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Love's Cycle 2

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Three days later Blaine got up the nerve to call New York. No answer. Two hours after that he tried again. Still no answer. Text message came back as blocked. Shit, he had really done it. Releasing the stale air coincided with a tear rolling down his cheeks. The pounding in his ears deafened and the thumping in his chest hurt like hell. Curling up on the bed he folded his knees up to his chest and cried.

The distraught teen literally jumped out of his skin when his phone rang. Fumbling with the pillow he had been hugging he reached and knows the device to the floor. Rolling close to the edge he reached down and froze—Cooper. The heart instantly splashed into the pit of his stomach. Soldiering on the proved difficult. Ups and downs filled his days. Thankfully his sometimes irritating brother took an interest in a tattered heart.

When the answering service clicked in Blaine’s head crashed against the edge of the bed with a loud groan. Grabbing the pillow he hauled up to his chest and squeezed tight.

The phone rang again and again. It went ignored. Crawling up toward the headboard Blaine pulled the pillow up over his head covering his ears. He did not want to do this. Everything will work. Who did he kid, nothing went right. The chest pulled tight with regret but not because of Cooper. He desperately wanted it to be someone else.

The fifth time proved lucky for his brother because Blaine just gave up trying to be stubborn. In his usual selfish manner Cooper tormented Blaine trying to make him mad. When it finally happened the younger Anderson boy blew his cool big-time. His father came up and told him to keep it down. Blaine told his dad to fuck off. That’s when Cooper laughed on the other end of the phone. Mortified, Blaine stared at his dad who slammed the door when he left. Only then did Blaine chuckle. Together the brothers joked with each other and in the end Blaine understood Cooper had his best interests at heart.

Unfortunately, rising spirits usually held for a short moment before reality struck. Alone with his thoughts and desires the upheaval continued. On top of everything it had become clear an open rift had erupted between man and wife. Daniel became more an ass and not only to his son. Pam supported her youngest who often heard yelling and the heavy closing of doors. It only drove a saddened heart further into the swamp. The world became dark and his moods more erratic.

School went by in a blur. His friends gave him platitudes, well, except Sam. The blond became a shadow, so to speak. It proved hard for the pouty blond to keep Blaine above water with stupid impressions and jokes but he earnestly tried. Now and then Blaine laughed and even kidded back. Then they would walk by something and it all washed away like old dishwater.

A call for Santana started well but soon degenerated into a mess. Thank god Sam sat nearby to save Blaine from going off the deep end. To be honest, she had phoned in all innocence to see how Blaine held up. Sam had to take the phone from Blaine because Kurt’s voice suddenly sounded off in the background. He obviously just got home. Blaine made demands which Santana tried to avoid. The night became wash of tears.

Sitting in a chair in the music room made Blaine melancholy. Songs easily brought tears to his eyes. Concerned Mr. Schuester arranged for Blaine to meet regular with Ms. Pillsbury. Blaine thought little of those sessions. Talking to Cooper became the best medicine. The older brother understood his siblings deep despair. One evening Cooper admitted he ran off to Las Angels to get away from the family dynamic. Again, he offered his younger brother a place on his couch. Blaine knew running would settle nothing.

Grease came and went. Though Blaine trooped through it like a professional, he almost lost it onstage. Rachel proved polite but Kurt, understandably, got angry. He would not even allow Blaine to express himself before storming off. It shattered and already cracked heart. Kurt’s dismissal of everything seemed overly harsh but also so real.

Seeing those sweet blue eyes and the hurt in them brought it all crashing down for Blaine. The fire had died and only a storm remained. Pam rocked her sobbing son to sleep while his dad nursed his fourth double in the living room. Blaine wailed about never wanting to go onstage again and his mother, as all mothers would, listened and waited. Curling up beside him as she had a decade before she brushed the mounds of hair from his forehead. Resting her hand over his heart she told her distraught son never to give up on his dreams. Blaine had talent and a kind soul. At that moment Blaine knew he had to be strong.

One rainy day Blaine walked through the mall doing an errand for his mother. The escape pleased him because even his bedroom constantly reminded him of lost love. Some of the lovely man’s cloths still hung in the closet and a picture sat beside the bed where it had been since they first made it official. Now and then he would go to the closet just to sniff one of Kurt’s sweaters. He considered getting rid of them but then he could not.

“Blaine?” a voice called from behind.

Lost in thought, Blaine slowly turned to find Carole standing there with a hint of concern etching lines into her face. Seeing Kurt’s stepmother dredged up all sorts of feelings many feelings Blaine hand not expected. Drawing in a shaky breath he knew Burt and Carole must be upset themselves. What had Kurt told them? Did they swear when he heard Blaine’s name? Burt would know. Father and son would forever be close.

The boy’s heart sank as his eyes went down to his shoes. Part of him wanted to run but he could not be rude to Carole. Regardless of the circumstance he liked Burt and Carole. They had taken him into the family in so many ways and even assisted his mother when she needed a shoulder to cry on.

“Oh,” Carole said in a soft and gentle tone laced with sadness. “I’ll leave you, dear.”

Shaking his head, Blaine pulled gathered his nerve and sighed. “No, it’s good.”

“Really?” A painful shadow caressed Carole’s eyes.

Her expression pulled on Blaine’s already fragile emotions. Biting his lips he replied, “Yes . . . well, no. My squabbles have nothing to do with you or Burt.”

“But they are Blaine. Kurt’s my step-son,” Carole bluntly stated.

The heart in a young man’s chest banged into his ribs. Colour drained from his face.

Shoulders sagging, she compassionately asked, “Would you like a coffee?”

Swallowing hard, Blaine grinned. “Are you sure?”

“Yes.” The answer came immediately and decisively.

Hesitating, Blaine managed to give Carole a charming grin. “Then, I would love one.”

Nodding, Carole led Blaine down the wide, covered mall to one of the chain coffee houses. Neither said a word until Carole insisted on paying. Standing in line proved awkward. Images of Kurt in the Limabean bounced within Blaine’s head. Choking back a would-be sob he fought to retain his composure in front of Carole.

Turning away from the counter, Carole handed Blaine a ceramic mug. Steering the teen toward a secluded table off in a corner she asked, “How are you holding up, dear?”

The words bumbled through Blaine’s and he almost stumbled. She kept calling him dear. Considering all that had happened, it boggled the mind.

“Blaine?” Carole slowed and looked back
.
“I’m alright, thank you, Mrs. Hummel.” Blaine sped up but inside he frantically wanted to get the hell out of there. Sweat rolled down his back and he found it easier to breathe in short bursts.

“Mrs.?” Carole’s face contorted.

Feeling ashamed, Blaine winced. “Sorry, Carole.”

“I can understand how hard this is on you Blaine.” Carole pulled out a chair for him. The table she selected had a view of the entrance but sat against the wall. “Sit and tell me how you’re really doing?”

“Honestly, I’m fine.” Blaine sat down a little bit suddenly. He sipped his coffee to hide his look. He found it hot.

Carole smiled as only a knowing mother could. “Blaine, it’s brave of you to try but I know better.”

A sigh escaped the boy’s lips and he looked down at the steam rising from his mug. Emotion bellowed up within his chest he could not stop himself from sniffling. Without looking at Carole he said in an almost silent voice, “Okay . . . I’m miserable.”

“Blaine?” Her hand fell on the boy’s forearm.

Glancing up a tear rolled down his cheek. Blaine choked on his breathe and admitted, “God’s Carole, I fucked it all up.”

Carole’s brows pressed together as she pushed the plate with the cookies on it across the table. Thick white icing covered the big round morsels.

Lips curling in and Blaine suddenly deflated. “Kurt loved these.”

“He still does.” Carole did not look apologetic.

“But not if I took him one.”

“Blaine, listen to me. I do not know what happened between you two but let’s just say you’re not the only one that’s hurting.”

“Carole, I . . .”

“No, Blaine. It’s not all you. My son is learning a hard lesson right now that I hope will cause him to swallow his pride.”

“He did nothing.”

“Are you claiming he is perfectly innocent in all this?”

Biting his tongue, Blaine stared at Carole. He had not truthfully considered that. The guilt had all been his but with topic broached a marinade of complaints bubbled up. All those missed or dropped calls and his indifference during their skype sessions echoed in Blaine’s head compounding distraught sentiment. Lost in his own sorrows he had forgotten what had driven him to fail the most important test in his short life.

“Blaine, it takes two to make a mess.” Carole added. “I’ve been around a lot longer than you. As you age will learn to settle your differences and compromise. You two are stubborn but it does not mean you can’t be in love.”

Low and painful emotions resonated through Blaine’s chest and into his limbs. The throat constricted and water pushed out from behind his eyes.

“Dear,” Carole leaned forward and placed a hand softly on Blaine’s. “Blaine, just do me a favour.”

Blaine gave her his full attention even though it proved hard. “I’ll try.”

“Learn from your mistakes.’

“But I hurt him.”

“He neglected you?”

“What?”

“Kurt will be pissed at me it he found out I talked to you but I don’t care.” Carole sighed and leaned back. Her face hardened. “Blaine, I saw him three days ago. He’s being a jerk. He’s become caught up in the hype and gossip. He’s ignored his father and myself ever since he went to New York. He hung up on Burt with some flimsy excuse, so I can only assume he hung up on you. I went there to give his inflated head a shake out.”

Blaine gulped his coffee. He had not expected Carole to be so forthcoming. Her tone told Blaine the visit had not been a good one.

“That boy needs to grow up admit he mi . . .” Carole suddenly cut herself off and shook her head.

A dropped word. Two letters. Blaine blinked. “He . . . misses me?”

Carole’s face drooped. “Honestly, Blaine we did not talk about you . . . too much.”

Blaine pouted.

Patting the teen’s hand she said, “He’s human and he hurts but he . . .”

“What?” Blaine leaned forward. Desperation laced his husky tone.

Biting her lip, Carole looked uncomfortable. “Blaine, please, do not read too much into this . . . I can see it in his eyes . . . he’s still in love with you.”

The teens jaw dropped. Brown eyes with sparkling amber highlights held Carole’s gaze. He still loved him? Unbelievable.

“Blaine?” Carole patted his hand. “The two of you hit a pothole. Just give him and yourself time.”

The boy sighed. Downing his coffee Blaine’s eyes misted over. “It hurts so much.”

“I knew dear.” Carole looked distant. “I know.”

Chapter Text

“Come on Blaine, it’ll be fun,” Tina pleaded. She sat at the cafeteria table with good portion of the Glee gang. Dressed in green and blue she looked every part a woman. The sandwich on her plate had been half eaten and now she picked at her fries.

They had been hounding him for half an hour now. He just did not want to do it. Blaine moaned, “I don’t know.”

Artie looked across the table at the heartbroken teen. The plate before him had a hardy helping of fries and a sandwich. “It’ll be fun.”

“We’ve been to Bumpers lots.” Sam gave Blaine a puppy dog look. “You’ve always enjoyed yourself.”

“But . . . he . . .” Blaine choked on his words. The dark red and black bowtie set against a black shirt and blue sweeter fit his mood. Last night he did not sleep well. Cooper called and now he had no doubt his parents slowly spiralled toward a word which pulled on too many heartstrings—divorce.

“You have to start living at some point,” Artie waved a speared tomato at Blaine.

Kitty sat back pushing her salad from one side of the plate to the other. “A night of fun is what we . . . you need.”

“Mercedes might even be in town.” Artie popped the tomato in his mouth giving Blaine a determined look.

“Look, bro,” Sam placed a hand on Blaine’s forearm. He sat beside the forlorn friend.

Tina injected with a grin. “It’s a Saturday night pre-Halloween blast.”

“No school the next day or parents saying you have to be in bed by whatever time.” Kitty’s eyebrows mischievously pushed up.

“It will be a fun night to blow off steam.” Artie bounced about in his wheelchair.

“I was thinking of going all punked out,” Tina injected before popping a fry in her mouth.

“Figgins still cringes,” Brittany chimed in as she stuffed part of hotdog in her face. Sitting close to Artie she daydreamed as usual.

Tina rolled her eyes at Brittany and the said, “I’ll figure something out.”

“Look Blaine,” Sam besought. Reaching up his pulled at the hoodie pulling up over his head and made a gangster like impression. “We’ll be going as a group of hoods.”

Chuckling, Blaine shook his head. “I don’t know guys. There’s memories there.”

Looking up from the end of the table where text book lay open, Marley wore a bright red dress and a light yellow sweeter. Normally quiet, she broke her silence, “Well make new ones.”

“Yeah.” Tina sounded excited. “We can dance all night and stop at Breadstix on the way home.”

Artie pushed his chair back ever so slightly. “Now doesn’t that sound like fun?”

“Will you at least think about it, bro?” Sam pouted with those green eyes.

A shiver ran up Blaine’s back with the look. Sam had that effect on him. Knowing all too well the whole idea had been Sam’s made the sensation worse. Ever since he made his attempted escape back to Dalton, Sam and Tina became his greatest pillars. Disruptive emotions played on him. When something distracted him Blaine felt almost normal but it got worse in an empty space. Walking in the park made him downhearted and he tried his best to avoid the hall where Kurt’s locker had been located. Strong memories nawed at him and then he would see Sam.

Staring up at the dear man beside him, old Blaine sighed. Long ago he thought he would never see those lovely blue eyes again. This time he definitely knew. A few minutes ago the life drained from the many he loved and for some reason he felt content. Remembering made a time-worn man feel warm down to the bottom of his feet.

Back in his youth his friends tried and his older self could not stop himself from smiling. After all the years an elderly award winner still missed them, especially Sam. The country crooner lived his life in Ohio outside Lima on a farm, of sorts, until a few years before his death. In the end those long blond locks had been traded for a shiny bald head but he still tried to be the clown. Nearly seven hundred people showed up for his funeral including many members of the New Directions. It turned out to be great party with a room filed with lawyers, dancers, tony award winners, those who had worked in large box stores or tiny coffee shops and who knows what. Blaine and Kurt had not seen many since high school. Five years later a new school hung Sam’s name over the door.

Gently kissing the hand of the man he had loved all his life, Blaine smiled. Half his face curled and then his expression which always excited Kurt. Something stirred in his midsection and then Blaine gasped as a suddenly bolt of pain raced down his left arm causing his fingers to tingle. This throat constricting the heat in his chest made it hard to breath. Fortunately, short breaths negated the discomfort away.

Laying his hand on a wrinkled skin, Blaine rested. The shooting pains subsided allowing him to draw a gulp of air into his lungs. Thank god, he had more time to remember. Smiling, he recalled lying on the bed with Kurt across from him with the twins curled up between them sleeping. The look on Kurt’s face when his younger self-admitted to having a crush on Sam. Kurt laughed and confessed to similar feelings when he first met the pouty blond. Aged Blaine snickered at the fact, back then, he felt jealous.

The last time an older married couple saw Sam, the formally blond man, tried to talk Blaine into doing some foolhardy thing. Over the years the two talked every week and it all started back in those bleak days of Blaine’s first separation from Kurt. At some point Rachel fell out of favour but Sam never did, at least in Blaine’s eyes. Kurt had issues with him from time to time.

“You can’t keep mopping around like this forever,” Artie bluntly pointed out. “Get out there and jump back into the saddle.”

“Maybe I don’t want to get back in the saddle. I’m just a one horse man.” Blaine looked down at his burger. He had barely touched it. Ever since the breakup he had been eating all the wrong things. The fries had all but disappeared with two coffees. Elbow on the table, he leaned his head onto his fingers.

 

Sam placed a hand on Blaine’s shoulder. “Right, I’ll sacrifice my reputation and go with you to Scandals so we can get you laid.”

Gapping at the suggestion, Blaine’s head came up, “I’m flattered you’re willing to give up your virginity for me but I don’t think I that is going to help.”

Brittany chuckled. “I didn’t know you could get that back?”

Tina virtually almost spat it everywhere. Marley looked confused along with Brittany. Artie laughed.

Aghast, Sam stared at the quirky blond and then his face suddenly went beat red. Blaine giggled even though his heart painfully pounded. Dear, sweet, sometimes clumsy Sam.

Everyone laughed though Brittany obviously did not understand. The lightened mood helped Blaine pulled himself out of his earlier and still resonating quagmire. Sam found Blaine an hour ago leaning up against his locker with his phone in his hands. A finger scrolled down the screen as he looked at haunting pictures from the past. Kurt and him at the prom. Kurt and him at the park. Kurt . . . Kurt . . . and still more Kurt. At first the finger hovered over the delete button and then the pain in his chest stopped him. The sight of Kurt’s smile and the look of his eyes still made Blaine’s knees go weak. Deleting that handsome face would do would only make him feel guiltier.

Beaming at her friend a soft but wicked smile, Tina twirled a fry in her fingers. “What do you say, Blainie Days?”

Shaking his head, Blaine looked at his friends, “I . . .”

“Blaine,” Brittany’s head moved from side to side. “I can get you Lord Tubbington's pills for feline depression.”

The expression on Blaine’s face changed.

Sam butted in saying, “I don’t think he needs those?”

Looking innocent Brittany glanced at Sam. “I’ve been sitting here since second period and the smell of spaghetti and meatballs is nice.”

Several people at the table looked confused.

Shaking his head Blaine commented, “Brittany?”

Cocking her head to one side, the Brittany’s eyes rolled down so she looked at the table-top. “Blaine, think of life as the smell of spaghetti and meatballs. It lasts as long as the wind keeps it there. Enjoy it when you can.”

Everyone looked at the blond and then Blaine smiled. “Brittany, I don’t understand you half the time but you’re so great.”

Grinning from ear to ear, Brittany shook her body and then went back to her lunch and popped a lettuce leaf in her month.

Turning his head so he looked at Blaine, Sam looked puzzled. “Okay, something happened there I do not understand.”

Rolling her eyes, Marley softly said to Blaine. “I think I know what I’ll wear.”

“We can all go as our favourite animi animal characters,” Brittany interrupted. Her nose wrinkled up as she pushed a cucumber aside.

Many around the table said nothing but their eyes spoke volumes.

As the week rolled toward its end Blaine still had not made up his mind if he would go to this party. Brittany seemed to go overboard with ideas but when she suggest unicorns Blaine broke down. In all innocence Brittany had not understanding what she did. Kurt had one of those unicorn posters in his bedroom back at his father’s place. It hung on the back of his closet.

His dad barely talked to him now and that pleased Blaine just fine. At the moment he did not need to hear his father’s condescending words. Unfortunately, Blaine lost his temper that night after his father gave Pam a bad time about dinner. It set the mood for the rest of the night. The next day Daniel came home and apologized to Pam. The sentiment shocked Blaine.

Things a home eased afterward. While it did not return to normal, his parents no longer argued. A stagnant but tense sense of calm descended on the house. Peace on one front gave Blaine a reprieve and he actually had a civilized conversation with his father about school matters. Daniel still did not want to hear anything about Kurt.

Walking home after-school one day, the clouds inside Blaine’s head thickened. Without realising it he stood in front of the Gap. Staring into the window he thought he saw someone he once lusted after. A smile stretched his lips and then turned down into a frown. Turning around he gazed at a bench. Kurt once sat there wrapped in a scarf and wearing a fall coat. Biting his lower lip, Blaine slowly backed up and bumped into someone. Turning about prepared to sprout apologies he stopped cold in his tracks.

“Hi Blaine?” the young man said.

Blaine looked shocked. “Finn?”

“Sorry, if I scared you.” The taller young man grinned.

“No . . . no . . .” Blaine fumbled on his words.

Here stood Kurt’s brother through marriage and, and like Carole last week, it conjured up a menagerie of sensations. Finn and Blaine had not always seen eye to eye but they had both suffered. He and Rachel hit the skids for more or less the same reason—New York. When Kurt left Finn declared his support for Blaine. In his present state just having the jock here became a huge release.

Without permission Finn drew Blaine into hug. The teen with gelled down hair resisted for a moment and then just leaned into the bigger man. Strong arms enveloped the smaller man and for the first time in weeks Blaine actually felt safe. They held each other for a moment sharing deeply related emotions.

Finally Finn put a hand on Blaine’s shoulder. He looked embarrassed. “Let’s get a coffee.”

“Okay.” Blaine nodded as his pinched his waist through his jacket. He had been spending too much time in coffee shops over the past weeks and it showed.

Neither spoke as they walked around the corner in the opposite direction of the Limabean. Memories lay beyond its threshold neither wanted to face. Holding the door open for Blaine the smell of freshly ground coffee hit both in the face. Fairly empty, something top forty played over the music system. Four people stood in line and three others sat here and there. Two workers manned the counter while a third mopped the floor talking to a red-headed fellow. They laughed.

Falling into the end of the line, Finn drew in a breath and glanced at Blaine. “How are you?”

Tugging the scarf out from inside his coat Blaine responded, “It’s been uncomfortable.”

“I can relate.” Finn glanced back over his shoulder and sighed.

“What are you doing here, Finn?”

“Was just walking down the street.”

“And.”

“Well, I saw you.”

“Sam?”

“Yeah,” Finn deflated. “Okay, he called me. He’s worried.”

“I know.” Blaine bowed his head.

The queue moved and Finn eyed up the deserts. “He’s a good friend and he thought talking to me might help.”

“He and Tina have been my rock.” Turning to the attendant Kurt gave his order.

Stepping aside to wait, Finn glanced away and sighed. “Blaine, I went to New York last weekend to speak to Rachel. It was good and bad.”

Mouth dropping, Blaine stared for a moment. “And Kurt?”

“He avoided me . . . mostly.” The former footballer looked sad.

Blaine’s heart fell into the bottom of his chest. If Kurt would not speak to his brother he would not speak to him. Choking down a sob he drew in a deep breath.

Patting Blaine’s arm, Finn picked took his purchases and headed for a secluded place to sit. Mochas and brownies landed on the table as the two faced one another. Painful silence ensued. For Blaine a memory flashed within his mind. The summer ended and two boys sat across from one another bantering back and forth. One wore a red and blue uniform and the other casual attire. The conversation ended with them holding hands. It had been a moment which changed Blaine’s life.

The head wanted to droop but Blaine would not allow it. He had to be strong but not for Finn’s sake but his own. He had many questions. Did Kurt suffer as he did? Did Kurt still have his picture somewhere? Had he burnt them or just thrown them out? Did Kurt even mention Blaine? What did Rachel have to say about everything? The mind demanded many things but the heart only felt guilt and pain mixed with the bitter knowledge Kurt had some measure of blame in all this.

Finn sighed. “Blaine, honestly, you can’t keep going on like this.”

Brow pressing together Blaine gave the bigger man a look. “What do you mean?”

“Your brave face and all. I can see the pain in your eyes.”

“You’ve talked to Carole.”

“She is my mom after all and she’s worried.”

“I know.”

“You can’t wallow in it. I know I can’t any more.” Finn sipped the chocolatey mixture as he greedily eyed up a brownies. “I’ll always feel something for Rachel but I can’t keep guessing. I have to move on and if Rachel wants to join me in the journey I will welcome here with open arms. She’ll always be my first and only true love but I have to move on.”

Chewing on one of the sweet morsels, Blaine made a face. “Not the same as the Limabean.”

“Yeah.” Finn chuckled and glared at Blaine. “You’re voiding the point.”

Blaine sighed. “I want to Finn . . . but I can’t.”

“You’re still in love.”

“Desperately.”

“Oh, you have it bad.”

“Yeah.”

“I’m going to college. Something new will help.”

“That’s great.”

“And you should go to this dumb party.”

Snickering, Blaine sucked the cream off the top of his drink. “Now that we’ve beaten around the bush, honestly, how have you really been Finn?”

“Dreadfully depressed.”

“Ditto.”

“But . . .”

“But?”

“I’m in a better place now that I have seen Rachel. It’s not easy but it’s not as bad now. We argued but we also talked civilly.”

“I tried calling Kurt and he won’t pick up. Neither will Rachel. Santana called once and that ended horribly.” Blaine looked away. He did not want to remember.

Snapping a brownie in half, Finn looked Blaine in the face. “She’s doing that because Kurt asked her too. The two of them have been fighting.”

“What did she say?” Blaine’s eyes brightened for a second.

Playing with the brownie, Finn frowned. “I really don’t know. She was pretty mum about Kurt.”

Blaine sighed and his head fell. He desperately wanted to hear something. Carole’s words gave him a shimmer of hope but this, he did not know. Finn’s words left him feeling panicked.

“Blaine, I’m sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.” Finn looked disappointed.

“Finn, it’s not your fault Kurt is being . . .” Blaine fell silent.

“Kurt.”

“I know.”

“Try calling him again.”

“Finn, he doesn’t want to hear from me?”

“Are you so sure? Try sending him a text.”

“He blocked me.”

Finn raised an eyebrow and the big jock pointed at the table as if saying ‘get it out’.

Hazel eyes shifted down to his pocket holding his cell phone. His lips pulled in.

Leaning closer Finn quietly and assertively asked, “Blaine, please, just do it.”

Digging out his phone out, Blaine fumbled to find Kurt’s number and hit text. He wrote a simple word—hey. An eyebrow went up when the screen remained blank. No blocked message. Eventually the need to breathe forced his hand to push the phone back in his pocket.

Finn tried to keep a straight face but his lip curled up on one side. “I was thinking of going as a football player.”

Blaine’s brow crinkled together. “That’s nothing new.”

“I know.” Finn shrugged and shoved the remainder of brown goodness into his mouth. “I still have my old stuff.”

“And the smell.” Chuckling, Blaine sipped his beverage.

Finn beamed, “That’s the best part.”

Saturday, October twenty-seventh pulled around corner and Blaine felt uncertain. He promised Finn and in a little while Sam and Tina would be there to pick him up. He said he would make it to Bumpers by himself but his friends would have nothing to do with it. Emotions rolled within Blaine like eggs bobbing up and down in boiling water. It took two days before a simple—hey—popped up on his text window sending Blaine through the roof. He sent a brief one sentence reply and then waited and waited. No response until this morning and it was a short but blunt snippet. Blaine’s mood tumbled.

Sitting on the bed he studied the things he had pulled out of his closet and the stuff he had pinched from school. Clothing and parts of various costumes lay all around him. He could not decide. A superhero came to mind but then he did not feel like a hero or super. The furry head piece with ears and a funny nose caught his attention. For three hours he sat there considering his options and now he wondered what Kurt would do. Well that almost ended everything right there.

Pam must have heard him curse as she passed the partially open door. Pocking her head in the door her eyes scanned the heaping mounds at the foot of the bed and upon it. Stepping into the messy room she questioned, “Blaine?”

Looking up from the cape he held, Blaine sort of ginned. “Hi, mom.”

Giving her son a sympathetic looks, she strolled through the maze and sat on the bed beside him. Placing a hand on his lap, she glanced at her watch. “You’re planning on going tonight.”

The boy half-heartedly replied, “I guess I should.”

“Go only if you want to not because your friends are forcing you to.”

“Yeah.”

“They’re trying, Blaine.”

“I know.”

“They’re going all out.”

“Just for me.”

“Just for you.”

“Mom it just that we . . .”

“Life’s not always fair.”

“I’m learning that.”

“My heart got broken for the first time when I was younger than you. Mark was nine and I was eleven. He had such nice eyes.”

“So does . . .”

Folding an arm about her son, Pam pulled him close. No one said anything leaving the room in silence until the phone vibrated. From her angle am could see the caller. “I think you might want to get that.”

It would just be Cooper again. He had phone three times already today. With no desire to answer, Blaine looked startled when his mother pushed him ever so slightly. Turning to face the low piece of furniture a hard thump almost tore his chest open. The air he drawn into his lunges hung there suspended.

The phone vibrated some more and Blaine glanced at his mom who rose. Fear filled him. “Mom, please, stay.”

Carefully sitting she laid a hand on her son’s thigh again. She put a hand to her lips and then waved a finger at her son.

His heart pounding in his chest he swiped just before it would have gone to voice mail. Holding it out so his mom could also hear, Blaine stumbled, “Err . . . Kurt . . . hello.”

“Blaine . . . hi,” Kurt sounded meek and almost afraid.

Emotion exploded in Blaine chest and he could hear the same in Kurt’s quiet tone. Swallowing, Blaine fumbled on his thoughts. “Hi . . . my god . . . it’s good to hear your voice.”

Silence on the other end caused Blaine to look at his mother. Pam sweetly smiled. The phone shook in his hands and he almost dropped it.

When Kurt finally spoke he said, “Blaine . . . I . . .”

“Kurt, I am so . . . sorry. I know I hurt you but . . .” Blaine paused. “. . . I feel terrible but . . .”

Silence again. Pam sat there quiet with a hand resting on her son’s shoulder.

“Blaine, I . . . I’m not ready but . . . I just . . . needed to hear your voice.”

“Likewise.”

Silence. Nagging stubborn silence. Pulling his lips in, Blaine could barely hear the breathing of a second person on the other end of the call. Rachel?

With a sigh Kurt asked, “You doing anything this weekend. It’s Halloween in few days.”

“Sam, Tina and others are going to Bumpers tonight for a costume party.” Blaine swore he could feel Kurt smile. “And you?”

“Rachel is going to a party and Santana is off somewhere. I’m at home. Don’t think I’m going to do anything.”

“Go with Rachel and enjoy yourself.”

“I don’t know. It’s raining here.”

“Finn’s going to join us.”

A deep breath echoed through the phone and then Kurt fell silent for a moment. “Blaine, can you ask Finn to call me. I owe him an apology.”

His eyes still on his mother, Blaine grinned. “Will do.”

“Well, I guess I should let you go.” The words drew out as if Kurt hesitated.

The throbbing against his ribs had become so heavy he thought his chest would split. A tear slide down Blaine’s cheek. “Kurt . . . I miss you so . . . much.”

Silence

“Call me.” The words rolled out slowly making it sound as if Blaine pleaded.

“Okay.” The phone went dead.

Staring at the readout for a moment Blaine held his breath. Slowly his eyes went to his mom and suddenly he threw himself at her. Her arms enveloped him as his head came to rest on her shoulder. In the corner of his eyes Blaine saw his father’s scowling face.

Chapter Text

Blaine felt giddy even as the tear slid down his cheek. Leaning on the scaffolding the thrashing in his chest excited him. Kurt wanted to see him at Christmas. How perfect. The two of had a dozen short and edgy conversations since a simple—hey. Now they would see one another in the flesh to talk and see each other’s eyes. Before Blaine’s fall from grace, they would spent many evenings doing just that.

Bending his neck, Blaine’s head came to rest on his hands. Kurt’s face rose in his up in his mind. The sweet teen looked at him from the other side of the couch. Bare feet played with one another as they periodically peered over their homework to smile. Right in left or foreheads pressing against one other as hazel and blue locked on one another. Those little things made the two whole. Under the present circumstances Blaine constantly sought such memories in hope the sun would never veil.

Slowly Blaine’s eyes went up the curtains. He could hear singing on the stage and the thumping of feet. The team before them ended their performance making room for the New Directions. Two lovers had danced and sung on that stage as Warblers and with Blaine’s new friends. Passing one another they would wink and flirt finding profound happiness under the hard lights.

