Blaine looks up and swallows hard, his heart racing as he stares at the person in front of him. He quickly wipes his eyes on the back of his hand and stands up.
"H-how did you know I'd be here?" Blaine asks in shocked awe. He hadn't told anyone where he was going, just got in his car and drove. Ever since the break up he would often sneak back to Dalton at night and sit on the staircase when he and Kurt had first met. He knows it's silly and probably a little creepy, but being back here, specifically here, makes him feel closer to Kurt.
"I didn't," Kurt says. He worries his bottom lip between his teeth and takes a tentative step towards Blaine. Blaine's standing on the step Kurt had been on when they met and now Kurt is standing at the bottom. He would laugh if the situation were different.
"Oh," Blaine says. The school is empty this time of night so Blaine hadn't been expecting to run into anyone. He wasn't exactly dressed for socialising; he wore long jeans that covered his feet, an old worn hoodie, his hair wasn't gelled and he hadn't shaved for four days, his face sporting thickening stubble. He would be almost surprised Kurt recognised him if he hadn't been so shocked at seeing him.
"What are you doing here?" Kurt asks. His voice is quiet and his gaze drops to his feet, as though they're the most interesting things in the world.
"Oh, well." Blaine rubs the back of his neck gingerly, grimacing as he tries to find a valid excuse why he's at Dalton at eight thirty at night. "I sometimes come here to think." He scrunches up his face the moment the words leave his lips and he instantly regrets it. Kurt doesn't need to know how utterly pathetic he's become.
Kurt looks up at this, his expression unreadable. "Does it help?" Kurt asks curiously.
Blaine considers the question for a moment. Whenever he has come it was because he had been feeling particularly lonely or something had reminded him of Kurt and he needed to get away. He would sit on the steps and just let his mind go blank. He would cry, of course he would cry, but he would just let his mind clear. The pain from the break up was now a dull ache, but being at Dalton numbed it. It was almost like having a pain killer.
"Sometimes," Blaine admits. He could never lie to Kurt (that's what brought them here), but 'sometimes' was probably the best and most honest answer he could give right now.
"I talked to Sam," Kurt says conversationally. He sits down beside where Blaine is standing and looks up at him nervously. "He's told me how… how you've been." Kurt looks almost sorry for him, there's definitely pity there. His eyes are bright and questioning; as though he doesn't believe what Sam has told him. Of course Sam isn't the most sensitive person and he probably told Kurt exactly what Blaine had told him (I can't sleep, I've lost my appetite) and not sugar-coated it the way Tina or Marley might have.
"I'm fine," Blaine lies. He bites his tongue, the bile already rising up his throat. "That was a lie. I'm not fine," he corrects, swallowing hard. He drops down beside Kurt, resting his elbows on his knees, his face falling into his open palms. "I'm so not okay."
To his surprise he feels Kurt's hand touch his back. Blaine recoils, shuffling away from Kurt, who looks at Blaine with a pained expression, his lips pursing as he lets his hand fall to his lap. The main reason he withdraws is that he doesn't deserve to be touched by Kurt, but there's part of him that is startled by the friendly contact. He has not so much as hugged another person in months.
Kurt sucks in a deep breath, his eyes rising to the ceiling as he smacks his lips together, willing back tears. Blaine slides a little closer, but still far enough away that their knees aren't touching. Kurt turns to him and says, "I've thought about what you told me, about what you and – what happened."
When Kurt had visited Lima with Rachel a few weeks ago to watch Grease there had been words. Kurt wanted to know exactly what Blaine had done with Eli after spending the past month thinking the worst. Blaine had explained that he had gone over to Eli's house and they had kissed, Eli pressing for more. Blaine had near enough had a panic attack and when Eli went to get him a glass of water, Blaine had come to his senses and fled.
"And?" Blaine asks, dejected. He doesn't sound very hopeful. He doesn't expect Kurt to take him back and why should he? He waits for Kurt to start shouting but it doesn't come.
When Blaine looks at Kurt, he finds him watching him with that look of pity again. Blaine wonders if that's all Kurt will look at him with from now on. Pity and disgust.
"I've forgiven you for kissing him. I've spoken to my dad and he's helped me understand that you were, are, in a bad place. That's no excuse for what you did, but I understand, Blaine."
After Kurt left to go back to New York, Burt had visited Blaine at home where the two of them had a long talk. It was the first time Blaine had voiced his fears and feelings about Kurt, his move to New York and what happened with Eli, and Burt had patiently listened and not judged. Kurt was in a bad place and wasn't ready to listen to what Blaine had to say, but Burt was. Since Finn took over the Glee club, he had been updating Burt on how Blaine was and after Kurt left for New York, Burt thought it was time they had a chat.
Burt didn't hate him, which was both surprising and comforting to Blaine. He helped Blaine through a very dark period, helped him hate himself less. But unfortunately, after Blaine had forgiven himself for what he did, he was still lost without Kurt. That pain could only been healed with time, not words.
Blaine nods, watching his hands as he rubs them together. "But?"
Kurt sighs. "I'm still trying to get over the trust. You broke my trust, Blaine."
Blaine just keeps nodding, aware that he's crying again now. "And you broke my heart, Kurt," he whispers.
"Blaine," Kurt says, sounding almost offended that Blaine could say such a thing.
"It's true," Blaine says. He looks up at Kurt, who is silently crying, hot tears rolling down his cheeks. "I thought I had lost you. You were slipping away and you promised you would never say goodbye. Leaving without saying goodbye was worse than if you had said it."
Blaine stands up. He can't be here. He needs to get out. When he reaches the bottom step he turns to Kurt and says, "Looks like we both lost the trust in each other."
"Do you know why I came here tonight?"
Blaine stops dead in his tracks at the bottom of the stairs. He doesn't dare turn around now. He hears Kurt's descend the last few steps and stop.
"The trust was broken but not lost," Kurt says softly, his voice low and warm.
Blaine lets out a shaky breath and turns around. Kurt is smiling; his lips are turned up only slightly, but that's definitely a smile.
"What are you saying?" Blaine rasps, disbelief thick in his voice.
"You're my soulmate, Blaine," Kurt whispers, the tears falling free now. "And I know we're young but I know for certain that I'm not going to love anyone else the way I love you, and I can't -" Kurt shudders, his face screwing up as though he words are painful to speak. "I can't live without you. It's not going to be okay overnight, but I want to- to make it okay. I need it to be okay."
Blaine's eyes sting from not blinking, not wanting to miss a millisecond of Kurt's confession. He feels like he's drowning, like his lungs are filling with water and stopping him from breathing. He opens his mouth, words failing him as he closes it.
He gives Kurt a watery smile, his lips quivering as he holds out his hand. Kurt takes it and they both feel it; a jolt spreading through their bodies from their fingertips right to their toes. Warmth and love and promise of hope flood their bodies. It isn't lost on Blaine that he's taking Kurt's hand on these steps again. Kurt took the hand of the strange boy in the blazer two years ago, trusting him to show him the way and now he's doing it again, putting his trust on the line.
"Steps," Kurt says, squeezing Blaine's hand. "We'll take baby steps."
"Baby steps," Blaine agrees, squeezing back.