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[glee] début: allow me to introduce - the itch of literature
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands posting in penscratching
User: penscratching (posted by satora_chan)
Date: 2011-01-19 15:57
Subject: [glee] début: allow me to introduce
Security: Public
Mood:thankfulthankful
Tags:glee
Date: 19 Jan 2010

Title: Début: Allow Me to Introduce
Fandom: Glee
Characters: Blaine, Blaine's family (OCs), Kurt, New Directions
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: PG-13 for growing pains, language
Spoilers (If any): up to 2x10
Warnings (If any): light homophobia. at least one cavity.
Word Count: ~8,500

Summary: Blaine’s childhood is full of cotillions. You could even say they were formative from age five to Kurt. (Blaine-centric, Kurt/Blaine)

Notes, SO MANY NOTES, including dictionary so don’t skip:
  • Beta’d by: ashmole. Like, holy crap, this fic would not be 50% what it is without Ash. Gratitude is like waterfalls.

  • Inspiration: burn_to_emerge wondered at the Headcanon discussion post whether Blaine might have met Sunshine, Mike, and Tina via the “close-knit Asian community.” This then led to a long discussion between myself and ashmole about cultural heritage. That led to this monstrosity.

  • What the Gaga is a cotillion?
    Cotillions, or débutante balls, are huge celebrations where girls are “introduced” into society. They are a pretty big deal in the Philippines, apparently. A cotillion is generally held on a girl’s eighteenth birthday, but (in the US, at least; not sure elsewhere) sometimes it will be celebrated on their sixteenth (melding with the Sweet Sixteen tradition).

  • What the hell is this word/song/reference; stop making me google.
    I have mastered the art of footnotes in LJ just for you guys. If a word looks unfamiliar or tantalizing, that’s probably because it’s foreign or because the reference demands video! So there’ll be a little superscript. Click on that superscript to bring yourself down to the bottom for a handy dandy reference area. You can then return to your original area by clicking the corresponding superscript. Like so.example To be perfectly honest, you are participating in an experiment. I know a lot of stories where authors struggle to find a non-disruptive way to translate foreign languages/make specific references without breaking the flow too much. Tell me whether footnotes allow for smoother reading than putting a reference guide at the top.

  • I haven’t written a fic longer than 300 words since I was, like, twelve. I apologize in advance for any wince-causing writing decisions.

  • Blaine’s mother is played by Lea fucking Salonga, and it is my fandom goal to contribute to the movement to get her on the show. If you must flip the parentage, Paolo Montalbán is an acceptable substitute. Just not for this story.

  • Concrit is completely welcome.

  • exampleWoah there.




Sometimes, he’s a bit awed about how often he has had the chance to attend cotillions. If it wasn’t a first cousin, it was his second cousin. Or his sister’s best friend’s sister. Or the kid of someone they had met just a month ago, but whom his mother had successfully charmed at some social and thus gained permanent invitations for every major family event, even if they never went to them.

(One of them always did, of course, if only for just half an hour or to drop off an appropriate gift. A warm, congratulatory yet apologetic card if no one could really go. A family’s reputation required some level of actual upkeep.)

When he was a little boy, Blaine would eat at the children’s table, lower to the ground than the adults’ but no less elegantly decorated with balloons, flowers, and place cards (the coloring books were an age-appropriate addition). All of his cousins would run around excitedly, searching for the arcade room that must be somewhere in the building or, if nonexistent, playing their Game Boys diligently. Blaine preferred to sit, marveling at the napkins shaped like a lotus or a ship or something that sort of looked like a mountain range (maybe it was a duck?) before carefully unfolding one and tucking it into his tiny collar. His hands, small and round though they were, were slowly honed through years of piano and ukulele, and he proudly manipulated the fork and spoon like his parents instead of clutching them in fists (and when he was finally granted the privilege of using a knife, he had no trouble adding that to his repertoire, unlike what could be said of some people). He used the utensils even when lumpia1 or fish-sticks were served, though his sister always rolled her eyes when he did that and made a big show of waving her oily, vinegar-soaked fingers near his clothing, causing him to frown and lean far back in his chair. Inevitably, he fell and upended the entire plate onto himself when he was seven. After that, he and Camille were always placed on opposite ends of the table.

Sometimes, the hosting family would hire a clown for an hour to entertain an especially large youthful crowd, and then Blaine would stare in delight as the stranger with the painted face took nearly identical balloons and twisted them into wondrous shapes. His favorite was the sword, and Camille would wear her rubber crown and order him to protect Queen Mama from menacing Dragon Dad. Usually he would win, but every so often he would fail, forced to surrender after retaliating tickle attacks or “stop; this is not the time.” He liked watching the clown, too, because he could tell after awhile that it was always the same woman no matter how different she looked, and he found it fascinating.

His conversations with her were limited to, “Hello,” “I’d like a sword, please,” and “I like it very much; thank you,” but once he had stayed after all the children had left and asked, “What’s it like to be a balloon animal, ma’am?”

The clown had paused, stared at the eight year-old boy, and finally replied, humoring, “Why don’t you ask the balloons themselves?”

Blaine huffed. “They’re not alive, ma’am. I mean, your face is always--” and he gestured in that direction with his pink sword, suddenly unsure of what he was even asking. In his mind, he laid out the faces that he'd collected like fallen autumn leaves: a bright red grin, a purple grimace, an overwhelming scattering of stars and stripes, a few others.

He tried to describe to her his confusion, but she only answered, her features contradicting so easily at once, "Kid, putting on the face is my favorite part. I don't like to be boring people,” and flicked his nose.

Another thing he loved but, like the clown, didn’t always happen was the singing. Be it at lone microphones with the DJ playing the original track quietly in the background or, better, on videoke2 systems with the projected words being shaded in on a large screen, Blaine would sit in the front row of seats and watch the singer, clapping along (or tapping or nodding, depending on his age). With videoke, he would follow the changing colors of words intently; his mother believed his accelerated level of reading was due to this habit. He diligently went over the songbook whenever he could, a finger tracing down every page of song titles and artists, and as he got older, he created a cheat sheet where he scrawled his favorite songs and their code numbers on a piece of paper (song #1 was “Baa Baa Black Sheep 10498”3). He kept it in his pants pocket, within reach for those opportune moments where the microphone became free, and one’s chance to sing was defined by the certainty of one’s song choice. Blaine and his creased, yellowing paper were always ready.

Despite its relative infrequency at cotillions, the videoke machine was a magical minefield of social bonding, creating such a raucous atmosphere amongst its participants that the noise could completely overwhelm the rest of the party. Blaine’s father was once jokingly boo-ed from the microphone after scoring an 88 on “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered,”4 and his mother was forced to stand and take the mike.

“After that embarrassing debacle,” she said exasperatedly at her husband, who cracked a grin as the room broke into laughter, “it’s clear that I must regain my family’s honor.” Blaine walked over to her, holding the open songbook high above his head. She thanked her son, glanced at a spot on the page, and punched in a number; the crowd clapped in approval as the swells of the song pushed through the stereo system. She sang, projecting clear across the room, and small six year-old Blaine sat in his seat, pleased. Near the end, she tugged her children to her, and they stumbled over the last couple of stanzas, their mother holding them together. Their young voices tinned over the speakers, “The truth is I neee-ver left yoouu.5 The family scored a 97 but still received a standing ovation. Blaine, breathing hard, felt jitters; it was his first performance high.

Yet, even videoke victories couldn’t distract him from his absolute favorite part about the cotillions, the reason why he stood impatiently at the house’s front door twenty minutes before his family actually left: the dancing, where teenage couples moved across the ballroom floor in awkward choreographed synchronicity, as the chacha, the tango, the waltz, and the odd macarena were seamed together against a mixed track. The birthday girl danced in the center with her escort, either alone in white or matching the other girls, but Blaine never really thought it mattered because, no matter what, she still shined bright (even if she was a really bad dancer).

