AN: This is set after season 3 and therefore won't be canon past what has already aired. I tired t stick to canon with the other things as much as possible though I haven't seen all the episodes yet. Would like to hear what you think of this first chapter if you've got the time to leave a review. Hope you enjoy!

August 2012:

Blaine paced nervously in front of the bench he had staked out. He didn't want to have the conversation that he was about to have. Didn't want to do what he was about to do but he felt that he had to. Felt that it was the only fair thing to do for the guy he loved. The last thing he wanted to do was to hold Kurt back. He knew that New York and NYADA would open a whole new world to Kurt, and the last thing he wanted to do was limit him.

No, this was what was best. At least for now. Blaine kept telling himself that if they were really meant to be then things would work out and a year from now, when he had graduated high school, that he would be able to win Kurt back. Today though he knew that he had to break both of their hearts to be sure he wasn't limiting Kurt's opportunities at college.

"Now I'm really worried."

Blaine looked in the direction of Kurt's voice. The sandy haired teen was walking slowly down the park path toward him, worry marring his soft features. Blaine's breath caught just looking at him and once again he questioned why he was about to say what he planned to say. Kurt still moved him - whether he was just watching him, the things he said, and especially when he sang. To this day he wondered what had taken him so long to see Kurt in a romantic light.

~My life is going to seem emptier without him in it but it's like that song says, if he's mine he'll come flying back some day, ~ Blaine thought, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. As Kurt reached him, he motioned to the bench. "Let's sit down," Blaine suggested, stalling for time.

Both teens sat down on the bench, turned slightly inward so that they could look at each other. Blaine looked into the clear eyes, filled with worry, of his boyfriend. Inwardly he cringed at the thought of the tears. He was sure he would soon see in them.

"Kurt, this isn't easy for me to say," Blaine said slowly, trying to breach the hard topic in the gentlest way possible. Being with Kurt had helped him learn how to express his emotions in words better, but this was still hard for him. He'd still rather face a huge crowd, even a hostile one ready to throw things, and perform than to speak his heart to one person. "But I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I'm thinking that it would be best if we break up now before you leave for New York before we end up doing this over the phone or via email or something."

"You act as if a breakup is inevitable," Kurt ventured, tentatively struggling to keep his voice steady.

"I think it is," Blaine told him. "You're going away to college and I'm stuck here for another year. You're going to have brand new opportunities and experiences opening up to you. Going to meet new people. The last thing I want to do is to hold you back from experiencing everything that your first semester of college opens up to you."

"You won't Blaine," Kurt said, his voice taking on a pleading tone. "You could never hold me back."

Blaine shook his head slowly. "Having ties back here will only limit you. I don't want to do that to you."

"So you'll just break my heart now?" Kurt said, his voice finally breaking. He could feel the tears pooling up in his eyes. "Make leaving here even harder than it already is?"

Seeing the glistening tears in Kurt's eyes were like a knife to his own heart. Blaine hated himself for doing this but he truly believed that in the long run it would be better. "It'll be better in the long run," he said, not sure if he was trying to convince Kurt with those words or himself.

"Do you not trust me, is that it? Do you think I'm going to go to New York and run around on you?"

The tears had started running down Kurt's cheeks by this time. Blaine wanted to reach out and wipe them away but he held himself back. Such a tender touch would only make this already hard situation worse.

"I know you would never do that to me," Blaine told him. "Even if you did find someone you liked, who was a better match for you, in New York and I know there is a high chance of that happening with all the new people that you're going to meet. I don't want to limit those opportunities for you."

"You're the only one I want, Blaine."

"You say that now but in two weeks, when your in New York, you might change your mind. I want you to be free to make that choice."

"You want me free or do you want to be free?" Kurt countered.

Blaine forced a smile. "Now who am I going to find at McKinley. Unless someone else decides to come out of the closet, I don't exactly have many choices," he said lightly, hoping to break the tension of the moment.

"Is that the only reason you've stayed with me - no one else is available?"

Blaine cringed. That wasn't what he had meant. "Kurt, you're not being fair. I care about you. I only want what is best for you. Sometimes if you love someone you've got to set them free."

"Don't go quoting Richard Bach on me," Kurt said standing up. "I've got to go. I've got a lot of things to do before I leave next week," he added, turning and starting to walk away. He only took two steps before turning back around. "I just need to say one more thing, Blaine. You're breaking my heart right now. I'm not even going to pretend otherwise. I still love you though and I'll always love you. If you ever need anything, even if it's just a friend's sympathetic ear, you can call me. I'll still be here for you no matter what you need. Like I said when I transferred back to McKinley - I'll never say good-bye to you."

