A/N: This was written for the Klaine Big Bang. I highly, highly suggest you check it out over on LJ. If you do look for this on LJ there's also a link for the mix that was made for this.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. I make no money from this.

In the year and a half since Blaine pulled Kurt down that hallway to an "impromptu" performance of Teenage Dream, he had never seen Kurt touch alcohol. Kurt had explained once, in hushed tones with a blush high on his cheeks, that he'd had an unfortunate incident involving Chablis, gay porn, and the guidance counselor's shoes-which sounded like the beginnings of a crazy joke, but the only punchline in the situation turned out to be a rather sobering lesson in underage drinking. Kurt hadn't touched it since.

On the night of their graduation, that changed.

Blaine had never seen Kurt like this-hips swaying to the thrumming beat of a dirty dance number, hands lifted over his head, eyes closed in a sort of ecstasy as his hair slid out of its usually perfect hold, a few strands falling over Kurt's face.

Brittany, Tina, and Mercedes danced around him, but Blaine couldn't take his eyes off Kurt, off the graceful, careless way he moved his body in the hot, torchlit evening air.

Puck slid up to Kurt slipping a refilled red cup in his hand. Kurt barely paused his movements, only deigning to lower his face a little to flash Puck a toothy grin and a bob of his head before falling back into the beat.

"Blaine?" Sam's voice cut through his thoughts and he tore his eyes from Kurt's hips to meet Sam's expectant stare.

"Huh?" Blaine's mind slowly came back to him, to the game before him, to the cards in his hand.

"I'm raising six Skittles, you in or out?" Sam asked and Blaine had to shake himself a little, glancing at his hand, eyes sliding back to Kurt.

"I fold." Blaine tossed his cards on the table and pulled himself out of his chair, making a beeline for the door to the kitchen. The heat.He told himself. It was just the heat getting to him.

Blaine shivered a little as he slipped through the patio door, the cold, recycled air pumping into the room skimmed over Blaine's skin, hill reaching more than skin deep and he grabbed a cup from the counter, ladling the near-neon mixture up to the rim.

It was his first drink of the evening and it would be his only. He wasn't stupid enough to forget the last time he'd gotten drunk with this particular group of people and he was hoping to never repeat that performance.

As the punch slid down his throat, Blaine wondered how Kurt was even drinking it. Kurt had always preferred natural foods and constantly ragged on Blaine for the soda he drank. It burned a little, in a barely noticeable way, raising a trail of goosebumps along his arms that had Blaine downing half the cup in a span of a few minutes, the music from outside still beating in his ears through the glass.

He closed his eyes, leaning against the counter top for support. It all came down to Kurt, didn't it? Everyone had expected them to get together, hell, even Blaine had, but...but what? He couldn't pin it down. He couldn't name whatever emotion it was. Whatever feeling it was that he had for Kurt. It couldn't be described in a simple word like love, or friendship, or platonic, and that was the problem.

Blaine liked definitions, labels, though perhaps not in the same way Kurt did. Kurt preferred labels with iconic names on them, while Blaine liked to use them to keep things organized.

Before Kurt, before Dalton, it had been chaos.

At his old high school, he'd been bullied. Kurt knew that, he knew some of the details too, and understood a lot of the fear that came with it. Never sure if he would make it to first period without a new bruise blossoming under his t-shirt, or wondering if he shouldn't just duck into the girl's bathroom instead to save himself the inevitable torture of stepping up to the urinals if a jock was already there.

He hadn't known, for a long time, what label to give himself, though the rest of the world (his school, at least) was more than happy to cast judgment on him long before he'd made up his mind. It didn't help that he didn't fit in with any of the social groups, and more often than not, found himself alone at his lunch table scribbling lyrics and doodling into tattered composition notebooks.

When Blaine began to realize that he was more interested in the guys walking down the halls and the way their jeans moulded over slim legs, curving up to hug a gorgeous ass, rather than the hemlines of their girlfriends' skirts and the ever-dropping line of their shirts, showing off just a bit more cleavage every year, he started to understand why the other guys shied away from him in the locker rooms even as he grew more curious over what they could be hiding.

Gay. That was the first label Blaine had imposed on himself. It certainly wasn't an easy one to accept, a fact made even more difficult by his father's thinly veiled attempts at straightening him out.

While it was grounding for Blaine, it had only served to make everything else in his life spiral even more out of control. Things only got worse after the attack.

That's when new labels started coming into Blaine's life. Zero-tolerance. Private school. He appreciated the uniform with its clean lines and neatly knotted ties. Blaine chopped his ear-length, curly mane off, favoring the more sophisticated, gelled-down look like he'd seen in so many classic Hollywood films with confident stars whose smiles could disarm even the most withdrawn of dames. It all worked so smoothly, clean-cut boys all dressed the same, tolerant on a level that Blaine hadn't expected after what he'd been through, not until he was older and had gotten out of Ohio.

It was a charade, a façade that he worked at to keep the other boys from knowing the truth about his past. However accepting Dalton boys were, however supportive and appreciative the Warblers had been of Blaine's talents, no one ever saw him as anything other than the charismatic leader that he wanted them to see.

It wasn't until another boy had shown up, tapping him on the shoulder as he rushed to a performance, and he turned and saw and recognized the smile on his lips that didn't match the yearning in his eyes, that he opened himself up letting the truth come out.

Everything had changed that day in a single moment, with a simple gesture, and Blaine tried not to think about what could have happened if Kurt had reached out to another boy on the staircase.

The thought made his stomach knot and he tipped his cup back to take another drink.

His cup was empty, but before he had a chance to be stupid and reach for the ladle to refill it, consequences be damned, Kurt stumbled into the kitchen, a blast of the hot, summer air skittering over Blaine's arms.

"Oh! There you are," Kurt drawled as he pulled up next to Blaine, his warm hip pressing against Blaine's side. Kurt dropped his head to Blaine's shoulder after a moment and they stood there, just breathing, "There's something I need to tell you."

"You know you can tell me anything," Blaine assured Kurt. Kurt nodded, having heard Blaine say this countless times as he spilled innumerable secrets, fears, worries, dreams, but instead of his usual excitement at finally being able to share something, something that he might actually have in common with another person, there was an intense amount of fear coming off his body in waves and he refused to meet Blaine's eyes.

"First of all, I want you to know that I'm not drunk, so I'm not just saying this because I have alcohol in my system, though it certainly helps. Blaine," he paused, eyes fluttering up to meet Blaine's and he felt his stomach twist in knots at the expression on Kurt's face. "I-,"

"So then I was like, no, you can't fill a paper piñata with schnapps, and besides that would be really, really messy," Santana finished as she wandered into the kitchen, a mostly disinterested Quinn trailing along next to her.

"Oh, hey guys!" Quinn perked up. "What are you up to?"

"Oh, nothing," Kurt said, easily slipping into nonchalance, while Blaine felt as though he were about to get hit by a train. "Just reminiscing."

"That sounds fun." Quinn inched away from Santana, who was filling yet another glass with punch, "What were you guys talking about?"

Blaine could feel Kurt prickling next to him, even as his voice remained calm.

"Just talking about our time at Dalton, nothing terribly interesting, but a little private, so I think we'll just..." Kurt trailing off, making a motion for Blaine to move. Blaine pushed off from the counter, leading Kurt down the hallway. "You guys have fun!"

"You guys should have sex! Bedroom's third on the right," Santana called after them, her words slurring together. Blaine heard Quinn smack Santana's arm and didn't have to turn around to know that Kurt was blushing as they made their way down the hall.

Blaine passed the third door on the right, ignoring Santana's suggestion, but a moment later Kurt cleared his throat and Blaine spun around to find him leaning into the open bedroom.

"No one will bother us if we're in here," Kurt said as a way of explanation, and Blaine couldn't fault him. He slipped past Kurt and into the room, bouncing a little as he dropped to the bed. Kurt clicked the door shut and settled onto the bed next to him, alone again.

"So, what did you want to tell me?" Blaine asked and Kurt gave him a pained smile, the flush Santana's comment cause still high on his cheeks, hands twisting in his lap.

"I...I think you already know this, but I'm in love with you." Kurt's eyes slid up to meet his as he finished speaking. The words hung between them in the air, Kurt's gaze frozen on him.

Woah.It wasn't a total surprise. He had known Kurt had a crush on him, and had for, well, about as long as they'd known each other, he had always assumed that it was just a crush. Kurt had never acted on it, and since Blaine...

He was being too quiet, had let the silence go on for too long and Kurt dropped his gaze, eyebrows knitting, and he took a steadying breath before practically jumping up from the bed.

"It's okay. I know you don't..." He trailed off again. Don't what? Don't care? Don't feel the same way?

"Kurt," Blaine said, pained and a little desperate. He wanted to love Kurt, and he did, he did love Kurt, but not in the way Kurt loved him, he wanted to loveKurt, he wanted to be in love with Kurt, but life was a cruel mistress.

"Blaine." The name came out as a soft cry, a desperate plea for Blaine to tell him what he wanted to hear and not break his heart.

He knew, and that was the worst part, Blaine knew what it was like to care so much about a person only to have them not return the feelings, and it was...easier. Easier before they said that they didn't feel that way, because even though he was too cowardly to do anything about it, at least there was the hope that his feelings were returned and the other person was just too scared to admit it too.

It was a dream, a wish. It was something Blaine so badly did not want to shatter, no matter how much he might not return Kurt's feelings.

"Please, let me kiss you," Blaine pleaded, and Kurt spun back so quickly, it was a miracle he hadn't tripped.

"Is this some cruel joke?" Kurt stared at him, his face wrinkled in distress.

"No," he assured, "I just need to see." To see if that's what it would take to break this spell of platonic feelings and open him up to a world of romance with the boy he loved, but was not in love with. "Only if you want to," he added.

"Only if I...Blaine," and there it was again, the timbre of his voice as it rolled over his name cutting through him like knives. It cut to his core and he knew he had to do this. Kurt's hand trembled as it reached out his thumb running along the outer edge of Blaine's lips.

Blaine let his eyes drop closed, leaning into the warmth of Kurt's touch, pressing back just barely against the tip of Kurt's finger. Kurt dragged his finger along the lip and Blaine could feel Kurt's shaky exhale as he drew his hand over Blaine's cheek.

He was just about to open his eyes when Kurt leaned forward, closing the distance between them, pressing hot, sticky lips against Blaine's.

Blaine's lips parted slightly, slipping Kurt's bottom lip between his own and sucking on the plush, pillow-soft skin. Kurt breathed a soft sigh into the kiss, settling more of his weight onto Blaine, his hands sliding over Blaine's jaw, tangling into the humidity-curled hair at the nape of his neck.

Blaine shuddered at the contact and swiped his tongue over Kurt's insistent lips, dipping it into the other boy's mouth as it opened on a gasp. Wet, velvet heat surrounded his tongue and Kurt tasted like alcohol, but as he drew Kurt's tongue against his, there was something more, something just so distinctly Kurt. He drew his arms up, wrapping them around Kurt's back and pulled as he leaned farther back until they were tumbling to the bed, Kurt flush against him.

God it felt so good. All smooth, hard lines, muscled thighs, and the slight scratch of barely there scruff. Why hadn't they been doing this forever?

A choked moan rumbled through Blaine's throat, thrumming around the tongue that had found its way into his mouth, as he felt the telltale pressure of Kurt's half-hard erection against his thigh. He couldn't help the way his hips jerked up into Kurt's body and Kurt groaned as he ground his hips back down into Blaine.

Suddenly there were too many layers between them and all Blaine could think about was how Kurt's cock would feel heavy and large in his hand. He slipped his hands down Kurt's back as their tongues moved together, sloppy and inexperienced. Blaine's fingers danced along the hem of Kurt's shirt and he rubbed circles into the smooth skin that revealed itself as the cotton inched up his back.

He couldn't get enough of the milky skin, the tongue in his mouth, the body rocking on top of him, it wasn't enough.

Blaine gripped Kurt's hips and flipped them over, settling between Kurt's legs and grinding down hard. Kurt arched into Blaine's touch and moaned as Blaine's mouth bypassed his mouth in favor of Kurt's neck.

Blaine sucked a dark, purpling red mark into the flawless skin where Kurt's neck met his shoulder and Kurt's fingers dragged down his back, sliding down over his ass, bringing Blaine impossibly closer.

He was going to fuck this boy, mark him as his own and pound that sweet ass. Maybe not tonight, but soon, God soon.

"Blaine," Kurt whined as Blaine bit at his neck, hands still gripping Kurt's hips in a way that must have been painful.

Kurt. This was Kurt.

And just like that the spell broke.

Blaine pulled his mouth away from Kurt's neck and stumbled back from the bed, leaving a dazed and breathless Kurt laying on the bed, his hard dick outlined in his tight pants in a way that left nothing to the imagination, and part of Blaine just wanted to drop to the floor and worship it because he was sure Kurt's cock was beautiful, but...he wanted sex. Kurt wanted love. Kurt deserved love.

"I'm sorry," Blaine choked out and ran from the room, not daring to look back. Not daring to watch as Kurt's heart broke.

Courage.What a fucking lie.

One week, several dozen phone calls a day, and five shredded bouquets of flowers later, Kurt was still refusing to talk to Blaine.

He couldn't really say that he blamed Kurt, but he wished that his friend, his best friend would give him the chance to apologize for how he'd handled everything. It wasn't easy to tell your best friend that you weren't in love with them, even if you wanted to be, but Blaine knew that running away after practically mauling Kurt was not the way to deal with it.

He needed to have courage, his own fears be damned, and face up to what he did, which is how he found himself driving to Kurt's house, his own pulse drowning out the auto-tuned pop music wafting over the airwaves.

The forty-five minute drive to Kurt's house usually felt like an eternity, Blaine would constantly drum his fingers along his gear shifter, left leg bouncing a little as he attempted to pay attention to all thirty-three stoplights that marked the difference between Westerville and Lima. Today, however, it seemed that all the lights were green, letting Blaine make the journey in record time. Anxiety pulsed through his veins, kissing along each nerve and jolting through his fingertips as they gripped the steering wheel, and three blocks away, Blaine had to stop the car and just breathe for a few minutes, staring out the windshield, wondering what to say.

He really should have known. Should have planned, but how could he explain this to Kurt? To the beautiful boy who, only a year ago, stood in his bedroom and was so uncomfortable about sex that he couldn't handle talking about it with the one person that might truly understand. How was he supposed to explain to that boy that he loved him, but any romantic relationship would be a lie because even though Blaine did find him attractive in a completely untouchable way, Blaine was not in love with him.

Friends with benefits would be the best solution had Kurt not been in love with him, had Kurt not been so uncomfortable about sex, but as it was, Blaine felt as though he were losing something, something more than a best friend, but not quite a lover. Some unnameable in between category, which seemed appropriate to Blaine, since everything about Kurt was that way.

Blaine sighed, leaning his head back, letting his eyes drop closed for a moment. He could do this. For Kurt. He could do this for Kurt.

Settling back into his seat, he made his way the final three blocks to Kurt's house, heart hammering as he walked up to the front door and rapped his knuckles against the wood.

Moments later, the door swung open to reveal Burt Hummel. It only took a second for the man's face to fall into a deep, creased frown.
"What are you doing here?" Burt's voice was gruff, low and unfriendly and his presence seemed to fill the entire doorway.

"I need to speak with Kurt," Blaine explained, pleading just a little bit. Why couldn't Kurt have answered the door? God, he should have known better.

"Like hell you do," Burt ground back at him.

