Pairing/Characters: Kurt and Blaine
Rating: PG-13, R or Light NC-17 in final chapter
Summary: Anderberry Siblings Universe - In which Blaine and Rachel are siblings, Hiram and Leroy are their dads, and Kurt does not expect that meeting Rachel's younger brother will challenge what he knows to be true about being gay in highschool in Lima, Ohio.
A/N: I loved this creative fandom trope when it first came out, there were amazing GIF's, and a few fics, but I wanted something longer and lingering...about the Blaine and Kurt in this universe meeting and falling and the nervous, excited build up of boy-meets-boy.
And I know fandom and our love of all things NC-17. This story is about the build-up, and the shifting energy, and the connection. There will be lots of tension and sexuality, but I have to keep it real to these fumbling 16 and 17 year old sophomore and junior Blaine and Kurt.
This is barely a WIP. Three chapters are done, four is almost done and five is started. I will update this every 2-4 days at a minimum. The story will be about 17,000 words. This chapter is 3600 words.
(small detail: Any omitted French accents are due to my lack of computer knowledge and not my lack of French knowledge. I apologize to the linguists out there).
Big detail: I am very lucky to have two intelligent, appropriately critical, and creative betas for this story. Thank you both so much buckeyegrrl and wowbright
Reviews are my warm milk at bedtime.
Kurt Hummel tries to keep a low profile. In his past two years of high school, he has done his best to come and go as the bell rings, being as inconspicuous as someone with his superior fashion sense possibly can be. He has been stared at, teased, and slushied. And he has survived. But mostly, he has just been desperate to get out of his small-minded American town, biding his time.
Kurt sighs. It’s his first day of junior year and he reluctantly picks up the black felt pen sitting on the clubs’ table outside the auditorium. His dad somehow convinced him that maybe he should do something he likes this year. Convinced him that extra-curriculars might actually help him to get out of town, rather than hinder him. His dad had a point when he told him that his perfect academic record would not be at risk, but that a more well rounded college application might have a better chance of standing out.
So. Glee Club. The source of all bad jokes. The butt of clubs. But given that football is seen as the ultimate status symbol, Kurt Hummel knows better than to care.
“Hi!” Just as Kurt finishes writing his name on the sign-up sheet, a shrill, enthusiastic voice startles him out of his daze. “I see that you’re signing up for Glee Club, and so I thought I’d introduce myself because I’m the President of Glee Club. We welcome anyone who loves to sing, so welcome. But you should know me, because I’m the President, Rachel Anderson Berry.”
Kurt puts down his pen on the table in front of the club sign up board to stare at the self-absorbed fireball of energy exploding in front of him. “Excuse me?”
“I’m not sure what part was confusing for you, but I’m Rachel Anderson-Berry, President of Glee Club. And I see that you’re signing up for Glee so—”
“Yes,” Kurt huffs, not sure he has the energy for this conversation, “I heard you, Rachel Anderson Berry, president of Glee Club.”
Rachel smiles at him, seemingly pleased. “Nice to meet you—”
“Hi Kurt. What do you sing?”
“Well,” Kurt breathes out, “I have a diverse range. In fact, I’m most at home singing the female Broadway greats,” he pauses waiting for a reaction, “Wicked, Funny Girl—”
“Oh my god,” she stands there, a combination of absolute delight and defensiveness, “now I can tell we’re going to be friends. But I do need to warn you, Kurt. Those are my solos,” she smiles insecurely, fidgeting. Her smile is real though, and Kurt feels himself start to soften.
Then she glances over at the schedule in his hand, “Oh look! And I see we have French together too. Madame Green, room 103. Fantastic. We can do homework together, after Glee Club.” She grabs his arm and pulls him toward the French classroom, plunking them down at the table in the middle.
“Bonjour,” Rachel smiles at him.
“Bonjour,” and Kurt smiles at her, for real this time, still not quite sure what to make of her. Annoying as she is, she does seem genuine, and maybe nice. And she likes Broadway. So she can’t be that bad. She also hasn’t so much as batted an eye at his clothes or his voice or the way he moves, or anything about him that everyone else seems to notice right away. And that has to say something.