He would watch those teenagers while standing along the edge of the floor, body thrumming with excited energy. After the first few times of running into the formations during years five and six of his life, messily trying to copy the steps and succeeding on being more on the beat than some of the escorts, he knew now to wait along the sidelines instead of risk being tripped upon by another too-focused couple. And after another few times of standing there, bouncing breathlessly, while the community watched him through the corners of their eyes in equal parts caution and amusement, his mother walked up to him, clicked her tongue gently while grasping his small hand in hers, and murmured, “Ay, Blaine, don’t stand here. Come and dance with Mama by the wall.”

She brought him behind all the tables and away from the bright spotlights. His gaze was fastened on her, startled by the unexpected offer, but he quickly recovered, jostling within her hold excitedly as she started dancing out steps from years ago, combining, remembering, and reweaving from hundreds of girls’ farewells to childhood.

“Shh, Blaine, you’re moving too fast. Listen to the music, baby,” she whispered soothingly, guiding his missteps to the proper moment with just a gentle push or pull of her hands on his. He lacked his mother’s dignified elegance, had neither style nor form, but the sound of the beat against the rhythm of a step slowly pulsed their way into muscle, and his heart pounded warmly in his ears. They danced through all the songs, hugging the wall with simple box steps and rock steps even as the escorts presented their roses.

Later, once the floor re-opened for all, Camille took his hands and nearly wrenched their arms out of their sockets when she twirled both of their bodies at once. Before Blaine could catch his breath, she started them on a childish jig. “Ate!6 One-TWO, one-TWO,” Blaine chanted, his voice high and demanding.

“Whatever,” she sing-sang. “Just have fun, Blaine! Like this!” and she grabbed his shoulders and spun him. He thought, wildly, that maybe the world was spinning with him.




The first time he was asked to escort at a cotillion, Blaine was thirteen years-old. The birthday girl had a younger sister, and so it was only logical to ask the only boy her age who had any sense of rhythm to be her partner.

Upon hearing the invitation, the cordless house phone cupped by his ear, Blaine’s entire body tingled with such joy that he almost forgot to reply with an affirmative until the girl snapped a, “Will you?” over the line. Ever since his father had pulled him aside a few years ago, talking to him about “inappropriate settings,” “not your moment,” and “letting others shine,” Blaine had not let the music move his limbs along the edges of the ballroom. He sat at the tables, poised and proper, with everyone else, watching the performers enviously as they danced circles around one another. Although his father had not mentioned his indubitable reign over the videoke, Blaine had even (so painfully) constrained himself to only three (maybe four) songs a party, despite his mother’s urgings and disappointed sighs.

So, you can’t fault him entirely for his attitude once they start rehearsing.

“Everyone, I really think we should start practicing again. I know that Nicole’s not back yet, but it has been twenty minutes, so I think we should stop taking a break.”

“Ugh, please just shut up, whitey,” Kevin groaned from the rattan chair. Blaine stiffened in anger, frustrated indignation flashing through him. His hand curled tightly, and he imagined snarling like Zora Howard, transposing her words into a sharp defensive accusation against the boy. My roots are deep, too; my biracial roots are not blond or lacking in pinoy7 because my mother came over that sea, too,8 and if he were to say it out loud in this air, his anger would be low and heavy and highlighted with - God, he already felt like a melodramatic teenager, and it had only been a few months - shadows of increasing desperation. He never knew where to sit anymore during lunch, because the other kids had begun to segregate themselves. At first, he could ignore it, but the process was building up steam, and he couldn’t figure out where he fit in this new arena now, at that table full of mostly Asians or this one full of mostly whites or over there full of everybody else, such that sometimes he felt lonely and lost, and he just really did not need this crap. He breathed through his nose to make himself relax, thinking of his father’s coolness, but his cousin had already seen him. “It was a joke. Chillax, would you?” Kevin rolled his eyes.

“Leave the pipsqueak alone. You know he’s one of the more sensitive hapas.9 Handle with care,” Maria teased by the patio door, where she was drawing invisible squiggles against the glass. “Blaine’s got a point though. The party’s in only a few days. If Nicole comes back downstairs and she doesn’t see us practicing, she’ll throw a hissy -”

“Too late.” Blaine stopped himself from barking out a laugh that would have been tinged with lingering bitterness as he saw every other person in the room freeze in sudden fear from the voice coming down from the stairway. He lost his smug demeanor soon: Nicole truly knew how to throw hissy fits.




“Mama,” Blaine called from the kitchen doorway. His mother raised an eyebrow from where she stood at the island, snacking on tsitsaron.10 He mentally winced; he never called her that anymore, having graduated to “Mom” a few years ago. “I have a question.” He walked over to her, grabbing a rind and dipping it slightly in the vinegar. He popped it into his mouth, crunching as he gathered his thoughts. “Can boys ever dance with other boys at cotillions?” Because Natalia was a decent dancer, but he had helped handsome, seventeen year-old John figure out some of his steps in the routine, and each time they clasped arms in dancing position, Blaine was so intensely aware of the other’s body heat, the shift of muscle under his hands. Even thinking about it, hours after the fact, made him hyper-aware and heady.

Mama tilted her head a little, considering him. “Well, there was a group of boys at Anne’s who danced to *NSync, remember?” she said, lightly. Her hands encircled her glass of water, and her right pointer finger tapped against the glass in a clear staccato rhythm, causing the clear liquid inside to tremble.

Blaine glanced at her occupied hands, her wedding ring catching his eye, and bit the inside of his mouth. That wasn’t what he asking at all; she knew that, right? “I - yes, I do remember, Mama. I meant more...” he almost stuttered to a halt, unexpectedly nervous, but then bravely pushed forward, “can boys dance the main dances together? Like the waltz or the tango. Those dances.”

“Not traditionally, no.” She picked up the cup, swirling it, and took a sip. “Why do you ask?”

“But they can? It happens?” Blaine pressed, ignoring her question. He stared at her with worried, probing eyes, transfixed.

“I... I guess it must, some places. Sometimes,” she murmured, then swallowed. “Dear, can you grab a pomegranate for me? I need something sweet to fight all this vinegar. The knife and cutting board’s by the sink,” she requested, pursing her lips in the direction of the drying rack. He immediately leaped to her aid, gathering the items. As he turned towards her again, he passed them across the island wall between them.

Blaine watched her hands as she scored the fruit, trying to find a calming rhythm in the sound of the cut flesh. He bit his cheek to focus. “I know it’s not normal, but do you think Camille would mind if I... asked her to pair me with a boy? At her cotillion, I mean,” he rushed to correct. She made the final cut.

“A bowl of water, please.” Blaine blinked, rocking back on his heels, before nodding and retrieving that, too. Mama placed the pomegranate into the water, watching it unravel. She took a long breath. “Why would you want to?” She grabbed a rind and began to push the seeds off.

“I think I’d like it more,” Blaine confessed quietly. He looked at his mother for assurance, but she was looking down into the bowl, ripping section by section. She accidentally crushed some of the seeds in her hand, and she clicked her tongue, annoyed.

“Why? What’s wrong with dancing with the girls?”

His voice was small when he answered, and he took a small step away from the table. “Because it’d be -- better. More interesting. More fun. I can still dance with girls,” he scrambled. He struggled to keep the nervousness from shifting to his face, communicating calm, but he needn’t have tried because his mother wouldn’t even look at him. She swirled the water with her fingertips, and he realized she had never washed the dredges of vinegar off.

“Why would it be better?” she asked into the quiet of the room, her words supported only by the refrigerator’s hum and the slight splashing of the water. Blaine stared hopelessly at her, and she continued, stating firmly, “Tell me why, Blaine.”

