It's raining, heavily. Of course it is.
Blaine grits his teeth against the cold wind battering his face, pulls his grey coat more tightly around himself, trying to shield his hands within the thick fabric as best he can, and hurries down the busy street. Trying to run down a busy street in the middle of New York, on a Monday morning of all mornings, is apparently near to impossible, and at this point in time, he's willing to bet that it'd be more likely for a comet to come shooting overhead than him actually getting anywhere with this endeavour.
The rain suddenly comes down more heavily, the wind picks up and nearly pushes him over. Blaine sighs as he grabs hold of a lamp post to stop himself from falling, taking a breath before determinedly moving forwards. He is going to get down those steps to the subway, and he is definitely going to beat that woman over there with the oversized chariot for her screaming child to the next train. He glares at the rushing woman and starts running, carefully dodging everyone with a skill and grace that should, really, qualify him for the Olympics.
'Sorry!' he apologises to an old man he brushes against as he hurries down the steps, throwing an apologetic smile over his shoulder. The old man ignores him and carries on his merry way, and Blaine mentally shrugs, wonders if this whole 'carry on and mind your own business' thing is an inherit New York thing or a thing you pick up. He slows down as he joins the end of a queue to get through the gates, card at the ready, and eyes Gladiator and Chariot Baby in the corner of his eye.
Oh, it's so on.
He swipes his card, hurries through the gate and down towards the platform, coat flapping as he does the closest thing to running without actually running. His shoes are loud against the slightly damp floor, slippery in some places from the countless footsteps that have walked across it, and there's a slight breeze that washes over him as he steps onto the platform. It brushes through his hair, and Blaine knows without checking in a filthy public bathroom mirror that his hair has lost all hope. That the gel has been washed and blown out and his curls left to roam his head unattended.
The woman is at the other end of the platform, Screaming Baby in tow, and Blaine eyes her. Watches the train slowly pull in, watches the doors begin to open to let people off. The woman is rearing up, ready to try and beat him onto the train. No chance, lady. No chance.
The minute there's a gap, Blaine practically jumps through the doors, rushes to an empty seat and smirks proudly to himself when he sees the woman push the chariot through the doors, barely missing the doors closing behind her. Forcing the grin off his face, Blaine carefully pulls his phone from his pocket, slides his thumb across the screen and unlocks it.
08:40. Okay. Not too bad. He can work with that. That still gives him twenty minutes to get to work and start on time, give or take a few seconds. The wheels screech underneath his feet, and he pays no attention to the train as it stops at the next station. The woman sitting next to him silently gets up and moves towards the door, disappears into the crowd of passengers and becomes just another drop in an ocean. Blaine sighs and taps out a text to Tina, confirming their post-work plans.
The seat suddenly shakes with an earthquake like vibration, and Blaine surreptitiously looks over. An older looking man, complete with the half bald, half mullet look, a beer belly and an unsettling collection of greasy looking stains is sitting next to him, legs a foot in front of him and hand scratching at the pathetic excuse for a beard. And then he burps, loudly.
Blaine sighs. Something in the universe hates him today.
So the office building where his new job is at is fancy. Really, really fancy and really nice to look at and the chairs in the reception type area are actually really comfortable looking. Not like the chairs from his last job, where all they'd had were straight backed things that looked more like medieval torture devices than things of comfort and relaxation.
Blaine walks up to the desk, looking around at the various people rushing by him. One woman is wearing what he knows is an Armani dress, complete with killer heels and a Gucci jacket that he's fairly certain was in the last issue of Vogue. He reaches it, and smiles at the man sitting in front of the computer screen, face highlighted by the glare of the screen.
'Hi,' Blaine introduces himself, not faltering in his smile as the man doesn't look up from his quick fingered typing, 'I'm here to see Santana Lopez.'
'Name?' the guy asks, his voice bored and monotonous, sparing Blaine a brief glance.
The guy types something into the computer and stares at the screen, scrolls down before typing in something else. Blaine feels a bit awkward, just standing here whilst everyone around him is rushing to get to work, or, in a passing girl's case, carrying a suit in a clear plastic bag towards the fancy looking elevator. Blaine snaps his attention back to the guy behind the desk, who's still typing and scrolling.
