Pairings/Characters: Kurt/Blaine, with mentions of ND.
Rating: like, PG. Nothing even happens.
Warnings: This is platonic!Klaine. Well, as platonic as Klaine can be. Other than that, none.
Word Count: 4379
Summary: People handle high school in separate ways; some get a leg up the social ladder, some get shoved to the bottom of the pile. This is how Kurt and Blaine do it. Pre-Klaine, Cheerio!Kurt/Sortofnerdy!Blaine
A/N: So remember this trend we got hooked on? I started this a couple of months ago at least but forgot about it for ages so it's a little behind the time. This was going to be a WIP but then I remembered that I can't write and finish WIPs to save my life because I suck so I wrote pre-Klaine. Oops.
If this was a movie, the first shot would have been a sweeping movement over a huge, grey building, with a flagpole in the middle of the parking lot and hundreds of students flooding onto campus and inside the school.
Then a close up of two pairs to shoes – one pair of white Doc Martens and one pair of simple sneakers. The shot trails up to a designer coat and a brown jacket, and then to a mess of brown curls and perfectly coiffed light brown hair.
Curls turns to Coiffed and nudges his shoulder. “Ready?”
Coiffed brushes non-existent fluff from said shoulder and nods. “Try not to get trampled, short stack.”
“Shut up, Kurt.”
“Then grow, Blaine.” Kurt smirks and leads the way into the school, dodging a football player and checking behind him for his best friend. Blaine hops over someone’s bag, clutching the strap of his own satchel and catching up to Kurt’s long strides.
“Where’s your locker?” Blaine asks once they’re inside, bouncing on his feet and staring around him in awe. Kurt is copying him, except less obviously, taking in the sheer size of the school. The hallways are at least three metres wide, with what must be thousands of lockers lined neatly up against each wall.
“113a,’ Kurt replies, pulling his schedule from his pocket and unfolding it. ‘Which is by the math classrooms, apparently. You?”
Blaine is hurriedly unfurling his own schedule, pressing the creases and scrutinizing it. He pouts after a second. “214c. That’s ages away.”
“Stop pouting, you baby, you’ll get early lines around your mouth,” Kurt takes his arm and pulls him along. “We have the same homeroom, anyway.”
“Oh, good,” Blaine trails behind him, eyes widening at a very, very tall boy fiddling with his locker and sporting a puzzled expression. They find the classroom and settle for two desks at the back, avoiding a boy sporting a Mohawk and a scary looking Hispanic girl with a ponytail and very high heels.
When Mr Schuester arrives the students sit down and are quiet during roll call – until a kid with a giant afro raises his hand and asks the teacher if he has butter in his hair, and can he eat it?
Blaine and Kurt look at each other in disbelief while everyone creases up.
“Well,” Kurt says as Blaine wrinkles his nose. ‘High school’s interesting.’
A week later they stand together in front of the big extra-curricular board, staring up at the different coloured flyers. There’s one for astronomy club, the hockey team, chess club – you name it.
Kurt hums as he searches through a thick wad of flyers pinned on top of each other. Blaine is subtly eyeing math club, and maybe geography club too, when Kurt makes a noise like ‘aha’ and asks Blaine for a pen.
“What did you find?” Blaine hands him a pen from his bag and cranes his neck, trying to see what Kurt is writing on.
“Glee club.” Kurt sticks his tongue out as he scrawls his name down and Blaine swallows, focusing on Kurt’s wrists instead – it doesn’t help. His stomach feels incredibly funny, so he asks Kurt to write his name down too and attempts to not be too happy when Kurt gives him an approving smile.
“I bet loads of popular kids are in Glee club,” Kurt says, tucking Blaine’s pen into the front pocket of Blaine’s shirt and then stepping back to study the board once more. “No, nothing else worth my time.”
“Why do you care about popular kids?” Blaine frowns and tugs on Kurt’s arm so they can head towards the main doors. “They all look really mean.”
