Title: Tender Years
Word Count: 22,500 (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!”
The feeling rushed back as soon as Blaine spotted Kurt standing on the brightly lit sidewalk outside the stage door, biting his bottom lip as he watched for Blaine’s figure to exit the theatre. It was like a thousand frantic butterflies had emerged from their hidden cocoons and all tried to fly at once, bumping against Blaine’s stomach and his windpipe and his heart. They threatened to burst through his skin and soar up, up to the stars when the two locked eyes and Kurt beamed at him, then offered his simple greeting.
“I know you’re really tired and we both need to get home, but…can we make one last quick stop?” Kurt almost felt guilty for asking when Blaine looked at him confusedly, the brassy street lights above them accentuating dark circles under his eyes that weren’t quite so visible in the warm glow of the restaurant. But Kurt had a feeling Blaine would appreciate the idea he’d suddenly come up with as they stepped out of the restaurant into the deep drone of the night.
“Sure,” Blaine answered, quiet but eager. A tiny seed of excitement bloomed in Kurt’s chest, and he rode the wave of adrenaline, wordlessly reaching for Blaine’s hand. He was going all in now: no regrets, no holding back. This wonderful thing had fallen into his lap – completely unexpected, beyond even the wildest of dreams he’d stopped dreaming long ago – and Kurt meant it when he said wasn’t letting it go.
Neither was Blaine, he realized happily when he felt Blaine’s fingers entwine with his: a motion Kurt had seen so many times, on the streets and in movies and between his friends and family members, but never with a hand in his own – at least, not one that matched his size, his heat, his intention. He bit down hard on a huge, rapturous grin as they started walking toward the subway, though nothing could hamper his elation right now.
The twenty-four hour ice cream shop was three stops away, in the direction of the long route back to Brooklyn. Kurt had only been there once before; Rachel had taken him during one of his weekend trips to New York in college, when they’d stayed out half the night – best friends, running around the bright and bustling city together like young fools without a care in the world, building precious teenage memories that Kurt had clung to once he’d returned to his reality.
The experience was the first thing Kurt’s mind had rewound to when Blaine was telling his story over dinner, baring his soul and spilling long-held dreams. Kurt wanted to give Blaine something – however small – he’d never gotten a chance to experience; something that might help clear away the clouds of regret that wafted over his head.
“What’s this?” Blaine asked with a delighted chuckle when Kurt led him toward the doors of the shop, swung wide open with boisterous rock and roll music blaring out into the warm night.
“You said you wanted to know what it would be like to gad about the city and find any place that was open,” Kurt reminded him. “Once when I came to visit Finn and Rachel, we ended up here. I got the best ice cream I’ve ever had. Well…maybe it wasn’t that great. But it seemed like it at the time.” Kurt pressed his lips together, forcing himself to stop rambling. “I thought…maybe you might like it if we could…just be silly for a few minutes before we had to go home?”
Blaine’s grin was so open, so child-like in its sheer exuberance that Kurt had to hold himself back from leaning in and kissing him right there, smack dab in the middle of the noisy, retro ice cream shop.
“Kurt…” Kurt knew Blaine was thinking the exact same thing, what with the way his amber gaze dropped down to his lips. “You’re…”
Blaine’s eyes were still shining with happiness when they flicked back up to meet Kurt’s. The two men stood there, staring, for one long moment that stretched taut between them, teeming with a spectrum of emotions that catapulted far beyond the interest, the curiosity, the attraction Kurt had felt all day.
He was falling – hard, fast and true – in love with Blaine.
The realization knocked the wind out of him, and sent a sudden burst of cool, tingly anxiety swooping low in his stomach. Kurt finally broke the lock on their gaze, biting his lip as he coyly glanced up at the chalkboard menu.
“Oh, and just so we’re clear,” he said, nonchalantly tossing his breathless voice toward Blaine while keeping his eyes trained on the brightly lit ice cream counter in front of them. “This doesn’t count as my ‘next time.’”
