Title: Never Said Goodbye
Author: Elizabeth Wilde
Pairing: Klaine (Kurt/Blaine)
Genre: one-shot, romance
Description: Mistakes from the past don't have to destroy the future. People change, times change and sometimes destiny cleans up our messes for us.
Spoilers: Through "The Break Up" in season 4.
Author's Note: "The Break Up" depressed me. Simple as that. This is my way of processing and giving the boys a "realistic" reconciliation. Predictable? Eh, maybe. But I needed it, and maybe some of you do too. Credit for the seed of the idea goes to my sister, Rox-chan.
"It's been how long? A year?"
Kurt rolled his eyes and pretended to be fascinated by studying his nails. "It... no... just... well, 10th months," he finally muttered with a shrug of his shoulders.
"And not a single date? You? Honey, have you seen yourself," David whined, putting his hands flat on the desk to capture his coworker's attention. "If I wasn't taken, I'd be chasing that hot little ass all over the city. You really need to get out."
"I get out."
"Yeah, not with Rachel. Get out as in get out and hang with some pretty gay boys, sweetie."
For that Kurt seemed to have no defense. He finally cast his gaze upward and bit his lip. "Maybe. It's just so... weird. It's weird putting myself out there. I don't really know how."
"So we start easy. You've got me, but you need other gay friends. Not romance, necessarily, but... friends."
That sounded like a surprisingly reasonable start, and Kurt nodded his agreement. After spending nearly a year working for , the pair had ventured from coworkers to friends, though David could be a bit much at times. The man was enough to remind Kurt just how overwhelming he had been himself in high school. "Alright, so where do I start?"
David's brow furrowed as he thought that through and finally squealed. "Oh, sweetie, I know! I have the guy! Just the guy, I swear! Sweet little thing, pretty, funny, talented."
"So not a real guy, then?"
"Ha ha, Hummel. No, he's real. Almost too good to be true except for one liiiiittle thing."
Kurt's eyes narrowed at once, and he tried not to sound ready to kill the man as he ground out, "And what little flaw might that be?"
"I met him on this forum for people with depression. Y'know, support, chatting, friendship... but, hey, you said you wanted a friend, right? He just moved to the city last month, he's got no friends here. You don't have to date him - he might have a boy of his own for all I know - but he's sweet. You need sweet."
David wasn't wrong on that count. Kurt had missed having someone other than Rachel to rely on and talk to. Casual acquaintances were fun for dinner and after work drinks, but they didn't replace having someone who was yours. He did need sweet, though Kurt wondered if he'd ever find anyone who could live up to the complicated, wonderful standards of Blaine Anderson. It was part of the reason he'd been alone so long. No one he met ever sparked the same sort of anguished longing. Even after, yes, nearly a year apart, it hurt like it was yesterday. Kurt could still feel his heart breaking as he tried to tell Blaine - over the phone of all things - that he couldn't forget. He couldn't live with knowing that at any moment, Blaine could be spending his time with someone else, sharing his heart with someone else. It scared him too much.
"So are you not-so-subtly trying to tell me I'm depressed?"
"Well, not in so many words... but maybe. You're in a slump, Kurt. Your work is booming, you start at Parsons in the fall, but, sweetie, you have no social life. You need both, and maybe it'll help talking to someone who's been where you are."
That also made sense, but Kurt challenged, "And I can't talk to you why?"
"I'm not depressed because I broke up with the love of my life," David replied gently. "It's a chemical thing for me. Well, that and my fucking crazy family."
"And this guy is somehow the remedy for all that?"
"Sweetie, if he isn't the remedy, he's at least some eye candy to enjoy while you find one." David scrawled a username down onto Kurt's memo pad. "Have a little Skype rendezvous and see if you can stand each other. I'll tell him to expect to hear from you tonight."
Kurt rolled his eyes again but tucked the paper into his bag just the same. "We'll see."
Of course later that night Kurt found himself sitting with a glass of wine and his laptop open. He hated himself for feeling honestly nervous. It was a chat date with a total stranger. A total stranger who was apparently cute and funny and wonderful. Kurt swallowed a mouthful of wine, set the glass aside and finally clicked the button to bring up his webcam.
