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So much for my happy ending

Once again, like a genius, I have dawdled so long on completing this it's impossible to have the same perspective now as I did a month ago, before I'd read a zillion fics and 20 reams of meta/reactions and every spoiler in existence up through 4x10 until the next episode was mere days away.

Doesn't mean I'm not going to try, though. Plus this way you get a whole package of fic recs at the end.

Glee, 4x04, "The Break-Up"

I have made a whole series of locked posts wailing and gnashing my teeth about my OTP, but since this is public and I still pretend random people read these, I may repeat some things in one of their sections for relevance.

First, here is a fantastic macro set summarizing the episode so awesomely that I practically have it memorized at this point.

Second, here's a post where I talked about my expectations for each couple going in; I think there's some unique stuff in there.

Now off to our categories. I'm mixing the music in wherever it makes sense. Don't be fooled by how short the first two sections are; I will more than exhaust every scene involving our New York quartet.

Quick Hits

Welcome Back Hudson: Adding this just to comment on the cute morning conversation and my fascination with how Kurt maintains such a strong relationship with both of them no matter what, without getting dragged to a side.

Will/Emma: NO ONE CARES. The end.

Jake/Kitty/Marley: STILL DO NOT CARE. I am here for welcoming Marley into the fold, but my invitation did not extend to Human Garbage Junior and Blow-Up Bitch Doll.

Fake Rapture: Is literally worth it only for this moment, whereupon I was shocked to discover how much I love Santana in the context of looking down her nose at ridiculous teenagers:

(and, okay, possibly for Brittany's startlingly self-aware "You don't get it. You left me behind and it hurt." Otherwise, forever bitter that we lost out on New York times for this waste.)

Will/Finn: This I care about a lot. In a "jumping and twirling and yaycakes another falling-apart-on-his-shoulder hug!!!!!!" way. I will never apologize for loving the relationship between these two. Mr. Schue is only as awful as the company he keeps.

...and I realize I am open to mockery by considering Finn "better company." I'm not saying it wouldn't have been better to get a Kurt/Rachel scene, but Will/Connecting With Students moments are rare enough to allow it.

Finn/Army/New Dreams: UGH. He would have been great in the army, why would you waste that, and more to the point, I can't believe Will is going to leave and Finn The Idiot gets to actually be in charge of the glee club when Kurt was RIGHT. THERE. We were agonizingly close to perfection on so many levels.

Brittany/Santana
("You don't know how lovely you are")
I can't stand their relationship, and I still hated this ending. I get extra resentful when people decide that giving up just in case it goes south is the "mature" thing to do, because I think it's decidedly more "pathetic." I also don't see how "this isn't working" - those home-for-laundry visits seemed like a spectacular way to ease the long distance aspect of it, unless Santana means "this isn't working because I'm a flaky bitch who can't be bothered to remember to chat with my girlfriend online and I'm too young/hot/horny be tethered to her schedule anyway."

If the shippers would own up to that instead of nodding sagely and accepting the end as a brave way to go about it, I'd be better. All I see, though, is Santana not being willing to try hard enough. Which is okay, in the sense that she and Britt make better friends than lovers (at least emotional lovers) anyway, but I see myself reflected in Brittany's crumbling face. I doubt Brittany has enough brain cells to be devastated for long, but I wouldn't survive a rejection like that.

It kind of stings when I see people mention that Brittany and Santana seem least likely to get back together, though. Really? I mean, I'm fine with that; if we have to sacrifice any ship to get others back I call THIS ONE, but I feel bad for their supporters.

♪♪ (-) Mine: This is the only number I refuse to listen to, because I need Glee to a) stop giving away all my favorite songs for Santana to sing to Brittany, especially if they require gender-bending the lyrics, and b) stop ruining my gorgeous Taylor Swift songs, so long coveted, by giving them to undeserving characters. But. I feel like someone horribly, horribly misinterpreted the lyrics on this one. You get how that song is all about staying together NO MATTER WHAT, right? Like, did you friggin' miss the whole verse that goes

Braced myself for the goodbye
‘cause that’s all I’ve ever known
Then you took me by surprise
You said, "I’ll never leave you alone."


???????????????? Granted Santana is the boy in this song, but that just makes it worse.

