Priorities

Author's Note: Here's another Anderbros story! :D Because I love them. And so do you. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee. If I did, then Matt Bomer would be in every second episode.

Cooper Anderson hummed under his breath as he rifled through the fridge. There was nothing particularly delicious-looking in there, so he grabbed a gala apple and shut the door. Biting into it, he mentally ran through his lines. He had a drama class in fifteen minutes and he really wanted to show everyone what he could do…especially Tabitha Barrymore. Cooper had had his eyes on Tabitha ever since she had yelled at him for throwing food in the cafeteria. He was planning to ask her out during practice. Also, he had the rest of the afternoon free, so they could go for a walk or go bowling or something. It was going to be awesome.

Also, Cooper just really liked drama club. Even though he was only fifteen, he was pretty sure that he had found his calling. He was a natural at acting. He got lots of practice through lying to his parents.

Speaking of parents. Cooper heard heels clicking on the floor just before Lily Anderson walked into the kitchen to grab her purse from the counter. "Why are you all dressed up?" he commented absently as he continued to practice his lines in his head.

"Oh, your father and I are going out. We're not going to be home until pretty late." His mother bustled around the kitchen, searching for her keys. She didn't notice Cooper looking at her, his inner monologue stopped for the moment.

The teenager frowned. "But, if you and Dad are going out, who's going to watch Blaine?"

Mrs. Anderson found her keys with a triumphant noise. She was barely paying attention to her son as she replied, "Well, you are, sweetheart."

"What?"

The woman finally stopped bustling around the kitchen and looked Cooper in the eye. "Is there a problem?"

"I have plans, Mom!" Cooper exclaimed, "You couldn't have told me this a little sooner?"

She narrowed her eyes at him. "It was kind of a last-minute thing, Cooper," she said, "And he's your brother; You have to take responsibility."

The teenager threw his hands in the air. "He's your son!"

Lily placed a hand on her hip. "Why are you making such a big deal of this?" she asked.

Cooper rolled his eyes in exasperation. "You can't just spring this on me with no warning! I have plans. I have drama practice soon and maybe something after that. What am I supposed to do? Can't you get a babysitter or something?"

"Oh, it's too short-notice for that."

"Tell me about it…"

Lily let out a long-suffering sigh. "Look, Cooper, I'm sorry. But you have to take care of Blaine for tonight. I'll pay you for it. Just…take him with you?"

Cooper stared at her. "Take him with me to drama club?" He was trying to woo a girl. This was not helping with the badass reputation he was attempting to build around himself.

"Yes," the woman clapped her hands as if it were decided, "Brotherly bonding." Cooper rolled his eyes. "Now, listen honey, I have to go or your father and I will be late."

The teenager ran a hand through his hair and leaned against the counter with a sigh. "See ya."

As Lily left the kitchen, Cooper heard her murmur, "Bye, baby. Be good for your brother, okay?" He turned to see Blaine standing in the kitchen doorway, looking hesitant. The five-year-old's wide eyes followed his mother's retreating form before returning to looking up at Cooper.

"Come on," Cooper muttered to the little boy before brushing past him and into the foyer. He heard Blaine trotting along behind him before they reached their parents.

"Thanks for doing this, Cooper," Mr. Anderson said, grasping the teenager's shoulder. Cooper just nodded. Steven Anderson then leaned down to ruffle the curly hair of his youngest son. "Be a good boy, alright?" he said, and Blaine nodded solemnly, standing close to Cooper's leg.

Cooper kept his frustrations hidden until both of his parents were out the door. Only then did he push Blaine off of him and stomp back to the kitchen. "I guess you're coming to drama practice with me," he said to his brother, who was trailing at his heels, as he always did. Blaine followed Cooper everywhere.

"Hey, Coop?" Blaine piped up. His older brother was grumbling as he took things out of the cupboard.

"What?"

Blaine peered over the top of the counter at the food that Cooper was putting in plastic bags. "What's this for?"

Cooper got out another apple from the fridge and cut it into wedges. "These are snacks for you, buddy," he explained, "We're going to hang out today."

Blaine fidgeted for a bit as he watched his brother grab a couple granola bars and a juice box. "Coop?" he ventured.

"What, Blaine?"

Blaine tugged at his curls. "…Are you mad?"

Cooper took a deep breath, then stopped the movements of his hands. "Yeah, I kind of am." He continued speaking before Blaine jumped to any conclusions, "But, I'm not mad at you, kiddo."

Blaine looked thoughtful. "Why are you mad?"

"Because…" He realized that there was no way to say it without Blaine feeling guilty. "Well, it's complicated." He put all of the snacks into Blaine's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch box and then ushered his brother out of the kitchen. "Now, scoot," the teenager said, "Let's get your jacket on."

