rating: PG-13/light R
word length: 4, 000
disclaimer: i do not own Kurt or Blaine or Glee, i make no profit from this work of fiction, etc., etc.,
summary: nurseJoey wanted an artist!Blaine/muse!Kurt AU, and i did my best to write it.
a/n: huge, endless thanks to Mocha for the quick beta she did for me. this was written in about 45 minutes, so take that as you will, but i do hope you enjoy it. i am not an artist by any means, so if there’s something spectacularly inaccurate about this, i’m so, so sorry, and feel free to correct me. i always welcome and appreciate feedback, feel free to leave some.(:
i hope this is in the general area of what you wanted, Zoe. :3
Blaine’s 20, living in New York, majoring in the Fine Arts at NYU, and he’s the least inspired he’s ever been. He works at a local coffee shop, attends his classes, and paints mediocre, lifeless art that makes him cringe – he hates looking at them, hates having to admit that they came from his hands, that they’re his.
With every new thing he creates, the more adrift he feels; he feels afloat, he feels lost in the sea of people that had seemed so novel and accepting and comforting at first. He was just one of the many and it was exactly what he wanted after a life of being the only one, of being different, of being the one who had to be beaten into the line he so clearly walked outside of.
Now he feels stifled and the many, many people just feel like they’re forcing him down and he can’t claw his way back up.
He’s 20, living in New York, working in this little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop with mismatched furniture, and a boy with stars for eyes and impeccable clothes walks in and he’s vibrant. He’s noticeably vibrant; he’s vibrant in a city that’s over-flowing with vibrancy. That, in and of itself, is impressive; that is worth taking a pause, a double-take.
Blaine’s sort of lost in that moment – can’t stop looking at the way the sun reflects off his pale skin, the line of his jaw, makes his eyes this bright, swirling amalgamation of blue-hazel-green.
Blaine can hear his voice when he gives his order to Wes and he speaks with this high, lilting voice – sounds so, so sardonic; border-line condescending. Blaine isn’t sure how he manages to make his coffee without giving himself third-degree burns, but somehow he manages.
Blaine’s breathless in the end, when the boy – Kurt, he remembers seeing Wes scrawl across his cup – walks out, coffee in hand and head held high and Blaine sort of feels dizzy; an open-mouthed, feather-light, floating-away sort of dizzy.
Wes laughs at him, says next time you can take his order, Prince Charming, and Blaine flips him off and then goes home to his tiny, creaky apartment and creates the best art he’s created in months.
It’s not good enough, not nearly, but it’s better and that’s enough to have Blaine collapsing onto his floor with freshly paint-stained hands and thread-bare, paint-splattered jeans. He’s gasping with the relief of it, laughing helplessly up at his ceiling and not realizing until right then how terrified he’d been that he’d lost it, and how lost he would be without it, how he’d be nothing then.
He breathes through his slightly hysterical laughter, hands over his face, pressing the palms of his hands into his eyes. He feels ridiculous for being so inspired by less than 10 minutes in the presence of Kurt, a perfect stranger, and he can’t help wondering how well he’d do if he had longer.
It’s weeks before he sees Kurt again, because his shift changes and instead of being there for the morning-to-afternoon shift, he’s there for the afternoon-to-closing shift.
Kurt walks in half an hour before closing, this time with a tall, beautiful Hispanic girl at his side – she eyes her surroundings with distaste and makes snide remarks but there’s something loose about her shoulders when she talks to Kurt that makes Blaine think she’s not that much of a bitch.
Probably, he amends, when she mutters something in Spanish that doesn’t exactly sound complimentary when Kurt sends her a warning glare.
David, standing beside him and cleaning the counter, eyes him, smirk curling his lips because Wes is a fucking gossip-queen and can’t keep his mouth shut for anything.
He slips past Blaine, saying, “I’ve got to get some supplies from the back, Prince Charming,” just barely low enough for only Blaine to hear.
Blaine doesn’t know whether to be thankful or to hate him, so he settles for flipping him off and tripping him on his way to the supply room, which has David cursing under his breath.
Blaine grins beatifically, eyes wide, says “Thank you,” like he didn’t just nearly make him wipe out in front of a gorgeous girl.
David laughs, snaps, “I will actually kill you, Anderson,” with a mostly-playful glare, before going to the back.
Blaine moves toward the counter, eyes on Kurt, glancing at the girl for a moment, but gaze ultimately straying back to Kurt.
