Twenty-four hours later and Kurt finds he cannot stop thinking about singing "Baby it's Cold Outside" with Blaine. Oh, they've sung together in the car before or sitting together in their rooms, pretending to study when really they were far more interested in singing along with Kurt's extensive Broadway tunes playlist. But there had been a difference this time. The choice of song, the playful flirtation as they'd chased each other around the room, the press of Blaine's shoulder against his, the smiles…

Kurt is that Blaine likes him. He's trying not to get his hopes up, though, because in the past those hopes had always been crushed, leading to severe let downs on an impossibly epic level. So Kurt tries to play this one cool, focusing on the friendship card, careful not to smile too brightly in Blaine's direction or hang on his every word like a starving man might on some promised sustenance. And it's difficult—no, very near impossible—because with Blaine it physically hurts being near him and not shouting "I LOVE YOU! PLEASE NOTICE ME!"

With Finn, it was a little easier to get past the hurt because as much as Kurt may have hoped he could get Finn to give up girls all together, the fact of the matter was, it wasn't going to happen. Finn was straight, and that was that. He thinks it feels worse this time because Blaine is gay, and if Kurt's feelings aren't returned, then maybe that means Kurt isn't good enough to get noticed by him?

His admission to Mr. Schuester that he was in love with Blaine had been the first time he'd told anyone, even Mercedes. (Well, Pavarotti knew, but the bird wasn't going to talk so Kurt had no worries that Blaine might find out.) And while he had always scoffed at the idea that two gay guys couldn't possibly be just friends… well, this was Blaine. Blaine, who reminds Kurt of a cross between Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart from "A Philadelphia Story", all rolled into one incredibly well-mannered, charming, talented and beautiful boy. In fact, more than once Kurt has almost slipped and called him C. K. Dexter Haven, but he supposes that would make him Tracy Lord, and sadly he is without the adorably precocious little sister to complete the already amazing package of one Miss Katherine Hepburn.

Tomorrow morning will be the official start of Christmas break and Kurt finds himself already missing Blaine. As much as he is looking forward to seeing his dad and Carole, and even Finn and the rest of his McKinley High friends, he knows that not seeing Blaine on a daily basis, after having grown used to it, is going to be hard to adjust to for the next couple of weeks. While he might not have the friendship with Blaine that he shares with Mercedes, there is still an unspoken something between them that leaves Kurt feeling complete, like maybe he's not so alone anymore.

A soft knocking at the door pulls Kurt from self-induced sadness, and across the room, Pavarotti starts chirping brightly. He sits up from where he was stretched out on his bed, the latest issue of Vogue shoved unopened to the side, and makes his way over to the door. Kurt pulls it open to find Blaine, dressed in one of the red Dalton sweaters instead of the usual blazer, and the red looks so amazing with Blaine's dark coloring it's all Kurt can do not to stare.

"I thought you left already," he blurts out. Blaine's eyebrows furrow a little with his words.

"You think I'd leave without wishing you a Merry Christmas?"

A stab of guilt knifes through him because, no, Blaine would never be so thoughtless as to do something like that. Kurt should have known. He smiles. "No. You're right. Sorry. I blame finals."

"I told you to stop studying so much." Blaine peers around Kurt into his room. "Hopefully you're not still studying now that classes are over?" He teases. "Doing anything? I have something I want to show you."

Honestly, Kurt could have been studying for the biggest exam in his life that he was scheduled to take in an hour and he still would have said no. "I'm free."

Closing the door behind him, he follows Blaine through the mostly empty halls of the campus, listening intently as the boy beside him regales him with stories of past Christmas breaks. Blaine's family is wealthy, and the holidays usually entail cruises in the tropics and trips to Europe, activities that Kurt has trouble even imagining, though he tries. (His favorite daydream may or may not involve him, Blaine and shopping along the Champs Elysées.) After his mother's death, he and his father had never really celebrated Christmas—no big family dinners or anything like that, usually they just wound up at BreadstiX. He knows this year will be different with Carole and Finn, and he still can't decide if he is looking forward to it or dreading it.

