Disclaimer: I do not own Kurt, Blaine or Glee. Sadly.
Wonderfully overwhelming. That was Kurt's first thought after his initial day in London, sitting alone in a hotel room and trying not to question what the hell he was doing there. Well, he knew why he was there, technically. A fashion journalist sent to write about London: the new collections, the style, the atmosphere. But when he was stuck alone in a foreign country, listening to the alien sounds that echo from a city wasn't his own, he was unsure as to why this had seemed like such a great opportunity. In New York he was still pretty lonely, even with his assorted friends and the knowledge that he'd run into Rachel Berry at least once a week (she claimed this was accidental, he doubted it, even after five years of them being in the city), but here it was different. The Atlantic was a gulf separating him from everyone, and boy, he knew about feeling isolated.
Look at me, he thought. Moping here, in one of the greatest cities in the world. So much to explore, so much I could write about, and I'm lamenting the fact that there's no one here I know, like an angsty teenager. He wandered over to the window and gazed out. No stars, just neon signs and the faint orange glow of light pollution. Growing up in Lima meant he still wasn't entirely used to the sheer urbanity of huge cities. In his dreams, he could still see glittering lights in the sky, the ones that told him that one day it'd get better and he'd escape. Reminded him that he was strong, no matter what was thrown at him. Those innocently twinkling stars had gotten him through so much. Time to get back into that mindset.
Twenty minutes later he was walking down the street, in a new outfit, feeling slightly better, if only because he was now back in control. His purposeful attitude juxtaposed nicely with the fact that he had no idea where he was or where he was going. It was time to take a gamble. Living the safe life had gotten him here, still alone five years after getting away from small town Ohio and its prejudices. He'd began to think that it was him, that he pushed people away. The ghosts of failed relationships threatened to take over his mind, but Kurt gritted his teeth, ignored them and walked on. Someone in this stupid city must feel like he did. Someone must know how freaking hard this was.
As tears tried to fill his eyes, he spotted a club up ahead. Blinking, he pushed open the door. Inside was dark and loud, full of people drinking, laughing, dancing. Having a good time. Kurt elbowed his way through to the bar, giving his best bitchy glare to anyone who wouldn't move. Always fierce and sarcastic, if nothing else.
"Vodka martini please," muttered Kurt as the bartender looked at him. He couldn't help but order his usual drink, in this unusual place. James Bond would have been proud, he chuckled to himself.
"Here." Kurt handed over the unfamiliar money before retreating to the emptiest corner he could find, settling at a table sticky with spilt drinks. The throbbing music was repetitive and strangely relaxing. It was fine to be lost in a sea of thoughts and eventually, alcohol. Irrationally, he felt like everyone knew he wasn't meant to be here, that he was of place. Not because he was alone. Because it felt like he screamed 'Outsider'.
" 'scuse me," a voice came from behind him. "Can I sit here? There's nowhere else."
"Sure." Best offer I've had in ages, Kurt thought deprecatingly.
"Thanks." The voice was warm, but there was something else there that Kurt recognised, beyond the shouting that the club necessitated. Something a little uncertain. He lifted his head to see a guy, around his age, sitting down at the table. Wow, he thought, that guy doesn't look half bad. Dark hair (in a mess of gel and curls, the fashionista side of Kurt noticed painfully), puppy dog eyes, a whiff of stubble. Clothes weren't great, but not everybody was like him, after all. That's right, the voice inside his head reprimanded him, not everyone's like you, so knowing your luck, he's straight. Kurt shook away the voice and focused on the handsome stranger in front of him. The same handsome stranger who was staring back at him, a questioning look on his face.
"You here alone?" Could this guy see straight through him, or was this just polite conversation?
"Yeah," replied Kurt defensively. "Just having a drink."
"Same. Well, same on all the details you've given so far. For all I know, your next sentence could have revealed you're a superhero or something."
"Nope, just a journalist."
"Oh, the comparison ends there then, sadly. I'm a musician. Mostly. Not a full time job just yet." Shit, this guy talked a lot. "Blaine, by the way." He held out his hand.
"Kurt," he smiled as he shook it, trying not to let his bad mood get in the way of the only person who'd bothered to talk to him so far this evening. This guy was cute and apparently only needed one drink to become a bundle of chatter. Plus, it was apparent from his accent that finally he'd found something from home. If he could call an entire country his home. Kurt sipped his drink and looked at Blaine, who was gazing round the club with what seemed to be a sad expression on his face. "Blaine, you okay?"
