Title: Here I Am, Honey (5/12)
Rating: Venturing towards light R this section, increasing to R or NC-17 in later chapters
Pairings: Klaine, background Finchel (with very little focus)
Word Count: 5,367 this chapter / 24,720 overall (so far)
Spoilers: I'll be making nods to canon throughout, so I'll say "all aired" just to be safe, but this is very AU
Warnings: As with the movie, this story does include significant allusions to abortion. Also mild angst and slow burn/buildup.
Previous Chapters: One / Two / Three / Four
Summary: When Blaine Anderson visits Kellerman's Mountain Home with his family in the summer of 1963, he isn't expecting anything more than days in the sun and games of croquet, but when he and his cousin Rachel meet the staff dance instructors, his plans get thrown for a loop. Blaine's family vacation might just end up being the time of his life. A Klaine Dirty Dancing AU.
Author's Notes: Title from Solomon Burke's "Cry to Me." Many thanks to my wonderful beta shandyall! If you're so inclined, feel free to come say hi on Tumblr over here.
On the Tuesday before Finn and Rachel’s performance at the Sheldrake, the group met again in the dance studio. They had cultivated a strange camaraderie over the last few days, tentative friendships developing where they never would have under normal circumstances. Blaine found that, despite his initial impression of her as cold and standoffish, he genuinely liked Quinn. Finn had softened toward him considerably, but he was so focused on making sure that the routine went well that they didn’t have much time to get to know each other any better. And then there was Kurt, Kurt who was handsome and focused and charismatic. He could certainly be acerbic, but he was also so nice when Blaine got to see glimpses of him with his guard down.
For Blaine, the dance rehearsals were both wonderful and wretched. He’d never spent so much time in the direct company of a man that he felt an attraction to, and he hardly knew how to behave. He looked forward eagerly to each time the group met, but he spent most of his time — both at the rehearsals and outside of them — in turmoil. The roiling tangle of his thoughts and feelings was exhausting, and the strain of constantly keeping a straight face despite all of it was even worse. He found himself looking jealously at Rachel, who was walking around with a secretive sparkle that he hadn’t really seen since her tempestuous relationship with Jesse St. James during their junior year of high school.
However, that glow wasn’t very obvious at the moment. Instead, Rachel was standing with her arms akimbo, glaring at Finn, who was scowling right back. Neither of them was paying much attention to Kurt, who was standing between them, looking none too pleased himself as he tried to explain something. All of them were dripping with sweat.
Quinn and Blaine were sitting off to the side on the table. They’d been chatting a bit — Quinn was trying to elucidate some of the basics of the technique required for the dance — but they were continually being interrupted by the simmering tension in the room. They watched in silence as Kurt finally snapped at Finn and Rachel and stalked back to the record player to restart the song. Rachel, her face still hard, moved back into Finn’s hold as the music started up. Kurt returned and batted her fingertips down so they were folded over Finn’s hand. “Again,” he ordered.
Instead of continuing to watch, Quinn hopped off the table and held out her hand to Blaine. “Want to give it a try?”
“Me? No way!” Blaine protested, laughing and pulling away as she grabbed for his arm.
“You’ve watched it enough times,” Quinn said. “You ought to know the whole thing by now. And I just told you everything else you need to know. Come on.”
Reluctantly, Blaine slid off the table and held up his arms. Quinn took his hand and repositioned him slightly. “Remember, don’t step on the one,” she instructed. “Wait for the two.”
Blaine nodded, looking down at his feet.
“Don’t look down. Look at my face.” Blaine did so, and Quinn gave him an encouraging smile. She counted out two bars of music and when Blaine stepped forward, he knew without having to be told that it was on the wrong beat.
“I’m sorry!” he exclaimed.
“There’s no reason to apologize,” she said patiently. “Don’t step until the two.” She nodded and counted again. Blaine at least managed to move at the correct time, but his steps were tentative and uncoordinated. He knew that Quinn was lying when she praised him with an enthusiastic “Good!” after they’d made it through two bars. He gave her a disbelieving look.
