Title: Make It In This Land (Prologue/5)
Word Count: ~3,100 this chapter
Warnings: AU (kind of) with touches of canon. Cracky (and hopefully heart warming) ridiculousness
Summary: What if Brittany was a future scientific time travelling genius? What if Kurt and Blaine had adopted a young Irish boy in a Children's Home in America? What if that boy was Auntie Brittany's favourite? What if one day he walked the halls of McKinley High circa 2011?
This is WITHOUT A DOUBT the crackiest most silly thing I've ever written but, please, bear with me. You only need to watch Rory's very first scenes and there IS something unsual about him, something hard to pin down... and DON'T tell me that his shock at seeing Finn was through Youtube. He'd notice his Uncle Finn anywhere ;) Watch Rory in every single scene when Kurt/Blaine are involved (especially Perfect) and I dare you not to believe in the idea a little bit ;) Plus, who has interacted with him the most? Finn, Blaine and Kurt.
I saw so much discussion about it, I got a little excited, I had tons of ideas and sat down and wrote. There's not much canon, in truth, to do with Rory but what we have got makes for THE most incredible ideas... and, of course, I shall play with them. I really REALLY hope you like it and can see past the sheer ridiculous notion enough to believe just a little ;)
The title comes from the first thing Brittany ever says to him :)
Big hugs go to whenidance for her wonderful help and enthusiasm.
FYI, I know there have been a few attempts at this kind of thing but nothing I've seen is the same and I hope I haven't tread on anyone's toes. I've had notes/ideas for this for around a week but never intended on writing it until today. There's enough room for all the crackiness, right?
It was weird. In fact, it was more than weird but thinking about it was just going to make it harder and brains were not formed to withstand the crazy amount of insanity that was... well, time travel.
She'd explained exactly what to do and her smile had been so iridescent and so easy to trust. Her hair was a shimmery kind of blonde like a mermaid or some otherworldly enchanted creature. Only the most precious of people had eyes of cyan that didn't just sparkle, they glittered with sincerity and the kind of wonder only the purest heart could hold.
Growing up, she'd always been a big presence in his life. She'd taught him to dance, her blonde hair always piled into the neatest pony tail and her words of wisdom stuck with him forever. They didn't always make sense, if he was honest, but sometimes he'd experience something and her unusual phrases would spring to mind and somehow everything would become clear. She was a genius according to Auntie Tana and no matter how many people called her dumb or stupid, he knew she wasn't. In fact, now he had proof.
Aunt Brittany. She'd always been beautiful too and who couldn't fall in love with someone so magical?
That was the problem, Rory thought, as he stood stock still and half in shock. He'd had to come up with some sort of explanation for his sudden appearance and his accent had come in handy, of course. Exchange student was a perfect cover story.
There was nothing like the luck of the Irish to fall back on.
He smiled thinking of his dads and precisely how terrible they were at copying some of his phrases. He'd never lost the twang no matter how long he'd spent in America and thank goodness because the very moment she skipped into the lounge, her bag swinging at her ankles, he knew he was seconds away from losing his cool.
She beamed, asking no questions and threw herself at him with a wonder-filled gasp. As soon as her arms curled around his neck and her trademark pony swung to tickle against his cheek, it was been so difficult to swallow down the lump in his throat. She smelled the same. It was a strange but potent mix of flowers and candy, which was not only comforting, it was so specific to her that it was difficult to separate the two versions in his head.
He was time travelling.
Oh holy Jesus Mary and Joseph.
It couldn't be real.
But it was and she was so close, so full of smiles and adorable comments about him being a leprechaun and a magical sprite sent to grant her three wishes that he'd agreed in an instant because you just couldn't deny Brittany anything. Auntie Tana often said so and it was true.
She stepped back, hands on her hips and lips pressed together. She was wearing chap stick with tiny dots of glitter and he smiled, warm and wide because no matter how crazy his eventual and inevitable revelation of the truth would be, she'd understand. She had to.
She looked so young. Her cheeks were tinted pink with the softest blush, eyelashes fanned out so prettily as she spoke with her trademark smile. He'd always known it could end wars and dissolve depressive thoughts because nobody – nobody – was quite like her. She was crazy pretty, hot, gorgeous, sparkly, fizzing with energy and just like sunshine.
