I can't believe it's finished! This story is the longest thing I've ever written outside academic papers. It comes in, here at the end, at over 72,000 words and 176 pages. What the…?
I think I've legitimately run out of ways to thank everyone who has read, liked, recommended, championed, and/or commented on this story. Whether you found it when I first started posting back at the end of January or just yesterday, I am completely grateful for your time and patience and generosity. I can't thank you enough.
One last note: within the next week there will be a one-shot based in this world that centers around Kurt's friendship with Jeff and something that happened in Chapter Nine of this story. If you liked Jeff throughout TTETYS, hopefully you'll enjoy it. If you didn't care for Jeff as this story went along, you might want to steer clear.
Thanks again, to all of you!
Blaine opens his door and lets Kurt walk ahead of him into the room. It's the gentlemanly thing to do, yes, but he's also hoping for some guidance on how this is supposed to work. Will Kurt sit on the bed with him? In a chair? On the floor? On the floor together? Can they still hold hands? How close should they sit together? How close is too close?
But then Kurt turns around and looks at him uncertainly before glancing at the bed and then back down at the floor. And Blaine realizes oh. Kurt doesn't know either. Okay, so neither of them knows exactly what they're doing, at least in this, and while it could be that much more terrifying – instead it relaxes Blaine slightly.
If they're both unsure, Blaine hopes maybe they can help each other figure it out together.
Together, together, together gives him the courage to walk over to Kurt and hesitantly wrap his arms around him in a hug. There's a brief, almost imperceptible moment before Kurt returns it. But then he does, wrapping his arms around Blaine's shoulders, bringing him closer, chests pressing against one another's, leaning into the embrace. Blaine does the same with their foreheads, closing his eyes and reveling in the feel of his soulmate, Kurt, standing so close, allowing him to touch and hold and breathe in.
Blaine takes in a deep breath and exhales slowly through his nose. "Just so you know," he whispers, "I don't have much of a plan for this conversation."
"That's okay," Kurt murmurs back. "I've been looking for an opportunity to work on my improv."
They both chuckle, though Blaine laughs both at what Kurt said and the fact that he laughed at his own joke. God, Blaine thinks, I am well on my way to being in love with this boy. His breath hitches at the realization, even though his next thought is too soon, too soon … too soon?
Kurt leans his head back slightly and asks, "Blaine? Are you okay?"
Blaine nods quickly, answers, "Absolutely," though what he really wants to say is, I'm trying to figure out how I can feel this happy without completely vibrating apart. Instead he opens his eyes, looks right into Kurt's, and nervously says, "I know I asked if I could kiss you before we go to Jeff's, but do you think it might be okay…" He trails off because Kurt smiles and leans forward to kiss him, and Blaine closes his eyes again.
Nothing Blaine has ever experienced can compare to this. Kurt's trim waist in his arms, palms and fingers fanned out across his lower back. Kurt's solid chest pressed against his. Kurt's arms around his neck and shoulders, one hand grazing his ear. Kurt's lips, softer than anything Blaine's ever touched, yet somehow also firm and steady as they move against his own. And this tingly feeling that spreads rapidly through his entire body and reaches the tips of his toes and fingers. Logically Blaine understands it's probably the adrenaline, but all he can think of is magic and perfect and more.
Kurt breaks the kiss after several seconds, sighing and hugging Blaine tighter. "We are going to be so good at that." Blaine huffs out a laugh and opens his eyes before Kurt suddenly pulls back, eyes wide. "No, I didn't mean, I didn't mean that." His eyes grow even larger and his cheeks turn a light pink. "Not that I think we'll be bad at that," Kurt says, voice pitched higher in his nervousness. "Or that I've thought about it, or … oh God, you wanted to kiss me again, and now I can't think."
Blaine tries to keep from laughing too much and making Kurt self-conscious. He kisses Kurt's cheek softly. "You make me nervous, too," he says with a wink, taking Kurt's hand and leading him over to the bed. He sits down, crossing his legs underneath him, and tugs Kurt to sit down facing him.