“Ecoutez, ecoutez. Choisissez un partenaire,” Madame Green claps excitedly. The students comply, turning to their partners for conversation practice. And Kurt is genuinely glad he has met Rachel Anderson Berry.
“Quel est votre sujet favori?” Kurt asks, slightly bored, but obliging.
“La musique, bien sur. Et toi?” Rachel follows instructions. Enthusiastically.
“La musique, oui. Mais le francais aussi,” Kurt answers. “Les maths, l’anglais,” Kurt continues, “really anything that will help me to get out of this provincial town,” he confesses in an English whisper. “Your turn, Rachel Anderson Berry.”
“I want the goods on you, Kurt Hummel. As tu un petit ami?”
Kurt can feel the blood rushing to his cheeks at the question, and a lump starts forming in his throat. Why is she asking me if I have a girlfriend? “No, Rachel,” he answers in English, frustrated and a bit disappointed, “I don’t have a girlfriend. Une autre question, s’il vous plait?” He knows he shouldn’t be so snippy. It was a reasonable question. But still, he was hoping for something different.
“Girlfriend?” Rachel whispers back, “No silly. Of course you don’t,” she takes her pen and starts writing on his notebook, showing him, petit ami, “boyfriend. Not girlfriend. Just sounds the same in French,” she smiles, satisfied that she’s cleared that up and not a bit concerned about what she’d just said.
Kurt is certain that not only is his face bright pink, but he is sweating, and he does not sweat. “You’re asking me if I have a—” he can hardly say it, “boyfriend?” Rachel just nods earnestly.
“Oh you do have a boyfriend. Do tell, Kurt Hummel—”
“No, Rachel. No, I do not have a boyfriend,” Kurt gawks at her, still whispering. “I mean, I haven’t even told anyone at school that I’m – ” He stops.
“What? Gay?” And she is far too loud and nonchalant.
“Shhhh, Rachel. But, yes. Gay.” And he pauses for a moment. It feels kind of good to say it out loud. To a person other than someone in his immediate family. Hell, he can hardly even talk to his stepbrother about it, even though he does actually know. But Rachel seems to have no fear. Even if she is a random self-absorbed show choir girl he just met who doesn’t seem to have any of the filters one would expect from a high school junior.
“It’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?” Rachel asks him, again earnestly. Again as if she hadn’t just said something that anyone else would consider a significant offense. “Anyway, I have gay dads. And frankly, this school’s heterosexism is appalling. I can’t walk around and pretend everyone is straight when it’s kind of clear that they’re—” and she shrugs at him, “not.”
If this day hadn’t already been eventful enough, Kurt tenses up in disbelief, and is definitely much more interested in what Rachel has to say than in any rote French conversation,“You have gay dads?”
“Mhmm. Yup. And Kurt,” she smiles at him knowingly, “you’re not a hard call.”
Kurt’s eyes go wide. This. This is always the thing that makes it so hard for him. That seems to give bullies a carte blanche to do whatever they want to him. From most people, those words would be an attack. But Rachel just states it like it's the obvious truth. He has a high voice, and a sashay, and the most fabulous wardrobe in the entire school, and sometimes he can't stop himself from thinking about a particularly beautiful boy even though he doesn’t feel comfortable saying it out loud. Really, it seems people either hate him for it or don’t want to acknowledge it. But Rachel just puts it out there. She isn’t insulting him. She’s just sort of stating it.
“No,” and Kurt blushes again but he smiles at her, “I guess not.”
Rachel seems satisfied and goes back to their assignment, “donc, tu n’as pas un petit ami. Dommage. Parce que tu es vraiment adorable—” And is Rachel calling him adorable? Come on.
“Rachel,” Kurt groans at her, “Assez, okay? Enough.”
Two days later, Kurt finds himself sitting in the Anderson Berry living room, working on French homework.
