Title: Stay Perfect
Warnings: Excessive amounts of romance.
Word Count: 16,000+
Summary: Blaine is an English major, afraid to actually talk to Kurt - because he's way too perfect to be single, anyways. Encouraged by Wes and David, he starts putting notes into Kurt's mailbox - handwritten copies of Shakespearean sonnets and other love poems, signed only with the initials B.A. Kurt starts writing notes back to his almost anonymous admirer, unaware that B.A. and the really cute but probably straight guy in his World History class that he stares at all of the time and follows to the library on occasion... are the same person.
A/N: Cut text and title to Patrick Stump's Porcelain. This is literally the longest thing I've ever written - it was meant for the Klaine Big Bang, but I couldn't make the deadline. Luckily, my wonderful, amazing, patient artist, xxxmirai encouraged me not to give up, along with my friends. Her art is here and I've also linked it where it fits into the story. Anyways, it's finished. Finally. Enjoy!
Blaine Anderson is not a stalker. He’s always been… Observant. Really, the term stalker is a bit harsh, and quite undeserved. Of course, that never really stopped David and Wes from calling him one… It hadn’t really stopped Jeremiah either, which is kind of unfair, because they’d had coffee twice, and Blaine had wanted to surprise him – it really wasn’t hard at all to find out his work schedule once he’d told the actual manager of the store that he was a friend of their junior manager (and, yes, he’d said friend).
…Okay so maybe some of his behavior was a little… enthusiastic. But that doesn’t make him a stalker!
That’s why, when he first sees the beautiful boy at auditions for the college men’s acapella group he vows to do this the right way. He’ll go up and introduce himself and see if he’s gay (though Blaine thinks his gaydar is correct this time, he’s learned you can never be too sure) and hopefully ask him out. Of course, all his decision-making flies out the window when the boy goes up, introduces himself (Kurt Hummel – Blaine rolls the name around in his mouth and it feels right) and sings. Oh God, does he sing. His voice is clear like a bell, and perfectly bittersweet like the medium drip Blaine drinks every morning. He sings “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” flawlessly, charged with emotion, and Blaine knows that Kurt is as out of his league as is socially possible. He probably has some beautiful boyfriend – maybe he’s an artist, using Kurt as his muse – their relationship is probably exceedingly happy… Blaine has to slip stealthily out of auditions after Kurt is done. If he got into the group – if Blaine did, because Kurt will, there’s no question – he would see Kurt everyday and be reminded of how unattainable he is. Blaine’s not sure he could handle that.
He spends the weekend trying to write a song for Kurt, and only ends up playing Your Song – Excuse me forgetting, these things I do, but you see I’ve forgotten if they’re green or they’re blue – see the thing is, what I really mean – yours are the sweetest eyes I’ve ever seen – over and over and over.
That Monday, classes start, and Blaine is totally not hung up on Kurt at all, because he’s just some guy, right? Sure, he’s beautiful and talented and immaculately dressed, but that’s not important at all. Blaine is totally over him.
…Except that is a complete lie, and Blaine is kind of head over heels. So, of course, after his lovesick weekend, and David’s permanent ban of Your Song in their shared dorm room, Kurt shows up in his World History class. The good news is that he’s always been good at history – it was almost his major – and well, he has trouble deciding if it’s good news or bad news, but Kurt sits behind him, and Blaine isn’t “creative” enough to bring a mirror to class and use the reflection to ogle him. The only problem is that he can almost feel Kurt sitting behind him, and even though the beautiful boy isn’t even aware of his existence, he constantly feels like he’s being watched – being judged, almost. He feels the need to dress better (even though it’s his only early class, and he’d normally be there in his pajamas) and it grows into a need to impress Kurt more directly – to try and be noticed by him… But not by speaking to him! No, no, no, he couldn’t do that. He’d freeze up and spout nonsense… It would be terrible.
He expresses all of this to Wes and David one day over coffee… Or his coffee, their hot cocoa and chai, respectively.
“Blaine, I haven’t seen anyone this hung up on someone since… Well, actually, since you were this hung up on Jeremiah,” Wes says pointedly.
David nods in acquiescence, and Blaine simply has to protest. “Kurt is nothing like Jeremiah! He’s different… He’s perfect.” He lets out a little lovesick sigh, and his friends roll their eyes in response.
“Look, if you’re so convinced you need to get his attention, then find another way to communicate with him! Why not try the secret admirer route? Then you can impress him all you want, and do it anonymously.”
Blaine frowns. “But how?”
“Put notes in his mailbox,” Wes replies. “He lives in McKinley.” At that, both Blaine and David give him a look. “Santana knows him. Apparently they were cheerleaders together in highschool.”
David stifles a laugh as Blaine chokes on his coffee. “Seriously? I can’t believe it… He’s so beautiful and talented –“
“And flexible,” David adds with a smirk.
“How does he even exist?” Blaine asks no in particular, sinking his head into his hands.
Patting his friend on the back, David smiles. “Don’t worry about how out of your league you think he is. You’re going to become his secret admirer and woo him, then you’ll reveal your identity, he’ll be excited it’s you, and everyone lives happily ever after.”
“Or it could end much like a Shakespearean tragedy.”
Wes scoffs, and David keeps trying his encouragement techniques. “That’s probably a little overboard. I don’t think anyone will die, even if the unlikely happens and it does end badly.”
“Why can’t I write like Shakespeare? Then I could give him beautiful sonnets and know what words to use and… And… That’s it!” It’s much like a light bulb has gone off over Blaine’s head. He looks up and grins at Wes and David.
With a smirk on his face, Wes speaks up. “You’re going to write him poetry?”
Blaine gives him a look. “Of course not! I’m going to write out poems by classic poets, with credit to the original author, and write my own comments on them… and I can use my initials as my identity!”
Raising his eyebrows a little, David responds. “Someone’s excited about their new stalking method.”
“I’m not a stalker,” Blaine replies automatically.
Wes and David both shrug apologetically, and Wes looks at his watch. “I actually have to go meet up with Santana now. I’ll walk you over to McKinley if you want, Blaine.”
He shakes his head. “No, I know where it is. And I need to figure out which poem to use, first – there are so many… Plus, I need it to be introductory, sweet but not too sweet… I should probably keep it relatively short, too…”
Looking at David, Wes raises an eyebrow. “Yes, he’s not overthinking this at all.”
