Chapter 1: But a Kaleidoscope - Prologue
Blaine looks up from his desk where he was reviewing the syllabi for his various classes at the timid knock on his door. He is momentarily stunned silent at the gorgeous young man standing in his doorway and mentally prays that he is not Blaine’s new TA. With his pale skin, dark hair and blue eyes framed by dark rimmed glasses that are oddly similar to the pair Blaine is currently wearing, he is absolutely stunning. That just wouldn’t be fair.
“Can I help you?” Blaine says once he finds his voice.
“Hi. I’m new here and seem to be completely lost. I’m looking for room 423?”
Crap. That’s the room Blaine has his senior seminar in on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“Are you my new TA?” Blaine asks hesitantly as he stands.
“Oh, no!” the other man says with a laugh. Blaine can’t help but smile in return. He has a lovely laugh. “I’m Kurt Hummel, the new gay and lesbian literature professor.”
“Oh! It’s nice to meet you. Blaine Anderson, English Lit with an emphasis in the romantics,” Blaine introduces himself with a handshake. “Follow me. I have a class in that room, too, and it is a little hard to find. Contrary to what your instincts would tell you, 423 is actually in the basement.”
“I was wondering about that,” Kurt says. “The building is only 2 stories.”
“The wonders of small town college.”
As they walk through the halls, Blaine takes a moment to check out Kurt a little more. He’s definitely one of the more stylish professors at this school. With his tailored pinstripe trousers, simple white button down and Glen plaid vest, he looks more like he should be walking down the runway at a Calvin Klein show and not the halls at this tiny college in the middle of Kenowhere, Wisconsin.
“So, are you new to the area?” Blaine asks.
“Yeah. I grew up in Ohio, though, so Wisconsin isn’t too big of a change.”
“Really? I’m from Ohio, too,” Blaine says.
“No way,” Kurt says stopping in the hall and turning to look at Blaine. “Lima. You?”
Now this is just unbelievable. “I’m from Westerville.”
“You are not!”
“Swear to God,” Blaine says with a laugh. “That’s a funny coincidence.”
“It certainly is,” Kurt agreed. “So, is there actually anything exciting to do in Kenosha, or are the plethora of bars I’ve seen all there is?”
“Yeah, there’s the bars. There is a movie theater over by the highway. And there’s always the mall up in equally awesome Racine if you’re desperate.”
“Wow. That sounds exciting,” Kurt said drily.
“To be fair, it’s really not too far to either Milwaukee or Chicago,” Blaine said. “But, if you want I can show you around this weekend?”
“That sounds wonderful,” Kurt agreed with a shy smile.
Blaine simply smiled in response. Maybe this school year wouldn’t be so bad, after all.
Chapter 2: But a Kaleidoscope - Purple
Blaine continues his friendship with Kurt and learns some surprising information.
This series has been inspired by Sara Bareilles' "Kaleidoscope Heart." As such, each chapter is named after a color in the rainbow and is used as the "theme" for that chapter.
Blaine has started playing a game – What Will Kurt Wear Today? There are several categories from which he can choose – solid vs. pattern, jeans vs. trousers, vest or no vest, tie, bowtie or none, etc. He can't help it. Kurt is quite possibly the most stylish person Blaine has ever known. Kurt must use a tailor; all his clothes fit they were made specifically for him.
Blaine checks the clock – 8:46. It's almost time. Kurt always stops by Blaine's office on his way to his first class. Blaine shuffles through the last few days of Kurt's wardrobe to try and guess what today might bring.
There had been a lot of pattern and bright colors recently. The first official day of fall is coming and the warm, summer weather is finally trailing off. Today will probably be a solid color day. Dress trousers, a tie and no vest. Blaine turns back to his computer to finalize today's lecture on Tristan and Isolde. He's almost done when he hears a familiar knock on his door. He looks up and is once more left speechless at the stunning figure that is Kurt Hummel.
He is indeed in solid colors – a deep, royal purple shirt, fitted expertly as always. A slim black tie tops the shirt and the outfit is completed with simple dark gray trousers and black booties that look like they're made of handcrafted Italian leather. Blaine feels like such a schlub in his jeans, polo shirt and cardigan. But these staples have proved him well and he's not sure he could pull off anything close to like what Kurt wears.
