Well… here we are.
So, what do I say? First, thank you so much to Chasing Aspirations for running this prompt fic for me, it's been a wonderful two weeks of writing and having the opportunity to write some totally different stories that have floated out as a result of the words given to me. I do hope I receive my title (even if it only exists in this small corner of the fandom world!)
Thanks to everybody for reading and reviewing as usual. Your feedback always makes my writing a lot more enjoyable and rewarding :)
If this is the first story you've read of mine and you'd like to see another prompt based fic, go and check out Kiss on my page. It is up to Chapter 122, yes, but don't let that deter you! Go and flick through and see what you think :) and while you're there, have a look my other stories of course, which aren't prompt stories but oneshots and a few chapter stories.
Everybody was expecting great things for this one as it was the final one, which of course put the pressure on. Plus some other personal issues were messing with my brain, but I hope it lives up to expectations. Oh, and if you want the real effect, don't read it until Christmas, okay? ;)
Day 14: A dictionary, An empty wallet, Some kind of plant and festivity.
Kurt Hummel would quite happily admit to anybody who asked that he was a very materialistic person. In fact, it was almost a point of pride for him, as it made gift giving very easy. Just buy him a scarf or a gift card to a moderately well priced store and he was happy - as were Mercedes, Tina, Quinn and Rachel who always completed their yearly present buying traditions of adding to each other's fashion collection and trying to educate Rachel on how to dress in the coming year. It never worked.
As a result, Christmas shopping had never been an issue for Kurt. His father was always content with some kind of sport logo-ed outfit and, now that Carole and Finn were a part of the family, he could just buy two and give one to Finn. Carole would join the list of girls he had presents to buy for, and that was that. Simple.
Of course Kurt had forgotten one very important thing which came in the form of Blaine Anderson sitting down across from him at breakfast one morning and saying without preamble, "So, what am I getting you for Christmas this year?"
After he had finished choking on his coffee with Blaine staring at him in concern, Kurt managed to stammer out a less than coherent reply. "You… you want to buy me a Christmas present?"
"Well, that is the point of the commercial side of the holiday, to buy presents for the people you care about." Blaine inexplicably flushed at that. "Your friends," he added hastily. "Which you are one of. Of course. So what would you like?"
"I - uh." Kurt suddenly found his usual reply of something fashionable and expensive wiped from his brain. "I… don't know."
Blaine frowned at his answer but it was quickly replaced with a devious smile. "Well, I guess you'll be stuck with whatever I get you." He drained his own coffee, which Kurt hadn't even seen him pour. "Done your Christmas shopping yet?"
"I was planning to go on Saturday. I'd invite you but…"
Blaine laughed. "Yeah, not a good idea. I'll probably go on Saturday too but we'll take care not to run into each other." Glancing at his watch, Blaine suddenly stood. "I'd better get going, I said I'd run through some irregular verbs with Jeff before class."
As Blaine turned to leave, Kurt's brain finally gave him something to work with. "Wait," he called after him. "What do you want?"
"Surprise me!" Blaine called back cheerfully before disappearing out of the room. Kurt stared after him for a minute before groaning and banging his head on the table. He hated when people told him to surprise them - granted, he hadn't given Blaine much to work with either but somehow that phrase put more pressure on than any other. To surprise someone meant to give them something unexpected, something that nobody else would give… or at least it did in Kurt's mind. And he knew there was no way he would be able to add Blaine to the clothing list considering the attire he usually wore.
Of course Kurt knew full well that Blaine would happily accept anything he was given. To him, it was more about the sentiment behind it, not about the actual present itself. And that should have made things easier, but now Kurt felt a whole new level of pressure added - what kind of feelings should be communicated by the gift given? Should he tell Blaine how great of a friend he was… or how much Kurt wanted to be more than just friends?
Pushing the thought out of his mind, Kurt finished his coffee and made his way to class. He had plenty of time until Saturday after all, and a few days after that until Christmas Day itself. Presumably they would swap presents on Christmas Eve before going to their respective homes for the holiday, so Kurt still had time.
Saturday dawned, and Kurt was up bright and early to beat the crowds. He was a seasoned shopper and knew what the stores would be like when everybody else arrived around 10am. At 7:30, he was one of the first ones there and knew that the sales attendants, while tired, would be completely at his disposal. Christmas shopping for his family had been done earlier, so it was just his friends he had to worry about.
By 9:30, Kurt had already found presents for Quinn, Mercedes and Tina and was puzzling over whether buying Rachel a dress that she could pair with white tights would be encouraging her to do it or not. He finally decided to chance it - someone could always lecture her as they constantly did on her breaches of fashion.
