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fic: to live in the shadow (7/?)
icedintheveins
Title: To Live in the Shadow
Pairing: Kurt/Blaine
Rating: NC-17 overall; PG-13 for this part
Word Count: 28,806 overall;3,535 for this part
Warning!: alcohol and substance abuse; symptoms of depression
Summary: Blaine Anderson is an A-list movie star, struggling to get through the chaos of his life.  He’s been caught stumbling drunk from countless bars, barely escaped a charge of drug possession, and is now on his way to losing everything.  But a huge contract for a highly anticipated movie could turn his life around and help him get back on track.  However, when he hires a new personal stylist by the name of Kurt Hummel, he finds it even more difficult to concentrate on recovery.  Kurt gets under his skin, irritating him immensely.  But as he tries everything to get rid of Kurt, he finds himself growing closer to this man than he ever thought he would.

Blaine finds himself liking each picture better than the last, watching as the smile grows on Kurt's face, his eyes growing more alive and his hair becoming more and more disheveled. He looks so carefree, so happy, and God, it's a beautiful sight. Blaine's never seen Kurt looking this happy, but he would like to. He's seen Kurt looking upset too many times, and he looks so much better with a smile on his face.

And he might desperately want to be the reason.

A/N: Yay, I finally updated again!  And really, I just don't know what to say.  You guys are all so amazing, so thank you.



It's an early day for Blaine, and to be honest, he's just glad to be out of the house – away from his parents. Even if he had to get up before nine o'clock. He just wants to be away from their disappointed glances and the judgmental atmosphere. They're watching his every move now, looking for surefire signs that will send him to rehab.

The streets are quieter in the morning, not so bustling and crowded, but still full of life. The sun is softer, the air cooler, and Blaine likes the peaceful feeling that surrounds him. With a coffee in hand (he might try switching to it more often), he makes his way up to Quinn's office, early for his meeting with her.

As he steps from the elevator, he nearly crashes into someone.

"Oh – sorry!"

It's Kurt, bright and smiling, and Blaine feels something twist in his chest.

"Oh, hey, Blaine," he says cheerfully. "Why are you here so early?"

"I have a meeting with Quinn," Blaine replies.

"Really?" Kurt asks. "Me too."

Blaine's eyebrows crease together. "She didn't say you would be there. Did she tell you that I - ?"

Kurt shakes his head. "Well," he says. "Let's just go see what she wants, shall we?"

"Right behind you," Blaine says, and he follows after Kurt down the hallway.

Kurt knocks on the door, and after a muffled, "Come in!" from Quinn, opens it, stepping inside. "Blaine and I are here," Kurt says, and Blaine slips inside after him.

Quinn surveys them for a moment, almost look surprised. "Well," she says. "It's nice to see you two actually getting along."

Kurt nods, and Blaine catches himself smiling, because oh, it so is.

"Well, anyway," Quinn says, sitting up straighter. "I've just been talking with different magazines and photographers, and Blaine – " she looks towards him, "you and Santana will be doing a photoshoot on Wednesday."

Blaine nods biting his lip.

Oh, God. This is what he's been dreading. Getting thrown back into the media with swarms of paparazzi following him everywhere. He should expect this because of how big the movie is, but everything was finally dying down and this just leaves more room for him to screw up and for everyone to twist his words and start rumors.

"Is there going to be an interview?" Blaine asks warily.

"Possibly," Quinn says, evidently unsure. "Maybe. There's a chance."

Blaine groans.

"It'll be fine," Quinn says quickly. "I'll be there," she assures. "And Kurt." She looks to him now, ignoring Blaine's distressed expression. "Kurt, they want you to be there to help with Blaine's fitting and the outfit selection."

"Alright," Kurt says. "That's not a problem."

Blaine suppresses a sigh.

Kurt coming with only makes things worse – but not in the "god-he's-going-to-irritate-the-shit-outta-me" way, but more the fact that they're going to be in such a close proximity most of the day. Kurt's going to helping him in and out of clothes and there'll be room for joking and talking, and Blaine's feelings are already messed up and confusing enough as it is. This just gives him more opportunity to stress out.

Quinn looks to him, shaking her head. "You'll be fine, Blaine."

"You're not the one that has to go through it," Blaine points out. "God, I just hate talking to reporters all the time."

"You haven't talked to one in weeks," Quinn says. "It's about time you get back out there. The press is starved for your attention."

"Always on my shoulders," Blaine sighs.

"Suck it up," Quinn says absently, but her smile is warm. "I'm going to be there with you, alright? It'll be over before you know it."

Blaine rolls his eyes, but returns a grin.