“No, really,” she said. “You got the count that time, and it was only your second try. Again!”
They danced through another two bars of music, and as they drew to a halt, Quinn again commending his performance, Blaine caught sight of Kurt approaching out of the corner of his eye. “Blaine, your frame is terrible,” he said as he drew closer, but he was smiling. “What do you teach them, Quinn?”
“We’ve only been dancing for a few minutes,” Quinn replied haughtily. “I haven’t had time to work out all the kinks yet.”
Blaine had already started to move back, but Kurt shook his head. “No, keep going,” he instructed. Quinn gamely reset herself and Blaine followed suit with a bit less enthusiasm.
Kurt circled them as they began the step again. At their sides, he made a small noise of disapproval. “Blaine, look at this,” he said, grabbing his elbow and wiggling his arm from side to side. “Spaghetti arms. Give me some tension.” Even as his face heated up, Blaine tightened his arm as instructed. Kurt squeezed it as if to test him. “Good! Hold your frame. Keep going.”
They started to dance again, and Quinn whispered to him, no doubt noticing his red face, “There’s no reason to be embarrassed. You’re doing just fine.” Blaine nodded as Kurt moved around to stand behind him.
The sudden grip of Kurt’s hand on his left shoulder made Blaine jump. Kurt pulled on it a bit and pressed his other hand into Blaine’s back between his shoulder blades, where his shirt was growing damp from heat and nerves. “Stand up straight,” Kurt said quietly. “Your posture is important.” He kept his hands there, and Blaine heard his feet shuffle against the floor as he echoed the steps.
Quinn shook Blaine’s arm slightly and said, “Lock your frame.” He managed to do so and she beamed. “See? Look how much better you’re doing already!”
Kurt removed his hands.
Blaine gave Quinn a shaky smile and managed to finish another repetition of the steps. As Quinn drew to a halt with a flourish, Kurt stepped out from behind Blaine. “Don’t tell Max that we gave you a lesson free of charge,” he said, his voice a little flat despite the joke.
“Promise,” Blaine said.
Luckily, he wasn’t forced to stammer out anything more, because they were all interrupted by Rachel. It was immediately clear that she and Finn were arguing again, and her voice was rising as she gestured angrily at him. “…I can’t do the lift, I’m not sure of turns, and the performance is in two days. I’m doing all of this to save your ass when what I really want to do is drop you on it!” When she finished speaking, her eyes flared wide and she clapped a surprised hand over her mouth.
Even Blaine found his jaw dropping. He’d been on the receiving end of a Rachel Berry temper tantrum more times than he cared to recall, but she generally saved the worst of it for in private, whether she was yelling at him or about something else. He could count the number of times he’d heard her curse on his fingers, and he’d never heard her swear at someone before. A bit horrified, he waited for Finn’s reaction.
He never heard it. Instead, Kurt clapped his hands once and exclaimed, “Well! I think it’s probably time for a break. What do you say?” He moved quickly across the room and rested a stiff arm on the hard line of Rachel’s shoulders. “Rachel, I need you to try on the dress for me again. Quinn and I will go get it from her room, and we’ll meet you at the door to the dressing rooms at the auditorium in fifteen minutes. Finn, you have a lesson in half an hour, don’t you? We can iron the final wrinkles out of the dance tomorrow. Rachel, maybe you and I can walk through a few of the turns after we work on your dress.”
“Fine,” Rachel said with a sniff.
Finn still didn’t look thrilled, but some of the thunder had left his expression. He unclenched his jaw enough to say, “Yeah, that’s good. I’ve got a lesson coming in soon.”
“Good,” Kurt said brightly, “because obviously we won’t be getting anything else done here right now.” Both Finn and Rachel’s scowls deepened. “Okay! Dressing room in fifteen?” He cast a pointed look back at Blaine and Quinn.
