Title: Au Pair (5B/10)
Word Count: ~3,000
Characters: (varies) Kurt/Blaine, Rachel, Isobelle, Blaine's parents - William and Monica
Warnings: Oh so AU! Angst. There's mentions of a lot including homophobia, violence and general ignorance.
Rating: PG-13 - NC-17 (individual Chapter rating PG-13)
Summary: After moving to New York and taking on NYADA with one Ms Rachel Berry, Kurt soon realises that reality has a way of sneaking up on dreams. With money tight, Kurt realises he needs a job.
The Andersons are a family in crisis. Monica and William Anderson, high flying lawyers, decide it’s time to employ a nanny for their daughter, Bella, but Kurt soon realises that she’s not the only one in the family who needs a helping hand. The Andersons have a son and, unlike Mary Poppins, Kurt realises he might be a little bit out of depth.
I promised I wouldn't keep you all waiting too long. As always, I'm consistently blown away by your response to this little story. Thank you, all of you :) I hope you enjoy this installment. There is one more section to Chapter 5 and it will hopefully be up on Monday, weekend plans permitting!
By the time the cookies were cooling and Rachel had strategically manoeuvred Bella into her room with the promise of painted nails, Blaine was beginning to look more at ease. He'd removed his jacket and Kurt had smiled at the beautifully contrasting cardigan and shirt combination underneath.
"Are you sure you don't want tea or coffee?" Kurt called.
"I'd love a strong coffee if that's ok? Black, please."
Kurt got preparations underway, stealing one of Rachel's sachets that promised something delightful and frothy but for half the calories, for himself. After a moment, Blaine joined him and stood to the side watching quietly.
"I wanted to reassure you that they don't know we're here. My mom and dad, I mean. My grandmother lives not too far away and she and my mom don't get on too well. I texted my mom and said we'd be there and not to bother us. She won't contact my grandmother so she'll never know. I just panicked and didn't know what else to do. They trust me completely with Bella so know she’ll be safe."
Pouring the water, Kurt smiled. "It's fine, Blaine. You're both welcome here for as long as you want. There's a whole weekend free for both Rachel and I and I'm sure I can squeeze in a little rehearsal for my audition on Wednesday but we'd be glad to be your little haven for a few days."
The air seemed to be sucked out of Blaine as he sighed, shaking his head. "I never thought it would come to this."
"That's life," Kurt sang quietly, "that's what the people say."
It was a glib attempt at making Blaine smile but it worked. "Thanks. Helpful," Blaine retorted and Kurt noticed the welcome return of the characteristic sparkle to his eyes.
"There's a lyric for every life lesson so Rachel says and as much as it pains me to admit, I agree with her."
"She's great. With Bella, I mean. She's kind of - "
"Scary? Overbearing? Dramatic? Hobbited? Take your pick!"
Laughing, Blaine picked up his mug and cradled it to his chest with a shrug. "I was going to say 'interesting'. In a nice way."
"Yeah well, try living with her and putting up with her six am renditions of 'Good Morning'. As delightful as Debbie Reynolds she is not when you're trying to smother yourself with your own pillow to drown out her noise."
The amusement shone in Blaine's eyes and Kurt signalled for them to move back into the lounge area. Kurt switched on the TV, flicking it onto a random movie channel, and joined Blaine on the couch. He looked much more comfortable taking regular gentle sips from his mug.
Kurt crossed his legs and took a deep breath of chocolatey scented steam. "So, I wanted to ask you something but you don't have to answer if you feel too uncomfortable. I know we all have our own stories about coming out and many are private but -"
"Kurt, it's fine. Honestly."
Blaine's sincerity was overwhelming. "Oh ok. Good. I just wanted to ask about why it all changed with your parents. I know you've spoken about them ignoring a lot of who you are and having trouble with it - your dad more than your mom - but is there something I'm missing?"
For a while, Blaine was silent in thought, his fingers moving to splay out against his mug as if to capture as much of the warmth as possible.
Kurt almost jumped when he eventually spoke. "Have you ever had a boyfriend?"
Startled but fighting it back, Kurt shook his head. He coughed, stuttering over his words a little. "Um, no. No I haven't. As lame as that may be, I just haven't met the right person and I won't take that step unless I feel comfortable completely."
Blaine smiled into a sip, nodding. "I feel the same. I've never had a serious relationship or someone that I'd class as being my boyfriend but I did ask someone out once and we went on a few dates. His name was Jackson and he was the only other out gay kid at my school. This was before Dalton but after I'd told my parents who I was. I asked him to a dance at school and, um, I was so nervous about it because two boys going together was bound to cause a stir but we were excited. It was the first time either of us had gone to an event like it and we weren't dating so to speak, just close friends. Anyway, to cut a long story short, the dance was wonderful. We had fun and there was a bit of staring but nothing too difficult to handle. Jack told me I looked handsome and I can remember feeling really great about myself. I wore this slim black suit my mom bought me for grand occasions and Jack wore a blue tie to match his eyes. My mom an dad weren’t thrilled about us going together but my mom spoke to me about it and really tried. She just said to be careful and to call her as soon as I got in Jack’s dad’s car. Anyway, his dad said he'd collect us straight after the dance ended and I was allowed to stay over but while we were waiting, some guys from the year above us started shouting at us, calling us names - the usual. You know?"
