Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters; Ryan Murphy and Co. hold that honor. I'm simply writing this for fun, not profit.
Cooper Anderson was nothing if not dedicated.
A lesser man might have backed down when he saw Blaine, but he had promised to take him to the dentist for his wisdom teeth removal and he wasn't about to concede just because the task at hand was more formidable than he had initially thought it would be.
"I'll just need you to sign here and here," the nurse at the checkout station said as Cooper obliged, pointedly ignoring the plaintive, "Coop. Coop, come back," coming from the down the hall. "And then these are yours," the nurse added, handing him a stack of paperwork as well as an order form for painkillers.
Cooper flashed her a winning smile and a brisk, "Thank you," as he hurried back to the room where Blaine was being held.
Pre-surgery, Blaine had been tense, anxious, and jittery in a way that had made Cooper want to whack him on the back of the head with a rolled up newspaper just to make him stop twitching. Cooper had known that Blaine didn't like the dentist, but Blaine's nerves had been interfering with the conference call that Cooper had been trying to take at the time. Surprisingly, it had still ended well, and the prospect of starring in yet another commercial had put a little bounce in Cooper's step in spite of his present misfortune. Being saddled with Blaine hadn't even seemed half-bad until he'd seen him post-surgery in the recovery room.
Unlike his pre-surgery self, post-surgery Blaine was so intrigued by the world at large that Cooper barely had enough hands to keep him contained. According to the nurse that approached Cooper after the operation, the first thing Blaine had done upon regaining consciousness was ask "What's that?" and almost pull out his IV. He'd then tripped when the nurse had asked him to stand and successfully removed the gauze from his mouth on the third attempt before anyone else could stop him. Fearing the havoc he could wreak unattended, Cooper didn't waste time nudging the door open and saying, "Freeze!"
Blaine blinked over at him, wide-eyed and already slightly chipmunk-cheeked, comically disarrayed as he sat back on the bed and beamed at him. "You came back," he said, sounding delighted. The gauze muffled every other word, but Cooper had learned all manners of Blaine-speak, including fluency in both slurred speech induced comments of the "My mouf hurfs" variety and insightful early morning feedback such as "Wazzgoinon?" Thankfully Blaine didn't seem in a mood to protest as Cooper crouched down and stuffed his feet back into his shoes, eliciting a series of giggles and another indignant round of "Coop. Cooper. Cooper."
Theoretically, any word could lose its meaning with enough repetitions in a relatively short period of time, and Cooper was fairly sure that Blaine was going for the record with his name. He'd already heard "Cooper" no less than thirty times since Blaine had regained consciousness twenty minutes ago.
"All right, squirt, up and at 'em," he said, dragging Blaine to his feet and propping him up until he had both legs underneath him. Blaine stifled giggles against his sleeve the entire time, wobbling dangerously even with Cooper's support. Releasing a slightly put-upon sigh, Cooper grabbed Blaine's left arm, straightened and elevated it above his head, crouched down, and grabbed his left leg before he could move to heave him over his shoulders, fireman style. Blaine giggled helplessly against his shoulder as he did so, and Cooper was grateful that he had spent nearly half a day repeating the maneuver for the work he'd done as an NCIS extra; it was harder than it looked in real life.
"You know, Blainey, you've heavier than I remember," he huffed, carrying him out of the office and flapping a hand to indicate that he was fine when one of the nurses approached him, alarmed. "Maybe you should cut back a little."
Blaine didn't respond, unless humming counted, so Cooper sighed and gratefully saluted the pedestrian that held the door open for him, carrying Blaine across the parking lot to his car. Dumping him in the backseat, he buckled him in and had to nudge his foot back inside the car so it wouldn't get in the way as he shut the door, climbing into the driver's seat a moment later.
"Coop," Blaine whined, resting his head against the window and reaching down for his seatbelt.
