Title: Tender Years
Word Count: 12,000 (so far)
Warnings: Intense amounts of fluff
Summary: AU. Kurt and Blaine are single dads to seven year olds in New York City. When Kurt’s son invites Blaine’s daughter out on a date, it kicks off a day that Kurt and Blaine will never forget.
A/N: This fic is inspired by this Humans of New York Tumblr photo of two incredibly adorable kids in NYC. I wrote a little ficlet, lots of people flailed and demanded more, and so…here it is! Title is nabbed from lyrics from the song “Teach Your Children” by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, which kind of embodies my vision of Kurt and Blaine as kickass parents.
Now posted on Scarves & Coffee!
“Dad,” Elliot began, his voice solemn and far too adult-like for a cherub-faced boy of seven years old. “I have something important to tell you.”
Kurt put his fork down beside his plate, dabbing a napkin at the corner of his mouth before speaking. “Okay. What’s up, Ell?”
Elliot drew in a deep breath; his chest puffing up like a balloon before his words rushed out on an exhale. “Ihaveagirlfriend.”
“There she is!” Elliot exclaimed, shattering Kurt’s cool demeanor and causing him to jump with surprise. Before Kurt could react, Elliot yanked his hand away and took off, leaving Kurt scrambling after him.
“Elliot! Wait!” But Elliot didn’t stop for a moment. The straps of his backpack bounced against his shoulders as he dove into the thick, noisy street crowd.
Blaine couldn’t help himself. He blinked at Kurt in surprise, just as he’d reacted when the man had introduced himself as Elliot’s father. His father. This lovely, effortlessly sophisticated man who’d stood out like a beam of light among a nameless mass of thousands was a young dad, just like Blaine.
He was also – unquestionably – flirting with him.
Kurt had seen fireworks displays that weren’t quite as dynamic as Maya Anderson.
“Finn, I know Rachel’s in a show tonight and you’re sitting at home by yourself in your underwear watching Transformers – or lord knows what else – so get your ass over to my apartment and babysit Ell for me so I can go out to dinner with a man for the first time in a year!”
Blaine was pretty sure the nervous tingles that kept blooming and surging in his chest had nothing to do with the fact he was about to go out on stage and perform in front of a full house, and everything to do with the fact that he wanted said show to be over, now, so he could fly out the stage door and meet up with a beautiful blue-eyed man for dinner.
Or, maybe, because he was in the middle of telling his daughter about his plans to go out on a date with Kurt Hummel.
“So does that mean you like him?”
Blaine had never done this. Never sat his daughter down and told her about his personal life beyond the vague, “I know most boys like girls, but I actually like other boys.” It had never been worth it before, with the few pathetic attempts at dating he’d scattered across their years together.
He was probably crazy – he’d only just met Kurt this morning, after all – but for some reason, Blaine thought this time might be worth it.
“Yeah…” In practice, the conversation was turning out a heck of a lot more awkward than Blaine had ever imagined. “You could say that.”
Maya was quiet, as if she was pondering the idea of her father liking somebody romantically – somebody she’d met in the flesh, rather than the abstract image of a boy she’d created her mind.
“I like him, too,” she finally declared. “He’s nice and cool. And he’s really pretty, just like Elly.”
Blaine blew out a breath he had no idea he’d been holding. It was vital, he realized in that moment, that Maya liked whomever he dated. He couldn’t ever try to bring somebody into the fold of their tiny family without her stamp of approval – which wasn’tt something she gave out lightly. The fact that Kurt had received it so soundly fueled another blossom of warm, anxious joy in the pit of Blaine’s stomach.
He was about to tell her exactly that when a light rap at the door interrupted him.
“Hey, chica!” Amanda greeted Maya brightly as she poked her head into Blaine’s dressing room.
“Amanda!” Maya’s entire face lit up when she saw her nanny step into the room. She jumped up from the ratty, overstuffed red couch where she’d been sitting with Blaine, abandoning their intimate conversation in favor of throwing her arms around the young woman’s waist. Blaine chuckled as he watched Maya squeeze with as much strength as her little arms could muster. “I had the best day of my whole entire life today!” she said, her enthusiastic words muffled by the fabric of Amanda’s flowy white top.
“Wow!” Amanda exclaimed as she returned Maya’s embrace. “You better tell me all about it on the train ride home. But lemme talk to your dad super quick first, okay?”
“Okay!” Maya ran back to the couch and plopped down on her butt, picking up the book she’d dropped to the wayside when Blaine had sat down with her to talk.
