Why hello. My name is Emily, and this may be one of the cheesiest little fluffballs you'll ever read. Also, this is BY FAR the longest thing I have ever written in my entire life, and I'm incredibly proud of it. I know it seems like I'm jumping on the bandwagon with the whole Prince thing, but I promise you, I thought of this at least two months ago, before I'd seen anything else like it, including Muchacha10's (freaking amazing) fanart. (Seriously, the best Klaine fanart out there. She and CP Coulter are practically the goddesses of Klaine.)

So yeah, like I said, this idea came to me a while ago, and I thought it was adorable, but I didn't actually get around to writing it for a while. But I'm finally, finally finished, and I'm really pleased with how it turned out. And now I hope that you are, too.

Disclaimer: No, I do not own Glee or Chris Colfer or Darren Criss. But that's okay, because one day, I WILL marry Darren, and Chris and I will be best friends forever, and it will be amazing.


~1~


Blaine ran a hand through his hair and sighed as he stood in front of the ornate gold mirror, staring unhappily at the rather itchy clothing he was forced to wear. The royal dresser had decided on a bold red jacket, with a gold sash going from shoulder to hip and gold rope accents. It was, admittedly, very striking, but it was insanely uncomfortable, and Blaine could not wait until the night was over and he could take it off.

How he always hated these balls his father was constantly throwing! Father claimed he simply "enjoyed the festivities", but Blaine knew the truth—his father, the King, wanted him to meet a beautiful young woman, worthy to become princess, and one day, queen.

Unfortunately for Blaine, all of the women who attended these extravagant events were either horrifying to look at, horrifying to speak to, or both, and frankly, he didn't think he would ever find one that he could stand the company of for very long.

Apparently, however, his father had decided that it was crunch time, as this time, he would not be throwing just an average ball. No, this was a festival, meaning that Blaine would be forced to endure the painful punishment of a ball which was now stretched out over three long, agonizing nights.

"Why does it have to be three nights long, anyway? Isn't one night bad enough?" The prince grumbled as he smoothed out a wrinkle in his sleeve.

Finding nothing wrong with his appearance, other than the tired and slightly exasperated look that was gracing his otherwise fair features, he exited his chambers and slowly headed to the top of the grand staircase. He cleared his throat, alerting the guard to his presence, who immediately snapped to attention. Blaine plastered a smile to his face as the guard struck the floor with a scepter and called out, "Presenting: Prince Blaine Henry Philip Whidmore the Third."

Blaine started down the stairs, still smiling politely as his arrival was met with applause from the crowd below. All the way across the hall, he could see that his younger sister, the Princess Victoria, was already seated next to their parents on their thrones. She waggled her fingers at him, rather inelegantly, and even though she was too far for him to make out clearly, he thought he saw her laughing at him. Blaine had to stop himself from rolling his eyes and laughing in return. She, at least, understood his hatred for these events.

He reached the bottom of the staircase and began to work his way through the throngs of elegantly dressed people as quickly as he could without seeming rude, stopping here and there to shake the hand of this important lord or that powerful duke. It was a tedious task, and all the while he was forced to leave that fake smile on his face, and pretend that he was beyond excited to see each and every one of these people.

Every now and then, he would hear the excited whispers: "Look, Emma, it's Prince Blaine!" "Oh my, isn't he just the handsomest man you've ever seen?" "Goodness, I sure hope he dances with me tonight!" When he looked in the direction of the voices, he'd see fancily clad women, clumped together and staring at him, who began to giggle and wave when they saw that he'd noticed them. It took everything Blaine had to not roll his eyes; instead, he flashed them a charming smile as he continued on his way.

At the end of the grand hall stood four golden thrones, three of which were occupied. His father, the king, sat in the largest, clad in a regal navy blue with gold accents. His mother, the queen, was next to his father, in an extravagantly gorgeous dark blue gown. And on her left, of course, was little Victoria, innocent and beautiful as always in pale yellow.

By the time Blaine reached the thrones, he already felt worn out. Victoria immediately jumped out of her seat, receiving a dirty look from their mother as she did so, but ignoring it as she scurried over to Blaine. "You'd better watch out, Blaine!" She whispered, looking over her shoulder at their parents. "You do realize why they're throwing this festival, don't you?"

Blaine rolled his eyes. "Of course I do, and it's ridiculous. I'm only eighteen, why do I need to find a wife now? I have plenty of time before me, and I don't see father stepping down from the throne any time soon. There really is no need to rush," he complained.

Victoria smiled sympathetically at him. "I know, Blaine. I think they're being silly as well. But, who knows? You may meet your soulmate!" She said excitedly, perking up at the thought. "Just imagine—your eyes meet from across the room, and it's love at first sight! You dance the night away under the stars, and then you'll get married and live happily ever after, and—"

Blaine laughed. "This isn't a fairytale, Vic. And with these women?" He asked, gesturing vaguely to the room around him. "Not likely."

But Victoria only smiled and turned around, skipping back to her throne while sing-songing, "You never know!" Blaine chuckled and shook his head as he walked over to his own, on the other side of his father. He collapsed—gracefully, of course—into the stiff and uncomfortable chair, and tried not to think about how slowly time was moving, and how after tonight, he'd have to endure another two nights of this.

The moment he was seated, his father turned to him. "Blaine, there are some lovely young ladies here tonight, and I'm sure they would all be thrilled to meet you. Why don't you go dance with them?"

He stood, not surprised in the least by this immediate reaction, and bowed his head respectfully towards his father. "Of course, Father. As you wish." He turned to face the enormous crowd of people, at least half of which were women in frilly, poofy gowns, all waiting for their dance with the prince.

Blaine sighed. The next three days were going to be very long, indeed.


Hours dragged by at a snail's pace, and Blaine felt sure that if he had to choose between dancing with another lady or dropping dead on the spot, he would gladly choose death. His feet would surely need to be amputated by the end of the night, judging by how incredibly sore they were right now. Every time he tried to take a break and sit for a moment, his father or mother would push him out on the floor once again, and he would be introduced to yet another duchess of wherever or lady of such and such.

Some of them were quite good at dancing, but they were all so snobbish, so shallow, so stupid. They would flutter their eyelashes and giggle at everything he said and whisper rude comments about the other guests and brag about how wonderful they were. Some of them tried to pull the "dumb, but cute" card, while others went for the superior holier-than-thou act, pretending they were too good for even him. Blaine had seen all the tricks before, and he was beyond tired of them. All of these girls were the same, their faces blurred together in his mind, their names forgotten the moment he moved on to the next one.

Presently, Blaine found himself stuck with Princess Amelia, of the neighboring kingdom, who was probably about six or seven years his junior, and smaller even than little Victoria. Luckily, she seemed just about as disinterested in the dance as he was, and made a point of saying so. Repeatedly. While bragging about the fact that her country was better, and her castle was grander, and her bed chambers were the size of the grand hall they were dancing in. She had to be the most spoiled brat he had ever encountered, and he did not hide his relief when she informed him that she would soon be replaced by her older sister.

His relief soon turned to dread, however, as he realized who her sister was. He had met the Princess Cassandra before, and she was possibly the most unpleasant person he'd ever met. She was far, far worse than her younger sibling. Her face was permanently frozen into a haughty sneer, with her nose upturned, and her eyes rarely ever gracing his own with their gaze.

"Prince Blaine," she greeted him, barely trying to disguise her displeasure at his existence. "How lovely it is to see you again," she said, with obvious falseness.

Blaine used all the energy he had and managed a halfway believable smile, bowing respectfully. "The same to you, Princess. You look lovely." He smiled tightly.

They began to dance, merely for the sake of politics and their parents. Cassandra made it very clear throughout the dance that she was far superior to Blaine, and that the Prince was certainly not worth her time.

"Last week, my parents threw a ball for my birthday, and nearly the entire kingdom came, along with all of the nobility from the neighboring lands. I don't think I've ever seen that many people in one place in my entire life—it made this look like a cozy get-together," the princess bragged.

"Is that right?" Blaine responded, forcing a thin smile to his face.

"And, of course, I was the most radiant woman in the entire palace. The men were falling over themselves to dance with me. I wasn't surprised, of course. I've grown used to it, I suppose," she continued. Blaine wasn't sure how to react, so he merely nodded as she plowed on.

