This fic is for the Kurt/Blaine Reversebang on live journal (KBL-Reversebang if you want to check it out!) There will be fics from authors all month and they are based on art that had been drawn already and then claimed by the authors! So go check it out! The art for this fic, by dinojay, can also be found there!
Blaine's wings used to be a pure, snowy white when he was little, just like all other newborns. He hadn't grown up enough for them to change color yet. That usually happened as a person reached puberty and settled into the color they could be forever.
There were of course the few people that changed their wings after that time in their life. That seemed to reflect the way a person was treated. Those people, more often than not, seemed to be criminals. People who did things so bad, it turned their soul, and by effect, their wings dark. Blaine remembered being told that if he saw a person with black wings to avoid them. Darker shades, not completely black, were okay - but to still be wary. The usual colors wings ran from where off-whites, to dark browns, and were as hair color in a lot of ways. It was only the extremes that were either revered, or feared.
When his brother, Cooper, got accepted to college and when Blaine was 8 years old - everything changed. Cooper's wings were beautiful. Slightly off white, but still strong and magnificent. That was the color you could get closest to white. White wings were... rare. So rare, but so beautiful. Many thought that those with white feathers were of pure heart and soul, and should be respected.
It was at this age that Blaine realized that Cooper was his parent's favorite. They cooed over Cooper's acceptance, all the things he was going to do once he was in college, as Blaine stood in the doorway of the living room, holding his favorite toy doll and frowning. That day, it hit Blaine, and that was the day his wings turned from stark white, to a dull egg color.
His parents merely thought that his wings had settled. The youngest that usually happened was around seven anyway, all the way up to 16. They were happy that it happened, and that his wings were such a nice color. Almost as close to white as his brother's.
It didn't stop there.
When Blaine was around 12, he began to realize that he was gay. Since his brother had gone on to be successful in school, landing many commercials since graduating, he wasn't exactly confident. Because of this, his wings were smaller than all the other boys in his class. He got teased because of the way they wilted toward the floor. Being gay, Blaine knew, would make it all worse.
Which it did.
When his parents found out, looking down at him with looks of disappointment and in his father's case, subtle disgust, Blaine felt smaller than ever before.
That day his wings turn a dingy brown, much to his parent's shock. Wings didn't change, after the first time, and it had been years since his wings had changed color. It became clear that he was one of the rare: people whose wings changed according to their treatment, their heart, their soul.
Color Changers were usually associated only with the type of people that did something so wrong; it changed their insides, so the outside needed to be reflected too. It's not to say all criminals' wings changed colors, or if you were a Color Changer you were a criminal. It was a stigma that was hard to get rid of, however.
Blaine - he hadn't done anything wrong. He was just treated wrongly. That didn't matter. People who knew his wings had changed saw him as a Color Changer - a pariah. People at school saw this, hated him for his dirty wings and for being gay. Even when he had transferred to Dalton, after being beaten after his Sadie Hawkins dance, one of his wings broken and in a sling, it doesn't make it any better. People at Dalton, they don't bully, but they still look at him like he's less because of his darker wings and the rumors that they had changed before he transferred. There is something off about him. He wanted to join the Warblers when he started attending the school, he wanted to sing, but they are all about uniformity. They all have wings that were light tawny, the most normal of wing colors.
His would stick out too much.
Blaine gets through school, somehow, goes to college to get his pre-law degree. It's something he knows his father will approve up, and he does. He still looks at his wings, too dark, but his father approves of what he's doing. Maybe if his wings change in one way, they can do it another way as well.
It's when he's two years outside of law school when the final change happens.
He's young in the world of law. He takes the cases at the firm he can get. He ends up having to defend a man who sexually assaulted his step-daughter.
He's guilty and Blaine knows it, even though his wings are a normal color. Even with that horrible act, he just isn't a Color Changer, and keeps the color he's had since he was a teen - a light brown that isn't suspicious in the least.
Blaine gets him off with only a year of community service.
That's the day that Blaine's wings finally turn the color they are now: black as night, shiny and deadly.
When it had happened, Blaine was at a loss. Why were his wings one of the rarest colors: dark black, only associated with people who had dark souls? Blaine was a good person. He didn't want to kill, or hurt, or wrong people. He knew that. So why was he cursed with this color that made little boys and girls, holding on to their mothers' hands stare at him as they passed by, wide eyed and scared, their own white wings fluttering nervously? It wasn't fair.
Since then, his wings have grown into himself. He's learned how to make them look healthy, standing up erect and proud, though they are the dark color that makes people on the street do a double take. Lately, he knows what people expect when they have to talk to him. They expect him to be a horrible person. Sometimes, Blaine gives them what they want. He pretends he's proud of the color, of who he is - a no funny business type of lawyer, who will get things done.
When he's not trying, though, they fall and kiss the ground, dragging around his carpet when he's home alone and doesn't want to keep the charade up. Blaine is tired of it all. He's tired of being looked down on everyday of his life. Even his parents don't really like him. His successful job as a lawyer doesn't erase the fact that he has black wings.
As Blaine disappears into his apartment, his only safe place, he sits back on his chair, strumming his guitar absently and wonders: what's the point?
0 0 0 0
For most of Kurt's life, he had resented the color of his wings.
As his peers' wings changed colors they arrived to school the next day, wings held up high and proud as they showed off the new color. It was a sign of growing up, shedding the white color of childhood and embracing the new.
Kurt's wings never changed.
He still had his white wings when he entered high school, the only one in his class. While white wings were revered in usual society, in high school it was a different story. His classmates were jealous that he had the beautiful white wings that they had lost. They were symbols of purity and a kind soul. They should have loved him.
But they were attached to the gay kid. The freak. No one loved his wings or him as a person.
While the other members of Glee club, which he joined during school, had slushies thrown at their faces, Kurt's were aimed for his wings. The cold didn't sting as much, but the reds and blues of the dye stained his wings and made his feathers clump together for days. It was an effort to make his wings dirty, because they should "reflect who he was".
Kurt believed it for so long. His wings were never held high in high school. They were wilted and low to the ground as he tried to hide them as best he could. He woke up everyday, wishing they had changed in his sleep.
They never did.
Kurt accepted this at some point. He got out of high school and finally went to chase his dreams in his favorite place: New York City. There, Kurt accepted himself. There, he let held his wings high. People in the city either didn't care about the color of his wings, or complimented him on the beautiful coloring.
Things are so much different for Kurt now. But he still remembers being alone in his room during high school, curled up on his bed and wondering: what's the point?
Blaine pushed the case file away from him with a loud groan. He reached up to rub his hand over his face, shoulders and wings sagging down in exhaustion. He looked up after a few moments, eyes moving to the clock on his desk. It's 11:24 at night and Blaine can't even remember eating dinner, he's been at this for so long.
He stood after a few more minutes of staring down blankly at the sheets of paper, not seeing the words any more, and stretches. He cracks his neck, stretches his arms toward the ceiling, and extends his wings behind him, ruffling the feathers slightly. He trudges out of his home office and out to the living room, toward the kitchen. Blaine pours himself some cereal and uses the last of his milk. He eats standing in the kitchen, leaning up against the counter.
After he's done he sets the bowl and spoon in the sink before he comes back out to the living room. He pauses, looking around at the instruments. His fingers are itching to play something right now - anything - but what to play?
Blaine finally reaches for his acoustic guitar, going over to sit on the bench in front of the piano, the guitar settling in his hands like its second home. It's late, but he doesn't have to worry about waking his neighbors because of the sound proofing he's done over the years.
For a few minutes, he just strokes the strings and lets his breathing even out. Then he starts playing the melody of a song he had been listening to the other day. He lets the words wash over him, his eyes flutter shut.
(You say) You can't have the world see you like this
And you can't stay for more than a night
That you'll be close where you are and that I will be missed
But still I can't turn out the lights
I don't wanna live in limbo baby
I don't want to come home to and empty bed
Said I'm so tired of the quiet baby
And I'm too young to play dead
So c'mon summer go out with grace
Lay down for a season and down for the rain
He finishes the song and slumps down. He's calmer now, at least. He can't believe the case he has now, how much work there is to put into it because in all honesty, the person he is defending is guilty. It will take some work to get him off.
