“but you’re ready to discover ‘cause you really want to see. you open up your eyes, study and review what you knew. you force yourself to grow. let that go. let it be like breathing.”—like breathing, pasek & paul, edges
n. a state of exhaustion with how shitty people can be to each other, typically causing a countervailing sense of affection for all things that are sincere but not judgmental, are unabashedly joyful, or just are.
its my LittleGirl's birthday! happy happy day sweet abby! i miss you so much-hope life is treating you well and that your next trip around the sun is more beautiful than you could ever dream it to be. i love you so much!
the only pic i could find of us… what a long time ago! oh, the memories :)
As they get closer and closer to the city, Blaine’s jitters become more and more prominent. Cooper covers his brother’s hand with his own, trying to soothe his anxiety, but he knows it’s all for naught.
They’re the first to barrel off the train, and Blaine drags Cooper up the stairs before he realizes he has no clue where he’s going. Cooper just laughs at him and takes the lead, winding his way through the confusing layout of Penn Station. Kurt promised to meet them just outside the entrance, so when Cooper sees daylight, he braces himself for the inevitable shrieking, crying, and general breakdown that’s going to occur.
Blaine’s eyes are wide, and he’s looking everywhere as they walk. They’ve said only a few words to each other the entire trip, but it’s only because Blaine isn’t sure if he can trust himself to speak logically right now. As they ascend the stairs into the hustle and bustle of the city, he thinks he’s going to die. He scans the crowd, looking and looking….
And there he is. Kurt. He’s waiting about twenty feet from the doors, holding a bouquet of yellow and red roses and dressed in a fabulously tailored peacoat with an impeccable Burberry scarf. Cooper smiles and waves, but Kurt only has eyes for Blaine.
Cooper stands back and watches as they walk toward each other. Blaine’s arms reach out tentatively before he realizes that they don’t have to hide it here- they can be themselves.
They don’t have to hide. It doesn’t just have to be quick kisses on the cheek and treasured, accidental brushes of fingers against each other as they walk down the street. They don’t have to limit themselves to stolen moments hidden behind closed doors. It can be real, it can be public, it can be passionate… it can be everything they’ve ever wanted.
And then they’re rushing forward, and Blaine is burying his face in Kurt’s neck, and Kurt is raining kisses over the top of Blaine’s head. His eyes are wet with tears, and Blaine is desperately gripping at Kurt’s shoulders, pulling needily at the fabric of his coat. Blaine pulls back, only to eagerly seek out Kurt’s lips with his own. They kiss and it’s perfect and deep and long and full of all the longing and loneliness and need they’ve been holding back and denying for the past five months, and the best part is that no one looks twice or bats an eye because this is normal and it’s love.
They continue to kiss for a few moments before they finally break apart, resting their foreheads together and gazing into each other’s eyes. Cooper eventually clears his throat and approaches them.
“So I take it you like your surprise, huh, little brother?”
Without ever breaking eye contact with Kurt, Blaine responds breathlessly. “God, yes.”
Cooper throws his head back and laughs; they’ve got it so bad. He claps a hand on Kurt’s shoulder. “It’s good to see you, Kurt.”
“It’s good to see you, too, Cooper,” Kurt responds, finally beginning to break his embrace with Blaine but keeping their eyes locked. “I… I brought these for you,” he says softly, handing over the bouquet of roses to Blaine with a shy smile. Blaine takes them with a knowing look, and Cooper wonders what he’s missed here.
“Well, then!” Cooper bellows, wedging himself between the two lovebirds and throwing an arm around each of their shoulders. “What do you say we catch a cab and go get checked in at the hotel?”
“I…” Blaine begins awkwardly. “Coop, can I stay with Kurt in his dorm? Is that okay?” he asks shyly. Glancing over, Cooper can see his cheeks flushed pink with embarrassment.
“Um, sure. Can we just stick together until the hotel?” Cooper responds, covering his tracks. “I want to treat you two to dinner, and then you’re on your own.”
“Awesome,” Blaine breathes, looking over at Kurt with a huge grin on his face, a grin which Kurt returns in earnest.
The cab ride to their midtown hotel is cramped, but good; Kurt spends the entire ride pointing out landmarks and interesting eateries to Cooper and Blaine, and Cooper doesn’t miss how enthralled Blaine is by all of it. He’s noticed that all of the schools Blaine has applied to are either in New York or only a few hours away, and now he knows why. This is where Kurt and Blaine are supposed to be… and they’re supposed to be here together.
They arrive at the hotel, and Cooper does the business of checking in while Kurt and Blaine stand off to the side, trying their best to keep their hands off each other (it may be a much more accepting city, but there are some laws of common decency these two boys are struggling desperately to adhere to). After Cooper gets the paperwork settled, he waves Blaine and Kurt over to a small sitting area in the lobby.
