Third in the Blangst series and filling in a few gaps as well as elaborating on a comment of Kurt's in the first part of the series. This is the last planned piece for this series but that doesn't mean it's the end, just that this particular train of thought has come to a gentle stop that can be restarted at any moment by anything on the show or created on Tumblr.
I know the title is a bit peppy when you think about the song it comes from but for me it was the first thing that clicked and I like it. There is no relation to Sectionals in this story, nor to the song.
Yes, I have a thing for Blaine's tears.
"I have seen that boy cry three times… He's teared up a few times, yes, but actual crying? Three times."
They always made the most of their time when Blaine's parents were away. Obviously not in the manner that many other teenagers with a similarly empty house would, but when being around Blaine's parents was usually comparable to the halls at McKinley, being allowed to cuddle together in Blaine's living room was a small pleasure they would both take, especially when the widescreen television was midway through a marathon of Disney that would make any five year old envious.
Of course the added bonus to having Blaine's parents present was that they would take care of knocking doors and ringing phones - as the latter interrupted their show, Blaine had reluctantly risen to his feet with a quick peck on Kurt's cheek. "Back in a second," he said cheerfully and slipped through to the kitchen. Kurt, being the helpful boyfriend he was, paused the movie so Blaine wouldn't miss anything.
He hadn't meant to eavesdrop - he didn't even know who was on the other end of the line - but it was impossible to block out the sound of Blaine's voice. And Kurt liked Blaine's voice so he really wasn't in a hurry to do so.
"Hey Aunt Jeanie. No, they're not here at the moment, can I take a message."
"No, Dad will have his off, he's in meetings, and Mom's is in the shop. Is everything okay?"
"Wait, wait, slow down. What do you mean by bad news?"
"Oh my god."
A long silence.
"Well at least it was - he didn't suffer. That's - something."
"I'll let them know to call so they can make arrangements."
The phone clicked back into the cradle and Kurt waited, heart hammering in his throat. He had been through enough in his own short years to know what kind of bad news could make somebody react that way - his father, the hospital calling to tell him to come in now, the same call made to relatives, the same words (bad news, she didn't suffer, make arrangements, gone) - and all he had to do now was find out who Blaine had lost and then try and put the pieces back together because Blaine had just appeared at the door again, wide-eyed and trembling and so, so close to breaking, walking unsteadily to the couch to sit down next to Kurt who just held his breath and waited.
"That was my aunt."
Kurt nodded, laced their fingers and squeezed hard, once.
"It was a h-heart attack." Blaine swallowed. "Sudden. Quick. No warning."
A gulp this time, audible and wet with impending tears.
And Blaine broke.
He was in Kurt's lap without a second thought, wrapping him up tight like there was a chance of piecing him back together if Kurt physically held him that way. He had never so much as heard Blaine cry before and to have the boy curled into him sobbing into his chest because a piece of his world had ended was almost too much. But Kurt held strong, held Blaine and waited.
It took a very long time, long enough that Kurt was justifiably afraid Blaine might not ever stop crying or not stop in time before his mom got home and the last thing Blaine would need on top of this was someone judging him for taking comfort from his boyfriend. But the sobs finally lessened, quietened into silent tears seeping into Kurt's neck, shoulders jumping every so often with a hiccup. Kurt lessened his hold a little, smoothing his hand up and down the plane of Blaine's back and feeling Blaine relax against him with a sigh. "I won't ask if you're alright," Kurt murmured, "because it's a stupid question. But are you relatively okay for now?"
Blaine nodded, pulling away. "I'm sorry, I just -"
Kurt kissed him, barely a brush of lip before pulling back. "Never apologize for feelings," he said, punctuating every word with a kiss to Blaine's cheeks, forehead, nose. "What can I do for you?" Blaine scrunched up his nose in confusion and Kurt couldn't resist kissing it again. "To help," he clarified. "To make you feel a little better."
"I don't know." Blaine closed his eyes and when he opened them they were filled with tears again. "Everybody always warns you that it hurts but… god, Kurt, this hurts."
"I know." Kurt guided Blaine's head back to his shoulder, running his hands through Blaine's hair. "I know," he repeated, quieter.
"What did you do?"
