*hides*

Blaine woke up to his phone alarm going off at seven. He reached over to his bedside table without opening his eyes and grabbed his phone, turning off the alarm with practiced hands. He groaned and pulled the covers tightly over him, trying to recall the dream he was having. His face was kind of sweaty, and his stomach felt weird as he remembered how oddly lifelike the second part of his dream was.

There were lots of foggy details, little snippets of weird things that happened. Something about a strip club, and he remembered Kurt having a lot of dollar bills and throwing them on stage. Blaine kept his eyes closed tightly as he remembered how he had tried to pull Kurt away and out of the club, but his legs felt wobbly, and no matter how much he walked, Kurt stayed at the same distance.

Then he was suddenly sitting down at his kitchen table, with his father and Kurt sitting beside him. Across from him looked like an older version of Milly, her hands clasped in front of her as she stared down at the table.

"Milly?" He had said, but she didn't answer. "Where's mom?" He asked, to no one in particular this time. Across from him, the older Milly shook her head and looked out the kitchen window, tears in her eyes.

Blaine had turned to his father this time, who sympathetically patted him on the back. "She left last night, Blaine."

"What?" He exclaimed, looking at Kurt. He realized that Kurt looked much older too. "Why?"

Kurt looked down at his hand pointedly, and Blaine took a glance at his own hand. On his finger was a gold band.

Blaine couldn't really remember anything after that. Shaking his head slightly, Blaine made his way to the shower and dressed.

Trudging his way down the stairs, Blaine was met by his father. He was leaning against the counter, a steaming cup of coffee in his hands. His eyes seemed sort of glazed over, and it sort of looked like he wasn't even aware of the drink in his hand.

"Dad?" Blaine walked into the kitchen slowly, not wanting to scare him.

Mr. Anderson jumped a little bit anyway and looked at his son with raised eyebrows, as if surprised to see him. "Oh, good morning," he said, setting his coffee down on the table beside him. "There's still some left in the pot." He gestured towards the coffee pot.

Blaine nodded but didn't go for the coffee. "Don't we have to pick up Grandma and Pop from the airport?" He asked, noting the fact that his mother and sister were nowhere to be seen.

"Their flight got delayed. They won't be here until around two in the afternoon. Apparently, it snows a lot in Minnesota," he said, smiling a little bit. "Oh, how I do not miss those winters," he said, quietly and mostly to himself.

"Oh," Blaine said, feeling annoyed that he had gotten up so early for nothing—and there was no way that he was going to get back to sleep now. Sighing, he went and poured himself a cup of coffee and dug out the creamer from the refrigerator. He poured way more than the suggested dose of the creamer, laughing a bit when his father shook his head, mumbling about how he was "ruining perfectly good coffee."

"Just because I like my coffee with a bit of flavor," Blaine teased, gesturing towards his father's cup, "instead of your bitter, black coffee."

His father took a sip of his coffee, smiling and humming as his son wrinkled his nose in disgust.

"Anyway, I think I'm going to have lunch with a friend today, if they're not gonna get in until two," Blaine told him, wrapping his fingers around his mug tightly, letting its warmth spread through his arms and through his body.

Late last night, he had sent a text to Finn containing only two words: second base.He hadn't answered to any of Finn's texts after that, mostly because he was embarrassed because one, he wasn't actually sure if he made it to second base, and second, oh my god, in the process he had completely freaked his boyfriend out.

"With Katy?" His father asked, looking down at Blaine through his glasses.

Lost in his thoughts, Blaine shook his head. "Hmm? Who?" Then, "Oh! Oh, yeah—no. That ended up not working out," he finished, taking an awkward drink from his mug.

His father nodded and asked, "Do you want to talk about it?" There was a small smile on his face, and once again, Blaine felt like he was being laughed at. Blaine pursed his lips and shook his head, "Not a chance."

"Well, do you want to watch Jeopardy?" His father suggested. Watching Jeopardy used to be something they used to do when Blaine was younger—Blaine guessed he owed his bookish-ness somewhat to his father, who made him watch Jeopardy and History Channel specials instead of cartoons on Saturday mornings.

"Sure," Blaine said, smiling. He grabbed his coffee and followed his father into the living room, flopping down on the couch next to his old man, who was already shaking his head at the contestant guessing an answer.

"Wait, who is America named after?" His dad puzzled, his eyebrows knitted together. "How do I not know this?"

Two seconds before the answer was called, Blaine muttered "Amerigo Vespucci," and then nodded smugly when he saw that he was right. Ignoring the look his father was giving him, Blaine smiled into his mug, feeling a little bit like a kid again.

