Blaine started in surprise, almost dropping the family pack of Twix bars he held, but managed to catch it at the last second. When he turned around Kurt stood before him, one hand clasped around the metal handlebars of a red Walgreens shopping basket and the other around his phone. Kurt glanced from the candy to Blaine, clearly exasperated.
He and Kurt were currently at the nearby drugstore picking up Burt’s prescription and a few other items for Carole before heading to the Cineplex to see the latest X-men movie. They were halfway down the health and beauty aisle when Blaine remembered that he had to buy some batteries. Kurt had waved him away and Blaine coolly backtracked out of the aisle before veering quickly, but covertly, to the candy aisle.
Blaine had a slight sweet tooth. Kurt insisted that he had a "problem." Kurt couldn’t have been more off base.
His boyfriend just didn't understand that there were certain occasions that simply called for candy, like say watching movies or television. Or during study sessions. Driving was a definite one too. As was reading. Actually, if Blaine had his way, any and all occasions would call for candy.
Blaine did not have a problem.
Kurt continued to eye him with a displeased expression. So, Blaine pasted on his most charming smile, angled his head just so, and said, “Um, we can share?”
Kurt settled back on his heels, right eyebrow arched high up his forehead. “You? Share candy?” he replied, voice dripping with skepticism. “As deceptively generous as that sounds, no, thank you. I don’t think my hands are up to being smacked away today.”
“That was only the one—” Blaine paused. Thought about it again, and then said, “Okay, maybe it was more than once, but...” Blaine’s voice trailed off as Kurt continued to stare at him blandly.
Blaine stared back. Then said, “I love you.”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “I don’t know how you’ve managed to avoid getting any cavities with the amount of candy you’ve been eating lately...”
“My dental hygiene regime is flawless!” Blaine piped in slightly miffed. Kurt, however, continued as if he wasn’t interrupted. “...and it’s not healthy, Blaine. I don’t even want to think about what will happen to your complexion.”
“But you’ll still love me, right, Kurt?” Blaine teased as he sidled up to his boyfriend and slipped his bag of candy into the other’s basket. Kurt’s armed jerked at the added weight and a frown began to form between his brows. Blaine was not deterred, however, as he continued. “All three hundred pounds of pimply me?”
Kurt sighed heavenward, before turning a wry grin towards his boyfriend. “I think three hundred pounds might be pushing it.”
Blaine looked scandalized, the palm of his right hand pressed to his chest in mock offense. Kurt snorted. Then slapped Blaine lightly on the shoulder before heading to the rear of the store where the pharmacy was located.
Blaine watched him go with a smile before turning back to the candy display. He wondered absently if Kurt would have a conniption if he bought another bag given that there was a buy one, get one half off promotion going on. The more Blaine thought about it though, the more he felt that Kurt couldn’t fault him for participating in the deal. After all, he would be saving money.
"Excuse me, young man?"
The hairs on the back of Blaine’s neck stood on end at the brisk and gravelly voice that broke through his internal musings. He turned around slowly. An elderly woman stood beside him, looked about the same age as his grandmother and just barely made it to his shoulder in height. She wore a simple navy blue cardigan and a long black skirt that only just touched the tops of her black loafers. While her grey hair was left free and curly, her stance and expression was of a no nonsense nature that had Blaine unconsciously straightening his back as he replied, "Yes, ma'am?"
"Could you please pass me that bag of Werther's caramels?" she asked although by her tone she didn't expect to be turned down. Blaine glanced over his shoulder to the tan-colored bag she pointed to on the top shelf. "I've told them countless of times to put these where people can reach them, but they never listen," she grumbled brow set in a frown.
Blaine nodded along as he retrieved the bag and passed it to her. "One would think they would consider their patrons when organizing their displays," he couldn’t help but commiserate in a serious tone, hoping to smooth away some of the deep lines on the woman's forehead. It wasn't right for someone to scowl so much.