"Please, I just need to apolo-,"

"I don't know what you did to my son, but I know it's not good. You hurt him and now you need to leave, okay?"

"Please, Burt-,"

"Mr. Hummel." Burt corrected. Blaine faltered back a step. Ever since he'd found out about Blaine's father, Burt had made it a point for him to call him by his first name and be familiar and comfortable with having him as some sort of surrogate father, but this, this was a connection he hadn't contemplated losing.

"Please," Blaine begged.

"I don't think that's a good idea."

"Blaine?" Kurt's voice drifted from the landing and Blaine could see his lithe form, arms crossed over his chest as he stared at Blaine.

Kurt's name whooshed from his mouth, sounding pained and apologetic and everything Blaine wished he knew how to say, explain, but couldn't.

"Blaine was just leaving," Burt said, giving Blaine a pointed look and preparing to close the door. Blaine shoved his hand against the wood, holding it open.

"Wait," Blaine shouted. "Please, Kurt, I just need a minute, to talk, to explain, to apologize. Please." Blaine had given up trying to keep track of the number of times he'd said the word please since he'd arrived at the Hummel residence, no matter how many times it came out of his mouth, it never seemed to be enough. Never enough to show just how desperately he needed to talk to Kurt.

Kurt drank Blaine in as he walked down the steps, his eyes never leaving Blaine's. It wasn't until Kurt was next to Burt at the door that he looked away from Blaine. He didn't know what was going to happen, and he wondered, for one insane second, if Kurt was going to hit him, but even if he did, Blaine knew that he deserved it.

Instead, Kurt turned on his heel, pausing long enough to give his father a look before Burt was stepping just barely to the side allowing Blaine to squeeze through the door.

Kurt remained silent as he led Blaine up the stairs and Blaine couldn't help feeling almost as though he were walking towards his execution, Kurt's stony demeanor stayed plastered on his face even as he let Blaine into his room, softly shutting the door behind them, did nothing to ease Blaine's fears. But, Blaine supposed, this wasn't about his comfort, it was about Kurt's. Always.

Kurt leaned back against the closed door and stared at Blaine as he shifted awkwardly under Kurt's gaze. Where was his cool confidence now? Blaine dropped his eyes to the floor, swallowing against the growing knot in his throat, not sure where to begin.

"Blaine." Kurt's voice drew him out of his reverie and his head snapped up, eyes meeting.

"Yeah?" Blaine asked.

"You were the one that came over here to talk," Kurt said, almost sneering at him.

"Yeah, I just, don't know where to start," Blaine explained lamely, his eyes catching on the deep purple mark just barely concealed by Kurt's shirt. He probably would have never even noticed it if he hadn't known it was there. If he hadn't been the one to put it there. "I'm sorry."

"I gathered that, amazingly enough," Kurt said, "but what, exactly, are you sorry about."

Blaine gazed at him for a moment, taking in Kurt's perfect posture, the rigid lines of his jaw, set with a mix of anger and embarrassment.

"Everything. God, everything, Kurt. I never meant to hurt you. I never wanted to hurt you. Never." Blaine closed the distance between them, pulling Kurt into a tight embrace. Kurt's shaky breath grazed along the hair above Blaine's ear and Blaine nuzzled slightly into Kurt's shoulder, his mouth aligned with the mark he'd left on him only separated by a thin layer of cotton.

"You're amazing, you know that?" Blaine asked as he breathed in Kurt's scent, for what he was sure would be the last time. Kurt pulled himself from Blaine's embrace, putting a few feet between them.

"What are you trying to say, Blaine?" Kurt asked, sighing, his expression battling between confused and hopeful. "Do you love me?"

"Of course I do. You are so amazing and special and I have never met anyone like you. I love you so much," and that was true, so true, Blaine couldn't imagine his life without Kurt in it. He took a gulp, taking a small step forward before second guessing the move as Kurt's expression lifted from pain to joy. And this was the hard part. The truth. The heartbreaking truth. "But I'm not in love with you."

"God dammit, Blaine. You can't..." Kurt huffed at him, cheeks flushing red.

"I'm so sorry."

"Stop saying that," Kurt bit out whirling around in frustration.

"But I am."

"Stop being sorry and love me. Why can't you just love me?"

"I don't know." Blaine wished he knew. He wished he weren't the reason for the tears sliding down Kurt's cheeks. He wished he could reach out, to be the one to pull Kurt into his arms and will the tears away with a hug and ill-guided advice. Sometimes Blaine wondered how on Earth Kurt ever put up with him, but he'd seen enough movies to know that it wasn't so easy.

Blaine's hand twitched at his side and he made to reach for Kurt, but Kurt sidestepped the gesture, putting more space between them.

"I can't see you anymore, Blaine," Kurt choked out.


"I need to get over you and I can't do that when you're here telling me how wonderful and special I am, telling me that you love me even if you aren't in love with me. I can't do that when you're pressing me into beds and kissing me and giving me hickeys."

"Can't we just be-,"

"Friends? That's all we've ever been, but it hasn't stopped me." Kurt folded his arms over his chest, staring down at his plush, bedroom carpeting. "Please leave."

"I'm-," Blaine cut himself off as Kurt immediately tensed, anticipating the end of Blaine's sentence. He didn't want to leave. He wanted to stay and talk this out, like they always did. It was their thing. Ever since last year, after the whole sex talk debacle they had talked everything out and had always been honest and now didn't seem like a good time to stop talking, but he knew Kurt and he knew when Kurt needed to be left alone.

As Blaine crossed the threshold into the hallway, Kurt's soft voice called after him.

"Don't call me."

Blaine allowed himself a final look at his best friend, Kurt stared back at him with those indescribably blue eyes, cheeks tear-streaked, before Blaine turned and walked away.

As the front door clicked closed behind him, Blaine couldn't help feeling as though more than one heart had just been shattered.

Three days. He hadn't left his room in three days. Not to eat or go to work. He hadn't spoken to anyone since the night of the party and had stopped himself halfway through picking up his phone to call Kurt no less than fifteen times.

Blaine had burrowed into his bed, throwing himself into his summer reading requirements for the mandatory freshman seminar during orientation at NYU. He was knee deep in literature when a knock sounded at his door, louder than the soft clacking of his mother's nails, but much softer than the sharp pound of his father's fist.

"Stop masturbating, I'm coming in," Santana's drawl drifted through the door and Blaine shot up from his nest of pillows, just in time to see Santana throwing his door open.

Blaine only 'hmphed' before settling back into his pillows. Santana slammed his door shut, bounded over to the bed and climbed onto it, kicking away books as she settled herself next to him.

"You're an idiot, you know that, right?"

"Thanks, Santa." Blaine knew it was a bad move, he knew how much Santana hated it when he called her that, and the swift strike of her heel against his calf only reinforced that.

"Yeah, complete fucking idiot."

"Why are you friends with me then?" Blaine asked, rolling to his side to see her. Santana smirked at him.

"Because you're hot," she deadpanned, shooting him a lascivious look.

"If you weren't gay, I might be worried."

"If you weren't gay, you should be." Santana shot back. Blaine raised an eyebrow at her. "What? Just because I love me some ladies doesn't mean I can't appreciate the male form."

Blaine snorted, rolling his eyes.

"Was that a laugh?"


"Close enough. I'll take it. You drive a hard bargain, you know. For an idiot of colossal proportions."

"I take it you heard?"

"About you planting one on Kurt and then dropping him like Quinn's sanity, yeah. Even though we've graduated, the grapevine is still very much alive."


"You should be happy I'm here."

"Even though you're insulting me and my intelligence? Do I need to remind you that I'm attending an Ivy League school this fall?"

"NYU is not an Ivy, and please, spare me the spiel on how you turned down Columbia and how pissed your father was. Also, yes, I am insulting you because I'm the only one from glee club willing to come within a five-mile radius of you right now, because you are a complete and utter idiot."

"I'm not an idiot."

"Maybe not up here," Santana said, poking Blaine's temple, "but down here," she continued, shoving a nail against his chest, "you really, really are."

"It's not my fault I'm not in love with him." It wasn't for a lack of trying, that was for damn sure.

"Except it is, because you are." Santana rolled on her side to face him full-on.

"I'm really not. Believe me, I've tried, but it's just not there."

"Is that honestly what you've been telling yourself this whole time? Because seriously everyone in glee club knows. Fuck, I think even Mr. Schuester could see how much you love him."

"Well yes, I do love Kurt, but I'm not in love with him. There's a difference."

"And one you don't seem to understand."

"Are you really one to talk? You, who dated a closeted gay man and slept with half the guys in school before deciding you preferred to play for your own team? You, who have since dated a whole slew of girls, none for more than a few weeks."

"Hey. I did not come here to get judged. You don't know me. You don't know shit about me, hobbit boy. So either shut up and work with me on this, or I'll go and leave you to your pathetic, lonely misery. Your choice."

"Fine. Sorry."

"Say it when you mean it." Santana held up a hand before Blaine could respond. "How do you feel about Kurt?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean...hmm, let's start somewhere easier. When you think about him, in the future, in your head, what do you see for him?"

"I, well, Broadway for sure. He's so talented and amazing; they'd be crazy not to love him. I could see him winning Tonys, getting married, perhaps adopting a kid. It's hard to tell with him though, if he would want kids or not and I think if he did, he'd probably want more than one, being an only child, sort of. I mean Finn counts, but they weren't always brothers, and, hmm. I'm not sure, he'd be happy and fabulous and so far beyond all the shit that happened at McKinley."

"You said you see him getting married. What kind of person do you think he'd marry?"

"I'm not sure. He seems to go for all different types. Compassionate, certainly, and confident. Someone who could challenge him, but could be there for him too, always. Just always be there for him. Someone who could get him to loosen up from time to time. He gets so tense about things and I worry about that, I know I-," Blaine stopped as he saw the way Santana was staring at him, amusement shining in her eyes. "What?"

"Nothing," she replied, not quite brushing off his worries. "Okay, what do you see for yourself in the future?"

"For me? Oh god, I feel like I've been getting this question a lot lately, do you want the pre-rehearsed speech?"

"No, I want to know what you want for yourself. Where will you be in ten years?"

"Ten years, twenty-eight. God, that seems ancient now, but I guess it won't be when I get to it. Working, as a lawyer if my father gets his way, though I'd prefer to go into social work. Definitely working with kids if I can. Having some, two or three. Married, in New York. In love and happy and fulfilled and so many of the things I can't be here."

"Okay. And who do you see yourself with?" Santana asked, and all of a sudden, Kurt was all he could see. Kurt folded up on their living room floor, playing with a curly-haired toddler and flashing Blaine a toothy grin as the kid babbled nonsensical child-speak.

"Oh." Blaine could barely breathe. Could barely think. Images. Images of him and Kurt, doing dishes together in a tiny, worn-down apartment they paid way too much money for, taking lazy baths in an oversized, clawfoot tub, exchanging rings, making love, making a life...together.

He had never just loved Kurt. All of that, all of it. The protectiveness, the want, the sheer adoration, everything. It was all Kurt, it was all for him, always. He didn't just want to protect Kurt, he wanted to be with him, in every sense. Body, mind, and soul.

"Blaine?" Santana asked, waving her hand in front of Blaine's face, bringing him back to reality. "Where'd you go?"

"I'm in love with Kurt."

"No shit." Santana gave him an incredulous look. "Hallelujah, it's finally happened!" Santana shouted happily, throwing her arms up in the air before falling back to the bed. Blaine watched her for a moment, taking in the way she stared off for a second.

"Why haven't you told Brittany?"


"Why haven't you told Brittany that you're in love with her?" Blaine asked, but Santana wouldn't meet his eyes, just picked up the nearest book and thumbed through its pages.

"I did."

"She doesn't love you?"

"She does. She didn't choose me."

"I'm sorry."

"You know, you've really got to stop apologizing, especially for things that aren't your fault."

"I'm sorry; it's kind of a habit." Blaine grimaced as he realized his mistake. "Sorry," he blurted before he could think about it.

"Don't apologize for being who you are. Own it." Santana rolled over him and Blaine just barely felt the brush of lips to his temple before she was off the bed and heading towards the door. "Tell him before you lose him."

"What if I already have?"

"Then fight for him." Santana gave a little salute as she headed out the door, leaving Blaine with his thoughts.

He waited until the middle of the night, until he was sure Burt wouldn't be there to stare him down and possibly, more than a little likely, kill him. Blaine snuck into the backyard, grabbing a handful of pebbles from the landscaping and tossed them at Kurt's window. Kurt had always wanted romance right?

Only, when a figure appeared in the window, it wasn't Kurt, it wasn't even Burt. It was Finn.

Blaine considered running away. Since Burt and Carole had gotten married, Finn had started taking his brotherly role quite seriously, threatening anyone who tried to hurt Kurt, while of course still making fun of him himself. It was the brotherly thing to do.

Granted, Kurt gave even better than he took and insisted that just because he was gay and about a foot shorter than Finn didn't mean he always needed to be looked after and he took much joy in reminding Finn that he was actually a full four months older than him.

Finn had always liked Blaine though. Something Kurt had chalked up to Blaine's endless supply of charm and frighteningly vast knowledge of football. Finn wouldn't hurt him, would he?

By the time Finn was slipping out the back door, Blaine had lost the chance to flee, but the expression on Finn's face was quickly making him regret that decision.

"What are you doing here?" Finn asked, his voice barely above a whisper, though it cut through the silence of the still evening as though he were shouting.

"I need to see Kurt."

"No, you need to stay the hell away from Kurt. You're lucky I didn't wake Burt up. He's got a shotgun with your name on it." Finn warned. Blaine flinched, taking a step back and rocking back on his heels as if to leave. "What did you do to him? No one else will tell me."

"I broke his heart. But I'm trying to fix it."

"By not letting him move on and showing up at our house in the middle of the night?"

"Finn, I need to talk to him."

"No, you need to leave," Finn corrected, drawing up to his full height and hitting Blaine with the most menacing stare he could manage. "Don't come back. Give him his space."

Blaine backed away from the house, only glancing back to catch Finn's glowing face glowering at him from the front windows. He climbed back into his car, heart pounding and drove off.

He wouldn't give up though and, despite Finn's warning, not even the terrifying prospect of Burt's shotgun could deter Blaine's resolution to make things right and tell Kurt how he felt.

It wasn't until he was safely back in his bed in Westerville that he plucked up the courage to type out a message to Kurt. A fifth draft because telling someone you're in love with them in a text message was so inappropriate that even Blaine recognized the absurdity.

To Kurt: I need to talk to you.

Blaine clutched the phone in his hand for the rest of the evening staring at the darkened screen until he drifted to sleep. A reply never came.

Blaine didn't wake up until well past noon the next day and his first, foggy thought was that if Kurt knew, he would reprimand him for sleeping the day away. At the thought of Kurt, he jolted awake, nearly dropping his phone in his haste to check the messages.


Unlocking the phone, he hit five on his speed dial. The center button for the center of his life. How had he been so blind?

Brring. Ding. Ding.

"I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this message in error, please hang up and try the number again."

Blaine flicked the end call button, immediately calling back.

Brring. Ding. Ding.

"I'm sorry, the number you have dialed is no longer in service-" Blaine clicked off the call, heart thudding in his chest.

Kurt had changed his phone number.

Blaine threw the phone across the room, flinching as it clattered against his dresser before falling to the wood floor.

He'd really messed it up this time.

Pulling himself from his bed, he padded over to the phone, giving it a cursory once-over inspection for damage. He unlocked it, bringing back his speed dial, this time he hit nine.

