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Glowing in the Dark

Chapter Text

Kurt Hummel had ulterior motives when he applied to be an Orientation Leader for his college. Sure, he was glad to welcome the entire new freshman onto campus during their orientations and then also for the several days they had there before the rest of the students showed up for the beginning of fall semester. Mostly he was just in it for the extra time spent on campus. His freshman year had gone great, but he needed all the time he could get in the practice rooms of the music building if he wanted to be completely prepared for the coming year and everything beyond. He was a commodity, he knew, but that just meant he had to push himself even more to make sure he lived up to everything that was expected of him as the lone countertenor on campus.

New Student Weekend (well it was more than a weekend, considering that all the freshman had gotten there on Wednesday) had been going well so far. That was why he thought it would be fine for him to sneak off instead of spend his break chatting it up with the other Orientation Leaders. There was only so much of them he could take before he had to make a conscious effort not to roll his eyes every ten seconds. He wasn’t the biggest stickler for all the rules, but if he heard one more plan to get a bunch of freshman drunk within their first few nights there, he seriously thought he might turn them in. It just seemed wrong. At least let them get through their first week of college, because then they would actually need to be drunk.

He made his way across the quad and into the music building. Spending his break warming up and working on a few songs that he knew would probably be coming up in his lessons, that was a much better use of his time than sitting around with people he didn’t even really like. He’d slung his official, Orientation Leader mandated messenger bag over his shoulder and started up the stairs from the lobby, heading for the second floor where all the practice rooms were, when he stopped.

There was someone playing the piano in the auditorium. Kurt backtracked down the stairs, carefully taking them one at a time, as opposed to the two at a time bound he’d been doing as he went up. He knew it wasn’t likely whoever it was would hear him, but he still didn’t want to disturb them. He knew how easily sound carried into the auditorium – it was a constant annoyance of his when he actually had the opportunity to use the stage. As quietly as he could, he opened one of the doors and slipped into the back, closing it behind him before turning to look up at the stage and stopping in his tracks.

He’d been expecting an upperclassman, or maybe a teacher, but definitely not the smaller, unfamiliar person bent over the keyboard of the grand piano, playing a Rachmaninoff prelude like it was as natural as breathing. Kurt had heard many people play such incredible pieces in his time there in the music department, through the recital attendance requirements, and he’d heard passionate performances and boring ones. The boy on the stage, he was giving one of the best ones Kurt had ever heard.

Kurt moved his way up the aisle, not wanting to give him cause to stop but wanting to see if he recognized him at all. The first thing he noticed was his clothes, mostly because he looked like he was from a different era. Kurt knew that he himself dressed on the fashionably rebellious side normally, when he didn’t have to wear his khakis and polo shirt and talk to incoming freshmen about how great college life was, but the piano player was different. Cuffed trousers and sweater vests and bow ties. Apparently despite the fact that it was August, long pants and layers were acceptable. Kurt could appreciate that, as he tended to subscribe to that belief as well. His hair was slicked down, very reminiscent of earlier decades, and Kurt could see that his eyes were closed tightly, brow furrowed as he played. Kurt was so focused in on him, on the music that he was sending soaring into the room, that he didn’t even notice the dog lying beneath the piano.

The last notes sounded and hung in the air, reverberating throughout the auditorium.

Kurt’s concert etiquette kicked in before he could stop himself, despite the fact that he’d been so quiet up until that point, and as soon as the boy lifted his foot off the pedal, he started clapping.

Chapter Text

Blaine Anderson hadn’t expected anyone to be there. That was why he’d been there in the first place. Sure, he was an incoming freshman and needed to be there for orientation, but it wasn’t like he didn’t know his way around. His family had moved to the area the year prior and once he’d been accepted there for the fall, he’d taken to visiting the campus and learning his way around. It was important for it to be familiar, and not just for him but also for Roscoe, his dog. If Roscoe knew his way around, that was half the battle.

Orientation itself wasn’t exactly his thing. Large groups of students unnerved him, made him anxious, and it was only made worse by the fact that they were all unfamiliar. At least back in high school, even though it had been rough and there had been so much teasing and name calling and alright, bullying, he’d had friends. Not very many, but he’d had some. He’d had those people he could go to when he knew he needed someone. He didn’t have any of those at college, at least not yet, and he didn’t like sitting around in a big group of unknown people when he could hear the whispers. He could practically feel them looking at him.

Not being able to see was Blaine’s least favorite thing in the world, at least if he was being selfish. On his better days, he’d say it didn’t bother him that much, and that he knew there were so many people in the world worse off than him. Who was he to complain, after all, when he had a family, a roof over his head, food on the table, clothes on his back and shoes on his feet? But then there were the bad days, the days when he spiraled down and couldn’t shake it. Because he couldn’t see his family, the roof over his head, the food on the table, the clothes, the shoes. He couldn’t see anything. Those days, the self-loathing days, those were the worst.

It had started to turn into one of those days. The whispers bothered him more than the loudness usually did. Normally when it was loud, when people were yelling or excited or anything like that, he got nervous. It was partially because of the noise, but also because he never knew why. The stress of not knowing, he hated that. That was what had caused him to break off from his orientation group and head for the fine arts building. He’d been inside it before, found his way around. The faculty had been nice enough, and when he’d gone there that day he’d been told that the auditorium was free. The department administrator had taken him to the backstage door so he could get right out to the stage without having to go through the hassle of walking through the aisles, up the stairs, all of that.

He’d managed to get through three pieces before someone had come in. He hadn’t heard the door, he hadn’t heard the footsteps, he hadn’t heard anything. He’d been so far gone into the music that he hadn’t even noticed. Usually he was more aware. So when that person started clapping, it had caught him off guard. His heart felt like it had jumped up out of his chest and into his throat and he took a quick gasp for breath to keep from sounding as startled as he was. His head had jerked up automatically at the sound, and he set his hands on top of the piano to steady himself.

“Sorry, I didn’t think anyone was going to be here,” he said, gripping a little at the wood of the piano as he heard footsteps coming up the stairs and across the stage toward him. “They said I could play, I didn’t think I’d be bothering anyone.”

“Who said you were bothering someone?” Blaine’s eyebrows raised, caught off guard again. Not by the statement, but by the voice. It was lilting, light, and almost gentle. “That was beautiful. I should be the one apologizing, for disturbing you.”

“Oh,” Blaine said, pursing his lips and flexing his fingers to loosen their hold. “Thank you. You don’t, um, have to apologize.” He shook his head, carefully running his hands over the keys without pressing them down. “I’m glad you liked it?”

“Are you a freshman?” He nodded, shifting a little on the bench. “I thought so. The music department isn’t that big, and I’m sure I would have remembered you.” Blaine balked slightly, the corners of his mouth turning down almost automatically. Of course he was memorable, but not for any good reason. He pushed himself up from the bench, and Roscoe got up from where he’d been laying beneath the piano. “Is that a dog? ….oh.”

Oh. That one syllable said so much. Oh. It was the realization that made Blaine want to cringe, want to hide, want to go back to being just Blaine who wasn’t remarkable in any way that would make people pity him. More than he hated the pity, which he really hated a lot, he hated that there was no way he was ever going to escape it. It was something that was going to follow him around for the rest of his life, without fail. He wasn’t even sure what he would choose, if push came to shove and he had to pick one -- teasing or pity. And even though he had gone through the trouble of trying to push himself through not having one of those days, he totally was.

“I’m going to go,” he mumbled, patting his leg lightly and waiting for Roscoe to brush up against him before reaching down for his harness.

“Wait.” Their voice was different, just slightly, and Blaine’s fingers tightened on Roscoe’s harness. “Do you want to go get some coffee or something?”

“I don’t need or want your pity,” he said shortly, the words leaving his mouth before he realized he’d actually said it instead of just thinking it for once.

“It’s not pity. I...” There were footsteps, and Blaine bit his lip because he could feel how close they were getting. “I think we got off on the wrong foot. My fault. I’m Kurt. Kurt Hummel.”

“Blaine Anderson.”

“Well, Blaine Anderson,” Kurt said, his tone back to the lightness it had before. “If you aren’t busy, which I’m kind of guessing you aren’t, I know of a great little coffee shop uptown. It’s just two blocks away, and I’m buying. I owe you for that amazing piece you played just then, after all.”

“You don’t have to do tha--”

“This is not pity,” Kurt said firmly. “I’d just like to get to know a little more about one Blaine Anderson, who just completely made me forget about what I was planning to do with my break because of his amazing piano skills.” Blaine almost smiled at that, but he nodded. “Yes? Good.”

Blaine knew exactly where Kurt was taking them. Coffee shop uptown, just a block or two away from the campus, the only place it could be was Java Central. It was a small café which could be easily crowded, but it rarely was. When his family had moved to town, it had been one of the first stops they’d made after unpacking the moving truck and needing a break. He’d been stopping by there every morning before going to campus, so it was a familiar path that they walked up the block.

Kurt just kept making polite, casual conversation, but it didn’t feel like he was trying to dance around questions that he really wanted to ask but didn’t want to say. He just genuinely sounded interested in talking about what great weather they’d been having, and how he liked the brick sidewalks that were around the streets near the college and uptown as opposed to the standard concrete ones. He’d even complimented him on his bow tie, mentioning how very few people wore such a great fashion anymore, and even fewer could pull it off like he did, a comment that had made Blaine blush lightly. By the time they got to their destination he felt oddly at ease with Kurt, all tension from the auditorium gone.

“Here we go, Java Central,” Kurt said, and then paused. “Hm. I don’t know if…” he trailed off, sounding vaguely uneasy. “I mean, there isn’t a sign or anything.”

“A sign about what?” Blaine asked, puzzled. He’d just been there that morning and everything had been fine, so he assumed they hadn’t closed unexpectedly.

“…if they allow dogs inside or not,” Kurt said quietly, clearly unsure if it was something he was alright to say.

“Oh.” Blaine bit his lip. “Roscoe’s fine, he can go in.” That seemed to be good enough for Kurt, and he heard the jingle of the bell as the door was opened, and he headed on in.

“Did you know what you want? If you don’t, I mean, I could… give you options? They have a pretty big menu.” Kurt sounded different than he had when they’d been out walking up the street. He’d been all ease and normalcy out there, but now that they were actually in the coffee shop, he sounded like he wasn’t sure how to approach things. How to approach Blaine. Thankfully, all that was quickly interrupted.

“Blaine, you’re back!” Sugar was one of his favorite baristas there. Everyone who worked there was nice, but Sugar had a knack of making him feel more at ease than anyone else. “Did you want another medium coffee?”

“Or… you could totally be a regular here and I’m just babbling for no reason,” Kurt said, amusement clear in his tone.

“I was just going to let you keep going,” Blaine admitted, grinning slightly. “It was kind of cute.” The words were out before he could stop them, and he could feel his cheeks flushing again. It had been cute. He rarely went places like that with people other than his family, and they of course knew his coffee order easily or if it was somewhere else, what options he definitely wouldn’t want to have, so they narrowed it down. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been somewhere with someone else, and had that person think of him and what he was going to get before they took care of themselves. That just made him feel a little bad about how he’d snapped at Kurt in the auditorium, but it had just been an automatic reaction. “That sounds great, Sugar, thanks.”

“Sure thing,” she said. “And what can I get you?”

“I’ll take a medium non-fat mocha, please,” Kurt said, tutting lightly as Blaine fished into his pocket for his wallet. “None of that, I said it’s on me.”

“Are you sure? It’s not a big deal, I can—“

“I am incredibly sure,” Kurt said, speaking over the whirring sound of milk steaming and the beeping of the cash register. “I owe you, remember?”

“You guys can go ahead and sit, I’ll bring your drinks out,” Sugar said cheerfully, once she’d given Kurt his change and he’d dropped it into the tip jar. “And can Roscoe get a treat, or is he cut off since he got one this morning already?”

“I think you’ll seriously start edging me out for Roscoe’s favorite person if you give him another one,” Blaine said, grinning, but he couldn’t help but cave. “You can, though.” Sugar squealed, clapping excitedly before turning to finish their drinks.

“So do you have a regular place to sit?” Kurt asked.

“Not really, just wherever’s open,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “I don’t like sitting too close to the counter, if it can be helped.” He reached out automatically, his hand resting on Kurt’s arm, but then he pulled it back. “Sorry, habit.”

“No, it’s okay,” Kurt murmured, taking Blaine’s hand and hooking it into the crook of his arm. “There’s a table over by the window, in the sun. Is that okay?”

“That’s fine,” Blaine said, worrying his lower lip between his teeth as he focused on trying not to blush anymore than he already had been. Kurt led him over to the table and he carefully slid into one of the chairs, and Roscoe laid down at his feet.

“Here you boys go,” Sugar chirped as she came over and set their drinks down on the table. Blaine’s fingers straightened out from where he’d had them curled on the table in loose fists, and brushed against paper of his cup. He wrapped both his hands around it, taking in its warmth. It might have been hot outside, but the air conditioning in the café was on full blast and he was glad for the hot coffee warming his fingers. “Blaine, I put a little cinnamon in there cause I remembered you doing that this morning before you left, but let me know if you didn’t want it like that. I just thought, well, I remember! So I did. And I had some biscotti I didn’t know what to do with, so you two enjoy those, alright?”

Blaine dipped his head a little, smiling as she crouched down to give Roscoe a treat, but then the bell on the door jangled and she was off back to the counter. Kurt coughed, but it sounded more like he was trying to cover up a laugh. “What?”

“I think she likes you,” Kurt said, and Blaine pulled his cup of coffee in closer to him.

“She’s nice,” he said, but he shook his head. “I’m pretty sure she likes Roscoe best.”

“Well I don’t know if I can doubt that,” Kurt said, pausing to take a sip of his drink. “We just got biscotti, but he most definitely got lots of scratches behind his ears. Definitely the better deal, at least comparatively, from a dog’s perspective.” Blaine grinned, popping the lid off his cup to help it cool down to a drinkable temperature. “So, Blaine Anderson. I feel like I should know more about you. Are you from here, originally? I’m just guessing, what with the regular status here.”

“Well not originally originally,” Blaine said, his fingertips grazing across the top of the table as he searched for the biscotti, taking one off the plate and dipping it into his coffee. “My family moved here about a year ago. Where are you from?”

“Lima,” Kurt replied dryly. “Definitely not an exciting place. I like it much better here. Alright, so you’re from here kind of. You’re a freshman, piano major, do you know who your private instructor is? Salido is amazing, if you are lucky enough to get her.”

“Oh, I’m not,” Blaine started, taking a bite of his biscotti and chewing over it thoughtfully before swallowing and shaking his head again. “A piano major, I mean.”

“You’re not?” Kurt set his cup down on the table, and Blaine could almost feel Kurt’s eyebrows raising.

“No, um, I’m an English major,” Blaine answered, sinking the biscotti back down into his drink.

“Why the hell aren’t you majoring in music?” Kurt asked, and then he paused. “Sorry, that was rude. I’m just saying, you’re really good. I’ve spent the past year going to student recitals and some recitals done by the faculty, and you could definitely blow all the students out of the water. You play beautifully, Blaine. I can’t remember the last time I heard anyone play with that much passion.”

“Um, thank you,” Blaine murmured, knowing full well that he had to be blushing from the compliments. He never did take them well, and he could never figure out what to say in response. Usually he settled with deflection, either disagreeing with them or just plain changing the topic. Music was a particular point of pride for him, so that was an easier compliment to take than something about himself. “It was just something that, I mean, I’d love to but it wasn’t something I could do.” He took another bite before attempting to turn the focus away from himself. “What about you? Piano? Or…”

“Definitely not piano,” Kurt said with a light snort of laughter. “I mean, I can play alright, but not even close to how well I would need to play to do that. I did my proficiency last year no problem, but it’s not like that was too complex. After taking piano class for a year in college, I would expect to be able to play scales, sight read a little, and improv over some chords.” He stopped to take a drink. “My mom always said I had the hands for it, something about pianist’s fingers, but I never studied it growing up.”

“Can I see?” Blaine asked, resting his biscotti on the rim of his cup before holding out his hand, palm up. A split second later, he started to pull his hand back. “Sorry, that’s weird.”

“No it’s not,” Kurt said, catching his hand before he could take it off the table. Blaine cupped his hand between his own, running his fingertips along his fingers. They were thin, slender, and Kurt’s mom had been right – very perfect for playing the piano. His hand was so soft, too, and Blaine made himself pull his hands back to his coffee cup, taking off the biscotti before lifting it up to take a drink. “Well? What’s the verdict?”

“You do have pianist’s fingers,” Blaine said, setting his cup back on the table but not moving his hands. Well, not until Kurt gently prised one of them away from it to hold up against his own. “What are you doing?”

“Comparing,” Kurt said simply, keeping a light grip on Blaine’s wrist as he held their hands together. Blaine felt like his breath was catching in his throat, just from the gentle way Kurt was touching him. He knew he’d just basically done the same thing to him, but he had a reason. No one ever did that sort of thing to him. It felt weirdly intimate, what Kurt was doing.

“So what are you majoring in, then?” he asked, trying to brush the feeling away as Kurt let go of him.

“Hm? Oh, vocal performance.”

“Oh,” Blaine said, going back to holding his coffee cup between his hands. “I bet you sound amazing.” Kurt made an indiscernible sound and Blaine bit his lip. “Sorry, was that creepy? I just meant, your voice is so nice just talking, so it must sound really good when you sing.”

“No, it wasn’t creepy,” Kurt said, reaching over and lightly touching Blaine’s hand for a moment. “Thank you. I mean, obviously I’d like to think that I sound amazing. There are so many people at this school who are incredible vocalists, it’s easy to get discouraged sometimes. At least I’m kind of a commodity, so that keeps me from getting too hum drum about how great everyone else is. Not saying that I think I’m a jerk about it or anything, I still work really hard --”

“Kurt,” Blaine interrupted, trying not to giggle. “It’s okay. I don’t think you’re being a jerk. There’s nothing wrong with being proud of yourself, especially in regards to something you’ve worked hard for.”

“Thanks,” Kurt murmured, and then he cleared his throat. “So, what dorm did you get stuck in? Or wait, your family lives here, so… are you living on campus?” There had been that pause again, like he wasn’t sure if he was okay to ask, and Blaine shook his head.

“Neither,” he answered, his thumb absently rubbing against the seam of the cup in his hands. “I was going to be in the dorms but, um, I couldn’t be. Not with Roscoe. The whole no pets thing. I mean, he’s not a turtle or a goldfish so… yeah. My parents thought I should get used to being on my own, though, so I have an apartment just up the street. Well, it’s not really an apartment. It’s like half of a house? You know how they split them up so more people can live there?”

“Yeah,” Kurt said, tapping his fingers on the table. “That’s ridiculous, though. You’d think they’d make an exception.”

“I don’t mind,” Blaine said quickly. “I like it better this way, I think. Dorms seem like they would be loud, and there are just so many people. I have a roommate, and they’re loud sometimes, but at least they’re just one person. I don’t… like being around a lot of people all the time.” It was all true, but he didn’t add how he hated when people made exceptions for him, how that made him feel almost worse. That was the problem with wanting nothing more than to feel normal, but knowing that he never would be. “Plus I have to go past here to get to campus, so it’s pretty much a win-win.”

“You know if I didn’t know any better, I’d say you have a coffee problem,” Kurt teased, and Blaine was glad to hear that any seriousness that had been in his tone before was completely gone. “Baristas know you by name, know your order by heart, and you chose a place to live based on its proximity to caffeine…”

“I can’t really deny that,” Blaine said with a grin. He opened his mouth to say how it had only been part proximity to the college but really he’d decided against a place a little closer because it meant he would have had to walk the opposite way to get to Java Central, but his phone started going off.

“REPORT TO YOUR JAM TEAM. JAM JAM JAM JAM-JAM JAM JAM JAM JAM-JAM-- ” Blaine flushed, almost knocking his coffee over as he tried to get his phone out of his pocket and shut off the alarm.

“What,” Kurt started, sounding like he was trying not to laugh, “was that?”

“My stupid brother,” Blaine muttered, fully aware that his face must have been red by that point. “He thought the term JAM team was really funny and so he set all my alarms for orientation with that. He… likes setting my alarms so he can make up his own messages. They’re helpful, but mostly annoying. He got my roommate turned onto the idea and now it’s like a toss-up of whose voice is going to horribly embarrass me at various parts of my day.”

“Well ‘JAM team’ is one of the dumbest terms I’ve ever come across,” Kurt said, huffing out a quiet laugh. “Just Ask Me teams. Why they couldn’t just call them orientation groups, I have no idea. Of course they had to try and be clever, but that clearly didn’t work. What team are you on?”

“Four,” Blaine said, carefully putting the lid back on his cup.

“Ah, so you have… Rachel and Sam as your leaders?”

“Yeah,” Blaine said, lifting his head, his brow furrowing a little. He didn’t mind Rachel and Sam, really. They were both nice, even though Rachel was overly enthusiastic. Sam had made about ten different sci fi references in the first three minutes of meeting everyone, so he was definitely alright in Blaine’s book. “How’d you know that?”

“Oh, I’m a ‘JAM team’ leader,” Kurt said, and Blaine could almost see the airquotes around the words. “We’re super great on JAM team eight,” he added chipperly, before laughing. “Fun times, yeah? We probably should head back, though. I’m sure I’m going to get some sort of grief from my partner about not being there early to help set things up.”

“I’m sorry, you could have gone back, we didn’t have to sit here for so long—“

“Blaine, stop that. I’m glad I was here with you instead of there doing God knows what. This was a far, far better use of my time, believe me.” Blaine bit his lip, but nodded. “I’m going to go give this plate back to Sugar.”

“Alright,” Blaine said, getting up out of his chair and reaching down for Roscoe. He scratched behind his ears while he waited for Kurt to get back, and then they both got what was left of their coffee and headed back for campus.

Truth be told, he was sad to be going back to his own group and not just go with Kurt to his. No one had been outright rude or mean to him, but no one had been particularly nice. He hadn’t felt as comfortable with anyone like had with Kurt. Sam sat next to him most of the time when they were in their group, and tried to include him as much as possible, but it felt like he was trying a bit too hard. Rachel, too. Blaine was glad when the ‘mandatory’ activities for the day were over and he could actually head home.

“If you guys don’t have any plans for tonight, Sex at Seven is happening over in the auditorium of the fine arts building!” Sam announced as everyone gathered their things to leave. “Or if you just want to come and see us orientation leaders be really bad actors and make complete fools of ourselves, that’s cool too! We’ll be there.”

“Sam, that’s not what this is about,” Rachel cut in, sounded snippish. “It’s a very important presentation about the dangers of unsafe sexual relations and also safety when it comes to parties and alcohol. This isn’t something to joke about!”

“Yeah, yeah, but also we’re making complete jackasses out of ourselves, so....”

Blaine couldn’t help but chuckle and Rachel and Sam sniped back and forth at each other, and he quietly gathered his things and headed up the street toward his house. It had been a long day, full of lots of things. The constant stress of being around groups like that, it wore him out. Part of him wondered if he was cut out for college, but he knew he was. It would just take a little bit of time to adjust, but he would be fine. Belatedly, he thought about how he maybe should have gotten Kurt’s number from him. Then again, that seemed like a very forward thing to ask. They’d had coffee, sure, and Kurt had been nice to him, but that didn’t mean anything.

If he was supposed to have it, he was sure there’d been another chance. At least that’s what he told himself as he unlocked the front door and headed in for his room, not wanting to deal with anything but a door closed to the rest of the world and music streaming through the space around him for a while.

Chapter Text

Blaine’s solitude didn’t last very long. It was hard to miss the door to the house banging open, and the loud laughter coming from outside his room. He hadn’t lived there that long, just since the beginning of summer, and he honestly didn’t mind his roommate. Santana was rough around the edges, to be sure, but she was also a breath of fresh air from time to time. To say she was blunt was an understatement, but she seemed to understand what Blaine needed most of the time. It was a relationship he hadn’t expected, but was glad to have. Most days, at least.

There wasn’t much about the situation that he had expected, actually. He’d never imagined that his first roommate after moving out of his parents’ house, his first roommate would have been a girl. His parents were fairly conservative, traditional, and he’d been shocked when they mentioned her name. The fact that his potential roommate was a her. Then it’d become clear that they seemed more comfortable with him living with a girl because obviously nothing was going to happen between them, and he didn’t know how he’d been surprised at all.

“Hey Blaine, we’re going to order some pizza. You in?” she called through the door, knocking on it as if just asking the question wasn’t enough. He reached over to turn off his music before rolling out of bed and padding over to the door.

“Pizza?” he asked, pulling the door open and leaning against the frame. “And who’s we?”

“Me and Brittany,” she said, and Blaine’s brow furrowed.

“Who’s Brittany?”

“Um, I am,” another unfamiliar voice said. Brittany was much quieter than Santana, for which Blaine was thankful. “I’m standing, like, right here.”

“He can’t see you, Brit.”


“He’s blind.” Blaine felt his face turning red, and he wished he could just shut the door and disappear back into his room unnoticed.

“Oh.” There was a pause, then soft, unfamiliar hands grabbed his own and all of a sudden they were on a face.

“What are you doing?” he asked, slightly panicked, pulling them back as quick as he could.

