Fic: Shatter The Walls For A New Sun {1/10}

Title Shatter The Walls For A New Sun 1/10
Rating PG-13 (will go up in later chapters)
Word Count 7,200/9,300
Summary AU in which Blaine was raised by highly religious parents and escapes to NYC with Quinn, moving in next door to Rachel and Kurt. (Alternately: Bible!Blaine meets NYC!Kurt. Shit happens.)
Notes Based on Blaine’s outfit in ‘Call Me Maybe’ from 4x01. I posted the prologue on here a few weeks ago, and then went on vacation for ten days and sketched the rest of this out. I’m going to try to update this weekly, we’ll see how that goes (this part is already over 2k longer than I planned and it was one of the shorter chapters). If you’d prefer, I’m updating this on LJ & AO3 as well. 

*

Kurt wakes up early Sunday morning, going through his clothes to find the perfect thing to wear for coffee with Blaine and Quinn. He moves quietly as not to wake Rachel, though after living together in the loft for a year, they’ve grown accustomed to the open floor space and opposite schedules. He finally settles on one of his tried and true favorites just so he can jump in the shower before Rachel wakes and he has her to contest with. By the time he emerges, she’s brewing tea, knowing they’ll get coffee with their bagels, and he happily accepts a mug from her.

“Thanks, and good morning,” he says with a smile, and she just smiles back, patting his arm in response and heading in the direction of the bathroom herself.

There’s a knock on their door promptly at ten, and while Quinn looks bright eyed and well rested, Blaine looks a little bleary. They’re dressed in almost exact replicas of the outfits they wore yesterday, Quinn in another sunwashed sundress and Blaine in another short-sleeved shirt (tight), cotton-blend slacks (also tight, there is a god), and a skinny tie. “You look like you could use some coffee,” Kurt says in greeting, and then realizes, he doesn’t even know if Blaine and Quinn drink coffee, though Blaine did suggest it. “Well, if you both drink it that is.”

Quinn laughs, clear and bright, and shoves at Blaine’s shoulder. “I stick to tea, but I think Blaine would mainline it if he could.”

“Hey!” he protests, albeit a little belatedly. “I’m not that bad. I just have a few cups a day. I, um, need to pick up a coffee pot today, mine did not make the trip.”

“Luckily, there are plenty of places that sell coffee pots in Bushwick,” Kurt points out, before calling for Rachel, who teeters around the corner at the sound of her name.

The bakery is just down the street and Kurt and Rachel go on and on about their menu, as they’ve tried almost everything on it at this point. Kurt splurges on a mocha and an asiago bagel, telling Rachel his order before getting out of line to secure them a booth in the corner of the crowded restaurant, the bakery already bustling for a mid-Sunday morning.

“So, how was your first night in the new place?” Kurt hears Rachel ask as they head for the booth, Blaine balancing two bagels and two coffee cups in his hands. He offers one set to Kurt with a smile, which he gladly accepts.

“Good!” Quinn answers, sliding in across from Kurt, peeling back the paper wrapper on her plain bagel, already slathered with cream cheese. “We’re almost completely unpacked, though I guess we didn’t have much. We were able to leech off someone’s wifi downstairs until we can get our own set up next week, and I slept okay - I don’t think I can say the same for Blaine, though.” She shoots Blaine a sideways glance and Kurt and Rachel exchange one of their own over their coffee cups.

“You really should take us up on our offer of the couch, Blaine! It’s no trouble at all,” Rachel says, reaching over to pat his hand across the table.

“Quick, we should get him to agree before his coffee has kicked in. I think that’ll be easier,” Kurt teases, his eyes twinkling as he winks at Quinn, and Blaine ducks his head bashfully, chuckling.

“It probably wouldn’t be so bad if we hadn’t been sleeping on couches already for a week,” he mumbles, munching at his bagel, trying to ignore them all. “Okay, okay,” he relents, holding up his hands. “You sure you don’t mind me leaving you?” he softly asks Quinn, and she shakes her head.

“You’ll be right next door.” Quinn offers him a warm smile and wipes a tiny bit of cream cheese from the corner of his mouth. Blaine quickly grabs a napkin after that, and Kurt tries not to watch, but Blaine suddenly flustered is sort of endearing.

