So, this is the end. I have loved writing every single letter of this fic, and I'm so honoured to have shared it with such wonderful readers, and for that, I thank you.
You are all amazing. I love every single one of you. :)
Um, please don't hate me for this chapter. It all works out, I swear!
This story is now complete.
6 months later…
Kurt walked the streets of Lima with no sense of direction, simply trusting his feet to take him somewhere, anywhere.
Blaine was busy studying for the finals that would take them out of Lima and into New York, where they'd collectively agreed to live after high school was over. Kurt's exams were over and all that was left was for him to wait for the fateful results day. College letters of acceptance had been issued, and they'd both made it into their first choices, which they'd also been unanimous on - NYDA. Which meant one thing. They were going to New York. Together. The notion was almost too good to be true; leaving Lima behind and the shackles that it had woven around Kurt, namely phantoms such as Karofsky that haunted his nightmares even to this day.
But Lima had also given him a lot to be thankful for – namely his soul mate.
Kurt had quickly concluded that being Blaine's soul mate was indescribable. Blaine was everything he'd hoped for; kind, caring, sensitive, loving – every possible trait that every cliché romance novel and film had depicted as belonging to the dream guy. And now Kurt had it; the perfect man.
It was almost too good to be true.
Almost. There was one small problem on the horizon of their happiness – Kurt himself. His insecurities had been a problem ever since the day he'd been old enough to depict himself as different to the people around him but there was something about being in a relationship that magnified these latent insecurities until they manifested into a huge problem. And that's what they were now; a huge problem.
And there was one thing at the heart of every insecurity Kurt bore; he could hardly dare to believe that Blaine loved him. There was something so profound about the fact that it almost knocked Kurt clear off his feet every time he reminded himself of it. The concept was a little hard to grasp. Blaine Anderson – the very epitome and living manifestation of perfection – was in love with him, Kurt Hummel, the boy who hadn't believed in soul mates until the perfect one had been placed right under his nose.
And the very reason for Kurt not believing in soul mates was now the thing driving a wedge between him and happiness. There was a niggling, aching, teasing, itching worry in the back of his mind that Blaine felt obliged to love him; instructed by fate to be bound to him. He was terrified that one day, Blaine would wake up and realise that destiny wasn't a good enough reason to love Kurt Hummel, and would leave him.
It was crazy, every rational part of his mind told him that, but it didn't eradicate the one concern that was eating him up inside.
Kurt had also always been a strong advocator of independence. He'd vowed to never be dependent on anyone with the exception of his father, because he was strong and perfectly capable of standing on his own two feet. But ever since that first night with Blaine, he was hooked. He was completely dependent on Blaine and the thought terrified him as much as it thrilled him because it left him with one question – what would he ever do if Blaine left?
Again, it was crazy, but he couldn't help himself. He simply couldn't believe that Blaine could willingly be in love with him.
However, it was these very insecurities that drew them closer together, because Kurt knew they were mutual. Blaine was terrified, as he was, and he'd often voiced this to Kurt. Blaine thought he was too short, too needy, too inexperienced, too dependent on Kurt. But where Blaine saw flaw, Kurt saw perfection, and he'd told Blaine this, too, and Blaine had responded in kind. They'd eventually concluded that it was these insecurities that made them so completely compatible. That, of course, and one other fact.
They were both absolutely crazy about each other.
Kurt smiled at this, twirling the promise ring made out of gum wrappers that Blaine had given him for Christmas round and round his pale finger. It had been given to him by his soul mate with the promise of marriage. Not now, but one day. The very thought made Kurt dizzy. Blaine wanted to marry him. How was any of this even happening? One moment, he'd been dodging slushies and kisses from bullies and now, a little short of a year down the line; he had found the love of his life.
For not the first time since Blaine's reveal, he'd wondered if any of this was real.
He was so caught up in thought that he only just saw the flash of letterman jacket in his peripheral vision. A moment, a second, a figure across the street that caught his eye. Though it was just a flash, it was enough. Kurt went into panic, his body tensed and his breathing instantly became laboured.
Kurt instantly eradicated this thought. There was no way it was Karofsky. Every fibre in his body told him this. He was simply paranoid, haunted by his past and manifesting that one fear into something more than it ever had been. He needed to get a grip. Kurt carried on walking, ignoring his inner monologue that was screaming at him to turn around and run home. Kurt paused for a split second before taking a sharp U-turn down a side alley that partitioned the houses on the street.
He kept his sight set forwards, trying desperately to ignore the worries that were clouding his mind. There was no way, he told himself, there was no way it was Karofsky. He told himself this up until the point where he felt the hand on his shoulder, whirling him round and pushing him against the brick wall of the alleyway.
That was the point when he knew. This was Karofsky. And he also knew that this was it. He was done for. There was no escape, no Blaine, no one here to save him. Only him and Karofsky and a hundred unspoken words between them that would be made up for with punches, Kurt had no doubt of this. If he was going to get out of this, he would do so with the scars to prove it.
"We meet again," Karofsky smirked, his face millimetres from Kurt's, "Kurt Hummel," he added.
Kurt stuttered uselessly, unable to think of a single thing to say.
"I have to say, it was rude of you to keep this from me," Karofsky said, stroking a calloused finger down Kurt's cheekbone.
He shuddered in disgust, trying to pull himself away but Karofsky grabbed Kurt's face between his hands, holding him in place.
"You're my soul mate, Kurt Hummel," he sneered. "All this time, you knew. And you lied to me."
Kurt shook his head emphatically. He knew it was weak, that he was clearly the inferior, but in that moment, he really didn't care. All he could think of was getting away, of finding a way out and getting back to Blaine. "I never lied to you," Kurt replied, struggling to keep his voice steady.
"You kept the truth from me," Karofsky cocked his head on one side, leering at him, "is that not as good as a lie?"
Kurt just stared up at Karofsky, unable to fathom a response.
"Regardless of your games, I've heard more about you, Hummel," Karofsky told him.
"Consider your sources," Kurt replied, gaining courage, "do you really think anything you've heard about me will be accurate?"
"Oh," Karofsky feigned surprise, "so you haven't found your soul mate then."
Oh, shit. "Oh, yeah, that," Kurt considered this, "yeah, that did happen."
"So you liked him enough to be honest with," Karofsky guessed, raising his eyebrows.
Kurt squirmed, still pinned to the wall by his tormentor's strong grasp. "I guess," he replied, helplessly.
"But you're mine," Karofsky growled. "I thought I made that perfectly clear. We shared something special, Kurt, and now I know why. You're meant with me, not some guy from a prep school."
"I love him," Kurt said defiantly, raising his head to meet Karofsky's eyes, his own blazing. Karofsky terrified him, of that there was no doubt, but as soon as he questioned Kurt being with Blaine, Kurt's anger knew no bounds. "There's nothing you can do about it."
"But, you see, there is," Karofsky smiled at him, though it was full of menace, "because your perfect little soul mate isn't ever going to want to touch you ever again after I've finished with you."
Kurt's body shook violently as he stared up at Karofsky in horror. "David, no," he pleaded, desperately, "Please don't do this. I'll do whatever you want, please."
"Fine," Karofsky agreed, "leave your prep school boyfriend and be with me."
Kurt's stomach lurched. "I – I can't, David, I'm sorry," he replied, eyes filling with tears, "I could never leave him. I love him. He's my soul mate."
Karofsky's palm hit the wall beside Kurt's face, making the teen jump. "But you're mine," he repeated.
Kurt stared at him, pleadingly. "Please, David," he whispered.
"I don't care if I'm not yours, you're mine," Karofsky growled, fingers fumbling with the button of Kurt's shirt.
Kurt just cried, trying desperately to push his body as far away from Karofsky's as possible. David growled in frustration, capturing Kurt's face between his hands and pressing their lips together.
Kurt turned his head away, but Karofsky held it in place, kissing him insistently. In that moment, something in Kurt snapped. It could have been his tether to Blaine, their bond that held them together even in their darkest moments, it could have been anything, but it was something. He had to do something. If he was going down, he would go fighting. He pushed his tormentor away, screaming, "No!"
"You've taken everything from me," Karofsky growled, advancing on Kurt again, "you can't deny me this, as well."
"I don't owe you anything!" Kurt shrieked. "I know that this is difficult for you but you don't own me."
Karofsky looked as though he'd been slapped, though it only took him a minute to recover. He took another step towards him, but Kurt was quicker, slipping around Karofsky and running down the alleyway, pulling his phone out of his pocket as he went. His fingers were shaking violently but it only took him a second to dial those three numbers. 911.
"Police, please," he instructed, chancing a look over his shoulder. Karofsky was right behind him as he ran, the alleyway stretching out for what felt like an eternity. "Lima, the street down from Hummel Tires and Lube, do you know it?" He said to the operator. He felt the hand on his shoulder and only had enough time to say, "Hurry," before the phone was knocked out of his hand and Karofsky was on him.
It took Kurt a long time to recover.
The police had arrived in minutes, but punches had been thrown and the damage had been done. Karofsky was being taken to court on charges of assault. He would get a sentence, that much was guaranteed, but it was Kurt who carried the real sentence; the life-long one.
Though he'd escaped before Karofsky had truly hurt him, terror gripped him every time his mind wandered to what would have happened had the police not intervened. Kurt had been taken home; where he'd had to relive the experience long enough to explain to his father why the police had brought him home. After that, he'd remained locked in his room. It had been nearly a week now and though the bruises were starting to fade, and Kurt was finally able to fall asleep at night without terrors plaguing him, there were internal scars that he feared would never heal.
He hadn't seen Blaine since the attack. His soul mate had turned up at the house multiple times and Burt had been forced to explain to Blaine that Kurt shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't see anyone right now. He was still in too much pain and though Blaine hadn't been happy about it, he'd complied, knowing that Kurt would approach him when ready.