Kurt didn't reply for a long moment, allowing his thoughts to drift. "I cried," he said. "I asked questions, I didn't get answers. I cried. I spent a lot of time staring at the drawings we'd done together, photos of her -" Blaine's arms snaked around his waist and Kurt had to smile; that was his boyfriend, always offering comfort to others even when he needed it the most. "Cried some more. Slept in my dad's bed for a few weeks. The first day I woke up and didn't automatically look for her, I cried then too."
"So basically I'm going to cry a lot."
"Yes." Kurt smoothed back his hair fondly. "And then one day you'll cry a little less, then less, until you'll actually go a day without crying and it'll startle you. It doesn't mean you miss them any less or that you've forgotten that they're gone, you're just… adjusting. Learning how to live with that little piece of yourself gone. But right now you don't know how to so you're just going to cry."
Blaine sniffled again. "Okay."
The garage door began to rumble, opening, and Kurt groaned. "Blaine, that's your mom."
Blaine lifted his head, panic in his eyes. "I don't want - Kurt, I need you."
Kurt almost cried - Blaine, his strong, independent and wonderful Blaine, had just said he needed him and now there was no way he was going to let Blaine go, homophobic parents be damned. "Come back to my house," he suggested. "Tell your mom that she needs to call your aunt and you'll be back tomorrow and then come with me."
"Are you sure?"
Footsteps, and Kurt nodded quickly. "Everybody in that house knows what you're going through," he said quietly. "Come on."
Blaine's mother was understandably shocked by her son's appearance but Blaine barely even looked at her, passing on the message in a monotone before following Kurt out of the house. Kurt knew it wasn't for a lack of love - even if they did clash over some very significantly different viewpoints - but that they simply didn't show emotions in the Anderson household and there was nothing Blaine's mom could do to comfort her son right now. And anything she could do, Kurt could do better.
The car ride was silent. Blaine clutched to Kurt's hand the entire way; sometimes squeezing it until Kurt's fingers went white; sometimes so loose that he could almost slip away. Blaine wasn't crying, just staring blankly out the window as his mind tried to comprehend the news that had shattered his world. Kurt knew it wasn't something that he could come to terms with in one day and mentally cleared his schedule (plans with Mercedes, karaoke evening with Rachel - they'd understand), planning to spend as many days with Blaine that Blaine would have him. The last thing anybody needed was to be alone for something like this.
When they pulled up outside Kurt's house, Kurt took notes of the vehicles present then leaned over to kiss Blaine's cheek. "I'll go in and explain to my dad, okay? And then I'll come back. I'll be gone two minutes, tops."
"Okay." Blaine reluctantly let go of his hand and Kurt smoothed his thumb over Blaine's knuckles before ducking out of the car, heading briskly for the front step.
"Dad?" he called out as soon as he entered, the noise of the television giving him an answer before it was switched off. "Hey," Kurt said quickly as his father appeared in the hall. "I've got Blaine in the car, he got some really bad news and he's not holding up too well."
"What kind of bad news?"
"His grandfather passed away."
Burt's expression softened, worried. "Bring him in. You can both sleep in your room, but tonight only."
Kurt hugged him quickly before darting back out the door and down to his car, opening Blaine's door just in time to see another tear slip down his cheek. "Shh," he murmured, reaching over to unbuckle Blaine's seatbelt and maneuver him out of the car to lean against him. It was an effort to keep his own voice steady as he was nearing his own emotional limit - just seeing Blaine this broken was destroying him. "Shh, it's okay. Come on, let's get you inside."
Burt and Carole were both waiting in the hall and Kurt saw Blaine visibly pull himself together to address them. "Thank you for letting me come," he said, his voice shaky but no tears in sight.
"We're sorry for your loss, Blaine," Carole said softly. "If you need anything from us, just let us know."
"We've been in your shoes, kid, and we know," Burt added.
Blaine shuddered in Kurt's grip and Kurt knew he was on the edge of breaking down. "We'll just be up in my room," he said quickly before guiding Blaine to the staircase, knowing his vision was probably already clouded over. They climbed the stairs slowly and entered Kurt's room, Kurt closing the door behind him. It wasn't necessary - Finn was at football camp for a week and their parents wouldn't intrude (or be stopped by a closed door if they chose to) - but it would give a sense of privacy to Blaine who was now biting his lip so hard that Kurt was afraid he was going to draw blood. "Come here," Kurt told him, leading him to the bed and settling them so they were lying together, Blaine's head resting on his chest. "Let it out. I've got you."
