I can only offer pretty moments, lots of lovely honesty and a dash of happiness as repayment for keeping you guys waiting for so long.
My work is SO spontaneous and I have to expect things to change at ANY time and it all came at once - so much law, so little time. I hope you like this Chapter. It's a personal favourite : )
I only have a couple left. We have Dalton's Prom, and 3 more, I think. I'm going to write an epilogue too as I think this story needs it.
Also - I've also started my Summer project. In between travelling, working, volunteering, seeing my friends and family after farrrr toooo long and generally enjoying Summer, I need to have other things to focus on. I have a pile of books, knitting projects, gigs (Glee Live and Mr Darren Criss live in London- the excitement is ridiculous) and day trips ... AND I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a LONG time. I LOVE epistolary fiction and have ALWAYS wanted to write in that format... It's going to be part epistolary (letters) and part narrative and it's called Wild Horses. I'm posting it on my LJ (same username - feel free to add if you should wish) and here too. I'm stupidly excited to be writing something like it and decided I may as well use Kurt and Blaine instead of it being original fiction. I can always adapt in the future.
Thank you all for sticking with me and I hope you enjoy this Chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it :)
"Hey, where were you just then?" Blaine asked, nudging Kurt's shoulder gently. The air, warm and balmy, made any movement a little slower, a little more languid and lazy.
Kurt was content. He was happy and, above all, he was with Blaine. He still somehow couldn't twist his brain into gear. It was intent upon focusing on the only thing it shouldn't at a moment when Blaine and sunshine and ice cream and picnic blanket cuddles should have taken top priority.
He blinked, smiling a little. "Sorry. Another world."
"Well," Blaine said, dragging the word out slightly with a knowing smile, "how about I go get us an ice cream?"
Kurt's eyes widened instantly. "The calories."
Before Kurt could say another word, Blaine was up on his feet and walking backwards. The smirk he was sporting was unmistakably flirty. "I'm sorry. I can't hear you. What did you say? Something like 'yes, Blaine I'd love the biggest ice cream they sell'. Well, if you say so!"
There was nothing to do but smile. Kurt watched as Blaine sauntered off, a little more spritely than he was sure he'd ever seen him. They'd chosen a lovely spot – much like a scene from a movie - which Kurt appreciated. Blaine had all but gasped as he'd spotted the tree, meaning, in seconds, they were set up under it. Kurt hadn't quite been able to get the image of he and Blaine cuddled against it out of his mind – it was too picture perfect to resist.
Kurt swallowed a giggle watching Blaine struggle to carry both ice creams and his wallet. The ice cream was sliding down his hand. "Kurt! Help."
Scrambling to his feet, careful to avoid grass stains, Kurt walked sedately towards Blaine, stopping just before him. "Whatever is the matter?" he asked with raised eyebrows and not a single shred of urgency.
"Don't you dare," Blaine accused, pursing his lips, "this is not a time to be clever, Kurt."
"Oh I think this is a perfect time."
"Kurt, come on," Blaine whined, his eyes wide and flicking from Kurt's face to the white lines dribbling down his wrists, "I'll feed you strawberries or I'll sing you something as you fall asleep in the sun or I'll even do your laundry for a month. Just stop the sticky mess."
Not one to resist Blaine's more romantic side, Kurt grinned haughtily. "This is only because you know just how to push my buttons." He rolled his eyes and reached down, prising Blaine's fingers from one of the cones. As he did, the moment seemed to hit him oddly and with an intensity he wasn't ready for. Blaine's hands were warm and soft; he was being treated to a day in the sun with his boyfriend who just happened to be the sweetest boy in the world and who looked the very picture of handsome.
Without thinking and just as Blaine tried to catch the drips with his tongue, Kurt lifted Blaine's arm gently and kissed his wrist, his lips dragging only slightly to catch the drips. Blaine froze. "And what may I ask are you doing?"
Kurt shrugged innocently, turning a little pink. "Helping."
Blaine bit his lip but still didn't move. Kurt continued, kissing away the trails of ice cream and even daring to use his tongue when it was appropriate, which, in public, it truly wasn't. As he finished, he pulled a high thread handkerchief from his pocket, prompting Blaine to choke out a laugh, and wiped the residue away.
Blaine wasn't sure he could move. They would have the talk soon but just watching Kurt do... that was an incentive to hurry it up. "You did that on purpose," Blaine urged, smirking.
