Warnings: Silly Love Songs spoilers
Word Count: ~10K
Summary: Blaine likes his coffee with two shots of espresso and a heavy dose of romance.
Notes: Thanks to S & S for the betaing. This so wouldn't have been as good without your help. ♥ Thank you both for nurturing this into something that actually works.
This is not a love story.
This is a story about coffee.
You see, coffee is a start. It's an introduction. You know the cliches. Girl likes boy. Girl likes girl. Boy likes boy. One asks the other if they want coffee. It's an ease into something more. It's simple, plain, and harmless. Coffee means sitting across from one another around a small table. It means getting close while the crowds swarm around you. The swell of conversation forces you to lift your voice and to lean into each other's space if you want to be heard, and all around it's this warm, private world for just two people: you and the person you like.
Blaine likes coffee for a lot of reasons, but it's primarily because of the environment. He likes the forced intimacy of it and the idea of divulging inconsequential pieces of himself over the scent of bitter coffee beans and spice. He's fidgety when he's nervous, so he needs something to do with his hands; what better than a cup of coffee? He can fit his hands around it and scratch his nails into the cup. In winter, the act will keep his fingertips warm, and in summer, he can blame the sweat of his palms on the condensation.
Jeremiah likes cafÈ au laits -- plain coffee with steamed milk that frothed over the surface. He adds only a little sugar to counteract the taste of coffee, and when he drinks, it's with little sips between sentences as he talks. Blaine thinks Jeremiah's kind of quiet, speaking in hushed sort of tones, and it's such a difference from Dalton and the Warblers and Kurt, even, that he can't help but notice.
Blaine has never really prided himself on reading people, but he likes to think that he can read Jeremiah pretty well. Jeremiah's really cute, but he doesn't really like attention (which Blaine totally doesn't get because hello, cute, but whatever). He's timid and always watching people -- Blaine especially. He's got this curious gleam to his eye like he's trying to smother it, and Blaine is happy to realize that he likes that look on Jeremiah, likes the attentiveness it implies, likes the idea of them getting coffee like this for a little while before progressing to something more meaningful.
They talk. They talk for a long time about gay lifestyles especially, which has -- Blaine realizes -- become somewhat of a theme in his life lately. He doesn't mind -- not really; he's out and proud and pretty pleased with how his life has shaped up to be despite the bullying he's experienced. It's nice, though, to meet someone older to talk to about it.
Surprisingly, Jeremiah is less comfortable in his own skin than Blaine is. It's not something immediately noticeable -- not with how frequently he brings up homosexuality in their conversation -- but there's something about it that's dampened somehow without being closeted or rejected. It's as if Jeremiah considers his sexuality to be something personal and private, to be folded up into something unobtrusive and tucked into his pocket. Blaine can sympathize. While he couldn't bear to do it now, there has been a time when he'd thought the best thing to do was to hide it all away until the time was right.
That first encounter dwindles to nothing after a couple of hours. Their coffee is gone and conversation has very nearly run dry. After throwing away his empty cup, Blaine's pretty busy with feeling fidgety because hey, Jeremiah is really nice and tall and there's this thing that happens to his voice that's very low and attractive. Blaine fusses with his phone instead and checks the time.
When Blaine looks up, Jeremiah smiles breathtakingly from across the table as he says, "This was nice. Talking, I mean. We should do it again."
Blaine forgets about the time and checking his messages and whether or not he needs gas before the long drive back home. His heart is beating at double-time suddenly -- a fast, pounding beat that is one part fright and three parts thrill. He blurts out: "Are you free Saturday?"
"After work," says Jeremiah because, that's right, he's older and has responsibilities. Blaine can't stop thinking about how that means Jeremiah has so much more experience than him. "It might be late, but it's not like this place closes early. Would you mind?"
"Of course not," Blaine answers immediately. "I'll be here."
"Great." Jeremiah is all smiles again, and goodness, Blaine sees dimples. "I'll see you then."
They don't hug or shake hands or even have meaningful eye contact, but Jeremiah waves back at Blaine before he ducks through the door. Blaine stands next to their coffee table, just watching as Jeremiah flips up the hood of his sweatshirt and makes a run for his car.
Saturday, Blaine thinks to himself as he collapses shakily into his chair. Saturday and coffee and Jeremiah.
Coffee goes even better on Saturday than it had the first time around. Jeremiah seems more open and so quietly, fiercely curious about what life is like for Blaine that his gut sort of goes warm with every progressive inquiry. He's fascinated, apparently, with the interaction between Blaine and the rest of the Warblers, with their easy physical contact and their deep camaraderie.
Blaine very nearly drowns in the details Jeremiah confesses to him. The more he learns about the man across from him, the longer he forgets about drinking his coffee or eating his biscotti. It's so reassuring to realize that Jeremiah doesn't have any particular ambitions in life -- not that he doesn't have any but that he just can't choose between so many options -- and that he's been working at the Gap since high school because he just wanted to do something with himself while he was deciding where to go to college.
"You're lucky, you know," Jeremiah tells him. "I've heard good things about the kids that come out of Dalton. I'm from a small, public school -- not so great with the grades, but I did alright. Getting into a good school won't be the problem for you that it is for me."
