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Fan Fic: Hunting The Unicorn

"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 Own here. 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.

Tropes in this work:

  • Adults Are Useless: Averted mostly, although Blaine's parents aren't too useful.
  • Adult Fear: Blaine is a minefield of this: He's painfully lonely, makes absurd mistakes because nobody's there to tell him otherwise (or he waits until the absolute last minute to ask for help), and then he gets a Stalker with a Crush who kidnaps him and his friends. And is he a juvenile delinquent? No, he goes around being a Knight in Shining Armor because that's what his parents taught him before they dropped out of his life.
    • 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.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: It was always somewhat AU, but after the episode "New York," it's completely (and abruptly) diverged from canon.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: Played With. There's nothing wrong with losing your virginity at a young age—it's when you also think Sex Equals Love that things end badly.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Blaine doesn't actually say he loves Kurt for a long time, but it's obvious what his huge speech in The Clock means.
    • In Robin Hood, Nick tells Jeff that he loves him while stoned and upset.
  • Anxiety Dreams / Bad Dreams: Blaine (both) and Kurt (the second). Both are symbolic.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Wes wins any bet he makes, and a past Warbler nearly died because he wasn't careful. Played for laughs until he ups the ante on a Kurt/Blaine duet at Regionals.
  • 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.
  • Butterfly of Doom / Thirteen Is Unlucky: The thirteenth chapter is named after the butterfly in The Last Unicorn. It's the chapter where Blaine gets a stalker.
  • Break the Cutie: Obviously Kurt, but Blaine comes pre-broken. And they're not done yet.
  • Breather Chapter: The Outlaws and The Men At Arms.
  • 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.
  • Call Forward: "May I have this dance?"
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Blaine tries to call his dad out on his Parental Neglect—but he's concussed and can't seem to recognize that he's actually talking to Greg, who is very clearly concerned.
  • Can Not Spit It Out: The Warblers are increasingly annoyed by Kurt and Blaine's inability to say "I love you."
  • 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."
  • Central Theme: Purityhow it wouldn't work in reality, and how it would.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Three major aspects of Blaine's character have been retconned: Blaine's Knight in Shining Armor personality, played as straight as possible, would be extremely unhealthy in modern society. His obliviousness to love is even less fun when you're not Kurt; on the sad side, Blaine completely believed a friend's excuse to invoke a Dance of Romancealone, in an empty room, with nobody watching. On the Fridge Horror side, he has no idea that he's garnered the attentions of a stalker.
  • Character Development: Blaine and the Warblers get a lot of fleshing out, as does Karofsky.
  • Chekhov's Armory
    • Chekhov's Gag: The Warblers' buddy system turns out very justified in Nikos, while the "Tom and Jerry" gag shows up again at the end of ''The Cat.''
    • Chekhov's Gun: David's cuff-links. In The Outlaws, they're just another tracking device that he uses to keep tabs on Klaine's progress. Fifteen chapters later, they record at least part of Blaine, Wes, and David's kidnapping.
      • 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 Gunman: In The Cat, Jerry from the fourth chapter reappears. It's Greg.
    • 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.
  • Culture Clash / Values Dissonance: A source of conflict for Blaine, whose mother is old-fashioned.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A literal (attempted) curb-stomp is mentioned in Blaine's flashback about Terry.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The Warblers. Played for Drama with The Butterfly, where they refuse to let Blaine go around alone. For good reason, as mentioned in Cerebus Retcon and Fridge Horror.
    • And boy, does it pay off in Nikos.
    • Turned Up to Eleven in Jack Jingly.
  • Cross Over: The Curse has everyone going to the Blue Sun Hospital, where Blaine is treated by Doctor Simon Tam, who later calls Agent Derek Morgan for help.
  • Crying Wolf: The Warblers' penchant for melodrama is partly why Blaine had no idea about Alex.
  • Damned by Faint Praise: The only thing Kyle can say about his and Blaine's father is that he could be worse.
