I finally finished my fic about the Mennonite show choir that appeared in Glee season 4, episode 8, "Thanksgiving" for less than a minute. Somehow I took that eye blink and turned it into 100,000 words. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] mypopculturesum for the art and [livejournal.com profile] wipbigbangfor the kick in the pants! Enjoy!
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] wowbright at post
Story Title: Jonathan Unruh
Fandom: Glee
Link: http://archiveofourown.org/works/7723831/chapters/17603965
Summary: Jonathan Unruh is a teenager in a conservative Mennonite community that practices plain dress (Amish-y clothes), simple living, separation from the world, and radical pacifism. He's also in love with his best friend. He's trying to figure out how being gay fits in with his religion and culture, in which he is expected to marry a member of the opposite sex, have kids, and pass along the faith.

When his school choir goes to sing at a competition in Lima, Ohio, he becomes friends with some of the members and starts exploring the small city and its gay bar, Scandals. For the first time, he has friends who are openly gay. As he enters adulthood, he explores the possibility of leaving his community so he can have romantic relationships as a gay man. But he can't quite leave his Mennonite-i-ness behind.

Based on a rough draft also on AO3 that's described as "A Glee WIP about a gay guy from the Mennonite group that competed against the New Directions at the 2012 Sectionals. In which Lima is some people’s Hell and other people’s Salvation."

Warnings: various forms of bigotry consistent with conservative/plain Mennonite culture; passing mentions of hunting for food, underage drinking, brief mention of suicidal thoughts
Characters: Original Male Character(s), Original Female Character(s), Sebastian Smythe, David Karofsky,Blaine Anderson (minor character), Unique Adams (minor character)
Pairings: Original Male Character/Original Male Character, Sebastian Smythe/Original Male Character(s), David Karofsky/Original Male Character(s)
When I Started**: Dec. 1, 2013
How I Lost My Shit**: I got distracted by other plot bunnies and worked on those instead—mostly because I knew this fic was going to get long and be time-consuming to write
How I Finished My Shit**: I signed up for the WIP Big Bang, and had fabulous betas (jazzypizzazz, snarkyhag and nadiacreek) and an amazing artist ([livejournal.com profile] mypopculturesum) who kept telling me it was a story worth telling. Their feedback (and the deadline) encouraged me to keep going.

On AO3

On Tumblr:
1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985

* * *

Title: To Be Myself
Author: wowbright (username on tumblr, lj, ao3 and dreamwidth)
Beta: A zillion thanks to corinna (ao3)/chiasmuslovesme (tumblr) for helping me find the fic's voice and finish it!
Artist: hopelesslydevotedgleek (tumblr) made amazing art for this. Look! Look! Isn't it beautiful? She made art for my story I'm still swooning.
Additional thanks: To everyone who responded to weird random questions I posted to tumblr and encouraged me in the writing of this fic.
Word count: ~48,000
Rating: PG-13
Summary: What if Kurt had been born 25 years earlier? A story about Gen X Kurt Hummel learning about love and, most importantly, learning to be himself, 1976-1985.
Pairings (most unrequited in one direction or another, in order of appearance): Kurt/Rachel, Kurt/OC, Kurt/Finn, Kurt/Mercedes, Kurt/Dave, Kurt/Blaine
Some other characters include: Burt Hummel, Sandy Ryerson, LeRoy Berry, Hiram Berry (but with a different last name), Noah Puckerman, Santana Lopez, Will Schuester
Warnings: This story reflects the era in which it takes place; homophobia, racism, sexism, AIDS-phobia, sex negativity and tolerance of bullying and other bad things are par for the course. Off-page death of Kurt's mother; Sandy Ryerson is just as awful in this fic as he is in the show. Please contact the author if you have specific questions about triggers or pairings.
Author's notes: Wondering about the towels in Rachel's bathroom or what Kurt's alarm clock looked like? Want to see the cover of that Newsweek Kurt reads in 1983? I have a lot of extra headcanon and many historical notes and photos for this fic. I've posted some of them already on tumblr and will be posting more. You can find them under my 2014 khbb fic headcanon tag.