“It really shouldn’t be too long,” Blaine says once he finds his voice again. “I talked to the music director at our old church last night, and he gave me some leads on jobs to look into this week, so hopefully one of them will pan out.”

“Well, for your sake, I hope you find something soon, but it really is no rush.” Kurt locks eyes with Blaine for a moment, and he can tell how undeniably grateful he is.

It turns out in the midst of unpacking, Blaine and Quinn wandered around the neighborhood a bit last night, so they talk a bit about that, Kurt and Rachel answering the questions that pop up, like where the subway entrance is. Quinn mentions that she’s going to head into the city to walk around Columbia that afternoon and try to get her bearings, and Rachel is headed to NYADA for for an extra dance rehearsal with a few of her classmates. She doesn’t mind showing her the way, since the schools are fairly close.

“That just leaves you and me,” Kurt quips with a grin, popping the last bite of his bagel in his mouth. “What do you have on the agenda aside from buying a new coffee maker?”

“Oh - nothing,” Blaine stutters, almost spilling his coffee cup in the process. “I’m sure you have lots planned for the day, you don’t have to -”

Blaine,” Kurt replies, laughing lightly. “I got all of my errands done yesterday afternoon. I have the whole day free. I can’t think of a better way to spend the day than getting to know the guy that’s going to be sleeping on my couch tonight.”

It’s Rachel and Quinn’s turn to exchange a look, and he knows the girls will probably be talking about them the whole way in on the J train. “Oh. Well, when you put it that way …”

They head back to the apartments so Rachel can grab her dance bag and Quinn her laptop case and Kurt is back over at 3B ten minutes later asking Blaine if he’s wearing comfortable shoes. Blaine glances down at his (stylish, if Kurt is being honest, worn in yet well cared for) black Oxfords and nods. “Yeah? Why, are you planning on taking me on a walking tour of New York or something?”

Everything is a walking tour of New York, Blaine. You’ve never actually been here before, right?” Blaine shakes his head, and Kurt sticks his hand out, offering it to him (really, what is he thinking?). Blaine doesn’t seem to think it’s odd, just grins in response, placing his hand in Kurt’s. Kurt marvels in the weight of Blaine’s hand in his, how soft and strong it feels, opening his mouth before he can get caught up in his feelings too much. “Get ready to experience the greatest city in the world, Blaine Anderson.”

Kurt babbles a lot once they’re on the subway to break the ice, about Ohio and his dad and Carole and Finn and how he met Rachel and their years in glee club and McKinley. About how he ended up in New York and how he’s coming up on a year at Vogue and how his internship is a twelve month contract, though they can keep him for another six months as just an intern, and he really, really hopes it turns into a permanent job there. How he knows his boss, Isabelle loves him (at least, he thinks she does, one can never be entirely sure), but it’s not just up to her and he really hopes he doesn’t have to wait around until March only to find out they’re not keeping him.

Blaine listens with rapt attention, and Kurt realizes entirely too late that he’s run his mouth their whole ride into the city. He tells Blaine this, feeling awful, to which Blaine replies, “Well, we have a return trip after all, don’t we?”

He takes Blaine to Broadway first, delighting in the way his face lights up at the first marquee. “I always thought - maybe one day -” Blaine says, somewhat sadly, and Kurt’s face lights up then.

“Blaine, maybe that’s what you could do here! You could try out for NYADA next semester! I bet Rachel could put in a word for you -” but Blaine is shaking his head.

“I’ve never even been in a school play,” he says, laughing somewhat sadly. “I’ve only watched performances on YouTube late at night with my headphones. I’ve never even seen a Broadway show, aside from the LA performance of Wicked. Quinn bought us tickets for my eighteenth birthday.” Kurt stares at Blaine blankly for a moment … the way he’s talking about watching Broadway performances sounds like the one time Kurt tried to watch porn, back when he was sixteen in his dad’s basement.

Kurt’s starting to wonder how religious Blaine’s family actually is.

He squeezes Blaine’s shoulder, figuring they should move on to Times Square. “Well, as someone wise once told me, dreams are always changing. That doesn’t mean we should stop having them.”

They head to Central Park after Times Square and sit on a bench to rest for a while, Kurt still enjoying watching Blaine take everything in. He wonders if he looked the same two years ago when he visited with the rest of New Directions and figures he probably did. He glances at Blaine, thinking about how New York City was always his plan and how Blaine mentioned it was a spur of the moment thing for him - he wonders what Blaine’s original plan was. He figures Blaine will tell him eventually.

