Summary: It is just past 8pm on a Saturday night in October, and Blaine Anderson's life is about to change forever, he just doesn't know it yet.
Author’s Note: Written for this prompt. Lines borrowed from both Glee and Amelie. Set in an alternate reality in which Blaine never went to Dalton.
It is just past 8pm on a Saturday night in October. Two lattes, a non-fat mocha and a soy cappuccino for the table in the corner. Blaine wipes down the espresso machine and pushes an errant curl back behind his ear.
“Hurry up with that order!” Deb says, as she rushes away to clear the table a group of college students have just vacated, muttering under her breath. Deb hates college students, but she doesn’t mind their money.
The table in the corner are laughing, loud and slightly obnoxious, and he nearly spills the first latte. Blaine doesn’t have any friends. Not real ones. He has Wes and David in their neatly pressed uniforms, and Deb sometimes talks to him when their shifts are over, and some of the regulars know his name and say hi when he hands them their coffee, but he doesn’t have friends.
He had a normal childhood, or as normal as it could be, living between his father’s cool indifference and his mother’s multiple neuroses, but then he’d been thirteen and covering his notebook in pictures of boys and his father was yelling that no son of his was going to be a fag. The summer he was fourteen, his father didn’t come home and Blaine and his mother moved into an apartment on the other side of town.
The girls in the corner giggle and flirt as he places their cups on the table.
“Why don’t you take ten and come sit with us sweetness?” The hispanic girl with the first latte says and he gives her the kindest smile he can manage. Girls talk to him like that, before they realise.
“Sorry, I’m not your type.” He offers and she gives him a look that suggests she’d like to decide that for herself.
“No breaks, he’s mine till ten!” Deb calls out across the cafe, and he’s never been more thankful for her. A shrug of apology for the girl and he moves around the table with the non-fat mocha.
Blue-green eyes meet his for a moment and then flicker away. Blaine’s heart races in his chest as he sets the mocha down in front of the most beautiful boy he’s ever seen.
It is just past 8pm on a Saturday night in October, and Blaine Anderson’s life is about to change forever, but he doesn’t know it yet.
It’s just before 10pm on Saturday night in October and Blaine is cleaning tables. Why the cafe stays open till ten is anyone’s guess, no-one much comes in after eight-thirty. There’s a muffled thud as he picks up a chair and something slides off it.
It’s a notebook, the cover heavy under the weight of pictures. Smiling faces, friendship like Blaine has never had, can’t begin to understand and craves more than anything.
Then there’s him. Because he’s in most of the pictures, blue-green eyes and chestnut hair and rosy lips against alabaster skin. This is his, Blaine realises. This book in his hands belongs to that boy.
Deb waves as he leaves, satchel tight against his chest. It’s only a few blocks to walk home but he’s never safe out of doors, away from witnesses. Mostly they leave him alone on weekends, but sometimes if there’s been a game, or there’s a party on, well... bruises heal.
His bed is warm and soft, and he gazes out the window across the city. The lights flicker below and he pulls the book from his bag and stares at it with reverence.
It’s a song book. There’s an awful lot of pages filled with conversation in two or three sets of handwriting, and one or two that have clearly been torn from the book with a great deal of force, but for the most part, it’s full of music, all perfectly written in pen, not a note out of place.
Blaine loves music. The guitar case leaning against the desk is a testament to that. He sings too, but only in the privacy of his own bedroom. The glee club at school are good, and Blaine would give anything to join, but he’s already the fag, tormented and teased, and joining glee would just be painting a big red target on his chest.
Kurt is in glee club apparently, a lot of the songs have Glee written neatly across the top, some with interesting remarks like Rachel’s solo again! and Duet?. It feels almost as if Blaine is intruding on something private, not for his eyes, but he’s in too deep now, and this is so beautiful, and Blaine wants.
He falls asleep with the book open at the sheet music for Defying Gravity and dreams of blue-green eyes and rosy smiles.
On Tuesday afternoon the coffee shop is busy. It’s almost an hour before Deb pulls him aside and hands him a napkin with a phone number scrawled across it.
