I know it's really early for a Christmas fic, but this one just wouldn't leave me alone :) I'm sorry this took so long, everyone! I hope you haven't forgotten about this story by now... ;) Anyway, enjoy, and please be so kind as to leave a review!
Disclaimer: I don't own Kurt, Blaine, or Cooper :(
Christmas hadn't been a tradition in the Anderson family for years. When Cooper was younger, and for a few years after Blaine was born, Pamela and Steven tried. They decorated the front yard, spoiled their children with presents, and filled their front entrance hallway with carols. Four-year-old Blaine especially loved this tradition. He would belt out "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Santa Clause is Coming To Town" at the top of his lungs with his mother baking sugar cookies in the kitchen and watching fondly. And yes, occasionally joining in.
But once Steven started holing up in his office away from the rest of his family, even during the holidays, it just didn't feel the same anymore. Not to mention that Steven became moody and yelled at the boys whenever they even mentioned the idea of celebrating Christmas that year. Steven and Pamela's marriage was on the rocks (if Pam was honest with herself, it had been for years), and the family was breaking apart. They stayed together for the kids, but it was clear—Cooper and Blaine hardly knew their father. No one was in the mood for holiday cheer anymore, especially not Mrs. Anderson. So she gave up, even though it made her sadder and sadder every year.
One year, after Blaine has just turned seven, Cooper decides to take it upon himself to host Christmas for his little brother. He makes him sick to see Blaine look so miserable. Cooper knows it's not even the lack of presents that upsets him, but the singing and the cookies and just being a happy family. Blaine's too young to understand what's happening yet, but Cooper knows he feels the strain on their family as well as the rest of them.
Cooper plans weeks in advance. He doesn't have a lot of money, since there aren't a lot of places that will hire a fifteen-year-old, but he watches Miss Bailey's dogs sometimes, and he's been saving for something good. Cooper had actually been saving for a skateboard, but he knows surprising Blaine will be even better.
So on Thursday night, Christmas Eve, Cooper asks his mom to drive him over to Wal-Mart. Mrs. Anderson asks what this is all about, it's after eleven after all, but Cooper skirts around the truth and pretends that he just wants to buy a little last-minute something for Blaine—not even is mom would refuse him that. Once they're inside, Cooper dashes to the back of the store where all the half-priced Christmas decorations are. He picks out a mini Christmas tree, one that only comes up to his knees, but it works just as well as a full-sized one. It even comes with little lights already in place (thank god because Cooper would be totally lost trying to put them on himself). Just for good measure, he grabs a few rolls of garland, some boxes of ornaments, and an extra huge box of candy canes. He and Blaine are suckers for candy canes.
"Cooper, honey, what are you doing?" Mrs. Anderson asks, finally catching up with her son. She's a little flustered, and her hair is wispy, springing out of its usually tight bun. "What's…all this?"
"Christmas," Cooper says defensively. He's not going to let his mom stop him from giving Blaine a Christmas, at least. "For Blaine." But Mrs. Anderson's tight face softens, and her mouth even quirks up in the slightest hint of a smile. She takes a handful of the decorations from Cooper's arms and sets them carefully into the cart that she's pulling behind her. Whoops—Cooper hadn't thought to get a cart. He's surprised, though. He didn't think she cared about Christmas at all anymore.
"This is so sweet of you, honey," she says. "I'm sure Blaine will love it. Just…don't mention this to your father, alright?" Cooper lets the wide grin spread across his face.
"Duh," he says. He adds a small stocking to the cart, along with some candy and a few simple things he know Blaine will be excited about. Blaine's favorite candy is M&Ms ("the peanut kind, Coop!"), so he makes sure to get plenty. He already has Blaine's real present hidden in his closet at home.
At the end of their shopping trip, Cooper still has a little bit of money left over—it's not enough for a skateboard, but if he starts saving again maybe he can get one by summertime. This makes him smile, and then feel guilty—he hadn't even thought of getting his mom anything. She always seems so reluctant.
