bury me in satin
there's a boy here in town,
says he'll love me forever.
who would have thought that forever could be severed
by the sharp knife of a short life?
well, i've had just enough time...
if i die young, bury me in satin,
lay me down on a bed of roses,
sink me in the river at dawn,
send me away with the words of a love song...
-'if i die young', the band perry
After a bit of a long drive, the boys finally stopped at a place called 'Scandals'. They laughed at the name and made a few jokes, but none of them had ever actually been to Ohio and it was getting late; desperate for a drink, they'd agreed to stop, no matter what the name was.
After all, the twelve young men were now officially soldiers, ready to serve their country. They felt the need to celebrate.
Little attention was paid to the boys as they filed into the bar. One of the two men behind the counter quickly filled their drink orders, while the other was cleaning glasses with a rag, watching the rowdy boys with a look of disgust, but also a tinge of amusement. He hardly looked half the age of the other bartender, his features delicate, his skin pale with rosy cheeks. The soldier with dark, slicked-back hair beneath his garrison cap quickly took interest in the young man, moving down the counter to sit directly in front of him.
"Blaine," he said, offering his hand to the boy behind the bar. However, he merely raised an eyebrow, continuing to wipe out the inside of a glass with his towel. Blaine licked his lips, dropping his hand foolishly.
"I think you and your friends are in the wrong place," the boy commented.
Blaine raised an eyebrow. "Why do you say that?" he asked.
The boy was smirking now. "I assume you're all looking for pretty girls to take to your beds tonight," he commented smoothly. "Let's just say you won't find them here."
And suddenly, Blaine understood. He looked down at the drink in his hand for a moment. "Maybe that isn't my type of thing."
The boy merely hummed in response. He set down the glass and leaned forward, still wearing the same look of distaste. Blaine took in his soft features, from his smooth skin to his startling blue eyes, and the way he styled his hair back out of his face. There was something intriguing and beautiful about the boy, and Blaine rather liked it. "And what would your type be?" the brunette asked conversationally.
"Someone like you," Blaine responded without thinking. He half-wished he hadn't said anything, the way that the other man stiffened, his expression suddenly unreadable. He straightened himself and turned away, snatching up the glass and rag he had abandoned and walking along the counter. "Wait!" Blaine said suddenly, leaping from his seat and following the other young man.
"I have other people I need to serve," he snapped at Blaine, turning to him. "I don't have the time, or desire, to play whatever game it is you're playing."
"I'm not playing any games," Blaine said indignantly.
'Then your friends are—"
"My 'friends' don't know about me," Blaine cut across in a low voice. "I'm not looking for a blue discharge."
The young man glanced at him only briefly. "Would you do me a favor and take a powder?" he asked coldly.
"I've seen your type," he continued in the same cool tone. "You think that nobody's come in here and tried to make a pass on me before? You have some nerve to assume that because I'm in a place like this, I'm... active duty."
Blaine felt the heat in his cheeks rise. "That wasn't my intention," he said quickly. "Look, I just thought that perhaps I could show you a good time and—" He stopped, seeing the look on the other boy's face. "I didn't—I didn't mean it like—"
"You are really burning me up," he snapped. "I don't know if you think you're special, if you're going to save the States and be some foolish war hero or what, but right here, right now, you're a nobody. Now get lost, go back to your friends and leave me alone." He slammed the glass onto the back shelf and stormed out from behind the counter, into the back, the door swinging shut behind him.
Blaine was hesitant returning to Scandals the next evening. He wasn't even sure if the young boy would be working that night. But he was slightly relieved as he approached the bar and recognized the brunette behind the counter, even though he glanced up at Blaine with a slight huff and an eye roll.
"I can refuse to serve you, you know," he snapped, the moment Blaine leaned forward, resting his elbows on the countertop. "State law says I can deny a homosexual alcohol."
Blaine was slightly taken aback, but kept his composure. "I know you wouldn't," he said.
The other man sighed exasperatedly. "What is it that you want from me?" he asked.
"Anything," Blaine told him, and the boy raised his eyebrows in disbelief. "I want a second chance. I know I made an awful impression on you and... I want to fix that."
"Why?" he pressed on. "You don't know me, and we—we don't mean anything to each other. I would be just as content never seeing you again."
"But I wouldn't be," Blaine insisted, and the bartender shook his head.
"Why?" he repeated, and Blaine was merely silent. He scoffed and shook his head again at the soldier.
"Haven't you ever felt this unexplainable pull before?" Blaine asked him, his eyes bright and looking a little childish in his excitement. Again the man rolled his eyes.
