Author's note: I wanted to post this tomorrow as it's the one year anniversary of Never Been Kissed's original airdate, but I suspect that I may be dead tomorrow along with a fair number of you, so I figured today would be better.
Oh, and I don't own Glee. In case anyone believed otherwise.
Of Love and Staircases
Through the fabric that covers his eyes Kurt can see minute changes in the light, the sun's rays dimming and brightening with the movement of the clouds and the changes in direction. They have been driving for what feels like an eternity but is in actuality likely about twenty minutes. Kurt shifts position for the fiftieth time and heaves a deep sigh. He isn't really annoyed but he wants to be sure Blaine thinks that he is.
"We're nearly there. I promise." The laughter is his voice tells Kurt that Blaine doesn't buy it.
"You said that two hours ago and then you had to stop for gas. And I probably looked like a kidnap victim sitting here with your Dalton tie around my eyes. The cops are probably surrounding us as we speak."
Blaine's melodic laughter fills the car and Kurt can't hold back his smile. "That was five minutes ago, Kurt. And don't worry – there weren't any other cars at the pumps so I think we're home free."
"You're home free you mean. I'm the one being kidnapped."
"I'll make it worth your while," Blaine sing-songs.
"You'd better. This cheap polyester tie is probably giving me a rash."
Blaine laughs again and it makes Kurt's heart sing. He can fake being ornery for hours if Blaine keeps that up. "I adore you," Blaine says, his voice doing that thing it does when he's being romantic. Kurt wets his lips. He wishes he could see so he could lean over and give Blaine a kiss.
"Even when I'm being a bitch?"
"Never!" Blaine says in mock offence and Kurt joins in on the laughter this time.
Blaine is humming quietly as he stops and then turns the car to the right. Kurt had been trying to memorize the lefts and rights and stops and starts since they left the Lima Bean but it hadn't taken him long to lose interest. He hasn't the foggiest where Blaine is taking him, and though he has a general rule of always disliking surprises unless he is the mastermind, he finds himself intrigued and excited. But also a tad nervous because this is Blaine, the guy who once serenaded a near stranger at the Gap with a song that made mention of sex toys. Well, he figures, hopefully if he is about to be inappropriately serenaded Blaine at least had the foresight to drive them out into the middle of nowhere first.
Blaine whips the car into park as though sensing Kurt's uncharitable thoughts about his wooing practices and Kurt almost smacks his face on the dash. He feels Blaine's hands on his head and shoulders as if checking for injuries. "Oh God, Kurt! I'm so sorry!"
Kurt assures him that he is fine, no harm done but for his impending rash, and Blaine unbuckles his seatbelt and kisses him on the cheek. "Stay there. I'll come around and get you," he says.
Being led out of a car blindfolded is not something Kurt has ever experienced before. As he's tripping over the lip under the door and his own feet, he wishes he would have had a time or two to rehearse because he's sure he could manage to pull it off with a tad more grace. Blaine tugs him forward by the hands and wraps an arm securely around his waist just as the wind picks up, pelting them with crackling leaves, the ends of the Dalton tie slapping against the back of Kurt's head. Wherever they are feels open, secluded. Kurt prepares himself to be serenaded.
But Blaine keeps ushering him forward, across gravel, concrete, up some steps. He tells Kurt to stand still and removes his steady arm. Kurt hears a door creak open in front of him and Blaine is once again leading him forward.
There is a blast of warm air and the echoes of footsteps. The smell of the place is familiar but he just can't seem to place it. It brings warmth to his belly, the feeling of security and love.
Blaine places a gentle hand in the middle of his back and clutches his upper arm. They walk slowly forward until Kurt's toes come up against something solid and Blaine whispers "Whoa."
"Not a horse, Blaine," Kurt grumbles and Blaine shushes him with a quiet laugh.
"We're going up some stairs. I'll hold on to you," he says.
After a slow, steady climb up a few steps, Blaine stops them and gently turns Kurt around. He takes Kurt's left hand and extends his arm, wrapping his fingers around something firm and cool to the touch before letting go and taking a step back.
"You stay right here," he says, still in a soft whisper. "I'm going to remove your blindfold, but keep your eyes closed for me, okay?" Kurt nods and Blaine reaches around to undo the knot, pausing halfway through and resting his forehead against Kurt's. Kurt can feel his warm breath of his face and breathes in. "Promise?" Blaine whispers, so quiet it's nearly inaudible.
"I promise," Kurt answers with equal solemnity.
