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Jitters - Chapter 5
whatiknew




He’s not going to have fun.

“I hate you!” Blaine yells from his bedroom, twisting at the waist to try to get the material into a more comfortable position, which hasn’t worked for the fabric covering his arms or legs, but maybe it’ll help with...nope, still tight and uncomfortable. He’s wearing two pairs of underwear and his dick is still kind of...on display, which makes him strangely grateful that Mike kept the costume accurate and included the skirt.

“Get out here, we have to leave!” Mike calls back, laughter clear in his voice. He must be waiting, listening carefully, because the second Blaine’s door opens, the music starts.

Go go Power Rangers
Go go Power Rangers
Go go Power Rangers
Mighty Morphin Power Ranger-errrsssss


Mike, Tina, and Santana are all standing in the living room, singing along until Blaine comes fully into view, at which point they dissolve into hysterical laughter, Santana actually stumbling until she can lean against the wall for support as she wheezes.

“Did I have to be the pink one?” Blaine asks as he crosses his arms, briefly wishing his strangely accurate toy crossbow could shoot actual arrows.

*

He’s having fun.

It could be the actual dance floor Brittany has in her living room instead of carpet, or the fact that said floor is filled with people dressed as everything from stereotypical schoolgirls to really intensely accurate Tim Burton characters, all dancing together. It could be that there’s a DJ and not just a handful of people fighting over whether they should listen to Bon Iver or Gotye next, because the DJ is playing every song Blaine has ever loved in his entire life.

Or it could be the shots.

It’s probably the shots. There have been a lot of them. Mostly neon. All delicious. They’re pretty and they taste like candy and they led Blaine to the discovery that doing a kegstand is very, very hard. But that it gets waaaaaay easier when two dozen people are screaming the Power Rangers song at you.

People keep complimenting his costume because he looks awesome but they want pictures so he keeps having to put his helmet back on. And it’s really hot inside his helmet. It seems like he’s taking it off and putting it back on every two minutes and now his hair is sticking out everywhere, the gel is completely gone and it looks hilarious, he should start wearing it like this every day. He should wear the Power Rangers costume every day. It should be Halloween every day.

He should do another shot.

He’s heading for the bar, thinking about how awesome it would be if everyone was always wearing a costume, but how difficult it would probably make it to catch bank robbers and get your driver’s license renewed and stuff because I’m sorry sir, you do not look like the purple dinosaur in this photo, when he walks directly into a wall. A black, really shiny wall.

“Ow.”

The wall just said ow.

Blaine stumbles from the collision, and out of surprise that the wall can talk, and the wall turns and steadies him with a firm grip on his arm before he can fall. Blaine’s eyes travel up the wall’s arm and, oh, right, walls don’t have arms. This is a person. A guy, he thinks. In a shiny black bodysuit and full mask and cat ears.

“Oh my god, you’re wearing this?” Catperson asks, grinning so wide that the edges of his mouth disappear into the edges of the mask.

“Do I speak cat now?” Blaine asks in response. “Because I totally understood that.” He reaches out to pet the catperson’s (he’s going to call him Cat) ears and frowns when his hand only feels vinyl. The mask goes all the way over his head. That is intense. And probably just as warm as Blaine’s helmet. Cat is probably not sweating as much as Blaine is though.

“Yes. Meow,” Cat says, butting his head against Blaine’s still hovering palm. Blaine likes Cat. He has a pretty voice and Blaine wants him to keep talking. He pets Cat’s head a few more times, even though he’s pretty sure that Cat is a person and maybe it’s weird. Cat doesn’t seem to care though, just laughs and points at Blaine’s costume. “I can’t believe you’re wearing this.”

“Hey, I look awesome. Especially my ass. Santana said so.” Blaine turns and lifts up the back of the skirt. “See?”

“Y-yeah,” Cat says, putting his hands on Blaine’s shoulders and spinning him back around. “You look fantastic. I just - I made your costume. Small world.” Cat smiles again and it makes Blaine’s stomach swoop and he wants to smile too, so he does. Smiling is awesome; it makes his cheeks hurt in the best way.

“COOL!” Blaine yells, because the music has just gotten about a hundred times louder but it’s okay because Blaine loves this song. “It’s a really good costume, it’s barely itchy anymore! We should get drinks! That’s where I was going when I ran into you!”