With that said, Kurt turned and walked back down the path. As he watched the older teen walk away, Blaine's vision blurred. Biting his lower lip, he struggled to keep the tears from falling. He couldn't believe that he was letting the most important person in his life walk away.

~It's for the best, ~ Blaine told himself again, still not really believing that sentiment himself.

Kurt was his light in this world. Knowing him had opened him up to so many new things. Kurt had shown him what it truly meant to be your own person, no matter what anyone else thought or said. He had an inner strength that couldn't be broken.

"He'll be okay," Blaine told himself softly, as Kurt disappeared out of sight. He knew that more than one heart had been broken that day but he believed that this would only serve to make the two of them stronger and that if they were truly meant to be then their journeys would bring them back together at some point in the future.

Taking the last bite of the dinner Kurt had made for the two of them, Finn Hudson got to his feet picking up his plate as well as the one he had told Kurt to leave when his stepbrother had excused himself a little while ago. The house was quiet tonight, whatever Kurt had retreated to his room to do was apparently a quiet activity. Then again, Finn had to admit that if Kurt wasn't singing, playing whatever music he was in the mood to listen to, or arguing with him, Kurt always had been on the quiet side. Though always one to voice his opinion, Kurt had never been overly talkative, something Finn had discovered after their parents had moved to Washington, leaving the two of them in Lima, Ohio. The silence following his mom and Burt's departure had resulted in Finn blaring the radio loud enough that the neighbors had come over requesting that it be turned down. Finn had complied, not wanting the cops at the house hours after his mom and step-dad had left. Despite Kurt and him both being eighteen, he was afraid Burt would change his mind about them being responsible enough to stay at the house alone.

Things had soon settled into a new normal though. Finn had found that he and Kurt had settled into being housemates without too many issues. Soon though that would change. Next week Kurt would be going off to NYADA, joining Rachel, who had landed a small role in a musical over the summer and was already living in New York City, and Finn would be completely alone in the house. An oppressively quiet house, sort of like what he had experienced tonight. Kurt had come back this afternoon withdrawn and had only giving short answers to Finn's questions when he chose to answer. Something was wrong, a fact that was only made more obvious to Finn as he looked down at the almost untouched dinner on Kurt's plate.

Instead of dumping the food into the trash can, Finn got the plastic wrap, covered the plate and then placed it in the refrigerator in case Kurt got hungry later. Finn then went about cleaning up the rest of the kitchen. He and Kurt had figured out how to share the household duties while they were living on their own. Soon, everything would be his responsibility as he would be living alone in the house. Finn had thought about getting his own apartment, but he couldn't bring himself to part with this house - his home. The four of them had become a family in the short time since the wedding, and though they were all going separate ways now, Finn wanted this one last thing to hold onto. Wanted a place where they could all come back to from time to time. The tire shop, this house, and Lima was his future for now and Finn was okay with that.

As for Rachel, she was still wearing his ring. They would be married one day but for now he knew he had to let her fly on her own. Chase down her dreams and see what the world held for her. When the time came Finn was sure they would know who was supposed to leave to live with whom.

Finishing up in the kitchen, Finn headed upstairs. Reaching Kurt's room, he found the door open. Kurt was sitting Indian-style on his bed, a photo album opened in front of him. Finn knocked on the open door to get his stepbrother's attention.

"What are you up to?" Finn asked when Kurt looked up from the photo album.

"Just looking at some photos from high school," Kurt replied, flipping back a few pages as he maintained eye contact with Finn.

"Mind if I join you?" Finn asked, taking note of the action but trying not to give away that he noticed. Kurt would open up to him in his own time and Finn knew that pushing wouldn't help the situation at all.

"Sure, if you can put up with atmosphere in here," Kurt said, waving his hands to indicate the decorations of the room.

Finn smiled, glad that they had progressed enough in their relationship that they could joke about incidents like the fall out from Kurt's attempt to decorate the room they were supposed to share. It wasn't a moment that he was proud of, but Finn recognized that it was one that he had grown from.

"As long as you don't decide to go decorating my room, I've got no problem with your unique style. It's one of the things I admire about you Kurt - you do things your way and if everyone else doesn't like it then oh well." Finn said as he walked into the room.

Kurt smiled and blushed slightly at his stepbrother's compliment. He slid over on the bed to give Finn room to perch on the side of the bed. Finn looked down at the album to see pictures from the Glee club's performance of the "The Rocky Horror Picture Show."

"That seems like such a long time ago," Finn said, smiling at the pictures. "Things have sure changed a lot."

"Yeah, it's been awhile since you helped toss me in a dumpster," Kurt said, an edge of sarcasm in his voice as he reached out and flipped the page.