Blaine doesn't want to think about that.
After playing a few more songs, he knows it's getting late, so he puts the guitar away and changes for bed, crawling in and sighing into the sheets.
The next morning Blaine wakes up and goes to work, thankful that it's Friday. He lines up witnesses and does more research on his case throughout the day and takes a short lunch, then lets himself go home early. He forgoes his tie and suit as soon as he gets home and changes into high waters and a grey cashmere sweater. He lets himself relax, settling onto the couch to log into the music message board he frequents.
His eyes settle on a thread called "Music Stores in NYC". He clicks on it, since he always likes to find new places for buying his music. Most of the recommendations he's already been to, and they are all okay. There is one place he doesn't recognize or been to: Gabriel's Harp: Music Emporium, which the poster says is a music and coffee shop.
Blaine types the address into his phone and is surprised that it's only about a twenty minute walk from where he lives. He looks over at the clock - it's just around dinner time now, and he has absolutely nothing in his apartment to eat, unless he wants dry cereal. After a few minutes of deliberating, he decides that he can check out the music and get something to eat on the way back.
The walk is as eventful as it always is - people's eyes either stay on him, wide and surprised, or look through him, wanting him to not exist. Blaine walks with his hands in his pockets, sending a rude look to the people who stare and almost happy when they quicken their paces to move by him.
He finds Gabriel's Harp easily. It's quaint, a small little shop, but tastefully decorated from what Blaine can see from the street. When he goes in, it does feel homey and has a good atmosphere.
There isn't anyone in the shop itself right now. It is a strange time to shop for music, Blaine guesses as he walks over to the joint coffee shop to get his usual.
"Medium drip," he ordered. The barista, who looks like a high school student, looked up. Her bright smile faded as soon as her eyes take in Blaine's wings. Her own, a light brown color, grew stiff behind her. She averted her eyes quickly and her hands shake as she types in the order and tells him the price. Blaine rolls his eyes as he grabbed the coffee from her and walked over to another counter for sweetener.
After taking a few sips, and deciding that it's probably the best coffee he's had for a long time, Blaine starts to explore the music selections. It seems like Gabriel's Harp has a bit of everything - CDs, tapes, vinyl, sheet music and even instruments. It's all well organized as well, and Blaine quickly begins to find things he's never even heard of before.
He also finds some vinyl Beatles records that are in near perfect condition. He looks down at the record in his hand, a little taken a back. He has his own, of course, but not one like this.
"Do you need some help, sir?"
Blaine almost doesn't turn around. He never is asked questions like this when in a store, or anywhere, really, so it doesn't quite hit him that the question is for him. The voice is so close, however, he shifts his eyes over and sees another man standing next to him, an easy smile on his face. Blaine blinks at him in confusion; he's staring at Blaine.
"Me?" he asked, voice portraying how confused he is. The man nods. Blaine is stumped when his eyes never seem to flicker to Blaine's wings. Usually in conversations, the eyes of the person he's speaking to drift over to the wings often, eying them warily, even unconsciously. This man's clear blue eyes, however, stay connected to Blaine's, completely unwavering.
It's Blaine's turn to look just beyond the man's head, to the large pair of wings, held high and proud.
They're a stark, pure white.
Blaine can't even remember seeing an adult with pure white wings. Children, of course, all had white wings, but as they grew older they always changed and settled to the color they would sport the rest of their life (or in Blaine's case, change freakishly). To have the childish, pure, mark of white wings as an adult, however, was just as rare as Color Changing.
Blaine looks back to the man's face, now, knowing that he hates the way people gawk at his rare wing color. It's just strange for him, to be the one staring instead of the one being stared at.
"I don't think so," said Blaine finally. He's never really needed the help of others - not like they would offer it anyway - so he shrugs.
"Well, I hope you find everything alright," said the man. Then he nodded down at the Beatles record. "That's my favorite, you know."
A small smile comes across the man's face and it's rather beautiful. Blaine actually smiles back. "It's my favorite, as well," he said.
"Well, you have excellent taste," said the man before turning and walking away. Blaine notices he walks over to another music section to organize it.
Blaine ends up buying the vinyl and a few other pieces of sheet music that look interesting. The person at the register is the same as the barista, but Blaine doesn't say anything. His eyes keep going back to the man he'd talk to and his white wings.
Blaine gets home and puts on the Beatles record, popping open his Chinese take out box and collapsing on the couch to eat. Throughout the night, he can't stop thinking about the man and his wings. He can't help but think - the two of them are the complete opposite, like day and night.
0 0 0 0
Even though the next day is Saturday, Blaine can't really sleep in much. He wakes up and plays the piano for about an hour before he lets his thoughts go back to the man at Gabriel's Harp. As he thinks about that, he remembers the amazing coffee as well. Both win out and Blaine finds himself walking back to the coffee and music shop within the next hour.
It's busy this time. A few patrons look at him when he enters, wide eye gawks that Blaine finds himself used to. He gets his medium drip again and finds an empty table. People are beginning to filter out. He's not sure if it's because of him, or because it's getting later in the morning.
Blaine spots the man again from across the room. He's leaning over a CD display, organizing them and making it more eye catching. Now that Blaine isn't so taken aback by the color of his wings (still as beautiful as they were yesterday) he takes in the rest of him.
The man is strikingly beautiful. It would be one thing if he was just plain looking - the beauty and unusual color of his wings would make him beautiful as it is. But really, he's tall and muscular, face all smooth angles. Blaine remembers the clear blue eyes from yesterday and can't believe this man has been so lucky. Not only this but, every time he leans down to the bottom shelf, the jeans he has on (already tight) stretch across his legs and ass and Blaine follows him with his eyes.
The man's eyes catch his a few times. He nods politely the first time. He must remember Blaine from yesterday, which he isn't surprised about. Blaine is hard to forget, not that he's that remarkable. The next few times when his eyes lock with Blaine's, he looks flustered, then increasingly annoyed.
There are only a few people milling around the music store when he finally walks over to Blaine. It takes Blaine off guard and he sits up as he nears.
"Hello there," said Blaine, his voice flirty, an easy grin on his face.
"May I ask why you find it necessary to leer in my direction?" the man asked, staring down at Blaine with his arms crossed over his chest.
Blaine is taken aback for a moment. Honestly, he really hadn't thought he was leering, but he wouldn't be surprised if he was.
That's the thing about his wings. People expect him to be at his worse so mostly, he is. He's rude and too flirty and generally doesn't care about being nice to others - they aren't nice to him. They don't expect him to be. It's the wings, Blaine knows. Besides that, people don't call him out on his leering, or admittedly lousy attitude, because they expect it. This man, however…
"What can I say," Blaine said before he can stop himself and slipping into the bad attitude he usually operates under. "You look good bent over putting away CDs."
The man's face flushes and his wings flutter slightly in indignation and Blaine silently congratulates himself for getting a rise out of the other man. He looks beautiful, flushed like that, and his eyes come back to the wings.
"Oh I see, you think you're hot stuff, don't you?" asked the man, leaning onto the table.
Blaine smirked up at the man, holding his chin high. "Well, you know what they say about the size of a man's wings." He raises his wings from the ground, parting them just a bit to show their size. The man's eyes drift to the wing span and a curious look crosses his eyes for just a moment before shifting neutral. He looks back to Blaine, looking about ready to rip him a new one, when suddenly, he pauses.
After a long moment, in which Blaine feels like he's being looked through, a small smile appears on the man's face.
"You don't fool me," he said, looking satisfied.
"You can act like your wings all you want, mister," said the man. "But that's all it is - an act. You can't be this much of an asshole, because yesterday, I got the vibe you were actually a nice guy. Which makes me think: why the sudden change?"
Blaine glares up at the man, pushes his chair out and stands, slapping his palms onto the table. The barista, the only person in the store close enough to see the exchange, jumps and looks at the two of them like a tennis match. "Oh you know," said Blaine viciously. "I thought, since I change my wing color, might as well change my personality, too."
The man's expression softens. "A Color Changer?" he whispered.
"Feel free to kick me out of your establishment if it frightens you," sneered Blaine.
