BEHOLD. IT IS FINALLY DONE.
Fun Oscar Fact: On Sunday I learned that Dorothy's red slippers were made from over 2000 components. I bring this up because I'm pretty sure there are more than that in this post. It should probably be read over a period of several days, one bold or underlined header at a time.
Glee, 4x13, Diva
I vanished my ill advised Feelings Explosion post, but you can still find the the slightly-more-sober essay I wrote the night it aired in support of Tina, followed by flails about the cuddling. Yes, it counts as cuddling.
++Diva: the first time I saw it, my only reaction was "what in the fresh circus horror hell is this," but then the chorus got stuck in my head, I remembered that Run The World eventually somehow became an earworm, and as soon as I played the studio version online, I became obsessed with it. It's literally the first time Alex Newell's voice has not made me want to rip my ears off, this just sounds incredible. And performance-wise? I love the "America's Next Top Model" gifsets that were made in two seconds flat, but THE FLUFFY CURLS THE FLUFFY CURLS SWEET JESUS FLUFFY CURLS. Forever grateful, even if that's the only in-character look we ever get at them.
+ Don't Stop Me Now: This is a new song to me, and I don't love it outright, but it's one clearly amenable to Blaine-magic if/when I feel like dousing my ears with it. I just never want to watch him sing it again. Ew.
- Nutbush City Limits: bored
- Make No Mistake, She's Mine: less bored, but not entertained
+ Bring Him Home: it's never going to be my favorite Les Mis song, and I refuse to pick sides because I'm still living in my AU where this refers to Finn in the Army. That said, it IS a Les Mis song, and the Kurt solo version is maybe getting more play, but just like Defying Gravity I enjoy it in all versions. They both looked gorgeous and took my breath away.
Her face is my face.
+ Hung Up: best solo Tina has ever had; I'm not obsessed yet, but it'll get there when I'm ready to let it in
++ Girl on Fire: this is an amazing song. I've successfully wedded myself to the original, because why substitute when the artist is classy and the Glee version isn't Blaine or Rachel, but I absolutely love it as a Santana song with "nobody knows that she's a lonely girl..." Her faces broke my heart all the way to New York. At which point they made me want to slap her instead. YOU DON'T BELONG HERE, SANTANA.
II. Santana & All Her Crap
Ignoring her grossly self-absorbed and selfish/possessive attitude combined with "I'm a loser college dropout," there's still the issue of her telling Brittany to aim higher than Sam. AIM HIGHER?? Excuse you, but Sam is the best person she has ever dated. You just helped make a video about how great he is. A video that established him as pretty much the highest achievement in boyfriends a girl can get in (bless Tina for aiming at the sun, though), and he's the Settler in this relationship.
I liked Sam's staunch refusal to go anywhere ("I'm not letting her go without a fight"), and how he's still far nicer to Santana than she deserves, and how he's not even bothered because "Brittany doesn't understand revenge. Brittany is love." Highest achievement in straight boyfriends, I say!
And just in case you need proof in the form of a totally unbiased internet poll:
Which relationship is better?
Most of all, Brittany's speech urging her to spread her wings and fly to New York was really sweet, because they are the best friends ever and Brittany was the settler in this relationship, and it all made me very happy until I realized that Santana was going to crash-land on my babies' doorstep. I JUST threw a fit about Kurt and Rachel losing their unique 2-person haven. This is worse than Brody because at least with him I can believe he'll be gone soon. God, I hope they throw Santana's ass out soon when they realize how unbearable it is to deal with her on a daily basis with no escape. I don't even want her in the city, tainting their adventures, but to be right there in their home is unforgivable.
