Summary: Engine Company 204 and Ladder Company 211 are moving to a new building. Blaine (with the help of Kurt) says goodbye to the memories, both bad and good.
A/N: I was trying to find a different picture of the Brooklyn fire station I used as a model for the story and found out that it was demolished earlier to make way for a school's expansion and had tiny heartbreak. This is the result. It's...pretty fluffy (a little morose in others, but overall FLUFF).
This is a part of the Where There's Smoke universe.
Blaine dodged the group of movers on the staircase, carefully wrapping up all of the old pictures of the fire station from over the past 107 years, pictures that had hung on those walls for almost as long. He'd spent the previous week looking at each of them, remembering the stories his father and Bill had told him as a little boy about the different fire engines, different companies, and the legendary firefighters that had lived inside these walls for more than a century.
Sighing, he pushed into his office - soon to be an administrator's office for a school - and any feeling of dread that had been building dissipated at the sight that greeted him. Kurt was sitting in Blaine's office chair, his chin propped on his hand, the other hand trailing over the edge of a fairly-new plaque that had graced the edge of Blaine's desk for the better part of a year, now. There was a dreamy sort of smile on Kurt's face, the kind that made something in Blaine's chest clench in disbelief that this beautiful man loved him.
“I'd think you would've had that thing memorized by now,” Blaine said softly, leaning against the door frame with his arms crossed and a soft smile on his face.
Kurt sighed heavily and set the plaque onto a pad of bubble wrap Blaine had failed to notice on the desk.
“Hrmph,” Kurt replied. He sagged across Blaine's desk, looking up with such a pitiful face that Blaine couldn't help but cross the room and pull Kurt to his feet.
“I don't know why you're taking this so hard,” Blaine laughed gently, drawing Kurt into his arms.
Kurt buried his face in Blaine's neck, sighing loudly. “I don't know why you think I wouldn't.”
“Well, for one thing, you didn't grow up here,” Blaine teased. “You didn't spend every afternoon helping the guys wash the trucks down – and let me tell you, that was maybe the best thing a nine year old could ask for, to get to play with real fire trucks every day. I was the envy of every boy in my class. Hm, some of the girls, too, now that I think of it.”
Kurt pulled back slightly to run his fingertips through the soft, dark hair over Blaine's ear, sending little shivers down his back and arms at the feather-light touch. “Aren't you going to miss it?” Kurt asked quietly.
Blaine sighed, looking around his office. Almost everything had been packed up: books, knickknacks, the few pieces of furniture they were keeping, and all of his pictures. Kurt had made a point to carefully wrap the picture of them from their first New Year's Eve – the wives and significant others had thrown a great party at the station house that night for the firefighters that had to work. The EMTs had been toned out twice that evening, but thankfully nothing at the actual stroke of midnight. One of the Michelles (Big John's current girlfriend) had gotten a picture of the two of them dancing in each other's arms, Kurt wearing Blaine's white captain's helmet and an adorable smile on his face. It was one of Blaine's prized possessions.
Blaine thought about his father's old office downstairs, how everything had been off limits to his inquisitive hands. How Bill – younger, less grey – had encouraged Blaine to learn all of the different parts of the fire trucks. How Jerry had put him in breakout gear and boots when Blaine was 12, saying that he'd grow into it one day. How Jerry's wife had made the best chocolate cake and always brought one to whoever in the station was having a birthday, a graduation, a birth.
He smiled and squeezed Kurt tighter, kissing his cheek and holding him close as he remembered the handmade dacquoise cake Kurt had labored over for an entire day, proudly bringing it in for Sonja and her partner after their adoption application had been accepted the month before.
David - who was sporting a ridiculous goatee at the moment – stared at the card Kurt had placed on the plate with the name and ingredients, just in case someone was allergic to almonds and hazelnuts. “Dack- How the hell do you say that?”
Kurt had laughed, “You don't say it - you eat it!”
Blaine had sadly let everyone else get a slice before him, and had come back to the rec room to find that the whole cake was already gone. Kurt had taken him by the hand and led him upstairs to show him a tiny cake he'd made just for Blaine and had hidden in his office. “I thought this might happen, given how they reacted to the tiramisu I made for Antonia's confirmation.”
