Christmas passes and Kurt and Blaine have to talk. He's only in New York for a few days while Burt is staying the whole week. "I'm gonna go out for a while," Burt says.
"What? Where? I'll come with you," Kurt says.
"No, you and Blaine stay here and hang out. I'll be gone until 4. I'm just going to visit Yankee Stadium."
"Dad, why are you—"
"Buddy, you've gotta talk to him. I know that me bringing him here is weird, but he's your friend, Kurt. And honestly, he's a member of the family. You've gotta work out whatever weirdness is between you to be friends again."
"I don't need him, Dad. Not the same way that I need you."
"Kurt, I need you to have him. Okay? I don't care if it's as friends or more. I need to know that you've got someone who is…"
"No. Carole and Finn, they will always be your family, and Carole is getting really good at knowing you. She knows when you need comfort food and when you need to be left alone. But she doesn't get you the way Blaine does. He knows you better than anyone else."
"You think he'll take care of me."
"You take care of everyone else, buddy. I know you don't think you need anyone to take care of you."
"Because I don't."
"I want someone to be able to, though. I'm going to be okay, Kurt. But I'm not saying that this is going to be easy, and I think you might need someone to take care of you while all of this is happening. Even if you don't, one less stress in your life is a good thing."
Kurt sighs. "You're not giving this up, huh?"
"Nope," Burt pats him on the shoulder. "You got this, buddy."
It isn't just some awkward confrontation, but they really talk about everything: What exactly happened (handjobs), why it happened (emptiness, confusion, doubt), what they should've done (talked to each other, but really, they already knew that one).
Eventually, they come to a silence. Blaine has apologized at least fifty times in this conversation and Kurt keeps ignoring it. After a moment of silence, Blaine says again, "I'm so sorry."
"It's not okay at all. It's not even remotely acceptable in any relationship, and I hate that you hurt me…but I think I might be ready to forgive you." Blaine's eyes light up. "We're not getting back together, though. I can't handle that right now."
Blaine sinks back into the couch. "I understand. You can't trust me."
"Well, yeah. That's pretty essential. Also, I think we have to be apart, Blaine. Finn talked to me about when you were leaving New Directions."
"It was stupid."
"No, it wasn't. You said that you didn't know what to do without me there. I don't know what to do without you either. I used to think that was a good thing; we were supposed to be reliant on each other. Now, though, I think we need to figure out who we are without each other."
"We were kind of co-dependent."
"And it made this hurt a lot. We should be able to function without each other. I shouldn't start having sleeping problems because we haven't done our nightly moisturizing routine together, and you shouldn't feel like you don't belong anywhere just because I'm gone."
Blaine nods. "You're right. I don't want you to be, but you're right. Not being able to live without each other is great in the movies. In real life, it just makes everything hurt."
"We're friends, okay? We don't have to cut each other off completely. We've done that for a while now, and I kind of hate it."
Blaine lets out a breath. "Good. I love Sam, but he really isn't my best friend."
"Let's be best friends again."
"You think we can be just friends?"
"I think that I'm not ready to be your boyfriend and I'm really done with ignoring you. So friendship makes sense to me. Unless it's too hard for you, and tell me if it is because I don't want to make this—"
"No!" Blaine cuts him off. "I'm good with being friends. We were really good at being friends."
That's how Kurt and Blaine get their best friends back.
The texting starts immediately. Before Christmas, they only had a few conversations. Blaine missed having someone to talk about clothing with. Sam is great, but he isn't Kurt.
New Year's Eve comes and Kurt is in Ohio. Rachel had some breakdown about not being with Finn on New Year's and Cassandra came through with frequent flyer miles again.
New Directions have a party at Tina's house. Blaine doesn't trust himself to get drunk around Kurt and Kurt is designated driver as usual. They spend most of the time quietly mocking their friends from a corner. They're all drunk and hook ups and fights are happening left and right.
"Rachel is paranoid that Brody is going to hook up with Cassie again," Kurt says.
"But she came here for Finn," Blaine says.
"But she doesn't want to get back together with him. She wants him to remember that she's there for him."
"Their relationship makes my head hurt," Blaine says.
"Tell me about it. Moving on, on the dance floor we have Quinn and Puck."
"Ten bucks says they make out," Blaine said.
"Ten bucks says Puck gets his shit together and marries Quinn in ten years."
"Oh yeah. They had a baby together, and Puck was ready to step up and be a dad. Even when she was committed to giving up Beth, he was committed to being there for her. I think he might be the only guy who gets Quinn, you know?"
"Aw, you're rooting for them."
"Yeah, well, he's rooting for us so."
Blaine blushes and rubs that back of his neck nervously. He honestly can't believe that Kurt is making him blush just by talking about how much Puck likes them. "So, um, uh, Sam and Brittany."
"Yeah, what's up with them?" Kurt asks.
Blaine explains how they've been getting closer and Sam definitely is in love with her. He isn't so sure Santana is off her mind though.
At midnight they hug and nothing more.
January is filled with phone calls. Blaine wants to make the senior service project a year-round thing, even if it is mostly glee club that helps out. Becky and Brittany brought some Cheerios in to help and more people might get involved if they keep it going. Blaine calls to bounce ideas off of Kurt.
"I just don't know where to start. I feel like asking them to support a pro-gay charity is self-indulgent," Blaine says as he plops down on his bed.
"Well," Kurt says, "I don't think it's self-indulgent because The Trevor Project absolutely helps kids like us."
"But?" Blaine asks.
"But I think maybe it would be good to start out with something a little more neutral and a little less political." Blaine can hear traffic in the background as Kurt walks from the subway station to his apartment building.
"I just don't know where to start."
"Maybe Anchor House, the teenage runaway place in downtown Lima? They house a lot of teenagers who runaway after being abused."
"Yeah, that might spike interest. They're kids our age who are in a bad situation."
"I think Santana's mom used to do a lot of pro-bono work with some of them to get them emancipated. You could probably talk to her to get a contact."
"Yeah, that might be good. So how did your NYADA orientation go?"
"I, um, I hated it."
"The longer I stay at Vogue, the more I think my heart might be in fashion. Is that insane? I mean, I just got into NYADA, finally, and it just doesn't seem like what I really want."
"I think it's perfectly sane to change your mind, but why are you changing your mind? It isn't because you're scared, right?"
"Theatre is my first love and always will be, but I think maybe we're better off as friends. I just don't want to be judged for not being tall enough or straight enough or whatever. It's so much rejection, and it's not that fashion doesn't have that, but…I don't know. I guess I didn't realize that fashion could fill that performing void in my heart so fully. Acting is all about pleasing everyone else, but if I had my own line, I would be the boss. Everyone would have to please me, which is vaguely egotistic, but I think it's what I really want to do with my life. Oh, this is psychotic."
"I can't wait to wear House of Hummel couture." Kurt could swear that he can hear the grin in Blaine's voice.
"You don't think I'm crazy? Rachel thinks I'm crazy."