"What's up, hobbit boy?" Santana's haughty voice rang through the phone. "Did you tell him yet?"

"No, Santa, I haven't," he almost growled, his irritation dripping through the receiver.

"Will you stop calling me that? I will come over there and beat your ass if you don't," Santana threatened and Blaine knew she would. He'd had a bruise on his arm for two and a half weeks after he'd made a snarky comment about one of Santana's "girlfriends" several months ago.

Never again.

"Stop calling me hobbit boy and I will. Don't you at least prefer it to Kurt calling you Satan?"

"At least Satan is more appropriate." Santana pointed out.

"And when have you ever been appropriate?"

"Touché. So, Blaine Warbler," Santana started and Blaine rolled his eyes at the name; if it wasn't hobbit boy, it was bound to be something, "did you extricate your balls from whatever crevice they've been hiding in for the last year and a half and tell Hummel you want to have wild, passionate sex with him?"

"Santana!" Blaine spluttered as he clambered back into his bed. "Not everything is about sex."

"That is a lie; sex is what everything comes down to. Who you're having it with, who you aren't, who you shouldn't, who you want to, how often you are or aren't. If everyone were free to have sex with whomever they wanted to whenever they wanted to without any sort of judgment, the world would be a much better place, but fine. If you want to make this about your precious penguin love, then we can."

"I need your help."

"What did you do to fuck it up this time?"

"What makes you think I was the one that fucked it up?"

"You're the one calling me, and from what I hear, you're about one pebble away from Papa Bear throwing a restraining order at you." She had a point. Despite her spiky exterior and penchant for making truly anything dirty, she was right more often than she was wrong.

"He changed his phone number."

"So go to his house."

"And have Burt shoot me? I don't think so."

"So you're fucked. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. I don't know what you want me to tell you because anything I suggest will have you running for the hills."

"I could write him a letter." Blaine perked up at the suggestion, a letter could work, and then he could say everything he was too terrified to explain in person.

"Would he read it?" Santana asked. Blaine slumped into his pillows. If he were being honest with himself, for once, since he'd apparently been lying to himself for quite some time, no. Kurt would be more likely to set fire to his entire collection of Alexander McQueen scarves than read a letter from him at this point.

"Look, Blaine, I know I told you to fight for him, but..."

"Santana. Are you trying to tell me to give up on love?"

"I'm not telling you to give up. Just...give him some space, some time. He just had his heart shattered. Let him cool off before you rush in guns blazing, declaring your undying love."

"Why are you always right?" Blaine sighed, shrinking into his pillows.

"Because I'm a girl."

"So is Rachel."

"Because I'm me." Santana amended.

"Indeed." Blaine clicked off the conversation. Blaine could give him space. He could wait for Kurt. Kurt had certainly waited long enough for him. He would wait forever if he had to.

So he waited. A week turned into a month and that month turned into two until it was the end of August and Blaine was losing himself in the whirlwind of getting everything prepared, his heartache taking a backseat to the suddenly overwhelming stress of moving to New York and starting over.

Moving and orientation and settling into his first few weeks of classes flew by in a blur and before long the leaves were turning vibrant fiery reds and oranges, falling around Blaine as he crossed Washington Square Park between classes and his dorm. New York amazed him, more and more every day. The people he would meet, the level of intelligence presented to him in his average daily conversations.

It reminded him a little of Dalton, but so much more free. He could be anyone he wanted to be, so, for a time, he was Blaine Anderson, NYU freshman majoring in Social Work who loved Top 40 hits as much as he enjoyed classic literature and had a habit of climbing all over the furniture, a trait his roommate Trent didn't particularly appreciate, but accepted. He wasn't Blaine Anderson, boy who ran from his high school into the protective arms of the zero-tolerance policy dictated by a gilded private school, only to leave that safety for the boy he loved, but didn't realize he was in love with until it was too late. Until all he could do was weather the storm and wait and hope and pray and wish that that beautiful boy would talk to him again someday.

He could start fresh.

At least he thought he could until one day, running late for his 2 pm lit class, he caught sight of a perfectly coiffed head of hair, a telltale McQueen scarf draped around an elegant neck, highlighting broad, angular shoulders that sloped into a slim, but sturdy body, finished off with a pair of black, knee-high Doc Martens.

Blaine spun on the spot, his eyes chasing after the image of the boy he loved and Blaine's body soon followed.

"Kurt!" He shouted after the boy and that flawless head of hair whipped back, and he stopped in his tracks, eyes widening.

"Blaine?" Kurt sounded breathless as the name rolled of his tongue, and for a moment Blaine was back in that bedroom, Kurt's mouth wet and open against his as they rubbed together, Blaine shook himself, jogging to where Kurt stood, transfixed.

"Hi," Blaine stated lamely as he drew up to Kurt. I've been looking for you forever. Blaine flashed him the biggest grin he could manage. How could he have been so stupid? Of course he'd run into Kurt eventually. Their dorms stood across the park from each other. How often had Blaine stood in front of his own dorm window, gazing across the park at the lights that dotted the dorm across the way, wondering if any of them were Kurt's. Wondering if Kurt might be doing the same thing and thinking of Blaine.

"Hi." They stood across from one another, a throng of tourist bustling past them pushed Blaine just a little bit closer to Kurt, until Blaine could see the flecks of green in Kurt's eyes. The whole city fell silent in Blaine's mind. Only the whispering sounds of wind fluttering through dry leaves reaching his ears, all else drowned out by the thump of his own heart.

Blaine was a concept man. Great with ideas, horrible with follow-through. So many half-written songs based on a single line or a chorus that never went anywhere. Blaine would work on them passionately for a day, before he hit a wall and suddenly all those well-versed lyrics turned to shit. Verses were crossed out, rewritten, and crossed out again and he could never get past it.

Seeing Kurt standing across from him, there was nothing. No words. Anything Blaine could have said he'd already gone over a thousand times in the dark of the night, mentally scratching out every word and phrase until he was left speechless. It all sounded so trite.

A million love songs, but all overdone.

Love was patient, love was kind. Love was a cold, uncaring mistress that left you clutching the sheets as you spilled your greedy seed into her waiting womb. It was nothing, it was everything, and Blaine was ready to throw himself at Kurt's feet and beg him for forgiveness. Offer him a million and one clichés on how much he loved him and beg him to give him another chance. Beg him to still love him too.

Laughter bubbled from Kurt's throat which rapidly devolved into an embarrassing giggle and Kurt shoved a gloved hand over his mouth, an inch away from putting his fist in his mouth, to stop the sound from escaping.

Blaine's laugh reached his eyes before his lungs, crinkling the corners of them and squeezing his eyes nearly closed before he was doubling up in laughter, hand grabbing Kurt's forearm to hold himself upright.

Coffee. It seemed appropriate. Every turning point in their relationship revolved around the beverage, save the one that last one, but even as they settled into chairs across a too-small table in the cafe, Blaine couldn't help smiling.

Sure, their speech was stilted, the natural rhythm of their conversation lost in the months of silence until the boys were left making small talk about things neither of them cared about, but they were Blaine and Kurt, Kurt and Blaine and now, now they were going to get to be together.

"Kurt, there's something I need to tell you." Blaine reached across the table, drawing Kurt's hand into his own, reveling in the soft skin pressing against his.

"There's something I need to tell you too, and this is rather important, so I hope you don't mind me going first." Kurt squeezed Blaine's hand a moment. "Blaine, I have to thank you, for backing off and giving me my space, giving me some time. It really helped and I had meant to call before we left for New York, but things were so crazy and your name was like poison in my house and before I knew it I was here and in New York," Kurt exclaimed.

"It's okay, I-"

"That wasn't...I'm not done." Kurt took a moment, eyes shining at Blaine, a smile gracing his lips that Blaine hadn't seen in far too long a time. "I'm seeing someone."

Love was being bitch slapped by an iceberg.


Weddings were pretty much considered Kurt's crack and Rachel Berry's lavish and extremely overdone wedding was no exception; and although Kurt generally was in the camp of "more is less" the gaudy décor somehow worked when paired with the bride.

Kurt leaned into the warm touch of Blaine's fingers kneading the muscles of his neck, drinking in the sight of the almost overcrowded ballroom. Kurt swore Blaine's hands were magical; his ability to find the tensest parts and massage them until Kurt felt loose and a little boneless was staggering. He really needed to have Blaine give him a back massage, especially after the week he'd had. Just as Kurt dropped his head down to give his friend more access, the hand dropped from his neck.

"There were peacocks outside the bathroom," Jude announced as he plopped into the Chiavari next to Kurt. "Peacocks, Kurt. Peacocks."

Kurt smothered a laugh and threw a smile at his boyfriend.

"It's Rachel Berry," Kurt explained, and really, what other explanation was needed?

"Our wedding won't be this garish," Jude said and Blaine choked on the champagne he was drinking. Kurt clapped Blaine on the back before whirling round to Jude.

"Our wedding?" Kurt spluttered, an eyebrow shooting up his forehead. "And when exactly is that going to happen?"

"As soon as I knock you up," Jude joked and tossed a wink at Blaine.

"Now you're just being silly." Kurt blushed at the realization that Jude had just shared their sexual preferences with an entire table of friends and acquaintances, Blaine included, and then his heart nearly stopped as the meaning behind his teasing boyfriend's words hit his gut.

"I'll make an honest man out of you yet, Kurt Hummel." Jude replied with an easy smile.

"Are," Kurt paused, taking a moment to consider the question he was about to ask. "Are you proposing?" Kurt could feel everyone at their table watching them, and if it weren't for the thump of the upbeat music, Kurt would have sworn time had stopped.

"I'm pretty sure it's bad form to propose at someone else's wedding." Jude pointed out and jumped up from his chair, grabbing Kurt's hand. "Less talk, more dancing. C'mon princess, let's show 'em how it's done."

Kurt scrunched his nose at the nickname. He'd always hated it and Jude knew that, and Kurt had pointed out that Jude continuing to call him princess made him look like an asshole, but Jude never was one to care much about what other people thought of him. It was something Kurt usually loved about him, but that love did not extend to girlish pet names.

He let himself be pulled from his seat, following Jude onto the dance floor and fitting easily against Jude's body, his boyfriend's hands coming to rest on his hips as they swayed to the music.

Kurt tried to lose himself in the beat, in the heat of Jude's embrace, but he couldn't stop the flood of thoughts swirling through his mind, mixing to a near dizzying effect with the three glasses he'd had of champagne.

Marriage? Of course he'd considered it. After five years together, how could he not? Plus, living in New York actually offered that as a possibility. A choice.

When he'd been younger and daydreamed about the strong, warm hands of a teenage crush wrapped tight around him, whispering sweet nothings to him as he kissed away Kurt's fears, marriage seemed far off. So closed off, and not even an option, merely a fantasy. Granted, it was a fantasy he did allow himself to indulge in, imagining those bright, hazel eyes gazing at him with adoration in front of all their friends and family, proving their love. Proving that their love was just as valid as anyone else's and just as worthy of attention.

Now that he was older, Kurt had thought about marriage, now that it was an option, and wondered if it was an option he wanted to choose. Of course Kurt wanted a wedding, how could he not? But the word marriage left a sour taste in his mouth. In a world rampant with divorce, it seemed as though the seal of matrimony was more a seal of death to a relationship than anything else. Expectations changed at that level, and Kurt couldn't help feeling as though if he did get married, he might end up compromising more of himself to his partner beacause of it.

It seemed like more of a cage than Dalton ever had and he thought Jude felt the same way.

Jude who was so strong and so beautiful and challenged Kurt in the best way, but was also stubborn and closed off, and too free-spirited for Kurt to handle sometimes. It had taken months of tense conversations to convince Jude that moving in together wouldn't be stifling, and if it ever got to be too much, they always had friends to fall back on, to step away from the situation for a short time and get a clear head.

Kurt had spent more than a few nights curled along the far edge of Blaine's bed as they talked through whatever stupid fight he'd had with Jude. He was a good voice of reason, even though it hurt sometimes to know how well Blaine was able to soothe him and wondered how that would have affected their relationship if they'd ever been given the chance. Not all the fights were stupid, more often than not, they were entirely warranted and sometimes Kurt just needed to get away. Get away from empty bottles and the acrid scent of alcohol, heavy on Jude's breath.

He shook himself a little, pushing the dark thoughts away, instead letting images of green silk and dark, purple calla lilies flit across his mind, Kurt let his dreams carry him back to the reality of the hot press of Jude's fingers sliding to the small of his back, and wondered how he might feel on a night not unlike tonight (though with far better décor), but instead of feeling his boyfriend move against him, feeling his husband dancing with him, and knowing that they belonged to one another.

He rested his head against Jude's toned chest, glancing up at the sharp line of his boyfriend's jaw, strong cheekbones, and green eyes, hidden behind closed eyelids. Kurt sighed, drinking in the sight of Jude's eyelashes splayed along barely freckled skin and swayed along to the music.

This man wanted to marry him.

A little more than overwhelmed, Kurt leaned up to kiss Jude, the familiar shape of his lips was reassuring, and Kurt couldn't help tracing his tongue along them, dipping between them as they opened up. Their swaying stopped as Jude sucked, slick and hot around Kurt's tongue and Kurt moaned into the pressure as Jude's hands dropped lower, settling over Kurt's ass, just holding him there.

Tonight was a good night. Jude hadn't touched any champagne beyond the traces he had licked off Kurt's tongue. Kurt clung to Jude's body, sliding his palms over chiselled shoulders, relishing in the smooth, hard muscle under Jude's jacket.

The beat shifted into a nameless jazzy Latin number and Jude's lips were torn away from Kurt's as a bright-red manicured hand pulled Jude's arm back.

"Sorry Hummel, I need to steal your man for this song," Santana drawled and Kurt shivered at the hot-cool air of the dance floor that washed over his front as Jude's arms left him to circle around Santana. It was only momentary pause before another warm body slid into his arms, and Kurt grinned as Blaine's hands wound around him and shifted him into tango mode.

A few feet away, Jude twirled Santana around, leading her in a heated dance and several people around them were already slowing to a standstill to watch the couple move around the floor. Blaine gripped a little harder at Kurt's lower back and whispered right into Kurt's ear.

"They've got nothing on us. Shall we?" And with that they were off, Blaine leading the way across the floor with gyrating hips, dips, and turns that left Kurt breathless and impressed with the improvement of Blaine's skill. Santana was missing out, but Kurt couldn't help feeling a little grateful that he got to reap the rewards of Blaine's extracurricular training.

Kurt grinned into Blaine's shoulder when he pulled Kurt up from a particularly low dip, pressing their bodies flush together and Kurt lost himself to the music and the heat of Blaine's body moving his, twirling him around the floor, pushing and pulling, tearing Kurt apart and putting him right back together. Amidst all the twirling, he was barely able to look at his boyfriend across the floor, but stopped a little short as he saw the way Jude's hands roved over Santana's sides.

He knew it was just a dance, but he couldn't help the wave of jealousy that rolled over him, like a punch to the gut, and before he really knew what he was doing, he'd taken control of the steps, his hands fitting into the sweaty dip of Blaine's lower back, resting, just barely over the swell of skin leading to the fleshy globe of his friend's ass.

There was a shift to his shoulders, his hands slid hot, and sweaty against Blaine's and suddenly the few inches of respectful air that had existed between them disappeared as their bodies moved together, hips colliding, and he pushed. Blaine went back with the barest exhale of breath and followed Kurt's every move. Kurt couldn't help relishing in the way Blaine's body listened to him, swaying with the music, rocking with Kurt's hips until they were twirling across the floor, hands gripping harder than they should and suddenly the attention that had been on Jude and Santana was all on Kurt and Blaine as they moved effortlessly together, eyes locked in the heated stare of a dance that neither of them really knew, but they knew was in each other.