Jeremiah presses his fingers to the table as he talks. It's a sort of splay of his fingers that arches up into the broad bone of his wrist and the soft cuff of his jacket. Blaine is acutely aware of how close those fingers are to his hands.
"I haven't really thought about college much," Blaine admits, but doesn't mention that he's now very interested in where Jeremiah might go. "It seems so far off still."
"I thought that too when I was your age," says Jeremiah. He seems to look Blaine over thoughtfully. "But it won't be long before you're graduating and going off into the real world."
While Jeremiah launches into a comparison of the different schools he's considering, Blaine picks apart that look Jeremiah had given him. It'd been kind of intense on this end -- like Jeremiah had been looking him over with something particular in mind. He doesn't know what it means, but he knows it made the heat in his belly surge high. It tightens in his throat and squeezes around his lungs. It feels like his heart's beating in slow motion -- in this steady ba-dum ba-dum ba-dum that flows with Jeremiah's gestures and his voice and his sort of self-deprecating smile.
Blaine finds he really likes the sound of Jeremiah's voice. It's smooth and quiet and filled with a strong sense of honesty. Blaine likes the expressive lilt as Jeremiah mentions marketing programs and going into business. Maybe it's the suggestion of intensity in Jeremiah's tone -- the one that shivers over Blaine's skin and down his spine -- that starts the fantasy of them drinking coffee in their apartment, in their kitchen, and listening to Jeremiah talk about a successful business deal.
It's simple. Just coffee in their kitchen -- with the espresso machine burbling over Jeremiah's voice and Blaine leaning over the island as he breathes in the rich flavor of a fresh drink, listening to the way Jeremiah sounds when he feels successful. It's nothing more than thinking that success would look good on Jeremiah's shoulders. It would make him stand a little taller, walk with more confidence, and give him the sense of security he's admitted to wanting.
He would give Jeremiah that security if he asked for it. It'd be easy to mold his life into Jeremiah's. Blaine's life, as it is right now, is nothing if not flexible. It'd take nothing more than a decision on his part to follow Jeremiah to whatever college he attended. Then it'd be a sweet courtship from there to -- well, not marriage because it wasn't legal in Ohio yet, but as close as they could get with living together in massive, co-dependent bliss. Maybe if one of them or both of them wanted it badly enough, they could fly out to the east coast for a week or something. It'd be sort of tacky, though -- like a shotgun, Vegas wedding -- but it'd be spontaneous and spurred onward by love and romance and the desire to say that he belonged to someone, whole and truly.
Nothing wrong with wanting forever.
Now, coffee -- it's good, right? Everyone has a certain flavor they like and particular ways they take it. Be it plain, black, and thick with flavor or whipped light with milk and steam, people have their tastes. Maybe they take it with ice even in the height of winter. Maybe they don't drink it often at all and when they do, it's got to be strung up on cream and sugar and chocolate until it hardly tastes like coffee at all.
No matter how it's taken, coffee inserts into your life this little jolt -- this punch of electricity, this slight madness. It wakes you up and opens your eyes. Life seems a little brighter. Jokes seem a little funnier. Laughter seems to bubble out of you, smiles come a little easier, and it's that much easier to go through the day, light on your feet and quick as a sharp breeze.
Pretty soon, it starts to feel like you can't do anything at all without that particular brew you favor. Every morning has to start with that whiff of flavor -- the taste of it, the warmth of it. Once it gets to be that you have some every day, it's not enough to have that little bit. So you get a bigger cup. Maybe you forgo the usual combination and succumb to an fifty-five-cent shot of espresso. It gets to be a little bitter, but it gives you what you need to feel like the day is worth trudging through.
Then, out of the idea that maybe you're strong enough, you decide to try going without it. Turns out, you end the day as this snarling, vicious monster with a headache that just pounds and pounds and pounds, determined to show you just how much you can't do without coffee.
Coffee's addictive, you know. Once you have a taste, it's hard to do without.
After that stupid serenade in the Gap -- after the nervous, apologetic expression on Jeremiah's face came and went, Blaine is incredibly confused. While he's standing outside the store, staring after Jeremiah's hunched shoulders, he feels a bit like glass -- cracked, but unbroken, by the friendly, indulgent smack of Jeremiah's hand against his arm -- and if he moves, that'll be the end of it. He wants to feel sad about being rejected, but the fact is that he just feels like he's been misled somehow and angry about it.
What is he supposed to think about that parting shot anyway?
"We're not dating. Even if we were, I'd get arrested because you're underage," Jeremiah said -- like he thought about it and found Blaine's age to be enough of a deterrent.
What's he supposed to do with that? It's not like Blaine can take that as a character flaw because he can't help his age. He's sixteen and charming, and Jeremiah just -- just... turned him down because, yeah, Blaine is charming and Blaine is handsome and Jeremiah can like Blaine's personality all he wants, but because of a number, he won't consider it? It would have been better if Jeremiah had gotten angry with him for outing him so publicly, but no, Jeremiah's nicer than that.