III. New York: Last Gasp of Good
Mr. Not Blaine
BREAKING NEWS: I've decided Adam is allowed to be Kurt's friend. I met him quite by accident this week, but he wasn't despicable. I will reduce him from Threat Level Midnight all the way down to Yellow if his purpose in life can be to smile at Kurt, look impressed by his ability to cut gossip queens down to size without breaking a sweat, and generally support him and find him marvelous. He is not allowed to do anything resembling urging Kurt to get over Blaine (your options are to stay mute, or encourage him to follow his heart and only silently hope it points back to you), take risks, leave his comfort zone in a way that clashes with my preferences, or put one toe out of line on the dating front by doing anything less than full blown wooing. If anything at all.
He is, however, already one infinity times better than Douche Bro. Which makes him very useful for those rare fics I read where Blaine dies and Kurt eventually falls in love again (listen, you can mock Marshall Eriksen all you want, but he understands there is only one scenario in which fantasizing is ok). Plus I found a fic this week with a scene I really like, even though it hurt my heart to think of them having kissed already --
[click for the quote that made me like him if canon sticks to it]
[“I asked Blaine to be my date at the wedding,” Kurt rushes out. There’s a long silence in which Adam studies him closely.
“Well, that’s good then.” He continues to shred the cardboard sleeve from his coffee cup.
“You haven’t decided Kurt. You know that.” Adam’s smile is so sincere. Kurt wonders how it is that he’s so nice all the time. It’s never exhausting
to be around him -- it’s a comfort quite often, but Kurt is never sure if that comfort will melt into boredom one day.
“What haven’t I decided?”
“If you’ll take him back.”
“But I- I mean,” Kurt tries to think clearly. Through longing that’s never abated, that he’s agonized over carrying. “I don’t know if I can forgive him. And I like you.”
“Well,” Adam nudges his foot playfully, “I l like you too. There’s no rule that says you have to decide now. I’ll just keep on liking you, and your humor and charm. Your lips,” Kurt flushes when Adam drops his gaze to them steadily, “I like it all. Quite a lot. Enough that I want you to be happy no matter what. Take your time figuring out what’s best for you.”]
Early Fight, or, "It's Truth Time"
I really loved the conflict in this episode, because a little fighting does keep a relationship fresh (notice how I said "a little" and not "btw, love of my life, I cheated on you sorry"). I love the voiceover, the death glares, teapot-slamming, the list of ways Rachel has become a holy terror and all of Kurt's frustrations boiling over. Especially the unholy joy he takes in savoring the moment before truth-bombing her about "Defying Gravity" - "you can tell he's been saving that one for a rainy day." HIS FACE. Dying of laughter by the end.
Lone objection: Kurt claiming they became close "because you got tolerable." These lies right now...smdh. Kurt Hummel, that is the exact opposite of how it happened. Rachel has until recently always been better than you; you were an insufferable bitchface until bullies broke your spirit and Blaine mellowed you out. (Kurt, however, wins for trashing her "weird naked boyfriend!" in the next breath)
Before: I love that Rachel looks thrown when the catty gossip queens try to drag him, and feebly defends him even though she's currently planning to obliterate him in song. I love that he's just like "bitch plz, I grew up with Sue Sylvester." (at least until they leave) And that's saying something, because my jaw dropped at the "he might as well wear a sign that says 'please, club me to death' " line. Wow, Glee, too far.
During: finally, Kurt gets a win/sings his first powerful solo of the year. Bittersweet win, though, since they both look like they're regretting this bloodthirsty ritual before they even start. Show, what purpose does making me loathe the entire dominant culture of NYADA serve? Unless Kurt Hummel's arrival is going to whip it into shape like he paved the way for fashionable tadpole gays at McKinley.
p.s. why do I feel like Douche Bro invented this contest? Possibly as a way of isolating distraught girls he could then comfort with his dick?
After: I love how much satisfaction he takes in slicing the gossip queens to ribbons with his razor sharp tongue - the whole reason I became amenable to Adam is because of the look they share, which I can't find now but was on Tumblr with captions something like "are they for real?" / "I think they are for real" - but then promptly leaves Adam behind to catch up with Rachel and extend the olive branch again, because Kurt Hummel Is Better Than You and holds no grudges. It is the sweetest thing.
