This is something I have been working on since October. It was originally meant to just be a one-shot with a couple thousand words, but as I wrote, it would not let me be concise. It is mostly written now, so I thought I might post the beginning to get me in gear for the homestretch, which is to say that there most likely will not be an excessively long wait for updates. Also know that I am, well, extremely nervous to actually post this.

Title is from "Baby I'm Yours" by Arctic Monkeys.

Blaine Anderson was rich, and most people assumed that being rich solved all your problems.

That was not true.

To be fair, things had started off alright. Blaine had grown up the image of a perfect son. He behaved in school, he always obeyed orders, and he was attentive in church. He could even occasionally quote Bible verses, if pressed. But then came the problem of the strange, unacceptable feelings he got once puberty hit.

Ever since he had come out at the age of fourteen, his life had been a long series of problems. His father had spent the longest time trying to convince him that he wasn't actually gay, and that it was actually just a phase that plenty of boys went through. Surely, he'd get over it soon enough.

He hadn't gotten over it, though, and he'd even started using his affinity for the Bible to dispute people when they tried to point out to him the error of his ways. And so Mr. Anderson decided that he would try to keep his son's sexuality under wraps. After all, the idea that he could raise something so disgusting was just ludicrous, wasn't it?

Blaine didn't want to conform to his father's standards, though, and instead let anyone who wanted to know that yes, he was capital G-A-Y gay. It had, of course, led to his becoming a social outcast with a rainbow, glittery target on his back, but really, of course, it was his own fault.

He finally got a respite from the blame, hate, and bullying once his father allowed him to transfer to Dalton Academy. Blaine knew that his father had his own reasons for sending him to Dalton, but he did his best to not think about it as he fell in with the Warblers, who accepted him just as he was. None of them blamed him for his sexuality, because they didn't see it as something that one should be blamed for. After all, who ever gives someone the blame when something good happens?

He had been forced to go home for the winter break during his junior year at Dalton. He spent most of the break holed up in his room, skyping with his friends and doing pretty much anything but paying attention to his father.

One morning, though, he was sitting at the breakfast bar eating his cereal and watching the news with his dad. The news was, generally, something safe for them to watch. They could watch it in silence and hope nothing controversial came on.

That morning, of course, was different than all the others, when a story about winged people came on.

People with wings had come to the public eye within the past decade or so, though no one was sure how long that had managed to hide before then. They had hidden with good reason, though, because once they had been found out, society had been quick to use them to their advantage.

Having a winged person as a pet became a status symbol. Only the richest people had them, and if you had one, everyone you knew felt terrible about themselves. It was amazing.

Additionally, of course, since these pets were anthropomorphic (they weren't humans, though, and never say they are, because that thought makes people sad), you could do whatever you wanted with them, and no one would be disgusted by your bestiality (the protestors, of course, would be disgusted by your inhumanity, but society did their best to keep them quiet).

"Blaine, I think it's about time you got a pet of your own," his father said, as nonchalantly as if he was saying how nice the weather was.

He nearly choked on his cereal. "What?"

"I'm going to get you a pet," he said, nodding slowly. "I think it would benefit you."

It didn't occur to Blaine until later that day that his father might have had an ulterior motive for buying him a pet. Since it had been brought up over breakfast, Blaine had been finding himself thinking more and more of how he probably didn't even really want a pet (they were so much work , and chatty), he hadn't even thought of why his father would even offer.

That is, until he found himself walking down the rows of caged pets, each of them staring out at him with their dead eyes.

"There's one that I've had my eye on for you for a while now," his father told him, and it was then that Blaine realized something: the pet was a female. It had to be; why else would he spend so much money on something for his disappointment of a son? "It'll probably take some training, but I think you'll find that the effort is worthwhile."

Suddenly Blaine was filled with complete and utter dread. He almost yelped as one of the pets, a female with long dark hair and wings that looked like they were made of leather, reached out at him, her sharp nails catching what little light there was in the facility. The lights were kept dim, of course, so that people couldn't as easily see any imperfections in their potential pets, as well as the poor conditions they were kept in.

But then his father stopped in front of a cage, gesturing for Blaine to look.

To his surprise, the figure in the cage was definitely male (though, to be fair, society tried to avoid allowing the pets to go by genders, regardless of what they were). There wasn't much more he could tell, due to the pet holding up its wings, most likely to obscure itself from view. Blaine couldn't help but think that if he was an angel, he would do the exact same thing.

