Title: Beg for You to Let Me In
Summary: Blaine created a safe place for LGBTQ teenagers with Courage House. When Kurt Hummel becomes a resident, all of the rules change.
Warnings: AU, age difference and mild daddy kink, references to GLBT harassment and bullying, as well as abuse and neglect (most of it off-screen).
Notes: This started as a fill for a prompt on the glee_kink_meme; the prompt can be found here. We went in a very different direction from the prompt, ultimately, but at its core there are a lot of the same elements. Finally, we want to thank every single person who followed along on the meme and commented. We know that this fic's subject matter might not be up everyone's alley, and we appreciate that so many people gave us a chance anyway. 3 Thank you to mcollinknight for the beta.
The first time he kisses Kurt Hummel, it uproots everything.
After an agonizing moment, Blaine wonders if he's made a horrible mistake; Kurt's eyes are lowered, looking just below Blaine's line of sight, his lips soft and parted. Kurt isn't moving. He isn't reacting at all. Blaine takes a breath in - long after his lungs ask for air - and immediately puts space between them, moving back from Kurt as his hands fall to his sides, useless and apologetic.
Kurt's still as a statue, face arrested in shock. It's the first time in a long time that Blaine has seen this Kurt - the one who'd been quiet and drawn and entirely inside of himself when he first came to Courage House. Over the weeks, Blaine's been working on pulling him out, marking personal victories with every raised eyebrow and unfettered laugh. Months of work, and he's probably traumatized him right back to where he started. Kurt looks lost again, and Blaine doesn't know how to begin to apologize.
"Oh, Kurt." His lips feel like they're stinging, venomous, and he wants to rub at them to erase all traces of his mistake. "I'm so sorry."
It was past curfew when this whole thing started, but Kurt likes to stay up and read in the living room and Blaine lets him. The first time, he found Kurt curled up with feet tucked up under him, his chin resting on his palm, and he looked so small (ridiculous, given that Kurt, long-limbed and posture ruler-straight, is taller than Blaine) and vulnerable, but content, an expression minted brand new on his face, well. Blaine had to let him have that small thing. Kurt looked so guilty and panicked when he'd noticed Blaine watching. That was the first time they'd stayed up, talking so hushed that the sound of the old grandfather clock Blaine inherited ticking along seemed to drown them out.
Now, Kurt was so used to their late nights he casually, almost instinctively, tucked himself close to Blaine on the couch, like he was turning into Blaine for shelter. God. He didn't know what he'd been thinking. Kurt had sought and found protection in Blaine, found a mentor, a fucking father figure, and Blaine's mind had projected some kind of Lolita fantasy onto his blind trust. He's basically secured himself a place in hell.
Blaine's voice seems to have jarred Kurt back to life. He hears him huff out a shaky breath, and Blaine braces himself for whatever reaction Kurt's going to have, knowing it will tear at him, savage him like grief, because the Kurt he's come to know is likely going to disappear.
Kurt still doesn't look at him, but a pale hand lifts from its prim position on his lap, and Blaine, in his white dress shirt with its sleeves rolled up to his elbows in an attempt at comfortable, feels a warm palm come to rest on his bare forearm.
"It's okay," Kurt says, in a quiet but remarkably steady voice. He sounds so young, and Blaine wants to close his eyes at what that inspires in him, a mixture of feeling protective and charmed.
Blaine isn't like this with anyone else. He's never once touched someone who looks like Kurt, or wanted to. The idea of kissing any other of the boys at the house is repulsive. Blaine thought he was normal. All of his boyfriends were tall and masculine; none of them looked like they belonged in choir robes or a freaking doll catalog.
He sits, Kurt's hand on his arm. Blaine is waiting for clarification, for something, and Kurt's hand squeezes gently in reassurance. But when Kurt's eyes flick up to him, bright and peering deliberately from under the wisps of his lashes, Blaine understands Kurt is offering more than forgiveness.
"You can kiss me if you want to," Kurt continues, and Blaine doesn't know where that stunned boy from thirty seconds ago disappeared to, but he's been replaced with Kurt; imperious, talented, and compassionate Kurt. He's leaning into Blaine, their knees are touching, and Blaine's breath hitches in his chest. "I want you to."
His bewilderment must show on his face, because Kurt smiles a little, barely teasing, and it makes his cheeks look warm and pink. Before Blaine knows it, the backs of his knuckles are brushing over Kurt's face.