"Well," Quinn says. "I guess you guys are free to go then. Enjoy your day."

Blaine gets up slowly, trying not to groan in frustration.

Honestly, he does know that tomorrow probably will go well, but he's just so nervous. It's the first time he'll be directly back in the media since he drunkenly fired his last stylist, and also given the fact that he seems to be breaking apart at the seams, it feels like the most difficult thing to do.

Out in the hall, Kurt turns to Blaine, cautious.

"How – how'd everything go?" he asks. "With your parents."

Blaine raises his eyebrows without looking at Kurt, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"Oh," he says softly. "That."

"That bad?" Kurt asks.

Blaine laughs humorlessly, scratching his cheek. "Yeah, they – they want me to go to a rehabilitation center."

Kurt's eyes widen, his lips parting into a small "oh." "So, are you - ?"

"No," Blaine says, shaking his head. "I have until after the movie. After that, if I haven't improved, it's off to rehab."

Kurt thinks a moment, and then nods. "You'll improve," he says, confident. "I mean if you can get over despising me, you'll beat alcohol with no effort."

Blaine chuckles slightly, even though that uncomfortable feeling in his chest increases.

"I really hope so," he says.

Kurt bites his lip, looking at Blaine with a mixture between pity, sympathy, and the will to understand. Blaine catches his eye just for a second and forces a smile.

.

.

Blaine's been sitting, strumming his guitar, playing around with lyrics in his head for at least an hour when the door to his dressing room opens. He looks up, keeping his fingers on the frets, strumming lightly and slowly.

It's Jeff, laptop folded neatly under his arm.

"You're up early," he comments. "It's not even noon yet."

Blaine rolls his eyes, but smirks. "And what are you doing here knowing I wouldn't be, hmm?" he counters.

"Kurt," Jeff says simply. "We are friends, you know."

"Yeah," Blaine says, and Santana's right – there's a small stab of jealousy. "Anyway," Blaine continues, changing his tone of voice and setting his guitar by his side. "I want to apologize, Jeff."

"For what?" Jeff asks, sitting down in a chair next to him.

Blaine raises his eyebrows. "For running off the other night."

"Oh, right," Jeff says, nodding his head. "It's fine, Blaine. I mean, yeah – it was really scary, but we found you, right? And I think you've learned from it."

Blaine nods, sighing heavily. He's learned quite a lot, actually.

"We're good," Jeff assures. "You're my best friend, Blaine. You always will be."

Blaine smiles, almost shy, and a blush creeps up his neck. "Thanks," he says quietly, and Jeff nods.

And as Jeff opens up his laptop, starting it up, Blaine grabs his guitar again, strumming a few chords until he has a good rhythm going. He experiments with melodies and harmonies, humming along while the lyrics flash through his mind. He keeps himself occupied with this until Jeff shifts his weight, and his laptop screen catches Blaine's eye.

There's a picture up – of two guys in the middle of a crowd of blurry people. One is white-blond, his brown eyes alight with happiness as he smiles widely.

The other has shiny, brown hair, stuck up and haphazardly slicked back. His eyes are much more captivating - about three different shades of blue-green and they're positively glittering. His smile is huge, showing off his teeth and crinkling his eyes.

"Is that - ?" Blaine starts.

"Kurt and I?" Jeff asks. "Yeah. We tried to take a picture but started cracking up mid-capture and we just decided to keep it anyway."

"It's a good one," Blaine agrees, swallowing hard.

"I got a lot of good pictures," Jeff says. "Mostly of the band, but there's plenty good ones of Kurt, and a few of me. It was fun photographing him," Jeff says with a laugh. "I've never seen him so loose – he was insane."

Blaine nods, biting his lip, not exactly sure what to say. However, Jeff can practically read his mind.

"Do you want to see them?" he asks, his tone slightly teasing.

"Yeah," Blaine admits, rubbing his neck.

Jeff chuckles and clicks back to the beginning of the album, going through each photo one by one, adding explanations here and there for some of them. He seems to know that Blaine really enjoys hearing about it all.

Blaine finds himself liking each picture better than the last, watching as the smile grows on Kurt's face, his eyes growing more alive and his hair becoming more and more disheveled. He looks so carefree, so happy, and God, it's a beautiful sight. Blaine's never seen Kurt looking this happy, but he would like to. He's seen Kurt looking upset too many times, and he looks so much better with a smile on his face.

And he might desperately want to be the reason.