David laughs again as the three go their separate ways – Blaine to the library, David back to his and Blaine’s room, and Wes to the McKinley dorm.
Blaine is searching through some of his favorite poetry anthologies in the library after he’s been there for more than an hour, when who should come in but the very boy he’s trying to find words to suit? There he is, Kurt, in all of his near mythological beauty…
That’s it. He knows the perfect poem – also, he feels like Kurt is watching him now - so he jots the 14 lines onto his hand before nearly running out of the library. He has paper in his satchel, and he might just be able to leave the first note for Kurt before he returns from the library – especially if he’s in there working.
When he gets to McKinley, he’s pleasantly surprised to find that they have open boxes labeled by name, so he can find Kurt’s and leave it in the box without having to try and figure out which number box is his, or taping it to the front of a locked box.
He pulls out his paper and writes out his first note:
When in the chronicle of wasted time
I see descriptions of the fairest wights,
And beauty making beautiful old rhyme
In praise of ladies dead and lovely knights,
Then in the blazon of sweet beauty’s best,
Of hand, of foot, of lip, of eye, of brow,
I see their antique pen would have expressed
Even such beauty as you master now.
So all their praises are but prophecies
Of this our time, all you prefiguring;
And, for they looked but with divining eyes,
They had not skill enough your worth to sing:
For we, which now behold these present days,
Have eyes to wonder, but lack tongues to praise.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 106
You indubitably fall among the category of lovely knights – but you surpass them all.
He pauses for a moment. It’s cheesy – but really, isn’t the entire scheme cheesy? If he’s going to do this secret admirer thing, he’s going to do it right. He folds the note, writes Kurt’s name on the front, and walks back to his dorm in record time, his heart practically beating out of his chest. He’s not really sure if this was a good idea or not, but at least he gets to tell Kurt how beautiful he is until he gets caught.
Of course, that doesn’t mean he stops thinking about Kurt. Not at all. It’s like he’s permanently moved into a corner of Blaine’s mind. Watching him walk into class every other day and seeing him at the library on most afternoons… Those little moments aren’t enough. It’s only been a couple of days like this, with no visible response to his note… But Blaine finds it upsetting. He mentions it when Wes and David next ask him how the plan is going.
“I just feel like I haven’t reached him! I don’t understand… It was Shakespeare! Maybe he just thought it was creepy… But I didn’t declare my undying love or anything. I just told him he was beautiful.”
David smiles, and Wes just shakes his head. “Look, Blaine,” David speaks up. “It was one poem. He probably either thought it was creepy,” Blaine’s eyes widen, and Wes rolls his eyes. “…or if he appreciated it, while I strongly feel he did, he doesn’t realize it wasn’t a one-time thing.”
This leads Blaine to a realization. “Oh! I’ve got to keep going, or he’ll never know I noticed him more than in passing! Thanks, you guys!”
He runs to the library, completely deaf to Wes and David as they shout after him about the fact that he left his coffee there on the table.
He searches through an American anthology this time – he’s determined to vary his poets and words and angles, until finally, he finds one that seems to shout at him. It’s a little… intense… But not too bad. Also, the final line is slightly inaccurate… Maybe he could just leave that line off, and mention that he did so simply because of its inaccuracy… Brilliant. He copies the poem carefully and heads off to McKinley, finishing off his commentary quickly in front of Kurt’s box and leaving the note before running like the wind back to his dorm.
somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,iand
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)…
e.e. cummings’ somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
Your eyes truly are beautiful – they do seem to speak for themselves. You and I have yet to speak, though… I admit, I am afraid to approach you. Notably, I left the last line off of the poem due to its inaccuracy… I feel like this only matters to me.
That night, he dreams of Kurt. He dreams in vivid color, of himself being a painter, and Kurt being his muse. He has all of the perfect colors, and spends what seems like hours getting his eyes just right. Kurt is draped across a couch, with a sheet lain tastefully over his hip. Blaine knows he must be covered in paint, but Kurt looks at him like he’s perfect… In fact, Kurt looks at him like he’s the most perfect thing in the world.
The next day he goes out to an art supply store. He buys canvas and paints and brushes and tries desperately to paint. At first, he tries to paint Kurt. Then he just tries to paint anything. He puts music on, and even makes an attempt at abstract painting. Regardless of his dream, and the talent he seemed to possess in his subconscious, every single thing he puts a brush to turns out as complete shit. He gets paint all over his clothes and a little on the floor, and he throws all of his brand new paint supplies away in anger, finally sitting down on his dorm room floor with his head in his hands.
Will he ever have a moment where he doesn’t feel like a complete failure?
David is beyond sick of Blaine’s pining, and his dreams, and his ‘Oh woe is me, I’m such a lost puppy without Kurt Hummel pining over me, but I would never be so forward as to speak to him’ routine. Finding Blaine on the floor, covered in paint and calling himself a complete failure was the last straw, plain and simple. Blaine is not a failure, and if he needs a little success with this guy he’s crushing on to realize that… David is more than willing to push that along. This is why, when he spies Kurt walking across campus, and he doesn’t have Blaine with him, he goes over to do a little… reconnaissance.
“Hey, do you know Blaine Anderson?”
Shit. “Um, he’s got curly dark hair, glasses, he’s an English major –“
“Oh.” Kurt blushes a little as he straightens out his jacket. “Is that his name? I mean – Does he take World History with Mr. Lawrence?”
David can barely suppress a grin. Now this is what he’s talking about. Blaine should just stop being an idiot and try talking to someone he’s hung up on – not singing to them, or trying out big romantic gestures. Just talking would help the poor guy. “Yeah, he does.”
“Blaine Anderson. Yes, I know him. We’ve never spoken, but I know who he is. Why?”
“I was just looking for him.” David can’t help but wonder just how much attention Kurt has been paying to Blaine. “Do you know where he might be?”
Kurt adjusts his jacket sleeve again, this time looking at a watch underneath. “Well, it’s 4:00 PM on a Wednesday – he’s probably in the library, reading or studying.” Suddenly, he becomes completely flustered, his eyes widening. “Not that the time or day has any influence on where I think he might be. I’ve just noticed he’s often in the library – which makes sense – English major and all.”
