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Let's Play Pretend - masterpost

LET'S PLAY PRETEND
MASTERPOST

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The tumblr tag for this project is fic: let's play pretend, but since it seems to be acting up today, I got motivated to get all the links together in one place. Here you go!

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Warning: The video under the cut contains spoilers, don't watch until you've read the whole story! And please remember to send love to the creator of all the gorgeous visual content of LPP, Hachi :)

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Let's Play Pretend - epilogue

A/N: Before you dive into the story finale, let us invite you to join us one more time – tomorrow, at the usual hour (6pm EST), on tumblr (anxioussquirrel and/or headbandxbowties). We'll have a very special video for you. Thank you for taking this journey with us!


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The letter comes over two months later, on yet another too hot, early August afternoon when Blaine doesn't know what to do with himself, all alone in the silent house.
There's no return info on the envelope and the stamp is so smudged it's impossible to say where it came from. Even his address is typed. But the neat handwriting on the single sheet of paper inside is unmistakably familiar, and for the first time in weeks, Blaine smiles.

He can't stop smiling.

I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

That's it, just two lines, a handful of simple words in the middle of a crisp white sheet. But it's enough. It's a world for Blaine.

They're alive. Kurt is alive.

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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 10 (of 11)

A/N: Remember when I said that if you squint, there are a few scenes in this story that may need a little warning? I mostly meant this chapter. There’s nothing drastic, but if you’re really easily triggered, proceed with caution.

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They don't win.

They don't even place in the top ten, but somehow, Blaine doesn't mind. Everyone is upset and Santana is out of control, but as they fly home, Blaine can only think of how many amazing, unforgettable moments he's had with Kurt. And Rachel, too, but... Kurt. He's pretty sure he's in love, and not just with the city. And after this morning, he's almost certain New York is it for him. If only he gets accepted, he's going to college there.

He tells that to Kurt as they wait for their baggage, taking great care not to lean too close or seem too intimate after the heady rush of the last three days. Kurt just smiles, his eyes warm and full of affection.

"Can you spare a few hours tomorrow afternoon? Our parents will be gone again..."

And god, can he? Of course he can. He wants nothing more than to hold Kurt close. He wants to kiss him, touch him, see him come apart, all because of Blaine. He wants Kurt for himself. He wants more than secret moments, stolen when no one is looking. He wants to never have to say goodbye, to always have him close.

He wants so much.

"I'll be there."

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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 9

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New York is everything Blaine has been dreaming of, and more. It's huge and crowded, bright with neon lights and murky where the lights don't reach. It smells of car fumes and street food and, most of all, possibilities. It's a place where dreams come true. It's life itself, and Blaine drinks it up from the minute they get off the plane. It doesn't matter that they only have two hotel rooms for the entire Glee club, or that Mr. Schue disappears as soon as he's done lecturing them on the ground rules for this trip – they have three days and two nights in the city that never sleeps, and Blaine wishes he could give up on sleep, too.

They're in New York.

The first day is the most busy and chaotic. Everyone's in a frenzy of sightseeing and exploring, in couples and little groups, so it's the best opportunity to do something Blaine has been planning for weeks.

"Can I take you out on a proper date tonight?" he blurts out at Kurt as soon as the three of them are out of earshot of their friends. Or they would be, if Rachel's delighted squeal on her brother's behalf wasn't quite that piercing. Kurt's eyes get wide and incredulous.

"Really? A real date? Just the two of us and dressing up and not hiding?"

"Yes." Blaine shoots Rachel a look in case she wanted to invite herself along, but she's just beaming at them. "I called my brother, he spent a few months here last year, and he recommended some nice places. We could go around seven and have a walk afterwards, and still be back for Mr. Schue's curfew at eleven. I wish we could go see a Broadway play, too, but it's too late and–"

"Blaine. I'd love to go on a date with you. Dinner and a walk sound wonderful." Kurt's eyes are sparkling, two bits of bright blue sky, filled with sunshine.

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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 8

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The first time Kurt and Rachel sing it in Glee – during the original songs week, when everyone's supposed to try and write their own song – there's no applause when they finish. The song is amazing, their performance of it breathtaking, but that's not what holds everyone attention, keeps them speechless and staring in complete silence. Blaine bites his lip, keeps his face carefully blank. He's as shocked as everyone else, though for slightly different reasons.

Santana is the first to recover.

"Wanky!" Even she sounds mildly creeped-out, though.