After ordering – Kurt dulce de leche, Blaine mint chocolate cookie, both in double scoops stacked high atop crispy sugar cones – they headed back outside to the plastic tables lining the shop’s glass facade. Kurt reached for a seat, but Blaine grabbed his hand before it could connect with the black plastic chair, tugging him up to sit on top of the table instead.
“I want to sit next to you,” Blaine said with an adorably bashful grin that made Kurt’s heart patter happily.
Oh my god I am so in love with him.
They sat mostly in silence, their bodies squashed together on the round, wobbly tabletop; teetering on the uncertain edge of childhood and adulthood as they clutched their cones and watched the city – their city, the place they’d both escaped to and the place they’d found each other – unfold its stories before them.
“You’re right,” Blaine remarked after a few minutes. “This is the best ice cream I’ve ever had.”
“Mmmmm,” Kurt hummed in agreement around a mouthful of cold, sugary cream. “I told you.”
“How’s yours?” Blaine turned his face toward Kurt and leaned closer, so close Kurt could feel the heat of Blaine’s skin radiating against his cheek.
“Delicious,” Kurt replied, just as he gave his single remaining scoop another long, slow lick – partly because it was delicious, and partly for show, because he knew Blaine’s eyes were trained on him.
“Can I try?”
Kurt turned slightly, just enough so his eyeroll of a gaze could meet Blaine’s. “I suppose?”
Kurt started to hold his cone in Blaine’s direction, but Blaine had another idea. He grabbed Kurt’s wrist, eliciting a startled squeak from Kurt, and bit deeply into the glossy mound of golden cream. Blaine’s eyelids fluttered shut as his lips closed over Kurt’s ice cream – luscious, rosy pink lips, clasped around sweet, melty…
“Owwww.” Blaine winced as the cold sensation hit his teeth, piercing a hole in the desire that had swiftly bubbled up in Kurt’s belly.
Kurt let out a shaky, high-pitched laugh. “Serves you right!” he exclaimed. “Gosh, and here I was thinking I could finally spend an evening without a kid around.”
Blaine’s nose was still wrinkled as he held his tongue against his two front teeth to warm them. Kurt’s eyes flew like magnets to the tiny nub of moist pink, visible for just a split second before it darted back into Blaine’s mouth. “You’re the one who took me for ice cream,” he shot back at Kurt.
“Well, then. Fine,” Kurt said loftily, holding his head up high. “See if I ever do it again.”
Kurt snorted out a chuckle. Blaine sounded worse than Elliot during his most temperamental years. “You are seriously a child.”
Blaine swung his legs in the empty air below the table, pausing to gaze at taxis whizzing past and groups of teens and adults hurrying along the sidewalk in front of them. “I feel like one now,” he remarked before looking back at Kurt with a sweet, doe-eyed smile. “This was wonderful, Kurt. Thank you.”
Ripe silence enveloped them again, heaping more weight onto air that was already heavy, brimming, pouring over with want and anticipation and bliss, pure bliss.
Oh, please kiss me. Please…
“I guess we should probably take these to go,” Blaine said quietly, his voice tinged with regret.
Kurt felt his entire body deflate. “Yeah. You’re right,” he agreed with a small nod.
Blaine’s free hand come up to rest at the small of Kurt’s back – the same spot he’d let it lay earlier, when they’d met outside the theatre. He pressed lightly against Kurt’s jacket, guiding them both as they hopped off the table and onto the dirty concrete sidewalk. But unlike before, Blaine’s hand didn’t fall away. Instead, he let his palm slide across the full length of Kurt’s lower back until it hooked around his waist. He pulled Kurt close until their sides were flush again.
Kurt mirrored his pose, slipping his own hand along Blaine’s waistband, feeling the smoothness of his belt and scratchy-soft fabric of his red-checked button down. He held on tight, bunching a handful of cotton and leather and denim in his fist.
