A/N; This is posted ten minutes before Glee airs tonight, so it's TECHNICALLY STILL CANNON. Whew.

Typing quick so I can go eat dinner before Glee, mrr. Anyways. I don't own Glee or Ingrid Michaelson's music.

Also! Check out my other Klaine-fics, my Blaine-centric "Home is Wherever I'm With You" and my almost-finished sick-Blaine "Gravity." Be awesome!

Love you guys gotta go watch DARREN CRISS.

Keep Breathing

What had been covertly termed "the GAP fiasco" had certainly given Kurt a lot to think about. And not just how he was going to resist the temptation the next time their scarves went on sale (because he certainly wasn't setting foot in that store for at least the rest of high school). No, the whole situation with Blaine and mop-hair was considerable food for thought. For one thing, Kurt had never seen Blaine so non-dapper (undapper? Indapper? A-dapper?) in the entirety of the three months that he'd known him, and from the reactions of the other Warblers, he got the sense that Blaine dropping the dapper was something quite uncommon. The vulnerability he had displayed at the bus stop had almost unnerved Kurt, because Blaine Was Cool. Blaine always had it all together. Except when it came to wooing, apparently.

In fact, Valentine's Day 2011 had been significantly more eventful than his normal routine: chick flicks and/or retail therapy with the girls. This in itself was something to think about, though Kurt was putting off these Big Questions as long as he could.

He pursed his lips, tapping his pencil absently. Yes, he had a lot to think about. Apparently the other Warblers did as well – the Council had called an additional meeting for this afternoon. Even the idea of Wes bending the rigid itinerary was odd; actually doing it was another matter entirely. And as the clock ticked closer to 5:15, Kurt heaved a sigh and pulled himself from his half-finished history essay. It could wait until later. For now – well, he had business to take care of.

He found himself at Blaine's door without much thought. Honestly, he could find Blaine's room in his sleep (which had nothing to do with his recent habit of locking himself in at night). He paused, his knuckles hovering a few inches from the pitted wood as he listened through the door. His eyebrows drew together as he recognized the lilting notes of an Ingrid Michaelson song.

Okay, this was still a salvageable situation, Kurt reasoned, nibbling on his lip. Blaine had a few Ingrid songs that were upbeat. He could easily be cleaning to the bouncy "Locked Up" or the deceptively cheerful "Be OK." But as Kurt continued to listen, his heart sank. Faint lyrics drifted under the door.

I want to change the world,

instead I sleep.

I want to believe in more than you and me.

All that I know is I'm breathing.

All I can do is keep breathing.

All we can do is keep breathing now.

Kurt let out his breathe in an exasperated exhale. This was worse than he thought. Preparing himself for a total warzone, he steeled himself and knocked gently.

"Blaine? It's Kurt," he called. There was a faint rustling on the other side of the door, and the music quieted.

"It's open," Blaine's voice answered. Kurt arched an eyebrow. He sounded cheerful enough. His fingers twitched to the knob and he pushed the door open with a slight nudge of his shoulder.

"Blaine?" He blinked, letting his eyes adjust to the change in lighting. Blaine sat cross-legged on the floor, his back against the side of his bed. A French textbook lay open in his lap; a thin black pen poked out from behind his ear. Blaine smiled in greeting.

"Hey. Is it almost time for rehearsal?" He stretched his arms above his head, surreptitiously drawing his wrist under his eyes. Kurt missed nothing.

"Yeah, in a little bit," he replied absently. His shoes grazed the navy carpet as he crossed the room to investigate Blaine's iPod.

"Really, Blaine? Really?" Kurt arched an eyebrow, dramatically indicating the speakers.

"What, you don't like Ingrid?"

"You know what I mean." Kurt let his gaze soften. Blaine didn't need Bitch-Kurt right now; what worked to kick an overdramatic Mercedes out of a funk didn't necessarily work for his soft-hearted Warbler pal.

Blaine plastered a look of confusion on his face, but as Kurt's sharp eyes bore down on him, the expression lapsed.

"Come on, Blaine. Talk to me." Kurt sank onto the floor across from Blaine, crossing his legs under him.

"There's nothing to talk about," Blaine hedged, avoiding Kurt's gaze. "Honestly."

"Ingrid tells me otherwise." Kurt jerked his head towards the speakers, now playing 'You and I.' His eyes flickered to Blaine's phone, lying abandoned by his French book. "You haven't been texting him, have you?"

Neither of them had to specify who "he" was. "No," Blaine countered, crossing his arms almost defensively. Once again, a pointed stare from Kurt melted his denial. "Well…only a little. I wanted to apologize for yesterday."

"Blaine, you can't keep talking to him right now." Kurt gently plucked Blaine's phone from his hands. "Give it a little time, give him some space. It'll be better for both of you."

Blaine shot him a sidelong glance. "Since when have you become the relationship expert around here?"

"New Directions has so much dating drama, I've basically learned it all without making the mistakes myself." Kurt rolled his eyes. "Anyways, it's always better to take a breather when there are dramatic upheavals like the GAP fi—the GAP attack," he covered smoothly.

"I know," Blaine sighed, running his hands through his hair. "I know. I just…yeah."

"Yeah, I know," Kurt sighed. "You don't have to say anything."

"Yeah." Blaine fell silent. Then: "It hurts."


"My…chest. My heart."

Kurt smiled a little sadly. "Yeah. They call it 'heartbreak' for a reason."

Blaine wouldn't look at him - his eyes were fixed steadily on the textbook in his lap. Kurt peered at him from under his long lashes. When the first tear fell, Kurt swallowed the Blaine-electricity buzzing through his veins and moved to sit next to his friend.

"Hey. It's okay." Kurt hesitated, then threaded his arm gingerly around Blaine, rubbing his shoulder gently. Blaine leaned into the embrace, resting his head in the hollow of Kurt's collarbone.

Neither of them said anything as they sat there and breathed, timing the rising and falling of their chests until their breathing slid effortlessly into a common rhythm. Their heartbeats fluttered together, slowing to one single pulse. Kurt felt Blaine's hot tears soak slowly through his shirt and collect against his neck. He rubbed slow circles on his shoulder, walking his fingers up and down and relaxing the tension collecting in his back and neck. And Blaine just kept breathing.

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