The song came to a close and Blaine stopped, still in Kurt's arms, inches away from doing something far more dangerous than dancing. Applause split through the air and they shook themselves loose of the moment. Kurt confused at the loss that went more than skin deep as the heat of Blaine's body slipped away, back to that respectful distance, but hands not leaving him, eyes dipping to Kurt's shoulder and refusing to meet his gaze.

Moments later, the familiar opening notes of a song long forgotten filtered across the floor from the band, a softer, slower version, and Kurt couldn't help smiling down at Blaine. Blaine pulled Kurt closer and laid his head on Kurt's shoulder, swaying them to the beat, all the awkwardness gone.

Dancing with Blaine had always comforted Kurt. Having that extra inch or two on Blaine was always a little thrilling, like dancing with a girl, but without the boobs getting in the way, and Blaine was always happy to hold Kurt close, their bodies fitting together as they moved to whatever beat.

Kurt remembered a time when this song and Blaine's closeness would have made his heart swell and race, thumping so hard he could swear Blaine could feel it, but now, now it was just comfortable, soothing to have Blaine's warm hand, wrapped around his own as their bodies moved across the floor.

Kurt sighed a little as Blaine dropped his head to Kurt's shoulder, and he couldn't help tilting his head down to rest his temple against Blaine's.

"We can dance until we die," Blaine sang just loud enough for Kurt to hear, his voice warm and smooth as a summer's day, "You and I, we'll be young forever." And perhaps it was Kurt's imagination that made him feel Blaine's grip around him tighten ever so slightly, but the shiver that washed over him as Blaine whisper sang, hot breath ghosting over Kurt's ear, most certainly was not.

Two days later, and Kurt still flushed hot, straight down his neck each time he remembered Blaine's hand on the small of his back, his silky voice bringing him back to his sixteen year-old self; so enthralled by the charming stranger who was so unafraid to take his hand.

He would shake himself of it each time, usually daydreaming as he created yet another, flawless grande non-fat, no foam, latte with two extra shots and precisely one and a quarter pumps of vanilla. It was an art, and while making fancy coffee was not what he would like to be doing with his life, it was a job and he had to pay off student loans. Kurt was grateful though, that he had been fortunate enough to fall for someone with a trust fund that kept him from wasting away living on the coffee he made in a cramped apartment in Brooklyn.

Jude often insisted that Kurt didn't need to work. Jude was more than happy to cover any and all of Kurt's expenses and often voiced that if he didn't work, he could devote all of his attention to auditioning, but if there was anything Kurt was, it was independent. Even as he enjoyed their decently sized one-bedroom in the village, he couldn't help feeling guilty that his meager café wages wouldn't even strike a dent into their actual expenses, a thought that made Kurt claw at the Egyptian cotton sheets in the middle of the night and wonder if he was truly making it in New York or if he was just going to turn into a Manhattan househusband. A kept man.

Even the term made Kurt shudder. It wasn't for him.

While he might not always care for the unevenness of their financial situation, Kurt did love Jude, in spite of...everything. They'd been through a lot and right now they were stronger for it. So long as Jude kept it that way.

He went back to that night, Jude's hands resting on his ass as he leaned against his chest, letting him lead them into oblivion, but as the sweet, soft song kept playing in his head, the height was lost until it was him and Blaine, dancing together in an endless loop.

This time, when Kurt came back from his reverie, it was to his boyfriend's voice, and he couldn't help the guilty blush as he suppressed his thoughts.

"Whatcha thinking about, beauty?" Jude asked his fingers stroking along the back of Kurt's hand on top of the dinner table.

"Dancing." Kurt managed, and that much was true, though he wouldn't admit that Jude wasn't his partner. Jude clearly thought he was, by the way his lips quirked up and split into a wide smile.

"The wedding, again?" Jude asked and Kurt only nodded, not trusting himself to give Jude a proper response. "Well, that's appropriate."

Kurt's gaze shifted from their hands, to Jude's gazing at him from across their table.

"Kurt, I love you."

"I love you too," Kurt replied, brushing his fingers over Jude's.

"I just, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. Will you marry me?" Jude fished a black box from his pants, opening it to reveal a simple silver band, set with five diamonds.

"Oh my god."

"Kurt?" Jude asked and Kurt tore his eyes from the ring.


"Yes, as in..." Jude trailed off.

"No, I mean, not no."

"So, yes?" Jude asked, hopeful and more desperate than Kurt's ever heard him outside of the bedroom.

"I don't know." Kurt slumped against his chair at the same time as Jude. Wasn't this supposed to be the easy part? When you're in love with someone and that person asks you to marry them, shouldn't the answer always be yes?

"Do you want to break up?"

"What? No. I just. It's so..." Final. "Big."

"Of course it is, it's forever, and I want that with you. Don't you want that with me?"

Kurt's moment of hesitation was all it took for Jude to snap the box closed, leaving it on the table as he pushed away.

"Where are you going?"



"Out. Out to leave you here with your thoughts so you can decide if you want forever with me or if you want to move out."

Jude brushed past him and Kurt flinched as the front door slammed against its frame and he couldn't take his eyes off the little box.

Well, fuck.

Kurt tore his eyes from the ring box, and was soon pressing his phone to his ear, breathing a sigh of relief as the familiar voice picked up on the other side.

"Hey Kurt, what's up?" Blaine asked and Kurt could hear the running water in the background. He could almost see Blaine in his dingy little apartment, button up rolled past his elbows as he washed the dishes from whatever he and Santana had eaten that night.

"Jude proposed." The water stopped, but Blaine didn't say anything. "Blaine? You there?"

"You're engaged?"

"No, not exactly," Kurt admitted and wondered briefly if he hadn't imagined the sigh that spilled over from Blaine's end of the line.

"So you broke up?" Blaine asked and Kurt huffed.

"No. He didn't even give me a chance to really think it through before he stormed out and left me to think about whether or not I wanted to spend forever with him. Why does it have to be forever or not at all? Do I have to get married to want to spend my life with someone?"

Twenty minutes later, Blaine hung up the phone, dishes long forgotten, and threw himself down on the couch.

Santana padded out of her room poking his side with her foot, nudging him aside until he moved far enough over for her to settle down next to him. They lay like that for a few minutes, just looking at each other.

"He's engaged?"

"Not yet."

"What does that even mean?"

"It means that Jude's an idiot, but Kurt's in love with him. He won't say no."

Santana pulled him down, till his ear was right against her chest, listening to the steady beat of her heart while she carded her fingers through his loose curls.

"I'm sorry." She leaned down a pressed a kiss to the top of his head. It was more tender than she'd ever been with him and he'd never been more grateful.

Married. Kurt was getting married. To Jude.

Blaine twisted on his side, all his breath leaving him at once, and he clutched Santana close to him. He should be happy. Kurt was his best friend and he was getting married to the man he loved.

He was happy. Really.

Except that he wasn't, not even a little bit. He needed, he needed something...

Something to tell him this was real and that his dream of Kurt dumping Jude's ass was never going to happen. Kurt was never going to say "I love you" to Blaine again and mean it the way he had the night Blaine had fucked everything up. Before Blaine had lost Kurt.

"Okay," Santana barked and pushed Blaine back. "We are going to Nouveau and we will get gloriously smashed and you are going to find some pretty little twink to fuck through the mattress and then tomorrow we'll drink coffee and you are going to stop whining and start being Kurt's best friend who is not in love with him."

Blaine didn't budge from the couch, though he couldn't deny that finding someone to fuck his troubles away into certainly sounded appealing. Especially if they had soft, dark hair, pale, flawless skin, and pretty blue eyes.

Thump. Thump. Thump. Thump.

The house mix bumped and thumped and thrummed to the beat of Blaine's heart, hips swiveling and grinding into the ass of a pretty brunette he'd found at the bar not long before.

The music rushed through his veins and he couldn't help dropping his head to the other man's shoulder, Ethan, he thought, and licking up a salty trail of sweat from the man's neck to his ear. Ethan turned his head to meet Blaine's mouth head on, sucking Blaine's tongue between his lips and moving Blaine's hands from his hips, guiding them down.

God, but this man was hot and hard and grinding oh so delicious and hot against him.

And then they were face to face and the dance floor disappeared as Ethan herded him against a dark wall, the concrete so much cooler that the hot press of bodies around them.

Ethan wormed himself between Blaine's legs, pinning him to the wall with his hips, their mouths still fused together. Ethan's hands on him were hot and searching. Curious and soothing and pressing, always moving, roving over every inch of Blaine's body.

In his mind, it wasn't Ethan's hands that were on him, but delicate, pianist fingers, nimble and smart and touching Blaine in all the right places. A loud moan bubbled out of Blaine's throat, straight into Ethan's mouth and he dropped his head against the wall as Ethan's mouth moved down, his hips canting against Blaine in a delicious rhythm that he never wanted to stop.

Hard. Fuck he was so hard and this man, this fantasy Kurt and his mouth was so good, but not nearly the same. Not nearly good as it could be, and then he was right back there, in that room. Kurt, innocent and scared, pressing him into the bed, their hard cocks rubbing together. He remembered Kurt's eyes, dark and wide and wild with lust and love and everything Blaine wished he could see there again. Every day. Every fucking day.

Blaine went stiff under Ethan's fingers, his back arching off the wall and he was coming harder than he had in a long while. It only took a few more seconds of Ethan's frantic rutting before he lost it against Blaine.

Ethan rested his forehead against Blaine, dragging quick, shallow breaths of the too hot air surrounding them.

"That was hot. We should do that again sometime," Ethan suggested and Blaine could only nod mutely before Ethan pressed a quick, wet kiss to Blaine's open mouth and then he was gone.

Blaine made his way to the bathroom, acutely aware of the stickiness in his pants, grateful, for once, that the black lights weren't on.

The music pressed around him and Blaine felt as though he were diving underwater as he ambled into the bathroom.

The telltale smack, smack, smack of skin on skin contact greeted him as he made his way around the corner. It wasn't an entirely uncommon thing to walk in on people having sex in the bathroom, particularly not here, but when Blaine did finally make the corner he stopped dead in his tracks.

Pressed face-first against the far wall was Jude, drunk and dopey as he clung to the tiles while another guy rammed his cock in and out of Jude's ass.

That guy was not Kurt Hummel.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Blaine tore across the room and ripped the guy away from Jude.

"Dude, what the fuck?" The guy asked, shoving Blaine back and trying to re-position himself at Jude's entrance. Jude, for his part was so far gone that he didn't even seem to see Blaine and just let out a needy moan as the guy's cock teased his ass.

Blaine jumped back in, pushing the guy away.

"Leave him the fuck alone."

"What's it to you pretty boy? He your boyfriend?"

"No, but he's practically my best friend's fiancé, so if you'd like to live, I suggest you leave or I'll kill you along with him."

The guy at least had the decency to shove his cock back in his jeans before turning heel and practically running from the room. Blaine turned back to Jude, who was slumped on the floor, pants around his ankles, eyes closed.

Blaine rolled him onto his back, shaking him.

"Jude! Jude, wake up!" Blaine slapped him, nothing. "Wake up, you stupid fucking prick!"


He had no idea how he made his way out of the bathroom, but the next moment he knew he was tugging Santana away from another girl, and only the look on Blaine's face kept her from protesting.

"What the fuck happened in here?" Santana demanded as Blaine led her into the bathroom.

"Came in, some dude was fucking him, but he's passed out. He's been drinking and I think he's been drugged. Help me get him to the hospital." Between the two of them it didn't take long to get Jude's pants back up and to carry him out the front door, sliding him into a cab.

"Do you want me to stay?" Santana asked as the cab driver raced to the hospital.

"No, could you go home and-"

"I'll get your room ready." They shared a look over Jude's slumped body. "How long has it been?"

"Six months."

"Think he'll leave him this time?"

"He proposed."

"That shouldn't matter."

"But it will," Blaine said, bitterness seeping through his voice, and he had to fight the urge to smash Jude's stupid head into the cab's partition. God he hated this.

It took Kurt much longer than usual to fall asleep and when he did, he dreamt of waltzing around on a cloudy dreamscape. He couldn't tell who he was dancing with, but they had warm hands and they spun him around, ever around.

"I need to stop." Kurt protested as he swung around in another wide turn that left him breathless and light-headed. "I'm getting dizzy."

The man didn't stop, just spun him faster, a light laugh reaching his ears.

"Please, I need to stop." He tried to pull away, but the man gripped him tighter and he couldn't stop, just kept spinning, spinning, spinning.

Another figure appeared off to the side and Kurt called out to him.

"Jude, help me!"

But Jude just stood there, arms folded over his chest.

"Why didn't you say yes?" Jude asked and Kurt had to whip his head around to keep watching him as the stranger kept spinning him. "Don't you want forever with me?"

And then the stranger turned into Jude.

"We could stay like this forever, if you just say yes."

"Please, stop spinning me."

"Just say yes."

They were spinning fast, too fast, and Jude's hands were slipping from his until he stumbled back and fell.

Kurt woke from his dream with a start, reaching out to grab something, halfway through a shout. Heart racing, he turned his head to make sure he hadn't woken Jude, but found his side of the bed empty, untouched.

Kurt padded into the living room, still a little shaky on his feet and still feeling just as dizzy as he had in the dream, but Jude wasn't there either. He grabbed his cell phone from the side table, squinting as the bright lights blared 2:23 AM at him.

No missed calls.

He dialed Jude.

"Hey it's Jude, I'm not here right now, leave me a message after the-" BEEP.

"It's me. It's two thirty, where are you?" Kurt hit the end call button, set his phone back on the table and wandered into the kitchen.

The box was still sitting there. Mocking him as he filled a glass with water and leaned against the counter.

Kurt settled back at the table, thoughts of Jude and rings, and marriage rushing through his head, not helping the mild wave of nausea as he remembered his dream, spinning, spinning, spinning.

What did it even mean?

Why didn't he say yes?

He flipped the box open, taking out the ring and sliding the cool, metal band between his fingers. It was a beautiful ring, tasteful, and not overdone. Rather perfect really. So why hadn't he said yes?

Was it just the guilt of knowing that moments before he'd been thinking about someone else's hands on him? Was there some part of him that was still in love with Blaine, or was it Jude?

Five years and they'd certainly faced their fair share of problems. With Jude in an out of treatment, they'd probably only spent about four and a quarter of those years actually together, but they'd made it through all of that and they still loved each other.

He tried to imagine how it would be, on their wedding day, Jude's shining eyes gazing down at him from under tear-stained lashes, but Jude didn't cry. Not really, not ever.

But what about the rest of it? Everything after 'I do', what happened then?

That was the great mystery though, wasn't it, and wasn't he supposed to take chances on love?

He looked at the ring one last time before sliding it over his finger. It fit like it was made for him and Kurt wouldn't be surprised if Jude had taken Kurt's ring measurements while he was sleeping. The thought alone made him smile.


He was engaged.

The thought didn't get to resonate long before his phone rang. He rushed back into the living room, praying, hoping it was Jude and his heart jumped a little as he saw a picture of a curly-headed young man with a glob of ice cream on his nose, face scrunched up in an expression that was more adorable than it should have been.

Normally, he would be happy to see Blaine's picture show up on his caller id, but whenever he called after 1am, it was never good news. He just hoped Blaine hadn't gotten too drunk and gone home with a random guy again, only to wake up in the middle of the night, not really knowing where he was and needing Kurt to get him.

