Based on a photoset and AU idea from awildcooperappears on tumblr. Check her out; she's awesome. Apologies in advance for Britishisms/mistakes/my sketchy non-knowledge of the American health system.
I do not own Glee/Coca-Cola. Kinda wish I did, though...
"Kurt, honestly, I'm fine."
"I really don't know if I can trust you when you say that anymore, Finn. Last time you said you were fine, you then promptly dropped Dad's largest spanner on your foot. This time, you hit your head playing football and gave yourself concussion."
"I did not give myself concussion," Finn protested. "The doctor said I'm fine. You can stop worrying about me."
Kurt sighed. "I'm sorry; force of habit. Between you and my dad, I'm used to looking after people."
"I know," Finned replied, his expression softening into a little, dopey smile. "Hey, if you want to look after me that much, you can go get me a drink." He widened his eyes appealingly, looking up at Kurt from his seat on one of the hard, uncomfortable plastic hospital chairs.
"…Fine. But don't think the puppy dog eyes will work more than once, okay? What would you like?"
Kurt nodded, taking the change that Finn dug out of the pocket of his jeans before setting off in search of a vending machine.
Unfortunately for Kurt, whomever had designed the layout of the hospital had obviously seen Labyrinth one time too many and had been going for much the same effect. Either that, or they'd been drunk on the job. Those were the only reasons Kurt could think of for neglecting to put up any signs in the entire building. After fifteen minutes, in which he swore he'd gone past the same door at least twice, he gave up with a loud huff of irritation.
He leant heavily back against a wall that seemed far-too familiar and tipped his head back. He supposed he would have to go back to Finn empty-handed and promise to buy him something on the drive home to make it up to him, but he honestly had no idea where he was; if he tried to find his way back to Finn, he would only get himself more lost, and if that happened, there went his plan to get Finn home and sworn to secrecy about the afternoon's hospital detour before Burt and Carole got home.
As he stood there, head resting against the wall, and tried to get back his usually impeccable sense of direction, Kurt slowly became aware of softly-played music floating towards him on the breeze. He tilted his head, recognising the song as a nursery rhyme that he had often sung as a small child; moreover, the music (which sounded like a man singing along to a lightly-strummed guitar) appeared to be coming from the children's ward. This suspicion was confirmed as several scratchy, high-pitched voices joined in with the song, some only barely following the words but all sounding carefree and happy.
Without really realising what he was doing, Kurt found himself moving towards the door of the children's ward. The walls of the ward were half glass, and so Kurt could look through them to see who was playing and singing with the kids.
The man was sitting on a stool at the head of a circle made up of the children staying on the ward, their parents and a wide variety of large stuffed animals, which made Kurt giggle. Unfortunately for him, the ward door was slightly ajar, and his giggle had been just loud enough to be heard inside. The man glanced up, his hands stilling on his instrument as the children stopped singing and looked at the window, all of them seeming to catch Kurt's eye at the same time.
"Blaine," one of them asked quietly, "who's that?"
The man – Blaine, Kurt presumed – looked at Kurt as well, meeting his gaze. "That's, uh…that's my friend," he says, looking reassuringly at the parents as much as at the children. "He's come to sing with us, remember? I told you last week."
"No you didn't," piped up a little girl with a brightly coloured scarf tied over her head. "You didn't tell us that."
"Sure I did. You remember, don't you Joseph?" Blaine turned appealingly to the small boy sat closest to him. He didn't seem to be able to talk, but after a moment of thought, he nodded.
"There you go, Lucy. Would Joseph lie to you?"
"No…" Lucy said, but she still frowned, not entirely convinced.
"What about the rest of you guys?" Blaine asked. "Do you want my friend to come and sing with us?"
"Yes!" Most of the kids seemed in agreement on the subject; even Lucy joined in after a moment, beckoning to Kurt with both tiny hands. Kurt glanced nervously at the parents, who all smiled encouragingly; and then at Blaine, who mimicked Lucy's gesture exactly, grinning broadly.
"Blaine," one boy asked as Kurt opened the door, "is that your boyfriend?" The woman sat next to him (presumably his mother) hushed him quickly, but Blaine just carried on smiling.
"No, Oliver. He's just my friend."
"But you like other boys. You said so."
"Yes, Oliver, but I don't like all other boys. Besides, did you ever think to ask him if he likes boys too?" Blaine folded his arms, clearly impressed with his own logic. Kurt grinned as he took a seat between Oliver and Lucy, settling himself down and crossing his legs.
Oliver turned to him, looking serious. "Do you like boys like Blaine does?"
"Yes, I do. Assuming that Blaine likes to kiss other boys, not, say, hit them with paper plates. Because that's not very nice."
The children all laughed; it seemed very much like Kurt had won them all over.
"I like you," Lucy said, clinging onto him arm. "What's your name?"
"Say hello to Kurt, everyone," Blaine says. "It's polite."
"Hello, Kurt," everybody chorused; even the parents and Blaine himself joined in. Kurt mouthed a quick thank you to the other boy (because, honestly, Blaine couldn't have been any older than Kurt was). If he'd been caught listening in and Blaine hadn't covered for him, he could have looked very odd indeed.
"Okay! Now everyone knows everyone else, let's get back to singing. Maybe Kurt would like to suggest the next song?"
Kurt looked up at Blaine with wide, startled eyes. What are you doing? he mouthed, looking almost terrified. Blaine just smiled again and gestured with his hand, clearly meaning for Kurt to hurry up and pick a song.
"Fine…Okay. Join in if you know the song." Kurt took a deep breath and then opened his mouth to sing: "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine…"
Blaine began to pluck softly at the strings of his guitar, creating a light counter-melody as he joined in with a pretty harmony: "Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."
