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31 October 2011 @ 08:02 pm
Fic (Complete): Always Here In The Silence (NC-17, Glee AU, Kurt/Blaine) 1/2  
Title: Always Here In The Silence
Author: Cimmerians (fuck it, imma just be Cimmerians now)
Fandom/Pairing: Glee AU, Kurt/Blaine
Rating: NC-17 for m/m sex
Word Count: 15,203
Summary: Nerd!Blaine/Badass!Kurt AU.

Author Notes: My eternal thanks to AubreyLi for reading this and soothing me and enheartening me in her generous way. To Andie, for her cheerleading and patience and what can only be described as gracious mercy. To Alice, for giving me the gift of her time and her brain when she already has so many, many demands on both. And, last but definitely not least, huge, huge thanks to Migasm, for her willingness to do art for this story, which I don’t have yet but I am so fucking excited about getting it that I flail every time I think about it.

Dedication: to Michygeary. Who is just about the most patient person on the planet.

***
 
Kurt Hummel was eleven years old the first time one of his schoolmates called him a faggot. He didn’t even know what that meant until he looked it up on the computer in the school library. His flushed-red cheeks burned as he hastily closed the browser page.
 
He went to his father after school (as he always did), planning to sit quietly and do his homework until his dad closed up the shop (as he always did)—but that was the day he walked into the shop to find Curtis, his dad’s best engine guy, installing a new battery on a beautiful, low-slung, alloy-wheeled Big Dog Chopper.
 
It caught him, caught him in a way that cars never caught him—something about the curves and chrome of it, elegantly perched there on its kickstand like some kind of beautiful and exotic animal, somehow far above the cracked and grease-stained cement floor it rested on. Kurt felt a warm tingle run up the back of his neck.
 
“Hey, Little Dude,” Curtis said affably, wiping his hands on a rag. “Whatcha doin’?”
 
Kurt unslung his book bag and took a step forward, unable to look away from the bike. “Nothing. Can I help?”
 
Curtis’ pleased smile and nod made him forget all about Johnny Jacobsen and his filthy mouth for the first time that day.
 
***
 
Blaine Anderson was ten years old when a furtive, guilty websearch on the meaning of some of the dreams he’d been having led him straight to one inescapable conclusion. But he didn’t trust the internet, so he started spending more time at the public library—never to check anything out, of course, because they undoubtedly had ways of tracing that—but the nonfiction section had most of what he needed to know, and once the librarians got used to him they stopped asking if they could help, so he stopped having to pretend he was looking at books about anthropology.
 
He spent most of that summer reading, branching out after he’d (sort of) satisfied his curiosity about the one subject, moving onto things contained in books that he actually could check out without fear of reprisal. It just… it was good, to know things. It helped.
 
His parents were very proud. His father, in particular, told him he was a good man for finally buckling down.
 
***
 
“You,” Burt said, wiping his hands on a rag and leaning against the cinderblock wall, eyeing his son like he suspected something. “You… want to learn how to ride a motorcycle?”
 
Kurt shifted his bookbag on his shoulder, but stood firm, meeting his father’s eyes squarely. “Yes. So that when I’m old enough, I can have one.”
 
“A motorcycle,” Burt repeated carefully. “One of those things that goes fast and is really loud and has a filthy, greasy engine in it—”
 
“Jeez, dad—‘Father of the Year’ doesn’t have a ‘Most Sarcastic’ category, you know—”
 
“No, and neither does ‘Smart-mouth Kid of the Month’…” Burt trailed off, looking away, then back. “Is this… this isn’t something about your mother being gone, is it?”
 
Kurt took a breath. “No, I don’t have some kind of deathwish, if that’s what you’re asking. I just… I like motorcycles. And someday, I’d like to have one.”
 
Burt blinked, then shook his head and smiled ruefully. “Huh. Well, it’s not the kind of thing I thought I’d ever hear from you, but… you’re a special kid. Okay.” He shrugged. “Motorcycle safety 101 starts right now.”
 
***
 
“Hey, four-eyes.”
 
Blaine ignored the whisper, and kept working.
 
“Hey, Poindexter—what’s the answer to number seven?”
 
Blaine pushed his glasses up on his nose and continued checking the logical flow of his extra-credit algorithm.
 
The problem with spitballs, he discovered after the period was over, was that they were terribly difficult to work out of his curls. He was going to have to do something about that.
 
***
 
Burt paused halfway through drying a plate. “A nun-what?”
 
“Ninjutsu. It’s… martial arts.”
 
Burt eyed him, and Kurt wondered if maybe he should have initiated this conversation before he put on his hairband and nighttime facial mask. “You want to take… you mean, like, Kung-Fu?”
 
“Kind… kind of like that, yeah. But different.”
 
Burt frowned. “Is it… is someone picking on you, Kurt? For, uh, anything?”
 
“No,” Kurt said quickly, shifting from foot to foot. “But… if they ever, you know, did, I’d like to be able to take care of myself.”
 
Burt’s frown stayed put. “I don’t want you fighting.”
 
Kurt smiled. “That means yes, doesn’t it?”
 
Burt sighed. “You don’t have to sound so smug about it.”
 
***
 
Blaine graduated Salutatorian of his Junior High class. He would have—could have—made Valedictorian, but his only competition for the honor was a quiet, studious boy with the odd but mellifluous name of Denholm DeSainte, a boy with beautiful green eyes and paper-pale skin and long eyelashes. Blaine really wanted to hear his Valedictorian address. Or at least have an excuse for staring at him while he was talking.
 
He shook hands with Denholm afterwards, but despite wiping his hand against his slacks in anticipation of the moment so often that his palm was stinging, he was still sweaty when they shook. He hurried away without offering anything more than perfunctory congratulations, and didn’t look back.
 
***
 
“Dad?”
 