“A kid came in earlier asking if anyone had found a song book on Saturday night. I didn’t see it and you were the only other one here so...” She has that knowing look in her eye.
“I’ll call on my break.” He mumbles and Deb pats his cheek affectionately and smiles.
“He was cute.” She remarks thoughtfully and then gives him a contemplative look. Blaine can feel the heat creep over his cheeks.
The last boy Blaine asked out had said no, albeit minutes after Blaine had gotten him both publicly outed and fired. The one before that said yes but ended the night curled in the fetal position while half the football team broke three of his ribs. He knows absolutely nothing about this boy, except that he sings and he’s beautiful.
“Don’t think so loudly, you’re giving me a headache.” Deb winks and sashays away, her garishly coloured skirt swirling around her legs.
He doesn’t call on his break, nor when he gets home that night, he just stares at the napkin and the neat handwriting across it. Kurt Hummel. His pulse thrums beneath his skin like music.
Any normal guy would call the number, meet him, return the book and see if his dream is viable. It’s called a reality check. It’s the last thing Blaine wants. What if Kurt is straight? What if he’s gay but doesn’t like Blaine? What if he does but still won’t give him the time of day? No, Blaine can’t handle that kind of rejection. Not again.
He’s working again Wednesday, and he does make himself call during his break. The back room is small and cramped and he’s praying none of his co-workers walk in or he’ll lose the nerve and he’s pretty sure he’s already lost his mind as it is.
The phone answers after two rings, a young male voice, no older than Blaine and it can’t be Kurt, there’s no way this voice matches Kurt’s face, no way.
“Hi, um, is Kurt there?” His voice has risen an entire octave, and good lord is that embarrassing, but the guy on the other end of the line doesn’t seem to notice.
“Sorry dude, he’s helping at the shop. I can take a message?” The voice says and Blaine feels his throat tighten, wondering what he should say. Oh hi, I found your songbook, oh and also I think I love you. That is absolutely not going to endear him to anyone. He chooses a different tact.
“I have something of his. Maybe I could drop it off at the shop?” There’s a pause and some muffled conversation.
“Is this that songbook he’s been going on about? Cause I’m not giving the shop address to some crazy stalker or something.” Blaine laughs without meaning to.
“I found it in the coffee shop where I work. Not a stalker.” He assures the boy, who seems satisfied with his response and gives him the address.
Blaine hangs up quickly without saying goodbye. He doesn’t mean to seem so cowardly, but four days is a short time to decide you love someone based on one brief meeting and a book of music.
The shop, as it were, is not so much a shop as a large, dusty garage. Blaine can appreciate that, he doesn’t have a car of his own but he’d like one. The last summer with his father was spent working on a dusty old Jag, before the world fell on its side.
Someone is humming, hidden from sight by a Mercedes with four brand new tires stacked next to it. Their voice is low and deep, not like Kurt at all, and Blaine recognises Mellencamp when he hears it.
A head pops up and Blaine finds himself like a deer in the headlights. The man raises an oily finger, nods, and says “One second” before disappearing back behind the vehicle.
“Kurt? Customer!” His voice rings out and there’s shuffling at the far back of the shop and a soft curse almost drowned by the clatter of tools. Footsteps ring out on the cement floor and Blaine drops the book on the messy counter, heart in his throat.
He doesn’t know if Kurt sees him, the sudden panic is choking and all he can think to do is throw himself at the door and out into the cool air, gasping like he’s dying.
Behind him he can hear someone yelling something but as he tumbles into his car he tells himself that’s an end of it. He’s not in love and he never was. Get over it, move on. Behave like a regular person and maybe find a boyfriend the way normal people do. Excellent plan.
As it turns out of course, even the best-laid plans are worth squat when Kurt is striding through the door of the cafe the next day. Blaine immediately ducks behind the counter, and Wes appears next to him, apron over his Dalton uniform, eyebrow raised.
“I’m sure there’s a very good reason you’re on the floor right now” His voice is cool and even, and Blaine smiles up at him and nods quickly.
“Hi, I’m looking for someone I think works here? I left a songbook here the other day, and it was returned yesterday. I wanted to say thank you.” Wes is silent for a long moment and then smiles what can only be described as an incredibly sadistic manner.