Blaine quickly jumped to action. He rushed to Rachel’s side and began to guide her toward the stairs. “Come on,” he said. “If we hurry, we can swing by the cabin and say hi to Hiram and Shelby. Tell them we’ll meet them for dinner after we take a walk. Or something.”
Rachel nodded, clearly still agitated. She stomped down the stairs, thrust open the door, and, moving heedlessly, bumped straight into an elderly woman walking past. The woman dropped her oversized handbag, the contents spilling out onto the ground.
“Oh!” Rachel exclaimed. “Mrs. Schumacher! I’m so sorry!” She bent at once and started gathering the spilled items — lipsticks and tissues and what looked like several wallets. Blaine hadn’t thought that Mrs. Schumacher was particularly dotty when he’d met her a few days prior, but now he wasn’t so sure. He stooped to pick up another wallet — this one definitely in a men’s style — and a bottle of what looked like hand lotion.
“Here you go,” he said. “Please accept our apologies.”
Mrs. Schumacher accepted her belongings with a smile, tucking them back into her bag. “Such junk, such junk! Thank you so much. You both have lovely manners!” She squeezed Blaine’s arm and went on her way.
Blaine looked at Rachel and raised his eyebrows. “I know you’re upset, but please try not to run down any more little old ladies.”
Rachel pressed her hands briefly to her face. “I just want this to go perfectly,” she moaned, “but I don’t know the routine well enough. I’m going to get up on that stage and mess something up, and not only will I embarrass myself, but I’m going to disappoint everyone.”
Frowning with concern, Blaine tugged her into a quick hug. “Well, you won’t be able to go on stage at all if your dress isn’t ready. Let’s get that taken care of and then we’ll worry about everything else, okay?”
“Okay.” She snuffled briefly into his shoulder, and then peeled away, nodding with a new determination. “I can do this.”
- / / -
Kurt and Quinn were already waiting in the hall outside the dressing rooms when Blaine and Rachel arrived. Quinn was holding one of her own dresses, which Kurt — who, as it turned out, was surprisingly handy with a needle and thread — was altering to fit Rachel’s frame. She whisked Rachel into the room to help her change, leaving Blaine alone with Kurt in the hallway. Kurt immediately slumped against the wall, letting his head thunk back as he closed his eyes and sighed.
“How are things with Finn?” Blaine asked, doing his best to ignore how Kurt’s posture put the long column of his neck on display.
“Oh, he’ll get over it,” Kurt said. “He’ll get over it if I have to force him to myself. Believe it or not, I think he’s actually sweet on your cousin, so he doesn’t like it when he gets frustrated with her. He also doesn’t know what to do when she gets mad.”
Blaine hummed thoughtfully. “Well, she’s pretty fond of him too. I think part of the reason she’s so worried about getting the dance right is that she doesn’t want to let him down.”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “They certainly have a funny way of showing they care.”
Blaine couldn’t help but snort out a little laugh at that. He scuffed his feet along the beaten-down carpeting for a moment, and then Quinn stuck her head out of the door to let them know that Rachel was ready.
When they entered, Rachel was standing in the middle of the dressing room, barefoot and wearing the red dress. Blaine had been scandalized when he’d first seen it, but one of Kurt’s first alterations had been to sew up the front to make it more modest. He circled her now, pausing to readjust one of the straps that looped behind Rachel’s neck and secure it with a pin. Quinn had moved to sit on a battered sofa on one side of the room, and Blaine moved to join her.
“So,” he asked, “do you think they’ll pull it off?”
Quinn smiled grimly, but then her face fell. “They don’t have much of a choice now. I hope so. Both Finn and Kurt gave me most of what was left of their salaries. If they don’t do well, the Sheldrake might refuse to pay them. And then I’ll feel awful because I needed so much money to fix my dumb mistake.”
“Quinn… they’re your best friends. I’m sure they’re more than happy to help you.”
“They shouldn’t have had to,” Quinn muttered. She looked over at Rachel and Kurt, who seemed to be absorbed in discussing the length of the skirt. As she turned back, she dropped her voice and spoke again with a quiet resolve. “Look, Blaine, I want you to know something. I don’t sleep around, no matter what Noah might have told you.”
