The instant he heard the engine of Kurt's Navigator roar, Blaine sprinted downstairs; he had approximately thirty minutes to resolve the situation, and every one of those minutes had to count. Eyes locked on their target, he tried to force a smile through his nerves.
"I need a word," he said. "Strictly bro to bro."
Finn didn't even turn around, long fingers tapping the edge of his phone. Sighing, Blaine sat next to him. He placed his hands on his thighs, then placed a pillow in his lap, running the fringed edges through his fingers. He felt his forced smile fade as he poked his boyfriend's brother on his arm. Sharply.
"Blaine, hey!" Finn snapped to attention and shot him a lopsided grin. "What's up? That Chandelier dude still hitting on Kurt? 'Cause I have a hundred pounds on him. Easy." Clenching his fist tightly, he waved it in front of Blaine's nose.
Momentarily, Blaine regretted his decision not to ask Rachel for advice, but she'd only heard Kurt's version of Chandlergate. Kurt was honest and frank in most circumstances, and Blaine loved him for it, but his boyfriend wasn't the world's most reliable narrator. Finn, he surmised, hadn't heard anyone's version, likely forming a patchwork of the situation from incredibly unsubtle eavesdropping. Yet his unintentional nickname wasn't entirely inaccurate. Chandler was a little like a chandelier: tacky, but undeniably extravagant and bright. Whimsical, even. Blaine? Well, earlier this week, Kurt probably thought he was more like a flickering light in a strip mall.
"He better looking than you or something?" Finn said, arching an eyebrow.
"Kurt says he looks like Tyler Oakley," Blaine replied, unable to hold back a sigh. Petite blondes weren't Kurt's usual type, but it wasn't Chandler's physical attributes which had caused Blaine to seek Finn's advice.
"Oh. The guy from Fight Club?"
Shaking his head, Blaine stared at the carpet. "Can you do me a favor?" he said, holding out his hand. "Show me the last text you sent Rachel."
"Super weird," Finn muttered, placing his phone in Blaine's palm.
The lack of reticence was surprising, though given Finn's facial expressions revealed far more than his speech, it probably shouldn't have been. As he read the words on the screen, Blaine swallowed away the lump in his throat. Kurt was absolutely right. Finn's text messages to Rachel were awash with whimsical cuteness, the kind of textual fluff Kurt breathed for. They were spontaneous. Unpredictable. Fun. And, granted, awash with spelling mistakes, but Rachel was so love-blind it probably endeared Finn to her more.
Handing Finn back his phone, Blaine cleared his throat. "Not that I'm inclined to judge anyone's preferences, but I really don't understand why you find Rachel's -"
"Too much?" Finn said, a rosy blush coloring his cheeks. "I thought that French word was cute. You know, the one Kurt uses all the time?" Finn's voice rose in pitch to a level Santana unkindly termed his flopsetto. "That cheesecake went straight to my derry ear?"
Blaine really hoped Finn's forays into acting wouldn't entail impressions. "Derriere," he said, chuckling in the back of his throat.
"Crap. What did I put?" Finn slapped his hand to his forehead, no doubt inwardly cursing the perils of autocorrect. "Your diarrhea is adorable? Well. That explains her major league prudeness in the auditorium earlier. I don't get why you want to look at my texts, though."
Blaine sighed and excused himself to fetch a drink from the kitchen. Flopping back on the couch, he relayed he story, his version, the reliable one of what had happened and how he'd patched things up with Kurt. The day that started with silent treatment, leading to a tearful hug, then the tensest glee rehearsal of his life that had culminated in a sinfully delicious make out and grind in the back of Kurt's Navigator - of course, he hadn't relayed the full details of that to Finn. The problem was, he explained, he and Kurt just weren't textually compatible.
"But I don't get it," Finn said. "Weren't you texting that Sebastian guy?"
"Song ideas. Canary care. How to avoid Warbler revolt. That sort of thing," Blaine replied, knowing that some of Sebastian's texts had been a little less businesslike, but the moment he'd received a so gay face and the bride of frankenteen are rehearsing? let's do a duet of our own ;-)he'd told Sebastian to cease and desist.
