Happy Holidays, Alura_Embry!
Title: No Regrets, Just Love
Author/Artist: to be revealed January 3rd, 2012
Warnings: ANGST, language, mature content, gore (very minimal, just description of an injury), violence, homophobia, mentions of death, character death (NOT Kurt or Blaine, also NOT a canon character from the show. I’ll explain further in the notes).
Word Count: 27, 683
Summary: Blaine’s parents were never very supportive, but neither Kurt nor Blaine ever thought it would come to this. Sometimes things just don’t work out, but sometimes it just might not be the right time.
Notes: Okay, so for the character death: prompter, I know you asked not for it (which I didn’t realize until I was 20k words into the fic, I blame Google Docs), but by the time I noticed, it was too late to ask for clarification. I want to be very clear about this: neither Kurt nor Blaine dies in this fic. The character that passes is an OC (original character) put in the story for plot, you are warned far, far ahead of time, and I promise that I kept it as absolutely positive as I could. I don’t think you will find a more positive fic that includes this subject anywhere, to be honest.
Aside from that, said character makes a small quip about British, but for the love of all that is holy, I promise I didn’t do that to offend anyone. They’re merely being slightly sarcastic, so don’t take it to heart.
Aside from those notes (they sound quite damaging, but I have a pretty positive feeling about this fic), please everyone have a happy holiday season and enjoy!
Kurt’s heart beat a rapid-fire rhythm in his chest, panic’s claws hooked into his lungs. He struggled to breathe, pacing up and down the hallway that led to the door of the Hummel-Hudson home.
He’d never heard Blaine sound like that, never. The phone call he had received nearly an hour and a half ago was so frantic and just plain hysterical that Kurt didn’t even realize it was Blaine who was talking, at first. His voice had cracked every other word, choked with sobs, begging Kurt to let him come over and refusing to tell him what was wrong, eventually hanging up when Kurt tried to calm him down, to keep him on the line as he started the drive from Westerville to Lima.
Hundreds of possibilities cycled through his mind, each worse than the one before it. His dad hit him. He was kicked out. Someone died.
He never expected this, never. He knew that Blaine’s parents weren’t terribly supportive―well, that was putting it lightly. His mother pretended like she didn’t know Blaine was gay, and his father openly expressed his distaste for Blaine’s… life choices. Yet, they had never really taken that final step, never told Blaine to stop seeing him, never expressly told Blaine he couldn’t date Kurt, and, because of that, Kurt somehow assumed they’d be fine.
How wrong he was.
As soon as he’d opened the door, Blaine had thrown his arms around Kurt, body shaking with sobs―did he ever stop crying on the drive here?―and burying his face into Kurt’s exposed neck. Despite the fact that it was nearly midnight, Blaine didn’t look like he would be winding down anytime soon.
“I’m moving,” he gasped through his tears. “They won’t let me stay. They’re making me go with them. They’re pulling me out of McKinley and we’re leaving in three days.We’re leaving the country.”
Kurt felt his world drop out from beneath him, and before he knew it, he and Blaine had actually slid down to the floor, legs tangled uncomfortably beneath them, but neither could bring themselves to care. His eyes were burning and his panicked breathing hadn’t slowed, and this was so much worse than he could have ever imagined.
“Blaine,” he whispered, words failing him, and Kurt figured that maybe he was in shock, because he honestly felt his mind go blank. All he could do was whisper the name of the boy in his arms, the boy he had promised would always be in his arms. “Blaine, Blaine, Blaine, Blaine.”
“Kurt?” A familiar voice asked blearily, coming down the hallway behind them. “Scooter, what are you doing up so late? What―”
If he hadn’t been fighting tears, Kurt might have laughed. What a pitiful picture they must have made, collapsed on the entry hall rug, Kurt bare-footed and in his pajamas, holding onto Blaine like a lifeline, who was still in his winter coat and scarf, boots caked with snow, crying into Kurt’s shoulder. The door was still open behind them, Kurt suddenly realized, and the draft was probably what drew his father down here from where he’d been dozing on the living room recliner.
Burt hesitated behind them, and Kurt knew it was because of the house rules―no significant others over after ten at night, unless specifically allowed by Burt or Carole. Obviously, something like this hadn’t been planned, and though Burt was firm in his enforcing, it was pretty obvious that this was no normal situation, not just an instance of five more minutes, Dad, please, but what might actually be an emergency.
Burt was a sucker when it came to kids that needed help. It didn’t really surprise Kurt when he sighed, stepping around the two to close the door before he returned to help them up.
Even so, Blaine’s refusal to release Kurt proved to be a bit of a problem.
“Come on, you two, up you get,” Burt insisted, attempting to hoist the two to their feet by way of only Kurt’s hand. It was ineffectual―their combined weight was too much for only one person’s cooperation. Kurt could see his father’s frustration, both at Blaine and at his own inability to help. He sighed, rubbing his other hand over Blaine’s back soothingly, his cheek resting against curls that were partially-released from Blaine’s hair gel.
“Dad, can you go start a pot of tea, please?” Kurt asked, eyes pleading for his father to comply this once, to just try to let Kurt handle the situation. “We’ll be there in a second. Just…” The truth of the situation couldn’t seem to settle, washing over Kurt in a wave that seemed even stronger than the first.
This might be the last time Blaine would come over. It might be the last time he would sit across from Kurt at the kitchen table, a mug of peppermint tea warming his hands, one sock-clad foot propped in Kurt’s lap, the other drifting idly along his calf, happening so often over the past few weeks that it had seemed like more than just one winter, seeming to span several winters in his mind, with hopefully more to come. In his mind, Blaine was always there, now, in every memory, whether he was present or not.
He’d actually believed that Blaine might be there forever.
The burning in his eyes finally spilled over, tears that had built at the corners of his eyes breaking free to roll over high cheekbones, across carefully-maintained skin, dripping down his jaw and onto Blaine’s coat. Kurt’s breath hitched and stuttered, and he finally broke down, burying his face into Blaine’s still-shaking shoulders, arms circling his boyfriend’s waist as they shared their grief.
He barely noticed his father’s receding footsteps, too lost in the reality of the moment.
Blaine was leaving.
“I’m so sorry,” Blaine choked, quiet enough that Kurt barely heard it.
“Where?” Kurt asked tearfully. “Why?”
Blaine’s hands gripped so hard at Kurt’s shoulders that he knew he would have bruises, come morning. “I don’t know. I don’t know where, I don’t know why. I went down to get a snack before bed, and they told me we were leaving in three days, to start packing. I just―” A fresh round of sobs started. “They’re deactivating my phone and having your number blocked, Kurt. They got into my email accounts and deleted them. ‘A clean break from McKinley’, they said, but they’re doing this because of us. Because of what we have.”
Kurt shook his head in disgust and denial, pulling back just enough to look Blaine in the eyes and rest their foreheads together. “They can’t do that. They can’t―it’s an invasion of privacy.”
“I’m seventeen, Kurt,” he whispered. “Nothing is an invasion of privacy. And even if I called them on it, what could come from it? My dad is a lawyer and I’m a minor. There’s nothing to build a case on. I’m leaving, end of story, and they’re taking me away from you in the process.”
Kurt stiffened, his hands moving from Blaine’s waist to blindly reach for his hands, squeezing them to the point of pain. “They can’t have you.”
“They already do.” Blaine’s eyes slid shut, cutting off Kurt’s only window into his thoughts, tears already slowing to a stop to be replaced by quiet misery. “I’m theirs to take away.”
“No matter what they do, we can survive this, Blaine. I―I’ll write. Letters, postcards, whatever you want―”
“Kurt, stop,” Blaine whispered, wrenching his hands away from Kurt’s and pulling out of his grasp. He struggled to his feet, brushing off his boyfriend when he scrambled to support him from his shaky legs.
“I don’t understand,” Kurt replied softly, wringing his hands before him, watching carefully just in case his assistance was needed.
Blaine braced himself on the wall, gaze averted for a few long moments. However, when he looked back to Kurt, there was only miserable resolve in red-rimmed hazel eyes, swollen from crying. “It’s obvious, isn’t it? It’s over.”
“Over?” The word passed Kurt’s lips, but it didn’t make sense. “What’s over? What do you mean?”
The dark-haired boy’s face twisted into one of badly-masked pain. “It’s over, Kurt,” he repeated in a whisper. “We’re over.”
A new wave of cold panic washed over Kurt, chilling him to the bone and making his heart feel as if it had stopped beating. “…Blaine?”
“It was a mistake to have come,” the other muttered under his breath, bending to pick up his scarf that had fallen off in their embrace and turning on his heel. He headed for the door, but Kurt had regained enough reflexes, whether from recovery from his shock or sheer instinct, to get between Blaine and his only way out. He flattened himself against the door, the handle digging painfully into his back, but nothing compared to the desperate clenching in his chest.
“A mistake?” Kurt snapped. “A mistake to come here, Blaine, to come to a family that loves you when you were upset? A mistake to come to me?”
“All of this was a mistake!” Blaine snarled in return. “It was stupid of me to ever think this could work! It didn’t even work when we were friends!”
“What we have has always worked, Blaine! You’re my boyfriend, but you’re my best friend, too! None of that would have happened if we didn’t work!”
“Yeah, well how many other best friends have I had before you, Kurt? And how many of them actually stuck around once I had moved?” Blaine’s lip curled into a sneer. “You don’t know what it’s like―moving. You wouldn’t, because you’ve lived in this cow-town your whole life! You’ve never heard someone promise to write and then waited for their letters, only to realize they were never coming. You don’t know.”
“I know plenty,” Kurt replied, glasz eyes narrowing. “I know what it’s like to be alone. I know what it’s like to be bullied. I know what it’s like to find the best thing that’s ever happened to you, and most of all, I know you, Blaine Anderson. You’re not going to walk out on me now, not after months of making this work and grow and become beautiful between the two of us. Not after what we shared last month. You’re not going―they can’t have you.”
“Kurt, just let it go!” Blaine took a step forward, attempting to pry Kurt away from the door.
“I’ll never let this go,” he hissed, using Blaine’s grip on his wrist to pull the other forward, smashing their mouths together. Lips moved frantically, biting at tender skin and drawing the strong taste of blood that neither of them favored. Tongues met only for a moment, brushing in heated passion before Blaine finally gained leverage and used Kurt’s distraction to finally make his way through the door, pushing his boyfriend―could he even be called that anymore?― away from him as he threw it open and stepped outside.
“Blaine, stop!” Kurt demanded angrily. “Are you going to give into them so easily? We would have made this work when I went to New York. How is this any different?”
Now that he was outdoors, Blaine obviously saw no reason to control his volume. “The difference is that we could have talked if you had gone to New York! We could have Skyped and messaged on Facebook and emailed and texted, we could have sent pictures to each other and been in communication whenever we wanted! This is different! This isn’t just New York City, this is me going abroad to a location I don’t even know yet, my life ruled by parents who will do their very best to keep us apart. That isn’t a life I want to live!”
“So, what, you’ll let them win?!” Kurt stormed off of the porch, feet bare in the snow as he attempted to follow Blaine.
“I refuse to live a life with you if I can’t be by your side!” He snapped, wrenching back from Kurt’s grasp. “I’m saving us both the pain of realizing a year, two years from now, that this will only make us miserable. We had our moment―now it’s done. We’re done. We. Are. Done.”
Done, over, finished. The word was final and left no room for argument, and it was suddenly obvious that Blaine had made up his mind. No amount of righteous anger on Kurt’s part would fix things.
His eyes filled with tears, Kurt’s entire body going as numb as his nearly-frozen feet. When the sobs started, he wasn’t entirely sure―all Kurt knew was that one moment, he was standing strong, and the next, his arms were wrapped around his vulnerable, aching stomach, tears blurring his vision.
“You can’t,” Kurt begged between gasping breaths. “Blaine, please.”
Blaine’s blurry outline shook his head, taking another step back toward where his car was parked. “No, Kurt.”
“But I love you. I want everything with you.”
The other mutely shook his head once more, and something inside of Kurt snapped. Well-maintained nails dug into the tender flesh of his arms until he bled, and Kurt bared his teeth at the person he loved so much that was causing so much pain. “It doesn’t matter how far you run,” Kurt snarled, tears still rolling down his cheeks. “It doesn’t matter. You will never stop loving me, Blaine Anderson, never, no matter what you or your goddamned parents say. What we had, what we have, is real and beautiful and perfect and you will never find anything else like it. Someday you’ll realize that and find your way back to me, and I swear, I hope I’ve moved on by then and that I’m happy with someone else so you will know exactly what it feels like to get your world torn out from under you and your heart smashed to bits!”
He could barely make out Blaine’s stricken expression through his tears, but it didn’t really matter. Kurt turned and fled, feet prickling painfully as they moved from snow to cold concrete, and it was only once he was back on the porch that he realized Burt was standing in the doorway.
“Dad…” he whispered helplessly.
“Go inside, Kurt,” Burt replied sharply, eyes fixed on a point over Kurt’s shoulder. “Now. I’ll be there in a minute.”
Kurt nodded mutely, still in pained shock as he stumbled through the doorway past his father, too far gone to even berate his father over his poor health choices. Once the door closed behind him, Burt’s blank look pulled into a heavy frown, work boots far less easily stalled by the snow and ice as he cleared the porch and started down the driveway.
Blaine took a defensive step back, a slight sheen to his hazel eyes, before his expression twisted into something pitiful. “Here to defend your son’s honor and break my face for breaking his heart?”
Burt stopped just a few feet from the young man, silently considering him before his shoulders tensed and dropped. “No.” Instead, he stepped forward and dragged Blaine closer, pulling him in for a fatherly hug and letting his hand rub at the boy’s back. Blaine tensed, obviously unsure, and Burt took pity on him. “It’s okay, kid.”
Immediately, Blaine’s entire body seemed to collapse, hands clutching desperately at the thick material of Burt’s coat. “I don’t want to go,” Blaine sobbed, voice muffled by the jacket. “I never wanted this to happen. I love Kurt so much, I thought everything would be okay, but everything is so fucked up, and now I can’t fix it. I just broke the heart of the only person I ever really loved.”
“Kurt’s a strong kid,” Burt replied. “He’ll be okay, Blaine, given some time. The one I’m worried about is you. Kurt had no place to say some of the things he did―”
Blaine’s body heaved uncontrollably, composure unravelling at the seams. “No, no, he did― and he’s right, you know. I’ll never be able to stop loving him, never, ever, but I’m saving him by cutting him loose now. I’m giving him time to move on before it’s time for him to go to college, and I just thought this would be best―”
“Nothing about this situation is easy, Blaine. Circumstances considered, I think you did alright.” One hand rubbed a circular motion between Blaine’s shoulder blades, an action that seemed both unfamiliar and wholly welcome to the younger boy. Burt wondered just how often the kid got any form of physical contact at home. He seemed to be starved for it.
“No,” Blaine whispered the word yet again. “No, I fucked everything up. I should have been more careful, I should have tried harder for my parents just to be a normal kid. And, now, they’re taking me away. They’re taking me away from Kurt and from your family which is more of a family than I’ve ever had, and I fucked everything up. I was supposed to―I was going to graduate and move to New York with Kurt, and we would have gone to college together and spent our weekends eating weird take-out from everywhere in the city, spending random nights of the week going to his shows in college, the ones he acts in and then the ones he would write, because he writes so well and I think he would like directing other people for once and having control of the casting process, and we would have graduated and maybe he would have moved on from music into fashion and I would drop law school and get a crappy job at a music bar and get my undergrad in performing arts and something else that pays the bills, and we would have had it hard but we would have been so happy, and then we would have gotten married and stayed together and made it all work somehow, and now it’s never going to happen and it’s all my fault.”
Sadness and bitter resentment of Blaine’s parents was all Burt could think about for a few moments. This boy, this kind-hearted, well-mannered, talented, intelligent young man, wanted to spend the rest of his life with his son. He wanted life and love with his Kurt in ways that most adults couldn’t even comprehend―and, obviously, his parents were some of those adults.
Kurt was about to lose the best thing he’d ever had to himself, and possibly about to lose the best thing that could have ever happened to his whole life. The worst part was that, in this situation, there was absolutely nothing Burt could do about it.
“You sound like you’ve thought through that quite a bit,” the man said quietly, caught between his empathy―because it was never easy to lose someone you loved when it wasn’t your choice and there was nothing you could do about it, never easy―and the strong sense of injustice at the entire situation.