  • Dance of Romance: Terry tried to invoke this. It didn't work.
  • 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.
  • Deconstruction Fic: And how. Ties in nicely with Cerebus Retcon above.
    • 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 Sexuality worse, 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.
  • Did Not Get The Guy: Terry didn't get Blaine.
  • 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.
  • Dramatic Irony: The fic runs on Type Two.
    • For someone who always worries about his boyfriend getting hurt by the cold, cruel world, Blaine is the one in genuine need of protection by the thirteenth chapter. And the nineteenth.
    • The Warblers constantly tease Blaine about his Paralyzing Fear of Sexuality, unaware that he has a really good reason for it. Until Drinn.
    • Kurt and Blaine both view the other as a Love Martyr. This means they try really hard to stay honest and considerate.
    • 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.
    • Blaine phones his dad and finally calls him out on his Parental Neglect. The problem is, he's concussed and has no idea he's actually talking to Greg.
    • Flashbacks in Maid Marian reveal that eight-year-old Blaine loved fairy tales and wanted to be a prince when he grew up. Plus he liked his curly hair because it was like his father's.
  • Dramedy: It's a mix of Glee and The Last Unicorn. Of course it's a dramedy.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Blaine's family: A well-meaning but extremely old-fashioned mother, a distant father, a Parental Substitute, and two well-adjusted, caring older siblings... who are almost never home.
    • Nick lives with his aunt since his mother kicked him out, and he has a restraining order against his divorced father.
  • Easy Amnesia / Tap on the Head: Invoked and Played With by Terry. He pretends that his concussion was more serious than it was so he'd have an excuse to invoke a Dance of Romance. It doesn't work.
    • 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.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: In-story, Blaine's sheer terror regarding sex. For readers, the warnings about assault and Blaine's abduction/pursuit by Alex are almost certainly connected.
  • Epiphany Therapy: Subverted. Blaine has an epiphany in The Harpy, but it's a messy ramble that doesn't solve his issues.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Played With. Wes and David track Kurt for three hours before the Kliss, but then they accidentally watch Kurt tell Blaine about his nightmare.
    • And then comes The Clock.
    • And Nikos.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Fairy tales are harder to live through than you'd think.
  • 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 the Deconstruction of a Fairy Tale.
  • Expy: Invoked.
    • Kurt is an expy of the unicorn, as is Brittany. He's also Lady Amalthea.
    • Blaine is an expy of Schmendrick and Prince Lir. With The Princess, he's also Molly.
    • Karofsky is compared to the harpy before his Heel-Face Turn.
    • Wes might be another expy of Molly, David is Schmendrick, and the Warblers are Captain Cully's outlaws.
    • Blaine's father is Drinn and King Haggard.
    • Blaine's stalker is either the Red Bull or the spider from the Midnight Carnival.
  • Face Palm: Quite a lot, regarding Blaine's stupidity. Bob Stoneridge mentions the urge to Headdesk when David tells him about Blaine's stalker.
  • Fan-Art: The author made a banner for the Gleefic archive (later moving it to Archive of Our Own), pictured at the top.
  • Fatal Flaw: Blaine's unquestioning trust in people is heading towards this.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: Oh, Blaine. Bonus points for the guy being his literal first.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Platonic version with Blaine and Luke. Luke visits him in the hospital and starts reading him a story to try repairing their estranged relationship.
    Luke: A griffin has two hearts. One is an eagle's, and one is a lion's—
    Blaine: —and to kill a griffin you must pierce them both.
  • Fix Fic: On LiveJournal, the author says Blaine's Character Development could have been similar if RIB hadn't kept pandering to the loudest fans.
  • 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'.
  • The Four Loves: Blaine's lack of Storge (intended and unintended) means that he throws himself into Eros and Phileo. The former led to him losing his virginity in an attempt to invoke Sex Equals Love, which didn't go well, and his Agape has attracted his stalker Alex.