“Well, you’re blind, so I thought you’d want to touch my face,” Brittany said simply, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. “That’s how it works, isn’t it? Or did you want to touch my boobs instead? Is that a thing?”

“No!” Blaine and Santana said in unison, and he was glad that at least she was on his side.

“But how is he going to know what I look like?” Brittany asked with a huff.

“Blaine, she looks like a Skipper doll, but like a million times better,” Santana said, and that made Blaine smile. Compliments weren’t exactly the easiest thing to get out of Santana, so just from that he could tell that she actually liked Brittany. “Come on, yes pizza or no pizza? I’m hungry and I’m not waiting all night for you to make up your mind.”

“Yes pizza,” he said, rubbing his face a little. “Just no onions or anything gross on it?”

“What, no requests for extra sausage?”

“Santana.” He was glad his hand was still on his face, because he could only imagine the joy she would get out of seeing his expression. “No, just… whatever.”

“I just want cheese and pepperoni!” Brittany piped up, and Blaine found himself so glad she was there to miss Santana’s innuendos and just keep them on track for pizza toppings.

“Cheese and pepperoni sounds perfect,” he said, dropping his hand and nodding.

“Mkay, I’ll order some cheesesticks too and then we’ll be set,” Santana said, and she and Brittany wandered away. Or at least, Blaine thought Brittany had gone with her until he felt her hand slip into his.

“Come on, let’s go sit on the couch,” she said, tugging on his hand lightly.

“Um, okay.” He trailed along with her, and sat down on the couch. She flopped down beside him and draped her arm around his shoulders, her legs propped up over his lap, and he just sat there stunned as she nestled up against him. Physical affection wasn’t exactly something he was used to, especially from strangers, and he wasn’t exactly sure what the protocol was. It wasn’t that he minded, he just didn’t know what to do.

“So how long have you been a bat?”

“I… what?”

“How long have you been a bat?” Brittany repeated, a little slower as if that would make her question seem less ridiculous. It did take him a minute, but then he understood.

“Oh. How long have I been b-blind?” he asked, faltering as she fussed with his bow tie.


“Um, a little over a year and a half?” he said, worrying his lower lip between his teeth.

“Oh, so not for always!” Brittany sounded pleased about that, for some reason. “We were going to watch a movie when the pizza got here, did you want to choose?”

“It really doesn’t matter,” Blaine said, shaking his head. It wasn’t like he’d be able to see it anyway.

“Well I was thinking maybe you could choose,” Brittany said, smoothing down the front of his sweater vest. “Cause if it’s something you know, then it’d almost be like you could see it! Right? Or can you not see stuff in your head, either?”

“No, I can see stuff in my head,” Blaine said, and he caught her hand, giving it a light squeeze. He wasn’t one to make quick judgments of people, though he found it hard not to when he only had limited amounts of information to work with, but Brittany seemed like a genuinely sweet person. At least, it didn’t seem like she was asking him questions just because – she just was actually curious. Plus, if she looked like a Skipper doll, he could only imagine how adorable she was. “How about you pick out a few and then let me know which ones they are and I’ll pick from those? That way it’ll be something everyone wants no matter what.”

“Okay!” She kissed his cheek and was off the couch before he had a chance to react. Blaine didn’t know how often she was going to be around their house but if the first five minutes with her were any indication, he was going to need to get used to being touched. He carefully straightened out his bow tie, from how she’d messed with it, and almost jumped out of his seat when she shrieked. “THERE’S A DOG. BIG SCARY DOG!”

There was the thundering of footsteps down the stairs and then Santana came bursting into the room, stopping almost immediately once she was through the doorway. “Fuck, don’t do that Brittany! I thought something had actually happened.”

“There is a scary dog,” Brittany whimpered, and Blaine felt horrible. He knew not everyone liked dogs, and that some people were scared of dogs, and he didn’t blame them at all. He’d never been a big fan of them before, but Roscoe was so amazing that he tended to forget about that. It didn’t help that Roscoe was kind of a scary dog, if someone didn’t know him. German Shepards came with a stigma attached, but his German Shepard happened to be as docile as could be.

“It’s okay, Brittany,” he said, chewing on his lip. “Roscoe’s really nice.” He snapped his fingers so Roscoe would come over, leaning up against his legs as he sat at his feet. “I know he looks kind of scary but he’s just a big teddy bear. You can pet him if you want, I’ll hold onto him.”

“Yeah, he’s an alright dog,” Santana offered, which Blaine knew was as close to support as he was going to get from her.

“He looks like a police dog,” Brittany said softly.

“I told you to stop watching those cops shows,” Santana said with a light snort, and then she headed off into the kitchen. He kept his hand on Roscoe’s collar and scratched under his chin a little.

“He’s never ever hurt anyone, I promise.” Blaine said, and he heard Brittany shuffling around a little and moving back closer to him.

“Promise?” she asked, sitting beside him on the couch. He nodded, and she leaned across him to reach out and run her fingertips lightly against Roscoe’s fur.

“His ears are really soft,” he whispered, like it was a secret. “And he loves it when people scratch right behind them. He’d probably be your friend forever if you did that.” Brittany moved her hand up and did as he’d said, which made Roscoe’s tail thump against the floor happily, and she sighed.

“Okay, he’s not so scary,” she said, her fingers still working against Roscoe’s fur. “But he looks really scary. Is he a helping dog? I’ve seen those before, but I’ve never touched one. I didn’t think you were supposed to.”

“He’s... well yes, a helping dog,” Blaine said, loosening his hold on the collar. He’d just started explaining to Brittany about him when Santana came back in and sat on the other side of Brittany, pulling her away from Blaine.

“Still scared of the dog?” she asked, and Blaine turned his head as he patted Roscoe on the side.
Brittany was different, and not just in how she talked or acted, but in how Santana talked to her. He’d never heard that tone of softness, almost affection, from his roommate before. Usually when she brought friends home, it was all sharp tongued and cutting, no matter how much she said she liked them. He’d heard more insults and harshness out of her in their brief time living together than he had in almost the entire last year of his life. She said it came from a place of love, and he didn’t doubt that she meant that in her own way, but still.

He actually didn’t mind it too much when she was rude to him or said something that, from anyone else, normally would have sent him into a downward spiral ending in a completely bad day. It was because she was Santana, and that was her way of treating him like everybody else. So when she was short with him, or called him Stevie Wonder, or anything like that, more often than not he could just smile and shrug it off, chalk it up to the fact that she actually liked him or she wouldn’t have bothered.

So that was how he ended up spending his evening on the couch with the two of them, Mean Girls playing on the television, and pizza all scarfed down. He’d had to stop Brittany from giving some cheesesticks to Roscoe, but that had been the only misstep. She’d ended up stretched all across the couch and them, her head in Santana’s lap and legs strewn across Blaine’s. It hadn’t started out that way. She’d curled up against him and nuzzled into his shoulder before Santana tugged her over and she’d laid down entirely.

If anyone had told Blaine that he would spend the first Friday night before his freshman year of college trying to fend off cuddles from a girl he’d just met, he never would have believed them. It was nice, though, and by the time he went to bed he was convinced that the day couldn’t have gone any better, except for one small thing.

He should have gotten Kurt’s number.

* * *

Getting ready in the morning was a practiced skill. Showering and making sure not to use any of Santana’s things had been a game of luck and chance at first, but then he’d made sure to keep all his things in one place so he was sure not to accidentally end up smelling like warm vanilla sugar and lavender. It was absurd how similar the bottles for her products were to his, and he’d even taken the precaution to wrap rubber bands around his so he could make absolutely sure he was getting the right things. Just that little texture around the bottle was enough to help. She hadn’t seemed to care that he’d used her stuff, but he didn’t exactly want to smell like her all day. He’d much rather smell like himself.

Blaine’s clothes were all organized very specifically, so he could make sure everything matched appropriately. He’d made the mistake of asking Santana if he looked alright once and she’d informed him that he looked like a preppy hobbit from the fifties, so he didn’t plan on doing that again. He liked his style. He knew it was different than most, he’d been able to see that clearly before he’d lost his sight, but he liked it. It suited him, he thought. Plus he considered it a great asset that he could tie bow ties, because not many people could those days. It was the little things.

By the time he left the house and headed for Java Central, he’d spent far too long making sure the part in his hair was straight and that his curls weren’t completely out of control. When he’d walked past her in the living room, Santana had made a sleepy sounding comment about how his hair looked like a helmet. He couldn’t really help that, though. When his hair was in its natural state, he had no idea what it would look like. It could be sticking out all over the place and crazy and horrible looking, curly and wild. Keeping it slicked down was a reassurance for how it would look, and he liked having that control over something.

The cafe was noisier than usual when he walked in, conversations happening on all sides as people tried to talk over the sounds of the hustle and bustle going on behind the counter. His grip tightened on Roscoe’s harness, and he briefly considered going back to the house and getting some coffee there. It wasn’t like they didn’t have any, and it would save him the money. But convenience wasn’t the reason he went to Java Central in the first place. It was comfortable, someplace he knew and loved, with people who were nice and genuine and seemed to like him almost as much as he liked them. That interaction with them in the morning was sometimes the best part of his day, so skipping over that seemed like wasting what was always an opportunity for a bright start to the day.

“Good morning, Blaine Anderson.” He bit his lip as he tried to recover from being so startled, but he hadn’t expected anyone to talk to him until he’d gotten to the counter and he really hadn’t expected Kurt to be there.

“And to you, Kurt Hummel,” he replied, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.

“I figured I might see you here,” Kurt said, adding quickly, “not that I was sitting here waiting or anything that makes me seem like a stalker. I just really wanted a mocha.”

“No, I’m pretty sure that you’re stalking me,” Blaine said, practically grinning. “I mean, it wouldn’t be that difficult to do.” He had no idea what it was about Kurt that made him say thing that could easily be construed as playful or even flirty. He’d never considered himself a flirty person, and he hoped that he wasn’t coming off all flippant or coy, there was just something about Kurt that made him comfortable enough to say things without really thinking about them. Whether that was entirely good or not, he wasn’t sure.

“Well now you’re just going to think that even more, because I got you your coffee,” Kurt said sheepishly, and Blaine’s cheeks flushed.

“You did?”

“Yeah. I mean, I know what time orientation stuff starts today so I figured you’d be coming in sooner rather than later, and it started to get crowded so I figured it would save you some time, and if you didn’t show up, I had an extra coffee to take with me for some else, worst case scenario.” Kurt spoke so matter-of-factly, like he hadn’t just done something that was actually special. Blaine was practically floored. “Oh God, I’m freaking you out, aren’t I? You really do think I’m a stalker.”

“Nonono,” Blaine said quickly, shaking his head, having found his voice again. “I just... that was really nice of you, Kurt. I don’t remember the last time anyone did something like that for me. Thank you.”

“So you’re not opposed to walking to campus with me then? No restraining order necessary?”

“No restraining order necessary,” Blaine repeated in affirmation. He started to turn to go back out the door, but a shout from behind the counter stopped him.

“Blaine, don’t you dare!” It was Tina’s voice, and there were quick footsteps coming toward them. He couldn’t figure out what he’d been doing that had been so objectionable, but then he felt Roscoe’s tail thumping against his leg. Right. “Just because someone got you your coffee already, you think you don’t have to wait around so Roscoe can get his treat...”

“Sorry, I wasn’t thinking,” Blaine said sheepishly. It was true, he’d just been thinking about Kurt. How Kurt had been there waiting for him. How Kurt had gotten his coffee so he wouldn’t have to wait in line. How he was going to walk down to campus with Kurt. It was shameful, really.

“Mhmm.” Tina sounded amused, and she touched his arm lightly for a moment as she straightened up from where she’d been crouched by Roscoe. “Okay, now you are free to go. Have a good day!”

“That dog has everyone wrapped around his paw, doesn’t he?” Kurt asked as they walked out onto the sidewalk and headed down the street.

“He really does,” Blaine said with a chuckle. “It’s a talent of his.” They paused at the corner to wait for the light to change, and he tilted his head a little. “May I have my coffee?”

“Oh! Yes, sorry,” Kurt said, and Blaine held out his hand expectantly. The handoff was a little awkward, Kurt clearly wanting to make sure he had a good grip on it before he let go, and Blaine had to try and fight off the urge to blush when their fingers kept brushing against each other.

“Thanks,” he murmured, taking a long sip to hide his grin. It was just the right drinking temperature, which meant that Kurt had to have been sitting there waiting for at least five to ten minutes, because that’s usually how long it took before Blaine was able to drink his coffee every morning. Once again, he felt overwhelmed by the gesture. No one did those types of things for him, least of all people who he’d just met and barely knew. Kurt really was something else.

“Be glad you missed the travesty that was Sex at Seven last night,” Kurt said as they crossed the street. “Oh man, it was a mess. I mean, I know that we just threw the skits together really last minute but oh my God was it awful. Some actually almost got their nose broken.”

“How did that happen?!”

“There was this skit about the dangers of partying and all that, and there was someone doing a keg stand and when they lifted him up they were a little... enthusiastic and smacked his face right onto the empty keg we had, and then almost dropped him.” Kurt sounded equal parts annoyed and amused. “Which, I feel bad because it looked like it really hurt and there was blood and all, but since he didn’t get seriously injured, it’s funny in retrospect.”

“Well I’m sorry I missed that, it sounds like it was quite the hootenanny,” Blaine said. Kurt snorted and then started coughing, bursts of laughter coming out between coughs. “Are you okay?”

“I’m sorry, but did you just say hootenanny?” Kurt asked. “Blaine Anderson. It’s like you’re from another era or something. Bow ties, sweater vests, hootenannies, and I would honestly not be shocked if you told me that was Dippity-Do in your hair.” Blaine flushed, taking another drink of his coffee to give him a chance to school his expression. He wasn’t sure if Kurt was making fun of him or not, but clearly he hadn’t acted quickly enough and Kurt had noticed. “I like all those things,” Kurt added gently, his hand reaching over to rest on Blaine’s arm for a moment. “You’re like a breath of fresh air compared to everyone else. All those things? They suit you. You’re just the first person I’ve ever heard use the word hootenanny completely seriously and you almost made me get my mocha up my nose.”

“Well it did sound like a hootenanny,” Blaine said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. “I’m glad your mocha didn’t actually go up your nose, that probably would have hurt.”

“And entirely unattractive,” Kurt added, laughing again. He had an amazing laugh, Blaine realized. It was all honest and real, and he felt like he could listen to Kurt laugh all day and be just fine. That made him want to kick himself, though, for thinking something like that.

“I doubt that, I bet you could pull it off,” Blaine countered. He took a breath and asked before he could talk himself out of it. “Hey, can I have your number?” He rushed into speaking again. “I mean, you can say no, that’s fine. I know we just met yesterday and all that, but you’re the first person I met on campus that actually... friendly and nice.”

“No, of course,” Kurt said, and Blaine let out a sigh of relief. He didn’t know why he’d been so nervous about asking, except for the fact that Kurt might have said no. “Here, let me see your phone.” Blaine stopped walking for a moment so he could pull his phone out of his pocket and give it to Kurt. “Blaine?”


“This may be a really awful question,” Kurt said slowly, and Blaine’s brow furrowed. “But... you have a touchscreen phone. How... does that work?”

“Oh, it’s... that’s not an awful question,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “It’s just that phone is really helpful as far as voice commands, and it says names when people call me so I know who I’m going to be talking to. Plus I had an iPhone before, um, when I could still see, so I was already used to it. I can’t use apps or anything, but I don’t really care about those anyway.”

“Makes sense,” Kurt murmured, and he handed the phone back a few seconds later. They started down the sidewalk again, but there was more silence than there had been any other time they’d been together before. It made Blaine feel like maybe he shouldn’t have asked for his number in the first place, or shouldn’t have said much when he’d asked about his phone. Either way, it was starting to feel awkward.



“You can... ask me stuff.” Blaine bit his lip, feeling even more nervous than when he’d asked for his phone number. “I won’t get offended or anything. Sometimes when people do, I mean, it depends on who it is or what the question is, but... I don’t think you would mean anything by it. So you can ask.”

“Alright,” Kurt said quietly. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“Orientation stuff only goes until four today, right?” Blaine asked, taking a long drink of his coffee as Kurt hummed a confirmation. “Do you have plans for dinner?” His heart felt like it was pounding extra hard in his chest as he realized what he was asking, how it might be taken, and he never had been one for being spontaneous but he felt like he’d made things awkward and he needed to fix it.

“Actually, I don’t,” Kurt said. “There’s an Orientation Leaders thing, but I was going to skip it anyway. It’s not an official meeting that we have to go to or anything, just a pizza party. Why?”

“I owe you dinner,” Blaine said, trying so hard to keep from blushing at his own brazenness.

“Excuse me?”

“I do,” he said with a nod. “You got me coffee, and I was kind of a jerk to you yesterday for no reason, so... I owe you dinner.”

“When were you a jerk to me?” Kurt asked, clearly surprised by the statement. “I don’t remember that.”

“No arguing,” Blaine said, stepping down off the curb to cross the street onto campus. “Just dinner. Let’s say... five o’clock?”

“Five o’clock,” Kurt repeated, and Blaine smiled at that. “Where is this happening?”

“Oh, 23B Home Street. I’m cooking.” It wasn’t entirely a lie, as he and Santana had already made plans to cook in and have dinner, but he didn’t think she would blame him for changing things on her. She wasn’t terribly picky when it came to that sort of thing. Or at least, she wouldn’t hold it against him for very long.

“You’re cooking? You can be a jerk to me all the time if it’s going to end in you cooking for me.”

“You might want to wait to actually try my cooking before giving me that sort of leeway,” Blaine said with a grin. Kurt’s phone went off, and he silenced it within a few rings.

“Well tonight I shall, and we’ll see what I have to say then,” Kurt said, reaching over to rest a hand on Blaine’s back. “I have to run to my group but if nothing else, I’ll be there tonight at five. Have a great day, alright Blaine?”

“You too, Kurt.” Blaine tried to ignore the slight tingle he felt as Kurt’s hand lingered there between his shoulder blades, but then the hand was gone and he was left on his own. It was only then that it truly hit him that he’d just invited Kurt over to his house for dinner. Kurt was going to be in his house, eating his cooking, and that was not exactly something that Blaine could think about without having panic rise up in his chest.

He was going to have to call Santana and explain before he got home, and maybe she’d be able to talk him down.

Chapter Text

Kurt dressed up for dinner. The last thing he wanted to do was show up in his orientation mandated apparel and besides, he was sick and tired of wearing something so plain. That wasn’t the type of person he was. He’d helped clean up from their afternoon activities as quickly as he could so he could go back to his dorm and change into something much more dinner worthy. It was a layered look, a point that made him think of Blaine and all the layers he wore daily. It was simple – a white button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, suspenders and a vest over top, and dark skinny jeans stretched down over his legs, disappearing down into the boots he’d picked out.

Blaine might not have been able to see him, but that didn’t mean he shouldn’t look his best.

He made his way off campus and up Home Street, pausing as he came upon 23B before heading up the short sidewalk to the front porch. There was no doorbell so he knocked, shifting back onto his heels as he waited for the door to be opened. He was nervous; there was no doubt about that. Blaine had been nervous when he’d asked him over, that had been pretty obvious. Kurt was beyond nervous about having dinner with him, though. Blaine had given him free reign to ask him whatever he wanted, and honestly he did have some questions that had been pushed to the back of his mind out of concern and the urge to be polite. A few more had been raised that morning, even.

All thoughts about nerves and questions were pushed out of his head as the door swung open in front of him, and he looked up to see a girl standing there. She looked annoyed – beautiful, but definitely annoyed. Her dark eyes swept over him in a clearly evaluating gaze, what might have bordered on leering had she looked at all interested. He opened his mouth to break the silence, ask if Blaine was there, but she beat him to it.

“Blaine!” she yelled over her shoulder. “You can’t see shit!”

“Um, yes?” Blaine called back meekly from wherever he was in the house. Kurt’s eyes just widened a bit, and he just stared at the girl in the doorway, who was bracing herself against the doorjamb and essentially blocking him from coming inside.

“Is your blind guy cane like a divining rod or something? Because you managed to find the biggest twink ever with your eyes literally closed.” Kurt’s eyebrows shot up toward his hairline and he could feel the color draining from his face. Whoever she was, she was one of the rudest people he’d managed to interact with that side of Lima. If he could even consider it interacting, him just standing there while she shouted back into the rooms of the house. There was a sound of something breaking coming from what Kurt assumed was the kitchen, and the girl rolled her eyes, muttering something that sounded like “butterfingers” before pushing up out of the doorway and motioning Kurt inside as she disappeared back into a different room.

Kurt hesitantly walked into the house, closing the door behind him. It was sparsely decorated, which he hadn’t really known what to expect because how much interior decorating was really to be expected when one couldn’t see? There were movie posters littering the walls of the living room as he walked through, and he was a bit relieved to see that they were mostly from classic movies. He paused, crouching down to pet Roscoe where he was laying at the far end of the coffee table, and then followed the voices speaking in hushed tones into the kitchen.

* * *

Blaine had dropped a plate. He’d wanted to get to the front door before Santana when Kurt had gotten there, but he hadn’t heard the knock and then all his fears came true at once. He was used to Santana, or at least mostly used to her, but he’d been hoping to avoid the scenario of her being the person letting Kurt into their house. It went just as badly as he thought it would, and he’d even managed to break something in the process. So he crouched down to pick up the pieces.

“If you even dropped my favorite mug, I am going to destroy you,” Santana said as she came into the kitchen, crouching down beside him and swatting his hands away from the floor. “Stop it, you’re going to slice your hand open and then there will be debris and blood all over the place.”

“Was that really necessary?” Blaine asked in a low whisper, his face flushed. “ Blind guy cane divining rod ?”

“Count your blessings, hobbit,” Santana replied. “I almost asked if the divining rod was your dick.”

A throat clearing from the doorway made Blaine duck his head down and swallow hard, trying to regain some control and maybe be able to make his face less red. Santana’s last comment had just succeeded in making him want to sink into the floor and hide, and that had been before the very real possibility that Kurt had heard it.

“Can I help?” Kurt asked, and Blaine shook his head as he stood up.

“No, it’s almost done,” he said, taking a step back as Santana pressed against his leg. “Um, sorry about this,” he added, gesturing toward the floor. Well, the floor and Santana if he was being honest, because she merited much more of an apology than a broken plate.

“It’s fine,” Kurt said, and Blaine assumed he was just talking about the plate. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just… clumsy.” Santana snorted lightly from where she was on the floor, and Blaine really wanted to kick her. Not hard or anything, but just a nudge to shut her up.

“You should be fine,” she said as she got up, dumping the shards into the trash can. “Just don’t go through here in bare feet or anything. I’ll run the vacuum later.”

“Thanks, Santana,” he murmured, and she ruffled his hair a little before heading out. His hand automatically moved up to smooth down whatever she’d just messed up, but he was breathing a little easier with the familiarity of the gesture. It was something normal to hang onto while the rest of him was still freaking out about dinner and how embarrassing Santana was sometimes and especially just then in front of Kurt . “So, um, welcome.”

“This is a nice house,” Kurt said, stepping further into the kitchen now that Santana wasn’t on the floor. “From what I’ve seen of it, anyway. Also, almost anything would look great compared to my stuffy little dorm room.”

“Thanks,” Blaine said with a soft smile, turning a little to get into a cupboard and pulling down another plate to replace the one he’d dropped. “I like it pretty well. I’d imagine dorm rooms can get cramped really easily, especially with two people living in one. You have a roommate, right?”

“Indeed I do,” Kurt sighed. “Not the brightest guy and he takes up a lot of space. He’s just… big. Tall, football player, unaware of his body and is constantly knocking things over, big.”

“I guess I’m lucky that Santana doesn’t knock stuff over, at least,” Blaine said, not adding that he was much more likely to be the one of them to do that.

“Wait,” Kurt said, and Blaine tilted his head toward him. “That loud, devil woman is your roommate?” Blaine laughed, and then shushed him through his giggles.

“Don’t say that too loudly,” he said, fully grinning by that point. “I doubt she’d care for the title too much. Yes, she’s my roommate. She’s not that bad, I promise. She’s loud, yes, and highly inappropriate with absolutely no filter, but entirely lovable. Don’t ever let her know I said that, or I’ll never live it down. She’ll probably try to prove the lovable part wrong and then it really would be hell around here.”

“My lips are sealed,” Kurt said. “Are you sure I can’t help?”

“Well if you wanted to get drinks? The glasses are up here,” Blaine said, reaching over and touching a cupboard door. “I just want water, but you’re welcome to anything that’s in the fridge.” Kurt got out the glasses and moved over to the refrigerator, and Blaine got the food out of the oven.

It wasn’t anything special, just what he and Santana had been planning on having. He’d bribed her with the promise of a better dinner the next night, and she’d given in easily. Lemon and rosemary chicken seared and baked, with a side of potatoes that had been sliced into wedges and tossed in olive oil and herbs, roasted in the oven until they were well browned on the outside and creamy in the middle. The timer had gone off right before Santana had started yelling at him from the front door, but the few extra minutes it had all been in wasn’t going to hurt anything. Presentation wasn’t Blaine’s strong suit, but he figured that wouldn’t matter as much as the food tasting good. He dished it out as evenly as he could, and then Kurt’s hands brushed against his as he took the plates from him.

