Hello, FF! Yes, it is I! I know, I've been dead for a while, and even deleted all of my previous stories, but I make my triumphant return, better than ever! Well, you can be the judge of that.

First off, a few technicalities. Let it be known that my fan fiction will not tolerate Blaine being the star in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. In this fan fic, he is the same age as Kurt. Also, I live in Texas, not Ohio, so I'm really only familiar with the Texas education system and colleges and whatnot. I tried to do a bit of research, but bear with me if it's not perfect.

This is more of a prologue than anything. I'm trying to wet my toes in the water before diving right back into fan fiction, especially since I've never written anything for Glee or Klaine before, but I have a good feeling about this, so you guys let me know.

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or anything relating to it. If I did, Brittana and Klaine would have all the kisses and none for Finchel. Bye.

December 1, 2012

It wasn't supposed to feel like this, Blaine thought to himself. Falling in love was supposed to be magical. It was supposed to be earth-shattering, life-altering. Love was supposed to turn your world upside down in the best way possible and make it seem like you could never be upset or sad or angry or lonely again, as long as you were in that person's arms. As long as you were with them, no one could touch you.

So how did it come to this?

Looking back on the events of that summer, he couldn't help but smile. It had been good, while it lasted. He had to admit to himself that, even if he had known this outcome back then, he wouldn't change a thing. He would have done it all again, exactly the same. No matter how heartbroken he was now, to just get those brief moments with Kurt were enough for him.

Kurt always talked about his bucket list, constantly pulling out his iPhone and mentioning random items on his list. There were hundreds of things he wanted to do before he died, even though he knew some of them would be out of reach for him. Blaine, however, just had one item on his list. More important than all of his dreams and ambitions and wants out of life, there was just one thing he wanted to accomplish before he died.

Blaine Anderson's Bucket List

Fall in love

That was all he wanted out of life. He didn't think it was too much to ask for; after all, some people fall in love multiple times throughout their lives. He just wanted one time. One mind-blowing, heart-clenching, epic romance.

And that summer, that's exactly what he'd gotten.

…

June 1, 2012

High school graduation, otherwise known as the most important moment in a kid's life, at least, in the eyes of their parents. Or, in the case of one Blaine Anderson, whose parents had kicked him out at the ripe age of 14, in the eyes of their older cousin.

Blaine didn't graduate valedictorian, salutatorian, or even in the top ten percent; honestly, he didn't care that much about his studies to graduate higher than just the top quarter of his class. One thing he could claim, however, was graduating as the most successful, respected, and well-liked council leader for the Dalton Academy Warblers in all of their history. During his junior year, he'd taken the reigns as their lead vocalist, but once he got to his senior year, he wanted things to change. He couldn't bear to even think back to all of the arguments of what song he should sing, which key his voice sounds better in, and how dare you, Blaine sounds good in every key! No, instead, Blaine set his sights on completely re-vamping the Warblers. He did away with the Lead Vocalist position completely, leaving any and all solos completely open for audition for every song, every competition, to ensure that everyone got their fair share of the spotlight.

He spotted Laurel's white-blonde head over the sea of heads and caught her searching gaze, waving like a fool to get her attention. When she finally made her way over to him, she smiled and engulfed him in the biggest bear hug of his life.

"Congratulations, Blaine. I'm so proud of you."

His felt the tears spring his eyes at the words he'd wished he could hear from someone else that day, but pushed through them. "Thank you, Laurel. I really appreciate you being here."

"Do you really think I'd miss my favorite cousin's high school graduation? Fat chance!"

He chuckled in her ear before pulling away. Her eyes met his, looking for some hint that he was less than okay given the circumstances; if she found that to be true, she didn't say anything.

"I don't mean to ruin this beautiful moment, but I'm a growing boy, and I need some food. Can we grab lunch?"

Laurel patted his shoulder and sighed, looking sympathetic. "I'm sorry, Blaine, but I think this is as tall as you're ever going to get."

He playfully smacked her hand off of his shoulder and grinned at her before turning around and leading the way out of the crowd and to his cousin's car. She unlocked the doors, and before he could even ask, popped the trunk open. Blaine smiled gratefully and tugged off his robe and cap, tossing them in before slamming the door to the trunk closed and climbing in the passenger seat.

"So, Mister High School Graduate, where to?"

Blaine tapped his chin thoughtfully before speaking. "I'm thinkin' Arby's."

"Really, Blaine? Really?" Laurel shook her head, laughing. "You want fast food on the day that you have graduated from your childhood into adulthood? On this very special occasion where you have crossed that line and finally begun your walk as a man, you want fast food? Not only fast food, but you want Arby's?"

"Hey, wasn't this supposed to be about me? I seem to remember your high school graduation, oh, 7 years ago. It's my turn. Deal with it."

She continued to shake her head, but pulled out of the lot without further argument. When they got there, it was practically empty, save for a couple people here and there. They ordered their food, it was ready almost immediately (something Laurel always found to be suspicious—who just has food sitting there and ready for hours?), so they sat down and dug in. Blaine, being the hungry teenage boy that he was, scarfed down half of his meal before Laurel even put a dent in hers.

He finally took a break to sip his drink when he glanced up to find the blonde's eyes boring into him, a contemplative expression playing over her features.

Blaine sighed, knowing exactly what was coming, and suddenly lost his appetite. "Go ahead. Say it."

"I'm just sorry your parents couldn't be here, Blaine," Laurel started after a brief hesitation. "I know they would have been proud of you, too. You've really turned yourself around these past couple of years, especially your senior year. I'm happy to see you doing so well, I just wish your parents could too."

"You talk about them like they're dead. They could be here, they chose not to."

"Years ago. What's to say they haven't changed?"

"Have you talked to them recently?" Laurel looked down at her tray, avoiding eye contact. "Didn't think so. That's not a mistake, there's a reason for it."

They ate in silence again, his cousin trying to give him space to feel whatever it was that he wanted to feel about the situation.

How did he feel about it?

His own parents couldn't come to his high school graduation. That's all they ever talked about since he started pre-school, yet they chose not to come, not to be a part of Blaine's life.

Was that even possible? If a child doesn't do what a parent wants them to, can the parents just say no? Is that allowed, when you procreate? The child isn't to your exact specifications, so you return it? Or in Blaine's case, just abandon it. How was that even a valid option? Weren't parents supposed to have this unconditional love for their kids that you just couldn't even understand until you had kids yourself? If this was how parents were supposed to treat their kids, Blaine decided he never wanted to have any.

"It's okay, Laur. You don't have to feel like you have an obligation to fix what my parents broke. I've been happy for a while now, because of you. I turned myself around because I had you there motivating me to be the person you knew I could be. That's all I could ever ask for. So on my graduation day, when I looked out, searching for a familiar face, I was much more grateful to see the face of someone who has supported me and been there for me through everything, than the faces of two strangers who didn't like who I turned out to be."

This time, both Andersons had tears in their eyes. Laurel smiled through hers, whimpering in a way that only a girl can and make it a happy noise. "Oh, Blaine." When words failed her, she reached out and grabbed his hand, giving it a tight squeeze before turning back to her soggy French fries. "I'm so excited for you. This summer is going to be an amazing opportunity for you. You get to take summer classes at Columbus State Community College before heading off to bigger and better things at NYU."

The corners of his mouth found themselves turning up in excitement, too. "Yeah, I have a feeling it's going to be my best summer yet."