Author/Artist: to be revealed January 3rd, 2012
Warnings: Mentions of past violence and canon bullying storylines.
Summary: Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson always knew what they wanted to be. Things don't turn out exactly as expected.
Notes: Title from All We Are by Matt Nathanson. Happy Holidays, everyone.
"Every day there is only one thing to learn: how to be honestly happy."
- Sri Chinmoy
Kurt is eight, and he wants to be an artist. (What he really wants to be is understood.)
He hates funerals. He hates seeing the relatives that only come for Thanksgiving every two years, he hates the ugly flowers and the hymns. He hates knowing that he's never going to see his mom again.
Last week he'd overheard Aunt Mildred talking to one of their neighbors in the back yard about how his dad can't cope, which doesn't seem fair because he's trying, and it must be hard for him as well. It seems like everyone else has forgotten that.
He'd taken Kurt to see a strange woman after school a few days ago, but it couldn't have been anything bad because she'd let him play with the toys in her office and asked him how he was feeling. He's not sure, but he thinks she might have been a doctor.
"What do you feel like when you think about your mom, Kurt?"
He'd looked at the floor, then.
"It makes my chest hurt," he'd muttered, staring resolutely at his shoelaces. "But my dad bought me a new paint set, and that made it all sort of go away for a while. I forget about things when I draw."
She'd been scribbling all of this down on this old notepad of hers, but looked up at that moment, until he eventually had to meet her gaze. It had made him feel much smaller than he really was.
Blaine is fourteen, and he wants to be a doctor. (What he really wants to be is fixed.)
The children's ward is full of kids younger than him, some wearing headscarves, some with crutches, some being trailed by anxious parents or nurses. He can't count the number of painkillers he's had in the past hour or the amount of times he's slipped in and out of consciousness, but his mind is still buzzing from the memories of the night before. He couldn't sleep if he tried.
He'd been about to give his police statement when his dad came in, all guns blazing as usual, as he shouted and complained and paced up and down the room. Blaine, held in place by IV lines and fresh bandages had managed not to cry until that point, but the shock and the pain and the unfairness of it all seemed to set in at once.
He's never felt so alone in his life.
Kurt is seventeen, and he wants to be a performer. (What he really wants to be is someone else.)
The depressing thing is that he can get himself into character almost instantly when he's on stage, but now, when he needs the escape of being someone other than himself more than ever, he can't do it. He runs his fingers over his lips for the third time in as many minutes and leans his forehead against the cool metal of the locker.
He should tell Principal figgins. He should tell Mr Schue. He should tell his dad.
Kurt pulls out his phone and stares at the newest contact in his address book, wondering how he's supposed to tell him that courage didn't work. His finger hovers over the call button before pressing it, still shaking. Blaine's voice at the other end of the line makes his breath catch in his throat.
Blaine is eighteen, and he doesn't know what he wants to be. (What he really wants to be is anything 600 miles east of here.)
It's the last night before Kurt leaves for New York. They're in what's left of his room--though it hardly feels like his room at all now that most of his possessions have been packed into boxes to go with him or into storage--lying on his bed staring at the ceiling.
"I feel like a horrible person," He eventually says, relaxed but reserved. "I want you to go, of course I want you to go--I want you to have the most amazing time and make the most of every minute. But at the same time, I'll miss you more than anything."
Kurt sniffs, lying still. It's unusual of for him to stay as quiet as he is. "I'll be back for Christmas." He says in a monotone that's almost painful.
Blaine lifts his right hand and interlocks it with the fingers of Kurt's left, tracing over the lines of his ring like he's done a million times before.
The inscription on the inside of the band reads Learn to fly.
Kurt is twenty-two, and he wants to be is an actor. (What he really wants to be is sure of that.)
"He said it was that good." He groans, as Blaine comes out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel, hair still wet from the shower. "I don't even know how I'm supposed to respond to that."
Blaine shrugs and tilts his head while Kurt buries his in one of the pillows on their bed. "Kurt, this is the Reston internship. People would kill for that job, it'd be the start of your career. Are you really considering turning them down?"
Kurt shakes his head slowly. "I--no, I don't know, Blaine. I didn't think I was good enough to get in, but I've worked so hard to get to where I am in the theatre program I feel like I'd be throwing it all away if I went into journalism now."
He crosses his legs and frowns as Blaine crosses the room and puts both hands on his shoulders before kissing him on the forehead. "Is this Kurt Hummel afraid of a challenge?" He whispers. Kurt merely bats his hand away and pouts like a rather petulant child. "I think you'd be fantastic as either," he continues, not discouraged. "After all, you still get to tell a story."
Ultimately, it's that which makes Kurt stop and think.
Blaine's twenty-three and he wants to be what he is already; a teacher. (What he really wants to be is the kind of role model he never had.)
He has to remind himself every so often of why he does this, why he's up typing lesson plans at 2 am having run out of instant coffee several hours ago, why he has to wade through stacks of paperwork and sit through endless meetings every week.
It's because when he's sitting down with Connor, who's six and severely autistic, he can teach him how to let out his feelings by playing the piano. It's because when nine year-old Ella spends the weekend in hospital having physical therapy, he can cheer her up on a Monday morning by helping her learn to sing.
He's always wanted to help people, to make their lives easier or brighter or better in any way he can. Music lets him do that.
Kurt is twenty-six and he wants to be as good a speaker as he is a writer. (What he really wants to be is in love like this forever.)
The speeches are coming to an end now, but he's been on edge since far too early this morning and honestly, no-one should get themselves this worked up over their own wedding.
"I, um." He gets to his feet, feeling the eyes of everyone around them settle on him. "I'd like to take a moment to talk to you all about Blaine. Blaine, who is my best friend. Blaine, who is now my husband. Blaine, who was the best thing to ever happen to me."
A quick look to his left shows him that several of the relatives on their table are reaching for their handkerchiefs already.
"When I was in high school, my dad gave me a piece of advice I still remember. I was upset and angry and feeling sorry for myself, and he told me that until I found somebody as open and as brave as I was, I'd have to get used to being on my own."
He drops a hand to rest it on Blaine's shoulder, squeezing it gently. "A month later, I met Blaine. There he was in his blazer and tie, singing a Katy Perry number to a perfect stranger he'd just met on the stairs. I don't think either of us knew then how things would end up, but I'm still just a silly romantic so I'd like to think it was fate."
Raising his glass and smiling as the rest of the guests follow, he toasts. "So, this is to Blaine. The boy on the stairs ten years ago, and the man sitting next to me today. Thank you for everything."
Blaine is twenty-five and he doesn't want anything except this.
It's early and Kurt's still asleep, the light let in by the gap in the curtains casting a dim glow over everything in sight. He's wearing one of Blaine's shirts and the best thing in the world on his left ring finger. As he mumbles and stirs, a smile settles onto his peaceful features.
Blaine loves these moments more than anything; the ephemeral ones that are easy to forget but together make up the story of a person or a relationship and how everything changes. Plans fail, things go and people change their minds, but for now they're happy and they're together, and that's really all they ever wanted.
Please consider spreading holiday cheer by commenting on and/or reblogging this fanfic! If you rec this fic, please be sure to attribute it to anonymous until the author/artist is revealed on January 3rd, 2011. Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing works that will be posted throughout December!