Title: Minty Fresh (One - Shot)
Word Count: ~3,200
Pairings/Characters: Blaine/Rachel - sibling AU, Kurt
Warnings: Oh so AU!
Summary: Sleepover 4: Kurt is desperate to escape Rachel’s clutches and her manic Reality TV show rants and makes it to the bathroom to carry out his routine before bed… until he finds himself with company. [Think Bring It On bathroom scene only wordier ;) - and I have always thought Jesse Bradford looks a little like Darren!]
So there’s more! I promised it to everyone who asked and, of course, even though I have another WIP in progress, I was always going to write more of this verse - I love writing it too much to stop. See previous parts of the verse for full author notes. More shall definitely come soon.
It’s not necessary to read the previous sleepovers but it is probably best you do as it is a gentle development :)
* * * * * * * *
They’d seen one another in pyjamas before but usually they were long legged lounge pants and t-shirts that covered their respective modesty.
What they hadn’t done was venture past that. Until now.
Kurt could see himself, as if from above, looking down at his own pathetic expression and cringing dramatically. Just like a cartoon character with eyes on stalks lolling out of his face, he was staring and, of course, he knew he’d make a triumphant fly catcher due to his currently slack jaw.
"Hey!" Blaine mouthed to him with a quick wave from his doorway. He had his phone to his ear, chattering to someone quietly as he sat on the edge of his bed, toes wiggling.
His toes were only the tip of the very beautiful iceberg, though.
It was insanity to find another person’s often-overlooked body parts so attractive but, with Blaine, it didn’t take a genius to work out why Kurt was perpetually unhinged now whenever he slept over with Rachel. Blaine was always home on Saturday evenings and rarely hid in his room, always joining them whenever he could. Kurt kept telling himself in a mantra-like fashion that Blaine was simply being polite and also possibly wanted to spend some quality time with his sister.
It was a long shot but it worked. The alternative was too ridiculous to consider, far too fantastically unlikely that Kurt didn’t allow the thought a moment’s head space.
"Are you practising mime or have your batteries run down?" came Rachel’s voice from behind him, clipped but tinged with amusement.
Kurt turned to find her already dressed for bed in a floor length pink gingham night gown trimmed with lace. It was comical to imagine Finn manoeuvring her out of that and then when the thought became horrific, Kurt scrunched up his face in disgust.
"I need to bleach my mind."
"What?" she asked, hands on hips.
"Nothing. Nothing, just day dreaming. It’s late."
"Not too late to watch a little ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ with me, is it? Because this,” she gestured to her room, “is a Blaine-free zone tonight so we may do anything we wish without petty comments aimed to make me angry.”
"Rachel, all Blaine said last week watching movies is that Barbra looked better with a bob than the perm. It’s hardly a damaging personal insult."
"Maybe not to you," she hissed, pulling him into the room. Kurt managed one last glimpse at Blaine’s open door before it disappeared.
* * * * * * * *
After two hours of Rachel’s running commentary on the slapdash underarm turns in the Viennese Waltz, Kurt knew it was time to drop hints. Beginning with an exaggerated yawn didn’t seem to make a difference, Rachel being far too engrossed in her critical analysis, so Kurt reached down into his bag, pulling out his cosmetics and head band.
"May I?" he asked, his words going unheard.
"I just don’t understand how these two ever got through. Her change steps are a mess."
Stealthily Kurt slipped from the room unnoticed, padding down the hall and into the Anderson-Berry’s large bathroom. Both of her dads were asleep and it was especially important not to rouse them – Rachel Berry’s split-second-temper wasn’t a fluke.
Their bathroom was the kind of space that Kurt knew he could transform into a zone of tranquillity. The walls were cream with accents provided by flower prints and a row of small antique vases along the window sill; the room was a delightful ‘L’ shape, perfect for keeping the more private aspects of personal care to themselves and leaving the bath to itself, standing all roll topped and beautiful. It was clear from this room alone that Joel’s taste was impeccable.
Opening up his bag at the sink edge, Kurt brushed back his hair and ran the tap for a while until lukewarm. It was a habit to sing or hum to himself - usually practising for a Glee club number - and today was no exception.
"Is that Zanna Don’t?" a voice asked, the familiarity of it sending Kurt’s bare toes curling into the carpet.
Without peeking around the corner, Kurt smiled and answered, “I’m much more refined than that, Blaine. Why would you even consider asking such a thing?”
"Well, because I’m about ninety nine percent sure you were singing ‘I think we got love’."