"One man in particular was simply stricken with me, and we danced all night long." She paused, clearly waiting for a response. When Blaine didn't give one, she stepped on his foot. "Oops." She smiled as he winced in pain. "Ah...who was it?" Blaine asked, trying to ignore the shooting pain in his foot from her rather large heels.

"Oh, why, Prince Edward, of course! My, what a charming man. Quite possibly the most handsome prince I have ever had the pleasure of meeting." Cassandra boasted.

Once again, Blaine was at a loss for words, and so, fearing for the safety of his feet, he replied, "Isn't that wonderful."

"Oh it is, it really is. He and I will most likely marry, and then we will join our lands and build an empire larger than any other. Perhaps we will even claim your land someday as well."

Blaine had enough. He stepped back and bowed, all the while mentally slapping the horrid sneer right off her snotty little face. "If you'll excuse me, Princess, I have business to attend to. It was lovely to see you again," he lied, once again pasting the fake smile to his face.

Cassandra smiled sweetly, though her eyes were gleaming dangerously. "Enjoy it while it lasts, Prince!" She called as he walked away. Blaine shuddered, refusing to look back over his shoulder. He would not be surprised if her sickeningly sweet voice made an appearance in his nightmares.

After that trial, Blaine figured he deserved at least a short break. He slipped past the clumps of people and the couples dancing, hoping his father was sufficiently distracted by the Duke of Verona, with whom he was currently engaged in a deep conversation. Unfortunately, in his haste to escape, he had forgotten about his other obstacle.

"Blaine!" His mother exclaimed, daintily placing her gloved hand on his arm. "Where do you think you're going?"

Blaine squeezed his eyes shut and tried not to scream. He was merely a few small steps from the door leading to the courtyard, only a few small steps from momentary freedom. He turned to face his mother, smiling charmingly and fervently hoping that the festivities had put her in a generous mood.

"Mother!" He replied, still smiling. "I was simply stepping outside to get a quick breath of fresh air," he explained, covering her hand with his own. "You understand, of course, don't you?"

But she only laughed and waved her free hand. "Nonsense! There are many guests tonight who would be thrilled to meet you, and I know that you would not want to let any of them down, now would you?" She smiled in return. She was just as good at this as he was, if not better, simply due to far more years of experience.

Blaine sighed, his smile faltering. "No, of course not, Mother. Forget I said anything."

The queen beamed and clapped her hands. "Excellent! Now, let me introduce you to the most delightful woman you'll ever meet." She grabbed his hand and turned around, leading him to a tall, skinny woman in a powder blue gown. The woman turned in surprise, then smiled brightly when she saw who was standing before her.

"Blaine, darling, this is Lady Veronica. Perhaps you would like to dance with her?" His mother suggested, subtly nudging him in her direction.

"Of course, I would be most honored." Blaine replied dutifully, forcing himself to smile charmingly once more and bow at the extravagantly dressed woman. She giggled and curtsied, taking his offered hand. The queen smiled, watching for a moment more, as if to make sure Blaine didn't run away, before turning around and disappearing into the crowd.

The pair began to dance, and Blaine found that Veronica was actually quite good. He smiled at her, hoping that perhaps this one would not be so bad.

That is, until she opened her mouth.

"Father had me taking voice lessons since I was a sweet little thing of five," Lady Veronica continued, oblivious to the fact that Blaine was not listening to a word she was saying. "Of course, I didn't want to, but once I opened my mouth, the most pure, beautiful sound you've ever heard came out. Father said it was like the angels had come down to the Earth. I've been singing ever since."

Blaine nodded, fighting to keep his focus. "Perhaps I could sing for you one time?" Veronica suggested, smiling sweetly. "Perhaps," Blaine responded wearily, not really sure what he was agreeing to.

"Well, I must be off. Duty calls, you understand," Blaine said, pulling away from her and bowing politely. Lady Veronica smiled and curtsied. "Of course, my Prince. I look forward to our next meeting," she trilled.

"As do I." Blaine replied, backing away. He turned around, sighing for the thousandth time that night as he spotted a half-decent looking woman that he had not yet danced with that evening. At this point, he had given up on the notion of escaping. He figured he'd be better off just holding out until the end to make his parents happy. Begrudgingly, he began to head in the woman's direction, as slowly as possible so as to drag out this precious in-between time as long as he could. Luckily, she hadn't seen him yet, so he could take his time as he made his way over.

In his attempt to take a long time heading over to her, Blaine was looking around, and therefore not watching where he was going. As a result, he found himself suddenly colliding with something solid, and he stumbled backwards, nearly losing his footing. The solid object in question turned around, and Blaine found himself face to face with a young man in a forest green tunic. He had soft-looking brown hair, and even softer features—softer than he'd seen on any man before. His pale blue eyes widened in surprise when he realized who he was facing.

"Prince Blaine!" He said in surprise. He bowed his head respectfully. "I apologize, I should have—"

"Nonsense," Blaine cut him off. "No need to apologize, I was the one who walked right into you." He smiled and extended his hand. "It's lovely to meet you..."

"Kurt." The young man smiled, taking Blaine's outstretched hand and shaking it. Blaine couldn't help but notice that his hands were just as soft as the rest of him. He then realized he had probably been holding it for too long, and dropped it quickly.

"Just Kurt?" He replied, raising an eyebrow. He realized that he should be dancing with the woman he had spotted earlier, but she was nowhere to be seen, and, after all, it was his duty to interact with his citizens, wasn't it?

"Well, my father is the lord of a small manor. It's not much compared to some of the other guests, but apparently it's enough to make the VIP list," Kurt explained with a wry smile. "Son of a minor lord...I'm not quite sure what that makes me. So yes, I suppose I'm Just Kurt."

Blaine laughed. He had to admit, the boy was quite charming. "Well, then, if you're Just Kurt, I suppose you can call me Just Blaine."

Kurt grinned, and Blaine's stomach did a little flip. "That sounds excellent, Blaine," he responded, testing it out.

"So, Kurt, are you enjoying the festivities?" Blaine asked politely. He was only doing so to kill time, but he found that he did not mind one bit talking to this boy—in fact, he was genuinely interested in what he had to say.

"I am, truly." Kurt smiled. "Are you?"

Blaine was going to reply with his standard, "Why yes, I'm having a wonderful time!", but for some reason, he felt as though he could be honest with Kurt. He had only just met the boy, but he seemed very sweet and friendly, and it was always nice to have someone to confide in, right?

"Well...to be perfectly honest, no. I can't wait for this festival to be over," he blurted out. He immediately bit his lip, worried at how harsh that had sounded. It was the truth, though.

Kurt looked taken aback, clearly not expecting this response. "Really? Why on Earth would you say that?" He asked.

Blaine scratched the back of his neck, unsure of how to phrase it, and unsure of whether he should even say it or not. "I know it's my duty as a prince, and I know I must eventually find a wife, but I swear, I would rather die than dance with another woman tonight. Let alone the next two," he confessed.

Kurt raised an eyebrow at this. "Really. The charming and dapper Prince Blaine doesn't want to dance with the ladies?" He asked. Then, a suggestive smile: "I would imagine all of the attention would be wonderful, all of those beautiful women throwing themselves at you."

Blaine laughed and shook his head vigorously. "Absolutely not. Trust me, it gets very old, very quickly," he insisted.

"But, surely, after all of the hundreds of women you dance with, there must be at least one that strikes your fancy, no?" Kurt persisted.

"No, not really. They're all the same. Silly, and shallow, and just plain dumb. I can't stand it."

Kurt laughed, clearly surprised by this revelation. "Well, don't let anyone else hear that, especially not the ladies. I'm sure your father wouldn't be to happy, either."

Blaine's eyes widened, and he looked around. "Oh gosh, please don't tell anyone I told you this."

Kurt giggled and mimed locking his mouth shut. "No worries. My lips are sealed, Prince."

Blaine raised an eyebrow. "Prince? What ever happened to Just Blaine? Unless you'd prefer I call you Lord Kurt, that is."

"Whoops," Kurt laughed, shaking his head. "Sorry, sorry, I meant Blaine. And if you don't mind, I think I'll stick with Just Kurt," he added with a smile.

"Good. Because the 'Prince' thing gets annoying, too." Blaine smiled in return.

"So, Blaine," Kurt laughed. "Can I tell you a secret?"