“How long have you known Quinn?” Kurt asks, breaking the silence, and Blaine snaps out of whatever’s going on in his head to glance over at him.

“Forever,” he answers with a chuckle. “She grew up down the street from me and our parents have always been good friends. We sort of grew apart in middle school, but these past few years have been rough for her - well, both of us, I guess, so, it’s been good having each other.”

“That’s good,” Kurt replies, deciding not to press for more. “As annoying as Rachel is sometimes - okay, most of the time, she really is a good person to lean on. It’s good to have someone like that.”

Blaine opens up a little more after that, talking again about growing up in southern California, how he has two parents that mean well but never actually come across that way and an older brother, who he calls Coop, which has to be a nickname for something. He went to small, private schools his whole life and he takes a deep breath before uttering the next sentence. “I’m … I’m gay. It’s kind of why I’m here. I just thought you should know before I sleep on your couch, in case that changed things.”

Blaine stares at his Oxfords and starts to curl in on himself, and Kurt just wants to wrap him in a giant hug. “Blaine, I am too,” he says quickly, “and you don’t have to tell me everything about why you’re here right away. Rachel will just be happy to know you’re not going to murder us in our sleep.”

Blaine’s head pops up, expression changing from wide-eyed shock to full out confusion. “I’m just joking,” Kurt amends, laughing lightly and nudging Blaine’s shoulder with his own. “But … I don’t know. I thought maybe you were. That it might be why you were here, I mean. I didn’t want to assume, but yesterday, I can’t explain it, just the look in your face - it felt familiar. That’s why I wanted to help.”

Kurt looks up to find Blaine’s grateful smile smiling down at him again. “You’re a good person, Kurt.”

He scoffs in return. “I don’t know about that, but honestly, if you ever do want to talk, let me know.”

They keep their conversations light after that, talk of the city and places Blaine read about or saw on TV that he wants to visit over the coming weeks. Their conversation flows and never falters and Kurt is pleased to find out he quite enjoys the man underneath the body he shamelessly lusted over yesterday, even if his first assessment is proving fairly accurate.

“I had a really good time today,” Blaine says as they make their way up the stairs to the apartments late in the afternoon after stopping at a store to pick up a coffee maker for apartment 3B, his head lolling to the side a bit. “Thank you. For everything.”

“Don’t mention it,” Kurt replies as they reach the landing. “Do you and Quinn have dinner plans?”

“We do, and I know you said it’s not a problem, but I really don’t want to monopolize all of your time. What time do you guys have to wake up in the morning? Do you have to go to bed early?”

Kurt pulls out his phone where he has Rachel’s schedule for the semester built in for reference. “It looks like Rachel has to be on campus by nine, so she’ll leave a little before eight. I don’t have to be in quite as early since I’m staying late tomorrow - we’re shooting a video for the website, so Isabelle gave me some errands to run, the last of which being bringing in lunch for the group, so I don’t have to show up until about one. Rachel will probably start winding down around eleven?”

“I’ll come over around ten-thirty to crash your couch then. I’m sure it’ll be far more comfortable than the hardwood floor.” They say their goodbyes and Kurt tries to quiet the fluttering in his stomach.

The fluttering doesn’t go away when Blaine shows up at ten-thirty sharp, looking utterly adorable with damp hair in a plaid robe, complete with matching pajama pants, and a tight white shirt underneath, nor does it slow as Kurt tosses and turns late at night as he attempts to sleep, Blaine mere feet from him on the couch in the middle of the room.

Kurt suddenly regrets their open floor plan.

***

Since the following day is a rare day Kurt is allowed leeway to be lazy, he takes it, staying in bed until he hears the click of the door signaling Rachel’s departure. It probably doesn’t help matters that sleeping in the same room as Blaine didn’t afford him a good night’s rest. He stumbles to the bathroom, realizing belatedly he really hadn’t thought this through - if you have a crush on someone, they shouldn’t see you after you first wake up before you’ve actually slept together. That should be a rule somewhere.