But, unbeknownst to Kurt, Blaine was reaching the end of his tether. He'd sat in the car across the street from Kurt's house for endless hours, staring up at the building and praying he could be inside it with his soul mate. It wasn't that he didn't understand Kurt's reluctance - he did - he just wished that he could help his soul mate in his time of need because knowing that Kurt was suffering and that there was nothing to do to stop it was killing him.
And he couldn't wait much longer.
Burt – under Kurt's orders – had finally returned to work, Carol and Finn were out and Blaine finally took this time to seize his opportunity.
It'd been a long time since he'd climbed trees, but when he'd seen the perfectly situated one outside Kurt's bedroom window, he'd known that all of his childhood escapades had been leading up to this one moment when being short and agile would finally pay off.
He was perfectly settled amongst the branches when he sent Kurt the text.
Look outside your window – B xx
Kurt stared down at his phone in confusion from where he was lying on his bed, trying to offer his mind some rest, though it hadn't found any. Truth be told, he missed Blaine, he missed touching and kissing and being close to his soul mate and as much as he knew they needed time apart to deal with this, it was torturing himself to be away from Blaine.
Kurt heaved himself up from the bed, crossing the room in a few long strides before he came to a halt by his window, where he was met by the sight of Blaine, severely dishevelled and with leaves in his hair, sat in the tree outside.
He threw open the window, gazing at his soul mate. "You're not in a romantic comedy film, you know," he said softly after a few moments.
Blaine chuckled. "I missed you," was all he said.
"I missed you, too," Kurt admitted, ducking his head.
"Burt told me what happened," Blaine said, "I know you're scared, Kurt, hell, you must be terrified, but you don't have to shut me out."
"I wasn't," Kurt insisted, leaning against the window frame. "I just needed time."
"For what?" Blaine asked, his voice soft.
"Reflection. Dealing with what happened and moving on," Kurt explained.
"I could have helped," Blaine told him, smiling encouragingly. "But I do understand. I just needed to see you."
"Would you like to come in?" Kurt asked, lips stretching into a smirk.
"Please," Blaine replied, gripping a hand around the branch that extended until it nearly tapped on Kurt's window. He swung himself into the room and Kurt managed to step out of the way just in time as Blaine tumbled through the window frame, struggling to keep his balance. He stood up straight, brushing himself down. "That looks so much better in movies," he mused.
Kurt chuckled for the first time in days, though it felt like a life time ago since he had laughed. "You're still cute," he assured him.
Blaine's expression was indecipherable for a few moments, but in an instant he'd crossed the room and he was pulling Kurt into his arms. Both boys were crying, so engulfed in the moment that the world could have stopped around them and neither would have noticed.
"I love you," Blaine murmured, holding his soul mate close.
Kurt's breath caught in his throat. "I love you, too," he breathed, allowing Blaine to kiss him. For so long, he'd been terrified that Karofsky's attack would have ruined everything, right up to how it felt when Blaine kissed him, but relief swept over him when he realised that kissing Blaine was still as incredible as it ever had been and in the few moments that their lips were joined, all thoughts of Karofsky leapt from his mind. Kurt pulled away, smiling softly up at Blaine. "I'm so sorry," he said through his tears.
"It's OK," Blaine insisted, cupping Kurt's face in his hands. "I understand. I just – oh God, Kurt, it drove me crazy not to be with you."
"I know," Kurt replied, "I know." At that moment, a long off memory came flooding into his mind and he almost laughed aloud at the irony of it. "I owe you five bucks," he recalled, giving a small watery chuckle.
Blaine looked confused.
"I told you I'd never go back to him," Kurt reminded him.
"Oh God, Kurt, this isn't funny," Blaine told him, giving his soul mate a searching look. He knew Kurt had endless amounts of courage and strength but he hadn't known that this stretched to making jokes about his assault. How was he able to laugh about it?
"Please let me laugh," Kurt pleaded, his eyes fixed on his soul mate's, "I can't cry about it anymore."
Blaine's arms closed around him once more and he pressed a kiss to the top of Kurt's head. "I missed you so much," he repeated. "And being apart from you mean that I couldn't tell you that I still love you," he said.
Kurt looked up at him in surprise. "What do you mean?"
"I'm not stupid, Kurt; I know you. I know that you thought this would ruin everything, which is why you kept me at arm's length. I understand, but I promise you that it doesn't change anything," Blaine told him, cupping Kurt's face in his hands.
Kurt's lips tugged up in the corners into the ghost of a smile. "You're not disgusted by me?" He asked, hardly daring to believe it.
"Of course not," Blaine insisted. "I could never be, Kurt. I love you and I will love you for the rest of my life. I want to kill Karofsky with my bare hands but I could never be angry at you. I love you so much, Kurt, and I don't think you understand how much I want this to work, how much I want you and I want the rest of our lives together. This is it for me, Kurt, and you being attacked is horrific and I will help you work through it but it doesn't make me question a fraction of how much I love you."
"You're perfect," was all Kurt could think to say.
Blaine's answering smile was blinding. "I'm perfectly yours," he replied.
Kurt, in all honesty, couldn't have agreed more.
Thank you so much for reading. I owe you guys the world. I love you all.