“Yeah?” Burt was flat on his back under the chassis of an ancient Oldsmobile, but Kurt could still hear him just fine. He’d turned off the shop radio.
 
“I…” He hesitated, then closed his toolkit. His baby didn’t need a tune-up anyway—that had just been an excuse. He swallowed, then tried again. “I’m gay.”
 
The creepy-crawler rolled slowly—excruciatingly slowly—out from under the car. His father sat up stiffly, as if pained. “I… huh.” He looked Kurt over carefully, then tilted his head. “Uh, Kurt, I don’t want to, I mean… I’m not gonna… but. Are you sure? I mean, your bike, and your crazy ninja-thingie, and those steel-toed boots you just talked me into buying for you—”
 
Kurt felt his eyes burn, and he let the tears roll down his cheeks without wiping them—his hands were covered with motor oil. “I’m sure,” he said hoarsely, wishing his voice wasn’t so shaky. “I’m just… I guess I’m just kind of a… a gay badass.”
 
His father laughed at that, laughed even though he was crying, then got up and came right for him and put his arms around him. Kurt ducked his flaming-hot face into the reassuringly dirty fabric of his father’s coverall, and swayed a little, dizzy with relief.
 
“Well,” Burt said, choking a little on the word. “I always said you were special.”
 
***
 
“It’s going to be great,” his father said, patting his shoulder. “We’ll get her built, get her in cherry condition—and then you’ll have a car. I mean, I know a boy your age can’t just think about books; isn’t there some nice girl you’d like to ask out?”
 
“Dad, I’m…” Blaine stopped, swallowed, and looked down at the ground. He felt like his stomach was full of rocks. “I… I don’t know anything about cars,” he finished quietly, then hung his head even lower.
 
“Well, that’s why I’m here,” his father said, with that hearty tone in his voice that Blaine was quickly starting to hate. “It’ll be good for you to get your hands dirty—make a man out of you.”
 
***
 
The first time Karofsky shoved him into a locker, Kurt let it go—he’d already been called to Figgins’ office three times (once for smoking, once for truancy, and once for something called ‘disrespect for authority figures’, which seemed to be a by-product of actually telling teachers what he thought). That last time, Figgins had threatened to call Kurt’s dad in for a conference, and that was just—no, not going to happen. So he let it go.
 
But the second time, the sudden slam of metal against his head made a sound like a tolling bell inside his skull—and he didn’t know if it was the shock or the pain or the noise, but something, something about it pulled up a curtain inside his head, and all of a sudden, he could see.
 
He saw. He understood—and without any further thought he followed Karofsky down the hallway and into the locker room. He glanced around the hall before he pulled the door open, but he needn’t have bothered—everyone was pretending he was invisible, as they usually did, and that anything that happened to him was something he’d asked for, as they always did.
 
Karofsky was alone. “The fuck are you doing in here, faggot?” Karofsky asked him, shrugging his jacket off his shoulders. “The girls’ locker room is next door.”
 
“Just needed to make sure we understand each other,” Kurt said mildly, and kicked Karofsky square in the chest.
 
He took the advantage surprise had given him, and pinned Karofsky to the ground immediately, straddling his gasping, twitching body with one forearm pressed solidly across his throat. Karofsky’s arms were still caught in the sleeves of his jacket, which was under both of them, so Kurt didn’t bother with any defensive measures.
 
“Gonna kill you,” Karofsky wheezed, his eyes red and wide and murderous.
 
“You’d rather fuck me,” Kurt said placidly, and if he’d had any doubts (which he hadn’t), Karofsky’s look of guilty, horrified dismay would have done away with them immediately. “You want to nail my lily-white ass so badly you’d lick it, if I let you.”
 
Karofsky was deep red and dewed with sweat, his body twitching, thumping against the floor. “You… that’s a lie. I’m not—I’m no fucking pansy. I’m a man—”
 
“You’re a man with a giant boner,” Kurt said, because it was true. He steeled himself, then pressed his thigh up hard, almost too hard—not exactly what he’d thought his first experience with another man’s erection would be like, but—he had a point to make. “Looks like today’s the day you face the Judy Garland medley, hamhock.”
 
“I’m. Going. To kill you,” Karofsky breathed, but two seconds later he lunged forward, pressing up into Kurt’s leg and actually trying to kiss him, of all things.
 
Kurt laughed. “Not a fucking chance, asshole. I’m not doing this for fun.”
 
“Why… why… fuck, Kurt—”
 
“You’re going to leave me alone,” Kurt said hoarsely with one last, too-hard press of his thigh, then let up, ignoring the resulting choked-off whining noise. “Aren’t you?”
 
Karofsky just panted, his eyes tight shut.
 
Kurt tsk’ed. “It wouldn’t take very long for me to get you off, would it?” he said softly. Karofsky thudded his head against the tile floor, gasping, his hips lifting, the rest of him not even struggling any more. “I don’t think it would take long at all,” Kurt whispered, leaning close, closer, until the tip of his nose brushed Karofsky’s ear. Karofsky grunted and shuddered, but that was all. “Not much, to push you over the edge. I could just jerk you off into my handkerchief, then stick it in my pocket and keep it forever—a sweet little remembrance of our time together. Something I could show to Figgins, or to your dad—”
 
“Don’t,” Karofsky’s voice cracked. “Just… don’t. Please… I’ll leave you alone. I’ll… I will.”
 
“You’d fucking better,” Kurt said coldly, then got to his feet. He half-expected Karofsky to haul his ass up off the floor and push his luck—but no. He didn’t move. He just… laid there, staring at Kurt with wet, miserable, furious eyes.
 
Kurt left quickly, because he wanted to be long gone before the shakes set in.
 
***
 
Blaine met Michael Taglio through the simple expedient of the two of them always being the last two people who stayed late at the library who weren’t, like, eighty. For a long time all they exchanged were cautious nods and clandestine appraisals of each other’s book-piles, but a few weeks later Michael made a remark about the book Blaine was reading (Cosmos), and one thing led to another and then… somehow, without even trying to, he’d made a friend.
 
