Title: Dark Blue (1/13)
Rating: PG (NC-17 overall)
Summary: The story of how Kurt and Blaine broke up, found themselves and then found happiness.
Words: 2500

A/N: Huge thanks to Aubrey for beta-ing. All remaining mistakes are my own and she's mostly there to crack the whip and be the only other person on the planet that knows how the whole story plays out and tell me I'm not crazy for trying to write the break up fic.

Huge pre-emptive thanks also to everyone who trusts me with these characters enough to read this fic. I don't want to spoil the ending or the progression or any of it: All I can say is both characters end up happy, despite this being a break up fic and I think people will be happy with how it ends. I have been toying with it for months and it's the scariest thing I've ever tried to write and I really do appreciate anyone who takes the time to read it.

It is an unusually warm day in May when Kurt gets the news. The letter is waiting in his mailbox when he gets home from school and as the fingers of one hand run over his name on the envelope, his other hand is pulling his phone from his pocket and shakily hitting the 2 to speed-dial Blaine.

Blaine arrives less than twenty minutes later, half-falling out of his car and breathless by the time he's knocking on the front door. When Kurt opens it, Blaine's babbling: "Kurt, whatever happens, whether it's good or bad or…you're going to be amazing. You're going to get to New York and blow everyone out of the water and in ten years we'll be—"

Kurt hushes him with a laugh and a wave of his hand and steps back to let him in. "How fast were you driving?" Blaine brushes past him, fingertips on the back of Kurt's hand and Kurt can feel the shake in him. Kurt can't help but reach out as he laughs, pulling Blaine back by the waistband of his jeans and tucking his shirt in properly for him.

"Calm down," Kurt admonishes, feeling the excitement radiate and catch him and he's strangely happy, just to have made it this far. "Come on."

Kurt leads him up the stairs to his room and Blaine follows, gaping and squeezing his hand and wondering why Kurt hasn't ripped open the damned envelope already.

Burt's sitting on Kurt's bed when they push through the half-open door and Blaine pauses and stares as Burt pushes up off the mattress, muttering, "Finally" and his eyes flicker from one boy to the other, then to the envelope and back to Kurt.

They stall then, Blaine still breathing loudly through his mouth, Burt with his hands on his hips and Kurt, fingernails scratching at the corner of the paper suddenly feeling reality weigh.

This is it.

"This is it," he breathes but doesn't move.

"Come on," Burt huffs and Kurt can see his fist clench and thinks he's about to grab the letter for himself.

Kurt sighs, prepares himself for the worst, looks to his dad whose eyes are wide and to Blaine who's grinning and nodding already.

He rips into the envelope. Unfolds the paper and tells his hands to stop shaking.

He's been accepted.

Every fantasy he's ever had about New York suddenly feels real.

And then Blaine and Burt are wrapping around him, hugging the breath out of him and talking and laughing and he's never, ever been so happy.

It is weeks later and the warm, perfect days have started to settle in for good. It's a lazy weekend and the house is quiet, everyone out, but even Kurt can't say no to the sunshine and the sound of birds and the smell of freshly cut grass. He's led Blaine outside, set out a blanket under the apple tree and then laid back to stare up through the leaves.

He's ben talking for almost an hour, he knows, he feels a little guilty but Blaine doesn't seem to mind, just twists his hips and nuzzles into where his head is resting across Kurt's stomach, leaning into the constant brush of Kurt's fingers through his hair.

"There's a restaurant I think I'll need to go to," he says absently, waits for Blaine to hum his question before he continues. "I don't think I can really afford it but it's only two blocks from the dorms and the menu is seasonal and the chef is French and they already have the fall specialties listed." He pauses and twists a curl around his finger, wishing he could make Blaine understand he prefers his hair loose, like this.

"Maybe Rachel and I will make it a thing. If the food is as good as I imagine it will be we could go for every new season and just overspend for one night." Another pause and he wants to tell Blaine about what he read on the internet about the subway last night but he bites his lip and twists another curl around his index finger. "How's your brother?" he asks instead.