"What's on the lesson plan for today, Professor?" Kurt asks taking a seat in front of Blaine's desk. It's become something of an inside joke for them to call each other 'Professor' after Kurt once commenting that it made him feel so old when his students called him that, despite the degrees that insisted he was actually a professor.
"Today we have the tragic romance of Tristan and Isolde," Blaine replies.
"Why must all romances also be tragedies? It always seems like love is used as some sort of doomsday device instead of something to be treasured and hoped for."
"It's the nature of the time," Blaine explains. "Back in those days, it's how the peace was kept between nations. England's prince marrying Spain's daughter and with that arrangement comes a promise of friendship and prosperity for both nations. It's really only very recently that the concept of marrying for love instead of status or wealth became the convention. There are still cultures where arranged marriages are the norm. Look at the William and Kate. Yes, they are very much in love, but she was also of a certain status that it was acceptable for William to marry her."
"It's just so sad, though. Maybe it's because I've never been in love and I'm just so looking forward to what that feels like that that to think I might never be able to is… depressing."
Wait a minute. Back up a second. "You've never been in love?" Blaine asks.
"Not really," Kurt admits. "There have been infatuations and relationships based on mutual attraction and lust but nothing I would really qualify as 'love'."
Something inside Blaine breaks with that admission. Kurt is someone who so deserves love. He is so passionate and full of life and just… lovely. To know that Kurt has never experienced something as wonderful as romantic love is disheartening.
Before Blaine can respond, Kurt stands and makes his way to the door.
"Well, no time to dwell," he says. "These students aren't going to teach themselves. Later!"
Kurt swans out of Blaine's office with a wave over his shoulder. Blaine can only wave half-heartedly in response. Blaine knows he could be good for Kurt. He could love Kurt how he deserves to be loved and is pretty sure he's at least half way there already. It seems, though, that Blaine is going to have to be a lot more careful in his approach than he had thought. It's been awhile since Blaine has properly wooed someone, and if there's anyone who deserves a little wooing, it's Kurt Hummel.
Chapter 3: But a Kaleidoscope - Blue
Step 1 in the Wooing of Kurt Hummel.
The college Kurt and Blaine are professors at is based on my alma mater: Carthage College in Kenosha. So, yes, the campus as described in this chapter is accurate.
Today is stage one of Blaine's Plan To Woo Kurt Hummel. They have lunch together almost every day, barring emergency meetings or students having mental breakdowns. So, this little outing wasn't really out of the ordinary and shouldn't take Kurt too much by surprise. The setting might be a little surprising, but Blaine hopes it's a good surprise. They usually just have lunch in one of their offices or, if time permits, one of the many bars in town. Not today, though. Today, Blaine has packed a picnic and will be taking Kurt to lunch on the beach.
Just after their late morning classes let out, Blaine makes his way to Kurt's office and knocks on the open door, being sure to keep the basket out of sight.
"Is it that time already?" Kurt asks not looking up from the papers he's grading.
"Indeed, it is," Blaine responds. "Come on."
"Ugh. I don't think I can handle bar food today," Kurt grumbles.
"Well, that's good because we're not going to a bar," Blaine says holding up the picnic basket.
"A picnic?" Kurt asks with a slight smile.
"Yes. I figured we should take advantage of the brief respite we are having from the fall weather and get a little fresh air. What do you say?"
"I say that sounds like an excellent idea."
"Fantastic!" Blaine exclaims. "Follow me." He's tempted to hold his arm out to Kurt, but in the end decides that might be pushing it.
Blaine leads Kurt along the sidewalk to the path that will take them down to the piddly excuse for a beach that stretches along the shore of Lake Michigan. It isn't much and the beach is perhaps more gravel than sand, but it works well enough for Blaine's plan.
"A picnic on the beach?" Kurt says. "Why, Professor Anderson, if I didn't know better I would say this was a date."
Blaine just smiles and shrugs in response, neither confirming nor denying Kurt's assumption. He leads them over to one of the larger, flat rocks and pulls out a blanket for them to sit on. He then starts unpacking the simple lunch he had made for this occasion – turkey sandwiches with all the fixings, homemade lemonade and some hummus with a variety of chips and vegetables for dipping.
"This looks delicious," Kurt says as he takes a seat.
"Bon appetite," Blaine replies holding a glass of lemonade out to Kurt. They toast and eat in silence for a few minutes.