They went to different schools, but every day afterwards they met in the library—their joint refuge, their haven, the foundation of their sudden, shocking, miraculous connection.
 
Life was very different, with Michael. Better. Michael was smart, sarcastic, privately if not publicly contemptuous of his loud, boisterous family, and—Blaine realized after the first time they really talked—beautiful; classically handsome behind his thick hornrimmed glasses and fussily-slicked-back hair.
 
Blaine fell hard, silently and without warning, and it was terrible and painful and awful but somehow also wonderful because of the way Michael looked at him, because of the casual way Michael touched him on the shoulder or the back or the arm—so easily, like touching was easy—because of the way Michael smiled when it was just the two of them, like Blaine was the only thing he needed in the whole world to be happy.
 
He never would have said anything. Not in a million years. But then Michael turned up at the library restless and fidgety, almost manic—a shocking departure in a boy normally so self-possessed.
 
“Do you think,” Michael asked, then stopped, swallowing and then blushing and then looking away. “Do you think books would be a good gift for, um. Someone? If I… I mean, the kind of gift that would maybe… that would let them know I liked them?”
 
Blaine’s heart started beating so hard he could feel it in his fingertips, in his toes. “I think,” he started, then had to clear his throat. “I think… yeah. Of course.” And the look of delighted relief and hope and crazy daring on Michael’s face almost made Blaine brave enough to just kiss him then and there.
 
Only it turned out it was a good thing that he hadn’t, because the books Michael had in mind turned out to be for some girl in his Comp Sci class named Giselle, and that was just—too much. Way too much, and Blaine didn’t have enough left in him to cover, and so when Michael asked him what was wrong he actually told him, said it, he said it out loud, that he’d thought it was him
 
And Michael looked horrified, and worse—he looked betrayed—and he didn’t call Blaine any names but all the names were right there anyway, written plainly and emphatically on Michael’s disgusted, betrayed face.
 
Michael left the library. Blaine never saw him again.
 
***
 
It had just… been a thing. A stupid thing. A stupid lapse of judgment. Just a random moment sitting on the locker-room bench in his robe after showering off the sweat from running detention laps, with the loser next to him whining on endlessly about how his stupid prude of a girlfriend wouldn’t even give him a lousy handjob—a subject that had been well-canvassed over the course of the ninety minutes they’d spent stretching and doing jump-squats and then running, running, running.
 
“Jesus fucking Christ, Hudson,” he snapped, “if you don’t shut up about your stupid neglected dick I’m gonna jerk you off myself—”
 
Just a remark, a stupid, throwaway remark, something meant to shame the guy into complaining about something else for a change. And it did kind of work, in that the guy shut up immediately, staring at him mutely with wide, brown eyes—only then Kurt realized that he’d basically just propositioned another boy… a really, really big boy. His muscles tensed automatically.
 
“Would that make me a… um. Gay?”
 
It wasn’t the response he’d expected. “No,” he said brusquely, then looked away, breaking the creepy staring contest they’d been having. “Just pathetic and desperate.”
 
“Oh.” Kurt didn’t look at him. He just paid strict attention to drying between each one of his toes. And it seemed like that would be the end of it, only then the guy cleared his throat and went on. “Because I’m kind of… already. Those things. So. Um. Sure?”
 
The entire thing was just… ridiculous. Absurd. But he wound up doing it anyway, right where they were, right there on the locker room bench.
 
It took about thirty seconds. And it wasn’t even that sexy, but it was… something, something… powerful, doing that, watching the guy just… come apart like that.
 
Two days later, he heard footsteps heading his way when he was out behind the gym. He butted his smoke against the bricks and flicked it away, in case it was a teacher.
 
It wasn’t. “What do you want, Puckerman?”
 
Puck shrugged. “My girlfriend’s in juvie. I need to blow off some steam.”
 
Puck kept pushing for a blow job, but Kurt kept it to a hand job and some dirty talk—no kissing.
 
Hand job. Dirty talk. No kissing. It turned out there were a lot—like a lot—of straight boys at McKinley who were really into that. They came on like lions but they left like lambs, each and every time and each and every one of them with this attitude that they were somehow getting away with something, that they were getting away with using him—
 
Only afterwards, all he’d have to do is look at them, lift one eyebrow, and they would blush and stammer and look away. So he was pretty clear on who was using who, in the end.
 
Nobody shoved him into lockers any more.
 
***
 
He had been—relatively, at least—happy, at Dalton. The uniforms, the rules, the hushed and reverent silence of the school library, the academic stringency—he’d heard other boys complain about all of those things and more, but he’d never understood why: it was so much easier, so much simpler, when all you had to think about was your work.
 
He had done well at Dalton, and if anyone had ever asked him if he’d been lonely there (not that anyone ever did), he just would have said—that’s beside the point.
 
But that was then and there, and this was here and now—his new school, a depressing and dreary stone-faced edifice, the architecture every bit as forbidding as the hordes of shrieking students streaming through the parking lot where he sat in his car, all windows rolled up, all doors firmly locked—like some kind of cage.
 
“Porcelain bird,” he said, rolling down the window, and then bit his lip hard. He hadn’t meant to say that out loud. Hadn’t meant to even think those words ever again—his father’s term, the ostensible reason given for why he had to switch schools—because apparently Dalton’s superior curriculum didn’t include sufficient coursework in ‘being a man’.
 
He watched the students passing by until the stream thinned to a trickle, and then slowed further until there was just the odd one here or there, running towards the front doors loaded down with books and papers. They disappeared through the doors into a shadowed hallway like they’d been eaten by some kind of careless and vapid idiot monster. Blaine looked at his watch and realized that for the first time in his entire life he was going to be late for school—because God help him, he really, really didn’t want to go here.
 
