I know the updates for this are coming sort of slowly, but I just want to make sure that I do the story justice. This piece has been hard to write, but as you can probably tell, the end is in sight.
Come say hi on Tumblr: mspracticalamanda
"I hate it when I forget to take my makeup off the night before. I look insane in the morning," Wade said, finally breaking the painful silence that had been prevailing over breakfast for the last twenty minutes. After the excitement of the night before he had been stress making waffles for almost the entire morning, leaving the apartment with a mountain of breakfast food. The promise of the treat was the only thing that got Blaine out of bed that morning.
Kurt hummed in acknowledgement, still not quiet ready to engage in conversation. He knew that at some point he and Blaine would have to talk about what had happened the previous night and what it meant for their relationship and Blaine's public image, but for now he was content to let them all enjoy breakfast. Yes, Blaine had been planning to come out, but being outed in such a violent manner was something else entirely.
"Can you pass the syrup please," Blaine said quietly. It wasn't much, but it was the first thing he'd said all day, and Kurt was willing to take it as a victory as he passed the item to his boyfriend, and allowed them to plunge back into silence. The only noise was coming from the TV that was now firmly set to the food network in order to avoid the possibility of more news. "These are really good, Wade," he added with a forced smile. Blaine knew they were waiting for his reaction before they started talking about it, but he just wasn't there yet.
"Thanks. I got the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box," he said with a wry grin.
There was another moment of tense silence before Blaine burst out laughing, completely throwing off Kurt and Wade, but soon they were joining in, relief coursing through everyone's minds. Things were tough, but they could still laugh. Kurt knew in that moment that no matter what, they were going to be okay.
Waffles have turned out to be sort of a go to comfort food for us since then. It worked so well once, we figured we might as well stick with tradition. And of course, the trusty recipe on the back of the Bisquick box has been a constant. No matter how much of a gourmet food snob I've become over the years, that's the one thing in our house that will always be made from a mix.
Wade left shortly after breakfast to bring flowers to one of his friends who had sustained some minor injuries and had to spend the night in the hospital. Kurt was grateful that he had been around to help them get through the morning, but he was equally grateful to have this time alone with Blaine now that the ice had been thawed slightly.
"We should probably take people some flowers too at some point. I think it would be a nice gesture," Blaine said, sitting down across from Kurt at the kitchen table after he had put away the last of the dishes. Kurt had tried to do them himself, but Blaine had rushed at the chance to keep himself busy for a little longer. "I think it's the right thing to do."
"Really?" he said, a bit flabbergasted that Blaine was considering leaving the house at all. "I mean...of course I'd be happy to do that with you, but are you sure you want to...I mean are you sure you're ready to...do you maybe what to think about..."
"Kurt I have done nothing but think about the possibility of coming out for the last six weeks, and if you want to get technical about it, most of the last six years. I think it's time I stop thinking and start doing," he said. His voice was firm, but there was no malice behind it. "I've been up half the night thinking about it, and as scared as I am to face the press, I'm much more scared for those people who are are in the hospital right now, so if you don't mind I'd like it if we could go to the hospital. Please," he added, folding his hands in front of him and giving Kurt a firm look that left no room for argument.
Kurt didn't answer, but instead walked around the table and gave Blaine a firm hug, "I'm so proud to be with you," he whispered in his ear.
"Good. I want you to be," Blaine whispered back.
For all the times that Blaine has referred to me as his rock, and the times that he's told me that I'm the epitome of courage, I wish that I had the words to tell him the same in equal measure. Blaine feels so strongly that he wouldn't have gotten through this time in his life if it weren't for me. He even alluded to it in his wedding vows, but (though it's nice to feel important) I wish he knew how strongly I feel that he is amazing enough to do anything he puts his mind to without any help from me or anyone else. And, this moment proved that for me.
