A/N: This is an idea that I've had for a while now and it was only recently that I finally managed to get it all written down. I was thinking of playing around with the idea of making it into one of those soul mate fics (which I LOVE) but this is how it came out and I don't want to change it. (It's funny because in my head it was all from Kurt's point of view but Blaine managed to take over my hands while I was writing.) I know that the title is sort of cliché, but it's the best and only title for it, in my opinion.
A lovely thanks to my beta, AllHandsLinked, for making me write better because honestly she does.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee, no matter how many times I've asked and begged them for it. Title is from West Side Story, if you haven't caught onto that yet.
Make of our hands, one hand
Make of our hearts, one heart
It began with a Sharpie.
The first night they were together in that way, Blaine couldn't fall asleep right away. So he lay there, watching Kurt as he slept peacefully beside him. They had begun by spooning, with Kurt's arms wrapped around his torso, but at some point in his sleep Kurt's hands had slipped away and he had shifted onto his stomach. Blaine had rolled onto his other side to watch him as he lay with his head resting on his left arm, face pointed towards Blaine, softly snoring. Kurt's right hand lay on the pillow next to his cheek and as he watched him Blaine began tracing his finger over the back of it.
He studied the way Kurt's hair, all traces of hairspray now gone, fell in disarray over his forehead and cheeks. With his eyes he followed the line of his brow down over his nose, past those soft pink lips, finally stopping at his chin. He looked at Kurt's eyelashes, dark against the pale skin of his cheeks. He memorized him.
It was then that Blaine realized what he was doing to Kurt's hand.
He was tracing a heart.
His fingers stilled as he stared at Kurt's white hand, and for a moment he could almost see the invisible lines he had drawn there. And suddenly all he wanted was to see that heart for real.
It was that realization that made him drop Kurt's hand and slide out of bed, carefully so as not to wake him, and walk over to the desk on the other side of the room. Blaine wasn't sure why the idea had popped into his head, or why he was even going to go through with it – Kurt would kill him for marring his skin no doubt – but he did it anyway. Picking up the red Sharpie marker, he made his way back over to the bed and, after climbing back in, picked Kurt's hand back up and carefully drew a heart on the back of it.
And sure enough, Kurt acted furious in the morning when he saw it, claiming it was going to ruin his skin and that Blaine will be the one to pay for all of the products he will no doubt have to use on his hand now. Blaine watched him stalk into the bathroom with the claim of going to wash it off, but he could see the smile pulling at his lips even as he tried to glare at Blaine.
And of course, later when they were eating the pancakes they had made together while wearing nothing but t-shirts and boxer shorts, Blaine looked down at their entwined hands resting on the table and saw that the heart was still there, un-faded.
Twice, Blaine found himself waking up before Kurt and felt the overwhelming desire to redraw the heart on his hand. And then one morning he woke up after Kurt and, after a brief flash of disappointment, looked down and found a red heart, more rounded than the one he drew, on the back of his own hand. Something grew in his throat then – a lump, or something – and suddenly his eyes were burning and he felt the threatening need to blow his nose. Hearing the door open, he quickly wiped at his cheeks and when Kurt came back in after having used the restroom, Blaine grabbed him by the arm, pulled him down on top of him with a startled yelp from Kurt, and kissed him until the need for air forced them apart.
It quickly became a thing with them. Whenever one of them would "sleep" over the other's house and had to leave early before he got caught, the other would always wake up with a red heart on the back of his hand. There was rarely ever enough time for the hearts to fade before a new layer of marker was placed on top.
When Kurt graduated, and moved to New York with Rachel, Blaine's heart began to fade on his hand. But he couldn't bring himself to trace over it himself, because it wasn't his heart to give. A lump was slowly forming in his throat as the days passed and the heart grew fainter. But then he received his first letter from Kurt. Sure, they Skyped and texted and called each other all the time, but they had agreed that they wanted to do traditional letters because "It seems more romantic" as Kurt said. Kurt letter was long – it took up nearly four pages (double-sided) and detailed everything from how he had decorated his new dorm room to what Rachel had forced him to eat the day before.
And at the very end of the letter, beneath Kurt's loopy signature, was a yellow Post-It note with a red Sharpie heart on it.
The first time they have a fight is when they are both in college. Blaine can barely even remember the reason for it – something about a guy in Kurt's costume design class – but it leaves him huddled under the covers on his bed, trying desperately not to cry anymore because it just hurts what with the pressing headache behind his eyes and the snot clogging his nose while Adele plays in the background. He knows he's a mess, and he's pretty sure his roommate has spent the past two nights in a friend's dorm, but he really can't bring himself to care.