"You're a fool," he said. "You know nothing about me." He turned to walk away.
"Then let me change that," Blaine pleaded, reaching over the counter to grab onto the boy's wrist. "Just—just tell me your name, even."
"Humor me," he begged. "I'll come back here every single day, if only it means I could get to know you. And I don't care if that makes me sound completely desperate."
"Kurt," the brunette sighed at last. "My name is Kurt. And maybe I'd be willing to go along with this little game. You come back tomorrow and we'll see if I'm feeling as kind."
"Great," Blaine said quickly. "No—great, thank you... Kurt." He grinned broadly at Kurt, who still didn't offer even the smallest smile as he turned and walked off to tend to another customer. Blaine sighed, running his hand over his face, feeling a little defeated.
Still, he knew that it would be completely worth it.
The feeling in Blaine's gut proved to be true, at least to himself. He returned to the bar each night, taking his usual seat in the corner, patiently waiting for the moment when Kurt would waltz over to him and hand him a quarter cup of dry scotch, and on the napkin was painfully neat hand-writing that belonged to Kurt.
Over two weeks, Blaine learned a thrilling amount about the brunette. He learned his favorite color, favorite book, favorite film, song, food, drink, and flower. He learned that his mother died when he was little, and his father died before he graduated high school. He learned that he worked every night because his dream was to just get enough money to take a bus to New York and make it on Broadway.
And slowly, Blaine was earning more and more smiles from Kurt, winning laughs and stealing his time away on the slower nights. And honestly, Blaine loved it.
Naturally, Blaine couldn't help but feel a sense of worry when he arrived at the bar and took his usual seat without being greeted by Kurt, as per usual. He glanced at his watch anxiously. Ten minutes, fifteen minutes, twenty minutes... Finally, the older man who owned the place came over to him.
"What'll you have?" he asked in a grumbly voice, and Blaine licked his lips nervously.
"Oh, I—I was waiting for—" he stammered.
"For Hummel," the old man sighed. "Well, he's late. Lemme grab ya somethin' for the wait. If you plan on waitin'... It is almost quittin' time."
Blaine opened his mouth to respond when the back door opened, and Kurt came through the storeroom, still wearing his coat and scarf. He ducked his head and the older man narrowed his eyes at him, wobbling over to him. They spoke softly, the man nodding slowly before giving Kurt a small push toward the bar. He quickly stripped off his jacket and replaced it with his apron. Immediately he picked up the bottle of scotch and a glass, pouring the usual amount for Blaine. He snatched up a napkin and a pen, scribbling words down before quickly handing them to Blaine, and walking off to the other end of the counter.
Hesitantly, Blaine turned the napkin over.
Scrawled across it were the words, 'Game's up.'
Blaine's stomach lurched slightly, and he glanced up to see where Kurt was standing at the opposite end of the room, wiping down a table. He was certain this wasn't the end like Kurt had implied. It couldn't be.
And then, suddenly, the dim lighting fell perfect upon Kurt's face, and again Blaine's stomach twisted painfully. Blossoming along Kurt's cheekbone and the underside of his eye was a brilliant purple bruise, his bottom lip cut and slightly swollen.
Blaine took a deep breath, getting to his feet and slowly approaching the man. He placed a gentle hand on Kurt's arm, but he gasped and wrenched his arm away.
He ducked his head. "Go away, Blaine," he murmured.
"What happened?" he asked delicately.
"Nothing," Kurt insisted. "Just... you should go. It was fun while it lasted, but honestly? You're a real yuck if you thought that it would go anywhere." He glanced up at Blaine, who was still staring at him, looking lost. "Scram, would you?" he snapped.
"No," Blaine told him firmly. "I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what—what half-portion laid his meathooks on you, so I can—"
"You don't get it," Kurt told him. "You never will. You will always be able to hide who you are when it's needed. People aren't going to look at you or hear you talk and ask questions."
Blaine furrowed his eyebrows. "You mean that this happened because—"
"Because people look at me and they know," Kurt breathed out. "I don't have to say anything, I even deny it, but they know what I am." He squeezed his eyes shut, leaning back against the table. "I hate it. I hate it so much."
Kurt flinched slightly as Blaine cupped his cheek in his hand, before hesitantly leaning into the touch. "You're perfect," he said, and Kurt let out a bitter laugh. "No, I mean it."
"You just met me," he murmured. "You barely know me."
