First try at Kurt/Blaine. AU-ish.

Title from The Rock and The Tide - Joshua Radin.


take my hand and save me (come on, save me).

looks like the rain's pouring down on me
it's drowning me now
and all I want is to come back home

you got growin' up to do - joshua radin & patty griffin

–;

Blaine aches a lot.

After he's had one too many Shirley Temples , lost a fight with his hair, or hid from his dad's yelling voice.

(Always yelling, always hiding.)

–;

The throbbing in his chest first started when he was eight. Even if he tries to forget it (and he does), he just can't. The feeling in his chest made him want to burst at the seams, made his palms sweaty, and his legs go numb.

It started when he didn't want to play with cars or the action figures his dad gave him. He wanted to play with barbies. When he told his dad all he can remember is his dad's blank stare and after he walked off, he's sure he heard him mutter something to his mother about I'm not going to raise a faggot.

And that's when it hurt. Because even though he wasn't really sure what the word meant, he did know that it sounded mean, hurt his ears, was probably one of the words they bleep out on those awful television programs. It made his head hurt, moisture to gather in his eyes because it was daddy yelling and it was because of him. It had to be.

That's the first time he realizes his life was probably a lot different than others. (His mom's forced smiles, his dad's loud voice, his mom pushing the action figures in his hand, telling him barbies were nonsense for her baby boy.)

–;

The second time Blaine aches it's when his teacher tells him that playing with the boys isn't really what he's doing and she's got this ugly look on her face when she says it. She later explains to his parents that he touched another boy's hand, wanted to hold it, told everyone they were married.

(Blaine honestly didn't think anything was wrong. He'd seen girls grab guys' hands before with their wedding rings shining in the bright light of the sun. He thought it was okay.)

He went home early from school that day. The entire drive home he sat in the backseat, looking out the window, wondering if his dad was going to yell when they got home.

(He did. He yelled all night. First at him then at his mother while he tried to fall asleep in the darkness of his room.)

Blaine's nightlight blew out that night right as he was getting into bed. He thought about going and telling his mother the bulb blew but then he heard his dad's angry voice and something crashing to the floor.

He decided not to, locked his door instead.

–;

Blaine's childhood continues like that. His dad's voice rising then falling silent, his mother smiling even when she doesn't want to, him never ever getting rid of the feelings that creep into his chest late at night when he's supposed to be sleeping.

–;

But the moment he realizes is the worst, the moment he pegs as his worst downfall is when he finally realizes that touching boys is bad, wanting to touch boys is worse than it seems, and not liking girls back means he's different.

That's the worse.

Finally realizing he is, in fact, gay.

(His dad was always right. The guys at school tell him so too. "Shut up, you faggot.")

–;

He doesn't really know where the feelings come from. All he can ever remember is wanting to run his fingers up and down the arm of the boy sitting beside him in his science class, not liking it when a girl, Lacy, kissed him on the cheek in third grade. Not just because she probably had cooties, but because it hurt him when a boy, Chad, walked away laughing at them.

All he can remember are the things he wishes he could forget. He really wishes he could. Because maybe these feelings will go away, maybe his dad will look at him with pride instead of disgust, and maybe he'll find who he was before he became so messed up. (You wont, Blaine.)

He thinks he's stuck this way: stuck in this crazy limbo where he can't do anything right but never really does anything wrong.

And he is. He's stuck with his mom still pushing girls down his throat: "Look at her, Blaine", "Blaine, isn't she pretty?", "Blaine, how about Mrs. Richardson's daughter?", "Isn't she lovely?"

He wants to shove things down his mother's throat when she won't shut the fuck up. Because doesn't she get it? He's gay. 100% gay, 100% never going to be the person everyone wants him to be. And God, he can't really change that, now can he?

–;

When Blaine begins high school, it's kind of when everything changes.

He comes out of the closet he's been hiding in since he first walked in it looking for his toys. He gets bullied, thrown into trashcans because "we can smell the gay all the way over here, Blainey" and he cries most nights when he gets home from school.

And one day when it gets really bad, when he can't look in the mirror because he's scared of what he'll see looking back at him, he decides he's going to tell his parents. He'll sit them at the dinner table and when his mom passes the rolls he'll say "we need to talk". And he'll proceed to tell them that he's never really liked a girl and he's okay with that now (he really is). He'll tell them because deep down he hopes that maybe they'll comfort him. Maybe his father won't sputter out a foul word and maybe his mother won't sigh like she's known it all along but it's still all the same disappointment.

He'll tell them because he wants so badly for his mother to smooth out the hair on his head, tell him she loves him, for his dad to at least pat him on the back sort of like "it's okay, son."