Not that he really plans on sleeping with Blaine any time soon, he’s not a complete idiot. He’s fairly certain Blaine doesn’t even like him in that way, and even if he does, if Kurt had a hard time finding someone to date in Ohio, he could fathom a guess Blaine would have had an even harder time finding someone where he’s from. He pretty much screams inexperience from the rooftops. (Not that Kurt is one to judge. He’s only had two semi-serious boyfriends himself since arriving in New York and can count the rest of his sexual encounters on one hand.) Plus, there’s the point that he just met the guy.

(Still. The fact remains.)

He glances towards the couch before sneaking into the bathroom, and it looks as if Blaine is still nestled under the covers, a mess of bedhead himself - and okay, why is everything Blaine does adorable? Kurt’s pretty sure his own hair looks like it’s trying to take over his face - and sure enough, one look in the mirror confirms it. He spends a few minutes in the bathroom making himself look presentable before heading back out into the kitchen to make coffee. If Blaine’s not already up, he’s positive that’s the way to wake him.

Sure enough, a few minutes later, he sees Blaine pulling on his robe and heading like a zombie towards the scent of the freshly brewed goodness. “Back towards the couch, sleepyhead,” Kurt says, biting his lip so he doesn’t laugh when Blaine almost runs into the corner of one of the cabinets. “Cream and sugar?” Blaine nods before heading back towards his makeshift bed and Kurt fixes them two mugs.

Kurt sits down on the couch next to Blaine, folding his legs under himself and offering Blaine one of them. Blaine takes a huge sip, despite it still being scalding, and sighs happily. “Thanks,” he finally says with another sigh. “I’m not used to the time change yet. It’s not even five am at home.”

“Sorry -” Kurt starts to say with a wince, but Blaine shakes his head.

“No way, I’ve got to get used to it some time, right? And what better way to be woken up than with coffee hand delivered to you by … well, Kurt Hummel,” Blaine finishes lamely, and Kurt wonders what he meant to say instead, but lets it slide since Blaine is so exhausted. He thinks he can see Blaine’s cheeks blushing slightly, but he is downing hot coffee like it’s going out of style.

“Did you sleep okay?” Kurt asks instead, changing the subject. Blaine simply nods, drinking more coffee, and Kurt continues. “I’m just glad we had a couch to offer you. We only got it a few months ago. We used to just have a bunch of throw pillows to sit on - we didn’t want to break up the space, we used to say, but really, we were just cheap.”

They both share a laugh at Kurt’s comment, and Blaine says, “Well, I think the couch you did pick fits into your decor nicely, and it makes a pretty good bed too. Trust me, I’ve slept on like, five other couches this week.”

They sip their coffee in silence for a bit, still trying to wake up, when Kurt finally asks, “What’s the agenda for today? Going to follow up on those leads?”

Blaine nods, getting up to refill his coffee mug. “Yeah, hopefully I can set interviews up with some of them. They’re aftercare programs at churches my music director had contacts at mostly, a few are ones looking for music director’s assistants, but since I don’t have a degree …” He trails off, stirring cream and sugar into his mug before returning to the couch. “I just want to make sure they’re the right fit for me too. I, uh, don’t want a job that’ll require me to become a member of their church when they find I don’t have an active membership anywhere. Quinn and I are sort of doing our own private worship until we can find a group of people whose beliefs align with ours.”

“Oh!” Kurt says, because he’s not quite sure how to respond to that. It’s not as if he has any suggestions and it’s the first time Blaine’s put anything regarding his faith out there aside from the random mention of a church. Kurt doesn’t want to act weird, because Blaine is his friend now, right? He knows Blaine needs friends right now, more than anything … even if said friends are atheist heathens who are probably going to hell in his mind.

“You’re definitely right, an interview is just as much for you as it is for them. You don’t want to be stuck in a job you hate. You have a smartphone, right? In case you get lost?” he asks, changing the subject. “You should probably grab an actual map too, because sometimes there’s no cell reception.”

“I do, Coop transferred my number to his plan right before I moved, just in case my parents decided to drop me.” Blaine reaches for his overnight bag and pulls it out, swiping his fingers over the screen before asking nervously, “Can I - do you think I could get your number? Just in case I get really lost?”

“Blaine, of course,” Kurt replies, grinning and taking the phone from his hands to enter his number. He sends a text from Blaine’s phone to his before passing it back to him. “There, now I have yours too.” He busies himself with saving Blaine’s information to his phone when he looks up and sees Blaine holding the phone out in front of him.