"Are we going to the park?"

"Nope." Cooper grabbed a blanket off of a nearby chair and placed it with the lunch box in a pile. He took his suede jacket off the hook by the door and put it on before grabbing Blaine's fuzzy red coat with bumblebees on it. "Here you go, little man," he said, holding it up for Blaine to slip his arms through.

The boy pouted, but put the jacket on with Cooper's help. Blaine insisted on zipping it up by himself, however, and it took a few tries. "I'm not little," he said indignantly.

"Yeah, yeah," Cooper brushed him off, "But you'll always be little to me."


It was a slightly-brisk fall day and there was a little bit of a wind nipping at Cooper's face as he walked. He regretted the decision of not wearing a scarf, but he was already two blocks away from the house and there was no turning back. He looked behind him to see that Blaine was happily singing, snuggled in the blanket as he sat in the wagon. They always took Blaine's red wagon when they went for walks because the little boy would get tired and it was easier for Cooper to pull a wagon than carry the kid on his shoulders.

They lived only a couple streets away from the school, where drama practice was held. By the time they got there, Blaine had sung through 'Oops, I Did It Again' about twelve times. He didn't know most of the words, but that didn't stop him from making some up. Cooper rolled the wagon to a stop near the front door of the school and rubbed his hands together for warmth. "Okay, kiddo," he said, "We're here. That's enough of Britney."

"It's Britney, bitch," Blaine stated happily.

"Hey," Cooper said sternly, "That's a bad word. Don't say it, okay?" Blaine pouted, but nodded. "Grab your lunch kit. No, leave the blanket. There we go." He lifted his little brother over the protective rails around the box of the wagon and placed him on the ground.

The teenager allowed Blaine to hold his hand as they walked down the hallways, but that was only because he knew that everybody would be in the auditorium and none of his peers would see. Blaine clutched his TMNT lunch box to his chest as he looked around at the artwork on the walls. "Come on, buddy. Keep up," Cooper said. He was late for rehearsal again…and he wasn't sure whether Tabitha would find that embarrassing or badass.

When they finally got to the right door, Cooper stopped outside of it and crouched on the ground so that he was at eye-level with his brother. "Listen, Blaine," he said. The little boy's hazel eyes were trained on his face seriously. "This is a very important rehearsal, okay? And there are no little boys allowed, but you're the special exception. So, you have to sit in the corner, eat your snack and be very quiet. Understand?" Blaine nodded vigorously. "Okay, let's go."

Blaine tried to grab his brother's hand again when they entered through the door, but Cooper pulled it away. Instead, the little boy followed him, obediently quiet. "Mr. Anderson, thank you for finally joining us," the teacher said, adjusting his glasses. Cooper just grinned. The middle-aged man pointed to Blaine, who was standing behind Cooper's long legs and staring back at him confidently. "And who's this?" he asked.

"Oh, this is my kid brother. I got stuck babysitting." He pushed Blaine towards a seat near the far wall. "He'll just sit quiet, though. You won't even know he's there." Blaine nodded and got comfortable in the chair.

The teacher, Mr. Adams, shrugged. "Alright. We were just about to go over your scene, actually." Cooper sat down next to Tabitha and winked at her. She rolled her eyes and returned her attention to the adult standing in front of the stage. "Remember, this scene is all about the feelings of betrayal. So, Cooper, in order to get that across, what do you do?"

"Point a lot," Cooper said matter-of-factly, "And yell."

The teacher sighed. "Not exactly what I was going for," he amended, "I was hoping you'd say 'diction', as I've been reminding you all week. But, that works too."

Unexpectedly, a small voice piped up, "Mr. Drama-Teacher, what's diction?"

Mr. Adams looked to the source of the question to see Cooper's little brother eating a slice of apple and paying more attention than most of the actual drama students. "Um, well," he said, a little startled by the question from the five-year-old. "It's when you—"

Cooper cut the teacher off, "You don't have to answer him." He turned to his brother, who looked back with guilty, hazel eyes. "Blaine, what did I tell you?"

Blaine sunk down in his seat a little and placed a hand over his mouth.

"That's better." The teenager turned back to face the man. "How about we take it from the top of my scene?"

"Well, if you—"

Cooper jumped up and pointed to one of the other drama kids. "Damien! How dare you!?" he yelled, pointing dramatically. Mr. Adams sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose.


