"Blaine I don't know." Kurt set the groceries on the counter and turned to take the extra bag out of his husband's overflowing hands.
"You don't think I could do it?"
"It's not a question of if you COULD do it, of course I think you could do it." He started neatly stacking vegetables in the bin while Blaine folded their bags to store away.
"I know it's not really a show you're comfortable with, but I think it sounds fun."
"Then do it. Audition for Hedwig. If this is something you want to do I'm behind you."
"I won't get it anyway. I just feel like I need to audition more y'know?"
They collapsed together on the sofa. "What if you do get it?" Kurt flicked the tv on.
"I'm not going to audition." Blaine slumped into his own side of the couch.
"You don't want me to do it, you just don't want to say so."
"It's not that. It's just that it's so...sexual. Would you really be comfortable putting it all out there that way?"
"It's a role, it wouldn't be me, it would be her."
"That's another thing. Drag? I don't know, what if you get pigeonholed?"
"It isn't drag, she trans, and anyway that's your fear Kurt, not mine. I almost understood it when we were kids and you felt" Blaine paused here, carefully selecting his next word, "uneasy with the way you looked, but look at you, you're perfect. No one is going to say you can only play gay. And you know, even if they do say that about me, I'd be proud to represent our community with my work."
"Don't just cave because you don't want to discuss it, I hate when you do that."
Kurt swung his long legs across the sofa and landed his feet on Blaine's lap. "Foot rub pleeeease? And I'm not." He wobbled his head around like he always did when he had considered something and decided it was positive. "You're right, and you'd be really good at it."
"I won't get it."
"Maybe not, but that would be their loss. At least try."
A Week Later
"I'm not gonna audition."
Silence in the darkness.
"Right? It's stupid. They want someone with a name, and anyway you have to get close to naked at the end and I'm too fat."
A sigh comes from Kurt's side of the bed.
"You've kept me up every night for a week with this. If they wanted names it wouldn't be an open audition and as I believe I stated multiple times just a short while ago, your body is incredible."
Blaine fell back hard against the pillow. "What you say during sex doesn't count."
Kurt rolled to his side and traced a finger down Blaine's torso, "You're scared. Is it that you want it so much, or that you aren't sure you want it at all."
Through closed eyes Blaine whispered, "So much."
"You have a great shot at it. You're ready, I've been listening to you sing the songs, practice the monologues, you're ready."
He kissed his cheek and lay back down, this time sharing Blaine's pillow and Letting his arm spill across his husband's body.
Two Days Later
"So? Tell me everything!" Kurt stood at the stove steaming vegetables for their dinner. He had a bottle of champagne chilling. He knew there would be no news yet, but he was proud of his man for getting out there.
Blaine dipped a finger in the sauce Kurt had prepared for their grilled chicken. "There were a million guys there. Some were out of their minds if they thought they could pull off Hedwig, I think they just show up at every open call whether they know the show or not."
"But there were some amazing guys too. One made me cry when he sang. I won't get it but I'm glad I went."
"You did the thing." It was Kurt's favorite new phrase. "I'm proud of you. Now try to forget about it. If they call you it's a happy surprise. If not, it was a good experience in a long line of auditions. It's the life we signed up for."
Blaine grabbed dishes to set the table. "I think I'll audition for more stuff. You're right, about it being good experience."
"You should. I might too, if I ever finish my senior piece."
Before graduation NYADA required each senior to put together a dramatic monologue, a comic one, an uptempo song performance and a slow one and the direction of freshmen in the short story of their choosing. While many students chose existing material Kurt had chosen to perform only original material. He'd enlisted Blaine to help write the songs, a move that woke something in his husband before unseen.
Blaine was a natural composer and and went at the task, as he did most things, guns blazing.
Three Days Later
Family dinner at the Ander-Hummels was in full swing. The usual suspects were around the table joined by an 'in town for one night only' Mercedes, and the entire Shuester clan complete with a pregnant again Emma.
