Title: Breathing Easy (1/2)
Summary: "No more tears, okay?" Blaine ran his hands up and down Kurt's arms. "You beat them. You won." Set during and after PQ. Part 1/2.
Rating: T
Category: Glee, KH/BA (Klaine)
Disclaimer: I own nothing even remotely related to Glee. Song is "I Will Carry You" by Clay Aiken.
A/N: Adding my 2 cents into the mix about what we didn't get to see in PQ. I've read so many great post-eps to PQ, so thanks all, for the inspiration. And to all the readers who reviewed and "favorite-ed" my other stories, thanks for the love. I've always loved songfics, but have yet to actually write one. But you know, it's Glee, so how can you not have a songfic every now and then? And sorry, but the story kept growing and growing, so part 2 will be up later in the week.


"I should go talk to Kurt," Blaine said a moment after Kurt's departure from the family room. He shook his head a bit to settle his own thoughts and made to stand up.

"Blaine," Burt said, halting the boy's movement. "If you don't mind, what happened to you?" Blaine looked between Burt and Finn, both watching him. He found comfort in their expressions, showing nothing but concern. He leaned his elbows on his knees, arms crossed, hands gripping his upper arms. He looked at the coffee table, taking a deep breath.

"I-there was a dance-and I literally got the crap beaten out of me," Blaine said softly. He didn't want to go into detail. He didn't look up, didn't want anyone else to see him cringing as the memory inevitably resurfaced-hands gripping him, clothes tearing, searing pain as he was punched in the face and kicked in the stomach, and the echoes of his own cries-it all haunted him whenever he thought about it, and had reappeared in his dreams since Kurt had first asked him to prom.

"And you're okay with going to prom?" Burt asked after a long moment. Blaine closed his eyes, willed the memories away, and looked at Kurt's father. Burt looked back at the boy, looked at him as if he were trying to decipher him. "You're going because of Kurt." Blaine didn't answer, didn't have to by the understanding look Burt gave him. Blaine stood up.

"I should really go check on Kurt."

Blaine stepped up to the landing, but before he could disappear around the corner, Burt spoke, "You're a good kid." Blaine looked at the man who he'd come to admire. "We're lucky to have you." Blaine nodded his thanks, not trusting his voice at the moment. A glance at Finn revealed a similar sentiment written on his expression, and he offered a small smile before heading down the hallway.

"We'll keep an eye on them, Burt," came Finn's muffled assurance just as Blaine reached the stairs.


"Kurt?" Blaine knocked on the other boy's door.

"Come in." Blaine opened the door and stepped over the threshold, shutting the door quietly behind him. Kurt had changed into jeans and a t-shirt, clearly not planning on going out. His prom outfit was laid out on the bed and Kurt sat on the edge, holding needle and thread. Blaine leaned against the door, watching Kurt busy himself with the hem of the kilt.

"I'm sorry about downstairs," Blaine said softly. Kurt looked up and Blaine's chest tightened at the sad expression. "I-," he faltered, looking away from his boyfriend.

"I do understand, Blaine," Kurt said kindly. He sighed before continuing, "I just wish I didn't have too." Blaine pushed away from the door, propelling himself to the bed, where he sat down next to Kurt.

"Me too." They sat in silence for several moments before Kurt leaned his shoulder against Blaine's.

"It's just prom," Kurt said tiredly. "Why does everything have to be so complicated?" Blaine shook his head but didn't answer right away. He reached for Kurt's hand, focusing on how their fingers twined together.

"I am worried," Blaine revealed quietly, confirming what Kurt had said downstairs.

"I know. But we can't keep running away. Courage, remember?" Blaine looked at his boyfriend, looked at the determination that had filled his expression. But a moment later he looked away.

"I don't know if I have that." Because the fact was, Blaine had run away from his bullies. He had hidden himself away, had found a safe place where he thought he was becoming a better person. But he realized too late that it had been false bravado when he encouraged Kurt to stand up at McKinley. It was his advice that sent Kurt into a confrontation with Karofsky that had Kurt fearing for his life.

"You do," Kurt asserted. Blaine looked doubtfully at the other boy. "You do," Kurt repeated, "because you give me courage every day." Blaine's doubts melted away under Kurt's resolve, under the absolute conviction behind his words. And he knew the same was true for him, that he got his courage from Kurt, and that together they might be able to face this challenge.

