Here we are! The (very) late third installation into this series. Sorry it took me so long!

I hope you enjoy.

Emily

Oh, also, I wrote another Kurt/Blaine story called Of Finding Courage and Finding Yourself, which follows Blaine from his transfer to Dalton through his relationship with Kurt. Please check it out :)

"Mercedes is incredible," Blaine observed, slowing as they came to a red light.

"Yeah," Kurt agreed, smiling out the car window, "she really is."

Blaine glanced at him as the car stopped. "Your friends," he began. Kurt turned his neck until their eyes met. "…we didn't get to finish talking about…before, when I asked..."

Blaine shifted his eyes back to the road.

"I do miss them, of course." He slid one hand over Blaine's shoulder for a second then sighed heavily as his hand fell back into his lap. "But beyond that…I try not to let myself think about it."

Blaine smiled a little, with effort. "If it were ever safe enough and you wanted to, you should go back," he said firmly.

Kurt head turned towards him sharply.

"That's where you belong."

Kurt took a deep breath, his heart swelling with gratitude yet again for this wonderful person beside him. "Yeah," he almost whispered, "I know." He had needed someone to say that. But I also belong with you his sappy inner voice contributed without prompting.

Blaine seemed to sense the tension that had entered the conversation and decided to allow Kurt the space to think about it on his own. "Anyway, it's a non-issue right now. You need to be safe."

Kurt nodded, a street light bouncing illumination off his features. They both paused for a moment, lost in thought.

"Can you believe the old choir teacher?" Kurt said at last, the energy returning to his speech.


A few weeks later, Kurt stepped into Blaine's dorm room with caution painted all over his face.

"You okay?" Blaine asked, dropping his pen on his desk and standing. They walked toward each other and kissed briefly in greeting.

"Karofsky, he…" Blaine's heart dropped. His eyes searched Kurt's.

"He wants to talk to me and my dad at McKinley this afternoon."

Blaine twisted his hand in Kurt's. "Did he say why?"

Kurt shook his head. "Not a word."

Blaine pulled Kurt into a tight embrace. "It'll be okay, Kurt," he mumbled into his shoulder. "I promise."

Kurt held him tighter.

"You want me to ride with you?"

Kurt glanced at the desk. "No, Blaine, you…you have an essay due tomorrow. You don't have time. I'll be fine, I promise."

Blaine opened his mouth to argue that he didn't care about the assignment. Kurt cut him off with a finger to his lips. "I have to do this by myself. I have to confront him when he doesn't have an excuse to deflect his bullying onto anyone else."

Blaine thought it over for a second and was apparently mollified, with one reservation. "You'll call the second the meeting's over?" he requested.

"Of course," Kurt agreed, kissing his boyfriend softly.

"You'll be fine," Blaine repeated, more to himself than to his boyfriend.

"Yeah," Kurt said, his voice firm. "I will."


When Kurt called from McKinley and told Blaine that he wanted to talk to him in person, and would he be free to talk at Dalton when Kurt returned, he knew something serious had happened.

Kurt burst into his dorm room an hour and a half later, his expression too complicated to dissect.

"Kurt, what happened? Is everything okay?"

Kurt didn't answer, instead beginning to pace back and forth between the beds.

"Kurt?"

Kurt finally met his eyes, a few tears beginning to glisten behind the lids.

"I can go back," Kurt said, the wonder apparent in his voice. "Blaine, I can go back on Monday."

Blaine swallowed heavily in a gut reaction to the thought of his boyfriend leaving, but fought back any other negative reaction easily. A smile tugged at his lips. "That's wonderful, Kurt." His brow furrowed. "What happened, exactly?"

Kurt smirked. "He seemed genuinely apologetic. But it can't hurt that Santana's blackmailing him."

"Santana…"

"Santana's been in love with Brittany for years now," Kurt informed him.

"Ah."

"Yeah."

"That's probably not the reason she's telling herself, but it's definitely there."

Blaine had closed the distance between them, and he reached for one of Kurt's hands. "I'm so happy for you," he said, his voice full of emotion.