Blaine laughed. "Rachel has a Tinkerbell complex. She needs applause and that'll help her thrive in performing. You're bossy, which is much more conducive to fashion. I think it makes perfect sense. Plus the average college student changes their major three times."
"You think I'm bossy?!"
"I think you skipped the part where I think fashion is a wonderful decision for you and what you're doing is completely normal. Figuring out your life's ambition at age 2, a la Rachel Berry, is not the norm."
"So obviously, I have to wait to apply for fall semester at FIT or Parsons. Maybe it's good that I'm looking at multiple schools this time."
"Also very normal. I finished up my ninth application this week."
"Well, some are schools my dad is making me apply to: Princeton, Yale, Dartmouth. OSU is my safety just in case I draw the short stick and no one accepts me. University of Michigan is to make my mom happy. The only ones I care about are Columbia, NYU, Fordam and The New School, which Parson's is a part of by the way."
"Dear god. No NYADA?"
"I, uh, I realized that NYADA was only an option because of you. I decided that I can't choose my college based on you. We're working on not being codependent, right?"
Kurt is silent for a moment. "I'm glad you ditched it."
"Yeah, it wasn't a pleasant application process for the others either. But hopefully I'll be in New York next year."
"Good," is Kurt's only response, and Blaine's heart flutters at how firmly and quickly he answered.
On Valentine's Day, Kurt calls Blaine while he is waiting at the Starbucks' counter for Isabelle's coffee. "Hey! How did you buy a candy gram without me knowing?" Blaine asks, and Kurt can hear the playful, coy smile in his voice.
"Well, I have my ways. They're called Tina. Plus, I wanted to make sure you actually sold at least one candy gram."
"It was actually a thriving success. That's why I haven't had time to answer your calls in a few days. We've been trying to keep up with all the candy gram orders."
"That's great, sweetie!"
Blaine pauses at the nickname. Kurt wonders if he should take it back. He hadn't really meant to say it. It just slipped out.
Blaine starts talking again before Kurt can say anything. "I'm pretty sure half the school didn't know what their money was going towards, but they bought a lot of candy grams. It managed to become a popularity contest, which I probably should've foreseen, but Anchor House is getting six hundred dollars."
"Good for you, Blaine! I'm really proud of you."
"Thanks. We're already planning our St. Patrick's Day event. I'm thinking something shamrock themed."
"You're really throwing yourself into the senior service project, aren't you?"
"Yeah, I mean, I really love it. I've been volunteering at Anchor House on weekends and it's really amazing. Some of these kids have been through so much abuse and neglect, but they found a way out. They hold their head high. They're really inspiring. I've been teaching some of them piano."
"Wow, I'm in New York getting people's coffee and you're in Ohio being like a superhero."
Blaine laughs. "It's not exactly a superhero thing, and what you're doing is really important for your career, Kurt. I know you'd be helping me if you were still here."
"Yeah, I would. Maybe when you're in New York next year."
"Yeah, and I'm not supposed to find out until the end of March."
"You'll get in. Even if you end up at U of M, I've heard they have a great theatre program."
"Yeah, they do, but that's actually not going to be my major."
"Really. I guess we haven't actually talked about that."
"Wait, you don't want to be a performer? Blaine Anderson, the boy whose favorite activity is a surprise public serenade, doesn't want to be on a stage?"
Blaine laughs. "Don't make me sound so obnoxious!"
Kurt finally gets his coffees and makes his way onto the sidewalk. "It's true! You love the spotlight just as much as Rachel, Blaine. Is this about your parents? Because I think you should talk to them—"
"Kurt, I really, genuinely, don't want to be a performer, at least not professionally. If I want to get criticized on a daily basis, I'd go live with my dad."
Kurt gets into a cab. "Hold on," he says and Blaine can hear him give the cabbie Vogue's address. "Back. Are things bad with your dad again?"
"No, they're the same, but I really never planned on going to New York to perform. I just want to be in a city. I want to be surrounded by art and culture and noise. Ohio is just too quiet."
"So what do you want to be, Blaine Anderson?"
"A music teacher."
Kurt's mind flashes through visions of Blaine leading a group of little kids while he plays the piano.
"Kurt, you there? Did I kill you by telling you my dreams?"
"No, I-I just realized that you should be a music teacher. You're perfect for that. Listen, I'm back at the office and I have to go. We'll talk soon?"
It's three in the morning in mid-March when Blaine's phone lights up and starts playing Pink. "Kurt? Are you okay?"
Kurt's voice is scratchy when he answers. "Yeah-I just-I'm sorry, this is stupid. Go back to sleep, Blaine."
"No, Kurt, what's wrong?" Blaine sits up and turns his light on.
"I just had a stupid dream. It's not a big deal." He pulls his knees to his chest.
"No, get out your computer. We'll Skype."
Kurt agrees and they hang up. Blaine brings his laptop to his bed and wonders if he shouldn't wear his Hummel Tires and Lube shirt while talking to Kurt, but he doesn't have time to analyze it because the button next to Kurt's name just went green. He hits call immediately.
"Hey, what's wrong?" Blaine asks. Kurt's eyes look red.
"It's stupid, but—"
"Nothing you say to me will sound stupid."
"I had a bad dream about my dad."
"It's not a good reason to wake you up."
"You don't need a good reason to wake me up. Want to tell me about the dream?"
"Nothing new. Just my dad dying in a hospital alone while I'm partying in the village or something."
"Do you party in the village?"
"No, but Dream Kurt has quite the social life."
"Ah, of course. Well, I saw your dad tonight. I was going to call you tomorrow since I didn't get back until midnight after playing video games with Sam and Finn."
"How was he?"
"He's…chemo takes its toll on people, but I think he's doing okay. He's in good spirits."
"Is he losing weight and hair?"
"Not too much weight loss yet. And, I mean, I don't think there's too much hair to lose."
Kurt gave small smile. "That's true. He won't tell me too much about his treatments."
"I went with him on Wednesday, actually."
"Yeah, Carole couldn't and I figured it was a way to get out of Cheerios practice."
"How was the treatment?"
"Sad. It takes a lot out of your dad. And the people in there, they don't look great."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, are you sure you want to hear about this?"
"I need someone to tell me something other than that he's good, Blaine."
"Okay, so there are people there who look kind of like a shell of someone. There was this guy who didn't have anyone with him, and he just seemed miserable. I didn't know what to do. I asked one of the nurses if there was anything to do, and there isn't much. Celia, the nurse I talked to, said the best thing for a cancer patient is support from friends and family that continues throughout the process. She said a lot of people ditch their friends with cancer after a few months."
"Yeah, but your dad? He's set. One of us is always with him and the guys at the shop really help out. I know Ray's wife has been bringing over food every Sunday. The whole crew pitched in and got your dad that massaging recliner, which by the way, is kind of amazing. Your dad will always be taken care of, Kurt."
"Thank you, Blaine."
"It's what I'm here for."
"No, really. You didn't sugar coat what the chemo is like. I appreciate it."
