The buzz of the doorbell is entirely too politely insistent to be anyone other than Blaine.
It's been a week since, they've seen each other, a week since –- well, Kurt's not sure whether to call it the best moment of his life, or actually rather anticlimactic, what with the lack of kissing that he'd imagined on those days when he'd hoped, wildly hoped in a way that made him almost afraid of the power of his want for something like that. Sometimes, it's too easy to forget that he's already got Blaine, who's everything Kurt's ever wanted, when there's so much more of him, of their relationship, that he wants to explore.
Kurt had caught himself thinking graduation and college and marriage with Blaine the other day, imagining their lives, separate but together all at the same time, trying to stop it before he went too far and -– the realisation had smacked him straight in the face: it's no longer a case if only or what if but one day, instead. What amazes him the most is that he isn't scared by the possibility of it all, not really.
"Blaine," he says, letting the door thud gently against the wall as it swings open, and then, in a breathy gulp that makes him cringe: "I've missed you."
"I've missed you too," Blaine says, and if his voice is as broken and unhinged as Kurt's, neither of them notice as their lips meet. "Before I met you, I never knew that a week could feel like forever... and then some."
"You make it sound like our separation is an apocalypse, or something. It's not like we haven't talked," Kurt says, rolling his eyes, but not really meaning it. It's different with Blaine, where his patented bitch face is just that, patented like an actor's signature move, because they both know -– he can't stay mad with Blaine for long. But, yeah - they've Skyped since the performance, of course, and Kurt's father has made all sorts of jokes about whether or not his iPhone is actually surgically attached to his hand. It's one of the things that's made this whole transferring back to McKinley thing weird because simply because it's not; his father's teasing has been jovial, in much the same way it would have been had it been Mercedes Kurt was frantically texting, and the New Directions have welcomed him back with a vigour that makes him feel as though honestly, he's never left.
But -– it should feel like he's been and gone again, because, in the few short months that he's known Blaine, the entire plane of his existence has shifted under his feet. Things that were right-way up have been tipped on their head; things that were lopsided, askew, have been all but straightened out. Under Blaine's lips, Blaine's gaze, Kurt has been torn open and sewn up, time and time -– and time again. And that's the one thing that does feel different, at McKinley; not only is he no longer running from Karofsky, he's also no longer running from time.
Because, every time Blaine texts him, every time Blaine touches him, he's reminded –- they've got forever, together, and there's no need to say goodbye. Kurt thinks as much as he says hello and how are the Warblers, meaning you're finally here and I've missed you all and, for once, neither of them are confused by the subtext; Blaine's spine stretches up under Kurt's fingertips as he leans in for another kiss. It's a little sloppier than the first, Kurt moaning into Blaine's mouth as he tries to draw all of his boyfriend into his embrace, all at once; Kurt brings one hand up to cup Blaine's jaw, the other pressing flat into the small of Blaine's back, feeling the way that Blaine spasms against his fingers as they wander slowly up, under the hem of Blaine's shirt. Blaine kisses him like he’s the sun, soaking all of Kurt into his skin.
It's a kiss that says they've practiced too much, and yet not enough; in the week that they've been apart, Blaine's become like a flesh memory to Kurt; his absence feels more real now that he's here, tongue and hands pressed sharp against the parts of Kurt that have felt hollowed without his touch. Kurt acquiesces quickly, because the realisation of what being back at McKinley means that he's missing is all too acute. At some stage, he finds himself stumbling ungracefully towards the couch, Blaine's hair in his hands and his feet bumping against Kurt's ankles as they try to master kissing and walking, all at the same time.
It's ironic, really –- the entire time he'd ever spent, kissing Blaine, from snatched pecks on the cheek between classes to long, languid kisses on Blaine's bed that had been deep, exploratory, what happens if your lips move here, if I angle my kisses there, the best type of give and take, he'd been thinking about what it meant, in the grand scheme of things. Now, Kurt's thinking about what it means that he isn't kissing Blaine all the time, now that they've got to, in some sense, revert to their old ways, unable to express everything they'll want or need to say with a simple press of their lips.
