LAST CHAPTER! *tear* I've had such a wonderful time writing this fic. Your reviews have made me SO happy, and remind me on a daily basis why I love writing. I appreciate every single one of you, from the enthusiastic reviewers to the silent alerters and favoriters. I'd like to make a quick shout-out to The Other, who's reviewed practically every chapter! You always make me smile :) Same goes to Supermegafoxyawesomehot7 and mcrgirl2500 and Krustel and ChroniclesofNarniaGoTandSJA. You guys rock!
Kurt awoke to the soothing sound of rain on the tent's protective outer layer. It was a constant pitter-patter, not exactly pouring, but definitely stronger than a drizzle. His first instinct was to groan and snuggle deeper into his down pillow and duvet. Then he realized that his pillow was Blaine's arm and his duvet was a giant sleeping bag.
He had to lay there for a moment and just absorb it all. The cliff incident, their first kiss, the fight, the talk on the shore. It all rushed back to him. He opened his eyes, glad that there was no blinding sun shining in. It was a dim gray light, just bright enough for Kurt to make out his surroundings. Blaine was still fast asleep, snoring lightly. Kurt had to resist kissing his slightly parted lips, not wanting to wake him up, and instead reached out slowly to grab his comb from his bag. His arm was hit with a wave of cold, and he drew back quickly. The warmth Blaine was emitting was like a protective shield, keeping the sleeping bag distinctly hotter than the frigid, rainy morning air. Nevertheless, Kurt did not want Blaine to awake to his awful bed-head two days in a row, so, with a deep breath, he shot out a hand and snatched up the comb. Blaine mumbled in his sleep. Kurt paused, worried, but his boyfriend simply readjusted his head and continued to dream.
Just as Kurt had finished fixing up his hair as best he could without any product, he heard Blaine wake with a sharp intake a breath. He glanced down at the older teen, whose hair was a curly untamable mess, and smiled.
"Morning." The guitarist's voice was rough from sleep.
"How's your shoulder feeling?" Kurt asked. He allowed himself to be pulled back into Blaine's embrace, grinning uncontrollably at the butterfly kisses being brushed over his face.
"Sore," he confessed. "Sort of like I fell off a cliff or something? I know, weird, right?"
Kurt laughed. It must not have been hurting him too badly, then. "Come on, let me redo the bandages."
"But I'm so comfortable!" he pouted, not released his hold on the countertenor.
"Blaine, dear, we're leaving today, remember?" he reminded, brushing his curls away from his hazel eyes with a gentle finger. "We can't stay here forever, as much as we might like to..."
Blaine sighed dramatically but allowed Kurt to pull him into a sitting position and remove his top. Goosebumps erupted over his exposed chest. Kurt did not help this condition by tracing his icy fingertips over his abs. He gasped a little; Kurt snickered. He brought out the first aid kit from the corner of the tent and set to work readdressing his shoulder. There was a bit of dried blood on the gauze, but nothing worrisome. The scrape was already beginning to scab up. He rewrapped it with fresh bandages, though, just to be safe.
"When did you become so good at that?" Blaine asked.
"At taking care of injuries," he clarified, watching his boyfriend in interest as he repackaged the first aid kit. The brunette's movements slowed at the question. Blaine could see his eyes turn distant, remembering something.
"I- Oh, you know, just from practice," he shrugged carefully. "I didn't want my dad to know when I got hurt, so I usually had to treat it myself. In the middle school, when the bullying began, I became pretty good at it."
Blaine frowned. He did not like the thought of Kurt being hurt from such a young age. It angered him. He was overcome with a protective instinct, causing him to wrap his arms around Kurt's waist and draw him closer once more. Kurt laughed lightly; he knew what had caused this sign of affection.
"Don't worry, Blaine," he assured, kissing him briefly, "it's in the past. And besides, it came in handy this weekend, didn't it?"
He nodded silently. "But it's not the end..." The truth of this killed him. "We're gay, Kurt. There's always going to be somebody who doesn't approve of who we are, who'll want to hurt us..."
Kurt hugged him tightly, mouth close to his ear so he could whisper, "Then it's a good thing I have such a wonderful boyfriend who'll always be there when those homophobes come by, isn't it?"
Blaine chuckled. Yes. He would be there. He would protect Kurt with his life. At that moment, he felt like they could take on the world.
Ethan emerged from his tent at the same time they did. There was a long pause, in which none of them spoke, none of them moved, none of them even seemed to breathe. How were they supposed to act? After everything that had gone down the day previous, there was really no easy way to interact with one another. No matter what, it was going to be uncomfortable.
Finally, Ethan broke the silence. "Hi."
"Hey," Kurt returned, smiling hesitantly.
"Morning," Blaine put in with a polite nod.
Ethan stared at them morosely for a moment longer, and there was something in his gaze that reassured Kurt. He had come to terms with their relationship. He had accepted that Kurt was Blaine's. And perhaps he had not quite moved on yet, but at least he was willing to now. That was all Kurt could ask for.
Blaine must have noticed this, too, because he shocked Kurt by inviting, "Eat breakfast with us?"
Ethan was equally taken aback. But then his face broke into that blinding white smile Kurt found he'd almost missed. "Of course!" He joined them as they headed for the campfire, where a couple other Warblers were already seated, rubbing their hands together to try and warm their freezing fingers. The rain had faded to a misting drizzle, not enough to keep them in their tents, but noticeably damp. Kurt mourned what it must have been doing to his hair.
"I can't believe we're going back," Ethan opined thoughtfully.
"Same," Kurt admitted. "This weekend went by so fast..."
"And so much happened," Blaine agreed. He handed a cup of instant coffee to Kurt, who took it gratefully and brought it close to his face to let the steam heat his cold nose. "It'll be so weird going back to classes and homework and Warbler practice..."