Elliot had returned from another tour with another band and was comparing notes about life on the road with Mercedes.
Rachel was bending Artie's ear about why she'd be perfect for his senior film.
Blaine caught Kurt's eye across the room and smiled. He hadn't put Daniel down since he'd picked them up at the airport. Kurt rolled his eyes but smiled back. He knew Blaine was thinking about a family soon after graduation but Kurt had hoped to wait a few years.
Daniel was cute though, and Blaine was so good with him.
"Who's phone is this?" Emma held up an iPhone blaring out "Please, please, don't eat the daisies." A private joke between husbands.
"Mine." Blaine juggled Daniel to his opposite hip and thumbed his phone to answer.
"Cello!" He made a funny face for the toddler.
He hastily handed Danny off to Rachel and went into the bathroom closing the door against the noise of the full house.
He wasn't gone long but instead of coming out he cracked the door and tried to catch Kurt's eye. When he finally looked in his direction Blaine motioned frantically for him to join him.
"Really Blaine? We have guests." But he went into the bathroom anyway.
"I know. Listen, that was Carole. We have to go to DC."
"She's been saying that for weeks. She misses us."
"No." Blaine took a breath and held Kurt's hands. "Your Dad." He swallowed hard, "There was, an upset, a gunman came into session..."
"Blaine. No, is he? He's okay though right?"
His husband's red eyes gave Kurt all the answer he could stand. Blaine caught him just as his knees buckled, collapsing into tears.
He held him for awhile then sat him down on the edge of the tub. "Stay here. I'll get rid of everyone."
"What are you going to say?"
"The truth. I'm assuming you'd prefer not to face everyone right now?"
They'd met up with Carole and sat with her until the anxiety meds had kicked in and she'd fallen asleep. Now they were tucked into the guest bedroom in Kurt's parents DC brownstone.
It wasn't the first time they'd stayed here, but it felt now like they should have made more time to visit.
After the initial shock Kurt had pulled himself together. He'd packed for them both while Blaine arranged their flight and rental car. On the plane he'd held Blaine's hand a little tighter than normal but was otherwise his normal self.
Landing in DC they were updated by White House security that someone with an antigay marriage agenda had been picketing outside Congress for awhile and somehow made it into that day's session with a gun. After three rounds he'd been grabbed and was in custody already.
Kurt hadn't shown much emotion after his initial reaction, he'd gone through the motions of getting on with things and being supportive for Carole.
He didn't say anything as he brushed his teeth, changed into pajamas.
Blaine wanted to say something, but nothing seemed right. Instead he followed Kurt's lead, but once he was changed he disappeared from the room.
A few minutes later he returned with a mug of warm milk and handed it to Kurt, whom he found sitting on the edge of the bed staring into the middle distance.
"He always knew you'd be here."
"Of course I'm here."
Kurt shook his head, just a fraction, as if moving too much would bring him back to his body, away from the memory.
"No, even when we weren't together. When he found out about the cancer and brought you to New York for Christmas, I asked him why. Don't get me wrong, I was happy you were there on one level but I wasn't a hundred percent ready to trust you."
"Fair enough, things were still a little tense for us."
"And yet he thought you were the one thing I needed. I asked him, what made him think you'd stick around for me if he, if things went bad when you couldn't even... Well, that's not the point."
Blaine put his hand on Kurt's knee. "What did he say?"
"He said he didn't know if we'd get back together, but it didn't matter because you cared about me, it didn't have to be romantic. He said he knew, when the time came and he wasn't here any more, no matter who I was dating or what else was happening in my life, you would show up at my side and be a shelter. A safe place. He told me," here Kurt sobbed, "if on no other day in my entire stubborn, proud life, on the day he died, I should let myself need someone and he was sure the one person I could trust, that he could trust to be here, was you."
Blaine opened his arms and let Kurt curl into him, holding his shaking body as he came undone.
Four Days Later
"I can't do another one." Kurt slumped in his black suit.
