In retrospect, there were signs that Kurt had missed.

There was the time they watched Pretty in Pink, and both sighed dreamily whenever the leading man came onscreen.

"Are you as turned on by Andrew McCarthy as I am right now?" Kurt asked.

"Course I am," Blaine scoffed. "I've seen this movie about a hundred times, and let me tell you, it's not for Molly Ringwald."

"What's your favorite thing about him?"

"His eyes," Blaine said immediately. "Even when he's putting on a brave front, there's something so vulnerable in his eyes. They're this gorgeous combination of blue and green, and you just feel like you can trust him when he looks at you."

"You've given this some thought," Kurt said teasingly.

"Yeah, well, it's a lasting crush. Why do you think my name is Blaine?"

Kurt opened his mouth to ask how that made any sense, but then Ducky was doing some sort of dance, and Blaine was laughing out loud, and the moment was gone. He must have misunderstood, that was all.

There was the night Blaine came over, and Kurt hadn't been able to disguise his surprise when he opened the door.

"What are you doing here?"

"Visiting my boyfriend," Blaine grinned.

Kurt couldn't help grinning back. They'd only started referring to each other as boyfriends recently, and the novelty still hadn't worn off. "But it's Thursday night. You have Warblers practice tonight, from six to nine-thirty."

"It was canceled," Blaine said, coming in and hanging his coat up.

"No it wasn't. Nick and Jeff have been having a Twitter argument for the past half-hour, over whether side-steps and snapping constitutes actual choreography." Kurt raised one eyebrow. "I gave my two cents, of course."

"Of course." Blaine shifted uneasily.

"So? Why aren't you there?"

He paused, then sighed. "I've been suspended from the Warblers for two weeks."

Kurt gasped. "What? Why on earth?"

"It's a long story, Kurt. I'd rather not get into it. Can't we just..." Blaine smiled charmingly, "distract each other?"

Hours later, after Blaine had left and Kurt had applied some Burt's Bees chapstick to his kiss-sore lips, he texted David, asking why Blaine had been suspended from the Warblers.

Wes found out Blaine sabotaged us at Regionals, came the quick reply.

Kurt stared at his screen in confusion. Sabotaged how? he wrote back.

Apparently he did a research paper in American Government class about the Tea Party in Ohio, and there was a quote in there from that judge, Tammy Jean Albertson. She talked about how gays are destroying America, and how the next thing you know, our children will be listening to duets between two men on the radio.

Oh, Kurt responded, his stomach sinking.

Wes confronted him about it, and he admitted the whole thing. Said that was one of the reasons he chose to do that duet with you. Everyone's really pissed, Kurt. We could have had a shot at going to New York and getting to be on TV, and he ruined it for us.

He couldn't think of a response to that, so he finally just texted back Hope you're all able to work things out.

Later, he asked Blaine why he'd chosen to put the duet in, knowing what he knew about the judge. Blaine gave an impassioned speech about standing up to bullies and how there were more important things than winning a singing competition.

Kurt nodded, not believing him for a second.

Over summer vacation, he and Blaine went to a water park with Finn, Mike and Puck.

Kurt, to no one's surprise, wanted to stop every fifteen minutes or so to reapply sunblock. He insisted on wearing a wide-brimmed hat, and laughed humorlessly when anyone dared to suggest that he venture into the water.

"You did realize what a water park was, when we invited you, right?" Finn asked.

"Make fun of me all you want," Kurt said loftily, smearing on an additional coat of SPF 50. "But mark my words – when we're both sixty, and I look thirty and you look ninety, you'll wish you'd taken my skin care advice."

"Ooh, check it out!" Mike hollered, pointing off toward the distance. "They have one of those wave pools that you can surf in!"

The boys took off toward the Surf Zone, Blaine dragging Kurt as they ran. Even Kurt would later admit, it ended up being hilarious. Mike kept slipping off his board, while Finn never even managed to stand up on his. Puck got a few seconds of surfing in before he somehow lost his board completely.

Blaine, though, was the big surprise.

He strode out with his surfboard, waded into the water, and stood up on the board, surfing as though he'd been doing it all his life. The other four boys watched him in stunned admiration, as he caught wave after wave with ease. Finally, Kurt called to him, and he came back onto dry land.

"Dude, that was awesome," Finn said, bro-punching Blaine's shoulder. "You're so good at surfing!"

"I haven't done it in ages," Blaine said breathlessly, delighted. "I was worried I'd forget."

Kurt paused in adjusting his hat. "Wait, when did you go surfing? You told me you've never left the Midwest."

Blaine's smile faltered, before he caught himself and smiled wider. "Oh, we used to go to this Surf Zone when I was little. My family loves water parks."

