Title: Breathing Easy (2/2)
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 2/2.
Rating: T
Category: Glee, KH/BA (Klaine) with a bit of QF/FH.
Disclaimer: I own nothing even remotely related to Glee. And I don't even know who owns The Sound of Music, but it's not me.
A/N: I love Burt, and his relationship with Kurt. I think I've cried at every scene the two have together. So I had to write a bit from his POV. And of course, Kurt and Blaine are there. And Finn and Quinn, and oh heck, the rest of the gang too. :-P Minor reference to my previous fic, I Won't Say Goodbye, but it's not required reading. My apologies up front as well, as this part got way out of hand and is probably just way to sentimental and drawn out. Anyway, here's part 2.

...

As soon as the song ended, Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine. They had done it, they had made it through prom. And he felt safe enough with his friends surrounding him to hug his boyfriend. Blaine gratefully returned the hug, resting his forehead against Kurt's shoulder. He took a few deep breaths, knowing the night had turned out well, but that it wasn't over yet.

"Hey, you two," Mercedes said, placing each of her hands on the two boys' arms. They pulled apart, smiling at the girl. She smiled back. "Coach Sylvester is kicking everyone out." Kurt saw the smile disappear from Blaine's face, saw the worry resurface. Kurt reached for Blaine's hand and squeezed it reassuringly, but Blaine took no notice as he watched the remaining students slowly make their way out of the gymnasium. Before Kurt could say anything though, Rachel came up on Blaine's other side and slipped her hand in his. Mercedes looped her arm through Kurt's, and along with the rest of the New Directions, they headed toward the exit.

"You look very handsome tonight, Blaine," Rachel complimented, gifting both Blaine and Kurt with a huge smile. Kurt held onto Blaine's hand as they walked down the hallway, and he couldn't help grinning back at Rachel.

"I second that," Mercedes piped up. Blaine blushed and glanced at Kurt, a ghost of a smile on his lips. He took in Kurt's happy expression and turned back to Rachel.

"And you look stunning in pink," Blaine said graciously.

"Why thank you, sir," Rachel replied playfully.

"So, prom queen?" Finn said, coming up behind the foursome. Kurt looked over his shoulder, spying Puck and Lauren following close behind. Brittany, Santana, and Quinn were further back, and Artie, Mike, Tina, and Sam were right behind them. He couldn't make out their conversations but he heard their laughter.

"Yes, Finn," Kurt humored the tall teenager. "You missed all the fun," he added wryly.

"Well, now that you're royalty, don't expect me to bring you breakfast in bed or anything," Finn joked.

"Not likely, what with your cooking," Kurt snarked back. Finn feigned a hurt expression, but patted Kurt on the shoulder good-naturedly. Mercedes laugh rang out. "I think," Kurt paused as they passed through the doors into the cool night, "that the crown should go to the prettiest girl at the prom." He eyed Mercedes and with her hand still wrapped around his arm, Kurt pulled the crown off and set it crookedly on the girl's head. Mercedes smiled shyly at her friend, but quickly took the crown off.

"Now don't go messing with the weave," she sassed humorously. She tossed it back to Puck. "I think it might look better on Lauren." The foursome in the lead turned to watch Puck make a show of placing the plastic crown on Lauren's head. She waved majestically and Puck kissed her hand. Everyone broke out in laughter as they continued on their way down the sidewalk to the parking lot.

"Hey, Lucy," Lauren called out. "Catch." Quinn deftly caught the crown Lauren had lobbed at her but she shook her head when Santana tried to help her put it atop her head. Instead, she set the crown on Santana's head, who uncharacteristically gave Quinn a wide smile in return.

As they continued through the parking lot, they joked and laughed with each other. Rachel had pulled Blaine into a conversation about Patti Lupone, still holding his hand, and Mercedes and Kurt were giving Puck and Finn a hard time about their dancing.

Kurt was careful, however, to glance at Blaine frequently, to see that he was sufficiently distracted. He knew that Blaine had worried about this part of the night most of all, and Kurt didn't want the other boy to have any reason to continue harboring that fear. They reached two of the few remaining cars in the lot, and the group stopped. Kurt smiled at Blaine, who seemed more than happy to return it. Kurt's smile turned mischievous, but before Blaine could ask, he tugged him closer by the hand and pressed his lips against his. Blaine responded quickly despite his surprise, and lifted a hand to Kurt's cheek, deepening the kiss. Kurt felt the exhilaration filter through his entire body at Blaine's touch, felt his fingers tighten around Blaine's and the need to be closer as he tugged on Blaine's lapel. Both were cognizant enough to remember they had an audience and to not get carried away, but they couldn't bear to part just yet. And so the kiss lasted for several moments.