The woman paused just before she would have dropped the bag into her basket and shot him a look that clearly said ‘did you seriously just say that?’ Blaine weathered through it with a smile, however, and after another minute, was finally rewarded with the edges of her lips pulling upwards into a slight smirk. It said 'I'm humoring you', but a smirk was still preferable to a frown in Blaine's book.
"Thank you," she said, finally letting the candy fall into her basket and Blaine beamed.
"It was my pleasure, miss...?"
She considered him for a moment before saying, "Landon."
Blaine extended his hand out with the intent to shake her hand. "It's nice to meet you, Ms. Landon. I'm—"
"Blaine." The teen in question lifted his eyes to peer over Ms. Landon's shoulder and felt his smile widen upon seeing Kurt coming towards him. The brunette's eyes were trained on the shopping list he tapped out earlier on his phone and he continued to speak as he walked. "I got everything. We can leave—oh. Good Afternoon, Ms. Landon."
Blaine became immediately wary at the forced politeness of Kurt's voice. When he redirected his attention back to Ms. Landon, it was only to see that her previous half smile had morphed into a full-blown scowl.
A steadily escalating sense of foreboding overcame Blaine as he looked between her and his boyfriend.
"I do not speak with sinners," Ms. Landon spat at Kurt harshly, holding her basket in front of her as if it was a shield.
Kurt arched an eyebrow as he came up alongside Blaine and subtly brushed the back of his hand against Blaine's. "Really?"
Ms. Landon's face flushed in anger as she glanced from Kurt's hand to Blaine before training her glare at the latter. Blaine blinked.
"Sinners. The both of you. Filthy, filthy sinners and don't think I believed your smarmy attitude for one second. You both should be ashamed of yourselves." And with that, Ms. Landon left.
"Well. That was refreshing," Kurt quipped lightly as he pocketed his phone. Blaine stared at him, his expression still caught between shock and confusion.
Kurt cut him off as he started for the registers. "Come on. If we want to make the two o' clock show, we should leave now."
Blaine stood there for a second longer before spinning around to catch up to his boyfriend. "But—"
"Not here, Blaine," Kurt murmured as he waited on line and Blaine snapped his mouth shut, taking a cautious glance around him. Several customers were scrutinizing the pair and of those customers, a few had no qualms about showing their outward hostility towards them. Blaine's body went entirely rigid and he became hyperaware of his surroundings for the remainder of the time they spent in the store. It was only when he and Kurt made it safely back into Kurt's car did he relax.
"So," Kurt began as he settled into the driver's seat, "that was Ms. Landon and before you ask, yes, she's always been like that. Ever since I could remember, actually. She's what you would call the town's crazy cat lady, but instead of cats, she has dogs. Lots and lots of angry, snarling Rottweilers. They take after her if you were wondering."
Blaine wasn't quite sure how to respond to Kurt's matter of fact tone, but wasn’t given the opportunity to do so as his boyfriend continued to speak.
"She's very religious, interprets the Bible the same way most conservative Christians do, and therefore believes it's her God given right to tell me that I'm an abomination whenever we cross paths. I find avoidance is key, but this is the closest pharmacy we have, and she's always here." Kurt shrugged his shoulders. "Anyway, just be glad this will probably be the only time you’ll see her."
"She seemed okay," Blaine said at length. "Well, before...anyway.”
Kurt shot him a skeptical look. “I highly doubt that. Except for Minister Brown, she treats everyone as if they aren’t good enough to shine her severely outdated and clunky penny loafers. It probably explains why she never married or had any friends to speak of. Dogs excluded, of course.”
Blaine frowned eyes settling on his lap. "That's...a little sad, don't you think?"
Kurt shrugged. "If it were anyone else, I would agree, but she's not nice, Blaine. You heard what she called us. I've heard it for years. It’s a little hard to empathize with her after that."