Blaine stares out at the lake as he eats. For once, it's so calm and blue and the sky is so clear it's hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. He sneaks a glance at Kurt and notices his eyes have changed color slightly as they reflect their surroundings. Blaine takes this time to think back over the short time he's known Kurt. It seems odd when he thinks about, but they've barely known each other for two months. Yet, there is something about Kurt that makes Blaine feel as if he's known him forever. He has an air of ease and confidence about him that makes Blaine wants to tell him all his darkest secrets and know that Kurt would never betray that trust.
Blaine only hopes he can live up to be the kind of man that Kurt deserves.
Chapter 4: But a Kaleidoscope - Green
Along with colder weather, the Christmas season brings about a change in Kurt and Blaine's relationship.
Before Blaine knows it, Halloween and Thanksgiving have both passed and Christmas is steadily creeping up on them. He's always loved this time of year – the beauty of new fallen snow, cuddling under piles of blankets, wrapping himself in scarves and mittens. Parties with apple cider and hot chocolate, sleigh rides and sledding and snowball fights. Yes, Blaine Anderson was a huge fan of Christmas.
To be fair, there were a few things about this time of year Blaine didn't enjoy as much. Included in that list is the annual Work Holiday Party. This year wasn't so bad as it was at one of the better restaurants in town, so the food would be excellent, at least. But before they could get to the food, Blaine had to endure an hour or so of cocktails and schmoozing with people that, while nice enough at work, weren't really people he would voluntarily socialize with on a regular basis. Add to that the fact that Kurt wasn't there yet and Blaine was starting to get a little grumpy.
Blaine starts thinking back on how his wooing has been going thus far and is pleased with his efforts. Kurt has been opening up to him and Blaine feels closer to Kurt than he has to anyone in a long time. Tonight might just be the night that Blaine finally tells Kurt that he is interested in being more than friends. He knows Kurt might be interested, too. Kurt has hinted over the last few months that he likes being in a relationship, and that he is definitely open to the possibility of a boyfriend. Whether or not Blaine figures in to those thoughts specifically remains to be seen. It might be the thought of a relationship with a coworker is something of a deterrent to Kurt. Blaine can certainly understand that. If they were to start a relationship and something happened to end it, things could be awkward. But there's something about Kurt that makes Blaine believe that would never happen.
Blaine has learned a lot about Kurt over the last few months. Kurt is loyal, he is honest, witty, caring and loving. The way he talks about his family and his friends from high school and college tells Blaine this. The smile that lights up his face as he talks about his dad or his friends Mercedes and Rachel make want Blaine to make sure nothing ever happens to make Kurt sad.
Kurt is brave and courageous and you always know where you stand with him. He also doesn't take shit from anyone. The way he stands up to people that occasionally try to start something when they're out at a bar with words said in a voice so light and chipper that you don't know he's actually insulted you until a good ten minutes later is something Blaine has always wished he could do. And the stories he tells of the bullies at his high school and what he had to deal with on a daily basis are staggering.
He's in the middle of talking to Don, the Dean of his department, when hears a voice behind him. "Oh, my god," it says.
Blaine turns, smile on his face as he turns to face Kurt. "Yes?" he says calmly.
"I should have known," Kurt replied, shaking his head. "I mean, with what your daily wardrobe looks like it should have been obvious, really."
"You're one of those guys," Kurt says gesturing to Blaine's ensemble.
Blaine looks down at himself. He's wearing a bright red dress shirt with an deep green sweater vest with small snowflakes knitted into the pattern at the hem, his good black trousers and, okay, yes, a tie with tiny reindeer on it. To be fair, from far away, the reindeer just look like a small polka dot pattern.
Blaine just smiles and crosses his arms, appraising Kurt's outfit in return. Blaine must admit that, as usual, Kurt looks stunning. He's wearing dark gray trousers, those black leather booties and a deep green sweater with snaps on one shoulder over a simple white collared shirt. It's simple, but so put together Blaine can't help but groan a little internally at his own feelings of fashion ineptitude.
"If by one of those guys, you mean someone who loves Christmas, then yes. I do," Blaine says. "You're not some kind of horrible Grinch, are you?"
"Of course not," Kurt insists. "But, I do also know how to dress in a way that is both appropriate for the holiday and not a blinding eye-sore."
