"I just don't understand how I've never seen it like this before," Kurt says, later, when they've found a quiet corner of the gym where they can get a little closer without feeling like they're going to get drenched in punch or anything.
"Because," Blaine says, sheepishly, ducking his head, "I've gone to great lengths to ensure that you never do."
"But why?" Kurt asks, trying not to sound as hurt as he feels. Obviously this is a thing for Blaine, and Kurt doesn't want to make him feel even worse about it, but seriously. They've had sex. Often. They've seen each other in every state of undress and disarray, and in various unflattering positions. Not to mention the fact that they're in love, that they're permanent, at least as far as Kurt is concerned, and he doesn't understand why Blaine would feel the need to hide this from him. It's not like it's even that bad.
Blaine looks miserable, though, and he's still not looking at Kurt when he says: "It's not exactly attractive, is it? You heard Brittany, I look like broccoli."
Kurt barely resists rolling his eyes, and says: "You do not look like broccoli, I promise. And besides, this is the girl who decided on dinosaurs for a prom theme, Blaine, come on."
"I like dinosaurs," Blaine says quietly, brushing some imaginary lint off of his jacket.
Kurt shrugs. "I like broccoli."
"It's true, it's been one of my favourite vegetables since I was a kid. Ask my dad."
"Kurt," Blaine says, and it's one of those times when just the sound of Kurt's name sounds heavy and important coming from Blaine's lips, all on its own.
"Is that why we've never showered together, afterwards?" Kurt says, lowering his voice a little because while the music's loud and nobody's really all that close by, nonetheless discussing their sex-life at school isn't something he ever feels especially comfortable with.
Blaine nods at first, but then he looks up at Kurt and says: "Well, yeah, partly it's that, but also I really am pretty sure I'd never be able to look your parents or mine in the face again if any one of them caught us in the shower together."
Kurt laughs, willing to concede the point. "Okay, I get that, but … I've seen you in the locker room before, and after we sang for Mr. Schue and Ms. Pilsbury that time in the pool. It's never been like this."
"It's usually fine so long as I do all the right things after I wash it," Blaine says, raising a hand to try and awkwardly pat down the curls. "I mean, gel's the easiest way of keeping it neat but there's other things I can do, too, it's not like I look like this every time I'm product-free. But, you know, going into the bathroom and just washing it out with water in the sink isn't exactly ideal."
"Couldn't you have taken a shower?"
Blaine shakes his head. "Thought that would take too long."
"Blaine, you were gone for, like, twenty minutes."
Blaine groans, dropping his forehead against Kurt's shoulder for a second before he seems to think better of it and pulls back abruptly. "Yeah, I spent most of that hiding out in the hallway weighing up how much you'd hate me if I just left."
Kurt frowns. "Blaine, honey, it really isn't that bad. I swear it isn't."
Blaine fidgets, reaching up again to tug at his hair, but before he can do it Kurt grabs his hand and twines their fingers together, kissing Blaine's knuckles.
"You don't have to pretend," Blaine says.
"I'm not pretending," Kurt says indignantly. "It's a little … poofy, yeah, but come on, you've seen Jacob Ben Israel's hair, right? And Rick the Stick? Has a mullet, in case you hadn't noticed. Believe me, yours is fine."
"People were looking," Blaine says, helplessly.
"No one's looking, Blaine."
"You looked at me like I'd grown an extra head."
"I was just surprised," Kurt says, though he feels a little twisting knot of guilt in his stomach.
Blaine looks down again, and this time it's Kurt's waistcoat on which he finds something invisible to brush away.
"I just … didn't really want to share this version of me with anyone," he says. "Not yet, anyway. And not like this."
Just like that, Kurt's back to feeling hurt again. "Not even me?" he says.
Kurt remembers the first time he took his clothes off in front of Blaine, how even when they'd still been half-dressed it had almost felt like too much already, like they'd crossed some monumental boundary of intimacy just by lying there with bare arms, never mind that they were about to have sex. Kurt can't actually think of a time he's been more nervous, or felt more exposed, but it had been tempered by the knowledge that Blaine had been seeing him in a brand new way that nobody else had, and it was wonderful.
Blaine sighs, and this time he lets his head come to rest against Kurt's shoulder and stay there. "Of course you," Blaine says. "Always you, I just … I was embarrassed, and I thought. I thought maybe you might be embarrassed, too."
Kurt lets his own head lean against Blaine's, feeling the soft spring of curls against his face. Blaine's right, they're a little frizzy and disorderly, and Kurt can detect some residue left from the gel that probably isn't helping matters much. Still, this is the first time he's ever touched Blaine's hair in a completely natural state, and as stupid as it might sound, he feels almost the same as he did twined together in Blaine's bed in the fall, wondering if taking his socks off might be a step too far for either one of them.
"I'm not embarrassed, Blaine," Kurt says, pressing a kiss up against Blaine's hair, fairly certain no one is looking their way but not particularly caring if they are, right now.
"You're not?" Blaine says, still sounding uncertain.
"Well, not by your hair, at least," Kurt says. "Your recently revealed love of disco and tendency to fall asleep in movie theaters are, of course, another matter entirely."
Blaine lifts his head up and scowls at Kurt, though with his hair the way it is the expression falls short of intimidating and just looks kind of adorable. "That was one time, Kurt, and it was a midnight showing of Twilight, what did you expect?"
Kurt laughs, pushing away from where he's been leaning on the wall and tugging Blaine by the hand along with him. "Come on, time to go," he says, struck suddenly by a desire to be somewhere where he can show Blaine just how non-objectionable he finds his hair right now.
"Where are we going?" Blaine asks, walking close to Kurt once he gets that they're actually going somewhere.
"Home," Kurt says, waving pointedly at Sam and Mercedes to let them know that they're leaving already. It's not even ten o'clock, yet, but whatever, Kurt has had enough of prom to last him a lifetime, and judging by the breathless way Blaine asks: "Yours or mine?" he's not too concerned about staying, either.
Seeing as how both their houses are—to the best of Kurt's knowledge—parent-free, at least for the evening, really there's only one thing they need to make a decision.
"Whichever has the best water pressure," Kurt says, with a shrug.
Tonight's definitely the time to make up for lost opportunities.