Title: Time Runs Dry
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for mentions of homophobic language and actions; Spoilers for most of season 4
A/N: I want to thank truebluegeek for providing such a beautiful piece of art for the Kurt/Blaine Reverse Bang. I also have to thank purplehairedwonder for brainstorming with me and being as awesome as ever; love you lady 3. And tootscocoa3986 for helping me with the end; you also rock lol.
The Andersons all ran around the house, making plans and packing clothes. Well, all of them except for Blaine at least. Blaine sat at the kitchen table staring down into his cooling cup of coffee. He sighed and pushed it away so he could lean his head on the table. He pulled the nearby newspaper closer and glanced towards the open obituaries. His eyes fell on the picture of his grandfather for a moment before he pushed that away as well.
"What do you think?" Cooper asked, suddenly bounding into the kitchen. He adjusted his tie and pulled on his jacket sleeves. The motion drew Blaine's attention to a black armband wrapped around his bicep.
"Seriously Coop? You're wearing an armband to dinner with Grandma?" Blaine sighed, barely taking his head off the table.
"Why not?" Cooper tugged on it and straightened it. "It signifies mourning."
"You only know that because your girlfriend made you marathon all of Downton Abbey in a weekend and you saw it enough times on there." Blaine rolled his eyes and huffed into his arm at his brother's antics.
"We'll you've only seen it because of your boyfriend and his crazy obsession with all things British monarchy."
"First of all, Kurt and I are still broken up." Blaine bit his lips at the words and tried not to linger on that thought too long. They were getting better but not where he'd like for them to be yet. "Secondly, did you even watch the show? It isn't really about monarchs you know. Keep it up and I'll tell on you to Ali." He sent Cooper a look to show he was being serious.
"Whatever, I knew about the armband before that damn show anyway," Cooper argued with an eye roll. "I've seen sports teams do it too when they've lost a player."
"There isn't any reason to really do it, Coop. Well, other than you trying to be like Matthew Crawley to impress Allison. But it won't. You'll just look out of place and Uncle Martin will pick you apart for it and—"
"Woah, ok," Cooper interrupted. He sat down next to Blaine. "Calm down, squirt. Uncle Martin won't make a scene over something like this." He motioned to the black band. "He's not that bad."
"Come on, Coop, you know that's how he is. He always finds something and just picks it apart. Grandpa did that too." His voice was barely above a whisper for the last statement.
"There it is," Cooper sighed. He squeezed Blaine's shoulder. "Grandpa did that to you a lot over the past couple years, huh?"
Blaine tensed. "You mean since I came out?"
"Cooper, just don't." Blaine stood from the table, picking up his mug and setting it on the kitchen counter. He stood there for a moment with his hands on either side of the sink. The muscles in his back and arms were tense as he tried to collect himself. With his back still to Cooper, he began speaking again. "Please don't wear it. It's not something you have to do here. Just, drop the theatrics. Mom has enough on her plate right now."
"You know you could always come tomorrow and help with mom."
Blaine whipped around, shaking his head. "Cooper I already told—"
"But you could sing with me during the service tomorrow. You know, grandpa used to love to watch us perform together. Would be a way to pay memorial to that, don't you think? Perform for him one last time? Say your goodbyes through a song? I mean I've already picked out the perfect one. My voice will sound amazing on it, and you won't be too bad yourself for it. Come on? It would be nice to sing for him again."
"Well he didn't exactly seem to enjoy it after I came out." Blaine quickly turned back around to hide the angry tears that had pooled in his eyes. He picked up the abandoned coffee mug and set to making a fresh pot. "No, Coop. I just…I can't. I'm sorry if you want me to but I can't do it."
"Blaine, come on. You know mom would appreciate you being there tomorrow. She's struggling with all this. Hell, I could probably use you there."
Blaine bit his lip as the guilt he'd been feeling for the past few days set in once more. "I'm sorry."
Cooper stood up and came up beside Blaine at the sink. He pulled the coffee grinds from his hand and made his brother look at him. "I know you and grandpa weren't close the past couple years, and that wasn't your fault. But, I just worry you'll regret this. Or something. I just—"
"Cooper, leave your brother alone," their father ordered as he entered the room. He pulled Cooper into his side for a hug and picked the bag of coffee out of his hands so he could return it to Blaine's. "Why don't you go help your mother take her dress bag and stuff to the car. We'll be leaving soon for your grandmother's and I'm sure she could use the extra hand gathering everything."
"Yeah, fine," Cooper replied. He reached over to pat Blaine on the back before he headed up the stairs. Blaine took it as an apology but didn't say anything. He knew Cooper meant well, but he couldn't understand. He knew a different person as their grandfather compared to Blaine. It wasn't his fault, but that didn't mean that Blaine still didn't wish he'd lay off some.
