A/N: So I actually posted this back in February. The second chapter, too. After denouncing all things Glee I took it down, thinking that I'd never want to finish it. Then Glee dragged me kicking and screaming back into the fandom and I somehow found inspiration to continue this ridiculousness. I'll post the next chapter tomorrow, then weekly updates until I run out of chapters to post. I'm a few chapters ahead right now, so hopefully that won't happen until the story is finished.
Now for the actual story notes. I got the idea for this while watching Pleasantville for the dozenth time. I just love the hell out of that movie - even though I do think it's a bit heavy-handed in its message, I really adore the way it celebrates all the things that make life worth living; art, literature, music, love, sex, etc. There's no real reason why I picked Glee to cross it over with (although this isn't really a crossover, more a fusion), except that I think Blaine has a ridiculously adorable fifties charm about him and I've no doubt he'd fit in the movie's setting perfectly. There's no need to have seen the movie to understand the fic, although I recommend watching it anyway ;)
PS: The title is taken from the tagline for Pleasantville - It's just around the corner!
Just Around the Corner
Kurt wasn't quite sure what he'd done to deserve this. Being single on Valentine's day was bad enough, but having to put up with Rachel's moping about Finn surely had to constitute as some sort of torture.
It wasn't exactly as if the rest of his year had been all that good, either. Sure, they'd won Sectionals and as of October, Kurt had gained two new family members. But then, this was also the year of his dad's heart attack and all the misguided attempts at comfort made by his friends in its wake. This was also the year of the Britney debacle and the Sam debacle-that-might-have-been if Finn hadn't derailed Kurt's crush quite so early on. This was also the year of Karofsky's escalated bullying and Kurt's discovery of the reason behind it.
This was also the year of The Kiss (capital letters to emphasize the horror) and every creepy look, touch and comment made by Karofsky thereafter. This was the year Kurt dreaded going to school in the morning, not just out of fear for his safety but for his virtue. This was the year he'd discovered that despite his friends', family's and, yes, even Sue Sylvester's best intentions, Kurt was still on his own when it came to the bullying, and everything else for that matter.
He'd started the year so optimistically. Yet somehow, it was turning out even worse than Sophomore year.
So if Kurt didn't feel like tolerating Rachel Berry's whining on the loneliest night of a very lonely year, that didn't make him selfish or a bad person. It just made him very tired.
Still, when she turned up at his door after ditching some celebration or another at Breadstix, Kurt hadn't quite had it in him to turn her away. Not when she brought two boxes of Haagen Daz raspberry sorbet with her.
He stepped aside with a sigh. "Two rules. No going near Finn's room, he's resting and he doesn't need any drama right now." Rachel looked only mildly disappointed at that, which at least convinced Kurt that she was actually there to see him and not his stepbrother. "And I get to pick what we're watching."
"Deal," Rachel said happily and strolled in.
One and a half hour later and Kurt was really regretting his short-sightedness. Since Rachel wasn't going to get to see Finn, she seemed determined to make up for it by talking about him. Nonstop. Excepting for small pauses every now and then to sing along with The Sound of Music or to talk about Quinn.
"-and she's not even that pretty, I mean, if you really look at her. She's got knobby knees, and her smile is super creepy-"
"Rachel," Kurt cut in. "I get it. Quinn is a hideous she-troll. Finn is an idiot, and they will both be stuck in Lima forever while you go on to New York to star in your first Broadway production at the tender age of nineteen. There, I just summed it up for you. Now will you please stop talking."
Rachel snapped her mouth shut with a hurt expression on her face. "I'm sorry," she sniffed. "I came here looking for a little sympathy from a friend. I guess I expected too much of you."
Kurt stared at her blankly. He knew smacking Rachel was not a good idea but right now he was having a really hard time remembering why.
"Let's just watch the rest of the movie," he finally said.
