So I wrote this because I love these scenes, and I love this episode. When I watched the 'Blackbird' scene for the first time, I got pretty far without thinking it would be any sort of pivotal plot point. Then the camera started to spend an inordinately long time on Blaine's face, and he had this look like he had finally realized something and was happy about it. My initial reaction was 'Apparently that's happening in this episode. Oh, Glee, and its random, transparent plot devices (aka Pavarotti). A dead bird? Really?'. But then I listened, really listened, to the lyrics of 'Blackbird', and realized that maybe the thoughts running through Blaine's head in this scene could be more complex and nuanced than I had originally thought. (I had the same reaction to thinking about the lyrics of 'Misery', which really match Kurt's attitude towards Blaine from the last few episodes perfectly.) Anyway, enjoy.

Blaine is in the middle of what now seems like an incredibly pointless (and most of them are) argument with the Warblers when Kurt enters the commons with an expression of deep sorrow, and dressed to match. Blaine freezes to stare at his friend in concern, his brow furrowing. "Kurt what's wrong?"

"It's Pavarotti," Kurt explains, his voice breaking on a few syllables as it always does when he's upset. "Pavarotti's dead. I suspect a stroke."

Blaine stares at his friend in shock, concerned by the amount of pain this has caused him. "Oh my God. I'm so sorry," he comforts. It must remind him of his mom, Blaine muses. He feels a jab at the amount of pain someone so compassionate and sensitive has been forced to suffer.

"I know it's really stupid to be upset about a bird, but he…he inspired me with his optimism and his love of song. He was my friend," Kurt admits with a shrug.

Blaine is still shocked. "Now I know today we need to practice doo-woping behind Blaine while he sings every solo in the medley of Pink songs." Kurt delivers this line directly to Blaine, but Blaine reacts with only a moderately regretful half-smile, because he honestly can't find it in himself to feel frustration at Kurt right now. "But…I'd like to sing a song for Pavarotti today." Kurt's voice cracks again, and he hands a prepared cassette tape to another Warbler without comment.

Blaine sits down, worry for his friend still playing on his face. He wonders, idly, why Kurt is using a tape. Blaine listens as the mellow intro begins, though he does not look back up at Kurt for a few seconds. At first all he notes is the tone, the ambiance of the thing. He stares at nothing.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night;

Take these broken wings and learn to fly.

All your life,

You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

Blaine falls into harmony with his friends mindlessly, automatically, and for some reason, possibly because singing has always been for him a way to address his feelings and thoughts, his mind chooses to focus on the lyrics.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night;

Take these sunken eyes and learn to see.

All your life,

You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

Blackbird, fly. Blackbird, fly.

Into the light of the dark, black night.

The realization dawned slowly, if he thought about it. Quickly, when compared with how long it had almost definitely been sitting somewhere in his mind, but slowly within the context of his thought process: the way the light crew turns on one switch at a time, until the whole stage is illuminated by color. At first, he was just thinking about how well the lyrics represented his and Kurt's story. The Kurt he had met four months ago had been blinded by hardship, starving for acceptance, unable to see his own worth or feel the peace in truly being himself anymore, and Blaine had helped him learn to see. But then another, entirely more ground-breaking, interpretation struck him. He, too, was happier for having Kurt in his life. He, too, had learned something about himself.

The Warblers transitioned in harmonies. Blaine dropped out without realizing it, his mind racing, his eyes following Kurt around the room.

Kurt, he realized, being friends with Kurt, being with Kurt, was the moment he had been waiting for. Kurt had made him see, had helped him to fly, for so many reasons. By confiding in him, he had eased some of the regret Blaine felt for running from the terror of his last school. By trusting him, Kurt had made him feel like he was finally doing something about what had happened to him, by helping someone else through it. But it was more than that. Kurt had helped Blaine just by being himself, just by being there and being his closest friend. By making him so very happy. Huh, he considered his own thoughts, that's interesting. He shifts in his seat so that he faces Kurt more directly, a mirror reflecting the shift happening now in his thoughts. All these months of discovering his new friend, had it really taken him that long?

Blackbird, fly. Blackbird, fly.

Into the light of the dark, black night.