Sure, Jeremiah was angry, but he hadn't yelled at Blaine. He'd been friendly but disappointed, which was, come to think of it, the worst of it -- like Blaine hadn't been worth feeling betrayed over, even if he had broken a confidence, however unintentionally. Jeremiah corrected Blaine with a quiet explanation of the consequences and an honest expression of his feelings, and then he left, looking back just once.
Blaine longs to think that Jeremiah's backward glance had been regretful. That's a nice, if also monumentally depressing, thought, right -- the idea that someone regrets never having given another person a chance? It doesn't fit Jeremiah though, and Blaine feels more confused and angry over it than before.
He sags down next to Kurt, festering in the middle of his muddled thoughts, and huffs, "I am such an idiot."
Blaine knows that he's a romantic. He's got the heart for it and loves the feeling it gives him, even if the follow through is zero for one so far. The consensus is that heartbreak pretty much sucks all around, though it's unexpected how upset the scent of coffee makes him feel now. Just the thought of getting his usual medium drip reminds him of how he's been so stupid, so foolish, and he can't stand it.
Because he feels like this, Blaine is unreasonably grateful that Kurt is the best friend that a guy could ask for in his time of woe. He's funny, smart, and seems to know exactly when to push and when to back off. He treats Blaine with surprisingly little delicacy in the wake of the Gap Attack, while the rest of the Warblers avoid the subject entirely.
It's probably because he's grateful for Kurt's presence and sympathy that he doesn't expect the bomb to drop when it does.
It's routine by now for them to drive home together. They live a surprisingly short distance apart, though on opposite sides of Lima, and they've made a habit of dropping by a particular coffee shop on their way. This time is no different, but Blaine has half expected that they'd skip their usual pit stop out of respect for his recent heart break. He should have known better.
When Kurt pulls into the parking lot for the Lima Bean, Blaine's caught by surprise. He sinks deeper into the passenger seat without shame. "Kurt --" He's pleading and is not afraid to admit it. "Can we not today, please?"
"Don't be ridiculous," Kurt says, unapologetically waspish. "I've had a long day and I need a pick-me-up, stat. Now, you can sulk out here all you want over a boy that you'll never see again --" Blaine flinches, but Kurt barrels right on: "--or you can get some coffee with me. You look like you need it more than me anyway."
Blaine considers staying in the car for a long moment before he finally eases out of the Navigator and trudges into the coffee shop after Kurt. The scent and the heat hit him first, and liveliness floats into his blood immediately. He's automatically on edge because of it, and of course, the first thing he sets his eyes on is all the Valentine's Day themed items.
He bitches and grouches over the sight of them, prepared to feel plenty sorry for himself. Kurt lets him do that for a little while, quietly listening without comment, --
"Because we've always been completely honest with each other... You and I -- we hang out. We sing flirty duets together. You know my coffee order... Was I supposed to think that that was nothing?"
-- before he blindsides Blaine completely.
#Getting coffee with Kurt has been and always will be different from getting coffee with Jeremiah.
For Blaine, his coffee shop stops with Jeremiah were about getting to know each other and exploring each other's thoughts before Blaine decided to crash head-first into an elaborate and self-generated delusion. Kurt, though -- there was always something absolutely fitting about putting Kurt into the coffee shop environment. Of course, he and Kurt also got to know each other better over coffee and share their thoughts while savoring the flavors of their chosen drinks, but it was far easier with Kurt than it had ever been with Jeremiah. It just seemed natural for them to flow from car to counter to table without pause until they were practically knocking knees as they crowded around a small table.
It's different now, though. Kurt's more talkative than usual in the wake of his confession, like he wants to railroad over anything Blaine might have to say with ideas for a Warbler performance at Breadstix. Blaine lets him talk because it's better this way. He can get lost in his thoughts like this, allow himself these moments to rearrange them properly, and pick out the details that have suddenly become massively important.
Blaine is actually a little awed by how he feels right now. Just knowing that Kurt likes him makes him feel good, warm inside and out, like Kurt's feelings are a blanket to be wrapped up in. Since Kurt's pointed out their interactions from his perspective, Blaine helplessly acknowledges that his ability to be oblivious and delusional might have been cranked up to it's height for a while now.
After all, what's a sexy serenade in the Gap compared to a flirtatious duet in private? What's a couple cups of coffee with Jeremiah when he's been getting coffee with Kurt nearly every day since the start of the new term?
They don't talk about it. They drink coffee, Kurt plays with the whipped cream of his (grande, non-fat) mocha while he talks about potential song choices for a single's night out, and Blaine just watches him.
It's pretty amazing what he sees when he actually pays attention. He's always thought of Kurt as a bit delicate -- an ingrained impression from seeing Kurt cry during their first couple encounters -- but it's not because he's thought of Kurt as weak or anything. No one withstood bullying and death threats with their head held high without being tough as nails, but just looking at him, Blaine sees that Kurt has a fragility around the lines of his eyes.
The thing is, though, Kurt is actually bigger than him. It's not much and it might, in fact, have a lot to do with his hair. He's taller by at least an inch even without additional coif and broader in the shoulders, though he slims it down through excellent style choices. He doesn't talk with his hands the way Blaine does or the way Jeremiah did. Instead, he holds his coffee cup constantly -- not clutching it because that would imply some kind of desperation, but like... like his hand is just there, seeking the knowledge of the cup's presence. Even when Blaine notices how Kurt tucks his other arm close to his body and leans over it protectively, he's stuck on that one hand around the coffee cup.