The idea of not seeing Blaine on a daily basis pretty much has him dreading everything at the moment.

"Wait." Kurt thoughts stop abruptly as he gazes around the corridor, realizing they've reached an area off limits to students. "We aren't supposed to be here… are we?"

"It's all right. I have permission." Blaine gives him one of those smiles that pretty much assures that Kurt will follow him anywhere, and reaches out for Kurt's hand. His fingers are a little cold, and Kurt finds himself tightening in his grip in an attempt to warm them.

Blaine tugs him forward, down the darkened corridor lined with paintings of the past headmasters dating all of the way back to 1891. Here, the holiday decorations seem even richer and more extravagant than those that adorn the student areas—thick strands of garland covered in red velvet bows, gold and silver ornaments covering wreaths bigger than Kurt, and real trees glittering with lights and ribbons and pretty angels, the fresh scent of pine almost overwhelming. He can understand why the area is limited to faculty only.

Stopping in front of a pair of double doors, Blaine releases Kurt's hand, giving him a little smile as he does so before opening one of the doors and motioning for Kurt to go in first. Kurt only makes it a few feet in before coming to a halt, mouth falling open slightly in surprise at the scene before him. It's a lot like the common rooms with wood paneling and leather furniture, a cozy hearth where a fire is burning, the sounds of tiny pops and cracks emanating as little sparks ignite from the wood. It's smaller, though, more intimate, with two enormous pines at opposite corners of the room, windows hidden behind thick burgundy drapes, and in the center, a round table covered with candles and an elaborate feast.

"This is one of the faculty lounges." Blaine closes the door and moves past Kurt. "I may or may not have begged and pleaded with Mr. Whiteside to borrow it."

That's all well and good, but Kurt motions with his hand, encompassing the entire room into one single word, "Why?"

Blaine shrugs, and Kurt almost swears his color heightens slightly. "Since we aren't going to see each other over Christmas break, I thought we could have a little Christmas celebration ourselves. I mean, my family has never really, and I don't know why but I thought—" Blaine stops rambling and backtracks to, "We don't have to if you don't want to."

Kurt can't help but smile because he's rarely ever seen Blaine babble about anything, and it hasn't happened recently. For the most part, he tends to believe that Blaine doesn't understand the meaning of the word "nervous"—he's far too consumed with living the meaning of "confidence". Even at Sectionals, when everyone on both teams had closed their eyes and prayed to whatever higher power they believed in to help them win, Kurt had admired the way Blaine had just stood there, chin up, straight and confident, as if certain of victory.

And now here he is, rambling. "Of course I want to," Kurt assures him, with perhaps a little too much enthusiasm in his voice. But it is worth it for the smile that Blaine focuses on him.

Joining Blaine near the table, Kurt's eyes widen a bit as he looks over the food. There's turkey and roast, fluffy potatoes, baked rolls that look so soaked in butter Kurt is certain they're going straight to his hips, green beans, salad, cornbread stuffing—"Where did all this come from?"

"You know Miss Celia…"

Kurt rolls eyes at the admission. In his short time at Dalton, he's noticed that every adult, from administration to grounds keeping, seems completely enamored with Blaine. But Miss Celia, one of the resident cooks, is positively wrapped around his little finger. She's always saving him the best desserts, putting together little plates of cookies for him to take back to his room in the evenings complete with ice cold milk.

"You're shameless."

Blaine just shrugs accepting of the accusation. "Most of its leftovers from the faculty holiday luncheon, so it's not like she made it just for us or anything."

"For you, you mean."

Blaine holds up his hands, laughing. "Hey, it's not my fault she says I remind her of her brother."

Kurt just shakes his head. "So… should we eat?"

"In a minute."

