*READ ME READ ME READ ME*
I hope this reached a lot of you who still have this on story alert. Nothing in the chapter has changed, but I didn't want to risk losing my entire story by posting an authors note chapter so I went for this option. As some of you might know, I tried to post a Scames oneshot some time back and it was promptly deleted because it wasn't technically Glee fanfiction. Understandable. But since then I've written a few more stories, and I now have four Scames fics in total that I really want to share with the Straight Camp readers who don't know about them yet. They're over on my Tumblr, which you can find under the username iyantojones and in the sidebar under fic. Two of them were just ones I wanted to write for the hell of it about a year ago (2012 I think?), one was a Christmas present (2013) and the other was a New Years present (2013/14). They officially complete my foray into the Glee world of fanfiction - I won't be back but I do have other plans for Scott and James which is why I wanted to keep them alive. Read and enjoy (and if you happen to be a Torchwood fan, I've written something like thirty Torchwood fics as well sorry not sorry go look at those). Also, come and say hi. I still love you all very much and appreciate what you did for my life when I needed something to give me hope.
ORIGINAL AUTHORS NOTE:
So, here we are.
I've been trying to work out what I'm meant to write here for hours now and I'm at a loss. For me, this is probably the hardest story to conclude because it was so much more mine than anything else - my own original characters, working with main characters that had very little development on the show itself. It's the closest I've come to my own story and it's been amazing.
But all things have to come to an end, and this is it.
I can't begin to say what it means to me to have you all here. This story went over a thousand reviews on the last chapter and is still gaining readers, even at the final chapter. I've received amazing feedback here and on Tumblr, and made so many friends out of this.
I hope it's been as wonderful an experience for you to read as it has been for me to write. Thank you for joining me in this world for so many months. I hope the final chapter does justice to what I have been aiming to create.
Also, there have been many questions about this story - whether there will be sequels, oneshots etc based in this verse for the most part. I'm going to put up an announcement on my Tumblr - relationsonadewymeadowoflilac - which will be linked under 'foraworldundeserving PSA' on the sidebar. Please check that out before writing any reviews with questions because they will not be answered. Questions on Tumblr after reading the announcement will be.
And on we go.
It was almost formidable and Jeff gripped his bag a little tighter, staring around the campus. He wasn't used to not seeing graffiti and cigarette butts everywhere, not used to the fact that these students apparently respected their school enough not to trash it. Blaine had told him what the general environment was at Dalton but Jeff had scarcely dared to believe it could be true.
Maybe it was.
Jeff jumped, spinning quickly to come face-to-face with Blaine who winced apologetically even as he pulled Jeff into their first hug in far too long. "Sorry, should've known better than to sneak up on you."
"It's alright," Jeff said, calming down. "I knew you were coming and… hey." He raised an eyebrow, taking in Blaine's uniform. "That actually looks really good."
Blaine smirked. "Don't let Kurt see you eyeing me up," he joked. "But yes, first stop is to get you your uniform. Your paperwork is all filed?"
"I think so. Where is Kurt?"
Blaine gestured for Jeff to follow him across campus. "He's a day student, not residential, so he'll be here as soon as he's finished doing his hair. Which usually means ten minutes before class starts. I'm surprised you made it this early."
Jeff swatted at the boy, rolling his eyes. "I don't take that long. Anyway, I do recall you saying seven and it is now seven fifteen. You'd think that relaxing on the gel would free up some time."
Blaine actually looked sheepish. "Yeah, I know. First night back in my bed and all that, kind of really didn't want to leave. You know the feeling?"
"Yeah," Jeff agreed, though for him the feeling had occurred quite some time earlier in the holidays. And it wasn't nearly as hard to get out of bed knowing he was coming here - the unknown was certainly many shades better than where he could have been going this morning. Considering his morning hadn't started with his alarm clock waking him either… "Oh, and Nick says hi."
"Of course he does. How is he?"
Jeff shrugged. "Said he's alright. Obviously it's weird not having his dad there and he and his mom have a few fences to mend but they're getting there - I've been watching it happen all summer, it's really quite something. And he didn't sound too worried about going back to school, more irritated than anything but - what?"