"What do you want for Christmas, mom?" Cooper asks. It's a little late now, but maybe he'll be able to run back for something.
"Nothing," Mrs. Anderson says firmly. "What you're doing is the perfect gift, Cooper." She sounds sincere, and Cooper relaxes slightly.
When they get home, there's no risk of Mr. Anderson seeing them and their decorations. He's in his office like usual, with the door firmly shut. Cooper rolls his eyes and ascends the stairs to Blaine's room instead. Mrs. Anderson ruffles his hair and murmurs "I'll be right back" before disappearing into the hall closet.
Cooper pushes open Blaine's door quietly, hoping he doesn't wake him. He stands in the doorway for a few moments, waiting for his eyes to adjust. The only light in the room comes from the moonlight through Blaine's curtains and a small Spiderman nightlight in the corner. Cooper can just make out the lump of his brother under the covers, snoring softly. He grins and thanks god that Blaine's a heavy sleeper.
Cooper sets to work as quietly as possible. He sets up the tree first, pugging into the wall and decorating it with the red and green ornaments, but doesn't switch the lights on yet. Then he unrolls the garland and wraps it around as much as the room as he can—over Blaine's desk, across his bookshelves, and up the headboard. The garland is the kind of fake gold stuff one can find at any department store, but it shimmers prettily in the moonlight and Cooper puffs with pride. It looks pretty good. He fills Blaine's stocking with the candy and places it at the foot of his bed. He turns to go to his room and grab Blaine's present, only to see his mom standing in the doorway with a pained smile on her face. She's holding a small stereo to her chest.
"This looks wonderful," she whispers, glancing at her sleeping son. "I've got the Christmas carols." Cooper grins, because there's next to nothing Blaine loves more than singing at Christmas time.
"Thanks mom," he mumbles, because he's still a teenage boy and thanking his mom is kind of awkward. He slips past her to his room and returns to Blaine's with a clumsily wrapped square package. Mrs. Anderson has placed the stereo on Blaine's desk, but she's still standing near the doorway, as if unsure if she's welcome or not. Cooper doesn't know if she's going to celebrate with them, but he doesn't say anything. She can leave or stay, whatever she wants, but Cooper doesn't want her to know how much it will mean to him (and Blaine) if she stays. Cooper crosses the room and flips the switch for the Christmas tree—the room is instantly filled with a soft but bright rainbow light. The colors dance off the walls and across the golden garland, and Cooper sucks in a sharp breath. He has to admit, it takes his breath away—it's been a while since he's seen a Christmas tree (even if it is a tiny pathetic one) up close.
All his effort to be quiet is gone. Cooper jumps headfirst into Blaine's bed, landing half on top of his brother and half tangled in the sheets around his head. Blaine may be a heavy sleeper, but he definitely feels it when Cooper lands on him—he lets out a sound in between a surprised squeal and a grunt of pain.
"Cooper! You jerk, get off me!" Blaine yells, trying to shove his brother off the side of the bed. Cooper laughs and clings to him. Blaine's still mostly asleep, and he rubs furiously at his eyes to wake up. He hasn't noticed the sudden change in his room yet.
"Chill out, squirt. I have a surprise for you." Blaine growls irritably at him, but in the next second he tenses at Cooper's side. Blain lifts his head and peers around the room—his face lights up immediately. Just like the Christmas tree lights. "Merry Christmas," Cooper tells him quietly. He looks at the clock and smiles—it's only just Christmas, 12: 03. Blaine breaks his awed expression at all the decorations to look at Cooper. He flings himself into his big brother's arms, fitting his face in the crook of Cooper's neck.
"It's perfect," Blaine whispers. Cooper hugs him back. "Thank you, Coop."
"Mom helped," Cooper adds. "She got the music for you." Blaine's eyes flash to their mom—he hadn't noticed her standing there at first. She's almost backing through the doorway. Blaine smiles.
