Two months later.
Kurt sits on the plush, leather couch of his therapist's office looking very little like the boy who first walked into this office. His stature is more relaxed now, not as hunched and guarded, and it's almost unfathomable to think that, several months ago, this boy had experienced a severely traumatic event.
It's amazing what others can do for you if you let them.
"...relapses into anxiety are of course, entirely possible, but you've made such remarkable progress I'm confident that it isn't likely for you. Do you feel like things have gotten back to normal?" asked Tabitha.
Kurt thought about it for a while.
"It isn't so much 'normal' as it is a new equilibrium, I think. It isn't normal, but it's better. Things have changed, but I've found peace with my current state."
Peace also came from the fact that Kurt's father pressed charges and the ex-jocks were now facing jail sentences (albeit rather short ones) on account for assault, being legal adults and all. Yet, Kurt felt no vindictive pleasure from knowing they were behind bars- rather, he truly was at peace with his being and no longer had to live in fear. They wouldn't dare touch him again.
Tabitha takes a couple notes about his composed state, and notes that it isn't the usual drug-induced stupor that most depressive disorder patients are in. His prescription had been cut down considerably and it no longer clouded his head.
"It's also been good that you've had so much support," she notes, and Kurt smiles. She knew all about Blaine, he'd been a topic of many of his appointments. "You reckon you'll be okay heading off to New York after this?"
"I'm okay," Kurt grins at the feeling of utter honesty behind his words.
It's a crisp autumn evening when Kurt leaves his therapist's office in downtown Lima. There's a brisk breeze that sweeps through the wide streets of the city district of this little town. Kurt has a bounce in his step as he walks, having had his final appointment with his therapist after over half a year of sessions.
He rounds the corner, away from where his car is parked, that led him to that little bar months ago. It is hard to believe it's only been a short time since, but the effect of one individual on another's life can be monumental. Who knew the Kurt Hummel that once suffered from severe social anxiety and lived in crippling fear could bounce back, finding love (that he won't admit just yet) and well on his way to following his dreams?
In his hand, he grips a letter of acceptance into NYADA's foundation theatre course, mailed to him only this morning with the words "congratulations!" blazing on the envelope. The course was only a year long and wasn't an undergrad course, but it would give him a solid theatre foundation that McKinley couldn't have ever offered him. He supposes they liked the audition tape he sent them, even if it was rather unconventional. Next year, he will still have to fight tooth and nail for an actual position in the school, but he has no doubts that this course will give him the leg up he needs.
He's giddy as he walks through the bar's threshold, his feet taking him to his familiar place near the back of the bar. A voice he has come to love and easily recognize fills his ears, playing slow songs with his deft fingers, bright in the dim light of the stage.
The set finishes and he walks straight up to the performer, without hesitation.
"You're a sight for sore eyes," Blaine says, pecking him on the cheek. "how was your last appointment?"
"Great," he beams, feeling Blaine's stubble graze across his cheek. "I'm done- forever, hopefully."
"So proud of you, baby." Kurt's cheeks immediately flush at the new pet name, and he has a feeling that Blaine noticed, if his dopey grin had anything to do with it. He quickly moves on, a little flustered.
"Hey, I have news. This also happened."
Kurt produces the letter of acceptance, the word 'congratulations!' printed over and over on the front of the envelope, unmistakably welcoming him to the nation's most prestigious performing arts academy.
Blaine makes an odd squealing noise he'd never heard before and Kurt gets tightly crushed in his arms, grinning from ear to ear into his boyfriend's (boyfriend's) curls.
"I'm so proud of you!" he says, smiling at him so warmly Kurt might just melt. "Why didn't you call?!"
"I wanted to tell you in person, and maybe get a congratulatory kiss...?"
It's one of those sweet, sweet smiling kisses too.
"Congratulations, Kurt. You're going to be fantastic."
"Here's the thing about NYADA, though... it's kind of, well, in New York." Kurt bites his lip as he gauges Blaine's reaction. They'd talked about NYADA, mostly in the abstract and only in the sense of academics, but they'd never considered what it would mean for them if Kurt should leave.
"What does that mean for us...?"
Blaine slips a hand into Kurt's, raising his knuckles to his lips.
"It means that we," -kiss- "are going to be very happy that you," - kiss- "are going to your dream school."
"We are also going to manage long distance just fine."
Kurt's heart stops at the statement, at the way Blaine sounds so sure, without questions, that they were going to stay together.
"You don't know that," Kurt says, worried. Distance changes things, everyone knows that.
"Nope, I do," Blaine replies, moving to circle his hands around Kurt's waist. "Y'know why?"
"There are these snazzy things like skype and phones-"
"-Blaine, stop joking around, this is serious-"
"Hey, I am serious," he says, looking him straight in the eye. "We of all people should know what a big difference a phone call can make."
Kurt sighs, deep, and pulls Blaine closer to him.
"I'm going to miss you," he mumbles, pressing his cheek into his collarbone. "the distance is going to suck."
"It won't change us, I promise."
"There you go, making promises-"
Blaine for the most part ignores Kurt's skepticism. "I promise to always pick up your calls, no matter what I'm doing,"
"Mhm, you better-"
"I promise to keep texting you dumb things,"
"And what dumb things they are, too-"
"I promise to wish you goodnight, everynight,"
"Your phone bill's going to be through the roof-"
"And I promise to never let you forget how much I love you."
Kurt doesn't have a witty quip to that one. It feels like Blaine's kissing him for the first time all over again.
"Have I convinced you yet?" Blaine teases, amused at the adorable, stunned look on Kurt's face. "Do you think we'll be okay?"
Kurt nods, beaming wetly, before finding the gift of speech.
"We'll be just fine. You're only a phone call away, after all."
A/N: to anyone who still reads this story I extend my utmost gratitude and thanks. I started writing this in 2011, for heaven's sake, and I've been so awful about writing regularly that it's taken me this long to complete it. It was, granted, a bad idea to start projects in the middle of the most tumultuous years of my life thus far, but this story needed to get out of me and get out of me it finally did.
I can't explain how amazed I am that anyone would read this and stick with it, god knows my patience isn't nearly as durable as that. Thank you, thank you, thank you, you are all amazing and I probably wouldn't have been able to get to the end of it had I not had all your lovely support. ALL MY LOVE TO YOU, DEAR READERS!
so I guess that's the end of this particular journey. I've started about 20 others in the duration I've written this- that's how poorly concentrated I am. After this I'll be focusing mostly on rewriting Embers and getting that done and dusted as well. Keep an eye out for it, it's coming... eventually... sigh.
Otherwise, short drabbles and things happen on my tumblr, .com, if any of you are interested.
Once again, thank you for reading, and I hope you've enjoyed it. Much love to you all.