Author's Note: Oh, hello! :D It's me. In the aftermath of the perfection of Come What May, I finally wrote this! It's been in my head for forever and now it's out into the world! :D Also, it ended up being way longer than I thought it would…Anyway! On with the show!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Dedication: For AngelisIgniRelucent. :) xoxo
"Hey, Blaine," Kurt sighed as he slipped into his best friend's apartment.
Blaine smiled as he walked out of the kitchen to meet him. "Hey. I was wondering when you'd get here."
"Yeah, my stupid alarm didn't go off. Set my morning back a little." Kurt's hair didn't have any product in it, which was a clear sign that he had rushed this morning. Blaine had only known the other man for about a year—since they met at the diner where Kurt worked—but he knew his habits like they were his own.
Blaine gave him a sympathetic smile as he approached. "Did the munchkin give you any trouble?" he asked.
"A little," Kurt admitted, but it was with a lighthearted smile. The munchkin in question—the two-year-old boy perched on Kurt's hip—had his face pressed into the fabric of the man's shirt. "He was in a kind of a bad mood this morning."
Blaine nodded. "Well, do you want me to make you a coffee or something before you go?" he offered.
Kurt looked like he was tempted, but he shook his head. "Thanks for the offer, Blaine," he said, "But I need to run, or I'll be late for work." He shifted the boy on his hip. "I'll be working the late shift again, but text or call if you need me."
"Okay," Blaine said, reaching out his arms, "Now, hand him over."
Kurt grinned fondly and grasped the little boy under the armpits to lift him. "Okay, Liam," he said when the pair of sleepy brown eyes met his, "Be a good boy for Blaine." Liam didn't respond, but he didn't complain when he was passed from Kurt's grasp and into Blaine's waiting arms. Kurt placed a kiss on the little boy's soft cheek and murmured, "I love you." He touched Blaine on the shoulder and mouthed Thank you before slipping out the front door. Blaine watched him go with a faint smile.
Liam was trying to get his attention, squirming an pulling on Blaine's curls insistently. "Blay! Blay!"
"What, Liam?" Blaine chuckled.
"Okay." As soon as his blue sneakers were on the ground, the boy was dashing into the living room, where his chest of toys was. Liam had a bunch of toys at his own house, but Blaine had decided to buy him some for here so that Kurt didn't have to transport them whenever he was the child needed looking after.
Blaine grabbed the coffee he had left on the counter when Kurt had shown up before going into the living room as well. As soon as the man sat down on the couch, Liam scampered up to him and dropped a coloring book on his lap. As Blaine watched in bemusement, the boy went back to the chest to grab a box of crayons. Liam's brown hair was sticking up at odd angles and Blaine absently smoothed it down when he clambered up on the couch beside him.
Blaine reached for the TV remote and pressed 'play'. He had put in Lilo and Stitch for their Friday morning movie—routines were important; his mom told him that. Liam scribbled on a couple pages (and Blaine watched to make sure he didn't put the crayons in his mouth) before losing interest. He dropped the book off the edge of the couch and then rested his cheek on Blaine's leg. A couple crayons fell to the carpet, but neither of them noticed. They watched the movie in silence; Blaine absently rubbed the child's back as he got lost in his own thoughts.
Liam was still adjusting to his new life. Truth be told, everyone was—Burt, Carol, Mr. and Mr. Berry, Blaine, and especially Kurt. It had been only four months since Finn and Rachel had died in a car accident.
The organization period had overlapped harshly with grieving in the immediate weeks following their unexpected deaths. Kurt had stayed over at Blaine's apartment for a full three days, barely able to function in his shock and sadness. Blaine's heart had hurt, but he would gladly hold his best friend as he cried for as long as it took for him to feel better. However, none of the family had had much time to cope before funeral arrangements and legal issues had to be sorted out. Kurt had flown back to Ohio, leaving a worried sick Blaine back in New York.
When Kurt had come back a while later, it was with a child in his arms.
Liam, Finn and Rachel's son, had been spending the weekend with his grandparents when the accident had taken his parents' lives. Kurt was Liam's godfather and was given custody of his nephew.
