Gettings, Everyone! Emily here with the first chapter of my first fanfic, Falling Slowly.
Firstly, let me say thank you so much for choosing to read my story. I hope it is to your liking.
(I do not own Glee, Kurt or Blaine)
"What's with the bowtie?"
Well here we are again. Kurt thought to himself.
Nine-year old Kurt Hummel stood looking at his feet, trying to avoid eye contact with the two boys who loomed over him with hands on their hips and a sneer on their faces. The Bubb twins of the same age, Jeremy and James, lived in Kurt's neighborhood and often came to the same playground. Taking a quick glance at the boys, one could not tell them apart; they were taller than Kurt by several inches and had bright blonde hair. The only things separating them were their eyes.
"Leave me alone, James." Kurt said, wringing his hands together nervously.
"I'm James!" said his blue-eyed brother, "He's Jeremy."
"Sorry." Kurt's high voice squeaked.
"You didn't answer my question." Jeremy repeated, taking a step forward as a mischievous look crossed his vivid green eyes. He grabbed Kurt by the collar and pulled him threateningly close. "I said, what's with the bowtie?"
Kurt wriggled free and looked down at his outfit. He liked his outfit; a dark grey vest over a white, button-up, short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts. He wore brown boots that went up to his mid calf. The light blue bowtie in question was tied neatly around Kurt's neck. He straightened it self-consciously.
"What do you mean? Th-there's nothing wrong with my bowtie. I-I like it."
"Yes there is!" The twins said in unison.
"Ugh, you're so weird!" James scoffed as the twins advanced. "Boys aren't supposed to wear girly stuff like that to a playground. It's not normal. You're not normal."
Kurt's big blue eyes widened as he took a step back. His calves were met with the wooden sides of a sandbox.
Nowhere to go.
"I-I don't want to take it off. I like my bowtie."
Kurt didn't like being called not normal. It made him feel secluded, like he would never have a friend. Sure, he preferred to have a tea party unlike the other boys in the neighborhood who liked to play baseball, but that didn't make him abnormal did it? He closed his eyes tightly, wishing the two blonde boys would go away. But the Bubbs were kind of notorious for being bullies and they happened to like torturing Kurt very much. Kurt looked up at them with pleading eyes, praying that they might spare him today.
"You're nothing but a weak little girl, you're not normal…" James said.
"… You're a freak who will always be alone." Jeremy finished.
"Now, take off the bowtie!" they shouted together.
Suddenly, four hands reached out and pushed Kurt back into the sandbox, the tiny grains flying in every direction as Kurt hit the sand with a thump! He had put his hands out to catch himself only to land on a sharp eyes began to well up from both shock and pain.
I'm not normal. I'm an outcast. I'm weird. I don't deserve to be happy. He thought to himself, staring at his now bleeding palm.
"Aw, do you need a Band-Aid?" taunted Jeremy.
"Did we make baby girl cry?" his brother added.
"I think it's time we teach you a lesson, Hummel." They said together.
Kurt could only stare up at them. The Bubbs both raised a fist, ready to beat down on the small boy in front of them.
Well, here it comes. He thought. I don't understand. I'm just different. Does that make me bad? But I will not cry. I will not give in.
Kurt closed his eyes, preparing for the inevitable beating soon to follow.
But none came.
Kurt's eyes shot open at the strange sound just in time to see Jeremy get yanked back onto the ground. James, turning to help his brother was then pushed forward into the grass.
An unfamiliar boy stood in front of Kurt. From behind, he looked like every other child that went to the playground. The boy shouted at the twins, "You two bullies better get out of here before it's you who needs the Band-Aids!" The brothers scrambled to their feet, running as fast as they could from the scene. Satisfied, he looked down and brushed off his blue button down shirt, which hung open to reveal a plain white tee, and his grey shorts.
Th- they ran away. Kurt thought. I cannot believe it. But, who is this boy who saved me? I mean, if he was able to scare off the Bubb twins, then maybe he's even meaner…
Just then, the boy turned to face Kurt. Kurt had never seen someone like him. His expression was comforting but what struck Kurt the most were the boy's eyes. They were breathtaking, like liquid gold, warm and gentle.
"That should keep them away for a while." The boy said gesturing toward the retreating brothers. Kurt only stared, unable to speak. The boy smirked.
He reached out one hand to Kurt who flinched, expecting to be hit. But there was no violence; there was no insulting or taunting, just the hand reaching out to him. Then the boy said something Kurt had never heard before.