“We talked about it all the time,” Blaine whispered so quietly that Burt barely heard him, obviously so upset that his carefully-maintained filter was disintegrating. The secrets kept between he and Kurt, the promises, their hopes for the future, were all unravelling, and Blaine was trying to hold onto them in the only way he could―by sharing them. “He knew I wanted to spend forever with him, that I never wanted anyone else. I…” he trailed off into a miserable silence before he pressed his face more firmly into the fabric of Burt’s jacket, whether as an attempt to muffle his words or suffocate himself out of misery, he wasn’t sure. “I bought him a promise ring. I was going to give it to him for Christmas.”
“Kid,” Burt said quietly, taking hold of Blaine’s shoulders and pushing him back enough to look him in the face. “If you’re so dead-set on spending your life with Kurt, why are you giving up so easily?”
Blaine shook his head mutely for a few seconds, eyes squeezing shut before his expression evened out into a small, sad, teary smile. “I have my assumptions as to where my parents might be sending me. In all actuality, it will probably be military school, and my father has enough military standing and enough money to pay anyone off to keep me out of contact with my friends. I know I’ll get deployed. In all actuality, I might not even come back, or, if I do, he’s probably hoping that seeing war firsthand will ‘rid me of my silly obsession with music and that boy and make me see some sense’.”
The older man’s face twisted with anger. “Are you kidding me?” Burt spat. “He’d rather you die than spend your life happily with another man?” Only after the words escaped did Burt realize just how damaging they could be. “Oh, kid, I’m sorry―”
“Don’t be,” Blaine replied. “You’re absolutely right.” He hung his head, muscles relaxing in defeat. “My dad was a military man, but he settled down because of what happened to me. When… at his last base, there was a Sadie Hawkins dance for the kids―the military brats, you know? And there was one other boy… we were close, so I asked him if he’d like to go with me. I was young and stupid. We went; I don’t even think we danced. But we held hands as we started walking back toward the housing units, and… we were cornered by a few of the older boys, jumped. Cameron got off okay, he was quick and small, but I… wasn’t so lucky.”
Burt stood in shocked silence as he listened. Blaine swallowed with difficulty, but his voice was rough when he continued.
“I think my dad had his suspicions, but the boys were never caught, and I was too terrified to tell him who did it or why. Either way, he retired, and moved us to Ohio, where a few of his old army buddies had settled with their kids. Maybe you remember Dave Karofsky? Dr. Karofsky was one of my father’s closest friends, and… when he heard that Dave was expelled for going after Kurt… he said he didn’t see anything wrong with teaching the kid what a real man was like. He still doesn’t know that it was Kurt.
“I think he tried not to think about it too much, once I came out, but he sent me to Dalton, probably to get me out of the house. He barely tolerates me, but mostly because I refuse to hide who I am. I won’t pretend to be straight, to be an athlete. I tried that before, tried football and baseball and wrestling, but boxing was the only thing that really stuck. I was a mess after he bullying, my moods were all over the place, and I got into some trouble. That zero-tolerance bullying policy that Dalton has? It’s actually pretty new.” He rubbed the back of his neck anxiously. “The first time someone came at me at Dalton, it was my freshman year, and I just… snapped. They didn’t punish me too much because some people stepped forward and said that they’d witnessed what happened, knew that the teachers hadn’t helped me. I think that was the only time my father was ever proud of me, knowing that I’d beat a kid half to death with my bare hands. After that… fighting became recreational, for a while. Outside of school, of course, and we―I―never got caught. It was about that time when my dad tried to build that car with me. It didn’t go over well, and I… I stopped trying to deny who I was. I stopped trying so hard and I was just… me. Then the Warblers picked me up, and that was that.”
Burt’s hands tightened on the boy’s shoulders, attempting to process all the information he’d just been handed.
“Burt… most of the things I just told you… I’ve never told anyone. Anyone. So…” Blaine’s brows furrowed, avoiding eye contact and shivering slightly from the cold.
“I understand,” he conceded with a nod.
There was a long moment of silence before Blaine added suddenly, “I’ll write you. Sometime once I’m out, just to let you know if I survived going out to a military base in some random country, survived deployment―made it through everything. But you have to promise me that you won’t tell Kurt if you ever find out otherwise. He can’t know. He’ll survive this, the heartbreak… but he’ll never be able to handle if something happened to me, together or not. He would blame himself, and I know how hard he would take it, especially after…”
“His mom, yeah,” Burt agreed. “Well… okay. I’ll hold you to that.”
Finally, Blaine made eye contact, a grim, thankful smile just barely pulling at his mouth. “Thank you, really. For everything. But… it’s time for me to head home. Away. Whatever.”
“Alright,” he replied, releasing the younger boy’s shoulders and giving one final ruffle to the kid’s still-slightly-sticky hair. “Stay safe, Blaine.”
“I’ll do my best, sir,” he replied wryly with a sharp and obviously-practiced mock-salute, turning and stumbling slightly over the slick driveway toward his car―something small and compact and shiny-new-car-black that probably got more out of a tank of gas in a month than Kurt got in a week.
God, but he was going to miss the kid.
“Blaine!” He called out after him.
“Yeah?” the young man replied, stopping short with the car door open, ready to climb in and make his way home… wherever home might be for him, now.
“You’re always welcome, here, you know,” Burt said. “There will always be a home for you in Ohio, if you want one, Kurt or no Kurt.”
Blaine froze, his sad smile widening, and Burt almost missed as he swiped at his eyes. “Thanks.”
“And remember―sometimes things don’t work out, okay? But sometimes, it just might not be the right time, you know? So… there’s that.”
He nodded, teeth pulling at his lower lip. “I… thank you, Burt. If it’s any consolation, I… I really love Kurt. I never wanted to hurt him, and I know he’s going to do big things. Coming from a kid that knows bad parenting… I can’t think of a single thing you could have done better for him.” His voice cracked at the end. “And it shows. Maybe not here in Lima, Ohio, but, it will start to shine through in other places. If there’s one thing that Kurt does, it’s shine.” A watery laugh escaped the young man, his expression finally collapsing from the strong facade into one of pure misery, his eyes scanning longingly over the house he’d come to regard as a second home, and Burt knew exactly the moment when hazel eyes found Kurt’s bedroom window, nearly covered by the snow piled on the ground, casting a golden glow out over the lawn, because the tiny twitch of his fingers―instinctual after so many months of being able to reach next to him and grab his boyfriend’s hand whenever he was sad or scared or distressed―told all.
Without another word, Blaine gave a short wave, skillfully avoided eye contact, got into his car and drove away.
Burt was shivering as he got back into the house, closing and locking the door behind him. With a heavy sigh and a feeling of impending doom, he went to the kitchen and fixed Kurt a cup of tea just the way he liked it―Earl Gray, just a little nonfat vanilla soy milk, one packet of Splenda―and carried it down the stairs to where his brokenhearted son was probably feeling his world collapsing and spiraling out of control.
The scene Burt was met with nearly broke his already-weakened heart.
He didn’t often see Kurt in sweatpants. Mostly, that was because Kurt didn’t own them. However, it was pretty easy to tell that the clothes he was currently wrapped in weren’t his own, the sleeves of the garishly-red OSU just a little too short, the black sweatpants exposing his bare ankles. The hood was pulled over his face, arms clutching desperately at something Burt couldn’t see, holding it close, knees pulled to his chest. Though he was silent, his shoulders shook violently, soft, gasping breaths making his whole body jerk erratically.
“Kurt?” he asked quietly. “Scooter, are you okay?”
“Is he gone?” Kurt asked in return, not bothering to answer his father’s question. The answer was pretty obvious, in his opinion.
Burt sighed. “Yeah. Yeah, he’s gone.”
“You didn’t hurt him, did you?” Kurt’s voice broke, sending him into another wave of hitching gasps.
“What did you say?”
“I said what needed to be said,” the other replied simply.
Kurt sat up suddenly, and Burt realized that the item clutched to his chest was actually a picture frame. Kurt let it fall into his lap, expression crumbling as he looked down at the picture inside―one Burt himself had taken over the summer. In it, Kurt and Blaine were tangled together on the couch, sunlight streaming in through the windows as they catnapped mid-movie-marathon. The screen behind them was paused on the scene in The Notebook when Allie was screaming at Noah about how he should have written to her. It wasn’t a musical, but it was still one of Kurt’s favorite movies, one of the few that could actually make him tear up at the end, after they had woken up. Blaine had gently poked fun at him, Kurt remembered, but dutifully proceeded in wiping away silent tears with gentle kisses and soft smiles.
He traced his fingers over the glass, tears blurring his vision as he followed the perfectly meshed angles of their bodies, the waves of Blaine’s curls breaking free of their gel prison with the summer’s heat and humidity, and that perfect dip between Blaine’s neck and shoulder where Kurt’s head fit perfectly, never uncomfortable and endlessly comforting, forever captured on film.
“We couldn’t even make it a whole year,” he whispered mournfully. “And I actually thought we were going to last forever?”
“I’m an idiot,” the young man hissed, forcefully turning the frame over and tossing it glass-first onto the mattress, scrubbing at his eyes with his newly free hands. “I thought we were going to get married, someday. I’m so stupid!”
Kurt missed the pained look that crossed Burt’s face at the unknown similarity of his statement to one made only minutes before. Instead, he choked back a pitiful whine at the throbbing in his chest.
“I never knew heartbreak actually hurt,” he added. “It does―it aches. I always just thought the girls were being dramatic.”
“Heartbreak does hurt,” Burt replied. “But there’s no way to prepare for it beforehand.”
Kurt shook his head in mute denial, finally giving in and burying his face in his hands. “My senior year was supposed to be magical, but now it’s all fallen to pieces. What am I supposed to do now?”
The man sighed, and Kurt jumped a little when he felt the warm, familiar hand come to rest on his bowed back in a comforting gesture. It offered little comfort now.
“Live,” the man said. “Sometimes, it’s the only thing you can do.”
For all that Blaine hated his father, he apparently knew him, or at least his mind, quite well. They took advantage of Blaine’s dual-citizenship and went abroad to Italy, the base at Vicenza having been the one that Blaine had been born at and primarily grown up on. The memories threatened to overpower him when combined with his misery. He made an easy target when his father dragged him to the enlisting office and had him signed up. Blaine didn’t even bother to fight back, because what was the point? He didn’t have Kurt anymore, and without Kurt, there was no use, no sense in deliberately antagonizing his parents.
Training seemed long and drawn out, but it gave Blaine something to focus his misery into. Within months, far ahead of the others, he’d been approved for the next deployment into Africa. Blaine had never seen his father so honest-to-god proud of him, the man crowing to anyone who would listen about how his son was going to make a damn good soldier and had come such a long way, how the military was obviously what Blaine was born and bred for.
Blaine hadn’t believed it at the time, but the words seemed to be true once he got on the frontline. He hadn’t made any close friends among the ranks―knew it would be a really bad idea, considering where they were headed―and preferred to stay on his own. No one sent letters, no one called him on the rare nights they were allowed communication. It wasn’t surprising, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.
The months, years dragged on, likely the result of Blaine volunteering to stay on duty. Before Blaine knew it, he was turning twenty-two in a strange country with people that knew him but would never actually know him, rising in the ranks far beyond what he ever imagined or even wanted. However, he knew that it was his responsibility, his duty, rather, to make his father proud. The military-enlisted son of Colonel Anderson could not be seen as a failure.
He only had a few months of deployment left to go when he got injured for the first time, adrenaline pumping so hard from being in the midst of a skirmish that he was never quite sure how he’d gotten it. When he’d finally come to rest, the agony had set it, the fabric of his left glove and sleeve had burned away, a painful, blistering second-degree burn covering most of his hand and forearm.
Blaine liked to think he was fine with seeing blood. Everyone had blood, so everyone bled. But the sight of partially-melted flesh made his stomach churn and wrench, and before long, the shock had settled in. Usually those who succumbed to a serious injury or shock were difficult to evacuate when bullets were flying. More often than not, they were left behind until such a time when they could be safely recovered. He was lucky to have made it out without getting picked off, lucky that someone took pity on him―though, it was more likely that one of his team was the one to do so, recognizing him as their superior and as Colonel Anderson’s son.
Sergeant Anderson, they called him. Blaine still found the idea almost humorous, knowing though he was hailed as a “truly brilliant tactical mind” and that many expected a great deal out of him in the future, he was still just a kid who would much prefer playing the guitar or the piano in some bar back in the States, making people smile for a living rather than making people scream.
He doubted he would ever have the same dexterity again. Being a musician for a living, which had always been his dream, was probably now out of the question.
They sent him back to the base, cutting his duty short and essentially forcing him to take a break. It made sense, either way, as the best burn specialists were in Europe and not on the frontier. And, of course, his father would settle for nothing less than the very best for his son.
Full-thickness skin grafts were imminent, the doctors told him. They forgot to mention how painful they would be.
All things considered, it didn’t take long for Blaine to heal, but the damage had been done. He could barely move his hand enough to scratch out the letter to Burt, sending it off with a final, miserable goodbye― needless to say, his range of motion was no longer sufficient for the military. He was given an honorable discharge and offered a position as a recruiter, which Blaine respectfully turned down. His father was thrilled when Blaine announced that he wanted to go to law school. Only the best, of course, and the University of Oxford was most certainly the best.
He found law to be terribly bland, but buckled down well enough to graduate in the top percentage of his class. Someone in the graduating class of law had decided to throw a party (with dignity and class, of course), inviting parents and graduates to mingle and make connections, which was always wise. Blaine had been hesitant, but his father insisted.
That night, with an expertly-tailored Armani suit and a heavy heart, Blaine miserably set about celebrating the rest of his life. He wasn’t expecting much out of the whole charade.
He wandered about morosely with a glass of overpriced, fruity champagne in hand, mingling with a polite smile and courteous words. He scoped out his parents subtly, watching as they spoke with another pair of richly-dressed, silver-haired pedigree parents, sighing at the sight. His father was probably trying to set him up with some poor man’s daughter again. He’d given up years ago on reminding his father of his sexual orientation―the military really didn’t have a place for that, and his father seemed content, if not slightly frustrated, to accept Blaine’s begging off of I just haven’t found the right girl yet, Dad. Whatever helped the man sleep at night.
He accepted that this was probably to be his life, deflecting his father from arranging a marriage until he found someone suitable, himself. Maybe he could find a nice girl in his same situation of just loving the wrong gender and they could do each other a favor of getting married and having whatever relationship they chose covertly on the side. Then, if either couple ever wanted children, they already would have a sperm donor or a surrogate mother on hold. It would be a win-win.
“Why so glum, handsome?” asked an unfamiliar voice, and Blaine turned to face the smiling woman. Her hair was dark and thick with curls―not at all like Blaine’s unruly ringlets, but large, cascading barrel-curls that many women would kill for―and her eyes a luminous green under the ambient light. Her smile was straight and white, her skin smooth and lightly tanned, the curves of her breasts and hips accentuated by a well-cut black dress. By all means, she was a beautiful woman, and Blaine felt a moment of sadness that he couldn’t truly appreciate her good looks.
Whenever he thought of the word beautiful, the shadow of a person entered his mind, a person he could sometimes barely remember, but one that his heart still ached for.
He smiled at the woman in return, dodging her question with a generalized answer. “It’ll be strange not to be on campus anymore.”
The woman’s smile widened. “You’re a graduate, huh? You look a bit older than the rest.”
At twenty-six, Blaine was sure he did, what with a nasty scar and large-framed glasses, slicked-back hair and a designer suit. He probably looked closer to thirty. “You look a bit younger,” he said with a charming smile.
“Sweet,” she cooed, eyes alight as she offered her hand. “I’m Anna.”
“Blaine,” he replied, pleasantly surprised at her firm grip, obviously a mark of her confidence. He released her hand and relaxed into a less uptight posture. “Are you a graduate? I haven’t seen you around before.”
“No, no,” she replied. “My brother’s the one studying law. I went into public relations. One of my relatives has a firm over in America, I’m actually moving there in a few days.”
He made a noise of interest. “I lived in America for quite a few years. Where in the States are you headed?”
“New York,” Anna said, smile growing. “You’re from the US? What are you doing in Britain?”
Blaine felt a slight pang travel through him at the thought of New York. He was eager to change the subject. “My parents were born in America, but my mother’s family is from Italy and my father was in the military, so I grew up a little bit of everywhere. I actually just got done my service and decided to come back to school and be a lawyer, like my father decided to do after he retired.”