He's annoyed Kurt, he's hurt Kurt, he's made Kurt feel awful and alone, and he doesn't want to do that anymore. He wants to make Kurt smile, make him laugh, he wants to be the reason Kurt's happy and content. He wants to make Kurt feel like he's worth something, but he's fucked up a little too much. He needs to change that. He needs to make things up to Kurt and clear his slate.

He just wants to start things over and do them right this time around.

.

.

It's late at night, possibly early morning – Blaine can't really tell. He just knows that he should be sleeping, but he can't. His mind is too busy, filled and whirring with thoughts. Questions and worries and wonders running around through his brain.

And they're all about Kurt.

And no matter how hard he tries, he can't calm them. He looks at Kurt and feels his heart skip a beat. He hears Kurt's name and he's suddenly alert, holding his breath. And now he's lying in bed late into the night just thinking about him, and soon he'll dream about him, no doubt. He feels like he's eight years old again, crushing on the tall, blond-haired girl in his third-grade class.

And that's where this gets complicated.

Because Blaine's always liked girls.

Kurt's the first to change that, and it's – let's be honest, it's scaring the shit out of Blaine. He's never felt like this towards another man. He's never felt this desire, this attraction and though he does – he really likes Kurt, he's terrified.

But he's not terrified of rejection or heartbreak or anything like that. He's scared of his feelings, of his longing for a relationship. It's all so new, so different, and fuck, what does it mean?

He continually second-guesses himself, wondering if he wants just a friendship with Kurt, or if he really does want to date him, kiss him, hold him, love him. He shakes his head, telling himself it's the former, but at the end of the day, the truth is he's falling for Kurt.

He's falling fast and hard, ready to crash straight into the ground.

.

.

"Well, well, well – look who's here today."

Blaine looks up from his seat to find Santana looming over him. He sighs, sitting up straighter. He got absolutely no sleep last night, and he really doesn't feel like dealing with her attitude right now. "What do you want, Santana?"

"How much trouble did you get in?" she asks, ignoring him.

"What do you mean?" he asks, eyebrows coming together in confusion.

"Oh, please," Santana scoffs. "Listen," she starts. "Everyone else in this cast might believe you were sick the other day, but I know better. Hangover really that bad?"

"Fuck off," Blaine mutters. "I'm not in the mood, Santana."

Santana nearly laughs. "I'm not here to judge you, Blaine. I'm the last person who should be judging you. I was just being curious, is all. I like gossiping."

"Well, I don't," Blaine snaps. "So can you just leave me alone?" He crosses his arms over his chest, looking away from her.

"Well, Jesus, someone's irritable today," Santana says, and she takes a seat next to him. "What's wrong – is Kurt annoying you again?"

"It's nothing," Blaine says quickly, but that's such a lie, because in reality it's everything.

"No it's not," Santana argues, and her voice suddenly goes much softer, the snarky tone gone. "Seriously, Blaine – what's wrong? You look like you're going to be sick."

Blaine bites his lip, shaking his head in a jerky fashion. He lets out a long, frustrated sigh. "I'm just really stressed out right now."

"That's it?" Santana asks. "Or is there something more?"

And Blaine really can't keep it in any longer. It's been driving him crazy even though it's hardly been two days (though really, the whole concept has been much longer). He needs reassurance, he needs guidance or he might just break down and go insane.

"You're right," he says, voice quiet, throat tight.

"I'm right?" Santana asks. "About what?"

Blaine makes a noise of distress. "Kurt," he spits out. "It's Kurt."

"So, you guys are still fighting?" Santana asks, unsure. "It's worse?"

"No," Blaine says. "The exact opposite really."

It's quiet for a moment as Santana tries to figure out what he's saying. "I don't – oh."

"Yeah," Blaine says flatly.

"Well," Santana says. "Can't say I blame you. It's hard not to be attracted to that man."

Blaine whirls to face her, his expression wild. "Except I'm not attracted to men, Santana!" He's breathing hard, a lost look in his eyes. He collapses against himself, putting his head in his hands.

"Oh," Santana breathes. "I see."

"I don't know what to do," Blaine moans.

"Well, I say the first thing you should do is accept yourself," Santana says softly. "You can't pursue a relationship with him if you're not comfortable with your sexuality."

"But that's the problem," Blaine sighs sitting up. "I don't know what my sexuality is. Santana, I – I'm not gay – I – "

"Well, you're obviously not heterosexual," Santana replies bluntly, and she crosses her legs, looking thoughtful. "I mean – you could just be Kurt-sexual. It's possible. I mean he's so fucking fine, how can you not be attracted to that?"

"Santana," Blaine says desperately, and his voice nearly cracks. "This is serious."

"You're right," Santana says quickly. "I'm sorry."

