A/N - Intro: This is different from the other things I've posted. I mean stylistically, as well as thematically. I hope you all like it anyway, because I'm kind of excited about it. It's going to be a series of one (?) shots representing moments in Kurt and Blaine's relationship. This first one is a little angsty, but it will have moments to (hopefully) make you smile as well. That's the goal, at least. I don't know whether it'll be chronological yet, or how long it will be, but I have several chapters on the go right now. I've put it as Romance/General because the box won't let me list more, but I hope it's going to be Romance/Friendship/Humor/Comfort/Anythingelseicanthinkof. It's also listed as T for now, but that may change. I'll warn you before that happens, though, in case M isn't your style.

This is inspired/influenced by several mind-bogglingly brilliant/touching fics on here, which you can find under my favorites. One is coincident's "On Centrifugal Living" which I am entirely unworthy of even mentioning, it is so touching and well written. Another is Keitorin Asthore's Family Ties, which is now my default fic for all things joy-inspiring/touching in the world. There are definitely more brilliant fics on here, but those are the two that have wowed me the most (and sent me into a fangirl tailspin trying desperately to write to that level.)

Originally I wanted the format to be one long fic broken up with markers. It may be impossible, but know that if you get frequent re-upload alerts for this is likely means I've tacked on another section. I hate to do that to you all, but I think it may serve the story better. As ever, let me know what you think.

*ends long-winded self-indulgent authors note*

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, the canon characters, Fox, or Ryan Murphy. But I reckon I should get them for Christmas because I've been really good this year. Except for that one incident with the... oh, never mind.

Edit: You should also know that this first chapter is uncharacteristically angsty for me. This is a mixture, and I'm a humor/fluffist at heart, although, like in all relationships, there will be moments of conflict. C'est la vie.

Courage, not pain Kurt thought, lying on the cold linoleum of the McKinley hallway. I'm not at school. I'm with Blaine at Breadstix. He felt a sharp pain to the right side of his ribcage. No. Too many people there. Not there. We're alone. We're in his car. He's driving me home after dinner. He winced slightly as something landed on his shoulder. Hard. It took more effort to maintain his train of thought, but he wouldn't give it up. Not now. Not Blaine. Courage. The heater is on, and we're singing along to the radio. It's – he paused for thought, almost not feeling the series of blows trailing from his chest to his feet – Train, he finally decided.Hey, Soul Sister. The crash of a jaw being hit. Blaine's voice would sound perfect singing that lead. He'd secretly dreamed of it several times in the weeks since that first encounter. The first time he'd heard him sing. Kurt smiled at the memory of Blaine's eyes on his as he sang... 'Let you put your hands on me in my skintight jeans'... his eyes on me, like the smell of a warm hazelnut latte on a cold night. Cold. Cold floor. A sickening spasm in his leg brought him back to the place he was. No, wanted to be. It didn't matter which, as long as he held on. Train. Train would be best. Not that he couldn't make anything sound good, but that vocal would be – a sharp kick to his head left him reeling, struggling to get back to that voice. The cadence. The perfect pitch. The sound of his slight smile. Sincerity. 'The smell of you in every single dream I dream.' He grasped onto the notes, the rich sound of that voice, the smell of Blaine's cologne (so familiar to him, even after only those few meetings) and saw himself in the passenger seat, listening. 'I believe in you, like a virgin, you're madonna, and I'm always gonna want to blow your mind. Hey, soul sister, hey there Mister Mister on that radio, stereo, the way you move ain't fair, you know'...Those hazel eyes turned on him as Blaine sang those words, and Kurt felt himself melt into them, as a final vicious kick started to rob him of his ability to think, and all that he saw was the warm smile in those wonderful, heavenly eyes, like honey, and chocolate, and the promise of a beautiful tomorrow- I don't want to miss a single thing you do - as the blackness descended upon him... tonight.