This changed Kurt's life completely. He had to arrange a room for Liam, buy him supplies, alter his working schedule, sign up for daycare, and so many other things. That wasn't the worst of it, though; it was hard for Liam to accept Kurt as a parental figure. He wanted his mom and dad, and he sometimes rejected Kurt when he was having a bad day.
But, it was getting easier. Kurt took care of Liam, prioritized him over everything else, and loved him unconditionally. Liam trusted Kurt.
Blaine tried to help wherever he could. He offered to babysit the boy twice a week when he had days off work. He'd come to visit and try to do things for them. Most of all, Blaine did his best to support Kurt in any way.
Kurt was his best friend. And, to be honest, Blaine wanted them to be more than friends. He was actually going to make a move, but then Kurt's brother and sister-in-law had died and the whole mess had come out of that. There was no way Blaine was going to add yet another thing for Kurt to worry about, so he was fine with being friends.
However, he'd be lying if he said he didn't fall more in love with Kurt every single day.
The man raised Liam responsibly and lovingly, and he never gave in under pressure. And, there was a lot of pressure placed on him with the sudden arrival of a kid he never expected to take care of. This, juggling babysitting and work and the occasional movie night, was a completely new environment for Kurt and Blaine's friendship. When they had first met, they had done a lot of clubbing and going out for meals. Now, even though they're still 23 years old, their schedule of spending time together has been altered drastically. Blaine missed pressing close to Kurt's body under the flashing lights, feeling the bass thrum through his heart along with the buzzing feeling of alcohol coursing through his veins. But, he liked the newfound domesticity in this new life, even if it sometimes placed a lot of stress on Kurt.
And, even if they were still only friends.
Blaine just had to accept the fact that Liam was Kurt's major priority right now, not his best friend's lingering feelings of attraction.
Even though he would give anything to be Kurt's. And it would mean everything for him to be someone to Liam as well.
The movie was half over when Liam lost interest in it and scrambled off the couch to fiddle with his toys that played music. Blaine shook himself out of his thoughts and paused the movie in order to make appropriate reactions whenever the boy showed him something.
The day passed quickly, filled with toys, books, food, games, and the occasional nap. Liam was asleep, sprawled out on the couch with a blanket kicked off his feet, when Kurt unlocked Blaine's apartment at 10:00pm. He padded into the living room and smiled when he saw his nephew and his best friend fast asleep. Blaine looked like he hadn't meant to fall asleep there, sitting up at one end of the couch with his head tilted back, neck exposed.
Kurt couldn't resist brushing Blaine's dark curls back out of his face, and the sleeping man snuffled a little. "Blaine," he whispered. Blaine hummed a vague response. Kurt brushed a hand down his slightly stubbled cheek, past his slack mouth.
Blaine's eyelids fluttered. "Mm, Kurt?" he muttered.
"Yeah, I'm here. Sorry it's so late."
Sleepy hazel eyes met his tired blue ones. "Oh, hey," Blaine said, rubbing his face and sitting up, "Sorry, I meant to wait up for you."
Kurt chuckled, "That's okay." He sat down on the opposite end of the couch, beside Liam. Kurt gently eased the sleeping boy up and into his lap where he rubbed his little face on Kurt's shirt, still soundly asleep. The young man gazed down at his nephew with an achingly fond expression. The look sent a jolt to Blaine's heart. "How was he today?" Kurt asked quietly.
Blaine shuffled closer to the pair and spoke just as softly when he answered. "He was fine. Nearly got all the animal sounds right, but then I stumped him with fish…and rabbit…"
"Why would you ask the trick questions, Blaine?" Kurt scolded, but he was smiling.
The lamplight hit the side the pale man's face and nearly took Blaine's breath away. However, it also brought attention to the dark spot of bruising on Kurt's jaw that hadn't been there that morning. Blaine touched it lightly with the back of one finger. "What happened?" he asked.
Kurt grimaced. "Somebody spilled their drink on the floor. I didn't see it. Fell and hit my face on the table…not the most dignified moment of my life, I admit."