Again, David nods, but he knows his grin breaks through this time. “Of course. I’ll check. Thanks for your help-?”
“Kurt. Kurt Hummel.”
“Right. See you around!” Oh, see you around much more often, Kurt Hummel, because Blaine might not believe it, but you two are going to be attached at the hip before Wes can even pay up.
“Sure.” David momentarily freaks out a little, thinking Kurt can read minds – but then he realizes that Kurt is just responding to his ‘see you around’ and he shakes his head at himself as he walks away.
Kurt Hummel is not some kind of lovesick puppy. He learned that lesson – went down that road and saw where it led – long ago. Okay, maybe high school hadn’t been so long ago, but it certainly felt like he learned his lesson long ago. After all, the guy he had once chased like a lost puppy was now his step-brother – and learning just how unlovable Finn could be when he hadn’t showered and simply wouldn’t put anything away had quickly put any lingering hope to rest.
However in all of this, it also can’t be said that Kurt is not a determined person. He gets what he wants, dammit. Well, most of the time. At least, he gets what he wants in the way of fabulous clothing and, in this case, information. He had found every person on campus with the initials B.A. Most of them had been a complete disappointment, either female or useless… Until it had come to Blaine Anderson. Blaine Anderson is attractive and perfect in all of the ways it matters – he hadn’t realized though, that the ridiculously attractive Blaine from the student directory was the ridiculously attractive Blaine from his World History class. The picture from the student directory had been older, apparently, as Blaine had contacts in, and his hair was firmly gelled into submission. While this was an exciting development (especially since he’d been paying special attention to Blaine just for being so attractive anyhow), it’s also a little disappointing. Kurt is at least ninety percent sure that Blaine is straight.
He has the air of every classic ladies’ man. He holds open doors on the way in and out of class, he stands when the teacher comes in every class day – He even carries a pocket watch. All of this dapper behavior points to metrosexuality at the very least – but Kurt is unfortunately of the belief that this is exactly all it is. He’s watched Blaine flirt with the librarian every time he comes in - the very female, very heterosexual, and supposedly hot librarian. No one is just inherently that charming. It is… discouraging at best.
Even through this disappointment, though… Kurt finds himself hoping. He could be wrong, for once. It happens occasionally… And if he is wrong, then Blaine is nearly perfect – he’s like a modern day Gene Kelly. Well, if he could sing and dance… Kurt wouldn’t know, never having seen him do either. Perhaps, for now, he’s more of a Marlon Brando.
This hope is undoubtedly what seems to be causing a drop in Kurt’s World History grade. Watching Blaine come in, day after day, listening to him instead of the teacher, watching Blaine watch Mr. Lawrence with rapt attention – answering with enthusiasm and talking with his hands. He was never good at memorizing dates, anyhow, and Mr. Lawrence seems to love them.
Speaking of dates, though… He reaches his box and keeps his eyes forward for a moment before turning, also keeping his fingers crossed. Could there, perhaps, be a note from his hopefully male (hopefully Blaine) secret admirer?
He finally turns, and pulls out the small piece of paper within.
I like you calm, as if you were distant,
you are a moaning, a butterfly’s cooing.
You hear me far-off, my voice does not reach you.
Let me be calmed, then, calmed by your silence.
Let me commune, then, commune with your silence,
clear as a light, and pure as a ring.
You are like night, calmed, constellated.
Your silence is star-like, as distant, as true.
A selection from Pablo Neruda’s I like you calm, as if you were absent
I haven’t been writing to you for long… But I can’t help but wonder if I’m reaching you. You are beautiful calm and distant, though. I only wish I had the courage to speak to you as well. I hate compromising the integrity of a beautiful poem – Pablo Neruda is one of my favorites – but the rest of the poem was a little intense, and I know I might already be creeping you out. Pardon for the slip in my typically romantic demeanor – I hope you’ll forgive me.
Kurt can’t help but giggle a little, gazing at the note. Maybe he’s no lovesick puppy, but he’s always been a romantic at heart. This whole thing should be creepy – instead he just finds himself absolutely smitten with this person who seems to think only the words of these wonderful poets can describe his beauty. It’s the most positive attention Kurt’s ever received, and it’s a feeling he could certainly get used to. He keeps wishing that he had some way to speak to B.A. and see what they’re actually like- But wait.
It is in that moment, that Kurt has an idea - a possibly wonderful, possibly terrible idea. If this person (for the love of McQueen, please be male) was putting notes in his box every couple of days, then maybe Kurt could leave something for them. Then, even if they couldn’t meet face to face because B.A. was so afraid, they could still have two-way communication. Sure, it was possible that B.A. might not answer… Or that he or she might get scared and stop writing. Is it really worth the risk? These three poems and their little notes had left Kurt awfully attached.
Of course it’s worth the risk. He has to try. He carefully takes out some of his stationary (letter-writing paper of a fine robin’s egg blue, with a border of his initials) and jots down a simple note. Well, relatively simple, but enough to maybe make a connection with B.A.
I understand that this is… Odd. Up until this point, our communication has been one-sided – but I’d like to know more about you. I understand if you can’t tell me much. You don’t want me to know who you are, and I won’t push you. In return, though you clearly know some things about me, I’ll tell you a few things you may or may not know.
My full name is Kurt Elizabeth Hummel, I’m 19 years old, and I’m from a sad little place called Lima, Ohio.
Also, I’m kind of hoping you’re not female. If you are, I only find it fair to warn you that I’m gay, and that isn’t going to change.
Thank you for putting these notes in my box – they’ve easily been the best things that have recently happened to me. You’re not creeping me out at all, I promise – and one slip in your romantic demeanor hasn’t hurt your chances at all.
Kurt folds up his note, writes ‘For B.A.’ on the front, and places it back in his own box. He smiles a little to himself, and starts to hum as he heads up the stairs to his room. Things are going pretty well. Sure, okay, maybe having a tiny crush on a person who you’ve never seen and you’re only hoping is male is a little pathetic – but he’s feeling happier than he has since he was just a little kid. Or really… Maybe he’s never been this happy; at least, not this kind of happy. In fact, he’s really too happy to let it bother him.