Lost in his own world Blaine vaguely heard the noise right behind him. Reality struck when heavy feet stomping on the wood behind him, caused Blaine to jump. Sam stood there with a stupid look on his charming face.

“Hey bro?” Same pulled back holding his hands slightly away from his body. Happiness drained away into alarm. His voice softened, “You alright?”

Blaine’s lips curled up into the most delicious smile.

“Who was that?” One of Sam’s eyebrow went up. “Let me guess . . . Kurt?”

“Yes,” Blaine’s voice came out as a heavily emotional hush. “He wants to go ice-skating Christmas.”

Sam slapped Blaine on the shoulder. “That’s great!”

“Yeah it is . . .”

“What?”

“We have to wait and see.”

“You’ve barely talked for more than a half-hour over how many calls.”

“He said I’m still his best friend.”

“Are we going to Bumpers tonight?”

Pushing off the scaffolding, Blaine his shook his head. “Sam?”

One of Sam’s eyebrows went up. “Jumping up on the speakers and then whipping your shirt off.”

“You’re never going to let me live that down.”

“Hell no.”

“Just don’t share it with Kurt. It would be so embarrassing.”

“Would Santana keep it to herself?”

Blaine’s face hardened.

Sam smirked. “You were singing one of those songs.”

“Sam, you didn’t?”

“We all decided to keep it to ourselves for the time being. But give us a chance and we’ll upload it.”

“Sam?”

The hand on his forearm tightened and Sam said in a soft tone, “Look Blaine, I don’t want to see you get hurt . . . again.”

“Threatening to embarrassment on an international scale is what . . .“ Blaine glared at his friend. Out on stage the song wound down. “Kindness?”

“Would I do that?” The blond smiled.

Blaine sighed and looked down. “I miss him so much.”

Wrapping an arm about the amazing singer, Sam pulled Blaine with him to join the rest of the New Directions. The curtain would be going up in a few minutes. Out on the stage Blaine put everything he could into his performance. He sang for happiness. It however did not prevent them from being disqualified when Marley fainted.

Concern turned into anger when it came out Kitty had coached Marley on her diet. The tempers made Blaine despondent and he stepped away. Wandering the halls he circled the preparation rooms several times until raised voices coming from the women’s washroom caught his attention. Stepping closer he recognised Marley and Kitty having an elevated conversation. He went to knock on the door when the phone buzzed in his pocket. Hauling it out his heart thumps in his chest—Kurt. At that moment Tina stepped around the corner giving Blaine an odd look.

Pointing to his phone, Blaine stepped back leaving Tina standing there. Retreating around the corner he answered but it has gone to voicemail. He waited and then tapped on Kurt’s number. It rang four times before a voice accompanied by music radiated into Blaine’s ear. A simple question received a sorrowful answer and an explanation. Then someone yelled at Kurt and for several long moments loud sounds bombard Blaine. Finally his head drooped and Blaine hung up.

The next afternoon Kurt phoned back apologising. He did not sound too good. Rachel’s moaning in the background confirmed the hypothesis they had held a party the night before. The short call left Blaine with nagging doubts.

Six days later, Blaine sat on his bed pouting. Staring at his phone he felt both happy and miserable. Kurt had just been admitted into NYADA. Good for him but it also meant Kurt would not be coming out at Christmas. The distress in young man’s voice could not be denied. Unlike their past conversations this one lasted well over an hour. Blaine happily lay on the bed as they chatted and laughed about things from the past. It felt like old times but then Kurt’s mood shifted. The argument last five minutes ending in a dead phone line.

Sometime later a conflicted Blaine pulled his coat over his shoulders and told him mom he needed to get some air. Tightening his scarf about his neck and pulling up his collar he looked up at the grey clouds wondering if he would rain or snow. Turning to the left at the end of the drive way he let his feet carry him. Breathing in the crisp, cool air revitalised his spirits giving him a break from the complex emotions he felt.

Maybe Finn had it right in suggesting he just get away from it. The former jock made his move and found a college which would accept him even though the term had started. It meant catching up but he got on with his life. Why could not he find the strength to take that step?

Cooper kept telling his younger brother to come to California but transferring with a little over a half year before graduation did not make sense. It would be hiding from more than his desires. In his dreams he continued to see two men walking the candle lit halls of a huge manor house holding hands. It reminded Blaine of those old Jane Austin books he had never liked. Oddly, he found himself enjoying the movies. Something about them reminded him of happier times.

Deep down Blaine knew he would never be happy with someone else, well not as happy. Lima offered little for a young gay man. Yes, he knew of others gay teens but then . . . he did not know. The need for sex did not grab him. He had not played with himself in almost two months. He could go to Scandals with brave Sam. Thoughts paused. The sight of those lips sent tingling caressing down his spin. The titillating sensations allowed the weary teen to focus on something other than what he really wanted—Kurt.

With the night sky growing around him, Blaine stood under a streel lamp close to a darkened store front. Arms wrapped around him his mind played tricks. The tantalizing scent of one of Kurt’s sweaters nagged like a buzzing wasp. He could see Kurt blush. He had just asked Blaine about getting down and dirty followed by playful comments about layers of cloths and masturbation. Blaine never told Kurt but he found the episode so cute. Where had that innocence gone? What had changed?

Changes? Kurt’s voice had not altered but the manner in which he used it had. He seemed less tentative and more confident. The shyness had faded into something Blaine still struggled to understand. Naivety aside, he knew change would happen. After all the world thrived on it. Sorrowfully he had wanted to be part of these modifications.

They could have talked about the issues rather than wallow the pain they caused. When the two first met Blaine put on airs displaying self-assurance. The feeling of safety Dalton provided allowed him to express a side of himself he could not at home. Kurt saw that side but as the reality of life outside of Dalton twisted Blaine’s world, Kurt’s wonderful trance crumbled the façade. As much as Dalton had protected him, Kurt took on the mantle. It took a horrible act of betrayal for Blaine to realize the agonizing truth.

Almost two hours into his walk darkness had fallen, the wind picked up and it snowed. Smiling at the huge, wet flakes illuminated against the street light the older teen decided he had better turn back. Taking a side street the wind roared off the distant river chilling him to the bone. Taking refuge from the biting cold in a café on the edge of downtown Blaine contemplated calling his mom to come pick him up.

Rubbing his hands together he sauntered up to the counter thinking about something warm and sweet. Standing there Blaine stared at the treats in the cabinet and then something caught his attention. Looking that way, a bald-headed man sat against the window in a secluded corner studying some of papers. A large coffee cup sat close to the edge of the round table. He did not look the part of a congressman in his jeans and plaid shirt.

Pain wrenched the chest and he looked down at his feet. Water puddled around him from his wet shoes. Burt? Could he face him? Maybe karma struck, hitting his decision to move on into right field. For a second Blaine considered leaving and then he noticed the concentration on the older man’s face. He looked worried.

After a second of hesitation he stripped off his scarf and undid his coat. With care Blaine walked over. “Hey there?”

Burt’s eyes shifted and looked up from the paper fanned out over the table. Surprise glittered in his eyes. “Blaine?”

The congressman did not look to good. Redness circled Burt’s eyes. Thought immediately went to Kurt but then Blaine sensed something deeper. Blaine involuntarily stepped back.

Blinking, Burt pointed to the other chair and then shuffled his paperback into a nondescript folder. “Please, Blaine, join me.”

“You sure I’m not disturbing you.”

“Nah. I could use the company. It’s been a long day.”

“I can relate.”

Waving his hand to get the attendant’s attention, Burt pointed at the chair again. “Please, Blaine.”

Taking his jacket off, Blaine hung it over the back of the opposite chair and sat. Their eyes met and no one said a word for a few seconds. For Blaine it dredged up unwanted thoughts but then he could see pain in Burt’s eyes. It felt awkward sitting across from Kurt’s father after all this time. Blaine had been avoiding him.

Sucking his lips in, Burt broke the silence. “You’re out late?”

“Needed some air.” Blaine sighed.

“I’ve been here all evening and I can use something to eat.” The look in Burt’s eyes spoke of the need to talk. “You want something.”

Food? Blaine had not thought about it during his stroll around town. Nodding he looked up at the waitress as she drew near. Burt ordered soup and a water and Blaine a mocha and a sandwich.

Eyes wandering this way and that Burt asked. “How’s school?”

Such a simple question but then the answer could be so complicated. The words rolled from Blaine’s mouth without much thought. “You know school, it can be like work . . . tedious.”

“Sounds like Washington but I love it. I feel I am doing something for people.”

“I kind of feel that way onstage.”

“Kurt said the same thing.”

Eyes rolling down, Blaine found it hard to look at Burt. “We got eliminated because one of the girls got sick.”

“Oh dear.” Burt’s brow tightened. “Sorry to hear that.”

“She’s been suffering from and eating disorder.”

“I hope she’s gone to see her doctor.”

“We’re all helping as best we can.”

“That’s good. I hope she gets better.”

“Me too. I like her. She’s got a great voice.”

“All that aside, how are you doing Blaine?” Burt looked concerned.

Suddenly apprehensive, Blaine hesitated and decided not to lie. “For the most part middling but I could be better.”

“But you’re holding up.”

“Yeah . . . sort of?”

“You can come and talk to me any time.”

“Wouldn’t that be awkward?”

“Yes but the offer stands.”

“Thanks Burt. What’s up with you? You seem upset.”

“I guess it’s not worth beating around the bush . . .” Regardless of his bravado Burt’s voice faded. He glanced down at the folder and placed a hand heavily upon in. “I’ve been wanting to call you.”

Without thinking Blaine leaned closer to Kurt’s father. He had never seen Burt like this. His normally bubbly and, yes, serious nature crumbled into a morass of brooding. Blaine swore he could see the gears shifting as he pondered something very heavy.

The pause lasted perhaps a minute before Burt completed his terse, opening remark. “Blaine, I have cancer.”

Blaine smashed back into the chair stunned. No other word could destroy lives faster than cancer. Wide eyed, he did not know what to say as a great menagerie of emotions erupted within his chest. What would he have done if it had been his mother sitting on the other side of the table? Or his brother? The thought sent a shiver racing up his body from the bottom of his feet to the hairs on his head. What if Kurt told him such a think? His heart stuttered. The man in front of him represented everything his father did not.

Studying Burt, the contents of his stomach rose in Blaine’s throat. He grimaced at the burn. Unsteady words escaped his mouth. “Oh my god.”

The quiet remained for a few seconds and then Burt let out a sigh. “Blaine, I did not have to tell you, but you are still family to me regardless of what’s transpiring between Kurt and yourself.”

The statement came as an unexpected jolt. Burt remained blind to the details of their break up. A sense of being trapped edged into Blaine’s heart.

“Blaine I have been sitting here going over the doctor’s suggestions for treatments.” The man pushed the folder to the edge of the table. An emotional shadow crossed his eyes making him look weak and afraid.

“How’s Carole taking it? Finn?”

“I told Finn this morning.”

“And?”

“He’s can’t get home until next week.”

“And Carole?”

“She’s been so supportive but it scares her. Her first husband died of cancer.”

“Oh my . . .” Blaine looked down biting his upper lip. Wild thoughts accompanied equally violent emotion. His thought of Kurt who lost his mom to the dreaded decease and now . . . this.

Smiling, Burt softly commented, “I’m doing fine, really.”

“Burt?” Blaine paused. “Is it . . . painful?”

“It’s okay, Blaine. The doctor says they found it in an early stage.”

Burt’s stomach loudly growled. Laughter fell into silence and then Blaine softly asked, “I don’t really understand why you are telling me this?”

Glancing at the paperwork Burt looked distracted.

Troubles with Kurt aside, Blaine felt morally obligated to assist. “How can help, Burt?”

Something sparkled in Burt’s eyes. “You don’t need to.”

“Yes, I do.” Blaine leaned closer and placed a hand on Burt’s. “You said I’m family and family helps each other.”

Burt smiled and then looked up at the approaching waitress. “Thank you.”

“Anything, Burt, I’ll help.” Blaine’s chest tightened. His eyes swivelled up as a plate and bowl came to quietly rest on the table. This could put him at odds with Kurt and their relationship spun like a wobbly top. He had no idea where it would land.

Burt played with his soup. Letting out a sigh, he looked Blaine straight in the face. “I want you to come to New York with me.”

Sputtering on his mocha, Blaine swallowed hard. Staring at Burt his eyes went wide. “Kurt wouldn’t . . .”

“Blaine, hear me out and I will give you time to decide.” Burt feed a spoonful of soup into his mouth. He nodded with the taste.

“Okay.” The teenager sounded meek. The heart pounding in is chest made him feel uncomfortable. Logic screamed at him.

Burt tooled with his soup as he stared out the window for a few seconds. He looked distant. In a low voice, he said, “I haven’t told him yet.”

“What?” Blaine lurched forward with wide eyes

“I want to tell him in person. Kurt deserves that much. He has been my life since his . . .” Burt paled. A tear rolled down his cheek. “. . . mother died . . . I don’t know . . . how he will . . . react.”

The look on the man’s face dug deep into Blaine’s chest. With his emotions already on edge, moisture welled up in his eyes. Sitting there, he stared for a long moment and then quietly said. “Humm . . . excuse me Burt, si this really a good idea?”

Releasing a heavy sigh, Burt looked despondent. “My son will need you.”

“Kurt and I are not exactly on the best of terms.”

“You don’t think I know that.”

“We talk now and then but that’s it.”

Noting the look on Blaine’s face, Burt let out a sigh. “Kurt told me about your Thanksgiving call. I know the sound of stifled sobs when I hear them.”

The words sank into Blaine’s chest like stones added to a sinking ship. The mind spun off in one direction and his heart the other. For a second it felt as if his tongue had swelled up in his month choking him. Clearing his throat no words came out.

Older eyes gazed at his younger counterpart. Heavy feelings rimmed a father’s eyes as if he realised something. Blinking he said in a soft tone, “It looks like he hasn’t told . . .”

Mouth hanging open Blaine fought with his inner demons and the glanced away.

Burt pushed back his chair. A massive wave of sentiment flashed across his face. “Sorry Blaine, but I think I had better pay for this and go.”

“No, no, Burt . . .” Blaine leaned forward with his mocha in his hands. “Please . . . stay.”

A father looked down at the boy staring up at him with large guilty eyes. Burt’s lips curled in and then he slowly sat again. Leaning back his face changed a couple of times. “I guess my son hasn’t told me everything either.”

Elbows fell on the table as Blaine’s head came to rest on his palms covering his eyes. He remained there for a few seconds and then he looked up. “Burt, I cheated on your son. I thought it was over between us and I . . .”

Drawing in a long breath, Burt glanced out the window for a few seconds. The silence deafened and then Burt said in a low, shaky tone, “Carole told me he had been hanging up on you like he has with us.”

“That doesn’t forgive what I did.” A tear rolled down Blaine’s cheek.

Picking up his napkin, Burt handed it to the teen. “No, it doesn’t but then it does. I don’t need the details.”

“But Burt . . . I hurt him.” Blaine’s chin quivered as he sopped up the moisture under his eyes.

“And he didn’t hurt you. No, it does not just you Blaine. From my experience. My son told me you split and that was that. No god damned explanation. He just hung up.” Anger flashed in Burt’s and then in drew in a deep breath. “Blaine, the look on your face tells me much. It tells me what you feel is real. It tells me you are that caring boy who came to me in my garage to give me an education about my son. I see you’re still doing it.”

“Burt . . .” Blaine shook his head and his hands fell to the table. “I really fucked it up.”

“Yes, you . . . fucked . . .” Burt looked uncomfortable with a word. Placing a hand on Blaine’s he smiled. “Yes, you gave in to your needs. While not wise, it’s human, Blaine.”

“But . . .?”

“Did my son hang up on you? Did he change the subject to something he wanted to talk about taking way from what you wanted to speak about? Did he not pick up your calls when you know he could? Did he ignore you?”

“Yes, but . . .”

“Listen to me Blaine. You screwed up and my son pushed you into it.” Burt looked down shaking his head. “Blaine. Believe me, I understand. I cheated on Janet, Kurt’s mother. I got drunk and . . . well that is neither here or there. We fought. We talked. We forgave and we grew stronger. Then Kurt came along and my life changed forever.”

Flabbergasted, Blaine just stared.

“None of us are angels, Blaine.” Burt pointed at his heart. “The answer is hanging on the tip of your tongue.”

The mind flipped to the Limabean after the New Directions had been disqualified from the nationals. Kurt sat across from Blaine in the off white coat reminiscing about the adventure. The look on his face thrilled Blaine who lapped it all up. With his cheek resting in one hand, the words—I love you—effortlessly rolled off a mesmerized his throat.

Sitting back the teen’s right hand went to his chin. He froze. In some odd manner he could still feel Kurt’s hand pressing against his palm. Letting out an emotional sigh, Blaine admitted, “I still love Kurt . . . very much.”

The expression on Burt’s face shifted to thoughtful and then he smiled, “I know.”

“It’s so hard.” Blaine’s head fell into his hands again. His voice cracked. “I . . . really miss him.”

“New York has changed the boy. He is not the sweet kid I once knew but he is still my son.”

“What will having me there achieve?”

“Peace?”

A ping of pain struck a young heart leaving Blaine deflated.

Placing his hand on the young man in front of him, Burt said, “I would like you there because my stubborn son might need you after our discussion. He may be proud and sometimes dense, but my son is also caring and you’re still his best friend.”

“Yes, he did say that.” A dreamy look danced across Blaine’s face only to be washed away like sand on the beach.

“He still lives in you, Blaine. Carole tells me she can see the same in my son’s eyes.”

“I know Carole saw him a little while ago?”

‘She been going to New York every two weeks.”

“And she’s not told him?”

“She’s there right now.” Burt glanced at the folders. “I asked her and Finn not to. Besides, the doctor only told me the final prognosis this morning.”

“Oh my god?”

“Blaine it’s alright.”

“But Kurt?”

“He is my only son and my joy. I need to be the one to tell him.” Burt paused. “I know him. He will be emotionally stoic but with you he opens up.”

“I understand the sentiment.” An uncomfortable look passed across Blaine’s face. “Burt, I really don’t think he would like to see me.”

“You don’t know that.”

Chapter Text

“Hey squirt,” someone yelled.

Glancing up from staring at the luggage carousel, Blaine’s eyes went wide. Cooper strolled out from the crowd swinging his arms open wide. Buoyed from four nights in New York, Blaine’s face exploded into a huge smile. Throwing his arms around his brother, the youngest Anderson pulled Cooper so close he began to squirm. Once estranged, the two brothers now talked at least once a week. Perhaps Cooper understood. After all he did live in Las Angeles where gay men fall out of buses and lay nude on the beach.

“Woo, little brother.” Cooper teased as he endured Blaine’s happiness. It had been weeks since he had seen his brother this happy. “That good ha?”

Blaine let out a satisfied sigh and released his brother. Christmas had been a marvel. Father and son had a great time regardless of the seriousness surrounding the holidays. For the most part Kurt took things amazingly but then Blaine knew what to look for. A twitch of the right eyes next to the eye or the slightest motion of an eyebrow. While these minute details gave Blaine a reason to be concerned others revealed interest. The dillation of the pupil or the inflection of the voice exposed the emotion he reserved for the people he held dear. As the hours of the visit wore on Burt’s little boy came out to play once the smokescreen had been stripped bare.

Adding Blaine to the mix made for a festive and sometimes tense occasion. The surprise at the ice-skating rink pulled Kurt to some place Blaine did not know. While he seemed to be happy the stiffness of body revealed much. A strained past haunted them but then they bounced about the loft making a simple meals and singing seasonal songs. In the corner of his eyes Blaine could see the happiness in Burt’s face. When he had a chance he mouthed a silent thank you. All in all, regardless of Kurt being Kurt, it worked.

Then the time came when Blaine had to leave. Father and son took him to the Kennedy Airport even though the young visitor argued. Burt would hear nothing of it and Kurt response involved an impish little grin. The expense of a cab ride bothered Blaine but Burt, being a congressman, had perks such as a higher than average income. Much to his son’s consternation, Burt took the front forcing him into the back-seat with Blaine. It got a father a dirty look. The appearance of Kurt’s face shifted when he noticed the amusement glistening in hazel eyes.

Awkward words punctuated by bouts of silence engulfed them after check in. Standing outside security, Kurt stood close to his father. Watching his ex-lover, but not watching him at the same time, Kurt played a game. It bothered Blaine who didn not know what to expect. When the time to part snuck up on them no one did anything. Sadly he turn toward the lineups passing through security. Out of the blue Burt drew Blaine into a warm hug and a comment—call me anytime

The meaning of the words had not been lost on Blaine. On the other hand, Kurt just stood there with a—I do not know what to do—look on his face. Blue locked on hazel and then, Kurt leaned in giving Blaine a tentative hug. Holding each other for a few seconds longer than either of them anticipated Blaine felt a gently heat spread through is chest. The curly haired teen recalled the words Kurt had whispered when he returned to McKinley—I will never leave you.

The teen choked back deep emotions as he passed through security. Looking back twice, he saw Burt standing there holding his son by the shoulder. A father’s face revealed sorrow while the son, well, Blaine could not tell. Irrespective of Kurt’s coolness, Blaine felt good. The Thanksgiving forgiveness call started Blaine down a path of healing. With Christmas out of the way he felt he could finally move on. To where he did not know but one thing he did know—he and Kurt would at least be friends.

Mental snapshots of a wonderful time flashed through his mind and then he suddenly noticed something. Rewinding his thoughts, he recalled seeing the ‘KB’ pin he had given Kurt lying on the nightstand for everyone to see. Deep warmth spread through his chest as his face got that distant look.

Cooper’s foot pressing against Blaine’s broke concentration. Pulling away he smiled up at his taller sibling. “Sorry, Cooper.”

Cooper gave his younger brother that patented Hollywood grin. “Yup, that’s me. Came home for the New Year.”

“That’s great.” Blaine felt a tightness in his chest. Cooper liked to beat around the bush. “I bet dad is happy.”

“Yeah.” The smirk fell away. “Let’s go get a coffee.”

The expression on Blaine’s face waned. Something seemed out of place.

Cooper hauled at the handle of Blaine’s bag and started to walk. He made a face as if it weighed too much. “You buy New York out?”

Giving his brother a look, Blaine knew Cooper noticed. “A little bit.”

“Good.” Cooper made a face. “You need some new clothes. Kurt has mediocre taste.”

Resenting the statement, Blaine bluntly retorted, “He has great taste.”

“Yeah right.” Cooper rolled his eyes. Wrapping his arm around his little brother he dragged his through the crowd.

Every airport had a Starbucks and thus they stopped. The lineup took forever and Cooper paying only added to Blaine’s suspicions. They found a place to sit close to a window looking out onto the tarmac. One brother joked with his younger counterpart redirecting remarks and questions.

After about five minutes Blaine glared at Cooper. “Out with it?”

“What?” His brother returned an innocent look.

Rolling his eyes, Blaine gave his brother a hard look. “Come off it Cooper?”

“You always were one for seeing through me.” Cooper took a long swig of his tall coffee.

Heat rose in up Blaine’s neck. “For crap’s sake Cooper, what the hell happened?”

Sighing, Cooper glanced down at his hands and then up at his brother. “Mom did not want to ruin your time in New York.”

“Coop?” Blaine’s voice rose in pitch and volume.

“Okay.” The older brother let out a sigh. He did not look happy. “Mom and dad got into a big blow.”

Sitting forward, Blaine’s face contorted. “What happened?”

“I don’t think you want to go there yet.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“Blaine.”

“It’s about me again?”

Sitting back, Cooper looked more than a little upset. “It’s been brewing for a while. Mom told me it has been going on behind closed doors for a few years now.”

Face turning red, Blaine’s tone rose. “Why hasn’t she told me any of this?”

Reaching over, Cooper placed a hand on his little brother’s forearm. “Let’s take these coffees and we can drink them on the drive home.”

“Cooper?” Blaine objected.

“Just humour me.” Cooper grinned and rose. “Besides, I thought you would want to see mom.”

Pushing his mouth out, Blaine gave his brother a hard stare. It felt like Kurt all over again. No one wanted to tell him the truth straight up. He could understand why Kurt might be conflicted but Cooper?

Walking out the front doors toward the parking lot the brothers did not say a word. The silence played on Blaine’s sentments concerning Kurt and his mom. The throbbing in his chest demanded answers but he could wait a tiny bit longer. It has been said bad things come in threes, what next?

The younger son brooded as they drove to Lima. After half an hour of music blaring in his ears and his head started to pound. Cooper joked and talked about himself while Blaine dug himself in for a long siege. He felt like that eight year old who could never please his older brother. Blaine just cut his brother off.

Eventually Cooper pulled into a privately owned café the family usually stopped there on the way out of or into town. It had the best homemade apple and raisin pie which Blaine loved. When he was younger and a little fatter, Cooper liked the sundae made with a half quart of ice cream and lots of chocolate. After getting, yet another, coffee the brothers sat facing one another staring.

Gnawing quiet prevailed and then Blaine drew in a deep breath. Taking a sip with a sigh he glanced over the rim at his brother. “Okay, Cooper, please tell me what’s up?”

“Blaine, you have better ask mom. She asked me not to say anything.” Cooper downed half his coffee even though felt exceedingly warm going down.

Moving lips formed a less than moral word. Blaine rarely swore.

“Come on little brother,” Cooper smiled his famous electric smile as he avoided the issue at hand once more. “You were literally vibrating when we hugged at arrivals. Are you and your sweetie back together again?”

His brother liked being an asshole at times. “No!”

“That was abrupt.”

“Yeah, but you did not answer my questions so why should I answer yours.”

“Don’t be that way. Mom wants to tell you herself.”

“Fine.”

“I’m not trying to upset you.”

“Too late.”

“I know you Blaine. There’s other stuff locked up in there.”

“Right, fine, sorry, Coop, but you . . .”

“Blaine, I told you, she wants to tell you herself.”

“But it’s bad,”

Cooper bit his tongue and nodded.

Looking down, Blaine gulped down a quarter of his coffee. “Why are we sitting here then?”

Cooper’s eyes shifted sway. “Too early.”

The chin dropped and Blaine stared at his brother for a long moment. He could play this silly game. With a sigh he said, “Okay. New York was great. I still find it hard to believe Burt would do that.”

“He has faith in you kiddo.” Cooper smiled with his victory.

“Yeah, I guess so. You should have seen Kurt’s face when I skated up to him, saying ‘Package for Mr. Hummel’. It was priceless.”

“You’re quite the package, little bro.”

“We got along for the most part. It felt like old times . . .” Blaine purposefully chose his words but as he spoke the thoughts unraveled. “. . . but . . . then it . . . hung there like a heavy . . . balloon that would not pop.”

Cooper leaned closer with an inquisitive look. “What hung there?”

Stupid. Telling Cooper would only make him an object to toy with. The idea sent a shiver shooting up Blaine’s back. Heat rose in his cheeks.

“Right, more state secrets.” Cooper pouted.

Sipping his coffee, Blaine ignored the comment.

Sitting back, Cooper asked with a deadpan look. “Did the two of you . . . do it?”

“Coop!” Quick shocked Blaine glanced away at the picture on the wall beside them. His skin turned red.

Grinning from ear to ear, Cooper nodded. “You dirty dog.”

Blushing, Blaine gulped down half of what remained of his coffee. “Yes, we shared the fold out couch. Burt had Kurt’s bed though he argued. Before you say it, we were fully clothed.”

The older brother gave hs younger sibling a enthusatic lool.

Eyes narrowing Blaine defended himself. “Nothing happened . . . well not like that. I did woke up in the middle of the night with Kurt coiled about me like a pretzel.”

Copper smiled as his eyebrows went up and down. “Well then, he doesn’t hate you. Did you talk?”

“Yeah, we talked.”

“And?”

“We’re friends.”

“Really now? I would have sworn you were sprouting wood when we hugged.”

Blushing and coughing, Baine rolled his eyes, “You’re horrible.”

“You must have had some sort of fantasy unless seeing your brother affected you that much?” Coyly leaning forward, Cooper whispered, “And you’re still in love.”

That question again. Everyone asked it. Yes, it had been fun. Yes, when he woke that first morning he felt Kurt’s hard sexual appendage pressed into his thigh. It took every ethical fibre in his body not to jump the adorable man and have his way with him. What if Kurt had screamed and yelled? What if he accepted and the made long, passionate love? What? What? What?

Running his hand through his hair, Blaine frowned. Yes, he loved him but then Kurt had been cool or even angry. Not knowing unsettled the teen.

Grabbing up his coffee, Blaine chugged it down while trying to ignore it brother. He hated it when Cooper did this yet he could not deny the fussy sensation in his chest. Yeah, they bumped up against one another by accident . . . well he thought of it that way . . . but he liked it. With Rachel tucked in her bed, Burt lounging in Kurt’s area and Santana shacked up with some girl, their first night had been a clumsy affair. Blaine took the side closest to the bookshelf giving Kurt the advantage of an escape route. Well Blaine had to crawl over him to go to the bathroom. Stifling a chuckle, Blaine suddenly smiled.

“I’ll take that look as a yes,” Cooper purred. He smiled a genuine, non-Hollywood smile. “Does he still love you?”

Caught off guard, Blaine gulped down the remains of his coffee. The cup lowered and he bit his upper lip. “To be perfectly honest, I don’t know. We never really talked about that.”

“But?”

“Well, I don’t know.”

“He flirted.”

Cheeks reddening, Blaine simply nodded.

“Then, in my humble opinion, you have not lost him completely.” Cooper smiled and finished off his coffee. “What did you give him for Christmas besides your charming whit?”

“Ha, ha.” A reprieve? Perhaps but Blaine knew his older brother. Feeling a little more at ease, he leaned back and sighed. “I got him a really beautiful wool scarf in Kennedy.”

“He’ll like that and it’s not something over the top mushy.”

“Yeah, he did and no it wasn’t.”

“Did he get you anything?”

“He didn’t even know I was coming.”

“And”

“Okay, he had something for me. It did not have a real Christmas feel to it. I think he had it for a while.”

“What was it?”

“A bowtie.”

Cooper laughed.

“It had Halloween colours. Nice one too and made of silk.” Blaine chuckled as well.

Smiling, Cooper patted Blaine on the arm. “Are you going to be alright, little bro?”

“I wish I knew for certain, but I think so.”

“Good. I hate seeing my little brother so upset.”

“You would never had said that five years ago.”

“No, I would have tried to get your hair all knotted up in the brambles.”

A good belly laugh allowed a wave of relief to wash through the younger Anderson child. Regardless of the fact anger continued to bubble just under the surface He wanted to admonish his brother but tried his best to stay on the high road. The words expelled from his mouth continued a level of honesty two brother rarely shared.

“Thanks Cooper,” The smile on Blaine’s face held genuine admiration. “I needed that.”