"Wait." Puck is frowning, halfway between spooked and fascinated. "So you two are, like, fucking?"
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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 7

A/N: Because I've been an ass and somehow in all this chaos and excitement of preparing this story for posting I forgot to officially thank our amazing beta- and test-readers (I've fixed the story notes now but man, I'm so embarrassed. I'm sorry!):

nachochang, tchrgleek, sleepdeprivedmind, honeysuckle-pink - THANK YOU so, so much for your help, you wonderful, generous people! <3 (And please forgive me for being a chaotic mess...)

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"Kurt, are you alright?"

"Of course, why wouldn't I be?" It's an automatic response, Blaine can tell; it comes out snappy and Kurt looks up at him apologetically, but doesn't say anything more.

"I don't know – you seem preoccupied these last few days. You disappear during lunch breaks, you snap at people who care about you–"
Kurt sighs and puts away his sandwich. "– and the muffins were burned this morning, I know. This last part is actually Rachel's fault, she's learning to bake."

To Blaine's left, Rachel huffs irritably. Kurt pats her hand and turns back to Blaine. Even his smile seems half-hearted.

"It's nothing, just some trouble at home. I'll be fine."

"Any way I can help?"

"No. But thank you."

This time the smile is real, if only a flash.

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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 6

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Valentine's Day is approaching fast and it's the first time since his epic crush on his friend Amy in middle school that Blaine is actually excited about it. He's got someone to surprise this year – he's got two people who matter to him and need to know it. And it would be easy and wonderful and so natural – almost all of his friends are excitedly preparing dates and songs and gifts for their boyfriends and girlfriends, it's all they talk about lately – except no one can know.

So much has changed since the West Side Story opening night, and yet, some things never changed at all. Everyone knows Blaine is friends with the Hummelberrys now; some people even guess that he has a little crush, though their suspicions are firmly focused on Rachel.

But people talking and guessing is one thing, and the official picture is another – and the true nature of their relationship has to remain a tightly guarded secret. Whatever Blaine prepares for Valentine's Day, it can be in no way public. What's more, it has to be subtle enough that even if Rachel and Kurt's parents stumble upon it, it won't raise suspicions that anything more than friendship is going on.

And that's what makes it complicated.
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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 5

A/N: We have a masterpost now (it lives on my tumblr sidebar, too) with links to all of the chapters and art in one place.

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Christmas is nice. Cooper comes home for three full days and even though Blaine's parents are on call, their phones stay blissfully silent for once, at least until they have to return to their usual shifts at the hospital. Once Christmas is over, however, the rest of the week drags as if it would never end, and Blaine knows exactly why that is.

He's feeling lonely. And not because Mike is away skiing with his parents – he has a feeling he would be restless and unfocused even with his oldest friend there. Blaine simply misses them, the duo that has become such an essential part of his life lately. The awareness of the thousands of miles between them is almost like a physical ache. They're too far to reach, and what makes it even worse, Blaine has no way to contact them at all until they come back.

By the time January 2nd rolls around, Blaine's room is cleaner than it has been in months, his CDs and DVDs neatly stacked and organized alphabetically, and a few of his favorite books reread again.

And when Rachel and Kurt come back, they come with a bang.

"How would you like to spend the evening with us tonight? Our parents won't be home until tomorrow."

Rachel, like the tease extraordinaire she is, whispers an invitation into Blaine's ear just as they are walking to their first class after Christmas break – and of course Blaine's focus is gone for the day, shifted towards things so much more interesting than classes.

His teachers are not impressed.



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Let's Play Pretend - chapter 4

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"Blaine! Where were you last night? We were all waiting for our lead actors to join us and neither of you guys came." Artie is cheerful this afternoon, riding on the steady waves of praise and eager for another successful night.

"Sorry. I was too tired, I went right to bed."

"Me too." Rachel chimes in. She's just breezed in, looking fresh and lovely, and a breath catches in Blaine's throat as another, much less innocent picture of her seems to overlay. "I needed my beauty sleep to be my best tonight."

She's all business again. And yet, when she looks at Blaine, there's a new kind of warmth there, affection similar to how she is as Maria, even though she isn't in character yet.

"Okay, come, my Tony. Let's get over this one part we didn't get quite right last night." She takes his hand as if she did it every single day, and pulls him to the stage.

Blaine wants to ask her about last night, but it's not that easy – she's in rehearsal mode right away, fully focused on their act. Then other people start filing in and soon enough there's no room for private conversation, even if Rachel did take a moment to listen.

But at least their kiss is flawless this time, even if it leaves Blaine entirely distracted with sense memory, and Artie can't get over how much more chemistry there is between them now. There's so much, in fact, that Blaine needs to call for a short break to get back his focus, which stubbornly keeps wandering off towards memories of last night.
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