"So. Talking." Blaine says. "I suppose I should just start at the beginning, huh?"
"A very good place to start," Kurt says with a grin.
Blaine begins with his own procedure from several months ago and explains his way through to today. It takes more than an hour because in addition to being a lot of information, Kurt interrupts frequently with his own commentary.
"I can't believe you thought it was Finn."
"Hey! In my defense, Finn was sitting exactly where you'd been, and he was wearing a red jacket, too."
"Of course he was wearing a red jacket. He always wears that damn McKinley letterman jacket. Oh, wait – I remember that! Artie hit me and made me spill coffee all over the arm of my red Members Only Racer jacket."
"I can't believe you remember that day!"
"What? No. I remember the jacket."
"You were at the performance for Coach Bieste?"
"Um, yeah? … Kurt?"
"No, yeah, okay. Just wondering where that falls on the scale of sweet to stalker."
"Can we say sweet?"
"Why didn't you say anything?"
"Because before you finished I ran out and called Wes and cried."
"Oh, Blaine. You cried?"
"Well, I didn't know how to deal with my feelings for you."
"I need to hug you."
"Why didn't you tell me about Finn back then?"
"Just before Christmas?"
"I – I wasn't ready to tell Finn, and I didn't want you to, uh, to have to keep it from him. … Kurt?"
"I guess I can see that."
"Would it have changed things if I had? Told you, I mean?"
"Changed what things?"
"Well, Finn said you had a crush on me –"
"He said what?"
"Uh, nothing, he said nothing."
"Where's my phone? I'm going to kill him."
"Kurt! Wait. If I'd told you then, at Christmas or even before, would you have still felt anything for me? I mean, Finn was your stepbrother and things were so messed up."
"Yes, I would've still had feelings for you."
"Thank God. I still had feelings for you, too. And, if I'm being honest –"
"We will always be honest, Blaine."
"Yes, yes we will. Good. Okay, I didn't tell you about Finn because I didn't want you to have to keep it from him, that's true, but also because I was scared that telling you meant closing a door on us, on anything we could have together, and… It's just, it's one thing to think it could happen, it's another thing to watch it happen and know there's nothing you can do about it, you know?"
"Kurt? Hey, Kurt, not that I don't love hugging and cuddling with you right now, but that's kind of tight."
"You were going to sing to Jeremiah? What the hell, Blaine?"
"It seemed like a good idea at the time."
"To sing to him? With the Warblers? At his workplace?"
"I know it was stupid, but I thought –"
"You haven't even sung to me yet!"
"What? Yes, I have."
"You have not. When?"
"You didn't sing that to me; that was a performance."
"Yes. A performance. That I sung to you."
"… You sang that to me?"
"You really didn't notice?"
"I mean, I hoped, but I didn't know."
"Here, lean up against my wall so we can cuddle while we talk. We shouldn't have to lean forward just to hug each other."
"You have great ideas. And speaking of ideas, what were you going to sing to Jeremiah?"
"Oh, I hadn't really, I mean, I'd been kicking around some things, but I didn't, um."
"Blaine? Blaine, you did have a song picked out! What was it? I promise I won't be mad."
"I'd kind of been thinking about When I Get You Alone."
"Kurt, if you keep laughing that hard, you're going to fall off the bed."
"Okay, no, stop, I don't want to hear it."
"No, don't ever show me that Dissenter research."
"Are you sure? It doesn't really apply to us, I hope, so…"
"Blaine, I have enough to worry over and enough to be sad over and enough that scares me without adding things I can't do anything about."
"You're right. I won't tell you about it."
"I can't believe they ambushed you like that in David's car!"
"They thought it was for the best, and to Wes' credit, he apologized later."
"Blaine, sweetheart – oh, um, can I call you sweetheart, is that too much or too soon or should I not?"
"No, sweetheart is good. I like sweetheart."
"Okay, Blaine, sweetheart, you don't do well when you're backed into a corner."
"That's not true!"
"Hmph. … Okay, fine, but in my defense, how many people actually handle that sort of thing well?"
"Very few, which only further proves my point that springing something major like that on you in a confined space was not a good move."
"So that's why you were in a bad mood for weeks?"
"Because of me?"
"NO! Kurt, no, not like that, I swear. It's just that I'd spent so much time and energy on how to be a platonic soulmate, and then to have all of that change, but not really know for certain that it had changed … and it was you, and I wanted it to be you, so much, you have no idea –"
"You'd be surprised."
"I'm just saying that you weren't the only one hoping for something. Continue."
"Well, I, hmm. I guess it boils down to me being scared again. What if I screwed it up? You already meant so much to me, just as a best friend, and if that went away, and on top of it you as my soulmate went away, because of something I did. God, Kurt, I don't know what I'd do."
"I don't think either of us could let things get that bad."
"No, but we could, and Kurt, I'm still terrified. Not of you, never of you, but what happens if I say the wrong thing? Or do the wrong thing? Or hurt you so badly you can't forgive me? Your dad stood there tonight after dinner and practically welcomed me to the family, but I don't always know what I'm doing, and what if I'm so inept and damage this so terribly that we can't recover? How can I make that up to you? Kurt, what if I can't be what you need? What you deserve?"
"Blaine, stop. That's too much pressure to put on yourself. You do realize that if something goes wrong between us it could just as easily be my fault, right?"
"No, Kurt, you wouldn't. You couldn't."
"Yes, I could. But if we – if we decide to do this, we have to trust each other. Do you trust me?"
"And I trust you. Did you mean those things from the signs earlier? That you'll respect me and listen to me and be honest with me?"
"Absolutely, yes, I swear."
"Okay. So if I do the same thing, which I will, then we should be okay. We'll still fight and get on each other's nerves and have to make compromises sometimes, but we'll get through it."
"And if we don't?"
"If something does happen, and that's a big if, we'll handle it then. But there's no point in being so afraid of a potential disaster that we let it hang over us."
"Hmm. So this is how it's gonna be, huh?"
"How what's going to be?"
"You're the practical one, and I'm going to be the hysterical one?"
"Oh God, no. No no no no. Sometimes I'm going to be irrational and crazy, and you're going to have to talk me down."
"I … I think I can do that."
"Kurt? Did we just have the big talk?"
"Oh, I guess so? Holy crap. I think so. Wow. Huh. I expected to cry."
"So does this mean we're together?"
"Yeah, I think so. If, if that's what you want."
"Hell yes. I mean, yes, absolutely, that's what I want."
"Thank God! I'm sorry; I don't know why I'm laughing! Oh my God! Oh, but, um … So, um, does that make us boyfriends?"
"I've never really been anyone's boyfriend."
"Yeah, I think it makes us boyfriends. … Oh, Kurt! Kurt, please don't cry."
Later, after more talking and laughing as well as a bit more crying and kissing, Blaine realizes that the only word to describe how he feels is content. He's sitting next to Kurt, his boyfriend and soulmate, holding hands, with his head on Kurt's shoulder. Neither says anything, both just happy to be with the other.
This soulmate stuff is awesome.
All too soon it's time for them to head over to Jeff and Nick's room. Blaine grabs some pajamas and a change of clothes to stuff into his satchel, along with face wash and gel for in the morning and – oh. Oh no.
"Kurt?" Blaine turns around from facing his closet, only to find Kurt on his stomach on the floor, head and one arm under Blaine's bed. "Kurt, what are you doing?"
"Looking for the chocolate stash you pretend you don't have. I am not going through another sleepover with Jeff without my own candy reserve – AHA! Jackpot! I knew it was in a box under here somewhere. Thank goodness for Kit Kats." Kurt wiggles out from under the bed and sits up, holding the bag of candy aloft triumphantly. Blaine hasn't moved. "Sweetheart, are you okay?" Kurt asks, slowly lowering the candy.