"I don't know if that's such a good idea, Kurt. You have something to blackmail me with now. It would ruin everything if you went and gave me something to retaliate with," Blaine joked. Kurt grinned. "I think I'll take my chances." He beckoned Blaine closer with one finger, and Blaine obliged, laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. "I feel the exact same way," Kurt confessed.

Blaine looked Kurt straight in his stormy blue eyes, a very solemn expression on his face. "Don't worry, Kurt. I promise I won't tell anyone that you're secretly the Prince of the wood nymphs."

Kurt burst into laughter and gave Blaine a playful shove. "You know what I mean! I wasn't talking about the Prince thing. I meant the whole dancing thing. And I am not a wood nymph." He replied indignantly, crossing his arms over his chest.

Blaine placed his hand over his heart. "My sincerest apologies, fair elf. I did not intend to insult your species like that."

Kurt chuckled and patted Blaine on the shoulder reassuringly. "It's alright, dear little hobbit, we all make mistakes."

Blaine sputtered incoherently, causing Kurt to burst into laughter. He was about to say something witty and clever in return when, without warning, he felt a light tap on his shoulder. He turned around to find a rather large woman in a horrible orange gown beaming at him. "If I may, your highness?" She asked with a small curtsy, holding out her hand expectantly.

Blaine looked over his shoulder helplessly at Kurt, who just smiled sympathetically and waved him on. He turned back, plastering yet another fake smile to his face as he bowed. "Of course, my lady."


Turned out, Lady Carmela was an equestrian, and she owned the finest thoroughbreds in the land. Blaine nodded in all the right places and tried his best to seem interested, even hiding his wince when she stepped on his foot. Twice. He tried to be nice, but still, he just couldn't help but wonder what poor horse could ever hold her weight for more than a few minutes at a time. All the while, he was compiling a mental list of all of the things in the world he would rather be doing than dancing with Lady Carmela. This may or may not have included a certain blue-eyed boy.

Thankfully, her longwinded explanation about why her favorite horse, Buttercup, was the greatest horse to ever live was cut short by his well-meaning mother. Normally, the queen would never have pulled him away from a dance partner, but even she seemed dubious of Lady Carmela. Regardless of the reason, Blaine was saved, and that was all he cared about.

"Blaine, darling, the festivities for this evening are coming to a close." His mother informed him, gesturing vaguely around her at the slowly dispersing crowd. "Of course, your father would like you to make nice with all of the nobles and dignitaries, you understand, wish them a lovely evening and such. You wouldn't object, darling, would you?" She relayed sweetly, making her demand sound more like a helpful suggestion on which he had already agreed.

Blaine had to restrain himself from rolling his eyes and nodded politely to his mother. "Yes, absolutely, Mother." She positively beamed at him, then planted a kiss on his cheek and floated off, most likely to do the same.

At least he didn't have to dance with anybody else. Blaine made his rounds, thanking all of the important, powerful men for attending the festival, and wishing them well, even though the majority of them would be returning the following night, and the night after that. The prince found little point in this tedious chore, but he performed it as his parents desired, and relished in the fact that he was finished dancing for the evening.

As he stood at the end of the hall next to his family, watching as the last of the stragglers were leaving, he realized with a pang that despite the large number of people he had wished farewell, he had not said goodnight to Kurt. He bit his lip, feeling terrible, and found himself wishing that the boy would return the following night, and the night after. Kurt, he realized, had been the one pleasant point of the evening.

His mother turned to him and Victoria and waved her hands at them, a "shoo" gesture. "Off to bed, you two. It's been a long evening."

"You have no idea." Blaine muttered under his breath, just barely escaping his mother's notice.

Victoria sighed and nodded, curtsying respectfully to their parents. "Goodnight, Mother, Father," she smiled sweetly. She turned to Blaine, a mischievous glint in her eyes. "Goodnight to you too, Blaine. Here's to hoping that you have two more equally enjoyable evenings!" She added cheerfully, with a slight giggle. Blaine narrowed his eyes at her, but she simply smiled and trotted off to her bed chambers.

Their father beamed and clapped Blaine on the shoulder rather forcefully. "See, what did I tell you, Blaine? I knew you would enjoy tonight's festivities."

Blaine forced a smile onto his face and nodded. "Yes, of course, Father," he replied, hoping that his lying eyes would not give him away.

But the king did not seem to notice the insincerity of this statement, and he turned to his wife, offering her his arm. The queen first turned to Blaine and graced him with one of her famously dazzling smiles, trilling, "Be sure to get lots of rest, tomorrow is another big day!" And with that, she took her husband's outstretched arm, and the royal pair gracefully floated out of the hall, leaving Blaine to himself.

Finally free from watching eyes, Blaine allowed his act to fall, letting his shoulders slump and his false smile slide away. He sighed, suddenly feeling as if he were about a hundred years older than he had been when the evening started, and began to trudge back up the stairs, his feet dragging with every step.

How was he supposed to dance tomorrow? Every step he took was laced with pain. He was quite sure that by the end of the third night, his feet would be worn away to stumps. Stupid dancing. Stupid women. However, even as he was bemoaning the fate of his poor feet, in this weak state, he allowed his mind to wander free. Perhaps tomorrow would be different. Perhaps Victoria was right. Perhaps his parents weren't so crazy after all.

And then he chuckled to himself. Nope. There was absolutely nothing to look forward to in the next two days. Only more agony.

Right?

That night, he dreamed of a blue-eyed wood nymph.


~2~


"Come on, Blaine! You don't want to anger Father, do you?" Victoria pleaded, tugging uselessly on his hand. Blaine was seated on the edge of his bed, strongly resisting. The morning had passed by obscenely quickly, and now it was time for Round Two of Prince Blaine Torture Time, come one, come all!

"Can't you just...I don't know...tell them I'm sick, or something?" Blaine asked, looking pitifully up at his sister. She dropped his hand and placed both hands on her hips, staring defiantly back at him. "You're kidding, right?" She responded in a tone that told him that she did NOT find it funny.

"Okay, okay, I'm sorry." Blaine sighed and stood up, rubbing his eyes. He was going to be a king someday, and he could not act like a child. That didn't mean he couldn't complain to his sister, however.

"Look, we'll enter at the same time. That way, we can face the crowd together!" Victoria promised, her little hand enclosed in his own, practically dragging him forward with each step. Blaine spared half a glance at the mirror as they passed; tonight, he was clad in a midnight blue with silver accents. He hardly cared though, a growing sense of dread filling him as Victoria continued to lead him out of the room.

"That's not even the bad part, and you know it." But Blaine kept moving, trying his best to accept his fate with dignity. He consciously lifted his head higher and began to actually pick his feet up with each step, rather than dragging them along.

Before long, they reached the top of the grand staircase, and the same guard as the night before banged the floor with his scepter, announcing the pair.

"Presenting: Prince Blaine Henry Phillip Whidmore the Third, and his lovely sister, Princess Victoria Elizabeth Anne Whidmore the First."

Blaine held his arm out to his sister, and she placed her own upon his, suddenly looking elegant and regal, despite her tender age. She smiled at him, a beautiful and supportive smile, and it was enough to put a genuine smile on his own. The pair began to descend the stairs as the crowd greeted them with polite applause, and the smile on Blaine's face remained in place all the way down. When they reached the bottom, Victoria led them through the mass of people, stopping in all the right places, shaking all the right hands, and flashing a brilliant smile at every person they met, even those deemed "unimportant".

Blaine was impressed by how mature his little sister was. Certainly, more mature than he'd been acting lately. He quickly resolved to follow Victoria's lead, and step up to his role as a gracious ruler. Then, as they were nearing the end of the hall, he caught a flash of green out of the corner of his eye. He turned towards it, and sure enough, there was Kurt, clad in yet another forest green tunic. He hadn't seen Blaine; he seemed as though he was looking for someone. Blaine was about to head over to him and say hello, when he felt a small hand encircling his wrist.

"Not now," Victoria said, pulling him along. She tried to be stern, but she couldn't help the smile on her face. Blaine looked between her and Kurt, thoroughly confused. "How did you—" He started, but she cut him off.

"Later." She replied. The mischievous glint had appeared in her eyes again. Blaine wasn't quite sure what just happened, but he followed Victoria past the last few people to the thrones, where their parents were already seated. The monarchs stood to greet their children, before the four of them took their seats once more. Blaine held in a sigh, and, instead, sat up straighter. Not that he had much of a choice—the thrones were basically designed to be uncomfortable and stiff, forcing the user to sit straight up.