"Where did that come from?" Blaine asked, somewhat breathlessly, when they separated. Kurt pressed his hand along Blaine's lapel, smoothing it where he had been gripping it moments ago.

"I wanted this night to end differently," he answered significantly. Blaine looked at him with such an intensely grateful and adoring expression that Kurt found himself holding his breath. And when Blaine's fingers caressed his jaw, he felt his heart skip erratically.

"You're amazing," Blaine whispered. And even though Blaine had said it earlier that evening, Kurt would never tire of hearing him say it, never tire of feeling the absolute joy at having Blaine in his life and feeling loved. Kurt felt the blush creeping across his cheeks, but whether from Blaine's compliment or the way Blaine slid his fingers over his skin, Kurt didn't know. Nor did he care.

Finn coughed uncomfortably, pulling the boys' attention away from each other. Blaine had the good grace to look chagrined, and Kurt laughed at how Finn and Puck were desperately trying to casually avert their eyes. The others were sharing whispers and smiles, and Kurt was sure they were talking about him and Blaine. Mercedes and Rachel, still standing close, were looking positively giddy.

"I may have enlisted everyone as bodyguard detail," Kurt explained, trying to alleviate Blaine's embarrassment. Blaine's expression showed his understanding.

"I think the crown went to the right person," Santana spoke up over the various conversations. She sidled up to Kurt and replaced the crown on his head. "You certainly got your king." She winked at Blaine and gifted Kurt with a kiss on the cheek, surprising everyone. Mercedes gave the taller girl an one-armed hug.

"Sorry guys, but we need to get going," Artie spoke up. He tilted his head, indicating the van parked nearby. "My dad's here."

"So do we," Mercedes added somberly. She pulled Kurt into a hug as Rachel grabbed Blaine's arm.

"We're glad you're here, that you came," the petite brunette said quietly, pressing her cheek to Blaine's shoulder. Blaine kissed Rachel on the cheek.

"You're okay getting home?" Blaine asked, ever the gentleman, knowing she had walked with Mercedes and Sam.

"Mercedes' mom is picking us up."

"Congratulations," Mercedes whispered into Kurt's ear. He was sure she meant more than just his crown.

There were hugs, and a chorus of 'goodbyes' and 'goodnights,' as Artie, Mike, Tina, and Brittany headed toward the van, and Mercedes, Sam, and Rachel went the other way. Lauren and Puck headed to his car a few spots away.

"I'll see you at home?" Finn's voice came from behind Kurt. He turned, reaching for Blaine's hand again. He let out a sigh of relief.

"Yeah, Finn. Thank you." Finn nodded, but didn't move. Kurt rolled his eyes.

"You might be taking this bodyguard thing a bit too far."

"No way, lady lips," Santana spoke up. "In you go," she instructed, urging Blaine and Kurt toward Blaine's car. Blaine merely smiled indulgently as he opened the door for Kurt, who slid into the seat.

"Thanks, Santana," Kurt said seriously.

"Yeah, whatever," she said offhandedly, but her smile as she closed the door belied her indifference. Finn, Santana, and Quinn waited until Blaine had gotten into the driver's seat before they piled into Finn's truck.

...

Quinn and Finn sat in silence. Having lost her date, they had driven Santana home first and were now parked in Quinn's driveway. The living room light flickered and Quinn knew her mother was waiting up for her, probably peeking through the curtains every now and then.

"I'm sorry about tonight," Finn finally broke the silence.

"I can't believe you picked a fight with Jessie," Quinn fumed quietly. "Why did you come back?" She turned a searing expression on Finn. Finn looked away from her anger, his mouth open, trying to find the words.

"I wanted to make sure you got home okay," he finally said lamely.

"Really?" Quinn wasn't buying it. "Was that the only reason?" Finn gripped the steering wheel.

