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Tell Me, Was I Dreaming

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Kurt Hummel normally wouldn't even come near a place like Scandals. It's dirty and full of creeps, not to mention they don't have any music that dates past 1985, but he's been feeling a bit restless lately and he'd expected that there might at least be a guy or two his age from the nearby high school, sneaking in to try and get a feel at what adult gay life might be like.

So far though he's had no luck. He'd spent at least an hour inside the stuffy bar, fending off the advances of forty year old men who thought he was there for people like them and sipping at a single drink, waiting for some prep school boy to march through the doors. That hadn't happened, and Kurt really needed a smoke, so here he was. Outside of the biggest joke of a bar in all of Ohio, fighting against the breeze in order to light his cigarette. He shields the small flame with his hand, thankful when it finally catches. The sun is just starting to set and Kurt removes his sunglasses from in front of his eyes momentarily before returning them to their usual spot. It's still bright enough out to warrant them.

He breathes in, breathes out. He's found that there's really nothing quite like the first drag of a smoke, not even that moment when a man first pushes into him or he first pushes into someone else. He knows his dad hates it, and he hates that his dad hates it, but some day's he feels like he lives for that first inhale, that wonderful feelings of the smoke entering his lungs for the first time. Every now and then he forces himself not to smoke for several days. Just to make the feeling more powerful.

The second drag isn't as fantastic, but it's still better than breathing in the old smoke that's accumulated in the bar over the years.

"Can I bum one?"

Kurt looks up to find a boy that looks about his age, standing in front of him with his hands buried deeply in the pockets of his leather jacket. Kurt looks the boy up and down, a sneer forming on his lips. The kid looks like some wannabe punk rocker, with his worn leather jacket and a small hoop protruding from the middle of his bottom lip. He looks like he doesn't give a fuck, and Kurt admires that about people.

Without saying a word he reaches into his back pocket and pulls out the half full pack of smokes, thumbing one out farther than the rest and holding it out to the boy. Equally silent the boy places the cigarette into his mouth and then raises his eyebrows towards Kurt in question. Smirking, Kurt steps closer to the boy, pinches his own cigarette between his fingers and uses the end to light up the boy's. When it flares Kurt steps back, taking the cigarette out of his mouth and blowing smoke into the air.

"Impressive," the boy says. Kurt rolls his eyes and takes another long drag, leaning back against the back wall. The boy does the same, moving so that he's standing beside Kurt instead of in front of him.

Now that he's closer, Kurt can see him better. He can see the small tuft of curls that he's dyed blue in the same way that Kurt's died the front of his hair pink. He sees a large number of piercings lining his left ear and what looks like one single big hoop coming out of his right. Sees what looks like a bit of black ink coming out from under the sleeve of his jacket. Kurt wonders why he's even wearing it; it's June, and even though it's night time and there's a slight breeze it's still quite warm.

"Take a picture, it'll last longer," the boy snarls, lips curling into an annoying smirk. Kurt scoffs and turns away, bringing his cigarette up to his lips at the same time the boy does. He wonders what his name is.

The sun is starting to disappear for real now, the dark orange light crawling back into it's cave, and Kurt takes his sunglasses off and places them on top of his head. He blinks a bit to adjust to the little bit of light left, and then glances towards the boy to see him looking at Kurt intently. He feels like repeating what the boy said to him earlier, but for some reason his tongue isn't working. Instead he just keeps smoking, letting the boy get an eyeful. He knows how much people like to stare.

They don't talk, just stand in silence as the sun sets, slowly bathing the world in darkness. By the time it's completely dark out Kurt's cigarette is down to a bud, so he puts it out against the wall. The boy is still staring at him, curiously, like he knows something Kurt doesn't, and it makes Kurt want to crawl out of his skin.

Annoyed at the silence and at the boy in general, Kurt nods at him curtly before heading back into the bar. He doesn't turn around to see if the boy is still staring at him, doesn't care if the boy is still staring at him. He blows out the last bit of smoke through his nose and walks through the front doors of Scandals, instantly spotting a scared looking teen that hadn't been there before.

A smirk on his face and the kid from outside all but forgotten, Kurt adjusts his pants a bit and then heads towards his target. To Kurt, the night has just begun.

**

He sees the boy with blue hair and the lip piercing again a week after graduation. His dad's been keeping him on lock down lately, but tonight he's sneaked out because he's tired of seeing nothing but the walls of his room. He had always thought that leaving high school would change his life, release him from the prison he'd been stuck in since he was fourteen. Instead, he still feels trapped, maybe not by high school but by this town. Feels trapped by his family and how they've been trying to spend time with him since Finn will be gone soon.

