Fortune (1/7)

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: None

Word Count: 5400

Notes: Season 4 fic. Slightly AU in the sense that Kurt never considered NYADA.

Summary: Kurt and Blaine mutually separated before Kurt left for New York. They don't stay in touch, but a couple months later Kurt comes back to Lima for Thanksgiving break. Everything begins to change.


When Blaine found out that McKinley High's musical was Sweeney Todd, his mind immediately jumped to how perfect the title role would've been for Kurt. Kurt, with his pale skin and long limbs and the way he could drop his singing voice into a completely different register. Yes, Blaine was certain Kurt would've been the ideal Sweeney.

Why Blaine thought of Kurt straight away, he wasn't entirely sure. It wasn't as if he spent most of his time brooding over him, or casting him in musicals. In fact, Blaine was pretty sure he hadn't thought of Kurt in at least a week.

Life was surprisingly good after their breakup over the summer. They had called it quits at the beginning of August when Kurt's departure started to creep up on them, suddenly feeling more real than it ever had before. It was terrifying, but they both dealt with it as maturely as they had with all of their other issues as a couple. Blaine had been the one to bring it up, but Kurt had barely even flinched. It had been a long time coming – they knew that.

It had felt – strangely enough – right. For awhile, anyway. Blaine had let Kurt go because he loved him, and that was something he was certain Kurt knew and understood. And because it felt right, because it felt good to know Kurt was off achieving his dreams, Blaine simply went on with his life. But the feeling was short-lived.

After staying in contact with Kurt through the first three weeks of the semester, Blaine gave up thanks to a mix of coursework and heartbreak. They drifted. And then one day, Blaine received an e-mail.

Maybe it would be better if we didn't talk for awhile. –Kurt

And that was it. Not long after that, Blaine was able to pull himself out of his post-breakup funk and get back on track. He and Tina were co-captains for New Directions and helping out with the musical's pre-production. He was also taking all AP classes and was maintaining a 4.0 GPA (not hard after Dalton's curriculum). And, on top of school and his extracurriculars, he was working part time as a waiter at Breadstix. There wasn't much time to think about Kurt Hummel.


Blaine was sitting on the stage with Tina the Tuesday before their Thanksgiving break started, watching her scribble on a sketch pad. They had been excused from Glee club to work on set designs for the musical, which was already pushed way behind schedule thanks to a less than eager staff and a complicated production. At this rate, Sweeney Todd would be their spring show.

"Last night, I did some research on the designs for the barber's chair," Tina said, placing the pad flat on the stage to show Blaine. "I'm thinking it would look something like this – with a lever underneath so our Sweeney could tap it with his foot and flip it back."

Blaine nodded his approval, even though he knew next to nothing about set design. But Tina seemed to be skilled in that area – he trusted her.

"Great," she said brightly, flipping the pad shut. "I'll talk it over with some of the woodshop guys and hopefully we'll have most of this built as soon as we get back from break. It'll be the most complicated piece on set, so the sooner we can work with it the better."

They moved on to organizing the sheet music for the pit orchestra. Once that was through, they found the folder of audition applications in the box Mr. Schue had given them, and curiosity won them over. It wasn't like they were cheating, Tina reminded Blaine. They would see most of the applicants at the auditions and, well, they already knew most of them from glee club.

"It says here you're interested in playing Anthony Hope?" Tina said, her voice lifting up in a question as she skimmed over Blaine's application.

"Yeah," Blaine answered, looking up from the small stack of papers he was aimlessly flipping through. "I thought that would be a good fit. You seem surprised?"

Tina laughed and slipped his application back in the envelope. "No, you're right. You would be a perfect fit for Anthony. I just thought you'd go for the title role – it's your senior year! You could do it, Blaine. And I know you're not perfect for Sweeney Todd, but we need someone with your talent to pull it off. There aren't a lot of applicants to choose from."

"Maybe I peaked junior year," Blaine said with a shrug, smiling slightly. "But seriously – Anthony's a good role, too. I really want to go for it."

Tina rolled her eyes fondly as they continued packing away the applications and closed the box. "Fair enough. You're going to miss out on me being your Mrs. Lovett, though."

"Tempting," Blaine snorted as Tina nudged him with the heel of her boot.

Since they were finished with their work, they technically should have returned to the choir room. But there were twenty minutes left of class, and that was an entire twenty minutes they would have to endure Mr. Schue's dance lessons which neither of them needed. They were mostly for the benefit of the new students, anyways. Instead, Tina texted Mike and Blaine looked over the sheet music and script for his audition.