Blaine, emotional and sleepy, placed a gentle kiss to the bruise. "You must be tired—"
"Not as tired as you." Kurt was used to Blaine being an affectionate person, so he didn't even blink at the contact.
The shorter man gave him a shushing gesture, then continued to speak. "It's Friday; why don't you stay over here? Then you won't have to drive home."
Kurt thought it over. There were supplies and a bed for Liam at Blaine's apartment, and Kurt had some of his stuff here as well. And he really didn't feel like driving home. "Okay," he agreed.
Blaine's face lit up. "Great," he said, "I can put Liam to bed while you get changed, if you want. I already put him in his PJs."
Kurt nodded and handed the sleeping boy over when the shorter man stood up to take him. They both moved into Blaine's bedroom where Blaine put the two-year-old to bed and Kurt got changed into a pair of pajamas. Blain stood by while Kurt said goodnight to Liam, but he protested when the taller man moved to go to the living room. "Oh, no. You're taking the bed."
Kurt turned around. "I can't make you sleep on the couch, Blaine," he said. He looked like he was about to collapse, but his manners never rested.
"Well, that's too bad," Blaine replied with a cheeky grin.
The taller man shook his head fondly, but knew better than to argue. They both moved into the bathroom to brush their teeth. Blaine loved the fact that Kurt's toothbrush had a permanent place in his cupboard and, yes, he knew it was a weird thing to be thrilled about.
Kurt looked pale in the florescent lights of the bathroom, the dark smudges under his eyes even more pronounced. Although his products were there, Kurt didn't even bother with his nightly skincare routine. That confirmed Blaine's thoughts that something was wrong.
They moved out of the bathroom, but Blaine stopped him in the hallway before he could go anywhere. "Kurt." The pale man gave him a questioning loo. Blaine pulled him by the hand. "Come here," he muttered, bringing him close and wrapping his arms around the taller man's waist. It took a couple seconds for Kurt to respond and then his hands were clenched in Blaine's pajama shirt and his face was pressed into his neck. "What's wrong?" Blaine whispered.
Kurt let out a shaky breath. "It was just a bad day," he muttered. Blaine just rubbed his back, encouraging him to let it out. Kurt released a choked sob, shaking against his friend's chest. "Blaine, I'm not sure if I can do this," he admitted.
"Kurt," Blaine sighed, "You are the strongest person I've ever met."
"But…Liam. What if I can't…what if he—"
"Shh," Blaine soothed. They held each other close for a few moments, Kurt's shuddering breaths filling the echoing hallway, before the shorter man broke the silence. "How about we both take the bed?"
Blaine continued to rub his back, wishing he could make all the bad things go away with one touch. "Kurt, you're stressed. You're tired. Just let me take care of you." All Kurt did was look after and worry about other people. He simply needed someone to be there for him.
The taller man nodded into Blaine's shoulder and they made their way into the bedroom. Liam's tiny bed was pushed up against the wall, only a couple paces away if he needed one of them. Blaine's bed wasn't the largest, so the two men lay close to each other under the blankets. This was the first time in a while that they had shared a bed, and it was the first instance in which they weren't suffering from the aftermath of partying. Kurt remembered that night; falling into bed—exhausted and smelling like smoke, cologne and alcohol—and waking up to Blaine snuggled against him with a little…problem pressing on his thigh.
But this was different. They hadn't partied in months, and Kurt needed this closeness to help him breathe. Blaine gripped him by the waist and his curly hair tickled Kurt's chin when he rested his cheek on the taller man's chest. Kurt breathed in the sweet smell of the sheets and soaked up the warmth of his best friend at his side. He fell asleep almost instantly.
Kurt's body woke him up around 7:00 in the morning. It didn't seem to recognize that it was a Saturday and there was no work to rush to.
He breathed deeply and opened his eyes, staring at the roof and taking in his surroundings in faint confusion before remembering the night before. Blaine's house had a distinct, unexplainable smell. It was a mixture of cinnamon, laundry and something completely unique to Blaine. Kurt could smell it all around him. There was also a warm and heavy weight on his chest, pressing him into the mattress in a way that was more secure than uncomfortable—Blaine himself.
