"You're okay." Blaine knew he was, had known this for at least three hours—since they'd left the warlock's castle—but he couldn't stop touching Kurt, to make sure it was real, to make sure Kurt wasn't hurt.
"I'm fine," Kurt laughed, but his own hands came up to curl around Blaine's. "You're the new King of Stormhold," he said, softly.
Blaine rested his head against Kurt's neck. "So are you."
He felt Kurt stiffen in surprise, and immediately backtracked, lifting his head from Kurt's shoulder. "That's not what—Kurt. Nobody is forcing you to marry me."
"I know," Kurt said, softly.
Blaine lifted Kurt's palm to his mouth. "I am crazy about you," he whispered, pressing his lips to the tender skin between thumb and pointer finger. "And nothing in the entire world would make me happier than if I could call you my husband."
Kurt wanted it, too. Blaine could tell by the way his shine nearly blinded everyone in the carriage.
"You're sure that's what you want?" Kurt whispered, eyes locked on Blaine.
"You are all I will ever want," Blaine said, firmly, and leaned in to kiss Kurt, his hands cupped around the other man's face.
It was slow, and sweet, and chaste, taking into consideration that Blaine's father was sitting only a foot away.
"It figures that you would get the crown," Santana spat, crossing her arms, moodily. She huffed impatiently as the caravan lurched forward. "You didn't even want it. You weren't even after it."
Blaine pulled away from Kurt, keeping one hand resting tenderly on his cheek, and turned to Santana with a benign smile.
"Still," Santana said, grudgingly, "I do admit you would make a good king."
"Thank you, Princess," Blaine said, and Santana snorted, because maybe this boy had potential, after all.
She tapped the window. "You can let me out here."
Mike looked slightly surprised, but stopped the carriage anyway.
She hopped out, dusting off her riding cloak.
Blaine leaned forward. "Where are you going?"
"Off to chase me a pirate," she said, and saluted them.
They offered to share a room with Mike. Honestly, they did.
Mike raised an eyebrow at them when they did so, and both of them blushed, and no more was said.
Kurt climbed into bed first, yawning in content and snuggling back into his covers. "I do have terrible misfortune, don't I?"
Blaine leaned against the closed door, just looking.
Kurt was glowing softly, his face and hands alight over the collar and cuffs of his shirt. His smile matched his shine—soft, warm, bright, and so, so in love.
"You are so beautiful," Blaine breathed, and Kurt's glow brightened even as he blushed and ducked his head.
"Don't hide from me, please," Blaine whispered, crawling into bed after him and slipping his hand under Kurt's chin. "I love seeing you like this—so happy."
"You make me like this," Kurt said, quietly. He was silent for a moment, before he tipped his head to the side. "Did you mean it?"
"Mean what?" Blaine asked. No matter how hard he tried, his eyes refused to move from Kurt's lips.
"What you said when we were in the caravan. That you wanted to marry me."
"Kurt," Blaine said, giving in to temptation and leaning forward to kiss him, slipping one arm around Kurt's waist to tug him closer. "Of course I did. I want to marry you as soon as I can. I'd do it now, if I could."
"I don't think there's any need for that," Kurt said, and his eyes weren't straying far from Blaine's lips, either. "I believe you."
"Let me convince you anyway," Blaine said, tipping Kurt back against the pillow. "Let me take care of you tonight?"
Blaine took his hand. "I thought I'd lost you forever," he said, softly, his eyes catching on Kurt. "When I heard that you had been taken, I thought it was the end. Some part of me still doesn't believe that you're here with me, that you're all right." He took a deep breath, slipped his hands up Kurt's arms to his shoulders. "I need to prove to myself it's real, that you're here and safe and okay. I need to know that you're with me."
Kurt opened his mouth, but Blaine wasn't finished.
"And I know what you must have thought," he said, gently, his eyes roaming across Kurt's face. "When you woke and I was gone. My father told me—he said you looked heartbroken, like you had lost everything, like you were dead already. I-" he faltered. "I don't know what that innkeeper told you, Kurt, but I can only assume that the fact that he was half asleep when I relayed to him my message for you may have changed the actual content of the message."
Kurt half-shrugged, turning his eyes away from Blaine.
"Let me be really clear about this," Blaine said, quietly. "You are my true love, Kurt. That is who I meant in that message. Not Rachel. You. I went to see Rachel to tell her that, and to tell her that she never really wanted me."
Kurt looked up, the beginnings of a smile on his face.
"All I want is you, Kurt," Blaine whispered, his breath brushing light against Kurt's lips. "All I'll ever want is you. Let me show you that."
All of the air in Kurt's lungs left his throat in a short gasp. "Yes," he said, breathlessly.
"Take off your shirt," Blaine murmured, pressing his lips just below Kurt's jawbone, "and lie back. Let me."
Slowly, Kurt lay back. His glow was more subdued now that he had no idea what Blaine was about to do. His curiosity showed on his face as Blaine made no move to remove his trousers along with his shirt.
