“Prompt: What if Blaine is a vampire who feeds off of life force via kisses, and then he kisses Kurt and Kurt is basically unaffected by Blaine?” (Note: The what of what Blaine is was inspired in no small part by Lamia and the Velvets from Neverwhere. You don’t have to know about them but I feel like I should own the inspiration.) ~2.7k words, warnings for vampirism and death, I suppose, though no one you care about actually dies? Meet cute, after a fashion!
Blaine meets Kurt on a train. It’s late, so late it’s almost early, and Blaine is sitting quietly in an almost entirely unoccupied car, tucking his fingers into his armpits as he wills his body to use what little energy he has more wisely, more slowly. It’s futile, though. His fingertips are turning grey, and soon the grey will go black. He sighs, and his breath mists around him. He needs to feed, needs to top up the energy his body doesn’t - can’t - create on its own. It’s why he’s still above when most of his kind have disappeared into the tunnels and secret places that exist below the city. He’s been in clubs and bars all night, trying to find the perfect target. Someone young and lithe and beautifully alive, but it has been futile. His dead fingertips and the sluggish thump of his heart are testament to that.
“It’s cold,” a voice says, somewhere to his left. He looks up and around, and finds a pair of eyes that shine like ice, blue and clear and piercing.
“Sorry?” he replies, and the owner of the voice stands and moves down the carriage, closer to him. Blaine watches him warily as he sits in the seat directly opposite him. He pulls fingerless gloves from the pocket of his bag, tugs them up over his hands and then rearranges the cuffs of his peacoat.
“It’s cold down here tonight,” the man repeats, his voice reminiscent of somewhere else. Not a native, Blaine thinks. Maybe there’s no one who will miss him? But no - he’s dressed impeccably, the fabric of his pants is expensive and Blaine recognises the brand of his bag. Someone loves him. Someone would notice if he didn’t come home -
Blaine finds himself staring at a gloved hand. “I’m Kurt,” the man says, and Blaine responds on auto pilot.
“Blaine,” he says, too slow to formulate his usual lies. Something about the man in front of him inspires his honesty, anyway. He doesn’t take the proffered hand, though, and he doesn’t say anything more. He just stares at Kurt, and wonders whether Kurt would share a kiss. Just the little he would get from a kiss. Enough to restore the colour to his hands. He’s kissed a lot of boys, he knows where to stop, how much is enough. He just wants to keep hearing the thump of his heart, to see his hands go from grey to pink as his blood flows through them.
Kurt, in turn, studies him. He is quiet, and his neck is long. Blaine imagines pressing his warm lips to the hinge of his jaw sometime. He lowers his gaze to the floor, pushes the thought away. The men he kisses always say yes when he asks, and Kurt is a stranger on a train.
And then Kurt moves to sit beside him, his thigh pressing long and warm against Blaine’s own. “I know what you are,” he whispers, and Blaine looks up at him and blinks.
“What I am?” Blaine asks, and Kurt nods, turns the corners of his mouth up in a smile.
“You can kiss me,” he says quietly, and Blaine doesn’t need to ask permission again. He’s starving but he still moves with a speed that the decaying state of his body belies. He presses his mouth to Kurt’s, plans to take enough to leave Kurt alive but Kurt tastes sweet and strong, and so he keeps taking and taking instead. In his chest, the thump of his heart growing louder and faster, his body warming in ways he doesn’t remember it feeling in far too long, and still he keeps his mouth pressed to Kurt’s, swallowing him in long desperate gulps. He kisses Kurt deep and hard, and only pulls away when he realises that Kurt is kissing him back, his hands tangling in Blaine’s coat and cracking through the gel in his hair, strong and just as hungry as he is. Blaine pulls away and stares down into the bright blue of Kurt’s eyes, and Kurt smiles.
“Usually I’d suggest dinner,” he quips, and then, “Funny. Is it warmer now? It feels warmer.”
Blaine sits back in the seat beside him, and stares at his hands, the pink flushing through them warming his skin to its natural tan. “What are you?” he asks, and Kurt’s lips quirk up into a smile.
“Different?” he suggest, and then, “Better?”