"My mouth hurts," Blaine said, and Cooper supposed that in drugged-up Blaine world, it made perfect sense to unbuckle his seatbelt in order to cure his toothache. Given Lima's surprisingly vigilant police force and Cooper's refusal to dish out hundreds of dollars in fines because Blaine refused to wear a seatbelt, however, he wasn't about to compromise on that front.
Still: "We'll be home soon," he assured, cranking up the heat so Blaine couldn't complain that it was too cold.
"My mouth hurts," Blaine repeated. He quickly lost interest in that train of thought, however, when he noticed Cooper's old navy Dalton hoodie resting on the backseat.
Cooper didn't even bother tell him that it wouldn't fit. Blaine tried valiantly for five minutes to adjust the sleeve length so that his hands would show before giving up and burying them in the pockets instead, huddling deeper in the hoodie and humming. "This is nice."
"Surprised it fits you at all," Cooper admitted, pausing at a stop sign and twisting in his seat to look at him. "Blaine," he added with a scowl when he noticed that the seatbelt had successfully been undone.
"What?" Blaine asked thickly, huddled in Cooper's hoodie, eyes closed. "Leave me alone. I want Kurt."
Cooper couldn't help but sigh at that; Kurt had wanted to be there when Cooper had picked Blaine up, but he couldn't catch a flight until closer to six after his work shift ended. "Kurt will be here later," Cooper reminded.
Blaine sat up a little more, noticeably more alert. "He will?"
"Unless he texted me to say he wasn't going to make it," Cooper said, fishing his phone out of his pocket as he drove and sparing a quick glance at the screen.
"Coop," Blaine whined, and then, "Cooper, don't text and drive."
"All right, all right," Cooper said, tossing the phone back at him and smiling when he jumped. "No texting and driving."
Blaine scooped up the phone and scrolled through the messages, reporting, "Kurt hasn't said anything." He pouted, somewhat barred from achieving a full pout with his mouth stuffed full of gauze, before opening a new conversation and typing away.
"Blainey," Cooper warned, sparing him a stern look in the rearview mirror while Blaine shied away from the rebuke, huddling down in the hoodie and hugging the phone to himself.
"You took my phone," he said.
"I took your phone for the sake of everyone's sanity," Cooper reminded, taking a turn onto one of the main roads. Blaine hummed, dismissive, as he tapped away.
They both startled when the phone vibrated, Blaine beaming as he said, "It's Kurt."
"What'd he say?" Cooper asked warily.
"He said to give you back your phone," Blaine said, shoulders slumping in disappointment. "And he misses me," he added, perking up again as he tapped out a reply.
Cooper let him, deciding that it wasn't worth the argument when he was still driving. The snowfall was light enough and the roads were clear, but it was still easier to focus his attention on driving than whatever Blaine felt the need to share with Kurt high on Vicodin.
"Blainey," Cooper said warningly. "Why oops?"
"That one didn't send to Kurt."
Cooper reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose. "Who did it send to?"
"'Agent,'" Blaine explained. He frowned. "Who's Agent?"
Cooper leaned back at the next stoplight to snatch the phone from him, sending a quick text to his agent before setting the phone aside just as the light turned green. "My agent is in charge of booking my commercials," he explained.
"Oh." Then, thoughtfully: "I told him he had pretty eyes."
"Her name is Heather, but I'm sure she'll be flattered."
"Kurt has prettier eyes," Blaine said, nodding at Cooper as though it was important that he understand. "Kurt has the prettiest eyes. They're like storm clouds."
"Storm clouds?" Cooper echoed.
"Uh huh. I love storms."
"I thought you hated them," Cooper said, sparing him another glance in the rearview mirror: buried as he was in Cooper's hoodie, Cooper doubted that any cop would even know there was a person under all the sweater.
Blaine nodded thoughtfully, tangling his fingers in the hoodie. "Kurt lets me cuddle with him whenever it storms." Whining a little, he added, "Where's Kurt?"
"In New York," Cooper explained. "Working, until four."
"I wanna be in New York," Blaine said, working his jaw and reaching up to tug at the gauze uncomfortably. "I wanna cuddle Kurt."