They'd shared bites over a plastic fork, Blaine feeling as happy as possible with the sounds of laughter and congratulations coming up from the first floor and the pleased grin Kurt was giving him across his desk. Later that night he'd whispered into Kurt's ear as he slept how proud he was to be Kurt's. How happy it made him to show off his talented and thoughtful partner.
Kurt sank back into Blaine's office chair with a woebegone sound, snapping him back to the present.
“Of course there are things I'm going to miss about this place. I practically grew up here. But,” Blaine said, running a hand through his hair, “it will be nice at the new place, too. My office is bigger, that's a good thing. I can put in a bigger sofa. Speaking of, did you find one you like yet?”
Kurt brightened up. “I'm happy you asked. I wanted to see what you thought about a Chesterfield. They look so rugged and masculine, but you haven't shown me any color charts yet-” Kurt paused to shoot Blaine a sour expression. “-and I have no idea what theme you're going for.”
Blaine laughed softly as he tangled their ankles together, swinging Kurt side to side in the office chair. “I don't think there's much of a theme besides 'new building,' honestly.”
“Hm,” Kurt hummed, a thoughtful expression on his face. “Modern Chesterfield then. Or wait, Scandinavian.”
“As long as I can sleep on it without having to wedge myself between the arms, I really don't care.”
Kurt looked horribly affronted at that.
“Okay, I care. I want something chic and fabulous as is befitting the captain of the fire house.”
Kurt nodded, placated for the time being. “That's better. And of course I'll make sure it's comfortable for you. But comfort doesn't have to be the first priority does it?” Kurt tugged on Blaine's hand, smiling.
Blaine ran his thumb back and forth over Kurt's, happy to have a reprieve from all of the moving, if only for a moment.
“If I have a moment of weakness and become very emotional when we finally shut the doors here tomorrow, don't make fun of me, okay?”
“Oh, Kurt, of course I wouldn't!” He brought Kurt's hand up for a soft kiss, covering it with his other hand to keep it there. “I don't know why you would have a strong reaction, but of course I wouldn't make fun of you for it.”
“Don't know why I would?” Kurt hopped to his feet and paced back and forth. “Blaine, this is where I met you.”
“Technically it was at the apartment you used to share with Rachel, but-”
“This,” Kurt interrupted, “is where I made my choice about you. This is where I saw you naked for the first time.” Kurt smiled at that, kissing Blaine on the cheek. “And I know that this was your second home. Which makes it important to me.”
He'd been fighting the emotion of it all for the past week, honestly, for the past several weeks as the school district fought to expand right into their building. How could they argue with wanting to help a school grow? The district was willing to pay top dollar for the facility, and even added a moving fee to the final proposal as a thank you to the station for not fighting them tooth and nail.
And logistically, it was smarter. A newer building built to the latest codes instead of constantly making repairs to the old Brownstone structure would be safer for everyone. Wider bays for the trucks meant quicker departures, which could truly mean lives saved. A larger and more modern dormitory for the men and women on shift meant more focused crews. There were nothing but positives about the move.
And there were unhappy ghosts in the building that Blaine wouldn't mind say goodbye to, memories of his father's cutting remarks, the memory of coming back from a fire- the first since coming back after his father's funeral - and finding that everyone had moved his things into his father's old office. How his father had written on his desk blotter a bullet-point list of ways Blaine could improve, so that even from beyond the grave Blaine would remember that the elder Anderson hadn't approved of him. That particular item had swiftly gone into the trash, even if the image of it had been burned into his memory.
For each of those thoughts, however, there had been more positive ones. Finn coming up for the previous Christmas and spending the day setting up a Playstation in the dorm as his gift to the station house. Blaine kicking his ass at Mass Effect (especially after all of the Captain Blaine Anderson digs). Kurt decorating the bays with garlands of hearts on Valentine's day and passing out cookies to all of the working crew as thanks for letting Blaine have the night off.
Blaine being teased mercilessly the next day for the just-barely visible love bite under the collar of his shirt.
