"Here is there, and high is low; all may be undone. What is true, no two men know; what is gone is gone." Fairy tales are harder to live through than you'd think.
— The story's summary.
Written by CrossoverQueen (aka Sharysa) in 2011, this is a character study of Kurt Hummel and Blaine Anderson from Glee. Like many Klaine-centric fanfics, Hunting the Unicorn takes place before and during Kurt's time at Dalton Academy. Unlike many fanfics, it is influenced by The Last Unicorn and written in a similar style.The author originally planned it as a short piece that addressed Kurt's characterization switch from the beginning of the show to the episode "Sexy," but she discovered that the Dalton Arc and the novel's plot and themes matched up very well in her head, and the story quickly became a Deconstruction Fic of Kurt and Blaine's relationship. It draws parallels between the Glee characters and those of The Last Unicorn, though with the current length, they are becoming much looser.Excerpts and poetry from the novel set each chapter's tone, and several scenes are inspired by parts of the book. While it is certainly not a happy story, there are lighter moments that keep it from being too depressing. The plot is fairly simple and revolves around fleshing Blaine and the Warblers out, though it takes a huge surge when Blaine turns out to have a stalker called Alex in the thirteenth chapter. Alex later kidnaps him, Wes, and David in the nineteenth chapter. And several chapters later, it becomes a three-way crossover between Criminal Minds and Firefly.Read it on FanFiction.Net, Livejournal's Gleefic community, or Archive of Our Ownhere. It was also on the unrelated and now-defunct Gleefic Archive, where it gained status as a Featured Story.After a Schedule Slip of nearly two years, it has been updated. According to authors' notes and Archive of Our Own stats, it's going to be the first installment of the "Griffin Slayer" series.The article now has a character sheet and a shout-out page to trim down the size, so please feel free to move examples around.
Wes and David were supposed to go home after the police found them. Instead they kept looking for the still-missing Blaine and refused to answer their parents' calls. Said parents are relieved but extremely angry upon arriving at the Blue Sun hospital.
Nick's situation is very alarming for the BAU (divorced parents, biphobic mother, drug use). It's later revealed that he has a restraining order against his father, he lies to his friends due to having "three definitions of truth," and he sneaks into gay clubs using his own modified driver's license.
All Love Is Unrequited: Blaine comes damn close. Two guys were his unrequited love interests, his father's emotionally negligent, and two more guys had to deal with Blaine's own Selective Obliviousness. Five people, one successful relationship. And Alex makes it six.
The Bet: "Kurt and Blaine will hook up within the next decade, it's just a matter of what will finally do it."
They also bet on whether Nick or Jeff said "I love you" while Nick was stoned. (It was Nick.)
Becoming the Mask / Love Redeems: Blaine's good manners used to be just a habit. Then poor, miserable Kurt came along, and Blaine liked making him happy.
Berserk Button: You hurt Kurt, and his boyfriend will take you on even if you're twice his size. You hurt Blaine, and twenty-two guys will want to rip your kneecaps out. Also, don't joke about gay marriage with Blaine.
Kyle threatened to burn the guy Blaine slept with alive in his own house.
Kurt's not taking Blaine's abduction very well.
Nick cusses Jeff out when Jeff says he's acting weird. Jeff is apparently the only one who didn't call him that before.
Big Fancy House: The Andersons' mansion. Has a voice-activated gate, a huge driveway (that Wes implies to be on the small side), a pool, and two theaters. Blaine's theater has movies from the 1920s, and at first Kurt thought it was just a really big room until Blaine started opening a bunch of secret compartments.
But Not Too Foreign: Blaine and Wes are half-Filipino. It turns out relevant to Blaine's character.
But Not Too Gay: An indirect result of Blaine and Kurt's various issues. Heavily lampshaded by the Warblers.
Call Back: Story-wise it's a Call Forward, but "[X] is just an excuse to spend time with you" makes an appearance in Blaine's flashback about Terry.
When Greg calls Farhad for help with tracking Blaine, he uses the code phrase 'A griffin has two hearts' to confirm that it's really him and he's not calling under duress. In "Maid Marian", it turns out that 'A griffin has two hearts' is the first line of a story Luke read to Blaine as a child.
Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Lampshaded by Garcia when they're looking for patterns amongst Blaine's romantic interests (they all rank from 7-10 in attractiveness), and also by Jameela the nurse when she refers to three of the Warblers as "hot Asian guy (Wes), hot brunet, and hot dreadlock guy."
Klaine's annoying chastity is torn apart. Unlike most fanfics where Kurt is the wibbly, terrified Uke, Blaine seems to project that image on him because Blaine tried to invoke Sex Equals Love out of loneliness and naivete. Not only did that fail hard, he was pretty clearly unprepared for his siblings going crazy and is now carrying lots of emotional baggage. Their Sickeningly Sweet portrayal is an extension of this.
Kurt's roommate, Farhad, writes cryptic lists and always capitalizes 'they' and 'them'. Blaine asks him jokingly if his sister's a model or a spy; as it turns out, Farhad's the spy, part of Greg's group.
Chekhov's Habit: David writes everything down. It comes in handy when you're keeping track of a stalker.
Code Name: After the Warblers clear up a mistake involving another student getting welded into a closet, Wes and David hear the dean call up someone named Jerry. (It's Greg.) He then gives his own name as "Tom."
Farhad, Kurt's roommate, is 'Tyke'. There's also someone else called 'Spike'.
Continuity Lockout: Averted. You don't need to read The Last Unicorn to enjoy the story, although it helps with shout-outs. It would be difficult to find someone who hasn't been exposed to fairy tales, after all.
Contrived Coincidence: Averted in The Cat. A concussed Blaine, who is in his stalker's basement instead of a hospital, calls his dad and finally calls him out on his neglect. ...Except he's talking to Greg.
Cuffs Off, Rub Wrists: Averted. Wes and David are tied to chairs. After they're released, neither can walk properly and they suffer pins and needles, which tips the police officer off that they've been like that for much longer than they think. That means Blaine's been wandering the city in a blind panic for two hours.
Dark Fic: The fic starts with Kurt being miserable, exposes Blaine's Broken Ace status very thoroughly, and the author's notes on Livejournal warns people that there might be assault (physical or sexual) later on.
Blaine's chivalrous nature makes him a good person, but he's also insecure, fragile, and naive. The Warblers poke fun at how painfully romantic and chaste he is, while his decision to let Kurt go back to McKinley is derided as being Kurt's bitch. On the other hand, the Warblers, Greg, and Blaine's siblings are so protective of him that he doesn't tell them things because he's afraid they'll overreact.
The Power of Love changes both Kurt and Blaine for the better, but it can't help with Kurt's insecurities, it makes Blaine's Paralyzing Fear of Sexualityworse, and it's pretty clear that Blaine never expected Kurt to stay at Dalton anyway. This sets the readers and the Warblers up for an I (Would) Choose To Stay situation... until Kurt really does say he wouldn't, because he's not that kind of person.
The work is Troperiffic, but trying to invoke a trope in-story will often end badly.
Diegetic Music: Regina Spektor's "Samson" makes another appearance in The Castle as both a ringtone in an abandoned hotel and a song on Wes' car radio.
Distressed Dudes: Blaine, Wes, and David get locked in Alex's basement. It got worse when Finn got locked in the Navigator's trunk and lost track of Kurt and Blaine, who are no doubt being pursued by Alex.
Meta-examples: Though "I Am Unicorn" is campy and lighthearted, this is probably why it makes the story feel worse. Similarly, "The First Time" is adorable, romantic, and what fic!Blaine really wanted his first time to be like.
Blaine is the perfect boyfriend because the rest of his life is miserable. Which he refuses to complain about because his parents taught him to be chivalrous.
Averted in Nikos, which gets worse in The Cat. Blaine gets a concussion from a moderate fall, regains consciousness with no memory of the past half-hour (David and Wes say that he was rambling incoherently), and after calling home he mistakes Greg for his dad. Later in The Castle, Blaine's hiding in an old hotel with Kurt and switches between doing harmless but irrational things and constantly asking if he's awake.