"Of course, sweetheart. Is there any other kind of music for Christmas time?" Mrs. Anderson finally steps all the way into the room then, shutting the door carefully behind her. "What do you boys say we have our own Christmas?" Cooper and Blaine's grins are practically splitting their faces.
Blaine rolls out of bed and the three Andersons gather at the foot of it. They turn on the Christmas carols and let the music fill the room, quietly, so that Mr. Anderson won't hear from downstairs. They sing in whispers, but it feels amazing. It feels amazing to bring the family together again. Cooper turns his head to look at Blaine's face—his hazel eyes are wide and warm, and he looks so happy. Cooper wraps his arm around his little brother's shoulders and tugs him in close. All of the trouble, planning, and sneaking around is so worth it if it makes Blaine smile like that.
The next year, Mrs. Anderson doesn't join them in their secret celebration. She screams at the boys' father for cheating on her and slams the door to the master bedroom, where she stays for the remainder of the night. But that doesn't stop Blaine and Cooper from pulling the stereo out of the hall closet and singing under their breath all the way through the night.
Christmas has never been Blaine's favorite holiday. Sure, he loves the carols and all the decorations at school, but for him Christmas mostly means an empty house and awkward situations, expect maybe a phone call from Cooper. The first year after Cooper had gone off to college he'd surprised Blaine by coming home, but after that his visits dwindled to during the spring time and then none at all (not until very recently, anyway).
But now that Cooper and Blaine have their own house, Blaine can feel the excitement threatening to pull him under. He insists that he and Cooper need a real tree, so one day two weeks before Christmas, Cooper picks Blaine up from his last day of school so they can search the local Christmas tree farm. He makes sure to pick up Kurt too, which is a bit of teary reunion on both their parts, since Kurt just flew in from New York the day before. The only thing that makes Cooper feel any dignity at all is the fact that Blaine was a sobbing mess when he met Kurt at the airport.
Kurt grumbles the whole way in the back (though Cooper knows him enough to know it's half-hearted) because Blaine didn't even tell him they were going to be "hiking out in the freezing cold." Once Cooper parks, Blaine is out of the car and crunching through the snow towards the rows of trees.
"Blaine, it's freezing!" Kurt wraps his arms around himself when the cold air hits his body, and Blaine dashes back towards him to offer his coat. Kurt's face softens immediately and he refuses, but he gladly accepts Blaine's body heat instead. Cooper can tell the boys are having a good time, walking down row after row of trees, nuzzling each other and pressing as close as they can. Cooper, on instinct, still whips his head around to make sure that no assholes are giving them dirty looks. Maybe it's because it's Christmas, but the few people that are wandering the tree farm look respectfully away, and one lady even gives the boys a cheerful smile.
Cooper and Kurt know when they have found the tree, because Blaine stops dead right in the middle of the path, craning his neck up to see the top of a very tall tree. It's not gigantic, Blaine's pretty sure it can fit into their house, and it's more filled out than most of the trees the boys have seen. The needles are a darker, healthier looking green than the rest of the trees.
"This one's it!" Blaine declares. "It's perfect." Kurt laughs beside him, but he doesn't deny it. The tree really is beautiful.
"Okay," Cooper grins. "Who's going to chop it?"
"Me!" Blaine says as soon as Cooper follows with "not Blaine." Blaine sputters indignantly at his brother. "What? Why not! I'm plenty capable of chopping down a tree, Coop."
"You almost chopped yourself up that one year."
"Cooper, I was five! Let it go, jesus!" Kurt snorts and Blaine sends him a playfully dirty look. "Seriously, I want to chop it!"
"We can take turns," Kurt suggests with an eye-roll. Cooper and Blaine nod, and Cooper starts, since he has the axe.
"Alright, Blainey," he says a few minutes later. "Do you want to start sawing?" Despite Blaine's desire to chop it, he brightens instantly and crouches down in front of the tree. Kurt smirks and rolls his eyes, following close behind Blaine.