Neither man let go the entire walk back to the subway.
Blaine took Kurt’s hand the moment he was able to again, once they’d paid their fare and hopped onto the L, sinking into two adjoining seats on the sparsely populated train. He gripped it tight as they settled in for the long ride back to Brooklyn, relishing the feeling of a hand that was so, so different than the tiny, pudgy, girlish one he was accustomed to holding. One that held his back with the same weight, the same grip, the same sureness.
“I might fall asleep,” Blaine mumbled, letting his head loll closer to Kurt’s shoulder. The endless scream of trains along electric rails was already lulling him toward unconsciousness; their vibrations weaving with the beats of butterfly wings that still thrummed in his belly.
He remembered hearing Kurt chuckle, and feeling the skim of Kurt’s thumb along the edge of his forefinger, before everything turned fuzzy.
“Wake up, sleepyhead. It’s my stop.” Kurt’s murmur roused him from his doze a few too-brief minutes later. Blaine inhaled deeply, trying to clear the sleep from his mind as the train slowed to a screeching halt.
“Let me walk you home,” Blaine urged as they trekked up the stairs, still hand in hand.
“Where do you live, anyway?” Kurt wondered aloud as they reached the street above, dim and sparsely populated in the late hour.
“Nassau. Near the park.”
“Blaine!” Kurt stopped in his tracks and spun to face him, shooting him an incredulous stare. “Why’d you get off here?”
Blaine shrugged. “Because a gentleman walks his date home at the end of the night.”
“Yes – and, likewise, a gentleman doesn’t let his date walk a mile clear in the opposite direction of his home just so he can have an escort.” Kurt pinned him with a pointed look. “Go home to your little girl, Blaine. And stop paying that damn babysitter,” he added with a chuckle.
Kurt’s laughed slowly died away to silence as they both stood there at the top of the stairs, immobile; nothing but breath between them, darkness above them and firm sidewalk under their feet.
The moment was one like they’d been sharing together all day: the moment they met, the moment they confided in one another about their pasts – first at the parade, then again and again over dinner. Words and thoughts and memories had tumbled forth and framed a series of moments, each similar but brighter, weightier every time.
The harsh lights of streetlamps and headlights turned Kurt’s eyes a dusky, gleaming gray. Blaine watched him blink once, slowly, then again, before his eyes widened: absorbing the moment, this moment, one last moment that was impossibly fuller than all the rest, and beckoning Blaine closer.
Blaine was only twenty-four, but he was lucky enough to have experienced love at first sight. Once, on a crisp September evening more than seven years ago, when a smiling doctor thrust a squirming, screaming bundle of baby girl into his arms. And again, today, on this evening, right here, as he stared deeply into blue eyes he hoped would never stop gazing at him like they were right now.
Blaine’s trembling hand came up to cup Kurt’s cheek – gently, reverently, just as he cradled the fragile euphoria of falling in love that burst in his heart. Kurt’s eyes faded to a gentle glimmer, then went dark, hidden behind closed lids as their lips finally came together for the first time.
It was a tender, simple touch of mouths that froze the moment, the seconds, the world around them. Blaine breathed in Kurt’s scent, closer than ever: the heat of it, and the spicy fragrance of his cologne, and something bold and rich, something inherently masculine and perfectly Kurt. It filled his nostrils, his head, his entire body with a heady throb of lust.
Blaine sighed out his exhale, and suddenly they were both moving: wet, warm mouths sliding against one another in a dance of pleasure, of joy, of possibility. Instinct led his lips, inexperienced but eager, as he melted into Kurt’s embrace.
Someone, somewhere moaned softly, and the sound bobbed aimlessly in the melted puddle that once was Blaine’s brain. He edged further, deeper, and was rewarded with the flavor of sweet caramel ice cream lingering on Kurt’s tongue.