"But I really can't wait to get to proper toilets," Kurt muttered. "Where there's no raccoons around." Both Blaine and Ethan laughed – Ethan, a bit confused – at the bitterness in his voice. "I mean, nature's pretty and all, but it simply doesn't cut it as a bathroom. It's totally unsanitary, and all the animals-"
"You know, Homo sapiens did their business in the wilderness for millions of years," Ethan pointed out, amused.
"Do I look like a caveman to you?" he snapped. They snorted and tried to hide their mirth in their mugs. "Well, I must admit, though, it's been pretty nice...It could have been much worse."
"Really?" Blaine looked quite excited at that. "And here I thought you hated camping..."
"I do!" he promised quickly. "But...it's really beautiful here, and it was a nice break from school work."
Blaine smirked. "Does this mean I can take you camping this summer?"
Kurt blanched. "Don't even think about it, Blaine Anderson!"
They chuckled at the expected reaction. Blaine knew he would not be able to convince him to do this any more than was absolutely necessary. He did not mind. He much more enjoyed seeing Kurt somewhere he felt comfortable and at home. He immediately began making a mental list of places Kurt might like to go. There were so many things he wanted to show him, to do with him. And they had all the time in the world for him to do so.
"You'll come next year, though, right?" Ethan pressed.
Kurt kept silent at that, pointedly ignoring the question and sipping at his coffee. But they both knew that was a 'yes.' He might have despised the lack of plumping and electricity, but he was no spoilsport. If it was a Warbler tradition, then he would endure. That was just the kind of guy he was.
"Oh, Kurt...How's your hip?" Ethan asked.
Blaine's stomach dropped. Oh my god, how did I forget that? Some boyfriend I'm being...
"Hmm?" Kurt looked up. From his expression, he'd forgotten about it as well. His hand wandered to the hip in question, pressing it gently. Then, in an innocent move that nonetheless had Blaine's heart racing, he pulled down the waistband of his jeans just enough to expose the hipbone. Blaine had to fill his thoughts with things distinctly unsexy to keep from getting turned on too much. Luckily, the sight of Kurt's minor injury fulfilled that purpose. Not that it was lucky Kurt got hurt – quite the opposite! The bruise was the size of an egg, already beginning to fade from purple to yellowish-green. "Oh, it's fine..."
Ethan frowned at the sight. "I'm so sorry, Kurt, I didn't-"
"Hey! Stop. It's all in the past," Kurt interrupted firmly. "Although, I must admit, you've really got a sharp elbow there..."
The blond flushed and covered the offensive body part as if hoping to keep it from causing any more harm. The conversation went from there onto lighter topics, such as the lying weather reports and what they predicted they would have to do for make-up work in their classes. Kurt smiled to himself. After everything that went down, he was glad they could all get along again and put it behind them. It was nice not having to worry about who liked who and who was on the verge of throwing a punch.
The Warblers packed up that morning in the gray light offered from the mostly-hidden sunrise. The gentle rain continued to fall, never heavy enough to bring out raincoats, but covering everything in a thin layer of dew. Just as they were leaving, a little after midday, the sky broke to allow a ray of sunlight through onto the lake, making it sparkle. It was a scene straight out of a fairytale.
Kurt came up to Blaine and took his arm, breathing eagerly into his ear. "Blaine, look, look!"
Blaine's eyes followed to where he was pointing. There was a faint rainbow in the sky over the treetops. He smiled. Kurt's enthusiasm about this finding was absolutely adorable. He kissed him, not caring who saw. "It's beautiful."
Kurt beamed. "It really is..."
They stared into each other's eyes for an immeasurable amount of time, rainbow completely forgotten, until Wes came by and oh-so-casually walked between them. "Let's get a move on, you lovebirds! If you just stand there we'll leave without you!"
"No you wouldn't," Blaine chuckled. But nevertheless he grabbed Kurt's hand and moved to pick up his bag.
"No, please, let me!" Kurt rushed. "I don't want you to strain your shoulder..."
He laughed. "Relax, Kurt, I'm fine! It's already scabbing, remember? I think I can handle a couple tents."
Kurt frowned. In the end they compromised – Blaine took the tents, but Kurt carried his duffle for him. When everything and everyone was loaded into the bus, Kurt gave one last look back towards the campsite. So much had happened in the span of three short days...There had been flirting, yelling, singing, bleeding, swimming, and kissing. Kurt had learned about Ethan and Blaine's past, saved Blaine from drowning, nearly gotten attacked by a huge raccoon, and finally got together with the boy he liked and might even possibly loved. He survived all weekend in nature and didn't regret going one bit. He never could have prepared himself for everything that had happened. Wes had been right; it had been the 'Weekend to be Remembered.'
Blaine slid an arm around him as the limo-bus took off down the dirt road, weaving through the woods, and planted a gentle kiss on his neck.
"Let's go home..."
FINN. (Glee pun ftw)
Wait, it's over? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?
Well, since you've all been so amazing with your reviews and faves and alerts...THERE SHALL BE A SEQUEL.
And it is entirely thanks to my reviewers :D The idea came to me when I was reading the latest reviews this morning and tearing up at how kind and supportive and encouraging everyone was. I was just as sad as you were that it was ending, when all of a sudden an idea for a sequel hit me! And I was like HALLELUJAH, PEOPLE DON'T HAVE TO CRY ABOUT IT BEING OVER! XD lol jk, I know nobody would cry. But you get the point.
It's called "Washing Away." You can find it by going to my profile, or just searching for it. :) Thanks again, everyone! Now go continue the adventure ;)
P.S. The lovely Anju has translated this fic into Japanese, for those of you that are interested! :D You can find it here: x99 . peps . jp / gleek / ?guid=on&cn=6 (take out the spaces)