"You deserve to know the truth. I'll tell you if it looks really bad, Kurt. I promise."
"You're…You're really amazing, Blaine…and you should go back to sleep."
"Are you okay now?"
"Yeah, I think I just needed to know how my dad is."
"You can always call me for updates."
"I know. Goodnight, Blaine."
Right as Kurt ends the call the screen freezes for a second, and Blaine recognizes his Dalton hoodie on Kurt.
In April, Blaine calls Kurt to ask him about ties. He has ditched the bowtie, but skinny ties are in. It's the fourth ring, and Blaine expects his voicemail. Instead he is greeted with a sniffle.
"Kurt? Are you okay?"
"They hated me."
"What? No one could ever hate you. Who is it?"
"I had my portfolio review at FIT today. They hated me. They said my designs lacked precision and depth. Depth! We're talking about clothing, for Christ's sake! My clothes don't need depth. I want actual people to wear them!"
"I'm sure it wasn't that bad."
"I saw what he thought was good. It looked like the rejected costumes from Lady Gaga's wardrobe. I don't want to make a hat shaped like a trapezoid! I want to make people feel good in what they're wearing! Clothing shouldn't require you to balance things on your head!"
"Oh, so it's angry tears," Blaine realizes.
"Nothing. I think it's great that you don't want to make clothing that people can't wear. Someone else will love you. You'll get into another school with a better program and you'll be fantastic."
"FIT is one of the best."
"So is Parsons. So is Pratt. Did you know that Kent State actually has a studio in New York? I found that interesting. New York School of Design is only eight years old, but I've read some really good things about it."
"You've been researching?"
"Kurt, you have to find the right match. You need a place that you can contribute to and a place that you know you'll get a lot out of. Just because some magazine called it the best school doesn't mean it's the best school for Kurt Hummel."
He hears Kurt sniffle again. "You're getting so good at these pep talks."
"Well, you've given me a lot of practice at this point."
"What were you calling about?"
"Oh my god, Blaine we have the best spread with skinny ties in next month's issue. Maybe they'll let me steal one of them for you. They're to die for."
In May, Blaine has to make a decision. He has been accepted to almost all of his New York schools.
"So Columbia or NYU?" Kurt asks as they have Sunday brunch over Skype.
"It's just….UGH! I hate this," Blaine said as he buried his face in a pillow.
"Oh yes, poor Blaine, he has to choose which super prestigious school he wants to go to. Be careful you don't spill pancakes on the bed while you try to suffocate yourself."
"Hey, you've got some choices to make too." Blaine can see Kurt's kitchen and remembers Christmas. He wishes that they could both be sitting at that table having this conversation.
"I'm still debating about Kent so that I could do a semester in Ohio and it wouldn't even be a real transfer. It's just a campus change. It's all still Kent State."
"Kurt, your dad does not want you here."
"You know what I mean. He's happier if you're off in New York chasing your dreams. He doesn't want you here when there isn't even anything you can do for him. He has people cooking for him. He has Carole and the top doctors at the hospital looking after his health. He is doing just as well as the doctor expected. He doesn't affect your decision, okay?"
Kurt sighs. "Okay. Let's go back to you. I think you'd look better in Columbia's blue, but I can work with NYU's purple."
"Oh, you can work with it?" Blaine grinned.
"Yes, I'm going to have to because you'll be one of my guinea pigs for my creations."
"Oh, boy. This is going to be an adventure."
"It will be if you ever pick a school."
"Well, I think Columbia's education program looks better, but NYU's music program is so much cooler."
"The problems of a double major."
"They're both equally important, right? I mean I'm teaching, so I need to learn that, but I'm teaching music so it's important I learn music."
"I see, you need someone to tell you that it's okay to go for music."
"I don't need—"
"Go for the music program. You know that you want to."
"But what if I know music but can't teach the kids?"
"Blaine, it's still NYU. I seriously doubt that their education program will leave you without teaching skills. Your unending enthusiasm is what's going to really get to the kids anyway."
"You think so?"
"I really do."
Blaine is silent for a moment. "I think I'm going to NYU."
Blaine laughs. "Glad I made my decision?"
"Obviously, and the fact that you chose the one that's half an hour closer to Bushwick is just a plus."
Blaine laughs. "You just want your guinea pig around."
"Clearly, I just want you for your body."
Blaine smirked. "Everyone does, dear."
"Oh, look at the ego! That Men of McKinley calendar was a bad idea. You're going to have a big head."
"No, I'm pretty sure I just have to see Sam shirtless to feel inadequate."
"It happens to us all."
"I just don't understand how he has that much time to spend on his abs."
"Who cares? They're fantastic."
Their Sunday brunch continues with conversations about hot men until Rachel comes in and grabs some water from the fridge. "Blaine! Oh my god, how are you?"
She is in a tank top and yoga pants, so Blaine figures she must have been running. "Hi, Rachel. Finally decided the neighborhood was safe enough for a run?" Blaine asks.
"Well, I carry mace in one hand and my keys in the other and, of course, I always have my rape whistle, but I decided I could risk it. Sundays at 10 a.m. is relatively safe. How did you know I've been afraid to run?" Rachel asks.
"Kurt told me."
"Kurt told you?"
"Rachel, don't you have somewhere to be?" Kurt asks.
"No, I don't. When have you two been talking? You didn't tell me this, Kurt."
"You saw us at New Year's. We're friends." Kurt says.
"But I didn't—"
"Hey Blaine? I have to go. I'll talk to you later," Kurt says.
"Later?" Rachel asks, "Since when—"
Blaine's screen goes black before he could even say goodbye.
Later that night, Blaine gets a phone call from Kurt. He debates ignoring it. Kurt really didn't tell Rachel that they were friends. Was he ashamed of Blaine? Maybe he didn't want to be the guy who talks to his cheating ex. He's probably worried that his friends will think he's stupid. That's what Blaine always thought of people who went back to their cheating exes. Kurt is ashamed, and this friendship is just for information on his dad. That's what it is.
Blaine answers on the final ring. "You don't have to explain."
"Yeah, I get it. I wouldn't tell my friends I was talking to my cheating ex either. It's stupid."
"But y'know what Kurt? I feel like I at least deserved to know that. Because here I am, thinking that you really wanted us to be best friends again, when really you just want someone to watch your dad."
"I would have always looked after Burt, even if we weren't on speaking terms. I know I screwed up, and I've tried to express how much I regret that, and I thought we were good. Not like back together good, but best friends good. But you haven't even told your other best friend that you talk to me every other day?"
"No, if you can't even tell your friends that we're friends, I don't know if I can be friends with you. Maybe we're not ready for that if you're ashamed just to even have people know we talk."
"I didn't tell Rachel about my dad's cancer. I didn't tell her about you. I don't tell Rachael a lot of things."
"Why? Isn't she one of your best friends?"
"Yeah, but she's Rachel Berry. I don't want her to ask me questions about my dad's cancer and about if we're getting back together, and believe me she jumped straight there after I hung up with you."
"She's being…she's being Rachel about it?" Blaine asks.
