Genre: Drama, Angst, Romance
Characters/Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, Rachel, Mercedes, and the rest of the New Directions gang. Primary focus is on Kurt and Blaine. There are also appearances by a few OCs.
Word Count (chapter): 3273
Warnings: Language, mild adult situations, mentions of drug use, and the potential for the occasional plot hole.
Spoilers: There are mentions of costumes and locations from 2x22 that were seen in the set pictures that leaked but that’s pretty much it…
Disclaimer: I don’t own Glee. If I did, it would probably just be the Kurt & Blaine show…
Summary: Kurt always imagined himself in New York one day, taking the fashion world by storm. As a designer. Not a model. Never a model. But while in NYC for Nationals, a modeling scout tells him he’s got the perfect look. Now he’s torn between taking the opportunity and letting it slip by. Can his relationships survive the distance? Will he lose himself? Klaine, AU
Written for this prompt over at glee_angst_meme Though it make take a bit before the angst kicks in ;)
Author’s Notes: This is the first time I’ve written in a long while, but I was incredibly intrigued by the prompt and just had to give it a shot. This is also the first Glee fic I’ve written. I hope I have good grasp on the characters *crosses fingers*.
There is also a very high possibility of me screwing up the intricacies of the fashion world; I did research as much as I could, but it only goes so far when you’re sitting behind a computer screen in Texas. So if you see mistakes, please let me know. Also the possibility of me screwing up NYC geography remains; I’ve only been there once and it was several years ago; my memory might not be that good, so I’ll try and be vague ;) And I’m using Google Maps as well as the awesome street view shots from Mapquest, for some of it, such as Times Square. If the storefronts have changed since I’ve been there (or when those pictures on Google Maps and Mapquest were taken), let me know and I’ll fix it :) …I really want to go back to NYC someday; I loved it there.
Also…despite what the title implies, Kurt isn’t a runaway. XD
For once, the movies didn’t lie. Times Square really did look like it did in the movies. Countless taxis lined the streets, bumper to bumper with the vehicles in front of them, an endless symphony of horns honking erupting from them. Occasionally, a different colored vehicle would attempt to weave in and out the sea of yellow. Times Square’s signature neon signs on the buildings that were typically seen in pictures lighting up the night sky with vibrate displays of product advertisement were no less awe inspiring in the daytime sky.
And the people. So many people from various cultures, nations and cliques intermixed with the New York residents filled the sidewalks and yes, even the streets, as throngs of people paid little heed to the traffic signs or the traffic itself before crossing the busy streets to their destinations. The tourists constantly stopped in the middle of the sidewalks to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over everything, their heads permanently tilted up toward the sky, mouths slightly ajar as they took in the skyscrapers around them and their cameras frequently flashing as they cemented the memories to hard disk to share with friends and family later. The city’s residents sidestepped around the groups of tourists to make their way to their destinations quickly, having grown used to the sights that awed the visitors.
Here in this city that never slept, in the middle of Times Square, amidst the hustle and bustle of the crowds and the cacophony of horns, eyes scanning the tall buildings that surrounded him, Kurt Hummel had never felt more at home…more alive. For the first time in his life, he felt completely at ease as he walked down the street. He didn’t have to worry about the constant fear that someone would toss out a homophobic slur or worse. He could just… be. It was nice. It was freeing. It was a feeling he never wanted to give up.
The moment the airplane had touched down at JFK International Airport two days ago, Kurt felt a rush of excitement that had yet to stop. Since leaving the airport, the members of New Directions had been in nonstop overdrive: from hitting all the typical tourist attractions, the ever present rivalry between Vocal Adrenaline, the competition, the competition results show; they barely got a chance to sleep. Not that they really could if they had wanted to. Kurt and the rest of New Directions eagerly drank in the sights and sounds of the city, wanting to take advantage of Mr. Shuester’s surprisingly lenient itinerary as much as possible, not knowing how long it would be before any of them would see the city again.