He had just about steeled himself to open the car door and get it over with, when the moody tumble of his thoughts was interrupted by an ear-splitting roar—and really, that sort of noise shouldn’t be legal, shouldn’t be—
 
The noise was a motorcycle, low and black and covered with chrome, and of course it pulled into the spot right next to his, the deafening engine revving briefly before turning off. The person riding it kicked down the kickstand, but stayed straddling the bike while working off a shiny black helmet with a full faceplate. Blaine was half-amused, half-dismayed at this up-close-and-personal sneak-peek he was getting at McKinley High’s answer to James Dean—only then the helmet came off and the most beautiful boy Blaine had ever seen in his entire, entire life patted his perfect hair back into place, latched his helmet to the bike, and lit up a cigarette.
 
Blaine swallowed convulsively. There was an abrupt, bifurcated line in his mind—on the one side was his awareness that his throat was dry and his heart was pounding and his tongue had somehow gotten glued to the roof of his mouth—but the other side was aware only of what his eyes were seeing, and didn’t think anything else mattered at all. It was like a snapshot, an intense and vivid moment in time that he was quite sure he would never be able to forget: the boy, the line of his thigh in tight, faded denim, the sun winking off of black paint and chrome and the zippers of a pristine leather jacket, and—that face.
 
The face that turned to him suddenly, as if aware of his scrutiny—which made sense, because Blaine was mildly surprised there weren’t sirens going off somewhere, given his internal state.
 
“Take a picture, it’ll last longer,” the boy said to him in a haughty, contemptuous voice, then flicked the butt of his cigarette away, slid smoothly and gracefully off the bike, and walked into the building.
 
***
 
Blaine located the school office on autopilot, filled out paperwork on autopilot, and accepted his schedule of classes in the same mode. He had all AP classes, of course, and he found his first, second, and third period classes without too much trouble. Fourth period was a problem, however. He triple-checked the numbers on his schedule against the numbers on the door, but the classroom beyond was empty except for one student, a girl with a long, blonde ponytail and the remarkably abbreviated uniform of the school’s cheer squad, standing against the far wall and staring at… what appeared to be the pencil sharpener.
 
Blaine cleared his throat. “Excuse me, is this, um,” he peered at his schedule. “Mr. Zuckerman’s classroom?”
 
The girl looked at him, her face wide-eyed and placid, marred only by what looked like mild worry. “No. Do you have a pencil?”
 
“A pencil?”
 
“Yes. I came in here because I remembered that my pencils need to be sharpened. But then I remembered that I forgot my pencils at home—and now I feel guilty about leaving it hungry.”
 
Blaine blinked. “The pencil sharpener?”
 
She blinked back at him. “Of course. It can’t eat sandwiches, you know.”
 
Blaine wondered if he was perhaps being pranked, but in the end he just unslung his backpack, unzipped it, and gave her a pencil. The girl smiled at him as if he’d just saved her from a speeding truck, and went to work with the sharpener. “Thank you so much. I’m Brittany.”
 
“Blaine.”
 
“Brittany—” the voice from the classroom doorway—the familiar voice—startled him, and Blaine turned to see the boy from the parking lot frowning in at the pair of them. His heart thudded hard in his chest. “Ms. Hergenroether’s class is next door. Did you forget again?”
 
“No,” Brittany said cheerfully, still feeding the pencil sharpener. “I know. It’s the room to the left—”
 
“The right, actually.”
 
“Right. I’ll be right there.”
 
The boy disappeared down the hall without another word. Blaine swallowed. “Is. Uh. He. Your boyfriend?”
 
Brittany rolled her eyes at him as if he’d said something particularly dense. “No—of course not. He can’t be—Kurt’s capital-G gay.”
 
Blaine’s stomach dropped and his skin flushed hot. “Um. Oh.”
 
“Which is really too bad, because I’d totally make out with him.”
 
“I see.”
 
“Plus, if we were dating, I could finally be in Dykes on Bikes.”
 
Blaine pressed his lips together. Brittany withdrew a tiny, mutilated stub of pencil from the sharpener, and looked at it with evident satisfaction. When she offered it back to him, he just shook his head. “No, that’s okay, Brittany—you keep it.”
 
“Okay. Thanks, Blaine,” Brittany said, smiling. Then she tilted her head and looked him over. “Hey. Do you want to make out?”
 
“What.”
 
“I don’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend right now, and I want to see if your bowtie would spin.” She blinked, and tilted her head the other way. “Hey, you’re turning kind of purple. Are you part dinosaur?”
 
***
 
Blaine spent his lunch period in the school library, following a long-established habit. Before he left, he flipped through the previous year’s Thunderclap with restless, nervous hands until he found what he wanted, then looked around to make sure he was unobserved. He was. Blaine steeled himself, then quietly and surreptitiously slipped the book into his backpack, his cheeks hot, his breath high and shallow in his throat.
 
So he had, literally, taken a picture. And it was going to have to last him however long it took for this insanity to run its ridiculous course, because at this point he seriously doubted if he’d ever be able to speak to Kurt Hummel without hyperventilating.
 
***
 
“It’s one of Principal Figgins’ ideas,” Tina told him, idly picking spitballs out of her hair—she’d been in three of his classes so far, and she seemed very nice, and she hadn’t asked him to make out yet, so he’d made the effort to respond to her overtures. “A few of the AP classes were put together with the remedial classes—” she broke off abruptly to bat away a giant, soaked wad of paper that had been headed right for her eye. She had excellent reflexes. “—to see if we could help each other. Welcome to the hell part of the day.”
 
He was just about to express his opinion on the subject—there was no reason not to, as the teacher, Mr. Beck, was just kind of dozing behind his desk, completely ignoring the chaos of the pitched battle taking place—when Kurt walked in. Sauntered in. And sat at the empty desk to Blaine’s left. Blaine looked straight ahead at the blackboard, blinking rapidly.
 
