Disclaimer: We all know the drill.
Spoilers: 3x04 and 3x05
Summary: He hated that no matter how many of their conversations he parroted back to himself, he still felt like he had made the wrong choice. A phone call set between I Am Unicorn and Asian F.
A/N: I was sitting, talking with a few friends about Blaine's decision to say yes and what made that decision so incredible to me, and I decided that I couldn't really explain it, so I had to write fic about it instead. I was so proud of both of the boys in this episode, and I feel like (once again) there was so much subtext happening in that flower-giving scene that I had to explore what might have led up to it. So I wrote this, to try to explore why Kurt was so sweet after that cliffhanger, and why Blaine might have said yes even with his tendency to go along with everything Kurt wants him to do. I hope you enjoy!
"I know," Kurt said when he answered the phone.
Not 'Hi.' Not 'What's up?' I know.
It turned the saliva in his mouth to acid, sizzling tiny holes into Blaine's esophagus, so that when he went to speak, it came out rasped and painful. "Oh…" it scratched. And once more, so like the recently-bipolar creature he had seemed to become since he started attending McKinley, his mood swung low, dropping stone-heavy down from his head to clog his arteries with the sudden knowledge that he had done something wrong. For he must have; otherwise he wouldn't be feeling so bad about it, would he?
"What did you tell them?" Kurt asked. Blaine sighed out the time he needed to gather his thoughts.
"I said yes," he said, the words reluctantly clinging to his teeth.
The other end was silent. Blaine squeezed his eyes shut. He felt like the worst person ever, and he hated that he hadn't thought of this when he'd made the decision.
At the time, it had seemed like the right thing to say. He wanted the part. He had auditioned for Bernardo or Officer Krupke—he was fine with getting Bernardo or Officer Krupke—but they'd asked him specifically if he would mind reading for Tony, so he…
He loved Kurt. He would do anything for Kurt. And if Kurt told him over the phone right now that he didn't want Blaine to read for Tony, than Blaine would turn around and tell Artie and Coach Bieste and the guidance-counselor-whose-name-he-had-forgotten that he was honored but, actually, could he just be considered for Bernardo or Krupke, please.
But he also knew Kurt. He knew the kind of person Kurt was. And he was pretty sure that no matter what ended up happening with casting, Kurt would have always felt guilty if Blaine hadn't let himself be considered for Tony because of him. It was one thing to audition for something, to limit opportunity and purposely present yourself as available for specific options—to do that for someone. It was another thing entirely to turn down opportunity and purposely reject something you really do want for yourself—to deny yourself—for someone else. That was something he wasn't supposed to—couldn't do.
It would have changed their relationship, their whole dynamic—Blaine doing something like that for Kurt was like Blaine saying Kurt was worth more than him, that Kurt's needs and hopes and dreams were more importantthan his own, that Kurt was higher than him. And not only was that not fair for Blaine to do to himself, it wasn't fair for him to do to Kurt. To put all of that on Kurt, to teeter over the edge towards codependency and to redefine their relationship after all this time of being equals and being honest with each other and being two sides to the same coin—to suddenly decide he was a penny and Kurt a half-dollar? And Kurt had to adjust accordingly and deal with the fact that his boyfriend had decided they were something other than what they were? How was that fair for either of them?
Blaine lived for loving his boyfriend. But he couldn't live for only his boyfriend.
Kurt knew that—it was, after all, why he had started freaking out about Blaine's choice to transfer only after Blaine had actually shown up at McKinley; why they had had several intense conversations afterward about why Blaine going to prom last year was a good thing for Blaine, not just for Kurt, and why it was the same for the transfer. This was a worry Kurt kept bringing up all summer, all month, and saying yes had been a way for Blaine to reassure him that Blaine was taking these worries to heart. That he was still the person Kurt had fallen in love with and he wasn't making decisions or trying to change himself in order to please his boyfriend. Kurt would understand that.