“I kind of knew you would be elated or upset when you got back. That is why I flew in to surprise everyone for Christmas.” Cooper paused and looked thoughtful. “Well it didn’t quite turn out the way I hoped.”

Blaine’s heart tightened and his chin drooped. “Please tell me, Coop?”

Making a face, Cooper leaned toward his little brother. A single eyebrow went up. “Don’t you tell mom.”

Blaine grinned. “I never told on you.”

“Yeah, right.” Cooper shook his head. “When I fell off the wall?”

“I never needed to. Mrs. Straus saw the whole thing,”

“Yeah, but you blabbed everything.”

“I was six. You know what dad is like.”

“All too well.” Cooper’s voice had an edge to it. His expression changed as he sat back.

Sitting back, Blaine studied his brother for a few seconds and pleaded, “Please Cooper. I don’t know how much more I can take. With Kurt and now . . . well?”

“I could never resist those puppy eyes of yours.” Cooper winked. “I bet they drove Kurt up the wall.”

Blaine grunted and looked crossed.

“Okay, bro, hold onto yours shorts.” Cooper took a long draft of his coffee. Rolling his head to one side his shoulders sagged. “It started off well. I got there the day you left as I planned. I wanted some time with the folks. That night I asked mom what is really going on with you. You should learn to trust your older brother.”

That deserved a speculative look but Blaine knew Cooper spoke the truth. His older sibling had changed a lot since moving to Hollywood but he could still be a jerk.

Cooper went on, “It went downhill on Christmas morning. Mom was making us breakfast. She asked me how I thought you were getting along. Mom was worried.”

“She didn’t have to be.” Blaine interrupted.

“You know mom.” Cooper looked distraught. “Then dad piped up about you being with your . . . well I’m not going to say it.”

“I can imagine,” Blaine stared at empty coffee cup. Saddened, his eyes circled up to his brother. “At times I don’t think dad will ever understand.”

“He’s old school but at times he can be really cool.”

“I wish.”

“Honestly, I have never figured out why he’s down on you.”

“The whole gay thing?’

“I don’t know about that. Dad has gay clients and co-workers.”

“They’re not his son. I think he wants one of us to follow in his footsteps and you already made your move. I’m the one who can still be molded.”

“You’re too independent Blaine. I went to Las Angeles to make my dreams come true but you know there real reason. You were too young but he rode me pretty hard.”

“But you get along with them so well.”

“As you know mom is easy to get along with when she had not been drinking too much. Dad, well he has not changed that much. I get along with dad because I’m matured a little bit and I’m not under his roof anymore.”

Pouting, Blaine placed both elbows on the table and pressed his chin into his palms. “Yeah, we both know dad isn’t perfect. What did he do to mom to put her in the hospital?”

Cooper sat up straight. “I never mentioned hospital.”

“But you did mention visiting hours.” The heart thumped within a teen’s chest.

“I guess I did.” Cooper looked down at his hands and then up again. “Dad had been drinking most of the night and started up again in the morning. Mom actually stood up to him . . .”

“What?”

“Yeah, she laid into him pretty good. I could see him trying to hold back even though they really got into it. Finally dad lost it and he threw his plate at her like a frisbee. It caught mom in the face right below he eye knocked her out cold. Dad panicked and took off. I called for an ambulance and the police.”

“Why didn’t you call me?”

“It was kind of frantic there for a few hours. Then mom didn’t want to ruin your chance with Kurt. You wouldn’t be able to get flight anyhow.”

“Cooper?” Blaine’s voice rose in pitch and volume. He started to wave his hands about and then looked his brother in the face.

Tapping his brother’s hand, Cooper cautioned, “Calm down.”

Giving his older sibling an off look, Blaine demanded, “I want to go see her?”

Glancing down at his watch Cooper did not look too happy. “By the time we get there visiting hours would have started.”

“How bad is she?”

“The plate broke the cheek bone and she had a concussion. They’ve kept her in for observations.”

“Where’s dad?”

“They arrested him for assault and drunk driving.”

Crushing the cardboard coffee container, Blaine rose and put his coat on. As he did his mind suddenly went to Kurt and how their lives seemed to parallel each other. Would he have treated Kurt the way Daniel treated his mother? Some experts say children learn from the parent’s actions and not words. He hurt Kurt as his father had hurt his mom. He did not want to be that way.

Blaine paused in mid-twist of his scarf wrapping around his neck. God, no! The thought raddled his brain as an eerie sensation wiggled down his spine. It rebounded back up his back leaving the older teen with an uncomfortable feeling the pit of his stomach. Brows bunching together he did not like where his mind took him. Had his dad cheated on his mother? The thought made him feel sick.

“You alright. Blaine?” Cooper suddenly asked.

Shaking his head, Blaine blinked. Glancing at his bother he weakly smiled. “Yeah.”

“You sure?” Cooper stepped in front of his brother.

“Yes!” Blaine snapped.

Twenty turbulent minutes later, an older brother gave his younger brother a look as the two of them walked through the hospital’s front door. Just inside reception Blaine paused and glanced about. Cooper tapped him on the shoulder and pointed at the elevator.

The younger Anderson almost stumbled when Cooper pushed the door open. Things beeped off to the left where an old woman slept with her bed raised and his head to one side. Tubes ran from drips hanging over his shoulder. Across the aisle a lady in her thirties with her leg in a cast over the knee typed feverously onto a lap top. One of the beds by the window looked crisp. The curtain between beds had been pulled to the end of the bed. A bathrobe lay on the end of the bed with one sideways foot underneath it.

The older sibling pressed on Blaine’s shoulder urging him into the room. Slowly walking passed the first two beds, Blaine stopped when he saw his mom on the right hand bed lying on her side facing the window. Long strands of dark hair flowed own over the pillow and her shoulder. A big bandage on her face caught Blaine’s attention. His chin dropped and he sucked in a sharp breath. The hair pulled from the pillow as her head moved. Her uncovered eye looked bright as she gazed at her sons. Slowly a hand came up and she smiled.

“Mom?” the word barely escaped Blaine’s mouth. Hazel eyes gazed at her with bewildered look which quickly turned to deep emotion.

“My boy. Come and kiss your mom.” Pam bright face lit the room and beaconed her youngest with her fingers. Her eyes went to her oldest son accompanied by a warm grin. “You can tell me all about your adventures in New York.”

Walking slowly over to the side of the bed, Blaine kissed his mom on the forehead and then said, “How are you feeling?”

“I’m good,” Pam smiled, her hand held out of her youngest son.

Studying his mother, Blaine’s lips twitched as he took her hand. The bandage covered her eye and down onto her cheek. The skin around it showed the early signs of a bad bruise. She looked cheerful enough but Blaine knew the act when he saw it. How could this have happened? He should have been at home but then his heart pulled him east toward a young man who represented . . . what . . . lost hopes

It soon became obvious his mother saw the sorrow in his eyes. He had never been able to keep anything from her. Hauling a chair over with his free hand, Blaine sat. His eyes went up to Cooper who stood at the end of the bed smiling. The mouth opened and no words came out. Eyes widening Blaine buried his head in his mom’s hand and sobbed.

Chapter Text

Daniel came home to find his boys less than enthusiastic to see him. The words passing between them tstarted off calmly and then Blaine lost it and threatening his father. Daniel retreated to the den with Blaine on his heels. Cooper stepped between them to break it up. For the rest of the day their father moved about the house staying out of the way. It took a while but Cooper warmed to him and chatted. The youngest Anderson had trouble controlling his anger.

The next afternoon dutiful sons brought their mom home. Blaine entered the house first to find his father sat in the living room with a cup of coffee on the table beside him. His eyes met with his wife’s for a moment and then he broke into sobs. With little hesitation, Pam sat on the chair next to the couch. They stared at each other for a moment and then talked.

Blaine stared at his father with a simmering lack of trust. The bandages on his mother’s cheek stood as a symbol which ate at his heart. The fingers of his right-hand dug into his palm causing pain. The pit of his stomach turned over and then Cooper touched him on the shoulder. Looking up at his brother, Blaine saw concern but also calm. The older brother dragged his uncertain younger sibling off to the kitchen.

Eventually the adults separated. Pam passed through the kitchen to get a drink before going upstairs. Tense silence prevailed and then the door to the den closed. The brothers looked at each other and then Blaine bounded up the stairs. Knocking on the door he pocked his head in. His mother looked up from the pillow she lay against and weakly smiled. Her son wanted to say something but she looked tired. Blaine left her and walked down the hall to his room.

Some time later, Blaine looked up from a text book when someone knocked on the door. “Come in, unless you’re dad.”

The door opened the older Anderson boy strolled over to the edge of the bed. “How are you doing?”

Blaine shrugged.

Cooper sat on the opposite side of the bed. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.

Blaine sighed. He pushed the books piled on the duvet to one side and then lounged against the headboard. “Why is he even here?”

“Mom called him.”

“How do you know?”

“She told me.”

“Why am I the last to know everything?!”

“You were already wound up.”

“Thanks, I guess?”

“Dad’s sucking up.”

“I guess that means she’s not going to press charges.”

“Probably.”

“Fu . . . asshole.”

Cooper’s brows pulled together. He calmly added. ”They need professional help.”

A scowl marred Blaine’s young face, “Lawyers?”

Other than an eyebrow going up, Cooper ignored the comment. “They need to talk it out.”

“Yeah, it might help.”

“Love can be a very powerful thing.”

“Could that be why I can’t give up on Kurt?”

“Have you been able to get hold of him?”

“Burt’s still there.”

“Cancer. That’s a tough one.”

“I’m willing to give him space but this . . .” Blaine waved his arms around. “It’s killing me.”

“Hang in there squirt.” Cooper shuffled closer to his little brother.

Smiling, Blaine reached over and patted his brother one the shoulder. “It’s funny, we never got along like this before.”

“I had no reason to care about my little brother until he fell in love.”

“Gee thanks.”

“All kidding aside, seeing you with Kurt opened my eyes to how complicated you are. The whole thing made me think and then I talked to him.”

“Oh?”

“He’s a good man. I can see why you fell for him even if his taste in cloths sucks.”

Blaine rolled his eyes. “At the moment I feel as if the anchor chain has been cut. I’ve called a dozen time since I got home.”

“You said it.” Cooper smiled. “He has heavy subject on his plate.”

“I just want him to know I am here for him.”

“Deep down I think he knows that. He only needs to come out the other end. Sort of like mom and dad.”

“I don’t want to fight with them so I’m staying out of it.”

“You can’t avoid it.”

“It’s status quo.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I stay out of dad’s way and help mom when he’s not around. When he’s being an ass I come up here and listen to music or study or . . .”

“Call Kurt?”

Silence prevailed for a few moments and then Blaine shook his head. “I just wish I could speak to him.”

“Hey, little bro, you can talk to me. Why do you think I’m staying an extra week?”

“I appreciate it Coop but I feel so broken.”

“I’ve split up before. In time you’ll move on.”

“Did you love her?”

Cooper looked over at the bookshelf. “When I think back no or maybe, a little, but she was not the one.”

“Kurt’s the one for me.”

“There’s lots of young studs out there waiting to sweep you off your feet.”

“No, Coop, Kurt’s the one. I’ve known since he first walked down those stairs. He had a hallow around him as if he walked out of a ball of light.”

“Really? Wow.” Cooper leaned onto the bed. “Friends of mine in LA said the same thing. They’re such lovebirds. I can only hope it happens to me when it find her.”

“I didn’t believe any of that but then . . . bam . . . it strikes you in the face. I still don’t really trust it but I can’t deny it either. I had crushes before but nothing like this. He makes me fell whole.”

“You can make a wish tomorrow night at midnight.”

“A New Year.”

“Yup, new beginnings.”

“I can think of lots of things to wish for.” Blaine looked toward the door.

“I know.” Cooper’s eyes followed. “Remember to call Kurt, Burt and Rachel wishing them a Happy New Year.”

Blaine smiled. “Rachel and Kurt had planned to go to a big party but with Burt there I doubt Kurt will go.”

“Are you going out?”

“There’s a party at Tina’s.”

“Do you think you would have gotten the same support in Dalton as you have in McKinley?’

Looking to the left, Blaine stared at the red and blue tie hanging from the side of the shelves. A warm smile stretched his lips. “I wanted to go back there after Kurt and I broke up. Sam and the others showed me I was wrong?”

“Why were you wrong?” The look on Cooper’s face told his brother he did not know this story. “Was the guy still there who tried to blind you?”

“Kurt was the target. I just got in the way.” Blaine sighed and his face changed. Memories of the pain and the fear of surgery played on him. Kurt had been there all along visiting every day and making him feel safe. The poor boy worried. The look on his face made it blatantly obvious. Even now the thought warmed Blaine’s heart.

Sitting up straight, Cooper gave his brother a concerned look. “That guy really didn’t like Kurt.”

“Sebastian, no. He did not and Kurt knew it. He tried to break us up and I didn’t see it.”

“You liked him?”

“He had a certain allure but then I loved . . . still love Kurt.”

“Oh, my little brother, I do hope it works out.”

“Me too.”

“Hey, Blaine. You got along at Christmas. Kurt does not like to sing with just anyone.”

“You’re right there. He complains about not getting solos but at the same time he does not like them outside the classroom. When we did Candles he was so afraid.”

“You said that was his first solo in concert.”

Blaine smiled. “It was kind of flirty . . . but he didn’t like being put in the spotlight. He’s so cute.”

“And you love it.” Cooper tappeed his brother on the arm. “Perfect team.”

“Yeah?” Blaine did not look convinced. “He’s grown so much since going to New York. I wonder if I will be able to catch up.”

Cooper grinned. “You will find your place with Kurt at your side.”

Blaine looked down at the duvet as a shadow passed over his face. “I hope he will be at my side.”

“You will and . . .” Cooper started then he went silent. Raised voices echoed from downstairs. Glancing at his watch he scowled. “An hour and a half, fuck.”

Emotion flashed on Blaine’s face but before he could say anything Cooper raced from the room flinging the door open. Crawling off the bed, Blaine tore out into the hall and toward the stairs. Daniel’s voice rose from the kitchen overpowering his mother’s. A hand fell against the wall the moment a foot fell upon the top step. It sounded bad and then Cooper’s voice rose above the others as he pleaded for calm.

His rump hit the top step with a jolt. The hairs on the back of Blaine’s neck rose with his blood pressure. Elbows pressing against his knees, the palms of his hands pressed into his ears. The noise below rushed within his head and then he heard a loud yell. Looking up, his hands fell to his knees.

“. . . it doesn’t matter.” His mother’s tone cut through the battling voices. “You can’t keep pretending there are no bigger issues.”

“The only issue is . . .” Daniel’s tone rose and fell away quickly.

“Why bring this up now of all times.” Blaine’s mother sound very angry.

“Why don’t we just call it a night,” Cooper’s voice interceded.

“Why, so she can hide from the truth. I have played your game for years and . . . I . . . oh fuck this!” Blaine’s father’s voice suddenly fell away.

“What the hell do you want, Daniel!” Pam’s tone rose in pitch. “That was years ago.”

“Yes and look where it got us.”

“It has nothing to do with anything.”

“It has to do with everything.”

“For Christ’s sake, Daniel I had no control over that.”

“You bloody well did!”

From where he sat, Blaine heard his mother being to cry. He swore under his breath.

“What the hell was all that about dad?” Cooper growled.

Daniel snapped. “Nothing to do with you!”

“I’m part of this family so it had a lot to do with me.” Cooper’s voice had firmness to it Blaine rarely so.

“Daniel, let’s not go there.” Pam pleaded.

“Too fucking late. Our life was spoiled years ago. That little bastard ruined it.”

“What the . . .” Cooper’s voice got washed out by Pam’s yelling.

Three words drove into Blaine’s head like a spike. The throbbing in his through made it hard to breath. Throwing his arms up, he stomped down to the landing and ran for the front hall. Pulling on a heavy jacket and snickers the door slammed behind him. He doubted anyone heard.

Running on to the walk he fell face first into a mound of snow. Lying there he screamed and then dragged himself up. Hauling the keys out of the jacket pocket he took Pam’s car. With no idea where he would go, he just drove. Struggling to keep his mind on the road he slowed and turned away from town. Radio releasing songs from his phone, eventually he found himself at the park by the river.

The ruts in the snow made it hard to control his mom’s little car. Sliding here and there, he turned the wheel to the right into the parking lot. Tires hit ice and the car spun. It jolted to an abrupt stop throwing Blaine forward. The seat belt caught him. The car had stopped. A foot smashed into the break and he shoved the gearshift into park. Fingers tugged on the emergency break for good measure.

Breathing in, his heart pounded in his throat. Sitting there the stared at his hands. They trembled. The neck pulled tights as he his head bowed. Ugly words morphed in his head. He had been right all along. Daniel had called him—that little bastard. The three words crushed sensitivity leaving a defeated sensation in its wake.

Biting his lip, he could not believe it. Every fear he held came true in a flash. Sniffing back a tear, hazel eyes scanned the surround. On this cool, pre-New Year’s Eve, day, no one had been here other than a plow. With a snort, Blaine turned the engine off and shoved the keys in his pocket. Fingers brushed against his cell phone. Pulling it free, he looked at it and then dropped it on center console.

With a sigh, Blaine pushed the car door open and received a brisk blast of air in the face. In an instant he felt alive. Stepping out of the vehicle he looked up at the sky enjoying he solitude. Slowly his eyes went to the tracks he had made in the freshly driven snow. His face changed when he noticed the rear of his mom’s car pressed up against a pile deposited there by the snowplow. Walking to the back of the little car he sighed with relief. No damage.

Wrapping his arms over his chest, Blaine watched the wind lift the snow up into the air and carry it across the open field toward the river. A tall cluster of spruce trees mark a place he knew well. Opening the hatchback, he rummaged around looking for the emergency kit. Pulling out a tightly packed plastic container dumped the contents out.

Climbing up over a mound left behind by the plow, Blaine marched through the foot deep snow. Icy flakes forced themselves up his pant legs where it quickly melted. Refreshing but cold, instinct took him as he plowed on through the snow.

With a scarf clinging to his neck and the collar of his coat pulled up downcast boy sat on a large rock. Hunched over with a thermal blanket wrapped up over his head and shoulders the stiff fabric provided protection from the wind racing down the icy river. Sorry eyes stared at the hues of color dancing around him. The clouds turned red and pink as it slipped toward the horizon. Beautiful and uplifting Blaine smiled. An hour more and it would be dark.

He called the stone ‘their’ rock. Here two boys learned about each other as they wasted the lazy days of summer. They tossed a ball around. Well, Kurt fumbled it and Blaine learned how inquisitive his bow could be. Picnics and duets brought them together in ways Blaine still found hard to believe. Here everything felt right and safe.

Kurt had never liked taking off is layers but in this place, Blaine watched the gradual transformation. His lover may not have been aware but Blaine always eyed him up. The soft, boyish curving of his thin body intrigued. A chill wind off the river would cause his nipples to perk up. He would smirk when something in Vogue caught his interest. Toes would wiggle and then stray making contract with the hair on Blaine’s legs. They talked about music, school, the arts, plays, celebrities and themselves. The shy boy Blaine met on the stairs at Dalton slowly opened up like a rare flower. All the while Blaine felt the meshing of their lives in a way he still could not comprehend.

Hands tucked into his pockets, his mind shifted to Broadway. A few days ago he walked passed famous theaters marveling at the sights. Father, son and estranged lover appeared happy regardless of the haunting undertone no one wanted to discuss—cancer. Without trying Kurt wangled Blaine into helping keep things upbeat. By itself, this gave Blaine hope they could at least salvage a friendship. Deep down the teen knew that would not satisfy him. He wanted Kurt in his life forever.

For the first time in weeks Blaine did something selfless. Then he came home to what, a disaster which left him believing himself an awful son and lover. A moment of what he thought would have been a release became a prison which damned himself for the rest of his life. At night, when sleep finally came, he dreamt of two men dressed in jackets with tail walking horses down a path. Sadness filled their eyes as they argued about the difference between being proper and doing what their hearts told him. Proprietary won sentencing them to years of unhappiness.

Would the years be kind to his family? Would it be kind to him? Thinking about this only made his mood darker. If he could be turn back time he would but then what would that have taught him? Damned little. Leaning forward, Blaine rested his chin in his hands. The breath escaping his nose rose in large puffs of white. He should have brought gloves. His fingers froze.

In time the chill air and a numb bum compelled Blaine to move. Retreating to the car, he spun the engine up and blasted the heat. Sitting back he ran his hands through his hair undoing its careful placement. The body froze with his hands locked in his tight curls. Remaining there for a long moment and then he drew in a deep breath. Slowly leaning forward his head came to rest on the steering wheel. The head and eyes rolled up toward the sky. Torn amber-brown orbs circled down as salty water blurred his vision.

“What a fool you have been Blaine Anderson,” he moaned hoping someone might hear him.

Feeling less than a man and more like a child, Blaine wiped his eyes and sat up. A puzzling thought invaded his meandering mind making him fell suddenly less confused. The nose scrunched up as the eyebrows pulled together at the faint hint of car exhaust. In the rear view mirror he could see a large white cloud billow into the darkened sky.

Air forced through the vents warming the skin. Slipping his hands into his pockets he sat there staring and then glanced down at the center console. The display on his cell told him there had been several calls. He could only guess—mom and Cooper. Staring, he felt nothing. The oddness of his calm felt out of place but at these same time it soothed.

Time slipped by and the air about him became staler. Slowly his head moved from side to side. With a sigh he picked the mobile up and his fingers pressed buttons. He paid no attention to the ringing of the phone until he heard the service pick up.

“Kurt . . . err . . . hi . . . it’s Blaine. I just wanted to say hello.” A loud sigh escaped Blaine’s lips and his head drooped. “I’m at the rock. It’s been such a mess . . . mom and . . . I feel . . . I don’t know . . . Oh, you don’t want to hear this. Just have fun and enjoy the New Year with your dad.”

A finger smashed into the red phone symbol. Hard eyes fixed on the number and then Blaine frowned. Tossing the device onto the passenger seat Blaine eyes locked on it. The pumping of his heart became the ticking of the clock in his head. Losing track of everything he did not even blink.

A stark yawn broke his jarred his mind. Moaning, his eyes closed as the air rushing from the vents played through his messy hair. “Why the hell did I do that?”

The purring of the engine became his only company beside the drving snow. The wind gusted now and then casting white up into the air. Time passed but Blaine lost track.

“Who am I fooling, he no longer cares.” Blaine shifted in the seat pulling his legs up and crossing them. Knees resting against the wheel he yawned. “Little bastard. You’re a god damned bastard dad! I could never do anything good enough for you. Fuck, why do I even bother? You never cared . . . Kurt no longer cares. What is there them?”

Tears rolled down stubbly cheeks. He had let himself go over the past couple of days. His mom commented the five-o’clock shadow made him look handsome. He hated it like the hair growing on his chest. At this moment he disliked a lot of things about his life. Weeks of hell finally stripped the last of his strength. Glancing about, he looked at the moonlight shining down on the snow. “I have lived not even twenty years and life seems worthless.”

Having half expected a response the silence felt deafening. “You’re a stupid, useless fool.”

Wind rocked the little car causing Blaine to look up. Rolling his right hand over, he gazed at it and sighed. “All those sapping movies Kurt liked. Hollywood A-listers paid to pine over each other and make it believable, I’ve haven’t even seen a penny for this pile of shit.”

His head bobbed up and donw. “Sappy movies. Sappy songs. Where did they get us? Nowhere!”

A teen snorted to clear his throat as numbed senses lulled him. “Cooper . . . new beginnings . . . ha! It’s done.”

The head rolled on the back rest. The radio faintly played music from his cell. He listened as his eyes became harder to keep open. The run up of a song stirred Blaine’s mind and he began to sing. His words slurred.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e78hgMokz2I – sung by Darren Criss who pronounces ‘He’ or ‘He’ll in the famine but I’ll keep the male version.)

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high
And life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving

Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung
No wine untasted

But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hope apart
As they turn your dream to shame

He slept a summer by my side
He filled my days with endless wonder
He took my childhood in his stride
But he was gone when autumn came
And still I dream he'll come to me
That we will live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I'm living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed
The dream I dreamed

Sad eyes swiveled to the roof and he smiled. Picking up his phone. Swiping to the gallery a picture of Kurt popped up. Taken only a few days ago, he leaned into to his father laughing. Rachel had joined them for dinner at a great Italian ma and pop place around the corner. Nothing went wrong that night. Kurt enjoyed and Blaine even found his foot pressing against his under the table. When Blaine moved his, that shoe found his ankle again.

Leaning back, the closed his eyes, a wave of tingling raced up his body. Feeling light-headed he let his head fall to the left. Narrow eyes looked out into the piles of snow made lighter by the brightness of the moon behind poking through the clouds.

“Maybe he’ll forgive me one day.” Blaine coughed and his head spun into a drowsy world.

Chapter Text

Water fell over the edge where it pooled before running away into the darkness. Loose strands of curly hair poked up out of the liquid like twigs in a pond. Faint ripples lashed against the peak of the forehead just above the eyes. The nose and lips floated just above the tiny waves. An elbow rested on the edge with the hand disappearing into slowly turning moisture. Inky redness pumped from the wrists resting on a naked torso.

Cares and woos faded in to emptiness. No thought. No emotion. No pain. Subtle motion became the only sign of life. The plunking of drops striking the water held a constant strength. It stimulated a part of the brain which revolted against constant droning. Two competing edges mixed creating something which caused a toe to twitch—music.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XM_uptMaaw Artist Theo Tams.)

Never one to give up so you dig in your heels
No matter how bad you know it feels

Long ago a fragile mind stopped listening to the warning signs within the numbness.

You say you're coming to terms with the way that you are
But you've forgotten who you could be

Thump and then a long break.

Look up ahead, it's something beautiful

Exaggerated beating slowed with shallower breathing.

Do you feel at a crossroad?
You wanna leave but you don't know

Words vibrated through the water and the ears perked up.

How to fly, how to let go, let go

Fantasy overcame reality corrupting and draining the will.

When you finally fit in, you never wanted to change
It's so much safer to stay the same

Shades of light, colour and darkness danced about each other creating an odd feeling of being adrift.

But it's time to move on and the courage will come
If you remember that you are free

Something realized the irrational state of affairs.

Look up ahead, it's something beautiful

Thoughtless conflict twisted the stomach as if the body somehow screamed.

Do you feel at a crossroad?
You wanna leave but you don't know

Uneasy currents turned the consciousness inside out or flipped upside down while tumbling sideways all at once.

How to fly, how to let go, let go

Moans and groans lapsed into melody.

Forsaking all security, embracing the uncertainty
And falling into this

For a second the obscurity of a dreadful plight parted and the mind recognized the importance of right in left.

Remember this before you leave, how simple that the truth can be
You are human and you are free

An abrupt flash of reality and blue eyes blinked.

Look up ahead, it's something beautiful

The emotions involved in shattered love invaded the dim leaving an impression of a gently touch.

Do you feel at a crossroad?
You wanna leave but you don't know

Belief and idealism lurched grasping at fragmented sentience.

How to fly, how to let go, let go

A door opened just a notch bringing awareness.

Do you feel at a crossroad?
You wanna leave but you don't know

The essence of reality shifted into soft words the mind comprehended.

How to fly, how to let go, let go, let go

The last vowel resonated through the synapses of the brain driving away the phantoms of hopelessness. A finger flicked and then fell still. Once again a burdened mind saw a flash of speckled blue as if someone stared at him. As swirl of brown hair with natural red highlights danced in the peripheral vision. Wetness glistened next to the bridge of the nose. The tear tumbled down a stubbled cheek as the image faded away into the morass of floundering thought. Time seemed to stand still.

The heart suddenly pulsed and then the chest exploded with coughing. The body rocked back and forth and the head stuck something hard and cold. Hazel eyes flung open and a hand came up to cover the mouth. Pain radiated out from Blaine’s lungs as the contents of his stomach rose in to his throat. Some aspect of a smothered mind grasped reality and the door he leaned against flung open. The blast of cold air brought life even as the rush from his stomach splashed onto the snow.

Choking and spitting, Blaine’s felt horrible. Shivering, the mind thrashed as it tried to find reason. By some means the body found the strength to grip the door handle. The stomach churned and he swallowed. Cheeks puffing acid rose in his throat and then he threw up again. The wretchedness of the bile dripping from his lips and the freshness of the air both revolted and renewed. The clouds kerbing rational thought dispersed leaving Blaine stunned.

Hauling himself out of the car, Blaine slid on the puke freezing to the parking lot. Barely catching himself he used the door frame to keep himself upright. Working around to the car hood, he flopped down up on with a loud thud. Banging his head on the cold metal car, Blaine chided himself for a long moment and then fell silent. Hands pressed into his face the sobs came without restriction. Uncontrollably quacking rocked the body forcing him to spread his legs wider to remain standing.

The sound of his heavy breathing broke the eeriness and then this he stomach rumbled. Sliding down the hood, he hung his head down and tossed the contents of his stomach yet again. Little came up but it hurt just the same.

Holding on to the lip in front of the windshield, Blaine did not move. Why did he allowed his despair to overcome his better judgment? How would he explain this to his mom? Could he even tell her? Cooper would be furious and protective. Kurt? What about Kurt? The man did not deserve this. Burt having cancer and the circumstance of the break up weighed heavily on Kurt. It lay heavily on Blaine.

Rolling his head, hazel eyes looked to the trees. There amongst the shadows and falling snow loomed the spot where he had cried weeks before. He stared for the longest time watching the moon slowly rise opposite the last rays of the sun. The patterns of brightness dancing across the fast moving clouds inspiring a dull mind. The flashing billboards of Time Square came to mind swelling his heart with regret. Drawing in a deep breath the cold air cleansed his lunges making him feel better. The taste in his mouth hinted of weakness.

White haze surrounded his head when he breathed out. The sound passing through his lips rung within chilled ears. The mind heard the words of a song once more. High, familiar notes played upon the edges of his consciousness like the whispering of angel. He knew the artist from the television but where had it come from?

Blaine wiping his eyes with the back of his hand. Throwing himself on to the hood again the warmth radiating from the engine provided comfort. How he wished it had been Kurt holding him? Or his mother? No, Kurt. The tightness in his chest spoke of what could have been. He could have been skating right now. He could have seen their dreams come true. He could have had the strength to wait. He could have. He could have. He could have. He lost it all.

A cheek fell flat against the paint. The engine purred like a loud cat. He could not believe his life had come this far. The mind went numb. He missed Kurt so much. He loved him so much. He had been such a fool but this . . . ending his life . . . proved unfathomable. The thought brought more sobs as the brain battled with the shame. Had a destroyed life brought him to this . . . final outcome? No! Kurt? His mom? Dad? The bullying by a brother or in the halls of school. It all spiraled around him. He knew the car had slid into the snow bank. He smelt the fumes but did nothing. God’s, did he want this?