"Let me help you." he smiled, revealing two missing front teeth, "It's okay, I won't hurt you or anything."
Again, Kurt sat unspeaking. He looked away trying to shake this strange boy who came to his rescue from out of nowhere.
"Okay then…" said the boy as he decided to sit next to Kurt on the edge of the sandbox. Out of habit Kurt warped his arms defensively around his middle. Kurt looked at him from the corner of his eye. The boy looked content just sitting next to him, looking around the playground with a pleasant smile and his arms resting on his knees. Now that he was close enough, Kurt could see two bracelets on both of the boy's wrists; blue on the right, gold on the left. He caught Kurt's eye and grinned.
"I'm Blaine." He said suddenly, extending his hand again.
"You saved me."
Blaine's smile widened as he pushed a curly lock of dark brown hair out of his eyes. "I'm glad I could help!"
He reached into his pocket and pulled out an electric blue Band-Aid, offering it to Kurt for his injured hand.
"Thank you." Kurt said, accepting it.
The boy dug into his pocket again and pulled out two lollipops, one red and one purple. "Here, what's your favorite flavor? This will make you feel better."
Kurt smiled, "Cherry."
"This is perfect!" he said, handing Kurt the red lollipop, "My favorite is grape! It's like we were meant to be friends."
Friends. Kurt had never really had a friend before. Other boys found him odd and tended to stay away from him so he developed a very close relationship with his mother and father. But this kid, this Blaine, he seemed truly interested in befriending him.
"So," Kurt started timidly, "Where are you from? I haven't seen you at this playground before."
Blaine's face lit up as if Kurt had said the greatest thing in the world. He tried to tuck an ever-constant curl out of his face with no avail, "I've seen you. I'm from New York City! My daddy said it was time to move out in the country, so here we are!"
"How do you like it so far?" Kurt said with another lick.
"I don't really know yet. I've only been here for a week or so. No one seems to like me so far, they think I'm weird." Kurt could see the boy's smile falter slightly.
"Well, I don't think chasing off those two is going to boost your popularity. They kind of run this playground."
"Yeah, who were those kids? They really seemed to like bothering you."
"That was Jeremy and James Bubb. Twins. They are nine years old, like me. They've been picking on me for as long as I can remember."
Blaine looked at him, puzzled, "But why?"
"They don't like that I'm different." Kurt shrugged. "That I like to wear bowties and drink tea and sing along with Disney movies."
Suddenly, the lollipop wasn't very appetizing. Staring intently at the candy, Kurt spun the stick between his fingers. He had talked himself into a depression. As he spoke it out loud, he did seem a little strange, didn't he? What boy liked to sing and have tea parties? The expression Blaine was giving him wasn't helping either. His thick eyebrows were pulled together over bright honey eyes that bore into the side of Kurt's head, searching for Kurt's. His mouth had lost that sweet smile and replaced it with a hard line. Why had Kurt told Blaine these things? He had just met him. He finally had a chance to make a friend and he had blown it out of the water. Way to go, Kurt.
"I don't understand."
Kurt looked back at Blaine, his expression still fixed.
"What do you mean?" Kurt asked.
"I don't understand why that is weird. I mean, just because they don't like something doesn't make it wrong, it just makes it your own. I mean, I love Disney and to sing along with the songs! And tea? Delicious…" Blaine looked down at his hands and blushed a deep pink, "And, well, as far as the bowties go, I wouldn't wear them, but they look really good on you."
Kurt's eyes widened as a flush covered his face and ears. Blaine looked so vulnerable and slightly uncomfortable, but not in a bad way, like he had finally gotten something off his chest that had been weighing him down.
Kurt smiled, "Would you like to come over to my house for cookies? My mommy makes really good chocolate chip."
"Will there be tea?" Blaine asked returning the grin.
"There will be tea." Kurt laughed.
"What are we waiting for? Let's go!" Blaine hopped up from his place on the sandbox and offered to pull Kurt up. This time, Kurt accepted, taking his hand.
Suddenly, Kurt felt a spark traveled between their hands. What was that? Kurt thought. He looked at Blaine who was staring at their hands as well. He had felt it too, an electric charge that pulsed through them at their first touch. Blaine looked into Kurt's eyes, his honey eyes sparkling as his face splitting into yet another heart-warming grin.
Kurt and Blaine walked hand in hand across the playground to Kurt's mother.