“I’ll go put these on the table if you want to get the oven turned off,” Kurt offered, and Blaine nodded, dropping the spatula he’d been using into the sink and reaching for the buttons on the stove. He didn’t mind Kurt helping, because it didn’t feel like he was doing it because he didn’t think Blaine could manage on his own. It felt a lot like when Santana was in the kitchen with him, and she’d just step in and do things just because she wanted to. He moved into the small dining room, sliding one of the chairs out and sitting down, feeling his nerves coming back again.

“This looks and smells amazing,” Kurt said. Blaine smiled at that, and traced his fingers lightly along the edge of the table.

“Thank you,” he said softly. “It’s nothing fancy, but it usually tastes pretty good. I don’t think I messed anything up, so it should be yummy.”

“I’m sure it will be.” Blaine cut into his chicken, but Kurt definitely beat him to taking a bite. “Oh wow, you can be a jerk to me every single day if it means you cooking me dinner like this in retribution. This is amazing, Blaine.” He paused, taking another bite. “Though I’m still a little fuzzy on how you were a jerk to me in the first place.”

“Oh, um, well…” Blaine stalled by taking a bite of his chicken, chewing very slowly before swallowing. “Yesterday, back in the auditorium, I was rude. I’d been having a bad day and it was stupid and I snapped at you for no reason. Sorry about that.”

“I didn’t take it as you being rude,” Kurt replied, his tone quiet. “I interrupted you, so out of the two of us, I’d probably be the rude one. I’m sorry you were having a bad day. Did it get better, at least?”

“It did,” Blaine said, adding in his head, thanks to you . “And you weren’t rude.”

“Alright, but I kind of was,” Kurt said, spearing one of the potato wedges on his fork. “That’s neither here nor there, though, because it’s done and past and now we’re here eating this delicious food and there’s no reason to go on about it.” It was a gentle dismissal of the matter at hand, and Blaine was glad for it. Honestly, he thought it easily could have gone back and forth with them arguing who had been the rude one the entire time they were eating, so the topic being closed was good. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course.”

“Earlier, you said I could ask you stuff,” Kurt began slowly, and Blaine could hear it in his voice again, how he was carefully choosing his words. “What exactly did you mean by… stuff?” Blaine worried his lip between his teeth.

“Well, anything, I guess,” he said, absently twisting his fork between his fingers. “I just don’t want you to feel like you can’t ask me things because you think it’s a sensitive topic or you feel like you can’t bring it up. Sometimes when people ask about me being blind and all the stuff that comes with it, it makes me feel bad. It’s just in the way they ask, though. I don’t think you’d make me feel bad, and I don’t want you to feel like you can’t ask. I can hear you kind of… working around stuff, sometimes, and you shouldn’t have to do that.”

“Blaine, I...”

“It’s not like not talking about it makes it go away,” Blaine said, as if the words were practiced. They kind of were. It was what he was, and he’d come to terms with that as best he could. Sometimes it helped to actually talk about it, to have people who didn’t try and pretend like he was just like them. Those people were rare to find, though, because not everyone had the tact. Surprisingly, Santana and all her seemingly harsh words was one of Blaine’s favorites, because of how she didn’t act like he was some delicate invalid. Even his mother didn’t remember that on some days.

“I just don’t want to ask something that you don’t want to answer.”

“If I don’t want to answer something, I won’t answer it,” Blaine said simply. “It’s okay, Kurt. You’re, well, I’d like to say you’re my friend.” He started to blush a little, and he hated that because he’d been doing so well until that point, he thought. “I know we just met, but I feel really comfortable around you and I’d like us to be friends. If, I mean, if that’s okay. With you.”

“Of course we’re friends,” Kurt said, reaching his hand over and resting it on top of Blaine’s. His hand was soft and slightly cold, and his long fingers trailed over the back of Blaine’s hand as Kurt pulled his hand back. He paused, thinking, before speaking again. “So you haven’t always been blind. What you said earlier, about your phone…”

“Right.” Blaine nodded. “It’s a, shall we say, recent development in my life.”

“Can I ask what caused it? Was it a genetic thing, or medical?”

“Neither,” Blaine said, taking a bite of his chicken so he could have a minute to choose his words. “There was an, um, incident. I don’t really… want to talk about it, not right now. Some other time, maybe. Is that okay?”

“No, of course that’s okay,” Kurt said quickly. “You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to.” He hesitated. “Had your family moved here before the incident?”

“No, we moved after,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “My dad’s job brought us here. Well, my dad’s job and my school. I did my senior year downtown at the Ohio School for the Blind.”

“Did you like it there?”

“I did.” Blaine bit his lip, shrugging. “It was a lot to adjust to, but I don’t think I would have done nearly as well picking up on stuff if I hadn’t gone there. I mean, I’m not saying I’m a master at reading braille but I’ve gotten a lot better at it. Plus they did a lot of work with me on day to day stuff, how to do it on my own. It’s a good school.” It was true, he’d learned a lot there. When they’d first realized his sight wasn’t going to come back, he’d felt completely lost and helpless. If he hadn’t gone there, hadn’t been in programs specific for people who had lost their vision, he doubted he’d be as independent as he was. “My turn. What year are you? I mean, I know you’re at least not a freshman.”

“I’m a sophomore,” Kurt said. “Not an illustrious upper classman, I’m afraid. Just a sophomore.”

“Okay, and when am I going to get to hear you sing?”

“What?” Kurt sounded a little startled, and Blaine couldn’t help but grin.

“That’s what you do, right? You’re a vocalist. I mean, you already got to hear me play and I’m not even a real pianist. It’s only fair.”

“I believe there could be great debate on whether or not you’re a real pianist, Blaine Anderson,” Kurt said, laughing lightly. “We’ll see, though. Some other time, maybe.” Blaine nodded, hearing his own words echoed back at him. It felt nice to know that the promise of some other time was there, that there was the reassurance of friendship that wasn’t just going to disappear once the night was done.

They sat talking about the upcoming semester until the food was gone. Kurt had taken a few of the general classes that Blaine was about to, so he was able to give some insight about them. Blaine knew what to expect from most of his classes, there wasn’t much cryptic to him about English classes, but a class titled Relationships and Dialogues? That was a bit more confusing. It had sounded intriguing, though, and he’d needed to choose a general class for his schedule, so he’d gone for it.

The table was cleared, more thanks to Kurt than Blaine. He’d tried, but Kurt had said something about how Blaine had cooked and that meant the dishes were his job. Blaine wiped off the table, needing to do something while Kurt loaded the dishwasher. He offered tea, but Kurt said he was fine, and that was how they ended up sitting on the couch in the living room. It was one of those times that Blaine really missed being able to see facial expressions, read social cues, but he just sat cross-legged and folded his hands in his lap.

“Relationships and Dialogues is a good class, I think you’ll like it,” Kurt said, picking up right where they’d left off. “It can get a little deep, but that depends on your teacher. When I took it last year, things were very involved. People got emotional, it was crazy. Not exactly what I’d expected from a college class.”

“Emotional?” Blaine asked, his brow furrowing. “Good or bad emotional?”

“I think it depends on what you have to bring to the table,” Kurt said carefully. “It’s a lot of opening yourself up and putting your personal experiences out there. I mean, as little or as much as you want, it’s not like they force you to share stories from your own life or anything. This might be a stupid question, but... do you write?”

“That’s not a stupid question.” Blaine was still a little stuck on the class, how he’d be expected to put his personal experiences out there. If it was about relationships, which he was assuming based on the class name it was, he didn’t have a whole lot to contribute. He’d have to go over the syllabus carefully to make sure it was something he could actually do. “I do write, sometimes. Why would that be a stupid question?”

“You’re an English major,” Kurt said, shifting a little next to him. “I mean, I would assume that you’d write at least a little, considering.” He paused again, waiting before continuing. “Can I ask you something?”

“Of course,” Blaine said, and he couldn’t help but notice how his breath caught a little every time Kurt asked permission to ask him a question. He really needed to stop noticing things like that.

“You said going into music was something you would have loved to do,” Kurt said. “So why aren’t you?”

“It just wasn’t something I could do,” Blaine answered, folding his arms across his stomach. “I’d looked at the requirements before, you know, and I’d been thinking about it, but when it came time it was... off the table.” He chewed on his lip, then added, “plus my dad said I couldn’t, so that kind of made it a done deal.” That was the main reason, after all. He couldn’t exactly argue when his dad had uprooted their entire family and moved them across the state just for Blaine. There was the partial lie about how he’d gotten a better job, but he wouldn’t have been looking for one if it hadn’t been for Blaine. If it hadn’t been for the incident.

“Your dad said you couldn’t? Has he heard you play?” Kurt scoffed, and Blaine felt himself bristle a little.

“He didn’t say it to be mean,” he said defensively. “He was being realistic. Not that majoring in music is unrealistic,” he hastened to add. “He doesn’t think that. Just... me doing it, it didn’t make much sense. It’s a hobby that I love, and I’ll always have it. I don’t have to major in it for it to be something I can do for the rest of my life.” They were practiced words again, though that didn’t make them any less true.

“I guess that’s true,” Kurt said, but he didn’t sound completely sold. Blaine wasn’t either, truth be told. He’d wanted to go to school for music, for performing, but that had all gotten thrown to the side. It wasn’t just because of his dad, it was because of him . How he couldn’t see the music, so how was he supposed to learn? Those were the thoughts he just pushed away and tried not to think about. They bordered too much on self-pity, and he didn’t want that.

Anything that could have been considered a touchy subject was avoided for the rest of the night. They talked about orientation, how ridiculous it all was, and Kurt was able to give Blaine a lot of insight to the rest of the Orientation Leaders. There were so many conflicting personalities and that made it hilarious when they were all put together for meetings or planning or presentations, which made it surprising that only one person almost got their nose broken during Sex at Seven.

Time flew with the ease of conversation, and Blaine was grateful for the fact that Santana had avoided the first floor of the house while they sat there. Talking with Kurt was easy, comfortable, and it felt like something that was right. More than that, it felt like something they’d done so many times before. It was a little crazy how it felt like he’d known Kurt for years as opposed to a day. He’d never had a friend where it’d felt like that, not before at his old high school, not at the School for the Blind, not as far as he could remember.

By the time Kurt said he should probably leave, since he had to get up early the next morning and had a few things to take care of, it was nearing ten o’clock. Blaine could have sat there until some absurd hour of the morning just talking, but he knew that was ridiculous. He got up to walk with Kurt to the front door, fiddling with the lock and then holding it open for him so he could get through to the porch.

“Thank you for dinner,” Kurt said, reaching over and giving his hand a squeeze. Blaine bit his lip and grinned.

“You’re welcome. Thank you for coming, I enjoyed… all of this.” He waved his hand around, then shrugged with a light laugh. “Sorry, I’m kind of awkward with goodbyes.” As well as so many other things , his brain supplied.

“Me too,” Kurt offered. “So, no goodbyes then. I’m sure I’ll see you around tomorrow, or we’ll figure something out. Have a good rest of your night, Blaine.”

“You too,” Blaine said, and he felt the light touch of Kurt’s hand against his arm before he walked off the porch. He’d barely shut the door and latched it behind him when he heard the familiar creaking of the stairs, always evidence that Santana was trying to sneak her way down. Normally she just thundered her way down and that was the only sound, but when she was attempting to be sneaky, it was all in the creaks of the wood and not in the pounding of her feet against the steps. “San?”

“He’s gone?” she asked, giving up on being quiet since he’d noticed her, and jumping over the last few steps. “I can’t believe you blew off dinner with me for him, you jerk.” He knew she was just teasing, but still.

“I told you we’d have even better dinner tomorrow,” he said, getting back over to the couch and sitting down. She sunk down beside him and grabbed the remotes, turning on the television and scrolling through channels. He chewed on his lip, debating on whether or not to ask her a question. There were pros and cons, but mostly cons because it was Santana. “Can I ask you something without you making fun of me for it?”

“Probably not,” she replied, shifting back against the couch and settling on some Real Housewives show on Bravo before dropping the remote. Blaine just stayed silent, fidgeting with his hands. She sighed and muted the show. “Fine, I’ll do my best. What is it?”

“What does Kurt look like?” Blaine asked quietly, blush creeping up his neck.

“You mean other than a sprite?” Santana sounded like she was smirking, and she probably very well was.

“Just forget it,” Blaine mumbled. He should have known better than to ask her, especially considering how the beginning of the evening had gone when Kurt had first gotten there.

“Well I didn’t exactly check him out,” Santana continued a moment later. “He’s not my type.” Blaine wasn’t sure if she was going to say anything else, and that was perfectly fine if she didn’t, but then she nudged his shoulder. “He’s taller than you.” He’d known that, from when Kurt had led him over to their table at the café the day prior, how his arm had been higher than Blaine’s. It was a little thing, but the only thing he had to go on. “He’s… pretty, I guess? I don’t know. Delicate looking, pale, like a porcelain doll or something. There was enough product in his hair to be dangerous near any kind of open flame, I can tell you that much.”

That was all she said before unmuting the show and going back to watching, and that was fine for Blaine. He didn’t exactly want to draw more attention to the fact that he really wished he could see Kurt, at least just once so he could have a picture in his head. It was a bizarre thing, getting to know someone, talking to them, spending time with them, and never knowing what they looked like. Maybe it wouldn’t have seemed weird if he’d always been that way but because he hadn’t, he had this need to know.

When he went to bed that night, he laid there and fell asleep still trying to piece together a picture of Kurt.


Chapter Text

Blaine hadn’t run into Kurt at all Sunday morning. There hadn’t been that many New Student Weekend activities, what with it being the day before the semester started and the fact that all the rest of the students had been turning up and taking over the campus. He knew it would have had to be lucky if he had run into Kurt, all things considered. It didn’t help that he was skipping all the activities to meet with his professors one by one. He’d sent them emails previously, explaining his situation and asking to have the opportunity to meet with them before classes started so he could make sure he could meet the requirements of their classes.

He hated that it was necessary, but he wanted to head it all off before it even started. If nothing else, he’d learned to be very up front about his abilities and try to keep there from being any questions of what he was able to do.

Thankfully, everyone he met with seemed to be welcoming and accommodating, most even expressing their gratitude that he sought them out to discuss matters beforehand. At least, with being an English major, a great majority of what he was going to be doing was reading and writing. Most of his books had been available in braille versions, and he’d checked them all with his teachers to make sure they were the right versions. He was forever grateful for audio books, as well, because he still wasn’t as quick with braille as he wanted to be and it could drain his concentration fairly quickly sometimes.

His biggest concern had been meeting with Dr. Birk, who was teaching his Relationships and Dialogues class. Just from what Kurt had been telling him about it, he was worried. If they were supposed to rely a lot on personal experience, he wasn’t sure how well he would do. He didn’t have much personal experience when it came to relationships, at least not in the romantic sense. If they were going purely off romantic interactions, he had exactly diddly to contribute.

“Blaine, you said in your email that you had concerns about my class,” Dr. Birk said, once she had welcomed him into her office and had him sit across from her desk. “Usually most students wait until we’ve gone over the syllabus to get worried.” Her voice was gentle, almost teasing, but not in a way that made Blaine feel bad about asking to meet with her.

“I was talking with someone who took it last year,” he said, biting at the inside of his cheek a little before going on. “They said it was a great class, I just wasn’t sure if it was a good fit for me.”

“Well I’m glad whoever you talked to enjoyed it,” she said. “I try to make a good environment for all my students, but I can understand there being reservations. The two main classes I teach in the general track can be touchy subjects, and I take absolutely no offense if people want to drop them. May I ask what your concerns are?”

“I haven’t ever... had a relationship,” Blaine said quietly, fidgeting in his seat. “Not one that counts for anything. So I wouldn’t have much to contribute, I don’t think.”

“Blaine,” Dr. Birk said softly, and he’d been expecting to hear pity but it wasn’t there. “You think I accept students into my class based on the number of their romantic entanglements? That would be an absurdly negative learning environment. This class isn’t about what you’ve done, and it’s certainly not limited to your personal experiences alone. It’s also about your views on relationships, how they’re portrayed, what they mean to you. Everyone goes their own pace, and no one should expect a bunch of incoming freshmen to be well practiced and versed.” She paused, and Blaine let out a breath he hadn’t realized he was holding. Thankfully she hadn’t sounded offended. “Why don’t I tell you how I generally run my class, and you can see how you feel about it then.”

“Okay,” Blaine said with a nod, his anxiety waning.

“Mostly there are readings, but occasionally we watch a video, it depends on what seems relevant that semester,” she said. “It’s a lot of writing, compared to some of the other sections. Each teacher does it differently, and I just happen to like to focus on writing and getting to know all of you better. A lot of writing is in reaction to the readings, but it’s also the interpretation of that style and making it your own. I encourage students to share what they’ve written, but it’s not a requirement. There’s always a time at the beginning of classes when people can read their writings. I never call on people who don’t volunteer. There’s a project at the end of the semester, in lieu of a final. Last year it was to write a story involving a character from each of the main books we’d read and also yourself, making everyone interact and discuss their differing views on the subject. This year, it’s a Powerpoint. The topic hasn’t been solidified, but I’m fairly certain I’m going to leave it up to everyone individually, so long as the topics are cleared by me.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad,” Blaine said, biting his lip. Dr. Birk laughed lightly, making him smile.

“Well I try to keep it from being painful!” she said cheerfully. “I’m not going to lie to you and say that it’s easy, because it’s not. I can promise a supportive environment and an open door that you are free to come through any time you want. I love answering questions, because that means you’re interested and involved, and I enjoy getting to know my students.”

“I definitely want to give it a go,” Blaine said, nodding. “It sounds interesting, I just wasn’t sure if it was going to be alright for me.”

“I think that if you’re open to it, it will definitely be more than alright for you.”

Blaine left Dr. Birk’s office feeling much better about her class. It was going to be a challenge, but he liked to push himself. That was what college was about, after all, wasn’t it? Shouldn’t he have been attempting to better himself and test his limits? Classes seemed like a good way to do just that. Besides, he didn’t think he could be that uncomfortable with that class when the teacher was someone like Dr. Birk.

Meetings done, he went to the fine arts building to play for a while. Unlike the days before, it wasn’t as a means of escape or a way to make his day better. He had been having a great day, if he was being honest. Most of the stress and anxiety he’d been having about his schedule and classes was gone, and it felt like he had breathed sighs of relief after every sit down with his teachers. He didn’t think he was going to have to drop any of his classes, but he knew he had to wait and see what they were actually like before he was completely reassured.

The auditorium was in use, at least that’s what the administrative assistant of the department said. There were numerous practice rooms up on the second floor, and he was more than happy with using one of them. He missed having a piano in his home, though he wasn’t sure how much Santana would have appreciated it if they did. Maybe she wouldn’t have minded, but it wasn’t like they had the room. It was nice, though, having a place to go away from home, a place where he could be wholly himself and not have to deal with anything else. He was halfway to the elevator when he got stopped in his tracks.

“Blaine? Blaine!” He barely had time to react before there were slender arms wrapping around his waist and hugging him. Brittany. “I thought that was you!”

“Hey, Brittany,” Blaine said, slipping an arm around her to return her hug. “What are you up to?”

“Practicing,” she said, not moving that far away when she let go. “School starts tomorrow!”

“I know it does,” he said, nodding. “You were practicing? Practicing what?”

“Dance,” she said, dropping her hand down to his and lacing their fingers together, swinging their linked hands between them. “It’s what I do! Are you here to practice?”

“Oh, well, not really practice but just play,” Blaine said, shrugging. “I was headed upstairs to find a piano.”

“Do you want to come play with me?” Brittany asked, and Blaine tilted his head. “We have a piano in the dance studio and it’s just me in there right now and you could play and I could dance and it would be fun! You don’t have to if you don’t want, but I was doing ballet and you playing would be perfect. If you want to, I mean.”

“No that sounds like fun,” Blaine said with a smile, squeezing her hand lightly. “Lead the way.” Brittany walked with him down the hall, back in the direction he’d just come from, and into the dance studio. She left the door open behind them and he got settled at the upright piano.

Lifting up the lid over the keys, Blaine ran his fingers over them. They were worn, smooth, and felt right beneath his fingertips. His mind was racing with options, all the pieces he could play, everything available to him in his repertoire. That was the only potential problem with being in a good mood, the fact that nothing was jumping out at him and begging to be played. When he was feeling down, having a bad day, those were easy choices. That was how he’d played so many pieces right in a row with barely any hesitation in between the other day, the day when he’d met Kurt. There were so many go-to dark, emotional pieces, that was easy.

He ran through a few scales and arpeggios, chord progressions, just to get his fingers warmed up and his mind focused on the task at hand. Brittany didn’t seem to mind the delay, or at least she didn’t say anything about it. It only took a few minutes before he was diving into the piece, settling on Chopin and playing the first piece that came to him. He could hear Brittany moving, the sound of her feet against the hard surface of the dance floor, but if not for that he might have forgotten she was there.

It was something he’d always been able to depend on, but even more so since the incident. Music was the best outlet he had. It was a solitary hobby, but that suited him most of the time. Usually when he felt the urge to play, it was because he was alone and needed to get it out. Brittany was there with him then, but not really. She was lost in her own self, twirling and flying across the floor. He slipped from piece to piece, pausing just long enough to decide what to play, and he couldn’t even remember what he’d played or how many pieces in all. Brittany never stopped him, and he planned to play for as long as he could.

In the end, it was the alarm on Blaine’s phone going off that stopped it all. His hands dropped from the piano keys to grab his phone from his pocket. As soon as he got it out, Brittany’s fingers were overlapping his and turning the screen so she could see it, and Santana’s voice rung out through the studio. “Hey Ray Charles, you’d better not blow me off for dinner again, or I’ll fuckin—“

“That was Santana,” she said as he got the alarm turned off.

“Yeah, she set an alarm so I would know when I had to head home for dinner,” Blaine mumbled, pulling his phone from Brittany’s hands and sliding it back into his pocket. He’d told her just to set a normal alarm and he’d know what it was for, but clearly she hadn’t listened.

“But your name’s Blaine,” Brittany said slowly, confused. “Why’d she call you Ray?”

“She thinks she’s funny,” he said, carefully closing the lid over the keyboard of the piano. “I do have to go, though. Thank you, for letting me play for you. I hope you had fun.”

“I did!” Brittany said, back to sounding upbeat and full of energy. “You’re so much better than my ipod! We should do this more, I had so much fun.” He barely had the chance to straighten up and stand from the bench before her arms were around him again, her face nuzzled against his hair, her voice whispering into his ear. “Thanks, Blaine.” It was almost overwhelming the way it felt like Brittany threw herself into affection with wild abandon, like she put everything she had into showing whoever she was with exactly how much she cared about them at every opportunity she could. Santana was lucky, he thought. Whatever she and Brittany had going on, she was lucky.

The walk back home was pleasant, a light breeze keeping it from being too hot out in the August sun. Blaine would be happier once summer was officially over, giving way to fall. It was one of his favorite seasons – the crispness of the air in the mornings, the crunch of leaves underfoot, and the smell of autumn all around. He could never explain that last part, the way everything just gave off that aroma, but he knew it was there. It wouldn’t be long, and he could deal with summer for a few weeks more, he just couldn’t wait for that shift in the seasons.

His phone rang as he walked up onto the porch, and he hadn’t planned on answering until he heard Call from… Kurt Hummel announced from the speaker, and he quickly answered.


“Blaine, hi!” Blaine bit his lip, grinning just at the simple greeting alone. “How are you?”

“I’m good,” he said, reconsidering a moment before changing his answer. “Actually, I’m great. How are you?”

“I’m well,” Kurt said. “Great, huh?”

“Yeah, it’s been a pretty good day,” Blaine said, holding his phone up to his ear with his shoulder as he fiddled with his keys and got the door unlocked. He stepped inside and the smell of dinner hit him like a wave, a fragrant, delicious wave. “Hey, um, can I call you back later? We’re about to have dinner.”

“That’s fine,” Kurt said, and Blaine smiled a little more. “I’m not doing anything tonight, so call whenever. Have a good dinner!”

“Thanks,” Blaine said, and after a brief goodbye from each end, he slid his phone back into his pocket and made his way into the kitchen. “San, I thought I was supposed to cook for you.”

“Yeah well, you were taking too long getting back and I was hungry,” Santana said briskly, and he heard the smack of oven mitts hitting the countertop as she tossed them down. “It’ll still be about ten minutes, though.”

“That’s fine. Sorry, I was doing… stuff.”

“By stuff do you mean that gangly gay who was here last night?”

“Santana!” Blaine’s face flushed and he folded his arms across his chest defensively. “No, it was – I was – piano – Brittany was there and I was playing for her and then I came right here when my alarm went off.” Santana just snorted with laughter, and Blaine could feel himself blushing deeper. “I hate you.”

“You love me,” Santana corrected. “Speaking of how much you love me, you’re totally cool with me having a party here this coming Friday, right?”

“A party?” Blaine asked, the sudden subject shift throwing him off for a moment, though he was more than happy to be talking about something else.