More than that, he hoped, he hoped against all hopes that it wasn't about Jude.

"What's wrong?" He asked as he accepted the call.

"Kurt," Blaine's voice was tired and wrecked, but not drunk, which only meant...

"Which hospital?"

"St. Luke's."

"I'm leaving now." Kurt didn't even change out of his pajamas, just grabbed his wallet and keys, slipped on a pair of shoes and ran out of the door.

Blaine appeared to be sleeping, sprawled in a chair across the room from the bed, his head tipped back along the top of the chair, mouth hanging open. What looked like a fresh hickey shone low on Blaine's throat, barely above the cut of his tight, dark shirt. Kurt took in his mussed hair and slightly disheveled appearance; he'd clearly been at the club.

He turned his gaze on Jude; lying prone underneath the stark, white hospital sheets. A bag of fluid ran to an IV and Jude shifted in his sleep, eyebrows furrowing.

"He was drunk." Blaine's voice, though barely above a whisper, made Kurt jump and he turned back to his friend. "They found ecstasy in his system. He's lucky to be alive, but he'll make it through."

"What happened?" Kurt couldn't help noticing the way Blaine looked away from him then, seemingly unable to meet Kurt's eyes. "Did he get in a fight?"

Kurt whipped his head back, he didn't think there were any bruises and there didn't seem to be any bandages, but…

"No, he wasn't in a fight. I…Kurt. He…" Blaine pulled himself from the chair, crossing the room to hold Kurt's hands in his and Kurt knew when Blaine felt the ring, cold metal against his hand. Blaine froze, turning Kurt's hand in his to look at the ring.

Kurt drew his hand back, not meeting Blaine's gaze. He wasn't sure why he felt slightly ashamed for the ring, perhaps it wasn't the ring, but how he felt about the man standing before him. They said you never truly got over your first love, and if he was being honest, he hadn't. Not when he and Jude had first started dating, but then…it all sort of fell away. Blaine could still make him feel things no one else could, but, but he loved Jude.




And Kurt had to look up at that because Blaine never used that voice, low and sad, like he had to tell Kurt he'd killed his puppy.

"I, I was at a bar with Santana and I found him in the bathroom," Blaine paused, taking a deep breath, "he wasn't alone."

He must've heard Blaine wrong. Not alone, as in…

"From what I could tell…you should have him get tested."

No. No. No. No.

Kurt clenched his fists, the metal band burning into his skin and hot tears threatened to spill over his cheeks. Blaine crowded into his space, wrapping him into a hug that Kurt couldn't help sinking into.

Blaine rubbed soothing circles into Kurt's back, but this. This wasn't a hurt Blaine could fix.

"Kurt?" Jude asked, voice quiet, as he stirred in bed. His heart clenched and he barely felt the squeeze of Blaine's hand around him. "Kurt?"

"Blaine could you?" Blaine nodded, giving Kurt a final squeeze before stepping out of the room, leaving them alone.

Fury, white hot and furling, licked at his every fiber and Kurt's jaw set into a dangerous line before he attempted to look at Jude. He couldn't see beyond his hand.

"Did you fuck someone else tonight?"

"Look, Kurt, I—"

"That's all I needed to know."


"We're done."


"Get yourself tested." As soon as the ring was off, he couldn't feel anything. Not the fury or the disappointment, not even the betrayal. The ring clacked as Kurt set it on the table next to Jude's bed.

"Kurt...you...the ring? Wait! I can explain. I didn't mean to."

"You never mean to, but that never stops you from doing it." Kurt finally met Jude's eyes, ignoring the tears there. "I'm done."

He turned on his heel and walked into the hall. Blaine was standing just outside the door and he held his arms out for Kurt. Kurt curled himself into Blaine's embrace, crumpling into his arms, letting his tears spill over.

"Shh," Blaine whispered against his temple, hands rubbing low on his back. Blaine pressed a kiss to Kurt's head, "Let's go home."

That night Kurt slept in Blaine's bed, Blaine held him tight in his arms and despite the heartbreak; he'd never felt safer.

His wardrobe had been packed into fifteen boxes, the remainder of his belongings packed neatly into an additional four, Kurt had decided to leave much of his stuff behind, not wanting the memories attached to them. He and Blaine were getting ready to take the last few boxes down to the rented car when the front door opened. Kurt assumed it would be Layla, their usually elusive landlord who had insisted that Kurt hand over his keys to her in person.

It was Jude.

Kurt stood, rooted to the spot, staring at Jude until Blaine's voice drifted in from his and Jude—Jude's bedroom. It wasn't his anymore.

"So we've only got three boxes left, if you wanna grab one, I can come back and get—Oh."

"Hi Blaine. Thank you for taking me to the hospital last night, I really owe you one." Jude stuck out his hand to Blaine, but Blaine just shifted the box in his arms, turning to Kurt.

Blaine looked as though there were a lot of things he'd like to say to Jude in that moment, none of them nice.

"Whatever," Blaine grunted and moved past Jude, shifting to shoot a questioning glance at Kurt.

Stay.Kurt begged silently, and he thanked whatever gods that might exist that Blaine somehow understood him and rocked back on his hip, setting his box down.

"I'm almost done with the boxes, we'll be out of here soon."

"Kurt, please don't go."

"Why not? Why shouldn't I leave? Give me a reason to stay."

"I love you." Jude reached for Kurt, but Kurt scoffed, pulling back.

"And look how well that's been going for me. I didn't say no, Jude. I needed time, but—"

"You needed time to think about marrying me. I thought you were in love with me, but now I can see you were just waiting for an excuse to leave."

"Can you really blame me for not saying yes right away? Sometimes it's hard to think about forever with you when you keep doing things like this to me. So yes, I needed time, but I was going to say yes."

"Kurt," Jude begged, "Please stay. I can change, I will change, I—"

"Want to change for you, for us. Save it, it's worked for the last three years, but I can't do this anymore. I can't let you do this to me. I'm done. So please just let me get the last of my stuff and then leave me alone."

The rest of the move went without incident and the boys stayed silent the entire drive from Kurt's old apartment to Blaine's, Blaine folding his free hand over Kurt's and holding on. Kurt couldn't help feeling as though it were the only thing keeping him from falling apart.

"Thank you," Kurt murmured into Blaine's shoulder that evening as they lay, curled together in Blaine's bed.

Heat, heat, too hot. He was sticky and uncomfortably warm, the arm draped across his hip burning heat into his skin. It only took a moment for Kurt to realize that the hot body pressed all along his back was not Jude's and he relaxed into the hold, squirming a little to put some space between their sweaty bodies.

Blaine whined low in his throat as Kurt moved away, arms trying to pull him back, but Kurt rolled out of his grip and off the bed. The back of his shirt was soaked through and Kurt's couldn't imagine that Blaine was doing any better, but Blaine just reached out and pulled Kurt's pillow into his arms, burying his head into the fabric.

Kurt knew Blaine was a cuddle monster, but he'd never had Blaine wrapped quite so tightly around him. He padded out into Blaine's living room, plopping down on the cushy couch and flicked the TV on, turning it to Bravo.

An America's Next Top Model marathon was running and Kurt burrowed into the cushions, settling in for the evening.

"He hasn't left the couch in two days Blaine, your couch surfer needs to surf to somewhere I don't normally eat my food every day." Santana's voice drifted in from the kitchen and Kurt barely batted an eyelash at the remark.

"Cut him some slack, Santana." Blaine's voice joined her, and that pooling of happiness in the pit of his stomach that usually came from Blaine defending him to Santana's barbs didn't come. He just laid there, eyes glazed as Tyra led the girl's in a photo shoot.

"Yeah, yeah, he just went through a terrible breakup, but his body is going to leave a dent in our couch and he's starting to smell."

Blaine knew Santana was right, but he'd never seen Kurt this bad. Granted, Kurt had never actually left Jude before. Setting down the spoon he'd been stirring the sauce with, he wandered into the living room, settling on the couch next to Kurt, running his hand over Kurt's back.

"It's almost time for dinner, do you want a shower or food?" Worry etched into every word. In the past several years, he'd gotten good at reading Kurt, understanding his emotions, but this blank nothingness was terrifying. Kurt usually felt everything so strongly, when he was angry Blaine could feel his own blood rushing in his veins, every argument they'd ever had burning hotter as he fed off Kurt's anger.

Then there was the time he'd made the mistake of going to see a movie with Kurt and Jude, his own date had cancelled, but he'd still really wanted to see the movie. Unfortunately, it had the added effect of making him hyper aware of when Jude leaned over the arm of his seat to suck lazily at Kurt's neck, his hand falling into Kurt's lap and rubbing too high along Kurt's thigh. Blaine could feel the waves of arousal coming off Kurt, shocking Blaine into hardness as he fought to listen to the movie, not the tiny moans that pushed past Kurt's lips. His ears prickled, hot and flushed as Kurt turned to reprimand Jude in a hushed hiss.

Now when he touched Kurt, it was like touching stone, nothing.

Kurt slowly raised himself from the couch, and Blaine got up so Kurt could swing his legs off the edge. Blaine helped him stand up, wrapping an arm around his waist, and god, that shouldn't have felt as good as it did, but this was Kurt and even numb and unwashed, Blaine thought he smelled delicious, no cologne, just pure man. He had to fight to remember that he was just Kurt's friend and Kurt was hurting, really hurting and he mentally slapped himself for wanting to nuzzle into that neck and just smell and lick and taste until Kurt forgot all about Jude and couldn't remember anything beyond Blaine's name and the way Blaine's tongue felt against him.

He settled for slinging his arm a little lower than he should and leaning a little too close to Kurt's ear.

"Shower or food first?"


Blaine led Kurt into the tiny bathroom, shutting the door behind him. He knew Santana was in her room, but he thought Kurt would appreciate the privacy. Kurt stood in front of him, staring blankly at the floor and Blaine reached around him to turn on the taps, coming back, he ran his fingers along the hem of the shirt Kurt was wearing.

Kurt lifted his arms as Blaine gripped the material and pulled it over Kurt's head. Kurt's eyes were red and drooping as they met Blaine's on the other side of his shirt material. Blaine threw the shirt in the hamper, hands settling on Kurt's hips. Kurt leaned into him, head coming to rest on Blaine's shoulder and Blaine's arms wrapped around him, drawing him into a tight hug.

They stood like that for several minutes. Eventually, Blaine pulled back and made to leave, but Kurt grabbed his wrist.


Blaine slid back, hands gliding over the smooth skin of Kurt's sides, and dipped his fingers beneath the waistband of Kurt's pajamas, hooking into his underwear at the same time. He dragged his hands down, gently pulling Kurt's pants off as he sank to the bathroom floor, lifting each of Kurt's legs and rubbing along each calf as he went.

Once Kurt was naked, it took all of Blaine's willpower to not stare at Kurt's cock, right in front of his face, gorgeous and thicker than Blaine expected, even soft. He skimmed his hands along the outside of Kurt's thighs as he stood up, arms coming to rest around Kurt once more and he pressed a kiss to Kurt's cheek.

Kurt nudged Blaine's face until their mouths fitted together and Blaine couldn't help the way he held Kurt just a little tighter, letting Kurt press soft kisses against his closed lips. Blaine hadn't been kissed like this since the fifth grade when Amanda Lyons had fallen, dizzy and laughing, from the tire swing with him during recess one day, and had rolled over in the sand, leaning above him and dropped her lips to his. This was nothing like that, chaste, but burning straight through him and he could feel Kurt's lips against every nerve. Blaine wanted to do nothing more than turn them around and press Kurt back into the cool shower tiles and ravage him until he came with Blaine's name on his lips. But that wasn't what Kurt needed. So even as he felt a pooling of heat low in his groin as his cock twitched to attention, he pulled back.

"Take your shower. Dinner will be ready soon," Blaine whispered against Kurt's lips, letting Kurt press one more kiss against him before drawing back completely, leaving Kurt alone.

As he stirred the sauce, he could still feel Kurt's lips pressed against his and he was glad that he had the cooking to distract him.

A few minutes later, the front door buzzer went off and Blaine wandered over to the intercom. He wasn't expecting anyone and he didn't think Santana was either.

"Hello?" He buzzed down.

"It's Jude. I need to talk to Kurt." Jude's voice crackled through the speaker and Blaine's blood ran cold, he'd never been more grateful for Kurt being in the shower. "I know he's here."

"Go away Jude." Blaine had barely made it to the kitchen when the buzzer went off again.

"What do you want?"

"There's something I need to tell him."

"Too bad."

"Blaine. It's really important."

"Fine, but you're not telling him. I'll be down." Blaine slipped on a pair of sandals and stomped down the two flights of stairs. Jude was perched on the steps out front, wringing his wrists and looking as though he hadn't slept in days.

He jumped up as Blaine opened the front door.

"What is it?"

"I'd really rather tell Kurt myself, are you sur-,"

"I think you've done enough damage."

Jude shifted, bouncing on the balls of his feet before finally leaning in to Blaine, eyeing the street for any pedestrians. Blaine wanted to punch him. He didn't care how nervous or upset Jude looked and he'd never understand how Kurt stayed with him for so long. Not with everything Jude did, but then—

"I got Chlamydia. Kurt should get tested."

Blaine's hand was still throbbing when he went with Kurt to the clinic the next day, Kurt's fingers resting gently over the mild bruises.

"Thank you for coming with me."

"Of course."

He knew they should talk about it, about the kiss and the test and what Kurt planned to do now. There was so much Kurt needed to figure out, but as Kurt stood shakily when they called out his name, Blaine just turned Kurt's hand over and pressed a kiss to Kurt's wrist, letting him go.

The next day, Blaine came home to find the apartment covered in Kurt's clothes, strewn across the floor, stacked into high piles, No Good Deedblasting on the stereo.

"I'm getting out of the Hummel warzone," Santana said, breezing past him on his way in the door. "Have fun with that."

"Kurt?" Blaine asked as he dropped his keys in the little bowl by the door.

Blaine found Kurt curled up in his bed, clutching a blue sweater that matched Kurt's eyes perfectly and felt like heaven. It was Kurt's favorite.

"Present from Jude." Kurt explained. Blaine crawled onto the bed behind him, smoothing Kurt's hair back. "When will this be over?"


"This…nothingness. I just want to feel something again. I want to be angry. I want to be upset and frustrated. I want to scream, but it's like I don't even have a voice anymore. I know you don't see me that way, but please, Blaine," he begged as he grabbed Blaine's hand drawing it into his lap and Blaine could feel him through the loose cotton material. His hand involuntarily rubbed over it. "Make me feel something."

Blaine knew he should take his hand away. He knew that they should talk about this. He knew he should explain that yes, he very much wanted Kurt like this, but that this was wrong. he'd just gotten out of a relationship and using Blaine for sex wasn't going to make him feel any better. Instead, he let Kurt hold his hand there rubbing over Kurt's growing erection.

Kurt arched back, his ass settling right against Blaine's crotch and it took all of Blaine's willpower to not grind into it, to not drop his head down and lick at the exposed skin there.

"Yes, please. I need him gone from my mind. Make him go away. Please." Kurt's fingers dug into the back of his hand and the pressure against the bruises there hurt in the best way. He took Blaine's hand in his, pressing it closer to his body and sliding both of their hands down into his pants.

They both gasped as Blaine's hand wrapped round Kurt's cock.