His chest heaved with a deep intake of air. Closing his eyes, Blaine felt sad. He felt happy. He felt so incredibly stupid. Biting his tongue just to prove he did not dream, incredible emotion etched through his ribs. The head came up and then he slowly stood. Wrapping his arms about his chest and looked up at the dark sky where the moon poked through the clouds.

Rocking his head from shoulder to shoulder, Blaine slowly turned around. With a sigh, he walked to the back of the car where the hot exhaust had melted the snow. His heart virtually stopped. If it had not happened he would be dead.

Crouching down, hs hands came up to his face. “What would my . . . mom, Cooper . . . gods, Kurt . . . think if . . . no . . . this was an accident.”

Silence prevailed for a long moment and then Blaine spat out some chunks stuck to his teeth. Making a face he glanced about and then stomped over to some fresh snow. Scooping a handful up he shoved it into his mouth and waited for it to melt. Swirling it about, he spat it out. Repeating the process several times he looked back at the car. Coils of exhaust rose from the tailpipe.

“Weak.” He moaned. “I am so . . . fuck’n . . . weak?”

His head drooped as his heart sunk. Looking back at the car the pool of freezing vomit made his stomach flip again. Hesitating his arms folded across his chest. The body shook and then he took an unstable step. Swallowing hard, he slowly walked to the car.

“Is this what is like to lose your soul?” Slumping down, he still could not believe what had almost happened. Bile rose in his throat.

When he calmed down, he looked to his left. His foot feel hard and then sank into the snow. Unable to find the phrases to express quivering caressing his form, he felt queasy. It one way it felt as if every cell in the body vibrated but in another way it felt as if the same cells wailed against it. The fear overwhelmed telling him to keep away.

Climbing back into the car he smelt vapors. Shutting the door then rolled the windows down and shifted the car into drive. Adding a little gas, the wheels spun and then the vehicle lurched forward a few yards. Setting the transmission to park and turning the engine off his head came to rest on the back of the seat. Breathing in and out, the clean air made him feel less light-headed.

“Or . . . is this what it takes to find it?” The words felt bitter.

Staring into the trees Blaine suddenly began to cough. The fit lasted for a while and when it stopped his throat felt raw and dry. Water rolled down his cheeks. Two hands pressed against those same eyes and his head bowed.

“Wow, Blaine, you almost did it this time. That a boy, good way to escape your problems.” He sighed and then suddenly made a face. Leaning over he pulled at the latch to the compartment between the seats. “I hope you kept the gum supply up, mom. My mouth tastes like Finn’s old socks.”

Extracting a package of gum, Blaine grinned. “At least one thing has gone right today.”

A nail dug into the plastic protecting the gum. When it popped he murmured. “It could be that easy. I wish love could be like that. So simple and so complicated at the same time.”

The right side of the face curled up into a smirk. He knew it off by heart without the aid of a mirror. Even though it had always been there he did not become aware of it until one fateful day he met Kurt. The idea it had been a special something for a special person warmed a chilled heart.

Looking to his right, his eyes fell upon the cell. Biting his lip, Blaine reached out and picked it. Grief-stricken eyes staring back at him in the glossy surface. He looked haggard but also like the handsome man Kurt had . . . might still . . . love.

“Look up ahead, it's something beautiful.” The words thumped in Blaine’s chest mirroring a high heartbeat. Each breath filled him with hope.

“That song?” The last word hung there. Fresh words echoed in his head. “Maybe it came to me to point they way to releasing my guilt?”

A finger pressed against the base of the phone disabling the security. Bravery touched a shattered heart and his fingers tapped until it stopped. Word and then a beep. Releasing a loud sigh he spoke in a meek voice, “Kurt, it's Blaine. Sorry about the last message. I just want to know how you are doing and I’m thinking of you. Please call me back. I . . . really . . . really . . . need to hear your voice.”

Unwilling to hang up, Blaine smiled as another tear etched a line down his cheek. Resisting the need to wipe it away he let it reach his jaw. It hung there for a while before falling to his jeans. He sniffled just before the final beep.

Large snowflakes dotted the windshield creating images of soft white flecks in the headlights. One deep breath and then another. His stomach settled and he no longer trembled even though the mind yelled at him. He needed time. He needed love. He needed to hear a voice. He needed to finally decide which way his life would go. New Years Day. He would wait that long.

He lost all track of time until the phone he clutched in his hand suddenly vibrated. Jumping, he almost fumbled the device. Panting Blaine swallowed and closed his eyes. It buzzed again and he blinked. The screen brightened and he finally noticed the call count. Sixteen missed text messages and five voice from different numbers—Cooper, mom, Sam and . . . dad? No Kurt. Disappointment rocked his heart.

Unable to move, he just stared until a partially nasty gust of wind burst through the window. Shocked back into reality, Blaine pressed the button to close it. Fear gripped him with the sound and the wobbly feeling returned. The mind flipped several times between fear and need. Sitting up straight he stuck his nose close to the narrow opening. Breathing in deeply soothed anxieties giving him a chance to rationally think.

“I can’t do this any more,” he moaned.

The body feel back in to the seat again. “It hurts too much.”

The cell he held struck the center console. “I just can’t.”

The finger around the phone had gone white with the tension. It vibrated as if it somehow knew. Clutching his chest he peered at the number and then scrambled to accept the call.

“Where the fuck have you been?” Sam’s voice exploded onto the phone.

Surprised, Blaine struggled with his thoughts. A human voice. He listened to a human voice. The heart froze. He could not tell Sam or anyone. They would not understand but his mom would know. She always knew.

“Jesus, Blaine!” Sam sounded no less calm.

Putting the phone between his legs, Blaine burying his head his hands and mumbled, “Sam?”

“Cooper called three times thinking I would know where you are.” Sam accented certain words.

In a mournful voice Blaine replied, “I needed to think.”

“Bloody hell, Blaine,” Sam sucked in an audible breath. “Everyone is worried about you.”

A frown pulled at Blaine’s lips. He had to tell. He needed to hide. He felt mortified. The strain in his tone revealed much. “I know.”

“Where are you?” The sharp edge to Sam’s tone had dropped.

Lowering his hands, Blaine tucked them in his pockets. His eyes went to the trees where ‘their’ rock lay next to the river. He sighed and a numbness ran up his back. Glancing in the rear view mirror he spied the frozen puke highlighted by the shimmering moon on snow. “I’m down by the river.”

“Blaine, what the hell is going on?”

“I’m sorry, you got involved, Sam.”

“Talk to me, damn it!”

“I just could not take any more. It’s been hard since I got back.”

“Is this all about Kurt?”

“I don’t want to speak about it.”

“Come off it Blaine!”

Blaine’s head sank. The only one person knew him better and he faced his own problems in a far off city. “It’s a little bit complicated.”

“Try me.” Sam’s voice sounded strained.

Blaine did not know how to respond. Without Kurt, Sam had become his best friends. They hung out and sang together just as Kurt and he had. A quivering ran up Blaine’s spine and his eyes narrowed.

“I know you’re still there I can hear you panting,” Sam’s voice had shifted from angered concern to caring. “Speak to me.”

Blinking and loudly exhaled, Blaine moaned, “I need a coffee.”

A relieved sigh passed through the phone. “I’ll let Cooper know I’ve found you but I’ll won’t tell him where. Meet me at the LImabean. I think it’s open.”

“Until midnight.” The discomfort in his chest waned.

“I am calling you back when I am done with her brother. Just show up.”

“Okay, okay. You’re all heart today Sam.”

“You scared the shit out of me, bro.”

“Sorry.”

“Blaine, I can’t have my best bud swimming under the ice.”

The former Warbler laughed. It felt good. Dear Sam. The heart fluttered in an unexpected way.

The coffeehouse had a large clientele for nine in the evening the day before New Year’s Eve. People sat about talking and laughing giving the venue an electric atmosphere. Standing in the door he could not remember the last time he had been here. Raw memories lived at almost every table and for a moment he almost bolted. Steeling his nerve he drew in a long breath of air smelling roasted coffee. It soothed.

Sam rose from a coveted window seat when Blaine approached him. Wrapped his arms about his friend blond teen pulled Blaine in to a friendly hug. A week ago Blaine hugged Kurt at the skating ring and melted. Tonight, Sam’s close proximity created tingling down in his midsection. The former Warbler did not like where his mind went but he could not deny his thoughts. The way he walked and those lips mesmerized. In someways it felt creepy but in others it made Blaine fell alive.

Guilt struck and Blaine quickly withdrew. Turning away he did not want Sam to see the heat rising in his cheeks, His breath caught and conflicted thoughts crashed against what had happened earlier. God no! Did these feelings mean Kurt meant nothing? Stuggling to swallow he splayed his fingers wide and let out a short puff of air.

“Blaine?” Sam gave his friend a look.

Standing next to his friend made Blaine feel rather awkward and nervous in the weirdest way. Gathering his thought became harder than he wished. The feeling of his life slipping away lingered like a tooth ache.

Green eyes narrowed as if Sam sensed something. The grin which followed spoke of concern. “Took your time. I thought I would have to dredge the river.”

Slipping his coat off, Blaine mumbled. “Sam, I’m sorry.”

Carefully folded his scarf and placed it on the table. Hazel eyes roamed Sam. The blond bright red sweatshirt the blond wore made Blaine smile. He looked great. Blaine’s stomach rolled leaving him feeling anxious and a little angry.

Looking down at the large cardboard cup on the table, Sam grinned. “Go get yourself something. I’m not going anywhere.”

Smiling at his friend, Blaine headed for the lineup. Standing there as it inched forward, he considered the day. Cooper probably roped Sam into being the search party because he knew Blaine habits. Knowing at least two people cared for him lifted Blaine’s spirits. He could forgive Kurt but then he also felt let down. He had honestly thought they had gotten over that hump but, then, he no longer knew. The teen with the green eyes proved steadfast and true. Well, Kurt had too . . . until recently and then . . . Weakness brought this on himself and now he paid the price.

Standing in the short line made him think of Kurt and the day they both admitted they had been someone’s boyfriends before. The sentiment moved him. Butterflies filled his stomach as a bead of sweat edged down his back. The boy took his breath away. He still did but then? Hazel eyes went back to the corner where Sam stared out the window. A large puff of air raced through his nose.

It took a while for him to get his coffee and something to snack on before he returned to Sam. Blaine sat with a huff and tossed a bag of cookies on the table.

“It’s good to see you know my stomach?” Sam calmly acknowledged his friend.

“Thanks.” Blaine grinned as he cupped his hands around the hot cardboard cup. His fingers quivered with the thumped in his chest. Fear etched an ugly line across his heart. Mom, dad, Sam, Kurt and death swirled like a tornado within his mind.

“You alright?” The weakness in Sam’s voice gave his feelings away.

Blaine lied. “I think so.”

“We’re you running from your parents or Kurt?”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It’s simple English though I could make it difficult if you like.”

Frowning, Blaine sat back and sipped his coffee. His brows folded into each other and then he pushed his lips out. Finally he admitted, “Both.”

A grin parted Sam’s lips. “Now that you got it off you chest, where do you want to start?”

Sadness filled hazel eyes. Having Sam so close felt good. Being apart from Kurt hurt beyond anything he had felt before. Yes, New Years Day. Survival demanded it.

“I know you. You’re a broader . . . no brooder.” The blond’s face pulled together. “That’s it brooder. Now out with it.”

Giving Sam odd look, Blaine sipped his mocha. The pump in his chest thumped against his ribs. Gritting his teeth, he decided to be up-front. “My dad beat-up my mom when I was in New York.”

“No?” Sam almost dropped his coffee. His eyes bulged wide.

“Mom and Cooper didn’t want to ruin my trip so they didn’t tell me until I got back. Cooper picked me up at the airport and it took forever to get it out of him.”

“Blaine, I never realized.”

“And Kurt’s dropped off the radar. He hasn’t returned a call since I left.”

“You were getting along?”

“Burt was there.”

“Maybe he and his father have been busy. There’s lots to see in New York.”

“I’ve thought of that.”

“You said you sang together like old times.”

“Yeah we did.” Blaine frowned. The two friends had not seen each other since Blaine returned home. They talked over the phone a few times but not much else. Sam’s family visited.

Shifting in his seat, Sam looked as if he played poker. “So this is more to do with your family.”

“Yes, but . . . I will have to wait and see what happens with Kurt. He has a lot on his plate with . . .”

“With?”

Blaine sighed. “I should not be telling you this but Burt has cancer.”

Sitting back, Sam’s face went pale. “Oh my god. How’s he doing?”

“They caught it early. He’s starting treatments in January. Please keep it to yourself.”

“Okay. And Kurt?”

“Shocked. Upset. Being Kurt.”

“Burt wanted you to help.”

“Yes, but I think he would like to see Kurt and me patch it up.”

Gazing into Blaine’s light brown eyes, Sam pointedly asked, “You still love him?”

“I don’t . . . yes . . . very much.” Blaine’ face softened as he fondly smiled. He blushed. How could he be looking at Sam like that?

Sam leaned forward.

Blaine bit his lip.

Sam said, “Look, bro, we all knew what both you and Kurt can be like.”

“Yeah.” Blaine’s voice shook. A single word echoed in his head. He thought he had calmed his nerves.

Sam smirked. “Come off it Blaine, Kurt has a martyr complex.”

Chuckling, Blaine smiled. “Thanks Sam. I needed that.”

“We all have bad days Blaine.” Sam sat back and sipped his coffee.

“That’s the half of it.” Blaine held back what he wanted to say. He could tell Sam remained unconvinced. Shame and angry battled beneath his ribs.

“So are you coming to the party tomorrow night?”

Folding to hands on the table with elbows pressed side by side, Blaine hesitated. “I don’t know.”

“You can ripe your shirt off again.” Sam winked. “Tina liked it.”

Blaine rolled his eyes and burst in to a large smile.

“Come one Blaine, it will give you a break from home.” Sam cocked his head to one side as his eyebrows rose. “Who knows, Kurt might call.”

“I don’t know about that.” Blaine looked dejected. Gum and coffee had not rid his mouth of the taste of vomit. It remained there like a stain reminding him of his failure. “As I said, Burt’s still there.”

“More the . . .” Sam stopped suddenly. “Is that you phone?”

“Probably Cooper.” Blaine intended to ignore it.

“You had better pick it up.” Sam pointed at Blaine’s jacket. “He’ll want to give you shit.”

Shaking his head, Blaine fumbled for the phone and then his chin dropped.

“What?” Sam whispered.

Blinking, Blaine expression softened. Activated the phone he visibly shuddered. Eyes closed squishing the wetness on to the lashes. His voice came out low and husky. “Hey . . . Kurt.”

Chapter Text

A tear ran down a cheek followed by a heavy sigh. Hazel eyes scanned up the body of his best friend, his lover and husband to a quiet and stunning face. So beautiful and complete. Never had he met someone more human. His passion for life and all it offered marked his passage through time. The touch of his hand and a beating heart overcame the personal monsters stalking all living things—loathing and inner doubt.

His head tilted to the left and the remaining strands of curly hair caught in an old sweater. Where had all those gorgeous curls gone? Sad eyes glanced to the wall. Kurt and Blaine in the park with the kids. Kurt and Blaine at dinner. The two at Blaine’s high school graduation. In them all they both had robust heads of hair. Kurt dyed his locks until the demons of vanity and celebrity faded. As the years passed they learned to laugh at those demons. Yes, they continued to deal with their issues. Yes, they always loved each other even in the darkest of times

For Blaine, the worst point marked the climax of a year. An old man recalled the suffering and the deep underlying desire. Hazel plus blue equaled love from the first moment their orbs met. The adoring and sometimes dismissive man held Blaine together. Then came a sin against the soul. At night he tossed in his sweat as the horrible truth gnawed a hole in his heart. Old Blaine remembered barely talking to his father. His friends knew something bothered him. A teen covered it up by allowing Sam to tell his friend about his parents. It eased the questions but not the terror gripping a young mind.

Regret touched an already fragile heart. Blaine kept the truth of his greatest failure from his mom. She lived a wonderful life filled with the joys of loving sons, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Even as she lay in a bed looking up at her son with bright eyes Blaine’s heart locked up a damning secret. When the moment of her last breath approached, Blaine held her hand tightly in his. Kurt stood beside him with his hand on his husband’s shoulder. Pam’s eyes spoke of love and a hidden truth. When she finally passed, Blaine felt a dark spot on his heart lift. Somehow his mother knew.

Pain crashed in to an ailing heart. An old man stiffened. Such emotion hurt a decaying body. All his life he had called it an accident. Only once did he admit otherwise. Until that time he suffered in silence. The lesson learned turned out harder than he thought. An infatuation with a dear friend troubled Blaine but it also allowed him an outlet for harmful emotions. An awkward conversation with Kurt that dreadful night eased a shredded heart. Sporadic conversations followed an unfulfilled vow.

February started off with a bang—Kurt blew up. His former boyfriend called out of the blue upset about something which ended headed for Cheating Avenue. Blaine counted with text cheating and then it went downhill from there. Dear Sam held his hand, well not literally, during the two days it took for him to calm down.

Days later a young man sat on his bed fully clothed. Leaning against huge pile of pillows, he pulled the comforter up to keep the chill off from the partially open window. Intent eyes studied the course catalog of several colleges and universities. He had told Kurt he wanted to go to NYADA but now he had second thoughts. New York University had good performing arts program. Cooper told him to go to the University of South California. The west coast felt like a defeat. Two ex-lovers may not be seeing eye-to-eye but the connection between them held by a fraying thread.

Blaine sighed. He felt wore. The last few days had been especially hard. Shaking his head, he looked out the window where the wind howled driving a combination of snow and ice. The sound thrashing trees reminded Blaine of his flighty moods. New York University? The idea both excited and worried him. It would put him in the same city as Kurt. Would it put them at odd if they remained estranged? Did he even want to be in that huge city if he did not have Kurt in his life? Maybe California? What about Toronto? Maybe . . . a shiver ran up his spine leaving a foul taste in his mouth.

Turning another page, he studied the course before him—dance. A smirk twisted lips and then his eyes shot open. A bang out in the hall and raised voices dug into the teen. Covering his eyes with the palms of his hands, Blaine tried to keep it altogether. He sat there looking out the window. Running his hands through his hair. His mind spiraled back to a snowy parking lot. The pain in a young man’s chest spread into his back.

Suddenly his cell vibrated. Shocked back to reality he turned toward the nightstand. A number flashing on the screen—New York. His heart virtually stopped and then he jumped to pluck up the phone.

“Kurt?” Blaine could not believe Kurt had called. He listened and then added, “Okay, give me one sec.”

Hanging up, Blaine stared at the rectangular device for a few seconds and then let out a sigh. They had not Skyped since the mishap which caused everything. His finger shook as he tapped on the symbol. The program loaded agonizingly slow. Scrolling down the list of people, he hesitated. Their last conversation ended in complete disaster. What could he possibly want? What if this ended in another fight? How would he handle it? Still, Kurt called and wanted to talk. How could he say no?

A handsome young man felt nervous as the sounds of call being made filled his ears. Then it disappeared and Kurt’s beautiful face filled the screen. The man on the other end stared back causing Blaine’s breath to catch in his throat. Those incredible blue eyes captured him again.

“Hi.” Blaine sounded tentative.

Kurt nervously shuffled. “Hi.”

Blaine’s heart fluttered. What to say and when it came out he felt less than impressed with himself. “This is a surprise.”

“Yeah.” Kurt’s face showed the struggle he tried to hide.

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“I saw Burt the other day. We met for coffee.”

“He tells me he is doing alright. He’s never been a good liar.”

“Your father would never lie to you Kurt. You probably already know the treatments have gone well.”

“The side effects.”

“He looked real good, Kurt. When I saw him two weeks ago he looked . . . Let’s not go there.”

“I can’t imagine if . . .”

“It’s not going to happen Kurt. They caught it early.”

“But he’s still working.”

“He’s attending committee meetings and not much else.”

Kurt nodded his head. “I’ll need to . . .”

Watching Kurt suffer caused pain in Blaine’s chest. “You sure you’re alright?”

Kurt sat on his bed in the loft in New York. The light did not give itself to a bright background but Blaine noticed Kurt pale. At the same moment his eyes caught sight of something on is bed stand—a ring made of bubble gum wrappers. His chest tightened because it had not been there when he visited at Christmas.

Wide-eyed, Kurt just stared. “What am I going to do without him?”

“Listen to me, Kurt.” Blaine leaned closer do his face would fill the entire screen on the other side. “Your father will be fine. The treatments have kicked him but he’s upbeat and Carole tells me he is still making his stupid jokes.”

Face hardening, Kurt backed away. “Why is it you know more than I do?”

“As I said, I saw him only a few days ago. He knows you’re busy at school.” Blaine felt the trap tighten around him. He sighed. “Let’s not fight?”

“Yes . . .” Kurt looked upset. His head dropped. ”Let’s not fight,”

Fearing he would be cut off, Blaine shuffled forward on the bet. “Kurt?”

“Sorry . . .” Kurt blinked and half smiled. “I’ve been worried. He is not giving me a straight answer and you have always been honest with me.”

The adorable man played aloof but Blaine understood the soft side beneath the tough exterior. When they first met it irritated him but then he came to accept it. School had not been easy on him. Separation from friends and family wore Kurt down. Yes, he had Rachel but things had changed so much. Kurt had changed but then he had not.

The subtle touch of guilt nagged at Blaine making him fell less than the buoyant young adult he knew himself to be. As good of an actor he could be, he knew he could never hide from Kurt.

“Errr . . . maybe I should get going.” Blaine felt awkward and at slightly sad. “I know you would like to call your dad and I don’t want to keep you.”

The handsome young man on the screen blinked as if he had not expected the statement. “Blaine, you don’t . . . have to.”

“Kurt, I . . .” Blaine his hand up to his face and brush the stray hair away. In reality he fought with this conversation. Something felt off.

“Blaine, can I speak, please?” Kurt looked shaken up.

Blaine softly replied in a gravely tone, “Okay.”

Kurt just sat there gazing into the camera. Terror touched Blaine’s heart. Those wonderful blue eyes narrowed and his skin tone paled ever so slightly. It always happened when Kurt considered something serious.

“Blaine,” The man in New York closed his eyes. When they opened he softly added, “I owe you a big apology.”

Blaine’s eyebrows shot up. Wow? What?

Kurt went on knowing all too well what the look meant. “The last time we talked I was acting like an ass. I’m sorry.”

A bead of sweat rolled down his back even though the room felt cool. The look on his face must have shocked Kurt because he backed away from the camera.

“I can make excuses but then . . .” Kurt grinned and looked away. “Maybe I should . . .”

“No, Kurt . . . please . . . It’s okay,” Blaine half lied. Estranged or not, Blaine cared for Kurt. He always would.

“No, Blaine, it’s not. Someone hacked the computers at NYADA and . . . well . . . you know the rest.”

Blaine’s expression changed. “Kurt?”

“Rachel received a message from Finn that got her really upset. When she got hold of him it all became clear very quickly.” The look on Kurt’s revealed his shame. “Look, I’m really sorry. I know I shouldn’t have but I went right off the deep end. Whoever did this read my journals and emails?”

Dark brows squished together as Blaine straightened his back. “And made it look as if I sent something?”

Kurt nodded. “Yeah.”

Brows pushing toward the center, Blaine considered what he had just been told. “I get this but . . . with the rest of it . . .”

Kurt looked worried. “It?”

The lump in Blaine’s throats hardened. “Let’s just say New Year’s was a complete bust.”

“Your parents?” Kurt gave his ex-boyfriend and sympathetic look. He had felt Daniel’s wrath more than once.

A frown marred Blaine otherwise perfect face as agony exploded in his heart. Breathing in, he wanted to tell all but then he could not.

“Sorry.” Kurt swallowed. “And I just brushed you off.

“Your words more than stung . . .” Sudden shame struck Blaine with the sharpness of his tone. Bowing his head he said, “Sorry, Kurt. That was cruel of me.”

Pushing his lips from side to side, Kurt admitted, “No need. I deserved it.”

Glancing away for a fewf seconds Blaine looked back and asked, “Where does this leave us?”

The young man on the other side of the connection remained silent as his face contorted ever so slightly. Then he looked right at Blaine and stated, “We’re friends? Right?”

The look on Blaine’s face mirrored the detonation against his ribs. “I hope?”

“We’re friends, Blaine,” Kurt enforced with a slightly raised voice. “You’re my best friend.”

Biting his tongue, Blaine whispered, “Yeah.”

“Things might be complicated with me seeing . . .” Kurt suddenly stopped as if he realized something. His cheeks flushed pink.

The Titanic sank deep within Blaine’s chest. That word—seeing—meant only one thing—Kurt had moved on. Salty water balled up in the corners of his eyes as his forehead scrunched up. He hand never considered this possibility. The chest rose with a huge intake of air and then fell hard. In that second he sat in a car breathing in toxic fumes. Even muscle in his body felt life rubber as that horrible sensation encroached on his hopes and dreams. The knot in his stomach pulled his intestines tight. Keeping it down became difficult.

“Blaine?” Kurt’s voice rose in pitch and volume and his face sagged.

Drawing in another deep breath, Blaine sat there and then he looked up. Terror ringed those wonderful blue eyes where tears welled up. One rolled down a cheek and Blaine wanted to reach up and wipe it away. Kurt had moved on.

Pain flashed across Kurt’s brow. “Blaine, don’t look that way.”

Biting his lip, the curly headed teen closed his eyes.

“Blaine, please don’t.”

“Kurt . . . how do expect me to feel?’

“Disappointed. Sad. Angry.”

“Let down. I . . . still . . .”

“Blaine, please. I don’t want to open old wounds. I just want us to be friends . . . best friends.”

“Yes . . . friends.” Blaine did not sound convinced.

“Yes, friends.” Repeating the words and infliction revealed Kurt’s hesitation.

Blaine’s stomach turned as stubborn hope failed. His eyes became blurry as he fought to keep the torrent of emotions in check. The best thing in his life had be lost forever. The heart screamed. He should have died. The pain spread down to the bottom of his feet. A hand came up and reached for the off switch.

“Blaine!” Kurt wailed at the motion.

Blaine stopped. Hazel eyes closed as the hopes of youth spiraled down the drain. The pounding in his chest ripped at his ribs and tore at his temples. Slowly the head fell further to his chest as his palms covered his eyes. Lost. Ruined. Alone. Deceitful. Coward. Loser. Disloyal hurt the most.

“Blaine, please speak to me?” Kurt pleaded. Leaning toward the camera so his face enlarged on the screen. He looked worried.

Shaking his head ever so slightly, Blaine fought to restrain his angry thoughts. In a strained voice he murmured, “Nothing.”

Honest concerned Kurt sort of grinned. “Come off it, Blaine. I know you and that is not your happy face.”

“No, it’s . . . what’s the . . .” Blaine slammed his lips tight as he turned away from the camera. The aching in his chest made it hard to breath.

Running his hand through his hair, Kurt reached out as if he might cancel the connection and then he hand fell. “Blaine, I don’t expect you to understand or even accept but I needed . . .”

“Kurt, don’t explain it to me,” Blaine glanced back at the camera. His eyes looked red. “I understand more than you can believe and I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. Ever since that night everything had been a fuck’n mess.”

“Blaine?” Kurt choked. Blaine rarely swore.

‘What do you . . .” Blaine covered his eyes again and shook his head. “Let’s just say, other than a few high points the last few months sucked.”

Neither spoke nor looked at each other. Neither hung up. Biting his lower lip, Kurt muttered, “Christmas?”

Blaine tried to smile it felt like too much work. “And Thanksgiving. You have no idea how much that call meant to me. Seeing you at Christmas felt so . . . perfect. Then back home to a pile of . . . shit.”

“Blaine, I know you’re upset with me but . . . I don’t want to go there. I’m knew you’re family life was not the best. New Years shocked me.”

The spike in Blaine chest scared the teen. Not go there? Hell! Hurtful tingling ran down both arm and legs. It felt strongest on the left. Sweat spotted his forehead.

“Blaine, please don’t look like that. I’m sorry.” Kurt bit his lip. “Damn it, Blaine!”

The tone forced Blaine to stare.

Sighing the words passing over Kurt’s lips came out calmer. ”I miss you.”

The words tore in to Blaine and he turn away. He missed Kurt but then he, Blaine did not want to think of it.

“Bugger it, Blaine,” Kurt pulled his words up short and drew in a deep breath. “I didn’t want it to go this way.”

“Too late.” Blaine moaned.

Rolling his head, Kurt leaned toward the camera. “I miss talking to you. I miss laughing with you. I miss your voice and that sexy smile. I miss singing with you. You will always be my best friend.”

Confused, Blaine blurt out. “Jesus, Kurt, what do you want from me? You tell me you want to be friends but then . . .”

Kurt’s head fell. Horrible silence. It lasted for what felt like an eternity.

He could not do this. Not again. The words. The looks. It killed him. Emotion overpowered thought and Blaine abruptly yelled, “I still love you.”

There, the zipper fell and it all hung out. Now came the internal battle on either side to recover from a subject neither of them had been ready to deal with. Regardless of the awkwardness, Blaine felt good. Kurt’s face had fallen even though Blaine noted the twinkle in his eyes.

The man on the screen blinked and then he glanced away. To the untrained eye it appeared normal, but Blaine knew better. Regret flared deep within his chest. Trembling, Blaine said in a tone which could barely be heard, “I should go.”

Blue eyes locked on hazel. ”Blaine, please . . . don’t.”

“I . . . I . . .” Blaine shook his head and his head fell to the left as he looked away.

Kurt’s lips pulling in to his mouth and then said in a low, sad voice. “I . . . like you.”

Like? Like had many meanings but not love. Unnerving silence returned and Blaine looked out the window. It snowed in earnest now, just like New Years. Closing his eyes a tear squeaked out and down his cheek.

“Ah . . . are you going to . . . Mr. Schuester’s wedding?” Kurt suddenly blurt out as if he tried anything to prevent either of them from hanging up.

The sudden heavy pounding inside Blaine’s chest almost bowled him over. The colour drained from his face. Awkward swallowing Blaine questioned, “What?”

“Are you going to the wedding?” Kurt tried to smile. His eyes looked red and puffy.

“Wow.” Blaine held a hand against his chest. “That came out of right field.”

Gloomy blue eyes stared back. “I . . . just didn’t . . . sorry.”

“Kurt, it’s okay.” Blaine gave him a weak smile. The palpitating of his heart matched the beat of a rock band. “Are you bringing . . .?”

“No!” The word exploded from Kurt’s mouth without a once of thought. Stumbling to recover, he added, “Are you going . . .?”

Arching his back to release the tension in his shoulders Blaine wondered why they talked about this. The conversation killed him. He should hang up but he could not. Wiping his eyes he said in an almost normal tone. “Tina asked me but Mercedes got to me first.”

“Mercedes will be there?” Kurt sounded surprised.

“Yeah. She called me in early January.” The difficulty Blaine experienced must be playing on his face. “It think Tina’s going with Mike.”

“Oh?” Kurt looked almost hurt.

