Summary: It wasn't about what he hadn't seen in Kurt. It was about what he hadn't seen in himself.
Disclaimer: I don't own this beautiful moment, but Darren Criss most certainly does.
Warnings: Huge spoilers for Original Song
A/N: Bandwagon-jumping is a favorite pastime of mine. I'm actually an Olympic-winner in the sport.
I know, I know. You're probably sick of this. Darren was absolutely gorgeous in this scene, and I don't think I'm able to do him justice at all in this fic (I think the perfect explanation of what Blaine was thinking rests quietly and beautifully on his face). But I couldn't stop myself from jumping, man—bandwagons are like my crack cocaine, especially ones revolving around beautifully-realized moments. There have been tons of fics about this moment that are gorgeous and beautiful. This is my clumsy attempt to articulate what I think happened to Blaine during Blackbird.
It happens in the middle of a breath.
Kurt is singing, voice wonderful as always, and Blaine can continue singing back-up with the rest of the Warblers, but he doesn't.
Not because he can't. Nothing is stopping him.
He just doesn't.
Instead, his breath washes out and he listens as the music watercolors the room. It's a gorgeous song; Kurt and the Warblers' backing sound beautiful together, their mixture engulfing Blaine in some densely evocative embrace. Something in his chest is a little swollen and a little open. Sadness for Pavarotti's death, or maybe for Kurt having to deal with it—he doesn't really know. His eyes follow Kurt as he moves to the council table, and Blaine realizes the name for the capacious feeling in his chest: vulnerable.
He's… is this new, or is this just his fingers finally able to make sense of the dots they've been scanning?
He frowns a little in confusion and his eyes travel, tentatively and magnetically, back to Kurt. He shifts a little. It isn't, really, all that new. Kurt is a paradoxical person of strong fragility; he sounds amazing; he looks beautiful. These aren't new thoughts. Blaine is on good terms with these thoughts: Kurt is these things very often. This is actually very familiar.
He has felt this before, often. Knowing it, recognizing it—that is not familiar. Blaine feels fragile, suddenly, made of glass. Precariously translucent. Scared—the swollen thing inside him rises, quietly drifting into his throat: vulnerable. He is vulnerable with Kurt—all the time. Kurt. Kurt is still singing and Blaine cannot move, Kurt—
Kurt has broken into him and stolen him, left him echoing inside. Made of glass. When did he do that? Why didn't Blaine notice when it happened? Blaine feels exposed, unprotected, stripped. And Kurt still sings, holding Blaine's heart somewhere in between his hands (Blaine knows because he can feel them, Kurt's fingers, pressing delicately into its flesh). And Blaine watches helplessly, because Kurt does this to him, and does Kurt know that it's Blaine's heart he has gently cupped in his palms, because god, Kurt…
A hummingbird has replaced his heart and it flutters air against his chest. Something a little like "wait, hold on" and a lot like "yes, yes, keep going" coats his throat and spreads down, warmly licking his ribs. He's always liked Kurt, but in a superficial way–getting together has always felt like something blue-gray and distant. An ending: something vague and based on silly attraction that will undoubtedly finish them. The friendship they have is real, and bold, and Technicolor; he's never been ready to change the channel, too afraid of all the complications that would come from being boyfriends, but now—
Happiness bubbles up, a heady spike of giddiness that tickles because he realizes it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter about rules changing, or conditions being set, because this will never change—not this systematic shredding of his skin, this gentle, terrible tearing Kurt is doing, has always done. This… This. He feels like forever. He feels like finally. He feels like he needs this to happen again as soon as possible.
Blaine expands, spreads, swells. You were only waiting for this moment to arrive, Kurt sings.
Later, Blaine will tell Kurt, "Oh, there you are", and Kurt will hear, "I didn't realize you were there."
But what he's saying is: "Oh, there you are—I didn't realize you were for me."