Title: Just Watch the Fireworks
Spoilers: all aired episodes
Word Count: ~3.5 k this part
Characters/Pairings: Kurt/Blaine, New Directions, Warblers, Wes
Disclaimer: I do not claim any ownership rights to Glee as it belongs to FOX network and the show’s producers. I do claim rights to the plot lines in this story and any original characters as well as the graphics used within the story. Title credit: Jimmy Eat World's Just Watch the Fireworks.
Summary: Wes’ senior year of high school is supposed to be a breeze: he’s got the perfect grades, he’s a shoe-in for the ivy-leagues, he’s got everything under control. But then Kurt Hummel steps into his life and Blaine falls in love with Kurt and, really, what else was Wes supposed to do? The story of how Wes Warbler gets through his final year at Dalton Academy and, how along the way, he helps his friends, discovers some things about himself and learns to love life.
Author’s Note: This story was started post Blame it on the Alcohol and pre Original Song. Some canon occurrences have been disregarded in order to fit the plot. Basically, it’s overly self indulgent and was written to make myself feel better about some things in the show. It's a monster, and it won't stop growing. :/ Not that I mind, I love Wes and I love writing him. Beta'd by the lovely medicatedxlives and noididnt
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6a | Part 6b
It’s not that Wes doesn’t like Kurt. It’s really not, because Kurt is a great guy. Wes knows that Dalton isn’t really Kurt’s thing and Kurt will probably never feel fully comfortable here, not everyone does.
That’s not the issue at hand here because Wes remembers sophomore year and he remembers that broken and shy kid with the crazy hair that transferred to Dalton in the beginning of third quarter. He remembers how long it took for him to coax the kid’s name out of him (two and a half days) and even then all he got was a quiet: Blaine.
And he gets why Blaine wants to help Kurt…to fix Kurt. It has everything to do with what Wes felt when he saw that fragile freshman sitting by himself in the dining hall and how much Wes just wanted to hurt anyone who could turn someone into – into that. It has more to do with the fact that Wes saw Blaine and wanted to fix him too.
Kurt is coming from a similar situation to Blaine’s, so try as he might, Wes can’t hate him. Can’t even dislike him because, as David said, the kid (and yeah, Wes is only two years older than him, but he feels a whole lot older) is so damn endearing.
Sometimes though, Wes can feel Kurt’s judgement. And it’s not like it’s the first time someone’s judged the Warblers. Wes will defend the glee club to his grave, but even he has to laugh at its ridiculous amount of even more ridiculous traditions. So, Wes knows where Kurt is coming from when he rolls his eyes every time the Warblers applaud after a member speaks and he can deal with that.
But the Warblers are his family – his brothers – just as much as he’s sure the New Directions are Kurt’s. So when Wes can feel the uncomfortable shiver of the newest Warbler’s judgement run down his spine, he gets a little cold and defensive.
That is how he ends up in his current situation: getting a dress down from David and Thad for his “deplorable behaviour” during Warblers rehearsal.
“What happened, Wes?” David asks. He sounds exasperated – it’s probably because Wes hadn’t done anything but clench and unclench his fists for the past fifteen minutes while his friends talked at him.
Wes rolls his eyes because he feels like being a petulant teenager for once in his life. “Look, don’t tell me you didn’t hear Kurt say what he said, alright? And it wasn’t even what he said; it was the way he said.”
“The way he said it? The way he said it? Could you possibly make any less sense here, Wes?” Thad sounds as tired as Wes feels.
Here’s the thing: all week, Wes has been fielding Kurt’s eye rolls and Kurt’s clear contempt for the way the Warblers run and it’s pretty obvious to Wes that Kurt misses his old glee club. So yeah he’s a bit wound up by the time rehearsals start. Kurt mutters, “Of course, it’s not like there’s anyone else in this group anyway,” in his usual indignant way when the councillors award Blaine the solo, and it’s like the straw that broke the camel’s back. It makes Wes snap for the first time since he was ten and still fought with his sister.
