Blaine's cup of coffee sat in front of him, untouched, growing colder as time went on. He was far too excited to drink it as he talked animatedly with Bernard Stanford while Martin looked over a stack of papers.
' – it was a good fight, of course,' Blaine rambled happily, while Barnard nodded along, 'I just think that Freeman should have won that; I mean, Terrance's submission was spectacular, honestly that was an amazing triangle choke, but Freeman had the upper hand the entire fight, he didn't give Terrance room to breathe –'
'Excuse me, what about the pay?' Martin interjected, looking up from the paperwork he was going over. Bernard smiled.
'His payment will be subject to change, of course,' he replied, and Blaine felt his stomach churn excitedly, 'the more successful he becomes, the more I'll pay him, of course. To begin with, I'll pay him three thousand dollars a fight and he'll fight maybe once a month. Is that okay?'
Blaine's eyes widened – three thousand dollars a fight? He could have kissed Bernard then and there.
Martin nodded once and turned back to the contract, his eyes skimming over the writing quickly. Blaine turned back to Bernard, who smiled at him.
'Are you excited?' he asked, and Blaine nodded, a smile stretching over his face, 'I've informed the boys in the house that you'll be moving down and –'
'Oh, I'm not moving,' Blaine interrupted, feeling slightly sheepish. Bernard raised an eyebrow at him.
'You're going to be staying in Ohio?' he asked, sounding taken aback, 'why on earth would you stay in Ohio?'
Blaine shook his head, 'I'm not. I'm moving to New York with my boyfriend. I… hope that doesn't change anything.'
Bernard looked contemplative for a moment and he laced his fingers together, propping his elbows up on the table and resting his chin on his hands.
'Look,' he started, and Blaine suddenly felt a little nervous – for all he knew, Bernard could be giving him an ultimatum, 'I don't care if you live New York or not. You can live on the moon for all I care; as long as at the end of the day, you're fighting for me.'
Blaine grinned at him and Martin looked up from the papers.
'Well, this all seems to be in order,' he announced, 'I'm assuming you just need Blaine to sign this and everything will be set?'
'That's the plan,' Bernard nodded, smiling at Blaine. Blaine smiled back, his stomach suddenly twisting with nerves. Martin pushed the stack of papers across to him and Blaine bit his lip as he looked at the print, taking none of it in. He could feel his heart beating loudly in his chest.
'Um, I don't have a pen,' he announced to nobody in particular, still looking down at the contract, his voice shaky. A pen was placed in front of him and he took it, noticing that his hand was trembling slightly. He looked up at Martin, who smiled softly at him.
'All you have to do is sign, Blaine,' he told him quietly, 'just there, on the line at the bottom.'
Blaine glanced back at the paper and hesitated. His whole future rested on this page, in these words.
'Blaine, if you're not ready for this, you don't have to do anything.'
Blaine looked up at Bernard, who had spoken. He was looking at him with a soft expression. Blaine knew he wasn't being pressured – this was entirely his decision. He wished Kurt was there with him.
His eyes welled up with tears out of nowhere because with a rush, he realized this was exactly what he wanted, what he was ready for. He'd been working for this his whole life and now it was being laid out in front of him on a silver platter – the opportunity of a lifetime. He had to sign on a little black line and his whole future would be set. He would fight for the biggest fighting organization in the world. He would be making Martin, his mother, Kurt, all of them proud.
And his father. Especially his father. His father was the reason he fought.
He clicked the pen and wiped his eyes as discreetly as he could with the other hand, poising the pen over the line.
This is it, Blaine, he thought determinedly, no regrets now.
He signed his name quickly and pushed the contract towards Bernard, who beamed at him and slid the papers into his briefcase.
'It's been a pleasure doing business with you,' he told Blaine, extending his hand over the table for Blaine to shake, before offering it to Martin, 'now, I would love to stay and talk but I really have to get back to Nevada tonight, so if you'll excuse me…'
'Thank you for meeting with us, Mr. Stanford,' Martin stood as Bernard started to pack his things away. Blaine stood too and Bernard turned to look at him, smiling.
