The rooftop party was lit by strings of globe lights. Kurt was proud that Isabelle had taken his suggestion to heart. Last week when she came bursting down the hall to his cubicle frazzled with the stress of planning the launch party for Vogue.com’s latest issue, Kurt managed to settle her and offered his assistance. Party planning was one of his many talents after all. He leans over the ledge looking out to the New York City streets still bright with taillights. His empty plastic champagne flute dangles between his fingers. Another suggestion of his that Isabelle had taken. Plastic cups were easily disposed of and recyclable so there was less cleanup when the party wrapped up. As part of the cleanup crew, Kurt was happy to have one less job to deal with this evening.
“There’s a nice breeze tonight.”
Kurt looks to his left, where a man is leaning with his back to the city. The man who had caught his eye earlier in the night. Unfortunately, when Kurt had first spotted him, he wasn’t able to do more than observed the man’s fashion choices. It was his yellow pants exposing his ankles that captured Kurt’s eye. Then, it was the tan boat shoes. Kurt wondered if he wore socks with those. Now as Kurt looked at the man again, he noticed his fitted white polo was decorated with a bowtie, which was the exact shade of yellow of his pants.
“Yeah, thank god we got a decent night to host this.”
“Especially, since it’s a rooftop party. Would’ve been a disaster to move inside.”
“And it would’ve been my disaster to tattle. No thank you,” Kurt says.
“You planned this?” Kurt turns around to face the party and the man who had caught his eye and now his full attention.
“Partly, Isabelle Wright’s my boss so I helped her out. Gave her some pointers.” Kurt shrugs as if he hadn’t spent the last week elbows deep into organizing this event.
“Well, it turned out fantastic, everyone seems to be having fun.”
“Thanks. Are you?”
“Am I what?”
“I am right now.” He gives Kurt a knowing smile as if they share some sort of secret.
“I’m Kurt Hummel, by the way.”
“Blaine Anderson,” he says. “So, what’s it like working for Isabelle?”
“I love it. She is such an inspiration and I adore her really especially when she isn’t adding million more things to my already filled plate. I never feel like I’m working for her, we work as a team. I work with Isabelle more so than work for her.”
Kurt’s eyes find his boss in the crowd. She must sense she’s being talked about because she looks up from her conversation to stare at Kurt and gives him a wink.
“A wink?” Blaine asks.
“She does that all the time. It’s become our thing in a weird way,” Kurt explains.
He secretly loved all the inside jokes and gestures the two of them had created. Even if people thought they were crazy for their inappropriately timed winks and shouting matches that occurred when they were forty feet away from one another.
“That explains it,” Blaine says it as if he’s just solved the greatest mystery of their time.
“Explains what exactly?”
“You’re Isabelle’s assistant, correct?”
“I am,” Kurt replies, still not sure where this conversation is headed.
“She’d never let just anyone borrowed that outfit, you must be special,” he concludes.
As if he could forget what he was wearing, Kurt looks down at his mostly self-designed and self-made outfit.
“Actually, the only thing I borrowed from the Vogue closet are my shoes,” Kurt tells him. “They’re Versace.”
“Really? Color me impressed, I’m more of a wearer of good clothes than a designer of them.”
“So, what is it that you do?”
Blaine obviously knew more about Kurt than Kurt did about him. He didn’t want to monopolize their conversation.
“Complex question if you ask me. A better one is what don’t I do,” Blaine says. “Most of the time, I’m a student. A sophomore in the fall at NYADA.”
“I’ll be a junior,” Kurt says, wondering how he hadn’t seen the boy this year.
Surely, if they passed in the halls, Kurt would’ve noticed.
“Really?” Kurt nods. “I guess, we’ll see each other on campus. When I’m not at school, I’m auditioning for roles, putting in hours at the dance studio where I teach basic ballet or the bar where I sing on weekends, and if I’m not doing any of the above Sam, my roommate, and I are probably yelling at the television.”
“How often do you find yourself angry with inanimate objects?”
“Only when Sam is particularly sucky at video games or when our team is losing the game,” Blaine clarifies.
“So, what brought you to this party tonight?”
“More like who did,” Blaine corrects.
Of course, this man was taken. Kurt wondered which beautiful person in the crowd had the pleasure of dating Blaine Anderson.
“Sam is a freelance model and Vogue.com thought—”
Kurt cuts Blaine off immediately. “—he was perfect in our Southern photoshoot!”
“Yeah?” Blaine replies, tilting his head obviously curious as to why Kurt would know Sam was in that particular shoot or why he remembers Sam at all.