Instead, Blaine skimmed his palms over the surface of Kurt's flat stomach, leaning down to press soft, gentle kisses around Kurt's navel, feeling the way Kurt's stomach fluttered under his mouth.
"Are you ticklish?" he breathed, warm and hot over Kurt's stomach. Kurt squirmed.
"Nervous," he said, tipping his head back, and Blaine was momentarily distracted by the long, smooth column of Kurt's throat.
"Don't be," Blaine said, sliding his hand over to slip down Kurt's warm side. "I'm going to show you how much I love you, Kurt. I'm going to show you there is nothing you need be worried about, not when you look like this."
"Like-" Kurt hesitated. "Like what, exactly?"
Blaine's hand snapped back. "You don't—oh, Kurt-"
"Don't," Kurt said, quietly, turning his face away.
"Kurt, please tell me what you mean," Blaine said, stroking his thumbs over Kurt's ribs.
"I know what you find appealing about me," Kurt said, his eyes fixed on the ceiling. "You like my wit and the fact that I can beat you in a fight—don't argue, you know it's true—and you like dancing with me and you very much like the fact that I'm taller than you." He shrugged, a stilted motion against the bedcovers. "I just don't see looks factoring in there anywhere."
Blaine sighed, resting his head against Kurt's stomach, pressing his cheek to the warm, soft skin there. "You're right, I do love all those things about you, Kurt, and so many more that you'd probably be surprised by." He reached up to lace his fingers through Kurt's. "But please believe me when I say that I really, really love how you look."
Kurt let out a long, slow breath. "I'm sorry," he whispered. "I want to believe you, Blaine, but I-"
Blaine leaned up, letting gravity take his lips to Kurt's. They moved softly together, slowly. "Let me show you," Blaine repeated, pulling back.
Kurt could only nod, the words stolen from his throat.
Blaine let his other hand slip into Kurt's, before spreading Kurt's arms apart and pressing both of the other man's hands into the mattress. "Leave them there," he murmured, reaching across to place a gentle kiss on each of Kurt's palms. "Just like that."
Kurt let out a shaky breath.
Blaine began on his right—sliding his lips down each of Kurt's fingers, eyelashes trailing down Kurt's skin as if to remind him of what Blaine's lips had felt like, moments before. He peppered kisses down Kurt's forearm, circling his fingers around Kurt's wrist to hold him in place, even though Kurt had no intention of moving.
Blaine's tongue drew light circles on Kurt's bicep, and he pulled back slightly to gaze at them admiringly, running flat-handed palms over the muscles.
"Have I told you how much I like these?" he asked, his gaze unmoving. "I could never concentrate when you were showing me a new technique for fencing because all I could think about was how strong you must be, with biceps like that, and then I'd start thinking about how you could lift me up, and then my thoughts would become decidedly less pure and-" he cut himself off, a light blush coloring his cheeks.
Kurt's lips were parted, eyes gazing at Blaine in wonder.
Blaine laughed a little self-consciously, then leaned forward once more to touch his lips to Kurt's shoulder. "Turn over," he murmured.
Shivering, Kurt did so, turning his head to the side and cracking one eye open to look at Blaine.
"These," Blaine breathed, his hands hot and heavy on Kurt's shoulders, sliding down to stroke across his back. "God, Kurt, your shoulders... I can't see you with a shirt off without fixating on your back. You have the most beautiful shoulders of any man I've ever seen."
Kurt's skin, already alight with a soft glow, shone just that much brighter.
Blaine sighed against his back, lips pressing reverent along his skin. "I could touch you for hours, Kurt, look at you just like this, and I would never become tired or bored."
"I-" Kurt seemed at a loss for words.
Blaine's hands slipped down to his trousers, his thumbs tucking under the waistband. "I'm going to take these off. Okay?"
"Please," Kurt murmured, and Blaine's heart stuttered even as he pushed the trousers down Kurt's legs, Kurt's hips lifting from the bed to assist him.
He was naked then, glowing everywhere, and for a minute Blaine couldn't breathe because there was absolutely no way that this amazing, perfect being belonged to him.
"You have amazing legs," Blaine whispered against the backs of Kurt's knees, dropping kisses on his calves.
"Oh," Kurt said, and let out a shuddering sigh.
"Sensitive?" Blaine murmured, and Kurt said nothing, just squirmed further into the bedcovers.
He was quiet for some time, pressing lazy kisses down Kurt's legs and running his hands gently up and down his thighs, stroking his fingertips through the hair sprinkled across Kurt's calves and shins and thighs.
He ran his hands up and over Kurt's backside, not missing the way Kurt shivered at the touch, and planted a soft kiss against the skin there. "Turn back over, please?"
For a moment, Kurt didn't move. Then, slowly, he turned over, and Blaine sucked in an aching breath because he was already really hard.