"Kurt." His voice was broken. He was broken. This beautiful broken-hearted boy shoving Blaine's hand down his pants had utterly ruined him for any other human being. He couldn't help dropping his lips to Kurt's neck, licking up the light sheen of sweat that shone on the strip of skin. "We need to talk about this," Blaine panted against his ear, trying desperately to not rut into Kurt.

"Oh god, Blaine. No, please, just. Touch me, I need you. I need you."

Blaine could never deny Kurt.

He tightened his grip and twisted and pulled around Kurt's cock, relishing in the hot, thickness of it in his hand, in the way Kurt ground his ass back against Blaine. The noises. God, the noises he made, altogether too much and so much better than anything Blaine had or could have imagined. Breathy, shaky moans that shuddered out of his chest before he moaned, low in his throat as Blaine's mouth moved against his neck once more.

He was overheating, so hot and there was too much contact and his cock, fuck his cock was hard, hard and rutting against Kurt with each press of his hips back. He could do this forever. Kurt's cock in his hand, his moans broken off, shuddering into Blaine's mouth.

Kurt came with a shuddering cry, spilling over Blaine's hand and Blaine fell over the edge a moment later, tongue fucking into Kurt's mouth.

Hours later, after they'd cleaned up and Blaine had helped him dispose of every article of clothing that had been related to Jude, Blaine turned to Kurt on his bed.

"We need to talk about what happened earlier, and what happened in the bathroom the other day."

Kurt shook it off.

"You were just helping me out. I won't read anything into it, don't worry."

"But Kurt—"

"Can we please not talk about this? I just want to sleep."


He would let it rest for now, and just grabbed Kurt's hands, twining their fingers together across the bed.

The next morning, Blaine woke up to an empty bed, Kurt's side long gone cold. He found Kurt sleeping, curled up on the couch once more, Bravo playing low on the TV. Leaning over, he brushed a kiss on Kurt's forehead and swept the hair off his face.

Blaine slumped up the steps to his apartment that evening. He'd had a particularly trying day dealing with a set of parents intent on getting their child back, while the foster parents were fighting for permanent custody. It was an ugly battle and Blaine had wondered more than once if any of the sets of parents had stopped to consider what the kid wanted. He'd brought the boy into his office, alone and had asked, but the teen had stayed silent on the subject.

His job wasn't always easy. In fact, more often than not he'd end up questioning why he was doing what he was doing, but every single time he was able to help a kid find a good home where words wouldn't be used as weapons and weapons wouldn't be used against them, it was a small victory for him, and that was something to celebrate.

A sweet, succulent smell drifted down to him from his door. Santana lived on coffee and threats and had never learned how to cook, which meant Kurt was cooking. That had to be an improvement.

He shouldered his way into the apartment to find Santana strutting around, laughing at something Kurt said. Her hemline was nearly pornographic and her shoes made her tower over Blaine in a way he was never really comfortable with. Santana was intimidating on a good day, but god did he love her.

"Hey Shorty. Hummel's making bully something?"

"Bouilliabaisse?" Blaine asked, eyes lighting up. He remembered the first time Kurt had made it for him and then spent nearly half an hour teaching him how to pronounce it.

"Yeah, that's it. He said it's your favorite. Why doesn't he make my favorite?"

"Smells delicious." Blaine said, ignoring Santana's comment and slipping into the kitchen. He shuffled up behind Kurt, resting his head on Kurt's shoulder, watching as he worked. Kurt pushed him back with a pop of his ass.

"Out, you're distracting."

"Hello to you too."

"Go sit down with Santana, I'll be serving in a minute."

Blaine wandered into the living room to find the dining room table, usually buried in various stacks of papers and art supplies and sheet music, cleaned off and set for three.

Dinner was delicious, but Kurt brushed off each of Blaine's touches.

He didn't think he was touching Kurt more than usual, but the questioning glances Santana kept giving him made him think otherwise. As the meal drew to a close, Santana hopped up on her feet, teetering on her sky-high heels and blew them a kiss.

"Thanks for dinner, but I've got a hot date."

"After you ate?" Kurt asked.

"Not that kind of date." Santana winked at Kurt and Kurt, at least, had the decency to blush. "Don't wait up for me, I probably won't be home tonight."

Blaine helped Kurt clean up from dinner, still trying to figure out how to broach the topic of what happened last night when he found himself being thrown against the wall, Kurt's lips fastened to his neck, hands sliding everywhere.

"Fuck, Kurt," Blaine protested. He tried to push Kurt away, he really did, but if his hands got caught in Kurt's shirt and wound up pulling him closer, that wasn't really his fault, was it?

Kurt needed this. He neededthis.

The more Kurt thought about it the more frustrated and annoyed and hurt he felt. Jude was his most recent and his only everything, but he was far from that for Jude, and he hated it. He hated that until yesterday Jude's hands were the last to touch him, and even then, even with Blaine being ever-helpful Blaine, always trying so damn hard to give Kurt what he needed. Even with him doing something he never would have done at seventeen, it wasn't enough.

The last man he'd touched, really touched was Jude and he needed to burn him from his memory, and Blaine, Blaine was there and sweet and so hot, age only making him more attractive, and if he was willing to help, then all the better.

Sealing his mouth over Blaine's protests, he undid the buttons of Blaine's shirt, his hands caressing each inch of exposed skin as he went. He slid the shirt over Blaine's shoulders, tugging the sleeves off as he bent down to suck at Blaine's nipple.

Blaine gasped above him, jerking his hips out and moaned loud.

Part of Kurt wished that Blaine wasn't just doing this because Kurt needed it or because he couldn't help the reaction of a hot, hard body against his. He wished that this didn't make him just another faceless boy to Blaine, but another part of Kurt loved it. The way he was able to reduce Blaine to whimpering moans; by swirling his tongue around a small, pebbled nipple, by grazing his teeth along the nub and then sucking hard. It was a sick sort of payback for all the time Kurt was so in love with him and Blaine was not, but god it felt good.

Blaine's hands twisting in his hair, rubbing over his neck, his low, throaty moans that went straight to Kurt's cock; it was everything he could have imagined as that wide-eyed teenager and more, and it was exactly what he needed.

He'd gotten Blaine's belt undone by the time he sank all the way to the floor, his tongue dipping into Blaine's bellybutton. Finally, finally, finally, he slid down the zipper of Blaine's pants, tugging them down far enough to expose Blaine's cock and balls.

Blaine's cock was hard and thick, thicker than Kurt, but a little shorter and sticking out prominently against the thick patch of wiry hair that surrounded him. Several veins stood out along his cock and Kurt couldn't help snaking his tongue along them, reveling in the way Blaine's breath hitched as Kurt touched him.

Kurt tongued along Blaine's cock, before settling his mouth over Blaine's balls, sucking each of them into his mouth and rolling his tongue over them.

Everything was so good, the way he smelled, the way he tasted. Something so man and so Blaine and so perfect. He drew his head back to stare and the glistening cock, wet from Kurt's mouth, and Blaine's hands fitted along his jaw, tilting his head up.

Even as his eyes were blown and his breathing irregular, Blaine tried to look serious.

"We need to talk about this."

He didn't need gentlemanly Blaine right now, right now he needed the Blaine that pushed him harder into the mattress, the Blaine that had fisted his cock only to come hard in his pants, rutting against Kurt.

"No, we don't."

"Yes, Kurt, we really do. I can't just keep letti—" Blaine's words broke off into a moan as Kurt sank his mouth down Blaine's entire length, tongue laving along the underside. Blaine's hands moved into his hair as Kurt sucked along his cock, taking him deeper, deeper, deeper and into his throat and Kurt groaned around it, the vibrations shooting right up Blaine's spine until he slammed his head back against the wall, his hands tightening in Kurt's hair.

Fuck yes.This was home and Blaine's cock was delicious.

Blaine made a few more laughable attempts to get Kurt to "stop and talk to him about this," but Kurt would just flick his tongue along the head of Blaine's cock, suck him harder, deeper, better and Blaine would forget his name for a few more minutes.

"Please, Kurt. Please, we need to talk about this," Blaine begged, though it didn't sound like what he wanted to be begging for, as he was finally successful in pulling Kurt's mouth off his cock.

He looked up at Blaine through his lashes, tongue coming out to slide along the head, licking up a bead of pre-cum dripping from Blaine's cock.

"Fuck my mouth." God he needed it.

"What? Kurt, no. We need to talk about this." But Blaine's cock gave him away, jumping a little against Kurt's lips kissing the tip.

"Fuck my mouth, Blaine. Please. I need this." They must have really been the magic words because Blaine gripped his hair harder and jerked his hips forward, pushing his cock into Kurt's waiting mouth.

As Blaine rocked into his mouth, Kurt couldn't help the wanton moans as he sucked as much as he could, his mouth watering too much until saliva was running down his chin, Blaine's cock hitting the back of his throat with each thrust.

He relaxed his throat, taking him down on Blaine's next thrust and swallowing around him

"L-look at me," Blaine panted and Kurt slid his eyes up as he sucked even harder, tongue working against every vein as Blaine thrust into his mouth, into his throat. Blaine's eyes were wide and dark and nearly watering with lust, his mouth dropped open in a constant broken moan. "Oh Kurt," and god if his cock wasn't already rock hard, "Beautiful. So beautiful."

It only took a few more thrusts before Blaine's movements turned erratic and his cock twitched in Kurt's mouth, spurting thick jets of cum onto his tongue and straight down his throat.

Blaine had barely finished coming, his cock still dribbling out the last of his load, before Kurt was hauled to his feet by Blaine's surprisingly strong hands and shoved back against the wall.

Blaine's mouth on his was hungry and sloppy and delicious, his tongue insistent against Kurt's and he could feel Blaine's moan as he tasted himself on Kurt's tongue.

He was painfully hard and painfully turned on and he didn't even notice Blaine undoing his pants until he felt cold air against his erection, replaced quickly by Blaine's hand, and Blaine's tongue on his neck, panting into his ear.

"I wanna suck you so bad right now," Blaine growled, and Kurt's hips jerked up into his movements.

"So do it," Kurt whined. "I'm not stopping you." Blaine's stubble scratched along the underside of his jaw as Blaine kept sucking there.

"Mmm, but you haven't gotten your test results back yet."

Test results. Oh god, the test results. He'd been trying, trying so hard to forget about them, about what it would mean. He wanted to cry.

Blaine was here, half-naked and wrapped around him and growling filth into his ear about wanting to suck his cock, but he couldn't because Jude had cheated on him. Jude had fucked everything up, and suddenly he was the one who wished he'd punched Jude, he wanted to destroy him for everything he'd done, everything he'd done to him and ruined. It wasn't fair.

"C-condom?" Kurt suggested, Blaine's mouth working over his collarbone. Blaine shook his head against Kurt's skin.

"I want to taste you."

And even that, that was enough, Blaine's hand twisting over the head of his cock, his mouth against his neck, whispering about how he wanted Kurt, wanted Kurt the way Kurt had so badly wanted him to and he was gone, coming over Blaine's hand.

After separate showers, they wound up in Blaine's bed, Blaine resting on his chest as they watched Charadeon the small TV in Blaine's room. Kurt twirled his fingers through Blaine's short curls.

"We really do need to talk about this," Blaine said, turning to prop his chin on Kurt's chest.

"I'd really rather not." Kurt huffed. What did they need to talk about? Kurt was getting what he needed and Blaine was getting sex. If he weren't getting it from Kurt, he knew Blaine would be getting it somewhere else, so…why couldn't they just keep doing this? Why did Blaine have to understand? Why did he have to be so…Blaine?

Diversion had worked in the past, so he shifted himself, wrapping his legs around Blaine's waist and pulled him up into a kiss.

"I really think we need to talk about this," Blaine said, pulling back.

"I really think you should fuck me."

"Kurt," Blaine said warningly.

"Blaine," he whined, kneading his heel into Blaine's ass, drawing him closer. He could already feel Blaine getting hard against his thigh.

"No." Blaine drew back, and kept going until they were sitting on opposite ends of the bed, movie long forgotten. "What is going on in there?"

"Nothing, it's nothing." He really did not want to explain this.

"It's obviously not nothing, otherwise you wouldn't be shoving my hand down your pants and shoving me into walls and sucking me off and kissing me. I think I deserve some sort of explanation."

"Do you ask for an explanation from every guy that wants to fuck you, or do you just let it happen?" It was a low blow and he hoped it would sidetrack him.

"Kurt, you. You will never be like one of those guys. I don't know them, but I know you, and I love you and as much as I hate what Jude did to you, I'm worried about what you're doing to yourself."


"Are you just doing these things with me to get over Jude?"

"No. Well, not really."

"Then what is it?"

Kurt sighed; he may as well tell him, then at least Blaine might actually fuck him and give him what he needed and not interrupt every five seconds to say that they needed to talk about it. Honesty, right?

"I-I want to forget. I don't want him in my head, I don't want…I don't want his touch to be the last that I've had. I didn't want him to be the last person to touch me, the last person I touched, I needed. I need to replace it."

"So what does this mean to you?"

Kurt shrugged.

"I don't know."

"I can't do this if all you're looking for is a fuck to replace the memories of the guy who fucked you over. I can't be that guy."

Kurt's mouth drew tight, his nostrils flaring.

"Fine," he bit out, swinging his legs off the bed and standing up. Blaine scrambled off the bed after him, following him out of the bedroom.

"Fine? Fine what? What does fine mean? Kurt, Kurt talk to me."

"If you won't have sex with me, I'm going to find someone who will."

"Kurt. This—this isn't. You need to spend time healing and dealing with this, not…not getting off with the nearest willing male."

"Fuck you. You think you know what I need? What I need is someone who will fuck me when I ask them to, instead of insisting that I be moping and miserable. This is me moving on."

"Kurt, you won't find what you're looking for out there."

"And why is that, Blaine? Am I not attractive enough?"

"Kurt, that's not—,"

"Just because you don't want me doesn't mean no one else will." And perhaps that was what really hurt. Blaine, who was so sweet and so kind and gave all of himself to everyone else couldn't even do this for Kurt.

He knew Blaine didn't love him that way, but he didn't need him to, he just needed Blaine to love him enough to do this for him, to help him forget. It wasn't like he was asking for something that would hurt him, it was sex, and if he weren't taking care of Kurt, he knew that Blaine would be out at clubs fucking other guys.

It wasn't fair, and even though Kurt wasn't still in love with Blaine, it didn't make it any easier to hear that Blaine still couldn't see him in that way, but then why? Why would Blaine have allowed things to go as far as they already had if he was going to say no?

"Why? Why won't you just fuck me?"


"Because? Because, Blaine? Are you kidding me? I need more of an answer than just because. I deserve more than that."

"I-I can't."

"Actually, you can and I've already had your dick in my mouth. You came down my throat."

Blaine flushed scarlet at that, his face dropping down to the carpet.

"It's not that."

"Then what is it, Blaine? Help me understand why it is that you can go out and fuck every other guy you meet at a club, but you can't have sex with your best friend."

"I don't want to ruin this."

He'd heard this line before, an echo of a heartbroken Valentine's Day, Blaine's words then were a balm for his burn, further fixed with the coffee they shared where he and Blaine agreed that he was really terrible at romance, but now. Now they did not soothe the sting.

Blaine took a step towards him.

"You are something to be treasured," Blaine said, reaching his hand out to brush the backs of his fingers along Kurt's cheek and Kurt couldn't help leaning into the touch. "I can't just have sex with you, you deserve more than that."

