Fic: Platonic (Chapter 4/14+Epilogue)
Summary: To be lost in amazement at the love and friendship and intimacy, unable to leave each other’s sight, is to be soul mates. These are people who pass their whole lives together. Except for Kurt and Blaine, they missed their first chance and by the time they get their second, perhaps it is simply meant to be…platonic.
A/N: For a full A/N see Chapter One. Thanks to Stut—ter for reading and commenting as I wrote. To Thedorkmark for actually hearing me tell this story about eight months ago and continuously asking me to write it properly and then reading it as I wrote it. To Becca for answering all my questions on university in the States and becoming and lawyer. And to Spinmybowtie for reading this over and over and helping me shape it into the fic it deserves to be.
I have been so pleased with the response to this, I really am a little overwhelmed by it. And if you all just hang in there a couple more chapters, I promise it will be worth it!
“To Blaine!” There are cheers and whoops and a scattering of applause before the background noise of the bar takes over again and everything settles. Kurt can’t stop himself from looking though, scanning the sea of faces gathered around a few pushed-together tables.
An hour of mulling over his sketchbook and martinis in his usual corner and this is the first time he has bothered to look up at all. But how can he not when he once loved a boy called Blaine. The memory is fond, and when his eyes land on a familiar smile and not-so-familiar curls his heart skips a beat and he finds himself grinning.
Blaine Anderson, almost thirty, dressed in a tailored, if somewhat boring, suit, grinning and being toasted by what must be a group of co-workers. Kurt’s eyes dart back to Blaine and it’s second nature to search for evidence of a boyfriend, to check for a ring—and at that thought Kurt’s stomach drops even though he refuses to think about it for more than a fleeting second—and then to try to work out what is going on.
There’s celebration, lawyers, chatter, and faces that all look tired, but happy. Everyone is in suits, dark colors and conventional hair with briefcases and laptop bags at their feet. Kurt remembers Blaine said he was headed to the DA’s office and when he does the math he realizes it was well over a year ago. He wonders if he’s still there, if this has something to do with a case he’s just won. He thinks so, and his heart swells with unjustified pride.
Sliding his sketchbook closed, he catches the barman’s eye and nods before thinking better of it and holding two fingers up. The barman’s eyebrows shoot up because Kurt’s never had reason to order two of anything, but Kurt nods at him and so he shrugs and gets to work.
Kurt has to elbow a little and murmur “excuse me” several times to get close enough to Blaine to flash a brilliant smile at him, relishing the way his eyes go wide and a smile splits his face. He’s on his feet in an instant and launching himself at Kurt, wrapping him up in a hug that feels perfectly warm and smells wonderful for the half second it lasts.
“Careful!” Kurt pulls away and twists, trying not to spill martini down Blaine’s side.
Blaine flushes and grins, moving to take both drinks from him. “Hi!” sounding a little drunk and entirely elated.
“I hope you don’t mind, I spotted you celebrating and I had to say hello.” Kurt gestures at one of the two glasses and picks up his own. “For you,” he says, suddenly wondering if that was weird. “I have no idea what you drink but you’re obviously having a party—“
Blaine interrupts, holding the glass up and saying, “To me!” It should probably seem a bit arrogant without a back story, but it’s endearing instead.
“To you,” Kurt agrees and takes a sip, watching as Blaine takes a mouthful and lets it sit in his mouth before he swallows.
A woman’s voice interrupts and Blaine turns towards her. “Blaine, honey, give us a smile,” she says and a flash goes off.
When Blaine turns back to Kurt, still smiling, Kurt says, “I didn’t want to intrude but I couldn’t not come over. You… um… ” he trails off, and another woman is reaching for Blaine and pressing a kiss to his cheek and saying “Congratulations” as Kurt continues to wonder exactly what they’re celebrating.
“It was good to see you again,” Kurt says, and he means it. He feels warm inside and he’s pretty sure it’s not just from the alcohol. But this is it, he has come over and said a quick hello, bought him a drink to celebrate… whatever… and now he feels like maybe it was a social faux pas to do so. He is struggling to regret it, however. He smiles and hoists his satchel higher on his shoulder. “I’ll leave you to it.”
Kurt kind of really wants to lay a hand over Blaine’s forearm and press a kiss to his cheek, but he’s completely sure that would be out of line. So, he smiles and offers his hand.
One more time, Blaine is distracted by someone calling his name, this time from the bar, a pretty pink drink held up in offer. Blaine waves and his eyes flick back to Kurt and he stares down at his hand.
The guy at the bar, again, this time holding up something that looks far too blue to taste like anything but food dye.
Blaine rolls his eyes and grabs Kurt’s hand, squeezing as he takes another gulp of martini. “I want to catch up,” he says quickly. “Do you want to catch up?”
Kurt swallows, which is stupid. “Of course but—“
Blaine fishes in his pocket and pulls out his wallet, offering Kurt a business card. “Email me, okay?”
Kurt takes it and stares.
“Promise me, yeah?”
Kurt continues to stare, except now it’s into brown eyes that are brighter than he remembers, flecks of gold and green fringing the pupils, and Kurt is fairly sure no one could ever say no to Blaine when he’s looking at them like that. He spares a moment to think, inanely, whether those eyes help Blaine with a jury. Then Kurt realizes he doesn’t even know if Blaine has ever faced a jury. “Yeah, of course.”