Kurt nodded, rooted to the spot and clinging hard to his drink. The ending was obvious and at once, images of his own past drifted into his mind from where he'd buried them a long time ago. The sharp heat of the steam licking about his face in swirls was a brief comfort until Blaine spoke up again.
"We ignored them, hoping Jackson's dad would be along soon but he must have been late because they crowded us against a wall and asked us why we had any right flaunting ourselves in front of the whole school. I tried to explain to make them see that we were just friends and not trying to upset anyone but they called us things I won't repeat and... um, well, they beat the living crap out of us."
Kurt sucked in a breath, screwing his eyes tight. "How bad?"
Blaine's eyes were frozen solid, all emotion gone as he spoke. "Bad enough to land me in hospital. Jackson's dad was the one to find us and he drove us there. He called my mom but dad was working so by the time he got to the hospital, I was in a side room being treated. A broken rib, fractured wrist and plenty of bruising to last much longer than I would have liked. My lip was bleeding and I had a cut to my cheek but I was luckier than Jack. He was in hospital for over a week."
"Blaine. I'm so sorry." Looking up, Blaine swallowed hard and nodded.
"Not your fault. It’s nobody's fault except the low lives that thought it was ok to do that to two kids."
"How old were you?"
"Thirteen, nearly fourteen."
"Oh god, Blaine." Kurt couldn't rest, his insides squirming with rage. Fingers itching to reach out, Kurt peeled his hand from the couch cushion and let it rest gently against Blaine’s shoulder, warm and wide against the soft cashmere. There was a nervous flicker of eyes but Blaine offered a grateful smile and ducked his head. Kurt caught the momentary bloom of blush along his cheekbones.
Kurt withdrew his hand and exhaled shakily. "So your mom and dad? It got worse after that?"
"I think they got it into their minds that if I showed people who I was then I would always be at risk. By being me and being gay, I was taking a gamble with my own life. I transferred to Dalton not long after and it was all fine for a while. The regulation blazers and high prestige were enough to mask it all for a long time. I was happy there and made friends but never felt... myself. Not completely. I loved that place and I had a blast being in The Warblers but then college came and I wanted one thing but they wanted another. I fought for performing and music, they said it wasn't wise. I don't know why I didn't fight harder. I regret a lot but they didn't budge and when I said I wanted to come to New York for college, to experience the big wide world, a couple of weeks later, my dad made partner and we were moved within the month. It all felt a little too convenient to me."
“Do they really think that the best thing for you is to deny who you are? I just don’t see how they can really believe that.”
Blaine shrugged, grimacing. “If I knew the answer to that then I don’t think I’d be here right now.”
At once, a loud giggle came from the adjacent room and Kurt caught the twinkle of Blaine’s smile. Bella.
“It seems like someone’s enjoying them self.”
“She doesn’t really spend a lot of time with other girls who aren’t tiny monsters or my mom.”
Kurt giggled into the rim of his mug. “They don’t come girlier than Rachel Berry. She spent most of high school in teeny tiny plaid skirts and head bands. She decorates anything in sight with gold stars and her favourite color is pink. I ask myself daily why she’s my best friend.”
“You’re lucky to have this.” Blaine gestured to the room around them as his mouth quirked into an appreciative grin. “I know you joke that it’s small but its cosy. I like it. It’s exactly the kind of place I always dreamed of living when I was back in high school. I wondered if I’d have some crazy roommate or if I’d apartment share with seriously cool people who’d make me look like a total dork.”
Kurt looked down, pursing his lips in delight. Blaine seemed comfortable now, his sock covered feet tucked to the side of him on the couch and his hands still clutching at his drink as if it was a life line.
“Did you stay in contact with your friends from Dalton?”
Blaine rolled his eyes playfully. “I can’t get rid of some of them. Jeff is at NYU too and we’d talked about moving in together before, well, you know. There’s Wes too who was pretty much my best friend back at Dalton. He’s a great guy and we were close ever since my first day. He’s at Yale so it’s only a couple of hours away. The other guys all went their separate ways but some of us are still pretty close. How about you?”
Shuffling to get comfortable, Kurt sighed heavily with mock tedium. “Stay in touch with that bunch of miscreants? No way.” Blaine chuckled but paused, raising his eyebrows in accusation to which Kurt couldn’t help but laugh. “Ok, ok. Yes, I do keep in touch with most of them. Quinn’s at Yale too and she and Rachel became close in our Senior year so she’s coming to visit soon. Finn’s back in Ohio still but he’s my step brother and special to Rachel so he’s always in our lives. I just can’t get rid of that lumbering llama. Then there’s Mercedes. We’re very close and although she went OSU and plans to move out here at some point, I know she wants to stay close to her family. I’d go through the whole list but it’s safe to say that we all spread pretty far and wide but somehow manage to stay connected with a couple of exceptions. Even then, one of us is inexplicably linked to that person and drags them back into the mix like Finn does with Noah.”
