Blaine applies to Columbia for public policy, because it's a good program. And possibly because he and Kurt have had some talks about where Kurt is thinking- Tisch, Juilliard, Parsons.
There's an extremely hard and long year (where most things are hard and long without any respite other than the hand) where Blaine boils and freezes in Morningside Heights and Skypes. A lot. But Kurt gets into Juilliard and manages to convince Burt and Carole- God knows how- that the best choice would be for Kurt to move in with Blaine in the apartment his aunt is letting him use on 75th and Lex.
Which goes better than he can imagine- taking trips to the Whitney, tricking him into boating in Central Park, riding the crosstown bus to Lincoln Center to see La Boheme (maybe secretly so Kurt knows how to get there)- until Kurt comes home from his first class.
"Blaine, Blaine, Blaine," Kurt moans, draped artistically over their couch. "It's going to be the most amazing class." Blaine has the morning off, and rather than his reading, has been lazily paging through the Times. He puts down an article on Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and raises an eyebrow at Kurt.
"Oh?" he asks, happy to watch Kurt happy, glad that it's everything he'd thought it'd be. Kurt sighs dreamily.
"I was so lucky to get into modern dance in the first place, I had to test in today and I was so concerned, because this is Juilliard, right? But my TA, who was totally in that touring company of Footloose we saw in Chicago, I swear to god, he was so nice, Blaine." Kurt enthuses. Blaine furrows his brow in confusion.
"But you made it? You're in the class?" Blaine wants to be clear on this first. Kurt grins at him.
"I did, but I swear it was all Ryan." Kurt insists.
"Kurt, you're naturally talented, you earned it." Blaine reprimands, because Kurt spent too long questioning himself, his skills. Kurt rolls his eyes, but picks himself up and props his hip up on the table, familiar and relaxed.
"Stop it, tell me more," Kurt teases, bending down to press a kiss to Blaine's nose. "But really, if it weren't for Ryan loosening me up before my audition i never could have done it." Blaine feels an uncomfortable twitch of his lizard hindbrain that is screaming "DANGER!"
"So, tell me more about this magic Ryan," Blaine says, and clearly, he's a) crazy and b) a better actor than he gave himself credit for, because his irrational dislike didn't come though in his voice.
"Oh my god, Blaine," Kurt wails, flinging himself away from the table and back onto the couch. "He's amazing."
Blaine wonders if he should have put a ring on it.
It only gets worse.
Kurt comes home three times a week, looking languid and full of praise to high heaven about the apparently amazing and wonderful Ryan- who Blaine googled. Ryan is embarrassingly fit and blonde, with galleries of artistic black and whites of him in various well-muscled and flexible poses and Blaine is trying to think if he knows any hitmen.
Strangely, their sex life has never been better. Kurt is still as engaged with him, still clutches Blaine close to him, even when he's asleep, and Blaine won't lie that he's working harder at the gym than ever, just to keep up.
His classmates shoot him concerned looks as he yawns in group meetings.
"Blaine, that's your third triple macchiato today," Susan says, concerned and sympathetic. John rolls his eyes.
"Can we get back to work?" he asks, annoyed. Susan and Amy shush him.
"Kurt loves you," Amy soothes him. "Ryan is just a new friend." John sighs loudly as Susan and Amy hug Blaine.
Kurt comes home late that Tuesday, unwinding his late early fall scarf, smelling faintly of cigarettes and stale beer.
"Blaine, Ryan asked me and a couple of other students to karaoke after class, Blaine, you won't believe this, but he can sing!"
Blaine wonders if he can bang his head against the wall for an hour or so without Kurt noticing.
But Kurt must notice something, because on Saturday, when Blaine wakes up to go on his run before the gym, Kurt is already up, because the kitchen smells like egg white omelets and Kurt brings them in on a tray with fresh fruit salad and tea.
"Ta-da," Kurt says, sitting cross-legged in front of him. Blaine is opening his mouth, to confess every single one of his jealous concerns because they seem so dumb in the early morning sunlight, but Kurt just keeps going- "You just look so tired."
Oh, god, he looks tired.
His boyfriend is going to leave him for Ryan Evans.
He's slammed with classwork, he looks tired, he doesn't even have time to get a haircut, so he's getting curly and shaggy and he can't even blame Kurt for wanting to leave him for Ryan.
Kurt bounds home, a week before Thanksgiving break, the bite of cold air coming in with him, bright eyed and pleased about something.