But it's not okay. And when he tells them his father threatens to kick him out.

He thinks okay, maybe this is a little worse: not being wanted by your own family.

(They end up sending him to an all-boy academy because they can't look at him anymore or because they're putting him where they think he belongs, he's not sure.)

–;

Dalton Academy changes him though.

When he gets there its all blazers and old dorms and smiles, pats on the back, and "Hey, new kid. Nice to meet you."

They were nice. They liked him and they accepted him. They accept his gelled hair during the day and his curls hanging in his face at night in the commons room when he's playing his guitar. They accept his goofy dance moves and most of all they accept him for him. And he can't remember the last time someone had ever done this.

–;

He joins The Warblers his sophomore year. He enjoys it, a lot. It makes him feel like he's got something to look forward to everyday. While everyone else looks forward to calling home and checking in, Blaine looks forward to going over his sheet music and singing himself to sleep at night.

(He hasn't talked to his parents since the day he left.

He packed all of his things in one night, cried a little into his suitcase, and left the next morning. His mother sent sent for a car to pick him up and take him away. She hugged him awkwardly for a couple of minutes, swiped her hand over his cheek, looked at him a long while like she might have loved him and then sent him on his way. His dad pretended to still be asleep in bed; his mother didn't even try to make an excuse for him.)

He gets money in the mail sometimes signed with a note form his mother: "hope you're doing well, Blaine – mom". And then there's at least a couple of twenty dollar bills folded up in the envelop. They come every two weeks.

He never uses the money. Wonders if she feels bad because she could never love him the way she was supposed to. He keeps it instead; stashes it in his sock drawer underneath a picture of him in grade school. (Back then, he thinks.)

–;

Blaine doesn't go home for the holidays, ever. He stays in his dorm while every one of his friends go home. They offer their house, their family, but he politely declines because if his own family doesn't want him, why would anyone else's?

He strings Christmas lights in his room. They hang over his bed and play shadows on his walls; they flicker and there's so many different colors that shine through, illuminating his room, he thinks he could get lost in them.

That's how he spends his Christmas break. In his room, staring at all the pretty colors, eating store bought Christmas cookies, replaying his favorite songs.

–;

His junior year comes and goes like nothing really special, because it's not.

(And that ache creeps back up on his chest when he's stuck somewhere between being lost and never found.)

He still doesn't go home on the holidays.

–;

Sometimes there's a void in Blaine Anderson's heart. There's times where he just doesn't feel up to par, doesn't really feel like he belongs anywhere, doesn't like the songs he sings, doesn't like the way his hair lays sometimes.

Then there's times when he feels just right; okay with staying in his empty dorm room on holidays, staying up late rehearsing for The Warblers, knowing that his parents don't have anything to do with him, really.

(Sometimes, in the silence of his room, he thanks them for paying for his school, giving him money that he'll probably someday use, and letting him go because even if they didn't want him, he knows that someday someone will need him. And he likes to think he'll be there for them. Because if his parents gave him anything worthy of remembering, it's that he can do better than what they thought, what anyone thought.)

The summer after junior year, when he's teaching himself new things like sailing (even though he'll probably never do it), he forgets about his parents and when he talks about them (which he never does) he's sure he'll refer to them as his past. 'Cause that's all they've been: a twisted web of disappointment, misunderstandings, and hurt.

Blaine's sure he never wants to get in that ever, again.

–;

When he meets Kurt Hummel and hears his story, he has to step back and take a deep breath because Kurt's him when he first came to Dalton.

He's scared and hurt and when Blaine looks deep into his eyes all he sees is his distraught reflection looking back at him.

He never tells Kurt that he sees himself in Kurt. He just tells him that he had it hard too before Dalton, but Dalton's great and you can be yourself, Kurt.

Blaine makes it his mission to guide Kurt; teach him, support him, maybe even love him.

(Because he knows Kurt needs someone to love him, needs a friend. 'Cause he had needed one too.)

–;

Blaine shows Kurt his dorm, a single, he told him he was lucky (Kurt's eyes widen at this and he tells Blaine that he's not here out of luck, he's here out of fright.) Blaine shows him the commons area; laughingly introduces him to all The Warblers and every time he introduces him to someone new, Kurt notices this thing where everyone is just so nice and he can't seem to wrap his mind around it.

"This is all so strange. I'm used to getting pushed into lockers, not pulled into hugs by strangers. By guys." Kurt seems a little flustered and Blaine thinks it's cute, then him two years ago flashes in his mind and his stomach knots. They have a ways to go.