"I would love to, though," Blaine told him. "And I like what I already know. You're beautiful, Kurt." He leaned forward, pressing a kiss to the other man's lips, gentle and slow, yet at the same time, blissfully electric. There was something so wonderful about the way that Kurt's breath caught and Blaine was sure he was in a little over his head because this was more amazing than he could have hoped.
He pulled back, watching as Kurt's eyes fluttered open once more. "Let me take you home," he told Kurt breathlessly. "Give me the chance to remind you that not everyone's such a creep."
Kurt's eyes flickered over Blaine's face, shining with uncertainty. Finally, he nodded slowly.
An hour later, Kurt found himself seated on Blaine's small bed, hugging himself tightly. Blaine took his lip between his teeth as he stared at the boy, hating how vulnerable the boy suddenly looked. He took a deep breath, he entered the bedroom, and Kurt glanced up at him.
"Did your face get the worst of it?" Blaine asked hesitantly.
Kurt looked down at his lap for a moment. "I think my stomach will be a bit bruised, and my shoulder's a little sore, but I've seen worse," he assured him. Blaine's frown only deepened, however.
"I can check you out if you get down to your underclothes," Blaine said, and Kurt's eyebrows shot up.
"Playing doctor, are we?" he asked with a coy smile, and Blaine's mouth fell open a little. Kurt laughed lightly, directing his gaze away once more. "Not that I mind, exactly."
The last comment made Blaine's cheeks blaze red. "I—I mean..."
"My clothes," Kurt said. "Right." He cleared his throat slightly and Blaine took the cue to leave the room, gathering a few supplies from the small bathroom before returning. Kurt turned to him shyly, and Blaine swallowed tightly as he took in each and every one of the other boy's features. However, a mark on Kurt's arm caught his attention, and he furrowed his brow for what felt like the hundredth time.
Quickly, Kurt realized where Blaine was staring and tugged at the sleeve of his t-shirt, sitting back down on the bed. "It's nothing," he said immediately, but Blaine was quickly at his side, gently pulling his hand away.
There, carved into porcelain skin, were three letters, spelling one terrible word in pink scar tissue: fag.
Blaine looked to Kurt, but before he could ask any questions, the brunette spoke. "I was still in school," he said. "Not long after my dad—after he..." He trailed off and immediately Blaine closed the gap between them, kissing him desperate and open-mouthed, his hands cupping the back of his neck.
"Never again," Blaine breathed against Kurt's lips, and he felt the other boy shiver against him. "No one will ever hurt you again."
"That's an awful big thing to promise," Kurt told him softly.
"I'll make sure of it," Blaine responded forcefully.
Kurt offered him a small smile, pulling down his face to kiss him once more. "You're a fool," he muttered, leaning back against the mattress and bringing Blaine down with him, pulling his body flush to his. "But if I'm honest, I don't think I mind."
Blaine woke up to find his bed empty, and felt a sense of loss twisting in his stomach. He had simply teased himself with the idea of waking up beside the beautiful boy, of offering each other shy smiles in the early morning sunlight. For a fleeting moment, he wondered if he did something wrong. But then, he forced the idea out of his head, because Kurt had things to do. A life. A job.
He returned to Scandals as he did every evening, noticing however the slight look of surprise on Kurt's face. He took his usual seat, and a moment later, Kurt came to place the glass of scotch in front of him.
"I didn't think you would come back tonight," he said hesitantly.
Blaine cocked his head to the side, furrowing his brow. "Why wouldn't I?" he asked. "After last night—"
"We slept together," Kurt responded sheepishly. "I thought that—that maybe, you'd gotten what you wanted, and that was that."
Quickly, Blaine reached across the countertop and grabbed Kurt's hand in his, feeling the tiny cuts on his knuckles from the day before, now scabbed over. The brunette glanced around the bar nervously for a moment, before relaxing slightly, squeezing Blaine's fingers in response.
"You know," Blaine told him, soft and breathless, "you try to tell me that I know nothing about you. Maybe it's the other way around, too." He took in a deep breath, taking Kurt's hand in both of his. "I want the chance to prove to you that I'm worth your time. And I want you to be able to see it."
Kurt nodded slowly. "Okay," he said.
Kurt nodded again, offering a smile. "You keep proving me wrong," he admitted. "Maybe you'll do it again. Maybe... maybe this could turn out to be something good for the both of us."
It took weeks for most of Kurt's bruises to heal, others disappearing more quickly, while others still lingered as time continued to wear on. Suddenly Blaine found himself waking up next to the beautiful brunette each morning, just as he hoped he might. He couldn't help but feel the immense luck of his situation, that he found this boy by pure chance. Sometimes he thought he might wake up, that he was merely dreaming.
