Note: You'll have noticed that this isn't quite the same chapter 5 as before. It begins the same, but the 'guts' are changed. I wasn't fully satisfied with its last incarnation, so I re-write and updated with this. A bit heavier/darker, but with a lighter message to end upon. Thank you for your continued support...

Somehow – he couldn't be sure how – Blaine got Kurt back to the Lawrence house. The younger boy's tears had stopped, but his eyes continued to oscillate between what looked like spite and a hopeless vacancy that terrified Blaine. He barely acknowledged Robbie when she met them at the door. He couldn't bring himself to look at her as he waited in the entryway for Blaine to return with his things so they could depart.

Robbie wasn't really sure what had happened, and Blaine had given her no clues, but she was sure that there was a great deal of animosity directed at herself as well. And she was right.

She made vague, generally sweeping apologies, but for what she wasn't sure. And Kurt would not accept them.

When Blaine returned, Robbie wanted to ask him what was wrong, and moved to embrace him. But he held her away, and she noted bitterly that he wouldn't return her look any more than his boyfriend had.

With a simple, "I'll speak with you later," and a halfhearted lip-lift, he gathered up Kurt's and his own bags and led them out the door; Robbie left wondering how or why an already dramatic evening had been plunged deeper into misery.

Kurt was silent as he road in the passenger seat. At first, Blaine had attempted again simply to apologize, to elicit some signal acknowledging that Kurt would give him a chance to explain. It quickly became clear, however, that no such sign would come from his taciturn companion.

So he began to explain anyway. Speaking aloud somehow made it easier for him to concentrate on the road, instead of continually glancing over at Kurt's forlorn countenance, which only made him more anxious. And though he couldn't be sure Kurt even heard him at all, part of him took relief from the action. He did his best to be thoughtful and respectful of Kurt's emotions, and to think carefully and speak honestly with every word.

"Kurt, I... I see that I... handled this whole situation quite badly. And you have every right to hate me. To be angry, to yell at me, to never trust me again... I see that I have, albeit blindly and unintentionally, completely betrayed your trust. I was selfish and terribly inattentive to you when all of my attention should have been with you.

"You're right... You know, you're right. My friendship with Robbie, my relationship with Robbie... It is bizarre. I think part of me has known that for a while now, but another part of me refused to acknowledge it.

"Like... All my struggling and trepidation in the few short relationships I have had just got my head stuck in this place. This place where it was like I was never sure of myself with other people... Like I couldn't trust that someday I'd find the right person. The right guy for me, and it'd all work out, you know?"

If Kurt knew what he meant, he wasn't indicating one way or the other.

"And so I had this sick – sick! – idea, like... If I never have anyone, I'll still have Robbie..." The weight of his statement sank like a cannon ball in the pit of Blaine's stomach. Yet, as he fully realized what he'd just admitted, he knew it was true, and the weight began to shift.

"It's so delusional! I mean, we are entirely not for each other. Yet we're so compatible. I have no desires for her. But we've been through so much together, and I'm comfortable with her in a way I've never been comfortable with any man but you...

"But I've been so ignorant! I didn't see it. I didn't see how totally perfect you truly are even after I knew it was you I wanted. I let my attachment and loyalty to Robbie get in the way of being honest with you, of sharing my life with you. It's like I didn't see that I could really let my guard down, even though I'm... I was... so deliriously happy with you...

"And I really messed it up...Yeah, I really messed up! We really messed up doing what we did." He referred to Rebecca and himself. "And our mistake wasn't just something we could paint over or put a band-aid on... Our mistakes have a name and a face... And I should have told you that. I really should have told you that before we even came here.

"I should have really explained to you what Robbie and I had been through, not left anything out." Blaine paused, drew a sharp, deep breath, and seriously considered putting it all on the line with Kurt before continuing.