"You'll have to get used to it. All the guys here are far more comfortable with one another than most." Blaine chuckles, presses his hands together in front of him.

–;

Kurt and Blaine grow close, it's inevitable. They both love Harry Potter references, the Christmas lights Blaine still hasn't taken down in his dorm; they have a lot in common.

And Blaine does help Kurt. He says so one day, so Blaine's completely sure.

They were in Kurt's room (Blaine was still telling him he was lucky to have a single), listening to the best show choir records Kurt could bring with him to Dalton; Kurt sitting on the edge of the bed with Blaine leaning against his legs. Somehow the conversation went from one about the latest issue of Vogue to something serious, something Blaine only ever got with Kurt.

"Blaine, you're really a great guy. So thank you." He says as he plays with the hair at the back of Blaine's head.

"For what, Kurt?" Blaine turns around, resting his hands on Kurt's thigh, looking at him with big, brown doe eyes that are so sweet Kurt's sure he could eat them, they're so delicious.

"For being you, of course. You've really helped me. Made me realize that I'm okay the way I am. I mean, you introduced me to The Warblers and Dalton and it just would not be the same if not for you. So, thank you, I say again." Kurt doesn't know exactly when he got so comfortable around Blaine. Maybe it was somewhere between his dopey eyes when he tried to bake or his husky voice when he sang to him alone in his room.

Whenever it was, Kurt became comfortable. Found himself touching Blaine's holy hair and feeling Blaine's warm hands on his thigh.

(The thought still gives him chills.)

"Kurt, I don't what to say. That has to be the nicest thing someone, anyone, has ever said to me." He does this thing with his eyes where they get somber, even sweeter like he always means everything he says. (No really, it is the nicest thing he's ever heard. It was always "touching boys is bad", "disgusted, Blaine", and the worst, he can't even think about. 'Cause it hurts him, big time.)

"Don't try to kid me, Blaine Anderson. I know your family is gawking over how amazing and talented you are. You're quite a catch." Kurt just says it so lightly, doesn't even know. And Blaine know he's to blame because he never told him about them, about his past.

He just says, "Yeah" quietly, barely above a whisper; his lips pursed, his eyes squinting back the "Kurt, you don't understand", "Kurt, my parents hate me", and "Kurt, I hate them too".

He still doesn't say anything about everything he should say, everything he wants to say.

He just smiles at Kurt after his revelation. Clueless, cute Kurt that he helped. And he's okay, 'cause he did it. He helped him. And the satisfaction is wonderful: (Kurt's smiling face, eyes lighting up, pursed lips, styled hair.)

The best satisfaction.

–;

Somewhere between him telling him about his life at McKinley, the good stuff, Blaine decides Kurt is absolutely beautiful.

He receives confirmation that this is in fact true when Kurt closes his eyes, lets a tear trickle down his cheek, when he hears his dad's voice for the first time in a week and a half.

He's so vulnerable and isn't afraid to cry and his tears blend in with the pale skin on his face, slowly letting blush rise to his cheeks.

"God, you're beautiful." He doesn't hesitate, because it's not something he does. He does not stumble and fall, and if he ever did he'd keep falling because there's no one there to catch him. So he makes sure he means what he says before he says it, means to do something before he actually does it. And it's been working out for him for a while now.

So why stop?

Kurt opens his eyes quickly, wipes at his face with his soft hands (Blaine knows they're soft, remembers them in his hair), and stares at him with an "are-you-seriously-talking-to-me" expression across his face.

Blaine, he can't help but chuckle. "You, Kurt. You're beautiful." He says it like it's not a big deal.

It is a big deal, Kurt thinks, it's pretty freaking huge. And how can he just say it like it's not, like he's been saying it forever now.

"Th..Thanks?" Oh God, he thinks again, I'm stuttering. Oh dear Lord, help.

"You're welcome." He pops his lips at the end even though there is no 'p' to be seen, just his sweet pink lips. Kurt wants to melt into a puddle of Blaine right then and there.

But of course, he doesn't.

–;

After he tells Kurt that he is beautiful, Blaine becomes a little mesmerized by all of his beauty. Notices the gleam in his eyes when the light hits them, the way he pulls at the strap of his bag when he's nervous, the natural curve of his lips.

And Blaine can't help noticing that Kurt notices him too. Because he does. He notices the stubble on Blaine's chin after two days of not shaving, the way he fiddles with the button on his blazer gracefully. Kurt will never understand how he can be so graceful. He thinks he could seriously fall or trip and when he hit the ground people would applaud him because he did it with such grace. Kurt does not know how he does it, but, miraculously, he does.

