As Bright as the Sun
Summary: Future AU. Kurt is a secretary at the Dalton Dialysis Clinic. Blaine is their newest patient. Featuring Santana, Mercedes, and Quinn.
Word Count: 5750
Kurt Hummel has a mouthful of Greek salad. He's got a diet coke in one hand and is scrolling furiously through insurance records with the other, frowning at his computer screen.
This is when the man of his dreams appears in front of him.
"Um, excuse me?"
Kurt looks up and, he won't admit it later, but his jaw might drop a little. The guy standing at the desk is beautiful. His dark hair is perfectly styled. His gray, collared sweater, Calvin Klein Kurt notes, is classic and plays up his features nicely. His brightly colored sunglasses add just the right amount of fun to the outfit.
Kurt tries to swallow the lump of lettuce in his mouth. "Hello. I'm sorry. I missed lunch. I don't usually eat...at my desk." He realizes how dumb he sounds and stops talking, but the beautiful boy just grins at him.
"That's okay. I can wait."
Kurt sets down his soda and shoves his salad off to the side. "How can I help you?"
"I have an appointment at 1:00."
"Oh, okay." Kurt always tries not to judge anyone that comes into the clinic, but this guy seems so healthy. Of course, Kurt has some pretty thick, rose-colored glasses on when it comes to young, handsome boys. "What's your name?"
Kurt pulls up his file and finds the appropriate forms. He hands them to Blaine with a clipboard and pen. "Here you go. Just fill out everything you can and make sure you sign at the bottom."
"Sure. Thanks." Blaine leans forward and squints at the name tag pinned on Kurt's sweater. "Thanks, Kurt."
He turns away then and Kurt is so thankful because he's pretty sure he swoons a little, leaning over his desk and pressing his forehead to the cool surface. When he straightens up, Blaine is just sitting down in a corner chair of the waiting room. He moves slowly, stiffly, like he's afraid it's going to hurt.
Kurt frowns. He hates this part of the job. He's worked at the Dalton Dialysis Clinic for just over a year and it never gets easier to deal with the reality of people that are so sick. Kurt doesn't have any medical education. He's just a secretary, but what he's learned in a year is that kidney dialysis is a last resort treatment. It's exhausting and can be dangerous, and the only other hope for many people is an organ transplant. Kurt doesn't wish that kind of situation on anyone, and yeah, that includes all the Neanderthals he knew back in high school.
Kurt tries to refocus on his work, but it seems like just a minute before Blaine is back at the desk with his completed paperwork. He offers it with a smile, sunglasses now pushed up to rest on top of his head.
"Let's see." Kurt accepts the papers and scans them quickly to make sure Blaine didn't miss anything. His eyes catch a bit of information at the bottom of the page. "Oh, you were being treated at the Westerville Hospital."
Blaine nods. "Yeah, but I begged my doctor to transfer me here. It's a lot cozier than going into a big, cold hospital every other day." He gestures around the lobby, which is decorated more like a living room, with couches and chairs and lit softly with table lamps.
Kurt nods. "Fluorescent lighting, it's terrible."
"Yeah." Blaine smiles. "Plus, it's a lot closer. I just live over on South Main."
"Really?" Kurt hopes he doesn't sound too excited. "I live in the apartments on the corner of Spring Street."
"Oh, yeah? That's like two streets over."
"We're practically neighbors."
"Well, hello neighbor," Blaine says in a deep voice. He sticks his hand out and Kurt takes it in a firm shake, trying not to get lost in how warm and wonderful it feels.
"Hey, secretary boy."
Kurt drops Blaine's hand when a stack of folders lands on his desk. Santana, the head nurse at the center, fixes him with her best unimpressed look. "Stop accosting our patients and get to filing, Lady Hands. Are you my one o'clock?" She asks this of Blaine, who is staring at her in fear.
"Well, come on then." Santana turns back down the hallway toward the treatment room.
Blaine gives Kurt a skeptical look. "Maybe I should go back to Westerville."
"Don't worry. She's a marshmallow, really." Kurt shrugs.
"I guess I'll have to trust you on that one." Blaine makes a goofy scared face and follows after Santana.
"You'll be fine," Kurt calls after him.
Still walking down the hall, Blaine raises his arms in triumph.