OTP: Talk To Me
I looked at list of context-free quotes right before the episode aired. All I cared about in the whole world was making sure our ship was the one that got "I really miss you. A lot. I miss talking to you. I miss hugging you..." AND BABY, WE GOT IT. I'm so pleased I can't even care about "I miss messing around you" being tacked on at the end, because it's actually fairly adorable how he lowers his voice and mumbles that part. Look at me, all suddenly willing to accept references to NC-17 romance! (it's very important that they stay vague references) But this way it satisfies all aspects of a relationship. They're boys; I can only Disney up my expectations so much.

Building on 4x03, this whole conversation is everything I wanted in the conflict realm: Blaine finally trying to tell Kurt what's wrong and still getting brushed off. You think Blaine should be able to hear that Kurt's under pressure at the moment and it means something that he tried to call in a spare second anyway, but I don't think it registers because it's just part of a pattern. "This could be a career for me" can sound like two very different and equally valid things depending on your perspective: a plea to understand why this is important, or a confirmation that Work Comes First, You Come Second.

Kurt's not at fault for hanging up without "I love you," but I love how much it stings when you're already hurting. You feel for both of them here, which is how it should be - Kurt should be paying more attention, but Blaine should know, or at least trust, that it will get better and it's nothing to do with lack of interest. "You're coming in two weeks, right?" It sounds so deceptively easy when he says it. Two weeks is nothing in the grand scheme of things; just put your emotions on pause until we can take care of them.

In shallower commentary, this part gave rise to a sudden rash of "AU crisis hotline!" fics, the very best of which is this one:

On The Line: Volunteering at the crisis hotline was a choice that Kurt was always glad he’d made, but he didn’t realize just how much it would affect his life until the one night and one call that changed it all.

It gets very sappy and indulgent by the end in all the best ways. It makes me look forward to weekends so I can pretend all these things are happening as we speak.

Cheater, Cheater, Lighthouse Eater (too crass?)
Not actually ready to talk about what a fuckup Blaine is; I don't care about his motivations and I have yet to reach the point where I want to understand, much less attempt to sympathize. But there are a couple of fic recs at the bottom that cover it.

OTP: Hearts and Roses
There are so many things I love about this moment I don't know where to start.-Blaine's face when he pops out from behind the roses. Even after what we've just seen, for that one second, his eyes are sparkling and he's warm and carefree and everything I've been missing all year.

-The way Kurt's face lights up upon seeing him. Any doubts Blaine had about them just went up in smoke.

-"I couldn't wait. I missed you too much." *insert obligatory THEN WHY DIDN'T YOU COME HERE FIRST rant*

-TWO HUGS IN FOUR EPISODES WHAT IS THIS MAGIC.

-Not only did we get a kiss on top of that, it is my favorite kiss they've ever had. It's all I've wanted for as long as they've been dating, just a quick (but meaningful) press of the lips. My favorite thing about it is how Kurt's hair wobbles from the speed and pressure with which they connect*. THAT is what an RS-approved kiss looks like. Victory lap!
*After countless hours of scientific study, I think that's all on Kurt's end after Blaine goes for something softer. I don't care who's ultimately responsible, but this way would please me.

-I just hate how they haven't even touched before Rachel's head is in the frame, ruining the shot in her haste to hug Blaine. As much as I crave that friendship, it's like some FOX censor was off screen going, "HANG ON, WTF, GAY KISSING? RACHEL BERRY, ARE YOU ASLEEP ON JOB? GET IN THERE AND STOP THAT!" Look, she's even shaking her head like, "Nope nope nope! Not on my watch!"

Finn/Rachel: Alone With You, Alone With Me
The first thing that grabs my attention about them is how Finn tries to decline going out because he hasn't even sung in months. Holy flash of a midlife depression crisis, batman! The thing that hurts best in this episode is how much Rachel is his cheerleader. She has the saddest face when he says that - disappointment, like she doesn't understand what's happened to him, but she wants to try. She tried to spur him and on and brush off the Discharge For Intolerable Stupidity like it was nothing, she keeps trying in the bar; she never stops trying. I wonder, if they'd managed to get around to getting married, whether Rachel wouldn't have spent her whole life trying to keep him going (and whether it would have undone her in the end).

That's part of what makes "Barely Breathing" so frustrating, because Rachel is all over him. Of course Finn isn't good enough for her, but he's not supposed to realize that. It's still weird how he does such a sudden 180 from "I'm not good enough but please love me anyway" to "cheating whore, j'accuse!", so I can only assume that's lashing out and he's as upset with himself as her?

