Title: Eight Years Coming (2/?)
Spoilers (if any): Blaine exists. Though lovely, we have to disregard 2x16 for our story continuity.
Warnings (if any): swearing!
Word Count: 4517 (Total: 8641)
Summary: In the following eight years after high school graduation, Kurt has made a name for himself in an industry nobody expected: cupcakes. When Blaine suddenly makes a reappearance into his life, his perfectly constructed life crumbles into emotional turmoil.
Kurt was afraid to open his eyes.
Birds were chirping outside the window, and far in the distance cars were driving by on the street. A slight breeze caused by a draft from the window was drifting over his cheek. The backs of his eyelids were stained red, telling him that the sun was blazing in onto his face.
It was too perfect. Way too good to be true. It all must have been a dream, there was no way—
But then Kurt felt something else. A steady, rhythmic breath of air on his cheek. Was the window really drafty after all?
Slowly, very very slowly, Kurt opened his eyes.
He found himself in his bed, face to face with Blaine Anderson.
If it hadn’t been for the comfort of his high thread count cotton sheets, he would have done an odd combination of scream, dance, sing, and cry. He instead focused his tired, still sandy-feeling eyes on Blaine’s too close face. It was the epitome of peaceful; his usually active eyebrows were at ease, his bright eyes dimmed by closed eyelids, his body moving slightly up and down from his intake of breath. But most importantly, his lips, perfectly pouted and slightly open from sleep. If only Kurt could manage to find the confidence he had yesterday (but what felt like a million years ago) at the Cupcake shop, he would close the space, the minuscule, two-inch space between them, to fulfill a longing he had been putting off for more than eight years…
Blaine’s eyes flew open.
He sat up immediately, but his hand flew to his head.
“Oh, not a good idea…” he groaned, flopping back down upon Kurt’s bed. “Fuck it is bright in here.”
“It’s the Dior Grey,” Kurt rasped, his head pounding with each word. “Ugh. You want something to eat?”
“Oh God, not food…”
“I’ll just heat up some coffee then.”
“Black. Just keep it black for me right now.”
Kurt stumbled out of bed, but he heard the fated noise. A key in the lock. Goddammit.
“Kurt, where are you?” Her voice was like a thousand elephants trampling through his aching head. “How’d the meeting go?”
Molly rounded the corner, to see Kurt still halfway out of bed, and Blaine wrapped in the covers. She raised a manicured hand to her mouth, which had an overly large grin cracking it in half, and chuckled awkwardly. “Oh my. Well, I’ll just leave you alone then.”
“No, Molly!” Kurt snapped.
“Ahhh,” Blaine groaned. “No need to scream,” he whined at Kurt.
“When you said a business meeting… well, I never figured you meant—” Molly began blatantly.
Kurt cut in, his heart beating a mile a minute. “Really, Molly, it’s not like that at all—”
Blaine came to the rescue. Though his clothes and hair were rumpled and he was obviously hungover, he put on a valiant effort to look sober and professional as he rose out of bed to shake Molly’s hand.
“Hi, Blaine Anderson. Kurt’s high school friend.” he managed to pull a bright smile out of his pocket. How he did this Kurt did not know, especially if Blaine’s head was pounding as much as Kurt’s was.
Molly smiled hesitantly back, not sure whether to stay or leave. She attempted at the former. “So what happened here? Girls gone wild?”
“A bit,” Kurt replied, a smile tugging at his lips. He winced with the effort. “Be my favorite bad bitch and get us some coffee?”
“I’m not your maid,” she responded airily, and added before whisking out of the room, “But I do make a mean hangover cure. Hope you aren’t allergic to anything, Mr. Anderson.”
“Oh, that’s weird,” Blaine grumbled. “Mr. Anderson. Really.”
“It suits you,” Kurt commented. “Maybe I should just call you that from now on. Is there anything else you need, Mr. Anderson sir?”
Blaine smiled briefly, sitting back down on the bed and raking a hand through his hair. “You’re funny. I’m really hungover.”
“And I’m not?”
“How on Earth can you be this awake?” Blaine moaned exasperatedly. “I’m struggling to keep my eyes open. I never want to wake up again.”