He hasn’t been able to create anything quite as good as that painting from the first day he saw Kurt, and it’s frustrating; even more so because he knows that he can, but for some reason he’s just not. It’s enough to make him want to burn every canvas in his apartment.
He grins at them, hopefully charming and not creepy because he’s decidedly not cool, calm, and collected right then.
He hears the girl make a sound under her breath, and he can’t figure out of it’s mocking or amused or what, but Kurt elbows her and offers a contained smile in return.
“What can I get for you?”
“Uh. I’d like a nonfat mocha. Satan here will have all the souls you’ve got.” Blaine pauses, caught out, trying not to laugh, because Kurt is smiling angelically at him and ignoring the way the girl hisses bitch at him.
“Ignore him, he’s PMS’ing.” Blaine chokes a little.
Kurt looks thunderous for a moment before his expression smoothes over and says, very quietly, “I will actually cut all of your hair off while you sleep, Santana.”
The girl, Santana apparently, stares at him with hard eyes and Kurt raises an eyebrow at her, slowly, and it turns out the guy who appears to be Blaine’s fucking muse is completely terrifying and apparently Blaine likes it.
He is completely unsurprised by this.
Santana huffs, rolls her eyes, turns back to him and smiles sweetly and Blaine fights the urge to take a step back.
She gives him a blatant once-over; a head-to-toe, completely overtly sexual, full-body check-out and Blaine is a little afraid, maybe, and also feels just slightly violated.
She all but purrs at him, voice low, “Well, well, well. I’ll have what he’s having, handsome.”
Kurt’s hand darts out, grips Santana around the wrist and says, very calmly, “You are a lesbian, Santana.”
“Doesn’t mean I don’t have eyes, Hummel.”
Blaine’s lost and completely confused and is starting to see Kurt as his knight in shining armor which is weird because he hadn’t thought he’d need one at 20, but apparently he does if he’s introduced to a lesbian named Santana who curses in Spanish.
“I’ll just – okay. Two nonfat mochas, got it. David!”
David calls back immediately, “Got it, Blaine!”
Kurt takes a deep breath, turns to him, offers him a genuine smile and says, “I’m sorry. She’s – well, obviously you’ve seen what she is. Okay. Anyway, I’m sorry.”
Blaine laughs, knows he’s probably giving Kurt the most conspicuous set of heart-eyes the guy has ever seen and can really just not do a single thing about it.
“No, no, it’s fine. Name?” Kurt, he thinks, and then feels a little uncomfortable pitch in his stomach that he already knows that.
“Kurt.” He replies, voice easy, watching Blaine with a curious expression.
“Kurt. Nice to meet you, Kurt. I’m Blaine.” He’s got to start somewhere.
Kurt laughs, and he looks delighted. Blaine thinks it’s a good look on him.
“Is it customary to introduce yourself to your customers, Blaine?” Blaine is trying very, very hard to not be over-bearing, but he’s not quite sure how that’s going.
“Only the ones I like.” Blaine is well aware that he may have just done a running leap over some sort of line there.
Kurt grins at him, though, says, “Well, I’ll count myself lucky then.”
That’s how it starts.
He sees Kurt nearly every day, because Kurt is actually worryingly dependent on caffeine.
Blaine’s pretty sure he’s completely unsubtle about his adoration for Kurt, because it is quite clear that Blaine is besotted, as Wes and David say. He doesn’t know how Kurt feels but he seems to like Blaine and that’s good enough for him – it gives him something to work off of.
This doesn’t negate the fact that Blaine’s almost positive that when he hands Kurt his coffee, he deliberately lets their hands touch every single time. He sits with Kurt on his breaks, when Kurt’s hunched over a book or his laptop, and Kurt seems to welcome his company, and Blaine can’t stop looking at him, God.
Eventually their friendship strays outside of the coffee shop, and they meet for lunch or a movie or different plays and musicals that are always happening around both his campus and Kurt’s.
Kurt attends NYADA, studying musical theatre, and he sings like a dream and Blaine doesn’t think he’ll ever tire of hearing Kurt sing softly to himself, under his breath, like he’s not aware that he’s doing it.
There’s a lot he learns about Kurt – that he grew up in Ohio and that he has a dad and step-mom and a brother there; that he had a difficult, a really impossibly difficult time growing up in Ohio; that he got out as quickly as he could.