He doesn't even realize it until it's too late – the last heart Kurt drew on his hand has been smeared from rubbing at his watering eyes and is practically a smudge on his skin.
This only makes him cry harder.
Five days they're apart, and in those five days, Blaine's hand returns to its normal skin tone and he's missed all of his classes that week. He doesn't eat, he sleeps in fits, and his beard has grown longer than he can ever remember having it grow. It isn't until Rachel barges into the room waving his roommate's key that he actually gets up. Actually, he's forced up by Rachel, who drags him to the bathroom, shoves the caddy with all of his toiletries in it, and tells him that he's not allowed to come out until he's cleaned himself up and pulled himself together or else she will sit in his room singing every opera song she can find for the rest of his wallowing.
Numbly, Blaine complies and silently goes through the motions of showering and shaving. Normally he would be singing or humming something while shampooing his hair, but the ache in his chest leaves him silent with only the sound of the rushing water filling the bathroom. It sounds strange, awkward, wrong.
He reaches out and turns the knob, stilling the flow of water. The showerhead drips lazily for a few more seconds and then stills.
When Blaine emerges from the bathroom, with a smooth face and clad in fresh pants and a clean shirt, Rachel doesn't wait. She takes him by the hand and drags him past his room, down the stairs, and outside into the cold February air. There, standing on the steps is the last person he expects to see, and the one he wants to see the most.
Blaine freezes at the door.
Rachel keeps going, though, pausing to stand between the two of them, hands on her hips.
"You two need to get over whatever your little fight was. Look at yourselves. You're both miserable without each other. Blaine's bed is currently hidden by tissues and Kurt's worn the same outfit every single day this week. I love you both, and I really hate seeing you two fighting. It's completely ruining my concentration for auditions when I'm busy worrying about how the two of you are holding up. Oh for – would you just look at each other already?" She shouted this last part, adding a stomp of her foot, and crossing her arms while glaring back and forth between the two of them.
Blaine looks at Kurt.
Kurt is looking back.
"I'm sorry," they both blurt out at the same time.
Blaine isn't sure when he runs forward but suddenly he's surrounded by Kurt – Kurt who smells like pomegranate soap and sounds like an angel and feels like home.
They stand there in the cold for a while, just holding each other and kissing messily with lots of tears and spit but it doesn't really matter because it's them, it's Kurt and Blaine. Rachel is gone by the time they pull apart and finally move to go back into Blaine's dorm. And they are grateful that Blaine's roommate is still staying at a friend's dorm, so they can clear off Blaine's bed of the used tissues and become one again in twisting throes of pleasure and love.
And in the morning, when Blaine wakes alone because Kurt has an earlier class than him, he looks down to see a fresh heart drawn on his hand. And it tingles in the middle slightly, and he knows that that's where Kurt kissed him before he left for class.
Make of our vows, one last vow
Only death will part us now
Make of our lives, one life
Everyone says their marriage was beautiful.
Oh, sure, the colors scheme was great, and everyone in the wedding party looked spectacular. But when it came down to it, the only thing that Blaine could describe as beautiful that day was the smile Kurt gave them after they both said "I do."
There were a lot of comments from distant relatives and not-so-close-friends-but-we-should-invite-them-anyway-because-we-work-with-them-and-hey-more-presents-for-us concerning their choice to have Sharpie on their hands on such an important day as their wedding. But Kurt and Blaine, in their white tuxedos with pink carnations in the lapels (in honor of their first prom together) would just smile and clasp their hands with their red hearts on them together and go off to greet another guest.
Their first dance is to an acoustic version of "Teenage Dream" and everything is perfect until Blaine decided that this version just isn't good enough and so he starts singing louder than the live performers – their old Glee Club, of course – and Kurt just laughs and joins in the stupid side-step dance that neither of them has seem to forgotten for some reason. And they sing to each other about missing puzzle pieces and skin-tight jeans while Rachel tries to drown out their voices with her own and other couples begin to join them on the dance floor.
And later Kurt says it was the best first dance a married couple could ever ask for. Even if Blaine ended up tripping on his cousin's dress during one particular spin and ended up bringing down Kurt and half the wedding guests with him.
Once, while on their honeymoon, they even tried to live out Kurt's fantasy of having sex on a field of lilacs with Sting playing in the background, but they ended up failing at it because Blaine couldn't stop laughing every time he heard "fields of gold" when they were surrounded by purple flowers. Kurt tried to hit him but that Blaine just reached down and began tickling his sides mercilessly until Kurt couldn't breathe and tears were running down his cheeks. They didn't end up having sex that day; instead, they spent the entire time laughing and trading kisses with each other, and Kurt said that honestly, it was better than he could have ever imagined.