Blaine makes a noncommittal shrug and mumbles out "Fine," making a point of nuzzling closer to Kurt's stomach and arching like a cat.

Up on his elbows, looking down, Kurt raises an eyebrow and wonders if there's more of a story there, though he can't imagine what: Blaine's always ready to regale him with the latest of Cooper's misadventures.

He settles back again and begins telling Blaine about the subway line closest to him, about where it can take him in Manhattan. And Blaine hums and queries the story like he has been for weeks and Kurt relaxes.

He knows he can't stop talking about New York. He'd tried to stem the rambling in the beginning, spending a few days trying to feel out how talking about it would affect Blaine. But Blaine had just grinned, eyes sparkling, and asked question after question after question.

So Lima fades into a grey background that has skyscrapers and Broadway and yellow taxis dazzling and in sharp focus up front. Overnight his thoughts and conversations have shifted to everything ahead. The people, the places, the potential.

Another week passes and Kurt still can't stop talking. Burt and Carole listen with fond, happy smiles and Kurt blushes at how obsessed and excited he's become. He drags Blaine up the stairs to look at photos of the dorms on his laptop, pointing out the terrible décor and the inevitability of a roommate.

"But I think I've found a fabric store that sells spare material at very reasonable prices so I might be able to salvage things." Kurt looks away from the screen and to the side and for a split second he sees Blaine's lips down-turned, his brow creased and he's asking, "You don't think they'll let me?" before it registers that Blaine's smiling broadly at him again.

"I'm sure you can talk them around," Blaine says brightly and Kurt wonders if he imagined it.

The same thing happens again a few days later, Kurt's neck snaps around quickly to gauge a response to something and instead of looking as excited and happy as Kurt, Blaine looks tired and sad. It's just a split second though and Kurt is too caught up in the slipping away last weeks of senior year and packing and planning.

Before he was accepted, Kurt day-dreamed about New York. About nice apartments and piano bars and sophisticated friends. Little scenes in which everyone was beautiful and kept to script and the costume department was flawless. Blaine was always there in his fantasies, he guesses that was the most fantastical aspect. And even in the months after being accepted his imagination is easily stretched around the idea of a short separation followed by a passionate reunion.

"When you come up to New York next year," he begins, just like he's begun a hundred other conversations, "We'll have to find the best cafes half way between my dorms and yours. Or will your parents get you an apartment?" Blaine hums and Kurt waits. "Unless you come to NYADA as well," he wonders aloud. "Or are you still thinking something more musical?" Blaine hums again but doesn't elaborate.

Kurt sighs happily. "I'll have so many people and places to introduce you to when you get there."

Blaine tugs him close where they're lying across the bed and Kurt watches his eyes flicker and then his throat work as he swallows before he smiles brightly back to match Kurt's.

We are going to do this. We're forever.

Kurt can feel Blaine's hands heavy and tight on him and wonders, not for the first time, what exactly is wrong. Whether it's his parents or Glee or something else. He wants nothing more than to reassure so he says it out loud: "We are going to do this. We're forever."

Kurt's staring right at him as he says it, trying to work him out, so Kurt can't miss Blaine's reaction. It shocks him to see something that he thinks is agony and that rips at his heart and he knows in an instant that he should have seen it before, that it's been there before. He can't believe that he missed it for this long.

Because how long has it been there? Doubt and sadness and anger and so much pain and Kurt knows it's been there too long and he missed it and even now he would have missed it again except he was waiting, watching, for Blaine to tell him about some new disagreement with his dad and instead it was all directed at him.

Kurt's whispering out, "Blaine," looking terrified as he tries to piece everything together.

But Blaine's smiling and hugging Kurt, kissing his cheek affectionately and sounding sure when he says: "Forever. Exactly."

Kurt's leaving in less than a month and it's started to sink in that he probably isn't coming back until Thanksgiving. Blaine goes away for the weekend to visit his grandparents and Kurt misses him in a way that makes him feel hollow and bored and alone. And it's only three days and he wonders how he will manage three months.