"If you take the gauze out again, Kurt won't come tonight," Cooper warned, a blatant lie - Kurt would come even if the snowstorm of the century rolled in; he might be late, but he would always find a way to be where he needed to be - but an effective one.
Blaine stilled, setting his hands aside. "I want Kurt. Kurt makes everything better."
"What's wrong?" Cooper asked, knowing the answer even before Blaine let out a long-suffering sigh.
"My mouth hurts," he said.
Unable to help himself, Cooper pointed out, "That's because you've been poking at it for the past hour, squirt."
Evidently startled by the realization, Blaine didn't say anything for a time, thoughtfully poking at his jaw.
"I don't feel good," Blaine complained, arms curled around his stomach. "Coop."
"Don't," he repeated, ready to pull over if need be. They only had another block before they reached their place, but Cooper was not about to have Blaine throw up in his car.
Thankfully, Blaine's whining didn't increase in volume as he hunched over his own stomach. Pulling into the Anderson driveway, Cooper turned the car off and unbuckled, leaning around to look at Blaine. "Feel like walking this time?" he asked.
Blaine's cheek had already swelled a little more, his head shaking disconsolately as he hunched further into the hoodie, all but disappearing into it.
"Didn't think so," Cooper sighed, hopping out of the car and tugging open the door.
Cooper was able to scoop him out of the car without another word of protest before depositing him on the couch inside the house, which seemed to be the triggering mechanism for another round of, "Coop. My mouth hurts."
"Let's play a game," Cooper suggested, kneeling in front of him and tapping his cheek to get his attention when he stared glassily back down at him. "It's called 'I can say any three words but 'my mouth hurts.'"
"Fuck off, Cooper," Blaine mumbled, startling a laugh out of him as Cooper patted his cheek again and straightened. Blaine sagged back against the couch and pouted up at him, a misshapen frown with gauze stuffed in his cheeks, and made grabby hands for his coat pocket. "Give me my phone back."
"Not until Kurt gets here," Cooper said, turning to take a call when his phone started vibrating. He barely got through, "Hey, Heather," when a pillow thwacked into the back of his head.
"No, no, I'm good," he said, ignoring Blaine's indignant whine of "Cooper" as he climbed on the couch and put the pillow over Blaine's chest, pinning him down. "Everything's great. I'm just babysitting my kid-brother until his boyfriend gets here."
"Cooper," Blaine whined, both arms trapped underneath him but still pushing against Cooper's hold with a surprising amount of strength for a guy who wouldn't even stand upright. "Cooper, you're crushing me."
"Uh huh. No, no, everything's fine. Sorry about the texts," Cooper said. "Can I call you back later? Okay, great. Uh huh. Bye." Cooper hopped off the couch as though nothing had happened, clasping his hands together and asking, "So, since we have a few hours, want to practice lines?"
Blaine whined again, flopping back on the couch properly and saying weakly, "Fuck off, Coop."
"If you insist," Cooper said, sparing him another cursory glance - at least there was more color in his cheeks than before, although that might have just been indignation at being sat on - before disappearing into the kitchen, making a show of banging around the cupboards as he pulled out the ingredients for cookies. They had two hours before Blaine could take more painkillers and four hours until Kurt arrived, and Cooper didn't actually want to listen to Blaine whine about it the entire time, so distractions were good.
Almost on cue, Blaine shuffled into the kitchen as Cooper was pouring flour into the bowl, his curiosity piqued. "What's that?" he asked, voice even more muffled than before as he ambled over to Cooper's side and promptly wrapped his arms around his waist, snuggling under his arm.
"Flour," Cooper explained, and Blaine pinched his side in retaliation, earning a light whack on the head. "I'm making cookies. You're not allowed to eat solid foods until Wednesday."
"Then why are you making cookies?" Blaine asked, keeping his grip around Cooper's middle as Cooper reached up to grab the brown sugar.
