Word Count: ~4,700
Warnings: AU - You may need to be aware of Wild Horses in order to read this but it does stand alone as a one-shot by itself if you know that Kurt/Blaine met as pen pals and wrote to one another for a long time before they got together.
Summary: A local PFLAG scheme uses the lost art of letter writing to bring people together. Set in the future beyond the whole story, it's Kurt's birthday and there's a surprise waiting for him at home.
I ALWAYS wanted to write more in this Verse. It was such a special process to write this story and although I could go back and change so much, make it better etc, I have such fondness for this version of the characters and couldn't help but write this. It is an idea I had way back when I wrote the final Chapter and I've been sitting with this written in pieces on my laptop for months. I eventually got it all finished off and I'm so happy I did.
I am still so touched by how many messages I get about this story and it means the WORLD to me so this is my little present to those people who have said such lovely things and made me very happy when I really did need that.
Please please please enjoy and if you have a problem seeing the graphics (yes, I couldn't resist!) then let me know :)
Original Story: HERE
* * * * * * * *
Blaine presses his smile into soft brown hair as he holds firm to the tiny hand in his, arching and twisting the pen they both cling to, one hand much more determined than the other. Friday afternoons are usually lazy hours stretched out and elongated by frivolous tasks and peace but this is a project they’ve had planned for weeks – Blaine and Lily – and there’s no way they’re giving into the temptation that idleness brings.
“Like this?” she asks, tilting her head back and flashing her big brown eyes at Blaine, ones that render him helpless at the best of times.
“That’s it. Just hold the pen a little tighter. You have to be in charge, ok?”
He laughs, knowing it’s her favourite word and her impossibly insistent new ‘thing’ to question everything the world throws at her even after being provided with an answer. Kurt’s tried to avert her every query but she’s quick and sharp at nearly five years old.
“Because you need to know what you’re writing and be able to make the shapes. You remember how to spell your Dad’s name?”
She tilts back again, huffing quietly. “Which one?”
With a laugh into the tendrils of her hair, Blaine grins. “Not me, silly. Your Dad.”
She’s learning to tease too. Oh joy. It’s all Kurt’s influence but Blaine hasn’t the heart to deflect it. “I’m your Daddy. Remember, we talked about this?”
She hums in focus, hand gripping tight and forcing the pen in one deeply carved line and then looks back up with her tongue caught pensively between her teeth. “Done.”
She’s an accomplished little thing, mind bright with wit and intelligence even at such a young age. Her social worker agrees, often lamenting Lily’s progress and staying that little bit longer for that extra coffee when she visits. Blaine smiles, imagining Kurt’s smug self satisfied grin after every meeting.
Once they finish the cross of the ‘x’ and sit back, Lily sighs, wriggling in his lap and turning to glance up into his eyes. Blaine feels his heart swell to double its capacity. “Yes, Miss Lily?”
“Will Dad like it?”
Blaine smoothes his hands down her back and nods with a pleased smile. “He’ll love it and you know why?”
“Why?” Blaine holds in a bark of laughter at that word again.
“Because,” he states simply, “it’s all hand made by you. You created it especially for him and you know how much he loves your creations.”
“It’s boring, though. There’s only one picture. Just writing.”
It’s then that Blaine feels the fluttering inside, the same kind that’s been ever present since he was a teenager and so desperate to be noticed and loved in abundance. He has enough of it now to last a life time but those words, the fact that Lily is approaching the age where he and Kurt will have to see her off to school and launch into that big new adventure is terrifying but so incredibly wonderful. She’s learning to write and the warm weight of the significance that fact brings is enough to cause him to bundle her up, cuddling her close.
She squeals happily, kicking her legs but eventually gives in and snuggles closer, arms circled at his neck. It’s these moments that he goes to bed thinking about as he curls closer to Kurt with a contented sigh.
Kids were never on the cards until one miraculous day and that day changed everything. Blaine started working for a local music charity while still auditioning, performing and travelling schools including children’s homes, seeing the faces and wanting to hold them all tight, telling them they were safe and loved.