"I love you," Blaine said sincerely. Kurt answered by pressing his lips against Blaine's. The kiss was gentle, but no less passionate than any of the others they had shared and Blaine felt the now-all-too-familiar and welcome flutter in his stomach and the tingling that coursed through his entire being. Kurt pulled away first, cheeks flushed and slightly dazed. Blaine couldn't help smiling, knowing Kurt was just as affected by the kiss as he was. Kurt tugged Blaine off the bed.

"Let's go help Carole with dinner," Kurt said with a smile. They left the room, hands still together.


"I'm one big anonymous practical joke," Kurt sobbed out before turning away from Blaine. He was so humiliated, and angry, and he couldn't face anyone, especially Blaine.

"Kurt," Blaine said gently, placing a hand on the other boy's shoulder. Kurt shrugged him off, stepping further down the hall. His eyes burned with unshed tears, and he struggled to take in a breath. He turned around.

"I'm not going back in there," he said shakily. "No way." His breathing hitched again and he turned around. He wanted to scream and cry, but he held his clenched hand to his mouth as if to stifle the urge. Kurt tried to shrug off Blaine's second attempt at comfort, but Blaine held on tighter this time. Blaine came around him and pulled the other boy into his arms. Kurt let out another sob against Blaine's shoulder, clenching at Blaine's suit jacket.

Blaine held Kurt as tightly as he could, trying to will the misery away from his boyfriend. He wanted to yell and scream too, wanted to come undone at the injustice. Kurt, so innocent, had just wanted to have an evening of dancing and fun with friends, had wanted to dress up, and play at being a normal teenager. And how dare they take that away from him? He had done nothing to deserve such hatred. Blaine closed his eyes to block out his thoughts, and focused on running his hands soothingly over Kurt's back and whispering soothing words into Kurt's hair.

Tina and Mercedes rounded the corner, followed by Puck, Lauren, and Mike. Having watched Quinn and Santana storm off-stage, and Rachel and Brittany follow them, they had come together to see what they could do. They decided to find Kurt, to make sure he was okay. But when they saw the two boys together, saw how tightly Blaine held Kurt, and heard such soothing and loving words coming from Blaine, they halted their approach. And seeing Kurt so desperately clinging to Blaine, they looked at each other and, not wanting to interrupt, they silently retreated.

Blaine held Kurt until he felt the tension lessen in the other boy. He pulled away just enough to see Kurt's face, splotchy from anger and despair.

"You were right," Kurt said roughly, sadly. "You were worried, had reservations. And I just brushed them aside." Blaine's heart tightened at the defeat he heard in the other boy's voice. "I let hope get the better of me." Blaine couldn't stand Kurt's resignation and placed his palms on Kurt's cheeks, ensuring eye contact.

"There is nothing wrong with hope, Kurt," he said quietly, with conviction. He went on at Kurt's doubt and hurt-filled expression. "You should never give up on hope." Tears escaped the other boy's eyelashes and Blaine wiped them away.

"Why not?" Kurt's tone filled with bitterness. "What's the point?" He pulled Blaine's hands away from his face and stepped away from their embrace. Blaine knew it wasn't a dismissal, knew that Kurt just needed a little space. He followed Kurt as he moved further down the dim hallway. Kurt began pacing and Blaine leaned heavily against the lockers. He was drained, not just from comforting Kurt, but from the whole evening. He hadn't been able to shake the tension that settled into his entire body as he constantly scanned the gym, the foreign faces only heightening his fear. He had no idea who was capable of what, and that disconcerted him. Having caught Finn's gaze a few times over the course of the evening, and even Puck's, had allowed him to relax somewhat, but he hadn't shaken off the feeling that something would happen. And it had been too good to be true. And he had no idea how to make the situation better. Blaine slid down the wall of lockers, feeling just as defeated. Kurt looked at Blaine with misery, then turned and continued his pacing.

"Would you at least sit down," Blaine said quietly. Kurt had been pacing for a couple minutes now, and hadn't said anything. "Do you want to go? We don't have to go back in there," Blaine added a few moments later.

"Wasn't this prom supposed to be about redemption?" Kurt asked. He continued before Blaine could answer. "About taking away that lump you had in your throat from running away?" Blaine had to look away from Kurt, had to close his eyes at the reminder that he couldn't face his tormentors. He didn't know what to tell Kurt that would make this whole situation better. But when Blaine opened his eyes, Kurt continued, "if we leave, all it's going to do is give me a lump too."

