Title: The Last Night To Be Brave
Characters/Pairings: Kurt/Blaine relationship, Blaine/Santana friendship, Santana/Dave friendship
Word count: 2,105
Summary: He thinks she needs a friend. She thinks he needs to mind his own business. What she doesn't know then is she's going to need him this year more than she ever could have imagined.
Warnings/Spoilers: Angst. There is talk of suicidal ideation and an attempt in later chapters. It's not particularly graphic, but it is there. If you think this might trigger you, PLEASE don't read it!
Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with Glee, FOX, Ryan Murphy or anything else related to the Glee universe.
It was a week before school resumed and Rachel had decided to throw a pool party. The weather was glorious and sunny, which meant Kurt had firmly opted to stay indoors and assist with food preparation, spouting off about sunburn and pool water damaging his delicate clothing. Blaine had nodded and smiled and shooed him back inside, although it left him with various New Directions members that he didn't really know.
Puck, Mike, Quinn, Brittany and Tina were splashing about in the pool and every now and then, Finn would appear and cannonball into the deep end, spraying Artie with water. But spirits were high so Artie wasn't particularly annoyed. Not like Kurt would have been.
Staring at the empty deckchair beside Santana, Blaine debated sitting next to the girl known as the spitfire of New Directions. He bit his lip and glanced inside the house where Kurt was helping prepare lunch, and then back at Santana. She seemed so peaceful laying back with her sunglasses on and soaking up the rays of the Lima sun, and yet he had noticed hardly anyone spoke to her today. He wondered if she was lonely. He wondered if she'd talk to him. Somewhat nervously, he ventured over and reclined onto the chair beside her.
"Hey Santana," he said, slipping on Kurt's Aviators and reclining, feeling like a lizard as he soaked up the sun.
"Hobbit," she acknowledged, dipping her head but keeping her eyes closed.
"Hey, now!" Blaine protested. "What is it with everyone and the hobbit thing?"
"Short. Curly hair. Everyone knowing Frodo was totally gay for anyone and everyone."
Blaine scowled and then relaxed his face. He could hear Kurt's voice in his head: 'Frowning will give you wrinkles, Blaine. I won't date a boy with man-wrinkles!' At least he didn't scowl too much…
"Fine. So I'm a hobbit," he sighed. "Are you looking forward to returning to school?"
"No," Santana said.
"Look, I don't know you apart from being Kurt's boy. And I'm not about to get all chummy with you just because you're in his pants, okay? You still go to your preppy school and I still go to ditchwater McKinley and let's just leave our lives as separate," Santana spat. Blaine blinked. Kurt had warned him about her temper but he hadn't expected a tirade over such a simple question.
He fell silent, figuring it would be better to say nothing. Although he didn't know Santana, he knew with Kurt's moods that he would open up if you were quiet.
After at least ten minutes, she sighed quietly and turned her head to face him. He could see her eyes behind the glasses but he looked back. "I don't want school to end. Everyone is going to go their various ways and I don't know what I want to do. I don't know where I'll end up or who will give a shit about me long enough to keep in touch. I'm scared," she admitted softly.
"We all are," Blaine offered. "I know Kurt is terrified and I know Finn is worried about Quinn and Rachel and Puck. I am too. I know Kurt wants to go to New York with Rachel but I know Finn is wary of it. But the decisions to be made are a year away."
"Whatever," Santana said. There was silence for a few minutes, in which Quinn shrieked as Puck tried throwing her in the water. Blaine smiled when Puck succeeded and thrust his arms with victory. "Was it hard?" Santana spoke suddenly.
Stamping down on the innuendo, Blaine needed clarification. "Uh, was what hard?"
"Coming out. To your parents. What was it like?"
Blaine glanced back at Santana who hadn't moved a muscle. He wondered if she was watching him beneath her glasses. It was unnerving to know he was probably being watched but he couldn't see her eyes. "It wasn't easy," he admitted. "My mother took a while to accept it but I think she's gotten to the stage she loves me regardless. But my Dad…I'm not sure he'll ever be totally okay with it. I told Kurt that my father made me fix up a car because he thought it would make me straight. The fact that my boyfriend works is the son of a mechanic seems so ironic because he thought it was so 'masculine' and 'macho' and yet Kurt likes to get his hands dirty and still wear the latest fashions. I guess he was pretty mad at first. He told me I was sick and it went against his religion and I wasn't to talk about it again. I think being shipped off to Dalton was good though. It gave him a chance to acknowledge it and accept it, and I felt a lot safer than at my old school."
Santana was quiet for a long time. "You were bullied too?"
"Totally. I didn't have the one or two guys to fear like Kurt does. I had most of my school against me once they found out. I was terrified at McKinley's Prom because I got beaten up at a Sadie Hawkins dance. I was so scared and I didn't know what might happen at McKinley. And then Kurt got Prom Queen and it didn't even matter anymore. He was so upset and yet so happy and so brave, and I was so trapped by my fear. Dalton has been great in building up my confidence, but I haven't learned to deal with the real world there."
"I don't suppose you know of a sister school for Dalton?" Santana questioned, glancing over at him and cracking an eye open.
Blaine shook his head. "Dalton's anti-bullying policy works because we're more physical. It's not the same at Crawford. Girls are inherently more…bitchy than guys. I mean, we throw a punch and for the most part, the issue is settled. Girls can totally destroy you for months on end with a few simple words."
