Author's Note: Wow. Okay. We're finally at the end. I'm really bad at finishing things, so this doesn't usually happen. Nonetheless, it's kind of sad and awesome, and I'm glad to have made it to this point.
To those of you who have been with me since the beginning, jumped in partway through, or are just reading this now: THANK YOU. I seriously cherish each and every single one of your beautiful reviews. I don't think I've ever received so much wonderful feedback. As a writer I've learned so much from USST, and I can't thank you all enough for your support. :') I hope I haven't disappointed everyone with the ending… it was difficult to reconnect with this story after I decided to take a break, but I did the best I could.
So, here's to Kurt and Blaine and all the lovely, amazing USST fans. Couldn't have done this without you!
Disclaimer: I do NOT own the show Glee.
Time passes. Even when everything else seems to have changed, when nothing makes sense, time continues.
Blaine found himself relying on this constant over the course of the next few weeks. Plans were made, decisions were made, changes happened. Sometimes the hours dragged along as he waited. Waited for the verdict of his father's trial in court. Waited for his mother's new therapist to estimate how long it would take for her to feel like herself again. Waited to find out if they could afford to keep the house.
But, of course, in time, everything fell into place.
"You okay?" Kurt asked one afternoon, beginning to unpack yet another cardboard box. Blaine and his mother had moved into a small, new house in Lima, hoping to start fresh. Now that Richard Anderson's fate had been decided, they had the chance to put the past behind them.
Blaine put down the ordinary, blue coffee mug he'd been holding for the past few minutes. He didn't know why it had struck him as significant, but something about picking up that old mug from his old home made him stop in his tracks. He turned to Kurt. "Is it ever going to feel normal again?" he wondered softly.
Kurt hesitated. He could imagine how Blaine was feeling. His father was in jail. It was unlikely that they would ever see each other again, at least not for a very long time. In a way, Blaine had lost a part of his family, and Kurt knew how that felt. He set the box he was holding on the floor and sighed. "Not necessarily," he answered. "It'll never feel like it used to. You'll find a new normal, though. Something that makes you happy."
A smile tugged hopefully at Blaine's lips. "I like it that you're a part of my 'normal' now." He met Kurt's eyes.
Kurt smiled back, his face lighting up with that little spark of excitement that Blaine could never get enough of. His lips quirked into something mischievous. "I like it, too," he answered. "Even though I never would have pictured myself ending up with an overly-confident, intimidating reform school miscreant like yourself."
Blaine laughed. It felt good, laughing with Kurt about the past. It made it all less scary, like maybe the "new normal" Kurt had mentioned really wasn't that far off.
"How's your mom today?" Kurt asked, slipping his hand into Blaine's casually, locking their fingers together. He took a seat on the couch- temporarily located at the edge of the kitchen- and Blaine followed after.
"Alright," Blaine replied. He'd been seeing a lot more of his mother than he was used to these days, and although he realized she was safe and in good hands, it was hard to not worry about her emotional state. If Blaine was having difficulties dealing with the events that had just taken place, his mother was a complete disaster. But she was doing her best to put the pieces back together, which was a good sign, Blaine reasoned. "I think she likes talking to your dad and Carole."
Kurt smiled softly, his thumb tracing light patterns into the back of Blaine's hand. "They'd be happy to know that."
Blaine nodded. It was quiet for a minute, and he noticed snow beginning to fall outside the window. He'd forgotten it was almost Christmastime, almost a whole new year. Soon enough, all he would have to worry about were his grades and glee club performances. He could spend all the time he wanted with his new friends, with Kurt. It seemed too good to be true, really.
And it was all simply because he had decided to say something to Kurt that one day in the hall. That day, Kurt had been a volunteer and Blaine was just a troublemaker, but somehow they'd connected.
Suddenly, Blaine smiled. He felt alive. He had started over, made things right, and it was finally starting to sink in.
He could finally be himself.
Kurt saw the change in Blaine, as well. While he had always known that Blaine was more than he appeared on the surface, he now saw that there was so much more. Running from his past had been a distraction, in a way. Today, though, Blaine had the opportunity to live without all the worries and fears.
And, of course, they could focus on each other, on their relationship. Kurt was happy enough to know that.
Blaine's smile was infectious. Kurt grinned back, leaned in for a kiss, and gave Blaine's hand a tight squeeze. "I love you a lot, you know," he murmured.
"Love you, too, Pretty Boy."
"I should smack you."
Laughing, Kurt dropped his head to rest against Blaine's chest. They'd been through a lot recently, but in spite of it all, they had managed to hold on to each other. And that was definitely worth all the trouble.
Even if Kurt still had to take a gym class.
Blaine let out a soft sigh, and Kurt listened to the sound of his heartbeat, steady, calming, continuous. The snow fell outside the window. Time passed, and the moment was perfect because they had each other and, finally, everyone was safe.
Things were going to be okay.