Twenty-three days after the tattoo guy stabs a hole through the center of his tongue, Kurt takes the barbell out.
It’s not that he doesn’t like the way it looks. And he certainly likes all the dirty fantasies Blaine’s whispered over Skype about what that barbell’s going to feel like when they’re together in New York after graduation and Blaine gets to feel it his mouth and on his cock and against his balls and maybe his … (At that point in their first cybersexual encounter after Kurt's piercing, Blaine blushed and ducked his head and Kurt raised his eyebrows in question and Blaine, breathing erratically as he stroked the tips of his fingers around the head of his cock, right there on screen for Kurt to see, sputtered out, “My, my … I’d really like you to lick me down there, I mean, if you wanted to, if –” and Kurt stuck out his tongue and touched the barbell to the camera and, momentarily forgetting about his lisp, said, “I wanna tathte you everywhere,” and Blaine’s face flushed as deep as his cock and he came all over his stomach.)
So yes. That’s quite the perk of having a tongue piercing.
And it’s exhilarating to know that Kurt can take this kind of risk, endure this kind of pain, and still survive. It’s a reminder that he’ll eventually get to the other side of his grief over Finn’s death. He can do this. He’s done it before with his mother. He can do it again.
But sex and symbolism aren’t enough to make the piercing stick.
The seed of Kurt’s second-guessing is planted eight days after he gets his piercing. Kurt’s sitting in his improvisation workshop, concentrating so hard on spinning the barbell using just his teeth that he doesn’t notice when he misses his cue to join the skit – well, not until everyone in the class has turned around to stare at him expectantly.
“Kurt,” says his professor after class. “I know you’ve been through a lot lately. Do you need to take some time away from school?” She touches his elbow; he fights his instinct to shirk away. Everyone thinks they have a right to touch you after someone has died, as if their touch could somehow make up for the fact that you no longer get to touch the person you actually care about.
Kurt shakes his head. “No, no,” he says. “Thorry I got dithtracted. It didn’t have anything to do with … that thtuff. You don’t need to treat me differently than you did before.”
She frowns, then forces her mouth into a sympathetic smile. “All right, then. But if it happens again …”
“It won’t,” he says, barely managing not to roll his eyeballs.
Despite his promise, he finds himself getting distracted by the piercing almost constantly. He keeps finding new games to play with it: running it across the back of his teeth with a satisfying thwuck-thwuck-thwuck like a kid dragging a stick along a picket fence; tensing and untensing his tongue to slide the shaft of the barbell up and down; twisting his tongue until the bottom stud touches the roof of his mouth.
The last time he had this much fun with a new accessory was a few years ago when he first got that foxtail to wear on his belt.
He’s not supposed to play with it this much: the tattoo guy warned him against it, saying it could make the hole take longer to heal and lead to infection. Kurt can’t stop himself, though. He plays with it so much that two weeks in, he’s still lisping almost as much as he did on day 1.
So he designs some alternate rituals. He starts wearing the foxtail every day. Every time he catches himself playing with his barbell, he first curls his fingertips into his palms and digs his nails in to startle himself out of his reverie. Then he starts petting the foxtail. If that’s not enough distraction, he’ll try twirling a pen with his free hand, or try wiggling each of his toes independently inside his boots.
Even with all that, he’s usually back to playing with the barbell less than two minutes later.
On day twenty-two, he sticks his tongue out and gives it a long, hard look in the mirror. He may be wrong, but – Is the hole getting bigger? Oh my god, it’s getting bigger. No wonder I’m still lisping.
He goes on the internet to assure himself that he’s hallucinating, that it’s impossible to stretch a hole in your tongue – after all, it’s the strongest muscle in the human body, how could I even? – but what he finds is not reassuring.
He reads about people who never overcame their post-piercing lisp, some who chipped their teeth with their tongue jewelry, a couple of people who ended up with septicemia (he’s not sure what that is, but it sounds awful), and a woman whose piercing infection spread from her tongue to her brain.
Apparently getting a cock piercing is less risky than getting a tongue piercing. Who woulda thunk? (Well at least the cock piercings that don’t go straight through the urethra, but who the hell would do that? And if Kurt spends more time than he perhaps ought to looking at photos of tastefully pierced penises, well – he is very stressed out and needs some sort of happy distraction, thank you very much.)