Elizabeth Hummel sat on a park bench reading a book. Her wavy, brown hair, which covered her bare shoulders, blew slightly in the breeze. She set her book on the bench and smoothed out her dress as she watched her only son approach.
"Bonjour, mon beau garçon." She greeted, "Et qui est ce?"
"Bonjour, maman! C'est mon ami Blaine, est de New York. Blaine ce n'est-" Kurt turned to see Blaine staring in complete confusion. Kurt laughed. "Oh, sorry Blaine. This is my mom."
"Un ami? Merverilleux!" said his mother. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Blaine."
"The pleasure is all mine, Ma'am."
Mrs. Hummel leaned forward, resting one hand on her knee as the other cupped her cheek in her hand, "What are you boys up to?"
"Mom, I was hoping Blaine could come over and have some of those cookies you baked this morning?" Blaine nudged Kurt in the side, giving him a meaningful look, "Oh right, and some tea to go with them?"
"Well I think that is a marvelous idea, sweetheart. Blaine, have you asked your parents if it is okay to come over?"
"No, but they'll be happy to know that I've made a friend. Do you have a phone I could use?" Blaine said, taking Kurt's hand again, creating yet another electric shock that made the boys gasp slightly.
"You can call them when we get to my house, right Mommy?"
She picked up her book and stood, "Of course, sweetheart. Allons-y!"
Kurt's mother led the way down the block to their house.
"Hey, Kurt?" Blaine started, still holding Kurt's hand.
"What is that you and your mom keep saying?"
"What do you mean?"
"You keep saying words I don't understand…"
"Oh, we're speaking French! My mom used to spend summers in France with Grandpa and Grandma Ballou before they died, right mom?"
"Oui c'est vrai, mon chérie." She said turning slightly to look at the two boys.
"It's okay, you'll get used to it." Blaine brightened at the implication of more time with his new friend.
"Here we are, boys. Home sweet home."
The Hummel residence was a very inviting. It was a two-story blue clapboard house with white shutters and matching trim. The front yard held two beautiful flower gardens on either side of the front steps which led up at small front porch. A detached garage sat at the end of a short driveway.
"This is your house?"
"That's right. Why, what is the matter?" Kurt answered.
"I live down the block from here, just a few houses down."
"Oh," Mrs. Hummel said, unlocking the front door, "You must have bought the O'Connor's old house. The little brick house with the black shutters?"
"Yes, that's the one!"
"Kurt, mon chérie, will you show Blaine the phone? Then you can help me set up your tea party."
"Yes, Mom. Come on, Blaine." Kurt tugged on his hand and led him into the living room. Though small, the room was tastefully furnished with a sofa and loveseat facing a television. The walls were speckled with family photos. Kurt pointed to the phone beside the loveseat for Blaine to use. He nodded, punching the numbers of his new home. Kurt then skipped back into the kitchen to help out his mother with the tea party preparations. She had her back turned to him as she filled the kettle with water for the tea. Kurt, taking advantage of the situation, stole a cookie from the plate on the kitchen counter.
"So, Kurt," Elizabeth started, "how did you meet Blaine?"
"What?" Kurt coughed, choking on his cookie. For the past few years, Kurt had tried his best to keep his mother and father from knowing about his problems with the Bubb twins. They had enough grown-up problems to deal with, why bother them with his problems too? "I, uh, well, he came up to me at the play ground today. He gave me a lollipop, mom!"
"Cherry? That's your favorite."
"Yes!" Kurt squealed, "It's like he knew!"
His mother smiled warmly at him, "He seems very nice, Kurt. I'm glad you've found a friend."
As if on cue, Blaine bounced into the room. The moment he saw Kurt, his already bright grin turned into a dazzling smile. Kurt returned the expression without hesitation. Mrs. Hummel looked at them with a quizzical expression.
"My mommy said that I could stay for a while. She said that she'd come pick me up at nine."
"Excellent, thank you. Come on boys," she said, picking up the kettle and handing two cup and saucer sets to Kurt, "Let's move this outside, that only gives us a few hours. Blaine, would you please carry the cookie platter out for me?"
Delighted that he was included, Blaine nodded enthusiastically and followed the Hummels out to the front yard. There, Kurt and Blaine ran ahead of her and started a pickup game of tag. Mrs. Hummel set up a table for the boys to drink their tea. She picked up the discarded plate of cookies and tea set and placed them in their respective places on the table. Turning to the giggling boys, she smiled approvingly, "Kurt, sweetie?"