'Ms Lopez will be with you shortly,' he says after another minute of awkward silence, not bothering to look up at Blaine now. 'Please take a seat in the main lobby area.'
Blaine nods his thanks and quickly walks to where he'd seen the comfortable looking seats before, carefully sitting down and taking in his surroundings. The carpeted floor was immaculately clean, despite the hundreds of people he'd seen walking across it in various states of hurry, and the walls were classy in appearance and colour. Everyone here was smartly dressed, beautiful and evidently talented enough to get a job here at Vogue. While Blaine had been feeling excited for the last few days, ever since he'd received a call congratulating him on his getting the job, he also felt slightly overwhelmed. Everything here is so big and new, shining brightly and showing off to the rest of the world that it knows it's better than everything else.
Even the people here seem shiny and new, hair immaculate and suits and dresses pressed to the point where wrinkles seemed to avoid them completely.
Blaine definitely feels overwhelmed, but he was nothing if not resourceful, and he refuses to be intimidated.
In the corner of his eye, he spots a magazine resting innocently on a coffee table. Looking around himself again, Blaine reaches forward and takes the magazine, opens it and begins to read. The noise in his ears settles into something softer, less like noise and more like something further away, more ignorable. He smiles as he re-reads articles that he'd read when this issue of Vogue first came out last month, looks at the spreads on the pages and the advertisements for various brands of perfumes and fashion items. He crosses his legs, lets one ankle rest on the opposite knee, and leans back into the chair.
Blaine startles, looks up from the magazine resting on his lap. A young woman is standing in front of him, gorgeous red dress clinging to her form like a second skin and dark hair framing her face in waves. She raises an eyebrow, and Blaine nods, coming back to himself. He leans forward and puts the magazine back on the table. The woman's eyes track it's movement before snapping back to him. Blaine feels like he's being watched by some sort of predator. In a situation like this, there's only really one thing Blaine can think of to do.
He stands up quickly, smoothing out his coat in the process. For a second or so, the woman just stares at him, scrutinises him under a piercing stare that makes Blaine feel like he's weighted to the ground in cast iron. He resists the urge to shift uncomfortably, makes himself stand still. Finally, the woman shifts out of her piercing stance.
'Santana Lopez,' she says, crossing her arms over her chest and watching Blaine. She moves her head slightly, enough to flick her fringe from her face. 'Welcome to Vogue. I'm Kurt's personal assistant and I'm here today to make sure you don't screw anything up.' She speaks like she's reading off a rehearsed speech, monotonous and slightly bored. Blaine nods anyway, trying to convey earnestness. 'Follow me.'
She spins around on her heel with a grace that Blaine's envious of, and begins to walk away. Blaine hurries to follow her, to keep up with her long strides. The heels on Santana's stilettos, Blaine absently notes, are so long and thin that they could probably be used as a murder weapon.
'We have a very delicate system around here, Anderson,' Santana says as they walk, hair bouncing on her shoulders as they weave through two guys carrying an armful of clothes, Blaine with a little more difficulty. 'Everybody does what they're told and that keeps Kurt happy. And a happy Kurt is a Kurt that won't beat our asses to the ground. Gots it so far?' She turns her head enough to look back over at Blaine, and Blaine nods dutifully.
Santana leads them over to a large, shining elevator, past the crowds of people milling around it, pushes the button on the wall. A brief second of waiting around and awkward silence, then the doors are opening and Santana is herding Blaine inside, patience of a pissed off saint. Blaine goes awkwardly, looks around as Santana leans to the side and presses another button. The inside is brightly lit with overhead lights, mirrors surrounding them on every wall. It makes Blaine feel a bit uneasy, all the mirrors.
'Let me be very, very clear, Rainbow Hobbit,' Santana says as the doors open again, revealing an office-type area, complete with small cubicles surrounded by spotless glass. She struts out of the lift and down the pseudo hallway, hair and hips swinging like she's a woman on a mission. Blaine hurries to follow her, looking around him in both nervousness and curiosity. 'For whatever reason, Kurt saw something in you – well, your resume – and picked you out of a thousand other applicants for this position.' She glances at him over her shoulder, eyes dark with warning. 'He chose you. And if you do anything to make him question that – if you screw up just the slightest bit – then our esteemed Westwood loving leader will kick your ass to the curb before you can even begin to grovel.'