"Blaine, oh my god, Ryan is hosting a party at his place and I said we'd go, we can go, right? You're free Saturday night?" Kurt begs and Blaine wants to say no with every fiber of his being, because he doesn't think he could stand to see them together.
But he agrees, of course he agrees, because he's never managed to say no to Kurt, even once.
So that's how he finds himself letting Kurt pick out his outfit and they walk all of seven blocks to Ryan's place, which is- of course- a corner penthouse on Fifth, facing the Met.
Blaine spends the elevator ride up in increasing amounts of despair, and he's steeled himself as much as he can when Kurt knocks on the door and-
That's not Ryan.
The guy who answers the door has a mop of corkscrew curls, alarmingly good skin the color of perfect coffee and looks extremely familiar.
"You must be Kurt," he says, rolling his eyes good-naturedly. "Ry won't shut up about you." Kurt smiles so hard he dimples. Blaine didn't know that was possible.
"Chad, I'm so glad I finally get to meet you," Kurt gushes, drawing Blaine into the apartment with him. "This is my boyfriend, Blaine." Chad does the bro half-nod of greeting.
"Good to meet you, man. Chad Danforth." he offers, along with his hand, and it's not until Blaine's shaking it that he realizes why Chad looks familiar.
Chad plays for the Knicks.
"Blaine," he manages belatedly. Holy shit, Ryan is friends with Chad Danforth. Ryan slips into the room, iPhone to ear.
"Sharpay, no. No. I swear to god, if you go platinum, I will fly to LA and choke you out myself. Honey blond, honey blond." he hisses and Blaine is suffering from some kind of weird trance. "Oh my god, I have guests, you're ruining my life, get off the phone." He slips his phone into his pocket and beams at them.
"Kurt! You brought Blaine!" Ryan is instinctively delightful and- slipping an arm around Chad's waist. "Blaine, Kurt has been telling me you're so busy at Columbia, I am thrilled you both made it." Ryan shares a conspiratorial wink.
"He has not stopped telling me how proud he is of you, by the way. I heard about the fundraiser for the Trevor Project you helped organize, amazing." Ryan goes on and Kurt is scarlet, but just smiles at Blaine when Blaine turns to look at him, bewildered.
He feels like he's in the Twilight Zone.
"You're first, so you get to feel the brunt of his hostessing, sorry," Chad deadpans and Ryan pinches his side.
"Stop it, you love me," Ryan scolds, even as he darts into the kitchen. "I know you boys aren't legal, but what's a little underage drinking among friends, right? White or red or microbrew?" Blaine is still so confused, so he just lets Kurt chirp "White!" for them both.
He's starting to get some perspective.
Kurt heads into the kitchen to help Ryan carry glasses and Blaine tips his head to the side a moment, staring at the two of them.
"Oh my god, they're like the same person," he mumbles. Chad just laughs at him.
"Yeah, it's freaky, bro, tell me about it. I think Ryan thinks your boy is one of those ducklings that imprint on the gardener or something." Chad says, slapping a companionable arm around Blaine's shoulder. Blaine stares at Chad's curly hair and easy grin and somehow it all makes sense.
They have a type.
Chad and Ryan end up at the door again as a steady stream of guests start rolling in, and Blaine swears to god he sees Tim Gunn at one point.
"I thought you were going to leave me for Ryan," Blaine blurts out when he and Kurt have a moment almost to themselves. Kurt chokes delicately on his sip of wine.
"Oh my god, are you serious?" Kurt demands and after a second- "Ew." Kurt wrinkles his nose. Blaine wants to cover his face with his hands.
"I don't even know, he was all you could talk about and I was-" Blaine fights the urge to throw his hands up in the air. "I was going crazy." Kurt stares at Blaine for a long moment before putting both their glasses down.
"I love you." Kurt says seriously. "I'm not leaving you for Ryan Evans or anyone else, you're insane." Kurt leans his forehead against Blaine's.
"Okay," Blaine says, feeling a little ridiculous, and still so relieved. "Thank you." After a second, he belatedly adds, "I love you." Kurt snorts.
"You're so- so crazy," he whispers, fond and amused and Blaine seriously would have put a hit on Ryan before he'd lose Kurt. He is crazy, after all.
"Yeah, sorry, probably should have warned you about that," Blaine agrees. Kurt laughs at him, but kisses Blaine anyway, and Blaine feels everything slide back into place.