Now, for Blaine. Kurt dug out his wallet again to check how much cash he had, fairly sure he had used up all of the money on his card for the other presents. Pulling it open, he blinked at the contents for a few seconds before cursing under his breath. It was empty. He vaguely remembered using up the last of his cash on the makeup set for Quinn and groaned. "What am I supposed to do now?"
Of course Kurt had an emergency credit card, but somehow he didn't think his father would consider buying Blaine a Christmas present to be an emergency. And Kurt wasn't due a payment from the shop until after Christmas, so he had to face the fact that, short of returning one of the girls presents, he wouldn't be able to buy Blaine something this year. With a sinking heart, Kurt left the mall, trying to work out what to do now. His only option was to go back to Dalton and work something out. Maybe Finn will lend me some money… if he hasn't blown it all already…
The trip back to Dalton was quick and Kurt was still mostly out of ideas, but his thought train derailed as he saw Wes and David lugging a large tree up the stairs of the foyer. "Kurt!" David called out as he caught sight of him. "Help us out?"
Kurt glance down at his outfit, deliberating. "I suppose," he said reluctantly, shrugging off his jacket and scarf and dropping the presents before joining David at the trunk of the pine tree. Together they managed to get the tree up the stairs and along the hall to the choir room, where Kurt was amazed to see decorations already in place. Clearly the boys had been working hard. The three hoisted the tree into the waiting stand and Kurt immediately brushed the pines off his shirt, making sure there was no sap on his clothing. "You guys really get into the festive spirit, don't you?"
"We love Christmas around here," Wes said cheerfully, dragging a box of Christmas tree decorations out from under the council desk. "Unfortunately we haven't been signed as a group to perform anywhere, but I think about four Warblers have their individual performances to go to. You know Blaine does Kings Island every year, Jeff and his family do a Christmas concert out at their place which Andrew also performs in, and David got himself a gig as well."
Kurt turned in surprise to the dark-skinned boy. "That's fantastic, congratulations!"
"Thanks. It's not big but it should be fun." David frowned, nodding towards the door. "Didn't you leave all your stuff downstairs?"
With that, Kurt was reminded of the issue at hand. "See you guys later," he said quickly before heading back down to pick up his packages as his mind began to whir over the issue at hand again. And even if I did have the money, I still have no idea what to buy for him, Kurt realized, chucking the bags on his bed and collapsing into his desk chair. His original intention had been to see if Finn was online but quickly realized that his literature homework was still half-finished and due on Monday. And since it wasn't exactly his best subject, Kurt knew it was priority. Honestly, sometimes I wonder whether I'm more fluent in French than in my native language.
Sighing, he grabbed his dictionary and began to flick through. "What the hell is a gimlet anyway?" he muttered. "Ghoul… gibe… giddy… gift… gi- hold on a second." Tracing his finger back up the page, Kurt found the entry he had skimmed over.
1 a thing given willingly to someone without payment; a present
2 a very easy task or unmissable opportunity
3 a natural ability or talent
The idea formed so quickly that Kurt was amazed he hadn't thought of it before. Though it wasn't something he could do for anybody but Blaine - everybody else would see it as an egoistic present, but Kurt already knew that Blaine would see it as it was. And it was the perfect combination of all three definitions that seemed to sum up the idea of a gift… so why not?
Grabbing his phone, Kurt prepared himself before calling the number he usually dreaded. "Rachel? It's Kurt. I… I need your help."
The Warbler party was in full swing and Kurt had to admit he was having more fun than he thought. Once the group got out of meeting mode and into the festive spirit, they were actually a lot of fun and the lack of alcohol meant Kurt didn't have to worry about watching his drinks. He could just relax, hang out with his friends and have a great time before heading back to Lima the next morning. Not that it was long since he had last been in Lima, considering he had spent every afternoon there leading up to Christmas Eve, right up until yesterday when Rachel deemed the present finished and handed it over.
Speaking of the present… Kurt idly fingered at the strap of his bag before seeking out Blaine. He caught a glimpse of the boy talking with Wes, David and a few others, clearly completely at ease and Kurt couldn't help but smile. He really is quite beautiful.
Blaine glanced up and caught his eye just as the rest of the group exploded in laughter, joining in himself even as he looked at Kurt curiously. Offering him another smile, Kurt nudged his head in the direction of the door and raised an eyebrow. Blaine held up a finger and nodded, turning to say something to the others. Kurt stood and made his way out of the room, leaning against the wall and forcing himself to take deep breaths. He had been so sure of his present choice before, but now that he was about to give it to Blaine, it seemed so vain and so… obvious. Why did I choose this?
The sound of Blaine's laughter was moving closer and then Blaine appeared in the doorway, grinning broadly. "You wanted me?"
Kurt couldn't help but smile despite his nerves - that grin was contagious. "I have your present."