Blaine nodded vaguely. “Yeah...Yeah, you’re right. Sorry, I...” He laughed, shaking his head. “I’m not sure why this is bothering me. It’s not like this is the first time I’ve had someone change their attitude towards me once they found out I was gay.”
Seeing how Blaine’s hands began to fidget with the hem of his shirt, Kurt reached over and grasped them in his own. “Maybe,” he said, squeezing Blaine’s hands lightly. “But that doesn’t mean it has to make it any easier.”
Blaine nodded, smiling faintly up at Kurt before leaning up to press his lips against his in a chaste kiss. “Come on,” he said once he pulled away, expression no longer troubled. “Let’s go before we miss our movie.”
Kurt smiled in return, giving Blaine’s hands one final squeeze before leaning back and starting the car.
Blaine didn't visit that Walgreens again until a couple of weeks later when Kurt asked if he could pick up his father's prescription on the way to his house.
"Finn burned the kitchen cabinets," Kurt explained, voice tense and pitched just an octave higher than normal which clued Blaine in on how stressed he was at the moment. "I need to get them cleaned before our parents get home."
"It's no trouble, Kurt," Blaine assured him, plugging the new destination into his GPS. "Could you call ahead and let them know I'll be picking it up?"
"Of course," Kurt replied and in his mind's eye could see his boyfriend's shoulders relax. "Thanks, Blaine. You're a lifesaver."
"Yeah! Thanks, man!" Blaine grinned upon hearing Finn's voice through his cell and outright chuckled at Kurt's stern shout for Finn to keep scrubbing.
"Anytime," Blaine said. "See you in a few." Kurt responded in kind before hanging up.
When Blaine arrived at the pharmacy about twenty minutes later, Burt's prescription was already waiting there for him to pick up. Blaine paid the pharmacist before making his way to the front of the store. He had just finished texting Kurt that he was on his way to his house now when he heard the thud and rattle of something falling to the floor.
Blaine lifted his gaze to see Ms. Landon down the aisle from him, trailing slowly behind a white bottle that was rolling away from her. Her movements were measured and when she finally caught up to the bottle, she stood over it for a few moments as if fortifying herself for the task ahead. It spurred Blaine to jog ahead and say, "Let me get that for you, Ms. Landon." He quickly bent down, retrieved the bottle, and held it out to the older woman. She stared at him, eyes overshadowed heavily with disdain before saying, "No amount of manners will save your soul, boy. Your help is not welcomed here." Scoffing, she turned around, picked another container of vitamins off the shelf, and went her way.
Blaine expelled a surprised breath he hadn't realize he was holding before lowering his arm. A few shoppers stared at him curiously and it prompted Blaine to quickly replace the bottle to its proper place before speed walking out of the store.
He sat in his car for a minute still somewhat stunned at the encounter and was only shaken out of his thoughts when his phone vibrated. He glanced down at the device and a smile formed its way across his face at the message on the screen.
Great. Thanks again. Double fudge brownies are awaiting your arrival and are safely hidden away from Finn and my dad
Blaine typed back a response.
Low fat kind? If so, no thank you :P
They're not. Just this once though
See you soon. Drive safe <3
Blaine’s entire mood brightened upon seeing the heart. Kurt rarely used emoticons and only tolerated it because Blaine couldn't stop using them. Smile now firmly in place, Blaine placed his cell in the cup holder before turning on his car. For now, the incident in the drugstore was forgotten and instead, was replaced with happier thoughts of snacking on delicious brownies and cuddling with his boyfriend on the family room couch.
Blaine came across Ms. Landon a number of times after that. Their encounters were not intentional despite Kurt alluding to the contrary (Blaine tended to be around whenever Kurt was going to that particular Walgreens). What was intentional was Blaine's civility towards the other, always greeting the woman whenever their eyes chanced to meet or holding the door open for her when he saw that her hands were full. He would do it for anyone and although these acts of chivalry (Kurt's word; not his) were always met with a jarring retort, the barbs only made Blaine more determined.
