Darkness was falling over Westerville, making the cold November air even more unpleasant. Blaine shivered and wrapped his arms around his chest, in a futile attempt to stay warm. His extracurriculars at Dalton ended late and he was beginning to hate them now, when he was forced to walk home after dark.
The streets were almost entirely deserted, Blaine's smart shoes clicked on the sidewalk, echoing in the quiet.
It wasn't far from Dalton to the Andersons', but that night Blaine felt as if he had walked miles and still had miles to go. The evening was the first truly cold one, reminding that winter was approaching. It also reminded Blaine of a similar night a year ago. The streets were as empty, the orange light of the streetlamps exactly the same tint. Only the sounds were different; no hollow sounds of dance music beats, no muffled laughter coming from a high school gym.
Blaine was just passing a bus stop, when he heard something. Someone was sitting in the shadow of the bus stop, sniffling, their teeth chattering violently.
Blaine stopped, peering into the darkness.
'Hello?,' he said hesitantly. It was stupid to talk to a stranger. Especially with the experience that he'd had. But he had a feeling whoever it was, wouldn't hurt him.
The hunched figure stirred, raising their head, not saying a word.
'Can I help you somehow?,' asked Blaine. He proceeded into the shade of the bus stop, his eyes trying to make out the facial features of the person in front of him.
The face was delicate, and an upturned nose, a few streaks of hair falling on the forehead under a woolen hat. Blaine could see it was a boy, more or less his age. His eyes were filled with fear, his lips trembling. Once Blaine's eyes adjusted to the darkness better, he noticed a suitcase standing next to the boy.
'Relax, I'm not going to hurt you,' he said, sensing the boy's tension. 'What's your name?'
The boy glanced at Blaine, appraising whether or not he could be trusted.
'Kurt,' came the quiet, uncertain answer.
'My name's Blaine,' replied Blaine, extending his hand for Kurt to shake.
It took Kurt a moment to decide to reach out and take Blaine's hand gingerly in his own. Then he recoiled it back into his pocket.
'What are you doing here? It looks like you're cold.'
Kurt only shrugged. It was strange to be talking to some random kid in the street, after a week of not making any contact with anyone. How could he ever have thought it would be easier like that?
Silence pervaded for a moment. Neither of the boys moved as much as an inch.
Blaine's gaze fixed on the suitcase.
'You run away from home?,' he asked.
Kurt's head snapped up, his jaw dropped. How did he know?
'It's that obvious?' He grimaced, thinking how lucky he was it was dark. He probably looked like shit; he hadn't had a chance to take a proper shower for four days. His money was running out. How could he have thought he could make it on his own? With no place to stay, no job, no money but some crappy savings from his allowance? He was pathetic.
'Come on,' said Blaine, getting up.
Kurt's eyes bulged. Did he really just say that?
Blaine rolled his eyes.
'God, just get up, take your stuff and come on.'
Kurt frowned. Why would this guy even bother? There were other people in the streets, there were other ways to help those in need. Why this guy would want to help him?
'Are you pulling my leg?,' asked Kurt with hesitation.
'No. I'm not. Come on.' He grabbed Kurt's suitcase and started dragging in on its wheels, filling the street with the clattering noise it made. 'Come on. Unless you want me to run away with your stuff.'
Still fighting his disbelief and fear, Kurt started after Blaine.
They were walking in silence for a couple of minutes, Kurt studying the back of Blaine's head. His hair was gelled down, but a few curls escaped the product just above the nape of his neck and a striped scarf that looked like someone nicked it from a Harry Potter movie set.
'Hey, won't your parents mind you bringing a vagrant into your house?,' Kurt said, trying to sound casually.
'They're not home.'
'Oh.' Kurt bit his lip, wondering whether it was appropriate for him to ask, why would they leave him alone.
But the answer was given even without the question being asked.
'They work a lot, so usually I have the house to myself.' He turned his head, sending Kurt a small sad smile.
They turned another corner, and found themselves on a typically suburban street, lined with similar, big and neatly kept houses. Blaine led the way to a house half-way through the street, Kurt following obediently.
Blaine produced a keychain from his satchel and opened the front door. He waved his hand at Kurt, inviting him into the dark, quiet building. Kurt took a cautious step forward.
Once over the threshold, Blaine flicked the light on, illuminating the messy hall. The interior of the house was decorated in blue and cream, with a light brown wood-panelled floor. There were shoes, coats, scarves and other accessories scattered everywhere, on a small table and a settee to the right, the floor by the wall, and hung haphazardly on the hooks in the wall.
'Sorry for the mess. The cleaning lady comes on Mondays, and… Well, nobody else really cleans up in here.' Blaine's cheeks flushed bright pink.
'I don't mind. I'm the one who's barging in.' Kurt couldn't recall feeling as awkward. Not even when his father caught him dancing to Single Ladies in that damn unitard.
Blaine threw his coat on top of the stack of other clothes on the settee, and headed into the kitchen. The counters were graphite, with white cupboard doors and gleaming metal handles on everything.
'You have a beautiful home,' said Kurt, trying to overcome his uneasiness.
'Thanks, but- to be honest, I hate it.' A grimace crossed his face. 'Tea?'