Because Kurt Hummel's a talker, and a singer, first and foremost, and he'd never imagined that he'd want this, to say so little and so much just by bringing Blaine's mouth to his. It's not like they'd spent all their time making out, while Kurt was still at Dalton, but still –- it had been so much easier to greet each other, congratulate each other, say goodnight to each other with a kiss.
Either way, as Blaine pulls away with a moan that makes Kurt glad that there's no one else home -– something he really should have thought about earlier, actually –- he realises that a big part of this boyfriend thing is knowing what Blaine wants, too. It's made his transfer back to McKinley easier, knowing that part of what Blaine wants is for him to be happy and safe -– which he is. But it's made it harder, too, knowing that his friends and family made sacrifices for him to enrol at Dalton and that now, his boyfriend is making sacrifices so that he can leave Dalton behind. Not least of which is Blaine's inability to constantly be with him.
Right now, though, it appears that Blaine just wants to comment upon Kurt's sartorial choices. Blaine's fingers are working at the buttons of his jacket, and he's mumbling something about how red is a really good colour for Kurt, to which all Kurt can say is, I know. He's been good at looking amazing since long before he decided he wanted to impress Blaine.
"You're so hot, Kurt and I just want to –- your shirt." Blaine says, and there's that quirk of his eyebrows that's familiar but also not, because they're furrowing in confusion as much as amusement. His fingers stop still, just for a moment, and Kurt glances down to see what he's talking about; he's wearing his t-shirt from the Born This Way number because he's still high from the energy he'd been able to channel into that song today, and because he'd rushed home from glee after school in the hope of having just five more minutes to complete his homework so that he could spend his entire weekend with Blaine.
"It's –- you remember how I told you that Mr. Schuester decided to go with Lady Gaga for this week's assignment, like it wasn't so overdone –" He shifts so he's actually sitting on the couch, now, not just perched awkwardly on the edge. Blaine sprawls out beside him, fingers still toying idly with the hem of Kurt's jacket, and glances up confused. Fair enough, Kurt supposes, because he's always been pretty vocal about his appreciation for risqué female pop artists. "Honestly, Blaine –- you know how much I adore Gaga, but it's no excuse for a teacher's appalling lack of originality."
Blaine nods like he understands, which –- well, even the teachers at Dalton have a strictly enforced dress code.
"Anyway," he says, because seriously - Kurt gets that there's symbolism, or whatever, but it's mostly just a cheap, high polyester count shirt. Most of the time, the New Directions performances are high on the kitsch, and low on the actual meaning, something he'd been reminded of as he'd shimmied alongside Rachel who, even after all the work he'd put into the Barbravention, had the nerve to equate wanting a nose job to homosexuality. Not that it had stopped him from completely absorbing himself into the song, because one thing he'd hated about being at Dalton was the fact that the Warblers, unlike him, were quite content not to feel every inch of the emotion in a song. "We all had to wear a shirt that labelled us with the thing we most hate about ourselves, or that we're most of. Which -– the performance was great, really great and all, but can we please discuss how the Warblers are faring in my absence or, better yet, just keep kissing."
There's a pause, like Blaine actually has to consider it, and then: "I don't get it."
"What's not to get?" Kurt says. "It's a New Directions assignment, Blaine. The only necessary prerequisite for understanding is knowing that you're not meant to understand it at all."
"The shirts are meant to represent what you're embarrassed or afraid of, right?" Blaine shifts suddenly, twisting himself to face Kurt and leaning back against the chair's armrest. "Because... I don't believe you're ashamed of liking boys, Kurt."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Kurt replies, defensive almost before he realises it. Blaine's hands fall away from his shirt, and Kurt barely notices. "That day at Dalton, when you caught me spying, I could barely ask if you were gay Blaine, let alone turn around and tell you that I was. I made out with Brittany Pierce, who's sweet and all, but who also thinks that boys taste like dip, because I was insecure enough to believe that my father didn't love me because I was gay."