Blaine colored. “I never thought —”
“I thought he loved me,” Quinn interrupted. “I really thought it was something special, otherwise I wouldn’t have… Anyway, I just wanted you to know that.”
She was looking down, and Blaine reached over to touch her shoulder. He didn’t know what to say, and he was brought up short when Quinn raised her eyes again. They were shining with tears. “I’m really scared,” she whispered.
Blaine rubbed her shoulder. He wanted to do more, to hug her maybe, but he could see how hard she was struggling to keep her face neutral. She couldn’t react and he couldn’t either, because Rachel didn’t know. A quick glance revealed that Kurt had spun her so that she was facing the other direction while he shot concerned glances toward the couch. Blaine shook his head a little at Kurt and turned back to Quinn. “It’s going to be okay,” he said softly, squeezing his hand. “Don’t worry. You’ll be fine.”
Quinn gave him a watery smile. “Thanks.” She took a deep breath and wiped quickly at her eyes. “Turn around, Rachel,” she called. “Let’s see how it looks.”
- / / -
When Blaine woke up the following morning, he found his legs twisted in his sheets and his hips pressed down hard into the mattress. He breathed out a sharp, startled “huh” when he realized what was happening — or, more accurately, what had just happened — and he tried to make sense of the last clinging remnants of his dreams. Blaine had to admit a lack of knowledge when it came to just what the physical aspect of being attracted to other men entailed, but his body didn’t seem to have any problem carrying things through to their natural conclusion without details, especially when it was spurred on by the sense memory of a strong hand pressing firmly into his back.
Blaine groaned and buried his face in his pillow. This was getting out of hand. He knew — as a result of a clinical and very embarrassing discussion with Hiram some years back — that it was perfectly normal for young men to become aroused during the night. It wasn’t often, however, that he woke up rutting into his bedclothes. He could only blame the past week and the way he’d spent so much of it watching Kurt’s body move while he danced, talking to him, and now feeling his hands —
Blaine made another frustrated noise. Luckily, the performance at the Sheldrake would be over in less than forty-eight hours, and then he wouldn’t have to interact with Kurt anymore, no matter how much he liked to and how much he believed that they would have been friends under different circumstances. He rolled out of his tangled bedding made a mental note to slip away from the others at breakfast and request a change of sheets.
The group had agreed to meet again for the final rehearsal later in the afternoon. Rachel slipped away on time, but Blaine got caught up in a discussion with Hiram and one of Hiram’s new friends about his plans for the future. By the time he managed to extricate himself and head for the dance studio, he was running almost twenty minutes late.
Which was why Blaine was surprised to see that Kurt was the only person there when he reached the top of the stairs. “Am I — the first one?” he asked, with a confused look at his watch. How had he made it here before Rachel?
“No,” Kurt said. “The last one, actually.”
“They’re done already?” Blaine asked incredulously.
“Not by a long shot,” Kurt replied, sounding agitated. “Finn and Rachel left to go practice lifts on their own. The studio isn’t always the best place.”
“What do you mean?”
“Sometimes the best place to practice lifts is in the water,” Kurt said.
Blaine frowned at the cryptic response. “They went to the beach?”
Kurt was regarding him cautiously now. “No. There’s a little inlet not far from here by car. I know where it is if you want to — check on them. Watch.”
“Oh,” Blaine said. He couldn’t deny the fact that the idea of Rachel being alone with Finn in some secluded little bay made him uncomfortable. At the same time, he couldn’t see any way to justify descending on them like a militant, overbearing chaperone. Rachel had said it herself: they were all adults now. He did his best to push aside the unpleasant little twist of worry in his stomach. “No, thank you. I’m pretty sure that Rachel might actually murder me if I showed up. Where’s Quinn?”
“She’s not feeling very well, so she went back to her room to lie down.”