Blaine was shaking his head, smiling. "I've never seen two people fall in love so fast. And, I mean, the camp kind of screwed us all around and potentially ruined our summers but… well, seeing you two as you are, I can't regret it."
They smiled knowingly at one another for a moment before Blaine pushed open the door to administration. The next ten minutes was a whirlwind of information, paperwork, maps and uniforms that had Jeff's head spinning by the time he left the building again with Blaine laughing at him. "Okay, to put it simply, go to class, go to Warbler rehearsal once you've gotten in and make friends."
Jeff relaxed a little, tugging lightly at the tie around his neck. "This is going to take some getting used to. I'm loving this blazer though."
"The blazer is pretty awesome," Blaine agreed. "Now, we still have about half an hour before we need to be getting organized for homeroom so I'll give you a quick tour. Expect to get lost for your first month and - David!"
A dark-skinned boy walking by looked up from his phone and grinned at them. "Blaine! You're alive!"
They engulfed each other in a hug, Blaine laughing as he did. "I am. I'm alive and still madly in love with my boyfriend. How was your summer?"
"Same as ever." David pulled away, his expression softening. "They didn't screw with you too much in there?"
"They did," Blaine admitted. "It was pretty much hell, but a few good things came out of it. Speaking of which -" Blaine reached back and grabbed Jeff's arm, tugging him forward. "This is Jeff. We met in hell."
David held out a hand and Jeff took it slightly awkwardly. "Welcome to Dalton," David said, his voice suddenly official. "Are you interested in joining the Warblers?"
Blaine groaned. "Oh my god, one day in the Council and you're already starting this? Yes, he's joining but cut him some slack, he's just arrived."
"Sorry," David said sheepishly. "It's an easy habit to fall into. It's good to meet you, Jeff."
"Um, you too?"
Blaine laughed. "It'll be good to meet him when he's not in Warbler-mode, I promise." David rolled his eyes, disappearing with a smile and Blaine gestured for Jeff to follow him. "Now, I'll just show you the main blocks and we can deal with classrooms later. So this is administration, obviously."
Blaine continued explaining the different buildings as they made their way towards the main block of Dalton, the building that had both scared and awed Jeff upon arrival. "Creative arts," Blaine explained. "I mean, there's a few other classrooms here and there but this is music, art, theatre, languages… Jeff?"
"We actually did die back at that camp, didn't we?" Jeff found himself saying, staring at the building with a new reverence. "And somehow made it to heaven despite the whole gay thing?"
Blaine laughed. "That was pretty much my reaction when I first got here," he admitted. "We'll go in there a bit later, you'll obviously need to know where the choir room is and all of your other classes that are in here."
They walked past the block, Jeff giving it a longing glance before turning his attention back to Blaine. More and more students were walking past now and Blaine greeted a few of them as they continued their tour, waving at nearly everybody between pointing out buildings. Jeff took a small amount of pleasure in how many did a double take at the sight of Blaine's hair.
"And this is -"
Both heads shot up at that, recognizing the voice. Blaine's entire face lit up in a way Jeff had never seen before and then he was running, full out sprinting across the campus towards a boy who had just gotten out of his car, only having enough time to drop his belongings before literally being swept off his feet as Blaine grabbed him, spinning him around. Jeff was torn between giving them a moment of privacy and staring because this was what love looked like and this was exactly why their entire summer had been a waste of time because no force in the world would ever split Blaine Anderson from Kurt Hummel.
They were beautiful. It wasn't just Blaine who Jeff had always found attractive, or Kurt who turned out to be just as gorgeous as Blaine had always said. It was the way they were holding each other as if to simply reassure themselves that they were both there, how easily and perfectly they seemed to fit together - bodies, cheeks, lips, as if they were made to belong to one another. The way Blaine was wiping away the tears before they had properly started to fall from Kurt's eyes and the smile Jeff had never seen, that he knew was only for Kurt.
