It made no difference what he did, Kurt couldn't settle himself. He tried watching Tabatha's Salon Takeover on the TV in front of his seat but even watching her rip into some poor misguided soul wasn't distracting enough. He was ready to land and start his New York Adventure.
He wished he could turn on his phone. Matthew let Blaine send him an email after Kurt left and it was… the word steamy came to mind. It was also sweet and romantic but Kurt was used to that from Blaine. Steamy was new, and it was an excellent addition to his communication skills.
He tried to drift off to sleep and make time pass but instead of resting his mind played images like a drive in movie. Blaine in the moonlight, sweat beading from his sideburns down his stubble lined cheek, and just behind his jaw line to his neck, his hazel eyes heavily lidded and lips parted ever so slightly, just enough for Kurt to add his own bottom lip between them. He was certain his fellow passengers on the plane knew what he was thinking by the smile that crept across his face every time he closed his eyes and so he abandoned sleep as an option.
The flight was mercifully short so soon he could see the ground and watched with an anticipatory knot in his stomach as the buildings got taller and the city became clear around him.
In the airport he went directly to the luggage claim area, his grandmother had given him the address for her apartment and his father had given him money. There would be no sweeping into waiting arms for him, his grandmother had a mahjong game this morning and her grandson was expected to find his own way. She would collect him for lunch. Collect him. Those were her words. He felt like a stamp.
This was Kurt's first time traveling alone and he held his own finding baggage claim but was nervous watching the carousel go by. What if he didn't recognize his bag right away, what if there were two alike and he grabbed the wrong one. Oh, and that one might belong to some international terrorist or murderer on the lam and he'd be hunted by them…okay, maybe time to watch fewer late night movies and just grab the bag with his Louis V name tag and go.
He got into a cab and turned on his phone, immediately pulling up Blaine's email. Rereading it gave him a sense of having Blaine there with him, feeling less alone. He wanted to respond but thought he should wait until later tonight when he had something to share about his first day in NY. It would be difficult to resist the temptation to flood Mathew's phone with messages for Blaine.
He watched the buildings go by, trying to memorize his way but losing himself quickly. Everything looked the same and yet different. There's Pinkberry, okay, he can remember that because he wanted to try one when he was here for Nationals but didn't end up getting a chance so okay, that's on this block and there's a cute little bodega next to it and a Starbucks and okay, a gun shop and Duane Reade. Two blocks later there was another Pinkberry and a cupcake place that made him think of Blaine and his constant desire for baked goods. He'd bake extra for him when he got home; maybe even pick up some new ideas here in the city. Three blocks later he realized he had no hope of getting his bearings on this cab ride.
He paid his driver and dragged his bag to his grandmother's building. The doorman opened the door and took his bag, "Mr. Hummel?"
"Uh, ye..yes. Thanks." How did he know? Did Kurt really look that much like a hick?
"Your Grandmother said we should expect you. There's a striking family resemblance. Right this way." They got on an elevator with a gate you pulled shut, it seemed elegant and very "Big City"
The doorman opened the door then handed him the key to the apartment. "I hope you enjoy your stay with us. If you need anything let me know."
Kurt didn't know if he was supposed to tip him but he was gone quickly so he just shouted "thank you" down the hall and shut the door behind him.
His grandmother's place was nicely furnished. She had style, he'd give her that. She'd left him a note telling him which room was his, to make himself at home and to be sure and call Burt to let him know he'd arrived safely. The room was elegantly masculine, making Kurt wonder who she had decorated for in the first place. He dialed Burt on his cell while he hung his clothes. They spoke briefly, then Kurt promised to call the next day and got off the phone. The only voice he really wanted to hear was Blaine's and then it occurred to him, how could he have been so stupid? He had been able to visit as Thad, why not call as him? He searched the number for the hospital on his phone and dialed with shaking hands.
The receptionist answered and he asked, "Can I speak to Blaine Anderson please?"
"I'll have to check and see if we have a Blaine Anderson listed. Who is calling?"
"Hold please." The hold was long and Kurt was questioning the sanity of the call more by the moment but then…
"Hello?" Blaine's voice.
Kurt sat on the bed and closed his eyes. It hadn't even been 24 hours but he already missed his boyfriend so hard it hurt. "Hi."
"Honey, are you okay?"
"Careful, this could be monitored. I'm fine. I just arrived in NY. It occurred to me that if they let me visit, they'd let me call."
He could hear the smile in Blaine's voice, "You're a genius. How was your flight?"
"Not such a genius could have thought of this ages ago. Flight was fine. Got an interesting email from a mutual friend last night."
"Yeah? Anything good in it?"
"Some stuff that made me want to stay home."
"Must have been really interesting to make you want to give up a trip to New York."
"I wish I knew if we were being listened to right now. So much I can't say. Anyway, I was going to email this friend back but then I was wondering if that was maybe a little, weird, because…"
"Because what if someone else were to see the email first?"
"Yeah. I'm not really into more than just this one special person hearing the things I might want to say."
"Well, if it helps, the person who happens to share our friend's email account is pretty respectful and probably wouldn't open anything that came from you unless you put his name in the subject line."
"Hmm, I'll have to take that into consideration. I may have to send off a proper response later."
"I bet someone out there is looking forward to that response like his life depends on it."
"You'd love New York."
"I'd love to be in New York right now."
"New York would love it if you were in New York right now."
"Killing me. Just, so you know."