And as Blaine's shoulders began to shake again, Kurt held him close and reminded himself how to breathe.
Same house, very different setting.
Blaine's mother was in the extravagant kitchen preparing dinner and pretending she wasn't watching over the two boys sitting at the table doing homework. Of course she wasn't subtle about it and Kurt suppressed another sigh at a pointed cupboard door slam when he leaned in to see what Blaine was doing.
Sorry, Blaine scribbled on the page they were using to 'talk' to each other. I did say we should have gone to your house.
Rachel's there - I would have gotten completely distracted by NYADA talk or completely grossed out by the sight of them making out on the couch he wrote back before running his foot across the top of Blaine's. I can put up with it for another hour.
Blaine smiled at him and nudged his foot lightly, pressing their calves together as he returned to his essay. Kurt crossed out another line on his potential class president speech (no, election wasn't for ages but it was good to be prepared) before leaning over to write on the page again. Do you think anybody from Dalton would give me a reference for NYADA?
Blaine wrinkled up his nose, thinking, and all Kurt wanted to do was kiss it. Depends. No choir teacher makes it hard and you weren't there for long. You can try the pr
The pen froze on the page as the front door opened and Kurt tensed as Blaine's father entered the kitchen, smiling at first until he saw Kurt. "Well, I'm back from the conference," he announced in a stiff voice. "Blaine, it's good to see you are keeping up with your studies, are you reminding your friend what a good Dalton education is like?"
Blaine pressed his lips together and Kurt knocked their knees under the table, a silent reassurance. "Not exactly, I -"
"What is this?"
Blaine had always said his father's best quality was his voice. He had the power to silence a room full of people in seconds and get them on his side in a mere minute. He could bring someone to near hysterical laughter and then drop them into a pit of shame the next second. And right now his voice was deadly enough to kill and Blaine quite literally paled as Mr. Anderson picked up Blaine's Spanish textbook. "Dalton doesn't teach Spanish," he said slowly, flipping the cover open to determine that it was indeed Blaine's book before looking up. "Are you taking studies externally?"
"Not exactly," Blaine hedged. "I'm taking all of my classes at the same school."
Kurt saw the second it clicked in his brain. "You transferred," Mr. Anderson said, his voice one of disbelief. "You left Dalton, a school that gave you the highest standard of education and kept you safe and you transferred back to a public school?"
Every muscle in Blaine's body tensed but he still responded as calmly as ever. "I did, yes."
"What would possess you to -" Silence. "Oh. You."
Kurt flinched as the stare moved from Blaine to himself. "Don't you dare pin this on Kurt," Blaine said immediately, his voice rising. "I made my own decision and I don't regret it for one second.
"You are seventeen years old and you left the one place that you told us would keep you safe to follow some friend who you'll probably not even remember the name of in five years time -"
"Kurt's my boyfriend!" Blaine was on his feet, Kurt staring in shocked silence between him and his father. "And you know that full well and I'm so sorry to offend your sensibilities but that's what he is. And clearly he means more to me than some school and a 'higher education' and even staying behind those barriers so why can't you just respect that?"
Mr. Anderson folded his arms but Kurt could see his knuckles were white. "Because I didn't raise you to be this way! I raised you to be obedient, respectful to your elders, hard-working, an honor student and -"
"Don't say it. Straight?" Blaine laughed bitterly. "I know this isn't just about not getting any grandchildren. This is me being an abomination to society. Well, any society that thinks Kurt and I are abominations aren't lucky enough to have us, especially not your high class one. I don't need you and if I had my way about it, I'd be gone, but I'm stuck here until school finishes and we both know it. So how about we just go back to ignoring each other's presence, I'll continue to go to public school with my boyfriend and we'll finish the year with me getting out of your life for good."
Without waiting for a response Blaine made straight for the garage and Kurt, not giving a damn about the 'no being alone in rooms together' policy, followed straight after him, jamming a foot in the door before Blaine could close it. "Kurt," Blaine warned, his voice trembling. "You do not want to see this."
"Let me in."