OOOOOOOOOO

Three hours later, Blaine and Finn sat in a burger joint. Blaine was distracted by the light snowflakes falling outside the window, but Finn was smirking at him and Blaine asked himself why he told his friend anything in the first place.

"So," Finn started, crumpling up his burger wrapper into a ball. "Second base, huh?" He was still smirking at Blaine and leaning back in his chair, his hands behind his head. Blaine sort of hoped that he would fall backwards.

Blaine grimaced and set his burger down, not even halfway through with his food. He looked up at Finn, "Yeah."

"Wow, okay. Don't look too thrilled," Finn said, leaning forward so all four chair legs were on the ground. "Is my bro a bad kisser or something?"

Blaine shook his head—he was inwardly cringing at the memory of his and Kurt's first "official" make-out session. "No, he's a fine kisser—and don't call him 'bro', please. I just—oh my god," Blaine groaned and hid his face in his hands.

"Whoa, what happened?" Finn said, attempting to look concerned, but the corners of his mouth were twitching upwards in a curious smile.

"I really don't want to talk about it," Blaine said, his voice muffled by his hands.

"Was it that bad? It couldn't have been. Seriously, like, I've had some bad experiences, and I think mine are worse than yours," Finn pointed out, leaning his elbows on the table as he stared at his friend. He obviously looked forward to the story. "Spill."

Blaine shook his head. He actually didn't doubt this statement, but he still didn't want to tell Finn—he knew that Finn wouldn't let it go.

"Come on, Blaine! I told you about the one time, remember? In Quinn's hot tub? When—"

Blaine held a hand up, signaling for Finn to stop right there."I know what happened in Quinn's hot tub," he said, closing his eyes and trying to keep his brain from bringing back the mental picture of that scenario.

"Okay, fine. It could not have been more embarrassing than that."

Blaine sighed, his eyes raised to the ceiling. "Alright, do you promise not to laugh?"

Finn shook his head, "No promises. But just to remind you, you laughed for hours—no, daysactually when I told you about the hot tub incident."

Blaine shrugged. That was actually pretty fair. He took a deep breath, "I pinched his nipples."

"Huh?" Finn tilted his head at him, as if he didn't hear him right.

Blaine looked around the restaurant. There was hardly anyone here, which was good. Blaine really didn't want to be telling his failed sexual exploits to an audience, whether they were with a boy or a girl. He turned back to Finn, making pinching gestures with his thumb and forefinger.

Finn stared at him with his mouth open, slowly forming a wide smile. It wasn't long before he was laughing loudly, his chair leaning back as he laughed.

"You are such a douche," Blaine said, his face coloring. He took a french fry and threw it at Finn, getting some revenge when it landed square on Finn's forehead, bouncing off to land on his shirt.

However, Finn picked up the fry and stuffed it in his mouth, still laughing at Blaine but not quite as loudly, thankfully. The two other occupied tables in the place were starting to stare.

"Oh my god, Blaine. You are so weird!" Finn exclaimed, clapping his hands gleefully.

"No! No—it's not funny!" Blaine said, throwing another french fry, except this time it missed, and it went flying over Finn's shoulder, earning him a glare from the lone server behind the bar.

"Well, I mean. That's like, kinky," Finn said, stifling his laugh.

"Really?" Blaine asked. "Was it that weird? I mean—I didn't really think about it. It—it just happened and then Kurt was all like 'we should stop' and—I don't know. Do you think he's like, totally creeped out?"

Finn shook his head, calmed down some. He reached over and stole one of Blaine's fries. "Well," he started, his mouth full. "Probably not. I guess it's really not thatweird—but definitely not something that happens on the first date—"

"It wasn't our first date though," Blaine pointed out.

"Okay, fine. But your first date was probably lame. Or the ending of it was, wasn't it?"

Blaine shrugged. "Depends on what your definition of lame is," he said vaguely, knowing full well that everything he did was Finn's, and mostly everyone else's in the world, version of 'lame.'

"But I wouldn't worry about it so much, it's not like he kicked you out or anything. It wasn't that weird." Finn said, suddenly deciding to be a good friend.

"Really?" Blaine said hopefully. He pushed his fries over to Finn so that he could finish them.

"Thanks. And yeah, trust me, first, like, make outs are always weird. Same with other stuff. But I don't need to know about that."

Blaine shook his head and smiled, "wasn't planning on telling you."

"Good." Finn paused, pushing the fries around with the one in his hand, then looked at Blaine smiling, "so are you into like, bondage stuff, too?"