Girly giggling of exhilaration tore Kurt’s attention from the somewhat intimidating buildings and he turned to his right, finding his two best girl friends becoming excitable. Wearing a white dress with a red and black checkered pattern that fell to her knees with a red caplet and small black gloves, an outfit Kurt chose for her – he had to save her from wearing a top with a deer on it as this was New York--Rachel Berry clung to Mercedes Jones, who wore a beautifully fitted purple gathered knee length dress, pointing out the various landmarks, elaborately explaining the significance of each and how she had some deep spiritual connection or something to each. Rolling his eyes at Rachel’s endless speech that showcased not only her vast knowledge but her impeccable ability to make everything about her, Kurt felt a smile form on his lips and he slyly looked to his left.
Blaine Anderson stood next to him, his eyes trained solely on him, a wide smile on his enthusiastic face. Fighting the urge to blush under his boyfriend’s intense stare, Kurt brought his hand up to straighten his tie and smoothed his hands over his perfectly tailored black suit jacket before dropping his eyes to his copper wingtip shoes, making sure they were scuff free.
Once he was satisfied he had his blush under control, Kurt looked up at Blaine, whose gaze had shifted to the crowd. Kurt’s eyes drifted down Blaine’s body, silently approving the way his tailored black three piece suit fitted him, as if it was made for only him, and Kurt stifled the urge to reach up and run his hand down the silk lapel. Instead he returned his attention back to the sights and sounds around them, trying to sear the memory in his mind forever. “I can’t believe I’m finally here,” Kurt whispered, awe in his voice.
Blaine turned his head towards his boyfriend, an adoring look on his face. He reached down and clasped Kurt’s hand in his own, squeezing tightly. “It was only a matter of time before you took this place by storm,” he replied, smiling softly.
Kurt’s eyes widened at Blaine’s touch, surprised that his boyfriend had instigated the contact, knowing that his past experience with public displays of affection had been rather traumatic. Unable to stop himself, Kurt’s eyes skittered across the crowd, looking for signs of imminent harassment. His years in Lima, and particularly McKinley High, coupled with his knowledge of Blaine’s past, had conditioned him to be on constant lookout for anyone who wanted to harass them. But this time, there was no reaction, no stares, no homophobic remarks that always cut to the core, no shoving, no slushies in the face. Nothing. Not one person paid them any attention, too caught up in their own affairs to be worried about two teenage boys holding hands in the middle of Times Square. Kurt released a sigh of relief.
Blaine caught Kurt’s relief and nudged him with his shoulder. Kurt turned his head and caught his gaze, taking in the shorter boy’s grin. He smiled sheepishly in return. “I told you that’s the cool thing about New York,” Blaine stated. “No one cares what we do.” To drive in his point, he lifted himself slightly and leaned over to place a kiss on Kurt’s cheek. Ignoring Kurt’s stunned expression, he stepped back and spread his arms out, indicating the passing crowds. “See? No one cares,” he reiterated, beaming.
Feeling bold after affirming that his boyfriend was correct in his assessment, Kurt reached out and grasped the lapel of Blaine’s suit jacket and pulled him flush against him. A laugh bubbled up from Blaine but was immediately silenced when Kurt leaned in and placed a kiss on his lips. The kiss, which was intended to be merely a peck, began to grow into something more and Blaine wrapped his arms around Kurt’s waist, holding him tighter.
A bright flash of light near their faces quickly brought them back to reality and they separated reluctantly, to see Mercedes and Rachel’s smiling faces gazing up at them. Blaine dropped his hands from Kurt’s waist while Kurt released the lapel that was still clenched in his hand. The Warbler sheepishly lowered his head and lifted a hand to the back of his neck, rubbing absently, the tips of his ears turning red.