Kurt moved to peer towards the door, eyebrows raised in accusation. “The very fact you know that song is enough for me to judge you but -“
It was the only word bouncing around in Kurt’s head as his lips fell apart gently and he stared, awe struck. Blaine’s arms were tanned, soft-looking and out in the open thanks to a barely there grey tank top; his legs were liberated too by a pair of loose fitting knee-length shorts.
It was a wake-up call in more ways than one. They’d always been friendly and their relationship was fun - there wasn’t a moment Kurt could remember when he’d held back with Blaine and that included his biting wit. Having Rachel for a sister built up the thickest skin and sharpest tongue and it was one thing Kurt couldn’t get enough of. They didn’t have a label and it was the most thrilling thing about Blaine – nobody know how well they got on and, in turn, it felt much more special for it.
The tangle of nerves and excitement in his stomach every time Blaine came near - or even at the mere mention of his name - had been occurring too frequently of late.
"Hi." Was all Kurt managed, smoothing a damp hand down his pyjama bottoms. Blaine Anderson-Berry rarely allowed his hair a moment’s rest from product but sleep-time Blaine was clearly much more relaxed - the curls teased and framed his face, peeking over his ears and doing rather giddy things to Kurt’s tummy.
"Is this a well executed escape or a legitimate skin care session?" Blaine asked, smiling and joining Kurt by the sink.
"Your sister was schooling me on fleckerls and the Contra Check on that dancing show. Neither of which I know anything about. She was almost red faced with frustration by the time I left."
"There’s a reason we make her record her favourite shows or watch them in her room. There’s a fight between my dad," he smiled, wafting his hand, "Joel, I mean, and Rachel every single time one of those dance shows is on. It’s like they’re being paid to be on the panel. There’s no holding back. Simon Cowell’s a pussycat compared to them both."
"It’s clearly in the genes."
Blaine pressed a hand to his chest, gasping. “You do realise you must count me in that statement too, don’t you?”
Kurt simply smiled, catching Blaine doing it too, only secretly. Clutching his toothbrush, it felt like a lifeline or the one thing stopping him from rushing out an embarrassed 'I really like you' and ruining everything forever.
Blaine was a friend - a boy who was a friend who was also gay and rather beautiful, but alas, still a friend. He was the kind of irritating creature who could charm the pants off anyone with eyes and a modicum of taste so clearly he wouldn’t be interested in his sister’s best friend - no matter how excellently Kurt dressed or how unrivalled his natural taste happened to be.
"So," Blaine mused, reaching for the cupboard opposite the sinks and mirror. Kurt watched him lean and what there was of a tank top stretch over his skin. Damn him.
The nerves began to make his fingers tremble so he wrapped them tighter around his toothbrush and dampened it under the tap.
"Are you going to finish that sentence or…?"
Blaine began to laugh, the music to it causing Kurt’s skin to shiver. Not to mention the close proximity, lack of clothing and intimate domesticity.
"Are you usually this sassy when you brush your teeth?" Blaine turned on the tap but waited for an answer. He stood staring, head cocked at an angle.
It was then that Kurt realised the horror of being so exposed. Not only was Blaine by his side, he had a full wall of mirror that beamed Kurt’s reflection back in glorious detail. Suddenly, it was difficult to think for worrying about obvious blemishes or imperfections.
"I don’t usually have company."
There was that laugh again, warm and breathless and too infectious to resist a smile in return.
"How do you want to do this?" Blaine asked, dangling his bright red brush in the water with a bright smile. "I’ve got my own toothpaste. It has extra whitening agent and tastes so good, unlike Rachel’s disgusting strawberry flavoured one."
"Which I’m sure is designed for three year olds," Kurt added with a cursory eye roll.
"Exactly. So feel free to use mine."
With a moment’s hesitancy, Kurt reached for the tube and squeezed a liberal amount onto his brush. He could hear Blaine breathing, feel the warmth from his skin and smell his residual aftershave and natural scent so heady and something Kurt knew would cause him sensory overload if he thought about it too intently.
Blaine copied him, glancing sideways and smirking as he brushed, his lips wet and spotted with white. Kurt took a long breath and kept his eyes resolute in the mirror, careful not to give in to the temptation to stare at the way Blaine’s tongue swiped at any escaping toothpaste. The mental images conjured up were nothing short of obscene. It wasn’t often that Kurt allowed himself to indulge in those kind of thoughts as they never satisfied; they always felt so clinical and impersonal without the inclusion a person’s heart and soul. The blow to his chest when he imagined being that intimate with someone was immeasurable but standing by Blaine, Kurt felt choked with a moment of clarity.