"What – I just – I don't know what to do," Blaine says exasperatedly. He puts his face in his hands again, breathing deeply.

"Alright, Blaine," Santana says, her tone serious. "Just pull yourself together for a minute."

Blaine looks blearily up at her, and damn, this really is tearing him apart. Santana's not sure she's ever seen him looking so broken, and that's saying something because he's really a fucked up person.

"I know how difficult this is," she continues.

"Do you?" Blaine asks, skeptical. "Do you really?"

Santana exhales roughly, looking away from him for a second.

Should she tell him? Can she trust him?

But one look back at him and seeing the way he's hunched over in protection from himself, defending against judgment. The way his eyes are slightly unfocused, dark circles underneath them. The lines of stress defining his face – she knows this feeling all too well. She looks at Blaine and she sees herself.

"Blaine," she sighs, "I'm going to tell you something. Something extremely personal. Something only my family and a few of my close friends know. I want to tell more people, but my publicist thinks otherwise."

His eyebrows crease lazily together, showing just how much of a strain he's under.

Santana closes her eyes, taking a deep breath. Opening them, she says, "I'm a lesbian."

Blaine immediately sits up straighter, his eyes widening. "You – "

"I'm gay," she repeats. "I like women. I like vaginas, not penises – get the picture?"

Blaine doesn't even smile, and Santana looks at him worriedly. She reaches out, resting a hand on his knee. "I've been through this, Blaine. Three years ago, I was in this exact position."

She's got his attention now, even though he's still silent.

"Her name was Brittany Pierce," Santana says. "She was my choreographer for a musical I was doing. She was beautiful and funny and so, so intelligent, but I was the only one who saw it. We grew close and we went out, but when I admitted my feelings to her, she was already in love with someone else."

"I'm – I'm sorry," Blaine says quietly.

"Yeah, it was hell," Santana says. "I went through this crisis – wondering why I was suddenly falling for a girl. It was weird, because I used to sleep around with every guy I could get my hands on. It never occurred to me the reason I couldn't handle a relationship was because I was looking at the wrong sex. But I figured it out. I realized that men couldn't fulfill that empty feeling – but Brittany could, and later a few other women. It took me long time, but I eventually I accepted myself. And now I'm just waiting for the rest of the world to except me – and namely, my publicist."

"My publicist will accept me," Blaine says instantly. "Whatever I am, I know she will."

Santana smiles. "Then I'm happy for you." She pauses, shifting her weight. "Now, you don't have to figure it out now, but Blaine, have you ever thought that maybe you've been attracted to other men?"

Blaine sighs, running a hand through his hair.

This is the hardest part.

Because he thinks he has. He definitely thinks he's attracted to women, but the way Santana describes it – fulfilling that empty feeling. No woman's ever done that. Only Kurt so far seems to have a chance at that.

He thinks back, tries to recall, and become obvious now that he's never been completely heterosexual. He can remember times where he paused and thought that a boy he passed on the street, or a guy in a movie with him was cute. He'd shrugged it off, blaming it on stress or lack of sleep, something messing up his mind. He never admitted to it just being who he was.

"Santana," he says. "I don't – maybe. I think so, but I – I'm not sure."

He wants to admit it, he does. He wants to just believe firmly in his sexuality, but he's just so unsure. Because he's looking at Santana now, and he remembers the first time he saw her on set, he thought she was so striking, so fuckable, but would she fulfill that empty feeling? Could he be with her?

He really doesn't know.

Maybe he hasn't met the right girl yet.

But he has met Kurt, and that's what's throwing him off.

Because he likes Kurt, but maybe it's something else. Maybe it's Kurt's attitude – how he treats Blaine differently than everyone else. Does Blaine simply want friendship, or is he really looking for something more? He thinks a moment, and his head hurts.

He doesn't know.

He can't decide.

His brain just keeps arguing with his heart and it seems to be getting nowhere.

"You don't have to decide now," Santana says softly, and Blaine ignores the voice babbling in his mind. "Just give yourself time," she continues. "You don't have to label yourself now – not ever if you don't want to. Sexuality is made out to be this solid thing, but the truth is, it's not. Sexuality is such a spectrum, Blaine. You don't have to be one hundred percent gay. You could be bisexual, you could be pansexual. Not everyone falls in love with a certain gender either, Blaine. You fall in love with a person. Don't worry about it now. If you like guys and only guys, so be it. If you like both genders, great. If gender really doesn't seem to matter than you, that's fine. Who you fall in love with doesn't define you, Blaine. And that's all you need to remember. Don't let the fact that you might be in love with a guy stop you from chasing after him. It may not be what you're used to, but if it's real, if it's there, don't fight it, Blaine. Don't pay attention to labels and just listen to your heart, okay?"

