A/N: Eeep, it's so close to the end, I'm genuinely shocked I'm going to finish this fic. I hope you guys enjoy this chapter… it's about freaking time, haha. For anyone interested, I did some dodgy photoshop work and created Tyler's EP cover and it's posted on my profile.
"I'm still not sure why you're here." Blaine said, walking across his room and grabbing the three ties he'd set out.
"Because," Mel sighed. "Don't you want this to feel like a real date?"
"But that still doesn't explain you, here."
"Well, wouldn't it be weird going and picking Kurt up for your first real date in five years and I'm just sitting around on the couch watching reruns of Grey's Anatomy?"
"You'd be watching Friends or Scrubs before Grey's Anatomy. You hate that show."
"I do." She said. "But I've found myself up late a couple of nights in a row and it's the only thing on that's not a documentary or porn disguised as a foreign film and… McDreamy is pretty dreamy."
"Really? I was always more into McSteamy."
"Ok, way off track." She grabbed the purple tie from his hands and held it out. "This one, purple brings out your eyes."
"Are you sure?"
"Very. But anyway… the point is, you don't want me around when you're picking up Kurt."
"You could have hidden in your bedroom." He headed back to the bathroom and she followed, standing in the open doorway as he put the tie on.
"You and I both know I wouldn't be able to control myself. No!" Blaine had reached for a bottle of hair gel and she snatched it off him quickly, slapping his hand in the process. "No gel."
"But…" He ran fingers through his hair. "It's a mess Mel! I can't go on a date with Kurt looking like this when he looks so… so…"
"So much like a porcelain doll? Ok, here, let me." She put a small amount of gel in her hands and rubbed it gently through his curls. It was just enough to tame them, and keep the frizz down, but his hair wasn't plastered to his head. "See, you look fine. Which jacket are you wearing?"
"The one on the bed."
"Uh," Mel bit her lip at the navy jacket.
"What? What's wrong with it?"
"Go with black."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, I'm sure. Go with black."
Blaine pulled another jacket from his wardrobe. He shrugged his arms through it, letting it settle over the white detailed shirt he was wearing. He turned to the mirror in his room and started fixing up the sleeves and readjusting his tie.
"Blaine." Mel stood behind him, both hands on his shoulders and stood on the balls of her feet to be level with him. "You look fine."
He raised an eyebrow.
"Better than fine." She corrected. "You look hot."
"Oh yeah." She smoothed down the shoulders of his jacket for a moment before letting go and stepping back from him. "Kurt is a lucky guy."
Blaine shook his head. "No, I'm the lucky guy."
"Oh for God's sake, you're going to make me throw up."
"Ah, come on Mel, you love it."
"No." She shook her head. "I really don't."
"So… what are you doing tonight anyway?" He asked.
She shrugged. "After a little while I'll head back to mine. Leave this place empty." She winked at him. "And… chill, I suppose. Perv on McSteamy a little more."
"That's a pathetic Saturday night."
"Sorry, not all of us are able to get hot dates."
"Now go. Don't leave Kurt waiting. He told me not to tell you, but… he was a bit of a nervous wreck when I was leaving."
"Why?" Blaine looked alarmed.
Mel laughed. "Because he's going on a date with you, you dumbass."
"Right." He adjusted his tie one more time.
"It's fine Blaine. Go. Have fun… and as much of it as you want." She leant up and kissed him on the cheek before he grabbed his keys and wallet and shoved them in his pocket. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."
"Yeah, ok. Oh, and Mel," he stopped.
"Thank you. For everything."
x x x
Blaine couldn't remember ever being so nervous. He kept repeating to himself 'it's just Kurt. It's just Kurt' but no matter how hard he tried to convince himself he knew he couldn't. Because it wasn't just Kurt, it would never be just Kurt. It was Kurt Hummel. The boy he'd met at seventeen, and even then he'd known it wasn't just a teenage crush. It was more than that. There weren't words for how he felt about Kurt. There weren't words for what they had.
He knew because he'd tried. Somewhere in his room was a notebook of half filled pages, words crossed out all over the place because he'd never been able to find the right ones. They didn't exist. And if they did, he had yet to find them.
The cab pulled up to Kurt's (well, Mel's technically) building. He told the driver to keep the meter ticking and he wouldn't be long.
In the elevator he took a few deep breaths, and tried to steady his pounding heart. It didn't work. He hadn't expected it to though.
He slowly approached the apartment. Each step was a little more intimidating than the last.
