Fic: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
Summary: Kurt goes to bed happy in the knowledge that he's in love and in a wonderful relationship, only to wake up and discover it was all a dream. Now, he has to find a way to fix it.
Wordcount: 1955
Spoilers: Through Born This Way (but will incorporate canon knowledge as it appears, so watch this spot for updates)
Warnings: For this part, one f-bomb. Because Kurt's understandably throwing a fit.
Notes: Based on this prompt from LJ's kurt_blaine prompt post: Post 2x16 Kurt goes to bed one night and wakes up in his dad's hospital room 6 hours after the end of Grilled Cheesus. When he realizes where/when he is, Kurt is horrified. Has he time traveled? Is he going to have to go through it all again? Worse, was it all a dream? Sure no Karofsky drama that way, but what if Blaine was just a dream? Kurt's in the process of breaking down when Blaine runs into the room or something. Whatever has happened to him, it happened to Blaine too.
Whether this was some weird time travel thing or some joint prophetic dream is up to you. Happy ending required.

I was tempted to make this come after Rumours, but I figured certain things that are revealed in that episode can have already happened, they just haven't come to light yet. I'd already started writing the story, & didn't want to have to go back and work different canon in, when I can just ret-con it later. ;P
Geography:In my head, I've finally decided Dalton is about 30/45 minutes away from Lima (in the show), which means a round-trip would last roughly an hour, hour and a half. I still can't decide if I want Blaine to be boarding there or not, though.


PROLOGUE

"So, how was your day?" Even through the tinny speakerphone, Kurt can hear the self-deprecating note of irony in Blaine's voice, acknowledging that yes, I realize how domestic I sound. Kurt can't meet his own eyes in his vanity mirror, or he'll start laughing - not at Blaine, never at Blaine - but he's definitely smiling.

"It was fabulous! The only downside was, no one serenaded me in the courtyard today, but I'm slowly getting used to that." He made sure his own tone of voice conveyed his teasing. He missed having these conversations face-to-face, but it wasn't like he and Blaine didn't regularly talk on the phone anyway, even before he'd transferred back to McKinley.

"Well, I'm glad to hear it's going good, aside from the lack of being serenaded. I'll see what I can do this weekend."

Kurt rolled his eyes, but even though he was pretty sure Blaine was joking, he knew his friend (boyfriend, not just a boy who was his friend, but his romantic dating partner, boyfriend) well enough to say, "I don't need serenading. Once was romantic and sweet- just remember, the more often you do it, the less impact it has as a whole. Save it for things like anniversaries, or the occasional, and I mean very occasional, 'I-miss-you-so-much-I-can't-think-straight'."

"Riiiight," Blaine drawled out, and for a second Kurt thought he'd maybe offended Blaine, sounding superior or condescending giving him romance advice, when neither of them really knew what he was doing. But then Blaine continued, "Pretty sure I never think straight. I mean, y'know..."

It only took Kurt four seconds to figure out what Blaine was saying, and he rolled his eyes, even if the other boy couldn't see it.

"I know you just rolled your eyes at me." Kurt darted a glance at the phone lying on his vanity, before rolling his eyes again. His voice was slightly distorted as he started to rub cream on his face, "That's because what you said was eye roll-worthy. You knew it was so lame, I would have no choice but to physically have a reaction."

They continued to banter and lightly flirt with each other through Kurt's whole skincare routine, and for ten minutes after, until with a truly regretful sigh, Kurt said they should both get some sleep. Kurt confirmed that they had a date at the Lima Bean the next afternoon, and possibly studying at his house afterwards (possibly because it all depends on whether any of the rest of his family will be there, because if not, they both know very little studying will actually get done).

Just as they're about to say goodbye, Blaine calls, soft and serious, "Hey." And Kurt's heart doesn't quite start pounding, but he can feel its rhythm pick up, practically in his throat, because he knows what's coming, and as easily as they've crossed the border from friends to boyfriends, this is the part that always makes him melt. He's not sure if Blaine knows that, or possibly it makes Blaine feel the same way, but every conversation ends the same, and Kurt never wants it to change.

"Yeah?" The question comes out soft and breathless, and Kurt doesn't even care, because they both know what's coming.

Kurt can hear the smile in Blaine's voice; he closes his eyes and can picture Blaine's face perfectly, crooked affectionate smile, his eyes slightly hooded and so tender. "I love you."

Kurt has to swallow before he can make his voice heard. "I love you, too."

Laying down in bed minutes later, Kurt closes his eyes and thinks of Blaine, replays their words over and over in his head. He's met a boy who's not only openly gay, in Ohio, but he's also everything Kurt could ask for. He's met a boy who is handsome, and who loves him, and who isn't afraid to admit it.

It's like a literal dream come true. A dream Kurt hadn't even allowed himself to have. He'd been so sure he'd never find anyone until he got out of high school and out of Ohio, went somewhere like New York City or Los Angeles.

Kurt can't remember the last time he felt this happy (although he's pretty sure it was before he was eight), and he clings to the feeling as he starts to drift to sleep, thinking about Blaine, their last conversation, and the next time they'll see each other.

CHAPTER ONE

"Thank you for calling Wal-Mart, your one-stop spot to shop for unbeatable prices. How may I direct your call?"

"Sorry," Kurt mumbles, "wrong number." He ends the call, then presses the hand holding his phone against his forehead, gritting his teeth and squeezing his eyes shut against the prickling tears.

