A/N: Here it is, I hope you enjoy it! :D The next chapter will hopefully be in 2 or 3 weeks.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, baby. I don't own Glee, oh-oooh. (to the tune of Don't You Want Me)
Chapter Fourteen: Hello, I Love You.
Blaine was finally a part of the Glee club. He'd auditioned with Teenage Dream, since Kurt had appreciated it so much when he'd sang it in the car, and everyone had loved it. Mercedes had told him that he was incredibly hot and that every girl in this school would want him, even if he didn't want them. He wasn't sure he agreed with that. Rachel had said that he might even avoid getting bullied. He definitely didn't agree with that. Kurt's opinion was that he should join the football team as soon as possible to avoid the bullying. But he didn't want to hide behind a letterman jacket. Kurt was always so brave, facing up to the bullies, and he was determined to be like that. He was going to walk into school with his head held high, no matter what happened.
Fixing a grin on his face, insides a bundle of nerves, he managed to reach his locker without any problems.
He should've known it would be too good to last.
"Hey, Anderson!" He turned around, aware as he did so that he had made a bad decision. "Welcome to the Glee club, homo!"
The slushy hitting his face was almost more painful than the beating he'd been through after Sadie Hawkins. It was cold, unpleasantly so, and the dye in the drink stung his eyes. And it wasn't just cold and painful: it was humiliating. He could feel eyes on him, though nobody offered help or reprimanded the laughing jocks for their actions. High schools were all the same. At least no-one else was laughing. Wiping at his eyes, he made off hastily, glad he hadn't yet retrieved his books from his locker. At least they wouldn't be covered in blue syrup.
He cleaned up as best as he could in the bathroom, having to wash his hair fairly thoroughly. It was just beginning to spring up into the curled mess he knew all too well when Kurt walked in, stopping short when he saw Blaine. "So they got you too, huh?" He asked with sympathy.
"Yeah. Could you do me a favour and get my spare shirt and hair gel from my locker?" Blaine asked, happy to trust Kurt with the locker combination, and glad he'd taken his friends' advice and kept a spare shirt in his locker.
Ten minutes later, he was re-gelling his hair, having changed – in a cubicle, because he and Kurt were both shy – and feeling a lot better.
Kurt was standing with his arms folded, looking melancholy. "I thought..." He stopped, shook his head. "We all thought... that we had gotten somewhere, when we won Sectionals. That maybe the school wouldn't hate us anymore, considering we're good at what we do. We thought we'd get some respect, finally. But nothing's changed."
Blaine washed his hands of the gel, trying to think of something comforting to say. "Screw them." He said, finally. "In twenty or thirty or forty years, when you're looking back at your high school life, you're not going to remember the idiots who bullied you and made your life miserable. You're going to remember Glee club, your friends, and winning the competitions. You're going to remember winning Nationals. Yeah, it sucks right now, but you know that you won, and you know what a big deal that is. Those jocks, they can suck it, because they'll never have that... magical feeling you get when you're singing your heart out and everyone's watching you."
"Winning Nationals, huh?" Kurt asked, a small smile on his face. "I don't know about that."
"Even if it doesn't happen this year, we've still got two years. And we're going to do it. Not because winning is everything, but because we love music so much that we'll work hard enough that we'll blow the competition out of the water." Blaine said determinedly. "Come on, we'd better get to class." He added, checking his watch. The bell had rung five minutes ago and he wasn't sure if teachers accepted slushy clean-up as an excuse.
Blaine's first Glee club meeting was about to begin. Well, it might actually be an art class, considering that Mr Schuester was drawing a stickman on the board, and a speech bubble with "HELLO" written in it. Blaine was sat between Rachel and Kurt, looking attentive and excited. Glee club was going to be a good influence on him. Though he was now relaxed and comfortable when in the company of Kurt and their friends, he was rarely so eager. It was obvious that music was something he loved, contrary to what he'd tried to tell Kurt.
Kurt didn't even bother responding when Schuester said "hello" for the second time in an attempt to get them to respond. Blaine and Rachel both repeated the greeting enthusiastically. Maybe they were twins who had been separated at birth. Same age, same height, similar personalities – though Blaine was way less annoying – similar skin colour...
"What do you guys say when you answer the phone?"
Oh god, Schue was on a theme-of-the-week mission.
"Who dis be?"
"No, she's dead. This is her son." Kurt put in, and Blaine patted his knee sympathetically, which was quite thoughtful and unexpected.
Schuester, unsurprisingly, skimmed over that response quickly, and continued waffling about phone greetings.