His breath hitched a little bit at that, and he focused hard on returning his breathing to normal, but it now sounded loud and abrasive to his ears. He took another step back, mind grasping to figure out what was happening. Everything was so quiet, and his mother was standing right there, watching. He felt his nerves tighten up in conviction, and with a deep, determined breath, he pushed forward. “Because I like boys, Mom. That’s why I want to dance with them.”

Oh.




Oh.

Emily had known where this conversation was heading five minutes ago. She had known what was going to be said and what she would feel, but an intellectual knowledge did not prepare her for the actual moment that her son told her he was gay.

The confession was not a complete and utter surprise. She had had suspicions (and Michael did, too, though not as strong) that her son wasn’t exactly right for several years now. Whereas most teenage and pre-pubescent boys hid Playboy, he hid Teen Vogue. And no, her conception of gender roles weren’t so stringent that a taste in fashion automatically translated to a male being a homosexual, but there were... other things. Like how he never talked about having crushes at school, and how, when he used to run onto the dance floor, he would try to cut in, urging the girl away as he danced, innocent and laughter-filled, for a few steps with a bemused boy before Emily or Michael could grab him and apologize. She wasn’t the type of woman who denied possibility, deluding herself into seeing only what she wanted to see.

But possibility was different from certainty, and right now that certainty was as sharp as the broken shards of glass on the floor, the bowl knocked down from her sudden, instinctive, unconscious jerk of her hands within it, and the ruby stain of pomegranate was splattered on her legs, on the cabinets, and seeping across the tiled floor. She heard Blaine’s shouts and the thundering of feet down stairwells, but right now, she only had the energy to stare at her bare feet, darker than normal.

With that, though, came a sudden comprehending rush, because the red wasn’t a constant texture or color. She hissed in pain, finally feeling multiple tiny cuts across her lower legs, small beads of blood flowing down. She allowed herself to stumble away from the mess to the closest kitchen stool, avoiding the accumulation of any more injuries.

She realized that Blaine had been calling to her, and his distress hit her chest. Camille was standing at the doorway, eyes wide. They were both so lost. I am the mother, she thought firmly. “Camille, please grab a first aid kit from the bathroom. My feet are a bit cut-up.” Camille swirled into motion at the mention of a task, barely gasping an okay before she was gone.

Her son was asking her questions, but as she was turning her head, she caught a glimpse of his ashen face and felt that wave overwhelm her. Right now, just right now, she needed a moment, and God forgive her for her inability to ease his heart-on-his-sleeve pain. “Clean up the mess, Blaine,” she ordered calmly, avoiding his gaze by watching the entryway for back-up. She didn’t look at him again until his sister had returned. His back was towards her, scrubbing the floor with a paper towel. The knees of his jeans were stained a dark purple.

The house had a very quiet evening that day.

After Michael had fallen asleep, and after she had stared at the ceiling for a very long time, Emily quietly rolled out of bed. She walked across the floor and sat on the kneeling cushion by the dresser, splaying her legs to avoid putting pressure on the cuts. Her direct line of sight was the small shrine that she had set up when they had first moved into this house, young with one precocious toddler and another on the way. She rolled her rosewood rosary in her hands, finding comfort in the familiar texture of the beads.

Emily loved her little boy. She loved all her children, but as Camille would always be held in her heart as her first-born, Blaine she had always considered her last-born, her forever baby. Even when Patrick unexpectedly came along, she had never transitioned the title. He was her munchkin of curly hair and forest eyes, and he used to cry when the Beast in that Disney movie transformed back because he didn’t understand why he had to change.

But munchkins were only humans, and he was her child to boot, and human children were always learning and making mistakes. In her secret heart of hearts, she wanted Blaine to find the love of his life and live happily ever after because what else could she wish for? But she knew also that she could wish for a lot of things, each with increasingly less chance of success. So, God, she thought viciously, you gave me a son who can’t change and who’ll be unhappy if he wants to please You. She immediately backpedaled, horrified and apologizing profusely, because she knew God wasn’t cruel, that it was her human limitations that made her create the boxes she saw of His guidance. She went back to the schoolgirl lectures and the Sunday homilies, and she meditated on those because they gave her a foundation. Father Peter’s words on the never-ending give-and-take relationship between love and sacrifice echoed in her head, and as she passed a Hail Mary, she pondered the struggle of upholding the natural order of life in a changing, contrary modern world. She thought for a night’s eternity in time (and quietly, secretly, she wished).

She recited the rosary twice that night, whispering the Joyful mysteries and apologizing after each one because it was a Friday, but her heart was already so heavy that she thought one more reason would crack it and have it fall into her chest like the temple, and there would be no one to rebuild it. She recognized that this moment would be crystallized for many years to come, however they turned out. She was choosing, and she felt the ash in her throat and not on her brow because she didn’t know if she was choosing right. She prayed for guidance.

Outside her closed door, Blaine’s back slid down against the wall. His fingers clutched at the short strands of the carpeting, tugging at the roots so that he could feel the roughness of the pad that they grew from. He stared down at his bent legs, feeling the crease of his jeans cut into the softness around his knee. He hated growth spurts, he thought numbly. He felt a tightness overtake his throat and swallowed with difficulty. Hooking his arms across his shins, he pressed his chest against the plane of his thighs. If he pushed hard enough, maybe he could make all the pressure building up in his head - his back - his heart - flow into his legs and then into the ground like electricity. A noise tried to escape, and though it made it more difficult to breathe, he pressed his mouth against the denim, his teeth compressing marginally inwards, before letting it go as high pitched air. It was a different pair of jeans, but he could still taste the pomegranate.

When Camille stumbled upon him on a middle of the night bathroom break, he was sitting like that, curled up against the door. She knelt next to him, glancing nervously at their parents’ room, and leaned forward to whisper a question, but his airy mutterings silenced the first syllable. She listened closely and, in doing so, could hear their mother’s quiet recitation. With a small, understanding “oh,” she wrapped her arms around Blaine, holding patiently until she felt her brother’s growing wiry arms come around her back and heard the echoing prayers, a millisecond off from Mom’s, die in his throat. She pulled him into standing, and he followed her unresistingly to his room.

“It’s okay, Blaine,” she said, guiding him underneath blankets and unconsciously tucking him in. Blaine had rolled himself onto his side, his back towards her. “I think I know what you and Mom talked about -- “ and yeah, she saw the covers tense momentarily. Camille felt exhaustion fall across her shoulders. This shouldn’t be her job. “I love you, you know that? No matter what. And Mom loves you, and Dad loves you, and they’ll always love you; you just have to give them time.” She stared at the back of his head, waiting. When no response came, she sighed and gently ran her hand through his curls, kissing him at the temple. She left the room, clicking the light and door shut. She knocked her head against the hallway wall and leaned there, thinking of broken-hearted brothers and stupid parents.

Blaine didn’t even try to ponder his sister’s words after the initial hiccup of hope, didn’t even try to believe in eventual acceptance and unconditional love because all he could think, as he fell asleep on an uncomfortably wet pillow, was his mother’s face by the kitchen island and her fervent praying. Lord, please forgive our family.

Down the hall, his father woke up to darkness and half a cold bed. Furrowing his brow, he rolled over and groaned out in a sleep-scratched voice, “Emily, what’s wrong? Are you okay?” The lull of his wife’s voice quieted. He sat up, worried. He squinted into the dark and made out his wife’s form sitting by the shrine. He watched as she stood up, the grace she normally held diminished by the tightness across her back and the hesitance in her feet.

Emily took a deep breath and faced her husband, the rosary creating indentations in the palm of her hand where she clutched it. “Michael? I -- we have to talk. Blaine told me something today.” God, give us strength.