His chat partner was apparently still getting situated because Kurt heard offscreen muttering along the lines of, "Just a sec," in a muffled tone. When the his partner finally did appear, at first all Kurt could see was a mop of curly brown hair and a v-necked white t-shirt that gave him a rather nice view of a well-toned chest as the other man bent over to apparently adjust cables behind his own computer. "Sorry, sorry.. knocked the cable loose when-"
The silence fell heavily over them both. Kurt was glad he'd put down his glass. He was glad he was already sitting down or he might have fallen down instead. For a moment he doubted his eyes and his sanity because of course the young man in front of him couldn't be Blaine. Blaine, who used hair gel as if it actually held his head onto his shoulders and treated getting dressed as if every day was picture day in elementary school. The man in front of him with loose curls and a plain white shirt couldn't be Blaine, but he most definitely was.
"Oh, god." The words slipped out before Kurt could stop them, and he swallowed hard before following with, "I... I didn't know that... I..."
"I know. I didn't either," Blaine answered carefully. He'd come from warm and casual to reserved and uncertain all in one glance. For a long moment he simply stared as though trying to figure out whether to speak or run screaming from the room. A sigh followed, and the tension in Blaine's shoulders drained away. "I would have done it anyway. If I knew, I mean."
"Oh." That wasn't what Kurt had expected. It had been so hard breaking up that there were never even any false promises of friendship or contact. They'd both known it would be impossible without breaking their hearts every time they spoke. "Y-you look-"
Blaine laughed, "Awful? I... it's just... trying something... different."
"No!" Kurt was shaking his head and shifted a little to get more comfortable on the bed. If Blaine wasn't running for the hills, he wouldn't either. "No, good. I always liked your hair out of the gel." It wasn't something he'd seen often - at prom, yes, and once or twice when they'd managed to find some time together and had shared a shower afterwards. Kurt had tried more than once to convince him to at least cut back on product. Apparently he'd finally listened.
The words brought a distinct blush to Blaine's cheeks, and he ducked his head in a familiar gesture. "Thanks. I didn't figure... it doesn't seem like something you'd like."
"I like you." Again Kurt wished he could find a proper filter from his brain to his mouth. "I mean, how you look. I've always... you're beautiful. You've always been beautiful." The words had taken effort, and Kurt wasn't surprised to feel tears pricking at the corners of his eyes already. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"
"No, you should. You... you look good too," Blaine hurriedly answered. "Better than good. Your hair's different." Though still coiffed perfectly, Kurt had let the blond streaks go and replaced them with touches of copper woven carefully through the strands that caught the light perfectly. "I guess we both needed a change."
The comment sent a thrill of warning through Kurt, and he realized he wasn't ready to hear the answer to the question he had to ask. "I don't have any right to ask or know, but do you... are you... with anyone?"
Blaine blushed just as expected but shook his head. "No. No one. I haven't been with anyone. Not since... not since we..." He suddenly looked desperately sad and small on the screen. Kurt wanted to reach out and hug him. "I couldn't. Nobody's you, and anyway, I needed to get my head on straight. I was busy with student council and everything, and the closer it got to graduation, the more I realized I needed to do what felt right. You did, and maybe it didn't work for us, but it worked for you. It did, didn't it?"
"Yes," Kurt answered past the lump in his throat, "it worked. I'm starting school for fashion design in another couple of months."
Blaine's smile wavered but remained on his face. "I knew you could. I knew. You're going to be amazing. You already are amazing." He took a few moments to steady himself, "After graduation, I told my parents I was still going to New York. They told me it was stupid because I'd only wanted to go to be with you, but that wasn't true. I wanted to go. I wanted to play music and touch people. Stupid as it sounds, that night at Callbacks ended up being what changed everything. It didn't just change us, it changed what I wanted. I'd always tried to be this guy that... I don't know... that everyone could be proud of. Everybody but me. I just want the music. I want me and a piano or a guitar, and I want to share that with people." As if suddenly realizing he'd been talking for awhile, Blaine fell silent. "Sorry, that's probably way more information than you wanted."
"It's not. It's good. It's... I'm so glad. I'm glad that you're here and that you're happy," Kurt answered only to waver, "But David said he met you through this forum..."
"Yeah, about depression and anxiety. It's been a heavy year. It's something I should have done a long time ago. You remember that day I went off on Sam? That wasn't the first time something like that happened. I was tired of feeling like I was never in control of how I felt. I was sad and paranoid sometimes, and just kind of a mess - and not because of us. I mean, yes, that, but because of... of more than that."
Oddly enough, Kurt understood. He might not have been dealing with depression in the same way, exactly, but he knew what Blaine meant. Their break up had changed things for him, but going to a new city and finding a whole new path in life had changed him too. They'd both been through a lot. "Can I ask you something? It doesn't matter now, I guess, but..."