“You’re looking for Blaine. I’m sure he’s around somewhere.” Blaine grunts as Wes kicks his thigh with as much force as he can muster without actually alerting Kurt to what he’s doing. “Why don’t you take a seat and I’ll go look for him?”
Blaine hears footsteps moving away, thankful for the cafe being unusually quiet this afternoon, and Wes is suddenly staring him right in the eye with a look that is both amused and highly annoyed.
“Go talk to him.” Blaine shakes his head, lips clamped shut, and he has to look a mess right now, some crazed lunatic hiding behind the counter from a boy he doesn’t even know.
“It’d be good for you, having someone. Even just a friend.” Wes says, softer this time and Blaine pops up to grab a napkin and dig the pen from his apron. It’s a start, he tells himself. Not as good as walking over to Kurt and saying hi, but that thought is enough to give him a full-blown panic attack, so its obviously not a viable option.
“Your funeral.” Wes says almost sadly, when Blaine shoves the napkin into his hand, but he obediently carries it over to Kurt anyway. Blaine’s surprised when Wes doesn’t read it, but Wes is full of surprises like that.
There’s a short muffled conversation and the sound of footsteps before the bell on the door tinkles and Blaine dares to get to his feet.
“He was nice. You should talk to him. Say hi, it’s easy. The rest of us do it all the time.” Blaine knows full well everyone thinks he’s weird. Endearing maybe, the sweet little gay boy who dresses like a fifties throwback and sings to the coffee machine, but not one of them. They all seem to like him well enough, but he’s still on the outside, he doesn’t fit in, hell he doesn’t even try to fit in. He can’t blame his coworkers if they see no point in trying. He wouldn’t either.
Kurt goes back to the cafe on Friday, fliers in hand. One should not waste exclusive permission to use Coach Sylvester's photocopier, even if she did charge him excess and he had to bring his own paper.
The napkin is still in his pocket, folded neatly, the words slightly smudged from his fingers running over them repeatedly.
Do you want to meet me?
“Well hi there, craft project?” Deb grins as she takes his order. He likes Deb, she’s in her forties and dresses like a rainbow fell on her. Her hair is streaked with silver and cropped under her chin and she has the most beautiful pale skin Kurt has ever seen.
“Fliers actually. I was hoping I could hand them up around here?” Deb plucks one from the pile and looks at it, and then laughs.
“You plaster those to your hearts content. Poor sweet boy could use the wake up call.” She shakes her head and steams the milk for his mocha.
“Blaine doesn’t work Fridays. He says it’s band practice, but between you and me? Glee club meets on Fridays.” Kurt reels for a moment.
“He’s in glee club?”
“He wishes he was. He’d be good too, he could get them to Nationals with that voice.” She doesn’t miss the look in Kurt’s eye.
“Here, I’ll show you.” She hands him his cup and then turns and examines the collage of pictures on the wall behind her. It’s been there since she bought the place, photos from special events held at the cafe, newspaper clippings, ads for coffee bean suppliers. She seems to find what she’s looking for and plucks a picture from the wall.
“Keep it. On the house.”
The photo is grainy, low quality, but it’s a boy about Kurt’s age, playing a guitar. He has dark curls and an easy smile and he’s really sort of beautiful.
“This is him?” He’s aware of how soft his voice has gone, doesn’t try to hide it, and Deb just smiles.
“It’s not entirely accurate. He’s more a bow tie and suspenders kind of guy.” He looks up at her again, trying to reconcile her description with the picture. “Go drink your coffee sweetheart.” She says, shaking her head.
Kurt stares at the picture for a long while. He nearly jumps out of his seat when someone pulls out the chair opposite him and falls into it.
“Hi Kurt.” Brittany says, dropping a handful of artificial sweetener packets on the table. “What are you doing?”
“Thinking.” Kurt says, watching her pour the sweetener into her hot chocolate. There must be at least twenty packets of the stuff in there and Kurt actually gags slightly when she takes a sip from the cup.
“Oh. What are you looking at?” She plucks the picture from Kurt’s hand without asking, and he tries to remind himself that she has the mentality of a six year old, so he probably shouldn’t be surprised when she behaves like one.
