Max was bored. And in his state of boredom he sought out opportunities to free himself, like trying out his new app, GayBarFindr.
While at The Chicago Cub he sees the normal sports cub crowd, beards and muscles and bros and Nikes and Soxs t-shirts, and then right at the bar looking fearful, a young guy clutching a glass who judging by the slick hair and fancy shoes is no sports cub. Something abnormal comes over Max, a feeling of charity, and he decides to be the older gay statesman; if he saw a guy that attractive his own age, he'd never have gone up to him, but considering the circumstances he's very willing to extend the olive branch. No cock pun intended.
"Dude, what are you doing here?" He asks when he sidles up. "You stick out like a sore... thumb? That can't be it. That sounds retarded."
The kid puts his hand up. "Whoa. I may stick out but that is some seriously unnecessary and offensive language." He looks at Max with an air of distaste, and judgment, and there is nothing more erotic to him than that.
"Sorry, hey. Sorry," Max says when the kid turns back to the bar. He touches his shoulder for a brief, fleeting second, and it's hard under his hand. The guy turns around and Max gets a good look into his eyes. They are - gorgeous. Fuck. "We got off on the wrong... foot? Is that it? That can't be it. Um. I was just trying to help. You looked like a baby deer who'd lost his mom."
The kid softens then. "Kind of obvious, huh?" He looks around at the clientele. "In my day I have been called a show choir queen, but in truth I don't really fit into any gay sub genre. I like guys, and singing and dancing. And football." He shrugs and takes a sip of something clear with olives in it, probably the only drink of its kind being consumed in the bar. "I'm talking a lot, sorry." He reaches his hand out. "I'm Blaine."
Max shakes his hand. "Max. Nice to meet you, Blaine." Blaine's hand is soft but his handshake is strong. Max genuinely smiles.
After lots of surface get-to-know-you talk, and a few drinks, they start getting deep, and strangely Max finds himself the one that's totally curious. They talk about Blaine's ex, some douche named Kurt who lives in New York and goes to some effeminate drama school, and how Blaine goes to Northwestern but it was really a backup for where he actually wanted to go. Max chokes on his beer. "Hup - hold on the phone. Are you in college?"
Blaine nods meekly.
"Dude, how old are you?"
Blaine looks like he's going to say, but then he reconsiders it. "Twenty-one."
"Oh, yeah right."
"And you're, what, 23?" Blaine asks.
Max blinks, his eyes wide and stunned. Usually he gets forty. He nods.
The rest of the night is kind of a blur, lots of drinking, maybe a kebab, but definitely sex in Max's apartment, on the counter and then on the floor next to the bed. And then in the bed, and that time is slow and romantic, not frantic like before, and he can't believe it but he's actually liking it, like, a lot. Not the fucking. Of course he's always happy when that happens, but he likes being soft and hot at the same time.
In the morning he wakes to the dulcet tones of vomiting. He himself feels fuzzy headed but not on the train to vom-town. For a second he can't figure out who it might be, but then he remembers his little "twenty-one"-year-old friend. He struggles out of bed, and to his feet, and down the hall, to knock on the door.
"Hey, um, you okay?"
More vomiting. Then, "Yeah. I'm good. At least I will be. Um, could I have a glass of water?"
It takes a second because Max doesn't have any clean glasses and he searches for anything, settling on a deep-ish bowl that he'd made in some dumb drunk pottery class with Penny. It didn't leak too much. He hands it to Blaine through a crack in the door and hears his peals of laughter. "Thanks, man, I needed that."
Max isn't sure what to do now. It's been awhile since he's had a random dude in his apartment. Normally at this time in the morning he'd be sleeping or masturbating to Oz, but those are not looking like options. He heads out to pick up coffee and maybe some really greasy ham and egg sandwiches. On the street and around the corner he literally bumps into Penny.
"What are you doing up so early?" She asks suspiciously.
"Oh, so no hi or hello? If this is how people treat each other in the morning I don't want a part of it, no thank you, not again." He starts walking away and she follows at his side.
"Seriously, answer my question. I'm getting a little freaked out. Do you have a doctors appointment?"
"Never," he says aghast.
"Do you have some House-disease? Guillain–Barré? Lupus?" Her voice drops to a whisper. "Are you starting to lose your hair?"
He rubs at his mouth subconsciously. "Okay. Listen." He pulls them over to the side. "I didn't mean to, but I may have banged an 18-year-old."
Her eyes widen, but she's intrigued, a twinkle in her eye; she loves his hook up stories. "Did you know that he was-"
He shakes his head wildly. "He said he was twenty-one."
"Oh, everyone says they're twenty-one," Penny says dismissively. "There's even a whole store devoted to that imaginary goal."
"A store you patronize-"
"Well, where else am I going to get cheap ironic fashions?"