Santana suddenly stops and looks at Blaine again, eyes narrowed in a warning that Blaine has no doubt is real. 'We clear, Bow Tie?'
Wordlessly, Blaine nods. Barely avoids walking into a clothing rack being wheeled out of an office and towards the elevator.
Santana leads them into the office at the end of the hallway, and Blaine looks around. Once again, the place is surrounded by sheets and walls of crystal clear glass, shining in the bright overhead lights. The carpeted floors are white and cream, not a mark on them despite the hundreds of people that must have walked on them at some point. There are a few desks in the area, each equipped with a Mac. All Blaine can do is stare in fascination, because this is Vogue, one of his absolute favourite things, and he's in the place where it's created.
He suppresses the urge to squeal like a fanboy.
'This,' Santana says, pointing at one of the desks, 'is where you will be stationed.' It's one of the desks that's fairly near the corner, but not quite in it – there's a similar one on the other side of the room. Compared to the other cubicles and desks in the building (that Blaine has seen so far on his travels up here), they're quite spacious, and Blaine feels like smiling. At Santana's prompting, he makes his way over to the desk and trails a finger along the smooth finish of the desktop. Carefully, he begins to unbutton his coat and shrugs it off, places it on the back of his chair.
'Your job here is to essentially be the secondary assistant,' Santana continues to speak as Blaine slowly sits down, testing the chair and it's comfort levels. Not the worst thing in the world, but definitely room for improvement. 'Your tasks will include, but not be limited to, bringing Kurt his morning coffee, carrying messages between departments, answering calls, taking messages and just generally doing the things that I don't want to do.'
She finishes her speech with a beautific smile, and Blaine feels the cool dread in the pit of his stomach again.
At that moment, the door suddenly bursts open, and a guy storms in, a file and clipboard under one of his arms and face set in a scowl. His dark hair is highlighted with blonde and stands high, and his eyes are outlined with dark eyeliner. They scan the room for a second, land on Santana, and he walks over to her, hands her the file. Then he rolls up the sleeves of his shirt to his elbows and crosses his arms, still looking pissed off.
'All of the shoots bar one are done,' he says as Santana opens the file and flicks through the thick pages, nodding and humming occasionally. 'The last one would have been done if Bitchette had actually sent the right girl, so she needs to be called again to reschedule it.'
'I'll let her know,' Santana says with a smile, walking over to the other desk on the other side of the room and placing the file down carefully. 'This is what – the third fuck up in the last few months?'
'Kurt's not gonna be happy with her,' the guy says with a sigh, shaking his head. He glances towards Blaine and seems to notice him for the first time. 'Who's this?'
'New guy,' Santana says by way of explanation, walking over to one of the cupboards and pulling out a shining glass and a bottle of what looks like expensive mineral water. She glances up at Blaine and nods towards the guy. 'Hairgel, that's Elliott. He's the head of the wardrobe department.'
Elliott gives him an amused smile as he takes a single step back. 'Good luck,' he nods at him, spinning on the spot and walking towards the glass doors. He stops just before it and sniffs, turns around and says, 'Has someone eaten an onion bagel?' After a pause, he shrugs, still grimacing, and opens the door, lets it swing shut again behind him as he struts down the hallway. Blaine tries to surreptitiously smell his own breath and see whether the remains of the onion bagel he had for breakfast are still there.
Santana just raises an eyebrow at him from across the room, and he stops immediately. Rolling her eyes, Santana takes the bottle and glass and opens the door in between their desks, goes through it and lets it shut behind her. She's back again within a few seconds, though, but she doesn't sit down.
'For the record, Bow Tie,' Santana says as she flicks through the giant file that Elliott had handed to her again, eyes scanning the pages, 'if you don't want Kurt to fire your ass, don't be an ass kisser to him. He hates that. The last guy who had your job was gone within a week.'
Blaine gulps and looks down at his desk, trying to the quell the feeling of dread in his stomach again. Focuses on his breathing and remains calm. There's the loud sound of a door opening, and Blaine looks up in time to see someone stride into the office, confidence radiating from them in waves. His breath catches in his throat as he sees who it is: Kurt Hummel.