“Kurt,” he says, “I realize that the organization of the Warblers is a bit of a culture shock from the New Directions, but if you have a problem with it, please either voice your opinions or leave. We have no need for negative vibes here.” And wow, it felt really good to say that. But then Kurt got up and stormed out of the hall and Wes felt bad – not only because he made Kurt feel bad, but also because Wes is, for all intents and purposes, an adult and he should know better.
David and Thad had quickly dismissed the meeting and now, here he is.
Wes rubs his hands over his face and then through his hair. “I’m sorry, alright? It’s just – he’s – I get that this isn’t his thing. I get that Kurt is one of those people who are meant to stand out and that’s fine with me. But he’s here now. And we’re trying to find a place for him to fit and he’s not even trying.”
He looks up from his hands on his lap to see David and Thad listening intently to him so he continues.
“He’s like – Kurt’s like the new in-law. You know?”
Thad laughs. “No Wes, we don’t know. No one ever understands your analogies until you explain them. Why do you think English is your weakest subject?”
Wes shoots a withering glare at him and another at David when he too laughs. He sighs and tries to explain. “The Warblers are like our family you know?”
He sees his friends nod. “And Blaine kind of brought Kurt into it instead of Kurt integrating himself in. So it’s kind of like he married in. He misses his family and doesn’t know what to do in ours and doesn’t quite fit. But he’s not trying. And it’s really, really frustrating.”
David gets up from his seat on the window sill and walk towards Wes to clap a hand on his shoulder.
“I get that, man,” he says. “I do. But right now, we need Kurt on this team. Not only for Regionals either. Blaine’s whole world has been revolving around Kurt since that day he tried to spy on us and I know for a fact that if Kurt goes, Blaine will too. Which, by the way, you are so lucky he was out sick today. So please, just go apologize to Kurt?”
Wes doesn’t want to say sorry. He wants to be stubborn and give Kurt the cold shoulder. But as a senior councillor, he knows he has to be the bigger person here so he gets up and walks towards the door of the rehearsal hall.
“Wes?” David calls. Wes turns around and David and Thad give him small smiles. “We get it,” he says.
And Wes is so glad – so, so glad – that they do.
Kurt’s dorm is across the hall from Wes and Blaine’s. He knocks on the younger Warbler’s door and leans back on the frame to look at his own door.
There are dry-erase boards fixed to every dorm door. The rules require them to put the occupants’ names on them in large, visible writing, but Wes and Blaine’s names are scrawled in tiny letters in a corner of the board and the rest of the space is used to write snarky messages to each other.
Today, the board says: Wes, Blaine told me to tell you to stop texting him stupid doctor/patient jokes ~Jeff.
Wes laughs knowing that Blaine probably conned Jeff into writing it when the blond went to go visit the sick man in the infirmary.
He pulls out his phone and texts Blaine: I thought you might appreciate them. You can totally try to charm Dr. Turner with them :D – Wes
Kurt’s not answering the door, so he knocks again.
Kent, Kurt’s roommate opens the door looking like he hasn’t slept in two weeks and Wes just woke him up (which is actually probably the case since Wes knows Kent’s been trying to finish his school projects all the while juggling the fifty different clubs he’s a part of and hasn’t slept properly since they came back from winter break).
“Kurt’s not here,” he growls, “He went to go take a shower.” And he slams the door in Wes’s face.
Wes decides he’ll just wait out in the hall for Kurt to come back.
He makes himself comfortable against the wall and his phone buzzes: I said he was handsome ONCE. Let. It. Go. >_< - B
NEVER! – W, he replies.
Dude, I’m sick. Take pity on me – B.
Oh, like when you took pity on me and told everyone I had a massive thing for the Spice Girls? – W
Wes smiles thinking about exactly when it became this easy to talk with Blaine because he remembers those first few weeks when Blaine wouldn’t say anything to him.