Blaine looked out at the scene before him, taking in all of the extravagantly dressed people, all of the pretty and the not-so-pretty women who were waiting for him. As he observed the crowd, all the while trying to refrain from despairing, he noticed that his father, unexpectedly, was remaining blissfully quiet. Blaine had hoped that perhaps he was allowing his son a break, but of course, that was a silly thought. Within a minute or so, his father was turning to him and saying, "Blaine, why don't you—"

Blaine stood up before the king could even finish, nodding tiredly. He set out on his own, not waiting to be introduced to somebody, rather, choosing the first decent looking woman he could find.

He approached a small brunette dressed in blue and cleared his throat. She turned around, and her eyes grew huge as she saw who was standing before her. "P-pr-prince—" she stuttered, staring incredulously at him. She stood quite still for a moment, staring in shock at his appearance, and then suddenly coming to her senses and falling into a hasty curtsy.

Blaine bowed and extended his hand towards her, flashing his pearly whites charmingly. "May I have this dance, madam?"

She continued to stare, and she opened and closed her mouth several times before resorting to vigorously nodding her head, while never tearing her eyes away from him. Blaine took her hand and led her onto the dance floor, still smiling at her. She looked as though she didn't know what hit her.

"So...what's your name?" Blaine asked politely as they began to dance.

"S-Samantha," she responded after a moment. Her eyes had still not returned to their normal size, and Blaine was beginning to worry that something was wrong with her.

"That's a lovely name," Blaine offered, attempting to relieve the tension. However, it seemed to have made it worse, as she seemed about to faint at the compliment. Blaine thought it best not to speak any longer unless she initiated the conversation. Fortunately, Samantha seemed to be too nervous to do anything but stare, and so the rest of the dance was spent in awkward silence.

Before long, Blaine felt as though he could no longer take her intense gaze, and he excused himself. As he walked away, he could still feel her eyes on his back, and he had to stop himself from shuddering. He resolved to put some distance between himself and Samantha's piercing eyes, and as he walked, his eyes fell upon a wonderfully welcoming sight.

There stood Kurt, a mere twenty feet away, his one source of relief from the night before. Blaine quickly decided to head over and say hello, have a nice chat and put off the dancing for a bit, but as he headed in the boy's direction, his way was blocked by a rather ostentatious royal purple gown.

"Blaine! Darling! You absolutely MUST meet Rosalie, she is simply the most lovely woman you have ever seen in your life!" His mother gushed, indicating to the woman who had appeared on her right.

Blaine muttered a curse under his breath, hardly caring if his mother noticed, at this point. He stood up on his toes and peered over her shoulder, eyes landing on Kurt and following him as he disappeared into the crowd.

The queen daintily tilted her head to the side as she gazed at him, scrutinizing him. "Blaine?" She asked, false cheerfulness still filling her voice. "You seem a bit...distracted."

Blaine closed his eyes for a moment, breathing deeply and willing himself to relax, to be mature and to act like royalty. He opened his eyes and smiled at his mother and soon-to-be dance partner. "Not at all, mother."

As if one time weren't enough, this continued to happen for what seemed like ages. Blaine would scan the crowd until he found Kurt, excuse himself from his current dance partner, and head towards him, only to be intercepted by somebody new. It was getting very old, and he was suddenly determined to speak to the boy, if only to prove that he could. And, of course, to give his poor feet a rest.

Once or twice, his eyes happened to meet those blue ones from across the room, and Kurt would smile brilliantly. Then, for reasons Blaine could not fathom, his heartbeat would pick up, and his stomach would flip flop. He brushed it off, deciding that he was simply happy to see the brunette, a welcome face among so many undesirable ones, and continue to dance, hoping for his chance to get away.

Finally, after escaping from Mademoiselle Marie, he saw Kurt not ten feet away, his back towards him. Blaine quickly strode over before anybody could stop him and stood behind the green-clad boy.

"Is it a rule that wood nymphs must always wear green? Or does it only apply to the prince wood nymph?"

Kurt jumped about a foot in the air and whirled around, his hand over his heart. "Prince Blaine! You scared me!" He exclaimed. Blaine cocked an eyebrow at the usage of his title, and Kurt relaxed, laughing slightly. "Sorry, old habits die hard. I mean, Blaine! You scared me!"

Blaine smiled and bowed his head, somewhat mockingly. "Apologies, dear sir. I did not mean to frighten you so. I was merely curious," he apologized, attempting to keep a straight face.

Kurt laughed again, causing Blaine to laugh as well. "Actually, it just so happens that green is my favorite color. So, no, curious little hobbit. It is not a requirement," he responded. He was trying to hold back his grin, but quite obviously failing.

Blaine nodded and did not reply, appearing pensive. Kurt rolled his eyes, still smiling. "So, I saw you earlier," he started, causing Blaine to snap out of it and pay attention. "You looked absolutely delighted. I'm really quite jealous of how much fun you're having," Kurt continued.

Blaine sighed. "Oh yes, I'm having the absolute time of my life," he replied flatly. Kurt smiled sympathetically and patted him on the shoulder. "There, there, small one. It will be alright. Would you like me to switch places with you for a little while?"

Blaine gasped and grabbed Kurt's hand, squeezing it tightly. "Oh, would you? Please?" He begged, staring pleadingly into his eyes. Kurt's hand was soft, he noticed for the second time. Soft and delicate, just like the rest of him. He felt a strange sense of loss when Kurt withdrew it and placed it over his heart dramatically.

"Oh, but Blaine, you would not subject me to such a dreadful torture as that, now would you?" He asked sweetly. Blaine sighed, his shoulders drooping as he looked down at his shoes, the very image of a kicked puppy. "I suppose not," he sighed, metaphorical tail between his legs.

"How about this, then?" Kurt suggested, causing Blaine to look up curiously. "The next time a woman comes over and wants to dance with you, I'll grab another woman and dance with her at the same time. That way, we'll both be miserable, and you can feel happy in the knowledge that you're not alone."

A genuine smile stretched across Blaine's face at the thoughtfulness of the suggestion. "Seriously? You'd do that?" He asked. It struck him that he would have rather asked, "why don't you and I just dance with each other instead," but he realized the absurdity of the suggestion and kept it to himself, shaking his head in bewilderment. Where had that thought even come from?

"Absolutely. Why should you be the only one to suffer? After all, according to you, I am a prince as well, so I should have to suffer the same consequences." Kurt smiled.

Blaine smiled in return, not quite sure how to respond. He took this opportunity to study Kurt's face, realizing suddenly that it was quite beautiful. Blaine found himself entranced by how soft his skin looked, and wished he could reach out and touch it himself, see if it really was as soft as it looked. Especially those lips...

"Blaine, isn't that your sister over there?" Kurt asked, snapping him out of his fantasies. Sure enough, Victoria was standing a short distance away from them, staring at the two, an unreadable expression on her face. Blaine raised his hand and waved at her, and Kurt followed suit, smiling. Victoria smiled, a knowing smile, before waving back. She then turned around and skipped back into the crowd. Blaine frowned, wondering what she was up to.

"Are you two close?" Kurt asked. Blaine smiled and nodded. "Yes, we're good friends, Vic and I. We look out for each other in this big, crazy world that we live in."

Kurt smiled wistfully. "That must be nice. I haven't any siblings, myself. I've always wanted a little sister, though."

"You can have Vic, if you'd like," Blaine offered. "She's a pain in the butt more often than not. I'm sure she'd love you."

"Just as much as you do, I hope." Kurt grinned.

Blaine's face flushed red, and Kurt laughed. "Oh, absolutely," Blaine responded, trying to brush it off. "If not more so," he added.

"Oh, I highly doubt that's possible." Kurt replied with a smile, clasping Blaine's hand in his own.

Blaine's face flushed again at the sudden warmth he felt. He tried to hide it by coughing, removing his hand in the process, but Kurt did not buy it. "It most certainly is," he responded after a moment, trying to regain his dignity.

"Is not."

"Is so."

"Is not."

"Is—"

"Prince!"

Blaine looked to his left to find a stout redheaded woman smiling brightly at him. He bowed, mentally cursing, and she curtsied, still smiling. "My name is Miss Gretchen. It is absolutely lovely to finally meet you!" She exclaimed excitedly.