"Hey! My mom bought me this tie," Blaine says faking affront.
"Of course she did. Where's the bar?" Kurt replies looking around. "I think I'm gonna need a drink or five to get through this evening."
Blaine guides Kurt over to the bar and they're stopped a few times to talk with various colleagues. They finally get their drinks and are on their way to the hors d'oeuvres table when they're once more waylaid by Miss Lopez, a fellow professor specializing in Spanish literature.
"Merry Christmas," she greets them with a smile.
"Merry Christmas, Santana," Blaine replies.
"Merry Christmas," Kurt adds. "You certainly look lovely this evening."
Blaine has to agree she does. She's in a form fitting emerald green dress that's covered in sequins and all sorts of sparkling crystals. The ridiculous heels she's wearing also show off her toned legs to their best advantage.
"Thank you, Professor Hummel," she says. "My favorite part is the headband. You know the rules boys!"
Blaine lifts his eyes and sees that there is a sprig of bright, green plastic mistletoe dangling from the sparkling band perched on her head. Blaine flushes red at the implication and tries to wave her off.
"Come on, Blaine," she needles. "It's Christmas! You don't want to wind up on my naughty list, do you?"
Blaine certainly does not. So, he turns to Kurt and raises his eyebrows in question. Kurt merely shrugs and smiles as if to say, "Why not?"
Before he can think about it too much and how this was definitely not what he imagined for his first kiss with Kurt, Blaine slowly leans in and waits for Kurt to meet him. Kurt closes the gap and Blaine's eyes flutter closed as their lips touch.
It's soft and easy as they are in public, but Blaine can't help sucking in a breath at the electricity he suddenly feels coursing through him. One hand comes up to hold Kurt's face lightly as he pulls away. He sees Kurt's pupils are blown and there's a flush rising on his cheeks. He's breathing harshly and Blaine is sure he's in no better condition.
"And my job here is done," Santana says patting them both on the cheek as she walks away.
"I…" Kurt begins.
"Have dinner with me," Blaine interrupts. "As a date. A real, proper date. Please." Blaine is sure he's begging and sounds like an absolute fool, but he can't help it. Kurt just… does things to him.
Kurt smiles shyly and bites his lip before nodding in response. He looks so absolutely adorable Blaine can't help but lean in and kiss him again.
Best. Christmas. Ever.
Chapter 5: But a Kaleidoscope - Yellow
Kurt really likes Blaine's kitchen.
"Have I told you how much I love your kitchen?" Kurt says wrapping his arms around Blaine from behind and pressing a light kiss to his bare shoulder.
Blaine smiles and pushes the hash browns around the pan. He leans back into Kurt's grasp and turns his head for a kiss.
"You may have mentioned it once or twice," he answers.
"Well, it's still true," Kurt says moving towards the coffee maker to pour himself a mug.
"And once again, thank you."
Blaine looks around his kitchen and, he must admit, it makes him feel good that Kurt likes his place so much. It had taken him a few years to fix everything up to his liking. He'd actually knocked out the wall that had originally been between the kitchen and living room to open it up more. But he's the most surprised to find how much he likes the color he ended up going with – yellow. He's not really a yellow kind of guy, but his friend Quinn had somehow talked him into it. The cabinetry had been white and while he had originally thought of stripping it down and refinishing them with a light oak stain, she convinced him to leave them as they were and picked a bright, almost egg yolk, yellow at the hardware store. He was extremely hesitant, but as soon as the first brush stroke went up, he knew she was right. It was bright, but not obnoxiously so and just… cheerful. He just stood back and smiled once he was finished. It was really the perfect color for the room.
"It's very… homey," Kurt added.
"I'm glad you think so," Blaine said as he plated the eggs and hash browns for breakfast. He pulled out a small box from the silverware drawer as he got the forks and knives and placed it on the side of Kurt's plate. He smiled nervously as he set the plate down in front of Kurt.
"What's that?" Kurt asked pointing at the box.
"Just open it," Blaine said a little breathless.
He watched as Kurt pulled the ribbon off and lifted the lid. He watched as Kurt paused, taking in the usually innocuous object and all it could mean. He watched as Kurt's eyes went wide and his breathing got shallow.
"A key?" Kurt said.
"I know it's probably too soon, and this isn't me asking you to move in," Blaine explained. "I just… I like it better when you're here. So, now, you can be here whenever you want."