Blaine finally tore his lips away, many seconds later, only for need of air. He kept his face close, panting damp puffs of breath over Kurt’s smooth, rosy skin as he nuzzled his nose against Kurt’s cheek.
“That was a good way to end the day,” Kurt murmured, so soft, and his kiss-throaty voice made Blaine’s stomach twist tightly with yearning for more.
“I can’t believe it actually has to end.” Blaine didn’t want it to end. Never, ever. He’d stay right here, wrapped in Kurt – breathing him, tasting him, exploring him forever – if he could be allowed.
“It’s just one day.” Their faces were still so close, but Blaine could see Kurt’s smile; could feel on his nose how the apples of Kurt’s cheeks plumped with the movement of his mouth. “There’ll be lots more.”
“God. I hope so.” Blaine placed a soft, aimless kiss near one corner of Kurt’s lips. “Can I call you?”
“I think that would be acceptable.” And his tone was so damn dry that Blaine chuckled.
“Right.” Still, Blaine couldn’t force himself to let go. He angled his head just slightly to again capture Kurt’s mouth with his own. Their second kiss was different: soft and closed-lipped, but not tentative like before. They lingered against one another, drawing out the moment as long as possible, dotting a perfect period at the end of their magical day.
“Okay, then,” Blaine sighed when he pulled back, far enough to look into Kurt’s face but still wound in his strong embrace.
“Okay,” Kurt repeated.
Kurt was the one to move in this time – another press of lips against lips, coupled with a tight squeeze around Blaine’s waist. It evolved into a hug – suffocatingly tight and bordering on desperate, with Blaine’s arms thrown around Kurt’s neck, his face buried half in silky scarf and half in hot, smooth skin just below Kurt’s ear. The spot was so kissable; Blaine could just devour it.
He held himself back. Because he really did need to get home. And there would be lots more days, after all.
“Okay,” he muttered again, his words muffled against Kurt’s skin.
“Okay,” Kurt echoed with a heavy sigh, and finally they parted, breaking into light laughter at themselves and their silly, smitten behavior.
“Well…goodnight, Kurt.” Blaine found Kurt’s gaze again – still clear and gray, and more adoring than ever. They gave each other one last grin before Kurt took a step back, leaving Blaine’s skin cold but his heart and soul on fire.
“Goodnight, Blaine. I’ll see you soon.”
Kurt hummed lightly to himself as he clicked open the lock to his apartment door – “One Last Kiss,” he realized with a sly smile, and oh, he was definitely going to see that musical a few more times before Blaine ended his run.
The first thing Kurt’s eyes fell on was Finn, snoring open-mouthed on his plush beige couch. Kurt smiled as he approached his brother, reaching to tug a knit afghan off the back of the couch and drape it over Finn’s legs.
“Go back to sleep,” Kurt whispered when Finn stirred as he snapped off the television, silencing the DVD menu’s endless, blaring loop and plunging the room into sudden darkness. “It’s one in the morning. Just stay here tonight.”
Kurt shuffled his way through the dark to the hallway and pushed open the half-closed door to Elliot’s bedroom. He stopped in the doorway and stared into the room – a room he knew by heart: barely larger than a closet and decorated in earthy tones of green and blue and chocolate brown. Darkness engulfed any trace of color now, but for the garish yellow glow of the night light plugged into the outlet behind Elliot’s bed. Kurt could still remember the day they moved all of Elliot’s belongings into this tiny room, and how he’d stayed up late into the night to paint the walls while his son dozed on the couch.
“Where were you, Daddy?” Elliot’s sleepy voice brought him back to the present.
Kurt’s heart constricted in his chest. Elliot rarely ever called him Daddy anymore. “I was out with Maya’s dad, honey. Remember?” He stepped into the room, reaching his son’s bedside in two long strides and crouching down to the floor beside its edge. “I’m back now. Did you have fun with Uncle Finn?”
Kurt could just make out the motion of Elliot’s head bobbing up and down against his pillow. “We played drums.”