"Yeah, cancer or not, she's still Rachel Berry. Lots of questions about everything, managed to be offended that I would keep something as important as my dad's cancer and our friendship a secret, and has already informed the NYADA blogosphere of my betrayal and her kind forgiveness." Blaine cringed as he thought of Rachel's new blogging habit. "She wasn't that bad. She said she really just wants to be there for me. I love her, but I like to deal with heavy stuff on my own. That includes my dad, and, a lot of times, it includes you."
"I wish I weren't a part of the heavy stuff."
"I know. It's getting easier. Us. It hurts a lot less."
"Yeah, it is. Sorry for freaking out."
"No, it's okay. You deserve to be mad. Thinking that I'm ashamed of you must've hurt."
"But it isn't anything compared to what I've done to you. I don't have the right to be hurt."
"Blaine, we can't use that as a scale or something. The cheating, it-it's still not okay. But we can't compare it to every other problem we have because, at least I'm hoping, all of our other problems will seem insignificant. You hurt me, but that doesn't mean that you don't ever get to be mad or hurt. Okay?"
"Okay," Blaine whispers.
"And I'm not ashamed of you, Blaine. You're the reason I've gotten through these last few months without jumping on a plane back to Ohio."
"Yeah…remember that next time you go second guessing me."
June is a time for blossoming summer romance, but Kurt and Blaine aren't dating. They're friends and completely platonic friends. Yet when Blaine is approached in The Lima Bean by a blonde guy in an OSU shirt, he feels like he should say no.
"I'm sorry; I can't," Blaine says.
"Are you straight?"
Blaine chuckles. "No, I am gay. Just unavailable."
"Then keep the number in case you change your mind," the blonde says as he flashes an award winning smile.
"Blaine," Tina says.
"Don't," Blaine warns.
"Kurt isn't your boyfriend, and you don't have to punish yourself forever," Tina says.
"Tina, I said don't."
Tina shuts up, and when she gets home, she writes a lengthy email to Kurt. Blaine gets a call the next day after school.
"Hey," Blaine says.
"Hi, so I'm just going to say it. We're not dating and I don't want to keep you from living life and you should see that guy."
"Tina talked to you."
"She emailed me and I'm glad she did because I've been really conflicted about this guy at work who asked me out."
"Oh?" Blaine attempted to keep his voice even.
"I keep telling him no, but I never have a real reason. We're not in a relationship. We should see other people. How do we even know what we like when we've only ever dated one person?"
Because we were great together, Blaine thinks. "Um, yeah, okay. I'll call him."
"And I guess you can call your date," Blaine says.
"Uh, yeah, I guess."
"Great," Kurt agrees.
"Great, I guess I'm gonna go call him now."
"Okay." Kurt hangs up and pretends that wasn't the most awkward conversation they've had since their break up.
Blaine calls Aaron, the blonde OSU guy. They go out to the movies the next weekend. Blaine has a great time up until Aaron decides that he "deserves" a blowjob for taking Blaine to the movies. Blaine walks home.
Kurt goes out with Rider. He's Kurt's height with dark hair and glasses. He's a photography intern that Kurt met on a couple shoots for the website. Rider is really great. He opens doors; he refuses to let Kurt pay. He lets Kurt choose where they should eat. He makes Kurt laugh. He's attractive. He admires and shares Kurt's interest in fashion.
Kurt and Blaine talk the next day, their usual Sunday brunch skype.
"So, um, how did your date go?" Blaine asks.
"Are you going to see him again?"
"Um, no, I don't think so. You?"
"Yeah, maybe. I had fun; I just don't know that the connection is there."
"You shouldn't blow a guy off just because it's not love at first sight."
"At least I'm thinking about giving him a chance. You've completely written off your date."
"He-He just wasn't…"
You, Blaine thinks. "He wasn't very…nice."
"Oh, god, I'm sorry, Blaine."
"It's fine. I'll live. Can we talk about something else?"
Kurt and Blaine change the subject, and, after they talk, Kurt texts Rider. Maybe he shouldn't write him off just because there aren't any fireworks.
By July, Rider and Kurt are dating, kind of. They've agreed that they aren't serious or exclusive. Kurt isn't sure how he feels about that, but then, he knows that he isn't in love with him, so why should they be exclusive?
Blaine sort of hates Rider, but he encourages Kurt. He dates too, but they never turn into anything more than a first date.
Mid-July is the first time Kurt visits Ohio. He finally has a little bit of cash, and he wants to see his Dad. He's Skyped a few times with his father, but seeing him in person is still different.
Burt has lost a lot of weight. He has bags under his eyes. He looks so pale and frail. He tries to put up a front for Kurt, but Kurt sees it right away.
Kurt texts Blaine the second night: Please come over.
Blaine is there within half an hour.
"Hey," Blaine says. It occurs to Kurt that this is also the first time he is seeing Blaine since Christmas.
Kurt just wraps his arms around Blaine before he even gets through the door. Blaine rubs his back and asks, "Where's your dad?"
"He's in his bathroom. I was with him for a while earlier and Carole is with him now."
They head up to Kurt's room and Kurt takes in the sight of Blaine as he sits on the edge of his bed. He's pretty sure that he grew an inch or two, and he's been working out more because his biceps weren't always that impressive, were they? He's in basketball shorts and a t-shirt, and Kurt realizes that he interrupted something.
"You had plans."
"I've got a whole summer to play late night basketball, Kurt. I've only got a few days to see you. Do you want to talk?"
Kurt plops down on his bed. "I can't do anything for him. I thought coming here would make me feel better, but I'm useless. I want to make him food, but he can't keep anything down. I just…"
"No one can do anything for him, Kurt."
"I know. It just kills me to see him in pain."
"I know. I think that's why he's been trying so hard to keep you in New York."
"Oh, is that why even you weren't thrilled that I was coming home?" Kurt quirked an eyebrow.
"Noticed that, did you? He asked me not to encourage it, and I'm not going to deny him anything. I am happy to see you though."
"Thanks. It's good to see you too."
"Rider didn't come with you?"
"No, we're not even serious. Or exclusive."
"You're in an open relationship?"
"Apparently," Kurt says flatly.
"Do you want to be exclusive with him?"
"I honestly don't even know. He's not…He's not a guy that I want to spend the rest of my life with."
"Then why are you with him?"
Kurt sighs and stares at the ceiling. "Love at first sight isn't going to happen with every guy I meet."
"Do you think you'll eventually fall in love with him?"
"Is he good to you?"
Kurt looks up at Blaine and smiles before returning his gaze to his ceiling fan. "Yeah, Blaine, he's good to me. He opens doors and all of that."
"Is he there for you, though? Does he get the situation with your dad?"
"He just tells me not to worry about it and that I'm being dramatic."
Blaine lies back and squeezes Kurt's hand because that sentence tells Blaine everything. This guy doesn't understand Kurt. If he thinks Kurt is being dramatic about one of the most serious things in his life, he really doesn't understand anything about Kurt Hummel.
