Fandom: !Fanfiction, Glee
Personaggi: Blaine, Leo, Adam, Annie
Verse: Broken heart syndrome
Genere: -
Avvisi: Fluff, Slice of life
Rating: PG
Prompt: Written for the WRPG (Mission 04: Bronze, Cup, Pole)
Note: RPG!Verse, one of the best and under-used! But, this is about to change because it's got a lot of potential, especially for fluff if I write about the early years. Which I did. Here.

Riassunto: As it often happens, Adam and Leo are fighting for Blaine's attention. And Blaine knows better than to leave them be until they try and pluck their eyes out of their skulls with their bare hands.

Blaine had never thought he would end up with kids.

Training them was one thing, but raising them was a completely different matter. He was content enough to teach them how to fight as long as they said goodbye at night and went back home to their parents. As a trainer he was expected to be some kind of educator for them of course, and he was, but his role was a supporting one, like that of a school teacher or a friend. Family did all the hard work.

That was the perfect way – the only one, really – he could deal with kids.
He liked them a lot, he liked to train them, but he would happily leave the responsibilities of being a parent to those who craved for them, and be satisfied with the task of teaching them how to hold a sword and swing it around without cut themselves or their fellow students to pieces. That, quite frankly, was hard
enough as it was.

He used to teach to classes of twenty kids – usually the whole lot of them present in the village – from three to fifteen years old. Not all of them were born to fight, of course, but getting strong, graceful or agile, learning how to channel rage, to build traps, to make camp or simply know how military strategy works was equally important to their development. Some of them would quit along the way – and that was okay – some of them would show good potential and he would train them more seriously. Every few months a parent would bring him a new kid to train and some of the older ones would say goodbye to him, ready to live their lives. It was a perfect circle, part of the village life. It was his place in the world, and he loved it.

Then the plunderers came and everything changed.

Blaine doesn't like to remember that day.
The images of those animals' savagery are still clear in his mind, and he doubts they will ever go away.
He fought, and killed, and tried to give the elders time to take everyone to safety on the mountain's caves, but it was all in vain. The plunders were too many and the village was caught by surprise.
The village was wiped out. Every death was horrible, of course, but when he closes his eyes he still sees all those children's bodies scattered along the streets. His children, even the youngest ones, slaughtered without reason.

He knows he did all he could to save as many lives as possible, and yet it wasn't enough. Deep down he wonders if there was something else, some little thing, he could have done to change the outcome of that massacre.

When memories become too much to bear, Blaine takes a deep breath and focus on what good he took out from that day. He lost many children, but he saved three. The village was lost already, and he knew that. They were running aimlessly around, scared to death and screaming, and he did the only thing he could do. He hid them under a fallen table, he lied with them to keep them quite. A group of plunderers passed them by and didn't see them. A moment earlier and those kids would been gone too, like all the others.

That is why, every day since that tragedy three years ago, he tries to focuses on those three lives he saved and not on those he failed to protect. He's got three children now, and his responsibilities to them go way beyond those of a teacher or a parent.

Blaine is not their father, their trainer or their carer. He is everything they've got, and they're everything he's got – which is way worse than being simply a parent, if you ask him.

Now every day at dawn he has to wake them up from the bundle they sleep in on the bed next to him, like a litter of kittens, and make breakfast for them before they start their training. They are two boys, Adam and Leo, and a girl, Annie, and none of them is a morning person. They are three heavy sleepers, and what Blaine gets in the morning, after the usual shake them and pull the covers and finally resolve to pick all them up and drag them to the kitchen table routine, are three tiny yawning dwarfs, constantly falling face first in their bowl of porridge.
After they eat far more than their little bodies should be capable of, they start to wake up properly, one by one. Usually the first one is Adam. Food is all he really needs to start the day, so the moment he finishes his breakfast, he's ready to kick and punch and throw things around, which is what he instantly does. He can play with literally everything around him – spoons, the tablecloth, his hands and feet – as long as he can pretend he's fighting monsters. It annoys the other two to no end to have him around so full of energy when they can barely keep their eyes open, but Blaine finds him so cute.