Worse than that, he thinks he feels Blaine pulling away, thinks he's being quieter than usual, less playful and when he asks Blaine's opinion about New York, when he talks about the time apart, Kurt thinks he sees Blaine's lips twitch downwards before he smiles, that little crease between his eyes there again. And Kurt realizes that here, in reality, Blaine won't be there with him like he always is in the fantasies. For long, stretched out months at a time and he begins to wonder how it will work.

One night Kurt asks Blaine quietly, "Are you okay?"

After Blaine's brushed the question off twice, smiling and feigning confusion at the question, he sighs and won't meet Kurt's eyes. "I've been fighting with my dad and I'm stressed about senior year."

It's the answer Kurt expected weeks ago but now it sounds like a lie. Kurt doesn't believe him and that in itself makes his stomach drop and his mouth go dry. "It's not about me going to New York? You're not…" he chews his bottom lip because he doesn't even really know how he feels about it anymore. Not now that there is doubt. "You're not worrying about that?"

Blaine stares at him and laughs a little, a lop-sided smile and a shrug but finally admits to something. "I'm going to miss you and I don't like that I won't get to see you every day," he admits. "You're going to be there, surrounded by everything you've ever wanted and I'll be here…" he trails off and shrugs again. "But I'm not worrying about it. Just a little sad. And jealous," he says as he smiles.

The half-truths slide between them easily and Kurt knows it as well as Blaine does but he doesn't say anything else.

Two weeks before he leaves Kurt pushes the conversation because he can feel time slipping away from them and he doesn't know how it's going to work anymore. They're at Blaine's house, alone as usual, and when they would usually start sliding their hands indecently low and pressing closer, licking deep into each other's mouths and laughing and moaning, Kurt pushes Blaine back and insists. He talks about New York and how many months they will go without seeing each other and he watches Blaine's reactions.

Blaine smiles and squeezes his hand but Kurt knows, he can see it now, if only in brief glimpses, that Blaine is terrified.

And suddenly Kurt's stops talking about New York and how wonderful it will be when Blaine gets there next year, about the cafes they'll frequent, the shows they'll see, the friends they'll make. He stops and stares and takes a deep breath and starts again.

"I'll call you every day," he whispers and watches Blaine's eyes go wide at the change in tone. "On my way to class and then when I get back to my room if who ever I'm rooming with can put up with it. Every day. Otherwise I guess I'll find somewhere I can sit. Central Park is too far away but maybe there's somewhere on campus. But I will call you Blaine."

He watches Blaine swallow.

"I'm going to miss you just as much as you're going to miss me." Kurt says it carefully because he thought that was obvious. He never thought he'd have to say it.

"We'll have skype as well. I know we've never really bothered but it'll be so easy to set up and we can talk to each other for as long as we want. There's wi fi everywhere." He pauses because Blaine's mouth has opened and there's something he wants to say but he isn't saying it. What more could he possibly want? What more would ease his mind? "Blaine…

"I'll be back for Thanksgiving. And then Christmas. And whenever after that and it's only a year. It's less than a year."

Blaine's fingers tighten briefly where they're wrapped around Kurt's arm but he still doesn't speak.

"I swear to god I'll call you all the time. I don't want to…It'll be just like you're there with me and then in no time you will be." Kurt tries hard to sound bright and happy but doubt has crept into his voice and he doesn't even know what he's doubting.

This is the right decision, isn't it? We can do this?

We're forever?

Abruptly, Blaine shakes himself out of staring. He smiles but it's not quite reaching his eyes anymore and he shrugs it off once more. "I know," he mumbles. "It's New York, Kurt," he says. "It's going to be amazing and I am just so, so jealous!" He tries to make it sound like a playful joke and fails.

Kurt feels his stomach knot, his thoughts and what has been said making him want to run. Blaine says something else, something about New York and the weather and Kurt leans forward. He kisses Blaine and ends the conversation so many miles from where it began. They turn the lights off and press too close for the heat of summer and try to lose themselves in each other. Afterwards, neither one falls asleep until the early hours of the morning.