"Would it be weird to name a child Patti?"
"Is this in general, or you specifically?"
"Now, or after she's dead?"
"Blaine! Go outside, spin around three times, and spit! Or is it curse? Oh my goodness, just do both!"
After that, Blaine probably should have seen this coming.
Maybe not exactly this, but he's known Rachel for fifteen years now, and she has never once had a casual conversation about something as insignificant as a cup of coffee.
And to be fair, he doesn't think she started out with this in mind either, but it's really hard to be fair when you're standing in a bathroom with a handful of Playgirls, while your best friend is on the other side of the door getting naked. Your best, very female, currently at peak fertility, friend.
How did he get here again?
Rachel and Kurt had been in New York for a year already, and even though he and Kurt had split just after the New Year before, they had stayed friends because that's what you do when you're gay and don't break up because of cheating.
So Blaine had spent a couple of weeks on Kurt and Rachel's really quite disgusting couch - honestly, he was kind of surprised at just how disgusting it was. He really expected better of both of them. It didn't take him too long in New York to work out why bad couches happen to good people. His first apartment still gives him nightmares.
Kurt wanted to move in with his boyfriend at the start of his and Rachel's final year at NYADA, and Blaine's lease was up and did he mention the nightmares? So he and Rachel saw out Rachel's final year together in that shitty little walk-up in Alphabet City. He knew from high school, and being in college productions together that Rachel worked hard, really hard, to be as good as she was. But it wasn't until he lived with her that he got to witness the full force of her commitment.
The girl doesn't speak until she's run through a set of morning vocal exercises.
It had been very disturbing in the first few weeks they lived together. Rachel Berry not speaking. It's just unnatural.
They're having brunch at Balthazar, because Rachel enjoys being the kind of person who has brunch at Balthazar, but Blaine wishes she had said she wasn't in the mood, which she clearly isn't.
She hasn't touched her coffee, nor said a word since the waiter set their food down.
He's about to suggest they leave, when she takes a deep breath, lets it out, then turns her Public face on him.
"I'm going to have a baby."
He spasms so hard he knocks his fork to the ground. Then it's Rachel that makes them leave.
Before Rachel's final year was over, she had landed Joanne in a revival of Rent - aproper revival, she had snapped, not that abomination that was running when she had first arrived in New York - and that was it, really. Inevitability had done its thing, and Rachel was on Broadway.
She had stayed in the crummy apartment with Blaine for another year, long enough for her to be sure it wasn't all going to go up in smoke, but also long enough for Blaine to graduate and get a job himself.
He did alright for himself. A lot of quirky off-Broadway productions, a couple of which had gained him some notice. A year as Sky in Mamma Mia! was enough that, when he'd written a short production a few of years ago, it had gotten as far as being workshopped. Rachel had dated one of the guys in the workshop for a while after it was over.
Blaine didn't mention that he had dated the guy as well.
It's another month later before she works up to asking him to be the father.
And she puts it exactly that way.
He stands up, leaves the lounge room, then leaves her apartment, then leaves her building, before he realizes he doesn't have any shoes on.
She's crying when he comes back, and he kisses her forehead, but tells her he has to think about it.
She shows him the world's tiniest pair of jazz boots, and he knows he won't have to think very hard.
Kurt moved to LA, and it somehow turned them into better friends than they were from having lived together. Not that they weren't close, but Blaine had always felt like the third wheel in their mutual friendship, like Rachel would go to Kurt first and Blaine if Kurt wasn't available.
Rachel had been in a fairly long-term relationship that ended with a broken window in her apartment and a restraining order that the gossip blogs got a hold of, and she spent a month sleeping in his bed because she was too afraid to go home. He would bring her breakfast after his morning run every day, and they would bitch about their current period of looking for new work.
It was Blaine, actually, who had brought the Gone with the Wind adaptation to her attention in the first place. It was based on the book rather than the movie, and lot of the romanticism had been stripped back for a grittier take on the source material. Blaine was mostly in it as a favor to the director, but it had potential.
The original Scarlett to his Rhett was awful, and he had been complaining that they were never going to get anywhere now that she had been fired, when Rachel asked if he would mind if she came and read for the part. She had been looking for something a little different for her next project.
Of course she got the part, this two bit off-Broadway nothing couldn't afford to turn her down.
Of course she turned it into a Tony winning role, her second in four years.
"I've been doing some research, and studies are starting to show minute genetic abnormalities in people conceived through IVF. Nothing serious, but Blaine, this is how we end up with X-Men."
Sam is a terrible influence on her pop culture references.
Every week she finds a way to eliminate a means of conceiving, and he knows where this is going but he can't find a way to stop it. It's early and he just wants to drink his coffee in peace and not think about how his sperm is going to end up in her, her, her lady business. God, he is so gay.
When they go out that Friday night, he makes out with three guys in front of her. She still thinks them having sex is the best way to go about this whole thing.
Rachel loves to tell the story about how they dated in high school during interviews.