He was busy writing notes on his sides when the door to the auditorium creaked open and Mr. Schue walked onto the stage. Tina shoved her cell phone into her purse and looked up at him innocently.

"You guys finished?" Mr. Schue asked, gesturing at the closed box.

Tina stood up and dusted off her dress – a simple black tunic with lace trim and ruffles on the short sleeves. Blaine made a mental note to remind Tina to wear it for her audition. She would, undoubtedly, make a perfect Mrs. Lovett.

"We're done," Tina answered reluctantly. "But Blaine and I were going to practice for – "

Mr. Schue held up his hand, cutting Tina off. "I'm not going to drag you guys to dance rehearsal," he assured them. And then he grinned, adding, "but we have a couple surprise guest speakers who are here to talk to the class about college applications and getting into performing arts schools. Since I know you two are interested in NYADA, I thought it would be valuable information."

Mr. Schue's eyes fell on Blaine and he gave him a tight smile. "So, you guys coming?"

Tina nodded and walked into the wings, heading for the exit. Mr. Schue clapped a hand on Blaine's back as he stood up and they trailed after Tina.

"This feels ominous," Blaine said as they reached the choir room doors. He followed Mr. Schue inside, and suddenly all eyes were on him. Tina, from her seat next to Sugar, was staring at him with undisguised alarm before her eyes drifted to the front of the room. Blaine followed her gaze.

Rachel Berry was leaning against the piano and smiling softly. She was dressed mostly in black; from her sweater to her ballet flats. Her dark hair was pulled up in a high bun, and she was wearing pearl earrings. Her makeup was understated and mature. He was vaguely reminded of a less delicate but equally stunning Audrey Hepburn

To her right was Kurt Hummel, primly seated in a chair. He was clad in unreasonably tight gray jeans, knee-high combat boots, and a wool jacket with far too many zippers. He looked impeccable, which definitely wasn't a surprise. His hair was still perfectly styled, his skin thoroughly moisturized.

New York City had been treating them both well.

"Hey," Kurt whispered softly, a small smile playing at his lips.

Blaine didn't mean to be rude. He did, actually, mean to return Kurt's greeting. But instead, stunned, he half stumbled over to an empty chair next to Artie and waited.

"Oh – okay!" Mr. Schue said with a startled, awkward laugh. "This is Rachel Berry and Kurt Hummel. They were McKinley students and members of this glee club just last year. They're going to talk about colleges. Now, some of you are freshmen and sophomores but it's still very important that you listen – "

"Mr. Schue?" Rachel interrupted, stepping forward. "I'll take it from here."

Mr. Schue laughed and stepped back next to Kurt's chair, gesturing for her to continue.

"If you're serious about musical theatre, you need to start early," Rachel began in her familiar, lofty tone. "I, personally, started dance classes at the age of – "

"Is Kurt going to talk?" Artie interrupted. But it was all playful with no heat. Any animosity towards Rachel had long since vanished. Her presence now was almost refreshing.

Rachel's eyes narrowed. "As many of you already know, Kurt goes to FIT where he studies fashion design and offers his services for the costume department at NYADA. So if you have any related questions, please hold them until the end after I'm done speaking."

As it turned out, Kurt didn't get to speak at all. He spent the entire time nodding in agreement as Rachel rambled on about every meticulous detail of the application process. As soon as the bell rang, Mr. Schue silenced Rachel and told everyone he would write them a pass to their next class if they wished to stay longer and pick Kurt's brain. Two junior girls stayed behind to ask Kurt about FIT while Tina, Sam, Artie, and Sugar crowded around Rachel and began chatting excitedly.

"Blaine!" Rachel waved him over as he hurried towards the door.

"Sorry, Rach, I have a history test next period. I'll call you!"

He felt terrible for lying, but luckily no one else in glee club took AP European history so getting caught was unlikely. Really, he just wanted to avoid any confrontation with Kurt. He knew it was childish. But right now, with no warning and time to prepare himself, he couldn't muster up the courage. He knew that their shared circle of friends meant they would end up speaking to each other sooner or later.

As fate would have it, it was sooner. At the end of the day, Blaine was grabbing the books he needed for homework when Kurt marched up and leaned against the neighboring lockers. Blaine, who hadn't looked over yet, could still feel him staring. Arms crossed tight across his chest, head cocked to the side, tapping the toe of his boot softly but impatiently. Finally, Blaine closed his locker and turned to face Kurt.

"Hey, Kurt."

"So you can see me, good."