“Smile!” Blaine says cheerfully, and oh no, he is not being saved to Blaine’s phone with messed up hair before a shower, for goodness’ sake. But Blaine seems serious, so he puts on his best smile anyway, and grabs the phone from him after. It’s not awful, but still …

“Really? I can’t just send you one to use where I’m not half asleep?” Kurt squeaks, and Blaine grabs the phone back.

“What are you talking about, you look adorable!” He grins and presumably sets it as Kurt’s default picture, and oh, two can play this game. Blaine hasn’t even looked in a mirror to see how his hair is curling up just so in the back of his head (and so what if Kurt thinks it’s utterly charming; he somehow thinks Blaine would disagree with him).

“Well, well, well, Blaine, if you’re going to insist, I think I do need a picture from you as well,” Kurt says, faux-sweetness dripping in his voice, waiting for Blaine to look up from his phone and grin widely before snapping his own shot. Blaine pulls the phone from his hands the second the picture saves, nodding in approval and handing it back to him.

“I thought my hair would look way worse than that. Not bad.” Blaine fiddles with his phone a little more before getting up and getting his things together. “I should probably head back so you can get ready for work and I can get ready for the day myself. Thank you again for the couch and the coffee, I’ll bring your mug back tonight.”

“I think I should keep a running tally of how many times you thank me, Blaine Anderson,” Kurt says with a smirk, getting up to show him to the door.

“Just don’t ask me to give you a dollar every time I do. Unemployed, remember?” He grins at Kurt one more time before waving and heading next door, and Kurt closes the heavy wooden door behind him. He opens his phone to the photos section to glance at Blaine’s picture one last time before heading to the bathroom to get ready. His hair is just mussed enough to make Kurt grin and Kurt wonders how his eyes can be sparkling so much through a grainy iPhone photo in the dim lighting of their loft.

Even if they insist on taking new photos later, Kurt will be hard pressed to change his, he thinks, unable to stop grinning even as shuts off his phone and makes his way to the bathroom.

***

The week continues, Kurt far less talkative in the mornings when he has to leave the apartment before eight am instead of just waking up then, but he still tries to allow for a few minutes of morning chat with Blaine, sending him on his way next door slightly caffeinated but still half asleep. Blaine shows up on Wednesday night with a pound of coffee to replace what he’s drank, and on Thursday morning, Kurt and Rachel’s schedules line up where they can ride the train into the city together.

“So. Blaine,” Rachel says as they collapse into the only two open seats they find as they fight their way through a car. “We’ve been busy and haven’t had much of a chance to talk about him without him overhearing.”

“What about Blaine?” Kurt asks, flattening himself up against the window, shifting so he doesn’t wrinkle his outfit. “He’s been a fine houseguest in my opinion.”

“Of course he’s been!” Rachel says, sipping from her travel mug. “He’s very lovely, Quinn too. I’m glad they moved in next door. I think they’ll become good friends.”

Kurt stares at Rachel for a moment, knowing that she doesn’t just want to talk about what wonderful friends Blaine and Quinn are going to make. “Out with it. Get to your point.”

“Oh, nothing, I just thought you’d like to know that I think he’s developed a little bit of a crush on you is all, in my honest opinion, of course. When you’re not looking, his eyes definitely linger on you longer than necessary, and -”

“Okay, stop!” Kurt says, a bit too loudly, a few of their fellow subway riders not engrossed in their music collections turning to glance at him disapprovingly. He offers them an apologetic smile before dropping his voice. “Blaine’s very cute and very nice, but he’s got a lot on his plate, okay, and I haven’t even known him a week, despite him sleeping on our couch for four nights, but honestly, the last thing he needs is all of this. You. And your … meddling.”

Rachel gasps loudly, affronted at his accusation. “I was just trying to help,” she pouts before returning to her travel mug of tea, muttering something else that Kurt can’t quite make out.

“Thank you. For wanting to help,” Kurt finally says, because she probably did mean well. “I just - what if he’s never met anyone else gay before? What if what you’re reading is merely fascination? No need to jump the gun, okay?”

“Kurt, you’re not giving yourself enough credit,” Rachel replies with a cluck of her tongue.

“Of course I am. I know I’m fabulous,” he retorts instantly, and she giggles at that. “I just realize he could maybe use a few weeks to adjust, okay?”