“Mr. Hummel,” Mr. Beck drawled, “so nice of you to grace us with your presence. Why don’t you have Mr. Anderson there next to you walk you through enough parts of speech to pass the quiz we’re about to have on diagramming sentences? He’s new, and you haven’t made him cry yet. A golden opportunity for you.”
 
There was a collective groan from the class at the mention of a quiz, but Blaine barely heard it. Kurt was looking at him, and he was looking at Kurt, and really he shouldn’t do that because, because…oh. Eyes.
 
Kurt’s gaze dropped to his hands, one eyebrow arching scornfully, and Blaine realized that he was holding out the sheet with the sample sentences they’d been given. “Yeah, sorry, new kid. Not really my thing.”
 
Blaine pulled the paper back to his desk, cursing the heat in his cheeks. Then, seizing a moment of inspiration, he flipped the sheet over to the blank side, scribbled hastily, then held it back out, swallowing hard.
 
“The Triumph Street Triple R roared down the highway,” Kurt read aloud, then looked at him. “You know my bike?”
 
I had a lunch period and a library, he didn’t say. “It’s beautiful.” He cleared his throat. “I’m Blaine.”
 
“Kurt.”
 
The rest of the period passed in a haze of articles and possessives and liquid-cooled engines, and quick glances at the most amazing eyes he’d ever seen.
 
***
 
Small steps. Infinitesimal, gradual steps. His brain kept flashing on those crazy naturalists who camped out and tried to earn the trust of wild animals—the environment was certainly fraught with enough dangers to make the comparison disturbingly viable.
 
He helped Kurt in English. He nodded at Kurt in the hallways. He accepted Tina’s invitation to have lunch at her table in the cafeteria, where he had a good view of the table that Kurt sat at—usually alone, but occasionally with one or two girls.
 
He was in the bathroom, washing off the stinging, icy remnants of a green apple slushie when the door opened and Kurt came in. Blaine scooped water onto his face and rubbed frantically, humiliation curdling in his stomach, his cheeks hot despite the slush dripping off his chin. When he blinked his eyes clear Kurt was still there, taking in the scene, including the two boys standing a few sinks over, snickering.
 
“Out,” Kurt said mildly, and the two boys skittered out of the bathroom like it was on fire.
 
“I’m almost done,” Blaine said hastily, groping for the towel dispenser.
 
“Not you,” Kurt answered. He pulled something out of his pocket—a Leatherman, Blaine saw through one squinted eye—and deftly picked the lock on the dispenser, handing the giant roll to Blaine. “Here.”
 
Blaine took it, swallowing. “Uh. Thanks.”
 
Kurt shrugged, washing his hands vigorously. “Been there. I know how much it sucks.”
 
Blaine tore off a long strip of toweling, and attempted to dry his hair with it. “You? People throw slushies… at you?”
 
Kurt looked away, drying his hands and inspecting his fingernails. “Not anymore.”
 
Blaine tossed the soaked towel away and tore off another one. “Um. Why… I mean, how did you stop them?”
 
Kurt smiled a little—just a little, a sad kind of smile, Blaine thought. “I fought back, I guess. In my own way.”
 
Kurt left the bathroom. Blaine watched him go, then looked down at his shirtfront, sighed, and ripped off another strip of towel.
 
***
 
The slushie conversation gave Blaine the courage to take the next step sooner than he’d planned—he walked into the cafeteria the next day with his loins girded, so to speak; a carefully-worded offer fully prepared in his head.
 
The only problem was—no Kurt. But he was at school today—Blaine had seen him in the halls, had seen his bike in the parking lot when he went to his car for one of his own reference books.
 
He debated, doubted, hesitated… and then decided. He walked up to the table Kurt usually sat at, where one of the girls he sometimes ate with was sitting by herself. He cleared his throat. “Pardon me—I was looking for… I was hoping to speak to Kurt. Do you know where he is?”
 
The girl turned towards him, gigantic, beautiful eyes assessing him coolly from her round, brown face. “You? You’re looking for Kurt?”
 
Blaine felt abruptly self-conscious. “Um. Yes?” He could feel himself blushing. “I had… there was something I wanted to talk to him about—”
 
“I bet,” the girl said with what appeared to be some level of amusement. Then she shrugged. “He’s out behind the gym.”
 
“Oh. Well, thank you.”
 
“You’re welcome,” the girl said, waving one hand airily as she turned back to her lunch. “Have fun.”
 
“I… uh. Thanks.”
 
Have fun?
 
***
 
When Blaine rounded the corner, Kurt was just tossing the butt of his cigarette away, brushing his hands off. He looked Blaine over, evidently surprised. “You? Really?”
 
Blaine hoped his smile looked warm and friendly, not the pasted-on nervous grin it felt like on the inside. “Hey, Kurt—I heard you were out here, and I thought I’d… that is, I wanted to talk to you—”
 
Kurt was smiling, a half-amused, half-bitter smile. “Yeah, okay. I guess you never know.”
 
The next second Blaine’s breath stopped dead in his throat, because Kurt took him by the shirtfront, hauled him around, and pressed him—hard—into the brick wall. “Let me run the rules down for you, since this is your first time.” Kurt was close, so close, and something very wrong was going on, and Blaine needed to think and he needed to pay attention, but that was pretty much impossible because… Kurt was so close. “No calling me by any girly names. No kissing. And if you come on my boots, I’ll make you lick it off. Understood?”
 
Blaine nearly passed out. “I… I… oh my God what?”
 
Kurt shrugged, shifting against him. “You don’t have to freak out, you know—you’re not the only straight boy at McKinley who occasionally wants to get jerked off by… uh—”
 
Kurt let go of him. Blaine figured that was probably because he was hyperventilating. He shook his head, then wished he hadn’t done that because he nearly keeled over. “I’m not…” he managed, sounding half-strangled.
 