“If we finish our French assignment before dinner, I can even take you down to see the stage my dads built for my younger brother and me. Well, especially me. But he can sing, too. The only rule is that we’re required to perform at our annual Oscar party—“
“A stage?“ is what Kurt manages to get out while he envisions Rachel in an animal sweater like the one she wore yesterday, performing for a group of 50-something swishy men drinking pink cocktails with blue umbrellas. “And you have a brother?” Kurt looks at Rachel’s primary school girl red sweater and matching kilt and wonders what a male equivalent would look like. Animal sweaters? A bit gawky? He probably wears sweater vests and bowties, Kurt muses to himself, but somehow the image of the family is sweet in his head. A son, a daughter, two dads who love them and indulge them too much (I mean, a stage?), inviting their Hollywood-obsessed gang of friends over for the Oscars. Just the thought gives Kurt a warm feeling.
“Hey Rachel—“ Kurt hears the door slam shut, as he and Rachel turn around to – Oh. Kurt’s eyes widen. Because a sweaty, tank-top-and short-shorts-wearing, mop-of-curly-haired boy just walked in the door. And he is...absolutely nothing like Rachel Anderson-Berry. Because he’s a boy. And Kurt can’t quite figure out why this part didn’t register for him when she’d said she had a brother. A brother who is a boy. Around Kurt’s age. A year younger, he thinks Rachel said. “Soccer practice ended early but I played some ball with the guys for a bit.” And straight. Of course he is. But at least he’s probably not afraid of the gay. Kurt sighs to himself. “Hope I didn’t leave you with too much to do for sup—,” Rachel’s brother finally looks up and sees Kurt, “Hey. I didn’t know you had a friend over,” he smiles very warmly. Kurt eyes him suspiciously, “I’m Blaine.” He holds out his hand.
“Kurt,” he manages, but his mouth is dry as he takes his hand.
“Oh, hey Kurt– Rachel’s told us about you,” and god, he’s so effervescent and smiley, it’s like he speaks with an exclamation mark. It’s off-putting. “Sorry I’m so sweaty,” Blaine laughs and blushes, wiping his hand on his gym shorts. “Soccer, you know?”
“Well, I’m actually more of a cooking and makeovers guy, myself,” Kurt looks at him, testing.
“And Rachel could certainly use one of those—“ he looks at Kurt with his adorable smile and god, he didn’t even blink an eye.
“Blaine!” Rachel is indignant.
“It’s true, Rachel. Ask Kurt,” and he makes a beeline for the stairs, “Gotta shower. But I’ll set the table when I come down,” he yells, “Kurt’s staying, I assume?”
Kurt smiles inexplicably but shrugs at Rachel, “Those animal sweaters, Rachel. I mean, really. Gay gene must have skipped a generation.”
“That is SO—“ Rachel’s huffing now, “stereotypical,” she finishes, pleased with herself.
“Well,” and Kurt smiles to himself, “there are some stereotypes worth embracing.”
“Kurt Hummel—“ but her bite is gone and somehow they are both laughing.
“No more potatoes for me, but thank you,” Kurt declines Leroy’s butter-whipped potatoes, “but I’d love some more salad,” he adds politely.
“I’ll have more potatoes, dad,” Blaine pipes in reaching over the table, “and is there more steak? Rare?”
“Oh my god—“ Kurt lets out before he can stop himself.
“Hey—“ Blaine defends, “I’m a growing boy and all that,” Blaine gestures above his head, as he takes a heaping spoon full of whipped potatoes and sucks them lewdly into his mouth, raising his eyebrows at Kurt. Thick, triangular eyebrows, Kurt notices, because apparently his brain has decided to take in each unique detail of Blaine Anderson Berry, when all he really wants his brain to register is that Blaine is straight.
“Growing in more than one direction—“ Hiram shakes his head. “Kurt, you’ll have to excuse his manners. He’s usually more polite when there’s a guest.” Blaine just licks his lips.
“Oh no. It’s okay. I have an enormous, football-playing stepbrother. So I know the drill,” Kurt reassures.
“You play too?” Leroy asks.
“Me? No,” Kurt chuckles, “football’s not really my thing.”
“How can you not like the Buckeyes, dude?” Blaine shakes his head disapprovingly. But he kind of has a smile on his face.
“Well, football is definitely not a pre-requisite in this house,” Hiram interjects and Kurt knows he’s making an effort. “What do you like to do – besides Glee, of course? Rachel’s told us about Glee. She could use some competition,” Hiram winks at him.