* * *

On AO3

On Tumblr:
1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985

Summary: Kurt and Dave text their worries to each other during Blaine's eye surgery. Canon-parallel AU where Kurt and Blaine have become friends with Dave. Set in episode 3.11"Michael." ~1,700 words, PG.
Notes: This is from an earlier draft of Chapter 8/"Starting to See" in Fidelity. Presenting the conversation verbatim seemed to slow down the pacing. But with the word-for-word you get a little more insight into Dave's home life and some other stuff.

* * *

Passing

By Monday morning, the scratch in Blaine's eye still hasn't closed. His mother cancels her appointments for the day, calls the specialist in Cincinnati, and loads Blaine in the car for the long drive. Surgery seems inevitable. He’ll stay with his relatives and, if all goes well, he’ll be back by Valentine's Day.

He sends all this information to Dave and Kurt via group MMS, peppered with plenty of opiate-induced misspellings and smiley faces

Kurt sends his first text to Dave during third period.

Kurt: I'm freaking out. (9:27 a.m.)

Read more... )

Summary: Dave reads through the sex ed brochures Burt got from Planned Parenthood a year ago, and Blaine tries to explain the stuff they don't cover. Bromance, awkwardness and feels. ~2,000 words.
Notes: This is a short chapter I wrote for Fidelity but ended up cutting because I didn't feel it moved the plot forward. After getting some questions from readers about the ways in which Dave expresses his sexuality, however, I'm wondering if it might have helped to leave it in. It happens sometime after Chapter 11/"The Long and Winding Road" and sometime before Chapter 15/"Learning to Play Rachmaninoff." It won't make much sense unless you've read through Chapter 11.
Rating: PG-13/R for discussion of sexual fantasies

* * *

Scarves and Topping

Blaine and Dave get in the habit of racing through their homework so that Dave can either play the piano or they both can go upstairs to Blaine's room to sit around and do absolutely nothing useful, like play computer games or flip through magazines like they’re doing this afternoon.

Okay, Blaine is flipping through magazines from his perch on the bed. Dave is in the red chair reading those embarrassing sex ed brochures that Kurt's dad gave him, and that Kurt, in turn, handed to Dave a few days ago without looking him in the eye. "If you care about me, you will put those in your backpack immediately and direct any questions you have about them to Blaine," Kurt said before breaking a cheesecake out of the refrigerator and acting like nothing had happened at all.

Read more... )

Fic summary: An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Math, metaphors and hand-holding. ~900 words
Chapter notes: If you want a refresher course: square roots; negative numbers; imaginary numbers
Rating for this chapter: PG

 

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 22: Imaginary Numbers

Maybe this whole situation is like learning about imaginary numbers.

The first time Dave heard of them, he thought they were his teacher's idea of an April Fool's joke.

Read more... )

Fic summary: An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Blaine sometimes does things without thinking them through first. ~8,100 words.
Notes: Title from Dream by John Cage. Poulenc's Sonata For Four Hands also appears in this chapter. Also, have a prothonotary warbler and a sign language "f."
Rating for this chapter: PG-13

Livejournal | Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

 

---

Chapter 21: Dream

Dave's been more distant the last few times Blaine’s talked to him. It's not really what he says or doesn't say; he'll still talk at length with Blaine about baseball, about players' stats, about why he likes (of all things) the Chicago Cubs. He'll complain about how much extra studying he needs to cram in before the AP American Government exam or laugh about something one of the math girls said at lunch.

But it's also different. There's this hesitation before he speaks – a quarter beat or a half beat – like he's mulling over whether he's about to say the wrong thing.

Read more... )

Fic summary:  Blaine is drunk at Scandals and asks Dave Karofsky to tutor him in math. An unlikely friendship forms among Dave, Blaine and Kurt. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.

Chapter summary: They go to Scandals. Things happen, and don’t. ~6,400 words
Rating for this chapter:
NC-17

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Interlude | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Second Interlude | Chapter 12| Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Chapter 19

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

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Chapter 20: Tantalus

Kurt kicks ass at his NYADA audition the next week and Blaine and Dave take him to Scandals to celebrate. Everything is good and sweet and laughter and the dull heartache that has been an undercurrent to Dave’s life as long as he can remember seems to have vanished. Dave is no longer the guy in the Greek myth who was condemned to stand hungry under a grape arbor for eternity, the fruit always out of reach.