He probably shouldn't have been, but Blaine was surprised to see reporters loitering outside of the hospital where victims of the bombing were being treated. He didn't think it was wise to talk to any of them before he responded to one of the 17 alerts he had received on his pager from his manager and his father, but there was nothing to stop them from snapping picture of him and Kurt walking through the front doors. He wanted so badly to reach out and take Kurt's hand for comfort, but he didn't think it would be a good idea at this point.
Instead, he continued to clutch the bouquets, that they had picked out at the grocery store on their way here, and stared determinedly in front of him, not sparing a second glance for the camera men who had suddenly sprung into action at the sight of them.
"Mr. Anderson, do you have anything to say about the events of last night?"
"Mr. Anderson, what happened after you escaped the building last night?"
"Mr. Anderson, are we to take this as confirmation that you're gay?'
"Mr. Anderson, who are you here with today?"
The shouts of the reporters were all a blur, and he could barely decipher one question from another, but it didn't matter. He wasn't going to answer any of them anyway. He was relieved when he finally reached the threshold of the hospital and all of the shouting faded away.
If I was a casting director, I probably would have given my card to every person that worked at the hospital that day. If any of them recognized Blaine (which even if the shouting reporters hadn't tipped them off, his name on the guest sign in sheet would have), they did a bang up job of hiding it. I know it's their job to be professional and discreet, but I was impressed none the less. Blaine may have still been in his "bearded disguise" mode, but without the dim lights of the club it wasn't much of a disguise at all.
After signing in, Blaine and Kurt found Wade in the burn care unit, sitting beside a young man who had bandages wrapped around both his legs, but otherwise looked to be in okay condition.
Kurt knocked gently on the door, "can we come in?" he asked softly. Two pairs of eyes turned towards him, and it was only then that Kurt realized how young the person in the bed was. He couldn't have been older than sixteen or seventeen.
Wade looked to the boy for confirmation, and with a tiny nod he indicated his consent. He waved in Kurt and Blaine and moved over a chair so that there was room around the bed for the three of them. "Guys I'd like you to mean Thomas. Thomas this is my dear friend Kurt and his...," Wade trailed off, unsure of how to introduce Blaine.
"Boyfriend," Blaine finished for him, taking a seat next to Kurt. "I'm his boyfriend, Blaine."
Wade looked slightly taken aback, but mostly pleased and he gave Blaine a warm smile, "Thomas is a busboy at the club. He got some pretty nasty burns from last night, but the doc says he'll be good as new in a few weeks, and he can probably leave the hospital by tomorrow."
Thomas still hadn't said a word, but he was staring intently at Blaine, as if he was trying to figure out where he knew him from.
"We're glad you're okay," Kurt said, happy to do the talking for now. "We got some flowers for everyone. You're our first stop, so you get to pick your favorite," he said, bringing the grocery bag to his lap to show Thomas his choices.
He still remained silent, but he dutifully looked at each bunch of flowers in turn, carefully making his decision, "I like these," he said finally, pointing to a collection of daisies. "Thank you," he added, giving the two men the first smile they had seen from the teenager.
"Daisies are my favorite, too," Blaine said, pulling the bag down from Kurt's lap and placing him beside his chair for safe keeping. "I had a neighbor growing up who liked to garden and she would always let me help. We would always plant Daisies," he said fondly.
"Have I...have we met before?" Thomas said shyly, "You um...you look familiar."
Blaine smiled. Ordinarily he would be panicked to be caught in the situation, but the events of last night had basically blown his cover wide open. He had nothing to lose at this point. And hey, maybe the kid was a fan and he could make him a smile. He was so young, and to already be the victim of a horrible hate crime..., "I don't think we've met before, but I'm an actor, so you may have seen me on TV," he said, trying to sound nonchalant.
Thomas's eyes went wide, "wait, are you Blaine Anderson?" he practically squealed. "I can't believe I didn't recognize you immediately! It must be the beard. I have all of the CDs from Dalton, and I may or may not have your poster on my wall, and...wait a second, you're gay?" he turned to Wade and raised both of his eyebrows, "Auntie Unique, is this one of those dreams? Can you pinch me?"