"And you as well, madame." Blaine replied charmingly. He cast his eyes over to Kurt, who was slowly backing away, a smile which looked more like a grimace spread across his face. His eyes met Blaine's, and Blaine shot him a meaningful look. He held up his hand, a silent promise, and, true to his word, approached an average-looking woman, bowing politely to her.

Blaine returned his attention to Miss Gretchen, who seemed rather eager. Blaine held out his hand, and she grabbed it. With a sudden tug, Blaine realized that he was the one who was being led onto the dance floor, rather than the other way around.

They began to dance, and Miss Gretchen seemed to be under the impression that it was her job to lead, not his. This would have been embarrassing under normal conditions, but it was made even worse by the fact that she was wildly swinging them around the floor, nearly colliding with other couples. People were beginning to stare.

"Isn't this fun?" Gretchen boomed, laughing loudly. Blaine nodded, his eyes wide with surprise and what might have been fear. Gretchen continued to lead, surprisingly strong for one so short, and Blaine was beginning to feel very dizzy.

He looked over Gretchen's shoulder and spotted Kurt not too far away, dancing with the woman he had approached before. He did not look thrilled, but he seemed to be much better off than Blaine was. He happened to look over at that moment and watch the couple swing around the floor, and he bit his lip, looking as if he was trying desperately not to laugh. Blaine locked eyes with him and desperately mouthed, "Save me!" Kurt made a face and subtly shrugged his shoulders, as if to say, "what can I do?"

Minutes passed, the orchestra continued to play, and Gretchen was still dragging him all about, not slowing down one bit, seemingly incapable of growing tired. Blaine was sure he would collapse, either from exhaustion or embarrassment, when finally, wonderfully, their dance was interrupted by his darling sister, Victoria, tapping him on the shoulder. "Sorry to interrupt, but Blaine, Father would like to speak to you," she said, smiling sweetly. Blaine nodded, barely bothering to hide his relief.

"Of course. Thank you, Victoria," he replied, before turning to Miss Gretchen and bowing to her. "That was a wonderful dance, Prince," Gretchen gushed, beaming. "I look forward to hopefully seeing you again tomorrow evening!" She added, then curtsied and headed off. Blaine's eyes widened in horror at her suggestion, and he resolved to do anything in his power to keep this from happening again the following night.

Victoria beckoned to him, and he followed her, silently thanking god for her rescue as he did so. "Did Father say what he wanted to speak to me about?" He asked, wondering why his father would ever pull him away from the dance floor.

Victoria turned around and grinned mischievously at him. "He didn't. I lied. As fun as that was to watch, I couldn't stand to see you in that much pain any longer," she laughed.

Blaine stared at her for a moment, before bursting into laughter and pulling her into a tight hug. "You are the best sister anyone could ever ask for, you know that?" He laughed, pinching her cheek. "I swear, I will personally see to it that you finally get your own horse for Christmas this year."

"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say," she giggled, batting his hand away. "Unfortunately, I'm only good for one save per ball, so from here on out you're on your own," Victoria warned, wagging her finger at him.

Blaine sighed and nodded. "I know, I know. I appreciate the effort though, squirt. Now run along, you don't want to worry Mother."

Victoria gasped and placed her hand over her heart dramatically. "Oh, heavens no, we would never want that to happen!" She proclaimed, feigning horror.

Blaine rolled his eyes and gave her shoulder a little push. "No, really. You know how she can be. Get out of here, you."

"Hang on, you're not getting off the hook that easily," Victoria said firmly, placing her hands on her hips.

Blaine frowned. "What do you mean, off the hook? What have I done to put me on it?"

"Oh, you know what I mean. What's the deal, Blaine?" She asked, insistent. When Blaine still looked confused, she rolled her eyes and looked to her left. Blaine followed her eyes and found their gaze resting on a slender boy in a forest green tunic. His back was to them, and he was talking to an unpleasant-looking woman in a yellow gown, apparently finished with his dance as well.

"Kurt?" Blaine asked, still confused. "What about him?"

Victoria groaned in frustration. "What about him? Blaine, I've seen you dance with hundreds of women. I've seen you pretending to be interested in every one of them, wearing that fake charming smile, nodding in all the right places, trying your best to listen to their babbling when, in reality, it's the last thing in the world you want to do."

She paused. Blaine looked more confused than ever. "So? What's your point, Vic?"

Victoria sighed. "Blaine, I saw you talking to Kurt. Both tonight, and last night. And I have never seen you look so interested in someone in my entire life."

Blaine's eyebrows shot up, and he opened his mouth, then closed it. "Victoria, what—"

"Just something to think about." She shrugged. She reached up and patted him on the shoulder. "Seriously. Think about it." Then she smiled and ran off, leaving Blaine standing there, still at a loss for words.

He was still trying to process what she had said when he felt a tap on his shoulder. Barely containing his groan of frustration, he turned around to find himself face to face with a tall woman in a cream colored gown.

"Good evening, Prince Blaine," she said, smiling sweetly at him. "My name is Alexandra, and my daughter here was hoping to meet you." A short brunette girl stood on her right, staring eagerly at Blaine. When he looked at her, she let out a short, hysterical laugh, then immediately clapped her hand over her mouth, turning bright red.

"Excuse me, I'm just so excited to meet you, Prince!" She giggled excitedly, then curtsied. "My name is Caroline, and it is such an honor, your highness." She curtsied again.

"The pleasure is all mine, Caroline," was his perfunctory response as he bowed politely. Caroline let out another laugh, which sounded more like a yelp than anything else.

"I'll let you two be, then." Alexandra beamed, then walked away, leaving Blaine alone with Caroline. She was staring at him like a starving person would stare at bread, and he began to feel a little nervous. He cleared his throat and held his hand out, knowing that he would regret this. "Would you like to dance, Caroline?"

This time, the girl let out an actual scream, and she curtsied once, than twice, before grabbing his hand. "I would be absolutely delighted, Prince!" She squealed.

Thankfully, the dance turned out better than Blaine thought it would. Caroline was so enthralled by the fact that he was dancing with her in the first place that she didn't seem to mind if he didn't respond to her excited chattering. She didn't even notice the far-off look on his face, or the pensive expression in his eyes, as Victoria's words repeated themselves over and over in his head. His mind kept bringing back the image of Kurt's face; his soft features, his soft skin, his soft blue eyes, his soft brown hair. And his soft pink lips, which, as much as he tried, he found he couldn't resist.

His thoughts were interrupted as suddenly as the dance was, Alexandra appearing at a pouting Caroline's side. "Come on, darling, we have a long ride home. It's time to go."

"But mother!" Caroline whined, looking desperately at Blaine.

The last thing Blaine was in the mood to witness right now was a temper tantrum, so he bowed deeply, and kissed Caroline's hand, for good measure. "It has been an honor, milady," he said as sweetly as he could.

Caroline stared at him, her mouth open in shock. Alexandra took this opportunity to drag her away, and Blaine turned, sighing tiredly. It had been such a long evening, and he was so done with putting up with this ridiculousness. If one more girl approached him, he had a feeling he'd just snap on the poor thing.

Of course, one did. And then another. And then another. After the fourth girl, he felt sure that he would never be able to dance again. All he wanted was to see Kurt again, but the women kept approaching him, all dying for their chance to dance with the prince. Wasn't he the one who was supposed to approach them? Everything was all backwards.

"Curse my dashing good looks," he muttered under his breath.

"Oh, I would hardly call them a curse." Blaine started, turning in the direction from which he'd heard the amused voice. He found himself, once again, staring into shining blue eyes, which, once again, seemed to be holding back laughter.

"Kurt," Blaine said in surprise. "We meet again."

Kurt laughed, possibly the sweetest laugh Blaine had ever heard. "I suppose we do, Blaine. And how has your evening been since last we met?"

"Oh, Kurt, it's been simply wonderful!" Blaine exclaimed, then stared dreamily into space and placed his hands over his heart. "I think I'm in love." He sighed.

An amused expression adorned Kurt's face. "Really?" He inquired, feigning interest.

"Oh, yes. Her name is Eloise, and she's just perfect. She has long golden hair, and emerald green eyes. She is very intelligent, and she plays the piano. She is the kindest, most selfless person I have ever met in my entire life. She's everything I've ever wanted in a woman," Blaine continued, still speaking in that same dreamy voice. "There's only one, small, teeny, tiny problem, however."

"And that would be?"