He thinks about how Kurt does that kind of thing when he's comfortable with someone. He just reaches out his hand and touches. There's meaning when Kurt does it -- not like when it's Blaine or any of the other Warblers -- because Kurt places such a heavy weight on hands and the holding of them. So, when Kurt holds his cup, it brings to mind words like foundation and reassurance. There's nothing shaky about Kurt's grip; it's there and it's solid and it's not going anywhere, not for a while, not until Kurt is absolutely finished with touching.
It's easy to imagine them at some pre-production gathering at a theatre -- that awkward mingling of guests in the foyer before everyone is allowed to find their seats. There are usually drinks at that kind of place and normally Blaine would offer to get them first, but he's got his head tipped back so he can stare at the intricate mural on on the ceiling. So, Kurt gets them drinks. He goes, he comes back, and in addition to voicing his return, he nudges Blaine's arm with his elbow before passing over a styrofoam cup of coffee.
What Blaine pictures isn't any different from how he and Kurt interact now -- not really -- but he layers the possibilities of it together. Kurt would like Broadway, but living in New York is so expensive compared to Ohio that of course, if Blaine's with him at the theatre, it just makes sense for them to be splitting rent over an apartment on the edge of the city too. Kurt would talk a lot -- just like he's talking now -- and he wouldn't be able to hide the absolute delight in his voice or face. So even if he keeps his arms crossed over his chest, Kurt would also be bouncing on his toes, swaying and tilting and making up for his lack of gesticulation by being more expansively expressive with his face. He'd be like that the whole way home, so full of energy and excitement that he's vibrating with new life. He'd be smiling and he'd be laughing and he'd be watching Blaine so intently that sharing in Kurt's joy would be undeniable.
Oh, Blaine doesn't even know how he missed it. Kurt is always watching him in some way or another. He would like to say it's flattering foremost, but it's mostly frightening. It's so much scarier because Kurt knows so much about him. Forget those little details about Blaine's life that he'd told Jeremiah; inconsequential things stay inconsequential. Kurt knows the important things -- his thoughts and his feelings, his dreams and preferences -- the things that make Blaine a whole person in ways that are more significant than his hobbies and taste in weekend wear.
So yeah, it's scary as hell, but he still looks at Kurt with this sort of awestruck expression until words start to die in Kurt's throat and a blush slowly works up from under his collar and over his cheeks. It's cute -- like, really cute -- the way he tries to hide it behind his drink.
So coffee. It's a start and it's addictive as hell. Once you start drinking it, it's hard to stop. But let's say that you do manage quit coffee for a while. Let's say, for argument's sake, that you gather up your will power and suck it up through the withdrawal symptoms. Eventually, you get to a point where you can shuffle through your morning without coffee. It might not be for a few days. It might not be for weeks or months, but eventually, you're there.
And let's say that you drop by a coffee shop again to test your resolve. All around you, there's that scent again, and it's calling to you because it knows that, even if you can live without it, you don't really want to. Even so, you try... maybe a smoothie, instead (sugar sweet, but a bit much for a long term commitment). Or maybe that herbal green tea stuff (healthy and tastes fine, but there's really only so many ways to take it). It's good, and you like it alright for a few days. It makes you feel good about being able to go into a coffee shop and not give in to the craving.
But the fact of the matter is that you want coffee. Even when you shouldn't, even when it's bad for you, you want it. Sure, sometimes it gives you headaches, but it's only because you want it so bad in your life and aren't being allowed it.
Let's say you're back at the counter at your favorite coffee shop. Let's say all this week -- all this month -- you've been good. You've tried all the other, non-coffee drinks offered at this shop, so now it's time to start again from the top, continuing to avoid what it is you know you're really here for... Or you can give in.
Do you think you deserve it?
Once he's started to notice, Blaine just keeps noticing.
He and Kurt aren't in the same year. They aren't even sharing any classes. They happen to live near each other, happen to share lunch periods, and of course, there's Warbler practice a few times a week. It's just that he's never paid attention before to how much time they actually spend together until he becomes hyper-aware of every time they do.
It's not like he's doing anything different. In fact, Blaine's made it a point to just go about business as usual, like maybe that will clear things up in his head that much faster. So when Kurt mentions to him on the way to morning classes that he'll be finding Wes during lunch to talk about a Valentine's Day gig, Blaine gets twice the usual lunch on his tray so that half can go to Kurt. It isn't until he's sitting down -- polishing off the last of some green beans while Kurt babbles excitedly about his successful proposition to Wes-- that he realizes he's done it at all. He wonders if that's weird, if that's something friends normally do, or if it's something thatís unique to Blaine and Kurt.