Kurt thought he was treating Ms. Landon this way in the hopes he could change her, but it wasn't like that. Blaine was doing this because he wasn't about to change who he was or how he behaved due to any prejudices or hateful words directed at him.
“Your parents must be incredibly ashamed to have a son like you. God bless them for the trials they have to endure for your sins.”
Except that really, really stung.
Blaine’s relationship with his parents was tenuous at best ever since he came out; their interactions became strained and their conversations stilted if they occurred at all. What affected Blaine the most, however, was the underlying sense of disappointment his parents radiated whenever he saw them. It made Blaine wonder, at times, if his mom and dad even loved him anymore.
In the wake of Ms. Landon’s words, the world suddenly seemed much too bright. Too sharp. Too real. It hurt.
Blaine swiveled his head to look at Kurt, who stood beside him, body tense and expression warring between anger at the woman who continued to say such hateful things, to concern for his boyfriend who just stood and took it. "You don't have anything to prove," Kurt told him firmly, but not unkindly. "Especially toward someone like her." Kurt held his hand tightly, in spite of the fact that they were out in the middle of a crowded parking lot. It was then that Blaine thought Kurt perhaps understood him more than he previously believed.
"I think she's warming up to me," he finally managed to say, and Kurt looked at him sadly. "Blaine..."
"No, really," Blaine joked not quite meeting Kurt’s eyes as he lead him to his car. "You should have heard what she called me on Tuesday." He pulled his keys out of his pockets, fingers fumbling as he tried to unlock the doors. Kurt gently pried them out of his hands before pulling him into a much-needed hug. Blaine stood there momentarily surprised before returning the hug fiercely.
"You're so much better than them, Blaine," Kurt told him, voice soft, but resolute. "So, so much better than all of them."
Blaine didn't respond, just burrowed his face deeper into Kurt's shoulder and tried to breathe.
Blaine was walking back to his car when he heard the scuffle. He only snapped his head around though when he heard the panicked yell.
"You let go this instant, you heathen! Help!"
Blaine saw Ms. Landon standing beside the Walgreens struggling to hold onto her purse against a masked man a foot taller than her and twice her width. The parking lot was empty except for a mother and child and a couple of teenagers standing several yards away. All watched the proceedings nervously; no one making any motion towards Ms. Landon or their phones, so Blaine reached for his when
"Let go, you hag!" the man barked raising his hand with the clear intention to hit her and Blaine didn't stop to think as he dropped his bags and dashed over.
Kurt was flipping idly through the channels of the family-room television when his phone began to ring. He glanced down to the smaller screen and smiled the moment he saw Blaine's name on the display. After tapping accept, he held the phone to his ear and said, "Hey, there. You almost here?"
It was noisy wherever Blaine was, and he heard a smattering of voices that were too sharp to be coming from his car radio before Blaine's voice came through the speaker.
"Hey. Um. Don't freak out."
Which only resulted in Kurt doing precisely that. His heart began to pound loudly in his ears and his mind raced with all the possible scenarios that could scare him senseless. The majority of which consisted of Blaine being hurt somehow.
"What's going on?" he demanded. His entire body taut and ready to fly off the couch the moment Blaine responded.
"I—ow," Blaine hissed and Kurt heard the start of what would have been an apology before an all too familiar shrill voice overtook the air.
"What in the world do you think you're doing?! It's obvious from the looks of him that he bruises like a peach. You can't be manhandling him all willy-nilly! What kind of doctor are you?!"
"Ma'am, you need to calm down and let me do my job," a female voice broke through at the same time that Kurt jumped off the couch upon hearing the word doctor. Kurt ran to the front door, snatched his keys off the key rack as he passed a bewildered Finn, and made it into his car in record time.
There was more arguing with Blaine’s intermittent attempts to put a word in, but Ms. Landon and the female doctor ultimately drowned him out. Meanwhile, Kurt was now sitting in his idling car and trying to catch his boyfriend's attention.