Kurt’s eyelids slipped shut in defeat, though he couldn’t really bring himself to be angry at his brother at the moment. He’d simply apologize to the neighbors in the morning. “I’m glad you had fun, Ell,” he murmured, suddenly tired to the bone. “Uncle Finn is sleeping on the couch tonight. Auntie Rachel will come over in the morning and I’ll make pancakes. Sound good?”
“Uh huh.” Elliot was already sinking back into sleep. “With blueberries.”
“With blueberries. Of course.” Kurt leaned in and kissed his damp forehead. “I love you so much.”
Kurt was nearly out the door when he heard his son’s faint voice call out once more.
“Is Maya’s dad your boyfriend now?”
Kurt paused, resting one hand on the door frame to steady himself. “I don’t know, Ell,” he answered quietly, staring down at the wood floor by his feet. “Would that be okay if he was?”
“Uh huh. Then we could all live together and I would get to see Maya every single day.”
Kurt turned his face to crush his mouth against his shoulder, muffling any chance of a laugh. “Goodnight, Ell,” he whispered when he could speak again.
Once he was safely behind the closed door of his own bedroom, Kurt undressed quickly, tossing clothes into hampers and stowing them neatly in closets, and with them tucking away the heavy weight of responsibility he wore each day. He absently wiped a toner-soaked cotton ball across his brow, his nose, his chin, then crawled into bed and tugged his plush down comfortor up to his neck.
And he giggled. He giggled like a high schooler – the teenage version of himself he’d rarely allowed himself to be, giddy over a delicious kiss from a handsome boy he was head over heels in love with.
He pressed his fingers against his lips, suppressing the sound but not the tingling he still felt where Blaine’s mouth had clung to his.
Kurt dreamed that night, for the first time in ages. About a new future that lay in front of him: sudden and unforseen, and overflowing with joy.
reblogged from myficstoread
originally posted by leepbc14
- klaineandcrisscolferloving likes this
- sayuri-rose-k reblogged this from chatterboxrose
- trip-and-stumble likes this
- okayisalwayswonderful likes this
- thuslynope likes this
- klaineissupermegafoxyawsomehot reblogged this from dapperdeduction
- onesimpletouch-likes reblogged this from onesimpletouch
- devonwood likes this
- sunshineblaine likes this
- optimisticoblivion likes this
- ajanders reblogged this from leepbc14
- craigy-ferg likes this
- love4klainemattsmithdavidtennant likes this
- impastobreath likes this
- jnicbun likes this
- forgiveninasongficrecs reblogged this from leepbc14
- imperfectklaine likes this
- mostlyklaine reblogged this from hearteyesanderson
- totbanditblainers likes this
- alwaysseekingthesnitch likes this
- bananakingcooper likes this
- celialauna reblogged this from leepbc14 and added:
- tesasab likes this
- raspberrymuffin likes this
- aleimina likes this
- baileyfasa likes this
- sweeet-serendipity likes this
- crisscolfers reblogged this from leepbc14
- krtbastian reblogged this from klaine-sexual
- klaine-sexual reblogged this from leepbc14
- porcelain-bowties likes this
- hearteyesandrson likes this
- mailroomorder reblogged this from kurtsieklyssa
- kurtsieklyssa reblogged this from chatterboxrose
- redvinesappreciationclub reblogged this from bazoombas
- terabearrose likes this
- nickpetricca likes this
- lucilelightyear reblogged this from leepbc14
- thellamagirl reblogged this from broadwayandfandomsandfeelsohmy
- leepbc14 likes this
- turtle-suit likes this
- klaineperfection likes this
- broadwayandfandomsandfeelsohmy reblogged this from leepbc14 and added:
- whereididntwanttogo likes this
- josephineblue likes this
- broadwayandfandomsandfeelsohmy likes this
- imagineiwashere likes this
- samfour likes this
- spitel reblogged this from knittywriter
- knittywriter reblogged this from leepbc14 and added: