When we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness, and call it love - true love.
Blaine was in the middle of writing down the melody that'd been stuck in his head for the better part of the morning – he just knew that it would be the perfect opening sequence for the male lead in the theater production he was currently working for – when Kurt sat down across from him and declared, "So, I've been invited to a wedding back home."
Blaine, still completely engrossed in his writing, hummed in agreement. "That's nice," he mumbled distractedly, then crossed out the last four measures he'd written and moved them closer to the beginning. Yes, that worked so much better.
"I kind of need a date for it."
That got Blaine's attention. His hand froze and he looked up slowly. The voices and sounds of the diner he’d been sitting in to work on his music - for some reason, he worked best when surrounded by a crowd of strangers - rushed over him like a wave, making him dizzy for a moment. His hazel eyes met Kurt's blue ones over the table top, but neither of them said anything for a moment. If anything, Kurt looked like he was trying to communicate with him on a higher plain or something. Blaine raised an eyebrow.
"And you're asking me?"
Kurt fidgeted, looked down at his hands and admitted, "I may have told them I've been in a serious relationship for a while now."
Blaine blinked and let the pen drop down on the table.
He'd known Kurt for six years now, ever since they’d bumped into each other in Blaine's second week of college at NYADA. It had been friendship at first sight, so to speak. Granted, Blaine had always felt a certain level of attraction to Kurt. And really, who could blame him, the man was smoking hot and didn't even know it. But somewhere around the end of their second week of being acquainted, they'd somehow decided by silent agreement that they would work out better as just friends.
And they did. Six years down the road, after bachelor's and master's degrees and roles in small theater productions, after years of laughter and tears and occasional fights about small and big things and everything in between, they'd come out on the other side much stronger and more solid than they might've managed if they'd thrown sex into the mix as well. So instead of a disastrous romantic entanglement, they'd shared every other aspect of a relationship except that part over the past years. At this point Blaine was sure that neither of them would ever stop wanting to have the other one around. He even went so far as to claim that they couldn't function without each other anymore.
Well, Blaine certainly couldn't. Kurt had always been enviably self sufficient.
Which made this whole conversation very strange, really. It wasn't like Blaine wouldn't drop everything at the drop of a hat to help Kurt out, but there were several points to this whole exchange that were highly unusual:
1. Kurt never lied.
He was, if anything, the most brutally honest person Blaine knew. It wasn't in his nature to lie, especially not to friends or his family.
2. Kurt wasn't in a relationship.
They told each other everything and Blaine would have known if Kurt had been in a serious relationship for the last few months. He wasn't. It was the exact opposite, actually. The last guy Kurt had been talking about hadn't even stayed the night. And had been a horrible lay to boot, according to Kurt.
And then there was the most important point:
3. Kurt had never shown any romantic interest in Blaine whatsoever.
Granted, Kurt was probably sitting here right now because he knew that he could ask Blaine for anything and that he would help if he could, but it only brought him back to bullet point number one: Kurt never lied. So what the hell had possessed him to lie about something so important, and to the people he cared about most on top of that?
The silence that had settled between them had obviously been too long because Kurt started fidgeting again. Before he could talk himself into a panic attack – Blaine knew how Kurt's brain worked, it came with the job description of being his best and closest friend for six years – Blaine raised his hand and stopped Kurt in his tracks.
"Let me get this straight. You lied - to your family - about being in a committed relationship that doesn't exist. And now there's a wedding and they expect you to bring that mysterious someone. Only you have no such person to bring so you thought to ask me. Did I get that right?"
Kurt only gave him a flat, unimpressed look. Blaine threw his hands up. "Why?"
Kurt opened his mouth to answer, but Blaine continued before he got the chance, "I mean, why did you lie to your family, Kurt? You didn't even lie to your father about the fake meat you served him when you were visiting him last year because you didn't think it was right. And then you went and did this? I just... I don't get it!"
Silence reigned once more, with Blaine staring at Kurt and Kurt staring right back, his arms crossed over his chest. "Can I talk now?" he asked after a moment, clearly on the way to being pissed off.
Blaine waved his hand. "By all means." God alone knew that Blaine was out of words.
"I wanted my dad to stop worrying about me," Kurt explained, then grimaced. "I mean, I wanted him to stop worrying that I would die all alone because I didn't have a serious boyfriend. He kept asking and asking and then, one night it just slipped out and... It snowballed from there."
He shrugged and looked at the table top. Blaine sighed, rubbing his forehead. Okay, he could understand that. He'd never met Mr. Hummel, never even talked to him, but Kurt had talked about his dad so often that Blaine might as well have. He knew that Mr. Hummel loved his son unconditionally, without fail, and only wanted him to be happy. Blaine didn't know what it was like to be loved by someone like that. His parents' love had always come with conditions, and he'd never figured out if Cooper even liked him or just tolerated him because they were brothers.