"You need to know that Robbie and I aren't just bonded through Beau and our sexual experience. I'm... not strong like you are Kurt. The way I'm strong is just putting on a brave face and keeping secrets, holding someone's hand and offering encouraging words. I... I couldn't help Robbie through her hardest experience because I ran from my bullies... You're both so much stronger than me. All I could do was support her while she carried Beau, but I didn't protect her when a bully came after her for protecting me..."

He was struggling to keep the tears building at the corners of his eyes from overflowing their bounds. His thoughts and words were scattering and running together both as he tried to explain the pain to Kurt.

"Robbie tried to defend me and was punished for it... She was raped for it. We already knew Beau was coming, and there was no way we could stay in that school with that demented psychopath, and I was already on my way to Dalton, but she wouldn't tell her parents everything, and after everything it wasn't my place to say it. So I stood by her, and we held on to Beau, and I've been her secret keeper, and everything's been so complicated. But we've lived complicated together."

He forced his breath to steady and regathered himself, "I should never have brought you, shouldn't have asked you to come with me when I had so much I hadn't told you yet.

"I was so blind. I was so stupid! I put her first, even though I'm in love you. And that's just something people shouldn't do!"

At the words, those three – Was it four? It doesn't matter; the ones that count were there – brief words in a torrent of others, one fresh tear escaped and rolled from Kurt's cheek. But it was quickly wiped away and he remained silent, staring blankly out the window at the cold night, though his soul was shaken to his core.

"And I was so selfish! I put Robbie first out of habit and loyalty, and then I invited you to come with us so I could be comfortable. So that you could be a comfort to me while I supported and comforted her. I never should have put Robbie and I first in this. I was terrible, and stupid, and horrid, and just awful to do that to you. It was disgusting of me to put myself first. I always, always should have put us first. I always should have put you first...

"I'm so sorry I didn't put you first, Kurt... From the deepest reaches of my heart, I am so sorry..."

Silence once again filled the car. Blaine's emotions were in a tumult, but he had to keep a grasp on things. He had to keep it together and show Kurt how sincerely he regretted his actions. All the same, as they turned off the interstate, the silence was finally too much, and the emotions began to edge into his voice.

"Kurt?... Please... Please say something. Say anything."

"Sociology is the systematic study of human society. The Sociological Perspective is the special point of view of sociology that sees the general patterns of society in the lives of particular people. Peter Berger described it as 'seeing the general in the particular.'"

Kurt recited from memory his Sociology study-guide. Because what could he possibly say in the face of all this?

"It's okay, Kurt. You don't have to keep..." It was ridiculous, and there was no way Blaine could keep a few more stray droplets from streaming down his cheeks, but at least it was something. There was still some cognizant someone inside that tall beautiful body, and surely that meant there was hope.

The quiet permeated, and Blaine's emotions were ragged. But he had to get them back safely. He sang to himself in his head to fend off everything he was thinking and feeling. He ran through Warblers arrangements until he ran out. Then he turned to lullabies. But it wasn't enough by the time they were turning up the lane towards Dalton. He slowed the car to utilize the last moments he had. Perhaps the last time he would ever have the chance to express himself to Kurt.

"Kurt, I know I've hurt you. And I'm sorry. And I know that you have no reason to trust me now. And if you never do, no one could blame you.

"I just want you to know that you mean the world to me. Our friendship has been the highlight of every day for me since you came to Dalton. And our one night together, as a couple, was the greatest night of my life.

"I really messed up, Kurt. And I will never stop making it up to you."

Days passed.

Every morning, fifteen minutes before the first bell, Blaine knocked on Kurt's door. Every morning Kurt's room mate answered, took Blaine's letters, and turned him away.

Every afternoon a Warbler underclassman would arrive at Kurt's lunch table with a white rose and a sung telegram.

Every night e-mails would arrive in Kurt's inbox with subject lines like "Please," "Need You Now," "Only The Lonely," or "To Know Him Is To Love Him." And every night they went unopened.

Kurt's initial shock and emotional turmoil had transformed into a quiet hollowness. He didn't dare go to Warblers' meetings, walk alone in the halls, or linger too long in the dining hall. On Sunday night he had called home, distraught and uncertain, and Finn had come to see him. On Monday Rachel and Mercedes showed up with coffee and mix-CDs. He began to regain the color in his cheeks and a small incarnation of that smile crept back into conversations with his McKinley friends.

