Title: Beautifully Wrong
Rating: NC-17 (overall and to be safe - most of it stays in PG-13 territory)
Characters: ftm!Blaine, Kurt, Blaine's parents, Cooper, Sebastian, Trent, various ND members, non-major OCs.
Spoilers: Up to 3.22 to be safe. Canon up to 3.05 and largely canon compliant beyond that (with some notable exceptions), but necessarily AU because of the subject matter.
Warnings (this part): Angst. And, uh, Finn? :)
Word count (this part): 2900
Summary: Blaine is FtM (female to male transgender) and no one at McKinley knows about it, but he realizes this has to change if he wants his relationship with Kurt to survive. This fic explores different aspects of Blaine's transition and how it affects his relationships with those closest to him.
This part: Finn muses on Blaine and his own behavior towards him.
Alternate channels: FanFiction.net Scarves&Coffee Tumblr post
Prologue // 1A // 1B // 2 // 3 // 4A // 4B // 4C //
When Finn announced on Friday after glee rehearsal that he wanted to drive to Kentucky and convince Sam Evans to come back to Lima and rejoin New Directions, he said that they needed star power, and he wasn't lying per se. Sam was an excellent performer, and they did desperately need members for the club, but the real reason Finn brought him up was that, as the club's acting captain, he felt like he should be contributing something, other than following Cooper Anderson's every order. Not that Cooper wasn't helping them, and it was awesome that he was doing it all for free, but Finn was still captain and he couldn't be seen to not be pulling his weight.
And besides, why did Cooper have to be Blaine's older brother?
Finn had had no particular feelings towards Blaine when he had just been this faceless name of a kid that Kurt went to school with and had crush on – except maybe mild annoyance, which wasn't really Blaine's fault, of course. It was just that Kurt had talked about him a lot and, as Finn's mother had taught him when he was six years old, too much of a good thing could actually be a bad thing – Finn just wished she would have told him that before he had eaten the entire tub of ice cream.
Anyway, the point was that he didn't have a problem with Blaine, and once he became Kurt's boyfriend, and Finn actually met the guy, he liked him well enough – or as much as you could like the guy that was dating your brother. You were supposed to be kind of protective of your sibling and seem a bit intimidating towards the guy, right? Granted, Kurt was only his step-brother, and had been for less than two years, and also Kurt was actually several months older not to mention a whole lot smarter than Finn, but Finn still couldn't help feeling big-brotherly towards Kurt. Maybe it was like an optical illusion where, because Kurt was so little and Finn was so big, Finn kept forgetting that Kurt was technically the big brother in the relationship. Or maybe it was because in the beginning when everyone had expected him to stand up for Kurt when he was getting bullied, Finn had failed so miserably, and now he was sort of trying to make up for it.
Whatever the reason, Finn felt protective, yes, but he had never felt the need to actually protect his brother from Blaine, because the dude seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Even when he had Finn's mom practically cooing over him and making Finn feel like an inadequate son, Finn couldn't find it in himself to hate the guy. Blaine was just so damned likeable.
But then Blaine had followed Kurt to McKinley and everything changed.
Finn was being an ass to Blaine. Somewhere he did know that, even if he tried to tell everyone, including himself, that he was just trying to protect the club from attention seekers and ball hoggers (ignoring that he himself was dating one) and that he as a team captain knew what he was doing more so than Blaine did, so could he please sit down, fall in line and let Finn talk.
The thing was that as easy as it was to like Blaine, the person and the brother-in-law, as difficult it was not to resent Blaine, the performer. Because here Finn had worked hard for two whole years to become the singer and dancer the club needed him to be to take them to Nationals, and in waltzed Blaine Anderson with his enthusiasm and charm and lead soloist experience, and he was just instantly better? How was that fair? All Finn had on Blaine was his leadership qualities and experience, and if he let Blaine take that away from him, Finn had nothing. He would just be another decently talented vocalist and a mediocre dancer. Even Mike had turned out to have quite a decent voice on him, and Mike could dance – as in dance. As in he could probably get a scholarship to some fancy performing arts school, if his dad didn't force him to go to med school. What did Finn have? As of a month ago, his football career was officially going nowhere and his GPA wasn't exactly something to brag about either. All Finn really had was his glee club captaincy, and he wasn't about to give it up without a fight.
So for three months Finn had taken nearly every opportunity to assert his power over Blaine and to generally act like a jerk to him. It was only lately that Finn was starting to realize that Blaine had no intention of usurping him as a leader and that probably what he wanted out of glee club more than anything was to fit in and have fun. Also if anyone had a problem with Blaine's brother being part of the process, it was probably Blaine himself. Finn hadn't failed to notice that he had gotten significantly moodier since Cooper's arrival, and once or twice Finn thought he saw him biting back what probably would have been a snarky retort to one of his brother's many notes.
Honestly, the dude seemed kind of stressed lately.