The children all took Blaine's entrance as a cue to start singing as well and soon the little ward was filled with happy voices raised in song. Kurt took advantage of everyone's distraction to look at Blaine more closely.
As soon as he'd first laid eyes on him, Kurt had realised that Blaine was attractive, but it took a closer look to realise just how attractive. His hair was gelled back against his head, just enough to tame what was obviously a wild head of curls but not enough to eradicate them completely; his smile was bright and happy; and the muscles in his arms flexed as he strummed. But the thing that truly took Kurt's breath away was Blaine's eyes: clear brown flecked through with light green and gold, twinkling as Blaine grinned a little broader, catching Kurt's eye. It was a bit ridiculous – he'd just met this guy, singing to sick kids in the hospital – but Kurt felt his stomach clench for a second; it was not unwelcome, just unexpected. He'd heard about it, that feeling of your stomach swooping like it does when you miss a step on the stairs; but he'd never experienced it, even when his crush on Finn had been at its height. Seeing Blaine's smile grow even more (and Kurt hadn't thought it was even possible to smile that widely) when Kurt responded in kind made it happen again, and Kurt felt a little shiver up his spine.
The song came to an end, slowing and becoming quieter before stopping altogether, and all the children smile contentedly, snuggling into their parents' arms or the side of the closest stuffed toy.
"Looks like you guys are a little tired," Blaine said, dropping the volume of his voice. There were some sleepy denials from some of the children, but Blaine didn't look convinced. "I think we'd better wrap it up there. Say goodbye to Kurt, okay?"
"'Bye Kurt." The children's voices were barely murmurs, but Kurt whispered goodbye in return. Lucy blew him a sleepy kiss, which he caught with one hand and clutched to his chest before tip-toeing from the room with Blaine right behind him.
Once the door was closed, Kurt turned to face Blaine. "Look, thank you for that. That could have been really awkward if you hadn't covered for me."
"Oh, it was no trouble," Blaine said, walking by Kurt's side along the corridor. "But what were you doing out there anyway?"
"Kind of a long, stupidly moronic story, actually," Kurt replied, falling into step with Blaine. "My step brother hit his head at football practice after school today and the coach was worried he might have concussion. Since we didn't want his mom or my dad to worry, I took him here to get it checked out. Turns out, he's fine, and he asked me to get him a coke before we left. I…got lost, though, trying to find the vending machine. Whilst I was looking for it, I heard you singing."
"So…you've been singing with me all this time and your brother's still just waiting for you?"
Shit. Finn. "Uh…yeah. Pretty much. Oh, God, my dad's going to freak if we don't get home first."
"You'd better get going then," Blaine said. It must have been Kurt's imagination, though, because there was no way that Blaine looked a little sad to see him leave. "Could I…Do you think I could walk with you? I know my way around pretty well by now."
"Uh, yeah. Sure; that'd be nice." Blaine grinned (he did that a lot, so it seemed) and grabbed Kurt's hand, leading him down a different hallway.
"So, do you do this regularly?" Kurt asked, trying to hide the fact that he was actually close to hyperventilating. In his experience, gorgeous boys were a) not gay and b) definitely not willing to touch him, and so casually at that.
"Yep, every week. My cousin was in and out of hospital a lot a couple of years ago, and I always used to go in and sing with her. After she got better, one of the paediatric nurses asked me to keep coming, because the other kids enjoyed it too."
"That is…that is really sweet," Kurt said. "Most of the guys I know wouldn't do something like that."
"Well, it's nice to know that I'm clearly a superior being; I've suspected it for a long time, but now I have proof." Blaine gave a goofy grin to accompany this statement and Kurt laughed, outright, for what felt like the first time in days. The bullying had gotten worse recently, not that he'd told anyone, and it was nice to just be happy for once, without having to worry about who was around the corner.
What was around the corner, apparently, was the waiting room. "How on earth did you get back here so quickly?" Kurt asked, his eyes wide in honest admiration.
"Shortcut," Blaine said, winking and tapping the side of his nose.
Kurt spotted Finn across the room and waved. Finn returned it, looking from Kurt to Blaine with a more confused expression than usual on his face.
"That's Finn; I…ought to go."
"Yeah. Uh, look…it was really nice to meet you today. You have a beautiful voice," Blaine said, looking a little sheepish. "Maybe you could…come back? I think we sounded pretty good back there."
"I'd really like that," Kurt said softly.
"And maybe we could have coffee sometime too?"
"Yeah. I'd love that. But unfortunately, I have to go and take my stupid brother home, and then not be around when our parents discover that he went to the hospital today."
"Oh. Okay. But…how will I find you? We don't actually know anything about each other."
Kurt pulled out the pen that he always carried in his pocket and grabbed Blaine's hand, scribbling on it for a moment. "There," he said, replacing the pen with a little flourish. "Text me later for that coffee? Then we can get to know each other."
Blaine barely managed to nod as he stared down at Kurt's number on his hand.
"All right then; I'll see you later." Kurt gave Blaine the brightest smile he could manage before turning away and walking back over to Finn.
"Where were you?" Finn asked.
"A very long story. Maybe I'll tell you one day."
"Hey!" Finn exclaimed. "You're being that petron-ing thing again. Mom and Burt said you couldn't do that to me anymore."
"Patronising, you mean? I'm not being patronising; I'm being condescending."
"What's the difference?"
"Never mind. And if we get in after Dad and Carole, you're on your own."
"Why?" Finn cocked his head to one side, looking down at Kurt as they reached his car.
"Because I have a date."
I fell in love with those kids far too much. Please leave a review and let me know what you thought; reviews are made of love and every time one is sent an unicorn is born.