"Blaine. Blaine. Blaine. BLAINE!"
"Kurt! Sorry," Blaine apologized sounding tired. "Could you please come and get me? I can't drive. I'm at the Walgreens a few miles from your place."
Kurt turned the speakerphone on before dropping his phone into the cup holder and shifting his car in reverse. "I'm on my way," he said tightly. "Are you okay?"
"Yes," Blaine replied, "Just some scrapes and bruises, but I jammed my shoulder pretty good."
"That better be your mother you're speaking to."
Kurt heard Blaine sigh and then his voice sounded as if it was coming from a distance when Blaine said, "No, Ms. Landon."
"And why in the heavens are you not?"
Kurt's grip tightened around his steering wheel. "Blaine, what’s going on? And why is she there?"
Blaine sighed again, voice growing more tentative as he spoke, "Ms. Landon was getting mugged...I may have intervened."
Kurt choked. “You may have—Blaine, what on earth were you thinking?”
“But...Kurt, no one was doing anything. I couldn’t just—Ms. Lan—!”
There were sounds of Blaine protesting before Ms. Landon’s brash voice came through Kurt’s phone.
“Mr. Hummel, I believe it is in your best interest if you discontinue agitating Blaine.”
“You think...best interest,” Kurt stuttered feeling his blood pressure rise. “With all due respect, Ms. Landon, who do you think you are to—” The staccato beep, beep, beep of the phone alerted Kurt that he was hung up on and he released a frustrated growl. He was only a few blocks away from the drugstore now and once he arrived, senior citizen or not, Kurt was going to give that old lady a piece of his mind.
Blaine eyed his phone with trepidation once Ms. Landon returned it to him.
“Don’t look so scared, boy.”
Blaine sighed as he pocketed his phone and glanced up at Ms. Landon. Besides the leather purse that Ms. Landon held close to her chest due to the broken straps, it didn’t look as if the older woman was affected much by her attempted mugging. That was fine though since the situation could have been much worse as the police felt the need to reiterate sternly to Blaine a number of times until Ms. Landon told them to shut it. Blaine had never seen the police back down so quickly.
“You are aware of who Kurt Hummel is, aren’t you Ms. Landon?” Blaine felt the need to say as he folded his left arm carefully across his immobilized one.
Ms. Landon smirked as she shifted her purse in her arms. “He takes after his mother, that one.”
Blaine’s worried thoughts dissipated upon hearing the statement. “You knew Mrs. Hummel?” he asked leaning unconsciously forward from his seat on the back of the ambulance.
Ms. Landon nodded the lines around her eyes smoothing away. “She was a very upstanding woman. Always treated me with respect.”
Blaine frowned. “Then why...” his voice trailed off, but his question was clear. Why treat Kurt—and himself for that matter—as if they were the lowliest species on the planet if she thought so well of Kurt’s mom?
Ms. Landon contemplated her answer for quite some time before settling on, “My opinions concerning Julia Hummel bear no weight against my beliefs that what you and that Hummel boy are doing is wrong.”
Although her response was not entirely unexpected, Blaine still couldn’t help but feel disappointed. “You really believe that,” he said with evident amounts of disbelief in his voice. “It wouldn’t matter to you who I am as a person, what I accomplish in life. Just the fact that I’m attracted to men negates all that.” Blaine shook his head wearily from side to side. “That's...how can you be so narrow-minded?"
The sudden tension that lined Ms. Landon’s back was palpable and her entire frame resembled a coiled spring ready to pounce. “Don’t you dare judge me, young man.”
Blaine bristled. “Like how you’ve judged me? Judged Kurt?”
“The Lord says—”
Blaine cut her off. “‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.’”
Ms. Landon looked startled and Blaine felt his frustration grow because people always assumed that just because he was gay, he couldn't have faith either. Kurt essentially had the same reaction once he found out Blaine still went to church of his own free will, which led to them spending an entire afternoon discussing it. In the end, neither of their views on the subject changed, but that wasn’t the point. Being able to speak openly about and respect one another’s beliefs...that was the point and was just another aspect of their relationship Blaine cherished so much.