Blaine escorted his first cotillion with a distracted demeanor that took everyone who cared to watch by surprise. He apologized to Nicole afterwards, though she hadn’t even noticed. His mother sat the entire time, the cuts stinging too much to apply prolonged pressure, and his father had not deigned to talk to him all day, their every encounter ending in a grimace and averted eyes. Only after his sister hassled him at every turn did Blaine agree to sing on the videoke. The crowd watched uncomfortably as his growing voice cracked on the higher notes of “Reflection.”11 He scored an 88.

Blaine did not dance with a boy at Camille’s celebration.




The doorbell rang. Kurt jerked in his seat in surprise, glancing at the time. He rushed to stand and slammed his knee on a desk drawer. Hissing through clenched teeth and shaking the injured limb, he lowered the speaker volume, waves of “La Vie Boheme”12 curling away. He paused in front of the mirror and stared critically at his reflection before grabbing a comb from the boudoir and re-fixing his hair. He pulled at the cuffs of his mid-sleeve shirt and resisted grabbing a jacket.

He double-timed towards the stairs, kicking another of Finn’s disgustingly sweat-soaked t-shirts across the floor (was that boy untrainable? Maybe he needed to instate some sort of Pavlovian reward system. Rachel advice for every article of clothing tossed in the hamper). Pausing at the threshold, an excited flush already creeping up his neck, he glanced hesitantly back down at his room. He ran the pad of a finger across his bottom lip.

Blaine wouldn’t mind another thirty seconds.

“Hi, you’re early,” he said, a minute and a half later.

“Hi, Kurt,” Blaine smiled knowingly, looking completely comfortable standing on the stoop. He even rocked back and forth on his heels a little, a few curls escaping from the trap of gel as he did so.

Kurt admired his boyfriend for a moment, sweeping his eyes all across and drinking in the jeans and collared shirt, before grabbing his hand, dragging him through the entrance. “Come in!”

Blaine laughed, high and in the back of his throat. “Like I have a choice?” He expertly manipulated their fingers so that he could stroke his thumb across the back of Kurt’s hand, soft and loving. He reached backwards with his other arm, shutting the front door quietly before grasping the boy’s bicep. Kurt thrilled at the sliver of skin contact from where his shirt had bunched higher up.

Blaine leaned forward and tilted his head up slightly to kiss the other boy. His movements stuttered, his breath and mouth hitching, and he ran his tongue across Kurt’s lower lip. “Pomegranate?” Kurt heard almost imperceptibly. Kurt hummed an assent and felt a rewarding smile. Moments later, Blaine nipped at his mouth one final time, a graze of teeth against puffy skin, before leaning away. They walked down into the basement, Kurt leading their clasped hands.

“What did you need my help with?” Kurt asked, primly sitting at the edge of his bed, shifting as Blaine joined him, pressing their sides warmly together.

Blaine didn’t answer immediately as he collected his thoughts. “Well, I’ve been asked to escort for another cotillion.”

Kurt’s eyebrow shot up. “Already? At least tell me you’ll get to dress yourself this time,” he sniped acidly. “Sunshine’s a sweet girl, but her complete inability to choose proper fabrics keeps putting her into a competition with Rachel, and we really don’t need that. I hope you burnt that blazer.”

Blaine exaggerated a wince, but Kurt could tell by the slight shudder across his shoulders that he too clearly remembered the feel of plaid and leather despite the numerous silk undershirts Kurt lent him. “You know that Sunshine was only trying to add a Hollywood flair. I think. And no, everyone had to return their outfits.” Kurt gave him a dismayed stare, imagining an entire rack of those awful monstrosities still traversing the planet, waiting for another delusioned, fashion-hating soul to pick them. Blaine bumped shoulders comfortingly and continued, “But thankfully, yes, we certainly have more leeway. However, the débutante is, well,” he rolled his eyes, “a bit of a diva and so I’d rather not step on certain toes.”

Kurt laid a hand on his shoulder. “Blaine, I understand; you don’t need to draw this out,” he said, moving in close. “Of course I’ll,” Blaine’s gaze crossed slightly, looking at Kurt’s lips, still carrying swipes of gloss, “help plan your outfit!” Kurt pushed off his shoulders, clapping gleefully as he used the momentum to stand. Watching him walk away, Blaine let out a whoosh of air.

“Wait,” Blaine called out. Kurt turned, one hand already carrying a sewing kit and the other draping a measuring tape around his neck. “You also need to help me practice the choreography.”

Kurt immediately paused, confused. “You... you need help. Dancing,” he stated, words dripping with disbelief. “Mr. ‘I Challenged Mike Chang to a DDR Battle Because I’m Stupid.’”

A pleased, if embarrassed, blush crossed Blaine’s features at the back-handed praise. He spread his hands in a placating manner. “Like I said: diva. Of you proportions.”

“That is serious. If I must!” Kurt sighed, long-suffering, tossing his head. He pursed his lips in mock-displeasure. “I guess I’ll be have to be the girl?”

“Actually...” and Blaine finally rose from the bed, one smooth movement that barely shifted the fabric of his clothing, “if you’d like, we could switch back and forth as follower and leader.”

“Why?” Kurt asked, snapping his eyes to the side. “You’re the one escorting this girl. There’s no point in me doing the guy’s part.”

“Because,” and they stood a few feet apart; Kurt could feel his lungs expand like descending from Everest as he watched Blaine’s eyes, mouth, cheeks, face, “I want to dance with you.”




It’s not a dance hall. Their high heels and dress shoes squeak against scratched linoleum instead of sliding on polished wax floors, and the ceiling to floor windows aren’t so much made of glass as they are massive colored rasterbations of Beauty and the Beast’s ballroom glued to the walls. The jazz band is setting up in the corner, and the A/V Club agreed to stay only an hour so twinkling Christmas lights are strung up on every possible post. A projector points at a screen in one corner, hooked up to microphones in a complicated array of wires. Lunch tables were stolen from the cafeteria and placed along the sides of the stage, draped with beautiful embroidered table cloths taken secretly from his family’s linen closet. Tina’s meditation candles and Quinn’s family silverware sit on top.

It’s the shabbiest cotillion he’s ever attended, but considering the funds were rather limited (the house would have been completely unbearable if he had even tried asking his parents), a rented auditorium for a night is pretty impressive.

“When you said the débutante was a diva of me proportions, I did not think you were being literal.”

Despite the steel tongue, Kurt’s eyes are wide and his breath shallow. He crosses his arms loose at the elbows, but his hands make canyon impressions into his jacket. He turns to step in front of Blaine, staring at the other boy accusingly. “All those things about how the birthday girl you’re supposed to be escorting won’t care that your boyfriend was wearing her color, so go ahead and plan an outfit around white...?”

“I knew you would meticulously plan an outfit to match mine, and you have no qualms about out-shining people, so I didn’t have to worry about you freaking out about being anything other than -”

“UTTERLY FABULOUS,” a voice shouts from behind Kurt, before wrapping him into a familiar hug. Kurt rotates in the embrace, delight flowing across his face. “You are super white today, white boy,” Mercedes teases, raising an eyebrow. She then smiles widely - “Happy early birthday, Kurt” - before pecking him on the cheek.

“Yeah, happy birthday, bro,” Finn calls from the pit. “I didn’t get you a present yet. Don’t be mad.”

Kurt blinks and really looks into the auditorium. He finally notices that all of New Directions are here, scattered throughout the room. His parents and Blaine’s sister are looking at the food, Burt glumly waiting as Carole listens to Camille list nutritional facts. Mr. and Mrs. Pillsbury-Howell hold awkward but healing conversation with Mr. Schue in the third row.

Quinn appears at Mercedes’ shoulder. “We invited Coach Sylvester,” she adds, ignoring Kurt’s horrified look, “but she had a previous engagement with Antarctica’s Blood Falls in order to replenish her iron levels, which have dropped drastically since she started menstruating again. She got you a present though; she said that she’s shipping a kiln to your house to get you back into shape for cheerleading season...” The Cheerio captain guides the increasingly ill-looking Kurt away to the stage.