'Blaine, I'm looking forward to working with you,' he told him sincerely, and Blaine nodded, 'I'll keep in touch – I'll be calling you regularly until you graduate and then we'll fly you over for a week or two so that you can become accustomed to how things will work when you're fighting in Nevada.'
'Thank you so much for this opportunity,' Blaine replied, slightly breathless, 'I won't let you down.'
Bernard winked at him, 'I know you won't. Martin, Blaine, I'll be in touch.'
With that, he left, and Blaine fell back into his seat, sighing heavily.
'I can't believe I just did that,' he breathed, digging the heels of his palms into his eyes to stop the tears which were threatening to overflow. He couldn't believe this was happening – it felt so surreal.
'You alright, Blaine?' Martin asked, and Blaine could feel him sit down next to him. A second later, Martin's arm was around him, and Blaine couldn't hold the tears back.
'This is s-so crazy,' he muttered, wiping his eyes, 'I can't believe that just happened. I can't believe I just signed a contract to fight in UFC.'
'Of course you did,' Martin replied with a light laugh, 'you're amazing and you're incredibly talented. Of course you did.'
'This is so huge,' Blaine shook his head, looking up, 'this is major.'
'Well, it's life changing, yeah.'
'I need to see dad.'
There was a silence and Martin cocked his head to the side.
'You know you can't see –'
'No,' Blaine shook his head again, his voice dropping, 'I – I want to visit his grave, you know?'
Martin bit his lip – he wouldn't say no, of course, but the idea of Blaine having to visit his father at a cemetery at such a young age was heartbreaking. He sighed.
'I wish he was here to see this,' he admitted softly, and Blaine's expression fell. There was a silence.
'Okay, no, we can't mope around,' Blaine told him after a moment, looking determined, 'I just signed the biggest contract of my life. Martin, we did it. We fucking did it!'
And as the realization of exactly what had just happened settled in, Martin and Blaine grinned at the same time and threw their arms around each other, embracing each other tightly.
'I am so proud of you,' Martin told him, squeezing him. Blaine spluttered as he tried to inhale.
'Air, Martin!' he chuckled, pushing Martin off of him, 'we should get out of here – go home and celebrate with mum and Kurt.'
'What was so important, Blaine? I – mmf!'
Whatever Kurt was going to say was cut off by Blaine kissing him firmly on the lips. He smiled at him when they pulled apart.
'What was that for?' he asked, shrugging his coat off and throwing it across the back of one of the chairs in the living room. Blaine beamed at him.
'I did it.' he told him simply. Kurt frowned.
'You did it?' he repeated, and Blaine simply smiled, waiting for him to catch on, 'you did it… you did… oh my god, you signed the contract?'
Blaine nodded excitedly and Kurt threw his arms around him, hugging him tightly.
'Oh, sweetie, I'm so proud of you!' he gushed, 'was he okay with you moving to New York? I hope he was! Oh my god, I am so proud, I can't even tell you how amazing this is, I – mmf!'
Blaine kissed him again, wrapping his arms around him and holding him close, pushing him against the living room wall as Kurt moaned into the kiss, his hands tangling in Blaine's hair. A second later, there was a loud thump on the other side of the wall and they jumped apart, looking for the source of the sound.
'If you two are quite done,' Martin grinned, peeking out from the doorway, 'we'd like to see you guys in the kitchen.'
Blaine rolled his eyes but took Kurt's hand and led him into the kitchen, where Clarissa stood waiting for them, pouring champagne into tall, sparkling glasses.
'Alcohol, mum?' Blaine raised his eyebrows at her, 'really?'
'One glass won't kill you,' she winked, holding out a glass to Kurt, who took it, looking interested at the pale pink of the champagne.
'It's lady champagne,' Martin complained, taking a glass and looking into the glass with an expression of mild disgust, 'screw this, I'm getting a beer.'
He went over to the fridge and Clarissa sighed, handing Blaine a glass and taking up her own. She smiled.