Blaine takes his hand again—and really, Kurt doesn't think he'll ever get used to how touchy-feely Blaine is, nor will he ever grow tired of it—and pulls Kurt across the room to one of the trees. He bends down to his knees, reaching for the sole gift lying beneath the bows, and holds it up to Kurt.

"Merry Christmas."

Kurt stands there for an interminably long moment, unable to think of what he should say or do. He's still processing that Blaine has put this entire thing together for them—this Christmas celebration—and here he is, kneeling beside Kurt, holding a gift up to him with such an open and earnest expression that Kurt is quite certain he is dreaming this whole thing.

"Please take it?" Blaine says after a moment when Kurt does nothing. "I don't want you to think—that is, I just." He stops himself and flashes an oddly self-deprecating smile. "When I saw it, I knew you had to have it."

Finally, finally Kurt discovers the wherewithal to take the neatly wrapped gift from Blaine's hand. He kneels beside Blaine, gingerly picking at the bow for a moment, unable to meet the dark eyes he can feel watching him so carefully. A part of him wants to laugh at the ridiculousness of all of this, and a part of him wants to cry because no one has ever gone to such trouble for him. And this is Blaine! Blaine who sings so sweetly, and dances like a complete dork, and commands the eye of every person when he walks into a room, and holds doors open for Kurt and—

"Are you going to open it or just play with the ribbon?"

"I'm not good at accepting gifts from people, okay?" Kurt says with a huff as he finally tugs the ribbon off and begins to peel at the paper. "It took me a full month to drive the Navigator after my dad gave it to me because I burst into tears every time I looked at it. And I hate SUV's."

Blaine laughs, reaching to pat Kurt's knee as he does so, and it takes all of Kurt's concentration to continue focusing on the gift instead of the touch. Once he has the box open, his eyes widen a bit as he stares at the gift. It's a snowglobe. A "Wicked" snowglobe, to be precise. He lifts it up, smiling as he recognizes the scene of Elphaba soaring into the air with broom clutched tightly in her hand. He turns it over, pressing the switch to on, and as snow begins circling around the globe, the tune of "Defying Gravity" plays through the speaker.

"I've never been able to get your story out of my head about the time you sang "Defying Gravity" in your Glee club," Blaine tells him. "Ever since then, every time I listen to the soundtrack, I think of you."

Kurt is looking at him now, and Blaine looks at the tree instead, as if unable to meet his eyes. "I know you're not yourself around here, Kurt. I know I told you that you need to be part of the team, but I just want you to know that I don't mean that I want you to give up who you are."

He finally looks back at Kurt, his gaze so intent that Kurt feels as Blaine can somehow see right through him. "Like Elphaba, you're unique. I get that. And I just want you to know that whatever you do to fit in around here, don't stop being yourself. If you want to audition for another solo with "Defying Gravity", I'll totally stand by you."

If he hadn't been in love with Blaine already, he certainly is at that moment. He finds himself thinking, as he is unable to pull his eyes away from the beautiful and sincere boy in front of him, why haven't you kissed me yet?

"Why haven't you kissed me yet?"

Oh, Gaga. Did he just say that out loud?

Blaine is looking at him with that kind of confused furrowed brow, gaze all searching and questioning and –

Oh. He did say it out loud.

"Ummm… what I meant was… ummm." Kurt can feel his cheeks burning. And Blaine still hasn't said anything.

Awkward.

He feels Blaine shift toward him slightly. "I suppose I've been waiting for you to make the first move." His fingers reach out and pluck against the sleeve of Kurt's blazer. "Because of what happened with Karosky. I didn't know if you'd want-"

"I do." Did he answer that too quickly?

Okay, so maybe Blaine is more like David Huxley from "Bringing up Baby" than C.K. Dexter Haven—too much of a gentleman to make the first move, and too obtuse to realize he's all that Kurt wants. And since that's the case, then that means that maybe it's up to him to make the first move but… what if he screws it up? What if Blaine is only saying he wants this too because he's just nice like that? What if—

Shut up, Kurt, and do something.