At his dads' parties, he'd spent most of the time in a corner marvelling at how the entire 'friends of the family' clan contained so many beautiful women. Auntie Rachel had hair that most girls would sacrifice themselves for and Auntie Mercedes had the brightest smile in the world. It was Auntie Brittany that had his heart though and she, above everyone, was the kind of girl he wanted to love forever.
He'd messed up, though. He'd listened so intently, mostly staring at her lips as she'd explained in simple but outlandish terms that the trick to using the car – the freakin' time travelling car – was faith. You had to believe and it'd take you wherever you need to go and, most importantly, whenever you needed to go.
He'd laughed it off, believing it all to be a game but she was so certain that no matter how completely daft she seemed, he'd still felt his skin shiver as she'd closed the door. They were only supposed to be playing, imagining and fooling around because it was what they did; so he'd obeyed her every word and secretly pushed down the niggling realisation that her inverted genius may have miraculously created scientific history.
The belief part had been easy.
For as long as he could remember, life had been a little unusual. He had vague memories of Ireland. Most of them were of the greenness of it, the beauty of the rolling hills and the lilting accent of his relatives who were all a distant memory now but who seemed to have no interest in him. How could they have?
His mother had been blonde with a small but tight smile and she'd smelled musky and spicy like an abandoned Christmas. They were all half forgotten memories now because it was too hard to let them fill him up; they weren't allowed head space never mind heart space because she hadn't wanted him. She'd been young and confused apparently, entirely unsupported and alone with no other choice. He'd never understood why – not really. His records spoke of an unplanned pregnancy at a very early age and poor financial circumstances, not to mention a disapproving family. She'd sent him away and he'd lived in Cincinnati with her elderly, and also Irish, Aunt and Uncle until they'd chosen to give him away too. They were flimsy memories now too.
It was then that life had spiralled out of control.
"You'll find someone," the first lady at the first home had reassured him. Aged three, he'd known that her words were empty. She didn't have a pretty smile and she touched like she was handling a magazine or a vacuum. He was another object to her, another bothersome kid. Nobody looked at him and understood. He could remember her clinical, medicated smell and it still made him cringe to this day.
He had no father to speak of according to his biological relatives and he'd only stolen a few glances at his records to know that there hadn't been one in the picture at all.
He'd watched Home Alone at Christmas and clung to a cushion, praying that he could be so brave and inventive. He'd passed toy shops and longed to be like one of the dolls or Action Men because they were special and cared for. Someone claimed them and kept them for their own. He'd seen enough of Toy Story to know that no kid discarded the things they loved – not really. He'd be cherished and someone would love him and keep him.
It wasn't his lot in life, though. He'd seen kids at the Home come and go so quickly that they'd hardly had a chance to unpack what little belongings they had to their name. He was there long enough to memorise the number of ceiling tiles in the dining hall.
It wasn't until the following Christmas that everything had changed for good.
"Rory," Mandy called, peering around the door frame and grinning that awful fake grin, "you have someone to see you." She was wearing her awful pink jumper, the one that scratched when she brushed against you.
"Why?" He'd always been a confident kid on the outside. You had to be when friends didn't just happen. You had to work hard and grab things for yourself because if you didn't then you were really alone. You played solitary in the sand pit or finger painted with only one pair of hands.
"Because, Rory. Come on. They're nice people. You'll like them."
He glanced up at her, blinking rapidly. "Can I take my hat to show them?" he asked, full of promise and hope. There was nothing more precious. It was all he had and all he still clung to.
"Of course, come on." As she ushered him out and into the hallway, other kids ran past playing what seemed like an elaborate game of tag with bandanas. They screamed, laughing as they rounded the corner and almost knocked a tall stranger off his feet. His eyes widened, fingers clinging to the coat sleeve of another slightly shorter man. He smiled though and laughed, eyes crinkling. "They're kids not aliens, Kurt."
"I can see that. I'm just," he shook his head, exasperated like the women who served lunch and huffed when you spilled juice, "not used to so many of them. I'm not surrounded by them on a day to day basis like you, Mr School Teacher."
