"Sam asked you? When? Seriously?" Kurt asked as they joined the crowd flooding toward the open double doors. The torture of winter in Ohio seemed to finally be behind them, at least if the sun streaming in was any indication, and he was eager to spend lunch absorbing the warmth.
"Seriously," Mercedes laughed. "I was helping him with the chem homework and he just…asked. And then he turned red and started rambling about how he thought we would have a good time and that he's not a great dancer but he promises to try not to be too embarrassing and how he'd been trying to ask me for a week." She was still smiling when she finished, giving a little shrug.
"Sounds like someone has a crush," Kurt smiled, spotting Finn and Sam sitting on the bleachers.
"WHAT?" Mercedes squawked. "I do not!"
"Actually I was talking about Sam," Kurt grinned, raising an appraising eyebrow. "But now I'm talking about you." She shot him a dangerous look, one that demanded silence, as they approached the boy in question.
"What about you?" Mercedes asked. "Have you picked out Blaine's tux yet?"
"I…" Kurt trailed off, staring into the distance at nothing in particular. "I don't think we're going. I don't think I'm going."
"Dude why not?" Finn turned, looking confused. "Blaine never stops dancing. Or staring at you. Staring at you at a dance sounds right up his alley. Why doesn't he want to go?"
"Why are you so antsy?" Kurt asked, watching as Blaine twisted his hands in his lap, ran them through his hair, settled them on his knees, then began the process over again.
"Are you," Blaine turned slightly on the sofa, training his eyes somewhere down and to the left of Kurt's, like he was embarrassed. "Were you planning to…Are you going to ask me to your prom? Because I heard Finn on the phone with Quinn and I know it's coming up and—"
"No," Kurt said simply.
"Oh." The heartbreak in that one quiet word was Kurt's undoing and he reached out for Blaine, pulling him across the already few inches that had separated them, practically into his lap, and framing his face with his hands.
"This is not about you. About us," Kurt said fiercely. "This is about them. I…nothing's change since I went back, you know that." Blaine nodded, the motion awkward against Kurt's grip. "They're not taking us and making fun of it, making it ugly. They're not touching you. We are not something to talk about."
"I can handle it," Blaine said, exhaling the last of the self-doubt Kurt's 'no' had engendered. "I know what prom means to you."
"Not as much as you do."
That had been a week ago, and Kurt could practically see Blaine thinking about it whenever they were together. He didn't say anything, because that was just how he was when Kurt clearly wasn't up for a conversation, but it was there. When Finn asked Kurt about corsages, when they took Rachel to the mall for a dress. Each time he saw it flare up, Kurt would quietly remind him that it wasn't about him, that they could do anything else he wanted to do on prom night, and he knew Blaine was disappointed but he didn't know what other option they had.
"He..he does. I don't," Kurt sighed. Before he could continue, two of the burlier hockey players walked by, slowing and giving him matching leers. Sam was on his feet before the closer one had even had a chance to speak, and the action seemed to change his mind as he turned and pulled his friend along.
"No," Finn said, voice lowering dangerously. "No. You're not missing prom because of those assholes. No."
"Finn it's not a big—" Kurt stopped talking abruptly, sure he'd just seen a flash of blue and red in his peripheral vision. He frowned and shook his head slightly; he'd been gone from Dalton for two weeks but he was still seeing those blazers everywhere. Wishful thinking, he supposed, his brain trying to make up for the separation by sending him little glimpses of Blaine.
As if on cue, Blaine's familiar ringtone sounded from his bag and he fished his phone out with a grin, ignoring Mercedes' eyeroll.
"Hey," Kurt said brightly, maybe just a little too much, trying not to let his mood show through. "What's up? Shouldn't you be in class?"
"I like your hat," Blaine said in greeting, and Kurt reached up reflexively, running his fingers along the brim before he realized that Blaine didn't know what he had worn that day.
"How.." Kurt asked, eyes scanning the bleachers until they spotted the blue blazer halfway up the bleachers, Wes and David's familiar faces popping out behind it.
"I have a question," Blaine said before exaggeratedly hitting the "end call" button and grinning at Kurt. "Stay there," he said, raising his voice just enough to let it carry down before Wes and David began to hum in unison.
"Blaine," Kurt warned as loudly as he dared, but Blaine just raised an eyebrow and smiled wider before he opened his mouth and. Oh. Oh no. This wasn't happening.
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyes off of you
Blaine started to pace as he sang, hopping up one step to cross behind Wes and David before returning, eyes never leaving Kurt. Kurt knew Blaine had taken too much of an interest when they'd watched 10 Things I Hate About You the night before.
You'd be like Heaven to touch
I wanna hold you so much
"Blaine stop it," Kurt tried again, but Blaine only sang louder, his eyes glinting wickedly as the students around them began to turn toward the commotion. Kurt climbed to the next row but Blaine matched the action with a backward step of his own, wagging a finger disapprovingly.
At long last love has arrived
And I thank God I'm alive
You're just too good to be true
Can't take my eyeeessss off of you
Time stopped for a moment and they stood there, separated by a dozen rows of bleachers, staring into each other's eyes, the eyes they had memorized but could never tire of.
And then all hell broke loose.
Kurt and Blaine moved at the same time, just as Wes and David began to sing the familiar "ba-da" instrumental, their voices like a starter pistol. Kurt was faster than Blaine, they'd found this out when Blaine had finally convinced him to go for a run to help him train for soccer season, but of course Blaine could beat him now, when furniture was involved.
I LOVE YOU BAAAAAABY
AND IF IT'S QUITE ALRIGHT
I NEED YOU BABY TO WARM THE LONELY NIGHTS
I LOVE YOU BABY
TRUST IN ME WHEN I SAY
Blaine was singing at the top of his lungs, running up and down the steps in a dizzying zig zag, looking every bit like a golden retriever enjoying an excellent chase. Every time Kurt got close he was suddenly buffered by Wes, or David, or a few infuriating times, Finn, and Blaine would only wave coyly and take off with a wink over his shoulder.
Kurt needed to log some time on the Stairmaster, he decided, because he was about to pass out and Blaine was still just singing away, not even losing the quality of his voice as he jumped between steps. He stopped at the bottom to clutch at a stitch in his side and watched Blaine start back toward the top of the bleachers.
Oh, pretty baby,
Don't bring me down, I pray.
Oh, pretty baby, now that I've found you, stay
And let me love you, baby.
Let me love you.
"KURT HUMMEL," Blaine screamed, throwing his arms out wide and looking down at him. "WILL YOU PLEASE ASK ME TO PROM?" His eyes were bright, grin blinding even through the distance, his chest heaving as he watched Kurt. Kurt took a steadying breath, glancing around him and only seeing his friends' equally excited, curious eyes. He took another deep breath and looked back up at Blaine.
"BLAINE ANDERSON," he yelled back, feeling the smile stretch his lips. "WILL YOU GO TO PROM WITH ME?"
They moved in sync again, closing the distance between them and meeting in the middle of the bleachers in seconds. Blaine grabbed Kurt's hands and pulled them around his waist, sliding his own up Kurt's arms to his shoulders.
"I'll have to check my calendar," Blaine grinned, kissing the tip of his nose and laughing breathlessly when Kurt's fingers dug into his sides. "Stop, s-s-stop," he squirmed. "Yes. Of course I will."
"Thank you," Kurt sighed, leaning back in and brushing his lips across Blaine's briefly before resting their foreheads together. And if anyone said anything, he didn't hear.