He finds himself panicking again, and Blaine is just kneeling there beside him, waiting, and he has absolutely no idea what to do. He glances around the room, searching for something, anything to give him a clue, an idea of how to just trust his instincts and go for it.

And then he sees it. Just what he needs.

Smiling, he tucks his hand into Blaine's, curling their fingers together as he stands and tugs him to his feet. He pulls Blaine across the room to the bay window where half a dozen fluffy pillows are tossed on the bench, some angel dolls are tucked up against the glass, and hanging from the ceiling in the center is a giant sprig of mistletoe. Kurt points up, and Blaine follows his gaze, a slow smile appearing as they simultaneously sit down on the bench, their hands still clasped.

"Its tradition, you know," Kurt says softly, not questioning why he suddenly feels the need to whisper. "I figure, as important as traditions seem to be at Dalton…"

"I guess I shouldn't bother questioning the appearance of mistletoe at an all-boy's school." Blaine smiles. "May have to start keeping an eye on the faculty."

Kurt finds himself considering this. "Do you think Miss Celia—"

"If she did, then I am going to have to thank her." Blaine releases Kurt's hand so he can reach up and gently cup his face.

And as the moment begins, Kurt silently swears to himself to memorize every single ensuing second. He can feel his heartbeat speeding up as panic sets in. What if he's a bad kisser? What if he has bad breath? Oh Gaga, does he? What if Blaine doesn't really want to do this? What if Blaine has expectations that he can't meet? Wait. What if Blaine doesn't meet his expectations? What if—

The mounting terror ends the moment they kiss.

Blaine's lips are soft and slightly wet, a little cold, and more perfect than Kurt could have possibly imagined. The kiss is chaste and gentle—nothing like Karofsky's bruising intrusion or Brittany's kisses that involved a whole lot of tongue. Blaine's kiss leaves Kurt aching for more. Certain that Blaine is about to end it all too soon, Kurt rests his hands on Blaine's hips, tugging him closer while leaning down against his mouth. He doesn't have much of a height advantage, but it's enough to give him leverage, to silently convey No, don't end this yet, and the subtle hint is taken as he feels Blaine smile against his lips.

As if on cue each angle's their head slightly, the kiss deepening with a tentative barely-there swipe of tongue, and Kurt's lips part, welcoming the glide and touch and taste of Blaine. One hand slips from Kurt's cheek to the nape of his neck, the other sliding down his chest, around his waist, pulling him closer, holding him tighter, and Kurt is fairly certain he's never felt so wanted, so safe in his entire life.

He wishes he could freeze time. This one moment, one that he never thought he would have, and never wants to end.

It does, though, slowly, with Blaine pressing light kisses against the corner of his mouth, never completely pulling back, never releasing him, ridiculously long lashes brushing teasingly against his cheek. And then they're just sitting there, under the mistletoe, foreheads pressed together. Kurt realizes he hasn't opened his eyes yet, and he doesn't want to—he's still taking it all in. The music, the crackling of the fire, the fanning of Blaine's breath across his face, and their hearts beating in rhythm against one another's chests.

When he finally does open his eyes, it's to find Blaine gazing at him with a gentle smile. "Thought you'd gone to sleep on me."

Kurt sighs and rolls his eyes. "Please, don't ruin this perfect moment with misplaced teasing." He fears his voice doesn't quite carry enough sass behind the words—he's still in a state of euphoria.

Blaine laughs softly and Kurt tries to think of another retort, but then Blaine tucks his head in the crook of Kurt's shoulder and a sudden warmth sweeps through him. He now appreciates the advantage of being slightly taller as Blaine fits so perfectly against him, and Kurt just wraps his arms around him, holding him, never wanting to move from this spot.

"You know," Blaine begins quietly, and Kurt thinks he is talking entirely too much, "Dalton has developed a lot of traditions throughout its many years, but I'm thinking this mistletoe one we've got going? Definitely a keeper."

Kurt couldn't have agreed more.