Blaine had never pictured himself working in an office. In fact, it was probably the only thing he'd actively decided in his teens that he didn't want to do. He couldn't bear the idea of sitting in the same seat all day, every day, watching the clock and waiting for it to be over. That's not the life he wanted to live.
But somehow that was where he'd ended up. And it wasn't so bad. He sold advertising space in a local newspaper, and people tended to respond to him because everybody liked Blaine. He got to talk to people and hear their stories, even if he did have the overall agenda of, you know, selling them something.
He worked ten hour days through choice, because it allowed him to work a short week. It meant he got every Friday off, and he'd spend the day catching up on sleep and watching trashy daytime TV, and in the evening he'd usually be performing at their local bar's open mic night.
Kurt had worked his way up to being the manager of a local record store, which somehow always did really well, despite the fact that everybody was always telling them that buying music in physical form was dead. It was the only store in town – probably the state – that had such a varied collection, and Kurt had lost track of the number of people who'd admitted to him they'd tried to pirate something and couldn't find it anywhere on the internet, and yet Kurt had been able to locate it in seconds.
It was Thursday, the end of Blaine's week, and he was exhausted. As usual. He swiped his pass against the pad beside the door and balanced his cell between his ear and his shoulder as he fished for his car keys. “Hey,” he smiled as Kurt answered. “I'm leaving now. I'll be ten minutes. Love you.”
“Love you too. See you soon.”
Blaine hung up and slipped his phone into his pocket and hummed to himself. Neither of them were where they thought they'd be, if you'd asked them in high school – apart from the part where they were still together eight years on and as sickeningly in love as day one.
By the time Blaine unlocked the door of their apartment, Kurt had poured two glasses of wine and was relaxing on the couch. Blaine kicked the door shut behind him and slumped against it. Kurt smiled and raised one of the glasses in his boyfriend’s direction. Blaine made a pathetic whimpering sound and reached out for the wine without moving from the door.
Kurt laughed. “Come here,” he insisted, and even as Blaine pouted he pushed himself up and made his way over to slump onto the couch beside Kurt. “Tired?”
Blaine nodded. “So tired,” he murmured, tipping his head back against the arm of the couch and closing his eyes, opening one long enough to reach out for the wine glass and gulp some down.
Smiling, Kurt pulled up Blaine’s legs and settled his feet in his lap as he began to untie his boyfriend’s shoelaces. “So, feet tonight? Or would you prefer shoulders?”
“Either. Both. I don’t care, I just need your hands on me.” Kurt snorted as he finished removing Blaine’s shoes and set to work rubbing them, eliciting a relaxed moan from Blaine. Kurt had taken a massage therapy course one summer during college, and it was a hobby Blaine had wholeheartedly encouraged ever since. Especially when he got to be the guinea pig when Kurt was trying out new techniques. “Whatever Kurt, I wish I wasn't too tired for me to have meant the other thing.”
As Kurt continued to work his magic, various moans and groans escaped Blaine's lips and Kurt shifted a little to slyly move Blaine's feet away from him, towards his knees, so that it wasn't so obvious how turned on those sounds were making him. It would hardly be the first time a massage session had turned into sex, but that wasn't in Kurt's plan for tonight. Not yet, anyway.
“You’re amazing,” Blaine sighed eventually, opening his eyes and pushing himself back into a sitting position - though purposefully not moving his feet from Kurt’s lap so that Kurt could continue - and took another drink from his glass.
“It’s alive!” Kurt mocked, and then laughed. “And I know I am. How was your day?”
Blaine shrugged. “Just long. As always. My head feels ready to explode, or implode, or maybe both at once.”
“Sounds messy.” Kurt eyed the now-empty wine glass. “And I bet you skipped lunch again.” Blaine didn't have to say anything for Kurt to know he was right. “Blaine, how many times-”
“I know, I know. I was just busy.”
Kurt sighed and lifted Blaine’s feet off of him so that he could stand up. “I’ll be back.”
“Where are you going?” Blaine whined as Kurt dropped Blaine's legs back onto the newly vacated couch, and Kurt couldn’t help but laugh at him.