Blaine is silent, staring at Santana with such a soft expression on his face, his eyes glazed over and his eyebrows dipping over them. His mouth is slightly open, as if he wants to say something, but no words come out.

"Blaine?" Santana ventures.

And he throws his arms around her.

"Whoa – okay, little close there," she says, trying and failing to push him off. He stays firmly locked and with a roll of her eyes, she hugs him back, rubbing his back.

"Thank you," he says as he pulls away. "Thank you so much."

Santana blushes and looks away, hoping he won't notice. "Well, it's like I said. I've been there before, so when you need to talk, I'm here."

Blaine shakes his head and lets out a noise between a sob and a laugh. "I've never really admitted needing someone before," he says quietly, voice almost a whisper. "But without you, I really don't know how I'd handle this."

Santana smiles. "I'm glad I could be of some help. But watch it, Anderson. I don't need everyone coming to me for counseling."

Blaine smiles back.

.

part 1 | part 2 | part 3 | part 4 | part 5 | part 6 | part 8


ugh.
ugh ugh ugh YOU HAVE REDUCED ME TO NO WORDS.
And I feel awful because I don't have any coherent feedback but just asdjskdgskj.
You characterizations are getting better and better and Santana in this was just...PERFECT.
ALSO. I WAS DOING COMPOUND INTEREST AND I DROPPED EVERYTHING WHEN I SAW AN UPDATE. BECAUSE AHHHHHHHHHH.
...
ahem.
<3333

also. because I have to be a tool.
FIRST.

I just really love you. owieghwoei

ahhh i can't wait to see what happens next!! so looking forward to when blaine finally admits his feelings to kurt! i hope we get him talking to jeff about it, too!

Haha, I'm looking forward to that too. (:
Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

Awww! *squishy happy feelings* I'm glad Santana is being so supportive. :)

I'm glad you liked it. (: Thank you so much.

*rounds and rounds of hearty applause*

Seriously, if I wasn't using my phone to write this, I would put a million approval gifs here... And I don't even know how to do that!

This is by far my favorite chapter, because we're getting the feelings and some clarity and Blaine - oh my sweet Blaine - he is starting to not feel like the world is without hope. It's confusing as fuck, sure, but he seems... And soon maybe with Kurt... And oh update soon please!!

Eeee, thank you so much! :D
Yeah, I was really pleased with how this chapter came out, but you'll have to wait to see my favorite. ;)

I'm waiting with truly bated breath for THAT chapter :p

yay! supportive santana is supportive!

Yeah, I had a little trouble deciding who Blaine would come out to, but in the end it was her.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

I love your Santana here :)
are you going to write a part from Kurt's perspective? it'd be interesting
anyway, I love your story and can't wait for the next part :)

Aww, thank you. I worry about writing her sometimes, so I'm glad you feel that way.
Yes, of course I'll write in Kurt's perspective! I actually just finished writing chapter entirely in his perspective. (:
Again, thank you!

Like how the story is unfolding. Can't wait for the next part.

Aww, I'm glad. Thank you so much!

I am glad Blaine found he could talk to Santana about his confusing feelings. I am glad you are exploring so much of Blaine's thoughts and fears. He needs to sort stuff out before even approaching a relationship. Love this story.

Ohmygoodness, thank you so much. <3

So many emotions! I'm glad Santana is there for Blaine. He nees someone to talk to.

Sigh, he really does.
Thank you so much for reading and commenting. (:

Interesting idea. This is the first story I've read where Kurt's the reason Blaine question his sexuality. I loved seeing Blaine's thought in this chapter. Santana was written as the perfect sounding board for Blaine's confusion.

I can't wait to see what you have planned next.

Yeah, I wasn't really planning that for Blaine's sexuality, but that's how it played out when I wrote it.

Goodness, just - thank you! (:

I lo-lo-love this! Just found it 4 hours ago and couldn't stop til I read it all. I love how you have other Glee kids popping up throughout the story, especially Finchel as America's hottest it-couple and Santana's hilarious line about how Brittany was really smart but only she could see it!
And I really like the pace of this story and Blaine's characterization here, how he slowly comes to terms with his feelings and figures it all out. I am so looking forward to the next part and how Blaine will behave around Kurt now that he seems to realize he is really falling for him.
All the Hollywood-glam aspects of the fic are really exciting and fun, too!

Oh, wow. I'm so glad to hear that you liked this. (: Thank you so much!

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