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You Are Mine

Chapter Text

And I told you all my dreams and fears
And you looked at me and your eyes filled with tears
And you said those three words I'd been waiting for
You became a part of me.

~ You're Mine, Lea Michele

"Santana Lopez, do you accept the terms of this sacred contract to be Dominant to Blaine Devon Anderson willingly and freely?"

She glanced dutifully at the contract she and Blaine had so carefully negotiated. "I do."

She smiled at Blaine softly. He bit his lip, nervously awaiting his turn. His honeyed eyes were so full of this beautiful mixture of hope and eagerness and just a hint of the insecurity that she'd always found the most endearing thing about him. As if he had no idea just how much he had to offer the world.

"Blaine Devon Anderson, do you accept the terms of this sacred contract to be submissive to Santana Lopez willingly and freely?"

He didn't even need to look. He had every word memorized. "I do," he barely breathed.

The Minister let the quiet hush fall over the crowd. Blaine's heart beat in his chest, his nerves and excitement rushing through his veins making him quiver to the point of barely being able to stand. Which Santana, her eyes sparkling with delight and amusement, knew was exactly the point.

"Then by the power invested in me, I now declare you Claimed. Blaine, you may kneel for your Dominant."

He fell to his knees quickly, unable to stand another moment. With the descent came a sigh of relief, and he bowed his head, eyes trained firmly on the ground. A gentle murmur rose from the crowd of family and friends as they, according to custom that had been passed down through centuries of Claimings, left the young couple alone for their first formal exchange of power. Blaine and Santana's parents shook hands and headed out to begin the celebrations and accept the congratulations of their hundreds of guests. It would be Westerville's greatest social event of the season.

Blaine and Santana would join them later.

When the doors closed with an echo and the Cathedral-ceilinged room of white and gold fell into complete silence, Santana placed a gentle hand atop Blaine's curls, caressing them softly at first before grasping them tighter. "Look at me Blaine," she commanded.

It was her first real command. His first real act of submission as he obeyed. She'd expected amusement or giddiness in his eyes. She'd have even been unsurprised by fear. But reverence was the absolute last thing she'd anticipated, and for a moment it took her breath away.

"You're beautiful," she whispered. The words just slipped out without any conscious thought.

Blaine bowed his head, his cheeks glowing pink at the praise. "Thank you," he smiled with a shyness she had never seen from him before.

Her brow creased and her lips set into a small frown. "Are you okay?"

"Yes," he said, but his voice was so soft she could barely hear him.

She knelt down to him, needing to see him, to truly see him, and she lifted his chin with a finger. "This doesn't change anything Blaine," she told him.

But Blaine gently shook his head. "This changes everything."

Santana sat back on her heels and Blaine automatically followed suit. She stared at him, scrutinizing him, wondering how so much could have changed for him with just the utterance of a few words when so little felt different for her. "How?" she asked, needing to understand. "You've been kneeling for me since you were ten years old."

"That was play, 'Tana." Blaine chuckled and for a minute she could see him in there again, her best friend throughout her childhood, the boy who teased her and laughed with her and played tricks in constant hope of goading her. The boy to whom she'd told all of her deepest, darkest secrets, and who shared his own in return. The boy who had been promised to her on her fifteenth birthday and who had accepted his fate with grace and dignity. And now here they were, seventeen years old, Claimed, and Blaine was staring at her like he'd never really seen her before. "That was different. This…" He reached for her hand and she took it, squeezing firmly because she knew instinctually that was what he needed. "This is real. Ma'am."

Now it was her turn to bite her lip, nervousness finally coursing through her veins. A shiver ran up her spine. This was real. He wasn't just her best friend now. He was her responsibility. For better or for worse, he was hers until… "I don't know if I like you calling me Ma'am."

Flecks of gold in his eyes twinkled, a bit of the mischief she'd always loved glowing inside them. "We'll work up to it," he promised with a roguish grin, but then it melted back into the solemnity the situation deserved. "I need this Santana. I need to be yours."

She held his gaze firm, looking for any sign of dishonesty. "You stated you did this freely. Willingly. Is that the truth? I know you didn't-"

"Yes," Blaine said, his surety cutting her off. "I know the decision wasn't mine. But I swear to you I did do this freely and willingly. There is no one else I would trust with this Santana. There is no one else for me."

"But someday there will be," Santana acknowledged, her voice forcing his acknowledgement as well. He tried to dip his eyes in disagreement but she did not let him. "You cannot live in a platonic claim your whole life Blaine," she told him. "Someday when you're free to be yourself, when we are both free to be ourselves, there will be someone else. And the day I see your face light up with joy as I transfer your contract to him will be one of the happiest of my life." She saw a tear escape his eye and she wiped it away. And it hit her that he didn't need his best friend anymore, not like that. He needed his Dominant to be tall and powerful and in complete control and she rose before him eyes trained sternly down. His whole demeanor changed, kneeling back up with purpose. With a beautiful obedience. Dominance coursed through her veins at the sight and she believed she would have to find new words to define the way he made her feel. "Until then Blaine Anderson," she commanded, "You are mine."

"I am yours," he repeated softly. "I will be your perfect sub Santana," he promised.

She leaned down and caressed his cheek. "I know you will sweetheart." Her voice was like a song to Blaine. Until her lips turned up in a smirk. "But don't be too perfect, okay? Where would the fun be in that?"


You're mine, for life
And I'll be by your side
We are entwined.

I'm yours and you are mine.

Chapter Text

There is no difference between you and me
It lies beyond our history
And if we only take the time to see we're all we need
Just take my hand, and see me as a brother

~ A Great Big World

The first time Blaine was spanked he was five years old and had run out into the street after a ball, narrowly missing being hit by a car. He'd cried in his room for hours after that, far more out of guilt and shame than any lingering pain he may have felt. His father finally came upstairs and assured him everything was okay and he was forgiven and he'd wrapped himself up in his arms and fallen asleep.

That was their first sign.

The second time he was ten years old and had been sent home from school after getting into a full out hand to hand brawl with Santana Lopez about the legitimacy of Hanson as musical genius. He'd asked for it that time and the moment his father was done with him he went on his own the five houses down the street to apologize. He rang her doorbell and when she answered he fell to his knees at Santana's feet. She'd carded her hand through his hair, kissed him on the forehead in forgiveness and invited him upstairs to listen to "real" music. He blushed and followed and was introduced to the world of Latin culture.

They were inseparable ever since.

And that was their second sign.

Because from the moment Santana Lopez was born there was absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that she was a Dominant.

"That's really what you're going to wear to your best friend's Quinceañera Blaine?"

Blaine stared at himself in the mirror. He was wearing khakis and a button down and he thought he looked appropriately dapper. He looked to his round faced friend who was, as always, dressed to perfection. "What's the matter with it Trent?" His forehead wrinkling with scrutiny. "Santana's not gonna care what I'm wearing."

Trent smirked knowingly. "Like hell she won't. You could at least throw on a bowtie. Come on, this could be the party that changes our whole lives," he winked eagerly.

Blaine laughed. "You really think you're gonna find the Dominant of your dreams at a 15th birthday party?"

Trent smirked. He knew not everyone could be as lucky as Blaine and Santana to find their soulmates so young, but lightening could hit in close proximity, couldn't it? "I think that if a knight in shining armor comes in and sweeps me off my feet I might kneel to him that very moment."

Blaine went still. He looked at Trent through the mirror then turned slowly. "You can't be claimed by another man." He'd never heard of such a thing. He'd never even considered such a thing. But now that he had…

"Of course you can," Trent said with an easy smile. "My parents say you can love whoever you love. And the love of my life is a knight who will always protect me."

"Blaine." Blaine looked up, still wide-eyed from this bombshell Trent had dropped on him. His father's voice was tense in the doorway. "Trent, why don't you wait downstairs, I need a minute alone with Blaine."

Trent's lips grew taut as he glanced sideways at his friend. Blaine had no idea why he might be in trouble but it seemed extremely likely given the visible pulse in his father's neck. Trent had been around long enough to know it too and frowned sympathetically before heading down the stairs without another word.

Blaine started to speak but his father interrupted him. "I don't want you listening to that boy," he said firmly.

"Is it true? That men can claim other men?" He didn't really know why his heart was beating so fast but the look on his father's face only made it faster.

"Not in Ohio, no. And even if it were legal it doesn't make it okay. Nor is it something you are ever to talk about again," he ordered. "A man belongs with a woman. I think this will be Trent's last visit to the house. He's a poor influence on you."

Blaine wanted to protest. Trent was one of his best friends. But he knew his father's Dom look and he knew protesting would only get him into trouble he wasn't feeling at all like instigating. He would still see Trent at school and at other friend's houses. He bowed his head respectfully. "Yes sir," he agreed.

"Good. Now go downstairs. I'll drive you both to Santana's party instead of your mom. There's something I need to talk to her mother about anyway." Blaine did as his father said and he and Trent were silent the entire way to the party.

He was promised to Santana the next day.

It was the middle of Warblers rehearsal when the text chimed on his phone. Glancing at Wes as he sang, knowing he was about to piss off exactly the wrong person to piss off in the Warblers, Blaine broke out of the choreography and sang his way over to his cell. He kept singing as he picked it up and swiped it, but when he saw the message from Quinn he stopped.

From Quinn to Blaine: Santana's in trouble, she needs you now.

He didn't skip a beat.

"Blaine-" Wes protested when he saw their lead singer gathering his things and slinging them across his shoulder.

"Sorry Wes, but I have to go. You guys work on the backup vocals and I'll see you tomorrow," he yelled as he raced out the door. He knew there was grumbling behind him but he was needed far more across campus. He ran all the way to the small stone bridge that connected Dalton Academy to Crawford Country Day School and signed in quickly with the staff on duty. Then he took off in the direction of the gym where Santana had cheerleading practice.

Boys were allowed on the girls' campus after classes were over until dark and Blaine had been there often enough for most of the girls to know him. Because everyone knew Santana Lopez; youngest captain of the cheerleading squad, lead vocalist in the school's choir, and now promised to one of the hottest and most wanted subs at Dalton Academy. So when they saw him running straight toward the gym a crowd of curious onlookers followed, knowing that something exciting was happening. Because Santana was also extremely well known for her temper.

Her voice rang out above the rafters and out the door. "I don't give a rat's ass whether she weighs half a pound less than me, I will be damned if I am going to let this richy bitch poor excuse for a cheerleader at the top of my pyramid."

"You're the poor excuse Lopez, you get on top of that pyramid and it'll come tumbling right back down," Sugar, a tiny cheerleader with a not so tiny voice, shouted back.

Blaine got to the door to find the cheerleaders gathered around nervously and Santana going in for the strike. She lunged forward but she couldn't reach her target when the coach grabbed Santana around her waist. "This is completely unacceptable behavior Lopez."

"No what's completely unacceptable is you giving my spot on the pyramid to a girl whose Daddy bought it for her," Santana shrieked wrestling out of the coach's arms to confront her directly.

"Those decisions aren't yours Santana," the coach snapped. "The decision is mine and if you can't handle that then you're off the team."

If Blaine didn't know any better he would have said that Santana grew 12 inches in that moment, drawing herself up tall, jutting her chin out proudly. Everything went calm about her and Blaine's skin prickled. "Except you can't do that," she said with a smooth confidence, advancing slowly on her coach. He shuddered at the dominance rolling off of her in ways that made his knees almost buckle. "You are nothing but a washed up has been who never even made Nationals until I started leading this rag tag poor excuse for a squad last year. And now we're reigning champions. Thanks to me. Your head cheerleader. I make or break this team," Santana gloated.

"Not any more you don't," the coach answered through gritted teeth, just barely keeping her anger in check. Blaine sucked in a breath, his heart beating quickly in his chest. He knew exactly how important this was to her and he knew that despite her bravado now, Santana would be devastated at losing it. He silently begged her to turn it around. "You're suspended from the team. Three days. Which means you are no longer eligible to be head cheerleader for the rest of your junior year. Congratulations Quinn," she said, turning to their friend in the front row.

"You just watch!" Santana shrieked. Blaine stared at his best friend losing her dignity and he knew he needed to step in quickly. "I'm going to-"

"Santana." Blaine's voice was small as he called her from the doorway, but she immediately shut her mouth and turned to him. Every eye in the room followed hers. His gaze though was on Santana and Santana alone. He stepped toward her, inching his way carefully, with such a spellbinding mix of strength and deference that she was suddenly finding it hard to breathe. Finally he was standing before her, staring hard into her eyes one second then lowering them so his lashes lay beautifully across his lids the next. "You don't have to do this," he said, his voice barely above a whisper. "Please?"

She took a minute, turning to scowl at the eyes that were all on her, but he linked his hand with hers, squeezing it, grounding her and she turned back. He looked up at her, his honeyed gaze dripping with warmth and love and understanding she knew she'd find nowhere else and her eyes fell to their clasped hands.

"Let me walk you home," he said, the words seeming an order but the tone a plea.

Santana could do nothing but nod. He made no move. He held back, waiting for her to lead. With one final look Santana turned her back on her team and guided Blaine to the locker room.

She fell apart the moment the doors closed behind her, crumbling with anger and regret, but Blaine did not let her fall. He led her to the bench and sat her down, kneeling before her as he took off the sneakers she wore only for practice. He opened her locker and took out her clothes, laying them down beside her for when she was ready. And he waited for the tears to stop, a handkerchief in his hand. Finally they did.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Santana sniffed, wiping her eyes with the handkerchief. "All my life I've worked my ass off to be on top, to make people listen to me and follow me and I need that Blaine, I need it as much as I need air to breathe. If I'm not head cheerleader who am I?"

Blaine sat back on his heels and took her hands. "You are Santana Lopez. My best friend. The girl who sets hearts on fire. And whether you have the squad or not, I promise Santana that I will always make you feel like you are captain of the cheerleading team, coach and top of the pyramid all at the same time. When you need to feel like somebody's paying attention, I will listen. When you need to feel like your words have power, I will obey. And when you feel like you need to rule the world I will submit," he vowed. "Because you will rule my world, Santana."

Santana looked down at him and she wondered what she had ever done in the world to deserve a friend as perfect as Blaine. "Do you know how much I wish I wanted to kiss you right now?"

Blaine closed his eyes and swallowed. For just a moment a faceless person flashed in his thoughts but when he opened his eyes again they fell firmly on Santana. "Yes I do," he said with sadness in his voice. "But we've tried that before and I think we both recall it not going over too well." He wrinkled his nose and she laughed softly, remembering their disastrous attempt. The sound made his heart soar. "So let me just hold you instead?"

Everyone in school had been jealous that Santana and Blaine had found their soulmates so quickly. Not that Santana even really believed in soulmates but Blaine did. And whether soulmates were real or not, that was how they felt, fitting together like hand in glove. The only problem was that try as they might, they never really developed those very special feelings for one another that everyone told them they should have.

Blaine needed Santana and Santana needed Blaine and there was a very strong desire for them to take care of one another. Blaine needed her approval and Santana needed his obedience and in perfect harmony they both needed sometimes for those things to be fought for.

But the other things that they were supposed to need, likes kisses and closeness and all the whispered behaviors their classmates were starting to explore with one another as they grew older, were things that neither of them desired. At least not with one another.

But the one thing that Blaine and Santana had always had with each other was honesty and they understood at least partially what was going on. They watched the news as the contracts and marriages they truly desired were painstakingly slowly legalized elsewhere, but certainly not in Ohio. And never would it be acceptable for the children of the Westerville Upper Crust.

She leaned down as he rose to sit next to her, wrapping his arms around her. Arms so warm and loving that, though she knew she was the one who was meant to protect, she felt nothing but safety. Tears escaped her eyes because it would have been so much easier if they could have just fallen in love with one another. Life was a cruel joke sometimes. "You're my best friend Blaine," she choked.

Blaine kissed her on the forehead. "And you are mine," he whispered.

"I feel like I should be carrying you over the threshold or something," Blaine said with a nervous laugh.

"Pretty sure that's my job, sub," Santana replied, but she didn't make a move when Blaine fit the key into the lock and opened the door for her. Instead she walked inside alone, flipped the switch and gazed for the first time upon their new apartment.

"This cottage is beautiful Blaine," Santana gaped. It was small enough to not seem overwhelming to the couple still very young to be on their own. But it was decorated with a sophistication that matched both of their discerning sensibilities. And it had the privacy they absolutely required. Or at least as close as they would get until they could move to New York City.


When it had been time for them to meet with the Claiming Counselor to develop their contract they had already done their research and knew what they had to do. They were very clear. They knew that every claim was white until the claim was consummated and turned to gold. They knew that white claims could be annulled by the subs' Dominant parent at any time. They also knew there was a little known antiquated exception to that rule in just a few states being whispered about on certain underground equality websites. In places like New York, if the contract itself was written as white, it could not be annulled. Blaine and Santana knew that their parents would never approve. They also knew that it was perfectly legal. And completely confidential.

No one had to know. The ceremony would be public enough. The terms they promised would remain private.


Santana heard the door click behind her and she turned to find Blaine kneeling at the edge of the entry way, head down hands clasped behind his back. She immediately walked over to him, lifting his chin, so their eyes met. "What's the matter sweetheart?" she asked gently.

"I was just afraid you wouldn't like it," he admitted.

"I love it," she promised. "Did you do this all yourself or did your Mom help?"

"Myself," he answered proudly. "I wanted to do it all for you Santana. It's the least I could do after everything you do for me."

"You do so much more for me than you know Blaine," she said softly.


Dominance and submission came as naturally to Blaine and Santana as breathing. Early on in health classes they were taught all the different ways that Dominants and submissives belonged together but neither felt they needed the classes, it was something they knew as well as they knew that the sky was blue. They understood better than most of their friends that it wasn't just about their sexual impulses. A Dom needed a sub, and a sub needed a Dom. It shocked them to learn that a very small percentage of the population lived "in the gray" without any apparent trace of submissive or Dominant hormones. It didn't surprise Blaine that relationships with grays could be dangerous, especially for subs. But none of that mattered to Blaine and Santana. Their own urges were so great, their need for the other so strong, they couldn't imagine ever living without them.

It wasn't that Blaine was meek or passive. He knew exactly what he wanted and when he wanted it. And what he craved was security. Someone to care for. Someone that would hold him accountable. To matter to someone so much that everything he did was a reflection on them. And he wanted to be so good that he lived up to that trust…9 times out of 10. Maybe 8. Because sometimes the firm reminder of expectation felt even better than obedience.


Santana explored the apartment and Blaine followed her. It had been the Anderson guest house before and would be again once Santana and Blaine moved out on their own. But for the rest of their senior year it was theirs and she felt a strong need to know every nook and cranny. The kitchen was small but had the latest appliances. The living room was carpeted in a beautiful white, a handsome sofa placed center, backed with dark rich mahogany wood but upholstered with warm russet leather. The arm rests were thick and low. Her mind swam with possibilities.

The sofa faced a softer edged part of the room lined with white bookshelves full of books and knickknacks. One corner housed a gorgeous lamp. The other corner was bare. She glanced over to Blaine who was also staring at it, a naughty glint in his eye, his lips turned up just slightly. Marking his territory with a stare. She smiled softly. He truly was the perfect sub.

"Show me the bedroom?" she asked him, eyes sparkling.

He led the way to the single bedroom and once again knelt by the door, watching her carefully while she scrutinized it. He had filled it with all of her favorite things and lined her dresser with all of the perfumes and beauty products he had learned she'd loved over the years. A brand new wooden hairbrush sat center on a round mirror tray. Blaine bit back a proud grin as she ran a single finger over it in approval. She turned to the bed, made up in her favorite colors and looking so comfortable and luxurious that she threw herself right down on top of it. But at the feel of the mattress she sat up and pulled the covers back. Instead of the King size bed she'd requested, two twins were pushed together. She stood up, angrily shoving them apart and folded her arms across her chest. "This does not look like a King, Blaine," she said sternly.

"No ma'am," Blaine responded his hands unconsciously shifting behind his back. "I pushed together the twins that were already here. That way we can pull them apart at night. I know what you asked for, but then we'd lack our own privacy."

"So you deliberately disobeyed me?" Blaine lowered his head at her words, a tiny smile gracing his lips, but he said nothing. "We'll lack our privacy anyway Blaine, separate beds in the same room won't fix that. You're forcing your Dom to sleep uncomfortably every night and we'll have to put it back together every morning in case someone comes in. Or rather you will," Santana snapped. She took a step toward him and raised his chin for their eyes to meet. The smile was immediately banished at the disappointment in her eyes. "You will get us a King size bed. If you are so desperate for privacy then you may sleep on the couch."

"Yes ma'am," Blaine said. His ducked his head once again and his face grew red under her reproach. But his heart quickened with anticipation. "I'm sorry."

"For your behavior you will see exactly how small one of these beds is." She kicked one out to separate them further. "Lie across it."

With a blush on his cheeks he rose to his feet, took his shoes off and did exactly as he was told. At the foot of one of the twins he laid down, his head hanging over one edge, his legs falling over the edge of the other. His eyes were turned toward her and he watched her pick up the hairbrush that had been waiting just for this very moment.


When Blaine had suggested that they move into the guest cottage on his parents' estate instead of staying with her family their final year of school, Santana had balked. Even she struggled with breaking custom that they take up residence in the home of the Dominant partner. Not to mention the fact that they were literally in the backyard of the one person who would scrutinize everything and wouldn't hesitate to rip them apart while he could if he even suspected a white contract. But it had taken exactly one infraction in her parents' home to realize that their secrets could not be well hidden out in the open. And in the end Santana had agreed that they were safest on their own with eyes not on them all the time and the privacy to find their own way.


"Because this was clearly purposeful and you do not need the time to think about what you've done wrong, you will count for me," Santana directed.

"Yes ma'am," Blaine sighed only seconds before the wooden brush smacked down atop his jeans. After the first three he felt like he was floating. After the next three he felt like he belonged. And after the last three he felt like he was home.

The door clicked open and Blaine ran to it, immediately grabbing Santana and swinging her around in his arms.

"Put me down you idiot," she laughed as she swatted him on the arm. He did as he was told and grabbed her suitcases for her while she closed the door. "You don't have to do that," she told him.

"I know I don't," Blaine said happily. "But I want to. I missed you." He carried them into her room, Santana following him, and flung them on the bed, opening them so he could unpack for her. "So how was the competition, tell me everything!"

"Well, we won of course, due in large part to Quinn and me," she gloated. She sprawled out on the bed, one leg crossed over the other and just watched him. They'd been apart less than a week but she'd almost forgotten just how beautiful he was. "And I met this girl Brittany. She is just the sweetest most honest and innocent thing in the world Blaine, you would just love her," she grinned up at him. "And she's an amazing dancer, you two would perform so well together."

Blaine blushed and shook his head dismissively. "I'm not that good a dancer Santana."

She scowled but her voice was playful. "Yes you are, don't make me punish you for not trusting yourself. Or me."

"Yes Ma'am," he said with a grin. He pulled out the toiletries she'd packed and arranged them on her dresser just how she liked them on the tray beneath her mirror. "So where's this Brittany from?"

"She's actually from Lima, she cheers for the Cheerios at McKinley," Santana said. "She's a senior too and get this! She wasn't afraid to tell me that she likes boys and girls. And she plans to go to New York in the fall."

Blaine studied Santana's reflection in the glass, her eyes wide and her voice filled with a giddiness he'd never seen from her before. He couldn't help but smile.

"Aww…you like her," he cooed.

"What?" Santana snapped up, folding her arms across her chest protectively. Blaine knew the gesture all too well. "No I don't."

He turned around and leaned back against the bureau. "Yes, you totally do Santana," he grinned. "You should ask her to go out." He went back to his work, finishing up with the suitcases and storing them in the closet.

It took a while for Santana to say anything but sometimes she got like this, when the words she wanted to say frightened her too much. He knew he could coax it out of her if he wanted, submit and plead. But this was more fun. And finally she broke the silence. "What if she doesn't like me?" she worried and Blaine found her rare insecurity fascinating.

"Is she a sub?" he asked softly, turning to her. She nodded hesitantly, but Blaine just smiled knowingly. "Then of course she's going to like you. Every sub at Dalton wants you."

Her confidence returned quickly with his compliments. "Well that's too bad," she smirked, pulling herself back up. "Because I don't want them."

"Yes but you do want her," Blaine asserted and her face gave everything away that he was right. "And every sub at Crawford fawns over you. So when you call this Brittany and ask to meet her for coffee she won't even be able to say no."

Santana studied him carefully and he stood strong against her scrutiny wondering exactly what she was looking for and if he'd be able to meet her expectations. "You'd be okay with that? Me asking her out?"

Blaine chuckled. "I want you to be happy. It's a date at the most Santana. It's not like you're claiming her."

It looked like he'd satisfied her and she nodded. "Okay. I'll call her tonight."

"Great!" Blaine beamed, but then his face fell a bit. "Just, you know, if it is a date make sure you go out to Lima where no one who knows us will see."

The weight of the world suddenly came crashing back down on both of them. Eyes were everywhere.

Santana sighed. "Of course. I'll do what we have to do."

"So, where is she?" Blaine stood on his tiptoes the minute they walked into Breadstix, searching out a head of gorgeous blonde hair in a sea of packed tables. Santana had showed him only a few pictures of the girl she was seriously falling for, but he wasn't sure it would be enough to pick her out of a crowd.

"I don't know," Santana said, biting her lip nervously. Dating Brittney had been scary enough. Introducing her and Blaine was frightening as hell. "I don't know if she-"

"Santana!" They both turned at the same time to see the girl in Santana's pictures waving them over from a corner booth. Blaine felt his Dom grab his hand and drag him over to the table. She went to introduce them but apparently there was no need because Brittany immediately swept him into her arms. "Blaine!" she shrieked excitedly. "It's so good to finally meet you, Santana has told me so much about you! She talks about you all the time."

Santana blushed and pulled Blaine down into the booth, sitting next to him and across from her girlfriend. "I do not, hush."

Brittany bent down across the table conspiratorially at him. "Yes she does," she whispered then sat up straight. "And I can see why, you are absolutely adorable."

Now it was Blaine's turn to blush and he propped his head shyly on his hand. "Well you're adorable too," he said, grinning from ear to ear. "And Santana talks about you all the time as well."

"Well I would hope so," Brittany smirked confidently. "I am pretty amazing."

"And modest too," Santana said rolling her eyes.

"Well I only speak the truth," Brittany said and Blaine could feel the flow of dominance from Santana immediately, even before he turned to see the darkening of her eyes.

"Well I should expect so," she warned, her voice low. It made Blaine shiver as it always did and it was obvious it did the same for Brittany.

The waitress interrupted them. "Are you guys ready to order?"

"Yes," Santana said closing her menu. "She will have the shrimp scampi, he will have the honey chicken salad with angel hair and I will have the spaghetti Bolognese. Water for all of us, and a basket of breadsticks, please."

Brittany leaned in and whispered, "Santana may I have a salad too?"

"Certainly love," she said, touching Brittany's hand lightly then looking back up to the waitress. "She will also have a house salad, oil and vinegar please."

"Thank you," the waitress said as she gathered the menus then left.

"So Blaine, Santana tells me you sing for the Warblers?" Brittany asked.

Blaine couldn't help but grin. "Yes! I think we've competed against Lima before. New Directions, right?"

"Yup!" Brittany beamed proudly. "I choreograph for them for the competitions and I've danced with them too. We competed against you guys two years ago I think?"

"Yeah, the year Vocal Adrenaline won." Blaine tried to remember the set that New Directions had done, but he had probably been backstage during it. "I would love to see you dance."

"We should go to a club sometime," Brittany said, her eyes alight.

Santana rolled her eyes. "Just what I need, the two of you loose in a club," she smirked.

Brittany winked at Blaine and he grinned back. He was pretty sure that having Brittany around was going to be fun.

6:30pm. He glanced at the clock once more before opening the oven just a tiny bit to make sure the casserole wasn't burning. Santana had been due home thirty minutes ago. He'd gotten home from school and Warbler rehearsal two hours prior and she'd said she was just going out to coffee with Brittany.

He'd texted her, but he hadn't wanted to seem needy and when she said she'd be home at six he trusted her. But now he just paced, praying she was safe. And that the casserole wouldn't burn.

The click of the door announced her entrance and he waited, hearing the tiny sounds he knew all too well by now. The jingle of the keys hung up on the hook. The swish of her sweater as she swept it off and onto the coat rack. The tap of her heels coming toward him. He settled his heart, trying desperately to let the anger and worry subside before she entered, focusing instead on the casserole he could finally take out of the oven. Not burnt, but probably by only a minute.

"Hello sweetheart," Santana said entering the kitchen, her voice lilting beautifully other than the expectant hint in her voice. An expectation of greeting that hadn't come.

And now that she was here, he found he wasn't feeling very welcoming anymore. "You're late," he snapped without looking at her. He reached up to the counter and grabbed them both plates. "The casserole is nearly ruined."

"I'm sorry, I lost track of time," she said, but her voice was hardening and he knew if he looked at her that angry lines would be starting to form on her brow. "I'm sure the casserole is fine."

He spooned their portions onto their plates and brought them over to the table, serving her first before sitting in his own seat across from her. "So are you gonna share why you were late or just let me stew about it," he asked. He pushed the fork around his plate, his stomach churning too much to eat. He knew he was being fresh. He knew he was asking for trouble. In the moment he didn't care.

For some reason though she didn't even reprimand him and he should have known then that something was wrong. But his own storm of emotions were a wall to hers.

"I asked Brittany if I could claim her," Santana said softly.

Blaine dropped his fork. His stomach lurched. He hadn't looked at his Dom since she'd arrived home but now he finally did and her face was…apologetic? Guilty? But resolved too and something else Blaine didn't recognize.

"No," he declared.

Her eyes narrowed. Her lips grew taut. "I'm sorry Blaine but I don't remember asking your permission," she said slowly and he knew very well her words were a warning but he could barely hear it over his heart thrumming in his head.

Instead he shot out of his seat, the casserole forgotten, flinging his chair out behind him hard enough that it nearly fell. "How could you do this?" he yelled. He couldn't prevent the tears from filling his eyes but he fought like hell to keep them from falling. "Without even telling me!"

"Blaine you need to calm down." She was at his side in a minute, grabbing his hand trying to ground him, but her orders held no sway for him right then. "We've talked about this."

"No!" He snapped his hand away. "We didn't talk about this! We've talked about me falling in love and transferring my claim and you finding a girl that could give you everything I can't, but we didn't talk about you finding her first! And we most certainly didn't talk about you claiming her," he choked, his fear overtaking his anger.

"Blaine," she tried but he would not listen.

"No!" Blaine shouted. "You can't do this."

"Yes Blaine, I can."

"No! I won't allow it!"

Santana stiffened in shock. "You won't allow it?" her voice was dangerous but he was too foregone to realize.

"You're damn right I won't allow it. You aren't claiming her Santana!" he shouted. "You aren't replacing me with that air-headed blonde bitch!"

Santana had to force herself to step back so she didn't strike. "Corner!" she commanded instead, pointing harshly. "Now!"

He realized just a second too late that he'd gone too far and he knew that she had given him more than enough chances. Still his pulse raced with anger and his limbs were shaking as he made his way to the corner of the living room he'd made his own.

"Kneel," she ordered. "Hands behind your back, head down."

He did as he was told, kneeling on the carpet, placing his hands palms up one atop the other just above his waistline. But he held his head up in defiance. Because he might be wrong but she was wrong too and disobedience was his only way to punish her.

"Bow your head Blaine. Now," she warned.

He turned his gaze, hard golden eyes piercing hers and for a moment they stayed locked in a battle of wills. But then Santana laid a gentle hand in his curls, caressing them softly before grasping tightly. "Bow your head sweetheart," she whispered with a surge of dominance, and the power of that whisper finally forced compliance.

She waited a minute, watching the tension in his shoulders abate slightly, watching his eyes close under her dominance before pulling her hand away.

"I absolutely will not tolerate your disrespect, toward me or toward anyone else. And I will not tolerate your mistrust." Santana let the words settle in his mind before she continued. "When you have gathered your thoughts and are calm again and ready to have this conversation respectfully you may come accept your punishment and then we will talk. Is that understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," Blaine murmured.

"Good," she said and she left him to his thoughts.

For a moment he thought he might be sick, the reality of what he had just done, the things he had just said settling in him like a ton of bricks. He had sworn at his Dom. He had openly and arrogantly defied her. He had insulted the girl that she loved and he had done it all out of spite and jealousy and a fear that by claiming Brittany he would lose Santana. That she would abandon him and leave him alone to fend for himself or worse send him back to his father's home to find another Dominant to meet his needs. Someone who didn't know him or understand him. Someone he didn't trust at all. And then the tears that had welled in his eyes began to flow because he had broken the first rule of both their contracts. Trust. Trust that she would always care for him and love him and protect him until and unless he had someone else he chose who could give him everything that he needed. Like Brittany could give to her.

Santana would never abandon him but he would also never be able to offer her the things that Brittany could and he believed without a doubt that he would first become a distraction and then a burden. And he had no choice, he couldn't forbid it like he'd pretended he could and he couldn't find someone for himself, not as long as they lived within a stone's throw of his father breathing down their necks. Even after he would be risking everything.

He couldn't deny Santana what he was not allowed to have. Even if he could he wouldn't deny her happiness, her fulfillment, her chance at a golden claim instead of his pathetic surrogate of a white one. He respected her too much. He loved her too much. And he trusted her too much. He trusted her with everything.

His heart sunk to the floor. He should have trusted her with everything.

His pulse began to race, no longer from anger but from shame and guilt and the promise of redemption. The promise that she would give him what he deserved and then all would be forgiven. He sat back on his heels, feeling the electricity of anticipation pulse through his skin from his heart down his body.

With a deep breath he rose from the ground and turned. Santana sat on one end of the living room couch pouring deeply over a book he knew she wasn't reading. On the other end of the couch lay the black lacquered maple wood paddle they'd bought together just days after their claiming ceremony. Silently, he walked over to the low leather arm of the sofa and took his position over it, staring at his hands as they grasped the crease between the soft cushions. In his blurred vision he saw Santana get up and slip the paddle out from beneath him. He waited anxiously as she arranged herself behind him.

"Five for your disrespect. Five for your lack of trust." She spoke without ceremony. Her voice was harsh. It always was during punishment and he expected nothing less. The contrast to her gentleness when it was over was everything he needed.

"Yes Ma'am."


"New York," he answered.

The first smack came down, immediate and unforgiving. He sucked in a breath as the pain flared. He barely had time for recovery before the second strike and then the third. Santana had this way of making it feel as though the paddle rained down on him mercilessly but also lingered for minutes with every blow. He squeezed his eyes shut and gripped the cushions tight to keep his balance, to keep his self-respect and accept his punishment with dignity. As he fought his tears with the fourth and fifth and sixth smacks, the heat in his skin roared, but it was a soothing fire, one that reminded him that his behavior mattered to his Dom, that he mattered to Santana. That wanting to claim Brittany didn't change that.

He hardly recognized the tenth and final strike until her hand lay gently on his back and rubbed in soft circles while his breathing normalized again. When he came fully back into consciousness he slipped off the couch, standing shakily before she pulled him into his arms and held him tightly. "I'm sorry," he whispered his voice filled with remorse.

"I know sweetheart." She pet his curls soothingly.

"I just got so scared," he tried to explain.

"I know, shhh…" She held him back and wiped the wetness from his eyes. "I should have known. I shouldn't have sprung it on you like that."

Blaine bowed his head though. "That's no excuse for how I behaved. What I said. Brittany is my friend too."

She smiled warmly. "I'm glad you feel that way. Because you are both very important to me."

His eyes were wide when they rose to meet hers. "I am?"

Santana threw him a scowl. "Don't you dare make me take that paddle to you again Anderson," she teased gently. He blushed at his doubt but she gripped his chin to keep his head from falling. "You are my best friend in the world and my first submissive. Everything I know I've learned from you. Everything I am is because of you. Everything I have to offer her, I offer hand in hand with you. She doesn't want to replace you and I wouldn't allow it. She wants to be a part of what we have."

"She can give you things I can't," he reasoned.

"Of course she can," she smiled. Oh how she loved him, every ounce of insecurity buried beneath an armor of steel. "And you can give me things she can't. Like the fire inside you that burns brighter than the sun," she said proudly. "You will teach her to be stronger. So when you someday leave me I won't be left without a flame to burn me. Because if you haven't noticed, I kind of enjoy the heat," she smirked.

Blaine's eyes twinkled. "You're the one that burns, Lopez," he pointed out.

Santana laughed at that and took his hand, leading him back to the kitchen. "You need something for that burn? Because I kinda think you deserve to feel it for a while."

He smiled with a blush. "I think I do too," he agreed.

"Then let's finish eating," she said and she guided him back to his chair.

He winced as he sat, but immediately his appetite returned and he found himself waiting impatiently as she reheated their dinners. "So Brittany would come to New York with us?" he asked.

"Yeah," Santana answered. The microwave beeped and she brought their plates back over. Blaine found himself diving in. "She's applied to some of the dance schools out there, plus she's auditioning for the New York City Ballet. But even if she doesn't get in we can take care of her."

"If we get into our schools," Blaine said with a grimace.

"You will get into NYADA Blaine," Santana told him, rolling her eyes for the hundredth time. "You may be my sub but you dominate the stage and they'd be insane not to take you. Brittany says two of her friends were accepted last year and you're more talented than both of them."

Blaine scoffed. "Brittany has to say that or you'll put her over your knee," he smirked. The fact that his comment offered his silent acceptance did not go unnoticed by his Dom.

"Oh I'd do far more than that," Santana quipped with a wicked glint in her eye.

Blaine's eyes narrowed curiously. He had no idea what she meant. But he had a sneaking suspicion he was going to find out.


Look inside, and you will find
Love exists in every kind

Near or far, oh I believe that love will find us there
Through the dark, oh I believe that love will find us there

Oh, there is an answer

Chapter Text

 "Let it go
Fly away
And say goodbye
To yesterday

'Cause you're never alone
And I will always be there
You just carry on
You will understand."

~ A Great Big World

Blaine and Santana endured ten hour drives with each of their parents from Westerville to New York City, listening to 70's music, bad books on tape and lectures about subjects of which they wanted absolutely no part. The only thing that saved their sanity was the ability to text back and forth the entire drive. And knowing that in just three short days they would be free of all the trappings that tied them down.

The apartment had been vetted by the families' real estate agents and accountants. As the Dom, Santana's family was in charge of all financial aspects of arranging it, though Blaine's estate would pay his share of the rent. Santana had insisted that the apartment be two bedrooms and in a safe neighborhood but without a doorman. She didn't want anyone else tracking her sub's moves, she told her parents. In actuality, it was Blaine's moves she was the least worried about. Brittany would move in after her parents' left and she had no idea whether or not a doorman would report back to them. Which was the absolute last thing that either of them needed to deal with.

They blocked the street with their SUVs and rented trailers and the movers her parents had hired arrived to carry the furniture and belongings they had brought with them up to their 3rd floor apartment. Blaine and Santana stood outside, hand in hand, looking at their new neighborhood.

"This is it," Blaine said quietly, squeezing her hand. Their mothers were inside putting things away and their fathers were behind the trailers directing traffic. "This is freedom."

There were trees along the sidewalk of their East Village apartment complex and delicious smells of nearby restaurants wafted toward them, filling their senses with both sweets and spices. They could hear music coming from a nearby building and they knew that this was the perfect place to begin their new life.

"Alright lovebirds, come on upstairs and see what your moms have done with the place."

Blaine and Santana glanced at each other, secret smiles on their faces. The truth was theirs, for them and them alone, to share with whom they wished. Blaine leaned down slightly and kissed her on her cheek, a gesture that Santana's father watching them took as the love of a true submissive. And it was, in every way that mattered to them at the time. Santana was everything he wanted and needed, and he had two more days of her completely to himself to prove it.

"Hey bitches, I'm home!" Brittany yelled from the doorway.

Santana squealed and ran to her, hugging her tight and giving her a playful swat for the language. Blaine blushed and looked away, the gesture he was so familiar with feeling so much more intimate between the girls. His heart grew heavy and he wanted more than anything to hide away in his room until their reunion was over, but he knew that would just upset his Dom. Santana had promised that Brittany did not want to come between what he and Santana had and he had promised to give her a chance. So instead of hiding he went to their side and offered to take Brittany's bags.

Santana's hand was on his back immediately. "You don't have to do that sweetheart," she told him gently. "Brittany can handle her own bags."

The hand on his back grounded him and gave him the strength to look back up with a smile. "Now what kind of gentleman would I be if I didn't carry them for her? You two catch up, I'll bring them in."

Santana eyed him suspiciously. Whether she was looking for signs of sadness or mischief he wasn't sure but she found neither. He simply smiled helpfully and she smiled back. "Alright," she allowed. "No funny business though. The last thing I want to be doing our first night together is spanking either of you, understood?" She looked back and forth between her sub and her girlfriend and they both nodded. But mischievous glances that did not go unnoticed by Santana passed between the two, and though she knew that it was going to take a little time, she also knew that they were all going to be alright.

A month into their stay in New York, Santana had met with the Claiming Counselor with both Blaine and Brittany. Blaine's contract remained virtually the same with the added allowance for a secondary claim. What was written in the contract between Santana and Brittany Blaine did not know, but only a small part of him was anxious to see it. He was certain his curiosity would be better satisfied in person anyway. It was a Wednesday that they all went to the Office of the City Clerk to re-file Blaine and Santana's updated contract. Written white, filed as adults in the state of New York, Santana assured him that it could not be touched by anyone.

On Thursday Santana went off with Brittany. Blaine had opted not to go with them. It wasn't that he wasn't happy for them or that he was jealous of Brittany. He was actually jealous of Santana. Seeing the two of them together the last few weeks had made him begin to realize for the first time just how much he wanted a love of his own; someone he could kiss on the lips, someone he could go to bed with at night, someone he would wake up beside in the morning. Someone he could submit to in every way imaginable. And he was beginning to imagine a lot.

But he would never begrudge Santana and Brittany that and he loved having Brittany around. The two of them shared everything, whispering for hours about Santana on the couch after dark until their Dom yelled at them to go to bed. He could share with Brittany the things that he couldn't share with Santana, the things that only another sub understood. They were different in their needs, he and Britt. She craved guidance, he craved accountability. She avoided punishment as much as she could while he sought it all too frequently. But despite their differences, they understood each other all the same. They both just wanted to belong to someone and to be worthy of their love.

So he celebrated with them the completion of their contract but stayed behind while they held their private claiming ceremony. Instead he decorated the apartment and cooked a celebratory meal. Brittany had been working hard all summer at the Ailey School for American Dance and she would be continuing on in the fall. At her mother's behest, Santana had been volunteering with the Sociedad Educativa de las Artes over the summer. And Blaine had found a job, playing piano at a local restaurant. Claiming ceremony notwithstanding, he thought the three of them deserved a celebration for surviving their first summer in New York, and Santana and Brittany's commitment to one another was just the icing on the cake.

Flowers were splayed out all over the apartment, banners of congratulations hung from the hard wood archways that he loved so much, and a delicious smelling meal of a strawberry avocado salad, creamy pesto shrimp, a simple Swiss chard, and a perfect chocolate fondue was nearing completion. He set the music, lit the candles and dimmed the lights romantically only moments before the new couple entered through the door.

Brittany's eyes went wide, her hands flying to her mouth. Santana grinned, eyeing her first sub with the utmost of love. "Oh Blaine, I can't believe you did this for us," she said, tears brimming for the second time in one day. She opened her arms wide. "Come here sweetheart, I love you so much." He glided into her arms, closing his eyes to the feel of her warmth and her dominance flowing through her to him. "You are more precious to me than you know," she whispered softly, kissing him on the cheek.

Blaine was wiping away his own tears now. "I just wanted to show you and Brittany how much I love you and support you," he said. "I wanted your new life to start beautifully."

"Our new life," Santana corrected him firmly. "It wouldn't be as beautiful without you."

Blaine smiled, the reassurance everything he needed and he self-consciously laughed his way out of her arms. "I should get dinner ready."

He suddenly felt Brittany's hand on his arm. "Let me," she said, her eyes dipping. "It's the least I can do after all you've done for me."

Blaine glanced at Santana who nodded her approval. He turned back to Brittany and smiled. "Okay," he agreed. "But we'll clean up together."

"Deal," she grinned.

"So how was the ceremony?" Blaine asked, settling into his place at the table. Brittany brought over the salad and Blaine waited for Santana to serve herself before taking any for himself.

"It was actually really nice," Santana said. "Because it was just us and the Justice of the Peace we could read the contract aloud, and Brittany looked so beautiful and innocent," she added. Brittany blushed a rose pink that only glowed brighter against her white dress as she brought over the hot dishes and sat down to join them.

"Santana was hot," Brittany said, throwing her Dom a glance. Done up in a slick red dress, even Blaine could agree. "I just wanted to fall to my knees the minute she said I do."

Blaine nodded but looked to his plate. He remembered that feeling like it was yesterday. The power those words had over him. It would take him a while, he thought, to not feel a bit of possessiveness when it came to that feeling. He still wasn't sure if sharing it, sharing her, with someone else would ever be easy. Santana knew. She placed a gentle hand on his leg beneath the table and gave it a small squeeze. He didn't look up, but the tears that had been forming retreated. Whatever unspoken words she exchanged with Brittany he didn't see, but the conversation easily shifted away.

They talked for a while about all the preparations they needed to make in the next week. Blaine would be starting NYADA, Santana would be beginning her pre-law program at Fordham and Brittany would be starting her fall courses at Ailey. They had been lucky so far not to have to worry about money, but today marked the day that changed everything. They would keep this hidden for as long as possible, and they hoped that they could last through college, but they knew it wouldn't last forever. And when their parents found out there was no way they'd be able to count on submissive dowries or continued support. They would save whatever money they could from jobs and allowances. They would plan for their future together on their own.

All the while ignoring that they both hoped and hated that Blaine would very likely not be a part of that future. At least not in the way he was now.

But that time was far away and after finishing their meal, Blaine and Brittany cleared the table and loaded the dishwasher, working in tandem to make it a quick job. Blaine gathered the fondue plates and Brittany grabbed the bowls of fruit and they turned to put them on the table. But both froze when they saw Santana standing in the center of their living room, holding two beautifully wrapped boxes.

"Put dessert on the table, come here, and kneel," she ordered them both.

Submission tingling up their spines, they did as they were told, emptying their hands and crossing the room to stand before their Dom. Together, for the first time as her claimed subs, they knelt beside one another at her feet.

It was the most beautiful thing that Santana had ever seen and her dominance reached out to them both. "When I was little," she told them, "I used to worry that I would never find a sub. I knew I was different but it was easier to chalk up my fear to not being pretty enough, or strong enough, or dominant enough." Blaine and Brittany both stifled a laugh. Neither one of them would ever doubt that Santana was strong and dominant enough. "But now I have two subs, the two most beautiful and perfect subs in the world and I could not be more blessed to have you in my life." She looked down at them, their eyes glowing with deference as they returned her gaze. Her heart nearly burst with happiness. "I love you both so much, differently and yet the same. And I want both of you to know that no matter what happens, I am yours forever."

She knelt down herself and Brittany and Blaine both sat back on their heels. She leaned forward, cupping Brittany's face in her hand and kissing her softly, passion and love flowing between them both. When they parted, Santana smiled and handed her one of the gifts.

Blaine bowed his head, jealousy biting at him. He knew exactly what Brittany would find in her box; a beautiful golden cuff to slip on her wrist and tell the world that his Dom was hers. He waited, watching her out of the corner of his eyes as she carefully unwrapped the foiled paper and tucked the bow in her hair. Flipping open the box she pulled it out, a delicate open spiral gold cuff that would fit halfway up to her elbow, claiming her for all the world to see.

Two years. It had been two years since his and Santana's ceremony and his wrist had been bare the entire time. They didn't need one in Westerville, Santana would tell anyone who asked. Everyone knew he belonged to her and if they didn't he better make sure that they did. But they both knew that wasn't the real reason why. Wearing a golden cuff without a golden claim was a lie that neither Blaine nor Santana were willing to tell.

"Open yours," Santana told him softly as she held it out to him. He looked up. She knew he didn't want to, knew exactly how he was feeling. She knew everything about him and it pained him that he'd never been able to share that with the world, not in the way that it mattered to them. Not in the way that Brittany could the moment she was claimed. He was proud of what they had, he wasn't ashamed. She was his best friend and soulmate and the perfect Dom and he'd always wished he could declare it on his wrist. Tears filled his eyes as he unwrapped the package, not knowing at all what was inside. But lying on a bed of cotton was the absolute last thing he'd ever expected. He looked at Santana, eyes full of wonder. She smiled hopefully. "Do you like it?"

He pulled it out as if it were the most precious thing he'd ever seen in the world because it was to him. Epsom white leather with silver hardware, the Hermes Collier de Chien cuff was engraved inside with the words Truth, Love, Trust, Respect, the cornerstones of their contract. On the outside, four silver studs marking those promises surrounded a center ring. Claimed. His eyes filled with tears of joy and he stifled a laugh. "I love it," he whispered.

She reached out and ceremoniously put it on him, linking her finger in the ring. "It may be that no one recognizes what it means," she told him. "But you will know."

"It means I'm yours," Blaine said, his voice thick with emotion.

Santana nodded to him and smiled. "Yes sweetheart. It means you are mine."

Blaine escaped to the practice room in the music building after school, not wanting to go back home after what he'd heard that morning. He'd known very well he shouldn't have gone back into the apartment after forgetting his music. He couldn't pretend he didn't see the gold band hanging on the doorknob and he knew that entering with the band on the door was completely forbidden. If he had snuck in quickly, gotten his things and raced out without listening he maybe could have escaped the emotions flooding him now. But he'd chosen to ignore the angel on his shoulder and listened in when he shouldn't have and now he couldn't get what he'd heard out of his mind.

"Please Santana, please," he'd heard between the blows. "Please just let me come."

"You can come when your punishment is over Brittany and not a minute sooner."

The words had played over and over in his head all day. He'd hoped that drowning himself in the requiem would help, and it must have because he didn't even notice the door open.

"Santana sent me to find you," Brittany said softly.

Blaine looked up from the keys though he didn't stop playing. The music at his fingertips soothed him. Mozart was far from his typical fair but NYADA required their musicians to be eclectic, and he loved the sounds of classical music.

"Am I in trouble?" he asked. He knew he was later than he thought he would be, but he'd also texted to let Santana know. And she couldn't possibly have known about that morning.

"No." Brittany smiled softly, closing the soundproof door of the practice room. "What are you doing?"

His brow furrowed and he worried his lip between his teeth. "Trying to get this piece right," he said. "I have an evaluation coming up but I can't get the ending right."

"Can I listen?" she asked sweetly.

"Sure," he said, starting to play again. She climbed up on the baby grand piano and laid back, spreading her arms out. The first time she'd done it he'd thought it was strange, but Brittany's eccentricities were what made her special. And she had told him she liked to feel the vibrations in her whole body. It was the dancer in her.

"I love listening to you play," she revealed closing her eyes. Her voice was as soft as the melody. "It's the only time I get to hear all the things you keep inside."

She was right. He was as much of a dancer as she was, though his dancing was predominantly in his fingers on the keys. Still what they both had in common was the way they poured every emotion into their performance. "What do you hear?" he wondered.

"Sadness. Longing." She pressed the tips of her fingers to the wood beneath them. "And hope. I think you always have hope."

His hands faltered and he withdrew them from the keys, folding them in his lap. Brittany could seem oblivious to everything going on in the world but moments like these he understood exactly what Santana saw in her. "What's it like?" he asked, his voice timid, almost breaking.

Brittany rolled over onto her side, propping her head up on her hand. Blaine was staring at his lap and she knew it wasn't submission that kept his eyes downcast. "What's what like?" she asked.

"Having her love you." Hazel eyes flickered up at her, trying to escape scrutiny but Brittany held nothing of the kind in her glance. The only thing in her bright blue eyes was compassion.

"It's like a world that has always been fuzzy comes suddenly into sharp focus." She sat up, crossing her ankles beneath the rim of the piano. "Things that were confusing make sense. I'm brave where I once was scared. I know she'll always care for me. Just like she will you."

"What about…" Blaine trailed off, his face reddening just from the thought of asking the question. But he needed to know and Brittany was a sub. He could ask her. Especially after what he'd heard that morning. It had sounded so different from his own experiences. "What about when she's punishing you?"

She smiled softly, a sparkle in her eyes as she turned them downward, not having to remember further away than that morning. "It's like this exquisite pain that I never want to end and at the same time I want it over as quickly as possible. Because it hurts but also this pleasure builds inside me and I just want to let it go. But she doesn't let me, no matter how hard I beg, until she's satisfied I've learned my lesson. And then when she finally does let me fall over the edge, it's the most amazing feeling because I know she's there to catch me and she's forgiven me and she loves me and everything is okay again. And I can forgive myself."

Blaine just nodded, a lump building in his throat because he didn't feel that with Santana, not entirely. "It sounds beautiful," he whispered.

"It is," Brittany said. "It's not the same for you?"

Blaine returned his fingers to the keys and breathed out a sigh. "No," he said softly. "I don't think it's the same for me."

She laid back down on the cold wood and she breathed in and out as he started to play. She could tell his mind was elsewhere though. "You're missing the harmony," she told him after a time.

He stopped playing and stared at the keys. He had the melody and the base but the harmony was eluding him. "You're right. I am."

She remembered the days before she had Santana in her life and she knew it felt just like the music Blaine played. It made her sad. She hoped he found his harmony soon. She jumped down and reached a hand out for him. "We should go. Don't want her to worry."

Blaine looked up. He offered her a sly smile and cocked a brow. "Don't we?"

Brittany laughed as he gathered his music and put it in his bag. Then she linked her arm in his. "Not tonight," she mused as she flipped off the light of the studio. "Once was enough for one day."

"Santana?" Blaine came around the corner from his room holding back against the wall. He knew Brittany was out and would be gone for a while. It had been days since he and Britt had talked, but every time he'd tried to get up the nerve to broach the subject with Santana his nerves got the best of him. But his nights filled with dreams and it was becoming too much to be able to manage on his own. Three times last night he had awoken in a sweat, hard and desperate. So racing heart or not, he was determined that today was the day. "Can I talk to you?"

Blaine's voice was small and Santana knew immediately that there was something wrong. The uneasy smile on his face was unnerving to her but it also made her dominance surge. She put her book down on the table and patted the sofa next to her, offering him a warm smile. "Of course sweetheart, you can always talk to me."

Blaine made his way over and sat down warily. He knew exactly what he was about to do, what he was about to confess, but he had no choice if he really wanted to explain himself. Besides, maybe it would get him exactly what he wanted. Fidgeting, he swallowed his fear and he cleared his throat. "The other day I forgot my sheet music for class so I came back home. There was a band on the door, but I thought I just needed one little thing I could run in quickly and get it."

Santana's smile faded, her eyes darkened. "You shouldn't have done that Blaine."

Blaine bowed his head. "Yes Ma'am, but that's not exactly what I wanted to tell you."

Santana pursed her lips. He knew she was contemplating whether to let him continue or address the issue now but it only took a moment to decide. "Go on."

Blaine took a breath. "I swear I had planned on just running in, grabbing my sheet music and running out, but then I heard Brittany in your room." He blushed wildly. He had no idea how to tell Santana what he was trying to say without it being completely embarrassing definitely for him, maybe for all of them, but he also couldn't go another day without her knowing. "I could hear that you were, you know, punishing her. But she was begging you to…to let her….you know…and you wouldn't let her." He couldn't say the words but he didn't have to. Santana did know exactly what he was talking about.

"You shouldn't have been listening to that Blaine," Santana reprimanded harshly. "There's a reason a band goes on the door even when I know you're not supposed to be home and I have made it very clear that in those situations you are not to come in under any circumstances."

Blaine hung his head in shame and tears came to his eyes. "I know, I know, I'm sorry, it's just…" He looked up at her. She looked angry and concerned and he hated disappointing her so much but she had always taught him to ask for what he needed. "I need that," he whispered.

Santana said nothing. He held his breath, waiting for whatever she might do or say. Then slowly, deliberately, she asked, "You need what Blaine?"

"I need what you and Brittany were doing." His voice was shaking but he knew he was going to have to say the words. "When you punish me. I need to want to…to come…and not be allowed to. For you to control that." And once the words were out they wouldn't stop. "I never knew that was something I needed, I didn't even know that it existed but now that I do I've been dreaming about it Santana. I've been dreaming about it, telling me when I can and when I can't and it just gets more and more each time and I can't-"

"No." Santana said firmly.

His heart dropped to his stomach. The tears flowed softly now, down his cheeks and he wiped them away with the back of his hand. "Please," he begged, trying one more time. He needed the dreams to stop.

"No," she repeated. "What you're asking for is a hard limit we agreed on. There is to be no sexual contact or control of any kind between Santana and Blaine at any time, for punishment or for play," she quoted.

A sudden surge of courage rushed through him. "Then I want to renegotiate," he declared.

Santana's eyes widened and he could see her flinch slightly. "You want to…" She shook her head and stood up, needing her space. She paced, folding her arms across her chest, then spun around. "Absolutely not."

Blaine gritted his teeth. He couldn't help but feel betrayed. Jealous. Abandoned. Exactly what he knew would happen as soon as she claimed Brittany because she was willing to give everything to her but not to him. "You can't just say no Santana! You're supposed to give me what I need!" he yelled.

"This is a want Blaine, not a need," she yelled back.

He stood up, fighting for his rights as a sub, needing her to understand how important this was, that she was wrong. "No Santana. It's something that I never knew about before so it didn't even cross my mind, but now that I know, my heart aches for it. It's all I can think about sometimes, I dream about it, I wake up with the memory of it, please you have to-"

"My answer is no!" Santana shouted.

The room went silent with nothing but the echo of her last word in his head.

And Blaine knew the answer was final. There would be no changing her mind. He sunk back to the couch, hugging himself in comfort, knowing that for the first time since he was ten years old Santana would not be able to soothe this pain for him. He looked up at her, the tremendous hurt he felt pouring out of him. "Why?" he choked.

Santana's face immediately softened. She came and sat beside him, taking his right hand in hers. "What color is your cuff," she asked gently.

Blaine's head dropped sadly. "White."

She lifted his chin with her hand, and the Santana he knew and loved was right there, her dominance and her love for him flowing out of her. "What you're asking for changes it to gold. Is that really what you need Blaine? Is that even what you want?"

He closed his eyes. He shook his head, knowing she was right. In his dreams it was never her. "No," he whispered.

"Come here." She opened her arms and he fell into them, letting the weight of them wrap around him and protect him from all the things he wanted and couldn't have. "That must have been a very scary thing for you to ask me. And very important considering how many rules you confessed to breaking just to tell me."

Blaine sniffled. "Are you going to punish me?" he asked.

She kissed the top of his head and rested her cheek on his hair. "I think the pain in your heart is punishment enough. Don't you?" Blaine nodded. The pain he felt was awful. "You know the band is on the door for a reason Blaine. And it's not to protect Brittany." He nodded again. He understood that now. There were things he shouldn't know yet. Things he wasn't ready to understand without a Dom who could guide him.

"It hurts," Blaine told her.

"I know," Santana soothed. "But he's out there Blaine. I promise you he's out there."

"Oh my god Rachel I feel like I'm about to pass out."

Kurt dragged himself into the loft, not even sure if his arms had the strength left to slide their heavy metal door closed they felt so much like jelly. He let his bag just slip to the floor.

"Well that's what happens when you decide to take stage combat right after ballet. I tried to tell you it was a bad idea," Rachel told him with reproach.

"Well luckily I don't have to listen to you," he muttered, collapsing on the couch with a groan. Everything hurt from his toes to his head. "Now be a dear and get me some ibuprofen?"

Rachel just rolled her eyes and smirked. "Yes sir," she teased. She went to the bathroom to grab the painkiller from the medicine cabinet then filled a glass with water. "Here you are sir," she mocked, handing him the pills and putting the water on the table. He inched up and swatted her on the leg.

"You're such a little shit," he said before popping the pills in his mouth. She just smiled, her eyes sparkling at her best friend and handed him her water. She was the only one who could get away with the things he let her get away with, and some days he couldn't decide why.

"Finn used to think so too," she said with a nostalgic smile that was slowly replacing the sadness.

And then Kurt remembered why. Because the closest he'd ever come to having a sister was Rachel and he would never take either the good or the bad of that away from them. "Yes, but he would have been a fool to tell you that," Kurt pointed out, an eyebrow raised as he pulled himself back to sitting. What he really needed was an ice pack. Or a heat pack. Or maybe both. "He'd find himself in as much pain as I'm in now if he ever said boo to you."

"More," she smirked but her smile faded. "He didn't need to say anything though," Rachel said, sitting gently on the coffee table, her voice growing softer as her eyes grew more distant. Her gaze fell to the finger that not that long ago had held a diamond engagement ring. "I always knew. And I loved him for it."


"I saw Jesse today."

Kurt's eyes grew wide before closing them wondering if when he opened them again this all would be a dream. But when he lifted his lids the only thing that had changed were her eyes now on his, pleading with him not to judge.

So he bit back every question and argument running through his mind and he just asked, "Where?"

"He's actually opening a show here in New York." Her voice was heavy with the weight of years. "It's Off-Broadway. A limited run of 16 weeks."

"And?" he prodded.

"And." She sighed. "He said he was sorry. For everything he did. For Finn. He got on his knees."

Kurt sat up straight now, no longer willing to just sit back and watch this unfold without comment. "Oh god Rachel, tell me you didn't-"

"I didn't," she assured him though it didn't come with much assurance. "But I wanted to."

He took a deep breath and took her hands in his, their knees almost touching. Tears were in her eyes, but whether they were for Finn or herself or just the cruelness of the world as a whole he didn't know. "You can't, Rachel, not yet. There's too much history there. You're still too angry and you'll end up taking everything out on him; your pain for Finn's death as well as the things Jesse did. I know you wouldn't mean to Rachel, but you'll hurt him."

"I know," she admitted, shaking her head. "I know you're right. Which is why I have to get back out there. I can't just keep sitting around all day wishing Finn were here. I can't mourn him forever Kurt. And maybe Jesse and I are meant to be together now that he's gone, but you're right, he can't be my first. I need to just go out and play." She looked at him, the dominance in her eyes driving into him even though he was immune to its effects. "And I need to not feel guilty about it. I need you to not make me feel guilty about it."

"Oh Rachel, I wouldn't," he promised, pulling her onto the couch and into his arms. "I would never make you feel guilty for following your heart, whatever it tells you to do." He pulled back slightly to kiss her forehead and he brushed her tears away. "Finn's gone, but he's always with us, and he wouldn't want you to live your life alone. He'd want you to be happy. Even if it did end up being with Jesse St. Sucks," he smirked playfully. She rewarded him with a wet chuckle.

"You know, I don't care what anyone else says, there's a boy out there in the world who doesn't know yet how very lucky he will someday be to have you taking care of him," Rachel smirked back.

Kurt rolled his eyes at her words but didn't dignify it with a response. "Come on, I'm starving and I don't feel like cooking," he said pulling her up. "I think tonight calls for pizza and cheesecake, what do you say?"

Rachel smiled. "I think I say I love you," she answered and got up to grab her purse.

Kurt linked his arm with hers and they headed out into the city. The past would haunt them. The future once so clear was now a great unknown. But on the streets of New York, all they could see was a big wide world of possibility.


"And change will come
It's on it's way
Just close your eyes
And let it rain

You'll be okay
You'll be okay
Just look inside
You know the way."

Chapter Text


This is real
So take a chance and
Don't ever look back
Don't ever look back.

~Teenage Dream

NYADA was big. It was big and it was scary and in a moment of self-doubt Blaine wondered what the heck he was doing there with a school full of artists who could run circles around him. Panicking slightly he reached for his phone but it buzzed before he could even swipe the screen.

From Santana to Blaine: Remember you are mine.

He smiled and the beating of his heart slowed back to normal. He tucked his phone away, touched his hand to his cuff and walked with pride to his first class. He could do this. He was the sub of Santana Lopez, everything he did reflected on her, and he would not let her down. Not today. Not ever.

The Yoga Club. Jazz Hands. Starlight's Women's Acapella. Circus Shmirkus. So many theater groups Blaine couldn't even count them and though he wanted to audition, the sheer number overwhelmed him. Maybe next semester. He needed to get his feet on the ground here first. But he knew he needed to become involved in something so he could make some friends and find a sense of belonging.

The Dominant Student Association and The Submissive Student Association had large boards in the student center. There were sign ups for committees and groups as well as flyers for future events. Blaine wasn't sure if he really wanted to become involved like that. He imagined they were for people still looking and he wasn't looking. Not really. He had Santana. He was just starting college. He didn't need the stress of searching for a Golden Contract at the same time. He was happy.

He was hers.

He quickly looked over the many other clubs advertising in the lobby, in person and on the walls. It was a small sign that ended up catching his eye. Just an apple sitting on the head of a boy. An arrow knocked toward it. Musical notes surrounding it.

Passion rules the arrow that flies.
Bring your passion for song to NYADA's premiere show choir, The Apples.
Auditions Friday, 3pm.

Bob Dylan. But there was more to it than just a catchy turn of phrase. Maybe it was because he was missing the Warblers so much but for some reason he was drawn to it. He took out his phone and scheduled in the time and place of the audition.

Maybe he'd just found where he belonged.

Blaine never believed before that angels walked the earth, but the moment the leader of The Apples stepped on the stage Blaine would have sworn it was true. The exquisite creature was tall and lean but muscular, with the most piercingly beautiful blue and green marbled eyes he had ever seen. His chestnut hair was carefully coifed with the perfect splash of blonde highlights. But most of all, he stood with such an air of confidence and authority that it made Blaine's submission swim with excitement.

"Hello, auditioners," the man began with a voice that sounded as angelic as he looked. "My name is Kurt Hummel. Welcome to the annual auditions for The Apples, formally known as Adam's Apples and renamed by moi, after the aforementioned Adam graduated and slinked back to London leaving his now ex-boyfriend pissed and alone back here, but I digress!"

Blaine smiled softly to himself, certain now of three things. Kurt was gay, he was single, and he was as much of a smart-ass as Santana. And Blaine had an overwhelming urge to soothe his bitterness and bring out his joy.

"So as is tradition, we will begin auditions with a performance by the remaining members of last year's group. We have five openings this year so the competition will be fierce. May the odds be ever in your favor," Kurt smirked then turned to the group now filing onto the stage. Blaine looked around the room. There were at least 30 men and women vying for only five slots. He wondered if, as a freshman, he even stood a chance. He considered leaving but two things kept him locked in his seat. One, he'd be in a load of trouble when he got home if Santana found out he'd chickened out. And two, the moment Kurt started singing his voice wrapped around Blaine and refused to let him go.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game.

Blaine's breath hitched in his throat and his heart began to race. It wasn't just that Kurt was absolutely breathtaking when he sang. It wasn't just the extraordinarily pure tones of his countertenor voice. And it wasn't just the words of the song that were seeping inside Blaine and nestling in his heart for the day he was ready to truly hear them. No, what made the butterflies in Blaine's stomach flutter with the thrill of anticipation and submission despite every attempt to quell them was the careful aloofness Kurt exuded, mixed with a subtle power and precision that set Blaine's skin aflame.

Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap.

Kurt surveyed the crowd of eager prospects while he performed. Vocals were important but they were far from the only thing that mattered to him. He'd learned in high school that the greatest voices could poison a group, and that sometimes those who flew under the radar were exactly who were needed to make a group its best. And it wasn't that he was stuck up or needed to be worshiped in any way, but the people in the audience who looked bored or disgusted by his singing were immediately weeded out. He didn't need that kind of negativity in his group or in his life. He'd suffered enough of it already.

And then his eyes fell on the most beautiful man he had ever seen in his life. Hazel eyes wide and almost reverent, cheeks blushing. It almost took Kurt's breath away and he had to remind himself he was in the middle of a performance. But just for a moment, he let himself believe that a man like that could be his.

I'm through accepting limits cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change but 'till I try I'll never know
Too long I've been afraid of losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love, it comes at much too high a cost.

Mesmerized, Blaine rose to his feet with the others when Kurt and The Apples were done, though his enthusiasm was honest while others did so simply because they thought it would help their audition. He lowered himself shakily back into his seat, his nerves still on edge from the performance that moved him perhaps more than it should have. And he found he had to focus to hear again when Kurt spoke.

"We have your audition sheets and we will call you up one by one. We have an accompanist for you if you want, or you can play yourself or sing acapella. Whatever works for you, just blow me away with your voice." With the stack of papers in his hand, he and the rest of the group filed off the stage. Kurt and a few of what Blaine assumed to be upperclassman took seats in the front row behind a table. They started calling out names. "Rebecca Janson."

Blaine watched, impressed by some, relieved by others who he knew he could beat. There was a group of guys in the back row, whispering to one another with every performance, judging, Blaine knew, where they had no place to judge. Their voices were raised just slightly when the words he'd waited for rang in his ears. "Blaine Anderson."

His name on Kurt's lips, rolling from Kurt's tongue, sounded like music to his ears and his skin tingled as he made the walk onto the stage. He handed the accompanist his sheet music and turned to Kurt and the rest of the audience. "Hello," he smiled confidently. "My name is Blaine Anderson, and I'll be singing Katy Perry's Teenage Dream."

He didn't see Kurt's reaction because the snickers over the heads of his fellow classmates drew his focus. Though the laughter was loud enough for everyone to hear, no one needed to hear the whispered words to know why they laughed. He'd gotten slack for it before, a male sub singing a female Dom's song. He couldn't help but blush slightly at the humiliation of their public ridicule, especially in front of Kurt. But he knew what to do.

"If you don't mind," sir… he bit back the sir, "I think I'll play myself." He turned to the pianist who rose from the bench with no issue and Blaine smiled, sliding back in. He arranged the music, and finally took a moment to look at Kurt. The man's elbows rested on the table, his hands clasped together beneath his chin. His eyes were bright, just a hint of a smile playing at his lips. He looked interested, or at least intrigued.

Blaine brushed his hands along the keys just a second before beginning to play. His version was slow, rich, and profound. It was full of musicality and originality, but he was too lost in the music to notice the effect it was having on his audience. Most especially on Kurt.

My heart stops when you look at me
Just one touch, now baby I believe
This is real so take a chance and
Don't ever look back, Don't ever look back

Eyes closed, falling inside himself, a place as close to subspace as he got outside in the world, Blaine put every piece of his heart and soul in his music. His passion, like an arrow. He didn't quite know why it mattered so much to him, he just knew that it did. Opening his eyes with the mixed sound of polite and enthusiastic applause, his gaze fell on Kurt. Cool and collected, the only hint of how he'd done was the slight splash of pink on Kurt's cheeks. Blaine hoped it was enough.

"Thank you Blaine," Kurt said, as he had with every other auditioner. "Michael Oiler…."

The rest of the hopefuls had filed out of the audition room, but Blaine found himself lingering. He tried to be nonchalant, gathering his papers slowly while Kurt remained behind cleaning up and putting the room back in order for classes the next day. Blaine pulled out his phone, checking his messages. He texted Santana that he'd be home soon.

"So you're Santana's Blaine Anderson, aren't you?" Blaine looked up in surprise and nearly dropped the phone in his hand. Kurt smirked down at him from the stage. "Warbler? Hair gelled within an inch of its life whenever she lets you?"

Blaine's cheeks grew hot, his hand automatically flying to his straightened curls, and he ducked his head slightly. "How did you-"

"I went to high school with Brittany," he explained.

"Ah," Blaine nodded, smiling in recognition. He shoved his hands coyly in his pockets. Brittany had neglected to mention how gorgeous her friend was. "You're one of the two."

Kurt chuckled, and the dimple in his cheek was the most adorable thing Blaine had ever seen. "Yes, I'm one of the two. My roommate Rachel is the other one." Kurt turned the light off on the piano and gathered his things from the table in the corner of the stage. "So how's NYADA treating you so far?"

Blaine scoffed. "Oh, you know, aside from the professors who want to break every freshman, Madame Tibedeaux who is probably coming up with some grand punishment because she already thinks I like to break the rules too much, and the classmates who want to destroy whatever talent I might have, I'm doing great."

"Well," Kurt said, stepping off the stage to Blaine. He was a few inches taller than Blaine, enchantingly graceful, and it took a lot for Blaine not to fall to his knees. "The professors can't break you if you don't let them, I'm sure Madame Tibedeaux has nothing on Santana if Brittany's telling me only half the truth, and there's too much talent in your little pinky alone for anyone to destroy."

Blaine's eyes opened wide and he could feel the heat grow in his cheeks. "You think so? I was actually going to apologize about my audition. That version of Teenage Dream?" He shuffled his foot absentmindedly on the floor. "I know it wasn't really right for The Apples. I did a version in high school that was much more upbeat and true to the original. But when I saw some of the guys in the back snicker, I kinda felt I had to shut them up." Blaine shrugged, looking up and Kurt smiled down at him, a twinkle of amusement in his eye.

"Well I think you definitely did that," Kurt noted. He started to the back of the room to set the lights to leave. Blaine stepped aside and looked down in automatic deference as he passed. Kurt cocked a brow at the gesture, but said nothing about it. "So I'll see you around?" he asked instead.

Blaine knew he shouldn't do what he was about to do. He was a sub and Kurt was obviously a Dom and it would be very uncouth, uncouth enough that Santana might even have something to say about it, but he didn't care. He felt like a magnet, drawn to another, and he couldn't let Kurt just walk away so easily. "Would you like to go out for coffee? I don't…" Blaine hesitated as he confessed. "I don't have a lot of friends here yet. And if Brittany likes you, well..."

Kurt looked him over, assessing what exactly Blaine wasn't sure about but he hoped he measured up. "I would like that," Kurt said. "It would have to be after the cast list goes up though. Wouldn't want anyone to think I was playing favorites," Kurt winked.

Blaine let out a tiny breath. "Does that mean…?"

Kurt smiled. "I'll see you at our first rehearsal Blaine. And I'd love to go out for coffee after."

"So the most interesting thing happened today," Kurt said with a terrible attempt at nonchalance as he and Rachel made dinner. They were making stir fry, a wok full of vegetables in Kurt's special Asian blend on one burner, salmon cubes sautéing in another. Rachel was putting together a salad. "I met Brittany's Santana's Blaine Anderson. He invited me for coffee."

Rachel's eyes opened wide at the sound of her best friend and she sharply turned around. "Oh no, no, no, I know that voice; that I'm trying to be casual and innocent but I'm really madly in love with this guy I just met voice." She pointed her wooden fork at him menacingly and for a minute Kurt worried she might try and use it on him. "But this guy is totally off limits Kurt!"

"I am not in love with him Rachel, god we just met three hours ago, I don't even know if he-" he began to protest but she would barely let him get a word in edgewise.

"He likes guys Kurt, trust me," she retorted sharply. Brittany hadn't told her or Kurt everything about their strange arrangement, but she'd let that much slip. "But he is not available. He is the sub of one of your best friend's Dom. A claimed sub. And did I mention he's a sub," she repeated, quite pointedly.

Kurt tried to ignore the little jump in is heart at Rachel's confirmation. "So just because he's a sub that means we can't be friends?" he asked with exasperation. "He's nice, he's gorgeous to look at, why wouldn't I want to sit across the table from him for coffee, especially since he invited me?"

"Because you're going to fall in love with him Kurt," Rachel said.

Kurt rolled his eyes. "Rachel I am not in high school anymore, I am not going to fall in love with every guy I meet." He stirred the salmon to make sure it was cooked almost through then added it to the wok. "Hell after Adam maybe I'll just swear off guys altogether."

Rachel's shoulders sagged and she put the fork down, wrath turned quickly to pity. "Adam was just wrong for you Kurt, you can't let your past scare you away from love. Love is a beautiful thing when it's right. You just have had really bad luck and you haven't gotten it right yet."

"Or maybe everyone in high school was just right," he muttered, turning off the burner. "Maybe Kurt Hummel wasn't made to love."

"That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard," Rachel said softly, crossing the small kitchen to take Kurt in her arms. She may have been a foot shorter but sometimes she seemed to tower over him. "You have the biggest heart, and the cutest smile," she grinned, reaching her hands to his lips to force them up. He rolled his eyes, but granted her wish slightly. "And someday the right man is going to sweep you off your feet."

"And my ass will hit the ground when I fall," Kurt scoffed, turning out of her arms and grabbing the serving spoon.

Rachel pulled out the dishes from the cabinets. "Some boys would like that," she winked.

"Not this boy." He twirled the spoon in his fingers and pointed it in warning then gave the stir fry one last mix before spooning it into the serving bowl. Rachel just laughed.

They brought everything to the table and sat down, serving themselves. "Just please be careful. Subs are delicate and you don't want to lead him on when you know it couldn't work."

"Yeah." Kurt filled his mouth to bite back anything further he might say. Because the fact was, he knew Rachel was right about everything. And too late. All it had taken was one song and he was already falling. He just had to make sure he didn't bring Blaine down with him.

Music was playing in the speakers throughout the apartment, Brittany and Santana were dancing in the living room and Blaine wiped his hands dry on the dish cloth. Maybe he should have hated the nights when it was his turn to clean up, but there was something so right about knowing his Dom was in the other room in the arms of the woman she loved. He leaned against the archway, a smile on his face as he watched them. Santana was beautiful when she was with Brittany, serene, as if everything else in the world could fade from view and she would still breathe with perfect contentment. And even if he was just dreaming, it really didn't hurt to wonder if today he may have found the man with whom he could find the same thing.

"So I met someone today," Blaine said when the music ended, softly blushing. They both looked up at him, Santana reaching for the remote to stop the next song from playing. Their faces were curious, eager. He continued with excitement. "It's your friend from high school Britt. Kurt Hummel. He's leader of The Apples."

Brittany's face immediately fell. "Blaine-" But Santana stopped her from saying anything else with a stern hand to hers. Brittany lowered her eyes obediently and said no more.

Santana smiled at him. "That's great you're making friends," she said gently as she walked over to him.

"What if…" Blaine shrugged bashfully. "What if I wanted him to be more than a friend? I asked him out for coffee." He looked her nervously in the eye. "I know it was forward of me and maybe I should have asked permission first, but I just couldn't let him walk out of my life with the possibility I wouldn't see him again." He chuckled softly. "I guess it wasn't really necessary though because he kind of implied that I made it into The Apples, but I'm glad I did it all the same. I'm sorry if I overstepped." He moved to dip his head but she stopped him.

"Blaine." She reached out and traced his arm from shoulder to his hand and squeezed it tight. He looked up and she smiled lovingly at him. "Did he say yes?" She didn't seem mad at all, though there was a trace of worry in her eyes, and he let out a small sigh of relief, nodding his head with an almost childlike excitement. "Then you didn't overstep." She brushed a finger over his ear, the coarse gelled hair crackling beneath her fingers. She loved his unruly curls but over the years at Dalton she'd learned that the containment of them when she wasn't around, the control and precision of keeping them firmly in place, helped satisfy his need for dominance. "Just be careful and don't expect the world right away," she told him. "Not every man you meet is going to be the one but it doesn't mean you shouldn't let them into your life, learn from them. Have fun," she smirked, but then her face grew serious. "I want you to date. And I want you to find him. Whoever he might be. And I am here for you always, no matter what happens."

Blaine's eyes shined with unshed tears of joy. He began to believe that just maybe he could have the love that he knew his Dom already had. "I love you," he sniffled with a smile, falling into her arms.

She kissed his head and held him close. "I love you too."

"Grande nonfat mocha please," Kurt ordered, pulling his money out of his satchel. Turning to Blaine he raised a brow. "And you?"

Blaine blushed and shook his head, pulling his own wallet out of his coat. "Oh no, I couldn't, I asked you, the least I can do is pay you."

Blaine's heart may have stopped beating when Kurt's hand touched his, stilling it. Blaine blinked up at him, breath caught in his throat. "It's fine Blaine," Kurt smiled sweetly. "What can I get you?"

He grudgingly put his wallet away. "Well, I'm afraid I'm kinda boring. Just a medium drip please." Blaine tried to return his pulse and his breathing to normal as Kurt ordered and paid. He smiled, a self-conscious, grateful, trying not to drool smile, as Kurt held his coffee out for him. "Thanks."

"You're welcome, Mr. Boring," Kurt winked and Blaine had to look away before he made a complete fool of himself. He let Kurt lead him to a table in the corner and slid into a chair. "Someday I will introduce you to the world of designer coffee."

Blaine grabbed a sugar off the table and lifted the lid, if for nothing else than an excuse to keep his eyes lowered. "I'd like that," sir, he added in his head and god, he had to stop doing that. As much as maybe he wanted to be Kurt's sub someday, he most certainly wasn't now on his first date. He belonged to Santana, and he owed her the respect of not submitting to him. "So what are you majoring in?" he asked casually.

"Well, I had started a musical theater major with Rachel, but I'm feeling like I'm not really getting anywhere with it." He watched Kurt play with the granules of sugar Blaine had spilled on the metal table. "She's giving me shit about wanting to change though, so maybe I'll just stick with it."

"You and Rachel are pretty close then?" he asked.

"We pretty much grew up together," Kurt shared, "though we didn't really become good friends until our junior year. Before that we were too much rivals. For everything," he laughed softly and Blaine had a feeling there was something special in that laugh he was missing. "I think by junior year though we'd matured enough to put most of the rivalry behind us. We kind of had to."

"Why?" Blaine asked.

"She used to date my brother," Kurt told him, and there was a weight to his words that struck Blaine.

"Used to? Did they break up?" he asked, curiosity peeked.

"No, he um…" Kurt looked out the window a minute. He still looked for him, on the crowded streets, expecting to just see him walk by. "He passed away," Kurt said softly. "About 6 months ago, actually."

"Oh Kurt." Blaine immediately reached a hand to Kurt's without thinking and squeezed it tight. "I'm so sorry."

Kurt gave a slight shrug. "My mom died when I was 8 and after that it was just me and my dad for so long. In high school Rachel and I both had a crush on this guy and I had this crazy idea to set up his Mom with my Dad so we could spend more time together. Poor planning on my part though." Kurt shook his head, laughing fondly in memory. "Wasn't long before they got married and Finn was my brother."

Kurt's eyes glazed over and Blaine's heart broke for him. He had a million questions but he kept them all to himself. It was obvious how much loss Kurt had already suffered in such a short life and Blaine suspected he'd barely scratched the surface. "I can see you loved him a lot," Blaine said gently. "My brother lives in California. He's ten years older than me and half the time he forgets that I even exist. But I know how much I'd miss him if he were gone."

Kurt nodded, his eyes growing distant. "I miss him every day. We had our ups and downs but we were a team. He…helped me, with a lot of things. Furt, they called us in Glee club," he chuckled sadly, but the smile faded immediately. "My dad and his mom still have each other. But he's gone and sometimes I feel so alone."

"You're not alone, Kurt." Blaine wanted more than anything to hold him, to make sure that Kurt never hurt again, not even for a moment. "You have Rachel and Brittany. And now you have me."

Kurt looked up at him, unshed tears in his eyes. And when Kurt smiled sadly at him it was the most beautifully vulnerable thing Blaine had ever seen. "You know, before Finn passed away Rachel and I thought we had our whole lives figured out. Now I'm not so sure either of us knows what to do anymore."

"You'll figure it out again Kurt," Blaine promised. "And whatever it is, it'll be amazing."

The apartment was dark. Blaine had gone to bed and Santana was reading in her room. Brittany sat on the couch, her knees folded in. Blaine had come back from his date beaming happily. Brittany couldn't stand it.

"It's time to come to bed Britt," Santana ordered from the doorway.

"Why won't you let me tell him?" she asked, her voice hard and unforgiving.

"Because it's not your place," Santana said sternly. "Kurt will tell him in his own time. And Blaine will make his own choices. We aren't getting in the middle of this."

"I thought you'd want the best for him," Brittany muttered.

Santana closed her eyes a moment, then came around to the couch, sitting on the opposite side of her girlfriend. "I'm his Dom. Of course I want what's best for him." Brittany went to speak but Santana's pointed finger stopped her. "And yes, much of the time what's best for him is for me to decide. But not this time. Not when it comes to the man he chooses to be with." Brittany opened her mouth again but Santana was done. "This is not negotiable Brittany. You break this rule and there will be severe consequences, understood?" Brittany lowered her head and nodded wordlessly. "Good. Now come to bed."

Blaine could hear the rumble of the girls talking in the living room but he couldn't hear what they were saying. He didn't really care either. He was just hoping Kurt was still up.

From Blaine to Kurt: For you I will try espresso.

From Kurt to Blaine: I don't know, that's a dangerous one to start with. That much energy could get a guy in trouble. ;P

From Blaine to Kurt: Well maybe I'm a glutton for punishment.

Blaine's face grew red the moment he sent it. It was too much. Too soon. But Kurt had asked for it, hadn't he? Kurt was flirting too, wasn't he?

From Kurt to Blaine: I guess I walked right into that one. But seriously. At least go with a mocha. More chocolate. Less caffeine. Happy medium.

From Blaine to Kurt: Whatever you say. Tomorrow?

From Kurt to Blaine: My day is really full tomorrow with scene study rehearsals and prepping for an audition. Friday after The Apples?

From Blaine to Kurt: Friday it is. See you then!

Blaine put his phone on the nightstand and curled up into his blankets. There was a warmth in his heart and a tingle in his skin that he'd never really felt before, and he fell asleep with a smile on his face. The nameless faceless Dom was no more and as he drifted off to sleep he dreamed of Kurt having him kneel, and Kurt having him serve and Kurt having him obey. He dreamed of a claiming and a wedding and the future he often wondered if he'd ever truly find. And in the morning as the sun shined into the window, he awoke with the hope of happily ever after.

I finally found you
My missing puzzle piece
I'm complete.

Chapter Text

"So tell me about Dalton." It was a warm winter day in New York City and to enjoy it while it lasted, Kurt and Blaine decided to take their coffees to-go and wander around Central Park. Children too young for school laughed and played, their shrieks filling the air. Others were walking hand in hand, strolling on a lunch break or just taking a moment to enjoy the wonders of nature. Blaine knew he shouldn't hope too much or dream too hard, but there was no way to withhold his contentment walking side by side with the man he was beginning to hope might someday be his everything.

Imagining a future with Kurt was easy. They loved so many of the same things; watched the same shows, read the same books and magazines, loved the same musicals. Their taste in music was sometimes different but it only added variety to their playlists, learning more about what made the other tick. But it wasn't just that. Kurt had a quiet elegance about him. A self-assured assertiveness. A way of being dominant without being overbearing or aggressive that just constantly made Blaine desperate for more.

More than once he had to stop himself from falling to his knees.

They had just reached the south side of the park when Blaine's mocha was cool enough for him to sip.

"Oh my god Kurt, this is delicious," he said, not believing he had never tried one before. Kurt laughed, toothy and adorable, and Blaine couldn't help but smile at him. "You're beautiful, did you know that?" The words had spilled from his mouth before he could stop himself and he blushed ferociously, laughing as he turned away with embarrassment. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that, please forgive me."

Kurt stopped and quirked a brow. "Shouldn't have said that because it isn't true or because you shouldn't be flirting with me?" he asked playfully, knowing all that Rachel would say about flirting back. But he was unable to curb the desire to know the answer.

Instinct forced Blaine's eyes to the ground and he fiddled with the cup in his hands. "No it's very true, s-Kurt," he admitted bashfully, biting his lip to try to stop the submission that just came so naturally. "I just shouldn't have been so forward. And I've completely ignored your request to tell you about Dalton."

Kurt was glad Blaine's eyes were down because otherwise he would have seen the frown on his face. What he liked most about Blaine was his charm and his honesty and his courage to put himself out there even when custom maybe said he shouldn't. He liked him strong, not giving in to his submission, especially not with him. He reached over to Blaine and squeezed his shoulder. Blaine raised his eyes. "I'm not your Dom Blaine, you don't have to submit with me," Kurt said firmly and he kept on walking. He knew Blaine would follow behind. "So…Dalton," he called behind him.

"Right," Blaine answered a bit regretfully and he jogged a few steps to catch up, though he didn't feel sure that he would ever catch up with Kurt. "Well, you know it's a private school in Westerville. We split a campus with Crawford Country Day, that's the girls' side where Santana went. Both schools were strict, especially about academics, but they had so many different extracurricular activities after school. There was show choir, of course, and theater and sports. Writing and debate club, student government."

"Did you board there or live at home?" Kurt asked curiously.

"Well, obviously we lived close to the school so we commuted from home, which was the worst because we had to stay at school for all the stress and then went home to more stress instead of getting to stay for the fun." Blaine shrugged with a frown. Kurt wondered what stress there could have been, living the lifestyle he knew the two had lived. But Kurt supposed that there was happiness that money couldn't buy. "At least Santana and I had each other and after our claiming ceremony the summer before senior year we convinced our parents to let us stay in the guest house on my family's estate instead of with her parents like we were supposed to."

Kurt nodded. He remembered when Finn and Rachel were claimed how Finn had gone to live with her for their senior year as well. He'd kind of missed his brother then but they had still spent a lot of time at home as well.

They walked for a little while, side by side, quietly. Neither of them felt that they needed to make conversation. Even though they'd only known each other a short time, they were so comfortable with one another they almost felt like they had known each other forever. But they didn't know everything. "So what's the deal with you and Santana anyway?" Kurt asked.

Blaine glanced to Kurt with obvious confusion. "What do you mean?"

Kurt ducked his head, hiding an embarrassed smile. "I mean, like…I mean Rachel told me, what a white cuff means when I asked, but…"

"She's just my Dom Kurt. She's not my girlfriend, I don't like girls that way." He stopped and Blaine looked worried when Kurt gained the courage to look at him again. "I thought you knew that."

"I guess I did," Kurt said, though it wasn't convincing. "I just…I wasn't sure…"

Blaine smiled and took Kurt's hand. "She's just my Dom," he assured Kurt. "And I'm allowed to date whoever I want."

Blaine thought that maybe, finally, Kurt would ask him out then, but instead of the relief that he expected, a sadness seemed to cloud Kurt's face. Kurt pulled his hand out of Blaine's grasp and started walking again. "So you sang lead for the Warblers?"

Blaine sighed but he knew he had to be patient. His situation wasn't typical and he vowed to let Kurt take his time. "Yes," Blaine said, jogging slightly to catch up as Kurt took a sip of his coffee. "What about you? Surely New Directions must have taken advantage of your stunning countertenor."

Kurt sputtered the coffee he'd been drinking and scoffed dramatically. "New Directions had no idea what they had in me, if they had we would have won. But instead they wasted my talent, made me sing with the boys, and had me swaying in the background." Kurt took a few more steps then twirled to step in front of Blaine. All trace of the sadness was gone, replaced with a fiery determination and Blaine wondered if he had just imagined it. "You and I need to duet. For the Apples. Together we would be unstoppable."

Kurt's face was eager but his words were commanding and Blaine had never before felt his body explode with this kind of excitement. "What would we sing?" he asked, eyes bright with flirtation.

He watched as Kurt thought for a minute, biting his lips then, slyly shifted his eyes. "I know just the song."

"You can't lead him on like this," Rachel snapped for what felt like the 500th time.

Kurt tried very hard to ignore her, but she made it extremely difficult when she outright stepped in front of him and wouldn't let him by. "I am not leading him on, you are just pissed that I'm not giving you the ticket."

"I do think it's a little rude to invite a boy you shouldn't be seeing to a Broadway show instead of your best friend, yes," Rachel confirmed.

"We are not seeing each other," Kurt snapped, box stepping around her with a silent thank you to his jazz instructor. He grabbed his coat and slipped it on. "Goodbye Rachel," he said, pulling his scarf off the rack and around his neck. "Don't wait up."

"Believe me, I won't," Rachel yelled as he slammed out the door. Her hands flew to her hips, mulling over the possibilities in her head. If her good for nothing best friend didn't want to go to the theater with her, she would just have to make some plans to go on her own.

"Oh my god, Kurt! How did you get tickets for Pippen, those are, like, impossible to get?"

Kurt just smirked, the tickets clutched between his two fingers just inches from Blaine's face. Innocence and shrewdness mixed in a fashion that was making Blaine's pants just a little bit tighter than they had been before. "So I take it you want to go with me?" Kurt teased. "Because if not I'm sure I could always get Rachel to-"

"Don't you dare," Blaine said, snatching the ticket out of Kurt's fingers. "I've been wanting to see this show forever."

"Good." Kurt bounced happily on his toes then started heading off to class, Blaine staying at his side. "Because honestly Rachel's annoying to take to any show, she always thinks she can do it better."

"And you don't?" Blaine asked, cheekily arching a brow.

"Well of course I do," Kurt admitted. "I'm just much more polite about it." Reaching his classroom he spun around and leaned against the wall. "Pick you up at 6? We can do dinner beforehand."

"Sure," Blaine smiled. "Let me just check with Santana to make sure it's okay and I'll text you back for certain."

Kurt's smile faded before returning, forced. "Yeah. Sure. Just let me know," he said as he disappeared inside.

Watching him go, Blaine was left with a sense that he'd done something wrong, and though he couldn't put his finger on it, he knew without a doubt that mentioning Santana had upset Kurt. He turned and walked back downstairs to his own class, too wrapped up in his thoughts to acknowledge the greetings of his classmates. Blaine imagined that if he were a Dom who had set his eyes on a claimed sub that he would feel jealous toward the other Dom. That had to be all it was because otherwise he couldn't imagine what he might have possibly done wrong. He resolved to try to be more cognizant of the issue, and to be more respectful of Kurt's feelings until they were ready to really start talking about what might be going on between them.

As he filed into the dance studio dressing room and changed for class, he considered asking Santana, but decided it would be better for him to just handle things on his own for now. After all, he wasn't some innocent 16 year old anymore. He was almost 19 and though he'd never before pursued anyone romantically and obviously wasn't very good at it, he figured he'd rather fumble his way around with Kurt than continue on with no one at all.

Jesse St. James exited the stage door onto the New York City sidewalk. Even the Broadway stage doors weren't glamourous but this off-Broadway playhouse emptied into an alleyway the house management staff had thankfully cordoned off for them. Whatever it was though, Jesse was grateful for each and every fan that came to see him. Once upon a time he would have thought the world owed him the fame and attention that was slowly coming to him. But now he understood he had to work to earn it, and every single day he put his heart and soul not only into his performance but into the people who applauded him.