With a beaming smile, Kurt shrugged, sliding his arm into Blaine's. "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't, but you have to understand, Blaine Anderson, that I'm pretty good at getting my own way. Surely you must have learned that by now?"
The breeze was minimal and as early afternoon hit, the sun was strong. Blaine had pulled the blanket closer to the tree to catch the shade and keep Kurt out of the glare.
The park was vast, wide expanses of lawn and a multitude of trees were scattered at random intervals and as the sun had brought families out in their abundance, the park was littered with picnic blankets and ball games. Kurt sighed, leaning back onto Blaine's shoulder, warm and wrapped in the humidity.
"You're too quiet," Blaine whispered suddenly, lowering his lips to Kurt's ear. The vibrations made Kurt shudder. "What are you thinking?"
Smiling, Kurt let his right hand idly play with a button on Blaine's cardigan. "Lots of things. Why?"
Blaine took a deep breath. "Care to run a few by me?"
It was worrying – not being able to read Kurt. It was usually so simple, his eyes reflecting back whatever complex emotion he held inside, but there were times when those eyes were shrouded and entirely unreadable. Blaine knew it was because Kurt tried so hard to make it so.
"Well, for a start, that guy should really pull up his pants."
Blaine glanced over, his eyes catching a sight he really didn't wish to see. The giggle that escaped was too difficult to hold in. Kurt smiled into Blaine's chest, feeling the rumble of laughter.
"Anything else?" Blaine asked, still chuckling but choosing to press his hand a little firmer against Kurt's hip. The response was nice – snuggly Kurt was hard to time but when he came along, Blaine made the most of it.
"Nothing else. Except maybe the fact it's too hot to think, those flowers are pretty and you smell nice."
Kurt knew he was keeping it inside. Secrets weren't ideal and they certainly weren't something he wanted for them but he had to learn more before burdening Blaine with an event that may never come. He had to be sure.
A small dog with a frantic tail bounded past them, bending to bite hold of his ball before running off towards a small boy in green. Blaine smiled to himself. It felt nice to just... be. It felt equally as nice to sit with Kurt so close to him and entirely unaware of how much of an effect that still had on him. Kurt's hair looked sprinkled with auburn in the sunlight, his eyes closing every few seconds upon a contented sigh. Kurt wasn't one to do this. He liked the closeness, yes, but he wasn't clingy or smothering in the way Blaine was sure he'd be, given the chance. He still shocked himself, even now, even after being with Kurt and having someone to pull near and kiss that each time it felt like a first.
It was now or never. If he was ever going to have the courage to just be open and frank with his own boyfriend it was a moment so pure in its silence and comfort as the very present. Nobody sat near, nobody so much as blinked in their direction and the setting was perfect – natural, quiet and sweet.
"Can we talk about what we said we'd talk about?"
With a quick gasp of breath, Blaine watched as Kurt pressed his nose into the sleeve of his cardigan, smiling slightly. "In public? Really, Blaine?"
"Yes, really," he laughed out, tickling Kurt's side playfully. Squirming, Kurt batted Blaine's chest, flashing him a look of pure astonishment.
"Nobody has ever tickled me before! How dare you!"
Blaine didn't move. He just grinned, huge and bright, letting his eyes flash with a playful spark. "First time for everything," he drawled, leaning in to press a soft kiss against Kurt's lips. The shivers up his spine spoke enough of the sheer depth of everything he felt with Kurt. He was sure no-one else could make his head reel in quite the same way.
"Ok," Kurt said suddenly, drawing himself back and sitting upright, "let's do this. I can't believe I'm saying it but let's talk about it."
Positioning himself in front of Kurt, their knees skimming together as they crossed their legs, Blaine tangled his right hand with Kurt's and smiled, hoping it was reassuring enough. He was sure his skin was going to flood red at any second but he kept his eyes resolute and watched the tiny flickers in the blue of Kurt's eyes and the pink spot high on his cheeks.
"You first," Kurt said simply, his voice sure and clear – a sure sign he was trying hard.
"Ok," Blaine sighed, "I don't know what to say really. I just wanted us to talk about everything... together," he added with emphasis, watching the corners of Kurt's lips twitch into a tiny smile, "because I know some kids our age don't take it seriously but I know that kind of thing changes everything and a lot of the time in a bad way. I don't want that to be us."
The soft breeze dusted Kurt's cheek causing him to shudder. Blaine was something else. Not only was he sweet and thoughtful but even when he was over the top and monstrously inappropriate with timing and expression, he always meant well. Regardless of the fact he could feel his heart beating in his fingertips through fear alone of the sheer enormity of the conversation, Kurt knew Blaine wasn't going to laugh, he was going to listen.