'So, I just want to congratulate you, Blaine,' she started, looking younger and happier than he'd seen her in a long, long time, 'I always knew that you would go somewhere with fighting – and while it isn't exactly my favorite thing in the world, I'll always be here to support you as much as I can and I'm so very proud of you, honey.'
She kissed Blaine on the cheek and he hugged her for a moment, before Martin raised his bottle of beer and grinned.
'A toast to Blaine!'
Blaine rolled his eyes at how ridiculous the whole situation was, but he smiled at Martin and his mother and took a sip of his champagne before setting it down. He noticed Kurt take a large gulp of his and resisted the urge to chuckle – he couldn't imagine what Burt would do to him if he sent Kurt home drunk.
'Thank you, guys,' he smiled at them, and took Kurt's hand, 'thank you guys for all the support you've given me. It means more than you'll ever know.'
Martin and Clarissa beamed at him and Kurt pulled Blaine closer.
'Perhaps we can go upstairs and I can show you exactly how proud I am?' he whispered, and Blaine felt a chill run down his spine. He saw Martin raise his eyebrow at him and he couldn't stop a light blush from spreading across his cheeks.
'Well if you two are done, Kurt and I are going to go up to my room,' he told them, trying to keep his voice steady. Martin smirked at him and his mother smiled.
'Of course, sweetie,' she smiled, 'you two have fun now.'
'Oh, I bet they will,' Martin snickered, and Blaine shot him a glare, but pulled Kurt upstairs into his room nevertheless, locking the door behind them for good measure.
'So, we're alone,' Kurt commented lightly, sitting on Blaine's bed. Blaine chuckled.
'Relax baby, now we're all alone,' he sang softly, taking his jacket off and dropping it on the floor. Kurt raised his eyebrows in amusement.
'Really, Blaine? Rod Stewart?'
'If you want my body, and you think I'm sexy…' Blaine continued. Kurt snorted.
'Stop that,' he ordered, 'that is so cheesy.'
Blaine stuck his tongue out at him and pulled him into a hug.
'So what's going to happen next?' Kurt asked, pulling Blaine back so that they were lying down. Blaine kissed his cheek.
'I'm going to go down to Nevada after graduation to scope it out,' Blaine replied, stroking Kurt's hair, 'and then I'm going to fight around once a month for three thousand dollars a fight.'
Kurt made an appreciative noise.
'That sounds pretty good. And he's going to let you go to New York?'
'He doesn't care where I go, as long as I fight for him.' Blaine grinned. Kurt rolled on top of him and kissed him lightly.
'I'm so proud of you, you know.'
Blaine smiled, 'thank you. That means a lot, you know.'
'No, I mean, I'm really proud.'
Kurt's voice had dropped an octave and Blaine felt the familiar chill run down his spine again and he wrapped his arms around Kurt's waist and kissed him again.
'So proud,' Kurt murmured, pressing their lips together and kissing him deeply. Blaine rolled them over so that he was now on top of Kurt and he ran his hands up and down Kurt's body, kissing him fervently. Kurt moaned softly and his hands slipped under the hem of Blaine's shirt, running his hands over the taut muscles of his back.
Blaine's lips moved from Kurt's to his throat, kissing his way down as Kurt's breath began to speed up beneath him.
Kurt pulled Blaine back up to him and kissed him deeply, pulling Blaine's shirt over his head and throwing it onto the floor.
'Mm, maybe we should slow down.' Blaine suggested, breaking from the kiss for a moment before Kurt rolled them over and pressed Blaine into the mattress.
'We're celebrating,' he argued, grinding his hips into Blaine's. Blaine let out a low moan, feeling heat begin to coil in his stomach.
His pants began to feel a bit too tight and with a sigh, he pushed Kurt off him gently.
'What are you doing?' Kurt whined, crossing his arms over his chest. Blaine bit his lip.
'Are you sure you want to do this again?'
'Did you really just ask me that question?'
Blaine ran his hands over his face and through his hair, trying to cool himself down a little, 'yes, Kurt, I am.'
Kurt cocked his head to the side, 'why?'
