rrrowr: by babyoil_gfx  (rrowr)
[personal profile] rrrowr
Title: Taking Care of Business
Rating: PG-13
Summary: It's the way Blaine, when one of the men speaks, bends his head thoughtfully, frowning, and looks up at him past his furrowed brow. Intense, Kurt thinks when he sees it, and kind of dangerous. [For this prompt: Mobster!Blaine; "Kurt likes the danger."]


In hindsight, Kurt wonders if telling Blaine about the reason for his transfer to Dalton was a mistake. Blaine doesn't seem to treat him any differently -- no more carefully than usual, that is -- but afterward, Blaine is visited by some clean cut, if unscrupulous looking, men. They never stay long, just briefly enough for Blaine to talk with them quickly and quietly, but it's enough to turn Kurt's impression of Blaine on its head.

Blaine, for all his enthusiasm and exuberance on his outings with Kurt, is very different in Dalton. He moves with an old school grace within the academy's walls. He isn't stifled here, the way Kurt sometimes feels, nor does he seem to mind the mentality of everything in it's place. Blaine is organized and certain, and Kurt has always felt Blaine held an atmosphere of calm authority, no matter his environment.

Watching Blaine with these men, though, makes it all snap together into something whole.

It doesn't matter where Blaine speaks with them. He can be on the stairs, perched a couple steps up while they stand on the ground floor. It can be just to the side of the cafeteria entrance with both students and faculty giving them a wide berth. He can be walking down the hall with them fast on his heels. It doesn't matter -- nothing matters except that Kurt has never seen all of Blaine's calm, matter-of-fact certainty gathered all together in the way that it is when he talks with these men.

It's in every gesture. It's in how he tucks one hand into his pocket, unafraid of whatever capabilities his visitors might have. It's in the way Blaine, when one of the men speaks, bends his head thoughtfully, frowning, and looks up at him past his furrowed brow.

Intense, Kurt thinks when he sees it, and kind of dangerous.

He doesn't see the men for a couple weeks -- though Blaine gets a lot of phone calls instead -- so Kurt doesn't think anything of it. Then Mercedes texts him frantically one afternoon and when he calls back, she describes in florid detail about how Karofsky and a few of his buddies got the shakedown from a couple shifty looking guys after school. Kurt worries about what kind of consequences this might have for himself, but ultimately forgets that Mercedes even told him about it when a few days pass with no further updates.

There's a final visit from the two men -- the burlier one nods to Kurt as he passes, while the other merely gives him a critical once-over -- and afterward, Blaine is lighter on his feet, pleased with himself and the world at large. Kurt's happier to see Blaine more prone to smiling, but he still frets over how the whole thing feels suspicious when he starts slotting the pieces together.

Nothing's going on with Karofsky, texts Mercedes when he asks. Not any more. Those two guys from last week must have really given him a scare.

Not even a slushie? he asks -- because Karofsky being nice is just... unnerving. Like the calm before a big, fat, terrifying storm.

Not even one, says Mercedes, though Kurt thinks she might be having the same feelings about this as Kurt.

Of course, because he's worried, he mentions it to Blaine while they're in the library putting away books after a study group. Blaine doesn't sound surprised by anything Kurt tells him, and when Kurt talks about Karofsky being scared of some guys that showed up at the school, Blaine kind of smiles -- nothing big or even lingering. It's just a little, upward quirk of the corner of his mouth, but it Kurt stops cold.

"You didn't," Kurt says.

"I did," Blaine replies. It's the fast admission that surprises Kurt. Blaine stacks a book on the shelf with some firmness. "I just thought that you might feel better about leaving McKinley if you knew he wasn't targeting your friends, too."

Kurt has only one book left in his hands. He smacks Blaine across the shoulder with it.

"Ow!" Blaine hunches his shoulders and tries to back off. Kurt smacks him a couple more times with the book for good measure. "Hey-!"

"What did those two guys do to him, Blaine?" hisses Kurt, who is still vividly aware of being in the library -- of people overhearing. "I don't want people hurt because of me! Not even someone as foul as Karofsky!"

"Nothing!" Blaine insists. "They wouldn't do anything to him!"

"They had to have done something!" cries Kurt, lifting the book again.

"They just talked to him!" Blaine says, splaying his hands between them and then snatching the book out of Kurt's hands before he can get hit again. "I promise." Kurt grabs a slimmer book from the shelves -- something he can get some easy speed with -- but Blaine grabs him by the wrist before he can do anything with it. "Kurt, I swear. All they did was talk."

With Blaine's thumb rubbing over his pulse, all the fight drains out of Kurt. He sags a little, left with only one question -- the only one that has ever been worth asking, really.

"Who are you?" he asks. The Blaine that sends goons to Kurt's old high school is not a Blaine that he knows.

Blaine smiles, kind of quietly but every inch the friendly, steadfast guy that Kurt remembers having met. It's just that he doesn't expect Blaine to say: "I might be a bit of a mobster."

"A bit?" Kurt repeats, voice rising alarmingly.

"I mean, I'm not in charge or anything yet," continues Blaine in a bit of a rush, gesturing around the books in his hands. "For one thing, there's my dad and then my brother." He ducks his head and this time his smile is a little bashful, though the look he gives Kurt through his lashes is all suggestive heat. "But if you need me to do anything -- anything at all -- I can call in for favors with a couple of the guys."

Kurt thinks that maybe he should be nervous, knowing who Blaine is and what that means he's capable of doing. It makes Blaine a special brand of dangerous and really, Kurt shouldn't find it appealing at all. He supposes that there's loyalty to be found in mobs, though. At the very least, Blaine seems to have that in spades.

"I don't need anything from you," Kurt says. For a wild, brilliant moment, Blaine has a panicked expression, so Kurt touches Blaine's jaw with his fingertips -- just a slight press that seems to rein him in. "You've already given me everything."

(If a few years down the line finds Kurt eating biscotti and drinking coffee while Blaine learns how to shoot with a pistol at the range... Well. Never let it be said that a Hummel shied away from risk and danger.)
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April 2011

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