“Yes, a party,” Santana repeated. “A… yay we got through the first week of the semester, let’s drink and dance and celebrate… party.” She paused, waiting for him to say something. “Blaine, it’s a party. It’s college. These are things that go together. I’m going to need you to stop standing there with a dumbfounded look on your face and give me a yes or no, and yes would be preferable because I’m probably going to do it no matter what you say. I would just probably invite a few less people if you were against it.”

“No that’s fine,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “You can have a party, just as long as people stay out of my room.”

“Sweet. I have a friend who’s going to hook us up with booze, so don’t worry about that.”

“I definitely wasn’t worried about that.” Blaine hadn’t ever been drunk, or even tipsy. He was only just eighteen, and other than his brother slipping him a few sips of something here or there, he’d never really had anything to drink. He knew most people age probably had very different stories as far as alcohol was concerned, but he was fine with his limited experience. There was the rest of his life to enjoy whatever he wanted to drink; he didn’t see the cause for rushing into it and wreaking havoc on his liver right out of the gate. Not to mention that his parents hadn’t allowed it.

“Great. Now move, you’re blocking the fridge and I want a beer.”

There wasn’t any more mention of the party during dinner, so Blaine just took it as a done deal. They were fairly good at leading their own separate lives and leaving the other be, but something that was destined to take over the entire house for a night was definitely something new. He wasn’t exactly excited about it, but he had no real reason to say no. At least he would have his room to escape to, if nothing else, and noise cancelling headphones to put into use if it really got bad.

Blaine liked having dinner with Santana, especially when she cooked. The food tended to be much spicier than when he prepared it, but he figured that was to be expected considering how much more feisty of a person she was than him. It made sense. There had only been one time so far when he’d needed to chug down a glass of milk because she’d unleashed some kind of super spicy pepper on him with no warning. He’d felt like he was going to die, she’d called him a wuss and told him it would put hair on his chest (though hopefully he wouldn’t try to shellac that into submission like he did with the hair on his head), and so far as he could tell that was the best representation of their relationship there was.

Once dinner was over and the dishes were done, Santana washed and Blaine dried – it was a tried and true system, he shut himself into his room and sat on his bed, phone in his hands. He’d said he would call Kurt back, and he very much planned on it, but he was having trouble ignoring the slight flutter in his stomach at the thought. The same little flutter that had been there when Kurt had called him earlier. Finally, he shook his head and let out the breath he’d been holding, using the voice commands on his phone to call Kurt.

“Hey, how was dinner?” Kurt asked as he answered.

“It was fine,” Blaine said, leaning back against the wall. “Santana cooked, even though I was supposed to, to make up for last night. She’s impatient, which shouldn’t be too surprising for you.”

“What happened last night?”

“Oh, um, well I was supposed to have dinner with her, but…”

“…then I came over?” Kurt finished. “I didn’t mean to disturb anything, it could have been some other ni—“

“No, don’t,” Blaine cut in quickly. “I invited you, remember? She’s not mad or anything. She’s just… Santana.”

“She’s just Santana. I can see that,” Kurt said, his voice laced with amusement. “So you said before that you had a great day? What made it so great?”

“Well I met with all my teachers and I think I’m going to like my classes,” Blaine said, crossing his legs out in front of him and getting comfortable. “Plus I had some time so I went and played for a while, hung out with a new friend.”

“And it wasn’t me? I’m disappointed,” Kurt said. It was a simple comment, but enough to make Blaine blush. He wasn’t sure if Kurt was being serious or just teasing, but he wanted to believe it was true.

“It could be you next time,” Blaine said lightly. “As long as I get to hear you sing.”

“Mhm. We’ll see about that.” Kurt deftly changed the subject and launched into talking about the sparsely attended events from the day. Blaine apologized for his absence, but Kurt assured him that he hadn’t been missing much. The whole time he was talking, all Blaine could think about was how he could sit and listen to Kurt talk all day. There was something about his voice that was just so animated, Blaine could almost imagine him gesturing as he talked.

“Hey, do you have any plans for Friday night?” he asked when there was a pause in the conversation.

“Friday? No I don’t. Why?”

“Santana’s throwing some party to celebrate surviving the first week of school,” Blaine said, picking at the hem of his shirt nervously. “You should come, if you’re not busy. It’d be nice to have a familiar face around.” There was a moment of silence from the other end of the phone, and he nearly thwacked his head back against the wall in realization. “Familiar ­person that is, not face. Habitual phrase, sorry. Let me try that again. You should come, because I am slightly terrified of a Santana party but also because I’d like you to be there, if you’re not busy.”

“You are particularly adorable when you get all flustered,” Kurt said, sounding amused, and Blaine blushed.

“So will you come?” Blaine asked, dodging the compliment. “To the party?”

“I wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

That night, Blaine went to sleep with a smile on his face, and he doubted it would be gone by the time his alarm went off the next morning.

Chapter Text

Classes starting caught Blaine off guard, no matter how much he’d tried to prepare himself for it. They were different than the classes he was used to, especially after the past year at a very untraditional school, and it was just going to take a bit of adjusting. He was even more grateful for the fact that he’d met with his teachers beforehand, which led to far fewer awkward moments before, after, and during classes. His days faded in and out of each other, full of syllabi and readings and reflections to write.

If nothing else, each day started and ended the same. They started with coffee and ended with Kurt.

Coffee was a necessity every morning. Blaine didn’t feel quite himself without it, and after spending most mornings at Java Central over the past several months, he didn’t think it would be right to stop. How else was he supposed to face classes at nine in the morning if he wasn’t caffeinated? Maybe Kurt had been right when he said he thought Blaine had a coffee problem.

Then there was Kurt. Not so much a necessity but practically a guarantee. Blaine never ran into him on campus, but he hadn’t really expected to. It was a small school, but the music majors essentially lived in the fine arts building and Blaine had his classes split between two of the other buildings. Plus it didn’t help when he couldn’t just spot Kurt across the quad and take a detour to get to talk to him between classes. He didn’t really mind though, because his phone rang every night like clockwork, and it was always Kurt.

There was never a lack for conversation, and Blaine had never thought he’d be so excited to talk about school and classes. Kurt always had so many stories from the music department, the clash of divas in his choir or the way the music theory teacher started each class with a tidbit of random information (except he called them “timbits” because his name was Tim). Blaine didn’t have that interesting of stories, but he would share about the readings he’d done, the class discussions that revolved around them. He loved how in depth his classes got into the literature, how it reminded him of the AP Literature and Composition class he’d been in back in high school, before the incident.

Their calls always ended the same way, too.

“Alright, I’m going to go to bed before Roscoe eats me for keeping him up past his bedtime.”

“I refuse to believe that dog would ever harm a fly, he’s definitely not going to eat someone who feeds him and takes him to a coffee shop where they practically force feed him treats.”

“He can be vicious.”

“Good night, Blaine.”

“You’re coming on Friday, right?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Good night, Kurt.”

Friday came quickly, and Blaine tried to stay out of the way once he was home from classes. Santana had been spent the past two days making sure they were stocked for the party, and she said her friend Puck had brought over enough booze to knock out an entire herd of elephants. Blaine wasn’t sure if that was necessarily a good thing, but he’d just nodded. Puck had been nice, if not abrupt, but Blaine was used to that with Santana. He found it very easy to believe that they were friends, and hearing them go back and forth made him think that maybe they should keep Puck around, so there was someone to give it right back to Santana. It wasn’t going to be him, he knew that for sure.

Blaine didn’t know what time Santana had told people to show up, but they’d had more than enough time to devour a pizza between them before anyone did. Santana had told him that she had great plans to get him drunk, and he’d just shaken his head.

“I don’t want to get drunk,” he said, shoving the pizza box toward her to offer the last piece. “I mean, I’ll drink something, but I don’t want to get drunk. And can I trust you to make me a drink?” He was scared to ask, because he knew there was little to no way for him to tell what she would give him. If it tasted awful, or too strong, he could always sneak off and dump it in the sink, but he’d rather she just make him something that wasn’t bad. He did want at least one drink, though, after the stress of his first week of college.

“Of course you can trust me,” Santana said, and there was something in her tone that made him believe the exact opposite. She sounded far too sweet, decidedly unlike herself. It made him feel like he was going to be making heavy use of the kitchen sink, so far as his drinks were concerned.

“Right.” A knock on the door stopped the discussion in its tracks, and Santana wandered off to let in whoever it was.

Blaine stayed in the kitchen, finishing off his pizza as music started to blast through the house. Santana had put together a party playlist full of top 40 songs and also what she referred to as “club music” and Blaine had just taken that to mean music with all bass and little else. At least, that’s what seemed to be shaking the rafters of the house. He was more than okay with being in the kitchen, away from all the people he didn’t know, and slightly blocked from the full volume of the music.

Brittany arrived and found him, slipping her arms around his neck and loudly saying she was going to make them drinks. He’d only planned on letting Santana make drinks for him, but Brittany was okay. She was definitely much more wholesome than his roommate, though it would be difficult for her not to be, and he figured she was more trustworthy around liquor than someone who had already said they wanted him to get wasted.

“Here, it’s yummy,” she said a couple minutes later, shoving a plastic cup into his hands. He took a tentative sip and had to agree. It mostly tasted like some sort of soda, and very little like alcohol. If that was how she was going to make drinks, Brittany could make his drinks all night long. “Come on, drink up! I want you to dance with me.”

“I don’t know about that,” Blaine said, taking a long drink all the same. “You’re a real dancer, I doubt I could keep up.”

“This isn’t that kind of dancing, silly!” Brittany laughed, leaning up against him. “It’s fun dancing. Like, back when your eyes worked, did you ever watch Dirty Dancing? It’s like that.” Blaine wanted to pat her on the head for feeling like she needed to explain that to him, but he didn’t. She was too sweet, so he would just let her go on. He took his time with the rest of his drink, though the cup wasn’t that big so it didn’t take that long.

As soon as his cup was empty, Brittany snatched it away and took his hand, tugging him toward the living room. “Come on, I want to dance with you!”

“You don’t want to dance with Santana?” he asked in an attempt to escape.

“Nope, not right now. I want to dance with you.” They brushed passed so many people -- how many had Santana invited anyway? -- until they were in the middle of the living room and Blaine could feel the bodies moving around them. Brittany’s arms twisted around his neck and she pressed up against him, body gyrating in time to the music. He wasn’t exactly that well versed when it came to dancing, especially like that, and he knew he definitely couldn’t keep up with Brittany, but he tried.

Brittany danced like she seemed to do everything, full of passion and touch and complete immersion. She guided his hands down to rest on her hips, and just danced against him, with him, her hair occasionally brushing and tickling against his face. Blaine felt warm, and he blamed that on the drink. He didn’t know what had been in it, but it had tasted good and made him feel tingly. By the time Santana handed him another drink and cut in, he had been loosening up and dancing better with Brittany, hips working in tandem and hands gliding over her back and against the soft fabric of her dress.

Blaine was thirsty, beyond anything, and that was why he took such a big gulp of his drink. He coughed, almost dropping it, thanks to the strong amount of whatever it was that Santana had given him. That just made him need something to drink even more, and he took a careful sip, doing much better the second time around. It was gone quickly, and he started to make his way toward the kitchen to throw the cup away, but he barely made it out of the crowd before the cup got plucked from his hands.

“I’ll take that off your hands,” Kurt said, and he tossed the cup into a nearby trash can. Blaine had already felt warm, certain that his face was flushed, but Kurt was there and he knew he’d be feeling both those things even without the alcohol. “I tried calling you to let you know when I got here, but I think it was too loud to hear.”

“Sorry, yeah, I didn’t hear my phone,” Blaine said, leaning into the doorway. “You got in alright, though! Did you get a drink?”

“Mhm, I did,” Kurt said, taking a step in closer so they didn’t have to talk as loudly. Blaine felt like his head might start spinning. “You looked like you were having fun out there.”

“Oh, yes! Brittany’s a sweetheart,” he said, grinning. “I don’t really dance, but she kind of dragged me into it.”

“Dragging is required to get to dance with you?” Kurt asked, amused, and he reached to take Blaine’s hand. “I think I can handle that.”

“No no, don’t drag me anywhere!” Blaine said quickly, shaking his head. “I need a break. It’s hot in there... give me a few minutes?” Not to mention that the thought of dancing with Kurt made him feel dizzy. “You get another drink or something and I’ll sit and cool down and then we can dance and there won’t need to be any dragging.”

“Deal,” Kurt agreed, and Blaine made his way over to lean against the counter, away from the doorway to the living room. He thought of maybe sticking his head in the freezer for a minute, to try and stop feeling so hot and maybe make his face less red, but that would have been stupid and also in front of Kurt. That was the last thing he needed to do.

It didn’t take that long for Kurt to finish his drink. Blaine definitely felt less overheated, but a whole lot more fuzzy and blurry. The pounding of the bass definitely didn’t help, and he didn’t realize that Kurt was so close to him until he felt an arm slip around his shoulders. That touch was enough to make him feel all warm again, and he just about giggled. That would have been ridiculous, even if Kurt maybe wouldn’t have heard it over the music, so he held it in.

“Dance?” Kurt asked, so close to his ear that Blaine shivered. He nodded and Kurt’s hand slid down to his, guiding him back into the living room and into the midst of all the rest of the party goers.

Dancing with Kurt was completely different than dancing with Brittany. Brittany was all soft curves and sharp movements, but Kurt was neither of those things. He pulled Blaine in front of him and Blaine’s hands gripped onto his biceps, mostly to steady himself but also just to touch. Kurt didn’t object or pull away, and his arm even slipped around Blaine’s waist to keep him close. Their movements were smooth, flowing together, and each time they brushed together Blaine could feel the heat rising up through his neck and into his cheeks. He’d never imagined that even the slightest touch of his knee against anyone else’s would have made him feel flutters in his stomach, but somehow it was happening anyway.

Their rhythm started out slower than the fast, manic beat of the club music sounding around them. It was like they were testing the waters, and then letting themselves ease into it but never quite getting all the way there. Blaine didn’t care, and wasn’t sure if he even could care. He was too stuck on how Kurt’s biceps felt beneath his hands, slightly flexed as he held his arms around Blaine, and how Kurt’s hands were pressed flat against his back to keep him close. The way he couldn’t hear anything but the pounding of the music, but he could swear that Kurt started humming along when it switched tracks to a more familiar pop song.

He leaned up closer to try and hear, everything else in the room seeming blurred compared to Kurt. His hands loosened their hold and slowly inched their way up to Kurt’s shoulders, taking in the height difference between them. The soft timbre of Kurt’s voice, his humming, was so close to Blaine’s ear that he could actually feel his breath playing against his skin. He was close, so close, and all Blaine could think about was how if he turned his head, and he wouldn’t even have to turn it that much, he could kiss him.

Blaine jerked back, pulse pounding, with fingers tightened around Kurt’s shoulders. What was he doing? Kurt was his friend, and he was imagining kissing him – very much wanting to kiss him? He’d never kissed anyone before, and the thought of it made his head spin even more than it already had been. Not to mention the fact that he couldn’t see what he was doing and if he tried, he would probably end up missing and then looking like even more of an idiot. Matters weren’t helped at all when Kurt’s hands, slender fingers and soft palms, cupped his face and tilted it up.

“Are you okay?” Kurt asked over the music, thumbs skimming over his cheekbones and if Blaine hadn’t felt completely fuzzy before, he would have been then.

“Y-yeah I just… thirsty,” he managed to get out, his hands still gripping on Kurt’s shoulders as if he wouldn’t be able to stay upright without them there. Truth be told, he wasn’t sure if he could.

“I can go grab something to drink,” Kurt offered, dropping his hands and starting to step away, but Blaine’s grip tightened. “Blaine?”

“Is Santana…?” Blaine started, trailing off. Kurt pushed up onto his tiptoes, looking over the crowd. He pulled away, leaving him there for a brief few seconds before Blaine felt someone different, softer, and familiar but not Santana, pressing in against him. “Brit?”

“Your elf told me to keep you company while he got more drinks!” Brittany said cheerfully, arms slipping around his neck as she swayed their bodies together.

“My elf?”

“He looks like an elf! Well his ears aren’t pointy enough, but other than that he does.” Blaine honestly wasn’t sure if she was actually ridiculous or if it was that he was beyond tipsy and verging on drunk.  

“He’s not… my elf,” Blaine finished lamely, not sure which part to address first and just settling on it all at once. Brittany just laughed and hugged him in closer, their foreheads resting together as they moved in time to the music. Thankfully it didn’t take that long for Kurt to get back, and Brittany gave Blaine a lingering kiss on the cheek before pulling away. His face flushed at the show of affection, mostly because it was in front of Kurt and he didn’t know what the other boy would think of it.

“Sorry, I didn’t see Santana when you asked,” Kurt said, putting a cup in Blaine’s hand. “I figured I’d grab a familiar face. Er, familiar person. See? Now you’ve got me doing that, too.”

“Thanks.” Blaine took a long drink, grateful for the fact that it was water. Two more gulps and it was gone, and Kurt took the cup from him, discarding it.

“Better?” he asked, and Blaine nodded. Kurt’s hands rested on his waist, pulling him back in, and Blaine took in a sharp breath. He could smell Kurt’s cologne, musky and sweet, and he just settled on taking in deep breaths to commit that scent to memory. It was equal parts cologne and Kurt, and Blaine felt like he was being creepy but he couldn’t find it in himself to care.

It was intoxicating, being so close to Kurt. Everything about him drew Blaine in and made him forget about everything else but the way his hands slid around to press against his back, keep him in close, how he kept humming along with the music and it was soft enough that Blaine rightfully shouldn’t have been able to hear it but he could. How he smelled like the perfect mix of sweet cologne, hairspray, and the faintest bit of sweat. The way his muscles hand felt under Blaine’s fingers, and how he wanted to touch more of him than just his arms. The room was full of people talking and laughing, full of bodies moving and dancing, it was loud and slightly chaotic, and the only thing Blaine was aware of was Kurt.

He felt overwhelmed, and his head dipped down. He’d meant to rest it on Kurt’s shoulder, a thought that had sent thrills through him, but he misjudged exactly how close they were and what ended up happening was his lips brushing against Kurt’s shoulder. It took a good few seconds for him to realize it, for anxiety to flow through him faster than anything else, and he pulled back with murmured apologies falling from his lips.

“Hey, shhh, it’s okay,” Kurt said gently, and Blaine felt a soft pressure against his shoulder. His breath caught in his throat as the realization hit that it was Kurt kissing him. He flat out thought he was going to forget how to breathe when Kurt kissed up by his collar, mostly against the fabric of his shirt but there was the faintest touch of the corner of his mouth against his skin. It was a whole new level of overwhelming, like he was drowning in how much feeling was coursing through his body.

“K-kurt,” he stammered, placing his hands against his chest for a moment before pulling them back. He really did not need to be touching him – that would only make his head feel like it was spinning even more. “I… I have to go to the bathroom.”

It was a stupid excuse, but one he could work with, and he pulled away and stumbled through the crowd, almost tripping onto the staircase but using that to get his bearings and turn him in the right direction. He didn’t go to the bathroom, but rather his own room, shutting the door behind him and leaning up against it, trying to catch his breath. Blaine felt dizzy, so dizzy, and he could only partially blame that on the alcohol. He sunk down to the floor, wrapping his arms around Roscoe when he came over to see what was wrong, and just burying his face against his fur.

* * *

Kurt watched as Blaine disappeared through the crowd, and found himself standing there still in the midst of all the other people dancing. He felt sick to his stomach, wanting to go after him but not wanting to upset him any more than he already had. He hadn’t meant to, he just hadn’t wanted him to worry or be uncomfortable (and also he’d really wanted to kiss him) but he’d managed to do exactly the opposite. Would he have done it if he hadn’t been tipsy? He didn’t think so, but he also didn’t think Blaine would have ever danced with him or anyone else if he hadn’t been drinking – it just didn’t seem like a very Blaine-like thing.

Pushing his way through the living room, he went out the front door to get some air. He was greeted with a cloud of smoke, however, and his first breath sent him into a coughing fit. There was snickering from beside him, and he wasn’t surprised at all when he looked over and saw Santana standing there, smirk twisting up the corners of her lips and a cigar held between her fingers. There was a glint in her eyes that he didn’t particularly care for, and he took a step away to try and avoid the smoke, but she just followed him.

“Can I help you with something?” he asked, feigning politeness but unable to keep the slight annoyance out of his voice.

“Yeah, you can not fuck with Blaine,” she said, resting her free hand on her hip as she took a few puffs off her cigar, blowing the smoke out right at him. “That would be great.”

“I’m not—“

“Oh please, princess,” she scoffed, and his eyes narrowed at the nickname. “Any more on top of him in there and I could have been charging for a show.”

“As opposed to everyone else in there,” Kurt said dryly, cheeks flushing as he folded his arms across his chest. “Who were all being so PG-rated. I don’t see anything wrong with me dancing with my friend. You didn’t seem too upset about anything when that blonde girl was all over him.”

“Brittany’s not exactly his type,” Santana said, rolling her eyes. “She’s hardly a threat.”

“I’m not a threat,” Kurt said, and she just snorted derisively in response. “I’m not fucking with him.”

“Look, I’m sure you’re nice or whatever,” she said, not looking at all like she believed those words. “I’m going to be extremely clear. I like very few people, but Blaine is one of them. He’d got that stupid way of being endearing that I absolutely hate but he doesn’t make mess around the house so I like him.” Kurt could tell that she was holding a lot back, probably reasons that she liked Blaine other than the fact that he wasn’t a slob, but he wasn’t about to push her for anything. Not when she was poking toward him emphatically with her cigar and he really didn’t feel like getting burned. “If you hurt him, I don’t care how or by doing what, I will rip off your dick and balls with my bare hands and feed them to Roscoe.”

Kurt stared at her, eyes wide. “And considering how much I never want to get that close to a penis again for the rest of my life,” she added, looking up at him challengingly, “that should say a lot for how serious I am.”

“Look, Satan—“

“Just letting you know,” Santana said, shooting him a look before turning on her heel and going back into the house, cigar between her lips. Kurt just stared after her, leaning back against the railing on the front of the porch. All he’d wanted was some fresh air, and instead he’d gotten lungs full of smoke and threats that he knew were far from idle. That had somehow still managed to clear his head, sober him up a little.

He headed back into the house, cutting through the kitchen to avoid the mass of people in the living room, and checking the bathroom. Blaine wasn’t there, nor had he been out with everyone else, so Kurt just started checking doors. Closet. Laundry room. One was locked. Finally he came to the one that opened to an actual room, all bare walls and simple furniture. Everything looked impeccable, perfectly organized and straightened. The bookshelf beside the desk had books sorted by height on one shelf, binders for classes on another. The closet door was left open, and he could see everything hanging according to color, separated by dividers, shoes carefully paired on the small shelves at the bottom.   

Blaine was sprawled across the bed on his stomach, shoes kicked off beside the bed. The polo shirt he’d been wearing was tossed to the floor, and the plain white undershirt still on him was clinging to the sweat on his back. Kurt realized he was staring, and he been ever since he saw him there in the darkness of the room, but he couldn’t help it. He was still buzzing from the vodka he’d had not that much earlier in the night, and even if he hadn’t been there was just something about Blaine he couldn’t look away from. He thought, belatedly, that maybe it was a good thing Blaine couldn’t see him. Roscoe could, and had sat up quickly when the door had opened, but he’d settled back down once he saw Kurt.

For a moment, he considered sneaking out and just calling him the next day. He looked like he was sleeping, after all. Except then Blaine grunted, something about closing the door, and Kurt stepped inside and shut it behind him without a second thought.

Chapter Text

Blaine woke up the next morning with a splitting headache. He was thankful to be waking up of his own accord, and not because of an alarm, though that meant he had no idea what time it was at all. It took a few minutes before he mustered up the energy to move, he threw his arm across the bed to brace himself as he got up, but he froze when his arm came down on top of something warm, soft, and definitely breathing. Not so much a something as a some one .

Kurt . That was his first thought, but it was quickly chased away. He was clearly awake, not dreaming, so that wasn’t even a remote possibility. Besides, the last thing he remembered from the night before was running off away from Kurt. That wasn’t exactly an action that led to the other person being in his bed, at least not in any sort of normal reality. He was still wearing the same clothes from the night before, most of them at least – it seemed as though he’d lost a layer at some point, so at least there was that small ounce of comfort in knowing that nothing that bad could have happened.

The other person hadn’t moved or given any sign of waking, despite how hard he knew his arm had hit them, which didn’t help him at all. Very cautiously, he ran his arm up against their torso then quickly pulled it back. Oh it was definitely a girl. He felt as though maybe he should have anticipated that and not used that method to try and figure out who it was, but it was too late for that. She was blocking his way off the bed, so he got up onto his hands and knees and attempted to climb over without disturbing her, which was far easier said than done.

“Is this how you treat everyone who sleeps with you?” she muttered from beneath him when he was halfway over her and he was glad to know it was Santana and not just some random girl. Her voice was scratchy, raspy, and still very sleepy, but at least it was her. “Hit them, cop a feel, and then spider monkey yourself over top of them in the least graceful way possible? Fuck, no wonder you never get laid.”