"Ok, Blaine, you can do this," he muttered to himself, then knocked on the door. He could hear something from inside the apartment and thought he could hear a faint voice call out "coming!".
This would be fine; he could do this. He'd gone on a million dates with Kurt before, this was jut another... and holy hell those were tight pants.
The door had swung open and Blaine's brain promptly faltered, and stopped functioning all together. His eyes raked Kurt's body, and he was most definitely leering in a way that was not at all socially acceptable, but what was to be expected of him when Kurt was wearing that?
Kurt was dressed in really, really tight black jeans that looked like they'd been painted on (really though, how long did it take him just to put them on?) and a bright red, long sleeve, wool knit sweater over a plain white collared shirt. His hair wasn't in its usual perfectly coiffed style, but instead looked like it had been done to make it seem as though he'd run his hands through it a few times, a couple of stray strands falling casually over his forehead (though, they without a doubt were meticulously placed there). Blaine couldn't help but wonder if Kurt had intentionally done it because he knew it was his favourite look on him.
When Blaine finally met Kurt's eyes he realised just how much he'd been staring and cleared his throat.
"You uh... you look good," what he really wanted to say was 'let's forget this party and skip ahead to the part where there significantly less clothing and a bed, or even just a wall will do, I'm not too fussy right now, as long as there's you, and your skin, and your mouth...'but that would probably fall under really, really inappropriate.
"Thanks." Kurt's face lit up with a smile that suddenly made him look years younger. "You look good too."
"Right, so uh... shall we go then?"
As they walked back to the elevator, Blaine put his arm around Kurt's waist and pulled him closer, just because this was a date, and he could. And it was something he'd really missed. Kurt let out the smallest, cutest, gasp at suddenly being pressed up against Blaine's side, but didn't protest. That gasp, was probably one of the most amazing sounds Blaine had ever heard.
The cab ride to the party was mostly quiet.
"When we get there, I'm going to have to do a bit of stuff for work, talk to some people and all that," Blaine said. "I won't just abandon you though, I just thought you should know so you dot think I'm rude dragging you around the room talking to random people."
"I expected as much," Kurt said. "And it's fine if you just want to... drop me off at the bar or something." He trailed off a little at the end, staring intensely at his hands.
"And leave you for some other guy to hit on you?" Blaine scoffed. "No way."
Kurt smiled at him.
"Besides I want to introduce you to the people I work with. They'll be relieved."
"They never say it directly, but the number of times they'd be talking about someone they know and slip in a 'he's single you know?' into the conversation was enough to drive me crazy."
"It's nice that they care about you so much." Kurt said.
"I suppose. But at least now they'll see I'm not completely incompetent and am actually able to get a date myself."
"Oh, I see," Kurt said, with a sparkle in his eye. "This isn't about you and me at all. This is all just to get your colleagues to stop trying to set you up."
"Yeah, you caught me."
"It's ok," Kurt, in a moment of daring leaned over and whispered in Blaine's ear. "I'll make you forget all about them."
Blaine could barely suppress the shudder that ran down his spine as Kurt's hot breath tickled his ear.
"That's," his voice came out suddenly several pitches higher, and strained, he coughed. "That's good to know."
Kurt smirked in a way Blaine hadn't even known he could, it was self-satisfaction, with a hint of wickedness, and Blaine wondered if it was something he'd learnt over the years. He… kind of really didn't mind this side of Kurt.
They pulled up to the venue and Blaine quickly handed the fare amount to the driver.
"Wait, let me at least pay for half." Kurt insisted, reaching for his wallet.
"No. I'm taking youout, that means I pay."
"No." Blaine shook his head firmly.
Before they walked in, Blaine grabbed Kurt's hand, if the other man noticed how hot and clammy his hand was, he thankfully didn't mention it.
Inside, the lighting was dim; Blaine could see the stage was already set up for Tyler's performance, a short set later in the evening. Currently though dance music filled the room, though no one was actually dancing yet, just mingling. The bar was to the right, and looked fairly busy (probably because 'open bar' had been printed quite clearly on the invites), there were waiters and waitresses moving through the crowd with platters of finger food. Blaine managed to spot Tyler and started to weave his way through the crowd over to him, bringing Kurt along with him.
"Tyler!" he shouted over the music and voices.
The blonde man heard his name and spotted Blaine, his face lit up immediately.
"Blaine! Hey man, how's it going?"
Blaine had to drop Kurt's hand to accept Tyler's offered hug. As they pulled apart, Tyler's gaze fell on Kurt and he gave Blaine a knowing look, and a not so subtle wink that made Blain blush a little (and suddenly he was thankful the room wasn't very bright).
