow figure flying around in circles in the sky… and Kurt was moving away from the window within a few seconds, letting the curtain fall back into place as he unbuttoned his pajama top and hopped out of his silk pants, changing into the first pair of jeans that he grabbed (they weren't skinny jeans, for once) and he blindly grabbed a white t-shirt.
He hurried down the stairs, only remembering after a few steps that he had to be careful with how loud he was, and after calming himself down he pulled on his winter jacket and gloves, forgetting about his scarf. Kurt eased open the door and stepped out into the cold night, shutting the door behind him and hurrying down the front walk.
Honestly, Kurt wasn't sure why he was hurrying so much. There was no reason for him to rush as much as he was, really, but the fact didn't register in his mind as he glanced up at the sky, still seeing the circling yellow shape that stood out brightly against the dark sky. Kurt didn't give himself a moment to over think anything and pushed his hands into his pockets, estimating the amount of streets he would have to go down as he walked down the pavement, his breaths rather short.
He estimated three streets, and tried to keep his breathing steady as he walked down his street and turned right, heading in the general direction that he swore he saw the yellow figure. His blue eyes kept glancing up at the sky, and he found the figure still flying every time he looked up, and the fact comforted him for some bizarre reason. It just did, and he didn't question it as he turned onto the street that he estimated was the right one.
As he did, though, the sound of chirping was rather abruptly loud, and he looked up to see a yellow warbler flying towards him. Kurt smiled a little bit—his suspicion was correct, why wouldn't he fly. Instinctively, he stopped walking and outstretched an arm, and then his index finger as the bird flew over to him and perched on his finger automatically. He looked at the bird, who was looking at him, and he brought his free hand to his mouth, taking his glove off with his teeth and then pushing it into his pocket, stroking the back of the warbler's head with his index finger gently.
Kurt continued walking down the sidewalk, much more slowly this time, smiling softly at the bird that was still staring up at him. Some part of his mind was telling him this was all really weird, since birds probably weren't supposed to be this nice to strangers, "Hello," he muttered softly. Yes, he felt a little weird about talking to a bird, but he ignored the feeling as best as he could, "My name is Kurt."
The bird hopped to the side slightly on his finger and chirped shortly, turning its head to the side a little bit.
"Pavarotti!" Kurt heard, the voice no too far away from him, and he tore his gaze away from the beautiful bird, who chirped a little bit again at the name. "Pavarotti, where are you?" There were footsteps, and Kurt saw a familiar teenager walking down a house's front walk, looking up at the sky and squinting a little bit, before lowering his gaze to regular eye-level. "Pava—" Blaine turned on the sidewalk and stopped abruptly when he saw Kurt standing there… with Pavarotti.
The warbler laughed—at least, Kurt thought that he laughed, but then again Kurt was extremely sleep deprived (more than usual, anyways) and a little stressed out. Birds couldn't laugh. It seriously did sound like Pavarotti laughed, though—and flew off into the sky, leaving Kurt standing there, staring after him until he slowly turned his gaze to Blaine, who seemed to have been turning his head to look at Kurt, as well.
They stared at each other quietly, neither of them saying anything for a while.
Blaine looked almost tortured; an expression that Kurt had never actually seen on his handsome face or in his perfect hazel eyes… and he turned away from Kurt, walking back up his front walk slowly, pushing his hands into his jean pockets.
Kurt didn't really know what came over him, but he followed Blaine quickly, not wanting him to walk away before they could properly talk. Such an action could have been perceived as rude, but Kurt really couldn't have cared less as he turned onto the Anderson's front walk, seeing Blaine sitting on the porch steps. They locked eyes again, and Kurt took a deep breath, walking halfway up to Blaine before stopping, not wanting to overstep his boundaries. "… Pavarotti is beautiful," he breathed, and almost literally kicked himself for saying something so thoughtless and random.
The dark haired teenager blinked once, twice, three times before glancing up at his pet bird, who was flying towards one of the trees in the large front yard, "Yeah, Pav is really beautiful," he muttered in agreement, looking back at Kurt within a few moments. "… Kurt, what are you doing here? I hope you aren't here to pity me any more than you already have."
Kurt winced a little bit at the somewhat cold edge to Blaine's voice, though he mainly just sounded sad. He knew extremely well that he deserved that one… and took a deep breath of the brisk, cold air. "I'm sorry," he blurted out, running his ungloved fingers through his hair, forcing himself not to pull it in the frustration that was suddenly threatening to overtake him again. "I mean… I was cruel, this morning, and I didn't mean any of what I said."