That’s why, when Mercedes and Rachel coerce him into yet another ladies and Kurt night in, he tells them about B.A. He’d been afraid up until this point of what they’d say, but now it doesn’t even matter to him anymore. He’s positively giddy with the possibilities.
“How come Finn hasn’t done anything like that for me?” Rachel questions vehemently, looking at the wall over Kurt’s shoulder like she demands an answer from it.
“Frankly Rachel, Finn’s never going to quote poetry to you and have the slightest idea what he’s talking about. You could make him memorize some though, and spout it off to you, if you really wanted to.”
Rachel gives him a harsh look and he shrugs. He isn’t trying to be insulting – Finn would be the first person to admit that poetry’s never made sense to him. Meanwhile, Mercedes is grinning at him. “Well, I’m happy for you – I think I would be creeped the hell out, but if you think this boy’s genuine, then good for you. You deserve it. If he’s not sincere, though, or if he tries to hurt you – you just tell me first, and I’ll kick his ass into next week.”
He can’t help but grin back at his best friend. “Of course, ‘Cedes.”
Suddenly, Rachel perks up. “Did you check your box today? We should go check your box.”
Kurt smiles softly. “He’s usually not this quick in replying, Rachel. It’s only been a day – he has to find a new poem every time he writes.”
“But you wrote him back this time! A response is always motivational, Kurt – that’s why I live on applause,” Rachel insists.
With a sigh and a glance at Mercedes’ raised eyebrow, he agrees, trying to roll his eyes. If he can’t wipe the grin off of his face… Well, that’s really not his fault. The idea of having good news about communication with a boy to share at these sleepovers is completely new to him. He’s always been excited for Mercedes and Rachel, but the only thing he could ever do was whine to them, and it felt even worse when they gave him those piteous looks time and time again. They use the staircase to get down to the ground floor to check his box – he has no desire to be seen in his pajamas, even if they are Marc Jacobs. The girls’ giggles behind him are making him giddy as he opens the box, and his usual cynicism has left him for the blind hope that B.A. found his words motivation to get back to him sooner.
For once, he isn’t disappointed.
When I too long have looked upon your face,
Wherein for me a brightness unobscured
Save by the mists of brightness has its place,
And terrible beauty not to be endured,
I turn away reluctant from your light,
And stand irresolute, a mind undone,
A silly, dazzled thing deprived of a sight
From having looked too long upon the sun.
Then is my daily life a narrow room
In which a little while, uncertainly,
Surrounded by impenetrable gloom,
Among familiar things grown strange to me
Making my way, I pause, and feel, and hark,
Till I become accustomed to the dark.
Edna St. Vincent Millay’s When I too long have looked upon your face
Kurt Elizabeth Hummel, reading your letter was very much like staring into the sun, but I do not regret it. Perhaps it is odd that you’ve written me back, but even so, it is the kind of odd I wish occurred in everyday life. It’s excellent to know that you’re enjoying my notes. That was my goal. I’ll try to write more often from now on. I am certainly male, and I am quite glad to know that you’re gay. As am I. You’re correct in assuming I don’t want to tell you much about myself, but only because I’m truly quite boring, and I know it would be disappointing if you got to know the real me, behind all the charm and poetry. That rhyme was not intentional. I’ll make an exception, though – I grew up in Westerville, Ohio, a mere two hours away from Lima. Strange to think we spent our formative years so close to each other, and yet I’ve never seen you. If I had, I would have remembered. You don’t have to write back to me again, but I would very much enjoy it if you did. If you are going to write back, though – what’s your major? I’ve heard you sing once, and I can only hope you’re putting it to good use.
He suddenly felt protective of B.A.’s words – as though they were too private to share with even Mercedes and Rachel. In a bout of quick thinking, he read the poem aloud to them and then merely summarized the important bits of the commentary beneath - mostly, the fact that B.A. was both male and gay, and that he’d said so himself. Kurt’s cynicism attempted to return and warn him that this seemed far too good to be true, and that things which seemed that way usually were… But he pushed the thought away almost immediately. This boy was charming and intelligent, chivalrous and kind. There was no doubt in Kurt’s mind that everything would work out excellently as soon as he figured out just who B.A. was for certain.
“Wait a second – when did he hear you sing?” Mercedes’ words pulled Kurt out of his thoughts. Before he could figure out an answer for himself, Rachel responded with a huff.
“He’s in the boys’ a capella group, Mercedes! Clearly B.A. is in the group-“
“No, I only sing back up. I haven’t come anywhere close to being heard yet.”
Oh. Oh. B.A. had seen him at auditions. Was that the first time B.A. had seen him? Is his singing voice really good enough to motivate this kind of response? He’s always known he’s talented, but this… This is different. B.A. doesn’t even only like him for his voice. He also thinks Kurt is beautiful – beautiful enough to send poetry to.
When did his life become so surreal?
He writes a note back to B.A. that very night, and Mercedes and Rachel are giggling together as they guess at what he might be writing – he refuses to let them read it.
It’s very interesting that you’ve heard me sing! You must have been at auditions for boys’ a cappella. Did I perhaps see you there? I’m being pushy, I know, when I promised I wouldn’t be, but I’ll admit I’m a very determined person when it comes to getting what I want – and I’m dying to know who you are, B.A.
I’m a musical theatre major, actually. So, yes, I am putting my voice to very good use. It’s always nice to know someone else appreciates my talent. I’m going to be on Broadway someday – that’s another one of those things I’m very determined about.
It’s very difficult to believe someone as clearly cultured as you lived anywhere near Lima for any significant amount of time. Without the protection of high fashion and hairspray, I’m not sure I would have made it out of that town with all of my brain cells firmly intact. I assumed that Mercedes and Rachel (my two best friends, I suppose) and I were the only ones within a very large radius of that town that retained any sort of taste or dignity. Not to say that Rachel retains very much of either of those things, but she has more than some past Lima residents.
Am I allowed to ask you a question in return? I’ll go with something silly and mostly inconsequential… Do you like coffee?
I still love your notes – thank you so much for all of this. Rachel is perhaps a little smitten with you as well, but luckily, you’re gay.
It’s only the next day when Kurt decides to check his box again – and there’s already another note there.
How can my Muse want subject o invent,
While thou dost breathe, that pour’st into my verse
Thine own sweet argument, too excellent
For every vulgar paper to rehearse?