The three adults in the room burst out laughing, diffusing the tension that had built up over the past few minutes since Thomas started putting the pieces together, "No, baby, you're awake," Unique said with a chuckle.
Blaine smiled at Thomas, "but you're one of the first to know, so I'd really like it if you could keep a secret until I manage to figure out how to tell everyone else," Blaine said with a wink.
There was the old Anderson charm again. Even under the circumstances, Blaine was always able to turn it on for a fan.
"Hey, why don't you guys go get us some snacks," Blaine said pointedly to Wade and Kurt. "I want to talk to my new friend Thomas for a little, okay?"
The two other men were surprised, but they agreed and headed into the hall towards the cafeteria.
"So, how do you know Thomas, Auntie Unique," Kurt teased, nudging his best friend in the ribs.
Wade rolled his eyes, "you know the younger kids in the scene look up to me. It's just a little nickname I picked up," he said. "Thomas is by far the youngest though, and I've sort of taken him under my wing. Kid's had a tough life, you know."
Kurt nodded, "I'm guessing you're not just referring to what happened last night?" he asked knowingly.
Wade sighed, "Jay, the bouncer at the club from last night, caught him trying to sneak in one Saturday a few months ago, and he spent the whole night sitting on the sidewalk outside. When the club was closing and he still hadn't left, Jay asked him where home was. He was going to try and get him a cab or something, but the kid said 'Pennsylvania'," Wade said, shaking his head. "Apparently his parents kicked him out when they caught him kissing another guy, so he hopped a bus to New York. Jay, bless his heart, took pity on the kid—gave him a place to stay and got him a job as a bus boy at the club. It's probably not totally kosher to have a sixteen year old working at a bar like that, but Jay and the girls keep him on the straight and narrow, make sure he goes to school and everything."
"How do you just abandon your child like that," Kurt said, shaking his head furiously, but he was all too aware that Thomas's story wasn't especially unique.
"Trust me, I'm with you," Wade said, as the two turned the corner into the cafeteria, "but he's got us now. We'll take care of him, and I think meeting Blaine will be a real highlight for him, even if it had to come from such a crappy situation."
Kurt nodded, "I wonder what they're talking about in there," he mused.
Wade shrugged, and folded his arms across his chest, "look, Kurt," Wade said, taking a deep breath before continuing, "I didn't want to say this in front of Blaine, but I just want you guys to know that what Blaine is doing, even if it's a little forced and rushed, is going to be huge for a lot of people. There are...there are a lot of Thomas's out there, and the more people like Blaine come out, and tell people that being gay isn't something to be ashamed of, the better off those kids are going to be. We've come a long way in this world, Kurt, but we're not going to get any further unless more people follow in Ellen's footsteps."
Kurt bit his lip, thinking of how to respond, "you're right," he finally said, "and for what it's worth, I think Blaine knows that. I think that's part of why he wanted to talk to Thomas personally. And, it's true, it was rushed, but the more I see how he's behaving today, I think we're ready. I think he's ready."
"Thanks for sharing that with me, Thomas," Blaine said. Thomas had just finished telling him about leaving home in Pennsylvania and making his way to a new life in New York. "I think you're really brave," he added.
Thomas shrugged it off in a way that only a teenager could. I mean, you did tell me your deepest darkest secret so..."
Blaine chuckled, "not such a secret anymore," he said, with a tight smile. "Pictures of me from the club last night are probably on the cover of every entertainment news source in the city—maybe even the country."
"You could always make something up," Thomas said, "say you were there with a friend. Everyone thinks you're dating that Rachel Berry chick anyway, and she's an enormous hag. Everyone would believe it."
Blaine snorted, "it's true. I could," he said, "but I was already planning to come out anyway, and frankly, I love her to death, but I'd rather everyone know I'm gay than have people think I'm dating Rachel for much longer."