He learns that Kurt’s temper is slow to start but once it does he will verbally eviscerate you; that he can be vicious when he needs to be. He’s got a back-bone stronger than anyone Blaine’s ever met and he’s got so much bravery Blaine wonders how he holds it all in.
Kurt worries – he worries about the people he cares about and he can be over-bearing about it but he means well. He’s passionate. Blaine wonders why he couldn’t meet him sooner – why they couldn’t grow together because he thinks he’d be so much better if he’d grown with Kurt instead of figuring himself out alone. He could’ve done his best to be there for Kurt too; to be someone for Kurt when he felt like he didn’t have anyone. There’s a part of him that aches a little when he first realizes how close they’d been.
Kurt likes to come over when he’s painting, and he knows Blaine’s rule – that no one is allowed to see anything until it’s completed – and he sings scales while Blaine paints in the other room. Sometimes he follows Blaine in and practices lines, sitting on one end of the room, the one side that doesn’t have a view of the canvas. Sometimes Blaine will turn off his ipod-dock and Kurt will sing. Blaine likes having him there, stops and watches him sometimes, just looks at him, and then continues painting.
Blaine’s art gets steadily better; he’s falling into the rhythm of it again and it feels impossibly good, feels like he’s finding himself all over again.
There’s a thought, though – there’s a thought and it’s all he can think about once he has it. He thinks about it and he dreams about it and he can’t let it go because it imposes on every one of his thoughts.
He wants Kurt to pose for him. He knows that it’s a lot to ask – he knows that Kurt might possibly run screaming, but he can’t stop thinking about it, wanting it.
There’s nothing even overtly sexual about it, not even in the dreams – intimate, yes, impossibly so. More than that is the feeling Blaine gets when he thinks about it – like every piece will slot into place if he can just paint Kurt.
Blaine waits, and he waits, and he waits, and when it doesn’t go away, he finally caves.
They’re eating lunch when he finally asks Kurt – he knows that he’s been acting more tense than usual lately and he knows that Kurt notices and he really can’t put it off anymore.
He’d tried to come up with a speech, some way to explain it to Kurt that didn’t make it sound creepy or voyeuristic but it’s no good – Blaine’s better on the fly and he knows that.
He tales a deep breath, looks up at Kurt who’s watching him like he knows something’s coming and isn’t sure he’s going to like it. Blaine feels his stomach tighten, his hands turning clammy. He takes another deep breath.
“I – have something to ask you, Kurt. But I need to explain something first.”
Kurt’s eyebrow is furrowed, but he nods, watching Blaine with steady eyes. Blaine feels like throwing up just a little.
“I – the first time I saw you wasn’t when I introduced myself to you.”
Blaine glances up, catching Kurt gaze and holding it.
“I saw you a couple of weeks before that, and you.” Blaine breathes out forcefully, feels a flush climb up his cheeks.
“You were just so – real. You were bold, vivid. And at the time I’d been so uninspired and I saw you and it was – it was finding inspiration.”
Kurt’s watching him with wide eyes, a little flushed, lips parted. Blaine wants to devour him, Jesus.
“And then I got to know you and everything I learned about you just – made you better. And I hadn’t painted so well in months before I met you and got to know you.”
“So – what, I’m your – your muse, or something?” Kurt looks bewildered, a little disbelieving, and it makes Blaine laugh a little, quietly and gently.
“Yes, basically. Yes.” Kurt drops his gaze for a moment and when he looks up again he’s smiling, bright and beautiful and Blaine’s hands ache to have a pencil and a sketchpad in them.
“Wow.” He sounds a little breathless, smile still growing slowly, like it’s still sinking in.
“I’ve never been anyone’s muse before.”
Blaine laughs, runs his hand through his chaotic hair, a little rueful when he says, “Oh, I highly doubt that, Kurt.”
Kurt says, slowly, “Okay, so what did you want to ask me?” But there’s a look in his eyes, like he already knows. Blaine feels like hiding, and forces himself to look Kurt in the eye.
“Can you promise to hear me out before throwing something hard and possibly fatal at my head?”
Kurt’s lips quirk, eyes sparkling, “No promises.”
Blaine laughs, groaning, “Kurt please,” and Kurt’s laughing, saying, yes, yes okay, I promise.
“I want – okay, I would be really, really ridiculously grateful if you’d pose for me.” Blaine tries not to wince when Kurt’s eyebrows shoot to his hair-line, Kurt’s lips pressing together firmly.