“All right,” he says, pulling out his wallet. “This stuff is for you guys.”
Blaine’s jaw drops as Cooper hands over a credit card, a small stack of cash, and…
a key card.
“That room’s on the seventeenth floor, and I’m in 1407 if you need me, which I doubt you will,” Cooper continues. “Take my card and treat yourselves to a fantastic dinner, and use the cash for cabs or whatever. Just have fun, and… be safe,” he tacks on awkwardly at the end.
“Coop,” Blaine breathes, clearly in shock. “We can’t… you can’t…”
“Actually, I can, and you will,” Cooper says insistently. “Seriously. Go have fun. You’re only young once. I know the past few months have been hell for you two, and I just want you both to smile again. If a whirlwind 72 hours in New York can make that happen, then I want you guys to have it.”
Blaine is still looking at his older brother in awe, but Kurt is smiling at Cooper with a look of intense gratitude. “Thank you so much, Cooper,” he says. “This means the world to us.”
“Kurt, we can’t-” Blaine begins, but Kurt quickly cuts him off.
“Blaine, you heard your brother,” he interrupts. “We can, and we will. And over break we will find some way to repay him for the immense generosity he has shown us by giving us this wonderful gift.”
“Blaine, it’s three nights in a four-star hotel room and a black card,” Kurt snaps. “Shut up and take it.”
Cooper has to stifle his laughter, hiding it with a cough in his sleeve as Blaine blushes and finally gives in, pocketing the gifts. “Coop… you’re the best big brother ever.”
“It’s only because I was trained by the best little brother ever,” Cooper replies. “Now go. Have fun. I’ll text you with details for lunch tomorrow.”
Blaine smiles as Kurt takes him by the hand, dragging him toward the hotel doors. “Come on, we have to get back to campus so I can pack a bag. And I know just the place we can go for dinner; I’ve been dying to take you there,” he’s saying, but Blaine gently breaks free to run back and give Cooper a big hug. Coop smiles into his little brother’s hair, rubbing his hands over his back.
“I mean it- have fun,” he whispers.
“And… maybe while Kurt’s packing, you can run to the nearest drugstore,” Cooper suggests quietly. “I meant that whole ‘be safe’ thing literally.”
Blaine laughs, pulling away. “Will do,” he says, trying to hide his blush.
And Cooper watches as Blaine takes Kurt’s hand again and they head out in to the cold December air of New York, nudging each other’s shoulders with smiles as bright as the sun.
Cooper may not be able to put the smile on Blaine’s face himself, but he can do everything in his power to make it happen.
Cooper Anderson is twenty-five years old when he makes his little brother perfectly and incandescently happy.
Okay, so Cooper isn’t directly responsible for the blissfully joyful look on his little brother’s face, but he did plan the logistics and pull off the massive feat that made Blaine’s felicity possible.
By some cruel stroke of fate, Kurt’s flight home for Thanksgiving was canceled due to a massive snowstorm hitting the northeast. The same storm prevented Cooper from making the long drive from Boston to Ohio. Blaine was absolutely devastated, so much so that Cooper didn’t hear about it from Blaine himself, but from their mother.
Following their discussion of Blaine’s utter disenchantment with Thanksgiving break, Cooper went into action mode. As he enjoyed his Thanksgiving feast of mac and cheese and strawberry ice cream, he grabbed his laptop and immediately started making plans.
He looked up the McKinley academic calendar for the year. He Google-searched the NYADA’s fall term academic calendar. He purchased a plane ticket for Blaine. He bought train tickets for Blaine and himself from Boston to New York. He booked two hotel rooms. And he sent a Facebook message to Kurt, only to quickly receive a response via phone call.
“Cooper, I can’t let you do this.”
Kurt’s voice was thick with tears, and Coop could hear his sniffles through the phone. He had been crying all day.
“Kurt, you really don’t have a choice in the matter,” he said matter-of-factly. “Besides, I’ve already looked it up; your exams end the day before our train arrives, which means you’ll have nothing to worry about.”
“Cooper, it’s too much,” Kurt whispered, his voice cracking on each word.
“No, it’s not.” Cooper heaved a heavy sigh and began again. “Look, Kurt… I just want my baby brother to be happy, and you make him downright joyful. This is the least I can do for the two of you.”
He heard Kurt laugh humorlessly. “Thank you, Cooper,” he says softly.
“You’re welcome. Just keep it on the down-low,” he replied. “This is going to be a surprise.”
“He’s going to freak out,” Kurt laughed, and Cooper knew he was right.
“We’ll see you on the ninth, Kurt.”
“I’ll be there with bells on.”