"I know," the smiley man said with a chuckle. He looked like one of the faces in a picture book, the happy ones that made you feel warm inside. "But just relax, ok? They're little human beings and they've all been through a lot so we need to be as calm as possible. Just be ourselves, ok?"
The taller one who wore boots like the Prince in a fairy story, nodded with a smile. He looked comfortable now as he let his fingers relax and stood tall with a sigh. His eyes were kind. They weren't scary, not like he appeared at first, and they flashed with something cosy when he looked at the smiley man.
"Gentlemen, I'd like you to meet Rory," Mandy said simply, her rough hand pressing into his back. He twisted away from it and knew he was grimacing but she was so bossy.
The man in the boots laughed, pressing his fingers to his mouth quickly. Rory watched him, eyes resolute and wide but it was the smiley man, the one with some bright coloured knot on his neck, that spoke first.
He bent down, offering his hand. "It's nice to meet you, Rory. I hope it's ok that we came to visit you."
They were a strange couple. Usually, it was a man and a woman and they'd take him for ice cream or to a museum but he never enjoyed it – not really. These were two men who acted like the other couples and smiled at each other just the same.
He nodded, clutching tighter to the hat at his chest. "Hello. Who are you?"
The man in the boots looked nervous. His eyes flickered all around but the smiley man kept looking at him, his fingers still in mid air as if they were meant for something.
"I'm Blaine," the smiley man explained, patting his chest and setting his coloured knot wobbling at his throat, "and this is Kurt."
"Yes. And Kurt."
Rory frowned, looking up to the person he now knew as Kurt. "I'm Rory," he said with more force. He'd always been taught, even through his difficult upbringing, that you had to be polite. 'Manners don't cost a penny' his Aunt Josie had explained on countless occasions.
Kurt glanced at Blaine, his eyes wilder now as if frightened. He didn't seem the kind to be scared. As he lowered himself down to rest on his knees, he inspected the floor and wiped at it before settling forward and offering a hand too.
"It's very nice to meet you, Rory. I um, I like your hat."
"I glued this on." He gestured to the embellishments just above the rim.
"You did?" Kurt asked, eyes like saucers of milk but still warm. "Where did you get it?"
"My grandma sent it over from Ireland. They moved there when they got old. They used to live here. I lived with them."
Blaine threaded his legs together and sat down gently. "It's a cool hat. Kurt likes hats, you know?"
"Really?" Rory gasped, stepping forward without a moment's hesitation. "Do you make them too?"
Kurt smiled and his eyes crinkled like Blaine's only he seemed to be much more careful and thoughtful. It was tricky trying to work him out.
"I do. I make other things too. Other clothes."
"Did you make those Prince boots?"
Blaine laughed and his eyes sparkled. He looked as if he should have been the one wearing the prince boots. "No," Kurt smiled, leaning into Blaine a little. It was as if he needed to somehow, like he had to rest against someone. He didn't look the type to need anyone either. "I bought these boots but I make other clothes and hats. Hats are my favourite things to make actually. May I?" he asked, holding out his fingers again.
Touching was weird. None of the other men and women that came to visit touched and they were always so annoying like they were trying so hard. They didn't need to, not really. The women like Mandy would always press your shoulder or push your back but nothing else.
Nobody hugged or held hands.
Thinking carefully, Rory pushed his lips together and looked away. They seemed trustworthy. They didn't look like thieves – they didn't have black and white stripy clothes so they was a big giveaway – and Blaine had a nice smile so he wasn't going to steal it or hurt him. Plus, Kurt looked as if he'd run away if someone said 'boo' to him so Rory smiled and held out his arm between them.
Kurt seemed to breathe out for some unknown reason but took the hat in his palm and twirled it. He touched it like other people would a puppy, petting the sides and smoothing his hand over it lovingly. He looked friendly and Blaine stared at him with another crinkly smile.
"Do you know what they call these hats, Rory?" Kurt asked eventually, balancing it on the end of one of his fingers. They were long and looked gentle.
"It's called a bowler hat. They were created a long long time ago in England-"
"I know England. I lived in Ireland. I'm Irish."