“That’s too bad,” Blaine said sympathetically. An idea flashed suddenly into has mind, one that made his heart pick up speed. It started to tumble out of his mouth before he’d even really decided to say the words. “So, does that mean you have a free afternoon? Can I challenge you to a game of table tennis? Rachel won’t play against me anymore.”
Kurt looked like he was smiling despite an earnest effort not to. “Table tennis?”
“Yeah. She’s mad at me because I stopped letting her win.”
“That’s very impolite of you,” Kurt pointed out.
“So was her gloating,” Blaine retorted.
Kurt snorted, but the look of amusement was rapidly dropping off his face. “I can’t,” he said. “We’re not allowed to participate in the recreational activities unless we’re helping to lead them. Besides, Mrs. Zimmer signed up for a last minute dance lesson, so I have to stick around here.”
Blaine was gaping. “You’re not allowed to participate in — but what do you do? That’s not fair.”
With a shrug, Kurt moved over to the shelves on one wall that housed a collection of records. He started shuffling through several of them. “We work. I help out in the kitchen a lot.”
“No, I mean — what do you do for fun?”
“Get together and dance,” Kurt said. “Read, sometimes. Listen to records.”
“Oh yeah?” Blaine inquired with interest. “What kinds of records?”
“All kinds, I suppose. I really like musicals.”
“Me too!” Blaine exclaimed.
“You like musicals?” Kurt asked him, disbelief coloring his tone. His hands paused for a minute before he resumed sorting the albums into several different piles.
“Yeah,” Blaine said. “I do. Why are you asking like that?”
“I just figured that you’d be the kind of person who’s more interested in — oh, I don’t know — football.” Kurt waved a hand in his general direction, still looking down.
“I do like football,” Blaine responded, pulling himself up into his usual perch on the table by the window. “But I like musicals too. I’d never survive living with Rachel if I didn’t. You should see her record collection.”
“I can only imagine,” Kurt said airily. “So, which one is your favorite?”
Blaine started to respond but reined himself in abruptly. It felt oddly like a test, and he didn’t want to give the wrong answer, not when it seemed like Kurt was listening so keenly. “Um, I like Camelot.”
Kurt nodded, continuing to make stacks out of the record albums, and Blaine was relieved to see that he didn’t look too disappointed. Then, to his surprise, Kurt opened his mouth and began to sing. “If ever I would leave you, it wouldn’t be in summer. Seeing you in summer, I would never go…” It was just a few short lines in a soft voice that trailed away, pitched several octaves higher than Robert Goulet’s rich baritone, but it left Blaine wide-eyed.
“Kurt,” he said. Kurt glanced over and gave a questioning hum. “That’s what your singing voice sounds like?”
Kurt’s shoulders had stiffened before Blaine had even finished the question. He turned back to the records. “No, Blaine, I was whistling,” he replied, his voice thick with sarcasm.
“Stop it!” Blaine insisted. “You should sing something else.”
“But — your voice is amazing!”
“Amazingly unique, maybe,” Kurt said, his brow furrowed.
“Sing something else,” Blaine demanded. He considered for a moment, then tacked on a, “please?”
Abandoning the record albums, Kurt turned to face Blaine, crossing his arms. “No.”
“Oh, come on,” Blaine wheedled. “Your voice is great.”
Kurt’s frown seemed to fade a bit as he searched Blaine’s face, but his expression remained critical. Without warning, he dropped his arms to his sides, standing straight to sing again, his voice high and clear. “I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night, and still have begged for more. I could have spread my wings and done a thousand things I’ve never done before. I’ll never know what made it so exciting, why all at once my heart took flight.” This time, he stopped abruptly in the middle of the verse, looking at Blaine with one eyebrow arched.
“My Fair Lady,” Blaine said when it became clear that Kurt wasn’t going to continue.
“Okay, maybe you do know a few musicals,” Kurt conceded with a sigh. “But… I think it’s your turn now.”
Kurt nodded, ambling toward him. “If I recall correctly, there’s someone else here who’s spent time in glee club.”
