Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters; Ryan Murphy and Co. hold that honor. I'm simply writing this for fun, not profit.
Written for a prompt by funkylittledarren.
One word prompt: hope.
Trust doesn't come easily.
Sometimes it doesn't come back.
It takes years to mend and seconds to break.
Trust is . . . it's different. Powerful.
It yields itself to uncertainty and compromise, hardship and prosperity. It accepts difficulty and embraces growth. It deepens, warms, fills.
It does not fear. It does not hate.
It is, above all - patient.
In the end, it is truly, irrevocably, unequivocally - nothing more love.
. o .
It's after midnight.
Kurt doesn't know the exact time. He can't recall the last conversation that Rachel and he had, the last argument Santana and she volleyed before a door slid shut and the apartment echoed with the silence, but he knows all of these things are true, because here he is, now, standing outside the door to their loft, staring upward at the empty night sky. He can feel the approaching storm, a low, howling wind shivering up his spine as it sneaks underneath his jacket and pries at his thin button up.
Wrapping his arms around himself, he ascends the creaking stairwell, each step rattling the icy bridge between him and forever a little more.
Fear threatens to paralyze him as he makes the slow ascent, wanting nothing more than to turn around and hurry back into the loft, to throw himself underneath his covers and shut out the approaching storm, already beginning to drum against his back in light, warning gusts. He can feel snow, cool, sharp air that touches the back of his neck and makes the hair rise, his heart rate spiking as he scurries up the last few steps.
Santana is gone and Rachel is sleeping, and he has nowhere else to go but up.
The rooftop is empty when he reaches it. He can hear the storm in the distance, but it's fainter, now, and he lets his step slow to a more comfortable gait as he moves through the snow. He's never been here before, never stood on top of the world like this, above everything else.
Home has never been father away, and he feels his gut twist with the thought of his father, his stepmother, Finn still in Lima.
Music begins to play.
It's faint at first, a repetition of chords that he wants to know. His fingers twitch, and he thinks that if he could name it, then he could wrap them around the song and everything would be okay again. The storm diminishes, retreating as the music grows louder, an Automat sign flickering softly into existence.
A door opens. Kurt turns slowly to face it.
His breath catches in his chest, then, at the sight of Blaine.
Words die in his throat as Blaine turns and eases the door shut behind himself. Blaine's arms rise instinctively to cradle himself, and Kurt wonders if he can feel it, too. If he can feel the chill in the air, the fear, and suddenly Kurt wants to curl up in a ball and hide, to close his eyes and pretend it's not real, that none of it's real, but -
Blaine isn't afraid.
He doesn't cower from the storm, doesn't even flinch as he pads slowly towards the open space dominating the rooftop. Kurt is suddenly, inexplicably grateful that he's hidden, that Blaine can't see him, because this -
This is breathtaking.
"Never knew . . . I could feel like this," Blaine croons, and Kurt's trepidation melts away as he eases closer, just a tiny step forward before he freezes once more, not daring to intrude, to interrupt, to become. He knows that the moment Blaine sees him, there will be no escaping it, no pretending that he was never there. He will be a part of it, a part of this, and it terrifies him.
The storm whistles at his back, an echoing reminder. He hushes it and listens, hardly daring to believe as Blaine looks skyward and sings, "Like I've never seen the sky . . . before."
His eyelids flutter shut, then, and Kurt almost reaches out. He almost relents, because he knows - he knows that feeling.
Stranded and untethered, fading but unbroken. Lost without an anchor, but unable to reach out, unable to recall.
His fingers curl around the railing as he inches closer.
"Want to vanish . . . inside your kiss," Blaine sings, and something changes.
The storm is nothing more than a memory, now, as Blaine advances, his steps crescendoing, his voice rising to meet the challenge as he sings. Kurt can't help but stare as he belts out the chorus, his eyes never once straying to the corner where he is hiding, where he remains unseen.
This is Blaine to him. Blaine performing and resplendent and triumphant. Blaine fading and lost and in need.
Without thinking, without letting himself pause, he steps forward.
And he sings.
It's worth it, then, to see the way that Blaine looks at him.
He doesn't smile, but he doesn't need to. He doesn't rush up to him and kiss him, but that's okay, too. When they slowly meet in the middle, Kurt knows that there isn't a place in the world he would rather be, that he would be content to spend his life up here on this rooftop with Blaine.
But the storm edges in, a deceptively gentle snowfall descending over them as whispers of chaos crowd into their space, and Kurt retreats under the canopy before the first flakes can touch him. He keeps his back to Blaine, because Blaine doesn't move from the storm, and he needs to get away from it. He doesn't trust himself not to succumb to it if he stays. He doesn't know what it holds, what it means, but he's afraid, and he can't turn back now.
Somehow, though, he finds the thread of the song, keeping it, holding it close to his heart and refusing to let it go. Blaine's voice joins his, refusing to be moved, and he hears the strength, the clarity, and slowly he turns, willing himself not to be consumed, wary, threatened.
All he sees is Blaine, standing there, joining him underneath the canopy, and he relaxes. He doesn't let his guard down completely, but he realizes that he doesn't need to leave the shelter, the safe haven that he has now to have Blaine. He can stay.