"We need a new... hello." Sometimes he could swear that their teacher thought they were kindergartners, or something. They were all fifteen or sixteen, after all.
The bell rang, and they all got up to leave, Blaine practically bouncing out.
"So, got any ideas for the assignment?" Kurt asked him, holding back a smile.
"I think I have an idea. What about you?" Blaine said, giving him no opportunity to ask what the idea was.
"Beyonce has a hello song which I think expresses my feelings perfectly." It was like she'd written it about how he felt about Finn.
"Uh... "you had me at hello"? Yeah, I get you." Blaine had an odd expression on his face. Before Kurt could ask him if he was okay, Finn walked past them, looking kind of dazed as Rachel talked on and on about herself. He obviously wasn't happy with her. It was only a matter of time until they broke up, and Kurt would have his chance. He already had an idea of how to set himself up with Finn, but Rachel needed to be out of the picture first. God knew he'd tried, when he'd got Rachel to dress as Sandy from Grease, but maybe the best thing to do was to let Finn realise for himself that they weren't meant for each other... or maybe not. He had his plan, after all. This one was guaranteed to work. And he'd already ensured that Finn thought of him in a positive way by being there for him. He'd be the first person Finn came to if he was single and needed someone to talk to.
He suddenly became aware that Blaine was talking. "Sorry, what?"
Blaine paused, then shook his head. "Nothing, don't worry. I should get to class." He turned and left, leaving Kurt feeling guilty. No matter how much he liked Finn, he couldn't let the crush get in the way of his friendships.
"I'm named after Rachel Greene from Friends. My dads are huge fans." Rachel was saying as Blaine reached their table at lunchtime, tray held in his hands.
He slid into the seat next to Kurt and Tina and began eating. The latter smiled briefly at him before speaking up. "My mom had a list of fifty names. They took ages narrowing it down, but they liked Tina because it means 'follower of Christ'."
"Rachel's a name from the Old Testament, of course. We're Jewish." Rachel directed the last two words at Blaine, who nodded, though he was now wondering if all the New Directions were religious.
"Mercedes is a type of butterfly. My dad chose it." Mercedes told them, smiling.
"Awh!" Tina cooed.
Artie shrugged. "My mom just liked the name."
"Same." Blaine put in quickly, not wanting to admit that his mom had chosen it because she wanted a fairly rare name.
"I'm named after Kurt from The Sound of Music. It was my mom's favourite movie."
"I don't think I've ever seen it."
Shocked faces met Blaine's casual – or so he thought – statement.
Backpedalling quickly: "I've heard of it?"
"You've never seen the five-time Oscar winning, Golden Globe recipient, timeless classic, frequently referred to as the best film of all time?" Rachel asked, looking like he'd just admitted he had sex dreams about Coach Sylvester.
That was an awful thought. Moving on quickly...
"No, sorry..." He was beginning to think he shouldn't have said anything. Rachel looked mutinous.
"The hills are alive with the sound of music." Tina sang, then, seeing the confusion on his face, "No?"
"I was raised on Disney and kids' TV. My parents aren't really fans of musicals, or theatre." His dad preferred action movies and comedies, and his mom loved sci-fi and coming-of-age movies. Cooper shared their tastes.
Kurt shook his head. "If I didn't believe in never skipping class, I'd take you home to watch it right now. As it is, I'll have to wait until after school."
Blaine laughed. "Should I be worried?"
"It's three hours long. Good luck, bro." Artie told him seriously.
Three hours alone with Kurt. He only just managed to stop himself from grinning excitedly. "I'll survive. Maybe."
"Never seen The Sound of Music." Rachel muttered indignantly under her breath.
Blaine floundered, trying to think of something to say.
"How's everyone doing with their Hello assignments?" Tina asked, and he flashed her a thankful smile.
"I have too many ideas to choose from. I'm going to have to talk to Mr Schue to decide." Rachel said, eyes lit up in a way that not even The Sound of Music could achieve.
Kurt rolled his eyes at her. "My choice is Beyonce's Hello. We all know I'm the king of Beyonce tunes."
"You mean the king of all tunes." Blaine corrected him, with a smile. "And you're the queen, Rachel." He added quickly, seeing that she was opening her mouth, presumably to protest. She looked satisfied, and he grinned.
"Well, anything my voice doesn't suit, yours does. We can rule all tunes together." Kurt said, and nudged him.
"Cute." Tina cooed. "Mercedes?"
"I haven't really had time to think about it." Mercedes shrugged.