It's two days later when Kurt sees Blaine again. He comes through the front door, moving slowly, achingly, but otherwise well. He looks up at Kurt and smiles brightly.
"Hi, Blaine. How are you doing?"
"Well, I woke up today." Blaine gives him a sly wink.
Kurt feels like he might fall over. "Well, then it's a good day."
"It definitely is." Blaine comes up to the desk to sign himself in. "So, what are you going to do to take advantage of it?"
He's smiling and looks absolutely genuine.
Kurt shakes his head. "What do you mean?"
"I mean, what are you going to do today to take advantage of being alive?"
"I'm at work," Kurt answers slowly.
"But, you must have dreams. You seem like a dream-filled kind of guy." When Kurt continues to hesitate, Blaine pushes him further. "Come on. Humor me. I'm dying."
"You're not dying," Kurt answers quickly. He doesn't even know if it's true, he just knows that even though he's only spent a brief amount of time with Blaine, he really doesn't want it to be.
"Okay, so I'm probably not dying today, but still..."
Kurt hedges a bit further. It's true, he did have dreams once. Growing up, he certainly never thought he'd still be working in an office in Ohio by the age of twenty-five. "Fine. I guess I always wanted to go to New York," he finally says.
Blaine claps his hands. "There it is. Go to New York."
"I can't do that today."
"I can't just leave my life here. I have things to do. It's just...I just can't."
"Wow." Blaine actually looks impressed. "A realist."
"Not by nature, but I've learned." Kurt nods. Living in a world that constantly told him he wasn't good enough, wasn't right enough, and couldn't have what he wanted had slowly wrung all his dreams out of him.
"Trust me Kurt." Blaine is suddenly serious. "One day you're happy and healthy, the next day you've got tumors on your kidneys. Seize the day."
Kurt tries for coy and is pretty sure he doesn't quite get there. They're way past light joking now and into deep waters. "I didn't expect this to get so serious so fast."
The treatment room door pops open and Santana leans out. "Hey, Blaine. The toxins are building up in your blood as we speak. Let's go."
Blaine nods and gives Kurt a look that he can't identify. "I'll see you in four hours."
"I'll be here." Kurt smiles.
Kurt can't stop thinking about Blaine for the rest of the morning though. It must be easy for someone in Blaine's position to go around saying things like carpe diem and follow your dreams. Kurt never considered himself a realist. He used to have dreams, big dreams. He dreamt of things far beyond a tiny job in a clinic. Yet, here he is. He's not a realist, he's jaded.
When lunch comes around at noon, Kurt takes his salad and diet coke and heads back to the treatment room.
Blaine is in the station farthest from the door. There are tubes hooked up to his right arm and machines clicking away beside him. Before, Kurt had tried to avoid the treatment room at all costs. He's easily grossed out and all the medical sounds and smells bring back bad memories. But, he's here now, seizing the day. He pulls up a chair and sits down next to Blaine.
Blaine opens his eyes and turns his head on the headrest to see Kurt. A slow, sleepy smile spreads across his face. "Hey."
Blaine watches as Kurt opens his container of salad and sets his coke on the side table. "Do you usually eat your lunch with the patients?"
"No." Kurt tries to act non-chalant. "I usually eat lunch at my desk, as you have witnessed."
"Oh, yes. I remember. Very charming. So, what are you doing here?"
"Well, I thought you might get lonely."
"No. Not really. I mean, Nurse Santana is just so pleasant all the time and the company is outstanding." Blaine gestures around him.
There are three other patients in the room. They are all at least thirty years older than Blaine and they are all deeply asleep.
Kurt starts laughing first and when Blaine joins in, it's the most pleasant moment Kurt can remember in recent memory. He can't remember a time, ever, when he felt so instantly comfortable with someone.
"So," Blaine says. "I usually bring my ipod, but...it died." He holds the offending object in his lap, screen dark and headphones tangled around it.
"Oh, I'm sorry." Kurt stabs at his salad. "We pipe in satellite radio, but its pretty much elevator music and then they make us keep it so low you can't even hear it."
"Probably so people can sleep."
When Kurt looks up, Blaine's eyes are closed.
"Oh my gosh. I'm sorry. You probably want to rest and here I am eating in front of you and...oh my god, can you hear me chewing?"