“Okay, okay. For your sake, because you are my friend and you asked, I will stay out of it.” Kurt smiles at her appreciatively, happy that he dodged that bullet early on.

***

New York Fashion Week starts the following week. Kurt is just an intern, so it doesn’t mean he actually gets to attend any of the shows or parties associated with it, no, but it does mean he’s at the Condé Nast building far, far later than normal formatting lists and blogs and vlogs with the information from the people who do get to attend to put up on the website. He barely sees Blaine, despite him still taking up permanent residence on the couch in 3A for eight to nine hours a night, though a few nights Blaine and Rachel decide to wait up for him, despite getting home after midnight, which Kurt finds utterly sweet.

The last show is on a Thursday afternoon, which means everyone is wrapping up their last pieces Friday morning (by Monday, anything relating to NYFW on the internet will be old news). Kurt is sitting at his desk, staring at his MacBook and counting down the hours until his precious, precious weekend that he so missed last week when Isabelle breezes by, telling him to cut out early, winking and shooing him with a file folder.

Kurt doesn’t have to be told twice, gathering his things and trying to figure out what he should do first with his two and a half days of freedom. He wishes hotel rooms in New York weren’t so expensive, because he could really kill for a bathtub right now, something their spacious loft does not afford. He checks his phone to see a missed call and a voicemail from Blaine and grins without thinking.

Hey Kurt! I know you’re at work and I don’t want to bother you, but I got some good news and wanted to share. I got one of the aftercare jobs I interviewed for! So I’ll be off your couch ASAP! It was one of the jobs I had a really good feeling about, I think it’ll be a good fit. I’m actually about to go out now shopping for a futon because Quinn finally sold the car and convinced me to split the cost with her, so as soon as they can deliver it, I’ll be out of your and Rachel’s hair. Hope your day is going well! Talk to you soon!

He checks the timestamp on the call and sees Blaine only called an hour ago. He quickly calls Blaine back to see where he is. “Hi Blaine, it’s Kurt,” he says when Blaine picks up. “Congrats on the job!”

“Thanks!” Blaine says, and Kurt can practically hear the smile through his phone. “I hope I wasn’t bothering you at work -”

“No, I just got off, Isabelle actually let me go early. Where are you, exactly?” Kurt asks, because it sounds busy, so he’s certainly not at home, nor is he someplace buying a futon.

“I’m - I’m getting off the subway? It sounds really silly now, because I came into the city because I didn’t know any places in Bushwick to shop, but how in the world will I get a couch all the way back? So, now I’m here and I just - I have no idea what I’m doing.” Kurt tries not to laugh because Blaine sounds so defeated and he just landed himself a job that morning, there’s no room for that.

“Okay, here’s what’s going to happen, because I am literally just walking out of work now. I’m going to come find you and we’ll go to lunch, because I’m starving, and if you’ve already eaten you can at least tell me about this amazing new job of yours. Then we’ll go back to Bushwick and find you a futon a little closer to home, sound like a plan?” Kurt steps out of the building, slipping on his sunglasses and adjusting the strap on his satchel before walking out into the warm mid-September day.

Blaine sighs in relief. “I’d like that,” he tells Kurt before trying to explain to him where he is.

It’s nice to catch up with Blaine, hearing about his new job, which he just interviewed for on Wednesday. Blaine tells him a little bit about the other interviews he went on, and how he’d still like to find something a few mornings a week since the aftercare job is only thirty hours a week. He’s thinking about asking the bakery. He asks Kurt about Vogue, and Kurt tells him a few stories from the week, trying not to bore him with too many details, but Blaine seems to enjoy his tales, asking questions and laughing when appropriate and - it’s just all so easy. As if they’ve known each other far longer than three weeks, which shouldn’t even count considering Kurt’s spent the past week practically living at his internship.

Kurt asks about Quinn on the train ride back, and Blaine says she’s enjoying her classes. She picked up a part-time job at one of the libraries, so she hasn’t been around much either. He’s able to fill him in about Rachel’s week as well, since they’ve had dinner a few nights, being the only ones around. “I didn’t mean to take over your life,” Blaine jokes as they step out of the subway station at Bushwick. “Stealing your friends, sleeping in your apartment. What’s next?”