He took his time to join them knowing that they needed this. Apart from this being the first time they had seen each other in months, this had been one hell of a few months and they had faced struggles that would have seen any weaker couples collapse for good. The fact that they were standing here, clearly still desperately in love with one another and not letting anything change that was awe inspiring to Jeff and let him believe that maybe, just maybe if he played his cards right and wished hard enough, that he and Nick could have that too.
By the time he had reached them, Kurt and Blaine had lessened their hold a little but were still wrapped around each other, talking softly. Not wanting to intrude, Jeff waited back a few steps and took in Kurt properly. Even clad in the same uniform as the others, the boy managed to stand out - possibly due to the accessories he was sporting, definitely due to the fact that his natural beauty was like nothing Jeff had ever seen before. He could see why Blaine raved about him so much, that was for sure.
Kurt glanced over and his eyes widened. "Jeff?"
"Hey," Jeff said a little awkwardly, but Kurt was already unwrapping himself from Blaine to practically throw himself at Jeff. "Oh!" he said, startled, before glancing at Blaine in worry. But Blaine was shaking his head and smiling so Jeff hugged Kurt back, a little overwhelmed with the whole situation himself.
"It is so good to meet you!" Kurt finally said, pulling back and looking at him properly. "Oh dear, I might have some competition in you - just think, Blaine, another Dalton boy who knows how to style his hair!"
Blaine was suddenly smirking from behind Kurt and Jeff realized that Kurt must not have noticed Blaine's hair yet - gelled, yes, but definitely not shellacked back as it had been previously. "You mean opposed to those of us who cake it down with gel every day?" he asked innocently and Jeff grinned, shaking his head.
"That's right, babe. Some people know to let their hair breathe and -"
Kurt froze, turning slowly to face Blaine who was staring back at him innocently. He immediately turned back to Jeff, wide eyed. "Am I hallucinating or is he -?"
"We may have weaned him off it a little," Jeff explained. "A lot happened that month."
"I'll say," Kurt murmured, his attention now completely focused on his boyfriend again. "Excuse the PDA but -"
Jeff blinked as Kurt grabbed a handful of Blaine's hair and tugged him in, turning away to give the couple their moment just in time. And wow, if he had thought seeing other couples happy when he was single was difficult, it was probably worse now that he was in a relationship and couldn't be with the person right there and then to do exactly the same - and Jeff literally had to shake himself back to focus so he didn't slip off into a rather pleasant daydream and get caught out.
Judging by Blaine's smirk, he had been. "Don't you dare," Jeff warned as the boy opened his mouth. "I dealt with this for an entire month when you two were apart, you can't judge."
Blaine's expression softened. "I never would. Despite all the crap, I'm kind of glad to see how this summer turned out."
"You mean apart from us being apart for months?" Kurt asked, not quite innocently.
"Of course!" Blaine said quickly, going into damage control while Jeff took his turn to smirk. "And the time apart just made me realize how much I really do love you, Kurt, enough that I'm considering doing a Scott and James right now and screw the consequences."
Jeff's eyes widened. "Oh my god, really?" he asked at the same time. "You have one?" Blaine nodded and Jeff couldn't resist clapping his hands together in delight. "You have to!"
Blaine bit his lip, immediately looking nervous. "I don't know," he said edgily. "I mean, I really want to but I don't know if Kurt -"
"Kurt is right here," said person interjected, smiling a little. "Blaine, if whatever you have planned has to do with how much you love me, I'm kind of all for it… except if it's PDA of the excessive variety because Dalton is just not ready for that kind of 'demonstration of love' and probably never will be."
Kurt's words had the desired effect - Blaine snorted and relaxed a little, rummaging in his bag. "Okay," he said softly and pulled out the box, not even giving Kurt time to react. "You gave me something to remind me of courage, so I wanted to give you this. But it's not just courage, it's me and it's my promise to you that I want to be with you forever."
Kurt took the box but didn't open it, eyes still fixed squarely on Blaine. "I know you, I know this isn't an engagement ring so - what?"
Blaine gestured to the box and Jeff noticed his hand was shaking. "Find out for yourself. Go on."