Blaine caught a glimpse of Kurt's perfectly quaffed hair through the common room door, which stood slightly ajar. He paused, and his heart ached to see the man smile, and even laugh a little with his former glee-mates. But he was smiling. And that's what mattered.

On Tuesday Kurt hazarded glances in Blaine's direction during the morning assembly. The once confident manner with which the curly-haired boy interacted with his friends now seemed cocky and insecure to Kurt's eye. His once infectious grin no longer reached his hazel eyes. There was an insincerity in his mask that troubled Kurt. Could he really be as torn up inside as Kurt was? It seemed unlikely; he'd lived these secrets for years already. The false confidence turned Kurt's stomach, and he turned away.

On Tuesday afternoon a voice-message from Robbie showed up on Kurt's cell phone. Apparently Blaine had spoken with her. She did her part to try to make peace for him in the brief two minute window afforded her by technology. An e-mail followed the next night, mixed in between "Goin' Out Of My Head" and "To Sir With Love."

"Are you gonna read any of these?" Kurt's room mate asked from across the dorm, gesturing toward the growing pile of letters on their dresser.

"No," Kurt tersely responded.

"Look, I don't know what happened with you two, and I don't need to know. But for the twenty-two hours you were together the whole school was elated. You should've seen Wes and David's Twitter feeds. And like I say, I don't need to know what happened. But surely y'all can get past it. I mean, you're so perfect for each other it's nuts."

"I appreciate your sentiments, but I am not going to read those. Thank you."

His room mate shrugged, "So be it."

Kurt clicked open Robbie's e-mail.

Dearest Kurt,

My deepest, sincerest apologies are yours.

We have wronged you, and I have betrayed our infant friendship.

I have been selfish and insecure and infirm in my convictions, and I have behaved childishly and foolishly. I hold no delusions that you will ever be able to see me with the same kindness in your heart as you did at our meeting, and I would never ask that of you.

But if you have it in your heart to forgive, don't spare me, but forgive our mutual friend.

Blaine has been the utmost gentleman and friend to me in all ways, over many years. But I forfeit the selfish claim I thought I deserved, because I know that he loves you.

I don't know if he has told you, but I know this to be true. He's not the best at showing his true feelings, and he hides behind songs, but trust me. Your happiness and his is far more important. My family may be shaken, hiding its unconventional nature behind a facade of tradition, but it is a strong support system. I may still be unable to share with them all the circumstances of my life, but they love me and I them. The support I need now is theirs, not Blaine's.

I would much rather see the two of you together, and happy.

I hope you can believe me when I say I am truly sorry. And I hope you can see that it was never our intention to cause you pain or suffering.

With Love,

It was simple, and meandered from confessions of selfishness to (somewhat selfish) proclamations of selflessness. Yet Kurt suddenly felt a relief and release that had been absent for the last four days. It was as though a light switch was finally flipped in the darkness of his mind, and he could see the trust Robbie and Blaine had bestowed upon him in these days.

Kurt quickly responded, though briefly, accepting Robbie's apologies and offering his own for the behavior he had shown to her when departing the Lawrence home.

There was a gradually growing lightness in his mind and body. His heart still ached with betrayal, but there seemed to be an advancing hope, a knowing that this hurt would pass and life would be right again one day. After all, things could always have been far worse. And already had been for his new acquaintance and former-lover.

Thursday passed quietly. There was no knock at the door that morning. No nervous or embarrassed Warblers arrived at Kurt's table. No love-song-titled e-mails flooded his inbox. No unmarked notes were slipped under his door, no flowers delivered, no white flags waved.

"Come on. You have to get out at some point. And we don't mean back home for Pops and step-family time over the weekend."

