The Problem With Perfection

Warnings: This story contains strong language, possible smut/slash, and the topic of infidelity
Disclaimer: Ryan Murphy and Co own all Glee related characters


Prologue

It was finally happening. After years of sacrifice, Kurt's hard work was starting to pay off. He'd been cast as the lead in a Broadway musical. The smile that had been on his face since he got the news from his agent, widened slightly as he hurried inside the apartment complex where he had a place with Blaine. He couldn't wait to share the news with his husband.

The smile faded slightly as he entered the elevator and glanced down at the red tipped yellow roses in his hand. He and Blaine had been fighting so much lately. They'd had another one just this morning which resulted in Kurt threatening to leave Blaine and Blaine yelling that he was a selfish dick.

The constant fighting had put a lot of strain on their marriage. They had been together for a long time—ever since high school. The year after Kurt graduated McKinley to attend NYADA, Blaine had followed him to New York attending NYU.

Kurt knew people hadn't expected them to last. High school sweethearts—especially gay high school sweethearts—usually didn't. But they'd made it work. After they'd received their degrees, they got married despite the fact that they were only in their early twenties. Kurt waited tables at night while he auditioned during the day. Blaine turned his hobby of photography into a full time career. They'd been happy.

But over the past couple of years, Blaine had been mentioning his desire for a family with increasing frequency. Kurt wanted to wait until his career was established. The topic had caused a lot of fights. More than one night would go by with one of them sleeping on the couch instead of in each other's arms. A wall was beginning to form between them, and Kurt was worried that if things didn't change soon, they wouldn't be able to reach each other anymore.

As the elevator door opened, Kurt's stomach growled hungrily. It was late…a lot later than he had anticipated, but after getting off his shift at the restaurant (and he absolutely refused to eat the food where he worked), he'd gone on a search for the perfect roses. He and Blaine needed to sit down and have a heart to heart. Next year he would be thirty and as long as his musical was a success then maybe they could start taking steps towards adoption.

He pulled his keys out of his jacket and opened the apartment door. Soft music greeted his ears indicating Blaine was home and Kurt felt his spirits lift again. Even after all this time, knowing Blaine was nearby still filled Kurt with eager anticipation. He walked down the hallway passing the kitchen as he headed into the living room.

The roses he held in his grasp slipped through his suddenly numb fingers as he took in the sight before him. Blaine was definitely home. He also wasn't alone.

"Blaine," Kurt croaked and the couple on the couch currently kissing each other like their lives depended on it broke apart guiltily.

"Kurt!" Blaine stood up, wobbling slightly before falling back on the couch. The strong scent of alcohol infiltrated Kurt's senses, but it barely registered as his gaze shifted to the man who'd been kissing his husband. Ice cold rage slammed into Kurt as Sebastian Smythe lounged back against the couch, caution on his face as he took in Kurt's expression.

"Kurt," he said with a nod.

"Get out," Kurt barely managed.

Sebastian immediately shook his head. "Blaine—"

"Get the fuck out," Blaine said, a slight slur in his tone as he ran a shaky hand through his un-gelled curls.

Sebastian sighed as he reached out and brushed his knuckles down Blaine's cheek. Kurt flinched even as Blaine jerked away with a curse. Sebastian stood up and strolled out of the apartment, giving Kurt wide space as he left. The quiet click of the door shutting behind him was as subtle as a gun shot, leaving nothing but deathly silence behind. Finally, Blaine cleared his throat, the noise making Kurt jump.

"Kurt, I—"

"Don't," Kurt responded as he walked over to the kitchen breakfast bar that overlooked the living room. There was a bottle of whiskey sitting there with two used glasses. Kurt uncapped it and took a long swig not even bothering with a glass.

"Kurt, please—"

Blaine was much closer now. Kurt could feel the heat of him against his back. Kurt hoped that his body language was enough to deter Blaine. He didn't want his husband anywhere near him right now, but if Blaine picked up on the signals he ignored them as he placed trembling hands on Kurt's shoulders. And just like that, Kurt cracked.

"You son of bitch!" he screamed as he whirled around, smacking Blaine hard enough across the face that Blaine's head snapped back. He lost his balance and fell in a nearby chair. Pain ricocheted up Kurt's arm, but he watched with detached interest as a bright red spot formed on Blaine's now otherwise pale cheek.