"… Elaborate," Blaine said, the word simple and clear, ringing through the air and Kurt tried not to grimace again. He had hoped that Blaine wouldn't ask him to elaborate but, hey, he owed Blaine what much, didn't he?
Inhaling much more shakily than before, Kurt pushed his hands into his coat pockets and stared over at Blaine was steady as he could possibly manage. "I'm not used to people wanting to know me. I wasn't lying when I said no one really knows me… and that's because people really don't know me. Not even my best friends Rachel and Mercedes know who I am underneath my bitchy, dramatic exterior. Not even my family really knows what goes on in my head when I'm not forcing myself to do things in order to have distractions. No one ever even claims to know who I am underneath it all… not to my face, anyways.
"You suddenly just… professed that you probably know me more than I think you do and the thought freaked me out a little bit," Kurt didn't want to say it scared him, "so I reacted the only way I knew how: I got irrationally angry and lashed out on you when you didn't deserve it. I wasn't just talking to you because I pitied you… I actually do find you extremely interesting. I don't really pity people, anyways. So… I'm sorry, Blaine, that I said those things to you, because I do, in a way, value your friendship or whatever this is between us."
Kurt figured that mentioning that he had this weird trust in Blaine that he didn't really acknowledge at all would just be weird, so he just stood there, his hands pushed into his coat pockets, continuing to find himself staring into those hazel eyes. After a solid minute or so of just intense staring, Blaine nodded and scooted over on the step that he was sitting on, and Kurt took that as an invitation to sit down, of which he accepted with a nod of his own before walking over and sitting down next to Blaine.
They sat in silence for a few more minutes, watching Pavarotti fly around the yard from branch to branch. Blaine suddenly stood up and turned towards the house, and Kurt only glanced over his shoulder once, seeing the shorter teenager walking through his front door. Kurt paid no mind to the fact, and turned back forwards, knowing that Blaine wouldn't just leave him out there. If it were anyone else, then Kurt definitely would have thought they were just leaving him, but he didn't at that moment, for some reason. It probably had something to do with the fact that Blaine's bird was still flying around, though.
Another several minutes passed, before Blaine was sitting down next to him again, though this time he was handing Kurt a mug, which he accepted. Kurt didn't even have to look down to know that it was a mug of hot chocolate, due to the smell that hit his nose, and he looked over at Blaine, who was sipping his own mug and staring out at his front yard as he had been earlier. "Thanks."
The silence between them wasn't awkward or tense, and Kurt was glad for that as he took a short drink of his hot drink, his eyes following the yellow bird as it flew upwards, arching and perching himself high on one of the trees in the front yard. "Don't birds hate the cold?" he found himself asking, keeping his eyes on Pavarotti, which wasn't hard since he was yellow and everything.
Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that Blaine nodded a little bit, holding his mug snuggly between his hands, "Yes. Birds normally have a rather large dislike for the cold… Pavarotti doesn't, though, for some reason. Plus, I don't like keeping him in his cage for too long, and he doesn't like being kept in for too long. I like allowing him to stretch out his wings and fly a little bit, preferably outside since there's not nearly enough room for him to fly around in my house."
Kurt nodded a little bit, looking back up at Pavarotti, who was simply flying in the air once again, "… Aren't you ever afraid that he's going to fly away some day and never come back?"
"No." Blaine answered so easily, and calmly, causing Kurt to turn his attention and focus it completely on his companion, and eyebrow raised curiously as he did so. "I know that Pavarotti can fly away and never come back… but I'm not afraid that he's going to do so. If he ever does, I'll let him go, because I don't want to keep him if he doesn't want to stay. I'll be sad if he leaves, but I don't want to keep him caged here."
For a few moments, Kurt continued to stare over at Blaine while Blaine stared at Pavarotti… until he slowly turned to look at the brunet as well. "How are you so… unlike everyone else in the world? It's like you're detached from everything else but in the best way possible."
A hint of a smile flitted across Blaine's face briefly, and he shrugged on shoulder, leaning towards Kurt and bumping their shoulders together gently, "I know someone who influences how I behave now. Maybe I'll tell you about that person some day, Kurt. We'll see what happens." A softer expression crossed his face, and Pavarotti flew back over to them, landing on Blaine's shoulder.
Kurt watched as Blaine stood up, taking the small warbler into his hands gently, murmuring incoherently to him as he walked over to the cage that was open off to the side of the porch, setting Pavarotti back inside of it. He smiled just a little bit when he noticed that Blaine kept the cage door open when he returned to the step, sitting back down next to Kurt.