He's tried four times to call Blaine, and all four times have been wrong numbers, culminating in the last, getting Wal-Mart, of all places. If that's not a sign from the universe telling him to stop, he honestly doesn't know what is. It had all been so real, Kurt was sure it was real.

He'd woken up, after talking to Blaine and falling asleep thinking about Blaine, and how happy he was- to find himself slouched down in an - albeit very comfortable - hospital chair, a warm blanket draped over him, and his father lying in a hospital bed a few feet away. There was a brief panic of so much missing time - what had happened to land his dad in the hospital again? - but then his sleep-fuzzy brain started to take in the details of the room, everything too familiar, etched into his memory from the first time, and with a sinking feeling in his stomach, Kurt began to realize that this was the first time. Things that couldn't be replicated so precisely a second time around. Like the flowers Carole had brought, just after his dad had woken up. Kurt had stared at those for almost two weeks before they'd begun to wilt so badly that Carole herself had tossed them out, despite his dad's protests. She'd given him a look and called him a closeted romantic, and now here they were again, the exact same flowers in exactly the same arrangement.

He still thought it had been real, though. Blaine was real, he'd gone to Dalton, he'd gotten to sing at Regionals, he'd had a boyfriend, who loved him, whom he loved, but now they were gone, but it, everything, it all had been real, it had really happened.

Except now he couldn't remember Blaine's stupid fucking cell phone number! They'd exchanged phone numbers after the first time they'd talked, and eventually (embarrassingly quickly, but not surprisingly, considering how fast and hard his crushes hit him) Kurt had put Blaine's number on speed dial (number four, just after the garage and Mercedes), so he'd never dialed it, just used the contacts info. Nobody remembered telephone numbers anymore! Not in this day and age! Oh, but how Kurt wished he did, now, because there was no one listed under 'B' at all in his phone's contacts. If he could, he would get it tattooed on his arm, just so he can always have it with him.

Now, Kurt's sitting in the living room at home, and he has no idea what to do. It's hard, not hovering over his dad (like he did the last time, which feels very strange to think, but Kurt knows it's the truth), but he knows his dad will get better, he knows it, and this time around he can see that running himself ragged only makes Dad worry more about him, which in turn isn't good for his dad. So Kurt takes care of himself, trusting the nurses to take care of his father for now, until he'll be released and can come home. A couple more days, the doctor had said, and Kurt knows that's accurate (because that's how it was Before).

So he's glad his dad's doing okay, but right now he can't get ahold of Blaine, and while Kurt hates crying (his nose turns red and gets stuffed up, and his eyes get red and puffy and bloodshot, not to mention the way it makes him feel weak, both mentally and emotionally), a part of him does want to just let go and cry, because when would be a better time, really? He hasn't lost his father, but apparently he's lost his boyfriend. He's lost the one person who really got him, and it's tearing him up.

Kurt's been known to have temper tantrums, but he usually doesn't throw things, at least not breakable things. He's always too aware of consequences for that, but sometimes everything just builds up and he has to find a way to let out all of his pent-up emotion. So finally he pulls his arm back, holds it shaking over his head for a long moment, before hurling it down, throwing his phone against the couch cushions. The cell bounces and slides until it's nestled between seat cushion and the arm of the couch, but Kurt's not looking at it anymore, he's finally sobbing and throwing himself face-first onto the couch, burying his head in the crook of his arms, crying out all of his heartbreak.

It dawns on Kurt, after his cathartic cry and subsequent exhausted sleep, that maybe he hasn't lost Blaine, after all. He blames fatigue on his wits being too slow to realize this earlier, because apparently, even though he remembers everything from the last five months - almost six months, had it really been that long? - his body is still the same as that of five-months-ago Kurt's. He still weighs about the same as back then, before the worry over his dad and the stress and sheer terror of Karofsky made him lose pretty much his entire appetite and subsequently about 20 pounds, which he's still trying to gain back, six months later.

Except apparently, he doesn't have to worry about that, because he hasn't lost it. Yet. Ever? The logistics and semantics of what's happened make Kurt's throbbing head spin, so he focuses back on the issue at hand. Which is - Blaine's not lost, he's just not with Kurt. As in, not with Kurt. He's at Dalton still, yet, just where he was when Kurt first met him. Will meet him.

It's not like Kurt can just go to Dalton, find Blaine (because he knows what classes Blaine has, he knows Blaine's entire schedule and routine, it wouldn't be difficult at all to find him), and say, "Hi, remember me? I'm your boyfriend. Or at least, I will be in about four months." Because Blaine doesn't remember, just like no one else remembers, and Kurt's pretty sure Blaine's response would be to give him a polite smile and basically say, "Wow, you're sweet, but I'm also pretty sure you're crazy." Which, he's not sure how much worse that is - as far as first encounters go - than being discovered as a spy, then ten minutes later crying all his problems out over coffee with Blaine.

Wait. Coffee.

Kurt blinks, glancing around the quiet living room as if suddenly seeing it for the first time. The Dalton boys like going to the Lima Bean to hang out and study off-campus, since it's not only off-campus but out of Westerville, which pretty much automatically makes it cooler than anywhere in Westerville.

He'll go to the Lima Bean, and... wait. See if Blaine shows up there after school sometime. Strike up a conversation with him. "Oh, you go to Dalton? I've always wondered what that's like." No, maybe not. But something. It's Blaine, he knows Blaine, he'll think of something.