The apartment is, to put it kindly, a dump. It's at the seventh floor of an building that's so old it doesn't even have an elevator, a remnant of an era when people thought that sharp angles and bright bold colors were a sound architectonic idea. Kurt likes antiquities, but is building isn't antique, or even retro: it's just old, ruined and ugly. When the real estate agent shows them the pictures he cringes and doesn't even want to see the place in person, but Blaine plays dirty and makes puppy eyes at him, going on and on about how it couldn't hurt to check it out. The lady behind the desk is raving about the place, of course, so it's two against one and Kurt has to give in.
Kurt spends all of their brief tour with his arms crossed, keeping a careful distance from the walls where he can spot several suspicious-looking stains, pointing out that the corridor has a weird smell, there are several broken tiles in the bathroom, and the kitchen is so small that one can hardly turn around. Blaine, ever the optimist, replies that they can air the place and make massive use of air fresheners, the tiles can be replaced, and they'll get used to the small kitchen.
When the real estate lady asks them if they want to take the place, Blaine is already grinning from ear to ear. Kurt needs a word in private with his boyfriend, so he drags the aforementioned boyfriend outside on the tiny balcony, a balcony so small that Blaine has to lean against the rail for Kurt to close the door and give them some privacy. The glass door gets stuck two thirds of the way and refuses to close properly, and Kurt swears under his breath. He can't believe that Blaine is seriously considering this, that he wants to live in this awful place where nothing works properly, and maybe Kurt is still only a hopeless romantic but he'd always thought their first place would be something nice, some place that they could have fond memories of, and not seven flights of stairs with no elevator.
He stops mid-argument because Blaine is still grinning at him, which is very distracting, and also because Blaine is making some very good points. It's not in the Upper East Side but the neighborhood is decent, the flat is close to the city center, it's not in much worse condition that the other places they've seen, and most importantly they can afford the rent. Kurt's internship with Marie Claire isn't paying much, or anything at all, and Blaine's acting jobs are few and far between. We'll make it work, Blaine says, and they sign the lease on the very next day. It's not the castle that Kurt was dreaming for, but it's theirs.
It feels great to move out of the place that he shared with Rachel. Not that Kurt didn't like having her as a roommate throughout college, Rachel is still his best friend and she'll always be, but sometimes Kurt worries that her insanity might be contagious. Rachel still wakes up at six and starts her morning routine with voice exercises, she hogs the TV every Thursday night to watch that weird medical show because she has a crush on one of the protagonists, she has mood swings worthy of a prima donna and frequently storms out from one room to the next.
Even worse, she recently got back together with Jesse St. James for what's probably the fifth or sixth time. While Kurt is cool with Jesse, or at least doesn't feel the overpowering impulse to shove him out of a window every time they meet, there's something about Jesse that brings out the worst forms of Rachel-crazy. Most recently, Rachel started emailing Kurt schedules of when she and Jesse will have sex, and insisted that Kurt do the same for organization's sake. Really, moving out is for the best.
Rachel helps Kurt pack up his possessions into cardboard boxes labeled in her curly handwriting with a black marker, bullies Jesse into loading them in the back of Kurt's car, and even carries some of the boxes up the stairs to the seventh floor herself. For this Rachel and Jesse get invited for dinner, even though to claim that prize they'll have to wait for Kurt and Blaine to fill the tiny fridge with something that's not leftover Chinese takeaway. Kurt is secretly hoping that Rachel and Jesse will break up before then, because he's not sure that their tiny table can seat four people at once, not unless they're all hobbit-sized.
Blaine's working late this week, he's landed a minor role in a production of Rent, so after Rachel leaves Kurt spends the afternoon and a bottle of Windex fighting the grime that's been accumulating in the past decade. It gets too late to go grocery shopping, but takeaway is a small price to play for a clean bathroom. Kurt washes his hands in a sink that's not one hundred percent spotless yet, but it's close enough, and then checks if their internet is working yet. It's not, even though the phone company was supposed to connect them today, so he gets his cellphone and makes a couple of calls, first to the phone company and then to his dad because with moving and his job they haven't talked in a week.
In between calls, Kurt texts Blaine to pick up Indian food on his way back from rehearsals. Blaine replies with a smiley face and a heart, which shouldn't be so endearing coming from a twenty-something-year-old man, but it is. It's getting dark outside. Kurt turns on the lights in their minuscule living room, frowning at the way the lightbulb flickers. They'll have to replace it, or maybe buy a new lamp altogether. The lamp goes on Kurt's endless list of household items that they should purchase, even though kitchenware is a priority, and he doesn't know how he can survive in the mornings without his coffee, he's been addicted to espressos ever since Rachel's dads got her a coffee machine for her birthday two years ago.
He can hear Blaine coming up the stairs, the walls are so thin that you can hear everything, from the water sloshing in the pipes to the wind outside. Kurt opens a couple of boxes and retrieves a couple of glasses and forks. They'll be dining out of paper plates until they have enough time and willpower for that shopping trip, but he doubts Blaine will mind, even though Rachel picked out the paper plates and therefore there are cutesy animals on them. Blaine is slightly out of breath by the time he comes through the door, holding the takeaway bag like a trophy. Kurt pokes his head out of the kitchen to welcome him home and tell him to wash his hands before dinner, and Blaine grins, and it takes a moment for Kurt's brain to catch up with him and realize that this is home. Their home. It's working pretty well so far.