“Good morning to you too,” he mumbled, surprised at how rough his voice was. He needed water, a very long shower, and then maybe a nap. Absently, he wondered how impressed his brother would be if he told him about waking up after his first college party with his admittedly hot (which he only knew because Cooper had told him) roommate in his bed. Then again, considering that they were both gay, it was bound to gain him nothing. She shoved at him and he managed to get his foot on the floor before he fell, and he stumbled to stand. “San?”

What? ” she groaned, and he heard her resituating herself now that the entire bed was open.

“Why are you here?”

“I live here.”

Obviously ,” he shot back, his throbbing head making his patience thin. That and the huge part of the previous night that was completely blank in his head. “I meant in my room, my bed.”

“Mmph, your room was closer and there were no stairs involved,” Santana sighed.

“O-okay,” Blaine said, rubbing his face. Part of him wanted to ask what happened to Brittany, as he’d pretty much been assuming that she would be staying the night, but he really just wanted to feel clean and less hungover and not get into a conversation with Santana about how she hadn’t had sex the night before. “I’m going to go... shower.”

“There’s Gatorade in the fridge.” She sounded muffled, like her face was buried against the pillow. “Bring me one when you’re done. There’s one for you too. Don’t say I never gave you anything.”

It was the longest shower of Blaine’s life, but he couldn’t make himself move any faster. His limbs felt heavy, cramped, and he wanted to stand under the hot stream of water all day. He just stood, letting it pound against his back and neck, leaning forward to brace himself against the tiles of the wall. It was a good five minutes before he realized he hadn’t even bothered to start getting clean, shampoo and soap forgotten in lieu of heat and steam and comfort.

He couldn’t get over it. He hated not knowing what happened, not knowing how the rest of the night had gone. What had happened with Kurt? The last thing he’d remembered was running, getting back to his room and hugging Roscoe and then nothing after that. His chest felt tight, like he was going to cry, but he wasn’t about to let himself do that when he didn’t know if there was actually a reason. By the time he got out of the shower, all scrubbed and clean and dripping onto the bathmat, he had run through a dozen different scenarios in his head of what could have possibly happened. He didn’t believe any of them.

There were cups strewn along the floor of the kitchen, and he shuffled his way through them to get to the fridge. Thankfully they didn’t keep much in there, and thanks to the party it was mostly soda and beer, so the Gatorade was easy to find. He gulped down about half of one of the bottles before making his way back to his room, setting the other bottle down on the bed next to where he assumed Santana still was.

“Oh fuck, why are you naked?” Santana groaned.

“I’m not naked,” Blaine said, nearly dropping his bottle in an attempt to clutch the towel closer around his waist. He normally would have been more embarrassed about the situation, but his head hurt too much for him to think that hard about it. “You can’t see anything... I just didn’t have any clothes that were clean... and... you... this wouldn’t be a problem if you were in your own room!”

“Calm down, Helen Keller.” Clearly she wasn’t feeling like herself, considering that she usually stuck to calling him names that were people who were strictly blind. Helen Keller was a cop-out and they both knew it. “I can handle it until I’m done with my Gatorade, just keep your dick out of sight and we’ll be good.” He sunk down to sit on the edge of the bed, making sure that the towel stayed over his lap, and he hugged the bottle against his chest.

“What happened last night?” he asked after a long moment. “I don’t... there are black spots.”

“Isn’t everything kind of a black spot for you?” Santana mumbled, and Blaine actually flinched. “Sorry, sorry, that was... my head isn’t working right yet. Filter, boom, gone, I’m a bitch.” She sat up and scooted over closer to him, her arm slipping around his shoulders. “Sorry.”

“I mean, you’re sort of right?” Blaine said, offering a half shrug. “It’s... yeah. But you know what I meant.”

“Yeah. Uh, well, you made the mistake of letting Brittany make you a drink,” she said, resting her chin on his shoulder. “I’m sure it was delicious and sugary but it probably had more alcohol in it than anything else you had the rest of the night.”

“I thought she was safe,” Blaine said meekly, and Santana laughed. “Yours tasted worse.”

“Of course mine tasted worse, it was like eighty percent whiskey, then ice, then a splash of coke,” she said, pausing to take a drink. “Brittany... I don’t know what she gave you, but she loves those flavored vodkas, and they are dangerous. Because it just tastes like whatever else is in it and sweet and nothing bad. But yeah, that’s probably what started to get you and then it was downhill from there.”

“What happened to, um, Kurt? I wandered off...”

“He was here, hung around, then left,” Santana said simply, shrugging. “It was a good party. And hey, here’s a bonus, you didn’t puke or anything. I’m so proud.”

“Thanks,” Blaine mumbled, twisting the lid off his Gatorade and taking a long drink as he mulled over the few words she’d given him. He felt awful for running off, for leaving the one person he’d invited and wanted to be there alone in the middle of everyone else. His head was feeling better, at least a little, and he just wanted to be able to talk to him. Part of him was scared to, but if he didn’t then he had a feeling he never would.

They sat in silence until the Gatorade was gone, and Santana crawled off the bed and disappeared into the bathroom, but not before finding his phone for him. As Blaine got dressed, he could hear her yelling about the lack of hot water, but he blocked that out. He couldn’t bother with his normal style, the layers and motor functions required to tie a bow tie were not with him that morning. It was a form of casual that he rarely used and that was reserved entirely for the laziest of days. He figured a hangover counted well enough for that, so jeans and a t-shirt it was.

Java Central was his only destination for the day, and he made his way there later than he’d been there any other day that week. A large coffee was in order, considering the night he’d had, and he settled in at a table by the window and tried not to lay his head down and fall asleep. Roscoe’s tail smacking rhythmically against his leg was enough to keep him from dozing off, though the sunshine streaming in the windows certainly didn’t help matters. His phone sat on the table next to his coffee cup, and he kept running his fingers across the screen. He wanted to call Kurt, but didn’t want to wake him up. Plus there was the off chance that he’d upset him.

Finally he got up the gumption to make the call, his hand clutching the phone as he held it to his ear. It rang four times before Kurt picked up, and Blaine was glad to hear that at least he didn’t sound like he’d woken him up. “Hello?”

“Hey Kurt,” he said, chewing on his lip.

“Hey Blaine,” Kurt said, and he hesitated. “Can you hold on a second? I’m walking and it’s kind of windy so it’s hard to hear, but I’m about to get inside.”

“Yeah sure,” Blaine said, taking a long sip of his coffee as he waited.

“Oh...” Kurt said, and Blaine’s brow furrowed.

“What is it?” There was a long pause, and then a click as the call ended. Blaine frowned, pulling the phone away and setting it on the table.

“Hey stranger.” His head jerked up at the sound of Kurt’s voice, there and in person and right in front of him. “How’s it going?”

“Hi,” Blaine said, flushing slightly. He’d expected a phone conversation, maybe full of awkward pauses, and then probably a few days before they saw each other. The last thing he’d expected was Kurt right there in front of him. “It’s... getting better. You?”

“Same,” Kurt said, sliding into the chair across from him. “Your head okay?”

“Getting better,” Blaine said again, setting his phone down and clutching his coffee cup in close. He didn’t know how to approach the topic of the night before, or what to even say since he wasn’t entirely sure what had happened, but he thought being direct might be best. “Listen, I’m really sorry about last night.”

“You’re... oh no, Blaine,” Kurt said, reaching over and resting a hand over Blaine’s. “ I’m sorry. I didn’t meant to make you uncomfortable. That was never my intent.”

“You didn’t,” he said, shaking his head. “You didn’t make me uncomfortable. I’m just a... spaz, I guess. I kind of freaked out for no reason.” He was full out blushing by that point, remember how he’d run, what had led up to him fleeing. “I’m never letting those girls make me drinks ever again.”

“You’re not a spaz,” Kurt said quietly, his hand still not leaving Blaine’s. “Obviously there was a reason, and I’m sorry I made you feel like that.”

“Kurt...” Blaine took in a breath, turning his hand over and grasping Kurt’s. “You didn’t. It was... I’m just dumb sometimes.”

“Blaine.” Kurt sounded so patient, and Blaine couldn’t understand how he was being so nice about it all. But of course he was, because he was Kurt. “You are not dumb. You are not a spaz. You’re you, and you are wonderful.” He paused, thumb rubbing over Blaine’s hand. “Okay?”

“Okay.” He chewed on his lip, not really believing what Kurt was saying but not wanting to argue. “I’m sorry for running off.”

“Can I, uh, can I ask why you did that?” Kurt asked hesitantly. Blaine dipped his head down, resting his forehead against the lid of his coffee cup. He knew he couldn’t see Kurt, but sitting there feeling like he was looking at him, he wasn’t sure if he would have been able to say it otherwise.

“Because I wanted to kiss you,” he mumbled, hoping Kurt had heard because he wasn’t sure if he could repeat it.

“So you left?” Kurt sounded confused. Blaine let out a breath and lifted his head back up. This was Kurt, he reminded himself. Kurt who he’d talked to every night for a week before he’d gone to bed, who was the one person he’d met at school that had made him feel at home. Kurt who he felt like he’d known for years instead of days. Kurt who he really wanted so much more with, even if he still had issues even just saying that he wanted to kiss him.

“I was scared,” he admitted in a whisper. “I felt... I was feeling so much.” Kurt squeezed his hand, it was like encouragement, and he pursed his lips as he thought through his words, just how much he wanted to say. “I’d never danced with a boy like that before. There was a school dance once, I went with a friend, but it wasn’t anything like that. I’ve never... kissed anyone.” He was suddenly aware that they were sitting in a very public place, and he was grateful for the general commotion and noise that came along with the coffee shop. “I didn’t want my first kiss to be when I was drunk. It’s supposed to be special. That’s stupid, I know—“

“That’s not stupid, Blaine,” Kurt said, bringing Blaine’s hand up to hold between both of his own.

“So that’s why,” Blaine hurried ahead, wanting to get it all out since he was already talking and had the momentum to do so. “And I’m kind of even more scared now because there’s this big blank spot in my head between when I left and then waking up this morning.”

“Nothing happened,” Kurt said quickly, his thumb stroking over the back of Blaine’s hand. “At least, I mean, I gave you a few minutes and then went to find you, and you were pretty much passed out in your room.” Blaine had a brief moment of panic at the fact that Kurt had been in his room. Had it been messy? What if he’d seen something he didn’t like? The fact that Kurt was sitting across from him, holding his hand, grounded him almost instantly.

“Sorry,” he murmured, biting his lip. He’d invited Kurt to a party, gotten drunk, ran off, and passed out. Clearly he was giving a great impression of himself.

“You don’t have to apologize, Blaine.” Kurt squeezed his hand. “I stayed for a while, to make sure you were alright. Until your devil incarnate roommate stopped by and then I figured you were in good hands.” There had been pauses between words, like Kurt had been thinking of what words to say, and Blaine wasn’t sure he was getting the whole story. Either way, Kurt had been there, making sure he was okay, and that was more than enough to make him start blushing all over again. “How’s your head?”

“It’s fine,” Blaine said, shrugging. “I took some Advil and had Gatorade and then the coffee kind of killed off the last part of my headache.”

“Want to go find a place less noisy and crowded than a coffee shop on a Saturday morning?” Kurt asked, and Blaine nodded.

That was how they ended up on campus, walking through the still cool, late morning air and heading for the fine arts building. Kurt had admitted the only reason he’d gone to the coffee shop at all was to bring coffee to him, and point that had made Blaine blush and act very interested in Roscoe’s harness for a good minute while he tried to stop grinning. They’d found a classroom that was unlocked, since Kurt said the hallway of practice rooms tended to be loud and he didn’t feel like competing with a trumpet for who could be heard. Blaine settled in on the piano bench, comfortable in a familiar place, and leaned his arms against the closed lid over the keys.

“Okay so,” Kurt started, sitting beside him and sounding nervous. “It’s not stupid, wanting your first kiss to be special.”

“It feels like something really trivial to be worried about,” Blaine murmured.

“It might feel like it, but it’s not if it’s something important to you,” Kurt said, absently tapping his fingers against the piano. “If it’s something that’s important, and then it gets taken, it hurts.” Blaine lifted his head, tilting it toward him. He sounded sad. Well, maybe not sad but at least definitely not okay.


“There was a guy at my high school,” Kurt continued, “who made my life hell. I was getting shoved into lockers, knocked down in the hall, slushies thrown in my face, just constant harassment. It wasn’t always him, but he was definitely the ringleader. The one time I actually stood up to him, asked him what his problem was, he… kissed me.” Blaine reached over, grabbing Kurt’s hand, his stomach twisting into knots. “That was my first kiss.”

“Kurt, that’s awful, I’m so sorry,” Blaine said softly, not thinking that any words could convey just how horrible he thought that was.

“It was a pretty bad moment of my life,” Kurt said, lacing their fingers together. The familiarity of the gesture hit Blaine hard, and he just wanted to hug him and try to make him forget about the bully from his high school. “But that’s why, I mean, I guess I’m kind of glad you ran off last night because I would have kissed you and I wouldn’t have wanted you to regret—“

“No no, Kurt, that’s not even close to the same,” Blaine said, shaking his head.

“It’s not the same but it’s similar,” Kurt said. “It’s the same outcome, in the end, and I’m glad I didn’t do that to you.” Blaine tilted his head, resting it against his shoulder lightly. They were sitting so close, legs almost touching, and after the previous night he felt like he could actually touch Kurt without it being weird. How could it be weird, considering how close and tight they’d been pressed up against each other, hands clutching and holding? Just thinking about it made him feel like the room was spinning all over again.

Kurt might have been feeling the same things, or maybe he just wanted to turn their focus somewhere else, because he let go of Blaine’s hand to lift the lid off the keyboard in front of them. Blaine’s hands moved to smooth over the keys, but then Kurt started playing. It was bright, tinkling-sounding due to the fact that he was sitting by the higher octaves, simple and light, arpeggiated chords mirroring each other and progressing further up the keys. It didn’t last long, and Kurt nudged his shoulder. “Your turn.”

Blaine sat still for a moment before settling his hands on the keys, finding the ones he wanted before starting to play Chopsticks.

“Jerk,” Kurt muttered teasingly, and Blaine grinned. He shifted over a little, closer to Kurt, so he could reach all the keys he needed, and started playing in earnest. It wasn’t anything intricate, just a very short Chopin prelude, but he figured it counted as something real enough for Kurt to appreciate. His fingertips lifted off the keys, and he heard a light sigh from beside him. “Blaine…”


“Don’t stop.” Blaine’s breath caught, and he turned his head toward Kurt. “Please.”

“I’m not just some player piano,” Blaine quipped, immediately wracking his mind for what else he could play. There were so many options, which was usually the problem. He wanted to stay away from anything fast and intense, not sure that he could pull that off mid-hangover recovery, so at least that helped limit it. Plus he wanted to keep it pleasant sounding after that conversation they’d had, so nothing too dark. “How about some Beethoven?”

“You sound like a player piano,” Kurt said. “Beethoven sounds great.”

“We’ll see,” Blaine said, chewing on his lip a moment before letting his fingers slide over the keys again. Kurt shifted away a little, giving him more space, and after a deep breath in he started playing.

It was so easy to get lost in the music, the feel of the ivory beneath his fingertips and the notes reverberating out into the room with each hammer strike against the strings within the piano. As a kid, he’d always found it fascinating how pianos worked, the mechanics of them giving him even more reason to stare in awe. There had been a documentary on PBS about how they were made and ever since he’d seen that, he was hooked. At first it was a lot of what he thought about when he was playing, what was going on underneath the lid. It didn’t take long for that to dissipate to the back of his mind, and then it was all about the music.

He rarely played for other people, not when their sole intent was just to listen. He’d played for Brittany, sure, but it wasn’t like she’d been paying attention – he’d just been a stand in for her ipod. When he was younger he’d done recitals and that sort of thing, but it had been years since any of that. Mostly he just played for himself, played to have an outlet. He couldn’t remember the last time either of his parents had sat and listened to him. It had turned into something so personal, he felt exposed. Kurt had wanted him to keep playing, though, and he’d chosen a piece that didn’t tug at his emotions much. Besides, once he started playing, he might as well have been by himself.

It wasn’t until he played the last chord, soft and held long by the pedal, that he remembered he wasn’t alone. Kurt slid back over toward him on the bench, and Blaine pulled his hands back off the keys and moved to fold his arms across his stomach. Gentle fingers wrapped around his own and squeezed, and he tilted his head up at Kurt. “Sorry it wasn’t anything, um, exciting. My head isn’t quite up to speed for that yet.”

“Exciting?” Kurt huffed out a soft laugh. “Blaine, do you have any idea how talented you are?” Blaine swallowed hard, pulling one of his hands back so he could rub at his face, trying to stifle the pinkness he felt growing in his cheeks. “You can just sit down and pull a piece out of your head and play it like that, and not just technically but… so much more. God, how much stuff do you have stored away up there.” He tapped lightly against Blaine’s temple with his finger, and Blaine ducked his head away.

“I have a pretty good memory when it comes to music,” he admitted. It wasn’t anything that he’d ever thought was different about him, but over the years he’d learned that it was. Saying he had a good memory was an understatement. When it came to music, he never forgot pieces he’d learned. His head was like a library and all he had to do was think of what piece he wanted to play, give himself a few seconds to pull it off the shelf and open the cover, and he was good to go. At least, that’s the best way he’d ever been able to describe it to someone.

“I can’t believe you’re not a music major,” Kurt murmured, and Blaine shook his head. “I know, you said you couldn’t. You need to give me your parents’ address sometime so I can go tell your dad that he was an idiot for not letting you.” Blaine tried to ignore the flutter in his stomach from the thought of Kurt meeting his parents, even if it was just to yell at one of them.

“It’s a hobby,” he started hesitantly.

“You wanted to go into music,” Kurt said, and Blaine bit his lip.

“I did,” he said slowly. “But I couldn’t.”

“Because of your dad.”

“Right. And because of me.”

“What do you mean?” Kurt asked. Blaine tugged at the hem of his t-shirt lightly, fidgeting, wishing he was wearing his normal clothes. At least then he would have had that comfort, almost like a security blanket.

“It’s kind of hard to study music when you can’t see it,” he said finally, folding his hands in his lap.

“Blaine, I didn’t—“

“No of course you didn’t,” Blaine said with a shrug, shaking his head. “It’s fine.” That had been the reason behind it all, really. His dad had pointed it out and once that moment had happened, it had been a done deal. He hadn’t taken any more lessons, hadn’t done any more recitals, and had just let himself lag and plateau. It just didn’t always seem that way since his plateau was so high in the first place. “I’m not playing any more until I get to hear you sing, by the way.”

“What?” Kurt said, startled.

“I mean it,” Blaine said, glad for the shift of focus. “I’m not playing anything else for you until you sing for me. It’s only fair, after all.”

“That’s fair,” Kurt said, and Blaine smiled. “I would sing something now but my throat is a little sore after last night. Tomorrow, maybe?”

“Tomorrow,” Blaine said with a nod. If nothing else, there was the potential to see Kurt the next day.

“I don’t know if you’ve eaten...”

“I haven’t,” Blaine supplied helpfully.

“...but I really want some greasy food.”

“That sounds delicious.” Truthfully, it hadn’t even registered how hungry he was until Kurt mentioned food. Greasy found sounded perfect.

That was how they ended up at a local pub for lunch, splitting a giant basket of cheese fries as they waited for their hamburgers, salt and cheese covered fingers brushing with every reach, turning the corners of Blaine’s mouth up in a smile.

Chapter Text

Sunday morning was another lazy, late start. Blaine’s body was still recovering from the party, and that alone was enough to make him not want to drink again for a good long while. Most of the morning was spent cleaning the house. Santana had spent most of Saturday in bed, or on the couch, or just in general laying around, but they’d made a deal that on Sunday they would for sure get the house back to its natural state.

Blaine wanted to ask her so many questions. She’d been dismissive of almost all things regarding Friday night, which wasn’t entirely like her.

“Santana?” He paused in his methodical wipe down of the counter as he heard her come into the kitchen. “When you came into my room the other night, um, was Kurt there?”

Part of him hated having to ask her most things, because he knew there was a good chance that she would turn his question into something she could use as fodder against him. That was why he always hesitated, took the time to think through if he really wanted to know something badly enough. The problem was that when it came to questions about Kurt, the answer was always yes.

“Yeah, he was,” she said, annoyance clear in her tone. “I kicked him out, though.”

“You did what?”

“What? You were passed out and he was creeping. You’re welcome, by the way.”

“Santana,” Blaine sighed, rubbing his face. “He wasn’t... I doubt he was creeping ...”

“I know what I saw,” she said airily. “So I kicked him out.”

“Did you stay in my room to keep him out?” he asked, the wheels in his head starting to turn. Nothing but silence in response from his roommate. “Santana!”

“What? It’s not like I had anything else to do,” Santana snapped. “Brittany went off with some guy, so maybe I didn’t want to be alone and you, Louis Braille, were my only option.”

“ Now who was creeping?” Blaine mumbled.

“Forget it,” Santana muttered, and he reached out to grab her arm before she could storm out but all he got was air. Footsteps pounded the familiar path up the stairs and a door slammed.

It wasn’t often that Blaine ventured to the upstairs of the house. Santana’s room was there, and a small bathroom, and some storage space, but not much else. She liked her privacy and he was more than happy to give it to her most of the time. Except not then.

If there was one thing he’d learned from living with Santana, and he had learned a lot of things, it was that she didn’t admit to weakness or emotions that weren’t centered around anger or snark. Her saying that she hadn’t wanted to be alone, that was something that threw up red flags all over the place. That’s why Blaine made his way up the stairs and into her room without knocking.

“Go away.” Blaine tripped over a shoe as he moved toward her, but he caught himself before he fell. “For fuck’s sake, you clumsy ass...”

“I’m not clumsy,” he said defensively, cautiously making it the rest of the way before sitting on the edge of her bed. “Maybe if your room wasn’t like a minefield...”

“Yeah, well I told you to go away, so that’s what you get,” she spat out at him, but there was no real venom behind her words. He could feel her pulling away back into herself, shutting him out. His hand slid across the comforter and searchers her out, ignoring how she swatted it away and grabbing onto her hand.

“San,” he started, scooting up closer to her. “What’s going on?”

“Absolutely nothing,” she muttered, but she didn’t pull her hand away. Blaine took that as a small victory.



“Am not,” he murmured, squeezing her hand. “Want to talk about it?”

“Was I not clear when I said for you to go away ?”

“I was getting some mixed signals.”

“Maybe if your eyes worked you wouldn’t be,” she said. “Because you would clearly be able to see how much I don’t look like I’m in a talking mood.”

“Fine, have it your way.” He moved to get up off the bed, but her grip on his hand tightened.

“I don’t want to talk,” she said quietly, and he could tell the effort she was taking to actually say the words, and especially say them in a non aggressive way. “But maybe you could stay.”

“Alright.” He settled back down on the edge of the bed, but she tugged him down until they were laying beside each other. Their shoulders and arms were pressed together, hands still intertwined, and she shifted her leg over so it was touching his too. “Are you okay?”

“No talking.” She laced their fingers together and let out a sigh. Blaine stayed quiet, feeling the steady rise and fall of her breathing next to him.

Time stood still, or at least it felt like it did. It was silent in the room, save for their breathing, and the only other movement was in the occasional flexing of Santana’s hand in his. He was half convinced that she’d fallen asleep, and maybe she had. He considered leaving, except she’d wanted him there. After her letting him stay, essentially asking him to say in her own way, he didn’t want her to wake up alone. Except then his phone went off down in his room, and he could faintly hear it.

The second time it went off, Santana groaned. “Go. I’m fine, just go.”

“Let me know if you want to talk later, or just, whatever,” he said, giving her hand a light squeeze before letting go and getting out of bed. It took him a minute to get back to the door, not wanting to trip over anything else, and he made his way downstairs and back to his room. His phone started ringing again, Kurt’s name coming through, and he grabbed it quickly to answer. “Hello?”

“Oh there you are,” Kurt said, and Blaine couldn’t help but smile at the sound of his voice. “I swear I wasn’t going crazy and calling you a million times, I just kept forgetting to leave a message.”

“Well now you don’t have to,” Blaine said.

“Very true. I’ve never had to leave a message before, you’ve always just answered right away.”

“Yeah sorry, I was... with Santana.”


“She’s having a rough day,” Blaine offered in some semblance of an explanation. “Anyway, what can I do for you?”

“Are you busy?”

“What, right now?” Blaine asked, and Kurt gave a soft ‘mhm’ in response. Even if he hadn’t spent close to an hour laying up in the silence of Santana’s room and had actually been doing something, he was sure he still would have had the same answer. “No, why?”

“You should come hang out with me then,” Kurt said, causing a quick thrill to run through Blaine. “And bring your piano playing fingers.”

“Are you going to sing for me?”

“That’s the deal, right?”

“Right.” Blaine ran his hand along his shirt, trying to remember what he was wearing. “Where should I meet you?”

“I’ll meet you halfway and we can head the rest of the way together?”

“That sounds perfect,” Blaine said, trying to ignore how his pulse had quickened.

“See you soon!”

There was a moment of panic where Blaine considered changing everything he was wearing. He wanted to look nice, but he also knew it would take him too long to change and considering how he already felt flustered, odds were that he’d end up mismatched and much worse off than he’d started. Besides, Kurt had seen him in just jeans and a t-shirt the day before. Kurt had seen him passed out drunk, even. His current clothes would be fine.

