Ugh I hate hate hate that I can't ever keep up with a regular publishing schedule, and what I hate even more is that it's always because of the same excuses (i.e. college/boy/stress/friends), and the thing I hate most is that this is the last chapter I have written and I don't know when I'll be able to write more or if my lovely beta Lonnie will even be able to edit while he's in Japan.
But please accept this meager somewhat filler chapter and try not to be mad or discouraged. I'll finish this story eventually, somehow. I love you all!
Read, review, and enjoy!
Blaine woke up with his body hot and his head aching.
As if the sunlight streaming into his face and turning the inside of his eyelids red wasn't bad enough, he felt as if he were snuggled right up to a space heater under the heavy comforter.
He grumbled in discontent and reached back to dislodge whatever pillow had gone astray in the night but, to his shock, found long planes of smooth skin instead.
Kurt hummed contentedly at the touch and wiggled closer, tightening the arm around Blaine's middle and molding the front of his body to the back of Blaine's. Blaine's head swam, and bits of last night came back to him like mis-matched puzzle pieces as he felt Kurt's nose nuzzle against his neck, toes nudging his own, and against Blaine's ass —
That definitely wasn't a stray pillow.
Blaine flushed hotter (if that was even possible) as Kurt woke up slowly, fidgeting here and there, breath halting momentarily when he realized where he was, and finally pressing a tentative kiss to the very top of Blaine's spine.
Blaine was frozen, the rate at which his heart was beating enough to outmatch the pounding in his head. Kurt seemed to take this as a silent invitation, because he slid his hand to where Blaine's rested on the mattress, tangling their fingers in and out of each other as he pressed small kisses up Blaine's neck. He nipped at Blaine's earlobe, breathing out nervously and Blaine's eyes fluttered shut...
"Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows, everything that's wonderful —"
Kurt huffed a breath of frustration as Blaine fell out of bed, tangled in sheets and scrambling to find his phone. He finally found it singing merrily from the pocket of his jeans on the floor.
"Hello?" he gasped, coughing when his voice came out raspier than usual.
"Blainey!" Cooper sing-songed on the other line.
"Cooper, this better be important," he growled. He glanced back at Kurt who, caught in the act of staring at Blaine's mostly naked body, blushed and smiled. Blaine giggled a little and Kurt smiled wider, showing his teeth before rolling his eyes.
"Go back to sleep," Blaine mouthed, and Kurt complied, rolling over and pulling a pillow over his head. Blaine watched Kurt turn over with a soft smile, feeling a small sense of calm wash over him.
" — ainey. Blainey," Cooper was saying.
"Huh, what?" Blaine stammered, focusing back on what his brother was saying.
Blaine frowned, glancing at the clock on his bedside table. It read 10:37AM. "Late for what?"
"For work. You know I can't pay you for the time you're not here, little bro. I know it sucks that you have to switch one of your night shifts for a morning one every week but it's not my fault, you have to believe me. It's Nick, he just —"
But Blaine was already hanging up, already up and running before he was fully off the floor. Ignoring the sandy feeling in his mouth and between his toes, he got dressed in new clothes from (his side of) the dresser, brushed his teeth, and splashed on a careless amount of cologne and deodorant in three minutes flat.
Being careful not to wake Kurt, who appeared to be asleep again under his pillow, Blaine grabbed his PizMo apron off the hook on the closet door and dashed down the hall and into the kitchen.
He downed a couple of Aspirin with a glass of chilly water, stuffed his keys into his pocket, and picked out a sweater from the coat closet, muttering urgent obscenities to himself. In all of the chaos of the previous day he had completely forgotten about his weekly morning shift. He knew Cooper didn't really care if he came in late, even with a hangover. In fact, Coop would be more likely to congratulate him for getting out of the house than scold him for tardiness. But Blaine almost wished his brother would get angry instead; he kind of deserved it, sacrificing an hour of pay for a wild night out of drinking. And singing. And dancing. And kissing on the beach with Kurt, who was...
"Where are you going?"
Blaine started at Kurt's voice, fumbling with the buttons of his cardigan uselessly. "I'm late for work, I completely forgot and — I'm sorry. I'll be back in a few hours so we can — can... can..."
Blaine turned around to find Kurt, still looking beach-rumpled and clad in only underwear and the t-shirt Blaine had carelessly cast aside last night, slowly striding over, hips swaying in what Blaine considered to be a very unfair way.
Kurt finally reached Blaine and placed a soft, lingering kiss on his mouth.
"Have a good day at work, honey," he said with a smirk.
On instinct, Blaine grinned and slid a hand around Kurt's bare hip. "Is this a regular thing now?"
Kurt raised his eyebrows, smiling coyly. "Well that's up to you. Do you want it to be?"