"It doesn't frighten me," said the man, his voice quiet. "Your attitude, however, annoys the hell out of me."
"Glad to hear it," said Blaine.
"If you would act like a normal person," said the man. "Maybe people would actually want to get to know you, ever thought of that?"
"You think anyone actually wants to get to know me with these wings, ever think of that?" said Blaine, a sarcastic edge to his tone. He's never quite talked about his wings so bluntly like this - confronted the elephant in the room, so to speak.
"Ever think that you're not the only one that had a hard time because of his wings?" said the man, his voice growing higher.
Blaine is opening his mouth to respond when suddenly, he can't think of a thing to say. His eyes drift to the man's wings, tense and raised behind him in the midst of their argument, and realizes that with wings like that, yeah, he hasn't had the easiest time either. While white wings are treasured, they are still rare. This man is probably looked at like a freak as well, though perhaps people like him more. Would trust him, at least.
Blaine deflates, his wings beginning to drop behind him. His eyes dart away from the man's and he pushes himself away from the table.
"Yeah," he said. "Yeah," Blaine repeated, not sure what to say. The man looks surprised that something he said got through. "I just -" His throat closes. He can't do this. He turns and leaves Gabriel's Harp, leaving the man staring after him.
Blaine plays his instruments around his apartment all weekend. He finds that, as he grows more stressed, he gravitates toward them more. He doesn't even touch his case reports all weekend and hates it when he has to return to work on Monday.
As he's playing his music, he replays the conversation he had with the man over and over again.
Hello heart you're a bumbling mess,
You beat and beat right out of my chest.
And conversations that don't exist
between my brain and all these passages
when all I want to be
is the hard-hearted man you'll never see again.
Blaine feels like an idiot, as he thinks about it more. Honestly, the conversation he had with this man, whoever he is, is the longest non work related conversation he's had in, well, Blaine can't even remember. And everything he had said is true and he'd been honest about how he didn't like Blaine's attitude. Blaine hasn't had that kind of honesty in his life before.
Oh my skin what a mess you're in,
but it's hard to know where to begin.
In 20 years you've changed three times,
I can't afford to lose this life tonight.
Then there was a part that stuck out the Blaine: he had said he wasn't frightened by the fact that Blaine is a Color Changer. He'd been surprised, by the looks of it, but not frightened. His eyes held the kind of honesty and sincerity that Blaine expected from someone with his wings.
Hello bones so skinny and frail,
which move so slow and taste so stale.
Blaine stops playing, head falling onto the guitar with a sigh.
This, in the end, is what leads Blaine back to Gabriel's Harp. He only hopes that the man is working.
He's on the floor of the music store as usual. He can't quite bring himself to go straight to him, however, so he goes up to order a coffee. As he does, he can feel eyes on him. When Blaine turns, he sees the man looking at him. When their eyes connect, Blaine motions for him to come toward him.
They both sit at a table without saying anything. The man looks standoffish, which Blaine can understand. He sighs and looks at the man.
"I'm sorry - about the other day."
This grabs the man's attention and he looks up, mildly surprised.
"Yeah, I'm shocked too," said Blaine. He shakes his head. "Look, I'm sort of an asshole. I don't know how to be anything else but that sometimes. It's either - that or nothing when I'm talking to other people."
That's a question that Blaine doesn't expect. He doesn't get it often at all, not personally.
"People expect it from me," Blaine finally answered, after getting over the shock of it. "I wasn't a horrible person. That's not why they changed." Blaine's wings twitch behind him and the man's eyes go to them for a moment. "But people think that's why, and so after a while, I got tired of trying to convince people I'm not the color they are. So I stopped and became what I wanted."
"Why not try being yourself?" asked the man, his voice soft.
"I - I don't think I know who that is."
"Well," said the man. "Let's start with a name, then." An easygoing smile came onto his face.
"My name is Blaine. Blaine Anderson," he said, still a little surprised by this entire interaction with a person he had only just met a few days ago - and argued with.
"Blaine," he said, as if testing out the word. "I'm Kurt Hummel."
"Hi," said Blaine, feeling strange. This - this hasn't happened to him.
"Just so you know, you're forgiven for the leering," said Kurt. "And acting like a jerk. Coming back here to apologize makes up for it. Just - maybe start being nice? Even if you don't know who you are, you could start with being nice. Maybe it would surprise you - people could change their minds about you."
Blaine laughed and shook his head. "That's - that's a nice sentiment." Kurt raised and eyebrow at him and he shrugged. "But, well, I guess I'll try. The nice thing." Blaine had a feeling that Kurt could ask him to jump and he would. "So, um, you said the other day that you haven't had it easy either. I just - your wings are beautiful," he said.
"Thank you," said Kurt. "I haven't always thought so. Neither did people in high school." He shrugged and Blaine understood.
"High school - it sucked. Being different, in anyway, caused problems," said Blaine.
So began an easy conversation between the two. Kurt told Blaine all about his high school experiences. Of the jealousy and shame associated with his wings. How he'd learned to accept them eventually, away from high school and the toxic environment. "I tried the performing thing. And the singing thing, which I always loved in high school," finished Kurt, Blaine actually hanging on every word. "But it's like, if my more feminine features didn't hinder me getting roles, my wings just stood out too much." He shrugged.
"So you're working here now?" asked Blaine, gesturing around at the music shop.
A wicked smile came on Kurt's face. "I own here," he said, which took Blaine aback for a moment.
"You - own this place?"
"Yes," said Kurt, his chest swelling with pride. "I started it up. I just knew I loved music and coffee. I know so many people who do, and thought why not create a great place that had both? So I did. It's been going strong for about four years now."
"It's - it's great," said Blaine. "I've been to a lot of music stores and really, it is one of the best."
"Well thank you," said Kurt. "So, what's your story?"
Blaine's smile faltered and he looked down at his coffee cup, now empty. He picked it up and twirled it in his hands. "I - I don't think." He paused and looked away.
"Hey," said Kurt softly. "It's okay. Why don't you… what's some of your favorite music?" He said, switching the topic entirely.
Blaine looked back over to Kurt, a tentative smile coming back on his face. "Now Kurt, you just started a conversation you can't hope to finish. I hope you have some time."
"I'm the boss," said Kurt. "I have all the time in the world."
Kurt and Blaine sat there for around two hours talking about different musicians and bands. Blaine found he liked a little bit of everything. In high school, he'd been a big Top 40 fan, and while he still loved the popular stuff on the radio, since moving to New York he'd started to get into more unknowns as well. Kurt had a broad musical knowledge as well, mostly from the last few years of owning the shop. He tended to lean toward Broadway and musicals for his down time music enjoyment, as well as the classics.
Many times in their conversation, Blaine found himself pausing and coming away from it all - usually as he was watching Kurt talk passionately about Wicked or something similar - and be suddenly surprised. Really, he hadn't talked to someone like this for - forever. He spoke to the other people at his firm, to witnesses, to his family if he had to - but all of that was for a purpose. This, this whole conversation, it was just what it was and nothing more. It was nice.
Near the end of their conversation, Kurt look down at his watch and laughed. "Wow - look at us, talking the day away. How about we continue this conversation over a late lunch or something?"
Blaine's heart suddenly beat faster and his wings tightened behind him. "I - I don't think so," he muttered, looking down.
Kurt was quiet for a few moments before Blaine saw him nod out of the corner of his eye. "Yeah. I understand." He paused. "Why don't you join the Harp's mailing list? Like I said earlier, we have live performances here every week and anyone can come. Myself and other employees usually put together a music recommendation list on a weekly basis that I bet you'd be interested in."
"Yeah, okay," said Blaine. Kurt came back with a list of emails and Blaine signed up. After that, they sat together almost awkwardly, despite the lengthy conversation they had.
"I would ask you for your number," said Kurt suddenly. "Because I'd like to keep in touch. But something tells me that you don't want that yet." Blaine looked away - he wasn't wrong.
"I think that you're right," he said. "Why don't I just come here. It seems like you're almost always here, after all. I just -"
"I get it, Blaine," said Kurt. "Really." Blaine looked up to see the kind smile on Kurt's face. "I'll see you later?"