The corner where Java Central was located wasn’t exactly halfway, but that’s where Kurt was waiting for him. They walked to the fine arts building, and Kurt checked the schedule on the door before letting them into the auditorium.

“There are usually recitals on weekend nights,” he explained as they went down the aisle and up to the stage. “Thankfully no one wanted to do their recital on the first weekend of the semester.”

“I like playing in here better than anywhere else,” Blaine admitted. Knowing he was on a stage, it made it easy to pretend like he was actually performing and not just playing to himself. It had always been a bit of a dream to perform for real, on an actual stage with an actual orchestra, and even though he knew he was the only one there when he would play before, he could pretend and make the most of what was left of that dream, which usually stayed tucked away back in the very back of his head. The acoustics in the auditorium were better than any practice room, too, but that was to be expected.

“It’s a good space,” Kurt agreed, letting Blaine and Roscoe go ahead of him on the few steps to get up to the stage. Blaine slid onto the bench and Roscoe settled in under the piano like he always did. Kurt sat beside him, hesitating as he lifted the lid off the keyboard. He sounded nervous when he spoke. “No judging my piano skills.”

“Never,” Blaine said, nudging his shoulder gently. He wanted to think that made Kurt smile, but he supposed he would never know if it had. Kurt didn’t say anything, just started playing soft chords to accompany himself. When he started singing, though, Blaine realized he never could have prepared himself for it.

Oh yeah, I'll tell you something
I think you'll understand
When I'll say that something
I wanna hold your hand...

Kurt’s voice was beautiful, clear and pure, exactly how Blaine had imagined it would be except so much more. It was entrancing in a way that made Blaine feel like he was staring, except that wasn’t physically possible. He didn’t even hear the song, the words, register what it was, he was so lost in how Kurt sounded and how he knew he could happily listen to him sing for hours and never get tired of it. Except then he started to pay more attention, and the words slipped into focus, and Blaine could feel himself starting to flush lightly.

Oh please, say to me, you'll let me be your man ... The arrangement had been so different than the original, not at all in the same style, it had caught him off guard. It was slower, sweeter, accompanied by quiet chord progressions with little ornamentation. Everything about it made him want to gather Kurt up into his arms and hold onto him.

And when I touch you I feel happy inside... Blaine slowly ran his palms over the tops of his legs, trying to make sure they weren’t sweaty like he felt they probably were. He wasn’t sure if Kurt knew quite how much it meant to him, to hear him sing. Even if it was just a randomly chosen song, even if it didn’t actually mean anything and he was reading way too far into it, it was still Kurt giving him a window to look into and see more of himself. That was what music was, at least so far as Blaine was concerned.

There was a long pause as Kurt came to the end of the song, his voice trailing off with perfect vibrato as the chord from the piano reverberated in the air around them. His foot stayed on the pedal, almost like he was scared to release it, worried for the moment to come to an end. Blaine sat quietly, waiting, listening as Kurt took in a deep breath next to him. He turned slightly, and carefully moved to cup the side of Kurt’s face in his hand. He reached his neck first and slid his hand up, taking in the strong line of his jaw, the sharp angle of his cheekbone, and if Kurt hadn’t already taken his breath away with his song it would have been gone all over again.

“Kurt...” Blaine barely had a chance to breathe out his name before Kurt closed the gap between them, pressing a kiss against his lips, and Blaine could have sworn the room spun around them.

It was a brief kiss, short and sweet, but that didn’t stop it from being the most incredible few seconds of Blaine’s life. Kurt’s lips were warm, so soft pressed against his, and slightly damp like he’d licked them just before leaning in. It wasn’t the physical feel of it that got to Blaine as much as everything else. The way a rush had run through his entire body, almost like a shudder but without any actual movement. It felt like his nerves were on fire, and in the best possible way. Whatever he’d imagined his first kiss would be like, that hadn’t been it. He never could have imagined something that intensely wonderful even if he had the biggest imagination in the world. It had been so much more, and over so quickly.

There was a pause, a moment of them both taking a breath and sitting and feeling the way the air between them seemed thick with tension and the want for more. Blaine’s thumb ran over Kurt’s cheekbone, earning a soft hitch in Kurt’s breath, and that was all the encouragement he needed to lean in and kiss him again. The second time was just as electric as the first, and Kurt’s hand moved around to the back of Blaine’s neck almost instantly. It was a reassurance, that they both wanted the same thing. Kurt captured his lower lip between his own briefly before pulling back, a gesture that made Blaine feel like he was dizzy all over again, and then rest their foreheads together.

“You move me, Kurt.” They were words that had run through his head and somehow made their way out through his mouth. He didn’t even realize he’d spoken out loud until he felt Kurt’s thumb rubbing against the back of his neck in response. Honestly, he didn’t know if he’d be able to say anything more truthful about how he was feeling than that, so many it wasn’t a bad thing that the words had slipped out before he’d noticed. He knew he was blushing, but for once he didn’t care. “That was... thank you.”

“Now you owe me a song,” Kurt said softly, and Blaine didn’t think he was imagining the slight breathlessness in his voice. He was glad for the slight teasing of the statement, though, keeping him from over thinking the moment.

“You’re going to have to give me a minute,” he whispered, trailing his fingertips along Kurt’s jaw and trying to keep himself from just touching even more. He wanted to cup his face in both his hands and memorize the feel of it under his fingertips, to kiss him again and for longer so he could feel the touch of their lips together long after they were done. “I can’t think piano when my head is fuzzy.”

“Your head is fuzzy?” Kurt asked, a hint of amusement in his tone.

“Your fault,” Blaine shot back, a smile tugging at his lips. He could feel the hot huffs of Kurt’s breath against his face, playing across his lips, and it just reminded him how close they were. How all he had to do was lean in a little and he would be able to kiss him again. Amazing how something he hadn’t experienced until minutes, moments before, was something he found himself completely addicted to. Then again, maybe it was the Kurt part of kissing that was so intoxicating and making him want more.

“I think I’m okay with taking the blame for that.” Kurt’s lips brushed against his so lightly that Blaine thought he’d imagined it at first, his breath catching in his throat. His hand slipped from where it’d been resting on his jaw as Kurt pulled away, and he felt himself blush a little deeper as Kurt’s fingertips trailed along the side of his face before moving away. There was no way that had helped his head get less fuzzy, but he wasn’t about to complain.

He swallowed hard and turned back to the piano, rubbing his hands over the tops of his legs again as he tried to think clearly. Tried to keep his hands from trembling. Kurt had kissed him . It was like his head had just caught up to the rest of his body. His heart was racing, pounding against his ribcage so hard he felt like it might burst. Kurt’s hand smoothed over his back hesitantly and Blaine felt calmer under his light touch. They just sat there in silence for a few minutes as Blaine breathed deeply, talking himself into the thought that he was perfectly capable of being kissed and then still functioning.

His hands shifted up to the keys, and he scooted up to the edge of the bench. He needed to put a little distance between himself and Kurt if he was going to keep his head straight. If he was going to keep up his end of the bargain, which he pretty much had to do because Kurt had given him so much, he needed his head to be straight. Kurt moved further away, giving him more space. Blaine could feel himself breathing easier, and he had better access to the piano in front of him. His energy, all built up inside of him like a tightly wound coil, needed an outlet.

Maybe that was why he chose the piece he did, fast and frantic and exactly the distraction he needed from the emotions coursing through his body. Plus it was long enough of a piece to give him time to calm down, relax a little, stop thinking about anything but the music for several minutes. His hands were steady, unfaltering as his fingers danced across the keys. It was harder to lose himself in what he was doing with the knowledge that Kurt was sitting right there beside him. Kurt who had sung so beautifully and heartfelt and completely taken his breath away and kissed him.

“You’re incredible,” Kurt murmured when he was finished, before the final notes had died off in the air around them. Blaine gave a half-shrug, but Kurt put his hand on his shoulder to stop the movement. “No, you are.”

“Thanks,” Blaine said, hands pulling back from the keys so he could rub at his face.

“I hope this doesn’t sound horrible,” Kurt started, and Blaine felt his heart sink before he had the chance to continue. He’d been waiting for the other shoe to drop. “I just don’t understand how you do that.” Blaine tilted his head. Whatever horrible thing he’d been expecting, it hadn’t been that.

“Do what?”

“Play like that,” Kurt went on quietly, and he was doing that thing again where Blaine could hear him picking and choosing his words. “I can play simple things and maybe get away with barely any mistakes, but you can play like that and you might have made a mistake but I definitely didn’t notice, and you...”

“...can’t see?” Blaine supplied. Kurt sucked in a breath next to him, and Blaine could almost feel him nodding. “Kurt, if you think that’s a horrible thing to say...”

“Well it feels like a horrible thing.”

“It’s just a fact,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “I’m blind, it’s who I am.”

“No,” Kurt cut in, and Blaine’s hands dropped to the piano, accidentally hitting the keys in surprise with how forceful he sounded. “Blaine, that is not who you are. It’s a part of you, yes, but there is so much more to you than just that.”

That stopped Blaine completely in his tracks. He was so used to people categorizing him, easily casting him aside as ‘that blind guy’ and nothing else, and that was it. When people got to know him more, that was different, but the initial snap judgement always stayed. It was the most noticeable thing about him, he wasn’t going to pretend that it wasn’t. He didn’t hold it against anyone, at least not that much, because it was just how things were. It was easier if he let it be. “Kurt...”

“Blaine, you’re incredible . Not just at this, but in general. It’s just that this is so amazing. Watching your hands, your fingers,” Kurt took his hands, his thumbs rubbing over the backs of them. “It looks like the most natural thing in the world, like it’s the easiest thing you’ve ever done. There’s not much that could make me look away from your face when you play, but somehow you managed to do that because I could never imagine being able to play like you do. You’re mesmerizing.”

The last words were said in a whisper, and Blaine’s hands twitched slightly in Kurt’s. He was so used to people not seeing him, the sentiment of which he fully understood the irony. Kurt was like a constant breath of fresh air, surprising him at every turn. It was just that Blaine didn’t always know how to respond to him, didn’t know what to say or do. He ducked his head down a little, biting the inside of his lip as he tried to think. “Kurt?”


“You’re seriously one of the nicest people I’ve ever met,” he said quietly, squeezing his hands. He couldn’t quite get over how natural and right it felt to be sitting there, holding Kurt’s hands. “I know this probably sounds weird, but I feel like you... see me better than anyone else. The real me, anyway. That’s kind of... well, it can be kind of scary but it’s not with you because you’re this sweet, amazing person who sees me and doesn’t get distracted by all my weirdness.” He chewed on his lip, trying to fight off the urge to bolt that seemed to rise up inside of him. It’s not like he could get far fast, or like Kurt couldn’t follow him, but still. “I’m just really glad you found me.”

“Blaine, you’re not weird,” Kurt murmured, and Blaine felt himself blush deeper. “You’re always saying that you are, or that I might think things you say or do are, but none of it is.” There was a slight hesitation, and then a kiss pressed against his cheek. “I’m glad I found you, too.”

Later that night, Blaine found himself sitting in front of his computer, hands hovering over the keyboard and trying to find the words to type. The assignment for his Relationships and Dialogues class had seemed simple upon first glance. He was supposed to write a short essay talking about a movie, quote, book, or song lyric that stood out to him, and he’d been dead set on typing up a paper about Love, Actually and how it was one of his favorite movies. Besides, it definitely fit the theme of the class considering how many different relationships were throughout, all intertwining and going their separate ways all at the same time.

Except then Kurt had sung to him and he couldn’t get that out of his head. At the risk of being a complete sap, and perhaps a little too invested in the moment, he switched his topic. He couldn’t help it, though. He was stuck with Kurt’s voice running through his head, and if he thought a little extra hard, he could even feel the ghost of a press of Kurt’s lips against his. The way he had the first time he’d kissed him there in the auditorium, the same way he’d kissed him after he’d walked with him back to the house and kissed him on the porch before saying goodbye and heading back to campus.

It’s a funny thing how different songs mean different things to different people. Take, for example, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ by the Beatles. To most people it’s romantic, sweet, maybe even seen as a pure expression of innocent desire. After all, songs these days are all about much more intense wants. All you have to do is turn on the radio to hear song after song about sex, desires, wants… nothing nearly as seemingly minor as hand holding.

Call me old fashioned but to me, there’s nothing sexier than the brush of fingertips against each other. Maybe it’s because I have very limited experience, but I get a thrill every time my hand is held. That might be something that happens to everyone at first, and then as time goes on and hands are held more often it goes away, but I hope that never happens to me. I love that something so small, so insignificant to so many people, means so much to me.

Part of it might be because of how much I rely on touch. Losing my sight was never something I had planned for or even imagined happening. It’s an adjustment, having to rely on your other senses so much more. For me, the biggest one is touch. Sometimes that can be a detriment, if I’m not expecting it for instance. It’s so much easier to be caught off guard, and even the faintest unexpected touch can put me on edge depending on the situation. I never used to be this jumpy, either. Amazing how times change.

Holding hands, though, that’s where it is for me. Fingers laced together and that reassuring pressure of a palm against my own. It’s a personal connection and such a simple one, but it is so much more. Hugs, kisses, sex, they’re all wonderful of their own accord – or at least so I’ve heard, as I definitely have not experienced all of them personally. Yes, those are personal connections, very clearly so. How often do people kiss almost strangers, though? One night stands exist and happen frequently, or so I’ve heard. These are all moments of physical intimacy between people, but nothing that seems quite as personal as holding hands. How often do you hear of strangers doing that? I’m not saying that I’d say no to any of those things, definitely not, but I think I could be quite happy for a long time as long as I had someone’s hand in mine.

Chapter Text

When Blaine emailed his paper to Dr. Birk, he felt exposed. Maybe he should have stuck with his original topic instead of writing on something so impulsive and completely personal. He could have waxed poetic about Love, Actually for pages and pages, despite the fact that there was no length requirement. What if she’d been looking for something more in general and not at all as personal as Blaine had given her? Not that he was worried about his grade, which he was, but more so he was worried about what she would think of him. It was too late, though, and he’d just have to wait for her to grade it and get it back to him which wouldn’t happen until the middle of the week.

The best distraction from his concerns was Kurt, who was at Java Central every morning to meet him for coffee and the occasional biscotti or croissant for breakfast. Kurt, who slipped his hand into his at almost any given opportunity – while they were sitting there, or while they were walking onto campus if Blaine had finished his coffee and didn’t have the cup to hold. It was comfortable, and Blaine couldn’t help but feel like it had been happening for much longer than it actually had. That was how it felt when it was so natural, he supposed.

Starting his days with Kurt was easily the best way to head into the day in the greatest mood possible. Blaine always headed off to class with a smile on his face, his heart feeling light. That was why when Wednesday came, he didn’t even realize that he was going to be getting his paper back from Dr. Birk. He was too busy remembering the way Kurt’s hand had felt in his, the soft trace of fingers against his arm as they’d walked down the sidewalk. He’d never tried to kiss him goodbye before class, a point for which Blaine was glad, not feeling comfortable with that much a show of affection out where anyone could see them. He was even gladder that he hadn’t actually had to tell Kurt that.

He settled into the same desk where he’d sat for every class prior, glad that people were creatures of habit and had the tendency to do the same as him. Knowing that he had his normal desk, he didn’t have to try and find someplace else, it was a small comfort. He liked sitting off to the side, not really in anyone’s direct view. It made it easier for Roscoe, being able to lie down between his chair and the wall of the classroom, not being in anyone’s way in case they needed to get out.

It wasn’t until Dr. Birk started passing back everyone’s papers and talking about how much she’d enjoyed reading them that Blaine remembered. She paused by his desk, quietly telling him that she’d emailed him back with her comments. It was something he’d gotten all of his professors to agree to, since them writing on a hard copy of his work wouldn’t work. Her fingertips brushed lightly against his shoulder as he nodded, and then she moved on to the students in front of him. Of course she’d emailed him, but he hadn’t taken the opportunity to check that morning. He could tell from the pit in his stomach that he was going to be anxious all day until he knew what she’d thought.

“Alright, so now that you all have your papers back, do we have any volunteers to read theirs out loud for everyone else? No need to be shy, they were all insightful.” Blaine figured he should have taken that as a reassurance, but he didn’t. He wasn’t able to read his out loud for the class, so that statement might not have applied to him.

Surprisingly, several of his classmates volunteered. He heard a girl named Sarah talk about how her favorite movie of all time was Stardust and how the relationship between Tristan and Yvaine was one of the most beautifully developed she’d ever seen on film. There was then an argument made for Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice thanks to Maria, who specified that movie-wise the newer version starring Matthew McFayden and Keira Knightly was definitely inferior to the Colin Firth BBC miniseries. The book, she conceded, was the best version of all, but if they were looking at film then obviously Team Firth was the winner. When someone else started quoting Taylor Swift lyrics, it was all Blaine could do to stay in his seat and not just flee the room.

He’d overthought the assignment, just like he knew he had the second he’d sent it in to Dr. Birk. Everyone else, their papers were good and slightly generalized but definitely not as introspective as his had been. The ones he heard, they had written in a way that applied what they were saying to the population as a whole. Relationship X in movie/song Y could be seen in real life if you just went to location Z and looked around for a while. His had been too personal, too much only about him and not in a way that could apply to anyone else. He spent most of the class slouched in his seat, skimming his fingers along pages of the book that they were going to be reading for that coming week.

Class was dismissed and he quickly left the building, heading across the quad for the fine arts building and going straight to the elevator and up to the second floor. He went into the hallway of practice rooms, disappearing into the first one he found that didn’t have someone inside. Blaine felt like he had when Kurt had first found him in the auditorium, exposed and raw and needing something to hide behind. That was why he’d headed there instead of straight to his next class, where he would have had extra time to just sit and stew in his thoughts. He had a little time to kill and he needed to shut down his mind and lose himself until he had to go.

He didn’t think, just played. The practice room was loud and the acoustics were horrible compared to the auditorium, or even the classroom where he and Kurt had been over the weekend. There was someone next door practicing their clarinet, which Roscoe didn’t seem to care for if the thwacking of his tail against Blaine’s leg was any indication. None of those things mattered as his fingers flew across the keys, pounding out notes and rhythms and keeping him from focusing on anything else.

Cooper had always joked that the reason Blaine sometimes had trouble expressing himself through words was because he thought more in music than vernacular. Blaine had always shrugged it off, saying that he was perfectly capable of using his words. Deep down, they both knew Cooper was right. Anytime Blaine got flustered, got overwhelmed, got emotional, there was only one thing he wanted. Either he needed to play or needed to put his headphones in and block out everything else, but no matter what it was always music. It didn’t always have to fit the mood, sometimes it was better if it didn’t, but what mattered most was that it was there to take him away.

That was why the clarinet being played in the next room didn’t matter. Why Roscoe’s tail hitting him over and over in the leg didn’t matter. The way the piano had a slightly different timbre than any other than he'd played there, that didn’t matter either. Nothing mattered except the music, and that alone made him breathe easier and quelled the anxiety that had been knotting up inside of him for the entire hour and a half he’d been in class. At least it did, right up until he’d finished and lifted his hands off the keys long enough to think of something else to play, but before he could start up again there was a sharp rap on the door and it swung open with no other warning.

“Mike, that sounded fantas—oh, I’m so sorry, I thought you were someone else.” His head snapped up and he took in a sharp breath, the intrusion shocking him back to reality. “I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

“It’s okay,” he said quickly, despite the fact that it felt anything but. “I shouldn’t… it’s fine.” He shook his head, grabbing his bag up off the floor.

“You don’t have to leave,” she said, but Blaine hooked the strap of his bag over his shoulder anyway.

“You’re allowed to practice, I interrupted, I’m sorry.”

“I’m not practicing,” he mumbled, getting to his feet and reaching down for Roscoe’s harness. “Just playing. I… have to go.”

“O-okay,” the woman stammered, and Blaine could feel his chest and throat tightening as he brushed past her and back down to the elevator. His hand clenched and unclenched at his side as he tried to keep his emotions in check. The last thing he needed was to start crying just because he was having an off day and had gotten startled. At least, that’s what he kept repeating to himself as the elevator took him back down to the main floor and he tried to leave the building as quickly as possible.

“Blaine?” He stopped at the sound of Kurt’s voice, his hand moving up to clutch the strap of his bag. Kurt’s hand rest against his back, right between his shoulder blades, and Blaine took in a deep breath.

“Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Blaine said, feeling the exact opposite. His voice wavered, even just on those two words, and he squeezed tighter at the soft leather of the strap in his hand. He cleared his throat, hoping to sound more believable the second time around. “I’m fine, I just have to go to class.”

“Okay,” Kurt said quietly, his thumb rubbing against the soft knit of his cardigan. Blaine swayed a little on the spot, wanting to stand there and let Kurt do that for the rest of the day if he could, but he knew he had to go. As much as that small contact made him start to relax, he wasn’t lying about having a class. “We’ll talk later?”

“Yeah.” He nodded and Kurt moved his hand up to give his shoulder a light squeeze before letting go and letting Blaine head out of the building.

Classes the rest of the day felt like torture. There weren’t many of them, a fact for which Blaine was grateful. Sitting through lectures and group discussions were not his favorite past times when his head was so full of other thoughts. Part of him knew he was being ridiculous, that he should just wait and see what Dr. Birk had to say before he let himself react, but he wasn’t wired that way. He made assumptions, he reacted proactively, and he had trouble unwinding when he got caught off guard.

Santana had a night class on Wednesdays, which meant Blaine had the house entirely to himself when he got home. He was glad for it, the peace and quiet and not having to deal with her for the time being. He didn’t mind her, not normally, but she’d been in a mood ever since the party and refusing to talk about it. That wouldn’t have been a problem if he had been in a good headspace but as matters stood, he was grateful for the empty house.

He settled in at his desk, turning on his computer and logging in to check his email. His fingertips rest over  the braille display that translated what was on the screen for him , and he deleted several mailings from the school before he got to the response from Dr. Birk.

Blaine, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with me. That is one of my favorite Beatles songs, and I’m glad to know that you enjoy it as much as you do. You bring up a very good point, the intimacy of hand holding, and I wanted to thank you for sharing your personal views with me. Out of everyone in the class, I believe that you’re the one who delved the most into themselves with this assignment, which is something I always look forward to reading. My normal method of grading is drawing smiley faces all over the papers when I read something I like, so I guess I should say to consider your paper completely littered with my doodles and smiles, because it truly was a joy to read. I look forward to reading your assignments for the rest of the semester.

He felt like all the wind had been knocked out of him. She’d liked his paper, even though it had been different than all the other ones he’d heard in class. He’d spent the entire day thinking he was going to get home and read an email about how he’d missed the point entire, but it was the exact opposite. All the feelings of self-doubt and anxiety about it had been completely uncalled for, and he wasn’t sure if that made it better or worse. He felt completely exhausted after being on edge for so long, and it had all been for no good reason.

Not wanting to waste any more of his day, he got out a book for one of his classes and folded the front cover back, setting in to start reading. He barely got through the first chapter before he lost focus, unable to pay attention long enough to decipher the words beneath his fingers. That was when he decided to change into more comfortable clothes, because he didn’t plan on leaving the house again that evening, and crawl into bed for a while. He tried calling his brother, just for someone to talk to about his day, because Cooper at least made a good effort to understand how his head worked most of the time, but he didn’t get an answer.

Blaine was halfway to dozing off when his phone buzzed beside his pillow. He groaned, annoyed that he hadn’t remembered to switch it back from silent after he’d gotten home, and reached to answer it. “Coop?”


“That’s me…”

“Did I wake you up?” Blaine blinked a few times as he became more aware of the fact that it most definitely wasn’t his brother on the other end of the line. “Blaine?”

“Oh, sorry Kurt. I was just… lying down for a few minutes.” He cleared his throat, trying to sound less
groggy. “Sorry.”

“Don’t apologize, I’m sorry for waking you up,” Kurt said. “Are you alright?”

“Hm? I’m fine. How are you?”

“I’m alright. Are you fine? You seemed a little out of it earlier.”

“Oh yeah I’m… I’m fine. I was having a moment, being stupid.”

“Dr. Salido says she’s sorry for interrupting you.”


“Dr. Salido… she saw me talking to you before you left and she told me what happened. She feels bad for scaring you like that; she thought you were one of her students. Apparently you were playing whatever he’s working on for his recital? She asked me to let you know.”

“Oh. She’s… I should be the one apologizing, I think I was rude.”

“Are you going to make her dinner, too?” Blaine almost smiled against his pillow at that, but shook his head. It took him a few seconds to remember that he was on the phone and that wasn’t a helpful response.

“Nope, she’s not my type.”

“Well thank goodness for that, because I don’t like sharing.” Kurt sounded vaguely amused, and Blaine couldn’t help but blush slightly. They hadn’t exactly defined anything, and that was fine, but he liked when Kurt said statements that were possessive sounding like that. It reassured him that he wasn’t just making things up. “That means you’re free for dinner tonight then?”

“Um, yes?” Blaine rubbed at his eyes and sat up, untangling his legs from the blankets on his bed.

“Perfect. I’m going to invite myself over, but I’ll order us in something to make up for my rudeness in doing so,” Kurt said. “When can I come over?”