“He likes cooking and makeovers,” Blaine interrupts, four sets of eyes looking curiously at him. “What? He told me,” Blaine shrugs.
“Well, I could have guessed,” Hiram adds, “seems like a Broadway and fashion fan to me—“
“Dad!” Rachel seems embarrassed, but Kurt is actually kind of amused.
“God, dad,” Blaine agrees, “you don’t have to paint him with all the stereotypes at once, do you? So embarrassing,” he mumbles, “What if he likes baseball or, I don’t know, cars, or something?” Blaine sounds frustrated. “Sorry, Kurt,” he mutters under his breath. Kurt is quiet, looking from one set of eyes to the next. He hasn’t said anything yet but he’s never felt so comfortable.
“Baseball?” Kurt side-eyes Blaine, finally speaking. “I don’t think so.”
Hiram looks pleased. Leroy chuckles.
“But cars – actually, I do,” Kurt adds. And now all eyes are on him, ranging from amused (Leroy), to self-satisfied (Blaine) to truly surprised (Rachel and Hiram). “My dad owns a car repair shop. He’s a mechanic,” Kurt adds, “I can practically change a tire with my eyes closed,” and they all look impressed, “and I look fabulous doing it,” he smiles at Hiram, indulging him.
“Broadway and fashion, see?” Hiram has to win. And Kurt just smiles because he’s sitting almost silently, surrounded by noise and competition for attention, whipped potatoes and steak, and he feels seen.
Over the next two weeks, Kurt finds himself at the Anderson Berry’s almost every other day – between a Glee assignment (and Rachel insisted they practice with her recording equipment), a French assignment, and just hanging out, Kurt believes he’s sort of carving a place for himself in their colorful mélange of a family. He likes being out. Not just 'everyone assumes he’s gay but doesn't acknowledge it except to whisper behind his back’ kind of out, but being out-out. His family knows. But here, at the Anderson Berry’s, they kind of like that he’s gay. Rachel does, thatʼs for sure. Because she can gush and gush about boys (and truthfully, by boys, he means his stepbrother, Finn, and she evidently has a crush on his stepbrother? Awkward...but bless her, she doesn’t seem to think so), and sing Broadway songs together, and her dads seem so pleased that she’s brought home a gay sidekick. Even Blaine seems to really like him. Soccer-playing, steak-eating, hangs-out-with-the-guys-after-school, straight-as-an-arrow Blaine is not afraid of him at all. Sometimes he feels like Blaine actually makes an effort to talk to him, but then he thinks he must be crazy.
Kurt has never been comfortable around guys. Mostly because guys have never been comfortable around him. Heʼs not even talking about the bullies. Even just the regular ones – the football-playing, flannel-wearing, video-game-playing, regular ones never seem to know what to say to him. Kurt likes fashion, and Broadway, and romantic movie musicals – and conversations that start with ʻhey dude, did you see the game Sunday night?ʼ just don't interest him.
It’s okay, though. He has his girls, and they always treat him like an honorary member. And what’s more fun than vintage clothes shopping with Tina from Glee Club, or watching America’s Next Top Model with Mercedes? And yeah, he knows he likes boys. Like like-likes boys. But that all seems so secondary to surviving high school and getting the hell out of Lima, so he can maybe find some boys that are a bit more like him.
But boyish Blaine with his gay dads seems to be an exception.
“So what do you think, Kurt? Too much?” Kurt turns around on the living room couch to see Blaine, in a maroon suit, running down the stairs and twirling in front of him. “I can go with simple black but my dad keeps saying I shouldn’t be afraid to pop more. Thoughts?”
Kurt can feel himself smiling from ear to ear and he tells himself it’s because it is quite flattering to be asked for fashion advice. “Well, exactly what am I dressing you for, Blaine Anderson-Berry?” Kurt’s free to stare at the fitted maroon blazer and the perfectly tight suit pants. And it is abundantly clear that Blaine has legs made for playing soccer. Not that he’s looking.
“I have a gig playing some holiday music in the mall around Christmas time. You know, just me, the piano, and Frosty the Snowman. So?” Blaine twirls again for emphasis.