“He’s pretty.” She smiles at the picture. “You should be his boyfriend Kurt. He’s in love.” He stares at her for a moment, because obviously what she meant was he’s in love with you and that is completely ridiculous.
“I don’t even know him!” Brittany laughs then, high and melodious, and she doesn’t even seem to notice how many heads turn to look at her.
“Of course you do.” She says it like she’s trying to explain a difficult concept to a very small child. Kurt decides he’ll bite.
“Since always. In your dreams.”
Kurt just gapes.
Across the room Deb smiles at him and Brittany slides the picture back across the table.
“I liked when you were my boyfriend, but I really think you should be his boyfriend now.” Then she’s out the door with a flick of her long blonde hair and Kurt is left in a haze of confusion and the lingering scent of her perfume.
Blaine nearly has a heart attack when he walks in to the cafe on Saturday. There are fliers everywhere, his own handwriting photocopied over and over again. A second set of writing has been added beneath it.
“I think someone wants your attention.” Deb laughs. She’s stuck one of the fliers in the collage behind the counter too, the bright pink paper standing out against it’s duller counterparts.
“He’s got it.” Blaine murmurs weakly, slumping against the counter and trying not to balk at the sheer number of multicoloured fliers stuck to every vertical service the building has to offer.
“So, whats the next move loverboy?” She purrs at him, her eyes sparkling with amusement, and Blaine finds himself faltering.
“I don’t- I don’t know.” He admits, because hell, he already looks pretty pathetic at this point, may as well give in to it.
“I think traditionally, this is the part where you call him and make a date.” Deb says as she starts making cappuccinos for the table full of harried looking college students near the door.
“Oh god-” Blaine groans at the ceiling. “I can’t do this.”
Deb pauses in the middle of tamping the grounds and grabs him into a hug. It’s crushing, even though Deb is technically smaller than he is.
“You know I love you, and what I’m about to say to you comes from that loving place okay?” She pulls back and Blaine nods warily. Usually things said from the loving place inside Deb are absolutely cutting and result in tears and the over-consumption of Ben and Jerry’s.
“I’m not going to force you to do this. Because you know what Blaine? It’s your life and you have every right to mess it up!” She actually says the last word loudly enough for the entire cafe to hear and Blaine shrinks back, heat flooding his face. He knows it’s not entirely obvious thanks to genetics blessing him with a decent amount of colour in his skin, but he feels like he must be beetroot red.
Everything is painfully awkward up until midday when a girl with long red hair and a painfully hipster air about her tries to order a venti sized latte. Blaine makes her drink and writes we are not Starbucks, this size is called large! on the outside of the cup. She stares at the words and then at Blaine and scowls, but he can’t really find it in himself to care. Out of the corner of his eye he can see Deb stifling her laughter. Later she wonders out loud if she should start giving their sizes poncy italian names like pompino and trombare and Blaine suggests that tricking her customers into ordering sexual acts might be amusing but probably not ethical. Besides, sooner or later someone would understand italian.
So by the time the end of his shift rolls around, Blaine finds himself thinking about Kurt and not having an instant panic attack. He’s interested apparently, which is both incredible and terrifying in equal parts, but mostly just makes Blaine want unabashedly, now there’s the possibility he might have found someone to want back.
He stares at his reflection in the espresso machine and then takes the flier stuck to its side, folding it neatly before he shoves it in his pocket. Deb smiles and gives him a look that says good choice kiddo.
Kurt stumbles through his bedroom door, laden with shopping bags. Most of them are thrown in the back of his closet to be dealt with later, but from the remaining few come yards of coloured cloth, and Kurt sighs with happiness, savoring the feel of material slipping over his hands and itching to pull out his patterns and get to work.
First things first though, and Kurt can’t ignore the stack of mail on his dresser, mostly magazines, but for a single bright pink envelope.
Kurt recognizes the handwriting immediately. It’s addressed to the garage, which isn’t actually unusual, seeing as at least half his subscriptions are delivered there, but this is different. Because the sender of this bright pink envelope doesn’t know Kurt’s home address so he’d have to send it to the garage, and the contents have the potential to just maybe, possibly, make Kurt’s existence slightly less lonely.