The sleeping man was nearly completely on top of him, one of his knees tucked in the space between Kurt's. Blaine's left hand was curled in a gentle fist near the taller man's shoulder and his head rested in the juncture of Kurt's collarbone and neck. Kurt absently rested his cheek on top of the other man's curly dark hair. Blaine was one of those people that were nearly always in physical contact with someone…or, at least, he was nearly always in contact with Kurt. Whenever they watched a movie or sat on a park bench, Blaine would keep their arms touching and sometimes rest his head on Kurt's shoulder. He'd hold hands with him when they walked through a crowded street.
Kurt knew that it was just Blaine being himself. But, sometimes, he couldn't stop his heart from fluttering at these displays of affection. He knew that Blaine was his best friend, nothing more, but it was hard for him to not second guess all those gestures—the kiss on the cheek, the way he nuzzled his nose into Kurt's neck when they hugged—when he was alone with his own thoughts in the silence. Also, Blaine snuffling in his sleep on top of him was a little hard to forget about.
Just because they were both gay, doesn't mean that they have to end up together. But, sometimes Kurt wanted it so badly that it hurt. This was one of those moments, looking down at Blaine's peaceful face and thinking, What if this could be mine? What if I could wake up to this each morning, have him in my arms each night…raise a child with him.
Liam adored Blaine, he really did. The man could be so goofy that he was flawlessly relatable to a two-year-old, and he provided a rare stability in the boy's life. Really, Blaine was always there for both of them. When Kurt had his bad days, looking at the picture of Finn and baby Liam in his dad's old reclining chair and thinking about the tragedy that had befallen two consecutive generations, Blaine was there to hold him and relax him. When Liam got sick and Kurt had to work, Blaine was there to babysit and most likely get barfed on.
But he didn't mind. Blaine would show up with a smile on his face and the ever dapper, "Don't worry about it," on his lips.
And Kurt treasured him so much.
Suddenly, Kurt's thoughts were interrupted by a fussy grumble from the small bed at the side of the room. Blaine snuffled into awareness and blinked his large hazel eyes until he focussed on Kurt's face. "Mm, good morning," he muttered, smiling a dopey smile.
Kurt couldn't resist reciprocating the action. "Good morning, Blaine," he replied.
Liam cried out again. "Do you want me to—" Blaine began to offer, but Kurt cut him off.
"No, I got him." He moved to get up, and only then did Blaine fully realize the position they were in. He blushed and shuffled off so that Kurt could stand up.
Kurt picked up the two-year-old and held him close. Blaine watched from the bed with a gentle smile.
Liam was playing with trucks on the living room carpet. Kurt was sitting on the couch, hemming a pair of Blaine's pants. Blaine was also playing with trucks on the living room carpet.
Kurt looked up from his careful stitching and smiled at the ridiculously dramatic engine noises that Blaine was making. Liam was giggling as well, driving a sports car the size of his fist up and around the man's leg. Unexpectedly, Blaine dropped his tiny ambulance on the rug and gave an obvious shocked look to Liam. The boy looked back at him with big brown eyes. There was a moment of silence before the room was filled with squeals as Blaine picked up Liam and ran around the room, making noises like an airplane. The little boy was yelling in delight as he 'flew' through the air.
Kurt couldn't hold in a laugh as they returned to their original spots after a few laps around the room. Blaine tried to get Liam back into the trucks, but the little boy was insistent, clambering into the man's lap and demanding, "Up!"
"Now, look what you've done," Kurt warned.
Blaine shot him a grin. "Oh, this is all part of my master plan," he said. Kurt just gave him an Oh, really? look.
He got to his feet, but Liam would not be deterred; he followed Blaine around wherever he went. "Blay! Up!"
"Okay, mister!" Blaine exclaimed before scooping the child up and blowing a raspberry on his stomach. Liam laughed uncontrollably while the man placed noisy kisses on his face, pushing him away with tiny hands. Blaine finally conceded and flung him in the air a couple times, always there to catch him. "How are those pants coming?" he asked over Liam's excited shrieks.
Kurt shook his head fondly. "Almost done," he admitted. "What? Are you getting tired?"