"First day of school, stay focused."
"If I were any more focused on the first day of school I'd explode."
They were both quiet for a few minutes.
"Thank you for visiting last night." Blaine's voice had gone quiet and serious.
"How could I not? I…damn I hate this."
"Me too. The only time I feel right is when I hear your voice, or see you. I'm starting to feel like I'm never going to feel normal again."
Those words scared Kurt to his core. This was the sort of thing he'd been afraid of since the first moment Blaine had disappeared from his life. "Blaine…oh this is so frustrating, screw it, listen, I love you, there's nothing wrong with you, NOTHING. We just have to be patient okay Baby? You're one of the strongest people I know, you're smart and self confident and you gave me the courage to face things I didn't think I could. You're kind and loving and everything about you is beautiful. Please don't give in to all of this; please keep focusing on our future. I'm going to figure things out here, do you realize by this time next year we could be living here? Together? With no one trying to separate us? We could be waking up next to each other every single day?"
"I love you. I'm sorry I haven't been the same guy for awhile, I feel like I let you down."
"Stop. Please stop. It scares me when you say those things."
"I lean on you too much. I was supposed to be strong for you and now I'm a mess and I wouldn't even blame you if you found some amazing guy in New York and…"
"We lean on each other, and I'll tell you every day, there's no other guy, there's you, just you, forever you. Maybe you fall in love every other week but for me it's once and it's real and it's you, Blaine." There were tears on his cheeks now. He tried to not think about the fact that Blaine had said he was in love with Jeremiah on Valentine's Day but now he couldn't help himself.
"Kurt what are you talking about, I've never been in love before I met you. You're all I want." He was breaking; his voice was catching in his throat.
"On Valentine's Day you said…"
"On Valentine's Day I was an idiot. I was in love with the thought of finally finding someone who I could share things with, not realizing I was already sharing some of the best parts of my life with you. You were ahead of me then, you're in better shape than me now. I was trying to be a mentor for you, show you how to be strong and go for someone you liked and there you were, already understanding that we were building a relationship and I was too stupid to see it."
"Honey, are you okay? I mean, really okay? I think I'm coming home."
"No, this is a great opportunity for you. I'm just rambling, I can't say these things to anyone but you, but I'm not trying to lay a bunch of stuff on you when you're supposed to be enjoying yourself. I suck as a boyfriend. I didn't even ask how your grandmother is, what's she like? Baby, don't worry about me, I'm okay, it's just a hard day, Mom and Dad are coming to visit later."
"I haven't seen my grandmother yet, she's not here. I just got here, called Dad, called you. You can say anything to me, any time, and you don't suck, well…you're a fantastic boyfriend. I love that you can be honest with me, and please don't stop telling me how you feel. I just want you to see yourself the way I see you. It's okay, y'know, to not be my mentor, to just be my boyfriend, it's easier for me when there's give and take between us instead of feeling like I'm running to catch up to you. Did your parents say why they're coming?"
"No, they don't tell me, my therapist said they would be here later today, asked how I felt about it and if I wanted him to be with me when they were here."
"What did you say?"
"I said I did, I feel like my dad won't say the things he says to me in front of a therapist. I don't want to hear his bullshit right now. He asked if I wanted to try to talk to them about you with him there to mediate."
"Do you?" Kurt held his breath.
"It's a risk. I want you to get things out with them, to have a healthy relationship with them, but if they work out that the doctor is on your side they might just pull you out of there and put you somewhere I can't find you again."
"I mentioned that to Matthew. He said if they do pull me out they'll have to give me time to pack and if it comes down to it he'll hide his phone in my bag so I can tell you where I am and you can tell him."
"We owe him so much. I just heard my grandmother come in. Do you think they'll get mad if I try to call you tonight?"
"Call Matthew after midnight, he'll give me h is phone."
"I love you. Please just stay focused on that. You're so much more than you feel like you are right now. Don't let them get to you today, no matter what they say, okay, can you promise me?"
"Tell me one more time."
"I love you, Blaine. I'd give anything to have you here with me right now."
"I'll be fine. Call me tonight. I love you."
They disconnected and Kurt turned to find his grandmother hovering in his open door.
"Boyfriend in some kind of trouble?"
Well that's one awkward conversation he wouldn't have to have. "Sort of, his parents are have a tough time with our relationship."
His grandmother entered the room and cupped the back of his neck, noticing the red eyes and tear stained cheeks. "You love him?"
"More than anything."
"He's good to you?"
"Better than I could ever explain."
"His parents will come around, or they won't, but as long as you love one another and respect one another there will be a place for you. You're grown now, or nearly there, the hurt from them not accepting him will always be in his heart, but you have to make sure your love is louder than their disapproval."
All he could do was thank her, and then the tears came. Because he had so much luck with his family and Blaine had so little, and because he had been so worried about having the conversation about being gay with his grandmother knowing she was from another time. But mostly because this was like having h is mother's approval, like she was here, sitting next to him on the bed and pulling him into her arms instead of his grandmother. Then his grandmother said words he needed to hear more than anything, "Your father told me some of the things you've been through this year and I couldn't help but think how like your mother you are. You make me so proud and your mother would be so proud of you Kurt. Not would be, is. She's somewhere right now wanting me to tell you how much she loves you and how proud she is of you and how she wants you to fight for everything that you believe. That's part of why I brought you here. I want you to know who she was growing up, and maybe draw some strength from the parts of her that live in you."