"Blaine?" Tina asked.
"Take That have a Hello song." He managed to avoid meeting Kurt's eyes, instead concentrating on eating his food, which he'd abandoned when he'd admitted he hadn't seen The Sound of Music.
There was a moment of silence. "Artie?"
Hello was a love song. When he'd been listening to it, the lyrics "Never thought that anyone could change my view, but everything looks different when I'm looking around with you" had stuck in his mind. The song reminded him of how he felt about Kurt so much, he had to pick it. Only, he was a little concerned that someone would ask him if it was about anyone in particular. Blaine wasn't good at lying, and he had no desire for any more people than those who already knew to find out about his crush on Kurt. He supposed he could pretend it was someone else he had a crush on, though he wasn't sure who he'd feel comfortable using as an alibi.
"Like he's even going to ask us what our ideas were." Artie muttered.
The bell went, signalling the end of lunch, and thankfully stopping Rachel from saying something. Occasionally the topic of Mr Schuester's favouritism of Rachel came up, and Rachel usually defended herself by saying that she was the most talented, so it was only fair that she was the one who spent the most time singing. This always resulted in Kurt and Mercedes arguing with her on the grounds that they were just as talented, and Tina and Artie looking rejected.
Yeah, it was much better that they avoided that topic.
"Okay, so, The Sound of Music. You don't mind if I sing along to all the songs, do you?" Kurt asked, that afternoon after school, as he crouched to put the DVD in.
"Of course not. You know I love your voice." Blaine smiled, a little shyly. It seemed sort of... well... gay to tell another guy that you loved their voice.
"Speaking of singing... did you pick Hello with any specific person in mind?" Kurt asked him with a sly smile, standing and walking over to the couch.
Blaine panicked. "No."
"There is someone, isn't there?" Kurt looked delighted, sitting down on the couch next to him.
"Come on, Kurt, even if I did like someone, you and I are the only openly gay students at McKinley. I'd have to be really lucky to have a crush on someone interested in men, and they probably wouldn't be ready to come out of the closet yet anyway."
Kurt's brows furrowed. "Why do we have to label everything? Just because a guy has only ever been with girls doesn't mean he wouldn't be open to pursuing a relationship with someone of the... male... gender."
Oh, god, Kurt was still trying to play for Finn. Blaine let it slide. "Well, anyway, it doesn't matter. I don't want to pursue a relationship." Ignoring Kurt's suspicious look, he gestured to the TV screen. "C'mon, I wanna get home before midnight."
Kurt moved closer to his side. "Right, you live miles away." He hesitated for a moment. "Are you planning to drive for two hours, twice a day, for the next two and a half years?"
"Well, it's actually one hour and forty minutes." Blaine corrected in a half-jokey way, before sobering. "Yeah, we're planning on moving soon, to Kenton. It's about halfway between McKinley and the school mom works at is in Marysville, and dad can work at a different set of offices. So it'll be an hour off my journey."
"That's great." Kurt enthused, with a smile.
"Yeah. And it'll be nice to move away from Westerville. Not a lot of great memories there." Blaine shrugged.
"There are three high schools in Westerville, right?"
Blaine nodded in affirmation. "I went to Westerville Central. It's the one everyone kind of refers to as the Westerville High School."
"Why did you end up at McKinley?"
He got the feeling that Kurt had been holding in these questions for a while. "It's the best school in the area, I guess. And I wanted to go somewhere far away from Westerville. A new start." Of course, he'd actually wanted to go to Dalton Academy as it was a safe school, but his dad had refused, telling him he had to man up.
"That makes sense." Kurt said contemplatively.
"So... movie?" Blaine asked, with a winning smile. Not that he could ever tire of talking to Kurt, but he wasn't sure he wanted to talk about the specific reason that he'd had to leave Westerville.
"Right." Kurt hit play and they settled in to watch it.
Barely a minute in and Blaine was spellbound. He could sense Kurt sneaking peeks at him every so often to check that he was enjoying it, but he found it endearing rather than off-putting.
Two hours in, while they watching Captain Von Trapp and the Baroness confess to each other that they couldn't be together, the sound of the front door opening interrupted them. Kurt paused it. "Hi, dad!" He called.
Blaine stood up as Mr Hummel walked in, partly because of his manners and partly because he hadn't expected him and therefore wasn't prepared. "Hello, sir. I'm Blaine Anderson."
Mr Hummel looked vaguely impressed by his manners, and shook his hand. "Nice to meet you, Blaine. Kurt talks about you all the time."