They start walking again, towards the deli. "Even though he's not much older than a Justin Bieber fan, I kind of like him," he admits. "The sex was - good. Not like usual. Not just blowing someone whose name you don't know and / or don't respect."
Penny laughs nervously. "I don't know anything about that. Oh, gay culture. So different then my own life."
Max is apparently in such a good mood that he buys coffee and breakfast for Penny, too, and she drops him off at his door with a kiss on his cheek. "Max, go bang the shit out of that baby. Be happy."
He can't believe he made it away without any talk about her wedding. This day is getting incredible.
When he gets inside, Blaine is sitting on the couch awkwardly, too formally, his posture annoyingly impeccable. He's in his white t-shirt, one of the many layers Max peeled off last night, and his pants, no socks. If Blaine took a deep breath and relaxed, he'd almost look like he belonged here.
"I thought you - I didn't know what I thought," Blaine says, and a smile starts to ease his way on to his face. "Please tell me that's coffee."
Max hands it over, that and the greasy package of morning hangover remedy.
"Are you going to puke some more?" Max asks, and Blaine shakes his head.
They settle into Max's couch and watch ESPN, and since the couch is old and largely without structure, they end up slowly sliding to the middle, thighs touching. It is unbearably nice.
Later they're talking, the TV still on in the background. Blaine's telling him about cheating on his ex, and how horrible he felt, and Max throws on the breaks. "Hold up. You were in high school, your boyfriend went to New York, which is like Dong City compared to Ohio, and he was upset because you - I mean, did you have butt sex with this other dude?"
Blaine shakes his head no.
Max scoffs. "That's barely cheating. In straight terms that's like kissing a friend on the cheek. What an uptight bitch."
Blaine shakes his head again, this time saying, "No, no, it was - we were in love, we lost our virginities to each other, and I betrayed his trust."
It's Max's turn to shake his head. "You were each other's first boyfriends? And you lost your v-cards to each other. In high school? Come on, that doesn't happen."
Blaine looks disbelieving and amused. "So what usually happens?"
Max shrugs. "It varies, but usually it's getting banged by a 42 year old married man who's in the closet. Or, like, a dubious sexual encounter with a college senior. You know."
"I mean, I know theoretically that's possible, but why can't other things be possible, too?"
"Such as?" Max asks.
Blaine creeps in closer, his breath smelling like coffee and ham, and Max is so aroused. "Meeting a nice guy. Going home with him. Wanting to see him again." Blaine kisses him and Max pushes him down into the couch.
They go back to bed.
"Babe?" Blaine calls. Max makes a strangled noise and Blaine hears the sound of collapse. He rushes into the bedroom to see Max choking himself with his own tie, tied sloppily around his neck. "C'mon, I don't have time for the theatrics, which is saying something from me. He's going to be here in like five minutes."
"Whatever happened to gay time?" Max asks sullenly. "Gays used to be so late for things."
"Well not Kurt Hummell," Blaine replies, and he dips in to kiss his boyfriend on the lips before returning to the bathroom to finish his hair. Max joins him, leaning against the open door, being way too petulant for a man his age - but the challenge for Blaine is that he actually thinks it's a little hot when he's like this, and he has to try hard to tamp down on the impulse to jump him.
Before he's done a second check on his hair, there's a sharp, rhythmic knock at the door - Kurt's signature knock. His heart starts racing, nervous mostly, and maybe a little excited. He heads toward the door and flings it open; Kurt looks petrified, but his expression breaks, a little, and some sunshine comes through.
"Blaine," he exhales, and they share a long embrace. "Hi, Kurt," he says. When they pull apart, Blaine feels flushed and energized. Happy.
Blaine turns to look for Max, who he can just feel skulking behind him. Max joins him at his side, and Blaine puts his arm around his boyfriend's shoulders. "And this is my man." Blaine smiles, so happy to introduce them, and he pats Max's chest. "I'm so glad you're getting to meet."
Max extends a reluctant hand. "Hey. Max."
"Hi, it's nice to meet you," Kurt says, not sounding like he means that at all.
Blaine takes a deep breath, hoping to keep the awkwardness out of his body. "Okay, so the plan is, uh, Max is going to meet his friends for a drink, and give us time to catch up, Kurt, and then we'll get back together for dinner." He gives Max a quick peck.
"Sounds good, sweetheart," Max says, completely out of character, and gives Blaine an epic, long, tongue-filled kiss. On his way out, he says, "See ya later, Qwirk!"
After they catch up, school and auditions and Emma and Will's baby, they're walking to pick up Max, and Kurt lets out this sound of frustration.
"Okay, I can't stand it anymore. Blaine, what the hell is going on?"