It gets even worse in The Red Bull—Blaine can barely communicate that he's having headaches, he's terrified of going to sleep, he constantly asks Kurt the same round of questions, and gets nauseous. When Alex finds them, Blaine panics and tries to bargain with him in the hope that Alex won't hurt Kurt. Instead Kurt just argues with Alex, who tries to choke him.
Exact Words: Fans of the novel may have noticed that in The Hunters, the quotes that the author uses are from the beginning of TLU. The story will end "when she runs out of quotes"—she never said anything about chronological order.
Blaine's "never been anyone's boyfriend." He just really, really wanted to be.
The fic itself could be seen as this, seeing as Klaine is a fairy-tale romance and the story was inspired by theDeconstruction of a Fairy Tale.
Forced to Watch: The Warblers spy on Blaine and Kurt having a heart-to-heart. Blaine tells Kurt that he knows he can't stop Kurt from transferring back to McKinley, but he asks Kurt 'If you could stop it, and if money wasn't the problem, would you want to stay with me?' The Warblers don't want to see the answer, but the Off button on their TV jams, so as much as they'd like to stop watching, they can't, and by the time they get it to work again, they've had to watch Kurt say 'No'.
On the positive side, the Warblers are a perfect example of Phileo and the Eros with Kurt is mutually genuine. Blaine's siblings and Greg are also an example of Storge, even if two-thirds of them aren't there to show it.
Kurt mentions back in the second chapter that Blaine's incorrigibly sheltered. By now, it's pretty obvious that he is.
Freudian Slip / Accidental Innuendo: A serious example at the end of The Princess—Blaine is thinking of what to say to Kurt, and it starts running together into "I want you."
From Bad to Worse: Blaine's life. He has an estranged father—depressing, but logical. Then we see just how much Kurt leaving affects him, because Blaine had his heart broken before. And in The Hunters, we find out that despite everyone's assumptions, Blaine's not a virgin. He clearly isn't happy about it, and did we mention that Blaine is seventeen? He needs a fucking hug.
Turns out Blaine was sixteen when he tried to invoke Sex Equals Love, and had a horrible breakup because the dude didn't seem very inclined to take responsibility for him. No wonder he got so upset in "Sexy."
And that's not getting into the plot, which involves Blaine's stalker kidnapping him, Wes, and David. Meanwhile, Blaine got a concussion that leaves him barely aware of things.
I Will Wait for You: In a familial sense, Blaine's been waiting for his father to accept him for the past two years. And there are signs that he's done this romantically without success. Confirmed in The Princess.
Love Hurts: For Blaine, romantically and otherwise.
You make me better. You make me better, and now you're going to leave, and I have this—stupid feeling that you won't come back. Because no one ever comes back to me, Kurt, especially not someone like you.
It gets worse in The Princess,The Harpy, and The Cat.
Love Martyr: Blaine for his father and Kurt. His father is neglectful as opposed to a stereotypical homophobe, and Kurt genuinely cares about him, but the Love Hurts quote has some ugly implications. Especially since Blaine's not a virgin.
Blaine is now a full member of Love Martyrdom, what with making excuses for his Parental Neglect and sleeping with someone to try and save the relationship.
May-September Romance: Besides Kurt, at least two of Blaine's past love interests are older. Jeremiah's older, Terry works for UPS while Blaine's still in school, and the guy in The Princess is implied to be older since Kyle puts so much emphasis on Blaine being sixteen. Alex is older, too.
Or if they're getting therapy and facing particularly hard mistakes.
Or if they're locked in a basement with no memory of the past half-hour and desperately calling their neglectful dad for help.
Or if they narrowly avoid watching their boyfriend get choked out by their stalker.
Mood Whiplash: Nikos is equal parts absurd, terrifying, and heartwarming. One reviewer couldn't stop laughing.
Mundane Utility: Wes can re-route an entire school's worth of security cameras (or at least a significant portion of them), and he uses it to secretly record Kurt and Blaine. He also has a near-100% success rate in betting pools, about anything, and uses it for solving Warbler drama.