“Is that where you got that scar on your hand?” she asked with a slight nod of her head. She didn’t look disgusted at all, though definitely curious and maybe some morbid fascination. “Looks pretty gross.”
“Skin graft,” he answered simply, deciding not to dance around the question if she didn’t have a problem with it. Maybe it would scare her off―he knew he should send her on her way, but there was something about her that reminded him of the people he used to call friends. A little pushy like Rachel, beautiful like Quinn, Tina’s mischievous attitude, a bit of Puck’s rebelliousness, Mike’s honest interest in everything, and she had the kindness of―
No, he wasn’t going to go there. Not tonight.
“Gross,” Anna repeated, but her smile was still present. “Do you still feel it? Your hand?”
Blaine nodded, switching his glass into his right hand, offering the left for the woman to observe. She didn’t hesitate in gently prodding with well-cared-for hands, observing the scar and the slight difference in coloration between the areas.
Blaine smothered a soft laugh at her attitude, her genuine curiosity and enthusiasm seeming more foreign than any of the aloof, scathingly-polite people he’d met when he started back up at school. Maybe it was because he was used to those sort of people being in his life.
“Army?” she asked. “Navy? It was a burn, right?”
“Army,” he confirmed. “And yeah, it was a burn. Not entirely sure how I got it, to be honest. All I know is that it got me an honorable discharge for the lost range of motion.”
“Honorable discharge? That’s some heavy stuff. Were you ranked?”
“Nothing big, just a sergeant,” he replied, ducking his head in embarrassment. He didn’t talk much about his involvement with the military. For whatever reason, it got him admiring looks that Blaine didn’t feel he deserved.
She must have sensed his discomfort, because she didn’t question him further. However, Blaine almost wished she had stayed on that topic. “I notice you don’t have a ring, Sergeant,” she teased. “Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Er―not really,” Blaine replied.
“Not really?” she asked with a raised brow. “A handsome guy like you? Come on, there has to be a story there, otherwise you just would have said ‘no’.”
Blaine fidgeted. “I, uh…” he trailed off into silence. After all this time, he still wasn’t sure what was right to say. “I mean… it’s complicated.”
“Sex with an ex?” She grinned. “Don’t worry if that’s it, I’m sure we’ve all been there at some point.”
A short bark of laughter escaped him before he could stop it, eyes wide behind his classes. He could feel his cheeks heating up. “No! Nothing like that, uh―”
She crossed her arms, patiently waiting with a smile and teasingly tapping her foot in mock-impatience. “Yes?”
“I’m still kind of… tied up over someone,” he admitted. “But we’re not together or anything, not anymore.”
Anna made a soft noise of understanding. “If you don’t mind me asking, why?”
Blaine shot a glance over toward his parents. Luckily, that seemed to answer Anna’s question. “Not the type of girl your parents approved of, huh?”
“In a manner of speaking,” he choked, cheeks flushing even more red.
Her head tilted in consideration, one finger tapping against her lips, before her face brightened. She leaned in, putting a flirty hand on his arm as she whispered in his ear, “What’s his name?”
She didn’t seem disgusted, which was probably a good thing, because Blaine couldn’t even stop himself when he replied quickly and quietly, “Kurt.”
She pulled back slightly, raising her hand to pat his cheek sympathetically. “Parents don’t know?”
“They pretend they don’t,” he answered. “It doesn’t matter. We’ve been broken up for almost ten years, now.”
“Young love,” she crooned sweetly. “Poor baby. That’s about when you got in with the military, I’m guessing?”
He nodded, swallowing hard, readily accepting when her hand slipped into his and gave it a squeeze. Blaine sighed, meeting her eyes dejectedly.
“You miss him?” she asked. At his nod, she added, “You still love him?” When he nodded again, she pushed, “Do you still talk to him?”
“No,” he replied with a shake of his head. “Not since I broke up with him the night I found out we were moving. We both―it didn’t end well. I didn’t tell him I was leaving for the military because I knew he would worry and I wasn’t a hundred percent sure that’s where I’d end up. Believe me, I would have kept in contact if I could, but my parents were dead set on keeping us apart, and Kurt was going to go to college in the fall… I decided it was best for a clean break.”
She nodded in understanding. “It’s tragic,” she said quietly. “There was a boy I loved that passed a few years ago in a car crash. It’s not the same, but I bet it kind of feels like it, huh? Like no one else will ever compare?”
Blaine took a shaky breath. “Exactly. I knew―I knew that’s how it would be, but… I figured that he deserved a chance to find someone that could be with him in New York, and―”
“New York?” Anna asked quietly, cutting him off for the first time since they started talking. “He’s in New York?”
Blaine nodded. “It was his dream. I can’t imagine him not being there.”
The woman stared at him mutely for a few moments before she blurted, “Come with me.”
“What?” he asked in shock.
“Look,” she said, backtracking. “I know it’s weird and we only just met and don’t even know each others’ last names. But you seem like a really nice guy, Blaine, and I can tell you’re miserable here, going to all these uptight, formal functions with the rest of us Brits. I’m headed to New York, your boy is in New York, and your parents would never approve you going after him on your own. It’s the perfect cover. Tell them some lie about how you’re madly in love with me and we’ve been secretly dating and you would follow me anywhere. I can get you a job as part of my aunt’s firm in a heartbeat, and it will get your parents off your back, and mine practically expect me to run off with a strange boy. They’ll just be proud that you’re so polite and―and dapper.”
Blaine snorted, but his heart was beating a thousand miles a minute. It could work. “But you barely know me,” he replied, lost. “Why would you do that for me?”
“You remind me of my boy, Blaine. I don’t know why, but there’s just something about you, and even though this is very, very stupid of me, I think this is a really good idea.” Anna’s green eyes were pleading and hopeful, but Blaine could see the determination there. “Say you’ll go with me, please. If nothing else, it would be nice to have some company on the plane ride over. I’ll even buy your ticket, if you want.”
“There’s no need for that,” Blaine mumbled, his heartbeat starting to slow, a smile starting to spread. “I’m in.”
Anna sighed in relief, throwing her arms around him with a happy squeal. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” She pulled back, taking both of his hands in hers. “I’m Anna Dixon.”
Blaine gently squeezed her hands, a completely different feeling building in his chest.
Two months later, and Blaine and Anna were mostly settled in to a roomy, comfortable flat that probably cost an exorbitant amount of money. He wouldn’t know; as soon as he introduced Anna to his father later that night―after a swift crash-course on personal information and a made-up dating history―he was overjoyed, offering to pay for everything to get them settled in. He even overlooked the fact that it was New York and that he’d never met Anna before; he apparently recognized her last name in association to something-or-another, and he was practically glowing with approval. Blaine found it rather entertaining and sad that the times when his father was most pleased with him were when Blaine was either lying to him or completely miserable.
Anna was an amazing actress, he learned, fawning over Blaine like only a couple familiar and comfortable with each other could, and he fell into the role easily. Within days, they were packed and moving in, and fast becoming best friends.
However, finding Kurt turned out to be not as easy as it seemed. Kurt’s number must have been unlisted, because there was no record of him in the phone books, and Blaine’s new job kept him much busier than he’d expected. It was surprisingly enjoyable, though―with his degree in law, he was mostly set to work researching relations policies for different companies and compiling his own system. Eventually, he would accompany Anna’s aunt (who was absolutely charmed by him) to her meetings with major corporations as they discussed business deals. Anna would manage the side that was less business and more people. Anna was thrilled, Blaine was actually interested in what he was doing, and things seemed to be looking up, despite the fact that Kurt seemed just as far away as ever.
And, six months after the move, suddenly came the worst twenty-four hours of Blaine’s life.
Anna came to him crying, and he could do nothing but hold her. She was practically hysterical in the way that Blaine had once been, and worry made him sick to his stomach. She didn’t look hurt, so that ruled out assault, which meant that whatever happened was probably emotional.
Her arms squeezed tight around him, sobbing her heart out, and Blaine could do nothing but murmur quiet words of encouragement until she calmed down enough to choke out the words “terminal cancer”.
They both cried for a while out of fear and sadness. Blaine was terrified about losing her, losing the person who had so quickly become his best friend. Anna was scared of dying, but more guilty about leaving Blaine alone after dragging him back to this country, away from his parents and his life.
He assured her that he wouldn’t have wanted anything differently, and he would take as much time as they could get―according to the doctors, six months, maybe. Eight months maximum.
“Well, if there’s no use in chemotherapy, at least I’ll have my hair when I die,” she joked lightly, eyes still swollen. “That’s something.”
Blaine let out a tearful laugh from where his cheek was pressed against said bunch of curls, inhaling her gentle scent of vanilla and jasmine shampoo, slightly spicy from whatever perfume she wore. Blaine mourned the fact that she was really only just his friend, because if he had to be in a romantic relationship with any woman, he would choose her in a heartbeat, no questions asked.
“Blaine,” she said suddenly, and Blaine smiled a little because he knew that tone. It was the same tone she used before suggesting New York, the same one she used when she had some sort of odd-but-brilliant idea. “Will you marry me?”
This was a little more out there than he was used to.
Blaine pulled back, frowning in deep confusion, checking the size of her pupils just to make sure she wasn’t concussed or otherwise impaired. “You do remember my sexual preference, don’t you?”
“Of course,” she huffed, as if offended, but a sad smile took precedence. “But this… if we get married, your father will be off your back. We won’t tell anyone I’m sick until after the wedding. You can be appropriately devastated and he will probably never expect you to marry again. That’s something, isn’t it? Some kind of freedom? I want to help you the way you’ve helped me.”
Blaine’s heart broke just a little more. “Anna… you’ve done more than enough―”
“Please?” she asked, and Blaine’s resolve broke when he saw the look in her eyes.
“Are you sure?”
“Positive,” Anna answered. “I… if I’m being honest, I’ve always wanted to get married. And if I’m going to marry anyone before I die, it’ll be you. You’re a perfect gentleman, and it will assure you a place in my family forever, even if you do end up finding Kurt. They’re all very accepting, especially my aunt. You’ll be fine and I’ll be happy.”
Blaine sniffled, tugging her closer into a hug. “Sounds like a good idea to me.”
She pressed a damp, trembling kiss to his cheek. “Thank you.”
“We’ll make it something to remember,” he promised.
The next day, Blaine begged off of work a bit early and got on the subway, studying a list of wedding planners that he’d printed out the night before. He had a list of venues at the ready, as well as his checkbook. He needed to leave an office today with the assurance that a wedding like this could be done in less than six months.
It had to be.
He sighed, strangely comforted by the rumbling of the train and the fake yellow glow of the outdated lights. Just a few more stops…
A group of passengers filed out, another group slowly shifting in, finding a place or a bar to hang onto the same way that Blaine was. There were probably a hundred people in hats and scarves and coats in this car alone, shivering from the frigid New York winter.
He would never know exactly why it happened, but he looked up and scanned the row of faces with an exhausted sigh―and his breath caught when he caught a glimpse of a familiar face.
“Kurt? ” He asked incredulously. It couldn’t be Kurt. Of all the times, of all the places―
The man looked up, and Blaine would have to be blind to not remember that face. “Blaine?!” the man asked, jaw dropping. Strange-yet-familiar eyes looked him up and down, and the man standing just a few feet away took several involuntary steps forward (which could probably be attributed to the fact that the subway was once again slowing, but Blaine could hope). “What―you’re here. In New York.”
“Yeah,” he breathed, eyes wide, still frozen in place. “And you’re…” Beautiful.
The years had been extremely generous to Kurt Hummel. What little roundness had been left in his face had melted away into a sharp, aristocratic bone-structure. His hair was just the slightest bit longer, still expertly styled, but a few stray pieces of hair falling into his face, likely because of the hat he wore (an ivory color that matched both his scarf and gloves, but his skin, and had it always glowed like that?). Glasz eyes stood out in sharp contrast to a maroon pea coat, locked on Blaine’s face, lips slightly parted, giving him the same startled look, the very same way he had the day they’d first met.
Blaine wondered how he looked to Kurt right now. Probably pretty terrible, considering how badly he’d slept the night before―even though it was one of those rare few nights when he lay beside Anna in the bed they were supposedly sharing, and not in the spare bedroom which was most definitely his. They’d held hands until the late hours of the night until Anna finally nodded off, but Blaine didn’t sleep one bit. His eyes were probably purple with exhaustion, as they were definitely still sore from his crying stint yesterday, and his hair wasn’t quite up to his usual standard. His glasses were starting to fog from the humidity in the car, and Blaine felt a little bit like an idiot that out of all the times Kurt could have suddenly reappeared in his life, it had to be right after one of the worst nights he’d ever endured (aside from the night he’d been forced to leave Kurt in the first place, but he didn’t think about that) when he looked like a wreck.
“You look…” Kurt frowned when Blaine started to grin.
“Terrible?” He asked, smile widening when he saw Kurt’s flush. “It’s been a long day.”
“Oh,” he replied, eyes still huge and disbelieving, like he couldn’t believe Blaine was really there. He didn’t look away even as some people shuffled out and more crowded in, the increased number of bodies forcing them closer together. “It’s… been a while.”
“Yeah, it has,” Blaine agreed, suddenly realizing that the next stop was his. “I actually… I have some meetings to go to, but―I mean, I have time. If you would like to get coffee, or something.”
“Or something,” Kurt repeated, blinking and finally shaking his head slightly, adjusting the bag over his shoulder that Blaine hadn’t noticed until this moment. “Yeah, alright.”
The coffee shop Blaine brought them to was small, one he occasionally stopped at when he was in this part of town. They had amazing coffee and the most ridiculous raspberry-white-chocolate scones that Anna adored and Blaine couldn’t get enough of. He put in his usual order, securing he and Kurt a table, still reeling slightly at the timing of it all. Kurt seemed to be a bit unsteady, himself, fidgeting when he sat down across from Blaine, and Kurt never fidgeted.
“So,” Blaine started, clearing his throat. “How―how have you been?”
“Alright,” Kurt replied. “Just―New York, you know? It keeps me busy.”
“Broadway?” Blaine asked with a tiny smile.
Kurt rolled his eyes, finally starting to settle back into something more Kurt-like. “For a while. The women were so catty, even for me, and that’s saying a lot. I had a show or two before I actually took a place in costuming and eventually ended up in fashion.”
Blaine nodded―just as he’d thought. Fashion really was Kurt’s life. Music was just his hobby. “Rachel?”
“Still on stage,” he replied with a quiet chuckle. “Of course. She eats that sort of thing right up. We still see each other really frequently. But, uh―” he paused, smile dimming slightly. “What are you doing here? I mean―how are you?”
“What happened ?” Blaine asked the question that Kurt was doubtlessly too polite to.
He nodded, confirming Blaine’s suspicions.
“Military,” he replied simply, looking away as he folded his hands and rested his chin on top of them, heart lurching a little bit at Kurt’s gasp―he’d obviously just noticed Blaine’s scar. “We went back to the base I was born on, in Italy.” He glanced back to Kurt, who looked stunned at the new information.
“I worked in the offices until I was old eighteen and started training. I was shipped out to Africa a few months after that, spent a few years on the frontline, assisting in a few civil wars. Worked my way up a little bit, at least before I got this.” He wiggled his fingers slightly, turning his gaze back to Kurt, who still looked stunned. “Sergeant Anderson got an honorable discharge, and I went to law school at Oxford. I graduated earlier this year.”
“Did you come back to work, or―?” Kurt asked.
“Not exactly,” Blaine admitted, changing the subject, not wanting to admit to Kurt the reality of his situation quite yet.”What did you do after Broadway?”
Kurt was sufficiently distracted, making a slight noise in his throat. “Funny story, actually. I went home for a vacation once I first started getting into costuming, and I was just looking through the attic for some of my old sketchbooks when I found one that wasn’t mine.” A fond, distant smile pulled at pink, slightly-wind-chapped lips. “Come to find out, it belonged to my mother, who had taken to designing dresses once she got sick. Her designs were really impressive and didn’t need much improvement―which just proves how impeccable her taste was, if she made these almost twenty years ago and they’re still well-within the range of modern fashion―so I did a few minor adjustments and called up Tina, who’s out in California with Mike. She works in the fashion industry, though, so she obviously has connections everywhere, and she got me a job with some of the top dress designers in New York. A few years ago, one of them stumbled across the designs I had and the once I’d come up with since, and offered to help me start my own line! It’s called K & Elizabeth, and it’s going really well!”