And it didn't mean that he loved him any less or that he loved his own dreams more than he loved Kurt's; it just meant that he loved them, the amazing and surprising and wonderfully together them, the KurtandBlaine they had become, more than he loved the separate Kurt and Blaine. He loved what they were together and he wouldn't ruin what they had for the world.
But it was one thing to know this in theory, to have discussed this endlessly with Kurt whenever Kurt got worried about it, and a whole other to know this in practice—and Blaine was powerless against the crushing iron of guilt that pressed against his chest as he told his reasoning to Kurt. He must have been wrong. He had done something wrong, and he should have said no, because he felt so horrible about saying yes.
"And that's why," Blaine finished, and Kurt's continued silence had him feeling like he had been talking for far too long. Blaine resisted the overwhelming urge to add 'I'm sorry'.
Kurt didn't say anything for the longest time. The longer he stayed quiet, the longer Blaine was beginning to believe he had just been rationalizing everything in order to try to feel less guilty about agreeing to read for Tony, and the heavier the weight on his chest became. It was starting to feel like an act of betrayal, and he hated that no matter how many of their conversations he parroted back to himself, he still felt like he had made the wrong choice. He had to be a good boyfriend first and foremost, didn't he? Was what he did really for them or was it just an act that benefitted him? He wished he'd talked to Kurt before he had made any kind of decision, wished he could just stop himself from acting the minute a decision had been made.
This sucked. Blaine hated this and he wished he'd said no.
Amidst his admittedly indulgent brooding, Kurt spoke:
"Good," he said firmly.
Blaine couldn't tell if this was a new way of saying I hate you or not. "What?" he asked carefully.
"Good," Kurt repeated. "I'm glad you said yes."
His voice wasn't hyper-cheerful, by any means, but it was calm; tender; truthful in its softness. Good. It felt like someone had taken their foot off of his ribcage. Good.
He let out a breath and laughed a little at the sudden ease of it. "Oh," he said. "Okay. Okay, so… so you're okay?"
"I'm fine," Kurt said, and Blaine couldn't read the emotion in his words.
Blaine tilted his head, even though he knew Kurt couldn't see it. "Are you sure?" he asked softly.
"Yes," Kurt's voice assured him. "I might be a little upset about how they took my audition, but I'm not upset about them liking you. You're wonderful, Blaine. Really. You're… I'm just so happy I have you."
His heart inflated inside his chest. "You're going to be an amazing Tony," Blaine said, an uncontrollable smile spreading across his face. "There's no one like you, Kurt. You're incredible. They can't choose anyone else."
"Hmm," Kurt hummed on the other end. "We'll see." Blaine heard his smile forming in the pause and he closed his eyes, imagining Kurt was in front of him, beautiful and loving and perfect. "Meet me on the English stairwell tomorrow?"
His smile morphed into a grin, most likely stupidly lovestruck and silly-looking compared to Kurt's, and yet completely untamable. "Of course! May I ask what you're planning?"
"You are such a prep school boy," Kurt giggled in his ear. "And who says I have to be planning anything? Maybe I just want to see you."
Blaine felt something twinge inside of him at Kurt's tone. "I love you," he said seriously, smile fading. "You're so many things, Kurt, you're so many. I know it's so hard sometimes, but I wouldn't want you to be anything but what you are. Promise me you'll never try to be anything but yourself. Because what you are is so incredible, Kurt. Everything about you is so beautiful. You have to promise me you'll never try to hide that."
He could hear Kurt breathing into his ear, and he braced himself against the yearning stretching in his limbs. He wished he could see him; could be sitting right next to him and feeling the warmth of his body instead of listening to him breathe tinny through a phone.
"I think we already found out this week that I couldn't even if I tried," Kurt half-joked.
"…I won't try," he finally promised. "As long as you promise, too. Never try to hide yourself. Not even if it's for me."
Blaine swallowed thickly.
"Right," he said quietly.
It meant I'm working on it. But Kurt knew that.