blueb1rd (blueb1rd) wrote,
blueb1rd
blueb1rd

Picket Fence - Prologue + 2/?

Media: Fic
Title: Picket Fence
Rating: will range from PG to R overall. PG-13 for this part.
Pairings: eventual Kurt/Blaine
Spoilers (if any): none
Warnings (if any): suicidal ideation in later chapters, other warnings chapter by chapter, none for this one
Word Count: 3121 for this part, 5890 overall
Summary: 
Most people are excited about being assigned. It’s a rite of passage, a hallmark of adulthood. They don’t take into consideration the fact that they have no choice in the matter - it’s simpler this way. Gives them a sense of security. Kurt Hummel is not most people.
Author’s Note (if any): ty to gameboycolor for looking over it for me, and for helping me work out plot holes and writer's block issues and for generally existing. This fic would have died in the planning stages were it not for your awesomeness <333 If anyone would like to follow me on tumblr, you can find me at blueb1rd 

Prologue | Part One | Part Two:

Read on AO3 | Read on LJ:



“It’s bland.” Kurt is standing in the doorway of his new home holding a laundry basket full of miscellaneous belongings, nose wrinkled in distaste.

“It’s a starter house, honey,” Carole points out with a friendly shoulder pat. “They’re meant to be simple, so you can embellish them.”

This house is going to need a lot of embellishment. The furniture is basic and outdated and he assumes the color scheme was designed by grade school children, because that’s what all the evidence points to. He supposes he can see some potential - the layout’s not bad, he can work with the basic shape of the rooms - but all in all it’s a disappointment. This is not the house he’d choose to live in.

But then, he doesn’t have a choice, does he?

He makes a non-committal humming sound and sets his basket on the floor, pushed out of the way. “I guess it’s good I have an eye for decorating, then.”

Finn pokes his head in the door and peeks surreptitiously about. “Where is he?” he wants to know.

Kurt shoots him a glare. He hadn’t been very pleased when he’d found his new husband’s car parked in the driveway. Kurt had wanted to arrive first, get the lay of the land, have an inch or two of advantage in his corner during this initial meeting. Having this wish thwarted on top of so many others has him bristling with irritation.

“I’m not his keeper,” he grouses uncharitably. “How am I supposed to know? Maybe he left.”

“His car's still there.”

“He has legs!! Maybe he walked.” And, with any luck, had been carried off by a bear or hit by a bus in the process.

He pinches the bridge of his nose and suppresses a sigh because he knows he’s being unfair. It isn’t Blaine’s fault that he exists, that the laws had been put into place twenty years ago, and that he’d been selected as the most eligible match for Kurt. For all Kurt knew, Blaine could be just as against this as he was. They could be allies, fighting side by side for the right to make their own decisions.

Since he’s never met anyone who shared his opinions on this, however, he isn’t going to hold his breath.

“Let’s just finish looking around, shall we?” He suggests, because thinking about his new government assigned lifemate is giving him a head ache.

Kurt decides he likes the kitchen. It’s smaller than the one at home - at his father’s house, not home now, he’ll have to get used to that - but this one will be his to organize and run as he chooses. He’s sure of that. If there is one area of this house he will have full reign over, it will be the kitchen. He’s stubborn enough to make it happen.

The office, if one can even call it that, leaves a lot to be desired. Mostly in space. He’d like his own desk, with his own drawers. Drawers that lock. He doesn’t want some stranger poking through his personal things.

The sound of a door closing upstairs makes everybody jump guiltily, like they’re snooping in someone else’s house. They exchange sheepish glances and Finn lets out a nervous chuckle.

“He’s home, dude.”

“Thank you, Finn.” Kurt rolls his eyes and makes his way to the foot of the stairs. “I don’t know how we would survive without your astute observations.”