Sometimes he just thought that his luck might run out, that he'd wake up and Kurt would be gone.
But as the months wore on, and he found those few mornings without Kurt by his side, his fear began to dissipate as Kurt would return to him mere minutes later, with two mugs of coffee or a plate with toast and eggs, giving him a kiss and a smile before climbing back into bed beside him.
He couldn't help but smile when he saw the boy, couldn't help but grin goofily at him when they laid beside each other, tracing contours across the paler boy's body, making lines and shapes with his fingertip. He mapped out every inch of Kurt's skin, learning every mark and supposed imperfection and loving him despite, and honestly for, them all.
"You're doing it again," Kurt murmured, looking up at him beneath his long lashes. His voice was accusatory, but he was smiling all the same.
"What?" Blaine asked, tilting his head slightly.
"Staring," Kurt replied.
Blaine hummed in response. "Maybe I'll just buy myself a camera, and cover the walls in your image," he told him, and Kurt laughed, closing his gorgeous blue eyes and shaking his head. Blaine gently reached out, brushing some of Kurt's hair out of his face, feeling the usual pull on his heart and swelling in his chest, like all the air had disappeared from the world in one quick second. But hell, all he needed was Kurt to live, not oxygen.
"I love you," Blaine told him suddenly, and Kurt's eyes widened a little, startled. Blaine heard as his breath hitched, but suddenly he was turning his face away, pulling himself up into a sitting position, still holding the blanket close to his naked body.
"Don't use words you don't understand," he muttered.
Blaine frowned, moving to his knees and reaching for Kurt. "You don't think I mean it?" he asked, hurt.
"I think you think you mean it," Kurt told him. "But I don't think you understand what you're saying."
"I love you, Kurt," Blaine repeated. "I'll prove it to you."
"How?" Kurt asked sadly.
"Let's run away," he responded, his voice filled with a hushed excitement. "We'll leave the country, go somewhere that we can be together, where we can be accepted."
Kurt shook his head. "I'm not having you killed because you make some stupid decision to be a deserter," he said shortly.
"Then New York," he said quickly, and Kurt looked at him strangely. "Maybe it won't be perfect, but it would be better than this stupid town. And then—then you could have your dream, Kurt. You could be on Broadway."
"But it costs—"
"I'll use every penny I have," he told him. "Maybe it'll be hard but we'll do it." He reached out, cupping Kurt's face in his hands and pulling him closer for a kiss. He let their foreheads rest against each other's. "It would be so worth it, to live my life with you. And then—then, the second it's legal, you and I—we'll get hitched."
Kurt hesitated slightly. "You don't mean it," he said, almost inaudible.
Blaine pulled away slightly, struggling with his hands as Kurt watched curiously, before suddenly producing a ring. "My class ring," he said breathlessly. "It—it isn't much but—god, Kurt, I—"
Kurt cut him off with a harsh kiss, shaking slightly as he did so. "Yes," he said quickly, still trembling slightly, putting a hand to his mouth. A few tears fell down his cheek, and Blaine pushed the ring onto his finger.
"Tonight," Blaine told him. "We'll skip town tonight, after your shift ends. Just... just come to the train station as soon as you're done, and we'll run and never look back."
Kurt nodded quickly, kissing Blaine hard on the mouth once again. "I love you," he breathed out. "I love you, Blaine."
"Tonight," he repeated.
"Yes, yes, tonight," Kurt agreed quickly, with a watery laugh. "I'll be there, I promise."
Blaine's heart pounded in his chest as he watched the clock in the train station. Midnight. Kurt would be heading over now. He sat anxiously on the bench outside, for fifteen minutes, until at last the snow started to fall. Shivering, he forced himself to wait inside once again, unable to sit. He paced the floor, walking back and forth in the empty station.
Another fifteen minutes passed. Then thirty minutes. Then an hour. And suddenly, a sickening feeling was twisting in the pit of his stomach. Something wasn't right.
Clutching his coat tightly to him, he headed back outside, glancing at his watch. Kurt should have been there forty-five minutes ago, give or take. But perhaps the snow had slowed him down. Or maybe he had gotten caught up at work. Taking a deep breath, the cold air biting his lungs, he began making his way to the bar in the slowly accumulating snow.