Kurt stands and lays the candy on the bed before facing Blaine and taking his hand. "Your hair looks fine."
"No, Kurt, my hair."
"I don't understand. What about your hair?"
"I can't sleep in the gel, and you're going to see my hair."
Kurt chuckles and squeezes Blaine's hand. "Oh, honey, is that all? You should see my hair without any product. I look like the poster child for pre-teen choir boys."
"No, Kurt, you don't know. My hair is – without the gel, it's bad. Like really, really, oh my God so bad, I can't do this. I'll have to figure out a way to sleep in gel for the rest of my life."
"It can't be that bad." Blaine starts to protest again, because yes it most definitely can be that bad, but Kurt cuts him off. "That thing before, about trust, you were serious about that?"
"Of course, but –"
Kurt shakes his head. "No buts. So trust me when I tell you that no matter what your hair looks like without gel or if you have a birthmark the shape of George W. Bush on your back," Blaine huffs out a laugh, "or whatever it is, I will still want to do this." He grabs Blaine's other hand and brings them both to his chest. "And this." Kurt leans forward and lightly kisses Blaine on the lips, breaking the kiss with a hum and a smile. "And this."
Kurt lets go of one of Blaine's hands and pulls him to the door with the other. He's barely gotten the door open, pulling Blaine to his side, when he yells out, "Hey! Dalton! Blaine Anderson is officially my boyfriend!"
Blaine hears cheers from behind several closed doors, along with random shouts of "About damn time!" and "Who said that?" and "You owe me twenty bucks, Danny!" and "Some of us are trying to sleep!" He rises up and kisses Kurt's cheek.
"Hey, you were the romantic one today. I'm just trying to catch up."
Their last kiss before they leave Blaine's room goes on longer than planned, so they're two minutes late getting to Jeff and Nick's.
"Oh thank goodness," Nick sighs when they enter. "I did not want to have to be the one to call Burt Hummel and tell him his son wasn't here yet. Your dad is a scary man, Kurt."
"He is not. I don't know why people think that." Blaine exchanges a look with Nick over Kurt's shoulder that is equal parts Kurt's relationship with his dad is so sweet and Hell yes Burt Hummel is a scary man. Kurt takes out his phone and calls home. Their conversation only lasts a minute, after which Burt does ask to talk with both Nick and Jeff. Nick just has time to say hello before Jeff pulls the phone out of his hand.
"Don't worry Burt, I've got everything under control. Blaine will be sleeping on the floor with me tonight, and Kurt is taking my bed. There may or may not be booby-traps," he says, waggling his eyebrows at Blaine. "Kurt's virtue is in safe hands, sir."
"Oh my God, give me the phone, give me the phone, give me the phone," Kurt shrieks. "Dad, it's fine, I'm fine, I can't vouch for Jeff's safety after I hang up, but I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. … Dad, quit laughing, it isn't funny. … Dad, stop it. … Dad, come on, just give the phone to Carole so I can say goodnight."
Blaine, torn between wanting to laugh or die of embarrassment, turns to Nick. "He's your roommate. You can't keep better control of him?" They look at Jeff, bouncing in his desk chair and looking positively smug.
"He thrives on embarrassment and chaos, Blaine, what can I say? My roommate is a gremlin."
"Dad, seriously," Kurt says exasperatedly into the phone, "it wasn't that funny!"
After he hangs up, Kurt ignores Jeff, though it's obvious Kurt isn't all that upset. He gives up the pretense when Jeff produces half a cherry cheesecake from the mini-fridge. "If anyone asks, I bought it from the German bakery a few blocks away and did not steal it from the dining hall after dinner."
Kurt sits on the floor, leaning against Blaine's side, back against Jeff's bed, and eats a slice of cheesecake, occasionally feeding Blaine a bite. Jeff lies on the floor next to Kurt, on his stomach with his feet in the air, watching them with a smile on his face. He sighs and says dreamily, "I love real life movies."