Blaine opens his mouth only to snap it shut again, and just like that Kurt breaks out into a set of giggles. His eyes are so bright and enthralled that Blaine can only lean back in and kiss him again, take his face into his palms and press his lips into Kurt's smile.
His skin is so soft, the plush of his lips even softer, and he insistently nudges his face into Blaine's, mouth parting wide for him in an invitation. Blaine's still caught on the part where Kurt's hand is on him, burning like a brand, and Kurt not shrinking back from him like he rightfully should be. Instead he's clumsily but determinedly brushing their lips together, the flicker of his tongue a wet suggestion. Blaine hasn't been kissed like this in a long time; normally he's in control, normally he doesn't have a seventeen year old giving him a kiss so wholehearted it's painful.
When he pulls away the second time, they both chuckle. "I don't do this," Blaine says quietly, like he needs to clarify his intentions. His thumb is rubbing slow circles right under the line of Kurt's jaw.
One of Kurt's eyebrows quirk up insolently, and he doesn't even need to say it, but he does anyway. "Right. Never."
"I just... " Blaine tries, but he can't even draw up an apology or excuse. "You're one of kind, Kurt Hummel."
Kurt's lips tilt up at the corners, and he shrugs. The resulting expression is much more wry than flattered. "People have been making exceptions for me all of my life," he tells Blaine.
"Can you make one for me?" It isn't what Blaine thinks he's going to say, but it's what comes out, soft and hesitant like their roles have reversed.
Kurt's eyes are almost unreadable, laced with layers of thought, and Blaine wonders how this boy got to be so damn wise. He knows it's from the spaces between being bullied, kicked out and disadvantaged, and it leaves his body muted with awe to think that Kurt stands so tall on the other side. Blaine counts himself lucky that he was able to help in any small measure; that Courage House gave Kurt the space to come back to himself.
Out of all of the emotions that play over his face, the one that wins out is unexpectedly challenging. Kurt's neck is flushed and his hands are unsteady as they start to gloss hesitantly over Blaine's thigh, but when he lines his lips up with Blaine's ear, his breath is heady.
"Why should I?" Kurt whispers.
Whatever Blaine was hoping for or expecting when he threw every ounce of his own sanity out the window and kissed Kurt, it wasn't this. Kurt's just as sweet and untrained as he'd imagined (when he'd guiltily let himself), but Blaine had somehow forgotten how Kurt staked out a claim on everything he did. His refusal to do what was expected of him is the reason he he's here in the first place, and a lot of why Blaine's palms are itching to learn what he's like under his craftily thrifted sweaters and the layers underneath them.
"God, I don't know," Blaine says, way too honest and laughing in disbelief. He can barely think. Kurt's right there and his breath is so close, warm and borderline ticklish against Blaine's neck and ear. "You probably shouldn't. This is stupid. You're..." He pulls back enough to look at Kurt and weigh the situation, and Kurt has seriously got to stop it with his eyes and his skin and the wavering curl of a smile he's wearing, happy but like he's trying really hard to contain it.
He's about to give up on speech and go in for another kiss, his fingers already curling to guide Kurt into it, when the grandfather clock in the hall breaks into its hourly Westminster Chime. Normally, quiet enough for the kids in the bedrooms to sleep through, in the calm closeness of the living room, it's downright cacophonous. Blaine startles and pulls his hands away from Kurt entirely, his body shrinking back into the cushions of the couch.
They're in the living room. Anyone could pass by on their way to the kitchen for a glass of water. Michael never sleeps through the night; he's walked by Kurt and Blaine talking or reading close together on more than one occasion. He's never looked askance or given more than a sleepy hello as he passed, but what they're doing right now is impossible to ignore. It's unmistakable.
Kurt looks spooked by the clock too, ripped from the same moment Blaine was. His eyes are wide.
"You should go to bed," Blaine says suddenly. "I - you have school tomorrow."
He blinks at Blaine in bewilderment. "You..." he sounds out slowly, tilting his head. "Okay?"
Blaine feels like he's being watched, a set of suspicious and dangerous eyes are pinning him. It makes him uncomfortable, but he's still dizzy with what they have just done. He put his hands on Kurt Hummel, who reels him in just by existing. He can't help himself; he presses his thumb to the apple of Kurt's cheek, watching the flesh barely yield to the slight pressure.
He leans in for one last chaste and quick kiss, trying to bat down the paranoid and awful feeling squirming around in his stomach for taking the liberty where anyone could see. Kurt inhales sharply in surprise but kisses back. He just - leans into Blaine and makes it that much sweeter.