With a sigh, Blaine sent his dad a grateful smile before going back to making his coffee. He had just added the grinds when he felt a hand squeeze the back of his neck.
"How are you holding up?"
"I'm fine, Dad," he answered, not looking up from the coffee maker. "You should be more worried about Mom and Cooper."
"I am, but I'm also worried about you. You haven't spoken much about any of this."
Putting on his best showman face, he turned towards his dad. "I promise, I'm fine. There just isn't much for me to say right now." He tried to reassure his father with a small smile, but it didn't work.
"I know your relationship was strained but that doesn't mean you aren't grieving."
Blaine closed his eyes and took a deep breath. "You know, you just got done fussing at Cooper for trying to tell me how to grieve."
"And now I'm doing it to you as well," he sighed. "Alright, Blaine." He gave him a one armed hug as well. "Do what you need, son. I better go help your brother."
"Probably. You just left him and mom to pack by themselves. You'll be lucky if you can get to Grandma's by midnight."
His father chuckled. "Knowing them." He started to walk out of the room but paused at the doorway. "Blaine, I don't want to tell you what to do or how to act, but if you need anyone to talk to or anything, you know you can come to us, right?"
"Sure," Blaine replied at little too quickly. Much like with Cooper, he knew his dad meant well. But he had lost his chance to truly say what he needed to. To say it to the person he needed to. There wasn't anything he could do about it now. It was too late.
The gurgling of the coffee pot drew Blaine out of his thoughts. By then, his dad had already disappeared upstairs. He scrubbed a hand across his face and fixed himself a fresh cup. He could hear his parents and Cooper puttering around upstairs so he took his coffee into the den to wait on them. He wanted to at least be able to give his mom a kiss before she left. He knew this whole thing was taking a lot out of her. She hadn't been close to her father since the blow up over Blaine a few years ago, but it was still her father.
He moved a few photo albums off the couch and onto the end table. His mom had dragged them all out from their normal places on the bookshelf to find some pictures for the service. She'd picked out the more formal photos rather than the ones Blaine always loved. The old ones of his grandfather running after him in the back yard. The ones where he sat on his shoulders so he could decorate help decorate their Christmas tree. The ones of his grandfather applauding Cooper and Blaine's impromptu duets during the middle of family barbeques.
All the ones where it looked like he had cared…
"Blaine, we're leaving," his mom called as she stepped into the room. Blaine frantically rubbed at his eyes and cleared his throat, hoping he could do it without her noticing. Luck wasn't on his side though. "Oh sweetheart." She crossed the distance between them quickly. "Blaine are you sure you—"
"Yes," Blaine answered with a rough voice. "I'm fine." He cleared his throat again. "I just got lost in thought. That's all. Don't worry about me."
"Baby, that's my job." She leaned over the back of the couch and hugged him from behind.
He leaned his head against her shoulder and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "I know. Thank you. But, really, you have more important things to worry about."
"Nikki," his father accidentally interrupted, "we need to go if you want to make it to your mom's by dinner!"
"Drew, hold on a minute!" she yelled towards her husband before turning back to Blaine. "Sweetie, you are important too."
"Mom, I'm fine. Just—you should go before you're late. Dad's right. If you want to get there in time for dinner you should leave now. Traffic will be crazy with everyone getting off work and going out for Friday night."
"Blaine," she gently said once more.
"Really, I'm fine."
She sighed heavily and kissed him on the top of his head. "I'm really sorry things ended like this for you."
Blaine gulped but didn't reply. He could feel her arms tighten around him and he leaned into the touch for a moment.
"You call if you need us, ok?"
"I will," Blaine said quietly, not trusting his voice to hold.
"Mom, are you ready?" Cooper asked from the doorway.
"Yeah, I'm coming." She squeezed Blaine's shoulder one last time and leaned down by his ear. "Walk us out?"
Blaine nodded before standing and following her out of the room. Cooper grabbed him and pulled him into a bear hug as soon as he was in the foyer. "Call if you need me, ok?" he told his brother as he pulled away.
"Yes, mom," Blaine teased half-heartedly. Cooper pulled him back in for another hug. "You too, ok? Call if you need me."
"Come on, Coop," Drew said, patting Blaine on the back. "We've gotta go." He hugged Blaine into his side as well. "There's money in my desk for some pizza or anything if you don't feel like cooking. I don't know for sure but I think I should be back sometime tomorrow if nothing else."