It’s sheet music. Katy Perry.
Now Kurt doesn’t have a problem with Katy Perry, he even kind of likes her music, but he can’t even begin to comprehend why this boy he hardly knows is sending him the sheet music to Teenage Dream.
Which is why it’s just as well that there’s a note too.
Hope you like Katy Perry :)
Today is Monday, which means Kurt has nearly two full days to wait. He sighs, places the envelope aside and puts on Teenage Dream for the hell of it. The picture of Blaine is tacked to his pin-board, and he gives it a withering glance.
“You better be worth it”.
Blaine, unsurprisingly, doesn’t answer.
Blaine tries not to have a panic attack when he catches his reflection in the high gloss surface of the espresso machine.
Because of 3pm Saturday afternoon Blaine had officially been done. Done with being shy, done with being afraid, done with being thrown into lockers and having fucking fairy hissed into his ear.
This newfound courage had manifested itself in Katy Perry sheet music and a haircut, and he’s definitely starting to regret the latter, now he looks less band geek and more prep school boy and the jocks had still thrown him against his locker on Monday and told him nice try fag while they laughed. The bruise still aches on his left shoulder.
Deb liked it at least, she’d cast an eye over his heavily gelled hair and raised an eyebrow, and then stared hard at his ears and told him they were very nice and she was pleased to meet them at last.
He isn’t used to it yet though, and he feels weirdly conflicted whenever he catches his reflection, like meeting an old friend after years apart and they don’t match the picture in his head anymore.
Except now the weird feeling has progressed to full blown panic because it’s oh god ten minutes to four on Wednesday afternoon and Blaine’s hands are shaking, just the tiniest of tremors, but enough to make ripples in the coffee he’s just made.
The bell at the door tinkles as Kurt walks in.
He’s early is Blaine’s first thought, followed immediately by a complete rush of pure terror and nausea. Deb is in the middle of wiping down a table and she tells Kurt she’ll bring him the usual and just about hounds him to a table on the far side of the cafe.
“Looks like you’ve got a date.” She murmurs and makes a nonfat mocha in record time, sticking it on a tray with a plate of biscotti.
“You go over there and tell him this is on the house. Then you politely ask him if he’d be very much opposed to you sucking his face, okay? Good boy!” She gives him a gentle shove in Kurt’s general direction and Blaine tries not to let the tray slide from his clammy hands.
Courage he tells himself. Ha.
He finally makes his way to the table and sets the cup down in front of Kurt, followed by the biscotti, and Kurt looks up in surprise.
“On the house.” He chokes out, feeling faintly dizzy.
“It’s you.” Kurt says, his voice sounding soft and full of awe.
“Sorry?” Blaine feels like an idiot, because what kind of moron answers with that?
“You, it’s-” Kurt falters, and then looks away, pulling out his wallet and plucking something from the bill fold. “You, this is you right?”
Blaine is going to kill Deb for this. It’s such a crappy photo, and he regrets giving it to her for her stupid collage just because she’d demanded all employees were accounted for in picture form. She also insists on playing the most obnoxiously upbeat music in the world, and the last thing Blaine wants right now is Michael Bublé in his ear singing about how great this love is going to be. Kurt is babbling.
“-more hair and less cardigan and highwaters but-”
“Sorry, no.j” He shakes his head and walks quickly back to the counter, throwing down the tray and giving Deb a look of intense displeasure before he stalks out the door without looking back. Which means he misses Kurt watching him as he goes, gaze flicking between his figure and the photo and then shaking his head.
It’s 4pm on a Thursday in November and someone is knocking on Blaine’s front door. The peephole shows Kurt on the other side with a cup of something that could be coffee in hand.
“Blaine?” He presses himself silently to the door, heart pounding wildly.
“I-I bought you coffee, I didn’t know what you like, so I asked Deb and- I don’t know if this thing is even drinkable, it’s all cream and cocoa powder, but, please, just talk to me?”
There’s a long minute before Kurt puts the drink down next to the door and sighs.