After mere minutes of recounting the story to Kurt, there’d been a silence and both had known exactly what it had meant. They spent the next few months talking it out, arguing over pointless insignificant details whilst still remaining in complete agreement over the important parts, the big decisions.
A year and two months later, Lily was theirs and their lives were sent spinning like a top, whirling and swirling in patterns entirely out of their control but it didn’t matter because the foundations were strong – the ride was worth every second. From one day to the next, Blaine lives beside Kurt and keeps their daughter close; every moment feels like a blessing.
She is much her own little person as a miniature combination of some of their traits she’s picked up via osmosis, soaking up the world around her and learning slow and incremental lessons from them both. Her eyes are always bright and her heart always blooming with love and effervescent joy; as Kurt always says, they’ve succeeded in their job if she knows real happiness and safety.
Their home is always filled with creativity. Kurt’s ‘craft nook’ is stuffed with ribbons, fabric paint, threads, material swatches and a trinket box overflowing with adornments that Lily has become obsessed with.
She loves to decorate and play with the sparkly things so Blaine fishes under the table, pulling out the box to a multitude of squeals and grabbing hands. In no time they’re set to work gluing on gemstones and spreading glitter across the card. It’s messy and there’s no real plan but to see the shimmer of the gold sparkles on the page reflected in Lily’s eyes is nothing short of magical.
She loves Kurt. She has her own purposes for both of them and it’s something they’ve felt insecure about at times because Lily pulled at their strengths but only sought to highlight their weaknesses without knowing the consequences of her actions.
For cuddles she comes to Blaine, snuggling deep into his arms and snoring within seconds. For bed time stories she asks for Kurt, giggling at his voices and the way they talk about the dresses of each and every princess. Playtime is Blaine’s forte, his inability to say no or curb his enthusiasm is something Lily has learned and used cleverly to her own advantage ever since. They play until Kurt finds them covered head to toe in grass blades from their garden adventures or crinkling Kurt’s expensive sheets in their quest to build a castle of linen in their lounge. If ever a day makes Lily sad or if ever her little inexperienced heart is hurt, her eyes flicker to Kurt and she clings to his neck like a limpet. Blaine let it upset him the first time, panicking about his ability to be there for her to soothe her worries but a few moments spent thinking of his own relief and comfort around Kurt Hummel when life feels difficult is enough to understand and admire her ability to read people.
She has changed their lives entirely. Although life is a constant surprise and isn’t always easy, it is always indescribable to stop and remind himself of who he has in his life and all that he’s achieved.
Kurt came from nowhere. He was words on a page for so long, feeling like just a figment of Blaine’s imagination borne out of loneliness and desperation. Then he had a face and Blaine’s life tipped on its axis. From his swoopy hair to his sparkly blue eyes, Kurt became real and with every written word, Blaine knew there was something inside of him that couldn’t let that go, not once he knew what it was like to feel a connection so special and extraordinary.
They’ve spent their lives talking, whether it is in person or through the stroke of a pen. Now they don’t need the pretty paper, fountain pens and certainly don’t need the “getting to know you” questions.
Blaine revels in the knowledge that Kurt’s shoulder is there for him to tuck his chin over, his fingers are waiting to be tangled up and held tight, his hair begs to be touched (and Kurt lets him) and there isn’t a single day goes by that they don’t connect physically to remind themselves of what they have.
Lily might be a tiny bundle of madness, turning their world upside down, but she’s also the biggest reminder that they aren’t just pen pals or friends or a couple – they’re family.
“Daddy, what’s this?” Lily asks suddenly, drawing Blaine from his mind. He inspects her hands that are clasped around a decorative wooden box. He smiles.
“Do you remember when your Dad told you about how we both met?”
Lily’s eyes shine and she beams up at him, nodding. “I like that story.”
“Well, Lil,” Blaine chuckles, squeezing her middle and prying the box from her hands, “I do too and this box is special because not only is it where your Dad kept all of his special writing paper, it now keeps some of our special things safe.”
She gasps, wriggling to sit deeper in his lap. It’s what she does when Kurt tells her stories and, for a moment, Blaine revels in the giddiness of being able to tell this one. “What special things? Like treasure?”