“No more wine for you until we’ve eaten, and you feel like a human again.” He leant forward to run a hand through Blaine's hair with a smile, and kissed him at the corner of his mouth. He avoided a real kiss as he knew he would just get distracted. “I have a gift for you and I’m not giving it to you if you’re drunk, okay?”
“I'm not- wait. A gift?” Blaine frowned. “Did... did I forget an anniversary or something? Is it your birthday? No, wait, then why would I be the one getting a gift... is it my birthday?!” He bit his lip. “Am I in trouble?”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “Do you feel like you're in trouble here, Blaine?”
“Maybe it's a trouble sneak attack.”
“No, Blaine. You didn't forget anything. Don't worry. This is all genuine affection I'm showing you right now.”
He kissed Blaine again and then headed for the kitchen. He opened the oven, pulling out the lasagna that was bubbling away and reaching for a couple of plates. His meals were usually healthier and more complicated, but he knew Blaine loved it and it fitted well with his plans for tonight. Home comforts, pampering Blaine a little after a long week, making him feel loved. He turned around as he heard Blaine moving behind him and shook his head, pointing back at the couch. “Sit. I said I'd be back.”
Blaine looked confused as he stretched, yawning. His shirt rode up a little at the front, and Kurt allowed himself a second to stare before turning back to the oven. “But... we're eating.” Blaine paused. “You're going to let me eat on the couch? You never let me eat on the couch!” He moved back towards the living room warily. “Are you sure I didn't forget an anniversary?”
Kurt sighed as he emerged with two plates filled with food. “Yes, fine, Blaine. What is it, June? Oh yes, it's the eighth anniversary of the first time I saw you without your shirt on.”
“How do you remember-”
“I'm kidding, Blaine. Seriously.” He handed him a plate and a fork. “Eat. Kick start your brain or something.”
Blaine did as he was told, settling back into the couch, pulling his knees up in front of him and balancing the plate on them, practically at mouth level. Kurt rolled his eyes as Blaine took a giant forkful and shovelled it into his mouth, half expecting the plate to end up flat on the floor. He was basically doing an impression of Finn. This is why he usually insisted they eat at the table.
Blaine hadn’t noticed how hungry he was until the plate was in front of him, looking and smelling so good. He finished his helping in record time, the achey feeling in his head starting to clear now that he had some food inside him. While Kurt was still eating his own portion, his plate sitting carefully on his thighs and using both a knife and a fork like a normal person, Blaine crossed back to the kitchen to help himself to some more.
Kurt smiled as Blaine settled back down beside him, pouring them both another glass of wine as he did so. “So do I get a hint about this gift?” Blaine questioned, as he swallowed another mouthful of lasagna.
“Not if you keep talking with your mouth full,” Kurt retorted, laughing.
Blaine grinned. “Sorry.”
Kurt finished his first helping around the same time as Blaine finished his second, and as Blaine twisted so that he could put his legs up on Kurt’s lap again, Kurt shook his head. Standing, he picked up their plates and then pointed towards the bathroom. “Go and shower.”
“Do I smell?”
Kurt laughed quietly as he filled the dishwasher. “Go on. Relax.” He walked back to Blaine and joined their hands. Even though Blaine was smiling, Kurt only needed to look at Blaine’s tired eyes once to know how wrecked he felt. He always did at the end of the week. “I think I have some of those shower fizz bombs left, you should use one of the stress relief ones.” Blaine smiled gratefully and turned towards the bathroom, pausing as he heard Kurt call after him. “And don’t lie down on the bed - not even for a minute! You’ll fall asleep.”
Kurt busied himself in the kitchen while Blaine showered, tidying up and cleaning, before pulling out a shoebox sized parcel from underneath the couch and setting it on the coffee table. It was wrapped in fairly unremarkable brown paper, with a heart drawn in the top corner in black sharpie, a K next to it.
Blaine padded out of the bathroom and back into the lounge, wearing sweatpants and a thin tee. He was rubbing at his hair with a towel as he plopped himself down beside Kurt on the couch and leant into him. He looked infinitely better than he had ten minutes ago, and Kurt smiled. “Feeling better?”
Blaine leant his head on Kurt’s shoulder. “How do you always know what I need even better than I do?”