Kurt goes to bed that night repeating to himself that the chance of something awful happening is is probably one in million. It’s practically next to nothing.
The reassurances are useless. Kurt’s the guy who has to wear the right color of socks to his father’s doctors’ appointments to ensure a good prognosis. He doesn’t sleep a wink.
He gets out of bed at 4 a.m., goes into the bathroom and unscrews the barbell. When he pulls it out, the hole in the center of his tongue still gapes a little. It’s a little gross, but it’s also reassuring. If he changes his mind, he can probably press it back into place tomorrow.
After rinsing the barbell off and patting it dry, he brings it back to his room. He opens the midnight blue ring box that once held his engagement ring and that he now keeps on his dresser next to a photo of him kissing Blaine, and he drops the barbell inside.
The next four hours are the soundest sleep Kurt’s had in weeks.
“I took the barbell out,” Kurt blurts out that night on Skype as soon as Blaine says hello. “I don’t think I’m going to put it back in. I hope you don’t mind.”
Blaine furrows his brows in that adorable way that makes it looks like he’s got two fat woolly-bear caterpillars resting above his eyes. “Why would I mind? It’s your body.”
“You seemed pretty excited about it.”
Blaine smiles. “Everything about you excites me. You could have a tattoo on your back that says ‘It’s get better’ and I would love that tattoo as much as I love you.”
“Har de har har.”
“No. Seriously. I would. Because it’s part of your body, Kurt. I love you and I love everything about you. The barbell was hot because it was something you did for yourself. And I’m assuming this is something you’re doing because you want to?”
Kurt flops belly-first onto his bed. “Yeah. It was getting distracting. I’d play with it so much that I’d lose track of what was going on in class. And I didn’t sound the same and that was weird. It’s only in this past year that I’ve really started to appreciate my voice.”
“You’ve always had the most beautiful voice, Kurt.”
“Thank you,” Kurt says. He’s tempted to deflect the compliment with a joke, but resists. Now that they’re back together – that they’re going to get married – he wants to get better at accepting the love Blaine gives him, even when his instinct is to keep it at bay. “Being here at NYADA has kind of made me understand that for the first time. And now that I’d finally learned to love it – well, it’s been weird hearing myself talk since I got my tongue pierced. I didn’t like the way I sounded anymore.” He shrugs. “Plus, I started to get worried I was going to stretch a huge hole in my tongue with all the fiddling I was doing, and then last night I read about about this woman who got an infection that spread to her brain after she got her tongue pierced and … well, I was done.”
“Oh my god. I didn’t even know that was possible. I don’t want you to get a brain infection, either.”
“It’s not likely, but you know me and unnecessary risks.”
“So you’re happy about your decision?”
Kurt doesn’t answer immediately. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath and listens his own heart beating. He doesn’t remember hearing it much in the past few weeks. Maybe it was always drowned out by the sound of the barbell tapping against his teeth. “Yeah, I am,” he says.
Kurt opens his eyes and looks at Blaine. Blaine’s looking back at him, the smallest smile turning up the corners of his mouth and eyes. “You’re the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen, Kurt.”
“Thanks,” Kurt says. “I feel gorgeous when you look at me that way.”
“You’re always gorgeous. Tongue-ring or no tongue-ring.”
“Stop. You’re making me blush.”
“I like making you blush.” Blaine’s own cheeks start to pinken as he tugs on the end of his bowtie to loosen the knot.
“I wish there was a way to have the kinky tongue-piercing sex without actually having the tongue piercing.”
Blaine looks sheepishly down at the keyboard, then back up at Kurt’s face. “There is.”
“What? Putting marbles in my mouth? That doesn’t sound very safe.”
Blaine shakes his head. “No. I could … I could get a piercing.”
That … that is not something that Kurt expected. Ever. Not from his preppy yacht club 1950s gay teen heartthrob star of the silver screen. “Do you want to, though?” he says. “Because I don’t really have fantasies about feeling a stud on my cock or my ...” Kurt and Blaine both burst out laughing at the same time. “A tongue stud, you perv, not a – oh my god, I totally have fantasies about you the stud being on my cock.”
Blaine gets a glazed look in his eye and absentmindedly starts stroking himself through the fabric of his chinos. “Oh, I miss that.”
“Me too.” Kurt bites his bottom lip. “But Skype sex is nice, too.”
Blaine smirks, unbuttons his pants and shifts the fabric of his briefs down, revealing his half-hard and growing cock. “The piercing,” he says, looking down and whispering the words like a heavy secret. “I didn’t mean a tongue piercing.” He wraps one hand around the base of his cock and pushes teasingly at his foreskin with the other.
Kurt watches with wide eyes and mouth agape. I’m so glad my future husband is an exhibitionist. He presses his crotch into the mattress. “What did you mean, then?”
Blaine keeps playing with his foreskin, pulling it back down over his hardening cock and then up again over the head. “I’ve thought about getting one right – right here.” Blaine pinches the edge of his foreskin to indicate the spot, then closes his eyes and lets out a gorgeously pornographic sigh.
“Oh.” Kurt’s mouth goes wider. A few weeks ago he probably would have winced and crossed his legs, but a lot can change in a few weeks. And after last night … He rolls his hips into the sheets. “How long have you been thinking about that?”
Blaine’s skin flushes brighter. “Um, a couple of years?”
“Oh,” Kurt says again, though he’s not sure whether it’s more out of surprise or the amazing feeling in his balls. “Why didn’t you ever tell me?”
“I didn’t want to freak you out. But then you got your tongue pierced –” Blaine’s hands move faster on his cock and, given the low resolution on this Skype call, Kurt’s brain is probably making things up but he swears he can see a bead of precome glistening from Blaine’s slit.
“I’m definitely not freaked out.” Kurt grinds into the sheets and his eyes start rolling back in his head. “Anything that turns you on turns me on like … fuck.”
“This turns me on, Kurt. You wanna know what else turns me on?”
Kurt nods, but Blaine doesn’t answer right away. Instead he gets off his bed and repositions the computer so Kurt can watch as he drags off his tie, pulls his shirt off over his head, and shucks off his briefs and pants. He pulls a small bottle of lube from his nightstand and crawls back onto the bed, his cock nudging against the camera (Kurt suspects it’s not an accident) before he picks up the computer and resettles it between his open legs. He squeezes a bit of lube into his hands and lies on his back, his cock curving thickly toward his stomach. It’s still growing – minutely but perceptibly – and Kurt’s mouth waters at the sight.
Blaine cups his balls in one hand and reaches further down with his other to stroke his perineum. “Doing this for you,” he whispers. “Turns me on.”
Kurt lifts himself up on all fours and pushes his yoga pants down to his thighs. He hisses when he touches his cock – it feels better than touching himself usually does – like Blaine’s fingers are wrapping around him, teasing him, coaxing desire from deep within his body. Kurt’s way more turned on than he thought he was, already dangerously close to being past the point of no return.
“And sometimes I think about getting a ring right here,” Blaine strokes the delicate web of skin connecting the base of his balls to his body.
Kurt can taste it – taste Blaine’s skin and the smooth metal, feel the metal sliding against the tip of his tongue, hear Blaine’s hot breaths thrumming through his body as surely as his own blood.
“And –” Blaine sighs and reaches further down to tease his hole, reaches his other hand up to squeeze his flushing cock. “God, I miss you inside me.” He presses his fingertip into his opening and Kurt watches it disappear into his body, one knuckle at a time.
“Jesus,” Kurt murmurs. He’s stroking himself urgently, knows he should slow down but everything feels so good, and Blaine is so hot and open for him, and he can’t stop – can’t stop thrusting his hips forward like he’s fucking into Blaine; can’t stop thinking about how warm Blaine is; can’t stop wishing he was in Lima right now, pressing Blaine into the mattress and feeling his staggered breaths against his ear.
“I would –” Blaine starts. He’s moving his finger in and out of himself now, his hips canting with each slide. His mouth hangs open between his words, making soft desperate pants that are audible over the speakers. “The jewelry, Kurt. I would get piercings to match your engagement ring, and every time I looked at my cock you’d be there and –”
Kurt comes so hard it splatters the keyboard.
(For the next few months, he has a recurring issue with the “B” key sticking when he types. It’s only a little annoying. Mostly, it makes him smile and get distracted daydreaming about engagement rings for Blaine’s cock.)