"Oh, of course! Give me a second." Blaine darted back into the room, returning a few seconds later with his bag. "Here, or do you want to go somewhere else?" The uproarious sound of laughter echoing out of the room answered the question for both of them. "Student room down the hall?"
Kurt nodded and the two made their way down to the unoccupied room. Someone had left the fire lit so Kurt didn't bother turning on the lights, trying not to smile when Blaine left them off too and joined him on the couch. There was a moment of silence, then Kurt figured it was now or never. "So, um, I had no ideawhat to get you," he began. Blaine chuckled, nodding in agreement and Kurt relaxed a little. "All I knew is that I wanted it to be something that wasn't… stereotypical. Something more important… because you mean a lot to me, Blaine."
Blaine's voice was softer when he replied. "You mean a lot to me too, Kurt."
Kurt smiled in response, unconsciously shifting a little closer to Blaine as he reached for his bag. "I have to warn you, Rachel helped with this." Blaine raised an eyebrow. "It's safe, I promise, and it won't blow up because you're the 'competition'." Kurt raised his fingers in air quotes and Blaine laughed again. "So she did a lot of the selection from what she said was the 'Best of Kurt' as well as some others and… um. Pleasedon'tthinkI'mvain."
Blaine frowned. "What?"
Kurt wasn't sure whether his confusion was over not hearing the words or not understanding. Instead of replying - because he knew he'd ramble for days if he did - he simply pulled the small case out of his bag and handed it to Blaine. "Here."
He couldn't watch as Blaine flipped the case over and began to read the titles on the back. Of course he knew them by heart - Don't Cry For Me Argentina, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Defying Gravity, Rose's Turn, Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop, Gravity, Everybody Hurts, A Moment Like This and Here Comes The Sun. Songs each chosen with a memory or a meaning and all covered by Kurt, recorded and edited at Rachel's house over the past five days.
"Kurt… is this what I think it is?"
Swallowing nervously, Kurt nodded. "If you think that's me, then yes." And at that, the previously suppressed rambling came on in full force. "I know, I know how it looks, but you always told me how much you loved my voice and you'd totally buy a CD if I made one -"
"And you'd buy mine," Blaine murmured softly.
Kurt nodded. "Of course." He barely noticed the interruption or the way Blaine began to dig around in his own bag, too absorbed in his own words. "And there was that time you were really stressed and I started singing Everybody Hurts," he gestured to the name on the list, "and you said it helped. I guess… I just wanted to give you something more personal, and something useful. I hope. Um. Yeah, so that's - what?"
A case had been dropped into his lap, almost identical to the one he had given to Blaine except with a blue cover instead of black. With shaking hands, he flipped it over. "Teenage Dream, Hey Soul Sister, F-" his voice faltered as he took in the third track. "Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop, Stutter, Human, Don't You, To Have A Home, Not Alone… I don't recognize these last ones."
"I wrote them." Blaine's voice was barely above a whisper and Kurt felt unexpected tears prickle in the corners of his eyes. "It's the first time anybody will hear them too. I - I thought it was fitting that it was you."
Without a second of thought, Kurt dropped the case into his lap and threw his arms around Blaine who was hugging him back just as tightly. "I don't have the words, Blaine, I can't even…"
"I know," Blaine murmured in his ear before pulling away to look at him properly. Their faces were only inches away and usually Kurt was awkward about being so close to someone else's personal space but this was just right. "It's amazing how well we know each other to be able to do something like this and completely understand why."
And the look in Blaine's eyes was so penetrating that Kurt knew he had to know. "We do. And obviously we care for each other a lot." His change from about to for had slipped in without him noticing, but it was something else that was too right to change.
Blaine's voice dipped lower - clearly he had noticed. "We do," he agreed softly. "A lot."
Kurt couldn't say who had initiated it, perhaps it had been a joint move. At any rate, they were kissing, softly at first but building in passion and need and Kurt realized that Blaine had wanted this for a long time too, and they had both waited far too long to do this and staying like this forever was almost a viable option at this point.
Almost, but not quite, and they were reluctantly breaking apart a few moments later. Kurt stared into Blaine's eyes and tried to find something to say, something to sum up how he was feeling right now, something… but there were no words. Blaine apparently understood perfectly as he was pulling Kurt closer - somewhere along the line his arms had found their way to Kurt's waist - and Kurt leaned into him, sighing happily, resting against Blaine's chest and staring into the fire. After a few seconds he leaned up to kiss Blaine again because, well, he could. Blaine mirrored his smile when Kurt pulled away to resume his previous position, before leaning in to whisper softly in his ear. "Merry Christmas, Kurt."
"Merry Christmas, Blaine."
Thank you darlings! It's been a fun ride =D