"Yeah," said Blaine, pushing himself up from the table. "I'll talk to you later, Kurt."
Blaine walked back to his apartment in a daze. By the time he had made it back to his living room, looking around at the piles of sheet music and instruments against walls, he wondered what had just happened.
"You seem to know a lot about music," said Kurt after getting over a small laughing fit. He leaned against his fist, turning sideways as he grinned across the table at Blaine. "Do you do it for a living or something?"
"I'm a lawyer actually," said Blaine. "I've just always liked music. I had music lessons as a kid. The usual." He shrugged and took a sip of his coffee.
It was the third day coming over to Gabriel's Harp after work to talk to Kurt for about an hour over a cup of coffee. He liked this time period the most. It was late enough where not many people were around to shop for music or get coffee. They were free to hang around each other and not get stared at.
"A lawyer?" asked Kurt, voice rising in awe. "Oh man, I didn't realize you were that smart." He laughed and shook his head. "That's fantastic, Blaine."
Blaine shrugged and lowered his eyes. "It's okay. I think what you do is fantastic, actually."
Kurt rolled his eyes. "Yeah, well. My family has a history of starting our own businesses, I guess. My dad started a car repair shop a few years after he married my mom. He was excited when I decided to open the Harp."
Blaine took a sip of his coffee, not sure what else to say. He couldn't image that his dad would be as supportive if Blaine had done the same as Kurt.
"Did you get the email last night?" asked Kurt.
"I did - I wanted to check out that one band someone recommended in it, actually," said Blaine.
"I'll get it for you," said Kurt. "Are you going to come to the music night tomorrow night?"
"I don't know," said Blaine, shifting in his chair. He'd looked at the email for a long time last night, weighing the pros and cons. Blaine hadn't gone to things like open mics and concerts for a while now. As a general rule, they weren't enjoyable for Blaine. His wings itched uncomfortably at the thought. "I think I'm going to be busy. I have this huge case I should be prepping for. Maybe some other time."
"I understand," said Kurt. "We get some really great bands and singers. A lot come every week and are really talented. You'd like them."
"I'll think about it, Kurt," said Blaine, is voice tight. Kurt looked at him for a long moment, his eyes searching. Kurt, though he hadn't known him for long, had a way of looking at Blaine that made him feel vulnerable and open. It was unnerving, but strangely enough, Blaine didn't hate it.
"Let's go get you that CD," Kurt finally said, standing up from the table.
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It starts getting to the point where Blaine looks forward to going to Gabriel's Harp more than anything else in his day. It's not like he ever particularly liked his job before meeting Kurt, but lately, Blaine hasn't been caring about it as much as he used to. Spending time with Kurt, who barely ever looks at his wings and doesn't push him and doesn't see him as something evil - that's what matters, now.
Blaine finds that, the more time he spends with Kurt, the more things he notices about him: the way his eyes crinkle when he laughs - really laughs - and how the sound makes Blaine's heart skip. The way his wings flutter indignantly whenever Blaine playfully makes fun of Broadway or teases him for adding sugar to his non fat mocha. These things Blaine has never noticed about a person. He's never spent enough time with just one person to notice them, really.
There are some things about Blaine that don't change, even with all the time he spends with Kurt.
He keeps refusing to go to the music night at the Harp. He doesn't rightly know why anymore, besides the fact he is nervous about being out with Kurt in front of so many people. He knows Kurt is probably annoyed, because it's been a month and he pointedly ignores going to the Harp on music nights, but he still hasn't said anything.
"I have a proposition for you," said Kurt as soon as he sat down across from Blaine. Blaine looks up with a small smile.
"I have tickets to a music festival," said Kurt. "And I was wondering if you wanted to go with me? They have a lot of different local musicians, as well as a few I think you'll like." Kurt slips a flyer across the table and Blaine looks down, ready to refuse, when he sees the names.
"I - they're one of my favorites."
"I know." Blaine looks up at Kurt, who looks rather proud of himself. "I got tickets even though I had to fight for them and I really, really want you to come with me. Please."
Blaine looks from Kurt, down to the flyer once more. It would be public, he knows, and even bigger than here at the Harp. But the band -
"I will," Blaine said finally, wondering where the sudden push came from.
"You - you will?" asked Kurt, noticeable surprised.
Blaine laughs and nods. "Don't think this is for you - it's for the music."
"Obviously - just - thank you," said Kurt. Suddenly he stood, leaning over to wrap his arms around Blaine in a hug. One hand came around to settle just under where his wing met is back, the other came to rest just on the top curve of the other wing, fingers settling into his feathers for a moment.
Blaine's heart pounded loudly in his ears, his whole body shivering with pleasure. He'd never been touched like this, a familiar hug he'd seen time and time again between loved ones and family. It was a sign of love and familiarity between two people - resting a hand on a wing like this. He'd never been a part of one, at least since his wings had changed.
It didn't last long before Kurt was pulling away, a wide smile on his face. He didn't seem to notice the effect he had on Blaine at all, which suited him fine.
"It's next weekend - I hope that's okay?"
"Yeah," said Blaine, his mouth dry. "Great."
Blaine thought about canceling on Kurt a few times in the next week. He kept on coming back to one thought, however: he really did want to go. With Kurt, most of all. So that's how Blaine found himself opening his apartment door to a smiling Kurt the next Saturday morning. He looked more than pleased to see Blaine, which made him shiver all the way to the tips of his wings.
"Let's go!" said Kurt, holding out his arm for Blaine. Blaine took it, linking their arms together as they made their way downstairs and toward the subway, speaking about the upcoming music festival with excitement. Blaine is pretty sure that's why he doesn't notice the stares at first. He's so caught up in watching Kurt speak with his free hand, gushing about the bands and musicians he's most looking forward to in the next few hours, he barely looks around at his surroundings.
It's not till they actually get to the music festival that he sees them.
Blaine is looking around at the sights and booths and the people. It's a mix of dark whites to dark browns as he takes in everyone by their wings, some so packed together that he can't even tell where each pair separate. Kurt is pointing somewhere in the distance and talking about how they have to remember to keep applying sunscreen throughout the day, or he will absolutely cook in this sun. That's when Blaine notices something is… off. Because he and Kurt - they aren't packed tightly together, up against others as they walk across the grassy field, whereas everyone else are like sardines.
Blaine looked away from Kurt and around him. There was a wide berth around he and Kurt, and as far as Blaine can see, wide eyed stares.
Some eyes are directed at his wings - those people are stiffed and more disgusted and shocked than anything. The usual stares, really. Others are looking at Kurt's wings and the way the light reflects on the shiny white texture. Those are looks of awe - none of disgust, but interest.
Others still, Blaine can see are looking at both of their wings, back and forth with looks of confusion.
Blaine looked over his shoulder and noticeed how their wings occasionally brush up against each other as they walk. He'd felt it for a while, since they'd left Blaine's apartment, but it wasn't something he'd stopped to think about until now. The way Blaine's wing pressed up against Kurt's, their feathers meshing together for a moment, the mix of white and black - that was what people were staring at.
" - Blaine, what's wrong?"
Blaine hadn't realized he had stopped walking. He looked away from their wings and at Kurt to his side, who looked at him with a look of concern.
"I just -" said Blaine, his voice quiet.
"I can't believe someone like him would associate with someone like - like that." Blaine looked over Kurt's shoulder at a young couple and winced. The woman was trying to be quiet and discrete, but both Kurt and Blaine could hear her. She was looking in their direction and, as Blaine locked eyes with her, she looked away.
"Blaine, don't listen to -" Kurt reached forward, resting one hand on his forearm.
"No!" said Blaine, pulling his arm away from Kurt. He tried to ignore the hurt expression on his face as soon as he did it. "No just - they're right. I knew - I knew this would happen."
"Blaine, please -"
"I knew that people would stare at me like I'm a freak and like you're an angel from heaven and what the hell is he doing with someone that looks like they fell from heaven itself? How can he associate with someone who is obviously so dark inside that his outside reflects what's one the inside?"
Blaine was breathing heavily and Kurt was looking at him with tears in his eyes. Blaine looked away - he didn't want to see this.
"I ruin everything, Kurt - I can't ruin you, too." Blaine turned and started for the exit, ignoring Kurt calling his name behind him.