But just because he didn't have any personal experience with love like that didn't mean he didn't have the brain capacity to get what it meant. Love like that was rare, even though it shouldn't be, and he knew that as soon as Kurt had realized what he'd done, it must have broken his heart. And now he wanted to make it right in any way he could.
Blaine sighed again, rubbing a hand through his dark hair and probably mussing it up even more than it naturally was. "So you want to take me with you because..." he said, trailing off meaningfully.
"You know me like the back of your hand," Kurt finished for him. After a short silence he added quietly, "And you're the only person I trust."
Kurt's words were like a punch to the gut, immediately followed by an all encompassing warmth. Blaine's whole body relaxed and he knew his gaze had turned soft and mushy. It always did when Kurt said stuff like that because, well, it was Kurt. He'd earned that trust fair and square and it certainly hadn't been easy. But mostly, he was glad that he'd landed himself a friend like Kurt Hummel.
Even though on days like these he wanted to strangle him a little bit.
"You're a manipulative asshole, I hope you know that," Blaine said, the corner of his mouth twitching. It was enough of a give away for Kurt. A smile slowly bloomed on his face and he grabbed Blaine's hand over the table.
"I know," he said around his grin.
"You'll owe me so big for this," Blaine added, squeezing Kurt's hand.
Kurt's smile softened. "I know," he said quietly, not letting go of Blaine's hand.
A flutter started up in Blaine's gut. He wasn't used to Kurt looking at him like that. He very rarely looked at anyone like that, only when he thought nobody was paying attention. It always did a number on Blaine's emotions. And his libido.
He pushed those feelings aside and patted Kurt's hand before disentangling their fingers.
"So when's this wedding and what do I have to do?"
Kurt looked at him for a long moment before he stood up. "The wedding's in a month and you don't have to do anything." A glint appeared in his blue eyes that made Blaine wary. Kurt just ran a hand through Blaine’s hair - probably to put it back into some semblance of order - and added, "I'll take care of everything."
Now why didn't Blaine feel reassured by these words?
"What do you mean, 'Pack a bag that'll last you for a week'?"
Kurt looked at him as if Blaine was slow. But hey, when he'd agreed to this three days ago Kurt had never mentioned that they'd be gone for a week. This had 'epic disaster' written all over it. He may know Kurt better than anyone, but nobody knew him quite as well as his own family. They were bound to catch on within a week.
They were sitting in Blaine's living room, eating Chinese take out – a rare thing, considering how much of a health freak Kurt was and how tight both of their budgets were most of the time – while watching their obligatory movie of the week. It'd been a tradition ever since they'd found out in their first week of friendship that they both had a crush on Cary Grant. It'd only been a small step from that realization to a standing date once a week to watch classic movies.
"Do you really think you can fool your dad for a week?" Blaine asked, a skeptical eyebrow raised while his gaze strayed back to the TV. He heard Kurt's exasperated sigh next to him and looked back over. Kurt was pouting into his fried rice, poking at it with his chopsticks.
"First of all, we'll be sleeping at a hotel anyway, so our exposure time will be limited.” He paused, fishing for a bit of chicken, before he added, “And second of all, it's not like we're not already accused by everyone we meet that we’re acting like an old married couple. We just have to amp up the touching and lovestruck glances and we'll be fine."
While Kurt pushed his bite into his mouth and chewed, Blaine just stared at him. Was he serious? There was no 'just' about any of those suggestions.
Blaine sighed, put his carton of noodles down and turned on the couch to properly look at Kurt. "Okay, you need to listen to me, Kurt, because I don't think you really get what you're proposing."
"Oh, I get it," Kurt insisted but Blaine covered his hand before he could take another bite. Kurt froze.
"That's exactly what I mean," Blaine said quietly. "It's not that I have a problem with suddenly touching you without prior warning, but you're not exactly a touchy-feely guy. You never have been."
Kurt's shoulders raised defensively and he didn't look at Blaine. "I got better about it."
"You stopped flinching, but that's pretty much it. You are not comfortable with casual touching, Kurt. Well, unless it leads to sex I suppose, but even then it has a purpose and you know it’s coming so it’s not really a surprise. I just..."
He stopped, then took Kurt's food away and put it next to his own. Grabbing both of Kurt's hands at once, he asked, "Look at me, please?"
Kurt did, after a moment. They just stared at each other, not saying anything, but Blaine put all of his worries into his gaze, showed him what he thought about Kurt’s proposal and that he feared it would backfire horribly because of Kurt’s issues. After a while Kurt deflated and closed his eyes. Blaine let out a quiet breath of relief, sure that Kurt had got the message and was taking his concerns seriously.
