Title: It's Not Unusual to Find That You're an Arsonist (Whoa Whoa Whoa)
Word Count ~1300
Summary: Do your worst, McKinley.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee—however, the people that do have clearly gotten their shit together because damn, I loved this first episode.
Spoilers: everything up to 3x01, Purple Piano Project
AN: So, this was written because I've watched the It's Not Unusual scene maybe twenty-five hundred times (how many times have I watched this episode, I cannot even count, guys, I'm in love), and I'm constantly intrigued by the moment Santana pats Blaine on the shoulder and he does that double/triple-take and notices the cheerleaders behind him for the first time. I feel like that performance had so much going on: the way he dressed, the song he chose, how he sang it—and then how Santana basically took control of the whole thing, and how blindly and happily he followed along—just did things to me, guys. It did things. I promise Left Over is coming soon, but I had to get this out of my system first. Enjoy some Blaine ramblings!
All right, so this isn't what he had originally planned.
He thinks it's going pretty well, though. Certainly compared to the situation he had imagined in his head (that situation being that maybe a few girls would be into the performance until they realized he was singing the song mostly for Kurt, and then all appeal he might have gained with the general student body would be thrown out the window, along with a few well-aimed slushies). Blaine will have to thank Santana for this after they finish singing—even if it does kind of defeat the original aim of this whole thing (that aim being singing a love song to a boy alone in the middle of a crowded courtyard in a sort-of-terrifying public school). He wonders if this change of plan should be taken as a sign of things to come this year—a sign that everything will actually be easier than he expects it to be.
When he'd talked to the jazz band about performing the song, he'd done so thinking it wasn't necessarily going to be as safe and perfect as the Warblers' goodbye performance last year (he didn't have twelve other boys in uniform to protect him from wandering fists, after all). But that had been kind of the point. Blaine remembers the slow realization of things are going to get worse at his old school, the build and build and build after every if it's just this, then I can handle it, and if McKinley is going to be his act of closure—his proof to himself that he can do anything, that those three guys haven't taken anything from him, that he can go to a school without a tolerance policy because he wants to be around the one person that lets him be unabashedly himself—because he wants to be, finally, unabashedly, himself—than he wants to get it all out there in one go. He's got a boyfriend, he's in glee club, he wears red high-waters with yellow sunglasses and plaid bowties (note the bowtie, Kurt), and he sings cheesy sixties songs shamelessly and in public, so take all of that into account and let him know how you're going to proceed, please, so he can get on with his life without wondering how bad is it going to get? Because at least after this, he'll know how bad it's going to get.
If he's being really honest with himself—and he is, right now—this performance is really for the jocks and the homophobes. Not for the glee club.
…Except for Kurt. And himself, really, so—okay, so, Kurt and himself and the jocks and the homophobes, because if he's being honest with himself, then he has to recognize that this kind of performance is like a shot of adrenaline through his system; it's not like he minds being the center of attention (even if the kind of attention he knows he's attracting isn't the greatest to be the center of). And, since he's still being honest and has no intention of breaking that particular habit, a very small part of him is still trying to prove Kurt wrong that the GAP Attackwas the most ridiculous thing he had ever and can ever pull off. Because… really, how could he not take that as a challenge? The GAP Attack wasn't even about Kurt. There are loads of things he can think of right now off the top of his head that can top it, because he was crushing on Jeremiah, yeah, but he's in love with Kurt, and love makes you do crazy things.
Like, for instance, realize you're still not over events you should have come to terms with ages ago. Like transfer to a public school in order to let yourself grow and be the you your boyfriend is in love with, and not stay in the stasis a certain wonderful and safe private school allows you to create for yourself.
Like serenade a boy all alone in the middle of a courtyard wearing red highwaters, yellow sunglasses, and a plaid bowtie.
So, yes: Do your worst, McKinley. The grin on Kurt's face is entirely worth the worst that McKinley can offer.
…Although apparently the worst that McKinley can offer is a bunch of cheerleaders running up the stairs to back him up. Who magically have a dance routine all worked out (he can ask Santana about that later if he wants, but he honestly doesn't think she'll give him a straight answer).
He hopes the presence of cheerleaders doesn't undermine everything he's trying to do, but if it does, he'll just have to live with it. Because he knows what he was attempting—and the look in Kurt's eyes tells him Kurt knows at least some of it, too—and that's really all that matters. Santana grabs his hand and brings him around the piano, skipping like they're on the playground, and he feels like a part of something again. They run over to Kurt and there it is, the whole of everything, he's singing and dancing with Kurt, directly to Kurt, and he wants to thank Santana for letting him keep this, for making sure his plan still remains mostly on track. He finishes the song and thinks, that wasn't that bad.
Then the piano explodes in flames.
So that wasn't part of the plan at all.
He's frozen, staring at the crackling heat.
Oh. So that's the worst McKinley can do.
He doesn't know if Santana was in on this or if she just came up to join him and got caught up in the crosshairs, but he suspects the former. His heart drops down somewhere into his stomach. The cheerleaders weren't backing him up, they were using him as a means to an end—the end being the mocking lick of the flames against the purple piano. He wonders why he didn't see this coming, after what this school had done to Kurt on prom night. He feels played, like he's been laughing at a joke without realizing the joke was about him. He feels stupid for thinking they were actually helping him out.
Then he catches Kurt's eye.
Do your worst.
Well, now he knows. And he can do this. He will go to this school. He will be with Kurt every day. He will be himself every day. And he will one day stop wondering what it was he could have done differently at Jefferson High and accept that transferring to Dalton was not and never will be an act of cowardice.
Because Kurt deserves a boyfriend who isn't stuck in the past. Because Blaine deserves to let himself appreciate the present. And because both of them deserve a future that isn't mired in self-recrimination and self-doubt.
Set a piano on fire, okay, so they did that. That's the worst they can do.
If it's just that… Blaine can handle that.