Rachel had taught him that.

He went down the line of girls who waited for his autograph and their chance to take a selfie with him. In days past he would have looked each in the eye, searching for The One who would take him by the hand and order him to kneel. He didn't look for that anymore. The Dom he'd always known he belonged to had a broken heart they had to mend, and her eyes were the only ones that mattered.

And he could feel them on him now. He finished the line, one last playbill reaching out for him, before leaning against the brick wall with a smirk. "Did you actually come see the show or did you steal that from some unsuspecting patron?" he teased.

Rachel smiled back with a warmth he'd been dreaming about at night for years. "I actually saw it wiseguy," she said as he took the program and signed it for her with a grin. "And you were very good."

Jesse dropped his eyes in pure, unadulterated submission. "Thank you," he whispered.

Slowly, she reached a hand out and took the playbill back, resting it at her side. "I'm not ready for that Jesse," she admitted guardedly. He raised his eyes back to hers and with one practiced glance he let his submission subside.

"Would you be ready for drinks?" Jesse asked, tucking his sharpie in his back pocket. "Completely as friends, nothing more."

Rachel bit back the smile that tried to escape but he could see it nonetheless in the twinkle of her eyes. "Coffee, yes. You know how I get with alcohol," she said.

Jesse laughed and nodded, pulling the rope up for her to duck underneath. "Yes, yes I do," he said as he opened the door to lead her backstage while he got his things. "But if I have to settle for coffee, then that is what I will do."

"Kurt, thank you so much for taking me to the show, I really appreciate it," Blaine said enthusiastically. They were walking toward Times Square, Blaine's hands deep in the pocket of his peacoat as much to keep himself from reaching for Kurt's hand as to keep them warm. "Really, it was amazing." Kurt nodded, and Blaine felt a sense of sadness in him. Foregoing any sense of propriety he reached a hand out to Kurt's arm, stopping him with just a touch. Kurt turned to him, face soft as silk, eyes filled with just a hint of apology. "Hey, what's the matter?"

Kurt knew exactly what the matter was. He wanted more and he couldn't have it. "Tonight was really nice," Kurt said softly. "I guess I'm just not ready for it to end."

Blaine's heart fluttered and he smiled coyly. "Who says it has to?"

Kurt let a small snort escape. "Well, your Dom for one I'm sure."

Blaine shook his head. Sure Santana had given him a curfew and the chances were good he'd be in trouble if he broke it but he didn't think he'd be in too much trouble. She wanted him to date, to find the man of his dreams. She'd been late often enough because of Brittany. She couldn't fault him too much for taking his turn. "You let me worry about Santana. You took me to a Broadway show Kurt," he said with a shrug. "The least I can do is buy you dessert."

Kurt tried to hide his smile but it wasn't any use, it was clear as day that Blaine had pleased him. Blaine felt the warm flush of his skin knowing that he'd done so. "Fine," Kurt gave in. "I know this little place around the corner."

Kurt took the lead and Blaine followed at his side as they walked toward a little coffee house he and Rachel always went to. He looked inside as they passed the window but just as he was about to reach for the door he saw Rachel and Jesse laughing at a table in the corner. With a shake of his head, he put his hand in his pocket and kept moving along. "This place looks a little busy," he said in excuse and he went to the corner and hit the street crossing button. Blaine looked at him askance, his sudden change of mind evident, but he let it pass unspoken as they crossed. "Besides, the one across the street has better dessert. Amazing cookies."

"Oh, well you should have said that in the first place," Blaine joked to relieve the tension and Kurt looked at him and smiled. "I'm a sucker for a good chocolate chip cookie."

They reached the door and Kurt opened it for him before heading inside. "Well what a coincidence," he said with a grin. "So am I."

From Brittany to Kurt: You can't do this to him.

From Kurt to Brittany: And what exactly do you think I'm doing Britt? We went to a show, that's it.

From Brittany to Kurt: He's falling in love with you.

From Brittany to Kurt: Kurt…

"Alright everyone listen up," Kurt yelled, breezing into the Apples rehearsal room. Without pause he began handing out the sheet music to everyone in the room. "I've got a new song planned, possibly to replace Defying Gravity now that it's getting pretty old, but we'll see. Blaine and I will be dueting," he said as he handed Blaine his music with a wink. "We'll figure out the harmonies for backup later, let's just sing it through."

"Why do you always get to decide who sings?" a junior named Jason complained from the back.

"Because I'm the leader of this choir, and if you have a problem with that the bylaws are always posted in the Apples office," Kurt countered with barely a look at the kid. Instead he handed the music to the accompanist and whispered some stage directions in Blaine's ear. When he was done he looked up. "Don't think you'll get the vote though," Kurt told Jason before heading Stage Left, all business. Blaine smiled nervously, his heart fluttering in his chest, barely staying on his feet as they took him Stage Right.

But when the music started every thought of falling to his knees went out the window because Kurt's voice reached out, surrounded him and held him up with the power of his song.

Everything has its season
Everything has its time
Show me a reason and I'll soon show you a rhyme
Cats fit on the windowsill
Children fit in the snow
Why do I feel I don't fit in anywhere I go?

It was crazy to say that Blaine had forgotten how beautiful Kurt's voice was because he heard it in his head nearly every silent moment he had. But hearing it again was like hearing it for the first time and it captured him, he had no other way of describing of it. The emotion and truth in his voice moved him almost to tears while the power in his heart, the determination to persevere, made Blaine just want to care for him with every fiber of his being. And it could have been how tragically beautiful Kurt was as his piercing eyes grew distant or it could have been how his heart leapt when Kurt looked at him as if just maybe Blaine had the answers, but whatever it was, the sense of pride that filled his soul as he watched the boy he knew he loved never faded. He wasn't afraid. He knew without a shadow of a doubt that he belonged with Kurt. It was their season, and it was their time and he knew that whatever Kurt was so afraid of wasn't something that needed to keep them apart. Whatever the reason, Blaine had an answer, because they fit, more than he had ever fit with Santana, they fit like puzzle pieces in search of one another. Latching perfectly. Together.

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

Blaine loved Santana with all of his heart but when he was a little kid, he would watch his parents and watch Cooper date and he would dream of a Dom who would love him and care for him and teach him and grow old with him, hand in hand, arm in arm. They would build a family together, a family so much better than the one that had raised him, and they wouldn't just live a long life, they would live a beautiful one. Because he'd have the other half of himself. Together they would be whole.

Every man has his daydreams
Every man has his goal
People like the way dreams have
Of sticking to the soul
Thunderclouds have their lightning
Nightingales have their song
And don't you see I want my life to be
Something more than long...

Kurt stood mesmerized watching Blaine across the stage. He envied Blaine, his hope and naiveté. He remembered back to the days when he thought that life was fair. When he thought that love was the only thing that mattered. And as he watched Blaine sing, his golden eyes glowing for no one but him, Kurt almost believed that they could have a happily ever after. Somehow, Blaine made him feel things he had never felt before and he almost believed that nothing else would matter. That if he tried hard enough, if he worked toward his goal and his dream he could be Blaine's thundercloud. He could be his nightingale. He could almost imagine a real life together with him…something that mattered, something more than just long. With a soft, almost wishful smile, he walked toward Blaine and they met center stage, never looking away. Never wanting to look away.

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

In his life, Blaine had almost come to believe that he would have to settle.

So many men seem destined
To settle for something small

Kurt had surely come to believe that he couldn't have it all.

But I won't rest until I know I'll have it all

But in that moment, together, they both thought that just maybe they could find a place where they belonged.

Santana watched from the audience, holding Brittany's hand. She knew they'd been rehearsing the duet for a few weeks. She knew that the more time Blaine spent with Kurt he was falling harder, deeper, more and more in love. And it seemed from all she could learn that it was mutual.

So don't ask where I'm going
Just listen when I'm gone
And far away you'll hear me singing
Softly to the dawn:

She knew she couldn't interfere. She knew she had to let it take its course. She just prayed that they wouldn't both end up broken in the end.

Rivers belong where they can ramble
Eagles belong where they can fly
I've got to be where my spirit can run free
Got to find my corner of the sky

The music was blaring at the nightclub down the street from where The Apples had performed. Blaine and Kurt's friends, still dressed in their suits and ties, were scattered throughout at various tables, soaking up the rhythm of the band on stage. Kurt saved their table while Santana, Brittany and Blaine had gone to the bar to get drinks and some food. He was trying not to feel like a fourth wheel but it was difficult. Brittany's usual warmth toward him was replaced with a coldness he'd never felt from her before. He didn't like it at all.

He watched them across the room as Santana nudged Brittany and sent her to join Kurt with a glare. He looked away. It was always hard for him, seeing Brittany dominated. He was too protective of her. She had always seemed so delicate, so vulnerable. So easily taken advantage of.

Brittany pulled out the chair across from him and sat down. She was quiet though, obviously sent to try to make a peace with him she didn't really want to make.

If she wasn't going to start this awkward conversation he would do it for her. "So how are things with you and Santana?" Kurt asked, a brow raised.

"Santana's amazing," Brittany told him, but her voice was flat as if she knew the words would only fall on disbelieving ears anyway. "She's the perfect Dom. The perfect girlfriend. She's everything I ever dreamed of."

"Sounds perfect," Kurt said curtly. He let his eyes drift across the room. Santana and Blaine were talking, smiling. Blaine's ass looked amazing in his tight pants, Kurt thought before coming back to his senses and looking away. "And where does Blaine fit into all that?" he found himself asking.

"By her side. Always," Brittany answered without hesitation. Her bright blue eyes met his and for the first time they were unforgiving. "She loves him Kurt. Cares for him like he needs. If he matters to you like I think he does, you won't mess that up for him."

"And what makes you think I would mess that up?" he challenged.

"You know exactly what Kurt," she admonished. "If you hurt him like you did-"

A hand came down on her shoulder stopping her mid warning. "Brittany," Santana interrupted. "I think Blaine needs your help with the food. And then why don't you two find a table closer to the stage." Brittany dropped her eyes and without a glance back to Kurt, obeyed without question. Santana took her place across from Kurt. "I'm sorry she spoke to you that way."

"I'm her friend, not her Dom, she can talk to me however she wants," Kurt snapped.

Santana was quiet, studying him. She'd only met Kurt briefly a few times in the last few weeks when she'd happened to pick Blaine up at NYADA. She hadn't spent much time with him. But one thing was quite obvious. "You don't trust me much, do you?"

"Should I?" Kurt asked.

Santana sighed. "I love them both. Very much. I know how much you care about them."

"I've been friends with Britt for years, I've only just met Blaine," he muttered.

"Doesn't mean you don't care for him just as much," Santana pointed out gently. "I see the way you look at him. And I know how he looks at you." Kurt blushed. He wanted more than anything to ask how, but he didn't have the nerve. "Be careful with his heart Kurt. He's a sub. He trusts easily. He falls far. And he loves with everything."

Kurt's eyes narrowed on the defensive. "You think I don't know that?"

"I know you wouldn't intentionally hurt him," she said. "But sometimes things happen even with the best of intentions."

Kurt didn't say anything. He knew that better than anyone.

"I know you don't need my permission," Santana continued. "I know you sure as hell don't want it. So I'll just ask you to do me one favor."

"What's that?"

"Ask him about the four studs on his cuff."

Kurt looked at her quizzically but before he could say a word, Blaine drew up by Santana's side, eyes solely on Kurt. "Excuse me," he said. "I don't mean to intrude, but…I think Brittany would like a dance Santana."

Santana's gaze shot upward, her eyes narrowing suspiciously at Blaine. "Would she now?"

Blaine lowered his own, but Kurt could see the smile he barely contained. His insolence made Kurt smile as well. "Yes Ma'am, she would."

Santana glanced at Kurt, then back to Blaine with a look that told him she knew exactly what he was doing and he was very unlikely to get away with it once they returned home. But she got up and without another word she made her way to Brittany's table.

"I don't know that that was the smartest move, Blaine," Kurt said, but his eyes danced with delight.

"You just let me worry about Santana," Blaine told him. "I didn't lie, Brittany did want to dance. It's just… she wasn't the only one."

Kurt looked up at him with a smirk. "Oh really?" he asked innocently.

Blaine blushed now, the bravado he had only seconds ago melting into a shyness as he realized that Kurt was going to make him beg for it. "Kurt?" Sir? he thought, his hands clasped in front of him. "Would you care to dance? Please?"

Kurt grinned and he nodded standing smoothly. "Blaine, I would love to."

Blaine stood still, letting Kurt pass him and take his hand, leading him to the dance floor. He quickly wrapped his arms around Kurt's waist, as Kurt's hands fell on his shoulders. The room was dark, the music played slowly, the crowd chattered around them and Blaine, at least, felt the world suddenly fall away. He was in the arms of a man, a man he knew he loved, and he had never felt more perfect.

"You were great tonight," he heard Kurt say and his heart filled with warmth as he smiled proudly.

"Thank you," he answered, pulling him in just a little closer. He waited for Kurt to stop him, but he didn't. "You were better."

Their eyes met, colors shifting with the lights and the emotion and neither could get a fix on what the other was feeling but they could feel the beating of their hearts against one another. "Thank you Blaine," Kurt purred and he draped his arms over Blaine's shoulders.

All Blaine wanted was to give in, to give himself over to Kurt for whatever he wanted. He didn't know where Santana was but in the moment he didn't care because he belonged here and only here. He tucked himself against Kurt's neck, breathing in his intoxicating scent of vanilla and sandalwood and he let his breath tickle against Kurt's skin. Kurt shuddered beneath him and Blaine pulled him in closer, closing his eyes and letting himself just get lost in the gentle rise and fall of Kurt's shoulders. "We're perfect together," Blaine murmured, against his skin.

He felt Kurt's breath hitch and his body stop. The hesitation though only probably seconds felt hours long. Blaine held his own breath until Kurt finally said, "Yeah. We are."

Chapter Text

Done chasing, why you chasing?
Something else
I can't take it anymore
Done lying for the truth to...come out of your mouth
When the answers scream loud.

You play the role
I play the lead
We strike a pose
I was too blind to see
This ain't what it seems

~ Lea Michele

"So what do the studs on your cuff stand for?"

Blaine stopped stirring his macchiato, which he'd discovered to be his favorite. It had become something of a tradition for Kurt and Blaine to go out for coffee after Apple's rehearsal to wind down before going home. Blaine tried to keep his expectations low but he couldn't hold back the hope each time that Kurt would finally take the leap. After all, they did everything together now, they talked every day, they hugged and held hands. Blaine was trying not to start thinking there was something that he was doing wrong. He knew it wasn't that he wasn't submissive enough, Kurt liked his fire as much as Santana did. And he'd made sure Kurt understood that he wasn't just looking for a boyfriend, he was looking for a Dom. So, when Kurt asked specifically about his cuff, his heart raced, thinking maybe it was a good sign.

Blaine held his arm out, trying not to let it shake with nerves, and pulled up his sleeve, presenting the silver pyramids. It felt private and personal, like giving Kurt a gift. "They stand for the four cornerstones of our contract."

"What are they?" Kurt asked.

Blaine gave a reverent touch to each spike, his eyes never leaving Kurt's, as he shared what mattered most between him and his Dom. "Love. Trust. Respect. Truth."

With every word, Kurt's heart fell more and more. Because it was clear in Blaine's voice not only how much each of those things meant to Blaine, but that if he was given the chance he would gladly offer Kurt every single one. And Kurt slowly realized, as Santana had already known, that he wasn't living up to any of them.

"Every agreement or rule we have falls under one of these," Blaine was telling Kurt.

"So, when you break one? Like lying…" Kurt couldn't stop himself from asking.

Blaine lowered his eyes, out of respect, not shame. "Then I would deserve to be punished."

"And what would happen if she lied to you?" Kurt questioned.

Blaine blinked and he lifted his gaze. Kurt looked nervous, the question sounded ominous, and Blaine found his stomach tightening. "I guess it depends whether or not she had a good reason," he said warily.

"What if she didn't?" Kurt asked.

Blaine pursed his lips, hating even the thought. "I suppose she'd be punished."


Blaine had never had to do it, not really, and he hoped he never did. But he knew what would hurt Santana most. "Lying damages trust. I'd lose my trust in her and for Santana, trust is everything. Everything would be safeworded until she earned it back."

"And what if she did have a good reason?" Kurt wondered softly and Blaine's forehead creased.

"Then I'd forgive her," Blaine answered without any doubt. "Just like I hope she'd forgive me." Kurt talked so little about his past relationships, but Blaine wondered if maybe there was something in this that was what had Kurt spooked. Maybe Kurt was just afraid that he'd leave if he wasn't perfect. Or maybe his sub had lied to him. Perhaps he was better off not asking, but his curiosity got the better of him. "Was it like that with you and Adam?" he asked, picking up his cronut and trying to ease into things gently.

Kurt grimaced and shook his head. "I don't know that we should-," he said.

"Was he a good sub for you?" Blaine asked curiously before taking another bite and a sip of his coffee.


Kurt dipped his eyes. The last thing in the world he wanted to do was hurt Blaine, but he knew without a doubt now, and most certainly without Rachel and Santana and Brittany continuing to tell him night after night, that perpetuating his unspoken lie would hurt him so much more. And that's what made it so hard. Because he'd made the mistake of allowing Blaine in, and now that he had, he didn't want to lose that.

But he had to stop lying and when he saw the beautiful hazel eyes of the man quickly becoming his best friend clouding over with worry, his own filled with determination. "Blaine. Adam wasn't a sub."

Blaine sputtered on his coffee and the cup froze midair. "Really?" His voice squeaked. "I mean, I've seen two Doms together before, but I guess I just figured-"

"Blaine." His words caught in his throat as his heart beat furiously in his chest. He still had a chance to keep things as they were, keep the lie alive. But of all the voices in his head screaming at him not to do that, his own was the loudest. He couldn't do this anymore, not to Blaine and not to himself. So he took a deep breath and he forced himself to meet Blaine's eyes.

"I'm not a Dom," he said.

Blaine felt his world shift completely upside down. It was all he could do to keep himself together, much less put his drink down without spilling, put thoughts together in his head and try to make sense of what he'd just been told. "Kurt, shit. I guess…I just assumed but, I guess if he was, I mean," he cleared his throat trying to gain his bearings, "you don't seem like a sub but-"

"I'm not a sub either," Kurt told him.

Once when Blaine was seven, Cooper had, in a fit of anger, pushed him so hard in his stomach that he had lost his breath. It had been one of the most painful moments of his life but right now Blaine wished he could go back to that day because he was pretty sure it hurt less, and at least that time the world had not devolved into a spinning mess of stars.


That was all Blaine could manage while his heart broke in two and crashed to the floor. A fellow sub he could at least play with, even date if Santana allowed it. But Kurt wasn't a sub or a Dom. He was Gray. Everything he'd ever been told and had immediately tossed aside about the Grays suddenly came flooding back to him. Contracts with Grays were forbidden because Grays lacked the ability to submit or dominate. They lacked the passion and emotion necessary for true intimacy. They could not care for others. A Gray would leave a sub broken. It was at best dangerous. At worst, it could be deadly.

The life Blaine had imagined where Kurt gave him everything Santana couldn't and he was safe and loved and cared for was gone. Now all he saw was Kurt, along with all his hopes and dreams, slip from his life before his eyes.

Kurt's gaze hardened at the shifting expressions on Blaine's face and his eyes narrowed. A voice he hated in the back of his head told him he never should have trusted the sub. He stood up from his chair and grabbed his coffee. "I think I should go."

Blaine blinked up at him, Kurt's voice pulling him out of the darkness he'd been falling into. "Why?" Kurt looked angry at him, but he had no right. Kurt was the one who had lied, not him.

But Kurt just rolled his eyes. "Look, I went to High School, I'm not stupid. I know how it is. I sat huddled in the corner all alone while Doms and subs laughed away. I was the only one in my school. They used to call me Double Strike. Gay and Gray? It even conveniently rhymes. Made the most amusing of songs," he said with bitter sarcasm. Blaine flinched at the pain Kurt must have had to endure. And at the way Kurt was looking at him with nothing but disdain, as if he'd been there singing himself. "You'd think even the idiots would have outgrown such childish nonsense by high school, but no such luck for me." At the sadness in Kurt's eyes, Blaine's anger faltered, just for a second. And for that second he understood why Kurt had done what he did. "I thought you were different but-"

"I am different," Blaine snapped. He didn't know anyone Gray, no one would dare come out at Dalton or Crawford. But he did know what it was like to always feel different inside and he had trusted Kurt with that truth. Tears welled in his eyes at the thought that Kurt hadn't given him that same trust in return. "What about me made you think I would care if you were Gray?"

Kurt laughed grimly and shook his head. "I hate that word, by the way. Gray? You know gray is a neutral or achromatic color, meaning literally that it is a color without color? Like, because we don't have Dominant or submissive hormones we have nothing to offer the world. Look at me Blaine," he said, gesturing to himself. He stood tall and proud in a bright red Marc Jacobs button down, a yellow scarf and pinstriped blue slacks. "Do I look gray to you?"

No he didn't. But Blaine had never known any other word used. "What do you like to be called then?"

"Kurt works great," he scowled.

As Kurt's words sunk in he realized that even through his anger and pain, Kurt could still make him smile. "Kurt is perfect," he whispered and his heart clenched at his words. We're perfect together, he had said only a few days before. Except that they weren't.

Kurt didn't know what to say. It wasn't the time or the place to talk about everything they had both just lost. He wasn't sure if it ever really would be. What they truly wanted was impossible. Talking about it wouldn't change that. "Honestly I'm surprised Brittany didn't tell you," Kurt mused instead.

Blaine's eyes narrowed. "Wait, Brittany knows?" he asked.

"Well sure, everyone in Lima knows," Kurt said. "But Britt, she was my first kiss. I'd already known that I was gay, but it seemed like a good idea at the time just to check it out. I didn't really know that much about dominance or submission. My mom and my dad never did anything in front of me if they ever did anything at all and then he'd been alone for so long. So when Britt told me there was nothing when she kissed me, it was really the first time I'd even thought about it."

Blaine listened, taking it all in quietly. "Maybe she just wasn't the right person?" he said, and Kurt was sad that his voice was almost hopeful. "Maybe with the right one?"

Kurt shook his head. "I've been with guys Blaine. I've been with subs and Doms. It…it never works."

For a moment Kurt's eyes flashed something that made Blaine's heart ache even more but then it was gone and he wondered if he'd just imagined it.

Kurt looked up into Blaine's shining and mournful hazel eyes, eyes that looked like he'd lost something maybe even greater than Kurt knew. Kurt kicked himself for doing exactly what Rachel had told him not to. "I'm proud of who I am but I've learned it's better to give the impression in public that I'm a Dom. I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you." He reached out to take Blaine's hand but pulled back when Blaine flinched. "I really care about you."

Blaine nodded, finding it hard to believe. He fought back the tears he wouldn't let fall. The more Kurt spoke the angrier he was getting. He didn't quite know with whom or what, he just knew he had to get out of there before he exploded. "I need to go," he said, gathering up his things as he stood. "I'll see you tomorrow at Apples rehearsal."

Blaine was rushing so quickly and Kurt felt like he'd broken one of the most precious things in the world to him. And he didn't understand how this boy he'd really just met had come to mean that to him. "Blaine," he called softly before he could leave.

Blaine stopped and turned. His eyes swirled with emotion. "Was he Gray too?"


"Adam," Blaine asked.

"No," Kurt shook his head. "He was a Dom. I've never been with…someone like me."

Blaine bit his lip. "Did you love him? Even though he was a Dom?"

Kurt sighed. He'd asked himself the same question too many times. "I tried to love him," he answered honestly.

Blaine nodded. It was all he needed to know. "I'll see you tomorrow Kurt," he said and he walked out the door.

"Brittany S. Pierce get out here now!" Blaine shouted as he slammed the front door behind him. Walking home his thoughts had spiraled and his emotions had peaked and he took the stairs up to their apartment two by two, letting them all fall on the easiest target. He ripped off his coat and his scarf, throwing them on the floor, and stormed into the living room to confront a wide-eyed and unsuspecting Brittany. "Why the hell didn't you tell me about Kurt?" he yelled at the girl standing helpless in the middle of the room.

"Tell…tell you what?" Brittany stammered though she knew exactly what.

Blaine's fury only grew and his hands clenched into fists. "Don't play that air-headed, innocent game with me, you know exactly what I'm talking about!"

"Blaine, please-" Brittany pleaded, but Santana swept in from the bedroom and with one hand eased Britt back and stepped between her subs.

"I ordered her not to tell you," Santana told Blaine calmly. "And you need to watch your tone."

"Oh screw you Santana!" he spat, his vision blurred enough that he couldn't see her reaction which was good because he really didn't care. "How could you do this to me? You knew he was a Gray and you said nothing! I guess trust and truth only matter when you're a sub. Doms can do whatever the fuck they want!"

"I know it might seem that way right now, but I believe I was doing what was right," Santana tried to explain.

Blaine scoffed, rolling his eyes. "You're supposed to protect me! That's your fucking job and you just let me-"

"I won't interfere with your search for a Dom," Santana told him firmly.

Blaine threw his hands in the air in exasperation. "He's not a fucking Dom, Santana!"

Her dominance screamed to punish his blatant and repeated disrespect, but she closed her eyes for a moment and forced it back. "That doesn't make him any less a part of your search, Blaine." She tried to reach out and calm him but he snapped away.

"How?" he sneered. "By showing me everything I want but can't have? Well thanks but no thanks, I've had enough of that already with you." The room was closing in on him, the world was closing in on him and he couldn't take the flow of Santana's dominance fighting to grasp ahold of him. Storming away he grabbed his coat and scarf and pulled them back on. "I hate this," he shouted furiously, but from nowhere came the tears just behind it. He'd held in his heart the promise of the future he had always dreamed about. They'd all knowingly let him believe it then swept the rug right out from underneath him. They had all betrayed him. "I hate this. I hate Kurt. And I hate you!"

Brittany ran after him as he yanked open the door with a plea of "Blaine!" but without a word he slammed the door shut behind him. Sadness and anger mixed inside her and they were emotions that she hated more than any other. Even Santana's hands on her shoulders couldn't stop her tears.

"Just let him go," Santana said softly, soothingly.

Brittany shook her head though. Santana's voice was deceiving, she could feel her hands trembling in anger. She loved Blaine but he'd attacked her Dom and he couldn't just get away with that. "He shouldn't have spoken to you like that," she whispered.

Warm, loving arms turned her and pulled her in close. "No," Santana agreed, trying hard to keep herself together. No matter how she felt about Blaine's outburst she had to stay calm right now for Brittany. "He shouldn't have. The things he said were wrong, but he has a right to his anger."

"Doesn't matter," she sniffled against her, her skin prickling. "You're shaking. It's not right. It's not how a sub should treat their Dom."

Santana's fingers ran through her hair, brushing down her blonde locks. The air between them instantly changed and Santana's trembling stopped. "How should a sub treat her Dom, love?" she hummed.

Brittany immediately fell to her knees and looked up, eyes obedient and inviting. "Let me show you?" she asked.

Santana looked down at her, her eyes smiling but it didn't yet reach her lips. "I won't put a band on the door. I won't stop Blaine from coming home whenever he's ready. Is that okay?"

Brittany nodded. "That's perfect," she agreed. She didn't want anything for herself. All she wanted to do was to ease Santana's pain.

Kurt had stayed behind in the coffee shop, nursing his drink and his battered ego for a while. Home was the last place he wanted to go, back to Rachel's I told you so's. Eventually he realized he couldn't sit there forever and the sun was quickly setting as he stepped out on the cold streets. A street musician played nearby, his guitar case open for whatever change lonely New Yorkers might allow to slip from their fingers. Kurt pulled out a dollar and dropped it in. It was something Finn would have done.

He needed someone to talk to, someone to tell him what he had to do to make things right with Blaine. But in a city full of millions of people Kurt had no one. He knew exactly what Rachel and his father would say. Carole would tell him it was for the best. But he didn't need the condemnation and disapproval of the Doms and Grays in his life. What he needed was a sub who could explain it all to him. Explain how Blaine was feeling. Explain how he would feel if they were together. Explain why it wouldn't work. The last time, Finn had tried to tell him but he'd stuck his fingers in his ears and refused to listen. This time the only thing that mattered to him were Blaine's feelings and he needed desperately to understand it all.

He needed Finn. He wished he'd listened to him before it was too late.

He found himself walking to Battery Park, the last place besides the loft that he'd spent with his brother before he'd been shipped out for the last time. He and Finn and Rachel had laid beneath the stars, dreaming of their future together. Finn would come back from war a hero and he and Rachel would marry once her career took off. Kurt would find success and his needle in the haystack, the man who would be able to stand by his side in a world that wasn't made for him.

He was too afraid to admit that he'd fooled himself into believing that Blaine could be that man.

He sat on the cold ground and laid back, staring up to map out the stars, finding Finn's. It had taken a trip to an observatory with Rachel for them to learn the right part of the sky, but now that they knew they could locate it first glance, even when it wasn't visible. He closed his eyes, trying desperately to remember what he'd been told so long ago.

"He needs you Kurt," Finn said. "A Dom's like a beacon of light, guiding their sub through the darkness. Without it, they'll just fall into it."

Kurt rolled his eyes. "Please Finn, that's the most pathetic thing I've ever heard. Besides, I'm not his Dom, I'm just me."

"It doesn't matter," Finn said. "He's still a sub. Just be yourself, Kurt. The rest will figure itself out."

Finn had been wrong. Naïve. Being himself was exactly the problem. A sub needed a Dom. Blaine needed a Dom. He'd done nothing these last few months but lie to himself.


Blaine clicked the door softly closed behind him.

He had known that Santana would be waiting up for him. The sky had darkened hours ago and the cold grew deep in his bones as he circled the city streets, searching. For what he didn't know. But finally, when his fingers numbed in their gloves and he was sure his nose was glowing red he turned the corner back to the apartment he shared with his Dom and Brittany. The climb up the steps had not been easy. Turning the door knob had been harder. The light that peaked through the crack in the door grew brighter as he opened it, though it was far from bright inside. She had only one light on next to the couch where she sat.

"Hi," she said, just as softly as he had.

He unwrapped his scarf, pulled his gloves off and put them in the pocket of the coat he hung up. But he lingered by the door. Not sure exactly where he was supposed to go.

"Why don't you come sit down," Santana answered, reading his mind.

The request was oddly comforting, as was her quiet tone. Her face was soft, her eyes dark with melancholy. Her dominance felt like only a quiet hum as he took the seat next to her. Still, he lowered his gaze to the hands he folded in his lap. He remained silent as she watched him, appraising.

"You've been gone a long time, I was starting to get worried." Blaine offered the faintest hint of a nod, but he said nothing. "What kept you away the longest?" she finally asked gently. "Your anger? Your fear? Or your guilt?"

"Guilt brought me back," he answered in a clipped tone. There'd been no hesitation.

She nodded, but he didn't continue. "So…" she prompted him.

He raised his eyes at that, meeting hers. Challenging hers. His still burned with anger. "I'm not afraid," he told her firmly, his voice full with bitterness. "What you do you do for me. Dominance is what I need. I don't fear it, I crave it. What I fear is life without it." Life without it. Being with Kurt, he grew to accept more and more as he walked, would mean life without it. Life without the one thing he'd wanted his entire life; a Dom to love and care for him, to protect him and to guide him. His eyes filled with tears; angry, bitter, resentful tears, because he had been cheated not once but twice out of what everyone else seemed to find so easily. But this time Santana could have prevented it. "Why did you let me fall in love with him?"

"Oh Blaine." Santana's heart felt like it was crushing into a million pieces as it broke for him. "I didn't let you. You fell in love with him the moment you saw him. I could see it in your eyes. It was too late to stop it."

The tears fell, hot on his cheeks and he let his head fall as he tried wiping the wetness away with the heel of his hand. "What did I do to deserve this Santana?"

"Sweetheart." She shifted toward him and took him in her arms. He was too drained to fight. "You didn't do anything Blaine. It's not punishment, it's just life. Sometimes it isn't fair."

"I can't do this Santana." He pulled out of her arms, but let her still hold his hands and he looked up to her for answers. "I am so angry at him for lying to me but I still love him. And I can't look at him every day and know I can't have him. But I can't lose him either. And I can't look for someone greater when no one would ever even compare."

"That's a lot of feelings," she acknowledged, squeezing his hands. "But give it time Blaine. Whatever's meant to be will be."

"Yeah," he shrugged dismissively. He wasn't sure he believed that. He didn't really know what he could believe in any more. He'd foolishly believed in soulmates. All his life he'd been told that a perfect sub finds their perfect Dom and he had always tried so hard. And Santana had been perfect for him until she wasn't, but the promise of New York kept his faith. Now he didn't know what or who he could trust. His head was spinning. And he knew only one way out. "Will you punish me?" he asked, his voice resigned.

"Are you still angry with me?" she questioned.

"Yes," he admitted.

"Do you understand why I didn't tell you?"

He shook his head. "No, I don't understand."

Santana looked out the window as if out there she would find the words that would make sense of all the thoughts that had been in her head now for weeks. "I'm your Dom," she started. "But that doesn't mean I should have complete power and control over your life. The decisions you make about the future you want without me are yours alone. I can't…" her voice caught in her throat. It was so hard for her to acknowledge that someday Blaine would no longer be hers. "It's not fair of me to try and influence that."

Blaine pressed his lips between his teeth. Sometimes he forgot that finding a new Dom meant leaving Santana behind. Sometimes he forgot how hard it would be for her. It was wrong of him to forget that and it had been wrong of him not to trust her. "Please will you punish me?" he asked again.

She kissed him softly on the forehead. "In the morning, yes. For your words, not your anger. You had every right to that." She patted his leg softly. "Get some rest now."

He pulled himself off the couch, his muscles feeling like they weighed twice as much as usual. He wondered if the heaviness was more from his broken heart or the unresolved guilt. "I'm sorry Santana," he said, pausing at his door to turn and look back at her. "For what I said."

"I know you are sweetheart."

"I don't hate you," he said softly.

Santana smiled. "Well that makes me very happy to hear. Goodnight." She thought of something and called back out to him. "Blaine?" He turned tiredly. "Don't be angry at Brittany. She has wanted to tell you since the moment you met him. Okay?"

Blaine nodded. "Okay."

She watched him as he slipped into his room and closed the door behind him. She released a breath she'd been holding since he walked back in the apartment and allowed herself to collapse into the couch. She'd screwed up. She knew that in Blaine's mind she had broken her promises of truth and trust, and yet she couldn't help but think that if she had it all to do again she would do it just the same. Because though he had no idea, she knew exactly how he felt. And she knew how important Kurt could be for him.

Reaching up, she turned out the lamp above her head and pulled out her phone. The glow of the screen softly lit the room. It was just after midnight and part of her worried it was too late to call, but Santana knew she would still be up.

"Hey Quinn," she said tiredly. She felt her muscles relax and eased into the couch. "How are you? Yale treating you well?"

"Better than NY is treating you it sounds," Quinn said worriedly into the phone. "It's passed midnight, you should be curled up with your girlfriend, not on the phone with me. What's the matter?"

Santana was quiet a minute. "Do you think you and I ever could have really worked? In a different world, here in New York? Just the two of us? Do you think we could have stayed together?" Santana chewed at her nails. She didn't regret a thing, but it was a question she'd been asking ever since Blaine had come home with Kurt's name on his lips.

Quinn scoffed though. "Santana Lopez, holding down two subs, being happy with just a Gray? Not a chance. What we had was fun and I don't regret a day of being with you Santana, but Doms belong with subs."

"And subs with Doms," Santana muttered. "Thanks."

"Where's this coming from?" Quinn questioned. "Something wrong with Brittany?"

"No Brittany's amazing," Santana sighed. "It's Blaine I'm worried about."

The burn in his mouth the next morning was just this side of tolerable by the time Blaine entered the NYADA lobby. Pulling out his phone he checked the time. A little less than two hours more and it would wear off. He would have preferred a spanking any day but of course Santana knew that. Heartbreak had settled inside him overnight, taking root. But sleep and punishment had at least relieved the guilt of the night before. He went to the mailboxes to check his mail, throwing out the flyers he'd gotten from various clubs, before hitching his bag on his shoulder. He was grateful that the morning was dance rather than acting or voice because he couldn't even imagine talking with his tongue on fire, and he headed absentmindedly down to the studios, turning the corner, and nearly slamming head first into Kurt.

"Oh my god Blaine, I'm so sorry!" Kurt said, grabbing Blaine's biceps to steady himself and his friend. "I guess I must have been distracted."

Blaine shook his head apologized profusely. "No, no, it's my fault, I wasn't paying attention, I'm sorry."

Kurt tilted his head slightly, his brow furrowed. Blaine looked flush and something just seemed…off. "Are you okay?" he asked. "No of course you're not. You're still mad at me, you probably hate me and I don't blame you at all. I could barely sleep, I know I should have told you earlier-"

"Kurt stop," Blaine told him. "It's not you, I just…" He stuttered with an embarrassment he hadn't felt before, realizing he had absolutely no idea how to talk about this with someone who wasn't a Dom or a sub. He shrugged, offering a vague gesture to his mouth. "I got pretty mouthy last night," he tried in explanation. "So, this morning…there's this gum…"

"Oh right," Kurt nodded with a grimace. "I've seen the commercials on TV." He didn't mention how he'd always wondered how any grown adult would ever let themselves be subjected to it. But he knew better than to ask, especially since whatever Blaine had done to set off Santana was most certainly his fault. "I'm sorry, I'm sure I'm to blame."

Blaine's instinct was to tell him he wasn't but that would have been a lie. "You're right, you are. How could you have kept that from me? After everything?" he asked, his voice biting and he could feel the anger coming back to him though the burn kept it under control. "I mean, I thought I meant something to you. And you must have known how I felt."

Kurt met his eyes and the pain in them broke his heart. "Honestly?" he asked. Blaine nodded and Kurt lowered his gaze. Looking at him was too hard. He'd been trying for so long not to admit to himself or anyone else that he'd been leading Blaine on. Yes, he'd been enjoying Blaine's company. Enjoying the attention that Blaine gave him and enjoying the fact that he had a friend who loved doing all the things that he loved doing. He'd been enjoying have an amazing duet partner, an equal in talent. But he'd been refusing to admit that Blaine was falling because he knew what that meant. "I was selfish," he admitted softly. "It was selfish and cruel and Rachel and Brittany tried to tell me over and over again. But then I would look at your face and…" He looked up fear strangling his heart. "You make me feel…I don't know…special. And no one has ever really done that before, not like you. I wanted you to see who I was before you knew what I was. I knew that I would lose you as soon as you knew the truth. And I couldn't bear the thought of that."

"Just…" Blaine wasn't even sure he wanted the answer, but he knew he needed it. "I let myself imagine a future with you Kurt. Just tell me, did I make it all up in my head?"

"No," Kurt answered instantly. "I never lied about how I felt about you. You have to believe that."

"We can't be together Kurt," Blaine said and in both their eyes, tears shined. Because they didn't know how to do this. Neither of them had ever really allowed themselves to fall in love before and it had felt incredible and now life without it seemed empty and hopeless. And going on like that seemed almost worse than the fear in their hearts. "But I can't just leave you either. Aside from Santana you're the best friend I've ever had. I am still so mad at you Kurt, for making me believe I could have it all."

"I'm sorry," Kurt said. "I should have told you from the beginning. I never should have lied to you."

"But I know you had your reasons." Blaine's head spun as his submission swirled and reached out and found nothing but air where it so desperately wanted so much more. But when he'd said he would forgive Santana for lying if she'd had a good reason, he meant it. Not because it was supposed to be easy, but because he would want the same respect in return. So he swallowed and he took a breath. "I forgive you."


What is love?
What is love?
When you don't know who you're lying next to, to you anymore
What is love?
What is love?
You don't know what love is till you love somebody, bad enough.

Chapter Text

Oh, I built a world around you
Oh, you had me in a dream,
I lived in every word you said
The stars had aligned
I thought that I found you
And I don't wanna love somebody else

~ A Great Big World

Outside the snow was coming down hard, the cold chilling Blaine and Kurt to their bones. But inside, the Manhattan Mall was warm and full of Christmas cheer. White lights blinked everywhere, Christmas Carols were pumped through the speakers and looking down from the second floor they could see the long line of children lining up to sit on Santa's lap.

"That always creeped me out," Kurt said as a strong "ho, ho, ho" launched its way to their ears. "Sitting on some guy's lap while you tell him what you want most in the world and he promises to make it come true knowing full well he can't."

"That is the most depressing view of Santa Clause I have ever heard," Blaine said, side-eyeing Kurt. "Santa is the ultimate Dom, there to protect and provide and make dreams come true."

Kurt snorted. "Like I said. Creepy." He turned to Blaine walking backwards so he could see him. "A dirty old man teaching little Dom and sub children that their own happiness lies in someone else's hands?" He turned back around and rolled his eyes. "No thank you. I'll find my own happiness."

"Bet you never said that on Christmas morning when you came downstairs to a tree full of presents," Blaine teased, watching him.

Kurt blushed, knowing he was caught. "I never begrudged my parents the opportunity to spoil me." Kurt led the way into Aeropostale and started skimming the racks. "I was an only child after all. I couldn't possibly take that joy away from them. What about you? Did your parents spoil you and your brother?"

"My brother was spoiled rotten," Blaine laughed. "I think they'd seen the error of their ways by the time they got to me and had settled down a bit. That's why I'm so down to earth and his head is in the clouds."

"So it wasn't just because your brother was a Dom and you were a sub?" Kurt asked, pulling out a shirt he thought was perfect for Blaine and holding it up against him. "This would look amazing on you."

"Oh that's nice," Blaine grinned, taking it from Kurt and draping it over his arm. "My parents always treated us equally, though the message never really seemed to get through to him. Cooper believed he was better than me and pretty much everyone else in the world probably from the day he was born."

"Oh my god, your brother's name is Cooper Anderson, just like the…" Kurt stopped at the horrified look on Blaine's face. "Wait," he whispered in the middle of the store. "Your brother is Cooper Anderson? The Cooper Anderson? Like of Groom-To-Be Season 5 fame?"

"Yes," Blaine grumbled, rolling his eyes. "He's that Cooper Anderson."

"Oh my god Blaine, why didn't you tell me? Your brother is…" He took in the glare of daggers aimed his way and he quickly replaced the grin on his face with a forced frown. "…a jerk," he said instead, shaking his head. "A total jerk. Hated him on that show. Ugly too. Like a horse."

Blaine cracked a smile, then laughed out loud at Kurt's valiant attempt to placate him. "Thank you Kurt," he said. "That may be the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for me."

Kurt shrugged with an air of innocence. "Well I do try," he smirked.

Blaine smiled. Things hadn't been easy after learning the truth about Kurt, but slowly they had both settled into a place where they could be the friends that they were and keep their forbidden desires locked away in small corners of their minds. Gray or not though, Blaine could never deny the fact that Kurt was the most beautiful man he had ever seen. And he couldn't deny that there was a part of him that wanted to hold on to Kurt and never let go. Over the last couple of weeks there were too many times like now where the urge was so strong it ached not to just do it.

But he couldn't think about that now. He took a steadying breath, put the shirt he was carrying back and grabbed Kurt's arm. "Come on, we're supposed to be shopping for our families, not ourselves." He dragged Kurt out against his whining and pouting and continued their walk around the mall.

Kurt immediately found a Patti Lupone book and a Barbara Streisand sweatshirt that Rachel didn't have yet. Blaine found adorable cat earrings for Brittany and a chain of pearls for his mother. His father though was a much different story.

After their seventh store Blaine was just about to give up. "What do you get for a guy who can buy himself anything he wants?" he asked with a sigh. Every time he saw something that might be good he talked himself out of it for one reason or another.

"Well," Kurt said, juggling the bags in his hand as they walked. "What does he want that he can't buy?"

"A straight son," Blaine blurted out, then furrowed his brow thoughtfully. "Well, rather two straight sons, since the first one came out straight as an arrow."

Kurt laughed. "Okay, let's start with that. What would a straight son get him?"

Blaine shrugged. "I don't know. Sports paraphernalia? Beer? Cheerleaders?" Blaine snapped his fingers and pointed to Kurt with a grin. "A gift certificate to a strip club!"

"Ew, you are not buying your father a gift certificate to a strip club," Kurt told him. "Now let's see, when I pretended to be straight I dressed myself in flannel and a baseball cap," he offered.

Blaine stopped and stared at him for a second. "I cannot picture you in either flannel or a baseball cap."

"It was a terrifying sight for sure," Kurt agreed. "I'm pretty sure I burned those clothes."

"Oh!" Blaine exclaimed. "Barbecue stuff! That's pretty straight!"

"Do you guys even have a barbecue?" Kurt's brow furrowed. "Don't your servants do all the cooking?"

Blaine frowned and collapsed dramatically onto a nearby bench. "I think it's hopeless."

Kurt chuckled and sat down beside him. "Well what do you usually get him?" he asked.

"Handkerchiefs," Blaine admitted.

Kurt scoffed. "That's pathetic," he said.

"Hey!" Blaine gaped with mock offense. "It's nothing to sneeze at!"

Kurt stopped at the pun and stared at him. "Wow. Really Blaine?"

Blaine grinned. "Really. So it's decided, he's getting handkerchiefs," he announced getting up to go to the store. Kurt came up quickly beside him. "Now what are you getting your Dad?"

"Every year my mother would buy him a new cologne," Kurt shared. "So that's what I've always done. And a few other things here and there that speak to me as I shop."

"And Carole?"

Kurt frowned at that, the sudden sadness palpable. "Finn and I always went in together. He always knew exactly what she would like."

Blaine looked over to him. "If you think of Finn, I'm sure you'll get it right," he said.

Kurt nodded. But he didn't really want to think about it right then. "What about Santana?" Kurt asked with a brow raised. Finn had always put a few sweaters or pieces of jewelry under the tree for Rachel, but Kurt knew there were things that he bought to give to Rachel in private. None of them seemed appropriate for a platonic claim.

Blaine and Brittany had talked for hours while Santana was in school trying to come up with the perfect gift. They'd searched the internet through Dom shops and more until they both squealed, finally finding exactly what they wanted. Blaine grinned proudly. "We bought her a cuff."

They left the mall, their arms full of bags as they made their way back home. Only the presents they would buy for one another were left to be purchased. It was early but the sun was already setting, and the cold wind was falling quickly below freezing. Climbing into the heat of the subway was a welcome relief. They thankfully found seats on the train and settled in for the short commute. Blaine leaned his head back against the wall, exhausted.

"How are you feeling about going home?" Kurt asked him. They hadn't talked about it all day but it had been there, hidden inside Blaine's snarky remarks.

"Honestly? Now that Santana's claimed Brittany and I'm…" he blushed slightly and looked away, "out at school, I'm terrified we're not going to be able to pretend like we used to. I'm glad we all have your friends' Kitty and Artie's claiming to go to after Christmas because being stuck with my parents for an entire week might literally kill me," Blaine groaned.

Kurt hated the lengths to which Blaine and Santana felt they had to go in order to stay firmly in the closet at home. He wished he understood why, but he knew that if and when Blaine was ready to tell that he would. "I'm glad we do too, because that means I don't have to go too long without seeing you," Kurt said.

Blaine smiled, a quiet private smile that he was sure should never have graced his lips. Even if they couldn't be together in all the ways that Blaine had dreamed about those first few months, Kurt's friendship still made him happier than he had ever been. Kurt made him feel special in a way none of his other friends had, not even Santana. It hadn't been easy, at times he thought his heart was breaking, but he was so glad that he had forgiven Kurt, and was grateful that Kurt had given him a trust he gave so few people.

"And I'm always just a phone call away. And a two hour drive," Kurt continued, patting him gently on the knee. "In case your folks get on your case too much. Or you just need to hear a friendly voice."

"Thank you Kurt," Blaine said sincerely. "That means a lot to me."

Kurt nodded, leaning his own head back and closing his eyes. You mean a lot to me, he thought but he kept the words to himself. The lessons he learned long ago taught him that those words were much better left unspoken. Instead he just said, "Anytime."

"You should have gone home with them Rachel," Jesse told her as they walked along the NY harbor. "You can't hide away from his family forever."

"I don't see you going home for Christmas," Rachel pointed out with a glare.

Jesse blushed slightly and shrugged. "Old show just closed. New show starts rehearsals middle of January. Family's on some sort of cruise to goodness knows where. Plus, you're here."

"Don't start Jesse," she warned. She walked up to the edge of the sidewalk, leaning against the railing, staring out into the water.

"See," he said wistfully. He sat on the concrete wall below her, his hands grabbing the railing. He leaned his cheek on his arm and stared up at her. Her skin glowed in the cold, her hair blew beautifully in the wind and he knew that he would never be whole until he was hers. "You should have gone home."

"I know," she said, her head tilted to the sky, looking toward the stars. Finn's star, up there hidden from view by the light of day. "It's just, there are so many memories there. The places we kissed, where I claimed him, where we made love for the first time. We should have been married this Christmas. It's too soon. Too hard." She closed her eyes for a moment before sitting next to him. "I'm sorry," she said, looking back at him. "I shouldn't be talking about this with you."

"You can talk to me about anything," Jesse said softly, but they both knew it wasn't true. Not really. Not yet. "Come on." He got up with a smile and held his hand out to her.

She looked up at him. "Where are we going?" she asked.

"If we're going to stay in the city for the holidays, there's only one place to go," he said.

Her eyes sparkling, she took his hand and together they walked to Rockefeller center as the sun set. Music, the smell of food, and the sounds of laughter filled the air. The lights of the tree were beautiful and it radiated the warmth of hope and dreams and beauty. For the first time since she was 16 years old, she allowed Jesse's humming submission to flow from his hand to hers and her heart quickened. But then the bells of the church nearby rang. Finn's face flashed before her eyes and she let go as if she'd been burned.

It terrified her, the inevitability of it. All the things that were left unsaid between them. So many things that were left undone. She wasn't ready to face them. She wasn't ready to move on.

"I'm sorry Jesse," she said, pulling her coat up tight around her. She looked small to him. Frightened. He just wanted to wrap her up in his arms and take away her pain. "I have to go."

She just wasn't ready to love somebody else. But she knew that someday she would be and she knew it would be him.

He nodded and watched her go. He didn't go after her. That wasn't his job. His job was to wait, and he would do it as long as he had to. He would wait for her forever.

Santana and Blaine stood on the sidewalk in front of the Anderson estate. Christmas lights adorned the trees, twinkling icicles hung from the rooftop and inside they knew would be the warmth and smell of a fire. Blaine linked his fingers with hers, not only out of habit but for the strength and support they could provide each other. This was their first time back home since Santana had claimed Brittany. They'd been both living and hiding the truth for three months now. Slipping back into pretending would not be easy for either of them.

"You ready for this?" Santana asked and Blaine was surprised at the nerves he heard in her voice. It seemed like maybe he would need to be the strong one this time around.

"It's just like it used to be Santana," he told her, turning her so she would see him and only him. "It's you and me and our love belongs to us, no one else."

She nodded, but neither one of them said what they both were thinking. It wasn't anything like it used to be. Santana would need to be the strongest she ever had to be in the absence of the submission that truly grounded her. Blaine would help, but he wouldn't be enough.

Santana brushed her thumb against his wrist. "It looks empty without your cuff."

Blaine frowned. "It feels empty," he sighed. "But it's in New York where it belongs. Where we belong. It's only a week and then we'll be back home."

She forced a laugh, shaking her head and wiping away the tears shining in her eyes. "I'm sorry, I should be the one giving you a pep talk," she admonished herself. "It's just hard, being without Brittany. It's like a piece of me-"

"I know," Blaine said with a comforting smile, trying to keep thoughts of Kurt out of his head. "I'll try to make up for her loss as best I can. Be the perfect sub like she is."

Her smile pulled at his heart and he leaned into the hand that cupped his cheek. "You are always the perfect sub just as you are. Don't try to be like someone else, I'd miss you too much."

He blushed and dropped his eyes, squeezing her hand. "Come on," he said. "Let's go inside."

She took a deep breath regaining her composure and gripped him tightly. Back straight, head held high, and eyes fierce, she led him into his parents' home.

"So tell me all about New York Kurt," Carole said as they worked together to cook Christmas dinner. Burt had run to the shop for a last minute fix he'd promised, and to stay out of their way. Kurt and Carole were being ambitious this year, pulling out all the stops in order to keep themselves busy and not give in to the sadness permeating the house. Finn had loved Christmas. He would have wanted them to keep celebrating, even without him.

"New York is good," Kurt said, mixing the ingredients for the ham's pineapple glaze. "NYADA is competitive as always but I seem to be doing alright. Auditions for the Shakespeare were just before we left, so I'll see what I got when I get back. And I'm really enjoying stage combat surprisingly enough. The Apples are doing well, I've made some new friends, Rachel is Rachel, so things are good."

Carole peeled the sweet potatoes and set them aside in a bowl. "Anybody special in those new friends you're making," she asked, a twinkle in her eye.

Kurt was glad her eyes still twinkled and he didn't want to let her down. Honestly he wanted to tell her all about Blaine and how amazing he was, how talented and sweet and strong and absolutely drop dead gorgeous. But he also knew there was one thing he wouldn't be able to leave out. So he just shrugged. "You know how it is," he said, trying to hide everything he felt. "It's like searching for a needle in a haystack." The glaze started to boil and he set the timer for ten minutes, keeping his eyes on the mixture he was stirring. His face grew hot. He convinced himself it was the heat of the stove.

"Sometimes it's possible to find the needle Kurt," she said with a gentle smile. "I did, with your father. I know things didn't work out with Adam, but there are Doms out there like your Dad who can be okay with a Gray."

Kurt knew his dad was okay with a Gray because he'd already raised one. And because Burt couldn't imagine having another sub replace his mom. That wasn't likely to happen to Kurt. "What about with Finn's dad?" he asked before he could lose his nerve. His heart started beating quickly and he just kept stirring. He had tried to sound just curious but he was pretty sure he'd sounded anything but.

Carole stopped at the question, putting the potatoes down. She turned and leaned against the counter, carefully watching Kurt for a minute. "Finn's father was a mistake," she said, her voice thick with warning. "We knew from the beginning that our love wasn't enough but we didn't listen to our hearts. And we both paid the price. A sub needs a Dom. You know that."

"Do you wish you'd listened?" Kurt asked and he knew he was overstepping but he couldn't stop himself. "He brought you Finn. And Finn brought you to Dad."

"I loved Finn's father. And every day I live with the fact that if I'd said no then he might still be alive today," she said more harshly then she'd intended. Kurt finally looked up and she turned around, wiping tears away. She picked up the potatoes and started peeling them again. "If you're asking why I think you're asking Kurt then let the sub go. Don't live your life full of regret."

The timer went off and Kurt was grateful for the interruption. He took the glaze off the stove and opened the oven, basting the ham with it. He set the timer for 45 minutes and turned back to their recipe list, his hand shaking, his mind unable to choose what to do next.

He loved Blaine. And he was certain that whatever choice he made his life would be full of regret.

Blaine and Santana were stringing popcorn for the tree when the doorbell rang. "Can you get that sweetheart?" his mother yelled from where she was working on Christmas dinner in the kitchen. "It's Santana's parents."

Blaine turned to his Dom and she squeezed his hand. "Here were go," she said. "You're my sub, I love you, and nothing that might happen tonight changes that. Understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," he nodded with a nervous smile and he got up and opened the door. Mrs. Lopez strode inside, past him without a word and went straight to her daughter. Santana's father trailed behind.

"Mr. Lopez, it's good to see you," Blaine said with a smile, shaking Santana's father's hand as he entered the home. "May I take your coat?" Santana's father had warm eyes and a perpetual smile on his face. It was part of what made him such a successful pediatrician and speaker. He was handsome and sweet, nothing like his own father, and Blaine had always liked him.

"Yes, please. It's good to see you too Blaine," he said kindly, handing Blaine the woolen pea coat, who hung it up in the front hallway. "Taking care of my little girl too I hope?"

"As much as she's taking care of me," he said, winking at Santana who was watching him over her father's shoulder. Santana threw him a quick but playful glare. "Which is to say yes," he was quick to add.

"Well I should hope so," Santana's mother's voice boomed. Santana most definitely got her dominance from her mother, and though he'd spent hours at her parents' house and was used to it by now, Mrs. Lopez' voice never failed to send a shiver down his spine.

"Ma'am," he said with a charming grin as he walked into her embrace. He brushed his cheek to hers and blew a kiss into the air before stepping back. "You look beautiful tonight as always."

"Stop flirting with my mother," Santana teased as she grabbed his hand in hers and gave it a reassuring squeeze.

"Aw, don't be jealous Santana," he smirked and eyed her dress. "You look beautiful as well."

"Good catch," she smiled and patted his cheek. "Now be a good boy and go help your mother in the kitchen."

"Work, work, work," he muttered impishly as he let go of her hand, but he did as he was told.

Santana could hear her mother hum with a hint of disapproval. "Still as charming as ever I can see." Mrs. Lopez gave a thin smile, eyeing her daughter. "But not even a yes ma'am and a kiss for you as he goes? I hope he's keeping that charm just for you in New York. I'm sure NYADA is full of beautiful Doms and I couldn't help but see that you are still so permissive as to let him go without a cuff on his wrist…"

Santana's already frayed nerves flared at she gritted her teeth against the desire to tell her mother to mind her own business. "Blaine and I are doing just fine, thank you for asking," she said instead.

Mrs. Lopez clicked her tongue disapprovingly. "Well I thought I'd raised you well enough to keep him in check, but I can already see you're still far too easy on him. Always have been," she said as they moved into the living room.

Santana pursed her lips. Even though her father was the breadwinner, her parents had always been more old-fashioned in and out of the home than most and her mother was strict. Santana had seen enough to know she didn't want to be the kind of Dom her mother was, especially in public, not to Brittany and certainly not to Blaine.

"Why don't you go see if Gregory is in the office, Jack," her mother told her father. "I think he had a new deal he wanted to speak with you about."

"Yes, Ma'am," Mr. Lopez smiled and kneeled awaiting his formal dismissal. Santana had no interest in watching her parents' public displays of affection or dominance and looked away.

After he left Santana's mother settled on the couch. "That's how a real sub obeys," she noted.

Santana rolled her eyes and crossed her arms. "Just because we don't make a public display of it doesn't mean that he doesn't obey."

"That boy is good looking and charming and we've all seen he has a mischievous streak," her mother told her. "You give him too much freedom in a city like New York and you're going to lose him. He needs you to hold him accountable Santana, in the bedroom and out."

"Oh my god, why are we always talking about my sex life not even ten minutes after I see you?" Santana gritted her teeth, trying to keep her voice down. "I've told you before that you need to respect our privacy-"

"All there ever is with you two is privacy, I've never seen so much as a kiss on the lips or a smack on his backside-"

"Why do you even care?" she hissed. "What does it matter to you?"

Mrs. Lopez darted her eyes around the room but there was no sign that anyone else was listening. "Blaine has been full of mischief since the day he was born. His submission is strong and willful. Mr. Anderson had Blaine claimed young so he didn't go out and make mistakes that would hurt himself or his family. Mr. Anderson trusted you to take care of his son. And as your mother it is my job to make sure you don't break his trust."

"I take care of him," Santana argued.

"Our families are the pillars of this community," her mother lectured. "You are held to a high standard Santana. Your father is a world-renowned pediatrician and a leading expert in raising successful submissive and dominant children. How do you think it would look if his daughter's claim was to fall apart because you weren't strong enough? And that's not to mention the influences that Blaine's parents have. Your claim creates tremendous opportunities for your father, for our family and for you. If he strays to another Dom because you aren't strong enough for him, you will be blamed and we could lose all of that."

"So we're just a business deal for you," Santana snapped. "I fuck him and you get paid?"

"Don't you get smart with me young lady," her mother's voice was calm, but her eyes blazed with warning. "When you were a little girl Blaine was all you talked about. Don't think I didn't see the books you made of your claiming ceremony. The number of times you had your dolls act it out. And don't think I didn't see you two playing house, him kneeling for you. Blaine could have been claimed by anyone, but his father chose you and we wanted to make sure you didn't lose him. We wanted to make sure your dreams came true Santana. We still do."

Santana bowed her head. It was true, all of it was true. When she was young and didn't know who she was or how to truly love, she had thought that Blaine was everything. He was still her best friend. And she knew she was the only Dom in Ohio with whom Blaine would have ever felt safe.

"It wasn't a business deal," Mrs. Lopez whispered roughly, "but screwing it up by not giving him what he needs, everything he needs…it has consequences Santana. For him, for you, for all of us. Don't think I don't know you ran away from our home so you didn't have me staring over your shoulder. But whether I am there or not, you aren't playing house anymore Santana. He belongs to you and he needs you to be a real Dom."

Blaine smiled at the sound of his mother singing softly in the kitchen, something she always did while she cooked. There was no doubt he had gotten his musicality from her. "Something I can do Mom?" he asked, sidling up to the island and snagging a carrot from the appetizer plate. She was about to smack his hand and tell him no when he told her, "Santana sent me in to help you."

Mrs. Anderson sighed. "Why didn't she want you out there with your her parents?" She stood up and looked him over as if there was something in his stance that could give her the answer. "Did you do something wrong?"

Blaine rolled his eyes. "No mom, I didn't do anything wrong, I'm sure she just thought you could use the help. If you don't want it I'll just go back out-"

"No," her mother said quickly. Disobeying a Dom wasn't something she ever chose to do and she didn't want her already mischievous son to be encouraged to do so either. "You can start the crust for the pie. Do you remember how to do it?"

"Yes of course," he assured her, grabbing the ingredients. "I've been helping you bake since I was 5."

"It was important you learned how to cook for your Dom. So tell me about New York," she said as they worked together. "How are you two doing living completely on your own?"

Blaine ignored the implications of the question and without lying he shared with his mother as much as he could about his new home city. "New York is amazing," he said, his eyes bright as he rolled out the dough. "I've made some great friends and the classes are tough but incredible. I'm learning so much, sometimes I never want to leave school."

"I hope you're not neglecting Santana, Blaine," his mother warned him. "I know how important acting and singing are to you and your father and I have no problem with you pursuing it like your brother. But you don't have the luxury he does. Your priority should be pleasing your Dom."

Blaine resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "I give her everything she wants from me Mom, and one of those things is that I work hard in school and make her proud. If I fail then she fails and I would never do that to her."

"I appreciate that Blaine, but that's not what I mean." Mrs. Anderson looked at him pointedly and he immediately blushed and looked away. This was the last conversation on earth he wanted to have with his mother right now, but she didn't stop. "Pleasing her on the stage is not the same as pleasing her in the bedroom."

"Oh my god. Mother, I am not going to talk about this with you," Blaine groaned. He sort of wished the floor would swallow him up whole.

"Well, I wish I didn't have to talk to you about this either Blaine, but your father and I are worried about you. We thought it was just because you were young and in high school before, but now you're living on your own and in the past two days you've been here we still have barely seen you touch much less kiss. She still doesn't even have you wearing a cuff. Your father's about ready to buy you one to wear so you don't get in trouble in the city."

"Do not let him do that. You know how Santana feels about it," he said quietly. His submission swirled with the shame of his lies. But even more he hated denying the beautiful white cuff that he treasured. "Santana says a sub who needs a cuff is one who cannot restrain himself with other Doms."

Now it was Mrs. Anderson's turn to roll her eyes. "Yes, I know what she says and it's ridiculous. A cuff is a sign of commitment."

"Then why doesn't a Dom wear one?" Santana asked, stepping into the kitchen. Blaine looked up, wondering how much she'd overheard, but one look in her piercing mocha eyes kept him silent. He could feel the dominance rolling off of her and he didn't know if he'd said something wrong or if it was something their parents had said but he knew that for whatever reason, Santana was now itching for a fight she could win.

Much to her chagrin though, Blaine's mother was not, at least not with her son's Dom. "Forgive me Santana. I just wanted to know that I raised my son right to be a good sub that takes care of his Dom."

"Blaine does all I ask of him Mrs. Anderson," Santana told her, her voice cold. She had one eye on Blaine and he could feel her ready to explode.

Mrs. Anderson nodded yieldingly. "I'm glad. How's that pie coming?" she asked Blaine, changing the subject.

"I think it's ready for the filling," he said warily.

"Go wash your hands Blaine," Santana suddenly ordered. Blaine looked at her. He knew what she needed, she needed his disobedience, she needed a reason to dominate. But they'd both just gotten through assuring her mother that he was the perfect sub and how would he explain that sometimes that meant being imperfect? He couldn't. So instead he did as he was told and washed his hands, knowing full well that in his obedience he disobeyed. "Walk with me outside," she said when he was done and she headed out the kitchen door.

Blaine followed, head down, his heart beating nervously with the thought that he might be in trouble. It was one thing when he asked for it, it was quite another when he simply earned it.

"I'm sorry," he said quickly as soon as they were out of earshot of any parents. "I know what you wanted. I just…I'd already lied to my mother about the cuff and-"

"You think I'd have you lie to your mother?" she snapped. They got to the guest house and Santana stormed inside, Blaine following. He stopped in the middle of their living room but she merely paced around him. Her dominance surrounded him and he found himself falling to his knees. She didn't stop him. Instead she stood in front of him, lifting his chin to look at her. "If a sub with a golden contract goes out without a cuff and a Dom approaches, what must the sub do?"

"Declare they're claimed," Blaine said as if it were obvious. "Refuse the Dom's advances."

"And if they wear a cuff?" Santana asked, her eyes fiery.

Blaine felt very much like this was a test and he would be in big trouble if he got it wrong, but he was confused. "If they wear a cuff then most Doms wouldn't approach."

"And would you rather be a sub who never has to prove his worth? Who never has to deny himself and his desires to show his loyalty? Not because your Dom ordered you to but because that is what your submission requires?" Santana challenged. Blaine tried hard not to squirm under her intense stare. He didn't know where this was coming from and he didn't know where she was going. "Are you the type of sub who passively relies on an object to force his submission from him? Or are you the type of sub who with every word and every step and every breath makes a choice over and over again to prove your love for your Dom, your trust in your Dom, your respect for your Dom, and your own personal truth? Not because your Dom demands it of you but because you demand it of yourself."

Blaine shuddered, his skin bristling with the power of the words that he had never even realized to be true until then. That was the type of sub he wanted to be more than anything in the world. He never wanted it to be easy. He wanted to be challenged. The thought of having a Dom that he would have to choose every day to be faithful to made him shiver. Kurt's face flashed before his eyes and he swallowed hard as his stomach coiled with longing. "I make the choice," Blaine whispered, his voice trembling.

"Just because we are what we are doesn't mean I don't know what you need. I would never ask you to outright lie to your mother Blaine," she told him angrily. "If we had a golden contract there would be times that you would not wear a cuff in public."

"Yes Ma'am." He bowed his head.

"You will get up and stand in the corner. 15 minutes. Set the timer on your phone," she ordered. "You will stay in position, hands behind your back, is that understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," he said, rising to his feet. She walked to the door and reached for the handle. "You aren't going to stay?" he asked with confusion.

Santana turned back, a sad determination in her eyes. "Ultimately, your submission is your choice. Don't ever let them tell you that sex is what makes our relationship real Blaine," Santana said. "Standing in that corner as you're told while I am nowhere in sight…that's what makes this real."

Dinner was tense with innuendos, words unsaid and not so subtle glances passed between the Anderson and Lopez families. It was quickly becoming clear that their parents had come to Christmas dinner with an agenda they refused to speak out loud but that frightened both of them. Had they learned that Santana had claimed Brittany? Had they learned that Blaine was out and proud at NYADA? It certainly seemed clear that, for whatever reason, they suspected the claim they had so carefully arranged was not what they had intended. And they were not at all happy about it.

Santana and Blaine said little to resolve their parents' worries. Santana was still increasingly on edge and brimming with dominance and Blaine's time in the corner, vulnerable and imagining, hadn't relieved the desire Santana's speech had awoken in him, it had only made it grow.

Blaine was quiet as he helped his mother and Mr. Lopez clear the dishes and clean the kitchen. He had hoped that the mundane routine would make the feeling that he was shaking in his skin go away, but instead he couldn't stop himself from imagining that he was cleaning up after his Dom, his eyes always on his back watching, his attention to detail to be judged when he was done. It was intoxicating.

When they finally finished they went to join the Doms in the parlor. His mother curled up beside his father on the couch, leaning her head on his shoulder. Mr. Lopez sat down on the loveseat and opened his arms, welcoming Mrs. Lopez inside with a kiss. Santana smiled at Blaine when he came in. She was sitting in an armchair and he grabbed one of the accent chairs and pulled it beside her. She reached over and let her fingers tease at the curls on his neck.

"That recliner is big enough for two," Mr. Anderson remarked under his breath.

Blaine froze.

"I think Blaine and I are quite comfortable," Santana responded coolly.

"Wouldn't you be more comfortable sitting together?" Blaine's father asked, his attempt at casual banter coming off entirely as condescension. "We don't mind, if that's what you're afraid of. I mean I know there's not a chance in hell we would actually see you two kiss or anything, but you could at least pretend a little better and sit together."

Blaine felt her hand fist in his hair, but it was the only sign that she was at all phased by the comment. "Blaine is expected to show a certain amount of decorum and restraint in public," Santana said coolly. "Not that I need to explain that to you."

"Well maybe it's about time someone explained," Mr. Anderson muttered crossly.

Santana turned slowly to him, a brow raised in derision. She knew that Blaine was afraid of his father, but she wasn't. She knew exactly where this was headed and she didn't like it one bit. "And why exactly should I explain? Why is everyone in this house suddenly so interested in our sex life, which is absolutely none of anyone's business?"

Tension gripped Blaine's body. He had absolutely no idea where this was headed, he just knew it was nowhere good.

Mr. Anderson looked away. Mrs. Lopez didn't hesitate to answer. "It's not like you two can just go anywhere and do whatever you want. You were sheltered at Dalton and Crawford but people are watching you now and they are talking."

"Really?" Santana sat back and crossed her arms across her chest. "What people are watching us? And what exactly are they saying?" she demanded.

Mrs. Lopez' eyes shifted back and forth to the other adults in the room, urging someone else to say the words she didn't want to utter.

Santana's father sat up straight. He'd always been honest with his daughter. "There's talk that you're seeing other people. That your contract is…white." He whispered the last word as if saying it louder would make it true.

Blaine lowered his eyes, goosebumps erupting on his skin as if he was slowly being overloaded with electricity, not because he was afraid of his parents or Santana's, though he was, but because of the strength of the dominance currently radiating from every pore of his Dom. It made him want to get on his knees immediately except he knew it was the last thing she would want.

"And you believe them?" she hissed her challenge.

"Maybe if you two were a little more affectionate we wouldn't," Mrs. Anderson finally spoke up.

"More affectionate like what?" Santana snapped, shooting out of her seat as her anger got the best of her. "You all have been so interested in our sex lives all night! What do you want me to do? Fuck him right here?" Blaine gasped at her words, and he reached up to intervene but Santana suddenly stripped off her dress, leaving her clad in front of all four of their parents in nothing but black panties and bra. "You want me to make him drop to his knees and order him to-"

"Santana Lopez!" her father yelled, jumping to his feet, but he wasn't the first.

Ripping off his suit jacket, Blaine was out of his seat in less than a second, wrapping it around her. "Santana please…" His voice was pleading, his heart was racing but his eyes were surprisingly composed, submission flowing from his strong hands on her arms to her calm her. "Santana, don't do this. Please, I know you're angry but remember what you told me. We don't have to prove anything to anyone." He watched her, could see dark eyes coming back into focus, resting on him, listening with all her heart. It made him even stronger. "I love you," he told her. His gaze was piercing. His words were honest. "And every night in the privacy of your bed you are loved. I will do whatever you ask of me, but I ask you please, please don't make public what is private and lower yourself to their level. You know what's true. And that's all that matters."

There were moments in New York where Santana questioned whether she was holding Blaine back, whether they would both be better off if she offered him a way out. It was almost funny how it took a return home, a return to the hatred and bigotry that had brought them together in the first place to remind them of just how perfect they were for one another. She loved him. With all of her heart she loved him and she was so very proud of him. She brushed her fingers over the curve of his ear, and brushed a thumb across his lips. "People can talk. They can make up shit because they're jealous or bored or because they don't seem to think that subs should be able to have friendships too," she said to their parents though she never took her eyes off of Blaine. "You shouldn't be so afraid of what they say. Now if you all will excuse us, I am going to take my sub back to the guest house. Please don't interrupt us."

Blaine lowered his eyes as he buttoned up his jacket to keep her warm and he let his hand slip into hers. Without another word, Santana led Blaine out of the parlor through the living room and the great room and out the back door. Whatever their parents were saying behind their backs they didn't care. The sky was dark, stars covered by clouds that could only mean snow was to come. They'd made this same walk many times the year past but they'd always before felt like kids playing house. For the first time they felt like adults. They felt like maybe, someday, they could own their own destinies.

"You were perfect," Santana told him the moment they entered their old apartment.

Blaine closed the door behind him and leaned against it with relief. "I swear Santana, for a minute I thought you were gonna make me do it."

"Would you have?" she asked, stepping in front of him. "If I'd told you to."

His smile faded, immediately turning solemn. "I told you I would do whatever you asked and I meant it. I wouldn't have liked it," he admitted, "but I would have done it."

"It's against our contract," Santana said matter-of-factly. She backed away from him and went to the bedroom, grabbing some clothes she quickly slipped on. Blaine let out the breath he had been holding and fell into the couch, closing his eyes with exhaustion. Santana stepped back into the room, leaning against the doorframe. "I never would have asked."

"Then I was safe," he said. He was always safe with Santana. When he heard no answer Blaine opened his eyes. She was quiet, watching him in her red silk negligee. She was beautiful, more beautiful than any other woman. Exotic, full of fire and smart as a whip, she was the most exquisite person he had ever met.

Next to Kurt.

She was watching him just the same. Tears shined in both their eyes. He could feel her dominance still quietly thrumming and he wondered what thoughts were going through her mind. He wondered if they were the same as his. "I do love you," he assured her.

"I know you do," she promised. "Every word you said tonight was true." She walked back into the living room and picked her phone up off the side table. "I am loved every night."

"Santana?" he asked worriedly and she looked back to him. They were strong together, but on his own he was vulnerable. "If they ask me…about our contract…?"

"I forbid you to reveal the terms of our contract to anyone who does not feel safe," Santana ordered. "If you defy me on this you will be very sorry."

A shiver raced down his spine. She always knew exactly what he needed. "Thank you." He looked to the phone then back. He knew what she needed as well. "I'll leave you two alone."

He put his coat and scarf back on, allowing her the privacy to be with Brittany. He could soothe her dominance, but he could not release it.

He was beginning to understand the difference.

His own submission was pulsing with desperation.

Gregory and Cooper Anderson had built the clubhouse in the backyard of the Anderson estate when Coop was 10 years old and his brother was born. It had been his secret place to hideaway, and only once Coop had left for Los Angeles was Blaine allowed to go there. It stood tall enough to walk in, nestled in a little grove built around two trees from which a hammock hung between. The clubhouse was hidden from view of every building on the property and like his brother, Blaine had gone there often to think and to dream. Within those walls he imagined the future as he wanted it, not as everyone else had planned for him.

Icy wind blew and the light shined from the back porch making little silver specs in the rock wall seem to glitter. Blaine climbed up to the clubhouse like he used to as a kid, looking out over the expanse of the estate where he had grown up. He had always thought it beautiful, the perfectly manicured gardens and fountains delighting him. Now it felt more like a prison.

His submission pulsed with need and Blaine's hand absentmindedly flew to his wrist, rubbing where his cuff should have been. His white cuff.

He hated that no matter their bravado, when truly pushed they were both still so terrified of their families finding out that they would have betrayed their own truths to prove the lie. To protect themselves.

He opened the wooden door to find the sparse little room just how he'd left it. The walls blocked the cold and he climbed into the hammock staring up through the glass in the ceiling. The stars were out in force, a clear Christmas night that felt very lonely. Or maybe it was just the loneliness of his submission pulsing inside him, begging for the same release that Santana was finding right now with Brittany.

There were nights as he grew older that he would come out here when the nameless, faceless Dom would quicken his heart and urge his hand. Now the only name on his lips was Kurt. The only face an angelic one with pale skin and eyes that were nothing less than magic. Any time he tried to erase Kurt from his mind the image would just grow sharper, his hand more urgent and his thoughts…his thoughts imagined such exquisite and excruciating punishment for denying him.

Teetering on the edge of subspace, he unzipped his pants and reached down to soothe the ache he knew he could never fully release on his own. He closed his eyes and he was back again in the corner, standing on display for his Dom. Only this time his Dom came up behind him, wrapping one arm around his stomach and with the other replaced Blaine's fingers with his own. The rough grip of his Dom's hand brought him over and over again to the edge and back until finally Blaine could barely resist. His Dom turned him in his arms. His face was Kurt's.

Too far gone to realize the problems with his decision he reached for the phone and dialed and at the sound of that angelic voice his heartbeat finally calmed and his hand slowed. "Kurt," he sighed, relaxing into the hammock as his tension released. He could almost imagine him in the room beside him. He could almost imagine that his own hand was Kurt's.

"Blaine, are you okay?" Kurt asked, worry clear in his voice.

"No," Blaine said, a little breathless. "Not really. But better now that I hear your voice."

"What's the matter?" Kurt asked with great concern.

The care in Kurt's voice went straight to Blaine's cock and desire coursed so thickly through his veins that the words poured out without thought. "Dinner was ugly, our parents confronted us and Santana's been on fire all day, I don't know if we'll last the week and I need…" Blaine swallowed, his mind muddled. "God, Kurt, I just need…" he breathed.

"Where's your Dom?" Kurt snapped but Blaine didn't hear the anger in his voice.

"She's on the phone with Brittany. I couldn't give her what she needed and she can't…" Tears came to his eyes, his chest hollow and aching. "I've never been with a guy Kurt and I've never been with a Dom, you're the only guy that I know who has, and I need to know. What was it like with Adam?"

"Oh god, Blaine," Kurt balked, taken by surprise. "I don't know-"

"Please Kurt," he begged and with his desperation he grew harder in his hand. He started to move again, stroking softly. "Please tell me what it was like."

"Blaine are you…?" The small gasp that escaped Blaine's lips was answer enough. Blaine held his breath, a small part of his brain realizing that maybe he was going too far. "Blaine, I can't…we shouldn't…" Kurt said quietly. "It wasn't the same for me as it would be for you."

"Tell me please," Blaine whispered.

The line was silent except for the soothing sound of Kurt's breath and Blaine strengthened his grip. "It was frustrating," Kurt finally said hesitantly.

"Why," Blaine murmured, thumbing over himself to slicken his stroke. "Please, tell me what he did, I need to hear you-" His voice trapped in his throat with a surge of pleasure and he arched back, swallowing against it. "Need you to tell me."

"He would…" Blaine waited, he would wait forever for Kurt's voice and Kurt's words and Kurt's everything, he would wait forever. "He liked it rough. Teasing. He would make me undress for him. Hold me down. He would torture me with his hand wrapped around me, his tongue…" Blaine imagined it, he imagined it all, only it wasn't Adam. It was Kurt. Kurt holding him down. Kurt's tongue moving tortuously slow over his length. "Bringing me to the edge and back over and over was his favorite thing but I've never been one for patience. Or pain. I would never let him hit me but he would grab my ass, dig his nails in so hard it hurt-"

"Oh god," Blaine moaned, his hips jerking forward with a thrill of pleasure rushing through him. "Why didn't you like it Kurt? Tell me, tell me what you would have liked instead."

"Soft," Kurt said, his voice a quiet hum now, growing more and more breathless along with Blaine. "Slow, not to tease but to love. To worship. To make it last not for cruelty but for pleasure. Sometimes he made me feel used. But if I loved someone, truly loved someone, I would make them feel like they were the most important person in the world to me. And when we made love it would be everything we both wanted."

"Could you do it?" Blaine asked, increasing his rhythm. He was almost there. "If the person you loved wanted what he did to you, could you do it?" He imagined it was Kurt's hand on him, stroking and stroking and then stopping just when he reached the brink. "If it wasn't torture but the most exquisite pleasure he could imagine, would you?" Blaine felt it, Kurt's soft touch, teasing, torturing, then pounding into him, seemingly without a care in the world for him but actually giving him everything he could have ever dreamed of. His cock pulsed thickly in his hand. Warmth spread throughout his skin and in his veins. "Could you use him if he wanted to be used? Hurt him if he wanted to be hurt?"

"Blaine-" Kurt protested but Blaine heard only the melody of his name on Kurt's tongue.

"I want it Kurt." Blaine's voice shook he was so close, the Kurt in his head doing everything he could possibly desire. His fist raced and mind flooded with his desires and every word was spoken on shallow breath. "I need it so much…need to let go…prove myself…do what he says…need to be good."

Blaine didn't hear Kurt's sigh. He didn't hear the resignation. He only heard the words, "I know you do sweetheart."

His whole body shuddered with the power of those words, his hips jerked forward and he spilled over his fingers so hard it was almost painful. Waves of pleasure pulsed through him and with it he felt his raging submission slowly subside until he was back in the hammock of his childhood clubhouse, shivering with cold, one hand a mess and the other wrapped around his forgotten cell phone.

Remembering his phone, and Kurt on the other end, he almost dropped it as he realized what he'd just done and nearly died of embarrassment. "Oh my god Kurt, I'm so sorry," he blathered into it. He was pretty sure that he could never, ever, face Kurt again.

"It's okay Blaine," Kurt said though his voice was flat. "I'm glad I could be here for you. I'm sorry your day was so difficult. You and Santana should come a day early for the claiming. Have dinner with my family and stay over. I'll invite Britt. Then she and Santana could spend some real time together."

Blaine didn't miss the fact that Kurt was completely ignoring what had just happened, but right then he was truly grateful for it. "She'd probably really like that, I'll ask her tomorrow," he said. He fell quiet. There was so much going through his mind, so much he wanted to say but couldn't. "You're my best friend Kurt," he said softly.

Kurt paused, a pause that was full of regret and things unsaid and it broke Blaine's heart. He closed his eyes until Kurt's words washed over him. "You're my best friend too."


Oh, I thought that I could change you
Oh, I thought that we would be the greatest story that I tell
I know that it's time to tell you it's over
But I don't wanna love somebody else

Chapter Text

Look at me dreaming of you
All I could hope is to have you
To have you walking with me
Laughing so in love, we two
Almost drunkenly
I did imbibe of this
Fantasy of you and me

~ Dave Matthews Band

Kurt hung up the phone and threw it on the bed, déjà vu washing over him. He'd stopped his stupid online/sexting "relationship" with Chandler two years ago for this very sort of thing, but it seemed he was destined to repeat with Blaine every mistake he'd ever made with every other sub he'd been with. He hated feeling used more than anything, hated the feeling that all he was to a sub or a Dom was a tool to get themselves off. And he knew it wasn't like that with Blaine, but feeling used by Blaine was the last thing he ever wanted to feel.

So he rubbed his hands over his face, rubbing out the emotion that people liked to pretend Grays didn't have because then it was easier to dehumanize them. And he let rational thought take over. Sure, Blaine had used him. But Kurt had allowed it. Because a part of him had wanted it too, or at least the fantasy of it. He didn't say no, he didn't stop the conversation and he had enough experience to know exactly where it was going to lead.

Blaine was young and naïve and idealistic. He had this dream that a perfect Dom was going to come in and save him and give him everything he'd ever wanted and why wouldn't he think that? He had grown up in an insulated world where it was true…and even if it wasn't they lived so much in a façade that no one would ever know if it wasn't. Kurt knew he had a right to his dream. Everyone did. Kurt just understood better than most that life was rarely perfect and dreams didn't come true. At least not for people like him.

Lying back on the bed Kurt tried not to admit to himself that the problem was that he'd had come to love Blaine. Watching him as he came into his sexuality with no one there for him was painful. And Kurt knew that he was partly to blame. He had led Blaine on. He had lied by omission. He had let Blaine believe that they could be together because there was a very large part of Kurt that wished it could be true. Despite the deck being incredibly stacked against him, Kurt wanted that happily ever after.

In five failed attempts at relationships, Kurt had learned that he had no interest in pretending to be a Dom and he was a terrible sub. But he wanted to love.

He wanted to love Blaine.

If only it wasn't so complicated.

"It's very nice of you to let us spend the night Mr. Hummel," Santana said as Blaine very deliberately concentrated on slipping her coat from her shoulders without averting his eyes as if it were the most important and delicate task he had ever been given. "And it's nice to meet you and Mrs. Hummel finally, I've heard so much about you."

Burt side-eyed his son curiously. He hadn't heard very much about Santana or Blaine before Kurt asked if they could spend the night and he wondered exactly why that was. "So how do you guys all know each other?" he asked as he invited them in to the living room.

They could all smell the delicious scents wafting out of the kitchen and Blaine's stomach growled in anticipation. "Well it's actually really funny Sir," Blaine started without thinking, then looked to Santana as custom dictated. He'd promised to be on his best behavior as if they were home. They didn't know Mr. Hummel or his expectations. She nodded her consent to continue. "Santana went to cheerleading camp with Brittany, and I'm in The Apples with Kurt, so we all just kind of started hanging out in NY." Blaine smiled. None of what he said was a lie, not really, and it was the story they had all agreed upon.

Blaine caught Kurt's eye, his cheeks blushing immediately, only a second before the doorbell rang and Kurt ran to let Brittany in. Blaine thought to chase after him, to apologize again for the other night, a night that felt even more awkward now that they were in the same room together. But he hadn't been given permission and he worried it would look strange, slipping away from his Dom's sight. So instead he wandered around the room while Santana and Burt talked Dom to Dom. Kurt's home was small, hell he thought that the entire thing would fit in one half of his own house, but he could feel a warmth, a sense of safety and security that would make anyone who walked through the door feel like they were home. He wondered for a moment what it would have been like to grow up here instead of the museum perfect home where he'd been raised. He imagined what it would be like to have a father who accepted him for who he was, no matter what that might mean. He wondered if he'd be so scared of Kurt if he'd had that chance.

Pictures of Finn, tall and lean with floppy brown hair and a goofy smile, were scattered throughout the room. There were pictures from Burt and Carole's wedding, one of Finn and Rachel and an adorable posed portrait of Finn and Kurt back to back. But there was one picture with Finn alone, where his brown eyes stared back at Blaine, soft, laughing, and just a little bit soulful. He looked like someone Blaine would have liked a lot. He wondered if Finn would have liked him.

"Have you met Rachel yet," a woman asked behind him and Blaine turned to find who he was certain was Finn's mother.

"No I haven't. We keep missing each other," Blaine said. "But I know who she is."

"Rachel was standing behind me when I took that," she said. "She was telling him to be serious, but Finn rarely was. He had this little glint in his eye and this not quite smirk and I'm not ashamed to say that I loved him most when he defied her." She smiled in remembrance and something clicked in Blaine's mind. "Carole Hudson-Hummel," she introduced herself. "You can call me Carole."

"It's a pleasure to meet you Carole," he said shaking her hand with a smile. He looked over her shoulder to find Kurt smiling back at him wistfully almost as if he wished this greeting was something very different. Blaine wished it too. "Kurt has told me a lot about Finn," he said turning back to her. "He sounds like he was an amazing young man."

"Thank you. He was," Carole nodded, the sadness in her voice evident. "We all miss him very much."

"Carole," Kurt called gently and she turned and looked to her step-son. "I think I heard the timer go off," he said with a soft smile.

She nodded again and rushed off to the kitchen to wipe her tears and get dinner ready. "I should go help her," Blaine said, knowing his place as a submissive but also wanting to avoid the awkwardness between them. But Kurt shook his head.

"Brittany's helping her," he told Blaine. If Carole hadn't yet figured out that Blaine was the sub he liked, Kurt didn't want to give her any more of a chance. "Why don't we go make sure the table's set."

"Why did she like him best when he defied Rachel?" Blaine asked, curious also for himself. Kurt seemed also to enjoy when he stood up to Santana.

"I can't speak for Carole, but Dom/sub relations are just really hard for us to understand. So when a sub stands up for his own power?" Kurt blushed and he looked away. "Well, it's hot."

Hiding his embarrassment, Kurt escaped to the dining room to set the table. Forgetting any decorum and the permission of his Dom, Blaine followed two steps behind.

Burt didn't skip a beat in his discussion with Santana. But looking over her shoulder he raised a worried brow at his son and the sub.

"So what do your parents do for a living Blaine?" Burt asked before taking another bite of the delicious steak Carole had made. Her cooking was always impeccable, which was a good thing since Kurt had gone and stopped preparing the meals. Burt tried, but he was a disaster in the kitchen.

"My Dad's CEO of a publishing company. Anderson Press?" Blaine said it as if it was no big deal, but everyone knew it was the biggest publishing company in the country for Dominant/submissive textbooks and research. "And my mom's a research scientist for Battelle."

"What does she research?" Carole asked with interest. As a nurse she had always been interested in the medical research field. There was a time, while Finn's father was deployed, that she'd considered pursuing it.

Blaine looked nervously over at Kurt. There were reasons that he didn't talk about his parents and it wasn't just because he tried not to let their criticism and disappointment in him occupy his thoughts. Kurt looked back at him, brows raised with curiosity and Blaine hated putting anything but a smile on that face. He felt Santana's hand squeeze his thigh.

"Answer the question, sweetheart," she ordered gently.

With a quick apologetic glance back at Kurt, he turned to Carole. "She works in genetics. Specifically she researches the Dominant and submissive genes," he answered softly. "They're trying to map the DNA codes. Determine what makes someone a Dom or a sub."

"For what purpose?" Kurt asked.

Blaine hesitated, then shrugged. "I don't know exactly, I guess there could be a lot of reasons." Before Blaine ducked his head with shame at his lie he saw sharp blue eyes narrow, questioning suspiciously. Kurt was smart. He didn't need Blaine to say out loud what they both knew. Any research into the Dom/sub genes would be immensely valuable in the search for what made a Gray a Gray. And what companies and doctors and even the government could do with that information was the topic of many political debates.

Burt knew it too as he felt Carole stiffen next to him and he quickly changed the subject. "What do your parents do Santana?"

Santana smiled gratefully at the chance to break the tension. "My Dad's a pediatrician and an expert on child development. He actually publishes with Blaine's dad. And my mom is, I guess what you would call a philanthropist. She likes to find the cause of the week, plan parties and raise lots of money."

"What does she raise money for?" Burt asked.

"Lots of things, but she really loves to work with Latino organizations. She does some work in the Arts too, especially since I started singing and performing. She tends to stay out of politics as much as she can," Santana explained.

"And I know Blaine is at NYADA with Kurt," Carole said. "Where are you going to school?"

"Columbia," Santana proudly answered. "I'm in the pre-law program but my major is Human Sexuality."

"Santana wants to work toward equality for everyone of any sexual orientation," Brittany beamed.

Santana couldn't help but grin back. They were too distracted to see the glance that passed between Burt and Carole, but Kurt was not. "Britt, why don't you tell my parents about your dance performance coming up," he suggested, once again trying to change the subject.

Brittany happily did so, sharing with them all the intricacies of the story, the cast and the amazing sets of Bad Blood, a performance at Alvin Ailey about the power and magnetic pull of courtship rites, ownership and sex. Blaine drifted as she talked excitedly, having heard it all before more times than he could count. When she was done Kurt started talking about school as well and Blaine just dreamed. Of many more dinners like this, of being part of a family where the things that he and his friends did in the world mattered more than whether or not he was having sex with his Dom. He imagined stretching his leg, tickling at Kurt's calf beneath the table and being given that stern but wanting look that said later or you will be in trouble. He couldn't help the small smile that graced his face at the thought and when Kurt looked over and smiled back at him he knew that they were both lost in similar thoughts.

Maybe just for today they could dream that anything was possible.

"Hey Kurt, why don't you and I go for a walk." Burt put an arm around his son. Kurt had been planning to play scrabble with the girls and Blaine in the other room while Carole and his Dad cleaned up but Kurt could see that look in his father's eye. The Dom look that said he wasn't really asking.

Santana could see it too. "It's okay Kurt, we'll be fine. Maybe we'll just unpack a bit and get our things ready for the Claiming tomorrow and then we can play when you get back."

Kurt nodded and slipped his coat, gloves and scarf on, hating Ohio winters even more than New York's, and walked out the door with his dad. Carole smiled at the others. "Santana, you and Blaine can stay in the guest room and Brittany can stay in Finn's old room upstairs."

Blaine looked at Britt. Her face clouded over with the same sadness as Carole's and he didn't know if it was for Finn or not being able to stay with Santana. Either way, he knew he could make this right. "I can stay in Finn's room if it's too hard for you Britt. You and Santana could stay in the guest room together. Catch up with some girl talk just like cheerleading camp? I'll survive one night without Santana."

"That's very sweet," Santana said approvingly before Carole could dispute his offer. "Come on, we'll unpack our things and then you can bring yours upstairs."

The guest room had a double bed, decorated in a homey country feel, neutral colors on the walls and a pastel quilt on the bed. Santana closed the door behind them, flung her suitcase on the mattress and opened it up. "That was very sweet of you in there Blaine," she praised him. "Sweet and smart."

"Thanks," he said and he caught Brittany's eye while their Dom wasn't looking. Brittany nodded eagerly. He went over to his bags and unzipped the front, pulling out a red wrapped box with a gold ribbon. He reached a hand out for Brittany and she took it.

"Santana," she said, soft and loving. Santana turned to see her subs, holding a gift out for her and smiling warmly. "We wanted to give you a Christmas gift."

"You both already gave me gifts and I hope, Britt, that you're not taking yours back," Santana winked. Brittany lowering her gaze with a coy smile. She had promises to keep when they returned to Ohio.

But Blaine rolled his eyes. "Come on," he whined with a smirk.

Santana tempered herself, took the box from him and opened it up. Inside lay a CC Skye Ferris Cuff, 18K gold plated on the bottom, half black python leather and half white, twisted to overlap. She'd imagined a bracelet or a necklace, but a cuff was the last thing she suspected.

"Brittany's always had a cuff so she doesn't know what it's like not to. But I do," Blaine started thoughtfully, unconsciously rubbing his wrist where his white cuff belonged. "And it's the kind of thing that you realize you didn't know was missing until you have it. We don't wear it," he said, taking hold of Brittany's hand, "to show the world who we belong to or to remind ourselves of our commitment to our Dom. We wear it because it makes us feel that no matter what, you're always with us."