Blaine returns to his apartment and collapses on the couch with a sigh that seems to take away all the breath in his body. He looks down at the ground, noticing that one of his feathers is resting just under the coffee table. He reaches down and picks it up, twirling it between his thumb and index finger. The light in his apartment reflects dimly onto the texture and color of the feather.
Blaine lays there for hours and at some point drops the feather on the ground angrily and buries his face into the throw pillow. He feels stupid for what he said to Kurt, and ashamed, but at the same time it is all true. It's not like he lied - that's what people genuinely thought of him, after all.
It starts to grow dark in his apartment but he doesn't get up to turn on a light. Around that time there is a loud knock on his door. He jumps in surprise and looks over. He knows that no one would be here - except Kurt.
"Blaine! Blaine if you're in there please let me in!" comes Kurt's voice, slightly muffled from the other side. He knocks again, louder. "Blaine! Please - please don't do this," he said, tone pleading.
That's what finally pushes Blaine off the couch, his legs shaky as he walks over to the door to unlock and open it, revealing a slightly disheveled Kurt. "Oh thank god," he said at seeing Blaine. "I thought -" he paused. "Can I come in?"
"Yeah, sure," said Blaine, opening the door wider and stepping to the side to let him in. Once Kurt is walking into the living room, Blaine shuts the door and follows him nervously. He's never had anyone in his apartment before.
Kurt is looking around, not looking at Blaine. His eyes pause on the piles of sheet music, CDs and tapes he has laying around, then going to the instruments Blaine owns. Blaine walks over, wringing his hands. He's never had company over - he never bothers to really pick up after himself when it comes to his music. And having it all out like this, seen by someone else - it feels strange.
"You - you have more music than I imagined," said Kurt breathlessly. "Do you really play all of these?" he walks over to the violin case, open and resting on the huge dinning room table that Blaine never uses.
"I know how to play them all," said Blaine. "But I usually stick to guitar or piano the most. If I'm in the mood, I'll play something else."
"Oh." Kurt continues to look around his apartment for a few moments, finally coming over to the couch and sitting down slowly with a sigh. "Blaine, can we please - just talk about what happened?"
Blaine follows him without a work, sitting a safe distance away from him on the couch. Kurt slips over to him, one hand reaching over to rest on his knee.
"What did you want to say?" asked Blaine, his tone stiff as he looked away from Kurt.
"Blaine," said Kurt, his voice pleading and soft. "You need to stop believing the things you told me today. Just because people around you see only the color of your wings and judge you to be something, doesn't mean you are. You are a kind, amazing person, Blaine. I know that - you should know that, too." The grip of Kurt's hand on his knee tightened. "I know that your wings aren't a reflection of your character. They are a reflection of the way you have been treated by this world - you just happen to have it somewhere in your DNA where your wings changed to show that on the outside. It's not your fault. Further more, you have to realize something I realized a long time ago. Blaine - please look at me."
Blaine looked away from the coffee table, where his eyes were trained on the stack of Cds in front of him and to Kurt. His blue eyes shone with sincerity.
"You have to realize that the color of your wings don't make and define you. You would be who you were with or without that color. I had to figure that out the hard way, but now I know. You should too."
"But Kurt - I have done horrible things," said Blaine. "I've - I've defended people in court who should be hung by their thumbs - who should go to jail. And I got them off with warnings and minimum time. I - my wings are a reflection of that."
"Did you do the horrible things that they did?" asked Kurt, his voice firm.
"Well, no, but -"
"No. You didn't do anything wrong, Blaine. You've just - you've made mistakes. Everyone does," said Kurt. "You are perfect, Blaine."
Blaine's eyes closed as the word washed over him. Perfect. He'd never, in his life, heard that in association with him.
"And I don't care how many stares we get," said Kurt and Blaine opened his eyes to look at him once more. "I am your friend, Blaine, and I will be regardless of what people think, okay?"
Blaine began to nod. "Okay," he said, voice breaking.
"Good," said Kurt. Kurt leaned back, taking his hand away from his knee. "And you owe me big time for abandoning me at the festival and making me have a horrible time because I was worried about you, but I knew you needed time and I couldn't be sure if you were going to be coming back to your apartment or not."
Blaine smiled sadly at him. "Yeah, I do."
"So I think in return," said Kurt. "You need to sing me a song."
"Wait - what?" asked Blaine. Kurt was standing and looking around. He grabbed his acoustic guitar and brought it back to him. "Wait, no." He'd never played in front of anyone. At least since his middle school violin and piano concerts. And singing - he'd never sang in front of anyone.
"Yes," said Kurt. "Please? For me?"
The look on Kurt's face should be illegal. It could probably make people do horrible things if Kurt asked them to. He sighed loudly and put the guitar on his lap.
"Fine," he muttered. He looked down at the strings for a long moment. "I don't - I don't know what to play."
"Play… whatever you feel like right now," said Kurt softly.
Blaine turned back to his guitar, striking at a few strings for a moment. The melody of a song he liked to play a lot came into his head and he began to play, trying to ignore that someone was in the room with him.
They've clipped my wings again
Tore them apart and then
No use to fly away to
My eyes died back that day
Seeing the hurt I may have done
Beat me instead of them
Pain is my only zen
I'll go where secrets are sold
Where roses unfold
I'll sleep as time goes by
Blaine looked up to Kurt for the first time, breath catching for a moment. Kurt looked at him with soft, gentle eyes, a look of both understanding and sympathy.
You still can't make me cry
You've pinned this butterfly
My fire's burning out
Kill my flame without
And starving hurts the soul
When you're hungry for
So if I close my eyes
I can really fly
Blaine finished the song, his whole body vibrating with nerves. Kurt's hands rose and he clapped for him, making Blaine's face feel warm.
"That was amazing, Blaine," said Kurt, breathless. "I didn't realize you had such an amazing voice. It was - fantastic."
"Thank you," said Blaine shyly. "You said you sang right? In school?"
Kurt smiled softly. "I did. I sing sometimes at the Harp as well."
"Maybe… maybe could sing something together?" asked Blaine. He wondered where this was coming from - just a few minutes ago he hadn't sang in front of anyone, now he wanted to sing with someone. But with Kurt, things were different.
"What did you have in mind?" he asked with a smile.
Blaine reached forward, grabbing a stack of sheet music. "I know most all of this," said Blaine. "If you see anything you like -"
After a few minutes, Kurt stopped looking through the stack of papers and smiled. "I love a lot of their music," he said, handing the papers to him and setting the others on the table once again. "This would be fun."
Blaine looked over it for a moment, a smile rising on his face. He nodded - he knew this one pretty well. "I'll take the first line?" he asked, setting the page between them.
"I like that idea."
Blaine started playing the song, much more upbeat than the other song, smiling hesitantly over his guitar at Kurt before he started to sing.
I don't like walking around this old and empty house
Then Kurt opened his mouth to sing - the sound coming out more beautiful than he had expected. And quite honestly, Blaine figured it would be beautiful, just like Kurt and his wings were.
So hold my hand, I'll walk with you my dear
The stairs creak as I sleep, it's keeping me awake
It's the house telling you to close your eyes
Some days I can't even trust myself
It's killing me to see you this way
Then they began to sing together and Blaine almost faltered in the melody - their voices, together, actually sounded amazing. Blaine looked at Kurt, who looked up from the page, his eyes sparkling with laughter.
'Cause though the truth may vary
This ship will carry
Our bodies safe to shore
They finished, looking over at each other with similar expressions of happiness and surprise.
"That was - that was great," said Blaine with a laugh. "Your voice is amazing, Kurt."
"Thank you," he said. "And you're right. It was - it was nice."
They smiled at each other for a few more moments before Kurt looked over to the clock, frowning. "I'm sorry - I promised I would be back at the Harp to close down. I just - I hope that's okay."
"No, it's important for you to be there," said Blaine. Kurt had stood and Blaine followed him, setting the guitar down on the couch.
"You could come," said Kurt hesitantly.
"I shouldn't," he said. "But - I'll be there tomorrow? Around nine. We can get our coffee and talk more."