Blaine stifled the urge to tell Kurt he wanted to run away again, to just go somewhere where they could be together in peace. And he stifled the urge to tell Kurt to confront the haters, to have courage, because where had that gotten him in the first place? But Kurt was stronger than Blaine had first imagined, and Blaine knew that ultimately, this was something Kurt had to decide for himself.

"So what do you want to do?" He knew Kurt well enough to know that once he'd calmed down, he's choose to stand up. So it was with a knowing smile gracing his expression that he waited for Kurt to speak again.

"I'm going to go back in there and to get coronated," Kurt said, voice steady as he looked at the wall, toward the gymnasium. He turned his determined gaze to Blaine and took a step closer. "I'm going to show them that it doesn't matter if they are yelling at me or whispering behind my back, they can't touch me." Kurt knelt in front of Blaine and Blaine couldn't help leaning close, couldn't help smiling at Kurt's conviction and strength. "They can't touch us. Or what we have." They stayed like that for several seconds, Kurt's breathing quicker from the adrenalin fueling his determination and Blaine's breathing halted at witnessing his boyfriend's courage.

"You're amazing," Blaine breathed out and when Kurt's lips quirked into a smile, Blaine pulled his knees under him so that he could match Kurt's pose and tugged Kurt into a quick kiss.

"I must look terrible," Kurt commented after they had pulled apart. Blaine thought he looked anything but, with his cheeks flushed and a light in his eyes.

"You look beautiful." Kurt scoffed at the comment, but smiled a moment later. Blaine silently pulled a pack of tissues from his pocket. Kurt looked curiously at his boyfriend. Blaine shrugged. "Just what any good prom date would have handy." He slid the package open and held it out for Kurt. Kurt pulled a tissue out and Blaine stood, letting Kurt collect himself. He held out his hand. "You ready for this?" he asked aloud, though he wasn't sure if he was asking Kurt or himself. With a significant look, Kurt took the proffered hand and allowed Blaine to help him up.

"As long as you're with me," Kurt answered. Blaine squeezed Kurt's hand and smiled bracingly.



Blaine squeezed Kurt's hand one last time before letting go and opening the door. Kurt kept his gaze forward, defiance lifting his chin ever so slightly, and Blaine couldn't help staring at his profile, at this amazing boy. When Kurt stepped into the gymnasium, Blaine let out a breath and gripped the door handle, letting the smile on his face disappear. He was tired of being scared, tired of feeling the panic whenever he found himself alone on a street or woke up from reliving his nightmare. He tried to dispel the paranoia and fear that had plagued him all night. But his mind flashed back to Kurt's terribly hurt expression from just minutes ago. He didn't want that for the other boy, and he hoped that Kurt's decision to stay would ensure that he wouldn't carry around with him what Blaine had for the last three years.

"Eat your heart out, Kate Middleton," Kurt's voice rang out over the speakers and Blaine could hear the defiant confidence, could envision the smirk on the other boy's face. And despite his anxiety, Blaine wanted nothing more than to be here with Kurt, for Kurt, so that he would come out of this not haunted by the same ghosts. Taking a deep breath, Blaine let go of the door and entered the gymnasium just as the audience burst into applause.

The principal announced the prom king and queen's traditional dance, and Blaine propelled himself through the crowd. He momentarily lost sight of Kurt as he and Karofsky reached the dance floor, irrational fear gripping his heart. Blaine still didn't trust Karofsky, but when he reached the front of the assembled teenagers, the former bully was retreating. It only took him a second to decide, maybe less, because he found himself standing behind Kurt, desperately trying to ignore everyone else before he realized where he was.

"Excuse me," Blaine said loudly, hoping the volume would mask the tremor he knew would be there. Kurt turned around, looking wary. Blaine held his shaking hand out as Kurt looked nervously at the audience. "May I have this dance?" Blaine managed to get out, and offered an encouraging smile.

"Yes." Kurt let out a breath in relief. "Yes, you may." And he stepped closer and took Blaine's hand.

Blaine wrapped his free arm around Kurt's waist and as they started dancing, felt his anxiety ebbing ever so slightly. He had wanted to dance like this with Kurt all night, but hadn't found the courage to ask, the courage to pull the other boy close and get completely distracted from his worries. And Kurt hadn't pressed, which Blaine was grateful for. But as he watched Kurt glancing at the crowd now, still nervous, he wanted their first slow dance to be exactly that-a complete distraction. It should be a happy occasion, one that they could look back on fondly. He pulled Kurt closer and smiled, hoping to gain his boyfriend's attention. It worked and, for a second, the two stared at each other. Something gave way in Kurt's expression and he smiled back. Blaine's smile grew and he stepped away, twirling Kurt around. Kurt's laughter as they came back together made the tightness in his chest lessen, made his breathing easier.