The little voice in Kurt's head was dubious. While he'd only met Mrs. Anderson, she certainly didn't seem like she would step foot in a place like this. Besides, there was a large sign by the Surf Zone saying that it was a brand new attraction.

But then Blaine took his hand as the group headed off toward the exit, and Kurt started focusing on a whole other kind of attraction.

There was the time when Blaine came over, and found Kurt elbow-deep in college research.

"What if I don't get into Parsons?" Kurt asked in a panic. "What if you don't get into Columbia?"

"Hello to you, too," Blaine said easily, leaning down to kiss Kurt's cheek. "What brought about this hysteria?"

"What are we going to do if one of us gets into his top choice college, but the other doesn't? I don't want to be in New York without you. And I sure as hell don't want you to be in New York without me."

"So we'll apply to some safety schools that are in the city," came the calm reply.

"I don't want to settle when it comes to college," Kurt said, shuffling some papers. "I don't want to leave Lima and move all the way to New York City, only to go to The Captain Loser University for Crappy Design."

"I'm almost positive that's not a real school."

"Be serious, Blaine."

"Sorry," he grinned, not sounding sorry at all. "I just think you're worrying a bit too much."

"We need a contingency plan," Kurt insisted. Then, his face brightened. "Luckily, I think I've found one." He leaned over to his computer, pulling up a few windows on the screen while Blaine stared at the tantalizing sliver of skin that had appeared between the bottom of Kurt's shirt and the top of his pants. "See?"

Blaine nodded, then blinked. "Huh?"

"Cal Arts and UCLA," Kurt beamed. "Both top schools for our fields, and within 25 miles of each other. We could get an apartment somewhere in the middle, and–"

"No," Blaine said.

"That's okay, we can be a bit closer to UCLA, you'll have more traffic to deal with anyway–"

"I don't want to go to UCLA."

Kurt looked up, surprised at the firmness in Blaine's tone. "No?"

"No. I want to go to New York, not California. New York was our plan." Blaine wouldn't look at him. "We had a plan, Kurt. Remember?"

Kurt just nodded. "I remember."

Then there was the time when Blaine indulgently let Kurt give him a makeover.

"This is fantastic," Kurt exclaimed, as they flitted in and out of seemingly every clothing store in the Lima Mall. "You look so good in skinny jeans, it's a crime that you haven't been wearing them all these months."

Blaine just shrugged good-naturedly. "I guess. But I feel so... on display when I'm wearing them."

"Yes, and my eyes are thanking you for that," Kurt muttered, leaning back to get a better look at the way the jeans hugged Blaine's ass.


They laughed, heading into a shoe store. An hour and a half later, they emerged. Kurt looked energized; Blaine looked exhausted.

"I just don't see how these boots are different from the other fifty I tried on," he groaned.

"And that's why I'm here," Kurt said consolingly. "Because you don't see the difference."

"I think I was just insulted," Blaine pondered. "But I'm too tired to care."

"No time to rest yet, my dear," Kurt said, gesturing in front of them. "First, we have to complete your makeover."

Blaine blinked at the sign over the door. "Andre's Salon and Spa? Why–"

"Surprise!" He clapped his hands excitedly. "I scheduled you an appointment with Jean-Paul."

"I just got a haircut a couple of weeks ago," Blaine groaned. "Please, let's skip this."

"You don't understand. Jean-Paul is an absolute miracle worker when it comes to curly hair. That's his specialty; he trained in Paris. He knows how to cut it so that the hair curls just the right way, without going all fro on you–"

"I don't have curly hair."

Kurt stopped, and stared. "What?"

"My hair is straight," Blaine said, one hand flying up to stroke his hair self-consciously.

"It is not."

"Is too."

Kurt cocked his hand against his hip. "Blaine Anderson, your hair is about as straight as you are. Which is to say, not at all. Even with all that gel you pour into it, it still can't stand to lie flat."

Blaine's expression was stormy as he picked up the shopping bags of their purchases. "Look, I'm tired, and I don't want a haircut. Let's just go." Without waiting for a response, he turned and marched toward the exit. Kurt followed blankly.

When Blaine pulled the car up to the Hummels' house, idling in the driveway, Kurt didn't move.

"I'm sorry that I upset you," Kurt said finally.

Blaine sighed. "I'm sorry that I acted ungrateful when you spent all day trying to help me look better," he said, subdued.

Kurt looked up suddenly. "You know I love you either way, right? Whether you're wearing skinny jeans or cargo pants or... or sweatsuits–"

His train of thought was broken when Blaine reached out and hugged him tightly. Bewildered, Kurt just hugged him back.

They sat there clutching each other for a long, long time before Blaine finally let go.