She’s positively vibrating in his lap and Blaine ducks to press a kiss to the crown of her head. “Kind of. You know how you carry Teddy around with you everywhere you go and how he’s special to you?” She twists her head to look at him, chewing at her lip with a smile. “Well, these things are special like that. When Dad and I used to write to one another, we used to send things. Little presents for the other person. They were our way of giving the other person something when we couldn’t be there in person.”
“Even when you didn’t know who Dad was?”
Blaine can’t fight a smile. It takes over his face, his cheeks aching from how good it feels to remember.
“Even then,” he sighs and follows her little fingers as they trace the wooden indentations. “And you know what? Even when I didn’t know who Dad was and we were still strangers, it was a million times more special because nobody else knew so that meant that nobody could spoil it or push their noses in.” She shrieks, giggling as Blaine squeezes tight and snuffles at her ear.
“Were you sad?” she asks, suddenly still and so so far beyond her years.
“We were young and life wasn’t being kind to us. I guess you could say we were sad. In different ways, yeah. It was special to be able to talk to someone who understood about being sad and who didn’t think you were silly for feeling that way. It was safe.”
“Like a secret?”
“Like a secret.”
Blaine takes a breath, the memories still so large and affecting even after many years. It’s a history that he never wants to take for granted, especially not now they have everything they ever wished for and wrote about.
“You want to see?” Blaine asks, hoisting her up and tucking the box under his arm. She nods into his neck, clinging tight, and Blaine carries her over to the couch, flops down and they both shuffle together, the box between them. One by one, Blaine picks out an item, passes it to Lily with a cautionary ‘be very careful’ and explains the object’s significance.
Lily’s twirling a tiny Italian flag between her fingers and tilting her head to watch it dance as the door clicks and Blaine quickly pinches it back, dives to hide the box under the couch and shouts, “Close your eyes. Don’t come in the lounge!”
Lily’s gazing up, stunned and panicked, from the couch and Blaine just laughs and mouths for her to go get her card. It takes a few slow seconds for her to understand the subterfuge and she’s leaping to the other side of the room while Blaine hunts for an envelope in the pile of papers on the table.
“Will I get a signal when it’s safe enough to come into my own home or am I banished?”
Lily giggles and Blaine watches her place a tissue under the glue and scoop up a handful of glitter from the polished wood. His eyes fill immediately and it takes a couple of well disguised coughs to clear them, his heart still aching from the familiarity, the closeness, the affection and overwhelming fondness. It hits him sometimes, square in the chest.
This is his life.
“Don’t move, Dad! You’re not allowed. Don’t come in.” Kurt’s laugh echoes in from the hallway and Blaine can feel the warmth in it.
“Yes Miss!” he calls back and in minutes, Blaine has the card tucked into an envelope, Lily’s dress smoothed down and his own sweater straightened from its crinkled state. With a glance around, the lounge is a nightmare: there are scraps of paper and card strewn all over the table, glitter across every single surface (including in Lily’s hair) and, well, Kurt is going to have a coronary but it’s his own fault he is home early on his own birthday. He should know better. In fact, he should know Blaine better.
“You can come out now,” Blaine says softly just as Lily’s fingers clasp his own and hold tight.
They must look a sight because as Kurt rounds the corner, leaning his hip against the wooden door frame, his eyebrows shoot high as he gasps. Blaine knows he hasn’t seen the table and surrounding mess yet but his eyes are fixed on something above their heads and then it clicks.
The banner above the kitchen door. Lily had insisted.
“Oh, you two,” Kurt sighs, his hands rising immediately to rest wide over the brooch pinned over his heart. “Nobody else in the world could make me feel good about being a year older.”
Kurt’s eyes melt down to meet Blaine’s and his lips don’t seem to know what to do: smile, pout in gratitude or quiver as Kurt’s often do when there’s simply too much to feel.
Blaine can’t help but relax, breathing out and smiling slow and swoony because Kurt has that unique ability. Just the fact that’s he’s home and safe is a gift enough but his eyes are sparkling brighter than the table currently is and, with loose limbs and gentle steps, he swoops down to kiss the top of Lily’s head.