“Ms. Landon, we could spend the entire day quoting Leviticus and arguing how it does or does not apply to homosexuals, but I won’t,” Blaine said, body now similarly tense. “Because I know it won't amount to anything and will just make the both of us angrier than we already are.”
Ms. Landon's arms tightened around her purse, her eyes assessing and to some extent, still a bit caught off guard by Blaine. "What would you know of the Lord's teachings when you clearly choose to ignore them?"
"Considering I've attended Sunday services since I was two and could sit still for longer than ten minutes, I would say I know enough,” Blaine replied tersely. “Not that that should matter because religious or not, I’ve always been of the mindset that one should treat others with a certain level of common decency.”
“Do not lecture me,” Ms. Landon hissed. “You claim to be a believer while living the very lifestyle He spoke against. It’s blasphemous.”
Blaine angrily hopped off the back of the ambulance, wincing slightly as it jarred his arm, but stood his ground. “If living an honest life without ill intent towards others is what you consider blasphemous, then fine. I can’t change your mind, Ms. Landon; I never had the intention to do so, but if you could, consider this. The man who attacked you today. If he were straight, would you still hold him to a higher standard than me in spite of the fact of what he did?”
Ms. Landon’s lips thinned, and although she didn’t answer, it was clear from just the look of her eyes what her answer would be. Blaine exhaled sharply through his nose. “Doesn't that seem even the slightest bit wrong to you?” he asked in bewilderment. “For a person to be judged solely for whom they fall asleep next to in the privacy of their own home than by their merits alone?”
Ms. Landon stared at Blaine for several more moments before saying, “It’s wrong, and it’s unfortunate you can’t see that.”
Blaine shook his head firmly. “It’s not, and I’m sorry you can’t understand that.”
“Then it would seem we have nothing left to say.” Ms. Landon extended her hand and it was only due to Blaine’s ingrained manners that he shook it. “Thank you for your assistance today, Blaine. Good day.”
Blaine watched her leave, unclenching his left hand that at some point curled into a tight fist.
A low whistle drew his attention back to the EMT. “You have guts, kid,” the EMT, Emily, praised. “Ms. Landon’s always scared the bejeezus out of me.” Blaine merely shrugged in response then winced as it pulled his shoulder.
“You need to remember to minimize movement with that shoulder, Blaine,” Emily pointed out.
“Yeah,” he replied vaguely, the energy he had moments ago seeming to deflate out of his body while the soreness in his hands and shoulder returned with a vengeance. His eyes roamed across the parking lot and eventually landed on Kurt running up to him. Blaine took a step towards him, attempting a smile in the hopes to dispel the anxiousness he could see on his boyfriend’s face. “I’m okay,” he said the instant Kurt was within earshot.
Kurt ran his eyes up and down Blaine, who looked much the worse for wear. His left cheek was already showing signs of bruising much like his right knuckles were, his other cheek was scraped, and his clothes had seen better days. What caught the majority of his attention though was the sling his right arm was currently restrained in. Kurt turned to the EMT not relying on Blaine’s word alone concerning his welfare. He learned this fact the time Blaine slipped down the stairs while chasing after Jeff and walked around all day with a sprained ankle. No one was happy when Blaine’s ankle ballooned to the size of a softball that afternoon.
Emily corroborated with Blaine’s assessment, however, but advised both to make sure an antibiotic cream was applied to his scrapes daily and to take some Advil for any discomfort he felt in his shoulder. She also recommended that he follow up with his personal physician regarding stretches to perform to ensure the mobility in his shoulder remained intact.
“He should be good as new within a week—two weeks tops,” she assured him and Kurt allowed his body to relax at the news.
“Good.” Kurt nodded before taking stock of his surroundings. “Where’s the witch? You would think she’d at least wait until you were safely taken home before leaving. That’s some gratitude.”