“Okay!” Carole cuts in before Finn can ask what ‘astute’ means (but Kurt can already see the question forming in his eyes - he makes a mental note to get Finn a pocket dictionary for Christmas). She’s seen enough of their squabbles to know they’re likely to get carried away and digress into random avenues of conversation, like how Kurt had hogged the orange juice that morning, but Finn had shrunk Kurt’s favorite sweater in the wash last year. “Why don’t we go up and introduce ourselves?”

This is the opposite of what Kurt wants to do. He plants his feet more firmly in the carpet, as if someone is going to attempt to physically drag him up the stairs. He experiences an unpleasant swoop of nerves in the pit of his stomach. What he wants to do is hop in the car and drive as far away as he can as fast as he can. Because this is it, the point of no return. Walking up those stairs and saying hello to this stranger means his old life is really over, and he doesn’t want to do it.

He looks to Carole and he knows he doesn’t have to say it out loud for her to read the question do I have to? in his eyes, but it’s Finn who slings a bracing arm around his shoulders.

“I know this isn’t easy for you, bro,” Finn says, reminding Kurt that he actually does love his step-brother. Finn sometimes misses the obvious and has an unbelievable knack for putting his foot in his mouth, but he also has surprising moments of clear headed insight. He’s smarter than people realize. “But waiting’s just gonna make you dread it more. You’ve got to get it over with quick, like ripping off a band aid. It’s not fun but at least it’s over, you know?”

Yeah, Kurt knows. He doesn’t want to admit it, but he knows.

He turns his head towards the stairs again, looking up. He breathes out in a resigned huff. “Fine. Let’s get this over with.” Finn gives his shoulder a squeeze before dropping his hand, and they all head up the stairs.

There’s the music playing now, leading them towards what Kurt assumes is the door they’d heard slamming shut. Someone (Blaine, he guesses, which only serves to make his steps drag even slower across the carpeted floor) is singing along. He’s not half bad, either, which almost makes Kurt dislike him more. Music is his thing - he doesn’t want to share it. Not with Blaine.

Finn, in typical Finn fashion, has already bounded across the floor and is bouncing on his heels in front of it, like the four extra seconds it takes his mother and step-brother to follow him are a very great trial to him. Kurt rolls his eyes. “If you’re so eager to meet him you’re more than welcome to take my pla- wait, don’t!” He breaks off as Finn’s hand goes to the door knob, but it’s already too late. The door is flung open and there’s Blaine, right there in front of them, wide eyed and panting and very, very naked.

--
They're just staring, and Blaine can't do anything. He's frozen in place, every molecule that makes up his body screeching to a halt because oh God that's Kurt, that's Kurt and (he assumes) his family and Blaine is completely naked.

He squeezes his eyes shut. This can't be happening. It's a nightmare, that's all there is to it, because this? It doesn't happen in real life.

Except, apparently, to him.

"Uh. Dude." A very tall, awkward looking young man is the first to break the silence. "You know you're naked, right?" His voice is slow and gentle, like what he's saying might come as a shock to Blaine.

But. Um. Yeah. Yeah he knows. He is acutely aware of this fact.

It breaks the spell, however, and he's able to make a quick scramble for the towel and haphazardly cover his... his everything. "I'm, I'm so - oh my God - I'm so sorry," he sputters, face burning. "I didn't think - d-didn't expect... fuck." This is a disaster. This is the biggest disaster in the history of disasters. He can't remember feeling this humiliated since he'd had an unfortunate bladder control incident at a sleep over in first grade.

Thankfully, the woman with Kurt took mercy on him. "We'll just give you some privacy," she says, tugging on the tall boy's arm and stepping back out of the room. "Kurt? You coming?"

And then, only then, does Blaine allow himself to direct his gaze towards Kurt's face.
He's still staring at Blaine, at the place just above where the towel has been clumsily re-wrapped around his waist. There are bright patches of color on his cheeks.

But after a moment he seems to snap back to himself. He clears his throat and averts his eyes, turning quickly on his heel and striding down the stairs without a word.

The woman favors him with an apologetic grimace and shuts the door. Privacy. Privacy at last.
He sinks to the floor and covers his face with his hands, letting out an agonized groan. All he'd wanted to do was make a good impression. Well. He'd certainly screwed that up, hadn't he?