Wes had been the only one of the boarders without a roommate back then, so the residence admin had assigned Blaine to his dorm.
At first, it was hard to remember that he even had a roommate because Blaine was so quiet. Try as he may have, Wes couldn’t get Blaine to open up. He remembers going to David and Jeff’s room frustrated and flustered; remembers talking to them about how someone could end up so fragile and broken.
He recalls one night when he woke up to see Blaine lying in the dark with his eyes open and clutching an old, battered copy of Catcher in the Rye to his chest, tears in his eyes. Wes felt so overwhelmed that he had to leave his room at two in the morning and wake David up. He’ll deny it ‘til the day he dies and so will David and Jeff, but he remembers getting choked up thinking about all the things someone would have had to go through to become the shell of a person Blaine was.
Wes leans his head back to the wall and closes his eyes thinking about the day he finally, finally got Blaine to talk to him.
Wes had been grateful to have a roommate like Blaine because Blaine knew boundaries and the rules of cohabitation. The only thing was – and he wouldn’t have said anything but it way really riling on him – Blaine tended to get a little messy. Not dirty because Wes was pretty sure (judging by the cleanliness and whiteness of the younger boy’s teeth) Blaine had impeccable hygiene. He was just disorganized – papers everywhere, books off their shelves, pens strewn across the carpet.
One day, three weeks after Blaine had moved in, Wes came into the room and stepped on a pen and just couldn’t handle it anymore.
“Blaine,” Wes started, “I mean this in the nicest way possible, but for the sake of my sanity and to calm my slight neurosis, could you possibly, please, I don’t know, pile your mess in a corner or something? I might actually go crazy if you don’t.”
The next morning, when he had come back from his morning run (he needed to stay fit for track season), Wes was greeted with a message written on the dry-erase board: I'm glad you cornered me about my mess problem. Hope everything's in its place now ;)
Curious, Wes stepped into his room and his jaw fell to the floor. There, in the far corner, Blaine had neatly and meticulously piled every last thing in their room including their beds. He wasn’t even mad because, wow. Blaine pulled off passive-aggressive really well.
Wes had started laughing so hard that the other students in the hall came out of their rooms to see for themselves. And later that night, after classes, he and Blaine put the room back together and Wes helped Blaine organize his notes and books and they shared little bits about themselves. They slipped into their easy camaraderie that night.
It was one of the best dorm pranks pulled in the time Wes had spent at Dalton but the only people who remember it now are the seniors and juniors who were there back then. Wes doesn’t mind so much. It’s one of his best memories at Dalton.
His phone buzzes in his hand again: You’re not even ashamed of it. You’ve got a life size cut out of Mel B in our dorm xD – B
Wes snickers, it’s true – Nick got it for him as a present for his birthday sophomore year.
“Something funny?” a cold voice asks.
Wes looks up and Kurt is standing above him sending him his best ice-queen glares.
“Hey, Kurt,” he starts, standing up. “Can we talk?”
“Are you going to snap at me some more?”
Wes scratches the back of his head, “No, I, uh, I came to apologize and maybe explain some things to you.”
Kurt considers him for a moment and then nods. “Fine. Let me go put my things in the room and we can do this in your room. I don’t want to bother Kent.”
“That’s fine – that’s great. I’ll be in our room just come in when you’re ready.”
Kurt keeps him waiting for ten minutes (which is good, Wes guesses, it gives him time to gather his thoughts) before he knocks on the door.
“Come in, sit,” he says as he lets Kurt in.
They sit in awkward silence for a bit, Wes on his bed and Kurt on Blaine’s.
“You’re the one who wanted to talk Wes,” Kurt says. “So talk.”
“OK,” Wes starts, “First of all, I am really sorry for what happened at rehearsal. That’s not me and I think you know that. But Kurt – you – you’re like that one white sock in a drawer full of grey socks alright? It’s like you have an extra grey sock and an extra white one but not a pair…am I making sense?” He’s nervous, why the hell is he nervous?