    • 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.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Kurt leaves Dalton. But this time, we get to see Blaine's heart break into tiny little bits. Fun times.
  • Foreshadowing: Here is there, and high is low; all may be undone. What is true, no two men know; what is gone is gone.
    • 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.
    • He is now wandering the city, nigh-incoherent. There was a Hope Spot where Kurt and Finn found him half an hour after heading to Westerville, but now Finn's locked in the Navigator's trunk and we have no idea where Kurt or Blaine are.
    • In The Red Bull, Blaine's actions make absolutely no sense and Kurt nearly gets strangled by Alex. Thankfully, it's not long before the others find them.
  • Genre-Busting: Glee meets The Last Unicorn in a now-Alternate Universe character-study that's heavily deconstructive, but not completely. It's also become a Cross Over with Firefly and Criminal Minds.
  • Genre Savvy: The Warblers, as well as Kurt. Played for Laughs for the first, increasingly Played for Drama as the story goes on.
    • In The Clock, the Warblers are Wrong Genre Savvy. But only when it comes to romance, as they are perfectly justified later in telling a staff member that Blaine's getting stalked.
  • Hero Secret Service: The Warblers are a minor case for Blaine, and they are very right to do so.
  • I Call It "Vera": Wes named his gavel Marcus.
  • Identical Stranger: Spencer Reid looks enough like Blaine's first that Blaine refuses to talk to him.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The chapters are all titled after characters except for The Midnight Carnival, The Quest, and The Clock.
  • If I Can't Have You: Alex threatens to run over a concussed Blaine with Blaine's car if David or Wes calls 911.
  • In The Style Of: Peter S. Beagle, and fairy tales in general.
    • The chapter Drinn juxtaposes the main chapter with Blaine's life told as a literal Fairy Tale.
  • In Vino Veritas: Wes goes from stoic to highly emotional (and convinced that Blaine is Harry Potter).
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Played With. Blaine lets Kurt transfer back because he wants Kurt to be happy, but the Warblers try to make Kurt stay because they want Blaine to be happy.
  • 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: The Warblers, so much. Kurt and Blaine are a Lifetime couple, "Candles" is only romantic if you don't pay attention to the lyrics, Blaine is a chivalrous idiot, and he uses too much hair-gel.
    • In a serious example, Kyle lampshades how ridiculous it would be for someone to turn down sleeping with Blaine.
    • "We forgot about David's cuff-links."
  • Lemony Narrator: The Warblers' liberal use of snark, genre-savviness, and Lampshade Hanging end up like this.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Played With. The Warblers try not to lock Blaine out, but since they treat everything as a life-or-death matter, Blaine thinks they're just exaggerating about that guy hanging around campus.
    • Jeff didn't find out that Nick was bisexual for a year because Nick was stoned out of his mind and only told Trent, who later got drunk.
    • Nick locks a LOT of people out of the loop. Even the Warblers didn't know that he's been sneaking into gay clubs or that he has a therapist.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Blaine, so much.
  • 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 Makes You Crazy: In Nikos. See If I Can't Have You above.
    • In The Red Bull, Alex tries to strangle Kurt.
  • 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.
  • Meaningful Echo: Not exact echoes, but:
    Kurt to Blaine: Can you stay here for a while?note 
    Blaine to Kurt: Would you want to stay with me?note 
    Blaine: I wanted him to stay with me.note 
  • Men Don't Cry: Averted. It's okay for men to cry when they go through as much as Kurt does. Or if their heart is utterly broken like Blaine's is.
    • 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.
  • No Name Given: Blaine's first.
  • Non-Indicative Name: The Princess and The Butterfly are two of the biggest Wham Chapters in the story.
  • Noodle Incident: How did Blaine end up stranded in the rain with a drunk Wes and David? Wes won a bet.
    • David and Wes once hospitalized Blaine's dad while the Andersons' mansion was being renovated. It made the paramedics laugh at him.