'Yes, please.' He was still shivering slightly.
Blaine got to preparing the tea without saying anything more. He was starting to wonder what to do next. The decision to take the boy home was made in split seconds, and now he was beginning to realize that it wasn't necessarily the best one. What would he tell his parents? Should he tell them about it at all? But then, should he just kick Kurt out back into the cold streets?
No, that he simply couldn't do.
Meanwhile, Kurt continued to study Blaine. His movements were lithe, but somewhat awkward at the same time. After all, he had all the reasons in the world not to be comfortable around a complete stranger.
The uniform Blaine was wearing, a blue blazer with a red rim and a red D embroidered on the left side of the chest and grey pants, seemed a little oversized on him.
After a moment filled with nothing but the hum of the electric kettle and the splash of water over the tea bags, a steaming mug was placed before Kurt, who sent Blaine a little grateful smile, before wrapping his icy hands over the delightfully hot cup.
'You're a prep school boy.' It was a statement. The uniform gave Blaine away.
Blaine laughed curtly, flattening his tie.
'Yeah. Dalton.' His thoughts wandered for a moment to Westerville North High, but he pushed those memories away. 'Where do you go to school?,' he asked to avoid going deeper into his school situation, before realizing that school could not be the best topic to discuss with someone, who'd just escaped from home.
'McKinley. In Lima,' Kurt answered nonetheless, with a slight tremor shaking his frame. It indeed wasn't the best of topics.
Silence fell again, and Kurt began to look around, just to occupy his mind and try not to think what was going to happen once the mug's empty and he's forced to go back out onto the streets. He kept on pushing the thought of coming back home away with dread. He had to figure something out. But the idea to go to New York was even scarier. He'd heard what happened to all those kids who went to the Big Apple, running away from homes, trying to find a better life, away from their hateful families. He didn't know what frightened him more: the vision of sleeping under bridges and no running water, or the idea that he, too, could end up selling his body to random people in most unhygienic conditions.
He forced his thoughts to focus on what surrounded him, instead of theorizing about what could be. The kitchen wasn't as messy as the hall, showing that it wasn't often in use. There was barely anything that could identify the members of the family, Kurt couldn't even tell, how many of them there were. He got up from where he was sitting at the counter, his mug in hand, and approached the door directly behind him; he assumed it led into the dining room.
'May I?,' he asked Blaine, who was watching him closely.
In the scanty light coming from the kitchen, Kurt could see an oval table surrounded by six chairs. It all seemed as if no one had sat there in a long time. The room looked entirely unused.
'Do you ever eat here?'
Blaine shrugged, dropping his eyes onto his mug.
'Not really. I mean, we do. On Thanksgivings and Christmases. At least when mom and dad are home.'
Kurt turned his head back in Blaine's direction, surprised.
'Why wouldn't they be home on holidays?'
'They work a lot.'
With an acknowledging nod, Kurt decided it wasn't something Blaine wanted to talk about.
He sipped his tea as slowly as he possibly could, but still it seemed too fast. Regretfully, he drank the remainder and set the empty mug on the counter in front of Blaine.
'Thanks for the tea. It was really civil of you.' He hesitated for a second. 'See you around.'
Kurt directed his steps back into the hall and grabbed his things. He turned, when he heard a rustle behind him. Blaine was standing in the doorway, wide-eyed and disoriented.
'What are you doing?'
'Leaving. I'm not going to bother you. You were too nice to me already.'
For a moment they were standing frozen, facing each other, with their gazes stuck to the other's eyes. Blaine noticed Kurt's eyes were a curious colour that was blue, green and grey at the same time. And Kurt found himself dazzled by the hazel tinged with gold of Blaine's irises.
Kurt's breath hitched. He had been wishing to hear that since the door opened before him, but that was just a wish he knew couldn't come true.
'Are you serious?,' he choked out. 'I really don't want to be a bother. And I have to look for a place to stay.'
'You don't have to,' Blaine said hurriedly. Why was he even doing it? Offering shelter to some runaway kid he knew nothing about? For all he knew, he could wake up in a robbed house or not wake up at all, because he let a criminal or a total psycho into the house. But the loneliness he had been feeling within these four walls all his life, no matter if his parents or Cooper were there, was becoming increasingly painful. 'You can stay here.'
Kurt didn't move. He kept his eyes glued to Blaine's face, looking for a clue as to whether he was playing a prank on him. But it all felt sincere. The hazel eyes were filled with warmth, sympathy, and kindness, and… Was that hope?
'Okay,' said Kurt, releasing the handle of his suitcase.
A/N: Just to place this story for you in reference to canon: it takes place more or less in the first half of season 1, but something that happened in Preggers DID NOT happen in this slight AU. It'll be explained later in the story. And here I'm taking the liberty to make Blaine Kurt's age, according to the theory that he could have got held up a year by the Sadie Hawkins incident.
The title is taken from the song Unintended by Muse.
I'm writing two stories basically simultaneously right now, and I'm going back to uni next week with an M.A. thesis looming, so I can give no guarantees as to how often I will update. But I promise to try my best and do it as often as I can. Plus, I have a few chapters written in advance, both of this story and of Letters from Somewhere.