“This is high school, Blaine,” Kurt says, rolling his eyes and falling into step beside him. “You have to climb up as far as you can to survive.”
“This isn’t a warzone, Kurt.”
“It almost is.” Kurt leans close and Blaine shudders involuntarily when Kurt’s breath hits his ear. “I heard there are slushie attacks. Like they get a cup and throw it right at you.”
“That’s such a waste of slushie,” Blaine says mildly. “And a dollar.”
“Tina Cohen-Chang said they locked that boy in the wheelchair-“
“Yeah – they locked him in one of those disgusting portable toilets,” Kurt explains, nodding when Blaine’s jaw drops.
“But he’s disabled! That’s awful.” Blaine shakes his head and turns onto the main hallway. “And who’s they, anyway?”
“Jocks, mostly,” Kurt says. “People who are moronic enough to not consider any consequences whatsoever.”
“Not all jocks are stupid,” Blaine tries, but he withers under Kurt’s raised eyebrow. “Hey, I like football, and I’m smart.”
“You can’t play football, Blaine.’ Kurt pats him on the arm. ‘And you’re very smart. See?”
Glee club definitely does not have any popular kids – it’s Artie, Tina, a curvy girl called Mercedes who belts out Aretha Franklin in her audition and a loud girl who just comes up to Blaine’s shoulder and immediately makes herself captain.
She’s a spectacular singer, though, and Blaine finds himself happily slipping into the triangle formation behind her as they attempt Sit Down, You’re Rocking The Boat.
“We suck.” Rachel drops her arms and storms out. Blaine sighs and Kurt returns Tina’s glare (he dropped her earlier).
Their first assembly involves lots of grinding and butt-slapping, and Blaine knows he stares too much, but Kurt’s hips are too loose, too ready to swivel and sway. They have Finn, now, who hoists Rachel on to his hips and bounces her up and down. Blaine turns away in fright.
It’s a disaster and ends in a riot, but Coach Sylvester beckons to Kurt when the teachers have calmed most of the student body down and Blaine finds himself swept away in the crowd shoving at the doors either end of the gym. When he finds Kurt at lunch his friend is frowning into his veggie burger – and it doesn’t look like he’s trying to figure out how many calories are in it.
“What did Coach Sylvester want?” Blaine asks as nonchalantly as he can, tearing open the packet of potato chips and laying them neatly inside his cheese sandwich. Kurt raises his eyebrow at Blaine’s interesting sandwich filling but shrugs.
“She wanted to know if I’d like to join the Cheerios,” he says, his eyes flicking back down to the grey plastic table top. “I’m going to think about it over the weekend. She wants to know by Monday.”
“But - you’re in Glee club,” Blaine protests weakly. “And the Cheerios are all exclusive and stuff. And you’d have to wear that uniform.”
“Blaine,” Kurt sighs in a world-weary fashion. “I can be in both. And I’m growing a little more now and I look good in like, everything.”
“But,” Blaine starts, mouth opening and closing as he searches for some kind of argument.
“But nothing,” Kurt pats his arm and takes a tentative bite of his burger. “Hm. Not bad. The quorn’s too dry, though.”
Blaine turns away and sulks for the rest of the period. Kurt ends up storming off in a huff when Blaine refuses to share his grapes and two jocks decide to pick up Blaine’s lunch box and tip it over his head.
Three of the Cheerios end up joining Glee club anyway (Kurt’s smile is very smug when they appear behind him) – they’re good singers and brings their number up to the required twelve with Puck, Mike and Matt from the football team. Quinn doesn’t ever speak to Blaine, Brittany asks if there are any elves living in his hair (she’s genuinely curious) and Santana is constantly winking at him. At one point she corners him during rehearsal and demands that he buy her dinner before he can escape.
Kurt finds it incredibly amusing.
Blaine hardly speaks to Kurt now – they still have homeroom but apparently Sue Sylvester expects nothing but perfection, which is difficult to achieve without daily practice. They’ve been assigned seats on opposite sides of the classroom in English and somehow Kurt ends up taking Brittany’s outstretched hand and dancing with her in Glee. The sight of Kurt hopping away from him, smile bigger than it had been five minutes ago when he was talking to Blaine, makes his eyes burn and his chest hurt.