"It made me sad," Brittany said, "knowing you didn't have us on your arm all the time the way we had you."

"I have always had you in my heart," Santana said. Her eyes welled with tears as she took a step toward her subs. "I feel you there, deep inside me. And this…" She took the cuff out of the box and offered it to Brittany to put it on. They were quiet as Brittany unclasped it and tightened it around her wrist. Santana closed her eyes and took a deep breath in. "This just makes me feel you even stronger."

Blaine watched as Santana opened her eyes and fell into the bright blue storm of Brittany's gaze. He wanted everything that was in that look, all the love and passion and trust and desire, such an incredible amount of desire, and he backed away, quietly grasping the handle of his luggage and carrying it out of the room to bring upstairs. He looked back at them, their lips locked in a kiss, as he closed the door. His heart was full of envy at what they had, what Brittany had found in Santana so easily. He wanted it so badly for himself, but not with her. He looked out the window, Kurt's perfect form standing tall and strong on the sidewalk with his father.

He wanted it with him.

The sky was dark with clouds, the moon was bright and a light snow fell softly on the ground. Kurt knew his father well enough to know that the serenity of the evening was soon to be cracked by whatever his father wanted to talk about, and he was right.

"So you want to tell me what's going on in there with you?" Burt asked.

Kurt had choices. He could pretend he had no idea what his father was talking about as if his Dad couldn't practically read his mind his entire life. Or he could be completely honest and not try to hold back the avalanche that was sure to come anyway. "I don't know what you mean."

Burt didn't buy it for a minute. "You know exactly what I mean, I'm talking about Blaine," he said.

"There's nothing going on with Blaine Dad, we're just friends," Kurt said. "He's part of The Apples with me, and Brittany and Santana met at cheerleading camp last year. When we all ended up in New York we just kinda fell into a group together. Just like Blaine said."

But Burt knew when his son was hiding something. "Don't give me that Kurt," he scolded. "A blind man could see how you're looking at him. And how he's looking at you, I might add."

Kurt folded his arms against his chest. "And how's that exactly?" he challenged.

"Lovesick puppy dog eyes comes to mind." And Burt did not look at all happy about it.

Kurt laughed too heartily and shrugged with nonchalance. "That's ridiculous. I'm looking at him like he's a handsome man and I'm lucky if he's looking at me the same. End of story."

Burt wasn't fooled. "Oh, that's far from the end of the story Kurt. With the way Santana and Brittany are looking at one another I'm pretty sure I'm only scratching the surface of some mess the four of you are in. But you're playing a dangerous game there Kurt," he warned, his own fear of the situation creeping into his voice. "Whatever is going on with them, getting in the middle of a claim between a Dom and their sub is bad enough for anyone. But when you are who you are, and they are who they are, well, that's just pure stupidity Kurt."

"I'm not in the middle of their claim Dad," Kurt snapped, ignoring the deeper meaning of his father's statement. "Blaine and I are friends, nothing more."

Burt stopped as they made their way almost all the way around the block and back to the house. He gently grabbed Kurt's arm and Kurt turned. "Just make sure you keep it that way." His father looked so worried, Kurt wished he could just click his heels and be back in New York. "I can see what you want Kurt and you can't do that to him. Not to him and not to you."


"No, you listen to me," Burt insisted and Kurt closed his mouth. "Forget for a minute the claim he's in. You've been down this road before and you were lucky it didn't end worse, You may not be so lucky this time. You know what happened with Finn's Dad and Carole. Love wasn't enough for them. He needed a Dom to take care of him, not just a wife. It destroyed him and if it weren't for Finn it would have destroyed her too." Kurt hated the way his Dad was looking at him, hated the pity in his eyes and the words that he knew he was about to hear because he'd heard them far too often throughout his life. "A sub needs a Dom. Period. You can't be what he needs. Your-"

"My what dad?" Kurt interrupted, accusation dripping from his voice. "My emotions are too muted for him? If our emotions are muted it's only because they want us to be that way," Kurt said angrily. "I feel as powerfully as you do. I am as strong as you are. And I love as much as you do. I just have no desire to use that power and strength and love against another person and I refuse to pretend that I do." Kurt turned his back on his Dad and stormed up to the front landing, opening the door to go inside.

But Burt grabbed his arm softly before he could get inside, pleading. "Kurt-"

"Blaine and I are friends, Dad, that's all," he snapped, pulling away. "I'm a Gray. He's a sub. He has a Dom and he's happy with her. End of story."

Kurt left his Dad standing in the cold as he stormed back inside and up to his room.

He didn't see Blaine standing by the window, eyes trailing him up the stairs.

And no one said what they all were thinking: this was far from the end of the story.

Blaine caught Burt's eye. He didn't know the man well enough yet to judge, but he looked like a tired mix of anger and sadness. Blaine almost let the Dom's glare deter him from following Kurt upstairs, but he didn't. Instead he turned and brought his things up to the room once occupied by Kurt's brother.

It was full of trophies, football and show choir Blaine figured, as he set his bags down on the bed. A drum set that looked very lonesome and unplayed sat in the corner. A picture of Kurt and Finn sat on the bedside table staring up at him. It felt weird, being in the room that he knew remained mostly as Finn had left it. Blaine would be the one to ruffle the sheets and kick up the dust and he wondered if maybe he shouldn't go right back downstairs and sleep on the floor of the guest room. But he knew that Santana and Brittany needed their time, so he left his bag where it was, pulled out another small box, and made his way down the hallway.

Kurt's room was easy to recognize, the door left somewhat ajar. Blaine hesitated only slightly before he approached, his gift in one hand while he knocked on the door with the other. He stuck his head inside. Kurt's room was chic and modern, much brighter than the New York loft. He had pictures and books and mementos all around. On top of a bed draped in red comforter and a brown faux fur blanket, Kurt sat with his own anger and sadness. "You okay?" Blaine asked gently.

"Yeah," Kurt sighed, and he looked up, defeat coloring his expression. "I'm just sick of being Gray being the most important part of who I am."

"It's not the most important part of who you are," Blaine told him. He closed the distance between him and when Kurt didn't complain or move away he sat down next to him. He held out the box, simple black with a bow, and shrugged. "Maybe it's silly, I don't know, but when I saw it I thought of you."

Kurt's frown faded, his lips quirking into half a smile. He reached for the box at the same time he said, "You didn't have to."

"I know," Blaine smiled. "But you mean a lot to me Kurt. How could I not get you something?"

Kurt didn't answer, he simply opened the box slowly and stared at what was inside. It was a wristwatch, black leather band, the face designed with a beautiful rainbow swirl, edged in gold. Kurt looked up at him with wide eyes.

"When I look at you Kurt…this is what I see," Blaine said. "Every single color of the rainbow swirling around you. And rainbows don't have gray. No matter what happens, I never want you to forget that."

Kurt looked down at it, thinking he might cry but he held back the tears. "Will you put it on me?" he whispered.

Like Brittany had with Santana's cuff, Blaine took the watch from Kurt's fingers and wrapped it around his wrist and buckled it tight. Kurt smiled and got up, going to his desk and taking the black box that he had so carefully wrapped. While his back was turned Blaine tried to catch his breath and slow the race of his heart that urged him to kneel. Thankfully Kurt turned around, held it out and shrugged. "Mine might be silly too," he said.

Blaine grinned and crossed the room to take the box. He wondered if really they could have been so on the same page that they would have gotten each other the same thing, and he gently unwrapped the paper and opened the box. He looked up at Kurt and laughed. "It's a warbler watch."

"A cerulean warbler to be exact," Kurt said. The bird was the color of Kurt's eyes. "I swear I wasn't looking for a warbler in particular, I just wanted a songbird because that's how I think of you. But I couldn't turn this one away. He was just so beautiful."

You're beautiful, Blaine wanted to say. He wanted to just take Kurt in his arms and kiss him, but they both knew there were so many reasons that he couldn't. "What was it like for you?" he asked instead, not even knowing where the question was coming from, except the fact was he really did. "With your Dad? When you came out?"

Kurt's brow creased. "As gay or as Gray?" he asked leaning back on the desk.

"You shouldn't use the word if you don't like it, Kurt," Blaine admonished gently. "But both, I guess."

Kurt sighed. "I know he was disappointed. I mean what father wouldn't be? You have dreams for your kids when they're born and growing up and then you learn that they're never gonna come true. But he always loved me."

Blaine gazed down at the floor. He knew all about dreams not coming true. "I'm sorry Kurt. About the other night. I was falling so hard, I didn't totally know what I was doing but I shouldn't have…" he swallowed and looked up through dark lashes. Kurt's lips were pursed, his eyes pitying. "That wasn't fair to you."

Kurt was quiet. He averted his gaze from Blaine and nodded. "It wasn't fair to you either. I shouldn't have let you…" It was hard not to take care of your best friend when he was hurting though. "I knew where it was going, I knew you were close to subspace and I should have stopped us and called Santana to find you."

"It won't happen again," Blaine said earnestly. "I promise."

Kurt frowned. He thought that would be what he'd wanted, but the idea of it not happening again broke his heart just a little bit. "What will happen when you do? Come out, I mean."

Blaine's eyes fell to the watch he held in his hand. He watched the second hand tick by and it seemed to go so slowly. He knew what he was waiting for…graduation, financial security. The strength of a Dom who could fulfill every need so he didn't need his family. So the inevitable loss of their love didn't utterly destroy him. "Honestly? I'm not ready to find out."

Kurt reached over and placed his hand over Blaine's. Blaine looked at him; his soft, kind, remarkably understanding eyes shined back, and Blaine's heart squeezed in his chest, always wanting what he couldn't have. "When you are ready," Kurt told him, "I'll be here for you. The people you lose when you come out aren't worth the pain of living a lie."

"Santana's not a lie," Blaine corrected gently. "I love her and she loves me."

"Loving someone and being in love are different," Kurt told him. He hadn't understood it before but he did now. He loved Rachel and Finn and maybe he'd even loved Adam. But holding Blaine's hand in his, his own heart aching for the pain that threatened Blaine, he knew that he'd never truly been in love before. Blaine lived with a shadow over him and Kurt wished desperately that he could be the light to make the darkness fade. But Blaine deserved more. He deserved everything. And no matter how much it broke Kurt's heart, he would never be able to give Blaine everything, he would only make it a hundred times worse. His Dad was right. He couldn't do that to Blaine. "When you're in love, being without them hurts so much more than being with them ever could."

Blaine took his hand from Kurt's. It was too much. Kurt's words were too much, Blaine couldn't bear to hear them. Not now. Not when he wanted more than anything to drop to his knees and offer Kurt a world he would never want. "We should go back downstairs. Everyone will be looking for us."

"Yeah," Kurt agreed. The loss of Blaine's hand felt like losing a piece of himself. "Sure."

Blaine started to the door then turned, shoving the watch in his pocket. "Thank you Kurt," he said. "For being my friend. It really means a lot to me."

Kurt nodded, and took a breath. "It means a lot to me too."

Santana had left Brittany asleep in bed, and tiptoed out the door. It was 2am, she couldn't sleep and though she didn't usually roam other people's houses in the dark of night, lying in bed with all the worries in the world wasn't helping either. The house was quiet, the only sound the ticking of the clock and the hum of the heat. The light from the moon streamed in the windows and the shadows haunted the room, wind whistling through the trees. Santana missed the noise and constant glow of New York City.

She decided against making tea and accidentally waking someone. Instead she'd pulled out her phone and called the one person she knew she could always count on no matter what time of day or night.

"What are you so afraid of?"

"I don't know Quinn," she sighed. She leaned back in her chair putting her feet up on the one across from her. "I try not to let it be, but the money is a big deal. I have two subs Quinn and I can't put them both through school on my own even if I were to quit college myself."

"Which you aren't going to do," Quinn said sternly.

"Which I am not going to do," Santana confirmed. "And I know they could get jobs and loans but what kind of Dom am I if I can't provide for them? A crappy one, that's what," she answered her own question.

"First of all, you're not a crappy Dom if Blaine and Brittany have to work, that's what they're going to school for anyway," Quinn said. "The way we grew up made us believe that parents pay our way through school then after school a Dom pays for their sub end of story. But that's not the way it works in the real world."

"Be that as it may, I would still feel like I've failed them somehow and all of Westerville would agree," she said.

"Which brings us to the real thing you're afraid of."

Santana frowned. She knew she didn't want to hear it. Didn't want to admit it. "What?"

"Losing everyone's respect. Losing your power. It's like cheerleading captain all over again." Santana's chest clenched. And she knew Quinn was right. "I know that you and Blaine are still royalty in Westerville, King and Queen of the Senior Ball on top of everything else. Parents all over have set you two up as the example to follow, I know I heard it enough, and for a Dom I am sure that is incredibly intoxicating. And a very long way to fall," she added.

Quinn was right. Santana wasn't sure she could handle losing everything. And then what kind of Dom would she be?

"I need to make sure Blaine's okay, Quinn. Brittany will be fine, her parents already know and don't care, but Blaine's folks will take everything from him. And for that to happen before he has the true love in his life that he needs? I wouldn't be strong enough to protect him from that," Santana admitted. "It would break him."

"Four years is a long time to keep such a huge secret," Quinn warned her. "Trust me, I know. If rumors are already starting it's bound to get out before then. You need to make a plan."

"Hopefully it won't take four years," Santana said, her thoughts traveling to the boys up the stairs. "Thanks Q. I'll talk to you soon."

"Get some sleep," she said.

Santana sighed and put the phone down, dropping her head into her hands. If the phone call was supposed to help her sleep it had completely failed.

"What are you doing?"

Santana looked up to find Kurt looking at her as he trudged down the stairs and put on a pot for tea. "Couldn't sleep," she told him.

He pulled out the chair her feet were on and, ignoring her scowl, he sat down. She'd never seen him before with his hair so messed up and she marveled at how much younger it made him look. "Me neither."

They sat in silence, listening to the low roar of the fire under the teapot. Kurt caught it a second before it whistled and made a cup for himself, offering one to Santana as well. She accepted, holding it in her hands, trying to let the warmth flow through her skin to soothe her. She couldn't help but watch Kurt. Strong, handsome, stubborn. She knew why Blaine had fallen for him. They would have been perfect together.

"Do you love him?" she asked softly.

Kurt looked up at her, staring into her eyes as if to decide whether the question was a trick or not. It was obvious he still didn't trust her. "Does it matter?" he asked.

So much pain in three little words. She wondered if anyone had truly cared about his feelings before. If they'd even believed he had them. "It matters to me," she told him.

Kurt dropped his gaze to his tea, worrying his lip between his teeth until he answered. "Yes. I do. When I let myself."

Santana nodded. It was what she had thought. "Thank you. For inviting me to your home," she said.

"Well, Blaine needed to get away from his parents and you're a package deal," he said, his tone was unmistakably bitter.

"You still don't like me very much," she noted.

He gave a rough laugh. "Don't take it personally, I'm not a fan of Doms on the whole."

"Your father's a Dom," Santana pointed out.

"My father is the only exception," Kurt told her. "I've never seen him be cruel. I've never seen him use his power over anyone. I was young when she died but I don't remember him doing anything but loving my mother." Kurt's eyes hardened. "Most Doms are just a bunch of bullies who get off on power and controlling other people."

"Was Adam like that?" she asked, curious but concerned as well. If Doms had treated him so poorly, even the one who she assumed he had loved, she had to worry how he would translate that behavior to Blaine.

Her question though obviously tore at his patience. "See, that's what I'm talking about," he said angrily. "I've never said a word to you about Adam and yet you seem to know all about him because your dutiful sub tells you everything."

Santana frowned. "Was he not supposed to tell me? Because if that's something you told him in confidence I'll be sure to talk to him about it," Santana said.

Kurt's glare was cold as ice. "Why, so you can punish him on my behalf? No thanks. If I have a problem with him I'll handle it myself without treating him like a petulant child. Why don't you just focus on the moments he needs you when you are there."

Santana's hands flew to her hips. "What are you talking about?"

"Christmas night?" Kurt had held his anger in for as long as he could, but if she didn't even realize what she'd done then maybe she wasn't as good a Dom as she thought he was. "You left him for Brittany. Didn't even care that maybe he needed the same thing that you did. You just let him go off and fend for himself."

"You're right," Santana said, lowering her gaze. "I assumed he would call you but-"

"He did call me Santana. The problem is that I can't give him what he needs any more than you can because he's been so programmed-" He was too angry to continue so he finished his tea and got up, putting his mug in the sink. He started to head to his room but then turned back. "You know, you're the problem with this world. You and all the other Doms who tell subs they can't live without them and tell Grays that they can never be enough. What if it's all just a bunch of bullshit?" he asked, his voice filled with fury. "What if it's all just another way to keep your precious power over the rest of us?"

Santana understood that Kurt would hate the ways she knew the depth of his pain beneath the anger. She knew that his suspicion was a dangerous mix of hope and truth. And it broke her heart how little he understood about the very thing that Blaine needed most. "Has he ever looked at you with those wide open eyes that made you feel as though he would do absolutely anything in the world for you? His submission isn't programmed, it's in his very nature. The power is always in his hands. He gives it so freely. I wish that you could feel it," she said with a gentle sincerity. "It's beautiful."

Kurt's face softened before leaving, just for a minute. And she knew that he wished he could too.

Amidst the music and the dancing and the bright disco light swirling overhead, Blaine quietly slipped out of the ballroom. The grounds of the reception where Artie and Kitty had exchanged their claiming vows were beautiful, a garden of snow brushed rose bushes mixed amongst the sprawling maples. It was a warm night for December. Blaine walked along the footbridge, leaning against the rail overlooking the frozen brook. In the moonlight the ice shimmered, sparkling diamonds on the surface. Hints of beauty in a darker abyss.

Claimings were supposed to be joyous occasions. But sadness overwhelmed him.

He felt someone slip next to him, mirroring his stance, but one look at the long slender fingers peeking out from a designer suit told him all he needed to know even if his presence alone hadn't.

"Are you okay?" Kurt asked. He tilted his head slightly in Blaine's direction. Claiming ceremonies had never been Kurt's favorite past time but Finn and Rachel's had been the last he'd been to. Kitty and Artie's had been different, bigger, but it brought back memories just the same.

It had for Blaine as well. "Our ceremony was one of the most perfect moments of my life," Blaine remembered. The voices and music from the party played around them but it was distant. The darkness called for quiet. "It was at this beautiful church in Columbus, cathedral ceilings so high that when you stood beneath the peak it made you feel like you're the smallest person in the whole world. And let me tell you for a sub on their claiming day that can be a very powerful thing," Blaine laughed lightly. "It's said that the very first claiming in Ohio was performed there. And President Garfield claimed his wife Lucretia Rudolph there in 1856."

"Fancy," Kurt smirked, but Blaine was lost in his memories and it faded quickly.

"Santana was beautiful," Blaine said. "The moment I kneeled for her it was like the world made complete sense for the first time." Blaine looked over at Kurt. Even in the darkness Kurt's ever-shifting eyes were so mesmerizing he thought he might drown in them, and he had to look away. "It doesn't make sense anymore."

"Perfect moments aren't real," Kurt said quietly. "Nothing's ever perfect."

Blaine nodded slightly. "As soon as we joined the reception the expectations began. People would clink their glasses asking for us to kiss. The first few times Santana indulged them. Then she yelled that the next person who clinked their glass would find themselves with a glass against their ass." Blaine smiled at the memory. "Everyone told me how much trouble I was in after that. That I'd better be sure to obey without question or she'd keep me wanting for days." He chuckled. "Our families never understood us."

"Did anyone know it was platonic?" Kurt asked.

Blaine shook his head. "No one. Santana and I pledged to one another love, truth, trust and respect but we offered none of that to anyone sharing the day with us. It makes the lie hurt even more." Blaine pursed his lips and sighed, turning around to rest against the rail. Inside he could see Kitty on Artie's lap, both laughing and smiling without a care in the world. And he saw Santana and Brittany talking near the window, pretending as they always had to that they were nothing more than friends. "I want a ceremony like this Kurt. Full of honesty and the truest of love. Santana and I both do. But maybe we don't deserve it because of the lies we told that day."

Kurt reached over and took his hand, squeezing it tightly. "I grew up my whole life knowing that what everyone else in the world seemed to manage with such ease was something that I'd never be able to have for myself. And then my father met Carole. And I watched them fall in love. And I stood by my father's side as they got married. They made the impossible possible in my eyes and it was because of them that I started believing that maybe there really was true love out there for me." He looked at Blaine's golden eyes shining in the darkness. "It's out there for both of us. We don't have to earn it. We just have to believe in it."

Blaine blinked back tears. He let the words sit in his heart. It was too hard for him to think on them now. "I should get back. I shouldn't have slipped out without telling her," he said shyly.

Kurt's finger slid over the warbler watch on Blaine's wrist. It made him smile. "It looks good on you," he said softly.

Blaine offered a sad smile and headed back inside. He couldn't tell Kurt how good it felt on him too.

Santana met Blaine at the door to the ballroom, eyes blazing. "Why didn't you tell me you were going out?"

She was angrier than Blaine would have expected and his forehead crinkled in confusion. "I'm sorry, I didn't think it would be a big deal," he apologized.

She took him by the hand and led him to the dance floor, immediately wrapping her arms around his waist. He draped his arms over her shoulders.

"Santana, is something wro-"

"Do you remember Sugar Motta, that bitch cheerleader at Crawford?" Santana whispered. Blaine nodded with confusion. "Her father's here. Standing in the corner. He kept looking at me and Britt and texting and when you went out he nonchalantly went to the window and I'm certain he was watching you."

Blaine couldn't help his eyes quickly surveying the room and he instinctually pulled her in closer. "I went out to the bridge to think," Blaine said nervously. "Kurt followed me out and we just talked for a bit and then I came back in."

"Did you two kiss? Anything?" Santana asked furiously.

"No!" Blaine snapped. "God Santana, we're just friends you know I wouldn't-" Then he remembered. "Kurt held my hand. Just for a minute."

"Dammit Blaine." Santana took a deep breath and tried to stay calm but she had never made the smartest of choices when her own nerves were rattled. She looked over at Britt who had one eye on her and was talking with Kurt who had come to join her. Brittany nodded encouragingly then turned her attention back to whisper to Kurt. "Blaine you know how small Westerville is. What if he's texting your Dad, or my Mom? What if he's texting the Fredericksons, they'll be more than happy to do whatever they can to tear us apart. Hell what if he has his eye on you for Sugar! If what he sees gets back to everyone at home then we need to give him something we want him to report."

Blaine shook his head with confusion. "Santana, you can't possibly think-"

"Nothing among the Westerville elite is a secret Blaine, they get off on destroying one another. Our families are hearing rumors, it has to be from somewhere. If they have people watching us in New York, then one of the richest men is Westerville is most definitely a reliable set of eyes. We got them off our backs for a bit, but you know it's not gonna stay that way and we can't risk your parents finding out, not yet. They need to believe this is gold." Santana looked at him. Her eyes were hard and determined but Blaine could see the fear deep inside them. "We have two choices Blaine. I could kiss you or I could spank you. Your decision."

"What?!" Blaine yelped, lowering his voice at the last minute. "Santana both of those choices are ridiculous. We're in public and you're being completely paranoid."

"Am I?" she challenged and she twirled Blaine around so he could see Mr. Motta. He was well dressed in a tuxedo and holding a cellphone. As soon as Blaine looked at him he looked away and typed. He sucked in a breath. Santana glared at him. "Do you really want to take a chance? Because if he is spying on us then so far all he's had to observe is me trying desperately not to kiss my girlfriend and you holding hands with the guy you're in love with. My mother said she's never seen so much as a kiss on the lips or a smack on your backside. We have to give them one or the other."

"I'm not…" he started but he stopped himself, his eyes falling on Kurt. Kurt was watching him, trying to hide the small frown on his face at the sight of Blaine dancing with his Dom. Blaine could see how much Kurt still cared for him. It was hurting them both that they couldn't be together. And he knew how much it would break Blaine's heart if he were to see Kurt kiss somebody else. Blaine's eyes fell to the floor and without a conscious thought he increased the distance between him and Santana. "I can't kiss you in front of him," he whispered. Then his cheeks lit up with the humiliation of what he'd just chosen. But he knew Santana wouldn't change her mind. "Just do it quick okay?"

"One smack here then I'll lead you out to the bathroom. You have your phone?" He nodded. "We'll text Britt to find out if he's followed us or not. Figure things out from there."

"Santana, I hate this," Blaine said, tears in his eyes.

She held back the urge to wipe the tears away. "I do too sweetheart, but we have to," she said then let go of his waist and smacked his backside hard and loud.

Blaine flinched at the sting but he didn't even really hear the fake words with which Santana reprimanded him. He just turned right to Kurt whose bright red face looked away not quite fast enough to hide his obvious disgust, and Blaine felt his pants grow unexpectedly tight and his submission swirl furiously from the humiliation that Kurt had seen. With the realization that he had wanted Kurt to see.

And the devastation knowing that it was the last thing in the world Kurt wanted.

Santana didn't miss it. "Let's get you out of here," she said and she grabbed him by the arm and pulled him right past the suspected spy and into the women's bathroom. Santana checked to make sure they were alone then locked the door.

"We don't ever do that again," Blaine whispered fiercely, pacing, tears falling. "Ever."

"I'm sorry sweetheart, I'm sorry," she said trying to pull him into a hug. He pulled away though, still hard from the humiliation at the sight of Kurt and not wanting her to feel it.

"Fuck," he swore and he sat down on the couch trying not to hyperventilate. He was trying so hard to let those feelings for Kurt go but one smack in front of him and all he wanted was everything he knew he couldn't have.

She knelt beside him and carefully took his phone from his jacket so as not to startle him. As she typed she kept a hand on his knee, but she let the silence fall over them. Brittany's message came in. "She said that he's standing outside the door," she said softly.

Blaine shot off the couch and away from her. "I don't care Santana. You are not spanking me here!" he yelled. He wouldn't be able to keep himself under control if she did.

"Blaine, I think we have to," Santana whispered firmly, reaching for him. "If we don't- "

"No! Don't touch me!" Blaine yelled.

"Blaine that's enough!" Santana snapped and she took a step toward him. "Your disobedience is unacceptable, now you come over here right now!"

"New York!" Blaine safeworded.

Santana stood frozen. Blaine had never before safeworded and she had no idea if it was for real or for the man outside and then she realized that it didn't matter as she rushed to him before he fell to the rug. She gathered him in her arms as he sobbed and she knew that this was about so much more than just the spanking. "Shh…" she soothed, rocking him slightly and rubbing small circles into his back. "I'm sorry. It's okay. You're okay."

"No I'm not," Blaine cried, keeping his voice as quiet as he could manage. "I love him Santana. I love him and I want him so bad and I can't, I just can't. He's a guy and he's Gray and he doesn't want me anyway and my father would kill me Santana, he'd take everything including you-"

"He can't take me Blaine, not anymore."

"He'd figure out a way, I know he would," Blaine said. "He'd find out about Brittany and find a way to have our contract annulled and he'd take away college. He'd bring me back to Ohio. He'd take my dowry and my inheritance, he'd take everything and he'd give me to someone else. I would never be free."

"He isn't going to find out anything Blaine," she said guilt rising in her throat. She'd let her fear get the best of her when it was her job to be strong. "I will keep us safe."

Blaine shook his head. "I've been so stupid, thinking New York was finally going to be my escape from him. But it's not. It's just another trap. Kurt is just another trap."

Santana was trying so hard not to cry herself but Blaine was breaking her heart. "Come on," she said, taking hold of his elbow and pulling him up. "We need to get out of here."

Blaine didn't protest. He wiped his eyes as best he could, but he knew he looked a mess. Santana unlocked and opened the door. Sugar's father was gone but neither of them knew how long ago or how much he had heard. "I need to get my purse and tell Brittany we're leaving. Do you want to say goodbye or wait here."

"I can't see him," Blaine whispered.

"Ok," Santana said, a hand on his arm. "I'll be right back."

"Tell him…" he started before he could stop himself. There were a million things he wanted to tell Kurt, but he couldn't say any of them. "Tell him I said goodbye."

Santana nodded, walking away into the other room. Blaine watched her and down the hall he could see Mr. Motta's gaze follow her as well. He leaned his head back against the wall and closed his eyes. He couldn't do this anymore, he had to let him go. But Kurt was right. Being without him hurt more than he ever could have imagined.

They were silent the drive back from Lima to Westerville. Turning off the headlights so they didn't shine into the living room window they hoped that everyone was asleep and they could avoid any sort of confrontation or argument tonight. There was far too much they needed to talk about themselves.

Santana opened the door of the guest house for Blaine and he walked inside, immediately falling to his knees in perfect submission. Santana kneeled down next to him.

"Santana, don't, I disobeyed you," Blaine protested, but she placed her hands on his shoulders, encouraging their eyes to meet.

"I screwed up tonight Blaine. Me, not you," she admitted, nearly shaking at her mistakes. "I've been on edge since we got to Ohio and with Brittany and Kurt… I let my fear take over. I'm the Dom and I shouldn't be afraid and you know when I am I do really stupid things-"

"It wasn't stupid Santana," Blaine said, lowering his head again. "It should have been fine, it was just too much…in front of Kurt," he admitted.

Santana nodded and brushed her thumb over Blaine's cheek. "I should have known that. And it was stupid Blaine, I shouldn't have-" A knock at the door interrupted them and both sucked in a breath. Santana's authority immediately returned. "Remember that you are mine," Santana warned before getting up to answer the door.

The light on the porch shined in her eyes and backlit Blaine's father menacingly as he stood tall in the doorway. "I need a moment with my son," Mr. Anderson said, glancing down to Blaine kneeling on the floor.

Santana walked behind Blaine and placed her hands on his shoulders, squeezing tightly to ground him. She could feel him shudder beneath her, trapped between the two Doms. "I'm sorry Mr. Anderson, but Blaine and I are busy right now."

"I don't believe I was asking your permission," Blaine's father said darkly.

Santana's eyes narrowed and her brow creased as she looked the man over head to toe. "Well that's good because I wasn't granting it," she snapped.

Mr. Anderson's eyes narrowed and Blaine had seen that look too many times before not to feel his pulse quicken at the sight. "I am his father," he demanded. "If I want to see my son then I will see him."

Santana though refused to be ordered around by anyone, especially when it came to her sub. "Blaine is 18 years old and he is claimed which means that I make the decisions for him now not you," Santana retorted.

"Not every decision," Mr. Anderson hissed dangerously.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Santana shrieked, losing her cool just enough for Blaine to know he needed to step in.

"You listen here-"

"No you listen-"

Blaine lifted his hand to hers and squeezed. "It's okay Santana," he whispered, looking between them. "I will talk with him."

Santana looked down and studied him. "Are you sure?" she asked softly. He nodded. "Do you want me to come with you?"

"I don't recall an invitation," the older Dom said.

Santana's grip on Blaine's hand grew harder and her voice was cold. "I am his Dom and if he wants me to go with him I will."

Blaine's heart pounded but he lowered his eyes. There was so much he loved about Santana standing up to his Dad and he let it give him strength. "I'll be fine," he said, then rose to his feet and started walking out the door before he could lose his nerve.

Outside he waited for his father then followed him across the yard back to the house and to the study. The large dark wood paneled room with books from floor to ceiling always overwhelmed him. Large leather sofas surrounded the merlot and ivory round rug where Blaine stood, eyes downcast. He knew the rug well, had studied the intricate Persian pattern of trailing vines and geometric palmettes in far more detail than he cared to admit. He'd hoped after he was claimed that he would never be back in this position with his father staring down at him. He'd hoped that Santana's paranoia at the reception had been nothing but paranoia. He hated being wrong.

His father closed and locked the door behind him. Blaine tried to keep his breathing steady so he didn't begin to hyperventilate and lose control. He had to be careful with whatever was coming.

"Tell me the terms of your contract," his father demanded immediately.

Blaine was thankfully prepared for the question. "I am forbidden from revealing the terms of my contract," he recited as if by rote.

Blaine tried not to shrink under the feel of his father's never ending stare. He was grateful when he finally saw movement from the door. "A colleague of mine was at the claiming you went to this evening," his father said, perching himself on his desk, arms folded across his chest. "He was so upset by what he saw from you and Santana that he felt that I should know. Care to explain?"

Blaine swallowed hard, far less prepared for this. "I'm not sure what you're talking about," he said completely unconvincingly.

Mr. Anderson knew very well when his son was lying. "You know exactly what I'm talking about and I'm pretty sure dishonesty is against whatever contract you might have," his father admonished sternly. "Shall I tell Santana of your misbehavior?"

Blaine's skin began to tingle. He was surprised it had taken so long for his father's dominance to try to take hold of him but mixed with the mention of his Dom and his contract, his submission reached out without permission. Still, he fought it. He would not submit to his father any longer. "I just meant that it was a long night Sir, I wasn't sure what part you were talking about."

"How about we start with Santana spending the whole night huddled up with some girl, and you holding hands with some boy."

Blaine's eyes shifted and he avoided eye contact as much as he could. "Santana spent some time with her friend Brittany. They met at cheerleading camp, same as Kitty, and they were just catching up."

"And the boy?"

"He, um, he went to school with Artie and Kitty," he hedged. "And he goes to NYADA with me. We're in show choir together."

"Is he gay?" Mr. Anderson asked.

Blaine's eyes snapped up involuntarily. "What?" Blaine choked. That wasn't a question he was expecting and he was taken completely off guard.

His father's eyes hardened and he stood up straight, his arms crossed. "You were seen holding his hand Blaine, I asked if he was gay, or are you going to lie to me about that too?"

Blaine shook his head. "I…I don't think that's any of your business," he said protectively. He didn't want his father to know anything about Kurt, much less that.

"I would be very careful with your insolence young man before I take it as a sign that Santana has been unable to keep her sub in check," he warned.

Blaine shivered, tears stinging his eyes. No matter what it meant for him he never wanted anyone to question Santana's dominance. "Santana has no problem keeping me in check," he argued.

"Yes, she made that very clear on the dance floor tonight for everyone to see, didn't she?" his father demanded. "What I would like you to explain to me though is why a sub in this family would display his disobedience in public and then safeword a perfectly reasonable punishment from their Dom where everyone could hear!"

"You had him listen at the door?" Blaine gaped.

"My understanding is you were loud enough that he didn't need to be," Mr. Anderson said, not denying it. "Now I want an answer."

Blaine was sweating all over, not sure anymore whether his answers were right or wrong. Everything that Santana had hoped for that evening had gone horribly wrong. The image of Kurt watching, seeing, blushing, swam before his eyes. Blaine felt his whole body grow warm as his face flushed and his submission, wanting to prove itself, fought desperately for purchase. He refused to allow it to latch on to his father. "That's between me and my Dom," he managed to say.

His father stepped toward him, closing the distance between himself and his son. Blaine fought his instinct to fall to his knees under his father's commanding gaze. "Less than two years ago your mother and I gave you and Santana the most glamorous of claiming ceremonies. It wasn't some quickie at town hall that you can just dissolve whenever you feel like it. You made sacred vows in front of some of the most important people in the State of Ohio. Your claim is held up as an example-"

"We didn't ask for any of that," Blaine muttered.

"You and Santana loved each other!" his father yelled. "We weren't trying to hurt you, we made this claim to protect you both! To ensure that our two families' standing in this community would continue to thrive. The claim was good for you, it was good for our families, for our whole community. But what is not good are rumors that your contract with Santana is white and that your claim is a sham to cover up for…." His face twisted, unable to say the words they both knew he was thinking. Blaine knew the truth. There had only been one reason his father had arranged the claim. "Safewording in public like a coward doesn't help you at all and if people think the rumors are true then we all could lose everything. Is that what you want?" Blaine winced at the word coward. Mr. Anderson stepped closer to Blaine, staring over him with a fiery glare. "I love you Blaine, but so help me if your claim remains white I will file for an annulment and bring you back to Ohio where you will be claimed by a real Dom, a woman who can control you, who is more worthy of this family name-"

"Don't you dare insult Santana like that!" Blaine yelled. "There is no one more worthy and I won't let you take her from me, I swear-"

Before he could finish the door clicked open and Santana pushed her way inside.

Mr. Anderson whirled around. "That door was locked for a reason, Ms. Lopez," he shouted.

"If you think I can't pick a lock you know absolutely nothing about me," Santana barked back. "And if you think you can threaten my sub about things that have absolutely nothing to do with you then you really don't know me." She stormed over to Blaine and reached out for his hand. "Come on Blaine, we're leaving."

Blaine's submission rushed out and latched on to her dominance more quickly than he could grasp her hand. It was like fresh air after being trapped in confinement.

"He is my son, Santana," Mr. Anderson said, his voice calm and cold. "His future has everything to do with me."

"He is my submissive, Mr. Anderson, you made sure of that!" Santana retorted. "And whatever you think you can do to change that now you will find you are sorely mistaken. Our contract is legally binding, our claim cannot be annulled." She pulled Blaine past him to the door, then turned back. "Contrary to popular belief Mr. Anderson, I love your son. I love him more than you will ever know. His safewording is the bravest thing he's ever done and I am so very proud of him for it. And if you're not, that's your problem, not ours."

Santana threw the door open and slammed it shut behind her. Blaine did not get two steps before falling into her arms in tears. "I love you," he whispered.

"Come on sweetheart," she said softly, kissing the soft locks of his hair. "Let's go home."


Was I a fool to think?
The way you looked at me
I swear you did
But you looked away too quick
Was I a fool, was I a fool to think
That you would take me home
As if I was yours
Was I a fool to think at all?

Chapter Text

And I am feeling so small
It was over my head, I know nothing at all

And I will stumble and fall
I'm still learning to love, Just starting to crawl

~ A Great Big World

It had been hard enough watching Blaine and Santana dance together like the claimed couple they were. But then she…

The moment she struck him Kurt's stomach had curled up in knots, a wave of possession had washed over him and all he had wanted to do was tear Blaine away from her and that scared him more than anything else.

He couldn't watch it again.

Rachel had tried to explain to him time and time again how Domination was not just an excuse for abuse of power and control of one person by another. She'd tried to explain how the things they did were consensual discipline and not assault. She and Finn both had told him over and over that it was love, but he thought he'd never understand it and he certainly didn't now. Seeing the pain and humiliation on Blaine's face that night, Kurt couldn't get the image out of his mind. He couldn't stop imagining what happened after she dragged him away. How much Blaine had been taught to believe that was what he wanted and needed and how he could never ever give him that, would never even want to. Santana thought his submission was beautiful. Kurt thought it was degrading and he just wished he could have a chance to show Blaine a different way. To show him that he could be cherished and loved without pain and blind obedience.

"See this is why no matter how much you love him it won't work," Rachel was saying as she scooped fruit salad into a bowl for breakfast. Kurt was scowling into his cereal, tired of having this conversation. "I know how much you want to believe that dominance and submission aren't real Kurt, but you know they are. You can be friends, you can even be the best of friends, though he would have to share that role with me of course, but you can never be boyfriends."

Kurt hated that she was right, but he knew that he had to let go. He hadn't heard from Blaine since the claiming. It had only been a few days, filled with family and travel and preparation to return to school, but since they'd met they'd barely gone a day without talking and he'd forgotten what life was like without Blaine in it. He hated every second.

He had to stop thinking about him though. "So how did your holidays in the city with Jesse go?" His brow quirked up with a satisfied smile at her scowl. He refused to be the only one subjected to the third degree and unwanted relationship advice today and turnabout was fair play.

Rachel tried to keep her head held high. "It's too soon. He wants it so badly and I've accepted that it's probably meant to be but it's too soon."

"Okay, putting aside the fact that the last person I want you meant to be with is Jesse St. James, he's been back in your life for 4 months. Why is it too soon?" Kurt asked. "Finn wouldn't want you to be alone."

"I'm not alone," Rachel said firmly. "I have you and there are some very pretty boys in the clubs of New York."

Kurt sighed and rolled his eyes. He'd known it would be hard for her to claim another sub and he'd supported her waiting, but he was worried about her going out to clubs at night and hooking up with random guys. He knew better than anyone that that was a lonely world.

Rachel wouldn't let up though. "You should come with me sometime," she encouraged.

"No thank you." Kurt dismissed the idea outright. "Been there, done that. The gay clubs are all Doms and subs and the Gray clubs are all straight."

"I'm sure that's not true," Rachel frowned, but honestly she had no evidence to the contrary. "You need to have a little fun though. Get your mind off of Blaine."

"I love that you've managed to steer this conversation right back to me."

Rachel wagged her brows with a grin. "I am talented that way." She got up and put her bowl in the sink. He followed and did the same before they both grabbed their bags for NYADA in silence. Just before he opened the door, she spoke quietly without looking at him. "I'm scared to be with Jesse. I'm scared I'll call him Finn or do the things that Finn liked or start crying or worse, take out all my pain on him. You were right Kurt," she said and her sad eyes met his. "If we get together now I'll hurt him."

"You still blame him?" Kurt asked softly.

Rachel sighed. The question would never be an easy one to answer. "It's not right to, I know that. Finn made his choice to go into the army himself. I know in my head that Jesse's not any more to blame for his death than you or Carole."

"But Carole and I won't submit to you. And he will," Kurt said as he came to understand. "You still need someone to blame, and he'll take it if you ask him to."

"Yeah," she said sadly. "He would."

Kurt slid open the door and headed downstairs, Rachel following after him.

No, submission wasn't beautiful at all.

All talk of Jesse was forgotten when Rachel stood in front of the cast list posted on the NYADA Green Room wall, squealing at getting the role of Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing. After hugging Kurt without a second glance, she ran off to brag to the rest of her friends. Alone, Kurt stared at the list, expecting his name to appear where it currently was missing. He hadn't expected to be cast as a lead, he knew there were seniors far more suited to the roles. But he was a musical theater major. He had expected something.

He took the hallway down to the acting studios and checked the offices. The head of the Department wasn't there and he walked around the building looking for her. He finally found her in the black box, walking the stage.

"Excuse me," he interrupted, peaking his head in first then taking a tentative step. She looked up and over at him, her curly white hair a bit frazzled, her worn face gazing at him curiously.

"Yes, Mr. Hummel, can I do something for you?"

"Yeah, I just…" He stuck his hands in the back pockets of his jeans self-consciously. "I was just wondering why I didn't get cast in the Shakespeare?"

She looked at him pitifully and walked over. "Kurt, I know your voice is magnificent and maybe in a musical that would sometimes get you through but…" She sighed as if she hated breaking the news to him, but Kurt had the feeling it was quite the opposite. "Have you considered switching to just a voice major? Dropping the acting altogether?"

Kurt didn't move. He remembered back to his audition in the auditorium at McKinley. Rachel had sat in the audience while he'd sung Music of the Night and she'd been his biggest champion. But when he asked how Madame Tibideaux had liked it, her lips pursed and he had known. It had taken a second try for him to get in and he had always known the reason. In the back of his mind he had hoped that once he actually got to NYADA he could prove them all wrong. But apparently he was the one who was wrong. "Why?" he asked anyway. If nothing else he wanted her to say the words to his face.

The pity didn't leave her eyes and it made him sick. "Look Kurt, the number of successful Gray actors, I can count on one hand. Most just…" She paused and Kurt knew she was trying to come up with the condescending words that would explain this in a way a defective like him could understand. "Most just don't have the ability to access emotion like the rest of us do. Their range is smaller. It comes off as shallow. Cold. Artificial."

"And I come off that way," he challenged, needing to hear her say it.

She tilted her head in that way that said her apology was anything but sincere. "I'm sorry Kurt. But I don't think you have any chance of making it as an actor."

He bowed his head and nodded slowly. "Fine." He looked back at her and the fire in his eyes defied every word she had just said to him. "Good riddance."

He stormed out of the theater before she could say another word and without a thought he raced up the steps two by two. His stage combat class started in 30 minutes but the room was empty and there was nothing stopping him from starting early. After changing into sweats, he grabbed a foil from the rack and twirled it effortlessly in his fingers, swinging it fast through the air and hitting a perfect stance. He worked through forms, letting his anger fuel his precision and power. He started with an advance/advance-lunge/on guard sequence then moved on to a jump forward-lunge/redouble/on guard. Lost in his own world he worked his lunges and his parries, all the time perfecting his footwork. He'd worked up a significant sweat by the time he heard clapping from the doorway. Startled, he lowered his foil and looked up.

"That was some excellent work Mr. Hummel," his instructor Robert told him, walking into the room to drop his belongings. "There was a lot of power behind those swings. Might I ask who exactly you're attacking?" he asked with a knowing smile.

Breathing heavily, Kurt let out a small chuckle. "If I told you it was a professor would that be a good idea or a bad one?"

"Depends on the professor," Robert smirked, choosing his own foil from the rack and taking a few practice swings. "Why don't you just tell me what they said to get you that heated up?"

Kurt looked away with embarrassment. "Apparently I don't…have what it takes…to be an actor. I was told to drop it."

"Really?" Robert said. "I find that surprising."

Kurt scoffed. "Well, actually, I don't. I've been told all my life I don't have the depth of emotions that Doms and subs do. No one seems to care if it's actually true or not."

"You know what I think?" Robert asked.

"No," Kurt answered.

"I think the acting program's loss is my gain," Robert said.

Kurt looked up at him, stunned. "What?"

"You're one of my best students Kurt," Robert told him. "You have fire, passion, strength. You've come a long way since the first time you walked through that door a year and a half ago. I'd consider myself lucky if you took on a stage combat major."

"Really?" Kurt couldn't help but let a proud smile escape. "Well, thank you."

"I'm just telling the truth Kurt. Especially in these last few months, whatever's going on you seem to be channeling it well in here." Robert looked him up and down then nodded, a decision made. "I'm Fight Director for a show off-Broadway. I could use an assistant. Would you be interested?"

Kurt couldn't believe his ears. "You don't think others will think I'm too weak? As a Gray?"

"If they do it's bullshit. Being a Dom doesn't make me stronger than you Kurt. You're as strong as you want to be. Now do you want the job or not?"

Kurt's mouth gaped and the smile reached his eyes. "Oh my god, yes! That would be amazing."

"Great," Robert said. Other students started filing into the room and they both glanced at the clock. "I'll give you the details after class. I think we're going to have a great time."

Off-Broadway. Kurt had a huge grin on his face walking into the Apples lounge that afternoon, but it fell quickly. All of his choir mates were gathered around, Blaine front and center in the crowd, laughing at something Kurt was sure to not be a part of. He stopped in the doorway.

Watching Blaine laugh was like watching the sun come out in the morning. His eyes shined gold and his cheeks flushed pink and his smile could light up the room.

Submission never came with a smile. It came with tears and downcast eyes and a pout or a frown. Submission dimmed the light inside Blaine that was meant to glow.

This is how it had always been for Kurt, watching from the outside. He'd had dreams in the last few months that all that would change. That though he couldn't have Blaine in all the ways he wanted that their friendship would mean that he didn't have to go through any of this alone anymore. Blaine was different from Rachel and Brittany. He didn't know him from High School, he didn't know everything he'd been through. He was a fresh start for Kurt. The first real friend he had made. But that moment on the dance floor had smacked Kurt right back to the outside and into reality.

Blaine turned and their eyes met. His amber eyes shifted darker quickly, his own smile fading. A wall that had once surrounded them holding them together was now wedged firmly between them. And neither of them could see a way to scale it.

"Hey," Blaine said quietly, giving him a small wave from across the room.

A week ago Kurt would have rushed up to him and told him everything about the amazing opportunity his stage combat professor was giving him. But though he opened his mouth, those words would not come out. Instead he mouthed, "We need to talk."

Blaine walked over to him and they took a seat at the edge of the room. His eyes were downcast, his hands folded in his lap and though Kurt couldn't feel it he knew submission was pouring out of him. His stomach turned.

"You haven't called. Or written," Kurt said quietly.

"Neither have you," Blaine pointed out. He sighed and stared at his fingers. "I've just been doing a lot of thinking."

Kurt nodded. "I've been doing a lot of thinking too," he said.

"And?" Blaine looked up. Kurt's words both scared him and soothed him, because he knew what he had to do. He just didn't have the courage to do it first.

"It's too hard Blaine," Kurt said softly. "Our friendship right now. I want it to be easy, I want it to be just like it was but…seeing you on the dance floor with Santana. Seeing her hurt you. I can't stand it. I've never really been able to deal with even the concept of punishment, but seeing it-"

"It wasn't real Kurt."

"And it made me want to scream," Kurt said. "What about the next time? It will be real then and it will be so much worse, and it makes me sick to even think about it."

Blaine closed his eyes and he stared at the fingers on his lap. Kurt's words burned, hurting more than even the lies had. Now Kurt wasn't denying his own self. Now he was denying the very essence of who Blaine was.

"Please don't blame yourself Blaine, it's my fault, for not being honest with you in the beginning. Maybe after you find a Dom…"

They were interrupted by a brunette sub named Michael calling over to them. "Hey you two, we're going out to Black and White, do you guys wanna come?"

Blaine had always wanted to go to the D/s club but right now he didn't want to move. All he wanted to do was stay and talk to Kurt because this time felt like it could be the last time.

"You should go," Kurt said next to him. Blaine spun around to look at him. Kurt's lips were tight, his words heavy with everything both spoken and unspoken between them. "You'll have fun."

Blaine frowned. "Are you going to-"

"No," Kurt said decisively. "It's where you belong Blaine. Not me."

"Coming?" their friends asked again from the door.

It didn't matter how much Kurt hoped he would say he'd stay. It didn't matter how much he wished that their lives fit together. It didn't matter how much it broke his heart to let Blaine go. This was just one more piece of evidence to prove that he was in over his head. He wasn't what Blaine needed. "Don't worry about me. Go," he whispered.

Whatever way Blaine looked at this, it felt like goodbye. It felt like giving up, giving in. He wished more than anything that Kurt would just tell him to stay, tell him it would be okay, they would figure this out. That it didn't matter what their parents said or Rachel or Brittany or their bodies or the world, they could make it work. But Kurt didn't say any of that and he knew that whatever had been between him and Kurt was over. "Ok," Blaine breathed as he took one last look, the longing between them hanging in the air, and picked up his bag. He turned to his friends and followed them out the door.

Kurt blinked back the tears as Blaine walked out the door and out of his life. He stood up and a hand fell on his shoulder. He turned to see Rachel, offering him a soft smile. "You did the right thing Kurt. I know it's hard, but you know you did."

Kurt didn't know how long she'd been standing there or how much she'd seen or even whether or not he believed her. But he needed a shoulder right now, a friend who knew what it was like to say goodbye to the one person you never wanted to let go. "I miss him already," Kurt said and he fell into her arms.

"I know you do sweetie," Rachel said, resting her head on his chest. Sometimes it was almost like being back in Finn's arms. "I know you do."

Blaine had regretted his decision even though he knew it was the right one the whole way there, but with a deep breath standing outside the booming club with his friends, he made a pact with himself to leave Kurt outside. No thoughts, no images, no wishes or hopes. He would go in, he would find a Dom, and he would do what he needed to do to leave the dreams of a life with Kurt behind.

It was surprisingly easier than he thought it would be. It wasn't just the blaring music and the vigorous display of dancing lights pulsing throughout the club and the obvious smell of alcohol that was unlike anything Blaine had ever experienced before. What really took Blaine's breath away was the overload of submission and Dominance flying throughout the club like winds in a hurricane. It stunned him into a gaping silence and his friends grabbed his hands with a laugh to pull him toward the bouncer at the front of the club.

"ID," the bouncer asked him with an annoyed roll of his eyes.

Blaine startled then looked at him, then reached for his wallet. "Oh yeah, right sorry." He pulled out his ID and gave it to the man who gave it a cursory glance and passed it back. A hand was held out for his left arm and he had two bracelets, a white one for "sub" and a blue one for "under 21", snapped onto his wrist.

"Come on Blaine," his friend Nicolette called with a grin.

He followed her to a high table by the bar and climbed onto one of the stools facing the dance floor. To say he was overwhelmed was an understatement. All around the dance floor men and women, Doms and subs, danced together in a sexual mess of rhythm and gyrations that made Blaine want to both run away and dive in.

"We're gonna go dance," Michael yelled over the music to Blaine. "Are you coming?"

"No, not yet," he yelled back. Part of him wanted to but he also needed a few minutes alone to gain his bearings. This was his first time in a club like this and he needed to know exactly what he was getting himself into before he climbed into a sea of potential danger. When he'd texted Santana for permission she had told him to be careful. So he sat back, letting the music and lights and the brushes of dominance around him soothe his nerves. He'd get the lay of the land, he thought, and then he'd join his friends. For what, he wasn't sure yet, but he was here for a reason. He was here to forget. And to search.

He scanned the room, white bracelets and black bracelets staring out at him. Blondes and brunettes, tall and short, dark and light, men all over, most of whom he didn't know whether they were gay or straight. None of whom caught his eye. Until…

Dark hair, perfectly coiffed, pale skin, with a tall and lean frame, made taller by black platform heels, wrapped perfectly in the tightest of black studded leather. Black circles adorned his ears, and threaded in a belt loop low on his hip was a black riding crop. Blaine's jaw dropped staring at the man across the room. He didn't even realize how much his submission was pulsing but the Dom must have because he immediately turned and met Blaine's gaze from 100 feet away. Dominance struck at Blaine like a whip, as hard eyes pierced his soul and Blaine blushed and looked down immediately, his heart racing and his stomach fluttering with a mix of nerves and excitement.

Blaine saw his boots only seconds before the leather keeper at the tip of the crop touched beneath his chin and raised his head. Blaine looked up at him through his lashes with deference.

The Dom smiled. "Don't be afraid," he said and for some reason his voice put Blaine at ease. "What's your name?"

"Blaine," he answered softly.

"It's nice to meet you Blaine. My name is Elliot. But you can call me Sir," he said. "If you like."

"Yes Sir," Blaine found himself eagerly saying.

Elliot studied him for a minute, tracing up and down the sub's body, cocking his head toward the crowd. "Not up for dancing?" he asked, his voice laced with fond amusement. "Or just looking for the right partner?"

Blaine let his eyes wander back to the bodies writhing on the dance floor and he realized he liked it much better where he was. "Honestly Sir, I had been just trying to decide," he said with a sly smile and a twinkle in his eye as his submission settled into a quiet hum and he slowly came back to himself.

Elliot's crop moved to touch Blaine's cuff. "Is your Dom here?" he asked.

Blaine felt his skin tingling beneath the leather and shook his head. "No Sir."

"Would she be mad if she knew you were here?" Elliot asked with a raised brow.

Blaine's eyes widened with surprise, then narrowed in challenge. "How do you know my Dom is a she?"

Elliot laughed and Blaine couldn't help but think how insanely handsome he was, a beautiful smile on such a hard looking Dom. "Only one reason a pretty boy like you would have a white cuff," he explained, then his smile faded and there was the hardness back again. "Now answer the question. Are you breaking any rules by being here?"

"No Sir," Blaine answered, quickly adding, "I promise."

"Good boy." The words sent a shiver down Blaine's spine. "You ever been with a man before?"

Blaine's eyes shifted and he blushed. Somehow saying no felt like he was betraying Kurt, but saying yes would have been a lie. "Not really Sir," he compromised.

Elliot cocked a curious brow at the answer. "Would you like to be?" he questioned.

Blaine swallowed. His tongue was growing dry and it suddenly felt thick in his mouth. But this was why he was here. "Yes Sir."

Elliot reached a hand out. He threaded his fingers through Blaine's gelled hair, tracing his ear with a finger. The tease of Elliot's skin on his thrilled him. "I would like to be with you Blaine," Elliot said gently. "Would you like to be with me?"

Every nerve in his body was pulsating with submission and desire. His vision was blurry with it, his head light. He was slipping into subspace without even barely a touch. "Yes Sir," he whispered.

Elliot smiled and for a moment Blaine thought he would do anything for that smile. "Good. Go tell your friends we'll be going into room 4, so they'll know where you are and won't worry. Be a good boy and I'll meet you by the door to the back."

Blaine quickly did as he was told, his pulse racing as he explained to his friends where he was going and with whom. Michael congratulated him, offering him a sip of his rum and coke before he went and nervously, Blaine nearly downed the whole thing. Handing it back he glanced to the back door. He wasn't quite sure how a man could look both harsh and amused at the same time but somehow Elliot did, watching him closely with a smirk on his face and the crop in his hand.

Blaine made his way through and around the crowd to the Dom and he bowed his head as he reached the tall man who stared down at him. "I don't recall telling you that you could drink," Elliot said sternly. "Your bracelet says you're under 21."

Blaine bit his lip. "I'm sorry sir," he said with a shudder.

"We'll deal with it inside," Elliot told him, turning to lead the sub into the fourth room on the left.

The room was dark when Elliot opened the door and Blaine followed him inside. As the door closed behind him with a snap, the lights were switched on. Blaine's gaze widened. The room was what Blaine could only describe as a dungeon, though he'd never seen one with his own eyes before. There were numerous surfaces that Blaine recognized as various kinds of spanking benches and swings as well as couches, pillows and wedges throughout the room. On the carpeted floor were pillows as well as kneeling pads and large granite tile hearth sat beneath a stone fireplace. Elliot headed toward a door across the room.

"Make yourself comfortable for me Blaine," Elliot told him as he turned the knob. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Blaine could only nod as he watched Elliot go. He looked around, his heart pounding. He had no idea what he was doing. He had no idea what Elliot considered comfortable. He didn't know if it was for him to decide or if this was some kind of test to determine if he was a proper enough sub for the Dom. Would he be punished even more if he got it wrong? Would he even want to be? He was already in trouble for drinking and he knew what Santana would have him do for that. But as he contemplated the idea of preparing himself on one of the benches, Blaine decided that he didn't want to encourage that. He could get all the spankings he wanted and then some at home. Punishment wasn't what he came back here for, sex was what he wanted. Sex like he'd imagined with Kurt in the hammock of his backyard.

Shaking thoughts of Kurt from his head, Blaine removed his shirt, folding it on a bench against the wall. He took off his shoes as well. He undid the button and zipper of his pants to give his already aching half-erection more room, but he left his pants on. This was his first time and he wasn't ready to bare it all yet. He glanced around the room, taking it in once more, and he chose a thin red satin pillow to kneel upon. He took his position, hands layered on the small of his back, eyes trained on the floor. And he waited.

He didn't have to wait long. Blaine could hear Elliot emerge from the mysterious room and close the door behind him. Though the footsteps were muffled by the carpeting they echoed in Blaine's ear as if the floor were wood until he could see on the ground below him large black boots. The crop once again reached for his chin and forced his eyes high to meet Elliot's. "Safe word?" Elliot asked.

In the soft light and silence of the room Elliot was even more stunning than he had been in the loud haze of the bar. He was the bite to Kurt's bark and he was the sex to Santana's dominance. His eyes, a gray blue that reminded him of the sky peeking through a cloud filled day, were dark and ominous. Blaine knew that he had displeased the Dom, and he was about to pay.

"New York," Blaine whispered, every nerve in his body vibrating with anticipation.

"Thank you. Without a contract we will use green for go and yellow for slow down as well," he said. Blaine nodded and Elliot's hand reached out to Blaine's head, lowering his eyes to his waist. A large silver buckle wound tightly around black leather pants and called out to him. Elliot nodded. "Undo it," he ordered.

Hands shaking with nerves, Blaine reached up and unbuckled the belt, revealing the snap and zipper that was sure to be his next command. It was no surprise when Elliot instructed softly, "Go ahead."

Blaine swallowed and his fingers trembled and it took him longer than it should have to flip open the snap and pull down the zipper, but the Dom was patient. Looking up for permission, Elliot nodded and Blaine rolled the pants down to his hips, no underwear blocking his view underneath.

Blaine had never seen another cock before besides his own, not like this standing firm with desire. But before he could really take it in, Blaine saw the flash of Elliot's arm then felt the sharp smack of the crop on his ass.

"Eyes closed," Elliot ordered and, heart nearly beating out of his chest, Blaine did as he was told. Another smack landed and then another and it was not as painful as anything he'd gotten from Santana but it felt different. Both better and worse at the same time. "You are beautiful," Elliot told him, voice gentle and awed. He circled the crop against his ass but he did not strike again. "Your submission is intoxicating. Delicious. Makes me want to do so many things to you." Blaine felt heady. He could hear the rush of Elliot's dominance around him, he could feel his submission reaching out to it, begging to grasp hold. Blaine could feel himself falling, knowing that he would be safe and protected in this Dom's arms. After he was punished. "I did not give you permission to fill your tongue with the taste of alcohol. Did I?"

"No sir," Blaine admitted faintly through the haze.

"It is against the law, isn't it?" he asked. "Could get this club in trouble, couldn't it?"

"Yes sir," Blaine said.

He heard the swish only a second before he felt the sting, this one much harder than before. He bit back a yell, only allowing a small gasp to escape as he breathed through it.

"For your punishment, you will fill your tongue with the taste of me instead," Elliot ordered, but then he asked, "Color?"

"Green," Blaine answered without thought and hearing his own voice come out of his mouth he wondered for a second what it would be like to taste Kurt instead. Beautiful, gentle, caring Kurt who wouldn't have him kneeling on a pillow wedged between his cock and a crop. He was swept away from thoughts of Kurt when Elliot brought himself to Blaine's lips, tickling his cock against the sensitive skin. Blaine could feel himself falling farther, his submission fiercely swirling and he could feel it safely caught by the dominance of the man above him. It was just like with Santana but better, deeper, and on the edge of subspace he parted his lips for more when the crop came down hard on his ass.

The sharpness of the strike cluttered his thoughts for a moment, blurring his eyes and making his head spin. It was just one moment but it was all it took for Blaine to look up and see Kurt's face instead of Elliot's. Kurt standing before him, Kurt in leather with a crop and his cock pressed to Blaine's mouth. The thought went straight to his own erection as he imagined taking Kurt entirely in his mouth, sucking him, making him come, tasting him. He wanted it more than he'd ever wanted anything. Another blow came with words he could not hear. Then another cleared his thoughts and the voice demanded he open as a strong hand came to the back of his head but it was the wrong voice, and the wrong hand and the crop against his backside felt all wrong.

The pleasure in his stomach turned, tears came to his eyes and he sat back quickly on his heels, pulling away. "I'm sorry," he muttered, shaking his head knowing that the Dom would likely just throw him out like the garbage. "New York," he safeworded with a sob. "I'm sorry."

Elliot immediately pulled back, holstering his riding crop and turning away to put himself back together. Blaine could barely see the carpet he stared at through his tears, but he did see the Dom kneel before him, evenly. Blaine looked up surprised, and Elliot slowly, carefully as if asking permission raised a hand to wipe Blaine's tears. "What's his name?" the Dom asked gently.

Blaine was too upset to be surprised. "Kurt," he sniffed, responding to the complete kindness in Elliot's transformed eyes. He felt cloth on his skin and he realized that Elliot was draping his shirt back over his shoulders. He released his arms to put them through the sleeves and then buttoned up his pants.

"Why can't you be with him? Just because he is a man? Is he a Dom in a claim?" Elliot asked with a gentle curiosity.

For the first time Blaine wondered about Elliot's story. How many lonely subs did he pick up at the club? How many nights did he hear the sob stories of men unable to be with the person they loved. What made him come here instead of claiming his own?

Blaine shook his head, taking a deep breath. If he trusted Elliot enough to come back here with him in the first place, he should trust him enough for this. "He's not a Dom at all. He's a Gray."

Elliot let out a sigh. "That's a dangerous game Blaine," he warned.

"It's not a game," Blaine retorted looking away.

Blaine felt Elliot's hand grasp his and his focus was steered back to the Dom kneeling before him. "You're absolutely right, it's not. The threat to you is very, very, real. You're gorgeous Blaine. You're gorgeous and your submission is beautiful and the absolute truth is you could have any Dom you wanted. You could have me if you wanted," Elliot told him and there was a seriousness in his eyes that told Blaine that was not an idle proposal. "Be careful. Please."

Blaine allowed himself a moment to truly look at the Dom kneeling before him. He was everything that he had ever dreamed of, and it was being offered to him right now. The Dominance of Santana and the desire of Kurt in a man whose beauty combined the best of both of them. But Blaine knew he didn't want it. He knew that saying yes to this man, this perfect Dom, was betraying the love that pulsed so strongly in his heart for both of them. The weight on his shoulders and the pain in his heart that he felt before entering the club was back and Blaine needed to get away. He rose to standing, his skin burning hot as he looked down at the Dom staring up at him with wide concerned eyes. "Thank you Elliot," he said. And without waiting for an answer, he turned, slipped on his shoes, and ran out the door.

Walking into a new rehearsal hall was always nerve-wracking. Every cast had their pre-show cliques, their histories together that would help or taint the rehearsal process. Production staff had expectations and personalities that were yet to be figured out. Everyone had prejudices just hiding beneath the surface. Kurt had learned a lot during his first year and a half at NYADA and what he learned was that the theater wasn't much different from high school.

"Hey Kurt, don't look so skittish," Robert teased as they walked through the door. "I promise there are no sharks that will eat you whole, and if there are just remember that you are the one that knows how to wield a sword."

Kurt smiled, wary but trying, and he took his seat at the read thru table next to Robert. Actors and designers were slowly milling in and getting coffee and donuts from the table and stage management was passing out scripts. "Do you think we'll get a full schedule today?" he asked. He was trying to balance school, The Apples and this show and Kurt was well aware which one Carmen Tibideaux would consider a priority. Being busy though was a blessing, Kurt thought. Blaine was becoming more and more distant every day and having a multitude of distractions was extremely helpful.

"No promises," Robert said and he saw the worry in Kurt's face. "Don't worry, I'll smooth things out with Carmen. I know she doesn't like outside projects to get in the way, but she has to give some leeway to an internship."

Kurt nodded and he looked up towards the door. He could use some coffee and he was just about to get up when the last person on earth he'd want to work with walked through the door. "Oh no," he moaned, hiding his head in his hands. He was too late though, he'd already been spotted.

"Well, this is awkward." Kurt looked up to find Jesse St. James at his most smugly amused and Kurt responded with nothing but a tight smile. Jesse's grin only grew bigger. "I should call my agent, they didn't tell me we'd be doing the show in drag."

"Like anyone would want to see your legs in a skirt, Jesse," Kurt bit back.

"So I see you two already know each other," Robert interjected, reminding them both of the need to at least give a semblance of professionalism. "I hope this won't be a problem."

"No problem at all," Kurt said through his teeth, not taking his eyes from Jesse.

"We'll be the best of friends," Jesse agreed, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

"Well good, because you two are going to be working very closely together," Robert said. "Jesse is the star of this show."

Kurt closed his eyes and took a deep breath. For once he just wanted something in his life to go right.

Kurt gathered up his notebook, script and pencils, and put them back in his bag. The read thru had gone well and he was excited for the work they were going to do. At least he would have been excited if the work wasn't almost entirely with one of the people he hated most in the world and, unfortunately, very likely to be as close to a brother in law as he might get some day.

Instead of leaving him alone though, Jesse sidled up beside him at the table. "If we're going to be working together we should probably figure out how to get along," he said.

Kurt scoffed. "Interesting you're willing to make nice because of a show but not because of the girl you say you want as your Dom. Though that is pretty much on par with your priorities isn't it?" he noted. He slung his bag over his shoulder and went to pour a hot cup of coffee before heading out into the cold.

"You know that coffee is like mud," Jesse said, but Kurt continued to ignore him. "There's a coffee house right across the street that's sublime. I thought I might stop before I head home."

"How nice for you," Kurt muttered.

Jesse came around the side of the table and held the coffee pot back from Kurt. Kurt glared up at him, but he saw something in Jesse's eyes that he'd never seen before. Remorse. "Come on Kurt, please," Jesse said softly. "I'm trying."

"You're very trying," Kurt glared. Jesse said nothing and Kurt put the coffee cup down with a sigh. "Fine. One cup. But you're paying." He didn't wait for an answer before he walked out the door whether Jesse was following him or not.

Kurt ordered the most expensive designer coffee that he could and with only a passing scowl Jesse paid for it and they carried their coffee to a table in the corner. Kurt sat back, crossing his legs and his arms and waited for it to cool. Jesse was leaning forward, elbows on the table wringing his hands together, perhaps for the first time in his life at a loss for words.

"I'm sorry for your loss," he finally said.

It took Kurt by surprise and he needed a moment to decide if he had heard the guy right before realizing that Jesse had spoken in all sincerity. Kurt let a little bit of his defense down. "Thank you," he said.

Jesse cast his eyes to the table then, his fingers fidgeting nervously. "Will you tell me how she's doing?"

Kurt's eyes narrowed. "Is that what this is about?" he asked suspiciously. "Trying to get dirt on her?"

But Jesse shook his head. "She won't talk to me about him. I don't blame her. After all it's my fault he's gone."

"It's not your fault," Kurt said quickly.

"It is," Jesse said and he raised his eyes to meet Kurt's. "I know I didn't pull the trigger but I set it all in motion. If I hadn't lied to him he wouldn't have enlisted." There was nothing Kurt could say to that. Though it didn't make him culpable for Finn's death, it was true nonetheless. "I don't deserve her."

"No," Kurt agreed wholeheartedly. "You don't." Kurt picked up his coffee and took a sip. He stared out the window into the crowd. Always looking.

"You know we aren't that different, you and I," Jesse said. Kurt didn't move. He didn't say a word. "After Finn died I always thought that if anyone would understand you would."

Kurt's stomach turned and he felt as though a sharp needle had pierced his heart. He tried so hard to come up with an argument that would prove to the man across the table that there was absolutely nothing further from the truth but he couldn't. Because Jesse was right. And though all Kurt could do was turn to look the man in the eye, Jesse knew that Kurt did understand, at least a bit.

"You know she worries about you," Jesse said. "As much as you worry about her. Maybe even more."

"She shouldn't worry about me," Kurt said, his voice low and rough now.

"Oh I tell her that all the time, but she's a stubborn one when she has an idea in her head," Jesse smirked, the light returning to his eyes.

Kurt rolled his eyes as he snorted. "The understatement of the year."

Jesse took a sip of his coffee. "I've always known that Rachel and I belong together," Jesse said. Kurt sat quietly, Blaine's face flashing in his mind. "When no one else believed it, I didn't give up on that dream. And I never will."

"Even when you know you aren't enough?" Kurt asked. "Even when you know how painful the dream could be?"

"If you love someone Kurt," Jesse said, "you should go after them with everything you have. I have always believed that. And I don't think that you're an exception to the rule."

Kurt's brow tightened in confusion. "Why? Everyone else does."

"Because Dom, sub or Gray, everyone deserves the chance to chase their dreams," Jesse told him. "A dream is something that fills up the emptiness inside. It's the one thing that you know if it came true that all the hurt would go away. So how could it possibly not be enough?"

Kurt meant to walk home to the loft but his feet had other plans. With Jesse's voice ringing in his ears, he found himself on his way to Blaine's apartment before his rational mind could tell him that it made no sense. He pulled his coat up around his ears to block the wind and kept his head down. Which is why he didn't see Brittany sitting inside the entryway of the apartment complex, her dance bag around her arm, until he had swung the door open and was about to press the buzzer.

"You can't go up there," Brittany said, sitting in the corner on the small black chair.

"Britt, what are you doing down here?" Kurt asked, startled.

"They're talking to their parents," Brittany explained. "Apparently something big has happened."

"They haven't found out about you have they?" Kurt asked nervously. "Or about me?"

"There shouldn't be anything to find out about you," Brittany said. "What are you doing here anyway? You know you just make everything worse for him. He's hurting and it's your fault."

"It's not my fault, Britt," he said quietly. But his heart clenched just at the very idea that Blaine was hurting at all.

"It is your fault though," Brittany snapped. "You're the one who led him on in the first place. Let him believe he could have a life with you, let him think that you're a Dom. He's in love with you Kurt, he's in love with you and he can't have you so instead he's been out destroying himself-"

"And I'd destroy him if he was with me!" Kurt yelled back. "That's what you all say anyway. That's what you think. So tell me what exactly I'm supposed to do."

"Stay away from him," Brittany told him clearly. "Let him forget you and move on. It's better for both of you."

Kurt turned away from her and he refused to let tears pool in his eyes. No matter how much he hated that she was right, she was and there was nothing that he could do about it. "I shouldn't have come tonight." If Kurt's dreams came true it wouldn't make the hurt go away, it would only make it a thousand times worse. "You don't have to worry. I'll leave him alone."

He walked out the door and back on to the sidewalk, his heart pounding as it shattered into pieces. He looked up to Blaine's window, one last time. He didn't expect Blaine to be staring out, looking back at him.

It was hard, pulling himself away. With the cold of the air and Blaine's eyes, no matter how far away and distorted, gazing out the glass of the frosted window at him, Brittany's words seemed nothing but a distant echo. And yet he couldn't get his feet to walk back inside and up those stairs. All he could do was turn his head and walk away.

They sat together at the computer in Santana's room, just staring at the screen dumbfounded. Their hands were curled tight in one another's grasp. Their hearts beat furiously in their chests. Blaine actually thought he might be sick and from the sweat in Santana's hand he thought she might feel the same.

"Did either of you know?" Mr. Anderson was demanding.

"No," Santana answered quickly. Too quickly Blaine realized but he hoped that his parents didn't. "She always seemed like a Dom to me." That also seemed strange. He'd always believed Quinn was a sub, though he realized now she'd never truly said.

"The Fabrays are understandably devastated," Mrs. Anderson said. "So much potential and then to find out she's Gray."

"I don't blame them at all for disowning her," Mr. Anderson said. "Lying to them her whole life like that? Keeping that kind of secret? Bringing that kind of shame on them?" He shook his head. "Such a disgrace."

Blaine felt his stomach lurch. His head was spinning.

"Dalton is considering revoking her diploma," Mrs. Anderson said.

Blaine's eyes flashed up. "She still did all the work," he argued. "What does it matter that she was Gray?"

Santana gaped furiously. "She'd be kicked out of Yale if they did that!"

Mr. Anderson looked at them both severely. "She lied to the school. She never should have even been allowed to attend in the first place," he told them.

"We're just lucky that it seems none of the boys at Dalton were hurt by her," Mrs. Anderson said. "Imagine Blaine, under the charms of a Gray."

Blaine couldn't take the conversation anymore. "Excuse me," he said quickly before getting up and walking to the bedroom. He closed the door behind him and went straight to his window, pressing his forehead against the cold glass. He closed his eyes for a minute, breathing in and out, concentrating only on the sound of the world outside, the conversation in the other room muffled to where he could not hear. When he opened his eyes he was sure they were playing tricks on him. Kurt's face stared up at him, just for a moment, wishing, wanting, then walking away.

"Imagine Blaine, under the charms of a Gray."

"Are you okay?" he heard as Santana wrapped her arms around him from behind and placed her cheek on his shoulder.

"You were with her. Weren't you?" he asked. If she was surprised by the question she didn't say so. She simply nodded against his shoulder. "Why didn't it last?"

"I didn't love her," she said and he turned in her arms. He didn't think he'd ever seen her more broken. "Not like I do Brittany."

"But you love her enough to be scared for her right now," he said and she nodded. "I'm okay," he lied. "Go call her. Make sure she's safe. I'm gonna go out. I'll tell Britt to come up."

She didn't ask if he was sure. For once she needed to just pretend that what he said was true. She kissed his forehead and in a daze she walked out his room.

Blaine staggered in the door without any realization that it was 3am and Santana was asleep on the couch waiting for him to come home. The loud bang as he tripped on some shoes left in the front hallway though woke her up and she came quickly to the front door and grabbed him by the arm.

"God, you reek of alcohol," she complained. Blaine mumbled something but he made little sense. She settled him on the couch and took off his jacket. Her eyes widened. "Is that lipstick on your neck?" she asked.

"I don't know," he muttered falling back on the sofa. The room was spinning. The ceiling's painted arcs were all blurring together in some crazy dance.

"Please tell me that is from some drag queen you picked up and not a girl," Santana glowered draping the coat over the arm.

"I said I don't know Santana!" Blaine yelled, loud enough to wake the neighbors.

Santana stared at him. This wasn't the first time in the past few weeks he had come home after a night at one of the D/s clubs she knew he was frequenting. But this was the first time his return was accompanied by excessive amounts of alcohol and lipstick stains on his neck. She was angry and disappointed but she pushed hard to remain calm. "Ok. Go to bed." She grabbed his arm and pulled him back up. "The good thing about drinking is that there's a natural punishment in the morning, and I will see you then."

"Whatever," Blaine drawled as he stumbled to his room, collapsing face first and fully clothed on his bed, promptly falling asleep.

When he woke his head felt like it was going to explode and his stomach churned. He lunged out of bed and somehow made it to the bathroom just in time to empty its contents. It didn't help the feeling of elephant's stomping in his brain, but it made his stomach feel better and he crawled back to his bed.

Santana was sitting on the edge.

She'd changed his pillow case so it was cool on his cheek when he laid back down and he curled his knees into his chest. He felt her hand rub his back and he groaned loudly. "Everything hurts."

"Is this a fitting punishment for what you did last night? And the way you spoke to me?" she questioned.

"No," Blaine pouted. "This is worse."

Santana chuckled softly. "Ok sweetheart. Sit up."

Blaine did as he was told and she pressed two small pills into his hand along with a bottle of cold water. He swallowed the pills, drank the water and curled up in her arms.

"Do you want to talk about it?"


"Tough," Santana said, squeezing him with love. "Was it a girl's lipstick last night?"

It was hard remembering all that had happened the night before. He hadn't really wanted to go back to Black and White after the Apples show but his heart ached from Kurt's silent treatment, nearly everyone was going and they didn't give him much of a chance to say no. He started drinking as soon as he got to the club. He quickly caught Elliot's watchful eye and the desire to submit was strong but he shook his head. He'd learned his lesson the first time.

He couldn't do anything, look at any guy, without thinking of Kurt. That's why he'd been submitting to girls.

His friends had dragged him to the dance floor and plowed him with drink after drink. The night became fuzzier and fuzzier but he remembered kneeling for two girls, giving them permission to do what they wanted, and then their lips were on his lips and on his neck, their tongue down his throat.

He remembered the lips feeling good in his alcoholic haze. Safe.

"Yes," Blaine admitted. "They were girls."

Santana sighed with disappointment and leaned back. "So are you telling me you like girls now?"

Blaine shook his head and lowered his eyes. "No Ma'am."

"Then why?" she asked sharply. "Our contract does not allow for you to submit to another female Dom without my permission."

He cringed at her tone and the power of it pounding in his head. "I don't know," he said, voice small, but that was a lie and he did know why. "Last time I went to the club I went in the back with the perfect Dom, Santana. He was everything I'd ever dreamed of. It should have been amazing. But all I could think of was…"

His voice trailed off but he didn't need to say Kurt's name for Santana to understand. "So you thought not being true to yourself was a better choice?"

"To be fair I wasn't really thinking at all," he offered, looking up at her with puppy dog eyes begging for a reprieve. "It just seemed easier. To be who everyone wants me to be."

"And by everyone you mean your parents?" Blaine nodded. Those eyes were almost always irresistible, but Santana needed to be very clear. "I will support you Blaine, in whoever you choose. But you have to be honest, with yourself and with the person you're with and being with a woman is not honest in any way, shape or form. Is it?" she demanded.

Blaine's head hurt from her force, but he knew she was right. "No Ma'am."

"I will never support you lying or breaking our contract like that and if this happens again I promise you that more than your head will be hurting. Is that understood?"

Blaine nodded. "Yes Ma'am."

"Good," Santana smiled softly. "Now I have to get my butt back to the law library and finish this paper. Brittany's at dress rehearsal for her show tomorrow night and you will be…?" she questioned.

"Dying," Blaine whined and fell back on the bed. "Don't mind me."

She took the pillow from under his head and smacked him on the ass. "I do mind," she said sternly. "Those pills should be kicking in any minute and breakfast is ready, it just needs to be heated up. So after you eat you will be doing what?" she asked again.

He tried to think. It was Thursday and he had no classes until the afternoon, but he had lines he needed to learn for acting. "Studying," he assured her. "I will be studying and then going to class."

"Good," she said again turning to go, but she stopped and turned with a crease in her forehead. "This perfect Dom a couple of weeks ago. Did you do anything with him?"

Blaine thought back to his night with Elliot. Once again he had and he hadn't and he didn't know what the right answer was. "Not really," he stuck with.

"Okay," she said and this time she gathered her things and walked out the door.

Blaine took a shower, changed his clothes and managed to make his way to the kitchen to make himself some toast with butter. Sitting down alone at the table he looked out their window, skyscrapers reaching up to the heavens. They always seemed to tickle the sky, so close that it nearly swallowed them whole. But in reality, there were miles and miles between them and the blue. And touching it was impossible.

Blaine and Santana were on their feet during the curtain call of Brittany's Alvin Ailey show. Brittany had been enchanting. Blaine had learned quickly when she and Santana had first started dating that she was an incredible dancer but it was obvious that in just the last few months she had come so much further. They filed out of the theater, heading to the stage door to wait for her when he heard Santana call out over his head. "Kurt! Come join us!"

Blaine grabbed her arm and pleaded. "Santana no, please. I'm trying to do the right thing and stay away from him."

Santana looked at him strangely. "Who said staying away from him was the right thing?" Blaine lowered his head under the sharp scrutiny of her gaze and the next words were an order so stern that he could not disobey. "Stay here."

Santana pushed through the crowd until she had caught up to Kurt. "Hey, I didn't know you were here or we would have come over and said hello during intermission."

"Oh, um, that's fine," Kurt said awkwardly and one glance from where she came made it clear that this conversation alone was causing Blaine a firestorm of emotions. "I'm here with some friends anyway."

"Well, you should come out with us," Santana said and Kurt was annoyed that even with him a request came out like an order. "I promised Brittany a trip to her favorite restaurant and I'm sure Blaine wouldn't mind-"

"Really Santana?" Kurt bit with sarcasm dripping. He looked over her shoulder to a Blaine frozen in place no doubt by demand. But Blaine's desire to run was as clear as day. "Because I'm pretty sure the last thing Blaine wants is for me to join you and even if he did, Brittany has made it very clear that I am not welcome around your sub."

Santana's eyes narrowed. "When did Brittany say that?"

"Pretty much any chance she gets," Kurt snapped.

"Look Kurt," Santana sighed. "I know Brittany's a genius, but she's not always right."

"If he needs a Dom more than anything else then she's right that I would never be enough for him," Kurt retorted.

Santana rested a hand on his arm. He looked up at her and the pain in his eyes broke her heart. "Is one person ever enough for anyone?"

"I don't know why we couldn't go to my favorite restaurant Santana, you promised," Brittany pouted as they arrived back home.

"Since my invitation to Kurt was rejected because both of you seem to think that the fact he's a Gray means he doesn't belong in your lives then neither one of you deserves to go out to dinner," Santana said, hanging up her things and making her way into the living room. Her subs dutifully followed. "You were amazing in your performance and I am very proud of you Brittany, but deliberately excluding Kurt will not be your reward."

"It wasn't Brittany's fault," Blaine said softly, kneeling before Santana, eyes trained on the ground. She looked at him with surprise. "Kurt and I know we can't be together and it hurts too much to be friends. It hasn't been easy but we're both trying to deal with that in our own ways. Don't blame Brittany for that."

Santana said nothing for so long and the room filled with such a deafening silence that eventually Blaine looked up. His Dom was staring down, her black locks framing her hard face and he held his breath until she finally spoke, her voice harsh and angry. "There is no one that can tell you who you can and cannot love. Not me, not your parents, and certainly not a society that knows absolutely nothing about you. Love. Trust. Respect. Truth. In the end those are promises not to me or to them. They are only to yourself."

Santana said nothing more as she turned around to her room. She did not call for Brittany, Brittany did not follow and Santana closed the door behind her. They both waited where they were, Blaine kneeling, Brittany standing by the couch. He did not look at his fellow sub. There was no sound until the shower in the master bathroom turned on.

"She's wrong you know," Brittany said matter-of-factly turning to Blaine. "She thinks because she's been with a Gray that she understands but she doesn't."

He looked up at her. "But you do?" he asked, curiosity and doubt mixing together.

Brittany nodded and she took a seat on the couch in front of him. He rested back on his heels. "I kissed a Gray once," she said. "And it was the most terrifying feeling of my life. I gave him my submission but there was nothing. Just this huge emptiness. It felt like falling off a cliff and waving my hands in the air hoping I'd find something to grasp hold of, but there was nothing. You just fall."

"That's why subs die," Blaine whispered to himself.

"If I loved someone, and every time I fell with nothing to hold onto…?" Brittany paused until Blaine raised his head and met her eyes. "How many times can you hit the ground before you need to take away the pain?"

Blaine didn't know the answer. But somewhere inside him his heart told him he didn't need to know. "Maybe Santana is right. Maybe it wouldn't be like that for us," he said, optimism glowing in his eyes. "Maybe he's wrong, maybe he's not even really Gray and that's why we're drawn to one another?"

"Don't fool yourself Blaine," Brittany warned and her anger was evident. "I know him. I've seen it with my own eyes. He's Gray and that's not going to change and no matter how much either of you want it, he won't be able to give you what you need. We'll lose you to him, Santana and I. And then you'll lose yourself."

She got up and headed to the bedroom door opening it. "Brittany," he stopped her and she turned back to him. She said that she'd kissed a Gray but… "The only Gray you've really known is Kurt."

Her lips turned down in sorrow and she nodded her head. "Yes. Believe me Blaine, he will not catch you when you fall."


And I will swallow my pride
You're the one that I love
And I'm saying goodbye

Say something I'm giving up on you.

Chapter Text

Can't fight it all away
Can't hope it all away
Can't scream it all away
It just won't fade away, No

~ Evanescence

"Okay," Santana said, grabbing her purse. "I will drop you both off, you will look out for each other, neither of you will have more than one drink," she said, looking pointedly at Blaine, "and as soon as I'm done at work I will pick you both up. I'll be gone two hours tops. Understood?"

"Yes Ma'am," Brittany said, playing with the pleat in her skirt. Santana eyed her up and down one more time. She of course wanted her girlfriend to look good, but she did not want her looking too good. Satisfied with the mid-thigh skirt and the pink t-shirt, she turned to her other sub. "Blaine?" she coaxed.

He was looking in the mirror one more time, fixing his bowtie and making sure his hair was gelled within an inch of its life. "Yeah, Santana, fine," he said dismissively, until she grabbed his chin and forced his eyes to meet hers. He thought they were a little terrifying. "Yes Ma'am, I understand, Ma'am," he said, adding the extra Ma'am cheekily.

"You're such a smart ass," she said, giving his backside a swift smack as he passed by but Blaine just smiled. Brittany winked at him. Blaine's smile grew brighter. With both of them in a mischievous mood and no chaperone, there was potential for this party to be the best they'd ever been to.

Santana glared at them both with great suspicion. "Come on you two before I change my mind," she growled.

Brittany and Blaine grabbed hands and made their way out of the apartment to the street. With their Dom watching they were well-behaved on the subway and all the way to the address Brittany had written on her hand. On the sidewalk of the brownstone, they could already hear music pumping from inside the apartment. They both eyed her hopefully.

"Oh hell no," Santana snapped, grabbing both their shoulders. "I am walking you inside and putting you in safe hands."

They both rolled their eyes but let her lead them in the unlocked door. The music was twice as loud inside, the lights were flashing and a ton of people that Blaine had never met before were inside. Above their heads was a huge Bon Voyage sign.

But one person he knew all too well was there and their eyes met across the crowded room.

"Blaine don't," Brittany whispered, squeezing his hand and trying to keep him from going to Kurt, but she was quickly distracted by a loud voice.


Blaine turned to see an African-American woman with a warm smile fly over to Britt and give her a hug, squealing in delight. Behind her came a very good looking, muscular man with blonde hair and a goofy sexiness about him.

"Santana," Brittany said, taking her girlfriend's hand after hugging them both. "This is Mercedes and Sam. Guys this is my Dom, Santana," she said then turned to Blaine. "And this is Blaine."

"It's amazing to meet you Mercedes, Brittany has told me so much about you," Santana said, just a bit starstruck. Brittany had played her Mercedes' EP and Blaine had to admit that when Santana sung along their voices blended beautifully.

Mercedes grinned and Santana and Brittany got to talking about music and the new album and though Blaine would have been more than happy to join in, he noticed Sam was looking around a bit shyly.

Ever the gentleman, Blaine held his hand out. "It's a pleasure to meet you Sam," he said and he could see Sam took no note of his white cuff as he shook his hand with a smile. Blaine did take note of his gold one and smiled back. "So you guys are part of the McKinley Contingent?"

Sam laughed. "Yeah I guess so," he said. "Been together so long now, it's gonna be weird being apart."

"I'm sure it will be, but it's amazing you get to go on tour with Mercedes. How long are you gone for?" Blaine asked.

"6 months at least," Sam said. "It is amazing. You know Mercedes asked Brittany to go with her as a dancer? She wouldn't of course, she couldn't leave Santana, but it would have been a blast to have her along."

"It will be a blast anyway," Blaine assured him kindly and his eyes lit up with excitement just thinking about it. "I can only imagine the kind of people you'll meet on the road, the kind of music it will inspire."

"Are you a musician too?" Sam asked.

Blaine shrugged unpretentiously. "I try," he said. "I've always been interested in music theory and composition. I play piano pretty well and I've written a few songs, though they aren't really any good."

"I'm sure they are," Sam said.

"Nah," Blaine laughed, a modest blush rising to his cheeks. "I'm a musical theater major, I just dabble in that other stuff."

"Well maybe that'll change," Sam suggested with a smile. "Write something good and maybe Mercedes will sing it someday. You have a little in," Sam smirked, looking at Brittany laughing with Mercedes.

Blaine started to answer but Santana grabbed his hand and steered him away next to Brittany. "Alright you two," she said, bringing them both aside. "I will be at my evening seminar for two hours. I am trusting you both. I expect you to respect yourselves and everyone else here tonight, most especially Kurt, is that understood?" Both of them nodded though Blaine didn't believe that Brittany meant it. "No repeats of the other night at the club Blaine," she warned clearly, "and Brittany, I will take your cuff," she said, holding out her hand. Brittany reluctantly but willingly obeyed, sliding the golden bracelet off her wrist and handing it to her Dom. "Remember who you belong to," Santana told her.

"Yes Ma'am," Brittany answered.

Santana smiled and kissed her on the lips. "Have fun love," she told her then turned to Blaine, kissing his cheek. "You too, sweetheart," she said, then whispered, "I saw Kurt go into the other room." She winked at him, waved her fingers at them both and walked out the door.

Blaine looked over his shoulder in the direction Santana had indicated.

Brittany grabbed his shoulders and turned him back, dragging him in the opposite direction. "No," she said firmly. "Anyone but Kurt tonight Blaine. Anyone."

Kurt stepped away from the corner where he'd been watching the front door for Blaine's arrival, and slid dejectedly up to his best friend. "I don't think you have to worry about meeting him Rachel, he's not gonna come over here," he told her with a frown. For a minute it had looked like Blaine was going to head his way, but Brittany grabbed him swiftly and ushered him away to a large group of what looked like frat boys. It had been a while since Brittany had dated any guys, but Brittany had always had a thing for muscles and it was looking like Blaine was enjoying himself too. At least for the little while before Kurt couldn't bear to watch anymore.

"It's for the best Kurt, you know that," Rachel said. "I don't know why you're still hanging on to the idea that it could work with him when you know it would be the worst thing for both of you."

"What would be the worst thing for both of you?" Jesse asked, sneaking up behind them and sticking his head in between the two friends. Jesse and Kurt had been tolerating one another since their initial conversation for the benefit of the show and though Kurt had no idea how Jesse had been invited to this party, he was pretty sure it hadn't been Rachel by the way she was glaring at him.

"Blaine," Rachel answered with annoyance, though Kurt wasn't quite sure which one of them she was more annoyed at.

Jesse though perked up. "Oh, he's here? Where Kurt? Show me."

Rachel huffed. "Leave me out of this, I don't even want to know."

Kurt ignored Rachel as she walked away to the punch table. He led Jesse to the group of frat guys, but though Brittany remained, lying on a table laughing as what appeared to be a human salt lick for the guys doing shots, Blaine was no longer among them. He and Jesse walked around the apartment which had more nooks and crannies than an old Victorian mansion, finally finding him center of attention in a group of girls from NYADA. "Right there," Kurt said, unable to hide the sadness in his heart.

"Ooo, you're right Kurt, he is cute," Jesse winked and draped his arms over Kurt's shoulders with a laugh. Just at that moment, Blaine looked over at them, catching the display, then quickly turning away. Kurt pulled out of Jesse's arms and nearly ran over to tell Blaine it wasn't what it looked like, but as much as it hurt, maybe it was better for him to think that it was. He couldn't stay where he was though, and he slipped away to get some air. Jesse smirked and joined Rachel back at the punch table.

"You shouldn't encourage him," Rachel reprimanded sternly, downing the heavily spiked punch. When she was done he instinctually took the cup from her hand and threw it out for her. "It isn't good for him to keep dreaming like that, of things that can't be. He needs to let go."

"Who says?" Jesse asked. She turned and glared.

"Kurt's a Gray, Jesse. And Blaine's a sub. Don't tell me you think that they should risk their lives to be together," Rachel argued.

"I think giving up on your dreams is more of a risk. I think giving up on loving the person you love is giving up on yourself," Jesse said pointedly.

Rachel stared at him, emotions swirling in her eyes. "And sometimes not letting go destroys the person you meant to love," she snapped. "And then it's just too late."

Jesse grabbed her hands and knelt down in front of her. Rachel's eyes grew wide and she looked around self-consciously, but no one was watching. "It's not too late Rachel. I have never stopped loving you," he said, not at all afraid of bearing his soul. At this point he had nothing to lose. "When Finn died every cell in my body was buzzing with the need to care for you. It took everything in my power not to drop everything I was doing and go to you. I know how much he meant to you. Means to you," he corrected himself. "I would never try to replace him Rachel I swear. And I would never push you, ever. The only thing I've ever wanted for you is for you to be happy."