Kurt's answering smile was watery. "I'm sorry that it's so soon after…" He glanced at their joined hands. "Last time, I was just about to get a solo for Sectionals, which was awful, but this is so much worse. You probably hate me for this," he observed. He rambled on before Blaine could protest. "Yeah, you hate me. Or if you don't, you will soon. And then you'll break up with me and stop speaking to me because I'm such a terrible boyfriend and—mmph" Blaine had decided that particular rant was getting a little out of hand, so he had stopped his boyfriend with his lips. Kurt let himself get lost in the kiss, their hands entwining tightly as they pressed closer and closer together.

They sank onto the bed, Blaine pulling Kurt silently towards him.

"I'm not mad, Kurt. I promise." He sealed their lips together again. "And I definitely don't hate you. I'll just miss you, is all."

"I miss my friends," Kurt confessed into Blaine's shirt, his arms on Blaine's chest and Blaine's hands stroking his hair. "But I'll miss you too." Kurt snuggled closer. "I wish…" that I could have both. He stopped himself from saying it because he didn't want his boyfriend to get the wrong idea. Blaine couldn't have magic solutions for everything.

Blaine kissed the top of his head. "What?" he prompted.

"Never mind," Kurt said softly, his eyes swimming with tears.

"I'm sorry." Sorry that this causes you pain.

Kurt used his elbows on Blaine's chest to sit up enough to establish eye contact. "Don't apologize," he said firmly. He kissed Blaine's forehead. "You're the best thing that's happened to me all year." Blaine relaxed a little.

This physical part of their relationship, though new, didn't feel…odd, at all.

They'd been doing the same thing, emotionally—supporting each other, comforting each other—since they met. Now, it was just physical, too.

"So, Monday?" Blaine asked, taking in a shaky breath.

"We'll be okay, Blaine," Kurt comforted, though it sounded a bit like a question. He gently settled his head back onto Blaine's chest.

"I believe in us," Blaine affirmed, moving the fingers that were laced with Kurt's. "We'll make it through."


"I need a song, Blaine. To sing at Glee Club on my first day."

Blaine sighed internally, because this was getting real far too fast. He reached for his boyfriend's hand.

"Nothing comes to mind?"

Kurt wrinkled his nose. "I can't think of anything. Unusual for me, I know. But it's hard. It's too depressing, or romantic, or foolish, or any one of a hundred things. And it has to be perfect."

Blaine held his hand out wordlessly for Kurt's iPod and scanned through the albums slowly, clicking on things he thought might have promise and looking for songs he knew.

Wicked didn't really have anything appropriate, and neither did Evita or Phantom or any of Kurt's other favorites. As he was about to give up on Sunset Boulevard, he recognized one song and ran through a few seconds of the lyrics in his mind, also noting that it would be a good match for Kurt's vocal range. He pressed play and offered Kurt an ear bud without comment.

Kurt's face lit up a little as he heard it. They listened to the entire song with one set of headphones. "Yeah, that'll work," Kurt said, brightening, "that's perfect. Thank you, Blaine."

Blaine smiled sadly, though Kurt didn't notice it, and kissed Kurt's cheek. This was what he was afraid of. The song was perfect. Perfect for Kurt's experience. Dalton was a recess, a brief stay in a different kind of life, and now, like Pavarotti, who had to adjust to his gilded cage before he would sing, Kurt was moving on. He didn't need Dalton, or the Warblers, or Blaine anymore. He was saying goodbye to them. He had never said goodbye to McKinley. That song, it was about falling back in like you never left. And didn't that sort of mean pretending that the middle didn't happen?

That conclusion threw Blaine into a bout of depression; sure that he was losing his boyfriend and his best friend all at once. He'd know, somewhere, that Kurt would go back the second he could, and he'd always wanted that for his best friend. But the lonely kid who finally had a boyfriend with him at school couldn't help but see it as leaving more than as going back.

What he did with that emotion was not intentional. But when he received an offer from Kurt to study together, he chose instead to work alone, and when he saw Kurt walking in the hallway at Dalton, he continued on his way when he would previously have chased him down so that they could hold hands. He was avoiding Kurt because he was so confused—he wanted to be supportive, but every time he thought about his boyfriend leaving he choked up with terror at the thought of them so easily drifting apart.