Since he had forgotten his script, Cooper decided that he was going to be off-book. He didn't know many of his scenes, but his ad-libbing was fantastic, even though it veered off the original plot, sometimes. The rehearsal was almost over and Cooper was really hitting his stride when he was interrupted for the second time by his brother. They had moved onto the stage in order to figure out blocking issues, which was difficult with Cooper ignoring the other actors all the time. Then, a little voice had called out, "Coop!" and the teenager had to move to the edge of the stage to converse with his brother.

"What do you want, Blaine?" he asked. He noticed Tabitha looking over at him and he hoped that it was because she was checking out his ass and not because she was making fun of him.

The little boy shifted his weight. "I have to pee," he said.

Cooper sighed. "We have, like, fifteen minutes left," he said, running a hand through his hair, "Can't you wait?"

"No." Blaine stated.

The fifteen-year-old glanced behind him and saw that Tabitha's flock of friends had abandoned her momentarily. A perfect opportunity. "Okay, walk down the aisle and out of the auditorium. Then, take a left and it's the third-ish door on the right. I gotta go, kiddo." Then, he straightened up and walked casually towards Tabitha, leaving Blaine fidgeting and confused. With a shrug, the little boy decided to go find the bathroom by himself and he scurried off.

A red-haired girl named Emily was frolicking around on stage as she performed her monologue. Neither he nor Tabitha had a part in the scene they were going over, so Cooper spent the next ten minutes talking to her. He thought he was doing a fantastic job in wooing her. "So, would you like to go for a walk after this? Or bowling, or something?" he asked smoothly.

Tabitha pursed her lips and played with a strand of blonde hair. "Are you asking me out, Anderson?" Cooper nodded. "Hm," she thought for a while. "Okay, whatever, sure." Cooper did a triumphant fist-making, arm-tensing thing. "But, what about the kid?"

"You mean Blaine? I'll just drop him off at home or something." Cooper smiled at her and started up a story about when he was doing jumps while skateboarding.

It was then that their practice was interrupted. A pretty woman with long, dark hair was walking down the aisle between seats. "Excuse me?" she called out in her British accent.

The drama teacher looked up from the script. "Oh, Ms. Rupra. What can I do for you?"

Ms. Rupra gently brought forward the little boy who was holding onto her hand and said, "I found this little one wandering the hallways. Does he belong to someone here?" It was Blaine, curls dishevelled and cheeks wet from crying.

Cooper immediately jumped down from the stage. "Yeah, he's mine," he said, approaching his Creative Writing teacher and his brother. "Blaine, did you get lost? Come here," he said softly, kneeling to the ground as Blaine met him for a hug. The little boy buried his face in Cooper's shirt. "I'm so sorry, buddy. Are you okay?"

"Yeah." Blaine's voice was muffled, but still distinguishable, "The nice lady found me and helped me find the bathroom and then brought me here. And then she told me a story about a fly that was on a mission in Canada…but she wouldn't tell me the ending."

Cooper looked up at Ms. Rupra, who was standing to the side, not sure what do to. "Thank you," he said gratefully, "I've got him now."

"Alright, but don't let him run off again," she said, patting Blaine gently on the back, "Bye, Blaine." Blaine returned the goodbye, then she waved to Mr. Adams and left the auditorium.

Cooper grabbed a Kleenex to clean up Blaine's face as the rest of the club finished off the scene. Then, he sat in the front row to watch, making lame jokes just so that Blaine would laugh. The little boy leaned over from the seat beside him and pressed his cheek to Cooper's shoulder. Blaine had always been an affectionate child; it stemmed from him being the baby of the family and getting lots of cuddles and attention.

The rehearsal ended and Mr. Adams dismissed everyone a few minutes later. Cooper was just zipping up Blaine's bumblebee coat when Tabitha walked up to him. "So, are we going out or what?" she asked, rooting through her purse.

Cooper put a wrapper inside the lunch box and turned to her, "Oh, um…yeah."

She gave him an impatient look. "Well, are you going to ditch the kid or is he gonna sit this one in, too?"

Cooper realized two things in that moment; 1) Tabitha clearly didn't want his little brother around. 2) Blaine was way more important to Cooper than she was.

"Actually, no," Cooper said, grabbing his brother's hand and picking up the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lunch box. "You know what, Tabitha? I actually don't have time today."

Tabitha shrugged and muttered, "Whatever," before walking away. Blaine stuck his tongue out at her, behind her back.

"Come on, squirt," Cooper said, "Let's go home."

When Mr. and Mrs. Anderson came home late that night, it was to the smell of cookies in the kitchen and their two boys passed out on the couch with colouring book pages strewn across the living room.

Author's Second Note: All the Anderbros feels. :P What did you think? Please let me know in a review! Also, if you liked this one, check out my other story called "Promises". :) Hope you're having a good day!

Take care.

-Patricia Sage