Blaine grunted in response, curling closer to him as he moved around the kitchen. Cooper didn't mind - it was kind of sweet, actually - until Blaine whined, "I'm hungry."
"Blainey, we can't always get what we want," Cooper said, licking cookie dough off his fingers and humming.
Cooper ignored him for three plaintive repetitions before opening the fridge and pulling out a cup of vanilla pudding, stocked up for the occasion. "Go crazy, squirt," he said.
Blaine reluctantly detached to pry the cover off the pudding, already reaching for a mouthful with a spoon before Cooper yelped, "Wait, wait, wait!"
"What?" Blaine groused, not lowering the spoon.
"You have to take the gauze out first," Cooper said, exasperated, as he tapped Blaine's cheek once lightly.
Blaine sighed heavily before obliging, dropping the used gauze in the trash (Gross, Cooper thought, grateful to have it out of his sight) before popping the spoon in his mouth.
Two and a half pudding cups later he was back at Cooper's side, this time on the couch as they waited for the cookies. Well. Cooper waited for the cookies; Blaine was half-conscious, a new wad of gauze in his mouth and his nose buried against Cooper's shirt, both arms wrapped tightly around his waist.
"Hey." Cooper nudged him awake as Blaine's eyelids slipped closed, Blaine blinking sleepily as he looked at the TV screen. "You can't fall asleep now. The movie just started."
"We've seen it five times," Blaine reminded thickly, nuzzling his face against Cooper's side. "In theaters."
"Yes, but you haven't told me this week how much better I would have been as any of the male leading roles," Cooper said patiently, pressing play on The Hunger Games and adding, "not to mention The Avengers. There's still time for a cameo in the sequel." He beamed, looking down at Blaine expectantly and sighing when he found him passed out, snoring softly.
"Unbelievable," he said, sighing as he leaned back and focused on the movie alone.
All things considered, it wasn't terrible - there were worse places that he could be, worse things that he could be doing than keeping an eye on his conked out kid-brother.
His soon-to-be married kid-brother, he reminded himself, reaching up to ruffle Blaine's hair a little. He'd picked well: Kurt was a good man. If nothing else, Cooper was looking forward to being best man at the wedding and getting exclusive big brother rights over both Blaine and Kurt.
The Anderson family had always been small, but that just meant it had more room to grow, and Cooper couldn't say that he was complaining with Blaine's choice at all.
. o .
"Honey, I'm home!" Kurt called out teasingly, stepping inside the Anderson home later that night and frowning at the smell of burnt cookies. Setting his coat on the rack and toeing off his shoes, he padded into the kitchen to investigate, humming thoughtfully at the two batches of chocolate chip cookies in plastic bowls before checking the trash and finding a third batch of blackened cookies at the bottom.
Confused but intrigued, Kurt scoured the lower floor for any sign of life before padding slowly upstairs, about to knock on Blaine's door when he heard a noise from the room farther down the hall. He couldn't help but smile at the sight that greeted him, then: Cooper lying on the bed with Blaine tucked up against his side, both of them clearly asleep.
Tiptoeing closer, not wanting to startle them, Kurt sat down on the edge of the bed, reaching out to run his fingers along Blaine's spine until he shivered and rolled over, blinking inquisitively up at him. "Kurt?" he mumbled, immediately scooting closer so he could wrap his arms around his waist and nuzzling his leg. "Missed you so much."
"I missed you, too, honey," he said softly, smiling down at him while Cooper slept on, oblivious. "Did you have fun?" he teased.
"Uh huh," Blaine agreed, sleepy and content. "Coop's the best."
"Good. Let me see if you can take any more pain meds and get you some water, okay?" he asked, running his hand through Blaine's hair.
Blaine nodded, whining softly when Kurt stood up, detaching from his grip. Cooper promptly hauled him back to his side, Blaine cuddling up to his shirt and relaxing while Kurt hid a smile and padded out of the room.
Cooper might not have been his first choice, but when it counted, Cooper followed through.
And as long as his fiance was happy, then Kurt was happy.