On bended knee, Kurt takes a deep breath and Blaine wonders if he feels choked up too. It’s one of those moments.
“What’s this?” Kurt asks, nodding to Lily’s hand where the envelope is held tight. She slides her palm from Blaine’s and holds it out with flourish. Kurt ducks his head with a grin. “For me?” he asks, one hand still pressed close to his chest.
“Happy Birthday,” Lily announces and her voice is just a little bit shaky. Like father like daughter, Blaine thinks and watches the pink blush flourish across Kurt’s cheeks.
“Why thank you,” Kurt says, tearing delicately at the paper in a way only a father would do. There’s no way the card and envelope aren’t both making their way into that wooden box later.
Blaine reaches back for Lily’s hand and she’s rocking on her heels, hands clasped together. It’s such a Kurt-like thing and although biology makes it impossible, she is so completely his daughter that Blaine swallows hard and tries not to make a complete fool of himself.
Kurt coos, fingers lightly stroking the card. “You made this all yourself?” he asks, voice so breathless that Blaine wants – no, needs – to kiss him. Lily nods, sitting in her hip.
“Daddy helped me with the writing ‘cause he says it’s important.”
Kurt looks up under his eyelashes at that, biting at his lip as he meets Blaine’s eyes. He doesn’t look away as he says, “Yes, sweetheart. Writing’s very important and you did it so well. It won’t be long before you don’t need Daddy to help because look at how talented you already are!” She’s beaming and swinging Blaine’s hand between them as Kurt kisses her cheek. “Thank you,” he adds and cuddles her to him, her curly hair clouding his face but Blaine doesn’t miss Kurt’s expression, the way he screws his eyes closed and squeezes, his face relaxing back into serenity as he holds her to him. After a quiet moment and a giggle from Lily, Kurt clambers to stand up and his attempts to school his expression into something other than a teary train wreck fail because Blaine knows him – too well.
“And thank you too,” Kurt adds, his palms wide against Blaine’s chest. They slip warm and gentle down his sweater as Kurt tips himself close to press a sweet lingering kiss to Blaine’s cheek. When Kurt leans back, he’s wobbly-legged and just a little bit giddy.
“Do you want to see your birthday cake?” Lily pipes up, pulling down on Kurt’s arm. “Daddy let me make it but we didn’t use the posh tins because he says we’re not allowed.”
“Oh your Daddy knows me well,” Kurt smirks and allows himself to be dragged through to the other room, eyes frantic and dancing with humour. Blaine notes thankfully that he’s too distracted to notice the debris and aftermath of the craft war and luckily they’d made tidying fun post-baking session in order to restore Kurt’s kitchen (and it is his) to its rightful state.
* * * * * * * *
Once the birthday songs are sung, Blaine swaying with Lily and laughing when she outdoes him in the volume department, it doesn’t take long for the cake to appear half demolished. Lily sits licking the crumbs clinging to her lips while Kurt leans back from the table to pull off a section of cloth from the kitchen counter.
“Come here, Lil,” he coos, edging her chair towards him and lovingly dabbing at her mouth.
Blaine just watches and, as always, finds himself losing track of time in doing so. Sometimes their life shocks him, sometimes he takes it for granted but there’s one thing that remains constant and that is the overwhelming happiness he feels sometimes just by being safe in the knowledge that his own little world is wrapped up in two people so special that he can’t physically contain the feelings.
There used to be a time when watching his parents peck each others’ cheek was the epitomy of love and Blaine’s only sphere of reference; when he learned otherwise it was all he could do to stop himself hoping he’d understand it all properly one day and do it right.
“Earth to Blaine.”
He blinks, smiling as Lily waves as if to wake him. “Sorry. I was miles away.”
“Anywhere nice?” Kurt asks, propping his chin on his hand. Blaine sighs and maps the gentle crease of Kurt’s shirt across his arms and the way his eyes crinkle when he smiles.
“Just thinking about how lucky I am, that’s all.”