Kurt stopped in his tracks, causing Blaine to plow him over. The two went tumbling to the ground. Blaine ended up straddling Kurt, his hands on either side of his hips. Kurt looked up at Blaine, a blush high in his cheeks. Blaine's face was also shocked and flushed.
"Kurt!" Blaine cried, stumbling off of him in a panic. "I'm so sorry!"
"Yes, Mom?" He answered giggling, dusting himself off.
"You party is all set." His mother said.
"Thank you. Come on, Blaine, before the tea gets cold." Blaine took Kurt's hand in his, still as red a tomato. The ever-present electric shock between them pulsed between their cupped hands.
Suddenly, Blaine stopped. "What are those?" he said pointing to the flower gardens on either side of the porch. Both gardens had featured flowers; the left held dozens of yellow roses, the right, blue irises.
"Those are our gardens. My mommy and I garden together. These," Kurt said, gesturing toward the roses, "these are my mom's. They're her favorite. She says what whenever she looks at yellow roses, she can't help but smile." Kurt smiled distantly, "You know, whenever I see a rose, it reminds me of my mommy, because when I see her, I can't help but smile too."
"I like them too." Blaine added, barely a whisper. He pointed to the other garden filled with blue flowers. "What are those?"
"Those are Irises'. They are known for their Ellie-gant beauty. My mommy says that they stand for wisdom, faith, and hope." Kurt shrugged. "I just think they're pretty."
Kurt then released Blaine's hand and carefully picked a golden rose off one of the adjacent bushes. He offered it to Blaine.
"What's this for?" Blaine asked.
"Well, the roses make me happy. They are something I know I can count on to bring me a smile." Kurt looked to the ground, "You make me smile too, Blaine. Plus, they match your eyes."
Blaine flushed, but accepted the rose. He ducked behind Kurt and picked an iris from the flowerbed. "Here." Kurt gave him a confused look. "This flower reminds me of you too. If it really does stand for wisdom, then it works because you are smart. If it stands for faith then that works too, because I have faith in you, Kurt, to over come those bully Bubb brothers from the playground. If it stands for hope, it's good because I hope that we can be friends forever. But most importantly," Blaine blushed deeper, but held his gaze with Kurt's, "If it stands for beauty, then its perfect…"
Kurt stared at him, unable to speak.
"And, you know, it matches your eyes too." Blaine said with a smirk.
Kurt hit him on the shoulder and accepted the iris. "Let's go before the tea gets cold."
They spent the entire afternoon together, drinking tea, eating cookies, and singing their favorite Disney songs. The two boys quickly became friends, enjoying every moment that they had. But as all good things tend to do, the afternoon had to come to an end. The tea party had long since been abandoned, every drop drunk and every crumb consumed. Kurt and Blaine lay down under the rose bushes, looking up at the sky as it changed from blue to pink and from pink to orange. They were mirror images of each other, both lying with their hands behind their heads, knees bent up and one leg crossed on a knee up above them.
"So you didn't plan that?" Kurt asked with a giggle, "I mean, you look like the Fourth of July."
"No!" Blaine cried, "Why would I purposely wear a red, white, and blue Fourth of July outfit in August? It just sort of happened."
"I guess I'm just going to have to teach you how to dress yourself. I've always been pretty good with putting outfits together."
"That sounds like fun-"
The boys sat up quickly to find a thin woman with black hair staring down at them. Her golden eyes lit up when she saw the two boys below the garden. She extended her arms, waiting.
"Mom!" Blaine shouted, running up to her, receiving a greeting hug.
Kurt remained beneath the bush, but sat up and crossed his legs.
"What are you doing here so early?" Blaine asked, stepping away from his mother.
"Blaine, dear, it's nine. I told you I would come to get you at nine o' clock."
"Wow, I guess I didn't notice, I was having too much fun." Blaine blinked and looked over at Kurt who he remembered was still sitting by himself. He rushed over to him, grabbing his hand, secretly enjoying that strange, forbidden spark and pulled him up. "Mama, this is my new friend Kurt."
Kurt's stomach flipped at the word 'friend' and he smiled.
"Well hello there, Kurt. It's very nice to meet you."
"Likewise, Mrs… uh…" Kurt trailed off. Kurt looked at Blaine, with sudden embarrassment in his eyes. Blaine was his newest and already closest friend and he didn't even know his last name.
"Anderson, dear." Blaine's mother helped. "So, baby, are you ready to go home?"