"Kurt. Kurt, stop." Blaine reaches over to touch Kurt's arm. "It's fine. Really. I'm glad you came back here. But...since you're here and my ipod died, maybe you could make yourself useful and sing to me."
"I can't sing," Kurt responds instantly.
"Yes, you can."
"How do you know?"
"I'll kill her."
"You were right about her. Total marshmallow." Blaine laughs. "Well?"
"I can't sing in here," Kurt stage whispers.
"Sure you can. I don't think they're going to mind." Blaine looks pointedly at the elderly man across from him. There's drool running down his chin.
"Okay. Okay." Kurt sets his lunch off to the side. "I can't believe I'm doing this."
Blaine settles back in his chair with a grin. "Whenever you're ready."
Kurt clears his throat and sits up straight. He opens his mouth and begins to sing.
"When you're smiling, when you're smiling, the whole world smiles with you.
When you're laughing, when you're laughing the sun comes shining through..."
Kurt keeps his voice low, quiet, in fear of disturbing anyone despite what Blaine has said. It gives the otherwise cheery song a melancholy vibe that Kurt decides suits the situation well. When the song is finished, Kurt opens his eyes.
Blaine is watching him intently. "That was...amazing."
Kurt smiles. "Thank you."
They're still whispering.
Kurt shifts on his chair and glances at the clock. "I should get back." He gathers up his half-eaten lunch and stands.
Blaine is still watching him. "Thank you, Kurt. Really, thank you."
As Kurt is leaving the room, he has to walk past Santana at the nurses station. She quirks an eyebrow at him and smiles knowingly.
"Shut up, Santana," Kurt hisses.
"I didn't even say anything this time."
"He's probably straight anyway." Kurt doesn't know why he says it. He's just feeling too much for a minute. He's too close to something like happiness and friendship and maybe something more and that isn't typical in his life.
Santana laughs. "I don't think that's going to be a problem."
Kurt doesn't know what to say. He sticks his tongue out at her.
She does the same back, plus crosses her eyes. Santana is one of the scariest people he knows. She's also one of the best.
Kurt glances back at Blaine one more time. He's watching Kurt through half-lidded eyes and raises one hand in a weak wave. Kurt smiles and waves, feeling his heart swell in his chest.
Thursday is Kurt's day off. Secretly, he's really okay with it since it's also Blaine's day off from dialysis. He spends the day lounging around in his pajamas, cleaning the apartment and watching reruns of America's Next Top Model. Late in the afternoon, Mercedes texts him about going to a movie that evening. The theater is just a few blocks away and they can walk from his apartment.
Kurt gets ready more quickly than usual. It's just a movie and it's just Mercedes and he's feeling really lazy for some reason.
Mercedes shows up right on time.
"Looking fabulous as usual," Kurt tells her when he opens the door. She hugs him and gives him a quick kiss on the cheek. Then, she steps back and gives him a once-over.
"What's going on with you?" She demands.
"What?" Kurt frowns down at his outfit. "What's wrong with this?"
"Not your outfit, you're-" Mercedes gestures up and down him. "You're you."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"Boy, you've got some kind of crazy good vibes coming off you. What's going on?"
Kurt presses a hand to his chest. "I do?"
"Uh-huh. Don't tell me. You finally went out and got yourself some sweet, sweet-"
"No!" Kurt interupts her. "Nothing like that. I mean, not that that would be a bad thing. But, let's just say...I think I'm starting to believe in love again." As he says the words, Kurt realizes it's true and that the laziness he'd been feeling all day had actually been a little bit of happiness and contentment.
Mercedes crosses her arms. "Who is he?"
"I can't tell you."
"I mean, I can't tell you because it's not even a thing. It's just, you know, talking. I haven't even known him a week and I don't even know if he's gay or not."
"If he's responding in a way to make you feel like this, then I'm pretty sure you do know that he's gay."
Kurt grabs his jacket off the rack and pulls it on, smiling the whole time. Mercedes slips her arm through his as they walk out the door. "Come on. We've got a whole evening together and I swear I'm going to get you to spill before its over."