Blaine sighed again and took Kurt's hand.
'Kurt, this is… a big deal for me,' Blaine admitted, 'and it's a big deal for our relationship.'
'I know it is.'
'Kurt, seriously.' Blaine frowned, 'I know that sex isn't a big deal for some people but it is for me because… you know, I've never done this with anyone before.'
'I haven't either.'
Blaine rolled his eyes, 'Kurt, can you please take this seriously? I want to talk about this.'
Kurt's expression softened, 'sure, sweetie. Talk to me.'
Blaine hesitated, 'I – this is a way to connect to someone on a new level. A deeper level. I – I've never had that before. Not like this. And it's scary, you know? Like… opening yourself up like that. I mean, it's okay if it's not that huge to you but for me… it's a bit intimidating.'
'Aw, honey,' Kurt pouted slightly, leaning over to kiss his cheek, 'I know what you mean. It is scary – but I'm not scared, not that much, because it's with you, you know? I trust you and I love you and I want to be able to do this.'
'I don't want this to become the basis of our relationship.' Blaine told him firmly, 'we've already beat a lot of odds, you know? I mean, other couples are just… in it for the sex, but we're – we're not, are we?'
'Blaine,' Kurt laughed, 'we've slept together once, okay? It's not going to take over our relationship, I promise.'
Blaine smiled at him.
'Blaine, I'm with you because I love you. You're amazing and I love you, alright?'
Blaine leaned forward and kissed him softly, 'alright.'
There was a small silence and Kurt laughed softly.
'You totally killed the mood.' he commented, and Blaine blushed lightly.
'Sorry for being insecure,' he retorted playfully, and Kurt shoved him.
'You're adorable,' Kurt smiled, 'do you just want to watch a movie or something?'
Blaine shrugged, 'or maybe we can just sleep?'
'Sleep is nice.' Kurt grinned, pulling Blaine into his arms and back against the pillows.
'I love you,' Blaine murmured against Kurt's hair, 'so very much.'
'And I you, my love,' Kurt replied, turning his head and kissing his neck softly.
Kurt fell asleep shortly after, and Blaine lay away, stroking Kurt's arm absentmindedly while staring up at his ceiling. He couldn't wipe the small smile off of his face; everything was working out perfectly.
'Alright, you know where it… is… I'm just going to find a parking spot, alright?'
Blaine nodded and Martin and opened the car door, feeling Kurt tighten his grip around his hand. He took a deep breath and stepped out onto the gravel, his eyes scanning the cemetery before him.
'It'll be okay, sweetie,' Kurt murmured they walked through the gate of the cemetery. Blaine bit his lip as they navigated through the tombstones. He'd memorized the path but he hadn't taken it for a long time. He passed graves, eyes briefly scanning the writing, a hollow feeling setting in his stomach at the sight of all tombstones. He knew that Kurt was feeling similar – Kurt's mother had died, too, and the idea that someone knew how he felt was comforting.
'How far is it?' Kurt asked quietly, and Blaine pointed – they weren't far now.
He could feel the tears welling up as they approached his father's grave; and as he reached it, he released Kurt's hand and dropped to his knees in front of it, his heart thudding dully in his chest.
Kurt bit his lip and put his hand on Blaine's shoulder, squeezing softly. He read the writing on the tombstone – which was kept simple and clean – and felt his heart sink.
Father. Husband. Brother. Champion.
He fought until the very end.
Kurt's eyes filled with tears and he brushed them away, not wanting to cry in front of Blaine. He dropped next to Blaine and wrapped an arm around him.
'Are you alright, baby?' he asked gently. He heard Blaine sniff and his boyfriend dragged a hand over his eyes. Kurt pressed a kiss to cheek.
'I – I'm okay,' Blaine replied, though his voice cracked and Kurt couldn't possibly believe him.
'You can be sad,' Kurt assured him, 'it's okay to cry.'
'I don't want to cry,' Blaine told him, sounding miserable, 'I don't want him to – to see me upset.'
Kurt cursed silently, his heard breaking.