Blaine exhaled a long breath; too tired to chastise Kurt for his choice of words and feeling that he was probably right. “Hey," he said softly, tugging once on Kurt's sleeve to capture his attention. "Can we get out of here? I’m really tired.”
Kurt’s expression softened and he took hold of Blaine’s good hand and squeezed it once. “Of course. Do we need to talk to the police first though?”
“Already taken care of,” Emily answered for Blaine and Kurt nodded. “Great. Thank you.”
Blaine echoed his sentiments and Emily smiled. “Take it easy with that shoulder, Blaine,” she reminded him as she waved goodbye.
As soon as they were beside Kurt’s car, Kurt pulled Blaine into a careful hug. “You scared me,” he said. “I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Sorry,” Blaine breathed out, eyes closed, and just relishing in the feel of being held in Kurt’s arms. They stood there for another minute before Kurt pulled back to open the passenger door for Blaine.
They were silent for most of the ride back with Kurt shooting him the occasional worried glance. They were one traffic light away from his house, when Kurt finally asked, “So, are you going to tell me what happened?”
Blaine opened his eyes, met Kurt’s inquisitive, but mostly concerned ones, and nodded. “Yeah...maybe later though?” he asked and Kurt reached across his seat and squeezed his hand before saying, “Whatever you need, Blaine.”
Blaine smiled, squeezing Kurt’s hand back before settling his head back against the headrest and staring up at the ceiling for the remainder of the trip.
“So...you do know I won’t mind if you stay here while I picked up a few things, right?”
Kurt’s eyes flicked from Blaine’s focused expression to his fingers that continued to tap furiously across his cell phone’s display. “Just give me a second,” Blaine muttered distractedly.
Kurt twisted his body around so his back rested against the driver’s side door. “I’ve already given you three hundred, Blaine. The pigs will still be there for you to knock over when we come back.”
Blaine grinned as he paused his game and looked up at Kurt. “Yes, but will the birds be as angry, Kurt? Will they?”
With a roll of his eyes, Kurt smacked the other’s shoulder (lightly though and on his good side because Blaine’s doctor only just gave him the all clear) before opening his door and stepping out of the car. Blaine remained seated, fingers still tapping, but not quite as vigorously as before. He looked up when Kurt opened his door.
“You don’t have to come with,” Kurt stated again and upon seeing Kurt’s knowing and understanding look, Blaine felt his stomach twist uncomfortably. It wasn’t that he was afraid to step into that Walgreens and potentially see Ms. Landon. Rather, Blaine supposed he was afraid if he did see the older woman, he’d get either extremely pissed off or ridiculously disconsolate at the world in general. He couldn’t just stay in the car though; it would be the same as hiding and Blaine didn’t hide anymore.
“Don’t be silly,” he said, unbuckling his seating belt. “I go where you go. Well, except Black Friday shopping. There are lines, Kurt.”
Kurt wasn’t fooled in the slightest by his levity, but just let Blaine be and took a step back so his boyfriend could exit the car.
They walked side by side towards the Walgreen’s entrance when Blaine adopted a pretentious cadence to say, “You give this place entirely too much business, Mr. Hummel.”
“Direct me to another pharmacy within a drivable distance, Mr. Anderson, and I will gladly frequent that one instead,” Kurt returned just as haughtily. Blaine’s eyes sparkled with amusement, a teasing retort at the tip of his tongue before he caught sight of something to Kurt’s left. Blaine’s face blanked briefly before becoming determined and Kurt pivoted to see Ms. Landon a few feet away from them.
Blaine took a step towards the woman, but Kurt immediately gripped his arm and effectively held him in place. “Blaine. Stop it. She doesn’t matter,” he whispered tightly and it seemed that Blaine was going to listen to him when Ms. Landon took it upon herself to approach them.
Kurt instinctively took a protective step in front of Blaine, was about to give Ms. Landon the verbal lashing she deserved, when Blaine spoke up.