He never could understand Blaine's relationship with Sebastian. The two had kept in touch over the years despite the fact that Sebastian had almost blinded Blaine with a tainted slushy when they were in high school. It had been Sebastian's connections in the fashion industry that had helped establish Blaine's reputation as a photographer. Now a million thoughts were racing through Kurt's mind about their "friendship." None of them good.

"How long?" he gritted out. "How long have you been fucking Sebastian behind my back?"

"Never," Blaine whispered. "Kurt—what you saw tonight—that was the first time I ever let anything like this happen. I swear—"

Kurt let out a derisive laugh as he took another gulp from the bottle. Blaine seemed to go even paler, but he didn't attempt to reach for Kurt again. He took a deep breath and spoke again.

"S-Sebastian's boss requested me to photograph their spring line. We had a meeting and afterwards, Seb and I went out for drinks. I was upset about our fight earlier and I drank a little heavier than usual. Sebastian helped me home and when we got here we decided to have another round. And then…"

"And then you cheated on me," Kurt finished when Blaine didn't continue.

"I don't know what happened," Blaine muttered, barely audible. "We were just talking and then he was kissing me and I…I didn't stop him and—"

"Spare me the details, please," Kurt interrupted, fury making his voice shake.

"I'm sorry," Blaine said lamely, not meeting his eyes.

"I'm leaving," Kurt responded, shocking them both.

Blaine stood up, dead sober at this announcement. He nodded slowly. "Okay…if you need time to cool off—"

"No," Kurt interrupted again. "I'm leaving you. I want a divorce."

"Kurt…no," Blaine whispered, tears making his eyes shine. "I know I fucked up, but you can't just throw our marriage away—you can't throw us away—"

"I'm not the one who did the throwing, Blaine," he replied harshly, slamming the bottle of whiskey down so hard on the counter, he was surprised it didn't shatter.

Decision made, Kurt headed for the bedroom. Somewhere in the back of his mind, a tiny voice was screaming at him to think about this rationally—to take some time to calm down before doing something he couldn't take back. But the larger part inside him that was howling in pain demanded that he get the hell out of the situation as soon as possible. He went into the bedroom closet and pulled out a bag, jerking it open before stuffing some clothes inside. It was ripped out of his hands before he could add anything else.

Blaine threw the bag on the floor and grasped Kurt's upper arm desperately, twisting him around so that they were face to face.

"Don't," he pleaded urgently. "Don't do this. Please."

"Let me go," Kurt muttered, not looking at him.

"I can't do that," Blaine replied, his voice thick with emotion. "I can't let you go, Kurt."

With that promise lingering in the air between them, Blaine moved his free hand to the back of Kurt's neck, holding him firm as he pressed their lips together. The rigid control Kurt had over his emotions broke. He sobbed against his husband's lips as his hands formed into fists. He pounded on Blaine's chest, back—anywhere he could reach—until Blaine let him go. Kurt didn't stop hitting him.

"You bastard! You bastard!" he repeated until he collapsed against Blaine. Blaine wrapped his arms around Kurt, muttering the whole time how sorry he was. After what felt like an eternity, Kurt was back under control. He pulled away from Blaine with a sniff and reached down to the floor for his bag.

Picking it up as slowly as if he were a hundred years old, he stated, "I'll be back tomorrow afternoon for the rest of my things. Don't be here."

"Just like that," Blaine said lowly before repeating, "Just like that and we're done. You're not even going to fight for us?"

"I can't even look at you right now," Kurt replied and out of the corner of his eye he saw Blaine flinch. It filled him with grim satisfaction knowing he could hurt Blaine and then he felt horror for feeling that way. The walls of their bedroom suddenly felt like they were closing in on him. Gulping for air, he pushed Blaine out of the way and left their room, heading for the apartment exit.

"I thought we were the perfect couple," Blaine stated lifelessly, his voice far enough away that Kurt realized he hadn't moved from the doorway of their bedroom.

"That's the problem with perfection," Kurt replied, still not looking at his husband. "On the surface everything looks great, but underneath it all…it's nothing but an empty illusion."