As Blaine finished off his drink, Kurt scooted to the end of the couch and placed both mugs into the sink. He turned with flourish to find Blaine staring, eyes wide and contemplative.
“I noticed you brought a bag with you – “
“Oh god, I really didn’t want to be presumptuous but, like I said, I –“
Chuckling softly, Kurt shook his head. “No, it’s fine, Blaine. I just wondered if you’d like some alone time to change or freshen up. Because if you do then you can use my room. We only have one bathroom but it’s immaculately clean and filled with products. I’ll even let you use mine and Rachel will tell you how many curses I threatened to place on her if she even so much as considered touching them.”
Something tugged pleasantly in Kurt’s stomach at the sight of Blaine’s beaming grin.
“Do you two always talk about each other like this?”
Feigning nonchalance, Kurt nodded. “Always have and always will. She’s a nightmare in hideous stockings and I’m her – “
“Best gay,” Rachel chimed as she peered around the corner of her door, grinning wickedly. Blaine began to laugh hard, tears threatening and Kurt rolled his eyes at the farcical turn of events. Of course Rachel would be eavesdropping.
“Yes, yes, ok. Back in your lair, Berry.”
“You know, Blaine,” Rachel said firmly, lips pouted in precision, “Kurt and I have a very deep and profound connection. It was founded upon our great love for musical theatre and a mutual appreciation of old Broadway, Patti, Barbra and a multitude of other legends. We both adore the spotlight and have shared the same dreams for as long as we both can remember so no matter how much he attempts to deny it, it is true love and he’s a liar if he says anything to the contrary.” She tucked a non-existent stray hair behind her ear with purpose.
Kurt pulled a stricken face, shaking his head adamantly in Blaine’s direction, which elicited more of Blaine’s adorable giggling.
“She’s mentally challenged. Deranged, even. Pay no attention to her.” Kurt steered Rachel by the shoulders and pointed her back in the direction of her room but not before she chanced a quick peck on his cheek.
“So, Blaine,” Kurt quickly said to change the subject whilst swiping at the spot where Rachel’s lips had been, “about that shower. I can grab you some towels if you’d like?”
Blaine seemed in quiet consideration for a moment but eventually looked up and smiled with a sincere expression of gratitude. “Only if you’re sure.”
“Of course. Just give me a moment and I’ll leave everything on the stool by my bed for you. Did you pack any night clothes or pyjamas because I think some of mine might just fit you if you’re interested and if you don’t have an aversion to silk or proper flannelette.”
“That should be fine. Thank you, Kurt,” Blaine said softly as he padded into the kitchen and leaned by the refrigerator. “I’m just a little overwhelmed by how kind you both are to be honest. I know we’re friends but I always felt as if you were forever on our turf and Bella and I never got the chance to know you in your natural habitat or whatever.” Kurt’s belly fluttered wildly as Blaine nibbled at his lip with a wave of a flustered hand.
“I’m sure in a couple of hours you’ll be ready to run for the hills. Just wait until Rachel suggests a late night karaoke session. She knows you sing. I told her. You’re truly not safe here after all, Blaine.”
The sparkle in Blaine’s eyes intensified as he laughed to himself, nodding fondly. “I’ll bear that in mind. But, seriously. Thank you for tonight and for just... I don’t know. Just thank you for understanding something I’m not even sure I do.”
“You’d do the same for me,” Kurt said quietly but with conviction, looking directly at Blaine. “And, for the record, it’s nice to have you here.”
After a beat, Blaine huffed out a laugh and scrubbed a hand over his face. His body shook with a sense of bemusement. “I wish I’d met you when I wasn’t such a mess.”
Tears threatened from nowhere and Kurt blinked them back, chest tight and heart hammering against his ribs. “No. No, I think we met just at the right time.”
First of all, I wanted to direct people to THIS VIDEO. I saw it the other night and fell completely in love with it. Someone has put all of my feelings about Blaine Anderson (minus his shiny happy exterior) into one video and basically inspired and supported so much of what I've hoped to achieve in this story. It's stunning.
I also really wanted to include this section for all it's not dramatic or really "exciting"... I wanted Blaine to see a little of Kurt's life and what makes him who he is. I wanted Blaine to immerse himself into Kurt's world for a while and, for someone who has dreamed of breaking free and escaping to live the real college life, it's a big thing for him. To the lovely person who commented on the last installment saying they hoped this would happen - you preempted me ;) I'm mixing it up with this story because I don't often attempt angst or a mild form of H/C but I wanted a challenge and for those who have said it's nicely balanced out with the nice things - thank you so so much. I really hope it is!
I'm a sucker for writing Hummelberry too so it's any excuse and it's always terribly indulgent of me ;)
The next Chapter does move things on quite a lot so I'm excited for you to read it :)
I have a very busy weekend ahead of me but I have a lot of the next section written. I will aim for it to be up on Monday but, if not, it will be up as soon as I possibly can.
Thank you all so much again for your kind words :)