When Blaine approached Amanda, she greeted him with the same friendly, toothy smile she always wore. Amanda had been Maya’s nanny since September – just one in a long line of women young and old who’d helped care for Maya during the past seven years. But Amanda was far and away the Andersons’ favorite. The bubbly, strawberry blonde NYU senior was more like Maya’s friend than her babysitter, frequently taking her shopping for clothes or out for a movie and a late-evening snack. Blaine didn’t know what he’d do without Amanda’s help four nights a week.
“So you’ll be home around eleven as usual?” she asked Blaine.
“Actually…” Blaine looked at her guiltily. “I’m going to be a few hours late tonight, if that’s okay.”
“Oh?” Amanda’s bangle bracelets clinked wildly as she placed one hand on her hip and raised a single pale eyebrow with intrigue.
“Yeah. I have…” Blaine actually had trouble spitting out the word through the grin that suddenly threatened to split his face in two. “I have a date.”
“Rreeaaally?” She shot him a roguish grin. “Well, it’s about time! You are far too delicious to go to waste.”
He was sure he was grinning like an utter fool now. “Yeah, he’s…his name is Kurt. He’s really, just, kind and funny and we have all these weird coincidences in common…”
“And he’s cute, too, I hope,” Amanda added with a wink.
Blaine thought of Kurt’s eyes, how they sparkled like some kind of rare blue crystal in the dim theatre; how his own heart raced and begged for more when Kurt smiled at him as they exchanged flirty banter, natural and effortless like they’d known each other for years instead of hours. “Yeah,” he sighed, oblivious to how soft and dreamy his expression had turned.
Amanda laughed at him. “Boy, you already look like you’re smitten with this guy! Where’d you meet him?”
“At the pride parade this morning? Oh, that’s the best part. He’s a dad, too. Maya had a date with his son today.” Blaine rolled his eyes as he said the word.
“Oh, you mean Elly?”
Her question instantly wiped Blaine’s goofy smile away. “You know about Elliot?”
“Yeah,” she answered, as if the entire world knew. “For like two weeks now.”
Blaine frowned. “She only told me about him yesterday.”
“Well, you know we have our little girl talks.” Amanda shrugged. “Maybe she was more comfortable telling me first.”
Blaine’s frown threatened to deepen to a pout. “But…she always tells me everything.”
Amanda scrunched up her face, as if she was about to let him down gently. “Blaine, there’s just some things girls don’t want to talk about with their dads.”
Of course. He knew that. It was important – critical – for Maya to have a female presence in her life; someone she could trust and confide in. But she was only seven. Still his baby girl. Did she already need more than he could give her?
He was still standing in place, but all of a sudden Blaine felt winded. His life up to this point had been a race; now he’d stopped to catch his breath, only to see Maya sprinting far ahead, out of his reach.
Blaine forced himself to shake it off. It was just a silly childhood crush, and she had told him…eventually. “Thanks for being there for her, Amanda,” he said, pushing the corners of his mouth up in a smile that he hoped looked genuine, because he meant every word. “You have no idea how much I appreciate it. Appreciate you.”
“It’s my pleasure, boss. You know I love her. So don’t worry about us tonight – I’ll stay as late as you need me. I have some reading to finish, anyway.” With one last smile, Amanda turned to reach out a hand to Maya. “Okay, girlie. Time go to home. We’re going to make popcorn and then you are going to spill all about your date. I want details.”
Maya blushed – actually blushed – and nodded shyly. “Okay. Bye, Daddy!”
Blaine sighed when the door closed behind them. It’d only be another blink of an eye before Maya would be all grown up. She’d be going on dates with lots of boys – real ones, not just a cute seven year old she liked to squeal and hold hands with. She wouldn’t need a nanny anymore, and she definitely wouldn’t want to hang out in her father’s dressing room between shows, reading novels and describing to him every fact and detail about the plot.
But Blaine still had a lot of years left to care for her, to nourish her needs and provide her with the best life he could offer. And along with Maya’s life, he needed to look out for his own, too. Because change also meant there were new things awaiting him – things that made his pulse pound with excitement and hope, not just pangs of wistful sadness. Things that could shape and grow his life outside of his role as a dad.
The grin snuck back onto Blaine’s face when he thought about Kurt again. Twenty-four hours ago, he hadn’t even known the man existed; now he could barely think of anything else. And in just four more, they’d be sitting across from one another, sharing a meal and drinks, and Blaine would get to dig deeper, uncovering new gems in the treasure trove he’d seemingly stumbled upon.
But first, he still had to get through his damn show.