"I promise that you're not being dramatic," Blaine says as Kurt continues to stare at his ceiling while Blaine studies his profile.
"I wake up most nights from nightmares that he's dead, Blaine. It's a little dramatic."
"It's not. It's normal, Kurt. Worrying is what makes you so you, Kurt. If he doesn't get that, he isn't good enough for you."
"He hates you, you know. He tells me that I shouldn't talk to my ex so regularly."
They're silent for a minute, both contemplating if Rider is right.
"Do you want to stop talking to me?" Blaine whispers.
Kurt finally turns his head towards Blaine. "No," he whispers back.
Blaine puts a hand on Kurt's face, and when Kurt doesn't react to it, Blaine kisses Kurt. It's just a soft, gentle press of the lips. The amazing thing, in Blaine's opinion, is that Kurt kisses him back. He feels Kurt wrap his arms around Blaine's waist as Blaine slips his tongue past Kurt's lips. Dear god, he missed kissing this boy. In this moment, nothing matters to either of them because this feels like a homecoming after years away.
As the gentle kiss becomes more heated and frenzied, Blaine rolls Kurt onto his back and starts leaving kisses along his jaw. "What do you need, babe? Just tell me what you need."
"I…" Kurt tenses under Blaine's hands, and Blaine knows right away. He kisses Kurt's forehead and rolls onto his back next to him.
"I get it."
"Blaine, it's not you."
"Yes, it is. I cheated. I lost your trust."
"Blaine, I'm seeing someone."
"Who is an asshole and doesn't want to be exclusive."
Kurt should be offended, but he isn't. He chooses to ignore Blaine's statement and will think about it later. "And I'm in a really bad headspace right now. It's Rider and my dad and starting a new school and work getting more stressful than usual. I'm falling apart, Blaine. I don't want to use you for sex. You deserve better than that."
"Do you think we'll ever be us again?" Blaine doesn't have to explain what he means. Kurt knows that he doesn't just mean together. He's asking if they'll ever be the same fabulous old married couple who serenaded each other in public.
"I don't think we'll ever be like we were in high school."
"C'mon," Blaine says as he opens his arms, gesturing for Kurt to cuddle with him.
"You don't have to stay Blaine."
"You aren't okay. So I'm not going anywhere. Now c'mere."
Kurt puts his head on Blaine's chest and he wonders how they manage to do this. "You're a lot stronger than me," he says.
"Well, here's the way I see it: you don't have to be strong right now, and I can be strong enough for the both of us for a little while."
"You've been strong enough for the both of us for months."
"You'll pay me back someday."
"Yeah, I will. Promise."
They fall asleep together in each other's arms. Blaine slips out in the early morning, and runs into Burt in the kitchen.
"You could've waited until the sun was completely up, kid. Coffee?" Burt offers.
"I actually have to meet my parents for breakfast with their law firm partners at home."
"Alright. Thanks for looking out for him, Blaine."
"He'll be alright, Burt," Blaine says, "and you better be drinking decaf. You're not supposed to have caffeine."
August is pretty quiet. Blaine is silently bouncing off the walls. He gets to move to New York City in a week. His parents even approve of his school. Granted, his dad made a snide remark about being financially fortunate enough to take such an "unambitious" career path, but honestly, that was the best situation he could have hoped for.
Kurt calls him all the time to talk about planning his room (which he has much more time to do since he stopped seeing Rider). Blaine is living in the dorms with a stranger, which is only giving him a little bit of anxiety.
He finally got the letter with his roommates name in it today. He's about to call Kurt so they can stalk his roommate's Facebook together when his phone rings.
"Hey, I was just about to call you."
"Blaine Anderson," Kurt says.
"Oh crap, why are you mad?"
"Why is Noah Puckerman telling me that my dad's pot won't be ready for another week?"
"Oh, shit. Why a week?"
"Blaine Devon Anderson!"
"Sorry, I mean, sorry, I didn't tell you. Your dad thought this was something you didn't need to know and I agreed."
"Noah is his drug dealer, Blaine? Seriously?!" Wow, Kurt could get really high pitched when he was angry.
"Medical marijuana isn't legal in the state of Ohio, Kurt. You saw your dad. The drugs make him feel better."
"He has a heart condition; he shouldn't be smoking at all!"
"Well, Carole sometimes bakes them into stuff."
"Does everyone know about this?"
"Well, we didn't tell Finn and Sam. Personally, I think they'd be stupid enough to take it as permission for them to get high."
"And you helped him! You could be arrested."
"Exactly. I have a family full of lawyers and the money to bail myself out of jail. It wouldn't be a big deal."
"Blaine, you want to be a teacher, you can't have a record!"
"It's not like I'm doing some shady deals in a back alley, Kurt. I get it from him when we go to video game nights together. It's fine and it makes everything a lot better for your dad. Do some research on it. You'll see."
"Stop being so damn soothing about this! You bought my dad illegal drugs, Blaine!"
"I mean, it's legal in a number of places. I just wasn't about to drive to Colorado to get some."
"Look, I get that you're mad, but this was your dad's choice, and since he's had the pot, he's been so much better, Kurt."
"Not to brush past this subject, but seeing as we can't really do anything about it, want to hear about my housing assignment?"
"You waited until now to tell me this?"
"Well, you were more high pitch than usual, and that makes me scared to interrupt."
"Where? Who? Wait let me pull up Facebook!"
"4F Hayden Hall"
"Yes! Hayden is right at Washington Square Park and its dining hall is organic, locally grown food!"
Blaine smiled. "Did you research NYU housing?"
"Maybe just a little obsessively. I also might have different design schemes for every first year residence hall. Now tell me who the guy is!"
Blaine laughed. "His name is Peter Greenfield. He's from New Jersey."
"Oh my god, what if he's from the Jersey Shore?"
They look at his profile and this does not look like anyone from Jersey Shore. He's fair with a lot of freckles, dark hair and looks to be just a little taller than all of his friends. He likes Xbox, Quentin Tarantino films and football.
"And he's straight," Blaine says.
"Well, that's probably for the better. You don't want any romantic entanglements with your roommate." Blaine doesn't laugh. "What's wrong? You know that just because he's straight doesn't mean he won't like you."
"I just-What if he doesn't though? Do I even mention it? Should I just say, 'Hi, I'm Blaine and very gay, like running around singing Katy Perry gay' because I feel like that isn't a great intro."
"Well, I was hoping you might vary up your music choices in college, so maybe leave out the Katy Perry. Plus, there has been many a straight man to adore Katy Perry. I think it's something about the whipped cream shooting out of her boobs."
"Kurt, I'm serious!"
"Blaine, if he's unaccepting, you find a new roommate who is accepting. You have to try though."
"I'm being silly."
"Of course you're not silly. You're just worried that you'll have a homophobic roommate from a liberal state in a liberal college in what might be one of the most liberal cities in the country."
"It's not ridiculous!"
"It's not ridiculous, but it's not something that you should worry about it because you can't control it."
Blaine sighs. "I guess you're right."