“You need to get some more alcohol tolerance, Mr. Anderson.”
“Mhm, I’m never ever drinking again.”
Blaine smiled weakly as he took a pillow into his lap and crossed his legs. “Let me restate: I’m never drinking again unless it involves karaoke.”
“I second the motion, Mr. Anderson.”
“Will you shut up?” Blaine laughed, taking his pillow and slamming it across Kurt’s face with such force that it knocked him on his back.
“Ow, Really?” Kurt asked incredulously “You really wanna go there?” He grabbed the nearest pillow and whacked Blaine across the head with it several times before collapsing back down in exertion.
Blaine cradled his head in his hands and fell into fetal position. “No…” he moaned. “No more, please.”
Kurt laughed halfheartedly and looked at his friend, who smiled back at him.
“Okay,” Blaine said, slowly easing himself into sitting position. “I officially feel disgusting.” He ran his hand once again through his partially gelled curls. “Do you think I could have a shower?”
Kurt shivered and nodded, not really trusting his voice to not waver. Blaine stood up shakily, walking into the master bathroom and closing the door with a soft click.
“Is he gone?”
“He’s gone,” Kurt whispered, and Molly rushed into the room. “Where’s the hangover cure?” She pulled out a thermos.
“Hair of the dog that bit you,” she declared, pouring a bit of it into a glass for him. Kurt scrunched up his nose.
“A Bloody Mary? You’re original.”
“The vitamins are good for you or some shit!” Molly defended. “Anyways. Is this THE Blaine?”
“The Blaine. The Blaine. When have I ever in my life mentioned Blaine?” Kurt asked, confusedly.
“I went through your high school yearbooks. You were in nearly EVERY picture with him. So, what’s up? Why you got a hot curly-boy ass in your bed?”
At that moment, the shower turned on in the bathroom, and Kurt sighed in relief.
“We only had enough to split a cab here. In any event, it’s not like that, no matter how much I would like it to be.” Right after he said it, Kurt clasped a hand to his mouth and Molly pointed at him, her mouth ajar.
“What?! No, wait, WHAT?! Since when is Kurt Hummel, the Relationship Bum-mel actually interested in someone?!”
“No, no! I didn’t mean! Wait!” Kurt groaned and fell back onto the bed in defeat, motioning for Molly to sit beside him. He took a long drag on his drink.
“Look,” Kurt said, glancing nervously at the door. “This is different—”
“Oh sure,” Molly said sarcastically, arms crossed.
“Just- shh!” Kurt said with an accompanying ‘shut it so I can talk’ hand gesture.
“Truthfully, Blaine was pretty much the first technically gay crush I ever had.”
“So?” Molly scoffed. “You’re always the one who says that ‘relationships are for saps,’ and ‘I don’t need a significant other to feel confident about myself.” The body language she employed to mock him were way too similar to his own.
“You don’t understand!” Kurt said, grabbing Molly’s hand with the one that was not holding a Bloody Mary. He took a deep breath and rolled his eyes up to the ceiling, praying for strength to admit aloud what had been spinning around in his brain for the past twelve hours. “Blaine has been the archetype for every single guy I’ve liked since high school.”
Molly was done making fun. She looked seriously at Kurt.
“And this guy… this guy just happened to be the executive of the advertising firm you by chance decided to strike a deal with.”
“Yes,” Kurt said hesitantly, not sure where she was going with this.
“And it was just like old times? Best friends as always?”
“Yeah, I guess.” He took another sip of the drink.
“The guy you’ve had a crush on since high school?”
“Hey, wait I never said—”
“Then go for it!” Molly practically yelled, squeezing his hand. This not only sent off explosions in Kurt’s head, it alarmed him to no end that Blaine should hear this particularly mortifying conversation.
“You NEED to shut your mouth, please, just for once,” hissed Kurt angrily, leaning forward towards Molly, who just giggled. At that moment, the water in the shower turned off. It was like Kurt had been in the shower too, and his blood ran cold.
Fuck. Had he heard?
Kurt glanced over his shoulder, but the door remained closed. Another sigh of relief.
He turned back to Molly. “Please, Molly,” he said. “He is not interested. He made that very clear back in high school.”
