I've always loved fics where the characters have their partners name written on their skin. I've wanted to try my hand at one for a while so I did, and this is what came out. I'm pretty happy and proud of the end result and I'm hoping you'll all love it too.
Walk, Don't Run.
Blaine eyed the four letters etched into his skin, black and bold, along the side of his index finger. The letters are perfectly crafted in flowing script and he runs a fingertip over them and wonders if the swirls mean anything. He'd seen a girl once with 'Nathan' written in solid capital letters in the crook of her elbow and next to her stood a man who reflected the font – large and square - so he thinks maybe his man is going to be elegant and stylish.
Maybe my Kurt will be beautiful.
Blaine meets Kurt mid-January. Blaine's in the line at the Lima Bean, pulling his blazer tighter around his frame, listening to the pair of women in front of him discussing their New Years resolutions. Just like any other person, high on the feeling of a new year, a new start, they're vowing to join a gym and eat their greens and Blaine finds it in himself to not laugh out loud as one of them steps up to the counter and orders a caramel macchiato with extra whipped cream and caramel sauce.
They shuffle off to wait for their order and Blaine steps up, orders his usual and hands over his cash. He falters for a moment as his eyes lift from his wallet and stop halfway to the cashiers face. Emblazoned in black capital letters across the name badge is 'Kurt.'
Blaine's money is taken and he leaves his hand hovering in mid-air while he continues to stare. His attention is drawn upwards when he feels an assortment of cold coins being dropped in his hand. He closes his fingers around them and clears his throat, looking at the boy's face (Blaine supposes their the same age, if not close) and he can only frown, his mouth dropping open a little in confusion.
The boy is attractive in a predictable way. He's at least six foot, maybe an inch or two shorter with broad shoulders and his hair is dark brown and slightly mussed so each strand points at odd angles. His jaw is strong, clean-shaven and his brown eyes are big, bright and currently giving Blaine an amused look.
"You okay?" the boy asks and Blaine's frown deepens because his voice is low and deep. It's not unwelcome, but Blaine's finger twitches inside his still gloved right hand, still holding his wallet open, and he imagines the slight swirl at the end of the 'K' under his first knuckle and he wants to say You're not right because it's all he can think. You're not right. You can't be my Kurt. "Hey," the boy says firmly and Blaine blinks at him, wide-eyed, and shakes his head to clear it. "You okay?" Blaine looks around and sees the queue of people behind him and the old man at the nearby table peering at him curiously.
"I'm fine," Blaine smiles, sliding his change into his wallet and pocketing it. "Sorry." He walks away sheepishly, biting his lip and staring hard at the counter where his coffee will be placed. He chances a glance at the boy once or twice and he can see muscles flexing in his arms as he works and the other barista's are clearly enamored with him but Blaine's not intrigued in the slightest. He spends a few seconds scanning what he can see of the boys skin and when he doesn't catch glimpse of a name marked in black, he goes back to trailing his eyes over the grain of the counter.
"Excuse me." Blaine looks up and the boy waves an empty coffee cup at him. "Name?"
"Blaine." The boy scribbles it along the side of the cup without hesitation and Blaine swallows heavily and exhales through his nose with relief.
You're not mine.
Blaine's a little on edge after his encounter with the-Kurt-that-wasn't-Kurt. He doesn't wish the boy had been his but in the seconds he'd stared at the name badge, running his eyes over the four letters he sees everyday on his own skin, he'd felt his world beginning to tilt on its axis. The faceless name was going to be his forever and despite the boy behind the counter not being what he wanted, the voice in his head saying This could be it was equal parts annoying and exhilarating.
But now Blaine's scared. He doesn't want to ask a beautiful strangers name and hear that voice again, pumping his blood faster through his veins and raising his heartbeat along with his hopes, only to hear the name he wants but not be the name they have. He'd dropped ten thousand happy feet without a parachute in the Lima Bean, smile diminishing as he went, and crashed to the ground alone. He's not sure he can do it again.
Lying to himself is an art Blaine's gotten good at. In a bid to save himself pain, he's telling Wes about the-Kurt-that-wasn't-Kurt and he's finished his story with, "So I'm going to stop looking."
Wes is looking at him now, eyebrow arched and Blaine knows that face because while he can lie to himself, he's never had the knack of convincing other people.
"Okay," is all Wes says and Blaine stares at him, frown creasing his forehead.
"You believe me?" he asks stupidly, knowing full well Wes' answer is no but he'll humor Blaine anyway with a nod or some form of agreement.
"Why, are you lying?" is what Wes actually says and Blaine at least looks a little shocked at the accusation but he then shrugs.
"I don't want to be."
Wes sighs and moves forward to perch on the edge of the sofa, elbows on his thighs and hands clasped in front of his mouth so his thumbs rest against his chin. He sucks in a breath before looking Blaine in the eye. "I don't think you need to stop looking because hell, we all are, but I think you need to consider something else." Blaine nods and Wes drops his forearms to his legs and cocks his head, giving Blaine an earnest look. "Maybe he is supposed to find you."
Blaine feels a little guilty after Wes stands up and leaves. Ever since he's understood that the name on his finger is attached to a person with a life that will someday collide with his own, he's never thought that the owner of that life has his name on their skin and they're looking at it, wondering where he is too.