Kurt had no idea what to make of this behavior. He had only two days to observe it before he was packing his things and moving out. He stared hopefully at the door to his dorm room for fifteen minutes when he came to collect the last box, but there was no knock and he left without a goodbye.


Because Kurt was so incredibly excited to be back with his friends at McKinley (and because a little misdirection about their plan couldn't hurt), Mercedes offered to help Kurt time a grand entrance.

"You know, to give in to our diva-like tendencies," Mercedes had argued. Kurt had agreed.

Which was why, at 11:55, they timed their watches together, and Mercedes descended the stairs to the commons alone.

Kurt heard Puck's unmistakable voice question "What the hell is goin' on?" with his usual ferocity, and waited for Mercedes's response.

"Well, my fellow glee clubbers…it's noon, which means: it's official!"

Kurt grinned, walking to the stairs.

"What's official?" he heard Sam ask.

Kurt took a deep breath, stepped to the edge of the stairs, and used his hands as a makeshift megaphone. "My transfer," he shouted. He threw his arms out with enthusiasm. "Kurt Hummel is back at McKinley!"

He heard his friends cheer as he bounded down the stairs to meet them, ecstatic. He was home.

He hugged Mercedes first happily, not even bothering to scold her for stealing his hat (because he did notice), then reached for Tina and Brittany, both of them with joyful grins on their faces.

"Let me breathe, let me breathe," he joked, chuckling and feeling light and perfect and happy. He glanced around his friends, and suddenly couldn't wait to get back to being part of their group. "Let's get ready for nationals!"

"Not yet," Mercedes cautioned. Kurt turned to her with confusion in his eyes. She grinned like she had something up her sleeve and continued. "See there's a reason we're meeting here today. There's some people that want to say goodbye to you, Kurt." Her face conveyed how pleased she was with whatever was about to happen.

Kurt smoothed a few fingers over his hair with a congenial smile on his face and followed his friend's gaze to the opposite side of the commons.

He squinted toward the sun, and his heart sputtered to a stop. Blaine was making his way down the stairs, flanked by Wes on his left and David on his right. He felt an overwhelming rush of affection for these people who had taken him under their wings these past few months. He grabbed onto Mercedes in surprise, sure that if he didn't hold on to something, the warm, fuzzy feeling would cause him to fall over, trying to direct some of the emotion somewhere. It was such a moment for their friendship that they were together to see proof that Kurt had gotten exactly what he had always wanted. I'm so happy, that grip said. Look at all the wonderful people in my life.

"Kurt," Blaine announced, his voice uncharacteristically shaky. "Dalton is going to miss you." David considered him with solemn support; Wes with a lighthearted smile. "You were a great addition to the Warblers," Blaine continued, "…and…you made us a better team." Kurt looked down at his shoes, so overcome with emotion that he had to look anywhere but at Blaine, but gathered himself in time to look back up at his boyfriend with a solid smile, the sun pounding into his eyes.

"I'm sad to see you go but we all know this is something that you really want." Blaine glanced between his friends to confirm his statement. Kurt bit back tears at how kind they were being to him and how supportive they were of his decision.

"And I'll still have you after school and on the weekends," Blaine lifted his arms as if to relieve tension, "but… these guys won't," he glanced between his friends, "so… they wanted to say goodbye."His smile was almost tearful.

"And thank you, Kurt," Wes concluded.

Kurt took in a shaky breath and breathed out slowly, trying to calm his emotions enough that he could continue to listen.

The rest of the Warblers appeared from the same corner of the commons, and the music began.

I walked across an empty land.

I knew the pathway like the back of my hand.

I felt the earth beneath my feet.

Sat by the river and it made me complete.

Blaine's voice was beautiful, as always, but it was also more emotional, more heartfelt, than he had heard before. It was something he had learned from Kurt: sometimes, singing wasn't about the audience. It was about the performer, about expressing some emotion or thought held deep inside you when words weren't enough.

Blaine's eyelids closed periodically, the honesty warm in his face and voice together. Aside from these brief moments, Kurt's eyes never left Blaine's, and Blaine's eyes never left Kurt's.

The Warblers started to walk towards him as he blinked away tears, fighting to hold his smile in place and enjoy the music.