Blaine let him in, closed the door (without slamming it Kurt was impressed to note) and turned straight for the punching bag in the corner. Kurt had seen it a few times but never really got the significance until now, until Blaine's fist smashed into it with enough force to send it wobbling off on its chain. Kurt pressed a hand to his mouth, fighting back the urge to speak or whimper or do anything that would remind Blaine he was here. He knew Blaine needed this but it kind of wasn't easy to watch his boyfriend so angry.
"Who the hell does he think he is anyway?" Blaine suddenly said, making Kurt jump. "He spends all his time off doing his stupid business conventions and then comes home and decides to rule my life? That's not how it works, either you're a father all the time or you aren't one at all!"
There was a tear in the side of the bag, Kurt noticed. Clearly this wasn't the first time Blaine's father had worked him up so badly and Kurt really had no qualms about sitting back and waiting for Blaine to finish blowing off steam.
"If I want to go to another school then I'll go to another school and he can't stop me. Mom signed off on it because she doesn't care, I wish he didn't care instead of caring in such a wrong way."
Blaine kicked the bag and Kurt jumped again, feeling himself begin to tremble. Physical violence always shook him up even when it wasn't directed at him and Blaine was so calm all the time. Knowing he was capable of this - even though Kurt knew full well Blaine would never ever hurt him in this way - was actually a little terrifying.
"And he thinks I'd forget Kurt? He thinks I'd forget the best damn thing that's ever happened to me?" Despite the circumstances, Kurt smiled a little at that. "I can't take this. I can't handle this anymore, I can't have him keep trying to make me into this perfect son that I'm so clearly not and why am I not good enough?"
Stepping away from the punching bag, Blaine began to pace, fists clenched. "I tried for so long to be who he wanted but I can't. I can't be straight, I can't be interested in law or politics or business, I can't help that I'm in love with someone and would follow them to the ends of the freaking earth! And it wouldn't matter if that was a girl, suddenly it would be an amazing and highly romantic thing but because my love is so wrong -"
Blaine stopped, both speaking and walking, and Kurt could see him shaking. Expecting Blaine to go back for the punching bag, Kurt had no idea what to do when he sunk to his knees on the floor instead except for hope that he wouldn't start punching the floor because that way lies broken knuckles and wrists.
But when the first sob echoed around the room, everything changed.
"Blaine," Kurt was already halfway across the room before he had told himself to move. "Hey, look at me," he said, dropping to his knees in front of Blaine. "Please?" he added when Blaine shook his head.
"I hate being seen like this," finally came out, the words almost silent.
Kurt's heart clenched, then he was pulling Blaine into his arms, completely ignoring his boyfriend's resistance. "You have nothing to be ashamed of," he told him firmly. "God, Blaine, none of this is your fault, not in the slightest and you have every right to be angry or upset or feel however you want. You're hurting. Let yourself have emotions, let yourself express them and - let me take care of you. Please."
There was no response - Blaine was too far gone to give one - but he relaxed into Kurt's touch, clinging to Kurt like he was the only stable thing left in his life. And judging by the events of the previous half hour, Kurt was left wondering whether he actually was.
Blaine's entire body was shaking, both from the rage and the force of his sobs. Kurt held him as tight as he could and talked him through it, hardly aware of the words leaving his mouth and only hoping they would do some good. Now wasn't the time for silence and allowing Blaine to think things through; now was the time for reassurance and commiseration and love. And when Blaine finally calmed down, Kurt kissed him as hard as he could and then rocked back on his heels. "Grab your bag. You're coming to my place."
There was no argument and less than a minute later they were both leaving the Anderson household, schoolbags on their shoulders. Blaine's hands were still trembling a little and Kurt knew they would have to talk about it later - because he knew Blaine's father had some issues but that was something he had never seen before - but not yet. So music was the next best option and Kurt flicked on the radio, moved to plug his phone in and paused.
It was Top 40, yes, and it was one of Blaine's favorites, but that wasn't what kept him on that channel as he pulled out of Blaine's driveway.
"So complicated, look how big you'll make it,
Filled with so much hatred, such a tired game.
It's enough, I've done all I can think of,
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same."
And when Blaine's voice joined his on the chorus, Kurt clasped his hand and sang every word to him.
Kurt turned his back on Finn and headed for the stairs, taking them two at a time and taking deep breaths as he did. He was too close to crying himself and if he cried, Blaine would drop everything to comfort him and that wasn't what Blaine needed right now.