Carole hugged him, wiping at her own tears. "This one is the real one. The funeral in DC was a show, this is where his real friends grieve him."
Kurt shook his head, "It's too much loss. My mom, your husband, Finn, now my Dad, it's like we did something really wrong."
"No honey, we were really lucky to have time with such amazing people. We have to try to see it that way or we'll go crazy."
Kurt wanted to tell her he didn't know how she did it but everyone was waiting for them.
Blaine's hand was a reassuring comfort in the small of his back as they again followed Burt's casket down the aisle.
Kurt hadn't wanted a church service but it was important to Carole and he had no energy or heart to fight it.
The mechanics from Burt's shop who were not paul bearers lingered in the back rows. Next were his dad's poker buddies, guys he'd been friends with since high school.
Midway through the church were the funeral groupies. Mostly elderly people from the community who showed up to the funerals of people they didn't really know. At Finn's funeral Blaine said his grandmother had done this. She'd explained there was nothing sadder for a grieving person than an empty church.
Kurt wasn't sure he agreed. He could do without all of the eyes on him.
His friends and his father's colleagues from DC he'd grown closest to sat nearest the alter, leaving a row for the star bereaved- Kurt, Carole and Blaine.
It was times like these Kurt was most grateful for Blaine's more chivalrous side. He was no fragile flower needing protection, he'd proven that over and over now but having a husband who was strong and protective felt like a safe anchor in a violent storm.
His friends sang, Sue gave a beautiful speech, Blaine spoke leaving the entire room in tears. Kurt's words were brief, what he felt was between his father and him, no one else. Carole tried but couldn't choke the words out.
A Week Later
Kurt threw himself into writing the play he would direct. He didn't talk about much of anything beyond his senior project.
Blaine understood, but thought it would be good for him to get out. He convinced Kurt a date night was in order, urging him to dress up a little.
Splurging on fine dining hadn't been in their budget before but Blaine felt this was one time they could stretch it. He chose Stanton Social, figuring the buzzing crowd and myriad choices of tapas would shake a little of Kurt's blues away.
It was working, or starting to. The old Kurt was evident in the way he would spot a tragically dressed tourist then cut his eyes to his husband wordlessly.
Blaine's took a bite of a Korean BBQ pork taco and felt a hand on his shoulder.
"Blaine Anderson right?"
The man was tall, and handsome with greying temples. Blaine choked a little and sputtered on the gulp of water he'd employed to wash down his food.
Kurt held out his hand while his husband turned purple, coughing his way to recovery.
"Kurt Hummel, Blaine's husband" he offered, placing just a little more emphasis on the final word.
"Michael Mayer, nice to meet you. Blaine, we missed you at your callback."
Kurt stared at Blaine who blinked a few times. "Yes, I'm sorry about that. My father in law died"
"Was murdered." Kurt interjected.
Michael's face fell in concern, "I'm so sorry. Look, we still haven't found our Hedwig and I really liked your audition." He pulled a card from his wallet, "Call me and we'll reschedule."
They shook hands and Michael left them.
Kurt didn't need to say anything. The thunder on his face was cue enough.
"I was going to tell you, just, not now."
Kurt remained silent and pushed his plate away.
"I got the call when we were still in DC. It just wasn't right."
"I don't think I can have this conversation again."
Blaine looked back blankly.
"You keep things from me, Blaine. I get that you want to protect me but you can't pick and choose what I know about your life. Why didn't you at least call them and tell them what was going on? You could have rescheduled then."
"You aren't the only one who lost him." Blaine's voice was whisper soft.
Kurt took his hand, "I know. I'm sorry. You will call though right?"
Blaine shrugged and motioned to the waiter. Tonight was not the escape he had planned and suddenly he was bone weary.
The Next Morning
"Here." Kurt held out Blaine's phone and Michael's card.
Blaine shook his head.
"You think my father would have wanted you to let this opportunity go? You think HE would let something he wanted go? He loved you Blaine, he believed in you. Don't use his death as an excuse to fail."