Glorious Resolution, or, Why Conflict Is Good
Rachel in Bag Lady/Mourning/Sulking mode is cute. I am impressed that Kurt refrains from rolling his eyes at her exaggerated melodrama and just keeps extending overtures of love and support. You're making us want to be your boyfriend again. More to the point, I get an "I love you," in that perfect teary whimper only Rachel can pull off, and the cutest glomp-hug out of it, which is all I have wanted since the first spoilers about them fighting landed on the internet. Plus I figure that's about as close as we're going to get to my "cuddling in a bed" demands for them.
IV. Finn Hudson And The Terrible Life Choices
To be fair, he's super sympathetic at the beginning, talking about how Rachel's Facebook status has apparently changed to "shacked up"
(). I see Finn continues to be what I wanted from Kurt, still heartbroken, not even ready to think about anyone else yet and stunned she can move on like that, as it should be. I hate it when Finn is the best person in this foursome, but he wanted to marry her and he meant it.
--Was posted in comments on ontd_glee ; laughing forever.
While my initial reaction was a furious outburst of finger-pointing and outraged shouts of "PATRIARCHY/INTERNALIZED SEXISM/MALE PRIVILEGE/ALL THE FEMINIST BUZZWORDS!!" to describe how over the line you have to be for kissing to be your first instinct at calming a hysterical woman, I kind of love it in retrospect? Like, he's probably done that for Rachel a hundred times, and it is actually pretty sweet that all his instincts are so set on "soothe and reassure" that it overrides rational thought.
p.s. Remember this?
It seems to happen a lot.
V. Sick!Blaine + Tina Florence Nightingale
or, RS's Hurt/Comfort Wishlist Explodes All Over The Script
"Remember when we’d read tons of sick!Blaine fics because we thought that Blaine being sick sounds like the cutest thing in all the land...and remember when we saw that indeed it IS the cutest thing?" -- Tumblr user "sunlight-fades-to-gray," speaking for the fandom
I didn't even ask for this! I never-not-once requested more sick-comfort after Glee gave me everything I thought I wanted in "The Substitute." But this blew that out of the water. I could have done without all of their super-nauseating nicknames for each other, but the rest? "Gold. Gold!"
-I am really impressed by Darren's ability to sound sick/congested. I can't do it. I don't even sound like that when I am sick. (I am also impressed by his ablity to look cute while blowing his nose, but that's just the magic of Blaine "cute as a button" Anderson, acheived only in costume)
-Every line was perfect, except I don't understand Tina's fit-throwing about being called "sweet." Tumblr, whom Tina is supposed to be representing in this storyline, would swoon and die on the spot if Blaine called them that in that tone of voice.
-all the photos on the nightstand facing the bed? nope_nope_nope/heartbreak.gif
-Deluxe Transcripts exerpt: Tina randomly asks if he's ever "been with" a girl before, and instead of calling her on that bizarro question, he simply quips that nope, he's a "perfect gold star gay." Well, except for that time he kissed gold star Rachel Berry, but apparently no one counts that because FUCK YOU, IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.
-"It's not like I don't like girls. They're very kind, and sensitive, and their bodies are beautiful," in the tone one might use to appreciate works of art.
dead-and-dying.gif; remind me to write an essay someday contrasting how Blaine relates to girls vs. the way Kurt does, because it's really cool
-I think Blaine also tried to convince us again of how completely not attracted to girls he is, but HAHAH, BLAINE/PRETTY LADIES OTP FOREVER.
-As for The Most Accidentally Controversial Scene Since 3x05, To Be Debated Among Fandom Forever:
I) I've watched it a hundred times and I have no new words. I was raised on Lurlene McDaniel at an impressionable age; I respond to caretaking. All I see here is love and tenderness with the best possible intentions, and it's the best bedtime cuddling this show has ever given me.
I repeat: why are we even trying to resist this?