“Dude. I wasn’t in my underwear,” Finn insisted as he strode unannounced through the front door of Kurt’s apartment holding an enormous box of pizza.
Kurt immediately stopped pacing his well-worn path across the floor. “I don’t need the details,” he said, holding up a hand to keep Finn from elaborating. He eyed the pizza box Finn threw down on the kitchen table. “I have food here, you know. I was going to leave you money to order something.”
“You know I don’t want your money.” Finn flipped open the lid and pulled out a monster slice of pepperoni, scarfing half of it down in one bite. “Sfo, a daye?” he asked, his voice muffled by his full mouth.
Kurt paused for a moment to peer through narrowed eyes at his stepbrother: nothing more than an overgrown teenager, still boyish and awkward and too tall, wearing the same jeans-and-plaid-buttondown combo that had been his staple since high school.
“God, hasn’t Rachel taught you any manners?” Kurt shook his head and made a sound of disgust. “Just please do me a favor and try not to pass on your barbaric eating habits to my son, would you?”
Finn swallowed before speaking again. “Okay. Anything else you want to bitch me out about before you go?”
Kurt briefly let his eyelids slip shut, then blew out a long, slow breath. “I’m sorry. I’m just – I’m a little nervous right now. You know I haven’t…dated anyone in a really long time. I only just met this guy today, but I really like him. He’s sweet and he’s talented and god, he’s gorgeous.” He was vaguely aware that his words were running together as he rambled, but he had to get his thoughts out. He’d been stewing here for an hour now, with nerves and doubt and giddy glee tumbling through his body.
Kurt sunk down into one of the four chairs lining the edge of the dining table. “I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s a date. He asked me to meet him so we could talk more. Without the kids around. That sounds like a date, doesn’t it?”
Finn swallowed his second mouthful of pizza, then quirked a shoulder. “Yeah. I guess so.” He took another giant bite from his slice.
Kurt stared up at him, his jaw hanging open with incredulity. “Finn! Were you even listening to me?” He tapped his blunt fingernails against the small space of tabletop not covered by greasy cardboard. “I’m kinda freaking out here!”
“Kurt, relax. It’s just dinner or whatever. People go out to dinner all the time.”
“Not me,” Kurt muttered. “Not people with seven year olds.”
“Yeah. Speaking of that. How’d you manage to bag a date, anyway, Mister ‘There’s-not-a-man-in-New-York-who’ll-date-a-single-dad-so-why-even-bother-looking?’” Finn waggled his head back and forth as he spoke, attempting a poor imitation of Kurt’s high-pitched voice.
It earned him a vicious glare. “I met him at the parade this morning. He’s the dad of Ell’s…Ell’s girlfriend.”
“He’s a gay dad, too? Weird.” Finn chewed silently for a moment before his eyes suddenly grew big. “Wait, Ell has a girlfriend?”
Kurt shrugged. “She’s not, like, a real girlfriend. They’re only seven y—”
“Dude!” Finn exclaimed, speaking over Kurt as Elliot ventured out of his bedroom. “You’ve got a girlfriend?”
Elliot froze in his tracks; eyes wide like a deer in headlights.
“O-kay, well, seems like you can take over things from here.” Kurt lifted himself up from his seat. “I’m going to get going, Ell. Make sure to tell Uncle Finn all about our day with Maya.”
Elliot didn’t respond; only eyed Kurt curiously as he pulled an oversized gray blazer out of their tiny front closet. “Where are you gonna go, Dad?”
“Back to the city. I’m just having dinner with Maya’s dad, like I told you. And then I’ll come straight home.” Kurt wrapped a light silk scarf around his neck and examined his outfit, his hair, his teeth in the mirror one last time before walking over to Elliot and sweeping him into a tight embrace. “I won’t be too late. I promise.” He bent down and kissed his son’s baby-soft cheek. “I love you.”
When he straightened back up again, Kurt turned on his heels and pointed a single finger in Finn’s face. “Oh, yeah. And don’t play drums on my Tupperware,” he warned. “The downstairs neighbors cursed me out last time. If it happens again, I’ll be sure to give them your number instead.”
Finn threw one hand up in surrender as he polished off the slice of pizza in his other. “Ooo-fay,” he promised, his voice once again smothered by his full mouth. “Hey. Goo ruck.”
Kurt managed a small, amused smile. “Thanks, Finn.”
With one last wave to Elliot, Kurt breezed out the door; butterflies quickly taking flight in his stomach as he descended the stairs and headed out into the deep, bustling night.
reblogged from somewhereonlyino
originally posted by leepbc14
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