He honestly had not expected any of that, not even for a second. Of course at some point the whole situation with Finn would have reached a breaking point but Kurt had always imagined that Blaine would end up snapping and either leaving Glee club (and Kurt would follow, no matter what, even if it meant never going back) or telling Finn he was sick of it and dealing with the outcome from that.
Two years of Glee club had proven that it didn't take much to push Finn over the edge, to cause him to snap and lash out without thinking about what he was saying, to make rash decisions and regret them later. But not much pushed Blaine so far over the edge that he lost complete control of his emotions. In fact, Kurt had only ever seen that kind of response from his father and that had been painful enough. To know that somebody in Kurt's life was the one to hurt his boyfriend this badly -
Kurt didn't know what to do in the long run, but right now he needed to pull himself together.
Blaine was sitting on the bed when Kurt arrived, staring down at his hands. His first instinct was to sit down next to him, to wrap Blaine up in his arms and never let him go until all the hurt in the would couldn't touch him. But something about this situation - maybe the way Blaine was refusing to look at him, maybe the way the red was still staining his neck - stopped him and instead Kurt took a seat at his vanity, resting his chin on his hands and waiting.
"I'm sorry," Blaine said almost immediately, still not looking up. "I can't believe I did that."
"Shh," Kurt said, resisting the urge to cluck his tongue. "You didn't do anything. Finn did. You can't help what's happened to you and you can't help crying, Blaine."
"I should be stronger -"
"Okay, stop right there," Kurt said firmly, keeping his voice gentle but still feeling like the world's worst person when Blaine flinched slightly. "You are the strongest and bravest person I have ever met. This is the third time I've seen you break down and I can't even count the number of times I have in front of you. If crying is weak then I must be a great deal weaker than you."
Blaine shook his head. "You're not. You're so strong, Kurt."
Kurt ran a hand through his hair with a sigh. "So are you, Blaine, please believe me on this one. You couldn't control what Finn said to you and how badly it was going to upset you - and you had every right to get upset because I know that touched on a lot of sensitive areas for you, but we're not going to talk about that now. Don't beat yourself up for it."
There was a long silence and Kurt waited, quietly sending a text to Carole as he did. He had every intention of Blaine spending the night in his room and she was the one to ask.
Finally, still staring at his hands, Blaine sighed. "I spent most of my summer here. I never said it in so many words but I thought - I guess I'd hoped that he would understand that I'm just a person too. I'm not a threat, I don't have a problem with him, I don't know where all of this has come from."
Kurt reigned in his anger, kept it simmering under the surface. "I know, honey, it's not fair, you have no idea how hard I've worked to keep from just snapping at -"
"Did you just call me honey?"
Kurt flushed. "Oh. Um. Yes?"
Even with his head downturned, Kurt could see the faint smile tugging at Blaine's lips. "I kind of like that."
Letting out a sigh of relief, Kurt allowed himself to smile in return. "I kind of do too. And I'm glad it made you smile because you seriously deserve to be happy, Blaine, and I just hate the fact that you aren't as happy at McKinley as you could be."
"I know," Blaine said quietly, not denying it. They had spoken about this before, after all. "I just thought if I ignored it, if I kept trying to be a part of the group then it would go away. Which means I was wrong and you were right and I know you want to say it."
Blaine finally looked up, his eyes still damp. "I told you so." The laugh that followed was so painful that Kurt knew the time for separation was over, that Blaine was cracking under the pressure again and Kurt needed to be over there with him. "I know you've been thinking it."
"Maybe so," Kurt admitted as he stood, catching the text message out of the corner of his eye (If you're asleep by the time I get up there, I wouldn't have the heart to move Blaine to the couch. So make sure you time that right - Carole). "But what kind of person would I be to say it to you now?"
Blaine murmured low in his throat and Kurt crossed the room quietly, ignoring the brief flicker of movement he caught from the appropriately sized gap in the doorway. If Finn was listening then maybe he would learn something important from the conversation.
Maybe. The jury was still definitely out on that one.