And they did, in relative silence. By the time the credits started rolling, Rachel had scooted over on the couch and laid her head on Kurt's shoulder as a sort of peace offering. Kurt had to admit that it felt nice. He hadn't spent any quality time like this with Mercedes in way too long and none of his other friends were really all that touchy-feely.
They sat there until the DVD menu popped back up on the screen.
"Do you feel like another?" Kurt asked as he stood up.
Rachel yawned and scratched her head, but nodded.
Kurt browsed through the shelf of DVDs next to the TV, but none of the titles really captured his interest. Then he had an idea.
"Stay here for a moment," he instructed Rachel, because if she didn't have strict orders otherwise, she was well liable to sneak up to the second floor and take a couple of strolls past Finn's bedroom.
Kurt ran down to the basement and returned with an old frayed box labeled 'Lizzie's Collection'.
"What's that?" Rachel asked.
"My mom's movie collection," Kurt answered breathlessly. "The tapes are a little old, though, so they might not be of the best quality."
He put the box down on the floor and Rachel jumped off the couch to join him.
Kurt hadn't looked through those films since his dad and Carole had been off on their honeymoon but the titles were more familiar to him than those of his own collection. There were several old Disney films, along with some silent Charlie Chaplin ones and even a couple of French titles. Mostly, though, there were arrays of old romantic comedies from the Hays Code era.
Right at the bottom was exactly what Kurt had been looking for. A row of tapes titled Pleasantville Season 1-3. This was exactly the sort of mindless, family friendly, saccharine sweet dribble Kurt needed to forget the mess that was his life for a while. He loved this show for the exact same reason he really should have hated it for- nothing ever happened in it. It was just a show about the pleasant, boring lives of a bunch of pleasant, boring people. It was pure escapism.
"I've never heard of this show," Rachel said when Kurt showed her the tapes.
"It's not particularly memorable," Kurt replied wryly. "But it was my mom's favorite show. She loved it completely non-ironically."
He pulled out a tape from season 2, which had such gripping episode titles as 'The Mystery of the Missing Diary', 'Test Day' and 'The Parkers' New Pet'.
Rachel frowned at the tape cover. "'Every day is pleasant in Pleasantville'," she read. "What is this show even about?"
"Nothing," Kurt said happily, inserting the tape into the VCR.
"Okay," Rachel said slowly. "Are there at least musical numbers in it?"
The familiar title sequence began playing on the screen, only it looked a little off.
"Is it supposed to look so green?" Rachel asked.
Kurt picked up the remote and pushed some random buttons, having no idea of how to fix it.
Rachel sighed. "Let me do it."
"Do you know how?" Kurt asked, a little annoyed.
"No, but I'm a better guesser than you," Rachel said, grabbing at the remote. She managed to get a hold of one end of it, but Kurt held firmly onto it as well.
Kurt ground his teeth. "It's my television, I can handle it."
"Kurt, don't be so stubborn," Rachel insisted, pulling at the remote.
Kurt pulled back, feeling a little immature when he realized that he was engaged in a tug-o-war with Rachel Berry over a remote control. But he'd be damned if he gave up.
Rachel proved surprisingly strong for such a little person but Kurt still felt confident that he could beat her. He was so focused that he failed to notice the world around them beginning to blur into static and that underneath his and Rachel's bickering, a steady, growing buzz was beginning to sound.
Suddenly, a blindingly bright light filled his vision. Kurt let go of the remote and went stumbling backwards.
"What just happened?" He demanded in panic when he'd gained his footing.
"I don't know," Rachel whimpered from somewhere in front of him. "I can't see anything."
Kurt blinked his eyes a couple of times and finally, his vision began to return. What he saw shocked him.
It was Rachel, but... not. She had blonde, short hair, meticulously groomed into a fashionable fifties bob, and her nose looked about half its usual size. Instead of her normal clothing, she was wearing a sweater that actually looked quite flattering on her, and a large poodle skirt that did not.
She was also in black and white.