The honking from the taxis outside carried through the open bedroom window and he winced at the words being flung between the angry drivers. Ten years in the constantly moving city and he still hadn't gotten used to the easy abrasiveness of the people. He quickly shut the window and made his way back to the expansive closet before picking up the tie that was neatly placed on top of the dresser and draped it around his neck. He grabbed his black leather dress shoes and sat on the edge of the bed, carefully pulling on each shoe. He stole a quick glance at the clock perched on the bedside table that read 6:10pm; he sighed and placed his hands over his face, taking a deep breath. He would wait five more minutes. If he wasn't home by then...

Blaine stood up and wandered over to the large paned window and leaned against the frame. He gingerly ran the tip of his finger over the well-worn wood and smiled. It was his favorite feature and what had sold him on renting the house. They had traipsed all around the city for two months trying to find a place they could both agree on and love. They had been on one of their evening strolls in Manhattan, after everyone had gone home to their families and the streets were less crowded, when they noticed a 'For Rent' sign on a brownstone on a quaint street off the beaten path. They immediately dialed the number and met with the landlord not ten minutes later. Of course Kurt knew it was perfect the second they had walked in, but it took Blaine walking into the bedroom and seeing the large, charming window to agree. There had been one in his room at his parents' house when he was growing up; it had been a feature that he had missed terribly. He adored the way the rays of sun would shine through on the warm days and the way the rain trickled down the glass on the wet days. They were hesitant at first, being as that it was a little further away from their jobs and friends, but ultimately knew that they couldn't pass up the opportunity. He was glad that they didn't.

He was jolted from his reminiscing when he heard the front door slam shut, a set of keys jingling as they were tossed into a glass bowl. He retrieved his phone off the dresser and shoved his wallet in his back pocket before running downstairs in relief. "I'm so glad you're home, I was afraid you wouldn't make it."

Kurt Hummel waved a hand behind him before dropping his messenger bag on the kitchen table. "You would not believe the shit that's being pulled at work," he mumbled as he pulled his sketch paper and Prismacolors out. "No wonder the interns are running away screaming; I would too." He brought his folders out and tossed the bag onto the nearest chair before collapsing into the one next to it and glancing up at Blaine. "Why are you dressed up?"

Blaine's shoulders dropped as he forced a smile onto his face. "The gala for the music program is tonight, remember? Hurry and change into your Armani suit. You have about five minutes, and even then we'll have to hurry if we don't want to be late."

Kurt dropped his head back before standing up and moving toward the fridge. "I've got way too much work, Blaine. I'm working two positions right now and they want a rough draft of the entire collection tomorrow and I haven't eaten since breakfast."

Blaine's fists clenched and unclenched as he breathed deeply trying to remain calm. "Kurt, you promised me you would go. This is the fifth time you've forgotten and I need you…" Blaine pleaded and hoped Kurt would understand.

"Yeah, well, some of us are trying to keep our jobs. It's not all singing and dancing and galas out in the real world, Blaine."

The air was quickly sucked out of Blaine's chest and he forced himself to breathe. "Wow. Okay. That was uncalled for." He spun around and swiftly crossed the living room, grabbing his keys at the front door that were tangled with Kurt's in the bowl. "I'm sure I'll think of some shitty excuse for you." He walked into the fresh air and slammed the door closed behind him, leaning against the solid wood. He shut his eyes tightly and hoped that the wetness that had started to build up in the corners wouldn't fall. He wondered, not for the first time, how their once-amazing relationship had reached this far of a breaking point.

He quickly pushed away from the door and ran down the steps two at a time before hurriedly walking down the street toward the subway station. He didn't have time to dwell on that; he had a gala to attend and he prayed that he wouldn't be late.


"Well, well, well, all alone tonight, Blaine?"

He stilled, tensing up, before taking a deep breath and turning around to face the woman in the large ballroom. "Jennifer. I didn't expect to see you here tonight. No other fancy party in New York City to attend instead?"

The tall blonde woman narrowed her eyes before snatching a glass of champagne off a passing waiter's tray. "Oh, please. You really think I want to waste my time at this stupid thing?"

Blaine shut his eyes and downed the full glass resting in his hand. He didn't think this night could get any worse. "I don't know why you're even part of this. You don't care about any of the kids, or the program for that matter."

"Oh, Blaine, it looks good in society to say I had a part in helping talented individuals reach their potential. No matter how small the part. So Kurt isn't here I assume? A late night at the studio with another designer perhaps?"

He watched her run a finger up and down her champagne glass and tried to keep his cool. He knew she was just trying to get a rise out of him but with the previous events of the night it was difficult to keep a straight face. "Of course not. The spring line is due tomorrow so he's at home working on it."

Jennifer rolled her eyes at his comment and swallowed the rest of her drink. "Oh so that's what they're calling it now? What a shame. I had someone to introduce him to."