'It's alright, he won't mind,' he promised, 'he knows how strong you've been, it's okay to cry.'
Blaine swallowed thickly and a few tears rolled down his cheeks.
'I – I want to talk to him,' he admitted, 'but I don't want you to think I'm ridiculous.'
'I would never think that,' Kurt breathed, pulling him in for a hug, 'I just – don't ever think that. I always talk to him.'
Blaine nodded against Kurt's shoulder and Kurt released him. Blaine sat back and crossed his legs and patted the ground next to him. Kurt sat and rested his head on Blaine's shoulder.
'Hey dad,' he started quietly, his fingers toying with the grass in front of him, 'I know it's been a while since I've last spoken to you, and I hope you're not mad because of it. I – I miss you.'
He felt Kurt's hand slip into his and squeeze it reassuringly.
Blaine glanced at Kurt as best he could and pressed a kiss to his hair.
'I have a boyfriend now,' he continued, his tone a little lighter now, 'you would love him, I promise. His name is Kurt and he's beautiful. He's been helping me with my fighting; I know you would have liked that. Um,' he turned to Kurt, 'did you – did you want to say hello?'
Kurt raised his head and Blaine looked at him hesitantly. Kurt smiled warmly at him.
'Hey, Mr. Anderson,' he addressed the grave, and the look Blaine gave him was one of complete adoration, 'I'm Kurt, and I'm in love with your son. I heard he's a lot like you, so you must have been a pretty amazing person.'
A second later he felt a pair of arms wrap around him and Blaine's lips on his as he kissed him.
'Thank you so much,' he breathed. Kurt kissed him lightly.
'Don't keep your dad waiting,' he smiled gently, and Blaine turned back to the grave.
'So… I've been fighting,' Blaine told him, 'like, fighting a lot. And I have some really good news for you.'
He paused, whether for dramatic effect or to collect himself, Kurt didn't know, but when he spoke again, he sounded both proud and heartbroken.
'I won, dad,' he smiled softly, 'I won the featherweight championship. It's what we both wanted, I know. I – I hope you're proud of me, dad. I just wanted to make you proud.'
Kurt couldn't take it anymore – he broke down into silent sobs, overwhelmed by the emotion of the situation. Blaine noticed and let his own guard down, his tears falling thick and fast into his lap as he tried to continue talking.
'A-and that's not the best part,' he whispered, trying to smile through his tears, 'I – I got a contract f-from Bernard Stanford. He wants me t-to fight for him. We made it, dad. We made it.'
He felt a wave of emotion crash over him and he buried his face in his hands, letting himself cry freely.
'I just wish you were here,' he sobbed, 'I wish we could do this together. I – I – I wish you could have s-seen me fight, dad, I was good. I – just like you taught me. I miss you s-so much.'
He felt Kurt take his hand again and he leaned his head against Kurt's shoulder, his tears soaking into Kurt's shirt. He felt Kurt wrap his free arm around him.
There were footsteps behind them and Kurt turned to see Martin and Clarissa hanging behind them tentatively, obviously not wanting to interrupt. Blaine felt his hands begin to shake and he knew he wouldn't be able to sit there for much longer without completely breaking down, so he exhaled sharply.
'I love you, dad,' he whispered, but his voice was stronger than it had been through the whole encounter, 'and I know you're proud of me. I miss you, but I'm going to keep making you proud, because you made me proud. I – I love you. I'll come visit soon.'
He raised his hand to his lips and kissed his palm before pressing it against the grass over his father's grave. He bit his lip and stared at the tombstone for a few more moments before getting to his feet. Kurt stood next to him, not releasing his hand, and they turned to face his mother and Martin.
Blaine opened his mouth to speak but he couldn't find the words, so he merely nodded shakily. Clarissa and Martin looked a little misty eyed.
'I – I'm going to go and sit in the car…' Blaine told them quietly, staring at the ground.
'O-okay.' Clarissa replied, and Blaine could hear the break in her voice. He let go of Kurt's hand for a second and walked over to his mother, hugging her tightly. He kissed her cheek and then clapped Martin on the shoulder.