Annie is ready to go a little after that. She usually stands up from her chair and cleans up her mess, putting her bowl and spoon in the sink. She doesn't do that for the boys, but her example is usually enough to push them. In fact, every time she does that, Adam instantly remembers that he should have done the same and promptly trots to put his bowl in the sink too. Annie is Blaine's little princess, the one who forced him to understand how pony tails works (the one that he will have to teach how pads work too, a moment he dreads more than anything else in the world, honestly), but she's also his strongest ally when it comes to get the boys ready.

By the time they're all washed, fed and in their training gear, Leo too starts to understand where he is and what he has to do. It took Blaine a little while to get how the kid works and to mold his teaching around him. Leo goes at his own pace in everything, and he can't be pushed to move more quickly. Blaine tried, but it was a complete failure. The more he insisted, the less Leo would do. Whatever he has to do, you must give him space and time to get his mind around it as it is more suitable to him.

At the same time, he is the kid who needs more attention, because the trauma, Blaine thinks, left him more scarred than the other two for some reason. He's very emotional, very touchy and he clings to him in ways the others don't, like he's scared to be left alone again. Blaine always has to move carefully around him, but he does his best not to give him a special treatment. The last thing he needs is to fuel rivalries that are already there.

In fact, every training session he has ever given since they started this new life always ends the same way, with Leo and Adam fighting for his attention.

That is why he's not even a little surprised when he hears squall and screaming from outside, right after leaving them with the task of putting away training weapons and targets. The plan was to leave the job to them so he could make lunch, but of course he has to reconsider before they claw each other's eyes out.

He lets them scream for a while, takes his time and cuts the vegetables for the soup, and he only moves to stop them when the sounds of a simple bickering turns into those of a proper mean fight. “What's going on here?” He asks, showing up on the door of the house.

The boys are rolling around in the dirt, throwing punches and pulling at each other hair. Annie is a little far away, actually picking up the wooden weapons they use to train. “They're being idiots,” she says. She never gets into fights with them over Blaine. She seems the only one who understands that he loves all three of them the same way.

“Okay. Enough! Stop!” He walks over to them and grabs one for each hand, picking them up from the ground. For a moment, they both keep kicking and clawing and showing their teeth like lion cubs, and then just drop still, like kittens do when mother cat grabs them by their napes. He lets them go and pushes one next to the other, so he can look sternly at them. “What's wrong with you two? How many times do I have to tell you that I don't want to see you fight with each other unless we're training?”

“He started it!” Leo says instantly.

“It's not true! He did it!” Adam replies, an expression of pure outrage on his little chubby face.

“I don't care who started it, I'm gonna finish it now,” Blaine says. He casts a very disappointed look to them and they both look down. Then, he sighs. “So, why were you fighting?”

None of the boys answers. They both look away, pouting. They can never avoid a fight when it happens, but they don't like to let Blaine down. So, when Blaine eventually comes to scold them, they always feels incredibly guilty, and you can read the disappointment towards themselves on their faces, as Adam looks away and tries very hard to hold his tears of rage, and Leo scratches the ground with his foot, his boot covered in mud.

“So?” Blaine asks again.

Annie sighs. “We were putting the weapons away like you told us. Then, those retarded started fighting about who should take care of your sword. Adam pushed Leo, and then Leo bit him on his arm, then they punched each other, and none of them put a single weapon away after that. I did.”

“Thank you, Annie.” Blaine sighs and then turns to look at the boys again. But before he can open his mouth to ask them anything, Leo steps forward, speaking frantically as if he was short of breath, as he always does when he desperately wants to say something and he's afraid that if he's not quick enough either Blaine will stop listening or Adam will butt in.

“But I always put your sword away! You told me! That's my task!” He complains, whiny. “And he always pokes in and tries to steal my things!”

“It's Blaine's sword, stupid!” Adam growls.

“But it's my job to put it away!” Leo hisses back.

“You did it once, Leo! Once!” Adam protests, showing the other boy his index finger. “Nobody said that was your job!”