Though visibly nervous, Blaine ran a hand through his curls and answered, "Of course, Kurt. You can ask me anything."
"I never asked, couldn't before because I was too scared of the answer. I always regretted not knowing. What did you do? With... with whoever you were... with..."
Blaine's eyes were downcast at once, and his expression clouded, but he spoke clearly and calmly. "His name was Eli. I met him at Scandals and we texted a little. Flirting. I knew it was stupid. God, we'd already almost broken up because of that idiot you met at the record store, and then there I was being more stupid." He flushed and looked up, "Not that you're stupid. I-"
"I understand, Blaine. Just go ahead." Kurt was already almost too frightened to hear what had happened. In his mind, he'd always seen Blaine naked and sweaty with some strange, hot guy in the Scandals parking lot. The thought of it still made him sick.
"Anyway, he texted me, asked me to come over. We'd talked that day, and you were so busy... you... you hung before I could tell you that I loved you, and... I'm not saying it's your fault, it isn't, but I felt like crap, so I told him I'd meet him for coffee. We went to the Lima Bean, and I knew the second I walked in that it was stupid. It felt so wrong to be there with anybody but you. It was our place." He made a strange movement almost like a shudder. "We had coffee, and I talked about everything. I figured he'd feel like my therapist and bolt, but when we were walking out, he kissed me. I hated myself, but I didn't... I didn't hate the kiss. I'd missed that so much. Not just kissing, but being close to somebody, having them listen."
Kurt swallowed hard, waiting for the other shoe to drop. He had stopped listening, and he knew that. He'd left Blaine in the dark by himself, and he'd reached out for someone. "I should have been there for you to talk to. I should never have let anything mean more than that, than us."
"No, you should have. You... we both need to be our own people. We can't just be an us. Couldn't, I mean." Blaine rubbed the back of his neck, visibly nervous. "Anyway, that's what happened."
Kurt blinked stupidly, shaking his head. "That? The... the coffee and the kiss?"
Blaine nodded miserably, blinking faster and no longer meeting Kurt's virtual gaze. "I'm so-"
"That's all?" Kurt asked incredulously.
The question and its delivery took Blaine aback for a moment. He wavered, mouth open, and finally nodded. "That's what happened. I didn't take any of his calls after that. I swore I wouldn't. I hoped we'd be able to fix things. That I could fix things."
"Coffee? You had coffee, and you kissed?"
Blaine's shame was turning to confusion and vague annoyance before Kurt's eyes. "Yes. Yes, that's... I don't get what you're missing here."
"Okay, I mean, you cheated. That was disgusting and wrong, but you... god, Blaine, the way you said it, I thought... I thought it was this huge, pornographic hook up."
Blaine's eyes widened into a picturesque expression of shock. "No... no, Kurt, I've never been with anybody but you like that. I swear."
It was getting tiresome, but Kurt found himself parroting Blaine's words again. "No one? Not even after we broke up?"
"No. No one." Looking sheepish, Blaine held up his right hand and wiggled the fingers. "Unless this counts."
Kurt rolled his eyes and tried to look disgusted. Instead he found himself bursting into laughter. The chuckles started, continuing into open guffaws that slowly faded into sadness and tears again. "We're so stupid." He sucked in a deep breath and then let it out. "Come over. Please? I'm... Rachel and I are in the same place. She's out tonight. Come over."
The plea seemed to take Blaine entirely by surprise. He shook his head, but it was in confusion, not denial. "I..." He let the words trail off, glancing down and then back up again, "Yeah. I don't live too far away. I'll be there in ten." Blaine started to rise and then stopped, "Are you sure?"
"I'm sure. I'm very sure." Kurt's heart pounded faster, and he nodded his affirmation as well. "We need to talk in person."
Blaine hesitated again only to nod and close the program. Kurt found himself staring long and hard at the screen, wondering if that had really just happened. Blaine was coming over. He could feel his hands start to shake and tried to breathe. They'd been apart for so long, had both been alone and searching and it never had to be that way. Then again, Blaine was right in a way. It had given them the time they needed to find themselves instead of just finding each other. Somehow that didn't make thinking about the lonely nights he had spent any easier.
Kurt forced himself to get up and straighten things in the living room. That didn't take nearly long enough, and he ended up doing the dishes as well. By the time Blaine's knock sounded at the door, Kurt had cleaned most of the apartment in at least a cursory fashion including smoothing the wrinkles on his bed.