I'll never understand how Finn thought it would be okay to stop communicating with her for 2 months and assume she'd still be waiting with open arms when he decided he'd played the role of "dutifully freedom-granting" boyfriend long enough. I assumed that was him trying to break up with her without saying it out loud, and I think she did too. Wait, I've got it - he wanted validation that Rachel could experience New York free of distractions and love it but still want him as much as ever, didn't he? And he didn't get that.

We'll come back to this.

I'm Not Really Good At Talking About My Feelings
(I'm Much Better At Singing Them)


 ♪♪ +Barely Breathing: I was excited when I recognized this as "a song on the radio." But I never had any idea what the lyrics were before. RIGHT IN THE HEART. For both boys, to be honest (have I mentioned how surprisingly well their voices blend?), even though Finn's is extra ridiculous because Rachel is right there fawning over him and he's blatantly refusing to see it. Blaine's just hurts. There's a boatload of meta about the stage part of the montage, but I subtracted a plus sign for the choir room part because I still don't understand why cheating had to be brought into it; the song is sad enough on its own. Don't know who I'm kidding, imagining you care. 

 ♪♪ ++ Give Your Heart A Break: Shockingly gorgeous as a duet with the stripped-down instrumentation. It's also the first time I've heard Brody sing, and while I'm crediting him as "some nobody" on the Music List, he doesn't sound half bad on his solo verse. Maybe if he would just shut up and sing while keeping his body covered up, I'd like him more. Meanwhile Rachel always looks like a beautiful dream, and this is the type of music she does best.

 ♪♪ ++ Teenage Dream: The studio version is a gilded lily - or as one wise commenter put it, "the studio version is what I imagine Blaine THOUGHT he would sound like" - but the heartbreaky full-of-tears live version is good enough to go in the library too. This is going to be one of my favorite performances of the year. Kurt's face is magnificent as it morphs from proud and happy to concerned/worried/scared; Blaine's face rips your heart to shreds long before his voice breaks at the end. "I'll let you put your hands on me" suddenly has so much horrible other significance. The way he presses his lips together at the end kills me.


I can't find the gif I want, so the second-best look will have to do for now.

 ♪♪ ++ Don't Speak: I have to give props on the direction here. I've been dying to hear the full version ever since we heard those first tantalizing lines in August, and the 4-part arrangement completely delivers on all expectations, but everything from the walking/running away in the park to the silent bedtime routine looks so pretty, even when it looks like their gestures should be overwrought and melodramatic.

However: my very favorite thing is that for all that, they go to sleep in the same bed. On opposite sides, not speaking and facing away to start out, but it's not a distant hotel room or even the couch, and that gives all the fic writers free rein to do whatever they want between bedtime and morning. It's the last measure of comfort we're allowed.

OTP: Boulevard of Broken Dreams
It's been a month, and I'm still partly dead inside. Because if there was one thing I believed, it was that Blaine would never cheat. Ever. It wasn't even in my realm of possibility. When the spoilers hit the morning before, I spent the first hour feeling numb and sick to my stomach with disbelief, because this is Blaine. Blaine is the sweetest person you will ever meet. He wouldn't do this. This. Would. Not. Happen. (it took a while before the 48-hour rage followed by the I'm-still-in-it phase of depression kicked in)

Let's start here:


This is it. The last moment of exquisitely painful, hopeless hope that he won't say it. That your instincts are wrong, that there's a reasonable explanation, some other reason he's here and upset.
(dear Tumblr, still want my 'I have cancer' AU gifset)

He says it anyway.


(point of note - if Kurt is anything like all of us, I don't think he expected Blaine to admit to cheating, either. He was worried about Blaine just breaking up with him, for whatever reason. And suddenly it's so much more horrible than being dumped and nothing you were prepared to hear.)

I find it interesting that Kurt is so quick to accuse Sebastian, even now. Is it better or worse that it's not? Like, thank god it's not Smirky Little Meerkat Face - but how is there this whole other person in Blaine's life Kurt doesn't even *know*?

For the record, Blaine has exactly zero legs to stand on. Yes, Kurt needed better time management and under different circumstances I would have been keen to hear apologies for making Blaine feel like he wasn't important, but not now (and probably not ever). Any faults on Kurt's end are null and void in the wake of HORRIBLE AND AWFUL. I'm just going to borrow fanfic lines for how I feel about this -- every line from somewhere different and in no particular order.