The song ended and the crowd cheered, still bouncing balloons everywhere. The New Directions, having congregated in the center of the dancing, were joking and laughing while the crowd of teenagers slowly dissipated. Soft instrumental music played from the loudspeakers.

Blaine laughed along with them, entirely thrilled that Kurt was smiling and happy. The night had turned out okay, and Blaine couldn't help feeling hopeful that things might be getting better. And despite the raucous mood, and several others still mingling on the dance floor, Blaine pulled Kurt into his arms. Kurt melted into the embrace, wrapping his arms around his boyfriend, and Blaine was vaguely aware of the 'ahhs' coming from Rachel and Mercedes.

"You're so brave," Blaine whispered into Kurt's ear. "I'm so proud of you." Kurt pulled back just enough to look at Blaine, to gift him with an enormous smile and an adoring gaze.

"I couldn't have done it without you." Kurt leaned his forehead against Blaine's.

"I want to kiss you so much right now," Blaine revealed as he pulled away, his tone tormented. He cringed at the echo of pain that shot through his stomach. He'd been able to keep the memories at bay while they danced, while he tried to be strong for Kurt and had seen Kurt's happiness. But now that things had settled down, his insecurities had reappeared. Kurt laid a gentle hand on Blaine's cheek, looking into the other boy's eyes.

"It's okay, Blaine." Blaine started to speak, to apologize, but Kurt cut him off with a gentle pressure on his jaw. "We're dancing. That's enough for me." Kurt gifted him with a smile then, and Blaine could feel the memories fading in the light of it.

So focused on each other, the two boys missed Santana shooting a glare at a couple whispering hateful things as they moved away. They missed Mercedes and Rachel linking hands and sharing happy smiles. They missed Puck and Sam, and Artie and Mike, move around them as if forming a perimeter when several of the jocks drew near. They missed the girls making plans in whispers. And they missed Finn coming back into the gym, shoving Azimio aside when he called his brother a 'fag.'

It wasn't until Finn's voice came over the speakers that Blaine and Kurt looked around and spied the glee kids surrounding them, grinning ridiculously at the couple. Other McKinley students hovered around the dance floor and at the tables, but they went unnoticed by the two. Kurt blushed furiously, hiding his face against Blaine's shoulder. Blaine laughed good-naturedly as Finn pulled the microphone off the stand and, still singing, stepped off the stage.

Yeah, I know it hurts
Yeah, I know you're scared
Walking down the road that leads to who knows where
Don't you hang your head
Don't you give up yet
When courage starts to disappear
I will be right here

Several couples returned to the dance floor. Rachel and Mercedes stepped forward and pulled the two boys into dancing as well, just as the rest of the New Directions joined in on the chorus.

When your world breaks down
And the voices tell you "turn around"
When your dreams give out
I will carry you, carry you
When the stars go blind
And the darkness starts to flood your eyes
When you're falling behind
I will carry you

As Finn's lone voice took on the second verse, Santana replaced Rachel in dancing with Blaine, and Brittany deftly slipped into Mercedes position with Kurt.

Everybody cries
Everybody bleeds
No one else said that life's an easy thing
That's the beauty of it
When you lose your way
Close your eyes and go to sleep
And wake up to another day

And in yet another switch that had the boys laughing, Sam and Finn stepped in for Santana and Brittany.

When your world breaks down
And the voices tell you "turn around"
When your dreams give out
I will carry you, carry you
When the stars go blind
And the darkness starts to flood your eyes
When you're falling behind
I will carry you

Finn led Kurt over to the other dancing couple, leaving Kurt and Blaine to dance together. The two boys pulled each other close, sharing a smile. The rest of the New Directions congregated at the edge of the stage as Finn sang the final verse, and they all finished the song with another chorus.

You should know now that you're not alone
Take my heart and we will find
You will find
Your way home
When your dreams give out
I will carry you, carry you
When the stars go blind
And the darkness starts to flood your eyes
When you're falling behind
I will carry you, carry you
I will carry you, carry you
I will carry you, carry you
I will carry you


(continued in part 2)