It truly was possible to succumb to feelings – even those Kurt knew he kept under lock and key – because being so close to someone as placid and wonderful as Blaine made the reality of a ‘significant other’ something to crave, not fear.
Blaine Anderson-Berry was a conundrum, one Kurt ached to spend time working on. He was like a Rubix cube; so many parts to his personality and each as vibrant and mystifying as the next but all of them so difficult to align together because, ultimately, when you eventually completed the puzzle, you realised that you just wanted to mess it all back up again and revel in the complexity and wonder of it all.
Brushing his teeth. That was the job in hand, not intense metaphors that, in Kurt’s head, sounded romantic and inspired but to anyone else would be considered borderline psychopathic.
With a mouth full of toothpaste, Kurt kept scrubbing: round and round, up and down and all the while trying desperately to avoid the mirror. Blaine was looking, smirking and smiling sweetly in equal measure - neither was helpful when you were mere seconds away from spitting into the sink. Kurt felt fluttery; every part of him wilted helplessly as the only wish was to swoon, collapse in a heap or give in and throw himself at Blaine – still not viable options.
It was a given that he was no doubt inwardly pathetic but as soon as Blaine bent over to rinse out his mouth, Kurt had to swallow down a frustrated sigh. Clearly he was pathetic outwardly too. Blaine was swirling the water in his mouth with closed eyes and eyelashes fanned evenly against his cheek. They were beautiful eyelashes - long, dark and slightly curled up at the ends - but they only sought to create more problems. Kurt tried to keep brushing but couldn’t help imagining them tickling at his skin or what they’d look like pre-kiss, all close and delicate but it was all imagination - typical. It was all it would ever be.
As Blaine’s eyes opened, zoning in straight to Kurt’s with a bright smile, Kurt snapped his head away and fought down the dangerous blush threatening at his cheeks. Blaine began navigating the mouth wash giving Kurt a moment to use his hand as a shield. He spat out into a cascade of water with utmost grace.
As he straightened, Blaine was looking once more but without a playful smile; this time he appeared thoughtful and serious until Kurt brushed at his mouth with his hand.
"Do I have something on my face?"
A slow, soft smile met Blaine’s lips and he placed his bottle back on the shelf. “No, you’re good.”
"Well, I’d say this has been a pleasure," Kurt teased, in the hope it would sound aloof. He knew immediately that the fact he’d been holding his breath since Blaine walked in the room was betraying him and making him sound much less composed. It was possible her was verging on ‘twelve year old girl’. "But nobody wants to see me cleaning my teeth. It’s not pretty."
Blaine chuckled to himself. “Whatever you say.”
"What’s that supposed to mean?" Kurt asked, trying to fight back his grin.
"Just, you’re wearing what appear to be Chanel pyjama pants and you use a," he picked up Kurt’s belongings in turn, laughing when he saw the tags, "Georgio Armani wash bag. I think that’s the epitome of pretty."
Blaine shrugged, smug.
"Pretty fabulous, more like."
Shaking his head and huffing out a laugh, Blaine collected his things together then turned to look straight into Kurt’s eyes. Something about the air in the room changed. It was quite possible there was much much less of it.
"It’s strange being around so much on a weekend. Usually The Warblers will arrange something or I’ll go visit my mom and Beth but -"
"You’re abandoned? Left plan-less and alone?" Kurt asked, getting in a jibe to release the tension because Blaine wouldn’t look away; his stupid, bottomless, autumn speckled eyes and maddeningly kissable lips were making Kurt dizzy with want and need and a thousand other feelings he didn’t have a name for yet.
Stepping forward, Blaine bit his lip and Kurt spotted it: the tremble at his cheek. Nerves or awkwardness. Neither seemed a good thing until the second Blaine spoke again, his words couched in subtext that Kurt tried so diligently to ignore.
"I’ve opted to stick around, I guess."
Gentle guarded eyes turned tender so quickly that Kurt knew he couldn’t be making it all up in his head. Blaine had never looked at him quite like that before. Kurt couldn’t breathe. He was so sure he was dreaming and -
"And why would you do that?"
"As if I even need to answer that question."
Kurt could feel his heart beating at the very tips of his fingers , a deep thud in his ears. Blaine moved a little closer, eyes trained on Kurt’s and positively twinkling.
"You’re coming next weekend, aren’t you?" he asked, his voice shaking around the edges of the words.