And with that, Kurt left.

Chapter 1

Three years later

"Ten minutes to curtain, Mr. Hummel," the stage manager announced through the closed door of Kurt's dressing room.

"Thank you, ten," Kurt called back in stage tradition, adding a little more blush to his cheeks. His cell phone went off in the bag next to his vanity and he smiled fondly. People had been sending their best wishes and "break a leg" texts all day. Tonight was the opening of his new show.

He should have been ecstatic. After his breakout performance three years ago which earned critical acclaim, the offers had poured in. Tonight's show would be the first on Broadway he ever performed with his best friend, Rachel Berry. There was already buzz on the street that the show was Tony-worthy. And after the performance, he was attending the show's premiere party with his boyfriend, Nelson. He'd also spoken with his dad earlier and Burt confirmed that he and Carole were coming in from D.C. this weekend to catch the show. So like Kurt said, he should have been ecstatic. And yet…as he stared at his reflection in the mirror all he could think of was…

Empty illusion.

He scowled as he threw down his make-up brush. He had everything he ever wanted. His career was skyrocketing. He had friends and family he adored. He had Nelson. They had been dating for three months. Nelson was handsome, devoted, and if his kisses didn't send Kurt's heart racing—well, that was just something Kurt would have to get used to.

Yep, Kurt had it all.

So what if his heart ached with longing every time he saw a family walking together through Central Park. So what if his stomach still clenched in excitement every time he saw a guy with dark curly hair in the distance. So what if he found himself more often than not chasing said stranger in the hopes that he turned out to be—

"Dammit!" Kurt cursed as he closed his eyes wearily. What the hell was wrong with him today? Blaine was not someone he allowed himself to think about. After the divorce, he'd done his best to push his ex out of his mind.

It hadn't been easy. Blaine hadn't just been his husband. They had been best friends since high school. Sometimes Kurt missed their friendship so much, it took all of his willpower to not track his ex down. It would have been so easy to get Blaine back in his life.

Rachel still talked to him all the time. After Kurt had left the apartment the night he'd asked Blaine for the divorce, he'd gone to Rachel's. She had held him in her arms all night as he'd wept out his anguish. And then the next day, she tried to force him to talk to Blaine. This went on for a month where she'd arrange for him to meet her for coffee or dinner and Blaine would be there waiting. It finally got to the point where Kurt threatened to never speak to her again if she didn't stop interfering with his life. That didn't stop her from talking about Blaine often.

For instance, Kurt knew that after the divorce, Blaine cut all ties with Sebastian. He got out of photographing the fashion industry and instead became a photojournalist. Whenever there was an event happening in the world—no matter how dangerous—Blaine covered it. Rachel once told Kurt with a pointed look that she thought Blaine had a death wish.

He didn't like it, but what Blaine did after their separation was none of his business. Which was why he didn't allow himself to think about Blaine. It was either that or worry about him all the time.

So why couldn't he get the other man out of his head today?

Another knock on the door announced "places" and Kurt got up and headed for the exit. As he was about to close the door behind him, he heard his cell phone beep again, but he didn't have time to check it. He hurried to the stage where Rachel was standing in full costume, her face wracked with nerves. She smiled shakily at Kurt when she saw him.

"How can you look so calm?" she asked.

He shrugged. Nothing really fazed him anymore. He peeked past the curtain and saw Nelson sitting in the front row. Kurt felt himself smile at the sight of his boyfriend.

"Break a leg tonight," said their director, Jesse St. James, coming up behind them. He had moved to New York a few years ago and was already one of the top directors on Broadway. He was kind of a douche, but Kurt knew that their musical was going to be a success and that was in large portion to Jesse's dedication.

He grinned as he grabbed Rachel's hand. "You look beautiful tonight, Rachel. You'll stun them all."

Rachel smiled weakly, stuttering her thanks. Though the two had briefly dated in high school, Rachel claimed she wasn't interested in rekindling their relationship. After her broken engagement with Kurt's step-brother Finn, she'd stated she wanted to focus solely on her career. But anyone with eyes could see the sparks between Rachel and Jesse. It was only a matter of time before Jesse won her over.