Blaine smiled―Kurt’s excitement was contagious. “That’s great!”
“I know, it was such amazing timing, too, because I ran into Quinn Fabray at one of my first shows, and she’d been doing wedding planning, so we actually started a partnership where I send my customers over to her and she sends hers over to me. We’ve done some really amazing weddings.” Kurt sighed happily. “Everything I never knew I wanted, really. I considered it a hobby when I planned Dad and Carole’s wedding, but it turned out to be something I love.”
“Weddings?” Blaine asked, blinking in surprise. Really, Lady Fate couldn’t be that much of a bitch, could she?
Kurt shrugged with a slight snort. “I’m probably the only single dress designer in New York, but, hey, I’m practically married to my business, anyway.” He took a sip of his coffee. “What about you? Anyone special?”
Blaine couldn’t deny it, because this morning he had gone out and bought Anna a ring and that made it official to friends and family, so now it was official to them. And, there was the fact that Blaine was currently planning their wedding. So, he admitted, “Engaged, actually.”
Kurt’s smile faded slightly, but Blaine had to admit his poker face was nothing if not excellent, keeping up the happy facade even if Blaine could tell the mood had slightly shifted. “What’s his name?”
The question is so similar to the one Anna had asked him about Kurt, and the irony wasn’t lost on him that he was sitting at this table across from the person he still had feelings for, and yet was about to admit the name of someone else. He sighed heavily, rubbing one hand over the lower part of his face. “Anna.”
It took him a moment, but Kurt’s smile froze before fading entirely, a wounded look flashing across his face before fading entirely. The coffee cup he’d lifted, about to take another sip, was put back down, and Blaine saw it all unfold in slow-motion.
“Anna?” Kurt asked icily.
Blaine’s mouth was dry. He mutely nodded.
The tension between them shifted for the worse, and before Blaine knew it, Kurt was standing and pulling his hat and scarf back on. He looked up at him in shock. “Kurt―”
“You know, I’m actually pretty impressed with myself,” Kurt snapped. “Turning someone like you straight would take a miracle, but I guess I should give myself more credit. So much for ‘one hundred percent gay’, huh?” He took a sleek phone out of his pocket, checking the time and making another angry murmur to himself before he turned back to Blaine. “Have a nice life with your girlfriend, your fiancee, your cover story… whatever she is.”
He turned and left, walking out of the store and leaving Blaine alone with the other customers looking curiously and pityingly toward him. Before he knew what was happening, Blaine was out the door after him, leaving their unfinished coffees on the table. “Kurt, at least let me explain!”
The man’s pace was brisk and his face stony, but Blaine had years of experience with moving quickly through crowded areas. He was steadily catching up.
“You don’t have to explain anything to me. It’s not like I actually mean anything!” The other man snapped from up ahead.
It hurt, but that was all the more reason for Blaine to keep after him. Kurt only lashed out when he was upset. “Kurt, come on! Please, just talk to me.”
“I’m not your boyfriend anymore. Seriously, Blaine, just leave me alone!”
Blaine put on a burst of speed when the people on the sidewalk thinned out, jolting forward and grabbing Kurt’s wrist to stop him. “Kurt, she’s dying.”
The man stopped dead, spinning to face Blaine, eyes wide. “What?”
“She’s dying,” Blaine repeated.
Glasz eyes narrowed in distaste and disgust, wrenching his hand away from Blaine’s grasp. “You’re despicable.”
Blaine flinched, and then realized that it sounded like he was taking advantage of her misfortune or something. “No, Kurt―it’s not like that! I do love her, but she’s my best friend. She proposed to me when she found out, and I’m not leading her on, I promise. She knows everything. She’s saving me from my family.”
Kurt’s eyes narrowed more before they widened. “From your family?” He asked quietly.
“I swear, Kurt, she’s one in a million, and if I was straight, I would love her to pieces, but I’m not and I never will be. She wants to get married before she dies, and she’s keeping me in with her family and saving me from mine in the process.”
Kurt’s cold expression crumbled, and he looked away, wrapping his arms around himself. “Well, at least you learned how to treat someone right,” he murmured so quietly that Blaine barely heard him and was sure he wasn’t meant to hear him. Even so, it felt something like getting punched in the gut.
“I’ll talk to Quinn,” Kurt finally said. “If you need a planner, you’ll have us. If―if your girl doesn’t already have a dress, I’ll make her a custom one, if she wants.”
Blaine was stunned, opening his mouth to say something, but nothing but “thank you” came out.
“I’m not doing this for you,” Kurt added in the bitchy tone that Blaine knew meant he was trying his best to put him off. “I’m doing this for her. Every girl deserves to have the wedding of her dreams before she dies.” Within a second, Kurt had a small card and a pen in his hand, scrawling something on the back. “This is my card and my cell number’s on the back. Text me, don’t call, because you’ll get lost in a sea of voicemails. If she agrees, I’ll get everything arranged and call you. We’ll schedule a time for me to go over and show you guys venues, flowers, whatever, and I’ll sit down with her and figure out what she’s looking for.”
“I―” Blaine choked. “Kurt, thank you.”
The taller man’s expression softened. “Don’t think that I forgive you or anything,” he said quietly, touching for the first time on the problem between them.
“I’ll make it up to you, somehow,” Blaine whispered, probably looking like a sappy fool as he stared at Kurt, already choked up.
“See that you do,” the man replied, and then he was gone.
Anna was beyond thrilled, having heard of Kurt’s line after he dressed some high-class women back in Britain, and she’d adored their dresses. He texted Kurt that night, and they set up a meeting for the next week.
Wedding plans were a blur.
Kurt and Anna hit it off remarkably well, but Anna and Quinn were almost like sisters. The two together made one hell of a team, and arranged most of the wedding between the two of them, Kurt rarely getting time with Anna, except for when he needed to discuss her dress.
When it came to invitations, Kurt, Quinn, and Anna were sitting together to find a design they liked, but Blaine refused to participate, claiming that it’s Anna’s party, I’m just footing the bill. Kurt wouldn’t take that as an acceptable response, and Blaine suddenly found himself much more involved than he’d expected, sitting beside Kurt with their heads bent together, Kurt discussing options with Blaine just nodding along, unable to keep from staring at Kurt’s lips. Kurt must have noticed, because whenever he looked up and noticed Blaine wasn’t paying attention, he made an exasperated face and whacked Blaine on the back of the head with the rolled-up flower catalogue.
Being near Kurt so much was bringing back memories that Blaine had kept under lock and key for years―the way he stretched and yawned every so often brought back memories of sleeping side-by-side on the living room floor of the Hummel-Hudson home. His incredulous faces brought back memories of Blaine dancing around his room like he was on drugs, pulling insistently at Kurt’s hands in an attempt to get him to join.
Kurt rarely smiled or laughed anymore, which was mildly upsetting for Blaine when Anna pointed it out. However, the first time Blaine had truly gotten frustrated with the plans, he’d let his head thump down on top of a stack of envelopes with a jumble of angry curse words, and then Kurt was laughing. The sound sent a shock through him, his eyes wide as he listened, heart speeding up as he remembered everything, it seemed―baking together, musical marathons, the Friday-night dinners that Blaine had suddenly been expected to attend just as much as Kurt and Finn. Doing homework together, Kurt attempting to teach him French, Blaine grumbling as he collapsed over the textbook in exhaustion. The first time they had ever been together, bodies tangled under Blaine’s sheets in his empty house, still trying to keep quiet with hushed giggles and stifled moans.
It killed him.
On Kurt’s end, he was miserable. Being near Blaine just made him so happy, which was ridiculous, because Blaine wasn’t his. All he wanted was to forget the past, but he knew he couldn’t, not with Blaine back in his life, not with his perfect smile and perfect hair and perfect everything, when none if it was Kurt’s.
He’d never thought he would see Blaine again, and that was fine. But, seeing Blaine after all this time was like having the sun disappear for several years and then unexpectedly coming out again―it was still just as bright, just as warm as the first time he’d seen it, except now, he was much more vulnerable to being burned.
And he was burned. Everything about Blaine was seared into his mind the same way that scar was seared onto Blaine’s hand.
Despite Kurt’s bitter wish for no one ever to compare for Blaine, no one had ever compared for Kurt, either. That didn’t mean he hadn’t tried, because he had, but there were only so many failed relationships you could have before thinking that maybe you were just meant to be alone.
Kurt was pining, he knew, and it was pathetic. It made him feel even worse when Quinn finally called him out on it, four months since it all began and one month from the wedding.
“You’re miserable,” she said from behind him, and Kurt turned, seeing her pitying eyes on his form, hunched over a desk in the darkening room, his only light from a weak lamp.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“You can’t lie to me, Kurt,” Quinn replied, coming around to the other side of his desk and pulling up a stool, glancing down at the measurement revisions for Anna’s dress―the girl had been losing weight and needed to be refitted almost every two weeks, now―with an unreadable expression. She met his gaze. “We both know how you fell apart when Blaine left. I can’t pretend to know exactly how it happened, but you’ve been practically catatonic ever since. And then Blaine shows up out of nowhere, getting married to a girl for family reasons, and suddenly you and he are best friends again.”
“We’re not best friends,” Kurt denied, looking back down at the designs to alter the cut of the dress. “We don’t even like each other.”
“You’re lying,” she said sharply. “Come on, Kurt, I’m not stupid; I went to Yale for business, for god’s sake. You’re smiling again like you haven’t since before he left. You still look at him the same exact way.”
“You don’t know that,” Kurt argued.
“Yes, I do,” she replied with a frown, her tone growing agitated. “Want to know how I know? Because you don’t forget a look like that―like someone’s just been handed everything they ever wanted and can’t believe it’s theirs. It’s the way you look at Blaine and the same way Rachel looks at that stage. We know that. And I can tell that Blaine wants to fix things.”
Kurt shook his head mutely.
“Really?” She asked, and he could practically hear her raised eyebrow. “So, when he tried to talk to you two night ago about what happened between you, when he tried to apologize and you told him you didn’t want to talk about it, he wasn’t trying to fix things? Not even a little?”
“You spied on me?” Kurt asked, but it lacked the indignant tone it needed to be effective. Instead, it was just exhausted.
“I was in the other room, Kurt, it wasn’t spying. I was getting up to get Anna some water and I overheard you.”
“It’s too late for us,” he murmured. “I’m too old, too… damaged. I’m not a happy person, Quinn, I’m not a good person to have a relationship with.”
“As far as I’m concerned, Blaine is the only person you’ve had a relationship with. The rest were just flings and you know it.” She stared him down and Kurt avoided her gaze, effectually letting her win. “As for being too old, Kurt, you’re twenty-seven. You’re not old, you’re barely at your prime. You just have to find out what you need from your life to be happy, and it’s obvious that you need Blaine. This is the happiest I’ve seen you in years, and you’re still a miserable lump. That’s saying something.”
Kurt shook his head. “I don’t need―”
“Well, you want,” Quinn snapped. “Stop denying yourself, Kurt, it’s making me sick of looking at you. Are you or are you not Kurt Hummel, one of the youngest and most successful wedding dress designers in the world, who starred in two Broadway shows and won a Tony Award and saved so many bridezillas from themselves that you should practically be given a medal of honor?”
Kurt grimaced. “But, Anna―”
“Anna agrees with me. She’s never seen Blaine happier than the times when he’s with you. So I advise you to get your act together and get a good grip on that boy, because he is going to need a friend in a few months’ time, and it better be you.”
She stood and left, leaving Kurt in the dark. The man shook his head in denial, scrubbing at his eyes, the memories of angry words and one last, harsh kiss making him touch his fingertips to his lips, almost feeling them tingle once again.
He loved Blaine. He’d never stopped loving him.
But how do you remember to trust the person who’d broken your heart?
The wedding came closer and closer, and before Blaine knew it, his parents were arriving to stay in their apartment. Blaine had temporarily moved his things into Anna’s room, content to stay with her, considering that she was getting more sick. When people claimed that she’d lost weight, she passed it off as a new exercise routine, a little makeup fixing her pale complexion.
The magic women did with makeup was something Blaine would never understand.
For the most part, his parents stayed out of the way, aside from his father telling him that he’d come a long way and he’d become a good man. Blaine almost wanted to cry, but he didn’t and he wouldn’t.
The evening before the wedding, Blaine’s parents had gone out to dinner, even with the rehearsal dinner having been the night before. Kurt was seated at the dining room table with some sort of project that Blaine hadn’t seen yet―Kurt had done his best to stay out of sight, and he hadn’t even seen Blaine’s parents since they arrived.
Blaine sighed. He… he missed Kurt. In the past month, Kurt had finally seemed to warm up to him, smiling more easily and seeming perfectly content when their legs brushed together under the table. Blaine honestly wanted nothing more than to just reach out and pull Kurt close, to nuzzle just under Kurt’s jaw the way he liked, to breathe his scent and feel Kurt’s hands on his back and to just feel comforted since the first time in far, far too long a time.
It wasn’t going to happen, he had to remind himself. Not when Kurt wouldn’t even let him try to explain his reasoning for why he left the way he did.
Well, like it or not, Kurt was going to listen today, because Blaine was not going to let Kurt walk away after this wedding without a damn good fight.
When he entered the dining room, he saw Kurt working on threading some sort of small, crystalline beads onto wire a thin as thread, securing the artfully wrapped and twisted beads onto what looked like a tiara.
It struck him so suddenly, the familiarity and the strong feeling of nostalgia that he just couldn’t help himself.
“What’s that?” he asked, stepping into the room to take a seat beside Kurt.
“I’m decorating this tiara for Anna,” Kurt replied, eyes fixed in concentration as he wrapped silver wire around a silver base, obviously old but timeless in design, once it was repaired. “It was my mother’s, and I figured she could borrow it for tomorrow. It’ll go well with her dress and it’ll flatter her bone structure.”
“Well, finish up,” Blaine said, a slight bit of warmth starting in his chest, a tiny quirk of his lips pulling upwards as he continued. “…I have something I need to talk to you about, and it can’t wait anymore.”
Kurt’s head jerked up in surprise, eyes wide. “…Blaine?” he asked quietly. It was obvious that he was beginning to recognize this scenario, and Blaine only wondered exactly what Kurt was going to do about it. “What are you doing?” he whispered.
Blaine sighed, reaching over to put his hand atop Kurt’s, forcing him to step working and lower his hands to the table. The man didn’t even seem to notice, a light brush of color burning in his cheeks, glasz eyes locked with hazel. “Kurt…” he said quietly, considering his next words very carefully. “There is a moment… in everyone’s life, I think, when they realize they’ve found the person they want to be with forever.” His hand tightened around Kurt’s when he saw the man’s expression become something openly vulnerable, something Blaine hadn’t seen from him in years. “And, for ten years, I’ve known that person, for me, is you.”
Kurt’s eyes started to fill will tears, and Blaine admired his sheer determination to hold them back, but he wasn’t done yet. “I never wanted to leave you,” he whispered honestly, voice starting to go gravelly and raw with his own feelings. “Never. But, I knew, when my dad told me that we were leaving, where I would probably end up, and that was in the military. Kurt, can you imagine what could have happened if we’d stayed together? We might have made it work, that’s true, but what would have happened if the scar on my hand hadn’t been my hand? What if it was been something fatal, and the only notification you got was an impersonal letter in the mail, respectfully informing you that I was gone?”
Kurt let out a choked breath, tears clinging to his eyelashes. “Blaine,” he murmured miserably.
“Believe me when I say that I never, ever wanted to be without you, Kurt. But I knew you would be destroyed if that ever happened to you, and I couldn’t let that happen. I had to let you go. You deserved a chance to find someone that could be with you.”
“I did find someone who could be with me,” Kurt replied vehemently. “And that person was you, Blaine. It was only ever you. It will only ever be you.”
Blaine reached for Kurt, and in a moment, their lips had met, gasping into each other’s mouthes as their tongues twisted together. Kurt licked into his mouth, tongue flickering over his teeth, rubbing and swirling and taking until Blaine moaned desperately, squeezing Kurt’s hand like a lifeline. Blaine knew he could have let it go on for hours, could have taken it so much further, but now wasn’t the time, not when his parents could come back at any moment (and, god, it made him feel like a teenager again).
Blaine pulled back, resting their foreheads together, the words rushing together as he murmured, “I love you. Always have, never stopped.”
“God, Blaine, I love you, too,” Kurt whimpered, nuzzling his cheek. “Don’t you dare ever even think of leaving again, okay? We will find a way to make this work, this time.”