"Look, I promised Burt I would keep an eye on Kurt, okay?" Finn twisted his hands around the steering wheel. "I screwed up," Finn went on, clearly distressed. "I ruined your night and I wasn't there for Kurt. When Sam told me how upset Kurt got and how you ran out-," Finn trailed off, running a frustrated hand through his hair.

Quinn's anger halted in its tracks and all of her biting quips disappeared. She laid a gentle hand on Finn's arm.

"It's okay, Finn," she soothed. Finn looked at her, confused.

"You're not mad?" Quinn pulled her hand back.

"Oh, I'm mad," she answered sternly. "But this," she waved her hand vaguely at Finn and softened her voice, "you, right now, this is what I fell in love with." A ghost of a smile passed over Finn's expression and despite her anger, she found herself smiling back.

Finn got out of the car and rounded the front, opening the door for Quinn and helping her out of the truck. They walked hand in hand up to the front door.

"I am sorry."

"I know." Quinn tugged Finn down to her height and kissed him on the cheek. He wrapped his arms around her and she closed her eyes, trying to forget the night's events and just enjoy being in Finn's arms. Quinn pulled away moments later, sighing. "Goodnight, Finn." She reached for the door and turned the knob.

"Goodnight, Quinn." With one last look, and a sad smile, Quinn slipped inside the door and closed it, leaving a forlorn Finn standing alone in the dark.

...

"Can you come in?" Kurt asked as Blaine pulled into Kurt's driveway.

"Sure." It was late and he'd probably have to call his parents, but he really didn't care. Right now, he wanted nothing more than to spend more time with Kurt. "Your dad won't mind?" Blaine turned the car off.

"He's watching television," Kurt tilted his head toward the house, indicating the shifting light through the curtain. "We can ask him." Kurt reached for the door, but Blaine laid a hand on his arm to stop him.

"Can I do something first?" Blaine slid his hand to Kurt's, where he traced patterns delicately over Kurt's skin. He brought Kurt's hand up, placing a gentle kiss there. Kurt couldn't find his voice to answer, couldn't feel his lungs taking in air, as Blaine slid his thumb slowly along the inside of Kurt's wrist and followed with another kiss. Kurt made a sound, somewhere between a moan and a whimper, that brought their gazes to each other. And just as slowly, Blaine leaned into Kurt until the other boy could feel their lips brushing lightly, could feel their breath mingling. With desperate fingers pressing against Blaine's neck, Kurt pulled Blaine that last bit closer and their lips came together. It didn't take long for the kiss to deepen, for tongues to dance together, as Kurt slid his hand along Blaine's jaw and Blaine's fingers delved into Kurt's hair.

Desperate for air, they finally parted. And as comfortable as they were with each other and kissing each other, Blaine still got embarrassed by his passion and Kurt still felt flustered. Kurt didn't mind since Blaine's embarrassment usually had him distractedly tracing the blush that inevitably appeared on Kurt's cheeks, giving Kurt time to collect himself.

"You never have to ask to do that," Kurt answered belatedly, still breathless.

"You drive me crazy," Blaine said quietly. He halted his fingers' exploration of Kurt's jaw and sat back a bit. Kurt could feel the blush heating his cheeks again. "Thank you for tonight."

"I should be thanking you."

"How about we both just be thankful?"

"Deal," Kurt agreed with a smile. They shared another kiss before they got out of the car.

...

"Hi, Dad," Kurt called out as he and Blaine came into the house. Kurt set the crown and scepter on the arm of the couch, strategically placing his jacket over them. Blaine followed Kurt's lead, and set his suit jacket atop, in an effort to further conceal the crown. Burt came around the corner of the kitchen into the living room, trying to look casual.

"Hey, there, kiddo. Just came down for a glass of water." Burt waved the glass of water for emphasis. Kurt and Blaine shared a smile.

"Dad, we know you've been down here watching television," Kurt revealed lightly. "We can see the light through the curtain."

"Fine, I was up. I am a father after all." He sat down in his armchair, waiting for Kurt and Blaine to sit. They did, and Burt noticed they sat rather close and held hands. He found he wasn't bothered by it one bit, and was happy at the realization. "So, how was it?" Kurt and Blaine shared another look before Kurt answered.

"It went fine. We drank some punch, danced a bit, complimented each other on our attire," Kurt listed nonchalantly. "You know, the usual," he added for good measure. Burt eyed his son carefully, not quite convinced.

