A/N: Because I just finished my own finals and wish I'd had a Kurt of my own to get me through it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee.
Kurt walked the halls of Dalton Academy, halls that were so familiar to him, with a box tucked under his arm. He loved McKinley and he loved New Directions and he loved that these things allowed him to be himself, but there was a special place in his heart for Dalton Academy and its a cappella group, the Warblers. They had been there for him in darkest moments of his life, as he feared for his own safety and the effects his situation could have on the people around him - specifically his father's heart which was still weak from the heart attack he'd had at the end of the previous year.
Dalton had been there to keep him safe from his demons, and he'd never forget that. He was here as a visitor this time though, dressed in his skin-tight jeans and designer everything else amidst the sea of Dalton blazers that he'd once wore himself. Kurt smiled fondly and waved to a few people he'd recognized from his time there. There was Nick and Jeff, friends, Warblers. He gave them brief hugs.
And then he saw his friends, Wes and David, leaning heavily against a column. He excused himself from Nick and Jeff and sprinted over to the two boys.
Wes answered. "David just had his math final."
"Ah." That explained a lot. David was one of the brightest students that attended Dalton Academy, but he was well known for his struggles in the math department.
"Well, it's over now. I don't have to worry about it anymore, right?" David said wearily.
"Right," Wes replied, placing his hand lightly on David's shoulder. "Thanks for coming, Kurt."
"Of course," he said. Anything for Blaine. "How's the situation?"
David sighed. "We literally haven't seen him in days, Kurt. Not even for meals. He's just locked himself in his room. We've tried to go over there and …" he paused. "… it's a disaster. You have to see for yourself."
"It's like he's just forgotten everything other than finals, Kurt," Wes said.
"I knew he was stressing. That explains why he hasn't been answering my calls or texts lately," Kurt said, laughing awkwardly to hide his worry. He sighed. "Let me go talk to him. I'll let you know what's up later." The two boys nodded and left Kurt standing in the hall.
Kurt was standing outside Blaine's door within a few minutes. He couldn't hear anything within, which was already a cause for alarm. Blaine always listened to music. Always.
He knocked to be polite even though his heart was skipping unpleasantly in his chest. He gave his boyfriend a few minutes to answer. "Screw it," he said aloud, opening the door to Blaine's single.
The first thing he noticed was the multitude of clothes piled in various places across the room. There were also binders, textbooks, papers, and other school supplies strewn across the floor. Blaine's bed was unmade, his blue comforter scrunched at the foot of the bed. There was no sign of his boyfriend.
"Blaine?" he called.
"Not now, Kurt."
Kurt followed the voice, trying to avoid the mess by stepping on the sparse bits of clear floor. Even so he was pretty sure he'd stepped on some of Blaine's sweatshirts. He found the boy sitting on the floor, bent over a history text book, and looking very small in the big room.
"Blaine," Kurt said again, more forcibly this time as he dropped to his knees in front of the boy, and leaving the box he'd brought with him on the floor beside him. Blaine was wearing sweatpants and a t-shirt, his face unshaven and his eyes bloodshot. He looked up from the textbook slowly.
"Kurt?" he said, his voice weary. "What are you doing here?"
"I haven't heard from you. I was worried," Kurt admitted, taking one of Blaine's hands in his own.
He pulled his hand away and flipped to the next page in the textbook. "Look, Kurt. I love you, but you really can't be here. I have my history final tomorrow, and I have to write 10 more pages for my final paper. I can't have any distractions right now."
Kurt struggled to hold back his tears and quell the sick feeling in his gut. Blaine had never lashed out so harshly at him before, but Kurt knew that it came from a place of desperation and panic. So, he subdued his inner diva, who was begging to stand Blaine up and tell him exactly how rudely he'd just spoken to his boyfriend.
That wasn't the right way to handle the situation at all, and would only cause both boys to get defensive. Down diva, Kurt thought to himself. Blaine needs a boyfriend right now.
"I'm not here to distract you. I just want to help. Will you let me clean up for you?"
"Do what you want, Kurt," Blaine said with an offhand wave.
Kurt mutely got up, leaving Blaine in his corner on the floor, and began putting Blaine's clothes in his laundry basket. He felt tears at the corner of his eyes and wiped them away before Blaine could see. But Blaine was oblivious to Kurt's feelings as he muttered to himself on the floor. He made Blaine's bed, still stepping over the papers on the floor. He was afraid to touch those in case he organized them incorrectly. When there was nothing more he could do, Kurt sat himself on Blaine's bed and simply watched the boy impatiently.
It started with his eyes, which frantically searched back and forth for…something. Then, Blaine was on his knees patting the floor in front of him, his bones cracking at the sudden change in position. And then Blaine was standing, pacing, muttering to himself and tearing the room apart again despite Kurt's hard work.