II) But we are, so I have collected several little essays in support of why it is OK to love it:
[links & mini excerpts here]
Names link to the post and it's not my fault if any of them are gone by now.
colferbabes: "Let’s all take a step back and remember that you can find a scene uncomfortable without it having to be assault."
greenspeck: "Tina’s crush on Blaine isn’t about Blaine in reality. It’s about being alone."
nadiacreek: "If they were dating, the way she’d touched and cuddled with Blaine would have been sweet and lovely. But they’re not dating. And she doesn’t quite get the difference. ... They’re trying to portray Tina’s point of view on screen. Her intended sweetness came through."
kummelberry: "That wasn’t Tina violating Blaine’s incapacitated body in a demented state of lust. Putting menthol rub on someone’s chest is a very motherly thing to do, and frankly it’s hard to find a less sexy combination than headcolds and pungent, medicinal minty smells."
and my inferior one: "This isn't about setting legal precedents. This is about getting to clasp your hands and watch clumsy attempts at
nursing someone back to health, because maybe even if you're not damaged and weird, taking care of someone is the best way you know how to show love."
Nobody laugh at me if this got slapped down in canon recently, because I know it was brought up but I don't know how yet. I have an ideal option, but I'm playing that close to the vest until I see how wrong I am.
III) A Deluxe Transcript version of the scene that might help provide another window into my feelings:
[it's kind of long but you should still read it for the insight/good natured snark]As Tina doubts whether she can really pull off a song by one of these legends: "Are you kidding me? You would kill it." But before he can go into detail, he starts yawning uncontrollably. "I'm sorry, that cold medicine is really very strong."
Tina's eyes gleam. Girl, you upped his dosage, didn't you? "Why don't you lie down?" she suggests innocently. (“Innocently,” I should say.)
"K. That's a good idea," he mumbles, brushing close enough to kiss as he lurches past her without argument and crashes against the pillows. Eyes already closed, he shifts around on his back until he gets comfortable. Meanwhile, Tina starts winding up for the world's most humiliating confession, and that is really saying something because "I Don't Know How to Love Him" just happened. "Mm-hmm," he murmurs in response, along with "totally," drifting off right before Tina says, "I'm falling in love with you."
He sleeps through the rest of her speech, while she gets increasingly tearful and talks about how it doesn't even matter if they never have sex (like I'M SORRY, WHEN DID THE OPTION OF HAVING IT GET ON THE TABLE), before pleading for some kind of response because there are no limits to the ways Tina Cohen-Chang will embarrass herself in love. Of course, when she turns around, he is dead to the world.
Her eyes soften, and then she leans over and delicately undoes the buttons on his shirt, brushing the edges aside to expose his bare chest before carefully straddling his thighs...
[literally everyone: WHOA HEY NO RAPE WHISTLE!]
...and opening the tub of Vicks before gently, lovingly rubbing it into his skin. He stirs in his sleep but doesn't wake. A tear helplessly blinks down her cheek with the desperation of how much she wants this and how this might be all she ever gets. [edit: I may have just undermined my own arguments about this being a selfless act here, but that's what came out.]
(But here's the best part: with her soft hands on him, a smile twitches at the corner of Blaine's mouth - phantom touches from Kurt, comforting in dreams he won't remember.)
When she's done, she wipes her eyes, closes up the tub, and then curls up with her head on his chest, heartbeat under her ear and one hand wrapped protectively around his wrist, dreaming that this means more.
OK, so questionable straddling aside, that is the most intoxicating thing I have ever gotten from this show and I will just be screeching like a tea kettle and hugging pillows until all my squee is gone. Because NO ONE will convince me that Blaine wouldn't have accepted friend-cuddling had she put on a movie and then "accidentally" ended up falling asleep like this. I just really want him to let her use him as her surrogate boyfriend, OK? Be better than season 2 Kurt pawning Mercedes off. Ideally in a way where they mutually agree to be friends with non-sexual benefits.
