Blaine runs his feet across the floor, his muscles tensing again as he finishes the move.

Kurt approaches almost cautiously, his hands in pockets, and his head down.

"Shouldn't you be celebrating?" he wonders.

"I'm going over this move; I messed it up tonight," Blaine answers. He sighs. "I know I can do it better." Blaine sounds frustrated with himself, dejected. He continues to shift across the stage.

Kurt walks forward, hands still buried in his pockets, guarded and sarcastic as he becomes when he's feeling vulnerable. "Beauty of the stage," he says wistfully. "You get to do it all over again tomorrow night."

He purses his lips.

Blaine stops practicing and drops his arms, his whole body slumping with shame and regret.

Kurt seems to see that his hit has landed and wants to make it clear that he knows Blaine is beating himself up enough.

"Personally I though both you guys were perfect," he says in his normal, chipper voice.

"Thank you," Blaine says earnestly but brusquely. Kurt's praise eases the self-hatred just a little, but it's still his prominent feeling. He puts his hands on his hips and finally turns to look at Kurt directly. Kurt smiles at him just a little.

"Your Officer Kruptke killed," he returns. "Brought the house down."

Kurt shakes his head and lifts his chin towards the ceiling. "Well I can't help but pull focus sorry." Kurt never could manage to make his sarcasm as biting with Blaine. He smiles at his boyfriend, who can't help but at least brighten his face a little in return.

"Don't apologize. It was great," Blaine adds, glad that they can at least find their usual banter for a moment.

They have a second where they just smile at each other, and remember that they love each other and they'll work this out.

"All your friends were here tonight," Kurt observes. Blaine nods. "The Warblers. Sebastian." Kurt sucks in a rush of air. "They were all loving it." He tries to keep the bitterness out of his voice, because he really does just want Blaine to be happy, but his own feelings get in the way. It surprises him a little, how much it hurts that he feels like he isn't what Blaine wants, but the insecurity is there nonetheless.

The temporary relief Blaine had felt at their finally talking about this fades when he realizes how hurt Kurt still is and that it's all his fault.

"Come here," he mumbles, still upset, because maybe, if Kurt's closer to him, he'll understand.

Kurt hesitates for a second, and then steps forward, the sarcastic shell left behind him and the vulnerable boy in love walking alone.

Blaine feels helpless, so helpless, because he needs Kurt to understand this, needs him to know how important it is to Blaine that he never feels like Blaine's abandoning him for something else because Blaine never could. For so many reasons, he's so in love with Kurt and he absolutely aches for Kurt to believe it.

"Give me your hand," he offers, glancing at Kurt's hands and willing himself to feel the familiarity, the closeness that will make this better.

He reaches across his body to grasp Kurt's hand gently, his eyes soft, downcast, and earnest.

Kurt's staring at him warily, as if he wants to know exactly how Blaine's going to make him feel less alone.

"Hold it to your heart," Blaine requests, lifting their hands to Kurt's chest and wrapping his palm and fingers around the back of Kurt's hand.

"Just like the song?" Kurt observes with a laugh, because he doesn't know what to say, and however hurt he may feel, he always feels close enough to Blaine to tease just a little.

"Just like the song," Blaine affirms with a nod and a short laugh.

They smile softly, and even the small contact feels comforting and familiar after the days they've spent so emotionally separated.

Blaine stares at Kurt, whose smile holds firm but looks almost…pained?, definitely unsure… and grasps their hands more tightly together.

"Kurt," he starts, and his voice almost cracks on the name because he feels so much he can't contain it. Kurt's face is instantly serious.

"Sebastian doesn't mean anything to me," he swears, his eyes boring into Kurt's with such genuine love that Kurt's hand and arms tingle and he has to fight an urge to sob or cry or pull Blaine to him in a hug. His heart's racing as they both glance at their joined hands, and then allow their gazes to meet once more.

"And you were right," Blaine continues, twisting Kurt's hands into his own. "Our first time shouldn't be like that." He shakes his head and bites back a sob because he just feels so guilty for having done this to Kurt, when he'd sworn he'd never hurt him. "I was drunk, and, I'm sorry." He holds his breath because he needs Kurt to forgive him like he needs air.

Kurt takes the apology and lets his hurt feelings fall to the back of his mind. First and foremost he loves Blaine and that is enough to allow him to open back up to him.

"Well it beats the last time you got drunk and made out with Rachel," he teases.

It's Kurt's gag line whenever he wants to prod Blaine a little, and the fact that it's so much a part of them makes them both feel a little better.

Blaine laughs through his concern and drops his head in embarrassed acknowledgement.

Kurt chuckles gently at his reaction.

They play with each other's hands because neither can bear to let go.

"But I'm sorry, too," Kurt continues with tilt of his head. "I—I wanted to be your gaybar superstar," Blaine scoffs gently because he doesn't need or even really want that, "but, try as I might, I'm still just a silly romantic." Kurt shakes his head like that character trait frustrates him.

It causes Blaine a pang that Kurt would feel that way because it's actually one of his favorite things about him, that he holds their love for each other so clearly as the most important part of their relationship, and its something he never, ever wants to change. Kurt is the one who is right in this issue, not him. He needs Kurt to know that.

"It's not silly," he protests in a whisper, hazel eyes searching for understanding.

He surges forward and presses their lips together urgently. It's gentle, but deeply felt and full of promises. They breathe together. I love you, he repeats over and over in his head. I love you. I love you.

He feels Kurt's arms wind around his neck and it makes him feel grounded and whole like he hasn't since their fight, that Kurt is reaching out for him, wants him, needs him, just as he needs Kurt.

Kurt shifts his mouth away when Blaine begins to tilt his head for another kiss.

It's too much for him right now.

Blaine simply lets him control their embrace and sighs as Kurt nuzzles his way across Blaine's face. It's shockingly intimate, breathtakingly so.

"You take my breath away," Kurt gasps into his ear. Blaine shivers and holds him almost imperceptibly closer.

"And not just now," Kurt's hands push against his shoulders, "but tonight, on that stage, I was so proud to be with you." his eyes are glassy with tears, and Blaine thinks Kurt finally gets how Blaine felt earlier. A tear almost escapes his eyes at the warm fire spreading through his chest.

His eyes glisten as he speaks. "I hope so," he chokes out. "I want you to be." He knows he sounds like he's about to cry, yet Kurt just smiles at him lovingly.

It's not that he'll never hurt Kurt again, because he will, but more that he's beginning to accept that Kurt will love him anyway. He sees with stunning clarity that maybe in the same way that one of Kurt's frustrations with himself is one of Blaine's favorite qualities, the fact that Blaine is vulnerable and unsure sometimes is one of Kurt's favorite things about him. Loving despite and especially because of flaws. That cliche has such truth. He loves most tenderly the parts of Kurt that even Kurt does not.

It's strange, but he feels as though this fight, their first real fight, has made them even closer than before. The richness of their relationship, the understanding that they can hurt each other and find the grace to share the blame and talk it out until they both feel better, has made them stronger.

The impending year apart has been nagging at his mind recently, and yet in this moment, he's never been more sure that they'll make it through.


Thanks for reading!

If you have a second, I'd greatly appreciate a review :)

Emily