"What are you looking for?" Kurt said from atop the bed.
But Blaine continued, pulling drawers open, turning over papers, binders, digging through his backpack. His arm surfaced with his phone. Blaine's hands shook as he attempted to punch in the numbers, but eventually he gave up and held the phone to his chest.
"K-Kurt," Blaine wheezed, his breath heaving.
Kurt saw this as his opening. "I'm right here, Blaine." He hopped off the bed, and Blaine jumped in shock, turning to really look at Kurt the first time that afternoon. Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine's trembling body, and helped the boy back to the floor
"Kurt? What are you -? How long have you been here?"
"Awhile," Kurt admitted. "You need to calm down, baby."
"I c-can't." Blaine shuddered. "I'm gonna fail tomorrow…I c-can't even remember what I just read. And I have that damn 20 pager due Thursday and that's like only half done. The English assignment is due that day too… and I haven't even started that yet because I'm so busy studying for this history exam… I can't fail it, Kurt. I just can't. My grade is hovering. And I'm here on scholarship and if my GPA goes down I'm gonna lose it, Kurt," Blaine said. Kurt rocked him as he ranted and whispered you'll be fine's and it'll be ok's in his ear. "…and I can't even find my damn pencil to write it down."
Kurt laughed, reaching over to grasp the pencil that was tucked behind Blaine's ear. "It's right here," he said with a smile. And suddenly, Blaine's eyes were watering and he was crying in Kurt's arms.
When Kurt realized they were sitting next to the box he'd brought with him, he carefully reached over to pry off the lid and dug through the contents until he pulled out a piece of white cloth, which he then handed to Blaine. Blaine wept, wiping his eyes with the cloth occasionally. Eventually, Blaine stopped crying. Kurt, though, continued to rub Blaine's back gently long after his cries had faded to weak sniffles.
"What is this?" Blaine asked, holding up the handkerchief. He admired the delicate stitches that spelled out his name in the corner as well as the music notes that had been added beside it. Blaine traced the cursive letters with his fingertip. "Did you make this?"
"Mhmm. Part of your Finals Survival Kit. There's also some veggie straws and a few other healthy snacks for you. I threw in a few pieces of candy because I know you must satisfy your sweet tooth. There's a gift card from the coffee shop, and a few other surprises. And of course, the handkerchief."
"Wow. Thank you, Kurt. This is… it's beautiful, and wonderful, and I am so lucky to have you." He looked around at the mess he'd made in his living space. "Welcome to Hurricane Finals. God, Kurt. I have so much to do." He sighed, falling back into Kurt's arms.
"You can do it. It'll all be over in a few days."
"Yeah, but everything I have in those few days is just…insane."
Kurt shook his head. "You've got to stop thinking of it like that, baby. That's why you've stressed yourself out so much. Take it one day at a time. What's tomorrow?"
"Just my history final."
"Okay. How much time have you spent studying for it?"
"I'm not sure. A lot. But I need to review two more chapters before tomorrow. And then the paper –"
"No. You're not allowed to think of the paper yet." Blaine's stomach growled. "And when's the last time you ate?"
"I really don't know."
"I know, Kurt. I'm an idiot." Blaine grinned at him thinly.
Kurt maneuvered himself away from Blaine and helped the other boy to his feet. "Okay, here's the plan. You're going to go get cleaned up. Take a quick shower, shave. You'll feel better. Then organize these papers before you trip over them. Bring your history notes to the dorm kitchen. I'll help you finish up those chapters while I make a dinner. What would you like?"
"Spaghetti," Blaine answered quickly.
"Of course," Kurt laughed. "That was a stupid question."
"You're gonna make everyone jealous."
"If I make spaghetti there will be leftovers anyway. Now, go get clean."
Once Kurt heard the shower going in the bathroom, he left Blaine's dorm room to check the kitchen to see what he would need to buy. He knew they had some stuff leftover from the last time he'd cooked dinner, but he wanted to make sure the ingredients they'd labeled as theirs had been respected by the Dalton students.
A quick check of the kitchen revealed that Kurt only needed to buy ground beef and a small carton of eggs for the meatballs. He only needed one egg really, but he knew the extras would be eaten. Wes in particular had a thing for late night omelets.
The grocery store was nearby, and Kurt was back at Dalton and cooking his homemade meatballs in a little bit of olive oil when Blaine strolled in looking much better than he had before. His eyes still told of his exhaustion, but he looked cleaner and healthier. He'd changed into a pair of jeans too.
Blaine placed his textbook on the island of the dorm kitchen and sat himself down on one of the stools. "It smells delicious already, Kurt."