[I'm even going to cut them in case you want to skip the regurgitated words. Man, I am loving spoiler text. It's like an instanteous footnote. Encourages me to be totally irresponsible with word count.]
Nobody could be trusted if Blaine couldn't be trusted.

Blaine had a choice, and he chose someone else.

Right now, Blaine is a stranger wearing a face Kurt knows almost as well as his own.

"I don't want to be that guy who has to worry every time he goes out of town that it's going to happen again."

He used to have a beautiful boyfriend who was all his and now that's not true, Blaine will never be all his again.

‘We were perfect. And now we’re not.’


"It didn't mean anything" is the worst, because it should make it better but it doesn't. It really, really doesn't. "It" is supposed to mean everything, and Blaine went and made it meaningless. So what does that say about them if he can so casually abandon its significance and go off with someone else? (I may have invented some choice Tumblr tags for this like #son of a bitch followed by #trust issues forever) Everything you believe about love is gone, just like that.

Blaine does have a couple of lines that break my heart if carefully pulled completely out of context, namely "I needed you" - bring on the codependency, RS likes this - and the way he whimpers "I was lonely," finally a verbalization for all the sad looks and body language in the previous episode. All of which would have been really great if he'd just voiced them before.

Then we have our Pretty Colfer Tears, which I like to believe are the only reason this breakup was conceived in the first place.
"And you don't think that I've been lonely?" I like how he starts out angry and bitter and it lasts for about two seconds before he breaks down. Blaine's apologies are so pathetic and ineffectual I've blocked them from memory (gonna have to grovel a lot harder than that, buddy), and this is where I feel bad for all the people who didn't track the filming spoilers, because we lost Kurt's allegedly last words to the start of Don't Speak - "Stop it. Just stop!"

In conclusion, here is a visual representation of how I feel about them in terms of the future:

This is a mug.
Photobucket

This is a mug with a crack in it.
Photobucket
(I call the crack "Eli.")

This mug will never look quite the same as it did before being broken.

And neither will their relationship.
--------------
Additionally, I have a read a fair amount of good meta over the past month that I still can't find (though here's one with all sorts of pretty writing AND CATEGORY TITLES! that examines Blaine's current headspace), but I just found this new one that's particularly amazing about why it was so damaging to destroy the fairy tale romance. And Imma cut & paste it in its entirety here because I do not/never will trust Tumblr where nothing gold can stay:

[Heterosexual romantic fairy tales exist by the tens of thousands. People in the LGBTQ community don’t get to experience a direct association with these tales. Sure, they can pretend it’s two princesses or two princes but it’s not the same. It’s not them.]
sandymg:
"I’ve been trying to wrap my head around what feels so wrong about the events of 4x04. And it’s not the break up per se.

It’s the fact that they destroyed the fairy tale.

Apparently Ryan Murphy thought that this relationship needed realism added to it. Because, sure, people sometimes cheat in relationships, teenage relationships don’t often go the distance and breakups are perhaps inevitable at such a young age.

All true, yet it doesn’t change the central issue for me.

Heterosexual romantic fairy tales exist by the tens of thousands. Our kids grow up on Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, to name a few. (We could argue separately on their potential harm toward young girls—but that’s a different debate.) For this purpose I want to just point to the good of such simple hope. The beautiful concept of love conquering all. Of one true love being possible. Of being rescued and rescuing back.

People in the LGBTQ community don’t get to experience a direct association with these tales. Sure, they can pretend it’s two princesses or two princes but it’s not the same. It’s not them.

Ryan Murphy, whether he knew it or not, gave them this fairy tale Heck, Kurt and Blaine met in what could arguably be called a flippin’ castle! And it resonated.

Not just with teenagers, but also with their parents. Not just with gays or lesbians but really with anyone with a heart. It was fresh. And sweet. It left us feeling good. Smiling inside.

We all know that good drama needs conflict. Every romance ever told goes Love Interest One meets Love Interest Two. Love Interest One loses Love Interest Two. Love Interest One fights to get Love Interest Two back.

I’m not saying that Kurt and Blaine should have fallen into some sort of dull pattern and never be allowed any drama. But let’s face it, Cinderella doesn’t cheat on the prince. Beauty doesn’t take up Gaston for a one night stand. It’s a step too far. It kills the illusion and shatters it to pieces.

And this is in no way some sort of anti-Blaine spiel. Not at all. There are hundreds of smart ways to write what happened to Blaine very compellingly that could lead to both fascinating character growth and reconciliation.

