Lyrics: Change – Taylor Swift.
I don't own the characters (unfortunately).
I believe in whatever you do
And I'll do anything to see it through
Because these things will change
Blaine wasn't completely surprised.
He'd known for a few weeks that something was up with Kurt. He'd been quiet and remote, distant despite their physical closeness. Blaine hadn't given it much thought, though, too busy with school work. So, Kurt's deadpan call, asking him to meet for coffee so they could talk, hadn't come as a complete shock to him. In fact, a small sense of relief flooded him as he grabbed his jacket and keys before he left.
Blaine hadn't seen Kurt all day. Given no reason for his boyfriend's absence from school, he'd presumed Kurt had just been ill. But, when he arrived at the coffee shop, Blaine couldn't spot any signs of sickness blemishing Kurt's as-always impeccable appearance. Although, instead of the bright smile Blaine adored, he was wearing a frown.
'What's up?' Blaine asked as he slipped into the booth opposite him.
'We need to talk,' was all Kurt said in reply.
He didn't reply, waiting for his boyfriend to begin.
First, Kurt sighed, and then he confessed, 'Principal Figgins – y'know, my old principal – called my dad and I into McKinley for a talk today. It was a meeting, really. Karofsky and his dad were there. They wanted to tell me how much Karofsky was sorry and had changed – they wanted to let me know McKinley is safe for me now… safe for me to return.'
'Oh,' Blaine found himself saying, unsure how he should react to this.
Kurt's eyes were on the table as he went on, 'My dad doesn't really buy it, but… I think Karofsky has changed. Or is starting too. It's going to take a while for him to stop being angry and accept who he is. I think… it would be easier if he had someone, like I had you.'
'Of course,' he agreed, understanding.
His boyfriend closed his eyes as Kurt told him in a small voice, 'I think I should return to McKinley.'
That wasn't exactly what Blaine had been expecting to hear. But, the more he thought about it, the more it made sense. It solved the riddles behind Kurt's distant behaviour for the past few weeks; how Blaine had often found him looking quite lost and alone in the sea of navy Dalton blazers.
'So what's stopping you?' he had to ask.
Kurt's eyes rose to meet Blaine's, and he didn't need to say it out loud. He could see it in his eyes, shining out at him for everyone to see – but that was the beautiful thing about it; only those who'd felt it, who'd been engulfed by the same reason, could spot it and understand how damning it was.
'I know what the fear is like,' Blaine told him softly. 'I know how it eats away at your bones, and screams for you to stay where you are safe. But, sometimes, playing safe isn't the right bet.'
'So you think I should?'
Blaine smiled back softly at his boyfriend, saying, 'I heard putting up with your tormenters is a brave thing to do – but it's something else entirely if you manage to shake them off then willing choose to face them again.'
'But should I go back?'
What Kurt was really asking was would he, and Blaine knew that.
He sighed. 'There's no telling what you'll find, if you go back – despite what Karofsky and your principal promise. You'll only know if you go – but I can't tell you if should do that or not. I don't even know if I would return to my old high school, given the chance.'
Blaine paused, giving Kurt a chance to respond but he didn't. Clearly he felt his boyfriend's reply hadn't been what he'd wanted to here. So Blaine decided to try again, continuing, 'I guess it's less of a question of should, and more… I guess you should think about why you want to stay at Dalton. I know the tuition there is – well, it's not the cheapest – and it's clear you miss your friends.'
Kurt pulled a face, sighing as he admitted, 'There's two reasons: the zero tolerance on bullying and… And you.'
Blaine shook his head. 'I can't be a factor in this, Kurt.'
'But you are,' he stated in a slightly frustrated voice, his eyes on the hand that was still enclosing his, Blaine's touch burning his skin. 'You're… You're you and… and you can pretend everything's okay even when your world is falling apart around you. And I'm - I'm scared that I'll decide to go back to McKinley and you'll tell me that you're happy as long as I am but be completely miserable on the inside. And I'll get texts from David and Wes and - and, ugh, everyone telling me to come back just to make you smile again, and then I'll have to because it's the only way I'll smile again.'
Blaine smiled softly. 'You've really thought about this, haven't you?'
He shrugged. 'I've not thought of much else all day.'
'Kurt, promise me,' Blaine said quietly, almost begging, his voice dripping with seriousness. 'Promise me you won't stay at Dalton just because of me. Because, from that well-thought, yet badly-articulated declaration, it sounded as if you might. And I don't want that. I don't want you there unless you're happy, unless you really do want to be there. Of course I want you there, but I'm selfish; I want you with me. But, if it's what you wanted, I would - I wouldn't let you go, because that's implying that I own you and I don't, but… But I would accept your choice and support you.'
'You won't run off with someone else?'
Blaine snorted. 'Kurt.'
He met his boyfriend's eyes. 'I'm serious, Blaine. You won't ditch me?'
Sighing, Blaine reached his other hand up, onto the table in front of them, and took Kurt's hand in both of his. 'I promise you I won't run off with someone else, or ditch you. I mean, why would I do that? You are a beautiful, talented, amazing person, Kurt. There's no one I'd rather be with in the whole entire world and, no matter what happens – whether you go back or not – I will always be here for you.'
Kurt smiled softly back. 'That's all I needed to know.'
Blaine echoed the beam, before daring to ask, 'So, have you decided what you're going to do?'
There was a pause before he nodded, licking his lips as he told him timidly, 'I think… I mean, you're right – I'll only know if anything has actually changed if I face it, again. And I can't keep asking Carole and my dad to pay for Dalton – we don't have that sort of money.'
Blaine nodded. 'I know.'
'And if it's not changed – well, I guess it wasn't that bad before, apart from Karofsky. The rest of the Glee club knows about it now – they're my friends; they'll stand up for me if the bullying starts again. So… I think I'm going to risk.'
Blaine didn't speak; he had to hear his boyfriend say the words.
Kurt took a deep breath as he finally declared, admittedly in a slightly shaky voice, 'I'm going to go back to McKinley.'
Can feel it now
These walls that they that put up to hold us back will fall down
It's a revolution
The time will come for us to finally win
A/N: 1.45am idea with a fortnight later, 12.30am write-up.. This one-shot was not easy, and I completely blame Blaine; he did not want me to write this, not wanting Kurt to transfer back. But he did, and this is how I think Kurt broke it to Blaine.