Kurt just shrugs in response. “I don’t know. Before you know it, I might actually be dressing like you,” he says, the words slipping out of his mouth before he can think, and he sees Blaine’s expression fall a little at his words. Oh shit. “Blaine, it was just a joke. While your clothes wouldn’t look good on me, I happen to think they look amazing on you.”

“Yeah?” Blaine asks, smiling slightly, though he still doesn’t seem like he quite believes him, so Kurt reaches out for his hand.

Definitely,” and his voice keens a little high at that, which was totally unintentional and he can feel the blush rising in his cheeks. Blaine must notice too, because he glances bewilderedly at Kurt, so he clears his throat and drops Blaine’s hand. “I mean, I am Kurt Hummel, self-proclaimed fashionista and Vogue intern, would I ever steer you wrong? Come on, let’s go find you a couch.”

They end up finding one at a store only a few blocks away and Kurt talks the salesman into delivering it with one of the other guys when they get off in a few hours for twenty bucks each. They head back to 3B to wait and Kurt realizes he hasn’t been back to the apartment after Quinn and Blaine unpacked.

“Oh, wow,” Kurt says, because for all of the time Blaine’s spent in 3A over the past three weeks, it seems kind of foolish for him not to have seen how Blaine and Quinn have been making a home next door. There’s still a lot of empty space, sure, but there’s a tiny square table with four chairs pushed up near the kitchen area with Blaine’s laptop set up on top of it, and Quinn’s air mattress is made up like an actual bed with a dresser next to it, a lamp and a mirror on top. There are four mismatching bookcases pushed up against one wall, the bottom shelves filled with books - Kurt doesn’t inspect the titles too hard, but he does notice a few worn Bibles - the top shelves decorated with picture frames and a vase with brightly colored flowers in it.

Kurt picks up one of the picture frames, a picture of a tiny Blaine and Quinn encased in it - they can’t be more than six or seven, dressed in their Sunday best, Quinn in a ruffly white dress with a matching hat and lace-trimmed socks and white patent leather shoes and Blaine in an almost exact replica of what he’s got on today, though far less tight, the tie much wider, and with penny loafers with brand new shiny pennies in them.

“You two were adorable,” he says, setting down the frame, wanting to move on to the others, but Blaine comes up behind him and picks it up himself. He smiles and laughs a bit before walking towards the kitchen.

“I’m going to make some coffee. You’re probably exhausted. You don’t have to wait with me if you want to head home.” Blaine’s voice sounds different, and Kurt can’t tell if he actually wants him to go, or he’s actually ready to talk and is too afraid to ask. He takes the chance.

“Coffee actually sounds great,” Kurt says, sitting down at the table. He waits for Blaine to join him, wondering if he should say something else, but then Blaine is standing next to him, offering him a steaming mug.

“Quinn … she’s always been there for me,” Blaine starts as he sat down across from Kurt. “She was the first person I ever told I was gay. I told her October of my freshman year of high school. I don’t know why I told her, of all people, we really weren’t as close as we were when we were kids. She was a cheerleader and I was really into choir and we just grew apart, but … I just knew she wouldn’t judge me, like some people would. And then right after - she told me she was pregnant. She’d just found out, and hadn’t told anyone either, so we had each other’s secrets. She’d been seeing this guy from public school, her parents didn’t even know she was dating someone and she didn’t even know what she was going to do …”

Kurt’s eyes grow wider because he hadn’t seen that one coming. He takes a sip from his mug as to not interject and just let Blaine talk. “Her parents found out over Christmas break and wanted to send her to some farm in Iowa or something until she had the baby so no one would ever know, and she refused, so they kicked her out. She ended up living with Coop for the rest of the school year in LA, he had just sort of gotten started with his job and they found a really nice couple to place the baby with. She came back and her parents acted like nothing had ever happened, made up some excuse with the school like she’d gone on some ‘spiritual retreat’ with Coop’s ministry, but there were rumors, and all of her old friends talked about her behind her back, and she quit cheerleading and joined the choir with me, and looking back, it probably was not the year to decide to come out.” Blaine scrubs his face with his hands before taking a fortifying sip of coffee.

“So, it was you and Quinn versus the school,” Kurt offers, drinking from his own mug.

“It wasn’t just us,” he amends, tracing patterns on the worn, wooden table with his fingertips, swooping lines back and forth. “We had a few other friends from choir, but the school was small, you know? There was this one kid, Andy, I honestly have no idea if he was gay or not, I don’t know if he even knew yet - but either way, I think he kind of looked up to me. I was the head of the choir my junior and senior years and he was a year below me. At the end of my junior year, we were out on the quad, and we were holding hands, because we were praying, of all things, but this group of seniors thought, I don’t know, that we were being too gay for them, so they just … beat us up. It was too close to graduation and they weren’t going to not let them graduate, so they … all they did was suspend them for the rest of the year. I think they knew that too, like they’d been waiting all year to do it, they knew they couldn’t get kicked out … I don’t know. I don’t think the school administrators believed we were praying either. Andy didn’t come back the following year and Quinn graduated.”

“Oh, Blaine, that’s … awful,” Kurt says, reaching across the table for Blaine’s hand on instinct, not even thinking how different things are for him here, how that very act got him beat up in his old life back in California. He squeezes it tightly for comfort and he can see a faint smile curling on Blaine’s lips.

“Quinn got into Columbia and she figured her parents would help her, but they refused since she wasn’t going to one of the California schools, so she took a year off to save money and moved to LA and my brother got her a job working for him answering phones.”

“Like a receptionist?” Kurt asks, bringing his coffee mug to his lips with his free hand.

Blaine’s mouth twists into an odd smile Kurt can’t place before continuing. “Sort of. It was expected that I go to Pinewood, since my grandfather and my dad and Coop all went there, it’s this Christian college out in California, so it’s the only place I applied, and I got in. I was going to major in music and hopefully become a music director at a church one day, because I’ve always had a great relationship with the music director at ours. Theo’s always been a mentor to me, and his sister is bi, so he’s always been someone I felt I could be honest and open with. I don’t think he’s going to last too much longer at our church, sadly.” Kurt watches Blaine get lost in his head a moment, and there’s another story there, but he doesn’t dwell on it and surges forward.

“Anyway, my dad sits me down over spring break to tell me that Pinewood isn’t going to tolerate the gay stuff, so I better man up and pretend for four years. I didn’t know what to say, so when I got upstairs, I did some research, and they actually kick openly gay students out. It’s against their honor code. I don’t know why I didn’t look into this before I applied, I just thought - I obviously wasn’t.”

“So, you’re here instead.” Kurt tilts his head and smiles sadly and clasps his other hand on top of the two that are already joined together. “I have to say, I think this is a much better deal, though I’m probably being a bit selfish here.” He scrunches up his nose as he says it and Blaine laughs.

“Quinn convinced me to come with her, even though I’m pretty sure my parents have disowned me, and I really, really, have no idea what I’m doing, which you’ve probably figured out by now and I think I sound like a broken record because I keep mentioning it. There will be a lesson at the end of it all, I’m sure.”

“See, that’s what I don’t get,” Kurt banters back, narrowing his eyes. “You people are always looking for the lesson in life. Sometimes life just sucks. Sometimes there’s nothing to learn from an experience other than the world is a cruel, cruel place.”

“Ah, but that itself is a lesson,” Blaine teases, eyes bright as he grins before turning serious. “I want you to know, Kurt, just because I believe in God and a lot of people who do believe in God think I’m a horrible person for being gay, I don’t think that for a second. The God I believe in loves everyone no matter what and it frustrates me when people don’t realize that.”

“Well, good,” Kurt says quietly. “You’re a good person, Blaine, and it would make me very sad if you hated yourself, even a little bit.” They fall into a comfortable silence, Kurt noticing that Blaine’s free hand has ended up on top of his, all four of their hands in a pile in the middle of the kitchen table, each of them feeling far heavier than they should, the giant, spacious loft feeling suddenly small and warm, and the silence is shifting to something far less comfortable.

Blaine breaks contact first, clearing his throat and pulling back a hand to wrap around his coffee mug, taking a sip to further clear his voice as Kurt helps untangle the rest of their hands. “I’m really glad you and Rachel ended up being our neighbors, Kurt. You’ve been a good friend.” Blaine’s smile is soft, but genuine, though Kurt’s sure there’s not a disingenuous bone in his entire body.

“I’m glad too, Blaine.” Who knew out of all of the eccentric people he’d meet in New York City, small-town Blaine Anderson from California would be the one to grab Kurt’s interest the most?