He walks with the grace and confidence of someone who knows that they own the place, like they know that literally no one and nothing can touch them. He himself looks untouchable, and yet the sharp angles of his jawline and the Dior sunglasses perched on his face, the (tight tight tight) purple shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, and black coat draped over his arm, all add something alluring to the mix. Blaine can't stop staring at him, at this amazing, amazing person, and he knows that he doesn't want to stop staring.
Kurt slows to a stop in his tracks when Santana walks up to him, file in hand, and he lifts a hand to remove the sunglasses, perches them atop his head.
'Elliott sent these up this morning,' Santana explains as she hands Kurt the giant file, face set in a professional mask. Kurt opens the file and quickly glances through it, nodding as Santana continues to talk. 'Most of the shots are done, he just needs to get the last one done. It would have been done before now if not for Bichette.'
Kurt sighs and rolls his eyes. 'Did she send the wrong girl or guy again?' he asks, voice slightly monotonous with the air of someone who's said this at least three times before. At Santana's nod and eye roll, he snorts. 'Well, I think we can strike Bichette off of the invite list, at least for now.' Santana smirks and nods, walks over to her desk and picks up another clipboard and scribbles something down. Kurt hums and turns his head slightly and seems to notice Blaine's presence for the first time. He eyes him with a hint of curiosity before turning back to Santana, eyes questioning.
'Is he new?' he asks, cocking his head in Blaine's direction as he smooths a hand over his coat.
'Started this morning,' Santana responded instantly, still writing something down, this time in a small journal. She looks up and gives Kurt a smile. 'I ran him through the basics so he should be good to go.'
Kurt gave her a smile and a nod, says, 'Thanks, Santana,' and turns on his heels and heads towards the other door, opens it and steps through it. It shuts with a barely audible click behind him, and Blaine only then notices that the sign on the door reads KURT HUMMEL: SENIOR EDITOR. For a second, Blaine stares at the door, mind reeling. He shakes his head and makes himself concentrate on what he's supposed to be doing – which he doesn't really know, actually, now that he thinks about it. What is he supposed to be doing right now?
Shrugging mentally, Blaine logs on to the Mac, tapping a finger against the desktop as it slowly whirs and loads up.
'Blaine, can you run this down to Artie in Tech?' Santana says, and Blaine looks up at her. She's holding a sheet of paper in her hand, and Blaine nods, gets up from his desk and walks over to retrieve it. Santana hands it over, says, 'You can't miss him. He's in a wheelchair.'
Blaine smiles and nods awkwardly, turns and walks out of the office and down the hallway, following the signs placed periodically along the way. He dodges more clothing racks and harassed looking employees carrying hundreds of coffees and papers. A few look at him in curiosity, but most of them are too busy to pay him any real attention. Like this, it doesn't take too long to find Tech, and a few minutes later, he's pushing open a door that leads to a room filled completely with various technical equipment. He pauses and looks around. Takes in his surroundings with curiosity.
'Hi,' comes a voice from the side, and Blaine startles. A guy with horn rimmed glasses and a beanie has just appeared at his side, a smile in place. 'Can I help you with something?'
'Erm,' Blaine starts, feeling a bit freaked out because this guy won't stop smiling, 'I'm looking for Artie?' He waves the piece of paper in explanation, and the guy nods, points over to a door on the other side of the cluttered room with a, 'He's in there.' Blaine nods awkwardly again and makes a beeline for the door, eager to get away from Smiler again. Treading carefully over the various wires and cables thrown precariously on the floor, Blaine knocks on the door, opens it at the affirmation to enter.
A guy in a wheelchair is sat at a desk, face illuminated by the glow of the computer screen. The screen is reflected in his glasses, and he looks up when he hears the door open. 'What's up?'
'Santana sent me down here,' Blaine explains, handing over the piece of paper. The guy – Artie, Blaine assumes – takes it and his eyes scan over it quickly. He rolls them when he's done and smirks. 'All right, you can tell her that I'll sort it out for her. Although how she managed to break it is beyond me.' He looks up at Blaine again, smile becoming something more friendly. 'I don't think I've seen you here. New?'
