Kurt Hummel was used to star treatment. Being a famous Broadway star he tended to be regarded with more importance and it was something he knew he'd never truly become accustomed to. In his mind Kurt was still that teenager attending McKinley high all those years ago.
Rolling up to the airport in a limo, with his bodyguard in tow, whilst paparazzi snapped photos from every angle would never feel normal. It was no different that afternoon when Kurt was catching his flight from Lima to London. Off to star in the new show of My Fair Lady at West End, Kurt had decided to return to his hometown as it'd be his last chance to for at least a year.
It had been really nice seeing his Dad and Carole. Kurt even had a good time with Finn and it was of course lovely to catch up with his old high school friends. He'd especially missed Mercedes a lot and although skype was great, it didn't really make up for the fact that they only got to see each other once every couple of years. But this was what Kurt had chosen, he was living his dream and he couldn't be happier.
Hating to draw more attention than usual to himself, Kurt had insisted his bodyguard, Jeff, was to sit a few seats away on the flight over. This meant the seat next to Kurt's was empty. After ten minutes and nobody claiming the window seat on his right, Kurt assumed the seat next to him was free. However minutes later a pair of gorgeous hazel eyes rushed to find his seat: the one next to Kurt.
There was then the awkwardness that this stranger needed to get to his seat by the window and here Kurt was, sitting in the way. The man started to head towards his seat at the same time Kurt stood up to let him get past. Their bodies met and Kurt had to say, he didn't mind being pushed up against a guy as gorgeous as the man in front of him. However it was not socially acceptable to cling to strangers so Kurt sat down, apologising profusely.
"No problem," the guy offered him a dazzling smile and a hand once he sat down. Kurt shook it and found that he held on a little longer than usual.
"I don't usually meet people in that way, but it's cool," the man joked, a soft chuckle escaping his lips. Kurt decided it was one of the most welcoming sounds he'd ever heard.
Kurt smiled. "Kurt."
Blaine's eyes twinkled in response and Kurt found it painfully hard to pull his gaze away.
This was crazy. Kurt wasn't the kind to stare at strangers just because he thought they were attractive, but Blaine was different. He wasn't that obvious sexy; he could somehow be described as cute, hot, adorable and smoking all at the same time which was rare to come by.
Kurt then reminded himself that the likelihood of this guy being gay was pretty slim. Still his gaydar hadn't made its mind up yet. Blaine was dressed well but not in an overly flashy way that screamed homosexual. His hair was a messy mop of curls instead of being perfectly styled and coifed like Kurt's. This was something that pointed to straight. But then again Kurt wondered how one would tame hair like that…
"Is there something on my face?" Blaine asked, pulling Kurt out of his thoughts.
Kurt froze. He'd been staring. Leering, really. He had to control his wandering eye.
"No, sorry," Kurt began, embarrassed, "I was just admiring your hair actually."
Kurt mentally kicked himself. Great, he'd already freaked this guy out and the plane was yet to take off. And his excuse of 'admiring Blaine's hair' could not have sounded gayer. It was actually a surprise when the man next to him didn't scream and attempt to move seats. Instead, that easy laughter bubbled out of him as he shook his head. "Really?" Blaine sounded amused. "You can have it. I cannot do anything with these curls, they are beyond unmanageable."
Kurt giggled. Wait, giggle? What was he, some infatuated teenager? He sure was acting like one. "They're not that bad!"
Kurt instinctively reached a hand out to touch a loose curl, twirling it in his fingers before he pulled his arm back like he'd been burnt.
"Wow, I'm sorry," Kurt felt his face turning an unattractive shade of crimson. "I'm sorta throwing myself at you. I have no boundaries of personal space," he apologised.
Blaine laughed again, making Kurt smile. "It's fine, men don't usually throw themselves at me. Not many other out guys in Lima."
Blaine's hand flew to his mouth as he realised what he'd just said. "Not saying you're gay! Just that I am." Both men were now blushing. "God, foot in mouth disease," Blaine pointed to himself.
Kurt shook his head. "It's fine." He then realised what Blaine had said. They played on the same team. Kurt couldn't help the small smile that spread across his face. He coughed. "I am too, I mean, it's pretty obvious." Kurt gestured to his flashy attire and laughed. He felt his grin widen when Blaine's laughter joined Kurt's.