The harsh light began to burn through Kurt's eyelids, forcing him to the surface of an ocean he wasn't sure he wanted to leave just yet. There was pain up there, he knew, and here was a nice enveloping blanket of comfort, and music, and every kind of softness the brain could imagine. Like that new Marc Jacobs coat. He fought the rising light and sharpness, but his body knew better, as though it was seeking air after a long time submerged. He tried to get back to the voice that had kept him anchored to his courage, but found it was drowned out by a humming coming from the surface, just like the light. Kurt found this upsetting at first, but realized when he paused to listen that the voice wasn't intrusive or upsetting at all. It was familiar and spellbinding and the only reason he stopped fighting the light. He needed to see that voice. More than he needed comfort, or warmth, or even air. Breaking the surface to the blinding glow of florescent lights, he blinked away a little of the confusion and brightnes, wincing when the pain hit him full force.

This small movement was not lost on the only other inhabitant of the room. The humming stopped abruptly and there was the rustle of a book being thoughtlessly tossed aside. Then those hazel eyes were fixed on him with such concern and relief that Kurt knew, without question, that he must be dead.

"Well, dammit," he muttered resignedly leaning back to process this new information. " I always thought that if heaven did actually exist then it would have more accessories." He paused, and took in Blaine's wrinkled uniform "And perhaps less clothing."

Blaine's eyebrows (which Kurt had always secretly liked, even if they weren't as well groomed as his own) shot up at Kurt's proclamation. Or rather, Kurt corrected mentally, imaginary-Blaine's eyebrows shot up. He had to assume that Blaine wasn't also dead, but it was nice that his mind (or whatever it was) had conjured him up anyway. "I wonder if I get to keep you..." he asked the figment of his imagination, who looked over his shoulder in surprise, and seeing that there was no one there, let a slow smile spread over his face. Kurt had, truth be told, questioned whether Blaine was real before his … death (he supposed he'd better get used to the word). His new friend had always seemed just a little too perfect.

He laughed suddenly as he realized that Mercedes must have been right about the whole religion/ afterlife after all... and then found that he wasn't the least bit sorry. He'd take it.

"Kurt, can you hear me?" His imaginary Blaine leaned closer with concern.

"You stopped singing." Kurt accused. Pseudo-Blaine smiled in relief.

"You mean the humming? I'm sorry. Can I get you anything?" He didn't pause. "I should call your dad, he's talking to the doctors right now. They'll want to check you over. And there are quite a few people waiting downstairs, too."

At the word doctor Kurt finally dragged his eyes away from the other boy's face and noted his surroundings. Odd. You'd think heaven would manifest itself as somewhere better than a hospital room.

As Blaine moved towards the door to fetch the doctor, looking undeniably relieved (if a little confused), Kurt's mind explored the rapidly increasing likelihood that he was, in fact, alive. He was surprised to realize he had mixed feelings towards this. On the one hand he wasn't dead... which was quite pleasing. And his atheism was not under attack by his circumstances, which was nice. On the other hand, he was kind of confused. And confused was not a state he wanted to be in anywhere near possibly-real Blaine. He needed his wits about him with his friend around. His friend. Who cared about him. A lot. Potentially-alive Kurt smiled at the thought.

Quite-likely-real-but-the-jury-was-still-out Blaine returned to his side, having given the nurse a message to take to Burt and to the waiting room filled with the entire New Directions club... and a fair few of their family members too. There would be a lot of hugging downstairs... and even more upstairs when the group was allowed to visit. He leaned towards Kurt with a smile. His voice was not as smooth or assured as Kurt remembered when he said "I'm glad you're back."

So was Kurt. "Me too. Thanks for helping me."

"Helping?" He scoffed slightly. "I didn't do anything... I've just been sitting here, waiting for you to wake up." Blaine's gentle voice was laced with frustration, as though he was ashamed to be receiving praise. Kurt frowned at that, and decided he needed to clarify. Almost-certainly-real Blaine needed to understand.

"No, not that." Blaine's eyes fell, and Kurt chose his words carefully, still trying to struggle through the mist of drugs making it difficult for him to express himself fully. "I mean, I'm glad you're here. But I meant... earlier. While it was happening." Now Blaine looked confused. "While I was being beaten. You were with me."

The sharp look that crossed his friend's face was almost vicious in it's denial. When he spoke after a moment, his voice was still gentle, but his eyes were filled with violence and... yes... Kurt could see it... shame. "I wasn't there, Kurt. When they...did this to you. I wasn't there. I've dreamed of being there. Of stopping them from...but I wasn't. I didn't – They -". His dark thoughts seemed to rob him of the words to continue, and Kurt grew more determined to make him understand. He looked around the room, as though he might find the answers if he glanced at the right spot in the right way.