Kurt lowered his eyes and immediately noticed a camera in Mercedes’ hand. Realizing he had found the source of the bright light that had interrupted his moment with Blaine, he released a huff of indignation. “Mercedes!” he cried out, a hand shooting up to his hair in an attempt blindly make sure every strand was in place, certain that the moisture left in the air from the small rain shower earlier had wreaked havoc on his look.
“Oh, calm down, white boy.” Mercedes rolled her eyes, laughing at his exasperation. “You look fine. In fact, you look better than fine. I’m sure your boy-toy here agrees with me if that look he’s been giving you ever since we met up, when you’re not looking, is any hint,” she said, her eyes glancing knowingly at the blushing Blaine, a teasing smile on her face.
Kurt jerked his head towards Blaine, his jaw dropped. Blaine became redder than Kurt thought was possible, silently confirming Mercedes’ words. Kurt cleared his throat and avoided his friend’s gaze, as well as his boyfriend’s, who was also avoiding making eye contact with anyone. Mercedes stepped closer to the two boys and pointed a finger at Kurt. “You’ll thank me later for the picture,” she proclaimed. “But we are in public, guys. Maybe you should save the sexy times for later, okay?”
“Uh,” Kurt stumbled over his words, growing more embarrassed by the second. “Um…we…We haven’t-“ He halted his words at the sound of a soft laugh. He turned his head to Blaine and found him attempting to stifle his amusement. Kurt scoffed and gave Blaine a look of annoyance.
“What?” Blaine replied, holding his hands out in a gesture of surrender. He tilted his head and smiled, reaching up and straightened Kurt’s tie that he had accidentally mussed during their kiss. “You’re adorable when you get all flustered.”
Kurt huffed and rolled his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest. Acquiring a mock air of superiority, he spoke: “Aren’t we supposed to be going somewhere? I didn’t wear this suit just to stand around here all day.”
Blaine took that as his cue to lead the way. “Follow me.” He turned on his heel and began walking north, away from the center of Times Square, with Kurt, Rachel and Mercedes close on his heels.
“We’ll make the rendezvous with the rest of the club, right? This isn’t going to make us late, is it?” Rachel asked, quickening her steps to get right behind Blaine.
Blaine turned his head to look at the petite brunette, a reassuring smile on his lips. “No, you guys will be back on time. Promise.”
“If not,” Kurt spoke up, reaching into his pocket and holding out his phone. “If not, I’ll just call my dad and let him know.”
“Well, where are you taking us?” Mercedes asked, confusion coloring her voice. “I didn’t wear this dress, which while I look damn fine in,” she added with a smile, “without a reason right?”
Blaine shook his head, a knowing glint in his eyes. “It’s a surprise.”
Mercedes grumbled, “I hate surprises.” She trained an eye to the back of Blaine’s head. “Can you at least tell us what street we’re heading to?”
“51st,” Blaine replied easily. “And that’s all you’re getting out of me.”
The quartet of teenagers reached a crosswalk and blended with the large crowd that stood waiting for the next semi-safe time to cross the street. Kurt reached down to clasp Blaine’s hand once more but was thwarted when he felt a slender arm snake its way around his arm, settling in the crook of his elbow. He glanced down to see the smiling face of one Rachel Berry. In the midst of everything else, he had almost forgotten she was there, her having been uncharacteristically quiet.
One quick glance to Blaine told Kurt that he had also been accosted by the petite brunette. Resigned to not being able to hold his boyfriend’s hand like he wanted, Kurt began to step forward, toward Mercedes. As the four of them stood waiting to cross the street, Kurt chanced a glance down to see Rachel still smiling, a wide smile that almost threatened to split her face in two, her eyes bright as she looked at the two of them. “Yes, Rachel?” Kurt asked, unable to shake the feeling that she really, really wanted to say something.
Rachel tightened her arms around theirs, drawing them closer to her and leaned her head against Blaine’s shoulder. “Have I ever told you two how utterly adorable you are?” she asked, beaming.
“Thank you, Rachel,” Blaine replied, taking her compliment at face value, grinning.