Kurt’s eyes slide closed, his mouth easing into a slow smile before he looks directly at Blaine, his lips scrunching and pouting in affection. “That should be my line. I’ve had cards, banners, cakes and cuddles this afternoon. What more could I want?”
Blaine shrugs but doesn’t look away. It’s only when Lily wiggles in her seat and clambers off it that they stop staring, Kurt’s cheeks flushed and Blaine’s entire body warm in contentment. Some things never change.
“My thoughts exactly,” Blaine whispers into Kurt’s ear as he follows Lily’s lead and grabs another slice of cake.
* * * * * * * *
“So, aren’t kids supposed to hit a sugar high after countless slices of cake or are we blessed with the only little girl in the world who doesn’t work that way?” Kurt asks, leaning against the door frame leading into their lounge where Lily is sleeping soundly like a starfish on the couch. Blaine smiles and bumps Kurt’s hip, sliding his hands around his waist in one smooth move.
“Oh wow, and here I thought you couldn’t outdo yourself in the cheesy line department but today you’re positively on fire,” Kurt laughs and shakes his head, eventually letting it fall against Blaine’s shoulder where it rests comfortably.
“I can do better,” Blaine drawls in Kurt’s ear and smirks into his neck at the rumble of a laugh in Kurt’s throat. He snuggles into Blaine’s arms further murmuring, “Ok then, Romeo. Impress me.”
Tightening his arms, Blaine takes a breath and tucks his chin into the warmth of Kurt’s neck. “Amor meus amplior quam verba est,” he whispers and waits a few seconds before adding, “It means that I love you more than words.”
“Oh my god,” Kurt hisses, giggling. He detaches himself and turns, holding Blaine’s arms and shaking his head with an expression that Blaine wishes he could memorise; it is Kurt at his most playful, Kurt exasperated in the most exquisitely affectionate way and god, Blaine knows that he’d learn fluent Latin and every god damned language in the world if expressions of love would always make Kurt look like this. “Did you plan that?” he laughs and Blaine watches as Kurt’s hands snake their way around his own waist, soft and teasing.
Blaine rocks forward, smirking. “There are a few little phrases I might have memorised for the opportune moment but no, I didn’t memorise that specifically for today. I did memorise something though.”
Kurt lets his head fall to Blaine’s shoulder with a tiny snort of amusement. “Hit me with it.”
“Felix sit natalis dies.”
Blaine nods, grinning wide and bright. He can feel Kurt’s lips curling into a smile against his chest and can hardly suppress a fond laugh when he looks up. “You look so proud of yourself,” Kurt chuckles, rolling his eyes.
“You try memorising a dead language for the sole purpose of romance without feeling even a tiny bit of self satisfaction. Hey, if I did it at eighteen I can do it now. It impressed you then, right?”
“Blaine, the very fact you recognised my existence as another human being impressed me enough then. The Latin was just a very swoon-worthy bonus.”
“Oh right. I see,” Blaine pouts, averting his eyes. Kurt swats at him immediately, cuddling close. Blaine shudders at the warm breath that cascades over the hairs at the nape of his neck.
“Shut up and feel special. Nobody else in the world has ever made me feel like you do so stop making that face and tell me exactly how much mess I have to clean up tomorrow. Don’t think I didn’t notice World War Three in the lounge.”
* * * * * * * *
“She asleep?” Blaine asks as Kurt pads into the doorway, swiping a fluffy white towel across his cheeks. They look so newly scrubbed and soft that Blaine just wants to tuck his face into Kurt’s neck, breathe in deep and fall peacefully into sleep.
“Eventually,” Kurt smiles, sitting on the edge of the bed, hand warm against Blaine’s leg. “She wanted some more of her book and she had questions but she fell asleep during my best impersonation of Snape to date, which is a shame.”
Blaine chuckles into the pillow, hugging it to him as he turns closer towards Kurt. “There’s always tomorrow night and your Dad’s coming right so he can take Bedtime Story Duty.”