Kurt cracked open the lid and promptly clapped a hand over his mouth to muffle the shriek that came out. "You mean it?"
"Completely. I promised I wasn't ever letting you go, this just gives you a solid reminder every moment of every day." Blaine pulled the ring out of the box and twisted it in his fingers, just enough for Jeff to catch a glimpse of the engraving.
Blaine swallowed nervously. "I was wondering -"
Kurt laughed, cutting Blaine off before he could begin what Jeff was sure was a well-prepared speech. "Blaine, I meant yes, of course I want it."
As subtly as possible, Jeff stepped back so he was out of the picture. Not that it really mattered - the two of them only had eyes for each other as the promise ring was slid onto Kurt's finger. Jeff couldn't help but imagine it for himself, how it would feel to be the one with the ring, slipping it on Nick's hand…
And promptly made himself stop. It was far too soon for him to even consider a promise of that magnitude, even if he felt so sure about it already.
Maybe next year.
For now, Jeff was perfectly content with being happy for Kurt and Blaine, for the fact that they were still standing, stronger than ever, completely focused on each other and their relationship.
"You can come back," Blaine called to him, both of them still smiling, and Jeff obediently returned. "You didn't have to go anywhere, you know. I think I was privy to most of yours and Nick's relationship milestones, except for whatever might have happened over the rest of summer of course, so don't feel like you're intruding or - oh, hold on."
The phone Jeff had gotten well used to seeing was out of Blaine's pocket and, after a moment, something else far too familiar had appeared. "Okay," Jeff said slowly, looking between Blaine and Kurt, "I'm used to seeing him with that look on his face when he stares at his phone, but usually he's texting you."
Kurt nodded thoughtfully and Blaine rolled his eyes, grinning as he looked up. "It's Alana."
"Honey, you're gay," Kurt said bluntly, but there was a trace of a smile around his lips, as if he were in on what was happening too. More confusion for Jeff, then.
Blaine laughed. "So is she. Definitely."
Curiosity piqued, Jeff stole the phone from Blaine and glanced at it. One second and he was unable to keep from grinning in the exact same manner as his friend, completely understanding.
Looks like I found that courage you were talking about, read the screen, directly underneath a photo of Alana and another girl, arms around each other with the girl leaning her head on Alana's shoulder.
"That's Lily," Blaine told them. "I finally got the full story out of Alana - they've been best friends for years upon years. Inseparable, even more so now. They're both going to the community college in Lima so I'm going with Kurt this afternoon to visit them. It was going to be a 'stop being stupid and get together already' mission but I guess that's no longer necessary. Thank god."
"You're welcome to join us," Kurt added. "Nick too."
Jeff smiled, but it was half-hearted. "I'll text him later and see what his plans are. He might not even go to school for the first day, I'm not sure. He didn't sound too thrilled."
"He'll be alright," Blaine assured him. "Nick's strong, you know that. And he's got a parent in his life to look after him - if things get bad, you can be sure that this time something will be done. Maybe you could recommend Dalton."
"I've been recommending Dalton all summer," Jeff said, sighing. "His mom said that he had to at least give the school another try before she made any decisions. Nick tried to convince her that he would just be miserable there, but after awhile we just let it go."
The two were silent for a moment, the look they shared unreadable. "Believe in him," Kurt finally said. "If things are bad, he'll get out. We'll all make sure of that."
A bell suddenly rang out - not unlike the camp bell - and Blaine and Kurt were in action. "Right, Jeff, you're with me, I'll show you where to go. Kurt -" Blaine broke off and kissed him quickly but softly. "I'll see you at lunch."
Kurt rolled his eyes and smiled sweetly at his boyfriend. "Don't be silly. I'll see you at your locker after first period." Depositing one more kiss, Kurt turned and headed towards the main doors, immediately drawn into conversation with one of the boys passing by.
"He's like a whirlwind," Jeff said absently. "Just sweeps on by and makes the world brighter."
Blaine elbowed him. "Don't sound too fond. That would be my boyfriend you're talking about," he said, but there was no heat to his words. "Come on, time for your first day!"