'You're okay, aren't you honey?' Clarissa asked gently. Blaine smiled softly and nodded.
'I – I'll be okay,' he replied, and she kissed him on the cheek, 'go. Talk to dad.'
She smiled at him and Blaine went back to Kurt, taking his hand and offering Martin and his mother another shaky smile. They began to walk back to the car in silence, the mood between them both a little morbid and comfortable.
'Blaine, are you okay?' Kurt asked as they stepped out of the gate. He stopped walking and took Blaine's other hand in his.
'I'm fine. I'm going to be fine.' he replied resolutely, 'that… helped.'
'He's proud of you,' Kurt smiled, his own eyes still a little watery, 'I know he is. We're all proud of you.'
'I'm glad I could make you proud.'
Kurt leaned forward and kissed him softly.
'He would have liked you,' Blaine told him quietly, 'you two would have gotten along great. I – I wish you could have met him.'
'I wish I could have too,' Kurt agreed softly, 'I'm proud of how strong you were back there.'
'I cried like a baby.'
'Sometimes breaking down and crying is a lot stronger than keeping a brave face,' Kurt told him simply, 'I thought you were very courageous, baby.'
'Thank you,' Blaine smiled softly, 'I couldn't have done it without you.'
'It was my pleasure,' Kurt smiled happily, and swung their hands as they continued to the car.
'Have you realized that life is moving very quickly?' Blaine asked as they reached the car. He leaned against the hood and looked up at Kurt.
'What do you mean?' Kurt asked.
'I mean, we're moving to New York soon, we're graduating, I'm going to fight professionally…' Blaine trailed off, smiling softly, 'I mean, I didn't think all of this would happen so fast.'
'It's exciting, isn't it?' Kurt grinned, 'we're going to have so much fun. I'm so excited.'
'I'm glad it's you I'm moving with,' Blaine told him, 'I love you more than anything, Kurt.'
Kurt walked over to him and kissed you gently.
'I love you too,' he replied softly, 'everything will be okay, I promise you.'
They heard crunching on the gravel and they looked around to see Martin and Clarissa approaching them, their cheeks streaked with tears.
'Are you guys ready to go?' Martin asked, his voice thick. Kurt looked at Blaine and Blaine nodded.
'Yeah, I'm ready.'
Kurt slipped his hand into Blaine's and squeezed it as they walked around to the car door.
Blaine stared out the window as they drove home, a mixture of feelings swirling inside him. He felt a lot lighter inside now that he'd spoken to his father – but he also missed him more than he ever had. On the other hand, he was about to burst with excitement; he had just signed the contract of a lifetime, he was graduating in a few months and he had an amazing family, friends and boyfriend to support him on his way to the top.
Not even a year ago he was in tatters, and he was surprised at how much had changed since then. He'd been given a number of amazing things and opportunities and was not about to let any of it go to waste.
With that thought, he felt a new wash of determination set inside of him. He was going to do whatever he could to become a success so that he could provide for his family and for Kurt. He was going to gain the honor of being a renowned fighter and he couldn't wait for school to finish so that he could get started.
Blaine turned to Kurt and pressed a kiss against his cheek.
'I'm more than okay.' he replied, completely honestly. Kurt smiled at him and Blaine smiled back, because the boy next to him was part of the reason he was so keen to become a success.
He turned back to look out the window and felt peace wash through him. For the first time in so long he felt completely sure of himself and his future.
He smiled to himself as the outside world blurred past him. Everything would be okay. He knew that he would be fine no matter where he ended up.
He was a fighter, after all.
AN: I had to end this when I did because I wouldn't have been able to stop otherwise, and I'm actually feeling a little emotion because it's over! I didn't want it to end, but it did. I think I'm going to start a sequel when I have time and hopefully you guys will actually read it because… people actually read this, surprisingly. :P
I hope you enjoyed the story because I completely adored writing this. Your reviews, alerts and favorites have made my days since this story has started. I love you all so much, thank you for your support!