    • Nick was dragged into therapy earlier in the year. When someone asks him about it, he just flips the guy off with a Death Glare.
    • The Warblers worked with the drama students once, and they refuse to do it again.
  • Oblivious to Love: Blaine, so much. And with The Butterfly, it has a terrifying bent.
  • Oh, Crap: When David realizes that Blaine's stalker has slipped past campus security disguised as a delivery guy.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: In Jack Jingly, Nick the Cloud Cuckoo Lander stoner 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.
    Greg: I didn't call you because I was looking for Blaine.
  • 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.
  • Parental Substitute: Greg, the Andersons' house manager; he has shades of Old Retainer.
  • Parental Neglect: Luke to Blaine. And Blaine's mother is incredibly lax on sex-ed.
  • Played for Drama / Played for Laughs: Sometimes both at the same time. It's a Glee fanfic, after all.
  • Playing with a Trope: There's a lot of this. It helps that the author is One of Us.
  • The Power of Friendship: Played With realistically. The Warblers are insanely invested in Klaine and will tamper with school cameras just to validate a bet, but they genuinely care about their members, such as dragging Blaine into therapy and telling someone that Blaine has a stalker.
    • And forcing the stalker to kidnap them if he doesn't want them to call the police.
  • The Power of Love: Is great, but not enough to keep Kurt or Blaine from having insane insecurities. Or for Kurt to stay at Dalton.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Both Kurt and Blaine.
  • Reality Ensues: And does it ever. Look at all the tropes that have been Played With and deconstructed.
    • 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.
  • Real Dreams Are Weirder: Played With. Blaine and Kurt's dreams are plot-relevant, but they still skip around and follow strange logic. In a meta twist, Blaine's dreams in the eighth and eleventh chapters are lifted from the novel. Played for Drama in a more realistic manner than usual.
  • Reconstruction: Veering on Decon-Recon Switch by now. As hard as Kurt and Blaine have been deconstructed, the story still makes an effort to show how their relationship makes both of them happy.
    • And The Men At Arms reveals that as conflicting as Blaine's relationships with his parents are, his siblings and Greg certainly do care about him.
    • Therapy isn't as bad as Blaine thought it would be.
    • If the Warblers aren't a reconstruction of The Power of Friendship, nothing is.
    • 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.
  • The Reveal: Frequently combined with Wham Episode.
    • The Hunters: Blaine's not a virgin. Elaborated via Flash Back in The Princess.
    • The Butterfly: Blaine has a stalker. In Nikos, he kidnaps Blaine, Wes, and David.
    • The Cat: Blaine's father-figure Greg is "Jerry."
  • Running Gag: The secret/emergency Warbler meetings, where they essentially lampshade everything about Kurt and Blaine. Nick is constantly harped on for smoking weed.
  • Second Love: Kurt for Blaine.
  • 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.
  • Serious Business: The Warblers. They treat everything from bets, Zany Schemes, and relationships to emotional breakdowns and a Stalker with a Crush as if it's life-or-death. (The last two are justified.) Forty minutes is a record-breaking amount of time to resolve arguments.
  • Sex Equals Love: Not necessarily. It gets worse if you try to invoke it.
  • Shipper on Deck: The Warblers, dear god. We have Wes to thank for "Candles," by the way.
    David: We need to subtly change his goal from transferring back there to staying with Blaine. (beat) At Dalton.
    • They're also betting on Jeff and Nick.
  • Ship Tease: Jeff and Nick. They're almost always together, and are now the subject of Warbler betting.
  • Shout-Out: Has its own page now.
  • Shower Of Repressed Sexuality: Blaine takes a lot of them.
  • Shown Their Work: The author read a lot about chivalry to characterize Blaine instead of relying on The Theme Park Version of a Knight in Shining Armor, and explores both why chivalry works and why it doesn't.
    • She also averts Epiphany Therapy or Single Issue Psychology.