“It’s a mess!” Cat yells back. “The line is ridiculous!”

“No problem! I know a shortcut!” Blaine grabs Cat’s hand and drags him directly through a mass of people doing some dance Blaine remembers from youtube a few years ago, dancing along to ease their way through. When he glances back, Cat is doing the same, and Blaine almost trips because he’s distracted by the way he can see the muscles in his arms and shoulders flexing underneath the vinyl.

“Blaine, you’re pulling my arm off!” Cat yells as they emerge from the throng of dancers. Blaine doesn’t remember telling Cat his name but he shrugs because he’s pretty sure he’s famous at this party right now, the dude in the pink ranger costume, and he stops walking so fast so he doesn’t hurt Cat. They’re at the bar now, anyway, and a guy dressed like a pirate sees him and yells MEGAZORD and lets them cut in line.

He can see Santana dancing really close to Brittany and her eyes get really wide when she spots him, giving him a thumbs up and smacking Tina, who’s dancing nearby with Mike. Tina’s mouth drops open when Santana yells something to her and then she’s grinning and - cutting in line at the bar really isn’t that big of a deal, Blaine doesn’t understand all of the sudden enthusiasm. Maybe it’s because Cat has a really nice body and they’re just ogling the two boys in skintight costumes. That’s probably it - it’s totally something they would do. Do do. Ha. Doodoo.

“Do you want to dance?” Cat asks, handing Blaine a drink. He must have gotten it while Blaine was getting congratulated for cutting in line and his awesome ass.

“YES!” Blaine downs his drink and gestures at Cat to do the same, and then downs the shot that the pirate hands him. He can’t taste the alcohol. He is getting awesome at doing shots.

Cat is an awesome dancer. It’s like his hips aren’t attached to his body, because they’re kind of moving on their own and it is really distracting. Blaine’s been getting closer and closer with each song, but not too close because this isn’t an outfit he can get too close in without really embarrassing consequences. Something tells him Santana would never let him live it down if he got hard in public a pink spandex unitard. But they’re still really close, only moving away from each other when someone brings them shots, and Cat has his hand splayed over Blaine’s lower back and it feels nice. Blaine likes dancing close like this; he wonders what it would be like to dance like this with Kurt, if he would hold him in the same way, if his palms would be as wide and warm through Blaine’s clothes.

But he is not thinking about Kurt. He is thinking about Cat. Who has nice hands and nice arms and who made his costume.

“Wait, you made this?” Blaine asks suddenly, because he just remembered that detail.

“Um, yes?” Cat says, biting the corner of his lip. “Why?”

“Nothing. I - All I can make is pasta,” Blaine giggles, burying his face in Cat’s neck. “But you can make clothes like him.” Pasta would be a horrible Halloween costume, but it would be great if he got hungry. Unless he got lost in the arctic tundra and had to decide between using the pasta for warmth or nutrition.

“Him who?”

“You smell nice like him, too,” Blaine murmurs, nuzzling his nose further into Cat’s neck where it meets his shoulder. It is the perfect height for nuzzling.

“Him who Blaine?” Cat asks again, but he doesn’t make Blaine move, which is good, because Blaine is suddenly exhausted. He’s glad they aren’t so much dancing anymore as just kind of swaying because it’s a slower song and Cat is really good at picking out the even slower bass line and moving them along with it.

“Guy I like. From work. He’s really smart and funny and talented and cute. I wish he was here.”

“You - oh,” Cat says, and Blaine almost whines when he pushes gently until they’re not touching anywhere but where he’s holding Blaine’s shoulders. Blaine shivers at the loss of body heat even though it’s still a hundred degrees in the room and about a million inside his costume.

“Why did we stop dancing?” Blaine asks, trying to close the distance again but Cat stops him.

“My phone - it’s - it’s ringing, I need to go answer it.”

“Oh, I’ll come with you!” Blaine tries to take his hand to lead him toward the door, but Cat avoids it.

“No! No, you - stay here. I’ll...I’ll see you later.”

“Ok,” Blaine frowns. He likes Cat, he wants to keep dancing. But then he’s gone and the DJ starts playing “Shots” and Santana and Tina are on either side of him cheering with glasses in their hands and he loves this song.

*

Blaine is pretty sure he had fun.

Right now though, right now is not fun. He’s laying on his bedroom floor because the bed keeps giving him the spins and the last time he tried to get up to puke he fell right over. Tina isn’t faring much better but Mike is fine; he’s too careful with his body to drink that much, so he had been the Designated Walker in charge of getting Tina and Blaine home at the end of the very, very long night. Santana had stayed behind at Brittany’s; Blaine’s sure he’ll hear all about it on Monday.

So Mike runs between their rooms with water and Gatorade and crackers, rubbing Tina’s stomach and, because he is an excellent friend, petting Blaine’s hair. He also had to peel Blaine’s costume off of him at 4am, but Blaine doesn’t consider that him being an excellent friend so much as his punishment for forcing Blaine to wear spandex.

*

“I don’t want to talk about how much sex you had this weekend,” Blaine says as soon as he walks into Jitters Monday morning, because Santana’s eyes are a little glazed over and distant (“come-dumb,” she’d called it before) and while it’s true that Mike’s TLC and a small mountain of french fries got him through his hangover and Sunday’s all day rehearsal, he doesn’t think he’s capable of enduring that conversation right now.

“Wasn’t going to tell you anyway,” Santana scoffs, and when she turns toward him, her previously soft smile turns into a sharky grin. “Let’s talk about how much sex you had this weekend.”

“I told you, Mike and Tina and I aren’t like that.”

“Uh-huh. We’ve got six hours, Anderson, you’re not avoiding this all day.”

Blaine has given up trying to be subtle by 8:45. He’s now blatantly staring at the front door, and he’s stopped trying to hide the way his head jerks around every time he hears the bells signalling its opening. It’s been almost two weeks since he’s seen Kurt and it’s...weird. He’s late, and Blaine’s pretty sure he has somewhere to be around 9, judging by when he usually leaves.

“I don’t think he’s coming,” Blaine mumbles to the latte he’s practicing on. At this rate, he might be able to pull off a decent Christmas tree by December.

“Who, your feline friend?” Santana asks from the register, and Blaine sighs. She’s been meowing at him all morning, clearly picking on him for making friends with the guy dressed as Catwoman Friday night. He doesn’t remember much but doesn’t think he did anything that reprehensible, just danced, which led to eventually draping himself over the guy’s very nice torso and getting a little cuddly until they parted ways. He’s done worse. Hell, he’s done worse to Santana.

“Kurt,” Blaine corrects.

“Right. Kitty Kurt,” Santana says. “What happened, couldn’t make him purr?”

“You’re not even making enough sense for me to properly ignore you, Santana. What the hell are you talking about?”

“What are you talking about?” Santana asks in response, mouth thinning and eyes widening the longer she looks at Blaine. “Wait a minute. Friday night. Cat suit. What was his name?”

“I don’t know? I was just calling him Cat in my head.”

“Blaine.”

“No, that’s my name.”

Blaine. Please tell me you’re fucking with me.”

Santana. Stop being so cryptic and vague. I need more nouns. Even just more words.” Blaine’s stomach churns suddenly. Santana is not a cryptic person. She gets her kicks from being terrifyingly blunt. There is no reason for her to mess with him, not like this. But - no. No.

“I can’t believe it,” she says after a minute, leaning back against the counter and shaking her head. “It’s not an act. You are actually as dumb as you look. Catboy? Was Kurt.”

“Right.” No. No no no. Any second she will start cackling and tell him she’s fucking with him.

“I’m not fucking with you, Blaine. Tina didn’t mention it? All weekend?”

“We spent all of Saturday trying not to die,” Blaine whispers, suddenly nauseated again. “And yesterday I had rehearsal and she was locked in the library writing a paper.”

Kurt didn’t mention it?”

“We just started talking. We didn’t...Oh, god, oh no, no, he knew my name. He thought I knew...Why didn’t you TELL me?”

“We thought you knew, dumbass! You guys were all smiley and hand holdey and disgusting; we thought you finally manned up and sealed the deal!” Blaine must look as awful as he feels, because she stops yelling as soon as she looks at him, instead walking over to him and resting a hand on his shoulder. When she speaks again, her voice is much calmer.

“Stop freaking out. I’m sure he’s just busy this morning. You haven’t scared him off being a dumbass yet, so I doubt you did on Friday. Plus you looked hot - he’s not going to run away now that he’s seen the goods. He’ll come back.”

*

He doesn’t come back.

It doesn’t seem fair to Blaine that he’s managed to drive Kurt away without even asking him out. He was specifically avoiding dating him for this very reason, and it still happened. Is he that much of a romantic failure? This is verging on superpower status.

The Alienator: Creeping guys out since 2010.

On Tuesday, he keeps holding onto the delusion that it’s just a coincidence, that Kurt will be back. By Friday he’s wracking his brain, trying to think of what he could’ve said or done that could be that offensive. He was drunk but he wasn’t blackout-level-drunk; he has a vague picture of the night. There was no groping, no kissing even, unless you count the way his lips had kind of brushed Kurt’s neck when he was talk--

Oh. Shit.

You can make clothes like him.

You smell nice like him.

I wish he was here.


So he’d mumbled creepily into Kurt’s neck (bad enough) about Kurt (worse), and as far as Kurt knew, he was talking about another guy (terrible). He’d been drunk off his ass and kept holding his hand and he’s almost positive he’d meowed at Kurt more than once. It’s not surprising Kurt wants nothing to do with him, that he’d invented a phone call and hightailed it out of the party and never looked back.

When Rachel comes in on Monday and won’t meet Blaine’s eye, he knows it’s over.

*

Tina keeps the refrigerator stocked with cheese and pudding and, the few moments they’re home at the same time since Blaine is now in dress rehearsals and tech run-throughs, lets him have complete control of the TV. Santana offers to get Kurt’s phone number from Brittany, since she’s the one who put him in contact with Mike when Mike asked if she knew anyone who could make a Power Ranger costume, and then when Blaine refuses the offer, calls him a pussy and schedules him to work with Tom.

Blaine doesn’t care. He doesn’t acknowledge Tom anyway, barely acknowledges anyone for any longer than it takes to call out their orders. His eyes still dart to the door every time the bells ring, his own pathetic Pavlovian response, but it’s never Kurt, and he’s never surprised.

“I’m thinking of quitting,” he tells Santana when she returns to the opening shift on Friday morning. He doesn’t need the money; he works because he wants to earn his own spending money and he likes interacting with so many different people, but he knows he doesn’t really have to and he doesn’t know if he can keep coming here when everything reminds him of how many mistakes he’s made, how many opportunities he’s let pass because of his boundaries, all the stupid little rules he put in place to stop himself from doing...exactly this.

“That’s enough, Bert,” Santana says sharply, slamming the drawer of the cash register shut with far too much force. “I know you’re sad that Ernie hopped on his unicorn and skipped back to Narnia--”

“That doesn’t even make sense.”

“But that does not mean you can just retreat into your sad little brain and stop being a human being. I’m not even asking for your usual obnoxiously chipper self, and we gave up on normal a long time ago, just...enough with this abandoned puppy bullshit. You’re a grown manchild, Anderson; it’s time to act like it.”

“I just feel--”

“You’re embarrassed, and you feel like an idiot, and you probably go home at night and sing If I Could Turn Back Time into the squeegee you use on your hair every morning and I get that. But you need to snap out of it. You can try to fix it or you can move on. Those are your only two options.”

“You don’t know what it’s like.”

“Because I’ve never made an ass of myself before? I’ve never been disappointed? Or felt like I disappointed someone else? Sounds legit. You just have to--”

“I don’t have to do anything, Santana. I don’t have to talk to him, or listen to you, or work here.” It’s almost the end of their shift, so Blaine doesn’t feel guilty when he takes off his apron and tosses it on the counter as he walks out. Not too guilty, at least.

It would be different if this was the first time; it’s not like Blaine is some oversensitive shrinking flower. He’s actually pretty resilient. He’s made it through a lot, and mostly on his own. But every time he gets remotely close to a guy, even when he’s trying his hardest not to, it just...blows up. And he can’t do it anymore. God, with the way things have been going, he’d probably try to talk to Kurt and end up breaking his arm or something.

They don’t understand. Not Santana, who manipulates every situation until she gets the outcome she wants. Not Tina, who has been dating Mike since they were like 13 and has never had to worry about being too much, or too little, but never just...enough. Never perfect.

Santana told him he either has to fix it or move on?

Well, then, he’s moving on.

*

It’s actually not that hard to avoid thinking about it (he only thinks about everything in terms of the entire situation, because when he breaks it down to him and Kurt is when it gets painful), because the show opens on Wednesday and for the three days beforehand Blaine doesn’t actually see much of the world outside of the theater. He only goes home to sleep, and he barely does that.

When he was first cast, and saw the timeline, there been an undercurrent of panic with the excitement; it was such a short turnaround and it was his first lead. But it hasn’t been scary - challenging, definitely, but not insurmountable like he’d feared - and though he doesn’t really see himself becoming lifelong friends with any of his castmates, it’s definitely been good for him to branch out and work with so many people he doesn’t really know. And it’s solidified that this is what he wants to do. At this point it’s all he knows how to do. Sometime in the past day or so, he’s started answering to Link and not Blaine; he loves this show, but it’s time for it to be over.

Despite how surprisingly easy it is to not think about it, Blaine still finds his mind drifting to Kurt when he least expects it. He thinks he sees Kurt in the crowd during his opening night bows. Maybe Kurt came; maybe he figured out that Blaine was talking about him that night, and ran all around the city trying to find him before finally remembering that he could just call Mike. Maybe he’ll find Blaine after the show and give him the flowers he bought at the bodega down the street - tulips, maybe, something casual - and he’ll accompany Blaine to the afterparty as his date.

There’s no sign of Kurt in the lobby, though, not when he’s mobbed by Tina and Mike and even Santana, who came despite the tantrum he threw the last time he saw her, and who tells him his job is waiting when he gets his head out of his ass. Not when they spill out of the overcrowded, overheated lobby into the street. Not anywhere.

His parents, surprisingly, make it to the show. He’d been waiting for the call all week, or maybe an email, telling him they’d been invited on a ski trip by one of his father’s clients, or had liked Blaine’s suggestion of a vacation so much that they’d decided to go to Cabo. But they’d shown up Saturday morning, right on schedule, and texted him to say they were going to a new exhibit at the Natural History Museum and then “might swing by MoMA before the show, break a leg, darling.” He’s kind of glad they made plans, though; given their tendency to stress him out, it’s probably best he doesn’t actually interact with them before he has to go on stage.

Their tickets are 5th row center, just as his father likes, so when Blaine makes his first entrance it’s very easy to spot the empty chairs where they should be sitting.

They’re there after intermission, and Blaine very pointedly does not think about it, because he’ll probably get angry and lose focus, and he can’t do either of those right now. He isn’t Blaine right now, he’s Link, and Link is not concerned with inconsiderate, self-absorbed parents who missed the first act of his show.

Said parents aren’t waiting in the lobby with flowers, like the parents of some of his co-stars. They’re standing against the wall of the lobby, near a side door, both staring into the middle distance in opposite directions. They don’t spot him until he’s right in front of them, changed and mostly makeup-free, still wiping the last vestiges of it off of his neck with a tissue.

“Well?”

“Wonderful, we’ll make our reservations,” his father says in greeting, turning to the door and guiding Blaine’s mom through with a hand on the small of her back. “I called in a favor and got us a table at Vous,” he says over his shoulder to Blaine. “Thought we should go somewhere nice to celebrate.” Blaine smiles at that; Vous is very exclusive and very expensive and not somewhere he would ever go on his own, and it’s nice that they want to take him somewhere special.

“I mean, if you insist on acting,” his father continues. “At least you got the lead.”

Blaine takes a deep breath.

Chapter 6




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pink power ranger YOU DID NOT

His parents are terrible!

horrid parents, but i can't dwell on them. blaine's imagination is precious!! Cat. Oh god. BLAINE!

Kurt / Chris would look terribly hawt in a cat costume!

OMG BLAINE you dork! Poor Kurt. Everything would be fine if he just realized what an idiot Blaine is. Loved the dancing. And the costumes. And the thumbs ups from all Blaine's friends. Great chapter!

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