"That's a lie and you know it, get up!" Rachel scolded, pulling her hands away and he thankfully followed her command. It hurt too much to see him kneeling because no matter how hard she tried the only face she wanted looking up at her was Finn's. "When we were together there were lots of lies and lots of disrespect that we still haven't talked about, and I'm not ready," Rachel insisted. When he tried to interrupt, her dominance swirled angrily. "I told you that and you can't even respect it now Jesse. You're pushing whether you think you are or not. You're pushing too far and if you do that…"

"Rachel, I knew in high school that I needed to give you your space. That it was Finn's time and no matter how much it hurt me that I needed to wait, it was punishment for what I'd done to you and to him. I accepted that Rachel. But he's gone and I'm here-"

"You can't just replace him!" Rachel yelled. "He was my person!"

"And you're mine!" Jesse cried.

"No." Rachel shook her head violently. The walls were caving in and her dominance was begging for freedom, begging to lash out at him. If she didn't get away from him soon she would regret what she would do. "I can't do this," she snapped before storming off in search of any submission other than his that would soothe her.

In the living room she grabbed another shot of something, she didn't even know what, and then another, downing the liquid fire as if it could quell her need but it couldn't, it only made her more impulsive. She searched and searched, her balance slightly off and her eyesight blurred, but even stumbling she found what she was looking for in the corner of a room in the rear of the house. Gorgeous with a perfect body, slicked black hair, sad hazel eyes filled with tears and submission rolling off him like water over a boulder.

She just barely resisted putting hands on him when she walked over and her dominance immediately latched on to his submission as if he had just been waiting for someone to catch him. "Are you alright?" she asked tenderly, drawing nearer. "You're too beautiful to be sad." He let a watery chuckle escape and he wiped his eyes with his hand. His right sleeve slipped and his white cuff peaked out from underneath it. He could hear her small inhale of breath as she immediately figured out who he was. "You're Santana's sub aren't you?"

He nodded, his eyes dipping involuntarily to the floor. "Yes," he said, then looked back up at her. "Blaine Anderson. And you're Rachel Berry. Kurt's roommate. I've seen pictures."

"Oh Kurt was right," she muttered under her breath, her words slurring just a bit on her alcohol slowed tongue. "You are very cute. I see his problem now."

Blaine didn't want to think about Kurt so instead he laughed awkwardly. "Well you're not so bad yourself," he said, and his cheeks flushed with embarrassment, not at all meaning to have flirted with her. But he was just a little bit drunk, more than a little bit broken, much too high on the fury of her dominance surrounding him and very much in need of some attention.

She put a hand on his arm, trailing it down until she reached the cuff on his wrist. She slipped a finger underneath, rubbing the leather between her fingertips. He was reminded of Elliot and submission rolled off of him, his pulse quickening with nerves. He was sure she felt it and she flashed him a coy glance. "So…white?" she said with a question in her eye.

"Yes," he admitted, then really took a moment to take all of her in. "You know what that means. You told Kurt."

"Of course," she said, biting her lip seductively. Her eyes flashed over his shoulder and back so quickly he thought he might have imagined it. "So are you even allowed to date?" she asked. "Or have you been pursuing Kurt in disobedience?"

Blaine lowered his eyes, rolling his lips between his teeth to hide the complexity of the question and the answer. "No," he told her firmly. "I mean, yes I am. Allowed to date."

Rachel took one step closer, keeping her hand firmly on his cuff. "Are you allowed to kiss?" she asked, her eyes gazing up at him like she could devour him.

His eyes widened and he nodded, his words not keeping up with his body or the warning in his head that he was going to be in tremendous trouble if he kissed this girl. "Yes?"

She grabbed his wrists and raised them high above his head, turning him and pushing him back against the wall. Blaine let out a mewl so pretty that her heart skipped a beat. She had been right. There was no way Kurt could satisfy Blaine's submission. It was strong but willful, needing taming and containment. He needed a powerful Dom like herself. No matter how much she loved Kurt, she knew without a doubt that if Kurt and Blaine were together, this boy would surely destroy them both.

"You ever been kissed by a woman?" she asked breathlessly.

Blaine nodded, his eyes growing glassier the harder he fell and when he spoke his voice was wrecked. "Yes ma'am, I've kissed Santana."

Rachel rolled her eyes. "Santana only likes girls, she can't give you what you need. Ever kiss a woman who likes men?"

Blaine knew that hadn't been why it hadn't worked between him and Santana. He knew because just the other day he'd kissed other girls though he had been terribly drunk that time, much more drunk than now. He knew it hadn't worked because he wanted men, only men. Somewhere in his fuzzy subspace addled mind he knew that there was one man and only one man that he wanted, and somewhere he knew that what he was doing was very wrong, but he couldn't remember now, his mind clouded with her scent and the feel of her soft hands gripped tight around his wrist, the sensation of her squeezing and crowding his body, surrounding him with her dominance and not letting anything else in.

"I like men Blaine," Rachel was telling him, a whisper in his ear. "I like you. Would you like me to kiss you?"

If he lied to himself enough, if he pretended enough, if he let the power of her dominance and desire latch on just a little bit tighter and convince him that the issue had always been Santana and not him, and that with this woman he might find out that he had been wrong all this time, he could almost believe it when he answered, "Yes."

Suddenly she pulled back and he found himself chasing her, feeling empty without her. "I need to know you really want it," Rachel said sternly. "Want me. Ask me Blaine."

Blaine flexed his hands still in her grip and he closed his eyes against his surge of submission. What Santana didn't know wouldn't hurt anyone and if he could be who his father wanted him to be... "Please Rachel," he asked. "Kiss me."

Rachel surged forward and her lips met his. Her tongue was demanding entrance and he opened and it felt…nice. Nice enough for him to lean into it, to try and make it feel like fireworks. He told himself that it was good enough and he opened himself to whatever she wanted. He forgot everyone else in the room and let his submission just cling to whatever she was offering him. Because he just needed something to finally work, he needed to want and be wanted and if he couldn't even stand to try with a guy who wasn't Kurt maybe he could make it work with a woman who wasn't Santana if he just tried hard enough. And then he wouldn't have to lose everything.

He felt her clasp his wrists together in one hand while she trailed the other down his chest, over his stomach, down to his belt. The lower she went though, the more he panicked because her hand would soon reach his tell-tale sign of the lie and his heart raced as her thumb brushed over his zipper and went to cup him….

Eyes closed he didn't see Kurt, now standing to the side watching them as if he was watching his whole world fall apart. He didn't see Santana step through the front door and scan the room for her subs. Lost in the desperation of trying to make this kiss work he didn't see Santana find Brittany lying on a table covered in salt surrounded by men doing shots, and he didn't see her search the house to find Kurt staring devastated across the room and he didn't see her follow Kurt's heartbroken stare to her sub allowing himself to be kissed and fondled by Rachel Berry without an ounce of respect for Rachel, himself, his Dom or anyone else in the room.

With his eyes closed Blaine didn't see anything but he felt another hand in his – stronger and more familiar and then he heard the booming voice of his Dom reverberating in his head as she yelled, "We're going home. Now." Her voice was dark and dangerous.

She pulled him away and the cloud in his mind began to fade and shift to an acute alertness to his Dom and his surroundings and she pulled him without further comment to the front room where she'd left Brittany facing the corner. She gripped Brittany's wrist in her other hand and pulled her as well.

Blaine and Brittany both knew better than to say anything, even if it was to apologize. They simply let her lead them out the door and back onto the street.

She made them walk home in silence; forcing their sobriety with a bottle of water in one hand, warm roasted chestnuts in the other and the cold night air in their lungs. Together with Santana's fury, any buzz they might have felt at the party was long gone by the time they arrived home. The climb up the stairs to their apartment felt to Blaine as though he was walking to his execution. He had never been in this much trouble before.

But he knew better than to try to speak when Santana was in a mood like this and apparently so did Brittany. She was the perfect picture of a perfect sub, her hands clasped in front of her in contrition, her head bowed in shame and guilt. But Blaine was fidgety. He couldn't even stand still as Santana unlocked the door, and when she held it open for them he nervously walked past her wondering if he was expected to hit his knees the moment he was inside. Instead he did as Brittany did and slipped off his shoes and his coat and stood silent awaiting further instruction.

"In the corner Britt," Santana said, her voice far softer than it had been the last time she'd spoken but still firm and unforgiving. "Kneel facing out, toes to the wall."

Blaine watched her cross the apartment to do as she was told in silence, falling gracefully in one fluid motion. She clasped her hands behind her back and lowered her head in perfect submission. Once she was sure Brittany was in place, Santana turned back to him. He quickly ducked his head, his heart skipping a terrified beat as he awaited his own fate.


His eyes snapped up to his Dom's. His breath was knocked out of him and his legs began to tremble. He wondered for a minute if he could have possibly heard her right. What she was asking was a hard limit, a breach of the very contract that she'd refused to alter when he'd begged and pleaded with her. He knew that he had every right to safeword and refuse this punishment. Hell, he had every right to walk away with no repercussions. But that wasn't really what he wanted. He just wanted to understand. "Santana?"

But Santana was in no mood for explanations. "I do not want to hear another word out of either of you unless it is a safeword, is that understood?" Brittany nodded in the corner but Blaine just stared at her in wide-eyed shock. Santana met his gaze but it wasn't to answer his unasked questions. "I told you to strip Blaine, don't make me tell you again," she commanded, her voice like ice.

Blaine reached trembling fingers up to the buttons on his shirt, his breath coming in short spurts while he little by little exposed his chest to her. When it was completely undone he slowly let the shirt slip from his shoulders, folding it and laying it neatly on the nearby chair. Then he looked to her, embarrassed and scared but also curious and ever so obedient, as his fingers lowered down to his pants.

He let out a tiny sigh of relief when instead of watching him, Santana turned and disappeared into her bedroom, allowing Blaine a modicum of privacy to finish his task. He slipped off his pants and laid them neatly folded over the shirt, then not so gracefully removed his socks and underwear, which he stashed discretely between his other clothes.

He clasped his hands low in front of him, not really hiding anything and feeling only slightly less exposed for the illusion of cover. He lowered his gaze to the floor, no longer able to look Santana in the eye without his already blushing face blossoming to a bright red. He stood naked for his Dom, for the first time ever, and did not know at all what to do.

"Stand in the corner Blaine," he heard Santana order as she stepped outside of her bedroom. His eyes darted around the room and he headed to the empty corner opposite Brittany but Santana stopped him. "The same corner as Britt. In front of her, hands braced against the wall."

He dared not look at Santana but his gaze flashed to Brittany just a second before her surprised eyes dipped away from him and back to the floor. His stomach clenched. His heart was racing in his chest. His mouth went dry. But he followed Santana's orders and arranged himself facing her other submissive. Brittany thankfully kept her eyes on the floor.

Blaine could see nothing but the white wall in front of him and the glow of Brittany's blonde hair below him but he heard Santana's voice boom from behind. "Both of your behavior at the party tonight was completely unacceptable. I told you to look out for one another and instead I walk in to find Brittany being sucked on and licked by men she doesn't know and Blaine sucking face with Rachel Berry. I trusted both of you and you broke every rule I gave you. Clearly I allowed you too much freedom. Well, I am nothing if not accommodating to my subs. Brittany your contract clearly states that any man you play with would be only with my approval. And if you want a girls' lips on you so badly Blaine, then you won't mind if they belong to Brittany." Blaine looked down at the girl kneeling before him and his chest clenched, realizing now exactly what Santana intended. He hoped he was wrong, but he wasn't. "Brittany, you will take him in your mouth and you will not stop until his punishment has ended," Santana ordered. "Blaine, you will receive the strap. There's no need to count. Your punishment ends when you've come."

Blaine's head spun. He knew he'd asked for this once, had begged for it, but now that it was seconds away he was terrified. "Santana please-" The lash came down across his backside hard and fast and he muffled his shout in the crook of his arm, letting out a painful groan instead as fire immediately spread over his skin.

"That is not a safeword and this is not a negotiation," Santana barked. "Be careful what you wish for Blaine. Safeword if you have to but otherwise nod if you understand and accept your punishment."

Tears burned in his eyes and he hid his head in his arm in shame. He did understand and he would accept it. He'd done this to himself, not just tonight but in every move he'd made since coming back from Ohio. Every warning she'd given him he'd ignored and upped the ante. He'd deliberately disobeyed her tonight with Rachel and if Santana hadn't found them he could have very well found himself in the same position with her instead of Brittany. He'd torn away at Santana's patience and he deserved this. If he were honest with himself, he had asked for it in more ways than one. He lifted his head and nodded.

"Good," she said softly, offering just a tiny bit of praise to soothe him. "Blaine you are to look at Brittany the entire time. Your eyes are not to close and are not to stray. If they do Britt, let me know and I will offer Blaine a reminder, is that understood?" Brittany's gaze turned up and met his for the first time. Her bright blue eyes looked sad, but he didn't know if it was for his fate or her own. They both nodded. "Good. You may begin."

He swallowed hard as he felt her tongue on him, rolling beneath his soft cock, lifting him into her mouth. The sensations overwhelmed him immediately and every muscle in his body tensed as he forced himself to be still and not try to escape the punishment. Santana must have sensed his desire to pull away though because as soon as he could take no more of it the strap rained down on him to force him back. He gasped. Santana was not holding back at all and the sting of the strap burned immediately. She offered little time for recovery, bringing the leather down across his ass over and over, never the same place twice in a row. In no time the burn that felt like a hundred stinging bees was too much and he made himself concentrate instead on trying to make it stop. But staring as he was ordered into Brittany's eyes he couldn't achieve even an ounce of arousal. Each and every time the twirl of her tongue made the blood surge in his groin, one look at Brittany softened it again. No matter what he tried he could not come even close to ending his punishment. He closed his eyes, hoping that with nothing but the feel of it things would work but suddenly the strap flew through the air with such speed and strength that he couldn't help but cry out in pain.

"Santana please-"

"Look at her Blaine," Santana urged gently. "Look how beautiful she is. This is what you've been wanting, right? What your parents would want? Just come and it's all over."

"I can't. Please." He could feel Brittany trying hard, urging him along doing everything she possibly could but it was no use. He was breathless, tears streaming down his face, frustration and pain ripping through him. "Santana, I can't do this." He cried and he could feel Brittany's tears on him as well as she cried below him and he knew that this was too much for both of them. Brittany's hands though were suddenly on his calves, caressing them softly, giving them both strength to get through this. "Ma'am…please," he stammered before another blow. "I'm sorry…I don't want to safeword…trust you…but I can't…" His voice broke.

"I told you Blaine that I would not support you lying to yourself anymore. I warned you I would punish you if this happened again. I trusted you both. The last thing I said to you was respect yourself and everyone else. Do either of you really think you were doing that? Was being the center of attention really that important Brittany? Did you really want Rachel that badly Blaine?" Santana asked with a harsh punctuation of another strike.

"No, please…" Blaine babbled. "I don't want Rachel, I don't want any girls, please…" he sobbed.

He didn't even register that the strap had stopped or the hand on his hair, caressing him slowly. His neck ached as she lifted his head gently from the bow he'd been ordered to maintain. He had no idea Santana's other hand caressed Brittany the same. But he did feel her by his side and he heard her voice whisper in his ear. "Close your eyes Blaine."

He followed that command like it was an order to eat after days of starvation and he breathed in with a sigh of relief. Brittany's mouth continued to work him as Santana's voice continued. "Keep them closed. Feel the lips around you, feel the tongue stroking you. Let the heat of the mouth that surrounds you fill your whole body with the same heat. Just let go, and with your eyes closed look down and see the face of the person you truly want beneath you. Don't think about it, don't be afraid, just feel."

Blaine did as he was told and any thought of Brittany faded away because as he fell deeper and deeper there was only one person. There had only ever been one person since the moment Blaine had laid eyes on him on the NYADA stage. Kurt's lips surrounded him, Kurt's tongue pressed heavily against the vein of his cock and he hardened desperately inside the heat of his mouth. Kurt's tongue circled the head and dipped in to taste him and Kurt's crystal blue eyes stared up at him with passion and desire that Blaine was determined to satiate. In the corner of his mind he felt the strap falling down on him again but it felt like a kiss compared to the ache of his imminent release. The heat on his skin was only a fraction of the sparks that were shooting through his body. So lost in his imagination he had no idea how much time had passed before his muscles twitched and his stomach clenched and waves of pleasure crashed through him, his body shuddering and convulsing. His pulse pounded in his ears, only one sound echoing in his head as he screamed Kurt's name.

He was barely conscious he was so deeply in subspace when Santana dropped the strap and picked up their softest blanket from the floor where she had left it, wrapping it around Blaine. Brittany rose to her feet and helped Santana walk him carefully to the couch guiding him to lie down on his side with his head on her lap. "Can you go get the ice packs please love, and some water," Santana asked Brittany softly and she nearly ran to the kitchen and back to comply. Santana took the packs and the glass from her, placing them aside until Blaine slipped out of subspace. Brittany knelt before her and Santana's fingers combed through the hair on both of their heads. "Are you alright my love?" Santana whispered, brushing a tear from Brittany's eye, and she nodded. "You and I aren't done, but do you think you could wait for me in the bedroom while I take care of Blaine?"

"Yes of course," Brittany assured her.

"You were a good girl, Britt," Santana said and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead that soothed her aching heart, before Brittany got up and retired to their bedroom.

Blaine stirred and whimpers of pain grew quickly to sobs of apologies. "I'm sorry, Santana. I'm so sorry," he cried, but she rubbed his back and hushed him gently.

"Shhh, shhhh," she soothed, "You're okay sweetheart. You did so good. Here I have some ice for you." He slipped his hand through the blanket and took first one pack then the other from her hand and she waited while he arranged them. He'd been through enough pain in the last half hour, he deserved no more and he sighed with relief. "That's right, sweetheart, just take your time, I'm here. Do you want some water?"

"I'm sorry," he started again and though she could not see his eyes she was certain they were wet with regret.

"You're okay," she repeated tenderly. "Tell me what you're sorry for."

He couldn't say when he'd realized all of what he'd done wrong, what this punishment had really been about, but somewhere between his eyes closing and opening he thought it had all become clear. "I've been hiding. Lying. To myself. To you," he choked out as best he could.

"That's right sweetheart. To who else?" she asked.

Blaine thought about it. "To Rachel," he said with regret.

Santana sighed. "You lied to her that it was okay for you to submit. You lied to yourself that you wanted to submit to her. But what really disappoints me Blaine is that you did it all to hide how you truly feel about Kurt. And you didn't care how much you were hurting him, kissing her like that in front of him."

The recognition hit him like a ton of bricks. "Oh god, Kurt," he cried, the tears starting anew. Somehow he had refused to see Kurt staring from across the room, but he'd known even then that he was there. "He was watching. He saw me kissing his best friend. I need to see him," Blaine said quickly and he tried to get up desperately. "I need to tell him I'm sorry, that it didn't mean anything!" But he sucked in a breath and winced as soon as he put any pressure on his bruised skin and she hugged him close, pulling him back down again.

"Not tonight, sweetheart. This was the harshest I've ever been with you, it's going to take a little more recovery time than usual," Santana told him.

His heart clenched but he let her guide him back down. Images of Kurt seeing him with Rachel began to haunt him as the haze of subspace slowly lifted. "Do you think he'll ever forgive me?"

"I think his heart probably hurts now as much as your body does," she said with a small frown. "But you both will heal in time. And I hope you can forgive me in time too."

This time Blaine sat up, not caring how much pain it caused him because he needed to look her in the eye. And for the first time he noticed the tears shining in them. It broke his heart. "I have nothing to forgive you for, Santana," he assured her.

"But you do Blaine," Santana corrected him with rare vulnerability, her head falling along with the tears in her eyes. "What I did, what I made you do, I violated our contract. I've been so lost. I didn't know how else to get through to you." She looked up at him, a brave smile on her face that hid the tremendous pain of having done what she did. "But now you have an out. You can walk away from me, from us, no consequences. If I was the one that was holding you back from him."

Blaine's breath hitched as he realized what she was saying and he shook his head emphatically though. "No Santana, I would never," he promised her. The very idea hurt his soul. "It was never you, it was always me. I asked for this Santana, months ago. Maybe this wasn't what I had in mind when I asked but it was exactly what I needed and you knew that." He looked at her, his eyes filling with love. "You always know exactly what I need," he whispered.

"You need Kurt," she said firmly. "I will always be here for you Blaine, as long as you need me. But you can't deny it anymore. You need him too."

Blaine nodded, swallowing against his fear and he stared out into the distance. "I just hope it's not too late."


When the darkness fades away
The dawn will break the silence
Screaming in our hearts
My love for you still grows
This I do for you
Before I try to fight the truth my final time

Chapter Text

All I've ever known is how to hide a secret
But I'm tired of going on without believing
And love is not illusion, love illuminates the blind.

~ Lea Michele

Blaine cursed the pride that had him wearing his tight red jeans instead of comfortable sweats the following morning to the coffee shop. But his pants grew even tighter once the feel of the burn when he sat down mixed with the glow of Kurt's wary eyes staring back at him from across the table. It was like at the claiming only a hundred times more intense. The blood rushed straight to his groin, which only increased his embarrassment, which sent another jolt of electricity, which set up a vicious cycle from which he never wanted to escape.

He thought growing up that he'd understood the allure of a golden contract but now he realized he'd had no clue until that very moment. Because the only thing that would have made him feel better in that moment was knowing that it was Kurt that had put that burn there and was now making him sit with it.

"You okay?" Kurt broke him out of his spell, tilting his head suspiciously. "You're all flush. I know hangovers can be tough so if you're gonna be sick-"

Blaine shifted in his seat, which sent a new throb of pain through him and god he needed to get himself under control. "I'm fine," he said a bit more breathless than he would have liked and he took in a centering breath of air and let it go. He took a sip of his coffee and tried to offer Kurt a small smile. "Promise."

"Good," Kurt said. He picked up his own cup of coffee and looked out the window onto the streets of Manhattan as he had a drink. Hundreds of people rushed by in a
matter of seconds. Blaine could tell that even though he'd agreed to meet he was still upset. "I have to admit I'm more than a bit surprised you asked me here at all. We've barely talked in weeks and after last night with Rachel I just figured-"

"I'm not interested in Rachel," Blaine blurted out. Kurt turned quickly back to him, blinking his surprise. "I mean, I know it must have seemed like I was, but I'm not. And I…" Blaine ducked his head slightly in shame. "I owe you an apology. God I owe you a million apologies."

Kurt's silence was uncomfortably long as he seemed to try to decide whether to stay or to go. But he finally said, "I'm listening."

Blaine looked down, his fingers tracing over the studs of his cuff. "Our safeword is New York for a reason. Santana and I made a promise to each other in Ohio: Love. Trust. Respect. Truth. But they were all so difficult to uphold in a world where our secrets and lies were bigger than our truth. We thought in New York it would be different, and it was Kurt, for both of us. Santana claimed Brittany and I…" His eyes flicked up. Kurt was watching him closely, quietly. It was hard to look him in the eye and he let his own drop again. "Going back home was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Sometimes when you're drowning in lies and fighting to stay afloat you forget what matters. And I'd forgotten that the tenants of our contract weren't just vows we made to each other, but also to ourselves. Love ourselves. Trust ourselves. Respect ourselves. And live our own truths."


"I've been so messed up since being home, I've been running and hiding and last night…the things I did with her," Blaine said, cheeks red with embarrassment. "In front of you."

"It's okay," Kurt clipped though his voice said it was anything but.

"No, Kurt, please don't say that. It's not. It's not at all." Blaine shifted in his seat, the rekindling of the burn actually compelling him to give Kurt the respect he deserved to be looked in the eye. "I should have thought about how you would feel about it and I'm so sorry that I didn't. But even more I should have thought about how I would feel about it."

"What do you mean?"

Blaine swallowed hard. There were some things he'd never truly talked about, not even with Kurt. But he didn't want to hide anymore. "My claim with Santana was arranged because one day I asked my father if men could claim other men. It wasn't my choice. I didn't even have a say. 15 years old, promised to my best friend and too afraid to object because I knew that any other alternative would have been far worse. Santana knew me. She understood me, we understood each other. And in secret we wrote a white contract and she agreed to be mine until I found someone else. And then I met you and god Kurt, I thought you were it, and that maybe with you by my side I'd be strong enough to stand up to them. But then you told me you were Gray." Blaine winced at his own words, knowing how they must sound and his nerves were jumping, but he had to do this. It wasn't fair for either of them to keep it hidden deep inside anymore. The truth was all that mattered now. "I like you Kurt. I mean I really like you. And it scares the hell out of me to tell you that because of everything it means. It's been easier to just accept that my life is what it is and though there are things that are missing, I could go without them because of everything I already had." He took a breath while he gathered his courage. "But then I met you and it awoke things inside of me. And I'm beginning to understand that I was very very wrong. I don't want to go without them anymore. Without you. I can't." Blaine held his breath and rubbed his neck self-consciously waiting for some sort of response whether it was rejection or not, but Kurt was just staring at him, eyebrows drawn, lips pursed in silence. He couldn't take it anymore. "Kurt, can you say something please because I'm kind of baring my soul here."

Kurt let out the breath he had been holding and looked to his hands. "I like you too Blaine," Kurt finally admitted, but when he looked up his eyes were filled with tears. "Much more than I should."

Blaine's heart skipped a beat then fluttered nervously. "What do you mean?" He didn't understand if what Kurt said was good or bad.

Kurt sighed and sat back in his seat. "For starters, Blaine, you're a sub in a claim," he said. "Just because it's platonic doesn't mean it doesn't matter."

"I never said it doesn't matter," Blaine protested, his stomach lurching at even the suggestion. "Santana's been my whole world."

"And that's exactly my point Blaine," Kurt said.

"But she isn't enough," Blaine said firmly. "I didn't know that before I met you, not really, but I do now. That night on the phone? There are things I need that she can't give me."

"And there are things you need that I can't give you," Kurt argued. "I'm not a Dom Blaine, and I can't be one."

"But you don't have to be," he insisted. Blaine was not going to let Kurt get off that easy, not after everything he'd gone through just to get this far. He needed Kurt to understand now that he had finally figured it out. "I have a Dom, I'm not asking you for that."

Kurt leaned forward and shook his head in confusion. "Then what are you asking for?"

Blaine reached across the table and took hold of Kurt's hand. Kurt closed his eyes at the touch and Blaine knew without a doubt that Kurt wanted this just as much as he did. Brittany's words rang in his head, but he wasn't scared at all. He trusted that he wouldn't fall. "Just one kiss," he whispered.

Kurt let a bitter laugh escape and shook his head once more. "Blaine, this is too complicated."

"But it doesn't have to be," Blaine promised and if he was being naïve he didn't care. "Just one kiss. Please," he begged. "To decide if it would be worth all the complications."

Kurt didn't say a word. He sat for a minute looking at Blaine, searching for something deep within him but Blaine had much practice standing exposed to such scrutiny. He let his eyes open like windows to his soul. He left his heart unprotected and honest. And then he saw a decision in Kurt's eyes and he felt Kurt's hand clasp around his, pulling him up.

Blaine made no move on his own other than to toss his coffee cup in the trash, he just let himself be led out onto the street and toward the NYADA campus. At the strength of Kurt's grip and the determination in his walk, Blaine's submission surged through him like a phoenix rising out of the burning embers of the previous night. When they reached the secluded courtyard behind one of the smaller theaters, Kurt let go of his hand beneath a leafless oak and Blaine had to fight the urge to collapse to his knees. Instead he leaned himself against the bark of the tree to hold himself up.

Kurt smiled, irresistibly, and drew near. "One kiss," he whispered.

Kurt slotted his leg between Blaine's and pushed him firmly against the tree. Blaine sucked in a breath as his ass hit the bark hard and for a moment he wondered if Kurt knew exactly what he was doing. He didn't have time to decide though because suddenly Kurt's lips were on his, hard and passionate, and he gasped, offering Kurt just the opportunity he needed to slip his tongue inside. The kiss was everything the others were not. Electricity skittered along Blaine's skin and he closed his eyes. Any pain he may have felt before dulled to nothing under Kurt's fierce touch. He could feel himself grow hard against Kurt's leg and he would have blushed with embarrassment had he not felt Kurt pressed into him, responding in kind. His submission hummed but did not swirl and he did not fall. Instead he surged forward, chasing disappearing lips as Kurt backed away.

"Don't go," Blaine whispered breathlessly.


"I want more," Blaine begged, his eyes closed, unwilling to see Kurt's rejection of him yet. "I want to kiss you and never stop."

He waited, the only sound in his ears the racing of his heart as Kurt's silence overwhelmed him. Finally he gave in to temptation, his lids fluttering open to see Kurt staring back at him. Fear swam behind Kurt's beautiful eyes, fear but also wonder. Maybe even hope. His pale lids grew heavy and Kurt pressed back in as if he could not stay away even if he tried. "I want that too," he whispered, before resting his forehead on Blaine's, his whisper tickling at Blaine's lips. "God help me I want that too."

The theater was silent around them. They knew that in only a few hours it would be filled with actors and crew rehearsing for the winter production, but for now it was dark, quiet, and perfect. Energy flittered in the air as it did in every theater that Kurt and Blaine had ever been in. Even sitting against the wall of the proscenium, 400 seats in front of them, it felt intimate. Safe.

"I hated her, when I was little," Blaine was telling Kurt. "And I'm sure she hated me. Santana was bossy and mean and did everything she could to get me in trouble in school while she got all the rewards." Blaine leaned his head back, smiling at the memories he had cried about so often when he was young. He was glad he could laugh at them now. Kurt watched him, enthralled. "I was never afraid of her. Maybe I should have been but even though Santana Lopez was the toughest girl in our school she never scared me. Everyone looked up to me for that."

"Even her?" Kurt asked.

Blaine nodded with a smirk. "Especially her. I was ten when everything changed. She dared to tell me that Hanson wasn't real music and I went after her. Full throttle, I jumped on top of her and started punching her until a teacher pulled me off." He laughed shaking his head while Kurt gaped at him in complete shock. "We were both sent home. I was suspended and I felt so guilty that I asked my dad to punish me before he could even say a word. As soon as I could I went over to Santana's house to apologize and when she opened the door, her eye a little red where I had punched her, her lip a little swollen, I fell to my knees and begged her forgiveness. And that was when I knew that hate was never what I had felt for her at all."

"You loved her," Kurt said softly.

"Yes," Blaine admitted. "I did. But I was also only ten and all I knew about love was that I wanted to be with her all the time and I wanted to care for her and for her to care for me. I knew I would never let anyone treat her the way I had treated her and I knew that I would protect her. Always."

"Protect her from what?" Kurt asked.

Blaine's eyes crinkled as he smiled. "Herself, mostly," he answered. "As we got older we started to understand what was happening. That the energy of her dominance mixed with my submission in perfect complement of one another, just like it says in all the storybooks. And we thought how lucky we were to have found our fairy tale ending so young."

Kurt watched as Blaine's smile turned to sadness and he had a strong urge to gather the man in his arms. But he didn't.

"Everyone started hooking up the summer before we went to high school. We used to giggle about it because everyone else had to search so hard but we had it so easy, we already had each other. It was about a week before school when we decided we should at least get the first kiss over with so we could be the power couple at Dalton and Crawford. So 14 years old, alone in her room, we curled up together on the bed. I remember threading my fingers through her hair and she wrapped my curls around hers, something she has always loved to do. We brought our lips together and we kissed. We knew what it was supposed to be like; tendrils of energy wrapping around us, dominance and submission crashing into fireworks that would make our bodies stir in ways we really weren't ready to even think about. That's how it always happened in the movies. But nothing happened for us." Blaine wrinkled his nose, still shuddering at the memory. "We just both thought it was kind of gross."

Kurt chuckled, understanding that feeling all too well. It had been the same for him the time he and Brittany had kissed.

"After that though the dreams started and it became clear to both of us what had been wrong. She liked girls and I liked boys and though we both knew we couldn't tell anyone about it we somehow knew that we could tell each other and our secrets would be safe. And they were. They still are," Blaine said, looking up with a guilty glance.

"But you're out here," Kurt pointed out. "So why kiss Rachel?"

Blaine bowed his head. He had been up half the night trying to answer that very question. "I don't know. I was angry. At you, at Brittany, at the world that was keeping us apart and the unfairness of it all. I wasn't thinking, because if I had been I wouldn't have done that in front of you. I wouldn't have done that at all."

"They why did you?" Kurt pressed. He wasn't going to let Blaine off that easy.

Blaine bit his lip. "Rachel said that Santana and I didn't click because she didn't like men and I guess a part of me wanted to believe she was right. That maybe if I tried hard enough, I could be the person that my parents want me to be." He stopped and looked at Kurt. It was the truth, but not the whole truth and Kurt deserved it all. "I was scared. Kurt, I've loved you from the moment I met you. I thought you were it, that I had found the man in my dreams. But, when I found out you weren't a Dom, it broke my heart. I tried, to be with another guy, a Dom who in every way should have been perfect. But I saw your face and I couldn't go through with it because the only perfect was you. And I knew you and I couldn't be together so I tried so hard to deny you. But I couldn't. How I felt about you never really changed. I had just tucked it away, like I tucked it away my whole life."

"A sub can't live without a Dom," Kurt muttered. He'd been taught that lesson his whole life. And he had learned it all too well.

Blaine sighed, looking up to the ceiling. "That's what they tell us."

Kurt linked his hands together between his knees. He had his own secrets, his own demons. Things that Blaine needed to understand before he was hurt any more. The reasons why Brittany was so afraid. "You know my stepmother Carole is a Gray. Finn's father was a sub. He went to war and when he came back he had so much guilt, he hurt so much. But she couldn't give him what he needed. He started taking pills to deal with the pain and he ended up overdosing."

"Oh Kurt-"

"My father and Rachel have never wanted me to make the same mistake. Carole had blamed herself for years, still does really. It nearly killed her too. If it wasn't for Finn, I'm sure…" He took a breath before continuing. "She refused to get involved with anyone until my Dad. But for some reason I thought that maybe it was just her, or maybe it was just him and maybe I could be different."

Kurt took a breath and Blaine watched him, unable to look away. "As much as I try to deny it I guess I've always been drawn to subs. First Finn and then Brittany. Neither of them worked out for obvious reasons. But then there was this boy," Kurt continued, his eyes growing distant in the painful memory. "Dave was the only other out kid, though it took him a while. He was a sub and I have no idea why, maybe because I'd come out so much earlier, but he just clung to me and…everyone else hated me, but he treated me different. Like I was special." Blaine saw a sadness that he never wanted to see in Kurt's eyes building like storm clouds in the sky. "We tried…but I didn't understand him at all and he just wanted so much more from me than I could have ever given him." Kurt paused. Dating Adam he'd been able to forget all that, but since Blaine he'd even started having his old nightmares again. "He tried to kill himself. He was lucky that his father found him." Kurt looked at Blaine and he could see that all the sub wanted to do was kiss him and care for him and make everything alright because that was what every primal instinct told him to do. "I'm scared too Blaine. I'm not a Dom and I don't want to be one and I'm scared that I have nothing to give you and the same thing will happen all over again and that would break my heart Blaine."

Blaine swung around to face him, crossing his legs in front of him and grasping Kurt's hands in his own. "Kurt," he said firmly, his amber eyes glowing bright like the sun. "You have so much to give me. You are smart, and you are beautiful and you sing like an angel. You are honest. You are patient and kind, except when you're not," Blaine smirked, "and I love that you're not perfect because I'm not perfect either." Kurt smiled, his eyes dipping as his cheeks flushed. "I'm not just a sub. I'm a man too. And I'm not weak Kurt. I have the strength to say yes and the strength to say no and the strength to tell you what I need." He squeezed Kurt's hand and their eyes locked, so much hope and fear swimming between them. Blaine felt his heart grow heavy because he knew what he was asking. Knew how difficult it would be. And yet he had to try. "I have a Dom, Kurt. And I will need her. But I want a boyfriend, and I want that boyfriend to be you. There is so much missing in my life, so much I don't know and I don't have and I want to give you my love and respect and truth and most especially my trust to be that person for me. The question is can you trust me to be that person for you?"

His father's words and Rachel's words played in Kurt's mind telling him to listen to his head, but one person would have told him to listen to his heart. "Finn once told Rachel to surrender. To sit and let go and let the universe do its thing because if they were meant to be together, then they would be together." Tears came to his eyes at the memory and he wiped them with his shoulder but he didn't let go of Blaine's hands. "I know it seems strange to follow that advice now but…the universe brought me you. And I need to let go of the fears I have about that. I don't know if we can make this work or how long we can last, but life is short and I don't want to regret not trying with you. I surrender Blaine."

Blaine quickly rose to his knees, unable to sit still another moment. "Kurt, I-"

"We take it slow," Kurt insisted. "We have to be careful."

Though he wanted anything but to take it slow, if there was one thing Blaine could do it was follow orders. He sat back on his heels, lowering his eyes automatically. He bit back the words trying to escape his lips and simply whispered, "Okay."

Kurt reached a hand out and lifted Blaine's chin so their eyes met. Blaine blinked back what he knew Kurt did not want to see. "None of that," Kurt said gently. "We do this as equals Blaine."

Blaine let his submission subside and he bit back a sly smile. "Well then, as an equal, I'm going to kiss you now."

Every muscle in Kurt's body relaxed and a silly grin replaced the lines of worry. "Are you now?" he asked with a raised brow.

Blaine nodded resolutely. "Yes. I am." He leaned in, hesitant at first but gaining confidence with the closing of Kurt's eyes. Brushing a hand on Kurt's cheek, he surged forward, capturing Kurt's lips with his own, quickly deepening and taking complete control. He reached out to taste Kurt, to feel his tongue against his own. Kurt answered willingly, draping his arms over Blaine's shoulder and softly brushed the dark curls at the nape of his neck.

Blaine could feel his submission reaching out, searching for dominance it could not find. But even without it, the fireworks he'd always heard about sparked in his heart. Their bodies stirred with an unbelievable want that Blaine had given up hope of ever feeling and he had to pull himself back protectively from falling too far, too soon. Slow and careful, that's what Kurt had asked and he would obey. Blaine gently ended the kiss and sat back on his heels. In the back of his mind his father's voice was a faint echo but he pushed it aside. He wouldn't worry about that now. Being without Kurt had hurt so much more than being with him ever could. He looked up, Kurt's beauty taking his breath away, and his heart was full of love. "I surrender Kurt."

"Are you out of your ever loving mind?"

Maybe it would have been better for Kurt to just go on ignoring her instead of coming home and declaring that she had better keep her hands off his boyfriend, but sometimes Kurt spoke first and thought later. "Oh for god's sake Rachel, shut up!" he shouted. "You have no say in this. After what you did you're lucky I'm even talking to you at all."

Rachel suddenly deflated, a pout on her lips that Kurt was finding anything but sympathetic at the moment. "Kurt, I said I was sorry a hundred times last night. I have no idea what came over me."

"Alcohol and dominance and the chance to take advantage of a vulnerable sub," Kurt spat. He grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and had to hold himself back from throwing it at her. "I was wrong. You and Jesse deserve each other."


"Blaine and I think that we can make this work and I know you don't agree but after last night I think that you at least owe us your support," he snapped. "And if you don't support us then do us the favor of just keeping your mouth shut and away from him."

"And what about Santana?" Rachel pressed. "What does she think of you taking her sub? And even more, what will you think when he's at his most vulnerable and he needs her instead of you. When you're intimate-"

"It won't be like that Rachel, he and Santana are strictly platonic," he insisted.

"Platonic doesn't mean it's not intimate Kurt," Rachel tried desperately to get him to understand. "Punishment can be as intimate as sex and sex will trigger every ounce of submission in him, a submission that you can't satisfy. I want you to be happy Kurt and I want you to find love, but Blaine has real needs and you have no idea what you're doing."

"Oh for Christ's sake Rachel, it's not like I'm a prude," he said, and he would deny until the day he died that his contention came from a place of insecurity. "I've been around you almost 24/7 for far too long now and I dated Adam 6 more months than I probably should have. Hell I lived with my father for 18 years, I'd like to think I've picked up at least a thing or two about dominating." His argument made no impression on his so-called best friend, her face still staring at him as if she'd like nothing better than to be able to put him over her knee. Well, he had the very same desire toward her. "Look Rachel," he tried to placate her so she would leave him alone. "I'm not naïve enough to think that it will be easy. But we're going to try."

His attempts though were met with complete resistance. "Like you tried with David? And Chandler?" Rachel challenged.

"Oh like you were such a great Dom in high school Rachel," Kurt argued back, dripping with sarcasm. "That's why things went so perfectly between you and Jesse and you and Finn! You think Blaine's not safe with me. I think he's safer with me than with any of you who want nothing more than to take advantage of him."

They both knew they were dealing low blows but Rachel needed Kurt to understand. "You think it will just be the sex Kurt, but it won't, it will be all the time!" Rachel stared, her hands on her hips. "The closer you two get the more he is going to start needing you to do things I know you don't want to do."

The last thing Kurt wanted to think about was punishment. "Then he will have his Dom to give him whatever else he needs."

"And if she decides she has no desire to play second fiddle to a Gray?" Rachel snapped.

Kurt flinched as if the word was a smack. "That's your real problem, isn't it?" he accused. "You talk such a good game Rachel Berry, but in the end you believe everything that everyone says about me. And you can't believe that a sub like Blaine would choose a Gray like me over a Dom like you or Santana. Well you know what Rachel? Screw you!" He turned his back on her and stormed into his room.

"You're going to get hurt," Rachel called after him, closing her eyes as he flung the curtain closed. "You're both going to get hurt," she said softly herself.

Santana stared at her sub from the bedroom doorway. Lying naked on the bed, her ass bright red, exhausted and frustrated beyond belief, Brittany was beautiful. Stubborn as hell, but beautiful, and 100% sure she knew who she belonged to.

"Come on. Get dressed," Santana ordered. "Blaine will be home soon and I think you owe him a nice home cooked meal along with your apology." Santana turned to walk to the kitchen, calling with a wicked smile, "I left clothes out for you on the bed."

The wool school girl skirt was short and would scratch against Brittany's skin, reminding her of the reparations she still needed to make to both Blaine and Kurt. Santana went to the front door, opening it to remove the band off the door, then went to the kitchen to start dinner. Brittany joined her shortly, her face tear-streaked and a protest on her lips that Santana kissed away. "You can change after you make your apologies to Blaine."

"Yes Ma'am," Brittany pouted.

It didn't get any better when Santana grabbed her ass through the skirt, pressing the wool against the bare sensitive skin. With one more kiss that left Brittany moaning for more, Santana gave her the smallest of spanks which felt like the strap still reigning down on her. "Now help me with dinner."

Blaine was nervous as he headed home. He was eager to tell Santana that he and Kurt had finally agreed to try but he dreaded Brittany's reaction. He understood a little better, now that he knew what had happened in high school, but he believed with all of his heart that he was safe with Kurt. That no matter what happened, he would never reach a place where he felt that the only way out was to fall and never come back.

The delicious smells from inside the apartment reached him before he even opened the door and when he did his stomach growled hungrily. He hung his coat up and slipped his shoes off and though his heart beat quickly in his chest with the news, the feeling of being someone's boyfriend made him nearly float across the room.

One look at Santana and Brittany and it was obvious how they had spent their day.

It made him realize that he'd forgotten the sting in his skin until just then, and with the reminder it flared as well. It was hard to believe the party had only been yesterday, so much had happened that day.

"Can I help with something?" he asked, reaching a hand over to the sauce on the stove. He managed to get a finger full in his mouth quick enough for Santana's wooden spoon to miss him.

"You can set the table, thief," Santana said with a smile.

Brittany was nervously chatting away with Santana but the eyes above her pink and tear-stained cheeks barely met Blaine's. He didn't know if she was embarrassed about the night before or today, but either way he tried to offer her a small empathetic smile. They hadn't talked since the punishment the night before, and they probably should have. But maybe if she knew he was okay, then she would feel better about everything. And at his smile, her shoulders did seem to relax just slightly.

Feeling light on his feet, Blaine grabbed the plates and the silverware from the cabinets and set them on the kitchen table as usual. The glasses he grabbed and filled with water. He knew very well there would be no wine allowed tonight.

Santana and Brittany brought the food over and they all sat down. Brittany's wince was audible, but Blaine politely ignored it as he filled his plate.

"Did you have a good day Blaine?" Santana asked, a quirk in her brow. He didn't have to tell her that he was going to meet Kurt that morning, she had known that he would try and she had hoped that Kurt would agree.

He'd hoped that he'd have a little time during dinner with casual and pleasant conversation to let his pounding heart settle in his chest before he blurted out the news. But there was no perfect lull to a rousing conversation, Santana's questioning gaze was on him and Brittany's eyes had lifted to hear the answer as well.

"Well, I got an A on that Theater History paper I was so worried about," he said proudly, delaying the inevitable, but he'd learned with his parents that there was an art to delivering life-changing news.

"That's great Blaine," Santana said. "I knew you could do it. I'm glad all that hard work paid off."

"And Madame Pumphrey told me that my relevé is looking remarkably improved," he said with a proud grin. "And I owe that all to you, Brittany," he said with a wink.

"I'm glad I could help," Brittany said with a quiet pride. "Next we should work on your lifts."

"Yeah, definitely." He spread his pasta around with his fork, his hand starting to shake with the effort of holding back his news and the nerves of telling it. "And I met Kurt for coffee this morning," he shared with his fettuccine and anyone else who might have been listening. He chanced a look up to find narrowed suspicious blue eyes and open hopeful brown eyes piercing him. The differences between them were night and day. "We um, we apologized. For how we've been to each other. We talked a lot. And we agreed…" He took a deep breath and smiled. "We agreed to give it a try. So Kurt and I are officially dating."

Santana's delighted smile was quickly wiped from her face when Brittany screamed, "What?" and dropped her silverware with a clatter.

Blaine ducked his head. Santana placed a gentle hand on hers. "Calm down, Britt, and hear him out," she ordered softly.

But Brittany vehemently refused, rising out of her seat. "No!" she yelled. "I am not going to calm down and I'm not going to sit here and be quiet. You wouldn't let me tell him Kurt was Gray and you punished me for telling Kurt to stay away but I am going to speak my mind and I won't let you stop me!"

"Britt," Santana warned but Brittany completely ignored her.

"You can't do this Blaine! Do you know? When you two talked did he tell you that he almost killed a sub because he refused to give him any sort of dominance of any kind? Even shamed him for submitting at all? Is that the kind of relationship you want? You deserve better than what Kurt can give you." Brittany's face was red, her hands were flailing and tears were streaming down her face. Blaine had known that she would be upset but he had never seen her like this before. She was almost hysterical when she grabbed her phone from the counter and furiously started typing at the same time as she yelled. "How could Kurt be so goddamn selfish? First he'll take Blaine from us. Then he'll take Blaine from himself. We'll lose him completely, Santana, he'll kill him!"

Santana gently took the phone from her hand and slipped it into her own pocket. "Corner Brittany. Now." Her voice was calm but hard and she took Brittany's hand, guiding her to the corner behind the kitchen table where she would still be very visible to them both. Santana let her dominance latch onto her sub as she directed her nose to the wall and reached beneath Britt's skirt to press against her already burning cheeks. Though he couldn't see anything, he knew Santana was forcing Brittany's submission deeper and he lowered his eyes respectfully. Santana whispered in Brittany's ear, Brittany nodded and Santana returned to the table.

"Blaine," she said gently reaching her hand out to his. He looked up and took it and despite all that had just happened Santana's eyes glowed at him with nothing but pride. "I'm very proud of you. And I'm very happy for you," she said and Blaine let himself smile. "I'm happy for both of you."

"Thank you, that means a lot that you support us," Blaine said, his eyes flickering angrily up to Brittany.

Santana didn't miss it. "She's scared Blaine. And she has a right to be even if she knew nothing but what she's been taught every day of her life. But she knows Kurt too. Has he told you about his past?" she asked.

Blaine nodded. "He knows mine and I know his. There are no secrets between us anymore."

"I'm glad to hear that," Santana said. "What happened between Kurt and that sub isn't unique. We've been taught all our lives that it's dangerous. Brittany's felt it herself a little and that scared her enough, but she's also seen exactly how dangerous it can be with her own eyes. She'll need time, we all will, to trust it. You and Kurt will too, I hope you understand that."

"Kurt and I agreed to take things slow," Blaine admitted. "We understand the risk, but…" He was caught between happiness and worry and there was really only one thing that would get them through. One thing that he wanted Brittany to understand more than anything. "I love him. And he loves me. Being apart, it just wasn't working. It was hurting both of us, maybe as much as the rest of the world thinks us being together will hurt. So we have to try. And I don't know Santana," he said with a budding grin he couldn't hold back. "I really think we can make this work."

"I think you can too, but slow is going to be more important than you realize Blaine if you and Kurt are going to stay safe," Santana cautioned.

Blaine huffed cheekily. "I know Santana."

"You don't know Blaine, not really. If just listening to Brittany and I being intimate triggered your submission months ago as powerfully as it did, then you could fall far and fast with Kurt if you're not careful. You-"

Blaine couldn't believe what he was hearing. "You were the one who pushed me to do this Santana, why do you sound like you're against it now?"

Santana shook her head. "I'm not against it, not at all, but there are things you need to understand-"

"Cooper gave me the sex talk when I was 12," Blaine said rolling his eyes.

"Do you want to end up in the corner next to Brittany?" Santana asked. Blaine bit his lip and quickly shook his head. "Good, then behave yourself and listen to me. When Quinn and I fooled around together, no matter how submissive she pretended to be, what was just a game for her was very real to me, especially because it was really my first time and I didn't know what I was doing or how to control myself. And the more she would try to submit, and she did try, the more my dominance ached and lashed out because it just wasn't real."

"But you had me," Blaine said.

"I did and that helped as best it could. But it was before we had a contract so I still couldn't do the things my body was telling me I needed. I'm not saying it was bad between me and Quinn, it was actually really, really good, that was the problem. I wanted more and even though I had you, I craved it from her." She took his hand again and squeezed it tight. "When you are with him you will crave his dominance Blaine, but it won't be there. And the stronger your relationship becomes, the more intimate it becomes, the more you will need it from him and him alone."

"I won't," Blaine promised, his eyes stinging with tears though he wasn't sure why. "I'll come to you."

"Sometimes our hearts and our bodies do things our minds tell us not to," Santana said. "I'm glad you two are trying. I would never stop you from finding love and all the things I cannot give you. And I am here for you whenever and however you need me."

"I know that Santana and I really appreciate it," he said. "But if you're as worried as Brittany, why are you on our side?"

Santana looked at him, gazed into his eyes as if she knew something about him that he didn't even know about himself. "Because who am I to say that ours is the only way?" she reasoned, then she pointed a strong finger. "But you have to be very careful about letting yourself fall."

"I will," he said. "I promise."

"And if you go into this thinking that he can be your Dom some day, then you're just setting yourselves up for failure from the beginning," Santana said.

Blaine bowed his head. "I won't," he said, and his heart beat quickly. He knew he was lying, and he knew already that he didn't want the punishment from Santana.

Rachel slipped her yoga pants on over her tights, changed her shoes and grabbed her coat. Some days were harder than others to get through and she was grateful for the distraction of classes to help her forget. Kurt wasn't talking to her unless he absolutely had to, she hadn't reached out to Jesse and she was feeling more alone in the world than she had in a very long time. It was moments like these where it just struck her hard, how much she missed him. Not his submission, not dominating him, just goofy, loving, always there for her no matter what Finn. It could be as simple as a song in a restaurant, or a face that looked too familiar on the street. In those moments she would have to stop, her breath stripped away for a second before reality hit her like a ton of bricks. Finn was gone. No matter how much she loved him, he was gone. And she had her whole life ahead of her.

It's what had been driving her to the clubs, to the dance floor and the dungeons where she could let her dominance go and pretend that things were still normal. Pretend that beneath her hand lay the man she loved, the man that had worshipped her like no one else. But once she had Blaine Anderson under her thumb she realized she couldn't just pretend with him, he wasn't a nameless sub out looking for a good time. He was the one who wanted her Kurt, who wanted to use him and drain him of every emotion he could possibly give and disregard his needs and his desires and leave Kurt to her to put back together again. She'd done it once before but then she was whole. She wasn't sure she could do it again. This time she needed someone to put her back together before she'd ever be able to take care of Kurt.

Except there was someone out there who wanted to make her whole. Who she knew if she let him into her heart, he could make her whole again. If she trusted him enough. Because Jesse kneeling for her had felt better than all the moments since Finn's death combined and that terrified her. Because accepting Jesse's submission meant letting Finn go.

She closed her eyes, trying to clear her mind but as she headed across the NYADA campus to her next class, she realized she must have still been in her head because she could have sworn she saw Jesse walking across the lawn. But then she shook her head and realized she wasn't imagining him, he was standing against the red brick wall of the library as if he was waiting for her. She considered completely ignoring him but then she'd have to take the long way around, and why should she change her day just for him?

"Jesse, you can't just stalk me everywhere I go," Rachel said as she passed him, exasperation reaching nearly beyond its limit.

Jesse though just smirked and jogged up beside her. "I wasn't stalking you Rachel. I had rehearsal with Kurt and Robert at the Stage Combat studio. We were trying out a bunch of different weapons and they didn't want to have to lug them all back and forth to the rehearsal hall."

"Oh," Rachel said, a small embarrassed smile slipping from her lips. Her anger slipped away, her cheeks colored and Jesse thought it was the most adorable thing he had ever seen. She stopped, taking a seat on the square stone wall, frost covering the winter suspended garden in the center. When it thawed it would be beautiful. Now though, the flowers seemed dead beneath the cold. "I'm sorry. For the other night, at the party." Her other apology had still not been accepted, but Jesse was different. He would forgive her dramatics.

"You mean kissing Blaine?" he asked with a half-smile. When she looked up at him in surprise he sat down beside her. "Yeah, I saw you. Honestly, I've always loved seeing you in action. It's really hot. The rest I deserved." Jesse looked down, a blush crawling quickly up his cheeks now. His submission purred at the thought. He knew better than to let it reach out though. "Look, Rachel, can I say something?" he asked, looking down at her. "And then if you want me to go I will go."

Rachel was staring at him, her expression unreadable, but she nodded, and let go of a careful, "yes."

Jesse looked out on the campus, her eyes too hard to meet. People milled around, without a care in the world. Or with so many cares they were overwhelmed. Where he stood in that spectrum hung in the balance. "Finn Hudson was a better man than I will ever be. I know that Rachel."

"Jesse," she protested, but he stopped her with a glance.

"Let me finish please," he asked and Rachel lowered her gaze, letting Jesse continue without interruption. "Finn was better and maybe he was better even before you were with him, but what I know in my heart is that he was better because of you. Because you believed in him. You chose him because you saw that in him and that's okay Rachel, I understand because you were right. I just needed a Dom then. But Finn…what was between you and Finn was never really dominance and submission. It was just love." Rachel looked up at him and her eyes flickered like she realized something she hadn't known before. He reached out for her hand and took it gently, placing it on her chest. "You don't have to let him go. He is in your heart, he always will be, and he will guide your hand. And I promise him and you that if you let me I will take such good care of you. I know it's customary for the Dom to ask the sub, but please. I am yours if you will have me. And if you say no, then I will leave you alone and wait, even if that means forever."

Rachel took a breath, her hand falling to her lap but still holding his tightly. He looked at them, intertwined as one. "Do you still just need a Dom Jesse? Or do you need someone to love?"

"I need you," he answered. "In whatever way you will have me. In every way you will have me."

She stared at him, every reason why she should say no, their entire history swirling in her mind. "You lied. To Finn. To me. You told Finn I had cheated on him with you when I hadn't." But despite her words, her voice wasn't angry or accusatory. She was calm. Listing his sins before his sentencing. Because the truth was, she'd already decided to say yes. "Because of what you said he needed space, to let the universe figure out what was right for us. Because of you he enlisted. Do you know that he proposed, when he came back from basic training?"

"Yes," Jesse whispered.

"He believed in us. He thought we would be forever. He thought you hadn't torn us apart," Rachel said, her eyes misty.

"I didn't," Jesse said sadly. "I couldn't have. No one could have."

She looked up at him. And for maybe the first time, she believed that to be true. She reached out and ran her fingers over the frozen dirt. Granules broke free and she rubbed them between her fingers. "I think somehow, he knew. The night he proposed he told me that relationships were like flowers. That if you find the right seed, put it in good soil, give it water and sunlight, it would have a perfect bud. Even though winter would come and the flower would die, he said, if you tend the garden, spring would come along and the flower would bloom again."

He reached over and he wiped the tears from her eyes. "He loved you so much Rachel, he would want you to bloom again. And I want to learn to love like he did. I want you to teach me how to be the man he was."

"He wasn't perfect Jesse. But he always took responsibility for his actions," she said.

Jesse slipped off the bench and he kneeled before the girl who would always be his Dom. "Whatever you want Rachel. I'm not afraid. I know you're worried you're going to hurt me, but you won't. Not more than you should. Not more than I deserve. I promise." She hesitated. "Please."

Rachel looked down at him. His beautiful eyes shining up at her. She took a deep breath. "You don't have rehearsal tonight?" He shook his head. "Meet me after dinner in the loft. Kurt will be out with Blaine until at least ten," she said.

Jesse lowered his head, and his submission swirled. "Yes Ma'am."

"Brittany, love, you need to talk to us at some point," Santana called quietly from the bedroom doorway. Brittany clearly thought otherwise though as she sat on the bed, arms folded tight against her chest. "What are you going to do, live alone in your bedroom without communicating with anyone ever again?"

Brittany said nothing. It was Santana's fault she couldn't communicate with anyone. If her Dom would just give her phone back she could at least talk to her friends from the Company. But no, for the past three days since Blaine and Kurt had decided to give madness a try and stumble their way to certain doom for at least Blaine if not both of them, she'd been forced into complete silence and isolation.

"And don't think you can blame me for this," Santana warned sternly as if she could read her sub's mind. "All you need to do is apologize to Blaine and Kurt for how you've been treating them and the horrible text you sent and I'll give you your phone back."

It wasn't horrible, Brittany thought. It was truthful. She had every right to be mad at Kurt. Kurt was being selfish. Stealing Blaine from them. Risking Blaine's life. Taking advantage of another sub's vulnerabilities, just like he always had. He thought he was so much better than Doms but he was worse because at least they could catch subs when they fell.

Santana stepped into the room and sat down next to her girlfriend. "Blaine misses you," she said, brushing her fingers through her long blonde locks. "Is this the kind of friend you want to be?"

"I'm trying to save him," Brittany said. Her words were barely a whisper. If Santana hadn't been sitting right there she wouldn't have heard them. But she had, the first words she'd spoken to any of them in three days and they roared loudly in her mind.

"Brittany." Santana wrapped her arms around her sub and pulled her close. She almost expected Brittany to resist but she didn't. She didn't relax either though. "Saving Blaine is not your job. It's my job to keep him safe until he tells me it's not anymore. Don't you trust me?"

"I don't know." Brittany's response sent shivers up Santana's spine. She couldn't help but pull back slightly and Brittany sat up, looking her straight in the eye. "I always have Santana. Always. But letting this happen? You weren't there. You don't understand."

Santana couldn't believe that she had possibly done something so wrong in Brittany's eyes to have lost her trust. But if it was true, then she needed to understand. "Then explain it to me," she said.

Brittany leaned back, curling in on herself once more. "I remember the day they told us that Dave had tried to kill himself. They gathered the subs in one room and the Doms in another. Kurt was in the principal's office with his dad. Everyone knew why it had happened. They warned us. They wanted to make sure we understood, like you told Blaine, that this wasn't something unique to Kurt and Dave, but that we were all at risk if we ever made the mistake of being with a Gray. I didn't need them to tell me that though 'Tana, I knew better than anyone." Brittany's voice was shaking with terror. Her eyes were glassy.

"Because you'd kissed him before," Santana said.

Brittany nodded. "I'd kissed others before, Dom, subs, and it had never felt like it had with Kurt. With a Dom there's someone to catch you. With a sub there's someone to hold your hand while you fall. With Kurt…" Brittany started to cry and Santana didn't know whether to hold her close or give her space. "I know why Dave did what he did. I would have done the same thing, especially if I had loved him. And I don't know why you would push Blaine to go through that."

"I'm not pushing Blaine, love," Santana told her. "He was self-destructing without Kurt, what would you have me do? I'm not perfect by any means, but I'm supporting him as best as I know how."

"It won't be enough," Brittany whispered.

"Did Kurt love Dave?" Santana asked.

Brittany looked up at her, surprised. "What?"

Santana smiled softly. "Did Kurt love Dave? Or was he just a stupid kid, accepting the attention of someone who was almost worshiping him?"

Brittany shook her head. "I don't think Kurt loved him," she said.

"What do you think Kurt was taught?" Santana asked her. "You said the Doms were pulled together and the subs were pulled together but what do you think Kurt was told in that office that day? What do you think he was ever taught about how to care for either one? Or was he just taught to stay away?"

"I don't know," Brittany admitted.

"Do you love Blaine?"

"Of course I do," Brittany insisted.

"And you know what a sub needs. But you're hurting him right now. The way you acted at the table the other day. Not talking to him for all this time? Not talking to Kurt? Just because they love each other." Brittany lowered her eyes in shame and Santana took her hands. "I know you're scared Britt. I am too. For all the reasons you are but mostly I'm scared that one day Kurt will be everything that Blaine needs and he won't need me anymore. But I'm not going to do anything that will stop me from being there for him as long as he does need me. And you shouldn't either. Because he does need you. I can be there to catch him, but he'll need someone to hold his hand when he falls. Until Kurt learns how to do both."

"I'm sorry," Brittany said, tears falling from her eyes.

"Don't be angry at Kurt for loving Blaine as much as we do," Santana told her.

"I think he loves him more," Brittany admitted softly.

Santana gathered her sub in her arms and held her close. "So do I," she said sadly.

"Do you think it's true?" Kurt asked. They were standing outside on the front porch of Kurt's apartment, the overhead light shining down on them. It was a cold walk from the movie but they were shielded from the wind now and neither one of them would have felt it anyway.

"What?" Blaine asked.

"What everyone says. That if we have sex you'll fall into the depths of despair?" Kurt squinted down at him.

A grin slowly grew on Blaine's face. "Why Kurt Hummel, are you already thinking about having sex with me?" he teased. "This is only our first date."

Kurt rolled his eyes. "What already Blaine? Let's not kid ourselves, this is not our first date, it's been months."

"Okay, true," Blaine allowed and the smile disappeared as he grew more thoughtful. "I don't know. I hope not. Is that what happened with you and Dave?"

Kurt shook his head. "Dave and I never really had sex," Kurt told him. His gaze drifted to avoid looking Blaine in the eye. "He wanted to but I was only 16, I was so confused, I had no idea what he wanted from me. I'd only ever been taught to stay away from subs. I was hiding everything from my Dad because I knew how pissed he'd be. Dave wanted so much though. Kissing was never enough for him and he would….he did to me whatever I would let him," he lowered his gaze, ashamed to say it out loud, "which was much more than I should have. But I never returned the favor."

"Oh." Suddenly his heart went out to Dave. He could only imagine what that must have been like for the sub. "Well then yes," he acknowledged carefully. "If I gave you all my trust and love and submission and you gave me nothing in return, then I think I would fall into the depths of despair."

Kurt frowned. He'd come to understand what he'd done wrong over the past few years, but no one had ever put it to him that way. He had to admit that he sounded like a horrible person, even to himself. No wonder Brittany hated him. "I wouldn't do that to you. I was just a kid then Blaine," he said as if in apology. "It wasn't just that I didn't trust him. I didn't trust myself."

"And you didn't love him," Blaine said pointedly, looking up at Kurt with those eyes that said Blaine would give him the world if he just asked.

"No," Kurt admitted. "I never loved him. I've never loved or trusted anyone like I do you."

Blaine reached for Kurt's hand but then pulled it back nervously. His heart was fluttering in his chest with doubt. "If you ever don't love me or trust me Kurt, you have to tell me. Please?"

Kurt took a step forward and wrapped his arms around Blaine's waist. "I don't think I'll ever have to tell you that."

"Just promise though? Please?"

Kurt hugged him tight and kissed him on the forehead. "I promise."

Blaine closed his eyes and let out a sigh of relief. "Thank you Sir."

He felt unwanted air between them as Kurt stepped back and his eyes fluttered open. "Don't do that," Kurt told him. "Don't submit to me okay? No sirs. I'm your boyfriend, not your Dom."

"You're right," Blaine said, lowering his eyes. He hadn't meant to. It would be hard to control what just came naturally but he would try. He looked back up with a bashful smile. "Force of habit. Sorry."

Instead of answering Kurt leaned in, and when Blaine didn't pull away he kissed him softly at first on the lips, then deeper as Blaine seemed to push into it. Blaine's hands caressed down Kurt's sides until they came to rest on his hips and Kurt draped his arms over Blaine's shoulders. People walked by but neither cared. And neither pulled away for a very long time.

From Rachel to Kurt: Please be quiet when you come home. Jesse was deep when he fell asleep and I don't want him startled awake.

Rachel's text had interrupted him and Blaine and reminded them of Blaine's curfew. Walking up the stairs, Kurt let the facts of the text settle in his mind. Rachel and Jesse were back together, she'd probably beaten the crap out of him tonight and in the morning Jesse was going to be very sore and very subby. He quickly considered turning around and going home with Blaine instead.

He opened the door as quietly as he could and slipped his coat off. He didn't turn the light on just in case it would disturb the sleeping sub, but he did let out a mild scream when he relaxed into the couch only to find Rachel sitting there waiting for him.

"Jesus Christ Rachel, aren't you supposed to be in there cuddling him or something?" Kurt snapped, his heart pounding in his chest. "What if he wakes up and you're not next to him, won't he die as he falls off the face of the earth?"

"He'll be fine for a little while, he's out cold," Rachel said and she shrugged sheepishly. "Besides, I was worried about you. I wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Why?" Kurt accused. "Because you're so sure that things would go badly between me and Blaine? Because you think you were right? That we kissed and he collapsed on the ground in a mess and I had to call Santana to come save him and now I'm beating myself up about it? Because that's not even close to what happened."

"Well I'm glad to hear that," Rachel said, but she looked at him with a frown. "But no. I was worried about you because I've behaved horribly to you. I haven't been the friend you've needed while you go through all this with Blaine, and I'm sorry. And I want to do better instead of making everything worse."

Kurt sighed. There was so much he could say, so many smart remarks he could make. But he was tired and instead he could silently thank Jesse for whatever had happened that evening, accept her apology, and have his best friend back. "So maybe it's you who needs the cuddling?" Kurt decided with a quirked brow in silent acceptance.

Rachel smiled bashfully. "Maybe."

Kurt opened his arms and she curled up against his chest, where she was always safe and sound. He let the quiet hum of the apartment and the noise outside of it fill the silence for a while. He'd forgotten how much he missed this, soothing Rachel after a difficult night. "So why the change of heart?" he couldn't help but ask.

"Jesse said something," she said, still nuzzled against him. "He said that what was between Finn and me wasn't dominance and submission. He said it was love."

"Finn always loved you, Rachel, even when he was afraid to say it. His submission came second."

"Do you think that's because he was raised by a Gray?" she asked.

It wasn't the first time Kurt had thought about it. Like him, Finn had been raised with little exposure at home to dominance and submission. He'd always wondered if the fact that he was raised by a Gray was what had made him so different from the other jocks. If it was what had always made him feel safe to Kurt. "Yeah. Maybe."

"So, if that's true, then maybe you and Blaine can be okay? Maybe love could be enough. Especially with Santana to take care of the rest," Rachel said.

Kurt smiled softly, closed his eyes and leaned his head back on the couch. He wasn't so sure it could possibly be as simple as all that, but it sounded like a nice dream. "When we kissed Rachel…it was the most amazing feeling in my life. I felt like I could just fly away." She sat up suddenly and Kurt's eyes flew open. She was staring at him as if she was trying to see inside. "What?" he asked.

"A sub falls. A Dom flies," she said.

Kurt looked at her like she was out of her mind. "What the hell are you talking about Rachel?"

"That's what they teach us. A sub falls, a Dom flies. When we're together. When submission and dominance latch we keep each other on the ground."

Kurt scoffed. "Rachel that's the craziest thing I've ever heard. Adam never flew," he echoed with an eyeroll. "And even if he did it's just a turn of phrase. It doesn't mean a thing."

"It's why you're drawn to subs," Rachel said, eyes filled with wonder and Kurt could tell there would be no convincing her otherwise. "It's why you and Blaine just might be okay," she said.

Kurt just shook his head, pulled her close and smiled softly. Rachel was crazy, but even if he could convince her otherwise, he wasn't sure he would want to.

Blaine skipped up the stairs two by two, happier than he could remember ever being. His grin was huge as he bounced through the front door. "I'm home!" he called.

Santana stepped out from the living room, grinning herself at his obvious joy. Seeing him happy was all she ever wanted. "So it went well I guess?" she asked eagerly.

"It was perfect," Blaine swooned. He put his things away then went to the kitchen, grabbing himself an ice cold glass of water before leaning on the counter. "We talked, we kissed, and it was perfect."

Santana let out a sigh of relief. "Do you need anything from me?" she asked. They didn't talk about it before he'd left and neither had known what his needs would be when he returned, but she'd promised to be there and she meant it.

Blaine took stock of his body and his heart and he realized that everything felt just the way he thought it should. "No," he said with a bit of surprise. Smiling at Santana, his beautiful and perfect Santana who was watching him with just a hint of worry, he couldn't help but feel that everything was falling into place. And he loved his Dom for allowing that. "Thank you, Santana, for asking. But I am more than fine."


If I fell into you, would it be close enough?
If I finally let you in, would you show me what love is?
If I had nothing to give.

Chapter Text

Every day I get a little bit closer to
The resolution that I am not yet bulletproof
Oh, the battle within rages on and on.

~ Lea Michele

Blaine had begun to find comfort in the loft. The beat up, rustic, just barely making it energy that emanated from every corner of Kurt and Rachel's apartment was a significant contrast to the posh and provided for home that he shared with Santana and Brittany. Though he was all too frequently feeling like the third wheel with Santana and Brittany lately, here he just seemed to fit right in. He belonged.

He knew it was because of Kurt. Despite the decision to take things slow, Blaine was thriving on Kurt's friendship. Kurt was kind and thoughtful and hilarious and treated him like he'd been treated at Dalton; as an equal, not just as a sub. And surprisingly, Blaine was finding that he had missed that part of himself.

He popped some more popcorn in his mouth from the glass bowl separating Kurt and him on the couch. But every so often their hands would meet and though sparks shot up Blaine's arm at the softness of Kurt's fingers, he pulled it back instead of reaching out. Their kiss had been extraordinary. But going further than kissing still was scary for both of them.

Though she'd given her blessing, Rachel was watching their every move in the loft sitting perched on her arm chair throne. Whether it was out of care and concern for Blaine and Kurt or to rub it in and say I told you so should it all go wrong, she hovered more than the boys would have liked. Brittany and Santana at home were no different. They wanted to know every detail, every step that they took in their burgeoning relationship. But Blaine and Kurt were serious about being safe. No matter how quickly their bodies were telling them they wanted to jump, if they were really going to do this, they knew they were going to have to do it right.

Blaine wished that there was some kind of text book that explained what he could expect, what Kurt could expect. He wished there were instructions so that they knew what to do. But no matter how many books there were out there about relationships between Doms and subs, they could find nothing but footnotes and sidebars for Grays. Nothing that told them anything except not to risk everything they were risking.

Blaine wanted him though, he thought as he stared at Kurt on the other side of the couch wondering how anyone on earth could ever be as beautiful as Kurt was. He wanted to touch him and hold him and kiss him. He wanted to make Kurt hold him down, he wanted Kurt to make him cry with the perfect torture of pleasure and pain. He wanted…

Kurt's phone buzzed and Blaine thanked God for the interruption to thoughts that were taking him very much down a path he knew he should not go down. With one hand Kurt paused the show and with the other he answered.

"Hey Dad, how are you?" Kurt asked with a wary smile. He still hadn't told his Dad about Blaine, the timing had just never been right, and it seemed now wasn't either as his smile turned quickly. "They wha…that's…okay, when? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. No, she's right here I'll tell her. Yeah Dad, I love you too. Thanks for calling."

Kurt's eyes were distant when he hung up and Blaine immediately worried when his head fell into his hands, running his fingers through his hair.

"Kurt?" Rachel asked before Blaine could get a word out. His nerves though were quickly ignited and instinctually he slipped off the couch and knelt at his feet, resting his hands on Kurt's leg. Something was terribly wrong and he had a feeling he'd been left out of something very big.

"They're awarding Finn the Medal of Honor," Kurt said softly and then his eyes turned up to Rachel in tears of pride. "The ceremony will be in April. At the White House."

Rachel sucked in a breath as if she couldn't believe the words she had just heard. Then her own tears fell, tears of relief and memory and grief and happiness all rolled into one. She wiped them away and she got up, her hands shaking. "I have to go," she said, glancing from side to side as if she were lost.

Kurt got up and wrapped her in his arms. "The medal belongs to you now," he whispered softly. "As his Dominate the President will present it to you."

She shook her head, disbelief clouding her gaze. "I don't deserve it. It should be Carole, she's next of kin."

"That's not how it works, but you'll go together sweetie," Kurt promised her. "We'll all be there for you."

She pressed her lips together. She nodded. "I need…" she said, still lost.

"You need Jesse," Kurt told her and he wiped the wetness from her cheeks. Her eyes looked frightened and he smiled. "It's okay that you need him. Do you want me to call? Have him come here?"

Rachel shook her head. "No," she said, trying hard to pull herself together. "No, I think I need some air. I...I'm going to walk."

"Okay," Kurt said and he kissed her on the forehead. "Call me if you need anything." He helped Rachel gather her things and walked her out the door. It was only once he turned around to find Blaine looking up at him from where he still knelt that he even remembered his boyfriend was there. "Blaine-"

"Are you okay?" Blaine asked immediately and it was only a second before Kurt was across the room, urging Blaine from the floor, and falling into his arms. Blaine hugged him tightly and held him close with all his love, letting his submission wrap around Kurt as well. He had no idea if Kurt could even feel it, but he would give it all to him if it soothed him even slightly.

"We've been waiting for so long it seems," Kurt breathed warmly against the skin of his neck. It sent shivers down Blaine's spine but he fought to ignore it. "I know when you look at others who have waited years, decades even, this is nothing. But we didn't know with Finn…because of how…"

Blaine let Kurt drift off, running his fingers through his hair, wanting nothing more than to rest his lips on the skin he adored. "You don't have to tell me," Blaine said. He'd never asked before. He always figured that if Kurt wanted him to know how Finn had died he would tell him. But what he wanted to understand more than anything was Kurt, and he knew as long ago as their first coffee date that Finn was one of the most important pieces of the puzzle. "I'll listen though. If you want to talk."

Kurt pulled out of his arms. His eyes were distant, pained, and he looked out the window onto the streets of Manhattan. Blaine watched Kurt walk over, staring out into the darkness that never truly was, and placed his hand on the glass that was cold as ice. Blaine walked over to the couch and sat down, never taking his eyes off his boyfriend.

"I still look for him," Kurt said, his voice soft but steady. "Out on the street. The day he came home from basic training we weren't expecting him. We were staring out the window and suddenly we saw him walk up the steps and then there was a knock on the door and here he was. I think we both still sometimes believe that he'll just walk up again and say that it was all just a dream." Kurt turned around and leaned against the sill. He folded his arms across his chest and stared at the floor. "As hard as it can be, sometimes I forget how lucky I am. To live in this country." He looked up. His eyes met Blaine's but Blaine couldn't quite tell if he was looking at him or through him. "Finn used to write to us. Me and Carole. He would tell us what it was like for Grays out in the world. He hated seeing us treated like second class citizens or worse. I mean, sometimes it seems like it here, but we're allowed to go to school, work, get married. It isn't like that everywhere."

"I didn't know," Blaine said, his voice hushed.

Kurt offered a sad smile and he came and sat down with Blaine on the other side of the couch. "I didn't know either. And I don't think anything prepared Finn for what he saw…" Kurt swallowed his words. He bit his lip, his nose crinkling in disgust as he remembered. "He was always told wherever he went to just let it be, they weren't there to intervene or to change things for a tiny fraction of the population. The last time though, it was just too much for him to stay quiet. There were whispers amongst the villagers. Grays had been rounded up. Kids, adults. Treated like worse than animals under Doms who wanted to force them into submission. Finn couldn't stand it. He wanted to free them but his chain of command said no. Finn didn't let up though and he grew close to the people near the camps. He came to find out there were two Americans imprisoned there. Then the army sanctioned the mission."

Blaine sat quietly, listening with all his heart, wanting to reach out but not sure if it would be welcome or not. So he held out his hand with no expectations, and Kurt took it. Blaine rubbed his thumb against Kurt's palm, in soothing almost hypnotic circles, letting his submission flow through it into Kurt's skin. And it seemed to help Kurt continue.

"I've heard the story so many times now, but I've never told it," Kurt said with an ironic huff. Then he closed his eyes and took a breath. "Finn's team went in and they got the Americans out with minimal causalities and they moved to leave, but Finn refused to leave the others behind. He was told to leave but he disobeyed the commands."

"Wow. That must have taken an incredible amount of strength," Blaine said. Disobeying commands was difficult for any sub who didn't crave the consequence. He could only imagine in the case of a soldier and his commanding officer.

"Yeah," Kurt said. "Finn always was the strong one." Kurt got up and went to his room. Blaine followed and sat down on the edge of the bed as Kurt picked up a picture from his desk. "Finn went back into the building to save the others. When he did he found out that if he'd waited any longer then all of them within the compound, the native Grays, his team, the American they'd saved, they all would have been dead. The Doms inside had rigged the whole place with explosives. Finn saved them all before he was shot by one of the Doms." Kurt sat next to him and showed him the picture. Blaine knew right away it was of the soldiers that had survived, holding Finn's dog tags.

Blaine took his hand. "I am so, so sorry."

Kurt didn't pull back but Blaine wasn't sure that he'd heard. "He was still alive and they evacuated him to Germany where we met him. He held on for two days. Which was good for us, especially Rachel. Gave us time to say goodbye. He made Carole and me promise not to feel guilty. He spent most of his time with Rachel. They'd been engaged a couple of months by then. She only took the ring off her finger the beginning of this school year. I don't know what she would have done if they hadn't had that time together for goodbyes."

Blaine bit back tears that wanted to fall, but Kurt wasn't crying and he knew his tears wouldn't help right now. "Were you able to keep your promise?" he asked instead. "To not feel guilty?"

Kurt finally looked at him, blue eyes filled with determination. "It wasn't my fault," Kurt said. "I know when he saw those people in there he saw me and Carole, but I didn't put them there and I certainly didn't pull the trigger. So I guess I only feel as guilty as I reasonably can given that I'm still here and he's gone. But he died a hero. That's all he ever wanted to be really. And now the world will know." Kurt bit his lip and looked down to their hands. "Adam helped me through a lot of it," he said.

Blaine nodded. He could understand that. "I'm sure his Dom energy was soothing."

Kurt though shook his head. "I don't feel that, like you guys do. Rachel tells me it's like this energy that flows from one person to another, like music moving in perfect harmony with one another." Blaine agreed. That was exactly how it felt to him. "But it's just nothing to me." He looked at Blaine carefully, seeing pity and fear in his face. "I'm okay Blaine. Rachel is too. We've done a lot of healing together, separately, as a family. But I also don't want you to think that there won't be times I won't fall apart. I'm not like Finn. I can't always be strong for you like you might need."

Blaine set the pictures aside and, moving closer, he reached his hand up to Kurt's neck. "You're as strong as you need to be," he said and he surged forward, capturing Kurt's lips. Kurt let all of his emotions disappear into the kiss, soothed by Blaine's gentle, loving touch. He knew he shouldn't, he heard the warnings in his head. But along with his anger and sadness, his fear had gone too and he let Blaine lead him to his bed and guide him down, his head resting on his pillow. Blaine's weight atop him made Kurt's head spin. Their lips parted and Kurt shivered at the cool breeze on his skin as Blaine pulled his shirt from his jeans, reaching for skin.

"Is this okay?" Blaine whispered and Kurt nodded furiously. Blaine worked Kurt's buttons from bottom to top, until he could see Kurt's amazing body, toned with muscle. He traced his abs, gazing adoringly with every touch. "God you are so beautiful Kurt," he said with wonder. "Let me take care of you?"

"I don't know if we should do this Blaine," Kurt said, but he didn't have the energy or the desire to stop. And with the touch of Blaine's lips to his chest, he forgot all common sense. He hummed blissfully, closing his eyes and arching his back to give Blaine more, to beg for more.

And Blaine complied as if he could read Kurt's mind, giving him everything that he wanted. He remembered that Kurt liked it soft, slow, and Blaine was more than willing to worship Kurt's body as if it belonged to a god. Blaine latched onto his neck, making Kurt shiver with the warmth of breath on his skin. He moved down his chest, taking Kurt's nipple in his mouth and licking gently, sucking softly as to never cause pain. He took a moment to pull off, blowing gently over his work, and looked up at Kurt through his lashes. Blaine grinned at the complete look of contentment on his boyfriend's face and the hardness he could feel against his leg. "Do you want me to stop?" he asked.

"No," Kurt begged, his breathing ragged. He leaned up slightly to pull Blaine's shirt up over his head and tossed it aside. "Don't you dare stop."

Blaine let the words rush over him as if they were an order and a thrill of pleasure and submission flowed through him. Wanting, needing, to be as close to Kurt as he could he laid back down, skin to skin, kissing Kurt's lips, his neck, his ear, any skin he could reach, hungrily as if he might never get the chance again. His own body strained against his zipper and in a moment of weakness he pressed down against Kurt and sucked in a breath at the wave of pleasure that rushed through him. The feeling was too incredible to resist and moaning against Kurt's skin he did it again and again until they were both closer than they should have been.

"Fuck, Blaine, no, we can't…" Kurt groaned beneath him and though Blaine's entire body screamed for him to disobey he knew that Kurt was right. He could already feel himself falling and he knew he had to reel himself back in.

"You're right, sorry," he whispered breathlessly. With a press of his arms he lifted himself off of Kurt and after a few deep breaths, he moved to lay down beside him, facing him. Kurt looked positively wrecked and Blaine knew he was fighting something just as hard as he was. He reached a hand behind Kurt's head and pulled him forward, capturing his lips once more, stealing as much of Kurt as he safely could. They stayed lost in themselves for hours, whispered conversations between silent ones, learning more about each other inside and out. They stayed that way until Blaine's phone beeped with a text from Santana that it was time for him to come home, and reluctantly Blaine slipped his shirt back on and kissed him goodbye.

Rachel stepped out of the apartment onto the sidewalk, still trembling with the news about Finn. She'd never been more proud or felt more guilty in her entire life. Catching her breath and walking down the street, the bells of St. Mary's rung, three times, and stopped her in her tracks. Tears immediately flooded her as the hazy memories of a casket draped in an American flag and her fathers pulling her away rose to the surface. Forcing a release of her dominance to steady herself she began walking again until she found herself at Jesse's doorstep without remembering anything of how she had gotten there. The memories of Finn that had plagued her on the walk remained vivid in her mind. She almost turned around and ran, but she didn't. When she'd finally allowed Jesse back into her life, when she'd agreed to dominate him, when she'd punished him and forgave him and allowed him to finally forgive himself, she had made a commitment to herself and to him. She'd made a commitment to take care of him.

She knocked on the door and he opened it immediately, falling to his knees the moment he saw her. With a sigh she closed the door behind her, walked in past him and hung up her coat. Back to her, his head was bowed and Rachel's heart skipped a beat at his very picture of submission. But as she stared and his submission reached out to her, her head spun and just for a second it was Finn kneeling there instead of Jesse. And she knew she had to tell him.

"Would you come sit with me?" she asked softly, not wanting to exude any measure of dominance at the moment. "We need to talk."

Jesse did as she asked, sitting next to her with his hands folded in his lap. But his eyes were on hers, boring into them. "What's wrong?" he asked.

She started then stopped, taking a deep breath and taking his hands in hers. The other night against her better judgment she had allowed him in the haze of subspace to talk contracts and claimings. She didn't know what he remembered of it but she had to assume he remembered it all. "Kurt's Dad called today. He said that Finn was going to be awarded the Medal of Honor in April."

"Rachel, that's amazing," Jesse said. "He deserved it, really."

Rachel lowered her eyes. It was so hard to feel like she was betraying them both. "The medal is presented to me. As his Dominate." She looked up and she saw Jesse's eyes shift as he began to understand.

"You can't claim me," he said.

"No," Rachel said, her heart breaking with the word. "Not until after." He pulled his hands away but she moved in grabbing them, refusing to let go. "It doesn't mean things have changed Jesse, I just…it wouldn't be fair to you. In order to really be with you, to give you all of me, I need to let him go. And I can't do that now. Not yet."

"I understand," he said, and his voice broke her heart. But Jesse was strong. He had waited this long, he knew he could wait as long as he needed to. "I don't want to lose you though. Not when I've been through so much to find you again."

Rachel smiled at him with a chiding glance. "I don't intend to let you go."

"Then we still need a contract," he said definitively. "A temporary one at least."

Rachel leaned in and offered him a quick kiss. "I think that can be arranged."

His fingers danced on the keys, playing music not found in the heart of others but born of his own soul, his own love, his own passion. Black and white, each note so lonely and monotonous on their own but mixed together they did not make gray, they made a beautiful rainbow of sounds that rose from Blaine's fingers, echoing the song in his heart.

I truly believe that I was born
To meet you
To love you
To be with you
To teach you
And to learn from you

In his mind it was all muddled, the responsibility he had to Santana mixed with the desire, the increasingly overwhelming need, for Kurt to take control. He tried so hard to respect that Kurt wasn't a Dom and didn't want to pretend to be one, but sometimes, too often maybe, his natural instincts took over. He wanted to kneel and obey, he wanted to call him Sir, he wanted so desperately to lose himself in the ecstasy he knew Kurt could bring him, to submit to the man that made his heart beat frantically in his chest. Sometimes he wanted it so badly, it hurt.

To walk with you in the paths you choose
To have faith in my love for you
And your love for me.

But no matter how strong the pull was he tried. He tried not to fall and he tried not to want and he tried not to submit. He tried not to beg for control and for orders and for punishment. He tried so hard to walk the difficult path they had chosen as equals. He tried to have faith that their love was enough. Because in his heart he knew that they were soulmates as much as he and Santana were.

I truly believe that I was born
To be your love
To be yours.

My love and my faith lies with you.

A text from Santana asking if he was coming home for dinner startled Blaine out of the music. Looking at the time he descended into a panic. He was not only late to go home but he had missed class as well. Resolving to set an alarm next time, he quickly sent his Dom a text that he was on his way, gathered his things, and raced out the door.

They had spent so little time together lately, it was nice for Kurt and Rachel to share an evening all on their own. They'd met after classes, Rachel grabbed a coffee, and she curled her arm in his, leading him quickly down to the theater district.

"What's going on, is Babs here? Or Patti Lupone? Neil Patrick Harris?" he asked, his eyes growing wide.

Rachel laughed. "No, there's nobody here, it's a something, not a someone that I want to show you."

He let her lead them, she really wasn't giving him much choice, until they started walking up the block to theater row, where his own production would be loading in the next day. The ladders were up beneath the signs and the lights were shining and Kurt stared up in awe. His show…his show…had its name up in lights off-Broadway.

"Jesse showed it to me this morning as he walked me to class. I knew I had to show you," she said.

"It's beautiful," he said wistfully.

She looked up at him, smiling proudly. "Someday it will be your name in lights."

"Oh, let's not get crazy now Rachel," he said, bumping his shoulder to hers. "The chances of seeing a Gray up in lights is very very slim."

"You shouldn't say things like that," Rachel frowned.

"It's true. The chances of seeing Blaine's name is far, far greater than mine," Kurt admitted. "But I'm beginning to be okay with that. I love what I'm doing in stage combat." She rolled her eyes but he persisted. "People respect me, I feel like it's making me stronger. Teaching me things I need to know if Blaine and I are ever going to stand a chance."

"So you're getting more comfortable with Blaine's needs?" she asked.

He'd be lying if he said yes. "I'm trying," Kurt sighed. "I'm trying."

Blaine thought how easy it was for an idea to become tradition as he sat with his friends in the NYADA coffee house waiting for Kurt's class to end. At 4:13, Kurt would walk through the doors, offer him a quick kiss and sit down to share their days before Apples rehearsal or rehearsal with Robert or whatever else their evenings brought. Today they were planning on stopping by the bookstore on their way home. He checked his watch, 4:09, and his body started humming with anticipation when he heard his name called, but from the wrong lips.

"Mr. Anderson. May I see you a moment."

Blaine's face dropped and he looked away from his coffee, the stern and far from happy sound of Madame Tibideaux's voice jump-starting his heart. He glanced to his friends who looked as worried as he felt and quietly said, "Tell Kurt to meet me outside, okay?"

They nodded and he got up as if facing execution. Turning to Madam Tibideaux, he followed her out the door. They made their way to her office in silence, Blaine trailing behind like a dutiful sub, and when she closed the door to her office behind her he couldn't help but wonder what implements of torture she had hidden within the confines of her desk.

"Have a seat, Mr. Anderson," she ordered.

He tentatively did as he was told, bearing in mind that it could be the last time he comfortably did so for the next week. With complete contrition, he folded his hands in his lap.

"Do you know why you're here Mr. Anderson," she asked.

Blaine had his suspicions but he was hesitant to voice them. The last thing he wanted to do was confess to something of which she was not already aware. "No Ma'am," he answered almost honestly.

"Your Movement and Dance professor has informed me that you have missed three classes already this semester. Would you care to explain yourself?"

Blaine lowered his eyes. It was as he had thought. "Yes Ma'am. I'm sorry. It's just…that class is an hour after lunch and I've been going to the music studio to practice my piano. You see I've been kind of dabbling with some composition in my spare time. But sometimes I get so caught up I lose track of time."

"And you can't set an alarm for yourself?"

Blaine squeezed his eyes shut in shame. "I forget that too Ma'am," he admitted.

"I see," Madam Tibideaux said and he heard her chair swivel back and forth but he was too afraid to look up to see what he would find. "Your Dom will be made aware of your transgressions. And I expect it not to happen again. If it does, I will know that your Dom needs some assistance in controlling your behavior. I trust you will speak with your professor about making up the work. Is that understood?"

Blaine lifted his eyes. "Yes Ma'am. It won't happen again Ma'am," he promised. He'd already shamed Santana enough.

She looked at him for what felt like hours then let out a sigh. "Very well Mr. Anderson, you are free to go."

"Thank you," he said before nearly jumping out of the chair and racing to the door to escape. But with a hand on the door he was stopped.

"Is your music any good?" she asked and he turned back to her. "The songs you compose?"

"I don't know," Blaine admitted shyly. "I've never really let anyone listen to them."

"I would like to someday soon," she said firmly. "Now you may go."

"Yes Ma'am. Thank you Ma'am," he said before bolting out the door.

Blaine didn't even realize he was trembling as he swung open the front doors to NYADA and hitched his bag on his shoulder. His head was spinning so much he barely saw Kurt waiting for him, but Kurt saw him and rushed up to meet him.

"Are you okay?" Kurt asked, grasping him in a hug. "The guys told me-" The feel of Kurt's arms around him let open the well of tears that Blaine had been keeping in and he curled into Kurt's neck, letting them fall. "Blaine, what's the matter? You're shaking, what did she say?"

"I've been going to the piano studio after lunch," Blaine explained, sniffing. "I was writing and I lost track of time. I missed class three times. She's…she's calling Santana," he cried.

"Oh Blaine," Kurt said, and Blaine could hear the disappointment even in his voice. Blaine's heart fell even lower. He'd been so stupid, failing everyone. "She's not kicking you out or anything, is she?"

"No, s-Kurt," he stumbled, sniffing again and pulling away, but he kept his eyes low. He had to fight not to collapse to his knees. "I just have to make up the classes."

"Then what's got you so worked up? I've never seen you like this before," Kurt asked worriedly.

"Santana…" Blaine managed to get out but he said no more.

Kurt frowned. "You're afraid of Santana?"

"I try so hard," Blaine said, shame burning his face. "I try so hard to do my best and not disappoint her and not embarrass her. What I do reflects on her, good or bad." He shook his head, unable to explain while he was so upset. "I didn't mean to forget…"

Kurt didn't understand what was different this time from all the other times, but he understood that for some reason it was. "Come on," he said, grasping Blaine's hand in his. "Let's get you home."

They stood hand in hand in front of the door, Blaine staring at it. "Will you come in with me?" he asked looking up at Kurt.

Every instinct in Kurt's body told him to cut and run but the truth was that if Blaine was afraid, Kurt was afraid and he at least wanted to see Santana's face before he left. So he squeezed Blaine's hand, gave him a nod and Blaine turned to open the door.

Santana was standing there, waiting for him, arms crossed. They walked inside and the moment Blaine saw her his hand slipped from Kurt's and he fell to his knees. His eyes quickly scanned the apartment before he found what he was looking for. Kurt followed Blaine's gaze to the paddle resting on the piano bench in the corner of the apartment and his stomach clenched. He needed to get out of there.

"Thank you for bringing him home," Santana told Kurt like he was some sort of lost child who couldn't find his own way.

"He brought himself home Santana," Kurt snapped. "I simply offered him company."

"You're welcome to stay, but it won't change his punishment," Santana said, looking down at Blaine.

Kurt could see Blaine shiver but he also seemed calmer now. "If I think you've hurt him in any way…" Kurt threatened.

"I'll be okay," Blaine said, looking up at him with wide loving eyes.

Gone was the fear in his eyes or the worry in his brow. Blaine look relaxed, comfortable. Kurt hated leaving him. But he hated the idea of staying more. "Call me later, okay?" he said gently.

"I promise," Blaine said.

"Brittany," Santana called and Kurt looked up to see his friend emerge from her bedroom. "Would you walk Kurt home please?"

"I don't-" Kurt started while Brittany answered, "Yes Ma'am."

With a look from Santana, Kurt understood she wanted privacy with Blaine and Kurt sighed. "Fine. Come on Britt."

She grabbed her coat, gloves, and scarf and walked out with him. Wordlessly they started down to the street, but after a few steps in the direction of the loft, Kurt stopped her. "You don't really have to walk me home. We can just get a coffee. I can wait with you while-"

Brittany looked up at him, hands in her pockets. "Right, like you're going to be perfectly fine just having coffee with me while your boyfriend's a block away getting a pretty good spanking you don't approve of?" she asked pointedly. Kurt looked away and Brittany slipped her hand around Kurt's arm. "I didn't think so. So how about we do what Santana says, I'll walk you home and keep your mind off of what's happening inside."