Blaine pulls the tie off the rest of the way and Kurt scrunches his eyes shut. More light is getting in now, burning his eyes after so long a time in the dark. He hears the echo of Blaine's footsteps as he descends the stairs, feels the loss of his nearness.
"You can open your eyes," he hears Blaine say from a little ways below.
Kurt takes a moment to breathe in and out before fluttering his eyes open to the harsh light. He blinks a few times, the murals and wood and busts and polished everything coming into focus around him. Dalton? he thinks in confusion. He glances around, checking for hidden Warblers about to pop out of random alcoves and start doo-wopping. When he can find no one, he glances down to see Blaine watching him with a tiny loving smile turning up the corners of his lips.
"One year ago today," Blaine is saying, his voice quivering with emotion. "The best thing that has ever happened to me happened right here in this exact spot."
Kurt can feel moisture building behind his eyes. He opens his mouth to speak but can't seem to find any words. Blaine sees him struggling and comes towards him, just like he had on that day. "You don't have to say anything," he whispers, "Just come here." He leans forward and rests their foreheads together, rubbing Kurt's nose with his own.
"Oh, Blaine," Kurt manages at last, the words sounding strange, gravelly. "Sometimes I wonder how you are even real."
"I wonder the same thing about you every single day. God, I just love you so much."
"I love you, too. This is just..." He doesn't even know how to finish.
"How can I not believe we were destined to meet? You could have stopped anyone else on this staircase that day."
"I liked your pocket watch," Kurt says, sniffling.
"You're such a liar!" Blaine says, his laughter is thick with his own unshed tears. "Shut up and kiss me."
Kurt takes Blaine's face in both hands, his thumbs tracing gently along his cheekbones. Staring into his eyes, golden in the light from the glass dome above them, he knows he has never seen anything more beautiful and is doubtful that he ever will. He leans down, turning his face to the side, and presses his mouth lightly to Blaine's. Just a soft press of lips at first, their mouths soon moulding to one another's as Blaine wraps his arms around the back of Kurt's neck and pulls him closer.
A chime sounds, signalling the end of class and they pull apart.
"Guess that couldn't last forever, no matter how badly we wanted it to," Blaine says, looking wistful.
Kurt nods, his fingers still stroking lightly over Blaine's cheekbones and down his shadowed jaw. "Just for the record," he says. "I defy anyone who tries to say that you aren't good at romance, Blaine Anderson. And that includes you."
Blaine laughs and wraps his arms around Kurt's body, hugging him close as students begin trickling in from every direction and filling up the spaces around them.
They are making for the front door, hands clasped tight, when they hear their names being called from behind.
Turning around, Kurt spots Nick, Jeff, Thad and Trent wearing matching grins and waving in perfect unison. He stifles a giggle – they are just such Warblers. Even the appearance of Sebastian sidling up beside them like he had caught a whiff of Blaine from the other side of campus cannot dampen Kurt's euphoric mood. "Hi boys!" he says and gives them a Queenly wave.
He wants to grab Blaine and get out of there, but they are coming over for a chat and Blaine is smiling so adorably, so excited to see his friends. Kurt pushes thoughts of my house is empty, my house is empty out of his mind and makes small talk with the boys.
But when Thad insists that they stay and join them for a Warblers meeting and Blaine looks about to accept, Kurt decides he must intervene.
He clears his throat and gives them what he hopes is his most winning smile. Make this quick, Hummel, he tells himself. Your house is only empty for a precious few hours. Blaine turns his big, golden eyes on him and he's gnawing on his lips. Empty house. Empty house. "As much as we love and miss all of you, we've got to -" Kurt begins, his eyes flicking back and forth between Thad and Nick and Jeff and Trent and think of an excuse, goddamnit and Blaine's tongue is sliding out and moistening his bottom lip, extra plump from the kissing and how he was just biting on it... oh, biting...
Screw it, he thinks, realizing half a second later that he said it out loud. Blaine's eyes are amused and he was doing that on purpose, the asshole. Kurt grabs Blaine by the hips, leans down and picks him up, flopping him over his shoulder like a caveman.
"Bye!" he calls to the boys, an afterthought. Their laughter, whistling and catcalls follow them out, mixing with Blaine's giggles.
"My house is empty," he informs Blaine as he carries him down Dalton's front steps.
"Oh my God," Blaine says. "Run!"
And they are both giggling, two fools in love, as Kurt races to the car with Blaine bouncing over his shoulder.