A/N: Just a little Anderberry one shot I wrote and posted on tumblr... forever ago. Decided to post it on here as a one shot for now. I'm thinking of making it a mini verse, and writing a bunch of one shots for it, including A Whole New World in the verse, and making little fics here and there from after that story as well. Just something spanning a long time line.
Just a simple idea for now. We'll see how it goes, if I decide to do it.
Consider this a prequel to A Whole New World, and It'll Linger will fit into this as well. I'm making all of the chapter titles the dates of the day for those so you can see how they fit together. This one's only going to be the monthThis is the lead up to and the day when Blaine and Rachel first met.
The Perfect Brother
Rachel had never told anyone the real reason why she always sang so loudly at home. It was too quiet with just her and her dads and no other kids around to make lots of noise with her. So she settled for making enough noise for a dozen seven year olds by singing at the top of her lungs. She'd told her dads countless times that they should get her a brother, but they never seemed to listen to her. Of course they never seemed to believe her when she said she just liked to sing as loud as possible either.
Two years ago when they'd asked her what she'd wanted for Hanukkah she'd immediately started describing the perfect pair of new tap shoes, and then as an afterthought added a brother. She figured that was why she'd only gotten the tap shoes, colorful dresses, a giant box full of gold star stickers, but no brother. She hadn't made it her top wish for the holidays so they hadn't thought she was seriously.
Last year, she'd started earlier, making a point to pick out all the other little girls in the neighborhood, or at the mall, or the grocery store who had little brothers. She drew all their family portraits with a little boy that looked similar to her (because siblings were supposed to look alike and she wanted everyone to see him and know that he was her brother and not theirs), and talked about how he had to like to sing.
On the last night of Hanukkah her fathers had blind folded her and carried her downstairs as she wiggled in excitement. This had to finally be it. They'd turned their unfinished basement into a bedroom for her new little brother and now she was finally going to meet him. But when they'd whipped the blindfold off, Rachel's face fell at the sight of all the new furniture and the little stage with all the fancy, expensive microphones.
Her dads had thought she was completely overwhelmed with joy when she'd started bawling her eyes out, but when she'd started blubbering about where her little brother was they're exchanged some secret, sad look and picked her favorite Barbra Streisand song to all sing together to cheer her up.
This year, though, she'd planned it all out in her gold star planner. On every day she'd written some little thing she could mention to them about having a brother. Every weekend day got either three comments or a long monologue about how awesome having a brother would be. For her birthday she'd told them to get her a long list of various boy's toys and clothes for him, and then told them she only wanted a brother when the holiday season started approaching. When they started looking nervous the closer they got to December and pointing out keyboards and sheet music and dolls and dresses while they were out, she'd start singing at the top of her lungs until they stopped.
As the week of Hanukkah began Rachel tried to be patient, and for the first five nights her dads didn't give her any gifts. On the sixth night they gave her a new tea set, which she tried not to show how much she loved. The little boy down the street always refused to let her join in his tea parties because he said she was too bossy and loud so she'd been wanting her own for a while. But Kurt wouldn't join in her tea parties and it was no fun to play with adults and when she pointed this out to her dads they'd shared a bright, secretive smile and told her there was another part to that present that she'd get on the last night of Hanukkah.
For a moment she'd almost let herself hope it was what she really wanted, but neither of her dads bellies were big like her friends mommy's tummies got when they were going to have a baby so she didn't think that was what the surprise was. The next day she sulked around the house and tried to figure out what else the surprise could be, but by Friday morning she was still clueless until her dads packed her in the car and said they were going on a long car trip.
Rachel was even more confused at their words and demanded answers for a full twenty minutes straight before they finally relented.
"Let's just tell her, Leroy," her Daddy said in exasperation. "We've still got another hour or more in the car– "
"No, you tell her. You're better at stories than me," her Dad insisted, keeping his eyes on the road while her Daddy turned around.
"Tell me now," Rachel demanded, poking out her bottom lip and crossing her arms to show them how displeased she was.
"We're going to The Boys Home in Westerville to find a little boy for our fam– "
"I'M GETTING A BROTHER?"
Her dads laughed loudly as she squealed in delight, jumping around so much that her car seat started to rock.
"Whoa! Careful, Rachel," her Daddy scolded. "There's still a lot to do before we take him home. It probably won't be tonight, and we have to make sure he wants to live with us."
"Of course he wants to live with us," Rachel said, rolling her eyes at how silly her dads were sometimes. "Why wouldn't my brother want to live with us?"
Before either of her dads could continue to explain anything Rachel was off, describing the perfect little brother that was waiting for them in Westerville. Her dads simply rolled their eyes at her as she told them about how he was going to look like her, and dress up as her husband at all her tea parties and how Kurt wasn't invited because he didn't invite her, and how he had to be younger than her, and that he'd better be younger than her or they'd both be in big trouble–
"We're here," her dads announced nervously, hopping out and helping her out of her car seat as she continued to prattle on about her new brother.
As a stern looking woman talked to her dads and then ushered them inside, her Daddy took her aside and kneeled down in front of her.
"Rach, I know you're excited, but these boys we're about to meet haven't had easy lives– "
"What do you mean?" Rachel gasped in alarm. "Who's been hurting my brother? Can I name him Robert?"
"No, he's already got a name, Rachel," her Daddy said quietly and he looked so serious that Rachel felt some of her excitement disappear. "I need you to be a big girl for me while we're inside, okay? Be nice, don't sing. These boys are around your age, and most of them had families before us."