–;

Blaine starts dropping hints. Kurt doesn't know what the hints actually mean, but he notices them, feels them. (because they usually involve touching.)

One day when they're walking down the hallway, Blaine pushes himself closer to Kurt's side, grazes their fingers together, then latches onto his hand when he can't take it anymore.

He sees Kurt smile a little, the taller boy giving his hand a tight squeeze.

The next day Blaine kisses the very corner of Kurt's mouth when he leaves his room right before curfew. He grabs Kurt's wrists, leans up a little bit, and touches his lips to the corner of Kurt's mouth. And there's all these feelings (again, the ache) and he really just wants to grab his face and kiss him kinda crazy.

But he doesn't. He just smiles sweetly and walks away, clasping his hands together.

It's not that he's leading Kurt on. He could never do that to him. He's just waiting for Kurt to want him back. He's waiting on him.

–;

Christmas break comes around again and when Blaine's flicking on his string of Christmas lights, Kurt bursts in through his open door.

"Blaine! It's Chrrrrisssmass!" He tries to singsong the word Christmas but fails due to laughter.

"It is, Kurt. Christmas." He chuckles.

"Are you excited to go back home? I'm sure you miss your family and your house and – everything, right?" Kurt looks at Blaine with expecting eyes, yearning for conversation.

"Actually, I'm not going home. I'm just going to stay here."

"What? Blaine, no! That is nonsense. You will go home and visit your family." Blaine thinks its endearing, Kurt trying to insist that he go. Bu it also kind of pinches at his heart.

"No, Kurt, no. I'm not going home. I'll be perfectly fine here. I promise."

There's pleading in his eyes, something like Kurt, please leave it alone. But Kurt's always been persistent and kind and concerned and he cares. "Blaine, what's going on?"

Blaine tries to push away the truth, bats his eyelashes, but ends up tugging at the tears. "Kurt, please, just..." Blaine chokes up a little. He's got tears tumbling out of the corner of his eyes, they're getting red. And he just wants it to stop – this continuous ache that just won't go away.

"Blaine." Kurt sounds like he may break too if Blaine keeps up the tears and the heartbroken look on his face.

Then Kurt's grabbing his hands, sits him on the floor with a soft thud; their knees touching, bump against one another. "Blaine, tell me. I'm here." (Not going anywhere.)

Blaine feels safe with Kurt. Kurt's always felt safe with Blaine since day one and "hey, new kid". But Blaine's never realized that Kurt was just as likely to make him safe. (Feels a lot like home.)

So he tells him.

He tells him about being eight and not knowing any better and honestly, I've never seen my dad so disgusted and he tells him about grade school and his mother's ugly, ugly smile everywhere he turned.

He tells him everything and when he finally slows down, when he's gulping back strangling breaths, he looks up from his folded hands that sit in his lap. He sees that Kurt's crying; silent tears rolling down his cheek. And moments later when everything's so quiet they could hear the wind through the window, Kurt chokes out the only thing he knows to say. "Blaine, God. I'm so sorry." He rubs his hand over Blaine's, presses his thumb into his palm.

"Yeah, well. Stuff happens and you move on – I move on. I..I'm moving on." He sounds much older than he is; too wise, too much knowledge, too much heartbreak, not ever enough love.

"You're coming home with me for the holidays." A slight smile appears on his lips.

"Kurt, I will not intrude." He protests.

"No, Blaine, I want you there." I want you.

–;

They go back to Lima for Christmas break.

Burt third-degrees him about his intentions and Finn does this whole protective, "I'm bigger than you" thing that's just so awkward it's ridiculous. All night Kurt has to shoot down anything about 'being a couple' and 'being together'.

Later on that first night, right after Burt tells Blaine he can sleep in the yard ("He's joking, Blaine." Kurt laughs nervously), Kurt pulls him into the guest room, shuts the door softly, offers the bed.

They both lay on their backs, staring at the ceiling, their hands touching in between their bodies; Kurt's boots knocking again Blaine's loafers at the end of the bed. It's nice, they both think.

Kurt apologizes profusely about his overbearing family and Blaine thinks it's cute that when he turns his head towards Kurt, he finds him just staring back.

"Kurt, stop", he says with a quiet laugh, "I love your family. Don't apologize for their loving you."

Kurt sighs into the darkness of the room, only a nightlight in the corner giving off a glow. (Blaine shies away from looking at it too long. Thinks youth, mom, dad yelling, crash.)

Blaine turns on his side, faces Kurt; so close he's sure he'd only have to move his hand an inch and he'd be touching his pretty face.

"Thank you for bringing me here with you." Butterflies flutter in one of their stomachs, neither is really sure, it just may have been both.

