Title: Where There's Smoke [10/12+]
Rating: Fer Errbody
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine, Wes and David friendship, mentions of former Finn/Rachel
Word Count: 6800/100,000
Warnings: Kurt finally hangs out at the fire station. Guess what happens? (Be prepared, my firefighter daughters, for intense situations)
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
Previous Chapters: [Masterlist + One] [Two] [Three] [Four] [Five][Six] [Seven] [Eight] [Nine]
[And I've been posting links to updates on my Tumblr, if you'd rather find chapters that way.]
* * * * *
Kurt worked into the late hours of the night, making up for lost time. He hadn't stopped to give Rachel a full report when she came home, just held his cheek out for her kiss then promised her more tomorrow. He had even switched his phone to mute to keep from being distracted. As a result, when he woke up the next morning he saw several frantic texts from Peter.
You never answer your phone! I promise it's not about Gia
Seriously, answer your phone.
OMG HE BETTER BE GORGEOUS AND RICH. IF HE IS DOES HE HAVE A BROTHER?
Kurt, I am NEAR TEARS would you PLEASE get in touch with me.
Fine!!! The next message you get is me from the grave because you are KILLING ME.
Kurt hit speed dial, not surprised when Peter picked up on the first ring, talking rapid-fire.
“Oh my god, Kurt, you almost gave me a heart attack last night.”
Kurt laughed; and people used to call him melodramatic? “Peter, this better not be about Giovanna claiming to be a size 5 and that she can only wear custom-made German foundation garments or something.”
“Kurt. Get to the theater in one hour. I got you a gig. It's huge. They want to go through the hoops and make you audition, but it's pretty much yours for the taking.”
“...what? What are you talking about?”
“My ex runs the Broadway portion of FringeFest and we hooked up the night before - I don't want to hear about it, we all have needs - and he bitched about one solo performer being a pain because she won a Tony last year and how he wanted to drop her, and I told him that I knew the perfect voice to replace her. You.”
Kurt was still trying to catch up. “Me?”
“Yes,” Peter huffed, sounding impatient. “Now pick your favorite show-stopping number and get down here so he can see that I still know what I'm talking about.”
Kurt looked around his room; he was still in pajamas, hadn't even put on his morning face yet.
“Kurt. This is massive. You'll be taking over for a major Broadway star, we're talking three songs, center stage, Central Park, peak hours. Get down here.”
“Okay,” Kurt replied, still not quite on the same page and wanting desperately to catch up so this made any kind of sense.
“Okay! See you in a bit, I can't wait to hear you blow their minds!”
Kurt set his phone down on the table and stared at it for a moment. Rachel came out of her room, yawning, and headed to the bathroom. “Morning.”
“Just a minute I have to-”
“Rachel. Peter got me a performance at FringeFest.”
“But that's been booked for months; I know, because I lost out on getting in.”
Kurt turned to look at her, his hands shaking a bit. “Three songs. Central Park. Someone backed out.”
Rachel looked flabbergasted, a little jealous, and a lot excited. “When do you meet with them?”
“Get going, what on earth? Wait, please just let me use the restroom, then you can have it. Oh my god, warm up and get to the theater!”
Kurt paced outside the theater, waiting for Peter. Another glorious aspect of living in New York City, no one batted an eye when you sang scales on a 15 minute subway ride into Times Square. If he'd thought to leave a hat on the floor – as if he'd put anything on a filthy subway floor and pick it back up – he could have busked some good money. He felt loose and ready and utterly thrumming with energy.
Peter opened the door to the stage and raced over, giving him a tight hug. “Okay, you're singing for the head of the event. Don't panic. What are you going to sing?”
“‘I’m the Greatest Star.’ It's my go-to audition piece.”
Peter looked impressed. “That's actually perfect, they're wanting old school numbers this year, it's de rigueur now. They're still finishing their espressos; they'll be ready for you in a minute. Break a leg.”
Peter gave his forearm a squeeze and headed back inside. Kurt took a steadying breath and pushed on his abdomen, forcing air out of his lungs to warm up. He closed eyes as he ran through the lyrics in his head. After a brief moment, he pulled out his phone, hit Contacts, and Blaine Anderson - Text.
Huge audition. Out of the blue. About to go on and sing.