Can't excuse Tina's temper tantrum, because that is some self-absorbed BS right there. Can laugh at the contrast of "Yippee I'm back to my giddy old self, you're so awesome Tina, just the best! *bounces off walls*" / "BITE ME, YOU SELF ABSORBED UNGRATEFUL JERK! *BREATHES FIRE*"
Blaine/Everyone: OK. That seems a little crazy.
But it is infinitely sweet the way Blaine still apologizes with chocolate roses because that's who he is and what he does, even when he's done nothing wrong. Boo on Tina for accepting said apologies instead of offering her own and/or pointing out they are unnecessary, but I continue to love his total and absolute obliviousness to Tina's crush. I'm starting to wonder if he would have understood the speech he slept through even if he'd heard it. And regardless of any shipping inclinations anybody has, this is just a really, really nice, genuine, honest realization:
"You are the most important person to me at this school right now, and I haven't felt this close to anyone in a long time."
#how I wish Blaine would just set those boundaries once and for all
#and Tina would respect what she can and cannot have by letting him be the Kurt to her Rachel
#cuddling and handholds and forehead/cheek/temple kisses included in the "can" if you play your cards right
New power couple tbh.
(oops, so much for disregarding shipping inclinations)
Rainbow "RS" Stevie. Respect.
In Conclusion: Favorite!
Up Next: Oh god I don't wanna go don't make me. I bookmarked the link under the name "Bad Times," that's how much I dread this. It used to spell hope, now I'm pretty sure it's all just going to come crashing down around me. That's it, I'm reading chapter 2 of Comedown, Clarity (see below).
Mission accomplished. It can't hurt more than 25% more than that...right?
VI. BONUS FEATURE: ALL THE FIC RECS
Swing Into Flight - whenidance
Because, okay, there is one really awesome rockstar Blaine/Kurt AU, even though I only really like up to 75% of part 1 because an implied one night stand is all the more my brain can handle, even with a celebrity where it's that or nothing. (TAKE THE NOTHING)
Beautifully - joshbroban: General Blaine/Tina meta disguised in fanfic form, very sweet.
Blaine knows that in another life, Tina would have been perfect for him.
untitled - heyblaine: a few hundred words of sleepy context-free cuddlefic, which might fit in season 3, "because Blaine has a TV in his room how cute is that"
Bad Medicine - andercas: Realistic future sick!fic in which Kurt and Blaine are both laid up with flu, because that's the general aftermath of not being careful when you play nursemaid.
Comedown, Clarity - JudeAraya :A really fantastic supplement to the entire Kurt/Blaine arc this year. Like phenomenal, even though it hurts like a bitch and doesn't end happy yet. Bonus, made me amenable to Adam.
Growing up and getting past heartbreak are hard things to do, but in the aftermath of Blaine's infidelity, both boys work towards resolution
(both with themselves and with each other). Chapter One follows canon from 4x04-4x13. Chapter Two goes AU from canon, uses spoilers through 4x14.
untitled - bananabomer: And then there is this fic, a tiny but perfect snippet of post-ep for those who prefer Sam to Tina and/or non-creepy bro caring to lovesick nursing.
[Or, since it is under 1000 words and on Tumblr, it falls under my 'pasted here for safekeeping until you fight me on it' rule. I beta'd it for our mutual benefit. Enjoy.]
[Tumblr is a wild and lawless place where people shut down blogs on a whim; I have become wild and lawless in response, and since this does not look like an established fic blog, I fixed this up for myself and figured I'd keep it here. I changed as little as possible, mostly just mechanical corrections.]
[Blaine felt his comforter being pulled off his face as the cold air hit him. He groaned slightly as a palm passed over his sweaty forehead and pushed aside pieces of hair that had been mussed out of place. It wasn't a soft and light hand like his mother’s or Tina’s so it must belong to a guy. His heart started beating fast at the thought of Kurt coming to see him, wanting to take care of him once he read the text that he didn’t go to school because he got sick again. That maybe he was so worried about him that he hopped on a plane to see him. But the fantasy was shattered once the owner of the hand spoke and all he could do was sigh at the ridiculousness of his mind.