"Okay," said Kurt. "And Blaine." He stepped closer to him. "I really, really would love it if you finally came to the music night this next week. I know you don't like it, but - well, let's be honest, you owe me."
"I guess I do," said Blaine. "Fine. I'll - I'll be there. Nothing could be worse than today," he joked, though Kurt didn't laugh. He sighed. "I promise, I'll be there."
Kurt leaned in to hug Blaine and this time, Blaine was actually prepared for what was going to happen. Kurt's hand slipped effortlessly under his right wing, the other hand coming to rest on his left, fingers tangling in the feathers. Blaine's breath still caught as he sagged against Kurt's body. His hands came up behind Kurt's back, shaking, as he did the same thing. His one shaking hand rested under one of Kurt's wings, his back warm and smooth. The other, more hesitantly, came up to the top of Kurt's other wing. From where his chin rested on Kurt's shoulder, he could see it when his hand came to rest in the stark white feathers and feel how soft and cool they were to the touch. Against the coloring of Blaine's tan hand, the contrast was almost as shocking as their wings' differences. Most of all, the feeling of Kurt's wings in his hand was something he couldn't even describe, besides the way it made him feel like he was floating on air.
They pulled away from each other after a long moment that wasn't long enough for Blaine and Kurt patted his wing before detangling himself. "I'll see you tomorrow," he said.
"Yeah - tomorrow," said Blaine in a daze. He led Kurt to the door and when he was alone again in his apartment he sat down on the couch and his eyes fell once more on the feather resting on the ground. It had been joined by another two dark feathers.
The night of the music night at Gabriel's Harp comes quickly, the rest of his week rushing by too fast. Blaine filters inside to the absolutely packed Harp, which looks almost strange to him, since he's only ever here when only a few people are milling around the coffee shop and music stands. There are a few initial stares as he walks in, but they soon stop as he finds a place to sit a few rows away from the makeshift stage that is set up where a few CD stands usually are. The seats and tables extend all the way into the café part of the store and Blaine is pretty sure the Harp makes a fortune on coffee during their music nights.
The lights dim after about ten minutes and Kurt comes on to a few cheers and applause to announce the first performer and urge everyone to get drinks, which are half off. The singer is a tiny blonde girl who sings with a sultry tone that Blaine quite enjoys. She thanks everyone and walks off with a smile. Kurt comes back on to introduce the next person. For a few people he mentions if they have an EP CD for sale and that it can be bought after the show just at the register and how much it is. He's funny and personable when he's at the mic and Blaine knows he's completely at home on stage, more than any where else.
The night begins to wind down and Blaine is actually quite impressed with everyone who has sung so far. From solos, duets, and full bands, they talent is very good. A few have done covers while others performed their original stuff. Blaine makes a note to buy some of the EPs at the register after.
Kurt comes on stage again and looks nervous for the first time. "So that was your last official performer," said Kurt. "But I hope you don't mind if I take the mic for a song?" There was some applause and excited "woos" throughout the store, which made Kurt flush and his feathers ruffle slightly. "Well good - because I was going to sing whether you liked it or not." People laughed and someone behind Blaine whistled.
A few musicians from an earlier band filtered onstage to sit at the piano and the guitar behind Kurt. He was nodding at them and then turned back to the mic. "This song - well, it's for someone here that I hope is here tonight." He laughed nervously and Blaine's heart must have stopped for at least a beat as he realized - him - he means him.
The music started up in the next moment and Blaine watched as Kurt closed his eyes for a moment and pressed his lips closer to the mic the moment before he began to sing. Of course, Blaine recognized it the moment the haunting, beautiful melody began.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
Blaine's heart beat wildly inside his chest as he watched Kurt perform, the audience instantly in the palm of his hand. In the light of the stage, Kurt certainly looked like an angle, bathed in white light and his wings looking pale and ethereal behind him. It was like Blaine was seeing in for the first time, in that moment. No one had ever done something like this for Blaine before. And Kurt - beautiful, amazing Kurt - couldn't be -
Blackbird fly Blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.
Blaine was in love with Kurt.
It struck him suddenly, with the weight of a thousand bricks. How had he not seen it earlier?
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
But he shouldn't; he couldn't.
The song ended and everyone applauded enthusiastically. Even Blaine rasied his hands in his daze. After that the room began to thin out quickly, couples and groups of friends exiting together. Blaine sat at the table, stunned.
"Blaine! You're here!"
He looked up to see Kurt, walking toward him quickly.
"I promised, didn't I?" Blaine found himself saying.
"Did - did you like the song?" asked Kurt, voice slightly breathless.
"I…," said Blaine searching for words. "I don't - I don't know," he lied.
"W-what?" asked Kurt. "Blaine -" He reached out to lay his hand on Blaine's knee and he jerked away as if burnt. This - this was just what they were. They were friends and Kurt had sung the song for him out of pity of what had happened last weekend and because he was his friend. He shouldn't be anything more than that.
"I don't think this is going to work out anymore," said Blaine, voice high.
"You don't think what is going to work out anymore?" snapped Kurt.
"This - this friendship," said Blaine. "I know you said that I shouldn't care what people think, Kurt, and that's all nice in theory," he began and tried not to look Kurt in the eye as he lied. "But the point is that they still think it. No one - they will always look at us like freaks. We can't - I can't do this, Kurt."
"Blaine," said Kurt, his voice breaking as he reached out for his hand.
Blaine pulled his arm away once more.
This hurt too much.
He stood and walked out from Gabriel's Harp, his wings flying behind him.
Blaine goes over the moment in his head over and over again. He wonders if he was being silly - but no, he knows there is truth in his words. He knows the stares he got when he was with Kurt as a friend were bad, and if Kurt even felt about him in the same way Blaine felt for him and they got together, they would be worse.
Black and white are opposites. Kurt is good and Blaine, deep down, knows he's not. Every time he looks at his case files from work, he knows that. All the stares they would get, the judgment in those eyes, would be justified and Blaine knows that.
Blaine begins by throwing himself into his work, not even touching his music. He gets call after call from Kurt, eventually turning off his phone to avoid them. The day after the music night, Blaine wakes up with a horrible headache and upset stomach. He drags himself out of bed for a few minutes and into his bathroom. He looks horrible when he looks into the mirror and turns around to go back to bed for at least the next week, he feels so horrible.
As he's slipping back into bed, he notices how there are a few dozen of his feathers in between his sheets. He picks a few up, noting how old they look. He drops them with a groan, confusion settling over him. He feels like he's molting and of course, the loss of feathers would point to that - but Blaine had already went through his molting for the year, just three months ago. It's a yearly thing he dreads, mostly due to the slight headache he gets and his inability to handle anything more than crackers for two days. So why is he molting again? And why does it feel so bad?
Blaine laid on his stomach and tried to ignore the pain of it all. He fell into a fitful sleep.
The next time he wakes up, it's dark inside his room. He looks over at the clock, noticing that it's 2 in the morning - meaning he's slept all day and still feels horrible.
He stands, knowing he should eat and drink something, even though is stomach feels like it's eating itself. As he gets up, feathers fall from his body and sheets, a few sticking to his chest because of the light sheen of sweat.
In just the time he's been a sleep, it looks like all his feathers have fallen out. He makes sure not to go into his bathroom to look at his wings - he'd always thought they looked creepy without any feathers on them, as his knew set grew in. It is strange, however, because it does really look like all his feathers have fallen out. His yearly molting usually means just half or so fall out to be replaced by new ones.
Blaine knows he should call his doctor or something, but he's so tired. He pulls himself to the kitchen and slowly drinks a glass of water and chews through two crackers slowly. By then, he's so exhausted he barely makes it back to his bed before drifting off to sleep again.
The next time Blaine wakes up, he still feels like death warmed over, but this time he thinks that's just having to due with sleeping so much. He doesn't have a headache anymore, and his stomach isn't threatening to spill at the moment, so that's good. He sits up in bed with a groan, still confused.
Why had he molted again for the year? He thinks as he looks around at all the feathers around him. And he'd reacted so much more to the symptoms this time. Most people only experienced a headache and stomach ache when molting for the year, for some it was more extreme and others mild, but nothing like what Blaine had just experienced for the last two days. Blaine stretched and scratched his chin, the scruff he'd grown making a scratching sound. The last time he had molted twice in a year had been when he'd changed to his black wings and -
Blaine paused in that thought, arms stretched toward the air.