Scandal's is out of the question tonight. It's too far to walk and Kurt doesn't dare try and take the car, knowing far too well from past experience that his dad is a light sleeper. So instead he slips out of the window, a pack of cigarettes pressed into his back pocket, his lighter in his front one and his sunglasses dangling from where he's hooked them into the front of his shirt.

Despite how clunky his boots are they surprisingly don't make a sound as he climbs down the drain pipe, lands on his feet gracefully like a cat. He stuffs his hands in the pockets of his jeans and sets off down the street, not paying attention to the direction he takes. He walks and walks, doesn't look at where he's going or how many houses he passes. Lima isn't big; no matter where he ends up he'll always find his way home. It's impossible not to.

The farther his feet take him the more he wonders what it would be like if he just kept walking forever. If he never stopped, just walked and walked until he fell right off the edge of the earth. Modern geography tells him it's impossible but his imagination encourages him to try. Tells him that maybe that's what he's meant to do, that's his calling in life. He will be that kid from Ohio that walked until the earth ran out and he ran out with it. Wouldn't that be something.

He only notices him because of the creaking of the swings in the park. They've always made that noise; Kurt can remember being four years old, his mother pushing him on those exact swings as they creaked and snapped and sounded like they could break at any given time. They never did though.

Kurt walks towards him without thinking, his feet taking him where they want to go. It takes a while for the boy to realize that he's not alone, looking up just as Kurt stops in front of him. The boy looks him over, and Kurt does the same. He sees that the boy is wearing the same leather jacket, this time pushed up to his elbows to reveal the tattoo that Kurt had just seen teases of at Scandals. Kurt wonders if it goes all the way up his arm, how much it would hurt to get a sleeve tattoo. He only has a simple one running down the side of his left arm and it hurt like fuck when he'd had it done.

"You have some cig's?" the boys asks. Kurt nods, tossing the package at him. The boy looks them over, nods in approval and pulls one out, "Light?"

Kurt passes him his lighter, nabbing his pack of cigarettes back as he sits down on the swing next to the boy. The click of the lighter and the swish of the small flame light up a portion of the boy's face and Kurt notices a bit of stubble growing on his jaw.

The smell of fresh smoke fills the air, and soon enough Kurt is feeling that wonderful feeling that is the first drag of a cigarette. He keeps the smoke in his mouth for as long as he dares before releasing it into the night, his head thrown back and the smoke shooting straight up. The boy watches him.

"Are you a mute?" the boys asks, and Kurt sees the way his eyes are trained on Kurt's neck as if it holds the answer to everything. Kurt rolls his eyes.

"No."

"Oh." The boy takes a drag of his cigarette and then blows it out the same way Kurt did moments earlier, "Okay."

Like last time they spend most of the night in silence, smoking and watching each other in turns. Kurt wants to ask this boy everything. He wants to know his name, where he lives, why he dresses the way he dresses or why he looks the way he looks. He wants to know if his mother died like Kurt's did, if he closed himself off like Kurt did, if he feels as trapped in Lima, Ohio as Kurt does. He wants so much but he won't let himself give in

"Did you fuck that guy?" Kurt's eyes are slightly glazed over as he looks over towards the boy. "The other night. I saw you leave with him. Did you fuck him?"

Kurt nods, "Yeah," his eyes flick down to the boy's lips, "Why?"

"He goes to my school. Or, my old school, I guess. I just graduated."

Kurt hums, "You went to Dalton?"

"Yeah."

He doesn't look like a Dalton boy, but Kurt doesn't say that. He just takes another drag of his cigarette and blows the smoke out through his nose, feeling the boy's eyes on him as he does it.

The boy drops the end of his cigarette into the sand under their feet first, pressing the front of his boot onto it. Kurt follows soon after, repeating the action. He glances down at his wrist and sees that it's 3am. He should get home. Finn's leaving next week and Kurt knows that his dad and Carole won't let him keep skipping family activities anymore. Family activities that normally start at around eight in the morning.

"Are you leaving?" the boys asks as Kurt stands, wrapping his arms around himself. He hadn't brought a jacket, thinking that it would be warm enough. He forgot that there was no sun at night.

"Yeah. My brother's an early riser."

With a nod, the boy pushes himself off the ground and begins to swing, the creaking sounds echoing through the night.

They don't say goodbye, Kurt just leaves, boots thumping against the sand and then against the cement of the sidewalk loudly and quietly at the same time. He can feel the boy staring at him, and for a moment he almost turns around and asks for his name. He stops himself at the last second, telling himself over and over that he doesn't care. He hasn't cared for a long time.

The walk home is much shorter than the walk there, and he sneaks back into his room quietly, ridding himself of his boots and his clothes and slipping into bed at exactly 3:45am. If he dreams that night, he doesn't remember of what.