They devote the first hour to talking about Kurt and Blaine's new relationship. Neither wants to go into too much detail about their earlier conversation in Blaine's room, but they answer enough of Jeff's questions that he's satisfied. Nick, however, spends most of his time sitting on his bed and playing with his phone.
"Nick?" Blaine asks. "Everything okay?"
"Yeah. Just sending out a few texts." Blaine gives him a confused look. "Just, okay, I sort of promised a couple of people I'd tell them what you guys told us about what happened in your room." Nick looks at them sheepishly.
Kurt puts down his fork and sits up. "You've been telling them everything?"
"No!" Nick exclaims. "Not everything. I mean, Finn already told us about dinner."
Jeff sits up too and puts a placating hand on Kurt's knee. "Hey now, don't blame him. I think Rachel and Mercedes were waiting at your house when they got back."
Kurt just sits there for a second, looking back and forth between Nick and Jeff, mouth open in some sort of shock. If Blaine could see himself, he'd probably look similar. "So what," Kurt starts, "you've only been sharing the stuff from after we got back to Dalton?"
Blaine leans forward. "Who are these 'couple of people' you promised you'd keep informed?"
Nick won't even look at them now. "Uh, you know, just Wes and David. And Thad. And maybe Trent and a couple of the other Warblers. And Rachel and Mercedes."
"And Tina and Artie and Brittany," Jeff chimes in helpfully. "Plus, Tina is with Mike, and Brittany is with Santana and Quinn."
"Is that all?" Kurt sputters.
Jeff shakes his head. "Well, I mean Artie is over at Puck's playing COD with Sam and Lauren."
"He says Puck is surprisingly interested in everything," Nick interjects.
"That's everybody in New Directions!" Kurt yells.
Jeff holds up a finger. "And, well, when Nick said 'a couple of the other Warblers,' what he really meant was all of them."
Blaine can't figure it out. "We are not that interesting," he says. And they're not, right?
"I don't think you guys realize just how many people have been rooting for you to get together," Nick tells them. "Even before we knew you guys were soulmates, we were all hoping you'd start dating. I mean, you two may have been oblivious, but the rest of us weren't."
Jeff nods and scoots forward slightly toward them. "And then when we figured out the soulmate thing – you guys are sort of what we hope for, those of us who believe in the soulmate spot and want to know someday." He looks back at Nick and smiles, acknowledging that not everyone does. "I mean, minus the convoluted way it finally came about, you guys are perfect for each other and found each other. And now you're together."
Blaine hears a sniff and glances over at Kurt, who is obviously tearing up, eyes red and face flushed. He pulls a handkerchief out of his pocket and hands it to him. Kurt takes it gratefully, squeezing Blaine's hand and wiping his eyes. "Just when I think I'm done crying for the day…"
"Did you know," Jeff continues, "that David has made another Finder appointment? His last one didn't yield anything, and he'd decided it wasn't worth it to try again, but seeing you guys changed his mind. And, um," he ducks his head a little. "I've been thinking I might give it a try when I turn sixteen next year."
"Oh! Jeff! Are you sure?" Kurt asks, letting go of Blaine's hand and focusing his attention on his friend. "I know you've gone back and forth about it."
"Yeah, I talked with Nick some yesterday, and I know there's the potential for bad, but I mean, you guys ended up okay, right?"
Kurt looks back behind him at Blaine and smiles, and Blaine couldn't stop himself from smiling back if he wanted. "Yeah," he says, giving Kurt a wink.
No one says anything for a few seconds, until Nick clears his throat. "So is it okay if I keep going with the texting? I've got, like, three dozen people expecting answers, and Brittany says Santana doesn't like to be kept waiting. I won't tell you exactly what she said, but it's possible my life may be in danger right now."
Kurt laughs and leans back to rest against Blaine again. "Yeah, go ahead."
Two movies later (one with Matthew Perry, one without), Nick is finally done texting, and Jeff has gone through no fewer than three separate sugar crashes.