They walk downtown slowly, looking in shop windows, and discussing work (for Kurt) and school (for Mercedes). The theater is showing an indie movie, something about travel and love, but when its over, Kurt can't even remember the main character's names.
"You want to go for coffee?" Mercedes asks as they exit the theater.
"Alright. I just need to run back in and use the bathroom." Mercedes goes back into the theater and Kurt wanders a little ways up the sidewalk to a spot where there are some benches and flower beds. It's a warm night and Kurt sits down, enjoying the fresh air.
"What a good boy."
Kurt recognizes the voice instantly and spins around on the bench. Behind him, on another bench, is Blaine wearing a heavy sweater and holding the tiniest dog Kurt has ever seen on his lap. He scratches behind the dog's ears and continues to coo at it.
"Blaine?" Kurt stands up and walks over to sit next to him. Before he can second guess himself, he leans over and gives him a warm hug. "How are you doing?"
"I'm fine." Blaine returns the hug openly, grinning at Kurt. "It's good to see you not at work. What are you doing down here?"
"I just came from a movie." Kurt leans back a little, taking in the sight of the little dog on Blaine's lap trying to lick at his fingers. "What about you?"
"Dinner at Cork's."
"I love that place. Have you had the apricot wontons? Totally to die for." Kurt is gushing a little and suddenly he can see it all so clearly in his mind. Spending lazy evenings with Blaine, strolling around town, holding hands, walking Blaine's tiny dog. "He's so cute. What's his name?"
Kurt laughs out loud. "It suits him well."
"I thought so, too."
"I can't believe I never saw you around town before."
"Yeah, well." Blaine shrugs and even though he's still smiling, Kurt can see the hurt in his eyes when he speaks. "I haven't really been out much lately."
"Oh, right. I'm so sorry."
"No, it's okay." Blaine is quick to comfort him. He opens his mouth like he wants to say something more, but then he stops and looks away, smoothing his hand over Tank's back.
Kurt scoots a little closer to him on the bench. "Can I ask you something?"
"Sure." Blaine is open to anything and Kurt thinks that's what he likes most about him. It's so attractive to find someone that is so available to others.
"You mentioned tumors on your kidneys before. Are they...is it...Do you still have them?"
"No." Blaine shakes his head. "Two years ago, I starting having a lot of pain in my back and my stomach."
Kurt winces. He doesn't want to think about someone like Blaine hurting, but he needs to know the rest.
"When they found the tumors, everyone was so relieved that it wasn't cancer. We thought it would be an easy surgery. The doctors would remove the tumors and I would be fine. But, they were so, I forget the medical word, they were tangled up with my kidneys so much that there was a lot of damage during the surgery. So...here we are." Blaine looks up and smiles. "That's it."
"So, you're not dying?" Kurt holds his breath and bites his tongue waiting for the answer.
"I hope not. It's sort of one day at a time right now. They're hoping my kidneys will heal a little more, but if that doesn't happen then I'll probably need a transplant and if that doesn't happen..." Blaine shrugs.
"I'm so sorry." Kurt reaches over and rests his hand on Blaine's knee. Immediately, Tank turns around and tries to lick at his fingers.
Blaine smiles down at the dog. "Don't be sorry. I'm really okay with it. I've found my peace, I guess."
Tank tries to crawl up Kurt's arm, forcing Kurt to bring up his other hand to make sure he doesn't teeter off. "I think your dog likes me."
"It seems like it. Unfortunately, he's not really mine."
Kurt presses a hand to his chest in exaggerated shock. "Blaine, did you steal this dog?"
"No." Blaine laughs. "I'm not a dog-napper. I can't believe you would think that about me. He belongs to-"
Kurt looks up to see, standing there on the sidewalk, the most beautiful, blonde girl he has ever seen in real life. Instantly, Kurt dislikes her. He hates her perfect hair and her perfect skin. He especially hates the way that when she stands next to Blaine, they look like the perfect hipster couple.
"Tank is Quinn's dog. Quinn, this is Kurt. Kurt, Quinn."
"Kurt from the dialysis center?" Quinn holds her hand out to Kurt, smiling gently at him from under the brim of her fedora. "Blaine's told me a lot about you. I'm so glad he's found a friend there."