Had he - had he changed again? The time before that he had molted twice in a year because of his change to dark brown at 12. Blaine stood in a single movement, heart beating. How much darker could his wings get he wondered.
He rushed to his bathroom, not even sure if he wanted to know. He took a few calming breaths before flipping on the light and looking into the mirror, his back twisted toward it to see his wings.
What he saw, no one could have prepared him for.
His black wings have been replaced, alright, but not with a darker color. Neither are they brown, or tan, or white. The wings on his back are now blue. Or at least, most of them are. The most of his wing is this bright cobalt blue coloring, with some darker blues mixed in and faded between them. The edges of his wings are the darkest part now, a color that is more a dark blue than a black.
Blaine flutters his wings, almost like a test, and is breathless when his wings react to light in the bathroom. The bluest wings almost shimmer in the light, turning lighter at some angles and darker at others, and the outlining dark blue feathers are sleek and have an even bluer hint to them with the light. Blaine keeps moving them, amazed at how much the change with the light.
He stops for a few moments, just staring at them. He's never seen anyone with this color wings before. The spectrum only really goes from white to black, with everything in between - save for colors like blues, reds, purples - ones like that. While they are certainly found in nature in actual birds' wings and plumage, they are puzzlingly not seen in humans' wings.
The more Blaine stares at his wings, the more he's reminded of a hummingbird. Especially in the light, Blaine almost thinks he sees a tint of green in the movement. It looks so much like a hummingbird - or of what he's seen in photos of a hummingbird frozen in flight.
Blaine stares for a long time at his wings, flexing and moving them in different ways, still not quite believing - or really knowing - what had happened.
At some point the dragged himself from the room and to the kitchen, suddenly ravenous. He makes himself breakfast, though it's late in the afternoon and eats quickly. He logs onto his computer, realizing that he had just missed two days of work without calling in. He knows there will be a few angry messages and he ignores them for now. His eyes take in those messages from his boss, then falls to his message from the Harp.
He'd almost forgotten the fight with Kurt earlier that week. He stares for a long moment before grabbing his phone, abandoned since the music night on the table and turns it on.
There are dozens of missed calls and text messages from Kurt. There are only two voicemails, however.
Blaine calls his voicemail and waits nervously to hear the messages.
"Blaine - I've called you a lot and now I'm going straight to voicemail." Kurt sighs. "Look - I understand what you said last night, but that doesn't mean - I don't care, Blaine. I really don't. I care about you a lot and I don't care what people say and you shouldn't either. Please, I sang that song… for you. For you and I wanted you to get something - something else from it. I just - I can't say this on a voicemail. Please, call me back."
Blaine deletes the message and moves to the next. This one was left maybe twelve hours ago.
"Blaine - look, I'm really worried right now. You're not calling me and I haven't seen you around and you didn't answer when I knocked on your door yesterday. Just please call me back or text me so I know you're alright. Bye."
Blaine deletes that one as well. He sets his phone down to stare at it for a long time. He knows he should let Kurt know he's okay. He texts him so - just those two words: I'm OK. He gets the reply quickly.
Good. I'm here to talk if you need to. Thanks.
Blaine does want to talk to Kurt - god, does he ever. He wants to kiss Kurt and touch him and just be with him - but he can't. They can't be together. Not with Kurt and his perfect wings and Blaine and his dark, evil -
Blaine sits up straight in his chair. He reaches back to feel his wings, which aren't black anymore. They're blue, and actually beautiful and he's not quite sure what to make of them actually.
He sits there for a long time and wonders: does it make a difference?
Kurt stood in the back of the room, sulking. Even he can admit it. It's been a week and he hasn't gotten a call back from Blaine yet. The only contact had been the text saying he was okay, which at least put some of his nerves at bay. Now he was at music night and honestly, he just wanted to go home and crawl into bed. He'd even forgone being the MC tonight and gave that job to his Assistant Manager, Shelly, who was funny on the mic anyway.
At least the night was winding down. They had about an hour and a half worth of performers signed up for tonight and it looked like Shelly had just announced the last performer. Kurt clapped gladly when he was over and pushed himself away from the wall he had been leaning up against.
Shelly walked up to the mic with a smile. "Give it up for all our performers tonight!" she said to the answering applause. "We just have one more for you tonight - he is a last minute addition, actually and he'll close us for the night. Make sure to buy some of the EPs of our performers tonight at the register. I now present to you Blaine Anderson."
Kurt almost fell to the ground from shock, though he hadn't even been walking. He began to make his way closer to the makeshift stage, surprised that yes - Blaine was walking on stage in a faded brown leather jacket and a pair of fitted dark wash jeans. A soft murmur broke out in the crowd and Kurt winced - of course they would notice his wings. Poor Blaine - he knew just as much how it was to have whispers follow you around everywhere, though for Blaine, they were always negative.
Then Kurt noticed that, while Blaine's wings were the cause of the whispering, it wasn't in the way he thought.
Kurt stopped mid step, someone's wing poking painfully into his stomach as he stared up at Blaine on stage. The lighting reflected across his wings and Kurt wondered why it had taken him so long to notice.
Blaine's wings were a beautiful, vibrant shade of blue. Well - many kinds of blue, ranging into the darker shades of the color.
Blaine smiled nervously out at everyone, coming to stand in front of the microphone, his guitar slung across his shoulder and held protectively in front of his body.
"Hi there," he said, his voice slightly breathless. People stopped their whispering for the moment, though Kurt knew they were still reeling from his wings. Kurt had never seen such a color before - save for on a blue jay in nature or something.
"I'm really, really nervous to be up here right now," said Blaine with a nervous laugh. "You see, music has always been really personal to me. I never thought I'd be up here about to sing for this many people." He shook his head and started to strum his guitar. "This song is for someone really special and I hope he knows… that I'm sorry, most of all." Blaine ducked his head and Kurt's heart sped up as he continued to push his way near the front of the crowd again. He finally settled near the front, just off to the side, standing and watching Blaine as he began to sing.
When you were here before,
I couldn't look you in the eye.
You're just like an angel,
your skin makes me cry.
You float like a feather
in a beautiful world,
you're so very special...
I wish I was special.
But I'm a creep, I'm a weirdo.
What the hell am I doing here?
I don't belong here.
Kurt knew that Blaine was talented. Of course he was. His voice was like butter and honey - smooth and warm and it washed over Kurt and made him feel like he was at home. Besides that, Kurt barely dared to breathe. Blaine was pouring his soul out on the stage and the whole room could hear that; see it in his movements and in his eyes.
This was for him.
I don't care if it hurts
I want to have control.
I want a perfect body,
I want a perfect soul.
I want you to notice
when I'm not around.
You're so fucking special
I wish I was special.
Blaine finished the song at first he was met with a stunned silence, then a round of enthusiastic applause. Blaine looked surprised, coming back to himself and realizing, it appeared, where he was for the first time since beginning the song. He bowed his head for a moment and mouthed "thank you" before walking off stage quickly. Kurt rushed toward him, the sound of Shelly talking into the mic and chairs pushing back with squeaks as people stood to leave barely registering, as he went straight to Blaine.
"Blaine!" he called out and Blaine whirled around, narrowly missing hitting someone with his wings. Kurt launched himself at Blaine, pulling him into his arm, his hand coming up naturally to bury into his feathers. They seemed softer than before and Kurt couldn't believe that he was here. "I miss you," he mumbled into his shoulder.
"I missed you too," said Blaine, breathless.
They hold each other for a long time before Kurt finally pulls away. His eyes drifted to Blaine's wings and he's still in shock - they are vibrant and so striking that he doesn't quite blame everyone who keeps looking over to them. He tells Blaine that they need to talk, but first, he goes around making sure he and his employees can get everyone out of the Harp. After the patrons are gone, he sends them out. Usually they stay late to break down the set, but Kurt insists that they can do it in the morning and then locks up, turning back to find Blaine standing where he left him, looking lost.