He watched Kurt move morosely through the small space, putting the last of Blaine's personal items carefully into a box and realized that the happiest memories he had involved a certain someone. And he surely wasn't leaving Kurt behind. He inhaled deeply, pushing off of his desk and crossing to Kurt, pulling him into his arms.
“I love that about you, you know,” Blaine said. “Well, I love a lot of things about you, as you well know.”
“Mm, feel free to refresh my memory anytime the mood strikes you,” Kurt said. He pressed his lips softly against Blaine's cheek before laying his head on Blaine's shoulders. Blaine tightened his arms, swaying them in a little back and forth dance in the almost-empty space.
“I think if I didn't have you this would be much harder,” Blaine said.
Kurt went still. He laid his hand flat against Blaine's chest, his fingers flexing and curling in on the soft cotton of Blaine's FDNY t-shirt. “I think if I didn't have you everything would be harder,” he said softly.
Blaine gradually began swaying them back and forth again, gently moving around the room as the sounds of laughter and packing echoed in the mostly empty building, feeling centered and calm with Kurt there.
After a moment, Kurt asked quietly, “Do you ever think about having a little boy run around after you, climbing on all of the trucks like you did?”
Blaine's breath caught, his chest constricting momentarily. “I...I have, yes. Or a little girl.”
Kurt chuckled warmly against Blaine's neck, saying, “If she had your curls, think of how cute she'd be in your hat.”
“If she had your freckles, think of how cute she'd be, period.”
Kurt pulled back, his eyes dazzlingly blue and his fair skin glowing. He was still the most beautiful creature Blaine had ever seen.
“Any...particular reason why you're asking?”
Kurt smiled, pulling Blaine back into his arms, one hand idly stroking up and down Blaine's back and replied, “No, no particular reason. Just always wanted to know, that's all.”
Blaine shuddered out a breath, relaxing against Kurt's strong, solid body. He had a flash of thought about a fair-skinned, graceful little girl running after him, waiting for Kurt to have his back turned before giggling and sliding down the new brass fire pole at new station house. Could imagine the guys putting their big, heavy tan coats on her and toting her around on their shoulders, like they'd done to Blaine when he was a little boy.
He could see her growing up knowing that her father loved her without question, would always be proud of her regardless of any path she chose for herself. He could see all of that because he would have Kurt by his side.
He let himself be held, giving himself a moment to feel sad for the loss of this place that had been such a huge part of his life. Kurt started humming something under his breath, turning their random swaying into more of a waltz. Blaine started laughing as Kurt drew him into proper position and began moving him in earnest around the room.
“What's going on?”
“Oh, nothing. Just feeling...positive about this move for the first time, is all.”
Blaine pulled Kurt to a standstill, holding his hands and swinging them between their bodies. “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing.”
Kurt smiled back, holding his gaze for a moment before breaking eye contact and blushing slightly. “I...think I'll take this box of very important personal items over to the new building myself. Your new desk was sent over this morning, I was informed, so I want to have everything set up for your first day at the new place tomorrow.”
“Oh, Kurt, you don't have to do that!”
“I know,” Kurt said, still smiling and for some reason blushing even more. “But there's a- I want to make sure everything is set up just right for you.”
Blaine hung his head, shaking it slightly as he laughed. “You are something else, you know it?”
“Yes, I do,” Kurt replied with a lofty tone. He grabbed his keys, kissed Blaine on the cheek and moved to the doorway. He paused and looked over his shoulder. “And maybe you come by in, say, two hours, to make sure I've put everything just where you like it.”
A grin spread across Blaine's face. “Two hours, hmm?” He checked the clock. “Just when the movers are done for the day, that's interesting.”
“Is it?” Kurt feigned innocence. “And make sure you bring your duffel bag. It has...fresh towels and toiletries. You know, for your new private shower.”
And with that, Kurt waved his fingers in a goodbye, hoisted the medium-sized box into his arms and left, still humming under his breath. Blaine stood in the doorway, gaping for a moment.
He knew that he would miss the old Brownstone terribly. But he thought he could just finally get excited about making new memories at the new station house, thanks to one Kurt Hummel.