The problem was, he explained to a nodding Finn, Chandler's texts had caused Kurt to smile. The cute, kittenish one Blaine hadn't seen in days, lost in a blur of NYADA anxiety and audition outfit storyboarding, and surely seeing that smile, the one that made Kurt's eyes crinkle at the corners, should be his prerogative?
A heavy yawn snapped Blaine back to attention. Finn was wrist deep in a bag of chips.
"Are you even listening?" Blaine said.
"Uh. Yeah. You need to know how to write cutesy texts so my brother won't dump you?"
Blaine sighed, tilting his head against Finn's shoulder. "I remembered your song from Nationals. You seem pretty good at the written word thing," he said, forcing himself not to reveal the more pertinent fact that his only other male friends were several hours away at a school he was briefly tempted to transfer back to considering the week's events.
He was also reluctant to reveal that, as horrifying and embarrassing as it was, Finn was the closest thing he had to a friend in Lima.
"I'm... good with words?" Finn scrunched his nose. "Really? 'Cause I mostly want to be an actor because someone writes the words for you." He waved his phone under Blaine's nose. "And most of these words? Are about her boobs. Uh. Some are about her legs, if that helps?"
"It does," Blaine said. "I get it. Things like I want to feel your slender legs wrapped around me when we kiss?"
"What the hell?" Finn's eyes were bugging out, a little like Blaine's aunt's fancy goldfish. "Gross!"
Blaine blinked. Slowly. He extracted his head from the crook of Finn's shoulder. "If the idea of two guys makes you uncomfortable..."
Finn shook his head, placing his palms in front of his chest. "No! I mean, I don't want to hear about the bees and the... bees. Just. If I send that stuff and Rachel's dads found it? They're kinda controlist." He sighed. "Rach says they told her to stop wearing knee socks to school. I miss those."
"At least you don't have to deal with the layers," Blaine said. "Do you know Kurt wears undersocks? Undersocks, Finn!"
"Yeah. I know. When I was a kid, Mom had this party game where we had to peel an orange in one piece. Super lame. I never had the patience. It must suck to have to peel... I mean, not that I thought about that, but..." Finn's smile was uneasy, nothing but utter helplessness painted on his face. "Well. You know."
Oh, did Blaine ever know. "The end justifies the means," he said. "And they're some very nice means."
"Right, well." Finn's face turned several shades paler, which was no mean feat. "Let's get to it! Finn Hudson's texting masterclass."
The moment Finn's very large arm slung around his shoulder, Blaine covered his face with his palms. He should have stuck to a mall serenade, or rigged one of those claw machines to win a soft toy proclaiming he loved Kurt beary much, or asked Rachel for her I'm sorry cookie recipe. Bigger, more sweeping gestures he knew well. Not incremental ones, the verbal ones which required something of a lighter touch.
"Step one. Be totally, shamelessly sappy. Chicks dig that."
"Kurt's not a chick."
"Whatever. If you don't get all embarrassed when you send it? You're doing it wrong. See this one?"
Finn waved his phone under Blaine's nose. If you where a tear in my eye, I'd never cry. I'd be too afraid too loose you. FINN.
"And check out her reply. If I were a tear in your eye, I would roll onto your lips so you could kiss me. She dug it so much it was, like, lip lock-down. Like two magnets." Finn smacked his lips together and winked.
That wasn't a pleasant image, but Blaine had to give Finn credit where credit was due. For someone who'd be beaten by a sixth grader in a spelling bee, and for someone who casually discussed his bowel habits during family dinners, he was certainly proficient when it came to romantic gestures. After the indigence of the kiss incident had passed, Kurt had fumed about the unfairness of Rachel's perfect New York date. Blaine had offered to recreate it, but Kurt had insisted Schoonover Park was no Central Park, and in any case, accordions gave him cluster headaches.
"Step two," Finn said, after tipping up his bag of chips to his mouth to catch any loose particles. "Keep it PG-13. If Burt ever finds them?" Finn drew an invisible line across his neck with his finger then wiped his hands on his jeans before passing Blaine his phone again. "Here's another one she liked!"
"You think I've been drinking but I'm just drunk on you?" Blaine suppressed a shudder. Him, Kurt and alcohol did not mix. He'd assumed Finn would have remembered that after Rachel's party; had Finn even been drinking? "Uh. Maybe Kurt would appreciate something a little more, well, creative? Don't you think?"