“Okay,” Blaine agreed, tracing his lips over Kurt’s jawline.
“You kids done in here or what?” came a slightly raspy, highly amused voice.
They broke apart in shock to see Anna standing in the doorway, pale and bracing herself against the wall, but her eyes shining with the same satisfaction they did when she was healthy. “Not that it didn’t take you guys long enough, and I really am pleased, but, Blaine, your parents are just coming in the door, so it might be best if you cut that out.”
Blaine snorted and shot Kurt a pleased, relieved look as the wedding planner waved him along. “I’ll show myself out. I’ll see you guys tomorrow, okay? Anna, that there on the table is for you.”
The girl’s happy squeal kept with Kurt, even as he slipped past Blaine’s parents and all through his cab ride home.
The wedding was beautiful. Kurt and Quinn had really outdone themselves, Blaine had to admit, but he could barely focus between his churning emotions and the satisfaction at seeing Anna’s smile. She was radiant today, even if she might not feel that way.
The reception was fun, but Blaine decided to duck out early when he saw how tired Anna had become. They gracefully bowed out and wished for everyone to enjoy the party, ignoring the hoots and hollers that followed their demanded goodbye kiss (more of a peck, really, but they were all too drunk to care) and slipping into the limo. Once they were alone, Anna gave him a sharp look.
“You better not actually be planning on staying with me in that hotel tonight, Blaine,” she said. “And you better plan on moving your sweet tush over to Kurt’s house and spending your time with him.”
Blaine’s mouth hung open, stunned. “What?”
“You heard me!” She reprimanded. “Besides, Quinn and Rachel already promised to come over and have a girl’s night with me. Like it or not, you’re going to see Kurt tonight. I know you wanted to yesterday, so you might as well put that rain check to good use.”
“I don’t even know where he lives!” Blaine argued.
“Got that covered, honey,” she said with a bright, albeit tired, smile, gesturing to the floor in front of him. Indeed, there was one of his old bags with a change of clothes, his toothbrush, an address written on a piece of paper, and―
“Anna!” Blaine hissed, scandalized. “Why are there lube and condoms in my bag?”
“Because you, sweet Blaine, are going to put them to good use. Or, maybe Kurt, it’s hard to tell.” She winked as they pulled up to the hotel, ignoring Blaine’s ungraceful squawk of indignant protest, climbing out of the car and waving her keycard. “Meet me here tomorrow morning, okay?”
Blaine flushed, nodding, and gave the limo driver the address Anna had so mysteriously come across.
Once Blaine arrived, he stood awkwardly on the doorstep of the small house before him, one of the many lined up on the street. He was unsure of what to do until he sighed, knocking and proceeding to fidget in place until the door swung open to a rather agitated looking Kurt in surprisingly casual jeans and a plain blue button-up.
“Blaine?” He asked with a frown, head tilted in confusion. “What are you doing here? How did you get my address? Shouldn’t you be with Anna―” He cut himself off, eyes narrowing. “She sent you here, didn’t she?”
Blaine nodded mutely.
Kurt muttered something under his breath that sounded suspiciously like I am going to kill Quinn Fabray and waved Blaine inside. Once the door was closed behind them, Kurt let out a long breath, giving Blaine a once-over. “John Varvatos suit?”
“Er―I think so,” Blaine answered, and Kurt shook his head, a soft smile creeping up.
“You never change,” he replied fondly, and made a move that he probably would have been offended by if it wasn’t he who was doing it, tugging Blaine forward by the lapels into a slow, soft kiss. When he pulled away, Blaine was very nearly panting, eyes out of focus and glasses askew, bag overturned on the floor. Kurt’s gradual smirk might just be the sexiest and most surprising thing Blaine had ever seen―it was confident, powerful and… dominant. Blaine would be a liar if he didn’t admit the look sent a jolt of arousal down his spine.
“Are you spending the night?” Kurt asked quietly, hands still holding Blaine securely to him, eyes half-lidded and burning.
Blaine’s mouth dropped open a little bit, nodding blankly.
“Do you have any opposition to a less literal definition of spending the night?”
Blaine shook his head, breathily replying, “Not at all.”
Kurt grinned, their mouths meeting as he tugged the shorter man up the stairway, Blaine too preoccupied with Kurt to take notice of the house itself. Kurt spun him into a wall when they reached the landing, backing him up until their bodies were pressed together, and Blaine could feel the hot half-hardness of Kurt’s growing erection against his thigh. He moaned, bucking his hips forward to grind against Kurt, the delicious friction sending sparks through his body. Blaine keened helplessly against Kurt’s lips when the man took firm hold of his hipbones and pulled Blaine to rub against him at a new angle.
“You should know right now,” Kurt panted, a whimper making his voice crack as he rubbed their cocks together through the layers of clothing. “That if we do this, you’re not going to be able to leave again. I’m not―ahh―seventeen anymore, and I won’t be standing around helplessly if you try to go. I’m keeping you, so you better get used to it―fuck, Blaine!”
Blaine grinned against Kurt’s throat, sucking a deep, claiming mark over the pulse point. “I’m not going anywhere. I’m yours for as long as you want me―ohmygod, Kurt, I really hope you don’t plan on taking this slow tonight.”
Kurt swung Blaine around by his belt loops in response, pulling him up the remainder of the stairs and pushing him toward his bedroom. “We have forever to take it slow. I haven’t been able to think about anything else but this since yesterday.” Kurt shoved him through the doorway until the back of Blaine’s legs hit the bed and he collapsed with a heavy breath. Kurt wasted no time in pulling at the buttons of Blaine’s suit jacket, Blaine lifting his arms to help him wrench it off and throw it aside (he was sure Kurt would be horrified at the garment’s treatment in the morning), the vest following close behind.
“Fuck , I hate buttons!” Kurt growled, fingers fumbling when he got to Blaine’s shirt. Blaine echoed the sentiment, leaning up and pulling at Kurt’s button-up in frustration before he simply tugged, the buttons popping off with a soft pitter-patter as they rained against the rug below their feet.
“Someone’s aggressive,” Blaine teased as Kurt got the same idea and ripped Blaine’s dress shirt and tie over his head, hands already working at his pants.
“I could say the same to you,” he replied, kicking off his own jeans and practically purring with satisfaction when he’d finally worked the pants down Blaine’s legs, leaning up to dip his tongue into Blaine’s mouth once more. “Boxers off, and get rid of the glasses. Sit up against the headboard.”
Blaine was surprised but, pushed himself backwards until his back hit the solid slab of oak, hissing at the cool temperature against his back. He wrenched his glasses off his nose, tossing them onto the crumpled heap his suit made on the floor, blinking away the slight blurriness as he wiggled the waistband of his boxers over his hips. He watched Kurt hungrily as the taller man went to the bedside table, digging out a partially-used bottle of lube and a condom and tossed them onto the mattress. He quickly peeled off his boxer-briefs and crawled onto the bed, eyes darkening when he saw Blaine palming his cock. There was little warning until Kurt shoved his shoulders back against the headboard hard, straddling Blaine’s hips and claiming his mouth. Blaine hummed as he sucked at Kurt’s lips, shuddering as Kurt’s slender fingers traced down his chest. He rubbed idly at Blaine’d nipple, causing the younger man to gasp and arch up in search of contact, hands flying to Kurt’s hips, thumbs brushing back and forth across the sharp dips of his hipbones but not moving any lower. Kurt moaned, allowing his nails to scratch lightly at Blaine’s abdomen in retaliation, heading lower until his fingers were curled around Blaine’s cock.
A broken whimper escaped Blaine’s shiny, swollen lips, head tilting back and his eyes sliding closed. “Kurt, yes,” he whined, voice cracking when Kurt’s thumb rubbed over the head of his cock, smearing Blaine’s pre-come and applying gentle pressure to the slit. Blaine swore his eyes rolled back into his head at the feeling―it had been so long since anyone had touched him like this, and he could barely breathe with the intensity of it.
“You like that?” Kurt murmured into his ear, voice pitched lower than Blaine had ever heard it, hand pumping up and down the shaft, squeezing slightly every so often and throwing in the occasional twist around the base for good measure. “Just look at you, Blaine. You love this, don’t you?”
“Kurt!” he moaned, fucking up into the man’s slick fist, breath hitching.
Kurt’s hand moved lower, rubbing at Blaine’s balls, giving a soft, considering Mm. “How long has it been since anyone was with you like this?”
“Too long,” Blaine panted, grabbing at the lean muscles of Kurt’s back and shoulders. “Years.”
“No one could compare, could they?” the man asked, finger dipping lower to press at his perineum.
Blaine arched off the bed with a shout, nails scraping down Kurt’s back. “No, no one, Kurt, just you!”
Kurt echoed him with a moan of soft disbelief. “I want you so much, Blaine,” he admitted, leaning in to nip at Blaine’s lips, to lick across the slightly-rough slope of his jaw. “You taste so good. Mmm, I want to suck you, Blaine, can I?”
The man whimpered, eyes connecting solidly with Kurt’s, whose pupils were blown so wide that he could hardly see the blue in them anymore. “Kurt, I can’t last like this―”
“I’ll make it quick, I can’t either,” he promised, and without another word slid off Blaine and kneeled between his spread legs. He wasted no time, wrapping his hand securely around the base and swirling his tongue around the cockhead. Kurt moaned at the taste of Blaine’s pre-come, eyes sliding closed, and Blaine nearly came right then and there. He’d never been so turned on in his life. How could he have thought he could live without Kurt, live without his confidence and his gorgeous body and beautiful skin and sharp mind?
His thoughts didn’t linger when Kurt finally sucked him down, cheeks hollowing and tonguing at the thick vein on the underside. Blaine had no choice in the matter when his fingers moved to twine into Kurt’s hair, hips bucking up and keening brokenly when he felt the head of his cock hit the back of his throat. Kurt pulled back and sucked at the head again before he went back down, repeating the pattern until Blaine was shaking with his suppressed orgasm.
“Kurt, Kurt,” he begged. “Please, I can’t―”
Kurt pulled off with a sinful pop, looking absolutely wrecked when Blaine pulled him up for a kiss that was practically pornographic. His cock twitched when he felt Kurt’s hand back on him, wrenching away to protest and realizing that Kurt was rolling the condom down over him.
“What―?” He murmured, eyes settling on the bottle of lube that had somehow become open. His eyes widened when Kurt straddled his hips once again. “You’re―when did you―?”
“You were a little preoccupied,” Kurt replied breathlessly, reaching behind him to take hold of Blaine’s dick in his lube-slick hand.
“Next time,” Kurt whispered against his lips, lining Blaine up with his self-prepared entrance and sinking down slowly with a shaky exhale.
Blaine threw his head back, slamming it against the headboard and honestly beyond caring, because Kurt was so tight at hot around his cock that he had to be dead because this couldn’t be real. But, hell, if this was heaven, then he was just fine with that.
“Kurt,” he hissed desperately. “Please.”
“Move ,” the older man gasped, crying out when Blaine’s hips thrust up inside of him, rubbing deliciously in a way that no one else had, could or would ever compare to. “So perfect, Blaine―oh!”
Blaine held tight to Kurt’s slim hips, tugging him down as he thrust up and god, he would never feel like this with anyone else, but this was Kurt, and damn it, Blaine was going to keep him forever. “Fuck! God, you feel so good, so tight around me, Kurt. So good.”
Kurt whimpered, grinding his hips down in a slow circle, fingers twitching with pleasure as he settled his hands on Blaine’s shoulders, rising up on his knees until just the tip was still inside him, clenching briefly and slamming back down. Blaine shouted out a short, wordless exclamation of pleasure, pushing Kurt slightly away, angling his hips and thrusting upwards just so―
Kurt howled something that sounded like Blaine’s name, rocking against him and burying his face against his lover’s neck, teeth sinking into warm flesh, not enough to draw blood but more than enough to make Blaine hiss in pain. Kurt sucked marks into Blaine’s neck as he rode his dick, moaning and whining and gasping every time Blaine slammed against his prostate, limbs twitching involuntarily whenever he was rocked by an especially powerful thrust, clenching hot and tight around the cock inside of him and making pleasure like lightning crackle up Blaine’s spine.
Blaine’s lips found Kurt’s earlobe, tongue curling around the sensitive flesh and biting down just enough to sting, panting hotly against Kurt’s skin. “Feel so good, Kurt, sweetheart, no one else like you in the whole damn world. S’it good for you?”
Kurt growled in return, pulling Blaine’s hands away from his hips and pinning them against the bed, raising up and grinding down until he was bouncing on Blaine’s dick, a steady stream of moans escaping swollen, bruised lips. “S’not good, s’fucking incredible,” he slurred, eyes half-mast and glazed with lust. “So close, Blaine, c’mon, need you―”
Blaine’s eyes narrowed, his legs spreading just the slightest bit more, planting his feet and thrusting up just as Kurt came down, and Blaine nearly came at Kurt’s raw scream of pleasure alone. As it was, Kurt’s next words nearly got him there as he seemed to lose strength, long legs wrapping around Blaine’s waist and clinging to him, face tucked against his neck and brokenly sobbed variants of “I love you” into his skin.
Blaine’s voice failed him as his orgasm started building, somehow working a hand between their bodies to pump roughly at Kurt’s cock. “That’s it,” he breathed at Kurt’s weakened whimpers of ecstasy. “Come with me, Kurt. Now.”
The sound Kurt made in that moment was one Blaine would never be able to describe accurately, something like a weakened, breathless sob of wounded pleasure that was raw and primal and so unlike Kurt that Blaine lost it just realizing that he was the one to do this, the one to transform the strong, graceful man he loved into a trembling, whining mass of need.
Warm, sticky spurts of come coated Blaine’s hand, tugging at Kurt’s cock at an arrhythmic pace, honestly surprised that he managed it as all as his vision whited out and the rushing in his ears got so loud that he could hear his own heartbeat.
When he came back to, he was slumped against the headboard with Kurt still clinging to his chest, the man so eerily silent that Blaine almost worried that he’d passed out as well. However, when he finally remembered how to use his muscles attempted to look at Kurt’s face, his heart felt somewhere along the lines of bursting when he saw the slightest, purest of smiles and a completely blissed-out, adoring expression.
“Hi,” he breathed, not even loud enough to be considered a whisper.
He wasn’t sure if Kurt had heard him at first over the sound of their heavy breathing, but Kurt met his gaze, completely starry-eyed and replied, “I love you.”
This one was so much more than the rushed, desperate pleas, because this one was quiet, tender and achingly sincere with the silent reality that Kurt had just given Blaine everything necessary to break him and was trusting him not to.
“And I love you,” he answered honestly, smiling when Kurt inclined his head the slightest bit to press a whisper-soft kiss against his lips. He grimaced, though, when he realized he was still inside of Kurt, giving him a quick warning before he pulled out, Kurt yelping softly at the unexpected sensation. Blaine clumsily removed and tied off the condom, his fingers still not sure how to function so soon after the most mind blowing experience of his life, and tossed it somewhere in the vicinity of the wastebasket. “Kurt, we should clean up.”
Kurt made a quiet sound of blatant disagreement. “Sleep.”
“The sheets are all messy, though.”
“’ll clean up ‘n the morning.”
Blaine frowned. “Your mattress, though―”
“Oh m’ god,” Kurt groaned. “Blaine, I can afford a new bed. Sleep, now.”
The dark-haired boy sighed in defeat, wiping his hand on the duvet as he pulled back the sheets, kicking the still-open bottle of lube onto the floor. He pulled Kurt under with him, the other exceedingly grabby as he clung to Blaine’s side, settling his head against Blaine’s chest and letting one arm cross over his torso, fingers curling around his waist in a possessive way that made Blaine’s cheeks warm, despite the fact that what they’d just done was much more intense than some fingers against his skin. Perhaps it was the familiarity of the gesture, he wasn’t sure―Blaine only knew that, in this moment, as they faded into a pleased, spent sleep, there was no place he would rather be.
Kurt woke up the next morning sore, yet incredibly content. His eyes opened to Blaine’s peaceful face, a completely thrilled grin taking over his lips. Blaine was his. Blaine loved him, had always loved him, and he wasn’t going anywhere. Well, except back to Anna, but that didn’t even matter, because Blaine had just spent his wedding night with Kurt.
Things were going to be okay, somehow.