The musicians that usually played with Glee Club jumped up and joined in. (He was too preoccupied to notice that someone must have arranged that, but later the Facebook group GapAttack2 would come to mind.)

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?

I'm getting old and I need something to rely on.

Kurt smiled as Blaine stopped just above him, wrapped in the warmth of the gaze fixed on him.

So tell me when you're gonna let me in.

Just as Blaine had settled on a tearful smile, Kurt fought with a sudden urge to cry, but was quickly distracted as Blaine bounded down the stairs to the piano.

I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin.

Blaine's hands pounded the keys as he split his time between setting the chords beneath his hands and following his boyfriends' every movement as he bounced lightly to the music.

And if you have a minute why don't we go?

Talk about it somewhere only we know.

This could be the end of everything.

So why don't we go, somewhere only we know?
Somewhere only we know.

Blaine approached him with a warm smile and stared at their hands as they joined, pulling his boyfriend wordlessly down the stairs.

Their eyes met briefly as Kurt allowed himself to be pulled down, too lost in Blaine's gaze to notice where he was heading. Now he was actually crying, the tears falling slowly down his face. His Glee Club joined in the song as Blaine sang above them. Each of the Warblers passed by him, offering gestures of farewell as they made their way back around. He nearly choked on the tears as his friends, one by one, said goodbye.

He linked arms with Wes and David, the great welcomers as he had dubbed them on hearing Blaine's story of his transfer, and tearfully took in a breath as he said farewell to his friends.

And if you have a minute why don't we go? Talk about it somewhere only we know.

And then Finn was there, the brother he never knew he needed until he had him, and they were embracing tightly, Kurt's chin resting comfortably on Finn's shoulder as tears slid down his face. Mercedes appeared and embraced him briefly before leaving him in front of Blaine as the chorus ended.

This could be the end of everything. So why don't we go somewhere only we know.

Kurt, who had felt so helpless and alone at the beginning of the year, was now surrounded by so many people who cared about him that he was nearly overwhelmed.

It was just Blaine singing, now, and Kurt could see the tears beginning to fall below his eyes. He gasped a little and looked down as more tears broke through his eyes.

Somewhere only we know. Somewhere only we know.

As the song ended, Blaine, ever the performer, finally broke down and began to silently shake. There was still silence for a second.

They reached for each other at exactly the same moment.

Blaine buried his chin into the crook of Kurt's neck, his hands grasping at his back as he rocked them a little. Kurt twisted his arms around him, resting his chin on Blaine's shoulder, and somehow, he finally understood why Blaine has been so cautious, so distant around him for the last few days. He almost laughed because, honestly, the assumption he was pretty sure Blaine had reached was as ridiculous as it was completely untrue.

"I'm never saying goodbye to you," he whispered into Blaine's ear, shaking his head vigorously. Not ever.

Kurt let go after a few moments because he knew he had to. Blaine was still almost crying, but he looked better, somewhat comforted. Blaine cast his eyes to the ground to halt his crying, intent on staying calm for Kurt.

Kurt smiled at him fondly through his tears, taking a deep breath because he had to let him go.

Blaine dropped their joined arms and turned away with the same instinct. Kurt felt like he was about to cry at the loss of contact.

Various Warblers patted Blaine on the back as Kurt watched him back away, that part of his life shifting away. He comforted himself with a small revision to the song he would perform in just a few hours. That part of his life, it did happen. It had made him who he was today. He wasn't leaving Blaine behind. He was saying goodbye to a chapter in his life, but Blaine would move on to the next one with him.

His friends surrounded him, their supportive arms trailing around him. He heard them call out greetings and felt Finn place a supportive hand on his shoulder.

Above them, Blaine breathed in shakily and looked back, worried already about whether his boyfriend was all right.

He saw Tina rub his shoulder and Mercedes replace the hat.

"Oh come on." "No fun." "Get in here." he heard people call.

"We love you," Santana gushed.

"We back. We back. We back," they cheered.

"Yeah," Artie called.

Kurt was settled into the group with a peaceful smile on his face, the tears beginning to fade.

Blaine saw that the New Directions had Kurt all warm and safe and happy, and he smiled. Kurt was back where he belonged.

Thanks for reading! Emily.

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