"Oh my god, shut up."

OOOOOOOOOOOOO

The airport was jam packed with tired looking travelers, no doubt having been there for more than six hours. Flights were being delayed left and right, and Blaine, sitting on his chair, was silently fuming and cursing the weather—there were only so many hours of airport-sitting he could do. Coupled with the fact that his mother had a major headache and Milly would not shut upabout being bored, Blaine was two seconds away from going crazy.

To make things worse, Kurt wasn't answering his phone, so Blaine had no one to talk to. So Blaine sat, frustrated and worried that he had actually messed things up with Kurt, for three hours.

His mother reached over and placed her hand on Blaine leg. "Blaine, honey, pleasego get your sister something to drink or something."

She, too, looked one step away from tearing out her hair. Blaine considered sitting there defiantly with his arms crossed, but he just sighed and offered his hand out to Milly, who took it gleefully.

Behind him, he saw his mother relax into her chair, closing her eyes. Beside him was a bouncing seven year old, who had too much energy for her own good.

"Alright," he said. "Where am I taking you?"

"Ooh, let's go to Starbu—"

"No. The last thing you need right now is coffee," Blaine said firmly, eyeing the long line in front of the coffee place. He doubted that he would have enough patience to stand in line for his little sister to order a vanilla Frappuccino. He kept a firm grip on her hand as she veered from side to side, looking at all the shops.

Milly rolled her eyes, "Fine. What about Cinnabon?"

"Alright, whatever," Blaine relented and let himself be pulled into a small shop. The line wasn't that long compared to the one at Starbucks, where the line was pouring out the door and around the corner.

When they were up at the counter, Milly pointed to the biggest cinnamon roll she saw, and the guy behind the counter dutifully got it for her.

"Here you go," he said, handing the treat to Milly, then flashing an amused smile at Blaine, who just stared for a second, before awkwardly smiling back. He felt a little guilty for noticing, but this guy was hot.He had blonde hair that did that thing where it looked like the guy did nothing more than roll out of bed to style it—but it still looked good—and brown eyes with a straight nose.

Blaine felt himself go red and he struggled to dig his wallet out of his pocket, trying to thumb through the bills without dropping anything. Next to him, Milly was already distracted by a candy display with lollipops the size of her head.

"Blaine—" she started, pointing at the candy, but Blaine already shook his head no. This was apparently the wrong answer, because she immediately stomped her foot and whined.

"Blaaaine, puh-lease! Look how cool they are!" She said, taking one from the rack and shoving it into Blaine's face. The guy behind the counter waved his hand to say 'take your time' as he helped the next customer quickly.

"No! I can't buy you that! Mom will kill me. It's bad enough I bought you a giant cinnamon roll." He tried to coax her to put the candy back. He was well aware of the guy behind the counter—who was so incredibly cuteand Blaine couldn't believe this was happening, he was so embarrassed.

"Get this for me instead of the chocolate!" She said, trying to shove the lollipop into Blaine's hand.

"No, I said that I would get you chocolate. That was the deal, remember? I will get you that later, now come on, the flights going to be here in any second—"

"I'll tell them!" Milly said, holding the lollipop to her chest. "I'll tell them that you were kissing Kurt!" Blaine closed his eyes as he felt a deep flush develop on his face quickly. The lady in line behind him was blatantly laughing and the cashier was trying his best to hide a smile.

Even though Blaine knew that Milly didn't really understand how important it was to him to keep a secret, he was still fighting the urge to slap her upside the head.

Blaine sighed and yanked the lollipop from her hands and banged it on the counter, then fished out money from his wallet. His face was still bright red as he shoved the cash into the man's hand, muttering to add a small mocha to their order.

He took the coffee in silence, still not able to make eye contact with anybody as they walked out of the store; Milly with her lollipop and cinnamon roll, and Blaine with his coffee.

Luckily, Blaine noticed that there was writing on the side of the paper cup before he sat down with his parents. He turned the cup around in his hands, blushing as he read the messy handwriting of the cashier.

There was a phone number and a little note under it—here's my number if you and Kurt don't work out.

Blaine inwardly groaned—this was the worst day ever.There was even a little p.s. note under it, and Blaine fought the urge to throw the cup away and not even read it, but curiosity overtook him. The writing was quite a bit smaller, and messier, as if the man had decided to add it last second.

Don't be so ashamed, it's okay.