Kurt wrapped his arms around Blaine's waist and was amazed at how their bodies fit together. Their height difference, which usually wasn't very noticeable, was incredibly pronounced as Kurt pulled their bodies flush together. Blaine wrapped his arms around Kurt's shoulders, leaning in for a hug, but then Kurt tilted his head and their mouths aligned.

Kurt snaked his tongue out, running it along Blaine's bottom lip, before dragging it between his teeth to suck it and suddenly Kurt wanted nothing more than to shove Blaine back up against the wall and screw him into it.

Blaine pulled back from the kiss, sliding his hands down to Kurt's shoulders.

"Kurt," Blaine whispered as a warning.

"Please," Kurt begged, holding Blaine tighter.

"I'm sorry."

Kurt let go, shoving past Blaine, stomping back into the bedroom. He went to slam the door behind him, but Blaine caught it against his arm and shoved it back.

He had to get out of there.

Kurt grabbed the nearest pair of his jeans he could spot and yanked the pajama pants off, stepping into the jeans as quickly as he could manage.

"Kurt, where are you going?" Blaine asked. Kurt shrugged, locating his wallet and shoving that into his pocket along with his phone and keys.

"Anywhere but here." He didn't care if it was cliché. He didn't even care that he was still wearing one of Blaine's ridiculously soft sleep t-shirts, all he cared about was getting as far away from stupid Blaine and his stupid apartment as quickly possible.

He wound up at a piano bar in Chelsea; he'd gone there once or twice before with Blaine. He remembered them sitting at one of the high tables in the corner and making a running commentary on all the singers. Kurt had quickly learned that there were a lot of people who thought they were talented and were, in fact, not.

Blaine had accused him of being a Simon, impossible to please and too snarky for his own good. Kurt had shot back that that made Blaine the Paula who couldn't bear to say anything bad about anyone and lost all credibility as a judge because of it.

Pushing all thoughts of Blaine from his mind, he sat back, clutching his vodka soda and passed silent judgment on each of the performers.

He was mostly finished with his second drink, feeling pleasantly buzzed when an attractive gentleman with brilliant blue eyes and light blond hair that looked so soft Kurt had to fight to not reach out and touch it sidled up to him and took the empty barstool beside him.

"You're a harsh critic," the man said, flashing a toothy grin at Kurt.

"Oh god, I hope I wasn't being that obvious about it." Kurt responded, something akin to embarrassment trickling down his spine.

"Not at all, I'm just pretty good at reading people. That being said, you really are too harsh a critic. That last girl was pretty talented.

Kurt almost scoffed.

"Please, you could find a better singer than her in deaf children's choir." Even coming out of his mouth, he knew it was harsh, but the sound of the man's laughter in his ears told Kurt that he'd played this right.

"You seem awfully sure of your own taste when you haven't even gotten up to sing," the guy retorted.

"Some of us don't feel the need to shove our talents in other peoples' faces at all times." Which was kind of a lie, but he'd had a pretty shitty night and wasn't totally feeling up to it.

"Alright, well, how about this. You get up there and sing a song, if I think you sound good, I'll buy you a drink."

"And if you don't?"

"Let's just say I'm planning to lose this bet," he said, winking at Kurt.

Oh. He was flirting. Kurt gave him a cursory once over and reached out his hand, shaking the other man's.

"You've got yourself a deal." Kurt slid down from his bar stool, brushing his hand along the man's thigh and sauntered up to the front where the piano player was set up, grateful that the jeans he'd pulled on sculpted perfectly to his ass.

Kurt made sure to lean over a bit farther than was strictly necessary, showing off his assets even more as he relayed his song choice to the pianist. The song wasn't for this guy, it was for him, for everything he was feeling and everything he needed and wanted.

The song came from a breakup album from Kurt's adolescence. Both heart wrenching and soul shattering, the album almost always brought the young man to tears and he distantly remembered listening to Adele croon "Someone Like You" on repeat for several torturous weeks as his heart ached over the boy who didn't love him the way Kurt wanted him to.

Now Kurt just loved Blaine, he was no longer in love with Blaine, and as the first few bars of "Set Fire to the Rain" were played on the piano, it was the memory of a different man that set fire to his voice, his heart, and he let the heat of their flames spill through the microphone and out into the ever-spinning world.

But there's a side to you that I never knew, never knew
All the things you'd say, they were never true, never true
And the games you play, you would always win, always win

He hated that everything had been a lie. That even as Jude was planning forever, he was with someone else.

He didn't want to care about him anymore, didn't want this fire in his heart. He wanted to just be happy about the handsome man flirting with him, but life being what it was, would never let him off that easy, so he let the fire roll over him, burning with each note that poured from his lips.

As he finished the song, he chanced a glance at the man waiting for him at the bar who was clapping politely with the rest of the crowd and nodded with a small smile to Kurt as he stepped down from the stage.

"So? Am I worth a drink?" Kurt asked as he slid back onto his stool.

"More than one, I'd say," the man replied, turning to the bartender. "I'll have a whiskey sour and a..."

"Vodka soda." Kurt supplied.

"And a vodka soda for..."

"Kurt." He answered, holding his hand out for the man.

"Tyler," he said, shaking Kurt's hand.

"So really, what did you think?"

"I think you should be on Broadway."

Kurt let out a humorless laugh.

"Yeah, I'd like that myself. Not as easy as it might seem."

"I'd believe that, but not everyone is as talented as you." Tyler said, tipping his head to the bartender as he returned with the drinks.

"That's kind of you to say, but you don't know my competition." And Kurt was back to stirring the little straw in his drink. Not only did he have a sucky love life, he had a completely stunted career. He'd left for New York with big dreams of seeing his name in lights, packed theaters, perhaps a Tony or two, but the reality of New York set in shortly after his arrival when he'd been ranked in the lower end of his classes at NYU his first semester.

"Hey, where'd you go?" Tyler asked, bringing Kurt back to reality.

"Nowhere good."

"Hmm. I couldn't help noticing. The song, it's a breakup song. Was there a reason you chose it or do you put that much emotion behind every song you sing?"

"I'd like to say every song I sing, but I did just get out of a long relationship. I suppose I should be upfront about this, but I'm not really looking for anything serious."

"That suits me just fine. My career is a bit hectic right now, so I'm not looking for much myself."

"So why'd you come over here then?"

"You seemed upset." Tyler shrugged. "I wanted to cheer you up. Have I succeeded?"

"I don't know. Aren't you the one that's good at reading people?" Kurt asked with a hint of a smile quirking the corner of his mouth.


Tyler was nice, he was attractive and in good health as far as Kurt could tell. He was charming and interesting and everything he usually liked in a guy, and Kurt couldn't deny the fluttering in his stomach as he realized that this guy was not only attractive, but also very intelligent, and very interested in him. Kurt tingled each time Tyler trailed a finger along his arm or placed his hand on Kurt's thigh perhaps a little too high to be entirely appropriate for public as he ordered them another round of drinks.

As the pair made to leave, Tyler herded Kurt into the dark alley a few doors down from the bar and Kurt had a brief moment of panic where he thought he'd accidentally walked off with a serial killer and quickly tried to recall if he'd noticed Tyler putting anything in his drink, but Tyler just leaned in, one hand braced against the alley wall, the other tilting Kurt's chin up, and he was kissing him.

It was so different from Jude or Blaine, passionate, but stilted as the two pairs of lips came together in a dance that neither of them had ever shared with the other. Kurt fumbled for a moment as he tried to figure out what to do with his hands before settling them around Tyler's waist, pulling him in closer. He slipped his tongue into Tyler's mouth, tasting the whiskey and then Tyler was pressing him harder against the wall and Kurt moaned into the kiss.

He felt alive, but there was something there, growing, in the pit of his stomach. A little voice that said that this wasn't what he wanted, not really. Kurt did his best to squash the voice, and threw himself into the kiss.

And just like that, the wet heat of Tyler's mouth was gone, leaving Kurt panting and leaning back against the wall.

"I have to go, but call me, anytime." Tyler said, voice low as he slipped a business card into Kurt's hand. He leaned in and pressed another long, sweet kiss to Kurt's mouth before pulling away. "Anytime."

He and Blaine barely spoke for the next several days and Kurt concentrated much of his energy, when he wasn't at work, looking for a new apartment and a new job. It was time he really opened up his eyes when he realized that his meager earnings at the café were not suitable to cover rent, expenses, and loan repayments while living in an apartment in New York City and not on the streets.

He was tiring of the endless interviews and questions and tours with potential roommates in apartments that were too small, too overpriced, and with people he didn't care to live with. He wished that he could just stay with Blaine and Santana, but ever since their fight he hadn't even felt comfortable enough to sleep in the same room as Blaine and he spent as much time away from the apartment as he could. He didn't even get to rejoice with Blaine when he got a letter with his results, telling him that he was clean.

He knew Santana could tell that something was wrong by the weird looks she gave Blaine whenever he was at the apartment. She'd sat down next to him two days ago while he was watching Project Runway and eating greasy, leftover Chinese food (pores be damned) and spent the better part of fifteen minutes looking as though she wanted to say something, but wound up getting up and going back to her room without a single word.

It was uncomfortable and Kurt wished he knew how to fix it.

After a week of relative silence from Blaine, he called Rachel and packed a bag, just needing to get away until he got himself figured out.

"Please don't tell anyone I'm here," Kurt had begged over the phone when Rachel agreed to let him stay at her apartment while she was still in Europe on her honeymoon. He'd received several text messages and worried phone calls from Blaine in the first few days he was gone and one intensely angry text from Santana asking where the fuck he was and telling him that if he wasn't already dead and buried in a ditch somewhere, she would make it happen.

He fired off a text saying he was safe and ignored the rest, choosing instead to focus on figuring out everything else in his life.

Moving on from Jude became easier as each day passed, as he remembered all of the shit Jude had put him through. All the times he'd gotten treatment and fallen of the wagon and gotten so fucked up he'd ended up in the hospital. How many times he'd had to get himself tested because of Jude's actions while under the influence.

The more the thought about it, the more upsetting it was, and the more he wished Blaine had said something to him, even though he knew he wouldn't have listened, too blinded by whatever it was he'd felt for Jude.

He had thought he'd loved him, and maybe he did, but sometimes love doesn't last, can only be pushed so far before it turns into something else, something ugly.

He still couldn't figure out the whole thing with Blaine though. He knew, even if he called it would be awkward and nothing like their relationship had ever been, even during those few months before they started college when they weren't speaking at all. He ached to find a way to fix it, but he didn't want to apologize, there was nothing for him to apologize for.

He hadn't entirely intended to call Tyler, but he was lonely in Rachel's big apartment, having gotten no closer to finding his own place. But he had landed a job as a bartender at a popular bar near Times Square and he needed to celebrate.

Tyler arrived at Rachel's apartment, dressed well in an Armani suit, bearing a bottle of champagne and an easy smile.

They had promptly downed half the bottle before they stumbled to the guest bedroom Kurt was using as they pulled each other's clothes off between kisses.

Tyler's mouth on his was almost sinful, but as he swirled his tongue around Kurt's belly button, hands sliding over Kurt's thighs, he couldn't stop the swooping in the pit of his stomach, telling him that this was wrong.

He pushed the feeling down, trying to lose himself in the feel of Tyler's palms reaching into his underwear, hand curling around his cock, but then Tyler wasn't Tyler at all, it was Blaine pressing him into the bed. Blaine's soft, warm hands pulling his briefs down his thighs. Blaine's pretty mouth opening to take him in, Blaine's tongue teasing the head of his cock.

Blaine, always Blaine.

"Oh yes, Blaine," Kurt moaned, spreading his legs. Tyler pulled back sharply and Kurt groaned at the loss of contact, eyes fluttering open and the image was shattered, because it wasn't Blaine between his legs, but Tyler.

"Is Blaine the ex?"


"Really? Because that would be understandable, with the recent breakup and everything but-who's Blaine?"

Such a simple question, or at least it should have been, but Kurt's voice caught in his throat because Blaine was a friend. He'd always only ever been a friend except that he'd never been only ever a friend. He was Kurt's best friend and confidante, the person he could always count on, who would hold him when he was upset, and tell him to keep chasing after his dreams.

He was everything.

He was the love of his life.

Oh. Oh god.

He didn't want to have sex with Blaine to forget Jude's hands on his body. He wanted to have sex with Blaine, he wanted Blaine's hands on his body, and only ever Blaine's.

Kurt's eyes widened and he blinked back at Tyler, his mouth falling open.

"I'm sorry, I can't do this."

"What?" Tyler asked as Kurt pulled away, jumping off the bed and tugging his clothes on.

"I'm so sorry. I didn't mean, but...you need to leave." Kurt fished his cell phone from his pocket, checking the time. "Fuck, I need to leave."

In the twenty-three minutes it took him to get from Rachel's to Blaine's, he came to the realization that he had always been in love with Blaine, even when he had loved Jude, but the more he thought about it, the more he wondered and as he barged into Blaine's room, he was intensely grateful that he hadn't interrupted anything personal.

Kurt hurled himself on the bed, climbing on top of Blaine and throwing the book he'd been reading to the other side of the room before sealing their mouths together. He pushed his tongue into Blaine's mouth, licking into him, sucking Blaine's tongue back into his own mouth.

Blaine's hands slid up the backs of his thighs, grazing his ass, before settling low on his back. Kurt rocked down into him, grinding into his thigh and then Blaine was pushing him away.

"What the fuck, Kurt? I told you I can't-,"

"I'm in love with you," Kurt blurted, cutting Blaine off. He knew it was risky and insane and there was a very good chance that he was wrong, but...


"I'm sorry I took off for so long and didn't talk to you, but I needed to get some things sorted out and...I'm in love with you."

"What about Jude?"

"What about him? I'm in love with you."

"Kurt." And Blaine was using that voice again, so soft and sad, and he knew he was wrong. "I'm in love with you too."

Or maybe not. Kurt's eyes met Blaine's.

"You're…how long?"

"Years, before Jude, but I didn't know. I didn't know and then it was too late and then you'd moved on and Jude was there and you were so happy that I didn't want to spoil it."

"I hadn't." Kurt admitted.


"I hadn't moved on. When I first started dating Jude, I was still so in love with you."


"Well, I did fall for him, eventually, but," and if Kurt were being completely honest with himself, completely honest with both of them, "I don't think I ever fell out of love with you."

"Kurt," Blaine said, wrecked again, but in a completely different way than Kurt had ever seen him. "This is such terrible timing."

Kurt leaned in and kissed him, sweet and chaste and unlike any kiss they'd ever shared, both in love, both knowing.

"Awful," Kurt said as he pulled away a little, dotting kisses against Blaine's lips.


"I love you."

"I love you."

And though Jude was far from forgotten, Kurt couldn't help feeling as though Blaine would help put the shattered pieces back together, making him whole again, but more whole than whole, because Blaine loved him too, Blaine was in love with him.

They'd spent the night cuddling and kissing, just touching and exploring each other until the wee hours of the morning and when Kurt got back the next day from picking up his things from Rachel's apartment, he'd wrapped his arms low around Blaine's waist, fingers digging into Blaine's ass and asked Blaine to make love to him between long, deep kisses.

Blaine sat back on his knees to stare, to drink Kurt in, naked in his bed, for the very first time. A shiver ran through him at the thought, the first time.

This was going to be their first time having sex, making love, and although Blaine had been with many men, none of them were special. None of them were Kurt, and he couldn't help feeling as though it really was his first time.

Kurt squirmed under Blaine's gaze, bringing him back to reality and Blaine smoothed his hands over the sides of Kurt's stomach, over his chest, and down his arms. Blaine ghosted his fingers over the goose bumps there and Kurt squirmed even more, bucking his hips up just enough that the head of Kurt's cock slid, slick and hard against Blaine's.