Kurt stepped back from him, eyeing him warily. “You’re not… you’re not here for a hand-job, are you?”
 
Blaine shook his head. “I’m not… no.” He was numb. His lips were numb. And they were still moving. “And I’m not… I’m not straight.”
 
Oh, God. He’d actually said it. Out loud. To another person. To Kurt. On top of everything else, it was… too much. His eyes stung.
 
Kurt blinked. “You… huh. Really? You’re… gay?”
 
He was shaking. This was awful. “Yes,” he said, and yanked his glasses off to wipe his eyes. He swallowed. “Nobody knows.”
 
Kurt looked him over; smiling again, but—different, a different smile. “With that wardrobe?” he said softly, touching Blaine’s bow tie with one finger. “I think you’re probably right.”
 
And just like that, Blaine was laughing—about the last thing he expected or felt like doing, but—he couldn’t help it. He laughed so hard he doubled over, sliding down the wall until he was crouched down on the concrete with his face in his hands. He heard Kurt chuckle, then laugh, and then snort, delicately—and that didn’t help at all.
 
When he finally wiped his eyes and looked up, Kurt was leaning against the bricks with both arms crossed over his chest, regarding him with evident amusement. “Are you done?”
 
“I… yes. I believe so.” Kurt held out his hand and Blaine took it, trying not to think about how easily Kurt hauled him upright. “Sorry.”
 
Kurt shrugged. “No big deal. What did you want?”
 
His brain was still semi-scrambled—he repeated the question to himself, but it was hitting a dead circuit. “Um. What?”
 
Kurt’s mouth quirked at the corners. “Well, if you didn’t come out here for a hand-job, what did you come out here for?”
 
It occurred to him that he would probably regain his equilibrium a lot faster if Kurt would stop mentioning that quite so casually—but there didn’t seem to be any way to say so, politely. “Oh. I… yes. I thought, maybe—” his speech, so carefully constructed, was nothing but a tattered mess in his head. “Uh. Work. Schoolwork. I could… I’d help you. If you wanted.”
 
Kurt looked away from him for a moment, as if he were thinking it over. Blaine had enough time for his heart to cramp up over the perfection of Kurt’s profile before Kurt turned back to him, smiling faintly, a roguish and deeply disconcerting glint in his eye. “Hmm. Instead, how about you do my homework for me and I’ll stroke you off?”
 
Blaine choked, then started coughing. Kurt thumped him on the back, hard. “Jeez—I’m just kidding, Blaine. Don’t pop a vessel, okay?” He shook his head. “You know, if you’re gonna hang out with me, you may want to work on not being so fucking uptight all the time.”
 
***
 
Simplify the following expression—what the hell does that even mean? That I’m supposed to look bored? Because it’s working. I don’t even know what an expression is—”
 
“It’s a mathematical phrase,” Blaine said automatically, unloading his books from his backpack. “In that context, a combination of ordinary numbers, variables and operators.”
 
He looked up to find Kurt staring at him, a half-amused, half-annoyed look on his face. “Oh really? You don’t say. Well then, what’s…” he flipped pages. “uh. The fundamental theorem of—”
 
“Every single-variable polynomial—every non-zero one with complex coefficients, anyway—has exactly as many complex roots as its degree. If each root is counted up to its multiplicity.”
 
Kurt’s eyes narrowed, and he closed the book and picked up another one, paging rapidly. “When did the Continental Congress first meet?”
 
“1774.”
 
“With how many delegates?”
 
“Um. Fifty-six.”
 
Kurt tossed that book and picked up another one. “What year did Guyana declare independence?”
 
“1966.”
 
A flash of blue eyes. “From?”
 
“England. Or, the U.K.”
 
Another book. “Okay. What’s the first line of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, smartass?”
 
Blaine closed his eyes. “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.”
 
He opened his eyes, and cracked up at the expression on Kurt’s face. Kurt tossed the book aside, breaking into a grin. “You know what, Blaine? Fuck you.”
 
Then they were both laughing.
 
***
 
Blaine was mentally working out a lesson plan to best develop Kurt’s budding interest in algebra, when a sudden shove sent him careening into the lockers. He managed—barely—to hold onto his books and notes, although his glasses were knocked askew. He supposed he was lucky they hadn’t broken.
 
Two boys in letterman jackets were making their way down the hall, the one that had pushed him, and another one, who actually, shockingly, spoke up. “Dude—impulse control!”
 
Blaine was still staring after him when suddenly Kurt was there, right next to him. “Don’t bother, Blaine. That’s Finn Hudson. Giant cock, but he’s got some impulse control issues of his own, if you know what I mean. Also, he’s straight. Well… technically.”
 
Blaine hoped the sudden rush of heat in his cheeks would be attributed to the shoving incident. “Um, I wasn’t… that is… I was just. Surprised. That he said that.”
 
Kurt shrugged. “Finn’s a decent guy. Most of the time.” He reached out and tweaked Blaine’s glasses until they sat right.
 
Blaine swallowed. He shouldn’t ask. He wasn’t going to ask. Except no, his lips were moving, so apparently he was asking. “So, I guess you and he, uh…”
 
One corner of Kurt’s mouth turned up. “He was my first, actually.” He tilted his head and fluttered his eyelashes. “A fact that would undoubtedly make me all misty were I not, you know, me.” He crossed his arms across his chest. “Don’t worry about Puckerman—I’ll talk to him.”
 
“Who?”
 
“The asshole who pushed you—”
 
“Oh—no, Kurt. Really.” He cleared his throat and resettled his glasses. “I mean, that’s very kind of you, but—I don’t want you to fight my battles for me, you know?”
 