He stroked one hand over Kurt tentatively, and Kurt gasped, turning his face to muffle his noise with the pillow.
"You look stunning," Blaine whispered, spreading his palms across Kurt's broad chest. "You're beautiful, and I love you."
"I love you too."
Blaine smiled a half-smile, only one corner of his mouth tilting up. "I know. This is about you."
He hesitated, then brought himself up on his palms to press his face into the curve of Kurt's neck.
Something changed in the way he was touching Kurt. His hands became more insistent on Kurt's chest, his mouth changed from kissing softly at Kurt's throat to biting, sucking kisses that would leave clear marks. Kurt's hands tensed, spasmed, then flew up from the bed to grasp Blaine's biceps.
Blaine pushed them back, more forcefully than he had before, and nipped at Kurt's collarbone, earning a sharp gasp.
"No," he said, reprovingly. "Keep your hands there. I told you that."
"B—Blaine-" Kurt gasped, and Blaine smiled wickedly, moving his face down to lick and suck and bite at Kurt's chest, closing his fingers around Kurt's wrists and pressing them into the bed in warning.
His tongue flicked at Kurt's nipple, and Kurt arched off the bed, a short, breathless curse fighting its way out of his lips.
"You taste amazing, too," Blaine whispered, tongue tracing the contours of Kurt's stomach as his hands moved from Kurt's arms to his chest, fingers plucking at one of his nipples, teasing it until Kurt was breathless and moaning beneath him.
"What do you want me to do?" Blaine asked, and as he spoke he curled his hand around Kurt again. Kurt's mouth fell open, breath coming in short gasps.
"Put your mouth on me, Blaine, please," Kurt stammered, and Blaine wasn't cruel enough to tease Kurt and ask him where, exactly, Kurt wanted his mouth to be.
He ghosted one final kiss just under Kurt's navel, then sunk his mouth around the other man.
A wave of satisfaction hit him when Kurt arched into the touch, a choked-off moan tearing from his throat. He laced his fingers through Kurt's, and used the other hand to hold him steady as he worked him over with his tongue, slowly, thoroughly.
Kurt squeezed his eyes closed, a soft whimper falling from his lips.
Blaine felt hungry in a way he never had before, around anyone. He wanted more of that, more of all of it, of Kurt's gasps and moans and the way his voice stuttered when Blaine's tongue flicked against him.
He took Kurt, every bit of him, stroking his fingers light over Kurt's wrist, a reminder of everything. He let his fingers trace Kurt's ribs and curve around his stomach.
He flicked his eyes up to meet Kurt's.
Kurt let go, arching and crying Blaine's name, and Blaine, surprising himself, fell with him.
When he returned, his palm was cupped around Kurt's cheek, his head resting against Kurt's chest.
"I'm so happy I found you," he murmured.
Somehow, Santana wasn't surprised in the least when she found Quinn there, too.
She was sitting beside the Captain, murmuring quietly with him, one hand on his knee, when Santana stepped onto the ship for the second time in her life.
Sam raised his eyebrows at her. "We thought you would have the stone by now."
Santana attempted to smile. "Is being queen really so important?"
"To you, it was," Quinn said, her eyes half-hard.
"There are other things that mean more," Santana said, and she had eyes only for Brittany.
The throne was stiff and uncomfortable, and in his royal robes, Blaine still felt like an imposter. Like a child playing dress-up.
The thousands of citizens who stood in the square below, gazing up at him in adoration, seemed to believe otherwise.
Beside him, Kurt squeezed his hand. "Breathe, Blaine," he murmured, and Blaine sucked in a breath. Without Kurt beside him, he never would have made it through the last few weeks of hastily thrown-together training.
Captain Puckerman grinned at them from the front row, and Quinn, smiling sweetly, blew a dainty kiss in Blaine's direction. He pressed a quick hand to his heart and held back his smile, remembering his training in stoicism. Santana sat beside them, holding Brittany's hand. Mercedes and the blond prince—Sam—were just behind them, eyes fixed only on each other.
Rachel was in the audience, too, with Jesse, and she offered him a small smile when she met his eyes. He was surprised to find that she seemed to have no hard feelings toward him—she had married Jesse after all, and the two had stayed in contact despite their differences in living situations.
Words were said as the Bishop lifted the crown from the cushion it rested on, but Blaine's heart beat so loudly in his ears that he couldn't understand a single syllable. It wasn't until a heavy weight settled on his head that he realized—he was King of Stormhold.
The thought didn't have much time to process before Mike was stepping forward, a long box clutched in his hands. "My gift to you," he said, handing it off to Kurt. "To you both," he said, his eyes flicking to Blaine.
Kurt lifted the lid, and his eyes closed as he laughed, before showing the contents to Blaine.
A Babylon candle.
They ruled for eighty years. But no man can live forever—except he who possesses the heart of a star. And Kurt had given his to Blaine completely.
When their children and grandchildren were grown, it was time to light the Babylon candle.
And they still live happily ever after.