“Anytime,” Blaine said, his hand moving up to smooth down his hair. It was all mussed from how it’d been pressed against the pillow, and he made a face as it wouldn’t stay down. “Just let me know when?”

“Well I just got out of my rehearsal, so I’m going to swing by my room real quick and then I’ll head your way. So it’ll be about fifteen minutes tops, does that work?”

“That’s fine.”

“See you soon!”

Blaine dropped his phone back onto the bed as he heard the silence of Kurt hanging up. He grabbed it again quickly to turn the volume on, and then shuffled his way off to the bathroom to get his hair under control. Normally he would consider hopping in the shower and just starting from the beginning but he didn’t have that kind of time, so he made do with a little more gel and crossing his fingers that it didn’t look horrible. The doorbell rang and he went to answer it, pulling it open to let Kurt in.

“Fencing?” Kurt asked in a form of greeting, and Blaine cocked his head to the side. “Your shirt.”

“My shirt,” Blaine repeated slowly, wondering if he was still trying to wake up or if he just plain was missing something. Kurt poked him in the chest, or at least that’s what it felt like he was doing, and Blaine took a step back. The sudden contact had sent shivers through him, but at least the feel of Kurt’s finger tracing along his chest made him realize what he’d mean. “Oh! Fencing, yes.”

“Now there’s a hobby you don’t hear of often in Ohio.” Blaine shut the door behind him, and then the realization hit him and he felt a bit of color drain from his face.

“Oh God, I’m sorry, I’ll go change.”


“I’m… pajamas.”

“Pajamas,” Kurt repeated, reaching over and touching his arm. His fingertips were cool against Blaine’s skin, which was still warm after being nestled in under the blankets of his bed. “You don’t have to change if you don’t want. This is your house; you can wear whatever you want. It doesn’t bother me.” Blaine fidgeted a little, tugging at the hem of the t-shirt. “If it helps, I think you look completely adorable right now.”

“That helps a little,” Blaine mumbled, rubbing at the back of his neck as he tried to fight off the blush he knew was coming. He never let himself be so undone around people. It had taken weeks before Santana had seen him in anything but the clothes he wore on normal days, and that had only happened when it did because she’d sleepily stumbled her way into the bathroom while he was brushing his teeth one morning. His appearance was something he could control, which is why he always did everything he could to present himself well every day.

“I wouldn’t want to change, if I was wearing that,” Kurt offered. “It looks really comfortable.”

“It is.” Blaine decided to just leave it, since Kurt didn’t seem to care. It made him feel fairly self-conscious, Kurt seeing him in his pajamas, but he just reminded himself that there were far worse things that could happen. Soft flannel pants and a worn t-shirt were hardly a crime. “I didn’t fence.”


“The shirt,” he said, gesturing toward his chest where he knew the logo was. “I didn’t. This was Cooper’s.”

“Who’s Cooper?”

“My brother.” Blaine settled in on the couch, sitting cross-legged. “He wanted to audition for some production of The Three Musketeers and convinced our parents that he should take fencing lessons so he could be more authentic.”

“Did that work?”

“Well he didn’t get the part,” Blaine offered with a shrug. “He did spend a lot of time following me around and challenging me to duels, though.” Kurt laughed, dropping down next to him on the couch.

“He sounds like a trip,” he said, and he turned to sit sideways, his knee bumping against Blaine’s leg. “I ordered us Chinese, by the way. I probably should have asked first but it sounded really good.”

“No, Chinese is fine.” He tried to ignore how his breath quickened when Kurt fiddled with the sleeve of his shirt, unfolding it from how it had gotten cuffed when he was in bed.

“So,” Kurt said, his tone conversational. “What was going on earlier?”

“I was being stupid,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “It’s not… important.”

“Well I don’t believe for a second that you were being stupid,” Kurt said, hand resting on his shoulder and thumb tracing circles along it. “That seems like a very un-Blaine like thing to be. You don’t have to tell me,” he continued after a moment of pause. “I’m here if you want to talk, though. I was worried. You seemed really upset.”

“I think too much sometimes,” Blaine said quietly, figuring that was a safe way to phrase it. “I let things upset me before they even happen and it just kind of eats away at me from the inside.” He shook his head. “That was what happened today. It’s stupid.”

“It’s not stupid,” Kurt said gently.

“It feels like it is,” he went on, shaking his head. “It almost always ends up being for no reason, and then I’ve gone through all of that for nothing. Then I went and was awful to, um, Dr. Salido? That was her name, right? I didn’t mean to be, I just don’t really… do well when people surprise me.”

“I kind of got that after our first encounter.”

“It’s worse when I’m playing,” Blaine admitted, his hands clasped in his lap and fingernails bluntly digging into his palms. He knew he wouldn’t normally talk about it, but Kurt’s thumb was still drawing against his shoulder and it was oddly comforting and disarming. “Because I feel… I mean, I do that to get it out. That anxiety and all those things I feel, that’s how I try to get rid of it.” It felt ridiculous to admit it out loud, and he was barely even scratching the surface of what he meant. “So when people catch me like that, it makes it all so much worse.”

“You feel exposed,” Kurt said, and it was all statement and no question. Blaine nodded, swallowing hard. “I get that. When I sing, when I’m not practicing for my lessons and I’m just doing it because I want to or need to, I feel like that.”

“Kurt?” Blaine said softly, nerves taking over again as he mustered up the courage to ask what he wanted. “Can we maybe, um, hug?”

Touches between them were almost always so carefully place. Holding hands was normal, by that point. Kisses still caught Blaine off guard most of the time, but in the best possible way. The rest were light, barely there presses of fingertips, always careful, always hesitant. Blaine knew he was a little skittish and unused to being touched, and Kurt had apparently picked up on that, but the more he sat there next to Kurt the more he realized that all he’d wanted since sitting in his first class of the day was to be held.

Kurt’s hand moved off his shoulder and slid across his chest, thumb catching on his collar for a moment. He scooted in, both arms wrapping around his shoulders and hugging gently as he rest his forehead against Blaine’s temple. It felt warm, so comforting, and it only lasted a few seconds before he pulled away and Blaine’s heart sank.

“This is not an optimal hugging position,” Kurt said. Blaine’s brow furrowed, but he knew it was true. Them sitting beside each other, it didn’t really work. He just wished it had lasted a little longer before it ended. “Here, move up a little.” Kurt nudged his hip lightly, and then pressed his hand on Blaine’s back as he moved up toward the edge of the cushion, uncrossing his legs and letting his feet drop to the floor. “There, much better.”

Blaine sat still as he felt Kurt move, the cushions shifting under his weight as he slid in behind him and let his legs hang on either side of his. Strong arms curled around his torso and pulled him back, and he tilted his head back to rest against Kurt’s shoulder as he pressed back against his chest. It was like a wave washed over him, all calm and comfort, from the feel of Kurt wrapped around him.

He couldn’t help but try and memorize the feeling. The way his hands were splayed out, one against his side near his hip and the other on his chest, fingertips reaching up to his shoulder. The rise and fall of Kurt’s chest against his back as he breathed, and how he could feel each exhale against the skin of his neck. He tried not to focus on how Kurt’s legs were against his, how he was in between them. That was a bit too much for him to handle, and he just wanted to think about how nice it felt to be there in his arms.

There were no words, just touch. He turned his head and his forehead rest against the crook of Kurt’s neck, a place that he desperately wanted to kiss but not right then. Kurt’s thumb rubbed gently against his side and he thought he might burst from the sheer amount of Kurt touching him. He felt like he was tingling, like he almost always did when Kurt touched him, but it was different. It wasn’t the intense, blush inducing fire spreading through his body like usual, it was much more of a quiet buzz of energy that didn’t at all diminish how relaxed and calm he was feeling.

They stayed like that, and Blaine honestly thought he was about to fall asleep from how comfortable he was, until there was a sharp rap on the door. Kurt pressed a soft kiss to his temple before carefully untangling his limbs from around him and climbing over the arm of the couch to get to the door. Blaine just stayed perched on the couch, coming out of his sleepy haze, as Kurt paid for the delivery and got them both drinks and utensils from the kitchen. They ate in near silence, and Blaine had never been happier to have sweet and sour chicken in his life. He’d skipped lunch, but hadn’t realized how hungry he was until the food was right in front of him.

When Kurt finished with his food, he moved back to how he’d been before, sitting behind Blaine. He didn’t wrap him up in his arms right away, waiting for him to finish eating. Blaine set down the carton he’d been holding, turning a little so he could tilt his head back at him. “You don’t have to…”

“What if I want to?” Kurt countered softly, his hand cupping Blaine’s jaw as he ran his thumb along it. Blaine took in a sharp breath, trying to remember how words worked as Kurt’s thumb brushed against his lower lip. “Why do I feel like you’re constantly waiting for me to push you away?”

“I-I’m not,” Blaine said quickly, shaking his head. Not constantly .

“I like you, Blaine.” Kurt’s hand moved to rest on his shoulder, turning him a little more so he could look at him more fully. “There’s not any kind of qualifier that follows that, either. It’s not ‘I like you, but…’ it’s just… I like you.”

“I like you too,” Blaine murmured, bringing his hand up to cover Kurt’s, squeezing it a little.


“No buts,” he said, shaking his head. “I really like you. I just have some trouble believing someone as amazing as you would like me.”

“Oh please,” Kurt said, and Blaine could almost picture him rolling his eyes. Except he realized he didn’t know what color his eyes were. “You’ve got that a little backwards, but I’ll forgive you.”

“I can’t help it,” Blaine said. “I’m not used to this; it’s a little hard to believe.”

“Would it be easier to believe if you were my boyfriend?” Kurt question was asked so softly that Blaine truly believed he’d imagined it. He just sat there, mouths slightly agape, trying to convince himself one way or the other. “Oh God, I didn’t mean to push, I’m sorry.”

“No no, Kurt, you’re not,” Blaine stammered, reaching up and slipping his hand around to the back of Kurt’s neck. “You didn’t push, I just… Yes, I want, I mean… I would like that. A lot. If, um, as long as this isn’t just so I’ll believe you.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Kurt said with a laugh, leaning in and kissing the corner of his mouth. Blaine flushed, ducking his head away. “Completely ridiculously adorable. No, this isn’t just so you’ll believe me. I want you to be.”

“Oh, well then yes,” he said, nodding and biting his lip as he grinned. Kurt kissed him again, this time full on the mouth, and Blaine couldn’t help but think that it was incredible how one single day could have such big ups and downs. As long as Kurt was there at the end of it, he figured he could put up with most stress and anxiety that piled up inside. There was something about kissing Kurt that erased all of it.

Chapter Text

It was incredible, how waking up every morning with the knowledge that Kurt was his boyfriend made every day start with a smile on Blaine’s face. Part of him still had trouble believing it, but that was what made it so great. Someone wanted him, Kurt wanted him, even though he was sure he’d been plenty awkward and weird enough to make him run for the hills. Kurt was his boyfriend. He was Kurt’s boyfriend. He felt like he was acting like a teenager about the whole thing, but he tried to remind himself that he was a teenager, so it was slightly justified. There wasn’t anything wrong with being intensely happy about something, after all.

There were still moments of panic. Moments of oh God what if this isn’t what I think it is ? Thankfully Kurt was a constant reassurance against the doubt.

Falling into habits was so easy with Kurt. It had happened even before they started dating – the morning coffees, the phone calls before bed. Those still held true, but there were more. Blaine didn’t know if it was normal for people when entered into a relationship together, but he didn’t care. Maybe it was because it felt like he’d known Kurt, been around Kurt, been dating Kurt, for ages as opposed to days. Everything came with ease, felt natural and right as anything.

Kurt usually came over either for dinner or after, depending on if Santana had claimed part of Blaine’s evening. He seemed more than happy to avoid her, which Blaine couldn’t exactly blame him for. One of the things Blaine liked most was how they didn’t even have to do anything specific together. Kurt would come over, bring his schoolwork with him, and they would sit in Blaine’s room and work quietly on their own things. It was just something to know that the other was there, and that was enough until they got tired or homework or one ran out of something to do, and then it would usually dissolve into light conversation. When it didn’t turn into kissing or cuddling, that was.

Their first weekend together came without any occasion, but after the party the weekend before, Blaine had been glad for the quiet. There was a recital on Saturday night that Kurt went to, and he’d invited Blaine but he’d declined. He felt a bit anxious when he thought about going to the fine arts building, considering how his last venture had gone. It was his fault, he knew, but he didn’t want to run the risk of bumping into Dr. Salido or someone else who had been subject to his fight or flight (and it was flight – always flight) moments. In the end, it was good that he hadn’t gone.

“Oh good, your boy toy isn’t here,” Santana said as she walked into his room without the pretense of knocking. Blaine was sitting at his desk, pouring over a book for class, but he lifted his head as he heard her flop down onto his bed.

“He’s not my… boy toy,” he said, shaking his head. Santana had been in such a mood all week that he hadn’t even bothered trying to talk to her about Kurt. He doubted she would have cared even if she’d been in a good mood.

“Whatever you say, Blanderson.”

“Can I, um, help you with something?” he asked, grabbing a bookmark and pressing it in between the pages before closing his book. He assumed there was a reason for her being there, because usually she didn’t just barge into his room and make herself at home. They spent a good amount of time together in the more common rooms of the house, but not generally in the bedrooms.

“Is there something wrong with me?”

“That,” Blaine said slowly, “is the most loaded question I have ever been asked.”

“Shut up.”

“Wrong with you in what way?” he asked, getting up and moving over to sit on the bed. She didn’t move away from him, but he could feel her stretching out more.

“I’m ridiculously hot. I know you can’t see, but take my word for it.” He opened his mouth to reply, but she cut him off. “I know you wouldn’t appreciate it either but whatever, I’m pretty sure you’d think I’m a fox.”

“Okay…” Blaine wasn’t exactly sure where she was going with it all, but he assumed it was all leading somewhere. It didn’t seem like her to set up shop in his room with the express purpose of talking about how great she was.

“So why would she do that?” It took Blaine a moment, mostly because he couldn’t believe that she was actually talking to him about it finally, to realize she meant Brittany.

“I don’t know, San,” he said, chewing at the inside of his lip. “Maybe it had to do with something other than how you look?”

“Like what?” she asked challengingly, and he sighed.

“I don’t know, I’m not an expert at this sort of thing,” Blaine said, rubbing his face. “But I mean, I’m pretty sure she likes you.” Santana snorted derisively. “That one time I played for her and my phone went off, that alarm you did, she just about stole it from me because she heard you talking.”

“Well she has a funny way of showing it.”

“What about the rest of the party though?” he asked, hoping to grasp at some kind of straw she could hold onto. “Before she left, I mean. She was here for you, right?”

“I thought so,” she mumbled, and he felt the bed shift as she moved around. “You were probably too busy grinding all up on your pretty pony to notice—“

Santana .


“Kurt. His name is Kurt. He’s not a pretty pony, a boy toy, any of those other things you have called him, he is Kurt .”

“It’s cute how you think that would do anything. I already knew his name; I just prefer to be creative.”

“Get out of my room, then.”

“Calm down, for fuck’s sake. A girl can’t have any fun these days.” She nudged him with her leg, but he shook his head.

“For the record,” he said, his voice a practiced calm. “I probably didn’t notice anything because I can’t see so the subtleties tend to be lost on me.”

“Whatever, the point is she was all over everyone,” Santana said, sighing. “Starting with you, which I don’t even understand because you clearly wouldn’t be interested. It was annoying.”

“Have you tried talking to her?” Blaine offered, tilting his head in her direction.

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“I’m sorry, I’m the one being ridiculous when you haven’t talked to her?”

“I don’t go chasing after people, Blaine.”

“No, you just mope around the house for a week because of them when you don’t get what you want.” Santana didn’t say anything in response to that, and he thought for a brief second that he’d crossed a line. It wasn’t so much that he was worried about offending her, but more so that he didn’t want to push her away when she’d actually come to him to talk. “I think you should try talking to her. Just call her or something.”

“So if Kurt is going to be hanging around here as much as he has been, I’m going to start charging him rent,” Santana cut in, and Blaine was well aware that meant that the topic of Brittany was done. “Doesn’t he have his own place to sit and do homework? Or are you two super study buddies, which would almost be cute if it wasn’t sickening.”

“No, we… just like being around each other,” Blaine said, flushing slightly.

“Well isn’t that just so freaking charming,” Santana drawled. “It still feels like he’s super creepy stalking his way into your life, if you ask me.”

“He’s not super creepy stalking me,” Blaine said, absently rubbing his hands over the tops of his legs. Whether it would make things better or worse to tell her, he wasn’t sure. It did strike him that it was the first time he was going to say the words out loud to someone that wasn’t himself. “He’s… he’s my boyfriend.”

“He’s what? ” Santana sat up so fast that he thought she was going to knock him off the bed, and he ducked away from her.

“I didn’t tell you because you were sad and stuff and I didn’t think it was appropriate but yes, he is, so stop being so mean and rude about him.”

“What ever .” Santana swung her legs over the side of the bed and got up. “Just alert me if you two are going to have loud, obnoxious sex so I can make sure to not be here for that.” She got to the doorway before he heard her stop. “And Blaine?”

“Yeah?” he asked, well aware of the fact that he was probably turning a nice shade of pink.

“If he fucks up at all, you’d better tell me. That boy and I have an understanding.” He didn’t get a chance to ask her what that meant before she was gone out into the living room, but a few seconds later he heard her again. “Oh, speak of the devil…”

“Were you talking about yourself?” Kurt’s voice sounded clipped, forced politeness with every word but the undercurrent of annoyance. “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the spawn of Satan would be a narcissist.”

“Don’t worry about knocking, just go ahead and let yourself into our house, that’s fine,” Santana growled, but Kurt seemed to ignore her as he went into Blaine’s room, shutting the door behind him.

“Hi?” Blaine said, listening as Kurt dropped his bag to the floor and made his way over.

“Hi.” Kurt sounded much more at ease now that he wasn’t talking to Santana, and he gently pushed Blaine back onto the bed and kissed him. There it was again, that quick rush of adrenaline that found its way all through him every time Kurt did something like that. Blaine’s arms slipped up around his neck and he pulled him down, nipping lightly at his lower lip almost experimentally. It was still new, all the kissing stuff, but he was more than happy to practice. Kurt seemed perfectly fine with accommodating him.

“Mmm. So how was your evening?” Kurt asked as he pulled back, scooting up to lie beside him. “Anything eventful?”

“No, just a lot of reading.” Blaine shrugged, turning a little to tilt his head up at him. “How was the recital?”

“It was good! It was a girl from my studio, so I’ve heard some of it before, but she did an amazing job. Plus there were cookies and punch after, so that’s always a bonus.”

“Cookies and punch? I would’ve gone if I’d known that,” Blaine teased.

“If I’d known what kind you liked, I would have brought you one.”

“Kurt, they’re cookies,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “There are no bad kinds of cookies.”

“Fair enough,” Kurt said with a light laugh. “Next time I’ll just sneak one of every kind and we’ll go from there. Or you could go with me.”

“Maybe, we’ll see,” he said, rubbing his face. “It depends.”

“Depends on what?” Kurt asked, propping himself up on his elbow so he could look down at him.

“I don’t know, it just depends.” Blaine shrugged, dropping his hand down to his stomach. Kurt didn’t say anything, just cupped the side of his face and leaned down, pressing a soft kiss against his lips.

“You look stressed,” he murmured, thumb stroking against his cheek.

“It’s nothing, just stuff.” He could feel Kurt’s breath playing against his skin and he wanted to pull him in the short distance to kiss him again, but he didn’t think he’d be able to get away with that for long.

“Was Santana conjuring up demons all afternoon or something?”

“No.” Blaine bit his lip, fidgeting with the buttons of his shirt. Kurt’s hand moved down from his jaw to rest over his hands, stilling them. “She’s not normally like that, Kurt. I’m sorry she’s being mean. It takes awhile for her to warm up to people and she’s been having a rough week, and I don’t think I made it any better right before you got here.”

“You don’t have to apologize for her,” Kurt said, his tone resolute. “I’m not here because I want to be friends with Santana, I’m here for you . She likes you, as I’m well aware, and you like her. She doesn’t like me, and I couldn’t care less. Princess is hardly the worst thing I’ve ever been called.”

“I told her to stop calling you names,” Blaine murmured, wincing slightly at Kurt’s last statement. “So hopefully she actually listens. Sometimes she does.”

“I don’t care,” Kurt said, squeezing his hand.

I care. Just because she’s mad about stuff in her own life, that doesn’t mean she should get to take it out on you.”

“You’re sweet.” Kurt kissed his cheek, and Blaine turned his hand over to lace their fingers together. “So what were you reading that kept you busy all night?”

“The Canterbury Tales,” Blaine said, wrinkling his nose.

“Not a fan, then?”

“It’s alright, just not as fun to read as some other stuff. It’s hard to keep focused when it’s like that.”

“I have that problem with reading, too.” Blaine started to open his mouth to elaborate, but was cut off by his phone.

Call from… Dreamboat McAnderson.

“Oh… my God . I take back anything I ever said about Santana actually being a nice person.” Blaine covered his face with his hand before pulling away, scrambling to get his phone off his desk. “Hello?”

“Hey Squirt! I just got the most interesting phone call…”

“Can I call you back later?”

“You’d better! We have lots to talk abo--” Blaine didn’t even bother saying goodbye before hanging up, holding his phone out to Kurt as he sat back down on the bed.

“Could you please, for the love of everything that’s right in the world, change that to say Cooper?”

“Dreamboat McAnderson?” Kurt asked, clearly trying not to laugh.

“Santana is an awful human being,” Blaine groaned. “She thinks my brother is the most attractive man on the planet. Apparently he can charm the pants off anyone, even lesbians.”

“Ah, I see. I find it difficult to believe he could be more attractive than you. That’s just ridiculous, and I’m pretty sure entirely impossible.”

“It’s very possible,” Blaine said, blushing and setting his phone down once Kurt handed it back to him. “I thought we were going to lose him as far as help went when they moved me in here, because he and Santana were flirting the entire time. My parents were so confused.” He shook his head. “And apparently I can’t leave my phone unguarded around.”

“That is rather unfortunate.”

“What if I’d wanted to call him? Not to mention that it is really, really awkward for your brother to be in your phone as Dreamboat , I just…” he trailed off, flopping back onto the bed. “So embarrassing.”

“So your parents…” Kurt started, and Blaine turned his head toward him.


“They’re clearly okay with, um, you being gay. I mean, you can never know and I know not everyone has parents that are, but if they were aware of Santana I would assume that they’re at least…”

“Oh, um, well yeah,” Blaine said, his brow furrowing. “It wasn’t… always great. My dad wasn’t the most accepting at first but he got better, and then after…” He dug his fingernails into his palm as he stopped himself. He’d just written about it earlier that day, for his class. Write about a relationship or love that is not romantic in nature ; that had been the assignment. His parents had seemed like the obvious choice.

Parents are supposed to love their children unconditionally, right? That’s what I was told, what I believed when I was growing up. It wasn’t something that should have been used as an excuse or anything, like a free pass for me to do whatever I wanted and then bat my eyelashes up at them because I was their child and that meant no matter what, they were going to love me. It was supposed to be a reassurance, I think. I’m sure my parents never thought I would do anything to pull that into question. They raised me right, after all. I never got detention in school. I always did my homework, did well in classes. I made friends who could never be considered bad influences. I was a good kid.

I’ll never forget the look on my dad’s face when I came out to my parents. It was the first time I’d ever seen anything but love, endearment from him. It was the first time I’d ever seen him look disappointed in me.

“He got better.”

“That’s good,” Kurt said quietly, and Blaine was once again glad that Kurt seemed to know when asking questions would be a bad idea.

“What about your parents?”

“I just have my dad,” Kurt started out. “My mom died when I was little, so it’s just been me and him since then. He’s a real man’s man, you know? I mean, he works on cars for a living and all. There were times that I thought there was no way he’d ever… but… my dad is the most amazing person I know. He loves me for who I am, support me no matter what, and the only thing he really asks in return is for me to be the best possible person I can be.”

“He sounds pretty incredible,” Blaine said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. He had no problems with his dad, especially after everything they’d been through in the two years prior. It had been rough going at first, and Kurt’s mention of his dad’s profession had only really succeeded in making Blaine remember when his dad had gotten him to help restore a car. What had been assumed as father-son bonding time, when it was really an attempt to get him to butch up and maybe not like boys as much anymore, hadn’t gone that well. They never did finish the car, considering the circumstances. That was in the past, though, and Blaine knew that so many more important things had happened since then. The move, the support, the everything.

“He is,” Kurt murmured, reaching over and slipping his hand into Blaine’s. “I know you can’t... see me to tell, but I can pretty confidently say that I am the easiest scapegoat you would ever be able to find in a school. I mean, I got picked on left and right, sometimes it was just words and other times… I mean, I know I already told you about part of what happened. My dad, if it hadn’t been for him, who knows how bad it would have gotten. I kept a lot from him at first, but once he found out he kind of went on the warpath. I’d never seen him angry about anything like that before, and things really did start to change after he went to the principal and school board and gave them a piece of his mind. He’s the best person I could ever imagine having on my side.”