"Sweetie, you'll be fine."
Blaine's heart flutters at the nickname, as always. Blaine knows it's not an intentional endearment. It just comes out sometimes. Usually, after Kurt says it, he won't say it for weeks. He'll be careful. Every once in a while, Kurt will catch himself and Blaine will only catch the first syllable. He wonders how Kurt slips like this. Does it feel like they're together for him too? Does he miss the nicknames and the sex? Because, for Blaine, that's all he feels like he's missing. He still bears his heart and soul to Kurt on the phone and they support each other through everything.
Blaine doesn't say anything of this though. Instead he sticks to a simple, "Thanks, Kurt."
He moves in and Peter Greenfield seems pretty relaxed. They've been there for three days and Blaine hasn't had Kurt over yet. Kurt understands the need for time to adjust. They'll have plenty of time to decorate in a couple of weeks.
They're coming back from their orientation week scavenger hunt when Peter says, "Based on our orientation leaders, the junior class is apparently where they hide all the gorgeous girls."
Blaine laughs. "I guess."
"C'mon, have you seen anyone hot in our year? They're cute, but Gina and Laura looked like Victoria's Secret models."
"They're here for acting. Tisch is probably full of pretty people."
"That's a good point. Where do they have classes?"
"I-I have no idea." Blaine feels hot under the collar of his polo.
"What is it? You have a girlfriend? Cause that's fine, dude, but there's no harm in looking, especially if she isn't around."
"No, I'm actually gay, so…"
"Oh…well, that's more girls for me. Wait, straight girls love gay guys, I wonder if we could use that angle to get me girls."
Blaine lets out a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding and laughs. "We'll see."
"And we can still scope out Tisch. That's probably a good place to find other gay guys, right? Or do you have a boyfriend?"
"I, um, it's complicated."
"Complications mean you're free to scope out pretty boy actors."
Blaine laughs again. "Yeah, I think it does."
The first weekend of September comes and Kurt is in Blaine's dorm room. "I can't believe you made me wait two weeks, Blaine! We could've done so much work by now," he says.
"Kurt, we can't hang fabric on the walls. It's against the rules. I can do posters and string lights."
"String lights? Like those little Christmas lights? Blaine, it's a dorm, not a trailer. I guess we'll have to go with paper wall art. I'm thinking rectangles, since you like minimalist design."
"You can't paint, either."
"I know that, Blaine. I'm not completely stupid. We're getting you better under the bed storage too. You've got like four feet and you're only utilizing six inches."
"What are we going to do, build shelves? Because they didn't say anything about carpentry, but I'm pretty much supposed to leave it the way I found it when I move out."
"Yes, but we can make it fabulous for the nine months you're here." Blaine raises an eyebrow. "I will make it fabulous for the nine months you are here."
"Sounds about right."
The door opens and it's Peter coming back from class. "Hey, Peter, this is my friend Kurt."
"Hey man, nice to meet ya," Peter smiles as he climbs onto his bed and opens his laptop.
"Pleasure," Kurt says.
"Kurt's decorating. It's what he does," Blaine explains.
"Oh, that's why you haven't bothered with posters yet?" Peter asks.
"I'm thinking we'll go with blues," Kurt says.
"Nothing obnoxiously bright. I don't want, like, Tiffany's blue accents or anything."
"Blaine, I've decorated for my dad. I can do neutral and subdued quite well, thank you. I think maybe red accents to make things pop."
"That won't look patriotic?"
"No, not as long as it's just accents and I mix up the shades of blue, which I obviously will."
"Blaine, I understand. Your room is more subdued than your wardrobe. I comprehended and incorporated this information. I know what I'm doing."
Blaine sighs and pulls out his wallet. "Charge it to my parents' credit card."
Kurt's eyes light up. "Really?"
"Really. Be reasonable."
"Absolutely." Kurt throws his arms around Blaine. "I'm so excited that you're here! I'm gonna go. I'll be back next weekend with lots of packages. I'll probably ship the online orders here, but don't open anything! We'll go through it together next weekend, and you'll see it complete and you'll love it."
"Please talk me through your first week of classes. I'm so excited that you're starting!"
"Okay, same for you. I want to see your sketches soon too."
Kurt and Blaine say their goodbyes, and Kurt leaves.
"So, I'm going out on a limb here and saying that he would be the complication, huh?" Peter smirks.
"He's decorating your room."
Peter's eyes widen. "That's kinda, like, marital status, dude."
"Are you friends with benefits?"
"Were you friends with benefits?"
"No. We dated for a year and a half before we broke up after he moved here last fall."
"Woah, intense. You planning on getting back together?"
"I'm letting him go at his pace. He's had a rough year. He calls the shots."
"You date other people?"
"Did I mention that it's complicated?"
"Nah, it doesn't sound complicated. You just sound whipped."
Blaine sighs. "I love him. I fucked up. I'm working on making it better."
"You think I sound like a wimp."
"I think I've never liked a girl for more than a month, so I really can't judge."
A week later, Blaine comes back to his dorm room half an hour before Kurt is supposed to arrive just to find him already there. He's lounging on Blaine's bed, but that's only a temporary distraction until Blaine takes in his side of the room.
"Wow," Blaine says.
There are three posters on his right wall. The first is a Brian Ferry poster. The second is actually a collage of photos from Facebook. He can recognize photos from Nationals, his days at Dalton, even last Easter with Cooper. The third poster is a blue 'Proud to be a Ravenclaw' poster. Above the head of his bed is a smaller, square music poster that has a piano, violin and music notes, all with shades of red and blue. He sees a string of lights, not the cheap Christmas kind, but little red spheres that line the top of his wall.
Under his bed is a small blue plastic dresser, a red cube-shaped ottoman, and two stacked storage cubes with shelves that form a nice mini-bookshelf. His shoes are aligned on a dark wooden shoe rack. On his desk he can see photo frames, bulletin boards, and organizers for everything in reds and blues.
"Wow, Kurt. This is amazing."
"Peter let me in early. I know you tend to like the end result more than the construction part."
"Happy to help." Peter smiled from his desk.
"I would've helped."
Kurt shrugs. "I like seeing your face like this. You haven't even seen what I've done with your closet yet."
"These pictures are great! You even have Nick and Jeff up there."
"Yeah, there are a couple of them framed on your desk too. I tried to put a lot of organizational things there. I know you get a little OCD about organization when you have big tests and projects."
"Kurt," Blaine says. "This is amazing."
"Well I want you to like your home. Plus, I'm planning on spending a fair amount of time here, so it has to be visually appealing."
"Kurt, I love it. Really, it's fantastic."
September and October are filled with coffee shop meet ups between classes. Kurt thinks that going to school actually involves less work than his internship did. Blaine manages to adjust to college life with relative ease. On weekends, they'll try to get student tickets for Broadway shows, or sometimes they'll go hang out at museums like the Met or MoMa. They've worked out their life in New York together.