“I swear I’m not trying to be a creep and there will be nothing sexual about it, it’s all about the art, but I’d just – I’d really love to paint you. You can keep a modesty-cloth on, if you want, if that’s what’ll make you comfortable, but I need to see your – your body, your physicality.”
Blaine knows that he’s not blushing so much as completely white, face blanched because he’s so fucking nervous that Kurt will take this the wrong way.
Kurt, however, is bright pink and it’s actually the most adorable thing Blaine has ever seen.
Kurt opens his mouth, says very carefully, “Okay. Okay. I – this is like, an artist thing, right? It’s normal?”
Blaine feels weak with relief for a moment, because questions are so much better than possibly-fatal objects being thrown.
“Yes. Yes, it’s completely normal. I’ve had people pose for me before in classes. We have models when we need them. We can choose to hire them for – private sessions, if they’re open to it. It’s not – it’s not sexual, it’s just… It’s art.”
Kurt nods slowly and he’s still blushing hard enough that Blaine thinks he might be able to feel the heat radiating off him, but at this point Blaine knows he’s blushing too and there’s really nothing to be done for it.
“Okay. Uh – I’ll. Alright. Okay. Yes.” Blaine’s eyes go wide, he can physically feel them widen, and his hands spasm a little bit.
“I – fuck. Okay. Are you sure, Kurt? You do not have to do this. I just thought I’d ask. If you’re not comfortable with it –“ Kurt’s speaking over him, though, sounding determined.
“I’m sure. You’re – you’re one of my best friends, Blaine. I may not be exactly comfortable with – you know, being on display, but if I was going to do it for anyone, it would be you. I trust you.”
Blaine feels like singing.
He stands up, pulls Kurt to his feet and wraps his arms around him, saying into Kurt’s neck, “Thank you so much, Kurt. God, thank you, thank you, you have no idea.”
Kurt’s laughing, hugging him right back, saying, “Okay, it’s fine, Blaine. You’re welcome.”
Turns out, the nervous wreck ends up being Blaine, not Kurt. Kurt seems sort of resigned, like he knows he’s not completely comfortable but it’s going to happen so he’s stopped worrying about it.
Blaine is having difficulty keeping his hands from shaking.
Kurt’s in a robe, standing next to a tall stool that’s in the middle of the room, and Blaine has his canvas and lights set up the way he wants them, toward the corner nearest Kurt.
He looks at Kurt, says, voice steady even though he’s anything but, “I have to – I’m going to have to bodily move you, sometimes, to get the pose I want. Just stay as still as possible. Let me know if you need a break, or food or water or if you’re cold.”
Kurt smiles at him, softly, fond, “Relax, Blaine. We went over this. Just – come and pose me and we’ll get started.
Blaine takes a deep breath and turns around, telling Kurt over his shoulder, “Go ahead and undress. Tell me when you’re ready.” Blaine had decided to just have Kurt drape a cloth between his legs, and they’d remove it only when absolutely necessary.
He hears Kurt clear his throat, voice high and soft when he speaks, which, oddly helps Blaine relax – Kurt’s nervous – Blaine can’t be nervous, too; it’ll only make it worse for Kurt.
Blaine turns around, moves toward Kurt, feeling the way his breath catches in his throat, eyes darting down before going back up and trying to take all of Kurt in at once. Jesus fuck he was wrong, there is absolutely everything sexual about this, right in that moment.
Kurt’s a work of art; strong shoulders, slim waist, long legs, all lithe muscles and porcelain skin. Blaine swallows audibly.
Kurt’s watching him, flush climbing up his chest, to his ears, his cheeks.
Blaine breathes out very, very slowly, shakes himself out of it, walking forward until he’s in front of Kurt.
His voice is too low, too raspy, when he tells Kurt how he wants him, carefully using his fingertips and palms to guide Kurt’s arms and legs, adjusting his shoulders and the tilt of his head.
He says, quietly as he backs away, “Stay very still for me, Kurt.”
Kurt swallows, opens his mouth, voice high but rough, just a little gravelly, “Okay. I can do that.”
Blaine sketches him out first, trying to get the details down – it’ll take more than one sitting to get it done, and he’s trying to get them through this first one with as little stress as possible.
Once he’s started, it’s easier to concentrate on Kurt as a piece of art instead of Kurt, the boy he’s been wanting.
He lets Kurt take as many breaks as he needs, but Kurt’s good at staying still, though there are a few times that Blaine has to get up and re-adjust him, charcoal-stained fingers leaving faint finger-prints on Kurt’s body.