It actually surprised Blaine so much that he stopped walking, letting Milly wander back to their seats alone. His insides felt like they were dumped in ice, and he actually started laughing. Because this guy had actually written that on his cup—saying that as if it were that simple.

Don't be so ashamed.

The sad part was that Blaine knew it was that simple.

OOOOOOOO

The terminal opened and the airport flooded with weary fliers, who all looked relieved to get off the plane. Beside him, Milly was jumping ecstatically and trying to find their grandparents through all the people. She was the one who spotted them first, and took off running.

"Grandpa!" She yelled, jumping into her grandfather's arms. Blaine and their parents were close behind, grabbing luggage, and Blaine leaned down slightly to hug his grandma.

"My!" She exclaimed, holding Blaine by the shoulders and looking at him up and down. "You've grown! My goodness, the girls must be all over you at school!" She said, and Blaine tried not to look uncomfortable, and luckily his Dad cut in.

"Well, they are. Blaine's quite the heartbreaker," he said, laughing at Blaine's groaning and complaints. "He did have a girlfriend, for a little—" his grandmother's mouth dropped open, probably going to ask for details, but his dad continued. "But I think he decided to focus more on schoolwork, right?"

Blaine quickly nodded, jumping on board. "Yeah, totally. I mean I've already applied to most of the schools, but they do pay attention to whether you keep your grades up…"

"Yep, says Mister Princeton—" His dad has said the magical words, and all talk about Blaine's fictional girlfriend was forgotten.

"Princeton?" His grandmother started, hooking her arm through Blaine's. "Now you must tell me all about this! How come you didn't tell me! I can't believe it—my grandson going to Princeton!" She placed her other hand over her heart, "My ladies at my bridge table haveto hear this!"

Blaine laughed, relieved. "There's a difference between applying to a college and getting in, you know."

"Yes, well. They would be crazy not to let you in…" his grandmother kept going, and Blaine looked over his shoulder at the rest of his family following him. Milly was hanging off the arm of their grandmother, talking a mile a minute and jumping, their mom trying to get her to calm down a little bit, even though it looked like he didn't mind. Blaine caught the eye of his father, who was pulling along the suitcase, and he raised his eyebrows at Blaine as if to say you're welcome.

OOOOOOO

Dinner wasn't as bad as he thought it would be. He loved his grandpa and grandmother to pieces, but as older, more old-fashioned people do, they had views that were maybe a little bit different from Blaine's. And they weren't exactly afraid to voice them.

It wasn't anything that Blaine couldn't ignore. He put up with it because, well, they're his grandparents and, he hated to admit it, they could call him a fag, disown him, and kill his puppy and he would probably still crawl back, begging for them to love him again.

He thought that that was most likely a problem, and a viewpoint like that probably wasn't normal—but that was really how he felt. He wouldn't change himself for them, but he wouldn't accept rejection.

Blaine looked around the table, taking in his family as they all ate Christmas dinner. There was a tree lit in the background, and a fire crackling in the fireplace. It was actually a perfect greeting card picture. The only problem was that the people in the picture weren't perfect.

There was a tingling sensation under Blaine's skin, on his arms, under his scratchy sweater that his mother forced on him. What if he were to just tell them—right now? If he just stood up and announced that he was gay—and he had an awesome boyfriend to show it?

But instead, he just laughed at some joke that his mother made, and then before the dessert was brought out, he slipped his hand into his grandmothers and bowed his head to pray, his eyes closing as he listened to the soft voice of his grandfather.

He wouldn't ever come out to his grandparents. Their love was not something he was willing to risk.

OOOOOOOOOO

That night was hard for Blaine. He felt immensely guilty, and he couldn't sleep, tossing and turning in his sheets. Around two in the morning, he finally got up and made his way downstairs, vaguely thinking about getting some ice cream.

When he got downstairs, he saw that the kitchen light was already on, and he could just barely hear the sound of soft conversation.

"… I thought that maybe you would have another situation. Like the one with Drake," Blaine heard his grandmother say, and he shrunk back onto the stairs, where he was positive he couldn't be seen.

"I don't think it's hereditary," his father spoke this time, his voice sounding vaguely amused.

"Well, I saw a study that said it was. You can't ever be sure can you," his grandmother sighed. "But I think he's fine. He's a good boy, just very focused on his studies, right? And he had a girl for a while, you said?"

"Yes, mom. Stop worrying about it—"

Blaine didn't hear anything else, climbing the stairs as quickly and quietly as he could. He shut the door behind him and ran to his bed, fumbling around on his nightstand for his phone before pulling the covers up and over his head. His stomach was churning.