Kurt raised an eyebrow. “If you say so—but it’s no problem, if you change your mind—I’ve gotten pretty good at it.” He dropped a wink. “Speaking of which,” he craned his neck to look at the clock on the wall, “I gotta go. There’s a hockey player waiting for me behind the gym who likes a tight, overhand grip coupled with lots of verbal abuse. No rest for the wicked.”
 
Blaine returned his airy, farewell wave with a brief, hesitant nod, then headed down the hall towards the library on feet that felt like they were made of lead.
 
***
 
He never meant to ask. He actually meant never to ask—it wasn’t his business, and it seemed like a touchy subject, despite Kurt’s deliberate nonchalance about it. But today they were studying at a small table tucked in the back of the Lima Public Library, and the winter sun streaming through the windows made Kurt look like he was glowing, so perfectly angelic that Blaine felt like someone was wringing his heart like a damp rag every time he looked up. Blaine couldn’t focus on teaching composition. He couldn’t focus on anything at all, unfortunately—not even on keeping his mouth shut when he knew that he should.
 
“Why do you do it?”
 
Kurt glanced up briefly from his notes, his brows drawn together. “Do what?”
 
“With, uh. You know. Guys. Behind the gym.”
 
Kurt shrugged and went back to scribbling. “It works for me.”
 
Blaine swallowed. “Oh.” He had a million things he wanted to say to that.
 
He said none of them.
 
***
 
The light streaming in was blinding, painfully so—but Blaine didn’t even care because along with the light came air, wonderful air, air that didn’t smell like—
 
“Oh my God—Blaine?”
 
Blaine ducked his head and put his hands over his face, his shoulders hunching with the sudden weight of added mortification. Kurt. Of course, Kurt would be the one to find him like this. “Uh. Hi. Yeah. I’m not… this isn’t on purpose, you know—”
 
“What—that some assholes locked you in a porta-potty and then rolled it? I’m pretty sure that was on purpose, Blaine.” Blaine blinked up into the light and saw Kurt’s face, dark and thunderous and… angry. “Who did it?”
 
“Doesn’t matter,” Blaine said, and shook his head when Kurt extended a hand. “No, don’t touch me, okay? I’m… I can climb out on my own. I just… I really need a shower.”
 
The sun was setting and the school was deserted as they made their way through the halls. Blaine kept as much distance between them as he could, and he didn’t return Kurt’s glances. “I never thought I’d say this, but I’m glad I had to run punishment laps today,” Kurt said, his hands fisted in his pockets. “I never would have found you otherwise.”
 
“I promise you, you’re not anywhere near as glad as I am. I thought I was going to be there all night.”
 
“Are you going to tell me who did it?”
 
“Are you going to tell me why you got punishment laps?”
 
“I told my Spanish teacher exactly what I thought of him.”
 
Blaine actually found himself chuckling. He’d met Kurt’s Spanish teacher.
 
“Blaine—”
 
“No, Kurt. I’m not going to tell you. I don’t want you… doing anything… on my account.”
 
Kurt tapped a locker with his fist as he passed it. “Oh, whatever, Blaine—look, I can just put you back in the porta-potty if you feel the need to martyr yourself—”
 
“I really don’t.” Blaine ducked into the locker room when Kurt held the door for him, and flipped on the lights with his elbow. “Thanks, Kurt. For… letting me out.”
 
Kurt shrugged, flipping his Leatherman out of his pocket. “Apparently it’s the least I can do. Well, that, and break into enough lockers to find you some clothes that will fit.”
 
Blaine didn’t say so, but he was kind of absurdly touched by the gesture.
 
He used an entire bar of soap and half a bottle of shampoo. When he finally felt that he’d scrubbed himself down to a molecular level he shut off the tap, shook the water out of his hair, then wrapped a towel firmly around his hips before he walked back out into the locker room.
 
Kurt had left a stack of clothes on the bench, and was rummaging for more in some hapless jock’s locker. “Honestly, Blaine; I don’t know why I’m being so damned picky choosing clothes for a guy who thinks suspenders and grandpa-pants are the height of sartorial snazziness, but…” he trailed off when he turned around, a white shirt hanging from his fingers. He stared for a few seconds, then cleared his throat and turned away, tossing the shirt in Blaine’s direction. “Anyway, these should fit you. I’m gonna… I’ll wait for you outside, okay?”
 
Blaine caught the shirt with the hand that wasn’t clutching his towel. “Okay,” he said quietly, but the door had already wheezed shut.
 
He dried off and dressed quickly—jeans, boots, white v-neck shirt and a black flannel overshirt, then ran his fingers through his untidy mop of hair—it would have to do.
 
Kurt looked him over when he came through the door into the hallway. He nodded, but his face was solemn. “Look, Blaine, you’re not… you’re obviously not some ninety-pound weakling, okay? And I know you don’t want me to do anything… uh. Vengeance-y… but. This thing, this thing that happened to you today—that was bad. Really bad. And you have to know it’s not going to stop. Not until you do something.”
 
Kurt’s eyes were frank and level, intense and right at him, and there was a dismaying moment of flipping freefall in Blaine’s stomach, a moment in which he suddenly realized the full extent to which he was pretty much powerless in the face of Kurt asking him…anything. “I… yeah, yes, I know. I just. I’m not sure what I should… I mean, I’m not really—”
 
“That’s what I’m saying,” Kurt interrupted, his voice earnest and low. “I could help. I could… teach you some things. Let me teach you.”
 
“I… yes, okay,” he answered, because Kurt could have said ‘Let me set you on fire, Blaine,’ and he would have said the same thing. “I’d like that.”
 
Kurt smacked him on the shoulder as they headed down the darkened hall, and Blaine started wondering whether there was any kind of athletic undergarment that was designed to conceal unbidden and inappropriate autonomic responses in teenage males.
 
***
 
They fell into a routine: study after school in the library until it closed (and until after-school sports practice was over), then an hour or two in the gym, which they usually had all to themselves by then.
 