Together, Blaine and Kurt release the tree from the snow and watches as it goes crashing towards the ground. Cooper lets out a loud whoop and yells "TIMBER" as it falls. By the time they've paid and dragged the tree back to Cooper's car, they're all shivering and laughing. Kurt keeps his arm around Blaine's shoulders and pulls him closer every time he trembles.
"I think this weather calls for some hot chocolate," Cooper announces. "Like, really." Cooper glances hopefully at Kurt with raised eyebrows, and Kurt mock-groans and smiles.
"Alright, I'll make some when we get home."
"YES!" Cooper and Blaine shout in unison. "Seriously, Kurt, you make the best hot chocolate," Cooper praises. Blaine would agree, but he's too busy staring at Kurt to actually say anything. He has to blink back tears because Kurt just called his and Cooper's little house home.
Blaine's pretty sure that he's reevaluating his feelings about Christmas. It's always been bitter for him, he supposes, because his parents were never really there, and Cooper only was for a little while. But this year. This year is perfect.
"This one, Coop, this one!" Blaine holds up Michael Buble's Christmas CD, and Cooper looks over. He clutches his chest and clenches his eyes shut like he's in pain.
"Blaine, god, no. We are not listening to Michael whatever-his-face-is while we're decorating the tree. That's like…Christmas blasphemy or something." Cooper rips the duck tape off one of the many boxes they've hauled up from the basement. Inside the box is ornaments, all individually wrapped in newspaper.
"It is not!" Blaine protests. "He has a wonderful voice, okay?" Blaine stops to watch Cooper unwrapping the decorations. "I can't believe…I can't believe we still have those."
"I know," Cooper says. "I was sure Mom threw them away a long time ago. I can't believe she let me have them."
"I miss her," Blaine blurts. His cheeks turn a fiery shade of red, and he looks down at his bare feet. "I just…I miss her, sometimes. I know she never stood up for me or anything, but…"
"Blaine." Cooper's voice is soft. "She's your mom. You're going to miss her, kiddo. It's just natural." Blaine nods, but he still can't look at Cooper. "Do you…do you want to go see her?" Blaine inhales. He squeezes his eyes shut, thinking about it long and hard.
"Not yet," he says. "I just want to be happy right now." Blaine knows that if he goes to visit his mom, even if he's happy to see her, it'll just end in sadness for both of them. It's his dad's fault really, and a little bit of his mom's too, but that doesn't make it any better. Or less painful. Cooper—god, he really is the best brother ever, Blaine thinks—just nods and gives him a small smile.
"So," Cooper grins. "When's Kurt coming over?"
"Tomorrow night," Blaine smiles, instantly back to his excited self. "He's staying over night. And Burt wants us to go over for Christmas dinner."
"Both of us?" Cooper questions, surprised. He's met Burt a couple times, and he thinks Burt liked him well enough, but he didn't know he'd acquired Christmas dinner status.
"Duh," Blaine laughs, wrinkling his nose at Cooper. They're both quiet for a while, unwrapping the ornaments. Blaine's just putting the first couple on the tree—a paper star with glitter he made when he was in kindergarten and the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz—when he clears his throat. "It feels really empty without him," Blaine says. "Like, I know I should be used to it by now, but I'm not. It doesn't feel right."
"Thanks," Cooper says, but he's not really offended, and Blaine knows it. He feels the same way. "I know, though. Just imagine how I'll feel when you're both gone." Cooper tries to laugh about it, but the ache in his chest multiplies until he has to look away from Blaine's wide eyes.
"Don't, Blaine. It was just a joke, I didn't mean…"
"You should come with us."
"Come with us. Kurt and I. To New York. You could…you could start your firm there. Right?" Blaine smiles at him, but Cooper scoffs and looks away, rubbing the back of his neck.
"You don't want me to trail after you two," he says. "I'm your big brother, you're going to get annoyed with me sooner or later. Plus, your sex life will be in the toilet, squirt." Blaine rolls his eyes.
"Well, you don't have to live with us," he hedges. Because yeah he loves Cooper, but he understands what he's getting at. "But near us. I'm not saying you have to. Do what you want. But…I'm sure Kurt would want you to come, too. We both do."