"No, you were. You were there, keeping me afloat. We were together, and I knew that they... it didn't matter. What they did... it... you were singing... train... and it was alright. Everything you told me... it was true because... I could hear you. You were there. And we were in your car... the radio... but you were singing...And your voice was like... it was an anchor, and I was... so much dark... drowning... but I knew that I could...had to... it was important. To hold on. Because of you...my dad... and your voice was the way back." He looked to Blaine's face to see if his muddled truth was being understood, and was surprised to see full hazel eyes looking back at him, tears streaming freely down tired, beautiful cheeks.

"Do you understand?" Kurt asked, concerned at the sight. He really missed the ability to form a coherent sentence. He now knew how Finn felt some of the time.

Blaine closed his eyes for a moment and then bowed his head. Kurt missed his eye contact more than he thought he had missed anything ever in his life. Silence filled the room and Kurt suddenly wished with all he had that this was real, and he wasn't dead, and he still had time to understand what that silence meant. And when he wished that, in that instant he knew that it was. He grinned the way that people do when they have another chance. And then he saw that Blaine's gaze was still on the floor and he whispered his friend's name.

Blaine's eyes shot up at the whisper of his name on the boy's lips and he opened his own mouth, but it took a second for words to come out. Kurt could now appreciate that, and so waited patiently. Blaine pursed his lips and then finally spoke, albeit shakily. "Let me make sure I understand." He paused. "You're saying that while those... while they were beating you..." Kurt could see that it cost his friend dearly to say the word aloud. "That the thing you imagined-" Blaine saw Kurt take the word imagined in a negative way and rushed to correct himself "the thing you held on to was... me?" He ended the sentence with a small smile filled with such sadness, confusion and hope, that Kurt nodded quickly before clarifying again.

"Well, your voice. But... yeah."

Blaine processed this for a moment, and then smiled at the precision of the correction and threw himself into the chair next to Kurt's bed. He still looked troubled, but there was a relaxed quality to him that Kurt had missed.

"Huh. Interesting. Well, I suppose that leads to another question."

Kurt was beginning to feel a bit tired, so his mind was less than engaged when he responded. "Hmmwhassat?"

"What was I singing?"

His eyes blinked open to meet Blaine's as he let his eyebrows furrow. "I said...mmm... told you 'ready. Train."

"Ah. What song?"

"Tired now. Can I sleep?"

Blaine's face softened and he touched Kurt's arm briefly in a gesture filled with meaning that Kurt was far too tired to work out.

"Yeah, the nurse said it's okay. But I'm gonna have to wake you up when the doctor and your dad are done talking over your test results. He's going to be pretty annoyed I didn't drag him straight up here when you first woke up."

"S'Ok. You saved me. He'll get over it." Kurt snuggled down under the blankets, taking care to move as little as possible. His entire body seemed a little numb. Odd, that. But he could still feel Blaine's hand on his arm, so that was alright.

Blaine chuckled at sleepy Kurt's view of the situation. "Yeah, maybe..."

Kurt opened his eyes fully again, a thought just occurring to him. "You'll be here, right?"

"Yeah, Kurt. I said I'd wake you, didn't I?"


"I promise." Kurt, satisfied, made himself comfortable again and closed his eyes. This time he wasn't treading water, but being carried in fluffy... something fluffy. Maybe Dolce made a coat like this feeling... did Dolce make coats? He thought they should, if they didn't already. Just like this...

"Hey, Kurt?"

"Mmmm?" He didn't open his eyes. Too sleepy.

"Which Train song was I singing?"

"Mmmfff... the good one... obviously...Soul sister. Hey... soul sistumm..."

He heard Blaine's tiny musical laugh as he began to float in to a much desired slumber, and then he heard that wonderful voice pick up a tune. It was humming again, which was nice, but he didn't smile fully to himself until he recognized a few tunefully whispered words. But they weren't the same as last time, because this time they were better. They were real. And safe. Watching you's the only drug I need... don't want to miss a single thing you do...Kurt let himself relax in the knowledge that the voice was there, and was not going any time soon...and as the bright light became fuzzy and embraced him...tonight.