He blew air through his lips and jumped up and down a few times to get his limbs loose. His phone vibrated just as Peter poked his head out the door, whispering, “They're ready!”
Kurt looked down at the message Blaine just sent. You're amazing. Show them.
Kurt smiled, threw his shoulders back, switched his phone to mute, and calmly walked on stage. He would; he'd show them.
“Kurt, I knew you could sing, but that was amazing!”
Kurt laughed, the nerves finally catching up with him once it was safe to shake. “You should have seen me perform this number back when I was in school.” He leaned over to Peter, squeezing him quickly in a tight hug, “I even had props.”
“Oh my god, of course you did. Well, Eddie loved you. Loved. Said you'd shake them up and make them pay attention, and I'm just so excited for you! But this doesn't mean you can abandon our play; we still have three weeks left in our run.”
Kurt felt giddy. They loved his voice, they loved his choice in song, he finally, finally felt that someone understood him as an artist, and that they appreciated it. “Of course I won't forget; you're the one paying the bills, after all.” He pulled his phone out of his front pocket and switched it off mute.
He saw two messages from Blaine.
I bet you knocked 'em dead.
I wish you'd sing it to me so I can pretend I was there, cheering you on.
It was like nothing could go wrong. Everything was coming up Kurt, and he was beside himself, barely able to take it all in. He forced himself to push aside the messages from Blaine momentarily as he listened to Peter, who was giving him the schedule for rehearsals and performances. This was going to eat up almost every minute of his free time. But. He would have a captive audience for three whole songs – they were giving him free reign on song choice, to boot – he would have a small orchestra at his disposal, and he was performing in Central Park. It was unbelievable.
“Peter. Thank you.”
Peter blushed. “Well. I've heard you sing, it's a crime that you're not performing more. And you totally earned me points with Eddie, so that's good for me. I wasn't ready for things to end there when they did.”
Kurt drifted off as Peter talked about how his relationship with Eddie had fallen apart, happily replaying his performance in his mind, reliving the elation at the expression on Eddie's face, and more importantly, how excited he was to finally get home, call Blaine, and tell him all about it.
“Rachel. I know you want to. Just get it out now, so it doesn't fester.”
Rachel glared at him, looking angry that he knew her so well. He laughed at her face's warring expressions, fighting between being supportive and happy for him and desperate for her own success. With Rachel, you had to learn to take the good with the bad. Fortunately, it was usually good.
“Kurt, I know you're talented, I've known that for years, even if the others didn't. But I want to be singing too!”
He rubbed his hands up and down his roommate's arms. “You've had regular jobs, Rachel. This is the first performance I've had in over a year. This is the first solo performance I've had since school. You and I both know that I lucked into it.”
She sighed and laid her hand flat on Kurt's chest. “No, it was fate. Kurt, you're the only competition I ever had growing up; I know you deserve this.”
Kurt pulled her into his arms; Rachel laid her face against his chest as he stroked her hair and soothed, “It's going to happen for you, too. You're too talented to go unnoticed.”
He couldn't help it; he started laughing. “But how do you feel?”
“I'm not going to pretend I'm not talented. I know I am--” She hugged him fiercely. “--I just want everyone else to realize it, too.”
He rocked her back and forth on their feet. “Be happy for me?”
She pulled away to look at him. “Of course I am! You don’t think I'm not going to be on the front row, clapping after every song, do you?”
His heart swelled; it took them a long time to get to this place, but there was no one else he could imagine living in New York with, trying to make his dreams come true, than with Rachel “I'm a star” Berry.
She gave him one last squeeze before pulling back and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear. “I'm going to my room now to feel sorry for myself, but I promise to be back in thirty minutes, or you can come tell me to cut it out. A black and white cookie would also be nice, if you felt so inspired.”
He laughed. “Deal on the telling you to quit, no deal on carbo-loading your sorrows, though.”
She sniffed a little as she turned on her heel to march off to her room. Kurt went to his room and pulled out his phone, calling the one person he wanted to share this moment with more than anyone.
“Dad? I...I think I just got my big break.”
Kurt couldn't sit still; he knew he wouldn't be good for any work today, either, so after he had a wonderful phone call with his dad (who had to put Carole on the phone, who then wanted to conference in Finn at the shop) he called the only other person he wanted to celebrate this opportunity with.
