Title: Why I Love My Brother
Characters / Pairings: No Pairings.
Rating: PG (a couple of curse words)
Spoilers: Casting and name spoiler for 3.15.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
Summary: Under the cut because of spoilers.
Summary: Blaine and Cooper used to be really close. Then Cooper grew up and Blaine just kind of got lost in the shuffle of his high school life.
Cooper was ten when his baby brother was brought home from the hospital. All pink skin and dark curls and big brown eyes and Cooper was entranced. Truly, he was by this living breathing almost piece of him. His parents were constantly finding him curled up in the nursery beside Blaine’s crib, one hand settled through the bars on the mattress and Blaine’s tiny fingers curled around one of Cooper’s.
Blaine was born early in the summer between Cooper's fourth and fifth grade years, so Cooper was able to bond easily with his little brother and it was hard when August rolled around and they were to be separated for most of the day. Cooper whined and cried the first day of school, begging his parents to homeschool him so he could stay with Blaine. The refused, of course, wanting Cooper to experience the same things his classmates were and assuring him that once he was with his friends he’d forget all about Blaine. Cooper gaped at them, swearing he’d never forget his brother and how dare they think he could. Laughing, they sent him on his way, waving to him as he boarded the school bus and it roared to life and carried him away for the day.
As the years pass they grow close. Cooper choosing to play with Blaine instead of outside with his friends and holding the little boy close when they cuddled on the couch during their Friday night movies. He takes his little brother trick or treating on Halloween and lets Blaine open the first gift at Christmas. He earns praises for being a great older brother, for being Blaine’s protector, and he revels in them, smiling brightly at each compliment his parents give out.
And that’s the way it continues. Cooper helps Blaine dress for his first day of school and holds his hand all the way down to the bus stop. He helps him with his homework and ruffles his hair when he gets a question right. He tucks him in at night and lets him crawl into his bed when Blaine has a nightmare.
But then Cooper gets to high school, and suddenly doting on your baby brother isn’t cool. It doesn’t matter that Blaine’s heart breaks a little more every time Cooper says he doesn’t “have time,” to help Blaine or to play with him. Doesn’t matter that the hurt in Blaine’s doe eyes increases daily. It’s like Cooper is immune to what he’s doing, only worrying about his popularity, football, and girls. Blaine’s no longer the apple of his eye and their Friday night movies have long since been cancelled and replaced by Blaine sitting at the top of the stairs and watching Cooper leave for yet another date night.
Cooper isn’t there to pick him up when he trips on the patio in their backyard and breaks his wrist, and scoffs every time their mother asks him to help Blaine cut his food once the cast is on. Blaine just sits in silence, wondering what he’s done to make his brother hate him so much. If growing up means hating your siblings then Blaine wants to stay small forever, and he wishes he could make Cooper small again too. Cooper was the first one Blaine asks to sign the cast, sure that his big brother will write something silly or draw an awesome picture and it’ll make him feel better. But Cooper scowls and walks away, saying he’ll do it later and that he has too much homework to mess around right now.
He never does sign it.
It comes to a head one day when Blaine is eight. Cooper is a senior this year and home rarely, so when Blaine walks in from school with a scrap of notebook paper clutched tightly in his hands he’s surprised and pleased to see Coopers shoes by the door and hear him walking around upstairs. Shedding his jacket and shoes quickly, he clomps up the stairs and drops his backpack off in his room before crossing the hallway to Cooper’s room. Knocking, he doesn’t wait for an answer before barging in, seeing Cooper seated at his desk with his headphones in. It doesn’t seem like his brother has heard him, so he walks over and stands next to him, fiddling with the paper nervously and smiling when Cooper glances at him.
“Coop! Hey, Coop, guess what?” he asks, excitedly, bouncing slightly. Cooper glances at him again, a frown on his face, but that doesn’t deter the eight year old.
“What, Blaine?” It’s said lowly, almost monotonous but Blaine ignores that and plows on.
“Mrs. Jameson had us write an essay today and she said we should read it when we got home and I didn’t think you’d be home but you are, Coop! You are! And-and I really want to read it to you, okay? Can I read you my essay?”
“Can we do it later, B? I’m busy,” Cooper says, not even glancing at his brother. Blaine stops bouncing, staring at his brother and then glancing down at his work.
“But, Coop.. I just wanted to...” Cooper cuts him off, waving a hand in his direction to get him to shut up.
“B, I said not now.”
“Coop! It’s about,” Blaine tries again, but flinches when Cooper tears his headphones out of his ears and turns to him, eyes angry.
“Blaine! I said not now! You can read me that stupid essay later but right now I want you to get out. God, you’re so damn annoying,” he says, and Blaine bites his lip against the sharp sting of tears at his brother’s words, nodding and turning away. He pauses by the door to set the essay on Cooper’s dresser, thinking that maybe he’ll read it himself. Or he’ll just throw it away. It doesn’t matter anymore. Glancing once more at Cooper, Blaine’s tears fall and he scrubs at them harshly and makes his way across the hall, closing his door gently and then sitting at his own desk and pulling out his homework, working through blurry eyes.