Kurt thought about it and he realized she was right. With a shrug he said, "I suppose if Santana told you to go then I shouldn't worry about you, right?"

"I am perfectly capable of getting home from your apartment to mine," Britt told him. "Now come on."

She pulled him by the arm and they headed off west. The loft was a ways away from their apartment and Brittany had been wanting to talk with Kurt for a while anyway. After her conversation with Santana she'd stopped being angry and she started paying attention. And what she saw was Blaine happy but she was worried how long that could last. And how she could support them both. So she'd reached out to the one person who might be able to tell her.

"For trying to keep my mind off things you're not really doing a very good job," Kurt smirked, nudging her softly.

She smiled for a moment, but it soon faded. "I'm sorry you know. For how I acted. Keeping you two apart," Brittany said shamefully. "I thought I was doing what was right. But it wasn't my job to protect either of you."

"It's okay Britt," Kurt said, looking over at her warmly. "I understood. After everything with Dave-"

"I still talk to him sometimes you know," she admitted.

Kurt stopped, shocked, and turned to her. "You do?"

She nodded. "We've kept in touch. I don't talk to him a lot, but every once in a while."

"How's he doing?" Kurt often thought about him. Hoped he was okay.

Brittany smiled softly. "He's good," she said. "He has a Dom who loves him, cares for him." She paused a second before she confessed. "I told him about you and Blaine."

Kurt blinked before regaining his composure. He guessed he'd always known that Brittany and Dave had some strange sort of bond because of the mistakes he'd made with both of them. Still it was strange to think of the two of them talking about him. Talking about Blaine. "And let me guess, he thinks I'm as horrible a person as you do."

"I don't think you're horrible Kurt," she said quickly. "And neither does he. He actually…he's actually happy for you. He hopes it works out this time."

Kurt scoffed in disbelief. "Yeah, right," he said and started walking again toward the subway.

"No really," she called as she jogged to catch up. "I couldn't believe it either but...he doesn't blame you Kurt. He told me if I ever got the chance to tell you that that I should, because he's sure you think it was all your fault. But he says he made as many mistakes as you did and he thinks that maybe you both have learned a lot since then. He's always just wanted the best for you Kurt."

Kurt sighed. He wished he'd understood that more from the start. They walked down the station stairs, sliding their metro cards and waited for the subway in silence. Kurt had made so many mistakes it had never occurred to him that David would think he'd made mistakes too. He tried to understand what that meant for him and Blaine as they boarded the train and squeezed in with the horde of people commuting home after work.

They sat in silence, Kurt trying not to let his thoughts drift back to his boyfriend back home at the mercy of his Dom. Brittany must have sensed it because she leaned over and whispered, "Don't look over your shoulder but I am pretty sure that couple behind you are having sex."

Of course Kurt couldn't help but look and the moment he did he knew he shouldn't have because the last thing he wanted to see was some collared girl bouncing on the lap of her not even close to handsome Dom. "Ugh, Brittany, why did you make me look?" he screeched turning away as quickly as he could. "That image is going to be forever burned into my brain."

"Better than the one that was forming there before, isn't it?" she smirked and she grabbed his hand. It felt like old times. "Come on, this is our stop."

It was dusk when they surfaced from the subway and the cold night air hit them both. They shoved their hands back into their pockets but neither picked up speed. It was a beautiful night and the unspoken words between them weighed them down.

"Britt." Kurt stopped and he looked away as she watched him carefully. "You have to know that I never meant to hurt you. Or Dave."

"And you have to know that it would break my heart if Blaine ever even thought of doing something like that," she said.

"It would break mine too." He looked down at her, his eyes shining in the lights. "Britt I love him. More than I've ever loved anyone and it scares me as much as everyone else, maybe even more, but I have to believe that love will get us through."

"If you truly believe that Kurt, then you have to love him with everything you have and everything you are. You can't hold back because of things that happened in the past or because you're afraid."

"I'm not holding back," he claimed but he had to look away. Because he knew that she was right.

"Look," she said. "I know that Santana and Rachel and probably your Dad are all telling you to take this slow. But that's because they don't understand it from a subs point of view. You can't let him feel like you're rejecting him. You can't let him feel like he doesn't matter to you. Not showing him how much you love him is exactly what will hurt him the most and love isn't always gentle Kurt. Subs aren't drawn to you because you're gentle. The Kurt Hummel that I know has never had a problem laying the smack down on Rachel Berry, or Finn Hudson, or Mr. Schue or Coach Sylvester. You're fierce Kurt. So why treat Blaine with kid gloves?"

Kurt didn't think that was what he was doing. "I just want to show him there's a better way."

"Then show him while still being yourself," she insisted. "That's all he really wants from you. He's not some victim that needs your pity or protection. He's the strongest sub I know and what he loves most of all about you is your strength. So just be yourself and you guys will figure this out."

"Just be yourself, Kurt. The rest will figure itself out."

"That's what Finn said," Kurt whispered.

Brittany smiled and shrugged. "Well he did have his moments of genius," she teased, then took his hand. "Don't run from who you are. Don't run from the things you want just because you think you shouldn't want them."

And Kurt realized that no matter what he had thought, he had never truly been himself with anyone before. And he owed Blaine so much more.


Oh, and patience is hard
When you just don't know
Where all the waiting is taking you
The church on the corner
Torn down in December
That kiss in the doorway
I still won't surrender
And anyways

I can't stop the bells

Chapter Text

You take me down
Spin me around
You got me running all the lights
Don't make a sound
Talk to me now
Let me inside your mind

~ David Guetta

"I cannot believe the day that I have had," Kurt complained, throwing his bag on the floor with exhaustion. Without blinking Blaine picked it up and set it where it belonged. "The only saving grace is that Rachel has rehearsal until late which means thankfully that I won't hear I told you so a hundred times for changing to a Stage Combat major in the first place."

"Do you want me to give you a massage?" Blaine asked, coming up behind Kurt just as he'd been about to collapse onto the couch.

"Mmm," Kurt purred at the feel of Blaine's hands on his shoulders. Part of him wanted to just melt right into it. Another part suddenly realized how disgusting he must be. "No, actually I think I'm going to take a shower first." He twirled around and quickly kissed Blaine's pout away. "Feel free to make yourself at home."

Blaine smiled as Kurt disappeared behind the curtain of his bedroom for a new set of clothes, then plodded into the bathroom. Home. There was nothing Blaine liked better than the idea of being home with Kurt. He looked around and straightened up where he could, folding some blankets on the couch and arranging the magazines. He thought about doing the dishes left in the sink but then the shower came on and he didn't know if turning the water on in the kitchen would accidentally change the temperature on Kurt. So instead he sat down on the couch, picking up one of the magazines and flipping through, but he didn't see a word. Because all he could concentrate on was the fact that behind the door was Kurt, naked and wet. He took a deep breath, trying not to hear the countertenor voice that was rising up from the steam. He tried not to imagine Kurt's perfect, smooth, soapy pale skin as he lathered away the stress of the day. He tried not to want so much that his jeans grew tighter imagining Kurt washing every inch of his body. He tried not to picture Kurt's strong muscles, his tight abs, his beautiful round ass. He tried not to imagine himself stepping inside, sinking to the ground as the water poured over him.

In reality, he found himself, before he could even think, knocking on the door and asking, "May I come in?"

Kurt stopped singing. Blaine waited in the sudden silence. 3, 2, 1. He began to think that maybe Kurt hadn't heard and he was almost grateful for it because in the silence he realized how presumptuous he was being thinking that Kurt would be ready to break down that boundary and take that gigantic leap of faith and trust and unbelievable risk, especially given their promises to take things slow. He almost dropped to his knees with the force of the knowledge of what he'd done wrong and the punishment he deserved for it when one little word broke him out of his spiral.


His heart racing, Blaine carefully turned the handle, giving Kurt plenty of time to retract his invitation. He pushed the door open slowly, stepped inside the steam filled room and shut it behind him. He stood still a minute, not sure exactly what Kurt had agreed to. Not sure exactly what he'd even been offering. It was hot, so hot that sweat started to pool down Blaine's temple but still he didn't move, frozen to the spot.

Kurt stuck his head around the curtain with a little smirk. "Are you just planning to stand there or…?"

At the sight of Kurt, hair flattened and dripping wet, knowing that behind that curtain stood everything that had been in his dreams, Blaine shook his head quickly. Kurt smiled, disappearing once again behind the shower curtain. It was moments like these that Blaine remembered how much more experienced Kurt was. He wondered how many showers Kurt had taken with Adam before, maybe even with others Blaine didn't even know about. Nerves and excitement fluttering in his stomach, Blaine's hands shook, barely able to breathe as he stripped off his clothes and laid them neatly beside Kurt's. He carefully reached for the curtain and pulled it aside, staring shyly at the ground as he stepped in to the warm water. Brittany had seen him naked that once but that had been different for so many reasons. This - full and already leaking with desire, standing before a man he wanted so much from that his entire body ached with love and need, but also guilt and shame - this was overwhelming.

He waited for Kurt to say something, to lift his chin, to move or anything. But despite his experience, none of this came naturally to Kurt and it took a while for him to realize that Blaine was waiting, for an order or permission or something, and that he wasn't going to do anything on his own.

"It's okay sweetheart." Kurt smiled gently using the nickname he knew Santana used when Blaine was at his most submissive. He hoped it would put his boyfriend a little more at ease. "You can look."

The name relaxed him and Blaine blinked before lifting his eyes, taking in Kurt's body inch by inch. As his gaze slowly rose from Kurt's toes to his eyes, letting go of the embarrassment of his own erection only when he saw Kurt's as well, he could not even begin to find the words to describe how the breathtaking man standing before him made him feel. "God you are so beautiful," Blaine whispered in wonder, his throat tightening with emotion. He was falling and all he wanted to do was to call him Sir and kneel and serve, but in the recesses of his brain he remembered that was wrong and his heart burned with the shame of his desires.

"Thank you," Kurt said but then he saw the tears rolling down Blaine's face. He moved quickly to wipe them away, wanting to hold him but knowing that it would be far too much too soon. "Why are you crying?"

"I'm sorry, it's just…" Blaine wiped his cheeks, hating that everything negative ever told to him was going to ruin this moment. But he had to be honest with Kurt. "Santana is beautiful too and I should feel this way about her and I don't. And I shouldn't feel this way about you but you're amazing and I do."

Kurt's heart ached. Everyone had been right. The more intimate they became the harder this was going to be for Blaine. But he would do whatever he could do to make it work because he wanted this, he wanted Blaine, so badly. "Maybe we should just forget about should and shouldn't," Kurt suggested, brushing his fingers through Blaine's wet curls. He cupped Blaine's face, resting their foreheads together and whispered, "Just for today."

The pain and desire evident on his face, Blaine closed his eyes and nodded his permission. Kurt brushed his lips against Blaine's, kissing him lightly. Every instinct told them both to pull away, but neither did, leaning into it, opening up to it, deepening it with a sense of urgency that frightened them both. Kurt's lips felt like a dream to Blaine, a distant memory he had long forgotten, a hope that he'd stopped believing in. Eyes closed, Blaine let go of the warnings in his head and just allowed himself to feel, feel Kurt's silky wet skin against his own as he was wrapped up in strong, loving arms. He let his hands explore, slowly trailing them down Kurt's side, the skin smooth beneath his fingertips, calling him closer. He felt himself falling deeper and his submission reached out for purchase.

"You can touch me if you want to," Kurt whispered in his ear and the danger of doing as Kurt said was not lost on either of them. Despite every warning that sexual contact would trigger Blaine's submission, Blaine believed in that moment that it was worth any amount of heartache to be able to touch. He brushed his fingertips down, over the curve of Kurt's perfect ass, then let his hand open against the flesh, pulling him closer. When their cocks met between them Blaine couldn't help the moan that escaped his lips or the submission that swirled around him eagerly. And he couldn't help but fall to his knees.

He wouldn't look at Kurt. He didn't want to see the apprehension clouding over eyes of blue, a storm rolling in where it was not welcome. All he wanted was to touch him, to taste him, to feel the weight of Kurt on his tongue. He nuzzled Kurt's thigh, begging for it, hoping Kurt would just offer, but there was nothing but silence from above. He needed something though and he brushed his thumb just beneath Kurt's length before encircling the base and stroking him gently. The only reaction was the flexing and the reaching and the pleading of Kurt's cock for more and Blaine wanted only to obey.

"Please Kurt," he begged, finally looking up through long, wet lashes. This was all he had wanted but couldn't have the last time he was in this position, so this time he did not hesitate. He let his lips brush over the soft skin of the head and his tongue dart out for its first ever taste. It was everything he had imagined and he desperately needed more. "Please let me."

Kurt's head was spinning and he fought with his heart, knowing that they'd already gone farther than they should go. He remembered Brittany's words in the back of his head but it still felt like it would be a mistake to give in to the burning ache inside of him for more. "We shouldn't," he forced past his lips.

And suddenly Blaine smiled up at him, his submission so often fueled by mischief. "Then it's a good thing we are forgetting about should and shouldn't today."

"Fuck," Kurt managed in a strangled breath only a second before Blaine took him in his mouth and swirled a tongue around him, humming softly. Kurt nearly lost his footing and he stepped back, leaning against the wall for support. Blaine chased him, crawling forward, never letting his lips leave Kurt and for a minute Kurt wondered if maybe he'd been wrong about Blaine's inexperience. He threaded his fingers through Blaine's thick wet curls and worked very hard to keep himself still as Blaine's tongue expertly traced up his vein and sent shivers down his spine. Somewhere in the back of his mind he knew that Blaine needed praise and orders and permission and he knew that he was doing this completely wrong, but the words wouldn't form and all he could focus on was keeping the thrusts of his hips as small as possible. "Fuck Blaine," he swore over and over until suddenly he could no longer control himself. "Fuck, I'm gonna…" he choked out and Blaine panicked and shifted backwards and off. With a groan Kurt reached down and with one stroke finished himself off, spilling into the pool of water circling down into the drain. He rested his head back against the wall. "God Blaine, that was amazing," he sighed, still quivering with tiny aftershocks.

It took Kurt a moment to come down from the blissful edge, to restore his breathing and his heart rate and to open his eyes, but when he did they fell on Blaine, kneeling back against his heels, hands gripping his knees tightly, head down as the water poured down over him.

"Blaine…" He took a step forward and lifted his boyfriend's chin, wanting nothing more than to see his beautiful smile flashing up at him. But that wasn't what he saw at all. What he saw looked too much like regret. "That was incredible," Kurt said, trying to fix whatever he had clearly broken, then his eyes fell to Blaine's still obviously aching erection. "You didn't…" he gestured, thinking maybe now he understood, maybe he'd come too soon and Blaine was upset. "Do you want me to-"

"No. Thank you," Blaine said quickly, dropping his eyes once more. The water continued to fall over his head like rain but Blaine didn't even seem to notice it. Instead he rose to his feet and reached for the curtain, refusing to look at Kurt. "I'm sorry. I'll let you finish up. I'll meet you outside."

Kurt didn't say a word, watching him go. He had no idea what to say. He didn't even know what had happened. One minute everything was perfect and then the next it was all wrong. He heard the door close and his chest grew heavy with the knowledge that he had completely messed up. They had moved too fast or he didn't praise enough or he hadn't given him an order or some other reason to prove to the world why they'd been right all along and Kurt would never be enough for Blaine. He turned the water off and quickly dried himself and dressed. He considered not styling his hair so he could make sure that Blaine hadn't left, but he heard sounds in the kitchen and he had no idea whether it was better to go to him quickly or give him some time.

When he went out he found Blaine dressed, his hair wet with curls, at the sink in the kitchen doing the dishes that Rachel had left.

"You don't have to do that," Kurt told him, laying his hand gently on his shoulder.

"I know I don't have to," Blaine snapped.

Kurt was taken aback by Blaine's tone but he didn't know what to say or what to do while Blaine scrubbed the last pot within an inch of its life and put it on the stove, drying his hands on a dish towel.

"I should go," Blaine said, barely looking at Kurt, but moving quickly to grab his things.

"No Blaine, you shouldn't." Kurt's nerves grew and he grasped at Blaine's hand. It was shaking and Blaine wouldn't look at him. "Blaine talk to me," he said but his boyfriend just shook his head.

"I'm fine s-Kurt," he said and he pulled his hand away.

"You're not fine," Kurt argued and he forced Blaine's eyes to meet his. They seemed to look right through him. "You've fallen too deep or something. Let me call Santana. Or at least walk you home."

"No." Blaine said, pulling away. "No thank you. I'll be fine Kurt," he said, blinking his eyes to focus on him for just a moment. "I'll talk to you tomorrow."

Blaine was exhausted by the time he got back to the apartment. His head was swimming with submission that refused to settle. He'd fought to refuse every conscious and unconscious offer of dominance on his way home and he climbed the steps and opened the door, falling to his knees the minute he crossed the threshold into the living room. Santana's attention snapped and she left Brittany on the couch running toward him. "Blaine, are you okay?" she asked, placing a hand on his head. "Did something happen? Did you do something wrong?"

Blaine let out a strangled laugh and shook his head. "Yes. And then I didn't let Kurt walk me home when even he knew he should have."

"What happened?" she asked, though she had an idea what. Santana could feel his submission churning feverishly close to subspace but it didn't reach out to her and it was refusing her dominance and she couldn't understand why. "Blaine, let me help you."

"No," he shook his head again stubbornly. "There are some things Santana I need to figure out how to handle on my own."

"You aren't on your own Blaine," Santana insisted. "I'm here to help you, I promised you that. We talked about this, what could happen when you're intimate. You can't do this alone, you can always call, I will always come and get you."

"No, Santana, please," he snapped without meaning to and he sat back on his heels and avoided her gaze, pulling away even more from her attempt to dominate. "You can't help me with this."

"I can though."

Blaine looked up as Santana looked behind her. Santana took a step back and Brittany crossed over to him. "If you don't want Santana to catch you, will you at least let me hold your hand while you fall?"

He looked into the sub's warm, loving blue eyes and with only a moment's hesitation Blaine nodded. She knelt down to him and took his hands between them. He felt warmth flow from her hands into his own and throughout his body. Her submission joined with his and slowed it until it returned to nothing more than a quiet hum. His breathing steadied to match hers. He tried to stay upright but he couldn't and he collapsed into her arms. With every ounce of love in her heart, she wrapped him up and held him close. "If you won't call Santana, will you call me? Please? You could have been hurt, walking like that on your own, you're lucky you weren't."

Blaine knew she was right and he wasn't sure he could say no right now even if he wanted to. But he was absolutely certain he didn't want to. "Yes," he told Brittany. "I promise, I'll call."

"Trust me, you are the absolute last person I would come to about this," Kurt said. He grabbed his coffee, the dregs of the pot on the theater's snack table, but there was no way he would have this conversation in public. Even in the safety of the rehearsal hall, he hid behind his cup as he tried to swallow his humiliation for the benefit of the answers he needed.

"And yet here you are," Jesse smirked. "Which means I'm also the first person you'd come to talk to about this."

That wasn't true. He would have gone to Finn before anyone else if he could have. And he knew that Brittany would have been able to shed even more light on the situation. But he really didn't want to give her any excuse to yell at him, or worse, say that she'd been right all along.

"Let's just agree that I'm here and you can gloat instead about the fact that I need your help at all," Kurt said.

Jesse considered that, then smiled with satisfaction. "Sounds like a plan. So what can I help you with?"

Kurt stared at Jesse's eager face and even the privacy wasn't getting rid of his second thoughts and he buried his face in his hands. "Oh my god this is the most embarrassing thing I have ever done."

"I doubt that," Jesse noted, but then he took pity on the kid in front of him. "Look, whatever it is I'm sure you're not the first person to have done it, though I have no doubt you gave it your own flair."

"Okay fine, it's just…" Kurt looked anywhere other than at Jesse. "It's about Blaine. Well, Blaine and me. Well, Blaine and me in the shower together-"

"Oh god, that image just flashed through my brain and now it needs a shower," Jesse groaned.

"Okay forget it, I'm outta here," Kurt snapped, grabbing his things to go.

Jesse stood up though and reached for Kurt's hand. "Come on, I'm sorry. I'll try again, serious face, I promise." If Kurt had any other choice right now he would have left immediately, but he didn't. Leaving would mean never understanding what had happened and he needed to know. He sat back down with a heavy sigh. Jesse sat back down as well and leaned back. When Kurt said nothing, Jesse started again for him. "So you and Blaine were in the shower…"

Kurt rolled his lips between his teeth before sighing. "We were in the shower and he…he fell to his knees…" Kurt took a deep breath. No matter what Jesse said, he was pretty sure that in his entire life he'd experienced nothing more embarrassing than this conversation. "And he…ya know…"

"Blew your whistle?" Jesse guessed with an amused arch in his brow.

Kurt could feel his cheeks growing warm and hoped that he wasn't as bright red as he imagined he was. "Yes. And when I was…done, he just…he just sat back on his heels and looked like his world had fallen apart. He wouldn't even look at me. I thought that maybe it was because he hadn't…and so I offered to take care of him, ya know, but he said no and he just got out. I finished up as quickly as I could and when I got out he was dressed and doing my dishes and then I offered to talk but he ran out of there."

Jesse thought about it for a minute then took a breath. "Ok, let's review. He got on his knees…" Kurt nodded. "He sucked you off, he swallowed, and then-"

"Well not really," Kurt corrected.

Jesse leaned forward. "Not really?" he pushed.

Kurt shook his head. "No, I'm almost positive it was his first time, and he pulled off just before I-" Jesse sat back, his arms folded across his chest with a satisfied grin. "What?" Kurt asked.

"Well there's your answer," Jesse said as if it were obvious. "I assume you never took the time to actually talk about what you were gonna do, and you didn't give him any rules or orders, so he made up his own rules. In his head he knew what he was supposed to do, what you expected and he failed you by pulling off. And let me guess. Like the completely oblivious Gray you are, you tried to make him feel better by telling him how good a job he'd done when he knew that that was about as far from the truth as you could get."

"I…I just…"

"You're just a Gray," Jesse said and at Kurt's scowl he leaned back forward and spread his hands in apology. "Look, I don't mean that in a bad way, other than that you don't understand. He disobeyed an order that you'd given him in his head and he deserved to be punished for it. He was teetering on the edge of subspace no doubt fighting the fall, and you didn't punish him, so he punished himself."

Kurt's head fell in his hands. Jesse said it as if it was the easiest thing in the world to make sense of and yet he hated everything that Jesse had just suggested. "I didn't order him to do anything, I never would. And I would certainly never get mad at him for not doing something he was uncomfortable with."

"Doesn't matter," Jesse said matter-of-factly. "In his mind he did something wrong. And he needed to be held accountable and dominated and punished."

"Well, I can't," Kurt argued, flying out of his chair and walking away. He rubbed his hands over his face and shook his head before turning back to Jesse. "I'm never going to hit him or make him stand in the corner or chew burning gum or whatever other god awful thing Santana makes him do. And I wouldn't have a freaking clue how to dominate him like that even if I wanted to."

"Kurt, you don't have to. Not like that. He's never known another type of dominance Kurt, but it doesn't mean it couldn't exist for him. There's a reason white contracts are discouraged at best. Sure he gets the dominance he needs but its limited and let me tell you that's not all there is out there," Jesse smirked. "There's a whole world at your fingertips that Santana doesn't have."

"Look, dominating is one thing," Kurt said. "But you're talking punishment and I don't want any part of it."

Jesse looked at him doubtfully. "Come on, don't tell me you've never been so pissed at someone that you've just wanted to smack them," Jesse said. "Yours truly comes to mind," Jesse said, an eyebrow quirked.

Kurt shot him a flippant glare, but he shook his head. "Never someone I loved."

"Really Kurt?" Jesse asked. "Rachel Berry is your best friend, right?"

Kurt wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. Because that much was true, but Rachel wasn't Blaine. "The other day he got in trouble at school and I walked him home, but he was so afraid of what she was going to do and I don't ever want him to be afraid of me like he was of Santana."

"I would bet every cent I own that he wasn't afraid of the punishment and he wasn't afraid of Santana. The only thing he was likely afraid of was how disappointed in him she would be after whatever he had done wrong. If you had stayed to watch, and I'm sure you didn't, you would have seen that," Jesse said.

Kurt shuddered at the thought. "I could never watch what Santana does to him, it makes me sick to even think about it."

"Well you're going to need to think about it and you're going to need to do something or you're going to lose him and fast," Jesse said. "Look, no one's asking you to flog him or even spank him, not even Blaine. He's already told you in that shower exactly how he needs you to punish him."

Kurt stared at him dumbly. "What are you talking about, he didn't tell me anything."

"Yes. He did. If you knew how to listen. His punishment wasn't the dishes and it wasn't leaving. You offered to get him off, he refused. That was his punishment." Kurt was staring at him like he was crazy and Jesse resisted the urge to roll his eyes. "You don't have to do what Santana does. You want to give him what he needs? All you need are four little words," Jesse smiled slyly. "You. May. Not. Come."

Blaine ran his finger over the table cloth on the small round table he'd chosen in the corner of the NYADA coffee house. He sipped at his drink, his stomach flipping with nerves and he constantly looked up each time someone walked through the door, hoping it was Kurt.

They'd agreed to meet between classes at 11. Blaine got there at 10:30 and almost left twice, thinking he'd just text him his apologies instead. But each time he stood he realized that if they were really going to make this work, he had to face this in person.

Kurt walked in at 11:03 and Blaine stood up to meet him. Kurt looked worried, Blaine offered him a shy smile and Kurt's heart melted. He took Blaine into his arms, held him tightly then kissed him softly on the lips. "Hi," Kurt said gently.

"Let me get you a coffee," Blaine said immediately.

Kurt almost went to stop him then decided against it. Blaine needed to do this. "Thank you Blaine," he said and he watched his boyfriend go, happy, Kurt knew, to serve him. He sighed and sat, hanging his coat up on his chair behind him. He and Jesse had talked for a long time after rehearsal the night before and though there were so many things he still wasn't comfortable with, Jesse had encouraged him to start with the little things. Like letting Blaine get him coffee.

"Here," Blaine said, arriving back at the table. He passed Kurt his cup and slid back into his own seat. And he started apologizing immediately. "Kurt I am so sorry for last night."

Kurt looked around to make sure no one could hear them and he was glad they'd chosen to meet before the rush. He reached over and took Blaine's hand. "Blaine, you didn't do anything wrong last night, least of all what happened in the shower."

Blaine lowered his eyes. "I didn't do what was expected of me."

"Who put that expectation on you because it sure wasn't me," Kurt challenged.

Blaine looked up through his lashes, recognition washing over his eyes before he dropped them again. "You're right s-Kurt," he fixed, hoping he caught himself quickly enough. "But that means I still did something wrong even before I left on my own which I also shouldn't have done."

Kurt let out a breath, trying to keep himself calm at the almost slip. All he wanted was to tell Blaine that he was an adult and he didn't have to answer to anyone but himself and he should stop being so damn subservient and stand up for himself, but he was trying so hard not to make the same mistakes twice. Still, he knew that Blaine wasn't subservient like this and he did stand up for himself with Santana all the time and he couldn't understand what was going on. He let his hand slip up to the studs on Blaine's cuff and he rubbed his thumb over the smooth silver. Trust. Truth. Respect. Love. "Blaine, look at me." Blaine's eyes jumped, like it was an order. Kurt ignored the knot in the pit of his stomach that obedience gave him. "I love you. I love you and because I love you I respect your limits and I won't question them. And because you love me you have to respect that I am not your Dom and I am not going to order you to do things and I am not going to punish you like Santana does. You did nothing wrong last night, do you understand me?"

"Yes Kurt," Blaine said obediently and it was like Blaine didn't even see what he was doing. The knot in Kurt's stomach hardened. Was this it? Was this exactly what everyone had warned him about? Kurt got up out of his seat, never more frustrated with Blaine in his life, and though a part of him was urging him to flee, another part, a stronger part, had every desire to stay and fight. So he reached for Blaine's hand and he pulled hard.

"Come on."

"Kurt where are we-"

But Blaine couldn't finish his question because Kurt's grip was strong and they were moving fast past room after room until Kurt found an empty one and when he did he pulled Blaine inside, closed the door behind him and threw Blaine up against it.

"Kurt," Blaine whispered but his voice was cut off by Kurt's lips on his, hard and rough. Kurt thrust out his tongue and Blaine immediately opened for him, letting Kurt do whatever he wanted to him. He tried not to let himself wish that Kurt would grab his hands and hold them tight above his head like Rachel had at the party but then Kurt did exactly that and Blaine gasped into his mouth. He was falling quickly but he was fighting the fall when Blaine felt Kurt grind their cocks together, hard and dirty and he did it again and again until Blaine was nearly desperate and if Blaine was asked a color he would have shouted, green. But he wasn't asked and Kurt pulled away as fast as he'd attacked, leaving five feet of distance between them and Blaine panting for breath against the wall. "Kurt-"

"Go to class Blaine," Kurt ordered, his eyes as hard as he could force them.

But Blaine was hard and he needed more, he needed Kurt to touch him. "Kurt please..."

"I said go to class," Kurt ordered once again.

Blaine's head was spinning and his cock was pulsing and he stared incredulously at Kurt leaving him wanting. But at Kurt's unwavering gaze, realization hit and his submission slowly subsided, the fire and the sparkle quickly returning to his eyes. His heart swelled. "God, I love you so much," he laughed.

Kurt let a smile crack and he folded his arms into his chest self-consciously, his heart beating frantically beneath them. "I love you too," he said with a blush spreading from his cheeks to his neck. "Now go."

Blaine straightened himself out quickly, flattened his hair and obeyed Kurt's commands.

Kurt fell against the door as it closed behind him, letting the tension flow out of him. He tried not to think about how much he'd enjoyed that. And he tried not to think about how much he wanted to do it again.


I don't know where the lights are taking us
But something in the night is dangerous
And nothing's holding back the two of us
Baby this is getting serious

It's dangerous, so dangerous
I wanna do it again

Chapter Text

Where has that old friend gone
Lost in a February song
Tell him it won't be long
Til he opens his eyes, opens his eyes

Where is that simple day
Before colors broke into shades
And how did I ever fade
Into this life, into this life

~ Josh Groban


Kurt paced the floor of the loft, his phone in his hand. He'd been putting off telling his Dad for so long it had somehow become easier not to admit the truth than to admit it. But he and Blaine were getting closer and more serious and it wasn't fair to keep that from his Dad. No matter how loudly he might yell.

He dialed the number and waited, wearing out the hardwood, he was sure, until finally his father answered.

"Hey kid, what's up?"

"Hey, listen Dad." Kurt folded his arms across his chest to protect himself from the onslaught. "There's something I've been meaning to tell you."

"Mmhmm," Burt hummed into the phone. Kurt could hear the creak of his Dad's old office chair at the garage as he settled in for the news. "I'm listening."

"Well, it''s about Blaine," Kurt said. He was starting to get dizzy from the back and forth so he planted himself on the couch, a pillow in his lap. "Remember Blaine, from Christmas?"

"Yes Kurt, I remember Blaine from Christmas," Burt said and Kurt could hear his father's eyes rolling.

"Ok. Good. Well, I mean…" Kurt stuttered trying to find the words but there really were no other words than the truth. "We're sorta, kinda, well...we've been dating for a while now," he finally spit out.

Burt gave another quiet hum and Kurt's heart beat wildly as he waited for the screaming to begin. "So it's not so sorta, kinda then," Burt said. "It's for real?"

"Yes," Kurt admitted.

"Do you think that's smart?" his Dad said.

Kurt knew it wasn't smart, they all knew it wasn't smart. But smart had absolutely nothing to do with it. "Doesn't really matter if it is or isn't," he said.

"And how does his Dom feel about it?" Burt asked.

"Well, she fully supports us and I was...well I know how you and Carole feel about it, but I was kinda hoping you could too," he said sheepishly.

Kurt heard the chair creak again and he could picture his Dad leaning forward now, probably rubbing his face with complete exasperation. "Kurt. You know I will always support you. We will always support you. We may not like or agree with your decisions, and I'm gonna tell you honestly here kid that I don't, but we will always support you." Kurt breathed a little sigh of relief. "So how's it going? Honestly?"

"It's um, well, for the most part it's going well. We get along great and we have so many things in common. He's sweet and adorable. The biggest problem is-"

"His expectation of punishment," Burt finished for him.

Kurt huffed. He had no idea why on earth Doms and subs were so obsessed with it. "Yes," Kurt admitted. "I just hate it."

"You've always hated it Kurt, even when you were a baby."

Kurt was taken aback by the comment. "What do you mean?"

"Let's see," Burt started, a bit of amusement in his voice. "You were about 2 years old when your mom did something, I don't even remember what. Whatever it was, I had her lying on the couch. There was maybe a wooden spoon or something in my hand." Kurt's mouth gaped open. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. "I got two smacks in before you ran up to my knees and pushed me away and started yelling, 'Don't touch my mama' over and over again while you climbed on top of her. She cuddled you up in her arms and she was laughing so hard but you thought she was crying and you kept saying, 'It's okay mommy, I protect you.'

Kurt shook his head. He didn't remember any of that, and he couldn't believe that his father would ever do anything like that.

"Your Mom and I immediately adjusted our contract with a hard limit for discipline and punishment to never be within your eyeshot or earshot. It took months for you to talk to me again and I don't think you ever really trusted me again as much as you had before. At least not until you came out."

"God Dad." Kurt was at a loss for words. "I had no idea. What about with you and Carole?" he asked.

"She doesn't need it and it doesn't bother me. Blaine will," Burt said matter-of-factly. "And that will be the hardest part for you."

"Already is," Kurt admitted reluctantly. "But that's why he has Santana."

"Don't be surprised son if that doesn't work for too long," Burt warned him. "He may always need Santana or someone else's dominant energy," Burt explained. "But the authority, he will want only from you."

Blaine checked his watch, straightened his tie, flattened down his hair one more time and hurried out of his room. "I'm going out with Kurt, be home later!" Blaine yelled, grabbing his coat to head out the door.

"Woah, hold on there Blaine," Santana called from where she was cooking in the kitchen. Her voice was warning. He closed his eyes and turned around with a sigh. "I don't remember you asking me if you could go out."

"Uh, I don't remember that being something in our contract," he said flippantly.

Santana's eyes narrowed. "Respect is though," she said.

Blaine rolled his eyes. "Oh come on Santana, it's not disrespectful for me to go out with my boyfriend without asking for permission. I'm not 12."

"It is disrespectful to not let me know that you have plans for the evening on family dinner night and it is absolutely disrespectful and completely unacceptable the way you are talking to me right now. Corner. Now. 10 minutes," she ordered.

"That's bullshit Santana, I didn't do anything wrong and I'm going to be late!" Blaine argued.

"And you just made it 15. I won't stop you from going, but step out the door now and you can bet there will be hell to pay when you get back," she threatened far too calmly.

Blaine contemplated his choices. He could leave now and meet Kurt on time knowing he'd be hurting as soon as he got home. Or he could do as he was told and keep Kurt waiting. He was very tempted just to walk out, but the blazing fire in Santana's eyes as he hesitated to obey was powerful. "Can I at least text Kurt to tell him I'll be late? That's the respectful thing to do after all," he said with a hint of defiance.

"Yes. And tell him it will be 20 because that attitude just earned you another 5," she said. She grabbed his phone out of his back pocket and held it out for him. "Push me one more time and you'll be nursing a sore backside before you go as well."

He lowered his eyes and took the phone. "Yes Ma'am," he answered.

Blaine nearly ran to the restaurant Kurt had chosen, not wanting to leave him waiting one more second. He was breathless when he came in. "Kurt…Hummel…reservation…" he panted to the host. With a look of derision the tuxedo-clad host led Blaine up the dark wood stairs to the romantic table for two, where Kurt was sitting scrolling on his phone by the candlelight. Soft classical music from the grand piano below only added to the warmth of the room and the perfection of it caused Blaine's heart to fall just a little bit more with regret. "Kurt I am so sorry," he began apologizing, just grateful he could sit without a consistent reminder of why he was late. "Santana was in a mood and thought I was being disrespectful-"

"Don't worry about it Blaine," Kurt snapped, barely looking up.

Blaine frowned pulling his red cloth napkin onto his lap. "You're mad." He knew he would be and Blaine deserved it. Kurt had every reason to be mad having just been nearly stood up and left to sit alone on a table with half a dozen red roses…aww, Kurt brought roses

"Yes I'm mad," Kurt said, fixing Blaine with a tired gaze. "I'm just not sure at whom."

Blaine lowered his eyes. He'd made the selfish choice keeping him waiting and more than anything he just wanted to beg his forgiveness. But he didn't. "Me, Kurt. I'm the one you should be mad at."

"Are you?" Kurt challenged. Blaine looked back up confused. "You don't belong to her Blaine, you should be able to come and go as you please and not have to answer to her. You're a grown ass adult with a boyfriend and the only one who should be concerned about whether you're being disrespectful or not is me," Kurt snapped. Blaine's mouth opened slightly. But Kurt immediately took it back. "I'm sorry, that's not what I meant."

"Oh," Blaine said with disappointment that he failed to cover up. "Of course not, I didn't think…" He took a breath and rubbed his neck. "Look Kurt, can we just start over? Pretend I got here on time? I'd like to tell you how beautiful the flowers are. And how gorgeous you look."

Though he knew Kurt's upset wouldn't dissipate so quickly he was pleased to be able to draw the beginnings of a smile out of him. "Yeah. Sure," Kurt allowed.

Blaine reached across the table and took Kurt's hand. The tension he didn't realize he was holding relaxed a bit when Kurt squeezed it back. "The flowers are beautiful Kurt. And you look absolutely gorgeous," he said, taking in the crisp white shirt accented perfectly with a bright colored vest and cravat that expertly highlighted the blue in his eyes. Blaine couldn't wait to see how Kurt's pants hugged his form perfectly. "And this restaurant looks amazing," he continued, glancing down at the menu. "What would you recommend?"

"I'd recommend getting here on time next time," Kurt admonished and before Blaine's eyes he could see Kurt's anger transform into something else. A quiet confidence. A strong air. The natural dominance that Blaine had fallen in love with the first day they had met and had been oh so present that day in the classroom. Blaine's heart started beating quickly. "And I had been planning on recommending the oysters, but I don't know if you deserve them anymore," Kurt added smartly.

Blaine's breathlessness quickly returned but it had nothing to do with his sprint to the restaurant. "I promise I'll earn it," he answered thickly.

Kurt's eyes sparkled in the dimness. "Well, then I was planning to have the salmon. You'd probably like the Beef Wellington," he said and though it was far from ordering for him just the thought of Kurt choosing his dinner made Blaine's head spin. "And I thought we might end with the dark chocolate, coconut and almond gelato."

"Sounds delicious," Blaine approved trying to keep the moan in his throat from escaping.

Kurt flashed a sly grin and it remained, as one eye stayed firmly on Blaine while he ordered for the both of them. Blaine's arousal was evident, everyone's advice echoed in Kurt's head, and maybe he owed Santana a debt of gratitude after all for putting Blaine in the right mood from the start.

Because Kurt had plans for that evening and despite the rough beginning, everything seemed to be going perfectly for now.

"God Kurt," Blaine muttered in between desperate kisses and Kurt's attempts to rip his clothes off. "Your lips…taste…delicious." Kurt pressed him against the door of the thankfully empty loft and managed to rid him of his shirt. Blaine shivered as Kurt's thumb brushed over his nipples. "Want you…so bad."

"I want you too." Kurt hooked his finger in Blaine's waistline and led him to his bedroom. The curtains offered only a modicum of privacy but Rachel was gone tonight and Kurt was going to take advantage of it as much as he possibly could. "I want this off," he almost growled, unbuckling Blaine's belt and throwing it to the ground.

He was interrupted though by Blaine's frantic fingers fumbling with Kurt's shirt. "Too many layers Kurt," Blaine complained, fiddling with the cravat and vest, untucking Kurt's shirt and unbuttoning the pants that were swelled beyond their limit. Blaine proudly bit his lip when Kurt moaned at the release. "Oh I plan to make you feel even better than that, love," he promised and he lowered Kurt's pants quickly.

"Not so fast Blaine," Kurt growled as he raced to catch up. Before Blaine knew it his ass was bare, pants and underwear on the floor and he hadn't even gotten Kurt half naked.

"This isn't fair," Blaine complained, nibbling at Kurt's neck beneath his ear. "I'm naked and you aren't."

"I thought that's the way you liked it," Kurt said roughly and Blaine stopped mid bite.

His breath hitched and he pulled back. Kurt's hands rested on his hips, almost but not quite pressing with the strength to leave marks. Blaine's cock was full and throbbing just waiting for attention with no idea how long the wait would be. Kurt's lips were kiss swollen and red and his eyes were piercing, a blue so sharp that it made Blaine shiver. "Touch me," he whispered. "Please?"

Kurt smiled as if he'd been waiting the whole night for those words, but he traced a finger on Blaine's cheek softly. "Are you sure that's what you want sweetheart?"

"I've never been more sure of anything in my life."

Kurt nodded gently, lowering his gaze. Blaine closed his eyes and he gave in to the sensation as Kurt traced slowly up his sides, around his shoulders and down his arms until both of his hands were firmly held by Kurt's. His eyes fluttered open to see Kurt smiling at him, shy now, with just a hint of pink coloring his cheeks. "Come on," he coaxed.

Kurt led him to the bed and laid him down gently on his stomach, straddling him from behind. Blaine's mind swam with the possibilities of what Kurt had in store for him, but the soft pressure to the muscles in his shoulders was not one of them. "I'm going to take such good care of you," Kurt promised. "Just close your eyes and relax."

The scent of the oil in Kurt's hands reached Blaine's nose and it smelled of vanilla and sandalwood, while the glide of it on his skin felt luxurious. Kurt's touch was soft at first, just firm enough to avoid tickling while still make him wish for more. Hand over hand Kurt swept over his skin, waking it from what felt like a lifetime of sleep and beginning to light it afire. Slowly he made his way further down from his shoulders to his lower back, then down to Blaine's ass. Blaine buried his face in Kurt's pillow, breathing in his scent as long and slender but strong hands firmly stroked his most sensitive skin. He was glad he'd escaped Santana's spanking that night, but then he couldn't help but wonder how it would have felt if he hadn't. He'd have to find out some night. "God Kurt, don't stop, don't ever stop," he muttered into the fabric.

The pressure in his cock built as Kurt moved deeper from skin to muscles. He kneaded with his knuckles, causing pleasure that was just this side of painful and altogether perfect. "Harder Kurt, want more, please…" Blaine begged and he pressed himself into the mattress.

Kurt stopped, grabbing his hips to pull them away. "None of that. You're all mine tonight," he said.

Mine. The word echoed over and over in Blaine's head and he began a slow descent, groaning while Kurt gently turned him over, once again straddling him at his thighs, just beneath his cock but refusing to touch it. Instead Kurt started once again at his shoulders, massaging firmly, lovingly.

"That feels amazing," Blaine crooned and he closed his eyes again.

Blaine felt the loss of Kurt's hand only seconds before a thumb brushed over his left nipple and Blaine's whole body jumped as sparks shot through him. Kurt repeated the motion on the other side and electricity continued to build. Kurt tried different speeds and pressures and Blaine was in heaven on the edge of pain and pleasure. Then suddenly Kurt's mouth replaced the thumb on his left side, his lips sucking while his tongue twirled and Blaine keened and gasped.

"God Kurt, I could...I could come...just from..." Blaine wasn't sure if he was protesting or pleading.

Kurt decided for him, popping off immediately but filing the information away for another day, and gave Blaine a break to get under control. "Wouldn't want that," he said. "Not yet."

It was only a brief respite though because soon Kurt's fingers traced down Blaine's chest and stomach, and Kurt crawled backwards until his touch reached his thighs. Kurt gently parted his legs, positioned himself between them, and brushed a thumb over his balls.

"You are beautiful Blaine," Kurt whispered. "Beautiful and perfect and mine."

There it was again. Mine. Blaine's head was reeling and he could feel himself falling further, Kurt's lips on his thighs each a tender kiss to feed his submission. But he knew that he couldn't and he forced himself out, just to the edge where he was neither there nor here. And in that beautiful space of in between he could feel Kurt's long, slender fingers wrap around his cock and begin to stroke him. "I want you to come for me," Blaine heard Kurt say through his tunneled mind. "Can you come for me Blaine?"

"Yes sir," Blaine whispered and he knew he shouldn't have said the word, but Kurt didn't stop him, he just stroked harder. Blaine could feel it with this incredible heightened sense of awareness; every press, every pull, every wrinkle on Kurt's skin, he could feel it to the point where it stood between pleasure and pain and it was the most incredible feeling he'd ever experienced. "Come for me beautiful," Kurt repeated.

If you don't come for me on the count of ten I will spank you, Blaine imagined Kurt saying in his mind and though he wanted that spanking more than anything, he wanted even more to be good for Kurt. Three, Four, Five, Blaine's breathing was heavy, and Kurt's caresses were intoxicating and he never wanted them to stop. Six, Seven, Eight, Blaine focused on the storm building in his belly, wanting to wait but knowing that Kurt had ordered him not to. Nine, Ten, he let himself go, crying out with the release of his submission as he spilled with an intensity he had never felt before. He knew that if he let himself he could fall long and hard into a beautiful serenity that would feel amazing in the moment but would soon turn to loneliness and despair if left too long. So he fought his way back, and as he did he could feel Kurt rest his hand gently at his base, his thumb brushing softly at the sensitive skin below.

He opened his eyes to see Kurt smiling brightly down at him and he returned his gaze in kind.

"Are you okay?" Kurt asked, biting his lip with a touch of worry. Blaine wasn't sure if that was the first or the fifth time Kurt had asked.

"Yes," Blaine whispered, breathless. He leaned up slowly on his elbows to find that Kurt had already cleaned him off, then sat up, kissing him softly on the neck. "Let me return the favor," Blaine whispered. "Get it right this time. Please?"

It only took a moment for Kurt to look at him and understand before he answered, "Okay."

Blaine spun Kurt to sit on the edge of the mattress, then flew out of bed with the energy of superman, a grin so broad he thought it would never leave. He pulled Kurt's undershirt off over his head, both of them laughing giddily, then nudged him slightly to lift his hips so he could slip Kurt's boxers off. Blaine neatly folded the clothing and placed it on the chair then returned to kneel between Kurt's legs before Kurt could even say a word.

He looked up at Kurt and Blaine's breath hitched as an expected rush of submission overcame him once again. His smile faded and his eyes dropped to the floor as he knelt back against his heels.

"Blaine," Kurt said, fear lacing his voice. The change in Blaine was palpable, and frightening for the Gray. "You're falling too far."

"I'm okay Kurt, just give me a moment," Blaine breathed and his voice was reassuring. "Please."

The position itself held so much power, and Blaine's desire for redemption was strong. He allowed himself to fall but he was able to control the speed and the depth. He took a deep breath in and as he blew it out he let his submission wrap fully around Kurt, holding on. And he stayed where he was.

Kurt's worry disappeared as a warmth filled him and he almost felt like he was floating. He leaned back on his arms and gave in until he felt Blaine's hands, reverent on his thighs. Kurt closed his eyes as Blaine pressed forward, taking Kurt in his mouth, so warm and perfect, no sense of urgency but not teasing either, just a loving care that despite his experience Kurt had never felt before. He sat up and laced his fingers through Blaine's hair, not to guide him but simply to hold him, to let Blaine know that he was there.

Kurt's fingers in his hair sent shivers down Blaine's spine. He took his time, worshiping not just Kurt's body but the faith and love and trust Kurt was giving to him. Just as before, hovering on the edge of subspace, Blaine's senses were heightened and he savored every touch, every taste, every sound and scent and even the images floating in the darkness beneath his own lids. His heart swelled with the privilege to serve his Dom so intimately. Not your Dom, said a small voice in the back of his head that left him with a fleeting ache. Just Kurt. Blaine couldn't help but think back to Elliot – the force and demand. And while that from Kurt would be incredible, this was incredible too. No demands. Choosing to serve. Choosing to submit.

Santana had always known.

Blaine thought he could have stayed the whole afternoon right where he was, savoring Kurt for hours, but he could tell that Kurt could not contain himself much longer. With one last swirl of his tongue, he sped up and he felt Kurt's muscles stiffen beneath his hands. Kurt managed one brief warning and then Blaine was swallowing down around him, refusing this time to disobey the phantom order. And learning that he never wanted to disobey it again.

When Kurt finally eased him back from his oversensitivity, Blaine sat back on his heels, resting his head on Kurt's lap and pulling back his submission with both a content and a reluctant sigh. Blaine cradled Kurt's legs and Kurt caressed Blaine's now mussed curls, but neither said a word. They both knew it wasn't perfect; Blaine longed for more domination, Kurt wished for less submission. But this moment was perfect and sharing the thoughts inside their heads would only ruin it. Because whatever was missing, it wasn't the love they had for one another. Their love they wouldn't change for the world.

It was Santana that ruined the mood. Blaine's phone buzzing with the words: I expect you home tonight. Kurt found it difficult to contain his frustration at her ruining both the beginning and the end of the night.

For once, Blaine didn't defend her.

At least she hadn't sent Brittany to pick him up like a child. But it seemed that as little as she had wanted to control his relationship with Kurt before they were together, she wanted complete control of it now that they were. His annoyance only grew on his way back from the loft to his apartment and he had hoped for everybody's sake that he would walk into a dark and quiet home, the girls having gone to bed early.

He had no such luck.

The lights were bright when he opened the door, Santana seemingly waiting up as he should have suspected, as she always did. Brittany was nowhere to be seen so she had probably known enough to leave them alone. He kept his mouth shut, took off his shoes, put away his coat and went to the kitchen for a glass of water.

If Santana sensed his mood she made no mention. "Hey," she said with a smile, grabbing her mug from the coffee table and bringing it over to the kitchen counter. "How was your date?"

Blaine took a drink of his water and scoffed as he put it down on the counter. "Oh so now you care?"

Santana's brow wrinkled in confusion. "I always care-"

"That's bullshit. You didn't care before my date and you didn't care when you ended it," Blaine snapped. He was beginning to realize exactly what all this was about. "Look Santana, you can punish me all you want, it's fine, but don't take it out on Kurt. Don't make him wait just so you can prove that you're in control of me and not him."

"Blaine, that's not what I was doing," Santana said defensively.

"Isn't it though?" Blaine's hands flew to his hips. "Telling me I can't go out without asking permission? Telling me when I need to come home? I mean seriously Santana, who gave you the right?"

"You gave me that right," Santana said firmly. "I'm your Dom!"

"Well maybe you shouldn't be anymore!" Blaine yelled and he stormed past her to his bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him.

Santana stood motionless, stunned into silence until Brittany peaked her head out her bedroom door. She'd obviously been listening. "You okay?" she asked gently.

"Go back to your room," Santana told her more harshly than she'd intended.

Brittany shook her head and did as she was told. Santana stormed to Blaine's room, knocked three times and opened the door.

She found him standing slumped in the corner, his forehead against the wall, face in his hands. She closed the door quietly behind her.

"I'm sorry, I didn't meant that," Blaine muttered.

"Yes you did," Santana said, all of her frustration and hurt evident in the tightness of her voice. "Lately you've been growing more and more insolent and disobedient and combative and honestly Blaine, I don't know why you're acting this way."

"I don't know either Santana," he lied. She could tell that he was crying. She could tell that whatever was going on was breaking his heart, but for the first time she had no idea how to fix it. And neither did he. "I need some space. Please. Could you just please leave?" Blaine pleaded softly.

Her lips pressed together, her dominance warring with her head, she left the room without a word, closing the door behind her. She walked as if in a haze of sadness and confusion into her bedroom and sat down on the edge of the bed. Brittany put her book down and crawled over, rubbing Santana's tension-filled shoulders. "I warned you Santana," she said sadly, wrapping her arms around her Dom and laying her head on her shoulder. "None of you wanted to listen to me, but I warned you."

Blaine's dreams had been filled with Kurt and Santana fighting for domination and control of him. He didn't know which way to go, he wanted both, but they were yelling at him that he had to choose. In the end he'd ended up in the darkness alone, falling with no end in sight as Brittany stared down at him.

He was shaking as he woke, the sun just barely shining through the window. He was also hard, and with barely a thought he reached down and with his eyes shut he kept himself in the darkness, working himself to release the fear and the anger and the multitude of emotions in between that he couldn't even name if he wanted to. He had hoped that when he was done they would all go away, but they only retreated to a faint simmering in the background. He fell back on the pillow, sweating, breathing hard and lost.

He showered and dressed but stayed in his room, not wanting to face the day. They were supposed to go shopping with Rachel while Kurt was in rehearsal but Blaine knew that the worst thing he could do was go. His anger and resentment toward Santana had been far from quelled by the dream and he had no doubt that going out with the girls would end up with him very publicly in trouble, which he could very much do without. The girls would all be better off on their own.

Santana knocked and he opened the door but went straight to sit on his bed, facing away from her. She remained in the doorway, wary, obviously hurt and angry but wanting to make things right. "How are you?"

"Fine," Blaine said with barely a glance her way.

Santana sighed and came to sit next to him. Her presence felt like intrusion to Blaine, something it had never felt like before. "Look, sweetheart, I know this must be hard for you."

"You don't know anything," he snapped without even meaning to. It was almost automatic. He rested his elbows on his knees and allowed his head to fall into his hands. He expected Santana to snap back, to say anything, but her silence said she didn't know what to do any more than he did. When they'd dreamed up their white contract, written it and claimed one another, they had known it had an ending but it was supposed to be smooth and full of love. Neither one of them could ever have imagined this. The feelings inside Blaine were vibrating and he wanted more than anything to make them stop, he just had no idea how. "Look, Santana, I know we were supposed to go out today. But I…I won't be respectful of you. I can't. I think it would be better if I stayed home."

Blaine could feel her dominance swirling and she got up before she did something she'd regret. "Thank you for your honesty," she said coolly. "I expect you to stay home. Until you and I can talk respectfully about what's going on here, you don't leave the house. You don't leave your room except for school, food and the bathroom. And Kurt doesn't come here."

"That's fine," Blaine said.

She stepped back to his side and held something out to him. He looked up to see his cuff in her hand. He had left it on the nightstand last night and hadn't put it back on when he'd gotten dressed. "Hold out your arm," she demanded. He looked her in the eye for the first time. They were hard, and hurt and frightened. He did as he was told, holding his right arm out and she turned the cuff, putting it on inside out, latching it tight so that the four studs dug into the soft side of his forearm. It didn't hurt, but he was pretty sure he wouldn't be able to forget it was there. "You don't take it off until I tell you that you can. You are mine Blaine. Nothing changes that."

"Yes Ma'am," he said.

He waited for her to say something, but she didn't, crossing the room and closing the door behind her instead. He let out the breath he had been holding, picked up his phone and sat back against his headboard.

From Blaine to Kurt: So…I'm grounded.

From Kurt to Blaine: Like you can't leave the house grounded?

From Blaine to Kurt: Like I can't leave my room grounded. Though I kinda did it to myself.

From Kurt to Blaine: Why?

From Blaine to Kurt: Because I can't stop snapping at her. It's like everything she says is grating on me and honestly I just want her to leave me alone.

From Kurt to Blaine: Do you know why?

From Blaine to Kurt: Yes.

From Blaine to Kurt: But I lied to her and told her I didn't.

From Kurt to Blaine: Why did you lie?

From Blaine to Kurt: Because I'm afraid to tell her the truth.

From Blaine to Kurt: I'm afraid to tell both of you the truth.

From Kurt to Blaine: It's because of last night.

From Blaine to Kurt: I don't regret anything. I'd do it all again in a moment. It was the best night of my life.

From Kurt to Blaine: But it's still because of last night.

From Blaine to Kurt: It's not just last night. It's been building for a while.

From Kurt to Blaine: Maybe it's a sign Blaine that we're moving too fast. Maybe we need to slow down.

From Blaine to Kurt: No, the last thing I want to do is slow down. I love you Kurt and I want to be with you. Don't let my behavior toward her change your behavior toward me.

From Kurt to Blaine: You need her Blaine. Don't forget that.

From Blaine to Kurt: I need you more.


Santana was glad to have some time to spend with Rachel, not because she truly liked the Dom, especially after what she'd pulled with Blaine, but because she was a Dom and Santana really needed one to talk to. One who understood the situation. And knew Kurt far better than she did.

"Santana what do you think of this dress," Brittany asked, holding up a modern and romantic pink lace mini.

"That's cute, love," Santana said with a smile. "Go add it to the pile in the dressing room and start trying stuff on. Rachel and I will wait out here."

Brittany did as she was told and Santana and Rachel took a seat on the leather couch set out for those waiting. Santana pulled out her phone and turned it on, thinking maybe she'd missed a text from him. But there was nothing.

It didn't go unnoticed. "It's probably better Blaine didn't come anyway," Rachel noted with a glance to Santana. "Sometimes it's nice to just have a day out with the girls."

"It's better because he would have bitten my head off the entire day," Santana said sullenly.

"You need to remind him that no matter how things are with him and Kurt, you're still his Dom," Rachel said pointedly.

"Do I?" Santana asked a little more harshly than she'd intended. Perhaps her feelings had been hurt a little more than she cared to admit. "Maybe this is what's supposed to happen. If Kurt were a Dom-"

"But he's not," Rachel said. "And he's not going to be. Look, I've known Kurt a long time, through many relationships. And he loves Blaine and is caring for him better than I've seen him care for anyone else. But he's not a Dom and he's not going to be one. And Blaine may pull away from you but you know in your heart it's not safe for you to let him do that. Especially if he's been falling into subspace-"

"But I don't think he has, not since that first time," Santana said. "I think it scared him and I really do think he or Kurt would call Brittany or me if something like that were to happen again. Still, I can't help but think they're going too far, too fast."

"They've never done anything around me, they're careful that way," Rachel told her. "But if they are and if he's not going under then he's fighting going under, which could be even worse." Rachel frowned. She wanted to support Kurt as much as she could, and she promised herself she would do everything she had to in order to do that. "Look Santana, it's not like there are books out there to tell you guys what to do. You're forging your own paths. It's gonna be bumpy. And I know all you've probably wanted to do for a while now is punch me for what I did with him. But that was a huge mistake and I'm gonna do everything I can to support them. And that means supporting you too."

Santana felt the lump in her throat. She felt the tears shining in her eyes. Every time she thought she understood her responsibility to Blaine it shifted. "I can't screw this up Rachel," she said.

Rachel took Santana's hand in her own. "You are going to screw it up. And Blaine's going to screw up and Kurt's going to screw up. It's how you handle it that matters. But I'll tell you one thing," she said.

Santana looked at her. "What?"

Rachel smiled gently. "I'm here for you. If you need me. You can't go through this alone. If anyone knows about screwing up as a Dom and trying to make it right again, it's me," she chuckled softly. "I was a mess in high school. I even wrote a song about it," she smirked.

Santana laughed gratefully. "Was it any good?"

Rachel shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know. You'll have to ask Brittany. But personally, I think it was brilliant."

Blaine was eleven when he learned how to braid hair and he learned that much like playing piano, it was something that soothed him. So when Brittany knocked on the door and climbed onto Blaine's bed with a handful of hair ties, he relaxed for the first time that day. She sat between his legs and his fingers worked, creating a crown of thin braids atop her long blonde locks.

"How was shopping?" he asked, tying off the first braid and starting on the second. "You guys were gone a long time." It was already dark.

"It was fun," Brittany said. "I got lots of cool stuff. Santana and Rachel talked a bit. I think they bonded."

"Over me and Kurt?" he asked grumpily.

Brittany shrugged. "I don't know. But if they did it's only because they love you both."

"I guess," Blaine sighed. He tied off the second braid and started on the third.

"So what happened with you two?" Brittany asked. "Did you have sex? Is that why you're acting like this toward Santana?"

Blaine was glad she couldn't see him blushing behind her. "Well, not like sex sex." As much as they both wanted to, as much as Blaine was beginning to think he could handle it, fear was holding them back. Fear, and something else Blaine wasn't sure about, but he was sure it wasn't time. "But, yeah, I guess enough."

"Do you feel like you're cheating on Santana with Kurt?" Brittany looked over her shoulder at him.

He stopped braiding a minute. "No," he said, his voice soft. "I actually feel like I'm cheating on Kurt with Santana."

"How?" Brittany asked and she turned her head back to face front. "You don't do anything with Santana."

"I submit to her," Blaine said, tying off the third braid. He didn't start on the fourth and Brittany turned all the way around to look at him, crossing her legs beneath her. He was staring at the blanket. "That feels like I'm cheating on Kurt."

"He's not your Dom Blaine," she reminded him. "And submitting to him is dangerous, isn't it?"

Blaine shook his head. "No," Blaine said with a small smile on his face. "It's beautiful."

"You have to tell her that, you know," Brittany said, turning back. He pulled out the hair for the next braid and started again. "You have to tell her how you feel and be honest with her. Or she won't understand and she'll just think she did something wrong. She thought I was sleeping last night, but I could feel her crying. She feels like she's losing you and she's scared she won't be able to protect you."

Blaine's heart fell. That was the last thing in the world he wanted. Brittany was right. He needed to stop acting like a moody teenager, and talk to her like an adult.

The apartment was quiet, humming with the sound of the heat and the cars flying by on the wet roads below. Brittany went to bed hours ago, but he couldn't sleep and he knew Santana was still up. He could feel her dominance swirling.

He opened his door and walked out, heading straight to the kitchen. The room would have been pitch black if they hadn't lived in the city, but it was dark, rain drops painting the windows and creating shadowed patterns on the floor. He could see her sitting on the couch, curled up with a blanket and a mug.

"Do you want a refill?" he asked softly as he brewed his own cup of decaf.

"Sure," Santana said. He came to get the mug from her and brought it back to the Keurig, swapping his own mug out for hers. He watched her while he did. Her long dark hair scattered along the arm of the couch where he all too often found himself. Her hands lay clasped on her lap, the hands that knew exactly what to do for every punishment, even when what was right seemed so wrong. Her breath, moving her shoulders up and down, always supporting the words that he needed to hear at just the right times. How had he forgotten everything that she meant to him?

He came around and handed her the mug. He sat on the other side of the couch, curling up himself into the warmth of a pillow. He'd had his own words planned but he couldn't make them come out in the heavy silence.

"I understand now," she said after a while. Her voice was soft. She wasn't looking at him, she was looking out into the distance as if seeing a memory. "How you felt when I said I was going to claim Britt. I've been prepared since I was 15 years old that claiming you would someday mean letting you go. I was prepared for that. I wasn't prepared for this. This is terrifying."

Tears came to his eyes. "Santana, I'm sorry-"

"No." She finally looked at him and she had been crying herself, he could see. "Don't apologize. It's in your blood to submit to the person you love. I would never ask you not to."

Blaine lowered his eyes, looking into the coffee in his hands. He could feel his heart beating in his chest. He'd known things were going to be hard with Kurt. He hadn't even thought about Santana though. "I feel pulled in two directions," he tried to explain. "The way you two are...submitting to him means defying you. Submitting to you means defying him."

"There's a reason subs don't have two Doms," Santana mused.

Blaine nodded. "Back in Ohio. When you talked about submitting because I require it of myself, not because someone requires it of me. You knew. You knew all along. It's all I've ever wanted, it's the kind of sub I am. Having a Dom that every day I'd have to make the choice to be faithful. It sent shivers down my spine." He looked up at her shyly. "And you knew it would. You knew it would be as true with Kurt as it has always been with you."

"Truer," she smiled gently. "I used to laugh at you because you believed in soulmates. It seemed ridiculous to me given our situation. But maybe it's not as ridiculous as I thought."

They fell back into a silence, drinking their coffee. Blaine finished his and placed the mug on the table. The air between them was back as it had always been. The tension was gone and with it went any need for the secrets he'd been keeping.

"I can control it," Blaine nearly whispered his admission.

Santana looked over at him, confused. "You can control what?" she asked.

"Falling." He looked up at her and her eyes were wide. "I can control how far I go into subspace." Santana put her mug down as well and moved closer beside him, taking his hands in hers. "There's this place Santana, in the middle, between here and there, hovering on just this side. And instead of all my senses being dimmed, Santana, I can feel and see and hear and smell and taste everything. It's insane."

Santana just looked at him in wonder. "I've never heard of that before," she admitted, and she'd read all of her father's books plus a number more since she started college. "But how do you keep yourself there without the dominance instead of falling further?" Everyone was taught a sub needed a Dom to keep from falling too deep. She'd always suspected but…

Blaine thought he knew, but he wasn't sure. And as much as he loved her, when he was sure, Kurt would be the first that he shared it with. "I guess I'm just strong enough," he said instead with a shrug. "You always said I was the strongest sub you know."

"Yes, you are," Santana said and her eyes grew dark and hard and Blaine knew this was where the easy part ended. She lifted his right arm, turning it over to where his cuff was still clasped inside out and she unlatched it. She placed it aside and held his arm in her hands. He closed his eyes as her thumbs brushed over the four triangular indents in his skin. "And I am still your Dom. And I will do what I have to to remind you of that. You may choose to submit to both Kurt and me. But that choice is on you, not us. And the consequences of your choices are on you. If you need to safeword with me I will respect it Blaine, but if I see it becoming habit we will be having a conversation. Is that understood?"

He looked her in the eye. "Yes Ma'am."

"Now, about last night. Though a part of me feels that you have not really been punished for your behavior, I am going to let it go. But the way you spoke to me is completely unacceptable, do you agree?"

Blaine nodded. "Yes Ma'am."

"And if it happens again you will find yourself with a mouthful of gum, which I happen to know is the last punishment in the world you would ever choose," she said with a knowing glance.

Santana had never been more right in her life and Blaine swallowed. "Yes Ma'am," he said meagerly.

"Good," she said firmly, but then her shoulders relaxed, her eyes softened and her lips pulled up in a smile. "Now I could really use a hug," she said.

Blaine smiled and opened his arms, pulling her in and squeezing her tightly. He kissed her on the top of her head and hummed. "We're gonna be okay Santana," he whispered.

"Yeah," she said against his chest. "I think we are."


And I never want to let you down
Forgive me if I slip away
Sometimes it's hard to find the ground
Cause I keep on falling as I try to get away
From this crazy world

And I never want to let you down
Forgive me if I slip away
When all that I've known is lost and found
I promise you I, I'll come back to you one day

Chapter Text

"Funny how the heart can be deceiving more than just a couple times.
Why do we fall in love so easy? Even when it's not right."

~ Pink

"Do you really think this is a good idea?" Kurt said. He was sitting on the edge of Blaine's bed, leaning back on his arms, one leg thrown sexily over the other which was distracting Blaine as he stared into the mirror trying to straighten his bowtie.

"Dammit," Blaine muttered as he undid the whole thing again. Kurt smiled and got up, turning his boyfriend around and doing the bowtie for him. Blaine gazed up at him. "You have to stop looking like that when I'm trying to do…well, anything."

Kurt laughed. "All fixed. Now you didn't answer the question."

Blaine leaned back against his dresser. Kurt was inches from him in tight gray jacquard pants, a blue shirt that highlighted his eyes and a purple tie that made it impossibly difficult to do anything but grab him by it and pull him down on the bed, but Blaine gripped the edge of the furniture instead and tried to appear casual. "I think it's important that we all spend time together. I need you and Santana to get along."

"We get along fine," Kurt muttered. He picked up Blaine's suit jacket and slipped it over his shoulders. "We just disagree on pretty much everything."

"That's not getting along," Blaine pouted and he draped his arms over Kurt's neck. "I need you to trust her like she trusts you. I need you to trust us," he said gesturing to himself and Santana out the door, "as much as you trust us," he said, grabbing Kurt's tie with a smile and pulling him in for a kiss.

Kurt kissed him back, but he didn't let it linger, and he didn't let his mind stray to qualms about how much he really trusted himself and Blaine. "And you think going to a club is a good way to do this?" he asked doubtfully. "You know I hate those places."

"Escuelita is just a regular gay dance club Kurt, there won't be anything crazy going on," Blaine promised as he took off his cuff and threw it down on his nightstand. "Come on, it'll be fun. And I promise, no drinking."

Kurt reached down and cupped Blaine's ass, giving it a squeeze. "It wasn't really the drinking I was worried about," he said.

"I need to know you can be a good girl tonight Britt," Santana said, fixing her hair in the mirror. She looked at her sub, beautiful and sexy in a jewel necked white dress, skater skirt showing off her gorgeous legs, and her golden cuff affixed to her left arm. "And I don't mean with the strangers in the club, I mean with Kurt."

Brittany sat on the bed, staring back at Santana with a pout. "Kurt and I are all made up, I apologized and he forgave me. He understood." She got up and walked over to her Dom, tracing her fingers down the bare arm of Santana's asymmetrical slick black dress. "The question is, can you and Kurt behave tonight with each other?"

Santana scoffed and crossed the room to get to her purse. "There's no reason to worry about Kurt and me. We're adults and we both care about Blaine-"

"And you've never really tried to care about him at the same time in the same place," Brittany pointed out, quirking a brow.

"And he's never had both of us to answer to at the same time in the same place," Santana said. "So if you want to worry about anyone, worry about keeping him out of trouble."

"Is that an order?" Brittany asked, biting her lip seductively as she took a few steps toward her Dom.

Santana grinned and closed the distance, wrapping her arms around Brittany's waist. "No," she said, brushing her lips against her subs. "It's only a suggestion. Your only responsibility tonight is to me."

At the swirl of Brittany's submission, Santana pulled her in for a kiss, a possessive and fierce kiss that said, mine. Brittany's lids were heavy when Santana finally allowed her air and latched on strong to pull her out of her fall. The Dom grabbed her subs hand until she was steady.

"You ready?" Santana asked and Brittany nodded. "Let's go."


The music was blaring when they arrived at Escuelita, a bit of a rough and tumble dance club where apparently Santana had an in. The moment they stepped through the door the fruity smell of hookah surrounded them and as their eyes adjusted to the darkness broken up by disco lights they could see the crowd was thick tonight, men and women mostly divided on either side of the central bar, dancing to the music Blaine grew up listening to at Santana's house. He smiled at the memories.

"This way," Santana yelled over the music.

They followed her to the coat check and handed over their belongings, then trailed Santana into the throng. Brittany was beaming with excitement. Blaine's curiosity was peaked. Kurt's discomfort was already mounting.

Brittany grabbed Blaine's hand. "Come on Blaine, I've been threatening to take you dancing since we first met!"

Blaine barely had time to wave apologetically to Kurt before she'd pulled him through a mass of sweaty bodies and out of sight.

Kurt blinked and watched his boyfriend disappear. "You're just going to let them go off on their own?" he asked, glancing over to Santana.

"They're subs, not slaves," she said. "They make their own choices."

"Except when they don't," Kurt muttered with a roll of his eyes and even though Santana couldn't hear him, she could read his lips.

She smiled. "Except when they don't," she agreed. Then she took his hand. "Come on, they're going to be parched when they get out of that mess and we're supposed to be making nice. Let's grab some waters."

They made their way over to the bar where it was slightly quieter and ordered four bottles of water. Spun around on their stools, backs to the bar, Kurt watched. When he'd first moved to New York he'd frequented bars and clubs like this, sometimes alone, sometimes with Sam and Mercedes, more often than he cared to admit. It gave Rachel and Finn their evenings of privacy where Kurt had no desire to overhear anything, and it wasn't like anyone at NYADA was throwing themselves at the new Gray on campus. Or maybe it was just that after high school, he was good at keeping people at a distance, which was easy to do in joints like this one. Quick hookups in the men's room were a dime a dozen and even though Kurt was choosy he'd still never had trouble finding men to choose. Until he decided he was better than that.

"Not your type of thing, is it?" Santana leaned over and asked.

Kurt shook his head. "Not anymore," he admitted. "Though I've never really been comfortable in crowds. I'm always assumed to be something I'm not, then it's either pretend or take the risk of attack."

"Yeah it sucks when people think things about you based on stereotypes," Santana smirked.

Kurt side-eyed her. "Sometimes the stereotype is more accurate than you want to think."

Santana frowned. She'd grown up with the stereotype and there was a part of her that knew there were times she was more like her mother than she wanted to be. But this night wasn't about her. "Is it accurate for Blaine? Does he strike you as the stereotypical sub?"

Kurt shook his head. "No. He's different." Kurt took a sip of his water then looked out into the crowd. "Do you know when I really fell in love with him? That night at the bar, dancing, wrapped up in his arms. He said we were perfect together. And he meant it." Kurt scoffed, and looked at Santana. "It had been a really long time since I'd believed in perfect, but somehow I let myself believe in that. And once I did, it was hard to let go of the dream."

Santana smiled. "If it helps, I don't think he's wrong." Kurt looked at her surprised and she shrugged. "No one ever said perfect was supposed to be easy."

Kurt bit his lip and sighed. "Perfect means giving up a part of myself I'm not sure I want to give up. Doing things I've never wanted to do, things that I've always believed were wrong. I know what he wants and perfect means pretending I'm someone I'm not. Like being in this club. This isn't me."

Santana turned to face him and took his hand. "That's not true," she said and he looked at her. There was fear in his eyes. "Perfect means being able to accept each other for who you are and choosing to be the person each other needs."

Kurt couldn't answer because suddenly a very sweaty and warm Blaine threw his arm around his neck and grabbed the bottle of water Kurt had been holding between his knees. Brittany flew by, grabbing Santana's hand and whisking her away. "You're the best," Blaine panted with a smile as he unscrewed the top and let the cold liquid flow down his throat. "Keeping up with Brittany on the dance floor may be the hardest thing I've ever done," he laughed breathlessly and happily moved between Kurt's legs, leaning back into Kurt's chest. His bowtie was already undone and his sleeves were rolled up. "You and Santana getting along," Blaine asked.

"We're BFF's," Kurt said sarcastically, then kissed him on the temple. "Santana and I are fine," he assured him. "Now come on, show me your dance moves."

Kurt let Blaine pull him out onto the dance floor, through the masses of sweaty bodies. The house beat pounded in his chest, the strobes and the darkness obscured his vision and the volume of the music made conversation impossible. They found a gap still in sight of the bar surrounded by guys, half with their shirts already off. Before he could even get his bearings, Blaine grabbed him around the waist with one arm, the other flying in the air as he grinded their bodies together to the beat. Kurt remembered the way this worked from his days before Adam, the predator and the prey, and he had spent his time as both. He had to admit, being caught by the man he loved was a lot better than anything before.

Kurt counted the songs instead of the minutes and it took only two before he was hard as a rock against Blaine's body. The adrenaline and the heat and the darkness, and Blaine rubbing against him in amazing ways, drowned out the embarrassment amongst the crowd. No one was watching, Kurt thought as he drowned in Blaine's glowing hazel eyes. But when he looked up he found out he was wrong.

The boys had drawn a bit of a crowd, and who could blame them, Kurt thought. Blaine was gorgeous, his hair dripping with sweat and escaped curls, his face flush with the heat and arousal, and Kurt had to know, even if he hated to admit it, that Blaine's submission was drawing every Dom around them. Kurt's insecurities kicked in and he began to feel very possessive but he didn't want to be needy. So when a well-built, shirtless man quickly sandwiched Blaine, grinding against his ass, Kurt's heart clenched. Then Blaine smiled, turned around making sure Kurt's arms stayed around his waist, and grabbed the man's hips, pushing back against Kurt while the man seemed determined to press himself into Blaine. Kurt's face grew hot with jealousy, but just it began to overwhelm him, Blaine turned back with a huge mischievous smile and grinded into him deeply. Kurt grew lost in it, lost in the noise and the dark and he hated it but he loved Blaine and his head grew light with it all.

"I'm going to go get some more water," Kurt yelled in Blaine's ear and he hoped that Blaine would come with him. But Blaine simply yelled back.

"Get me some too, okay?"

Kurt nodded and left Blaine behind, making his way sideways, dodging bodies, until he got back to the bar. Even there he was jammed between the bodies until he got to the front and finally retrieved two ice cold waters. But when he turned to head back, he froze.

Blaine was beaming, dancing between two guys, no doubt Doms, one grinding his ass, the other grinding in front. The Doms were eyeing him as if he was candy for their picking and Blaine looked like he was having the time of his life. And why wouldn't he? Kurt knew how hard he had been and a few more minutes of this current attention would have Blaine gloriously over the edge with two Doms to catch him from the fall. Kurt felt his stomach turn over and he couldn't look, he had to turn away.

He found himself a stool near the bar facing the girls side and he sat down, opening his own water and drinking half of it down without a breath. He put it down and just stayed there, not even bothering to count the songs.

He didn't know how long it had been when Santana and Brittany stumbled their way over, arm in arm, laughing. They joined him at the table and Brittany grabbed the extra bottle.

"Is this one free?" she asked. "Where's Blaine?"

"Go ahead and have it," Kurt scowled. "I'm sure Blaine's new Doms will be happy to get him his own."

Santana's eyes hardened and she turned to look at the crowd. "What do you mean Blaine's new Doms?"

Blaine missed Kurt the minute he was gone, but clearly others saw it as opportunity, because first one then another Dom reached out to his burning submission. And with one glance back at Kurt heading to the bar, Blaine smiled mischievously and let them latch on. Both Doms grabbed him by the waist, grinding their erections into him and Blaine just grew harder and harder, waiting for Kurt to return, waiting for Kurt's burst of jealousy and anger as he pulled Blaine away and claimed him for his own. That alone would be enough to fulfill a thousand fantasies, but he couldn't help but wonder, what if Kurt reprimanded him right there in front of those Doms? What if Kurt kept him hard and wanting all night long for it? What if he turned him over his knee in front of everyone and finally spanked him like he clearly deserved? Whatever Kurt did when he came over, Blaine was having trouble not coming just from the thought of it.

But it wasn't Kurt that came over. Instead Santana grabbed him, flinging him away from the man now eagerly grinding up against him.

"What the fuck Santana?" Blaine yelled furiously, pulling his arm away.

"What the fuck me?" Santana shouted back. "What the fuck you Blaine? You came here with Kurt. Remember your boyfriend, Kurt? The one who hates bars and didn't even want to come because he was worried you were going to act exactly how you're acting."

"If he wants me he can come and get me," Blaine argued, glancing over. Kurt was nursing a drink, not even looking his way, and his heart dropped as he wondered if Kurt really cared about him that little. "He seems perfectly content though sitting at the bar without me."

"You think that's content?" Santana growled. She grabbed his wrist, not caring in the slightest if she was hurting him or not and dragged him back to the bar and back to Kurt's side. Kurt looked up. Blaine didn't even have the decency to look ashamed, just disappointed.

Keeping a solid grip on his arm, Santana turned him around to face her and she was furious. "What the hell did you think you were doing? That behavior was absolutely inexcusable," Santana shouted at him. "I oughtta whip your ass right here while you suck Kurt's cock in apology!"

A thrill of pleasure shuddered through Blaine's entire body and his cheeks flushed bright red. "Yes, please," he moaned, not noticing the look of abject horror on Kurt's face until the words were out of his mouth.

"I need to go," Kurt muttered, extricating himself from his boyfriend, the Dom and the crowd of way too many people pretending not to have overheard the things that had just been said.

Kurt's quick escape knocked Blaine out of his descent into subspace and back to reality. "Kurt wait!" Blaine shouted after him and he pulled his arm free from Santana as Kurt slammed out the front doors. "I have to go," he told her, not even bothering to ask permission.

"You either come back here with Kurt before we leave or you better be in the corner when I get home," she ordered.

He heard her but he didn't answer, instead racing through the dancers and the drinkers and men and women flirting shamelessly with one another, just like he'd been doing only minutes ago. He'd been such an idiot.

The night air hit him like a brick and he looked left and then right for any sign of Kurt. He saw him just rounding the corner heading east and Blaine ran, calling his name, "Kurt! Kurt!" He reached his boyfriend and grabbed his arm to stop him. "Kurt please, just talk to me."

Kurt stopped and turned, but his eyes were stone. "Talk to you about what Blaine?" he said angrily.

"Why you're mad," Blaine said softly, nervous now that he had him there. "Are you upset at what I did or what she said?"

"Is both an acceptable answer?" Kurt snapped.

Blaine took a beat, then gave a slight nod. "Yes, of course." He hated how angry Kurt looked but most of all he hated that he had caused it. "I'm sorry," he whispered.

Kurt stared at him for a moment, emotions flashing in his eyes and Blaine worried with the pass of every one. Then Kurt sighed. "No. I'm sorry. For thinking that this could work."

Blaine's eyes grew wide. "What?" The panic started to roll in and his heart was beating furiously in his chest. "No, please, Kurt, I'm sorry, just tell me how to fix this," he begged.

"You can't fix it Blaine," Kurt yelled. "I get what you were doing, but if you can't accept that I'm not a Dom and that that's not going to change then there's nothing that we can do."

"I do accept that you're not a Dom Kurt, you're the one that can't accept that I'm a sub!" Blaine bit his lip and he lowered his eyes out of instinct more than an attempt to hide the tears that were threatening to fall. "You say all the time that I have to respect who you are, that I have to respect that you're not a Dom Kurt, and I do, sometimes it kills me, but I do. But you have to respect that I'm a sub. It's who I am as much as being gay is who I am and I can't change it any more than Santana and I can make ourselves fall in love with one another." He ran a hand through his hair and looked up with anguished eyes, trying desperately to hold on to something he felt slipping through his fingers. "And I'm going to do things like I did tonight for your attention and yes, it's wrong of me, I know it is, I know how much I fucked up, and I know you don't understand it at all but I only do it because I just," his breath hitched and he couldn't stop a few tears from falling. "I want so much to be able to submit to you."

Kurt watched him, and his eyes softened as Blaine spoke. And though he turned away and did not take Blaine's hand, Blaine knew without a doubt that he was to follow when Kurt walked off toward the small park across the street where they would have more privacy. Kurt took a seat on a wooden bench and Blaine sat beside him, both of them looking out into the city lights twinkling into the night sky. Blaine picked nervously at the non-existent threads on his pants.

"You're right," Kurt said quietly, staring out. "I've been asking you to accept me but I haven't really taken any time to understand you." Blaine was quiet next to him. Listening. Waiting. "What did you want tonight?" Kurt asked. "While you were dancing with those Doms in the club, what was it you really wanted? Honestly."

Blaine looked over to him, wondering if Kurt really wanted the truth. Because while it was like breathing to talk to Santana and Brittany about these sorts of things he was finding it quite the opposite with Kurt. "Are you sure you really want my honest answer?" he asked. Kurt nodded and turned to look him in the eye. Blaine's stomach fluttered with nerves, but he answered truthfully. "I wanted you to grab me like Santana did. Show them all who I truly belonged to." He blushed a bright red but he wasn't going to stop himself from putting it all out there. "I wanted to get you mad enough that you'd punish me in front of them."

"Why?" Kurt asked, and Blaine appreciated that he genuinely seemed to want to understand.

So he tried to explain as best as he possibly could. "For me, it's always been about knowing that I matter to someone. That I have a person in my life who cares enough about me to put up with me, faults and all. Sometimes it's hard for me to believe that I'm worth it. So I test it. All the time. But it's not just that." Blaine swallowed, trying to find the words that would make sense to Kurt. "It's also about having my behavior tied to someone else. Knowing that I belong to someone so completely and thoroughly that the things I do reflect on them and that they aren't afraid to let me or the world know that without hesitation. And more than anything, I want that person to be you." It made perfect sense to him and to Britt even though her submission felt different to her. But he had no idea if someone who'd never felt an ounce of dominance or submission could possibly understand. He hoped so. He felt it was really their only chance. He looked at Kurt, his stomach tied in knots. "I really screwed up tonight. You're right, I didn't respect who you were because if I had I never would have tried to manipulate you the way I do Santana. But I also can't just turn it off Kurt. Because I am who I am."

"A sub," Kurt said softly.

Blaine nodded and shrugged with resignation. "Yeah." He looked back at the direction of the club, realizing he had no idea how long they'd been out there. But he knew that Kurt wouldn't go back with him. "I need to go home. It's just going to be worse if I'm not there when she gets back."

Blaine went to get up but Kurt laid his hand on Blaine's and leaned in close. For a moment Blaine thought that everything was going to be okay, but then Kurt leaned up and gave him a soft kiss on the forehead. Blaine's heart broke, but he didn't let it shatter, not yet. He just smiled softly, apologetically, and walked away, back to the apartment.

Blaine stood alone in the apartment with his nose in the corner and his head resting on his arms against the wall when he heard the click of the front door. He quickly stood up straight and placed his hands behind his back where they belonged. Though truthfully he didn't really care how much extra Santana gave him for being out of position. He'd screwed up so badly that he'd probably lost Kurt and nothing could hurt more than that.

He heard the girls hang up their keys and slip off their shoes and coats. "Go on to bed love," he heard Santana tell Brittany tenderly, with a soft kiss. "Headphones on."

"Yes Ma'am. Goodnight Santana," Brittany said, then padded past Blaine to her bedroom. "Goodnight Blaine," she added before closing the door behind her.

Blaine wouldn't have answered even if he was allowed. It wasn't a good night and nothing could make it a good night. Not anymore.

"Did you think I wouldn't notice you out of position?" was the first thing Santana said as she approached. "That's an extra five Blaine."

"Yes Ma'am," he muttered. He didn't argue that she couldn't have possibly seen. It didn't matter. Nothing mattered.

"Tell me what you did wrong," she ordered from uncomfortably close behind him.

There were many things he could say he'd done wrong but they all boiled down to one. "I disrespected Kurt."

Santana was quiet a minute. Then with a gentleness he didn't expect, she said, "Tell me how."

Blaine took a breath. He wasn't even sure he could list all the ways. "I flirted and danced with other guys instead of him. I flirted and danced with other guys in front of him. I ignored him while we were on a date. I tried to manipulate him into dominating me. I fantasized about him being a part of my punishment."

"That last one wasn't wrong."

Blaine's breath hitched and his heart jumped because that wasn't Santana's voice but Kurt's that had corrected him. He spun around without even a thought to the fact that he was breaking position to see Kurt standing across the room at the windows, watching him, hands in his coat pockets as if he hadn't yet decided whether to stay or go. Their eyes locked. Blaine didn't even see Santana's quiet smile.

"I'll leave you two alone," she said, slipping into her room and closing the door.


"It wasn't wrong for you to fantasize about me Blaine," Kurt interrupted and he walked closer, taking a seat on the couch. Blaine stood frozen in place, unable to stir for fear this was all a dream and would disappear with a single move. "It scares me so much, your wanting me to be a part of that part of your life. And when I get scared of something I tend to either pretend it isn't happening or I run away. But you made me realize tonight that if I'm going to love you Blaine, I have to love all of you. And if I love you that much then there really shouldn't be parts of your life I want you to imagine without me."

Blaine's pulse was racing, not wanting to hope that what he believed Kurt meant was true just in case it wasn't. "What are you saying?" he choked out past the nerves.

Kurt slipped out of his coat and scarf, leaving them over the far arm of the couch and reached a hand out to him. It was only then that Blaine allowed his feet to move. He walked to the couch and took Kurt's hand, sitting carefully next to him. Kurt's thumb ran over his knuckles and Blaine's heart swelled at the touch.

"Do you think I don't notice how many times you want to kneel but you don't? How many times you call me Skurt because you have to bite back the Sir?" Blaine ducked his head with embarrassment but Kurt wouldn't let him, lifting his chin with a finger. "It always made me resentful, you not being able to put that stuff aside for me. But now I realize just how strong you've been all this time just to try, just so I would be at ease. And I realized that I owed it to us to be just as strong."

Blaine's brow furrowed and he sucked in his lips trying to hold back his tears. "Kurt-"

Kurt leaned in so close Blaine could feel the soft exhale of breath on his skin and he couldn't help but let his eyes flicker to Kurt's lips only seconds before they met his, ghosting at first then demanding. Kurt's warmth felt like heaven and Blaine closed his eyes, wanting desperately for Kurt to deepen the kiss. The soft caress of Kurt's tongue on his lips granted him permission and Blaine opened for him, begging for more, but Kurt didn't give him what he wanted. Instead he pulled away and rested his forehead against Blaine's.

"You would really want that?" Kurt asked nervously. "What Santana said? In the club?"

Blaine bit his lip and he squeezed shut his eyes, feeling the fall. "Fuck yes," he breathed, then quickly clarified, "But only if you were willing."

"It terrifies me," Kurt admitted, grasping Blaine's hands in his own, "to do the things you want me to do. To see what she does to you. To let you do to me what she said, in front of her. But if you can go outside your comfort zone for me, I should at least try to do it for you."

"You would really?" Blaine asked, eyes wide with shock.

"I will never be the one to hurt you," Kurt said and Blaine nodded his understanding. "But this," Kurt swallowed, his heart beating wildly in his chest. "Yeah. Yes. I will."

Images immediately ran through Blaine's head and he felt the world stop turning while his mind spun out of control. "Oh my god," he gasped on the last full breath that left his lungs. Every nerve in his body went alight, and the world began to grow fuzzy.

A shiver ran up his Kurt's spine and he sat up with worry as Blaine melted into him, gasping for air, his heart racing like mad against Kurt's chest.

"Blaine," Kurt said, nervous laughter escaping perhaps inappropriately. "Blaine, sweetheart I need you to breathe."

"He's fallen too deeply into subspace," Santana said emerging from her bedroom and Kurt looked up as she closed the door behind her and walked quickly over to them. At the fear in Kurt's eyes, she placed a hand on his arm and smiled. "It's okay, it's why I'm here."

Kurt looked at her in surprise. Kurt had seen Blaine fall before but it had never been like this. "How did you know?"

Santana just shrugged. "I'm his Dom. I can feel it." With no further explanation, she sat down on the other side of Blaine and rested a hand on his back, pressing hard against his muscles, before letting her dominance wrap around him and latch on to pull him out. "Blaine, I need you to come back to us," she said firmly. "I need you all here before we can do anything."

"Kurt's going to…while you-" Blaine managed to sputter and Santana laughed.

"Yes sweetheart, I know. We talked at the club before we came back home," she explained. She continued to massage him in an effort to get his blood flowing and she lifted him off of Kurt. "Would you go get him a cold glass of water please?"

Kurt looked like a deer in headlights but he got up and went to the kitchen, pulling out a glass. He filled it with ice cubes and water and by the time he got back, Blaine was looking a little more put together. "Here," he said holding the glass out to his boyfriend.

"Thanks," Blaine said with a sheepish smile, his face still flush. Kurt wasn't sure why but he fell in love with that face. Blaine drank half the glass before handing it back to Kurt and Kurt set it down on the table behind him.

"Guess you don't have it completely under control yet," Santana gently teased, then took Blaine's chin in her hands and forced him to focus. "Alright sweetheart, are you back? You still need to be punished and I need to know you're all here for that."

"Yes Ma'am," Blaine answered, his eyes now clear as he lowered them submissively.

"You still with me Kurt?" she asked. Her voice was kind but her eyes were dancing with just a bit of playful amusement. "You don't have to do this, it's entirely up to you."

Kurt's heart beat frantically in his chest but he had promised himself. "Yeah, no, I'm good."

Santana nodded and stood up tall. Blaine could feel the dominance still pouring off of her. "Ok. Safe word is New York. It can be used by either of you if you're feeling uncomfortable. Just say the word and I stop immediately. Otherwise it ends when Kurt," she cleared her throat trying to be delicate though after talking to Kurt in the club he knew what he was getting into, "well, when it ends. So it's in your best interest Blaine to end it as quickly as you can," she smirked and Blaine flushed with a smile. Then she looked to Kurt seriously. "Since his behavior hurt only you, how long he's punished for is entirely in your control not mine. Safe word or don't, you can end it whenever and however you want. I won't question it. Understood?"

"Yeah," Kurt croaked, his voice going dry. He turned around and quickly finished the water Blaine had left.

"Okay. Feel free to use the blanket on the back of the couch until we start Kurt. I'll get what I need. Blaine I want you in position when I get back. I'll keep my back turned once we start so I won't see a thing," she promised, then went into Blaine's room.

"It's gonna take her two seconds to get the paddle," Blaine said, walking around to the arm of the couch. "She's just giving you time to get ready." Kurt didn't move though and Blaine frowned at Kurt's hesitation. "Please, Kurt, if you don't want to do this you don't have to. I understand. Just you even offering means the world to me."

"I want to do this for you Blaine," Kurt told him, and he took a step forward to take Blaine's hand. "I need to at least try." He unbuckled his belt and slipped his pants off, resting them atop his coat. He offered Blaine a shaky smile of reassurance. "Besides, I know the magic of your lips and once I have them around me I should forget all about Santana, right?" He sat down with his boxer briefs on, close but not too close to the arm of the couch and pulled the blanket over himself. Without another word Blaine took his position over the arm of the couch, slipping one hand behind Kurt's back, the other resting beneath the blanket on his thigh. The position should have been humiliating, but Blaine was finding it far too arousing to worry about it. With mischief in his eye he glanced up at Kurt and brushed a thumb over his crotch. Kurt smirked down at him. "Be careful mister, I'm pretty sure that if I was a Dom that would earn you more."

"I'll take whatever you want me to," Blaine answered with a playful grin, but the fact was he meant it with every fiber of his being.

Santana returned to the room and was immediately all business. She positioned herself with her back to Kurt and Blaine as promised, standing flush against the couch. She nudged Blaine just a bit further back than usual so she could grip him around the waist and he would have nothing but air to rub against. Kurt adjusted as well and then they were set to begin. "You know what to do Blaine. We're done when Kurt comes or someone safewords. Do you both understand?"

"Yes Ma'am," Blaine answered.

Kurt just swallowed and whispered, "Yeah."

Kurt reached beneath the blanket and slipped himself out through his fly. Maybe he'd be more adventurous another day but for today he needed to be as discrete as he possibly could given the circumstances. He glanced over to make sure Santana kept her promise and with the surety that she couldn't see a thing, he pulled the blanket back.

At the same time Santana laid the first smack of the paddle hard onto Blaine's ass.

Kurt winced at the sound. Blaine hissed in pain but muffled his cry sinking down on his boyfriend's cock. Another smack came down and Blaine moaned against Kurt sending vibrations straight through him and up his spine. Kurt's eyes rolled back and closed in pleasure. He'd been right, whatever he'd been afraid of was quickly forgotten in the heat of Blaine's mouth.