--

Kurt gives Finn a sharp shove between the shoulder blades as soon as they reach the bottom of the stairs.

“Ow!!” Finn stumbles and catches his balance, but feels compelled to complain anyway. “What was that for?”

“Not knocking!” Finn and Carole take a seat on one of the sofas (Well, Carole takes a seat. Finn just kind of flops into a sloppy sprawl.) while Kurt paces the floor, hands flailing. “What kind of person doesn’t knock? Were you born in a barn?”

“You’re not really blaming this on me, are you?” Finn demands. Kurt just shoots him a look. “Oh, come on! It’s not like I knew he was gonna be naked! And it’s not like you seemed to mind.”

Kurt flushes, the wave of embarrassment only increasing his ire. He’d hoped no one would notice that, but of course Finn had. Just to spite him.

It hadn’t been something he could help. He was only human, after all. He just never expected Blaine to be so... physically appealing. He’d also never expected to see so much of him, especially not during their initial encounter. Can he be blamed for finding it all a bit overwhelming?

“Shut up,” is his very mature response to that.

“Boys...” Carole says in a warning voice, but the sound of footsteps turns their collective attentions towards the stairs.

Blaine’s hair is still damp and sticking up at odd angles, and it’s clear he’d dressed in a hurry. Bare feet, khaki slacks, and a rumpled blue sweater. Bland but mostly harmless, like the house. Like Blaine, probably - distracting abdominal muscles aside.

“I am so, so sorry,” are the first words out of his mouth. His face is still bright red and he looks like he’s wishing the floor would open up and swallow him whole.

Kurt almost feels sorry for him. Then he remembers he’s decided firmly not to care.

“I didn’t expect anyone to... to be here this early,” Blaine explains, rubbing awkwardly at the back of his neck. “I mean, it’s fine that you are. Of course it’s fine. I just - I didn’t know. I’m so sorry.”

“Oh bless your heart, sweetie, don’t worry about it!” Carole is quick to say, smiling at him in that warm way she has that tends to put people at ease. “We should have knocked, it’s not your fault at all. Besides, we’re going to be family now - I’m sure in a few years we’ll have enough embarrassing moments tallied up we won’t even remember this one! Now, I’m Carole Hummel,” she shifts to her feet and reaches out to grasp Blaine’s hands, “and these are my boys Finn and, of course, Kurt.”

Kurt reluctantly extends his hand, acknowledging the introduction with an awkward nod. His only comfort is that Blaine looks just as nervous about this as he is - maybe even more, what with the whole accidental nudity thing. “Hi.” It’s an absurdly simple greeting for a meeting like this, with the guy he’s stuck spending the rest of his life with, and Kurt feels momentarily foolish.

But Blaine smiles, just slightly, and ducks his head. “Hi, Kurt. It’s nice to finally meet you.”

Kurt can’t say the same, of course, so he just gives him a strained smile in return. He feels stupid, like a kid at a middle school dance with the weight of other people’s expectations on his shoulders. He doesn’t want to dance. He doesn’t even want to be here. He’d rather have stayed at home and watched TV.

--

Blaine helps them unload the car and Kurt tries not to be outwardly irritated by how eager he is about it. About everything. They’ve known each other less than two hours at this point and Blaine already seems enamored with Kurt’s family and, even more unsettling, with Kurt himself. Every time he dares to make eye contact he finds Blaine staring back at him with wide, hopeful eyes and it’s... it’s disconcerting.

This is why he didn’t want this. Why he would have done anything he possibly could to avoid it. He has no desire to take on the responsibility of keeping another human being -a stranger - happy and well adjusted. He’s twenty-one years old, he’s not even good at being well adjusted himself.

After all of Kurt’s things are deposited in the entryway and living room, Carole and Finn say their goodbyes. It’s a two hour drive back to Lima, and Carole wants to get home in time to make Burt lunch.