"No!" Blaine said defiantly, continuing to entertain Liam, spinning around a couple times. "You're just taking too long."
Kurt raised his eyebrow. "At least I know how to sew." Blaine scoffed, so Kurt tried a different approach. "At least I don't need my pants sewn because I'm not freakishly short."
"Oh, snap," Blaine said, "Liam, did you hear that? He's not being respectful to us short people."
"No, Liam is perfectly proportionate for his age."
"Oh-ho. Someone's asking for it." Blaine sat Liam down on the couch beside his uncle before pouncing, leaning over Kurt and tickling his sides.
"Blaine!" Kurt yelled, "I'm sewing! What is wrong with you! Stop it!" His words were interlaced with laughter as he threw the half-finished pants onto the coffee table in order to defend himself as best as he could.
Blaine continued his barrage. "Tell me I'm proportionate!" he demanded.
Liam, realizing he wasn't going to be getting their attention any time soon, slipped off the couch to play with his trucks again, picking one up and zooming around the room with it.
"Tell me I'm perfect!" Blaine insisted.
Kurt finally managed to get a hold of something, grabbing Blaine's wrists in his pale hands. Finally free from the torturous laughter, he simply sat there, breathing hard and holding onto Blaine. The shorter man was still chuckling a little, but he grew silent as they stared at each other. The lighthearted mood was still lingering above them, but in a more subdued and silent way. Kurt looked at the man in front of him and felt his heart contract. "You're perfect," he whispered.
Blaine continued to smile, but it had morphed into something more than teasing; Something deeper that they both were oh so aware of, but never spoke of. He stared into Kurt's blue eyes and took a breath to say something...
Then Liam tugged insistently on his pant leg. "Blay! Blay!"
Kurt let go of Blaine's wrists, blushing and glancing away. It took the shorter man a couple moments to recover and turn to the little boy with an astonished smile. "What, Liam?" Kurt picked up his sewing again and the afternoon continued as normal.
They didn't bring it up until lunch time.
Kurt and Blaine were eating sandwiches that the shorter boy had made as a thank you for Kurt hemming his pants. Liam was eating some cheese and a cut-up hotdog, and most of the food ended up on the table in his vicinity rather than on his plate or his mouth. Blaine would wipe the ketchup off of Liam's hands every now and then or adjust the boy's bib.
Kurt watched him do this with a serious expression, noticing the tender way that Blaine would hold Liam's little hand and the fondness in his face and actions. This day was a big turning point for Kurt, from his breakdown last night to the sheer domestic comfort that came with spending the day the way they had. It lifted so much off of his shoulders to simply be able to share responsibility with someone, to share love for a child with someone, to share these everyday experiences with someone. Especially if that someone was Blaine, who has always been there, unwavering in his support and joy.
"Do you ever think that we could do this?" Kurt didn't realize that he had spoken until the words were out of his mouth.
Blaine looked up with his thick eyebrows raised. "What?"
Kurt looked down and bit his lip. He hadn't meant to say it out loud.
Blaine got up from his place across the table and left Liam to his messy food adventures. He walked around to sit beside Kurt, tilting his body towards the taller man to give him his full attention. "What's on your mind?" he prompted gently.
Kurt looked up and immediately regretted, for he found himself lost in his best friend's hazel eyes. "Uh…I was just…" He swallowed. "Do you ever think about…us? Like…um…" Kurt cleared his throat and averted his eyes again, unable to complete his sentence.
Blaine reached out and took Kurt's pale hand in his tan one. "What do you mean?" When Kurt couldn't find the courage to speak up again, he scooted closer. Liam was babbling to himself and Kurt kept his serious gaze trained on his nephew. "Kurt, you know you can tell me anything."
Kurt took a breath to tell Blaine that it was nothing, that he was just tired, but his resolve broke when he saw the openly captivated expression on the other man's face. His mouth started spewing the words without his consent, "Blaine, you're my best friend, you're my rock, sometimes you're the only thing keeping me sane. You always know how to make me laugh and, more importantly, how to make Liam laugh. And, whenever I see you being like this around him or whenever you're just there for me, I can't help but think…that maybe we could…" He stopped then, simply staring at Blaine and breathing, begging him to understand, to say something.