Kurt walks over to him, grabbing his hand. "So," he said. "You sang in front of people. And - your wings. And that song."
Blaine smiled at him and laughed, his wings fluttering with delight. Kurt is pretty sure he's never seen Blaine do such a thing before. In the past, his wings always seem to stay stiff and controlled, much like Blaine himself. "Yeah. The fact that I just sang - well, that hasn't quite hit. I came up with idea a few days ago and can't believe I actually went through with it. And the wings - that happened a few days after the last music night. I had already molted this year, so I thought it was… weird. Then I woke up and had these and well -"
"They changed," said Kurt, awed. Of course he had believed Blaine when he said he was a Color Changer, but to see it actually happen was shocking.
"They did. Do you - do you like them?"
Blaine sounds nervous as he asked Kurt and his heart breaks.
"I think they are beautiful," said Kurt. "But, for the record, I thought your black ones were beautiful." Blaine made a face and Kurt reached out to hit him on the shoulder. "I'm serious, Blaine. The wings - they don't matter. What matters is you."
Blaine smiled at him, his eyes wide and moist. "I - that means a lot."
"And the song," Kurt prompted. His heard was beating faster as he mentioned it, waiting for Blaine to say something.
"That was - that's how I feel, Kurt," said Blaine quietly. "I said last week I didn't want to be your friend - and that's because I wanted to be more, but I didn't think we could do that. Not with my wings and your wings like they were. I still think - I know there will be stares even if we are just friends. Because I know you probably don't feel the same way. I just wanted everything out in the open this time, when we start our friendship again."
"What are you saying?" asked Kurt, breathless.
"I - Kurt," said Blaine. "There is a moment when you - you open your eyes and see someone for the first time. Last week, when you sang 'Blackbird,' that was a moment for me. I saw you on that stage and - I realized that it was you. It was always you, Kurt. I've been looking for you forever." Blaine had reached out and had taken both of Kurt's hand in his. "I've been looking for someone who wouldn't judge me based on my wings, or for being who I am - and that was you from the very beginning. Last week I realized that - I love you, Kurt."
Kurt's breath caught and he looked at Blaine with wide eyes. "You - you do?" His heart beat faster and faster in his chest and it felt like he was about to vibrate right out of his body.
"I do. And I know you probably don't feel the same," said Blaine. "But that's okay. I just want to be with you in any way I can, Kurt. If that means friendship, I'm okay with that."
Blaine looked at him, eyes wide, and Kurt really couldn't stop himself. He reached up, bringing his arms around Blaine's neck and pulling him closer to press their lips together. Blaine must have been surprised, because for a moment he didn't react. Then, they kissed - and really kissed.
Blaine's lips were soft and hesitant against Kurt's and he seemed to melt against him. Kurt tugged his bottom lip into his mouth and Blaine made a small noise that seemed to reverberate in Kurt's mouth, making his face heat up. Blaine's hands were on his waist and Kurt reached up, his hand cupping Blaine's cheek naturally - like it belonged there.
Though Kurt wanted to stay like that forever, joined at the lips and his fingers exploring the skin of Blaine's face, they pulled away, breathless and smiling. "You - you kissed me," said Blaine, surprised.
"I did," said Kurt with a laugh. He still stroked Blaine's cheek with his thumb, the fine stubble rough against the pads of his finger. "I think I've had feelings for you since the moment I met you. But I knew you didn't need that, Blaine. You didn't love yourself, let alone another person." Blaine nodded sadly at this in agreement. "I love you, Blaine," said Kurt softly.
"I love you," he repeated and they leaned forward again, falling together in another breathtaking kiss.
Epilogue: 1 year later
Blaine walked on stage, waving out at the packed house at the Harp, his feathers ruffling with the slight nerves he still got when on stage. "Hey everyone," he said into the mic. A few people whistled in the crowd, making others laugh and Blaine roll his eyes. "So we're going to get to the performances in just a bit," he began. "But I just wanted to remind you of the usual business.
"As always, coffee is half off during the performances, but make sure not to be a complete ass and get up during performances, okay? Wait for the in between to get up from your seat and come back, for the good of everyone's enjoyment." There were a few chuckles. "Secondly, all EPs will be available at the register and at our local artist display. Make sure to support all our performers!"
Blaine looked out at the crowd with a smile. "And many of you know that myself and the Harp started up our own recording studio to help artists record demos and EPs, and get them out there. So if you or someone you know is interested in making an original CD, you just come to the Harp and we can take care of you for an affordable price.
"Okay - I think I see Kurt in the back telling me to shut up and get on with the show," said Blaine, raising his hand to cover the light in his eyes. Everyone laughed and there was an indignant "Hey!" from Kurt in the back. "So without further ado - Gabriel's Harp's first performer of the night!"
Blaine walked off stage, leaning up against a wall as the first performer walked up. As she began to sing, Blaine felt a hand move down the top of his wing, to almost the very end. He shivered with pleasure as the hand came to rest just under the other wing, his thumb coming up to stroke the start of the appendage gently.
"You're a ham," said Kurt.
"Coming from you."
Kurt stuck his tongue out at Blaine and Blaine leaned forward, catching it with his mouth and Kurt giggled, pulling away and pushing his shoulder. Despite the action, his own wings rose slightly and he looked pleased. "Blaine - later," he said, voice lowering.
"It's dark enough," Blaine said. "They wouldn't even mind if I didn't return to be MC. I can give the job to Shelly tonight," he said, reaching over and putting his arms around Kurt's waist. One hand came up to gently stroke Kurt's wing.
Kurt looked distracted for a long moment - Blaine had found Kurt's weak spot on his right wing months ago and often used it to his advantage - then he glared down at Blaine playfully. "You are performing later, Blaine."
"Plenty of time," mumbled Blaine, pressing a kiss to Kurt's neck.
"Oh and then you would walk on stage, clothes disheveled and feathers ruffled and askew and everything would know."
"I'm completely fine with that." Blaine kissed him with a loud smack. "Fine - fine. I'll be good - for now. As for later…"
Kurt rolled his eyes and pushed him toward the stage, where the first performer had just finished.
Near the middle of the set, Blaine walked up with his guitar in hand, which had a strap the same blue color of his wings. This was met with raucous applause. "Yeah, I have a quick song for you guys tonight," said Blaine into the mic. "Then if it's all fine with you, I think I'll turn the mic over to Shelly for the rest of the night and go home. I'm like - super tired," he said with an exaggerated wink. The audience "oooh-ed" suggestively and there was Kurt calling from the side of the stage - "Blaine!"
"Hey, it's your fault for agreeing to be engaged to me," teased Blaine lightly. He began to strum the guitar. "And now to business."
Drink up baby doll
Are you in or are you out?
Leave your things behind
'Cause it's all going off without you
Excuse me too busy you're writing your tragedy
When you've no idea what you're like
So, let go, let go
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It's all right
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
So, let go, let go
Just get in
Oh, it's so amazing here
It's all right
'cause there's beauty in the breakdown
Blaine looked over to where Kurt was standing, a serene smile on his face which widened when Blaine made eye contact with him.
So amazing here
'Cause there's beauty in the breakdown
Blaine barely heard the applause as he walked off stage, leaning over to kiss Kurt and then wrap his arms around him in a hug, his fingers pressing into his feathers. "Let's get out of here, angel," he said.
Kurt kissed his cheek and pulled away, stepping to his side, their hips bumping against each other. "After you, hummingbird."
Below is the "playlist" for this fic. It's in order of apperarence, then after "Let Go" it's songs that are inspiration for the fic (though not sang in it) and probably listened to by Blaine! If you go to my Tumblr (chatterboxrose) you should be able to find a link to the music in my fic tag!
Come November - Thriving Ivory
Hello Bones - Jeff Pianki
Lemon - Katy Rose
Little Talks - Of Monsters and Men
Blackbird - The Beatles/Kurt Hummel
Creep - Amanda Palmer
Let Go - Frou Frou/Boys Like Girls Cover
Keeping It Together - Tyler Ward and The Co
Bitter Pill - Carly Calbero
Change Me - Sanctus Real
Satisfy - Vedera
Elephant Gun - Beirut
Cough Syrup - Blaine Anderson/Glee Version