“Okay. I’ll be back though.” Blaine cracks the door open as soon as he hears Kurt’s footsteps recede. Deb, it seems, has decided to start a belief that Blaine likes frappes with more cream than could be considered healthy. It tastes okay, but he really is and always will be a medium drip kind of guy.
As it is he nearly chokes on the thing when his phone starts ringing, and he barely even has a chance to squeak out a “hello?” before Deb is laying into him.
“Blaine Anderson, explain to me why exactly there is a very nice young man not currently attached to your face? You are being a complete idiot, and there is a really cute boy who for some reason is still interested, so what are you waiting for? Go get him!” Blaine listens to the dial tone for at least 20 seconds before his brain catches up and he lurches forward.
Kurt leans back slightly as Blaine flings the door open and for a moment they stare silently at each other before Blaine takes a handful of Kurt’s shirt and drags him inside the apartment. Kurt grimaces at Blaine’s hand clenched into the front of the plum coloured fabric.
“This is silk-” He starts, and then stops when he looks up and they’re so close Blaine can feel Kurt’s breath ghosting against his lips. His heart thuds and Kurt exhales. Blaine’s world ripples and sets itself right again and suddenly, it’s like he’s found something he hadn’t realised he’d been searching for.
“Oh” He says, voice hushed with wonder. “There you are.”
Kurt flails for a moment when he kisses him, hands waving wildly until he seems to gain control of them and presses his palms against Blaine’s cheeks, holding their faces close.
“Huh.” He says when they finally part.
“Yeah.” Blaine agrees. “How did you know where I live?” He asks as an afterthought, although he really doesn’t care.
“Your boss has an unhealthy interest in your love life.” Kurt says by way of explanation, shrugging. He looks down at Blaine’s hand fisted into his shirt and sighs, and Blaine quickly lets go, pushing down the vague felling of being untethered.
“We should- we should probably talk about this.” He says, rubbing his face with the heel of one hand in embarrassment.
“I thought we were.” Kurt says, hopeful glint in his eye, and Blaine doesn’t need telling twice.
It’s just past 2pm on a Saturday afternoon in December. Two lattes, a non-fat mocha and a soy cappuccino for the table in the corner. Blaine smiles at his boyfriend as he settles the guitar on his knee and begins to play.
You think I’m pretty without any makeup on-
Kurt blushes and bites his bottom lip, his friends all nudging him and flashing knowing looks at Blaine.
You think I’m funny when I tell the punchline wrong-
The hispanic girl, Santana, he reminds himself, flashes him a filthy grin before she leans in to whisper something in Kurt’s ear, and he turns a particularly lovely shade of pink.
I know you get me, so I let my walls fall down-
Kurt almost sighs with relief when Blaine finishes playing, and darts across the room to grab his hand and drag him outside. The cold is like a smack in the face, but it turns Kurt’s cheeks rosy red and Blaine suddenly finds he doesn’t mind.
“I hate all of them, lets run away together.” Kurt announces and Blaine laughs and leans into the warm space between his neck and shoulder.
“We’ll go to New York.” He says against the skin of Kurt’s throat. “and I’ll buy you a ticket to every Broadway show ever.” Kurt giggles, breath fogging between them, and arches into him, cold noses brushing.
Someone bangs on the windows and they cling to each other while they stare back at Kurt’s friends, noses pressed against the glass.
“Oh for gods sake- kiss him!” Santana bellows and Blaine smiles against the corner of Kurt’s mouth, ignoring the whoops of delight from inside when Kurt turns his head suddenly and kisses Blaine proper, and not because his friends want him to, just because he can.
“Thank you, for the song.” He murmurs once they part, a warm pocket of air caught between their bodies. “No-one’s ever done that for me before.”
“That was the first time I ever had someone to sing to. But honestly? It was just an excuse to spend more time with you.” Blaine replies, enjoying the smile from Kurt in return.
“My dad won’t be home for a few hours...” The implication hangs heavy in the air between them “and I do believe you were saying something about skintight jeans?” Kurt’s eyes are bright with promise.
“I knew you liked Katy Perry!” Blaine teases him, and Kurt wraps his arms tight around his waist.
“Nah, I just like you.”