But that won’t take away what’s already been done. That shot of realism that Chris mentioned in a recent article and Ryan, perhaps, feels is necessary for good TV drama — well, it had an unintended consequence. They can put Klaine back together, they can make us care about them again.

The magic though? The fairy tale? The hope that shone like this bright light between two unlikely princes living in a fictional version of Lima, Ohio? That chapter has, sadly, been abruptly ended.

To para-quote a character in Emma by author Jane Austen (who understood the notion of romantic hope so very well) — “Badly done, Mr. Murphy. Badly done.” "

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
OTP + Fallout: I Kind Of Feel Like I'm Gonna Die
Don't we all? Kurt looks like how we all felt in the ensuing days. Exhausted and disillusioned and just so very done with it all. I'm glad that he and Finn talked, mostly so they could reference Rachel, because it's even sadder that after a halfhearted offer of passing on a message, he just lets him go. There's nothing left to salvage anywhere.

That said, just like it was too early in season 1 for Mr. Schue to bust out the "teachers don't have all the answers" crap, it is WAY too early for the kids to bust out the "I miss high school when things were simple" garbage. None of you are adults; you are all basically still IN high school. You can't start this nostalgia until well into second semester. Preferably sophomore year.

The "I'm okay. I'll be okay" tag was about what I expected. Poor futilely symbolic red-and-yellow flowers. I'm all for Kurt giving him the silent treatment for a while, though. It's actually my #1 demand. Blaine's "he won't talk to me" was the only part of this storyline that made me happy at all. Which is really interesting when you consider that Kurt was obviously waiting to talk to Blaine the morning after, so now the question is whether the conversation with Finn ruined his resolve (in which case, screw you Finn!), or if Kurt just didn't like what Blaine had to say (because I imagine it would be terribly inadequate, and Kurt would have needed an eloquent miracle to change his mind).

Sidebar: this is a really lovely short blog post about first loves and broken hearts that I stumbled upon quite by accident while looking for the quote. Read it.

Finn/Rachel: It's Over. "We're Done."
This is the speech I've been waiting on for years: "I don't NEED you to give me my freedom!" I LOVE that she owns up to hating him for abandoning her, and that she found a way to forgive him and justify it to herself ("I thought, 'this is how a man loves' - and you can argue she's not wrong), but that when the wool falls from her eyes she isn't afraid to tear him down for being a cowardly little boy, because Spoiled Overgrown Toddler Finn does irreparably damage them in the end. It illustrates everything that has ever been wrong with them and why sometimes you have to admit that you're just not meant to be together.

But it's also the speech that breaks my heart even more than the car scene: "Don't you get it? No matter how rich, or famous, or successful I become, when it comes to you, I'm always going to be that moon-eyed girl who freaked you out at the first glee rehearsal. You are the first boy who made me feel loved. [...] You are my first love. And I want, more than anything, for you to be my last."

"But I can't do this anymore."
Those are the words everyone's been dying to hear, and it's still the saddest sound. As paraphrased in a previous post - this is how you give a heart a good clean break. It hollows out a portion of my heart, scrapes the cavity raw to leave nothing behind, and it hurts but it's a beautiful hurt. It makes you ache to see it resolved someday, because you know the resolution would be spectacular, but at the same time...if it ended forever now, it would be the perfect tragic ending.

Obviously I'm gunning for the latter, not least because the more people either of you date in between breaking up with someone the first time and marrying them, the more it undermines anything special and real about it. They even get an emotion-laden goodbye kiss. I mean, come on. If that doesn't say "this is the ending of a story," I don't know what does.

Pulling The Puzzles Apart
♪♪ ++The Scientist: Everyone looks beautiful with their solemn faces staring straight ahead (well, not Will and Emma. They're just kinda there. But they do have a lovely harmony on their part). I don't adore the original, but the 8-part arrangement is great; everyone's solos ring out crystal clear.

I don't like the flashbacks* - partly because the theater one is gross, partly because the Dalton hallway scene is flat-out ridiculous, mostly because it makes it seem too final, like this is the series finale and no one's ever getting back together. You can't go for that effect unless it might actually be true.
*Except I do like Will and Emma's. That Romantic Hero moment out of context will forever make me a little weak in the knees.
---------------
In conclusion: With 85% perfect music and shipper gold and emotions galore, this episode really would have been one of the best ever, even with the Junior Love Triangle, if it hadn't been for Blaine cheating. But that rips the entire thing asunder, because no future storyline arc was worth this kind of damage. There were ways to recover from an ordinary breakup; there is no way to justify doing this.