Three Days Later
Blaine stood alone on the stage. They'd specifically asked for Origin of Love. He summoned all he had and the years of loss, his father, Kurt, Finn, Burt and even at times himself flooded out of him. No one watching could misunderstand, the origin of love was to seek the part of you that had been ripped from you, leaving you bleeding, terrified and very, very alone.
Tears covered his cheeks as he let the final note die out in the nearly empty theater.
"Thank you, Mr. Anderson. Would you please come down?"
It was unusual to be called to the seats from which you were judged, but Blaine assumed since his was the only audition today they would chat for a moment and send him on his way.
Before he was half way down the aisle John Cameron Mitchell ran into him with so much force he lost his balance and together they fell to the floor.
John was laughing through tears. "My darling Hedwig, I have found you!"
Blaine was stunned into silence as they steadied each other to stand.
Michael joined them, "John may have given it away there but we would like to offer you Hedwig."
Later the Same Day
Kurt was in the dance studio when Blaine finally tracked him down. He wasn't alone, there were 5 others working on a senior group performance.
Slipping quietly into the studio Blaine sat on the floor and watched, marveling at how far Kurt's dancing had come from his signature shoulder shake.
When Kurt noticed him he fell out of step and took a minute to get back in the groove of the dance, his attention completely focused on a Blaine's face.
It gave nothing away. He wasn't playing coy, he legitimately didn't know how he felt. Shock. That was it. Pure shock and nothing else could drill past it into his brain.
"Did they say anything?" Kurt asked though measured breaths.
"I got it."
Kurt jumped and hugged him, "Congratulations! This is so exciting! A lead! On Broadway! Wait, you don't look happy."
"I am. I think. I don't think I've processed it yet."
"B you've agonized over how much you wanted this, what's wrong?"
He didn't know. Not yet.
That Night in Bed
Blaine kissed patterns across his husband's muscular back.
"I know I had issues with it for awhile, but I'm really glad you take such good care of yourself."
Kurt smiled, "You saying you'll leave if I let myself go?"
"Never. Just, y'know, with your dad's health issues, I'm glad you try to, keep on top of things."
"Health issues didn't kill my father."
Kurt rolled on to his back."My Dad died because some fucked up asshole didn't like his stance on gay marriage. I'm not going to change how I feel about being married to you because some wing nut with a gun doesn't like it."
"If it weren't for us Burt wouldn't have been in that position."
"You trying to make me feel guilty for my father being murdered?" Kurt sat up, "That's bullshit Blaine. I refuse to take blame for the actions of some ignoramus !"
Blaine rapped his arms around him, pulling back to the mattress. "No, that's not what I mean. I'm just saying maybe you were right when you thought Starchild was a little too, out, for your band, and maybe my being Hedwig is putting a bullseye on us too."
"I don't want to be afraid. I didn't want my band to be a "gay band" that doesn't mean I wanted to live in the closet, just that I was hoping for something more mainstream. I didn't WANT that, you wanted Hedwig, you said not three weeks ago you would be proud to represent our community. Dad went to Washington to stop us having to hide."
"It's a great theory, but I don't know how Carole wakes up every morning. She's lost everyone."
"She has us."
"Barely. Unless we can talk her into moving to New York, she's completely alone in Ohio."
"Are you suggesting we move back?" Kurt was incredulous.
"What is this really about?"
"I couldn't live without you."
In the darkness Kurt hadn't seen the redness in Blaine's eyes but now he felt the tears as they fell onto his arms in thick wet plops.
"Oh, Blaine, we've been through enough to know you can't hide from fate. No where we live, no way we live is going to guarantee our safety. You know dad would say it's more important to make the most of the days we have."
Blaine nuzzled against his neck, "All I need to make the most of my days is you."
"Romantic but untrue. You need to sing, and act, and eat, and laugh. We both do. I want you to go be the best Hedwig you can be, and I will be there every night bursting with pride. And really, not taking it now would mean cretins like the one that killed my father won."