Part two in my Blangst verse. You'll probably want to read Never A Good War, Never A Bad Peace to understand this but it can also stand alone if you haven't. All you need to know is that I'm currently beating up Blaine.
If you follow me on Tumblr, you'll recognize this as the story I videoed myself writing the beginning of.
Kurt Hummel, it turned out, was a person of repetition.
It was endearing for the most part, especially when one of the only areas he refused to adopt that trait was in his wardrobe and Blaine would sometimes wait up to an hour for Kurt to design an outfit (on top of the two hours notice he had already given Kurt before coming to pick him up) before they could go on a date. But the rest of his life was set in careful punctuality with random interjections of spontaneity that showed he was clearly an artist.
Blaine loved it. But considering he loved pretty much everything about Kurt - scratch that, everything- he may have been a little biased.
Still, the first time he learned about one of Kurt's habits, it actually took everything he had in him not to run away screaming.
"I know it's warm," Kurt said randomly one late summer evening as they were watching Project Runway reruns in Kurt's living room, the rest of his family out for whatever reason (Kurt had been quite vague when he had invited Blaine over but empty house was enough to get Blaine in his car straight away), "but I'm going to make warm milk. Want some?"
Blaine almost gagged. "Um, warm milk?"
"It's delicious, I promise!"
And the way Kurt was looking at him like a lot was riding on Blaine's acceptance of warm milk had Blaine saying, "yeah, of course," without a second thought. Which he was having plenty of the second Kurt left the room, going so far as to bury his face in his hands.
This was terrible.
It didn't take Kurt that long either and before Blaine really had time to resign himself to what was happening, Kurt was back with two mugs in hand and a beaming smile in place. "You'll love it," he chirped as he sat back down, handing one of the mugs to Blaine. "It's my special recipe - even Finn is hooked now and he was the biggest skeptic for months."
Blaine nodded, humming noncommittally and watching as Kurt sipped at it before looking at him expectantly. Resigned - but still not really because there was no way he could do this but he had to - Blaine lifted the mug to his lips and sipped.
Pressing his lips together, Blaine lowered the mug and placed it on the table. "It's definitely different," he managed, smiling the best he could before standing. "Excuse me a minute."
He managed to walk calmly to the living room door and halfway down the hall before breaking into a sprint, wrenching the toilet door open and skidding to his knees to throw up.
Head down, one step at a time, don't make eye contact, get to the front doors, they won't do it there, they'll just -
He looked up.
The yoghurt hit him in the side of the face, dripping down, catching in his hair, already starting to smell rancid from the night spent in the dumpster. Blaine gagged but held it together as the laughter invaded. He knew they wouldn't stick around long - the smell was too much for them and they weren't the ones wearing it - and sure enough within the minute they had gone, either to find their next target or smoke behind the Music block.
One eye closed, Blaine made his way to the other side of the building, crouching down by the tap and rinsing his face off the best he could. The rag came out of his bag to wipe away the rest of it and then the nausea hit, hard. But he was trained by now and managed to get inside, into the bathroom before throwing up, just wishing the smell would go away because that was all it was. The smell and the humiliation.
His parents couldn't understand why he wasn't muscling up and kept losing weight. Well, Blaine thought ruefully as another spasm racked through him, they would certainly understand if they saw this.
Blaine came out of the flashback to the feeling of a damp washcloth being pressed to his forehead and a hand resting on the back of his neck gently. "Finished?" Kurt asked softly.
"Kurt," Blaine mumbled, leaning into the touch even though every intention was otherwise. "Kurt, oh my god, why are you in here?"
"Because you're sick," Kurt said as if it was as simple as that.
"But it's gross and how did you even know? God, you shouldn't have to see this, I look hideous -"
"Shush," Kurt murmured gently. "You're gorgeous. Do you think you're done or should we stay in here a bit longer to be sure?"
Blaine had never had anybody to help him through it before.
"I think I'm okay," Blaine said, then hesitated. "I - um, would it be okay if…?"
"I already got rid of the milk," Kurt said. "Sorry," he added as Blaine fought with his gag reflex. "Sorry, I won't say it again."