Of course, in typical Kurt Hummel fashion, he pulled the rug right out from under Blaine's feet when he said, "Well, I guess we need to practice first, then."
Blaine froze with his hand halfway to his noodles. "Excuse me?"
Kurt rolled his eyes, but he was definitely more animated now. "Practice, Blaine. I hereby give you permission to touch me whenever you want so I won't freeze up every time you do it when we're under the watchful eye of my family and friends."
Blaine just gaped at Kurt, trying to make the words make sense. In the end he just rubbed his forehead. "Are you even listening to yourself sometimes?" he asked, exasperated.
Kurt seemed to think back on what he'd said, then blushed furiously and amended, "Of course, we're talking about touching that's appropriate for the general public. I don't want you to make out with me in the middle of the street."
Blaine's brain screeched to a halt at that mental image and a faint blush spread on his own cheeks. He had to admit, the idea was rather more appealing than he would've thought. After six years of friendship he'd thought he was over his little crush on Kurt.
He turned back around and let his head fall back on the couch, closed his eyes and tried to make sense of the last ten minutes. He would happily start touching Kurt – he'd always been touchy-feely, after all. He'd actually been hurt a little at first when he couldn't touch Kurt to emphasize a point or get his attention. But he'd soon realized that Kurt didn't let anyone touch him, and it had soothed the initial hurt. Years later, after he'd gotten the story behind Kurt's fear of being touched and understood and accepted that part of his best friend, he was one of the few people who got to hug Kurt once in a while. It was a hard earned privilege. So to suddenly have permission to touch him whenever Blaine felt the urge to do so? It was more tempting to him than a canary was to a cat.
"You're unbelievable, you know that?" he said, which was as good as waving a white flag of capitulation in Kurt's face. Kurt just snorted, then nudged Blaine's thigh with his knee, prompting Blaine to roll his head to the side so he could look at Kurt.
"Seriously, I don't even know why I'm still friends with you," he said mock seriously but only earned himself a punch to the arm.
"And now you're abusing me too!" he complained, and that finally got a laugh out of Kurt who had been tense ever since they'd started this conversation. Blaine couldn't help smiling a little at that before he stretched out his arm and put it over Kurt's shoulder to pull him closer. Kurt tensed, as expected, but breathed deeply and slowly relaxed into Blaine's touch.
"You'll be impossible now, won't you?" Kurt murmured, slowly letting his cheek come to rest on Blaine's shoulder.
"Hush, you. I'm practicing being your boyfriend. You got yourself into this mess so stop complaining."
Kurt didn't say anything to that, but he did relax further into Blaine's side and put a careful hand on Blaine’s stomach before he turned his attention back to the movie still playing on TV. Blaine had totally lost track of the plot at this point but he honestly didn't care. Kurt was warm and more or less pliant next to him, and when Blaine's hand started to stroke slowly up and down his arm, Kurt didn't even tense up.
Well, it was progress. Blaine still had his doubts they could pull this off for a whole week but he would certainly try his best. And they still had over three weeks to ‘practice’, after all.
"A week, huh?" he murmured later. Kurt hadn't moved an inch since Blaine had pulled him closer and they were more or less sprawled into the corner of his couch at this point. Neither of them seemed to care all that much.
Kurt made an affirmative noise. "You'll love Ohio."
Blaine snorted. "Somehow I doubt it. I didn't like it much the first time around."
Kurt sat up and looked at Blaine, his face earnest. He'd of course told Kurt about his freshman year of high school, and the punks who had beaten up him and his date after a school dance. Kurt had been horrified, initially, but Blaine had assured him that it was the best for everyone involved. His parents had sent him to boarding school in Connecticut after the incident, and Blaine couldn't really regret that. It had helped him leave behind a whole bag of issues, a mild form of PTSD being only one of them.
"I promise you, nobody will hurt you this time," Kurt said, his voice so earnest that Blaine couldn't breathe for a second. He tried to smile at Kurt but gave it up as a lost cause. He pulled Kurt back into his side instead and pressed a quick kiss to the top of his head.
Oddly enough, Kurt seemed to press himself closer to Blaine's side at the gesture, not pull away. Blaine took it as progress and hoped that they would survive a week of Kurt's family and friends in rural Ohio.
"You do realize that I have to talk to my art director to give me a week off when it's only three more months to opening night," Blaine said quietly after a while.
Kurt scoffed. "Please, that guy has a soft spot a mile wide for you. He'll give you anything you want."
Blaine couldn't help but grin. It was certainly true, but while he might get the week he would probably pay for it later on when the crazy cast descended on him after his return. He knew these people well enough by now to see the impending disaster loom on the horizon. God, that favor Kurt owed him better be visible from space!
"So big, Kurt," he whispered and grinned wider when Kurt burst out in a belly laugh.