"Uh, Kurt, Tyler, Tyler, Kurt. I know you've met briefly before but uh... yeah." He finished lamely.
"Nice to meet you Kurt." Tyler had on his most charming smile and held his hand out.
Kurt shook it.
"Yeah, nice to meet you," he gave a forced smile. "I'm looking forward to hearing your music later."
"Oh really? Awesome. Let me know what you think too, I can sign a copy if you want; it's really no problem. I have to go and talk to more people, and have an interview soon, but uh... have good time yeah?" his eyes flickered between them, and he leant forward and whispered to them. "There are some empty rooms backstage if you want. Just say the word yeah?"
Blaine spluttered as Tyler walked off and Kurt's jaw was practically on the ground.
"Did he just..."
"Yep. I wish I could say he was joking, but I don't think he was."
"What did you ever see in him?"
"A cute smile?"
"Right." Kurt said, but there was a hint of an amused smile on his face.
x x x
Mel had dressed up, she was wearing a black strappy dress, that was probably a little too short, but she had good legs and knew it so it was worth showing them off, and sheer black stocking, with black boots that reached mid-calf, her hair fell in lose curls down her back, and she'd gone for a smoky eye make up look. She'd normally dress a little more formally for work related events. But this was Tyler and... she kind of wanted him to drool over her a little. Or a lot. Whatever.
At the door, she gave the bouncer her name and the name of the magazine she was from. Suddenly a tall, blonde woman appeared.
"Hi, Melinda right? I'm Karen, public relations for SBA. We have a room set up for the interview, so if you'll just follow me."
Karen led her behind the stage, to what she assumed was the green room. As soon as they entered, Tyler stood up. When he actually realised it was her, his mouth fell open.
"Mel?" he asked.
"Oh, you two know each other already? That's great. I'll leave you to it then."
"W-what? I thought you were busy."
"I was," she shrugged. "I have to interview this musician and write up a review on his EP."
"But... ok, I'm kind of confused."
"Let's sit down shall we?" she offered, pulling out a tape recorder from her bag.
"Look," she sighed. "I was telling the truth when I said I had something for work. I just, I didn't want our first date to be all about me interviewing you. I didn't tell you because... I don't know, I guess I wanted it to be a surprise, which now seems like it was a bad idea…"
"Colour me shocked then."
"Do you understand though?"
"I… guess I do," he said. "But I wish you'd just told me. Does Blaine know?"
"No. Oh, by the way, are they here?"
"Yep," he nodded. "They were holding hands and blushing at each other. It was kind of cute in a... vomit inducing way... why do you look disappointed."
"I was hoping they'd not quite make it… you know?"
"Oh," Tyler chuckled. "I offered them one of the dressing rooms."
"Oh my god! What did they say?"
"They were kind of speechless."
"Honestly, I would have paid to see how red Kurt's face got. He's honestly such a blushing virgin sometimes. It's too cute."
"It went pretty red." Tyler said, and Mel giggled at the image of his reaction her mind conjured up.
"Ok, let's get this interview over with." Mel said. "Then we can actually do something more interesting."
"Are you going to be nice to me in your article?"
"Maybe," she smirked. "It depends."
"If I tell you, you'll cheat."
x x x
After talking to just about every person from the office (and Blaine would admit, that thrill of saying 'This is my date, Kurt.' didn't ever wear off, and once or twice he may have let his mind wander off to imagining what it would be like to say 'This is my boyfriend, Kurt') Blaine and Kurt finally found themselves sitting at one of the tables, each with a glass of red wine. Their knees were just touching as they were forced to lean in close to be able to talk to each other.
Kurt was talking about Rachel's wedding plans, but Blaine was too distracted with the way Kurt keep flicking a piece of hair out of his eyes, it was stubborn and kept falling back.
"Here," he reached out and pushed the piece of hair back in it's place. Kurt froze and was stared at him. Blaine realised what he'd done and blushed. "Sorry, I know you don't like people touching your hair," his hand hadn't left Kurt's face, but had slipped down and was cupping his cheek. He wasn't sure what he was doing anymore. The more logical part of his brain was screaming at him to move his hand, but the part that had decided to take control was too busy revelling in the fact that he was touching Kurt, and how soft his skin was, and that he could feel Kurt's cheek warming a little in a blush to listen.
"I don't mind so much when it's you."
Blaine almost didn't hear what Kurt said, he spoke so softly.