The front door to Scandals was locked, and the lights inside were all off. He pressed his nose to the glass of the window, seeing nothing but the chairs turned on top the the tables, as they always were for Kurt to clean up. Blaine darted down the alley beside the building, hoping to check the back door because maybe, just maybe he'd catch Kurt still in the back, grabbing his things.
And then, beside the bags of garbage, Blaine noticed Kurt's bag. Heart pounding with a sense of horrifying realization. But no, no, definitely not...
Suddenly he was on the pavement, brushing the snow off the trash and—no, no, no, Blaine quickly repeated to himself mentally, no, no, not this, not now—
He heard a familiar gasp, though weaker, and his heart seemed to stop. He quickly shoved the garbage aside, gently pulling the injured boy into his arms.
"Kurt," Blaine whispered brokenly. "Kurt, no—"
"Bl-Blaine?" he gasped out, his body trembling slightly, his breathing shallow. "We—we gotta—we gotta go..."
"I know, I know," Blaine breathed out. "God, you're so cold, I... Here, let me give you my coat..." He gently set Kurt against the ground, tearing off his jacket as the boy coughed, his entire body shuddering and trembling. He gently laid the coat over his lover before picking him up in his arms once more, realizing that as he did so, the snow where Kurt's head had been resting was stained crimson. He placed his hand where the suspected wound was and could feel the sickening warm stickiness. His eyes widened a little and he looked at Kurt's half-opened eyes, feeling his chest constricting painfully.
"B-Blaine," he breathed out and Blaine swallowed tightly.
"I'm here," he told him. "I'm right here."
"S-so c-cold," he muttered, coughing once again, and groaning. "H-hurts s-so bad."
"I know," Blaine told him. "I'm sorry. I—I promised that no one would ever hurt you again and I—"
"No," Kurt quickly said, struggling with each word and each breath. "You k-kept me safe... did s-so... so well... B-better me than... than y-you..." He gasped slightly, squeezing his eyes tightly against the pain. "T-tired... so t-tired..."
"Kurt," Blaine murmured. "No, Kurt, you can't—you can't do this, you can't leave me..."
Blaine pressed his forehead to Kurt's. "We need to get you help, Kurt," he said, unable to fight the tears any longer, feeling them fall down his wind-whipped cheeks. He looked hopelessly down the alley toward the streetlamps marking the road. "Help!" he shouted desperately, his voice cracking. "Help!"
"Stop," Kurt told him weakly.
Blaine shook his head, leaning close to Kurt again. "You need—"
"You," he whispered, his fingers ghosting against cheek. "Need y-you... I love you, B-Blaine..."
"I love you," he whispered, feeling the slight pressure of Kurt's hand on his face. And then, suddenly, his arm dropped, his tiny gasping breaths stopping completely.
Blaine took in a ragged breath, clutching the body to his chest and sobbing brokenly into the night.
"This is your first time going into battle, isn't it, kid?"
Blaine glanced up at the man talking to him and nodded once.
"You ain't nervous? I was shakin' in my boots the first time I headed out, and I had a good number of years on ya."
Blaine shook his head, looking numbly ahead of him. "I have nothing to lose," he muttered under his breath. The older man looked at him curiously, but nodded after a moment.
And suddenly, it happened. Someone on some side started shooting. It was quick and rushed, and men were falling on either side of Blaine. He fought back, not even feeling the gun in his hands. But it didn't matter to him anymore.
And then, he was knocked backwards. He couldn't feel the pain for several moments, just felt his lungs constricting, unable to move his body. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the red quickly covering his uniform, gasping and blinking.
Quickly, the man that had been addressing him was beside him. "Shit!" he muttered, pressing his hands to the wound. "Shit, I—it's bad, kid, I—"
Blaine barely understood the man's words, simply staring straight ahead with clouded vision. He tried to speak but a terrible, almost inhuman noise came out of his mouth.
"Hey, hey!" the man quickly said. "No, don't talk, I—"
"He—he's coming," Blaine choked out, "for m-me."
"Who?" the man asked, his voice suddenly nervous. "Shit—this looks bad—an angel comin' for you, kid?"
"Y-yeah," Blaine gasped, smiling weakly as his chest continued to heave, his eyes completely glossed over. "M-my—my angel..."
He could vaguely hear as the man was yelling for a medic, for someone to help, but he knew that it was too late for him. He smiled contentedly, feeling someone grasp his other hand. Those soft, gentle hands.
"You came back to me."
That voice. God, he'd missed that voice. He turned his head slightly, grinning as the familiar brunette boy brushed a few of his curls out of his face.
He smiled, feeling as his last breath left his body. "I could never stay away."