"Now then, Blaine," Jeff says. He crawls over to him from his spot on to floor and takes Blaine's hand. "I don't want you to feel jealous of my epic friendship with Kurt. Sometimes he's going to prefer hanging out with me instead of you, and that's okay. It doesn't mean there's anything wrong with your relationship or that he doesn't like you anymore."
Blaine just raises his eyebrows. "Uh, thanks?"
"No problem, buddy. And listen, if sometime when you guys are making out Kurt accidently says my name, just forget about it. Let it go. Fantasizing about me is not cheating on you. He can't help it, I mean look at me." Kurt's head falls onto Blaine's shoulder, unable to stay up any longer because he's laughing so hard.
"Of course," Jeff continues, "if I was gay, would I be fighting you for Kurt's hand? Obviously. The guy is an exquisite Renoir painting come to life. Fortunately for you, however, I'm neither romantically nor sexually interested in men, so there's no need to get worked up about it, okay?"
"That's, um … okay, no, I don't know what that is," Blaine answers. He looks down at Kurt, who is now so far gone in his laughter that he's gasping for breath.
Nick clears his throat. "Jeff, stop it. Leave them alone."
Jeff turns to his roommate. "Aw, don't be jeally Nicholas! You know you're one of the most handsome guys in this school. If Kurt turned me down, which, yeah right, but if he did, you know you'd be next on my list."
"Well in that case, Casanova, you better figure out who'd be third because I'm not going anywhere near you."
"David," Jeff answers without missing a beat. "He can dance, so you know he'd be good in bed, and he's got that rebellious streak I can definitely identify with. Plus, all those backflips he does means he probably has really strong thighs and could hold me up."
Everyone is silent for a moment, just staring at Jeff, until Kurt lets out a loud snort and dissolves into giggles again. Nick shakes his head. "You will never ever be able to convince me again that you aren't at least a little bicurious."
"I can appreciate sensuality and beauty and strength without being sexually attracted to it, Nick," Jeff replies, rolling his eyes.
"Hey wait," Blaine interjects, "what about me? Why am I not higher on this list?"
Jeff turns to him. "You're cute, Blaine, but you have more junk in your trunk than I like. You're still top ten, though."
Before he can be too offended, Kurt stops laughing and props his chin on Blaine's shoulder. He leans in and whispers, "Don't worry. I like your trunk."
Blaine turns so that his forehead rests against Kurt's and closes his eyes. "And you would still pick me even if Jeff was gay, right?"
"Every single time, but don't tell him that."
"That's a relief," Blaine says, only mostly joking. "He's not wrong about you, though. You are stunning." He opens his eyes and watches Kurt's cheeks turn a light pink. Blaine lifts his head slightly to kiss Kurt's forehead. "But if you ever say Jeff's name while we're making out, I'll have to punch him."
Kurt chuckles and lays his temple back on Blaine's shoulder. "Deal."
The following Monday in Warblers practice, Blaine is ready. He's been considering it all weekend, maybe subconsciously even before then, and he wants to sing a duet at Regionals with his boyfriend. It's not completely selfish; Kurt has the most amazing voice of anyone in the Warblers, so really Blaine is just doing everyone a favor.
Wes does not see it that way.
"Warbler Blaine, you forget, yet again I might add, that the council chooses both the soloists and the songs."
Thad leans over and quietly murmurs, "We could let him just this once. We were already going to offer Kurt a solo anyway."
"You think that's a good idea?" Wes whispers back. "Watch this." He straightens a bit more in his seat and asks, "Blaine, just out of curiosity, what song did you plan to sing?"
Blaine sits up straight, hoping this means the council is considering his idea. He looks over at Kurt, who watches with wide eyes. "I'd been circling around the idea of Candles, by Hey Monday."
"Candles," Wes repeats.
"Yeah, I think we'll sound great on it, and the rest of the song…" Blaine slows to a stop once he notices the looks on the council's faces. "What?" he asks.