Jeff smiled but felt it falling flat as he followed Blaine into the school.
Dalton was amazing so far and Jeff knew, more than anything that he would be safe here. But he also knew that there was something missing and, until that changed, Dalton would never be everything he had dreamt of.
It took longer than usual to get ready for the day and that was really saying something considering Nick used to stretch out his time as long as possible to avoid school.
Going downstairs for breakfast and being met with only his mother was still a shock to the system, even a month later. It had made a complete difference to the rest of his summer - he could relax, take his time with breakfast, talk about his plans for the day and whether he was going to see Jeff or not. And Nick found the bond with his mother slowly reconnecting after so long of being almost strangers under the same roof.
But now it was the first day back at school and Nick had just finished tying his shoes, ready to go. He was going to be late but his mother had promised to drive him and explain the situation to the school - whatever that was, Nick didn't know, but he couldn't complain about missing the first few periods at all.
Nick found himself dozing off a little on the way, hardly able to complain since it was the result of texting Jeff late into the night and early morning plus calling him the second he had woken today. Of course it was difficult knowing he wasn't going to see Jeff - and on top of that, Jeff was going to a school where he was safe which, of course, was a great thing but also made Nick a little envious, wishing he could have the same. At least he knew his boyfriend was safe, being looked after by Kurt and Blaine and that the four of them were going to meet up the following afternoon so he could finally meet this mysterious and wonderful Kurt. That was enough to bring a smile to his face, even as he slipped further into sleep.
He woke to his mother shaking his shoulder. "Nick, we're here," she said quietly. "And I just wanted to let you know that I - well, I made a few arrangements with the school to make your year a bit easier."
Nick frowned, turned to look out the window and simply stared. "Really?" he finally asked, his voice barely audible.
"Really. If this is what you want."
"It's more than I ever dreamed I would get," Nick said before turning back to throw his arms around his mother's neck. "Thank you so much. But how did you manage this?"
"I might not technically be a Duval anymore, honey, but the name still throws weight. Now, come on, we need to finalize the arrangements with the principal."
Things flew by a lot quicker than Nick had expected - it was a huge rearrangement after all but somehow Nick knew that the school was used to making this kind of request work. Finally, Nick was shaking hands with the man, being handed a list of books to purchase and guided towards the student office for the next change required. And as soon as that was finished and he had said goodbye to his mother, Nick was just in time to join the others for lunch.
This was going to be the best part, he knew it.
As he walked, his phone buzzed and Nick fished it out of his pocket, smiling as he saw his boyfriend's name pop up.
I miss you already. How's school going? - Jeff
Smile widening, Nick quickly tapped out a reply, weaving to avoid a few students who glanced at him curiously but let him pass - another welcome change.
Very very different to what I expected - Nick
It only took a second for his phone to start vibrating madly and Nick pressed it to his ear fondly. "You are such a worrier."
"That's because I don't know what you expected," Jeff said quickly. "Well, okay, yes I do but I don't know if it's better or worse, please tell me things are better."
"They are," Nick said and heard a sigh of relief. "You really were worried about me, weren't you?"
"It's hard not to be. I mean, I feel so guilty that I'm here safe and you're out there -"
"Stop," Nick said firmly. "Do not ever feel guilty for that. You're in a safe place now and it's where you belong. Please don't ever doubt going to Dalton. And things are really not bad for me, in fact they're so much better than I ever thought possible."
He could hear the frown in Jeff's words. "Oh? How so?"
Entering the cafeteria, Nick saw the table he wanted and immediately headed for it. Two of the occupants were staring up at him, one in confused recognition and one dawning. The other had his back to him and a phone pressed to his ear. "Well a lot has changed," Nick emphasized as he drew closer. "In fact, I'm going to have to ask for assistance from some of the students."
Hanging up his phone, he waited until Jeff lowered his own in confusion before tapping him on the shoulder. "Excuse me? I'm new here, could you help me out?"