She doesn't mention that Blaine was having something of a sexual identity crisis at the time, or that she was looking for life experience to use for song-writing inspiration. It just makes a good story that they had dated once. She always throws in that she thought they would have made adorable children.
"Are you just after my DNA because our child would be vaguely Eurasian and therefore adorable?"
"You tell people that in interviews!"
"Well it's true, isn't it?"
"That's not the point."
"No, it's not only because they will be stunningly attractive although almost certainly height challenged."
"I'm not that short, Rachel!"
"Of course you aren't, sweetie."
He knows Kurt calls Rachel up and yells at her.
He knows because it happens when they are sitting in the fertility clinic, where Rachel has dragged him to get a sperm count because she wants to make sure they wouldn't be wasting their time.
The way she talks Kurt through it is the way he wishes she had laid it out to him the first time, because he feels like he's hearing some of these things for the first time himself. When she starts to tear up as she explains why she chose Blaine, which has nothing to do with what kind of child they would make and everything to do with why he should pass on his genetic legacy, he grips her hand and knows he's done fighting her on the how.
Her bathroom has a sofa in it, because she often has a hair and makeup team at her house, but he feels weird jerking off, or warming up, or whatever this is, on her couch that strangers sit on, so he just takes a seat on the toilet lid.
And then the whole thing just feels weird because if they're gonna do this they might as well do it right. She's his best friend and he loves her, and if he can't show her that while they are possibly making a baby, then maybe this was a bad idea altogether.
She's sitting on her bed, leaning against the headboard, wearing a relatively modest nightgown that he knows she must have bought for the occasion. Her fingers are drumming against her knee, and when she sees him step out of the door she grips the hem of the gown in both fists.
"You're ready? Oh, I, I, um, not-"
"Rachel, Rachel, no-"
"Did you change your mind?" She sits up on her knees. "Are you backing out?"
She has that frantic edge to her tone that he only hears in her voice a week before a show opens, and he knows he has to do something really fast before he's out on the street in his boxers. It wouldn't be the first time.
"No! Rachel, no." He doesn't mean to be so sharp, but he needs her full attention. "I haven't changed my mind."
"You haven't?" She shuffles over to the edge of the bed and he takes her hands.
"I promise." He lets go of her hands and raises his own to cup her cheek. "I just think, if we're going to do this, we should do this with love, not with a biological reflex."
"Oh," Rachel says with relief, then, "Oh. Um." She ducks her head and he can see her visibly swallow.
It comforts him a little that she's as nervous as he is. It gives him enough confidence to slide his hand along her jaw and into her hair, pull her forward a little and press his lips to hers.
She doesn't respond right away, and he waits for her to catch up before he moves. He's a good kisser, and they spent two years kissing each other on stage, but it catches him off guard when she hums a little and parts her lips for him like she means it.
Blaine had never lived with a woman besides his mother. And Rachel is nothing like his mother.
At the top of the list of the ways Rachel is not like his mother is that his mother is a blonde, former-cheerleader who now makes candles for a living. Somewhere very far down the list is that he has never heard his mother have an orgasm before.
About three weeks after he had moved in, Rachel started dating some Vogue intern. He doesn't like to admit it, but he was thoroughly mortified to come home one evening to the sound of her headboard hitting the wall between her bedroom and the lounge room. He had fled the apartment entirely when she started voicing her appreciation. Loudly. Without words.
He quickly got over the fact that Rachel had very little shame over her sexuality, or anything at all really. A week before they were set to move out of the apartment, he had been running lines in the lounge room before he was interrupted by, well, Rachel's orgasm. He hadn't even realized she was home, let alone that she had someone over.
When she stumbled out of her bedroom in a tee and a pair of boyshorts not ten minutes later, he smirked at her and waved.
"Oh, hi," was all she said, and when she went about making herself a sandwich then joined him in the living room he had politely enquired as to her gentleman caller.
There was no gentleman caller.
He's gotten as far as placing his hands on her thighs, under the night gown, before he realizes he's not sure about the etiquette of removing a woman's clothes.
"Can I, I mean, would you," he stutters against her jaw, and she laughs, and it finally breaks the atmosphere. He laughs as well, and buries his face in her shoulder.
She sits back and just looks at him with this dopey smile on her face, whispers 'I love you for this, and for everything,' then lifts her gown over her head and yes, that is what a naked woman looks like.
He's a gay man, he knows what an attractive woman looks like, and Rachel certainly is that. But, still.
"You're going to have to help me out. I want to do this for you, but this is very far out of my range of experience."
Rachel bites her lip and giggles at him, but she grabs his hand and pulls him onto the bed with her.
"We'll help each other out."
They had gone to see Santana for the legal stuff.
After she was done laughing at them for a good five minutes, she had put on her lawyer voice and asked them a bunch of questions about the kind of arrangement they wanted. Blaine may or may not not end up with the name "Daddy", but he was going to be involved.
They had discussed it a fair amount, but the things Santana had asked were a lot more detailed and covered a lot of things they had never thought to discuss.
"Do you want Blaine to be able to give consent if the child's in a medical emergency?"
"Yes," Rachel hadn't even hesitated.
"Okay, I think I've got enough."
"So you'll draw up some papers that we can sign?"
Santana had started to laugh again.
"You guys don't need me to do anything. Just put Blaine's name on the birth certificate in the little space next to 'father'. That will pretty much cover it."
He's lying on his side, kissing her jaw and his hand between her legs. She'd guided his fingers, once she'd pulled his shorts off and they had kissed for a while, but now he was on his own. He could totally do this.
He seems to be making good progress, based on the rock of Rachel's hips, until she wraps her hand around his semi-hard cock - yes, he's gay, but he likes kissing a lot - and he loses all sense of rhythm.
Her hands are tiny and soft and just really not man hands at all, and god Quinn Fabray was a bitch, but his dick really doesn't seem to mind. He slips his own hand back between her legs and kisses her again and yeah, this is not going to be a physical impossibility.
"Rachel," he pulls back, "you need to stop, now, or this is going to have been a waste."
She blinks at him for moment, before snatching her hand away like it's on fire. "Sorry."
"No need to be sorry," he laughs, "like, not at all." Then he flexes his hand a little and she presses into him in response and he's pretty sure they can get to the main event, so to speak.
"Are you- are you ready?"
Rachel nods, then nods again, then looks him right in the eye and says 'yes'. He nods, too, and kisses her.
He sits up and moves between her legs, and god, this is just not the way gay guys imagine having a baby. At best it involves holding someone's hand in a doctor's office. This might not be a doctor's office, but he laces their fingers together anyway, and pushes inside her, just a little.
She wriggles a bit, rolls her hips up and then he is almost fully inside her, and he just has to pause for a second because never mind that he has no sexual feelings for women, on a purely physical level, yeah, he gets it.
"Oh, god, move," she gasps, and he snaps out of the place he's gone in his head.
It's not all that different from having sex with a guy really. Angle's a little different, but it's not so very different that he doesn't know to pull a certain way and push a certain way and Rachel moves with him and tilts her hips and lets out this obscene moan. He's heard that before. This is going to work.
"What do you need from me?" He leans forward, settling his forearm beside her head and she wraps her hand around his bicep.
"Can you," she gasps out, "lean back again, and touch my clitoris. I'm close, and," she breaks off as he shifts back up again. "It needs to happen just as you do."
She arches up into him as his thumb skitters across her clit and he ups his pace a little. When she starts to pant, "oh god, oh god," over and over, he redoubles his efforts and presses down harder and thinks, "oh god, oh god," himself as she comes and for a second he thinks it's just not going to happen and she'll be pissed at him. But he comes, and she lies there beneath him catching her breath and when he wipes the tears tracking down her face, she smiles so hard at him he has to kiss her, just because.
She told him, many years later, in their crummy apartment in Alphabet City, that their one date still had the distinction of being one of the best in her life, because the memory had never been ruined by his later actions.
It was the end of the summer he had moved in, and they were going back to school after the weekend was over, so they were getting drunk on the roof in their underwear. They had dragged Kurt's old mattress up there and were pretending they could see the stars.
Rachel was getting up to refill their drinks, but she stayed perched on the edge of the mattress for a moment and just looked at him.
"I'm glad you're here," she said, slightly messy smile on her face, and bent over to kiss his nose.
Joshua Anderson Berry is born two weeks early with a full head of hair, screaming louder than his mother and Blaine nearly faints in the delivery room but Rachel won't let him.
It turns out to be more than convenient that Blaine lives three blocks away. Rachel freaked when her water broke and he ran the whole way there in under five minutes. He forgets his shoes until a nurse points it out.
When Rachel was seven months pregnant she had to spend a week on bed rest for something really gross that she refused to tell him about in any great detail. He'd been ridiculously worried, but kind of happy to just accept that she would be fine with the rest, and could he please just rub her feet.
He had spent the next two months rubbing her feet, because honestly, even if he had the ability, there was no way he would ever have put himself through this for a child.
Later, their living situation becomes the best thing ever, because he gets to come and take care of Joshua - never, ever Josh - when Rachel has recording the next day and needs to sleep, or to watch him if she can't take him to an interview, or just to come feed him mashed bananas when he finally switches to solid foods. The airplane noises may actually be Blaine's favorite part.
He's letting himself in one afternoon when they are going to the park, the three of them together. He reaches over the back of the couch and lifts Joshua off Rachel's lap and asks how he has been since Blaine saw them last night.
She looks completely delighted as she says, "He cried all night, threw that plastic dinosaur you bought him at me, and spat out most of his breakfast."
"That's our boy," Blaine kisses Joshua's chubby little cheek. Joshua just pats at his face and laughs like whatever Blaine is doing is the funniest thing in the world, head tossed back and mouth open as wide as he can get it.
Yeah, he's totally their boy.