First Meeting: Blaine-Anderson Stark Universe
Published: September 28th, 2012
Note: This is a snippet I've been sitting on a while. I thought I'd put it up. Tony comes to visit Blaine at Dalton and awkward doesn't even begin to cover it...
Never, in a million years, had Blaine thought his father would ever contact him. At least, not in person. Sure, his secretary always brought by a gift on his birthday and Christmas, but that was just his secretary. Never Blaine's father himself. And never ever on a day that had no apparent significance whatsoever.
It wasn't Blaine's birthday; it wasn't any sort of holiday. Blaine was in school, in fact, when one of the office aides came to gather Blaine from Italian. When he told Blaine that his father was here to see him, Blaine thought he had misheard. And yet, when Blaine entered the dean of Dalton Academy's office, there he stood. In the flesh.
Blaine's mother, Maria, had never hidden the identity of his father from him. When Blaine had asked, she'd been completely honest. When Blaine was seven and asked why his father didn't live with them and why he had a different name, Blaine's mother had gently explained that, when Blaine had been born, his father wasn't ready to be a daddy and so he'd left Blaine to her as his mommy, to care for.
"But he still cares about you, sweetie," Maria had assured him. "All the gifts that Pepper brings you are from him."
It wasn't until Blaine was older that he understood exactly why his father hadn't been "ready to be a daddy". It had been a one night stand. Neither of his parents was married, to each other or otherwise. Both had been very young when Blaine came along, just starting their careers. Blaine's mother had decided to keep Blaine. Of course she'd informed Blaine's father, because she felt that even if he wanted nothing to do with either of them, he at least had a right to know that he had a son in the world. That was how Maria Anderson met Pepper Potts, Blaine's father's secretary and personal assistant.
They hadn't hit it off at first, until Blaine was actually born. Pepper was there instead of her employer. She took one look at Blaine with his dark head of hair just like Tony's and after that she and Blaine's mother had become fast friends. Pepper became practically part of their small family. Pepper was the only contact Blaine had with his father.
Until that completely unremarkable day when he came to Dalton Academy in Westerville, Ohio just to talk to Blaine.
As Blaine stepped inside, he didn't see Pepper anywhere which was in itself, curious. Blaine didn't think his father went anywhere without Pepper. Pepper had once divulged that she was likely the only one who knew his father's Social Security number. But she was conspicuously absent. Blaine thanked the office aide who'd collected him before knocking on the dean's door and entering with the affirmative. And there he stood. Tony Stark, billionaire and technological genius.
Dean Watson didn't seem to know what to do with himself with such a high-profile guest. Of course Blaine's student records had listed Blaine's father as "Anthony Stark", but those were private and Dean Watson had only pulled them to indeed confirm that Tony Stark was allowed to see Blaine. He was well within his rights as Blaine's father.
Blaine stepped inside and closed the door behind him, never taking his eyes off the man he'd only ever seen through a television screen and on the cover of Rolling Stone magazines.
"Could you give us some privacy, Dean Watson?" Tony asked, not impolitely.
"Oh, um, yes, of course," Dean Watson stumbled, getting to his feet and hurriedly moving to do as The Tony Stark requested. There was no thank you or acknowledgement after the request. Neither Blaine nor Tony took eyes off of each other. They eyed the other warily, as if they were suddenly expecting the other to explode and do something drastic. The door clicked shut again and they were alone, but neither made a move or said a word. Tony watched Blaine and Blaine watched Tony. After a long silence, Blaine decided that he would have to be the one to make the first move; otherwise he'd miss Warblers practice, at the rate he was going.
"Good afternoon, Mr. Stark." His words were distant and his tone polite. He didn't want to make any assumptions or force anything on Tony. Calling him "dad" was too informal and frankly inappropriate, since Tony wasn't actually Blaine's "dad". He was his "father", a term that denoted blood relation without the familiarity that came with a phrase like "dad" or "daddy".
Tony seemed to wince a little, but perhaps Blaine just imagined it. It was difficult to read the unfamiliar face. Blaine could see bit of himself there; not much, but some. Blaine obviously got his coloring from Tony. They had the same color hair and same skin tone, though Tony's eyes were dark brown. There might've been some similarities in the shape of their chins too. But Blaine knew he took after his mother more. Everyone said so. Well, Pepper said so, at least.
"Good afternoon," Tony echoed his voice a bit gruff. Blaine was worried that he'd done something wrong already. He watched his father carefully, waiting for an explanation as to why, after fifteen, almost sixteen, years, he was suddenly deciding to connect now. But no explanation was forthcoming. Nothing other than just "good afternoon" came back. Momentarily, Blaine entertained the absurd thought that, perhaps, the great Tony Stark, ironmonger and misogynistic playboy, didn't know what to say.
Of course it was ridiculous and Blaine quickly dismissed the speculative theory. If there was one thing Tony Stark had, it was confidence and he expressed that confidence very well. It was part of what made him a billionaire and one of the foremost arms dealers in the world. Not a chance was Tony Stark at a loss for words.
And yet, there they stood, for almost a good fifteen minutes, not saying a word. Finally, Blaine decided he had to prompt speech once more. He couldn't miss practice; the Senior Council would flay him alive, since they'd given him the solo for this next piece as a freshman member, a part of the Warblers for only a couple of months.
"Was there something you needed to see me about?" Blaine asked. "Is everything okay?" A horrible thought passed through Blaine's mind. "My mom isn't hurt or something, is she?"
That seemed to prompt a reaction.
"Not—that I am aware of," Tony choked out. He looked away, to one of the numerous framed certificates Dean Watson hung in his office. Looking away from Blaine, Tony seemed to be more capable of speech.
"I just, um, came to see how you were doing. How's school?"
"Great," Blaine replied. "Thank you, for paying for my tuition to come here. You didn't have to—"
"Yeah well, Pepper insisted. You know how she gets."
"Of course," Blaine replied. Of course Pepper had made the arrangement for Tony to pay for Blaine's school tuition.
They lapped into silence again and Blaine found himself fidgeting. He glanced up and was surprised to see Tony doing the same thing, still intent on reading all of Dean Watson's certificates.
After a moment, Tony spoke. "Well, good to hear. I should be going now. Lots of stuff to do, places to go, people to see."
"Of course," Blaine agreed. "I should get back to class."
"Right," Tony replied. "Get good grades, graduate, all that junk."
"I'm still a freshman until the end of the semester."
"Yeah, of course. Good. You get good grades, right?"
"Straight 'A's in every subject."
"Right, as you should. I mean, with your genes. I mean…your mom was—is a smart…lady."
"Yes, she is," Blaine confirmed. "She's finishing her master's."
"Oh, really? Well, that's good. Wish her um…luck, for me."
Blaine waited for Tony to leave, but he didn't make a move towards the door. "You should probably go. I don't want you to have to be late for what you have planned."
"Uh, yeah." Tony, seemingly spurred into action now, stepped around Blaine carefully and headed for the door. But just as he reached for it, he paused and then he turned, instead holding out his hand to Blaine.
"It was good to meet you, kid."
Blaine took Tony's hand in the interest of civility. "The same to you," he answered. They released each other's hand almost immediately and Tony turned to leave, but paused once more and turned back to Blaine.
"I don't know if you know this, but I live in Miami."
"I did," Blaine replied. "I think it was mentioned as part of a documentary on Stark Industries."
"Right. Well, it's a pretty cool place, not gonna lie. Lots of room. If you were…interested…maybe you could come down for a week or two next month. If you want to," he added quickly.
Blaine thought about his summer plans. He was going to try for a job at Six Flags, singing for the summer to earn some money. But, maybe he could take the first week after school off. After all, tony seemed pretty…sincere about Blaine coming. He watched Blaine now, obviously expecting him to decline.
"Sure," Blaine replied. "That sounds fun."
Was that relief? Surely not. "Alright. I'll have Pepper put something on the books."
And Tony left. He didn't say "take care" or even something along the lines of "nice to meet you". Blaine got a simple "bye" and then Tony Stark, confident business man and one of the smoothest operators in the world, left. Blaine stood in the dean's office still when Dean Watson returned. He was quite uncertain about what all had just passed between the two of them and why is had happened after almost sixteen years of zero contact. And at Dalton, of all places.
"Mr. Anderson." Dean Watson's voice cut through the haze of questions that had descended into Blaine's mind at the unorthodox meeting.
"Yes, sir?" Blaine asked.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yes, sir," Blaine assured the academy administrator.
"Do you mind telling me what your…father needed to speak to you about?"
Blaine honestly couldn't say. He was extremely confused at the moment. Why would a man who has shown no previous interest in whether or not you lived or died before, suddenly be concerned about your schoolwork and invite you to spend part of the summer with him?
"He just wanted to check up on me while he was in the area, sir," Blaine answered. "He travels a lot." The last part rolled off his tongue easily. It was the same half-truth he'd been feeding all of his friends and any other who might ask for years. Blaine's father has to travel a lot for his job, which is why Blaine doesn't see him much. Or ever, really, until a few minutes ago.
"Oh, well, back to class with you, Mr. Anderson. You still have one more period today."
"Yes, sir," Blaine answered.
"Be sure to get a hall pass from Mrs. Reece before you go."
Blaine left the office, stopping to request a hall pass from Mrs. Reece, Dean Watson's secretary, and continued on out of the administrative section of Dalton. Blaine had a free period at the current time, for which he was thankful. He had too much on his mind to sit in class and attempt to focus anyways. Instead, Blaine went to the freshman commons to at least pretend to do homework until he joined the rest of the Warblers for rehearsal. In actuality, though, he kept playing the visit with Tony in his mind over and over again. He was looking for the one clue that could explain why everything had happened. But Blaine couldn't explain it. He was still befuddled by the time Wes, his upperclassman "big brother", came to collect him for Warblers practice. But as soon as that first not burst from Blaine's vocal chords, all thoughts of long lost fathers and awkward conversations were wiped from his mind. All that mattered now was the music and the harmonies. The rest of Blaine's complicated life would have to wait until rehearsal was finished.