O, give thyself the thanks, if aught in me
Worthy perusal stand against thy sight;
For who’s so dumb that cannot write to thee
When thou thyself dost give invention light?
Be thou the tenth Muse, ten times more in worth
Than those old nine which rhymers invocate;
And he that calls on thee, let him bring forth
Eternal numbers to outlive long date.
If my slight Muse do please these curious days,
The pain be mine, but thine shall be the praise.
Shakespeare’s Sonnet 38
I tried to write a song about you yesterday. Hence, I thought the poem appropriate. It was terrible, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? It will never see the light of day – I’m apparently much better at using other peoples’ words to express myself.
Also, I thought that in being a musical theatre major, what with the theatre… Maybe you enjoy Shakespeare now and again? He wrote a number of wonderful gender neutral love poems, and he had a gift with words no one seems to have managed since.
Enough about Shakespeare, though. You may not like him at all. I suppose I can tell you a little more about myself… I do trust you, even though we hardly know each other, and with hiding my identity it may not seem like I trust you. Also, I appreciate your determination.
I was at auditions for the a cappella group, but I left right after you sang. You were wonderful, but I chickened out of joining the group. I don’t sing in public much anymore – to tell the truth, I miss it. I’m not a music major like you – I’m an English major, actually, if you couldn’t tell from the poetry. As for coffee? Yes, of course! Are there college students who survive without coffee? I drink a medium drip almost every day before my morning class. Just out of curiosity, what’s your coffee order? Also, what are some of your non-singing hobbies?
Feel free not to answer, if you don’t want to.
P.S.: Feel free to tell Rachel that I am very much not interested.
Kurt smiles down at the note in his hand, and freaks out only a little at the fact that B.A. is an English major. Surely, there are plenty of other English majors that have the initials B.A. and aren’t Blaine. It’s in that moment, however, that he notices his watch. If he doesn’t leave now, he’ll be late for religion class – his only class to be small enough that the teacher actually takes attendance. He carefully places the note from B.A. into the front pocket of his satchel and basically power-walks to class.
The rest of the day passes in an absolute blur, and that night he finds himself at his favorite coffee shop, trying to finish a paper he has to turn in tomorrow, after he’s already gotten an extension.
“How may I help you?” When he looks up at the counter, he realizes the person he’s placing his order with is Wes, Santana’s latest ex-boy toy. Poor thing.
“Hey, Wes. I’ll have a grande nonfat mocha.” He pauses. It’s not like he really knows this guy, but… “I’m sorry about Santana.”
Wes gives him a tight grin while he rings up the order. “Yeah, well. It’s not like we had much in common. Even though he’s been busy with Blaine’s love problems, David’s been a really good friend – I don’t know if you-“
“Blaine? Blaine Anderson?”
“How do you know Blaine Anderson?”
Kurt blushes a little at Wes’ puzzled look. He probably sounded a little too enthusiastic, but he would love to know more about Blaine, whether or not it turns out he’s B.A. “We have history together. Like, history class, with Mr. Lawrence. Not, like, ‘history.’”
Wes smirks a little. “That’ll be $3.42. And I didn’t think you meant ‘history.’ He’s a great guy, though, I mean, if I weren’t straight…”
Laughing a little, Kurt pays for his coffee, and bids Wes a goodbye as he heads over to pick up his mocha. What Wes said won’t leave his mind, though. Maybe he should talk to Blaine… Maybe he’s not so straight after all… Okay, maybe he is, but still, it sounds like there’s good friend potential there, at least.
He reaches into his satchel for his laptop bag and also grabs the note from B.A. He ponders for a moment, waiting a little longer to write back… But it shouldn’t take long enough to write a quick note for B.A. that it keeps him from writing his paper, or anything. That just sounds preposterous.
I love hearing more about you. I’m starting to feel like we actually know each other, even though I have no idea what you actually look like or sound like. Is that terrible?
I do very much appreciate Shakespeare. In spite of his slightly archaic language, I feel like I understand the emotions he’s trying to express. Not to mention, yes, that he has plenty of gender neutral love poetry.
I’m glad you appreciate my determination. Not many do.
I hate that you didn’t even audition! Not that I’m disappointed in you or anything – even if I have never experienced it, I understand stage fright can be terrible. I just hate that I didn’t get to see you perform or hear you sing. I would very much like to. In fact, depending on how good you are, I would love to sing with you sometime, perhaps. My imagination paints you to have an excellent voice.
I’ve certainly never met a college student who survives without coffee. I drink a grande nonfat mocha whenever I’m in need of a pick-me-up. I’m actually drinking one right now, while I’m simultaneously working on this note to you and my paper for theatre.
As for non-singing hobbies, I have an undying love for fashion, and an impeccable talent for spotting fashion trends. I also enjoy wedding planning and interior design. A little stereotypical, I know, but I love it all too dearly to care.
For your question - do you have any celebrity crushes? Be careful, though, I might get a little bit jealous.
P.S.: I’m sure she’ll be devastated, but I suppose that’s just too bad.
Is he honestly flirting with some stranger he barely knew through notes?
…Yes, yes he is. He feels like he should be at least a little bit ashamed, but it’s not like he has a lot of opportunities to practice his flirting, and he’s sure that those skills will be more useful when he transfers to New York. He didn’t have the money to do so yet – neither did Rachel, though both of them were planning to go – but he knows that even if he can’t transfer, he’ll move there right out of college, and by then he’ll definitely have enough money saved up.
He looks up to see that Wes has approached his table, and he slips his note to B.A. back into his bag quickly. “Yes?”
“I brought you another coffee. You look like you need it – also, I just wanted to let you know that David, Blaine’s roommate, is bullying Blaine into performing here tonight – in about an hour, actually – he’s probably just gonna sing some cover songs or something while David plays piano. We all used to be in show choir together in high school. So… if you’re sticking around…”
“Blaine sings?” he blurts out, and Wes grins at him. Kurt blushes a little and takes his coffee. “I mean - thanks. I’ll probably still be here for a while, since I have to finish this paper for tomorrow.” He smiles as Wes walks back to the counter. He can’t believe how obvious he’s being about his massive crush on this boy… even if he is starting to get the idea that maybe Blaine isn’t straight after all… Still, he doesn’t want Blaine to know he’s there. He sets up his laptop right in front of his face and moves to an angle in his booth so anyone on the tiny stage won’t see his face.