**

He goes back to the park the next night, but the boy isn't there. So he sits alone, swinging and smoking and wondering why he came back at all.

**

Finn leaves for boot camp two weeks after graduation, an ugly brown backpack slung across his shoulder and tears in his eyes. Kurt will never say it, but he's going to miss his brother. And when Finn hugs him goodbye he lets himself hug him back. When Finn feels his arms wrapping around his broad shoulders he squeezes him tighter, and Kurt does the same. He might never tell Finn that he'll miss him, but at least this way Finn knows.

"Be good, okay?" Finn whispers into his ear, "Don't get into too much trouble."

Kurt squeezes Finn's shoulders and then lets him go, nodding a silent promise. A part of him resents Finn for managing to leave Ohio, even if it's for something like the military. When Finn had first told him he'd considered enlisting along with him, but in the end he couldn't bring himself to do it.

He watches as the boy who has become his brother steps on to the greyhound bus that will take him God knows where. Kurt's dad puts a hand on Kurt's shoulder and pulls Carole close as they watch him go, and Kurt notices people around them staring, at Kurt in particular. He shoots some of them some glares, but stops when his dad pats his shoulder gently.

That night he can't sleep. Everything's changing, everything except him. He hates that.

**

The third time he sees the boy is at Scandals the day after Finn leaves. Kurt isn't really planning on getting laid or getting drunk, he just needs to get out of the house and Scandal's seems like the best place to clear his mind.

Kurt's on his second drink when a large group of college aged guys walk in. Loud and rowdy they instantly liven up the bar. The forty year old men stop talking to each other to watch the new guys in wonder and excitement, and Kurt just rolls his eyes because the situation seems to call for it. He sips his drink as the guys approach the bar, one of them instantly zeroing in on Kurt and giving him a wide smirk.

He's sort of cute, so Kurt lets him buy him a drink, and then agrees to dance with him for a while, hands going up around the guy's neck while warm hands settle on his hips and pull him close. They grind and writhe on the dance floor, both entirely aware of how many men are watching them enviously. The college guys keep wolf whistling at them, but they don't pay them any attention.

Kurt sees the boy half way through the third song as he's grinding up against the guy, swivelling his hips seductively. Maybe he didn't come to get laid but that doesn't mean that he's not open to the possibility.

The boy is watching him from the bar, staring over his beer without any shame. Kurt doesn't think anyone has ever stared at him the way this boy does, and a part of him loves it. He dances closer to the college guy, keeping his eyes on the boy as he does so. He can't tell what it is the boy is thinking, why it is he's staring at him... nothing. It's infuriating and intoxicating, so Kurt continues to stare back as the college guy grows harder and harder against his hip.

Eventually he's pulled into a kiss, and Kurt momentarily closes his eyes to accept it. He then angles his face to the side and opens one eye. The boy is gone, leaving only his half drunken bottle of beer on the bar.

Kurt pulls the college guy closer and kisses him some more.

**

He's back at the park four nights later, and the boy is there this time, creaking the swings and smoking his own cigarette for once. Kurt sits down next to him and starts smoking himself, staring ahead and refusing to look over at the boy.

"Did you fuck him?"

Kurt leans back a bit on the swing and pushes off, "He fucked me, actually."

He receives a grunt in reply, and they fall into silence, the swing croaking above him, making horrible sounds. He almost wishes that the swing would just give already, that the chain would snap in half and that he'd go toppling to the ground. It's a strange thought, a strange desire, but it's still there.

He takes a deep drag of his cigarette, but soon realizes that he's not enjoying it very much and so he flicks it away. The boy stares at him and Kurt allows himself to stare back.

"I have some pot at my house," the boy says, "My parents are out of town."

"If you're parents are out of town then why are you out here."

The boy shrugs, and then gestures further up the street, away from where Kurt came. "So?"

They walk together in silence, boots making no noise and hands stuffed into their pockets. Kurt barely comes to this part of town; it's where all the rich kids live. He used to beg his mom to walk with him through all the large houses, wondering what it would be like to live in one of them. His favorite was the one that he's standing in front of with this mysterious boy with a hoop through his lip and a tattoo up his arms that has been at least half covered every time he's seen him.

"You live here?" he can't help but ask, gaping as they step through the iron gate. The boy glances at him and then shrugs.

The garden isn't as big as Kurt remembers it being, but he's also grown so maybe his perspective has changed. The house still looks the same as when he was little though, still white and tall with silver railings under every window. He had told his mom that he was going to live in this house so many times.