"Sleep, okay?" Blaine says, once he's gotten it out of his system, his hands are safely back on his own lap, and he feels manageably less like he wants to pull Kurt on top of him.
"You too," Kurt says with another one of his soft half-smiles, gracefully pulling back and automatically straightening his sweater. He grabs the book he was reading before Blaine came and sat next to him, and stands up in one smooth motion. If he's a little unsteady on his feet, Blaine doesn't let it get to him.
He's so fucking lovely.
He watches Kurt walk away after a quiet and lingering "goodnight, Blaine," feeling his chest go tight with some unnameable emotion.
Blaine manages to fall asleep that night, but by five-thirty his dreams are so restless and uneasy they drag him up from unconsciousness. He's sweaty, a little, and his bedroom seems inordinately bright from streetlights of the sidewalk outside, so he shoves the covers off and pulls on a robe.
He has bills to sort, and a charity dinner to plan, and his own thoughts to drown out by throwing himself into either or both, but all he can do is stand in the kitchen and blearily make coffee. Blaine's usually up at quarter to seven, so he isn't totally off his schedule, but with the night he had and his unsettling dreams, he's not quite himself.
Charlie isn't due in until after everyone gets back from school, and Blaine really, really wishes he hadn't decided to take day shifts four out of his six-day work week (averaging sixty hours now, but he lives where he works, no matter if the lease on his studio apartment says otherwise). Sometimes the time he has to run the logistical side of the business seems filled to the brim and strained, not enough, and sometimes he feels like he's wandering through the house with nothing to do except dust. His plate for today is full, but his head isn't where it needs to be to get anything done.
Blaine ultimately busies himself with the bill pile, and it's a good thing they've got that drive coming up, because stretching their budget to cover all of the numbers is strangling his stomach in a tense fist. He thinks about putting an ad out for volunteers, but the track record with those has been so abysmal it's depressing. Most of the fresh-faced do-gooders who come in, directed from the Pride Center or even the Yellow Pages, are filled with sympathy or righteousness. These poor GLBT teens, abandoned and ostracized, they just need someone to accept them, to comfort them and teach them that they're special. Maybe they'll give them a few art therapy lessons.
The truth is, most of the kids at Courage House are assholes. Blaine loves them, but no amount of acceptance and coddling can erase the fact that they're traumatized and angry and often put holes in the wall that he sighs at and repairs himself. Domestic and sexual abuse and bullying are disturbingly common elements of their stories, half of them are barely passing their classes, and Blaine's lost count of the amount of times they've screamed at him, called him a fucking faggot - irony, there - or worse. Blaine's not doing this to be some sort of mentor, though that's nice when he gets the chance. He's doing it because business school sucked, and he hated it almost as much as he hated his father for essentially press-ganging him into it. He's doing it for less self-centered reasons, too; being gay in Ohio sucks, and being gay and homeless and having no one is unimaginably worse.
He's had no less than ten volunteers run wan-faced out the door not long after coming through it. Marie lasted a year, but she moved back to New Jersey to get her nursing degree, and Blaine can't fault her for that. He's tired of doing this, of wearing so many hats - counselor, teacher, accountant, emotional punching bag and whatever else - but he wouldn't give it up. His staff and occasional part-timer work almost as hard as he does.
Michael typically gets up when Blaine does, or before, and today's one of the latter. He blinks to find Blaine in the kitchen in his robe and sweats with papers fanned out like cards in front of him and a coffee mug making rings on one of them, but he doesn't say anything and pokes around in the fridge.
Blaine makes breakfast when somebody wants it, but usually they grab Poptarts or generic granola bars on their way out the door. Kurt helps him, sometimes; he makes a mean Eggs Benedict, and literally shoos Blaine out of the way so he won't inadvertently mess it up by trying to help. He makes his own, and recently started packing his own lunches too, once Blaine let him know it was okay. He has enough in the budget to pay for Kurt's sandwiches and quiches and array of vegetables that he carefully portions and keeps in ziplock bags, or anything else the kids might want.
He has to not think about Kurt.
He turns to Michael, who is leaning against the kitchen counter with a chipped mug of coffee and a plain waffle in his other hand. Blaine's just so good at encouraging healthy habits. He remembers wistfully when he used to at least try. "Anything exciting happening today?" he asks.
Michael shrugs, looking down at his mug. Blaine likes to think they have at least a tentative bond; Michael actually talks to him, as opposed to the stony silence he maintains around the other exmployees. "I have a math test."
"Did you study?"