And then suddenly there's knocking, and Kurt felt his heart swell and sink at the same time. Panic set in, and for a second he froze, unable to move. His brain caught up a second later and he sprinted for the door instead. "Coming!" he called in case the clatter of his boots on the hardwood wasn't clue expression on Blaine's face showed that he was every bit as uncertain as Kurt. He's thrown a blazer on over the t-shirt and jeans. It's navy, and Kurt felt his stomach twist at the memories that called up. "C-come in."
After their original flirtation, after falling head over heels for the Warblers' suave, confident lead, Kurt had never again imagined being so nervous around Blaine. They'd found each other and he'd forgotten to be scared. Standing in front of the man again brought up a rush of emotion that left him feeling terrified and excited all at once.
"The place looks great," Blaine commented, rocking back on his heels and then bouncing back up on them, too edgy to stay still. His eyes went wide when he realized that Kurt had moved in closer while he was looking. "Hi..."
Kurt found himself enchanted by the sight of Blaine's curls in such artful disarray, and he reached out to touch them only to snatch his hand back. "I'm sorry, I-"
Blaine's fingers closed around his wrist and lifted the hand again. "You can touch." Though they both blushed at the words, Blaine stayed still while Kurt gently explored the new style. "Do you like it?"
Catching the worry in the words, Kurt nodded. "Mmm. I love it." He gently withdrew his fingers from Blaine's hair but couldn't resist sliding them down to cup his jaw instead. "I've missed you so much."
"I've missed you too. Kurt, I... I don't want to miss you anymore." There were tears in Blaine's eyes, and he tentatively reached out to put his hands on the other man's slender hips. "I know we have a long way to go, but we're here for a reason. You asked me here for a reason, right?"
"Yes. Yes, I did." Kurt let out a long breath and then gave in. The first gentle brush of their lips made him moan softly. It was perfect. It always had been. "Stay tonight," Kurt whispered. "Just stay with me."
Blaine nodded and pulled him in closer. "As long as you want."
When Kurt emerged from his bedroom the next morning, shuffling toward the coffee pot, he was startled to find Rachel standing in front of him. She was peering over his shoulder with wide eyes. Kurt turned and followed her gaze to the messy-haired figure currently sprawled stomach-first across his sheets. Given that he'd forgotten to close the door, Kurt was very glad that Blaine had thought to at least put his boxers on. "Uh, Rachel-"
"Oh my GOD, who is he?" she managed to shriek and whisper at the same time. "Is he cute? His ass is soooo hot!" Rachel craned her neck to get a better look. "I didn't even know you were dating anyone, and now you're having him over! Oh my GOD, Kurt!"
As she spoke, Kurt did his best to gently drag her into the kitchen. "Yes, Rachel, I have someone over. Make me a cup of coffee and then I'll introduce you," he promised as primly as possible. The potential gossip apparently appeased Rachel. She beamed and whirled to the coffee pot at once while Kurt moved toward the bedroom. "Sweetheart, I think someone wants to say good morning to you."
A muffled protest met the words, but as the scent of coffee brewing filled the apartment, Blaine stirred and lifted his head. "Coffee?"
"Yes, coffee. But only for people who put on shirts and come into the kitchen."
Blaine pouted for a second but finally fished his shirt off of the floor and pulled it on before stumbling out of the bedroom. He froze for a second at the sight of Rachel but managed a shy wave. "Uh, hi."
"BLAINE!" the girl cried, abandoning the coffee to sprint across the floor and fling herself into Blaine for a bear hug. "Oh my GOD!"
"You might have said that already, Rach," Kurt pointed out with a roll of his eyes as he took over the coffee preparation.
"You didn't tell me!" Rachel protested as she pulled Blaine by the hand toward one of the stools positioned by the kitchen bar.
Kurt smiled faintly at that and leaned across the bar to kiss Blaine, morning breath and all. "I didn't know. We sort of... happened upon each other last night."
Blaine smiled back. The expression was dreamy and blissed out. "We didn't really plan for it, Rach. Sorry for the lack of warning."
"No, of course, you don't have to warn me, I mean... oh my GOD! This is perfect! This is... oh, I missed you two!" Rachel clasped her hands together, tears in her eyes and a smile on her lips. "I am never, ever letting you too break up again."
Reaching for Blaine's hand with one and pushing a cup of coffee toward him with the other, Kurt smiled. "I think that's something I can agree to."
Author's note: I think it's fair to say that in this case, Rachel is more or less me.