"I wish we had dealt with it earlier, yes, but that's only because you're hurting now and I can't make it go away. If I said I told you so, that would mean I was anticipating this and I just…" Kurt shook his head as he climbed onto the bed next to Blaine, gently tugging Blaine's arms from around his torso and taking his hands in his own. "I never expected that," he finished. "Finn is many things but I never thought he was just flat out mean."
Lifting his hands, Kurt gently kissed Blaine's knuckles - a habit that had developed after discovering how much Blaine could hurt his hands when he took it out on the punching bag. "I'm sorry," he whispered and Blaine closed his eyes.
"I - can we just leave it?" Blaine asked quietly, squeezing his eyes shut tighter in an attempt to not let any tears out and Kurt's heart clenched painfully at the sight. "I don't want to remember any of that, I just want to focus on now. On you."
Kurt smiled, lifting a hand to trace his fingers over Blaine's cheek. Blaine opened his eyes again and attempted to smile back. "Of course," Kurt assured him. "I sent Carole a text before and she said if you fall asleep up here, she just wouldn't have the heart to wake you and make you take the couch like last time." His smile grew a little and Blaine did the same, both knowing the truth behind that. "Which means," he continued, wrapping his other arm around Blaine's waist softly, "you are mine for the rest of the night and you know what that means?"
Blaine finally smiled again properly. "I get to be the little spoon?" he asked, his voice unnecessarily hopeful and Kurt stifled a smirk. Blaine always got to be the little spoon.
Leaning over, Kurt flicked the light off, blinking a few times as his eyes adjusted. "Come here," he whispered, gently nudging at Blaine to help him lie down and wrapping his body around him a little tighter than usual. Blaine nestled into him, letting his head rest back against Kurt's shoulder, still shaking a little. "We've both been through hell," Kurt said quietly, "and sometimes it's still going to hurt and we'll regret the past but look what it brought us. To quote a very smart and handsome man, we got each other out of all of this."
Blaine exhaled shakily. "I could never regret you."
Kurt closed his eyes and pulled him closer. "Come here," he murmured, feeling Blaine twist a little in his arms and maneuvered them so Blaine was facing him, head buried in his shoulder. "And neither could I. I love you, no matter what anybody else says or thinks." Blaine murmured his own I love you back into Kurt's neck and Kurt smiled. "I know who you are better than any single person out there and I know you are someone who is worth loving and treating right. We'll deal with all of this in the morning and what's going to happen with Finn but my priority right now is showing you just how much I love you."
His neck was getting wet but Kurt couldn't care less.
Somebody was crying.
Kurt stared up at the ceiling for a second, trying to reorient himself. He was in his own bed which meant someone had to be close by or with him, someone who was upset -
And the second he realized, Blaine began to scream.
Lights went on down the hall as Kurt twisted, sitting up and trying frantically to work out what to do. Blaine was curled into himself, shaking, sobbing, clearly having an awful nightmare of the kind that Kurt himself had experienced - and that was the problem. Kurt had only ever been on the other side; the one getting woken up to worried faces and tears running down his face as he tried to work out what was real.
He didn't know how to fix this.
The door burst open and his father stood there in his robe, eyes squinting against the harsh light in the hall. "Dad," Kurt begged instantly, feeling the tears welling up in his own eyes, "Dad, you have to do something, I don't know -"
"Okay, kid," Burt said quickly, caught up on what was happening. "Okay." He crossed the room quickly and knelt next to the bed, taking in Blaine's form. "Blaine," he said firmly. "Blaine, you're having a nightmare. You need to wake up. It's Burt, Kurt's dad."
At Kurt's name, Blaine stilled a little and Kurt could see the wild flickering of his eyeballs under his lids settle a little. Burt gave him a look and Kurt nodded, taking a deep breath. "Blaine, honey, it's me, Kurt. You're okay, you just need to wake up."
"You're not there," Burt added and Kurt closed his eyes, realizing hard and sudden that of course it wasn't just a nightmare, it was a flashback. "You're here, safe, with us. We're going to look after you, just open your eyes for me."
"I love you," Kurt said, realizing a second later that it was the first time he had said so in front of his father and refusing to care. "Blaine, please."
Burt stood quickly. "I don't think he'll want me to be here," he said quietly to Kurt who nodded. "I'll see you boys in the morning."
Kurt waited until he was gone before shuffling closer to Blaine who was slowly opening his eyes, still trembling. "Kurt?" he asked again, his voice thick. "What - what happened?"
