Epilogue - Blaine POV

They say time heals all wounds, but they don't tell you how long you'll have to wait. A lot of days have passed – a lot of time. Some wounds just refuse to heal.

It wasn't hard to get in to the little party. Blaine has more connections than he can count and something this small hardly requires calling in a big favor.

He's stayed away for so long and it was harder than he'll ever admit. But tonight, he's here for one reason: Kurt. It's selfish of him, he knows, but he doesn't care. He needs this and Blaine never needs anything or anyone.

The nervous feeling strumming through him is almost overwhelming, though he'll never let it show.

So when the man of the hour walks in, Blaine keeps his eyes locked – follows him as he flits around the room. Kurt is still all long limbs and pale skin. It hurts to look, but Blaine can't turn away.

It takes longer for Kurt to see him – busy making the rounds, shaking hands, and being congratulated. This party is for him after all. Laughter bubbles out of him and he looks to the side. Blaine can see the immediate realization on Kurt's face. It hurts a little to see the smile fade so quickly, replaced by worry and fear.

Kurt scans the room for someone, something. Blaine follows his gaze to see Burt, obviously just noticing his presence at the soiree. It doesn't surprise him when the man makes a beeline in his direction. Burt doesn't look mad – he looks disappointed and conflicted.

From the way he stares at Blaine, Burt must know some of the truth now. There's no anger in his expression though. Distrust is there obviously, but he looks every bit the concerned father. Blaine wishes that his father had looked at him like that – if only just once.

"You shouldn't be here."

"That's probably true, sir."

"Just leave him alone."

"I'm not here to cause any problems."

And then Kurt is there, one hand on his dad's shoulder. "It's okay, dad."

When Blaine looks back at Burt, he's watching Kurt, sadness and regret filling his face. It's there for only a moment before he glares at Blaine and walks off.

Staring at Kurt now, Blaine is sure he's still the most beautiful man he's ever seen.

"Blaine…"

And that voice. It was definitely a mistake to come, but it's one he would make over and over again.

"Congratulations on your collection. I always knew you'd do something amazing."

Kurt has an unreadable look on his face. "Well, I'm not exactly Marc Jacobs yet, but I guess dressing one famous celebrity certainly gives you enough of a boost to get yourself out there."

"Yes, the Oscar dress was stunning."

"I got lucky, I suppose. Why are you here?"

"I just wanted to congratulate you in person."

Kurt studies him for a long time – like he's trying to solve a puzzle and the pieces don't quite match up.

"How are you, Blaine?"

"Never better."

"I heard about Cooper."

"Yah, well, he's doing his time."

"You look tired." He was tired. Things had been rough since Cooper went to prison. A lot of things had changed – everything seemed to get harder.

"You still look beautiful."

"Blaine…"

"I've been waiting three years to say that."

"I should go."

Blaine nods with a sad smile. "Enjoy your party."

Kurt turns, but only makes it two steps before he swings back around.

"Blaine—there's something I need to ask you."

"Anything."

Kurt's eye color changes with his emotion and Blaine is transfixed.

"Why did you let me go when you could have easily made me to stay?"

It's not a question Blaine is expecting, but the answer is simple. "Because you never would've been truly happy. And that's all I want for you."

Kurt nods, eyes downcast.

Blaine can't tell him just how close he came to forcing him to stay – how many times after he'd left that Wes had to talk him out of dragging Kurt back.

"You told your father the truth?"

"Most of it."

"Why?"

"Because he loves me and knows when I'm hurting. He needed to know in order to help me and I needed to tell him in order to heal."

"I'm glad he was there for you."

The air between them is awkward.

"I should really go."

"Kurt… I'm really happy for everything that's coming to you. You deserve only the best."

"Thank you."

Blaine wants to reach out, but he knows better. He has no right to touch Kurt.

Kurt walks away hesitantly, looking back several times like there's something left unsaid.

It takes a lot for Blaine to keep from grabbing him and leaving. He wants to take Kurt away, keep him close. But he doesn't. Instead he'll recede to the background, helping from behind the scenes. He wonders if Kurt would be thankful to know everything Blaine has done for him. Maybe it would win him over.

It would be so easy to tell him – that scholarship when he returned to school, the internship with one of his favorite designers, a name dropped into the ear of someone famous.

But the reality of it is, that knowledge would only make Kurt doubt himself. Blaine may have given him a boost, but Kurt was the one that studied his butt off in school and aced that interview for his internship. And famous people get told about designers all the time – this one just happened to fall in love with Kurt's work.

He didn't come here for that though. He hasn't done all of it for that. Kurt's the first person in his life, aside from his mother, that Blaine's ever really loved.

And as hard as it is to accept, Kurt will never be a part of his life again. Blaine still feels like he owes him. Kurt was destined for great things and Blaine only wants to ease the way. This is his penance. He'll spend the rest of his life making it up to Kurt. And for once, he doesn't want the credit.

So he finishes his drink and looks for Wes and David. He locks eyes with Kurt one last time, smiling his goodbye. When Kurt smiles back, Blaine knows he did the right thing for once in his life.

It feels good.

...

a/n - thank you so much for reading and reviewing. On to find the next prompt ;)