Blaine was at a loss for words as well. "Are you saying what I think you are?" he asked hesitantly after a moment filled only with Liam talking to himself. Kurt just bit his lip and looked at him with those large blue eyes. "Because," he gently rubbed circles on Kurt's knuckles with his thumb, "I really care about you, Kurt. I have for a while, and I haven't exactly been subtle about it…" They both laughed a little awkwardly. "But…I wasn't sure whether you wanted that on top of everything else in your life." There was a pause which Blaine broke with a slightly-panicked, "We are talking about the same thing, right? You didn't just want another sandwich or something and I'm making everything really awkward, because I—"
Kurt placed a finger on Blaine's lips to shut him up. "Yeah, Blaine," he admitted, still a little flustered, "We're talking about the same thing." He removed his hand, but Blaine stayed silent to allow him to talk. Kurt frowned a little and said, "What do you mean, that I would want it on top of everything else?"
"Kurt, you've got a lot of responsibilities. I didn't want to add more stress."
The taller man actually laughed at that. "Stress?" he exclaimed, shaking Blaine's shoulder a little. "Blaine, you take the weight off my shoulders. When I'm with you, I forget all of the stress in my life. You help me so much, simply by being you." Blaine couldn't help the biggest smile from coming to his face and Kurt grinned fondly in return. "I just…it would mean everything...if we could…you know…be together. Like, officially. You've already taken over my life, pretty much."
Blaine got this peculiar expression on his face and then he was hugging Kurt so hard that he felt he was going to suffocate. "Okay. Okay, yeah. Yes," Blaine was mumbling in Kurt's ear. He pulled back with a grin. "Let's do it."
Kurt laughed. "Just like that?"
"Just like that," Blaine agreed. He lifted up Kurt's hand and kissed the raised knuckles. "Would you like to go to dinner with me tomorrow?"
"Like, a date?"
Kurt shook his head in amazement. He couldn't believe that it was this easy for them to fall into place like this. "Liam would have to come," he reminded. The child was amusing himself by tossing pieces of hotdog across the table, but neither of them noticed.
"Of course," Blaine said, "We could take him to the park before dinner. He loves it there."
"Okay," Kurt whispered. He couldn't keep a smile off his face.
Blaine kissed his hand once more before noticing the mess that Liam was making. "Woah!" he exclaimed, "It's raining hotdogs!"
They cleaned up the table and changed Liam's ketchup-stained shirt before taking him with them to the grocery store. Before they knew it, the day was over and they were putting Liam to bed like before. Only, this time, they stayed up for a few more hours talking, outlining plans and voicing thoughts previously kept hidden. When they lied down together after a long day of work and play, it was with a mixture of uncertainty and comfort. Neither of them could sleep, but they didn't talk. So, the quiet draped over them like a curtain.
"This is silly," Blaine says finally, breaking the silence.
Kurt stopped staring at the ceiling. "Yeah, you're right," he agreed. The tension wasn't quite removed, however, until he angled himself towards the other man and muttered, "Come over here."
Blaine, not needing to be told twice and knowing exactly what Kurt wanted, smiled and shuffled over to lay with his head on Kurt's chest. He listened to the steady rhythm of the other man's heart and allowed himself to relax. Even though they were taking a step from friendship to something more, it didn't mean that the basis of their love for each other had to change. They were and forever would be best friends; nothing could change that. The fact that this new territory was making them apprehensive was a good thing and it would hopefully ensure that they wouldn't rush into things too much. Blaine, nervous and excited for the life laid out ahead of them, rested his cheek on Kurt's warm chest and listened to the beat of his heart, reminding himself that they were the same people they were yesterday.
They were Kurt and Blaine. As inseparable, supportive, and caring as they always had been.
Nothing would ever change that.
Author's Second Note: I wrote this and then I read the new chapter of "Hush Little Baby, Don't You Cry" by MyPartnerInCrime and realized that I wasn't being as original as I thought. Anyway, if you liked this, let me know in a review! Also, if you liked this and haven't read the fic mentioned above, go do so. :P You won't regret it.
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