Seeing as they were the only thing Blaine could really see well, he allowed himself to take in the sight of the pet's wings. They were feathery, much like angels always looked like in the storybooks he had read as a child. Unlike the angels in those storybooks, though, these wings were a deep shade of chocolate brown. Leaning forward to try and see clearer, he thought that the pet's wings might have matched its hair, but with the dim light and the pet's efforts to keep itself hidden.

One of the workers came forward, hitting the bars of the cage with some sort of metal stick to get the pet's attention. "Twelve-twenty-five-two, you've got visitors!"

The pet winced, its wings drooping as it turned to face Blaine. He thought that he had never seen anything so sad-looking, until he looked up into its eyes. They were a bit hard to see in this light, but there was no mistaking the pure anger in those blue eyes that otherwise would have been quite pretty.

Immediately, Blaine knew that this was the one he wanted. It wasn't like all the others: there was life in its eyes, and it didn't really matter to him at that moment that the emotion in those eyes wasn't exactly a positive one.

Reluctantly, he looked away from the pet and over his shoulder at his father. "But Dad, what about your reputation?" To be honest, it hurt him to ask, but he wanted to clear his mind of any guilt surrounding this now.

"More and more people are buying pets of the same sex," he answered simply, and though his tone was one of nonchalance, but Blaine knew that this was his own little way of extending an olive branch.

"Thank you," Blaine said softly, then looking back at the pet.

"I'll go pay for it and you can take it out to the car, alright?" At those words, the worker signaled another to let the pet out of the cage, and led Mr. Anderson off to fill out the paperwork.

Blaine watched, honestly feeling a bit dumbstruck, as the worker grabbed a leash and a ring of keys, let out his new pet, and put the leash on it (some of them had a tendency to get vicious when let out of their cages, and one could never be too careful). He handed the leash to Blaine and, just like that, walked away without a word. Blaine looked at his pet for a second before deciding that he wanted out of this dark, smelly place as soon as possible, and made his way back to the exit, his new possession lagging behind him.

Once they were outside, the leash was pulled taut. Blaine looked behind him to see that his pet was looking around with wide eyes, his jaw slack.

"What are you doing?" Blaine asked, careful to not sound harsh for fear of scaring it. After all, he wanted to be a good owner.

For a second, they just stared at each other. The blank look his pet was giving him made Blaine panic: what if it didn't speak English?

"I…" it started meekly, "It's just been so long since I've seen sunlight." Its voice was rough and it coughed before adding, "Or, well, light at all."

It was Blaine's turn to stare. That voice. It was soft and nervous, the product of however long he had spent in the pet facility, with, if one trusted the protestors (which one should never do), brutal punishments if he ever spoke out of turn (though of course they rarely got a turn). But Blaine could still hear traces of what most likely was his normal voice, and it was perfect.

The pet's blue eyes went wide with worry. "Sorry, Master, I—" But Blaine held up a finger to silence him, taking a moment to just appreciate the winged boy in front of him. The color of its hair did, in fact, match the color of its wings. It was brushed across its forehead in a way that made Blaine think that it may have tried to style its hair but didn't have any product to do such a thing with.

And then, of course, there were the wings. He'd seen pictures of all kinds of wings: feathered, fluffy, leathery, anything you could think of. And maybe it was just the fact that this was the first pet he'd seen up close and personal (and the bias of the fact that this one was his), but he thought these were the most beautiful wings he'd ever seen. They were on the larger side, and Blaine had no doubts that it could entirely hide its body with those wings. It was also clear that it had put in the effort to keep the wings neat. Unlike some of the pets on the news and protestors' videos, there were no haphazard or off-colored feathers.

"You're an angel," he said breathlessly.


"They had it wrong, because you have wings. You're not just another one of the pets. You're an angel, fallen from heaven."

"What makes you say that?"

"You are beautiful," he said, reaching out and touching the pale skin of his face. He tried not to notice the fact that he shied away from his touch. "And you have feelings as clear as anyone on the streets. With all the other pets, there's nothing in their eyes. Nothing."

"They have thoughts," he said quietly, "they're just too scared to have feelings anymore." The confidence in his voice grew as he added, "Besides, they say that the longer you stay in the facilities, the less you are able to care. You lose all hope."

"How long were you in there?" Blaine asked, feeling nervous about the answer.

He shrugged. "I was nine when they found me, but I've lost track of time, Master, sor—"

"Blaine," he said. "My name is Blaine. You don't have to call me that. Hell, we're probably the same age."

"Alright, Blaine," he said.

He blinked at his pet. "You have a name, too, right?"

"My number is twelve-twenty-five-two."

"No, I mean, your name," Blaine said. "What your parents called you."

He bit his lip, his wings curling around himself. "It's my understanding that I don't have a name," he said softly. "They told me I didn't get to keep my name when they found me."