"She's thirty-two years older than me."

Kurt stared at Blaine for a moment, then burst into laughter. "Oh my goodness, Blaine, are you serious?"

Blaine nodded, the dreamy expression suddenly replaced by a very serious one. "Thirty. Two."

Kurt was nearly doubled over laughing. Blaine pouted. This only caused Kurt to laugh harder. "Well, I'm glad you find my pain so amusing." Blaine sniffed. Kurt stood straighter, trying to contain himself. "God, I am so sorry, Blaine. I feel so bad for you." He giggled, as he slowly regained control of his laughter. Blaine attempted to keep his pout going, but Kurt's laughter was contagious, and soon they were both laughing.

"Well then, how was your dance, Kurt?" Blaine inquired, still chuckling.

Kurt made a face. "She would not stop talking about her dead husband," he answered. "It was the most depressing dance of my life." He looked at Blaine then and seemed to remember what he'd had to deal with. "I must say, it wasn't quite as bad as yours, though." He began to giggle again, laughing harder when Blaine frowned. "Sorry, sorry. I just can't help it," he chuckled. "You managed to step on three women's feet in one dance, and you weren't even dancing with any of them. That little woman was insane. You have to admit, it was funny," he grinned.

Blaine smiled slowly, and his smile soon turned into a laugh at Kurt's reaction. "I suppose you're right. It is pretty funny in retrospect."

Kurt smiled. "See? You just have to think positively. There's got to be at least a few good things about this festival."

"Well, sure there is. After all, I met you, didn't I?" Blaine returned. This time, it was Kurt's face who flushed, and Blaine grinned at him. He attempted to avert his embarrassed eyes from Blaine's by distracting them with a small gold pocket watch. His eyes widened as he read the time, causing Blaine's grin to fade slightly.

"Oh gosh, it's late..." Kurt said, frowning at the face of the watch.

Blaine frowned as he gazed at the watch as well, surprised at how quickly the time had passed. He had expected quite the opposite, but it seemed that his time spent with Kurt had flown by.

"I really need to get going," Kurt said apologetically, indicating to the pocket watch.

Blaine looked up, still wondering where the time had gone. "You do?"

Kurt nodded, smiling halfheartedly. "My father...well...it's complicated. But I've got to get home," he explained.

"Oh..." Blaine returned, unsure of how to respond. He felt strangely disappointed.

It was odd. He had only met the boy a day ago, and they had only shared a few pleasant conversations. But as he looked at Kurt's face and saw in his eyes that he did not want to leave, Blaine realized that he did not want him to leave, either.

"Alright, then," he sighed, resolving to act like the dignified prince he was, hiding his disappointment. He offered his hand, which Kurt shook. "Goodbye, Kurt. It was a pleasure," he said with a small smile. His standard goodbye—and yet, he felt as though it was not enough.

Kurt smiled, replying with, "The pleasure was mine, Blaine," their hands still clasped together. They did not release immediately, and as their eyes met, Blaine felt something that he did not quite understand. Reluctantly, he dropped Kurt's hand, and the moment was lost.

Kurt hesitated, looking at Blaine as if debating whether or not to say something. He seemed to have decided against it, as he raised his hand in a sort of wave and turned, heading out.

"Wait, Kurt—" Blaine called, reaching out and catching his arm.

Kurt turned back, looking surprised. "Yes?"

Blaine licked his lips and looked down, feeling uncharacteristically nervous. "Will...will you be returning tomorrow evening?" He asked, hand still clutching the brunette's arm. He realized that he was holding it just a little too tightly, and he loosened his grip, though he did not let go.

Kurt smiled, and Blaine knew the answer before he even heard it.

"I wouldn't miss it for the world, Blaine."

And with that, he was gone, pulling his arm from Blaine's grasp and disappearing into the crowd, leaving Blaine feeling more confused than he had ever been in his entire life.


~3~


Blaine leaned on the railing next to the grand staircase, looking over at the enormous group of people gathered below. He fiddled with the gold buttons of his white jacket as his eyes wandered over the guests. He felt uneasy, but this time, it was not due to his dread of dancing.

He had dreamed about Kurt again the night before. The dream itself was hazy, but he could clearly recall the vivd picture of Kurt's face, his blue eyes searing themselves into his mind. He awoke with a gasp and lay there, breathing heavily and wondering what had come over him.

Now, he was scanning the crowd below, not-so-subtly searching for the flash of green that he was certain he would find. He had decided earlier that the best plan of action would be to immediately track him down and hope that, once in the boy's presence, he could work out these weird feelings he had.

However, there were just too many people down there, and he could not make out any of them very well. He was about to go over to the top of the staircase and make his way down when he felt a small hand on his arm, and heard a familiar voice say, "Looking for someone?"

"Vic!" He exclaimed, turning around to see his little sister grinning at him in her rose pink gown.

"Don't worry, I'm sure he's here," she said reassuringly, patting his arm. The grin was still plastered to her face.

Blaine frowned. Why did she have to be so darn perceptive all the time? He rolled his eyes, pretending to brush it off. "If you're referring to my acquaintance, Kurt, I'm sure he is. After all, he said he would be." He made sure to say this in the most casual, off-handed way he could. But, of course, Victoria was too smart for her own good, and she could see right through him.

She shook her head at him, clearly trying to hold back a laugh. "Blaine, I swear, you act like a thirteen year old girl sometimes."

Blaine's face colored, and at this she did let out a laugh. "I do not!" He cried indignantly. Victoria just rolled her eyes and smiled affectionately at him.

"It's okay. I still love you." She reached up and pinched his cheek. He swatted her hand away, pretending to be offended, but he couldn't help but laugh as she burst into giggles.

"Come on," he said, offering his arm to her and gesturing to the staircase. She shook her head. "Nope. Father says he would prefer if we enter separately. He wants the emphasis to be on you, not the two of us." She shrugged apologetically.

Blaine sighed. "Fine. I'll go first. But then I'm going to wait for you at the bottom, and you're going to help me find him, okay?"

He did not have to specify who he was talking about. Victoria knew. She smiled and nodded. "Of course I will."

He smiled in thanks, and then walked over to the guard. He waited patiently as he was announced, and then started down the stairs, going perhaps a bit faster than he should have. He was eager to get to the bottom, and did not feel like wasting time on something as ridiculous as a formal entrance that he had made a thousand times before.

When he reached the bottom, he shook the hands of a few dignitaries that happened to be nearby. However, rather than going through the mass of people and continuing to do so, as his parents expected him to, he remained at the bottom of the stairs, waiting for Victoria. He looked around anxiously, hoping that Kurt was conveniently standing nearby, but of course, he was not, and Blaine had promised his sister that he would wait for her. Plus, her sneaky nature would definitely be appreciated on this mission.

He looked up just as she appeared at the top of the staircase, looking like...well, looking like a princess. She held her head high, and she was the very image of grace and beauty. It suddenly hit him that she was no longer a child, that she was beginning to grow into a gorgeous young woman. An overwhelming sense of pride filled inside him, and he couldn't help but grin as he watched her float down the stairs.

And then, when she was about halfway down the stairs, he felt a strong grip on his arm, and he was literally yanked backwards, nearly stumbling and falling into his kidnapper. He whirled around and ripped his arm out of their grip, and he suddenly found himself face to face with none other than a smirking Princess Cassandra.

He narrowed his eyes at her. "Princess. What, exactly, are you doing?" He snarled, his voice void of its usual politeness and charm.

Cassandra's eyebrows shot up at his tone, and an amused smile crossed her face. "Prince. I see you've forgone the formalities. Very refreshing, I must say."

"I see you have as well, Cassandra. Only someone as rude as you would be so disrespectful as to interrupt my sister's entrance."

She rolled her eyes and waved it off. "Oh, she's not important right now. Everyone knows that you're the man of the hour, Blaine."

"That doesn't mean you can just—"

"Would you care to dance, Prince?" Cassandra offered, a sweet smile on her face.

Blaine was taken aback. There was no reason for the two of them to dance, and now that he had dropped the act, it was quite clear that he had no desire to be near her. And yet, here she was, asking him to dance with her. What was she playing at?

"Actually, I really can't, I was just off to see somebody else, and—"

She grabbed his hand and tugged him forward, cutting him off once more. "Come on," she smiled, "just one little dance?"