So Blaine links arms with Mercedes and does take Santana to dinner, and he sings with Rachel and bumps fists with Artie and listens to Tina’s music, and Kurt slips somewhere into the background.
Except of course this is Kurt, and the background isn’t good enough for him, so Blaine sees Kurt everywhere but can’t reach him and has stopped trying to. Blaine goes to the football games and his gaze always slips towards the cheerleaders who shriek and dance and wave their stupid red pom-poms. Kurt stands out because he’s the only boy (the rest are only there for the half-time show and are hiding in the locker room) and he was right – he looks incredible in the uniform.
When Rachel asks him who he’s staring at, he babbles something about Santana and dinner and spends the rest of the game trying to figure out another way to avoid making out with her.
Blaine knows he’s gay. He knows that girls will never be beautiful to him the way boys are, knows that Kurt makes his stomach turn over and cheeks flush when it should be a girl, knows that this is a high school in Ohio and nobody can ever know, ever. He knows that his parents will stare at him and then find something else to distract themselves with and start to ignore him more than they already do. He’s sure of a lot of things when it comes to his sexuality and it makes him want to find a cupboard and climb
inside and never come out. Pun not intended.
People used to call Kurt a lady –and other horrible things that made Blaine’s fists clench and his stomach hurt - and Kurt’s never mentioned a girlfriend, and sometimes the hope crawls desperately up his throat and he has to force it down because there is no way in hell that Kurt Hummel would date Blaine Anderson. Especially now.
December is rainy and cold, but Mr Schuester doesn’t think it’s going to snow until February, and Blaine thinks Mr Schuester is pretty cool so he doesn’t check the weather every week like he did last year. Mercedes asks him to sing with her for their last Glee club meeting and he holds her hand and lets her gorgeous voice soar over his, perfectly happy to bring up the rear and imagine Kurt is sitting in his usual seat and not practicing high kicks for Coach Sylvester out on the freezing football pitch.
He’s pulling the last books he needs over Christmas from his locker when Santana saunters over, a wicked smirk on her mouth and a piece of mistletoe dangling from her manicured fingers.
“Hi, babe”’ she purrs. “You know the rule.”
Blaine curls his arms protectively around his books and swallows. “Um, I have a cold.”
“No, you don’t.” Santana steps closer and waggles the mistletoe, eyebrow arching. “I won’t see you for two whole weeks. Come on, kiss me.”
Blaine wavers, eyes prickling, before darting forwards and pressing his lips briefly to the corner of her mouth.
“Happy Holidays, Santana,” he mumbles thickly, slamming his locker door shut and hurrying away. He waits until he reaches his car before letting the pressure behind his eyes release. He cries the whole way home.
His parents give him a new notebook and a beautiful fountain pen for Christmas, and his mother kisses him delicately on the cheek when she carefully tears back the wrapping paper to find a new pearl necklace. His father nods at Blaine over his new set of cufflinks and then returns to his office to take a business call. It’s his only one that day, but he doesn’t reappear. Blaine goes on a walk with his mom and then takes some Christmas cake up to his room. He makes some flashcards for a biology test and tries to avoid getting crumbs on his notes (he succeeds), and then he texts Kurt and stares at his phone until it beeps with his reply.
Tina makes him go to the New Directions’ New Years’ party, even when he fakes a headache and then confesses that he really, really doesn’t want to bump into Santana. Tina rolls her eyes and tells him he’s being stupid, but squeezes his hand and gently advises that he go with the dark blue jeans.
The party is loud and Puck’s brought vodka and six-packs of beer. Finn is sober, sipping at a red cup of soda and watching Rachel from the corner of his eye, as is Quinn, whose hand is resting on her swollen stomach. She glares at anyone who is drunk enough to make casual conversation – Puck, mostly, who frowns and glances furtively towards Finn.