"Do you remember what your name was?"

He nodded slowly, looking down at the ground and wringing his hands.

"Hey," he murmured, using his hand to gently raise his chin. The other boy's blue-green eyes were wide and nervous, but they still made Blaine's heart jump. He leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his lips. The boy stiffened, and after a few seconds he drew back.

"Kurt," he said softly. "My name is Kurt."

Blaine stepped away from Kurt and started leading him towards the car in silence, feeling completely swept over with guilt. He had always heard that pets liked it when they were kissed, and Kurt seemed to think that he was just another pet. But, once again, Blaine had been wrong and now someone was upset.

The ride home was spent in silence.

Once they got home, Blaine gave Kurt a tour of the house, highlighting places like the kitchen and the bathrooms. Finally they made their way to his bedroom, where he sat down on the edge of the bed. Kurt stood rigidly in the middle of the room, watching Blaine carefully.

"If you're going to do something, is it within my rights to ask you to get it over with now?"

Blaine didn't want to think of the implications of Kurt's words, which were the first words that he had spoken since they had left the facility. Instead, he just gave Kurt a smile, and said, "Just calm down."

The look Kurt gave him and the way he shuffled his wings indignantly said in no uncertain terms that calming down was not something he was planning on doing. Silently, he crept over to the corner of the room, which contained a chair and a bookshelf. He sat down on the chair, crossing one leg over the over as he looked over the books.

After a moment, he made a noise of surprise, pulling a book from the shelf. "The Bible?" he asked, glancing over at Blaine.

He nodded. "Is there something wrong with that?" he asked, feeling a bit self-conscious.

Kurt shook his head quickly. "No, Mast—Blaine, it's just surprising," he said. "The Bible and homosexuality don't really mix that well."

"What do you even know about that?" he asked. The comment came out more biting than he had intended it to be, and Kurt winced, drawing his wings in tighter around himself.

After a moment, Kurt's soft reply came: "They let us read sometimes."

"Really?" Blaine asked, raising his eyebrows.

Kurt nodded. "Weird, isn't it? I mean, take Fahrenheit 451 for an example. Getting rid of books did them a whole lot of good in terms of destroying human thought."

"They were counting on all of you to not be human," he replied softly.

An odd expression that Blaine couldn't read crossed Kurt's face for a second, until he turned away and opened the old, worn book. "I've heard several interpretations of this chapter, and I'm sure you have, too," he mumbled, flipping through the pages, obviously in search of something in specific. He moved his wings as he skimmed the pages, as if flapping them. Blaine wondered if he even realized he was doing it. "But that's not terribly important, because I am almost positive you've never heard this interpretation before."

"Here," he said, his wings stopping in their motion and snapping up as he grinned at Blaine. "Genesis, chapter nineteen."

He went on to read in his soft and, in Blaine's opinion, beautiful voice, a story that Blaine had, indeed, heard countless interpretations of in his time.

It was the story of two angels that arrived in Sodom one night and were greeted by Lot, Abraham's nephew. Though they had intended to spend the night on the streets, Lot insisted that they came back to his home. After a fine dinner, they were preparing to go to bed when all the men of the town came to the door and insisted that Lot bring the angels to them so that they could "know them."

At this part, Kurt sighed and looked up through his lashes towards Blaine on his bed. "I'm sure you know the implications of the phrase 'to know them,'" he said.

When Blaine nodded, he looked back down at the dog-eared pages of the book in his hands. "I'm going to skip over this next part and get to the important thing about this chapter." He continued to read about the angels telling Lot that if he had any relatives in the city that he should get them out, because the Lord was going to destroy it. Though there was more after that, he closed the book and put it back in its place.

"Why did you read that to me?" Blaine asked.

"I've heard it said that the city was destroyed because all the men there were gay," he said. The way his eyes flickered downward made it clear that Kurt disapproved of something about this, but he continued on without comment, "While some others believe that the city was destroyed because all the men residing in it were rapists. I'm sure you've heard those interpretations." For the sake of his argument, he left out the fact that the book of Ezekiel said that Sodom's sin was that its people were arrogant and selfish. After all, what person ever made a good argument without leaving a few facts out?

"But you said that I'm an angel," Kurt said. "And when it comes right down to it, this story is about a bunch of guys wanting to rape some angels, and they were destroyed." He said no more, just gave Blaine a sad look before saying softly, "Is it within my rights to request a shower?"

After a moment of dumbstruck silence on Blaine's behalf, he nodded vigorously. "Of course," he said. "This is your house, too, now, and you don't have to ask for things like that."