"You're so hot I get a tan just by looking?"
Reaching for his can of coke, Blaine rolled it between his palms before taking a sip. Immediately, the bronzer incident came to mind. And Kurt would lecture him. Well. Look at me more often, because you're rather wan these days, Blaine. And Blaine did look. He always looked, sneaking whatever glances he could in the hallway, or in glee rehearsal. When his boyfriend was that gorgeous, how could he not? The problem was, over the past week, Kurt's gaze had been fixed squarely on his phone.
"Puck told me that one," Finn said, then chewed his lip a little before looking away. "Rachel emailed me this pre-approved list of words to use when texting when we began dating again, but most of them were about stars. Got kind of boring after a while. Anyway. Step three: pay attention. Tell him you notice the little things. Like when his face is all greasy after he's been to the spa. Oh, and his smile. That goofy one he pretends he doesn't do when you get all hand holdy."
Okay. That sounded easy enough. "And step four?"
"Metaphors! Rachel loves metaphors." Finn cleared his throat, his eyes shining with intensity. "You're sweeter than the sauce in my sundae. Your lips are like a candy-coated rainbow."
Blaine shook his head. Not only were those not metaphors, but he was ninety five percent sure they were Dairy Queen slogans. Inappropriate on so many levels, least of all Rachel being vegan. Still, it was rather adorable.
"Hm, what about... you're the fruit on my cheese plate?"
"Okay, after that time, I have to be super careful, but isn't calling Kurt a fruit a little offensive? You want to see his pointy little teeth when he smiles. Not feel his pointy little boot in your nads."
"Well, I was attempting a we go well together vibe, but yeah. I see your point. Okay, how about I hope your day is as radiant as your smile?"
"Yes!" Finn pumped his fist and rose up a little, the entire couch shaking as he sat back down, a slosh of coke dripping onto Blaine's hand. "Oh, wait. Kurt's self-conscious about his smile. He has these little peg teeth," Finn opened his mouth, speaking through a muffle of tongue, "right here, see..."
"But his baby teeth are adorable. I just love it when he smiles!"
"That's it! You should text him that!" Finn reached over, patting Blaine on the knee. "You know, you've not checked your phone once. Doesn't Kurt text you?"
Sighing, Blaine extracted his phone from his pocket and held it under Finn's nose.
"What's a Nimrod? Wait, isn't that a Green Day album? Kurt wants to do Green Day for Nationals? High five!" he said, extending his palm.
Blaine pushed Finn's hand away. "Nimrod's a... giant. You, uh. Probably shouldn't read those." Blaine reached for his phone. "You really shouldn't."
It was too late to politely explain that many of Kurt's texts were less than complimentary about his brother, as Finn was shaking his head, likely reading the list of nicknames Kurt had sent him during a particularly boring stint in study hall.
"Lumberjock. Brawny the Paper Towel Teen. The Large Hudson Collider," Finn said, tossing Blaine's phone on the couch with a grunt. "Creative, but Short Round's still getting his face soap covered in nail varnish for that." Then, he sighed. "Teasing's what brother's do, though. Right?"
Blaine narrowed his eyes a little, knowing if the McKinley High student body found out his nicknames from Cooper, they'd be written on his locker by the end of the week.
Finn continued, waving his hands in the air. "And Kurt's a great brother. I'm so glad you patched things up. You know, I'm really gonna miss you in New York. You're both family, you know?"
"Uh," Blaine scratched his head. "While this unexpected outpouring of fraternal bonding is heart-warming, can we get back to the task at hand?"
"Okay. Step five. If you're really stuck? Type love poems into Google."
Blaine cleared his throat, putting himself in Thinker pose, knowing the familiar words would flow from his mouth like honey. "My love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine."
"Did you just make that up? That's... what does that even mean? Dude, I'm not going to give you advice if you just, ignore every word of it. I'm on a tight schedule here!"
"It's Neruda!" Blaine said with a slight hiss, crossing his arms over his chest. "King of the romantic poets. Kurt wants Neruda at his wedding!"
"Don't make that part of my best man's speech. Please."
"Best man's speech?"