'Erm – yeah. I work upstairs with Santana,' Blaine answers. He steps forward and holds out his hand, the voice of his mother chiding him on his lack of manners. 'Blaine. Blaine Anderson.'
'Artie Abrams,' Artie returns, leaning forward and shaking Blaine's hand with a friendly grin. Somehow, it's contagious, because Blaine ends up smiling, despite his own forth comings. 'I'm gonna tell you now, Blaine. Anything you've heard from that devil woman upstairs is at least twenty percent exaggerations and five percent lies.' He gives a small shrug. 'Bitches be crazy, yo. Can you open the door for me?' he adds on, almost as an afterthought. Blaine frowns in confusion, but complies, opening the door that leads back into the tangle of wires and cables and Smiler Guy.
Artie grabs a blank piece of paper from his desk and fiddles with it, folds it over and over again until he no longer has a sheet of paper sitting in his hands, but a paper airplane. Blaine cocks his head to the side, watching him and wondering why Artie's made one. Artie grins at him, mischievousness radiating from every part of him, and raises a hand, presses a finger against his lips and motions for Blaine to move out of the way of the door. Blaine quickly scoots to the side.
Aiming carefully, Artie angles his head purses his lips, narrows his eyes in concentration. Pulls his arm back, airplaine still clutched between three fingers. Lets his arm propel forward and releases the plane. Blaine watches as the plane sails through the door, out of the room, and winces when he hears the fairly high pitched yelp of surprise and pain on the other side of the wall. Artie fists bumps the air and grins at Blaine, holds up a hand.
Gingerly, Blaine high fives him, watching the door for Smiler to come in. Artie notices him watching the door and snorts, waving a hand dismissively. 'Don't worry about Chandler in there, man. He's just a bit creepy and happens to be good with computers.' He pauses and appears to think. 'And has a weird love of beanies,' he adds with a small grimace.
Not knowing what to say to that, Blaine just nods and smiles.
'I still can't believe you got a job at Vogue,' Wes says with a shake of his head, looking dumbfounded as he picks up his half empty bottle of beer, takes a sip of it. Blaine shrugs and laughs slightly, rubbing his hand down the back of his neck, over the tiny hairs at the base of his skull.
It's not really late – about nine at the latest – but it feels later. They're in a club, loud and obnoxiously bright and packed full with dancing, twisting bodies. The music in here is playing loud enough to send vibrations through the floor and up to the tabletop. It beats in Blaine's ears, until the music all melts into one continuous sound, and around him, the bright lights shine and dart like lasers across the place, bright green and red and blue from the ceiling. He looks across at the people on the dance floor, at how they're dancing without a care in the world, somehow beautiful in their shamelessness.
Despite the fact that he knows that a few good looking guys have looked his way tonight, Blaine can't bring himself to care. Because all he sees in his head when he pictures himself dancing with someone out on that floor, he sees Kurt. Kurt who he works for, who he has never even spoken to before.
Shaking his head, he snaps his attention back to Wes, face illuminated by a green light. In all honesty, it makes him look like the gavel-wielding dictator that he'd always aspired to be back in high school. 'I mean,' Wes continues, gesturing at Blaine with a sweeping hand, generalising and covering most of his body, 'you mix Brooks Brothers polos with bow ties.'
Tina giggles and hushes him from Blaine's other side, flapping a hand in his general direction. Leans forward so that her hair falls around her face, the bright coloured lights bouncing off of it, and she takes a sip of her own drink. 'I think it's awesome that you have this, Blainey,' she says with a small smile, sitting back up and brushing her hair out of her face. She stares at Blaine for a second, apparently considering something, before asking, 'So, what's he like?'
'Who? Kurt?' Tina nods, and Blaine sighs, thinking, then shrugs. Picks up his bottle of beer and idly moves it around his hands, watching the contents of the bottle move with the motions. 'I don't know. I mean, he seems nice, you know?' Tina hums and nods again, still watching him. Overhead, the light switches from neon green to blue in colour, and the light is reflected in Tina's eyes. 'He's gorgeous as well,' Blaine adds as an afterthought, looking off onto the dance floor again.
'So you like him?' David asks, a grin starting to appear on his face. Blaine reaches around Wes to slap his arm, not even bothering to try and hide his own smile. At least it's dark in here, because they can't see the red painted blush starting to rise to his cheeks.