Blaine answered the phone on the second ring, the sound of the fire station humming in the background. “Is this the next Neil Patrick Harris calling?”
“Ha,” Kurt said, “very funny. And hardly. I have far better hair.”
“Mm, you really do. So tell me all about it, what did you sing, how did they react, when is the show so I can post a notice here at the station and drum up a good crowd for you?”
“That is...you'd do that?”
“Well, of course I would. The guys would want to hear you sing.”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “Probably not when they find out that I'm not singing anything from their karaoke lists. It's going to be nothing but show tunes, and deep cuts at that.”
Kurt caught him up on his audition performance piece and how they let him sing the entire number, not just thirty seconds or so, as was customary.
“That's a really good sign.”
“I know,” Kurt breathed, still on a performance high. “I just put everything into it. But Blaine, they're going to let me pick whatever songs I want. Whatever I want!”
Blaine laughed on the other end, the sound curling Kurt's toes and making him think of lazy days wrapped up with Blaine.
“That's amazing. I'm so happy for you, Kurt.”
Kurt hummed a little, laying on his side with the phone pressed to his ear, his free hand drawing patterns on the empty space next to him. “It's going to eat up almost all of my free time, though. For the next month. That's the one drawback.” Kurt sighed, “I want to spend time with you, but this is...this could be it for me. I have to put everything into it.”
“Without question, Kurt. Hey. We'll make it work. I'm used to being busy, we'll just work around our schedules, make seeing each other a priority, but your rehearsal time will come first.”
Kurt rolled to his back, throwing an arm over his face. “I want you to be a priority, Blaine. Maybe we can make lunch or dinner – whichever shift you're on – a part of our time? Or is that weird of me to assume? I don't mean to assume, I just wanted--”
“Have I told you how adorable I think you are when you panic?”
Kurt sighed around a huge smile and teased, “No, actually, but feel free to tell me all of the things you like about me.”
Blaine laughed at the other end before dropping his voice lower, quieter, “I like how easy you are to laugh; I like how long and perfect your fingers are. I like how you always have an energy around you that feels like something amazing is just on the horizon. I like how full your bottom lip gets after I've been kissing you. I like how you sound when I'm kissing you.”
“Okay, I think I'm getting the picture,” Kurt laughed, already blushing, feeling a little nervous and a lot overwhelmed and beginning to be frustratingly turned on. He toyed with the hem on his pillowcase. “You're on all night shifts this week, right?”
“I have meetings all day tomorrow and the next day.”
“We'll make it work, Kurt. I want to, if you do.”
“I do. I'm going to miss you tonight, “ Kurt said softly. “I liked having you right there.”
Blaine moaned, “You are going to kill me. I'm going to have to borrow paperwork from Bill as a distraction. I have a feeling he won't mind.”
“I'll have a better idea of what my schedule's going to be like in a few days. I hate that I'm having to schedule you in.”
“I love that you will.”
Kurt paused before saying, “I'll call you tomorrow?”
Kurt stretched on his bed, murmuring a goodbye, and then another, and then two more when Blaine wouldn't hang up, either. God, we're like a couple of high school boys. I would have never gotten a thing done if I had him at high school with me.
Rachel poked her head in his room as he was clicking off the call. “Okay, I've started drafting up a list of potential songs for you, and the emotional through-line you're going to want to present to the audience for maximum connection and applause. I've found a direct correlation between overtly emotional songs with the number of encores begged for.”
“Dear God, Rachel, emotional through-line?”
Rachel glared at him, her pink and gold-star notebook clutched to her chest, not saying a word.
“Fine, let's see what you've picked. I make no promises, though!”
She flung herself onto his bed, giddy and talking a mile a minute. Kurt told himself that he would listen to her suggestions, but he also wouldn't forget that Rachel had thought a little number called “My Headband” could be a soul-stirring performance piece back in the day.
“Cats? Really, Rachel?”
It was going to be a long month.
One Week Later
Kurt opened his planner, looking at the rest of the day's schedule. He had doodled a heart with Kurt + Blaine in a slot for the afternoon. As he waited for the other end to be picked up, he doodled a question mark next to the heart.
“Can you meet for coffee? Tea? Me?”
Blaine laughed into the other end of the phone. “I have to be on shift in an hour; is now good for you?”