"You had a nightmare, honey," Kurt told him gently, not wanting to upset Blaine further. "Are you okay?"
Blaine closed his eyes and Kurt gently touched his fingertips to Blaine's cheek, wiping away the tears. In hindsight it was a stupid thought - startling Blaine after he had been so upset was a bad idea - but Blaine didn't even flinch, leaning into Kurt's hand instead. "I don't know," he said finally. "I haven't had a nightmare like that in awhile."
Kurt slowly laid back down, keeping enough distance between them just in case. "What can I do to help?" he asked. "You still look so frightened."
Still with his eyes closed, Blaine reached out and found Kurt's hand. "Just remind me that you love me."
Kurt didn't need any more encouragement to wrap himself back around Blaine who relaxed into him. "I will never ever stop," he promised.
Kurt was naturally an early riser and fully expected Blaine to still be asleep when he woke. His boyfriend tended to wake around eight or nine - much earlier than Finn but late enough that any other times he slept over at the Hummel household, Kurt could get up, get his coffee and spend some quality Blaine watching time while his boyfriend slept on the couch.
So it was a surprise when he came to awareness at six thirty - a little later than usual but hey, it had been a long night - to find Blaine sitting up at the end of the bed, staring out the window.
"Blaine?" Kurt muttered, his voice thick with sleep as he rubbed at his eyes and propped himself up on his elbows.
Blaine didn't even look at him. "Good morning Kurt," he said quietly, still staring out the window. His body was carefully stiff and his voice was hoarse from, Kurt remembered suddenly, the middle of the night.
"Hey," Kurt said, concern flooding through him. "What's wrong?"
"Blaine? Please, talk to me?"
If possible, Blaine stiffened more and his knees came up to his chest, arms wrapping around them.
Kurt bit his lip, trying to hold off his tears to no avail because after everything they had gone through, even just in the last day, Kurt never thought Blaine would shut him out. "Are you m-mad at me?" he asked, wincing as his voice wavered. "Blaine, did I do something wrong?"
That got a reaction and Blaine turned around immediately, eyes wide and shocked. "Oh god, Kurt, no," he said quickly, shuffling closer and putting his hand on Kurt's knee. "Please don't be sad, I'm sorry. I'm sorry I put you through all of this."
Blaine's eyes dropped from his again, just for a second, but Kurt got it. Wiping his tears away quickly, Kurt placed his hand over Blaine's and squeezed it. "Don't. Don't be embarrassed around me either because I know you are. This isn't your fault."
Blaine sighed and tried to move his hand but Kurt held on. "I broke down in front of your family then woke everybody up in the middle of the night and - I'm not sure but I think your dad was in here?" Kurt nodded and Blaine caught it out of the corner of his eye, sighing again. "I shouldn't have -"
"Okay, please just stop," Kurt interrupted softly, but Blaine still flinched away again like it was the harshest reprimand and he might have been able to ignore that the previous night but no more. "Blaine, I hate this just as much as you do but the way you reacted? Absolutely not. I hate that you were so upset last night but I hate that because I hate how people hurt you in the past and how Finn hurt you last night. But what I really really hate right now is that you feel like you can't show that side of yourself to me, like you can't talk to me right now or like you can't trust me to love you even though and because of this."
Blaine took a little while to reply. "I said last night I hated that I wasn't stronger about it." Kurt opened his mouth but Blaine raised his hand. "Let me finish. I just - I hate that I couldn't be as strong as I normally am. I spent a lot of time taking care of you when we first met and I'm not saying that's a bad thing, you know how much I love taking care of you. But that sort of set things up in my eyes that I - I had to be the strong one all the time, you know? And it's not just that, and it's nothing you've done. It's just that I've never had anybody to be the strong one for me and I'm always the strong one for others and this isn't easy."
And Kurt really got it.
"There's nothing I can do to change that," he said slowly. "I can't force you to realize that I can take care of you, I just need to keep telling you and keep doing it and hope that one day you'll realize. And I will, I promise you." Blaine met his eyes properly at that and Kurt did his best to smile, painfully aware that he was still crying a little. "I just don't want you to ever feel like you have to be ashamed around me. There's nothing you could do that would garner a need for that kind of reaction and I hope you'll believe me on that too. You can always ask for support or comfort like you did last night and I will give it."