Which was why Finn didn't say anything on Tuesday afternoon when he and Sam found themselves in a disagreement about the merits of body rolls. A month ago Finn would have probably thrown himself at Sam's idea, grateful for yet another opportunity to show Blaine where his place was, but now he wasn't so sure if he didn't just want to agree with Blaine. It wasn't like Finn could really do a body roll, anyway, or at least not one that wouldn't get him laughed off the stage. Before Finn could gather his thoughts, though, Cooper was cutting in.
'No, no. Sam, that's a great idea,' he said, clapping Sam on the shoulder. 'Where did you find this one again?' he asked, turning to Finn, and Finn nearly found himself blurting In a strip club, but bit his tongue. 'Kentucky? Well done, Finn. Way to show initiative.'
Blaine sent Finn a sour look at that, and Finn felt like defending himself and pointing out that he hadn't actually done anything this time, and he couldn't help it if the two brothers didn't get along, but instead he ended up just kind of shrugging awkwardly at Blaine and scratching the back of his head.
'Come on, guys,' Cooper called out to the group. 'Give it a try. Watch Sam.' Finn looked awkwardly on from the sidelines as everyone but he and Blaine tried out the new move, and Blaine gave an exasperated sigh when the reactions were largely positive.
'Come on, Blaine,' Cooper called from the other side of the room, where he was attempting to show Rory how to do it properly. 'Just try it out.'
'No, we don't need to resort to... that,' Blaine said, indicating Cooper's movements. 'It's cheap, you know, it's- it's selling out.'
'Honestly, Blaine,' Cooper chided. 'Don't be such a prude.' Blaine closed his eyes and made a strange movement with his head, as if to swat off a fly.
'I came back here to win,' Sam said next. 'When you're desperate, sometimes you gotta use your assets in order to get back the advantage. This,' Sam thrust his hips. 'is the advantage.'
'Of course that's what you think,' Blaine replied, taking a step closer to Sam. 'You have to think that in order to sleep at night.'
'What the hell does that mean?' Sam demanded, all color draining from his face. Finn stepped forward then, sensing where this was going and trying to intervene. And honestly, did Kurt have to share everything with his boyfriend?
'Guys, please... This is getting off-track,' he interjected, but both Sam and Blaine ignored him, their eyes fixed on each other.
'It means,' Blaine snarled. 'That I'm not for sale.' Sam's eyes flared in anger and he shoved Blaine hard, and Blaine pushed him back.
'Hey!' Cooper yelled, and he was on them immediately, breaking up the fight before it could escalate. He gripped Blaine by the arm, dragging him towards Mr. Schue's office, hissing in his ear, 'In here.' The whole group watched them in stunned silence, the only sound coming from Sam who was breathing heavily. A moment later the door slammed shut behind them and the blinds were pulled, blocking them from view. Finn turned to Kurt.
'Dude, what is going on with him? This isn't like him.' Kurt opened his mouth but no sound came out. He looked just as shocked as everyone else.
'I think I'd better go in there,' Mr. Schue said, stepping forward. 'See what's going on.'
'Don't,' Kurt warned. 'We'll take care of it.' Mr. Schue looked conflicted for a moment, watching as Kurt moved to go in there himself, but then he turned his attention instead to other boy.
'Sam, are you okay?' he asked standing next to him, and putting a hand on his shoulder.
'Yeah,' Sam breathed, visibly trying to calm himself down. 'I'm sorry, but he's got some nerve.'
'Yeah...' Finn said, more to himself than anyone, turning his head to glance towards the the closed office from where raised voices sounded, but no words that he could make out. He felt kind of responsible. Without really realizing he was doing it, Finn had walked over there, opened the door, entered and closed the door behind him.
Blaine and Cooper were standing towards the back of the room, facing each other, and Kurt was watching them from a few feet away, his back to the door. He didn't seem to register that Finn was there.
'What the hell is with you, Blaine?' Cooper was saying, voice raised in anger but not quite shouting. 'Starting fights? You were raised better than this.'
'That's right. Go ahead and tell me how I'm never good enough,' Blaine yelled at his brother. 'Stupid, screwed up Blaine. Always such a damned disappointment, right? Can't do anything right. Can't sing. Can't dance. Can't be a daughter. Can't be a son. Can't be a sister, or a brother. Can't be a girl. Can't be a boy. Can't be a boyfriend... Can't be anything but a freak.'
'Hey, little brother.' Cooper's hands were raised and his voice had lost its angry edge, now just trying to calm his brother down. 'I won't have you talk like that.'
Blaine, however was not about to back down and he rounded on Finn next. 'And you!' he snapped so harshly that it made Finn flinch, and both Cooper and Kurt startled, surprised to see him standing just inside the door. 'What is you problem with me, anyway? Ever since I got here, you've given me nothing but crap.'
'Honestly, dude, I was kind of jealous,' Finn replied as calmly as he could, remembering from his numerous fights with Rachel that, unless he wanted the fight to escalate, it was always best to keep himself as composed as possible. Blaine made a noise of disbelief as though he couldn't see how that was possible. 'I felt threatened. Your talent kind of freaked me out. Made me question whether or not I was good enough. Blaine, I'm sorry. I've been acting like a jackass to you.'
