If The Fates Allow

4x10 reaction fic. I’m still kind of processing everything, so this is just a bit of Blaine/Burt interaction to help me work through some thoughts.

“Didn’t we just do this?” Burt’s breath puffs out white, eyebrow raised in a look that Blaine always finds eerily familiar.

Blaine shuffles closer to the glowing heat of the little space heater in the center of the garage, bends and rubs his hands together. “I think there might be something off with the alignment.” He stands back as Burt pushes the lever for the lift and pokes at the worn thread of a tire once it hits eye level. “Or maybe the suspension is bad?”

Blaine shifts from foot to foot as Burt inspects the tires, it’s freezing; the front of the shop open to the hard packed snow, thready gray clouds, and barren trees outside. He pulls his scarf up higher, the one Kurt gave him last winter; said it brought out the flecks of green in his eyes.

“Well,” Burt sidles up next to him and adjusts his hat. “In my well-trained professional opinion?” He turns to look at Blaine, face a bit wry. “You should probably stop driving like a teenage boy.”

“I-oh.” Maybe he drives a little fast. Sometimes. Honestly he blames Volvo for putting so much horsepower in their cars. It’s irresponsible, really. 

“It’s a solid car, lots of years left on it. Just gotta go easy, be gentle. Patient.”

Blaine nods, swallows a bit, his mouth gone dry with the bitter winter air. Patient. He’s working on it.

“I um, brought lunch. If you…” He squats down to dig in his bag for the plastic container he packed, unsure if maybe he’s overstepping or pushing too much. “Sauteed sweet potatoes and kale with slivered brazil nuts.” He hands Burt the container, plasters on a polite smile. “High in antioxidants and nutrients. It’s supposed to be good for-”

Blaine’s voice seems to give out on the last word, he shoves his hands in his pockets, shrugs.

“Cancer?” Burt does the eyebrow thing again and Blaine nods. “You can say it, you know. I can take it.”

“Right. I- Cancer. Good for fighting cancer.”

Burt signals one of the mechanics, then nods to his office. “I’ll eat it in there, thanks.”

“Sure, no problem.” He hopes the new tires won’t take as long as usual, his nose feels numb and his eyes sting. Maybe if he crouches right next to the heater-

“You aren’t gonna make me choke this down by myself are you?” Burt pauses, waves the little blue container around, grin playing on his face. Blaine jogs to catch up, Burt thumping him on the back when he does. “Listen, if you’re going to be clucking over me like a mother hen, I don’t want you dancing around things or pretending for my sake. We should be honest with each other. Even if it hurts.” 

Blaine nods. He’s trying.

Burt sets the food down on his desk once they reach the office in the back, opens the lid and tries to hide a grimace. “Looks, ah. Interesting?”

Blaine crosses his arms over his chest. “Honesty. Remember?”

“Alright, it smells like the compost pile and looks even worse, happy?”

“I will be once you eat it,” Blaine replies, and Burt sighs but sits and takes the plastic fork out of the attached compartment.

“Well at least I can be rest assured that you and Kurt will have that in sickness part down pat.” He pokes at the food, takes a skeptical bite. “Or at least you’ll harangue each other back to health again.”

Blaine watches him eat, decides not to gloat at the pleased humming noise Burt makes and how his second bite is much bigger. “I hope so,” Blaine whispers, spreading his hand flat on the rough grain of the wood.

Burt gives him a stern look, one that means end of conversation and this is not up for discussion, son. A look that Blaine sees all too often, but not usually from Burt. “I know my kid.” 

Blaine presses down hard on the desk, fingernails scraping rough. It’s warmer, in the office, prickles of heat rising under the wool of his scarf, the layers under his coat. But still, his throat is dry and his eyes burn, and he has to sniffle and look away and hope Burt doesn’t see him press his nose to his sleeve.

“You know what else has antioxidants?” Burt leans back in his chair, hands folded behind his head. “Chocolate. And red wine. Think you can whip something up?”

Blaine laughs, watery and high. He clears his throat, damn dry air. “I’ll see what I can do.”

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