Kurt’s there. Blaine spots him while carefully (and guiltily) adding another dash of vodka to his Coke. Kurt is out of his uniform, decked out in full McQueen and looking happier than he ever has been. His cheeks are flushed, smile bright on his mouth and in his eyes. He’s holding a nearly empty cup but looks poised, taller and leaner than ever. Brittany is on his arm, skirt barely covering her bottom; she doesn’t notice a crowd of football players gaping at her and continue to babble something into Kurt’s ear. His laugh soars over the noise and Blaine’s stomach clenches.
Blaine will say afterwards that he approached Kurt of his own volition, but he knows he’s only brave with alcohol in his system.
“Hi, Blaine!” Brittany chirps when he gets to Kurt’s elbow, lurching forwards to press a sloppy kiss to his cheek. “Are you having fun?”
“Um, sure.” Blaine glances up at Kurt, who is blinking at him, before smiling briefly at her. “Did you have a good Christmas?”
“Lord Tubbington ate all the Christmas cake and then puked in my mom’s flowers,” she replies cheerily. Blaine nods and watches her whisper something to Kurt and then slip away. Silence descends between them and Kurt twists to look at something behind him.
“Hey,” Blaine says, too loudly, his voice cracking over the vowel. “How are you?”
“Fine,” Kurt says shortly. “Blaine.”
“Yeah?” Blaine plucks a straw from a canister sitting on the drinks table and drops it into his cup. Kurt rolls his eyes and touches his hair.
“We haven’t spoken to each other since November. This is very awkward. What are you doing?” Kurt tips his head and raises an eyebrow at him, watching Blaine squirm.
“I texted you six days ago!”
“Merry Christmas texts don’t count, Blaine.” Kurt sighs and takes his arm, pulling him in the direction of a small bathroom. Once inside, he locks the door and sits cross-legged on the floor, indicating that Blaine should copy him. The floor is cold but Kurt is warm, even two feet away.
“Are you mad at me?” Kurt asks bluntly, hands resting on the knees of his very tight jeans. Blaine’s mouth opens and closes a few times.
“I – no.” And he isn’t, not really. “I just – sometimes in glee club I felt kind of-“
Kurt’s mouth drops half-open and his eyes soften slightly. Blaine looks down at his lap, his fingers winding together.
“Blaine – Blaine, listen to me,” Kurt’s voice is thick and that’s what makes Blaine’s head shoot upwards. “Blaine, you are my best friend.”
Kurt’s eyelashes are wet and there are pink blotches high on his cheekbones. He’s the most beautiful thing Blaine’s ever seen.
“I haven’t been a very good best friend,” Blaine murmurs.
Kurt smiles wryly. “Neither have I.”
Kurt’s left hand find Blaine’s in his lap, poking at his fingertips until Blaine squeezes his fingers quickly. Blaine shuffles closer and wraps his arms around Kurt’s neck like he used to when they were ten and constantly fell asleep in their pillow forts. Kurt’s hands rest on his back, pulling him into his lap and tightening around his waist. They are quiet, breathing into each other’s shoulders and each other’s skin, settling.
“Do you want me to quit?” Kurt mumbles.
“No, no you can’t,” Blaine pulls back slightly, shaking his head. “It’s where you shine and the most terrible thing I could ever do to you would be to take that away.”
Kurt bites his lip and drops his forehead to Blaine’s neck again. “I could shine in glee club.”
Blaine snorts. “Rachel and Finn get the solos in glee club.”
Kurt huffs a laugh into his collar before raising his head to look at Blaine again. “Are you sure?”
Blaine nods and leans forward so the tips of their noses touch. Eskimo kisses. Just like when Blaine’s mom taught him what they were and he spent the entire next day poking Kurt’s nose with his own until Kurt got mad and shoved him backwards into his sandpit.
“We should get back,” Blaine whispers. Kurt’s eyes are very, very blue as he sticks his bottom lip out.
“But I missed you.”