Up Next: I planned to break up with the show. I wanted to so badly. Straight through last week, I was willing to cut ties forever until such time as Kurt and Blaine were back together, IF I liked how they did it. I'm trying to hold onto that resolve.

Unfortunately, Glee always knows exactly when to beat a hasty retreat on hiatus to avoid the brunt of my wrath. And while on break and not moving forward, they persist in describing to me like fifty million amazing things outside of Kurt/Blaine that are going to be happening in the next 5 weeks. Such as:

[spoilers, but fairly general ones]
-Returning grads. None of whom I really care about until QUINNY QUINN QUINN, and my sheer joy over her convinced me to be almost as excited about Mike. Let's hash it out, Chang-Chang!
-This Ryder fellow (Blake Jenner) sounds wonderful, is cute, and unlike my thwarted Sam/Marley plans, is actually going to join in this love triangle. BRB, putting this ship on pre-order.
-Awesome musical
-Dalton Academy. Including Sebastian.
-Sam/Blaine friendship
-Sufficient focus on Blaine and how he's coping in general
-More Kate Hudson and, if I'm not mistaken, Isabelle as well
-They're doing a body-image storyline with Marley, which, YESSSSSSSSS, I was wondering how long that would take.

In fact, really the only negative news I have heard* is that New Mercedes/Marley is going to be like the new Hummelberry, which, GROSS and WHY does my pretty pretty princess have to keep interacting with the pond scum at this school instead of the awesome seniors? I will demote New Mercedes back to Wade Thing with zero provocation.

*There's also a thing with Quinn that sounds disappointing, but I'm counting it in the "good" column because I can meta about it


The end result is that I will probably be there with bells on. I guess you do forgive your first love anything. :(
--------------
Last but not least: I have spent the past 4 weeks sucking up post-4x04 fic like a crazy person. It's been very therapeutic.


As always, flaming_muse is the best because she has this remarkable gift for translating Blaine's headspace for me as well as taking all the half-formed emotions I've been living with and putting them into Kurt's head as articulate and developed thoughts. And all while violently rejecting any knowledge of future episodes!

Then again, maybe that's why they always feel so real; her business is filling in canon but she isn't influenced by what's to come and can only feel in the moment. Reading one of her supplemental fics honestly feels like getting a canon-endorsed missive, as much as when The Office delivers its deleted scenes every week. And thus, this quartet will remain the holy grail of all post-4x04 fic:

I. Reaching: It used to be easy for Blaine. Now nothing is easy.
Blaine's POV, with a lot of silent self-loathing, walks us through the missing scene and dialogue on their way to Callbacks. First and still best attempt at explaining without excusing what he did.

II. Sunrise: Kurt wakes up in the morning.
Another important missing scene, Kurt's attempt to come to terms with what Blaine's done in the time between waking up and just before Finn steps out. Please come for the plausible accidental sleep-cuddling.

III. The First Moment of Waking: The best moments of Blaine's day.
How Blaine's been doing since he left New York. (hint: poorly)

IV. As Inexorable As The Tide: Kurt's routines have always served him well.
How Kurt keeps going in the ensuing weeks. Much like us a helpless fandom watching from the sidelines.

But there are plenty of others to go around. So, in no particular order except one that vaguely makes sense to me:

(naturally these are like 95% Klaine-based, but I'm now on the prowl for Kurt/Rachel and general Rachel fic as well and will add any I find later) (also: not one of them is a fix-it fic. I'm not ready for beautiful/doomed lies yet, I'm just trying to fill in October)

Freezing - wowbright: A numb (and surprisingly effective at heartbreaking) rationale for why, in the moment, Blaine does it.

It doesn't matter, so much, exactly what Blaine does inside that house. What matters is that he goes there, and things start, and he stays.

Oh, these broken wings - beautifulwhatsyourhurry: "Kurt can’t sleep because Blaine’s too close and they’re not them anymore." A snippet of what was going through Kurt’s head after "Don't Speak."

It’s too intimate. They’re fully clothed, not touching, not even speaking, and it’s too intimate.

This could be a shipwreck on a shore - normal_scaresme
"It’s a pain unlike any other. It’s not the sharp sting of fist against skin or the hollow ache of a boy with no one to love him, it’s the bitter mixture of disappointment, self-loathing and betrayal."