"Alright, alright," Cooper says after a moment. He sounds choked up and turns his back on Blaine so he can place a Santa ornament on the tree. "Just because it's Christmas doesn't mean we can go overboard on the lovey-dovey crap, okay? But…okay. I'll think about it. I want to, though." There is so many complications, with his job in Westerville, selling the house, and now Sarah. But Cooper does want to. He just has to figure out a way to make it happen.
"Blaine?" Kurt murmurs, tucking his cold toes further between Blaine's legs. It's Christmas Eve, just after midnight, and Blaine and Kurt are already naked and curled up to each other beneath the sheets. It's cold, but Blaine feels warm and happy with Kurt pressed against his chest and his breath puffing across his neck. He feels utterly content for the first time since Kurt's been gone. He's not thinking about Kurt leaving, or that he's gone, or what if Kurt finds someone better than him? Blaine, right now, doesn't think anything could be better than the both of them together. He can't remember ever feeling so happy.
"Hmm?" Blaine hums drowsily. He kisses the top of Kurt's head, inhaling and rubbing his lips against his hair.
"Could I give you your Christmas present now?" Kurt hedges. Blaine wrinkles his nose, thinking, but a sleepy smile curves his lips.
"I don't know," Blaine says teasingly. "It's not Christmas yet, Kurt."
"Is too," Kurt argues. "It's tomorrow." Blaine looks at the clock and grins, but stops when he sees Kurt's expression. It's blissful, but serious and intense, and Blaine blinks a little in surprise.
"Of course you can, honey," Blaine whispers. He pulls Kurt's head forward so he's tucking it under his chin, his lips finding Kurt's hair again. "You didn't have to get me a present." Kurt rolls his eyes and doesn't bother to respond. In the next second, he wriggles in Blaine's arms and leans over him to stick his hand in Blaine's beside table drawer. He smiles and comes out with something hidden behind his back. Blaine's eyes widen. "You hid my present in my bedside table?" he asks incredulously.
"Just for tonight, sweetie," Kurt assures him. "I was careful. Now." Kurt suddenly looks nervous—something Blaine hasn't seen for a while. Blaine's heart pounds on instinct, and he reaches out to smooth his hand over Kurt's cheek. Kurt laughs when Blaine feels him trembling. "Um," he says. "Baby, don't freak out okay? I know that this is unexpected, that we weren't going to talk about this until at least after you graduated, but I don't know, it just seemed like the right time and I saw this one and I just really needed to get it for you and it's perfect and I just love you so much, Blaine, but you can totally say no because—"
"Kurt," Blaine breathes, shocked, cutting off his rambling boyfriend. "Stop. I'm sure that whatever you have…I'm sure I'll love it." Blaine has an inkling to what Kurt's trying to say, but he doesn't want to make any assumptions. He wants Kurt to say it, first. Blaine's palms start to sweat when Kurt brings out a little black box from behind his back, and his eyes immediately fill with tears.
"Blaine, I…oh god, this seems so impulsive now. I…Blaine, I love you so much. I know this year isn't over yet, but it's sucked so much without you already. I've been in New York without you, and it's just made me realize even more that I always want to be with you. Always. I can't…I can't even imagine myself with anyone else, and I get sick to my stomach whenever I try to. I know we're young Blaine…I know we don't have any money…" Kurt laughs a little hysterically, wiping the corner of his eye. Blaine's hands are shaking so hard he's afraid he'll break something. "But I just…I love you. I want to have forever with you. I know this is all a big rambling mess, but…I n-need you in my life, B-Blaine…I can't ever be w-without you. Please, Blaine Anderson, will you marry me?"
"Kurt." Blaine doesn't realize he's been crying throughout Kurt's entire speech until the sob breaks its way out with Kurt's name. "Kurt, oh my god." Blaine scrabbles up on his elbows until he can throw his arms around Kurt's neck, and buries his fingers in Kurt's hair. Blaine's crying so hard he can't even get out the answer that's bouncing around in his head: yes yes yes oh god yes. Kurt clings to him just as tightly, kissing his curls and rubbing his back until Blaine goes limp in his arms.