“No, Wes, you’re not.”
“Right, OK. So you’re this white sock in a drawer full of grey socks and no matter what, you’ll always just be a few shades lighter than everyone else. And that’s why I snapped at you today.”
Kurt looks sceptical, “So what you’re telling me is, you got mad because I don’t fit in?”
And Wes can tell Kurt is going to the defensive. “No! No, Kurt. I was angry because you weren’t trying.”
“I have been trying, Wes! I put on this stifling uniform everyday; I’m taking courses I never would have wanted to take; I’m taking care of a canary because it’s tradition! How can you say that I’m not trying?”
Wes sighs, “Kurt, the uniforms and the courses are things that you have to do in order to go to school here. And you like Pavarotti. That’s not trying Kurt. You’ve got this idea in your head that Dalton is some kind of repressing penitentiary that’s trying to suck your soul out. Like you’re Pav stuck in his cage or something.
“The thing is Pav isn’t some legacy bird, Kurt. We found Pav at the animal shelter, his wing was broken and he could barely sing. So we brought him here and took care of him. And eventually, he started to sing again. Even if we wanted to let him fly, he couldn’t. So we keep him safe, and we give a home and we feed him.
“And that’s what we’re trying to do for you. We’re trying to give you a home and a family, but you already have that and you’re only here temporarily.”
Kurt opens his mouth to speak.
“No, Kurt don’t deny it. We both know you’re only here until whatever it was that forced you to come here leaves McKinley. And that’s fine. You’re not the first and you won’t be the last to do that.
“But the Warblers are my family Kurt. They’re my only family and that’s the case for a lot of us. When we try to find a place for you in our family, it’s a pretty big deal. The fact that you don’t want to be a part of this, it’s slightly insulting and I got defensive. So I am sorry for making you feel like you were unwanted. You’re not. We want you Kurt. And speaking from a strictly competitive point of view, we need you.
“More than that, however, we need you to understand that this is more than a competition for us. We need you to regard this as a band of brothers even if you don’t want to be one of them. Because winning Regionals is not as important to us as staying together is. Do you get that?”
Wes sees understanding flash across Kurt’s face.
“Apology accepted Wes. I’ll see you at rehearsal on Wednesday.” Kurt stands to leave but pauses to say, “And I’ll think about what you said, I’ll try Wes.”
He gives him a small smile and Kurt leaves.
Wes may suck at analogies, but he’s damn good at metaphor.
The Warblers are a well oiled machine. They have emergency plans for almost any situation, schedules for everything and classes specifically chosen to work around Warblers’ events. This is how they can take care of each other when one of them needs help.
Blaine gets sick with the flu on Thursday night. Wes calls an emergency meeting Friday morning before classes. By eight-thirty they’ve got a full rotary schedule worked out. There is at least one Warbler with a spare every period. The senior councillors have everyone sign up to keep Blaine company during whichever period they have free.
Stacy and Alex don’t sign up because they have to keep their 4.0 GPAs up and they need to study every free moment they have. That’s cool, they get it. So Wes tells them to take fifteen minutes during lunch to go see Blaine and they tell him that it was their plan to do so anyway. Trent and John are in Columbus for their fencing meet for the week so they’re off the list too.
Dr. Turner tells them that Blaine will most likely be out for a week so they make a schedule for visitation spanning seven days.
Warbler Lynn’s Visitation Schedule – delivered during morning announcements on Friday, wrinkled in a game of paper-basketball with Warbler Jeff during lunch and stained by Warbler Alex’s coffee on Saturday morning.
Today is Saturday and some of the Warblers (Stacy, Lynn, Bailey, Alex and Kurt) have gone home for the weekend. Wes knows for a fact that Blaine’s mother came to see him for an hour this morning before leaving for New York or Monaco or wherever the hell it was that Blaine mentioned.