The inside of the house is like a museum. It's beautiful, everything tastefully decorated, color coordinated and sleek. It doesn't look like a home, and suddenly Kurt feels like he has a bit of insight into whoever this boy really is. He notices a large envelope sitting on a small dresser in the front hall while he takes off his shoes. He can't see the first name on the address, but the last name is Anderson, so Kurt assumes that that is the boy's last name.

Everything feels too personal for people who have only shared cigarettes before, but Kurt pushes the feeling of unease aside and follows the boy - Anderson - through the large, empty house. Their socks make no noise on the hardwood floor, and soon enough their in what Kurt assumes is Anderson's room.

It's twice the size as Kurt's and looks exactly like he would have expected it to look if he'd ever thought about it. The walls are covered in posters of obscure indie rock and roll bands, the sheets on his bed are dark and there's clothing all over his floor. Kurt notices a used condom in the waste basket and wonders what the boy Anderson fucked looked like. He notices a bowtie on the ground and figures that it must belong to whoever the condom was used on.

Kurt sits on the bed and waits for Anderson to finish rolling a joint. It's been far too long since he smoked pot and he's starting to crave it. Anderson joins him on the bed, lights up the joint and then sucks at the tip. His mouth remains closed as he passes it over to Kurt, who mimics his action. They release the smoke at the same time, and Kurt finds the way it intertwines beautiful.

They smoke two joints in total silence, the only sound being that of inhaling and exhaling. When they're done they lie side by side on the bed, Kurt feeling truly content for the first time in a while.

Anderson asks if he wants to smoke one more and Kurt declines, saying that he should probably go. It's nearing four in the morning and Carole has an early shift.

Before he can go, Anderson pulls him close and kisses him on the lips. Kurt doesn't kiss back, doesn't think he can, and then he leaves without looking back. He stumbles a bit as he walks through the giant house, wondering why he wanted to live somewhere like this so badly as a child. He thinks about it all the way home, thinks about the empty house and the boy who lives inside it who spends his evenings on the swings in a park despite his parents not being home. He thinks about the boy who stares at him without caring if Kurt knows and thinks about the boy who just kissed him.

He thinks and thinks and thinks until finally he gets home, he sneaks up into his room and allows himself to stop thinking.

**

The next day he walks over to Anderson's house after lunch, sunglasses perched on his nose and the sun beating harshly at the back of his neck. People stare at him as he walks by but he doesn't care. Sometimes he sticks his tongue out so that they can see the piercing there, hoping that will make them judge him more than they already do.

He walks through the gate and up the driveway until he's standing in front of the door. He knocks loudly and waits and waits until finally the door opens and Anderson is standing there in a pair of low hung sweat pants and nothing else. He stares at Kurt for a long time, and Kurt stares right back, and then he brings a hand up, threads it through Anderson's curls and pulls him into a kiss.

Their kiss the previous night had been so short that Kurt hadn't been able to revel in how strange and fantastic it feels to kiss somebody with a lip ring. He loves the way it presses against his lip, cool to the touch. He likes how it feels against his tongue when he sucks Anderson's bottom lip into his mouth. He likes the way that Anderson moves it around with his own tongue so that it squirms inside his mouth. He wonders what it will feel like when Anderson's sucking his cock, and he can't wait to find out.

He pushes Anderson into his house, up the stairs and onto his bed, and he doesn't stop kissing him for a single moment.

**

Kurt is almost finishing his cigarette as he lies on his back, one arm curled behind his neck. Anderson is sitting up beside him, knees pulled close to his chest as he smokes as well. Kurt can see a bit of his ass, and it seems stupid that he just had sex with a guy he's known for a while and doesn't even know the name of.

"Do you have any pot left?" he asks instead of what he really wants to know. Anderson glances over him and then nods.

"But we'll only smoke it if I get to fuck you again."

Kurt rolls his eyes and says, "I'll roll it this time," as he climbs out of bed, not even bothering to find his clothes. He knows Anderson is watching him, he's always watching him, and Kurt loves it. He really loves it. But he doesn't think he'll ever tell Anderson that.

**

His dad is waiting for him when he gets home, and he knows that he still smells like weed and sex but he doesn't care. His dad tells him that he's going to be working at the garage during the day from now on, and Kurt agrees without a fight. He pretends he doesn't notice when Carole has to help his dad up the stairs later; he also pretends he doesn't hear Carole crying into the phone when he sneaks out to visit Anderson.

**

They run into each other at Scandal's several days later, both soaked in sweat and dancing with other guys before suddenly they're dancing with each other and kissing fiercely in the middle of the club. Everyone stares at them, the regulars that know them rolling their eyes and those that are new watching with something akin to envy.

Kurt pulls Anderson into the bathroom in the back, kisses him some more and then drops down to his knees. Anderson stares and stares, runs his hand gently over the curve of Kurt's jaw as he opens up to take him in and keeps staring. Kurt wishes he knew what Anderson thinks when he stares at him, but figures he'll never know. They don't talk, and Kurt likes that about them.

When they're done Anderson drives Kurt back to his house and they fuck hard and rough, Kurt on his hands and knees while Anderson thrusts in and out of him as quickly as possible. It's like they're racing, seeing who can finish first, and in the end it's Kurt who comes with a scream and lets Anderson keep fucking him even though he's sensitive and he never lets guys do that.

They smoke and Kurt leaves and he doesn't even care when he sees the small smile that his dad directs at him as he walks towards his room.

**

It's nearing the end of July and Kurt is working at his dad's shop, changing tires and oil, sweating up a storm in his coveralls. He unzips them and ties the sleeves around his waist to keep them up, not caring that he's getting grease all over his shirt.

"Kurt, I need you to take care of something."

He raises an eyebrow at his dad, the one that's pierced just to draw attention to it. His dad doesn't even care anymore, "What is it?"

"Some kid just brought in his motorcycle. You're the best at dealing with those, so I figured I'd hand it off to you."

Kurt nods, takes the clipboard with the paperwork his dad hands him and makes his way through the dirty shop, jaw almost dropping when he sees Anderson leaning against a sleek bike that probably cost more than everything Kurt owns. He wipes his hands on his thighs and walks closer.

"Hey," is all he can think of saying. Anderson's eyes widen briefly in surprise, but the look quickly changes to his usual emotionless mask.

"Didn't know you worked here."

"You don't even know my name."

"Know how tight your ass is though."

Kurt sort of hopes that his dad heard that, "What's wrong with your bike?"

"No fucking clue."

Kurt looks down at the clipboard in his hands and nods, "Well... Blaine," the name sounds strange and unfamiliar on his tongue, but he likes it, "Looks like your exhaust stud's busted. You could probably fix this at home if you wanted."

"Can you fix it?"

With a roll of the eyes Kurt nods and gets to work, explaining every step as he goes along. It's the longest conversation that he and Anderson have had, and even though he loves their silence he sort of likes talking to him as well.

It doesn't take long before everything is patched up and Blaine Anderson's bike is ready to go. Kurt rings him up and writes him out a check.

"What's your name?"

Kurt frowns. That's never been important before, he's been happy referring to him as Anderson all this time, and he figured that Blaine was happy just calling him whatever. Kurt crosses his arms over his chest.

"Why?"

"Well, you know mine. Seems only fair."

Kurt looks over his face and then breathes out deeply, "Kurt."

"Kurt," it sounds nice, coming from him. The boy, Anderson, Blaine. Saying Kurt's name. Nobody has ever said Kurt's name so beautifully before. "Are you coming over later Kurt?"

"Maybe," he shrugs, "I sort of need to get back to work now though."

Blaine nods, climbs on his motorcycle and says, "You know where to find me," before he speeds out of the shop. Kurt watches him go, arms crossed over his chest and he doesn't even realize that his dad is standing next to him until he speaks.

"That the kid you've been seeing?"

"What's it to you?" he asks, still staring at the spot where Blaine had just been. His dad shrugs.

"A father likes to know how his son's keeping busy."

"Well, now you know." He pushes past his dad and back into the back of the shop, instantly climbing under a car and losing himself in his job for a while.

He doesn't go see Blaine that night, or the next. Because now he knows his name, and Blaine knows his and despite everything they've shared it still feels like they're suddenly too close, too personal, too much. It's too bad because Kurt really likes Blaine, but maybe that was the problem all along.

**

Blaine comes to the shop when it's been a week since they've seen each other. He doesn't look mad, or upset, or sad; he doesn't look anything, but then again he rarely does. Kurt's dad calls for him, saying he has a visitor and Kurt already knows who it is before he even goes up to the front. He goes anyway and tries not to show how horrified and happy he is to see Blaine.

They don't talk, Blaine just walks up to him and kisses him roughly. Kurt knows his dad is watching, but he still kisses back because he missed this, missed Blaine even though he hadn't let himself think about that. When the kiss breaks Blaine pulls him into a tight hug, kisses his neck softly, then pulls away and leaves.

Kurt watches him go, and is surprised when Blaine turns around halfway down the driveway, face not giving anything away but actions speaking loud enough. Kurt waves at him as he goes and Blaine waves back. His dad is watching them curiously, but Kurt doesn't answer any of his questions. He doesn't want to and he doesn't need to and to be honest he doesn't even know the answer to half of them.

That night he sneaks out of his house, walks the hour it takes to get to Blaine's, climbs up his drain pipe and slips into bed next to him.

They don't have sex that night. Blaine doesn't even seem surprised when Kurt joins him, just opens his arms and lets Kurt fall against his chest, curled up next to him as close as he can be. They sleep in peace, together, nothing able to harm them and in the morning Kurt is woken up with cold, metal studded kisses all over his face. He kisses back, and they kiss and kiss and kiss but they don't do more.

When they're done kissing they share a cigarette and it's maybe the most intimate thing that Kurt has ever done with anyone.

**

"My dad wants you to come over for dinner."

They're sitting on the swings, listening to them squeak and creak as they rock back and forth in sync. Blaine looks over at him and Kurt is pretty sure that it's the first time that he's ever seen Blaine smile.

"When?"

"I don't know. Whenever."

"Well, let me know and I'll be there."

"Okay."

Both are silent for a while, and then Blaine asks, "Do you think I could ride you in that swing?"

They try and it doesn't really work, but they end up continuing on the ground, Kurt fucking into Blaine slowly and carefully, unlike he'd ever fucked anyone ever before. It occurs to Kurt that maybe they're making love, or at least doing the closest thing to it, and it also occurs to him that that knowledge doesn't scare him as much as it should.

**

Things start falling apart when Kurt finds out that Blaine is moving to New York at the end of August, only two weeks away. Blaine is eating dinner with him, his dad and Carole when Carole asks if he's planning on going to university. And then Blaine says it, clear as day, not even worried about the fact that Kurt's sitting right there and didn't even get a warning. He didn't even have time to prepare for the blow.

"I'm actually starting at NYADA this fall. I'm moving out to New York in a couple of weeks."

Everything doesn't shatter, not just yet. But it begins to, the pieces of their perfectly constructed facade start to crumble and Kurt can feel it and he hates it. He's always known, of course, but deep down he'd hoped that this wouldn't happen.

"Kurt, isn't that friend of yours going there too? The Berry girl?"

Kurt rolls his eyes, "She's not my friend."

"She used to be."

"Well, she's not anymore."

His dad doesn't press the subject and Carole doesn't ask any more questions about Blaine's future. Kurt is thankful for that, but he also hates it because he knows that if she doesn't that he'll never know because Kurt will never ask. Hell, he's sure that if Carole hadn't asked where Blaine was going in the fall that Kurt would have never know what had happened to him. He would have appeared at Blaine's house one day and Blaine just wouldn't be there anymore.

He walks Blaine home, both of them quite in that special way of theirs, but it's not the same. Things are different now, Blaine is leaving soon and Kurt isn't, and there's really nothing to say. Except there is, there's everything to say, but Kurt just doesn't know how to say it.

He stays the night at Blaine's, and they fuck and make love all night. They fall asleep tangled together, Blaine still buried deep inside Kurt, and even though things are falling apart they're still more perfect than they have ever been.

**

"Come with me."

Kurt frowns, looking up from where he'd been lying on Blaine's chest, smoking a cigarette, "Where?"

"To New York. Come with me."

It's something he never expected Blaine to say because they don't talk about those things, they just fuck and smoke and communicate through kisses and touches. Kurt's not sure if Blaine knows that they're falling apart or if he's always wanted to ask Kurt that, but he knows what his answer is and will always be.

"I can't."

Blaine frowns and sits up, forcing Kurt to sit up with him, "Why not?"

"Because."

"Why not, Kurt."

"I just said, because."

They stare at each other and Kurt really wants to kiss Blaine because maybe that will end this horrible, horrible conversation but he doesn't, he can't, he just can't.

"Give me a good reason why you won't."

"I can't."

"You can't give me a good reason?"

"Yes."

Blaine stares, runs his fingers through his hair and then takes a long drag of his cigarette and blows the smoke in Kurt's face, "I want you to."

"I know," and Kurt does know, because they don't do this, they don't talk and they don't put themselves on the line. At least Kurt doesn't. Now that he thinks about it, Blaine has sort of always put himself on the line for Kurt.

"So why don't you?"

"Just because you want something doesn't mean you can just have it."

"I know that," Blaine spits, "You think I don't know that?"

"I don't know if you know that."

"Because we never fucking talk."

Kurt frowns at that, reaching over Blaine's body to stub out his cigarette, "I thought that was what was great about us. That we don't need to talk, that we just know."

"Well, clearly we don't just know seeing as I have no fucking idea why you won't come to New York with me."

Kurt stands up at that and starts to get dressed, "I can't go to New York, Blaine."

"But why not. Tell me why not. There's nothing tying you down here. I know that you hate this town and you never spend time with anyone but me."

"I just can't, okay?"

"No. It's not okay."

Everything breaks eventually, and Kurt has to leave before he is next. He doesn't say goodbye, doesn't kiss Blaine, doesn't even look back. He leaves Blaine naked on his bed, calling his name out over and over again, desperation growing every time. Kurt tries to block it out, but he can't. He can't block it out just like he can't leave Lima just like he can't open himself up to Blaine even though he wants to so badly that it hurts.

**

Blaine is leaving for New York in thirty eight hours and Kurt is sitting on the living room couch watching television with his dad. He hasn't seen Blaine since he left his house two weeks ago, and it's hard and painful but it's worth it because it would be so much more painful if things didn't end the way they did.

"You haven't gone to see Blaine lately." Kurt hums, bringing his knees up to his chest. His dad turns so that he's facing him and forces Kurt to look him in the eye. "Kurt. Why haven't you seen Blaine lately."

Kurt shrugs, "He asked me to go with him."

His dad frowns, "What do you mean?"

"To New York, dad," Kurt rolls his eyes, "Blaine asked me to go to New York."

He looks back at the TV, not wanting to see how disappointed his dad is in him, because he already knows. He can feel it in his bones, he doesn't need to actually see it to feel it.

"Why don't you?"

"You know why."

"Yeah, and I think it's really stupid."

"If things were the other way around you wouldn't think they were so stupid."

"Kurt," his dad lifts his chin up with his fingers, "I want you to go to New York. I want you to live your life. I know you hate it here, and I've hated seeing what this town has done to you."

"Whatever, dad."

"Son..."

"Can we just watch this?" he asks, nodding towards the television, "I really like this show."

And just like that the subject is dropped. It's not actually dropped, of course, because his dad keeps sending him Looks and Kurt keeps avoiding them and pretending he can't see them when really they're killing him inside. He just refuses to let his dad know that.

**

He's swinging lazily, a cigarette dangling from his mouth unlit, feeling the creaks in his bones. He wishes the swings would break. He stares up at the sky and wonders why everything in his life has to break. It's not fair and he hates it, but it always happens. Everything brakes. Except for the goddamn swings apparently.

"I'm going to miss the stars." Kurt turns around and sees Blaine standing in front of him, a pensive look on his face, "When I'm in New York, I mean," he elaborates, "I hear you can barely see them there."

"I've heard that too," Kurt mumbles. Blaine walks closer to him, places his hands over Kurt's on the chains and stops the swing, leans close and kisses Kurt more sweetly and gently than he's ever been kissed. If anyone saw them, Kurt thinks, they would stop and stare incredulously because they must look so silly. Blaine, with his tattoo that does go all the way up his arm and his leather jacket and his blue hair, and Kurt with his eyebrow piercing and his pink hair and his own tattoo that he thought hurt more than anything but it didn't because nothing hurts more than this. He thinks about the odds of two people like them finding each other, in Lima, Ohio of all places.

It doesn't seem likely and yet it happened. If people saw them he wondered if they would think that they're a perfect match or trouble waiting to happen. Kurt's wondered the same thing many times.

"Kurt..."

"Don't. You know-"

"But why?" Blaine kisses him again, soft and pleading, "Please, I just want to know why."

Kurt knows he owes him that, the truth is always owed but Kurt has never felt the need to tell it to anyone. His truth is his alone and nobody else needed to know it. Maybe Blaine does. It's a comforting thought and it's terrifying in how wonderful it is.

"My dad's dying." Kurt whispers, "I can't just leave. Not now."

Blaine stares at him, eyes wide and sad, and Kurt doesn't know how Blaine always acts so emotionless because he has the most emotive eyes that Kurt has ever seen and Blaine is leaving tomorrow, why couldn't he have found out earlier.

"I- Kurt, I-"

"Don't say you're sorry, because I don't want to hear it. I just can't leave him, Blaine. I can't."

"What does he have?" Blaine asks, arms now resting on Kurt's shoulders.

"Prostate cancer," he says, the first time he's said those words out loud, "And last year he had a heart attack."

Everything has been crashing down for months but for some reason it took Blaine leaving for Kurt to realize that. Blaine presses kisses to his mouth, over and over again until Kurt loses himself in them one last time, gives himself over to Blaine the way he has all summer long, even if it's just once more.

"I'll wait for you," Blaine whispers against his mouth, "I don't care how long, I'll wait."

"You're going to wait until my father dies? That's a bit morbid."

Blaine shakes his head, "I'll wait until you're ready to be with me. Actually be with me."

They kiss for a bit longer, but eventually they have to stop because it's late and Blaine has a flight to catch tomorrow and Kurt is just realizing that Blaine's had him figured out for a very long time and hasn't said anything. It's beautiful and sad and it breaks Kurt heart so he kisses Blaine one last time before they go their separate ways.

Kurt starts crying about halfway home and doesn't stop until he's sneaking into his dad and Carole's room and slipping into the bed in between them, cuddling close to them like a five year old who's had a nightmare. They hold him close, not questioning his motives at all, and Kurt cries and cries all through the night, hating that everything is falling apart and how it feels that nothing will ever come back together.

**

Kurt is swinging gently when Blaine's plane takes off, feeling the warm August breeze on his face and staring up at the clouds through his sunglasses. He thinks about how Blaine won't be able to see the stars in New York and how this summer has been the best of Kurt's life, despite everything, and how maybe there are some good things about Lima after all.

**

Kurt receives three letters halfway through November. The first is from the family doctor, telling him that his father is making excellent progress with his treatment and that it is highly likely that his cancer will be completely gone by the end of February. The second is from Finn, letting him know that he's being deployed soon, that he misses him very much and that he knows that Kurt misses him too even if he never says it. The last one is from Blaine, talking about the apartment he just found and how beautiful he thinks Kurt would look inside of it.

Kurt writes back to Finn and then calls his doctor to confirm if what the letter says is true. It is.

He doesn't write Blaine back.

**

By the end of December he's practically taken over Hummel's Tire and Lubes since his dad is going through the roughest part of his treatment and to be honest his bank account is really thanking him for it. He thinks it's stupid to be saving up money when he knows he's not going anywhere, but his dad insists that he be paid a manager's salary and the numbers are building up.

Blaine writes to him twice a week and Kurt has picked up a pen to write him back more times than he can count, but in the end he never does.

**

Half way through January Kurt's dad collapses in the middle of a therapy session. He's hooked up to a machine that beeps too loudly and Kurt isn't allowed to stay with him all night long. He spends two days in the hospital, sleeping in the waiting room when he's not allowed to be with his dad.

When his dad is released on an almost clean bill of health, Kurt takes him home and decides that until the cancer is entirely gone he's not going to take his eye off his dad for longer than is absolutely necessary. His dad complains that he's smothering him, but Kurt knows that if he had cancer his dad would do the same thing for him. His dad knows too, and Kurt can tell when his arguments lose their bite.

Blaine writes that he misses him, that he wishes he was with him, that even though he's willing to wait forever it's hard. Kurt thinks about how much easier things would be if he just left, if he went to New York and lived with Blaine like he so desperately wants to.

But then he remembers what his dad looked like hooked up to that machine and he shakes his head and stuffs Blaine's letter into the box where he's stored all of the others.

**

Just like the doctors predicted his dad's cancer is gone by the end of February. It's a miracle, some say, while others insist that when he collapsed it actually helped speed up the process. Kurt doesn't care how it happened, he just cares that his father is okay.

He's told to come back in a month for a check up and then again in six for another. Kurt tells his dad that he's not going anywhere until he knows for sure, but his dad tells him that there's no way he's keeping him in Lima for six more months if he feels perfectly fine.

They reach a compromise.

**

It's April and it's raining. His dad has passed his one month check up, and even though Kurt still worries he's realized that it's time to let go. Lima was his prison for too long, and the worst part about all of it was that he was the person in charge of the keys the entire time.

He walks through dirty streets, feels refreshed when he realizes that nobody is staring at him, and constantly glances down at the piece of paper in his hand as well as at the street names and numbers as he wades through the crowds.

Everything is different here and it's so wonderful that Kurt just wants to scream. But he has more important things to do first.

He finally finds what he's looking for, the number on the building the same as the one on his paper. It's run down and shabby and so perfect. Kurt walks through the front doors, walks up the stairs, and feels himself become lighter with every step he takes.

When he's standing in front of the right door he hesitates, hand already in the air poised to knock. The hesitation doesn't last long and then Kurt is knocking, the sound echoing loudly through the empty hall.

The door opens and there is Blaine. He looks different, so completely different, and yet at the same time exactly the same. The blue in his hair is gone, and he's not wearing a leather jacket, but his piercing is still there and Kurt can see that he's not trying to hide his tattoo at all. Blaine stares at him, and just keeps staring and Kurt stares back because this is real. This is real and this is happening and it's perfect.

"I'm ready," he says into the silence, the words feeling like a weight being lifted off his shoulders and in an instant Blaine has gathered him up in his arms and is pressing kisses all over his face, whispering nothing but his name over and over again.

**

Everything breaks. But eventually, if you wait long enough, the things that are not meant to stay broken fix themselves. And sometimes, something that is fixed is even better than something that was never broken at all.