    • 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.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Deconstructed in that Blaine has no other outlet for love besides Kurt, and he's also really conflicted about the other kind of feelings.
  • 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.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The Warblers, who use a profuse amount of Precision F Strikes.
    Brandon: We're about to serenade a complete fucking stranger.
    Nick: Yeah, I vote in favor of fucking that.
    David: According to what I learned in Psych, inexplicable crying means that something's been fucked over!
  • Stalker with a Crush: Alex, from The Butterfly onwards.
  • The Stoic: Wes, though he has Hidden Depths as Blaine's Secret Keeper. Blaine is also very stoic, with shades of "Well Done, Son!" Guy, Wide-Eyed Idealist, and Broken Ace.
  • Subtext: Several of these tropes are implied heavily at most. And let's not forget the dreams.
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: When Blaine said "I've never been anyone's boyfriend," Kyle and Lydia thought he was pretending his first relationship never happened. Blaine's not about to tell them the truth.
  • Suspiciously Apropos Music: Invoked most notably during The Princess, where Blaine has a music therapy session. He sings "Samson" by Regina Spektor.
    • There's also The Creatures of Night, where the Warblers listen to "Touch Me" and Blaine ends up uncomfortable.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: In The Hunters, Blaine claims that he's not repressing his feelings. Though he is repressing his feelings about Kurt, they're very specific ones.
  • 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.
    • No longer applicable, as of The Hunters.
  • Thicker Than Water: Blaine won't let anyone question how his parents raised him, and he puts up with his father's Parental Neglect by saying things could be worse.
  • Those Two Guys: Wes and David, when they're not being a Power Trio with Blaine. Jeff and Nick, also.
  • 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.
  • Title Drop: In The Hunters.
    Sarah: Hunting the unicorn—the way you are, just looking for it—that means you're trying to make yourself better.
  • Tranquil Fury: In The Red Bull after Kurt frees himself from almost getting choked, he pummels Alex in turn until Wes and David drag him off.
    ''He is far past screaming, and he'd look almost calm if it weren't for the tenseness and the furious glimmers down his face.
  • 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 Savvy for 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.
  • Twofer Token Minority: Blaine is a gay hapanote . Terry Hanari is also a gay Asian.
  • Undercover Cop Reveal: Greg is Jerry.
    • Farhad is also part of their group.
  • 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.
  • Unlucky High School Friend: Terry, to Blaine.
  • 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.
  • Used To Be A Good Father: Luke Anderson, which is why Blaine's Love Martyrdom is so depressing. In a subversion (inversion?), it's a wonder Blaine's stayed a sweet kid.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Blaine.
  • Wham Episode: The Clock, The Princess, and the second half of The Butterfly.
    • Nikos.
  • Wham Line: After all the Warblers' mostly-affectionate jokes at Blaine's lacking sex drive, "I'm not a virgin" hits really hard.
    • While Dalton is in chaos after Blaine, Wes, and David get kidnapped:
    Greg: "Having a rough patch, Tom?"
  • 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.
  • X Meets Y: Glee meets The Last Unicorn, of course.
  • You Are Too Late: The police find Wes and David in Alex's basement, but Blaine panicked and ran off two hours earlier.
  • You Need to Get Laid: The Warblers think Blaine should. Inverted; getting laid was a huge factor in why he's so uptight.
  • Zany Scheme: The Warblers try these to make Kurt stay at Dalton. They fail to various degrees.
    • They try to change Kurt's ringtone to a "Love overcomes all" song (Aqualung's "Brighter Than Sunshine"), but accidentally change it to a sad song (Augustana's "Boston"). Kurt's just confused.
    • They hack Blaine's Facebook to send Kurt a marriage request and a five-page poem. As gay marriage is still largely illegal in the US, it's a sore spot for Blaine.
    • They lock Kurt and Blaine in the closet. Their motive isn't even recognized, since it's such a standard prank.
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