"But, Mama I just got here!" Blaine whined. "Can't I stay longer?"
"Blaine, we don't want to over stay our welcome. Where is your mother, Kurt? I need to thank her for watching you two."
"I'm right here." Mrs. Hummel said, coming down the steps. "You must be Blaine's mother." She extended her hand.
"Katherine Anderson." Blaine's mom said.
"My name is Elizabeth Hummel. Thank you for letting your son spend the afternoon with us. It really meant a lot to Kurt."
"Oh no, thank you. I know what a hassle boys can be sometimes. Between Blaine and my husband, it's like I have two kids to watch."
The women laughed, understanding each other completely. Blaine looked at Kurt who had already been staring at him. They smiled a secret smile. Their mothers were getting along just as well as they were.
Just then, a car pulled in the driveway. Though old and clearly loved over the years, the car purred like a kitten. Out stepped a man in an oily blue jumpsuit. One could see that he has well toned arms from working long hard hours. He wiped his face with the back of his hand, trying to relieve himself of the smudge of oil with no prevail.
"Speak of the devil, there's my other child." Elizabeth said.
"Papa!" Kurt squealed, running up to him. Burt Hummel picked up his son and carried him easily over his shoulder. Kurt began to protest, kicking his feet and begging to be let down, laughing all the while.
"How is my boy doing today?" Burt asked over his shoulder.
"Great, Papa! I made a friend today!"
At this, Burt twisted Kurt into a normal hold. "You did? Really? That's wonderful!"
"Allons, Papa!" Kurt prompted, tugging on his hand. "Viens le rencontrer!"
"Kurt, you know I can't understand when you and your mother speak using that mumbo-jumbo."
Kurt ignored him, practically walking diagonally because he was pulling his father's hand so hard. Blaine's eyes read something of sadness as they approached. Kurt only then realized that he had abandoned Blaine the instant that his Father stepped out of the car. That had to have been it, right? Kurt released Burt's hand and reached for Blaine's who accepted it with a new smile. Burt's brow knit at the sight.
"Papa, this is Blaine."
"Good to meet you, Blaine." He extended a large hand for Blaine to shake. Carefully, Blaine took it. "Nice grip you got there, Blaine. That says a lot about a man."
"Burt," his wife called. He looked at his wife who stared at him with blue eyes, those blue, ocean eyes that made him fall in love with her all over again. In contrast to her pale skin and full brown hair, she was nothing less than an angel. His expression softened instantly. Burt had met Elizabeth ten years prior and he knew then that this was the woman he would spend the rest of his life with. They married two years later, a small, simple wedding with family and a few friends, and moved to Lima where Burt started a small car repair shop. After two wonderful years of marriage, their already perfect lives were graced with another gift. Kurt Hummel was born that October.
"Lizzie." He breathed. He reached over and placed a soft kiss on her lips. "How are you, my dear?"
"Very well, thank you." She smiled, taking his hand in her's. "Burt, this is Blaine's mother, Katherine Anderson."
As the parents talked, Kurt and Blaine snuck away. They picked up their respective flowers that had been so quickly discarded at the sight of Blaine's mother.
"I don't want you to go." Kurt sighed.
Blaine took his friend's hand once more. That electric pulse resumed. "It's okay, Kurt. Are you going to the playground again tomorrow? We can play then and the next day and the next day and the next day!"
That got Kurt to giggle. Mission accomplished.
"I like you, Blaine."
"I like you too, Kurt."
"Blaine! It's time to go!" Called his mother.
"Can we sing Disney songs again tomorrow?" Blaine asked in a rush.
"Sure! But this time I get to be Jasmine. You'd make a better Aladdin anyway."
"Deal," Blaine walked back to his mother waving over his shoulder to his new friend. And just like that, the Andersons where gone.
Mr. and Mrs. Hummel walked hand in hand over to their only son, ushering him in for dinner.
"Mama, Papa? Can I play with Blaine again tomorrow? Please?"
"I don't see why not." His mother smiled. "Now, come on, dinner should be almost ready."
"Hooray! J'ai faim! Can I help set the table?"
Well, there you have it! What did you think? Is it okay so far?
As a side note:
The part where Kurt says "ellie-gant" is my attempt to make Kurt pronounce the word "elegant" wrong. I mean, come on, he's only nine.
Also, if any of the French is wrong, I apologize. I don't speak French; Google translator is your friend!
And special thanks to Shauna, by beautiful editor.