'I don't even know him,' Blaine – rather calmly, he might add – points out, grin softening a bit. 'I can just admit that I think he's attractive.' He snorts, shakes his head as he looks down at the table. 'I'm pretty sure his demon assistant would sooner castrate me rather than let me within five feet of him.'
He's pretty sure that he isn't exaggerating with that one. Santana probably would come after him with a rusty spoon. She probably has minions who would hold him down whilst she cut off the goods. Blaine shudders at the thought of it, trying not to think about it. He tries not to cross his legs protectively at the thought. Tina seems to notice his shifting – her mouth turns upwards just the slightest bit in an amused smile, and she quickly looks down in what appears to be an effort not to laugh.
But, Blaine thinks as he looks out across the dance floor again, while he doesn't know for certain whether he finds Kurt aesthetically pleasing or whether it's a crush of sorts, he does know that he admires him and what he's done, what he's accomplished. When Blaine first arrived in New York, fresh out of high school and ready to start college, he didn't realise how difficult it would be to make it. This city is nothing like Westerville, or Lima, or any city in Ohio. Everything about New York seems to shine a hundred thousand times brighter than it did back home. Every building seems taller. Every street seems longer. And within the city, there are so many people just like Blaine. Carbon copies of him, of his talent and his appearance, each trying to make it in the same field. Santana was right when she mentioned that there had been a thousand other people applying for the former-vacancy.
And yet, somehow, out of the thousand other people, Blaine had been chosen. Kurt Hummel had chosen him. Just something about that thought, whether it was the faint traces of alcohol in his system or whatever, sets something inside Blaine alight with a burning warmth that permeates his brain. It makes him feel fuzzy and happy and giddy and light headed. Maybe it's just because it makes Blaine feel that much closer to Kurt, to Kurt's own story with accomplishments.
Because Kurt Hummel, conqueror of the fashion world, had just been another beautiful boy from Ohio who came to the city with big hopes and dreams. And within a few years, he'd smashed through all the barriers and had rewritten the rules to suit himself, had become the senior editor of Vogue by the age of twenty five. Everyone knew the story. Blaine's pretty sure it's taught to kids as a 'you can do it' type of inspirational tale.
'Hey?' A whistle and a tap to the cheek, and Blaine snaps his attention back to Wes. Wes is staring at him with a raised eyebrow, hand hovering in mid air. 'You back on Earth yet, Blainers?'
'I think he's thinking about his new boss,' David answers for him with a shit-eating grin, watching Blaine carefully with hawk eyes. 'An office romance. Very rom-com chique, Blaine.'
'Fuck off,' Blaine laughs, his voice lacking any real heat. David just waggles his eyebrows in what Blaine assumes is supposed to be a suggestive manner. Honestly, all Blaine can see when he looks at David's eyebrows right now are two caterpillars doing the worm.
Maybe it's time for him to stop drinking. He does have work in the morning, after all, and there's a voice inside his head that sounds just like David that's saying Kurt won't be impressed if he turns up with a massive hangover. Stupid David voice.
'I should probably get going,' he announces to the table, pushing his mostly empty beer bottle away from him. David's eyes track the movement of the bottle, like he's considering taking it and finishing it off himself. He stands up slowly, legs a bit unsteady as he sways, which he's totally blaming on the sudden change in altitude. He rests a hand on the table, under the pretence that it's to look smooth, and not at all because he can't even stand up straight. 'Got work tomorrow,' he adds, probably unnecessarily.
David's grin widens. 'Gotta look sharp for Kurt, eh Blaine?' he grins at him, and somehow even in the relative darkness, David still manages to make his grin be the brightest thing in the room. It's not even a good thing. Blaine supposes that it's because David is so obnoxious that the universe has just given him his own personal glow to light the way.
'I hate you,' Blaine informs him, smiling. 'And goodnight,' he says to Tina and Wes, waving at them as he turns and heads towards the door. He pushes his way through the crowds of dancing people, trying not to get caught up in the heat and the music and the brightness of it all, gently pushes anyone who seems too clingy off of himself. When he reaches the door and pushes it open, the cool, crisp air is like a blessing and a curse to him. The sharpness of it seems to instantly clear his head of some of the fog that had been forming over the last few hours, induced by a combination of alcohol and comfortable warmth. Yet, it's also like being splashed in the face with an unwelcome bucket of icy water when he'd been perfectly content before.