Blaine saw that people were beginning to look at the pair, and realized that he could not refuse. He sighed and smiled thinly at Cassandra. "I would be delighted, Princess."

She beamed at him and placed her hand on his shoulder, while he placed his other hand on her hip, and they began to dance. She smiled sweetly at him, and he frowned, wondering why she was acting so suspiciously.

And then, to his left, he noticed a regally dressed man, tall and blonde and haughty. He would be quite attractive if he didn't have that awful sneer plastered to his face. He was watching the royal couple, and he seemed quite put off. Something clicked in Blaine's head, and he suddenly realized why Cassandra had wanted to dance.

"Cassandra? That wouldn't happen to be your charming Prince Edward, would it?" Blaine asked slowly, nodding in the blonde's direction. Cassandra spared him half a glance and shrugged.

"Well, would you look at that? I suppose it is. What a coincidence. I wonder what such a high class man as him is doing slumming around here?" She replied, rather snottily, though she was still smiling fakely.

Blaine raised an eyebrow and smirked at the princess. "Same as you, I suppose." This wiped the smile off her face, and he bit his lip, holding back a laugh.

"Well. Whatever. I hardly care." She sniffed.

"Oh, but princess, I thought you were going to marry him and take over my land and build an empire?" Blaine pointed out innocently.

Cassandra glared at him. "We are. But last night he was simply horrid. He danced with some Daphne woman all evening and hardly noticed me. So, tonight, I'm giving him a taste of his own medicine." She snapped.

A triumphant smile spread across Blaine's face, and the princess realized that she had given away her true intentions. She stomped on his foot, causing Blaine to cry out in pain. "Oh, shut up." She scowled.

Blaine tolerated her for another minute or so, allowing her prince to properly stew in jealousy, until he decided that she had far overstayed her welcome in his arms. He backed off, bowing to her in a somewhat mocking manner.

"Until next time, Cassandra." He smiled, clearly feeling like he had gotten one over her this time. She rolled her eyes and refused to look at him. He shrugged and walked off, glad to be rid of her, and feeling strangely giddy.

"Alright. Time to find Kurt."

Blaine was a man on a mission. He set off, determined to find his wood nymph, and refusing to let anybody get in his way. He avoided making eye contact with people and held himself in a manner that suggested he was very busy and should not be bothered. Surprisingly, it seemed to work, as not a single woman tried to interrupt his search.

However, there was a slight problem. Kurt was nowhere to be found. Blaine searched the entire hall, but there was no sign of him anywhere. Once, he thought he saw a flash of forest green out of the corner of his eye, but when he turned, it was gone. He considered going over to the raised dais where the thrones were so that he could look over the heads of the crowd, but his father was up there, and he really would bring his mission to a screeching halt.

Blaine was starting to get worried. What if Kurt really didn't show up? He pushed the thought aside, diligently continuing his search. However, he was beginning to lose hope.

He sighed and looked around. "Maybe I should stop looking," he thought to himself. "Maybe he'll come to me."

And with that, he walked directly into a green-clad back.

However, Blaine very quickly realized that the figure in front of him dressed in forest green was not Kurt. In fact, it was a young girl, who seemed to be about his age. She was very beautiful, Blaine noticed. Her long brown hair fell in gentle curls, and her blue eyes sparkled as she took in the person standing before her.

"Prince Blaine!" She said, surprise evident in her voice. She curtsied and smiled warmly at him, and Blaine realized that her smile seemed quite genuine.

He bowed politely, wearing an apologetic smile. "I beg your pardon, Miss..."

"Violet." She smiled. "It's quite alright. Fancy bumping into the Prince, of all people! No, I certainly don't mind," she laughed good-naturedly.

Blaine chuckled. "No, really, I apologize. I can be so clumsy, sometimes. In fact, I did the same thing just the other night..." he trailed off, the memory suddenly reminding him of his initial goal.

Violet looked puzzled. "Prince? Are you alright?" She asked, sounding concerned.

Blaine felt conflicted. Kurt was nowhere to be found, and he had just resolved to stop searching, and hope that he would come to him. It would make his parents happy to know that he had felt a potential interest in a lady, and who knows, perhaps this was the one, the reason for the festival?

He looked at her and smiled. "I'm fine. Would you like to dance, Violet?"

Violet smiled slowly and nodded. "I would be honored, Prince."

And so, for the first time in his life, Blaine found himself voluntarily dancing with a woman, dancing because he actually wanted to, not because he was forced to.

And his first impression was correct. Violet was an incredible girl. She was radiantly beautiful, and her smile could light up a room. She was the most genuine woman he had met at the entire festival. She was actually rather intelligent, and made some very witty and clever remarks which had Blaine laughing every time. And despite the fact that she probably had a right to, she did not put down anybody around them; she was unfailingly kind.

Blaine had a wonderful time with Violet. He enjoyed talking to her, and their dance was very pleasant.

But that was all. Pleasant.

Not once, from the moment he saw her, did he feel anything other than a pleasant admiration for this girl.

She was not the one.

And so, when the royal orchestra finished their song and their dance came to an end, Blaine bowed to Violet, kissed her hand, and politely excused himself, genuinely wishing her the best as he left.

He could see the faint disappointment in her eyes, but she smiled nonetheless as she waved to his retreating form. He suddenly felt very guilty, and he began to wonder why he did not feel anything more for this lovely young woman. He stopped short. What was wrong with him? She was everything he'd wanted, wasn't she?

And yet, it just didn't feel right.

So Blaine kept walking, though his head was now down. He resolved to continue his earlier mission, and was still as determined as ever, but this time he was mentally beating himself up the whole time.

He looked up, and though he did not see the person he was searching for, he was filled with relief at the sight. He approached his sister, who looked at him and smiled brightly.

"Hello, Blaine!" And then, as if a switch went off in her head, she suddenly remembered that she was supposed to be angry at him, and she frowned. "You didn't wait for me."

"I'm sorry, Vic, but it honestly wasn't my fault. I was kidnapped by the lovely Princess Cassandra," Blaine explained wearily.

Victoria gagged at the mention of the princess and shook her head, as if trying to rid the mental image of her. "Oh god, I'm sorry. I forgive you," she returned, her face screwed up in disgust.

Blaine nodded. "It gets worse."

Victoria's eyes widened. "Really? How could it get much worse than her?" She asked disbelievingly.

Blaine sighed and hid his face in his hands. "I don't know what to do, Vic. I couldn't find Kurt anywhere, and I keep having this weird feeling, and I don't know what it means or why he makes me feel that way, and then I met this beautiful wonderful girl named Violet and I liked her and we danced but it just felt wrong, so I left her even though she's basically perfect and I don't know why I don't like her, I think I should, and I feel like there's something wrong with me and I'm just so confused."

"Woah, woah, slow down there, buddy," Victoria said, pulling his hands away from his face and looking at him, slowly processing everything that he'd said. "So, you met this perfect girl, named Violet. And you liked her, but you didn't really like her, so you left."

Blaine nodded, looking miserable.

"And you get these weird feelings whenever you're with Kurt or you think about him. And you want to see him again, because you really like to be with him."

Blaine nodded slowly, now looking lost.

Victoria placed her hands on his shoulders and stared into his eyes, waiting for him to get it. "There's a correlation here, Blaine. For the love of god, put two and two together."

Blaine blinked, staring back at Victoria. He closed his eyes and began to think of Kurt, of how much he enjoyed the other's company. He thought once more of his soft features, of his soft, warm hands, of his soft, brown hair, and his cerulean blue eyes. He thought of the warm feeling he got whenever Kurt was near, and the nervous flip-flopping of his stomach.

He thought of Victoria's words from the night before. "I have never seen you look so interested in someone in my entire life."

And somewhere in his brain, something slid into place. The missing puzzle piece, the broken link. A slow understanding filled him, and suddenly, it was as if everything was right in the world, everything made sense. He opened his eyes and stared into Victoria's, and she could see the understanding in them.

"I don't like Violet...because she isn't Kurt," he said slowly.

Victoria smiled slowly and placed her small hand on her brother's cheek. "Finally. I was starting to worry that you really were as dumb as you look," she teased.

Normally, Blaine would have frowned and swatted her hand away, pretending to be offended by the comment and retorting with a sharp comeback. But right now, the realization had left him feeling strangely calm and warm, and he could do nothing but smile at her.

"I think I need to go find Kurt."

Victoria stood up on her tippy toes and kissed him on the cheek, then grinned at him. "Go get him."