The look on Kurt’s face amused Blaine. His ex-boyfriend fought with himself just as Blaine did. Breathing in, Blaine tried to sound upbeat. “I don’t think Mercedes would mind if you joined us. I think she would all love to see you. They all would.”

“Even you?” The words sound tentative.

Blaine did not know why he followed along. He literally had to pinch himself to say right thing. “Even me.”

“Maybe we can sing together.”

“I was asked to sing at the reception.”

“Fun.”

“You want to join me?”

“If it wouldn’t freak you out.”

“You choose a song we both know.”

“I can do that.”

Blaine landed on his back with a shit eating grin on his face. Three hours before Kurt had fished the room key out of his pocket. Minutes later his ex-boyfriend pulled a fussy haired in to a dark hotel room with a big, silly smirk. Blaine expected something raunchy but the opposite happened. Kurt took command and with tender care removed Blaine’s tie while smothering him in tender caresses and passionate kisses in the soft spot behind his ear. Expert fingers found the ticklish point in the small of his back under the belt line.

Blaine melted into him. His head tumbled back allowing Kurt access. The wedding might fizzled but the jilted groom insisted the party go on. After some reluctance, the festivities swing in to full swing. For two ex-lovers it felt like the old days. Kurt and Blaine sang, danced and made all sorts of jokes and now, this. The man Blaine had hurt months before slowly undressed him with compassionate warmth.

A jacket fell to the floor as a light lips sucked on Blaine’s clavicle while nimble digits disarmed the buttons protecting the last vestige of Blaine’s control. His mind yelled at him to stop but then a warm tongue racked his sternum. Overwhelmed with emotion and unbridled longing, the warnings of his mind crumbled as he threw himself at Kurt.

The two toppled to the bed as Blaine’s tongue reached deep into Kurt’s throat. Restraint failed. Everything he felt for the past few months spiraled away leaving incredible renewal. Since his fall from grace he had been starving for the taste of Kurt. He wanted Kurt on top of him. The man’s tongue and lips everywhere on his body. He longed for the taste Kurt’s sweat as his gently entered him. He wanted everything they lost back.

After they had satisfied Blaine’s months of abstinence, they lay together looking at each another. For Blaine it felt like their first time where hazel drifted within pools of sparkling blue. It had been flawless and all so real. It, however, did not surprise Blaine when Kurt pulled away and stood. For a second Blaine felt the shame of a one-night stand.

Now Blaine lay there alone bathed in the loving afterglow. Pulling the pillow Kurt had laid against to his chest, Blaine burying his head in to it. A familiar scent enticed the nose. The locks on a damaged heart split apart giving the smiling man a brilliant new hope. Hazel eyes went the door. For a second he recalled the look in his ex-lover’s eyes when he glanced back. Kurt had enjoyed and now struggled with what he initiated.

Chapter Text

Ever since Valentine’s Day aborted wedding Kurt and Blaine had been getting along. Well, as good as it could be considering Kurt dated someone. The real talking did not start until mid-March. Like their weekend of sexual excitement, Kurt started it. The first senually veiled statement caught Blaine off guard though the meaning found its mark. People talked in the background. Rachel and Santana debated something accompanied by a male voice he did not know. The person called to Kurt who told him he spoke to his father. As the day wore on the nagging comment tugging at Blaine’s sentiment. Did Kurt fool himself? Why did Kurt say such a think? Did he try to make his new interest jealous? Why?

Ex-boyfriends talked more spawning more questions. What did Kurt and his new . . . person do together? Did they hold hand walking down the street? What plans had they made from their future? Had the ‘L’ word floated between them? Blaine avoided the term. From the little details Kurt divulged, it seemed his new boyfriend’s interests might be a bit dull. Yes, the slightly older fellow liked music but some of Kurt’s remarks made Blaine think they butted heads on this topic. Blaine tried his best but every so often something emotional slipped. On one hand he did not want to make Kurt uncomfortable but then he wanted to know.

The more Kurt revealed Blaine’s brooding intensified. Valentines hung there like a raw sore leaving Blaine with a deep emptiness. He missed the closeness, the tender touches and, yes, their heated discussions. Unable to forget the the way his butt felt by the end of the weekend, a teen found himself remembering uncomfortable sensations. Dark clouds hovered on the edge his thoughts dropping light flakes of snow. At night he woke believing himself to be stuck behind metal and glass. Lying there, everything closed in upon him making it hard to draw in air. A pillow became his closest friends as he pushed his face in to it.

A cardboard cup hitting the tabletop caused BlaIne to sharply breathe in. Streams of light flashed through the mists driving the gloom away. A shadow moved to his right and left leaving a warmth in their wake. Blinking he glanced at the two people across from him. One gave the other a sideways look as if she disagreed with a statement.

“. . . not like it makes a difference,” a familiar female tone tickled the ears.

“He needs to get over himself,” Burt commented as he picked up his coffee. The lack of hair did not bother him. He had little to begin with. The treatments had robbed him of all of it but it grew back. The colour had returned to his cheeks and he looked more alive.

Blaine tried not to laugh as he cleared his throat. New thought opened his wind pipe giving him a chance to relax. Looking away, hazel eyes scanned the Limabean. It did a brisk business on a lazy Friday afternoon. Burt greeted Blaine with a warm hug and a big squeeze. The two had grown closer over the weeks. Blaine had taken shifts taking care of Burt during the worst. He insisted. Carole needed a break ever so often.

Carole’s eyebrows went up.

Rolling his eyes, Burt smirked over the edge of his cup. “Yeah, he does.”

“Burt?” Carole quietly chastised. A bag sat by her feet. She had been shopping with Blaine. Burt joined them about a half hour go.

Glancing at his wife, Burt sipped his drink. His eyes went to Blaine. “I don’t like this Adam.”

“Not here Burt,” Carole shot a quick look at Blaine.

Uncomfortable described what Blaine felt but then he also found it amusing. Gulping down a portion of his mocha, Blaine tried to hide his shock. While he might privately agree with Burt, he had no business getting involved in internal Hummel politics. Being blunt had never been a problem for Burt. Blaine liked it because his father spent forever beating around the bush unless he had a few drinks in him.

“Uh . . . yeah.” Burt frowned. His eyes went to Blaine and he winked.

Carole swatted her husband on the arm wile giving Blaine an apologetic look.

“Well I don’t.” Burt defended himself. “He’s a bit of a snot.”

Carole shook her head. ‘Honestly, Burt? You met him only once.”

“That’s all it took.” Burt’s face grew hard.

Gazing at Blaine, Carole shrugged.

“You don’t have to say that just to make me feel better,” Blaine bravely stated. He heart pounded in his chest. He tried not to let uncomfortable emotions show.

“Just telling the truth.” Burt’s nose rolled up and then his drank his coffee. “When I met him, he tried too hard impress me.”

“Sorry, Blaine” Carole gave the young man a sympathetic look and then glanced at her husband. “He’s not coming so you don’t have to see him.”

Grinning Blaine felt the heat grow up his neck. He said in a soft tone, “I tried to impress you in the beginning by showing up at the garage to talk about . . . things.”

Smiling, Burt responded, “That showed a lot of courage, character and the fact you cared about my boy.”

Blaine blushed.

Carole gave both men an odd look.

Burt went on, “Kurt gets in late tomorrow afternoon. You want to come to the airport with us. I know he would love to see you.”

“I think I should wait,” Blaine said the right thing even though his heart screamed at him.

Burt pushed. “You know he would like it.”

“Let him think.” Carole poked her husband in the ribs.

Taking her hand in his, Burt smiled and then gently kissed it. Longing struck leaving Blaine feeling left out. To keep his mind from going off on a tangent, the teen concentrated on the facts. The day after they had fallen into one another’s arms, a gaggled of friends met nurse hangovers. When it broke up Kurt asked Blaine wanted to go for a walk. Secretly having no intension of saying no, Blaine hymned and hawed for a while. They ended up at the Hummel house only to discover Burt and Carole had gone out. The conversation finished with Kurt plowing himself deep inside Blaine for the second time in twenty four hours. Switch-hitting allowed Blaine to return the favour. When the parents got home they found the freshly showered boys in the kitchen laughing and stuffing their faces with cheese and crackers.

There would be no ‘I’m sorry’ or pleading this time. Blaine wanted it to be natural even though he would find flirty hard to resist. The intoxicating young man played outrageously one call and the next would leave Blaine feeling as if he had fallen into a pit of ice. Every so often Blaine would get the opinion Kurt had someone there with him. Oddly, Kurt never hung up.

Glancing at Burt and Carole, Blaine leaned back. Would he restrain himself when Kurt stepped out from the security area? Could he restrain himself? The anticipation literally made him vibrate.

One of Burt’s newly grown eyebrows went up as if he sought an answer.

Taking a draft of his drink, Blaine felt giddy. “Yes, I would like to go.”

Clapping his hands in front of him, Burt fought a smile. Since Christmas Blaine knew where Burt’s sentiment lay when it came to the two boys. Cutting Adam down before him had not been a blunder. Burt worked in Washington where you quickly learned to say a lot with few words. Burt did not need to learn.

“You sure, dear,” Carole cautioned. Her eyes wearily went to the man holding her hand.

“Kurt and I may not be in a relationship any more but he’s still my best friend.” Blaine’s brows pressed together as if he suddenly had an idea. His eyes shifted right and left the he looked down to his left hand. A finger twitched up and down.

“Blaine?” Carole softly asked.

“Just thinking of the look on his face.” Blaine softly replied.

Burt grinned. “Just like Christmas.”

“Yeah, just like Christmas.” Blaine rubbed his finger.

“Great,” Burt nodded. “We’ll be by about ten tomorrow to pick you up.”

“I’ll be ready.” Blaine smiled at Burt. “Are you going to tell him?’

“And ruin the surprise, never.” Burt had a twinkle in his eyes.

“You’re incorrigible . . .” Carole looked away to the door. “Isn’t that Sam?”

Turning around in his chair, Blaine smiled. Sam stood in the door looking around as he rubbed his hands together. Water soaked his jeans halfway up the shin and his jacket hung down past his butt. Dripping water pooled at his feet. Standing, Blaine waved to get the blond’s attention.

Sam blinked and gestured back. Making his way through the maze of tables, he greeted Blaine with a brotherly hug. Letting his friend go, he turned to the adults. “Mr. and Mrs. Hummel, how nice to see you. You look good Mr. Hummel.”

“Burt and Carole will do and thank you,” Burt stood and lifted the coat from the back of Carole’s chair.

“You’re leaving?” Sam gave the adults a curious look. “I hope I am not interrupting.”

“No, no. I got what I wanted,” Burt looked to Blaine.

Carole gave her husband a hard looked as she held out her arms.

Burt slipped her jacket up to her shoulders and said to the boys, “We’re having a small get together tomorrow evening. Why don’t you come and bring some of your friends with you. I’m sure they would all like to see Kurt.”

Sam gave him teen with the gelled down hair a look. Blaine shrugged and then Sam looked to Burt. “Okay, it’s a date. I’ll spread the word, party at the Hummels.”

“Excellent, tell them to drop by about seven.” Burt looked to Carole who rolled her eyes. With a twinkle in his eye pulled on his coat.

Nodding, Sam politely responded, “Okay.”

Stepping away from the table, Burt took Carole’s left hand in his right. Blaine noted with a fond spring to his heart. Taking a few steps, Burt looked back at the table. “See you at ten, Blaine and you will be staying for dinner won’t you?”

A feeling of being snared made Blaine’s skin tingle. He weakly smiled. “You got it, Burt.”

Arching his back, Blaine sat back. Suddenly his face erupted into the biggest smile. Laughing, he glanced over his shoulder. The happy couple walked off. Carole leaned into her husband as if she had something to tell him. She had a party to plan.

Gazing at his distracted friend, Sam said, “I’m going to get a coffee and then you and I are going to talk. You want a refill?”

Blaine nodded.

A few minutes later Sam returned with two tall cardboard cups and a bag with two cookies in it. Sitting he waved his hand in front of Blaine to get his attention. “You need to get a grip on yourself. You’re like a kid in a candy store.”

“Come off it Sam, can’t I get excited once in a while.” Blaine reached out and dragged the replacement drink to him.

“I take it Kurt’s coming in?”

“He’s just a friend.”

“Yeah, right.”

“His dad has a big appointment and you know how Kurt can get at times.”

“You’re changing the subject. I take it you’re going to the airport?”

“He doesn’t know.”

“And?”

Fingers dug into the bag and pulled out a sugar cookie. Breaking part off, he popped part into his mouth without saying a word.

Brows pressing together, Sam made a face. “The last time he was here you two hooked up.”

“Twice.’

“Twice?”

“Twice.” Blaine grinned from ear to ear. “Not including kissing in the backseat of the car.”

A hand slapped against Sam’s cheek. His yes narrowed. “Blaine’s he’s seeing someone.”

“I know.” The curly haired teen could not stop smirking.

“What are you going to do if he brings this person with him?” Sam looked uncomfortable.

Shuffling back into his chair, Blaine looked forlorn. “Cry.”

“Blaine?”

“His new . . . friend . . . is not coming.”

Sam bit off a chunk of cookie. “You’re reading too much into this.”

“Sam, I know he still loves me.”

“As friends.”

“No more.”

“I just don’t want to see you get hurt any more than you already have.”

Cross his arms, Blaine pouted and sank down into his chair. Sam hit it right on the head. He always did in his naive way. “Thanks Sam.”

“You know I’ll always look out for you.”

“I know. You helped me through all this giving me a shoulder to sob on. Even saved me from going back to Dalton where I would have been shot up with steroids.”

“You would never have do that Blaine. You are one of the most ethical people I know. You recall your reaction to the body roll.”

“Yeah. I could have pulled the punching bag down but I didn’t.”

“You’re too kust too . . . nice . . . and perhaps still a bit stuck on me.” Sam impishly smiled.

Blushing with a sweet grin, Blaine giggled. “You have to admit, those lips of yours?”

Sam’s eyebrows went up as he turned bright red, “I would just have been thrown away like so much dishwater.”

“Sam?”

“Blaine I enjoyed being your guilty pleasure . . . well not the way you wanted.”

A huge smile erupted on Blaine’s face as he blushed. “I never . . .”

“You did, my friend,” Sam winked at him. “I still think that wasn’t a roll of breath mints.”

Shyly looking away, Blaine laughed.

Sam went on. “It flattered me that you had such . . . a large . . . regard for me.”

“Sam?” Blaine almost choked on his coffee.

“It helped you work through this thing with Kurt.”

“Yeah, it did.”

“The two of you are meant to be together. You have to be prepared if Kurt no longer feels the same way.”

Head drooping, Blaine did not look too happy. “Can you blame me for wanting to get him back?”

Sam shook his head. “What do you have planned?”

“Not sure yet.” Blaine fibbed. The idea had only bubbled into this head a few minutes ago. He needed to keep it top secret until he had the talk with Kurt.

“Be careful Blaine. Shagging on Valentines doesn’t make it all come all sunshine and rainbows.” Sam awkwardly smiled.

“I don’t want to get hurt either but it will kill me if I don’t try.” Drawing in a deep breath did not stop his heart form pounding in his chest. The ghost of cold winter’s night tinged the lining of his thoughts causing Blaine to shiver.

“I guess I should get ready?” Sam rolled his eyes.

Worried, Blaine asked, “Why?”

“Wet shoulder.” Sam mischievously smirked.

Blaine laughed.

A few days later Blaine enjoyed the fruits of his labours. Kurt said yes. With tears in his eyes . . . yes. The build up to his plan left Blaine as nervous as a cat in a room of rocking chairs. Asking Kurt to stay for the competition took guts. The picnic in the courtyard scared the daylights out of him. Calling on all his acting skills and with help from his friends pulled him through. Now he stood on the stairs in Dalton staring at Kurt as he slipped a ring on his finger.

 

They both admired the ring as Kurt held it up with his fingers splayed. Beaming, Blaine could not be happier. Getting Burt on side turned in to the hardest part of pulling the proposal together. When they spoke backstage, Kurt’s father left Blaine with a sour taste in his mouth. Then he went back to ask for further help. The teen sat there sweating as he pleaded his case like a good lawyer. In the end Burt consented and then told Blaine he would have agreed right off the start but he wanted to know if he could knock the young man off course. Angry at first, Blaine soon realized Burt’s concerns.

The grand specticle Blaine had arranged unfolded leaving Kurt breathless. Led by Rachel to an important place, Burt stood at the bottom of the stairs close to Schuester with a big smile on his face. Today competing choruses celebrated as a group. Tomorrow back to the cutthroat business of show choirs.

When the crowd thinned out the two lovebirds walked through Dalton’s gardens holding hands. Blaine wanted time with Kurt and only Kurt. Overjoyed, Kurt bounced on his toes but then the luster fade. Reality set in. A sharp pain tugged at Blaine’s chest with the look of consideration on his lover’s face.

“Do you remember this bench?” Blaine asked as he maneuvered around the flower beds. Flesh pressed against flesh making it impossible for Blaine to feel the ring he had must placed on a finger. Everything felt right.

“I loved this place. It became . . . our bench,” Kurt replied with some hesitance. That cute face hardened and then he glanced away.

Tightening his grip on Kurt’s hand, Blaine glanced at his future husband, “You alright?”

With a sigh Kurt bumped shoulder with the adorable man beside him. “I knew you were going to propose.”

Blaine looked surprised even though he should not have been.

Rubbing Blaine’s hand Kurt expected the look. “The dinner.”

“Yeah, I guess that was a big clue.”

“Don’t sound so disappointed. It was sweet.”

“I’ve always been a bit of a mushy sap.”

“I knew you would never gave up.”

“You have reservations?”

“No . . . well maybe.”

“You do know that I love you.” Blaine swallowed. “I have always loved you, Kurt.”

Gazing in to Blaine amber brown eyes Kurt smiled. Rubbing the finger with the ring on it against Blaine’s skin, he said, “I never really stopped loving you.”

Hesitation rose in Blaine’s throat. “But . . .?”

Kurt turned to look at the man he said yes to. “I get it now . . . fooling around.”

“Kurt, no,” Blaine turned sideways to gaze at his fiancée. Sitting on the bench he pulled Kurt down with him.

Settling in beside Blaine, Kurt took two hands in his. “I blew you off Blaine. I didn’t answer your calls and made the ones we did have seem unimportant. While we were parted I thought of that and many other things.”

“Your bow in New York?”

“Ex-bow in New York.”

“Kurt, did you say yes because you really want to marry me or because I used all that hype to trap you?”

Kurt pulled his hands away. The tone of his voice rose. “Trap me?!”

Blaine watched Kurt’s eyes go down to the ring he now twisted around his finger. His heart falling to his stomach, Blaine nervously stated, “I didn’t mean it that way.”

“Yes, you did, Blaine Anderson.” Kurt’s voice had an edge.

“But I never . . .” Stuck in a spiraling loop, Blaine stopped when Kurt shifted nearer.

Kurt stared into Blaine’s eyes and smiled. “You’re never been good at lying to me. Of course you set this all up to trap me.”

The colour ran from Blaine face as his chin dropped. Tears welled up in his eyes as he said in a shaky voice, “Kurt, if you feel that way, I can’t hold you to any promise. If you . . . well . . . I understand.”

Regarding Blaine for a short while, Kurt’s face remained unchanged. Increasing his grip on Blaine’s hands, he leaned in so his forehead’s touched. In a soft voice Kurt whispered, “Your sweet Blaine. Caring and at times a little bit goofy but . . .”

“But?” Blaine looked like a lost puppy as a tear rolled down his cheek.

“Oh come,” Kurt shuffled closer and wrapped his arms about Blaine drawing him into a soft, carrying embrace. “I will admit I was frightened to death. This is a big step and we’re so young.”

With his face pressed into Kurt’s shoulders Blaine wrapped about the other man tightly. He had made a fool of himself in front of his friends and family. Kurt rejected him and he did not know how to bare it.

Kurt must have felt Blaine shaking. He pulled Blaine closer. “Yes, emotion got the best of me. Yes, I adore you Blaine Anderson.”

Blaine’s head moved.

“Do I truly and death do us part, love you?” Caressing Blaine’s right hand with his left, Kurt hesitated. “I have felt that way since you first took my hand.”

Blaine shifted as he looked to the door leading to a hall and finally the stairs. He drew in a long and serious breath. His chest grew tight. He did not voice the obvious question.

Pulling his arm away, Kurt took Blaine’s face in both his hands. Looking deeply into those amazing honey-brown eyes, he smiled. “The fellow in New York, while nice, does . . . did not move me in the ways you do Mr. Blaine Anderson. I don’t think he would have fought as hard as you did to win me back. He never made me feel as complete as you do. I had to try . . . experiment . . . to see what I would loose.”

Moving his head, Blaine drew in a sharp breath and then said in a highly emotional voice, “Kurt, I love you. I really do.”

Holding back tears, Kurt quietly said, “Blaine you have always made me feel so safe and wanted even when we were separated. I told my dad that a couple of hours ago.”

Tears glistening in his eyes, Blaine lifted his head. “What did Burt say?”

Salty water ran down Kurt’s cheek. “He said I could say yes or no. I asked if I could say maybe.”

Blaine chuckled. How Kurt.

Grinning, Kurt went on, “Then he told me to hear you what you had to say. I listened and made up my own mind. Yes, I felt trapped and then I saw you standing there with wonder and eagerness in your eyes. The sincerity and softness of your tone. Then you talked about souls and my heart exploded. For a split second I felt as if I stood somewhere else with you there at my side looking into forever. At that moment I could see your soul and the openness of your amazing heart.”

Laying his head on Kurt’s shoulder, Blaine quivered as another sob raked his body. When he spoke his voice sounded fragile. “I was so afraid.”

“And you should have been.”

“Kurt, I never wanted to hurt you.”

Cuddling up, Kurt whispered, “Blaine, I know that now and so much more. You are special to me Blaine Anderson though I was too blinded to see it. I pushed you into another man’s arms.”

“I was weak.” Blaine blubbered. “I should have known. After I . . . well . . . I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life.

Soothing Blaine by rubbing his back, Kurt proudly stated, “But you have me now and will for many years to come.”

“Do I?” Blaine looked up with tears in his eyes.

Taking that sorrowful face I his hands, Kurt pressed his lips into Blaine’s. Vast amounts of tension evaporated from both their bodies as they fell into each other as they had. When they parted watery eyes overflowed with beautiful happiness.

Chapter Text

“Good morning,” Kurt yawned as his legs and back stiffened as he stretched. Reaching back, a hand fell on the shoulder of the young man snuggled up to him. Fingers lightly played with tangles of curly hair.

Grinning, Blaine rolled his head to enjoy the sensation more. “Good morning, Mr. Hummel.”

“Soon to be Mr. Hummel-Anderson.” Kurt’s eyes fluttered as he pushed his buttock and back against the man behind him.

The right side of Blaine’s face playfully brightened into a grin. “Or Mr. Anderson-Hummel?”

The mattress moved and the warm sheets filled the narrow space between them as Kurt lazily turned over. Soft cocks pressed together as blue eyes met with hazel. A stupid grin tugged at relaxed facial muscles. Stifling another sleepy yawn Kurt’s brows pulled together. Lifting his head without moving his body he studied Blaine.

Staring into the heavenly blue orbs, Blaine loved the sight. They spoke volume without words. This morning, though, Blaine had trouble preserving the delicate connection between the world about him and the tenderness of his heart.

Eyes narrowing, Kurt asked in an almost silent tone, “What’a thinking?”

“About us?” Blaine’s hand feel flat on a hairless chest. Curly hair sprawled out over the pillow as he settled in to gaze at the young man next to him. A smiled pulled his lips as his body shifted causing a slight discomfort in his posterior. Kurt certainly knew how to please.

Lifting his head and shifting his body, Kurt regarded Blaine. “You’re still worried?”

“Am I?”

“I can hear it in your breathing.”

“You know me that well?”

“And more.”

“But . . .”

“No buts. Mr. Anderson. We’re not going there today or tomorrow. What was, was and what is . . . I love it.”

Gazing into those heavenly blue eyes, the beauty of the man next him stilled Blaine’s heart bringing calm. NYADA had been good to Kurt. Dance glasses has changed his body in a good way while Blaine still felt a little pudgy. New confidence revealed itself in Kurt’s tone and walk. It scared Blaine it also drove him to catch up. Then doubt would hit. What has Blaine done? He almost fell apart but then he got the most important person in his life back. The achievement made him feel proud. The little things, such as graduating high school, seemed trifle.

“Blaine, I know that look?” Kurt gently stated. A hand came to rest on Blaine’s bringing their fingers together.

Dark, elongated eyebrows pushed together and Blaine rolled his eyes ever so slightly.

Grinning, Kurt pushed into Blaine laying a hand on his chest. His fingers splayed out and closed again several times. “Please tell me what you are thinking?”

“Yeah, I guess I’m . . .” Blaine stumbled on his words. “I . . . well . . . I most of . . . damn it!”

Two fingers fell upon Blaine’s lips and then Kurt leaned forward kissing his rediscovered love on the forehead. An old man recalled the moment and the helplessness he endured. With the end so close, he still did not understand why he felt such doubt. Kurt accepted him back but the road ahead would not be as smooth as his younger self may have liked. Now, as he stared at the man he had loved almost eighty years, he let it all go. Kurt left first but it did not bother and old man because, somehow, he knew they would meet again.

A short but sharp pain shot down his left arm causing the fingers to go numb. An old man winced and allowed a tear to roll down his cheek. Drawing in a short but quick breath he could not stop himself from snickering. He had hoped the end of his life would have been like so many climaxes they had shared. Well, in this case, going together. Coming had never been an issue.

Chuckling turned into coughing as an old man grinned. Modern science did wonders. Genetic therapies cured many things and created new issues. Would it help him now? The tingling in his arms told him it would not be long. Oddly, he did not feel rushed. Dramatic interpretations of death had everyone wailed when a loved one died. What did time wait for?

Two starstruck lovers had lived a long, fruitful and eventful lives together. Memories reinforced the truth of unspoken regrets. Knowing the path they would take together, old Blaine laughed at his younger self.

“Listen Blaine. We’ve had our ups and downs. Yes . . . we broke up.” Kurt sighed. Placing a hand on Blaine’s chest where stubble pressed into the skin. “Believe me when I tell you, you convinced me where my heart really lies. I dreamed of you. I even thought I saw you on the street one day and ran to catch up. You turned out to be a bit older.”

The right side of Blaine’s face curled up into a lovely smirk. “Did I look good?”

“Let’s just say, you will look much better.”

Laughing, Blaine rolled his eyes and scrunched his face up. “So I’m going to be a troll when I get older.”

One eye open wider than the other, Kurt grinned. “You’ll never live under a bridge.”

Grunting and making monster noises, Blaine rocked his body back and forth.

Kurt winked. “If you are trying to turn me on Mr. Blaine Anderson.”

“Do I need to try?” Blaine purred.

“Nah.” Kurt smiled. Kurt’s lips pressed against the top of an ear. “You can’t believe how much I have missed you. I tried to move on but whenever I closed my eyes I saw those beautiful eyes of yours looking back at me.”

The chin crinkled up as Blaine blushed. Ocean of blue surrounded by white invaded his thoughts. Kurt had never really left him.

“Rachel, Santana . . . and yes, Adam, and I were watching Moulin Rougé one night and when it came to the song ‘Come What May’. Adam was wrapped around . . .” Kurt’s expression changed when he noted the narrowing of Blaine’s eyes. Raking two fingers along Blaine’s chest and smiled. “You know the part.”

“Yeah.” Blaine sounded weak.

“I heard you singing Blaine. I saw you on a rooftop in the snow looking so handsome in a tuxedo. I joined you and . . . we sang together.” Tapping a nipple, Kurt pressed his forehead against his lover’s. “I cried.”

Blaine’s heart stopped. Staring into Kurt’s eyes he remembered a similar vision in which he saw two men. They fondly gazed at each other within the dim of flickering firelight. Thin fingers ruffled dark curly hair and then one rose. Holding out his right hand a left slid into it. Together they walked toward a balcony door. It opened and Blaine stepped out onto a chilly and snowy roof. Alone, he looked up into the snow and glanced about.

Wetness balled up in the corner of his eye. Breathlessly staring at Kurt deep emotion spilled over his heart. Softly, Blaine sang.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2xN1oUiGoQ)

Never knew, I could feel like this
I've never seen the sky before
Want to vanish inside your kiss

Seasons may change
Winter to spring
But I love you
Until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may
I will love you
Until my dying day

Angelic eyes gazed at hazel with a love so powerful it seemed to stretch into time. Raising his voice in counterpoint, Kurt dabbed the wetness from beneath Blaine’s eyes.

Suddenly the world seems such a perfect place
Suddenly moves with such a perfect grace
Suddenly my life doesn't seem such a waste
It all revolves around you

And there's no mountain too high, no river too wide
Sing out this song and I'll be there by your side
Storm clouds may gather
And stars may collide

But I love you

I love you

Until the end of time
Until the end of time

Come what may
Come what may

I will love you
I will love you

“Oh my god, Blaine.” Tears filled Kurt’s eyes and then he threw himself at his lover. Crawling up on him, he pressed their lips together with such passion the heart stopped. When he tenderly pulled away, Kurt lay a hand flat against Blaine’s unshaven face.

Looking up, Blaine the right side of Blaine’s face lifted into the lovely, smirk guaranteed to make Kurt’s chest flutter. Never had he dreamed he would have met such a sweet man. Never had he believed in fate. Fate? The question of wishes come true in the most amazing way. Truth recognized but then fate had a sharp cold edge.

“Oh, Blaine?” Kurt whispered and then kissed Blaine again. He pulled back suddenly giving his love a puzzled look. “You sang so beautifully but now . . .?”

“It’s nothing Kurt.” Blaine pressed his head into Kurt’s shoulder next to the neck. Without realizing it he let out a sigh.

Snuggling closer, Kurt stroked Blaine’s tangles. “I love you Blaine.”

“I love you too.” There had been no hesitation in Blaine’s response he felt it with all his heart but a black ghoul gnawed on his darkest thoughts. Chest muscles tightened and for a second he felt trapped inside a confined space filled with noxious fumes. The body shuddered.

“Blaine?” Kurt shifted increasing the space between them. “What?”

Blaine’s head now rested on a bicep. “All’s good, Kurt. Believe me, all is good.”

Eyebrows going up, Kurt took Blaine’s right hand in his left drawing him closer. “You’re worried about what will happened when I returned to New York.”

“Yeah.” Blaine sounded weak. Heavy air filled his chest.

Cradling his lover in his arms, Kurt held him as if his life depended on it. “Oh my love, don’t be afraid. I will fluff you off for a piece of gossip.”

“I know.” Blaine draped an arm over Kurt making him feel safe.

“The past few months have taught me a lot about myself. I do not like all of what If found.” Kurt set his lips against Kurt’s forehead. “You tried so hard to tell me you were sorry. It’s my time to tell you I’m sorry.”