Kurt gets home that night to an over-enthusiastic dog and a new folio waiting for him with the doorman. He flicks through it while he checks his emails and then quickly types up a proposed time to meet tomorrow to his boss. Max is still skittering around his feet, dropping the occasional bark to alert Kurt to his presence, as Kurt fishes the business card out of his pocket and acknowledges that it would be entirely too eager to email Blaine tonight. He sets it down in the bowl where he keeps his keys and spare change, closes up his laptop, and determinedly turns his attention on Max.
He tires Max out, walking all the way to Central Park, half way through it, and then all the way home. When he gets back to the apartment he shuffles iTunes to his favourite jazz and cooks with a bottle of red wine for company. He’s only half way through botching up a risotto when he remembers he’s not a particularly good cook anymore.
He sits on the couch and flicks through the two hundred channels at his disposal. He finds nothing, but finishes his less-than-inspiring dinner. Max curls up in the curve behind his knees and in the time Kurt would usually mull over designs or sketch something outrageous, he just stares out his window and listens to jazz and New York.
He pulls his laptop to him and starts to type just before midnight. It’s all pleasantries, really.
Hi. How are you? It was good to see you! How long has it been? You’re still in New York I see. Enjoying it? What are your favourite places? Are you still at the D.A.’s office? What are you up to there? Enjoying that?
Then it’s every question he can think to ask about family and friends.
How are you parents? Been back to Ohio lately? Rachel is here in New York still, did you know? I’m sure she would love to say hi! I’m surprised she hasn’t said anything on Facebook. Did you hear about Thad’s second wedding? And what about Jeff? I’ve heard a few of the rumours! What do you know?
He goes on and on until he’s faced with a two page email that asks everything he should know (and a few things he already does, but that’s besides the point) without really bringing up their past. Perhaps that should feel weird but ten years ago they talked to each other until they were hoarse and they apologized and forgave. It didn’t feel any better back then, so he sees no point in saying anything now. Not when Blaine looked so happy to see him.
What were you celebrating?
He signs off in a dozen different ways, deleting each and grumbling at himself loudly enough to earn him a head-tilt from Max.
It was good to see you,
He settles on simple, unassuming, then he saves the draft and goes to bed, promising himself he won’t send it for a few days.
He sends it the next day just before he goes for lunch.
Blaine emails him back with all the answers and just as many questions of his own, resulting in four pages of text that ping onto Kurt’s phone early that evening. Kurt and Max sit down on the couch to read it together and Kurt is grinning by the end, grinning and happy and not over-thinking why.
It was good to see you, too,
And so it goes. They email until they’re doing it daily. Kurt finds out all about Blaine’s job at the DA’s office and his steady and impressive rise in the estimations of his co-workers, the insane hours he’s working, and the big case he was getting the credit for breaking open (hence the celebration). Blaine learns that Kurt left Vogue years ago and went to work for a small fashion house in the village as a designer. He also finds out that when several choice celebrities took a liking to a few of Kurt’s pieces, his whole world changed and suddenly he was in demand and designing what he liked and starting his own clothes line. He now has two stores in Manhattan and more money than he thought was possible.
They both realize that they missed each other. For almost a decade, they missed the easy conversations and the mutual respect and attention. They don’t say it, but they don’t have to.
They keep talking about meeting for a proper drink, but the emailing is too easy. Blaine spends two weeks in Toronto for work, and then Kurt has a show to plan. They exchange numbers and start texting, and there are a half dozen almost meetings.
Kurt to Blaine
I’m in a bar waiting for Liv on the corner of 20th and Park. Come by if you’re close.
Blaine to Kurt
Would love to but have court for another four hours.
Blaine to Kurt
I can be anywhere south of 40th for a coffee in the next three hours. Just tell me where.
Kurt to Blaine
Can’t. Taylor Swift’s second cousin wants me to design her a custom party dress by tonight.
Blaine to Kurt
Kurt to Blaine
No. Her name’s Tilda Weston and you won’t have heard of her but she’s really, really important!
Kurt finally finds the courage to ask Blaine about Ben, and it’s strange, but it kind of breaks his heart when an email comes back that is too short and sounds sad and alone. Blaine not-too-subtly asks whether Kurt’s attached and Kurt laughs as he tries not to come across desperate. He has to stop writing to think long and hard about when he last managed to have any sort of boyfriend, or even get laid.
He sighs and closes his laptop.
They finally manage to lock in a day to have coffee. They book it with each other a week in advance. Kurt turns down a half dozen important meetings and Blaine writes the date and time into his diary in pen circling it vigorously.
The night before, almost a month since Kurt saw him in that bar, Kurt gets a phone call.
Kurt to Blaine
Flying to London in the morning so can’t do coffee. Pretty good excuse though!
A/N: I so wish I was another chapter ahead. Chapter 5 would be the perfect chapter to post on my birthday. Alas, you get four, which I think is a rather nice chapter but Chapter 5 is…better?? I don’t know. Anyway, thank you so much for all the feedback, it really is intriguing to see what you all think is going on in their heads while I’m writing in these sparse snippet-type instalments! Chapter 5, the good stuff, starts soon!! (PS. Chapter 5 begins a spate of longer chapters, 3500-5000 each…so that’s nice too!)