"But I understand the dilemma with Lima. I grew up here." Kurt didn't know why he was being so open with this stranger but for some reason Blaine made him feel at ease. He felt he could tell the stranger his whole life story.
"Really?" Blaine sounded genuinely curious. "I thought you looked familiar." Kurt was shocked to hear that. He'd just assumed Blaine knew who he was. It was a regular occurrence for Kurt to get recognised. But it really seemed as if Blaine had no clue of Kurt's fame. The fact that Blaine was so interested in talking to Kurt without knowing he was famous made Kurt appreciate it all the more.
"You didn't go to Dalton did you?" Blaine asked, his brows furrowing as he tried to remember faces from his old high school.
Kurt shook his head. "McKinley High. But I heard Dalton is a great school. I probably would have loved it there."
Blaine laughed. "Trust me, there's less gay guys there than you'd think." Kurt couldn't help the giggle he heard escape from his lips.
"Wait, McKinley." Blaine paused, a look of deep thought etched on his face. "We versed them at Regionals one time."
"You were in Glee club?" Kurt's voice was a little too enthusiastic, but he couldn't help it. This guy was gorgeous, gay, friendly and enjoyed singing? Kurt wondered if he'd finally found the perfect man.
Blaine nodded enthusiastically. "Was my favourite part of high school. Were you?"
"Yeah I was. For my sophomore, junior and senior years." Kurt racked his brain trying to remember Dalton Academy.
"Were you in the Warblers?" Kurt asked, remembering an a Capella all boys choir they'd versed one time.
"Sure was. I miss it a lot," Blaine said fondly.
It was then that Kurt put two and two together. The lead in the Warblers was short, gorgeous and had looked a lot like the man sitting next to him.
"You lead them, didn't you?" Kurt asked.
Blaine nodded sheepishly. "I did get a few solos in my time, yes."
Kurt remembered the performance Dalton had given and how at the time he'd sat in awe of the amazing voice of the lead. "You are really talented!" Kurt cried, forgetting they were in a plane where he should keep his voice down. A few irritated stares were delivered their way.
Blaine chuckled. "Why thank-you, though I highly doubt you remember."
"No, I do!" Kurt insisted, "You performed a solo of True Colours and I was just captivated by your voice."
Blaine raised an eyebrow.
"It's not creepy that I remember that, no," Kurt found himself muttering as Blaine just laughed.
"Not every day you get complimented like that. So thank-you so much." Blaine's smile brightened. "I'm sure you are even more talented though as you guys did beat us at Regionals."
Kurt sighed. "I didn't get to showcase my voice in that competition, just sang back-up and swayed. The usual back in Glee. I could be tone deaf and you wouldn't even know." Kurt bumped his shoulder with Blaine's before realising what he'd done. He really needed to stop. Kurt wasn't the overly flirty type so he didn't know why he was responding this way to Blaine. Something about him just made him want more.
Blaine seemed unaffected by the shoulder contact and just grinned.
"You could always sing for me. But we're in a plane and that would probably really annoy some people." Blaine lowered his voice to a whisper and leaned in to Kurt, murmuring directly into his ear. "Especially that business woman in front of us who keeps turning around in her seat to give us dirty looks."
Blaine then raised his voice almost to a shout and threw Kurt a playful look. "I think we're being too loud!"
They both dissolved into giggles when the lady in front shot them a disapproving look.
'We are now preparing for take off.'
"I left my iPod in my suitcase and I don't feel much like reading so you're gonna have to put up with me for the next eight hours," Blaine warned, a friendly smile playing at his lips.
"That's fine." Kurt grinned. "I think it's gonna be a pretty enjoyable flight then."
Kurt instantly blanched, wishing he could just zip his mouth to avoid embarrassing himself any more.
Blaine smiled brightly. "I have to agree."
It was three hours into their flight and there was yet to be a significant break in Kurt and Blaine's conversation. Which was kinda odd, but in a good way.
Blaine was usually friendly to strangers but this was going beyond the customary politeness. He liked Kurt, maybe a bit more than liked, and was enjoying just getting to know him. Not only was Kurt one of the most attractive guys Blaine had ever had the pleasure of meeting, Kurt was also funny. And really nice. They just clicked. The past three hours had been spent chatting and laughing. And maybe flirting, Blaine wasn't so good at picking up on those things. All he knew was he was trying to flirt, whether Kurt was returning this he wasn't sure.