He really does need to finish his paper, and he’s not exactly sure how he’s going to while he’s hearing Blaine sing for the first time… But he’s hoping he can manage.
“David, I really don’t want to do this.”
David just smiles at him and keeps pushing him down the sidewalk by his shoulder. “I know you miss performing. All you have to do is get up there and do exactly what you did in high school – except you’re singing with a piano instead of a cappella. Just pull out some of the good old Blaine Anderson classics – Teenage Dream, Bills, Bills, Bills. Everyone knows you’re great, you’ll blow the coffee shop away, and Wes won’t get in trouble with his manager for promising entertainment and not delivering.”
Blaine sighs and brings them to a stop. “That’s the problem, David. I haven’t performed since high school. What if my voice is all squeaky, or-“
“Don’t be an idiot, Blaine, you’ll be fine.” With that, David finally brings him into the coffee shop, and before Blaine can even figure out when his friends became evil, he’s up on the stage, and he still has no idea what he’s doing.
He grins a little awkwardly as he straightens out his blazer. “Hey, everyone. I’m Blaine, and I suppose I’ll be your entertainment for the night…”
He takes David’s advice and runs through most of his solos from high school – including Teenage Dream and Bills, Bills, Bills. He hates to admit it, but David was right. It feels completely natural to be up onstage, and if the reaction of most of the coffee shop is anything to go by, he can still get a great reaction out of a crowd. The only person who seems uninterested in his set is a young guy in a corner booth, hiding behind his laptop. Blaine doesn’t blame him, though –he’s sure he has a paper to work on or something, and he just hopes he isn’t distracting him too much. He’s been in that position before.
He finishes up the show without ever really seeing much of a glimpse of a boy behind the laptop. The one time he thought he saw him – well it had looked like it was Kurt behind the laptop, but there’s no way it could have been him. He shakes the thought away as he heads back to his dorm and proceeds that night to dream of Kurt – of course.
The next day is Monday, and he wouldn’t be looking forward to it if he didn’t have history, which means his usual glimpse of Kurt every morning as he watches the other boy go to his seat. Kurt almost always has a smile on his face – and if what he said in his notes to B.A. was true, then Blaine is at least partially responsible for that. He sits there, pretending to read his book and really watching Kurt, but… Kurt isn’t going to his usual seat. He’s looking right at Blaine. He decides to bury his nose in his book, trying not to make a fool of himself – there’s no way Kurt is actually even giving him the time of day.
“Do you mind if I sit here?”
Blaine looks up, his eyes wide, and his face flushing as he places his book back in his bag. He has no doubt that he probably heavily resembles a startled woodland creature, but he hopes that Kurt finds it cute… Or something. Unlikely. Wait. Kurt just asked him a question – he should probably answer that. “No, no, of course not. I mean it is an empty seat!” He attempts a charming smile, but knows he probably falls short and lands somewhere around nervous… God, I sound like an idiot. He watches as Kurt sets down his things, slipping the strap of his trusty messenger bag over the back of the chair.
“You’re Blaine, right?”
He’s caught completely off-guard. Kurt knows his name? He knows his name? How – When did that even – There’s just no way this is happening. The explanation is that simple. “Yeah, yeah. And you’re Kurt, right?” And oh God, now Kurt is blushing. He has to be dreaming. Or his karma is just spectacular today – but it’s not like he helped any extra old ladies across the street this morning, so he’s just going to stick with the dreaming idea. This beautiful boy is next to him, and knowing his name… Yeah, completely outside of the realm of conscious possibility.
“Yeah,” Kurt says softly, smiling as he adjusts his things and pulls out his textbook. Blaine does, admittedly, have to rewind a little to remember what he said to Kurt, but once he does… He thinks that this is probably the best day of his young life so far.
He spends all of class sneaking little glances at Kurt, and sometimes, it’s like Kurt is even glancing back. For the first time, after class, he has no clue what Mr. Lawrence was talking about, and he can’t bring himself to care. He bumps into Kurt in the hallway, and they both stop.
“So, I know we’ve barely met, but I know you better than anyone else in class… Would you want to work together on that project Mr. Lawrence was talking about?”
“Project?” Blaine blurts out, and Kurt smiles at him gently. It sounds only slightly familiar. He still can’t believe at all that Kurt is choosing to talk to him – and now he wants to be project partners? There is absolutely no way any of this is happening. Blaine’s not about to lose a chance like this, though, even if this is all a dream. “I mean, yes. Yes, of course! What – uh – what topic?”
Again, Kurt smiles, wider this time, and God, if Blaine isn’t just certain he could die from this. “Well, we just have that list – I thought – um. I thought maybe we could have coffee some time and go over it? Maybe go ahead and choose a topic – get ahead?”
His heart has literally stopped beating. It’s not… Is he even breathing? “Yeah!” Embarrassingly, his voice cracks. “That sounds good to me.”
“Okay, so… Is tonight good for you? Just to go ahead and get it out of the way?”
Blaine knows he’s grinning like an absolute idiot. “Yeah, definitely.”
“Good. 7:30 at the coffee shop on Main Street?”
“I’m there!” Kurt nearly giggles before turning and striding off in the other direction. Blaine doesn’t know if this counts as a date or not, or even if he and Kurt will get along in person, but he can’t bring himself to worry just yet. Now that he feels like he can breathe again, all he wants to do is hug everyone he sees and dance and sing until he drops.
He does at least hum as he goes from class to class, and again as he proceeds to Kurt’s box. He can’t resist doing a little dance at the fact that Kurt’s written back again, either. He reads through the note, and he seriously cannot believe this is his life. Kurt is flirting with him. Okay, he’s flirting with B.A., but Blaine also has a sort-of date (oh holy shit, what is he going to wear) with Kurt tonight, and things are just going very well right now. He’d love to tell someone – but he can’t tell Kurt without revealing he’s B.A. and if he tells Wes and David, they’ll just tell him ‘I told you so!’
He reads over Kurt’s note again, and he makes a decision. He has a poem for this note… But it doesn’t really fit. He’s having a lot of trouble finding non-Shakespeare poems to use, and he doesn’t want to use only one poet. Maybe, just this once, he could forgo the poem, and if Kurt doesn’t write back, he’ll give him two poems next time to make up for it.