Kurt lifted an eyebrow at Blaine’s response; his boyfriend’s desire to please everyone he met was a trait that was adorable most times, yet irritating at others. Particularly when it came to Rachel. Kurt was pleased that Blaine had blended with his friends in New Directions remarkably well, yet he would be remiss if he didn’t admit that, at times, seeing Blaine and Rachel interact together set him on edge. It was a stupid reaction, but he couldn't help it. What had happened during and after Rachel’s party had been a disaster for all three of them – their behavior towards one another had almost been downright deplorable – and Kurt knew that he shouldn't hold it again Rachel or even Blaine (they had been drunk when the fiasco started after all) but it still threatened to creep into his mind at times.
Kurt gently tugged his arm free from Rachel’s grasp and pulled her away from Blaine, ignoring her look of dismay and confusion. He situated himself next to the curly haired Warbler, took his hand in his own and leaned into Blaine’s personal space as though he was silently staking his claim. If he and Blaine were finally able to showcase their relationship in public and not be ridiculed for it, Kurt wanted to take full advantage of the opportunity without Rachel inputting herself into the situation.
Kurt smiled at Rachel, not unkindly. He did appreciate her support of him and Blaine, he truly did. “Thanks, Rachel, but, uh, if you don’t mind, we’d like to continue being adorable as you put it.”
Rachel opened her mouth to respond but then closed it, her eyes dropping to their hands before darting around the innocuous crowd. Understanding crossed her face and a smile formed. Kurt felt relief enter his body; he had hoped she would understand his meaning. She knew from watching her two fathers that any opportunity to participate in public displays of affection could not be passed up, especially when they came so rarely. “Of course,” she replied and with a quick nod of her head and a pat on the two boys’ arms, she turned around and joined Mercedes a few feet in front of them.
The crosswalk light flickered from the red-orange hand signaling pedestrians not to cross the street to the white silhouette of a walking figure and the three New Direction members and the one wayward Warbler were carried away in the throng of people across the street. Keeping a hold of each other, Blaine and Kurt stepped forward and slipped their opposite hand into one of the girls’, Kurt with Rachel and Blaine with Mercedes, in an effort to stay together. The girls gratefully accepted the hands the boys offered with a smile, linked their arms together in a more secure hold, and together they all continued their journey, the New Directions members’ eyes wandering around the street, gazing up, taking in all the sights the city had to offer.
“So, Blaine.” Rachel said, dragging out his name almost teasingly. “This is obviously not your first time in New York.”
Blaine gave a short laugh. “No, no, it’s not.”
“Well?” Mercedes prompted, tugging on his arm playfully. “Care to elaborate, preppy?”
“My dad has business trips here a lot. He brings me and my mom if it falls on a long weekend at Dalton, like this weekend. He just gives me a credit card and sends me on my way.”
Mercedes gasped audibly. “All by yourself? Is that safe?”
Blaine shrugged nonchalantly. “Probably not. But I’m used to it,” he replied flippantly. Kurt squeezed his hand in comfort, sensing his unspoken distress of the situation. Blaine cleared his throat and continued his explanation, attempting to elevate the mood. “I like it though. I can pretty much do whatever I want, no matter how…’gay.’ I’m just lucky that this trip happened to coincide with your trip to Nationals. There was no way I was going to miss seeing Kurt up there on that stage. You were wonderful.” Blaine gazed at Kurt, smiling widely.
Kurt felt a blush rise in his cheeks, as he always did when Blaine praised him, and he attempted to dismiss the compliment, “You’re being too kind, Blaine. I was so nervous I could barely remember the lines. In fact, I’m fairly certain I missed a--“
“Seriously, Kurt,” Blaine interrupted, his voice serious. “You were incredible up there.”
“Listen to your boy, Kurt,” Mercedes spoke up, adding her voice into the mix. “He knows what he’s saying. You were amazing (1).”