"I'm glad to have a friend, too." Kurt smiles tightly. He's suddenly very conscious of the fact that his hand is still on Blaine's knee and he tries to be smooth as he removes his hand and stands in one motion. "I should get going. My friend probably thinks I left her."
Blaine looks worried and Kurt's not sure why.
Quinn takes the seat that Kurt just left and gives him that sunny, pleasant smile again. "It's really nice to meet you."
"You too. I'll see you tomorrow, Blaine." When Kurt turns around, Mercedes is heading down the sidewalk toward him. He hurries to meet her halfway.
"Who was that?" She tries to look over his shoulder.
"That was my guy."
"The guy that made you believe in love again?"
"And the girl with him?"
"His perfect girlfriend."
"Damn, boo." Mercedes wraps an arm around his waist. "You going to be okay?"
Kurt takes a deep breath and lets it out noisily. "I always am."
Really, Kurt tells himself, he's okay. Blaine, the most interesting guy he's met in a long time, is straight, but Kurt is okay. Blaine is a patient at Kurt's workplace, anyway. He's not sure, but he thinks he would probably get in trouble for that somewhere along the way. Not to mention, Blaine is sick. Really sick. Kurt hates it, but he has to be honest with himself and admit that he's not sure he could let himself grow close to someone just to lose them.
He pretends that the thought of Blaine dying doesn't send a pang of pain through his chest. It's indigestion. It's stress. It's anything but his newest and brightest dream being crushed.
At work, Kurt tries extra hard to stay busy. Santana keeps looking at him out of the corner of her eye, like she knows something is up. Kurt just throws himself into even more work though, and when he's all caught up with records and filing, he moves onto reorganizing his computer's desktop.
This is what he's doing when Blaine walks in. Kurt focuses hard on the computer screen and then panics at the last second and picks up the phone. "Dalton Dialysis, how may I help you?" He pretends to be listening very carefully and waves pseudo-distractedly at Blaine.
Blaine frowns at him as he signs in.
"Yes. Uh-huh," Kurt says to the dial tone. "Next week? Let me look at our schedule." He keeps it up until Blaine heads back to the treatment room.
Kurt hangs the phone up gently. He has no idea what he's doing. He can't remember ever being in such a terrible situation. He likes Blaine. He really, really likes Blaine.
He takes a deep breath. This is his job, which for the most part, he actually enjoys. There is no way he can fake phone calls every day that Blaine comes in.
They can still be friends, he decides. There's no reason they can't be friends. They'll be friendly when they see each other every other day and maybe once in a while, Kurt will eat his lunch with Blaine. As a friend.
Resolutely, Kurt gets up from his desk and marches back to the treatment room.
Blaine is once again in the far station. His eyes are closed and Kurt can't help but notice that he looks worn out and tense. He approaches quietly and sits himself on a stool beside the treatment chair.
Blaine opens his eyes at the movement and Kurt instantly sees that they are a terrible, bright red.
Kurt totally forgets what he was about to say. He melts inside when Blaine squints up at him and lets out a shaky breath. "Hey."
"Hey. Can I get you anything?"
Blaine just shakes his head.
"Visine?" Kurt jokes and reaches over to touch Blaine's arm. He's usually not such a touchy-feely kind of person, but there is something about this guy that is continually throwing everything Kurt knows about himself on its head. He tries to smile at him but Blaine just looks away.
"Visine doesn't help. It's fine, anyway, just a side effect." Blaine is holding his phone in his hand. In a short glance, all Kurt sees at the top of the screen are the words 'Messages from Quinn.' It feels like there's a rock in his stomach.
Blaine tries to sit up straighter, but its pretty evident that he's having a bad day. Kurt has seen a lot of the clinic's patients go through it. Some react very well to thier treatments, others take it extremely hard, but many more have a fairly equal number of good days and bad days.
Blaine gives up and slumps down in his seat. "Listen, Kurt, you've been really good to me."
"Wait." Kurt squeezes his arm gently to stop him. "There's something I need to say. I really like you as a person. I think you're great and I would love to be your friend, if you'll have me."
"Of course I will, but-"
"As your friend, I want you to be happy. And I also want you to be healthy."
Blaine is struggling to keep his eyes open and shaking his head. Kurt swallows hard, feeling a lump form in his throat. "I'm sorry. I should really let you rest. I'll just see you later, okay?"