It'd been a week since Kurt had stood in discomfort before Blaine's door, unaware of any betrayal, heartache, or bliss to come. Kurt was now blindfolded with a Dalton crimson and navy necktie, and was being forcibly pulled down the hallway by Wes and David's capable hands.

"I am going out. Finn's coming to pick me up in a few hours, and I'll be home for the weekend."

"Going home doesn't count as getting out, Kurt," and the hands continued to drag him through the halls.

"Fine," he conceded while continuing to dig his loafered-heals into the carpet. "At least tell me what horror you're delivering me upon so I can pray to the appropriate fashion gods."

His captors stumbled to a halt. The tie was removed and replaced by hands over his eyes. He felt someone brush against his hair, he hoped returning it to its perfect placement. He heard the creaking of heavy doors being thrust open and was edged forward into a cool open space. The hands flew from his face and Kurt found himself in the darkened sitting room where he and Blaine had sat together singing Christmas tunes a few short months prior. Shadowy figures lined the walls, and the fire in the grate, the only light in the place, cast strange, dancing shapes about the room.

The piano in the corner began to play, strong notes ringing into the darkness, and a shadow with dapper curls stepped from the edge into the center of the room.

Blaine's voice was rich, but filled with emotion. He was no John Hiatt, and his voice caught and cracked more than once. And if Kurt thought too much, the song didn't seem entirely appropriate for what he believed the intended sentiment to be. But he didn't want to think too hard.

It was beautiful.

The Warblers joined in with simple Oooo's, Hmmmm's, and Ahh's, and that was beautiful, too. But when the central crooner fell to his knees before him and plucked up Kurt's hand and held it in his, the heat of embarrassment and confrontation spread across his cheeks.

And as the lines, "You see time, time is our friend, Cause for us, there is no end," filled the room, the Warblers voices began to rise, and they formed two lines filing out of the room around Kurt and Blaine. As each passed they placed a comforting hand upon Kurt's shoulder. From behind him all the voices joined in with a penultimate "Have a little faith in me," before the doors closed and Blaine stood. He took both of Kurt's hands in his own, belting out,

"Hey, hey! All ya gotta do for me girl

Is have a little faith in me."

The super-grin was absent from Blaine's face, though a warm smile had settled upon his lips and reached all the way to his eyes. Kurt's hands shook near-imperceptibly, and his expression, though flushed, gave no indication of his reaction to Blaine's presentation.

"Kurt, I... am so sorry for everything. I will never hurt you again. Will you... go steady with me?"

"Blaine... no."

Blaine's face fell, but then quickly lifted, "Would you consider just... dating me?"

Kurt's unreadable expression began to shift into a wry smile, "I'll consider it."

Blaine's own smile grew from warm and approachable to a thousand-watt grin. "You'll give me a chance to make right?"

"Yes. And Blaine, I'm sorry, too. For behaving the way I did."

Blaine shook his head softly, dismissing Kurt's apology as unnecessary. He stepped away and pulled a bouquet of red and white roses from behind an arm chair.

"Kurt Hummel, will you be my Valentine?"


Kurt left with Finn to be home for the weekend, but returned Monday, Valentine's Day with a steadily growing optimism that although things weren't yet quite right, they were continually progressing toward the better.

Monday night, Blaine took Kurt out. He was a perfect gentleman, holding doors, pulling out chairs, handling the bill, and complimenting and engaging with his slightly reserved, though polite and delightful date. As the two strolled the downtown streets taking in the Valentine's revelers, Blaine took a chance and laced his fingers between Kurt's.

Kurt's bright eyes took in their hands there together, then turned upon Blaine's hazel ones. Blaine knew that there was still so much to be done, so many conversations to come before their friendship and relationship would be fully repaired. And he felt this night was a step in the right direction.

"I love you, Kurt," he chanced, knowing that he may be speaking too soon.

But Kurt didn't drop his hand or pull away, just continued to smile that quiet smile.

And that was progress.

Song Note: John Hiatt's "Have a Little Faith In Me" used without permission, and with no harm intended.
Thank you for reading! An even heavier plot twist, but I think that makes the end even lighter... 3