Not to say Sam Evans was a forgettable personality. Blaine sometimes wishes he could forget half the things that Sam has said or done based purely on secondhand embarrassment and a bit of first hand. But Kurt, as Isabelle’s assistant, must have more important things to do than supervise a photo shoot.
“Sam Evans is your roommate?” Kurt asks. “How did that happen?”
“We met in Ohio actually, I moved to New York from Lima with Sam.”
“I’m from Lima too, how is it that we’ve never met?”
“Originally, I’m from Westerville but my dad got a new job so my senior year of high school I went to McKinley and that’s where I met Sam.”
“We just missed each other then, Sam and I were in McKinley’s glee club together.”
“Really? Small world.” Blaine says.
This is good, Kurt thinks.
Sam is most definitely not gay so if Blaine’s his date there is a fair chance Blaine is single. As to whether he’s gay…Kurt’s pretty sure he learned his lesson from his crush on Sam never assume based on appearance.
Although Blaine’s fashion choices indicate he probably leans towards boys than girls, Kurt decides to think of other non-appearance indicators. Blaine had sought Kurt’s company out rather than stick around his roommate. He started up a conversation and had been steadily moving closer to Kurt the longer they spoke. These were all pretty good indicators that Blaine was interested in more than a friendly conversation with Kurt.
“Small world indeed,” Kurt agrees.
He moves to sip his drink but realizes it’s empty. “I’m going to refill, want something?”
“I’m good. Thanks though.” Blaine holds up his beer bottle as proof.
Kurt waits at the makeshift bar desperately trying to get the bartender’s attention and failing miserably.
“What are you drinking?”
The woman beside him doesn’t look familiar so Kurt assumes she is one of Vogue’s models from a shoot that hadn’t crossed his desk. He only really had a hand in the Southern shoot for this issue because he knew Sam would be there. When he heard about Sam, he begged Isabelle to let him run errands for the models and help out the designers. Once she found out about Kurt’s connection to Sam, she was more than willing to let her assistant go for one day. Although she did make Kurt repay for the favor in plenty of coffee runs the following day.
“It was champagne from the toast earlier,” Kurt explains, his grip tightening on the flute.
She leans over the bar and waves down the bartender. “Malcolm, two old fashions please.”
“You got it, Nat.”
Kurt turns to Nat eyebrows lowered and mouth partly open in shock. “How…”
“Knowing the staff helps,” she shrugs. “Natalia Brier.”
“Kurt Hummel,” he extends his hand.
Natalia pushes it aside and kisses his checks. “I know, you’re Izzy’s assistant. Although I imagine you’re much more precious to her than most assistants are to their bosses.”
“Izzy?” Kurt never heard anyone called his boss a term of endearment before and he's answered calls from her mother on occasion.
“She’s my sister,” Natalia says.
Before Kurt can ask about their different last names, Malcolm sends two old fashions their way. “Thank you!” Natalia exclaims, shoving one glass into Kurt’s hand and takes the other for herself.
He glances back at the roof’s edge and sees Blaine still leaning against the side but now joined by Sam. Blaine gives him a smile before diving back into his own conversation.
“Malcolm is really my date tonight but Izzy has been telling everyone that I’m hers.” Natalia walks away as she begins this story, giving Kurt no choice but to follow her.
Shattered along the rooftop are wooden bar tables without their accompanying bar stools. The pair chooses an empty one to continue their chat.
“So how do you know Malcolm?” Kurt asks.
“He’s my husband,” Natalia giggles, making Kurt question how many old fashions she’s had tonight.
“Cheers!” She raises her glass and clinks it against Kurt’s.
After taking a sip, Kurt pushes the glass away from him. Malcolm sure does add a lot of whiskey to his old fashions. Maybe he only puts this much when he knows his wife is drinking them.
“Can I ask why you chose to order me a drink?’
“Firstly, you were struggling so I thought I’d help out but then I noticed who you were. Izzy never stops talking about you. You’re important to her and thereby important to me.”
Even drunk Natalia had a good point. He felt the same way about Isabelle’s sister. Clearly, she was important to his boss and by extension important to him.
“I needed to get to know the man before the name.” She continues. “No, wait, behind the name.”
“I’d love to get to know Izzy’s sister better but maybe on another day,” Kurt says. “Here’s my card if you want to get in contact with me or call your sister I answer all her calls.”
He starts to walk away to get back to his place along the edge with Blaine. “Kurt, I’ll call. We have plenty to discuss.” Natalia winks.
Maybe the sisters have more in common than he knows.