"Really?" he hoped the way his voice was shaking a little wasn't obvious.
Blaine stroked along Kurt's cheekbone with his thumb. His skin was just so soft.
"Still moisturise at night?" he asked, feeling a little foolish. Of all things to blurt out, really?
"Of course." Kurt breathed out.
"Kurt, I..." he wasn't really aware of what he was doing anymore, all he knew was that Kurt had just licked his lips and suddenly Blaine couldn't take his eyes off them. The rest of the room seemed to disappear until it was just the two of them. He leant forward, and when Kurt followed the movement, leaning in slightly as well, he was encouraged. His lips ghosted over Kurt's in a feather light touch. Kurt sighed and his breath tickled Blaine's lips. The hand that had now slipped down to the base of Kurt's neck tightened slightly, pulling him a fraction closer, and he didn't seem to be protesting at all.
"Alright, hey everyone! How are you tonight?"
The room suddenly hushed and Blaine jerked back in shock.
"Oh." he heard a breathy sigh from Kurt next to him and Blaine may or may not have slammed his palm on the table, a little harder than he meant to, perfecttiming, Tyler… he thought sarcastically. But, he turned his attention to the stage where Tyler sat on a stool, with a guitar in his arms.
"So uh, I'm Tyler, and thank you for coming tonight. It means a lot to me. Even if some of you are paid to be here," he looked to someone Blaine couldn't see, standing to the right of the stage. Tyler smirked at whoever it was. "Anyway, I'm was hoping you'd like to actually hear some of the songs, so you can go home and tell your friends and family about this amazing musician you heard called Tyler Blake and that they should buy his EP, on iTunes," he gave a bit of a nervous laugh. "Um, so this song is called Gravity, because I think it's a rule for every musician to have a song called Gravity. It's about um, well, being in love with someone who's in love with someone else."
He started picking out the intro. As soon as he started singing the first verse it was clear the audience was captivated.
"He's much better than I thought he would be." Kurt leant over to whisper to Blaine.
Blaine nodded, trying not to be distracted by how close Kurt was. Seriously, what was he? Eighteen all over again?
"Do you miss it?"
"Performing, the stage, singing?"
"Sometimes," he admitted. "But, I love this just as much," he gestured to the stage. "Helping bring out someone's potential, and watching them grow as an artist, helping them make their music. It's just as fulfilling, most of the time."
"You're really big on helping people aren't you?"
Blaine turned to meet Kurt's eyes. He nodded.
"Sometimes I just can't help it, especially when they need it. Do you want to move closer to the front?"
Blaine unnecessarily grabbed Kurt's hand and led him through the crowd. As they got to the front of the stage Tyler saw him and gave him a smile. Blaine nodded back and gave him a thumbs up, to say he was proud of him. He'd come such a long way from the arrogant boy he'd first met properly in a small Italian restaurant.
As he finished the song there was loud applause.
"Thank you. Uh, this next song is a little angrier," he started strumming out loud chords and Blaine flushed a little as he remembered the circumstances around the song All Wrong and how uncomfortable being in the studio for that one had been.
He played through the rest of the songs on the EP, and Blaine couldn't help but feel proud. As he came to the end of the set, Tyler spoke again.
"So, this last song isn't on Speechless, my EP in case you missed that. Uh... it's called Tonight and it's about this girl, that I met and uh... she's really something else, and I guess, this song is everything I've so far been too afraid to tell her," his gaze was focused firmly on someone to the right of the stage again, this time, as Blaine followed where he was looking he saw just who he was looking at. Mel stood there, looking beautiful (though she always did) her mouth open slightly in shock. Blaine was just as shocked. He thought she had something on for work, why was she here?
Tyler started strumming soft chords on the guitar.
"Oh, she's got these beautiful eyes, that the first time, took me by surprise."
Blaine watched, as Mel's expression changed from shocked to completely smitten in about three seconds and couldn't help a bit of a roll of his eyes. Of course, no girl was able to resist a guy that would write her a song. Not even Mel, who would to be tough, and say that she wasn't into romance because it was 'lame'.
"And I can't believe I got so lucky, to be seen with you, tonight." Tyler never once took his eyes off Mel.
Kurt suddenly gasped and grabbed Blaine's arm.
"Oh my God, Blaine, that's Mel he's looking at! He's singing to her. He's singing to Mel. Oh that's the sweetest thing ever, it's so romantic." He sighed.
Blaine looked at Kurt in wonder, and on an impulse, kissed him on the cheek.