Sitting up Blaine the sheet feel away exposing the hair above his crotch. Deep emotion welled up and he threw his arms about the man he loved. He heart screamed at him to reveal a terrible truth but fear overshadowed everything. The mind faltered for a second and the only words he could think have spilled from his lips. “Kurt you don’t need to do that.”

“Blaine you will always have a kind and compassionate heart.” Kurt stroke Blaine’s neck. “I’m far from perfect.”

Fluttering eyes stared at Kurt. The heart thumped with relief but the mind still did not grasp the situation. Blaine muttered, “You?”

“Me.” Kurt’s voice sounds so silent but full.

A thought grounded Blaine and he shyly smiled. “You’re prefect to me.”

“Ah-h-h-h-h.”

“You’re my perfect imperfection.”

“Do you remember the ring you gave me?”

“I could never forget.”

“I was going to toss it but I couldn’t. Adam asked me about it and I said it was a gift from a high school friend.”

“Oh?”

“A very special high school friend who gave me the strength not to be afraid.”

“Ah?”

“Yes, ah. You know I kept the things you gave me under my bed. When I was so mad at you I could scream I still could not throw them out. Rachel said it was because I still loved you.”

“And did you?”

“Honestly, at that time, I did not know. The ring sat on my night stand beside the lamp. I would gaze at it and remember all the fun we had together. It broke my heart but it also gave me strength.”

“I saw it there at Christmas.”

“I guess, in all the rush of the surprise I forgot it.”

“You wanted to hide it?”

“No, never. That stupid little ring meant more to me than you could imagine Mr. Blaine Anderson.” Kurt grinned from ear to ear. Holding up his hand the sparse light danced on metal wrapping his finger. “It was a promise I desperately wanted to keep.”

Eyes smiling at Kurt, Blaine gently kissed his love on the forehead. Snuggling up closer he wrapped his legs about his former ex-boyfriend so their bodies felt as if it had become one. Burying his head into Kurt’s shoulder he tried not to shed a tear. Sniffling, he felt Kurt’s arms surround him in an embrace he had missed all those months. Kurt’s hard-edge served them both but Blaine’s softness made them a powerful combination.

Drawing in a shaky, breath Blaine whispered, “I missed you so much. I almost went back to Dalton.”

Blue eyes narrowing, Kurt look puzzled. “Why?”

“Dalton had no recent memories of you.” Blaine glanced down at the sheets. “I could have sworn the halls of McKinley had your smell.”

“And well it should,” Kurt cut in. “I wore enough cologne . . . good cologne at that . . . to soak the ceiling tiles for years to come.”

Laughing, Blaine squeezed his love tighter. “You’re a one-of a kind Kurt Hummel.”

“Definitely,” Kurt kissed Blaine on the brow.

Placing his lips against the side of Kurt’s face Blaine returned the kiss. “After we broke up I could see us laughing here and walking there. It was really depressing.”

Kurt pouted.

Drawing in a deep breath, Blaine looked into those eyes feeling his heart flutter. “I was in a terrible space and ended up back at Dalton on afternoon. I sat under the tree where I finally made up my mind to transfer to McKinley. Part of me wished David and Trent were there but no, I found someone new in charge of the Warblers.”

“I saw the newscast.”

“It made the national news?”

“I watched the local stuff. Rachel and I might have been in New York but we still paid attention to what the New Directions did. I watched your national’s performance. You were great by the way.”

“They were better.”

“Don’t cut yourself short, Blaine Anderson. You’re a force to be reckoned with.”

“Short jokes? Really?”

Kurt just leaned in with a smile and kissed Blaine. “Believe it or not, I miss Lima. It’s so much quieter than New York, but don’t get me wrong I won’t move back . . . well not permanently.”

“Kurt, I can’t guarantee what the future will bring.” Blaine looked sad. “But I’ve always known I need you in my life.”

Wildly smiling, Kurt reached out and took Blaine’s hand. Pulling it down to his crotch he seductively whispered, “Make me sing.”

Throwing his face into Kurt’s, Blaine rolled up on top of the lovely man. Tongues lashed and hand explored a body the man he worshiped. Sliding across Kurt, Blaine suddenly regretted not shaving his torso as he did every morning.n Kurt might like the hair but Blaine had other opinions. He did not want to mar Kurt’s beautiful alabaster skin.

Rolling his way and that, Kurt sucked on thick, pink lips. Blaine loved it. In exchange he found Kurt’s narrow lips an erotic adventure. Their noses bumped together as their kissing intensified. Longing and need took them causing the blood to rush to the thickening tubes stretched along the stomachs. Forcing their own directions, two snakes met in the tight spaces between writhing bodies.

Suddenly Blaine pulled back and two cocks sprang straight up toward their belly buttons. Allowing his tongue to lick those sweet lips, Blaine prepared Kurt for the exploration to come. The curly haired teen wanted to make Kurt plead. The spot behind the ear at the base of the neck or nipping at the chin he dared Kurt to lose all self-control. Aggressive Kurt turned Blaine. Not afraid to admit that he liked to receive more than give, Blaine gave Kurt all the signals he wanted to receive.

Deep down Blaine needed this. Last night had been fun but this morning he marked Kurt as that special someone who would always be in his life. No part of his lover’s fine body would go untouched. The tongue lashed over toes and fingers. The tender spots behind joints and the muskiness of armpits send shivers through the body. The moist trail he left over alabaster skin allowed an affectionate man to taste Kurt in such a complete and complex manner. Blaine savoured the opportunity.

The deliciousness of Kurt’s moaning, only heightened the experience. Long, slender fingers raked down Blaine’s back creating an animalistic need. One hand slid away and then fingers gripped Blaine’s willing shaft. Tugging and playing Kurt told his lover, in very certain terms, what he demanded. Rediscovered lovers melted together learning a dynamic they had never experienced before. Born of sorrow and longing, they had matured.

The memory of an old man recalled himself grazing at Kurt’s garden. With care, the more agile Blaine worked his way down the shoulder to the erogenous zones of the body. Kurt squirmed and moaned but in the present Blaine heard only his own breathing and the occasional sob. The two had spent their lives immersed in their love. He had few regrets.

Looking at a wrinkled hand, old Blaine felt content. Death had visited and now waited at the table nursing a cup of tea while playing cards. The Harvester of Souls had come like an old friend who patiently waited. Still love held. Death knew he could not interrupt.

Savouring these solitude masking growing grief, an elderly man could not stop himself from smiling. The appendage between his legs stirred and pressed against cloth. After all these years Kurt could bring him to a moist state. They had became one

Thin, curly hair rubbed against the still hand an old man Blaine adored. Sorrow touched him and a tear splashed against cooling skin. He stared at it for a long moment and in his chest old Blaine felt a sharp pop of pain. Radiating down his left arm he drew in a deep breath and glanced to the table. Invisible to the mortal eye, the Harvester lifted his teacup. The Harvester understood the virtues of patience.

Thankful for the moments he had left, an old man rested his head upon a still hands and smiled. Fond memories reminded of how Kurt filled him. It hurt when Kurt entered him but it represented a good hurt. The renewed couple spent the night at the Hummel’s. Burt and Carole insisted after the impromptu party in their living room. Just a little bit tipsy, the boys clung together not wanting to be apart for too long. It felt as if the last few months did not exist.

Toes curled up with the sensation of his prostate being messaged at the right angle. Eyes closed, they would open now and then to find Kurt staring at him with those alluring eyes. Longing for only one man consumed Blaine. Blaine savoured every moment. Kurt kissed him all over as he reconnected with every inch of his twitching body. His tongue raked the area the ears making Blaine squirm and giggle. Carded his fingers through Kurt’s hair before pulling him up for more kissed even as a deep thrust sent a seductive shiver up his spine.

Blue eyes rolled as Kurt gasped with excitement. Teetering on the edge, Kurt’s powerful love muscle made Blaine whimper. A mop of fussy hair pressed into the pillow as Blaine’s head thrashed about. Close to the point of no return, Blaine did not touch himself. Pressure built in his cock and balls as Kurt’ard nine inches worked them toward climax.

Recognizing the signs, Kurt suddenly but gently pulled out. Gripping Blaine’s testicles lightly he gently squeezed tearing his lover from the point of explosion. Blaine groan sounded disappointed.

Dripping lubricant on his fingers, Kurt lowered himself onto Blaine's overly sensitive pole. Taking it all in, he rode his lover until Blaine could take it no longer. Head thrown back, Blaine arched his body as he thrust up into Kurt seeking release. Letting out a loud moan, Kurt exploded leaving a trail of white across Blaine’s chest. Riding Blaine well past the point of expulsion Kurt enjoyed trying to keep his struggling fiancé hard. Blaine’s eyes had crossed. Not wishing to torture his love any longer. Kurt fell onto Blaine and cuddled up. Utterly relaxed, blue lazily lost itself in hazel.

An abrupt blink brought a taste of reality. Eyes fluttering open, Blaine realized they had drifted off to sleep. A ray of light shining down from the crack in the curtains causing Blaine to squint. The thin beam highlighted the curve of Kurt’s chest. With gentle ease, Blaine gently circled a finger about the nipple. Knowing how it aroused Kurt he watched as the goose bumps rose on pale skin. The thought he could indulge this simple pleasure for the rest of his life pleased him. Shutting his eyes, Blaine enjoyed the motion of his finger on warm skin.

Fussy hair pressed up against a bicep. The angelic sight made Blaine smile. Three time in less than twelve hours left him lovingly satisfied. The delicious hint of the perfection of his future life made him smile. Perfect. No, beyond perfect. Slowly he drifted off again.

Someone stirred and a head moved. Glistening blue stared up at Blaine with a happy smile. Wrapping his arms about Blaine’s head, he soundly kissed the fussy haired man. Fingers ran through massed of curly hair in is natural state. Kurt liked the natural look.

“I’m all tingly.” Kurt shivered and then yawned a restful, morning yawn.

Blaine smiled back and brushed his lover’s hair. “You should use me like that more often.”

“You enjoyed it.”

“I can never get enough of you Mr. Hummel.”

“Oh, Mr. Anderson, you say all the right things.”

“I aim to hit the mark.”

“You aimed just fine for me. My mark will not be the same for days.”

“We will have to make sure it remains tingly.”

“I had forgetting how receptive you are to my pleasures.”

“I was that forgettable?” Blaine pulled his arm out from under Kurt to lean on one elbow. Blood rushed into his fingers.

Impishly grinning, Kurt reached up and pulled Blaine into a long and tender kiss.

“I love you, Kurt,” Blaine moaned with a heavy exhale. Rolling his fingers just to make sure they still worked, he nestled up against Kurt.

“I told you once I would never say good-bye,” Kurt gently replied.

Resting his right hand over Kurt’s heart, Blaine said, “This always knew though our brains didn’t.”

Kurt’s left fell on Blaine’s right. “You have always been a little blind in regards to desires of your heart wanted.”

Snickering, Blaine admitted, “I guess I’m a little dense.”

Winking, Kurt whispered, “Your cock is dense, Mr. Anderson but never your heart.”

“The cobwebs muddled my brain.” Blaine grinned.

Kurt kissed Blaine softly on the lips. “I love you, my beautiful teenage dream.

Chapter Text

“What the hell do you want from me?” Blaine leaned back and the legs of the kitchen chair scrapped against the floor. Faint red edged up his neck and over his ears.

Stiff backed with his ankle resting on his knee he stared out the window into the backyard. His breath smelled of scotch. Daniel’s face remained resolute. “Common sense and some respect.”

“Respect? You’ve treated me like shit and you want respect.”

“I’m your father.”

“Yeah, right. Now you want a say?”

“You never listened.”

“I never listened? Hell! You just can’t accept.”

“What, that you a faggot? That you’re . . .”

“Daniel” Pam’s voice rose over her husband’s.

Growling, Daniel’s eyes shifted way from the window to the ceiling. Swigging back the brown liquid in a clear tumbler, he sneered at his son. “I saw enough of what you do?”

“You’re telling me you never played with yourself,” Blaine shot back. “You haven’t seen half of what I can do. You . . .”

“Just watch you tongue, young man.”

“You going to hit me again?”

“You live under my roof and you do what I say.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“You’re a kid who one day will grow up and learn he is wrong.”

“You know nothing about me.”

‘“I know you’re being stupid.”

“Look who’s . . .” Blaine stopped when his mother gave him a look. A spike pushed up into his heart and Blaine looked to his left. Compassionate blue eyes stared back at him.

Seated at the kitchen table between her son and her husband, Pam did not look happy. Everything had been going fine until Daniel surprised everyone by walking in through the back door. He stopped the moment he saw Kurt. Daniel’s face hardened and he turned away. Standing, Pam insisted he stay. Both parents retreated from the room for a short, quiet but heated discussion. When Daniel sat he had a large tumbler of scotch with him.

“Daniel,” Pam pushed the coffee mug in front of her to one side. She had not consumed alcohol in two months. She tried to keep the peace.

“It’s not right.” Daniel rolled his eyes.

“Not right?” Blaine’s face blossomed red. A hand fell on his arm and he looked to Kurt.

“Yes.”

“Is this about grand children? Who says Kurt and I will not have kids.”

“Biology.”

“We’ll adopt.”

“The way you two fight.”

Glaring at his father, Blaine’s voice rose, “As if you are doing any better. You’re seeing a councilor because you . . .”

“That’s not fair, Blaine,” Kurt softly said. Holding his love’s right hand put of view, nervous could barely describe what he felt. Blaine had invited him over to speak to his mom about their relationship and New York. It all started out well and then it became a war zone.

Simmering hazel eyes bore down on his dad. Blaine’s father sat there like a cold rock. Initially, he did not acknowledge Kurt until Pam cleared her throat. His whole body language displayed nothing but blatant disrespect for the man Blaine loved and his whole lifestyle. The only time he would show his face would be to rush Kurt out of the house about nine. He would not even allow them to kiss, though Blaine openly defied him in that regard. Having the darling man continued to anchor him.

Fingers suddenly moved against his as if Kurt understood. Glancing at the man he loved, Blaine squeezed the hand in his. Letting out a sigh, he said, “You’re right.”

Gently stoking the back of Blaine’s hand, Kurt tightened his grip. Kurt’s eyes sparkled with emotion. A son noted the change in his father’s face. Loudly clearing his throat, Daniel stood and turned to leave the room. Nose curling up, he shook his head and muttered under his breath.

“Really, Daniel?” Pam objected.

“Let me have some peace!” Blaine’s father shot back. Stomping over to the credenza visible from the kitchen, he poured himself a stiff scotch. “You expect me to give my blessing to . . . this act of . . . I don’t know what it is.”

Blood pulsed in Blaine’s ears. It dropped when Kurt moved his hand against his. Youthful eyes met and then called to his dad, “You don’t have anything to do with it.”

“Damned right I won’t!” Daniel downed have the drink in one gulp.

Blaine swallowed. “Being with Kurt makes me happy.”

“How long until you’re upstairs crying like a girl again. Fuck’n pussy . . . you’re . . .” Daniel tipped the bottle up into his glass again.

Clearing her throat, Pam glared at her husband. “Now that was uncalled for.”

“Bullshit,” Daniel bluntly stated.

Kurt stiffened and shifted his gaze as Blaine’s lips curled in. He knew that look but he also understood his lover’s soft and carrying side.

“Daniel come back here and speak rationally,” Pam complained. She gave the two young men an apologetic look.n’
“For god’s sake.” Daniel shook his head and topped up his drink. “Two men aren’t meant to get married.”

“And who says so?” Pam countered. Her eyes fell her son and his future husband. She tried to keep it all together. “The courts certainly don’t agree.”

“Liberals. Bloody liberal are going to destroy this nation,” Blaine’s father growled as he turned with a half drunk beverage in his hand. “At least Ohio kept their whit’s and voted against this hogwash.”

Blaine laughed and tightened his grip on Kurt’s left hand.

Kurt glanced at Blaine who returned a cautious look. He had witnessed Daniel’s anger before but endured for the sake of his husband-to-be. If he ran he would never forgive. Bullying had a different meaning when a parent despised a child. Kurt felt sick.

Daniel huffed and took a long draft of his drink. “Don’t count on me going.”

Blaine chewed on the words he wanted to say. He knew he would never count on his father for anything. In the corner of his eye he noted the look on his lover’s face. Squeezing Kurt’s hand reassured them both.

The silence amused Daniel and he laughed.

Giving her husband a hard look, Pam proudly announced. “I’m going to give my boy away.”

“Mom?” Blaine cooed with a smile.

“Don’t encourage him.” Daniel glared at his wife. Downing his drink, he poured another one. “They’re already making fools of themselves.”

A mother’s eyes told the story but her face remained calm. “Daniel, this is not open for discussion. You can sit here and brood, all you want but I love these two boy. Be a stick in the mud and stay in the stone age if you want but I will not.”

“All this fu . . .” Daniel slammed his mouth shut.

“You don’t have to be there dad.” Blaine drew in a deep breath. “I fact, I don’t want you there.”

“Good.” Daniel chugged on his scotch again. “Saves me writing a fuck’n reply.”

Pushing back, Pam rose to her feet. A hand fell on her arm and she looked down at Kurt. Drawing air into her lungs she let it out slowly. She gave Kurt an apologetic look and sank back to the chair.

Leaning against the sideboard, Daniel chuckled.

Shaking his head, Blaine said, “Do what you want, dad. I don’t care. Mom and Kurt’s parents are behind us. Cooper evens said he would be there.”

Snorting, Daniel shook his head. “You perverted him too.”

A fist curled up out of view as Blaine’s eyes narrowed. “Let’s stop pretending, I’ve been an embarrassment since I was eight.”

“Only eight. Jesus what a fucked . . .” Daniel’s face went white. He stared at Pam who gazed at him with a face of steel.

Catching the look forced Blaine to the back of his chair. For a moment stunned silence reigned and then a son drew in a deep breath. Something serious passed between his parents. Daniel took a step closer but Pam did not back down. His eyes narrowed and then he suddenly looked away.

Kurt’s thumb pressed into the back his lover’s hand. The tension between Blaine’s parents frightened him. Carole and Burt had heated discussions but nothing like this. Blaine had told him about the arguments in the Anderson household but his worried him. The man he loved lived with this every day. Being in New York meant he could do little other than lip service. Mind you, Kurt liked lip service but not this type.

Blaine felt the pulsing under his lover’s skin. He hated this and decided to end it with a simple announcement, “You may not like it, dad, but I love Kurt and we will be married. Kurt’s family has embraced me like a long lost son. You need not bother pretending anymore.”

Kurt tensed up as he eyes shifted toward Blaine.

Laughing, Daniel stated, “They can have the little queer.”

“Daniel!” Pam screamed as she pushed her chair back. Aghast, she gave her husband a stern gaze and then looked to the boys. She bit her lip.

“For god’s sake. He’s nothing . . .” Daniel caught himself and downed his drink back. Dropping the glass onto the wooden counter top he stormed for the front door.

Pam started to go after him and Kurt finally broke his silence, “Let him go, Mrs. Anderson.”

Mother and son both glanced at the pale young man. Heavy breathing became the only sound. A few seconds later a door slammed.

Turning to face Blaine, Kurt stroking his lover’s check. “We expected a negative response but . . . well, he needs time to think and calm down.”

Blaine slumped in the chair with a shivering breath. Resting his head against Kurt’s shoulder he felt a hand come to rest on the side of his head. The fingers carding his hair made him feel less angry. Closing his eyes for a few seconds, he felt his heart return to normal.

Soothing his lover, Kurt whispered, “We didn’t allow the bullies in school to get us and neither will you father.”

“Kurt, I’m so sorry you had to sit through that.” A tear rolled from Blaine’s eye. “I feel horrible.”

“Don’t Blaine,” Kurt pleaded as he rubbed Blaine’s neck, Kurt let out a sigh to help shed the tension. “You are everything to me. Your dad is not always nice but he is your dad.”

“Kurt?” Blaine’s chest heaved in and out.

“Biting your lips only makes them look puffy, Blaine.” Kurt pushed his body into Blaine’s. “Remember you’re with people who love you for who you are and what you are.”

“Oh, Blaine?” Pam’s voice broke the silence.

Lifting his head, Blaine stared at his mother. Slowly standing, he glanced back at Kurt and then walked around the table. Wrapping his arms around the woman who brought him into the world, he hugged her. Laying his head on her chest, Blaine started to shake. Hazel locked on blue giving Blaine suddenly relief.

A tear glistened in Pam’s eye. “That man of yours is so good for you. Don’t loose him.”

Rolling his head along his mother’s breast without loosing sight of those lovely blue eyes, Blaine moaned, “I stood up to dad.”

“It’s alight,” Pam rubbed her son’s back.

Blaine shuddered. “Mom . . .”

“Blaine, nothing will stop me from celebrating the love you have for Kurt.” Pam squeezed her son and looked to Kurt who just sat there staring. “I’ve never doubted. Times might have been tough but the two you are meant to be together.”

Pulling back, Blaine wiped his eyes and looked to the man he loved. Holding out his hand, Kurt stood and took it. Blue eyes sparkled with admiration and compassion. Blaine felt so lucky.

“Remember to always declare your love and never go to bed angry.” Pam laid a hand on two shoulders and then she glanced toward the front door.

Hazel eyes followed and then Blaine found. A son got the message. “Mom?”

Patting her gorgeous son on the cheek, she looked to Kurt and said, “Now come over here and give your future mother-in-law a great big hug.”

Kurt kissed Blaine on the cheek and then fell into Pam’s arms. With her right hand she pleaded with her son to join in. Wrapping his arms about both his mother and the love of his life, Blaine felt must better. The two most important people in his life share a moment with him. Deep down he understood the sacrifice his mother had just made.

When he drew back, Blaine felt Kurt’s hand gently caress his. The past two weeks had been a whirlwind of happiness, nerves and regret. Regardless of the upheaval, he wanted nothing else. His soul mate had returned to him. Their love might be a little battered but it shown like a bright light in the fog. Never again did he want to hurt the dear man. Never again would he give into his base feeling. A young heart had learned a hard lesson.

“I need a drink,” Pam groaned.

“Mom?” Blaine gave her a look. The tense atmosphere had all but evaporated.

Running her fingers through her son’s tightly gelled hair, Pam said, “Coffee. You want some boys?”

“I would love one.” Kurt let out a huge sigh. The pressure drained from his face returning that boyish look.

Pulling Kurt close, Blaine said to his mom, “Mom, you sounded positive about the wedding. Was that for dad’s benefit?”

“Yes and no,” Placing two mugs on the counter, Pam turned to her son with an adoring look. ““I suppose you haven’t discussed dates?”

Two young men glanced at one another. The thought had obviously not crossed their minds.

“I guess not,” Pam poured and then hand the lovers a mug each. “Oh, all in due time.”

“We need to take it slow, Mrs. Anderson,” Kurt responded. His soft voice left the impression he had not completely relaxed just yet.

“Oh, dear, you’re family now. Call me Pam.” “Blaine’s mother smiled. “And good for you wanting to take it slow.”

“We’re both young and have a lot to learn,” Blaine glanced at his love. “And we have some healing to do.”

“And you still need to finish high school, my love,” Pam patted her son on the cheek.

Blaine pouted as he looked to the young man beside him. “Kurt is set up in NYADA but I still need to find a college or university.”

“Or NYADA.” Kurt beamed.

Blaine wanted to go to the school to be close to Kurt. The two of them could walk together, eat lunch, hanging out accompanied with lots of sex. The thought made him happy but then he had reservations which he voiced, “NYADA. I would love that but I don’t want to crowd you Kurt. We’re going to spend the rest of our lives together. You . . . me . . . will need our space.”

Kurt frowned. “You don’t want to be with me.”

“The games of young love. I miss it.” Pam’s face spread into a wicked little grin. She still had feeling for her husband even if he had been an ass. “You’re at the stage where you want to spend every waking and sleeping moment with one another. It’s good. It’s healthy.”

Sad hazel eyes stared into blue.

“Don’t go there, boys.” Pam sat at the table and sipped her coffee. “You will learn soon enough it is healthy to have time apart. But for now, do what you have to do with no regrets.”

Blaine blushed. What had happened to the previous conversation? His mom reacted as if nothing had happened. A son knew better. She held it all in and Blaine could see it simmering. Dad might be angry but nothing would come of it. Maybe?

Winking at Kurt, Pam asked, “When are you going back to New York?”

“At the end of the week.” Kurt did not look to happy.

“Being apart the last time was tough,” Blaine sucked in his lower lip. “This time . . . I don’t know.”

“Blaine, you know.” Pam gave the two boys an inquisitive look. She still did not know what had happened. “All you need to do is avoid whatever caused the breakup.”

The boys looked at each other. Blaine looked away first. Taking his cheeks in his hands. Kurt drew Blaine into kissed it. Pulling away, Kurt announced, “It’s not going to happen this time.”

“That’s good boys.” Smirking, Pam leaned back at her chairs, her eyes on the cups and plates needed to be cleared away.

Blushing, Blaine looked at his mom and said, “Don’t even think of clearing yet.”

“You two are so cute.” She gave Blaine a motherly look with a shrug. “I would like to help with the ceremony but I know Kurt, he will want to do everything.”

The boys exchanged glances. Kurt piped up, “Of course we would like you to help.”

“When we make up our mind, I’ll let you know,” Blaine leaned forward placing a hand on his moms. More a gesture to give her strength for what still had to come, he did not want her to think she is alone.

“That’s good.” Pam placed her other hand on her son’s.

Kurt’s eyes shifted toward Blaine. “My parents said we can use their backyard.”

Taking Kurt’s hand, Blaine rubbed his thumb over smooth skin. “I kind of like getting married in New York. I like Battery Park?”

“Really?” Kurt looked surprised.

“Really.” Blaine smiled.

Throwing his hands around Blaine’s neck, Kurt kissed him. Rocking back and forth, he suddenly pulled away when he noticed Pam staring at him. White toned skin flushed red.

Grinning, Pam stood and stared to collect the plates. It had not been a dinner but more like a formal snack. “Now why don’t you go and do whatever you have to do.”

Blaine gave his mom a look.

“Just remember you have school in the morning, Blaine.” Pam wiggled a finger at her son.

Kurt chuckled as he turned to face his love. “Now be a good boy and go bed by nine.”

The curly haired teen gave his fiancé a curious look and started to laugh.

Pointing a finger, Kurt teased. “Don’t forget your homework.”

Rolling his eyes, Blaine kissed the finger. He had other ideas of what to do at with the number nine.

“Wow,” Kurt grinned from ear to ear. “I get to sleep in.”

“Not if I have my way,” Blaine winked.

Grinning. Pam gave the boys a fond look. “Oh run away and have fun”

“Mom?” Blaine looked disgusted.

Stacking the last of the plates, Pam glanced at her son and winked. “Shoo.”

Looking to the front hall, Blaine looked suddenly concerned. “I’ll stay mom.”

Turning the water on, Pam said without looking back, “I’ll be fine.”

Not convinced, Blaine stood and approached his mother. “What if dad comes back?”

Swiveling about, Pam wrapped her arms about her son. “Everything will be good. Your father and I have argued before.”

Blaine pulled back. “But . . .?”

“Go take that gorgeous man of yours out and have fun.” She patted her son on the shoulder.

“You sure?” Kurt asked with a look of concern on his face.

“Boys, I appreciate you concern, but I’ll be fine,” Pam pulled them both into a hug.

“Okay, mom,” Blaine said into her shoulder. “I’ll call you later to make sure everything is alright.”

“I’d like that.” Pam kissed her son on the head and pulled him into a tighter hug.

Stepping back, Blaine tapped Kurt on the arm. With his eyes he indicated the front door. “You sure mom?”

Kissing both young men on the cheek, Pam said, “Yes.”

Taking Kurt’s hand, Blaine led him toward the front door. Looking back a couple of times, Blaine felt Kurt pulling on his hand. Their eyes locked and Blaine could see the concern in those blue orbs but also need. They both knew they could not stay.

Out on the front porch, Blaine stopped and placed a head on a pillar. From behind Kurt wrapped his arms about the man he loved. Leaning in, his head came to rest on the back of the shorter man’s shoulders. The expansion and contraction of Blaine’s chest spoke volumes.

The sensation of those arms around him released the stress. Blaine loved feeling the warmth spreading up his back and the comfort it represented. He loved the man with all his heart but fear for his mother ate at him. Hs father had put her in the hospital once and that sent Blaine over the edge. Deep down he knew he could go through it again because the blanket Kurt represented remained fragile. The elation of a proposal seethed through his veins but he no illusion it would end. They had much to discuss before everything would be perfect. Blaine had fears they would fight again but then he felt more grown up.

“You’re shaking,” Kurt whispered into Blaine’s ear.

The smell of fresh coffee rolled over Blaine nose. It made him smile and then he noticed his father’s car in the driveway. In a low tone, he said, “Dad must have gone for a walk.”

“You’re mom will be fine.”

“I’m afraid of what will happen when he gets back.”

“They’d lock him up if he did that again.”

“Mom has not given up on him.”

“Blaine you can’t live her life for her.”

Though he could not see it, Blaine knew the expression on Kurt’s face. The tone of his lover’s voice gave it all away. The truth hurt though. Ever since they met, Blaine had been living his life through Kurt. No, they had been living their lives through each other. Kurt discovered himself in New York and feaed what he might find out about himself. Though he put on airs, he had never really been strong. He hand not lied to Kurt when he told him, ‘I know how to do it in song’. Being separated from Kurt scared him in ways he had never thought possible. It all had to do with age and inexperience but then one dark, cold, snowy night he learned the opposite. The smell of fumes made him realize how deep he had fallen for the dear man. Did he have the strength? Yes. In his heart he knew he could do anything with Kurt at his side.

Kurt went on even though he felt a sharp pain in his chest. “I’m not saying don’t love her and protect her but she’s a grown woman. She can make up her own mind without help from the baby of the family.”

“Baby?” Blaine half turned to Kurt who paused from putting the car in gear.

His head slightly lowered as if he looked over invisible glasses, Kurt grinned and then added, “You are the youngest and you like suckling.”

“Oh, yes, but . . . baby?”

“I learned from my dad that I couldn’t make his choices for him and he couldn’t make then for me.”

“I guess I’m just worried.”

“And well you should. The mess between then will worked out one way or the other just as it had with us.”

“Meaning?”

Taking Blaine by the shoulders, Kurt turned her husband-to-be around. Leaning in, Kurt passionately kissed his boyfriend. Moist skin separated and remained half an inch apart. In a seductive tone, “Meaning you caught me and slipped a very beautiful ring on my finger. Now you’re mine and I’m yours.”

“Yeah?”

“Oh yeah.”

“So what are you going to do about it?”

“We could go for a walk along the river.”

“Or we could go dancing?”

“Dancing?”

“Dancing.”

“But you have school tomorrow.”

“My mom told me to show my handsome boyfriend a good time. That’s exactly what I am going to do. ”

Chapter Text

An old man smiled. He brooded. He always had. Kurt, on the other hand, had this wonderful and maddening way of just shoving everything into a hidden compartment. The man he loved hated it when he brought something up again years later. It caused arguments but also allowed them to grow.