Finn spluttered a little, spraying his milk back in his glass. The look exchanged was loaded with the realization that if Blaine ever did marry Kurt somewhere down the line - twenty five would be his minimum, irrespective of marriage equality - they'd be brothers themselves. With an oof, he found large arms wrapping themselves around him, a slap on the back and a murmur that they were brothers already, and it sucked they'd never done a duet, and maybe Blaine could do "Stand By Me" with him in glee? Senior year was really bringing everyone's emotions to the forefront.
Either that, or someone had spiked Finn's milk with vodka.
"Blaine," Finn said, pulling from the hug and patting him on the shoulder. "I'm not gonna say this again, but you're awesome for him. Yeah, you hit a road bump, but you know what? I couldn't imagine a greater guy for Kurt."
"Well," Blaine said, raising his fist to bump Finn's. "I couldn't imagine being with a greater guy. I couldn't imagine being with anyone else."
"Hope you won't have to," Finn patted him on the back. "So, bet you got some texting ideas from my masterclass, huh?"
Blaine nodded. He appreciated Finn's time, and understanding, but it just wasn't him. Finding the right words to woo Kurt would be more difficult than trying to get a camel to eat a pile of sand, because while he'd often joked about it, Kurt really wasn't like Rachel at all. Kurt would need a thousand words, not 160 characters.
Suddenly, Blaine touched his finger to his lip and sprung from the couch. That was it. "I'll be right back!" he said, scaling the steps two at a time and calling over his shoulder. "I left my ledger in Kurt's room. I need to, uh, take some notes."
As he dashed into the bathroom and locked the door behind him, Blaine grinned as he heard his phone buzz.
Do you want anything?
You, Blaine replied. Who needed 160 characters when three would suffice?
Oh, I'm far too fabulous to be bought from Save-A-Lot.
Blaine slapped his hand against his forehead. To hell with Burt finding this. To hell with Finn's cavity-inducing communication skills, and to hell with being appropriate. What really said a thousand words? A picture. And though Blaine felt a little guilty knowing that Kurt was currently browsing for the most taupe-colored eggs for their crepes - Blaine really hoped he'd remember the nutella - this picture would have to say everything.
Of course, he wouldn't show everything, but a little teasing couldn't hurt. Adjusting his belt and buttoning up his jeans, his heartbeat barely slowed as he walked back downstairs, fingers twitching as he stared at his phone. Unsurprisingly, he found it rather difficult to meet Finn's gaze.
"Hey, Blaine! You forgot your notebook," Finn said, frowning. "Anyway, bro, I'll see you later. I'm going over to Rachel's to relieve my inner tension. I told her I relieved it already today. Twice. Then she told me it was an acting thing. Oh, Blaine? Make sure you -"
"Thanks for the masterclass. It was great, really," Blaine said, glad he was sitting down as otherwise he'd be bouncing on the balls of his feet. "Cleared it all up for me. And yeah. Sock on the door handle. I know."
"Um, I was going to say I made us taco-in-the-bag. Except I microwaved the bag, and..." Finn grabbed his backpack then made a crude explosion gesture with his hands. "Wait. You're wearing socks, Blaine?"
"I'm wearing socks," Blaine said, wiggling his toes He waved to Finn, smiled brightly, then exhaled a breath he didn't quite realize he'd been holding as Finn closed the door behind him. When his phone buzzed, the words on the screen initially made him wonder if Kurt had approached someone for lessons of his own.
Nice picture, but those jeans you're wearing should be illegal. Perhaps you should take them off?
Blaine bit his lip. Another message arrived immediately and Blaine tapped his toes against the carpet, unable to hide his joy as he doubted he'd be wearing socks, or indeed anything else, for much longer.
I love your bow ties and your sass, but most of all? I love your ass.
Smiling to himself, Blaine patted his phone affectionately, wishing he had time-shifting powers because he wanted his boyfriend here. Now. Instead, all he could do was respond in kind.
Kurt? My ass says the feeling is mutual.
1. I've not come across many fics featuring Blaine and Finn's friendship, so I thought I'd give it a shot.
2. I rarely write gen, and I've not written Blaine's POV before. I cherish reviews, so I'd be thrilled to know what you think. Hopefully this provided someone with some amusement!