Blaine felt Kurt grip his hair. He swirled his tongue to feel the pulse of Kurt's cock against it, and the third hit landed harder than the first two. Santana knew the pain would be dulled this time by Blaine's own arousal and she was right. A punishment had never felt like this before. Blaine's senses were overloaded and the sting that quickly melted into burn became nothing more than a consistent backdrop of a reminder that he wasn't sucking Kurt for his own pleasure but to earn Kurt's forgiveness for everything he had done wrong that night. Each time his own cock ached with need Blaine simply sunk down harder and faster on Kurt's, taking him down his throat to beyond his limits because he needed that to be as much a part of his punishment as the paddle. Maybe even more so. He owed Kurt that. He owed him the discomfort he'd made Kurt feel that night and he owed him the submission he'd used to manipulate him and he owed him the attention he'd withheld for his own selfish needs. He didn't even feel or hear the paddle anymore, the only thing that existed for Blaine was Kurt and the only thing that mattered was giving Kurt everything he wanted and lasting until Kurt felt he had endured nothing less than what he deserved.

He had no idea how much time had passed or how many smacks he'd taken when he felt Kurt start bucking up into his mouth and gripping his hair harder. Blaine's head flooded, swirls of pleasure trying desperately to take their place in his stomach but he refused it, clinging instead to the insistent ache as his cock throbbed against his jeans, relentless friction against the fabric building with every strike. Blaine groaned with every thrust into his mouth, sending jolts of vibration up and down Kurt's cock. He forced himself out of his head to hear Kurt and what he heard almost made him lose his battle against his own orgasm. Kurt was moaning, swearing, not caring at all that Santana was listening, and Blaine fisted the shirt in his grasp and slipped his other hand beneath Kurt to fondle and press perfectly against his balls.

"Fuck," Kurt grunted as he bucked once more before shooting violently into Blaine's mouth. Blaine swallowed around him, refusing to let a single drop spill and disobey the command he could only imagine Kurt had given. He didn't feel the paddle stop. He didn't notice Kurt slipping out of him and tucking himself back in, covering back up with the blanket. He barely noticed Santana gently walk him around to lay with his head in Kurt's lap. Her instructions to Kurt on aftercare were all a murmur in his head. He'd fallen so deeply into subspace that he didn't even realize he had let himself fall or that Santana had latched on to catch him. All he felt was complete and utter bliss and a sense that his life was nothing less than perfect. Kurt was carding his hand softly through Blaine's sweat covered hair. Santana refilled his water and left it for him on the table behind the couch. She kissed him softly on the cheek, whispered "good boy" in his ear, and retired to her bedroom for the night.

Kurt stared down at him. The words Santana had spoken to him in the club that night came back to him. "There is so much beauty in his submission Kurt. You only need to let yourself find it." With a deep breath, Kurt let go of his prejudice and his fear and he gazed upon his boyfriend. He had never seen Blaine more serene. His breathing was even and his lashes fell softly over his eyes. His skin was a brilliant glow and his lips were in a deliciously swollen soft smile from their ministrations. Kurt was unable to hold back the love he felt for the most beautiful man he'd ever seen in his life.

For the most beautiful submission he had ever seen.

Blaine's eyes fluttered open and he looked up at his angel, his angel that smiled down at him with nothing but love. Blaine hoped that if he was dreaming that he would never wake up. "Hi," he said softly.

"Hi," Kurt answered. "How do you feel?"

"I feel absolutely amazing Kurt," Blaine said and nuzzled his cheek against Kurt's legs. "How are you, are you okay?"

"Yeah," Kurt said and his voice was filled with surprise. "Yes I am."

"Good," Blaine said with a blissful smile. Kurt traced his fingers up and down Blaine's arm, slowly deepening the touch to try to bring Blaine out of wherever he still was in subspace. "What made you change your mind?" Blaine asked softly. There was no judgment in the question, only curiosity.

"You." Kurt's fingers moved to the curls peeking out over Blaine's forehead. "You made me realize that your submission is a gift of who you are, not an expectation that I be someone else."

"I don't ever want you to be someone you're not," Blaine murmured and closed his eyes again. They both fell quiet and Blaine let himself float in the sensations coursing through his body. He reveled in the sharp sparks in his ass and the scratch in his throat that would settle into warm tingling reminders for the next few days. He relaxed into the tender touch of the man he loved more than anyone else in the world. And he rolled over onto his back, raising his hips absentmindedly in search of that hand to sooth the ache of his erection returning in force.

Kurt smirked down at him. "Ready to go again already," he teased.

Blaine shook his head. "I haven't," he said. "Never would during a punishment unless I was told to. Never actually wanted to before." Blaine opened his eyes and looked up. Kurt was looking down at him, his brow furrowed in confusion. "What?"

Kurt shrugged, a bit embarrassed. "I guess I just assumed," he started, then stopped. "So, do you usually not get hard during it? I thought subs always did."

Blaine laughed. "With Santana? That's kind of the point of a platonic claim, Kurt."

"Oh. Still, I don't know why I thought…" As Kurt contemplated what Blaine told him, he playfully rubbed softly over Blaine's dress shirt clad chest, brushing tenderly over his nipples. Blaine keened and his eyes rolled back. Kurt could visibly see now Blaine's erection pulsing in his jeans. He made his way slowly down toward it. "So just with me then?" he asked, giving one teasing brush before bringing his hand back up again.

"God you can't just do that Kurt," Blaine whined, and Kurt laughed and brought his hand back down. He kept his touch light over his jeans, but he didn't stop this time. Blaine purred with contentment and answered Kurt's question. "Yes. Just with you."

"So you've never come during before?" Kurt asked, brushing his thumb just a bit harder. He felt Blaine jump beneath his finger and he smiled.

"Only once," Blaine said, breathing heavy with arousal coursing through his veins. "The night I kissed Rachel." He explained what had happened and that Santana had made him. "I couldn't though, until she let me imagine you."

Kurt's grip grew still at the admission and Blaine thrust into his hand desperately, getting nothing in return. "Is that why you asked me out?" Kurt asked and it was obvious he was upset. "Because Santana told you to?"

Blaine shook his head forcefully, begging for his touch. "No Kurt, no, I swear." His eyes flew open. "It just made me see how much I'd been lying to myself. That you were it for me. Please, Kurt, all it did was wake me up to how much I needed you."

Blaine had never been more grateful when Kurt strengthened his grip again, reaching his fingers to caress down lower. With his other hand Kurt traced Blaine's lips. "How much do you need me?" he whispered heatedly.

Blaine shuddered as the momentary panic retreated, sweat breaking out on his brow again. His eyes squeezed shut with want. "Fuck Kurt, I need you more than anything in the world right now. Whatever you want I'm yours." Kurt flipped the buttons on Blaine's jeans immediately and reached his hand inside. Blaine pressed into the touch, moaning with pleasure at its intensity. "Oh god, more, Kurt. More, please," he pleaded.

"Then we need to get these pants off," Kurt whispered. Blaine whined the moment Kurt's hand left him to gently slip out from underneath him and replace his lap with a pillow. Kurt knelt beside him on the floor. He smiled, feeling a bit like the prince about to kiss Snow White and he carded his fingers through Blaine's mess of hair. "What do you think I should do with you?" Kurt whispered before kissing his lips and returning his other hand where it belonged.

Blaine sighed into the kiss, bringing his hand to Kurt's neck, cupping his ear, deepening the kiss with a determination to continue making up for everything wrong he had done that night. The hand on his crotch felt incredible and he knew he didn't deserve it but he wouldn't tell Kurt that. "Anything," he said in the moments he was allowed a gasp of air. "Anything you want, I'm yours."

"I want to taste you," Kurt said, his breathe growing ragged. "You've gotten to twice now and all I want is you in my mouth."

Blaine looked at him, his eyes lust blown his heart beating frantically in his chest. He'd been dreaming of that for so long now. "Use me Kurt," Blaine pleaded. "Please."

Kurt knew what Blaine meant and he wasn't ready for that. But he knew what he wanted and he would do whatever he could to make Blaine feel cherished. "Lift your hips for me sweetheart," he said gently.

Blaine did as he was told and Kurt slowly pulled them down. Blaine winced in pain as the fabric scraped against the raw skin of his backside. Kurt pulled his hands back, having completely forgotten. "Sorry," he apologized.

Blaine though just grabbed Kurt back to him. "God, no, don't be sorry, I want it all, the pain, the pleasure, don't be careful with me, please," he begged.

Kurt knew that despite Blaine's pleas he would always be careful with the man he loved, but he'd learned enough in the last few hours not to say it aloud. Instead he pulled Blaine's pants and underwear down in one motion and unbuttoned his shirt until Blaine could slip his arms out. He surged forward, their lips meeting once more, fierce and desperate while Blaine worked at Kurt's shirt.

"You are so beautiful Kurt." Blaine leaned up to look at him, his breath stolen in awe. Whatever anyone else said, Kurt was perfect and he wondered what he had ever done to deserve him. "I love you so much. What you did for me tonight. I don't think you have any idea how much it means to me. Even if you never do it again-"

"I'd do it again Blaine," Kurt interrupted. "For you, I'd do it again." Kurt could see the signs this time and as Blaine's eyes went cloudy and his breathing quickened Kurt brushed his cheek with a laugh. "Hey, stay with me," he said.

In just a moment, Blaine's eyes cleared with a smile and a warmth filled Kurt as he kissed Blaine gently before slowly, almost reverently, making his way down Blaine's body. He took his time to worship, to run his fingers over the soft hair that decorated Blaine's chest, and let it tickle his lips with every kiss. Blaine's racing pulse, his heavy breath, the way he knew Blaine was aching for more, it felt heady, intoxicating. He wanted to care for Blaine, to make him feel things he'd never felt before. He wanted to make him feel like the most important person in the world, because to Kurt, he was. And he wanted Blaine to know that no matter what, he would never hurt him.

"I love you so much Blaine," he whispered, brushing the smooth skin of his hips. He wished he could reach around to grasp Blaine's ass, but instead he leaned in, kissing the pain away.

"Love you too Kurt, please," Blaine writhed beneath him. "Please touch me…need-"

Whatever else Blaine had to say was ripped from him when Kurt sunk down on him, and he was left gasping with pleasure and bucking his hips. Kurt was hesitant to hold him down, worried about the tenderness of his skin, so with both hands he grasped his hips, holding him up and still. Kurt's senses overwhelmed him; the feel of Blaine, heavy and hard, pulsating in his mouth, the taste of him on his tongue that was all his own. He loved listening to every little sound Blaine made, every please and more, and faster and harder and also the times when he made Blaine feel so good that only the sexiest of moans and whimpers escaped Blaine's lips. Running his tongue along Blaine's tender vein, tracing his fingers softly around Blaine's balls, Kurt glanced up to the sight of Blaine biting his lip, squeezing his eyes shut to hold back, waiting desperately to be given permission to let go. For a moment Kurt's heart leapt with the power of it and he could imagine for just an instant how easy it could be for some people to abuse. But he refused to be like that. He was determined to show Blaine a better way.

"Come for me," he whispered, grasping Blaine hard in his hand and with one last swirl of his tongue he swallowed around him and Blaine let go, exploding in Kurt's mouth, covering the screams of Kurt's name behind his forearm.

Blaine collapsed, exhausted on the couch but both of them soon devolved into nervous laughter. Kurt rose from the floor and nudged Blaine over cuddle with him a while. As Blaine started falling asleep, Kurt leaned over and kissed him once, then twice. Then with a sad smile, he gestured to his clothes and said, "I should probably go."

Blaine pulled himself to sitting on the couch and grabbed Kurt's hand. "Don't go Kurt. Stay with me tonight. Please."

Kurt didn't need any time to decide. He leaned in, kissing Blaine once more, then pulled back with a grin. "I would love to."


Where there is desire
There is gonna be a flame
Where there is a flame
Someone's bound to get burned
But just because it burns
Doesn't mean you're gonna die
You've gotta get up and try, and try, and try

Chapter Text

When I'm crashing through the madness,
Not sure who I'm supposed to be,
When I'm caught up in the darkness,
It's your hand that's leading me,

~ Carrie Underwood

"I'd do it again Blaine," Kurt interrupted. "If you deserved it, I'd do it again."

Blaine's submission swirled without warning and he didn't get to answer before Kurt leaned in and kissed him again with a sternness that nearly made him plummet into subspace before he could catch himself.

To Kurt's credit, this time he recognized it. "Stay with me," he ordered and Blaine made the choice to submit to him fully and obey. "Close your eyes."

Blaine did as he was told and he felt Kurt's weight leave his body, leaving him cold and vulnerable and so wanting that he felt himself starting to leak. He strained not to open his eyes, to find Kurt, to beg him to come back and as the seconds passed he couldn't hold back. "Kurt," he whispered.

He was answered by a hand on his cock, warm and smooth with lotion or lubricant or some magic elixir that made heaven into hell and hell into heaven because Kurt leaned in and whispered in his ear, "You may not come."

"Please," Blaine murmured but he had absolutely no idea what he was asking.

"You may not speak," Kurt added and all Blaine could do as Kurt's hand held him firm and still was obey. "If you had danced only with me tonight, I would be dancing with you," Kurt said, squeezing him tightly before thumbing over the tip agonizingly slowly. "If you had kissed me tonight, my lips would be on you," he said, and as Kurt traced the vein on his cock up and down in delicious torture Blaine imagined it  was Kurt's tongue and his belly stirred with desire. His breathing grew short and heavy as he tried to stave off the orgasm that was so close and so forbidden. He wouldn't beg for it. He deserved this as much as he'd deserved the rest he'd already gotten and this time Santana wasn't there. It was all Kurt, only Kurt, and he would submit to him heart and soul in whatever he was asked to do. "If you had come with me tonight to the bar I would let you beg for it. Beg for me to let you come now."

Blaine had imagined this so many times before but he had never before had such a hard time obeying.

"But you paid no attention to me," Kurt said. "So until you show me you deserve that kind of attention, you will get none as well."

Blaine's eyes shot open and the first thing he did was grab the base of his cock to prevent himself from giving into the orgasm that was seconds away. His breathing was fast and he looked over to Kurt sleeping soundly beside him. He knew it was all a dream and yet it didn't stop the overwhelming need to pay attention. He reached over beneath the covers, trailing his hand up Kurt's leg from his knee to his thigh. Kurt stirred, a small content smile growing on his face and Blaine didn't know if he was sleeping or awake. He snuggled into Kurt's side, nestling as close as he could while keeping his own aching erection from pressing against his boyfriend, and he whispered in his ear, "May I please?"

Kurt granted permission with a slight nod and a mumbled "yes" and Blaine's submission swirled. He let himself fall back into the dream, he let the burn of the previous night's paddle renew and the order of silence return as he wrapped his fingers around Kurt's half-hardness. He took such care of Kurt, serving Kurt, atoning for his disrespect of his Dom. Not your Dom, a voice in the back of his head whispered, but he ignored it and focused on tracing Kurt's vein with his thumb, sliding his fingers just perfectly against Kurt's skin, up and down, up and down until more than Kurt's eyes had awoken.

Blaine leaned up on his elbow, staring directly into eyes swirling with blue and green and love and Blaine poured his submission into them, falling into their depths. His strokes were hypnotic, his own needs forgotten, the entirety of his attention on Kurt.

"So good," Kurt whispered, shivering, still half asleep and lost in the pleasure Blaine was giving him. "You are so good for me."

Blaine's heart swelled and he fell. His eyes closed and he fell with the weight of his sins and his need to prove himself and make amends and he forced his clouded eyes back open to watch Kurt. He watched Kurt's lids flutter shut and his cheeks redden. He watched Kurt bite his lip to keep quiet while he throbbed with arousal in Blaine's hand. Blaine watched how, with just a touch, he could make Kurt feel things he hoped he'd never felt before, and he wanted to keep doing that for the rest of his life.

"I'm gonna…" Kurt hissed.

Blaine twisted his wrist, just enough to drive Kurt over the edge, spilling into Blaine's hand. Blaine watched with pride as Kurt came undone and didn't stop his touch until Kurt collapsed with a sigh. Only then, did he let go to reach over for tissues to clean his boyfriend with complete reverence.

"Thank you, Blaine," Kurt said before kissing him lovingly. He reached over and brushed his hand against Blaine's cock but Blaine flinched away as if burned.

"Don't, sir," he whispered, his clouded gaze lowered.

Blaine had fallen too far to notice Kurt tense, his brows knitting together in concern. Blaine also didn't hear the almost certainly intentional noise in the kitchen and Kurt could only imagine how strong Blaine's submission was right now. What he didn't understand was why. Kurt's worry didn't ease with the knowledge that either Brittany or Santana was waiting, but he tried to keep calm, brushing Blaine's hair off of his forehead. "I'm going to shower sweetheart. Go help in the kitchen with breakfast."

"Yes, sir," Blaine said automatically as he obeyed and slipped out of bed, throwing on some sweats and a t-shirt, before heading out of the bedroom.

He found Santana in the kitchen, pans out, eggs cracked and whipped for scrambled eggs, a wooden spoon in her hand and one eye firmly on him.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yes, Ma'am," Blaine said, but Santana hadn't gotten up to make breakfast and she knew when her sub was lying. She'd never felt him so deep but alert and she approached him slowly, her dominance reaching out, knowing he needed it. But he backed away.

"Blaine, please, let me in," Santana pleaded, worry painting her features. "You've fallen too far and Brittany's already left-"

"No, Santana," Blaine protested. "This has nothing to do with you, this is between me and Kurt."


"I said no," he cried.

"Let her in."

Blaine heard the words firmly behind him and he turned to see Kurt standing in the bedroom doorway.

"Kurt," Blaine whispered, falling to his knees.

"Blaine!" Kurt admonished. Blaine recoiled, and Santana could see Kurt fighting a battle within himself. He took a deep breath and walked over to Blaine, lifting his chin in his hand. "Santana is your Dom. Not me," he told him, voice stern but not angry. "I'm not sure why you've fallen so far this morning, but you need to let her help you so we can figure it out. Understood?"

Blaine stared up at him for a minute, eyes shifting, searching, undoubtedly wishing. Then he lowered them. "Yes, Sir," he said and he immediately felt Santana's dominance reach out with a force that made his eyes snap shut. She knelt in front of him and pulled him into his arms and she latched onto his submission, whispering words of love and encouragement in his ear, nearly forcing him out of a subspace he was desperately clinging to. Finally he collapsed in her arms, tears streaming down his face and he knew that when he opened his eyes Kurt would not be there. He kept them closed but it was no surprise when he heard the shower running.

Santana stroked his hair gently, tracing her fingers down one arm until it rested atop his hand. His eyes slowly fluttered open and met hers before he bowed his head and wiped his tears.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?" she asked gently.

He was quiet for a minute as he traced backward his fall and he had to fight to keep himself from going under again. Finally, he admitted, "I had this dream."

Kurt managed to get into the shower and under the hot water before his own tears fell and he trembled, letting go of the self-control it had taken to be dominant with Blaine. With a few deep breaths, in and out, he managed to steady himself on his feet and wash away the emotions building inside of him. He didn't know exactly what had happened with Blaine, but he had a very good idea, and it was a new hurdle that Kurt didn't know how to jump over. Blaine seemed to have mastered control of his submission during intimacy so far, but punishment appeared to be an entirely different story. And though Kurt hadn't realized it at the time, Blaine's self-denial had made it clear that's still where he was.

He turned the water off and dressed for rehearsal, the final week before opening. He wanted more than anything to just go home and collapse in Rachel's arms, but before he could do that he still had to face what was outside the bathroom door no matter what he was to find. Things had changed last night. Kurt had made silent promises, and now he had to keep them. There was no more running away from this.

He walked out into the living room to find Blaine and Santana talking quietly on the couch. They both looked up when he entered the room, Santana with empathy, Blaine with remorse.

"Kurt, I am so sorry," Blaine started but Kurt was at his side in a second, grabbing his hands.

"No," he said gently, all authority gone. "Please don't be sorry. I have forgiven you for everything and I love you," Kurt said and when he kissed Blaine's lips, Blaine's breath hitched with surprise. Kurt pulled away slowly. "I love you, Blaine, all of you, even the things I don't understand."

"I love you too," Blaine whispered.

Kurt kissed him once more on the forehead and their eyes met. Blaine's were sad, but clear and that made Kurt smile. "I have to go to rehearsal, but we'll talk later if you want, I promise. Okay? I'm leaving you in Santana's safe hands," he said and looked over Blaine's shoulder. Santana smiled warmly and nodded.

"Okay," Blaine said and it was harder for Kurt to let go than he thought it would be.

He pulled on his coat and his scarf. He'd go home and get changed quickly before running to the theater. Blaine followed him to the door and Kurt pulled him in for a hug.

"We've come so far," Kurt reminded Blaine with a whisper. "We'll get through this too. I promise."

Rehearsal started at 9, but Kurt hadn't been called for combat until after the first break at 10:30. He allowed himself 30 minutes of comfort in the arms of his best friend, not telling Rachel much and she knew not to ask. Then with a kiss to her cheek, he tucked his phone in his pocket, pulled on his coat and headed out. He stood at the back of the theater, watching the scene, lights flickering on and off as they set the levels at the tech table. Kurt wanted it, more than he liked to admit. He loved what he was doing, but he knew that if he were a Dom he could have it all. The career he wanted. The love he wanted. The ease of a life that he longed for in a world that was created for him.

Break was called and he made his way up the stage, picking up the rapier from the rack in the wings. He dragged his feet as he walked out center stage, swinging the weapon halfheartedly.

"Walk out of the theater and walk back in again Mr. Hummel," he heard Robert sternly call behind him.

Kurt turned, confused. "What?" he asked.

Robert took a few steps toward him, shoulders back, tall and proud and Kurt suspected if he could feel it that dominance would be pouring off of him. "If you want the respect you deserve, you don't ever walk into a theater or a combat studio the way you just did. You walk in with authority and they will give it to you. Now go back out and come back in."

Kurt said nothing, only blinking before making his way back down the stairs. He caught Jesse's eye in the front row on the way, captivated by the whole exchange. Walking up the aisle, he put aside his doubts about Blaine, his regrets and his resignation. Instead he stood tall, his chest forward, his mind and body full of confidence and a demand for respect that didn't force authority but commanded it. And he walked down the long aisle from the back of the house to the front, and he realized just how good it felt.

The stage manager called fight rehearsal while the designers worked a few scenes ahead and Robert took a step back, letting him run it. Kurt called scene after scene, demanding their best work, fixing tiny details he had let slide before. When Jesse tried to argue with him on the placement of his rapier, Kurt took his opponent's sword and demonstrated the move with precision and purpose. Giving it back he watched the scene again and when Jesse did as he was told Kurt praised him, even offering him a hug for his hard work. And Kurt felt amazing.

And he began to realize how easy it could become to slip into this role on a daily basis because it was inside him, it had always been inside him, from the moment he'd stood up to his first bully on the playground. Because though he had a softer side, a romantic side that wanted to love and protect and be taken care of as well, this was as much a part of him as that. Brittany and Finn were right. He'd been holding back this side of himself for fear of turning into the bullies that had hurt him.

It was time to stop holding back.

Since signing their contract, Rachel started spending most nights at Jesse's apartment, which gave Kurt and Blaine ample opportunities for privacy in the loft the week of tech and dress rehearsals despite their limited time and the lack of doors.

Once hearts had stopped racing and breathing slowed to normal, the nights typically ended with Blaine curled up to Kurt's side, his head resting on Kurt's chest, their legs intertwined and Blaine's hand on Kurt's heart, counting the beats until they soothed him to sleep. These lazy evenings with Kurt's smooth warm skin against his own was everything Blaine had always wanted and hadn't known he needed.

It was midnight. Kurt's heart beat was normal under his hand, 101, 102, 103, but he could not sleep. His thumb brushed back and forth against Kurt's chest. And he felt Kurt's fingers, caressing his back softly. They both had something on their minds. The same thing. The thing they always went to sleep thinking tomorrow would be a better day to talk about then never did. Truth was, Blaine wasn't really in a hurry.

But Kurt decided midnight was tomorrow and he couldn't wait anymore.

"I think that we should talk about it," Kurt said, his chest humming with his voice beneath Blaine's cheek.

"Talk about what?" he evaded quietly. "You have rehearsal in the morning and you need your sleep."

"I'm not called until noon and I mean to talk about that thing we don't ever talk about," Kurt said, and he let his hand fall to Blaine's ass, cupping it and squeezing. Blaine stayed silent, his skin skittering slightly with both excitement and panic, but Kurt could tell and held him close. "I just want to know."

"Want to know what?"

Kurt's hand lowered, tickling that sensitive skin between Blaine's legs that made him moan so prettily. "Don't think I don't know why most nights you choose to have me in your mouth and not your hand. And please don't think I'm complaining, because I'm not, but I know you do it so you don't have to say anything. So you can let your mind wander and imagine and I just want to know what you think about."

Blaine's stomach flipped with nerves and the guilt of the things he imagined on the edge of subspace, in the heat of passion. "No you don't," Blaine told him.

Kurt sat up, more than awake now, and he pushed himself back against the headboard. He didn't bother to cover himself but when Blaine sat to face him, he pulled the sheet up over them both. Kurt smirked lovingly. Blaine blushed.

"Blaine, sweetheart," Kurt said, using the term that had begun to mark Kurt's acceptance of a certain amount of submission. "I wouldn't ask if I wasn't ready to know."

Blaine lowered his eyes. Kurt was right, he stayed silent for a reason. Because how was he supposed to explain things that he didn't even fully understand himself? "I think about us. You and me," he said softly.

"That's a good start," Kurt said encouragingly, smiling and taking his hand.

Blaine took Kurt's hand in his and turned it over so his palm was up. He spread out Kurt's fingers and traced the lines on his skin. "I think of this hand. Spanking me." He looked up through his lashes, but Kurt was just watching him, no judgment. Just open. Blaine looked away, over Kurt's shoulder where it was safe. "I think of you telling me I can't come. Telling me I can. Telling me when. But there's more," Blaine whispered, his face turning red.

"It's okay, you can tell me," Kurt promised. "I want to know."

Blaine swallowed and closed his eyes and behind his lids he saw it all. "I think of things you would never agree to do to me. Things I'm not even sure I would really want. Things I've read about that in their fantasy sound incredible, but in reality," he opened his eyes and shook his head, "I don't know."

"I know you want me to hurt you," Kurt said and it wasn't disapproving or eager. It was just fact. "Do you think you can help me understand why?"

Blaine snuggled into him. "Well, for one thing, I think the right kind of pain would feel amazing. But it's not just that. Submitting when it's easy, it's nice. It's warm. It's like a perfect spring day where the sun is out and the air smells great, and you feel small in the world because it's so big and beautiful and you're just one little part of it." Blaine looked at Kurt and he seemed to understand that. "Submitting when it's hard, it's like fighting against the wind and winning, climbing a mountain in the snow and making it to the top. You know that feeling when you accomplish something that you knew would be tough but you were always certain you could do it?"

"Yeah," Kurt said. "I do. But I don't think that's what we're talking about here. I don't think those are the things you're imagining."

"Sometimes they are," Blaine said, but he knew that sometimes they weren't. "Do you know how it feels to succeed at the impossible? To go beyond the limits of not only where others say you can go but where you say you can go? If I can obey, even when submitting is the hardest thing I've ever done, even when my brain is screaming to safeword but my heart knows that I can make it through…I've done it once with Santana, that time with Brittany. But I can only imagine how incredible that would feel with the person I love more than anyone."

Kurt was quiet. Pensive. He wanted to ask if Blaine thought he'd fall too far if things were that intense between them, but something held him back. Instead he looked at Blaine and how beautiful he was. He remembered how even more beautiful he could be. "Will you lend me those books?"

Blaine looked up at him in surprise. "You can't even give me a simple spanking Kurt, I don't think you're gonna like what's in those books."

"Maybe not," Kurt admitted. "But then at least I'll know what you're thinking about."

Blaine bit his lip self-consciously. "And you think that'll be a good thing?"

Kurt wasn't sure but he tried to sound sure as he pulled Blaine into his arms. "I think I want to know everything about you."

Blaine was quiet for a time and Kurt might have thought he had fallen asleep if he hadn't noticed the increasing beat of his heart. Finally, Blaine spoke. "Does that mean the other morning too?" he asked hesitantly.

Kurt kissed Blaine's head and held him tight. "Only if you want to. I know it's been hard for you to talk about."

"I'm scared it's going to screw everything up," Blaine admitted.

But Kurt shook his head and adjusted them both so he and Blaine were sitting eye to eye, their hands clasped between them. "Nothing is going to screw us up, okay? Things changed the other night-"

"Things changed the other night and I still didn't trust you." Tears that had fallen every time he'd tried to figure out how to say what he needed to say clouded his vision. Kurt was quiet, taken aback by Blaine's words, but not wanting to stop him. "God Kurt, I don't know how to say this…"

"Take a deep breath," Kurt said and Blaine did as he was told. "Just say what you have to say Blaine. However it comes out. I'm not a delicate flower. Okay?"

"Okay," Blaine agreed, though the heaviness in his heart was so present on his face. His gaze dropped to their hands as he tried to find the words to describe the feelings inside him. As he tried to find the nerve to say them. "I trust Santana. I trust her authority and her decisions and when she believes I deserve to be punished, but more importantly I trust when she doesn't. I don't question or second guess and I've never tried to punish myself because she's my Dom and I know she will always hold me appropriately accountable."

"And you think I won't," Kurt said softly, understanding.

It hurt so much, the pain in Kurt's voice, knowing that he was likely to put more there with his admission. Knowing he was risking everything. But there was no other way to get through this. "In my head, I know you're not my Dom. I mean, I hear it at least once a day; from Santana, from Brittany, Rachel…you. But in my heart…" It took Blaine every ounce of courage but he raised his eyes, because he had to. "In my heart Kurt, you are my Dom. And everyone was right, that's not going to go away, it's only growing stronger. And I've been trying so hard to listen to my head, because I know that's what you want, but I think…I think that's what's wrong."

"Wrong how?" Kurt asked.

"If I listen to my head then I can't trust you to set rules or limits or punish me when I deserve it but that's going to kill me Kurt. Because all I want is to be good for you, to submit to you, but now I'm playing sub and Dom and I'm falling too hard with no way out because my heart says I need you but you can't, and my head says I can't trust you so I don't and my submission can't find you like there's a wall between us…" Tears were streaming down his cheeks, caught in this place of in between. "It's dangerous Kurt and it has to stop but the only way is-"

"You can trust me Blaine," Kurt said.

Blaine looked up at him in surprise and he wiped his eyes. "How?"

"Blaine, the times you've punished yourself, you didn't deserve it." Kurt reached up and wiped his face. "In the shower you did nothing wrong. The other morning you'd already been forgiven." Blaine looked away, not knowing at all what to believe, but Kurt took his chin and guided him back. "Yes, I'm a Gray. And sometimes I might need your help or Santana's help. But your heart has known what to believe since the first time we saw each other. And I think it's time we both start to trust me to try to be the Dom it sees."

Blaine shook his head. "But you won't-"

"I will do everything I can," Kurt promised. "And for the rest, I will trust Santana."

"I want...I need the things between us to stay between us," Blaine pleaded.

Kurt wasn't sure he could promise that. But he could promise something else. "Sometimes we might need her, but I will always be there, no matter what. I promise," Kurt said. "Okay?"

Blaine nodded. "Okay," he said, and with a kiss that felt like the first time all over again, they laid down, Blaine curling up in Kurt's strong, protective arms, and fell asleep.

Blaine must have fallen asleep while he was reading and was snapped awake to the sound of the doorbell buzzing over and over. He could hear the shower in the girls' bathroom running so he pulled himself out of bed. He'd been exhausted after his classes all day and had been trying to finish his homework before the opening of Kurt's show that night. He looked over to the clock, wondering just how long he had slept, but it was only 5, still too early for Kurt to be there.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," Blaine whined, unheard he was sure by the person behind the door but it didn't matter. He turned the knob and opened the door and stared up in shock at the last person he would have ever expected to see.

"Hey little brother," Cooper said, staring down at him with a grin.

Blaine blinked. And blinked again. He hoped that if he blinked often enough that one of the times he opened his eyes his brother wouldn't be standing there. "What…" he cleared his suddenly dry throat, words caught behind a sea of nerves, and tried again. "What are you doing here?"

Cooper flipped his gorgeous brown hair and batted his warm blue eyes and flashed his whiter than white teeth, but the crease in his forehead gave away the fact that he knew something was not quite right. "I've got some promotional interviews in the city for the new movie coming out," he said, glancing over Blaine's shoulder into the apartment. "I figured I'd come see my little brother and his girl."

"Blaine, who is it?"

Blaine winced, biting his lip, and turned slowly at the sound of Brittany's voice. She was thankfully dressed but combing out her long blonde, wet locks as she walked from her bedroom to the front hallway to see who was at the door. Her eyes widened at the sight of their visitor, and Blaine turned back, shrinking immediately at the power of his brother's stare. His brother's Dom stare.

"Blaine?" Cooper demanded, no other words needed.

"This is Brittany," Blaine stammered, stepping back so his brother didn't barrel him over as he walked in and shut the door behind him. Brittany looked like she wasn't sure whether to be nervous, confused, or impressed that Cooper Anderson was in her home. "Brittany, this is my brother Cooper."

"I know who he is," Brittany said, her awe winning out with a smile. "It's nice to meet you."

"It's nice to meet you too," Cooper said suspiciously before turning back on his brother with a hard gaze. "Explain."

"I…" Blaine faltered.

Cooper sighed. "Where is Santana?"

Blaine couldn't speak his heart was beating so quickly. He saw his world tumbling down, his brother turning on him, telling his parents, taking his belt to him. He saw every possibility but this finishing well. Brittany saw that and she stepped up beside him and took his hand in hers. "She's at the library. She should be home soon," she said, rescuing him.

Cooper looked down at their clasped hands. A golden cuff on her wrist, a white on his brother's. He looked up into Blaine's terrified eyes. Cooper may sometimes have appeared dumb in the eyes of the media, but he was far from it. "Text her. Now," he ordered. Blaine pulled out his phone obediently. "She is still your Dom, yes?" he asked, eyes hard.

Blaine swallowed and found his voice. "Yes sir," he answered automatically.

"Text her. Santana, my brother is here and he would like an explanation for why we've been lying to our families for so long." Blaine looked up at him, eyes glistening, his hands shaking immobilized with fear. Cooper's dominance was as powerful as Blaine's submission and Brittany reached out for the phone, texting the words for him because he couldn't.

"Are you going to tell them?" Blaine whispered.

Cooper reached out, took Blaine's empty wrist and pulled him mercilessly over to the couch. He sat down, holding his brother's arms firmly in his grip. Blaine blinked and tears fell down his cheeks no matter how hard he tried to keep them in. Cooper had never punished him before but given the circumstances he was pretty sure he'd be justified and able to get away with it if he was quick enough to finish before Santana got home. Cooper's thumb was brushing over his white cuff, left, right and back again. Blaine's skin tingled with the dominance. His heart was racing.

And then Cooper pulled him close, wrapped him in his arms and held him tight. "I don't know Blaine," Cooper said softly. "I don't know."

From Blaine to Santana: Santana, it's Britt. Blaine's brother is here and he says he wants an explanation for why you've been lying to your families for so long.

From Blaine to Santana: Blaine's really scared.

From Santana to Blaine: I'll be home in 30.

Santana got home in 25 minutes, using every bit of seduction mixed with a little bit of screaming to get her taxi driver to run every red light. She tipped him extra and raced up the stairs to their apartment, throwing open the door.

"If you've laid one hand on either of my subs I swear to god Cooper Anderson-"

She stopped shouting when she saw the three of them sitting at the kitchen table, two bags of chips and two containers of dip open while they talked.

"And hello to you too Santana," Cooper smiled with amusement. "Your subs are just fine, their butts comfortably on their chairs, though I've been very clear with Blaine that I think that ought to change." Cooper looked at his brother pointedly and Blaine lowered his eyes, but he was no longer frightened.

Santana's hands flew to her hips anyway. "Blaine has done absolutely nothing wrong-"

"Now come on Santana," Cooper said, rising gracefully out of his seat. He towered over her but Santana had never been afraid to stand her own against anyone and she wasn't going to let this be an exception, even as he slowly stepped toward her. "You and I both know that Blaine has broken every single one of your rules for him, not to mention the rules he grew up with, when it comes to our family and you have done the same for yours. If that's not wrong I don't know what is."

"Blaine doesn't owe them anything," Santana snapped.

"Blaine owes them almost everything," Cooper argued. "Who pays for this apartment Santana? Who pays for college? Who pays for the food he eats and the clothes on his back and the enormous amounts of gel he puts in his hair? It's not you," he said. He folded his arms and stared down at her. He had plenty of experience facing down Doms in his life and Cooper had learned to be stronger than them all. Santana was strong, but he had no doubt he could have his little brother's Dom quaking in her boots if he truly wanted to. "I'm not saying my parents are always right. If what Blaine's told me is true then I don't think they are. But you aren't either. And if I were certain that he was only following orders then I would be more than happy to lay the entirety of the blame on your shoulders." He shifted just slightly but his gaze fell squarely on Blaine. "But he wasn't only following orders. Were you Blaine?"

"No, sir," Blaine whispered.

"Your parents may have given him everything that money can buy, but what about everything it can't Cooper?" Santana asked. "We didn't do this. Your father promised Blaine to me like he was a commodity to buy and sell and for both of us it was the safest choice. So we promised to take care of one other and I told him that we didn't owe his parents anything that we promised each other because your parents never gave Blaine those things. And those are the things that matter Coop."

"You're absolutely right Santana," Cooper said. "Those are the things that matter and they don't have to be earned. You both had a responsibility to our families. A responsibility that you did not fulfill. You let them believe you had a golden contract and in exchange you took from them everything that would have granted you. Now I can't do anything about you, but I can do something about Blaine to teach him that no matter what, he cannot lie and disrespect-"

"You're both wrong," Blaine said, strong and clear as he stood from the table. Santana and Cooper both stopped and turned to him. "I never lied to them. Everything I did was because I loved them. Because I respected them. They're my parents Coop," Blaine tried to yell but his voice choked as tears flooded his eyes. "And I spent my whole life trying to be the son and the sub that they wanted me to be because all I ever wanted was their love and respect. So I signed a contract with Santana and let her claim me and I have given her everything that I can because that's what they wanted me to do. I have loved her and she has loved me with as much of our hearts as we can. Don't you think that if we could have just had it all with one another that we would have? Do you think that either one of us wanted to spend our lives hiding? Pretending that we're someone other than who we are? Do you think we wanted to keep the loves of our lives a secret from our families? Dad promised me to her because he knew I was gay and he couldn't stand the thought that someday I'd choose to be claimed by a man."

No one knew what to say but the silence was broken by a quick knock on the door before a very well dressed Kurt cheerfully let himself in. "Alright everyone, it's opening night I hope you all-" He came around the corner to a scene he had not expected. Brittany, sitting at the kitchen table, Blaine, standing at the chair between hers and Santana, and a man Kurt very much recognized as Cooper Anderson were all staring at each other in a standoff. Everyone turned to him but no one spoke. He could cut the tension with a knife so he said the only thing that came to mind. "Blaine, is your brother coming to the show? Cause if he is I'll have to get him an extra ticket."

"I don't think we've met," Cooper said, stepping toward Kurt with every ounce of dominance pouring from his body. He held out his hand. "Cooper Anderson."

And Blaine saw it. Kurt's transformation to the man he'd seen that first day on The Apples' stage, the moment he'd fallen in love with Kurt and believed without a doubt that Kurt was a Dom. He grew taller, wider, more confident and sure and Blaine gripped the table to keep himself from kneeling. Kurt held his hand out to his brother without any hesitation or shadow of nerves. "Kurt Hummel. Pleased to meet you. Blaine has told me a lot about you."

"Kurt's my boyfriend," Blaine squeaked out from his chair, before coming around and gripping Kurt's hand as if his life depended on it. Kurt squeezed back with assurance and smiled proudly.

Santana finally broke out of her daze and clapped her hands. "Alright everyone, the drama's going to have to wait, we are not going to be late to Kurt's first opening night off-Broadway. Brittany go get dressed, Blaine go put on your tux. We will meet back out here in 10 minutes."

Blaine let go of Kurt's hand and started to his room, but turned back. "Kurt?" he asked, afraid of leaving his boyfriend and his brother alone.

But Kurt was not at all afraid. "Do as your Dom tells you, do you understand?" he commanded.

Blaine's eyes opened wide and arousal quickly replaced any fear he'd felt. "Yes sir," he said and he excused himself to his room.

Kurt and Cooper both stood, hands in their pockets, sizing one another up. Neither moved, neither said a word, just trying to figure out as much as they could about one another without giving anything away. But Kurt knew how strong the Andersons were. It would only be a matter of seconds before-

"Do you think he should be punished?" Cooper said, a small smirk on his face. "For lying to his family? Disgracing them?"

"The only disgrace would be them if they disowned him for who he truly is," Kurt answered.

"You don't think he should be punished at all, ever." Cooper's smile never left his face, like a Cheshire cat. Kurt wished he'd disappear like one. "Grays don't believe in punishment. Do you?" Kurt kept quiet, knowing Cooper really didn't even need an answer. The absence of any Dom energy was a dead giveaway. "So what, do you guys have like a threesome? Or a foursome I guess?"

"No," Kurt said, holding his ground. "That may be the kind of shit you pull on TV shows, but it's really not the way being gay or Gray works."

Cooper shook his head and turned away laughing. "Leave it to my little brother to not only be gay but to fall in love with a Gray." He turned and looked at Kurt. "When Blaine wanted to be defiant, he always went full force."

"That may be true, but he's not doing this to be defiant," Kurt said. "He's just trying to be himself." Cooper's smile finally faded, but he didn't look angry. In fact, Blaine's brother looked sad at the whole situation. "We tried not to love each other. We tried very hard. It didn't work."

"And this?" Cooper asked. "This is working?"

Kurt lowered his eyes. "We have good days and bad days. But yes, we are making it work." Kurt took a breath and stepped in closer, hooking his thumbs in his pockets. "Come to the show with us. Get to know me. Get to know us. Before you make any judgments."

Kurt stood still, strong, as Cooper eyed him up and down as if looking for the proof he needed to destroy everything they'd worked so hard for. But finally, his smile returned, only this time it was real. "The less I know, the better. Plus if I came I'd bring publicity that neither Blaine nor Santana are ready for. Tell my brother I'll pick him up tomorrow for lunch. Tell him not to worry."

Kurt nodded. Cooper seemed to be sincere. "Okay."

They arrived at the theater, Blaine still trembling despite Santana's hand in his and Kurt only an arm's length away, elbow linked with Brittany's. Santana stepped up to the window and got their tickets. Kurt got the comps for himself and Brittany. Rachel hadn't picked hers up yet but with Blaine's submission and anxiety swirling uncontrollably, they didn't wait. Santana led him immediately to their seats and Kurt and Brittany followed.

"I'm right here," Kurt whispered to him as they took their seats next to each other, the girls on either side. "Everything's okay."

"What if he tells them?" Blaine panicked.

"I don't think he's going to sweetheart. Now you have to relax or you're going to miss all my hard work." Kurt teased, trying to lighten the mood, and it seemed to work a bit. Blaine's shoulders relaxed a little and they sat in silence reading their playbills.

"I won't let them take you from me," Blaine whispered as the lights faded.

In the darkness Kurt took his hand and brought it to his lips, kissing him softly. "I'm not going anywhere. You are safe with me Blaine," he whispered. "Always."

No matter how much Kurt had told him not to worry, Blaine had himself suitably worked up into a near frenzy by the time he had sat down with his brother at one of the poshest restaurants in New York and had his meal ordered for him. Cooper did his typical rattling on about his tapings with The Today Show and Ellen and typically no matter how jealous it made him, Blaine soaked up his brother's stories with glee. Today however, he smiled and nodded, and heard absolutely nothing.

"Are you even listening to me Squirt?" Cooper asked and it was the nickname that pulled him out of his head.

"Don't call me that," Blaine pouted, but he didn't really want to get on Cooper's bad side. He was pretty sure that if he'd have anyone in his family left on his side when this was all over it would be his brother.

Cooper sighed. "So you want to just talk about this?"

"It's better than sweeping it under the rug until dessert, letting me sweat the whole time," Blaine muttered.

"Fine. Okay." Cooper took a pretty big sip of his wine and Blaine wished he had his own to calm his nerves as well. But beggars couldn't be choosers and he let the cold of his ice water soothe his dry mouth and scratchy throat. "You know Mom and Dad will cut you off from everything as soon as they find out. Food, clothing, apartment, tuition. No more allowance, no more credit cards."

Blaine had known that for a long time, but hearing his brother list out everything he was losing was harder than he thought. Still, they'd been preparing. "We know Coop. We've been putting money away in our own bank accounts. And I had a job over the summer, I can get another one."

"A part-time job isn't going to pay NYADA tuition," Cooper said with a raised brow.

"Which is why the longer we can keep up-"

"The farce?" Cooper supplied.

"It's not a farce Coop," Blaine said firmly. "Santana is my Dom."

"With a white contract. And Kurt is your boyfriend," he added.

"Look, it's not like I planned to fall in love with him, it just happened." Blaine sighed, rubbing his hands over his face. "It was supposed to be simple. I find a Dom, Santana transfers the contract, he claims me, he loves and protects and cares for me and then we tell Mom and Dad and they…well, they do whatever it is they're going to do, but it wasn't gonna hurt because I'd have him."

"Now it's a lot more complicated than that Blaine. He's a Gray, which means no contract, no claim…" Cooper said. He clearly felt for his brother but was also trying to be practical. "It would be easier if you broke up with Kurt, you know. Found someone else. You might want to think about it."

"You think I haven't?" Blaine yelled a little too loud, before lowering his voice to a harsh whisper. "You think I don't know that? You think I didn't try? God Coop, I was a complete mess trying to stay away from him."

"And you're sure he's Gray?" Cooper asked carefully. "Maybe Mom could-"

"No," Blaine said flatly. "He's sure and I trust him."

Cooper sat back in his chair just as the main courses arrived. Salt and pepper were added, drinks were refilled and delicious plates were tried all while working to get tempers to cool.

It was hard to let it go though. "I just can't believe that you would fall for someone who wasn't a Dom," Cooper muttered in amazement. "Your submission is so strong, you need strong dominance and Kurt will never be able to give you that. And without the balance Blaine…"

Blaine put his utensils down and tried to stay calm. "Look, believe me, I know what could happen," he said, remembering his fall only a week ago. "We all know what could happen, that's why Santana isn't going anywhere. But maybe there's something more important than dominance and submission."

Cooper looked at him. "What's that?"


Cooper sighed and went back to his dinner, and Blaine did the same. He had come with the surety that he would be raked over the coals, but every time someone tried to convince him things wouldn't work out between him and Kurt, he just became more and more determined to prove them wrong. And he could see his brother's heart was breaking for Blaine and worrying about being put in the middle of a battle that was sure to tear their family apart. After the last two days, Blaine believed Cooper would take his side when it all came out. But he could never be sure.

"I hope everything has been worth it," Cooper said. "When they find out, they will disown you for the lies."

Blaine shook his head. "No Cooper, they won't. The lie was of their own making. They will disown me for the truth."

Blaine tried to sleep that night, but Cooper's words played over and over in his head and he tossed and turned for two hours, knowing what he needed but afraid to ask. But when his body started vibrating with anxiety, he knew he had to put the fear aside before he ended up hurting himself.

Blaine to Kurt: Please come over. I need you.

It was nearing midnight when Kurt slipped in the door of the darkened apartment. He tiptoed carefully to Blaine's room, opening the door, undressing, and slipping into bed. Blaine immediately curled up on him, nuzzling into his neck and humming a quiet hello. Kurt kissed the top of his head. "Still awake?" he whispered carefully.

"Yes," Blaine answered. "I couldn't sleep without you."

"Well, I'm here now," Kurt said, squeezing him close. "Tell me what you need."

Over and over again Blaine had said the words to himself as he waited for Kurt. Now that Kurt was here his heart was racing in his chest. "I need you. I need you to dominate me," he whispered nervously. "I need you inside me."

Kurt's heart jumped nervously in his chest. "Are you sure?"

"Never more sure," was Blaine's fast and breathless response.

Kurt pushed up on his elbow and looked at Blaine. He saw nothing but fear and desperation and though it terrified him, he knew what he had to do. "Do you have-"

"Top drawer," Blaine said quickly as if he had been praying that would be Kurt's answer.

Kurt leaned over and opened it. He pulled out the lube, leaving the condoms behind. Neither of them were ready for that, the risks were still too high especially in Blaine's current state and Kurt knew Blaine would respect his decision if he disagreed. "Roll onto your back," he said gently and he pulled the covers neatly down to the foot of the bed. Blaine did as he was told, his breathing fast, his eyes closed and his hands flat on the bed by his side. Kurt slipped his fingers beneath the waistband of Blaine's underwear and slid them off. He smiled at Blaine's almost purr of relief and anticipation. He took a moment just to appreciate the perfection of his boyfriend's body before tracing his fingers lightly from hip to calves, where he began. He pressed his fingers into the muscles, knowing that the tension Blaine was holding needed to be released in order for this to be pleasurable. While he did that, he kissed Blaine's thighs ever so gently. "Such a good boy," Kurt said. Kurt's words went straight to Blaine's cock and the sub's sharp intake of breath encouraged him. "Are you going to be a good boy for me tonight Blaine?" he asked.

Fire seemed to flow through Blaine's veins, a fire that grew hotter with Kurt's every touch. "Yes Sir," he answered and Kurt moved his hands higher against Blaine's already flushed skin. Blaine's thighs trembled beneath Kurt's touch.

"I need you to spread your legs a little more sweetheart," Kurt said and Blaine raced to comply.

Blaine felt Kurt's hand disappear and he almost cried with the loss of Kurt's touch, but with the snap of a lid it was quickly back. At the gentle press of Kurt's finger over his rim, Blaine gasped and his back arched, his cock filling. His submission surged.

Kurt smiled knowingly. "Does that feel good?"

"Yes," Blaine managed to breathe as his mind and his body tried to process the new sensation. Despite all they had done before, this was different. This wasn't serving, this was being used and owned, and it was so incredible he started to fall. Kurt was massaging small, exquisite circles at his entrance and Blaine's cock was aching with the need to touch. He reached down to ease the pressure.

"Hands off," Kurt ordered sternly, removing his own hand at the same time. "Eyes open."

Blaine's head was spinning but he obeyed, his hands falling to the bed, his eyes opening. Kurt was glad to see that all fear was gone. The only things that remained were desire and submission and a desperation that Kurt's finger go back where it belonged.

"Kurt please," Blaine panted. "Please don't stop. Not tonight. Need-"

"Quiet," Kurt demanded and Blaine closed his mouth, his eyes opening wide with compliance. "Place your hands beneath your backside." Eyes staying on Kurt, Blaine did as he was told, tucking his hands flat between his ass and the bed and he sucked in a breath. He had never even imagined how submissive that one small gesture could feel, his hands restrained only by his own body and obedience, his ass raised off the bed as if in offering. Kurt reached back down and brushed over his rim in both reward and temptation and in his heightened senses the touch sent shivers through Blaine's body, his hips thrusting forward with yearning. But he did not disobey.

"Good boy," Kurt said with a satisfied smile, then continued. "There are three rules tonight: You keep your hands where they are, you do not touch. You come as soon as you can, you do not hold back. And you can close your eyes if you want, but I need to hear you so I know you're with me and not in your head or too deep in subspace. Is that all understood?"

"Yes sir," Blaine stammered.

"If you think there's any other rule you need to follow you ask me," Kurt said firmly. "Under no circumstances will you take a punishment into your own hands for anything in any way."

Blaine wondered fleetingly what would happen then if he disobeyed, but that thought was only trouble and he pushed it out of his mind. "Yes sir."

Without any warning, Kurt pushed the tip of one finger inside and Blaine cried out.

"Talk to me Blaine, is that good or bad?" Kurt asked.

"God, Kurt, it's so good," he said. "Feels like…" he swallowed against the surge of pleasure as Kurt perfectly moved further inside him.

"What does it feel like Blaine?" Kurt encouraged him. "Tell me."

"Feels like you own me." Blaine panted. "Like I'm yours."

"You are mine," Kurt said and he leaned over to kiss him, hard and deep and in harmony with his movements inside of Blaine. When he pulled away Blaine's lips were red and swollen and slightly open with the hope of more. His skin glistened with sweat, his curls were releasing and his cock was visibly throbbing against his stomach. Kurt couldn't help but stop and stare a moment. "Do you know how fucking gorgeous you are like this Blaine?"

"Thank you sir," Blaine whispered, pressing his hips into Kurt's stalled finger. "Kurt, please…"

Kurt laughed and he slid his lips over to Blaine's ear. "Are you ready for a second one?" he whispered.

"Fuck yes, Kurt, please," he said, torn between wanting more and wanting it to last at the same time. He was getting close already, too soon, he could feel the flutter in his belly and the tightness in his balls growing, and he was grateful for the no touching rule, because otherwise there would be every temptation to break the no holding back rule. "Please one more."

Kurt granted his request and pulled out for only a moment before sliding two fingers back in.

"Fuck baby, you're so tight," Kurt said and he knew that would be enough for today.

For one brief second Blaine plummeted, but he wrapped his submission around Kurt in time and held tight. And then the sensations grew. There was nothing but pleasure, the fullness inside him, the press of Kurt's fingertips each time he brushed Blaine's prostate. The fire running through his veins was the most incredible sensation that Blaine had ever experienced and he had this feeling that this should have been more than enough to make him come. But there was something missing, something else that he was desperate for.

Kurt could sense his closeness too as the heat inside himself grew. "Remember you may not hold yourself back Blaine," Kurt reminded him and Blaine shook his head. "You come as soon as you can."

"I'm not Sir," he panted. "I swear I'm not, I just need…"

Kurt brushed his thumb through the hair on Blaine's chest and he continued to work his fingers in Blaine's ass. He was certain Blaine was desperate for his touch, desperate for his fist to bring him over the edge, but he would make Blaine ask for it. He wouldn't give in. "Tell me what you need Blaine."

"More," Blaine said, swallowing. His mouth was dry. He could barely talk. "Need another." Blaine could tell Kurt's hesitance immediately so he begged. "Please Kurt, I'll do anything. You told me not to hold back and that's what I need."

Kurt almost protested, remembering his first time, how rough it had been and how painful three fingers had felt.

And then he understood.

He pulled out, coating his fingers once again with lube to make himself feel better. He knew he could do this gently for Blaine. But he also knew that wasn't what Blaine wanted. It wasn't what he needed. Love isn't always gentle, he repeated to himself before he closed his eyes and roughly thrust three fingers inside of Blaine.

"Fuck!" Blaine screamed as he felt the burn, so deliberate and sudden. The pain and pleasure and dominance boiled over into delicious torture that made his entire body tremble and tense and then let go in the most incredible, mind-blowing orgasm he'd ever had. His head spun and he fell, he fell so deep where the world felt safe and warm and he was loved more than he ever had been.

"Blaine," he heard in the distance and a sweet hand was brushing his cheek so gently, kissing his lips so softly. "Blaine, beautiful, come back to me."

Blaine strengthened his grip on Kurt and he let go of the warmth and the safety of subspace, pulling himself out because he understood that there was even more safety and warmth and love in submitting to Kurt, no matter how deeply he fell. He opened his eyes and smiled, a goofy, lovesick, proud smile. "Hi," he said.

"Hi," Kurt said back, his own smile mirroring Blaine's.

"You're amazing Kurt," Blaine said in wonder.

"No," Kurt blushed, ducking his head slightly. The dominance was gone but Blaine didn't care, because he knew now he could trust Kurt. He could trust Kurt to find it when he needed it. "You're the amazing one Blaine," Kurt said. "My good boy."


In a midnight talk, in a morning kiss,
When I'm in your arms, that's where it is,
When we're tangled up and can't resist,
When we feel that rush, that's where it is

In the sweetest smile, on a night like this,
And a tender touch, that's where it is,
When we're tangled up, and can't resist,
When we feel that rush, that's where it is,
That's where it is

Chapter Text

The loft was quiet, the sun streaming warmly down on his face from the windows in front of him and Kurt was lying on the couch, so absorbed in the book he was reading, that he didn't hear the front door slide open, or the footsteps drawing closer behind him. By the time he noticed the figure looming over him, it was too late.

"The Artistry of Domination," Jesse read over his shoulder and Kurt jumped startled, his heart pounding in his chest, as he twirled around on the couch.

"What the hell are you doing here?" Kurt screeched, hiding the book behind his back, though he certainly realized it was too little too late.

Jesse ignored the question and simply smirked at him. "That's a pretty sophisticated book, Kurt. Didn't know you had it in you."

Kurt glared. "Blaine gave it to me. Watch out or I'll try it all out on you first."

"Ah, see, that's what I've been talking about," Jesse teased. "The desire to inflict pain." He circled around the couch and grabbed the book out of Kurt's hand. "Someday I'll have to find out if that's a threat or a promise," he said, leaping onto the couch and settling in as he flipped the pages. "Where is Blainers anyway?"

"He's at school, at the piano studios. Now give me the book back," he demanded, reaching for it.

But Jesse just laughed, scooting up to sit on the arm of the couch with the book, and his eyes sparkled as he flipped to read from a random page. "If you truly want to humble your submissive, a Humbler is the ideal device. Securing his scrotum tightly behind him, a Humbler makes it nearly impossible for your sub to rise off his knees while giving you a beautiful view and target. Any attempt to escape won't last long. He'll be bending back over again for you without delay to ease the pressure."

Kurt wondered if it was getting hot in the room as he grimaced with every word. "Why the fuck would someone even want to use a torture device like that?"

"Hey don't knock it 'till you've tried it," Jesse smirked, then corrected himself. "Well, until Blaine's tried it," he winked. "I bet he'd fall into subspace just listening to you read about one."

"Which is just one more reason not to," Kurt said, his blushing face twisting in embarrassment. "Not that there's a chance in hell I could actually say those words out loud."

"I thought you two had that under control?" Jesse asked, suddenly concerned. "Rachel said you told her he's been able to control the fall with you."

Kurt nodded slightly. "He has, so far. But it's not like we've really gone that far. The things in this book..." Kurt looked up at him, wondering how it was possible that Jesse St. James had become the person he was confiding his greatest fears to. "I don't know how he controls it at all. But he can't with punishment, not yet, and the things in this book come far too close to punishment. Even if I had no other reason not to do them..."

"Can you feel it?" Jesse asked quietly. "When he lets his submission go, can you feel it?"

"No, Jesse," Kurt snapped suddenly, not even sure why the question was making him angry. "I can't feel it, I've told you all that a hundred times."

"Punishment is totally different than sex," Jesse explained, ignoring his outburst. "It's a completely different mindset and submission acts completely differently. You can do the exact same things in both, but…" Jesse shook his head. "You should talk to Rachel about it, she can explain it far better than me and who knows, maybe everything would be different for you and Blaine anyway. But she says that during sex my submission is warm and during punishment it's cold. And she is quite skilled at almost everything in that book-" he started with a smirk.

"Oh my god, I don't even want to think about Rachel doing anything in that book," Kurt cried.

Jesse grinned. "There's a lot you don't know about Rachel Berry. And a lot she could teach you."

"No thank you," Kurt said. "Rachel is like my sister, our sex lives are completely off limits."

"Fine," Jesse agreed, but then his smile faded and he grew serious. "Just remember, Blaine wants these things because they make him feel good. Anything that doesn't he'll safeword."

"I don't think I could even come close to doing anything he would safeword," Kurt muttered. "And what happens when he wants more than I can ever give him?"

"The safeword goes both ways Kurt," Jesse pointed out. "Neither of you should ever do anything you're uncomfortable with and if he can't respect that than you've got bigger problems than the things you won't do in that book."

"He'd respect it," Kurt said with absolute certainty. And he was truly grateful for the reminder. "Thanks Jesse."

"Hey no problem. Take my advice." Jesse flipped through the book then laid it out open for him over the back of the couch. "Start there," he suggested before getting up to grab a drink and wait for Rachel in her room.

Once Jesse was gone and he was sure the curtain was staying shut, Kurt picked the book back up and closed his eyes. He felt a knot in his stomach as he took a breath and leaned back. Opening his eyes, he looked at what Jesse had left open for him: Chapter 4: The Art of Denial.

The sun streamed in to Blaine's favorite piano studio at NYADA, the one where the light seemed to hit just right to illuminate his senses. His music was better there, which he knew was a problem. He had to be able to play this well everywhere. So some days he challenged himself. And some days he just wanted to bask in the glow of inspiration.

He was working on the score to West Side Story, considered by many to be the most challenging score in musical theater. He'd always wanted to play Tony but never had the chance. Maybe someday, he thought as he played the orchestrations for Something's Coming.

"Mr. Anderson, I figured I'd find you here."

Blaine's hands immediately halted atop the piano keys and he looked up with wide eyes. "I'm not missing classes Madame Tibideaux, I swear."

She laughed lightly and took off her glasses. "Yes, I don't expect that will be an issue again, will it? No, I'm here because I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Hilcox, playwright for NYADA's yearly new spring play."

Blaine noticed for the first time the tall, thin, awkwardly handsome gentleman, standing behind the Dean. He couldn't tell if Mr. Hilcox was a Dom or a sub, but either way, Blaine wiped his hands on his pants, stepped out from his piano bench and reached out to shake his hand. "It's very nice to meet you Mr. Hilcox," Blaine said enthusiastically. "New works are the nourishment of the theater."

Mr. Hilcox gave a soft laugh. "I'm glad you feel that way. I'm looking for a composer to underscore the play, like a movie. And to write and sing the final song, a curtain call like movie credits. Madame Tibideaux says you might be up for the job."

Blaine opened his mouth, then closed it again. "Wow. Gosh, well…I don't know that I'm that good. Honestly Madame Tibideaux hasn't even heard me play."

"But your professors have and they've encouraged this meeting," the Dean pointed out. "So how about you give us a little taste too."

Blaine looked around nervously, but there was no way he could say no. "Ok, um, what would you like to hear?" he asked as he scrambled behind his piano.

"The play is about love and loss and fighting against all odds," Mr. Hilcox said.

Blaine didn't need to hear anymore. His fingers laid softly on the keys before his music poured from his soul. Not long ago he'd written about the moment when he'd first truly knelt for Kurt. The trepidation that had engulfed him, but also the ecstasy that had filled his soul. The solemnity it had required, the responsibility that he'd accepted, the submission that he'd chosen to give even though it was still unwanted and feared.

Atop his own emotions halfway through the piece he had brought in Kurt's voice; his disgust, his mistrust, his pain and loneliness. And then both of their individual feelings subsided, the discord subsided as they gave into the truth and got out of their heads. Harmonies united them, giving into only the physical sensations of the moment, which turned out to be nothing more or less than love.

The room was silent when Blaine played his final note. Blaine fluttered out of his musical subspace to the black and white keys that together made magic, not gray. And he looked up through his lashes, remembering bashfully that there had been others listening to the intimacy of the moment he'd transcribed. He swallowed hard to see both Mr. Hilcox and Madame Tibideaux wiping tears away and breathing for the first time since he'd started playing.

"I, um, I'd say you start tomorrow Mr. Anderson, but I think you've already begun," Mr. Hilcox said. "I'll get you a script by morning." Blaine just stared at him in shock while they shook hands once more and Mr. Hilcox walked out the door.

Madame Tibideaux walked over to him and cupped his chin. Her eyes shined. "Your Dom should be very proud of you," she said, emotion filling her voice before she turned and left the room.

Blaine just stood frozen and smiled at the Dean's words. "He will be," Blaine whispered to himself.

"Oh my god Blaine, I am so proud of you!" Kurt shouted and he gathered Blaine into his arms.

Blaine had texted as soon as he had gained his bearings and asked Kurt to meet him by the rare bookstore. "Madame Tibideaux said you would be," Blaine said, then lowered his eyes shyly. "Well, she said my Dom would be."

"Santana will be as proud of you as I am," Kurt assured him. "But for now I'm going to keep you to myself."

"Are you now Mister Hummel?" Blaine's eyes twinkled. "And what exactly do you intend to do to me?"

Kurt looked around. "Well, first I am going to take you off this busy street," he said, grasping Blaine's hand and leading him west. "Then we are going to celebrate at a romantic little restaurant I love. And then maybe, if you're good," he teased, "I'll take you home and show you just how proud I am."

Blaine's smile was wide. "That sounds perfect."

They sat together by the fireplace in the cozy lantern-filled winter garden of La Lanterna Caffe. It was quiet, it was romantic and it was private. They ordered bruschetta and smoky Italian entrees, knowing they would be saving dessert for home. They sipped their espressos and cappuccinos and held hands beneath the night sky, never wanting to let go. They talked of musicals they wanted to see, dream vacations and favorite books. They laughed and talked about everything and nothing at all, and in a world where everything always seemed a struggle, they found a moment of peace.

"So I have some news of my own," Kurt said as they waited for the bill, his voice hushed in the quiet of the restaurant. Blaine raised a brow in question and Kurt smiled. "Robert asked me to do the fight choreography for the new play. All on my own."

Blaine's eyes opened wide with excitement as a grin blossomed on his face. "We're going to be working together? Kurt, why didn't you say something earlier?"

Kurt shrugged with a little smirk. "I wanted to celebrate you for a while. Your news was far more exciting than mine."

"No Kurt," Blaine said, his eyes suddenly serious. "This is a huge deal. You know it is."

Kurt lowered his eyes. He did know it was. Subs and Doms had their pick of careers in the arts and elsewhere, but successful and out Grays were few and far between. This could be his chance to really make it in theater. "I'm just glad someone like Robert believes in me," Kurt said.

"I believe in you," Blaine said, squeezing his hand. "I will always believe in you."

A text was sent to Rachel on the way home to the loft and clothing was off within moments of walking through the front door. Kurt nearly dragged Blaine to the bedroom and pushed him up against the wall, holding his wrists above his head as firmly as he kissed his lips. Blaine gasped beneath Kurt's strength, pressed naked between the softness of his boyfriend's body and the scratch of the brick against his skin and it was incredible. Blaine's hips thrust forward and unlike in the classroom, this time they were met just as eagerly by Kurt's. Electricity raced through his veins as his backside and his knuckles scraped against the wall's jagged edges.

Blaine's knees were buckling and his head was spinning and he breathed out "falling" moments before he caught himself, wrapping his submission tightly around Kurt. Kurt pulled back but steadied him, leading him to lie down on the bed.

"Are you okay?" Kurt asked nervously, wiping the sudden sheen of sweat from his brow that must have come with his nerves. He crawled up on the bed, kneeling above Blaine's thighs.

"Amazing," Blaine panted, reaching desperately for him. "I'm fine, I promise. Don't stop. Don't hold back…."

"I don't want to hurt you," Kurt said, his fear unmistakable. Because in his mind were suddenly images of holding Blaine down, biting his skin, pounding into him until Blaine fell over the edge. "But I want to…"

"I know," Blaine said breathlessly, his hands resting gently on Kurt's hips. "I see it in the flicker of your eyes. I feel it in the flinch of your hand. I promise Kurt, there is nothing you could do that would hurt me. There's nothing I want more in the world than for you to let go."

Kurt closed his eyes, willing the images away, but they only grew stronger. "I've never wanted to before," he muttered softly. "I don't understand."

Blaine let his submission fall away and sat up, lifting a hand to Kurt's face. He stroked his cheek with reassurance. "I don't think we need to understand. Maybe we just need to be."

"It scares me," Kurt said, his eyes wide.

"I know it does," Blaine whispered and his eyes lowered to Kurt's lips before leaning in. He let his hand slide down to cup Kurt's neck, before kissing him ever so softly. "I'll take care of you, Kurt," he whispered against his lips. "I promise."

Kurt drew a shaky breath, nodded, then lowered them both back down on to the bed. Chests flush, he threaded his fingers through Blaine's, forcing his hands beside his head.

"Perfect," Blaine breathed encouragingly and he let his submission swirl once again.

Holding Blaine down, Kurt's kisses started off gentle, but soon the warmth spread through his body and as Kurt let go he grew stronger and more demanding. Blaine thrived on it, opening his lips for him, begging for more. "Fuck Blaine," Kurt breathed and he sucked Blaine's bottom lip into his mouth.

Blaine moaned against him, the vibrations going straight to Kurt's cock.

Kurt grazed his teeth along Blaine's lip before biting gently at first, then passionately. Kurt could feel Blaine shudder beneath him, his skin prickling against his own and it only made Kurt hungry for more. He pulled Blaine's hands together above his head to grip his wrists in one, then raked his fingers through his hair. Scraping his nails at the base of Blaine's neck, Kurt dragged his teeth lower to the sensitive skin beneath Blaine's ear and whispered, "I want to mark you." Kurt flicked his tongue on the lobe of Blaine's ear before setting his lips around it, pulling gently with his teeth. Kurt felt Blaine's cock jump with pleasure beneath him and the power was heady. "Show the world you're mine."

"God yes, please," Blaine purred and he bared his neck for whatever Kurt wanted to do to him.

"Don't move until I'm done," Kurt ordered. Soft at first, Kurt licked at his neck, then pressed his lips firmly against Blaine's skin.

"Kurt, yes, that's so good." Blaine breathed at the pull of his skin, holding himself completely still while the warm pleasure of Kurt's mouth turned to pain and back again. "Love you. Want you."

Kurt kissed the mark softly before pulling off and scraping a thumb over the bruise. Blaine's breath hitched, he arched beneath him, and their achingly hard cocks brushed against one another. It was so intoxicating that Kurt could do nothing else but reach down between them, grasping them both in his hand, firmly stroking with every gasp.

Blaine threw his head back, his eyes closing. On the beautiful edge of subspace he could feel everything; Kurt's power crackling beneath his skin, the force in his hand sending flames of pure lust through his body. They thrusted against one another, desperate and rough and Blaine could barely grasp that someday Kurt would be inside him and it would feel even better than this. He knew he was yelling, the words unclear in his head, but he could hear Kurt's voice clear as a bell.

"You are so beautiful, Blaine," Kurt hissed as heat crept up his spine, his heart pounding in his chest. "So fucking beautiful and so fucking mine."

"Yes," Blaine answered breathlessly. His hands flexed in Kurt's unrelenting grip. His toes curled and his body quivered with submission under Kurt's control. "I'm yours. All yours. So close…please…please can I…"

There was a brief moment where Kurt thought to say no, but his own anticipation and need won out. "Yes," Kurt gasped only seconds before their cocks swelled, their bodies tightened and together they fell over the edge, waves of pleasure and relief radiating through them. In that moment, there were no doubts, no fears, no voices in their heads telling them that what they had was insanity. In that moment there was nothing about them together that didn't make sense, that didn't make everything wrong with the world right again. Ignoring the mess between them, Kurt captured Blaine's lips, claiming him with a certainty that no matter what obstacles they still had to face, this would be their happy ending.

"I love you," Blaine whispered as his heart slowed down and he caught his breath. Kurt rolled off of him onto his back and Blaine leaned over for a cloth to clean them both. Kurt just watched. He watched Blaine take care of him and kiss him, from his navel up his chest and to his neck until he reached Kurt's lips with a smile. "Still scared?"

"Only of being without you," Kurt said, and they crawled beneath the covers, their lips never leaving one another until they drifted off to sleep.

Rachel was cuddled up in Jesse's arms, the morning sun streaming in through the window of his apartment. She played with the hair on his chest, tracing circles that occasionally tickled his sensitive nipples only seconds before she moved away again. She didn't have to see or feel him to know that her teasing was causing him to grow hard beneath the covers, but she had no intention of satisfying his craving. Not today.

Instead she got up, letting Jesse's desperate eyes rake over her naked body as she slowly gathered her things for the shower. When she finally turned to him she could see him reaching beneath the sheets.

"Don't you dare," she sang teasingly, wagging her finger at him and he pulled his hands out and up where she could see them. "Naughty boys don't get to eat the delicious breakfast they make for their Doms, do they?"

"No Ma'am," Jesse answered, as he sat up in bed.

"I expect it to be ready by the time I get out," she told him. "And I will know if you disobey me."

She didn't even give him time to answer before she stepped into the bathroom and closed the door. The water went on immediately, steaming the room full before she even stepped inside the shower. He sighed, getting out of bed and pulling sweats on over his aching erection. She would expect it to stay that way until she got out. She would expect it to stay that way until she finally allowed him relief.

He was at the stove, his bare chest warmed by the flames beneath the burners when she walked in, drying her hair in a towel. She came up behind him and reached around, cupping his cock in her hand to make sure he had obeyed. It flexed and begged in reply and she patted his ass approvingly. "Good boy."

He just smiled, flipping her vegan pancakes before they burned. He got out the syrup and the powdered sugar, poured the strawberry-banana smoothie he'd made into her glass, and flipped the pancakes on to her plate. He carried her breakfast over to the table where she sat, frowning at a letter in her hand.

He instantly filled with worry. "What's the matter?" he asked.

She looked up at him and held it out, her eyes heavy. "It's information on Finn's ceremony in April." He put her plate on the table and took the letter from her, reading it. It was mostly just informational, but there were long past due condolences and referrals for support. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't let every reminder of him affect me," she apologized.

He quickly sat down and took her hand. "No, Rachel, no. It's okay," he said and she raised her wet eyes to him. "He's your sub. That doesn't go away just because he's gone, I know that. The bond is forever."

She shook her head. "It's not true for you. All the doms you've been with while you were waiting for me. You don't miss them like that."

"That's not the same," he said and he wiped away her tears. "Playing with a temporary contract is nothing like a claim. A claim is a sacred bond, it lives in your heart, and it doesn't go away."

Her eyes dipped to the table. "Sometimes I wish it did."

His heart broke for her and he pulled her into his lap, wrapping his arms protectively around her. He knew how much she hurt but he didn't how she felt. He knew someone who might though. "Maybe you should talk to Santana," he suggested gently. "I know it's not the same, but I imagine she's having a hard time letting go of Blaine too. Maybe you could help each other."

Rachel sat up. "I don't think that she should let go of Blaine," she said. "No matter what happens between him and Kurt, Blaine's always gonna need her."

"You don't know that," Jesse said. "What if everyone is wrong and a Gray really can learn how to take care of a sub if someone teaches them? How is Kurt supposed to dominate Blaine if someone else already has the role? And with you looking over his shoulder all the time?"

Rachel was taken aback and looked at him like he was crazy. "Since when are you on Kurt's side of anything? Last I checked in high school you hated each other. Now suddenly you're his biggest champion?"

"If I remember correctly, in high school, you were his biggest champion," Jesse pointedly reminded her. "What happened?" Rachel opened her mouth, then closed it again. Jesse didn't miss her glance to the letter and he knew. "Finn."

Rachel slipped off his lap, and he watched as she gathered her thoughts. She turned and gripped the back of her kitchen chair, her gaze distant. "Carole thought that she was hiding her guilt and her grief from Finn. But he always knew. Even long before he understood what it meant or how his father had died he knew that she was different. When he found out the truth, he was so angry. Angry at her for lying to him and angry at his father for giving up. He didn't really understand how bad it must have been for them both until Karofsky…"

"Rachel, just because it happened to them-"

"I thought at least with Adam Kurt would be safe, like Carole is with Burt, you know?" Rachel sniffed, wiping her eyes. The last thing she had ever wanted was for Kurt to feel the pain that Carole had gone through. "And when that didn't work he seemed okay alone. I was there and he was focused on school and The Apples, and I thought someday he would find a Gray he could love. But then Blaine…" She paused and Jesse waited, but when she started crying he was out of his seat in seconds. "I've already lost Finn, I can't lose him too Jesse," she cried and he gathered her in his arms.

"Shhh…Rachel, you aren't going to lose him." He held her close and soothed her, stroking her hair as she lay against his chest. "Kurt isn't Carole. He can do this Rachel, I promise you. If you and Santana just give him the space that he needs…"

"How do you know?" she snapped, pulling away from him. She gazed up at him, her eyes hard, accusing. "How on earth can you be so sure?"

"Because I've felt it," Jesse blurted.

Rachel's breath hitched and she stepped back, her eyes narrowing. "What do you mean you've felt it?"

Jesse swallowed and lowered his eyes. It wasn't something he'd ever meant to tell her. It wasn't something he had ever even been meant to know or share and yet he knew that Finn would have told her if he was here now instead. "When Kurt sings," he explained softly. He looked up at her, shock on her face and he lowered himself back into his chair. "It's not dominance, I don't know what it is exactly, but…do you remember when he sang A House is Not a Home? It was to Finn and not to me so it was faint, but it was there."

"What was there?" she asked, and he wished he had an answer for her but he didn't. Rachel shook her head and she slowly joined him at the table. "You think I need to give him space," she muttered.

He nodded, taking her hand. "I do." She was quiet, looking lost, and his heart beat quickly in his chest. "You could stay here," he suggested, then quickly added, "if you wanted."

"Finn knew?" she whispered and Jesse pressed his lips together.

"I'm sure Finn knew," he said. "I think he'd want this. For both of you."

"Okay," she said, looking up at him. "I'll stay."

High dive into frozen waves where the past comes back to life
Fight fear for the selfish pain, it was worth it every time
Hold still right before we crash 'cause we both know how this ends
A clock ticks 'til it breaks your glass and I drown in you again

Madame Tibideaux and Mr. Hilcox looked on as Blaine's fingers danced on the piano and his voice rang out, but it was Kurt's gaze he met as he sang. He still had weeks left to complete the hour at least of underscoring he had yet to compose for the new play, but this song felt as though it had been written in moments. Curled up in the bliss of Kurt's arms, the sun waking him at dawn, he had watched Kurt's chest rise and fall with every sleeping breath. And within that rhythm, the words had written themselves.

'Cause you are the piece of me I wish I didn't need
Chasing relentlessly, still fight and I don't know why

If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?
If our love's insanity, why are you my clarity?

From the stool in the corner, Kurt listened. Inside the lyrics was Blaine's heart. And his own. It was their past and their future, their fears and their hopes. It was everything that being together meant and Kurt knew their journey wasn't over. There were battles still to fight. Within themselves. Between themselves. Between their love and a world that refused to believe. The song made his pulse race and his mouth run dry. But it also made him strong and determined.

And from the way Blaine's eyes were fixed on him, the intensity in them, and the power with which he played, Kurt knew that Blaine felt the same way. No matter what they were up against, they would fight until the end.


Walk on through a red parade and refuse to make amends
It cuts deep through our ground and makes us forget all common sense
Don't speak as I try to leave 'cause we both know what we'll choose
If you pull then I'll push too deep and I'll fall right back to you

~ Zedd

Chapter Text

So don't believe everything you see
Because what you want might not be what you need
Hold your breath jump with me and we'll survive
Cause you are the sun that leads me to the light
~ Philip Phillips

Blaine was dreaming of the Warblers, performing in an arena of 10,000 screaming fans, when he was gently pulled out of his sleep by the feel of Kurt's hand stroking his cock with the softness of a breath. He hummed happily pressing up into Kurt's grasp, his eyes still closed until he heard the soft laughter of his boyfriend.

"What time is it?" he muttered, still half-asleep.

"7:26," Kurt said. "I could stop if it's too early, but I just needed to touch you before I left."

"You have to leave in four minutes," Blaine whined, throwing his arm over his eyes to block the dawning sun.

Kurt smiled. "Yes, I do." He strengthened his grip, brushing his fingers up once then lowering down. "Should I stop?"

Blaine sucked in a breath and shook his head. "No, don't stop."

The cuff of Kurt's shirt brushed his thighs with every pass and Blaine concentrated everything on Kurt's grasp. Four minutes went by in a flash. Blaine hardened in his fist, chasing his release with every stroke, his breath quickening. He was getting close, just a little bit longer…

The alarm went off and Kurt immediately pulled away. Blaine pulled the pillow from behind his head and buried his face in it, groaning in frustration.

Kurt laughed and pulled the pillow away. "Hold that thought," he said with a playful kiss and Blaine fell back on the bed watching Kurt leave. "I'll finish you off tonight," he called from the living room and Blaine heard him grab his keys and close the front door behind him.

Blaine rolled onto his side, clutching the pillow between his arms and beneath his head, closing his eyes again. He was still hard but Kurt had told him to wait for the first time ever and Blaine had no intention of disobeying. He didn't have classes until noon and he had hours left to sleep. Sleep would distract him from thoughts of sex and orgasms and Kurt and he drifted back to sleep.

Once more he felt Kurt's fingers around him, this time pumping him hard and fast, just right to urge him to the end. He tipped his head back, panting for breath as Kurt told him to come and everything tightened seconds before he spilled over Kurt's hand.

Blaine woke up with a start, sitting up immediately. His hand was around himself covered with his release and he fell back onto the bed. "Shit," he swore, catching his breath. "Fuck." He reached over for tissues to clean himself off and looked at the clock. 9:15. Pulling himself out of bed, he grabbed clothes for the day and went to shower. As the warm water rushed over his body, his guilt did as well. And so did his submission.

From Kurt to Blaine: I hope I didn't make things too hard for you this morning. ;P Did you get to campus okay?

From Blaine to Kurt: Yes, I'm here. Now I just have to get through the day until I can see you tonight.

From Kurt to Blaine: I'm looking forward to it. I have to go to the library for a paper after classes so have dinner on your own, but make sure you wait for me!

From Blaine to Kurt: Yes, Sir.

Blaine put his phone away and tried to pay attention in his classes, but he didn't hear a word. He walked around as if in a daze, his submission buzzing angrily in his ear. The knot in his stomach grew impossibly tight, knowing he should have confessed to Kurt with that first text, but he'd been afraid. Afraid that Kurt would be mad. Afraid that he wouldn't. Blaine had never had to deal with this before but he knew it was a strict rule in many relationships, including Santana and Brittany's, and for so long he had wanted it desperately, the opportunity to prove to himself and to his Dom that he could be obedient in this. But of course the first time Kurt had ever demanded it of him he failed and that deserved punishment so great as to make sure it never happened again.

Blaine went home after school, made his dinner as Kurt had said, sat in front of the television and tried to practice the words in his head over and over, to admit what he had done. And he imagined Kurt doing as he promised, being the Dom of his heart, and giving him the punishment he deserved, whatever that might be. He was hard long before Kurt was due home.

When Kurt texted him he'd be back soon Blaine wasted no time. He took a shower, got undressed and slipped into bed. Just as he did he heard the slide of the door, Kurt's keys on the counter. Blaine's heart raced, waiting in terrified, glorious anticipation, and finally Kurt stepped into the bedroom, a smile blooming on his face.

"Look at you," he said, undoing the buttons on his cuffs. "Waiting for me like such a good boy."


"Shhh…" Kurt whispered, taking his clothes off. "I'll take care of you, don't worry."

"No Kurt, it's not-"

Kurt lowered his pants and underwear to the ground and Blaine's tongue went dry. Kurt's gaze was seductive walking over to the bed, crawling up, one knee on the mattress and then the other until he was hovering over Blaine, staring down at him.

"Kurt-" Blaine tried once more but Kurt bent down and kissed his lips, pressing his pelvis softly into Blaine's, teasing.

"You're still hard for me," Kurt said, pleased.

And Blaine knew he had to get the words out, had to rush them out of his mouth before Kurt stopped him again. "No, Kurt not still. Again," he confessed, and Kurt drew back slightly. "I…I had a dream this morning when I went back to sleep…about you…and I didn't mean to but when I woke up I had…I didn't wait."

Kurt gave him a long look and Blaine shrunk beneath that gaze and all he wanted was for Kurt to get off of him and order him to his knees. But instead, Kurt gave him a soft smile and leaned back in. "Then I'll have to make you come again," he whispered and kissed him once more, harder that time. "Would you like that?"

"Yes sir," Blaine's voice said, though he didn't remember granting it permission.

Blaine's mind went fuzzy as Kurt took the covers down before sliding back on top of Blaine, and his submission hummed in cold confusion as Kurt nibbled on his neck and moved above him, rutting their cocks together. He closed his eyes against the tears as Kurt whispered words into his ears he didn't deserve and Blaine pressed back, wanting desperately to deny himself but knowing that denial would only lead to a dangerous fall, until together they both came, clutching one another. Kurt took Blaine into his arms, kissing his forehead and holding him tight until his grip loosened as he drifted off to sleep. But Blaine did not sleep, not for a long time.

Every morning Kurt woke up with Blaine in his bed he couldn't believe how lucky he was. He leaned up on his elbow and watched him; the beauty of his lashes against his cheeks. The rise and fall of his breath. The small smile that was sadly absent this morning but was usually so present on his lips. Kurt thought about waking him but two mornings in a row seemed like too much, so instead he got ready as quietly as he could and slipped out the door. Blaine never budged.

He didn't understand how as a sophomore he'd been plagued with 9am classes while as a freshman, Blaine didn't have to be on campus before noon. But aside from stage combat and voice, Kurt was being steered much more toward the academic side of theater. Dramaturgy and playwriting weren't for him even if that was where he was most surrounded by other Grays, and he slogged through the classes through sheer force of will. They could pigeon-hole him all they wanted, but Blaine had been proving to him that breaking free of those stereotypes took little more than believing in himself.

When finally the 90 minutes of text study were over, he gathered his things and made his way to the student union. He had some time to map out his choreography he'd be rehearsing that afternoon for the first time with Blaine's underscoring and he wanted to make sure it was just right. First though he wanted to make sure Blaine was up on time and getting ready.

Kurt to Blaine: Hey sleepy head. I missed snuggling with you this morning but I didn't want to wake you. I hope you have a great day!

Kurt put the phone aside and started working, changing a few things here and there. Every once in a while he'd glance to his darkened phone or turn it on to see there were no messages. Finally he realized that if he didn't pack it up, he'd be late for voice. So he slipped his cell into his pocket, his papers into his bag, and walked across campus.

He had a good session in voice and was starving when he got out. He went off campus, down the street to a little sandwich shop he liked, ordered and took his lunch back to his table. He'd expected a text from Blaine by then, he always checked in with him by lunchtime. But there was nothing. He sent another.

Kurt to Blaine: You okay? I'm starting to get a little worried I haven't heard from you. Text me back and let me know you're alright.

Friends from stage combat, where they all were headed next, came over before he could let his imagination get the best of him, and a rousing conversation regarding two of their classmate's weekends dominated the table. He tried to pay attention, but Kurt was still distracted by the phone sitting quietly next to him, not lighting up once.

His nerves were racing by the time they got to stage combat and he almost turned to run home to check on Blaine when Robert came over.

Kurt's agitation was plain as day. "Hey, what's the matter?"

"Nothing it's just…" It seemed almost silly to say it out loud. "I've texted Blaine a couple of times today and he hasn't answered."

"Well he was fine in class two hours ago," Robert said with a smile that was supposed to be reassuring. "A little more aggressive than usual on the polearms, but perfectly fine."

"Thanks," Kurt muttered wringing his hands. He was relieved to find Blaine was perfectly fine, but then why was he ignoring his texts?

Kurt got to the rehearsal room before Blaine, but by this time he knew for sure something was wrong. Blaine almost always got there first and no one had seen him. He put his things down on a chair in the front row and went over to the racks where his equipment was being stored. He checked it all, as he always did to ensure their safety, holding a blade up to the light. When he did he saw Blaine walk through the door. Their eyes met from across the room, but Blaine didn't smile and he didn't put his things next to Kurt's. He just he threw them in the back row and turned to talk to one of the actors. Kurt returned the weapons and made his way over to his boyfriend, pressing a light hand to the small of his back. Kurt felt Blaine go tense beneath the touch.

"Excuse us," Kurt said to the actor and he led him two steps away. "Blaine are you okay? You haven't answered any of my texts all day."

Blaine glared. "I'm fine Kurt. I'm perfectly capable of taking care of myself." He moved to walk away but Kurt grabbed his hand and held him back.

"Talk to me Blaine. Are you mad at me? Did I do something?" Kurt asked in confusion.

There was just one beat before Blaine answered tersely. "No Kurt. You didn't do anything."

"Then what-"

"Alright let's get started," the director clapped, interrupting them. "We'll have Blaine at the piano first with the love scene."

Blaine jerked his hand loose and grabbed his music. Kurt slowly walked back to his seat in the front row as they rehearsed the love scene with Blaine's underscoring for the first time. He watched Blaine take some notes of time changes and minor adjustments that needed to be made, all the while rolling over the events of the last few days in his mind. He had no idea why Blaine would be mad at him, and as the scene continued and Blaine seemed just fine, he began to think that maybe he was just reading into things. If he'd had trouble sleeping the night before, maybe Blaine was just having a bad day in general and Kurt was making a bigger deal out of it than he should.

"Great," the director said with a smile. "Fight scene up next."

The actors went up and ran through it as rehearsed, Kurt nodding with pleasure at the precision of each of their movements. But Blaine stopped them halfway through with an ugly chord on the keys. "Hold up," he said, turning to the director and Kurt. "This isn't working."

Kurt's skin bristled as he got up out of his seat and walked onto the stage area. Blaine was watching him with a glare that made Kurt shiver. "What exactly is the problem?"

"The problem," Blaine explained, condescension dripping, "is that the music is set to the speed of a real fight Kurt. But you have them battling at a snail's pace and it's dragging it down."

Kurt's eyes narrowed. The weaponry they were using was dangerous beyond typical weaponry and he'd choreographed the fight purposefully slow, as if in slow motion. The director had liked it that way. "Speeding up the choreography just to match the music would make it unsafe," he argued, eyeing Blaine. "Maybe you're the one going too fast."

"Oh yes, well, we all know how much you Grays like to play it safe," Blaine bit back.

Kurt's skin instantly blushed and grew hot with humiliation. He quickly glanced around the room and all eyes were on him. He turned back to Blaine who was staring at him with no remorse. Kurt had no idea what this was about but he knew it had absolutely nothing to do with his fight choreography. The rest of the room disappearing from his world, his heart pounding, he took a step toward Blaine. "Your music should follow my fight Blaine, not the other way around," he said as calmly as he could manage.

Blaine was too far gone though to be calmed. "I'd love to Kurt," he snapped, rising up off his bench. "But it's not much of a fight if it's so slow no one's ever at risk of getting hurt."

"Okay," the director called, clapping his hands. "That's enough of that. How about we take a breather and come back to it at the next rehearsal. Maybe you both could make a few minor adjustments and come up with a good compromise?"

"Not likely," Blaine muttered under his breath.

Kurt heard him but ignored it. "Yes, of course. I'll get to work on it first thing in the morning."

"Great," the director said. "I think we're all set with music and stage combat for the day. Everyone else take a break and then we'll start blocking the finale."

Blaine stormed to the back of the room and Kurt grabbed his own things following him. "What the hell was that?" Kurt demanded.

"Artistic differences," Blaine said, not even looking at Kurt as he gathered his things and shoved them in his bag. "That's all."

"Artistic differences my ass," Kurt snapped.

Blaine stood up and slung his bag over his shoulder. "Look are we done here? Can we just go back to your place and-"

"No," Kurt said. He was hurt and angry, he didn't understand what was going on and he didn't want to do or say anything he would regret. "No, I don't think so. I need some space and you need-"

"Go ahead Kurt," Blaine snapped. "Tell me what I need."

Kurt stared at him, hazel eyes daring, but he refused to take the bait. "You need to go home. To Santana. Deal with whatever is bothering you and then we'll talk." For a moment Kurt could see the flash of disappointment in Blaine's eyes before they quickly hardened once again. But it was enough for him to think he understood what Blaine was doing. And he wouldn't stand for it. If Blaine needed something from him he could use his words to ask, Kurt would not respond to childish tantrums. "Unless you have something you want to say to me now."

Blaine opened his mouth as if he was going to say something, ask something, then closed it again. "No."

"Well," Kurt said, as calmly as he could. "When you're ready, you know where to find me."

He walked out the door, his heart breaking as he left Blaine behind. But he had to do this. For a moment he considered texting Santana a head's up, but he decided it wasn't right. Whatever this was about, Blaine needed the power to be in his own hands.

Kurt spent his evening fuming, crying and pacing. He could tell what Blaine was doing, it was the same type of manipulation as dancing with those Doms at the bar. What he didn't know was why or how he was going to put up with this kind of nonsense, this intentionally hurtful behavior, for the rest of his life with Blaine. Finally, he realized he needed to pull himself together. He understood now that the punishment he and Santana had given him the last time was simply rewarding that behavior. Blaine was supposed to have learned his lesson. Clearly, he hadn't, but Kurt would make sure that this time he did.

Kurt to Blaine: Good Morning sweetheart. I hope that you're feeling better after discussing things with Santana. When you're ready to talk about it with me, I'm here.

Blaine though didn't respond and there was nothing but silence between them the rest of the day. Kurt started to wonder if he would even show up to Apples rehearsal. When Blaine walked in 15 minutes late to rehearsal and cocky as hell, Kurt put a hand out to stop the piano and the group.

"You're late," he called out in front of everyone. It was the same he would have done to anyone else.

Blaine wasn't phased. In fact, Kurt was nearly certain it was exactly what the sub had been looking for when he responded,"So what are you gonna do about it?"

No matter what feelings were churning inside him, Kurt kept his cool and didn't let it show. "Right now, I'm gonna keep my group singing," he answered. "You can join us or turn around and walk away."

Before Blaine could say anything, Kurt cued the pianist to start again and though every member of the group was staring at the obviously fighting lovers, they all automatically started to sing with the music.

Blaine fumed a minute, no doubt at the lack of reaction, then leaped onto the stage. He found his place and rehearsed as if everything was normal, but everything was not normal and the tension could be cut with a knife. The Doms in the room had to hold themselves back from intervening and as soon as rehearsal was over they quickly congregated on one side of the hall. The subs huddled on the stage, whispering amongst themselves. Blaine stood on the edge of them but his eyes were trained on Kurt alone. Kurt's heart was beating fast, but he simply gathered his belongings, doing everything he could to pay no attention to Blaine. He almost broke. But then Blaine lashed out.

"I think I'm going to head out to Black and White tonight," he announced to the room and every head spun to him. His bitter, insolent gaze though never left Kurt. "Who wants to come with me?"

The room was quiet. Blaine's submission was swirling. Everyone but could Kurt could feel it and they waited to see what Kurt would do. Blaine hadn't been to the D/s club since the two had started dating and everyone knew how much Kurt hated it. The subs could feel their own skin tingling as if any moment Kurt would grab their wrist and lead them home. The Doms' fists clenched with the desire to smack some sense back into the sub. But Kurt did neither of those things. He quietly said, "Have a good time Blaine," grabbed his things, and walked out of the room.

He'd made a promise to Blaine. And whether his boyfriend wanted to believe it or not, he wouldn't break it.

Santana, Kurt and Blaine had planned dinner weeks ago, hoping to spend some time just the three of them while Brittany was in tech rehearsals. They'd known that things were slowly changing between them all and they needed to have some honest conversations about it. It surprised Kurt though when he received a text that afternoon from Santana making sure he was still coming. He would have been sure that Blaine would cancel.

But when he came to the door it was Blaine that answered, a tight smile on his lips, and eyes that said Santana didn't know they were fighting.

"I can go home if you want," Kurt threatened in a whisper. "You're the one that will have to explain to your Dom why though." Blaine just glanced back at Santana and dutifully took his coat to hang up.

"You can do whatever you want Kurt," Blaine muttered before walking away back to the kitchen where he was preparing the meal.

Blaine may not have thought Santana knew, but her suspicious glances between the men definitely said otherwise. She came over and hugged Kurt in greeting, grabbing his hand to pull him into the living room and out of Blaine's earshot. "What's going on with you two," she asked. "His submission spiked the minute you walked in the door and not in a good way."

"I'm handling it," Kurt said without explanation.

Santana eyed him a minute before nodding and letting it go. "Fine. I guess I have to get used to that, don't I," she smirked.

Kurt's eyes drifted across the room where Blaine was plating their dinner. "You both do," he said softly.

"So how is the show going?" Santana asked, obviously making conversation but also genuinely interested.

"Blaine hasn't told you?" Santana shook her head and Kurt realized he shouldn't have been surprised. If Blaine had actually told her about their last rehearsal like Kurt had ordered him, he most likely would have been full of apologies instead of more vitriol. "There have been some...artistic differences," Kurt said, deciding Blaine's words were just fine for now. "But overall I think they are going very well. Blaine's music is incredible."

"Of course it is," she said with a proud smile that she directed straight toward her sub. "Blaine is incredible."

"Yes." Despite the past few days, he had absolutely no doubt. "He is."

"Dinner's ready," Blaine called and Santana and Kurt sat down at the table while Blaine served them. Kurt noticed that Blaine was unsteady on his feet and he didn't have to feel his submission to know that must have been raging. Blaine was well aware of the things he'd done the last few days, the number of rules he had broken, and his guilt must have been piling up higher and higher. Now alone in a room serving both Santana and Kurt, he could only imagine how difficult it was right then for Blaine to remain present and upright. Which is why he'd have thought Blaine would have done everything he could to call this off.

"Dinner is delicious, sweetheart," Santana said softly, trying to soothe him out of the turmoil she clearly didn't understand. "Go ahead and eat."

"Yes Ma'am," he answered.

Blaine practically fell into his chair, exhausted eyes squarely on his plate, taking small obedient bites despite the fact that he wasn't at all hungry. And Kurt began to understand why Blaine hadn't cancelled. Whatever was going on with him exactly, his behavior wasn't getting the reaction he wanted and it was taking its toll. He couldn't continue to do this anymore. He needed it to end, however it was going to. Whether this would be one last ditch effort or surrender, Kurt wasn't sure.

And he wasn't sure that Blaine would decide on his own. So Kurt took one more bite then put his utensils down. He sipped his water from his glass, and turned to Blaine. "Were you with Eliot last night?" he asked calmly.

Santana's fork clanked to the table, her eyes widening. "What the-?" But they both ignored her.

"What do you care?" Blaine said quietly, his eyes not moving from the table. "You didn't exactly give a fuck when I was going last night. You haven't exactly given a fuck about me in days, so why would you care who I was with?"

"Blaine-" Santana started to reprimand.

But, as if neither one of them could even see that she was there, Kurt cut her off. He could handle this on his own. "Those are not the words you want to be using with me right now Blaine-"

"Oh screw you Kurt," Blaine yelled, jumping out of his chair, trying to stay tough despite the tears rolling down his cheeks. "Now you want to pretend you're a Dom? Now that you're in front of Santana? Screw. You."

Kurt ignored the words though, took a deep breath and tried again. "You can choose to believe it or not, but I care very much about you and who you are with. So I'm going to ask you one more time Blaine. Were you with Eliot last night?"

"What if I was?" Blaine goaded. "It's not like you can give me what I want, can you? You talk a great game about how you'll be the Dom of my heart and I can trust you but it's all just bullshit, isn't it Kurt? Because the truth is all you really are and all you'll ever be is nothing but a Gray, and I'm just a good fuck for you, isn't that right?"

"Blaine Devon Anderson, sit your ass down!" Santana yelled. She couldn't believe a word she was hearing. "How dare you talk to him like that? What is wrong with you?"

Blaine lowered himself into his chair, obeying the order, but his eyes were anything but obedient. "He's just my boyfriend, not my Dom," he said mockingly. "I can talk to him however I want."

"Like hell you can," Santana snapped. "Not in my house. Not ever."

"Oh yeah Santana?" Blaine barked, his face twisted with anguish and defiance. "What are you gonna do about it? Make me suck him again? Make him suck me? None of it's gonna make him my Dom, is it Kurt?" Blaine's eyes snapped to his boyfriend.

Santana though had heard enough and she grabbed his chin to force his eyes to meet hers instead. "I don't know what's going on between you two, but you and I have a contract that says that I am your Dom. Your behavior right now is completely unacceptable and my responsibility is to hold you accountable. So what I'm gonna do is whip your ass and I suggest you get yourself to the corner before I hear another word." She turned to Blaine's bedroom as Blaine stood up, but Kurt stopped them both.

"Santana don't," he urged between gritted teeth. "That's not what he needs."

"Kurt I know you don't like it, but he needs to be punished, he can't just talk to you like that," she argued.

"For Christ's sake Santana, it's not punishment if it's exactly what he wants!" Kurt yelled.

Santana's hands flew to her hips. "So what's your plan, Kurt? Ignore it?"

"It's certainly not to reward his tantrums," Kurt snapped.

"You told me you were handling it, but this is not handling it," Santana said. "He needs to be punished for this, are you going to do it or not?"

Both Santana's and Blaine's eyes bore into him and he knew the answer they both wanted. But it didn't make it right. He couldn't stop Santana, but he could and he would stand by the choice he'd made days ago. "No," he said.

Santana pursed her lips with a sigh. "Then I am. You can stay or you can go, be a part of it if you want or not, but that's your choice not mine. He's my sub and I promise you, it will be punishment no matter what he thinks he wants," she said and walked into the bedroom.

With frustration, Kurt spun away from her just to meet Blaine's gaze. He still stood frozen by the table, all bravado gone as his eyes filled with tears. "Kurt please..." he whispered.

It would have been so easy to give in and join her and be the Dom Blaine thought he wanted. But in his heart he knew this wasn't right. "No," Kurt answered firmly.

"Kurt you promised," Blaine said softly. "You promised you would do it again."

"I will do it again," Kurt said. "But not this time."

"Over the arm of the couch Blaine," Santana ordered, walking back into the room with a worn but solid leather belt in her hand. "Now."

Blaine's eyes lingered for just a moment before they dropped from Kurt to the floor in defeat. Blaine slowly walked over to the sofa but Kurt refused to stand there and watch her thrash him no matter what Blaine had said or done. "What precisely does he learn from this Santana?" Kurt tried one more time. "What's the point of the sting of the belt if it's exactly what he craves? All it is is pleasure disguised as punishment and all he learns is that hurtful behavior gets him exactly what he wants!"

Santana saw the anguish on Blaine's face though. She could feel his submission pulsing, trying to pull away from her to reach for Kurt. "You're wrong Kurt," she said. "He craves the dominance. But this punishment isn't what he wants at all."

"That doesn't make it right," Kurt said. "For the past three days he's been acting out just like this, goading me, begging for this and I've refused to give in. But now you're just going to give it to him on a silver platter?"

Blaine froze as his pelvis hit the leather arm of the couch, the whole truth coming out. Santana turned slowly back to Kurt, her fury now mixing with confusion. "What do you mean days?" she asked and she turned to Blaine. "Is this true?"

Blaine lowered his eyes, his fingertips scratching absently at the leather. "Yes Ma'am."

"And you kept this from me?" If Santana was angry before, now she was indignant. "Neither one of you thought to tell me?"

Blaine looked up at her, but then his eyes fell squarely on his boyfriend. "Kurt told me to," Blaine confessed. "I didn't."

"Why would you behave like this?" Santana asked. Blaine was silent though and she was quickly losing her patience with the sub whose tactics she knew all too well. "What the hell happened three days ago Blaine?"

Kurt could see that part of Blaine wanted to obey, wanted desperately to confess and have it all be done. Kurt hoped that he did so that maybe they could finally all understand what was going on in his head. Blaine's eyes were firmly on his, searching. Kurt shivered beneath the scrutiny. Until Blaine quietly put the ball in Kurt's court. "It has nothing to do with you Santana. It's only between me and Kurt."

Santana turned to Kurt. "Do you know what he's talking about?"

It was obvious that Blaine believed Kurt was supposed to know exactly what he was talking about, and that in his not knowing it justified everything he'd done. But Kurt knew that wasn't true. And no matter how much he wished he did know what started all this, wishing didn't make it so.

"No. I don't," he admitted. And if the shattered look of utter defeat on his boyfriend's face didn't break Kurt's heart, Blaine's voluntary descent over the arm of the couch did.

Kurt felt like the world was moving in slow motion as he stood there, watching the man he loved stretch his arms to grip the seat cushion. Santana offered last minute instructions, swung the strap in the air behind Blaine and the leather crackled like thunder in Kurt's ears. He couldn't watch but he couldn't walk away either because this may have been Blaine's surrender to the tragedy everyone believed their relationship to be, but it wasn't his. This was not going to be their end.

Blaine was right. Kurt couldn't give him what he wanted. But if he was honest with himself, it was nothing but fear and misplaced pride preventing him from giving Blaine everything he needed.

"Santana stop," Kurt called out and when she didn't seem to hear he yelled, "New York!"

She froze midair at Kurt's use of the safeword, then lowered the belt. Blaine lifted his tear filled eyes, and Kurt took a step forward.

"I'll punish him," he said.

Santana looked at him hard. "Kurt, are you-"

"I said I'll punish him," Kurt repeated firmly.

Santana stepped away. "Blaine," she said. Blaine straightened from the couch, wiping his eyes with amazement. He looked between his Dom and his boyfriend. "Is this what you want?" she asked.

Blaine had no idea what had changed Kurt's mind, but he didn't care at all what it was. His heart was suddenly beating with a wonderful, exhilarating, terrifying anticipation and he wanted nothing more than to give into it entirely. "Yes," he breathed.

"Go wait for me in the hall," Kurt ordered, and that order filled Blaine's soul like the greatest kiss in the history of the world. Without a second glance he lowered his eyes and did as he was told.

Kurt didn't move though and when the door closed, Santana walked toward him. She took his hand, feeling it tremble in hers. "Are you sure you want to do this?" she asked him gently. "You don't have to."

"I'm sure," he said, resolute.

"Do you know what you're going to do?" she asked.

"No," Kurt admitted. He was determined though. "But I'll figure it out."

"If you need me-" she started.

"I won't," he said quickly, then looked up at her. "But thank you."

She squeezed his hand once more and he turned and walked out of the apartment. Blaine was waiting for him, hands behind his back and head bowed, though thankfully not kneeling, and Kurt took a deep breath. "Let's go."


Tell me your story long and true
We aren't what we say, we are what we do
Just pieces of a puzzle to find where we stand, just confused
So you are the moon that pulls me through the night

Live with what you have and make the best of what's to come

Chapter Text

You lift my heart up when the rest of me is down
You, you enchant me even when you're not around
If there are boundaries, I will try to knock them down
I'm latching on, babe, now I know what I have found

~ Sam Smith

Without a glance behind him or another word, Kurt led Blaine into the elevator and out to the street. Instead of walking home, he hailed a cab and ushered Blaine inside. The ride was silent, wrought with tension and the steady thrum of anticipation. Blaine tried very hard not to let his mind wander to the possibilities of what was to happen as every time he did his stomach fluttered with the most inappropriate thrill of arousal.

The taxi pulled up to their apartment and Kurt paid the driver. "Upstairs," he ordered. "I will meet you there in a minute."

Blaine lowered his head and obeyed. He took the stairs up, one at a time, slowly, trying to get himself into the right mindset. The submission that had been swirling so strongly at the mercy of Santana was retreating. His thoughts were muddled; his desire too strong, his guilt and shame not strong enough. He realized as he walked inside that he didn't know where to go. There was no corner marked his in the loft. The hardwood floor would be punishment on its own if he kneeled and he didn't know if he did that if he would fall too far or not far enough or if it was even something that Kurt would want.

"Sit down Blaine," Kurt said softly and Blaine looked up like a deer in headlights not even noticing that his boyfriend had entered the room. He walked slowly to the couch, perching huddled on one side while Kurt took off his coat and sat down beside him.

They sat in silence. Hurt feelings, guilt, anticipation, fear and desire swimming between them and behind their eyes in the tears that did not fall. With Blaine's look of defeat seered into his memory, Kurt had come to the realization on the cab ride over that the fault for the past three days did not lie solely with Blaine. Kurt had failed somehow. There was a moment when something went horribly wrong and he'd missed it. When he'd broken the trust that he had promised Blaine causing the sub to lash out at him in the most hurtful of ways. Attacking the very nature of who he was because that was the part of him that Blaine felt had betrayed him. All Kurt wanted now was to find that moment and make it right for both of them. Whatever it took.

"What happened three days ago Blaine?" he asked gently.

Blaine couldn't look at him. He couldn't see again in Kurt's face that he didn't know, that he didn't understand. He couldn't see that no matter how much they both tried, Kurt would never be enough for him. Because if Kurt didn't already know-

"Answer me!" Kurt demanded.

Blaine flinched at Kurt's tone and looked up into fierce eyes swirling with blue and green and anger and if Blaine didn't know any better he'd say dominance. No matter what his head was telling him, his stomach turned over at the thought of disobeying and his eyes fell back to his hands. "You woke me up that morning," he said, his voice so soft that it could barely be heard. "Touching me. Teasing. Your hand felt so good and I was so close when your alarm rang." A tear fell from Blaine's eye, the memory, the shift in the tide of that moment so strong it hurt.

"I remember," Kurt said on bated breath.

"You told me…" Blaine's voice broke, his submission beginning to pulse in his ears and with it the shame, but also the anger. "You told me to wait for you." He looked up at Kurt whose face was still painted with confusion, and the rest came pouring out. "But I didn't wait Kurt. I came without permission, when you told me not to, but when we were together that night and I told you, you didn't even care!"

Kurt's brow furrowed, understanding but not. "But it wasn't on purpose Blaine, it was an accident, it had been a dream-"

"It shouldn't matter!" Blaine yelled and he shot off the couch and away from Kurt. "You gave me a command and I disobeyed you and you did nothing!"

"Blaine, I'm sorry, I didn't realize…" Kurt paused, trying to wrap his head around this. The moment was so small to him, he didn't understand how it could have meant this much, how it could have led to all this. "I didn't know it was so important, why didn't you just tell me?" Kurt asked. "You didn't say a word. I thought everything was fine, you didn't safeword, you didn't even try to deny yourself."

"I can't Kurt!" Blaine spun away, hands flying to his face, pressing his palms against wet eyes before turning back. "I deny myself and I fall and we were here. Alone. And I wasn't safe with you!"

"You weren't safe because you didn't let me protect you, you didn't tell me what you needed," Kurt argued.

"I shouldn't have to tell you," Blaine cried. "You should know!"

Blaine's words were like a punch to the gut, knocking the breath from his lungs. "That's not fair," Kurt said quietly.

"No," Blaine said, his head dropping as he wiped his eyes. "It's not fair at all."

Kurt took a deep breath. He stood up, stepping towards Blaine, trying to loosen the knot in his chest. "Blaine, I'm just learning here. I'm trying my best but you have to help me out. Sometimes what's obvious to you may not be obvious to me. You have to tell me, with your words, when you need something." Blaine shook his head and didn't say a word. "You could ask your father as a kid, you can ask Santana now. Why can't you ask me?"

Blaine was quiet. "Because I'm afraid you'll say no," he admitted.

Kurt looked at him a minute. Blaine wasn't wrong that he might, but it wasn't for the reasons he believed. "Are you afraid because you believe I won't punish you when you deserve it? Or because you don't trust my choices when I won't." Blaine didn't answer. Kurt sighed. "I made you a promise, to be your Dom as best I can. And it may look different than what you're used to and it may not be what you think you want. But that doesn't make it wrong. I would never say no without a reason. You should have trusted me Blaine."

Blaine shook his head and closed his eyes. Kurt gave him a minute to let everything settle in his mind, to put the pieces of the puzzle together. When he did, his heart sank. Once again, he'd taken matters into his own hands instead of asking for what he needed. When it had first happened and after. When Kurt didn't go with him to Santana's. When he'd refused to respond to Kurt's texts. The orders he had wanted hadn't come and so the orders that had been there he'd deliberately disobeyed. Looking back on it all without the haze of a raging submission poisoning him, it all came down to the fact that he hadn't trusted Kurt. His shame was great when he lifted his lids again and Kurt knew it was time.

"Tell me the first thing you did wrong," Kurt commanded.

"I came when you denied me," Blaine said immediately. Whether Kurt thought it was wrong or not he would always believe it was.

And whether or not Kurt believed he deserved to be punished, it was glaringly obvious to Kurt that Blaine needed to be.

"And after that?"

Blaine didn't say anything for a moment and Kurt allowed him the time he needed. When Blaine looked away though, Kurt urged him. "Go on Blaine."

Blaine's voice was small and he cleared his throat to say the words as he replayed the days in his mind, each transgression weighing more heavily in his body. "I wasn't honest with you. I didn't answer your texts. I made you worry. I was disrespectful. I humiliated you and said things. Oh god, I said horrible things…"

Kurt only had one question. "Why?"

Blaine couldn't stand anymore under the weight of his shame and he fell to his knees. "I needed to be punished Kurt. And you didn't. I gave you my trust to be my Dom not only when it was fun but when it was hard. But then you didn't…" Blaine's tears began to fall again and everything behind his mistrust came pouring out. "It felt like you didn't love me. Like I didn't matter enough to you to…" He looked up at Kurt and he could see the understanding begin to fall over Kurt's face. "I was hurt and I was angry and my submission was burning with betrayal and so I pushed it. I thought that maybe if I did something else and made you mad enough then finally you might decide that I was worth it and when you didn't I just tried again and then again, but my anger just grew and I was punishing you but I knew how much more I'd done and deserved and still your punishment never came and the only thing I could finally believe was that you didn't really love me. Not enough. I didn't mean to hurt you," Blaine told him. "I only meant for you to hurt me."

Blaine's words pierced Kurt's heart. "After everything we've been through, you still don't believe that I love you?" Kurt asked. Blaine lowered his eyes, tears dropping to the floor, and it was all the answer Kurt needed. "Those words, Blaine? The ones you used to hurt me? Those are the words I grew up hearing. The things I was raised to believe. That I couldn't be strong enough or take enough risks or make a real emotional connection. That without dominance or submission I was nothing. I was constantly told that I could never be for you what you want me to be. What you need me to be. That my love wouldn't be enough." Kurt walked over to Blaine and gripped his chin, lifting it to meet his icy gaze. "They were wrong Blaine. You were wrong."

Blaine looked up at him, tears flooding his eyes, finally believing him and wishing more than anything he could take it all back. But all he could do was whisper, "I'm sorry."

Kurt knew he was. He also knew that Blaine still really had absolutely no idea why. He let go of Blaine's chin and took a moment to collect himself. He walked back to the couch and turned. Blaine's eyes had followed him, pleading for absolution. Kurt sat slowly, letting the hurt and the anger, the betrayal and the submission and most of all the love that would always be between them float in the air of the room around them. And he waited. He waited until Blaine's shoulders dropped, his eyes fell, and he folded his hands between his knees.

"Tell me what you need," Kurt asked quietly. "What you should have asked for that first day."

"I need to be punished," Blaine answered and he looked up, tears in his eyes. "I need you to punish me. Please."

"I will," Kurt promised and Blaine let out a sigh of relief. It was short lived though. "I will punish you for coming when I told you not to, and for not being honest with me, and for not trusting me. Those were the things you did unintentionally. But you will learn that unlike Santana I will not reward any deliberate attempts to manipulate me. For those things there will be no punishment at all."

"I don't understand." Blaine shook his head and his eyes met Kurt's in alarm. "I disrespected you Kurt. I hurt you with words too horrible to even repeat. I humiliated you on purpose, please," he begged, "If you love me, you have to punish me for that."

Kurt saw Blaine's eyes shifting with panic and he got up and closed the distance between them. Standing over his boyfriend, he threaded his fingers through Blaine's hair, brushing his thumb against his temple softly. "Your submission is not a measure of your love for me," Kurt said calmly. "And my dominance is not a measure of my love for you. Punishment isn't love Blaine and you will have three days to learn that. One day for every attempt at manipulation." He took his hand away, eliminating contact. "Three days you will be allowed no acts of submission. You will not kneel. You will not call me Sir. You will have no contact with Santana unless you safeword. You will not cook or clean or defer to me or any other Dom. You may feel all the guilt and shame for the way you behaved, but you will do nothing that for even one second you could believe is punishment and you absolutely will not punish yourself. I will call you out anytime I see you submitting and your time will be extended. Only after three days without any act of submission, will I punish you."

Blaine shivered with fear. His submission was building, swirling, reaching out and grabbing ahold of nothing. "I don't know if I can do it Kurt," he barely whispered.

Kurt reached down and took Blaine's hand between his own holding it tight and lifting Blaine from the floor. "You can safeword at any point," Kurt promised. "But if you do, it's over. I will not punish you. And I will ask Santana not to as well."

Blaine felt the sob catch in his throat before he let it go. "That's not fair," Blaine cried. "I'm a sub, Kurt, I need it."

"And I'm a Gray," Kurt said, his own eyes filling with tears. "And I love you Blaine, more than anyone else I have ever loved in the world. And I am trying so hard to knock down my boundaries for you and be the man you need me to be. But if I am going to sacrifice the very nature of who I am, then maybe I need you to understand how that feels to me."

Blaine nodded, shutting his eyes against the tears. "Three days," he said, his voice shaking.

"Three days," Kurt nodded.

Smaller than a whisper, Blaine gave his consent. "Okay."

"You know that by taking away his submission you really are punishing him."

Kurt looked at Santana across the coffee shop table as he swirled his cup. "Yes Santana, I know. But he doesn't know it. Because the only punishment he's ever known is yours. Kneeling, spanking, submitting to your power over him."

"And by denying his submission?" she asked, eyeing him carefully. "What does he learn from that?"

"He learns that life exists without it," Kurt said. "That love exists without it. And he learns what if feels like to be manipulated into being someone that you're not. And maybe in the end we'll find a happy medium we can both be content with."

"But you're promising him punishment at the end," she made sure. "One he will recognize."

"Yes." Kurt nodded. "I am."

"So for these three days, he's submitting to you by denying his submission, and being disciplined by you by denying him discipline, with desperation building every second toward the promise of your first punishment."

Kurt brought his cup to his lips. "Yes," he said before taking a sip.

Santana shook her head. Kurt was either a genius or an idiot. "Do you have any idea how hard he is going to be? How desperate? How submissive, when you finally do it?"

Kurt's smile over his cup was bright, and perhaps a bit wicked. "Yes. I do," he said.

And Kurt knew it was going to be beautiful.

Blaine had had no idea how many little things he did throughout the day to feed his submission. A yes ma'am here. A no sir there. Things were hardest with Madame Tibideaux and some of his other professors and it seemed that just as he was about to give in, Kurt was around every corner to offer a warning glance. He thanked god that Mr. Hilcox was a sub when he went to apologize for his outburst the other day, but his knees trembled during his apology to the director.

Kurt must have talked to Santana because she'd just texted him that she would see him at the end of the week and told him to be good for Kurt. Brittany's texts though, chastising him for all he had done, sent his heart pounding with submission and as quickly as he could he found himself in the NYADA gym with boxing gloves on his fists. Over and over again he replayed Kurt's words in his head, willing himself to believe them. My submission is not a measure of my love for him. His Dominance is not a measure of his love for me. Punishment is not love.

Then there was Kurt himself. Gorgeous Kurt strutting proudly through the halls of NYADA, looking more like a Dom in those three days than he had ever done before and Blaine wanted absolutely nothing more than to kneel at his feet in front of the entire school. Resisting was near painful and there were moments where Blaine feared he hadn't held back enough and Kurt would deny him another day.

Luckily Kurt was both a patient and a merciful Dom.

Which made his time not completely terrible.

By the time he got home that first day Blaine was shaking with the force of holding back and the fear that without his submission there was no way that anyone could truly love him. The whole walk home he tried to figure out little things he could do to submit that Kurt would never know about, and then he tried desperately not to punish himself for those thoughts, and he'd fully decided by the time he reached the front door that this was the insanity of their love that he'd written about in his song.

And he began to understand how hard it was to try to be someone different from the person you were born to be.

When he opened the door, there was Kurt, just setting out his favorite comfort foods on the coffee table at the couch, sitting down and opening his arms to Blaine. Blaine fell into them and Kurt held him while his body trembled, stroking his arm, distracting him with television gossip and NYADA rumors.

"I wasn't with Elliot," Blaine whispered out of nowhere. "I wasn't with anyone else."

Kurt was quiet a minute before he kissed Blaine's head and said, "I'm very glad."

"And I'm sorry. For everything I said. I didn't mean it."

"You did mean it," Kurt said with a gentleness and he held Blaine close. "But I know you didn't mean to say it the way it came out. And I forgive you."

He fell asleep in Kurt's arms, the worst of his fears having faded, accepting that maybe he could be loved just for who he was beneath the submission.

The second day was a little easier for him, having slept soundly in Kurt's embrace, and on the evening of that second day, he'd come home to the loft dark but for candles lit around the living room. A beautiful bouquet of flowers stood center on the dining table with a ring of flickering lights surrounding it. Soft music was playing throughout the apartment and Kurt was cooking in the kitchen, foods that were making Blaine's mouth water just by the smell of them.

"It's almost ready," Kurt called, smiling brightly over at him. "You can go ahead and sit down if you want."

"Do you need any help?" Blaine asked, desperate to do something, but feigning innocence. He knew what the answer would be.

"No thank you Blaine," Kurt said, eyes sparkling. "I'll bring it out in just a second."

There was wine on the table and Blaine nearly asked if he should pour it before he thought better of it and made the choice. As soon as the glasses were full, Kurt came over with two plates.

"Grilled Lime-Soy Tuna with Rice Noodles," Kurt shared and he put the plates down.

"Kurt, it looks amazing," Blaine said.

"Tastes even better," Kurt teased. "Go ahead, give it a try."

Blaine did and it was delicious, maybe the most incredible meal he'd ever had. Their conversation was quiet, casual, talking about their school days and plans for their trips to Washington and Ohio in April. They didn't talk about anything that had happened over the last few days and they didn't talk about anything that was to happen the following day.

And when they were done and Kurt had cleared the dishes, they danced. Held tightly in Kurt's arms, Blaine rested his head contentedly on his boyfriend's shoulder. And in his arms Blaine felt loved like he had never felt before. There was no submission, no dominance, but he felt as though love was wrapping them up in their own little cocoon, out of which so many possibilities could be born.

When they went to bed that night, Kurt offered lovemaking that was soft and luxurious, full of whispers of love. And Blaine found that there wasn't even a moment when he told himself he didn't deserve all Kurt was giving him. His release had come surprisingly easily with not even a hint of a fall. And he started to understand what Kurt had wanted him to learn.

He didn't need dominance and submission to love or be loved.

This too was love.

On the morning of the third day, Blaine awoke to an empty bed and a note addressed to him on Kurt's pillow.

Dear Blaine,

I hope you have a good day at school. You will continue to withhold your submission throughout the day until you step back over our threshold this afternoon.

I have cleared a corner for you to the right of the window. When you get home you are to strip and wait for me in that corner, facing the wall. You will remain in position with your hands at the small of your back. You will not touch yourself. You will not turn when you hear the opening of the door.

I love you,

And this was punishment.

The third day had been pure hell, waiting out his time, but finally Blaine stood naked in the corner, anticipation and exhilaration running through his veins. He could see nothing but the rough brick of the wall in front of him but he knew that somewhere behind him Kurt stood, watching, waiting, for what he didn't know but he couldn't wait to find out. He tried hard to have no preconceived notions but he couldn't help but imagine what things might be like with Kurt. Finally being put over someone's knee. Finally being spanked skin to skin. Finally knowing what it would be like to have the person who loved him in every way leave their print on his flesh and claim him as his own.

But he tried hard not to expect it because the absolute last thing he wanted to feel was disappointment if he got his hopes up too high and that wasn't what Kurt had planned. He tried to just let go and breathe and focus on all that was Kurt, not all of what he hoped Kurt would be. That was part of what he'd learned the last three days too.

He closed his eyes, breathing. In and out. In and out. He honed his senses in on Kurt and heard the footsteps approaching. Blaine's heart started racing in his chest. He felt his presence before his body but when Kurt's clothing hit his bare skin Blaine all but wanted to cry. He soon realized it was nothing though compared to the touch of Kurt's hands, tracing his skin, tickling at it, from shoulder blade to fingertip. Up and down. Over and over. He shivered and his skin prickled. His cock filled and rose. He couldn't see Kurt's smile behind him, but he suspected it was there all the same.

"I am not Santana," Kurt said, his voice rough in his ear. Hands moved to his hips and nails ran up and down his sides from waist to thighs and back again. "This punishment will not look like hers. Tell me now if you won't accept that."

"I accept that s-Kurt," he stammered for so many reasons.

"You can call me Sir." Kurt's voice was so low and thick and the permission to submit so overwhelming that Blaine's breathing grew ragged with need and his knees grew weak with the desperate desire to kneel. The only thing holding him up was Kurt's arm as it knowingly snaked around his waist, hips pressing into his ass.

"Yes Sir," Blaine barely breathed.

There was no more talking, just the loudest of silences as Kurt's hand slowly moved over his skin. Feather soft touches caressed back up his hips, down his ass and back up again, across his stomach fluttering with anticipation. Nails teased from his belly button downward until Kurt wrapped long and slender fingers around Blaine's cock, beginning a soft delicious torture. Quivering, Blaine sucked in his lips, biting down to hold himself back from begging or worse. He leaned his head back on Kurt's shoulder and Kurt welcomed it. Holding his breath and squeezing his eyes shut, Blaine tried to just concentrate on holding himself back. "You may not come sweetheart," Kurt warned softly in his ear.

Blaine nodded, the words so desired that they echoed in his head before his voice could manage a response. "Yes Sir," Blaine choked out.

Kurt's touch continued, harder now but still delicately exploring Blaine's length as if he had never touched him before. Long languid strokes from base to tip, a thumb around the head, spreading pre-come softly. Over and over. "You never got hard for Santana," Kurt said, his voice still full of doubt and wonder no matter how many times Blaine told him.

"Never," Blaine swore under his breath.

"Only for me," Kurt marveled, his fingers slipping down to press gently against Blaine's balls, rolling them between his fingers.

Blaine gasped at the new touch. "Only for you," he promised.

Kurt removed his hand, leaving Blaine's cock arching for more but finding nothing but air. Kurt carefully stepped away and suddenly Blaine felt cold and empty.

"Go to the bedroom," Kurt ordered from behind him. "Lie down on your back with your head on the pillow. Do not touch yourself."

Blaine did not hesitate, turning to finally see Kurt's lust-blown eyes, dark and heavy, watching him intensely. He lowered his head in submission immediately and hurried to the bedroom. He found the pillow low on the center of the bed so his feet fell over the edge. He laid down with his hands by his side, palms pressed into the sheets, forcing himself to ignore the ache in his cock and not touch for however long Kurt made him wait. He didn't have to wait long though. Kurt stepped inside and closed the curtain.

"Hands clasped high above your head. Legs spread wide," Kurt ordered. Blaine obeyed immediately, raising his arms so the tips of his fingers brushed against the headboard, and his feet lay in each corner of the mattress. His eyes slipped shut, his body far too overwhelmed with emotion and sensation to keep them open. He felt the bed dip next to him on his left, Kurt's fully clothed calf rubbing roughly against his thigh. And then he felt Kurt's hand back where it belonged, this time threading his cock over and over in the V of his fingers. "Santana tells everyone what a good sub you are. So obedient but strong. Willful but honorable." Kurt's hand left him again, reaching above to Blaine's hands, stretching them even tighter above his head so Blaine's muscles were forced to work to hold the position. "I'm certainly no expert but I think a good sub would need no bindings to keep himself in position." He moved down to Blaine's legs and spread them even wider, stretching his muscles to their limit. "What do you think Blaine? Do you need to be bound to stay where I ask?"

"No Sir," he said with certainty. He would do whatever Kurt wanted, no matter how painful, no matter how difficult.

"How about this," Kurt asked, wrapping his fingers around the base of Blaine's cock once more. "I bought a beautiful cock ring for you. Do you need it to help you last as long as I tell you?"

Blaine sucked in a breath and shook his head wildly. "No Kurt, no. Please, I can do it myself, I swear."

He felt Kurt shift to sit between his legs and whatever rest his heart had had was over because it started pounding in his chest once again. Especially when Kurt's hands slipped beneath his ass and he could feel hot breath brush over his cock as Kurt spoke. "It would be a huge disappointment if you needed something to help you obey when you claim you don't. And I know you wouldn't want to disappoint me. Would you Blaine?"

Blaine swallowed hard. He fought back the desire to come from Kurt's words alone. "No," he whispered in a strangled moan. "I never want to disappoint you."

"Good. I'm going to trust you." Kurt sunk down around Blaine without warning, the heat and wetness of his tongue surrounding him. Blaine gasped, bucking into Kurt's mouth involuntarily and he found himself immobilized with one hand firmly on his left thigh and the other on the right. The pressure allowed him to relax into the bed. Kurt rewarded him with a swirl of his tongue around his tip.

"Oh god." Blaine moaned, stretching his arms tight to not let them fall. Kurt worked him over expertly, alternating soft licks and hard strokes, fast flicks and slow circles, moment after moment just hitting Blaine's desperation point, before easing him back down again. It didn't take long before Blaine's moans were constant, his breathing ragged and his babbling very close to incoherent. "Please, Kurt, gonna come, please, please…"

Kurt slowly came off, though he replaced his mouth with his hand, thumbing up and down his pulsing vein. "Please what sweetheart?" Kurt asked, looking up at Blaine. "Please let you come or please stop so you don't?"

Blaine wasn't sure he could even think straight much less answer the question. "Whatever you want Kurt," he breathed desperately. "Just, Kurt, please."

Kurt laughed softly and removed his hand. "You hold your position, Blaine. I'll be back in a few minutes."

Blaine groaned, his eyes rolling back in his head as he felt Kurt get up from the bed and leave the room. He had no idea what Kurt planned next but he took the time to steady his breathing, come off the edge of orgasm and subspace, and try to clear his mind. His arm and leg muscles ached already but it was a delicious ache that served to remind him that this was punishment.

It seemed forever before Kurt returned, naked, and he wasted no time, climbing back onto the bed and straddling Blaine's wide spread thighs. "Look at me," he said, voice gentle though there was no doubt in either of their minds that Blaine took it as an order.

Blaine took a deep breath, knowing that the moment his eyes locked on Kurt's he would be lost in a sea of desire to submit. He would ache for more; Kurt's power and control, the exquisite pain of obedience, drowning in his penance until he was granted the beautiful release of absolution that Brittany had talked about so long ago. Don't come and don't fall, he said over and over in his head as he raised his lids and fell into Kurt's gaze. His submission lashed out and wrapped around his boyfriend.

"God you are so beautiful like this," Kurt whispered, his breath stolen from him by the surrender in Blaine's eyes of melted gold and a shiver that flew down his spine. "How?" he asked softly, swallowing against the surge of his heart. "How did I get so lucky? To find you? To be able to love you? To be worthy of the love you offer me?" He reached out a hand, softly caressing Blaine's temple. "Growing up we all learn that a dominant and their submissive will fit together like puzzle pieces, energies linking in perfect harmony. I could never have that I was told. I'd have to settle for a life without passion. Without true love."

"Kurt-" Blaine protested, but a finger on his lips quieted him immediately.

"I have no dominance to be the missing link to your submission," Kurt said and Blaine found tears coming to his eyes. "But it doesn't mean we don't fit together. If we want to." Kurt reached one hand out to thumb at Blaine's length. With the other he reached behind him, picking up the condom he'd gone to get, making it very clear exactly what he was offering.

Blaine sputtered a breath that ended in nervous laughter. "I want to," he whispered with a frantic nod.

Kurt smiled softly, before letting it fall away again. "Arms stretched Blaine," he sternly reminded and Blaine obeyed feeling the painful burn in his shoulders as he pulled them tight again. Kurt tore open the foil and took Blaine in hand. Only the slightest of touches was needed to bring him fully back to life and Kurt rolled the condom on him gently then filled his palm with lube. Blaine felt like he was melting into the bed and soaring in the air at the same time, hard as a rock inside Kurt's hand as he was encircled and slicked with strokes that would have been more than enough to make him come. But then Kurt took his hand away and raised himself up, positioning above his boyfriend before slowly lowering himself onto Blaine's cock until he bottomed out. Blaine gasped at the sudden tightness and heat and he groaned with pleasure as his lids fell. He never in his life thought that something could feel so good. Kurt sighed at the perfect fullness, moving only in tiny, soft circles.

Blaine begged beneath him for more. "Kurt, please."


Kurt's voice was warning. Blaine felt the tickling of the hair on his chest and the brush of a thumb over his nipple and he blinked his eyes open. Kurt's gaze was on him, firm and serious. His fingers may have been teasing but the rest of him was not and Blaine was reminded that pleasure was not Kurt's goal tonight.

"This may be long. And it may be slow," Kurt told him, continuing the small roll of his hips. "You are never to be afraid to tell me what you want or what you need. But it's my decision. We go at my pace. Do you understand?"

Blaine did understand. He understood that Kurt meant this punishment, and the next one, and all the moments in between. Kurt meant for every day of their life, for the rest of their journey as Kurt learned how to give Blaine the dominance he needed.

"Yes Sir," he answered, his voice the solemn vow Kurt's unspoken request deserved.

"Your music should follow my fight Blaine, not the other way around," Kurt said.

Blaine blushed at the reminder of the words he'd spoken the other day, words he regretted. "Yes sir, from now on, I promise."

"Okay," Kurt breathed, a nervous little satisfied smile escaping.

Blaine grinned back, loving every piece of the man with whom he was joined. "Okay."

And finally, Kurt began to move, lifting his hips and letting them fall, the drag on Blaine's cock excruciatingly slow. Blaine was torn between wanting to watch and the fall of his lids as Kurt's tightness granted him pleasure beyond his wildest imagination. He couldn't hold back his moans with every sharp spark that shot through him as Kurt worked his length with the endurance of the devil. Every inch of Blaine ached; his arms and his legs, his submission, and his cock that burned like fire inside of Kurt. It was the greatest pain he had ever felt in his life and he knew that it was far from over. He was desperate to touch, to run his fingers over the swell of Kurt's ass, to clutch at his hips and move them faster, harder. His limbs must have moved of their own volition because no sooner had he thought it were Kurt's hands firmly on his, holding them in place as he leaned over. Blaine's eyes flicked open to Kurt's right above him.

"How do your arms feel?" Kurt asked, pressing them even more tightly into the bed. "Do they hurt? Do you need bindings to help you?"

"I don't need anything Kurt," Blaine swore, stretching them higher in proof but groaning at how much pain he was in.

Kurt let Blaine's hands go but trailed his fingers slowly down his chest, beneath his own length, to rest at the base of Blaine's. "How about your orgasm?" Kurt teased viciously, then reached behind him to finger his balls softly. "Are you close? Do you need that ring?"

Blaine shook his head violently, a sheen of sweat painting his brow, his breathing ragged. "No. Never."

"No of course you don't," Kurt purred, slowly lifting his hips then lowering himself back down again, once, twice, three times. Blaine gritted his teeth against the surge raging as his balls drew up tight and it was all he could do to hold back. "Because you deserve this, don't you?"

"God, please sir, please," Blaine moaned in answer. He was trembling beneath Kurt, his eyes squeezed shut, his head spinning, barely able to think.

But that answer wasn't good enough for Kurt and he stilled his hips. "I asked you a question Blaine," he admonished, a brow raised dangerously. "Do you deserve this punishment?"

"Yes, yes sir, yes, I deserve it," Blaine blathered.

"Look at me," Kurt ordered and it took every ounce of submission in Blaine's body to obey the command and open his eyes to see the man above him. The very sight of Kurt almost tipped him over the edge. "Tomorrow your arms will feel like lead and you will remember the weight on my shoulders," Kurt told him. "And you will have patience."

"Yes Sir," Blaine cried, desperation torturing him as Kurt sat motionless above him. "Please move."

"Sometimes you will want things I may not be ready to give you. You will respect my limits."

"Yes, Sir," Blaine sobbed bucking upwards almost involuntarily.

Kurt held him down firmly. "You will show restraint," Kurt commanded.

"Yes, yes, I'm sorry sir, please." The tears rolled down his cheeks, fire raging throughout every muscle and nerve in his body. "Please Kurt, please I don't know how much longer I can hold it."

"Yes you do Blaine," Kurt said. "You can hold it is long as I tell you to. Can't you?"

Blaine mewled before sucking in a breath, and nodding, words escaping him as he forced his orgasm to abate. As he forced himself to sit with the pain and the punishment for what he'd done. Coming without permission certainly, but also all the rest; the mistrust, the manipulation, the disrespect, the dishonesty. He held it deep inside him, boiling, desperate for forgiveness and with it the release of the shame and guilt that had been eating away at him for the past three days. He held it as Kurt took him at last, riding him without mercy, using him, punishing him more justly and passionately than Santana had ever done, bringing him to his threshold and over his limits.

Kurt came with Blaine inside him, clenching around him with such force his eyes flew open. Kurt was gorgeous, head thrown back with abandon, mouth slightly open as he moaned and Blaine cried in anguish as his cock was lit on fire without permission to explode. Kurt leaned over, kissing Blaine fiercely before whispering in his ear. "Do you trust me now?"

Blaine nodded furiously. "Yes, God Kurt, sir, I trust you I will always trust you."

"Come for me," Kurt granted.

Blaine's vision went white and he knew he was screaming as he finally let go, his orgasm exploding inside of Kurt, hot and powerful. It was pain and it was pleasure. It was restitution and it was forgiveness and it was submission beyond anything he had ever experienced before. His ever more precarious hold on Kurt gave way and he fell so fast and deep into subspace that he wasn't even sure he was still breathing. But then suddenly he was caught. It wasn't the firm latch of dominance he was so used to, but a soft and warm embrace, gently slowing him and allowing him to wrap around Kurt once again. And once he did, they latched on to one another and his senses started to return. His pulse slowed, his body spent, and his muscles throbbed with excruciating satisfaction as he awoke in Kurt's arms.

Blaine's eyes blinked open. Kurt was gazing back at him, worried lips pressing into a smile before kissing Blaine softly on the forehead.

"Thank you," Blaine whispered, his voice raspy. "For catching me. For everything."

"You take my breath away," Kurt said in wonder, his eyes glistening with emotion. "You are so beautiful. So perfect."

"Hey," Blaine said. He tried to reach over to wipe away Kurt's tears, but he couldn't move his arm at all. "Don't cry. You were the perfect one."

Kurt shook his head. "I've been so scared," he muttered, regret painting his features. "I've been so scared and I wasted so much time-"

"I've been scared too Kurt," Blaine said, wanting nothing more than to take care of him. "But we have all the time in the world now. I love you, and I trust you, and I'm safe with you Kurt. Safer than I've ever been before."

"I would never let you fall Blaine," Kurt said and he pulled him tight in his arms. "No matter what, I will always be here to catch you."


Now I've got you in my space
I won't let go of you
Got you shackled in my embrace
I'm latching on to you

Chapter Text

Like a fall leaf from a tall tree landing on the grass
Like the white sand turns a clock hand in an hourglass
You're the reason I believe in something I don't know
You make it so, you make it so, you make it so easy
This letting go is so beautiful
Cause you make it so easy to fall so hard

~ Philip Philips

Blaine woke up, his arms and legs feeling as though he'd lifted weights in the gym for hours. His shoulders ached, his hips ached, his hamstrings were on fire. He was barely able to move at all. He vowed that it would be a long time before he ever did anything that would cause him to wake up like this again. And yet, he had never felt better.

Until he rolled over and realized that the man who had so skillfully caused all this pain was not lying next to him and he suddenly felt very lonely. A feeling that disappeared immediately as soon as he heard a beautiful giggle from the bedroom curtain.

"I brought you coffee," Kurt said, dressed in pajamas as he carried it over. Blaine groaned just at the effort of sitting up in bed. Kurt smiled. "I didn't think you'd be able to make it all the way to the kitchen."

"Good thinking." Blaine reached out an aching arm and took the mug.

Kurt climbed into the middle of the bed and sat with his legs crossed, a notebook and pen in his hand. "How do you feel?"

"Like 50 pound lead weights have been hung from every single inch of my body," Blaine said. He gave Kurt a gentle smile when Kurt's face fell with worry. "I feel perfect Kurt." He sipped the warm, delicious liquid that soothed his insides and awoke his senses, and he glanced at the notebook. "What's that?"

Kurt looked at him seriously, a little nervous but also determined and he took a breath. "We may not be able to have a formal contract, but after the last few days I think some written expectations might be a good thing."

Blaine raised an intrigued brow. "You mean rules?"

Kurt fidgeted slightly. "I mean expectations," he repeated.

Blaine grinned and put his coffee down, before he spilled it with excitement. "You mean rules!"

"Fine Blaine," Kurt gave in just to please him. "Call them whatever you want, I just think we should have them."

"I totally agree." Blaine nodded, folded his hands obediently in his lap, and waited, his eyes firmly on Kurt's.

Kurt looked at him as a calming warmth suddenly filled his body. Something in his mind clicked and Kurt narrowed his eyes. "Blaine are you...?"

Blaine startled slightly. "You can feel it?"

"I'm not..." Kurt knew he couldn't feel what everyone else felt but suddenly every shiver and every rush of heat came back to him. "I think so."

"Is it helping?" Blaine grinned mischievously.

Kurt didn't want to think right then about whether Blaine's submissive energy was helping him or not, but it was a conversation they should certainly have later. "Okay, well, I think we should each start with the things that are the most important to us. Blaine, do you know your first one?"

"I want you to control my orgasms." He answered without hesitation as if the answer had been on the tip of his tongue just waiting for Kurt to ask the question. "24/7. When I have one, where I have one, how I have one, how many, how few-"

Kurt's brow furrowed. "This isn't just because of yesterday is it?" He knew Blaine had mentioned it before, and Kurt didn't mind doing it for him occasionally, but he had never imagined it was something Blaine would want all the time. He didn't understand why anyone would want it all the time. And he didn't want Blaine's primary rule to be based on something that was a fleeting desire born of punishment.

"No." Blaine shook his head. "It's not because of yesterday."

"Can you help me understand why then?" Kurt asked. If he was going to say yes to something that was such a huge responsibility, he had to understand.

Blaine thought back to his conversation with Santana so long ago and the times with Kurt when he'd fallen too hard, and he choked up. "I've wanted this since before I knew you. Since I thought I'd have a Dom who…" He took Kurt's hand, brushing across his thumb softly. "But it matters even more with you. We will never have a piece of paper or a ceremony that says that I belong to you. But I am yours. Completely. And I want that to belong to you."

Kurt let go of a breath he didn't realize he'd been holding. "It's your claim," he whispered.

Blaine had never thought about it in exactly those terms, but Kurt was absolutely right. "Yes. It's my claim."

Kurt felt tears well in his eyes. "That's why this mattered so much to you." Blaine bit his lip, lowered his head and nodded. "Blaine I'm so sorry."

"It's not your fault Kurt. I should have told you a long time ago," Blaine admitted.

Kurt nodded. "I wish you had." They were quiet as Kurt wrote Blaine's rules down on the paper and then sat up straight. "And this brings us to my number one expectation."

"Rule," Blaine corrected with a mischievous smirk.

"Rule," Kurt acquiesced with a smile, but it quickly faded into a sternness that sent shivers down Blaine's spine. "No more manipulation. You know now that I will not stand for it. I cannot read your mind Blaine and I don't always see things the way you or a Dom does. If you need something, you tell me. I may not always choose to give it to you, but you always tell me. And if I say no, I will always tell you why."

Blaine looked to his hands, his cheeks flushing slightly. "I have a question," he said with a timidity Kurt didn't quite understand.

"Ask me anything," he said, his tenderness giving Blaine courage.

So Blaine put his greatest fears out there. "Do you mean need? Or do you mean want? Because sometimes I don't know what's a need and what's a want, but choosing to not give me something I need…as a sub...I have to be able to trust you Kurt. Or we're just going to be right back where we were three days ago."

Kurt thought about it a moment. Blaine was right. "That's why it's so important that we communicate Blaine. It's going to take me time to just know like you want me to. Like I know you need me to. So if you ask me for something-"

"Like a spanking," Blaine smirked.

Kurt chuckled and nodded his head. "Yes, sure, like a spanking. We need to figure out together if it's because you've done something wrong and you feel that's what you deserve, or if you just, ya know, want one." Kurt blushed. "Because I don't want the second to turn into the first. And either way I need to figure out if I can satisfy the need another way or if we need to go to Santana. Does that make sense?"

"Yes. Thank you," Blaine said, one more word on his lips that he bit back. He waited until Kurt finished writing down the last rule before addressing it. "Are you ready for my number two?" Kurt nodded, laying the pen down. "I want to be able to call you Sir freely. Kneel for you when my knees buckle. Without worrying that it will upset you."

Kurt was quiet a minute as he thought about it. He'd fought both of those things for so long. Fought the power and control and authority that they gave him. On the one hand, he was ready to stop fighting. On the other hand, he still didn't want to feel forced to be someone he wasn't. Or to pretend that he was. "Okay. Well first, I have to admit that I'm actually growing quite fond of the way you call me Sir. And you don't abuse it. So I agree to that," he said, writing it down.

"But…" Blaine said, knowing without really needing to be told.

Kurt put the pen down in the center of the book and looked back up. "But kneeling still makes me uncomfortable. It's a subservience I just don't want to be a part of our relationship, and I think that maybe as the lines start to blur, it's an important distinction you still need to make between me and Santana. For all of us."

Blaine thought about it and though he didn't completely like it, he understood. "I can respect that."

Kurt smiled. "Okay good. So let's see." He read over what they had so far and something struck him. "Huh," Kurt said thoughtfully.


Kurt looked up and turned the book for Blaine to see. "Even though it's not a contract, we kind of seem to have just added our own rules to yours anyway. The first rule falls under trust. The second is truth. The third respect."

Blaine raised a brow. "Well it's really not all that surprising, is it?"

"No," Kurt agreed. "I guess it's not. Which means the fourth rule should fall under love."

Blaine's face twisted. "Do we really need a rule about love?" he asked.

Kurt was very certain that they did. "I already told it to you three days ago. Have you forgotten already?"

No. Blaine hadn't forgotten. Because he'd said the phrase over and over again as he fought through three of the toughest days he could remember. "My submission is not a measure of my love for you. Your dominance is not a measure of your love for me." He looked up at Kurt, their eyes connecting. "Punishment is not love," he finished.

Kurt smiled proudly. "Punishment is not love."

Blaine took the notebook and pen from Kurt, wrote the words in his own hand, then placed the items on the nightstand next to his forgotten coffee. He was quiet as he turned back to Kurt. "Would you show me what love is?" he asked softly. "Please?"

Kurt breathed deeply, before running a thumb across Blaine's lips. "Tell me what you want," he said.

Blaine's lashes dipped bashfully, his cheeks reddening with both shyness and anticipation. "I want you to make love to me. Sir."

Kurt leaned in and kissed him, rewarding his honesty and bravery. "I would love nothing more."

Blaine slowly unbuttoned Kurt's pajama top, discarding it to the floor. Kurt guided Blaine to lie back down on the bed, their chests flush as Kurt kissed him, emotions so strong that tears came to his eyes. He sat up and massaged Blaine's aching muscles, reveling in the feel of Blaine in his hands, but also everything he couldn't feel. He loved everything about Blaine; his spirit and his courage, his submission and his passion. He even loved the Blaine that manipulated to get his needs met, though Kurt would never admit to that out loud. And in a strange sort of way he looked forward to the next time, knowing for sure that there would be a next time, because more than almost anything, he was finding that he loved the dominance that Blaine brought out in him.

When Blaine seemed like he could move again, Kurt slipped off the bed. "Safeword?" he asked.

Blaine's heart jumped at the question and just the idea he might need it. "New York," he said.

"Strip for me," Kurt ordered. He let Blaine remove his own tented boxers while he rid himself of his own clothing and reached into the drawer for lubricant and a condom. He looked over at Blaine, a sly smile on his face even before he allowed himself to truly appreciate Blaine's already leaking erection. He crawled back over, nestling himself between Blaine's legs, mesmerized by the beauty of his sub. My sub, Kurt allowed himself to think for the first time and the words in his head lit his body on fire. "Gorgeous," Kurt whispered to himself.

"Would you touch me Sir?" Blaine begged sweetly, his eyes staring up at Kurt. "Please."

"Of course." Kurt lubricated his fingers before urging Blaine's knees up and circling one finger atop Blaine's hole. With his other hand he wrapped his thumb and forefinger around Blaine's cock and stroked with a gentle touch that had Blaine mewling already. "You like that?" Kurt asked with a laugh.

"Soft," Blaine said quietly, his eyes closing, love and submission surging from his heart. "Slow, not to tease but to love. To worship." Kurt hitched a breath as the words he'd said so long ago in that Christmas night phone call were repeated back to him. "To make it last not for cruelty but for pleasure. To make them feel like they were the most important person in the world. And when we made love it would be everything we both wanted."

Then tears did fall from Kurt's eyes, tears of joy and a love so great he had never even believed it would be possible. "Everything we both want," Kurt promised and he pushed a finger in roughly.

Blaine arched beneath him, crying out not with pain but with pleasure, with the feeling of being used and loved and dominated. "Fuck," he swore.

"Language Blaine," Kurt warned.

Blaine opened his eyes, just for a minute and scowled, though his heart jumped at the dominance dripping from Kurt's pores. "For real Kurt?" he asked.

"For real Blaine." Kurt's eyes narrowed but they danced playfully. "Do you have a problem with that?"

Blaine had no problem with it. He wanted to play more than anything. "No Sir," Blaine answered.

"Good," Kurt answered and he slipped a second finger inside of Blaine, crooking them just slightly to brush against Blaine's prostate.

"Jesus Kurt, shit," Blaine gasped before slapping his arm over his mouth. It was too late, the words were already out.

"That's one and two Blaine," Kurt said ominously. Blaine wanted desperately to know what the count was for but when Kurt brushed his bundle of nerves once more, he kept the swears inside, gritting his teeth and groaning loudly. Kurt smiled. "Good boy," he said before slipping a third finger inside.

"Want you Kurt," Blaine hissed, bucking into Kurt's fingers as they stretched him, pressing himself down almost hoping for another pass at his gland. "Please. Want you inside me."

Kurt pulled both hands away from his body and reached over to the wrapper next to him. "Arms out to the side please, they don't have to be tight," he said, watching carefully to see Blaine obey as he ripped open the package and rolled the condom on himself. Leaning down to trail warm kisses along Blaine's thighs, he spread Blaine's legs wider then lined himself up. With one hand massaging Blaine's leg to help him relax, Kurt gently pushed inside.

It didn't matter how gentle it was though, Blaine's senses soared as his submission wrapped around Kurt and he held himself at the edge. He could feel Kurt inside him; every flex, every pulse, every brush against each muscle and nerve inside of his body. He could see Kurt's beauty above him as if he glowed with love. He could hear Kurt's heart beat and his breath and he could taste his essence as Kurt leaned down and kissed him deeply to halt the swears that had unknowingly been falling from his lips.

"How many was that Blaine?" Kurt reprimanded but Blaine shook his head, having absolutely no idea, wanting only to be allowed to move his arms and touch the incredible body that was moving so perfectly above him. "That was three, four and five," Kurt told him.

"Want to touch you," Blaine said absently, his head spinning on the edge of subspace. He heard his Dom, but the drag of Kurt's cock inside him was the only thing he could concentrate on.

"Five minutes Blaine. One for each swear." Kurt pushed gently inside of him, and pulled unhurriedly out. "In five minutes you can touch me." He reached down and grasped a hold of Blaine's cock, thumbing the vein on his tender underside. He could see Blaine's concentration as he squeezed his eyes shut and bit his lip. "If you'd been good you'd be touching me now. Feeling my soft skin beneath your fingertips," he tortured and Blaine moaned beautifully beneath him. "Cupping my ass as it moves in and out of you."

"Please sir, please," Blaine begged, gripping the sheets between his fingers to hold himself back. Kurt ignored his pleas.

"You feel so good Blaine," he continued his agonizing tease instead, his own head starting to spin with the pleasure. "You're so tight and warm. Your submission feels so good around me. And your cock in my hand, god Blaine. I just want to touch you forever and never let go."

"Yes," Blaine breathed, the words like music to his ears. "Yes, forever, Kurt. I love you. I'm yours forever. Never let go."

The five minutes were as torturous for Kurt as they were for Blaine and the moment the seconds were up he ordered, "Touch me."

Blaine sighed with relief as his hands flew to Kurt's hips, gripping them tightly beneath his fingers. At the feel of Blaine's touch, Kurt's stomach fluttered and he thought for a minute that if Blaine wasn't wrapped around him he might fly away. He surged forward as though Blaine was his anchor and Blaine reached further back to clutch at the soft swell of his ass.

"Harder Kurt," Blaine pleaded. "Harder, please."

Kurt let go of Blaine's cock and placed his hands on the bed, rocking his hips against Blaine, pounding into him more fiercely as their sweat mixed together. Blaine sucked in a breath and Kurt knew they were both close. Pleasure radiated through him and Kurt didn't know how much longer he could last, but he needed to, for Blaine's sake. "You may not come yet Blaine," he panted and he forced himself to pull out almost completely, though he nearly shook with the control it took. "Ten times I am going to push myself inside you," he said, and Blaine's lids flew open, his pupils lust blown, his eyes clear, though Kurt could feel the heat of his submission coursing through him, keeping hold of him. "With every thrust, you're going to tell me what love is," Kurt told him. "Do you understand?"

Blaine licked his lips and shook his head. "No."

"I'll do two," Kurt said. "And you do the rest, okay sweetheart?"

"Okay," Blaine agreed, biting his lip with worry he'd get it wrong.

Kurt took a breath and gripped the blankets beneath his hands, staving off the orgasm that he knew would come too soon if he wasn't careful. And he pushed inside Blaine at just the right angle to make the sub's cock jump with desire and his hands fist with the struggle of obedience. "Love is the way your body fits perfectly with mine," Kurt said and Blaine looked up at him. Kurt pulled out again, before thrusting once more to strike at Blaine's nerves. "Love is the way the gold in your eyes shine up at me like I'm your everything." Out and in again and Kurt said, "Your turn sweetheart."

Blaine's mouth was dry and it was hard to concentrate, but he closed his eyes and he focused his mind, trying to think. "Love is the way you look at me in the morning."

"Good," Kurt smiled and on shaky arms he gave Blaine another thrust.

"Love is the way you kiss me goodnight."

"That's it Blaine," Kurt said and he slid out achingly slow. "Keep going sweetheart, think deeper," he instructed before slamming himself hard.

"Ungghh," Blaine growled, holding himself back until he could breathe again. "Love is holding each other when we're scared."

"I love holding you, protecting you" Kurt said, moving gently from then on before he tipped himself over the edge earlier than he meant to. Denial had never been his forte. And with every press inside him, Blaine shared more and more.

"Love is celebrating our successes."

"I am so proud of everything you do Blaine," Kurt said.

"Love is staying by my side through my worst."

"I'm never leaving you," Kurt promised. "No matter what you do. No matter what happens or how difficult things are, I am yours as long as you want me."

"Love is you believing in us even when I didn't."

"You believed in us first sweetheart," Kurt said. "From that very first day. When we danced and you said we were perfect together. I couldn't believe yet, but you did."

"Love is our compromises."

"Whatever it takes," Kurt swore.

Blaine opened his eyes and locked into Kurt's gaze. "Love is us. You and me. Forever."

Kurt stilled, pushing hard as Blaine's hands pressed into his skin and he let himself go. Falling onto his elbows above the man he loved, he let go inside him, Blaine's arms embracing him and holding him tight to his chest, keeping him from floating away. He sought out Blaine's lips, capturing them and kissing them fiercely, with all of the love that Blaine had given him and more, his hips still shuddering as Blaine pulled every last tremor from him. Kurt sighed with delight, his thoughts gradually coming back down into focus from the fuzziness of his orgasm, to realize that Blaine's heart was pounding and his lungs were panting, and his cock was still very much hard beneath him.

"God Blaine," Kurt whispered, kissing him softly. "You really are the perfect sub." He pulled out as he lifted himself off of Blaine and moved back between his legs, leaning down to lick a stripe up Blaine's throbbing length. Blaine nearly sobbed with need and Kurt knew the forbidden swears on his lips that he was too frightened to utter. It should have made him feel bad for the sub. Not long ago he would have been scared that it didn't. Now it fueled him. "What would you do if I didn't let you come at all?" he asked, swirling a tongue around Blaine's head. Blaine said nothing and Kurt dipped his tongue into Blaine's slit, quickly tasting him. "I didn't hear you Blaine," he warned.

"I'd obey you," Blaine croaked, the words almost inaudible if Kurt hadn't been listening intently.

"I believe you would," Kurt said before sinking down on Blaine's cock. Kurt was relentless, swallowing around him, sucking almost fiercely. Blaine babbled above him, but Kurt could feel his submission, still holding firm and he knew that he was safe. He came off and leaned down further, taking Blaine's balls in his mouth, rolling them gently on his tongue. He circled Blaine's rim once and then twice, tasting him before he pulled back and blew softly at the wet skin. "Are you still with me Blaine?" he asked gently. Blaine couldn't speak but he nodded frantically. "Are you ready to come for me?"

"God yes, Kurt, sir, please, please, please let me come."

"Go ahead sweetheart," Kurt said and he took Blaine in his mouth only seconds before Blaine burst with pleasure, spilling forcefully down Kurt's throat as he screamed his name, nearly crying with a sense of relief. Kurt's heart swelled with the love he had for Blaine and it felt like it took hold of Blaine, encircling him to keep him from falling too deep.

It took time, for Blaine to come back, but it didn't scare Kurt anymore. He just held him close on his chest, kissing his head and brushing gently at his shoulder, holding on to Blaine in every way until his submission subsided. Blaine snuggled into him as he came out of subspace and kissed Kurt softly on the skin beneath his lips. "I think we followed those rules pretty well," he smiled proudly and Kurt laughed next to him.

"Yes, I think we did," Kurt grinned, cuddling Blaine close. ""I have one more though. Well, it's not a rule really, it's just a request."

Blaine nuzzled in, breathing in the scent that he adored. "Anything Kurt."

"Move in with me?"

"It's not that I don't want you to, I just think it's still risky," Santana said.

Blaine and Kurt hadn't come to ask permission. Santana didn't have the right to say whether Blaine moved in with his boyfriend or not. But the decision very much affected all of them and it was important to discuss it between the four of them and make a choice that they could all live with. So Blaine curled up in Kurt's arms on the couch while Santana paced the floor. Brittany had just gotten home from rehearsal, and was changing in the other room, but they knew she'd go along with whatever the three of them ultimately decided. The truth was, she was the only one relatively safe in all this.

"We know that it's risky Santana," Kurt said. "The question is can we mitigate the risk."

"I don't see how we're going to hide packing Blaine up and carrying his things across the city to the loft," Santana said, taking a seat in the arm chair. "We already know there are people watching us and I think they'll notice when he stops coming back here most days. Or his bedroom being empty should someone actually stop by."

"If there are people watching us Santana then our parents must already know," Blaine reasoned quietly. She and Kurt both stopped and looked at him. "Kurt's been coming and going for months. All of NYADA knows we're together. Anyone who's trying to pay attention will already know."

"Then why haven't your parents said anything?" Kurt wondered.

"Because what they care about is how it looks to others?" Blaine guessed optimistically. "I think as long as we can keep it from becoming public, we should be okay."

"I don't think you're okay then."

The three of them looked up at Brittany in the doorway of her bedroom. She had an open magazine in her hand, staring at it as if it was going to bite.

"What is it love?" Santana asked gently, reaching a hand out.

Brittany walked over and handed it to her Dom, nibbling her lip between her teeth. Socialite Life. Santana looked at the page Brittany had open for one second then tossed it down on the coffee table for everyone to see.

Captioned in a picture of Blaine and Kurt hugging in front of the rare bookstore read:

Westerville Socialite Blaine Anderson is seen with an unknown
man on the streets of New York.
Should his Dominant, Santana Lopez, be concerned?

The silence in the room was deafening. Cars honked and whished by outside their window but they didn't hear anything other than the pounding in their ears. This was it. The moment Santana and Blaine had dreaded for years.

"Maybe your parents won't see it," Brittany offered, but there wasn't anyone in the room who believed that.

"But I don't understand," Kurt said softly. "I could understand it if we were out with Cooper, but why would anyone just be taking pictures of Blaine on the street?"

Santana picked the magazine back up again. It was a small time publication, but at Crawford it had been all the rage. Word had it that families from the smaller cities would use the periodical to up their status or bring others down. But it wasn't something that Brittany regularly read. "Britt where did you get this?" Santana asked as she flipped through it.

She just shrugged. "It was sent to me in the mail. Somehow I must have gotten on a subscription list by accident."

Santana flipped the page, froze, and shook her head. "This was no accident."

Placing it back down for them all to see, Blaine took one look at the picture, read the caption and flew out of his seat.

Heiress Sugar Motta reportedly single after her sub,
Rory Flanagan, returns to Ireland on family business.
Word has it the Dom is on the prowl for a new sub and she has someone special in mind.
And everyone knows that Sugar Motta usually gets her way.

"I think I'm going to be sick," Blaine said and Kurt rushed over to him and gathered him in his arms.

"I'm gonna kill that bitch," Santana shouted before she threw the magazine across the room. "I'm going to fly to Westerville and rip her fucking eyes out of her sockets."

Brittany knew that Santana's ranting was not at all what Blaine needed right now. "Santana come on," she said softly, grabbing her Dom's hand and leading her kicking and screaming to the bedroom.

The moment the door closed, Blaine fell hyperventilating to his knees. "As soon as my parents see it that's it. They'll come and they'll take me and they'll give me to her, I know they will. The magazine's right Kurt," he choked out between his sobs. "Sugar always gets her way."

"Well not this time Blaine," Kurt told him firmly and he grabbed Blaine's face between his palms and forced his eyes up. "You are mine, Blaine Anderson. Do you hear me?" Blaine just shook his head, but Kurt strengthened his grip and Blaine's eyes opened wide. "I asked you if you heard me."

"Yes sir," Blaine whispered, blinking back tears.

"I don't care who they are or what they think. They have absolutely no right to take you. Santana's claim is legal and iron-clad and I will be by your side every minute of every day if it's what I have to do to keep you safe. Is that understood?"

Blaine nodded, fixated on Kurt. "Yes sir."

"I love you. I will protect you. And whatever you need right now Blaine, I will give you," he promised, wiping Blaine's face dry. He knelt down to Blaine, gathering him back in his arms, and pulled him close, holding back his own tears. "Whatever you need Blaine, just tell me."

"Need to be safe Kurt," he said voice small with fear. "Need to fall. Please."

Kurt looked up to the girls' bedroom, but he knew that neither could help him now. He turned back to Blaine with one small moment of doubt before he realized that he knew how to do this. "Go ahead sweetheart," he allowed, reaching his heart out to Blaine as a near searing heat wrapped tightly around him. He almost fell from the force of it, but he closed his eyes and he imagined his love circling around Blaine, latching onto his submission not to pull him out but to hold him, keep him safe, as deeply as Blaine needed to fall. "You're okay," he whispered against his ear. "I've got you."

Blaine woke up in his bed in the tight clutch of Kurt's embrace. He didn't remember getting there. He didn't remember Kurt undressing him. All he remembered was that falling deep into subspace with Kurt by his side was more beautiful than he ever could have imagined. He felt lighter. Stronger. Completely safe.

He leaned over to kiss Kurt but he was taken aback by the beauty in his face. Lashes falling over his eyes, lips slightly parted, Blaine could barely breathe with how much love he felt. Last night he had been terrified. But with the rise of the sun Blaine knew that there was absolutely nothing and no one that could come between them.

Combing his fingers through Kurt's hair he leaned down and pressed his lips to Kurt's, softly at first but when Kurt responded he deepened it, thanking him for all he'd done the night before. He kissed down Kurt's body, his bare chest to Kurt's waistband. Lifting it slightly, he kissed beneath it, licking softly at the elastic marked skin before letting go and moving further down. He exhaled against Kurt's fabric covered bulge, letting it thicken beneath his lips before kissing it good morning. He felt Kurt's hand grab gentle hold of his curls and guide him back up.

"Let me look at you," Kurt said and Blaine hovered over him, a smile on his face. Kurt was relieved to see his eyes clear. "Gorgeous," he whispered. Blaine smiled, and his stomach grumbled loudly. Kurt laughed. "Gorgeous and hungry," he said and slipped out from underneath Blaine and swung himself out of bed. "This can wait," he said with an eye to his underwear. "You go shower, I'll start breakfast for everyone. We all have class and places we need to be."

Blaine pouted but agreed and Kurt pulled on sweatpants and a sweatshirt and headed out to the kitchen. The magazine Santana had hurled against the living room wall was still splayed open on the floor and he grabbed that, closing it as if to close the hate inside it, and shoved it inside a drawer. He wouldn't let it get them down. He could hear Santana and Brittany talking quietly behind their closed door and he hummed happily to himself, taking out ingredients. Ten minutes later the girls, dressed for school and dance, were pulled out of their room by the smell of pancakes, eggs and bacon cooking. They set the table. Kurt got the coffee churning and by the time Blaine came out dressed to impress a certain gentleman at the table, breakfast was ready.

"I feel like I am very underdressed," Kurt said in his sweats as he took in his dapper boyfriend in an open at the collar button down and a white jacket.

"You are," Blaine agreed with a kiss on the cheek. "But I'm sure you'll fix that as soon as breakfast is over."

"Is anyone else late for class or is it just me," Santana yawned.

"Just you I think," Blaine smirked. "The rest of us will be right on time if we hurry."

Santana flicked him playfully on the arm and Blaine stuck out his tongue, and breakfast was light and full of laughter, no one bringing up the worries of the previous day. It was as if they all had silently agreed on one last reprieve, one last attempt at normalcy before they knew everything was going to change.

When they were done, Santana kissed Brittany goodbye as she headed off to the dance studio, and helped Blaine with the dishes while Kurt went to go shower. Blaine washed and Santana dried and leaning back against the counter watching him, she knew just how much she was going to miss him when he was gone.

"I'm sorry," she said softly. "About last night. I should have been there for you instead of completely losing it." She lowered his eyes to the dish in her hands. "I guess I haven't been much of a Dom to you at all lately, have I?"

Blaine turned the water off and dried his hands, turning to her. "You've done the best you could Santana for as long as you could. I just needed more than you could give me," Blaine said. He took the dish from her hands, then clasped hers in his. "We knew that someday this would happen. But you will always be my Dom Santana. That will never change. Claims are forever, right?"

Santana sniffed, wiped her eyes and nodded. "You're my best friend Blaine," Santana said. "You know that right?"

Blaine took her in his arms and held her tight. "And you are mine. And we aren't done, right? You and me?" He pulled away and looked her in the eye. They hadn't talked about it in years, since they were young and curled up in the darkness dreaming of the future. But he could see that she had always held that promise in her heart as well.

"Right," Santana said and she laughed softly. "Though I think that's a conversation for another day-"

The doorbell interrupted her and Blaine rolled his eyes. "Brittany must have forgotten her keys again," he said, laughing as he went to the door. "I swear that girl will be locked out one of these days. Britt-" he flung the door open with a smile that fled from his lips the moment he saw who was on the other side. He let go of the handle like it was on fire.

Blaine's mother stood, looking less than comfortable, gripping a magazine Blaine recognized all too well in her hands. His heart dropped to the floor. He'd somehow managed to convince himself that they had more time than this, that they would at least have another day. But his mother's sad, almost regretful gaze told him he was wrong.

And his anger suddenly flared, anger that he'd felt for years of being forced to be someone he wasn't, and he glared down the hallway. "Where's Dad?"

"He's back at the hotel," she said softly.

Blaine could feel his blood pounding in his head and his hands curled into fists. "What, so dad just sent you to do his dirty work? Couldn't stand to look at me one more time before he threw me away so he sent his sub?"

"Your father would have overstepped his bounds if he had come," she tried to explain.

Blaine scoffed. "Like he'd really care about that, he probably can't wait to get his hands on me. Was that your decision or his?"

"It was a decision we came to together," she said.

"Bullshit," Blaine muttered under his breath but Santana heard it loud and clear and placed a firm grip on his shoulder.

"Don't leave your mother standing out in the hallway Blaine, and watch your language, that is not how we treat our guests." Santana guided him back so his mother could enter. She closed the door behind her and led Mrs. Anderson into the living room while Blaine tried to follow seeing little but red before his eyes. "Are you okay Mrs. Anderson?" Santana asked. "Do you need anything? A drink? Blaine, bring your mother a drink."

Blaine's eyes snapped to Santana's, but hers were dominant and clear and he knew disobedience wasn't an option. It didn't stop him though from stomping off a bit to the kitchen as he listened to his best friend make pleasantries with the woman who was about to tell him he no longer was her son. He brought the glass of water back but he handed it to Santana, not his mother when he returned. With an eye of warning, she allowed him that one bit of defiance and took it from him.

His mother watched them closely. "So she's still your Dom," she finally said, with almost a wave of relief.

It did nothing to make Blaine feel better though. "Yes, Mom, she's still my Dom. So now you can go back and tell Dad that his sham of a scandle-free claim is still firmly intact and everyone can go on continuing to believe whatever the fuck they want."

"Blaine, you know that's not true," she said softly.

"Who the fuck cares? When have you and Dad ever given a shit about the truth? All you've ever cared about is that no one ever knows you have a faggot for a son!"


Kurt's voice was quiet but stern and Blaine looked up behind his mother to see his boyfriend looking breathtakingly gorgeous and dominant in the doorway. And for an instant the only thing that flashed in Blaine's mind was Kurt ordering him into the room to be spanked for his language behind closed doors.

Kurt could see it. Santana could feel it.

With many more years behind her, Santana acted first. "Blaine, kneel," she ordered


Blaine's refusal surprised even him. Kurt, however, was not surprised at all. "Blaine, sweetheart, come here now please," he said.

That order Blaine obeyed with a nervous flutter in his chest, and he left his mother and his Dom behind to follow Kurt into his room. The door closed behind him and without a word, Kurt simply took his hand, guided him to the corner of his room, and gently pressed his nose to the wall. He felt Kurt's love wrap around him, bringing him down to the edge where his senses were heightened and he could hear his heart pounding in his chest and he could smell his own fear beneath the anger. But more than anything he could feel the strong pressure of Kurt's palms on the nape of his neck and the small of his back and slowly he let his tension go, giving the weight of it to Kurt to hold in his hands. The breath he had been holding slowly exhaled from his lungs.

"Better?" Kurt asked, guiding Blaine gently up out of subspace.

"Yes," he sighed with a nod. He rested his forehead against the wall. "God, I have no idea how you do that."

"I'm not sure I do either," Kurt chuckled softly. He turned Blaine back toward him and held both of his hands.

"I still want a spanking," Blaine admitted with a sheepish grin and Kurt laughed fondly.

"I know you do," he said. "Thank you for telling me. Now are you ready to go back out there and be polite to your mother? No more of that language. She's a sub too, sent by her Dom to possibly break the heart of her son. I'm sure this isn't any easier for her than it is for you."

"It's probably harder," Blaine acknowledged.

"Yes. And I don't ever want to hear that word fall from your lips again or so help me I will let Santana fill your mouth with a pack of that gum," Kurt said.

Blaine absolutely believed him. "Yes sir," he said, lowering his eyes. "I'm sorry."

Kurt squeezed his hand. "That's my good boy," he said before he opened the door and they walked out, hand in hand.

They found Mrs. Anderson wringing her hands on the couch and Santana standing, her arms folded against her chest as if she'd been pacing. Blaine worried for a second that Santana was mad at him, until she gave him a soft smile and he knew that they were okay.

"So this is him?" his mother asked.

Blaine looked down at her. She looked nervous, curious, worried. She didn't look angry.

"Mom, this is Kurt. My boyfriend. Kurt, this is my Mom."

"It's nice to finally meet you Mrs. Anderson," Kurt said and he held his hand out to her. She looked at it a moment before she offered him a gentle handshake.

"Are you going to claim him?" she asked, forward and to the point.

Blaine and Kurt looked at each other. They'd almost forgotten that she didn't know.

"I'm not a Dom, Mrs. Anderson," he admitted and he could see her eyes grow wide. "I'm Gray."

"Oh my god," she blurted and she started to cry, tears that broke Blaine's heart and he knelt down to her, taking her hand in his.

"Mom, it's okay," Blaine told her, trying to make her hear. "I'm safe mom. I'm safe with him, I swear." She kept crying so he just kept talking. "And I don't care what Dad says. Whatever you guys do, I'm okay. He's all I need. Kurt and Santana, they're all I need." Mrs. Anderson slowly stopped crying and her eyes came to rest on the hand holding hers. Not the hand, Blaine realized, but the white cuff above it, wrapped around his wrist. He looked up at her while she traced the leather, and the silver pyramids beneath her fingers. "Santana gave me this cuff pretty much as soon as we got to New York," he said quietly, knowing how important it was to his mother. "We couldn't get a gold one so we had to wait…"

"Everything everyone said was true," she said as though she couldn't believe it. She hadn't wanted to believe it.

Blaine lowered his head. "Yes," he said, but then he raised his eyes. "Everything I said was true as well though. Our claim is valid Mom. Our contract is legal and valid, it cannot be dissolved in New York just because it's white, and there's nothing that Dad or Sugar Motta can do to change that."

"And nothing Kurt can do," she pointed out, looking up at the stranger who had stolen any chance she had of keeping her son. "Unless-"

"No mom," Blaine said and his eyes were hard enough to force her silence. "Not now."

She nodded and she got up from the couch. "Your father wants you at the hotel tonight. 6pm. I've left the information on the coffee table."

"I won't go alone," Blaine told her.

She turned and she looked at the three of them. "I wouldn't expect you would son. Your father won't be easily swayed to change his mind. So think about that, before you make any decisions."

Santana walked her out and let out a sigh as she leaned against the door. Blaine and Kurt were standing there shell-shocked, but she was feeling oddly okay. "Now what were you two saying about me being the only one late for class?"

After school Kurt and Blaine made their way to Madison Avenue to meet Santana at the Carlyle Hotel. Blaine was nervous the whole way. Kurt tried humor and reassurance and every other trick he had in his book, but by the time they stepped inside the slick black and gold lobby, mirrors staring back at them at every turn, Blaine was bordering on frantic. Kurt was nearly at a loss when he saw a small room off the lobby, warm and inviting, and he led Blaine to sit with him on the sofa.

"I'm sorry Kurt…I just…what if…" Blaine's mind had been racing too much all day.

Kurt was quiet. He took Blaine's hand in his and turned his arm over. He unbuckled Blaine's cuff, drew it tighter so that he couldn't help but feel it and buckled it closed again. "You chose to wear this on your arm today," Kurt said, and he turned Blaine's hand gently back. "But you can't wear it on your sleeve and not in your heart. Cooper was right about one thing. What it stands for, it's about how you behave, not others. They don't have to earn it. Because it's about you treating others with respect, you earning their trust, you loving them with all your heart, even when it hurts. It's about telling your truth. And I expect you to do each and every one of those things with your father today. Do you understand?"

"Yes sir," Blaine whispered.

"Tell me our four rules," Kurt said and Blaine looked up, eyes wide.

"All of them?" he asked.

Kurt chuckled. "Yes Blaine. All of them."

Blaine blushed slightly and lowered his gaze. "You are in control of my orgasms," he said as softly as he could. "I am to tell you what I need and not manipulate. I may call you Sir freely but I may not kneel. My submission…" He stopped and he looked up at Kurt, recognition in his eyes.

Kurt nodded his encouragement. "Go ahead Blaine."

Blaine swallowed and closed his eyes. "My submission is not a measure of my love. His dominance," Blaine said and Kurt smiled proudly at his understanding, "is not a measure of his love for me. Punishment is not love." Blaine opened his eyes and they were darker. Stronger. More determined. "His punishment is not love."

"If you do well today then I promise I will reward you greatly tonight. But you are getting to know that I love to count," Kurt smirked, and Blaine felt the heat in his skin rise. "You break any rule and it adds one day until what, sweetheart?"

"Until you let me come," Blaine whispered.

"That's right," Kurt said and he leaned over and kissed Blaine lovingly. When his lips left Blaine's, they slid to his ear. "And I have plans to make you come more than once tonight. So don't disappointment me."

Kurt gave a devilish laugh as Blaine sucked in a breath and pressed a hand to his quickly hardening length to make it stop.

"Shall I get you two a room when we're done," Santana smirked from the doorway.

"Just reviewing the rules," Kurt said, standing up nonplussed. Blaine took another moment before joining them.

"What if I have to disobey?" Blaine suddenly asked. "If I have to follow all the rules, what if he tells me to do something I can't do, but would be disrespectful to say no?"

"You safeword," Santana said, grasping his hand. They headed off toward the elevators. "Your father's a lot of things Blaine, but he would never ignore a safeword." They got in the elevator and pressed the button for the 4th floor. "You need to relax sweetheart. Your submission is swirling and you can't let him latch on."

"It's not looking for dominance," Blaine assured her and with a squeeze of Kurt's hand, he reined it back in.

Glancing at the placards on the wall, they headed to room 417 and stood before the door. With a deep breath, Blaine flanked on either side, he reached up and knocked on the door.

His father answered as if he'd been standing with his hand on the knob. Blaine looked past him inside to see his mother at the window across the living room. He noticed the dark brown rug covering the hard wood floors and how out of place the bright florals on the walls felt. His father's voice snapped him back to attention. "You may come in Blaine."

"We're all coming in together Dad," Blaine said strongly.

His father stared at him for a moment, glancing once to Santana but not giving Kurt the dignity of even a first look. "Fine. If that's the way you want it."

Before Blaine could respond his father walked away from the door. With a quick glance to one another Blaine followed with Kurt and Santana by his side. She shut the door behind them.

Blaine's father had walked to stand behind a glass coffee table, on which sat Socialite Life, spread open to the picture of Kurt and Blaine.

Blaine didn't hesitate. He walked right up to it, picked up the magazine, closed it and held it out for his father. "You don't need a picture Dad, he's right here. May I introduce my boyfriend, Kurt Hummel. Kurt, this is my father." As he looked from Kurt to his dad, he held his breath.

Mr. Anderson ignored the entire exchange. "I have worked very hard to keep the Anderson name one of pride and repute. We have been pillars of the community for more than a century and I will not allow youthful indiscretion to destroy everything that our family has worked for. You are a submissive Blaine," his father said, eyes hard and unforgiving as he stared at his son. Blaine's heart began to race. Cold Dominant energy reached out and he fought to keep his submission in check. "A submissive obeys and respects the Dominants in their life and if they do not, what happens?"

Blaine fought to remind himself that warmth stood on either side of him and he was safe. But he also remembered Kurt's orders. "They are punished," he whispered and his eyes lowered without thought.

"Kneel," his father ordered.

Blaine hesitated. He hesitated because of the three Dominants in the room, and to him there were three, he wanted to kneel to his father the least. But then he realized that kneeling for his father held only his obedience to Kurt and he couldn't drop to the floor fast enough.

And then he was forgotten.

"Santana Lopez," his father said and turned his attention to the Dom. "I trusted you. I brought you into this family and I trusted you and I entrusted my son to you and this is what you allow to happen? You allow my son to be charmed by a Gray? To turn to a man? You allow him to be unfaithful to you? You allow him to lie to his parents, to disgrace and disrespect you and this family by fucking this fag-"

"Mr. Anderson," Santana yelled over him. When silence filled the room, she continued. "What I allowed, is for your son to be honest with himself, to love himself and respect himself. I put his needs above mine and I sure as hell put them above yours. That is what you gave him to me to do. That is what I swore in a ceremony of your design to do. And that is what I will continue to do for the rest of my life as long as he will have me and I don't give a flying fuck if you agree with that or not."

Blaine lifted his eyes from the floor. He would have thought his father would be furious. But it was almost as if he had expected that much and his plans were only now starting. The man reached into the pocket of his jacket and pulled something out. A small piece of paper. He held it in his hand. Ran it through his fingers as if flattening it. He placed it on the table. And he looked up at Kurt.

"Mr. Hummel," Mr. Anderson said, acknowledging Kurt for the first time with a sickeningly sweet smile. Kurt didn't say a word. He didn't make a move. Mr. Anderson raised a brow. "That is for you," he said as if surprised Kurt hadn't realized it in the first place. "Go ahead. Take it."

Blaine looked to Kurt as he stepped forward and took the paper. Kurt took one look at it, and looked back at Blaine. His face was unreadable.

"That's right Mr. Hummel. Five hundred thousand dollars. It's a sizeable sum to anyone I'm sure, but to you…well, Grays aren't known to have too much earning potential." Blaine's heart clenched in his chest. Kurt wouldn't. But he could. "It's all yours Mr. Hummel. All you have to do is walk out of here. Walk away from Blaine and this silly little affair and you never have to worry about anything again. You've had your fun, but now you can have even more…with somebody else's sub."

Blaine held his breath, but he shouldn't have. Without a second thought Kurt ripped the check up into tiny little pieces and let them sprinkle to the floor. "Blaine is priceless," was all he said in response.

Blaine let out a breath but his father's offers of money weren't done. The next check was offered to Santana. "Think about it Santana. You walk out of this room with him and this is the amount of money you lose. Blaine's dowry. Gone. But release him? Sign his contract over to Sugar Motta? And you and your little girlfriend have enough to live on for a long time," he told her. "I bet Sugar would even sweeten the deal," he smirked at his pun, but then all of his humor disappeared and he walked toward the Dom and stood face to face with her. "You have betrayed this family. You have betrayed your family. You have lied and cheated and stolen from us and here I am offering you a sizeable sum to back away and leave Blaine where he belongs."

"You would punish him," Santana said, and it wasn't a question, but Mr. Anderson answered it anyway.

"Yes I would."

"For loving the man that he loves," Santana said.

"For forgetting who he is."

Santana took the check from Mr. Anderson and stepped back. Blaine watched her, heart pounding, disbelieving. She looked down at him. Her eyes were dark, swirling with domination. "Blaine knows exactly who he is, Mr. Anderson. He is my submissive. And he is right where he belongs." She ripped the check up and threw it back at Blaine's father. "Stand up Blaine," she ordered, placing a hand on his shoulder. "We're leaving."

Blaine stood up but he didn't turn to leave. Not without having his say. "Where's my check Dad?" he yelled. "Where's the moment where you actually ask me what I want? Or have you never cared? Have I only ever been a pawn to you? I gave you everything Dad," he cried. "I gave you my love and respect and my trust, god, I even gave you my truth. Where the f-," he stopped himself just in time and looked to the floor before glancing over at Kurt. He had no doubt that language would earn him a count of one and more. The arch of Kurt's eyebrow told him that. But the proud gleam in Kurt's eye and a slight shake of Kurt's head allowed Blaine a breath. The near slip wouldn't count. But the pause had broken Blaine's momentum and when he turned back, there was nothing but sadness left in his eyes. "Where is my check Dad?"

"With Sugar," Mr. Anderson answered calmly as if his outburst had never occurred. "Your dowry is with Sugar as is every other privilege being an Anderson affords you. And if you want to keep it, there is only one way. Dissolve your claim, come home to your family, take your punishment, and live happily ever after."

For the first time since he'd entered the room, Blaine looked to his mother. Forgotten in the corner by the window, she'd been watching the entire exchange. And she gently shook her head at her son. "Go," she mouthed.

Despite the pain in his heart, Blaine couldn't help but smile when he looked his father in the eye. "I am with my family," he said, grasping hold of Kurt and Santana's hands. "And this is my happily ever after."

They went back to the loft. Blaine was ordered to the corner, his back turned to Kurt and Santana. It surprised them all how much Kurt liked that position, but he couldn't deny it and Blaine would be the last one to argue with him. His heart raced with anticipation. He was already sweating. This wasn't punishment. This was reward.

Kurt stepped up behind him, grasping him tightly around the chest, pulling him tight. "Are you sure you still want that spanking?" he whispered in Blaine's ear. "You've earned it in more ways than one."

Blaine didn't need to be asked again. "God, yes sir, please, I'd do anything."

Kurt said nothing. Instead he unbuckled Blaine's belt, unzipped his slacks and let them puddle to floor. Handing Santana the belt, he came around to face Blaine. "Let me in sweetheart," Kurt said and Blaine took a step back.

Kurt took up more room than Brittany had that day that felt like years ago. He was taller by only two inches but he was broader, which meant that Blaine had to lean over far more with hands finding purchase against brick instead of plaster. His ass wouldn't be the only part of him hurting when this was done.

"This is all you sweetheart," Kurt said beneath him, as he slipped Blaine out of his boxers, leaving him still covered for Santana. "Santana will stop when you come, but it's your reward. You may come whenever you want or just call yellow for her to stop. Are we green?"

"So green, thank you sir," Blaine whispered and then he felt himself taken into the heat of Kurt's mouth.

The belt fell across his ass, stinging but not nearly as painful as it was when Santana meant it. He'd never received a spanking that wasn't meant as punishment and that part of it felt weird but it was soon forgotten in the pleasure.

And Blaine wasn't sure that he would ever want to come.

Nestled between Santana's dominance and Kurt's love, Blaine's submission hovered easily on the edge. He could lose himself entirely, not having to worry about falling too far or not enough. Not having to put any of his own effort into it. Which left him in a haze of subspace where he felt absolutely nothing but the leather painting painfully perfect stripes across his ass as Kurt's tongue worked exquisite magic around his cock. The feeling was absolute heaven, the burn deepening from skin to muscle to deep within his soul, cleansing him of every worry and fear he'd had, every doubt, every second of mistrust. Everything he had ever done wrong in his life disappeared with each increasingly raw lash of the belt and even if he was bleeding he didn't care because Kurt was there to make everything right. His hardness throbbed between Kurt's swollen lips, begging for release and yet begging to be denied, because in the denial was submission and in his submission was his greatest pleasure. The heat of Kurt's mouth mixed with the heat of the lash and in it his submission burned hotter than it ever had before. He opened his eyes and looked down at Kurt, more beautiful even than he had allowed himself to imagine so long ago. His emotions flooded him. His love overwhelmed him and tears started streaming down his face. He buried his face in his arm as his body racked with sobs but only this time they were tears of joy and relief and an unbelievable happiness and freedom he hadn't ever truly believed was possible. And he suddenly realized he needed more, he needed Kurt's hands and his arms and his body around him, holding him, pressing on his skin and he let the steady flame in his belly grow until it burned hot, hot enough to ignite and with swears muffled in the crook of his arm, he came in Kurt's mouth; shuddering, waves of pleasure pulsing. Kurt took it all, grasping him around the waist and holding him tightly before he lost his balance, swallowing around him until Blaine was completely spent.

Kurt stood up slowly and let Blaine fall lax into his arms. Blaine felt a distant kiss on his head from behind.

"Goodnight sweet prince," Santana whispered.

Blaine couldn't answer, but Kurt smiled over Blaine's shoulder. "Good night Santana," he said for the both of them and as soon as the door was shut, Kurt led Blaine to the bedroom and down to lie on his stomach on the bed.

"How do you feel?" Kurt asked.

"Incredible," Blaine muttered, floating somewhere, he didn't even know where, as if he was present but not, but he didn't care because wherever or whatever he was he was safe.

"I'm not done with you," Kurt said, hooking his fingers in Blaine's shorts. "If that's okay with you."

"That is more than okay with me," Blaine agreed. "I am yours to do with as you wish."

Blaine felt his underwear removed and Kurt climbed atop his legs. And then he felt it. Kurt's hands on his enflamed skin, and the fire in his belly sparked again. "Oh god," he breathed.

Kurt was silent. His eyes were shut tight, had been since he'd removed Blaine's underwear and placed his hands on Blaine's ass, knowing that if he looked first he wouldn't be able to do this. Blaine's words gave him courage though and he opened his eyes. The skin beneath him was pink, like a rosy deep blush of embarrassment or humiliation, and it made his belly flutter in ways he hadn't anticipated. He touched, light at first, tracing the darker stripes that laced Blaine's skin, none deep enough to bleed but each one clearly sharp enough to hurt on its own. Blaine's flesh was hot to the touch, like fire, and though it made Kurt wince it made Blaine moan with pleasure and that encouraged him. He pressed his thumbs in gently, a light massage to begin, but when Blaine's hips moved in need beneath him, he deepened it.

"Oh Fffff," Blaine shouted into the pillow.

Kurt couldn't help but laugh. "Swear all you want Blaine, this is reward, remember?"

"Holy fucking fuck Kurt," Blaine let go immediately and Kurt laughed even harder. "Stop laughing," Blaine whined. "You have no idea how long I have wanted you to do this."

"I've given you plenty of massages," Kurt quipped innocently, adding his palms to the compression.

"Ahhh, holy shit," he yelled, the pain sending waves of pleasure through him, and he breathed, in and out, staving off his orgasm that was far too quickly begging for a second release beneath him. "You know what I meant," Blaine finally said when he was under control again. "I've wanted to know how this would feel for so long."

"So?" Kurt asked. "How does it feel?"

"Fucking incredible," Blaine answered.

Kurt grew even more emboldened and he started using his whole hand, gripping Blaine's skin beneath his fingers, leaning into the touch and letting his weight slowly sink into the muscles.

"Jesus fucking Christ Kurt, I'm gonna come just from that," Blaine warned.

Kurt stole his hands away immediately. "No you're not," Kurt ordered sharply.

Blaine's cock jumped at the order. "Or that," he groaned and Kurt's laughter was back, like evil music to his ears. Blaine felt Kurt's weight shift above him briefly and his hands disappeared for a moment before they returned, this time cool to the touch covered in soothing lotion. "Oh, god Kurt, I love you so much," he muttered.

"How much?" Kurt teased.

"More than anything in the world. You could do anything to me right now and I would say thank you and ask for more."

"Can I fuck you?" Kurt asked. "Can I slam myself into your aching ass?"

Blaine could say nothing more than "falling" and Kurt's laughter was the last thing he heard before the blackness took him. Blaine wasn't sure how long Kurt let him stay there, but it felt like only seconds until Kurt's love was wrapped around him and latched onto him, and a finger was pressing inside of him.

"Welcome back sweetheart," Kurt said lightly and kissed him on the shoulder.

"It's better here," Blaine muttered and he was rewarded with another finger and then another.

"Are you ready?" Kurt asked. "This is probably going to hurt."

"I hope it does," Blaine said, gripping his pillow in preparation. "Make it hurt sir."

Kurt said nothing, but he crawled back between Blaine's legs, wrapped his arm beneath Blaine's hips to lift him up and unceremoniously pressed himself inside. Blaine groaned but Kurt gave him no time to adjust, instead lowering him to the bed so he could lean across Blaine's back. "Here we go," he said, and his assault began.

Kurt was anything but gentle, letting his stifled anger at Blaine's father fuel him. He pounded in and out of Blaine as hard as he could all the while using the lotion he'd layered on Blaine's skin to let his pelvis continue his painful massage of Blaine's abused skin. Every time Blaine thought sex with Kurt couldn't get any better his Dom, his Dom, showed him new and beautiful sides to them both and he couldn't wait to see where they would go from here.

"Come for me," Kurt said, too soon but Blaine obeyed, and together they let go, of the secrets and the lies, the fears and regrets. They let go of everything and anyone that would keep them apart, because no one else mattered. Together, it was beautiful. Together it was easy.

"I love you," Blaine whispered, wrapped up safely in Kurt's arms.

"Forever and ever," Kurt answered.


Like the ocean pulls the tide in just to hold it close
Like the rain pour in a rainstorm makes the flowers grow
You're the reason I believe in something I don't know
You make it so, you make it so, you make it so easy
This letting go is so beautiful
Cause you make it so easy to fall so hard

You're the reason I believe in something I don't know

Chapter Text

Another year you made a promise
Another chance to turn it all around
And do not save this for tomorrow
Embrace the past and you can live for now

And I will give the world to you

~ A Great Big World

April 2014

The airplanes roared overhead, the hustle and bustle of the crowds in the ticket lines and security were like a quiet cacophony in the background, and Blaine, Kurt, Rachel, Jesse, Brittany and Santana stood at LaGuardia airport, bags in hand, at the edge of the gates.

Rachel fussed at Jesse's lapels. "You behave yourself and if you so much as step out of line I give Santana full permission to skin you in front of the entire airport," she told him.

"Yes Ma'am," Jesse answered with a kiss.

Blaine laughed and looked at his Dom. He couldn't quite tell if she was intrigued or horrified by the suggestion.

"Don't laugh, you would love it if I made the same declaration," Kurt said, grabbing his hand. The rush of passengers disappeared from Blaine's sight. The only thing he saw, the only one that existed for him, was Kurt.

"Yes sir, I would," Blaine shuddered but he was grounded by the warm press of Kurt's lips against his.

"I wish you could come with us," Kurt said sadly.

Blaine lowered his eyes. If they'd been claimed he could have gone to D.C. with Kurt and Rachel. But as they were, just like Jesse, he would have to wait back in Ohio for Kurt to return with his family. He didn't want Kurt to feel bad about it though. "This is for you and Rachel and your Dad and Carole. You're going to stand before the president of the United States and he's going to honor Finn like he deserves. He's going to honor a mission to rescue people born Gray, like it deserves. It's an amazing moment and I will be waiting for you so I can hear all about it."

Kurt nodded and turned to Santana and Brittany. "You'll take care of him while I'm gone?"

"It's only a few days," Santana said, rolling her eyes. "I think we'll manage."

But they all knew that it might not be that easy. Santana's parents were expecting them. They just had no idea what to expect from Santana's parents.

"We need to go," Brittany said.

They all hugged goodbye and promised to call as soon they both landed. Rachel and Kurt headed left for their flight to Washington. Jesse headed right for the plane to Columbus, Santana, Brittany, and Blaine, following close behind.

Jesse looked over his shoulder, eyeing Santana. "Feel free to give it a smack," he smirked, wiggling his ass just a little. "I know you want to."

Santana sighed. Two subs were hard enough. Three might drive her over the edge.


The air may have been thinner flying but it wasn't until they were on the ground that Blaine found it hard to breathe. They walked Jesse out to his parents' car. Blaine would see him back in Lima when Rachel and the Hummels returned. Then they found the black Cadillac with the driver holding the "Lopez" placard.

"At least we get to go to our doom in style," Blaine mused.

Neither Santana nor Brittany said anything because there wasn't anything to say. When Santana had told her parents they were coming to Ohio and they could see them or not, her mother had said she would send a car. It wasn't an offer, it was a demand. There had been no other conversation. In fact there had been no conversation since Blaine's parents had disowned him. The three of them had no idea what they were walking into.

Blaine's heart started pounding more the closer they got to Westerville. His feelings he couldn't put into words but what he did know was that this was far more nerve-wracking than standing before his own father had been. At least then he'd known what to expect. As they turned the corner toward the street where he and Santana grew up, his head started spinning. His pulse raced and he was having trouble breathing and as soon as he thought he might fall to the depths, Santana latched on. Her dominance pulled him out of his spiral and she pulled him into her arms.

"Whatever happens it will be okay," Santana whispered. "I am here. Kurt is waiting for you. Nothing that happens today changes that. Okay?"

Blaine nodded against her shoulder. But there was something in him that knew it wasn't true. Something that told him that if Santana's parents turned them away nothing would ever be the same for him again.

The driver pulled up to the house and came around to open the door. Blaine walked out on unsteady legs, his hand tight in Santana's, her dominance still firmly latched on. They walked up to the door as Blaine had done hundreds of times in his youth. It had only felt like this once before. That had been the first time he'd ever knelt for Santana and begged her forgiveness.

At the sound of the bell, Santana's mother opened the door. She had always been imposing but Blaine had forgotten how hard her eyes could be. How strong her dominance was. Every inch of him was desperate to kneel.

"Come in," Maribel said and Blaine lowered his eyes to the red runner carpet in the front hallway as he followed Santana inside. They'd left their bags in the car. Someone would get them. If they were welcomed to stay.

"It's good to see you mom," Santana said softly but her mother didn't say a word. She simply turned and led them to the parlor just off the front hallway. After walking inside, Maribel closed the door behind her. The closed double doors on the side wall led to the interior of the home. Santana's father knelt beside a Victorian chair that sat opposite a matching loveseat. He didn't even look up when his Dom sat beside him. Santana perched carefully on the edge of the sofa.

Without a word, Blaine and Brittany knelt on either side of their Dom, heads bowed, palms down on their thighs, perfectly poised bookends in front of Santana's parents. Except Blaine didn't feel perfectly poised. He felt nauseous, his fear far greater than it had been at his father's feet. His heart raced and his hands quivered and his head was fuzzy with emotions swirling too quickly to tease one apart from the other or understand exactly what they meant. It was all he could do not to cry, but he had to be the perfect sub.

"Thank you for seeing us Mother," Santana started cautiously. "It means a lot to me. To Blaine and Brittany and me."

"Does it?" her always stern voice rang out.

Blaine trembled. If Santana hadn't had a hold on him he would have fallen. He heard Santana and his mother talking above him, their voices rising ever louder, but it felt like he was drowning below water while they were both above. Images swept through his mind; dinners and parties and sleepovers in this home where he had never felt unsafe or unwanted. But for the first time, he felt both and even Santana's dominance wasn't strong enough. He closed his eyes, letting himself go, letting himself fall to the only place he knew he'd be safe without Kurt.

And then he was caught. But it wasn't by his Dom.

"Santana," he heard Mrs. Lopez say. "Would you please leave Blaine and I alone?"

Blaine's eyes flicked up for just one second and swimming before his clouded gaze he could see Santana looking between him and her mom. But Maribel Lopez was rarely, if ever, denied her wishes. Santana placed a hand on his cheek that was supposed to be calming, then stood. Brittany and Mr. Lopez followed quietly behind as she left the room, closing the parlor's double doors behind her.

And then he and Mrs. Lopez were alone, the only sound the ticking of the grandfather clock that had been in the family for generations.

The Dom got up from where she sat and took Santana's place, gracefully sitting beside him.

"Look at me," she ordered and it took all of his submission to obey, but when he did he found her eyes surprisingly warm and gentle. "Do you want to tell me what's going on?"

The tears came then, the ones he had held in the whole trip there, the ones he hadn't even allowed himself to truly think upon until they drove up to the home he'd walked to nearly every single day for seven years of his life.

"I just…" he started and his eyes fell once again, this time out of shame rather than respect. He blinked, teardrops trailing down his cheeks. "I'm so sorry. It's not just Santana that's supposed to protect me. It's my job to protect her and I couldn't do that, not even from my own father. I completely failed her as a sub and I am nothing but a disappointment." Blaine quickly wiped his cheeks dry and returned his hands where they belonged, but Mrs. Lopez wasn't caring for position. "And now we've lost everything and I owed her so much more than that and now you-"

"Blaine," she interrupted. Her voice held no anger or rebuke and he looked back up. "Do you remember when you were twelve? You came over here looking for Santana but she was at dance class. You told me you'd gotten into a fight with your mother and you were so upset because when your father got home he was going to punish you for being a disappointment. Do you remember what I told you?"

Blaine nodded. It was something he would never forget, though he was surprised that she remembered. "You said that what I did was disappointing. But that I was not a disappointment. No matter what my father said."

"I have known for a long time now, Santana's preferences." Blaine's eyes went wide as his head snapped back up, but she continued. "But she had agreed to be your Dominant and with that agreement she had taken on the responsibility of meeting your needs. The anger and frustration I've had? I thought she was neglecting you. I didn't know."

Blaine swallowed, his heart in his throat. "And now that you do?" he asked weakly.

"I understand the lies she told to your parents to protect you," she said. "I won't pretend I'm not disappointed that neither of you felt you could be honest with us. But you are not a disappointment Blaine. Not to me or Mr. Lopez. And most definitely not to Santana. No matter what your father says." Mrs. Lopez smiled and looked at him with little less than a mother's love. "You are not my son nor my sub and so I have no right to comment on certain other choices you've made. It's my daughter's responsibility, not mine, to see that you are safe in that. But you have always been my daughter's beautiful and perfect sub. Your father didn't just give you to her. She accepted you. And with that, we accepted you. You have been family since you were fourteen years old, you are still family and you will always be welcome in this home. Do you understand?"

"Yes Ma'am," Blaine whispered and when she took him in her arms, his tears of fear turned to relief. When he had gotten it all out, she sat him back on his heels and smiled at him. "Now. Tell me about this Brittany," she said. "Am I going to like her? Is she as good a sub as you?"

Blaine smiled and chuckled to himself. "She's different," he admitted. "But yes. I think that you will like her. I think that you will grow to love her."


"Rachel Berry. Accepting on behalf of her submissive, Specialist Finn Hudson."

Rachel squeezed Carole's hand before she took a steadying breath and made her way onto the stage. The President took her hand, pressed his cheeks to hers with a kiss in greeting, and walked her center stage to stand on his right. The officer with the medal in hand stood to his left, and together they listened to the military aide.

"The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Specialist Finn Hudson, United States Army.

Specialist Hudson distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio telephone operator with 3rd Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 1st Battalion, 30th Regiment during combat and rescue operations against an armed enemy in the Tozeur Province of Tunisia on April 11, 2013."

Rachel listened as the military aide retold Finn's story, from the moment they stepped foot inside the Gray camp to the moment he succumbed to his wounds. It had been a long time since she'd cried for Finn, but she couldn't stop the tears as she listened, as she watched Carole, Burt and Kurt, as everything in her realized this was her final letting go. The President put his arm around her, squeezed her tight and strong, and whispered in her ear, "You should be very proud." And she was. She had never been prouder in her life.

"Specialist Finn Hudson's extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army."

Rachel was handed the framed medal. On a blue ribbon, hanging from a center display of 13 stars, was the medal, a gold five pointed star, surrounded by a green laurel wreath and suspended from a gold bar inscribed VALOR, surmounted by an eagle. She wiped a tear, hugged the President once more and returned to her seat. She handed the ribbon to Carole. She was the one who deserved it. She was the one Finn had fought for, her and Kurt. Kurt took Rachel's hand and held it tight and she rested her head on his shoulder.

"You know how proud Finn would have been of you," she said softly as the crowd began to disperse for refreshments. "Letting go of your fear. Letting love in. Not letting the bullies take that from you."

"What about you Rachel?" he asked with real curiosity. "You didn't believe in me and Blaine. Are you proud of me?"

She sat up and she looked at him, tears still glistening in both of their eyes. "I am in awe of you. Every single day. And not just with Blaine, but with the work you've done. With the life you're making for yourself. You defy all the odds Kurt."

Kurt smiled softly and he lowered his eyes briefly before looking back at her. "Finn would be proud of you too."


Woodlawn Cemetery in Lima was beautiful. Everywhere they looked was greenery, water and waterfalls around beautiful stone structures. Maples and cherry blossoms and flowers bloomed everywhere amongst the greenest of grass. They did not walk hand in hand. Jesse's were tucked away in his pockets. Rachel's were holding four strong stones in her hands. But there was no distance between them and there was no strain. Those days were over now.

The birds were singing, the breeze was warm and the sun shined down on them as if the heavens approved of their visit. It made Jesse smile, and remember.

"When I was a little boy, we came to this cemetery for my great Aunt's funeral," he said softly as they walked. "I didn't really know her. I was five or so and dressed up in this little black suit, crisp white shirt and a clip on tie. I didn't care what was going on at the service. I was so much more interested in all the stones with names written all over them. My mom caught up with me through the aisles," he told Rachel, who was smiling fondly at him. "Why do all these rocks have people's names on them? I asked her. So people can know their name after their gone, she said. I put my hands on my hips and stared up at her, so confused. What does it matter after they're gone? I want everyone to know my name while I'm here."

Rachel chuckled. "And at a funeral, a star was born," she said.

Jesse took her hand, holding the stones between them and squeezed. "I was just a little boy then. I know better now. It's just as important for people to know your name after you're gone. That's how you continue to live on."


"When was the last time you were back?" Blaine asked walking with Kurt.

Kurt's mother's grave was on the opposite side of the cemetery as Finn's. Kurt hadn't even known if he really wanted to visit that day, but Blaine had asked while they were there and he knew that Jesse and Rachel needed their privacy. And maybe it was time to introduce Blaine and his mother. "I came to visit her when we buried Finn. But before that, not as often as I'd used to." He linked arms with Blaine. "Things were screwed up for me in high school. And a part of me knew that having her around would have made it all make sense. And I guess I was kind of mad at her for leaving and not being there when I needed her most." He looked over to Blaine and smirked. "I was a very selfish teenager."

"You were a very confused teenager with no one you could really talk to about things," Blaine reasoned. "Until Finn and Carole came along."

Kurt turned and sat down on one of the rocks, staring out into the sea of stones. Blaine took a seat next to him. "After I got over being in love with him, I talked to Finn about everything. Late at night, up in his room, we'd play video games and he'd try to explain to me what being a sub was. I was a terrible student, clearly. He did his best to get me through everything with Dave after I completely messed that up. He did his best to protect me in school when every Dom just wanted to punish me for what had happened." Kurt blushed slightly. "When I was doing whatever you call what I was doing with Chandler sometimes he'd tell me what to text." He shook his head, thinking back on how stupid he had been.

"What about Carole?" Blaine asked. "It must have been nice to finally have someone like you around."

"She answered a lot of my questions, but I was trying so hard not to believe that what happened to her could happen to me. Which I think put up a wall between us that didn't need to be there. I loved her and she was trying so hard to get me to see what was right under my nose, but I just wanted to close my eyes to it all."

"Because you've always been drawn to subs," Blaine said softly.

Kurt nodded and looked out toward where he knew his mother's grave was. He squinted into the sun. After what his father had told him about when he was little, it started to all make sense. "I think I've always just had this need to protect them. The way I couldn't protect my Mom. I didn't understand then what I understand now." Kurt looked over at Blaine; strong, self-reliant, independent, submissive Blaine. "You don't want my protection."

Blaine took his hand. "I want your protection Kurt," he said. "Just not from myself. Or from you. I trust us implicitly."


"Finn always trusted you," Jesse said, as Rachel cleared away the weeds and old flowers from Finn's grave. "I never trusted anyone but myself."

"That's why you weren't ready," she said. She took from where she'd laid them on the ground the four stones she'd carried with her. She placed them, one at a time, gently on his gravestone, and with each one she spoke. "Pebble. Tz'ror. Bond. May G-d bind his soul in the bond of everlasting life." She traced his name, then stood up. "He trusted me enough for that. To be bound to me forever."

Jesse knelt at the grave and added his own stones. Then he knelt for her and took her hand. She looked at him. He feared what he would see but her eyes were open, welcoming him in if he were truly ready. "When I was young, I was selfish. I know that now. All I wanted was his place in your heart. But I didn't understand then what I do now. That your heart and his have always been bound together. Soulmates." He turned back to the grave on which he knelt, and looked to the name for whom he too would be forever bound. If she let him. "I don't want his place in your heart anymore. I just want to give you all of mine, and hope you can find a little corner of yours for safe keeping."

Rachel smiled and bit her lip mischievously, glancing up at the sky. "I don't know Finn. Think we can find a little room for Jesse?"

Jesse looked down at Finn's grave, knowing he was promising him as much as her. "I swear Finn, I will love her and protect her and submit to her with every breath I take. I can't replace you. But I will do my best to be everything she needs."


Kurt was always the top hat. And Blaine was always the puppy.

Which left the car for Burt, the iron for Carole, the thimble for Rachel and the battleship for Jesse.

Kurt was fairly certain this was going to be a bad idea. But he set up the Monopoly board on the kitchen table anyway while Blaine and Jesse, whispering between themselves, finished cleaning up dinner.

"I always win this game," Rachel said as she rolled the dice on her first turn. "You guys should all just give up now."

"Not a chance Berry," Kurt retorted. "And no quitting either. We play until the bitter end."

And so it went. Carole was a stickler for a friendly game and as competitive as Burt could be, he agreed. Blaine kept flashing Kurt furtive glances, and he would smile reassuringly back.

Until Baltic Avenue went up for auction because Burt didn't have enough money and Blaine and Jesse ended up in a bidding war.

"There's not a chance you're getting this property Anderson," Jesse said, eyeing him in challenge. "200 bucks."

"Come on Jesse, what the fuck, $250!"

Kurt's brow raised. And he caught Blaine's eye.

"Don't care," Jesse continued with a smirk. "$300."

"It's my fucking monopoly Jesse," Blaine continued, ignoring Kurt. "Don't be a little shit."

Kurt knew his father's eyes were on him and Rachel was glancing between the subs and Kurt. Hers was walking the line but not really doing anything wrong. His on the other hand…

"Don't be a sore loser Blainey," Jesse said with condescension dripping. "Or your pride isn't going to be the only thing sore."

"Fuck you!" Blaine yelled and Kurt had had enough.

He stood up, Blaine's gaze swinging to his and Kurt didn't like what he saw at all. "Would you all excuse us please," Kurt said politely to everyone then glared at Blaine, frustration painting his features. "Blaine. Living Room. Now."

Blaine bowed his head as low as he could at the kitchen table. "Yes sir," he said softly and he got up and followed Kurt out.

When Kurt was sure they were alone and wouldn't be eavesdropped on, he spun on Blaine. "Do you want to explain to me what was going on in there?" he asked angrily.

Blaine's eyes remained focused on the floor, his hands folded neatly in front of him, the picture of the perfect sub. "I'm sorry sir-"

"No you're not," Kurt said sharply and Blaine's eyes snapped up. "And I won't have you lying on top of manipulating me. That's what you were doing? Right? Trying to manipulate me into dominating you?"

This time Blaine's shame was real and his cheeks flushed hot. "Yes sir," he admitted.

"For the love of god Blaine, why?"

"I just wanted your Dad and Carole to see how good a Dom you are to me," Blaine confessed, wringing his hands subconsciously. "So they didn't worry anymore. And because you're amazing Kurt and I wanted to show you off."

Kurt let out a breath. He closed the gap between him and his boyfriend, taking his hand. "I appreciate the sentiment Blaine, really I do. But I don't need you being rude and manipulative to show them anything. Both of those things are very much against our rules. As is lying," he added with a raised brow.

"Yes sir," Blaine said.

Kurt frowned. This wasn't exactly how he had pictured their evening going, but rules were rules. "You are denied submission. The rest of the night. Lying was real and you'll be punished for it in the morning." Blaine just nodded but Kurt couldn't help but see the swell of Blaine's pants. With a glance to the kitchen he took one step closer and discretely reached over, brushing a thumb over Blaine's sudden hardness. Blaine sucked in a breath. "This is not denying your submission," Kurt admonished, trailing his index finger along the length. "This is clinging to it."

"I'm sorry sir," Blaine whispered, breathless, then shook his head. "I mean Kurt."

Kurt dropped his hand and Blaine met his eyes. "I have to go back to explain to my father and Rachel the consequences of your actions so they don't think you're being disrespectful when you don't submit. You are to go upstairs to our room and take care of that," his eyes flicked to Blaine's erection, "before I get up there."

"Before you…how long will you be?" Blaine asked, eyes wide.

"Five minutes at the most," Kurt said and then he smiled wickedly. "When, where and how Blaine," he reminded him. "If I come up and you aren't done, every minute more it takes you will be a day denied." Blaine said nothing, but he licked his lips against the dryness. Kurt raised a brow. "I suggest you go as quickly as you can," he said and Blaine didn't even say a word before he ran up the stairs.

Kurt took a minute to calm himself before going back to the kitchen. Everyone looked up at him, Rachel and Jesse with knowing looks. Carole's brow was furrowed with worry. His father simply watched him, intrigued. "Excuse me everyone. Blaine is denied his submission for the rest of the evening," he said with a firmness that offered no room for questioning. "I apologize for his behavior and I'm sorry Dad and Rachel, but that means that he may not call you Sir or Ma'am and he may not submit to you or act with any submission in any way until morning. Now I need to go upstairs to see if he is ready to come down and join us again without the attitude."

With his father gaping after him he turned to head upstairs, hearing whispers of Jesse and Rachel explaining things to Burt and Carole as he left. Kurt took the stairs two by two, not wasting any time. He turned the knob to his bedroom door quietly so as not to disturb and he took in a breath from the scene in front of him. Blaine was standing in the corner, pants down around his knees. His forehead rested on the curve of his elbow against the wall and he grasped his cock, hard and aching, in his furiously working fist. Kurt knew Blaine didn't hear him above his own grunts and groans of effort and arousal and the fantasy in his own mind, so he just glanced at the clock and watched. It was just over a minute before Blaine came hard over his fist, and Kurt had a choice. He could give Blaine the day of denial he had rightfully earned or he could let it go. Kurt closed the door.

"That's a good boy," Kurt said but Blaine didn't budge, still panting in the corner. Kurt walked up behind him and rubbed his back. "I have to admit, I'm impressed."

Blaine though was quiet, his hand unmoved from around his cock. His forehead still rested on his arm. When he spoke, his voice was quiet with longing, and maybe a hint of regret. "What would it take for you to spank me?" he asked.

Kurt's hand fell away and he took a step back. He knew where the question came from. But his chest tightened anyway.

"I don't know that either one of us wants to learn the answer to that."


Blaine had gone to bed early, sleeping away the minutes until he would be allowed submission and punishment. Carole was in the kitchen with Rachel and Jesse, their soft voices carrying only slightly into the living room where Kurt sat under the hard gaze of his father.

"Dad, please don't look at me like that," Kurt said tiredly.

"You've changed kid," Burt said and Kurt couldn't tell if his dad thought that was good or bad. "You're not the same guy who left here four months ago."

"I love him Dad," Kurt said as if that explained everything. And to Kurt it did. "I love him and I'd do anything for him."

"Even become someone you're not?" Burt asked. Kurt didn't respond. "What happened to the kid who was biting my head off because you didn't want to use your power and strength and love against another person?"

Kurt's eyes flashed. "I would never use my love against him. Never."

Burt nodded, but it didn't answer his question. "And your power? Denying his submission Kurt? That's power."

Kurt lowered his eyes. It had taken him a long time to figure this out, to reconcile it himself, but he was finally at a place where he understood. "My love and my strength belong to me and I won't use them against him. But my power, it's never been mine. I never asked for it. He gives it to me, freely." He looked at his father and hoped it made as much sense to the Dom as it had started making to him. "Denying him is power," he acquiesced. "But it's not against him Dad. It's for him. It's what he needs. It's what he wants."

Burt's face softened and he relaxed into his chair, tension receding. "Are you sure you're not a Dom?" he asked with a smirk.

Kurt laughed and nodded. "Yes dad, I'm sure. It may be what he needs, but it's never been something that I need."

"There's one thing I'm curious about, if you don't mind me asking." Kurt arched a brow. "How do you keep him from falling? I thought you couldn't even feel his submission."

"I can't," Kurt said. "Not really, not like you guys can. But I feel something. We have to be close and I have to be paying attention, but it's like…well it's like this warmth that washes over me. Or a chill that makes me shiver. I didn't notice it at all until Jesse kind of pointed it out, but now it's becoming hard to miss."

"And catching him?"

Kurt shrugged. "I don't know. I can't really explain it, not even to him, but it's like…in those moments my love for him, it just becomes so overwhelming, my heart becomes so full that it actually feels like it flows out of me and wraps around him, like an embrace. But not with my arms, with my heart."

"That's really beautiful Kurt," Burt said. "He's a good man son," Burt said, standing up. "Your mom would have loved him."

Kurt smiled sadly. "Thanks." Burt went to go upstairs, but there had been a nagging question in the back of Kurt's mind all day and he needed to ask while he still had the nerve. "Dad? Do you still have a copy of your contract? With Mom?"

Burt turned and nodded. "Of course."

"I know it's private but, can I see it?"

As soon as Kurt had told him about Blaine, he'd known the question would come. "Sure."

Kurt followed his Dad up the stairs to his bedroom and sat on the bed. Burt went over to the top drawer of his dresser and pulled from beneath his clothing a leather bound document. He came to sit down next to Kurt, smiled, and without a word handed it over.

Kurt looked to his Dad, wanting to look and yet not because of everything it meant, every secret his father was trusting him with. But Burt nodded his encouragement and Kurt opened it delicately and began to read. Kurt assumed that much of it was a standard contract. The rules, soft limits, hard limits, which Kurt quickly passed over despite his somewhat morbid curiosity. And then he found what he'd been looking for. Discipline and Punishment. The words written by the Dom he loved and trusted most in the world. The one with whom he'd always known he was safe. His father had told him, but the shock of seeing the words right there, their methods listed out in black and white made it all very real in Kurt's head. Real and shocking.

"You really did hit her," Kurt muttered, and he was having a very hard time wrapping his head around it.

Burt placed a soft hand on his knee and Kurt looked up. "I punished her in the ways that she needed. And yes, sometimes, when nothing else made sense, that was what she needed."

Kurt forced himself to look back at the contract. "You have hard limits for that, but she doesn't. Nothing except that any discipline was not to take place in front of me."

"Which took creativity and planning. Which added to the suspense," Burt said, his eyes sparkling in remembrance. "I think she liked that."

"Did you?" Kurt asked. Burt knew that had his mother been alive, these questions would have come years ago and he knew Kurt needed answers. "I mean, you're a Dom. Did you like it? Doing that to her? Using your strength against her?"

"It was never against her. It was for her." Kurt looked away, his own words thrown back at him. He knew his father was right. He knew that Blaine was desperate for it. But Kurt had been hurt far too many times by the hands of Doms in his life. He didn't think he'd ever feel okay doing it. Burt sighed. "It would have never felt good to hurt her," he said. "But what you have to realize son is it doesn't hurt them in the way you're thinking, in the way that it hurt you, if you do it right. If you listen hard, with your heart and with your head. And it can feel amazing to give them what they need, even if you don't need it too."

Kurt shook his head. "I don't think I can," he said meekly. "I know how much Blaine wants it, but-"

"You're not his Dom Kurt, he has Santana for that," Burt said. "And even if you were you don't ever have to do anything you don't want to. But someday Kurt, if you decide that it's right, I firmly believe that you will know just what to do."

It was hard for Kurt to believe that that day would ever come. But it was nice to know his father believed in him if it did.


Blaine's music and Kurt's combat in the new play had been received with rave reviews, Blaine and Kurt had finished all their final papers, exams and performances, and there was only one thing left on campus to do before summer officially began.

And it broke Blaine's heart.

Hand in hand they walked to the Registrar's office. He browsed the stand of forms on the wall and pulled out the Complete Withdrawal form. His father had refused to pay the following semester. Blaine had gone over their finances with Kurt and Santana. There was no way he could afford NYADA on his own. As a sub without the co-signature of a parent or Dom, he couldn't get a student loan. Technically Santana could have signed, but her parents were extremely against the idea and though it wasn't their decision, in the end Blaine refused to go against their will.

So with his hand shaking and Kurt rubbing his back in soothing circles, he filled out the necessary paperwork and brought the form over to the registrar. She looked up at him.

"Can I help you?"

"Um, yes," he said, trying not to cry. "I need to withdraw from school."

He handed her the paper and she started typing. "Can I ask why?" she said. "You don't have to say, but they like us to check off a reason if a student is willing."

"Oh yeah, um. I just…I can't afford it anymore."

She hummed sadly, but didn't say anything. Kurt held his hand and squeezed it as she kept clicking through screens. Then she looked up at him. "Mr. Anderson, your tuition for next semester is already paid."

Blaine's brow scrunched in confusion. "That doesn't make any sense, my dad said he never sent in the check. Who paid it?"

"I can print the page out for you," she said and he heard the laser printer across the room going. She got up to get it for him.

"Maybe Santana's parents changed their mind and just paid for it themselves?" Kurt said.

But Blaine shook his head. "No, they wouldn't. They were very adamant that as much as they wanted to help me, it would ruin what little relationship they still had with my father and his business if they did. Besides, a sub's education is the responsibility of the sub's family."

The registrar came back over and handed Blaine the paper. "Here you go," she said.

Blaine looked at it, searching where it said that tuition had been paid in full and then his eyes scanned lower where it stated by whom. His mouth gaped. And he started to cry.

"Sweetheart, who is it?" he asked, but Blaine had his cell phone in hand and was walking out to the quiet hallway. Kurt followed and as soon as they were outside the office door, Blaine already had the phone to his ear.

"Coop," Blaine said, his voice all choked up.

"Hey Blaine, I'm on set," Cooper said, cheerful but clearly busy. "What's up, are you okay?"

"Coop," Blaine said, blinking the tears away and clearing his throat. "You…you paid my tuition."

There was quiet for a moment and Cooper's voice had tempered when he spoke again. "You're my brother Blaine. Nothing changes that. I'll make sure you're taken care of."

"Thank you," Blaine whispered, but he couldn't get anything else out.

"You don't ever lie to me again Blaine. Ever. I will fly over there and this time I promise I will put you over my knee myself no matter what Santana or Kurt say."

"No sir, never again." Cooper's tone sent shivers down his spine, but also spread warmth into his heart. "I love you Coop," Blaine said.

"I love you too Squirt," he said and Blaine hung up the phone.

He turned to Kurt, tears shining in both their eyes. "I can stay," Blaine whispered, and he fell into his boyfriend's arms. "I can stay."


Speak louder than the words before you
And give them meaning no one else has found
The role we play is so important
We are the voices of the underground
And I would give the world to you


Papers were everywhere. Blaine had them strewn all over the floor, music from every genre imaginable from disco to rap. The pile of musical theater was getting higher as he sorted through the boxes that had just arrived from his Craig's List purchase the week before. He'd realized as he moved into his second semester sophomore year that adding to his music collection was essential. Sorting through all these great pieces was incredible inspiration.

On his knees, his back to the door, he would pick up two pieces at a time, hold them together and see if they would work for a mashup. Sometimes he found brilliance. Sometimes he found complete discordance. And sometimes, he thought that if he gave it the time it needed and maybe added just a hint of a third piece, he could find something utterly new and magical.

"I think maybe you forgot this one," Kurt said, stepping up behind him.

"Oh, thanks." Blaine paid little mind as he turned, but as soon as he did, his breath was stolen. Kurt looked gorgeous, dressed sharp, staring down at him. His eyes were dark and swirling, hands on his hips holding the paper in his hand. He was all Dom. Part of Blaine's brain knew he should have been getting off of his knees and standing to meet Kurt properly. The other half recognized that Kurt had stepped so close as to not allow him the room to rise. And without thought Blaine immediately adjusted his position on his knees to something far more suitable. His eyes though, remained latched onto Kurt's.

Only once Blaine had settled did Kurt hold out the paper he was holding for Blaine's perusal. Reaching out, he'd expected what Kurt had implied, another piece of sheet music, maybe one that was special to Kurt given this unexpected ceremony. But when Blaine finally lowered his eyes to look at the paper, there were no musical notes. No staff or meter or rhythm. Just words.

"What's this?" Blaine whispered.

Kurt smiled at him with a confidence time had helped him find. "The first draft."

But Blaine still didn't understand and his face scrunched with confusion. "The first draft of what?"

"Our contract."

Blaine's eyes opened wide as he stared up at the man he loved. "What?"

"You've dreamed of a Golden Contract your entire life," Kurt said. "Just because I haven't and the world thinks we can't have one doesn't mean you shouldn't have one."

Blaine's heart raced. His mouth opened to speak but then closed again. He fumbled a few more times before shaking his head. "But Kurt. I don't understand. We can't-"

Kurt kept smiling down. "Just look at it."

Blaine was nothing if not obedient.

Legal Permanent Contract between Dominant Santana Lopez and submissive Blaine Anderson

Blaine knew his contract with Santana by heart, he'd read it over so many times before their claiming ceremony and then again when they'd refiled it in New York, just to make sure that every word was perfect to protect them. But what it had never done before was include Kurt or allow for their claim to become gold. Until now.

Santana Lopez retains ultimate responsibility as Legal Dominant to maintain the safety and security of her submissive, Blaine Anderson.

Santana agrees to allow Kurt Hummel to fulfill Blaine's need and desire for dominance at all times.

Blaine's breath hitched and he looked up at Kurt as if it couldn't be real.

"Keep reading sweetheart," Kurt ordered, coming around behind him to peer over Blaine's shoulder. Feeling Kurt's stare above him, Blaine did not hesitate to do as he was told.

Blaine will respect at all times that Kurt is not a Dominant and that any act of domination by Kurt is a choice and not a responsibility.

Kurt will respect at all times that Blaine is a submissive and he commits to the choice to fulfill Blaine's need and desire for domination whenever possible.

At any time, Kurt and/or Blaine may safeword into a transfer of power from Kurt to Santana. Santana will not interfere without a safeword unless she feels her submissive's life is in danger. In such emergencies, Santana may intervene to stabilize Blaine, but any further dominance by Santana or transfer of power from Kurt to Santana will not occur without a safeword from Kurt and/or Blaine.

It went on. Overall the contract looked exactly the same except Kurt's name replaced Santana's in many sections, and where it did not, it often sat beside. The rules that he and Kurt had devised the year before had been integrated in. There were areas, like discipline and punishment, which clearly still needed discussion.

And then, Blaine started to cry.

Sexual contact and/or control between Santana and her submissive Blaine is allowed for punishment or for play with the direct consent and participation of Kurt. Such contact or control will be at the request of Kurt and may be safeworded by either Santana or Blaine. Requests by Blaine for Santana's participation will be considered but may be denied.

At all times, sexual contact and/or control by Kurt toward Blaine for punishment or play is allowed unless safeworded.

"A golden contract," Blaine whispered. He felt Kurt's hands on his shoulders but he was frozen to the spot. Tears rolled down his cheeks and he put the papers aside so he didn't get them wet. He could read the rest later. He wasn't even sure he could see anything else on the page. "I don't know what to say."

"Well, I hope you'll just say yes," Kurt said behind him and Blaine turned, high on his knees, staring up at the man who in every way except in the eyes of the law would truly be his Dom. Kurt was smiling down at him. It was a nervous smile, as if somehow there was still a doubt in his mind that this might not be what Blaine wanted.

But it was everything Blaine could possibly want. "Yes Sir, god yes," he said, wrapping his arms around Kurt's waist and laying his head softly on Kurt's hip. And they could both feel the energy in the room shift. "Please," Blaine begged. He looked up at Kurt so submissively beneath his lashes. "Please let me thank you. Properly."

Kurt looked down at him. His beautiful Blaine, his beautiful sub, gazing upon him as if he would do anything in the world for him. And Kurt smiled, a smile full of dominance and love. "I would expect nothing less," he said.


Just like they had their first month in New York City, Blaine, Santana and Brittany went to the Office of the City clerk to refile their contract. Only this time, Kurt came along as well. Each of them were included in the contract, each of them had to sign and they were quiet on the way there. They all understood. They'd known it from the beginning. In gaining Kurt, Santana and Brittany were losing a part of Blaine that was important to them both.

Brittany signed first. Then Blaine. His eyes were full of tears, joyous tears, when Kurt signed and suddenly the promise of a future Blaine had come to believe he'd never have was moments away. He took Kurt's hand.

And Kurt held out the pen to Santana.

Her eyes glistened, wet with joy and grief tempered by the knowledge that she wasn't really losing him. But there was no denying that once she signed her name, she was giving away her unconditional right to dominate him. She was losing his unconditional submission.

But she still had Brittany's and Blaine had indeed helped her develop a flame to burn. And despite her own sense of loss she knew, as she had promised so long ago, that this would be one of the happiest days of her life. Because as she put pen to paper and signed her name, she was giving Blaine the most important thing he needed.

Blaine fell into Santana's arms, the gratitude in his heart far too big for words. He could feel Kurt's hands on his back, rubbing softly and he pulled away and let Kurt wrap his arms around him from behind. Brittany pulled out a box from the backpack she had brought and she handed it to Kurt.

Blaine's eyes opened wide and he turned to his boyfriend. Brittany clasped Santana's hand behind them and smiled with sweet excitement. Santana squeezed her hand and smiled back.

"It's only proper," Kurt said with a blush and held out the box for Blaine to take. "This time it's not a watch," he smiled nervously.

Blaine's breath hitched. He wasn't sure he could breathe. His hands were shaking as he took the box, knowing what was inside it but refusing to believe it. He fumbled with it and Kurt quietly held it for him while he opened it. Tears started the moment he saw it.

It was the same cuff he had now, white leather, four pyramids with a clasp in the center. Except the pyramids and clasp were now gold instead of silver.

"Kurt," he whispered.

"Can I put it on you?" Kurt asked.

Blaine nodded and Santana stepped in, ceremoniously removing the cuff she'd bought for Blaine. She kept a hand on his shoulder as Blaine kept his arm out and Kurt silently buckled the new cuff. It was still both of them, the white for Santana hadn't changed. But the gray silver was turned to gold and Blaine felt different the moment it was on.

He wiped his eyes to see Kurt smiling down at him. "I love you," Blaine choked out only seconds before Kurt's lips met his in a kiss that said more than words could ever say.


Say everything you've always wanted
Be not afraid of who you really are
'Cause in the end we have each other
And that's at least one thing worth living for
And I would give the world to you


New York City was always such a cacophony of sights and smells and sounds that if a person wasn't careful it could make their head spin. But Kurt and Blaine, walking side by side, their coffees keeping them warm as they strolled down the busy streets, rarely had that problem anymore. Everything seemed lighter this fall than it had the ones before. Kurt was nearing graduation and though their futures were uncertain, it was in that good way that was a reminder that the world was still full of possibilities.

Walking leisurely home from NYADA, they passed Animal Haven and as always, Blaine begged to go inside. Kurt frequently placated him. He knew Blaine loved animals and wanted a puppy but Kurt didn't think a New York City apartment was the proper place. Besides, a puppy would tear at his clothes and leave fur everywhere and that was the last thing he wanted to deal with. Taking care of Blaine was hard enough.

"Aw, look at him," Blaine said, picking up a white and brown little ball of fur. "Isn't he just perfect?"

"He's very nice Blaine," Kurt said and gave the dog a pat on the head. The puppy licked his hand and wagged his tail and Kurt knew he had to pull Blaine away before they were walking home with this adorable bundle of responsibility. "But we are not getting a dog."

"Come on Kurt," Blaine pouted, holding the puppy tight in his arms and giving it tiny little kisses. "How are we supposed to know when we're ready for kids if we don't even have a puppy to practice on?"

"I already know we're not ready for kids," Kurt said. "I'm 21 years old, I haven't even thought about having kids yet."

Blaine looked up at Kurt, his eyes as sad as the puppy's. "You haven't?"

Kurt sucked in a breath as he understood where this was going. "You have," he said, not even needing Blaine to confirm his answer. "Blaine, I'm sorry."

Blaine bit his lip and gave the puppy back to the attendant. He took Kurt's hand and led him out of the shelter. Silently they walked, stopping at their favorite vendor stand where Blaine bought them a cinnamon pretzel to share. Hand in hand, they strolled down the New York street. This was their life. Their adult life. An adult life that was made up of different opinions and negotiations and plans dreamed of in the past that may or may not fit into their future. An adult life that required complete honesty, Blaine knew, and important things were being left unsaid. He'd left them unsaid for a long time now. "Kurt. There's something I should tell you."

Kurt felt his heart stop as he let himself be led by Blaine to a nearby bench on the edge of a small park. Kids played in the sun, letting out energy that had been bottled up all day at school. Kurt watched Blaine watch them, staring with just the hint of a smile. Blaine would be an incredible father someday.

And when Blaine spoke again, he spoke with longing. "When I was twelve years old I had this idea about how the rest of my life was gonna go. And honestly," he laughed wryly, "None of it has gone as planned. Don't get me wrong, you are amazing and I love you and I want nothing more than to spend my life with you, but…" He took a breath. He looked away. "I've been dreaming about having kids for a very long time. Gorgeous little raven-haired children running around my house."

Kurt let out a shaky breath, realizing exactly what Blaine was saying. "You and Santana."

"We used to talk about it all the time. We'd make up stories in our heads and play make believe. We would let them wear what they wanted, and do what they wanted and be who they wanted. We were going to give them everything that both of us somehow knew we wouldn't have." Blaine looked over at Kurt who was clearly taken off guard by it all. "I'll never mention it again if it bothers you, I promise," he said quickly, grabbing Kurt's hands. "I just…I just wanted to tell you. To be honest with you."

"No. No," Kurt said softly, looking up at him. "It makes sense. Thank you Blaine. For sharing that with me."

"It's not like we have to decide now," Blaine said. "I mean, I want kids definitely but we both still have to finish college and find jobs." Blaine saw the light in Kurt's eyes dim just slightly in fear. "We still have so much about us to figure out. I know that Kurt. I didn't mean to rush-"

"It's okay Blaine," Kurt said with a gentle smile and this time Blaine almost believed that he meant it. "Talking isn't doing. You're right, we have a long time before we have to decide, but talking about this is good." Kurt took a deep breath and he let the tension go. "Talking is very good."

"Really?" Blaine said, his nose scrunched nervously.

Kurt couldn't help but laugh. "Yes really Blaine. I always want you to be able to talk to me, about anything. Even when that anything scares the crap out of me."

"You'll be a great Dad," Blaine said. "You know that, right?"

Kurt looked over at the kids. The idea that one day his own would be playing there as well made his stomach tie in knots. Until he imagined Blaine, running with them. Going down slides with them and playing tag. And he felt an immediate rush of love. "Not as good a Dad as you will be," he said, turning back to Blaine. "You are going to be amazing."


Caramel macchiato cheesecake was Kurt's favorite dessert and Blaine was nearly done with preparation. The graham cracker crust was finished and cooling. He cracked and beat the last egg before adding in the sour cream, espresso and vanilla, mixing it well and then pouring it into the crust. He opened the oven door at the same time Kurt opened the front door and Blaine couldn't help but smile at how he had his timing down to a tee. He set the cake in the center of the rack, closed the door, picked up Kurt's wine and turned just as Kurt had reached him for a kiss.

"Hello sir," Blaine smiled, handing him the wine.

Kurt took the glass, kissed Blaine softly on the lips, and geared himself up for the fact that it was going to be one of those nights. If he wanted it to be.

"Hello sweetheart," he answered, sipping the wine as he leaned back on the counter. His Tallia Paisley slim-fit shirt was open at the neck, his black slacks were tight, and as Blaine raked his eyes up and down Kurt's body those slacks grew just a bit tighter. "To what do I owe this welcome?"

"You're amazing," Blaine told him.

Kurt smirked. "Yes I am," he agreed. "What did I do this time?"

"Well," Blaine said and he took Kurt's hand. Kurt allowed Blaine to lead him out to the couch where they sat side by side. Kurt was intrigued. "I got a call earlier today. From Dale Hilcox." Kurt's brow raised. They hadn't heard from the playwright since their production closed to rave reviews two years ago. "The show's been chosen for an 8-week off-Broadway run. He called me to let me know they'd be using my music."

Kurt grinned in surprise. "Well that's amazing for you," Kurt said, giving him a hug.

"It is amazing for me, but it gets better," Blaine said and he leaned back. "I told him you'd be home later and he could call you then, but Kurt. They have to restage it given the new space. And he wants you to do the fight choreography. Off-Broadway Kurt!" Blaine gushed.

"Wait, what?" Kurt gaped.

Blaine smiled with pride. "You're going to choreograph off-Broadway Kurt. Not some off-off Broadway attic theater, but at The Public."

"Oh my god," Kurt murmured in shock and then he looked up at Blaine, eyes bright with nerves and excitement and far too much insecurity and yes, Blaine was right, he would need it to be one of those nights. "I can't believe it."

"Believe it Kurt. This is only the beginning for you."

"For both of us Blaine. I mean, your music is gonna be in an off-Broadway show." Kurt's heart was full of pride.

But Blaine shook his head with modesty and lowered his eyes. "My music follows your fight," Blaine said on a breath and a thrill raced through Kurt's body. "Not the other way around."

Kurt peered over to the timer in the kitchen. "There's still 50 more minutes for the cheesecake. Think you can follow for that long sweetheart?" Kurt raised a brow.

Blaine swallowed. "Depends how hard you fight sir," he said.

Kurt smiled and leaned in, tickling Blaine's lips with his as he whispered. "I plan to fight pretty hard."


From Mom to Blaine: Skype at 2?

Blaine got in the door at 1:50. He put his bag away and went to the kitchen for a drink and a snack. NYADA got more difficult every year and between classes and learning lines and performances and quick kisses with an even busier Kurt in the hallways, lunch often was the one thing he just never could quite get to.

He took his glass and his plate to the room he and Kurt had converted into an office/music space when he'd moved in. Blaine's keyboard sat where Rachel's bed once was. Two desks side by side with their laptops sat against the other wall. Kurt promised him that after they graduated they would move out of the loft and into an apartment where Blaine could have a piano, maybe even a baby grand. That was, if Cooper agreed to buy him one.

With 5 minutes left he turned on his laptop and finally satisfied his hunger while he waited for his Mom to connect to Skype. Blaine was glad that he hadn't completely lost contact with his Mom since he was disowned. They never got to see each other and his father didn't allow contact, but on days when she could get the lab to herself, they would try to make an effort to keep in touch. Someday they both still hoped that Blaine's father would change his mind. His mom thought grandchildren would do the trick. Blaine wasn't sure.

His Mom's profile picture popped on the screen and Blaine accepted the call with a grin. "Hey mom!" he said brightly. She looked good, relaxed. It was always a relief to see that.

"Hey Blaine, how are you?"

"Pretty good. School is crazy, work is crazy, Kurt is amazing. You know, the usual," he shrugged with a chuckle. "How are things with you?"

They talked for a while about just the day to day goings on, catching up like mothers and sons did all over the world. But she grew increasingly fidgety the more he talked about his life with Kurt and finally he couldn't stand it anymore.

"Mom, what aren't you telling me? What's this call really about?"

"We're close Blaine." Blaine didn't need an explanation. Ever since she'd met Kurt she'd become even more focused on her research, more determined to find the answers that could help Blaine legitimize their relationship, at least in the eyes of many. He'd always just let her talk. He was proud of her and her work. He just was less and less certain it had anything to do with him and Kurt. "We're learning that while some Grays are born without submissive or dominant genes like we always thought, others have them, they've just stayed dormant for some reason. We think that for those Grays there might be a way to jumpstart them if you will. We're in the process of screening possible compounds that might be able to reactivate the genes." Her eyes were alight with excitement for the discovery, but also for the possibilities it held for her family. "We could have Kurt tested. It might not be long before we could cure him."

Blaine though shook his head. "Kurt doesn't need to be cured, Mom," Blaine said. "He's perfect, just the way he is."

Her eyes clouded with disappointment. "But you could have a real contract then, a real claim," she said and he said nothing. He'd long ago stopped arguing that his contract was as real as anyone else's. "And just imagine if he could match your strength in dominance-"

Blaine had imagined it. Since the moment he learned that Kurt was a Gray he had imagined it. And although he'd thought in the beginning that would be what he'd want, he had long ago realized it wasn't truly what he wished at all. "Mom, I appreciate all the work you're doing and it would be a great thing if you could help people that wanted it." He could see her face falling and he tried to help her understand. "But I don't want a Dom like Dad or Cooper. Someone who forces my submission whether I want it or not. Maybe there was a time when I thought I did, and maybe if things had been different I still would. But I've learned so much with Kurt. I've learned my strength doesn't need to be matched, because my strength comes from my desire to submit, not his requirement. And Mom, there is nothing greater than submitting to someone who accepts it only as a gift, not a right. And who sometimes, in turn, grants me a gift as well."

"But when you fall-"

"I've told you mom. He catches me."


Blaine shrugged. Even after all this time, neither one of them had really figured that out yet. "We're both pretty sure it's just love."

And as if love plucked him from the sky, Blaine felt Kurt's warm touch on his shoulders, rubbing them softly as he leaned his chin on one. "Hey Mrs. Anderson," Kurt smiled at the screen.

"Hello Kurt," she said, her expression softening at the pure happiness that bloomed on her son's face the moment Kurt was near. "I'll let you two go. Talk to you again as soon as I can. Love you son."

"Bye Mom, love you." Blaine lowered the lid of his laptop. Kurt kissed his cheek and then started nipping at his neck. Blaine laughed. "How long have you been standing there?"

"Long enough," Kurt said and he pulled away, swiveling the office chair so Blaine was facing him. Kurt was suddenly far more serious. "What your Mom says she can do. Test me for the Dom gene? Maybe turn me into a Dom? Are you sure you wouldn't want that?"

Blaine took Kurt's hands in his. "It doesn't matter what I want," he said softly. "Would you want it?"

Kurt lowered his eyes and he took a step, resting back against the desk. He folded his arms across his chest. "I don't know. Some days I think I would. That it would be easier." Kurt's lips raised into a smirk. "I may make it look effortless, but dominating you can be exhausting," he teased.

Blaine blushed and dipped his head. He knew it wasn't as easy as for Kurt as he made it seem. But he was surprised to hear that Kurt would actually want to be a Dom. "I thought you were proud of being Gray. You always have been."

"Oh I am," Kurt said clearly. "But there are times, sometimes, when I don't think I'm doing a good enough job for you. When I think that maybe if I really was a Dom then I could be better. I could really be everything you've ever dreamed of."

Blaine looked at him. Kurt was right. If he was a Dom, Blaine could have everything he'd ever dreamed of. The contract, the claim. And other things he'd resigned himself to knowing would probably never be a part of their relationship. He thought that possibility would have made him feel happy but it didn't. Because as Kurt stood there, looking down at him with his lip bitten nervously between his teeth, Blaine realized that he didn't need that dream anymore. He didn't want that dream anymore. Perfect was already standing right in front of him.

"No," Blaine said and he reached for Kurt's hand. When Kurt gave it to him, Blaine stood up, pulling him close, as equals. "We have worked so hard to get to where we are and I love where we are Kurt. So why would I ever want to change the best thing that's ever happened to me? You are good enough all the time Kurt. You are perfect. Just the way you are."


A million suns that shine upon me
A million eyes you are the brightest blue
Lets tear the walls down that divide us
And build a statue strong enough for two

2017 – 2018

The Hummel household smelled of cinnamon and turkey and baking bread. It sounded more like a house full of love than Blaine had ever experienced before and it looked like it too. He'd tried to help Kurt and Carole in the kitchen, but his boyfriend had kicked him out with a kiss on the cheek.

"Go spend time with Cooper and your mom," Kurt encouraged.

So he did. He sat with them in the Hummel living room full to bursting with the family he adored. He got caught up with his mom while Santana and Cooper fought over the latest political debates. Rachel, Jesse and Brittany chatted about rehearsals and argued over whose schedule was worse and whose latest production was better. And Blaine felt like as hard as life had been at times over the years, he wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

"Thanksgiving dinner is served!" Kurt announced.

Fitting so many people into the Hummel's small home was a challenge, but Blaine and Burt had gotten the table perfect earlier that day before everyone else had arrived. Kurt took his seat beside his dad and Blaine settled in next to him, draping his suit jacket over the chair behind him. His mom and Cooper were across, his friends all to his left on either side. Carol sat at the other end where she could easily go back and forth to the kitchen.

"As always," Burt said, "I'd like everyone to go around the room and say what they are thankful for. Personally, I am thankful for my beautiful family, my health and the health of everyone I love." Burt remained a man of few words. "Cooper?"

Blaine listened as they went around, everyone grateful for family, friends, opportunities, successes, health and love. Santana finished up next to him and then suddenly, it was his turn.

He quickly looked around at everyone then settled on Burt. "First of all, I am grateful to Mr. Hummel and Carole for welcoming me into their home and their family. There is little that has ever meant so much to me," Blaine started. He took a breath. He was already getting choked up. "I'm grateful to Cooper, who has made sure I could continue school and graduate this year as well as all the other things you've done for me over the last few years. Mom, I'm so grateful you could come today and I'm even grateful that Dad allowed you to. Santana," he said, turning to his Dom and his best friend. "You always make sure I'm safe and on target and between you and Kurt, you quickly take care of it when I'm not," he said with a blush.

And then he turned to Kurt. He had to pause because as it did so often, Kurt's beauty took his breath away. His blue eyes so bright and his expectant smile so adorable it warmed Blaine's heart like the sun in summer. "Kurt." He took Kurt's hand. "Your love has been the greatest gift that anyone has ever given me. There is no one and nothing that could ever come close to making me feel safer, more loved, more cherished and more cared for than you do."

Kurt pulled his hand away to wipe a tear from his eye and Blaine took the opportunity. He stood up, pushed his chair to the side while he pulled out a small box from his jacket, and knelt down on one knee in front of Kurt. If he'd hoped to stop the tears he was unsuccessful because Kurt gasped, covered his mouth and cried even more when Blaine opened the velvet box to reveal a gold ring, four diamonds in a square reminiscent of Blaine's cuff, adorning the top.

"Tradition states that a sub may not ask to be claimed, they must wait for a Dominant to choose to claim them. Tradition also states that only a sub may ask for forever." Blaine looked up at Kurt, eyes glowing with love while Kurt stared down in complete shock. "Kurt. I cannot offer you a golden cuff. But no matter what the world says, you are the Dom of my heart and I want you to be my husband too. So instead I'm offering you this ring, which I hope says everything I have always wished I could say."

"And what's that?" Kurt asked with shaky breath.

Blaine smiled up at him. "Kurt Hummel, you are the most incredible person this world has ever known. Whatever anyone wants to call you, you have never in your life been gray. You burn red like fire. You shine orange and yellow even brighter than the sun. With you there is nothing that is not green," Blaine smirked and Kurt had a sudden urge right there to challenge that statement. "The blue in your eyes swirl with intoxicating power that can make my blood boil or my breath grow cold. I love you Kurt," he said and he swallowed against the emotion welling up in his eyes and in his voice. "I love you and I never want to be without you. I want forever Kurt. Will you marry me?"

Kurt had no words. All ability to speak had been lost the moment Blaine had lowered himself on one knee. But he nodded. He nodded with the surety of his answer and he pulled Blaine to him, kissing him long and hard without a care for who was watching. He heard the claps and the cheers from their family and friends, but the only thing in the world that truly existed for him was Blaine. And when they parted and Blaine's eyes of gold sparkled at him as bright as the ring, he finally found the word he wanted to say. "Yes."

Blaine sat back in his chair and placed the ring on Kurt's finger. And then he gingerly touched each diamond with each phrase. "Sir. I am yours. Sharing all my heart. With all my love."

The words were safe in everyone's presence, but Kurt knew the power behind them. Their four rules.

"Forever," Kurt whispered.


The rehearsal dinner, which was really more like a lunch since Blaine had insisted on eating before the rehearsal, was going swimmingly. Blaine and Kurt had handed their privately written vows to the officiant. They'd expected a fight between Santana and Cooper over who got to give Blaine away, but Santana surprisingly deferred, stating that she wasn't truly giving him away, she was simply setting him free with a long and thin leash. Jesse and Rachel and Brittany were behaving, as were Burt and Carole. There was only a slight pang of sadness for Blaine that his parents weren't there, but he hadn't really held out much hope. His father barely talked to him, wouldn’t give his mother permission to come, and she was never one to be defiant. Cooper said that he would be sure to bring her a video to watch and it gave Blaine a little comfort.

But he didn't need to think on any of that now. Blaine stared down the aisle at Kurt in the front of the room, waiting for his groom. Blaine was grateful Cooper had their arms linked because his knees might have been about to buckle. "Ready for this?" Coop asked.

"Ready as I'll ever be," Blaine smiled precariously. Their ridiculously talented and silly friends and family hummed the wedding march as Blaine walked down the aisle. Most grooms of course would have been more nervous on their wedding day than the rehearsal. But Blaine wasn't most grooms and he had pretty much guaranteed this rehearsal wouldn't go smoothly.

He was confident in the decision he'd made. But he was nervous nonetheless.

"Okay," the officiant said, smiling at everyone. "We start off with the whole Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here, blah blah blah. You have some friends doing some readings, yes?"

Kurt nodded and they ran through that, practicing the poems or songs that everyone was reading. Blaine's heart was pounding in his chest as the moment grew closer, but he didn't let on.

"Okay, and then we get to the vows. We'll just practice the beginning for each one," the officiant said and Kurt nodded. Blaine licked his suddenly dry lips. "Kurt you're up first." Kurt nodded and the officiant began. "I Kurt Hummel, take thee Blaine Anderson, as my lawfully wedded husband."

"I, Kurt Hummel, take thee, Blaine Anderson," Kurt repeated with a cheesy grin, "as my lawfully wedded husband."

"I promise to love…"

"I promise to love…"

"To honor…"

"To honor..."

"And to cherish."

"And to cherish..."

"From this day forth…"

"From this day forth, blah blah blah, I think we've got the idea," Kurt giggled.

Everyone laughed, the officiant smiled and turned to Blaine as he swapped to his vows. "Same thing okay?" Blaine took a deep breath and nodded. "I, Blaine Anderson, take thee, Kurt Hummel, to be my lawfully wedded husband."

"I, Blaine Anderson, take thee, Kurt Hummel, to be my lawfully wedded husband." Blaine didn't smile and he didn't laugh. He looked deep into the ocean of Kurt's blue eyes and he tried not to drown in them as his submission pulsed.

"I promise to love…"

"I promise to love…"

"To honor…"

"To honor…"

"To cherish…"

"To cherish…"

"And to obey…"

"And to-"

"Wait what?" Kurt gaped at a Blaine who was ready and waiting for the outburst. There were murmurs behind them both, but Blaine did not move his eyes from Kurt's gaze. "Other room. Now."

Blaine went, his hands clasped in front of him, his head down. He could feel Kurt's anger behind him, but now that it was done he was relaxed, reminding himself that he had done it this way on purpose. When he got to the small receiving room just off the ballroom, Kurt slammed the door behind them and Blaine, slow and confidant, turned to face his fiancé. And his Dom.

"Obey Blaine? Seriously? We've had months to talk about this and you've never said a word. Do you mind explaining why you would just spring this on me now?"

Blaine pursed his lips and shrugged. "I didn't want to fight?" he said with a soft but impish smile.

Kurt was pacing. Pacing was rarely good for Blaine. "I can't believe you did this. I ought to put you in the corner, damn the people on the other side of the wall." Kurt turned, furious, and his hands immediately flew to his hips. Blaine bit his lip but it hadn't been fast enough to stop the snicker. "Why are you laughing?"

"Do you even hear yourself?" Blaine asked with a grin. "You're yelling at me for wanting to say I'll obey you while you're threatening to put me in the corner, essentially for disobeying you."

Kurt shook his head, breathing in deeply and letting out a breath. "Doing it in front of everyone instead of just talking to me about it?" he said. "Are you that afraid of me?"

Blaine shook his head. "Not at all. Are you this afraid of me?"

That made Kurt stop. "What?" His brow furrowed. "I'm not-"

"I'm going to obey you," Blaine said firmly. "That's my choice. I'm a sub. You're my Dom. I will obey you. Does it still scare you?"

"That's not what this is about."

"Does it still scare you?" Blaine repeated gently. "With a ring on your finger and a vow of forever, does it still scare you?" Kurt was quiet. Blaine walked over and he took Kurt's hands, squeezing them tight. "If we'd started talking about it earlier we never would have stopped. I know you Kurt, you would have obsessed over it, going back and forth, fretting about it every time something happened, every time I did something or you got insecure and neither one of us would have wanted to spend the last few months doing that."

"That's not…" Kurt started but he stopped. Because he knew that Blaine was right.

"Kurt. I don't get a claiming ceremony. And I want the world to know that I belong to you."

Kurt's head dipped. "Blaine-" he started but Blaine threw a finger over his lips to silence him.

"But this marriage isn't about just what I want," Blaine continued and Kurt's eyes returned to his. "And belonging to you doesn't just mean that I love and obey you. It also means that I trust you and I respect you. I trust you to make the right choices for us. Not just for me, but for us. And if what is right for us is to have no dominance or submission in our wedding ceremony and for it to be only about our love, I will respect your decision."

"You didn't want me to think about it all this time but now I'll be up all night," Kurt accused.

Blaine though shook his head. "No sir. No. Please don't worry tonight. Don't make any decision until tomorrow. When I am dressed in my finest tuxedo," he said with a smile that made his eyes sparkle, "and you are looking down on me as I look up at you, as if my world rises and sets with you because it does, you'll know what's right. You nod your head for yes or shake it for no. And I will obey."

"And you won't be mad?" Kurt said. "If I say no?"

Blaine draped his arms over Kurt's shoulders. "I promise I won't be mad," he answered before leaning in to get in just a little more practice before tomorrow's kiss. When they separated, they both smiled. "We better go back before everyone thinks we're not just talking."

Kurt took his hand and started out the door. "The honeymoon is going to start off very interesting for you," Kurt said with a quirk of his brow. "It's a good thing I packed well."

Blaine's heart raced as he walked back out. He hadn't done this for any kind of punishment. That was just going to be a very welcome side effect.


"I, Kurt Hummel, take thee Blaine Anderson, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To love, to honor and to cherish, from this day forth, in sickness and in health. Forever."

To say that Blaine was overwhelmed with the entire ceremony so far was an understatement. And he hadn't even gotten to the vows yet.

"I, Blaine Anderson, take thee, Kurt Hummel, to be my lawfully wedded husband. To love, to honor, to cherish…"

But as Blaine stood there, gazing up at the love of his life, the Dom of his heart, ready to say the words that Kurt desired him to say, he had a sudden realization that it didn't really matter anymore. Kurt was his. Forever. It didn't matter to him if everyone knew or no one knew the promises they'd made to one another. The only thing anyone needed to know was that he loved Kurt. And Kurt loved him.

And then Kurt nodded.

And Blaine obeyed.

"…to obey, from this day forth, in sickness and in health." He looked at Kurt, his eyes blinking with tears, not because Kurt had said yes, but because he and Kurt were now, in the eyes of the law, husbands. "Forever."

"By the power invested in me, by the state of New York, I now pronounce you married. If you wish to seal this marriage with a kiss, you may now do so."

Blaine did wish so and he didn't wait. He cupped Kurt's head and he leaned in close and their lips met, soft and sweet and shorter than either of them wanted, but their small crowd of friends and families cheered for them and the music began for them to proceed down the aisle.

Blaine held Santana in his arms, both swaying softly to the music. Her closeness felt like a memory, her arms around him felt ephemeral. She smiled at him but it didn't reach her eyes shining with a bittersweet medley of joy and sadness. "Are you okay?" he asked gently.

"Yes," she said, but her voice was wistful.

He reached up and lovingly tucked her hair behind her ear. "This doesn't change anything, Santana."

She laughed gently. She'd thought the very same thing the day of their claiming. But Blaine had been right then. And it was true again now. "This changes everything," she said.

Blaine lowered his eyes, not knowing what to say. Maybe it just wasn't something he was ready to admit, so he did the only thing he could do, laying his head against hers and swaying to the music.

"I talked to Kurt earlier today," Santana told him after some silence. Blaine looked up nervously and she laughed. "Don't worry sweetheart, it was nothing bad."

"Then what was it about?" he asked.

"I think you should ask him," she smiled softly.

As if the band was eavesdropping, or maybe their timing was just right, the music ended. Blaine kissed her softly on the cheek and went to find Kurt talking with their guests.

"May I have this dance?" Blaine asked and Kurt smiled.

"Of course," Kurt agreed.

Blaine led him to the floor, and held Kurt in his arms, safe and warm where he belonged. "I wanted to say thank you," Blaine said. "For saying yes."

Kurt smiled teasingly. "I said yes to a few things today Blaine, which one are we talking about?"

"The vows," Blaine said. "What made you change your mind?"

Kurt looked at him and brushed a thumb over his cheek. "I saw it in your eyes. The gift of letting go. For me. The realization that the one thing that mattered more than anything else to both of us was our love."


"So I wanted to give you a gift back," Kurt smiled. "A claiming. Or as best as I could do."

Blaine smiled and leaned his head on Kurt's shoulder. "I love you," he said gently. "Santana said you two talked about something, but she wouldn't tell me what. Am I in trouble?"

Kurt chuckled lightly. "Yes, I think you are," he said and Blaine looked up at blue eyes sparkling. "Today's a day of yeses. Yes to vows, yes to you think you can handle one more?" Blaine nodded, curiosity bursting. "Santana was so worried she was losing you," Kurt said. "That you and I would just move away or forget about her and when it all came down to it, she'd be just a footnote in our love story." Blaine started to speak but Kurt quieted him. "I told her that wasn't going to happen. I told her that you will always be a part of her. Because she would always be a part of us."

Blaine's brow furrowed in confusion. "Kurt, what are you talking about?"

But Kurt continued like he didn't hear. "Now we're gonna have to talk about the timing and all with Santana going to law school, we want to make sure the schedule works for everyone. I mean, it can't come in the middle of her sitting for the bar can it?"

"Kurt," Blaine insisted. "What can't?"

"I mean I think the middle of her second year would be perfect. Aim for a Christmas baby?"

Blaine's jaw dropped. Kurt's grin nearly exploded. "Kurt are you saying-"

"Yes," Kurt said. "I'm saying yes to a little raven haired beauty running around our house."

"Oh my god," Blaine screeched and he hugged him and cried and twirled Kurt around in a circle. "I don't even know how to thank you for this."

"You don't have to thank me," Kurt said. "This is what's right, for all of us."

Blaine tried to wipe his tears but they kept flowing. He heard the music and he knew there were a hundred other people in the room but he didn't see or hear anything. All he saw was the most amazing man he had ever met and he couldn't believe that he was the lucky person who got to call him mine. "Kurt, I don't even know what to say. You've given me everything I never even knew I wanted and I've...what have I given you in return?"

"Oh Blaine." Kurt took him in his arms, wrapping Blaine in love that he never knew he had. That everyone told him wasn't inside of him. He leaned in, brushing his lips, feeling them beneath his skin to know all this wasn't just a dream. "You have given me the world."


This is the new year
A new beginning
You made a promise
You are the brightest
We are the voices

This is the new year

Chapter Text

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game.

Too late for second guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap.

~ Wicked

May, 2023

Kurt finished work at the theater and turned off the lights, leaving only the Equity lamp burning center stage. It was an exhausting day of Shakespeare and sword fighting and 5 o'clock could not have come fast enough. He hailed a cab, not having the energy to walk across the city back to his apartment, and called Blaine just to check in. Their daughter had had an important doctor's appointment that afternoon that they should have just been getting home from.

"Hey Kurt," Blaine said cheerfully on the other end of the line.

"Hey, how was Serena's appointment?" Kurt asked, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. It was the first time off his feet in nearly 8 hours. Silence filled the line. He looked at his phone to make sure they were still connected but the seconds were continuing to count. "Blaine? Are you still there?"

"I forgot." Blaine's voice was so quiet Kurt could barely hear. But Kurt did hear, and what he heard left him livid.

"I'm sorry, you forgot?" Kurt yelled. "Our 3 year old daughter has a doctor's appointment we've been waiting more than three months for and you forgot?!"

"God, Kurt, I am so sorry," Blaine apologized profusely. "I was at the piano writing and she was playing so quietly in her room and I'm so so sorry!"

Kurt wasn't sure he had ever been angrier at someone in his life and the fact that it was his husband made everything ten times worse. "I can't talk to you right now," Kurt said, his voice cold. "I'll see you when I get home."

He hung up and made another phone call before putting the phone down to let himself stew in his anger. He couldn't believe that Blaine had been so irresponsible with something, someone, so important. He knew precisely what needed to be done about it. The only question was who would do it.

Blaine's hands were shaking so much the cell slipped from his fingers and onto the music room floor. His head spun. The moment his submission swirled, he heard his daughter's voice ring out. "Are you okay Papa?" she called. She had no idea yet what it was, but she always knew. She had her mother's strength.

He found his feet, as hard as they were to walk on, and he went to Serena's room to check on her. Dressed in a floral yellow dress, her soft raven curls flowing beautifully around her face, she was playing with her dolls on the floor of her pink and purple bedroom. "Yes munchkin I'm fine," Blaine said, his voice steady only through years of practice.

"Daddy will make you feel better when he gets home," she said. "Daddy always makes me feel better."

She went back to her dolls without further inquiry, and for a moment Blaine wondered how many more years they would have the luxury of her not questioning things further. It was a luxury he was grateful for now as he closed her door halfway, went into the living room and stared at the front door.

He knew that Kurt would not walk through that door alone. Though every time Blaine hoped he might.

Emotions roared through him, too volatile to let him think or even move. He was forbidden from standing in the corner with Serena home, he was forbidden from kneeling for Kurt, he couldn't stand naked and on display with Santana on her way, but he didn't deserve the relief of sitting to wait. His hands unconsciously flexed and twitched. He knew what he deserved and his whole body pulsed with the need. His muscles grew weak with shame, his skin tingled in anticipation, and his heart clenched with fire-hot guilt that was soothed only by the ice cold submission pumping through his veins. He had failed, more than he ever had before. As a husband, as a father and as a submissive. The weight of it was excruciating but he would not let himself fall. Not now. Now he just had to wait.

Kurt arrived outside the apartment only moments before Santana did and it looked like she had jogged the whole way there from her law office. He was sure he must look a sight to her, his blood still boiling, his face tense with his decision.

Instinctually she took charge. "Do you want to take Serena out to the park or do you want me to take Blaine back to my apartment?" she asked. She kept her own disappointment and anger at her sub's behavior in check. She was still his Dom after all and though Kurt and Blaine called upon her far less frequently than they used to, once or twice a year there were still occasions like today when misbehavior was too severe, when Blaine needed the one thing Kurt still could not bring himself to do, and they fell back into old roles.

But that wasn't what Kurt was looking for from her at all. "Neither," he said, his voice harsh. "I want you to take Serena."

She was momentarily shocked into silence. And then concern crept in. "Kurt," she said softly, watching him closely. "You know what he deserves. What he'll need. You can't punish this one your way, not when it's about your daughter."

Kurt gazed up at their apartment window where he knew Blaine was waiting. And he knew exactly what Blaine was waiting for. He took a deep breath and he turned back to his husband's Dom. "I am very well aware of that."

She tried to decide if she should argue. But she'd given away that right long ago. Unless one of them safeworded, she would have to step back. And Kurt's decision seemed final. "Okay."

They went upstairs and opened the door. Blaine was standing tall in the center of the room, his eyes forward, heavy, and clouded. His body was still, but for his hands fidgeting like crazy, desperately fighting the fall. Submission was pouring off of him, swirling fiercely around himself to keep it from Serena. They didn't know how long he had been standing there, awaiting punishment, wishing he could finally kneel but knowing he wouldn't dare. Not until Kurt and Serena were gone.

Santana's stern dark stare and Kurt's icy blue made Blaine visibly shiver, and his gaze flitted to the corner, wishing his nose was pressed to the wall where he couldn't see their anger and disappointment. Blaine's submission reached out to Santana but his eyes went wide when she refused it. And then they fell on Kurt.

Blaine had believed that Santana was there for him. His breath hitched when suddenly he realized he was wrong.

"Serena, your mother's here for you," Kurt called to his daughter's room down the hall, but his cold blue eyes were locked on Blaine's, never shifting. Even when their daughter came running from her room, hazel eyes just like her father's alight with excitement, his own gaze did not budge. And neither did Blaine's.

Luckily, she barely even noticed they were there. "Mommy!" she yelled, flying into Santana's arms. "I didn't know you were coming today!"

"Well I didn't either," Santana said sweetly. "But Auntie Britt and I were thinking of making chocolate chip cookies tonight and we remembered how much you love them and we didn't want you to miss it. So when your Daddy said he and your Papa needed to talk I took my chance to scoop you up."

"Yay!" Serena screeched.

Santana took her hand. "Let's go pack you an overnight bag and we girls can have a pajama party tonight."

"Can I bring my nail polish for you to paint my nails," she was saying as they went into her room. "Daddy bought me purple sparklies."

"Of course," Santana answered, closing the door softly behind them.

"Kurt, I'm so-" Blaine started but he snapped his mouth shut when Kurt's finger flew up sharply in warning. He offered Blaine nothing but a terse shake of his head. Talking while Serena was home was out of the question, especially while he was still so angry, and he had no qualms making Blaine wait.

The guilt and shame and fear; there shouldn't have been fear but there was, all threatened to overwhelm Blaine. He forced himself to breathe. He forced himself to stand. He forced himself to keep his eyes on Kurt and not to fall because he knew that submission would be the last thing his husband would want from him in that moment. But most of all he forced himself to trust that whatever Kurt had planned would be right.

The girls emerged quickly and Santana kept Serena talking so she wouldn't notice what was going on right in front of her or try to run to her fathers to say goodbye. But as she ushered the girl out the door, Santana looked back at her sub and his husband with tears that stung at her eyes. Because she knew that the moment she crossed that threshold, she would be leaving something precious behind. Something she long ago realized she'd one day lose. She just hadn't known when she'd woken up that morning that today would be the day.

She would always love Blaine. He would always be her best friend. In the eyes of the law she would always be his Dom. But when they came to pick Serena up in the morning, she knew Blaine wouldn't be her sub anymore. Not really. "We'll see you tomorrow," she said softly over her shoulder and then the door was closed.

The silence in the apartment was deafening. The privacy was suffocating. And Kurt's learned dominance, whether he wanted it to be or not, was intoxicating. Too intoxicating for Blaine to ignore and now that their daughter was gone he couldn't hold back anymore. He lowered his eyes, knowing that lowering his body was forbidden. He let his submission go and wrap around Kurt. And he waited.

Minutes seemed to pass before Kurt spoke. Then the strong, deliberate words were the last Blaine would have expected. "Years ago, you asked me what it would take to get me to spank you. I honestly wanted to believe that there would never be something so great that nothing else would make sense," Kurt echoed his father's words and he took courage in his father's belief in him. His eyes hardened, with anger, determination, and the overwhelming confidence that this was right. "But here we are. Because for the first time, in the ten years that we have been together, I have every intention of taking you over my knee and spanking you until you are begging me to stop."

Blaine's head went fuzzy and he was on his knees before he could stop himself, but he did force himself to look back up at Kurt. What he saw broke him. Kurt's harsh glare, his beautiful lips pressed firmly together, and all Blaine could think about was making that look go away and never ever come back. "Kurt. Sir." He choked back a sob, trying not to cry. "I am so sorry. I got distracted composing, I'll make it right though I promise. I'll call them first thing in the morning."

"I reminded you three times this week Blaine. Hell I reminded you this morning," Kurt said, his voice steady and cold. "I told you not to get lost at the piano. I told you to set an alarm."


"I trusted you Blaine!" Kurt shouted and the tears of shame and guilt fell from Blaine's eyes and he couldn't stop them if he wanted to. "I could have changed rehearsal, I could have left early to make sure I was home to bring her, but you promised me that you would do this and I trusted you."

"I know, I know," Blaine cried, shaking his head. "I screwed up and I'm so sorry and I deserve to be punished, I need you to punish me, Kurt, please. Whatever you want."

There had been days, many years ago, where Kurt would have balked at the request, at Blaine's desire to have that be a part of their relationship. But those were years long passed. And today had pushed Kurt to a level he once thought he would never reach. But apparently he'd been wrong.

"Stand up," Kurt ordered and Blaine did as he was told, wiping the tears from his eyes. This he could do, this would make it better. Follow orders, take his punishment, be forgiven and forgive himself. "Go to the couch, take your pants down to your knees and wait for me."

Blaine watched Kurt go into their bedroom and close the door, and with a sigh of relief he did as he was told. He lowered his pants and underwear to his knees, knowing that the awkwardness of his dress was to prevent him from feeling that there would be anything sexual about what was about to happen. But standing vulnerable, waiting, half naked in their living room, he felt Kurt's words truly sink in. Kurt planned on spanking him. After years of imagining what it would be like, after years of accepting it would never happen, after years of being denied his strongest desire, he was standing there waiting for Kurt to spank him. For the first time in his life he would be over the knee of the man he loved, spanked skin to skin. He wouldn't have to imagine any more.

He knew it shouldn't but his heart began to race, no longer with fear or guilt but anticipation. Excited blood rushed away from his head causing an almost pleasant dizziness and an eager cock. He knew the spanking was meant to be punishment and he was sure it would be but he didn't think there would be anything that would dull the pleasure of what Kurt was soon to do.

He was horribly wrong.

Kurt knew. Blaine had been begging practically since the first day they'd met for this. But he wasn't naïve. He knew that if he wasn't careful this would be the furthest thing from punishment for Blaine. And that was not at all what he intended. He was furious. Santana would tell him he was too angry to continue and needed to calm down, but he didn't have the luxury of Dom hormones to keep him resolved. If he waited until he was calm he was afraid he would lose his will to spank Blaine, and he absolutely intended to spank him. But he knew there was only one thing that would ensure it was punishment and not play.

He went into the drawer on his side of the bed and he pulled it out, ten years old and never used. He'd often considered getting rid of it, but he never had, almost as if he'd known that someday he would get to the point where it would be needed.

He walked back out with it folded in his fist, coming around the couch face to face with Blaine. He said nothing. But words weren't necessary as he opened his hand and showed Blaine what was inside.

Blaine visibly recoiled. The cock ring that he'd refused time and time again until Kurt had finally stopped mentioning it sat menacingly on Kurt's palm. He hated it. He hated everything it represented. He looked up at Kurt, wide eyed. "No," he refused, his voice strangled but resolute.

"It's not a choice Blaine," Kurt told him with a calm firmness. "Put it on."

"No," Blaine yelled, and he would have backed away if he could have done it without tripping over himself. "I won't come Kurt, I promise. I can hold it without that, I've always been able to hold it without that, please, sir-"

"I can't trust you!" Kurt shouted and Blaine blanched at his words. "How can I trust you not to come if I can't even trust you with something as important as taking our daughter to the doctor?"

And that was when Blaine realized that the spanking wasn't the punishment at all. Not really. This was. The humiliation and shame and indignity of being forced to use a fucking toy to control his orgasm because Kurt couldn't trust him to control it himself. The disgrace of being told he couldn't be trusted to be a good enough husband, a good enough father, a good enough submissive. His stomach clenched and his heart literally ached and the tears burned as they fell freely because there was no worse punishment than that. Kurt wasn't even offering him the chance to make things right. "How can I prove you can trust me again with the ring on?" he asked through his tears.

The tears broke Kurt's heart a little. Blaine's pain shattered it. But he knew he could not back down now. Blaine wouldn't respect him, respect this, if he did. "Little by little you can earn it back," Kurt told him honestly. "But not today."

Blaine shook his head, staring at the device in Kurt's hand. He wanted to be good for Kurt, so good and so obedient. But he couldn't. It made him nauseous to even think about touching it. About admitting what it meant. "I can't," he sobbed.

Kurt couldn't force this. He had to offer him a way out. But Blaine also needed to understand the gravity of that decision, what Kurt was putting of himself on the line today. "I can put it away," he said and Blaine's eyes shot back up with hope. "You can safeword and I can call Santana and we can go to her apartment in the morning after we bring Serena to school. But what you did was inexcusable and I will not have the significance of this punishment reduced to nothing more than play. I will not spank you without the ring."

Kurt was shockingly calm and Blaine knew his anger was dissipating while the resolve in his eyes was growing even stronger. But there was something about them…

"Blaine, you have wanted this practically since the moment we met. Maybe even before. It's taken me ten years. If you refuse now," Kurt's eyes flickered down, just for a second, "I won't offer again. I can't put myself through that."

And Blaine understood what he saw. This wasn't his Dom talking. This was just Kurt, at his most vulnerable, just as scared as him. And Kurt needed this as much as he did. For the first time, Kurt needed to punish him as much as Blaine needed the punishment.

This was what a real claim felt like.

Blaine's eyes dropped back to the ring. His stomach clenched, his mouth went dry and he couldn't stop the tears. He tried to reach for it but his hand wouldn't move. "I can't..." His voice quivered but he looked up, knowing what he had to do. "Will you put it on me? Please?"

Blaine's courage was always one of the things that Kurt loved best about him. "Yes." Kurt's voice was gentle. "Yes I will."

Blaine closed his eyes and then he felt Kurt's hands on him, threading him carefully through the ring. He had to fight the urge to safeword, to flee, but he fought it just like he had so long ago with Santana and Brittany. Kurt may not have been born a Dom, but he was Blaine's husband, his best friend, and the Dom of his heart and Blaine trusted him to know exactly what he needed.

He heard Kurt settle onto the couch. "Open your eyes Blaine and look at me," he ordered and Blaine obeyed. His Dom had returned, eyes fierce and resolute. "Why are you being punished?"

Blaine swallowed. "I betrayed your trust. I didn't respect the importance of her appointment because if I had I would have made sure it came before my work. I didn't intend to be dishonest when I promised you I would take her but I was."

With every confession, Kurt's face softened more. "Over my knee, sweetheart," he said tenderly.

Heart racing, Blaine laid himself over Kurt's lap, pliant and obedient, allowing himself to be adjusted as necessary. A little lower in the front. Kurt's knee raised a little higher to stretch his sit spot. Tips of his fingertips to the floor. His bound cock pressed firmly between Kurt's thighs. It was entirely unfamiliar to both of them and their movements were uncertain but to Blaine at least it felt the most right a spanking had ever been. When Kurt rested his hand on the bare skin of his ass, Blaine shuddered. His cock stirred immediately.

"Safe word?" Kurt asked as he always did.

"New York," Blaine breathed.

And then without ceremony or instruction, Kurt's hand rose and crashed back down.

Kurt wasn't holding back at all. Blaine hissed, the blow falling right in the center of his ass, causing the burn to spread in every direction. Without time for recovery it came down again and again in a relentless pattern. Blaine tried to count in his head but sometime around 15 the pain had grown too intense to keep track. Kurt concentrated on Blaine's sit spot but he didn't neglect the rest, coloring his skin from pink to red quickly with the strength Blaine often forgot Kurt had developed through years of stage combat training. Despite only using his hand, the spanking hurt more than any smack of the paddle or strap ever had from Santana, and Blaine tried desperately to fall to lessen the pain. But he couldn't. With the cock ring on Blaine was completely robbed of his ability to fall into subspace, leaving him trapped on the edge with senses heightened instead of dulled.

Despite the pain, or perhaps because of it, he was hard. He was desperately hard and he rutted between Kurt's thighs for whatever friction he could get. Kurt allowed it, knowing that it was only increasing his frustration, his desperation. His punishment. Blaine was desperate for the pleasure he knew was there, even if he could only capture it for just a moment, and he tried again to fall but it was like a wall, burning his submission, hot and cold all at once like liquid nitrogen. Blaine had hated the idea of the ring before when it was only a theory but now he despised it. He needed it off. He needed to be good for Kurt on his own, he needed to prove himself to Kurt, to himself. He needed the freedom to submit and to fall and the ring was the complete opposite of freedom. Kurt had denied him submission as punishment before but even then it had always been in his own control. This though, this wasn't choice. This was domination at its strongest, ripping his submission away from him and Blaine feared it would break him from the inside out.

"Sir, please," he begged. "I need it off, sir. Please."

"Not yet," Kurt punctuated with two spanks, one to each of his thighs.

Blaine's breath hitched and he cried out. "God, Kurt it hurts." His cock throbbed. His submission boiled. He wasn't sure how much more he could take but he refused to safeword.

"I was under the impression that a spanking is supposed to hurt Blaine," Kurt said dryly, delivering another burning smack to his sit spot.

"No, yes, I mean…" Blaine sucked in a breath, wincing at another smack that set his entire body, inside and out, ablaze. He was trying to take it, wanted to take every part of the punishment Kurt thought he deserved. But the complete loss of control was beyond his limits. "The ring," he managed to stammer. He didn't want to stop the spanking, he just needed the ring off. "God, please, Kurt, it hurts. Yellow, please yellow."

Kurt stopped immediately. He placed one hand on Blaine's bright red burning skin which only ignited the fire beneath it but at least it didn't add more. "The ring hurts?" Kurt reached quickly down with his other hand to feel it, fearful now that he had done something wrong, put it on too tight or gone too far.

Blaine keened at the touch, god he wanted that touch and so much more, but more than anything he wanted to earn it. "No, not exactly." With the blows stopped he could think a little straighter. "I can't submit, can't fall, with it on. And it burns. Inside. In my soul." He knew it wouldn't make sense but he didn't know how to explain it or if Kurt could ever understand. "Please Kurt, please, I know I don't deserve it, but please let me fall, let me prove you can trust me. I may be a terrible husband and father but let me be a good sub, don't take that from me."

Kurt didn't say a word, but Blaine could feel his hand, gentle on his arm, leading him up off his lap. He tried hard not to stumble but he was weak and his equilibrium was off from being upside down. "You may not come," Kurt ordered and Blaine nodded almost hysterically. He didn't want to be allowed to, not yet. He wanted time, time to show Kurt that he could be trusted, that he could be good. Time to give Kurt the submission that he unquestionably deserved. Blaine closed his eyes like before and felt Kurt's hand on him and just the touch as he unclipped the ring would have been enough to make him come if he hadn't been ready for it. But he was, he was determined and even the firm, testing, teasing encircling of his cock in Kurt's fingers didn't tempt him. Blaine opened his lids, looking down at his Dom. Kurt's eyes were staring up at him, heady on power, but looking at him as though he could see inside his soul. Blaine almost thought Kurt would swallow him whole right there. But he didn't. Instead he grabbed a throw to pull over his lap. And then, with an almost unnoticeable quiver of a breath, he placed a hand on Blaine's aching flesh and squeezed. Blaine gasped against the surge of his submission and his arousal at the pain, at the feeling of being owned. And then Kurt asked, "Shall we continue?"

Blaine nodded his surety. "Yes sir."

"How many more do you need?"

Blaine looked to the floor. Kurt could have asked him how many he wanted or how many he thought he could take but he didn't. In the time between the last smack and now, Kurt had forgiven him. Now he only asked how many Blaine needed; to forgive himself, to fall. To go safely beyond his limits.

"I don't know," he whispered. "I trust you."

Blaine's submission surged and wrapped tightly and he didn't even wait for Kurt. He laid himself back down, shifted back into position and let his mind and his body drift at the feel of the burn in his skin that Kurt had put there, mixed with the inescapable pleasure coiling inside him. Free and full against Kurt's thighs, he made the conscious decision, as he did every day, to give all control of his orgasm to Kurt. And he fell. He felt Kurt encircle him to keep him safe and he fell into a blissful fuzziness, knowing that the spanking had started again, that Kurt still wasn't being easy on him, that however many more smacks Kurt would give him would just add to what was sure to be an already painful few days. But he barely felt it now. His concentration was entirely on his orgasm, so close, so strong, hovering in his belly just on this side of release but he held it. He held it not because he wanted to; he wanted so desperately to come he wondered if the need was something a person could die from. But he held it because Kurt had told him to. Kurt had trusted him to do so even in the throes of his greatest fantasy, and he would never, ever, give Kurt reason not to trust him again. He had nothing to count, he had no idea how long was left, and he knew that if he let go of his concentration he would fail, so he turned just a little bit to Kurt's voice, so he could listen. So he could do what he was told.

"Five more Blaine," Kurt was saying and he felt the hand on his backside in the distance and he knew that it hurt, but he didn't have the ability to register that right now. Everything he had was focused on Kurt's voice and the raging storm in his belly, the throbbing of his cock and the tightness of his balls.

"Last one," Kurt announced and when it came down Blaine held his breath because he didn't have permission, not yet. For a moment Blaine's skin was left to the cool open air, but just when he thought he might die from lack of touch, Kurt's hand returned gently, caressing softly over the swell of his ass for far too long before slipping down further to cup his desperate balls. Kurt rolled them between his fingers, tracing every curve and fold and Blaine was panting now, near hyperventilation at the effort of holding back, until he thought he might pass out. Then a thumb brushed over his hole. "Your punishment's over Blaine," Kurt told him, teasing soft circles with exquisite cruelty. Blaine counted the heartbeats between those words and the next until Kurt finally, mercifully, spoke again. "You may come."

Blaine had never in his life had an orgasm like the one that night. His muscles shuddered and convulsed, sparks shot through every inch of his body, his toes curled and he screamed. He screamed with the waves of pleasure that shot through him and the ecstasy that flooded his mind and the all-encompassing love he had for Kurt. The grip of his submission began to slip and Kurt let him fall, expertly catching him with the force of his love at just the right moment, letting him come back up at his own speed. The tears started again but this time they were tears of relief and absolution and such absolute love for his husband. When the shockwaves finally stopped, Blaine vaguely recognized that Kurt was easing him off his lap. He was cleaning Blaine off and gently pulling his clothes back up, trapping the heat. Kurt rid himself of the blanket and brought Blaine fully onto the couch, resting his head on his lap, like Santana had taught him so long ago. Blaine felt Kurt's fingers brush through his hair and somewhere in the distance the words "I love you" were trying to make their way into his consciousness. Finally they did and he blinked up at Kurt. Kurt was looking down on him, no anger in his eyes, but also no smile on his face.

"Are you okay," Blaine whispered and Kurt nodded silently. The fingers not curled in his hair were stroking up and down Blaine's hip, gently. Blaine could feel Kurt hard beneath his head and he rubbed a thumb along Kurt's pants, wanting nothing more than to serve. But he'd wait until it was requested. Until he earned the privilege back. "I'm so proud of you," Blaine said softly. He just wished that Kurt could be proud of him. "I'm really, really sorry Kurt."

"I know you are sweetheart," Kurt said, brushing the sweat and tear soaked curls off his forehead. "And I forgive you. You are a great father, and a great husband, and quite possibly the best submissive in the world," Kurt said, needing Blaine to believe it. "You just made a mistake."

"You were so angry," Blaine muttered.

Kurt nodded. "I was," he agreed. "But that's not why I did what I did." Blaine sat up as best he could, wincing at the pain and knowing that it was going to keep him off the piano for a few days while he healed. But he needed to look Kurt in the eye. Kurt reached a hand to Blaine's cheek and stroked it gently, smiling softly. "I knew what you would need, and I knew that Santana could give it to you. But I also knew that it wouldn't have been enough for you. It wouldn't have been enough for me. Because you had broken a promise to me to care for our daughter. This was between you and me and Serena. I knew I had to handle it, for both of us."

There was a lot running through Blaine's mind but none of his thoughts made it past his lips. The only thing he could say was, "Thank you."

"I love you Blaine. Heart and soul. All of you. Your artistry and your passion, your fire and your submission. I am yours." Kurt kissed him, a soft, languid, loving kiss that Blaine felt down to his toes and softened the burn in his skin if only for a moment. It was a kiss of a golden contract, a claim, a promise that whatever happened from here on out was between them and them alone. Being equals didn't mean denying who they were. It meant rising to be the person that the other needed. And compromising didn't make either them or their love weaker. It only made them both stronger. Kurt pulled his lips away but his hands stayed cupping Blaine's face and he allowed himself to get lost in his warm golden eyes. He never wanted to be anywhere else. "Kneel for me," he whispered.

Every bone in Blaine's body went soft but without a thought he obeyed, slipping off of the couch and kneeling, bowing his head, eyes trained firmly on the ground, as he once had in a church so long ago.

"Look at me Blaine," Kurt ordered and though it was not even remotely his first act of submission, it felt like it was as he obeyed.

"You are mine," Kurt said sacredly.

He crouched down and cupped Blaine's cheek, bringing their lips together, and when they kissed it was as if this too was their first time. When at last they parted and Kurt rose again, Blaine looked up at him with nothing but reverence. "I am yours," he promised with every piece of his heart. "Only yours."


There's no fight we cannot win
Just you and I defying gravity