Cooper thinks nothing of the interaction, and dismisses Blaine’s visit from his mind, going back to his computer and grinning at the newest message in his conversation. He spends the entire afternoon there, never once going over to see what Blaine’s essay had been about and not even noticing it until his mom calls them both down for dinner. He shoves it aside hastily, and leaves his room, paying it absolutely no mind in his rush to get to the food. Blaine’s already seated at the table when he makes it down and Cooper brushes past him, flicking him on the side of the head like he usually does. He doesn’t get a reaction today, which is unusual because Blaine almost always scowls and rubs at his ear and him mom will smack up upside the head. But today there’s nothing. Just Blaine staring down at his plate forlornly and his dad ignoring them in favor of reading the paper. Blaine picks at his food during dinner until their mom reaches over and feels his forehead, asking if he feels alright. His brother nods, glancing up at her and then back to his plate.
“Well how was school then, Honey?” she asks him and Blaine shrugs. Cooper watches him over his fork, sensing that something is wrong but unable to pinpoint it. Why wasn’t Blaine telling her about his essay? The rest of dinner is silent, something that doesn’t regularly happen in the Anderson house and soon enough Cooper’s out of his chair and racing back up the stairs, Blaine following him slowly. He pushes open his door and moves to close it when the fluttering of a paper catches his eye and he leaves it to grab at the fluttering scrap. It’s Blaine’s essay and Cooper rolls his eyes and is about to crumple it up when the title catches his eye and he stops, scanning the page.
‘Why I Love My Brother’ is written across the top of the page with Blaine’s name scrawled underneath it. Breath catching in his throat, Cooper reads through the essay, smiling at the picture Blaine paints of them. He details the time they spent together growing up. Of their movie nights and daytime adventures. When Cooper had been the big, bad villain to Blaine’s superhero and the Captain Hook to his Peter Pan. A particular passage catches him and he has to read it over a few times to make sure he’s reading it right.
‘Coop is my hero because he’s never scared. Even when I’d wake up at night because of a bad dream he’d always let me sleep with him and he’d protect me. And when he taught me how to ride my bike he said I’d fall, but he’d be right there to help me up. He taught me how to play catch and gave me ice when I missed and the ball hit me on the head. He’s busy now though, so he can’t spend as much time with me like he did but I sometimes sit outside his room just so I know he’s still there. He’s my big brother and I love him. Always and forever.’
Hero? Cooper is Blaine’s hero? That’s pretty cool. The thought astounds him and he stares at the paper for a few minutes until a sound out in the hall disrupts him and he turns to see Blaine standing outside of his own door and staring into Cooper’s room. Cooper smiles at him, but Blaine just stares at the paper in his hands before telling him to turn it over and then disappearing into his room.
The smile slips into a frown and Cooper does as he’s told, freezing when the single sentence written there seeps into his brain. It’s a short sentence, just seven words, but it says a lot. Says enough to have Cooper gasping for breath and tears gathering in his eyes as he goes over what he’s done to have made Blaine write this sentence. For there at the bottom of the page, in Blaine’s somewhat tidy handwriting, is this:
‘I just wish he still loved me.”
“Blaine,” Cooper says, dropping the paper and dashing across the hall, not even bothering to knock as he barges into his brother’s room. Blaine’s sitting on the edge of his bed, hands folded in his lap and shoulder’s shaking as he suppresses sobs. Cooper’s there in an instant, kneeling before him and pulling him until his head rests on Cooper’s shoulder and the tears seep into the fabric of his shirt. “Oh, B. I’m so sorry,” he breathes, vowing at that moment to rid himself of the asshole that had taken over his body and go back to being Blaine’s hero.
Cause that’s what older brothers are supposed to be, and Cooper hasn’t been doing his job, but as he sits there with Blaine curled in his lap, pressing soft kisses into the dark curls, he realizes that he needs to start working harder. Or else he’ll lose the only person in his life who will love him unconditionally. Just because he’s his brother.
You do realise it's bad form to break my heart on Valentine's right? I mean... really?
The last line of Blaine's essay... god. It says so much about who Blaine is, so much about his character and how he deals with things, how he approaches things.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go and cry into some ice cream.
OMG!!! Don't you know I'm about to clock back in to work! I can't cry right now. This is becoming a habit of mine. Maybe I shouldn't read this on my lunch break. But then I would not have read this and that would just be a travesty! Great story!
Absolutely gorgeous! Love that Blaine is watching him read it and has the courage to tell him to flip it over, knowing that Cooper will never see that sentence otherwise. And the image of Blaine sobbing on his bed...heartbreaking.
Oh god damn it why would you do that??!!!
It may no longer be valentine's day but WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?
Gosh, love this fic so much. I had to bury my tears because I'm out in public and you wouldn't believe hoe difficult that was...
Oh my god, this is so wonderful. I'm actually crying because you captured Blaine's feelings so well. Sorry for story time but I have 3 siblings, 2 of which are 8 and 13 years older than me and I remember the time when my older brother was in high school and suddenly stopped paying attention to me. Ugh, I just want to wrap little Blaine up in a blanket and squeeze him until he's not sad anymore. I hope that in this 'verse, Cooper makes good on his promise to become closer to Blaine because having a good relationship with your sibling is the best.
Oh god, what are these salty wet things running down my face?
Seriously, this is just so perfect. I have an older brother, 10 years older to be exact (coincidence much?) and this pulled at my heart strings in all the right places. I went through this, I mean maybe not to this extent, but there was a time when I felt like my brother didn't care about me anymore because I was so little and annoying. But now we have a great relationship and I guess this is why I'm so excited about Cooper and why I'm sobbing after reading your perfect, perfect story :)
Oh my heart. That last line of the essay was just a kick in the right place ;_; You really captured the different characters of Blaine and Cooper, and highlighted perfectly the difficulties of their growing up. Wonderfully written <3