Shaking his head, Blaine makes himself snap out of it, and he runs to hail a passing cab, already beginning to shiver.
Blaine's apartment is tiny. Like, really tiny. He's pretty certain that he's seen shoe boxes that have more space in them than this apartment, but whatever.
The living room is pretty much taken up by his couch and TV, the Xbox lying connected to it somewhere to the side. It's tastefully decorated, in Blaine's opinion – nothing too extravagant that would seem out of place in a former college student's box apartment. The walls are painted a simple white, a few framed photos hanging up here and there to add some personality to the place. There are also three doors which lead off into different rooms: the kitchen, the bathroom and the bedroom. None of the rooms are overly huge, especially the bathroom, and Blaine could barely manage to fit the essential furniture into the dollhouse rooms.
He doesn't care, though. Over the last few months or so, Blaine's made this place home. It's the place he comes back to after a long day at work, where he can relax and lay on his bed and curl up with his laptop on the couch. And for all the issues with the size of it, Blaine really wouldn't trade it for anything, especially the view.
He softly closes the door behind him, locking it and placing his keys on the hook next to the door. Drops his bag on the couch and haphazardly pulls off his coat, dumps it on the couch as well. This is one of the things that Blaine loves about living alone now, he muses as he unbuttons the first button of his shirt, walking through the tiny living room. He can be as messy as he wants, and he can just dump everything on the couch until later. God bless living alone.
Blaine wanders up to the large window on the other side of the room and gazes out of it, and he feels his breath catch in his throat, just like every time before it, like the first time he'd stared from it. His view from here is a view of the city, bright orange street lights shining up at him, and the yellow moving pinpricks beetling up and down the roads. Across from him, the tall buildings are dark and silent, empty and watching. As he shifts with the slow process of unbuttoning, Blaine's eyes fall to his forearm, to where the tiny crown shaped mark shifts and stretches with his movements. For a second, he trails a finger over the mark, brushing it gently, before shaking his head, resuming getting his shirt off as he walks into the bedroom.
He stumbles out of his pants and shoes, nearly trips over the pile of laundry sitting innocently near the door, faceplants the double bed with an oompf. Sighing and yawning, Blaine crawls up the bed until he's lying properly on it, and somehow manages to get himself underneath the covers. Burrows down and pulls them around himself, and he falls asleep pretty much instantly.
Blaine's dreaming. He dreams of a softness that somehow, he's never felt before, and a warmth that starts in the base of his heart, that makes it's way through his body with every heartbeat. And there's a feeling like floating on clouds, so light and soft and welcoming, a feeling of familiarity. And a colour – a shade of blue that seems too magical to be real, because it's a mixture of blue and green and grey and gold, and when he stares into it, it's like looking into the depths of a pool of water. He peers closer, leaning forward on his cloud – even though he has no idea whether he has a form beyond a single thought or not – and stares into the rippling depths, where the grey melts into the gold.
The gold shimmers and shifts and twists beneath his gaze. It swirls in the water, and it parts and comes together, never stopping until a shape begins to appear. Blaine watches, fascinated, as it takes form, as it becomes something more real than a blur of potential. Somewhere from the swirling colours, the beginning of a crown appears, gold and regal and familiar in a way that Blaine can't quite place. As he watches it form, the smaller details appearing, he begins to make out the outline of another shape.
A person, next to the crown. Blaine has a sneaking suspicion that he knows who it is, even in murky outline form, made of ghost-like patterns of blue and grey. As he begins to think, the distant sounds of an alarm begin to permeate the tranquil air, wrapping itself around Blaine and yanking him from the cloud, away from the pool and the crown.
Just before it vanishes from view, Blaine sees the flame flare into life, the figure from the water following it. And Blaine just knows, knows deep in his gut, that the figure is Kurt Hummel.
And then he wakes up in his New York apartment, surrounded by twisted sheets and bright morning lights, alarm blaring in the background, the dream already beginning to fade.