Kurt looked confused for a second before standing up and making his way toward the door. "Thank you," he said quietly.

Blaine bit his lip, then called out, "Kurt."

One porcelain-skinned hand rested on the doorframe as Kurt looked over his shoulder at Blaine, one eyebrow raised.

For a second, he almost forgot what he was going to say. At this moment he had a clear view of Kurt's chocolate-colored wings spread wide, and those blue eyes looked back at Blaine, for once not filled with fear or anger, just curiosity. It was progress, at any rate.

"For what it counts, I am almost certain that you are an angel. You can choose to believe me or not, but most ordinary pets wouldn't have had the guts to say something like that to their so-called master. You did, though."

Kurt turned away as soon as he was sure Blaine was finished speaking (with all the respect due from a pet to its master, regardless of how irresponsibly unorthodoxly Blaine was treating him).

After he was gone, Blaine spent a few minutes simply staring at the space in the doorway he had been occupying. He wasn't sure what exactly had stirred him so deeply, but he knew he no longer was a fan of the concept of keeping people with wings as pets. Maybe it was seeing firsthand how bad their conditions were, maybe it was the fact that they really didn't have any indications of thought in their eyes.

Then, of course, there was the fact that Kurt had made the (albeit reasonable) assumption that Blaine would rape him as soon as they got a moment alone. Blaine wanted to assure Kurt that he had no intentions of doing anything like that to him, regardless of what his father's intentions for the pet had been, but it was something that was hard to say out loud. And, Blaine reasoned naively, his lack of action was probably enough to indicate to Kurt that he was not about to be raped, right?

He wasn't even sure if his brain was working right or not anymore. After all, he'd spent the last few years of his life shocking people into silence with his Bible knowledge when they tried to use it to cure him of his disease. And yet, here came a boy who, if he had ever been to church at all, could not have possibly gone since he was quite young, and yet was also capable of using the Bible to make a case just like the best of them.

A feather on the floor caught his attention, and he grabbed it. Laying back in his bed, he ran his fingers over the soft brown feather, deciding that his father had done him a bigger favor than he would ever fully realize.

Blaine woke up to someone singing. For a moment he felt like Eric from The Little Mermaid (yes, he enjoyed Disney movies from time to time, so sue him), waking up, confused, to the sound of singing. He rubbed his eyes and opened them back up to the world.

The singing, which, now that he was awake enough to understand words, even as a concept, he realized was a song he didn't recognize. Additionally, the voice was masculine, yet high enough in pitch that it could have been mistaken for being feminine if you weren't listening close enough.

He looked over to see Kurt sitting on the floor, staring out the window and singing. It was the loudest Blaine had ever heard him be. He had just decided in that moment that he would be just as happy to lie in bed and listen to Kurt sing and do nothing else for the rest of his life when his angel looked over at him. As soon as Kurt realized that Blaine was awake, his jaw snapped shut.

"That was beautiful," Blaine said.

"Thanks," Kurt said quietly. Wringing his hands, he added nervously, "When I got back from the shower, you were had fallen asleep. You looked cold, so I tucked you in."

"Thank you," Blaine replied, an easy smile coming to his face. No one said that Kurt had to tuck him in. That probably meant that, in some way or another, he did care about him. "What was that that you were singing before?" he asked.

The corners of Kurt's mouth twitched up, and Blaine wished he'd just let himself smile already. He was bound to have an amazing smile. "It was a song some of the elders wrote," he said. "I spent most of my free time with them. Since they aren't being sold, the workers don't pay half as much mind to them, so they were so full of energy. Not to mention they had a lot of great stories to tell."

For a second, Blaine felt a pang of jealousy towards Kurt. After all, the 'elders' had obviously been a group of father figures to Kurt, whereas he had had only one father, who had been cold towards him for the past several years. But then Blaine felt guilty for thinking it, remembering that Kurt, as was the case with all the other pets, had been taken from his family and home when he was just a little kid.

"Kurt?" he asked.

"Yes?" Kurt answered, standing up.

"Do you remember your family?"

"I..." Kurt frowned, his wings drooping sadly. "Yes." He turned away from him then, and Blaine felt bad that he had said yet another thing to upset Kurt.

"Sorry," he said. "As you can see, I have a tendency of shoving my foot in my mouth."

"You do what with your foot?" Kurt asked, looking back at Blaine with a confused look on his face.

"It's a saying," he said, blinking.

It was that moment, right then, that Blaine started to get an idea of how much Kurt had missed out on while he was stuck in the facility.

It was also in that moment that he decided that he would try to give Kurt a little bit of his life back.