It’s the best he’s ever felt, drawing Kurt out. He wants to always be able to do this and he’s sort of dizzy with the high of it.
He stops before he has to draw the area they’re both most apprehensive about. He puts his charcoal down and wipes his hands on the cloth he has sitting beside him.
When he looks over, Kurt’s watching him with dark, glittering eyes, a small smile playing across his lips.
“I like watching you when you’re doing this. You’re very – focused.”
Blaine laughs a little, breathing out, replying, “Yeah, sorry.”
“No – it’s good. I like it.”
Kurt’s blushing just a little again, even though both of them had stopped not long after Blaine started.
“I think – I should possibly tell you something before we – continue.”
Kurt’s eyebrow raises, voice a little sarcastic when he speaks though there’s no heat behind it, smile still there, “You have so many things to tell me lately, Blaine Anderson.”
Blaine laughs, a quiet huff of breath, running his hand through his hair and rubbing the back of his neck, looking up at Kurt, who has momentarily pulled his robe on.
“Yeah. So. Apparently I was wrong. About this not being sexual at all. Because there’s nothing not sexual about you being naked in my apartment, Kurt. So – you might want to change your mind now. And I would understand and I wouldn’t blame you at all and I swear I will make it up to you.”
Kurt has one hand over his mouth and he’s saying, sounding helpless and affectionate, laughing just a little, “Blaine.”
Blaine feels the blush climb to his cheeks and he shrugs helplessly. “I’m sorry?”
Kurt laughs outright now, moving forward as he replies, “You picked the most awkward time to tell me this, do you realize?”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry. I thought I could handle it.” Kurt’s standing in front of him now and Blaine honestly has no idea what he was thinking when he thought he could handle this. He’s an idiot.
Kurt reaches out, touches Blaine gently on the shoulder, still smiling when he speaks, “You’re so lucky I like you so much, Blaine. You’re ridiculous.”
Then Kurt’s kissing him, soft and slow and warm and Blaine’s kissing back because he’s wanted to taste Kurt since that first day. He’s running his hand down Kurt’s back and gripping his waist and his other hand is cupping Kurt’s jaw and Blaine feels like his heart might possibly be making impressions on his chest, for how hard it’s beating. He feels like a teenager all over again.
Kurt pulls away, smiling open and happy, and Blaine huffs a laugh, dropping his head and letting it rest against Kurt’s shoulder.
Kurt says, softly, “I noticed you too, by the way. That first day you saw me.”
Blaine lifts his head, looking at Kurt with wide eyes, because he’s never thought himself to be the kind of guy who gets noticed by someone like Kurt.
Kurt smiles, continues before Blaine can reply, “It was your hands. They were covered in dried paint. And your hair, and your ridiculous indie-hippie clothing that you still manage to pull off. You were exactly my type and I didn’t even know it until I saw you.”
Blaine grips the nape of Kurt’s neck, his other hand cupping his jaw again and pulling him forward and kissing him deep and hard and dirty and Kurt’s making a little choked-off sound in the back of his throat and Blaine never wants to stop kissing him. Heat spreads from Blaine’s fingers to his toes, coiling in his belly and tightening every muscle in his body, making him tremble.
When he finally pulls away, they’re panting against each other’s lips and Blaine only pulled away because he couldn’t stop smiling.
He kisses him one more time, quick and soft, and tells Kurt, “Want to go get dressed? We can go get something to eat.”
Kurt’s eyebrow quirks up at him.
“What about the sketch?”
Blaine grins, shrugs, replies, “We’ll finish later. I want to take you somewhere.”
Kurt smiles this quiet, pleased smile, ducking his head and nodding. “Okay, yeah, we’ll go somewhere.”
It’ll be weeks later and Kurt will be in one of Blaine’s white oxford shirts instead of a robe and Blaine will watch him with half-lidded eyes, the way Kurt goes pliant and lets Blaine move him, hands soft but sure in a way they hadn’t been that first time. His hands will be steady.
Blaine will push the shirt off his shoulders, running his hands along Kurt’s ribs and listening to the way Kurt’s breath hitches in his chest, feel heat pool in his stomach.
Blaine will lean forward and drop a kiss on Kurt’s shoulder and back away slowly, settling on his seat and picking up a brush, eyes never straying from Kurt.
(It’ll be the best thing he’s created so far.)