Blaine turns to him. "I'm sorry, I know this is awkward, me having a serious boyfriend and-"
"No, I mean," Kurt shakes his head. "What are you doing with him?" Kurt lowers his voice. "He is not your type. If the reports are true, you two are complete opposites. And what I'm seeing with my eyes-"
Blaine stops walking, craning his neck back. "And what exactly are you seeing?" Kurt stays silent. "I don't like what you're implying." Blaine starts walking again and Kurt trails behind. "Look, did he and I hook up when I was drunk, when I was vulnerable and lonely and missing you? Was it kind of a mistake? Is his hygiene questionable? Are his friends just straight up insane people?" He turns to Kurt. "I just... like him. Being with him is... easy. We don't have lots of talks, we don't share the same interests, except Jay Cutler. He's simple, in the best way possible." He smiles sadly at his ex-boyfriend, his first real love. "You and I... are too alike. We can't do that ying and yang thing that I think is really, really important. What I miss about us, Kurt, is that I don't have my best friend anymore."
Kurt looks crestfallen and Blaine feels horrible to have been the one to have caused it. After a moment Kurt shakes his head. "I'm not sure we can ever be best friends again." But he takes Blaine's hand and gives it a squeeze. "But we can try." Blaine leans in and kisses him chastely, but with meaning. I still love you, he hopes it says. "I want you to be happy," Kurt says, and Blaine knows it's not one hundred percent true, but it's true enough for them to get through this.
When they reach the bar Max is doing a shot with Alex. "Lovely," Kurt mutters under his breath, and Blaine reaches out for a subtle shot to Kurt's abdomen.
"Be nice," Blaine warns, and walks over to the nearest member of Max's weird posse, Brad, who is drinking something pink. "Hi." They share a high five. "Brad, this is Kurt. Kurt, Brad." They shake hands but Brad gives him the stink eye.
Blaine introduces him to the rest of the crew, all to essentially the same results, except Alex who smiles and hugs him. It is awkward, and Max is a little drunk and very weird. Jane comes over, presumably from the bathroom, and nods in his direction. "So this is him. The Twinkie."
Kurt sets his mouth. "Twinkie?"
Jane circles him. "You heard me." She looks down, then up. "That coat. I have it in hunter."
"It's a man's coat," Kurt mutters.
"Oh, I know it," Jane shoots back. "And we all know what you're trying to pull, and it's not going to work. Blaine's hair is a sorry excuse of a gay man's hair, but he is the best our friend can do; he's way out of his league. A doll like you can have anybody."
"Standing right here!" Max slurs, and Jane puts a hand up.
"Thank you?" Kurt says, unsure.
"For the record," Dave says, "I don't think he looks like a doll. More like a dancer."
"Well. I am," Kurt replies. "But for the record I'm not after Blaine. I love him, but I respect that he's dating someone else."
"Nuh nuh no," Penny says quickly, "That's not how it works. You throw a fit, you make promises you certainly can't and won't keep-"
"Honestly, I'm just here to catch up with Blaine," Kurt says. He looks to Blaine for help but truth be told he's kind of enjoying watching the crazy that's been unleashed on his ex.
"Yeah, catch up," Alex scoffs.
A confused quiet befalls the group.
"You know. Up. Like gay dudes boning!" She elaborates. "It's a triple entree."
Blaine opens his mouth to correct her jabbering - a double entendre - but Max steps forward. "Look, baby, I don't think you're leafing - leaving me - but he's so little and he smells fancy. And he was your first everything, and when you did it for the first time, unicorns wept and shit, and I just can't compete, okay?"
"Weeping unicorns?" Kurt breaks in. "Look, Max, and everybody - it's very sweet that you're so supportive and protective. It reminds me of my friends. But let me state very clearly, for the final time, that nothing is going on. I'm here to see Blaine, he is my friend, and that is all." He turns to Blaine. "Can you help out here?"
"Yeah. Hey, leave him alone. Kurt, you want a cosmo or something?" He turns to the bar and orders himself a Jack and ginger. Kurt turns with him so that they're shoulder to shoulder.
"That's it? You're not going to get them off my back?"
"Hmm? Oh, it's more of a waiting game. They get distracted easily."
Almost as to prove his point, Alex says, "Ooh, I just spotted twins with twin girlfriends. Double twins. Quadruplets?"
"They seem to love you as much as Max does," Kurt says fondly. "That's all I want for you." He smiles at him. "Love in your life."
Blaine nods slowly. "Yeah, I think I've actually got it." A smile creeps across his face.
Max comes up to them, draping an arm across Blaine's shoulders. "Dun forget," he says to Kurt, "I can still messss you up, bitch."
Deadpan, Kurt says, "I'll keep that in mind."
Max points at him with purpose, like he's making Kurt stare down the blade of a sword instead of his drunk-ass finger. Blaine presses his arm and it lowers. He gives Max a quick peck on the cheek.
Behind the bar on the wall there's a mirror, and Blaine looks at these three men, drunk or lost in their own thoughts. And him, in the middle, happy, with people he loves, fully enmeshed in a life that he never imagined but cannot now imagine being without.