Title: Hope. Safety. Family. Each Other.
Word Count: 650
Summary: Written for Klaine AU Friday - ‘Vintage’ Theme. Kurt, a new soldier fighting in the first world war, finds hope and solace in an officer.
Kurt finds himself all alone in the darkened trench, hands trembling. He’s seen too much now; wants to go home. Just wants to wash off the dried dirt and blood from his hands, his hair, his uniform.
An officer approaches, sits beside him and holds a box of cigarettes in his outstretched hand.
“You look like you could use one.”
Kurt considers declining, but he needs something to occupy his unsteady hands, calm him down. He takes one, smiles his thank-you and allows the other man to light it for him.
“Blaine,” the officer says, holding out a hand to shake.
They are silent for a time, and Kurt lets the nicotine wash over him, head spinning almost pleasantly.
And then, “you’re new.”
Kurt almost chuckles, but he can’t. He’s too weary, too upset. A sarcastic, “am I so obvious?” suffices.
Blaine does chuckle, but it’s humorless. Broken, perhaps. He takes a final drag on his cigarette before stubbing it into the ground and exhaling. Kurt watches the smoke coil in the cold, misty air before it disappears completely. “It’s the hand trembling. The wide-eyed look. Nobody is expecting this when they first come here and everybody reacts just the same.”
“It gets easier?” Kurt asks. He wonders if he’ll become desensitized to the death that surrounds him, less scared on the battlefield, unresponsive to the sound of gunfire.
“No,” Blaine says. “It never gets easier. It just becomes easier not to show it.”
Kurt nods; doesn’t know how to respond. “How do you deal with knowing…” he can’t get the words out, chokes a little, “with knowing you might never - might never make it out of here?”
Blaine is silent, and suddenly Kurt regrets asking the question.
“Do you have a family, Kurt?” Blaine asks. Kurt thinks of his father, all alone on the farm they own together and he nods. Blaine nods, too. Swallows. “Me too. I just… I just don’t think about it. About not getting out of here, I mean.”
Kurt’s eyes prickle unexpectedly with tears. “How?”
“I - I don’t know. I suppose… I suppose if you die, you die, you know? There’s nothing you can do to prepare yourself for it.”
Kurt thinks of Burt, and what would happen to him if Kurt died. He’d be heartbroken, lonely. He’d sit all alone in his armchair and maybe he’d cry. Kurt’s never seen his father cry. He emits the tiniest sob at the image, and the tears in his eyes roll out onto his cheeks.
“Stop, shh,” Blaine takes Kurt’s hand in his own, clasping his fingers around Kurt’s and pulling it toward his chest, warm and soft. Kurt can feel his heartbeat. “I didn’t mean… I didn’t mean to sound so… It’s going to be okay, Kurt. It’s going to be okay.”
Kurt’s eye sparkle with the rest of his unshed tears, and he sniffles, nods, even smiles a little; pulling himself together and looking back up at Blaine. It’s a mystery to him, how a perfect stranger can be so comforting, can be all Kurt needs in that moment. Blaine smiles, brown eyes softening.
“Yes,” Kurt says. “Yes, it will be okay. We’ll get out of here, the both of us.”
Blaine nods encouragingly. “And maybe,” he says, his voice careful, his eyes searching for something in Kurt’s. “Maybe when we do, if you don’t already have a - a sweetheart…”
Kurt catches the meaning, urges Blaine on with a slight nod of his head.
“Maybe you’ll allow me to take you to dinner.”
Kurt smiles, feels a blush filling his cheeks but knows Blaine won’t see it under the dirt and blood. “I’d like that.”
Kurt’s hand tightens around Blaine’s, both of them clinging desperately to hope, safety, family, each other; both of them daring to believe what seems like the impossible.
Maybe they’ll make it through the war.