"Thanks Dad. But if Mom needs you to stay, I'll be fine for the weekend. I'm swamped with homework where I skipped anyway and I should work on some arrangements for Nationals. I'll be fine." He once again put on his best showman smile for Drew and hoped he would accept it.
With that, the Andersons, minus Blaine of course, gathered up the last of their things and headed out to the car. Blaine stood on the front porch for a moment, just watching them leave and letting the evening air envelop him. He started to feel numb, but he wasn't too sure it was because of the coolness of the wind.
He eventually returned to the couch in the den. The old photo albums remained on the end table, taunting him with old memories of a man he had grieved for years ago. He knew he should get up and call in something for dinner. But he didn't feel hungry. As sure as he was in his decision to stay away from the funeral, he still felt guilt settling in the pit of his stomach.
Cooper was right; he wanted nothing more than to be there for his mom. But he couldn't bear to deal with the looks from everyone else. His uncle and grandfather had been the worst when he'd come out, both instantly shunning him and excluding him every chance they had. His mom, and even his grandmother to some extent, had always tried to stick up for him. It just didn't matter with them. They could never realize that he hadn't changed. That nothing about him had changed.
His phone vibrated a few times, but he ignored it. Sam and Tina had been texting him for the past two days since he had stayed home from school. They knew what was going on, but that didn't make it any easier for him to talk to about. He didn't know that he wanted to talk to anyone about it really.
The phone went off again, and Blaine silenced it without even looking at the screen before tossing it onto the table. It knocked one of the photo albums off, scattering a few pictures across the floor. He groaned and pushed himself off to pick them all up. He tried not to look as closely as them, but it was hard not to.
Thankfully, he didn't have to look at them for long. The front doorbell rang, echoing through the otherwise silent house and startling Blaine out of his reverie. He nearly dropped the photos again, but recovered quickly and set them back on top of the albums. He smoothed his hair back and hurried towards the door as the bell rang again. He didn't even bother looking through the peephole. He just assumed it was his brother since they had only left a few minutes ago. Besides, Cooper always had a knack for leaving things he needed behind and making their parents turn around.
He sighed and threw open the door. "Coop, what did you forget this time? Huh? Leave your razor? You know you can always borrow Dad's and—Kurt!" Blaine blinked in surprise as he finally looked up. He took in the almost nervous smile on Kurt's face before meeting his eyes. "Wh-what are you doing here?"
"Well, you did say to stop by the next time I was back in Ohio," he said softly.
"Oh, o-ok," he stammered. "I didn't realize you were in town." He tugged on his t-shirt self-consciously. He hadn't dressed in his usually style for a few days, opting for threadbare tees and loose jean. "It's just, this isn't the best of times for a visit. I mean, not that I'm not happy to see you. But—"
"Blaine, breathe. I know. I know it's not." Kurt reached for Blaine's hand, stopping him from motioning wildly with it. "I know what happened. I wanted to be here for you." He squeezed Blaine's hand. "You've done that enough for me the past couple of months with my family situation. It's the least I could do. Like you said, even if we aren't together, we're always gonna be there for each other."
"You remembered that?"
"Of course I did," Kurt said, emphasizing each word to show his sincerity.
Blaine closed his eyes for a moment. "So how did you find out?"
"Your brother," Kurt answered with a small smile. "He called me a few days ago. He figured you wouldn't let me know what was going on." Kurt shifted on his feet. "You should've called me. I would've come sooner." Kurt ran a hand through the back of his hair. "You going to at least let me inside?"
"Oh! Right," Blaine reluctantly let go of Kurt's hand and gestured for Kurt to follow him inside. He ducked his head and rubbed at the back of his neck. "I guess, I didn't want to bother you. You have finals and everything right now. Besides, I'm fine." He sent a smile that he was sure fell flat.
"Some things never change," Kurt said softly, looking Blaine up and down for a moment before averting his eyes. "The house, I mean. It's as spotless and beautiful as ever."
From the way he was shifting nervously, Blaine knew he hadn't meant just the house but he let it slide for now. "Yeah, well, mom's been stress cleaning for a few days now." Blaine shrugged. "It's just how she copes I guess."
Kurt laughed humorlessly and leaned down to look at a vase of flowers that was new. "I can relate to that."
Blaine walked up behind him, placing his hand on his back for a moment as he passed. "I'm sure your apartment has been pretty spotless these past few months, huh?" He continued towards the kitchen. "Want some coffee? I just made a pot."
"Please," Kurt answered. "And yes, the apartment was spotless there for awhile, not an easy feat with Santana as a roommate."
"Why does that not surprise?" Blaine chuckled as he pulled down two clean mugs and grabbing some creamer from the fridge.