"Kurt, please don't ever change."
Kurt flushed bright red.
Tyler finished with a comment about buying the EP and went off the stage, dance music started again and people dispersed, a couple of girls took to the floor the started dancing, others went to the bar, most just broke out into a conversation with the people around them. Blaine grabbed Kurt (still giddy that tonight, he could) and they both walked over to Mel.
"Melinda Valdez, just how do you explain yourself?" he asked. "I thought you were spending the night with Meredith Grey and co.?"
"Nope. Though, this isn't all just pleasure, it's work as well. I'm writing an article, and Tyler is part of it. Isn't this the best night ever?" she giggled.
"Yes!" Kurt was almost vibrating with excitement. "How long have you guys been dating and why didn't I know about it? I live with you, you've never even mentioned him."
"Oh yeah, about that, mind keeping my place empty tonight... just in case... you know…"
"Blaine?" Kurt asked.
"Oh, yeah sure... you can stay at mine, if you, uh, want," he didn't miss the mischievous glint in Mel's eyes (even if Kurt had), and would berate her about her thinly veiled plan later.
"Oh, but we're not dating, yet. We went out once sort of, accidentally. And, we're going on an actual date next Friday night. I really like him." she gave Blaine a steady glare.
"Look, Mel, I'm not going to stand in your way, you're an adult and can make your own decisions, and I'll always, alwaysbe there for you. But I still think you should be careful. Don't rush into anything, please."
"Blaine, I'll be fine, he's really a sweet guy you know? You two just clashed too much to date. Not to mention the timing was horrible for both of you."
"Yeah, ok. It just... feels like I'm losing you a little bit."
"Aw, Blaine, you'll never lose me. In fact, you're stuck with me for life, both of you." in rare affection she suddenly embraced Blaine in a tight hug, squeezing him around the waist for moment before letting go and doing the same to Kurt. "I love you guys. Now you crazy kids go and have fun. And lots of it," she winked. "I'm going to find Tyler."
She left them both, blushing insanely and not quite making eye contact.
x x x
They hadn't ended up staying right until the end of the party. In fact, they left around midnight. The trip back to Blaine's apartment was quiet. Blaine couldn't quite work out why his hands were shaking so much as he unlocked the door and let them both in. He focused on putting his keys and wallet on the kitchen bench before turning to Kurt who was standing unsurely just by the door.
"So, uh…" he gave a nervous laugh. "Make yourself comfortable, I guess. Do you want, anything?"
Kurt opened his mouth to say something, but thought better of it and stopped and just shook his head instead.
"Ok, well…" he glanced around the apartment. "Do you want a drink? Or something to eat or… anything?"
"I'm fine Blaine." Kurt said, he moved from his spot by the door until he was standing in front of Blaine. "Please don't be nervous, it's just me."
Blaine shook his head.
"It's never just you."
Kurt tilted his head questioningly.
"It's never been just you. Ever. I feel like, I could spend a lifetime with you, and even then just being in the same room as you would still make my heart beat faster," he let out a short laugh. "That probably sounds so stupid."
"Blaine." Kurt breathed, "It's not stupid at all."
Kurt moved even closer so they were almost touching. Up this close, Blaine could see all the colours in Kurt's eyes. Blue, green and grey all swirling together, in such an expression of emotion. Only, right now, he couldn't pinpoint what that emotion actually was. But he could see desire in there. He was sure he wasn't misreading that.
There was no initiator. It just happened. Their lips touched, tentatively at first, and when they each realised the other wasn't about to pull away the kiss deepened. They could both taste red wine and salmon puffs. It was long and slow as they both just savoured the feeling of each other and finally they moved apart. Breathing heavily, still clutching at each other.
"That was…" Blaine struggled to get his brain working again.
Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine's waist tightly and leant his chin on his shoulder. Blaine in turn wrapped his arms around Kurt's shoulders and they just stood there, embracing each other.
"I love you." Blaine whispered so softly he wasn't even sure he'd really said it.
Kurt didn't respond. He wanted to. But he wasn't sure if he'd imagined Blaine saying that and he'd rather imagine that he did than find out he hadn't. Then he yawned.
Blaine laughed; the vibrations of it went right through Kurt.
"Maybe we should get some sleep."
"Yeah," Kurt reluctantly let go of Blaine. But it wasn't for long. Kurt ended up borrowing a pair of track pants, and a shirt from Blaine to sleep in, and they both ended up in his bed, holding each other again. Each afraid they'd wake up and find the other not there, and that the entire night had just been a dream.