“I wasn’t aware that we were still teenagers,” she replied coolly. “Last time I checked you were twenty-six-Goddamn-years-old. Old enough to take command of your own life.”
“But this would be taking command of Blaine and my own love life,” Kurt pointed out. Molly groaned and weaved her hands into her hair, pulling it.
“You are extremely frustrating,” she growled. “And I mean it.”
“I love you too, dear,” Kurt said lightly, and Blaine decided to emerge at that moment, rubbing a towel through his clean and ungelled hair.
“I’m wearing the same clothes, and it’s grossing me out,” Blaine announced. There was a short silence, and the tension was broken in the room, with Molly falling into a giggling hysteric that had her tipping over, and Kurt laughing into his hand.
“What’s so funny?” Blaine asked, aghast.
“Nothing,” Kurt said quickly. “I can lend you something if you’d like.”
Blaine briefly put an arm around Kurt and said, “Thanks, you’re a saint.” For some reason, this entertained Molly to no end as a fresh new set of giggles erupted from her.
“What’s wrong with her?” Blaine chuckled as Kurt offered him the hangover cure. Kurt led him to the chest of drawers beside his extensive closet.
“She’s got some mental issues,” Kurt fake-whispered to him.
“Hey!” now that she was being insulted, Molly did not seem to find the situation funny. “He’s the one with mental issues,” she blurted.
Kurt cleared his throat loudly, shooting a menacing look of daggers at her. “Okay Blaine, these might be a little big, but why don’t you wear this—” (he threw a pair of True Religion jeans into his arms) “…this…” (a comfy white cotton shirt) “and…” (with a flourish he pulled out a navy blue cardigan) “this. Sorry dude, but I’m a neat-freak enough to not let you barge into my underwear drawer.”
And there was Molly, in giggles again.
“I will kick you out,” Kurt warned.
Blaine had quirked a smile, and Kurt just rolled his eyes. “Don’t encourage her,” he muttered. He stood and shooed Molly out the door, shutting it in her face, amidst her many protests.
“Do you wanna do something today?” Blaine asked, pulling on his leather shoes and wincing. Kurt bit his lip.
“Well, it’s Thursday… I’m still in shock that we went out on a Wednesday, by the way,” Kurt added quietly. “I do have work…”
“NO, HE DOESN’T!” Molly shouted through the door. “AND HE’D LOVE TO DO SOMETHING TODAY!”
Fucking Molly. So intrusive! Kurt looked back over and Blaine, who shrugged and lifted his eyebrows in question. “So should we do something?”
“I doubt Molly will let me say no, but it’s not as though I’d want to,” Kurt replied breezily, pushing his bangs back in place. “That’s a yes, Blaine. What do you want to do?”
“Do you wanna do something kind of weird?” Blaine asked, his voice full of double meaning. Kurt felt his face growing beet red, but Blaine laughed. “The aquarium. Do you want to go to the aquarium?”
“Yes, the aquarium. Yeah, let’s go,” Kurt responded, out of it, feeling lightheaded.
Kurt had never really been to the aquarium as a kid. Sure, he had had his fair share of goldfish as a little kid when his dad was convinced his child was incapable of the responsibility any animal larger than three inches in length brought with it. But aside from the fishbowl on his childhood bedside table Kurt had never really bothered to oggle at fish from behind the glass.
When he told this to Blaine as they drove to the Aquarium, Blaine nearly sprayed his black coffee to go all over the passenger side of Kurt’s dark cherry red Ford Fiesta.
“Please contain yourself!” Kurt scoffed, appalled, but eyed the coffee that looked appealing to his still-throbbing head. He grabbed it out of Blaine’s hands as the curly-haired maniac continued to laugh and took a sip.
“Hey!” Blaine stopped laughing immediately and claimed the container back. “I can’t believe you’ve never been to the aquarium. Don’t worry, it’s not boring at all.”
‘Well of course not,’ Kurt thought, ‘because nothing is boring when I’m with Blaine.’
But Kurt was determined, now that he and Blaine were officially “friends” again, not to let childish feelings get in the way of what had to be nothing other than fate. Even if Kurt still didn’t believe in religion, some things just could not be explained by simple coincidence. He would NOT screw this up.