Eventually they returned to New York, where they found a decently sized apartment with three bedrooms and was within walking distance of their favorite coffee house. Kurt took up a job as the costumer for a new Broadway show, and the theatre liked his designs so much they hired him on as a full-time staff member. Blaine found a way to use his love of music and his love of helping others by teaching music to students.
It took them some time, but they eventually decided it was time to start looking into having children. At first they weren't sure whether they wanted to adopt or not, but after a dream in which Blaine was chasing after a little girl with piercing blue eyes, he knew that they needed to find a surrogate.
And when their first child, Elizabeth Sue, arrived with Kurt's bright eyes and nose peeking out from a dusting of blond hair, the two of them discovered a new happiness in their lives that they hadn't known before. And, of course, when they brought her home, they put her in a crib beneath a frame attached to the wall in which resided the first Post-It heart Kurt had ever sent to Blaine.
Elizabeth Sue grew up, of course. As did her younger brother, Jonathon Burt. Kurt and Blaine retired back to Ohio. They were more wrinkled now, and Blaine's silver hair had mostly disappeared from the top while Kurt's was as white as snow. Kurt had trouble with his hip and Blaine had started to take more and more anti-acids, but that didn't stop them from playing old MP3s and singing loudly together on their porch, ignoring their neighbors who asked them to kindly stop singing "that Kathy Perky" stuff.
They continued to sing and dance – although, not as well, what with Kurt's hip – until they fell asleep together in the bed upstairs. And Blaine, who, due to his work schedule, had come into the habit of waking up earlier than Kurt, would always be the first to retrace the heart on the other's hand. And Kurt would wake up some time later, and shuffle into the kitchen where Blaine had a cup of coffee waiting for him. But before he sat down, he would always walk over and carefully press the tip of the red Sharpie on Blaine's wrinkly and spotty skin and make the fading lines bright again.
Then one morning, Blaine was waiting patiently for Kurt to come into the kitchen like he always did. He waited, the ticking of the clock on the wall the only noise, as he sipped carefully at the hot coffee, while Kurt's mug sat across from him, steam rising from the top. Slowly, the steam stopped curling, and when he reached out to press his fingers to the side of the mug, it was cool to the touch.
A weight settled in his chest.
Blaine stood slowly, setting down his empty mug and glancing at the clock. It was almost noon.
A part of him knew what he would find when he went back into their bedroom, but a stronger part didn't want it to be true.
Kurt was asleep, as he always ended up, on his stomach, one arm cushioning his head, face turned towards Blaine's pillow, his hand resting next to his face. Blaine looked at him studying the way Kurt's hair fell in wisps over his forehead and cheeks, like streams of moonlight on a sandy beach. With his eyes he followed the line of his brow down over his nose, past those chapped pink lips, finally stopping at his chin. He looked at Kurt's eyelashes, dark against the pale skin of his cheeks. He memorized him.
Blaine knew that when he touched him, he would be cold.
The funeral was held two days later. Elizabeth came with her husband and two sons, and Jonathon came with his daughter. Some of Kurt's old coworkers showed up, and some friends from college and the city as well. Only a few members of New Directions managed to show up, though: Tina, who had lost Mike several years ago; Sam and Mercedes, who were still together; Rachel, who cried the hardest; and even Brittany, who kept muttering about dolphins and periodically bursting into Lady Gaga's old hit "Highway Unicorn."
After the service, everyone came up to Blaine, sitting between his son and daughter, and shook his hand with looks of pity in their eyes as they gave him their condolences. He didn't really pay attention to anything they had to say, too busy watching as the mahogany casket was lowered into the ground, a single white rose resting on the lid.
That night, after he had set up Elizabeth and Jonathon and their families in the guest bedrooms, he went into the bedroom he had shared with Kurt, grabbed his pillow, and went to sleep on the couch in the living room.
Elizabeth and Johnny were concerned for him, he knew. They couldn't understand why he kept listening to the same songs on repeat – oh simple thing, where have you gone…I finally found you, my missing puzzle piece – or why he would never look up at them or, most of all, why he hadn't cried once since finding Kurt.
But he couldn't bring himself to explain that he didn't need to cry for Kurt, because people only grieve when they have no hope of ever seeing their loved ones again.
Instead, he just sat there, calmly waiting, looking at the back of his left hand. And when the day came that he could no longer see the red outline of Kurt's last heart, he smiled softly and closed his eyes for the final time.
Day after day, one life
Now it begins, now we start
One hand, one heart
Even death won't part us now