After much consideration, Kurt spent the night on a couch in Blaine's room. Blaine had intended for Kurt to sleep in his bed with him, as most pets and their masters did, but the idea obviously made Kurt feel uncomfortable, and uncomfortable was the last thing he wanted Kurt to feel. So he had put a pillow and a blanket on the couch and let Kurt sleep there. He had considered giving Kurt the bed since he was taller, but he realized that he was having enough trouble calling Blaine by his name and not by 'Master', so sleeping on his bed while he slept on the couch was probably not something Kurt wanted to do.

At ten am, Blaine woke up ready for the day. He got dressed in the bathroom and wandered over to the couch. He reached out to shake Kurt awake before he realized that his wings covered most of his body, and he wasn't sure if he was allowed to touch Kurt's wings. He had heard that some pets were picky when it came to who they let touch their wings.

"Kurt," he said. "Kurt."

He watched a hand come out from under a mahogany wing and rub at his eyes. "Hm?" he asked sleepily.

"Get up, we have something to do today," he said brightly, grinning at Kurt. When he winced, Blaine added quickly, "You'll enjoy it, I promise." He paused, and pinched the bridge of his nose. "I keep digging this hole deeper and deeper, but you're just going to have to trust me that I'm not doing anything untoward to you, and you will have fun."

Kurt hesitated, looking at him as if he was trying to figure out what Blaine was planning on doing.

"Come on," Blaine said as he stood up, sounding remarkably like a child that wanted something from their parent and it was just taking way too long for them. He grinned at Kurt, and though he would never admit it, he may have been bouncing a bit with excitement. He wasn't sure why he was so excited, but he was.

Slowly, Kurt got up from his seat, and for a second he was concerned that Blaine might literally explode from happiness.

An hour later (for someone who hadn't had much of a say in anything that happened in his life, Kurt was awfully vocal about how much time he needed to get ready and how he should not be rushed) they were headed out the door, and walking down the street.

"You know, at some point we really should take you shopping," Blaine said offhandedly, smiling and waving at a neighbor that was staring out the window at him and Kurt. He realized that his elderly neighbor was probably staring at Kurt and that was rude, but at the moment he didn't particularly care. "Because the clothes that came with you are dreadful." After the words came out of his mouth, he realized two things about what he had just said. The first was the fact that clothes 'came with' Kurt made it sound like he was a toy doll or something. It was bothersome to realize that to some people, that was what pets were: dolls and not only the kind that sit on the shelf and look pretty. The second thing he realized was how gay that sounded. Yes, he was gay, and he owned it, but there were some lines that he usually didn't cross.

Kurt didn't say anything, though, so he kept talking, "The only problem I have is, where do you even get clothes for someone with wings? There aren't stores in the mall for that," he said. Frowning, he added, "That's probably a good thing, though. That is a lot of human exposure, and there are a lot of bad people out there." He ignored the 'duh' look that Kurt was giving him. After a moment of silence, he said, "I guess I'll just Google it later." A pause. "Wait, was Google a thing back before you got… I don't even remember." Another short pause. "I seriously can't even imagine what life must have been like before Google was invented."

A smile had come across Kurt's face then as he walked alongside Blaine.

"That makes me nervous," he said.

"I think you were already nervous," he said softly. "Or else you probably would have stopped talking about five minutes ago."

Blaine frowned. "You weren't talking, and it just makes me feel uncomfortable when I'm talking to someone and they aren't talking back, so I just… keep talking," he said, reaching up to awkwardly rub at the back of his neck.

Kurt nodded slowly. "Alright," he said. "I was sort of hoping you might tell me where we're going."

"You don't understand surprises, do you, Kurt?" he asked.

"I've never been a big fan of surprises, really," he answered quietly, and there it was again: that deep sadness in his eyes that Blaine wanted nothing more than to just get rid of if he only knew how.

He caught himself staring at Kurt and quickly looked away. "Well!" he said. "We're almost there, so I guess I might as well go ahead and tell you where we're going. We're going to a playground."

"A playground?" Kurt echoed.

"A playground!" he said brightly, a grin spreading across his face.

"If I may, um, why?"

"All in the name of fun, Kurt, all in the name of fun," he said.

Kurt opened his mouth, then snapped it shut, shaking his head slowly, the tiniest of smiles on his face. The rest of the walk was spent in silence, during which Blaine silently celebrated the victory of making Kurt smile, and wondered what it was that he was thinking about.

Once they got to the playground, Blaine held his arms out wide. "The world is our oyster, Kurt!" he announced.

"That or a playground," Kurt replied, "but who's counting?"

Blaine chuckled. "I like you like this," he said, smiling at Kurt. "You're a lot more relaxed than you were yesterday. It's nice."