But keeping cool was pretty damn hard when Blaine was smiling goofily at him and chatting in his smoother-than-melted-chocolate voice all the way to their destination.
He hadn’t realized just how large the Aquarium of the Pacific was. But the place was huge. He hadn’t realized that it wasn’t just a few fish swimming about in a tank.
Blaine had dragged Kurt behind him, paying for the tickets quickly and taking him inside the place.
“Otters!” Kurt exclaimed excitedly. “There’s otters here, Blaine, look!” He jumped around the side of the otter exhibit, bouncing on the balls of his feet to get a better look at the semi-aquatic mammals.
“Are you sure you’re twenty-six?” Blaine asked, laughing.
“I’ll have you know that I’m nearly twenty-seven,” Kurt sniffed. His eyes drifted and grew wide. “There are SHARKS here?”
“Of course,” Blaine replied, now at least attempting to hold in his laughter but failing miserably. “All kinds.”
“Do you think they’ll have an octopus?” Kurt asked, his face bright and anxious. Blaine had stopped laughing by now, but a large smile still graced his face.
“I’d be really surprised if they didn’t.”
“Well, I think we should go check.”
“I agree.” With that, Blaine stepped forward and threaded his fingers in Kurt’s. Kurt temporarily lost his breathing function and had to jog slightly to keep up with Blaine’s brisk pace. His heart was beating loudly in his ears, and he had to bite his lower lip to keep from laughing hysterically (or crying).
They whisked past excited children and tourists with clicking cameras, under the life-size blue whale that hung suspended from the ceiling. Kurt’s heart felt twice the whale’s size, with nothing to worry about, just laughing with his friend (FRIEND, Kurt emphasized in his head), fingers safe and warm in Blaine’s.
“If things haven’t changed since the last time I was here…” Blaine mused as they stopped idly at the foot of the broad, winding stairs, “Octopi are on the second floor, all the way in the back of the…”
“Northern Pacific Gallery.” Kurt had pulled Map out of his coat pocket with his free hand.
“Which is right up there.” Blaine pointed to the clearly stated exhibit. “You don’t miss a step, do you?” he asked incredulously, grinning.
“Never,” said Kurt proudly.
Blaine smirked mischievously. “Well in that case…” he bit his lip before jumping up: “Race you there!”
In the split second it took Kurt to comprehend, Blaine laughed at his oblivious face and squeezed his hand playfully before sprinting up the stairs, knocking innocent and bewildered passerby out of the way.
“This isn’t fair,” Kurt wheezed, his hands resting upon his knees. “I work in a Goddamn cupcake shop, and you expect me to race you?”
Blaine just leaned against the tank of colorful tropical Micronesian fish. “Yeah, but you wouldn’t have gotten up here right as this exhibit opens, and trust me, you want to be the only one in here.”
Kurt raised an eyebrow, but then he looked up at Blaine. His mouth fell open.
Everything was tinged in a bright blue, and even the floor was shimmering with the light reflecting from the sun. He wouldn’t admit it to Blaine, or even himself, but the sharp contrast of the shadows and reflected light upon Blaine’s face made him seem even MORE gorgeous, which he honestly hadn’t thought possible. He looked regal. Not fair.
They were in a tunnel of glass, with even the ceilings having fish fly over them. He turned back to Blaine.
“We’re underwater,” he stated incredulously, and Blaine smirked.
“That we are. Here, let’s look for an octopus. There must be at least one. Look around rocks.”
So they stood side by side, hands on the glass, searching for an octopus. A Goddamned octopus.
Kurt wasn’t looking for a Goddamned octopus. A nice thought, though. As if he
could tear his eyes from Blaine! He was—
— Stupid. They were friends.
So he tore his eyes from the teal-tinged face of his friend, his FRIEND, his FRIEND! and began his search for the eight-legged cephalopod.
Their hands, pressed against the glass, were millimeters away. Kurt didn’t need to stare to notice this; his peripheral vision did all the work. He swallowed hard and tore himself away from Blaine’s side to peruse the other end of the tank.
Unbeknownst to Kurt, Blaine’s eyes followed him all the way there, watching his porcelain skin dance under the aquamarine light.