"Well, I'm glad that you did tell me that you were gay -– that you are gay, I mean, because it makes this a lot easier than if you were straight," Blaine says, and Kurt's about to ask what the hell he's talking about, when: "Kurt... are you ashamed of liking me?"
Because there's a lot of things that shame Kurt when it comes to Blaine, inappropriate songs and overdramatic faces aside, but he's never been ashamed of liking him. If anything, he's more comfortable with it now, because Blaine's actually gay and actually likes him back and, yeah - Kurt's never been ashamed of handing his heart over to this boy, who's only ever held it in his hands with just the right amount of tenderness and respect.
There's this look on Blaine's face like he's been cracked open, but it's different now; Kurt's seen him undone before, broken underneath Kurt's fingers as he moans against Kurt's lips. But this is –- more intimate, in some ways, more personal, because they're moving into new territory, into a relationship, into being boyfriends. Blaine's always said he's bad at romance, but Kurt's not sure how to point out that it's the fact that he knows he's bad at it that actually makes him kind of good. Because all Kurt's ever wanted in a boyfriend is someone who tries.
And Blaine definitely does just that.
"It's just... Feel free to call me out if I'm being ridiculous or whatever, but you said -– you said that, and then you left without a word. It's not like I was expecting you to thrust your tongue down my throat in front of the whole school, or anything, but the song was a hint, you know. The Warblers and I didn't pick it just because Thad and David are unashamed Keane fanboys, or anything -– now that's a shirt I'd like to see, actually, because they should be more than ashamed of themselves, but I guess that's not really the point." Blaine's so earnest, even when he's stammering, and well -– it's kind of adorable, really.
"No, it's not," Kurt says, leaning over and taking Blaine's hand in his, because Blaine needs his reassurance and it's disgusting how starved Kurt is for Blaine's touch. Kurt's seen Blaine nervous before –- even if most of the memories are ones that just ruin his performance on Monday because he'd seen Blaine do this elsewhere, first -– but not like this. He's about to tell Blaine as much; that he adores when he's honest and open and all, and that there's definitely nothing to worry about, but -
"Just tell me, Kurt," Blaine says, and he's pleading, actually pleading and Kurt mostly just wants to kiss him, but this is as good a time as any to work on dealing with the fact that they need to get used to not kissing. "Was... was it too much? Because, after it all, you didn't... well, you didn't really say much. And –- that shirt."
"Blaine," Kurt replies, with a strangled kind of laugh, because this –- this is what his boyfriend has been worrying about? Not about making it through the hallways of McKinley in a uniform that made him a prime target for a slushy facial, not about how the establishment would react to the fact that they had shown up at all, but about Kurt not liking the song at all and deciding to show his disappointment by wearing a stupid glee club shirt. "I had class. I couldn't skip fourth period on my first day back just because my boyfriend decided to show up and sing me a mournful song. And honestly -– worst French class of my life. I don't think I heard a single thing that Mademoiselle Klein even said."
"That's what I thought, but -"
"Blaine, I told you that I could never say goodbye to you. There were tears in my eyes, and it wasn't because Coach Sylvester sprayed hairspray in my eyes to demonstrate some kind of an obscure and probably offensive point. I'm pretty sure it was light years away from too much, and I should know –- the New Directions, not to mention you, are infamous for proving a point or two through song." It's Blaine who's drawing circles across the palm of his hand with his thumb, now; he's picking the rhythm up with every word of Kurt's, but it's still hesitant, like he can't quite bridge the gap between hearing and believing.
"But the point is, Blaine," Kurt says, and he needs Blaine to believe that he loves him, yes, but he also needs Blaine to know the truth. "I go to a school where, up until last week, I wouldn't have been able to smile at you without being called a fairy or having a slushy thrown in my face. But, having you show up there and sing everything you feel without even appearing the slightest bit worried was a slap in the face, of sorts. Because you know what I'm ashamed of, Blaine –- that, just because other people were embarrassed or threatened by me, I had to be too. And I shouldn't have to, because honestly -– I'm pretty damn good."