My Beloved Smother: Blaine's mother disapproves of Blaine's singing, though it's not as clear-cut as most examples: She's Filipino, grew up poor, and doesn't want Blaine to end up a Starving Artist. Wes calls her traditional despite his own mother being Filipino.
Played With in The Princess—after Kurt talks about how crazy Burt would go in Blaine's situation, Blaine's mother doesn't take Blaine losing his virginity very seriously.
Mythopoeia: The fairy-tale that Luke reads to Blaine in the hospital is an invented story called "Griffin Slayer," which begins with a quote from The Last Unicorn's sequel.
Mushroom Samba: The first half of Robin Hood involves River Tam taking a look into Blaine's concussion-damaged mind. The other half involves Nick, Trent, Thad, and Jeff piecing together Nick's Coming-Out Story for Morgan and Rossi because Nick got high and drunk.
OOC Is Serious Business: In Jack Jingly, Nick the Cloud Cuckoo Landerstoner gets upset when Jeff reveals that Nick said "I love you" while he was stoned last year. They also get into an argument that ends with Nick crying in a locked bathroom, which seriously concerns the Warblers.
One Steve Limit: Averted since there are three known Blaines at Dalton—Gay Blaine, Muslim Blaine, and Soccer Blaine. Surname-wise, Greg Morgan and Derek Morgan aren't related. Then Nick's cousin Sarah shares a first name with Sarah Edwards, a Dalton counselor.
Papa Wolf / Mama Bear: Greg, Burt, and Carole, in a strong contrast to Blaine's parents. Emphasized in King Haggard, where Luke asks Greg why he didn't find out Blaine got kidnapped until hours later.
Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality: Obviously Kurt, but David reveals that Blaine has "chivalrous panic attacks" about pushing Kurt too much. Both are (un)motivated by a host of insecurities, played for dramedy. And we've found out that Blaine's not a virgin, which makes all of the jokes sound horrible now.
Later, we see Blaine get uncomfortable listening to "Touch Me". He also takes lots of cold showers to deal with his feelings, and he can barely talk about it to anyone.
In Robin Hood, the BAU point out that some of the Warblers' actions (like covert taping and tracking people extensively for a bet) are actually illegal, and while they weren't meant maliciously, it still looks pretty weird to an outside observer.
In Maid Marian, Wes and David's parents remind them that they weren't the only ones looking for Blaine.
The BAU gets pretty alarmed at how Nick sneaks into clubs, has a restraining order against his divorced father, is in therapy, and hasn't told them any of it.
Blaine's father deeply regrets that he's been so neglectful of Blaine.
Refuge in Audacity: Secretly taping your friends for months? Creepy. Secretly taping your friends for months because you've got a $200 betting pool on them? Readers go, "Lol, those Warblers and their stalking!"
David, Nick, Trent, and Wes drag Blaine to counseling. Literally.
Nikos starts with Kurt and Blaine saying "I love you," abruptly cuts to Blaine, Wes, and David getting kidnapped, and ends with the Warblers freaking out via text-message.
Nick's Coming-Out Story is... different. His mother thought going to Dalton made him bi, so he smoked a joint to piss her off while packing up and leaving. He went to Trent's place and got drunk on top of being high, then went back home and kicked his mother's headlights out. He also tripped so hard that he forgot to tell Jeff he was bi for a year.
Secret Keeper: Wes promised he wouldn't tell anyone that Blaine stays up looking at family photos. Wes and David won't show anyone the accidental recording of Kurt and Blaine. Several of the Warblers know about Blaine's first relationship.
By default, Sarah is this.
Everyone is keeping some kind of secret from each other. Except Kurt and Blaine.
Seme / Uke: Played With. Blaine looks like a standard seme, but is unbelievably trusting and naive. Meanwhile, Kurt looks like a standard uke but is far more assertive and confident than Blaine.
Unicorns are frequently thought of as sweet, helpless, and pure, and this is why Blaine's dreams involve Kurt turning into one or vice versa. But the author compares Kurt to the medieval unicorn, which is a symbol of pure wildness.