Blaine made an unimpressed gesture as if to say "well, yeah. Duh."
'It was stupid and childish, and I'm sorry if I've made you feel like, like-' Finn searched for words. He hadn't really understood most of Blaine's rant, but he knew that it wasn't good. 'Like a disappointment or...'
'I think you're giving yourself too much credit,' Cooper told him quietly as Blaine sank heavily into a chair.
'I'm just so sick of trying so hard all the time,' Blaine mumbled, resting his elbows on his knees and pressing the heels of his hands against closed eyes.
'Then don't,' Kurt said, rushing forward and kneeling in front of Blaine, pulling at his wrists and making him look up. 'Just be you.'
'What if I'm not enough?' Blaine whispered so quietly that Finn could barely hear – and he was beginning to feel like maybe he really shouldn't hear.
'Enough...' Blaine swallowed. 'Enough man. For them. For you.'
'You are, Blaine. You are. You don't have to try.'
Blaine had always been small next to Finn (well, so was anyone), but he seemed positively tiny right now. Even when he stood up to his full height, facing away from all of them, he appeared to want to sink into the floor. 'You deserve someone who can make love to you. Properly.'
Finn sucked in a breath. He still had no clue what was going on or why Blaine was upset, but he felt certain that he really shouldn't be here for this. However, during everything they had somehow all switched places, and now Finn couldn't make it to the door without attracting attention, which seemed even more awkward and rude than just staying put and pretending he wasn't here.
'Properly?' Kurt repeated. 'Properly is me and you, that's what's proper. Everything else is just details.'
'You don't have to pretend. I know,' Blaine choked out. 'I've seen way you look at me when you think I can't see.'
'Like I think you're amazing and brave?' Kurt replied without missing a beat. 'Like I admire your strength and courage to be who you are?' Kurt put a hand on Blaine's shoulder, urging him to turn around. 'Like I can't believe the crap you've been through, and I'm kind of in awe that you're still standing? Like that?'
There were tears in Blaine's eyes as he watched Kurt with a softening expression. Finn was once again overwhelmed with the feeling that he was watching something extremely private, and he wished he had the power of teleportation, but no one seemed pay him any mind. The two of them had eyes only for each other, and Cooper's gaze was fixed on his brother, a strange look on his face, that Finn couldn't quite read.
'I thought maybe...' Blaine mumbled but trailed off.
'I'm in this with you, Blaine,' Kurt stressed, his voice soft. 'When are going to get that through your thick skull?'
Blaine sighed. I'm sorry. I get so lost in my head sometimes. I'd braced myself for rejection, and then when it didn't happen, I was so confused, I guess I just didn't know how to handle it. And then it was just one thing on top of another, and- and I'm an idiot.'
'It's okay, I get it.' Kurt reached out to cup Blaine's face, wiping away a tear with his thumb. 'But next time you talk to me, okay? Cause you're not a freak, Blaine. And I've never loved you more.'
Blaine nodded, whispering, barely audible, 'Okay.'
'Okay? Promise me you're not just saying that. Because I need to know that I can trust you, and that includes trusting you to trust me. Otherwise this isn't going to work.'
'Okay, I'll try. I'll- I'll do better. I promise.'
'Kurt.' Finn pulled his brother aside twenty minutes later. Glee rehearsal was up and running again, and in one corner Blaine was talking seriously to Sam, evidently apologizing for his earlier words.
'You shouldn't have followed,' Kurt told him plainly when they entered the hallway, empty except for a small group of football players chatting at someone's locker.
'I'm sorry. I was worried,' Finn replied defensively. 'Still kinda am. What was all that about?'
Kurt narrowed his eyes at Finn. 'You don't know?'
'No!' Kurt was making him feel stupid. 'All I heard was a bunch of talk about being a man or something, and then a lot of crying. You'd think Blaine was dying or something. Wait, he's not, is he?' Finn added, suddenly frightened. Kurt had had enough sickness and dying in his life.
'No, he's not sick,' Kurt said so fervently that Finn had to believe him.
'Then what? I know it's probably none of my business, but it's just, that was kind of intense in there.'
'I know. But he's fine,' Kurt reiterated. 'There are issues, yes, but we're dealing with them, and he's fine. I can't say any more, because the secret isn't mine to share. But you don't have to worry, I promise.' Kurt made to walk back inside, but turned back to add, 'But still, don't repeat what you heard to anyone. Not even to Rachel.' Kurt thought for a few seconds. 'Especially not to Rachel.'
Finn was honestly still a little worried and as the afternoon wore on he kept a bit of a closer eye than normal on Blaine, and in fact over the next few days he kept watching for any sign that he should be concerned, but Blaine seemed fine, really. In the end Finn put it out of his mind, trusting in his brother. And besides, whatever it was obviously wasn't any of Finn's business. All he really needed to know was that Blaine was good to perform at Sectionals on Saturday, or else they would all have something to worry about. That was all that mattered, and if there was one thing Finn knew about Blaine, it was that he was always ready to perform. The rest was none of Finn's business.
I'll post the first part of chapter 5 next weekend.
Continue to 5A