"No trouble then?"

"Not really, no," Kurt answered vaguely. Burt still wasn't convinced, but seeing no signs of injury to either of the boys, he let it drop.

"Well, good. Where's Finn?"

"He's dropping off Quinn and Santana, Mr. Hummel," Blaine piped in.

"Burt," the older man corrected, though the fact that his son's boyfriend continued to have manners put the boy more squarely on his good side. Blaine nodded but didn't say anything else.

"Dad, can Blaine stay for a bit? Maybe watch a movie?" Burt looked at the two, assessing the pair. They had only been together for a few weeks, and in that time, Burt had only seen them holding hands and sharing the occasional kiss. He was fairly certain he could trust them not to let things get out of hand.

"Yeah, sure, why not." Burt got up from his chair. "Do I need to call your parents?"

Blaine shook his head, "no, sir. I can call them."

"Well, okay then. I'm off to bed. Goodnight boys." Kurt stood, giving his dad a kiss on the cheek.

"Thanks, Dad. Goodnight." Burt nodded at the boys and headed out of the room.

...

Blaine set his cell phone on the coffee table and sat down next to Kurt, who had removed his vest and boots, and was now curled up under a throw blanket. Kurt lifted the edge of the blanket and Blaine shifted closer, tugging the fabric over his lap.

"What are we watching?" Blaine asked as Kurt pressed the play button on the remote. The panoramic view of the Austrian countryside that appeared on the screen answered his question. Blaine hadn't watched The Sound of Music since he was very young, but he knew Kurt adored the movie and often watched it when he was feeling particularly maudlin. He looked at Kurt's profile, lit only by the television, waiting to see if the other boy would speak. When Julie Andrews finished her opening number and Kurt kept his eyes forward, Blaine laid his hand on Kurt's knee under the covers and leaned against the other boy's shoulder. "You okay?" he asked quietly.

Kurt let out a sigh, sinking further into the couch. He turned to Blaine, his eyes swimming with tears. Blaine's heart quickened at the sight.

"Hey," Blaine said gently. He twisted his torso so he could face Kurt better. "Are you upset about tonight?" Kurt smiled wanly at Blaine's concern, closing his eyes. When he opened them again, his eyes were clearer.

"Just," Kurt paused, letting out another sigh. "It's just, prom," and despite his somber mood, he quirked a small smile at the echo of Blaine's word.

"I know," Blaine said ruefully.

"It could have gone better," Kurt said resignedly. Blaine silently agreed, but didn't want to share that with Kurt.

"Though not really that bad, in the end," Blaine tried to sound optimistic. Kurt didn't look convinced. "Oh, come on," Blaine said lightly. "We did the corsages, dinner, the cheesy prom music, the goodnight kiss." At that last one, Blaine quirked his eyebrow, eliciting a laugh from the other boy. "More than one in fact. We even managed a dance."

"While everyone stared and judged us," Kurt commented sadly.

Blaine didn't like hearing the defeat still in Kurt's tone, didn't like the idea that Kurt wasn't his usual hopeful, cheerful, and confident self. It brought tears to Blaine's eyes, but he pushed them away. Blaine stood, holding a hand out. Kurt looked at him curiously just as the nuns began singing Maria on the television screen.

"Dance with me?" Blaine asked roughly. Kurt gifted him with a small smile and took his hand, letting the other boy pull him off the couch and into his arms. The song was too fast for a slow dance, but Blaine wasn't paying attention. He reveled in the warmth of Kurt's hand resting on his shoulder and how comfortable it felt to wrap his arm around Kurt's waist, holding him close.

"We should have just stayed home and done this," Kurt said with a sigh, pressing his cheek against Blaine's as they swayed slowly in the small space next to the coffee table.

"But we would have missed the cheesy prom music and the goodnight kisses," Blaine mock pouted. Blaine felt Kurt's smile against his cheek and pulled Kurt closer to him. They danced in silence for some time, until thunder rumbled from the television and Maria broke into My Favorite Things.

"You were right," Kurt said as they settled back on the couch. "It didn't end up bad at all." He pulled Blaine's arm around his shoulders and cuddled into the other boy's side as Blaine draped the blanket over them. Kurt tilted his head and smiled at Blaine, kissing him gently on the lips.

...