Kurt's voice continues, a soundtrack to the thoughts bouncing around Blaine's head. He has true feelings for his best friend, he realizes with a jolt. He wants to continue to learn to see together; to be more than friends. As Kurt delivers the refrain for the final few times, Blaine is somewhere between staring at Kurt and being entirely inside his own head. He is so sure of the blatancy of his epiphany that, had he not been so happy about it, he would have been truly frustrated with himself for not seeing it before.

You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

He had been. And here it was, his moment of realization. Clueless, he thinks as a smile creeps onto his face, doesn't begin to cover it.

"You know, I think Blaine's version of the song is actually better than the original."

"But it's not in his natural key, so—"

"How dare you!"

Here he is at another pointless argument. Kurt, he notices, looks like he's about to fall asleep with boredom, or maybe disappointment—Blaine can't decide which. He shakes his head and lets his eyes close for a moment in frustration, "Enough I'm tired of this." He waves a hand vaguely to the discussion around him.

"I agree. I think we should just let you pick the song that you want to sing."

"No," he counters. That hadn't been his point. He'd though about what Kurt said, and he was feeling a bit like the obnoxious, spoiled jerk that made his team all about him. "I'm tired," he explains, "of the Warblers being all about me." He points to himself for emphasis, and to call attention to the fight David has just had over his "natural key" with him sitting right there. He addresses his friend opposite him. "David please make sure everything I'm about to say goes down in the official minutes." David is writing, but the rest of the council is looking at him quizzically.

"We are going to lose at Regional's," he says emphatically.

The room erupts into exclamations of anger and disbelief, which, Blaine has to admit, is expected. Kurt, he sees with a quick glace to his right, looks awake now and moderately interested.

"I am incredibly grateful for the belief you've all given me as a junior member to lead you all in these wonderful songs this year but," (with a quick glance, Kurt is watching him with intense interest), "from what Kurt has told me about New Directions, I, I just know I can't beat them on my own. Which is why I propose that we rearrange our 11 o'clock number," (He glances at Kurt again)"and turn it into a duet."

"To showcase other talent in this group!" he practically yells around the room over the din.

"Why don't we just…play it on kazoos?" David throws his hands up in the air.

"Point of order. Point of order," Blaine cautions, jumping up from his seat. The room is quiet again, and he has the attention of the council at least, though they are looking at each other with expressions that say: what on earth is wrong with him?

"Now, we all lost one of our own this week. Pavarotti's voice was silenced by death and I, I don't want to silence anyone else's voices in this group." Kurt looks almost wistful again, but Blaine continues earnestly. "I think Pavarotti would roll over in his tiny, tiny little grave." Blaine is trying to inject a little comic relief, trying to diffuse the tension, (it works on Wesley, who raises his eyebrows laughingly) but Kurt jumps in.
"The placement of which has yet to be determined," he murmurs.

"All right, a vote." Wes has gotten this annoyingly knowing look on his face. "Who's in favor of Warbler Blaine's proposal, for a duo lead at Regional's?"

The hands of practically everyone in the room, except those of the council, go up. Blaine raises his with a sort of self-affirming smile.

"Oh, can I…put my name on that audition list," Kurt practically whispers, winking amicably at Wes and David.

"Uh, no," Blaine replies, shaking his head. "No, no auditions." Blaine breathes in an extra gush of air. "I want to sing the duet," he exhales softly, "with Kurt." He turns to look at his friend, a smile on his face.

Kurt's expression of friendly interest freezes, and he looks away as though he feels he has been undeservedly praised. "But that's ridiculous," he breathes with a short laugh. "I mean, there's so many great voices. I mean everyone deserves a shot at that honor."

Everyone, including Blaine, is smiling at Kurt.

"All in favor of Kurt being my duet partner at Regional's," Blaine announces with a quick look around the room. All hands go up. Wes smirks and nods once in approbation. "Decided." The gavel falls down.

"Congratulations Kurt," Thad adds. David, too, now, has that significant look on his face and Blaine is sure, in that moment, that all of his friends, indeed, everyone in the Warblers, has figured out why he is so incredibly excited to sing a duet with Kurt right now. There are too many smirks in this room to be explained away.

He falls back on to the arm of his chair, grinning brilliantly at everyone, but especially Kurt, feeling lighter than air, clapping and laughing with the rest of the group.