“Twice! And Blaine said so!” Leo screams, before turning to Blaine. “It's true, isn't it? Tell him!”

Honestly, Blaine doesn't remember ever giving Leo the job of putting away his own weapon, but he knows that denying that would cause some more drama, let alone indirectly saying Adam is right, which would cause even more drama. Besides, what he wants them to understand is that they are both wrong because they fight, something that they need to understand before they move on to real weapons. One thing is to put some ice on a bump when they occasionally hit each other with wooden swords, another is stitching wounds caused by real blades.

So, he decides for a non-committal answer. “What I think is that, if you want to compete so much,” he says walking toward the training area he set up right in front of the house, “you should do it properly and learn some techniques, so we can put to good use some of your extra energy.”

They look at him with a puzzled expression and trot behind him, curiously.
Blaine grabs a few wooden blocks from a pile on the side and nods to Annie. “Annie, give me a hand with the others, will you?” He says. “Let's make a line with them.”

There are eight blocks, and they put them one next to the other, but a few inches apart. Then, Blaine grabs two wooden poles, each about five feet long, and two apples. “Come over here,” he calls them. “Step on one of the central blocks.”

The boys follow Blaine's instructions and they stand facing each other on the two central blocks. “Now, each of you take one pole,” Blaine continues, handing the weapons over to them.

“What with the apples?” Leo asks.
“I was about to tell you,” Blaine snorts. “The apples go on your heads,” he explains, giving them one apple each. “You put it on your head and you keep it there until the end of the fight. If the apple falls on the ground, you lose. If you drop the pole, you lose. If you fall from the blocks, you lose.”

“What about who wins?” Adam asks.

“You should seriously learn to wait for the end of my explanations,” Blaine sighs in frustration. “So, the winner gets a cup and... a date with yours truly.”

The intake of breath coming simultaneously from both of them is almost hilarious. The mention of a cup just barely interested them, but the idea of spending some time alone with him got them pumped. What were two whining kids a moment before, are now two fighters ready to win. The way they instantly focus, like he taught them to do, almost brings tears of pride to Blaine's eyes.

“Alright. Ready, set, go!”

Blaine started teaching them how to fight with poles a few months ago, so he's not expecting this fight to be long, but he's curious to see how it goes and where they're at with their pole-fighting techniques. He's got a very clear idea of what will be the result, but they could still surprise him. After all, only last week, Annie beat the shit out of both of them barehanded just because she's way smarter than them.

Adam and Leo study each other for a very long time, both standing still on their starting blocks. You can feel the tension between them, see the tensed muscles under they skin. Adam is the first to move. He strikes hard from the beginning, his blow is strong and precise, but he misses, the pole swiping the air where Leo was just a moment ago. Leo regains his balance, helping himself with the pole. Avoiding Adam's blow was easy enough, but it forced him to move more quickly than he was ready to do, and so he takes a few seconds to keep the apple on his head under control.

Adam attacks again, trying to take advantage of Leo's hesitation, but Leo's quicker than him. So, no matter how strongly Adam strikes, his attacks are useless because Leo moves away. Adam's apple swings dangerously, but doesn't fall. Blaine is quite impressed, the kid never showed such grace before.

When Leo reaches his end of the line, he frowns in concentration, knowing that he can't wait for another attack on Adam part, so he changes the grip on the pole, holding it vertically, one hand up and one down, and hits Adam's pole right in the middle. The shaft vibrates in Adam's hands, and he has to step back in order to gain enough space to both tighten his grip and correct his posture before the apple falls down.

Leo gives him only the time that it takes him to step one block forward, regaining some ground. Then, he hits his pole again, one single blow right in the middle. Adam growls and closes his hand tight around his weapon, stepping back again.

Blaine must admit that he's really impressed. He was expecting to see a show much worse than this. Adam still hits too hard and Leo walks on the thin line between smartness and dirty playing, but they are very good to be six years old.

Then, quite predictably as far as Blaine is concerned, Adam gets tired of Leo's pressing advance and reacts by taking advantage of his main strength which is powerful attacks, and this is where he fails. He strikes savagely, risking it all, in the hope that Leo will fall first, but he doesn't.

Leo's apple rolls down his head. He leans over, giving himself just a little more time by letting it roll on his neck first and, while he's bended, he hits Adam's knee with his pole. By the time Leo's apple hits the ground, Adam is already slamming his ass on it. Leo raises his pole in the air and hoots like crazy.

Blaine had a feeling it was going to end this way. Leo is very agile, and compensates in balance what he doesn't have in strength. Close contact is not his thing, he doesn't have the right body type to overpower his opponent. Dodging, instead, that's something that comes natural to him. He's quick, he's swift and he's smart enough to take advantage of the slightest chance, if he sees it, exactly like he did here. Blaine is focusing his training on throwing weapons and archery to make a ranger out of him.
Adam's vantage, instead, is strength. Blaine knows that he will grow up to be powerful, and he's training him for that. Everything in him screams sword-fighter. The fact that he's more inclined to destroy whatever he's got in front of him, no matter what it costs and no matter if it's the right decision or not, didn't help him where he should have paid attention to his own balance.

After all, that is exactly why he chose this trial instead of another: comforting Adam after losing this fight will be way easier than it would be convincing Leo that the entire world didn't suck, and he already knows what to do later to see Adam smile again.

He gives him a hand and pulls him up from the ground. Adam looks bummed, so Blaine gives him a pat on the shoulder and grabs his neck, affectionately. “You did very good,” He says with a smile. “I'm proud of you.”

Leo smirks, planting his pole on the ground and jumping down from the block. “I won,” he declares triumphantly. “I want my cup and my date.”

Blaine chuckles. “Alright! Alright!” He says, raising his hands. “You'll have both this afternoon. What about that?”

Leo cheers again, making a little silly dance.


The award ceremony is brief but very intense.

After eating their soup and vegetables, the kids are allowed to have some ice cream – partially because they have been good, partially because ice cream is the prefect solution for broken hearts and little kids disappointment – and while they are busy licking their bowl clean, Blaine gives Leo his cup, not forgetting to say a few words of congratulations and pride to the winner.

The cup was originally a glass vase. A piece of hardly any value, with rounded body and two big handles, like elephant's ear. Blaine added a few bronze coins to its base to make it sparkle, and filled it with candies, to make it irresistible. Leo's face when he sees it it's priceless. He grabs it and hugs it, holding it to his chest like a teddy bear, almost purring at it. Then, very carefully, he climbs down the chair and goes to the room he shares with Blaine and his friends and places it on the drawer, right at the center.

Every medal, cup or prize they have ever received is displayed in the room in some way or another. Leo puts everything on the drawer because it's the place he can see better from the bed. Annie's got a wall of sparkly badges next to the bed, and Adam keeps his prizes carefully ordered in a case on the nightstand. They basically colonized the room, but Blaine doesn't mind. Besides, they are the things he's mostly proud of, and they already are in the room.

After lunch, Blaine leaves a very grumpy Adam and Annie in the house – with the recommendation not to open to anyone that might come and knock at the door – to take a walk with Leo in the woods nearby, which will be effectively their date.

Apparently, a date in the head of a six years old is a very hilarious thing.

Blaine lets Leo decide what they're gonna do, and so they end up catching frogs down the river. This is Leo's favorite activity, together with reading stories of knights and dragons and monsters, and climbing trees. Blaine doesn't catch many frogs, but he watches amused as Leo takes off his shoes and crouches in the shallow water, waiting patiently and perfectly still the right moment to close his hands around a chubby green frog who hadn't planned to be Leo's daily pet today.

In the meanwhile, Leo tells Blaine that, when he grows up, he will be the most famous and, his words, most super best ranger and archer the world has ever seen. He will save princesses, kill dragons and loot villains' castles because, obviously, they don't deserve any money. He will be rich and he will buy a big house – but not a castle because those are for princes and princesses – where they will all live. When Blaine asks him if Annie and Adam will be famous too, he answers “Yes, but I'll be more,” and Blaine can't help but laugh.

When Leo gets bored of chasing frogs, he puts the first one he caught – that he named Pete – in his pocket to show it to Adam later, and they go on with their date. Leo takes Blaine to his favorite place in the woods, which apparently is a mud puddle. Blaine shouldn't be so surprised. Having kids is like having puppies. All you have to do is feed them, and let them free to run and get dirty. On some days the kids come back home so completely covered in mud that it's hard to make them apart.

Leo praises to him the good qualities of the puddle. First of all, it's huge. You can not only run in it, but also dive in it up to your knees. This, Leo explains, is not a characteristic many puddles have. Sometimes they are deep enough to get your feet wet, but half your leg? That's rad. Secondly, there's a tree nearby, one so old that it's all bended and its branches stretch over towards the puddle, so you can swing yourself on them and then jump down, making the tallest mud splashes ever.

Leo is so excited while he describes all this wonders to him, that Blaine can't help but smile and look at him affectionately. Also, it's a good thing to finally know where the trio goes to play. Not that he thought they were going somewhere dangerous, but at least now he knows where to look if they don't come back when he calls them.

Another thing Leo shows him is what they have built with the mud. It turns out, they don't just splash around in it, but they use it to make things. There's a group of rocks, some of them flat, that they use as tables. And on top of them there are little statues and buildings made of sun-dried mud and sticks. There are their house, the castle of the local lord that they see every time Blaine takes them to the village, and there is the village. The whole scale model of it. For a moment, Blaine thinks they got the position of some of the buildings wrong, but then he realizes that this is not the village they're living close to now. It's the other.

“What is this?”

Leo shrugs it off. “A city,” he says. “We're building it. These pieces are mine,” he adds with pride, picking up a few houses and what looks like a well.

Blaine can't tell if Leo really doesn't know what he and the others are building, or if he does and he's avoiding the question. Either way, he doesn't think inquiring further is a good idea. Besides, they're young, there's a good chance this is not voluntarily, but just lost memories that feel like fantasy to them. “They are really good,” he says instead, stroking his head.

“Now we should eat something,” Leo says suddenly, putting the little houses away.

“Come again?”

“Yes!” Leo insists, pushing him until he sits down on a rock. “I'm gonna cook for you.”

“Oh, I see,” Blaine says, getting as comfortable as he possibly can on a rock. “And what are you gonna make?”

Leo runs right and left from the puddle to a free rock nearby as if he were in a real kitchen. “A pie,” he answers, looking around searching for something. He drops a couple handfuls of mud on the rock and sort of shapes them into a rounded thing that looks more like a meatball than a real pie. Then he moves it onto a smaller flat rock, that it supposed to be a plate, and presents it to him with a side of green leaves, some berries and also a earth worm that doesn't look too happy to be a food decoration. Leo puts so much effort into it that Blaine's applause is not even fake.

“That's marvelous!” Blaine says, taking the plate-stone close to his nose and smelling it. “And it smells deliciously. I can't wait to taste it.”

Leo leans in on him and whispers, “Just pretend. It's mud,” he says, like Blaine could be fooled into thinking otherwise.

But Blaine nods very seriously, whispering back. “Thanks for the hint.”
Then he pretends to eat the pie and makes a big show of munching and pleasure sounds to make Leo laugh.

After that, the date should be over, but there's still one thing left to do. “Come here,” he says.
Leo comes closer and Blaine gives him a big bear hug, wrapping his arms around him and squeezing him. “Oh! You're so cute! Oh my God!” Blaine moans in delight. Leo laughs hysterically, but doesn't fight the hug. Actually, he grabs Blaine's hands on his tummy and looks like he doesn't want to let him go ever again. “Thank you for this wonderful date,” Blaine says, honestly, and gives him a big kiss on the cheek.

Leo blushes so much that even his ears turn red.


They are back home by the time the sun is setting.
Their little home is basking in the last drop of golden light that gives it warmth and a comforting, intimate look.