–;

The break ends with too many glasses of eggnog, homemade cookies, crossword puzzles and hot cocoa, meeting Kurt's former glee club, remembering Puck trying to steal his wallet after one too many glasses of spiked eggnog. Meaningless fun.

Blaine's positive it's the best Christmas. Ever.

And not just because his past memories involved business trips, no family pictures, and his parents never liking the gift he and the nanny picked out for them.

It was because Kurt was so kind to him and made him feel apart of a family for once, because Burt and Carole bought him a nice sweater and he woke up to a mug of hot cocoa and Kurt kissing the apple of his cheek on Christmas morning.

It was his favorite because if Kurt keeps it up, Blaine's sure he'll be in love with him soon enough.

(And he's never really loved anyone. Not even his parents because their hate overshadowed whatever love he could have had for them.)

–;

(Kurt's feelings lie somewhere between corner mouth kisses, liking the first openly gay guy he knows, and not knowing what to do about it.)

–;

Blaine waits until he can't anymore.

"Are you ever going to let me kiss you?"

They're in Kurt's room again, school books laid out in front of them, frustrated notes written in the corners of the pages. Kurt looks up from his Latin book; his eyes wide, mouth opened slightly, something pulling at the strings in his chest.

Blaine's sitting with his legs pulled back underneath him; eyes dark with something teetering on lust and love.

"'Cause I've been read for a while now. Though, I don't want to push you into anything you aren't ready for. Because I've never been ready for anything, either, before you and all of a sudden I'm so ready, so sure that I want you and your heart and I want to cherish you more than anyone else does. Because, gosh Kurt, you're so amazing and kind and I love everything that makes you the person you are." Blaine's face is so somber, tears gathering somewhere in his eyes, his heart opened up and waiting. (He's always waiting to be loved back.)

Kurt's holding his breath. A million emotions running through his mind. But the only one he can't let go of is blaineblaineblaine and his heart swells four times bigger than normal.

"I'm ready. K...Kiss me." He barely breathes out.

They meet somewhere in the middle, books cutting into their knees; Blaine's hands rest on either side of Kurt's face and Kurt doesn't know where to put his hands because he's never done this before. But there's reassurance in Blaine's eyes before they kiss and it makes it all better.

(Kurt tastes like coffee, spearmint, and just everything Blaine ever thought he could taste like; the good stuff.)

–;

Kurt calls him his boyfriend two days later when he orders coffee for them.

He tells the girl behind the counter, "I'd like a vanilla latte and my boyfriend would like a coffee, black, with creamer." He doesn't have to say it, but he does and it makes him feel good, really good. (Blaine's his, and he's Blaine's.)

Blaine's sure he could die right then and he'd leave the world happier than when he came.

–;

They go out on dates. To the movies (they sit in the very back and when the lights go out Blaine kisses the tip of Kurt's nose and holds his hand tight), to a carnival (in which Kurt reluctantly eats popcorn with his hands and smears popcorn butter on Blaine's cheek when they kiss on the Ferris Wheel), to museums, plays, Lima, and sometimes they just lay on Blaine's bed, staring up at his blinking Christmas lights.

(Sometimes the lights fall over Blaine's face, lighting up his features, and Kurt kisses him silly.)

And everything's perfect. (And Blaine doesn't hurt anymore.)

–;

When summer comes and they're finished with school and all Kurt can talk about is New York with twinkling eyes, Blaine grabs his stash of money and tells Kurt they should run away together. He's so excited, kisses Kurt's surprised face when he tells him.

Kurt says let's do it, and so they leave; say goodbye to Dalton and all their friends, jump into Blaine's car and just drive.

–;

Kurt sends his dad pictures of them in front of fruit stands, standing next to strangers, eating buckets of ice cream, in Times Square. (Blaine wearing light sweaters, sunglasses, and a pretty smile. Kurt's skin a shade darker, his hair lighter, and stars in his eyes.)

Kurt sends his love to Carole and Finn and updates them on all of the things he and Blaine do. He tells them how happy he is, how happy they are.

–;

Blaine and Kurt stay in New York. Blaine watches the neon signs light up Kurt's eyes and smiles when he says love you back.

Blaine thinks he wouldn't mind spending the rest of his days like this; with Kurt, loving Kurt, Kurt loving him back.

He thinks fuck you mom, dad and tells Kurt I love you, I love you, I love you while he kisses his eyelids goodnight.

He's sure that if he ever feels that ache creeping up in his chest again it'll be okay because it'll be a good kind – the results of someone needing him, loving him, and wanting him back.

And that's all Blaine's ever wanted. (Ever needed.)