Blaine let out a breathy laugh, raking a hand through his hair. His face began to blush as he stumbled over the first few syllables.
"I want to, obviously," he admitted, biting his lip, "but it's ok if you don't or don't want to yet and if you don't want to at all then that's ok too but we can talk about why and what we can do because, well, maybe you just need to talk about it or something."
"You are ridiculous," Kurt said simply, cocking his head to the side with a smirk. The heat radiating from his face was intense but that still didn't stop his heart hammering out of a scary mixture of fear and fondness.
"I know. It's a problem," Blaine admitted on a laugh. He let his eyes lock with Kurt's expecting the words to come to him a little more eloquently than before. "Why are you with me?"
Glancing under his eyelashes, Kurt licked his lips and took in a long slow breath, his eyes travelling the length of Blaine's body. "Because you resemble a young Marlon Brando."
"Oh, so not for shallow reasons at all?" Blaine chuckled, his cheeks burning. The very fact that they were so exposed and in the middle of suburban laziness felt right somehow. It was a huge topic with enormous consequences and they were laughing. Blaine closed his eyes momentarily, praising whichever God he hadn't even thought existed for the sheer messy perfection of the moment.
"I never lie, Blaine."
Silence took hold for a moment in which Blaine kept his hand tangled with Kurt's. After a moment, he shifted slightly and, with a smile, began.
"How do you feel about it?"
Shivering, Kurt rubbed his lips together in thought. "Different to the way I used to."
"In a good way?"
He smiled softly, only wavering from nerves for a moment. "In a good way."
"We can really plan and make it as, um, well ... make it special. It should be." It was at these words that Kurt stiffened, his back turning rigid. Blaine sensed it through his fingers but kept his eyes on Kurt's wrinkling brow. "What is it? Kurt?"
Words didn't come quickly. Watching Kurt's eyes focus on anything but his own, Blaine felt the panic set in. He wasn't doing it right or it was too much or too little. "Kurt, I need you to talk to me too because I don't know what I'm doing here."
Slowly and with anxious eyes, Kurt looked up. "I don't want to make a big deal out of it. No planning or hideous rose petal beds. In fact, I think it should just happen. If I see a single rose petal, I might just die. Ok? None."
He was half laughing.
"No soft music either. Please, no."
"Would you prefer heavy metal?" Blaine asked, eyes sparkling with humour.
"No music, Blaine. None. If I even hear a single note of classical melody and not to mention Marvin Gaye or anything as horribly cliché, I'm gone. Deal?"
"Deal. What about lighting?"
Kurt began to laugh softly, his hands shaking. He glanced down to hide his cheeks just as Blaine glanced down to catch them, following his every movement.
"If there are scented candles, I'll burn your blazer."
Stifling a laugh, Blaine planted on his best game face and feigned innocence. "You wouldn't touch it. Kurt Hummel, taking a naked flame to clothing? Never."
"Oh Blaine," Kurt began in a tone laced with mocking; "I don't joke about such things. Nothing cliché. Nothing tacky. Nothing so over the top I'll want to gouge my eyes out. I like romance, yes, but that stuff isn't romantic... it's expected."
"So you want it to be... unexpected?" Something in Blaine's stomach ached to just wrap himself around Kurt and squeeze him tight. He had expected so much but this - not at all.
"Shall I hide in your closet and pounce on you late at night?"
Kurt pursed his lips and just stared. It took seconds for him to break and begin to laugh, swatting Blaine with his free hand. "Let's just say that I wouldn't put it past you."
"Close your eyes."
It was sudden. Kurt blinked a couple of times, his heart still hammering violently. Shudders ran along his shoulders and down to his fingers where they shifted in Blaine's grasp. "Why?"
"Kurt," Blaine urged softly, "close them."
He obeyed, sighing softly as a gentle thumb rubbed the back of his hand. "Ok, tell me what you want."
"If this is some perverted way for you to hear me talk dirty then you're going to be sorely disappointed, Blaine."
Chuckling, Blaine kept his grip tight. "No, I don't mean tell me that, we can cross that bridge when we come to it. I just mean, what do you see when you think about it?"
"Again, Blaine," Kurt snapped, his face startled even though his eyes remained closed, "not going to happen. I'm going to need some help here."