Michael shoots him a look. "No, because I'm really looking forward to repeating eleventh grade."
Blaine waves a half-hearted fist. "Go team." Michael smiles the smallest amount and turns back to the sink to dump the rest of his coffee out. He's already dressed, reminding Blaine that he's got laundry to do. "Good luck."
"Thanks. I'm going to watch TV." He disappears around the corner to settle in the living room and watch God knows what.
Tracy's up half an hour later, and the sun's flirting with making an appearance; the house feels less dim and sleepy with the beginnings of light. She's still in her pajamas, and Blaine quickly finds out why.
"Can you please tell Kurt that he has no freaking business taking fifteen minute showers when my name is on the bathroom board?" she snipes. "Some of us enjoy hot water."
Blaine would normally laugh and promise her an extra ten minutes to make up for it, but Kurt keeps popping up and stalling his thoughts. "Sure." He's got a little while before Kurt gets dressed and comes into the kitchen, and he should possibly start planning for when that happens. What he's going to say. How he's going to be able to look at Kurt without panicking. "I'm going to get dressed," he says. "Try not to shank anybody."
The shower is perfunctory and distracted. He vacillates between deciding what to wear and coming up with half-baked ideas about what to say to Kurt. Apologies, explanations, stern it-can't-happen-agains, I don't care what your mouth tastes like or how you look at mes. He picks out slacks and a button down with a cardigan, and he feels uncomfortably under-dressed for the ask at hand. Today is a casual day, he reminds himself. No need for a suit.
Predictably, when he steps out of his room, Kurt is fussing around in the kitchen, and Blaine's sight hones in on him immediately. He's - well, dressed up. He doesn't have much, and what he does have he carefully searches for and cherishes. He saves his nicer pieces for the weekends, after the paragons of humanity at McKinley slushied him out of two shirts. Kurt never said a word; Blaine found out by accident, when he walked in on Kurt futilely spot-cleaning one of them, a streak of cherry red slushie sticky behind his ear. Blaine had flipped out on the principal and the slushying had apparently stopped, but Kurt's paranoia had already set in and wasn't relenting.
But this morning he's got on his nicest shirt and a scarf Blaine is amazed to realize is actual silk, wrapped meticulously around his neck. His pants are very tight, and his hair is impeccable. Blaine hadn't thought anything of it the first time he noticed Kurt was pretty. It was just an observation, and he didn't really know Kurt at the time; he was just this reserved boy who seemed to hate the sound of his own voice. Once he knew Kurt, his pretty, pale face and graceful - if surprisingly sturdy - arms were simply a part of him.
The way he looks at Blaine, the way he turns around and smiles, is wrenching.
Blaine wants him so fucking badly it makes him ache.
"Good morning," Kurt says, and it isn't his usual cheery tone, but a shy and happy murmur that makes Blaine's hands clench at his sides.
"Morning," Blaine echoes, and it turns out that that quiet, secret thrill has crept into his voice, too. He goes for a refill on his cup of coffee, trying to step back into the path of a normal morning routine. "Did you sleep well?"
Kurt makes a muffled noise, somewhere between mirth and surprise, and only then does Blaine read into the question.
"I mean- when you slept. Was it..." He closes his mouth and pours sugar into the cup. "Good morning, Kurt."
Kurt looks amused. "Can I get you something to eat?" he asks, and it's nothing he hasn't offered dozens of times before, but it feels as illicit as Kurt's tongue did in his mouth last night. Blaine's stomach tightens.
"Only if you're eating too, please," he says, sure and steady only at the thought of one of the other kids walking in on them. Walking in on them talking about breakfast. Blaine closes his eyes for a half-second and resigns himself to fumbling his way through the rest of the day.
"Sure," Kurt chirps, like it would be his pleasure. He always manages to pull something together out of limited and boring resources, and Blaine is only halfway through his coffee refill when Kurt's hand is on his shoulder, pushing him towards a chair and setting a bowl of oatmeal and raspberries in front of him.
"You can't skip out on breakfast if you're going to keep up with us," Kurt explains, taking a seat across from him. "You're not getting any younger, you know."
"Oh, trust me, sweetheart; I know," Blaine says wearily, but not without humor. He speaks to all of his kids with affection - they're all he has, really - but in the course of one night, the boundaries between him and Kurt have shifted drastically. The desire to take it back is there as soon as he's said it, but instead he issues himself a light mental reprimand and eats his breakfast. He'll have to step more carefully if he's going to keep from messing everything up.