He glanced at the clock, nearly groaning at the early time of 7:32am, cursing his internal clock for waking him up even when he didn’t have to work. He really would have liked to sleep in this morning, but that obviously wasn’t the case. He might as well make coffee.
Kurt extracted himself carefully from the tangled mess of their limbs, pleased when Blaine remained asleep. He winced once he was standing straight, though, reminding himself to move a little more carefully for a while―it had been a long time before last night, and, well, Blaine wasn’t exactly small.
Kurt scooped up his boxer-briefs, only feeling slightly disgusting before he put them back on, figuring that he would definitely be taking a show later, anyway. On that train of thought, he also pulled Blaine’s mostly-destroyed button-up over his shoulders, grimacing in remorse at the sad few buttons that remained, silently vowing to buy Blaine a new suit someday to make up for this one, even if Blaine had enough money already that he didn’t know what to do with it. Well, technically it was his father’s money, and it was entirely possible that his father would cut him off when he found out Blaine was back with Kurt―and wasn’t that just an amazing thought, Blaine was his again, and he was Blaine’s.
Blaine’s shirt was loose on him―despite the fact that Kurt was taller, Blaine had more muscle mass―so Kurt pulled the collar closer, inhaling the scent of sweat and expensive alcohol and cologne and Blaine. The scent was so familiar and yet so foreign that it almost felt like coming home after being gone for a long time. Well, make that a really, really long time, but Kurt was just happy that Blaine was back where he belonged.
Kurt padded down the hallway, rubbing at his tired eyes as he descended into the living room, adjoined to the kitchen through an oversized, open doorway. When he reached the bottom of the stairs, he nearly killed himself by tripping over an unfamiliar pair of leather shoes―Blaine’s, of course, and Kurt silently rolled his eyes at the careless manner they were treated with. He crouched to pick them up, dropping them near the door when he noticed Blaine’s bag, forgotten in their… haste the night before. With a raised brow and a bit of curiosity, Kurt ignored the pull at the base of his spine, silently cursing Blaine and the fact that this bag was heavy as he toted it into the kitchen, dropping it on the small table with a heavy thud.
“God, Blaine, carry some more bricks, why don’t you,” Kurt groaned, rubbing his back as he set about making a pot of coffee. Once he was waiting for it to brew, Kurt returned to the table and sat heavily in the chair, thankful now more than ever that he had opted for chairs that had padding on the seat and back as to support his spine when he got older. That little bit did wonders for dulling a bit of Kurt’s discomfort, letting him focus more fully on the conundrum before him.
Should he snoop? It was technically an invasion of privacy, but Kurt wanted to know more about Blaine’s recent life, and the best way to do that was to research when Blaine wasn’t paying attention. With a silent shrug, he vowed to himself that he would apologize if he found anything too traumatizing.
Condoms and lube right on top, Kurt discovered with an amused smirk. It probably wasn’t Blaine’s idea to bring those, judging by the pink Post-It that had a small, scribbled winky-face. He reminded himself to thank Anna the next time he saw her. Blaine truly could have done much, much worse for a cover-wife.
A plain, black v-neck shirt that looked well worn came next, followed by a neatly-folded charcoal-colored fair of slacks. A toothbrush and toothpaste kept together in a zip-lock plastic bag. Extra socks and extra underwear. A digital camera―Kurt wasn’t sure what to make of that, but in a quick browse through a few pictures, he figured that Anna probably meant it innocently enough, most of the pictures taken by Quinn or Anna herself, featuring Kurt with the “newlyweds”, or sometimes just Kurt and Blaine. Those pictures brought a smile to his face and a slight ache to his chest, noting that some of them were timestamped for back in January―when he and Blaine had first started working together with the wedding―and that, even then, Blaine had been staring at Kurt adoringly when Kurt didn’t notice. He cursed himself for having become such a city man, treating all of his problems with cold indifference and waiting for them to go away, rather than confronting them.
He set aside the camera and dug deeper. An extra pair of shoes―beat up sneakers that looked like they could barely survive another mile. He grinned at the thought of Blaine wearing sneakers. Compressed into the bottom was a sweatshirt, black with a patch supporting the United States Armed Forces. He stroked his fingers over the embroidered letters proclaiming SGT. BLAINE ANDERSON in tacky gold thread. He snorted softly, doubting that this was standard army-issue and wondered who Blaine had bribed to get a sweatshirt with his name and rank on it.
His fingers closed around something rather small and square, extracting what looked to be a gift box of some sort, probably once white, but the color now yellowed with age. Kurt frowned when he saw there was a letter taped to the lid, Anna’s familiar handwriting simply stating Blaine.
Kurt bit his lip, truly hesitant to actually get involved in this, especially if it was something private between Anna and Blaine. He sighed, getting up to pour himself a mug of strong coffee, cooling it with just a bit of nonfat french-vanilla coffee creamer. He leaned against the counter, fingers tapping against the mug contemplatively as he stared at the box.
Well, what could it hurt? Worst case scenario, it was something embarrassing, and Kurt would tease Blaine a little and apologize for going through his stuff.
He sat, carefully pulling off Anna’s note, which looked much newer than the box itself. He frowned as he unfolded the stationary, a blue, stylized A.M.D in the upper-right corner, silver swirls bordering a block of lines. Anna’s clean, flowing script was written inside.
I found this in with your things when I was packing your bag. Chances are, you won’t find this until you’re already with Kurt. Maybe I’m overstepping some boundaries, but I think that you should seriously consider the reason why you bought them in the first place. I read your letter, Blaine, and I couldn’t help but write one of my own.
The first time I met you, I was reminded so much of my Jake that I couldn’t help but smile around you. I knew I would never love another man the way I loved him, but I was perfectly happy thinking that maybe someday I could just marry someone who would become my best friend and leave it at that. You were a miracle to me, and even after I found out about my illness, I will never stop being thankful for the companionship you have given me. You are my very best friend.
Because of that, I have to say this: I knew you were in love with Kurt as soon as you told me his name. I knew you would never be happy if you didn’t have him, and I also knew that you would settle for less than you deserve because you think it will make your family happy. I was so thrilled when you agreed to move to New York with me, running away with a complete stranger in the hopes of finding the person you were forced to lose.
Do not lose him again, Blaine. I know how much you love him, and if it happened again, it would destroy you. It’s a testament to your dedication that you’ve kept these things for all this time. Don’t let that go to waste.
Please, for the love of all that is holy, marry Kurt once I die. If it takes a month, a year or even ten, marry that man. You love him, he loves you, and I love you, so there’s obviously more than enough love to make it work.
If meeting Quinn Fabray has taught me anything, Blaine, it’s that you are more than capable of making your own family. You don’t need your blood to support you, you just need support. She and Rachel and Kurt and all their friends back home are proof. You and me and my family are proof. If your father can’t accept you for who you are, he doesn’t deserve to have you as a son.
From what you’ve told me, Kurt’s father has already done more for you than your father ever will. Marrying me was your chance at having a life of freedom. Marrying Kurt will be your chance at having a life of love. Don’t give it up.
Start with these.
Kurt frowned, contemplating her words. Kurt’s father has already done more for you than your father ever will. What exactly did that mean? What had his father done?
He would find out soon enough, Kurt supposed, pulling the yellow-white top from the gift box and overturning it into his hand, a smaller, more rounded velvet box tumbling into his palm. Kurt’s eyes widened, turning the box over in his hand, hesitating only for a second before he pulled the spring-hinged cover back, another yellowing piece of paper folded inside. Kurt set the box down, removing the letter that must have been Blaine’s and freezing at when he saw what was underneath.
Two silver bands lay side-by-side, slightly tarnished with age, but that could be easily cleaned. Kurt caught sight of some sort of inscription on the inside of one, and he squinted, tilting his head. The one on the right, slightly larger than the other, had the words No Regrets carved onto the inside. The one on the left, the smaller, was engraved with the words Just Love.
No Regrets, Just Love.
Kurt gasped, his free hand flying to cover his mouth, eyes prickling with tears. “Oh, Blaine,” he whispered, biting at his lips, which were torn somewhere between a pained grimace and a sad smile.
God, whoever had told that boy that he wasn’t good at romance was the biggest liar in the world.
Kurt’s fumbling fingers carefully unfolded the old note, this one much less formal and written on a sheet of college-ruled paper. His eyes almost obsessively drank in the sight of Blaine’s handwriting, still so strong and sure, before his injury. The upper-right corner, where Anna’s initials had been on the last letter, this time featured the date: December 4, 2011.
Over ten years ago, now. But there was something familiar about that date. He’d have to check up on it, later.
For now, he had a letter to read.
I feel really strange to be writing a letter on paper. I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I did this, if I’ve ever done this before, but I know you think handwritten letters are really romantic and how you like to save things that are special for you, so I put the date on it, just in case. :)
I think that I should say before I go off on a tangent how much I love you. Because I really, really do. I’d never done anything good in my life until you came along, and I might be young, but I think it’s okay to say that you’ve made me into a changed man.
I’m really terrible at this romance stuff, but that won’t stop me from trying. So, here I go.
I love you, Kurt. I love you with all of my heart, and then some, because every time I think it isn’t possible for me to love you any more than I do, you go and prove me wrong. I’m constantly breathless around you, which actually makes it really hard to sing in glee club sometimes. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and never expected to have.
I love everything about you―your eyes and that really specific color that I always forget how to spell, because looking at them makes my brain short-circuit. Your smile, and that it kind of makes me feel like I’ve just gotten punched in the gut, but in a really good way. (Wow, that actually sounded really bad, but I’m writing with a pen and I don’t want to start over.) I love your hands, especially when they’re holding mine. I love your hair and how it always looks perfect because you take such good care of it. I love your lips and I love kissing you. Sometimes I forget that gravity exists when we kiss, like that time last month in the auditorium after West Side Story. I even love the way you yell at me, because even though it makes me feel really bad, I know it’s probably for a good reason, because you almost never get mad at me otherwise. It also makes me really happy, in a weird way, because I know that you wouldn’t yell if you didn’t care.
You make me so happy, Kurt. Everything about you makes me smile, everything you say and everything you do, from the first time we met, to now. To always, maybe.
I know we’ve talked about our future before, but it’s always kind of been casual. But I want you to know, now more than ever, that there’s nothing casual about my feelings for you. And I know you worry about this next part, so I’ll put it in writing: Sebastian doesn’t mean anything to me. He isn’t even a blip on my radar or whatever other metaphors you can come up with that sound more clever than mine. It’s you, has been, always will be you. What we shared for the first time last month cemented that realization in my mind. All the times since then have further reinforced the fact that no one else will ever compare, both physically and emotionally. You are perfect to me.
You’re leaving for New York in a few months, I know, but I want you to know that it doesn’t change anything. After this year, you’ll be coming home for school breaks and I’ll be working hard on my senior year. Then, in another year, we’ll be together. We can wake up next to each other every day, if that’s what you want (and I hope you do, because if I have to live somewhere on campus, knowing that you’re out in the city with an apartment and you’re not right next to me, I probably won’t get any sleep). You can make coffee, because you’re the one who wakes up early in the mornings, and I’ll just―well, I don’t know what I’ll do, but I’m sure we’ll figure something out.
I want you to know that I fully intend to spend every moment for the rest of my life being madly in love with you. I know that my parents haven’t been the most supportive and that it makes you nervous, but no matter what they do, Kurt, they can’t change the way I feel about you. When I’m with you, I have absolutely no regrets. Just love.
I really, really hope that you’ll accept this ring as a promise from me to you, as a promise that I will always love you, no matter how old I get, no matter where I go, but if there will be a place that I end up living and making art, it will be right by your side. If you love me even half as much as I love you, Kurt, I will be the happiest man in the world for the rest of my life.
You move me, Kurt. And giving you this ring is just an excuse to spend more time with you.
All my love (and then some),
Kurt’s vision was blurry with tears by the time he was done, wiping his eyes with the sleeve of Blaine’s shirt. He tenderly re-folded the letter, replacing it in the box and proceeding to put everything back into Blaine’s bag. He slid the pack onto the opposite chair when he was done, and, leaving his coffee on the table which had long since gone cold, went to find his cell phone.
Once he did, Kurt walked towards the back room, featuring several huge, clear windows, sheer white curtains pulled closed and diffusing the light into an already light-colored room. Kurt sat heavily on his couch which was a light, patterned blue, and pressed the call button, listening to it ring several times before it was answered.
“Hummel Tires and Lube, this is Burt Hummel, how can I help you?”
Kurt let out a shaky breath. “Dad?”
There was a brief pause. “Kurt?”
The younger man rubbed at his eyes again. “Yeah. Hi.”
“It’s been a while, bud,” Burt said quietly into the other line. “Months.”
“I know,” Kurt whispered. “I’ve been so busy, I should have called before, but… things… got complicated.”
“Are you okay?” Burt asked sharply. “You sound like you’ve been crying, Kurt. What’s going on?”
He sighed, sinking down into the couch, resting his head on the armrest. “I’m okay, Dad. I just…” he trailed off into silence. “I…”
“Kurt, come on. You know you can tell me anything.”
“I know,” he answered instantly, because he did. He trusted his father with everything. “I just… I found Blaine, Dad.”
A longer pause, this time, before a quiet, cautious, “Did you now?”
“Mmhm. And he’s…” Kurt smiled like an idiot, forgetting that his father couldn’t see him.
“He’s what, Kurt?”
“Perfect ,” Kurt replied breathily. He heard his father’s sigh crackle as feedback over the line. “The whole situation is so complicated, but I’m really, really happy. He got married yesterday, actually. To a girl named Anna.”
“That…” Burt choked. “Well, that does sound complicated.”
“She’s his best friend,” Kurt replied. “And she’s one of the nicest, most thoughtful women I’ve ever met. She has terminal cancer, and when she found out, she proposed to Blaine to get his family off his back.”
Burt let out a startled bark of laughter. “That’s one hell of a woman.”
“I fixed Mom’s tiara for her to wear,” he admitted.
“She must really be something special, then.”
“She is. To be honest, I wish she wasn’t sick, because even if she’d still married Blaine, she and Quinn have been pushing us together for months. And, uh… well―” Kurt cut himself off with an uncomfortable clearing of his throat. “Well, it worked.”
“How is he?” Burt asked. “Er―where did he go?”
“You’re a terrible liar, Dad,” Kurt sighed.
The older man laughed quietly. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
“How often have you talked to him?”
“The night he left and one letter after that, a few years ago. Nothing else.”
Kurt sighed. “Tell me?”
“He thought he might be headed to the military. He didn’t want you to have to live through anything like what happened to your mom again. I just told him that he was always welcome with us, no matter what happened. He promised to write a letter back if… he survived. And he did, apparently right after he hurt his hand or something. I’m foggy on the details there, but that’s all I know. He just wrote to say thank you and goodbye.”
Kurt absent-mindedly rolled his lip between his teeth, considering. “He apparently hurt it somehow. Even he isn’t clear on how it happened, just that it did. He got a skin graft, I guess, and there’s a scar now. It’s not terrible, but it’s definitely not pretty.”
Burt made a roughly sympathetic sound, something clattering far off on his end; it was likely he was going through a tool box. “Kurt, I love you and all, but you’ve obviously been around Blaine for months, now. What made you call?”
Kurt turned onto his side, eyes vacantly staring. “I found something in his bag. I don’t think I was supposed to see it. Anna must have put them there, but I picked up his bag this morning and, er―found it in there.”
“You went through his stuff?”
“Not exactly,” Kurt protested. “It was more like… investigative searching. I’m kind of entitled.”
“Yeah, that’s what you said about your mom’s stuff, too.” Kurt could practically hear him roll his eyes. “So, what did you find?”
“Rings,” he replied. “Promise rings, I think, and a letter from ten years ago.”
“He did mention something about rings,” Burt said thoughtfully. “Before he left, how he’d bought one and was going to give it to you for Christmas or something.”
A sinking feeling pulled at Kurt’s heart, some sort of strange yearning to go back somehow, to change things. “God, Dad, don’t tell me that,” Kurt whispered. “It just makes me wonder how things could have been different.”
“Well, they’re not,” Burt said in that tone that was very blunt and matter-of-fact, the one he always used whenever Kurt had his head just a little too high up in the clouds. “Truth is, the kid had to leave and never got to give it to you. Now you’ve found them, and it sounds like Blaine doesn’t even know they’re there. So what are you gonna do?”
The younger man sighed, eyes slipping closed. “Nothing. I put them back where I found them. It’s more than enough just to know that he loves me.”