"Yeah, she has a thing about going behind you to sort through your things. I think she means well, but still."
"I can imagine," Blaine continued, puttering around the coffee maker and grabbing some mocha syrup he still had in the cabinet courtesy of Kurt. "Does she have her own section of the apartment now?"
Kurt sighed rather dramatically. "Kind of. We sectioned off a piece of the main living quarter in between Rachel's section and mine. But you can still hear everything she does." Kurt rolled his eyes, causing Blaine to come up with some rather interesting guesses as to what he meant by that. "And it means that if you don't clean it for her, you'll have a mess constantly in the main area of the apartment where guests come to."
"Well, like you said, at least you tend to enjoy cleaning to de-stress." Blaine picked up their coffee mugs and motioned towards the den.
"Thanks," Kurt replied, taking his mug and following him into the other room. "Yes, I don't mind cleaning. But between work and NYADA, I usually have to clean really early in the mornings, something that doesn't work too well with the late night loving schedule Santana has stuck to."
Blaine snorted. "Oh no!"
"Let's just say I've been threatened to have very important body parts sucked up with a vacuum cleaner if I keep it up."
Blaine spit out some of his coffee as he tried not to laugh at the image of Santana wielding a vacuum cleaner while wearing her pajamas. "Is that even possible?"
"I doubt it but I really didn't want to find out."
"Can't say I blame you there." Blaine shook his head and settled on the couch. Kurt did the same. Blaine noticed him looking around for a moment, his eyes settling on the photo albums briefly before looking towards the staircase.
"So where are your parents?" Kurt asked after a few moments.
Blaine leaned his head against the back of the couch and heaved a sigh. "Funeral is tomorrow so they went to stay with my grandmother for the night to help her prepare. They're just going to leave from her house and go to it. They'll probably come back home tomorrow night or Sunday."
"You're not going."
Blaine just shrugged, knowing Kurt wasn't asking him so much as stating it.
"Are you ok with that?" Kurt continued.
Blaine shifted uneasily. "Why wouldn't I be? You know things weren't good between us."
"I do." Kurt smiled sadly as he picked up the photo albums and the loose pictures. "But I saw these out and it really didn't make it look like you were."
Blaine took the albums out of Kurt's hands and set them down on the table farther away from him so he wouldn't have to deal with them again. Unfortunately he couldn't stop the loose photos from falling on the couch beside them. Kurt picked them up before Blaine could and started flipping through them.
Blaine sighed and tried his best not to just reach over and pull the pictures out of Kurt's hands. "I didn't have them out. Mom did. She needed some pictures for the funeral. She made a photo board or something to set out during it."
Kurt nodded, his eyes still focused on one particular photo of a young Blaine sitting in on his grandmother's lap while they played piano together; his grandfather sat beside him smiling at the pair. "Your grandma is pretty. You look a lot like her."
Blaine hands clenched into fists at his side before he took the photo and pulled it closer to his face. He bit his lip before finally speaking. "I got that a lot growing up. My, um, my grandfather used to say that a lot actually. Especially whenever we played piano together."
Blaine was quiet for a moment before speaking almost hesitantly. "He couldn't play anything. No matter how many times grandma tried to show him, he just never picked it up. But he used to like to watch us play together. He'd sit in on the lessons she'd give me." Blaine could still remember the way he'd get a whiff of cologne from the doorway before feeling his grandfather slide onto the bench beside him. "Always showed up at recitals too. Well, until, well…"
"I know," Kurt said softly squeezing Blaine's hand. "I'm sorry." Kurt stood to set the photos aside. Blaine was grateful for the moment to compose himself; he felt tears already burning in his eyes. He thought he was discreet enough in hiding them, but he apparently wasn't.
"You know you're allowed to cry. You just lost your grandfather," Kurt said once he had turned back around.
"Yeah but I'm not crying for the right reasons."
Kurt sat down next to him. "I used to say that a lot when I lost my mom. I just, I would lose it over the stupidest of things. A broken cd, missing a ballet class, having to go to school. Stupid stuff like that. And my dad always told me that if it was bothering me enough to make me cry, then it wasn't wrong. There was something bothering me. It may not be the actual event but something underneath it, something that reminded me of my mom." Kurt squeezed his hand. "There's no right way to grieve. You have to do what works for you."
Blaine sat there for a few moments with his eyes closed before speaking. "I feel like I'm upset because I never got to say my peace with him. Not because I lost my grandfather, but because I never let him know how much it hurt when he stopped talking to me or how his reaction to me coming out bothered me. I never wanted to cause a scene. But now I never can. And I feel guilty for that because I should be grieving for him but in all honesty I feel like I grieved for him years ago when he broke ties and I'm doing all this wrong." The words came out quickly and Blaine's face reddened as he realized what he had just done. "Sorry for unloading all that on you."