"Like I tend to do."
"No!" Blaine exclaimed, realising too late what he'd said and knowing what Kurt had told him about her attitude to life. "No, just…can you imagine being at a school of only girls? It would be horrific."
Santana snorted and turned her head away from him. "Not for a lesbian, but maybe for the gay hobbit boy."
"You admitted it was true."
He sighed and gazed at her impassive face for a few minutes.
"Thanks though. For telling me," Santana said quietly.
"No worries. I know I'm Kurt's boyfriend but that doesn't mean I don't care," he said awkwardly.
"I told you. Our lives are separate," she repeated.
He rolled his eyes, reaching across the distance between the chairs to touch her arm. She turned her head to look at him again. "Yeah, separate, whatever. But whatever way you want to look at it, you're Kurt's friend. Whenever the dynamic is off with someone, he picks up on it and he worries himself sick. So when he gets upset, I start to fret too. You can say what you like about our lives being separate, but in a roundabout sort of a way, I care about you too."
Santana hummed and Blaine went back to staring at the sky and feeling the heat of the sun seep into his bones. There was silence until Blaine heard footsteps approaching.
"If you get skin cancer, I'll kill you myself," Kurt quipped, sitting at the end of Blaine's chair with a plate of sandwiches and fruit. Blaine smiled, propping himself up to kiss his boyfriend.
"I put on your SPF 50+ sun cream stuff. If that doesn't keep me protected, then nothing will," he smiled, biting into a strawberry.
"Oh please, I'm going to go vomit now. Your sugary sweetness will give my perfect teeth a cavity," Santana moaned, slipping on her sundress and flip-flops to go and find some food.
"Is she okay?" Blaine asked as he watched her walk away, nibbling at a piece of pineapple.
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "You are not getting this bisexual rubbish back, are you?"
Blaine watched as Santana walked into the house. "No, I just think she needs a friend."
Blaine fiddled with the edge of his coffee cup, avoiding Kurt's gaze. Kurt was babbling on about Rachel's deplorable fashion sense, again, and how she and Finn had already gotten a solo and it was only a week back and it wasn't fair and Sam had left McKinley to go back to Texas with his family because they couldn't survive in Lima anymore and now they were one person short again and Karofsky had actually been pretty nice to him, probably because Azimio had been arrested during the holidays for breaking and entering and theft, which led to assault when the couple came home, and now he was locked away and as much as he admired Sue Sylvester, he felt she was plotting some sort of evil rampage that he was fearing and Kurt's next assignment for Glee Club was to perform naked and wait, what?
"Naked?" Blaine exclaimed.
"Ahh, so you were listening," Kurt smirked, taking a sip of his latte.
"Just distracted a bit," Blaine said, pushing his half-empty cup of coffee away.
Blaine scratched behind his ear at a loose curl. "What would you think if I transferred to McKinley?"
The expression on Kurt's face was similar to when Blaine had first declared his love for Kurt. Somewhere between about to choke on his sip of coffee and trying to process everything, ultimately forgetting he had a mouthful to swallow.
"Me. At McKinley," Blaine broke it down. "You said you're one short for competition. The Warblers can replace me. I can't run forever, Kurt." He looked at his hands for a brief moment. "I realised at your Prom last year that Dalton isn't preparing me for the real world. I'm being sheltered and I need to learn to accept that I'm gay and accept that not everyone else will be happy with it but it's nothing to be ashamed of or sickened by. It's only one year but with you there, I'm sure I can manage it."
"What happens if we break up?" Kurt whispered nervously.
Blaine reached across the table to capture Kurt's soft hand in his own. "Remember how you said you'd never let go of me when you returned to McKinley?" Kurt nodded, eyes shiny. "That goes both ways, Kurt. I'm not letting go of you either."
Kurt gripped Blaine's hand tightly, a shy smile playing on his lips. "I…well, I'd never say no to seeing you every day at school again."
Blaine smiled. He had missed the stolen looks in corridors more than he wanted to admit.
"What about your parents though? And where would you stay?"
Blaine shrugged. "My parents won't care. They just want me to be happy now. I'm sure I can find an apartment or something. It'd be cheaper than Dalton which would probably make them happier still."
Kurt fought back a grin. "You'd really do it?"
"Of course I would," Blaine replied with an eye roll.
Kurt squeezed his hand. "OhmyGod, I need to tell Mercedes. She's going to be so glad for a white boy that can actually sing because she's so sick of Finn not being able to hold his notes properly and Sam's gone and Puck can end up in juvie at a moments notice and Mike can't sing and Artie can't dance so we're sort of desperate for like, a perfect male lead who can sing on-key and dance and oh my God you're actually coming to McKinley an-"
Blaine only half-listened to Kurt. He had been thinking about transferring for a while. He'd talked it over with Wes and David last year regarding what the Warblers would do if he left. They'd all agreed that the a capella singers would struggle for a little while, but it was never going to be the end of the world. And really, Wes had reminded him, what Blaine wanted to do and would make him happiest was what mattered the most.
Yes, Blaine thought he had made rather a good decision. He'd talk to his parents about it tonight.
A/N: Congratulations, you have reached the end of the first chapter of one of my babies! I've been working on this fic a while, even though it's not too long compared to my other baby. Just a reminder about the warnings at the top that it does get very dark and angsty, so please be careful if you are triggered by such things!
Thank you for reading! I would love to hear your opinions! xx