“Hey look!” Kurt suddenly said. He motioned for Blaine to join him. “Come here.”
Blaine obeyed, standing behind Kurt and leaning over his shoulder to see from the same angle. Kurt tried to pretend that Blaine’s cheek’s close proximity to his own wasn’t disconcerting. He pointed at the glass.”Right there.”
Blaine leaned a little more forward. Kurt only half-wished Blaine had the capacity to stay out of his personal bubble. When Blaine said nothing in response, Kurt commented with concern, “Don’t you see it?”
Blaine chuckled, and they both turned to each other at once to find their blue-lit faces much closer than they had estimated. Kurt was paralyzed, not sure whether they were too close for friends or too far from more-than-friends. Blaine’s face, for the two seconds they stared in shock, was unreadable besides surprise. Then, he smiled indecipherably and lowered his eyes, but did not move an inch forward or back.
“Kurt…” he muttered.
“Yes,” Kurt said bravely in a very small voice.
Blaine’s eyes moved back up to his, sparkling with humor. “That’s a squid, not an octopus.”
Kurt let out a breath he did not know he had been holding in with a sharp laugh and shoved Blaine away. “God, don’t do that to me!” he blurted out.
“Do what?” Blaine asked, laughing at Kurt’s irritation.
“Nothing,” Kurt sighed, rolling his eyes and turning on his heel. “Let’s go. There are obviously no octopi here.”
“Wait,” Blaine said, falling in step with him. “Seriously, don’t do what?”
“Nothing,” Kurt insisted, shrugging nonchalantly.
“Come on,” Blaine said, pleading like a child.
“Nothing,” Kurt said, smiling.
“Ku-urt,” Blaine sang, his tone light and airy.
“Bla-aine,” Kurt sang right back, his voice just as sweet.
“Seriously. What was—”
“I want to look at sharks,” Kurt interrupted suddenly. Blaine raised his eyebrows once more.
“Well, OK,” Blaine said, bewildered. “That’s fine. They’re downstairs, in the Shark Lagoon. You can pet some of them, actually.”
Kurt blanched. “And they wouldn’t take a chunk out of you or something?” he asked tentatively, and Blaine just laughed, which he seemed to do a lot around Kurt.
“No, they’re the nice ones. You could even touch a sting ray.”
That seemed to do it for Kurt, and he was already halfway down the stairs before Blaine could realize what was happening.
“I thought I was slow!” Kurt called behind him, and Blaine just smirked before racing after him.
Kurt ran through the Sea Lion tunnel that led to the outside area of the Aquarium, Blaine trailing at his heels. He pushed past the doors and broke into the lightly crowded, sunlit courtyard, and ran through the children’s playground, nearly getting soaked with the water-fire of opposing kid’s water-spraying play structures (from what Kurt glimpsed, the girl in charge of the giant squid fountain was dominating the twin boys cowering behind the large shark). Once he reached the shallow Shark Lagoon he stopped abruptly, causing Blaine to crash into him and nearly knock Kurt into the water. Luckily, Blaine caught him by the waist and straightened his friend up before the warm, tropical water could take hold of Kurt’s completely Prada outfit.
“No rough-housing in the Shark Lagoon,” the lady announcing miscellaneous shark facts said monotonously before returning to repeating her memorized facts.
Blaine’s arm lingered for a moment on Kurt’s waist before he brought it in front of him to point: “Hey look, there’s a really big black sting ray. I think it’s coming over this way, watch out—”
Kurt hastily rolled up his designer sleeve and dipped his hand into the water to stroke the surprisingly smooth-yet rough surface of the sleek ray.
“Ohmygosh,” he said, automatically giggling and feeling like a five-year old. “You have to feel this.”
But the ray was already sliding away, making its rounds about the oddly-shaped pond. Blaine made to follow it, but it kept escaping. They went on a wild goose-chase around the pool, laughing and shrieking and lunging this way and that trying to grab hold of the thing.
“Touch with two fingers only,” the shark-lady said in a very bored tone, speaking to no one in particular.
“Looks like someone needs a Courage Cupcake,” Kurt said out of the corner of his mouth, effecting a choke of laughter from Blaine as the frightened ray finally slipped away.