He felt a smile spread over his face. "Oh, really? Nothing bad, I hope." He sank back into the couch, relaxing a little. He'd been worried that Mr Hummel might presume the two of them were dating and start questioning him, or something.
Kurt rolled his eyes at his father, a slight blush visible on his cheeks. "We're watching The Sound of Music."
"Move over, then." Burt sat down next to Kurt, meaning he had to move closer to Blaine (who didn't mind at all), and they watched the rest of the movie together.
By the time it ended, Kurt and Blaine were crying, and Mr Hummel's eyes were suspiciously bright.
Blaine glanced at his watch, sniffling a little. "It's half past seven, I should go."
"You could stay for dinner, if you want." Mr Hummel offered.
He hesitated, not wanting to impose.
"It's just pizza and fries, if that helps." Kurt told him, with a smile. "C'mon, or you'll end up not eating until ten."
"Okay. I'll go call my mum."
"And I'll put the pizzas in the oven. That's as far as my culinary skills stretch." Mr Hummel told Blaine with a wink.
"He's lying! I'm teaching him to cook."
Watching the two banter, Blaine couldn't help but smile. It sucked for Kurt that his mom had died, but at least he had probably the best dad in the world.
"Finn, do you want to show the club what you've got?" Schue asked, the next Monday in Glee club. He stood back, giving Finn a smile.
Kurt sat up a little straighter in his seat, suddenly very interested. Next to him, Blaine snorted a little, disguising it as a quiet cough. Kurt elbowed him.
Finn got up, a slightly shy smile on his face. This was the first solo he had performed in front of the club. Usually, Rachel and he sang together, or he sang during a group number.
"Hello, I love you, won't you tell me your name?"
Kurt nearly swooned. Finn's voice sounded so good, even if the song was probably aimed at Rachel. Though they hadn't seemed like the happy couple recently. He'd been totally uninterested in that dumb – and, frankly, terrifying – cat calendar she'd made. Maybe this was a sign that they were on the rocks. Well, that timed perfectly with Kurt's plan.
This kind of song really suited Finn's voice, he noted.
"Hello, I love you, let me jump in your game."
He would let Finn jump in his game anytime. Whatever that meant, and he had the feeling that it was probably sexual. He blushed a little at the thought, and saw Blaine smirking out of the corner of his eye. "Oh, shut up." He mouthed.
Blaine wouldn't stop grinning for the rest of Finn's performance.
"And that, fellow Glee clubbers, is how we say... hello." Rachel announced happily as she stood up, as if she'd chosen the song and choreographed the entire performance. Finn wasn't her puppet. Especially not if Kurt had a say in it.
Schue looked weirdly unsure.
The bell rang, and Rachel jumped on Mr Schue, announcing that she wanted to run some of her ideas by him. Poor man.
Kurt considered telling Finn how amazing his performance was, but as he stood up to do so, Brittany and Santana beat him to it. He left the choir room slowly, throwing glances over his shoulder to try to work out what the two wanted with him, noting their linked pinkies. That was no surprise, really. They were very close, and, apparently, friends with benefits.
Pushing the issue from his mind, he turned to Blaine. "So... Blaine. Feel like telling me who you have a crush on yet?"
Blaine looked like a rabbit caught in headlights. "N-no-one." He didn't meet Kurt's eyes, instead fiddling with his bag strap.
"I won't judge you, Blaine. I mean, look at the person I like." If he was honest, it was kind of hurtful that Blaine wouldn't tell him. "Please?"
"It's Mike." Blaine blurted out, before clapping a hand to his mouth and looking shocked.
"Mike?" Kurt raised an eyebrow. "Have you even ever spoken to him?"
"I like the strong, silent type."
Kurt wasn't sure what to say to that. He supposed it was fair enough. It wasn't as if he'd spoken to Finn before he'd fallen in love with him. Finn had been his knight in shining armour, and then he'd smiled at him, and that had pretty much been it. When you knew, you knew. Words had nothing to do with it.
Blaine was looking more and more flustered by the second. "I should... go." He muttered, before fleeing as if wild dogs were chasing him.
Kurt promised himself that he'd call Blaine later and sort this out.
"... And then I told him I liked Mike. Mike, Tina." Blaine flopped back onto his bed, phone clutched to his ear.
Muffled laughter from the other end.
"He asked if we'd ever even spoken, and I told him I like the 'strong, silent type'. Then I basically ran away." Blaine finished, groaning as he recollected the incident.