Deeming it safe, Blaine wiped his mouth and leaned back, finding Kurt's shoulder and resting against it like a lifeline. "Thanks," he said weakly as Kurt handed him a glass of water, rinsing his mouth out before Kurt flushed the toilet. "I'm sorry."
"No need. Come on, let's go back to the couch and we can talk about it if you want."
He knew he was supposed to hate having to lean against Kurt to get back to the living room but Kurt was so easygoing about it that Blaine couldn't be too ashamed. Kurt settled him on the couch before disappearing, returning with more water and a large bowl. "Just in case," he said as he placed them on the table, taking a seat next to Blaine. "Are you okay?"
Kurt raised an eyebrow. "I'm finding it a little hard to believe you, honey."
Blaine glanced down, realizing he had curled his knees up to his chest and his fists were clenched, white knuckled. "Oh," he said quietly. "I just -" he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, "Can I have a hug?"
Kurt made a small choked off noise. "You never have to ask," he said. "And I can do you one better. Unball."
Blaine unwrapped his arms from around himself to find them replaced with another pair almost instantly, tugging him gently to lay down on the couch with their owner. Pressing his forehead to Kurt's shoulder, Blaine took a few deep breaths, taking in the scent of Kurt to remind him of the things in life that were worthwhile, lovely, safe.
And then he began.
"Westerville isn't exactly the highest quality school. Apart from the students running rampant, none of the staff really care about anything but getting through another day and going home. That affects many things - obviously discipline was near nonexistent, classes were so awful that graduating kind of meant nothing and that kind of work ethic spread over into places like the cafeteria. Dodgy food and at the end of the day, whatever wasn't eaten was thrown into the dumpster out the back."
Blaine couldn't help but shudder at that - a full body tremor that had Kurt's grasp tightening around him. "You don't have to do this," Kurt told him gently. "If it's too hard -"
"I need to." Kurt stroked his back and Blaine closed his eyes, helpless against the comfort seeping through his bones. "Anything salvagable was eaten by the homeless - they knew by then, of course, where to get a free feed - but come morning there was always dairy products still in there. Yoghurt, milk, cream, whatever it was it was hit by the rising sun every morning and by the time students started arriving for class, it was going rancid, curdling, stinking up the place. The jocks would get it out and just wait for their favorite targets to show up and then -" Blaine shrugged. "Dairy facial."
His stomach churned at the words and Blaine held still for a few moments, keeping himself calm. He focused instead on Kurt's hand still rubbing his back and fumbled around until he found the other one, clasping it in his own. Kurt squeezed once, hard, then; "I have to say, I was wondering why you hadn't eaten much ice cream this summer."
Blaine huffed out a laugh, finally looking up to meet Kurt's eyes; painfully earnest, wanting to fix everything but actually understanding too. "I can eat it if it's necessary, just like I can drink milk. I had to force myself to learn after I got beaten up and the doctors told me most of my injuries were heightened by a calcium deficiency. It's just when they're warm -"
"Understood," Kurt said softly. "No more warm milk. Blaine, you know you were never under any obligation to drink it, right? You could have just told me, or told me you didn't want any if you weren't ready to share that."
"I want you to be happy."
It slipped out before Blaine had comprehended it and Kurt blinked down at him, confused. "If you think drinking something that's going to make you sick is the way to make me happy, you've got a lot to learn about this relationship. You make me happy, full stop. Anything else on top of that is just extra and I never ever want you to think that you need to do certain things to make me want to be with you, especially not things that are going to upset you. Understood?"
Blaine stared up at him, not wanting to draw his eyes away for a second. "I love you," he said, the words so simple yet still so new that they were both smiling when Kurt echoed the phrase. And with nothing else to say, Blaine rested his head against Kurt's chest and breathed.
A few moments passed in silence. "So after all that," Kurt said suddenly and Blaine pushed off his body to look up again, "there is something you could do that would make me happier."
"Brush your teeth so I can kiss you."
Blaine grinned. "You just want to prove to your dad that there's a reason for me to keep a toothbrush at your place," he teased as he stood, offering a hand to Kurt who joined him.
"Maybe I just want to kiss my boyfriend."
Blaine eskimo-kissed him, loving the fact that their noses even fitted perfectly before pulling away. "I think that's perfectly acceptable."
And despite everything, he really did.
There's at least one more in the series still in progress. Thanks for reading!