Kurt groaned, flopping back onto his bed. “I have a business call I have to take in a few minutes; I was hoping to see you in an hour.” He tried to keep the disappointment out of his voice, but it was hard.
“I have some administration stuff to take care of, otherwise I'd tell you to just come by after your call.”
“This...pardon my language, but this sucks,” Kurt whined.
Blaine laughed, “Language? And it's just for a little while; it's not forever, right?”
Sighing, Kurt replied, “No, it's not forever. Just until the end of August. Okay. We can do this. We can do this, right?”
“Yes. Are you rehearsing later tonight?”
“If I can convince Rachel to give me the living room and the piano; she has a mini-performance of her own she's preparing for, and I'm out of bargaining chips.”
“Hm, the acoustics here are terrible.”
“Blaine, I am not going to rehearse my show tunes in a fire station. True, your co-workers are tolerant, but let's not push it.”
They sat in silence, Kurt wanting nothing more than to cancel his meeting and spend an hour wrapped up in Blaine. But he needed to take this call; bills had to be paid, invoices filed, all of the dreary and boring aspects of life he wish he didn't have to worry about. And added to that was the worry that this new relationship with someone incredible wouldn't be able to thrive and grow into something amazing down the road.
“I miss you.”
Kurt hummed a small noise of pleasure into the phone. “I miss you, too.” Maybe I don’t need to worry so much. “Talk soon?”
Kurt bit his lip. “Be safe tonight.”
Another Week Later
Kurt:11:38am Only one more week with this harridan and then I am free of her!
Blaine: 11:40am Only one more week left for me to see the Great and Terrible G? I better get down there soon, then.
Kurt: 11:44am :) And she just complained again. About the other women in their clothes. Strangulation might happen. That's the least messy end I can think of for her.
Blaine: 11:44am Now the FBI has a paper trail, Kurt, you're slipping. Have you had lunch?
Kurt: 11:45am No..?
Blaine: 11:45am Can I bring you something? Say hi? Get a kiss? See the Evil G?
Kurt: 11:45am Hahaha yes to all of that. Long way for just a kiss...
Blaine: 11:46am You're worth it. Plus if you're feeling guilty that means you'll let me have thin crust at Johns.
Kurt: 11:46am You said you had pizza Monday!
Blaine: 11:46am I stick with what I like. ;)
Kurt: 11:47am Ugh I can't argue when you're cute like that. Fine. But we're getting salad, too.
Blaine: 11:47am :-* See you in a half hour ish.
Four Days Later
“I miss you,” Kurt sighed into the phone. He stacked up his sheet music, taking care to line up all the corners just so. “I haven't seen you over a week, and a lunch date with a quick grope in the hallway doesn't count.”
“I loved the grope. I replay the grope in my mind when times are troubled. I want more than the grope, that's all.”
“Well, it just so happens that I switched tonight's shift with David. And now I find myself all alone in my house right at this very minute.”
“I'm on my way.”
Blaine opened the door before Kurt had finished knocking. Kurt had his mouth on Blaine before Blaine could even speak.
“Can you stay the night?” Blaine gasped out as Kurt nuzzled into Blaine's temple.
“I probably shouldn't, I have phone calls first thing in the morning plus some sketches that I've been waiting to be approved that will most likely need tweaking.” Kurt ran his hands up Blaine's sides before wrapping them around his back, holding their bodies close and feeling relaxed for the first time in days. “But the last thing I want to talk about right now is any of that.”
Blaine pulled away, raking his hand though Kurt's hair, his eyes fixed on Kurt's mouth. Kurt wanted nothing more than to bring their bodies back together, needy after so long apart. He felt so much better just being with Blaine. Not to mention that he hadn't had enough time to properly say hello. He needed at least five minutes to greet his neck, after all. Then there were shoulders, arms...
“Do we need to talk at all?” Blaine rumbled against the slender column of Kurt's neck.
A slow smile spread across Kurt's face as he flexed his hands over the strong muscles in Blaine's chest. “No. We really don't.”
They were dressed again and sprawled across Blaine's over-sized sofa as Kurt pressed soft kisses along Blaine's jawline, the urgent need to touch and kiss having been satisfied for now. Blaine laced one of their hands together, kissing Kurt's knuckles.