Wes takes his time in the morning. He gets up around eight o’clock, goes down to the dining hall for a hardy breakfast of pancakes, scrambled eggs and sausages and finishes all the homework he has due on Monday. By the time he finishes, it’s noon and his stomach is growling for food. He asks Mary-Anne (the day cook) to fix up a plate for him as well as Blaine.
When Wes walks into the infirmary juggling two trays of food and a bag full of Blaine’s homework, his roommate is sitting up in his bed with his glasses on, reading his age old copy of Catcher in the Rye. This either means that Kurt talked to Blaine about Friday’s rehearsal and Blaine is upset with Wes or that Blaine’s mother opened her mouth and Blaine is just plain upset. Whichever it is, Wes knows to approach with caution.
“Hey man!” Wes greets. “I brought lunch. Mary-Anne made tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches and a strawberry milkshake just for you.”
Blaine sounds distant so Wes sets to getting his friend to talk to him immediately. He sets one tray on the table beside the bed and puts the other one in Blaine’s lap and hands him a spoon for his soup.
He digs into his food before asking, “What’s up?”
Blaine frowns. “Kurt and David told me about rehearsal yesterday. What the hell happened, Wes?”
“I don’t suppose Kurt told you about our conversation last night?”
“He said you apologized – nothing past that.”
“Don’t worry about it alright? I just got wound up and Kurt’s constant complaints got to me and I lashed out. But I apologized and told him why I did it. We’re good, Blaine. Don’t get worked up about it, just work on getting better.”
Blaine looks like he wants to say something, but he nods and takes a bite of his sandwich.
“I heard your mom visited this morning.”
Wes sighs. Blaine won’t talk to him unless he asks all the questions. He hates this Blaine – the one that shuts everyone out and insists on taking the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“Blaine, you either tell me what she said or I poke and prod, and ask uncomfortable questions until I know exactly what went down between the two of you.”
“She didn’t say anything. She just came in to sign some medical forms and Dr. Turner told her about my condition and she gave me my birthday present because she and dad are going to be out of the country for the next few months. Then she told me to get better and left.”
Wes had decided a long time ago that some people should never be given the privilege of being parents. Wes’ parents should never have been parents and neither should have Blaine’s.
“Shit, Blaine. I’m sorry.”
“Yeah, well, you’re probably the only one who would understand anyway,” Blaine says softly, giving Wes a watery smile.
Wes returns his smile.
“What’d they get you for your birthday?”
“Platinum Hermes watch and the keys to the penthouse in New York. She said I could have all my little friends over for spring break.”
“Dude! That’s great! You can call all the Warblers over and we can put on impromptu shows in Central Park.”
Blaine chuckles. “Wes, it’s not impromptu if you plan on it. And no way in hell am I letting you bring your uniforms to New York.”
“Don’t be sill Blaine. We won’t be performing as the Warblers, just as a group of friends. Plus, you’ll have to invite
James and Carter and Louis. They’re all at Brown right?”
“Yeah, they’ll probably kill me if they find out that the Warblers were in New York and I didn’t call them up. And Wes?”
“Stop trying to make sill happen. It’s never going to happen,” Blaine laughs.
“Lies! Teller of false truths!” Wes exclaims.
They reminisce about other Warblers who have graduated since Blaine came to Dalton and joke about their stupid pranks and weekend outings. The conversation flows from glee club, to books and movies to life in general and before he knows it, it’s five o’clock and Dr. Turner is coming in to check up on Blaine.
“Wesley, keeping Blaine company are we?”
“You know it Doc. Can’t leave Blaine to his own devices – who knows what he’ll get up to?” Wes laughs.
Blaine shoots a glare at him. “Wes, isn’t your girlfriend supposed to be visiting in ten minutes?”
Wes’ eyes grow wide because his girlfriend, Jasmine, absolutely hates it when he’s late and this is the first time since Christmas they’ll be seeing each other so he doesn’t want to get into a fight.
“Crap!” he shouts and gathers up his things. “I’ll see you later Blaine!” he yells as he runs out of the infirmary.