Usually, but not always. Blaine was practicing his falls (he didn’t need the mirrors lining the walls to know that he looked like the world’s biggest dork doing it, but knowing how to fall turned out to be somewhat vital to the whole process, so practice he did), when the door to the locker room banged open—but it wasn’t Kurt. It was one of the football team jocks; a big, florid blond boy who’d slushied him once or twice, and who, yes, Blaine was quite sure of it, had been in the group that had locked him in the toilet.
 
The guy looked him over and grinned. “What the fuck are you doing—some kind of stupid-ass nerd ballet?”
 
“It’s called Ninjutsu, Strando,” Kurt snapped, walking into the room in a pair of black sweats and a black t-shirt. “But you may know it better as ‘that thing I’m going to use to fuck your ugly ass up if you don’t get the hell out of here’.”
 
The blond boy stepped forward. “You don’t scare me, Hummel—”
 
Kurt leaned against the mirrored wall, his arms crossed over his chest. “No? Well, we’re even, then—because you and your itty-bitty dick wouldn’t scare anyone, except maybe a cockroach. Which might actually be your best chance of passing on your genetic material, now that I think about it—”
 
Kurt’s voice rose shrilly towards the end, but the door whooshed shut behind Strando before Kurt even finished the sentence.
 
Blaine sat up on the mat, wrapping his arms around his knees. “That guy? You… and that guy?”
 
Kurt looked at him sharply. “Is there a problem, Blaine?”
 
“No.” He swallowed. “No problem. I was just… I didn’t see that coming.”
 
Kurt snorted mildly, staring down at his feet and digging one toe into the mat. “Trust me—you’d need a magnifying glass to see that guy coming.”
 
Blaine took it for the olive branch that it was, and started stretching his hamstrings.
 
[Part 2]
 
 
 
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
chartreuse_77chartreuse_77 on November 1st, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
aw man I totally can't read this right now because I need to go to bed so I can get up early, so I can go to work tomorrow and inspire young minds and shit, but I LOVE YOUR STORIES. I will leave an actual, coherent response tomorrow, when I have time to read this.
yangatheartyangatheart on November 1st, 2011 08:58 pm (UTC)
Oh wow. So i saw a post for this on tumblr (don't have an account but it's fun to trawl) and I read it...loved it, it was brilliant. I love geeky, awkward, bookish Blaine who somehow managed to be confidant enough to go after badass Kurt and i love badass Kurt, who became that way because of his vulnerabilities.

Anyway yeah, really enjoyed the read, thanks so much for writing it.
blue_peridotblue_peridot on November 19th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
this is marvellous, as you are. that part with kurt, blaine and the textbooks was funny and wonderful and comfortable and friendly and all sorts of lovely.

and the first scene with kurt and blaine at the back of the gym was a mix of hilarious and sad and lovely, because they just got closer there and blaine told someone for the first time that he's gay- i'm glad it was kurt.

and blaine stealing kurt's picture was cute and vaguely stalker-ish and a nice reference to kurt's canon locker photo. are you gonna bring in courage? guess i'll see!

the konfrontation with karofsky was fucking fabulous. kick ass, kurt! and never let him see you shake!

i love kurt being a badass who owns a kick-ass motorcycle that his dad showed him how to safely use, who knows ninjutsu and tells his teachers exactly what he thinks of them. i like that he had the sense and foresight to learn ninjitsu. and i like his relationship with burt. i like that he mustered up the courage to tell his dad and that burt was as wonderful as he is. (especially when contasted to blaine's not-coming out scene with his dad). i don't like him jerking these guys off, but it keeps him safe and he's sorta using them and... idk, it's a complicated situation. it works for him. but i still think it's kinda degrading. yet empowering, at the same time- he can reduce them to nothing, and he has this sensitive part of his former bullies literally in the palms of his hands, so he's in control too. that's a very interesting act you chose for him to perform, actually. for the purposes of ensuring he retains power, i think handjobs are the best thing. i like that he's as snarky and sarcastic as i know and love. he's kinda like the male santana, actually.

the background on blaine- and kurt too, actually- was wonderful and vital to the story and just so, so good. it was concise enough to not drag the story on, yet detailed and vivid enough to paint a clear picture of these moments of their lives and how they developed because of them. the realisation of their sexuality at that age, and how they found out, was pretty revealing. i liked having an explanation for blaine's gel. and that dismal story with blaine's friend michael was striking and so formative.

i like that kurt is the badboy here, and i like that blaine's a nerd. i like that blaine was struck the moment he saw kurt- it's some nice role reversal from canon. i like that kurt is so hot. and that blaine befriended kurt slowly and deliberately- guess he did borrow some anthropology books after all! their friendship is wonderful, and such a nice variation on canon. i like that they help each other in different ways. i'm pretty sure kurt'd be brilliant academically if he put in some effort, of course. i also like the subtle layer of secrets remaining between them still- blaine's family, kurt's reasoning for the handjobs, etc.

your brittany is absolutely spot-on. absolutely.

i will now proceed to the next part. reading your writing is a joy.

blue_peridotblue_peridot on November 19th, 2011 04:41 am (UTC)
oh yeah! i also LOVED that moment where kurt saw blaine in the towel and was struck with the realisation that he's hot. fantastic.
wowbrightwowbright on November 27th, 2011 05:29 am (UTC)
Every single moment of this story is pure genius. I'm not exaggerating. I want to pull out lines and show them to you, but I can't, because every line is perfect. Even if I had never heard of Kurt or Blaine before (and see how ingeniously true you are to their canon characters even in this very alternative universe), you would have had me eager by the end of the first paragraph and glued to the story by the end of the third paragraph.

I want to go on and on about how this should be required reading for every literature and creative writing student in the whole f-ing universe, and how they should have to diagram each sentence and paragraph and section to learn about great writing. But I will stop and continue reading instead.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )