Lay You Down
You’ve been watching him closely all day, waiting for the slightest indication that his façade is about to crack.
You watched him on the drive to the train station, watched how he fidgeted, forcing a smile to stay on his face, prepared to support his best friend, the one who’s taking their shared dreams to New York by herself.
You watched him as all of you waited on the platform for Rachel, smiling as you hugged her, saying your goodbyes.
You watched him on the drive home, watched how he stayed so silent, staring unseeingly out the window.
You watched him as he asked you to stay for dinner, a small smile curving his lips, a smile that didn’t quite reach his eyes, no matter how hard he may have tried.
Kurt has always amazed you with his strength, his poise, his ability to let all but the most damaging of taunts roll off his back. But you don’t think this is something he’ll be able to let go of easily.
Lately, it’s been you who has needed reassurance, needed that comforting hand and loving gaze. When Kurt got his finalist letter from NYADA, that’s when it truly hit you. Soon he’ll be gone, but you’ll still be here, and why would someone as beautiful and talented as Kurt wait for you?
But Kurt has been so wonderful since you confessed to the fears and insecurities that had crippled you. No matter how many times you bring it up, he refuses to even entertain the possibility the two of you may break up, that the distance may be too much for you each to bear.
You’d finally started to believe it, too, to let yourself hope that the vision Kurt has of the two of you will come to pass, those beautiful words that fell so easily from his lips.
Now, though, now it’s different. Now Kurt’s future is uncertain, his dreams cracked and crumbling around him. And if you didn’t know him so well, you wonder if you’d be able to see how it’s affected him. See the faint tightness at the corners of his mouth, the slight redness to his eyes, the barely noticeable slump to his shoulders as he sits at the table and talks about Chicago, Nationals, work, finals, the new Adam Lambert album. Anything but Rachel, New York, NYADA, and that damn letter.
You keep watching, keep waiting, because you know he needs you, you know he’s falling apart on the inside. But you also know he still feels guilty for what happened with Chandler, for encouraging fears he didn’t even know you had – unnecessarily so, you’ve told him so many times, you wish he’d believe you – and has been doing his very best to be the strong one, to be what you need.
You’re going to have to push him. Gently, of course, but you can’t let him resist. He can’t keep this bottled up. And perhaps it’s too soon, but you like to think you know Kurt well enough to trust the instincts that are screaming at you to take care of him now.
Soon dinner is over. You convince him to go up and take a bath. The two of you will watch a movie after, Kurt’s pick, of course. Burt has already given you permission to stay the night. He sees what you see, you’re sure of it.
As you follow Kurt up the stairs, you catch Burt’s gaze. The trusting smile he gives you causes a lump to rise in your throat. The belief he places in you, to take care of this most precious person, is something you’ll never be able to take for granted.
While Kurt’s in the bath you turn off all the lights in his bedroom, light a few vanilla candles, and dock your iPod in his iHome. Flipping through your playlists until you get to the one aptly named Lullaby, you press play, and then change into a t-shirt and boxers.
A half hour later, when Kurt comes into the room – hair damp, skin flushed pink, bundled up in his fluffiest bathrobe – he pauses and looks at you, his gaze questioning.
“Let me take care of you tonight.”
Kurt’s mouth twitches and you can already hear the objection to your offer. But before he can open his mouth you interrupt him.
Your voice is soft and far more pleading than you intended it to sound, but it must work because Kurt’s shoulders slump and he nods once, shuffling over to you.
You remove his bathrobe, laying it over the foot of the bed, leaving him in loose cotton pajama pants. You slide your hands gently over his shoulders and down his arms until you can grasp his hands, bringing them both up to your mouth, pressing kisses to each knuckle.
Your tender ministrations earn you a genuine, if sad, smile.
Pulling back the covers, you help him into bed, climbing in next to him and tugging him into your arms. He curls up on your chest, his warm breath ghosting over your throat, his hand clutching yours on top of your chest. You pull the covers up over both of you, brushing your lips over his forehead, once, twice, then resting there.
“You’re safe here, Kurt,” you whisper against his skin. “It’s just the two of us. You don’t have to pretend anymore.”
It’s all the permission he needs and the last of the tension leaves him in a full body shudder, just as the first tears fall, soaking into the neck of your t-shirt. His body trembles, his breath catching and hiccupping on sobs, his hands tightening their grip on you as though to keep you from leaving.
As if you could ever leave him.
Running your hand up and down his back in slow waves, you press your lips to his forehead again and sing softly along to the song currently playing.
“Through the dark there’s a way, there’s a love, there’s a place, where we don’t have to hide, we can dream all night.”
At the sound of your voice, Kurt presses closer, a soft whimper vibrating against your throat.
“So follow me through the sky, and watch the oceans collide, just keep holding my hand, as we’re taking off, I know where we’ll land.”
With each pass of your hand you feel Kurt relax a little more; the tears slowing, his breathing evening out and deepening, until the entire weight of his body is resting against you. You gather him closer, breathing in the combined scents of vanilla, and cherry blossom and bamboo.
“We can escape to a higher plane, in Nirvana stay, where the dreamers lay. And I’ll lay you down, lay you down… ”
You don’t know what tomorrow will bring, what Kurt will decide to do now that NYADA is off the table. But you do know, regardless of what happens, you’ll be here with him. For now, holding him, loving him, soothing him to sleep, is the most important thing you can do.
The rest can wait.