By the time the nuns were singing Maria down the aisle, Kurt was fast asleep on Blaine's chest, his fingers occasionally clutching at the front of Blaine's dress shirt. Finn had come home, and seeing the two boys cozy on the couch, had whispered a 'goodnight' and headed off to bed.

Blaine had tried to pay attention to the movie, but found it infinitely more interesting to watch Kurt sleep, to brush away the hair that slipped over his forehead and run his hand over his back or arm soothingly when Kurt whimpered in his sleep. He watched the lights from the television play across Kurt's pale cheek and how his lips fell slightly open in slumber. Blaine wondered what dreams plagued Kurt's sleep, what would cause him to tighten his hold on Blaine and press his face into the fabric at his shoulder. And Blaine found himself wanting nothing more than to be the one to chase away any of Kurt's nightmares.

Blaine noticed immediately when Kurt woke up, his breathing having gone uneven and his body tensing. Blaine squeezed Kurt's arm, his concern growing with each second he waited, hearing Kurt's ragged breathing. He realized he was holding his own breath, feeling Kurt's unease. Finally, Kurt lifted his head and pulled away a bit, and Blaine felt the sudden lack of warmth.

"Sorry," Kurt said uncomfortably. Kurt blinked slowly, sleep still lingering. Blaine didn't really know what Kurt was apologizing for. He squeezed Kurt's shoulder reassuringly.

"It's late, maybe I should go?" Blaine winced at the roughness in his voice and the way he made the statement a question, at how he hoped Kurt would tell him to stay. He found the idea of leaving less than pleasant, didn't want to leave for fear that this, that Kurt, was all a dream. Because despite the ups and downs of the evening, he no longer felt the knot in his stomach and the fear that had plagued him for years. Kurt had done that, and Blaine felt his well-being inexorably tied to the other boy.

Blaine felt the panic recede as soon as Kurt shook his head. "Will you stay?" Kurt asked, his voice cracking.

"Of course," Blaine breathed out. Something passed over Kurt's expression that Blaine couldn't read. He waited for Kurt to speak.

"I didn't mean to fall asleep," Kurt revealed, though the tiredness showed on his face. Blaine could see the sense in that, as Blaine hadn't wanted to leave for fear that everything had been too good to be true. "I get nightmares sometimes, after-," he trailed off, looking absently at the television. Blaine quickly pulled him into a hug.

"I'll stay as long as you'll have me," Blaine whispered into Kurt's ear. He pulled away a moment later, rational thought returning. "But we should get some sleep." Kurt made to protest, but Blaine continued, "I'll sleep on the armchair." Blaine slid out from under Kurt and coaxed him into lying down. He fussed with the blanket until Kurt reached for his hand. Blaine knelt by Kurt's head, brushing the hair from the other boy's forehead as Kurt blinked sleepily.

"I don't want to go to sleep," Kurt protested fearfully. Blaine kissed his forehead.

"I'm right here," Blaine reassured. Kurt lifted his free hand to brush fingers against Blaine's jaw, as if confirming his words. Blaine ran his fingers through Kurt's hair again, watching Kurt fight against the pull of sleep. And when Edelweiss started playing on the television behind him, Blaine sang along softly.

Edelweiss, edelweiss
Every morning you greet me
Small and white
Clean and bring
You look happy to meet me

Blossom of snow
May you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever

He didn't have to sing for very long before Kurt's breathing evened out. Kurt's fingers gripped Blaine's tightly, even in sleep, and Blaine didn't have the heart to break the connection. So he settled on the floor by the couch, watching Kurt sleep until the credits rolled on the television.

...

Burt quickly, but quietly made his way down the stairs. Having seen Kurt's door open and the room empty while on his way to the bathroom, his heart had sped up and his brain conjured up worst case scenarios. But what he encountered when he reached the living room was nothing close to what his mind was wildly imagining. He stopped on the landing, letting his breathing slow.

Kurt was lying on his side, the small throw blanket draped over him. His left hand rested near his face and the other hand was lost in Blaine's. What Burt found surprising was where Blaine was sitting. He was on the floor, his legs tucked partly under him in a position Burt thought looked uncomfortable. Blaine's right arm was laying above Kurt's head, as if he were protecting him. They were both sleeping, their faces close together, and Burt heard their soft, slow breathing in the quiet. It was so intimate, yet so innocent.