Kurt is already backing away and Blaine sounds very sad when he says, "Okay, Kurt. We'll be friends."
The weekend passes without any excitement. Kurt spends a terrible amount of time moping on the sofa trying to convince himself to quit moping on the sofa. It doesn't work. When monday comes around, he's in a foul mood and ends up getting to work late. Since he's late, Blaine has already come through the office and is settled back in the treatment room, where, Kurt decides, he won't be bothered today.
Santana comes up to the front desk once, but she doesn't even smile when she drops a mountain of folders on Kurt's desk. "He asked about you today."
"Really?" Kurt acts uninterested.
"Uh, yeah, really."
"Well, we're friends."
"Friends. Right." She draws the word out with a smirk.
"It's true." Kurt waves a hand at her. "Go away Santana, you're clouding my chi up here."
Kurt almost feels bad when she turns and walks away without a word.
The hours pass quickly and Kurt doesn't have a thought beyond insurance types and medical codes until the ambulance pulls up outside. Kurt stands and goes out to the hall.
"Santana?" He calls down to the treatment rooms. "Did we call an ambulance?"
The normally cool nurse looks frazzled when she sticks her head out into the hall. "Yes. Kurt, can you go hold the doors?"
Kurt nods and rushes to meet the paramedics at the front. It's not uncommon for the clinic to have to call in an ambulance for someone. Dialysis complications happen a lot and Kurt knows this. Still, he feels a rush of adrenaline and his heart pounds hard in his chest as he guides the medics back to the treatment room.
He calls out to Santana as soon as they enter the room and then he stops.
Santana and two of the other nurses are leaning over the man in the far chair. Blaine's chair. They're working on Blaine.
The medics brush past Kurt with their stretcher. Santana is barking out orders. Half of her words are vital signs and treatment plan details, the other half are 'be careful' and 'watch his head' and 'don't think I won't find you if this kid dies.'
Kurt is frozen, one hand over his mouth. Between the medics' quick hands, he sees a glimpse of Blaine's face. He is grey.
Santana steps back from the crowd and comes over to Kurt. She grabs his arm and tugs him out of the way.
"His oxygen levels dropped and his blood pressure followed. It happens a lot, Kurt. Don't worry."
He moves out of the way as the paramedics wheel Blaine out. Santana squeezes his arm once before letting go and hurrying after them.
Kurt watches her go and thinks, If there's no reason to worry, then why are you being nice to me?
The hospital is big and cold and the fluorescent lighting is terrible. Kurt hates it immediately. All the bad memories of his life rush back to him as he makes his way to the elevator. His mother's death, his father's illness, it all surrounds him in technicolor smell-o-vision.
He'd spent the rest of the day at work in a worried daze until they'd let him go home two hours early. Going back to his quiet apartment was even worse though. He had nothing to occupy his mind. He'd paced around the tiny living room for almost an hour before deciding to just come down to the hospital.
Blaine is on the third floor, room 323. Kurt carries a bouquet of yellow daisies in front of him like a bride. He knocks gently on the door and when there's no answer, he pushes it open.
When he sees who sits at Blaine's bedside, he nearly drops the flowers and runs.
Quinn is settled on the edge of the bed, watching solemnly as Blaine sleeps. She's holding his hand and rubbing her thumb along his palm.
With a deep breath and all the courage he possesses, Kurt enters the room.
Quinn looks up instantly. "Hey, Kurt." She doesn't let go of Blaine, doesn't stop the gentle pressure of her thumb.
"Hey." Kurt smiles. "I brought flowers."
"Thank you." Quinn nods. "He'll appreciate it when he wakes up."
Kurt approaches the bed slowly. Blaine looks much better than he had in those last moments at the clinic, but that's hardly reassuring when he still looks so ill and empty, and lays so limp. "Is he..."
"Sleeping," Quinn says bluntly. "He usually spends most of the day after dialysis sleeping and today was just...much...much worse."
Kurt sets his flowers on the nightstand and sits down in the chair beside the bed. It's quiet in the room, the buzz of the hospital hushed beyond the room's door. He watches Blaine sleep and watches Quinn watch Blaine. The girl looks incredibly serious, none of the sunny smiles she'd had the first time they met. He realizes he's stared too long when she turns to look at him.