Kurt turned, to face Blaine. "That's the seasonings. I'm not making sauce from scratch, but I figured I'd at least give you decent meatballs."
"You're an angel." Blaine smiled at his boyfriend, who was wearing his Kiss the Cook apron. It had originally been one of Dalton's plain white aprons, but once they'd discovered Kurt's talents in the kitchen the Warblers had taken it and made it more appropriate to Kurt-style. The Kiss the Cook had been painted on by Jeff, who was a talented artist. Wes, though, had crossed out the Cook and replaced it with Kurt in Sharpie. Scattered around the apron were hand drawn and painted pictures of various foods – conveniently foods the Warblers had requested for Kurt to make them. Blaine, of course, had drawn a plate of spaghetti in the top right corner.
Kurt had laughed when he saw the new and improved apron. And then he'd added his own touch by bedazzling it – because he was Kurt and that's what he did.
"I know," Kurt said as he turned a few more of the meatballs. He came up behind Blaine and placed his hands on the boy's tense shoulders. He began rubbing at the knots. "Now, you're not going to get anything done if you continue to reread everything from this semester. What chapter are you working on?"
"Seven," Blaine said as he relaxed under Kurt's capable hands.
"Take a deep breath. Okay, now talk to me about it. Only use the book as a reference if you need it."
"Well, the chapter was on Renaissance humanism…"
Blaine answered Kurt's questions about the Renaissance while Kurt alternated between turning the meatballs and working the knots out of Blaine's neck and shoulders. Soon, he was adding the meatballs to the sauce and then cooking the noodles. Blaine had made his way through all of chapter seven by the time their dinner was on the table.
"See? You'll be fine. Put the book away while we eat. We can work through chapter 8 after, and then you're not going to touch history again until your final, ok?"
"Sounds good, Kurt."
They dug in. At one point, Wes and David sauntered in.
"Aww. Come on, Kurt," Wes groaned. "You can't just torture us like this. We can smell your cooking from the hallway. We just ate cafeteria food. Like from the cafeteria. If I had known you were up here, doting on the boy…"
Kurt laughed. "Don't worry, Wes. There will be leftovers. I'll label a plate just for you."
"Thanks, Kurt! You're the best."
"It's good to see you out and about, Blaine," David said. "We are having a party Friday night when everything's over and done with. You should come."
"Sounds good, David. I'll let you know."
"Kurt, you should come too," Wes said.
"I just might. Thanks."
And then they were gone. Kurt and Blaine finished eating and rinsed their dishes before starting the dishwasher to clean off the rest of the mess. And Kurt always left the kitchen cleaner than it was when he arrived out of respect.
They went back to Blaine's room to finish up the last chapter of the history book. Kurt nodded at the state of Blaine's room – not spotless, but also not a disaster zone. Blaine went over to his computer and put on background music before hopping on his bed and patting the spot next to him.
"You're going to do fine," Kurt said, honestly impressed by the information Blaine managed to maintain.
"Well, these chapters are the most recent. I really should go back to the others."
"But you're not going to."
"No. You're right. I need to prioritize better. I've done what I can for this exam. The textbook is closed. See?" He held it up and tossed it to the side. "Next step is the paper. I can probably get 2 more pages in today, and then I'll work through the rest tomorrow."
"You need some fresh air first. Take a walk with me before I have to leave. It's getting a little late and Dad's going to want me home. You can start working again once I go."
"And put a sweatshirt on. It's a little windy out."
The two boys exited Dalton's halls and only entwined their hands once they were outside. It was dusk, but they could still see one of the many Dalton paths through the trees. They'd memorized it. They sat down on one of the benches and admired the landscape around them.
Blaine breathed in the night air deeply. "You were right. It feels like I haven't been outside in days."
"You haven't, Blaine. You were being a hermit."
Blaine sighed and squeezed Kurt's hand. "Thank you for being here."
"Anytime, baby. Just remember that you need to take a break every few hours. Wes and David are going to come get you for meals. And seriously, if you need me, call me. We don't want you having any panic attacks. And make sure you sleep tonight."
"I will. I think I'll be okay now. This evening really helped, Kurt. I don't know what I would do without you."
"Drown in Hurricane Finals most likely."
Blaine laughed. "I love you."
"I love you too."
They kissed and, when they pulled back, Kurt checked the time on his phone. "I really should go now," he said. "I have a bit of a drive. Walk me to my car?"
"Of course. You shouldn't have to ask."
The next morning before his exam, Blaine received a text message from Kurt. It read simply Courage with a little heart beside it. He grabbed the pencil that rested behind his ear and mentally prepared himself for the test, knowing his boyfriend was cheering for him.