I had a poem for you, but it doesn’t really feel right. I hope you don’t mind the lack thereof – I just thought since we’ve been talking so much in our notes, maybe I didn’t need other people’s words any more. I might still give you a poem every now and again – but I’ll admit it was getting a little time consuming. If you want poems, though, I can give you two next time to make up for it(?).
A lot of my friends seem to think I’m a very good singer, and I do love to perform. Hearing all of those people at auditions just left me a little bit intimidated. The friends who think I’m good thoroughly scolded me for leaving without auditioning, too, so I already feel bad about it. If I ever get up the courage to tell you who I am, I would love to sing with you sometime. I have a feeling we would sound great together.
As silly as it may sound, I haven’t paid much attention to anyone, celebrity or otherwise, since I first saw you. Before that, however, I was known to be very fond of Neil Patrick Harris.
I feel like I know you, as well – but I suppose I also have the advantage of seeing you in person. Maybe this is too much of a hint, but we’ve spoken in person now, as well.
What was your first kiss like? You be careful, too. I might get jealous.
He smiles as he finishes the note, labels it for Kurt and sticks it into his box. That smile remains firmly on his face as he goes through his last two classes and proceeds to his favorite coffee shop. He realizes that he’s beaten Kurt there and decides to order for him – getting a nonfat mocha in addition to his usual medium drip. He then finds a table close to the door, and as Kurt comes in, he waves him down.
“Hey – I got you a mocha -”
“Good guess.” Kurt smiled as he took the coffee. It was only then that Blaine realized Kurt had told B.A. his coffee order – not Blaine. Shit. Kurt doesn’t seem suspicious, though, just pleasantly surprised, so Blaine smiles back at him.
He shrugs. “I try. Anyways, what are these topics we’re working with? I’m afraid I wasn’t paying a lot of attention in class today.”
Kurt smirks at him a little as he rifles through his satchel. “I thought maybe that was the case. Don’t worry about it.” As Kurt lays the paper on the table, Blaine takes a moment to appreciate how comfortable they are with each other. He feels a little ridiculous now, thinking that everything would go so badly, when clearly he and Kurt were practically meant to be good friends at the very least. “- so I think the best option for us is probably the causes of the fall of the Roman Empire.”
…And he’s missed Kurt’s entire explanation of how he went over the topics. God, he’s a terrible student when this boy is around. “Okay, that sounds great! Rome is always interesting.”
Knowingly, Kurt smiles. “Yes, it is. Sort of why I thought we should choose it. Anyways, I figured we could just divide the project into paper and visual aide. I don’t mind doing the paper, but-“
“Oh, I can do the paper! I’m an English major, so-“
“Yes, I know. That’s why I was hoping you would. I, in turn, can promise an absolutely fabulous visual aide. I have an eye for coordination.”
Blaine tilts his head a little. “I’ve noticed you have a really good eye for fashion – I know you’re a musical theatre major, but are you doing anything with design?”
Kurt blushes again. “I guess we both know a little too much about each other, huh? I – um. I’m thinking about a minor in fashion or interior design.”
At Kurt’s remark, Blaine blushes as well. “I guess so.” He chuckles nervously.
“Look, I wanted to-“
They both speak simultaneously, and they laugh. Here’s the awkward Blaine had feared – but it’s almost a comfortable sort of awkward. “You go ahead,” he says with a smile. He was just about to tell Kurt that he was B.A., because the more comfortable their notes got, and with how comfortable they seemed in person, he thinks maybe it would all turn out all right, after all – but maybe now isn’t the time, after all.
“I was just going to tell you that I saw you play in here the other day. I was sort of hiding behind my laptop, working on my theatre paper, but I was there. Wes told me to hang around.”
Wes. Blaine isn’t sure if he wants to run his friend through with a sword or write him a thank you note. For the moment, he settles on giving Kurt a nervous smile. “Really? He and David, my roommate, sort of… Forced me into it. Wes told his manager he could find entertainment, and he would have gotten into trouble if I didn’t perform.”
“Do you not enjoy performing?”
Blaine’s eyes widen. “Oh! No, no, I just… I just hadn’t done it in a while. I used to perform at theme parks over the summer.” He grins a little and Kurt smirks at him.
“Theme parks? Really?”
“Well, it was good money, and my dad always wanted me to get a job – in fact, I kind of got the job performing just to make him angry. He would have much preferred if I had interned at an office or something, but I heard about the auditions at Six Flags and I knew it would piss him off.”
Kurt’s brow furrows a little with sympathy, and Blaine is afraid he’s ruined the mood, but then Kurt smiles again, softer this time. “Well, you’re great. You should sing in public more often.”
He can’t help but laugh a little at that, looking down at his coffee. “Just don’t tell Wes and David that – they’ll try to get me to stage impromptu performances in the middle of campus – it would just be our high school all over again.”
Smiling, Kurt takes a sip of his coffee, then his eyes widen. He swallows quickly before speaking. “Wait – I’m sorry, what was it you were going to say?”
Damn. Blaine was very seriously hoping he’d forgotten. “Oh, it wasn’t anything important. Don’t worry about it.”
Kurt gives him a little bit of a look, but goes to drink his coffee again and Blaine does the same. Thank God Kurt believed him.
They go back over the division of the project before they leave, and as they part ways, Blaine realizes he already misses Kurt, just by the time he reaches his room. Part of him wishes that he would have had to nerve to tell Kurt he was B.A. while they were in there – maybe then the two of them could still be talking at the coffee shop. Or maybe, they could be back at Kurt’s room… No, no, Blaine isn’t going to let his mind go there. He’s trying to woo Kurt – not sexually harass him. He really doesn’t need Kurt to think he’s even creepier than he is.
When he hears David come back to the room, he doesn’t know how much time has passed, but he’s still lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling and thinking almost exclusively of how spectacular his day has been. He hasn’t moved since he got back from the coffee shop.
“Oh no.” David sighs. “What is it this time?”
Blaine grins up at the ceiling.
“Wait – that is not moping. Did Kurt pronounce his undying love for B.A.? Was I right about everything? What is it?”
“Kurt sat next to me in history. And then we went out for coffee.”