Blaine's cheeks reddened with embarrassment. "I'm sorry about earlier. I was just…surprised. I got nervous. After August, and then later in September, I didn't know…" he trailed off and shrugged helplessly. "We haven't spoken since your e-mail."

"It's okay, Blaine. I get it," Kurt said. "Sending you that e-mail was…"

He shook his head suddenly and reached out, squeezing Blaine's arm. "Let's not talk about this now, okay? I know we're in a difficult place, and I want to have time to work it out. This Friday night after Thanksgiving – are you free? We could talk. Maybe pop in a movie or something?"

Kurt stared at him hopefully, and Blaine's only option was to agree. Even if he had plans, he probably would've canceled them to be with Kurt. He always did have a hard time saying no to him.

"Of course," Blaine said, laughing when Kurt's face broke out into a grin.

"Good," Kurt said, and pulled him into a hug. It was quick, but Blaine could still feel the warmth of Kurt's breath and the way his chest moved as he inhaled and exhaled. Blaine closed his eyes, allowing himself to savor the moment.

"Text me the time?" Kurt asked as he pulled away.

Blaine nodded. "I still have your number."

The corners of Kurt's eyes crinkled as he smiled. After waving goodbye to Blaine, he turned on his heel and walked back down the hall. And suddenly, Blaine felt a pang in his heart. Because no matter the outcome of Friday night, the end result would inevitably be Kurt Hummel walking away.


As it turned out, Friday night was the perfect night to have Kurt over. His parents had left earlier that day to have a second Thanksgiving in Chicago with his dad's side of the family. These relatives in particular hadn't reacted well when Blaine came out several years ago, so earlier that month his dad agreed to spare him the trip.

Blaine spent the evening cleaning the house and (after texting Kurt and insisting he skip dinner) cooking one of Kurt's favorite meals; tomato and basil soup with stir fried tofu and veggies. The second the doorbell rang at 6:00, he feared it was too much – that Kurt wouldn't receive it as a friendly gesture but something more. And what if Blaine did intend it to mean something more? But as he hurried to answer the door, he forced himself to relax. This was Kurt. His Kurt. There was nothing to be afraid of.

"Something smells delicious," Kurt said as he stepped into the foyer and tugged off his jacket. He narrowed his eyes at Blaine suspiciously. "Is that…?"

"You used to always beg me to cook it for you whenever you came over here," Blaine said. "So I thought it would be appropriate."

"You treat me well, Blaine Anderson," Kurt said, smiling at him warmly and walking into the kitchen. Blaine followed after him and watched as Kurt helped himself to the plates, bowls, and silverware. It felt like nothing had changed. Except, this time around, Blaine couldn't walk up behind him and kiss the spot behind his ear. He couldn't press his hand against the small of Kurt's back or wrap his arms around his waist. It was bizarre after over a year of just reaching out and touching Kurt whenever he wanted.

Blaine made himself a plate and together they sat down at the kitchen table and made small talk about their respective Thanksgivings and families. They eventually moved on to New York, and Kurt spoke fondly of FIT, living off of Ramen and takeout, and all the adventures that came with rooming with Rachel Berry. Eventually, the conversation turned to Blaine.

"So, where are you going to college next year?" Kurt asked as he finished off the last of his soup.

"Tina and I are pretty set on NYADA," Blaine answered, standing up to clear away their dishes. "I've been meaning to talk to Rachel about it, but it seems so far off in the future right now. I just don't make it a priority."

Kurt joined Blaine at the sink, and together they washed and dried the dishes. Every now and then their hands brushed, making Blaine's skin tingle and Kurt's cheeks flush. It was silly how something small and simple like their hands touching could cause such a reaction, considering all they had been through and all they had done together.

"You'll get in, no problem," Kurt assured him. "You're an amazing performer, Blaine. Better than some of the guys I've seen at Rachel's shows. You'll do great."

Blaine watched as Kurt put the dry dishes back in the cupboard and smiled at the compliment. "Are you ready to put in a movie?" he asked. "We could watch it upstairs on my laptop."

Kurt nodded and followed Blaine up to his room where he sprawled out on his stomach across Blaine's bedspread. Blaine grabbed his DVD case and tossed it down next to Kurt's arm before leaning against his desk. "You can pick."

Kurt's hand lingered on the case for a moment before he pushed it aside and wriggled over to the left side of the bed. He patted the space next to him and waved Blaine over. "Come here first. I still think we need to talk about everything."