He turned and looked at Kurt. Kurt raised his eyebrows in expectation. Instead of giving him any kind of reassurances or last minute advice, Jesse said, "Kurt, don't fuck up tonight."

"Thanks," he replied sarcastically.

With a nod at both of them, Jesse left to take his seat in the lighting booth. The stage manager came over and gave them a nod. The music cued and after taking a deep breath, Kurt walked onto the stage.

The performance went flawlessly and given the standing ovation they received at the end, they knew they had their hit. Kurt made his way to his dressing room with adrenalin rushing through his blood. Jumping into the shower, he scrubbed the stage make-up off his face and washed the sweat out of his hair. As he finished dressing, he heard his cell go off again. Grabbing it, he frowned when he saw the amount of missed calls he had, including some from an unknown number.

The first voicemail was from Finn.

"Hey bro, the doctor said Marcy can't travel this close to her delivery date so it looks like we're going to have to miss the performance. Maybe the baby will be here by the time the show closes and we can see it then. Break a leg tonight and give R-Rachel my best."

Kurt smirked at that. Rachel would sooner set herself on fire then receive any best wishes from Finn, but it was the thought that counted. The next message was from Sam and Mercedes.

"Hey Kurt," Sam started. "We just wanted to wish you good luck tonight—"

"Sam, you can't say good luck," Mercedes interrupted. "Didn't Kurt force you to watch 'The Producers?' It's bad luck to say good luck on opening night."

"Oh right, sorry. Break a leg then."

"Sam's parents are coming to Jersey next weekend," Mercedes continued. "They agreed to watch the kids so we're planning a weekend getaway in the city. We're gonna try to get tickets to the show. Love you!"

Kurt deleted the message, making a mental note to talk to his agent. He knew the show was already sold out, but he was going to pull some strings and get tickets. Sam and Mercedes had two little girls who kept them busy so for them to come to the city was a rare occasion.

The next call made him drop his phone. With shaking hands, he picked it back up and replayed the message.

"Hey Kurt…this is…this is Coop—Blaine's brother." Like he could forget? "Listen, I got your number from your agent. I don't know how to tell you this or if you'll even care…" This was said in a much more bitter tone. "…but Blaine's been in an accident. He got mugged last night while waiting in the subway. He tried to fight back but one of the muggers pushed him onto the track. He's alive, but he hit his head pretty hard. And—Christ, I can't get into this over the phone. Can you call me back?"

He scanned the missed calls. He had received three messages from Cooper. He skipped over his other voicemails from his agent and friends and listened to the next message. This one was short and to the point.

"Jesus, I know you and Blaine had your differences, but don't be a dick. Call me."

Then the final message.

"Hey, sorry about the last message. I just saw on the news that your musical is opening tonight. That must be where you're at. Please call me back as soon as you get this."

Kurt hung up the phone and ran into Rachel's dressing room next door without knocking. She shrieked and covered her naked form with a robe.

"Kurt! Knock much."

"Where's your phone?"

She looked at him in instant concern. "In my purse. Why?"

"You have Blaine's number, right?" When she nodded, he grabbed her purse off the vanity and threw it at her. "Call him. Call him right now."

"What's going on?"

"Just do it, Rachel. Please."

With confusion on her face, she took her phone out of her purse and made the call. She shook her head after a minute and said, "Voicemail."

Any hopes that this was some kind of cruel dream vanished. Barely able to see what he was doing through the tears that were now in his eyes, he pulled up Cooper's number from the missed calls list on his phone and dialed back.

"Kurt, are you going to tell me what's going on?" Rachel implored, touching his shoulder. He shook his head as he waited.

As soon as Cooper answered, he said, "It's Kurt. What…how's Blaine?"

"Thank Christ," Cooper muttered when he heard Kurt's voice. "He's okay…he broke his leg and a couple of ribs, but he'll heal. The doctors are more concerned with the damage to his head."

Kurt felt queasy. "How bad is it?"

Cooper sighed. "Is there anyway you can come here? He's at Metro."

Kurt swallowed over the painful lump in his throat. "He won't want to see me."

"That's the thing," Cooper said tiredly. "He doesn't want to see anyone but you. Kurt…he doesn't remember that you're divorced."