Rachel still didn't entirely understand what he meant, but she could see how worried he was that she'd do something bad and scare the boys off. "Okay, Daddy," she acknowledged quietly.
He clutched her hand tightly and lead her over to the room her Dad had disappeared into. As soon as they stepped inside Rachel's eyes popped out of her head. There were boys everywhere. Rough, loud, dirty boys chasing each other around and shoving each other and being boys. Her Dad was sitting at one table with a few really little boys coloring and talking to them, but they were too little. The boys running around and sitting over in the corner playing video games were also immediately crossed off her list. None of these boys were her brother. He wasn't anywhere to be found, and she almost turned to her Daddy and told him her brother wasn't here when a head of dark curly hair caught her eye.
A little boy around her age was sitting off in the far left corner of the room by himself. He was quietly playing with a few army men, walking them around instead of throwing them or smacking them against each other. As he turned more towards her she saw a bright red bowtie tucked under his chin, and the black and white striped fancy shirt he was wearing. Before her Daddy could stop her she pulled out of his grasp and made her way over, kneeling down in front of the boy.
His head shot up in alarm and Rachel smiled brightly, remembering her father's words to be nice.
"I like your bow tie," she told him, reaching forward to straight it. He shied away in surprise and dropped one of his army men.
Rachel scooped it up and looked it over as the boy's face turned red. "Most people say thank you when someone compliments them," Rachel snapped after a few minutes of waiting for him to say something. She'd thought this was her brother, but maybe she'd been wrong. He didn't even seem to be able to talk.
"S- sorry," the boy stuttered, giving her a shy smile as he brushed his curls off his forehead to reveal little pointy eyebrows. "Uh, I'm Blaine."
Blaine. She liked that name. Blaine was a good name for a little brother.
"I'm Rachel Berry," she replied. She held out the army man. "Can I play with this one?"
"S- sure," Blaine said in surprise, looking completely shocked that anyone would want to play with him. Apparently he didn't understand how this big sister thing was supposed to work. "He's this one's" he raised the other army man for her to see " He's his, uh... " he looked around quickly to make sure nobody was paying attention to them and whispered, "They're husbands."
"So are my daddies!" Rachel practically shouted, and then she remembered she was supposed to be quiet. After shooting her dads an apologetic look she sat down next to Blaine. "Did they just get married? I hope I get a husband someday when I'm a lady. My daddies are really good husbands. I hope I get one like them."
Blaine looked past her, and Rachel followed his line of sight to find her dads both watching them from afar. He turned back to her and said quite seriously, "One day I'm going to have the prettiest husband ever. We're going to have lots of bowties and sing together and have a pool full of cherry jell-o."
Rachel stared at him in amazement. "Oh my god. Me and my husband are going to live with you and him all the time. My husband's going to buy me lots of gold stars and listen to me sing on Broadway and he's going to be your best friend!"
Blaine crinkled his nose at her. "Why can't my husband be my best friend?"
"Because he's your husband," Rachel told him as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Husbands are husbands. Best friends are best friends. Duh."
"Huh," Blaine muttered. "I don't think it's that simple. I'm going to marry my best friend and we're going to be husbands forever and ever."
"But I want to be your best friend," Rachel huffed in annoyance. "I can't be your big sister if I'm not your best friend."
"You're going to be my sister?" Blaine gaped at her.
"Of course, I am," Rachel told him. "You're the little brother we came here to get." She started running through her list of qualifications. "You look kinda like me, you like fancy clothes," she tugged at his bowtie and he blushed again. "You've got pretty eyes and you aren't yucky like most boys. You said you like to sing and your... how old are you?" she asked suddenly. Rachel didn't know if it mattered at this point, but it would make things a little difficult to explain when she was introducing Blaine as her perfect little brother if he was actually older than her.
"I'm seven," he said dazedly, clearly overwhelmed by everything she'd just thrown at him.
Rachel bit her lip. She was seven, too. That might be a problem even though she was turning eight in April. What if he was older than her?
"When's your birthday?" she persisted as she watched her father's approach them.
"October fifteenth– "
"Daddies, he's perfect!" she shouted, completely forgetting to be quiet or nice or to behave herself. "He's everything! Can we keep him and take him home? Is he doing to share my room? Is he– "
"Hello," her Daddy greeted Blaine as he dropped down next to them. Her Dad shushed her pointedly. "I'm Hiram and this is my husband, Leroy, and I see you've meet our daughter, Rachel."
"Y- yes, sir," Blaine stuttered nervously. "She's really loud."
Her daddies laughed loudly at his words, and Rachel glared at Blaine. Little brothers weren't supposed to make jokes about her.
"Are you playing army battle?" her Dad asked as he dropped down with them on the floor.
"Wedding," Blaine corrected, rolling his eyes. "They're husbands now," he told them, waving the two army men around. "I was about to send them on their honeymoon."
"Oh, silly me," her Dad said, chuckling slightly. "Where are they going on their honeymoon?"
Blaine stared at him, his eyes narrowed slightly as his face morphed into an expression that clearly said this man had to be joking. "I thought you two were husbands. Shouldn't you know that they're going to the moon? How else are they going to eat all the honey the moon's made out of? God."
Her dads roared with laughter again and Blaine glared at them. "What's so funny?" he demanded, looking annoyed.
Rachel settled down in her Daddy's lap and watched as they continued to play with the little army men and send them on their honeymoon. She hoped Blaine wanted to live with her and her dads, because she knew she'd never find another little brother as perfect as this one.