He glances over to see the shocked but thoroughly pleased look on David’s face. “Well, then. Does he know? Was it a date?”
He turns back to the ceiling. “No. I almost told him – but no. And it wasn’t a date – he asked me to be his project partner and then we went out to pick our topic and divide the work.”
“You should have told him.” Blaine sighs; a response without words to let David know he agrees, reluctantly. “Either way, I’m happy for you. It looks like this whole just might work out. Who knew stalking could be so effective?”
“Still not a stalker,” he mumbles in response – but he still can’t wipe the idiotic grin off his face.
That night, Blaine dreams of dancing around the coffee shop with Kurt, singing Emily Dickinson poems as duets.
The next day, of course, is Tuesday. Miserable, Kurt-less Tuesday. He checks Kurt’s box for a note regardless, but apparently Kurt is too busy to write back on Tuesdays – he must have a full day of classes. Blaine’s Tuesday, on the other hand, is almost free, and catastrophically boring. He spends the day looking through poem anthologies, though, and finds a really nice Emily Dickinson poem to use for his next note, so he’ll have two if Kurt wants them. At least the day isn’t entirely wasted.
He doesn’t remember what he dreamed about when he wakes up the next day, but he doesn’t really care, because he gets dressed in his pre-planned outfit and rushes to history like his life depends on it – maybe it sort of does, at this point, considering how pointless Tuesday had seemed.
Kurt sits next to him in history again, but they only have time to greet each other before class. About ¼ of the way through the lecture, Blaine thinks of passing a note to Kurt – but… Would he recognize his handwriting as B.A.’s? …Maybe he’s thinking too much. Kurt probably doesn’t care that much does he?
They’re studying China and the Mongols – and he can’t help but notice how much Kurt would probably appreciate the opportunity to express himself about the unfortunate design of Genghis Khan’s helmet. He knows that really, they barely know each other… But it feels so much like they do…
I’m sure you only wish you had a hat quite so fabulous.
He jots the note on the edge of his notebook paper and tilts it towards Kurt, getting his attention. Blaine watches his face light up as he suppresses a giggle. God, he is so in love with Kurt Hummel.
Well, only if you have a matching one, of course. Those antennae feathers are just dying to be revived as a trend.
Blaine smiles back at him and tries to go back to paying attention, at least until Kurt pokes him in the arm. The one touch nearly makes him shudder – he’s never been quite so hopeless about someone before.
I have some design sketches for the visual aide. Do you want to go out for coffee again tonight and look over them with me? I know we still have plenty of time, but…
He gets the feeling from Kurt’s unfinished sentence that Kurt is afraid he would rather be doing something else – as if he has a life or something. He could probably be using the time to do other work that is due sooner than this project… But really, even if he wasn’t with Kurt, he’d be finding other ways to procrastinate.
I’d love to!
He wonders if maybe the exclamation point was a bit too much, but then Kurt smiles at him and whatever caused that smile was so worth it.
They both pack up and Kurt turns to him as they’re walking into the hallway together. “So, is 7:30 still good?”
“Yeah, definitely. Unless you want to meet earlier…?” Kurt looks surprised, and Blaine is afraid he’s overstepped, implying they should spend more time to together. “I mean –“
“That sounds fine.” Kurt is back to smiling now, so he guesses he hasn’t overstepped after all. That’s a relief. “Um… When do your classes end?”
“3:00. How about you?”
Kurt’s grin widens a little. “3:30. So why don’t we meet at the coffee shop at… 4:00?”
Blaine smiles, nodding eagerly. “That sounds awesome.” It does, in fact. After class, Blaine can run by McKinley, check for Kurt’s note, then head to the coffee shop and order for Kurt again.
“Alright.” Kurt rocks forward on his feet a little. “I’ll see you, then.”
“See you.” Blaine grins and starts humming again as he heads off to his next classes with his head in the clouds. As soon as he’s done, he basically jogs to McKinley and almost tears Kurt’s note in his haste to read it.
The poems were very sweet gestures, of course, and I love them – I wouldn’t mind you giving me one every now and again, but they’re certainly not necessary. Especially not if they’re inconveniencing you in any way. I like just writing these notes with you as well.
I look forward to our duets.
Honestly, I’m a little bit fond of David Burtka – but I see Neil’s appeal, undoubtedly.
I’m sorry the rest of this note seems a little… forced. The tale of my first kiss is not exactly a pleasant one. It’s certainly not going to make you jealous of anyone. If it wasn’t for how oddly comfortable I feel with you, I wouldn’t even tell you. I just hope that this doesn’t scare you away.
When I was in high school in Lima, I experienced more than my fair share of bullying. But above and beyond the bullying, there was this… Neanderthal. He was terrible – shoving me into lockers, throwing slushies at me, verbally abusing me. One day, I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to stand up to him – but as it turned out, he was gay. He kissed me. He tried to kiss me again, but I stopped him – it was one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had. And it was my first kiss with a boy.
I’m sorry for ruining the mood a little with that. I just felt like you deserved the truth. Really… You’re one of the first boys that’s paid much positive attention to me at all. I can’t believe I’ve met you in person as well – and that you were willing to tell me. I hope you’ll tell me who you are soon – I hate to be so cliché, but to quote a song by the inferior-but-catchy Katy Perry, you often make me feel like I’m living a teenage dream.
Blaine can’t breathe. He spent most of the note falling even harder for Kurt, and wanting to hold him and never let go, but… That song quote at the end didn’t feel like a coincidence. Especially considering that Kurt had just spoken to him on Monday about he saw Blaine’s performance, including that very song, at the coffee shop. Did his handwriting give him away after all? He can’t believe how stupid he was to think he would get away with it. He can’t help but to wonder if Kurt is upset with him, and if he won’t show up – but they’re working on that project together, and they haven’t exchanged phone numbers yet… Maybe it was just a guess? But it was a correct guess, and Blaine really doesn’t want to take any chances. He puts the note in his bag, but decides not to write back as B.A. – at least for a couple of days. Maybe he doesn’t need the notes any more, anyways. He’s speaking to Kurt in person now… Wasn’t that the original point anyways? To get Kurt’s attention? Because he has it, even if he doesn’t necessarily have it in any romantic sense.
He shakes his head quickly, trying to quiet his brain, and he starts toward the coffee shop.