“Good Afternoon, Ms. Landon.”
Kurt sighed internally before grudgingly addressing her as well.
Both unconsciously braced themselves for a nasty insult. Therefore, it was with some surprise when Ms. Landon merely returned their greeting. “Good Afternoon, Blaine, Kurt. I hope everything is well with you both today.”
A beat of silence passed in which Kurt tried to dissect the greeting for any malevolence, but could find none. Blaine on the other hand visibly relaxed.
“We’re both doing well, Ms. Landon. Thank you for asking,” Blaine replied still a little guarded, but smiling politely. “And yourself?”
“As well as can be expected at my age,” Ms. Landon groused, her eyes straying to her left. “How is your shoulder?”
Blaine glanced at said shoulder then back to Ms. Landon and it was as if a light switch had been flipped on because Blaine was smiling openly now. “It’s fine. I can rotate it now with no problems at all.” He then proceeded to demonstrate this fact and Kurt did his best to disguise his snort into a cough. Blaine didn’t seem to notice though.
“Yes, well, that’s good to hear.” Ms. Landon then began to rummage through her shopping bag and pulled out the largest bag of Twix bars Kurt had ever seen and held it out to Blaine. “There was a sale and they gave me this bag with my caramel candies. I don’t have the teeth for these and I seem to recall that you enjoyed them, so...”
It was an obvious lie (Walgreens didn’t carry candy bags of that size here), but no one called her out on it. Instead, Blaine took the bag almost reverently; his expression so bright that Kurt thought anyone who looked at him directly at this moment would be temporarily blinded for his or her efforts. “Thank you so much, Ms. Landon!”
Ms. Landon appeared taken aback by Blaine’s exuberance and cleared her throat uneasily. “You’re welcome. I must be going. Have a nice day, Blaine, Kurt.” Ms. Landon hurried away before Blaine could respond, but that didn’t stop the Warbler from calling out to her.
“Bye, Ms. Landon! It was nice seeing you! Thanks again!”
They were starting to draw stares at this point. So, Kurt did the rational thing and pulled Blaine’s arm down from its mad waving. Blaine was literally vibrating on the spot now and he couldn’t seem to stop beaming. His expression was so open and bright that it made Kurt shake his head in incredulity.
“Who are you?” Kurt asked with equal parts of wonder and disbelief in his voice.
Blaine tilted his head to the side still smiling. “Hmm? What?”
Kurt just continued to shake his head as he dragged his boyfriend to the entrance of the store. “Blaine, this was a fluke and in no uncertain terms will you be throwing yourself in harm’s way again in order to change people’s attitudes. I forbid it.”
“But Kurt, think of the results—and the candy!” Blaine exclaimed still quite awestruck and was now outright hugging his bag of Twix.
‘And the weeks of hateful slurs and open hostility,’ Kurt added mentally, but couldn't bring himself to say out loud. This was the happiest he had seen Blaine since he was told he couldn’t perform at Six Flags anymore due to his arm. Kurt didn't want to ruin it. So, instead he threatened lowly, "Blaine..."
Predictably, Blaine laughed. Unpredictably, Blaine then proceeded to tow him to the back of the store. Obscured from view by several stacked cardboard boxes, Blaine kissed Kurt solidly on the lips before singing softly against his ear, “I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned.”
Kurt huffed out an exasperated breath, still skeptical that Mrs. Landon had changed all that much, but who was he to say that this small change wouldn’t lead to even bigger ones? Regardless, Blaine’s good mood was entirely too infectious to ignore. So, Kurt allowed the smile that was tugging insistently on his lips to show because there was something mesmerizing about Blaine when he sang—especially when Blaine was singing to him.
“I believe you don't know what you've got until you say—mmph.”
Kurt cut Blaine off with a kiss before he could finish. Because he and Blaine weren’t close to saying goodbye.
And hopefully, they never would be.