So when Blaine’s plane lands at Logan International in the late afternoon on December eighth, Cooper is nearly bursting with excitement that he is forced to conceal beneath his clean cut suit and his briefcase, beneath the facade of the cool and confident lawyer that he’s perfected so well over the past few years. Today was their last day at the firm for the month; he was officially on vacation until after New Year’s. What better way to celebrate a successful first year than by treating his baby brother to a big city adventure?
Blaine comes through the gate with a shy but hopeful smile on his face; he’d told Cooper earlier in the week how stressful the past few weeks of school had been, with papers and projects and tests and rehearsals, and he won’t admit it, but he needs this break. The college applications are all in, the sectionals trophy has been added to the case, deadlines have been met, and now Blaine just needs to sit back and relax and enjoy life for a bit.
Cooper envelops his brother in a big hug, nearly crushing Blaine’s lungs with the intensity of the embrace. Blaine just laughs and smiles at Coop, and Coop can see it in his eyes: he’s tired. He needs this. It’s all Cooper can do not to change their train tickets on his phone right now and take them straight to New York and Kurt tonight.
Instead, he throws an arm around Blaine’s shoulders as they migrate toward baggage claim. They make small talk about Blaine’s flight and about their dinner plans for tonight (Cooper is treating his baby brother to the best Indian food in the city, if not the entirety of the east coast). This is only the second time Blaine has visited Cooper at his new apartment in Boston, so Blaine’s pretty vocal about his eagerness to explore the city.
So Cooper keeps quiet on the plans for the rest of Blaine’s stay and instead fills the rest of the night with recaps of sectionals (Coop swears that it was Blaine’s Sinatra solo that clinched them the trophy, while Blaine argues that it was Tina and Artie’s Beatles duet) and updates on life at McKinley and back home in Ohio. They go to bed relatively early with happy hearts and stomachs full of too much Indian takeout. As Cooper gets ready to lay down for the night, he peeks his head into his living room and sees Blaine curled up on the couch, texting like mad in the darkness, grinning adorably at something Kurt has said to make him smile.
Oh, if Blaine only knew the surprises awaiting him tomorrow.
Cooper wakes up early, the excitement of the day making him anxious. He starts the coffee pot, even though he’s promised Blaine coffee and pastries from his favorite cafe down the street. He gets dressed and double-checks that he has everything packed and printed off.
Then it’s time to wake up Blaine.
Cooper creeps quietly into the living room to find Blaine snoring softly on the couch, clutching a pillow in his arms tightly. His baby brother looks so much younger in his sleep, with the lines of worry and regret erased by slumber. He looks so peaceful that it almost pains Cooper to wake him. A gentle shake of his shoulder is all it takes for Blaine to awake.
“Mm… coffee smells good,” he mumbles sleepily.
“It’s just a prelude for Miriam’s, to get you up and going,” Cooper promises. “Come on; up and at ‘em.”
Blaine dresses quickly, and they both down two mugs of coffee as they putter around the apartment. Cooper darts into the bathroom as Blaine gets ready and confiscates his bottle of hair gel (“Trust me, you’ll want your hair to keep your ears warm,” he warns). When Cooper casually mentions that Blaine should bring his bag along for the day, he gives Cooper a strange look, but does it anyway.
They kill time between the coffee shop and the train’s departure time by sight-seeing, checking out some of the silly, touristy things that Blaine begs to do, but never straying too far from the train station. As Cooper leads them in, Blaine quirks an eyebrow.
“Yep?” Cooper never slows down, weaving them through the throngs of people in search of their platform.
“What are we doing?”
“Just go with it, Blaine.”
And just like that, the sparkle of hope is back in Blaine’s eyes. It shines brighter as he takes in the “11:10 to New York- Penn Station” sign lit up over their heads, but he just bites his lip and smiles as Cooper hands a pair of tickets over to the conductor. They find seats on the train, and Cooper insists that Blaine take the window seat.
“I’m a foot taller than you, dude- I need to stretch my legs,” Cooper jokes, swinging his bag up onto the luggage rack.
Blaine laughs, hardly able to believe what is actually happening as the train begins to creep forward away from the platform. He reaches into his pocket for his phone, but Cooper’s strong hand on his arm stops him.
“Nope. No texting allowed. Put that back in your pocket now, unless you’re going to plug in your headphones and rock out.”
Blaine cuts his eyes at Cooper, but finds his headphones in his bag and settles in with his music, taking in the scenery. Cooper dives in to a book he’s been dying to read, but every so often he peeks over at Blaine out of the corner of his eye, watching as he shakes his head incredulously, like he can’t believe this is actually happening.
No, new chapter of Indentations; GO AWAY. I have work that has to get done before class at 3 and you are not helping. I do not care if the plot bunnies attacked overnight or that those smoking hot pictures of Bomer on my dash are fueling you. Now is not the…
yay :) SIGH. i need new indentations in my life… now i’ve just gotta finish typing t&f… but first ive gotta go to stats :(