“I have a surprise for you. Um, I hope you'll like it. I don't know, maybe you won't.”
Kurt pushed himself up to look at Blaine, amused to find him looking nervous and biting his lip. That’s my job. “I'm sure I'll love it. You thought of me and acted on it, that's treat enough.” He pressed a firm kiss to Blaine's lips. “You know I'm just joking, right? Especially if it's something in a small blue box?”
They got to their feet, Kurt watching as Blaine ran a hand through his messy hair. Kurt's hand still tingled from the feeling of running his hands through Blaine's loose curls, tugging his mouth to meet Kurt's.
Blaine led Kurt to the other bedroom, the one that had previously been filled with boxes. It definitely wasn't any longer. It was a nice, large room, considering that they were in New York, and against a far wall was an old, burled-walnut upright piano. An acoustic guitar rested nearby on a stand, and a comfy, albeit slightly beat up looking, chair was pushed against the other wall.
Kurt figured that Blaine had done a little housekeeping to keep occupied. That was nice, even if Kurt was automatically replacing the funky chair with an Eames lounge chair, walnut to match the piano and black leather to carry the masculine theme throughout the house. The walls needed a little color, as well. A nice neutral like grey. He’d have to think about appropriate artwork for the walls. “Oh, you got one of your bucket list items done, good for you.”
Blaine chuckled, and pulled Kurt into his arms. “No, silly, this is a rehearsal room for you. Now you don't have to fight Rachel for space.”
Kurt looked around again. There weren't any pictures hung on the wall because they would end up reflecting the sound in a negative way, making the room tinny. He walked to the piano, lifting up the cover over the keys, and played a few of them; they were in tune. It was...incredible.
He could barely make his voice work. “You had the piano tuned?”
“Well, it needed it. It's been years. You should have seen the look the piano tuner gave me, it was like I'd kicked his dog when he saw how off-key it was. He'll have to come back and tune it a few more times, he said it was still 'slipping,' and--”
Kurt crashed his lips onto Blaine's, his hands worked into the front of Blaine's shirt to hold him close. He pulled back to rest his forehead against Blaine's neck trying to catch his breath. His eyes stung, he knew he was on the verge of crying, but he'd never felt more happy in his life. “You are the most...you did this for me?”
“Is that okay? It was presumptuous of me, I'm sorry. I should have asked, I'm--”
“Have I told you how adorable I think you are when you panic?” Kurt interrupted, nuzzling Blaine's cheek before pulling back. “No, silly, it's maybe the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me.”
Blaine's face broke into a slow, sweet smile. “I just thought that if you had your own space, it would be better for you.”
“Mm, and it just happens to be in your house, that's nice and convenient.”
“Isn't it, though?”
Kurt bubbled over with laughter then, excited about his upcoming show, thrilled that he wouldn't have to go so long between seeing Blaine, but mostly because it really was the sweetest thing. Blaine wanted him close, wanted him to succeed. I've moved from swooning to melting.
“Really, though. Is this okay?” Blaine asked.
Kurt sagged against him, his arms around Blaine's neck. “It's more than okay. I can't believe you did this for me.”
Blaine hugged him back, gave him a noisy kiss on the cheek and took to the piano stool, tinkling out a jazzy number. “I picked up the sheet music for piano on two of your songs. So what's the last one you're singing? I don't know why you won't tell me.”
Kurt leaned against the piano and futzed with Blaine's hair, still needing to touch him in some way. “It's a surprise.”
“We seem to have a good track record with those.”
We. Oh, I love the sound of that. Kurt fought down the fluttery nerves that were trying to climb their way up his throat and smoothed the front of his shirt to keep them from shaking. The last song he was singing was going to be a bit of a statement piece. I hope Peter and Eddie know what they got themselves into by giving me free reign... Blaine would love it, or he'd run for the hills.
He took a deep breath. “Hopefully I'll keep our record pristine.” Kurt stood behind Blaine, his hands on his shoulders as Blaine practiced the opening bars to one of Kurt's performance pieces. As he started to sing a little warm-up number, he realized how centered he felt here, Blaine under his hands, and music inside him, waiting to come out – it was like he was home.
It was just a few days before Kurt's performance; he walked to the station to say hello before heading over to Blaine's house. He still felt as if their relationship was too new and therefore was too nervous to make his own copy of Blaine's house key. Blaine had teased him about it, saying that Kurt just liked popping into the fire station so he could tease them all about their poly-blend work pants.
Kurt knew most of the crew by now, a few waving hello as he walked in, some just giving him a nod. He walked into Blaine's office upstairs after a quick rap on the door.
Blaine looked up and immediately grinned. “Hi!”
Even after all of these weeks, Kurt still felt giddy and excited every time he saw Blaine again. “Hi! Is it still okay if I use the-”
“Kurt. Stop asking if it's okay. It's more than okay. I love that you're using the room; it's kind of the point.”
He let out his breath in a whoosh. “Good then, because I want to really work on the transition in that last number, and Rachel has commandeered the living room for some tap practice.”
“You still won't tell me what it is,” Blaine said, whining a little.
“And it's going to stay that way until Saturday.” He walked around Blaine's desk to give him a slow and lingering kiss, not pushing too far since it was still Blaine's workplace.
“I notice you don't have a bag or anything with you; not planning on staying the night, then?”
“Well, you'll be here all night, so it would be too lonely.” Kurt grinned, “Besides, I'm taking one of your pillows back with me as a substitute.”
“Are you saying I'm squishy?”
“Hardly,” Kurt said, his hands and eyes roaming up Blaine's taut belly and chest. “But it will be nice to have something to hold onto while I sleep.”
He kissed a soft trail up Blaine's neck to the place behind his ear that made Blaine whimper a little. “That's really unfair; I don't have anything of yours. I have to sleep here and listen to these guys all night.”
Kurt grinned, running his fingers in the back of Blaine's hair. “Do any of them snore?”
“No, and neither do I,” he said, pseudo-indignation creeping into his tone.
Kurt chuckled, which quickly turned into a breathless gasp as Blaine caught his earlobe and ran his teeth over it lightly. “You do so.”
The lights in the building started flashing, the one outside of Blaine's office swirling and splashing color on the walls. Blaine stepped back quickly, head down and tilted to the side as he listened to the intercom.
“10-36 Code 4, station is requested to respond with equipment. Police unit is on route. 10-36 Code 4, station...”
Blaine gave Kurt a quick kiss on the lips and backed out the office door towards the brass pole. “Don't worry. It's a car accident, I'll call you when I'm back.”
Kurt forced himself to breathe normally. There weren't any sirens and the alarms weren't screaming, so that must be something good. Blaine didn't seem too worried, so that was good. He stood on the railing of the loft, watching as Blaine's crew loaded onto the fire truck and a second crew loaded onto an ambulance-type truck, not the ladder.
Blaine, in his heavy boots and breakout gear already, swung out on the back of the truck. He gave a kiss and a wink to Kurt, then pulled himself back flush in order to hang on the safety bar at the back of the engine, ready to jump into action. Kurt had to admit that it was kind of ridiculously hot. Well, when he wasn't overcome with worry for Blaine's life, it was hot.
He watched them pull away and then helped himself to the top drawer of Blaine's desk for the house key. He noticed a laminated flier on Blaine's desk. It was for Kurt's upcoming show. It was propped next to a wooden block, on it a desktop version of that same Fireman's Prayer that hung in Blaine's house. Kurt glanced over the poem again, unable to keep from frowning at the last stanza.
And if according to our fate
I have to lose my life,
Please bless with your protecting hand
My children and my wife.
He was glad that he refrained from eye-rolling as that might have prevented him from noticing the tiny red heart Blaine had drawn in the corner of the flier for Kurt’s performance, propped next to the poem.
Who cares about ridiculous exclusionary Hallmark-type sentiments when there are far more romantic things in the world?
He touched the little drawing with the tip of his finger, smiling and feeling far more secure about things. And since everyone was mostly gone, he didn't have one problem with taking the fast way to the first floor. It really was fun, even if he would never admit it to anyone, especially anyone that had a sweet and goofy grin and doodled hearts next to Kurt's name.
He whistled the entire walk to Blaine's house.
Kurt's phone jangled in his bedroom. He moved the coffee pot back to the warming plate, muttering, “I'm coming,” as he jogged back to retrieve it. He perked up when he saw who was calling.
“I was expecting a call last night, mister. I hope you're going to tell me that you rescued an endangered animal that was placed lovingly into the hands of Diane VonFurstenberg, and she wants to give you free reign to her design house.”
Blaine laughed, but he sounded incredibly tired. “Close, common mutt handed over to Kathy Ireland, life-time supply of tasseled throw pillows..”
“Not even worth the bother, what a shame.” Kurt frowned to himself when that didn't even get so much as a chuckle. “Blaine? How are you--are you okay?” Kurt had a big day ahead of him, but if Blaine needed him, he knew he'd go.
“I'm fine, just tired. We had to extricate someone from the car. They're going to be fine; don't worry. Just a long night, emotions running high, that sort of thing.”
Kurt exhaled slowly. “Well, that's good then. I mean, that no one's hurt, of course. Have you slept at all? Eaten anything?”
“Yes to the last, no to the first, but I just got home and I hope to sleep for hours.”
“That's good, because I want to make sure that you to have plenty of energy for tonight. We have a change of plans.”
Blaine's voice dropped even lower, the husky rasp sending electricity through Kurt's body. “Oh, really? Did you find someone to cover me later tonight so we can stay in and have a full night together, something we've not had in ages? Because I can go ahead and tell you that I fully support that change in plans.”
Kurt bit his lip, trying to not laugh. “Well, no. Although I'd definitely like a rain check for that,” he murmured. He heaved a sigh and put on a what he hoped sounded like a cheery tone, “It's just that we won't be alone for our dinner, after all. My parents are coming in today instead of tomorrow, and...they'd really like to meet you.”
Kurt couldn't hear anything on the other line for several beats. “Blaine? Is that a problem? Oh my god, I'm rushing things. I'm sorry, I don't mean to make it weird. Finn was just excited to maybe check out the station, which got my dad wanting to know if you have Goodyear Unisteels on the trucks because they have the best life for high speeds and--”
“Hey,” Blaine interrupted. Kurt’s heart was lodged somewhere under his Adam’s apple, waiting for Blaine to finish yawning and continue. “Sorry about that, I’m swaying on my feet. And I would love to meet your family, Kurt.”
“Oh. Oh! Okay, then. Well, I'll just stop babbling, shall I?” Kurt exhaled, forcing himself to relax. Blaine sounded sincere, and maybe a little...awed? That couldn’t be right; it was just his family Kurt was introducing him to, not Bernadette Peters. Kurt made his way back to the kitchen for his coffee. “Let's blame this on my lack of being properly caffeinated, please.”
Blaine laughed softly on the other end of the line. “And Unisteels?”
“Well, we have such swings in weather here; they're the best for extreme conditions. If there's one thing I've convinced my father about, it's that France makes superior tires if not most other things, but he didn't think Michelin made any rated for the weight of your trucks. He and I spent thirty minutes last night arguing the merits of G-159 radials.”
“Did you just...okay. What's the best sewing machine?”
“As if anyone could just answer that; what are we sewing? Leather? Sequins? Silk?”
“You are my most favorite thing.”
Kurt gaped at the phone, heat spreading across his face. “What? I...what?”
“You're just amazing. I just don't know many men that can talk wheels and how to sew sequins, that's all.” There was the distinct sound of shoes hitting the floor and bed clothes rustling before Blaine continued. “What time should I be at your place tonight?”
“They'll be here at seven, so maybe a little before then?”
“Sure, just remember that I have to leave at nine, unfortunately.”
Blaine murmured something Kurt couldn’t make out.
“What was that?”
Blaine yawned again. Kurt could hear him shifting on his bed. “Sorry. Dress?”
“Casual. This is with my father; he'll be in flannel and jeans. I know you can't see it, but I'm rolling my eyes in well-conditioned horror.”
Blaine's laugh was barely an exhale. Kurt could hear Blaine's breathing evening out on the other end, so he murmured into the phone, “I'll be quiet, you get some sleep, and I'll see you soon.”
Kurt smiled at the thought of Blaine falling onto his bed, hair mussed and rumpled, and – no matter what Blaine claimed – snoring softly. He wished he was there to see it. If my dad doesn't scare him off, I'll hopefully see that again. He pulled out his chair and the crossword puzzle, but spent a few minutes drawing little nonsense images in the corners of the paper, smiling to himself.