Kurt dropped his eyes. “But we didn’t win,” he said softly.
Blaine scoffed and Kurt knew he was getting frustrated at his dismissal of his talent. “So, what? You guys came in third. Out of twenty. That’s not bad at all. Especially since it was your first time there.” He bumped his shoulder against Kurt’s. “And you won best male soloist. Definitely not something to dismiss.”
“Blaine and Mercedes are right, Kurt,” Rachel spoke up. “As much as it pains me to admit, despite your frequent tendency to go sharp during the bridge of the song, I don’t think I could have done better. Although we’ll never know since Mr. Shue didn’t even give me a-“
“Thank you, Rachel,” Kurt interrupted, sarcasm dripping from his voice. He knew that from her, such words were complimentary, but the selfish aspects of her personality did grate a bit. To her credit, Rachel remained silent, not elaborating anymore on how she possibly could have done better, how she could have made them place higher, words Kurt knew she wanted to say.
The quartet reached the intersection at 51st Street and Broadway and Blaine directed them to turn left. Kurt let his eyes drift around, taking in the narrow one way street and the cars that lined the curb, making the path difficult for the larger trucks that attempted to pass. They continued their walk, passing trees in planters until they neared the open garages that lined the bottom floor of the skyscraper (2). Rachel tugged her hand away from Kurt’s and jogged forward, getting closer to whatever had drawn her attention. Kurt watched her stop suddenly before turning around, a large, bright excited smile on her face.
“Oh, my God! Wicked?!” she exclaimed, a hand extended backwards toward a sign that hung from the side of a large white building that was nestled between the tall office building and an older brown brick edifice (3).
Kurt narrowed his eyes slightly to get a closer look of the sign that had Rachel excited. The large black sign displayed the name ‘Gershwin Theatre’ and below, the familiar black, white and green poster design of the Good Witch Glinda whispering into the ear of the green Wicked Witch Elphaba of the musical Wicked. His eyes widened in surprise and he jerked his head towards Blaine. “You’re taking us to see Wicked?!”
Blaine grinned. “I gather you approve?”
Rachel stepped toward the group, her mouth agape. “It’s only been declared the best musical of the decade; a cultural phenomenon! It’s won thirty five awards, including three Tonys! I tried to buy tickets the other day but they were sold out.” She jutted a finger at Blaine’s chest, an accusing look on her face. “How did you manage this?”
Blaine shrugged helplessly. “Bought them in advance?”
Mercedes and Kurt giggled at Blaine’s confusion over Rachel’s accusatory stance. “You definitely know how to surprise,” Mercedes said, “Definitely a keeper, Kurt.”
“That he most definitely is,” Kurt replied, winking at Mercedes conspiratorially, drawing another giggle out of his friend.
Rachel looked back toward the theatre again, as though she was letting the reality sink in. A second later, she turned to Blaine, her excitement on her face once more, and placed her hands on his upper arms, gripping tightly. “I am so happy I could kiss you!”
Kurt interjected, “I’d really rather you didn’t.”
Sorry that this chapter is kind of …plotless? Um…oops? I meant to add more plot to it but it just kept growing and growing and I felt it was getting too long, so I cut it short, so to speak. The meat of the story will get kick started in chapter two. Promise. :)
(1) As far as Kurt's solo goes...I've always wanted him to sing "A Promise Made" by Casey Stratton because I think he would knock it out of the park and I think it fits his voice wonderfully. But I know no one knows who Casey Stratton is...sadly. So...here's a link to the song I imagine Kurt sung. :)
(2) Here are the screencaps from mapquest that show where Klaine, Rachel and Mercedes are supposed to be walking and are what I used for reference.
(3) I think it’s an office building. Looks like one to me but not entirely sure. It’s a skyscraper that’s for sure. Mapquest doesn’t have a close enough view so I can’t tell what the sign on the building says…As for the other one, it looks like a early 19th construction.