Blaine spends time double- and triple-checking the very few things that can be checked, and soon Artie shoos him away from the lighting desk because the A/V club is giving him the side-eye. (They are so offended by Blaine’s lack of faith that they stay another hour out of spite. He still has to pay in a box of sour gummy worms.) He stays close to Kurt as often as he can, stealing quick touches in every style (except for that one, perverts) until Brittany decides that it must be some sort of competition.

As a result, Blaine is being interrogated, scarily, by Santana when he hears people erupt in groans and laughter. He cranes his neck to the side from where he sits in the fourth row, hostage, to glimpse past the cheerleader and sees a clown digging through a trunk. Blaine blinks, throwing a surprised look at Camille, who raises an eyebrow right back before examining her fingernails. Sam and Tina drag fold-up chairs from the tables, and despite rolled eyes and protests, soon all the kids are sitting in a semicircle on stage.

It is the same woman, as always. Her face is a Mondrian: straight geometric lines, a rectangular splash of red over her lips and of yellow over an eye. She starts her routine, adding a few mature jokes to reflect the older audience. She successfully tricks Puck into being squirt in the face via flower by giving him a middle-aged come-hither glance.

The grand finale has Blaine leaning forward, still enraptured after more than a decade. Kurt looks at him, amused, before patting his knee, leaving his hand there. Blaine adds his own on top, stroking the knuckles. Requests start flying across the group, gaining volume as seconds pass, every person suddenly adamant that their demand is fulfilled first. Kurt asks for a belt and proudly wraps the resulting balloon creation around his waist. He appears to be seriously considering future outfits around it as a centerpiece.

The clown has started folding Blaine a sword without him saying a word, and he finds his vocal cords tumbling, “No, I’ll just - I’ll just take the balloon, ma’am.” She and a few others give him incredulous looks, but she finally shrugs with a “Sure, kid,” and passes an unaltered long balloon. He grabs onto it, a “Thank you; I like it very much,” cheekily on his lips. He twists one end, mind already planning, when the balloon pops.

The sound is harsh and deafening, filling the enormity of the auditorium. Chairs screech as people jump backwards. Blaine gapes at the dredges of white in his palm. In the silence, someone - he suspects Lauren - pops their balloon. Dominoes stand a better chance.

Every act of destruction is mixed with squeals and laughter. Kurt yells indignantly as someone reaches for his belt. Blaine hears the explosions in his blood, every bang in an arrhythmic sequence restarting his heart. His foot taps, confused.

The clown stands in the center, resigned. But when the kids start asking for more balloons, either to pop or to try their own hand at the art, she begins to laugh. The woman’s smile curls her skin, crow’s feet engraving at the corners of her eyes. The black avenue lines of paint bend, following.

Blaine is busy afterwards assuring the woman that any hearing loss suffered would not end with a lawyer’s letter in her mailbox and giving her a few bills to recompense her lost inventory. He escorts her to her car and thanks her for a childhood. When he returns, Blaine sees Kurt and his father speaking in the wings, Kurt’s back to him. Burt is holding a package, wrapped in brown paper. The conversation is short, Burt speaking in that open, rough, loving manner of his. When Kurt opens the present, Blaine thinks he must be crying because his entire body is trembling. Blaine is distracted by Camille asking about videoke choices.

(“‘Sex On Fire’13 or ‘Peacock’14?” she asks unashamedly.

“Ate, his parents and teachers are right there.”

“We’ll just save it for when they leave.”

No.” He’s actually thinking Maybe.)

It isn’t until Kurt re-enters the auditorium with Mercedes, clearly having returned from a fresher-up in the restroom, that Blaine sees the glittering tiara in his hair. Blaine looks at his pocketwatch and closes it shut with a flick of his thumb.

He walks straight towards Kurt, back straight and strides even. He mentally speeds through every Golden Age of Hollywood movie, channeling Fred Astaire and Humphrey Bogart into his short stature. His boyfriend sees him and smiles. Oh, goddammit. That wasn’t a normal smile; that was his “I’m so completely head-over-heels in love with you that I’m wearing my Doc Martens on my arms and only care a little bit” smile, and his plan of suavity is completely out the window. He decides: screw it.

He grabs Kurt’s arm and tugs strongly, disrupting his previous conversation entirely. “Wait -- what-- Blaine!” Kurt yelps, stumbling and dropping his removed balloon belt.

Blaine’s grin spreads from ear to ear, and it feels like every performance high shoved into a single moment. “Let’s dance!” and he keeps pulling at Kurt, but then it’s no longer pulling and they’re running down the aisle until they reach the bottom and dive, gasping through their laughter as they slide a foot across the stage, as their friends, Kurt’s family, and Camille shout and hoot their encouragement. Kurt stands, grumbling about dust and filthiness, but Blaine rolls onto his back and stares into the brightness of the spotlights, smiling, smiling, and just unimaginably happy.

Kurt’s silhouetted face hovers over him when he doesn’t move again. “You didn’t break your pelvis, did you? Because that’s an awful birthday present.” Blaine laughs and reaches out an arm. Kurt grasps it, pulling him up with barely a lurch, and ow, okay, he’ll probably have bruises tomorrow. While he tilts his hips to the side, testing the boundaries of movement, Kurt is brushing the imaginary dirt off Blaine’s pristine barong15 (the floor wasn’t polished wood, but he had done his best to make it shine), and his boyfriend’s hands pause on the plane of his back, his shoulders, his waist, his stomach. The touches are barely there, skimming over embroidery and buttons, but Blaine can feel the steadiness of the hands through his clothes; he shivers, wanted.

One can only fake casual touches for so long in front of a clearly too-interested audience, though. Kurt tugs one more time on the bottom of the translucent fabric, and Blaine twitches at the graze of knuckles over a zipper. Or maybe not. He refrains from shooting a scandalized look at Kurt.

It wouldn’t have mattered anyway, because Kurt has walked past him to stand in the center of the stage, the bright lights complimenting his features. “I’m assuming, from your previous exclamation before you decided to practice penguin past-times, that this is when we all dance?” he says - really, the lilt of the question is so certain that it’s clearly there for decorative purposes. Kurt smiles at him and reaches his right hand out, palm facing forward, and Blaine notices the tremble at the wrist. Blaine moves in his direction and slots their hands together in acceptance, the reversal of a proposal only barely tripping him up. Kurt’s left hand curls on Blaine’s right arm, and Blaine’s right lies flat across Kurt’s left shoulder blade.

Blaine realizes that he’s completely ignored the rest of the world in those few seconds; he turns his body, letting his arm flow across Kurt’s back to create the give to avoid wrenching Kurt around. He gives a sigh of relief when he sees that everyone had taken their preoccupation with each other as a clue to get ready, and they are all in their positions, paired off to utilize whatever recent New Directions drama has occurred (that is: minimizing tensions to the best of Blaine’s and Mike’s choreographing abilities). The adults sit in the audience with interested expressions.

Blaine returns his attention to Kurt when the teenager makes a soft noise. Kurt has that wondering look on his face again; it is not at all fragile, but loud and obvious and so very him. He is looking at the crook of the V that their bodies have temporarily shaped. When Camille presses play on her iPod, Blaine does not slip his arm into its original position, but instead curves himself closer so that the fronts of their bodies are touching.

When they dance the waltz, the closeness causes awkwardness. Blaine loosens centimeter by centimeter until a smooth gait can be achieved. He focuses as the song nears its end, remembering the exact moment in choreography when he can most easily take their clasped hands and place it on his own back with a bend of the elbow. The hand on Kurt’s back slides down the arm until it reaches Kurt’s fingers, and Blaine lifts their newly entwined hands.