They spent another half hour chasing the sharks around the pool, effectively ignoring the woman upon her perch. She didn’t seem to mind, nor did the semi-frightened aquatic animals.
They strolled through the rest of the aquarium, pointing out animals of interest, Blaine occasionally taking the initiative and swinging their joined hands.
“I think we should go somewhere to eat,” Blaine said as they sat on a bench, drinking what little sun there was and watching the sea otters (Kurt’s apparent favorite animal) hop all over each other.
“You think?” Kurt replied distractedly, watching one of the otters dive below the surface. “We could just get something at a stand.”
“No, I want to take you out.”
It was one of the hardest moments of Kurt’s life not to whip his head around to stare at Blaine, jump up in excitement and twirl around a bit.
He didn’t (thankfully), so he still had a bit of that nonchalant dignity.
“That sounds good, do you have a place in mind?”
So they ended up sitting at the bar in a Johnny Rockets, Kurt a bit reluctantly.
“I swear, Blaine,” Kurt said, shaking his head as he looked down the menu. “Are you secretly five years old?”
“As if!” Blaine replied indignantly. “You were the one squealing at the otters.”
“You actually said ‘as if.’ Are you a teenage girl?”
“I’m feeling hurt, you know. I’m taking you out to lunch at my favorite restaurant.” Kurt snorted at that, and Blaine grinned. “What, haven’t you been here before?”
“Yeah…” Kurt said slowly. “Yeah, I’ve been here before.”
“How long has it been?”
“Almost twenty years now.”
“That’s quite a memory!” Blaine replied, astonished. “You remember the exact day?”
“Well, yes,” Kurt said shortly. “Because that was the day that my father told me my mother didn’t have that long to live.”
Honestly, Kurt should receive some sort of award for fucking up a perfect situation and making it awkward as all hell.
Blaine opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again. He took a deep breath, but just as Kurt was sure he was about to try and change the subject, Blaine crossed to Kurt’s side of the booth and pulled him into a gentle hug.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly.
Kurt’s face was flushed to the roots. “For what?” he asked, returning the hug.
“For messing up this perfect day. I’m so glad we met up, Kurt. You were my best friend in high school, and the odds of us meeting in the situation we did last night were just…” Kurt felt him shake his head in disbelief. “I don’t even know.”
Kurt smiled faintly over Blaine’s shoulder and held him a bit tighter to comfort him. Hadn’t he just been thinking this same thing the whole day? “You have nothing to be sorry about, Blaine. It’s my fault I even brought my silly drama into this.”
Blaine pulled away to look at Kurt. “If I tell you something cheesy, will you promise not to laugh?”
Kurt grinned and held up crossed fingers. “No promises!”
Blaine chuckled and looked down for a moment. “You meant a lot to me, Kurt—”
‘Meant?’ Thought Kurt, panicking. ‘Not present tense?’
“You were the only friend who…” he gestured with his hands to emphasize his point. “Who I could really talk to. And relate to.”
Kurt rolled his eyes, blushing. “You were friends with Wes and David long before I even came around—”
“But see, that’s just it!” Blaine said, widening his eyes at Kurt with the passion in his argument. “Straight guys, no matter how fun they are, don’t really… get it. You know?” Blaine put a friendly hand on his friend’s knee, and Kurt nodded. “With you I didn’t have to hold back; I could just be myself.”
Kurt now could not keep in the stupid grin that had been threatening to pop out all day. “But what does that have to do with us being here at Johnny Rockets?”
Blaine smiled. “Drifting away from you and meeting you again made me realize what a friend I’d lost over the years. None of my… friends” —‘BOYfriends?’ thought Kurt hopefully— “Could ever really measure up. I don’t want to lose you again. And if we’re going to be friends from now on, I want us to have fun. I don’t want to make you uncomfortable, ever.”
Kurt looked up to see the waitress coming to their table. “Too late for that…” he mumbled under his breath, contemplating the precise way Blaine’s warm hand rested on his knee, and how his blue-flickering face had been inches from his own.
“What?” Blaine asked.
Kurt smiled and grasped Blaine’s hand, standing up.
“I said, let’s order.”Authors' Notes: Second chapter! We're keeping them coming, you guys. Thanks for all the support!