Quiet and stuttering a little, Kurt found his voice. “Um, yes. F-friday’s the election reveal and, um, Rachel has generously and surprisingly offered her shoulder as the one I cry on.” He skin tingled.
"You’ll blow them all away. It’s not possible for you to do anything less than that."
Kurt gave a smile, almost trembling.
"Well," Blaine said on the exhale, shoulders relaxing "you can’t possibly fail. Look who you have as campaign manager. My sister is nothing if not a fighter. Plus she’s obnoxious and that can never be undervalued where politics are concerned.”
He truly was impossibly sweet. Kurt couldn’t quite focus, his mind a woozy state of bliss just listening to Blaine say such lovely witty things.
"Everyone hates us," Kurt said simply, rolling his eyes. "So I will definitely be here to take your sister up on her offer of consolation."
Blaine leaned against the sink with his hip, shrugging playfully. “If it all gets too much and she makes it all about her then, um.” Blaine glanced down, running his fingertip through a pool of water. “You can always take refuge in my room. I promise good music and a ban on school talk.” He looked up, spots of pink at his cheekbones.
Kurt pressed his lips together into a grateful smile before drawing the corner of his lip through his teeth and suppressing the need to combust with happiness. He ached to reach out and just touch but instead, he spoke, almost purring his words.
"I do like both of those things. I just don’t think Rachel -"
"Don’t think Rachel, what?"
Kurt’s heart leapt up into his throat at the interruption. “Don’t think you’d leave me alone if I lost the election, that’s all. That’s all we were talking about,” he explained to a suddenly present Rachel.
Blaine pressed his hand to his mouth, forcing back a smile. His gaze flickered to Kurt, their unresolved subtext still a precious secret between them. That would account for the extra sparkle to Blaine’s eyes.
"Of course not," Rachel soothed, wrapping her arms lovingly around Kurt’s neck and smothering him in a cloud of lace and hair. "I’m your right hand girl, after all. We’re off to The Broadway,” she sang, “and we’re doing it together so of course I won’t leave you alone in an hour of need.”
"He’s a lucky guy," Blaine deadpanned, pulling a face at Kurt that Rachel thankfully missed.
"He is," she cooed, "but I’m such a lucky girl to have my Kurt." She clung to him again, clearly sleepy and sentimental with her face buried at his chest.
As she did, Blaine seemed suddenly so pleased, looking directly into Kurt’s eyes and saying, “You are a lucky girl. Very lucky indeed.”
The bravado was gone. Any semblance of playful and witty Blaine had disappeared entirely. It left Kurt breathless and weak in the knees because Blaine’s eyes were so fused with sincerity that it ached to look in them. He was radiating warmth and the kind of tenderness a person dreams of.
As Rachel took his hand, Kurt scrabbled to collect his belongings when all the while he kept his eyes on Blaine. He couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe or couldn’t think about Rachel’s death grip and her incessant tug for even a second because Blaine looked so momentarily conflicted.
Kurt knew he had to leave, to go sleep all curled up with Rachel and wait a whole week to see Blaine again. It was the enormity of the feelings and their effervescent newness that was already addictive but knowing Blaine so well was also a curse.
Kurt knew he had a latent desire to care for another, learn with someone and succumb to every romantic notion he’d ever dismissed as pure fiction despite his heart stinging with how much he truly wanted it for himself one day. Blaine was contentment and gentility and warmth and playfulness and quite possibly the one person Kurt knew who ticked almost every single imaginary box and added oodles of his own personal unique plus points.
Blaine had always been there but now it was as if Kurt was seeing him for the first time. Now, he felt alive with every ache and longing and flurry of pleasure, all of them screaming to ditch Rachel and her cold feet for bravery and Blaine’s room.
Kurt knew it was only a matter of time until the rational part of his brain lost out to the overwhelming messages from his hammering heart.
* * * * * * * *
Before going home the next morning and in a moment of pure insanity that Kurt knew he’d spend hours agonising over later, he scribbled a note and left it under Blaine’s door.
He had to ease the conflict he’d spotted in Blaine’s eyes as Rachel had dragged him away. He did it because Blaine deserved something solid, something truthful and necessary to take them from what they’d been in the past and to allow them both to understand why they suddenly couldn’t seem to stay away from one another.
I don’t just come to your house to stay with Rachel. It hasn’t been that way for a long time.
Also - These kind of scenes have been done quite a few times and are equally adorable so I wanted to do my own. If you’re not familiar with the Bring It On version - GO WATCH and pretend you’re twelve again!
I haven’t got a video for the New Girl scene but it’s in the episode Cece Crashes….