Kurt turned away quickly, walking over to the swings and taking a seat.

It wasn't often in Blaine's life when he felt the need to curse. In general, he was a happy guy (also naïve, but let's not go there right now), and he didn't see much use in words like that. But in that moment, he would have loved to scream out a good 'shit' or 'dammit' or something of that kind. He couldn't do anything right with Kurt, it seemed, and it was driving him insane.

Blaine sighed, trying to figure out what to do. More than anything else, at this point, he just wanted Kurt to open up. Of course his endgame would be to actually have Kurt trust him, but Blaine was a firm believer in baby steps and not because he's short, you jerk.

But there was no way he was going to just grab Kurt and throw him down a slide. No, most likely that would just piss Kurt off and make him never trust him.

When Blaine was little, he would always get overwhelmed with jealousy when someone was doing something he couldn't, even if it was something that he hadn't wanted to do before. The same went for plenty of people, and sure, maybe they were older now, but maybe Kurt still had some of a little kid's mentality. After all, his childhood had been cut short, hadn't it? Operating with that logic in mind, Blaine sprinted over to the ladder on the back of the slide. He slid down the slide with as much energy and childish glee he could muster. He even squealed on his way down for added effect.

"Blaine, I know what you're doing," Kurt called out to him as he reached the bottom of the slide.

"Having a really fun time while you are sitting over there, missing out?" he said, kicking his legs out in front of him. "Yeah, I know."

Kurt shook his head slowly. "You're extremely mature," he commented.

"Life's too short to be serious all the time, Kurt," Blaine replied, "and I'm sorry that you can't see that."

Kurt raised one eyebrow, and stood up. He wasn't one to back down from a challenge, and besides, his master wanted him to play. All pets knew not to disobey their owners, and even if Blaine wasn't exactly what Kurt had been expecting, he still didn't want to do anything that might make him mad.

"Kurt! You came to join me!" Blaine said with a wide grin on his face as he leaned back against the slide to watch Kurt as he got to the top of the ladder.

Kurt looked down at him, a frown on his face. "If you expect me to use this slide, you'll have to get up," he said.

"Sure," Blaine said, rolling off the end of the slide and onto the ground.

"What are you doing?"

He looked around him, patting the ground around him. "Well, it seems as though I'm on the ground now," he answered.

"But you'll get mulch and dirt on your clothes," Kurt said, frowning.

Blaine propped himself up on his elbows. "So is that what you like? Clothes?" he asked. "Or are you just a neat freak?" When Kurt didn't answer, he went on to ask, "Neither? Or both?"

Kurt blinked. "Why does it even matter?" he asked, sitting down at the top of the slide.

"Well, Kurt," he said, moving to sit up. "I find you interesting."

"Why, though? I'm just a thing for you to have," he replied.

One of Blaine's eyebrows went up. "Do you really think that, Kurt?"

Kurt hesitated. He had spent half of his life in a place where the idea that he was just an object, a possession, was drilled into his head at any opportunity. He had heard it so much that, despite his better efforts, sometimes on bad days he would lose his sense of self-worth and believe it.

"Kurt," Blaine said softly. When Kurt looked up at him, any trace of his goofy grin from just a few minutes ago was completely gone, replaced by a look of complete and utter concern. "You're just as much a person as I am." After a second, he added, "And to be honest, you're probably a much better person than I ever will be." He stood up, gesturing for Kurt to follow him.

He led them back over to the swing set, taking a seat. He watched Kurt sit down with care, pulling his wings tight to his sides around the chain then pulling them wider behind him, like he didn't want them to touch the chain. Blaine wanted to ask him about his wings, but he couldn't find the right words. He'd tried to find the words in his head, but nothing sounded quite right. 'Do you dislike touching things with your wings?'

What the hell were the rules on being courteous while talking to pets about their wings? Someone really ought to have made a manual for this sort of thing. But then again, most people didn't much care about pets' thoughts and feelings.

Instead of anything that even vaguely got to the point Blaine wanted to get to, what actually came out of his mouth was, "Kurt, you have really pretty wings."

Kurt squirmed in his seat. "Thank you," he said quietly.

Blaine sighed, feeling like he was making backwards process. Running his fingers through his hair (in his excitement that morning he hadn't bothered with gel), he decided that he didn't much care if the question came out sounding odd. "I've heard that it feels weird when your wings touch things."

Kurt looked up at him. "Where did you hear that?" he asked.

Blaine looked down shamefully. "I… Before I got you, I had done some research into pets," he said quickly.