Blaine sat up a little straighter. “You want me to sing?”
“I sang for you,” Kurt said. “It would make things fair.”
Blaine would have expected to feel more nervous, especially given the fact that he was fairly rusty, but instead he just felt an excited flutter. He’d always enjoyed performing. In fact, he’d already started running through songs in his head. He smiled suddenly when he happened upon a song — he wouldn’t sound his best because his voice wasn’t warmed up, but Kurt’s hadn’t been either. With a deep breath, he began, “Could be… who knows? There’s something due any day. I will know right away soon as it shows.” Unable to stop himself, he flared out his hands as he sang the next line, making gestures and flourishes along with instrumentation that wasn’t there. “It may come cannonballing down through sky, gleam in it’s eye, bright as a rose. Who knows?”
He was prepared to go on, but Kurt held up a hand to stop him. “All right, all right,” he grumbled. “You’ve made your point.” Blaine might have been insulted, but he thought he could see a smile hovering around the edge of Kurt’s mouth.
“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” Blaine admonished, grinning.
“I suppose not,” Kurt said. He paused just briefly before adding, “You have a very nice voice.”
“Thank you,” Blaine replied, and then they were staring at each other again as several long seconds ticked by. Or maybe, Blaine thought as Kurt stepped back, seeming flustered as he turned his gaze to a clock mounted on the wall, Blaine was staring and Kurt was just politely maintaining eye contact. Or trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
Possibly the latter, given the way Kurt was now uncomfortably clearing his throat. “Mrs. Zimmer is going to be here in a few minutes,” he announced. “You should probably go. It would be better if it’s just me when she gets here.”
“Oh, sure,” Blaine mumbled, scooting forward off the table. The rush he’d gotten from singing evaporated quickly and he jammed his hands into his pockets. “I don’t want to get you in trouble.”
“Thanks,” Kurt said. His voice was short as he went back to the records, shifting one stack so it sat beside the record player and moving the others back to the shelves.
Blaine stopped for a moment at the top of the stairs. “I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?” he said.
“I’ll see you then,” Kurt said without even looking at him. Blaine frowned and turned to leave.
- / / -
Blaine and Rachel arrived at Kurt and Finn’s cabin as soon as they dared the following evening after Hiram and Shelby left for bingo. Rachel had been in top form, beginning to complain of a headache shortly before dinner. The food didn’t help, she lamented later, as she repeatedly voiced her plans to stay in and relax that night. Blaine, of course, volunteered to keep her company, which they both hoped would stop her parents from coming back to the cabin to check on her. With any luck, they would assume that Blaine and Rachel were both sleeping behind their closed bedroom doors when they returned, and would be none the wiser that Blaine and Rachel had ever been gone.
Kurt and Finn, by virtue of being brothers and willing to share accommodations, stayed in a large one-room cabin at the edge of the woods, set slightly apart from the other staff lodging. Like most of the staff buildings, it was in a state of poor repair, with torn window screens and a door that almost fell off its hinges when Kurt opened it to let them in. Blaine glanced around after entering, trying not to make it too apparent that he was doing so. There were two beds pushed against the walls to his left and right, a record player on a spindly table opposite the door, and a few chairs and chests of drawers tucked into corners. The room gave the impression of being lived in, with a few shirts and magazines and records and pairs of shoes tossed about. Admittedly, there was more clutter on one side than the other.
Kurt shifted on his feet, scratching in an absent, uncomfortable way at one of his arms. “I guess it’s — not really a great room,” he said. “You probably have a really nice room.”
“No!” Blaine exclaimed, gesturing vaguely. “It’s a great room!”
“Mmhmm,” Kurt hummed in response, sounding skeptical. He motioned toward a chair at the end of the bed on the neater side of the room. “You can have a seat over there, if you want. I managed to get Finn to move his t-shirt collection for the time being. Rachel, there’s a mirror over there if you want to do your makeup.”
“Thank you,” Rachel said primly. “The lighting is less than ideal, of course, but I’ll make do.” She arranged herself in front of a mirror propped against the wall atop a lowboy at the other side of the room.