Finn glanced over at Kurt trying to gauge the response. He knew Kurt had a sarcastic sense of humor, Finn chalked it up to a survival skill he had learned over the years, but sometimes he wasn't sure how to take the sarcastic laced comments. Was he trying to make light of the past or did what had taken place between them at the beginning of high school still bothered him? Finn couldn't read anything new in Kurt's expression that hadn't been there during dinner.

Both teens were quiet for a bit as they looked at the pictures Kurt had gathered from Glee Club performances. There were even some from the short time he had spent with the Warblers including the duet he had did with Blaine at Regionals that year. Finn didn't miss the fact that Kurt had flipped through those pages quickly.

"Kurt is everything okay?" Finn ventured as they reached pictures from the production of "West Side Story" McKinley High had put on.

"Yeah. Why wouldn't it be?" Kurt replied, trying to sound upbeat but failing at the attempt.

"You've just been awfully quiet all evening since you got home from meeting Blaine at the park. The two of you have a fight or something?"

Kurt sighed. "No. No fight. Blaine just broke up with me."

"What? Why?"

"I'd rather not talk about it," Kurt replied, flipping another page of the photo album.

"When I get my hands on him . . . " Finn said softly under his breath, the anger rising inside of him.

"Finn, no!" Kurt said, finally looking away from the photo album and over at his stepbrother. "Don't make this worse than it is."

"Kurt, I hate the fact that he hurt you. After everything the two of you have been through and the plans you made to just break it off all of a sudden. It isn't fair to you."

"Life isn't fair. That is one lesson that I have repeatedly been taught in my short eighteen years," Kurt replied. "And it wasn't easy for him to do. Blaine is hurting too. He made the call he thought was necessary and even if I don't like it, I've got to accept it."

Finn found himself shaking his head. Kurt had such a big heart and despite everything people had thrown at him, he continued to want to see the good in people. The good in the world. It made Finn worry about what New York City was going to hold for him.

"Kurt, I want you to promise me something," Finn said, looking over at him. As Kurt met his gaze, Finn could see the questions in his stepbrother's eyes as he waited for Finn to continue. "No matter what happens in New York, I want you to tell me about it - both the good and the bad. Promise me that you won't hide anything from me."

"What does it matter? It's not like you can protect me from back here."

"No, but I can be a source of support and if you ever need me to come out there for any reason, all you've got to do is ask but I can't do anything if you don't tell me what's going on." He could feel Kurt's gaze on him as his stepbrother looked at him intently.

"Finn, what is it?" Kurt asked, sensing that there was something more that Finn wasn't telling him.

Finn sighed. He had talked to Rachel about his feelings surrounding Kurt going to New York but hadn't mentioned them to anyone else. He knew he couldn't stop him. Knew that no matter how hard he tried, even if he moved to New York City with Kurt and Rachel now, that he wouldn't be able to protect Kurt from everything. Couldn't protect him from the type of people that he used to be. Finn had taken some comfort in the fact that at least Kurt had Blaine for support. Blaine was the one person that Kurt would tell everything to. He was the one person that his stepbrother wouldn't try to close himself off to. Now that Kurt wouldn't have Blaine, Finn feared that Kurt would try to take on the city and all the closed-minded people there alone, withdrawing into himself.

"I'm scared for you, Kurt. I know New York is where you want to be and that performing is your dream, just as much as it is Rachel's, but it isn't going to be easy for you. New York may have legalized same sex marriages, but that doesn't mean that everyone is accepting of it - that they're going to be accepting of you."

"I know that, Finn. The past four years of high school are a testament to that."

"Like your father has said, there are people worse than Karofsky out there. Chances are you're going to come up against some of them. I know you're a strong person Kurt, I've seen that, but no one can deal with everything alone. Like I said at our parents wedding, I'm always going to have your back but I can only keep that promise if you don't keep things from me. So please promise to tell me about anything that happens."

"I promise," Kurt said, touched by Finn's words.

"Good," Finn said, nodding as he spoke, unsure of what else to say.

The two went back to the photo album, continuing to look through the memories it contained, right up to the most recent first place win at Nationals for New Directions. Reaching the end, Kurt closed the photo album. It was as if he was symbolically closing the door on one chapter of his life in anticipation for the chapter that would begin the following week, when he left the only home he had ever known for the vastness of New York City.

Laying down on his bed after Finn had left the room, and staring up at the ceiling that future seemed even more vast now that he knew he would be facing it alone.

~No, that's not quite right, ~ Kurt amended. ~Rachel is already in New York, we'll have each other for support. I'll have Finn back here supporting me. I just won't have Blaine.~

But not having Blaine made it seem as if a huge hole had opened up in his life - a hole that Kurt wasn't sure he could ever find a way to fill.