“Well, for a little holiday cheer, you should definitely keep the maroon. You’ve gotta make a statement—“
“So it looks okay for the dapper mall piano player?”
“Yes,” Kurt sighs, “You look very—“ And Blaine looks at him directly, raising his eyebrows expectantly – or something, “dapper, as you say.” Kurt turns back around to face the television because he knows he’s blushing.
Blaine doesnʼt seem to notice though. “Awesome! Thanks Kurt!” Blaine bounds back up the stairs.
“Handsome,” Kurt whispers to himself once Blaine is out of earshot, “Blaine Anderson Berry, you are very handsome.” He knows that some girl is going to be very lucky. Or maybe someone already is. He hardly knows Blaine. But it is so nice to be around a boy who isn’t afraid of him.
It’s a Saturday evening, French assignment completed, when Kurt is again at the Anderson Berry’s absorbed in what can only be described as a heated game of Scrabble with Blaine and Rachel. They’re sitting around the coffee table, Rachel and Kurt on the couch, and Blaine in the armchair across from them. There’s that self-satisfied look on Rachel’s face and he knows she’s gunning for that triple-word score. She’s on the edge of the couch, itching to put down her tiles, but it’s Blaine’s turn. And-
“Sorry sis,” Blaine knows her so well, as he smirks and places QUEEN to attach to the free S, for QUEENS and a triple word score. “I believe that’s 45 points for me, 0 triple word scores for you, and someone finally beating Kurt for the first time in like, ever.” Blaine smiles at him. Kurt tries to scowl back at him in mock frustration but there’s nothing there. His scowl breaks into a small, pleased smile despite his best efforts.
“Well, at least you kept Rachel from beating me,” he explains. But he knows that his look is about Blaine. It’s not a crush or anything like that. He’s not a masochist. It’s just that he likes the way Blaine makes him feel. Not in that way, though.
On the other hand, Rachel’s hands are balled up in fists and she looks ready to explode. Blaine looks at her, eyes sparkling. “Maybe now’s a good time to excuse myself and get us some popcorn while Rachel plots her next move,” and he’s up and into the kitchen before Rachel can throttle him.
“Blaine,” Rachel huffs. “So unfair.” She pouts. Kurt smiles.
“While I understand your frustration, Rachel, that is how the game is played.”
“Fine. Take his side, then,” she pouts – playfully, Kurt thinks. He hopes.
“He's really cool, you know, Rachel,” Kurt isn’t sure he should have started that sentence, but there it is.
“Who?” and Kurt rolls his eyes at her because come on, “my brother? Yeah, he’s okay, I guess.”
“No, I mean with me... like he doesn’t seem to notice that I’m... you know... gay,” because he’s still not used to saying it out loud that often, “and I know you have gay dads and all, but that’s different. He like, isn’t afraid that I want to jump him,” and Rachel raises her eyebrows at that. “Seriously,” Kurt insists. “I mean, no other straight guy has ever asked me for fashion advice before.” Kurt gestures with his hands for emphasis, and now Rachel’s eyes go wide and a huge smile spreads across her face.
“Straight guy,” she echoes, “You think Blaine is—”
But before she can finish, a curly-haired figure is leaning in the doorway between the living room and kitchen, bowl of popcorn in one hand, eyes filled with amusement, “Well—” Blaine begins grinning mischievously right at Kurt, “it is true that I know good taste when I see it. And that I’m not really afraid that you’re going to,” Blaine pauses, smirking, “jump me,”— and Kurt thinks he must look like a deer caught in headlights because what is happening right now?— Blaine looks meaningfully at Rachel for a second before turning back to him, smile still wicked, “But I should tell you, Kurt,” and Blaine pauses relishing the spotlight, all eyes on him, “I’m gay.” Blaine shrugs his shoulders, free hand open as if to say ʻwhat can you do? ’ “Yup, I’m gay.”
Kurt knows that he is either ghost-white or beet-red right now. And neither could be very flattering. Because Blaine Anderson Berry – his best friend’s boyish, playful, not-afraid-of-him, younger brother – is gay.