Blaine squeezed her hand once, quickly, a silent, "thank you", before turning on the spot and marching through the crowd, more determined than ever. He would find Kurt before the evening was over, and absolutely nothing was going to stop him.

And, as if the universe was simply hiding him until Blaine had his revelation, Kurt was right there, not too far off. Blaine's heart started beating faster, and he quickened his steps.

That is, until he nearly walks straight into his mother.

The queen stood directly in his path, smiling sweetly at him. "Blaine, sweetheart, it's lovely to see you. You look like you're in a hurry. You must be very anxious to meet a lovely lady!" She giggled daintily.

Blaine gritted his teeth, trying to remain calm, while peering over his mother's shoulder, making sure Kurt stayed within his line of vision. "Actually, mother, I—"

"Blaine, I've found her. The one. She's simply perfect for you, and I'd like to introduce you to her. Her name is Petunia," the queen said, beaming at him.

Blaine clenched his hands into fists, knowing exactly what was coming. He was about to miss his chance. "Mother, seriously, I can't—"

"Oh, nonsense," she laughed, waving it off. "I just know you're going to love her. Now, why don't you just come on over here and say hello? She truly is the most delightful—"

"No!" Blaine interrupted, finally putting his foot down. The smile was wiped from his mother's face, her eyes widened with surprise. "No, Mother. I will not 'go and say hello'. Because I know that I am not going to love her. I'm tired of you and Father trying to set me up with whoever you find appropriate. And I will not stand for it anymore," he said firmly, ignoring the look of shock on his mother's face. "Now, if you'll excuse me, there is somebody I need to see."

And without even looking back, Blaine brushed past his mother and strode purposely forward. He knew he was going to get hell for it later, but for right now, he honestly could care less. Kurt had gone, but he knew the brunette could not be far, so he walked in the direction he had just been in and looked around. Sure enough, his eyes landed on a green-clad figure once again, and his anger at his mother dissipated, replaced by a nervous giddiness.

Kurt looked up, and his blue eyes met Blaine's. A brilliant smile stretched slowly across his face, and Blaine just had to smile back as butterflies exploded in his stomach. He approached the boy, who walked forward and met him halfway, still grinning.

"Blaine," Kurt greeted him, reaching out and grasping his hand in welcome. His hands were soft and warm, as usual, and Blaine smiled at the touch. He did not let go, rather, he waited until Kurt did, and then wished he'd held it for longer.

"Kurt, it's so good to see you," Blaine replied, still smiling. "I was afraid you weren't going to show."

Kurt looked puzzled. "Why would you think that? I told you I was going to be here, didn't I?"

"Yes, you did, but I was looking for you, and I could not find you anywhere..."

"You were looking for me?" Kurt asked, raising an eyebrow and smiling playfully.

Blaine hesitated. "Oh...well, yes, I...I mean..."

Kurt laughed, waving it off. "I'm just teasing," he chuckled. Blaine relaxed slightly, though his heart was still beating at an accelerated rate. "So, it's the final night. Are you relieved?"

"Yes," Blaine responded automatically. Then, "...and no," he added as an afterthought.

"Oh?" Kurt inquired, looking intrigued.

"Well...of course, the women and the dancing was dreadful. But it wasn't all bad. This festival certainly had its high points," Blaine admitted. "Like meeting you," he wanted to add. But the words that had come so easily the night before were suddenly sticking in his throat. Instead, he added, "Plus, now I have a bunch of funny stories to tell."

Kurt laughed and nodded in agreement. "That's certainly true. And how about tonight? Anything exciting?"

"This evening has been alright," Blaine shrugged. And then, with a sudden burst of confidence, he continued, "Better now that I've found you."

Kurt blushed faintly, smiling at Blaine as if to say, "the feeling is mutual". The two simply stood there for a moment, smiling at each other, before Blaine suddenly realized that at some point in the conversation, one of them had been inching closer to the other, and they were now standing rather close. He cleared his throat and took a step back. "Would you like to get some fresh air?" He suggested, gesturing to the courtyard entrance.

Kurt nodded. "I would," he smiled.

"Wonderful." Blaine turned, trying to hide the fact that his cheeks were tinted red. He beckoned for Kurt to follow him, and the pair began to weave their way through the dancing couples, Blaine carefully avoiding any sort of contact so as not to be stopped. Every now and then he would look over his shoulder to make sure that Kurt was still behind him, which Kurt seemed to find rather amusing.

They soon reached the door and stepped into the moonlit courtyard, and Blaine immediately felt about a thousand times better. He sighed in relief and closed his eyes, breathing in the crisp night air.

"Beautiful night," Kurt commented, looking up at the sky. It was a perfectly clear night, and the stars shone brighter than ever.

"It is, indeed." Blaine murmured, though he was not looking at the sky.

Kurt reached a pale hand up and pointed. "There's Cassiopeia, the queen. And just below her, the hero Perseus, saving the princess Andromeda."

Blaine raised an eyebrow, thoroughly impressed. "You know astronomy?"

A small, slightly embarrassed smile appeared on Kurt's face. "Only a little. I taught myself, actually. I've always been fascinated by the stars," he explained.

Blaine nodded slowly, suddenly finding himself unable to tear his eyes away from Kurt's. "So have I," he replied, still gazing into those blue eyes. The stars were reflected in them, twinkling beautifully.

Kurt met his gaze for a moment, before his eyes flittered away uncertainly. "What is it?" He asked.

Blaine smiled, taking a step forward. "You know how this entire festival, I've been complaining about how much I hate dancing?"

"Yeah?"

"And how I didn't want to dance with anybody else?"

Kurt nodded slowly, looking bemused.

"Well, there is one person that I think I might like to dance with." Blaine admitted.

Kurt looked down. "Is that right?" He replied, staring at his shoes.

"However, I don't think my father would approve." Blaine continued, taking yet another step closer.

Kurt looked up at this, and something flickered in his eyes. "Oh? And why is that?"

But he did not receive an answer. Blaine had stepped forward once again, closing the gap between them, and now his lips were brushing Kurt's, and oh, they were just as soft as they looked, and Kurt was kissing him back, and now his hands were on Kurt's slender waist, and Kurt's hands were suddenly tangled in his curls, and Blaine could have sworn the royal orchestra was playing all around them, the flutes were trilling and the violins, they swelled, and Kurt tasted so much sweeter than he ever could have imagined, and he was hyperaware of the warmth of Kurt's body pressed against his, and even more aware of the sudden empty cold as they pulled apart, breathing heavily.

"Wow." Kurt breathed, gazing almost wondrously at Blaine. He nodded in agreement, incapable of speech.

And suddenly, Kurt's body was pressed against his own once more, and they were kissing even more passionately, and suddenly Kurt's tongue was brushing his lips, and then his own tongue, and there were fireworks over their heads, and all Blaine could think was thank god for his father's stupid festival.

Blaine pulled away after oxygen became a necessity, his face flushed, grinning. He pressed his forehead against Kurt's, and the two simply stood, breathing in the moment, breathing in each other. After a minute, or perhaps it was an hour, Kurt let out a soft chuckle.

"What's so funny?" Blaine asked.

"Just...all those beautiful women in there...and of all people, you choose me." Kurt replied, smiling.

Blaine smiled softly and placed a chaste kiss on his lips. "You don't have to sound so surprised, Kurt. You're an amazing person."

Kurt looked at his shoes. "What will your father think?" He asked.

Now Blaine chuckled, and Kurt looked up, twinkling blue eyes staring into his amber ones. Blaine reached up and placed his hand on Kurt's face, his fingertips gently trailing down his cheek. The touch was too lovely, and Kurt couldn't help but smile. "Who cares?" Blaine whispered.

He then stood straighter, before swooping into a deep bow and stretching his hand out. "May I have this dance, Kurt?"

Kurt laughed and responded with a mock curtsy, placing his hand in Blaine's outstretched one and grinning. "I would be most delighted, Blaine."

And so they danced, right there in the empty courtyard, as the moon shone down on them and the stars twinkled brightly over their heads.


Whew. There you have it. And before you ask, no, I will not be continuing this. As always, reviews make the world go round!

In case you were wondering, the whole wood nymph thing comes from an interview in which Darren Criss called Chris Colfer a very playful wood nymph.

Oh. And if you found the very subtle AVPM reference, you get a cookie.