Kurt nodded slowly. "Well, I don't know what they're on about," he said. "My wings are… they're basically just about the same as any other body part. But you don't just rub all your body parts against everything, do you? And I don't like people touching them because it's, like… imagine somebody just reaching over and stroking your arm. It's weird. At any rate, I just don't like them rubbing up against things as a general rule."

"They might get dirty?" Blaine suggested, his grin from earlier creeping back up onto his face.

Kurt frowned. "Blaine, would you get mad at me if I called you an ass?" he asked.

Blaine laughed, shaking his head. "Go ahead!"

"You are an ass."

Blaine nodded enthusiastically. "You bet," he said. "But seriously, it was a fair assumption to make. You never answered me."

"I like clothes," Kurt said.

Blaine grinned. "Really," he said.

Kurt nodded.

"Well then we'll definitely need to take you shopping," he said. Looking up at the sky, he added, "I might even be able to get my mom to alter some clothes for you, with your wings and all." He made an awkward gesture with his hands behind his shoulders, as if his hands were wings.

Kurt could not have asked for a more endearing owner, and it was driving him insane. There had to be some big quirk that would show itself soon in a completely random, unexpected way that would make Kurt sick. He'd heard horror stories about terrible masters, and there was no way in hell that fate had thrown him a bone.

Blaine leaned his head against the chain of the swing he was sitting on. "Penny for your thoughts?" he asked.

Kurt shook his head slowly. "It's nothing," he said softly.

Blaine sighed. "Is this just what it's going to be like?" he asked.

"What?" Kurt asked, furrowing his brows.

"We talk, you open up a little bit, and I feel like we've taken a step forward," he said, "but then you retract back into yourself and I feel like we've taken a leap backwards."

"I don't understand you at all," he said, shaking his head.

"And I don't understand you, either," Blaine replied. "But I'm trying. And it really seems like you're just trying to make this more difficult for the both of us."

Kurt didn't say anything in reply, just looked away.

"Okay, then," Blaine said with a sigh, watching his breath float away into the December air.

A quick online search had led Blaine to a strip mall on the outskirts of town. It was the sort of place that he'd rather not go, which was an interesting thing, since the store he was going to sold exclusively clothes for pets, which were, of course, not cheap. One would think that a store like that would be able to find itself a better place, but then again, all the facilities were dirty and relatively hidden, too.

Once he stepped into the store, leading Kurt by the hand, he was caught off guard by the dissonance between the area around the store and the inside. The walls were covered in damask wallpaper and a chandelier hung from the ceiling. It was nothing like what he had expected.

Clearly, Kurt was having the same thoughts. His mouth was slightly agape as he looked around the store, his eyes catching the light from the chandelier, and Blaine was sure that it was impossible for those eyes to not take his breath away.

A brown-haired girl who looked to be in her early twenties weaved through the clothing racks over to them. "Hi there!" she said brightly. "I'm Megan, how can I help you?"

Out of habit, Blaine reached out and shook the girl's hand. She looked a little bit surprised by this action, but the smile on her face didn't falter. "I'm Blaine, and this is my pet—" He cut himself off before he could finish that statement. He knew that a lot of pets didn't get names, and if they did, they were usually posh, obnoxious names. 'Kurt' was not only a name, but it was also a normal name for a person. "I'd like to get him some new clothes."

Megan nodded, stepping over to take a closer look at Kurt. "You picked yourself a keeper," she said, nodding appreciatively.

Blaine nodded. "Thanks," he said, though that comment had made him feel a bit uncomfortable. "So, could you help him pick out some clothes? I'm pretty much clueless in that area." He was. That was yet another reason why he loved Dalton: since everyone wore a uniform, no one had to know that he was fashionably challenged.

Kurt pouted. "I don't really need help," he pointed out. Megan's eyebrows shot up.

Blaine touched Kurt's arm lightly. "I know you don't," he said quietly. "But I thought you'd want opinions." Smiling at the clerk, he said, "He's pretty vocal." To be fair, he wasn't lying. Kurt was more vocal than the average pet, even though he was often too quiet for Blaine's tastes. He reasoned that this was probably because angels weren't accustomed to having to keep their thoughts to themselves, but Kurt was a shy angel.

"Oh, I've seen that before," she said. "New pets tend to have a lot of quirks that you can work out over time. You look nice and strong, though, I'm sure you can tame him." She grinned at him and grabbed Kurt's hand to show him to another section of the store, saying something about a new line of vests.

Blaine took a seat outside of the dressing room while Kurt and Megan spent the next hour or two going through outfit after outfit. He thought that all of them looked fine, but there always seemed to be something about this or that that they found objectionable. He decided to keep his mouth shut, of course, because the longer he watched the parade of clothes go by his eyes, the more he came to the conclusion that he just genuinely knew nothing about fashion.