And Blaine has to believe it, because he says, "Hot, too," fisting Kurt's shirt in his hands, crumpling it under his touch as he kisses Kurt again, like he's trying to get past the likes boys to the truth they both know is real –- likes Blaine. Because that's the inevitable truth behind all of that –- all of this –- Kurt likes boys, yes, but one boy in particular, whose lips are flushed red like a stop sign from all the kissing, a signal to other boys: he's mine, you can't have this.
The New Directions are the perfect example of how possessiveness can ruin a person but, Kurt thinks, maybe it's different when the other person possesses a piece of your heart, and you hold a piece of theirs close to you too. Maybe it's different when you're young and, more importantly, in love.
He doesn't think Blaine will understand, at least for a while, how important it is for Kurt to be able to love him. How important it is for Kurt to be able to do these things, to sigh appreciatively at the way Blaine's hair curls where Kurt's fingers have been caught in it. How important it is for him to be able to kiss Blaine, his hands warm as they reach up under Blaine's shirt, Blaine's mouth gentle but insistent against his lips. How important it is for Kurt to be able to laugh at his paranoia because Blaine's not perfect at this, no, but neither is he. Because it is not his sexuality that defines him but this, his ability to do all these things with Blaine, not because of the fact that Blaine is a boy but in spite of it.
He thinks it may be a little too much of an overthink, even for an assignment given by Mr. Schuester, but mostly, he's ashamed of the fact that, for too long, he'd allowed liking boys to became the thing that everyone knew about him, his defining trait. Then again, Kurt thinks, he is looking at this from a new perspective -– it's easier to be proud of liking boys now that he's got a boyfriend like Blaine, who's nipping at his throat and his jaw like, oh. Oh.
For a split second, Kurt actually wants to shrug a blazer back onto his shoulders and march back through the imposing doors of Dalton, because he's not sure how he's expected to survive the next few days without this. He's forced to remember what it was like before Blaine suggested singing together at Regionals, when they'd been forced to communicate with nothing more than subtle -– and not so subtle, in some cases -– glances and words, and how that eventually mutual understanding was what allowed them to come together. And how, had it not been for Blaine daring to question Kurt's shirt, that same mutual understanding may have also allowed them to come apart.
Besides, if Kurt allows Blaine to keep kissing him like this, he's fairly sure that his lips will be bruised a permanent shade of purple long before he reaches twenty.
"The song was a good idea, Blaine. More than good, actually -– I was impressed by your choice, and it helped that you were actually singing it to me," Kurt says, as they pull apart. Blaine's eyes are closed, and Kurt's willing to bet he's wearing a similar expression, wistful but thrilled, all at the same time. Because how they're coping without this is one story, but how did they honestly cope before it?
"But this is good, too," Blaine says, with a vague hand gesture. Kurt notices the way he visibly relaxes, the frown lines around the corners of his mouth uncreasing slightly, and he thinks it's because he's mapped every crevice of Blaine's face with his lips, in his mind, for too long (and yet not long enough).
"The kissing?" Kurt asks, levering himself up on his hands and sliding across the couch until he's tucked into his boyfriend's side. "It's okay, I guess."
"Only okay?" Blaine replies, with mock confusion. "Maybe I need to remind you of exactly what I was doing to make you moan, a moment ago." His face hovers inches from Kurt's, who reaches up and places a finger gently against his lips.
"I don't know if it was exactly the point you were trying to make, on Monday, Blaine, but -" Kurt says.
Kurt just nods thoughtfully at their entwined hands. "That somewhere only we know that you were singing about –- it's right here. In us." He brushes a thumb reassuringly across Blaine's knuckles because all kissing aside, this is his point. Every glance, every Skype call and phone call and date, every touch is special because it's something that comes only with a relationship like theirs, only with being them, and they've got their insecurities, yes, but they've also got each other, and that will always be enough.
Because Kurt likes boys, likes this boy, and he knows –- he'll never ever say goodbye.