He couldn't move at first, couldn't even think to turn around because spoiling the amazing daydream he was having right now by realizing his boyfriend wasn't standing behind him would hurt too much after everything they had been through. But Kurt's eyes were wide and Blaine was grinning and they were both looking over his head at - oh god it wasn't a dream -
Jeff finally turned.
Dalton uniform. A stack of freshly bought textbooks. Neatly gelled hair. And a smile, impossibly wide; the exact one Jeff had fallen in love with on a hot summers day in the middle of hell.
And suddenly Dalton Academy had everything Jeff had ever wanted.
Nick dropped everything in his arms onto the table and held them out to Jeff who wasted no time scrambling out of his seat and straight into them. "Oh my god," he whispered, pressing his cheek helplessly against Nick's. "You're actually here. I never thought.. I hoped, I thought maybe she would change her mind, but I tried not to hope because I never thought - oh my god Nick!"
Laughing, Nick pulled back to look at him properly, the delight so clear in his eyes. "I didn't know myself until about half an hour ago," he explained, fingers stroking lightly over Jeff's arms as if he couldn't quite believe this was happening either. "But I'm here and I'm staying."
"You're safe," Jeff said breathlessly, lifting a hand to cup Nick's cheek softly.
Nick covered it with his own, rubbing his thumb over Jeff's. "I am," he agreed and leant in to kiss him and Jeff melted because there was actually nothing better in the world than kissing Nick.
"Oh, but they're so cute!"
Jeff began to laugh and Nick broke the kiss, raising an eyebrow. "I'll assume that was the Kurt we've been hearing so much about?" he murmured.
"Excuse me," Jeff said, raising his voice without looking away from his boyfriend, a smile tugging at his lips, "but I don't remember interrupting your moment."
"Don't be mean," Blaine told him, the laughter in his voice still audible. "We want to meet and greet Nick too."
Jeff stepped aside and watched Blaine and Nick hug, immediately followed by Kurt. To his relief, Nick also had the same slightly bewildered look on his face when accosted by Kurt - it wasn't just Jeff who had felt a bit displaced by it all. Though, to be fair, Jeff was probably far more confused by the whole situation because Nick was kind of here.
"Are you going to explain?" Blaine finally asked when they had all seated themselves back at the table, Jeff sitting as close as he possibly could to Nick. "I mean, this morning Jeff was all mournful and puppy-dog sad that you weren't going to be here -"
"It's true," Blaine said unapologetically. "And now you're here, and half a day late I might add. What's the deal?"
Nick shrugged. "I think she's been planning this for awhile. I was getting more and more annoyed as school got closer and she just kept telling me that I'd be fine. I guess she was right. But I'm staying here until I graduate unless I change my mind. Her words."
"Promise?" Jeff asked, the word slipping out before he could control it.
Nick turned to him, his eyes softening completely. "I promise. I'm here for good."
There was a moment of silence where they all just looked at each other, then Blaine laughed. "So, now what?"
Jeff understood what he was getting at - it was a hell of a moment and he felt like there should be more excitement, more to mark the fact that this was monumental. Yet, there they were, just sitting around together as if it were all completely normal.
And Jeff knew - truly and finally knew - that he could have spent the whole year and every year right up to graduation at Dalton, happy and safe and enjoying himself, but it would never have felt right. It never would have given him the feelings he was having right now with his friends and his boyfriend right here in one place.
The feeling that everything in his crazy, messed up world was finally right.
"Now we just… live," Jeff finally said, taking them all in. Kurt rested his head on Blaine's shoulder and Nick's fingers interlaced with Jeff's on the table top. They were all quiet, content, peaceful.
Everybody finally had what they needed.
"We continue on, we keep loving and living life as it is meant to be."
Blaine smiled, the light in his eyes brighter than Jeff had ever seen. "Works for me," he offered up, Kurt nodding his agreement.
"And me," Nick said softly by his side.
Jeff couldn't quite get the smile to leave his face, and after a moment realized he didn't want to, not one bit. "Then on we go," he said.
And on they went.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being here. It's been an honor and a pleasure to write for you all.