“Dude, you’re still burning up.” Sam said, his voice not at all soft or quiet. He removed his hand and scooted closer to Blaine, who still had his eyes closed.
Blaine grumbled, his hands rubbing at his face to shake the sleepiness away. “Time?”
“Quarter to six.”
He groaned again, opening his eyes. He still felt too warm and hot, yet all he wanted to do was to hide under the covers. “What are you doing here? I thought you were hanging with Brit?” He tried to hide the slight annoyance in his voice as he said her name. He looked up at him. Sam’s hair was the same carefully messy pile of blonde hair, his eyes twinkling with childlike wonder and his lips curved into a smile that Blaine always loved to see directed at him.
“Wanted to see you. Missed my bro.” He grinned, and raised one of his hands that held a plastic bag. “Brought you stuff I usually eat when I’m sick.”
“Thanks Sam, but I’m actually really sick of soup.” He laughed a little; he really hated soup at this point. All he was ever served was soup and all he wanted right now was a burger, but what Sam had with him didn’t look like anything that came from McDonald’s.
Sam’s grin widened, and Blaine’s heart did that little flip that it always did when Sam looked extra adorable, but then Sam started pulling out something from the plastic bag that was...dripping. Blaine stared at it for a moment, wondering if Sam planned on melting the popsicle and heating it up for him, until Sam spoke, “Popsicles! When I don’t have a sore throat, I usually get a 10. And since you don’t...” he pulled Blaine’s arms until he was in a sitting position and thrust the popsicle into his hand.
Blaine looked between the cold treat and the happy expression on Sam’s face; he wasn’t sure which looked sweeter. “Sam, we have glee tomorrow.”
“I have a solo, I need my voice.”
He was handing back the popsicle but Sam pushed back his hand, “It’s one popsicle; Blaine, it won’t kill your voice.” He was smiling fondly at him, and Blaine felt his entire face go red like the dessert as he felt Sam’s fingers tighten around his and his heartbeat quickened. “It’ll help you get better.”
Blaine took a deep breath, praying the blush on his cheeks was fading. “Okay. But you have to eat yours too.”
“Obviously,” Sam snorted, and took his and tapped Blaine’s popsicle, “Blam!” And Blaine had to stop himself from saying something stupid like “you’re too adorable.” Because he liked what he had with Sam, although it was different from what he thought at first. He was content with watching Sam smile and tell stories about the day Blaine missed in his bed. He was content with having Sam this close to him.
He was happy, but it was still a little bittersweet.]
And your CROWNING CHAMPION:
In Sickness And In... - flaming_muse
Futurefic in New York, Kurt being the world's best caretaker to a bronchitis-afflicted Blaine, offering every possible sweet indulgence you can think of to make him feel better. It's so powerful I think just reading it will probably make you feel better next time you're sick and alone
[plus an RPS one Imma pretend isn't really here]p.s. Possibly part of the reason I was less creeped out by Blaine/Tina than everyone was due to having recently found this...CrissColfer fic in which Darren is basically an even more hypervigilant Tina. (I'm sorry! I don't go looking for this stuff. I was on an entirely different and in-character fic quest when this showed up in the search results, and what do you think I'm going to do, say, "No, I DON'T want to read a delicious novel length hurt/comfort fic"?
Look, every so often the state of canon gets so upsetting that my ship feelings escape their tight stranglehold and go into subversive RPS land. This is one of those times. It's a fic where none of it should make sense, but if you accept one or two little things, the rest fall in line with the established precedent, and before you know it all the wildest technically-platonic indulgences are happening. I was even able to read like halfway into part 5 before anything NC-17 went down, and even then, it's about as minimally offensive to the sensibilities as NC-17 can get.)