"I like being here, too," Kurt said as leaned over to kiss Blaine. "Thank you."
Chapter 6: But a Kaleidoscope - Orange
During a romantic sunset picnic, Blaine comes to a realization.
The weather is finally starting to warm up again and Blaine has happily continued his tradition of picnic lunches with Kurt when the weather and time allows. One night, Kurt tells Blaine he has to stay late for some student meetings and Blaine decides to surprise him with dinner. He meets Kurt outside his office and they head down to what's become their rock by the lake. The wind has picked up a little bit as the sun is setting, but the temperature is holding steady.
Blaine unpacks their dinner as Kurt fills him on the latest antics of his one trouble student. He's a good kid, but he just doesn't seem to be applying himself and occasionally mouths off in class. They've discussed him before and had come to the conclusion that there is something of an identity crisis going on. However, as they both know, that is not something that can be rushed.
They eat in silence once everything is unpacked, comfortable enough with each other that times like these are not awkward. Blaine turns to look at Kurt and catches him with his eyes closed against the flaming sunset. His face is lit by the golden orange sun and Blaine's breath catches in his throat at the sight. He's suddenly overcome with emotion and he knows.
He's in love with Kurt Hummel.
The realization makes him smile and he can't help but let out a small huff of a laugh. Kurt turns to look at him.
"What?" Kurt asks.
"Nothing," Blaine says, shaking his head. "Just… happy."
"Me, too," Kurt agrees and leans over to press a gentle kiss to Blaine's lips.
He'll tell Kurt later. Right now, he just wants to bask in the feeling of being in love.
Chapter 7: But a Kaleidoscope - Red
t's Christmas Eve again and Blaine has one more question for Kurt.
It's been a year.
One year since Blaine and Kurt started dating, five months since Kurt officially moved in, and three months since Kurt admitted to being in love with Blaine. With Kurt's previous admission of having never been in love before, Blaine had been absolutely ecstatic to hear Kurt say that. He had been noticeably nervous that evening and for a while, Blaine had been worried that Kurt was going to break up with him. Instead, in the middle of an episode of The Bachelorette as they ate dessert Kurt had simply said, "I love you." Blaine knew it was a big deal, but he couldn't make it one. Instead, he just leaned over, kissed Kurt on the cheek and went back to his ice cream.
That night, when they made love, Blaine had whispered his own tender words into Kurt's skin, trying to show Kurt how much he was loved and how precious he was to Blaine. They had clung together that night and Blaine knew, without a doubt, that he would spend the rest of his life with Kurt.
So, now, on Christmas Eve one year later, Blaine is going to ask Kurt to marry him.
He finishes cooking breakfast and places everything on a tray along with a single red rose. He had made all of Kurt's favorites – whole wheat pancakes with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped cream, turkey bacon and his favorite orange juice. A simple platinum band circled the rose's stem.
Blaine makes his way to their bedroom where Kurt is just beginning to wake up.
"Good morning, sleepyhead," he teases as he sets the tray down on the bedside table. "Did you sleep well?"
"I did," Kurt says as he stretches. "I love winter break." He reaches over for his glasses and Blaine intercepts him for a good morning kiss.
"Now it really is a good morning," Blaine whispers against Kurt's lips.
Kurt shoves at Blaine's shoulder half-heartedly as he says, "Dork." Blaine loves that they can tease each other like this. What's the point of being with someone you can't have fun with?
"This looks delicious," Kurt says. "What's the occasion?"
"Because I can," Blaine replies, waiting for Kurt to notice. "It's Christmas Eve, so why not indulge a little?"
"And a rose, too." Kurt picks up the flower and Blaine watches as Kurt finally sees the ring. "Blaine?" Kurt says.
Blaine gently takes the flower from Kurt and pulls the ring off. He takes a deep breath to calm his nerves and tries to remember everything he wanted to say at this moment.
"I love you, Kurt," he says, the words catching in his throat. "I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?"
"Yes," Kurt laughs. "Oh, my god. Yes, I'll marry you, Blaine."
Blaine slides the ring on Kurt's finger and seals the promise with a kiss.
"Best. Christmas. Ever," Kurt says kissing Blaine with each word.
Blaine can't help but laugh and tackles Kurt to the bed. It really is, though. Best Christmas ever.