Kurt bumped shoulders with him. "Don't be. You need it."
Blaine looked down at his hands and squeezed Kurt's a little. "It's just hard to know I can never say any of that to him."
"So tell him."
"What? How?" Blaine scrunched his brow in confusion and gaped at Kurt.
"You always have said that you believe there is a heaven or something right?"
Blaine nodded. "Yeah, something at least."
"Then, if it exists like you believe, can't he hear you?"
Blaine's eyes widened and that seemed to be all the answer Kurt needed. Blaine watched silently and Kurt removed a photo from the album and held it up. "So tell him. Say what's been bothering you for all these years."
"It's worth a try isn't it? If it fails, then what? You'll feel just as bad as what you do now without even trying. And if it works then maybe you can find some peace for yourself. Come on." Kurt held the picture up again and gave Blaine a look over the top of it.
Blaine sighed and glanced towards the picture. He opened and closed his mouth a few times, but nothing came out.
"I know I've been gone awhile but unless you've developed some mutant gene thing like in those comic books you love, you are not a fish."
Blaine smiled a little at that. "It's just, I feel stupid doing this."
"Kurt, I'm standing here talking to a picture!"
Kurt sighed and smiled a little. "I witnessed the epic fail that was Gap Attack. I've seen you do far stupider. So stop stalling. You need to say your peace, so do it. If you don't you'll regret it."
Blaine stood and started pacing, running his hand over his hair and causing the gel to loosen under his fingers.
"Hey," Kurt said softly. "Just say what you've been wanting to say all those years. I'm not going to judge you. Don't worry. Please?"
Blaine calmed a little at Kurt's words and nodded. "Ok."
Kurt sent him an encouraging smile as he took a deep breath.
"I, I don't even know where to start." He chewed anxiously on his lip. "I just, I never understood it. Nothing about me changed. Nothing about the situation should've had that kind of effect. I had always been gay. It's not like I woke up one morning and decided to become that way to piss everyone off." Blaine clenched his shaking hands into fists at his sides. "We were always so close. Back when I was a kid, we were so close. I stayed there a lot when mom had to go into work or when Cooper had his things going on. And the second I came out, it was like none of that mattered. That all of that didn't happen. And I just…" His voice started to crack a little and he trailed off.
Kurt set the picture aside and started to stand. "Blaine—"
"No, don't," Blaine interrupted, voice barely above a whisper. "Let me get it all out. If I stop now I won't finish."
Kurt nodded and remained on the couch.
Blaine sighed and scrubbed a hand over his face before continuing. "It took me so long to realize it wasn't my fault. That I wasn't the one who screwed it all up. That it was him, er you. It wasn't me. It was you. You were the one who had the problem and made the decision to alienate me. You were one who made me feel like I wasn't welcome in your home. Or that I couldn't talk to Grandma. You made me feel like I was wrong." By this point Blaine had a few tears slid down his pale face. "But I never was. I was still me."
Blaine returned to chewing on his lip. He rubbed at his eyes and nose, but it didn't stop the tears. "I looked up to you so much growing up. I mean, you were like this superhero to me as a kid. You never failed me. And then you just acted like none of that mattered. Nothing about the first fourteen years of my life with you mattered and I just didn't get how you could do that. How you could just forget about me and act like I was some time of pariah all of a sudden."
He started to pace again. He'd ran his hand through his hair so much that the gel no longer kept it slicked down. The curls had broken free and were springing up here and there. He looked up at Kurt after a few moments. "He always acted like he wanted me to apologize and change. But I never did. I always felt guilty for it though. Like, it was my fault that Mom didn't get to do the big family thing with her parents and brother because of me. Stuff like that. But that wasn't on me. He never should've asked me to apologize for just being me. Why would he do that? Why?"
Kurt apparently couldn't take it any longer. He ignored Blaine's protests and moved from the couch. He was at Blaine's side within seconds and pulled him into a tight hug. Blaine latched onto him quickly and buried his face into his shoulder. Kurt ran his fingers through Blaine's loose curls and just held him close. "It's ok. You're ok."
"I-I can't ever ask him now. And I can't understand how he could do that to me. Why would he do that?" His words were muffled from where he hid his face against Kurt's shoulder and continued to cry.
"I don't know," Kurt gently replied as he rubbed Blaine's back. "I've never understood how people could do things like that."
"How could he have been so prejudiced that he couldn't even accept someone he was supposed to always love?"
"I seem to remember someone telling me once that prejudice was just ignorance." Kurt kissed his forehead and pulled back enough to look him in the eye. "And sometimes no matter how hard we try, we just can't make people learn something they aren't ready to learn. It isn't fair and it hurts more than I can even begin to describe." Kurt smiled sadly. "You did what you could. You tried. It's not your fault he didn't. I know you want to feel guilty, but like you said, you didn't do anything wrong. You're perfect the way you are. From the way you throw yourself into things with all your heart to the way you care so much about everyone else. If he couldn't see that, that's on him sweetheart."
After a few minutes of silence, Blaine nodded. "Thank you." He rubbed at his eyes and cleared his throat. "Sorry I got you all gross and—"
"Don't even think about finishing that thought," Kurt interrupted. "You have nothing to apologize for."
"I just, I really needed that. More than I realized, I think."
"I think you did too." Kurt squeezed the back of his neck gently.
Blaine sighed deeply. "Now I feel like I need a shower or something."
"Go ahead up. I'll straighten up things down here for you."
"Are you sure? You're the guest and—"
"Go!" Kurt shoved Blaine towards the steps and shook his head.
Blaine paused at the top of the stair. "Hey, will you, um, stick around?"
"I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here when you're done."
Blaine's shoulders dropped in relief and he hurried off to shower.
Once Kurt cleaned up the discard coffee mugs and the photo albums, he made his way up to Blaine's bedroom. For once, the room wasn't in its usually impeccably organized state. He collected the scattered papers on top of Blaine's desk to help him straighten up. He stopped as soon as he saw a very familiar emblem on top of one of them.
"You got an audition for NYADA," he said once Blaine stepped back in the room. His hair was curling at the back and still dripping from his shower. "Why didn't you say something?"
Blaine looked to the floor. "We haven't talked as much since your dad got the all clear and hasn't needed as much help from me. So I didn't think to tell you."
Kurt tried to hide his hurt feelings. He was the one who wanted time to think after everything that had happened. "What are you singing?"
Blaine stepped towards the desk, placing one hand on Kurt's arm and nudging him over. He rifled around until he found the sheet music.
"'Til I Hear you Sing,'" Kurt read. "Learning from my mistakes and doing Phantom I see."
"I still say you went with the right choice," Blaine replied almost shyly, making Kurt blush. "It was their loss that first semester."
Kurt nudged his shoulder and smiled gently. "Why don't you sing it for me?"
"Oh, no, I couldn't! My voice is wrecked from, well," he waved his hand, "earlier." He visibly gulped and looked to have tears shining in his eyes again.
"It doesn't have to be perfect. It's just you and me. It'll be fine. I can play the music on your piano and you can sing along."
"Like old times you mean?"
Kurt bit his lip as the memories of spending lazy days at the piano where they'd get lost in each other's company for hours on end. "Yeah, like old times."
Blaine settled in at the keyboard in the corner and made room for Kurt on the small bench. He joined him and Blaine began singing the song slowly.
"The day starts the day ends/Time crawls by/Night steals in pacing the floor/The moments creep/Yet I can't bear to sleep/Till I hear you sing once more…"
Kurt let himself get lost in Blaine's soothing voice. He'd nearly forgotten the effect it had on him. He'd missed it. He'd miss hearing Blaine sing. He'd missed sitting with Blaine at the piano. He'd missed Blaine.
After everything with his dad's health scare, Kurt had wanted some time on his own. He wanted to go back to the city and relish in the fact that he could lose himself in the hustle and bustle of everything. He could return to classes without sneaking glances at his cell phone every five minutes, worrying that he'd get a call from Carole. He could go out to a function with Isabelle without feeling guilty that his dad was miles away and sick. He could just have fun for the first time in a long time.
Because of that he'd put off talking to Blaine. It was becoming more obvious that Blaine wanted to make a move and try to get back together sooner rather than later. It scared Kurt to death. So he'd avoided it. Avoided Blaine. It was stupid and childish, but he couldn't let himself get hurt.
But being back here with Blaine, seeing him like this, he realized how much he was hurting not only himself but Blaine by doing this. Life wasn't fair and people got hurt. He didn't need to make it any worse for either of them.
"Where are your plans for New York?" Kurt asked after Blaine finished.
Blaine smiled. "First I have to actually get through this audition and get into NYADA."
"Please! If you sing that song like you just did, you'll get in. Besides, even if they are crazy enough to pass you up, I'm sure you have backups. Let me see, NYU?"
"Lucky guess," Blaine snorted.
"Nah, I just know you," Kurt replied with less teasing and much more sincerity in his voice.
Another smile ghosted across Blaine's face fleetingly. "Sam is considering moving with me and finding a place to rent together. Tina might go in with us too. We're still talking about it. None of us are really to keen on moving into dorms."
"That would be good. I know you've gotten really close to them this past year."
"I have. It's been really nice."
"Well I look forward to seeing all of you in New York." Kurt bit his lip and met Blaine's eyes. "But mostly you."
"Kurt, don't. You're just saying that because of everything that's going on. I don't need you to lie to make me feel better. I—"
Kurt cut him off with a small kiss to the cheek. It was chaste but sweet. "I'm not. I promise." Kurt took Blaine's hand and rubbed slow circles on the back with his thumb. "I've missed you. Not talking to you the past few weeks has been weird. And I know I'm the one who wanted the time, but I don't like it. I don't like hearing about your good news later than everyone else or hearing about the bad from someone else because you think I don't care. Because I do care. I can't not care. I tried that before and failed miserably. I don't want to keep trying."
"I don't want to decide on everything right this minute or anything. I don't think either of us is really in a good headspace for that. But I want us to start talking more."
"I'd like that a lot," Blaine said, his voice thick and clogged with emotions once more. "I've missed that too. It's been hard."
"Especially this week. I know I have friends who would've listened to me about my grandfather but I felt like they'd think I was just being stupid. And I was scared I'd make my mom cry if I tried talking to her." Blaine took a deep breath. "I didn't know how much I needed to talk to you until you got here."
"You'll have to thank Cooper for that. He thought you could use someone."
"I guess I wasn't all that discreet after all about it."
"Probably not. You are many things, Blaine Anderson. But discreet has never been your strong suit."
"I'm not that bad!"
"I seem to remember you organizing this elaborate dance routine with the cheerleaders that involved a burning piano as your audition to the glee club."
"Hey, the piano wasn't me! That was all Santana."
"I'll give you that. But you do enjoy your theatrics from time to time."
"Guilty." Blaine's smile faltered. "It's another thing I got from my grandmother. She always wanted to be a performer but gave it up once she married my grandfather. I don't know if he asked her to or if her dreams just changed because of him." Blaine shrugged and looked down at the piano keys. "Guess I'll never really know."
"What makes you say that?"
"I haven't spoken to her much. It was always so hard to talk to her when my grandfather was there glaring at me or making remarks at her for talking to me. I couldn't deal with it."
"But she never disowned you, right?"
"Not formally like he did, no. But things changed between us."
"Maybe you should try talking to her again. Try it and see what comes from it."
"I don't know…"
"You said you always regretted not talking to your grandfather about how he made you feel. I don't want to see you feel that way over your grandmother when it sounds like she really does care about you and may have just been in a bad place where she was caught in the middle. Not saying that makes her not talking to you right, but I think you should talk to her and see what happens."
Blaine sighed. "Maybe. But not tonight. I can't do it right now."
Kurt nodded and was about to comment when Blaine let out a jaw-cracking yawn. "I think the only thing you're going to do tonight is sleep."
Blaine rubbed his eyes. "I haven't slept much since all this started."
Kurt stood and pulled Blaine over to his bed. He quickly threw back the sheets and poked at Blaine to lie down. He protested and tried to climb out of bed. "Kurt, let me up. I need to go put sheets on the guest bed so you can sleep too. I don't want you driving to Lima this late."
"I'm fine. I can sleep on the couch."
"Which you hate."
"I'll be fine. I promise."
Kurt started to walk to the door but Blaine grabbed his wrist. "You c-could stay here with me. Just sleep here?"
Kurt's eyes widened. "I—"
"You don't have to if you feel uncomfortable. I'll understand."
Kurt's face softened and he pulled his wrist free so that he could take off some of his layers. "Can I borrow some pajamas?"
"Top drawer on the—"
"Right. I remember."
Kurt quickly stripped out of his clothes and changed into a pair of Blaine's flannel pants. He left his own undershirt on to save time. He decided to forgo his facial routine for the night, knowing Blaine needed him more than his skin needed the moisturizing. He would survive without it for one night.
He climbed into bed and pulled the covers up. Blaine started to shift away from him but he stopped him by pulling him against his chest. "Kurt—"
"You sleep better when you are being held like this. Especially when you're already upset. It's ok. Just get some sleep."
Blaine remained stiff in Kurt's hold for a moment before allowing his body to practically melt into Kurt's. It didn't take long for him to fall asleep.
Blaine was the first to wake the following morning. Despite the early hour, it was the first time in days he actually felt rested. He could still feel the slight pangs of guilt gnawing at his stomach, but it wasn't nearly as strong as it had been the day before. It was a start at least.
One he owed to Kurt.
He sighed softly and snuggled back into Kurt's embrace, relishing in the comforting way Kurt's arm closed around him even in sleep. Things were far from perfect, but they weren't as bad as they could've been. Blaine still had a lot of issues to work out. He needed to find the courage to one day speak up to his uncle and he needed to have a talk with his grandmother before it was too late.
But as he lay in bed with Kurt, he realized he was well on his way to having one family member back in his life. They had a long ways to go, but it was a start and it felt nice to have that after everything that had happened.
Kurt stirred beside him, his arms flexing and pulling him towards his chest. Blaine watched as he blinked awake and smiled faintly. "Morning." Kurt's voice was thick and slightly slurred from sleep.
"Morning," Blaine replied much clearer.
"Mmm," Kurt groaned. He stretched out as best he could without letting go of Blaine, wincing as his back popped. "How are you?"
"Ok. I think at least."
Kurt kissed his forehead. "It will get better."
Blaine nodded and let his head settle back against Kurt's shoulder. Kurt hugged him close. They stayed that way for a while, just lying together quietly. It was the most peace Blaine had felt in days and he didn't want to move. However, his stomach had other ideas as it growled loudly, interrupting their silence.
Kurt laughed. "We forgot dinner last night."
"Obviously," Kurt snorted. "I'll fix us something. You want to stay up here and get some more sleep?"
"No, I don't think I could fall back asleep. But I might go ahead and call my mom. I'd like to check in on her before she leaves for the funeral home."
Kurt reluctantly climbed out of bed and left Blaine alone. Blaine sighed and rolled onto his back. He hadn't lied when he said there was no way he could've fallen back asleep, but that didn't mean he wasn't exhausted. He wearily reached towards the nightstand and fumbled for his phone. He briefly glanced at all the missed calls and texts from the other glee kids, promising himself that he wouldn't ignore them today.
"Hi sweetie," Nikki greeted after a few rings.
"Morning Mom." He pushed himself up against some pillows. "How are you?"
"I'm ok, Blaine." He could hear people talking and moving around in the background. "We just ate breakfast and are all just getting ready for the day."
"I'm sorry I'm not there." He really was. As much as he knew he couldn't be there, he still wished he could've helped his mom more.
"You have nothing to be sorry for, baby. I don't blame you for not coming. No one does." She paused for a moment. "But how are you holding up this morning? Is Kurt still there?"
"You know about Kurt being here?"
"Of course. Your brother isn't one for being subtle about his schemes. I called Kurt last night and he said he was staying over with you. That you two had talked some."
"Yeah," Blaine responded dumbfounded. He hadn't expected that. "Yeah we talked about some things. I—it helped."
"I'm glad. You needed to talk to someone."
"I guess I really did." He heard his mom laugh dryly before speaking to someone in the background.
"Blaine, Kurt didn't tell me everything, as he should, but I know some of what you talked about last night. And there is someone here who would really like to speak with you for a moment."
Blaine gulped nervously. "Ok?"
Before he could even ask what his mom meant, another voice began to talk. "Hi Blaine."
"Grandma?" he gasped.
It took Blaine a few moments to get over his shock and nervousness about her finally talking to him, but once he did they managed to have a good talk. They didn't air everything out. Not yet. It wasn't the right time. But there was some apologizing on his grandmother's side and some catching up at least. It was far from everything that needed to be done, but it was a start. One Blaine was very grateful to have.
Once he had washed his face to rid himself of some of the tear tracks along his cheeks and the redness around his eyes, he made his way down the stairs. The smell of bacon and eggs hit him as soon as he stepped onto the landing, making his stomach growl all the more. He ignored it in favor of making his way over to Kurt.
Kurt turned around from his place at the stove, obviously having heard him. "Hey, some of the food is already on the table. I wasn't sure what you would want so I just made a bit of everything. Eggs and bacon are already on the plates but I still have to finish these pancakes then—MMPH!"
Blaine cut him off with a kiss to the lips. It took Kurt a second, but he soon recovered enough to return it. The pancakes on the stove started to burn, causing the boys to separate and take deep breaths. Kurt jumped into action to salvage the last of the breakfast and Blaine slid in behind him to give him a hug.
"Thank you," he whispered in Kurt's ear, leaning his head against Kurt's shoulders.
Kurt didn't say anything in response. There wasn't any need to. It was obvious that Blaine wasn't just thanking him for breakfast. He simply smiled and turned off the stove. He twisted in Blaine's embrace and went in for another kiss on the lips.
Things weren't perfect. Blaine still had a lot of things to work on with his family and Kurt still had his own issues to deal with in regards to their relationship. But things were looking up. They would be okay eventually.