Leo runs ahead and slams the door open just to scream to whoever is willing to listen – his friends, but also the spare neighbors they have miles away, probably – that Blaine kissed him on the cheek. From the outside, Blaine can hear his steps as he runs upstairs and screams again. He only sees the results of such display when finally enters the house and finds Adam sulking in a corner.

Now, Adam never really sulks. He's pretty steady for a kid, and when he gets mad, he deals with his anger like a perfect tiny adult. But he sitting cross-legged on the floor, aggressively playing with wooden figurines, that's sulking. Life is unfair, and they have to learn how to deal with defeats and all that jazz, but Blaine knows that he maneuvered everything so that Leo had more chances to win and he less chances to deal with Leo's anger, so he can't blame Adam for being mad at the world – even if the kid doesn't know all that passed.

So, Blaine takes off his jacket and sighs, sitting on the couch. “What are you doing?” He asks, gently.

“I'm playing,” Adam answers, shrugging. He doesn't even turn his head to him. Yes, definitely sulking.

“I've seen your works at the mud puddle,” Blaine informs him. “They are very good.”

Adam stops playing. Blaine sees him struggling because now he wants to turn and talk about it, but he's still so very angry. “Oh yeah?” He says instead, his voice shaking a little bit.

“Yeah. I didn't know you were so good,” Blaine insists. Adam blushes and smiles a little, but he doesn't say anything. “So, I thought you deserve a prize too.”

That makes him turn, suddenly and with a little yelp. “Really?”
Blaine laughs. “Really,” he confirms. “Come here.”
Adam drops the figurine of a soldier on all the others, leaving a massacre in his wake and walks to the couch. He sits next to Blaine and waits, a puzzled expression on his face.

After searching in his pocket for a little time, just to build up a little suspense, Blaine retrieves a medal and shows it to him. It's not a real medal, it's an olde bronze coin with a piece of fabric attached to it – some old pair of pants had to be sacrificed for it – but it looks like one enough. “This is for your artistic skills,” he explains. “Sometimes you win because you're stronger, sometimes smarter, and sometimes best at making things. Congratulations.”

Adam is not even listening to him. It doesn't matter why he won a medal, the point is that he won it. Adam looks at it as if it was made of gold. To his eyes, it shines like nothing has ever shone before in the history of the world. It is the ultimate medal and all his other precious prizes will pale in comparison.

“Thanks!” he screams excited, and then he throws his arms around Blaine's neck and hugs him. “This is so cool.”

Blaine chuckles and hugs him back. “You deserved it,” he says. He gives him a kiss on his cheek too, and another of his kids just turns as red as a tomato. Then, after a moment of disbelief and embarrassment, Adam too runs upstairs screaming his joy and looking for Leo.

Blaine sighs, resting his back against the couch. He wonders what time it really is and if he can spare a few moment for himself. He can hear Leo and Adam talking incredibly loud to each other, all excited, so everything is pretty much okay, and a beer would be justified. That, of course, is when Annie shows up on the door of the living room, her arms crossed and a incredibly cute pout.

He should have known the day was not over. There are three kids after all.

“Princess,” he smiles. “I thought you were upstairs with the boys.”

“No,” she says. And then she comes closer, looking very disappointed. “It is not fair, you know?”

Blaine sighs. “What isn't?”

“I want a kiss too,” she instantly says. “If you give one to Adam, then I want one too.”

Blaine chuckles and picks her up. She's wearing a ridiculously frilly skirt that's almost bigger than her. She always looks like a pretty little princess when she's not training. “You're right. My apologies, m'lady. I've been unforgivable,” he says, politely kissing her hand first and then her cheek. “Two kisses to make it up to you.”

Her pout fades into a smile, and her pale cheeks turn as red as her hair. She chuckles happily, and then she too runs upstairs to join the boys in whatever they're doing – destroying the upper floor, judging by the noise they're making.

Later, Pete will get stuck somewhere and croak like mad, and Blaine will have to move half the furniture of the house to find him. But for now, he can just enjoy the end of a good day saved by a glass vase, a coin and three kisses.

Puberty will hit the house hard, but it's at least ten years away.
He still got time.

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