Burt glanced at the VCR clock-3:45. He stepped carefully down the step into the room and ventured closer to the couch.

"Hey, son," Burt whispered, laying a hand on Blaine's shoulder. Despite his attempt to be gentle, Blaine started awake. He spared a glance at Kurt's still sleeping form before looking up at Burt. He opened his mouth to speak, but Burt shook his head and looked toward the kitchen. Blaine nodded his understanding and Burt stepped around the couch. He looked back to see Blaine kissing Kurt's hand that he had been holding even in sleep and gently slipping his out of the other boy's grasp. Burt marveled at the maturity the young man showed, at the thoughtfulness and care that had him pulling the blanket higher on Kurt's shoulder before he carefully stepped around the couch.

"I'm sorry, Mr. Hummel," Blaine said quietly as soon as they were in the kitchen. "We just fell asleep," he tried to explain, running a hand over his eyes to clear away the fog of sleep. Burt waved the apology off, silencing a nervous looking Blaine. Burt took pity on him.

"Is everything okay?" Blaine didn't answer right away, and Burt watched him struggle. "Blaine, you know you can tell me anything, right?" Blaine smiled at that, knowing full well what kind of father Burt was.

"Kurt," Blaine paused, glancing at the couch. "He didn't want to go to sleep." Blaine looked back at Kurt's father, at his kind and concerned expression. "He was worried about nightmares." Burt knew his son well enough to know he often had a hard time getting to sleep after being upset.

"I thought tonight went all right?"

"It did, in the beginning and in the end," Blaine qualified. Blaine looked back at the darkened living room again. When the young man didn't elaborate, Burt let out a sigh. He didn't press, knowing Kurt should be the one to tell him. Burt shifted his stance, getting Blaine's attention.

"Well, I just figured you'd be sore if you stayed like that all night." Glancing at the microwave clock to emphasize his point, he added, "it's late. Why don't you take Kurt's bed, since he looks pretty settled down here." Blaine hesitated and was about to speak when their attention was pulled to the couch.

"Blaine?" Kurt's voice trembled slightly, betraying his confusion and worry. Blaine immediately moved back to the couch. Burt followed, but stopped a few paces away.

"I'm right here," Blaine replied as he knelt near Kurt's head. Spying the tears welling, Blaine reached for Kurt's hand. Kurt shook his head at Blaine's silent question, letting the blanket fall off him as he sat up. Blaine sat next to him, still holding the other boy's hand. Kurt leaned his head on Blaine's shoulder and Blaine wrapped his arm around Kurt, running his hand up and down his arm in an effort to comfort. Kurt let out a shaky breath, the tears slowly falling, wetting Blaine's shirt.

They sat like that for several long moments, neither acknowledging Burt's presence. Burt stood watching, feeling like a voyeur and yet not able to look away from the sadness emanating from his son and the caring way Blaine was holding him.

Kurt finally lifted his head and Blaine shifted so he was face to face with Kurt. He pressed a palm to Kurt's cheek, wiping away the lingering tears with his thumb. "You did it, Kurt. Tonight, you showed them you weren't afraid. That you had nothing to be afraid of." Blaine pressed a kiss to Kurt's forehead. "You know you're amazing, right?" he whispered against his skin. Kurt couldn't stifle his sob, and Blaine wrapped his arms around the other boy.

Burt's heart broke at the sight of his son so sad, at the way he held so tightly to the other boy. More than anything and anyone, he loved his son and his heart was inexorably tied to Kurt's happiness. Burt hadn't realized the depths of Kurt's insecurities, of his fear. His son had hidden it all so well behind his fashionable clothes, well-kept manner, and witty and sometimes acerbic comments. But it was Blaine who pushed the pieces of his heart together with the caring that he heard in the young man's voice, and the sight of someone so obviously adoring of his son. He found himself thankful for the young man, thankful there was someone else in Kurt's life that could and would love him.

"Thank you," Kurt said when the tears had subsided again. He pulled away, and Blaine rested his hands on Kurt's arms.

"No more tears, okay?" Blaine ran his hands up and down Kurt's arms. "You beat them. You won." Blaine smiled encouragingly and Kurt nodded a moment later. "Why don't you head upstairs? Get some proper sleep?" Blaine suggested gently.

"What about you?"