Blaine hesitated before crawling onto the bed next to Kurt. He rested on his side and propped his head up with one hand, allowing his eyes to drag over Kurt's face as he tried to read his expression. But Kurt only smiled softly and inched a little closer.

"I just want us to be honest with each other, okay? Like we used to be."

Kurt acted as though they had been separated for years rather than four months. They hadn't spoken for only two. He wondered if living in the city had warped Kurt's perception of time – if maybe it moved faster in New York and Ohio was just a place he'd forgotten.

"Why did you stop talking to me?" Kurt asked, his lips now pulled down into a frown now. Blaine winced. He hadn't expected Kurt to cut right to the chase. Not when they, so far, were having an enjoyable evening. The temperature in the room seemed to drop, although Blaine figured it was only an illusion.

"We were fine after we broke up," Kurt continued, rolling over on his back to stare up at the ceiling. "And then a few weeks into September you just ignored me. My Skype calls, my e-mails, my texts. I thought, maybe, I could have some control over the situation by suggesting we just stop talking all together. But I don't – I don't know what I did. I know I was busy and didn't always have time to keep in touch but we – "

"Kurt," Blaine cut him off, reaching across the space between them to touch his hand reassuringly. "You didn't do anything wrong. It was all me. I guess I forgot I had a broken heart since I was too busy feeling so proud and happy for you. And when it hit me, it hurt. School started picking up. I got a job. I pushed you out of my mind, for my sake, and I shouldn't have. I should've been thinking about you, too."

Kurt was staring at Blaine's hand on top of his. Carefully, he pulled away and then gently entwined their fingers. Blaine gave him a firm squeeze.

"Can you forgive me for that?"

"Blaine, I already have. Otherwise I wouldn't have even spoken to you today." He gave Blaine a pointed look. "You know me."

"Yes, I do," Blaine laughed.

"And I know you well enough to know you would never intentionally hurt me," Kurt continued. "And it was my fault too – I should've tried to talk to you instead of breaking contact all together."

Blaine shook his head and let his head drop from his hand down to the comforter. "Let's not blame anyone, okay?"

"Deal," Kurt said. He let go of Blaine's hand an inched closer until their knees were brushing. Blaine inhaled sharply as Kurt reached up with his free hand to cup Blaine's cheek and pull him closer, pressing their foreheads together.

"I'm…confused," Blaine admitted as Kurt absently stroked the pad of his thumb across his jaw. "Are we…making up? Like making up making up?"

Kurt's face fell and he pulled away slightly. "Sorry, no. I mean – I leave on Sunday morning. I'll be back in New York and I don't know when I'll be in Lima again. I mean, Dad and Carole are coming up for Christmas, so…" Kurt tugged his hand out of Blaine's and rubbed his eyes, distressed. "I'd never see you. This is why we broke up in the first place –"

"Kurt!" Blaine interrupted, pulling his hand away from his eyes and laughing lightly. "It's fine. You don't have to – Look, it's just that maybe we should set up some ground rules?"

"Never mind," Kurt said with a wry smile, moving even further away from Blaine and snatching the DVD case from where it was resting on the comforter. "Let's put in a movie."

Blaine raised his eyebrows. "Never mind what?"

Kurt flipped through Blaine's movies absently, not really bothering to look at the titles. "No, you'll just think it's silly. I was stupid to even…I don't want to make you uncomfortable."

"Kurt."

"I wanted to sleep with you," Kurt finally blurted out. He pulled himself into a sitting position and leaned against the headboard, folding his arms over his chest and curling in on himself. "I'm sorry."

"Is that the only reason you came over?" Blaine asked stiffly after a moment. He tried to catch Kurt's eye, but he was still staring fixedly at Blaine's bedspread.

"No," Kurt answered. "That's not it at all. I just – I haven't slept with anyone since. I can't, not with someone I barely know. I thought maybe you would be interested. Just sex, no strings attached." He finally looked over at Blaine and gave him a crooked, apologetic smile. "But I can see that you don't want to."

"Kurt –"

"It's okay," Kurt assured him, shrugging. "It is. I don't want to do anything to make this awkward. But I guess it's too late for that."

Blaine gave him a tight smile and sat up as well, studying Kurt's profile. He began weighing the pros and cons of sleeping with Kurt tonight. One of the pros, of course, would be satisfying his own desires. Kurt hadn't said it, but he had indeed suggested it – the transition between a regular, healthy sex life to a non-existent one was difficult. He would get to be with Kurt. Someone familiar. Someone he used to love and always would on some level…although that, he thought, might make the "cons" list instead. What if he broke his own heart all over again?