The phone's light was too bright under the darkness of the covers, and Blaine had to squint as he scrolled through his contacts, finally finding Kurt's.

It rang and rang, and finally hit Kurt's voicemail. Blaine cursed and hung up, immediately calling again, listening to the ring, and then—

"Hello?" came Kurt's sleepy voice. Blaine didn't immediately answer, his mouth opening but not a sound would come out.

"Blaine? Are you there?" He sounded a little bit more alert now, and Blaine heard some shuffling, like Kurt was sitting up in his bed.

"Yeah, I'm here," Blaine finally said, his pajama-clad legs curling up into his chest. It was too warm under the sheets, and he was started to sweat a little bit, but he didn't want to push back the covers. "Is it written on my head?" He asked quietly.

"Is what written on your head?"

"That I'm, you know…" Blaine trailed off, turning onto his side, his legs still curled up tightly into him. He was trying to ignore how much he sounded like a teenage girl. Kurt didn't say anything, so Blaine went on.

"Like, I don't act like it—and loads of guys don't have girlfriends, so why does everyone suspect me?"

Kurt sighed, "Nobody suspects you, Blaine."

"My grandmother does! She was saying that she was worried about me—"

"That could have meant anything," Kurt tried to console him. "Maybe she meant the fact that you spend way too much of your time doing your homework," he teased Blaine, who smiled halfheartedly.

"No, I know what she meant. I could tell. And it's like, how?It's not like I act gay—for Christ sakes, I'm on the damn football team!" Blaine said, lowering his voice even though he knew no one could hear him beneath the covers and behind the closed door. "And this cashier guy, at the airport, he knew. But, I mean, I guess that's not my fault. Milly kind of announced it to the whole store—"

"Wait- what?"

"Oh yeah, I meant to tell you about that. So I brought Milly to get her a snack at the airport, and she wanted some stupid lollipop and I told her no. So she pretty much blackmailed me in front of the whole store, saying that she will tell my parents about you and stuff. And then the cashier was laughing and the people behind me were, and then the guy gave me his phone number and wrote a note telling me not to be ashamed. Long story short it was the worst ten minutes of my life," Blaine finished.

There was a long pause on Kurt's end before "He gave you his phone number?"

Blaine had to laugh, and assured Kurt that he was not planning on calling the guy. "But he was kind of cute," he added. Once again there was a pause on Kurt's side, so Blaine added for good measure: "But not as cute as you."

"So, were you embarrassed because your sister announced that you were gay or that you were kissing me? Like, are you ashamed of kissing me?" Kurt asked quietly, and Blaine cursed silently in his head.

"No, I mean," he sighed, trying to find a way to put his feelings into words. "I'm not ashamed of kissing you, it's just that—yeah." Blaine said lamely. "It wasn't mostly that I was ashamed, I was mostly just embarrassed.And it's kind of crazy that she could just almost blackmail me so easily—"

"I wasn't aware that being gay was blackmailing material—seeing that it's nothing to be ashamed of." Kurt said matter-of-factly, and Blaine could see him in his mind. Kurt's hands would be folded in his lap, his eyes down and eyebrows raised in the perfect bitch face that managed to make Blaine want to kick himself.

Blaine sighed, rubbing his eyes with his free hand. He said nothing, knowing that he had unintentionally upset Kurt, and there was really nothing he could do about it, since Kurt was right, as usual. He listened to the other boy breath for a while, waiting for him to say something.

"I'm sorry," Blaine said quietly.

"No, I am," Kurt sighed, "You called me because your grandma was being crazy and now I'mbitching at you for something that happened and doesn't really matter anyway."

"But it kind of does matter," he insisted. "It's just—I really want to kiss you right now." He finished in a whisper. It was true, and it just sort of came out. He heard Kurt giggle softly on the other end.

"That's nice."

"What? You don't want to kiss me too?" Blaine teased, his hand settling on his stomach, where a heat was starting to grow. He squeezed his eyes shut, a wide smile on his mouth, and he bit his lip to stop it.

"I do…" Blaine had to press the phone tightly to his ear to hear what Kurt said next. "Among other things."

Blaine let his smile burst onto his face; it was so big that it was hurting his cheeks. He was flushing, partly because of how hot it was under the covers, and because of Kurt.

"Yeah?" he asked.

"Yeah," Kurt said, and Blaine could hear the smile in his voice as well.

That was the end of the conversation, even though they stayed on the phone for four more hours after that.

Kurt hummed a tune under his breath while Blaine dozed off to sleep, wondering how Kurt does this to him.