Blaine feels the corner of his mouth turn up and, bravely, cups Kurt’s neck with his palms. “Just remember to call me occasionally, okay? I’m very small, I could probably fit anywhere into your schedule.”
Kurt pokes him in the side. “Dork.”
Blaine just grins and keeps grinning until Kurt is fighting a smile and gently pushing him out of his lap. Kurt stands, long legs extending to their full height and a graceful hand extending to pull him upwards and into the moonlight pouring in from the tiny window.
January is bitingly cold – Kurt earns his Cheerios cardigan and Blaine takes to wearing sweater vests over his red-striped and blue-checked shirts, and one day when he finds the black bowtie his dad bought him for his last birthday and ties it around his neck Kurt’s smile is even more approving.
He gets slushied later that day, with the shouts of ‘nerd’ ringing for hours afterwards in his ears, but it’s worth it.
Kurt hates Valentine’s Day.
He likes to remind Blaine of this frequently prior to and during the day itself, scoffing at the decorations in the choir room and wrinkling his nose when he finds couples making out far too close to his locker. Initially Blaine laughs when Kurt glowers at a canoodling pair, but he’s been hiding red and white paper in his locker for almost a week and Kurt’s constant dismissal of it makes him nauseous.
The day dawns cloudy and cold, the sidewalks wet and the sky dull. Blaine waits for Kurt outside his house, his card valiantly stuck together with Pritt Stick and safely tucked in his bag so that it doesn’t crease. The cold is seeping into his skin and he
begins to shiver.
Luckily Kurt’s Navigator turns round the corner then and Blaine hops off his front step, bouncing on his toes and fiddling with his red bowtie for the fiftieth time that morning. Kurt is blaring Kelly Clarkson, eyes fixed on the road ahead and lips pursed.
“Hi,” Blaine says, climbing into the passenger seat and cradling his satchel on his lap. “Crap weather, right?”
“Crap everything.” Kurt accelerates aggressively and Blaine lurches forward. “Everything is crap.”
“Um,” Blaine shrinks back into the carseat and resolves to keep his mouth shut for the rest of the journey. Kurt mutters to himself all the way to school, occasionally glancing over at Blaine and sighing irritably. They reach McKinley within fifteen minutes, just as the silence between them becomes unbearable. Kurt turns off the ignition but stays in his seat, hands twisting in front of him and his expression troubled.
“Kurt,” Blaine says quietly, leaning over the console to touch his arm.
“Do you want to know why I hate Valentine’s Day, Blaine?” He turns, eyes overly bright and lips trembling. Blaine nods jerkily and lets his hand curve over the junction of Kurt’s elbow. “Because it just reminds me of what I’ll never have.”
He swipes angrily at his cheeks and stares out the window while Blaine gapes.
“I’m never going to have that –anyone.” Kurt shakes his head, hiccupping slightly. “Who would even want me, anyway? Stupid baby fat – baby face.”
“What –Kurt, no.” Blaine reaches out and grabs his shoulders so he’ll turn back towards him. “That’s insane. Of course you’re going to find someone.”
Kurt merely rolls his eyes and looks away again, while Blaine’s fingers itch towards the buckles of his satchel.
“Kurt, I,” Blaine begins, breath catching in his throat as he opens his satchel and finds his sheets folder. “I’m going to give you this and then I’m going to run away because – um. I’m just going to-“
He fishes out the card and places it in Kurt’s lap before wrenching the car door open and hurrying towards the school, cheeks hot and panic winding its way up inside his chest.
He hides underneath the bleachers during his lunch period so that he can spy on Kurt but remain mostly unseen. Kurt is, as usual, in his uniform, muttering something to Mercedes as Coach Sylvester yells at a sophomore. He still glares when the blonde girl from his Spanish class runs over to the edge of the pitch to kiss her gargantuan boyfriend, but seems more thoughtful.