"Shouldn't you be off convincing some older gentleman to give a few grand Jennifer?" A short, petite brunette woman walked up and placed her hands on her hips, tilting her head to the side with a bright smile on her face. The blonde didn't try to hide her disdain as she scoffed and spun on her heel, walking in the direction of the bar.

Blaine visibly relaxed as he heard the melodic pixie-like voice. "Thanks Izzie." He turned around and rested his forehead on the girls shoulder.

"No problem. Why is it that you always feel compelled to talk to her instead of telling her to fuck off? Kurt would have had her drowning in insults by now. Speaking of the linguistically-gifted, where is he?"

Blaine forced a smile onto his face. "The spring line is due tomorrow so he's at home finishing it and making sure it's perfect. You know Kurt."

The shorter brunette raised an eyebrow before grabbing his hand and leading him along the ballroom wall and over to the far corner. "Blaine how long have we known each other?"

He ignored her question and glanced around the room before feeling a sharp jab in his side. "You're a pain in the ass. Six years."

"Exactly. I know when you're faking a smile."

"I am doing no such thing."

"Blaine…"

Blaine sighed and stared down, wringing his hands in frustration. "We're having problems, Iz. Like, major problems. We barely talk anymore, he's constantly working, he tore my head off tonight at home when I told him I needed him here. He completely forgot about tonight and then said there will be other ones."

Izzie squeezed his hand and leaned against the wall. "I take it this has been happening for awhile now?"

He nodded and rested his back against the wall. "About five months I think. It's been way worse the past month though. I've tried talking to him, I've tried singing him songs, he just rolls his eyes and says not now or he gets defensive and starts accusing me of stupid things. I love him, so much, but I'm at the end of my rope, Iz."

She pulled him into a hug and just held him for a few minutes, trying to relieve some of the stress. "I can't tell you what to do Blaine. Maybe he's going through something, maybe you guys need a break so you can remind yourselves why you two are together and what's important in life. Either way it sucks. You let me know if you need anything okay? I've been there before and it would have been nice to have someone who would've just been there for me."

Blaine nodded and squeezed her back, hoping the tears in his eyes would dissipate. "You're a great friend, Isabella."

"Call me that one more time and just watch what a great friend I am."

He laughed and pulled away before holding his arm out for her. "Well, it seems that everyone is starting to sit down. That means we'll be up soon. Care to have an escort?"

"Why I'd be delighted, Mr. Anderson."

They walked together to the stage at the front of the room, meeting up with the other teachers and directors, preparing for the next part of the evening's gala.


Saturday nights in New York City were one of Blaine's favorite things in life. On weekends in college he'd sang at local bars in between drinks, showing off his talent and boyfriend in one fell swoop as their friends catcalled and hollered from the crowd. He glanced around the busy streets and saw groups of people wandering in and out of clubs and bars, reminding him of what his life was like eight years ago. He loved his job more than anything, but there were some nights he missed those days of being carefree with no responsibility and no agenda.

Most days lately he was too tired to go out unless it was for work, and even those were few and far between. The small theater company he had joined straight out of NYU had flourished in the past two years and kept growing steadily. The company kept expanding with new students and adding more workshops; he had already had to re-create the schedule three times in the past seven months. They were able to put on more productions and had access to better resources now but the increased pace was continuously kicking his ass.

He rounded the corner and wasn't sure if he should be relieved or upset that his brownstone was just up ahead. His favorite part of the day used to be walking in the door and seeing his boyfriend there, waiting for him. Sometimes he would be cooking, other times he would be sketching, or he'd be curled up in the big leather chair with tea and a book. He had given up on walking in to see that scene again months ago. He couldn't pinpoint a definitive moment when things had started to change; it seemed that everything had just blurred together. There was one thing he did know for certain; he missed their old relationship.

As he got closer to home he fumbled around in the side pocket of the dark brown leather messenger bag for his keys. He glanced around at the quiet street and smiled at the couple that was walking past him, too wrapped up in each other to care about their surroundings. His fingers finally slipped through his keyring and he slowly climbed the cement steps up to the front door before sliding the key into the iron lock.

The house was dead silent and dark except for the light filtering in from the street and the light that was casting a dim glow above the entry. Kurt must have already gone to bed and he was glad that he wouldn't have to deal with another unpredictable conversation. He dropped his keys in the bowl on the console table and switched the light off, padding his way up the stairs to their bedroom in darkness. A small light was glowing from their bedroom and as he walked in he noticed the lamp on his nightstand was on its lowest setting, enabling him to see and move around. He sighed quietly at the one thoughtful gesture Kurt had made in the span of two weeks before noticing the man facing away from him toward the wall, sound asleep. He bit his lip and quietly reached for his pajamas in the dresser drawer before heading to the bathroom in silence, as he had done every night for the past month.