David shakes his head. "You want to sing a break-up song with your new boyfriend?"
Thad leans back over to Wes. "Okay, you made your point."
"No!" Blaine shouts, looking back at Kurt, who has his head in his hands. "No! It isn't. It has that line, you know," he sings, "I'm beginning to see the light. It's like Kurt and me, realizing we're soulmates." He looks around, expecting to see the other guys agreeing with him, but no one makes eye contact. They're either looking at Wes or Kurt or are on their phones scrutinizing lyrics.
"Just out of curiosity, Blaine," Nick asks from one of the couches, "just how badly do you do with poetry in our English class?"
"It isn't a break-up song, though." Blaine checks Kurt's reaction again, but he's on his phone reading lyrics too. "Is it?"
Kurt shakes his head, giving Blaine just a moment of vindication, but then, "We can't sing this. 'Couldn't finish what you started, only darkness still remains'?" He glances back at Blaine. "You really don't see it, do you? Okay, from now on you will run all gift ideas by either Mercedes or Tina or Wes, no exceptions."
How did he mangle this so badly? It seemed perfectly appropriate when he found the song last night. But okay, no matter. He has a backup plan. "Fine," he concedes, trying not to pout. "What about Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves?" No one says anything. "You know, the Aretha Franklin and Annie Lennox duet?"
The entire room is silent for several seconds until Kurt leans forward and pats him on the leg. "Blaine, honey, maybe we could sing that together some other time, okay?" Blaine slumps in his chair and tries not to think about how much he would have rocked the Aretha part.
"As it happens," Wes announces, "Thad, David, and I spoke last week about the possibility of a duet with Blaine and Kurt." Several members nod or murmur their agreement, and Kurt smiles brightly at the prospect. "We've narrowed it down to either My Same by Adele or Tricky Angel by Natasha Bedingfield."
"We're leaning toward Tricky Angel," Thad says,"but we want to hear both in practice today. Nick, would you mind distributing the sheet music?" Nick nods and stands up, walking to the council table. The rest of the Warblers make their way into their basic formation.
Kurt stops by Blaine's chair to take his hand. "Hey, we still get to sing together, right?" Blaine just shrugs. "Come on, don't pout. If it's any consolation, I think it was very romantic of you to lobby for a duet in front of everyone."
Blaine doesn't want to smile, but he can't help it. Kurt called him romantic again. At least he got that part right. "My songs weren't awful, though, were they?"
"They could have been worse, certainly. You could've said Islands in the Stream or anything by Michael Bolton."
"Yeah, right." Blaine chuckles but silently makes a mental note. Thank goodness he didn't mention his second backup, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You.
Two weeks later, they face off against the New Directions again, this time at Regionals. Blaine looks forward not only to competing, but also to singing with Kurt. They've had a lot of, um, practice time over the last several days, and though Blaine may be biased, he thinks they sound amazing on Tricky Angel.
They do sound incredible, and Raise Your Glass brings the crowd to it's feet. Blaine feels good about their chances until New Directions performs and Kurt whispers, "Oh my God, they're doing original songs." Crap.
It isn't exactly a huge shock when New Directions wins.
Unlike after Sectionals, the Warblers don't mingle very long with the New Directions. There's a clear winner and a clear loser, and just about everyone is happy to go their separate ways and either celebrate or lick their wounds. Kurt, of course, is the exception, taking time to congratulate all his former teammates and make plans to make plans. ("Call me tomorrow, we'll do something.")
As the Warblers head back to the Dalton bus, spirits low, Blaine takes Kurt's hand. "You okay?" he asks.
"Yeah. I mean, I'm disappointed, sure. But I'm happy for them, too." Kurt glances over and ducks his head slightly. "Is that okay?"
"Of course," Blaine reassures him. "They're your friends. It's natural you'd be excited for them. Hey, I'm excited for them, and I don't know everyone as well as you do. If we couldn't win, I'm glad it was the New Directions. They deserved it." He shrugs. "It's alright to be sad for us and pleased for them."
