Title: Where There's Smoke [6/12+]
Rating: PG-13 generally, but moving to NC-17 in places (will point out, accordingly, for those averse)
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine, Wes and David friendship, mentions of former Finn/Rachel
Word Count: 3300/100,000
Warnings: abstract discussion of a deadly fire NOT involving our characters
Summary: Fireman AU, set 7 years after graduation. Kurt is Kurt, except that he never met Blaine Anderson. Blaine grew up in Brooklyn with his mother and firefighter father. Rachel and Kurt have graduated NYADA, Kurt gained a Masters from Tisch, and now they're in their first post-college apartment together ready to tackle their dreams. Unfortunately, Rachel never learned how to properly cook and almost sets their new house on fire. Enter Dreamy McFirepants.
A/N: This wouldn't exist without the most amazing editor a person could ask for, flaming_muse. Any remaining errors fall squarely on
This is Blaine's fire station, btw. :) [eagle eyes will notice someone's bike.] And artwork! Made for
Previous Chapters: [Masterlist + One] [Two] [Three] [Four] [Five]
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They spent the next week sending each other texts or talking casually about their days on the phone for hours at a time. Kurt danced around the big topic they weren't ready to address yet, thinking on the surface that he was putting things back at a normal pace when all he was really doing was insinuating Blaine more and more into his life, and vice versa.
Kurt knew this wasn’t some cute guy with a crooked smile at a coffee shop wanting to go to the movies. This wasn’t the interesting boy from his Stagecraft class who wanted to hold hands and talk about three-dimensional stage design. This was someone that would be significant. Someone that would either the one big regret of his life for not seeing where it could go, or the one big regret for not walking away before their hearts were shattered.
Keeping Blaine at arms-length while he sorted his feelings out was essential, Kurt thought, but he hated feeling like he couldn't see Blaine without diving head-first into heartbreak. After a week passed, he thought he'd come closer to making a decision, albeit the agonizing one where he didn't think he could pursue anything with him.
The television had been on in the background as Kurt went about cleaning the house, when a news story broke in during the show he was watching. There had been a fire earlier that evening in New Jersey, one that resulted in two people's deaths.
He sat down abruptly watching the visuals of the trucks, ambulances, flames engulfing someone's home. But most importantly were the men in their tan fire-proof gear racing up and down ladders, shouting instructions to one another, running into the flames. It wasn't that he couldn't see the heroism in what they did, racing into danger for the sake of others. It's that there were two people that didn't come out of those flames. He couldn't help but instantly picture Blaine running in, Blaine being engulfed, Blaine not coming back. He just didn't know if he had it in him to endure something like that.
But you don't always. It's not always the worst thing, Kurt had replied. He told himself that he needed to remember that part of the equation, as well. Mostly it felt like a decision too huge to make, too huge to even think around, let alone decide on so quickly.
An hour later, he got a text from Blaine, reminding him of that first night together at the pub, how fun and sweet and engaging Kurt had found him to be.
You make me feel alive, alive, alive. I'll take my chance. 'Cause luck is on my side or something. [Hmm, if only I knew what you were thinking...]
“That makes two of us,” Kurt whispered to himself. Who was he kidding? He'd never felt anything close to this with anyone else, and especially had never experienced someone returning those feelings. It was frightening, exhilarating, and completely new territory for Kurt. He’d heard of people falling in love quickly, but had always chalked that up to something manufactured by the Hollywood machine, noting that those movies always came out before Valentine’s Day, tres convenient. But here he was, practically doodling Mr. And Mr. Hummel-Anderson on his notebook. I wonder if he’d prefer Anderson-Hummel? STOP IT.
Even with all of his legitimate fears about building a relationship with Blaine, Kurt had to admit that there were more things about him that thrilled and excited him. Blaine was so easy to talk with, was intelligent and funny -- if a little corny -- and had a collection of show tunes that rivaled Kurt’s. Well, almost. For a specific era, maybe. Okay, so Blaine appreciated a specific time in musical theater, but that was good enough for Kurt.
Blaine was genteel and in this day and age, that was almost unheard of. A well-mannered and likable personality went a long way with Kurt. And Blaine didn’t seem to mind that Kurt preferred to take things slow, and in fact, seemed to like that for himself.
They had so many similar views on things: how people should behave, what made a reality show garbage versus something really terrific, the importance of proper linen napkins with a handkerchief hem, what they loved in people that meant the most to them.
As the days stretched into a week and then beyond, he couldn't imagine how he could have been living without Blaine in his life in some way. It got to the point where Kurt couldn't go to sleep at night until he'd heard from him. Talking with him at the end of the day, sharing all of the little irritations and triumphs with someone that was sympathetic to him -- and Kurt happily reciprocating -- made his day feel complete. He couldn’t fathom a time where he wouldn’t have that luxury.
There was no getting around it; Kurt was definitely falling for him. Probably had been from the first time they had a real conversation. There seemed to be an unspoken decision between them to not push things, but to spend some time just talking to each other and getting to know as much as possible about one another. Kurt felt subconsciously that it would be up to him to initiate further dating. It was comforting to him, knowing that things weren’t moving too fast and beyond his control.
Blaine had thrown himself back into work, picking up extra shifts at the station. Kurt told him that he was worried that Blaine was going to work himself to death until Blaine mentioned that David and Wes were pitching in as well. One of their teammates had just become a father, and everyone was helping him with time off so he could spend it with his wife and newborn daughter.
Kurt had been busy for a solid week with extra fittings for Peter's show that was opening in a matter of days, and another project he'd taken on to keep the work – and paychecks – steady. It was coming close to two weeks since he'd been to Blaine's house, and he was desperate to see him. Talking on the phone, falling asleep with Blaine's voice rumbling pleasantly in his ear, that was all well and good, but his body ached for him. He missed seeing his friend. He really missed kissing and holding Blaine, feeling like he was a part of something more than just himself.
When he lucked out with a short day at the theater, able to leave several hours earlier than he had planned, he decided to get off a stop ahead to surprise Blaine, who he knew was at the station. He didn't even realize until he was exiting the subway platform that he hadn't thought about the implications of ending his self-imposed separation. He tamped down any panic by telling himself that it would be like an experiment. He would use the visit as an opportunity to see if he wasn't just building up the potential for a relationship with Blaine in his head.
And he knew Blaine would appreciate a snack. Kurt was just being thoughtful, that was all. He did not expect anything else, just Blaine's appreciation at Kurt's thoughtfulness, that would be okay. And sometimes people kissed each other to show thanks, no one had to lose their heads. Right? Really good friends sometimes pressed their...
This is crazy. “I just want to see him, okay?” he said out loud as he walked from the station.
“Okay?” some amused adolescent replied, laughing as he walked past.
He would just bring some food to Blaine and be relaxed. Or try his best to look that way. Maybe see what came of it. And how tight Blaine's uniform pants were.
He walked to the bodega where they had bumped into each other a few weeks prior and went to the deli counter to grab some chicken enchiladas; he remembered how Blaine had gone on and on about them.
With them boxed up and ready for transport, he walked the short distance to the fire house, singing quietly under his breath most of the way, his excitement growing the closer he got to the station. He texted Blaine to make sure he was still there and not out teaching children at the local PS 58 how to Stop, Drop, And Roll.
Yes, I'm still here. Why do you ask?
Kurt smiled. Oh, just wondering. Are you hungry?
Starved. John's decided we all need to be vegan.
Kurt stopped outside the large garage doors of the station. Where are you?
...in my office? Are you here??
Kurt laughed, pocketed his phone and walked into the station. He heard a squealing slide, and looked just in time to catch sight of Captain Anderson sliding down the fire pole. Blaine walked right to him and pulled him into a tight hug, his face bursting with a smile.
Kurt couldn't help but laugh. Blaine was such a boy. “I brought you something.”
He held out the bag with the enchiladas to Blaine. Blaine gaped when he realized what it was. “You are amazing, do you know that?” Blaine said, a bit of awe creeping into his voice.
He grabbed Kurt into a one-arm hug and kissed him fiercely on the cheek. “Come on. I'll show you my office.”
Blaine took Kurt's hand, causing Kurt's heart to lodge somewhere near his Adam's apple, and led him up a distant stairwell. When they reached the top floor, they passed the hole in the floor with the pole coming through and up over their heads.
“First door on the left.”
“Oh, you mean the one that reads 'Captain Blaine Anderson' on it? I never would have guessed,” Kurt teased. Blaine blushed, ducking his head to hide his laugh as he opened his office door. It was utterly adorable, and Kurt wanted to make that a priority in his life, getting that reaction from Blaine.
If that's a priority, then... Why am I fighting this? Because I'm an idiot, that's why.
Blaine settled behind his desk and immediately dove into the food.
“My goodness; you were hungry.”
“You have no idea,” Blaine said after swallowing a bite of an indecent amount of food. “And to what do I owe the extreme pleasure of seeing you at this time of day? I thought you said Peter had a ton of things to go through with you?”
Kurt crossed his legs, leaning back comfortably in the chair across from Blaine's desk, unable to control the happy smile on his face at finally seeing Blaine again. “I happen to be incredibly good at what I do and was able to guess what he was going to complain about before I even got there. So.”
Blaine had eaten almost half of the food in the short time they'd been there in his office. He took a sip from his drink, cracked a smile and replied, “Lucky me.”