"You are gorgeous." Blaine couldn't help staring at the faint blush, tingeing the highest part of Kurt's cheek.

"You don't have to—"

"But you are. So beautiful. God, Kurt, you're so beautiful it hurts to breathe sometimes."

"Well that can't be very healthy," Kurt joked and his eyes crinkled at the sides when he smiled up at Blaine. Blaine dropped a kiss to Kurt's cheek, moving up his face, kissing over the wrinkled skin, looking forward to the day when that skin would be permanently marked in old age from smiling, smiles that Blaine put on his face. Granted, with Kurt being Kurt, a man with more skincare products than most Sephora stores, that wouldn't be for a long while, and Blaine couldn't help feeling as though he would be worth the wait.

Kurt always was worth the wait.

Kurt sucked Blaine's earlobe into his mouth, his hands gliding down Blaine's back, fingernails gently scraping along Blaine's spine and Blaine arches down, his cock coming to rest against Kurt's soft, flat stomach. The hands ventured lower, sliding over Blaine's ass and Kurt's fingers dug in, pulling Blaine against him.

"Kurt," Blaine breathes and it sounds almost wounded. Blaine turns his head, fitting their mouths together in a smooth, wet glide. Blaine nipped at Kurt's bottom lip, earning a gasp and then a moan as Blaine dipped his tongue into Kurt's mouth at the same time he shifted his hips to align their cocks and ground down.

Kurt's hands fisted into Blaine's hair as he sucked Blaine's tongue into his mouth, teasing it with his own and god, if this wasn't heaven. It amazed Blaine, how easily Kurt could disarm him, a press of lips against his ear, a whispered word, the gentlest of touches, even a simple gaze and Blaine was gone and wrecked and so utterly Kurt's.

"The things you do to me, Kurt," Blaine groaned and pulled back from the kiss a little dizzy and somehow even more turned on than before.

Kurt's eyelashes fluttered open, dark against his pale skin. Blaine wanted to build a shrine to those eyelashes.

"What?" Kurt asked, voice a little hoarse and more than a little breathy, and fuck Blaine did that. "What do I do to you?"

"God, everything," Blaine confessed, dropping his face to Kurt's neck, licking a line of sloppy kisses along the hot skin. "You're so beautiful, as a person, and just as you and fuck, just seeing you like this…" Blaine trailed off, not knowing how to explain.

He slipped his fingers around Kurt's wrist, bringing his hand down and over his erection. Kurt's fingers automatically circled around his cock, giving an experimental tug and Blaine nearly dropped to the bed, fighting the urge to fuck into Kurt's hands.

"Shit, Kurt," Blaine moaned and Kurt sucked in a breath, his grip tightening and then he was jerking Blaine, hot and tight, a tighter grip than Blaine usually preferred, but the little twist Kurt threw in at the end of each stroke left Blaine panting against Kurt's neck, not able to do more than press dirty, open-mouthed kisses against the spit-slick skin. "I love you," he murmured. "So much, so much Kurt."

"I know, Blaine, I love you too," Kurt moaned and then he moanedand it sent shocks of pleasure straight to his cock and Blaine couldn't help jerking forward, pumping his hips into Kurt's fist.

Kurt's other hand slid into his hair, tugging Blaine's face back to him until Kurt's tongue was flicking into his with each stroke, fucking into his mouth, just as Blaine fucked into his hand and Blaine was gong to lose it like this. He was so close already and he couldn't help feeling like the horny eighteen-year-old that had pressed a very clothed Kurt into a bed, only this time he knew that he loved Kurt, really loved him. There would be no guilt, no fight, no misunderstandings this time.

Kurt's grip on him was sinful, a little too dry, but the drag was so worth it and it would only take a few more strokes before he was going to come, but this wasn't how he wanted it. He wanted—

"I'm too close, wanna come inside you," Blaine said and Kurt's grip around him slackened to a loose circle, and Blaine couldn't help pumping into the fist, the pressure just enough to keep him almost too close to the edge, but not enough to get him off. "I didn't know it would be like this. It's so…"

"Overwhelming?" Kurt supplied and Blaine nodded, dipping down to capture Kurt's lips between his. "Yeah," Kurt breathed as Blaine pulled back. He kept going until he was sitting back on his calves, Kurt's legs draped on either side of him.

Blaine lifted Kurt's legs, pushing them back until he could see everything and then all he could do was stare. Kurt's cock rested hard and red against his stomach, his balls, covered in a smattering of fine hair, just a touch coarser than that on his stomach, all leading down to the most perfect ass Blaine had ever seen. Kurt's thighs tensed against his hands and Blaine looked up.

Kurt's eyes had gone dark, pupils dilated almost to black and he was panting, his lips glossy and kiss-swollen.

"Do something," he whined and Blaine leaned down, licking a wide stripe up the underside of Kurt's cock. The smooth skin gave way to Blaine's tongue and he licked up the drops of pre-cum spilling from the tip of Kurt's cock. He groaned at the taste and wrapped his tongue around the head, sucking it into his mouth.

Kurt bucked his hips up, or tried to at least, trying to get more of his cock in Blaine's mouth, but he just pulled away, breathing across the slick head and relishing in the shiver that coursed through Kurt's body.

"Tease," Kurt ground out. Blaine flicked his gaze up to Kurt's face, waggling his eyebrows and then he dove down farther, his tongue flicking out to ride along the puckered muscle of Kurt's entrance. Kurt writhed in his grip.

"Fuck! Blaine." And that was all Blaine needed. He teased his tongue along the rim, alternating between long, broad strokes of his tongue from asshole to Kurt's balls and small, tiny flicks of his tongue right against the hole. Kurt whined and pressed down, trying to get the pressure Blaine was so cruelly denying him "Please. Please, Blaine. Please. I need it. I need your tongue in me."

Blaine's hips slammed into the mattress, Kurt's words affecting him far more than any words should have been able to and then he was running his thumbs around Kurt's hole, Kurt's legs falling open and wide against the bed. The tips of his thumbs dipped in and he pulled them apart, staring at the pulsing hole for a moment before spearing his tongue and thrusting it in.

Kurt wailed as Blaine's tongue entered him and it was all Blaine could do to not come right then. Kurt's voice was low and breathless and he planted his legs down on the bed, his hands falling to press against Blaine's head, shoving him in deeper, hips undulating as he fucked himself on Blaine's tongue.

"Blaine! Fuck me. Make love to me. I don't care. I—unhh, I-I need you in me, please. Please, Blaine," Kurt begged and Blaine pulled back immediately, hand going for his bedside drawer. He almost pulled the drawer all the way out of the table in his haste to get the lube and a condom and then he was there, fingers slicked and pressing, pressing, pressing at Kurt's entrance. Two fingers slipping in. Kurt's hands scrabbled into the sheets, already pushing down against Blaine's fingers. "I don't need. Just. In me. I want to feel you."

"Okay," Blaine breathed, pulling his fingers out and he tore open the condom wrapper, rolling it over himself. He took a moment to spread some lube over his cock and then he was there, guiding his cock into Kurt's hole, Kurt's heels digging into his ass, pulling him ever closer.

"Yes," Kurt hissed, his head thrown back against the pillows.

Once he was buried completely, he gave a few shallow thrusts, letting Kurt get used to him. He was there. With Kurt, in Kurt, and fuck, was he tight and hot and beautiful, so, so beautiful.

"More, please," Kurt begged and Blaine obliged, drawing back almost all the way out before sliding back in. Kurt's legs dropped down, hooking over the backs of Blaine's thighs, his toes curling into Blaine's calves.

Blaine dropped down, kissing Kurt hard and open-mouthed as he twined their fingers together, stretching their arms above Kurt's head and he rocked into him. Their breaths mingled in the space between their lips, intermittently closed as they pressed another kiss into each other.

He wanted this. Always and forever. Just them, the two of them rocking together and kissing. Skin pressed to skin, so close he could feel Kurt's heart beating against his chest and he was filled with such a swell of emotion that he had to bite back tears.

Instead he opening his eyes, a little shocked as he saw Kurt's blue-blown-black eyes gazing back at him and his breath caught in his throat. The angle changed and Kurt shivered, arching up into Blaine. He brushed along the spot again, earning him a soft moan and soon he was thrusting along the spot with each stroke, his movements getting more and more erratic.

"Uhh, Blaine, harder," Kurt moaned, biting his lip. Blaine scraped his hands along Kurt's forearms as he brought them to rest at Kurt's hips and he rose to his knees, fucking down into Kurt with each thrust. Kurt's fingers dug into his back and Blaine surged into him. Fucking down, down, down faster and harder. Their breathing speeding up until Blaine was lost in the torrent of breathy moans of harder, faster, yes, yes, yesfrom Kurt as he drilled him into the mattress below.

He was so close, so close and, and—

Kurt's nails scratched against his scalp as he wrenched Blaine down into a filthy, sloppy kiss that was more tongue than lips and Kurt was bucking, bucking down against him and coming with a throaty whine. Kurt's ass clenched around him, ripping Blaine's orgasm from him until he dropped to the bed, shaky and panting.

"You're very heavy." Kurt observed a minute later, sounding a little squashed and Blaine lifted his head, dotting a kiss to the end of Kurt's nose.

"I love you too," Blaine replied and Kurt rolled his eyes, laughing.

"Sap," Kurt teased, easing Blaine out of him and then gathering Blaine in his arms.

"S'why you love me." Blaine couldn't help the dopey grin as he reached up to kiss just under Kurt's jaw.

"I do," Kurt admitted and Blaine continued to ravish Kurt's neck, appreciating the way Kurt's breath would hitch each time he would suck a little hard, or his teeth would scrape against Kurt's skin. "Mmm, stop that, you're going to make me hard again."

"I fail to see the problem with that." Blaine grinned as Kurt swatted at him.

"I just came, Blaine. What more do you want from me?"

"Everything, always."

This time Kurt didn't tease him, just smiled and kissed Blaine's forehead, tucking Blaine's head under his chin. Blaine snuggled in closer, relishing in the warmth of Kurt's body.

He knew that he should get up, he knew that he should at least get rid of the condom that was cooling around his spent cock, but he couldn't bring himself to care about anything beyond the man that was holding him in his arms.

He could deal with the consequences later, but whenever Kurt was involved, it would always be worth it.

Despite Blaine's years of clubbing and relationships that never lasted longer than a few weeks, Kurt had only seen Blaine drunk a handful of times. The few times Kurt had been around his inebriated friend, Blaine had gotten handsy, and, depending on how far gone he was, Blaine would try to get Kurt up against a wall.

He'd always written it off as Blaine being a horny drunk, not knowing that he was a horny for Kurt drunk.

Tonight though, Blaine wasn't drunk, not on alcohol at least and even though he felt a buzzing in his veins it wasn't because of alcohol. Kurt couldn't help watching Blaine as he danced around with their friends, leading Santana in a mix of a salsa/waltz while Mike attempted to teach Finn how to dance, yet again. Some things would never change.

He was glad they were all here, his wonderful friends and fellow McKinley survivors, along with a few faces he'd met along the way and Kurt was more than happy to just stand back for a few minutes and observe.

He and Blaine had decided to do this together, neither of them wanting the traditional route these things usually took, and although Santana had nearly ripped Kurt's head off when they'd discussed it and complained that Blaine wouldn't be any fun anymore, she had grudgingly agreed to go with their plan.

Kurt meandered into the kitchen to refill the punch bowl and was just putting the finishing touches on it when strong arms wrapped around his waist, Blaine's head coming to rest over his shoulder and Kurt leaned back into the embrace.

"Hi," Blaine whispered, his lips grazing the side of Kurt's neck. "You smell really good."

"Thank you." Kurt tipped his head to the side, offering his mouth to Blaine and Blaine eagerly took it, tongue sliding between Kurt's lips. He could do this forever.

"Oh! Ugh!" Santana yelped as she rounded the corner into the kitchen, catching sight of Kurt and Blaine. "You guys are disgustingly cute, but could you stop getting your mack on for like ten seconds and bring out the punch? You guys have forever to do that."

"Sure." Kurt relented, laughing a little as Blaine whined when he stepped out of his embrace. Kurt grabbed the punch bowl and tossed Blaine a wink as he left the kitchen. "Our room in ten?"

"Five." Blaine countered.


The punch loosened up the party considerably and no one seemed to notice as Kurt and Blaine slipped away from the party and into the bedroom and Blaine barely had the door closed before Kurt pounced, grabbing Blaine and pulling him into a searing kiss.

Blaine pushed him back into the wall, their dresser rattling from the force, and Kurt almost stopped to make sure nothing had tipped over, but then Blaine's mouth was on his, and any rational thought was gone.

Kurt couldn't help groaning as Blaine fitted his thigh between Kurt's legs, rubbing up against his rapidly hardening cock.

"I have to go soon," Blaine whispered as his mouth moved to suck on Kurt's neck.

"No, please stay, you can stay. We've been so good about making up our own rules so far, please just stay and you can fuck me and then maybe I'll fuck you and-" Kurt was cut off by Blaine's mouth sealing over his.

"It's bad luck." Blaine pointed out, though that didn't stop him from trailing more kisses along Kurt's jaw, and fuck, he never wanted this to end. Blaine drew back for a moment, peering down at his watch. "Five minutes to midnight."

Kurt arched his back away from the wall, hands pulling Blaine flush against him.

"Blaine," Kurt moaned, dipping his fingers under Blaine's waistband in the way that he knew drove Blaine crazy. He didn't care. He didn't care if it was five minutes to midnight, five minutes until their friends came looking for them, to separate them. He knew it was what needed to happen, what was supposed to happen, but that didn't make him want those minutes to move by anymore quickly. He just wanted to stay in this moment, bodies pressed together.

Kurt went airborne for one terrifying moment, before he was tossed onto the bed, Blaine following him moments later and then it was all heat and Blaine and Blaine's tongue in his mouth, Blaine's hands in his hair, rubbing him, touching him. A coil of heat surged through his stomach at the memory of a night many years ago, with the same man pressing him into a bed, only this time they were both in love with each other. This time they both knew they were in love with each other.

Their kisses turned from sloppy and heated to slow and sweet until they were mostly just brushing their lips together.

"I love you," Blaine whispered against Kurt's lips. A wave of warmth washed over him with the words and he smiled into the next press of their mouths.

"I love you too." It didn't matter that they weren't going to have sex tonight. It didn't matter that they would soon be interrupted by a drunken parade of the idiots they called friends. It didn't matter that in a few hours time Kurt would be struggling to fall asleep alone, for the first time in years, in his and Blaine's bed. What did matter was that when woke up the next day, it would be as Kurt Hummel, but when he went to bed that night, it would be as Kurt Hummel-Anderson.

But what mattered more than a name change, more than perfectly tailored Prada tuxedos, more than Blaine serenading Kurt before practically fucking him on the dance floor, was that they loved each other.

For now, as Blaine's hands slid into Kurt's, Blaine's body weighing heavy on his, keeping him pressed into the bed, Kurt couldn't help being amazed at how well they fit together in every way. Like we were made for each other,Kurt thought before laughing against Blaine's lips at how cheesy it sounded, even in his head.

Blaine slid his mouth from Kurt's lips over his ear, singing softly.

"I finally found you, my missing puzzle piece. I'm complete."

Kurt dragged Blaine's mouth back to his, cutting off anything else Blaine may have sung. Maybe it was cheesy to think he and Blaine were made for each other, but maybe Kurt didn't care.