Blaine's stomach and smile dropped unexpectedly and his hand retreated instantly from Kurt's hip. Icy dread flooded his gut as he stuttered, "I — I have to go. I'm late."
"Blaine —" but before Kurt could protest further, Blaine was out the door and out of sight.
Blaine shook violently as he jogged down the street, and not because of the chilly morning fog. His lips were stinging where Kurt had kissed him and he raised icy fingers to them. His bottom lip trembled under his fingertips and he leaned against the wall of the apartment complex for support, gasping in deep breaths.
He hadn't considered that in creating Kurt, he had essentially made a potential slave.
But Blaine didn't want that. He didn't want Kurt to bend to his will. He wanted Kurt to have a mind of his own. He wanted Kurt to be the character he had been inspired to write, but now Blaine didn't know how to make sure that happened without manipulating Kurt's mind.
He forced himself to calm down, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes as he drew long, shaky breaths. Kurt's words from last night floated across his mind:
"Don't think, just feel."
"Sounds like something I would say," Blaine muttered to himself as he began walking again, pushing the ghostlike memory of Kurt's lips from his mind.
"Wow, you made it here in record time," Cooper beamed as he handed Blaine his apron. "I couldn't have called you more than five minutes ago — what's that smell?"
Blaine ran a hand through his bushy hair anxiously, tuning his brother out as he tried to sign in to the register with shaking fingers.
Cooper leaned over the counter and took a deep whiff of Blaine, wrinkling his nose. Blaine didn't seem to notice.
"Uh, did you happen to shower today?" Cooper asked curiously. "Or in the past forty-eight hours at all? You smell like a dive bar."
"Wha—?" Blaine said dazedly, finally snapping his head up to look at his brother.
Cooper looked mildly concerned for a moment, before breaking into a grin.
"Oh Blainers," he cooed, "Did you get drunk last night?"
Blaine blinked slowly.
Cooper slung an arm around him. "Unfocused? Twitchy? Lethargic? Smelly? You've got a hangover, Blainey!"
"Ouch, shut up. No shit Sherlock. And don't call me that," Blaine grumbled, shrugging Cooper off and rolling his eyes, trying to focus on counting the bills in the register.
"You know, I could be scolding you for unprofessionalism," Cooper said generously, "But instead I'm choosing to congratulate you. This is the first day of the rest of your life, little bro."
"This isn't my first hangover, Coop, nor is it the first time I've ever gone out," Blaine said wearily, wiping down the counter with the damp rag slung over the cabinet door below the register.
"You're right. But it is your first time getting laid since college."
Blaine choked on nothing, grip on the wet rag slipping so that he fell half-across the counter and stumbled on his feet.
"Who said anything about getting laid?" Blaine asked quickly, voice cracking inopportunely.
Cooper leaned in conspiratorially, raising his fingers to hook into air quotes. "Your new roommate? Come on, Blainey. Just because I play dumb people on T.V. doesn't mean I am one."
Blaine spluttered uselessly for a moment before stuttering, "I-I told you what happened, Cooper. He came out of nowhere."
"I'm sure he did," his brother chuckled, wiggling his eyebrows over his shoulder as he turned to head back into the kitchen.
"Coop," Blaine groaned, scrubbing a hand down his face. "You're not listening to me."
"Sorry, can't hear you!" Cooper yelled back, and Blaine huffed out a frustrated breath, crossing his arms and slumping down into the stool behind the register.
His dream come true was beginning to feel more like a nightmare.
It was a slow morning, with only a few families and couples scattered around the restaurant tables, pondering menus. The street outside was empty; residents wouldn't be roaming the town until the sun came out later in the afternoon.
He spent his lunch break actively avoiding Cooper, allowing himself a ten-minute stroll down the street as he nibbled on a piece of pizza.
Once back inside and perched on the stool once more, Blaine resisted the urge to close his eyes against the bright white light of the overcast day filtering through the open door; fought against lolling his head back against the wall to ease the ebbing pressure in his head. His stomach churned, and he hoped it was because his stomach was gratefully accepting the food. He still felt like he was coated in salt and sand from the beach, felt like his very brain was waterlogged and like it was rolling around in time to the pounding in his temples: Back and forth, back and forth, back and...
"Hey uh, Blainey?"
"Don' callmezat," Blaine slurred, head snapping up from where he had dozed off leaning back on the stool against the wall. He tipped dangerously when he saw the awkward-looking line of people staring expectantly at him.
Cooper frowned at Blaine as he scrambled to serve the customers one by one, a look of mild concern that rarely graced his face touching his features.
He placed a hand on his Blaine's shoulder, retreating quickly when he twitched underneath him.
"You know," Cooper began awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck nervously like Blaine sometimes did, "I think maybe you're a little more under the weather than I thought."
"I'm fine," Blaine insisted, though his drooping eyes and haphazard hair seemed to think differently.