"It's okay." It's supposed to be reassuring, but with the way that Kurt's smiling at him, it just sounds fond. His elbows are propped up on the table, hands folded under his chin. "We can't all have youth, sex appeal, and limitless opportunity on our side. Eventually we all succumb to creaking bones and-" Kurt sighs dramatically. His eyes pointedly flick up to Blaine's hairline. "Gray hair."
Blaine's hand flies to his head, caught between laughter and affront. "I don't have gray hair! Look, it's still black, through and through." He crooks his neck awkwardly as if a different angle will give Kurt a better perspective. He might have noticed a few gray strands creeping in towards his temples, but it's all the kids' fault, anyway.
Kurt's wide grin is rare, special. "And with age comes delusion," he says, teasing and sing-song, as he rises to collect Blaine's dishes and deposit them in the sink. Most mornings he takes the time to wash them, but their conversation has pushed them behind schedule and the school bus will be pulling up to the curb at any moment.
Blaine watches his bowl disappear as Tracy shuffles back in, wrestling her backpack on. "Our limo awaits," she proclaims. One of her shoes is still untied, but Blaine is happy that she's up and going to school at all. Michael is likely already waiting out on the sidewalk.
Kurt settles his messenger bag primly on his shoulder, coffee thermos in hand. "Shall we begin today with champagne or cocktails?" he asks as he offers her his free arm.
"I'd kill for a margarita," Tom adds from the doorway, flashing Kurt a grin as he brushes past him, last minute as always.
"No drinking," Blaine says automatically, out of obligation. "But if you're going to, don't do it on an empty stomach. And don't drive. And don't leave your glass unattended or accept drinks from strangers." He pauses, eyebrows knitting together. "Am I forgetting anything?"
"Just your youth," Kurt offers as a parting shot, his expression as angelic as ever.
Blaine makes an undignified noise and wordlessly gestures them all out of the house. The bus is waiting at the curb, and Blaine watches them walk toward it, everyone saddled with backpacks but Kurt. "Have a great day, and don't take any detours." Tom doesn't have detention for the first time in a while, which is a relief. Last time he got suspended for skipping said detention, and Social Services gets really bent out of shape over little things like that – although unfortunately for Tom, not nearly as bent as Blaine gets.
He closes the door and heads back to the kitchen table. He feels too revived and unsettled by the conversation with Kurt to keep working, so he goes to scoop up the bills and put them in their file. He's trying to flick the one piece of paper with the coffee stain on it completely dry when he hears the front door open and shut again.
It's Kurt, which Blaine knew from some instinctual place that made his skin tighten and his breath stop in anticipation. "Did you leave something?" he asks over his shoulder, forcing the question to sound casual.
His lips are parted, but he says nothing, walking toward Blaine with a quick stride that somehow seems as though it's in slow-motion. Blaine knows it's coming. Kurt telegraphs it, the room hums with intent, but he finds himself unable to stop it, feet cemented to the floor in his Oxfords.
Kurt's body is up against his in the space of a second, his arms coming to wind behind Blaine's neck, the thermos making it momentarily awkward. Of their own volition, Blaine's hands come up to cradle Kurt's face again, but he just keeps them there, torn between premonition, hope, and caution. The boy's belt buckle presses into his stomach, and he can feel Kurt's every intake of breath. This kiss is Kurt's, his mouth pushing and pushing, so demanding Blaine can't help but open for it. Kurt's tongue slips past his lips, the kiss turning deep and slow and tender.
Kurt's so thorough, so measured, licking into him, and Blaine finds himself sweeping his hands through Kurt's hair, tugging the slightest amount, messing it from its careful styling.
Blaine isn't the one who pulls away. Kurt draws back, with a last lingering press, the quietest wet sound hanging between them. They stand there like that, Kurt's breath fluttering against Blaine's sensitive mouth.
"I," Blaine says, his hands still twined in Kurt's hair. He's so close he can't truly look at Kurt's face as a whole - just his vivid eyes, the boyish, pristine curvature of his eyebrow, the slope of his nose.
Kurt backs up, untangling them, looking overwhelmed with a mouth that has clearly been kissed and hair ruffled like a child's. The unmistakable red-pink flush is starting to creep up his neck, color his cheeks. Blaine wonders what he must look like in comparison.
"The bus is waiting," he says breathlessly. "I've got to go."
Blaine nods mutely. Kurt gives him a quavering, curiously demure smile before he leaves. Blaine's hands are shaking, faltering and disoriented without something of Kurt to touch.