"Is that a yes?" Kurt asks softly.
"Yes," Blaine breathes shakily. "Yes, yes, yes, Kurt." Kurt seems to deflate against Blaine, relaxing, his shoulders slumping forward so that their noses are only inches apart. Kurt smiles tearfully back at him, looking down at the little black box and laughing.
"I forgot to open it," he says, giggling. "Here." He opens the box, and inside are two simple, silver rings, and one has a tiny diamond in the center. Kurt takes the diamond encrusted one out of the casing and slips it onto the ring finger of Blaine's left hand. Kurt stares at it for a moment with awestruck eyes, and then leans down to kiss it. Blaine sniffs loudly. He then takes the other ring from the box and slips it on Kurt's finger, nice and slow—it fits perfectly.
"I love it," he sighs. "It's so beautiful, Kurt. You're so beautiful."
"You're beautiful," Kurt says quietly back. "Blaine…I love you so much. I want our wedding to be amazing—and I want you to graduate first, okay? I just…if you're not ready, it's okay. I want to have a long engagement anyway—not that I don't want to marry you now, I just want us to have money and live together before we start rushing into things—"
"Kurt," Blaine laughs. "I honestly have never been more ready for anything in my whole life. But you're right. We don't have to rush into this. I want to be your husband so bad, but I want this wedding to be perfect for us. It's just nice….it feels amazing to wear this ring. To know that I'm yours completely and no one else can have you."
"No one else could have ever had me," Kurt says in a hushed voice. "I've always been yours, Blaine. I'm always going to be yours." Kurt captures Blaine's lips in his and sucks gently, swallowing Blaine's sob in a desperate kiss. Blaine moans quietly and rises up on his elbows, tonguing at the roof of Kurt's mouth and down the back of his teeth.
"Love you so much," Blaine mumbles against Kurt's skin. "Mmm, I missed you."
"I missed you, too," Kurt gasps back. "I can't wait until you're with me next year. That's all I ever want." Blaine sighs against Kurt's mouth and then pulls back with a watery laugh.
"This is going to make your present look pretty dumb," Blaine says, wiping his eyes with the heel of his hand. Kurt swats at him, his expression playfully stern.
"No, it won't," he says firmly. "I'll love anything you give me." Blaine kisses him again. He tries not to think about what just happened for very long, because if he does he might faint. He's engaged. Engaged to Kurt. Oh god, what is he going to tell Cooper? Blaine starts to laugh a little against Kurt's mouth at Cooper's imagined reaction.
"Cooper is going to—"
"Oh god, I know," Kurt interrupts, ducking his head to Blaine's collarbone. Kurt laughs so hard he snorts, which sets Blaine off again, and then they can't stop. "Shh," Kurt warns Blaine teasingly, right before he tickles his ribcage, causing Blaine to let out a high-pitched squeal.
"You tickled me!"
"Shh," Kurt says again, laughing, but this time it turns into a sweet kiss.
"Merry Christmas," Blaine says happily. He tugs Kurt further against him, so that their arms and legs are all tangled together and they can't really tell which ones are their own. He admires his ring again, trying not to cry. He can't believe he's so lucky.
"Merry Christmas," Kurt says back. He tangles their fingers and presses his lips to Blaine's. Blaine shivers, but he's not cold—he feels warm and tingly all over. Blaine takes a deep breath and smiles widely, pulling back only slightly so he can look into Kurt's eyes.
"One of many."
So, there you have it! What do you think? I'm thinking of doing a continuation of this chapter, where Kurt and Blaine tell Cooper and they have dinner at the Hudmels :) But if you guys have any ideas, by all means, tell me! I would love to hear them! And as always, all prompts are welcome. Thank you for reading, and please review! Thanks for being so patient, you're all amazing