"Do you always visit patients that end up in the hospital?" Her voice is flat. Her eyes are hard. She's testing him.
"Only the special ones. Blaine is special to me." Kurt hopes thats the right answer.
"He's very special." Quinn nods grimly. "How much do you care for Blaine?"
Kurt looks up at her, startled. It's a wierd question from someone's girlfriend. "Very much. We're friends."
Quinn is quiet for a long moment. Then, she nods slowly and takes a tighter grip on Blaine's hand. "When we were sixteen, I got pregnant. It wasn't Blaine's," she adds quickly and Kurt lets out a sigh of relief. "It wasn't even my boyfriend's at the time. I gave the baby up for adoption, but it was too much for my parents. They kicked me out of the house. For a while, I didn't have anywhere to go and I stayed at Blaine's house, but then something more terrible happened."
She smiles, bitter this time, it's almost ugly on her beautiful face. "His parents kicked him out, too."
Kurt is frowning now. He can hardly stand the thought of these people dealing with so much so young. Age has brought the wisdom of how incredibly, incredibly lucky Kurt is to have the father that he does. "What happened? Why did his parents kick him out?"
Quinn looks Kurt square in the eye. "He told them that he's gay."
Kurt feels like all the air has been squeezed out of his lungs. He looks from Quinn to Blaine and instantly feels his eyes fill with tears. He reaches out and grasps Blaine's other hand.
"Since then, it's just been the two of us. But, we're not together." Quinn finishes her story and deflates a little, leaning further into Blaine's hip. "It's been really hard, Kurt, the last few years. Blaine really deserves something good in his life."
Kurt wipes at his eyes with his sleeves, a little embarrassed to be so emotional in front of Quinn. He sees now that she is incredibly strong and stoic behind her barbie doll appearance. He cares for her now, too. He scoots forward in his chair a little in order to reach across the bed for Quinn's other hand. She takes it in a warm grip and they watch over Blaine, together.
The whole thing is so overwhelming that Kurt almost skips over the most important fact. Blaine is gay. The possibility of them is suddenly right there again, in front of Kurt's face, shining as bright as the sun.
Blaine spends a month in the hospital. Kurt visits him regularly, keeping it light, vowing to wait until Blaine isn't in such a delicate state to ask anything of him.
Kurt goes back to work. He yells at Santana and Santana yells back. He hangs out with Mercedes and goes shopping and visits his dad, but it all feels like treading water.
Early one saturday morning, Kurt is sitting at home when there's a knock on his door. He's wearing pajamas that were a Christmas gift, pants with ducks on them and a plain sweatshirt, but he answers anyway.
Blaine is standing there, looking tired and thin but awake and very alive.
Kurt can't contain his surprise. "Blaine? What are you doing here?"
Blaine smiles wickedly. "I have something I'd like to share with you." He holds up a sheet of test results. Kurt only recognizes half of the information from his work at the clinic. He scans the paper, confused until he sees a highlighted number at the bottom of the page-Kidney function: 60%.
"Sixty percent!" Kurt feels like he has lost his mind. "Sixty percent! No more dialysis!" True, it isn't a perfect number, but it is a massive improvement from where Blaine had been and it put him way over the line that meant he no longer needed to depend on machines to do the work his body was supposed to be doing.
Kurt doesn't know who jumps first, or if they are just suddenly in each other's arms, crying and laughing. He holds still long enough to grab Blaine's face in both hands and press his lips against his.
They're mouths move against each others and it's hard and soft and perfectly bittersweet, perfectly them. Blaine pulls back just enough to smile against Kurt's mouth. "So, will you let me buy you dinner now?"
"I won't just let you. I demand it."
"Oh...I like that."
"I like you."
Blaine dives in after Kurt's lips again.
Kurt wraps his arms around Blaine, his very own whole, healthy, happy Blaine. He closes his eyes and vows to never, ever let go.
Note: This is my first fic in so many ways. And not, in many other ways. I really wanted to find a beta, but the system on this site is overwhelming and I didn't get any replies to the messages I did send, so if any one sees any errors, please let me know. Or, if you are willing to do a full on beta-read I would happily repost an improved story! Thanks for reading! :)