Ten minutes later, he is back in his dorm room, trying to decide how, exactly, that had happened, how he had gone from wondering how to talk to Kurt to the proposition of spending extra time with him, alone, practicing, when his phone buzzes. He glances at the illuminated screen to read:

"New Text Message: Wes"

He clicks "View." The message contains only one word and one mark of punctuation.


He falls back onto his bed with a laugh, and his cell phone tumbles onto his stomach. At least that answers that question.

He walks into the commons determined to do something, not that he's sure exactly what right now. Kurt's sitting at a table absolutely covered in small decorations, a bottle of glue in one hand and a small black box in the other.

"What's that?" Blaine asks with a bit of a laugh; the kind that comes with knowing someone really well and delighting in their explanations for how they approach life.

"I'm decorating Pavarotti's casket," Kurt answers with a sigh.

"Well finish up," Blaine says, gripping the top of a nearby chair. "I have the perfect song for our number, and we should practice."

Kurt looks up with an adorable smile. "Do tell."

"'Candles' by Hey Monday," Blaine informs him with a sort of half nod that practically begs for approval.

"I'm impressed," Kurt says with a casual smile. "You're usually so top forty."

Blaine looks away almost bashfully. "Well, I just…wanted something a little more…emotional." He takes a seat next to Kurt, who is looking at him with good-natured puzzlement. He said that almost more to himself than to Kurt, because he mostly hopes his spoken thought will cause Kurt to start the discussion before he can lose the nerve.

Kurt's brows knit together. "Why did you pick me to sing that song with?" he asks.

Blaine looks at Kurt and raises an eyebrow. Yes, he assures his reeling stomach, this conversation is happening now. He pauses uncomfortably, unsure of how to proceed. This is probably one of the first times Kurt has seen him struggle to express himself. He closes his eyes and looks slightly away.

"Kurt there is a moment," Blaine manages to look back at his friend, who is still smiling perplexedly and (perhaps?) hopefully, "When you say to yourself 'Oh there you are,'" he shakes his head back and forth quickly, as if reassuring that these are his exact thoughts. With enough pause that it could be a separate thought entirely, he smiles at Kurt and adds, "'I've been looking for you forever.'"

Something like wild hope, though it's more cautious than that, flits across Kurt's face.

Blaine tries to move this along, to get to his point before Kurt thinks this is a repeat of the Gap Attack. He moves more forward in his chair and watches his hand cover Kurt's gently.

"Watching you do 'Blackbird' this week," his eyes move up to Kurt's, "that was a moment for me." Blaine smiles, remembering, and dares another look at Kurt's face. He discerns that the hope has become a bit more prominent.

Then, to be absolutely clear, "About you." A smile tugs at Kurt's lips.

"You, you move me, Kurt," he says, still struggling with words, not sure if that's exactly what he should say, though he feels and means every word. Kurt's countenance raises a fraction, although he looks almost frozen with adrenaline.

"And this duet would just be an excuse to spend," he turns his head to ease the tension he feels from working so very hard to explain, "more time with you." There. He has said it. Finally.

Kurt's now smiling outright, and Blaine can hear his breaths coming out in short, shallow gasps.

Blaine leans towards him, because right now, actions are so much easier and so much clearer than words. Kurt's lips turn up with excited anticipation at first, but his expression becomes more serious as their lips meet. Blaine rests one hand on the side of Kurt's face because it simply seems like the most natural thing to do.

Kurt is frozen for about half a second, and then he inhales sharply, his fingers bending out on reflex, and places one hand along Blaine's jaw, holding them closer together.

They pull back at the same time. Kurt's hand falls back to the table with a thud, because there are too many and too few things going on in his head right now for him to sustain muscle control and lower his hand calmly. Blaine glances down his cheekbones at Kurt's lips, lets out a sort of rueful laugh, and falls back into his seat, looking anywhere but at the beaming Kurt. He runs his fingertips over his forehead, then supports his jaw with that fist. "We should…we should practice," he mumbles, his face pulling into a flustered smile. His eyebrows move down as though he wants to pretend he's not sure how that just happened.

Kurt, still grinning, decides to be the more confident one for once, and mutters, "I thought we were," with a few short nods.

Blaine breathes out, the awkwardness suddenly gone. They spring forward and crash into each other.

The wait is over, is Blaine's last coherent thought, and what a moment.

Thanks for reading.

Reviews make my day.

Oh, also, 'Glee' is not mine, and neither is 'Blackbird'.