"Well, at least you didn't tell him that you like him." Tina said optimistically. "The best thing you can do is to act like normal. If anything, he'll probably apologise for having reacted badly, considering he fell for Finn when he hadn't known him for long."
"I hope you're right." Blaine sighed, running a hand through his hair, which was basically free of gel after he'd repeated this action about a hundred times on the drive home. So much time alone with your thoughts was probably bad for you. "Speaking of crushes, what's happening with you and Artie?"
"I don't know. He comforted me at Sectionals, but we haven't spoken one-on-one since then." Tina confessed. "I think I'll leave it and try and talk to him again after Christmas."
Oh, right. Christmas was in ten days. He'd been trying to forget about it. "Yeah, that makes sense."
"Only five days of school left!" Tina said brightly, probably trying to change the subject or cheer him up.
"I guess you're giving out presents on Monday?"
"Wait, we have to buy presents?" Tina asked with a laugh, before continuing: "Yeah, I am. I've only got gifts for our friends, though. I wouldn't have any clue what to buy anyone else in Glee club."
"Me too. At least I have the excuse of only having been in Glee club for a few days, though."
She laughed. "I should probably go do my homework."
"Yeah, me too."
"I'll see you tomorrow."
"See you!" Smiling, he hung up the call, before putting his phone on silent so he could concentrate on his homework.
He really enjoyed talking to Tina.
"Merry Christmas!" Kurt and Blaine chorused at each other as they met by Kurt's locker on the 22nd.
"So, you've survived a whole semester at McKinley. Well done." Kurt told Blaine with a grin as he opened his locker. They still hadn't spoken about the whole Mike thing. Blaine was hoping Kurt had forgotten.
"Thanks." Blaine smiled.
They set off for the food court together. "So, your grandparents are coming down tomorrow, right?"
Blaine grimaced. "Right."
Kurt looked surprised. "You're not looking forward to it?"
"Uh, well, they're kind of... traditionalists." He hedged.
Kurt got it, judging by the sympathetic look. "I'll text you as often as I can."
"Thank you." Blaine told him earnestly. Even if that meant he'd only get a text an hour or something, it would still be an improvement.
They reached the food court, fought through the crowds of students to get the Christmas dinner – not fancy, but it was something – and sat down at their table.
"Happy Christmas, you guys!" Mercedes announced cheerfully, Tina and Artie echoing the sentiment.
"Happy Christmas! And Happy Hanukkah, Rachel." Blaine added to the brunette in question, and was rewarded with a smile.
"Merry Christmas, Blaine. And the rest of you, I suppose, even if you didn't offer the same respect of my religious beliefs as Blaine did." Rachel said loftily.
"Happy Holidays, all of you. Better, Rachel?" Kurt asked.
She sighed loudly, which they all presumed meant that she accepted that.
The relationship between Rachel and the rest of them was still a little strained, since she'd started dating Jesse, one of their rivals. Though the two had broken up, they were still awkward, considering they'd argued with her over it. Blaine had stayed out of it. He didn't want to interfere, and it was actually good to see Rachel with someone who paid attention to her in a way that Finn had never really seemed to.
Finn had tried to get back with Rachel, and she'd turned him down. Kurt, not surprisingly, seemed entirely too pleased by all this, even if he was cross with Rachel for 'dating the competition'.
They exchanged presents. Kurt had gotten them all clothes of some kind, which left Blaine beaming as he pulled on the cardigan and hugged him. Artie had bought him The Sound of Music soundtrack, which raised laughs from all of them.
It was the best Christmas celebration of Blaine's life. The ones he'd had as a kid had been fun, but this surpassed those.
He caught Kurt's eye and smiled. So far this had been the best school year of his life. He just hoped it would get even better.
"Hello, hello! I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello."
It was their last Glee practise of the year, and Kurt was feeling optimistic. Finn was single, whatever Santana and Brittany had tried on him had obviously failed, and day of the carrying out of his plan was getting closer and closer. There was also the fact that Glee was going great, and Christmas was approaching.
Though, of course, that wasn't good news for everyone, he mused as he twirled past Blaine. It was sad for him that his family sucked, but hopefully he had seemed to enjoy the Christmas present opening earlier.
It was also sad that they weren't celebrating Christmas in Glee club this year, but Mr Schue hadn't mentioned it, and then Mercedes had pointed out that this would be his first Christmas without his wife, so they'd all kept quiet about it.
"I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello! Hello-o."
Rachel walked quickly offstage. Kurt wasn't sure what her deal was, but one look at Finn's face told him that all this was far from over.