But something is missing, and they both know it. So when they meet on a late October Wednesday for lunch at Pret A Manger (when they first find it, Kurt says, "It's a chain sandwich shop, but at least it's a European chain."), Kurt is relieved when Blaine comes rushing in late, sits down and says, "I don't know how much longer I can do this."
Kurt is taken aback by his abruptness, but agrees, "I know."
"It's ridiculous. I don't even know where I stand."
Kurt says, "I'm sorry."
"Like, I feel like I'm doing really well, like spectacularly. I've made a lot of progress."
"You have, honestly."
"I just feel like I still don't even know what I'm doing though."
"I mean, I think it's' just a guessing game. We never really know what we're doing."
"I know! It's insane. I just want some confirmation on something."
"I know. This isn't fair to you."
"Right? She's just, you know what? I know it's rude, but she's a crazy bitch."
"Dr. Lark, my composition teacher. She hasn't given a single assignment back all semester and midterm grades are coming out next week. What did you think I was talking about?"
"Oh, um, just like, general school stress," Kurt lies.
"I think it's masochism. I pay like fifty grand a year to be tortured. Why do we do this to ourselves?"
"Because you want a good education to make a living and be a respectable and contributing member of society."
"Do I have to?"
"I mean, you could be one of those lazy trust fund kids, but I wouldn't want to hang out with you anymore, so there's that."
"Well, I guess I'll just have to finish college. Can't lose you again, now can I?" Blaine grins.
Kurt gives a high pitch laugh, but inside his head is spinning. Have they been permanently friend zoned? Sure, there was that time in July, which was hot, but it wasn't the right time then. How does he tell Blaine that he's ready? Hasn't he given him cues? The movie dates, the walking close together, the room decorating. Really, who the hell does all of that for their friends? Okay, it's not like they aren't things friends do, but it's the way their hands graze each other on the armrest at the theater and the way Kurt is way too comfortable laying in Blaine's dorm bed. It shouldn't be that hard for Blaine to see that now is the right time, should it? Kurt is starting to wonder if he should just blurt it out, but he overthinks it and decides to keep his mouth shut. Maybe Blaine isn't ready.
In November, Blaine gets a call from his dad. He has a business trip in New York and, in order to impress a client, he'd like Blaine to come. It's a Saturday night, and Blaine has actually been on good terms with his dad lately. 2013 was a good year for Kenneth Anderson. Blaine couldn't remember the last time his dad was uncomfortable about Blaine's sexuality. He agreed to NYU relatively easily with only a few snide remarks about Blaine not aiming high enough. He didn't even demean Blaine for not getting into Princeton. Thus, Blaine decides not harm will come from doing as his father asks and going to this dinner.
The meal is in the other family's, the Van der Worths', penthouse on the Upper East Side. Blaine and his father eat with Mr. Van der Worth, Mrs. Van der Worth and their lovely 18 year old daughter, Clara. Clara is single, a gymnast, single, highly involved in extracurricular activities such as glee club and fencing, single, loves music and did they mention she was single? Blaine entertains them, acting as if he cares about Clara's life. None of this information comes from her. Blaine knows she's been texting under the table throughout the entire dinner, but her parents either can't tell or don't acknowledge it. She only starts listening once her parents bring up cotillion.
"You know, Clara's cotillion is coming up in the spring. Lots of boys from NYU and Columbia end up escorting the girls," Mrs. Van der Worth says.
"I was unaware."
"Oh, yes, it happens all the time," she says.
"It's usually only girls that have boyfriends in college or their parents set them up," Clara says. "Plenty of boys in high school escort the girls."
"Well, I'm sure you've got them lining up for you," Blaine says, working his Anderson charm.
Clara smiles, and Blaine notices a piece of pink hair peeking out from behind her ear. It's obvious that it escaped a clip when she was playing with her hair earlier. Blaine notices the remnants of black nail polish on her nails, and he swears that he can see the hole where her nose ring should be. They're going to have to give her a sedative to even get her to cotillion, Blaine thinks.
"Well, it's hard to find a suitable boy in high school," Mr. Van der Worth says.
"I'm sure Blaine would be more than happy to escort Clara, wouldn't you Blaine?" Mr. Anderson says.
"Dad, I'm sure Clara probably wants to go with a straight guy to cotillion, right?"
"Yeah, that's kind of a goal," Clara said flatly.
"Thought so. I'll give you my number, and if all else fails, I've got a suit. As the gay guy, I've been many a straight girl's back up plan for proms, cotillions, weddings, and bar mitzvahs. I'm good with it."
Clara smiled. "Sounds like a plan."
The rest of the meal is filled with awkward silence and business talk. Clara looks fucking thrilled. Blaine is attempting not to shake with anger. They leave and Blaine compliments Mrs. Van der Worth on her interior design on her way out. Just before they're out the door, Blaine is sure to note that he saw her shoes in last month's Vogue and that they are "to die for."
He and his father get into their waiting car and out of the pouring rain quickly and his father says, "Honestly Blaine, was it necessary to embarrass me in front of my colleagues?"
"I don't know, Dad. Was it necessary to embarrass me in front of your colleagues? Was it necessary to force me on a blind date with this poor girl without telling me? Was it necessary to once again completely ignore the fact that I am one hundred percent, without a doubt in my mind, gay?"
"You don't even know what's in store for you with this lifestyle, Blaine. You really think that you can just live in a musical and no one will care that you're gay?"
"You think I'm not aware that people hate me, Dad? You don't think that having my skull bashed in at Sadie Hawkins informed me of that? You don't think I could feel the Van der Worths' disgust after I said I was gay? You don't think that you have taught me that there are some people who will never accept me? It's been six years and you haven't, so I really think that I know, Dad."
"It's not always appropriate to announce your sexuality everywhere we go, Blaine."
"I know that! I didn't correct their pronouns when they asked me about my love life. I didn't say anything when you made a comment about girls hitting on me all the time. I walked in there tonight planning not to say anything because I figured that your colleague would be a conservative jackass, and I thought that my sexuality was better off unsaid. But you, knowing full well that I am gay, decided to push me into something with this girl."
"For Christ's sake, one night of being normal wouldn't kill you, Blaine."
Blaine looks out the window and notices they are at a red light. He gets out of the car, slams the door and walks out into the rain. He hears his dad yell from the car, but he doesn't turn around or listen. He just looks for the nearest subway entrance.
An hour later, he is in Bushwick, knocking on Kurt's door. He honestly doesn't entirely remember how he got there.
Kurt answers in sweatpants and Blaine's Dalton hoodie. "Oh my god, Blaine, you're soaked! Come in," Kurt says.
"I-I don't even know what I'm doing here."
"Sit on the couch. I'll get you a towel." Blaine does as he says and doesn't even notice Kurt is back until he is wrapping a towel around Blaine.
"Where were you? What happened?" Kurt sits down next to him, and when Blaine doesn't do anything with the towel, Kurt starts to pat him dry.
"I was at dinner with my dad. He wanted me to go to dinner with his colleague's family, so I did."
"Oh, god. What did he do now?"