He's forgotten, or never understood at all, that this isn't just about him. While he's been trying to run ahead, beat love at its own game and find Kurt first, there's another boy, his Kurt, doing the same but he imagines Kurt's been patient, quiet, thinking It will happen when it happens and Blaine says out loud to himself, "Slow down."
And so he walks from the room, three steps behind where he'd usually be by now, because if he's going to have his Kurt, he needs to be going slow enough to be found.
Blaine's not sure if anyone's noticed that he's walking a little lighter and smiling a little wider, more genuine. If they have, they haven't mentioned it and Blaine's glad because he's not sure he could explain it. He supposes it's just that he has time now. Of course he had it before and it's an infinite thing, always abundant and moving, but he told himself "Slow down," and slow down he has.
He now wakes up five minutes earlier; gives himself the extra time to check himself over in the mirror and pack his bag and actually taste his breakfast. He walks from class to Warbler rehearsals as opposed to the slight jog he used before so he arrives along with the others on time, not early. Blaine's learnt that sometimes early can be good, but in the past it's left him anxious, waiting, so he's moving with time as he's supposed to. On the dot.
And of course, he's still hoping to be found.
You have five minutes to get down here, or David's taking your place.
Blaine jumps at the sound of his phone skittering across his bedside table and rolls on to his front to pick it up. Leaning up on an elbow, he yawns and blinks blearily down at the screen, making out the name Wes and then reading the message below. "Shit," he says under his breath, throwing his phone onto his bed and scrambling up to pet his hair (a little mussed from his impromptu nap) in front of the mirror. He straightens his blazer and tie, slips on his shoes and grabs his phone to check the time before dropping it into his pocket and shouldering his bag. Checking his hair one last time, he grumbles, "Today was a bad day to slow right down," and leaves his room, heading for the senior commons.
He should have expected the corridors to be packed with students, all smiles and chatter, headed for the same place. It takes him a while to weave through a particularly crowded area, nodding greetings to those who shout his name and high fiving one or two. He reaches the stairs in what he hopes is good time, narrowly avoiding a slip on the marble floor, and on the way down he takes his pocket-watch out to do a brief time check. Just as he's going to slip it away, he's stopped by a voice and he turns at the bottom of the stairs, letting the pocket-watch slide from his fingers and into his pocket with a silent thud.
"Excuse me," the boy who's stopped him says and Blaine blinks up at him, mouth hanging open a little and willing himself to stop tightening his hand around his bag strap where he can feel the letters on his finger swirling delicately.
Blaine's always been one to think too much and while his doctrine of slowing down has helped him stop to a certain extent, he's lost now because the boy he's looking at is beautiful. Blue eyes, brown hair, perfect skin and a voice to match. He's only said two words but flashing behind Blaine's eyes is the name on his finger. He wants to sit down, he needs to breathe because he feels like he's in the Lima Bean again, heart pounding in his chest and his life on edge.
"Can I ask you a question?" the boy asks and Blaine feels himself rising to that same ten thousand feet and he wants to stop because he's not ready to fall again. He can't do it if this boy won't catch him.
So he swallows and holds out his left hand, begging catch me, catch me, catch me in his mind. "My name's Blaine." He wants to be proud of sounding so together but he's clenching his jaw as the air rushing past his ears and the fading sound of student's footsteps is all too loud and he only just registers the small hitch of breath from the boy above him.
"I'm your Kurt," the boy replies, voice strangled, quick and quiet and Blaine drops his outstretched arm, mouth agape. Kurt – Kurt – claps a hand over his mouth and shakes his head with wide eyes. Blaine makes out a muffled "Oh God," before Kurt removes his hand and fidgets nervously. "I mean… just-"
Blaine's still floating, riding high, thinking you found me, but all the while he's tilting dangerously to one side because a small part of his brain, the part he's recently trained to say "Slow down," is shouting at him, warning him of where this ends up if all of it's a mistake.
He plans to say his name again, make sure Kurt heard him right but said boy dropping his bag stops him. Kurt takes a step down and looks as if he wants to say something and Blaine watches, wide eyed, as he seems to think better of it and turns to his left. Kurt reaches a hand up towards his neck and turns his head away and Blaine's mesmerized by Kurt's fingertips dancing across his skin and over six black letters curved behind his ear, perfectly spaced and perfectly sized in regimented lower case letters.
They spell 'Blaine.'
In an intake of breath, Blaine feels himself falling but it's not like the Lima Bean. There's no sinking, no crash and he thinks that maybe this time he's flying.
Without another thought he uncurls his fingers from around his bag strap and hovers his hand in front of Kurt, palm facing the boys stomach and the four small letters Blaine's stared at for years are now in the line of sight of the boy they belong to. Kurt grins wide and huffs out a laugh, his head falling back and Blaine smiles up at the boy who's going to catch him if his wings break, if he ever stops soaring, and he thinks back to the day he'd traced the name on his hand with a fingertip and wondered what the thin swirls meant. Maybe my Kurt will be beautiful.
Thank you for reading and if you're feeling nice, leave a review :)