Yes, they acted like lovesick puppies even to the end. How could they not. It almost seemed like fate when their eyes first met. Blaine had regrets though. Who would not? After all he suffered the same failings as everyone else—jealousy, lust, remorse, pleasure and most of all love. He never got tired of being with Kurt even if the man annoyed him. He would trade none of it. It made life worth it.

Similar fond remembrances marked the day he felt the shackles loosen. It started out as a horrific heartbreak but ended with warm blushing. On that day, for the first time, a teen had been brutally honest with the man he loved. The words of his proposal left him with a feeling of such joy he could have burst. As he came down, he realized he needed to open his heart. At the time Blaine did not know what an old man knew now. It saved them as a couple and friends.

This newly found freedom did not come without a price. Blaine struggled but, like an onion, it unraveled overtime. Advancing years made such memories hard to recall but at this moment, Blaine saw everything with clarity. An old man marveled at how he had been and who he had become. The smells, the caresses and tastes came to him as if time meant little. Life might have left Kurt’s sexy body but the essence of him remained embedded in the heart. A happenstance on a curving stare made it all happen.

Drawing large amounts of air into his chest caused pain to shoot down weary limbs reminding him of his nagging doubts. The conscious mind looked at is as a fault while the heart saw it as a means to face undermining issues. Long ago he wrote the word ‘Courage’ into a text message. It held true now as it had on the dance floor.

Curtains of darkness greeted them as two young men stepped through the door. Pin lights in the ceiling reflected on the face of the burly man at the door. The plaid texture of his shirt lost itself in the lack of light. Sudden brightness caused both boys to blink as a flashlight blasted in their faced. Holding out the identifications they had not used since the last time they had been here. The handsome man with a tight beard looked them up and down as he wiggled his jaw from side to side. Finally, he gave them a knowing look. Rolled his eyes, he handed their identifications back and signaled with his head they could enter.

Blaine almost stumbled but Kurt’s calm soothed. Just as nervous as the last time he entered this place he remembered four words—Kurt’s date, Kurt’s choice. His handsome boyfriend wanted to dance and Blaine loved the idea until he saw the door.

Time held Scandals in a bubble. It still smelled of stale beer and the carpet still stuck to the bottom of their shoes. Dark walls and dim lighting made the perfect place for people to hide. Flashing lights above the dance floor provided a break from the gloom where wandering hands could roamed. Red, blue, yellow and green mixed with stark white, the patterns played on a wooden floor. Reflecting off the mirror behind the bar and along two walls of the dance floor it gave the long room a feeling of excitement.

Just past the entrance stood an average height drag queen with less than average read hair. Decked out in a dark green sequin gown a bright plum of red rose up from forehead in a great beehive. Facial makeup accentuated the eyes while trying to obscure masculine features.

“Lucille Ball,’ Kurt murmured to Blaine as they walked by.

“She needs a long cigarette.” Blaine whispered.

“And new shoes.” Kurt tried not to make it look as if he looked the drag queen up and down.

Nodding, Blaine could not help up notice how many eyes fell on them. “I feel like fresh, young meat.”

Inches from Blaine’s year, Kurt softly announced, “But you’re my fresh young meat.”

Taking Kurt’s left hand in his right made Blaine more comfortable. “The crowd looks the same.”

“Yeah. What do we have here? A mix of thirty something to ancient.”

“Kurt?”

“The younger crowd will not show up until eleven. About one, the older crowd will flock about the young ones like hungry vultures.”

“New York knowledge.”

“I heard people talk. Look over at the end of the bar.”

Hazel eyes shifted that way. Two drag queens dressed in red and yellow with large blond hair stood off to one side talking to an elderly gentlemen. They looked like matched bookends in slinky mini-dresses with rhinestones and tiaras. Huge lashes flared out from makeup heavy eyes. With legs for days, their seven inch heels made Blaine feel like a dwarf. The casually dressed middle aged man squished between them took note of Blaine. One eye opened wider as his tongue slithered over his lips. Without thinking Blain gripped Kurt’s hand tighter.

On the stage a mid-forties fellow sang to the words projected on a television screen. A few paces from the amateur show a group of men dressed as if they had just come off the fields laughed. Beers in hand, two sat while the other two stood facing them. They cheered their mate on stage while making jokes.

“This is kind of disappointing,” Blaine commented in a low voice so the three men they passed by would not hear them. “I bet if we were in New York this place would be packed.”

“Fear does not . . .” Kurt suddenly jumped. Looking at Blaine with a scrunched up brow, he said, “Someone just pinched my bum.”

“Damn, I wanted to do that,” Blaine playfully replied with a huge smile. With tug he pulled Kurt out of range.

“Later,” Kurt leaned in with an impish grin. His eyes darted here and there.

“Promises, promises,” Blaine squeezed Kurt’s hand.

“What do you want to drink, honey?”

“Not as much as the last time we were here.”

“I blame it all on someone’s need to get into your pants.”

“You mean his need to get me back with the Warblers. He would have loved me and left anyhow.”

“I would have fought for you.”

“A real knock down drag out fight.”

“Finn would have wiped his ass.”

Blaine chuckled and began to walk toward the bar. Regardless of being eye candy for someone in their sixties, Blaine felt good. He reentered the place of a past disgrace with the love of his life on his arms. No skinny Warbler would split them apart. Last year, Kurt sat on one of the bar stools watching the two dance. Sebastian did everything he could to keep Blaine’s focused on him but no matter what, hazel always found blue.

Clutching Kurt’s hand again, Blaine said with a smile, “I’ll have a beer but after two I’ll switch to soda and lime juice. You’ll probably have something with an umbrella in it.”

“Na,” Kurt looked Blaine in those heavenly eyes. “I think I will have a gin and tonic.”

“A grown up drink?”

“I learned a few things in New York.”

“Like drinking?”

“And other things.”

The mood sudden shifted and Blaine’s face sort of dropped.

“Don’t you worry, my fussy haired fiancé?” Kurt leaned in and kissed Blaine. “Everything I learned I did for you.”

“Adam?”

“Jealous?”

“A little.”

Leaning into his boyfriend, Kurt shoved him playfully. “You’re so sweet when you’re jealous.”

“Me?” Blaine placed a hand on his chest. He could feel his heart pounding.

With a grin, Kurt poked Blaine in the chest. “You.”

Tugging his love toward the bar, Blaine ordered two gin and tonics. Cooper had introduced his younger, underage brother to several types of alcohol last fall when the kid’s life spun in the balance. If Kurt liked it, Blaine could learn to like it.

Glasses clinked together and the two boys took a sip. Blaine’s face pulled in and Kurt laughed. Standing side by side almost like real adults having an adult drink in an adult bar felt perfect. For a moment Blaine felt he could burst out into song but then liquid bravery might help. Well no. The last time he let it all go, he sort of did a semi-strip tease.

“Let’s dance?” Kurt suddenly suggested.

Suddenly Blaine did not feel all that courageous. Glancing at his drink Blaine gave Kurt a look.

“You’re playing shy,” Kurt teased before taking a long swig of his drink.

“I don’t have your experiences,” Blaine blurt out before he could think.

Kurt hesitated and then quietly said, “You have all the experience I need and in all the right fields.”

Blushing, Blaine’s smile could have lit the room. Preparing himself for the taste to come, he took a large sip of his drink. Shaking his head he barely noticed someone squeeze between himself and his lover. A hand fell on his chest and another on his shoulder pushing him back.

Taking a sudden step Blaine exclaimed, “Hey!”

“Don’t get too excited Warblerboy,” a familiar voice said in hushed tones.

“Sebastian?” Blaine focused on the man pressed between himself and Kurt. Dark brows pushed together as he tried to see around the obstruction to find Kurt. The force of the shove had almost knocked his boyfriend off his feet. His adorable fiancé caught the stool preventing it from toppling over.

“Hi there lover boy. Out on the town painting it parsley?” Sebastian eyes glistened with mischievous. Pushing back at Kurt he wedged out a larger space for himself.

Pinkish red highlights flushed across Blaine’s cheeks as a memory flashed in his mind. Something wet splashed his face followed by aching roughness grating against his eye. He blinked.

Sebastian smirked and pressed closer. “I had that much of an affect on you.”

Regaining his composure, Blaine’s eyes looked past Sebastian. Anger pinched his chest when he noted the look on the face of the man he loved. A foot moved so Blaine could step around Sebastian. The annoying and often charming Dalton student anticipated the action.

Grinning at the shorter man with gelled down curly hair, Sebastian almost looked apologetic. Spinning around he said in a low, almost mockingly quiet tone, “Oh, didn’t see you there Kurt.”

Kurt grinned at the beady eyed snake.

Ignoring Kurt, the slushy thrower turned his attention back to Blaine. With one of his patented charming, snake oil smiles he said, “It was fun to be included in your little drama.”

“It wasn’t a drama, Sebastian. I meant every word of it.” Peering past Sebastian Blaine could see the rage brewing in those charming blue eyes. Subtly shaking his head at his lover as if saying ‘keep it cool’.

Sebastian drooled, “Do I get a dance?”

Images of Kurt driving himself between a slightly inebriated and all too innocent boy and a viper rose in Blaine’s mind. That night Kurt became his chivalrous knight even though it took Blaine a couple of days to realize it. A moment on an empty stage brought two hearts back together again. In the days which followed Blaine looked at his life to discover he lived with his head in the clouds. He dreamed of the future while Kurt lived for the moment and planned.

Head cocked to one side, Blaine’s expression changed. “Yes, I came here to dance.”

A huge smile parted Blaine’s lips causing Sebastian’s eyes to lighten up. Flushing ever so slightly Blaine reached out taking Kurt’s hand. Hauling the man he loved out on the dance floor they left a bothersome snake coiled on a stool.

“Your date’s not over yet.” Blaine gave Kurt a sly look and then blew his lover a kiss across the top of the car. Sweat beaded between his shoulder blades. The clock beat at half past midnight and Blaine felt happy. He ordered two spirited drinks but only finished one. Watching Kurt dance had been enough to get him high.

Bashfully smiling and happily sated from dancing, Kurt returned the gesture. “I loved the first part, especially the look on Sebastian’s face.”

Looking up at the moon, Blaine hesitated.

“What you thinking my beautiful daydreamer?” Leaning against the edge of the car, the door swung back hitting Kurt in the rump.

“Making a wish.”

“Oh?”

“A wished we will dance together for the rest of our lives.”

“I think I can help make that come true.”

“Me too.”

“You hungry?”

“What do you suggest?”

“You’ll see.”

Dark, thick brows pulled together as Blaine gazed at Kurt. He tried to give Kurt an ‘I’m not impressed’ look but it just did not come off that way. Thirty minutes later than sat side by side in a moderately lit booth in a restaurant Blaine would normally not go to. Narrow eyes studied the dish before him with uncertainty.

“Try it?” Kurt urged.

Blaine’s brow furrowed. “I don’t know?”

“Don’t knock it until you try it,” Kurt purred. “When you get New York you’re going to have to try all sorts of things. The city has food from all over the world.”

The face of the teen with the gelled down hair contorted. “But it’s not cooked?”

Rolling his eyes, Kurt grinned. “Duh, its sushi.”

“I know they eat this stuff on TV and in the movies but . . .”

“Millions of Japanese eat this every day and all that oil is good for the complexion.”

“Taking the vanity route isn’t going to get me to try that.”

“Yeah but it’ll make you skin look so good.”

“What am I, a dog? Oh Blaine, your curly locks are so soft and shiny. Am I suppose to wag my tail?”

“You have a wonderfully thick tail.”

Brows pushing together, Blaine gave Kurt an odd look. “You’ve changed.”

“New York changes everyone who goes there.” Scooting closer on the bench, Kurt’s thigh pressed against Blaine’s. Leaning closer he pointed at some of the rolls and other stuff on the plate with his chopsticks. “This is cooked prawns . . .”

The closeness of his fiancé caused the heart to skip a beat. Blaine loved the man but? Yes, but? The word change resonated within his mind. Kurt looked so adorable, he had to give in. “I guess its safe then. What of the ones just hanging there over a block of rice like some sacrifice to an Aztec god?”

“Tuna, tuna, prawn and salmon.”

“I never thought there were so many different kinds of tuna.”

“There’s tons.”

“We could have gotten a burger or a salad?”

Chuckling, Kurt pushed his shoulder into Blaine’s. “My date, my place.”

“I’ll remember that.” Blaine pointed a chopstick at the adorable young man with an impish grin. He held them like spears. “I guess I have to try.”

Picking up a pawn wrapped in rice with his chopsticks, Kurt held it up to Blaine. Honey amber locked on blue. Not wanting to do this, the expression on Kurt’s face sunk into his heart—innocence mixed with a hint of new world adventure. It worked. Leaning forward he accepted the offering and closed his mouth around the morsel. It filled the entire cavity of his mouth like something else he enjoyed.

One eyebrow went up followed by another. Chewing, he disliked the way the rice stuck to his teeth. Gulping it down he admitted, “This isn’t bad.”

Triumphantly grinning, Kurt squeezed Blaine’s leg. Staring at the handsome man he slyly smiled. “I told you.”

“I should never have doubted.” Blaine reached out to the plate stabbing another roll.

From out of the blue, the boy who never wanted to show affection in public leaned close and gave Blaine a chaste peak on the lips.

Blaine eyes darted about. Few noticed.

“You’re blushing,” Kurt cooed. His nose rested barely and inch from Blaine’s ear.

Blaine felt warm air puff against his skin. Turning, Kurt’s nose lay within an inch of his. “I’ve always been mushy.”

“I like mushy Blaine.”

“When I’m all over the place. I was not always like this.”

“Yes you were. You just hid it well in the blazer of yours.”

“I did look good.”

“Yes you did.”

Blaine suddenly sighed.

Brows pressing together, Kurt softly asked, “What?”

“Can we talk about it later?”

“You can’t let things worry you so much.”

“Kurt . . . it’s just . . .”

“That you want to enjoy every last second with me.”

“Yes.”

“Okay, we’ll table this until later but time’s running out.”

“I know.” Blaine looked sad. “Sunday will be here too soon.”

Taking Blaine’s hand in his, Kurt gently kissed it. That got them a few looks. Ignoring them, he said, “I promise you it won’t be like last time. We’ve learned so much about what love really is.”

Smiling, Blaine peeked Kurt on the lips followed by a rush of pink up his neck and cheeks. Since the proposal Kurt exuded confidence. Tonight he held nothing back. Blaine found it refreshed and a little bit scary at the same time.

“That’s a down payment I hope.” Blue eyes scanned over Blaine’s shoulders. A few people gave them funny looks.

“You bet it is.” Blaine impishly winked. Hazel froze on blue. His brow twitched with every beat of his heart. Why did his mind doubt his soul?

“You’re not going to lose me, Blaine.”

“I almost did.”

“True, but I didn’t enjoy it either.”

“When we spoke at Grease, it killed me.”

“I was a miserable so-in-so who could not see a good thing through my own pride. And before you go there. Yes, we hurt each another.”

“And Adam.”

“He’s nice but he is not you. It just took smooching in a backseat of a car to make me realize it.”

“Poor Tina.”

“Poor Mercedes. But you know me . . . stubborn. When you asked me to stick around for regionals, I knew something was up. But then you were so cute. It felt like I was looking into the eyes of a big puppy dog. How could I resist that?”

“Rolled up newspaper as floor play.”

Kurt’s skin reddened.

Blaine’s eyebrows shot up. “You liked that.”

To change the subject he picked one of the salmon rolls and held it out for Blaine.

Taking the food into his mouth, the people about them caught Blaine’s attention. An older couple near the window gave him a sour look. Across the room he saw a scruffy young man with long, messy hair taking their picture with a phone.

Gripping a piece of sashimi, Kurt popped it into his mouth and went to pick up his tea. His head moved to his left and stopped. Out of view of the rest of the restaurant, he too Blaine’s hand. He followed through with an air kiss before whispering, “You’re worried. Your brow is twitching.”

Swallowing, a deep breath filled Blaine’s lunges. He tried to keep things upbeat for Kurt. His date, his rules. Not wanting to ruin it he tried to hold it all in but it hurt. “Just thinking of today.”

“You’re mom will be fine.” Kurt rubbed Blaine’s thigh.

The tightness in Blaine’s chest flickered with pain. Sighing he smiled at Kurt and whispered. “Thank you for making me feel better.”

“Any time, sweetie.”

“I guess I’m still feeling a little raw.”

“It was uncomfortable.”

“Yeah. I hate to think what could be happening back home.”

“I know and worried.”

“Oh?”

“I’m going back to New York leaving you here in a toxic environment. Can’t I worry?”

Bumping his shoulder into Kurt's, Blaine smiled. “I worry about you too.”

Two boys stared at each other for a few seconds. Emotion filled their eyes. Bowing his head ever so slightly Kurt softly said, “We’ll be alright.”

Nodding, Blaine shyly grinned. “I dread going back home to the lonely bed and my father.”

“Believe me, I want to be in that bed next to you. Even if I still lived here, we couldn’t do that until we moved out.”

“It’s such a nice thought.”

“Waking up to you every morning would be beautiful.”

Toying with his food, Blaine tipped a roll of rise and something else over onto its side. “I wish I could go with you.”

Kurt shifted on the bench so that his body faced Blaine. “Me too.”

“My protective side says I need to take care of my mom.” Blaine sighed. “But my heart wants . . .”

A knee pressed against Blaine’s thigh. “I hate it too.”

Blaine looked down. “But . . .”

“You have nothing to fear, my love.” Kurt’s left hand slipped into Blaine’s right. “I’ve already told Adam.”

A surprised look crossed Blaine’s face.

Kurt did not look too happy. “He did not take it well.”

“I can imagine.”

“I did feel something for him.”

“I know.”

Kurt squeezed the hand he held.

“History being history he do not want to repeat what was. I just want to find ways to keep us happy and our relationship healthy.” The truth shown in Blaine’s eyes.

“I want that as well.”

“I know our days apart will be tedious but it’s only a few months to graduation.”

“I’m coming to watch you throw your cap in the air.”

“Kurt, Pandora’s Box when I took your hand that day. Being apart from you was such anguish. I beat myself every day. I . . .” Blaine’s voice died away. He could not say it. Tiny flakes of snow invaded his thoughts and the smell of car exhaust.

Fear touched Kurt’s but he did not care. Placing a hand on his fiancé’s cheek he looked concerned. “Blaine?”

“New York and NYADA has been good to you.”

“It will be for you too.”

“Kurt, I see a whole new life in your eyes.”

“And its scares you.”

“Am, I ready for it? I don’t know.”

“If it helps, I will be there with you all the way.”

“One thing I do know is I want to be with you always.”

“So do I.”

“I missed you so much. It almost . . . well.“ Blaine’s heart froze. He could not reveal that. “ . . . Sam, Tina and Artie filled the spaces but my heart felt so empty.”

“Oh, Blaine,” Kurt’s hand fell on to Blaine’s lap.

Sad hazel eyes locked on blue as waves of pain swelled through Blaine’s heart. “You never left me Kurt. How could you? I walked the halls and heard your voice. Sitting the courtyard made me think of lunches in the sun. Every time I would look to the seat you usually occupied I felt pain.”

Wetness glistened in Kurt’s eyes.

Finding it impossible to tear his eyes from Kurt, Blaine felt the tension in his chest ease. In a low tone he admitted, “I failed the person I love and the person I am. Nothing could have prepared me for what I felt.”

“Why are you telling me this?” Kurt gave Blaine an inquisitive look.

Blaine gazed at Kurt with wet eyes. “Honestly, Kurt, I hate the idea of being alone again. After I did what I did, my soul wept. I never want to feel that again.”

Crinkles formed around those lovely blue orbs. The bright and innocent face Blaine had fallen in love with did not look all so radiant. Slowly a broad and uncharacteristically large smile lit up a beautiful face. Taking two tanned hands in his, Kurt announced in a hushed tone, “I love you so very much, Blaine Anderson.”

“I love you, my precious Kurt Hummel.” Blaine’s words came out so low they hovered on seductive.

Chapter Text

“Are you crying?” Kurt quietly asked.

“No . . .” Blaine looked embarrassed. “Well . . . yes.”

Pulling back from the hug, Kurt wiped the tear from Blaine’s cheek. Sucking on his salty finger, he said in the softest tone, “M-m-m-m, your taste. It will need to keep me until we are together again.”

Fondly smiling, Blaine sniffled. Laying his head no Kurt’s shoulder his heart pounded in his chest.

Running a hand across the back of fiancé’s neck, Kurt whispered in a soft tone, “I love you, Blaine. I really do.”

“I love you too,” Blaine choked on the words and lifted his head. Gazing into those warm blue eyes he added, “I miss you already.”

Kurt kissed Blaine and pulled him closer. “I’m looking forward to being at the airport when you finally move to New York. I might have a little surprise for you.”

After the kiss, Blaine smiled. “Really?”

“Really.” Kurt hugged Blaine again.

A hand fell onto Kurt’s shoulder. His father stepped closer saying, “Time to go through security. Don’t worry Kurt, Carole and I will watch out for Blaine.”

One more fabulous hug and Kurt sucked in a deep breath. Picked up his bag he kissed his lover and his parents. Looking back as he passed through the barrier toward the first official, he waved. Three hands waved back. The teen among adults snuffled by tears. Carole slid her arm about Blaine’s shoulder to comfort him.

Hazel eyes blinked bringing everything into perspective. Rain dripped on the window driving steaks of grim down the side of the bus. The subway had been busy but, this? He could have walked faster. The noise crashed in on him. A faint hint of garbage wafted through the open window along with the shrill honking of horns. The woman beside him loudly chatted on her phone. Two kids up front screamed as their mother stared out the window at the street.

Holding his bag on his lap, Blaine endured the seemingly endless bus ride. The driver argued with one or two passengers as the traffic crawled along at a snails pace. On one hand Blaine loved it. The thrill of life gripped him but then the mountains of concrete made him pout. Ohio had so much open space and here it squeezed in on you like giants waiting to stomp. The first time he visited the sights amazed him. So big. So tall. Stars filled his eyes. The second time the luster fell away as he saw the other side of New York. He read about worse. No wonder Kurt had changed. A city like New York toughens one up.

Excited by the prospect of seeing his love, Blaine held his emotions tight. Since Kurt returned to New York, Blaine felt frantic, then calm and very much in love. Marriage loomed in his future and that, by itself, stopped him from going bonkers. On top of everything, a surprise package from Kurt provided a questionable method of release—a sex toy. The gesture puzzled Blaine until that evenings Skype season when Kurt revealed he had bought a Blaine sized device for himself. He even called it Blaine. Making love that way felt weird and by no means the same, but it tamed an itch Blaine refused to scratch.

The two Skyped every day and talked about many things. Yes, they still watched their favourite shows and browsed the holy bible of fashion—GQ. Kurt, while being his somewhat selfish self, did not monopolize the conversations. Over time they learned to listen without getting excited. Kurt got mad at Blaine twice over some little thing. When Blaine exploded, they did not talk until the next day.

The fight pushed Blaine into hysterics. Thank god, Daniel traveled for business and unfortunately his mom worked late leaving a panicky teen to his own devices. A surprise call from Cooper brought Blaine’s ego up short. His brother put it all on the line and he agreed with Kurt. Blaine had acted like an idiot. A teen did not sleep that night. Desperate, Blaine called Kurt early in the morning. They lay on their respective beds staring at each other. Tears filled their eyes.

The sobering moment caused Blaine days of hardship. He missed Kurt so much it hurt. Early morning cybersex wore thin. He wanted to hold the dear man. He had two problems—school and money. The disappointment sent him into a spiral which Kurt easily picked up on. One night Blaine embarrassed himself when he got super sentimental and cried. For the next two hours they softly talked and consoled each other. Kurt missed Blaine just as much.

A sudden stop jolted Blaine into the side of the bus. A rush of fresh air raced through the tight space as people clambered to get off while new rider climbed on. The noise level rose again and then it moved on again. Looking out the window he saw a street sign. Five more block. Eyes rolled up and became fixed on an advertisement for a New York coffee chain. It took him back to the Limabean where someone loudly cleared their throated almost on top of him.

Startled, Blaine’s head shot up. The imprint of his knuckles on his cheek looked hot red. Engrossed in his thoughts, he had not even noticed the man’s approach. He stammered. “Uh . . . Burt?”

Taking off his jacket, Burt asked, “Can I join you.”

Nodding, Blaine replied, “Please do.”

Pulling out a chair and sitting, Burt placed his coffee on the table. His eyes racked over the book with a pen on the fold and a half drunk coffee. “You’re a little wrapped up.”

“Guess I’m tired of studying.” Blaine helplessly shrugged. “How are you today?”

“Good, good, but I am more worried about you?”

Sitting up, Blaine looked Burt right in the eyes. His tongue moved about his lips and then he grinned. “Thank you Burt, I’m doing alright.”

“Blaine, I’ve been around the block a few more times than you have.” Burt sat back and sipped his coffee. “While I appreciate you wanting to do this all on your own, be real.”

The teen looked surprised “What do you mean?”

“You’re in school with a part time job at the music store. You miss Kurt, right?”

“More than you can believe.”

“I can believe a lot, kid. I miss him too. He looked like a forlorn puppy.”

“You saw him?” Blaine suddenly became alert. Shuffling forward on his chair he did not want to miss a word. His elbow knocked his drink. He caught it before it toppled over.

“I stayed over Sunday night on my way to Washington. He’s doing well and has been keeping himself busy. The only thing he wanted to talk about was you.”

A deep sigh escaped Blaine’s nostrils.

Reaching into his inside coat pocket, Burt pulled out an envelope. Pushing it across the table he did not say a word.

A normal envelope. Blaine felt disappointed. For a second the thought Burt might be delivering a little something from his son. “What’s this?”

“Just open it.” Burt his is smile behind the rim of his coffee cup.

Picking it up, Blaine’s brows pulled together. It felt heavy and thick. Opening it, Blaine’s stared at several sheets of folded paper. Tugging it out and flipping one end up his eyes went wide—prepaid airline tickets. Staring at Burt he said, “I can’t accept this.”

Straight-faced, Burt said, “Think of it as an investment.”

Shaking his head, Blaine gave Burt one of those crowd wooing smiles. Exhilaration struck his heart even as he mind argued.

“Consider it an interest free loan,” Pam suddenly said from behind.

Whirling around Blaine’s eyes went wide. “Mom?”

Giving her youngest a hug, Pam sat next to him. She had snuck in while Burt kept her son distracted. Mischief glistened in her eyes making her look mysterious and beautiful. Blaine considered his mother to be Hollywood stunning. His dad had not given him his good looks. As a kid, Pam’s normal carefree attitude thrilled Blaine. As he grew and the truth of his sexuality came out it wilted under the pressure. He hated it.

Burt grinned and said to Blaine, “Carole, your mother and I don’t want to see the two of you return to that miserable state. You’re getting married. Can’t have it all falling apart.”

The look on Blaine’s face hardened at first as his brows furrowed. Morally he could not do this. Seconds later his expression softened and he allowed himself a small smile.

“Look at it this way,” Burt’s lips curled up into an impish grin. “I will never get grandkids if two of you stop trying.”

The teenager laughed and the adults joined in. The idea of children pleased Blaine. Kurt often baby sat the neighbour’s kids. He played with them in the backyard yelling and screaming just as they youngsters did. Seeing Kurt like that made Blaine happy. The usually guarded teen let his barriers down and just have a good time.

Kids? A dreamy look crossed Blaine’s face. He supposed there could be a way two men could have them. The news talked about the court’s ruling in favour of gay adoption. He had heard of women carrying children for male couples. The two head strong young men had to get to the altar first. Then perhaps?

“I think he’s broken,” Pam playfully commented as he watched her son.

Shaking his head, Blaine blinked. “What?”

Burt smirked.

“You’ll accept this?” Pam quietly pushed.

“Mom, while its great of you and Burt and Carole, I . . .” A hand falling on Blaine’s shoulder cut off the teen off. Long fingernails drew a pattern on his skin. His mother always did that when she wanted to be persuasive.

Burt stared at his future son-in-law. “Blaine, I know how hard this is on you. Believe me it’s hard on Kurt too. He misses you just as much. In fact he told me so a couple of hours ago.”

A flush of heat rolled up Blaine’s chest into his cheeks. Kurt thought of him. He missed him. His stomach did a somersault.

“Let us help you two.” Pam patted her son’s hand. “You’ve always been stubborn and doing this would make me so happy.”

Blaine blushed. “What about dad?”

“He has no say in this.” Pam’s eyes narrowed and then brightened. “Cooper even chipped in.”

Flickering eyes temporarily blocked Blaine’s view.

“Blaine, you don’t have to accept this if you don’t want.” Burt sipped his coffee. His eyes narrowed. “The two of you are almost men . . .”

“Not quite yet.” Pam interrupted.

“For all intensive purposes they are. Regardless of what I had to say, you hand the guts to ask my son to marry you. In my books that makes you a man, Blaine. You know what you want and you know it will not be easy.”

“Oh, I know it sir.” Blaine shyly responded. He felt embarrassed but also pleased. Speaking to Burt that afternoon took all the nerve he could muster.

“Knock off the sir stuff. You’re family, Blaine and have been for a long time now.” Burt gave Blaine one of those smiles. “Kurt knows nothing of this. Go this Friday and surprise him. He’ll love it.”

“I’ll send a note to school and tell them you will be leaving early.” Pam smiled.

A chair scrapped against the floor as Blaine rose and threw his arms about his mother. Hugging her his head fell against her shoulder. At the edge of life, an old man loved the sensation bubbling in his chest. When two teenagers first met, Blaine had been a different person. Being with Kurt changed him. At McKinley he found a purpose. Yes, he missed his fellow Warblers. He met with Trent for coffee often enough. The large set Warbler remained a close friend until his death twenty five years ago. Sitting behind his desk in an office in central Texas, he had a massive heart attack. Many Warblers showed up for the funeral.

Wishing he had his glasses, Blaine turned his head do he gazed at the man he loved. He wanted to see the twinkle in those blue eyes. Years of staring into them burned an unforgettable image into his mind. Eighty, ninety or even one hundred years did not seem like enough. He often wondered what would happen if they could have lived for one thousand or even ten thousand years. The thought made him laugh. Kurt considered such things as flights of fancy. Blaine looked at them as a brave new world.

Fortunately they almost made one hundred. Blaine felt proud. Laying his head on Kurt’s wrinkled hand his mind shifted back into his life. The days of his youth unfolded about him as if he read a book.

The memory of his younger self-sitting nervously in the airport lounge amused an old man. Giddy, nervous and a little bit frightened, he held his phone in his hand. Kurt should be between classes. Waiting ate into him. He would have preferred to be in the air. Fidgeting with the mobile device his fingers swiped a number and then suddenly canceled the call. He felt stupid. Kurt would pick up on the excitement in his voice.

Patting the hand of his departed lover, old Blaine looked up at his quiet face and smiled. So beautiful even in death. Love filled old hazel eyes as it did the first day they first met. Holding hands and quiet chats pleased Blaine. Making up after an argument or finding a special moment between the cries of babies made Kurt’s eyes shine stronger. Mischievous acts of surprise brought devilish delight. The bubble gum wrapper ring had been one of Kurt’s favourites.

They knew each other too well. Every little twitch or body motion told a story Blaine found wonderfully enticing. A little flick of the lip and the way a Kurt rolled his index finger in revealed the mood. One stage they played off each other with unspoken grace. How could two people read each other so well?

One hot and sunny May morning Blaine snuck up at a boy leaning against a tree with a book on his lap. Kurt’s pristine jacket lay neatly folded on his back with his lunch sitting on top of it. Both had a spare periods before lunch and Kurt had asked Blaine to meet him at their spot at the end of his gym class.

An old man chuckled at the thought. He loved the awareness the moment brought.

Feeling rambunctious suited young Blaine. After all he had kissed a boy and really . . . really liked it. Taking it slow allowed all sorts of fantasies to fill his mind. What did Kurt look like under all those layers? The package between his legs titillated. What would it be like? Blaine blushed but his already flushed skin hid it.

Bending over to make it look as if he caught his breath, Blaine’s eyes remained locked on the target. Other boys sped by him on their way to the locker room. Stan slowed to see if Blaine needed help but he just waved the dark headed hunk on. Stan had a great body for his age and entertained not one but two girlfriends. Oddly, Stan found the idea of guy ogling him flattering.

Blaine, young and old, had to smile. Stan, like everyone else knew Blaine had the hots for Kurt before Blaine did himself. It made for a few good and often embarrassing laughs.

With the coast clear and Kurt spellbound by his reading, Blaine crept through the flower bed avoiding the gardener’s prized blooms. At one point, the soles of his shoe squeaked and he froze. Slipping his feet out of his sneakers and then stooped down to pick them up. Padding across the grass in his bare feet due to his customary lack of socks, he came up on Kurt’s blind side. Peering around the curving edge of the tree at the adorable teen, he broke into a huge smile just before he leaped out.

The book went for a fly landing a few feet away. Kurt’s hand had come up to his chest as his face registered surprise. Kurt panted as he suppressed the words he would have rather not used. “Blaine?”

“Surprise!” Blaine crotched down with a huge smile.

The expression on Kurt’s face shifted from anger to the cutest smirk. Blaine watched him with adoring eyes soaking in every morsel Kurt offered. Those stunning blue eyes stared right into his making Blaine melt. Everything about Kurt made him swoon. He wanted a taste of those lips. Kissing had become one of their favourite pass times. Kurt, being Kurt, shied away but then he also had an enthusiastic side under the right circumstances. Down below he felt tingling and then something stretching against his loose fitting shorts.

Kurt blushed. He looked so charming when his naturally pale skin tone turned rosy. The smoothness around Kurt’s eyes titillated and those long lashes made Blaine feel warm inside. Those crystalline pools had a grip on him and then Blaine realized why Kurt flushed. Tugged on the t-shirt stuffed in the back of his shorts, he awkwardly pulling it over his head.

Kurt’s brows pressed together and then redness of his skin deepened. He stared at Blaine with hungry eyes.

Sitting cross-legged on the grass, Blaine dropped his shoes beside him. “Sorry, I scared you.”

“No . . . no,” Kurt faltered on two simple words.

“Am I interrupting?”

“It’s just history.”

“My favourite.”

“You did the ten mile run?”

“Yeah, I’m a little winded.”

“I noticed.” Kurt’s eyes shifted away and back.

Smiling, Blaine looked around and then placed a hand on Kurt’s. “I should go shower.”

“Ah, yeah . . . Blaine . . .” Kurt glanced away, his face becoming even redder. Eyes locked on the other teen’s chest. He grinned.

Curious, Blaine leaned forward. “Kurt?”

Lowering his head and then glanced back at his handsome boyfriend. Innocently Kurt spoke in a soft tone, “That was the first time I saw you with your shirt off.”

Eyes opening wide Blaine had it all wrong. He thought Kurt had noticed the spreading tent in his shorts. Well, he might have but his words still came as a pleasant surprise.

Kurt shyly grinned. “You’re . . . you’re so perfect.”

The word prefect bounced around invaded his dreams that night. Waking up three times he could not get it out of his head. For a young, impressionable teen who had never had a lover before, it filled his heart with joy. Kurt started the habit of singing the song ‘Perfect’ in the in the car. Blaine may not be old enough to drive but Kurt has recently received his license. The times when Burt allowed his son to barrow the car became another escape. Eventually Kurt bought his own car with the money he saved up from working in his father’s tire store. Too afraid to do what Blaine would have liked to, they loved the freedom.

The sentient of remembering kept Blaine’s spirits high as the crowded bus rumble on. While he did not say ii that day, Blaine knew what enticed Kurt—manly hair sprouting on his chest. The dear boy liked it. Blaine did not. Since it started to sprout shaving become part of his morning ritual. He wished he had been blessed with a virtually hairless body like Kurt.

A sudden bump rocked the bus and jostled those standing in the aisle. Blaine forced his eyes closed and opened them again. Someone new sat beside him. The kids had gotten off somewhere and he needed to pee.

Looking out the window he recognized neighbourhood buildings among the stone landscape of the huge city. The florist came into view and a coffee shop. He needed to stop there to relieve his desperation. Getting flowers crossed his mind but the last time he did that they broke up. No, he did not want to think of that.

The bus stopped at the end of the next block. Hauling his shoulder bag down the steps Blaine looked out into the crowds. New York at its best—people everywhere. Odd odours reminded him of New York at its worst. Block on block of huge buildings hid the sky. Feeling like a dwarf, his eyes scanned the skyline as water dripped on his face. One day he would live here close to a park. Dreams do come true after all. He would be married soon.

After taking care of a dire need, Blaine settled in to wait. It would be time for Skyping soon and he knew Kurt would be home. He planned to arrive a quarter hour early. Kurt would be logging on ahead of time. This reunion would be special. The look on that charming face would be priceless. Just thinking about it made him vibrate.

Waiting as long as he could, Blaine finally got up. Dropping his half finished coffee at the counter, he tipped the barista and told her she could dump it. With butterflies fluttering in his stomach, he turned toward the door. Ten more minutes and he would be in Kurt’s loving arms. Digging into his pocket he pulled out the key Kurt had sent him with the toy. Bouncing up and down on his feet he smiled.

Time flashed by and an eager teen stood before the big sliding door to the loft. Pausing he placed a hand on the wall. Closing his eyes he drew in a few short breaths. Fear gripped him. What if . . . no. If Burt told the truth, Kurt would be happy to see him. Doubts? Why did he have all these doubts? Kurt had agreed to marry him. There had been no trap. He wanted this. He needed this. They both needed this.

Swallowing as he drew in a deep breath his shoulders fell as he breathed out. Pushing the key into the lock he turned it and heard a solid click. Grinning to himself, Blaine grabbed the handle and hauled the door to the right. The sights of the loft assaulted his eyes. It felt like coming home. Without hesitation he stepped in and abruptly stopped. No one? Then he heard running water and noticed movement behind the curtain patrician for Kurt’s room.

In a few short strides his hand reached up to fabric and tugged it. Grinning from ear to ear, the surprise would be complete. What a surprise it turned out to be. Blaine’s face fell. Before him stood a slender man in his late twenties with super short red hair pulling on a pair of tight and very revealing white underwear. The man half turned toward him revealing a hard eight pack and firm chest.

Stunned, Blaine just stood there. His heart rocketed to the floor as a tear glistened in the corners of his eyes. Heat boiled up under his skin as emotions took over. Turning on his heels he snatched up his bag making a quick retreat. The strange young man called after the departing intruder.

At the same moment Kurt stepped through the bathroom door wearing a towel loosely about his hips. Water dripped from his hair and down his torso. In a high pitched astonishment voice he called out, “Blaine?”

The dumbfounded look on Kurt’s face went unnoticed as Blaine stormed out into the hall.

Chapter Text

“Blaine!” Santana’s voice spiked high.

The back of his travel bag skipped off the floor as the teen with the gelled down hair had no answer as he stomped closer. Her sudden appearance stunned him in to a slower pace leaving his mind momentarily numb. All he could think about involved naughty chats aided by a stick of rubber and now this? His life fell in around him . . . again. He just wanted to get out of New York and . . . no he would not allow those dark thought to take him over as they once had.

Swearing under his breath Blaine barely recognized the feisty brunette blocked the top of the stairs. The cotton shopping bags hung down from her hands filled with vegetables, bread and other things. The long beige coat she wore hung open to one side revealing a black paint suite. Stark red high heels made her look fabulous. With his vision blurred by his tears, his face twisted up toward the woman blocking his path. Santana had changed little including the stern look to her face. It could bring a car to a stop.

“Woo,” Santana held up a hand. The sound of heated words came from the loft. She recognized the voices and suddenly smiled with understanding.

Growling under his breath, Blaine took a step to his right in an attempt to get around he woman.

Santana stepped out in front of him. “Hey little man, slow down.”

“Fuck right off, Santana!” Blaine snarled at her as he went to side step around her.

A shrill and high pitched voice called out after him. “Blaine?”

The stark interruption broke the sudden tension. Santana deadly stare shifted from Blaine to Kurt. Her eyes narrows as if saying ‘you’re asking for it boy’.

The tone and the sound of Kurt’s voice made Blaine falter. His heart fluttered forcing him to glance over his shoulder. His fiancé, maybe ex-fiancé, stood half way in to the hall holding a towel about his waist with one hand as beading water rolled down his skin. His expression confusion on his face tugged at Blaine’s sentiments.

Someone called Kurt’s name from inside the loft. Budding compassion boiled over in to rage. Blaine yelled own the hall, “What the fuck, Kurt!”

The face of a mostly naked man scrunched up. Taking a step back Kurt stared at Blaine with wide disbelieving eyes and then he suddenly looked to his left. Someone jabbered at his from inside the loft.

“. . . could he . . . what?” the tall and slim fellow called back. Stepping out into the hall he wore woman’s underwear pulled up tight. Splotches of makeup dotted his rounded jaw up to his cheeks.

The sight caused Blaine to blink. Now that he got a better look, the interloper did not look athletic. Yes, he had definition, but he also looked strangely famine. A small patch of hair rode up his stomach from the waistband only to vanish just below his chest. An uneven makup base caked on to his cheeks covering most of the shadows of a dark, shaven beard.

Santana started to laugh.

“What!?” Blaine snarled at her.

“Calm down loverboy.” The woman shook her head smiling as she pointed a finger. Anger simmered in her eyes but she remained calm.

“Jesus, Santana, how long have you know this . . .?” Blaine got cut off by a finger being pressing into his chest.

“Look here . . .” Santana noted Blaine still gazed down the hall. Grabbing his chin she pulled his face around.

Brows crawling down to the bridge of his nose, Blaine resisted until he noted a rare glimmer in Santana’s eyes—compassion.

“Do you really think Kurt would sleep with that?” She waved her other hand up and down as if saying ‘look at him’. “He’s a bloody drag queen for god’s sake?”

“A female impersonator, thank you?” the tall fellow objected as he glided away from Kurt. He eyed the irate and adorably cute young man up and down.

“He . . .” Blaine pointed at the tall, wiry fellow. Eyes narrowing he took a step to get around Santana only to stop.

Breaking out into the knowing smile Kurt put his hands on his hips. Soft blue eyes locked on hazel as water ran down his legs from under the towel to pool at his feet. “Blaine, stop that right now!”

Blaine’s anger rose once more. “Just move it, Santana.”

“Oh, you got it bad, my little gnome.” Pressing her hand flat into Blaine chest pushing him into the wall. “Let me explain this to you, hot and over reacting. Little Ms. Messy Tuck over there is not playing with your pointy nosed and often annoying fiancé. But, by the look in on ITS face, I would think you’re more his style.”

“Hey . . .” the scantily dressed drag queen chirped and then his eyes seductively narrowed, “He’s tak . . . yeah . . . he’s a nice package.”

Redness streaked up Blaine’s cheeks.

Taking three steps Kurt looked up at the tall man with a serious glare in his eyes. “Hands off slut. He’s mine.

“It looks like you two are on the skids.” The towering fellow shot back with a twisted smile. “I call dibs,”

“What the hell?” Blaine whispered to himself as he glanced back at Santana and then back at Kurt.

“There’s no hell, Blaine but what is in here.” Santana tapped him lightly on the chest.

Shoulders slumping Blaine suddenly deflated and his head fell to his chest. Letting go of his travel bag it fell to the floor with a thud. Breathing in deeply he listening to Santana chuckle as she sauntered past him. Patting him on the arm, her heels dug into the floor matched the beating of Blaine’s heart. What an idiot?

One eyebrow going up, the drag queen strode over to Blaine offering a hand, “Miss Ya Rang, pleasure to meet you, cutie pie.”

Hazel eyes went to Kurt who still stood there in a puddle holding a towel about his waist with one hand. Heaving a sigh his face softened giving Kurt that ‘I’m so stupid’ look. Biting his upper lip, Blaine felt awful.

Eyes switching back and forth from Blaine to Kurt, the drag queen gracefully waved a hand in front of Blaine’s sad face. “Forget about high pitched Pinocchio over there.”

Blinking, Blaine’s rolled up toward the distraction. His eyes and face hardened.

“Hey, look at it this way, short and cute.” The taller man pursed his lips. “We’re going to paint the town pink tonight, you and I.”

Hazel darted to blue. Blaine could barely believe this.

“Karl, why don’t you go finish doing yourself up.” Santana yelled from the loft door patting her hand on her thigh as if she called a dog. “Give the boys a few minutes to break up again and then you can pounce.”

Laying two fingers on Blaine’s cheek, Karl smiled and blew him an air kiss. Swiveling on one heel he pointed a crooked finger at Kurt and announced, “Dump him and he’s mine.”

“Not on your life,” Kurt shot back with an edge to his voice. Strolling past his tall friend he held out one hand to Blaine while protecting his privacy with the other.

Holding Kurt’s gaze for a little while, Blaine suddenly looked down to the floor. Ashamed barely described how he felt. A heavy breath pushed his chest out and then he crouched down beside his bag pressing his hands into his face. When he felt Kurt’s left hand brush against his right the hand turned around taking it. Staring into those heavenly eyes, his heart jumped draining the sorrow from his soft brown eyes.

Kneeling beside his distraught boyfriend, Kurt leaned in and gently kissed him on the cheek. In a tender voice h,e asked, “What are you doing here?”

“I thought I would surprise you.” Meeting those eyes again, Blaine leaned his head against Kurt’s nude, damp shoulder. The smell of fresh soap made Blaine remember what he missed. When he spoke, his voice held a mixture of discomfort and joy. “I guess I’m the one who got surprised.”

Squeezing the hand he held, Kurt pulled Blaine to his feet and into a loving embrace. Lips met for a brief second and then he instructed, “Pick up you bag.”

Sighing, Blaine grasped the handles. Looking at his lover, he looked ashamed.

Leading Blaine toward in to the loft’s threshold, Kurt whispered, “That must have been a shock.”

“I thought . . .” Blaine bowed his head.

“I know what you thought.” Kurt quietly stated as he passed through the door. Suddenly stopping he wrapped his arms about his lover. Staring at into those honey-brown orbs, Kurt soundly kissed the Blaine before whispering, “I have eyes for only one person.”

“Nice package Hummel,” Karl yelled from the kitchen where he leaned against the counter facing the lovers. “Slight curve and . . . long.”

“Jesus Kurt, cover yourself!” Santana made a face as she turned away. “And take it somewhere else.”

Flushing deep red, Kurt looked down to find the towel had slipped away from his hips. Barely held in place by the pressure of his body against Blaine’s, he grasped the towel covering his arousal. Tugging Blaine into Rachel’s side of the loft, the hanging fabric flew in all directions.

“Bloody hell,” Kurt moaned with bright redness burned his face.

Blaine’s brows pressed together and then he smirked. Pulling the drapes to ensure their privacy, he turned to face the man he loved. Smiling to beat the band, he flung himself at Kurt drawing him into a hard hug and a gentle kiss. Shocked, Kurt struggled for a few seconds and then fell into Blaine as if no one else lived. Tongues lashing and lips moving ever so slightly they held each other until they had to come up for air. Panting. Kurt leaned his head against Blaine and started to laugh.

Pulling his head back ever so slightly, Blaine looked indignant. “What?”

Lips spreading side, Kurt shook his head. “I do love you, my green-eyed Warbler.”

Eyes moving right and left, Blaine’s shoulders drooped. “Idiot is more like it.”

“I think its sweet.” Kurt kissed his lovely partner.

Leaning against his love, Blaine slowly breathed out. “I thought it was Adam.”

Pushing Blaine back so he could stare him in the face, Kurt frowned. Then, with a pleading smile, he said, “Adam has not said two words to me since I told him we were getting married.”

“I just feel so stupid.”

“If I had shown up at your door and found a nearly naked man in your bedroom what do you thing I would have done?”

“Freak.”

“Yeah.”

“I love you, Kurt Hummel.”

“Soon to be Hummel-Anderson or Anderson-Hummel or Guttenberg.”

“Guttenberg?”

“We both change our names.”

Folding his arms about his fiancé and best friend, Blaine stared into Kurt’s eyes only to become lost in the sparkling waves filled with admiration and love. Flesh pressed up against his pants as he slowly leaned in and set his lips to Kurt’s. With tender care they kissed and held each other. Embarrassment faded with the last vestiges of jealously. The man he held exuded so much affection it could have bowled Blaine over. How could he have doubted?

Moments passed and the motions became more aggravated as hands joined in. Fingers found a sensitive spot behind the ear or dug down into the back of the pants to find soft hair. A towel slid down to the floor as Kurt became more involved and engorged. Pulling at Blaine’s coat, Kurt removed it in short order and then his hands worked their way up under a sweater finding a nipple. Blaine’s head fell back with a soft moan. He needed this. They both did. Rubber and fantasies did not make up for the real thing.

The sudden scrapping of curtain rods and a voice rising several octaves ruined everything. “Kurt . . . Blaine?”

Santana burst out laughing.

Hands over her eyes, Rachel stomped her feet as she spun around. “Bloody hell, Kurt . . . put something . . . on.”

Blushed bright red Kurt used Blaine as a shield as he bend down and grabbed the towel. Keeping his back to curtains, Blaine protected Kurt’s privacy. He could imagine Santana holding back an evil grin.

Leaning against the counters, laughing made it hard for Santana to stand up straight.

“Why the hell didn’t you tell me?” Rachel snarled at her.

Wrapping the towel about his midsection, Kurt continued to use Blaine as a shield. Raised colours in his cheeks deepened increase of his pulse. Placing his head on Blaine’s shoulder he stared at his best galpal. One day they would laugh about this but at the moment Kurt felt mortified.

Pushing off the counter, Santana sauntered over to Rachel with look of amusement. She pointed at Blaine. “Lover boy here showed up by surprise and found Karl naked in Kurt’s bed.”

“Karl?” Rachel looked confused.

Poking his head out of other bedroom area, Karl, his face partially covered with makeup, announced, “Hi Rachie and . . . ewwwww . . . I was not in Kurt’s bed.”

Rachel stood there shaking her head with an odd look on her face.

Rolling his eyes, Karl stated, “Jesus honey, you know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut. I waited for the floor show to start but then this face can’t wait for Hummel to find his penis pump.”

Rachel blanched. “Karl!”

Giggling Santana stepped back crossing her arms.

“If it was holding on to the short, cute one, well . . .” Karl winked. “I was just wasting time until the dirty talk begins.”

“Don’t stand there with you jaw hanging to the floor, queenie,” Rachel barked at Karl. “Get Kurt his bathrobe and then finish putting you face on.”

“As usual,” Santana could not help herself.

Making a face Karl growled, “Bitch.”

“And don’t you forget it.” Santana set a pose.

“Karl?” Rachel held her hand open wide.

“Yes, ma’am,” Karl back through the curtains into Kurt’s area. “Let me see, where is it? Not in here . . . oh . . . Kurt you naughty boy. Is Blaine’s really that thick. . . tasty.”

“Karl!” Rachel yelled.

Two boys wildly blushed. Had Karl found his Blaine toy? Kurt’s head fell onto Blaine’s shoulder who carefully carefully wrapped his arms about his fiancé. Blaine whispered, “What a going show.”

“It would be funny if I wasn’t so embarrassed.”

“The two of us.”

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

‘Oh, how sickening soap opery,” Karl commented holding colourful bathrobe through the curtain. “Just another episode of As The Sphincter Puckers.”

“Give that to me,” Rachel snatched the robe from Karl. Four stomping feet later, she held it out to Kurt demanded, “Put his one and get out of my bedroom.”

With Blaine still blocking the view, Kurt slipped the robe on and visibly relaxed. Again his head came to rest on Blaine’s shoulder. The young man with gelled down hair kissed his love on the temple and then took his hand leading him from the partitioned room. As he passed Rachel grabbed Blaine and drew him into a hug. The two lovers did not let go of their hands.

“It’s good to see you Blaine,” Rachel cooed. “But can someone tell me what the hell’s going on here?”

Her face erupting into a huge grin, Santana began her version of the sorted tale. Rachel tried not to show her amusement but she cracked when she threw her arms about Blaine again. Smiling into his shoulder her eyes went to Kurt who held Blaine’s right hand. Mischief glistened in her big eyes.

“Does this mean you’re not breaking up?” Karl deep voice interrupted.

Kurt yelled back, “No.”

“Damn,” Karl pouted. “I wanted to take cutie pie out and show him what New York is really like.”

“You can’t have him,” Kurt growled. He clutched onto his love’s arm. “I’m greedy and he’s all mine.”

“Karl, go get your face on!” Rachel barked at the tall drag queen. “You look horrid.”

“Can’t a girl have any fun?” Karl winked at Blaine. “If you ever tired of his saggy ass, give me a call.”

“Saggy ass?” Kurt objected.

Blaine swung his hand in Kurt’s back bouncing them off those firm cheeks. “Lovely ass,”

Stepping toward the partially adorned queen, Santana pushed him toward the curtains of Kurt’s little area. “Now, let auntie Santana show you how to do your makeup.”

Karl’s lips curled down and he made a hysterical face. “Bitch.”

“Damn right and these are real,” Santana poked a finger in to her chest and then patted the female panties covering Karl’s tucked bits.

Waving his arms about, Karl made all sorts of noises as Santana bickered with him.

Shaking his head, Blaine glanced at Kurt and could not help but laugh. Rachel and his lover joined in. Considering how this all started, Blaine’s heart felt light even though he kicked himself for allowing his emotions to get the best of him. Once again weakness had touched him. Being apart from Kurt had taught him what real love could cost and now that he had him again he did not want to let that go.

When it all settled down the three of them strolled toward the kitchen. His nakedness covered, Kurt looked more at ease as he leaned close to his boyfriend. Feeling the warmth of a familiar body close to his caused motion between Blaine’s legs. Gods, he wanted to just throw Kurt down and have his way with him. However, for now, he just turned and drew Kurt into a loving hug.

“I’m so sorry,” Blaine whispered to Kurt.

Smiling against Blaine’s neck, Kurt quietly replied, “You’re jealousy was kind of sexy.”

Cheeks puffing out, Blaine questioned, “Sexy? It was more like a mini-heart attach.”

“I’ll have plans for your heart.”

“Oh?”

“I think you can feel it.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Boys?” Rachel suddenly cut in. Turning about, she looked and sounded embarrassed.

Tugging on Blaine, Kurt pulled him over to the living area. Rachel flowed with them. Kurt turned and said to them, “Can we have a little privacy, please?”

“Out there?” Santana called from where she battled with a drag gueen.

Karl injected, “Can I watch.”

Santana growled from behind the curtains. “Give them a moment to get it over with.”

“I don’t have my phone,” Karl complained.

Santana shot back. “Oh shut up and sit still.”

“Use my space,” Rachel conceded with a roll of her eyes. “Just don’t ruin my new sheets.”

“Thanks Rachel.” Blaine gave her a fond look.

Sort of smiling, Rachel flopped on to the couch.

Chuckling Santana threw the curtains to one side allowing her escape. Wheeling around in to the kitchen, she headed to the coffee. “I’m going to need this if I have to make Karl look like a woman.”

“Cow!” Karl snarled.

“Well, moo to you too.” Shaking her head Santana reached for the cupboard.

Makeup covering his face, Karl poked his head out from behind the curtain, “Santana, be a darling and get my phone from my coat while your feeding that maw of yours.”

“No, you’re not going to film them,” the Latino woman shot back.

Rachel looked annoyed as her eyes followed her roommate before shifting to Karl. She demanded, “Just shut your mouth and get dressed, you old queer. We said you could use our place to get ready, not live here.”

“Who are you calling old?” Huffing, Karl vanished behind a flourish of hanging cloth.

Changing direction, Kurt hauled Blaine back toward Rachel’s bed. Passing through the curtain he looked suddenly relieved as he took his lover in his arms. Holding him tight, Kurt kissed Blaine as only he could. In response Blaine inclined into Kurt sensing the heat and wanting more. The strain of separation and the anxiety of arriving at the loft left him. Only Kurt remained. His love. His anchor. The man he wished to live the rest of his life with filled his heart and soul.

“I don’t hear you talking in there,” Rachel chimed in. Her voice sounded a bit distance. She must be in the kitchen.

“Give them a break. He hasn’t even whipped the sweet, curly headed man’s thing out yet.” Karl retorted followed by a loud purring growl.

“Take your time boys.” Santana called out as she glanced at her watch.

Another round of bickering erupted but Blaine ignored it. Rolling his head, he smiled as he tried not to laugh. “It never changes.”

“Yeah,” Kurt shot back and then he leaned into Blaine with a wide grin. In a softer tone, he said, “You should have told me you were coming. I could have shooed them off.”

“It’s alright Kurt,” Blaine nuzzled closer. Kurt smelt and felt so good. “I’ll tell the tail later but for now I just want to see you smile.”

“And other things?” Karl smirked.

“Will you leave them alone,” Rachel chided.

“You’re such a mother hen,” Karl argued. “I only want to peek.”

“Back, you viper,” Rachel snarled.

Someone swore and Santana laughed as something crashed to the floor. Rachel’s voice rose in chastisement.

Chuckling, Blaine pressed his lips against Kurt’s. The pressure down in both their pants increased. Restraining himself became a struggle. Rachel and Santana might understand but Karl, Blaine did not know. The way he leered at him sent a quake up his spin leaving him with a feeling of being today’s entree.

Pulling his head back, Kurt looked mischievously happy. Whether intentional or not, he announced, “I’m starting a band.”

“What? Wow?” Hazel locked on blue making Blaine drunk.

“That’s one of the reasons Karl is in my bedroom slipping on a bra.” Kurt smiled as he hugged Blaine.

Karl called across the distance. “That titsling to you.”

“Will you hurry up, Karl,” Rachel responded. “I still have to get changed and I can’t do it with those two making out on my bed.”

Kurt shot back. “We’re not on your bed.”

Blaine quietly laughed.

“Give them time, Rachie.” Karl’s sounded strained. “Santana, dear, could you be a good bitch and came back here and give a queen a hand. Don’t forget my phone.”

A few choice words in Spanish followed and then heavy footsteps.

Snorting, Kurt grinned at Blaine. “Karl’s from NYADA. I met him through Rachel.”

“Is she taking on a new leaf and finally channeling her inner diva.” Blaine ran a finger down Kurt’s cheek and neck.

“She’s always been a diva.” Santana’s voice carried over Karl’s who had trouble with something.

“Ha ha.” Everyone expected Rachel to respond.

Ignoring the comments, Blaine leaned into Kurt and kissed him again. “Your own band. I wish I would be here to help.”

“I wasn’t expecting you for another couple of weeks. I wanted to have it set up by then.” Kurt pecked Blaine’s cheek and smiled. ”I’ve miss singing with you.”

“We could sing right now.”

“Really?”

Pushing Kurt down on to the bed and young man landed with a groan. Before he could object, fingers pressed against his lips as Blaine swung his hips over his wide eyed lover. Crawling up over his legs lyrics rolled from his tongue.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS9j4cWEeiU – you have to image Blaine is singing this. I thought this would be a fun and besides I love this style of music. Swing and Big Band is the best.)

Tarzan and Jane were swingin' on a vine
Candyman, candyman
Sippin' from a bottle of vodka double wine
Sweet sugar candyman

Hey yeah

Wiggling his hips across Kurt’s thighs the look of mischief on Blaine’s face grew in intensity. Rolling his shoulder back his wrist twisted around as he pointed at the man beneath him. His voice rose in strength.

I met him out for dinner on a Friday night
He really got me working up an appetite
He had tattoos up and down his arms
There's nothing more dangerous than a boy with charm

He's a one stop shop, makes my panties drop
He's a sweet talkin' sugar coated candyman
Sweet sugar candyman

Pressing his buttock down upon Kurt’s pelvis as he gave the man he adored. A sly look crossed his Blaine’s face as he popped his pant’s button revealing a thick tuft of dark hair instead of underwear. Kurt’s eyes went wide and Blaine felt something shift beneath him.

He's a one stop shop, makes my panties drop
Sweet sugar candyman

He's a one stop shop, makes my ugh pop
Sweet sugar candyman

He's a one stop, get it while it's hot, baby don't stop
Sweet sugar

Leaning over Kurt, who stared up with the most amazing look on his face, Blaine tugged at his zipper until the tight fabric would allow on more.

He's got those lips like sugarcane
Good things come for boys who wait
He's a one stop shop with a real big ugh
He's a sweet talkin' sugar coated candyman
candyman
candyman
candyman
candyman

Throwing himself at Kurt their lips locked. Pulling Blaine down up on him, Kurt grunted and groaned in to his lover’s mouth. Rolling off to the side the two men enthusiasm grew along with certain endowments.

“What the hell are you doing in there?” Rachel yelled from the other side of the cloth barrier.

“Sh-h-h-h-h, Rachel,” Karl called back. “Listen . . . Where’s that damned phone . . . they’re really getting in to it.”

“God’s do we have to put up with that . . . again!” Santana complained swinging her hands up as she looked away.

Laughing in to Blaine’s mouth, Kurt pulled himself free. He yelled, “He’s apologizing.”

“Well apologize on your own time,” Santana shot back. She stomped around the living room rolling her head.

“And in your own bed,” Rachel groused.

“Again, we’re not in you bed,” Kurt shouted back.

Blaine injected, “Just on top of it.”

Pocking his head between the curtains, Karl grinned from ear to ear. “It’s always the short ones with big dicks who have the great voices.”

Rachel screamed. “Karl!”

Heat rose in Blaine’s cheeks. Throwing a pillow, Karl jumped back as it hit the curtain and slid to the floor with a soft thud.