But he could do this. Maybe. It was just sex, after all. Something that he cherished, sure, but if it was with Kurt it wouldn't feel like a casual hookup or a one night stand. Rather, two friends helping each other out.

"All right," Blaine said, and Kurt's head snapped up. "Let's do it."

"Blaine –"

"I want to," he promised, crawling across the space between them. He rested on his knees and took Kurt's face in his hands, staring into his eyes. "Do you, still?"

Kurt stared right back, searching for a moment before he nodded his consent. Blaine moved in and kissed him firmly on the lips. He felt Kurt smiling.


Blaine woke up in what felt like the last stages of afterglow. His entire body felt warm, tingly, loved. Any tension he had been carrying around with him for the past few weeks had simply vanished.

He grinned and rolled over, ignoring the way the sheets tangled and twisted around his legs. He usually woke up spooned behind Kurt with his arms wrapped tightly around his waist and his nose pressed into the back of his shoulder. But when he went to take Kurt in his arms, he wasn't there.

Blaine sat up and pressed his palm down on Kurt's side of the bed. It was still warm from where he had been sleeping. Blaine felt his shoulders begin to tense up again. Should he call Kurt to see what went wrong, or let it go? He hadn't expected this to be the outcome of their night together. Feeling himself begin to panic, he closed his eyes and started to count to ten in his head.

1, 2, 3…

"I broke into your bathroom and used some of your moisturizer, I hope that's okay."

Blaine's eyes snapped open. Kurt was standing in the doorway of his bedroom, wrapped in Blaine's robe. Kurt arched an eyebrow.

"Are you all right?"

"Fine!" Blaine laughed. "Just shaking off sleep."

Kurt smiled and sat down on the edge of the bed, his hip brushing Blaine's. "Some of those products in your bathroom, Blaine." He shook his head disapprovingly. "You could really use a few upgrades. I'm going to e-mail you a list of products I've been using. If you can't find them here, I could ship them to you from New York."

"Mmm," Blaine murmured, reaching up to cup Kurt's face with one hand and pull him into a lazy kiss. He gently grabbed Kurt's upper arm and tried to tug him back into bed.

Kurt laughed and swatted Blaine's hand away as it moved to ghost over his bare chest, pushing back the fabric of the robe. He gave him one last, firm kiss and pulled back.

"I have to go," Kurt said, shrugging off the robe and grabbing his clothes from where they were draped across Blaine's armchair. He slipped into them quickly and sat down next to Blaine again, absently rubbing a spot on his collarbone through his t-shirt. "Dad, Carole, and Finn are really adamant about me spending time with them over the break, even though I've been home since Tuesday morning." He rolled his eyes fondly. "Will you be at Breadstix tonight for dinner? Rachel should be texting everyone the time soon. She wanted to get all of us together before we fly out tomorrow morning."

"I'll be there."

"Good," Kurt said, grabbing Blaine's hand and bringing it up to his lips. He kissed his knuckles. "I'll see you then."

Kurt gave him one last bright smile before pulling on his coat, shouldering his bag, and slipping out the bedroom door.


"Blaine!" Rachel screeched the moment he pushed open the front doors. He found her immediately – waving at him enthusiastically from across the restaurant. One of Blaine's new co-workers, a young college-aged waitress, was walking back from their table.

"Your friends are an interesting group, Blaine. That little loud one wants to talk to a manager about the ingredients we use for the vegan meatballs."

"I'll talk to her about it," Blaine said, rolling his eyes fondly before making his way over to the table. He sat down next to Rachel, leaning in when she wrapped her arms around him tightly and gave him a kiss on the cheek.

"I'm so glad you made it! I was worried I wasn't going to see you before I left!" Even after their hug ended, she remained latched onto Blaine's arm. "Tina was just telling me all about the musical this year. I think you would make a perfect Anthony. But I do think this production is rather blasphemous. Doing it the year after Kurt and I graduated? We're the ideal Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett."

Tina rolled her eyes from where she was sitting across from Rachel. Blaine shot her an amused smile before looking down the length of the table. Artie, Sugar, and Sam were all present as well as a few new members of New Directions who didn't know Rachel personally but decided to come along anyways. But there was no sign of Kurt.

"Speaking of Kurt," Blaine said, turning back to Rachel and Tina. "Is he going to make it tonight?"

"Oh, no," Rachel said. "Mr. Hummel surprised the family with reservations at some restaurant in Columbus so Kurt had to cancel."

Blaine frowned and pulled his phone out of his pocket, checking his messages and missed calls. Nothing.