“True,” Kurt smiles, clearly remembering his family’s visit. “She can’t wait to see them all. She keeps asking if Uncle Finn is going to carry her on his shoulders again, which would make me insecure about our collective height if Finn wasn’t so much of an obvious giant and she didn’t adore him as much as she does.”
“She’ll be in her element tomorrow. Anyway, what questions did she have?”
“Well it seems that someone has been reminiscing a little today so she wanted my version of events. I noticed my box in the living room so I guessed she wanted to ask about stuff, you know? Not that we haven’t talked about how we met before but she’s at that age, I guess.” Kurt’s smoothing at his face with a tub of cream that smells vaguely of crisp cucumber and Blaine can’t stop watching every fraction of movement, inhaling deep and sighing into the duvet. Kurt smirks, rolling his eyes. “Comfortable, are we?”
“Very actually,” Blaine says, walking his fingers across the sheets to play with the chord from Kurt’s pyjama bottoms. “So what did she ask?”
“Oh just about our letters and asking if she could read them to which I said of course she could but that she had to be a little bit older. She seemed ok with that and asked about some of the things you were showing her today: the flag and dried flowers and stuff. She seemed to like the idea that you were silly one night and sent me pretty flowers in the mail.”
Laughing, Blaine rolls onto his tummy, tugging Kurt to him. “Drunk and stupid and completely confused, more like.” Kurt fumbles a little, playfully swatting Blaine’s arm before settling his cream on the night stand and wiping off his hands. “Well yes but- hey now, these sheets are practically spun silk and I refuse to spoil them just because you can’t keep your hands to yourself,” Kurt scoffs but although Blaine’s nose is pressed into Kurt’s chest, he can hear a smile. Kurt shuffles up the bed and eventually falls still.
“It’s your birthday so naturally you get cuddles and I love when you talk about the past. It makes all of this,” – Blaine gestures around the room at the piles of books by his bed, the arty lamp in the corner that dates back to their very first apartment and the myriad of stylishly framed Broadway prints Kurt adorned their bedroom wall with – “seem that much more precious.”
“Because we fought for it?” Kurt asks, fingers tickling at Blaine’s neck making him squirm happily.
“Because we got what we wanted and, yeah, because we went through so much crap to get it but we did a lot of that together so...”
“So we’re awesome?” Kurt asks low in his throat, bending to press the words into Blaine’s scalp. Blaine smiles, lips warm against Kurt’s neck.
“That goes without saying though, right?”
“Right,” Kurt whispers.
It’s so easy, Blaine thinks, curling a little closer. It wasn’t – back then. It had all seemed so impossible, so unattainable that even considering the future sometimes felt painful: the possibility of never getting close to what he always dreamed of and hoped to have one day, the awareness that life just might not work out the way he wanted it to. It was always just another expectation, another thing to have to process and work out in his mind. There were nights when he prayed, eyes screwed tight with such intense desperation that somehow life would be kind and maybe he was getting all of the bad out of the way first, sprinkling his teenage years with difficult times so that in later life he’d have fulfilled his quota.
Looking back at it all, the majority of worries were typical teenage concerns but there was a thin strain of fear always present that didn’t coincide with puberty and learning to fit into the world – it was much more than that, borne out of unfortunate experiences and all the wrong in the world. It was something that Blaine always worried would develop into something worse.
But it never had the chance to. He found friends. Kurt came along and then from that came dreams and plans and New York. From New York came disappointments and struggles met with blissful independence and so much love that sometimes their apartment didn’t seem big enough to hold it. They found a niche, a place to fit and function. They have rings now, reminders and a constant affirmation of everything they feel. There are also jobs and bills and schedules but they have Lily and family and they’re finally putting everything they’ve learned into practice.
There has always been one constant and Blaine winds his arm around him, whispers ‘Happy Birthday’ into his ear and drifts off to the touch of Kurt’s fingertips sneaking gently under the hem of his t-shirt.
Thank you so much for reading and I'd LOVE to know what you thought. There's ALWAYS a chance I'll write more of them in this Verse (before this point or after it) but, for now, I'm so happy with them as they are :)
I'll now get to writing all of the other stories I've kept people waiting too long for...!