Blaine builds in his head this list of things that he's doing, and he's sort of surprised by how many things go on it that make Kurt smile. It's a lot of small things: fixing his collar, waving to him, and stealing food from his plate. Sometimes -- sometimes, he just looks at Kurt, and this slow grin spreads across Kurt's face like he can't help it. Sometimes, it's that blush coloring along his jaw and up into his hairline. Sometimes, more significantly, Blaine catches Kurt watching him, and it's unlike anything Blaine's ever seen -- contemplative and hot and cautiously considering.
It's more of a surprise how much Blaine finds he likes it.
What does that say about him -- that he likes it? Is it bad that he likes that Kurt likes him and if Blaine decides that he likes Kurt back, is it only because he likes knowing how Kurt feels about him? He hopes not. It doesn't sound very romantic or very nice. Frankly, he doesn't like pushing away his own feelings like that. He feels bad for thinking it so soon after Jeremiah, though -- like it lessens the feelings Blaine held for him -- but as soon as the idea occurs to him, he shoves the guilt down.
So, he sits. He focuses on thinking about Kurt, and it's actually actively difficult to do when Kurt's within Blaine's line of sight. He can't stop himself from getting distracted by the details that he hadn't bothered noticing before -- like hands. Kurt's hands aren't broad knuckled or thick -- sort of narrow actually -- but they're long fingered and strong looking. Blaine examines his own hands, which are kind of bulky with stubby fingers in comparison, and thinks about folding Kurt's hands into his.
He'd like to hold Kurt's hand. Just the thought kind of makes him smile while he watches Kurt from the edge of the senior commons. If that smile makes Kurt's attention jerk toward him, that's okay. In fact, he's glad it happens because that means it matters to Kurt that Blaine's smiling, that Blaine's smiling because he's thinking about holding Kurt's hand.
It's really, really easy to go from holding hands to other things. After all, he already knows what it feels like to have Kurt's body against his, even if the context was different. He'd slung his arm around Kurt's shoulders at McKinley, and Kurt had practically body checked him in the Gap. So he's got this tactile memory of Kurt in his skin, and if he thinks really hard about it, he can imagine what it would be like to have Kurt snuggled up against him.
That feeling -- the one where there's someone close, someone warm and happy and content -- is all that Blaine needs for a little while. It's nice to have just that. No need to have an over-involved fantasy of some shared apartment in the distant future. It could be anywhere, any time, and that's what's great about it -- like maybe he could have it now if he just had the courage to let himself want it.
So, for a little bit, he does.
Back to the coffee. You've got a small portion of it in your hands now, but it's been a long time, and it's kind of scary, isn't it? You've got these thoughts churning in your brain -- you know the ones -- where you start to wonder about your own motives and what it is you're trying to prove. You'll keep thinking as you find a spot further off the main track of the coffee shop, tucking yourself into the corner with your cup. I mean, what if it's not as good as you remember? What if coffee was just this big, fat delusion born out of your need to have something make you feel more alive?
Well, whatever. It smells good anyway, right? And when you fold your hands around the cup, it's warm, right -- just like you remember? The heat of it just seeps into your fingers, and maybe you didn't realize how cold your hands were until they were sweating together around your coffee. It's nice, though, just sitting here with your coffee and watching the other customers while you wait for it to cool down enough to drink.
Pretty soon, though, it'll be ready, and you'll have to take a sip.
It tastes better than you remember. Of course, it does.
Last time you went through this, it was out of requirement, out of need instead of desire. Coffee's never quite the same like that. See, you don't savor coffee for the caffeine, but for the flavor. Some people like bitter, some people like sweet. Either way, it's that burst of sensation across the tongue, the taste of satisfaction that coats your teeth and settles in your gut.
It's not about the buzz this time. It only has a little to do with the rush or the excitement. It's about finding something that fits into your life and gives it a little bit of flavor. It's about waking up to it in the morning and maybe fitting a little more at lunch. It's about the taste in your mouth, and it's even about the headaches. It's finding that one that's just right for you and wanting it every day for the rest of your life.
Maybe you forgot for a little while, but the fact of the matter is that you love coffee. You love it a lot.
"Hey." Kurt scuffs their shoes together and smiles when Blaine looks up. "You ready to go home?"
Gathering up his stuff, Blaine nods before yawning. He shakes his head afterward and blinks open his eyes in an attempt to wake himself up. "Yeah," he says. "Though could we make a pit stop before we get out of Westerville? I don't think I'll last all the way to Lima."
"No problem," says Kurt. "I know just the place."
Blaine shuffles along half-sleepily next to Kurt, keeping up just fine but unable to keep himself from drifting to his previous thoughts. His heart beats hard and heavy as he squeezes his hand around the strap of his satchel. He would tell himself that it'd be just like ripping off a band-aid, but that just gives it a bad connotation. There's nothing bad about wanting to hold Kurt's hand -- though it is scary -- and he already knows that Kurt likes him, so how bad could it go, really?
Once he has that thought, he latches onto it. It's kind of a pathetically lackluster sort of encouragement, even for him. Seriously: just do it -- how bad could it get? It's like a Nike commercial. If he's going to start using advertising slogans to encourage himself, he should really go with, like, L'Oreal (Because you're worth it) or Geico (So easy a caveman could do it).
So he takes a breath and shuffles over to Kurt's other side so that their bags aren't in the way. Kurt says his name in this quiet way that makes Blaine want to press into his personal space. He doesn't do that, but he does touch the inside of Kurt's elbow -- slides his fingers along Kurt's forearm and finally laces their fingers together.
Kurt squeezes his fingers around Blaine's hand and smiles. "So we're holding hands now?"
"Yeah," Blaine says. Then: "Yes," because he should sound more certain about that kind of thing, considering. "We are. Do you mind?"
"Not at all," Kurt replies, so clearly pleased that Blaine has to swallow down the butterflies that are abruptly threatening to spill out of his mouth. "Whenever my hand is available, feel free to take it."
What Kurt says is -- yeah -- pretty nice to hear. Reassuring in that noted-for-the-future way.
"So," he says and tilts his head down to look at his fingertips rubbing against the back of Kurt's hand. "We were going for coffee."
With a sort of overwhelmingly happy glow to him, Kurt nods and tugs him along. Blaine savors the feel of Kurt's hand moving within his grip -- the warm, kind of sweaty grip of their palms -- and the way they automatically clutch harder at each other as the winter air hits, like they're both afraid of the other letting go. Between getting in the car and Kurt having to drive, Blaine learns the feel of Kurt's hand clasping his again. He gets it again when they hold hands in the line to the counter to order drinks and then once more when their fingers tangle atop the table.
It's just this simple act -- holding hands. It's symbolic of how lives can mesh as a give and take, as an equal intermingling of parts of a pair, and Blaine can't even mind that holding hands with Kurt restricts about half of his ability to communicate effectively because he just likes the feel of it.
Not bad, he thinks.
So you're drinking coffee again. No big deal.
It's a step. It's a stage. It's a start. Now that you aren't doing it for the caffeine, it's a whole different trip, right? It's not about getting increasingly ambitious doses, but about the exploration of taste. Sure, maybe you liked your coffee a certain way before, but this time you're free to see if you like soy milk instead of regular, if you prefer whipped cream or without. Are the chocolate sprinkles really worth it? (Yes, absolutely.) What about the nutmeg? (Not bad, but the cinnamon's better, isn't it?)
Whatever. It doesn't matter. You'll figure it out as you go. Today, you've got caramel macchiato with the extra caramel drizzled over the top, but tomorrow you might have the espresso con panna. It seems a bit bold since it's basically three to four shots of espresso capped with a pile of whipped cream, but that's okay. You do what you want.
The point is figuring it out. The point is finding out your limits and exploring the things that you'd kept yourself from trying before. The point is taking tastes of life as they happen and ultimately, being able to sit at your table, drink your coffee and say: "This is what I want."
So Blaine's a romantic. It's a character trait he considers to be a pretty big part of him, so it's important that he mentions it. Blaine's a romantic and he's a dreamer. It doesn't take much to trigger him.
Take Kurt, for instance. He's not a very physical kind of guy. Blaine's heard about him being on a cheer squad and on the football team at McKinley, but even with those cases, Blaine can't picture Kurt helping girls balance on pyramids or doing team huddles with other football players. It's not any different from the Warblers; Kurt doesn't get too physical with them either. Maybe it's a little lame, but Blaine feels lucky that they hold hands at all.
So it's kind of a surprise when Kurt starts initiating things.
It's not much at first. It's just little things. When they're sitting next to each other, Kurt lets their knees knock together or when Blaine sinks back against the couch, Kurt does the same, but their arms overlap and their fingers tangle together. It happens when they're getting coffee together and they're holding hands like usual, but there's also Kurt's ankle under the table, booted into leather and just resting against Blaine's calf like it's got no where else to be. Then, there's the time that Blaine falls asleep on the way back to Lima and gets woken up by Kurt's hand on his shoulder -- this solid stroke of palm through the heavy material of his blazer that ends in the crook of his neck.
Blaine knows now that Kurt's thumb can fit pretty easily into the space of his collar bone, and that it. That's all it takes for Blaine to start thinking about it.
Thinking about it is different from the usual day dreams -- though yes, it's kind of vivid and wishful. It's not like it had been with Jeremiah (distant, impossible, imperfect), which is a relief. A great deal of his dreams center on Kurt's hands and the feel of them. He thinks about how they would touch through the hair around his ears and how it'd be easy for Kurt to circle around to the corner of jaw -- from there to the slope of his neck to the hollow between his collarbones.
It's nerve wracking, just thinking of asking, but he's loose and pliant from his nap and the car is heavy with heat. The idea of leaving the car, even to go home and sink into his bed with these thoughts, isn't comparable to staying right where he is with Kurt's hand on his shoulder. Blaine leans across the arm rest and puts his hand on Kurt's knee. He's not very subtle about where his eyes are lingering, though he does glance up to look at Kurt's face, to see if maybe he's jumping too far, too fast. It wouldn't be the first time, but he's trying to be better about that.
"Kurt," he says and quite against his own volition, his hand creeps up Kurt's leg. "I really want to blow you."
A sort of hysterical laughter burbles out of Kurt's mouth, but his hand stays on Blaine's shoulder -- even digs in a little, like he's scared his laughter will make Blaine leave. "Seriously?" he asks.
Unbuckling his seat belt, Blaine scoots that much closer, nosing into Kurt's space as he sighs, "Yeah. Seriously."
They breathe like that for a little while -- with Kurt's hand on his shoulder and Blaine leaning into it to make the touch more firm. Kurt sways close, holding Blaine exactly where he wants him, and just brushes their noses together in soft, affectionate eskimo kisses. It's comfortable and Blaine's stomach does little flips into his chest, in anticipation of being kissed for real -- honestly and by someone who loves him.
All that time, though, there's Kurt's hand on his shoulder, with his index finger and his thumb framing the base of his neck. Kurt has long fingers, though, and it's really easy to have Kurt's fingertips press against the bones of Blaine's spine while the pad of his thumb strokes upward over his jugular.
Kurt doesn't have to say anything. All he has to do is push a little with his thumb on Blaine's breast bone and his fingers on his shoulder, and just like that, Blaine leans down between Kurt and the steering wheel with his heart hammering in his chest. He hasn't seen Kurt naked or even in anything less than fully clothed, now that he thinks about it, so even though he knows they both want this, it feels like a big deal to go through this jump. After a bit of faltering with Kurt's zipper and shoving down his clothing, though, it's easy enough to forget about all that when Kurt is petting the back of Blaine's neck, stroking up into his hair and then down along his spine, while Blaine goes down on him.
Having never had any experience with like any other person but himself, Blaine relies solely on that and porn to reproduce what is surely the best first blow job ever. It starts out with Blaine just breathing near the curve of Kurt's cock. He likes the musk of it -- likes how it means that Kurt's been thinking of him like this -- and the sort of thick way the scent fills his senses.
Blaine's a little nervous about it, but he figures it's just like touching himself. It's a different angle, yeah, and leaning over Kurt like this puts him at eye-level -- very up close and personal. It's still, good, though, and not exactly a deterrent to wrap his hand around Kurt and feel the way he throbs within the circle of his palm. Kurt's skin is soft and stroking over it is pretty phenomenally amazing. Of course, then Kurt shudders and his fingers twitch against the back of Blaine's neck. It's not forcing Blaine any further away or any closer. It's an involuntary announcement of how Blaine makes Kurt feel, and that is so enticing.
The first taste is kind of salty-sweet -- like sweat and sugar all at once -- and Blaine eases into it, taking Kurt into his mouth bit by bit until he can't anymore. He feels -- he doesn't know -- intoxicated, he guesses, to have Kurt filling his mouth to its limit. He can't breathe without smelling Kurt, can't gasp without tasting him, and his mouth is watering to boot. It's awkward, it's messy, and he doesn't want to look like an idiot down here, so he tries to swallow down his saliva. His tongue flips up hard against Kurt's cock, and he's caught again by the sensations that his mouth is just so full that his tongue can't move all that much. It's not really helpful to his state of mind at all to have tried salvaging this situation, but he tries again anyway out of desperation to claim back the idea that he knows what he's doing sometimes. So, he swallows again, and there's his tongue rubbing up against the length of Kurt's dick and Kurt's hand fisting against the side of his neck, squeezing while Kurt makes a noise that's kind of painful sounding.
Blaine draws back and swipes at his mouth with the back of his hand. He'd like to say that he has to work himself up to the thought of giving head -- like he has to consider it fully, like he didn't already think about it all the time -- but the thing is that he gets his mouth back around Kurt pretty fast after he's wiped away the extra spit. The taste is the same as the last time -- still good -- and he's more aware than ever of how breathing around Kurt is kind of difficult. He doesn't mind it, though; there's something about another boy letting the most vulnerable part of him go into a place with teeth.
The way Kurt sounds is pretty damn encouraging too, and unlike Blaine's breathing, his hearing's not at all hindered. Blaine likes that he can hear just fine the way Kurt gasps and whimpers and says his name. He likes that he can learn what he's doing right to make Kurt sound like that -- you know, when he's able to focus on something other than getting his mouth to meet his hand around Kurt's length.
If there's any time that he's going to call into question how much he likes boys, Blaine thinks that this would be it. No question here though. It's not a daddy issue. It's not desperation to get love where he can get it. Blaine likes this. Sure, it gets kind of awful there when Kurt thrusts into his mouth and Blaine chokes in a really unattractive way, but it's almost like a challenge to make Kurt do it again and have to hold him down, brace Kurt away from him with his forearm against the front of Kurt's thighs.
The claustrophobia of having his face tucked between the fold of Kurt's body and the steering wheel intensifies everything. Blaine wishes that he could string the moment out for a while longer, but he recognizes the hitches in Kurt's breath and the strain of Kurt's body for what they mean. Want spikes through Blaine like a javelin, striking hard at the core of them and remaining there, trembling with the force of it. He swallows Kurt down as far as he can get him, gets his lips right up to Kurt's zipper, and fuck, Kurt's fingers twist in his hair, trying to pull him back. He won't do it, though, won't back off because he wants this so bad -- wants Kurt flooding into his mouth, spreading across the back of his tongue and over his teeth.
Blaine breathes hard against the folds of Kurt's pants and draws off just a little bit, sucking as he goes, moaning because he wants it. Kurt's got this little whine in his voice as he says Blaine's name over and over, warning him, "I'm gonna... I'm gonna -- Blaine."
It's hot and his jaw is starting to ache and all he can hear is Kurt's voice melting into his bones, turning him languid, making it easier to just sort of let Kurt know that it's okay, that he knows, that he wants it, with some sound. Blaine groans, "Uh-huh," around Kurt's cock and just like that, in the moment where Blaine twists to get his tongue to a certain spot, Kurt comes.
He milks Kurt through it until he's shaking and doesn't even care that there's come leaking out from between his lips. He's had his taste and swallowed it down -- ingested it to make it a part of him. For now, it's good to just feel it on his fingers, while he sits back and tries to catch his breath.
Kurt looks utterly ravaged, slumped as he is against the door, and it's really satisfying to see him like that. Knowing that he can do that to someone like Kurt, who is very much the type of guy that likes to be on top of a situation, is a little like sprinting. Yeah, it's throwing himself forward, trying to get to the finish line as quickly as possible, but it's also the breath heaving in his chest, the hard pavement under his shoes, and the wind in his hair. It's feeling weightless between every step, and that overwhelming desire to just keep on going -- to just keep running after he's passed the finish line, to just keep going on until he can't any more, until he's just left with his breath and his body and the taste of Kurt in his mouth.
Leaning forward, pushing himself from the door, Kurt reaches out to thumb at the corner of Blaine's lips. It feels raw along the edges where Kurt touches him. It's in a good way, though, and a very strong part of Blaine likes how his whole face feels like it's been stretched too thin.
"Do you want some help?" Kurt asks, glancing down to where Blaine's hard between his legs.
"I'm fine," Blaine tells him honestly. Kurt gives him an incredulous look. "Really," he insists and covers Kurt's hand with his. "I just... wanted to. With you."
Kurt's mouth rounds out a soft, "Oh," in this thoughtful way. Then, he sits up, starts putting himself back together again, and says as he pushes into Blaine's space, "Okay. Then, I do too. Want that, I mean. With you."
Blaine falls back with only a little bit of flail, reaching out to steady himself on the dashboard, trying not to knee Kurt in the gut as he gets his legs out from under him. He hasn't really had much of a chance to recover; his heart is still beating out this fast, staccato rhythm and his chest still feels kind of tight from knowing that this is happening between them.
So when Kurt slants their mouths together while his hand jerks down Blaine's zipper, it's like being punched while he's down, while he feels weak and unresisting. It hurts to be kissed, but it's Kurt and Blaine wants to feel it. Who cares that his nerves are complaining at the pressure of their mouths together? Kurt's licking his way into Blaine's mouth and his hand is wrapping around Blaine's cock. He's being crowded into the passenger seat of Kurt's car by Kurt's body and everything he breathes and feels and tastes is all Kurt. He can't get enough.
By the time he realizes he's come, Blaine feels like he's finished running a marathon. He's clutching at the handle above the door and just trying to do something more than look at Kurt with this punchdrunk expression. Kurt's fingers are still moving over him, gentle but with a certain exploratory pressure that drags out every lingering thirst he has for Kurt until Blaine's left as this hallowed out husk of a person.
Eyes closed, Kurt leans in and presses their foreheads together. He seems about as emptied out as Blaine feels, like he's just heaped everything inside him onto Blaine's lap and left it outside of him. He licks his lips, nudging their noses together, and very quietly, starts to straighten Blaine out. He tucks him back in and tugs at the zipper of his pants, folds the button of his fly together. Kurt leaves the shirt untucked -- no real help for it because it's wrinkled and wrecked -- but he flattens his tie down over the buttons before matching up the buttons of Blaine's coat over it.
There's a flicker of a laugh around Kurt's mouth when he leans back to look at Blaine's hair, and he says, "Look at you," like Blaine could do anything but look at the way Kurt is kind of glowing with satisfaction. "You're a mess."
Blaine murmurs, "I'm fine." He quickly follows it with a series of amendments: "I mean, I'm great. I'm fantastic. I just --"
"You just?" Kurt echoes.
Blaine can't be sure if Kurt looks scared like this all the time, if the bone-deep happiness Kurt feels sometimes leeches out of him and leaves him as this timid, uncertain thing that trembles with the constant need to be noticed. Blaine knows that he's detailed out in his head this idea of the two of them having this slow building thing, but he hopes that the future can still give him moments like this -- ones where Kurt needs him, where they've burnt out the moment's desire, and he knows exactly what to do to make it right.
"I just," Blaine says, breathing with the words of it, holding onto Kurt's hands like the life line they are. "I love you, Kurt. I love you so much."
Kurt sighs his name before kissing him again. He doesn't say the words back, but that's okay. He's kind of said them already, and it's about time that Blaine did the same. Blaine feels Kurt's love spreading under his skin all the same, starting where they're holding hands and kissing and just whispering over the rest of him.
It's good. It's easy.
No problem at all.
Did I say this story was about coffee?
I lied. It's totally a love story.
Highest Rating Preferred: NC-17
Prompt(s) used: 1. Forever, 2. Eskimo kisses, and 3. Trying something new
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