He sits there for an hour, watching Kurt do his high kicks and his star-jumps. It begins to rain after fifteen minutes, tiny droplets seeping through the gaps in the bleachers and dripping onto his shoulders. The Cheerios groan loudly but are quickly silenced by Coach Sylvester’s megaphone. The uniform is white, and Blaine simply cannot look away from the arching of Kurt’s back under the clinging polyester.
Eventually the rain stops, as do the cheerleaders, who pick up their soggy pom-poms and trail back into the gymnasium. Blaine sighs and, ignoring the grumbling of his empty stomach, makes to walk back to the school building. It’s then that his phone chimes.
Stay where you are, 007 – Kurt.
Blaine’s hands suddenly become clammy and he wavers for a moment, considering the janitor’s closet as a hideout spot, before resuming his lunchtime seat. Kurt is only five minutes despite the likely queue for the showers and the effect of the rain on his hair.
He has a tight grip on his bag and he’s sort of looking at Blaine like he’s never really seen him before.
“Hey,” Blaine croaks. “Nice high-kicks.”
“Blaine. I have two questions for you,” Kurt says, sitting next to him. “First of all, why on earth were you watching me through practise, and second of all, what the hell was that card?”
His heart sinks. “Because I had nothing else to do?”
“Try again,” Kurt replies, checking his nails.
“Because I wanted to know if my card upset you or made your day better,” Blaine mumbles, peeking through the metal rows of the bleachers.
“Oh,” Kurt’s cheeks are a little pink when Blaine turns back towards him. “Um, well, it definitely made my day quite a lot better.”
“Really?” Blaine blinks and fights a delighted grin. “I’m glad.”
Kurt nods and unzips his bag, retrieving the still intact and undamaged card. He opens it and sighs.
“’You’re special to me, and I just want you to know that you move me, on a regular basis,’” he reads, the pink in his cheeks becoming scarlet. “Blaine.”
“But it’s true,” Blaine whines. “You’re really amazing and I really can’t get over it.”
Kurt’s mouth drops open but he catches it quickly, covering his face and letting out a nervous laugh. “You said really twice.”
“I really don’t care.”
Kurt giggles and then claps his palm over his mouth. “You’re so weird.”
Blaine doesn’t reply but just smiles, knowing that Kurt wouldn’t be here if he wasn’t. Kurt smiles back and, tentatively, takes his hand. As he threads their fingers together Blaine wonders if he can feel his pulse stuttering in his thumb and palm and wrist.
“Yes. And you?”
“Yeah. Wow. I’ve never told anyone that before. Apart from my cat,” Blaine exhales deeply, muscles feeling jittery and over-excited under the relief that settles over him. Kurt looks just as relieved, eyes closing briefly. He rests his other hand on Blaine’s shoulder for a moment.
“I need to think about this,” Kurt says softly, indicating their joined hands. “Because you’re my best friend, Blaine. And that’s more important than anything in this relationship.”
Blaine nods and lets the small bubble of disappointment in his stomach ebb. Kurt starts to laugh then, loud and joyful.
“What’s so funny?” Blaine asks, joining in.
“This is like that Taylor Swift song. She’s cheer captain-“
“...and I’m on the bleachers,” Blaine finishes, voice slightly cracked but still strong and rich. Kurt grins and pulls him to his feet, swinging their hands while Blaine picks up his bag and hitches it over his shoulder. The rain has started again and as they duck out from under the bleachers it begins to pour. Kurt shrieks and drags Blaine through it, his hair soaking through again and his uniform sticking to his lithe figure. Blaine’s hair is ruined and his bowtie is tied on precariously, but he can feel the smile huge on his mouth and his heart swollen and full in his chest.
If this was a movie, this is where the camera would cut away to a shot of the downpour and the tiny figures of Kurt and Blaine sprinting through it towards their shared English class, and the music would start, and then the image would fade to the end credits and you’d never hear anything about Kurt and Blaine again.
But in case you were wondering; it takes Kurt a week and two days, but Blaine doesn’t mind, and in fact when Rachel asks them if they’re boyfriends, and would they like to meet her dads, they simply reply that they’re best friends. And that’s all that matters, in the end.