The transition from leader to follower and vice versa is anything but smooth - Kurt stumbles around for a good five seconds in surprise, and Blaine himself takes a few missteps when he switches their positions in a spin - but considering that the entirety of New Directions is a little bit off on the timing (it’s difficult to hold multiple secret practice sessions and somehow still keep it a secret from Kurt), Blaine finds that he doesn’t even mind. Kurt has finally started moving properly, hours of practice in a basement engraved gently into muscle memory; he still looks vaguely surprised as he leads them into the tango portion.

Blaine says mildly, “I like the tiara. It’s a nice touch.”

Kurt glances down at him, his brow furrowed in concentration. “I - uh - wait - Dad gave it to me. He said it was my mom’s. Homecoming queen three years running,” he says with a note of pride gracing his tongue.

“Why not four?” Blaine asks, a mixture of cheek and genuine curiosity.

Kurt’s eyes glance to the side, and a flush appears around the neckline. “She and Dad decided to bail halfway through the night. Automatic forfeit.” He tosses his head a bit, sniffing, “She would have definitely won, though.” Blaine can’t help but find that he believes this, if Kurt is anything like his mother.

The rest of their dance is peppered with small, whispered comments across the short bridge of space between them. They giggle a bit when Finn almost dips his partner onto the floor, and Puck is surprisingly light on his feet (Lauren’s arm strength may be contributing to that). As they finally reach the end, Blaine, having switched back to leader during the salsa, brings the two of them to a stop, resting their foreheads against each other for a moment. They turn to the rest of their friends; everyone is clapping and grinning, but then Rachel pushes, and suddenly it’s a huge group hug. They are all sweaty, but Blaine feels warm from the inside-out.

Camille walks up with a bundle in her arms. She passes a single dethorned rose to all the escorts, including Brittany. “The roses are usually presented by the men, but considering the circumstances,” his sister looks pointedly at Kurt, “I don’t think the upholding of gender roles is really that important.”

Tina explains, “We didn’t trust Brittany to present a candle.”

“Kurt, I tried to wrap the candle for your birthday present, but the paper kept catching on fire,” Brittany says sadly and eats a petal. Santana slaps her wrist away.

Later, after all of the traditions have been carried out and most of the adults have left with warnings and full stomachs (Mr. Schuester chaperones near the back of the auditorium, asleep), the party is still going strong, and Rachel and Mercedes have almost started a fight over sharing the microphone twice. Blaine, leaning over Kurt’s shoulder as the boy searches for a song, swings his open pocketwatch in front of Kurt’s face. “It’s almost midnight, you know,” he informs quietly.

Kurt responds with a fond, exasperated look. “Blaine, a magical creature who can’t utilize time zones doesn’t deserve to be my fairy godmother. The Midway Islands say I’ve got another six hours before the McQueen becomes Target.” Blaine lowers his arm because his heart is reminding him that the blood that carries away mahal kita16 always flows back. He leans a little closer, places his lips near Kurt’s ear, and whispers. Kurt doesn’t ask for a translation; Blaine’s heart is pounding steadily against his side.




A DAPPER REFERENCE GUIDE

1lumpia (loom-pee-ah): Filipino eggrolls. Fucking delicious.
2videoke: karaoke
3“Baa Baa Black Sheep” is a child’s nursery rhyme. [ song and lyrics ] WARNING: not all of these songs have some ~*deep narrative meaning*~
4“Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered” [ song (Frank Sinatra version), lyrics ]
5“Don’t Cry From Me Argentina” from the musical Evita [ song (Lea Salonga version), lyrics ]
6Ate (ah-tay): kinship term; what you call your oldest sister.
7pinoy: another term for filipino
8Zora Howard is New York City’s first Youth Poet Laureate. She is amazing. In 2006, she competed in the Urban Word NYC Annual Teen Poetry Slam. Here, Blaine is referencing her “Bi-Racial Hair” spoken word, which is a pretty heavy piece. Unfortunately, I can’t find a good transcription. The original lines are, “My roots are deep, too / My biracial roots are not blonde or more than cotton soft / because my blood stood in the sun picking cotton, too.” [ video ]
9hapa: Hawaiian term used to describe a person of mixed Asian or Pacific Islander racial/ethnic heritage. Has developed to mean any multiracial person (though there’s usually a binary connotation)
10tsitsaron (tsi-tsah-roan): aka: chicharrón. Fried pork skin, usually served with vinegar. Deliciously bad for you.
11“Reflection” from the Disney movie Mulan. I’ve linked to Darren Criss’s cover of it, but remember that Blaine’s voice would be much higher at this point. [ song (original version, by Lea Salonga), song (Darren Criss version), lyrics ]
12“La Vie Boheme” from the musical Rent. [ video (original broadway cast), lyrics ]
13“Sex On Fire” by Kings of Leon. [ music video, lyrics ]
14“Peacock” by Katy Perry [ song, lyrics ]
15barong: embroidered formal garment. blipblopblork drew fanart of Blaine and Sunshine in barong tagalog and cotillion dress, respectively.
16mahal kita: “I love you” in Tagalog
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NdR: Gangster Chique
User: naderegen
Date: 2011-01-19 22:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Gangster Chique
So you better have a very good explanation why you're posting this just when I'm about to go to bed. I will see you in the morning about this. hmpf!

but hah, no, I'm very curious what this is gonna be, so I'll look forward to reading and reviewing in the morning. :D
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 22:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have switched time zones on you! so now I trail instead of lead.

Sleep well~
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Aishuu
User: aishuu
Date: 2011-01-19 23:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Fabulous. It's interesting to see such deep culture reflected in Blaine's character... and I'm so on board for Lea Salonga to make an appearance. :)
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. There was a quote by Darren Criss where he said that Blaine presents himself as if being gay isn't a big deal, but that it actually is (I wish I had the quote; it's a lot more eloquent). I feel that, if Blaine's ethnicity is kept similar to Criss's, Blaine would treat it the same way.

The idea of Lea Salonga guest-starring is so firmly entrenched in my mind that I'm going to feel so lost if it never happens.
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Karen von S.
User: lookninjas
Date: 2011-01-19 23:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is gorgeous. The scene with Blaine outside his mother's room is particularly heartbreaking. Beautiful work.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:33 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you! I really love your "Model Minority (Stereotype A)" story, and it was one of the things I kept in mind as inspiration while I was writing this.

I'm glad that scene was successfully touching. I tried really hard to show just how devastating this situation was to Blaine without delving too much into his headspace.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for reading and commenting! I will be so sad when I am completely and utterly Jossed, but writing this was a great experience, and I'm glad you liked it.
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Dev
User: devonwood
Date: 2011-01-19 23:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This piece is absolutely fabulous. I love how you infused it with culture and heritage, and everything was just beautiful. I squealed at little!Blaine eating properly with chubby fists, and my heart broke as he listened to his mother outside her door.

You've completely made my entire night!
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My image of the adorability (real words? what real words?) of little!Blaine is basically what drove the entire first section XD

Thank you so much for reading and commenting, and I'm really happy that you liked it so much!
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titacats: Chris Colfer
User: titacats
Date: 2011-01-19 23:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Chris Colfer
I love this. Blaine's scenes with his mother in the kitchen and later on outside her door are just heart wrenching.







ngl this brought back lots of memories
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:48 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you very much for reading and commenting! My beta loved those scenes, too, and helped me fix them up a lot, so I'm glad that they're reaching out to people.

ahahaha, I had to keep going back while I was writing and SCRUBBING entire sections because I kept having author-bleed.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for reading and commenting! And a;lskdjf the balance of exploring culture in relation to a character without doing a complete shove-in-the-face-culture-dump was very difficult, and I'm glad you liked it.
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all these wounded boys you lie beside.
User: cuckooed
Date: 2011-01-19 23:47 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This was really beautiful and different. I loved the characterisation of Blaine's mother, it felt very real. ♥
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-19 23:56 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad you liked Blaine's mother! I wanted to make her feelings towards Blaine and his coming out understandable to the audience, if not sympathetic (though, of course, we don't agree), so you saying it "felt very real" makes me very happy.