Thomas laughed, and Blaine was filled with pride that he was able to make the kid smile even in this crummy situation, "for what it's worth," Thomas said, getting serious again. "I think it would be really cool to have someone like you come out publicly. I'm mean...Ellen's great, but I want to score one for team gay, even if you are taken," he added, a light blush staining his cheeks.
Blaine laughed again, appreciating Thomas's quiet enthusiasm as compared to the screaming teenage girls he'd encountered in his time in the spotlight, "that's another plus. Kurt and I wouldn't have to sneak around anymore. He deserves that."
"Well, I say if you love him, you should be able to tell the world!" Thomas said, a broad smile covering his young face.
"I do love him," Blaine replied, "but that's top secret okay? No blabbing!"
"What's top secret?" Wade said, slipping back into the room with Kurt close on his heals.
"I tried to get him to knock. I swear," Kurt said, rolling his eyes at his best friend.
"Blaine was just telling me that sometimes he uses your eyebrow trimmers on his nose hair," Thomas said quickly. Blaine gave him a panicked look while Wade and Kurt were busying themselves with the snacks. "It was the first thing I could think of!" he mouthed at Blaine, who was glaring playfully at the boy.
"Well I can see you two are thick as thieves already," Kurt said, sitting back down next to Blaine and taking his hand. "I'm glad you're getting along, but if you ever touch any of my grooming tools again I'm never letting you back into the apartment," he added sweetly, kissing Blaine on the cheek and laughing at the way he was sputtering.
"I do not...," Blaine began.
"It's okay just don't do it again," Kurt sad with a laugh. "Now, dig in. I know hospital food kind of sucks, but we should have a snack before heading to the other rooms."
"Still no news on who the mystery man is, but inside reports from the hospital told us that Blaine was in fact there to visit victims of the bombing this past Saturday night. We'll report details as we get them, but the question of Anderson's sexuality is still wide open,"
Blaine's agent read aloud from the magazine with Blaine's dad and Blaine himself sitting across from him at his office, "you know you're lucky I'm a patient man, Blaine," he said almost too calmly, "another person would probably have dropped you from the agency already. As it stands, we're really behind on damage control already so let's talk TV appearances. We need to get in all the papers with official statements before the Emmy's if you want a prayer of making it out of this thing without people thinking you're gay. I mean they're already going to think that, but we can try to minimize the..."
"No," Blaine said, cutting him off. "We're not doing any of that. I'm not doing any of that. I am gay and I'm sick of hiding it. "
Blaine's father didn't say anything, but Blaine was happy for his silent support, "Blaine, don't be a hero. It's not worth it. Your career is going to completely nose dive. And don't you dare bring up Ellen, your markets are totally different."
Blaine scrubbed his face with his hand in frustration, "Look, John, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but I'm exhausted. The lying and the pretending is exhausting, and I'm ready for it to be over."
John was quiet for a moment, unsure of what to say, "Blaine I don't...," he gave the other man an unreadable look, moving his eyes back and forth between father and son, searching for the right thing to say. "You know personally, Blaine, I don't...I don't really care what you do in your personal life, but I can't...I just...,"
"I get it, Joe. I know you can't represent me anymore. I knew that going into this whole thing, and there's...there's no hard feelings," Blaine said. "It's just business. Maybe in another time things could be different, but I understand that not everyone is as ready to take the leap as I am. In a few weeks, I'm going to go to the Emmy's and win or lose, I'm going to be honest with everyone about who I am, and even though you can't give it to me professionally, I appreciate your personal support. I really do," and with that, Blaine stood up and left the room, his Dad close behind him.
"I'm really proud of the man you've become, Blaine," Mr. Anderson said once the door was closed behind them, speaking for the first time since they had entered the meeting. "I just want you to know that."
Blaine turned around to face his father, "thanks, Dad. That means a lot," Blaine said, thinking with some melancholy of his new friend Thomas. He was going to do this, not just for himself and for Kurt, but for all the Thomas's out there "You have no idea how much."