Burt was quiet for so long that Kurt was afraid he’d lost the call. “Dad?”
“Sometimes I forget,” the man said softly. “Just how much you’ve grown up. Seems like yesterday that I was teaching you to ride a bike, now you’ve got a damn good business and a level head on your shoulders.”
“You obviously did something right,” Kurt replied, a tiny smile forming on his lips. “You ‘did good’, you know. With me. I wouldn’t be where I am without you.”
“I know that, kid. I know.” Still, he sounded rather touched by Kurt’s words. “Now, I have a customer that just came in, so I have to go.”
“Alright,” Kurt acknowledged.
“Don’t be a stranger.”
“I want to hear from you again soon, got it?”
Kurt opened his eyes, rolling them skyward. “Phone lines go both ways, you know. God forbid you actually use that iPhone I bought you for your birthday.”
“Damn things keep getting smaller and smaller. It’s all I can do just to see the keyboard,” Burt grumbled. “Alright, bud. I’ll talk to you soon.”
“Okay, Dad. I love you.”
“Love you too, kid,” he responded gruffly. “Tell Blaine that I say hi. And his girl, whoever she is―Amber?”
“Anna, Dad,” Kurt reminded patiently. “I’ll send you a picture once Quinn gets them from the photographer.”
“Sounds good. Bye, Kurt.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Kurt groused fondly. “Go work.”
A staticky chuckle was the only response before the line cut off. Kurt settled comfortably into the cushions, wondering why it had taken him so long to call his father. He’d forgotten just how much of a weight lifted from his shoulders to have his father’s input.
He reminded himself to make a visit home soon. Maybe for the Fourth of July. He could possibly even drag Blaine along, depending on how Anna was doing at the time. With wistful melancholy, he wondered if she would even make it until then. It was already nearing the end of May, and her decline was becoming more rapid.
Kurt sighed, sitting up and stretching at the gravelly sound of Blaine’s voice. “Down here, Blaine!” he called, standing and cracking his spine before he wandered down the hallway… slowly.
Blaine lingered at the bottom of the stairs, looking muzzy and tiredly bewildered, shirtless and wearing Kurt’s jeans that ran just a few inches too long, glasses slightly crooked on his nose. A smile tilted his lips and crinkled his eyes when he saw Kurt, and the older man felt his breath catch in his throat. If this was what Blaine would look like every morning when he woke up, Kurt could definitely live with that. The man was downright adorable.
“Morning,” he mumbled, making grabby hands as Kurt approached, holding Kurt close by the extra fabric of the shirt and nuzzling under his jaw.
The tingly feeling that was becoming a constant in Kurt’s chest must be a side-effect of overexposure to Blaine, he decided, wrapping his arms around the shorter man’s shoulders and resting his cheek against Blaine’s curls, wild from sleep and still slightly sticky from the previous day’s gel. He pet through the downy hairs at the base of Blaine’s neck, gently scratching his scalp, chest fit to burst at the pleased purr that rumbled from Blaine’s chest at the action.
“Good morning,” Kurt murmured in return, carefully removing himself from Blaine’s vicinity before he convinced the man that returning to bed and cuddling for the next several hours would be a good idea. Blaine seemed to be thinking along the same lines, making a heartbreakingly cute noise of disagreement at the loss of Kurt’s warmth. Kurt kept a firm hold on his hand, though, giving it a light squeeze. “Don’t be like that, Blaine, I made coffee.”
Just like that, Blaine made a complete change in attitude, eyes brightening behind slightly-smudged glass at the promise of caffeine. “Coffee?” he said in a gravelly voice.
“Come on, you,” Kurt replied fondly when Blaine cuddled up against Kurt’s side, walking together toward the kitchen.
“Sit,” he said mildly. “Your bag’s there,” Kurt added, hoping that Blaine was too tired to notice Kurt’s half-assed attempt to keep his cheeks from flushing. Even so, Kurt knew he still probably looked a little dazed.
Blaine moved the bag carelessly to the floor, practically falling into the chair with a heavy oof, Kurt grinned, opening the cupboard to extract a navy-blue mug. “How do you want your coffee?”
“Black,” Blaine replied, surprising Kurt. His face then turned slightly sheepish. “Sugar, though, if you have it.”
Kurt raised an eyebrow. “I have Splenda packets?” he offered.
“Mm, just one, please,” the man answered, glasses placed on the table as Blaine set about rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He blinked blearily when the coffee was set down in front of him, taking the mug in his hands and inhaling the rich scent and taking a sip with a groan. “God, I love you. Thank you.”
Kurt’s cheeks warmed, attempting and failing to smother a silly grin. “Savor it; it’s Colombian imported.”
Blaine groaned quietly, taking another long drag. “Quality caffeine is always appreciated.”
“Dork,” Kurt replied, picking up his own half-finished mug and regretfully pouring the cold coffee down the drain, refilling it with fresh brew and fixing his cup, sitting across from Blaine at the table. “How’d you sleep?”
“The best I have in months, if not years,” Blaine admitted, legs stretching and hooking his feet around the backs of Kurt’s ankles. “Though it was a little off-putting to wake up without you there.”
“Early riser,” he explained apologetically. “I would have loved to sleep longer, but we do need to get you back to Anna at some point.”
Blaine frowned, a look of confusion crossing his face before his eyes widened. “Oh.”
Kurt cocked his head, attempting to place the reaction before he was struck with realization. “You completely forgot, didn’t you?”
Blaine’s cheeks colored and he grumbled something unintelligible while averting his gaze. Kurt sighed, reaching across the table to take Blaine’s scarred hand in his, rubbing his thumb along the backs of Blaine’s knuckles. “Don’t worry, I’ve had a few of those moments this morning, also.”
“I wish it really could have been you,” Blaine nearly whispered. “I love Anna, don’t get me wrong―but it would have meant so much more to me if it had been different.”
“I know,” Kurt agreed quietly. “But it means everything in the world that you’re here with me right now.”
“We’ll have our turn for real, someday,” he promised, an earnest happiness shining in golden-hazel eyes.
“It won’t be easy,” Kurt warned, mind set on Blaine’s parents.
“It’ll be worth it, though.” Blaine raised Kurt’s hand to his mouth, turning it and brushing his lips over the pulse point. “So worth it.”
Kurt would worry about the rings later, he decided. For now, he just wanted to enjoy what might be the last few moments of normalcy with Blaine he would have for a while. “I love you, you know,” he confessed.
Blaine’s grin was brighter than the sun. “I do,” he acknowledged, and nothing in the world could have stopped Kurt from leaning over the table and meeting his lips halfway in a kiss.
He should have known it couldn’t last.
The next morning, Blaine and Anna returned to their apartment, waiting a few hours before they called Kurt and Quinn over to join them in post-wedding wrap-up details. Or, so they said. Mostly, it was just to go over photographs, since everything had been taken care of beforehand, and Kurt and Blaine needed an excuse to see each other.
He hadn’t realized that Blaine’s parents hadn’t left yet.
When he arrived, it was to Anna opening the door with a borderline-nervous expression, which was strange enough on its own, if not for the vaguely-familiar voices behind her. Kurt shot an alarmed look at Quinn, whose eyes widened slightly before they narrowed, giving Kurt a slight nod of encouragement and following after him.
“Glad you could make it,” Anna said graciously, Kurt noting that, if circumstances had been different, she would have made a terrific actress. “Just the photos today, right?”
“Yep, just the photos, and then you two will be all set,” Quinn stepped in easily, shucking off her coat and hanging it on the pegs just inside the apartment door, taking Kurt’s off his hands as they headed toward the dining room, Kurt with short, nervous, staccato steps.
Blaine sat across from his father at the dining room table, his mother obviously floating somewhere around the apartment. When he noticed Kurt enter, he sat bolt-upright, shooting a quick, unnoticed look of alarm at the man and returning his gaze to― “Kurt!” Blaine exclaimed, forcing his voice to remain just on the friendly side of professional. “Hey.”
“Good to see you,” Kurt agreed politely, not missing the way Col. Anderson’s face twisted and reddened, turning to his son and hissing something that sounded like ‘what is he doing here?’.
Blaine gave his father a sharp, warning look, turning to smile at Kurt and Quinn as they entered, Kurt sitting on Blaine’s right, Quinn leaving a space open on his left for Anna to settle into, sitting on her other side. Kurt could feel the man’s glare set on him, obviously not having missed Kurt’s proximity to his son. Blaine bumped knees with Kurt deliberately under the table, a sure sign of comfort.
Quinn extracted a pile of printed photographs, spreading them out before the group, extracting certain ones that she liked, chattering on as Anna did the same. Kurt and Blaine, however, stayed stiff in their seats, unable to focus with the atmosphere radiating in the room.
“So,” Col. Anderson started, and Kurt could tell from his tone that what came next wasn’t going to be pretty. “You helped with the wedding, Kurt?”
“Yes,” the brunette replied warily. “I designed Anna’s dress and helped arrange the design aspects of the reception.”
“Well,” the man sneered, lip curling. “At least you’re doing something you gays are good at.”
There was a moment of silence, where even Quinn and Anna stopped talking. Kurt sat in silent rage, not having been on the receiving end of such disrespect since he lived in Lima. He wanted to snap back, true to his form, so desperately, but he knew he was better than that. He wouldn’t allow himself to rise to the man’s bait, especially not when Blaine was still sitting rigidly, frozen with shock.
“Yes,” Kurt conceded, glasz eyes glinting dangerously. “A very good thing that I dedicated my life to the start of new lives, rather than the end of them.”
The man’s face turned an interesting shade of puce, shooting to his feet in a moment. “If you think for one second I will let a pathetic fag like you insult me―”
“How dare you?!” Blaine snarled, standing just as quickly, the anger radiating off him in waves.
“No, Blaine,” the older man practically spat. “How dare you allow this tramp back into your life, after all this time! He has no place with you anymore! You’re no longer a child and you are a man now, so act like one!”
Kurt wanted very much to reach for Blaine’s hand, but knew that this was going to be messy enough even without giving them away. Instead, he slowly stood, also, placing a restraining hand on Blaine’s shoulder. “You can stop, Blaine. I know where I’m not wanted.”
“No ,” Blaine growled, his arm shooting out to prevent Kurt from getting by him. “You are wanted here.” His gaze, one gleaming like burnished gold, blazed like fire when it landed on his father. “You are not. Leave.”
“Blaine, you listen to me―” the man started, voice raising.
“You listen to me,” he snapped. “Kurt put a great deal of hard work into making this wedding the beautiful event that it was. He has been nothing but gracious and polite, and it is an insult to have my own father, the man who footed the bill for this entire affair in the first place, stand there and dishonor him, no matter what past he and I shared! You disgrace me by presenting such a revolting image in a city where I am trying to build a positive reputation for acceptance of people everywhere. This isn’t a military base, this is New York, and no such place for you to talk to one of the most prominent designers in the world like he is nothing more than the dirt on your boots!”
“He will never be anything more than a low-class citizen from a meaningless town!”
Blaine’s pupils dilated with anger, and Kurt could feel him trembling. He hadn’t seen Blaine this angry since high school, not since he got into that fight with Sam, and maybe not even then.
“Then you will never be anything more to me than a bitter retiree of war who shares my surname in name only,” Blaine replied so quietly that Kurt wasn’t even sure the man had heard him until the blood drained from his face, fists clenching.
“Get out,” Blaine breathed, his eyes wild. “I will not have you insulting my friends when I have offered them sanctuary in my home. I’m not a child and you will no longer tell me how to live my life. Your flight is tomorrow, I’m sure you can find a hotel for the night. Get out.”
It took only minutes for Blaine’s father to have his things packed, and Blaine’s mother only got to give him one last regretful glance before Col. Anderson slammed the door shut.
That seemed to be the catalyst to motion, Blaine slumping heavily against Kurt’s shoulder, arms clinging to his back in search for support. Kurt, caught off-balance, nearly stumbled before Anna and Quinn came to Blaine’s other side, the three of them carefully guiding the shaking man into the living room, Blaine pulling Kurt down with him onto the couch and curling himself around the taller man’s body, shoulders shaking with suppressed rage and emotional pain, eyes squeezed shut behind his glasses. Kurt gently removed them with one hand, placing them onto the nearby coffee table before he scooted down to lay with Blaine properly, their foreheads pressed together.
Kurt offered no words, knowing those weren’t what Blaine needed right now, and Blaine, too, remained silent. Anna and Quinn eventually shuffled out, presumably to the dining room, to give them privacy. Only when they were gone did Kurt murmur a near-silent “Thank you.”
Blaine nodded against him, eyes finally opening to meet his gaze close-range, tilting his face up to catch a slow, chaste kiss. Then they separated, they stayed close, Blaine whispering in the minimal space between them, “You’re the most radiant, talented, beautiful person I know, inside and out.”
Kurt smiled gently, cradling Blaine’s cheek in his palm and brushing his thumb back and forth. “Love you,” he said quietly. “But you didn’t need to do that for me.”
“Yes, I did,” Blaine replied, effectively ending the conversation by nuzzling into Kurt’s neck.
“Hmm?” The older man hummed in content.
“I love you, too.”
Anna continued to lose weight. Within two weeks of the wedding, her ribs were showing through her skin, and though it hadn’t even been six months yet, they knew that her time was coming closer.
The day they brought her to the hospital was hard for everyone.
The doctors, doing multiple tests involving blood and needles and x-rays―and all the other things Kurt hated about hospitals―came to the conclusion that Anna had only days left. They offered their condolences, but Anna’d had time to get used to the idea and her smile never wavered, even as she signed off on the paperwork that instructed them what to do with her body when she passed.
Anna made the executive decision, then, to inform her family. Within the next day and a half, her relatives poured in, filling the room far beyond its intended capacity. Many of them were tearful, giving her constant hugs and holding her hands, and there was always someone holding a tissue. Kurt didn’t stay on those days, but Blaine understood. It was too much like when Kurt’s mother passed, and he assured Kurt that he would be okay on his own with Anna and her family.
By the third day, most of the relatives had cleared out, leaving only Anna’s aunt as a regular. Kurt and Quinn and Rachel came back on those days, Kurt careful to keep his distance from Blaine so he could avoid suspicion. This didn’t end up being a problem, for as soon as Anna’s aunt―“Call me Olivia, darling”―was introduced to him, she fawned excessively and kept Kurt and Quinn talking about their business. However, she was middle-aged and never spent the night due to a bad back, and, needing her own mattress, and Anna shooed her away, anyway, claiming that the woman shouldn’t hurt her health since Anna was doing enough of that for the both of them.
Then came the day that her heartbeat became erratic. The doctors informed her that she probably didn’t have long, and that the time had come to say her goodbyes.
Blaine’s constant presence was allowed, but Kurt, Quinn and Rachel refused to leave. The nurses eventually gave up, and Anna thanked them for being ‘such stubborn nuisances’ with a wide smile. As they settled in for the night, Rachel and Quinn just small enough to fit together in a partially-reclining chair and Kurt giving up the only other seat in favor of sitting on the radiator in the windowsill, he could tell that Blaine was getting anxious. Hazel eyes lingered on the thin oxygen tube settled just under her nose, her thin hands, her wedding rings, now much too large, and hanging around her neck on a delicate chain.
Kurt could see how closed-off he was becoming, and almost felt like he was intruding once the other girls nodded off and it was just he, Anna and Blaine. He felt a pang in his heart when Blaine knelt by the side of her bed and took her hand. It was for Blaine’s benefit when he lay his head back and closed his eyes, feigning sleep.
“So…” Blaine started slowly. “I don’t… know what to say.”
“Well, I know what I want to say,” Anna replied quietly. “And I want to say thank you, Blaine. You’ve done so much for me and you’ve made me so much happier than I thought I ever could be again.”
The man let out a short, pained breath. “Anna―”
“Don’t you cry,” she commanded. “Don’t, or I will, and that’s not okay. I don’t want any sadness in this room, you hear me?” Blaine must have nodded, because Anna continued, “Good. Now, I want you to take a deep breath. Count to three if you have to, and show me that pretty smile of yours.”
A short span of time lapsed, and a watery chuckle forced its way out of Blaine. “You’re my best friend, you know that?”
“Of course, silly boy. And you are my knight in fabulous armor that little girls dream of meeting when they’re young.”
Another sad laugh, then a pause. “…I’m sorry I couldn’t love you the way you deserved,” he murmured.