Read more... )

Summary: Kurt and Blaine go to Dave’s house. ~5,400 words
Warnings: homophobia
Rating for this chapter: R
Pairings this chapter: Kurt/Blaine, Dave/Kurt crush, Chandler/flirting

Livejournal | Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

Note:
Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 19: Hello, Columbus

Blaine spends an afternoon with Kurt looking up long-distance relationship survival tips on the web and jotting down the ideas they like: Text twice a day. Have a scheduled phone call or Skype session each evening. Send each other care packages. Sing karaoke online. Support each other’s friendships. Send love letters and Instagrams. Share their lives with each other.

“We should definitely have a long-distance date night at least once a week,” Kurt says, glancing up from the browser on his iPhone.

Blaine smiles, typing the suggestion into his laptop. “You mean phone sex?”

“Um, actually I meant watching a movie together.”

Blaine blushes. “Oh, yeah, of course.”

Kurt nudges Blaine’s foot. “I was hoping we’d have phone sex more often than that.”

Read more... )

Summary: Not even the best-laid cheese tray can prevent a misunderstanding. ~6,500 words
Chapter notes: This chapter continues to parallel 3.17 “Dance With Somebody.” All the songs mentioned in this and the next chapter are on this
YouTube playlist in order of their appearance.
Warnings: sensory descriptions of eating, sp0ilers for “The Way We Were” movie, sp0ilers for Yentl if you watch the playlist
Rating for this chapter: NC-17
Pairings this chapter: Kurt/Blaine, Dave/Kurt crush, Chandler/flirting

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Interlude | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Second Interlude | Chapter 12| Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 | Chapter 16 | Chapter 17

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 18: Waiting For You

On Friday morning, Kurt’s dad texts that he’s going to be stuck in Washington yet again tonight, so Kurt invites Blaine over for a private dinner and movie.

Read more... )

Fic summary: An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Dave and Burt have a talk. ~2,800 words
Notes: This will likely be the only chapter I’ll be posting this week as I have spontaneously decided to take a mini-vacay with my partner. I should be back to the semi-regular schedule next week.
Rating: PG this chapter

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 16: Amends

On an overcast Saturday afternoon in early April, Dave drives his father's car to Hummel Tires & Lube and asks for an oil change.

The guy who waves him into the garage is not Burt Hummel. Neither is the guy who's working on a tiny Volkswagon on the next lift over. But when Dave steps out of the car and hands his keys over, he spots Mr. Hummel standing in the doorway of the front office, studying a stack of papers in one hand and scratching under the bill of his cap with the other.

It's the first time Dave has seen him in person since making his insufficient apology in Principal Figgins' office a year ago. But he couldn't have forgotten what he looked like, even if it hadn't been for all the campaign ads and interviews and photos that, for a while, popped up on Dave's homepage a dozen times a day along with the oft-repeated phrase The arts were my son's refuge.

Burt Hummel never specified who Kurt needed refuge from. Dave didn’t need him to. He already knew.

Read more... )Read more... )Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Dave and Burt have a talk. ~2,800 words
Notes: This will likely be the only chapter I’ll be posting this week as I have spontaneously decided to take a mini-vacay with my partner. I should be back to the semi-regular schedule next week.
Rating: PG this chapter

Livejournal | Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 16: Amends

On an overcast Saturday afternoon in early April, Dave drives his father's car to Hummel Tires & Lube and asks for an oil change.

The guy who waves him into the garage is not Burt Hummel. Neither is the guy who's working on a tiny Volkswagon on the next lift over. But when Dave steps out of the car and hands his keys over, he spots Mr. Hummel standing in the doorway of the front office, studying a stack of papers in one hand and scratching under the bill of his cap with the other.

It's the first time Dave has seen him in person since making his insufficient apology in Principal Figgins' office a year ago. But he couldn't have forgotten what he looked like, even if it hadn't been for all the campaign ads and interviews and photos that, for a while, popped up on Dave's homepage a dozen times a day along with the oft-repeated phrase The arts were my son's refuge.

Burt Hummel never specified who Kurt needed refuge from. Dave didn’t need him to. He already knew.

Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Kurt discovers something about himself that Blaine’s known for a while; Dave practices (that’s not a euphemism); and the migration of warblers through Ohio begins. ~4,650 words.
Notes:Thanks to unseasonably warm weather, the warbler migration in 2012 started earlier than usual.
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, Dave/Kurt crush
Rating:PG-13 this chapter

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Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 15: Learning to Play Rachmaninoff

It's much too early in the year, but the world is starting to bloom, anyway. Crocuses dot the lawns, and the cherry trees have formed tight buds, tantalizing passersby with the promise of what's to come.

Kurt has cracked the window open. He and Blaine are making out on his bed – really just making out, because it's been so long since they've done that and they miss the slow burn of it, and also because Sam got home early from synchronized swimming practice and keeps darting back and forth between Finn's room and every other place in the house, and it brings his footsteps near the threshold of Kurt's door at least once every four-and-a-half minutes, if the songs that are playing softly out of Kurt's docked iPhone can serve as an accurate keeper of time.

Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Dave discovers that coming out never goes quite as you expect it, and that maybe the good in the world outweighs the bad. ~2,192 words.
Warnings:
homophobia, homophobic language (but they don’t dominate the chapter)
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG-13 for this chapter

Livejournal |
Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

Note: Chapters on AO3 are numbered differently due to factors beyond my control.

---

Chapter 13: Starting Anew

Dave's Monday is surprisingly uneventful – anticlimactic, really, after years of fearing the worst.

Maybe his new school is better than McKinley. Or maybe Burt Hummel was right. Maybe the only reason McKinley was so bad was because Dave made it that way.

There are stares, but he's gotten stares before. Most of the classmates who spoke to him before are still speaking to him as if nothing's changed – and maybe some of them don't know, but a lot of them must.

Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Section summary: Dave is the star of an off-season football game. His life will never be the same. ~6,500 words.
Notes: We are past the point 3.14 "On My Way" happened in the canon timeline; it didn't happen in this fic and it will never come up. Yay! Here’s what I did take from canon (reminders from the Second Interlude that are still relevant here: Dave was a member of the hockey team in season 1 (it’s mentioned in 1.08, “Mash-Up”). Scott Cooper was the hockey team member who led the slushying of the football team in 2.11, “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle.” Rick “The Stick” Nelson is the member of the hockey team who ran for class president against Kurt, Brittany and Rachel in Season 3. Finn appears in this chapter; sorry if that inadvertently makes anyone sad.

Warnings:
Bullying, homophobia, homophobic language, passing reference to possible, long-past suicidal thoughts (um, but this is not an angsty chapter, so how did that stuff end up in here?)
Rating: NC-17 again. Woot!

Prologue | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Interlude | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Second Interlude

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---

Chapter 12: Gamechange

A high school all-star football game is, perhaps, one of the most ill-conceived ideas Kurt has ever heard of. As if most of the jocks didn't already think highly enough of themselves. As if the schools didn't already make it clear that athletics were more important than academics (because Kurt has yet to hear of an all-star valedictorian poetry-and-math slam), or that brute force is more important than character.

 

 

 

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Section summary: The story of why Dave stopped playing hockey. It’s not a happy one. ~1,235 words.
Notes: It feels weird to post fic today, but I said I would, so I am. Now's a good time to repeat that I ignore 3.14 "On My Way" in this fic. Here’s what I did take from canon: Dave was a member of the hockey team in season 1 (it’s mentioned in 1.08, “Mash-Up”). Scott Cooper was the hockey team member who led the slushying of the football team in 2.11, “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle.” Rick “The Stick” Nelson is the member of the hockey team who ran for class president against Kurt, Brittany and Rachel in Season 3. Also, this chapter is sad (although hopeful). If you’re in the mood for that, okay; if not, wait to read it until I post the next chapter so you can read both at the same time. The next chapter is a lot happier.

Warnings:
Bullying, harassment, homophobia and homophobic language/actions, violence, physical pain, people being awful
Rating: This chapter PG-13.

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---

Second Interlude

The spring of Dave's sophomore year at McKinley, on the day that his finger splints were removed, he sat down at the piano and tried to play. But every stroke against the keys made him flinch.

The pain brought him back to the moment when Scott Cooper broke his fingers and then tugged him up off the ice with a "Stop moaning, you goddamn Liberace."

Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Section summary: The story of why Dave stopped playing hockey. It’s not a happy one. ~1,235 words.
Notes: It feels weird to post fic today, but I said I would, so I am. Now's a good time to repeat that I ignore 3.14 "On My Way" in this fic. Here’s what I did take from canon: Dave was a member of the hockey team in season 1 (it’s mentioned in 1.08, “Mash-Up”). Scott Cooper was the hockey team member who led the slushying of the football team in 2.11, “The Sue Sylvester Shuffle.” Rick “The Stick” Nelson is the member of the hockey team who ran for class president against Kurt, Brittany and Rachel in Season 3. Also, this chapter is sad (although hopeful). If you’re in the mood for that, okay; if not, wait to read it until I post the next chapter so you can read both at the same time. The next chapter is a lot happier.

Warnings:
Bullying, harassment, homophobia and homophobic language/actions, violence, physical pain, people being awful
Rating: This chapter PG-13.

Livejournal | Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

---

Second Interlude

The spring of Dave's sophomore year at McKinley, on the day that his finger splints were removed, he sat down at the piano and tried to play. But every stroke against the keys made him flinch.

The pain brought him back to the moment when Scott Cooper broke his fingers and then tugged him up off the ice with a "Stop moaning, you goddamn Liberace."

Read more... )

Fic summary:  An unlikely friendship forms among Dave, Blaine and Kurt. Dave learns to love himself, Blaine learns to trust love, and Kurt learns that love is both simpler and a lot more complicated than he expected. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: The boys try hanging out together in a new place. Also, Blaine apparently wants to be every gay teen's peer sex educator. ~4,000 words.
Notes: Now's a good time to repeat that I ignore 3.14 "On My Way" in this fic.

Pairings in this section:
Kurt/Blaine, Dave still has his crush on Kurt.
Rating: This chapter PG-13 (How'd that happen?)

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Chapter 11: The Long and Winding Road


The shop is closed on Monday for President's Day, so Kurt decides to join Blaine and Dave for one of their Monday-afternoon study sessions.

Except that school is also closed on Monday, which somehow translates into Dave having an all-day football thing that makes no sense to Kurt, so the study session is cancelled. Was cancelled ages ago, in fact, but no one bothered to mention it to Kurt until Sunday.

("Didn't football season end already?" Kurt said irritably when Blaine broke the news to him. He was ashamed for snapping at Blaine, but Blaine took it in stride, which was good, because if Blaine had asked him what he was irritable about, he wouldn't have had an answer.)

So they don't see Dave on Monday, but Kurt and Blaine sit at the kitchen bar and study anyway because they've been putting it off all weekend, and it's nice, the way their legs brush against each other as they work. Kurt tries not to think that it would be even nicer if Dave were there, sitting on the other side of Blaine, how it would be a little easier to concentrate because Kurt would know for sure that everything was normal between them, and not weird and awkward because of what happened Saturday night.

 

Read more... )

Fic summary: An unlikely friendship forms among Dave, Blaine and Kurt. AU from 3.05 with canon elements.
Chapter summary: Blaine gets back from Cincinnati, and he and Kurt make up for lost time (i.e. lots of sex ensues). Dave surprises himself. Sugar has her Valentine’s Day party at Breadstix, but other major events from 3.13 “Heart” involving these characters do not happen. 10,345 words.
Notes: Now's a good time to repeat that I ignore 3.14 "On My Way" in this fic. Also, sorry about the double returns in the LJ version of this; LJ didn't like my html and the only workaround is manually reentering 400 paragraph returns. I hope you understand why I'm not going to do that. :).

Warnings: slut-shaming/shame
Pairings in this section: Kurt/Blaine, Dave/OC, and Dave still has his crush on Kurt.
Rating: NC-17

Livejournal | Dreamwidth | AO3 | tumblr

---

Chapter 10

Kurt wakes up to find a bottle of ibuprofen and a glass of water next to his bed, and three messages on his phone.

Blaine: Call me when you’re up to it.

Dave: I hope you’re feeling as good today as you did last night.
Dave: P.S. Blaine loved this picture so I thought I’d send it to you.

The photo is from Scandals. Kurt doesn’t often like to look at pictures of himself, but Blaine’s right: this one is good. His face is glowing with soft colored light of the movie screen, and somehow he has a smile on his face even as he sips his Long Island iced tea through a straw. He’s just noticed the camera and is looking at it sidelong in a way that looks like both invitation and challenge. He’s vivacious. He’s radiant.

Looking at the photo, Kurt feels a tenderness toward himself that he doesn’t often experience, like he’s getting a glimpse of himself through Blaine’s eyes. Although, of course, it’s Dave who took the picture.

Kurt doesn’t dwell on what that might mean.

Read more... )

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