"So if I asked for a hug right now -?"
Kurt smiled. "Then I'd give you one."
Blaine caught Kurt's other hand and finally, properly looked at him. "I'm going to work on it. I do believe you and I trust you and I want to be open with you like you are with me. I love that you're brave enough to cry in front of me, as much as I hate that I can't take away everything in the world that makes you cry."
Kurt closed his eyes as Blaine's thumb brushed against his cheek, mirroring the previous night as he brushed away the tears. "Same for you," he whispered. "Even though that potentially means getting rid of my step-brother."
"What are we going to do about that?" Blaine asked. "I want to deal with it but I don't want to make things worse or make it seem like I'm trying to get sympathy. I just want it over."
"We need to face it head on," Kurt said, trying to quell the warm happy feeling that was completely inappropriate but also unavoidable because they were actually doing this together, Blaine was finally completely letting him in. "He needs to know that he can't just go around saying things like that but I don't know how to make it real -"
"I'll show him."
Kurt gave that one a few seconds to settle just in case there was some double meaning he had missed and Blaine hadn't seriously just suggested - "You'll - Blaine, are you saying you show him what happened to you?"
"He isn't going to get it otherwise," Blaine said, reasonably so and true but still. "And then it's on my own terms. I show him, I walk out, you lay into him like I know you want to. Words from you are powerful enough, from me they just aren't going to fix this. He needs to see."
"Are you sure?"
Blaine shrugged. "Honestly? No. I hate people seeing it, I hated that day when you finally saw me without a shirt and even that was easier because you have your own bruises and scars. But if this is what it's going to take to make sure this whole thing is over, that Finn gets that I'm not trying to take his place or that I'm some stuck up prep-school boy or that I'm a bad boyfriend to you. I'm not any of those things."
"You're not," Kurt agreed quietly. "Especially not the last. You're a wonderful boyfriend and a wonderful person and if this is what you need to do, I'll support you. And I'll rip shreds off him extra for you once you're gone."
Blaine laughed then and god Kurt had missed the sound. "I don't doubt that. Can you please thank your father from me as well? I just - last night was terrifying and it would have been a lot worse, I think for both of us, if he hadn't helped."
"Of course. Can you call me the second you get home or earlier if you're too upset to drive?"
Blaine nodded, his eyes growing a little darker and more intense. "And now that all of that is out of the way and I know full well that Finn will sleep for at least another six hours, let's get something a little more productive done."
Kurt tried not to shriek too loud as Blaine pushed him back into the mattress but Blaine took care of that too, covering Kurt's lips with his own and refusing to move them for a very long time.
"Hey. Home safe?"
"Yeah. Up in my room, I wasn't exactly in the mood to converse with my family."
"I'll bet. How are you feeling?"
"Drained. Just - so much happened and here I was thinking we were just going to spend a nice evening together as usual. And then all of that and -"
"I know. I'm sorry I couldn't stop it - stop him."
"Hey, come on. It's not your fault and you know it. I think we've sorted out the whole blame game by now, haven't we?"
"I know. I just hate seeing you so hurt."
"Well I'm okay now. We'll deal with whatever comes next, together."
"I love you. And Finn's finally gotten it, I think, so expect some kind of public apology so he can keep his team leader reputation intact."
"Not particularly looking forward to that, I have to admit."
"I know. But if you just let him then he'll feel like things are resolved and we can go from there, hopefully forward. It won't really fix things but -"
"But it's better than keeping a rift that will never get fixed. I know. I just want to get this dealt with so we can start thinking about Sectionals again and focus on the important things."
"And… and we're okay?"
"What? Kurt, baby, of course. We're always okay."
"Did - did you just -?"
"Oh. I.. yeah."
"I'm just surprised by how much I liked it. That can stay."
"You sound tired."
"I really am. It's - it's been a very long weekend."
"I know. Go get some rest, we've got to deal with school tomorrow."
"Even - even though it was a bad weekend mostly, I just wanted to say I'm kind of glad we got the chance to deal with this stuff and…"
"It just feels like we've gotten closer. And I could never really regret anything that does that."
"Neither. I love you."
"I love you too. Can't wait to see you tomorrow."
"Missing you already."
Thanks for reading