Oh, Kurt was most definitely returning this. Blaine had grown on him even more over the past few hours of conversation and Kurt found himself shamelessly teasing and joking around.
"So why London?" Kurt inquired after they both had calmed down from the most recent laughing fit. As the flight had continued the dirty looks shot at them from other passengers had increased. Blaine encouraged Kurt to be loud and they both felt like little kids pushing the boundaries of what was good and bad behaviour. Kurt had never felt so rebellious. It was kinda exhilarating.
"I need a break from home," Blaine replied instantly. "It just gets hard, you know?"
Kurt shook his head. No, he didn't know. Kurt was lucky enough to have a perfect home life. "What do you mean?"
Blaine sighed. "Do you really wanna hear about my issues? It's only an eight hour flight," he joked but Kurt could see there was unaddressed pain behind the smile.
"I don't want to pry, but I'm more than happy to listen," Kurt said genuinely.
Wow, a stranger offering to listen to Blaine vent. This guy was certainly one in a million. "Well, it all started when I came out to my parents back in high school," Blaine began. "My Mum wasn't impressed but she accepted it and never blamed me or anything. Dad on the other hand felt the need to yell profanities at me whenever the topic was brought up. I learnt pretty quick to never talk about it."
Kurt saw the sadness in Blaine's eyes and wished he could do something, anything, to take away the pain from that beautiful face.
"I moved out of home as soon as I could but that just made me feel lonely."
Blaine paused. Why was he telling Kurt this? It was the fastest way to depress a person and he knew if he continued Kurt would surely think he was pathetic, pouring his heart out to a complete stranger. Yet Kurt didn't feel like a stranger and the genuine concern in Kurt's eyes compelled Blaine to continue talking.
"For this very reason I poured myself into my work. And became career-focused, which I never intended to be. I didn't enjoy it, life became monotonous."
There was a look of pity plastered on Kurt's face and Blaine wished it wasn't there. "Don't get me wrong," Blaine hastened to explain, "I have friends. It's just they don't really understand me. Anyway I was retrenched last month. And I just felt like I put everything into that job, even if I didn't want to, just to have it thrown back at me. Like my all wasn't good enough."
Blaine felt a lump form in his throat and swallowed, wishing he could swallow all the problems in his life; that they could just disappear. If only it were that easy.
"And so I'm now taking a two month vacation from my life to a place I hope will hold better things for me," Blaine trilled in an optimistic tone, attempting to relieve the tension he felt between them. He didn't want Kurt to feel sorry for him. He had enough of that back home.
Kurt was amazed at how unbelievably honest Blaine was being with him. It was such a refreshing change from all the faked politeness he dealt with in show business. People never asked you how you were and actually listened to the answer. It made him appreciate Blaine's honesty all the more.
"I'm so sorry," was all Kurt could manage. He didn't know what to say. All he knew was that he didn't want Blaine to experience any form of pain ever again. That gorgeous smile was too infectious to not be a permanent fixture on his face.
Blaine shook his head. "Not your fault. But thanks." And there was that kind smile again, the smile that made Kurt's insides flutter.
Blaine waved his hand as if to shoo away the sadness in the air. "Enough of my depressing life, onto a nicer topic."
There was a moment of comfortable silence as both men thought about how to switch to a lighter subject.
Blaine was the first to speak. "What do you look forward to most about England?" he asked, genuinely curious.
Kurt thought about this for a few moments. Performing. Being on stage again, bowing to a thundering applause. "Change of scene," Kurt eventually said. "The experience of London will be great. I've never been before and I'm quite looking forward to it."
Blaine nodded. He was also eager for a similar change.
"How about you?"
"Being able to say 'bullocks' on a regular basis," Blaine joked, putting on a terrible British accent.
"Oh, they're gonna hate you there," Kurt teased.
Blaine lightly hit Kurt's arm. "Hey, I thought it was pretty good."
Kurt bit back an insulting retort and just laughed in response.
"So why are you going to London?"
There was that question, the one Kurt knew would come up and had been hoping to avoid. It wasn't as if he could just be like 'oh yeah, to star in a show on West End. I'm quite famous, you see. No big deal or anything…' It's not that Blaine would really care, but for some reason Kurt felt it wouldn't impress him. Being famous tended to dazzle people but Blaine didn't seem like the kind who would be wowed by fame. He was too down to earth to really care about that sort of thing. And Kurt would be lying if he said he didn't want to impress Blaine. For that reason, and that reason only, Kurt lied.
"For work." Well, it wasn't really lying.
"Oh, what do you do?" Blaine asked, genuinely interested.
Damn Blaine for actually giving a crap about Kurt's life. Now he had to lie.
"It's pretty boring and hard to explain," Kurt spoke quickly. "Involves a bit of travel. Which is good, I get to see the world. And I really enjoy what I do," Kurt said honestly.
Blaine smiled. "That's great. It's good when people actually enjoy their careers."
And despite the fact that it was basically a regular occurrence for Kurt to fabricate the truth – in showbiz, it was kind of a requirement - he felt bad for lying to Blaine.
Oh, what did it matter? They were just two strangers who'd happened to sit next to each other on a plane. Except neither Kurt or Blaine believed that was all this was.
"Plane food is repulsive," Kurt complained, eyeing what only vaguely resembled a pasta dish warily.
They were now past halfway through the flight so dinner had been served.
Blaine chuckled. "It's not that bad," he insisted, digging in to the meal in front of him.
Kurt sighed before picking up his plastic knife and fork gingerly.
"I'd rather attempt a slow suicide with the synthetic cutlery," Kurt said seriously.
Blaine laughed again. Kurt decided he really liked it when he made Blaine laugh.
"You're such a child," Blaine teased, shovelling another forkful of food into his mouth, "It tastes good."
The disgusting tasting food wasn't the whole issue though. It was the fat intake and the carbohydrates and everything bad Kurt tried his best to avoid when it came to eating. Sure, every now and again he'd eat whatever the hell he felt like but nine times out of ten he'd opt for an organic alternative. Because eating healthily is important. Kurt was about to repeat his beliefs on what food you should put into your body but stopped short when he saw Blaine just looking at him with a lopsided grin on his face.
"What?" Kurt raised his eyebrow, something Blaine had been doing all flight and Kurt had just been waiting to do in return.
Blaine shook his head, a smile still present on his lips. "Nothing, just eat."
But it hadn't been nothing. Blaine had been watching Kurt think in silence, seen the way his eyes flickered from side to side, almost as if they were alternating from thought to thought. The way his lips had morphed into a straight line, the startings of a smile barely there. It was adorable. And wow, Blaine was really becoming quickly infatuated with the guy next to him. It was a shock, this didn't usually happen to him. Yet he couldn't deny the connection Blaine felt to Kurt. He just hoped Kurt felt the same.
"I'm feeling like a movie. What do you think?" Blaine asked with a little under three hours of their flight to go.
Kurt considered this. "Depends on the movie," he said honestly. "If you're a chick flick fan I am all yours."
Blaine chuckled. "Usually I'm up for that but they've got Deathly Hallows Pt.2 as an option and I really cannot go past that."
Kurt's eyes widened as he held his hand up in a 'stop' motion. "You're a potterhead?" he asked with a huge amount of controlled enthusiasm and disbelief.
Blaine looked at Kurt like he was crazy. "Um, of course. I brought Goblet of Fire to read on the plane. But I ended up doing something better." Blaine nudged Kurt's shoulder with his own before quickly turning away to pick up the in-flight magazine, flicking through to find out what channel they had Deathly Hallows on.
Kurt hid a smile at the complimentary words and collected his headphones from the back of the seat in front.
"Did you go to the midnight premiere?" Kurt questioned, leaning back into his seat to get comfortable for what he knew would be a 2.5 hour rollercoaster of emotions. It had been years since he'd seen this film but each time Kurt watched it he reacted the same.
"Yep, dressed up and everything." Blaine smiled fondly at the memory. "It was so much fun! But I tell you, I was a mess by the end of it."
Kurt nodded. "Oh, I understand, I was the same! Most of my friends refused to come along as they hadn't read the books and did not understand the sheer amazingness of Harry Potter. But I convinced one of my friends who had read the books but was nowhere near as obsessed as me. Let's just say she thought I was literally dying by the end of the movie and did not understand why."
Blaine laughed and shook his head. "How anyone can not appreciate great literature is beyond me."
"I know, right?"
Putting on headsets and switching their individual screens to the right channel, Kurt and Blaine settled in to watch the movie together.
They talked through the non-dialogue scenes about their opinions of certain parts in the book or the adaptions in the movie. But they both fell silent during the scenes that really mattered.
As expected, Kurt cried more than socially acceptable. When Snape uttered 'Always,' the word that changed everything, Kurt felt sobs escape his body. Then a warm, soft hand found his and just held it. Kurt felt his breath hitch. It was only for a moment, but Blaine's fingertips lightly rubbed Kurt's palm in a soothing and comforting way before placing it back in Kurt's lap. Hazel eyes found blue ones and they exchanged a small, but meaningful smile.
A minute later they were focused again on the screen in front however Kurt was off thinking. Blaine affected him in a way he couldn't quite describe. It was like he was back in high school, infatuated over Finn. Of course, that hadn't ended well, but Finn was straight. This was different. Kurt didn't know why, they'd only just met, but he really hoped they'd stay in touch once the flight was over.
"Well thank-you for entertaining me for the past eight hours," Blaine grinned as he collected his overhead baggage.
Kurt returned the smile. "I was right when I first said it would be an enjoyable flight."
Blaine took a deep breath before putting it all on the line. "Look, I never do this," he began, feeling around in his pocket for his iPhone, "But I was wondering if I could maybe get your number."
Kurt smiled. He'd hoped as much. "Sure." He fished out his iPhone from his carry on baggage and offered it to Blaine. "Add your number," Kurt said, reaching for Blaine's phone and doing the same.
Neither men were sure where this would lead, or if it'd lead anywhere. They could always catch up in London; maybe go on a date or two. But Kurt knew his work commitments would be too binding for him to actually start a relationship. Besides, Blaine was heading home in a few months. Kurt would be stuck in London for the next year at the very least. Stuck in London? Kurt was shocked he'd even managed to think such a thought. He was beyond excited to experience London; just because he'd met some random guy shouldn't have changed that. Still, Blaine wasn't just some random guy.
Blaine's thoughts mirrored Kurt's in the sense that he felt Kurt wasn't just some stranger he'd sat next to on a plane. It felt like they'd known each other for a long time. How well could you get to know someone over eight hours Blaine wondered. Still he felt connected to Kurt in a way he'd never felt with someone before. Damn it, why did Blaine have to go and get attached to someone who was too good for him anyway. Kurt was probably taken, he was too attractive, too nice, to be single. However Blaine still hoped.
As they were leaving the plane, Kurt was stopped by a sweet, eager voice.
"Mr Hummel, could I possibly have your autograph?"
An excited flight attendant thrust a scrap piece of paper and a pen at Kurt. Offering a kind smile, Kurt glanced at the stewardess' nametag before scrawling Julie, thanks for a lovely flight and signing his name.
An excited smile spread across the flight attendant's face. "Thank-you so much, I'm a huge fan," she gushed before taking the paper and flitting off.
Blaine arched his eyebrow as they continued to the terminal. "Well known are we?"
Kurt shrugged. "Something like that."
This had been his chance to come clean about who he was but something once again stopped Kurt from telling the truth. He'd spent the flight as Kurt, not Kurt Hummel the famous Broadway legend. And he had to admit he'd enjoyed this side of him; relaxed and completely himself. He hadn't had to worry about keeping up a certain persona or watch what he said in case a reporter misconstrued it.
Kurt was worried Blaine would think differently of him if he knew Kurt was famous. What if Blaine freaked out and never spoke to Kurt again? What if he turned into a total obsessive fanboy or sold their story about a flirty flight to a tabloid? No, Blaine wasn't like that. Kurt had known him less than a day but he knew that wasn't who Blaine was. However something still stopped Kurt from being completely honest.
When it was time to part ways Blaine offered Kurt a handshake. He'd sort of wanted to initiate a hug goodbye but decided it might be a bit much.
Kurt shook his hand and gave him a genuine smile. "Thanks again for such a great flight,"
Blaine smiled back. "Same to you."
"Call me," Kurt told Blaine before he turned the corner and exited the airport.
Blaine grinned to himself. Well, that had most certainly been an enjoyable flight.
AN: This is definitely the longest fic I've written so far and I have no idea if it's any good. Review and let me know :) Part 2 should be up in the next week or two.