"I wonder why he didn't call me," Blaine said quietly, setting his phone down on the tabletop and starting at the screen.

Tina and Rachel looked at each other and then back at Blaine.

"Why would he call you?" Rachel asked, and then quickly backtracked the minute she registered her own words. "I mean, you guys haven't even been speaking."

Blaine froze for a moment, wondering what he could say and how much, exactly, Kurt wanted their friends to know about last night. He carefully shrugged it off.

"We ran into each other yesterday," Blaine said, picking up his phone again and turning it around in his hands. "He just…told me he'd be here tonight and wanted to see me." There. Just a white lie.

When he looked up, Tina was giving him a blistering glare. Blaine quickly turned to Rachel the moment she started speaking.

"Aww, well, do you want to come see us off at the airport tomorrow?" she offered. "It's just our families so far, but my dads would be happy to see you – "

"It's not a big deal, Rachel," Blaine lied, dismissing the idea with a wave of his hand. "But thanks for the offer."

Tina shook her head slightly, but quickly changed the subject to NYADA. They spent the rest of the dinner asking Rachel for audition tips, what her classes were like, and what sort of productions she was involved with. Blaine tried to stay engaged, but he couldn't help but sneak a peek at his phone every few minutes, hoping it would ring.


Blaine had wanted to go home immediately after dinner, but Sugar and Tina somehow convinced him to join them for a movie. So after wishing Rachel a safe trip back to the city, he left with the two girls to catch the last showing of the latest Rachel McAdams chick flick.

"I'm not leaving you to your own devices tonight," Tina said as they climbed into the back seat of Sugar's car. It was a hot pink Volkswagen Beetle, an early Christmas present from her father. A "mediocre" gift, she had told Blaine, considering she had really wanted a convertible.

"What's that supposed to mean?" Blaine muttered as he fastened his seat belt.

Tina rolled her eyes and punched his thigh. "I can't believe you slept with him."

Blaine cringed. "You knew?"

"Of course I knew," Tina said, her voice softening. "It was written all over your face at dinner."

Blaine didn't get home until midnight. After showering and checking in with his parents, it was nearly one before he even climbed into bed. Still, he scrolled through his contacts before landing on Kurt's name. Without a second thought, he punched in a quick message and sent it.

Hey.

It took a few minutes. But instead of receiving a text back, his phone began to ring. He quickly accepted the call and sat up against his headboard, pressing the phone against his ear.

"Kurt?"

"Hey!" Kurt said cheerily. Blaine heard footsteps and a thud on the other line. And then the sound of a zipper.

"Are you busy?"

"I'm still packing," Kurt said a little breathlessly. "Anyway, you texted me. Hi."

"Yeah….I was just, uh…I was wondering if you enjoyed dinner with your family."

Blaine heard Kurt's mattress squeak as he sat down on his bed. "Yeah! It was great. We went to this Italian restaurant. It was delicious, you'd love it." He hesitated. "Sorry I missed Breadstix. But I couldn't ditch my family on my last night here."

"Of course not," Blaine agreed. "No one expected you to…I was just really looking forward to seeing you, I guess. It would've been nice to know you weren't going to make it."

There was a long and uncomfortable silence before Kurt finally spoke up, his tone a little darker. "I told Rachel and Rachel told everyone else. Sorry, was that not good enough?"

"No no no, Kurt, that's fine!" Blaine hurried to assure him, humiliated by the way he was coming across. All he really wanted to say was I thought you wanted to see me too, that you would have personally let me know if you couldn't make it. But I guess I should have known it was just a friendly get together. I'm sorry.

Instead, he said: "Sorry, it's late. I'm tired. I had a great time last night and I guess I'm just sad I didn't get to see you before you left."

"I had fun last night too," Kurt said softly. "Get some sleep though, okay? I have to finish packing."

"All right."

"Hey, Blaine?"

"Yeah?"

"I'll send you that list of products I've been using. Pick out a few you like and I'll send you some as your Christmas present."

"Okay," Blaine laughed. "So we're gift-giving? Are we doing that now?"

"Platonic gift-giving," Kurt teased. "And yeah. Guess we are."

Blaine smiled. "All right, Kurt. Go back to packing and have a safe flight."

"Will do. Good night, Blaine."

Blaine wished him the same and ended the call, setting his cell phone on the bedside table. This is good, he thought. It's progress. He curled back up in bed, pulling the blankets up to his chin and trying not to think about how their calls always used to end with an I love you rather than a good night.