Thank you for reading and commenting!
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Ashmole
User: ashmole
Date: 2011-01-20 00:12 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well, you know how much I love this so I won't repeat it all in case it's embarrassing. XD

As was said in the conversation that kicked this off it just seems such a plausible but different explanation of where Blaine's coming from.

Really happy that you got this finished...Little Blaine still gets to me every time.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-20 00:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
♥♥♥

LITTLE!BLAINE. He is such a force of adorable concentration.

ps: forgot to write in e-mail, but you were totally right about the over-analytical part of the lunch scene. thank you for pointing that out!
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Corn's a fruit! Syrup comes from a bush!: tv; glee | kurt & blaine | teenage dream
User: burn_to_emerge
Date: 2011-01-20 00:24 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:tv; glee | kurt & blaine | teenage dream
Oh my God, I love this. Your Blaine backstory is so complex and lovely and fascinating. Blaine's coming out was heartwrenching, and so well done, and I love the way you framed the story around cotillions to show the way Blaine grew. Sunshine's cotillion, with Blaine as escort, is an adorable and hilarious image that I am dying to see drawn.

And I just had the biggest smile on my face at that last section. Diva of epic proportions, indeed!
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 01:39 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
The last section gave me twitches. While I was writing it, I kept thinking, "Oh God, this is so corny, oh God, I can't submit this; it's too embarrassing, crap crap maybe I need to add drama or tenseness" but then some other part of my brain would go, "BLAINE JUST HAD A CRAPPY COMING-OUT SCENE. HE DESERVES THE SCHMOOP. EVEN IF IT'S A TAD UNREALISTIC." So I'm glad my corniness actually gave people smiles! Makes me less anxious :)

I'm happy you caught the parallel of cotillions (which is all about growing up) and Blaine's own growth (if, uh, horribly sporadic due to the large time skips in the story). I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get the idea across.

I just want Asian Community shenanigans. Also, I have this vague idea of Emily taking the Corazons under her wing after the crackhouse incident, and Blaine going all MENTORLIKE on Sunshine.
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ammodytus
User: ammodytus
Date: 2011-01-20 00:30 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I like pretty much everything in this story. Blaine's coming out to his mother, he standing by the door to her room, when he wants to dance with Kurt...

And... oh... Birthday boy XDDDD
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 01:42 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you for reading! And commenting! :) I'm really happy that you liked it.

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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 01:43 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm curious what the differences are between Southern belle debutante balls and Filipino cotillions, if there are any.

Thank you for reading and commenting!
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apple juice, man, fucking delicious!: beautiful like a rainbow tina cohen-chan
User: bluerosefairy
Date: 2011-01-20 03:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:beautiful like a rainbow tina cohen-chan
This is absolutely beautiful, and so, so rich in detail. I've only been to the Philippines once, but I remember lumpia and videoke (which is fun, but not nearly as fun as noraebang, the Korean version with full rooms and free booze) and barong. I would dearly love to have Blaine's backstory be so close to Darren's own heritage, and yes, Lea Salonga needs to be his mother. I love how Blaine comes out to his mother, and the importance of Emily's Catholicism. I love Camille and her quiet strength and support. I love Blaine making a birthday cotillion for Kurt and enlisting the rest of New Directions.

Beautiful work. This is amazing.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 01:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Woaah, noraebang sounds intense. Yeah, videoke can't beat that XD

One of the cotillion details that I mentioned but didn't actually show was the presentation of candles, which is when the debutante's female friends present candles to the debutante along with some kind words about her. Let me tell you, I was shaking a mental fist at "Furt" for the entire birthday cotillion scene because it had taken so many moments (I was even wary of doing the dancing scene, but it was too necessary for Blaine's arc in this story) ;alksdjf

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means a lot! (also, I'm glad you liked the family. Writing OCs is such a delicate task.)
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Kiwee: Warmth
User: _kiwee_
Date: 2011-01-20 04:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Warmth
I love all the little details here. It's such a beautiful story that I'm sitting here, boneless with happiness and grinning like a fool with stars in my eyes. ♥
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 01:51 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
♥ thank you for reading and commenting! I'm glad you liked it, and I think causing starstruck eyes is now something I can check off my "things to do" list :)
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 02:02 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Got it in one! mary_flanner's "Sons & Lovers" has convinced me that Burt didn't take the car away because of the hope chest and tiara collection. (It really doesn't make sense when you think of his character.) However, even though he'll suffer through Riverdance, Burt would never have given his son tiaras a year ago out of his own initiative, so his tiara gift is, I think, pretty telling and still just as touching.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked it; I love your Blaine characterization, so your comment means a lot :)
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winged_entity
User: winged_entity
Date: 2011-01-20 12:11 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you SO MUCH for this fic! I am feeling prouder than ever of my Filipino nationality now :)
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 02:03 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Be Pinoy proud! Thank you for reading and commenting. :)
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ileliberte: Kurt and Blaine
User: ileliberte
Date: 2011-01-20 14:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Kurt and Blaine
This is gorgeous and beautiful and I loved how you explored the cultural side without making it into exposition time. Burt giving Kurt the tiara = me almost tearing up. I loved all the little details you put into every character (Brittany with the candle and the rose was perfect!) and the whole thing was so sweet and touching. Btw, apart from the barong (which is really lovely), what were you imagining both their outfits to be? Did you have anything specific in mind when you were writing them?
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 02:16 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
a;slkdf I'm so happy you liked the Brittany line! She is so hard to write, and when I finally thought of that line, I crossed my fingers.

re:clothing: ahahaha, I have no idea. I am not good with fashion at all. Seriously, my original draft had notes to my beta saying, "DOES THIS CLOTHING COMBINATION MAKE SENSE?!"

What I do know:
- both are dressed in white.
- Blaine is wearing the barong (I had him originally in a suit, but then my beta said, "Do they wear barongs at these things?" and I went "OH SHIT BRILLIANT"). However, since a barong is translucent, I don't think you can do much with the undershirt. There are Kurt touches stylistically - maybe he played around with the embroidery or the collar?
- Kurt is wearing a white suit, but he probably has one article that is a different color (and probably the same color as whatever he altered on Blaine's outfit?). there is a brooch, of course.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
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Queen Zara: want something more [mercedes and kurt]
User: amazonziti
Date: 2011-01-21 05:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:want something more [mercedes and kurt]
I mostly lurk in Glee fandom, but -- ♥

I keep trying to write a review that explains how I love EVERY PART of this fic, but my words keep coming out wrong. So I'll leave it at this: thanks so much for writing.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 09:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And thank you so much for reading and exiting lurkdom temporarily to comment. It means a lot!
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mary_flanner
User: mary_flanner
Date: 2011-01-21 05:58 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This is really, truly gorgeous. The culture is beautifully woven in and I love that it is so simplistically fluffy in the end--except it's not, because you can tell a little bit of the reason Blaine is doing this for Kurt is because no one was there to do it for him. You prose is gorgeous, too.

I freaked a little, though, with the kitchen coming out/listening outside the bedroom because I literally wrote that same situation *yesterday.* But it's pretty terrible, TBQH, so I'm happy to see someone do it up right.