"Six years and he still thinks that I'm gay by choice."
"Oh, Blaine. I'm so sorry, sweetie."
"He really doesn't accept it."
"He doesn't matter, Blaine."
"He's my dad, Kurt."
Kurt cups Blaine's face with his hands. "If he doesn't love who you are, he means nothing. I love you, Rachel loves you, my whole family loves you, Peter loves you. You have people who love you, Blaine."
"Why are you so shaken? What did he say to do this to you?"
Blaine's voice lowers to just above a whisper. "He said I wasn't normal."
Kurt wanted to hunt down Kenneth Anderson. He had the audacity to tell his amazing son that he was anything short of spectacular. Kurt wanted to hit or break something. He needed to do something, but Blaine doesn't need anything violent.
Instead, Kurt kisses him. It's hard and frenzied and sloppy. It's far from perfect, but it's what they both need.
Blaine's hands dig into his waist hard enough to bruise. Kurt straddles Blaine's waist, running his hands through Blaine's damp curls. Blaine pulls Kurt tight against him, and Kurt doesn't resist. When their mouths finally separate for Kurt to start kissing Blaine's neck, Kurt says, "You are completely normal, Blaine Anderson." He leaves a kiss on Blaine's neck. "There is nothing wrong with you."
Blaine pulls Kurt back to his mouth, and Kurt starts to pull Blaine's jacket and dress shirt off. When Kurt breaks the kiss to take off his tie, Blaine says, "Wait. I can't do this."
"Oh," Kurt says.
"I just-If this isn't real, if this isn't us getting back together, if it's just tonight, I can't do it. I-I need forever with you, Kurt, not just for now."
"Blaine," Kurt presses his forehead against Blaine's, "This is real. This is it. I love you so much, and I'm ready for this if you are." Blaine's eyes filled with tears. "Will you let me take care of you?"
Blaine nods. "I love you too."
"I know. Now tell me what you need, sweetie."
It's December before Rachel finds out. Really, it's the damn partition's fault. Sure, partitions separated Kurt and Rachel's rooms, but they don't provide the sound barriers that walls provide.
Kurt promised Blaine that Rachel would know when Christmas came. It's just that he wanted Blaine to himself for a while. Rachel wasn't interrogating him about their friendship anymore (finally) and he honestly didn't want a bargaining chip for her to be able to kick him out of the apartment for 'alone time' with Brody.
They take advantage of the apartment when Rachel is at class. Rachel is supposed to be going to whatever matinee she managed to get student tickets for this afternoon. That gives Kurt and Blaine at least three hours with the hour it takes to travel between Bushwick and the city, even if it is a shorter play. They strategically plan their sex schedule.
They don't plan on Rachel coming home, but they close the partition anyway, just in case they fall asleep in Kurt's bed and Blaine has to sneak out at some point. It would have been fine if Rachel hadn't come home after just two hours.
When Rachel enters the apartment, she can only hear Kurt crying out, "Fuck….Fuck…..FUCKING HELL. Oh god, you're going to be the death of me. FUCK!"
She runs to Kurt's room, mace in hand, and pulls back the partition to see Blaine with Kurt's cock in his mouth.
"Oh god!" she yells.
"Rachel!" Kurt screams.
She pulls the partition back into place and says from the other side, "Sorry! I thought you were being attacked!"
"You're supposed to be gone!"
"Spiderman had technical difficulties and shut down after the first song. Don't worry, it nothing I haven't accidentally walked in on my dads doing. I'm so happy to see you, Blaine."
She hears Kurt lowly say, "Get off, Blaine."
"You too, Rach!" Blaine says with his voice rough.
"Though I don't think oral sex is great for your vocal chords, Blaine."
"Rachel!" Kurt yells.
"Just friendly advice!" she says.
"Go away!" Kurt yells.
"Don't worry," Rachel hears Blaine say in a low voice, "I would choose your cock over singing any day."
"Blaine!" Rachel says, scandalized.
"Rachel! You're supposed to be going away!"
"I can't help if sound carries!"
"My headphones are on the table. Put them on and don't take them off for at least another 20 minutes."
"45 minutes," Blaine corrects.
"Okay," Rachel sees and grabs the headphones. "Before I put these on, I'd just like to say I'm happy for the both of you. A year was really too long for you two to just be friends."
A year later, Kurt and Blaine have been very happy together. Burt, however, isn't in great shape. His cancer is back after just six months in remission, and it is being even more aggressive that the first time.
Blaine comes over the Hudmel house while Kurt does some last minute Christmas shopping. He and Burt are watching a football game.
"I have to ask you something, and you can tell me no," Blaine says.
"You think I'm going to say no?"
"I think you're going to be a little concerned about the speed, but I have reasons for this. But if you don't like my reasons, you can say no."
"Just ask me, kid."
"I'd like your permission to ask Kurt to marry me. Now, I know we've only been back together for a year, but our year-long break was one of the biggest learning experiences. We know what the other needs and how to take care of each other. Really, I want us to take care of each other forever. We will be. I'm really confident about that. So we could put off marriage until we're older."
"So why don't you?"
"He wants you at his wedding, Burt. You're the only father he has, and honestly, sometimes you seem like the only dad I have too. We want you to be there, Burt. You're one of the most important people in both of our lives. I understand if you don't approve, though. It seems like we're rushing."
Burt smiles. "Kid, it's always been a yes."
"Why do you think I brought you to New York in the first place? I know what love looks like, not puppy love or high school romance, but the real, long-lasting stuff. You and Kurt? Man, you found it early, but it's there. It always has been."
Blaine's eyes shine with tears. "Thank you, Burt."
"You've been a part of this family a long time, might as well make it official. Welcome to the family, Blaine."
It's June when they get married. Burt shouldn't travel a lot, so Kurt plans the wedding in Ohio. They use Dalton's atrium, right by the staircase where they met. The wedding is small, just their families and close friends. Only about fifteen people from New York are invited. It's mostly family and glee club. Cooper serves as his best man while Rachel serves as Kurt's best woman.
Burt has to be wheeled down the aisle to his seat, but for the most part, he seems to be having a good day. Blaine's dad shows up, although he doesn't look quite as enthused as Burt. His mom, however, does cry during the ceremony and makes a lovely speech at the reception about how proud she is of Blaine and welcomes Kurt to their family. It's the best Blaine could hope for.
At the reception, Kurt and Blaine dance the night away. Most people have gone home by the end of the night and they're still dancing with just a couple glee clubbers left.
"Are you happy, Mr. Hummel-Anderson?" Kurt asks as they slow dance.
"Of course I am," Blaine says, "and what about you, Mr. Hummel-Anderson?"
"I'm thrilled. My dad looked really happy, and our wedding was perfect, everything I imagined it to be."
"Rachel was talking to me about our year of friendship before," Blaine said.
"Oh, god. Why?"
"She said she was glad friendship didn't stick. I told her that you'll always be my best friend first."
"Always." Kurt kissed his husband.
A/N: Reviews are always appreciated!