Another look at the Don't Speak bed. I saved it as "BEST FIC IMAGERY" after it wildly indulged me with the following: ‘Please don’t. Please don’t talk to me, I don’t want to speak to you and I don’t want to look at you but (...) I need someone to hold me and you’re the only one here and you’re the only one who’s made it better in the past so please. Just hold me.’

Erasing Blaine Anderson - scrunchydarren: "Breaking up with Blaine would have been a lot easier if Blaine hadn’t burrowed his way into every single aspect of Kurt’s life."

The impossibility of removing every image and everything that reminds you of him.

Cheater, Cheater, Pumpkin Eater - Morkhan: "In which news of Blaine's little fling goes public, and the fallout is spectacular." A delightfully cracky take on it all. I promise it's the only one like that, but sometimes humor is the best coping mechanism.

"President Anderson, your sexual escapades are lighting up the blogosphere. Can you share with us the identity of your Lewinsky? Are you having an illicit affair with your stripper Vice President? Is it true that you barebacked half the football team, and can you tell us which half?"

Culvert Confessions - water_nix: Santana pretends they aren't actually friends, but she always turns up when Kurt needs her.

Listen, if no one is going to write me Kurt/Rachel comfort cuddling in a place I can find it, then by god, I will go all Dark Side and accept Kurt/Santana cuddling instead. You heard me. If you go with a headcanon where they were sorta-friends in middle school, then suddenly their mutual sorrow and support over their respective breakups makes a weird sort of sense.

Where Did You Go? heyblaine (ooh, did not know they were on LJ! This makes my life easier)
“You couldn't have texted?” Set before, during, and after 4x04

The swearing gets a bit excessive for my tastes, but I think this one's super important as far as digging into Blaine's headspace right before and during the actual hookup (even though I have to warn liek whoa for NC-17 antics in there). This is also one of the better attempts I've seen at having Blaine try to explain himself. Best of all, it does a really nice job of letting Kurt cut loose with vindicating anger several weeks later without devolving into "hysterical mouthpiece for fangirls" mode. The more times I read this the more I love it.

So quite a new thing - wordplayitout: Rated R for word choice, but really it's just a poetic thinky fic, Kurt's inner contemplation in the aftermath. I'm stealing from the comment section to say it best - "the real problem here is the disconnect between how they understand sex - what it does, what it means."

So Strange Are The Ways - misqueue: Blaine returns to Ohio
A series of snapshots from his life over the next few days. Much more external than most of the above, focused on interactions (such as they are) with the people around him.

Taking Notice - when_in_rome: "There’s a moment when Sam and Blaine really become friends, and it’s not just because they run for office."

Canon best step up to this level, is all I'm saying. (that, and this is a nice look at Blaine from Sam's perspective. I wish non-slashy fanfic about them would multiply exponentially, as it is so much fun to read.)

Friday I'm In Love - airgeer
It's a Sunday when Blaine gets on the train to the airport, leaving behind Kurt and New York and everything. It's Thursday when Finn doesn't come to help with glee. It’s Friday when Blaine stops going to school.

AU after 4x04. Or: suppose Kurt died in an accident shortly thereafter and they never spoke to each other again. Do you think that might be worse than current canon? (BECAUSE I'M NOT ACTUALLY SURE) For the record, I cried buckets. I dare you to make it to the end without crying. I cried again just now and all I did was briefly skim back over the last few paragraphs.

It Was Your Heart On The Line - normal_scaresme: A look at how Kurt and Blaine's first face-to-face conversation might go. Doomed to get jossed by canon, but looks like a solid missing scene for now.

Kurt wishes with all his heart that he didn’t care, that he could unpick every good memory from the fabric of their relationship and let it fall, broken and frayed to the floor.

Things I Never Wanted To Say (or: Things You Never Wanted To Hear): ungoodpirate
An alternate version of the above. "After Grease, Kurt seeks out Blaine. They talk for the first time since Blaine was in New York. Things are said, things are decided, things change, and it's all you can do to walk away after."

Aaaaand, last but not least, there is this fantastic podfic collection (from which I may or may not have found several of the above), Project Talk It Out. I cannot vouch for all the stories (though the first RPF one is v. cute; realistic wish fulfillment ahoy!), but a lot of them are good and while I haven't actually listened to any of it, I assume that's a bit of a novelty.

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