Blaine doesn’t say anything further. He sits with his hands in his lap, and stares at the stations as they pass. Kurt says, eventually, “This is me,” and collects his bag and his gloves. He glances back at Blaine as he steps off of the train.
“I know,” he says, softly. “I’m serious. I know what you are. You can always find me here. If you need me.”
And he’s gone, the doors closing behind him. Blaine listens to the sound of his heart thumping in his chest, and leaves the train silently in the dark of the tunnels, heading further down, further beneath, into the places where he is known.
rings, announcing another patron. It’s 8:30am, and you hate this time of the
day, hoards of people, who all look dead inside, hurrying to their respective
offices, having waken up too late to eat normal breakfast, munching on their
bought sandwiches, and sipping their coffees from paper cups, wishing it would
give them power to go through their day.
They resemble little pieces of the Moon. They taste like the heavens itself. It’s perfection wrapped in muchheko maida (dough of white flour). Offer it and no one can refuse it; the de facto national food of Nepal, मम: (ideally ‘mamah’ but is written more as ‘momo’) has been warming the hearts, souls and obviously the tummies of millions of Nepalis worldwide.
What is momo? I can hear thousands of people *gasp* as I say that. No Nepali blog can be complete without momo! However, those who have not been acquainted much with the Nepali culture cannot be blamed. Momo is a type of dumpling, much like the Japanese Gyoza or perhaps the Chinese Jiaozi.
Round type Momo
The Nepali diaspora has such an affair with momo that I believe there are quite the variety of words. Now, I shall dive into the details of the momo. Physically speaking, it has two primary forms: crescent-shape and round-shape. Aesthetically speaking, I prefer the crescent-shaped momo. It is white in colour due to the white flour dough used to make the cover (खोल /khol/).
PREPARING THE INGREDIENTS
Just like how we cannot describe a person from the outside, we cannot simply know what momo is without knowing the inside. Inside the pouch there is a filling. The filling is usually of meat like Chicken, Buff (buffalo meat), Pork etc. but it is not uncommon to hear vegetarian varieties (like cabbage and paneer?). However you can fill any material you like as long as you cook it thoroughly (I guess goat meat is an exception).
Despite what you think, making momo isn’t easy!!!
The filling is not simply meat or some vegetable. It contains the following base ingredients, roughly:
Minced Meat/Vegetable of choice
Monosodium Glutamate (popularly called ‘Ajinomoto’ here)
Oil (if the meat/vegetable is dry…e.g. chicken)
Some people (especially in the Kathmandu valley) add ‘Momo masala’ to the above filling. Some people even add tomatoes and god-knows-what ingredients. The masala is in fact even an ice-breaker; some people swear by it, some people swear at it. Personally, I prefer the much simpler-and-superior tasting non-momo masala version. However, it is upto one’s personal preference!
Dicing the onion by itself is a mammoth task. Just imagine; one onion is enough to wreck havoc with your eyes. Now imagine having to cut a minimum of 5-6 onions into tiny dices! Yes, the onion has to be small dices; it provides the texture and flavour to the momo. Unfortunately within my family, I am that unfortunate dicer. You do not know how creative people can be with this thing. Whether it be freezing the onions, cutting it underwater, using swimming goggles, fans etc. people have their own ways to tackle such a literally eye-watering task.
Another back-breaking task is mincing the meat. While not as malicious as the onions, you need to mince the meat with a cleaving knife fine enough for a good texture (but not so fine that it tastes like eating powdered filling). It is an art by itself. Fortunately, you can buy already minced meat at supermarkets or the local butcher can do it for you. Vegetarians need not glee at this point because you need to chop the vegetables down as well.
Now you roll the dough! Not really, we still have the white flour sitting in some tokri (container). So you get some water and knead the flour until you get the dough. If it ‘needs’ more water, you ‘knead’ the dough by adding more water. Anyway, after you are done with the dough (hold the yeast!), you now begin your tedious journey to momo salvation.
MAKING THE MOMO
The first step in making the momo is ensuring you are a Ph.D in the art of Origami folding. The next step is making sure you have at least a degree in getting the shape right, with a minor in filling the adequate amount of filing.
Well you actually don’t need the above to make momo at least. However, making momo is a terrific skill. I still can’t make those annoying muja (folds) right. Before that, you need to set the dough into a round shape. You chop the dough into lumps that are about the size of half of an average walnut. Next, you roll them with a belan (rolling pin) into neat circular shapes.
If you are lazy, then you simply flatten the dough into a long rectangular sheets and then use a cup (or something circular) to cut neat circular shapes. If you are even lazier, then you can buy pre-made ones. If you are lazy beyond this point then just buy frozen momos or order them from somewhere.
Filling the momo
Now that you have the wrapper, you fill it with the filling by placing it in the centre of the wrapper. Now you begin wrapping it to form a neat shape. You finally close it and then you have one momo! Repeat till you get a sizable amount. Arrange the momo on the मक्टु (maktu) and take it to the steamer. मक्टु (maktu) is the sub-component of the steamer [creatively called ‘momo ko bhada’ (untensil of momo)].
COOKING THE MOMO (AND ACHAR)
You must first ensure that steam is actually coming out of the steamer. Now that you have kept the momo in the steamer, you now patiently wait for 15-25 minutes for the momo to cook. Harder meats like buff take longer time to cook, while softer meats like chicken cook in ~18 minutes. Care must be taken to avoid over-cooking it. If you overcook momo, it becomes ‘fyaatta’ (deformed due to overcooking).
Momo in a maktu; notice the crescent-shaped momo and the arrangement
To ensure even cooking throughout the maktus, you have to periodically shift them up and down to ensure even cooking. There is a little trick that tells you if the momo is cooked or not; if it is shiny, then it is cooked. If it is still matte, then you need to cook it more. If it looks like a mini atom bomb went off inside each momo, then you probably overcooked it.
Now that your momo is cooking, you make the achar (pickle) for dipping. One faux pas in eating momo is using ketchup as your momo ko achar (pickle for momo)
. Please never use ketchup, I swear that’s an unwritten taboo.
You momo ko achar is usually made of tomato, coriander leaves, salt and chilli. However, you can also find the yellow one (made of peanuts), fierce red (made of chilli and salt only) or dips made of many other ingredients (like Szechuan pepper for instance).
Now that everything is done, you can enjoy you momo in peace!
THE VARIETIES OF MOMO
What I have described above is the basis of all the other varieties of momos. People have experimented with lots and lots of varieties (naturally). Some of the common ones are:
कोथे (kothe) = Pan-fried steamed momo, such that only portions of it is brown. Kothe momo is usually made from the leftover momo that has stood in the fridge for some time.
Fried = Like kothe, but fried such that the outer skin is golden in colour.
C = Short for ‘Chilly momo’, it is steamed (or fried) momo that is dunked in hot, savory sauce
Momocha = Used to describe the atypical
masala-flavoured buff-meat filled round momo
Sui mai = Open type of momo
Jhol momo = Momo dunked in soup
I have even seen the terrifically-coloured ‘Green momo’. I am not interested to eat it, though. Oh the creativity of people engages me sometimes.
Whether it be the old grandmother or the bubbly 10 year old boy, everyone loves momos (hold the few special snowflakes who don’t eat anything but imported foie gras or steak tartare perhaps). Whether it be that fancy restaurant or that momo-thela (stall) on the streets, momo is everywhere. Italian restaurant? Oh look, momo! Bakery cafe? Momo! The funny thing is that ‘bakery’ cafe actually holds an annual momo festival in Nepal. In fact, a restaurant’s success and merit is often based on the quality of their momo. The first thing you order in a restaurant? Momo!
Momo is ubiquitous in our daily lives. Whether you like it or hate it, you can’t deny that momo has its own special place in being ‘Nepali’ along with perhaps the song ‘Yo man ta mero Nepali ho’ and the slogan ‘Buddha was born in Nepal’.
East or west, momo is definitely one of the best things in Nepal.
Just wanted to say I think this podcast is a brilliant idea! I'm really looking forward to hearing your thoughts as you go back through the series and for some much needed group therapy. Because if any fandom needed group therapy, it was the Glee fandom! 😂
Thank you! We hope this little podcast will be a fun bit of nostalgia for the fandom.
Not for now. I mean, there was so much going on and I know a lot of people are curious about the music that I do. I mean I really like writing music for other people and letting them do their own thing and I’ve done so much over the past couple of years that I just need to be an actor again because, you know, Glee was the longest I’ve ever done a job, ever. It’s kind of crazy. Doing theater my whole life, you know you’re in a show for two months tops, and then you go on to the next thing. So, I’m used to going back and forth, so to do the same thing for five years, it’s a little, I don’t know how to translate this but, taxing? It takes a lot out of you, so I just really wanted to be an actor again and just put all my energy into that. So I imagine I’ll be doing a lot of that. And if the music thing happens, okay, that’s fine, but I just wanted to take a break from that because acting is so important to me that I needed to really pay attention to that. Yeah, so we’ll see, I don’t know, but Hedwig first. First things first!
Darren on if he has other projects after Hedwig (during his meeting room at the gleek reunion)
Summary: Before Kurt and Blaine can get married, they need to travel back in time to take care of a few technicalities. Brittany is their guide. Reaction fic to Glee 6.08 “A Wedding.” Words: ~2,800 Rating: PG/Teen & Up Notes: Thanks to nachochang for betaing! I saw time travel all over 6.08 “A Wedding,” so I decided to make it explicit. This story is for judearaya and nadiacreek, who saw time travel, too. Also thanks to catyuy and januarium (details at end of fic).
It’s all clapping and hugs in the bridal suite when Kurt and Blaine decide to go for it, until Blaine says, “Wait. We have the tuxes and the rings. But what about the marriage license? We still need a marriage license.”
Santana gets a sly look on her face.
“Oh God,” says Kurt. “You two impersonated us to get the license, didn’t you?”
“Pffft.” Santana rolls her eyes. As if I’d ever be caught dead with raspberry hair gel in my ‘do.”
“Then how did you get it?” Kurt says.
“We don’t have one, Brittany says cheerily.
“Wait,” says Blaine, his eyebrows furrowing into angry straight lines. “You want us to get married today, but you don’t want it to be legal? That is not what we’ve been fighting for all these years.”
Brittany steps toward Blaine and pats him on the head. “Of course not, silly. We’re going to go get your certificate right now.”
“How?” Kurt says. “It’s the weekend. The county clerk’s office wouldn’t be open. And anyway, you’ve got a barn full of guests out there who expect a wedding in half an hour.”
“Time is relative, Brittany says. She grabs Kurt and Blaine’s hands. “Come on, we’re going on a little trip”
It’s not until they’re zooming through the time-space continuum that Kurt and Blaine realize Brittany was talking about time travel.
“This doesn’t look at all like it does on Doctor Who,” Blaine says as light moves past them at an inverse proportion to their speed.
I hate how the internet is filed with girls (and some boys) who wave their hands, ‘cant control their feels’ and screams their heads off when they see the people they fangirl over.
Heres an example. (In italics if you want to skip it)
In June of last year, me and 2 friends travelled 2 hours to Kent to go to a Chris Colfer book signing (he played Kurt off Glee). The book signing was for his book not Glee and he has said numerous times that he doesn’t want to be known forever as the 'guy from Glee’.
Out of 500 people who were allowed to have their book signed (they cut it off at like 7am, it was crazy) I only saw 2 boys so I will mainly be talking about the girls. There were many girls that I saw with Glee T-shirts, handmade shirts with 'Don’t Stop Believing’ and loads of Glee references. I think it’s unnecessary because you don’t need to prove to him how much of a Gleek you are for something extremely unrelated. Behind me, there were 2 girls who were writing of handmade T-Shirts 'Golden Globe Winner’ 'Kurt Hummel’ and things like that. They had finished in an hour. When they went to see him (Chris) they talked about 'how they were doing the T-Shirts all night’.
Anyway, so many people hadnt even read the book! And they were looking at summaries on Wikipedia while they were discussing his best moments on Glee! The final straw was when they (nearly everyone in the line!) started singing 'Don’t Stop Believing’ and 'Teenage Dream’ and the screams were unbelievable. It’s a book signing, not a concert.
These sort of unnecessary behaviours make me ashamed to be a teenage girl. And yes, I know fangirling has been around for decades but it’ll still annoy me if I was around in the 60’s and the Beatles too.
The screaming gives me headaches.
The quantity of girls makes me get panic attacks (I have panic disorder).