Shallow note? Mental imagine of Blaine in a barong is more than just a little hot.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 09:49 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
TRUFAX: I rushed posting this fic partially because scenes/references kept popping up in other people's fics that made go, "WAIT WHAT goddammit." I mean, in the past week, "Camille" kept popping up and so had "pomegranate", and my reaction was basically, "JIMINY CRICKETS ON KEBAB STICKS, FEELINGS OF FOREBODING. I REFUSE TO TEMPT FATE. SCREW THIS." I was still revising sections when I C&P'd into the LJ Submit Entry box XD

Also, I doubt your scene is terrible! I'd love to read your own take on the situation, because your characterization of Blaine is so complex and deep, and you have this uncanny ability to discuss aspects of his (and Kurt's) personalities that I never considered before.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
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pushplaytobegin
User: pushplaytobegin
Date: 2011-01-21 07:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I thought the rich, dense style of this was achingly beautiful. I kept re-reading paragraphs for the sheer enjoyment of the sensory details and language (sort of like riding a rollercoaster again and again because it's so exhilarating). I love the portrayal of tiny Blaine, so studious of and eager to participate in cotillion activities. Adolescent Blaine coming out to his mom (and the aftermath of prayers and tears) was heartbreaking. And I'm pretty sure it was at, "He escorts her to her car and thanks her for a childhood," that I completely lost it. The follower/leader switchoff with Blaine and Kurt during the dances was powerful for me, as was Kurt's lips tasting of pomegranate. The last paragraph just killed me. I love this lifetime journey of Blaine's. Usually I think of him as that gorgeous, generous, sweet, sometimes artificial guy who damned well better treat Kurt right. Here, I became very invested in Kurt helping Blaine heal his losses and missed experiences. I loved the mix of sadness and celebration; I guess that's inherent in every coming of age story, but this was lovely and poignant, a perfect mix of everything I love in a story. Wow.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-21 10:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
;lkja;lsdkjf Thank you so much for this review. It's been a really long time since I've written properly for fandom, and so it's so strange and wonderful (and fascinating!) to be on the other side of the fence when people point out the parts and moments that most resonated with them.

When Ash finally convinced me to do a dance scene (I originally hadn't wanted to because the "Furt" parallels were making me twitch), I knew that there had to be switchoff because there's just so much unspoken social baggage attached to the roles of leader and follower (like, I found it very informative that Finn led Kurt in that dance), but that an experienced dancer vs a non-dancer understand and interpret that social baggage in very different ways. So it makes me grin that those actions caught your eye.

Here, I became very invested in Kurt helping Blaine heal his losses and missed experiences.

ga;lskdjf oh wow.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love your stories an obscene amount (you're one of my favorite authors), and so your comment really means a lot.

Seriously, everyone's response to this story has been so kind and wonderful, and I'm just sort of flailing around on my side of the computer because I really wasn't expecting any of this. It's gotten to the point that I'm writing, like, novella-length fangirl comments in response to reviews because I don't know how to properly show my appreciation, and I just have SO MANY FLABBERGASTED AND WARM FEELINGS (where is that blaine gif). It is ridiculous.
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me, still awake at 3
User: artsnletters
Date: 2011-01-21 15:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi there! Saw this link from kurt_blaine comm. :)

I just have to say, this is the first fanfic I've read wherein Blaine's roots as a half-Filipino is thoroughly explained. Being a pinoy myself, I'm quite happy and touched by this. :) I LOVE Blaine's family -- from the cotilions (I have a strong dislike for debuts lol!), to Mama, lumpia, barong tagalog... Dude, I BOW at your feet!

My heart seriously clenched when I read that scene with Blaine's mom. Her praying the rosary so religously is just SO pinoy, in a sense that whenever a problem arises, she instinctively reaches for the rosary and just pray. But that this one line, "you gave me a son who can’t change and who’ll be unhappy if he wants to please You."... oh god, that just hits the target right there. I know Filipino families are generally conservative and religious, but I do personally think that sometimes, we're allowed to question and just find faith in the end. The whole part with Blaine and his mother is so beautiful. :')

Oh, and I have to admit, I might be a bad Filipino seeing as I didn't - DIDN'T - see that "mahal kita" coming. SERIOUSLY. IKR?? I should have expected it but I was so wonderfully surprised! I LOVE IT! :D

If Glee decides to add a little spice in Blaine's character and make him a hapa, I may just as well die. xD This is so amazing and beautiful! I hope to read more of your works. :)
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-25 07:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I've only ever attended a few debuts in my life, and they leaned more towards the American Sweet Sixteen tradition than the usual Filipino cotillion (though there's a lot of overlap). I hope the details still felt real!

"Mahal kita" wasn't originally in the script, so don't feel too bad :D

If they do make him a hapa (DARREN CRISS, I'M GUESSING YOU FOLLOW(ED) RACEBENDING. DO NOT LET THEM WHITEWASH YOU), I doubt it'll be focused on, if at all. One can dream, though :)

Thank you so much for reading and commenting!
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Caveat Empty
User: caveatempty
Date: 2011-01-21 16:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
"....he couldn’t figure out where he fit in this new arena now, at that table full of mostly Asians or this one full of mostly whites or over there full of everybody else, such that sometimes he felt lonely and lost,"

So true for anyone who's ever struggled with cultural identity.

Thank you for such a lovely and touching story.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-25 07:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm glad that that part rung true for you! There are so many different facets of identity that Glee could dabble in; even though I love (most of) the exploration that they do do, I'm always ): that they don't try to talk about the racial minority experience more. (One of my favorite exchanges is Mike's and Tina's fight when Mike suggests they go to Asian therapy and Tina explodes with, "Why does it have to be Asian therapy?!" There's so many things you can talk about there.)

Tbh, I wish I had developed that specific section more, but I was afraid that it would make the narrative unbalanced by the focus on different themes.

Thank you for reading and commenting!
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Some Foolish Carpenter: AVA concert
User: obviouslytomark
Date: 2011-01-21 22:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:AVA concert
You are are an incredible writer. I absolutely loved this. The earliest snippets from Blaine's life were especially well done. I also have to say, I'm kind of in love with Darren's heritage, as weird as that may be, so this hit everything for me.
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-25 07:18 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I flailed so hard when I learned about Criss's background. FLAILED. It was very much an "holy shit I can relate with someone on this topic."

Thank you for reading and commenting! I'm glad you liked it :)
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Tasty Speculative Fiction
User: loveronhermione
Date: 2011-01-22 02:52 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This was wonderful. I creeped and read your whole comment thread that spawned this, and I still want some Asian Community awesomeness. But seriously, this was fantastic.

(Also, I might be addicted to angst with happy endings, so this was perfect.)
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-01-25 07:13 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm so happy that comment thread happened; it was like INFINITE POSSIBILITIES opened up in my headcanon.

I can imagine during an Asian Community potluck, Blaine - having just started in the Warblers - is trying to get some moves down right in some out-of-the-way corner, and Mike - having just released his inner dance freak from room to Glee club - walks over and asks if he needs some help. INSTANT BROMANCE.

Also, I wrote this earlier up, but Emily adopts the Corazons under her wing when she hears what happened. Blaine, of course, becomes a mentor for Sunshine. Because that's what he does. Rachel doesn't know this, but Tina invites Sunshine over to her house sometimes to hang out (Tina knows that Vocal Adrenaline is a horrifying experience, even if you're its lead diva. Sunshine is a strong girl, but even the strongest needs some sort of reprieve).

Blaine's known Tina for a long time. He and she used to have quiet conversations about trying to live a life where they felt lost and torn culturally. He noticed the development of her stutter and though he initially called her out on it, he kept quiet afterwards because he felt like a hypocrite, if a small one. I don't know if they'd be good friends or friendly acquaintances.

(My favorite stories are those that have a mix of everything. Even though I don't write very often, I would love to become better at balancing these genres within a story. So your comment means a lot! Thank you for reading and commenting.)
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Linden: hummelhug
User: exeterlinden
Date: 2011-03-19 18:25 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:hummelhug
Your description of baby Blaine coming out is so moving! I loved the attention to detail and the showing-not-telling that just made it all the more heartrending <3
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nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
User: satora_chan
Date: 2011-04-09 06:14 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Thank you so much for reading! I'm glad that his coming out touched you :)
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