Baby Blaine asking Cooper if boys can be pretty because “the boy holding the Power Ranger on women’s show isle was real pretty!”
And Cooper just smiles.
“Coop! Hey, hey, Coop.”
Blaine tugs on his older brother’s pant leg, staring wide-eyed down the aisle. Blaine’s five (five and a half, he corrects whenever anyone gets it wrong), and he’s just seen the most beautiful thing he’s ever seen in his entire life.
Cooper crouches down, bracing himself with one knee on the floor, eye-level with his little brother. Their mom is moving down the aisle already, but Blaine has something important to say.
“What’s up, B?”
“Coop,” Blaine leans in conspiratorially, tugging Cooper’s ear closer to his mouth. “Coop, can boys be pretty like girl princesses can?”
Blaine darts his eyes toward the boy holding onto his mom’s hand down the aisle, clutching a yellow Power Ranger and biting his thumb. Cooper smiles, ruffles Blaine’s hair.
“Why, B? You think he’s pretty?”
“He’s the most beautiful person in the whole wide world,” Blaine breathes, staring into Cooper’s eyes seriously. Cooper cracks a smile, stands up and takes Blaine’s hand.
“Boys can be pretty, too,” he replies, walking with Blaine over to the little boy and his mom. “In fact, I think you might be right. Why don’t we go say hi?”
Blaine all but skips down the aisle, throws his arms around the startled little boy.
“My name’s Blaine. That’s a cool Power Ranger, I like the pink one, but the yellow one is cool too. Hey, do you want to be my friend?”
The little boy slips behind his mom’s legs, peeking out, somewhat apprehensive. Blaine waits patiently. He needs to know this boy’s name, needs to remember him forever.
“My name’s Kurt,” the boy whispers, smiling shyly at Blaine.
“Kurt,” Blaine repeats, giving Kurt one last hug before following Cooper from the store. When they’re home later, Blaine tugs Cooper into his room, places both hands on Cooper’s shoulders and looks at him seriously.
“Cooper, Kurt is the best, most prettiest, most beautiful boy there is, okay? But you can’t tell anyone.”
Cooper just smiles, flips Blaine upside down by the ankles and tickles him.
“I won’t tell,” he says with a laugh, chasing Blaine when he scampers away.
And because I like heartache, I continue:
Blaine had been telling Cooper about his boyfriend absently whenever he called in to check on him. Their conversations lacked details, since Cooper was pretty busy and just wanted to check in. (Coop hated that, because this was his brother’s first boyfriend: he wanted to know everything).
Finally, though, he was back home for a few weeks and was going to finally meet Kurt, Blaine’s boyfriend.
“I hope you like him,” Blaine was saying nervously as they walked up to Kurt’s door.
“Hey, if you think he’s good enough for you, B, I’m sure he’s great,” said Cooper.
When the front door opened after Blaine rang the doorbell, revealing a tall boy with tidy brown hair and a long, pale face, Coop just knows that yes, this is the boy that Blaine says he’s in love with.
“Cooper, this is Kurt, my boyfriend.”
“It’s nice to meet you, finally,” said Kurt, holding out his hand.
Cooper takes it, and suddenly, he remembers. Remembers the day in the toy isle that was like any other day. The little boy with the yellow Power Ranger, Kurt. The day that Cooper found out that Blaine was gay - would always be gay - and loved him for it no matter what.
There was no doubt in Coopers mind that this was the same Kurt (how many could there be in Ohio, anyway?) and that maybe they were always meant to be one single entity: together.
Cooper remembers Blaine on the car ride over: “Kurt is beautiful, Coop. The most beautiful, interesting boy in all of Ohio. Hell, probably anywhere,” he said with complete seriousness.
He’d been saying that since he was five and a half.
“It’s nice to meet you,” Cooper finally says (“again” he decides not to add). Maybe he’ll tell Kurt and Blaine about how they first met, about their bonding over Power Rangers, but not now. Maybe at their wedding reception, Cooper thinks, because he likes the dramatic idea of that.
He also doesn’t doubt that one day that will happen.