Kurt sat across from him, beaming, pleased to have pleased him with something so simple. “I hope you've had an apple or something green, at least. Otherwise, I'm going to feel incredibly guilty for giving you something so caloric.”
Blaine scooped the last bite into his mouth, groaned with pleasure, and leaned back, eyes closed. “Oh my god, those are my favorite. And yes, I had a huge salad earlier. John doesn't know how to do vegan other than leafy greens so far.”
It was just food; it was just a little thing he had brought to Blaine's work, knowing that he liked it. And yet... it felt incredibly intimate. It was such a domestic moment between the two of them, talking about their days over a meal. Kurt couldn't deny how content it made him feel, how it brought back happy memories of his mother and father sharing pet names over dinner at the end of the day.
Blaine wiped the corner of his mouth with a napkin and sat back, fingers laced behind his head and grinning at Kurt. “Hi.”
“Hello.” Kurt couldn't help but match his smile. He simply felt...good when he was with Blaine. “Tough day?”
Blaine continued smiling before shaking his head a little. “Not anymore.”
Kurt laughed, making a dismissive gesture with is hand. “As much as I’d like to believe that my mere presence can solve all of life’s ills, the fact that black concert t-shirts and polyester still exist in this world has proven otherwise.”
“Come 'ere,” Blaine asked, holding one hand out. Kurt rolled his eyes, still smiling, and walked around Blaine's desk. Blaine tugged him down for a kiss, just a gentle press of lips. “I've missed you.”
Kurt sighed, melting into Blaine’s embrace. “I've missed you, too.” He pulled back, looking into Blaine’s face, realizing just how accurate that was. He sat on the edge of Blaine's desk, his weight back on his hands as his foot traced the inside of Blaine's leg.
“I want to see you again,” Blaine said quietly, his voice low and husky as his eyes seemed to lock onto Kurt's mouth. “I don't want to pick up an extra shift just to keep my mind from thinking about how beautiful you look when I'm kissing you.”
Kurt's breath caught. He didn't know what to say. Somehow blurting out, “You're the most sensual man I've ever known and I want to wrap myself up in you and never leave” didn't seem workplace-appropriate. “Well. It turns out that I have an entire evening free, Captain.”
Blaine stayed in his chair, smiling with his hands behind his head, seeming to want nothing more than to look at Kurt. He felt a blush creeping up his neck and playfully kicked at Blaine's shin.
“Hey! Cut it out,” Blaine laughed, “I haven't seen you in almost two weeks and needed a moment to take you in.” He heaved a huge sigh. “There, got it. Now. Tonight, hmm?”
“Oh, um, unless you're working or already had plans. I didn't mean to be--”
“Kurt,” Blaine laughed. “Stop. Yes, I would love to see you tonight. Oh, you know what, it's the sing-along at Smokey's tonight. I promised some of the guys I would go, since they were evidently shocked that I came the last time.”
Kurt's heart sank. It was foolish, he knew, but he had just really missed Blaine. “Oh.”
“Will you come with me?”
“Oh! Well. Yes, that would be lovely.”
Blaine laughed. “Did you think I wasn't going to ask you? Of course I want you to come.” He reached out and grabbed Kurt's hand, tugging him back down for another kiss. “It wouldn't be the same without you,” he murmured against Kurt's lips just before kissing him again, but this wasn't a gentle kiss, this was one filled with promise and need and far too long between kisses.
Blaine pulled back to stand and position himself between Kurt's legs, holding Kurt's face and going in for another fervent, passionate kiss. “Will you come with me?”
“O-okay,” was Kurt's shaky reply. He was glad to still be sitting on the edge of the desk, because he was almost one hundred percent sure that his knees were not in working condition.
Blaine stepped back, seemingly pleased with himself, and dropped back into his chair, hands back behind his head. “Would you like for me to come to your place and get you, or do you want to meet there?”
If you come to my house, we're not leaving, Captain. “Um, let's meet there; that way you don't have to do all of the extra traveling. What time?”
“I'll be there,” Kurt chirped, trying to get himself back under control. He stood and smoothed the front of his shirt to keep his hands occupied. He needed to let Blaine get back to work, and if he didn't leave soon, he knew he'd pull Blaine right back into his arms where he belonged.
Blaine also stood, and led Kurt to the door. “And don't be fashionably late. I want as much time as you'll give me.”
Kurt hummed, slipped an arm around Blaine's waist and drew him in for a languid kiss. “Same here,” he breathed into Blaine's ear, pleased to see that Blaine looked a little undone himself.
Blaine eyed the brass pole outside his office, but Kurt laughed and rolled his eyes. “I'll take the stairs. I'm not in my sliding pants today.” He winked. “See you tonight.”
He headed down the stairwell, and as he walked past the fire pole towards the entrance, he heard that same sliding squeal from before and felt Blaine catch him around the waist and whisper against his neck, “Can't wait.”