Instead of answering, Kurt reached for the table and slid the box onto his knee. He turned to look properly at Blaine, his eyes sparkling with excitement even as he bit his lip nervously. “Okay, so,” he started, stroking the brown paper with his fingers as he spoke. “This is for you. But it’s not... if you hate the idea, that’s okay. I haven’t paid for anything yet. And it's not because you forgot anything, or to celebrate anything, it's just because...because. Because I love you, and I couldn't wait until Christmas or your birthday.” Blaine sat up straighter, looking at Kurt curiously. Kurt almost never got flustered and rambling around Blaine any more when one of them wasn't naked. “I hope you don’t hate it.”
Blaine leaned forward, placing a gentle kiss on Kurt’s lips, and slowly shifting Kurt’s fingers from the box until he could pull it onto his own knee. “We’ve already established you know me better than I know myself. How could I possibly hate anything you’d give me?”
“I just-” Kurt started, and then stopped when he caught Blaine's eye. He raised his hands in surrender and pushed the box closer towards Blaine. “Open it.”
Blaine grinned. He pulled the paper off as quickly as he could and then frowned as he stared at the familiar shoebox underneath, bashed in at all of the corners and covered in his own doodles. “Um, Kurt? I know you keep pointing out how tired I am, but I don't think I've forgotten how this whole gift thing works.” He paused. “I'm pretty sure it's not a gift if you just wrap up something I already had.”
Kurt's mouth twitched at the corners, unable to stop a smile from forming. “Open it,” he repeated.
Blaine eased the lid off, and smiled. Sitting on top of the song lyrics and sheet music and scraps of paper with random words scribbled on them was an envelope with his name on the front in Kurt's handwriting. He ripped it open.
This voucher entitles you to eight hours in the recording studio + engineering and mixing expertise for up to seven songs.
“I wanted to have something to actually give you, but I couldn't think what,” Kurt whispered. “So I put it in your songwriting box. I found a recording studio and talked with them about their rates, and I have the money set aside ready to go.” Blaine was just staring at the paper, and Kurt couldn't tell what he was thinking. “I wanted-”
“Kurt,” Blaine interrupted, his voice cracking a little. “I- we decided-”
“No,” Kurt smiled, gently removing the box and the note from Blaine's hands and scooting closer on the couch. This part he could do. He'd practised this part. “No, you decided. I just stood by your decision. But Blaine, you're amazing. You're good at your job but it's not what you're meant to be doing. We agreed you wouldn't pursue music because it wasn't a realistic option; at the time, I think you were right. But we're living comfortably now, and I want the world to see how amazing you are. You should be a rock star, Blaine.” He cupped Blaine's cheek in his hand and smiled as Blaine blushed. “I'm not saying you should quit your job, but I've saved up for this and I want you to record your album.”
Blaine looked down at where their hands were joined and smiled. “I don't know what to say.”
“You could say thank you,” Kurt teased, and Blaine opened his mouth to do that but Kurt shushed him with a finger across his lips. “I know that when you can't sleep and you don't want to wake me, you bring your guitar out into the lounge and write. I know that every Friday I come to watch you sing, and you rock that stage. You get a look in your eyes that I never see any other time. And I know that you have fans, Blaine. Did you know that?” Blaine could only shake his head, his eyes shining. “Well, you do. I talk to the bartender sometimes, while you're preparing. The two times last month you were too tired to sing and we stayed home, a bunch of people actually left the bar when they found out you weren't performing.”
Blaine was overwhelmed with all of this information. “Seriously?”
“Yes,” Kurt nodded. “So we can at least sell a CD to them, if nobody else.”
Blaine barked out a laugh, and pounced on Kurt, pinning him down against the couch and kissing him properly. “What about you? You never dreamed of working in a store, either.”
Kurt ran a finger down Blaine's cheek. “We'll concentrate on your dreams first.” Blaine opened his mouth to argue, but Kurt shushed him again. “Then when you're super famous and earning squillions, you can buy me a new wardrobe every month for the rest of our lives. And besides,” Kurt grinned. “I have to keep working in the store. I need to be there for the first time somebody buys your album so that I get to tell them you're mine.”