"Go home," Cooper said in a gentle voice, and then, as if realizing he was being too melancholy, slapped Blaine on the back bracingly with a sparkling smirk. "I'm sure your new roommate is waiting for you."
Blaine's heart jolted anxiously as the prospect of greeting Kurt after his quick getaway a few hours ago came to the forefront of his mind. "I can stay until the end of my shift," he said quickly.
"It's only forty-five minutes early anyway," Cooper said, bumping Blaine off the stool with his hip and taking over.
Blaine opened his mouth, but closed it again. He hadn't realized he had slept for so long. "Please Coop," he tried. "I need the money."
"You know I'll give you all the tips anyway," Cooper said dismissively, and when Blaine tried to protest again he snatched the hat off Blaine's head and held it out of his reach.
"I won't take no for an answer," he warned, and with a last withering glare, Blaine retired his apron to the hook behind the counter and snatched the small amount of money from his brother's outstretched hand.
The first thing that hit Blaine when he cautiously eased open the door to his apartment was the warm scent of freshly baked cookies. As if a switch had flipped in his body he instantly relaxed, succumbing easily to the wafting smell of comfort enveloping him.
Kurt was sitting at the circular dining table, watching him carefully and wringing his hands. Blaine jumped at the sight of him, a twinge of panic flaring once more in his chest, but Kurt stood slowly, a hand raised in a calming gesture.
"I'm sorry," he said quickly.
"For what?" Blaine asked automatically.
Kurt blushed and looked down at his shoes. "For being so... forward… this morning."
Blaine let out a long breath and shook his head. "No, you're not — I'm sorry, too. For being so... twitchy."
Kurt relaxed a little at this, heading into the kitchen. "I noticed. And since I had my freak out yesterday, I figured you were bound to have one too, sooner or later."
He slid several perfectly baked cookies from the tray on the counter onto a plate and poured two glasses of milk. Blaine watched his actions in awe, stunned breathless at how at home Kurt seemed in Blaine's — in their kitchen. Watching Kurt, and the ease with which he arranged the cookies into a symmetrical pattern on the plate… he was more detailed and complex than Blaine could ever have constructed him in his own head.
He was real.
Kurt carried the precariously perched load over to where Blaine was reeling, sinking down into a chair to appease his shaky knees. "Your favorite comfort food," he offered as explanation.
"You know me so well," Blaine said softly, eyes widening at the snack before them.
Kurt blanched slightly. "Sorry, I know that's still weird —"
"Don't," Blaine interrupted, briefly touching Kurt's hand with his own before picking up a cookie. "It's sweet. Thank you."
Kurt only smiled at this, and reached for a cookie himself.
They ate their first cookies in thick, if not companionable silence. Finally, after taking a sip of his milk, Blaine said, "I think I owe you an explanation for running out on you today."
Kurt raised an eyebrow, delicately dipping another cookie into his milk. Instead of the sarcastic quip Blaine knew was on the tip of his tongue, Kurt held back. "It was... a bit startling."
Blaine took a deep breath, fidgeting a little in his seat. "It's not that your... advances —" he cringed apologetically at his ridiculous word choice — "Were unwelcome. They were just a bit... jarring."
Kurt narrowed his eyes, and at once Blaine knew he'd said the wrong thing. "Not — I mean — I just —" He took another cookie, desperate for something to do with his hands. "I've been thinking a lot about this." He gestured between him and Kurt. "And it seems to be kind of... complicated."
"I'm not following," Kurt said slowly.
Blaine took a bite of his cookie, and swallowed it before continuing. "When I wrote you, Kurt, I wrote you with the intent of making you love me."
Kurt's expression was hard to read, but he said nothing so Blaine soldiered on after a deep sigh into his glass of milk.
"When you were just a character in my head, that wasn't a problem. It was just a... plot device. A silly fantasy, but the first inspiration I'd had in a long time. But now that you're real, the idea of making you love me, it's..." Blaine's voice broke into a whisper, "sickening."
Kurt nodded once, his chin tilted up as he looked down resolutely at the plate of cookies. "So what you're saying is that you're afraid that my feelings for you in real life wouldn't be genuine?"
"Not just your feelings," Blaine admitted. "Anything about you. What you say, what you do, how you act, how you think..."
"But that's your job," Kurt reasoned, "As an author. You are, for all intents and purposes, my creator."
"It used to be my job," Blaine countered, "Until you appeared in my house with a mind of your own."
Kurt nodded, seeing the point.
"I just —" Blaine continued, "I want to be able to let you kiss me without worrying about whether you did it because I wanted you to or you wanted to. Or because I wanted you to want to..." Blaine groaned, frowning at his complicated train of thought.
Kurt boldly reached across the table to lay Blaine's hand in his. "I've been thinking about this too," he confessed, "And your concerns are certainly relevant, but I have a theory."