“So,” Kurt said, hovering in the middle of the room, “the Sheldrake is about twenty minutes away. I know you don’t want to be walking around here in your dress, Rachel, so you’ll have to change on the way. Finn left to put gas in the car, but he should be back soon.”
“That sounds fine,” Rachel said, confidently smearing makeup over one eye. “As long as you all promise not to look,” she added sternly.
“Oh, I promise. Blaine, you and I will watch from backstage. We’ll have to leave as soon as the performance is over — they don’t like us hanging around, and we’ll want to get back and see how Quinn is doing.”
“Of course,” Blaine said.
The door swung open then, and Finn stepped in. “Okay, the car’s all ready to go,” he announced. He caught and held Rachel’s eyes in the mirror. “Hi, Rachel,” he said, adding Blaine’s name several seconds later as an afterthought.
“Hello, Finn,” Rachel replied, her voice going breathy. Blaine found himself wondering, not for the first time, whether something more than just dance rehearsal had happened at the lake the previous day. Rachel had returned starry-eyed, and it was plain to see now that they had reconciled.
“Hi,” he said again.
“Okay,” Kurt interjected loudly. “Finn, where’s your tie?”
“Your tie, Finn. It goes around your neck and makes a bow in the front. Where is it?”
“Oh, I think I left it over here somewhere…”
While Finn and Kurt started rummaging through drawers and piles of clothing, Blaine’s eyes surreptitiously darted around the cabin. Rachel was paying him no attention — she was adept at putting on stage makeup after so many years and had moved on to pinning up her hair.
Other than what Blaine had already seen, there wasn’t much else to take in. There were no decorations, no pictures of family or friends or matinee idols. The beds were neatly made with what looked to be the same standard-issue linens that adorned every mattress at Kellerman’s. Blaine’s gaze drifted lower. He could see a row of shoes under the bed that he was sitting closest to, and what appeared to be the corner of a magazine. Blaine started to look away, but his eyes snapped back abruptly. He glanced back to the room to make sure that everyone else was still absorbed in what they were doing, then leaned over, just a little. The cover was mostly obscured by the darkness under the bed and the edge of a shoe, so at first he wasn’t sure if he was seeing it correctly. But when he really looked, it was hard to miss the logo, bold and stark in black and white.
one, he read.
And in smaller capital letters below that, trailing away into the shadows, the homosexual viewp…
“Found it!” Finn shouted, making Blaine jump and bolt upright again in his seat. “I don’t know how it ended up under my bed.” He stood triumphantly at the other side of the room, holding up a black bow tie.
Kurt humphed out an annoyed sigh. “Finn, when will you learn to take better care of your things? Is it wrinkled?”
“Well, that’s surprising. Come over here. Rachel needs the mirror, so I’ll tie it for you.”
Breathing shallowly, Blaine dared a glance up at Kurt, who was focused on Finn’s tie. It was like seeing a different person, all the lines of him redrawn, making him into someone that Blaine had never met before. Because if Finn found the tie over there, then that meant that this was definitely Kurt’s bed, and that meant that the magazine was his. And he wouldn’t have it unless — would he? Blaine wondered. What other possible reason could there be? He had to look away, otherwise Kurt was going to find him staring like a maniac. Blaine wound up gazing blankly out one of the windows, the buzz of the room fading behind the rush in his ears, his thoughts whirling by too fast to latch onto.
He had no idea how much time had passed before he was brought abruptly back to the present by Kurt’s voice saying sharply, “Blaine! Are you ready to go?”
Blaine looked dimly up at Kurt standing in front of him, tall and handsome and… and just like him?
Kurt’s eyebrows twitched down slightly when there was no response. “Blaine?” he asked again. Behind him, Rachel and Finn looked on curiously.
There were more important things to worry about at the moment, Blaine realized. He shook his head a little. “Yes, sorry. Just — woolgathering. I’m ready. Let’s go.”