"Kurt, just try." He tried to keep his voice couched in firmness. Kurt wasn't going to budge, he wasn't going to break out in in-depth sexual fantasies, nor did he seem entirely close off to the situation – he was just very very nervous and there was absolutely nothing stopping him from bolting at any moment.
"I don't know what you want me to say. I know... what goes, um, where but I... I don't really like to think about it."
Blaine began to laugh, his stomach convulsing manically in giggles as he lifted Kurt's hand up and pressed a kiss to its palm. "Not the... mechanics, Kurt. I meant, how do you feel? What do you see? Where are you? What frightens you? What doesn't frighten you?"
The laughing began again. Blaine could barely stop it to the point that he couldn't look at Kurt's face, his eyelashes splayed out on his cheeks so daintily and his lip caught between his teeth in thought. So distracting. So beautifully honest.
"Well, I'd hope I'd be there."
"Blaine. I'm leaving in three seconds flat if we don't change the subject."
"Look," Blaine urged, pulling Kurt forward slightly to close the space between them. He felt the nerves bubble, knowing he'd have to take over and bare his soul before Kurt would even consider baring his. "I'll go first."
"Ok." Kurt sighed out, his shoulders relaxing visibly. With still closed eyes, he raised his eyebrows in wait.
Taking a shaking breath, Blaine began. "I want you to feel comfortable. I know it's going to be awkward and possibly weird because neither of us have that much experience-"
"Any experience, Blaine, any," Kurt cut in.
"Yes, any, but I want to... I want to be able to kiss you and know that you understand why I'm doing it. I want you to know that... being with you in that way is just as scary for me but I think of it differently to you. It's being so close to someone that you feel as if you're one person and one heart and if that's not romantic then I don't understand romance. I know I'll hate taking off my clothes because, who doesn't, and I can't compete with you and your flawless skin and tiny waist because I'm wider and I've got this awkward chest and broad shoulders that don't belong on someone with, um, not as much height. Blazers are a saviour when you want to cover that up.," he took a deep and replenishing breath and kept on talking, "but I know that we're good at being honest even when it's something we might not want to be honest about, which makes us great together. I just want to be able to look in your eyes and know that even though it's scary and I'm possibly never going to feel as exposed, I'm with you so it's ok."
The only sound was the faraway laughter and rumble of the ice cream truck's engine. Kurt swallowed thickly, his hand now sweaty, but he didn't care. He wasn't sure what he wanted or how he wanted it but Blaine was right. If he was ever going to overcome whatever insecurities he had inside then it was going to be so much easier with someone trustworthy and someone he cared about and he knew cared about him. He opened his eyes slowly. Blaine was nervous and visibly so. It took a few seconds of adjustment to really appreciate how clear his eyes were, how vulnerable he looked sitting with his legs crossed – almost child like – and just how handsome and entirely real he was. It was as if someone had been holding tracing paper in front of his eyes for so long. It was all so real and happening to him. He wasn't dreaming or wishing, nor was he pretending, because Blaine was sitting across from him saying words he'd always wanted to hear in a tone so fused with honesty. Kurt knew and fully accepted he wasn't perfect; he could kick ass on stage and knock a solo into next century while at the same time sporting the most incredible ensemble outfit, but he had a stupid high pitched voice and weird hips and hair that required half a can of hairspray to be tamed and he was scared of things, so inexperienced, so lacking in understanding that it frightened him that he'd never quite catch up with everyone else. So he hid. He hid himself deep down to keep it tucked away and safe. Blaine was dragging it out of him and he was powerless to stop him.
The realisation that he was living his own dream came like a miracle, so shocking and bright in pillar box red with unruly curly hair under too much product.
"I love you."
Blaine let out a breath, smiling all lopsided and grateful, that Kurt barely had a chance to breathe. "Talk about keeping a guy hanging," he whispered, climbing forward, his arms either side of Kurt's hips and lips so close they left shadows on Kurt's cheek.
With his heart beating hard, Kurt leaned closer to allow their lips to meet. "When it happens," he breathed out between kisses, "I won't be scared... because I don't need to be. Do I?"
A hand snaked its way around his waist. Leaning back against the tree, Kurt gasped as he felt Blaine press himself close and warm, the heat trapped between them and wrapping them up . There were so many textures – cotton and grass –, so many smells – ice cream and flowers – and everything felt heightened, intoxicating. For a second, Kurt felt like crying in awe but as he felt Blaine's fingers trickling patterns up the side of his neck, he smiled into the kiss and melted.
Blaine didn't need to answer. Kurt already knew what he'd say.