Kurt nods and slides his hand out of Blaine's and up his arm to fold into the crook of Blaine's elbow. "Thank you."
The subject doesn't come up again until a few days later, when they're walking across Dalton campus after school. It's become part of their routine for Blaine to walk Kurt to his car after Warblers practice. Blaine knows Kurt has been getting multiple texts and messages every day from his McKinley friends, primarily Mercedes and Rachel, about their plans for Nationals, and he also knows how difficult it is for Kurt to remain upbeat.
"This weekend I need to fabric shop for a new cover for Pavarotti's cage," Kurt says, making a note on his phone. "The Burberry works for the winter, but now that we're coming into spring, he really needs something lighter and more cheerful."
"I thought we were going to see a movie."
"I know," Kurt answers. He peers over at Blaine, eyes wide and hopeful. "I just thought maybe we could leave a little earlier and stop by a fabric store or two?"
Blaine grins and exaggeratedly rolls his eyes. "Well, if I must spend more time with my boyfriend this weekend, I suppose that's fine."
"Excellent," Kurt replies, but his enthusiasm is obviously tempered.
"Hey," Blaine says, stopping as they near the parking lot. "How are you doing with the Regionals loss? You still seem down about it."
Kurt lowers his head a little, putting his phone away in his satchel. "Oh you know, it's fine."
"I think Wes is talking about a benefit concert next month, and there's the Dalton spring festival to get ready for." Blaine tries to sound upbeat, but Kurt isn't biting. "And," he says, drawing out the word, "I never did get to perform at a Gap. That sounds like fun, right?" Kurt chuckles, but it's obvious his heart isn't in it. "Hey. Don't be sad."
"I know." Kurt looks over at Blaine, his eyes lacking their usual spark. "I just really wanted to win."
"You did win," Blaine tells him. "We both did. We got each other out of all this. That beats a lousy trophy, don't you think?" He reaches for Kurt's hand and waits a half second until Kurt reaches out with his own.
The truth is, Blaine feels incredibly lucky. Yeah, the loss at Regionals sucks, but in the grand scheme of things, after the last month, last several months, there's nothing that can bring him down too much. He has Kurt. Wonderful, amazing, almost too good to be true Kurt. He'll take (hopefully) spending the rest of his life with the boy standing next to him over a win at a singing competition any day.
Kurt looks down at their joined hands and resumes walking to his car, knowing Blaine will follow. "You know," Kurt says after a moment, "you really are sort of cheesy sometimes."
"What?" Blaine exclaims, pretending to be hurt. "How could you say such a thing?"
"I didn't say I don't like it," Kurt replies, finally beginning to smile.
"Oh yeah? Well, how's this?" He stops walking and pulls Kurt to him, lifting the satchel off his boyfriend's shoulder, dropping it to the ground, and wrapping his arms around his back. Kurt slides his hands up Blaine's arms and around his shoulders. "Kurt Hummel, do you know what makes me happier than anything? Being with you and knowing there's a part of my brain, a part of me, solely devoted to you. My soulmate spot, now and for the rest of my life, only has one purpose – thinking about and connecting me to you. And nothing anyone ever does will ever change that.
"And as if I couldn't get any luckier, I know there's that same part of you, right around here," he reaches up to tap the back of Kurt's head, "that does the same for me." He leans forward and gently kisses Kurt. "Absolutely no one could be half as lucky as I am to be the only person in the world who gets to share that with you and only you."
"Blaine," Kurt laughs as he wipes away tears. "I don't know why you keep saying you're not very good at romance." He slides his hand to the back of Blaine's head, his thumb resting near the place Blaine thinks his own soulmate spot might be, and brings their lips together again for another kiss.
Blaine knows that if life doesn't give him any of the other things he wants – college, New York, career, maybe children, and who knows what else – he'll still be happy because he has Kurt. And forever seems both too much and too little, but with Kurt it could be the only thing that matters.