Kurt knew this was coming, of course. This had always been the plan, and even if they’d been able to stay for the rest of the day there’s no way they could stay for the rest of his life. This point of separation has always been coming.

But knowing it’s coming and actually being faced with the moment are two very different things, and Kurt finds himself completely unprepared for the latter. “Are you sure you can’t stay?” he’s standing in the doorway, eyes wide and voice desperate as he clings to Carole’s hands. “Just for a little while.” He’s acting like a child afraid to go to a sleep over, and he knows he should feel embarrassed about that but he doesn’t.

The sad smile Carole gives him lets him know she understands. She pulls him to her in a tight hug and kisses the top of his head. “You’re going to be fine, Kurt,” she whispers, and it helps, how certain she seems of that. “You’re a good kid, and you’re strong. You’re going to be fine.”

He doesn’t trust his voice not to waver so he just nods as he pulls away. Finn ruffles his hair affectionately and Kurt can’t even find it in himself to be mad about it for once. He stands back a little as they say goodbye to Blaine. Carole, typically, pulls him into a hug as well and Kurt can’t help tilting his head at the way Blaine melts right into it. It’s just... it’s a bit weird, isn’t it? Being so comfortable and eager for physical contact with someone he’d only just met. Kurt’s never been like that, he’s never understood it. He files it away as another reason this entire thing is stupid and why a computer shouldn’t be allowed to make his choices for him.

--

As much as he’d liked Carole and Finn, Blaine can’t help but feel grateful when they’re gone and it’s just the two of them. He’d felt overwhelmed, surrounded, from the moment the bedroom door had been unexpectedly wrenched open and watching them drive away is an undeniable relief.

Or at least it is until he’s leaning back against the door and staring at Kurt, with absolutely nothing intelligent to say.

“Your family is nice,” he finally manages, when the silence stretches on long enough that he’s beginning to worry it might be permanent.

Kurt shrugs and looks around the room - everywhere except directly at Blaine. Blaine tries not to let it sting. “Thanks, I guess. I like them. I mean,” he adds, “of course I like them - they’re my family. That’s kind of how that works.”

“Right.”

There’s another pause. Blaine rushes to fill it before it grows stifling. “Do you want some breakfast or something?” It’s the first the he can think of. “I’m not a great cook but I can scramble an egg.”

Kurt rubs at the back of his neck. “Um, no thanks. You go ahead. I think I’m just going to unpack.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll help y-”

“No!” Kurt breaks in quickly, and there’s no way around it this time - it does sting. “No that’s fine. I’ve got it. I um, I’m very particular about my things,” he explains. “I like them just so. Don’t like other people touching them. It’s nothing personal, just... the way I am.”

It feels personal, though, and Blaine’s shoulders slump. “That’s... understandable, I guess,” he says anyway, because he’s not going to do anything to risk pushing Kurt away, not so soon. “Let me know if I need to move anything in the bedroom.”

“Right. Yeah. About that.” Kurt bites his lip and shifts his weight from foot to foot. “There’s a guest room, right?” Blaine feels another weight settle in his stomach, and nods. “I was thinking I could maybe move in there? I mean, we don’t really know each other and it might... make things a little easier. While we’re settling in.”

Blaine closes his eyes for a moment, trying to push back the waves of disappointment. It’s not supposed to be like this. It’s supposed to be a fresh start, an end to his old life. Instead, right now, it just looks like more loneliness.

But not forever, right? While we’re settling in, that meant there was an end point in sight. His voice is still small when he answers. “Oh. Oh, yeah. Sure. Whatever you - whatever will make you feel more comfortable.”

Kurt’s relief is as immediate as it is obvious. He grins - the first real smile he’s directed at Blaine since they met. “Great! Thank you, thanks.” He picks up one of the boxes his stuff is packed away in, and starts for the stairs. “So I’ll just go do that. Enjoy your breakfast, okay?”

“Yeah,” he says. “Thanks.” But suddenly he’s not hungry anymore.


Tags: fanfiction, glee, klaine, picket fence
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