He paces away from him when Blaine draws nearer, though, as if he's a light that might shine too bright if he comes too close. Blaine doesn't press the issue, keeping stride and keeping his distance, offering the ultimatum.
I won't abandon you, but I won't force you to come closer, either.
In the end, that's what Kurt needs. The permission to let go. To back away and know that Blaine will not pursue. To step down and know that Blaine will not follow.
Their stars collide as storm clouds gather, but the struggle doesn't matter anymore, because all there is, all that seemingly exists anymore, is Blaine, and he's . . . he's everything Kurt needs, then, to feel safe. Wanted. Loved.
There is a moment when Kurt knows he could step away, and that would be the end of it. His fingers hesitate, his entire self wavers between the two choices. Blaine waits, patient, aching, and Kurt stares at his hands, waits for him to break, to reach forward and cling to him.
That's what does it.
As Kurt reaches forward, sliding both arms around Blaine's waist and holding him as close as he can, he rests his head on his shoulder because he's been tired for too long, missed this too much, and if he can have it now, can have it without repercussions or arguments or faults or fears, then he'll take it.
It's peaceful. Calm.
And as the tension in his soul, his mind, his heart eases, he doesn't miss the whispered, I love you as Blaine begins to fade and reality begins to seep in.
He clings to the back of Blaine's jacket, holding on for as long as he can, and when at last he has nothing more than a thread, he presses his lips to Blaine's shoulder and closes his eyes.
I love you, too, he says, but Blaine is gone.
. o .
He doesn't call Blaine that night. He doesn't text him the next morning.
He doesn't mention it over their Skype conversation the following afternoon. He doesn't bring it up over breakfast, lunch, or dinner. He doesn't hint at it over coffee. He doesn't even talk to Blaine for the better part of a week at one point, caught up in Vogue and NYADA and everything.
But he doesn't forget.
And when he finally asks his dad if he can come home for the weekend, he doesn't have to bargain at all. He didn't come home at spring break and they are more than happy to have him home for a few days now, all of them, Carole and Finn and the others.
He doesn't tell Blaine.
But he does tell Adam.
. o .
It's a quiet conversation. He does it in person, because that's . . . that's the only way he can do this, really, and if Adam looks at him briefly as if a light that he'd specially polished, reserved, and fitted for Kurt has gone out, then Kurt steadies himself with one thought alone.
And he gently reaches out, cups Adam's hand in his own, and gives it a single, light squeeze before letting go.
Adam gets up and wordlessly leaves the coffee shop.
Kurt doesn't follow.
He rests his head in his hands and breathes out deeply.
. o .
It doesn't seem worth it at first.
Even when he boards the plane late that night - the soonest flight he could find on such short notice, because he's had to push this back enough and he's not putting it off any longer - he feels queasy, uncertain. Borderline hysterical, even, because he broke up with Adam and now he's -
He doesn't let himself think about it, listening to his iPod and pointedly staying away from anything remotely related to Moulin Rouge.
When he lands, he feels . . . calmer, somehow. Confident. Certain.
No turning back.
Somehow, the thought doesn't concern him.
. o .
It isn't what he expects.
He doesn't actually know what he's expecting, really.
Showing up at the Andersons' house at midnight is a risk. He hasn't texted Blaine beforehand to ask, and now he only needs to hold his breath and knock, not daring ring the bell.
No one answers.
Knocking again, more deliberately this time, he waits.
Pushing past his own trepidation, he rings the bell.
Movement. Slow, sleepy steps, distant at first and then nearer.
The door opens.
He's mussy-haired and sleepy-eyed, nothing like the tailored, perfectly-in-place Blaine of his dreams.
He stares at Kurt like he's never seen him before.
No, Kurt corrects, unable to breathe, unable to move or blink or exist beyond this.
He looks like he's never seen anything so beautiful.
Kurt can't help but think the same, reaching out instinctively before hesitating a moment, because this is real. This is more than a dream and a rooftop and a distant storm of emotions, of attachments, of he cheated on you, he hurt you, he destroyed everything you ever were -
Because he looks at Blaine now, and he doesn't see any of that.
"You're here," Blaine says, and it's careful, calm, surprisingly alert.
He doesn't know, Kurt thinks. He can't, yet.
Kurt's lips twitch, the smallest of smiles curling them upward as he corrects quietly, "I'm home."
Blaine looks at him, then, and Kurt can almost see him on the rooftop, ready to accept nothing and everything. I came to see my family again and I wanted to see you, too. I came to sleep in my own bed and live my old life for a little while. I came to be back where it all started.
What he says instead is, "I came to see you."
Then, quietly: "I needed to see you. And I needed . . . to say this in person."
Stepping closer, then, he finds strength when Blaine doesn't flinch, only lets him in when Kurt crowds him against the door and reaches out. They meet somewhere in the middle, arms wrapped carefully around each other, meeting each other's gazes with equal patience, equal trust and understanding.
Kurt's carefully composed speech vanishes as he says, with unrepentant simplicity, "You are the love of my life, Blaine," and kisses him.
And he will have a chance to recite his speech later. He will have a chance to sit down with him for coffee, to re-introduce him to the family, to bring him to New York.
He will have all of those things.
But for now, he has Blaine, and Blaine's kiss.
And he feels whole again.
. o .