In the end they went to the register with several hundred dollars' worth of clothes, and Blaine wasn't quite sure whether they had bought a lot of clothes, or if the clothes were just more expensive.

"Have a great day, and feel free to come back anytime!" she said over her shoulder to them as they left. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Blaine." She winked, causing Kurt to mumble something under his breath that sounded like, "She realizes that you're gay, right?"

"Why are you being so nice to me?" Kurt asked in the car on the way back to Blaine's house.

Blaine glanced over at him. His angel's face was half covered by the new coat that he had been clinging onto since they had left the store. "What?"

"I've heard the stories," Kurt said, his eyes as wide as saucers. "I've seen others get picked. They get thrown around, grabbed at, erm, invaded, if you will." He shifted uncomfortably before going on, "But you haven't done any of those things. It's terrifying." As he went on, his voice became shakier.

"You're not like any of the other pets," Blaine said. "And like I've told you before, you are just… you're really interesting to me."

"You said…" Kurt blinked, and he rubbed away the tears that were forming in his eyes. He cleared his throat, finally bringing the coat away from his face. "Can I just… If I had been like the rest of the pets, would you have been this nice to me?" Blaine opened his mouth to reply, but before he could, "If I had been like any of the other pets, would you have… would you have raped me?"

Blaine started, quickly pulling over to the side of the road. There was no way he would be able to have this conversation while driving and not crash. "Kurt," he said, meeting Kurt's eyes, which were currently staring him down, rimmed with tears, "I want to be clear about something. I didn't think I'd have to say this out loud, but let me just say that I'm not what you've come to expect of pet owners. I never had any intention of doing that to you."

"Raping me, you mean? Tying me down on your bed and—"

"No," Blaine replied. "You are just way, way too beautiful to have something like that done to you."

A tear slid down Kurt's cheek, and Blaine wanted nothing more than to wipe it away, but he felt like now would be a bad time to reach out to touch Kurt, even in the most innocent of ways.

Kurt pulled his wings tighter around himself (they had already looked cramped, and Blaine felt bad that he didn't have a larger car to accommodate Kurt's wingspan), saying softly, "You realize that if anyone else had bought me, then they would have seen it as a reason to rape me?"

Blaine really, really wished that Kurt would stop saying that word. "Well, I don't know what you believe in, if anything, but I believe that He has a plan for all of us. And I think that we are a part of each other's plans."

For a moment, the car was silent save for the sound of Kurt's labored breathing as it, slowly but surely, evened out.

Finally, Kurt broke the silence. "That's really cliché," he commented.

"Well, I still think it, whatever you say," Blaine said. "Believe me or not, either way, you're still stuck with me."

Kurt rubbed at his eye. "Blaine," he said softly.

"Yes?" Blaine asked, his heartbeat speeding up. He knew that it would be good to clear the air, but this was terrifying.

"I… this is really hard," he said, pulling his knees up to his chest, and seriously, why did he have to look so adorable and put upon when Blaine couldn't touch him, couldn't comfort him?

"What is?" Blaine asked, his throat going dry as he found himself suddenly flashing back to when his first (and only, but let's not go there) boyfriend had broken up with him because 'things were too hard'.

"Everything," Kurt replied. He leaned his head back against the headrest and added, "And it's all because of my wings. If it wasn't for my wings, then I wouldn't have to have hidden. I wouldn't have to wear some of the most awkward clothing ever created. I wouldn't—" he gasped for air, the tears starting up again. "I wouldn't be in this situation."

Blaine bit his lip, debating what he was about to say. Before he could stop himself, he said, "And what is this situation, exactly?"

Kurt lifted his head then, his mouth held slightly open. "This situation is… I…" he sighed, running a hand through his feathers the way most people ran their hands through their hair when frustrated or trying to think. Or maybe it was a nervous habit for him. Blaine wasn't sure which one it was, nor was he sure that he even wanted to know. "Blaine, I… a huge part of me really wants to trust you."

"Then why not?" he asked.

"Because the second I do, the second I let my guard down, I just know that you're going to, you're going to—"

And that was it. Blaine couldn't stop himself any longer. He reached out and gently touched Kurt's face. He felt a wave of relief rush over him when the angel didn't tense or pull away. "Kurt," he whispered. "Kurt, oh, Kurt."

He couldn't have told you how long he spent, softly caressing Kurt's face and whispering his name into the silence of the car. All he knew was that he only stopped when Kurt relaxed into the passenger seat, fast asleep.