Title: Heart Strings
Inspiration: Darren playing guitar. 3
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters or the songs: "Iris" by Goo Goo Dolls, "Teenage Dream" by Katy Perry or "Love Story" by Taylor Swift
Notes: I agonized over Blaine's song choice for this. And I'm still not sure if I'm happy with it. XD

Blaine isn't looking at him but Kurt can't look away. "It's been awhile," the older boy says into his own collarbone, something like a smile on his lips. His eyes dart up for half a second before dropping back down. "So I'm apologizing in advance."

Kurt can only vaguely nod at that. He's listening, but more he's looking. Because how can he not?

They're sitting in Blaine's room, Blaine in his desk chair and Kurt on the edge of the bed. Blaine has his entire self turned toward Kurt and he's so close their knees are practically touching. The clock-radio on the desk nearby burns almost midnight in the artificial dusk they've created and there's something just humming between them. Like all this sexual frustration that they've built up has come alive and sentient and is pacing the barely-there distance separating them, impatient.

And Blaine's hair is all odd: part-fluffy from where he had been nervously carding a hand through and part-dapper from where the massive amounts of product inflicted upon it had held out. They're both in sleepwear; Kurt, a regal, faded red pajama set and Blaine a pair of flannel pants and a grey tee-shirt with DALTON WARBLERS stamped across the front in navy blue.

"You'll be fine," Kurt assures him, voice airy and light. He licks his lips shortly, adding, "I really want you to." And then he lays a hand on Blaine's knee and smiles all soft and hopeful.

Blaine is looking at his lips through his lashes before he nods. "Okay." He takes in a deep breath and tilts forward a little, his eyes down once more, and Kurt really might die if he doesn't have those practically-glowing hazel eyes on his for this. Of course, he also might die if he does have them because holy shit, that might prove to be just too much. There's a breath's hesitation and then Blaine is moving.

His tongue parts his lips in concentration and then his fingers are lying on strings. He strums in a wide motion, open and loose but the sound that comes out is intimate and keeping the two of them strung together in their own little word. Connecting them, even though Blaine is doing a good job of curling himself around his guitar and keeping his eyes on his blurred hand. Kurt is watching him with something akin to fascination because he's suddenly recognized the song.

Blaine plays for a little longer, skipping on singing the first verse to trip through the melody of it. It's a simple play but Blaine wasn't lying when he said it had been awhile. He hasn't played since coming to Dalton really, so he drops a few notes and some come out noticeably off. Blaine winces but Kurt finds it outside his ability to care. He's too wrapped up in this beautiful boy playing a broken song for him. And then Blaine does sing.

He starts out hesitantly, with the last few lines before the chorus, and Kurt is struck by how very different this Blaine is from the Blaine he's seen performing before the Warblers and audiences alike. There are no goofy faces, for one. The song doesn't call for it, but that hasn't necessarily stopped Blaine before. Not to mention the fact that he's entirely stationary aside from coaxing the notes from his guitar. There's no bobbing, weaving, or swaying, no climbing on furniture, no rending of garments. Just Blaine: sitting in his pajamas and playing his guitar, for Kurt.

When the chorus starts, Kurt's breath is caught. He knows the song of course and knows what to expect but he wasn't exactly prepared for it coming from Blaine. "And I don't want the world to see me," Blaine sings, eyes up, finally, but closed, "'Cause I don't think that they'd understand." His voice breaks a little on that last word and it's a show of emotion rising over just a performance. "When everything's made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am." Blaine picks up the instrumental in earnest then, head dipping down again, lips pressed together.

And somewhere in the middle of it, Kurt's hand ended up back on Blaine's knee. And Blaine still hasn't looked at him because maybe he's a little embarrassed, maybe he's blushing even. Because it really has been awhile since he's played and Kurt is blushing too (but high on his cheeks, fueled by something other than embarrassment) and he's just watching him. Watching him like Blaine could be playing freaking "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and Kurt would still adore him like he's doing right now. So Blaine watches his fingers pick over the strings, getting a little dizzy from the gentle pattern as his voice moves on auto-pilot for the last few lyrics.

And when it ends, it hurts. Kurt, not Blaine. It hurts like finishing a novel where the two main characters love each other but don't get together. It hurts like knowing the exact and perfect word for something but not being able to roll it off the tip of your tongue. It hurts like dissatisfaction and yearning. It hurts like he wants Blaine to keep playing and pulling on strings forever and always. It hurts, so he's silent and just sort of staring at Blaine's hand resting on the pick guard, fingertips curling anxiously over the surface. The smile has slipped from his face.

"Uhm. So I guess my skills rusted more than I thought?" Blaine ventures tentatively, taking Kurt's silence for horror or disgust.

"No," Kurt says on a rush of air. "Absolutely not. It was… You play beautifully and your voice… Well that was… That was really singing."

Blaine pulls a face at that, confused. "Wait, if that was singing then what have I been doing all this time?" There's a hint of teasing in his tone but the question is sincere.

"Performing, mostly," Kurt answers, just as sincere. His hand pressures into Blaine's knee and the older boy finally looks up, through the curls falling over his forehead. He's draped over his guitar and Kurt has got his perfect posture as always and even if he is leaning forward a bit there's still about two inches between them and about the same between their faces. "Performing, that's all for Them." Like the royal We, the ubiquitous, ambiguous Them lurks with capitalization, representing everyone Blaine's ever sung to, apparently. "That," Kurt nods to indicate the guitar and their eyes meet, finally, for the first time really. It makes a smile bloom on Kurt's mouth, full and ripe. "That was singing; just for you."

Blaine meets his smile just as openly and shakes his head, leaning in even closer. "And you," he amends.

Kurt flushes. "Thank you. For singing for me."

"For not performing," Blaine responds, because he gets it.

Kurt's smile gets impossibly bigger, like you-make-me-feel-like-I'm-living-a-teenage-dream big and nods. "For not performing," he echoes. And his hand is still on Blaine's knee and Blaine can feel it there, feel it like a waking limb except good and so how can he help but to lean forward and kill the half-inch that kept them apart?

It's soft and simple and sweet, like a Taylor Swift song (except Blaine hates Taylor Swift because, really, did girlfriend ever actually read Romeo and Juliet or The Scarlet Letter?) and like those little ditties Blaine is sure he'll have it stuck in his head for days to come. Unlike "you be the prince and I'll be the princess" though, Blaine thinks he'll enjoy humming this moment through the halls of Dalton.

Kurt is the first one to pull back and he does it like a stretch in the sun. His eyes stay closed for a moment after; Blaine just watches his face. Watches the minute muscles of his jaw and throat as he swallows. Watches the press of air as he exhales a little shakily. Watches, finally, those striking never-quite-only-blue eyes open and meet his own.

Kurt's humming under his breath and then singing one of the lyrics that Blaine had skipped: "And all I can taste is this moment…" And then he giggles because it's all rather literal and figurative at the same time. And this moment, by the way, Brittany, did not taste like dip or burgers or certainly not armpit.

"Sing something with me," Blaine suddenly requests. His smile is shot wide, like and-a-medium-drip-for-my-friend-Billy-Crystal wide.

And Kurt laughs when Blaine haltingly picks out "Love Story" and rolls his eyes but he sings along with Blaine anyway and when the song ends, it doesn't hurt because (well, it's a Taylor Swift song, but also because) he's kissing Blaine, their fingers interlaced over the strings of the guitar between them.

AN: Hope you enjoyed it! Let me know, please!
Thanks! -ProbDef