"Wha-?" Blaine's head jerked round. "Oh yeah, yeah I'm fine. Just...a little out of place, y'know?"
"Yes, I do." Kurt felt a rush of warmth for Blaine the gorgeous musician.
"You got plans for tonight?" Kurt shook his head. "I'm playing at some place not far from here, somewhere a friend of a friend owns. Fancy coming to watch? I don't normally ask random strangers to leave their drink and hear my stuff, but you seem a little lonely. And nice. Scratch the lonely. You just seem nice."
Kurt laughed. "Yes, the monosyllabic answers I've been giving have really shown off my niceness. Yeah, I'll come. Not like this place is all that thrilling." Blaine gave an appreciative chuckle. "And as for leaving my drink…" He gulped down the last of his martini and stood up. "Sorted."
"Come on," smiled Blaine as Kurt followed him out of the club. "I know a short cut. Well, it's the only way I know, but I bet it's short." He grabbed Kurt's hand and pulled him hurriedly down the street, bounding like an overexcited puppy. Those eyes are very fitting, Kurt thought.
Not before long, they reached the venue. Blaine pointed at the door.
"I have to go around back, see you in there."
Kurt wandered in. The place wasn't massive, but was bigger than the venues where he'd seen musician friends back home try and make it. Maybe that was why this mysterious Blaine was in London. The things people, including him, would do for their careers. On stage was a pretty blonde girl singing folk songs with a soft voice and there was a fair number of people standing around or sitting at tables near the back. He bought a drink and moved closer to the stage, pondering on what Blaine would sound like. Glee Club and a love of Broadway had given him a deep appreciation of a variety of music, so he doubted he'd entirely hate whatever Blaine sang. When he'd taken that gamble earlier to go out and not sit alone moping, he hadn't foreseen this. It beat sitting in a bar drinking forlornly until he was drunk enough to believe he knew the way back to his hotel.
The girl's singing ended. Soon, a jovial looking man came on stage, waving at people Kurt assumed were regulars. "Next up, we have the acoustic wonder, Blaine Anderson."
'Acoustic wonder'? That was interes… Kurt's train of thought cut off as Blaine sauntered on stage, carrying an acoustic guitar, the scruffy look working for him in a way Kurt had never seen it work for anybody before.
"Hi everyone, I'm Blaine, I'm going to be playing a few songs for you tonight." He smiled easily, looking more at home on stage than he had in the club earlier.
And then he started to play. Well, damn. That voice. Kurt was mesmerised, drifting away into a world that only involved him, Blaine and that guitar. Particularly during Katy Perry's old hit, Teenage Dream, when Kurt swore that Blaine was staring at him, even singing to him. His insecurities and worries were banished at that point, as he got caught in a web of clichés.
Before you met me, I was alright,
But things were kinda heavy, you brought me to life.
And all of a sudden, way too quickly, Blaine's set was over. The applause washed over him as he stood, amazed. What had just happened? He was Kurt Hummel, caught in a world that was all too real, used to loneliness, even in the city of his dreams, and now here he was, stuck in this foreign country, caught in a magical haze. This was his teenage dream alright, the dream of going to a big city and finding someone who made the world stop. He'd just never imagined it quite like this.
"Did you like it?" Blaine bounced over to Kurt, breaking his reverie. "I try to do a mix of covers and original stuff, keeps it interesting and means I get to play all the music that I love. Of course, you could hate all that sort of music, I didn't even think to ask before I invited you…"
"Do you ever stop chattering?" Kurt raised his eyebrows. "You were brilliant. Like, wow. Great."
"I expected a more eloquent review from a journalist," Blaine joked, winking at Kurt.
"I'm a fashion journalist, so 'wow' is a perfectly acceptable music review to me, thank you."
"Well, I'm glad you liked it." Kurt blushed at the softer tone of voice.
"I'm glad I came."
"So am I. You want to get a drink? Well, another drink?"
"Yeah, sure. Wait...Blaine, sorry to be nosy, but where are you from?" He couldn't help it. It wasn't just curiosity, it was a need to know how helpless the fact that he seemed to be falling in love with this guy was.
"Oh, New York City. I'm only over here because a friend got me some gigs and meetings with people, some kind of pity gesture I think." Kurt just stared.
"Me too," he whispered in disbelief. Maybe those stars were out there all this time, watching over him.