Concussions don't get you high—they make you nauseous, emotional, and screw up your ability to communicate something as simple as "my head hurts". They can also leave you disoriented and irrational enough to put yourself (and anyone with you) in danger.
Sure, everyone got rescued, but there's still Blaine's three-week recovery time, Kurt's hospital bills, and Simon's call to the BAU.
Skewed Priorities: Nick was more worried about getting caught smoking weed than of nearly drowning. And the Warblers value their bets over the fuzzy legality of tampering with security cameras, although they do have lines they won't cross regarding Kurt and Blaine's privacy.
The Warblers are actually somewhat calm in Nikos, considering three of their members got kidnapped. It's only when Kurt finds out that the Mass "Oh, Crap!" is unleashed.
Theme Naming: Kyle, Blaine, and Lydia. Their father is Luke.
There Are No Therapists: Blaine avoids dealing with his issues because "they're not that bad" compared to Kurt's. They certainly aren't, but they're still pretty serious.
Kurt doesn't want therapy because he might get pitied. Blaine and Kurt both rely on Wes and David for emotional support; the latter is studying to be a psychologist, yet doesn't even think that maybe they should talk to an actual counselor instead of their friends. Which is pretty much how real teens act.
Three Scenes, Two Dialogues:The Princess jumps between three different scenes (denoted by then, now, and later) and two dialogues. The first scene is what happened to Blaine a year earlier, while the second and third scenes are about Blaine telling Sarah and Kurt about it.
True Companions: The New Directions. The Warblers are also close-knit and care a lot about Kurt and Blaine's relationship. When Blaine implies that his situation with Kurt has happened before (with even worse consequences), they're rightly pissed.
Nick: We need to find that bastard and rip his fucking kneecaps out!
They also set up a buddy system to keep track of Blaine once David realizes Blaine is getting stalked.
Wes and David force Alex to kidnap them because they won't leave Blaine alone. The other Warblers are helping the police look for them.
TV Teen: Averted behaviorally, similar to canon. Nick smokes weed and swears every other sentence, Blaine's stupidity and clean-cut nature is noted to be exceptional, the Warblers are almost too Genre Savvyfor their own good, and there are quite a few mentions of the Warblers getting wasted at parties. It helps that the author is in college herself.
The Unfavorite: Blaine. When he tries to call home and get a ride from his dad, it takes three tries and his brother finally answers. It's implied this has happened before. In Maid Marian, it's revealed that he and Luke used to be very close.
Unreliable Narrator: It's realistic unreliability (they're teenagers, after all), but there's a lot of misconceptions going around. On a technical note, the narration is third-person limited rather than omniscient, which skews a lot of things towards whoever is the narrator at the moment.
Alex is very unreliable. His sugary introduction in The Creatures of Night contrasts sharply with his actions in Nikos and The Red Bull.
Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Only the freshmen at Dalton care that four Warblers are hauling Blaine around like a sack of potatoes. Apparently, they do this for at least one of their number every year.
Ms. Bradford bumps into Nick and Jeff, who are both soaking wet, and Nick is acting strangely (because he's high, but she doesn't know this). She immediately "gives the nurse a head's up."
Jeff drags Nick by his collar into the bathroom, arguing about when Nick was stoned last year and forgot to straighten something out. The Warblers find no problem with one of their friends manhandling another friend, and immediately start betting that one of them said "I love you" while Nick was stoned.
What You Are in the Dark: Played With during The Clock for Kurt and Blaine; they're having a heartfelt talk about Kurt's transfer, and don't know they're being taped by the Warblers. Which leads to a subversion of The Power of Love—Blaine really has changed for the better and they're both head-over-heels for each other, but Kurt is too independent to be content with staying at Dalton.
David and Wes don't know they're being recorded either. When they need to decide between calling 911 or running, which would risk Blaine getting run over, they Take a Third Option by forcing Alex to kidnap all three of them.
Wild Teen Party: Frequently referenced, and David once drunk-texts Kurt after getting hammered at one.
Wrong Genre Savvy: The Warblers think Kurt and Blaine are a fairy tale couple and desperately want them to live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this story is based on two deconstructions of that very thing.