"Really?" Blaine looked fascinated, as if he'd just said something amazing.
"Yes. But I'm here now though."
Kurt smiled, idly smoothing the rims of moss green. "You are, and did you know that they were created to help men on horseback when they were riding under trees so they didn't fall off?"
"So," Kurt sighed, passing it back carefully, "it's a special hat but you made it your own so it's even more special than it was before. It's fabulous now."
"Fabulous?" Rory tried, the word sounding weird on his tongue. "I don't understand."
"It means amazing," Blaine explained, shrugging gently. He didn't look like the tutors when you got something wrong or didn't follow; they'd scowl or huff and puff like dogs when they're tired. Blaine didn't. He kept talking. "It means it's great because you made it and now, nobody else will have one the same."
"Like this?" Rory asked, hands reaching to tug at the coloured knot. It was nothing he'd ever seen before.
Kurt seemed to hide his laugh but Blaine took a breath and nodded, his head tilting back to offer more room. "Yes. Kurt made this for me actually. It's called a bow tie."
"That's right. It makes me stand out just like your hat does."
Rory stepped back, grinning to himself. They were nice. They talked differently and looked like something from a story book with funny knots and boots and tales about England but they smiled a lot and didn't force or push.
Blaine and Kurt.
Kurt and Blaine.
He swallowed hard, realising he'd said their names out loud. Mandy chuckled beside him and he frowned, embarrassed. "So, Rory, would you like to spend some time with Kurt and Blaine? They have the afternoon free."
Some of the other kids had suggested that they should play Pirates in the playground but he looked at Blaine's smile, all wide and funny, and he couldn't help but notice how Kurt had his fingers clenched into Blaine's sleeve again.
There was a moment of breathing out and Rory knew he was smiling wider than anyone else as Kurt suggested they go use the art room while all of the other kids were playing.
"We can make something fabulous to go with your hat. Blaine can draw. He's good at that and we can make it look pretty. Does that sound fun?"
Nodding, Rory stared at Kurt's fingers. Nothing about them seemed scary so he reached out and held tight, careful not to drop his hat when Blaine walked close on the other side.
They'd always talked about McKinley High and the fated way they'd met and the belief part had been so easy because he wanted to know them then.
They were the ones who had wanted him. They'd kept him, cherished him, loved him and given him everything he'd ever wanted and sometimes it was difficult to look at them, so sure and strong, and see how they'd ever been young.
They always had the most incredible advice, borne out of experience and times they'd always described as being difficult. Still, those times they spoke of seemed to also teach them more about the world than anything else they'd experienced. They hadn't told him everything but he knew enough to understand that High School had been the most defining part of both of their lives and it was there that they'd met.
They'd saved him. They had single-handedly turned his life upside down and given him the family he'd never allowed himself to wish for so there had been no other time and place he'd wished to see more than McKinley High and Dalton Academy circa 2010.
That time had defined them both and there was an odd sort of desperation to know them better that buzzed under his skin. 'Always asking questions' they'd say, laughing. Blaine would smile to himself, sometimes reaching out to ruffle his hair and tell him that he was unlike any other kid because he was 'special'. Kurt would always agree, adding that, no matter what, he should always remember that fact and hold it dear because being different was the best thing about him.
It wasn't until he glanced at Brittany's calendar and saw the year 2011 presented clearly that he panicked, worrying he'd missed it all, missed everything that made them who they were to him.
The plan was simple: stick with Brittany, try not to fall in love with her, find his parents and try not to wind up in some institution because, well... time travel.
Please let me know what you think :) It's a COMPLETELY new concept for me to write, something totally different and it's amazing practice for me. I'm working on a few things right now but I got far too excited for this that all other things are on hold ;) Also, seriously, if you like the premise of this story, go watch all of Rory's scenes (especially Perfect because now, I can't watch it without semi-hyperventilating at the sheer sweetness of Rory's reactions!)
Also, seriously, if you like the premise of this story, go watch all of Rory's scenes (especially Perfect because now, I can't watch it without semi-hyperventilating at the sheer sweetness of Rory's reactions!)