“You loved me just fine,” she replied. “I wasn’t looking for a relationship when I talked to you, Blaine. I just saw a lonely man and wanted to help however I could. The fact that you loved me enough to give up your freedom with the person you really love, if only for a few months, makes me feel so special. There’s only been one man I’ve ever felt that special with before you, Blaine. And I’m about to go be with him, now.”
Kurt could hear the shake in Blaine’s voice when he replied, “Yeah, well, he better take good care of you, because you deserve it.”
Anna laughed, then, and the sound was still rich and full, one thing that had never changed, along with the light in her eyes. “Oh, he will. I know he will.” Anna went quiet for another moment. “I want to tell you, Blaine―that day, with your father, you did something amazing.”
“I did what I’ve always wanted to.”
“And that just reinforces my point that you are the best man alive, and, gay or straight or tall or short or white or black or purple, no one will compare to the amount of courage you showed that day, and I was never so proud to be married to you as I was in that moment. You are a beautiful human being.”
Blaine made a soft, wounded noise that sounded so sad it nearly broke Kurt’s heart. “I’ll miss you,” he whispered.
“I know,” she replied quietly. “But you don’t have to be alone anymore, Blaine. You have Kurt, huh? That’s a reason to smile.”
“Yeah, I know,” Blaine mumbled. “I don’t feel like smiling too much, now, though.”
“I know,” she repeated again, and Kurt could hear a faint brush of skin that was probably her patting his cheek. “But you will, again. I want you to know that I love you very much, and you made my last few months extraordinarily happy. Now, come up here and give me a kiss, then it’s off to bed with you.”
“Yes, mother,” he replied with fond sarcasm, a quick press of lips sounding quiet as a whisper before he breathed, “Goodnight, Anna.”
“Goodnight, Blaine,” she replied.
Kurt felt Blaine walk by him, settling into the free chair and sighing sadly. When he finally nodded off a few minutes later, it was to a restless sleep.
“I know you’re awake, Kurt,” Anna said, and when Kurt opened his eyes, her smile was warm.
He didn’t bother hesitating swinging his feet down, moving carefully and quietly as to not wake Blaine, sitting when Anna patted the mattress beside her fragile body.
“How are you feeling?” he asked.
“To be honest? Miserable,” Anna admitted with a tiny chuckle, so much quieter than her laugh before. “Enough to know I won’t last through the night. Blaine doesn’t want to admit it, but I could see it in his eyes that he knows.”
“I figured,” Kurt replied quietly. “I also figure that you have something to tell me, too, right?”
“Right on the money,” she said with a smile, reaching out to tap his nose playfully. “I just think that you should know a few things about Blaine.”
Kurt raised a brow in question, and her smile widened.
“He loves you, Kurt. So much. And I know that you already know that, but sometimes hearing it from someone else can make it seem more real. The first time I met him, I won’t lie, I did come on to him a little bit. He was very firm and very polite in telling me that his heart already belonged to someone. I pushed, because I’m a stubborn woman, and came to the realization the he was gay. I asked him what your name was, and he told me instantly. It was the quickest, most heartfelt response I got from him all night.”
Kurt ducked his head, biting his lip at the mental image, unsure of whether to be happy or immeasurably sad.
“Hey, now, don’t make that face,” Anna cooed. “That is a good thing. If that boy could stay in love with you this whole time and not doubt a second of it, if he could willingly admit that he loves you to a perfect stranger, then you have a love worth keeping. Blaine adores you, always has.”
Kurt nodded a little bit, gaze still averted. “I shouldn’t have let him leave so easily.”
“Oh, Kurt, there was nothing you could have done to make him stay. When he gets his mind set on something…” She laughed quietly, reaching out to cover one of his hands with hers, fragile and chilled. “You did the best you could. And you know what? I’d have to say that it’s fate the day you ran into Blaine again. I checked the date… and there’s something that I really hope he shows you.”
“The rings?” Kurt asked with a tiny smile, glancing up to meet Anna’s wide eyes. “I found them in his bag. He doesn’t know that I did. But, what do you mean about the day I ran into Blaine again?”
Anna raised her brows. “December 4th, Kurt? He came to me and told me straight away that he’d met you, and I marked it on the calendar. I know that the letter he wrote to you was marked for the fourth, also.”
Kurt’s mouth dropped open in surprise, shooting a quick glance over to where Blaine slept on obliviously. “I didn’t make the connection. I mean, I knew there was something―”
“Fate,” Anna said again with a firm, pleased nod. “I refuse to believe that something like that is coincidence. Sometimes things don’t work out between two people, but it’s also possible for it to just be the wrong time for them. It happened to my parents―they dated all through high school, but they broke up. And then, after college and once they were working, my mother ended up breaking the heel of her shoe, leaving work, and was just a few minutes later into the staircase than usual. Come to find out, they’d worked in the same building for almost two years. They fell in love again and got married and had myself and my brother, and that was that.”
Kurt smiled a little at that. “Sounds a bit much, but I’ll take it,” he admitted. “I was a wreck without Blaine. I was a wreck before him, too. Seems like I need him in my life, no matter what. It just reminds me of the song he used to sing, the one he sang to me the first day we met. Before you met me, I was alright, but things were kind of heavy, you brought me to life. It’s true.”
“Oh, Blaine and his bubblegum pop,” she chuckled. “That day he came home, he was humming Teenage Dream for three hours straight, I swear I almost killed him.”
The flutter in Kurt’s chest could not be healthy. His gaze was still stuck on Blaine, on the gentle rise and fall of his chest. “Even when I know he’s mine, I still can’t seem to get over him,” he sighed. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop wanting him.”
“Good. Keep him close and take care of him for me.”
Kurt’s gaze pulled away from Blaine and met Anna eye-to-eye, noticing the woman had gone pale in the past few minutes. “Are you okay?”
“No, but I will be,” she replied with a small smile. “You too, now, off to bed.”
Kurt nodded, taking care not to jostle her as he stood, bending into the circle of her fragile arms. “You made me look like a princess on my wedding day, Kurt. You most certainly found a wonderful job in making people happy and helping them start new lives together. Don’t let Blaine’s father ever tell you otherwise.”
“Thank you,” he said quietly, pressing a soft kiss to her forehead. “Your dress was my masterpiece, I’ll admit. And you looked absolutely stunning.”
Anna smiled widely at him, letting Kurt go so he could crawl back up into the windowsill, the glass cold, but the radiator comforting and warm.
“Kurt?” she asked a few moments later.
“I know…” Here, she hesitated. “I know you don’t believe in God, and I know how you feel about those sort of things, but… will you go to my funeral? To be with Blaine,” she clarified as an afterthought.
Kurt took in a deep breath, letting it out slowly. “Of course, Anna.”
Kurt closed his eyes, tilting his head back and dozing. Right before he fell asleep, though, he thought of something. “‘nna?” he mumbled.
He felt himself drifting, but knew this was important. “Jus’ because I don’ believe ‘n God doesn’t mean I don’ believe in angels.”
Her whispered words of “thank you” were the last he heard before he drifted.
When he woke up in the morning, Anna was gone.
The funeral was beautiful. Blaine hated funerals, but Anna’s was much less a funeral and much more a celebration of her life, just like the wedding a few weeks ago.
He was surprised when Kurt told Blaine that he would be going with him. However, Blaine would never protest―it made him feel much better, knowing that Kurt would be standing by him when he finally had to let Anna go. It would also be reassuring to have him nearby, considering that this would be the first time Blaine faced his parents since the last disasterous time.
The morning of the funeral, he’d stared at the tiny ring box on his dresser, his heart aching at the contents. Rings, bought and kept for ten long years, waiting for the boys that they were meant to belong to, waiting for them to find each other again. Blaine knew that now was hardly the time, but after this event, whatever was between he and Anna would be over, and the only thing Blaine was sure about was that he didn’t want to waste another day that he could be spending with Kurt. He slipped the small box into his suit pocket, and went on his way.
The service was short and private, the graveyard small and beautifully maintained with flowers and fountains and other such things that she’d loved in her life. She’d chosen it beforehand, though no one but Blaine, Quinn and Kurt would know just how long.
Her casket was kept closed, but a photo was placed on top―Anna in her dress at the wedding, one of a few solo shots that had been taken, and she was absolutely stunning, smiling and glowing just the way she had when Blaine had first met her. It reduced many of her relatives to tears, and it was only knowing that Kurt was standing near him, fingers discreetly brushing against the small of his back, that kept Blaine calm.
When the service was done, Anna’s relatives filed out. Blaine opted to hang back with Kurt so they could more privately mourn the loss of an amazing friend.
Unfortunately, Blaine’s parents seemed to have the idea to stick around, also.
“Did you think I wouldn’t notice?” Colonel Anderson spat, Blaine’s mother hanging back, her eyes dark and anxious.
“Notice what, Dad?” Blaine asked tiredly, not even meeting his father’s gaze, still staring at the patch of overturned earth where his best friend had been placed, lost to him forever.
“That this fag’s hands were all over you during the service?” The man’s face was twisted in disgust, eyeing Kurt up and down with a sneer. Just the man’s nerve set Blaine’s blood boiling.
“Kurt’s hands were nowhere, Dad,” Blaine replied, scowling. “They were certainly not all over me.”
“You are disgusting, Blaine,” the man said with a grimace. “You disrespect Anna’s memory by associating with a man like this. She was a real woman, a worthy partner, and you made a fool of her by going behind her back to follow your terrible urges! You ruined your marriage and the heartbreak was probably what killed her!”
“How dare you?!” Blaine snarled, reaching for Kurt’s hand and holding it tight, pulling the man closer and into his side, stepping just slightly in front of him to keep him away from this monster of a man he had the misfortune to call his father. “You know nothing about me!”
“I know plenty!”
“No, you obviously don’t! I’m gay, Dad!”
There was a shocked silence and the man’s face seemed to drain of blood. “You are sick.”
“You’re sick,” he snapped. “My marriage with Anna was never real! Anna offered to marry me to keep me away from you! She knew I preferred men from the very beginning, offered to marry me as soon as she found out she found out she was ill because she knew you would never leave me in peace otherwise! But, you know what, Dad? I’m gay. That’s what I am and I always have been. Gay. G-A-Y, one hundred percent gay since the day I was born, and the day of the Sadie Hawkins dance, to the day you forced me to leave Kurt, and the day of my wedding to a woman, and until the day that I die!”
Blaine saw his father bring his hand back, knew it was going to hurt and knew that he probably could have stopped it. Thought about stopping it, actually, but it turned out he didn’t have to.
Kurt ducked under his arm and shoved the man backwards a few steps with a surprising show of strength, baring his teeth at the shell-shocked older man. “You stay away from him!” Kurt roared. “You are nothing but a brute and a coward and a bully! I will not have you hurt him because you’re too pathetic to deal with your own prejudiced fears! You’ve constantly manipulated his life because it didn’t fit the mold that you wanted, but you never realized that Blaine is a person! He’s an adult, now, and he isn’t yours because Blaine is mine and you will never hurt him again.”
The man took a menacing step forward, and if a fight was what it was going to come to, Blaine would gladly take one, because Kurt had only affirmed what he’d already known, and that was that Blaine never wanted to be without him.
“Stop it , Carl,” a shaky, heavily-accented voice cut in, and the three men froze, turning to the dark-eyed woman.
“Mom?” Blaine asked quietly, eyes wide.
The woman gave him a tight smile before she turned to her husband. “Can you not see that Blaine will never be what you want him to be? He isn’t you.”
“Paola,” he started, but the woman waved her finger at him crossly, her short stature surprisingly intimidating, and he stopped short.
“No, you listen to me. I’ve watched you push away my boy for far too long on the basis of hatred. When you agreed to let me raise him as a child of God, you agreed to let me raise him as according to the Bible, which you use as justification for your hatred. I’m unsure of what Bible you read, but I will not stand by and let you act in violence toward our blood.”
The woman stepped forward and Kurt moved aside to let her toward her son. Blaine’s eyes widened at the raw passion in his mother’s eyes, usually dimmed by the sense of obligation she felt to honor her husband. “Il mio bambino,” she said quietly, placing her warm, wrinkled hands against his cheeks, and Blaine smiled at the term of endearment. “I do not care who holds your hand so long as you are happy. If you live a life of peace and love and happiness in accordance to the laws of God, I will never turn you away. You are my son and the Lord’s son, and no one sin is more than another. He will forgive you the same as he will forgive me. I know very well that you could choose far worse of a partner than a man who will respect you and stand by your side, even after all this time.”
Blaine nodded in shock, barely registering when the woman released him and turned to step forward to Kurt, taking one of his hands in both of hers and giving it a fond pat. “It is lovely to see you again, Kurt, and the wedding was beautiful.”
“Uh―thank you,” Kurt stammered, eyes wide.
Paola smiled and with a conspiratorial glance, she murmured so quietly that Blaine barely heard, “Take care of my son.”
“Yes, ma’am,” he replied automatically, still blinking in surprise as the woman returned to her husband, murmuring in angry Italian as she took him by the hand and crossly toted him toward where a cab waited for them.
Kurt met his eyes, both of them staring in mute surprise before they dissolved into helpless peals of laughter, stumbling forward to hold each other close and silently shake and gasp until there were tears in their eyes.
“This is probably not a good place to be laughing,” Kurt wheezed between waves of giggles. “I need to calm down, I need to―” His face scrunched up as he laughed.
Blaine could barely catch a breath, finally starting to calm after a few long minutes of teary eyes and aching lungs. “I didn’t expect that, oh wow.”
“Bless her heart, I might believe in start believing in God if more people thought like she does,” Kurt said with a smile.
A strong wave of affection filled Blaine in that moment, and before he was entirely sure what he was doing, the box with the rings was open in his palm, his free hand reaching out to take Kurt’s. Surprised glasz eyes looked from the box to Blaine, widening slightly. “Blaine, what―?”
“I bought these ten years ago,” Blaine said, the words tumbling out in a rush. “Promise rings. I’d hoped to give one to you, but then―well, you know. And I would give one to you now, but it almost seems silly when I think about the promises we’ve already made, so…”
His heart beat a hundred thousand miles a minute as he sank to his knees, Kurt’s eyes widening to a size that may have been comical if Blaine hadn’t been feeling the same way, himself. “People usually plan this better, I think. I didn’t plan this at all, really, didn’t think about it very in-depth and I’m still not sure why I’m proposing to you here, of all places, but, Kurt, I really love you and I want to spend forever with you, or at least as long as we’ve got. Marry me?”
“Blaine,” he whispered, mouth opening and closing several times in mute shock before he said, “Yes, Blaine, of course.”
The satisfaction and happiness was nothing like Blaine expected as he pulled the smaller of the two rings out and slipped it onto Kurt’s finger, startled when Kurt pulled him to his feet and crashed their lips together. The kiss barely lasted a moment, Kurt pulling away to breathlessly ask, “Can I put yours on?”
Blaine nodded, hands slightly trembling as Kurt slipped the other ring onto his scarred finger, brushing his lips across the back of Blaine’s hand.
“There’s an engraving―” he started, but Kurt cut him off with yet another breathless kiss.
“No regrets, just love, ” he whispered, and Blaine reeled with the surprise. Kurt saw the unasked question in his eyes, answering in between brief, soft kisses. “Anna put them in your bag, that night you stayed over. I went down in the morning to make coffee and I was nosy and I found them and I’m sorry. But your letter made me cry and I love you and I promise that I’m very, very surprised right now.”
“Made you cry, really?” Blaine asked, grinning like an idiot. “I thought it was pretty inarticulate, but hey, whatever you say…”
“Just shut up,” Kurt said with a laugh, nosing at Blaine’s temple, and Blaine could feel Kurt’s smile against his skin. “I love you.”
“Love you,” Blaine murmured in agreement, pulling back to hold Kurt’s hands in his. “We should go,” and they did, speaking quiet, thankful farewells to the woman who had brought them together one more time.
They returned every year on that day, the very next year with rings made of platinum instead of silver, the third year with two letters of their own to leave behind, and the fifth year, with a little girl between them, her eyes green as leaves and her hair dark and curly, the delicate locket around her neck spelling out the name Anna Elizabeth.
Please consider spreading holiday cheer by commenting on and/or reblogging this fanfic! If you rec this fic, please be sure to attribute it to anonymous until the author/artist is revealed on January 3rd, 2011. Don’t forget to check out all of the other amazing works that will be posted throughout December!
Tagged: fic klaine winter 2011 rating: nc17 over 10k
Posted on December 30th at 10:18 PM
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