"Your dad said I could stay on the couch." Blaine glanced at Burt, still standing behind the couch. Burt nodded his approval of Blaine's amendment to his offer. Kurt followed his gaze. Seeing his father, he quickly wiped away any remaining tears and cleared his throat. Burt stepped closer.

"Dad," Kurt tried to say with a steady voice.

"Hey, kiddo." Burt tried for some normalcy as well, seeing Kurt's red-rimmed eyes and paler than usual complexion.

"Did you-," Kurt trailed off. Burt shrugged the implied question off, sure his son wasn't ready to reveal what had really gone on at prom.

"Why don't you let that boyfriend of yours take you upstairs and get some rest." Kurt's eyes went wide. Burt chuckled at the looks on both the boys' faces. "You heard me. Get going before I change my mind." His attempt at sternness was ruined by the smirk on his face.

Kurt kneeled on the couch, and leaning over the back, gave his father a hug. Burt gladly wrapped his arms around his son.

"We'll talk later, okay?" He felt Kurt nod against his shoulder before letting go. Kurt gifted him with a smile before taking Blaine's hand and leading him out of the living room.

"Thanks, Mr. Hummel," Blaine added as they stepped onto the landing.

"Burt," the older man corrected kindly.

"Burt," Blaine tried out softly, wincing slightly at the informality. Burt smiled his reassurance.

"Door open," he added before the boys reached the stairs. He was still a father, after all.

...

Burt lingered a few minutes before heading up the stairs, hoping to give the boys a chance to get settled. But when he reached Kurt's room, he couldn't resist peeking through the slightly ajar door. Even though he gave his permission and he felt both Blaine and Kurt could be trusted, he still worried that teenage hormones might get the best of them.

Burt couldn't see much, as Kurt's overly fluffy comforter swallowed the boys up. He could make out the tops of the boys heads, and recognized that they were facing each other. But it was what he heard that eased his mind and assuaged his heart.

"I'm not going anywhere," Blaine said quietly. "Even if you get tired of me."

"Never," Kurt asserted just as quietly. "You're too good for me," Burt's son admitted a moment later. Burt saw the comforter shift, saw Blaine's hand come up to Kurt's face.

"You make me better," Blaine stated emphatically.

"Well, my fashion sense definitely does," Kurt joked lightly. "And I do have a fabulous voice to practice with," he added smugly. Burt smiled at hearing Kurt more like himself. Blaine chuckled, but sobered quickly.

"I wasn't living until you came along," Blaine said seriously. "I didn't know love until you came along." There was a long silence after that, and Burt strained to hear if the boys had fallen asleep.

"I love you," Kurt whispered moments later, and Burt could hear the tears in his shaky tone.

"I love you more than I thought possible," Blaine responded without hesitation. There was more movement under the comforter. Burt found his hand hovering over the doorknob, ready to intervene. But the boys were soon still again. "Didn't I say 'no more tears'?" Blaine asked kindly, his voice filled with emotion. "Come on, let's get some sleep." There was more movement and Burt recognized that Kurt now had his back to Blaine, that they lay close together.

Burt stared into the dark room for some time, his mind filling in what his eyes could not see. He pictured Blaine's arm wrapped around Kurt's waist, imagined his son's fingers twined with the other boy's. He envisioned their legs tangled together, and his mind created an image of two hearts just as tangled together. And just like the scene he had come upon downstairs, this conjured one was just as intimate and just as innocent. As their breathing deepened, Burt found his own slowing, found his lungs filling with ease, and felt his heart beating calmly. With a quiet sigh of relief, he shuffled down the rest of the hallway to his bedroom.

"Where'd you go?" Carole mumbled sleepily as Burt slipped under the covers.

"Kurt and Blaine fell asleep on the couch," he explained. Carole rested her head on Burt's shoulder as soon as he was settled. "I just sent them up to Kurt's room." She tilted her head to look up at him, her eyes more alert, questioning. He looked down at her and pulled her hand over his heart. "I'll explain later."

"You sure?" He smiled his answer and kissed her forehead, trying to be just as gentle and endearing as Blaine had been downstairs. He could learn a lot from that teenager, he thought wryly.

"Go back to sleep," he said lightly. Carole readjusted herself, her breathing quickly evening out. Burt closed his eyes, feeling his breathing match Carole's, and for the first time in a very long time, he fell asleep with no worries.

...