Blaine eyed him suspiciously, taking another cookie. "What kind of theory?"
"Hear me out," Kurt instructed, taking his hand away to take another cookie and sit up in his chair. "I agree that the amount of power you hold over me in this situation is intimidating. But it's like you said — none of your other characters have come to life before."
"Right," Blaine frowned, missing the point, "So?"
"So," Kurt repeated, leaning forward slightly, "What's different this time? What did you have this time that you didn't all those other times?"
Blaine frowned. "The... the typewriter?"
Kurt nodded, bouncing back a little in his seat as his lips mashed into a happy grin.
"So as long as I don't type anything on that machine," Blaine realized, "You'll be completely in control of yourself?"
Kurt nodded once more, pleased with himself.
Blaine considered this as he reached for the last cookie on the plate. It did make sense. After all, Blaine did have ideas about Kurt's character that he hadn't typed out yet, and Kurt didn't know any of those, just what was neatly printed out on the various sheets Blaine used to brainstorm. That led to the only logical conclusion: all this was the magic typewriter's doing. He wondered vaguely if Burt had known this all along.
"It doesn't matter who's writing you," Blaine concluded, "Because the weird voodoo magic is all in the typewriter."
"It could have been you, or Cooper, or the next door neighbor who wrote it," Kurt supplied.
"And no matter what it was, it would have still come true," Blaine finished in awe. He chuckled a little breathlessly at how much of the weight upon his shoulders had just lifted.
"Takes some of the pressure off, doesn't it?" Kurt smiled.
"Yes," Blaine breathed. "You're a genius, Kurt."
"Only because you wrote me that way," Kurt said snarkily.
"Too soon," Blaine said wearily, downing the remainder of his milk.
"So it's decided," Kurt declared. "No more typewriter."
"No more typewriter," Blaine parroted, ignoring the twinge of guilt he felt at abandoning Burt's gift, along with his newest writing project. He'd figure something out.
"We'll take this slow," Kurt reassured him, eyes twinkling at Blaine over his cup as he sipped at his milk.
As he set down his glass, though, he frowned.
"What?" Blaine asked.
"There's a piece of cookie at the bottom of my glass."
Blaine laughed, and Kurt smiled as he got up. "I'll go get a spoon," he said, heading over to the kitchen.
Blaine sighed, leaning back in his chair and feeling much more at ease than before, even if a little bit of concern was still lodged somewhere in his chest. Sure, he couldn't write about Kurt anymore. And he'd have to abandon the typewriter. But his laptop was still fully functional, and he could easily find inspiration elsewhere.
He stubbornly stamped down the little voice that reminded him he'd gone two years without a good idea before the typewriter. Instead he looked over to Kurt, who was standing hesitantly in the middle of the kitchen with his brow creased.
"Spoon?" Blaine reminded him.
"Yeah..." Kurt said, almost to himself, brow furrowing further as he massaged his temple lightly.
Blaine frowned, remembering how just yesterday Kurt had been opening and closing drawers and cabinets with ease as he cooked pancakes.
"First drawer to the right of the stove," Blaine said slowly.
"Right," Kurt said absently, retrieving a spoon and returning to the table. He seemed to have forgotten about the cookie drowning in his milk, though, because his eyes were sliding shut as he pressed at his forehead with both hands.
"Everything okay?" Blaine asked, concerned.
"Yeah." Kurt shook himself slightly. "Just a headache, all of a sudden."
Blaine considered this for a moment. "There's IbuProfen in the cupboard."
"Yes," Kurt nodded, looking a little irritated, "I know where it is."
Blaine tilted his head curiously, scrutinizing the twitch in Kurt's temple as he fished out the soggy cookie and spooned it into his mouth. "Are you sure you're okay?"
Kurt waved him off. "Fine, fine, don't worry."
Blaine eyed him suspiciously, but let it go. Kurt drained the last of his milk and set down the glass, and Blaine giggled.
"What?" Kurt glared.
"Milk moustache," Blaine explained, gesturing vaguely around his own mouth.
Kurt raised an eyebrow and, very unfairly, ran his tongue along his upper lip, taking his time.
"Better?" Kurt asked, a tantalizingly innocent smile spread across his lips.
Blaine swallowed. "Y-you missed a spot," he lied.
"Oh?" Kurt teased, leaning forward out of his seat towards Blaine with crossed arms on the table. "Where?"
Shyly, Blaine leaned forward to meet him in the middle and after a short moment of hesitation, kissed the corner of Kurt's mouth lightly.
He pulled away and Kurt looked torn for a moment, but sat back in his seat. Blaine followed suit.
"All better?" Kurt said, smiling softly.
Blaine managed to meet Kurt's gaze from under his eyelashes.
"All better," he confirmed.