“My dad kind of did that sort of thing,” Blaine said slowly, his fingers tightening against Kurt’s. “It was right before we moved; he went and raised hell all over the place at my school.” His throat tightened and he talked himself out of elaborating. There was a time and a place, he was sure, but he couldn’t bring himself to mention it then. “It was the first time I ever really remember him standing up for me like that. It was definitely the first time I felt like he didn’t have anything against me for who I was. He’s gotten a lot better, like I said, and that was kind of the turning point, I think.”

Kurt deftly changed the subject back to the recital he’d attended, and Blaine was glad to get a pass from the topic of family. Plus he definitely wasn’t going to complain when Kurt sang little snippets of different songs from the recital as he recounted them, his voice quiet but just as sweet and pure as Blaine remembered. It was a reminder of just how talented he was as he effortlessly switched between languages, Italian and French rolling off his tongue. He hadn’t heard him sing since that first time, and what was happening as they laid there on Blaine’s bed didn’t really count.

It was scary, sometimes, how easy it felt. How he knew that if someone had told him two weeks prior that he would be able to lie in bed next to someone like Kurt and not feel uncomfortable, not be blushing at the mere thought of it, he never would have believed them. How the light kisses that passed between them no longer felt huge and monumental, but normal and without the need of reason or explanation. How being wrapped up in Kurt’s arms was still one of the most amazing things Blaine had ever felt, but it wasn’t an event, it was just how things were. How when Kurt said he should probably leave for the night, Blaine’s first thought was, please stay .

He didn’t say it out loud, though. The words too much too fast kept repeating in his head as a warning, though he wasn’t sure if there was such a thing as too much with Kurt, not when everything felt right and perfect. There was something to be said about not seeming overly eager, desperate, needy, clingy, anything like that. So Blaine didn’t say it, but he did walk with Kurt out onto the front porch, away from the potential harassment of Santana should they have kissed goodnight in the living room. Considering how it went, she definitely would have been saying something.

It started off sweet, gentle, just like always, but not for long. The first swipe of Kurt’s tongue against his lips sent a rush through Blaine, and his hand moved up to the back of Kurt’s neck to steady himself. His lips parted just barely, mostly in surprise, but that was more than enough of an invitation. Kurt sucked on his lower lip, tongue soothing over it, before licking his way into his mouth. Blaine felt like his knees were going to give out completely, the slick slide of Kurt’s tongue against his own overwhelming him, and he couldn’t stop the soft sound in the back of his throat from escaping. The only thought that managed to run through his head, other than the KurtKurtKurt of it all, was that maybe he should reconsider that whole asking him to stay thing. But no, that would be impulsive and presumptuous, even though he hadn’t meant it in that way he just hadn’t wanted him to leave, and just because Kurt’s tongue was stroking so perfectly against every inch of his mouth, that did not mean he should throw all caution to the wind.

By the time Kurt pulled back, dropping light kisses against his lips before resting their foreheads together, Blaine felt dizzy. It was almost the same feeling as when he’d been drunk and dancing with him, pressed up together and actually touching for the first time. There was just so much about Kurt that was intoxicating, he wasn’t sure if he was ever going to get used to it all. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to. His hand slowly slid all the way down Kurt’s arm to his hand, tangling their fingers together and tugging their intertwined hands up between them so he could brush a kiss against Kurt’s knuckles. “Good night.”

“Good night, Blaine.”

Blaine almost felt dazed as he walked back through the house to get to his room, shutting the door behind him and crawling onto his bed. He wondered how it was even possible, for someone to be able to make him feel like that. Was it like that for other people, he wondered, for something so seemingly simple as kissing to make them feel like the entire world was spinning around them? It was a slight afterthought of horror that made him wonder if he made Kurt feel the same way. What if he didn’t? What if he was getting all of it and giving nothing in return? Rationality took over, at least for then, and he convinced himself that if that were true then Kurt probably wouldn’t kiss him as much.

It wasn’t until he moved to roll over and his foot hit his phone that he remembered about Cooper. If he didn’t call him back, he would probably be getting calls at all hours of the morning asking why. Or worse, he’d call Santana. Blaine shifted around to reach his phone, calling his brother, and tried to remember how sentences were formed while the phone rang.

“Hey little brother!”

“Hey Coop,” Blaine said, rubbing his face a little. “How are you?”

“I’m fantastic, but apparently not as fantastic as you are, I’m told.”

“What exactly did Santana tell you?”

“That you have a special guy in your life, of course!” Cooper sounded so happy about it, which was shocking. Not because Blaine expected Cooper to unhappy about it or anything, but because of the fact that he’d found out through Santana could have meant anything in terms of what he’d been told. “So now I need to know everything. Name? Age? Social security number? I need to do some reconnaissance.”

“What? No you don’t. Where are you?”

“California.” Blaine breathed out a sigh of relief. Cooper went back and forth so often, it made him hard to keep track of. The fact that he wasn’t in Ohio was a blessing, because the last thing Blaine needed was to have him show up randomly and start grilling Kurt. Or make Kurt realize that he’d been entirely wrong, and yes there was a much better looking Anderson out there. “Don’t think that’s going to stop me!”

“Cooper, please. I like him. I don’t need you scaring him off.”

“I wouldn’t scare him off,” Cooper admonished, and Blaine could almost see the mock offense on his face. “I just need to make sure that he’s good enough for my little brother.”

“His name is Kurt,” Blaine said simply. “He’s a year older than me. That’s all you need to know.”

“What about why I found this out through the incomparable Miss Lopez and not you?”

“Maybe because Santana doesn’t know how to mind her own business?” Blaine offered.

“I’m hurt, Blaine.”

“It’s not like I was… keeping it from you. I just didn’t tell you yet. I didn’t even tell Santana until today, and I’m sure she called you immediately.” It had seemed so nice, at first, that Cooper and Santana had gotten along. It wasn’t until they started conspiring that Blaine realized how it was truly not good for him. “Maybe I just needed a little time to let it sink in.”

“Sure, I see how it is.”



“Don’t, um… don’t tell Mom and Dad?”

“Squirt...” Cooper’s tone softened instantly, no more joking or teasing there. Blaine hated when he called him that, or at least he really used to. When they were in public or around anyone else, it still bothered him, but when it was just them it was much more a term of endearment than something he saw as a way to make him seem small. Maybe it had been like that before, but Cooper never made him feel like that anymore.


“I wasn’t going to tell them. You should, though. They’ll be happy for you.”

“Are you sure about that?” Blaine chewed on his lip as soon as the question was out. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe in his parents, he just didn’t know what to expect. It was a new situation and what would they say? What would they think? Just because they said they accepted him for who he was, they’d never really had to deal with anything that came along with it. He felt horrible for having doubt when they’d done so much for him, but it was that little voice nagging in the back of his head.

“Blaine. It’s going to be alright. They’ll be happy for you, just like I am. I couldn’t be happier for you, I really couldn’t. I can’t wait to hear more about Kurt, whenever you’re ready to tell me. Next time I’m in Ohio, you’ll have to introduce us.”

“When’s that going to be?”

“I’m not completely sure, but definitely for Thanksgiving if not before.” There was a pause, and Blaine could hear someone talking in the background. “Hey, I’ve got to run. Call me tomorrow if you want, alright? I want to hear about your classes and stuff. Talk later, buddy!”

“Bye.” Blaine hung up and reached over to plug in his phone for the night. Cooper was right, he should tell his parents. It was kind of a big moment in his life, after all. He felt a bit silly about it though, like maybe he was overreacting. Maybe they wouldn’t understand. It had been such a short time, but he knew he liked Kurt a lot. Maybe that was why he wanted to put it off, because what if they wanted to meet him? That was even a bigger deal, and maybe even worse than Cooper barging in. No, he would wait, and then the right moment would present itself when it was time, he decided. Besides, he couldn’t be expected to think that hard about how and when to tell his parents when he was still slightly reeling from his kiss goodnight.

Chapter Text

It was two weeks before it happened. Two weeks of glorious conversations, kisses, hugs, and Kurt staying until one of them started to get tired. Two weeks of essays and readings and Blaine not playing the piano at all because he still couldn’t get himself to walk into the fine arts building. Two weeks of Santana getting progressively in a better mood, but still with not much mention of Brittany. Two weeks before Kurt called Blaine after leaving for the night, managing to get him right before he fell asleep.

“You miss me already or something?” Blaine asked playfully as he answered the phone. If there was one thing he loved, it was getting calls from Kurt while he was all curled up in bed. It was almost like Kurt was there beside him, and he really liked that thought.

“I just realized what a horrible boyfriend I am,” Kurt said with a sigh.

What?” Blaine sat up quickly.

“I haven’t even taken you on a real, actual date. If you want to break up with me, I completely understand.”

“Kurt,” Blaine groaned, sinking back down against his pillows. “You can’t just say stuff like that.”

“So what do you say? Are we done, or are you free tomorrow night and willing to give me another chance?”

“Well… I don’t know.” He chewed on his lip, grinning. “I think maybe we could work something out.”

“Then I guess I’ll pick you up tomorrow, let’s say seven?”

“Seven sounds great.”

“Wonderful. Thank you. I’ll see you then. Good night, Blaine.”

“Night, Kurt.”

* * *

It was like he was full of frantic energy all day and had no way to get rid of it. Fridays were always kind of high energy days for Blaine anyway, because it was the end of the week and he couldn’t wait for the weekend. Weekends meant sleeping in, and also more time with Kurt. Fridays also seemed to drag on longer for some reason, but that Friday was even worse. Time felt like it took forever to pass and by the time Blaine got out of his last class and headed home, he felt like he probably shouldn’t have had a second cup of coffee that morning because he was beyond jittery.

The best part of Santana being in a better mood was that Blaine could talk to her without worry of being lashed out at every time. He didn’t know exactly what had sparked the change, but he wasn’t about to question it. Her classes went later than his did on Fridays, so he just had to wait for her to get home. He felt nervous, which he knew was ridiculous because it was Kurt and he had dinner with him all the time. The whole label of ‘date’ on the night seemed so big and important. It was his first date ever, which was silly to think about considering that they were already boyfriends. Maybe they were going about things a little backwards, but it didn’t seem to bother them.

Blaine felt a tad ridiculous as he stood in front of his closet, trying to figure out what to wear. There wasn’t anything wrong with what he was wearing in the first place, but he felt like he should wear something a little extra nice. He had no idea what they were going to do or where they were going to go, but an actual real date meant he should look his best. The biggest problem was figuring out exactly what his best was. That was why he was glad when he heard the front door open. “Santana?”


“Can you come in here?” Blaine fidgeted with the cuffs of his shirt as he heard her walking closer. Hopefully she was in a good mood and be helpful, as opposed to make him look horrible.

“What is it?” Her arm settled around his shoulders and she leaned up against him. “Are you thinking of going back in there? Because it’s a little late for that.” Blaine’s brow furrowed for a moment, but then he realized she meant his closet, or the closet rather, and he shook his head.

“I need help.”

“Well I could’ve told you that as soon as we met,” she drawled, but it was just idle teasing and he knew it.

“I need your help, and I need you to not be mean about it.”

“I’m not being mean,” she said, mocking offense. “Alright fine, I’ll be nice. What help do you need?”

“Kurt’s taking me on a date and I don’t know what to wear,” he mumbled, folding his arms across his stomach. “Help?”

“Oh.” Santana let her arm drop from around him, and she took a step away. He wasn’t sure if she was rethinking the whole helping-without-being-mean agreement. “Well. Is there, like, a color you were leaning toward?” He let out a breath, thankful that she was playing along for once.

“No, I just couldn’t… decide.” He waved his hands around in front of the clothes. “There are too many options and I can’t concentrate long enough to choose, and I just really want to…” be able to see what I’m wearing, his mind supplied unhelpfully, “…look nice.”

“Alright, well you’re going to look like a dork no matter what because that’s what all your clothes make you look like,” Santana started, and she moved in to rifle through the closet. “We’ll try our best though.” He almost asked her to be careful, not to mess up his organization scheme, but it was too late if she’d already started messing with it. “You trust me?”

“For some reason, yes.”

“Good.” He took a step back as she started pulling things out, walking back and forth between the closet and the bed, mumbling under her breath. Honestly, he hadn’t expected it to be so easy to get her help. He’d expected a lot of mockery, some name calling, and then probably a thing or two said about Kurt, but there was nothing. It took a few minutes, but she finally stopped. “Okay.”


“Yeah, okay. I mean, you’ll look like yourself, that can’t be helped.”

“I like how I look,” Blaine said defensively. “What, um, is it?”

“Those grey pinstripe pants you never wear, a nice white shirt, a bow tie and suspenders for maximum Blaine-ness, and some absurdly patterned socks.”

“Santana…” He was shocked that she’d actually managed to put something together like what he’d been wanting.

“There’s a jacket too, it’s like burgundy or some shit, but I didn’t know if you’d want it because it’s nice out.”

“Thank you,” he said softly, reaching over for her hand. She just swatted his away.

“Whatever. I’m leaving before you start taking your clothes off.”

She pulled the door shut behind herself as she left, not quite far enough for it to latch. Blaine didn’t really care, he just sent about getting changed. Santana was prickly on her best days, normally, and not usually helpful without being rude at least part of the time. Even still, he was glad that she was his roommate. He was even gladder that she’d apparently become a pod person and managed to help him pick out clothes to wear – for going out with Kurt no less – without sniping the whole time.

It didn’t take him that long to change and that was even with double checking every button, zipper, clasp, tie, pleat, anything he could find that could possibly be twisted or done wrong. His other clothes found their way to the hamper, and he once again found himself unable to stand still. It was the anticipation that made him jittery, because the coffee had to have worn off by then for sure. Seven o’clock seemed hours away, even though he knew it wasn’t actually, and he was quickly running out of things to do in the meantime.

Santana was practically a savior in situations like that. Ever since she’d discovered his love of girl pop music, which he was fairly certain Cooper had clued her into, she created a playlist comprised of that entirely. It was all Katy Perry, Britney, Gaga, Ke$ha, Nicki Minaj, and it was always at the ready to be plugged into the sound system in the living room, cranked up to eleven and entirely fit for dancing around like idiots. He’d tried to get out of it the first time, sneak away back to his room without her noticing, but that was hard to do when it was just the two of them. Santana was a firm believer in dancing stuff out, especially when it came to too much energy being pent up inside. Once Blaine realized she wasn’t going to laugh at him in those situations, he’d realized just how much it actually did help and how it was fun. Plus Santana would sing along with him, and for some reason that made him feel less silly. Part of him thought she did it because it was something no one else would expect from him, and that made it special between them.

All he had to do was call up the stairs to her that he needed to kill some time and she’d come galloping down, pulling him into the living room and plugging in her ipod without a word, blasting the overproduced music through the whole house.

* * *

Kurt wasn’t used to driving his way to Blaine’s house. It was only a few blocks from campus, after all, and parking in uptown tended to be scarce. Considering that they weren’t staying in the nearby area for the night, however, it was necessary.

He heard the music as soon as he killed the engine of his car, car parked right in front of the house. The bass was practically shaking him as he walked up the sidewalk, but then the song switched to something much mellower and he was glad for that. He didn’t much feel like losing his hearing right before he got to see Blaine. His knuckles rapped lightly against the door, a formality more than anything since he usually didn’t bother knocking. Santana was clearly there, if the music was any indication, so he figured it would be the best idea to try.

There was no answer, just the sound of Santana singing along loudly with Rhianna, so he let himself in and then immediately stopped in the doorway. Blaine was rapping. His Blaine, his sweet adorable Blaine, who played the piano so beautifully and delicately, who was wearing wingtip shoes and suspenders and a polka dot bow tie, was rapping. Not just that but he was shockingly good at it, and Kurt was pretty sure he could give Nicki Minaj a run for her money. He looked fully in his element, too, all loose limbs and relaxed shoulders, not an ounce of stress visible in his body. It was rare to see him like that, and it was that plus the shock of it all that left Kurt standing there staring, mouth slightly agape.

It looked like something that probably happened often, based on how the two of them were trading off. Santana saw him but rather than the glare he was used to receiving from her, she just looked endlessly amused. Maybe it was because she knew just how unlaced Blaine was in that moment, the fact that Kurt had seen, and that both of them knew that Blaine would be completely embarrassed if he knew that. For the first time ever, he felt like he and Santana were on the same page about something. Maybe he was actually seeing her for more of who she actually was, though she did give him a pointed look when she came to the lyric I am not a girl who can ever be defined and then went back to acting like he wasn’t there. He was willing to bet that was her life motto.

For the first time, Kurt felt like he was seeing what it was about Santana that Blaine liked so much. At least, he could see their relationship much clearer. The way she made him loosen up and do something ridiculous, like jumping around the living room spitting out Nicki Minaj lyrics like it was second nature, every once and awhile. How she practically yelled I ain’t got no motherfucking time to spare like she knew, after time and time of trying to egg him into it, that Blaine wasn’t going to say it and she wanted to make up for his lack of swearing. How when the song started to come to an end, she looked back over at Kurt and raised an eyebrow at him, jerking her head toward the door. He blinked a few times, still taken aback, but took the step back onto the porch and quietly shut the door behind him.

Getting to see Blaine like that had pretty much been entirely because of Santana’s good graces, and they both knew he shouldn’t know Kurt had been there. A couple seconds later, once he’d regained his ability to think clearly and to form sentences, shocked out of them both from Santana acting like a semi-normal human being and then also Blaine being… Blaine, he lifted his hand and knocked again, much louder that time.

* * *

Blaine always felt awkward when he went places without Roscoe. He was so used to the comfort of him, that he wasn’t alone. More so that yes, he was blind, but he had a dog instead of a cane. It made him feel less awkward. Less obvious, maybe. Deep down he knew that no matter what, people would know. It just made him feel less obvious to himself. It had felt strange to leave the house without Roscoe, but he had Kurt and that meant that it would be okay.

“Where are we going?” he asked as Kurt drove them away from the house.

“We’re headed downtown,” Kurt said vaguely.

“Where downtown?”

“Short North.”

“That’s not narrowing it down very much, Kurt,” Blaine whined playfully, but there wasn’t much of an answer from Kurt so he just rest his head against the window.

“You don’t like surprises?”

“Is that seriously a question?”

“This isn’t like a startling you surprise, it’s a nice, fun surprise!” Blaine turned his head back toward Kurt and sighed.

“I know, I’m just kidding, I just really want to know.”

“How do you feel about candles?”

“Candles?” Blaine’s brow furrowed. “Um, they’re nice?”

“It sounds really lame, but it’s actually cool,” Kurt said quickly. “I mean, I think it is anyway.”

“What about candles? Where… exactly are you taking me?”

“We’re going to this place called the Candle Lab. You get to make your own candles. Well, you choose the fragrances and then they make the candles for you with them. They’re all natural products and soy and I’ve had a few of them since I came to the area, and they’re really good.” Kurt was still talking fast, like he wanted to get it all out before Blaine had a chance to question any of it.

“That sounds… awesome,” Blaine said, a smile spreading across his face.

“If you don’t want to, we can do something else. There’s a lot of stuff to do down there--”

“Kurt, I said it sounds awesome! I want to.” Kurt hummed in agreement and they spent the rest of the short ride with their hands intertwined on the console between them.

The Candle Lab was just a short walk from where Kurt parked the car, and it was like an instant sensory overload when they walked inside. It only lasted for a few seconds before Blaine adjusted, was able to sort out the different scents and fragrances. His hand gripped lightly against Kurt’s bicep, where he’d been holding on as they walked down the sidewalk and into the shop. Being on campus and holding hand with him was one thing, but being downtown and around so many more people was different. Blaine was trying his best not to be concerned about it. Kurt led him across the shop to a place where they could sit.

“Welcome to the fragrance bar!” Blaine slid into his seat and tilted his head up at the greeting. “How many candles did you guys want to make today?”

“One each, I think?” Kurt said, and Blaine nodded. They decided on shapes, a circle for Kurt and a square for Blaine, and then the girl working there brought over all the fragrances for them.

There were so many to choose from, over a hundred if the girl working there was to be believed. Kurt picked out his fragrances easily, clearly having known what he was getting before they’d gotten there. Blaine took a long time choosing his, trying to find the absolute perfect ones to put together. It took a while, but he finally settled on a combination of fresh linen, cologne, and soap suds. Not that he would readily admit it, but he chose those three because they reminded him most of how Kurt smelled most days. The perfect combination of clean and sweet.

“Alright, we’ve got a little bit of a wait to pour these, so it’ll probably be an hour or so until they’re ready,” she said, taking their fragrance choices from them. “We’ll put the labels on for you, and all you have to do is come pick them up in a bit!”

“Sounds perfect,” Kurt said, leaning over to nudge Blaine’s shoulder. “We can grab some dinner while we wait.”

There were so many restaurants in the Short North, and Blaine was glad that Kurt had decided on one before they got there so he didn’t have to make the choice himself. Betty’s was barely a block away, and they had some of the best wraps and burgers that Blaine had ever known. Cooper had taken him there before, and always commented about how the walls were covered with pictures of pin-ups and it was too bad that Blaine couldn’t see to enjoy it. It wasn’t late enough for it to be busy, which made it nice and not too loud. Once they ordered, he reached across the table and Kurt slipped their hands together.

“Thank you, Kurt,” he said, squeezing his hand.

“For what?”

“For... candles.” He wasn’t sure if Kurt had picked it for any particular reason, but Blaine was grateful for the fact that their outing had been an experience that hadn’t required any kind of visuals to enjoy. For once, he hadn’t felt like he was missing out on part of something.

“Oh, you’re welcome,” Kurt said, sounding pleased. “I was hoping you’d like that. They have ones you can just buy outright, but I think it’s more fun to make your own.”

“No, that was fun,” Blaine said with a nod. “There were just so many options; I think I could make so many candles given the opportunity. Santana would go nuts.”

“So what you’re saying is that we should go back a lot,” Kurt said with a chuckle.

“Definitely.” Blaine chewed on his lip for a moment, grinning. “This is my first date ever and it’s kind of setting a high bar for anything that follows, I think you should know.”

“I’m going to tentatively say that I’m up to the challenge.”

“Well good, I’d hate to have to be disappointed from now on.” Kurt laughed, and let go of his hand as the food got to the table. They ate in silence, and the restaurant only got louder and more crowded as they did.

Weekends downtown tended to get started a little later, but once they did they were in full swing. By the time they were done eating and ready to head back to the Candle Lab, the place was packed. Getting out of Betty’s was a challenge, and Blaine hated stuff like that. There were a few more tables than there should have been, and people waiting for them to open up crowded it even more, which made it impossible to get out without having to push through them all. It made him anxious, but at least Kurt seemed to get that.

“I feel like they were breaking some kind of fire code,” Kurt said under his breath once they were outside, still holding onto Blaine’s hand as tight as he had been to get them through the crowd.

“Very possibly,” Blaine replied, taking his hand back and lightly resting it on the crook of Kurt’s arm as they headed back down the block to the other shop. It seemed as though in the time they’d been eating dinner, the entire area had filled up with people. The sidewalks were more difficult to navigate without bumping into people constantly, and that made him want to hold onto Kurt tighter and completely let go all at the same time. It wasn’t until Kurt leaned over and pressed a kiss against his temple that he actually pulled away. He winced, mostly because he hadn’t meant to and also because he felt like a jerk for it. “Sorry…”

“It’s… okay.” Kurt sounded hesitant, and he held open the door to let Blaine back into the Candle Lab.

They didn’t talk about it at all as they got their candles, and Blaine couldn’t help but admit that his smelled amazing and perfect – just like Kurt. They didn’t talk about it as they made their way back to the car or on the ride back to Blaine’s place. The car was fairly quiet, save for the radio playing softly in the background. Blaine just sat stewing in his thoughts, trying not to overreact like normal. It was a little late for that, but he was trying to keep it from getting worse.

He wasn’t sure how to explain it to Kurt without saying everything, and that was a terrifying thought. Secrets weren’t exactly his thing, but there was one big one that he kept to himself unless he could help it. Kurt deserved to know, though. There was no reason to keep it from him, and maybe it would make it seem less bad when Blaine had his moments of complete irrationality. It took a lot of psyching up to get him to even consider breaching the topic and that was why he spent the entire car ride with his hands clasped, occasionally squeezing together to the point of near painful. By the time they pulled up to his house, he had talked himself in and out of it enough times to lose count.


“Will you come in?” Blaine interrupted, flushing slightly but probably not that noticeably in the dark. “Please?”

“Of course,” Kurt said, sounding surprised but not hesitating at all. He cut the engine and pocketed the keys as they got out and made their way up to the house, going in and straight back to Blaine’s room. Santana seemed to be gone, which was good despite how she’d been earlier that evening. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Blaine said automatically, but then he shook his head. “No, that’s… not true.”

“What’s wrong?” They both sunk down onto the edge of the bed and Blaine swallowed, trying to find the words he’d been playing over and over in his head in the car.

“I’m sorry I did that, before, I didn’t mean to,” he started quietly, rubbing his thumb hard against the palm of his hand. “I feel like a really big jerk.”

“Blaine, you’re not--”

“I feel like one,” he interjected. “I hate that I do stuff like that and I don’t even mean to. Kurt, you make me feel amazing and I just… suck sometimes.”

“No you don’t,” Kurt said gently, his arm slipping around Blaine’s shoulders.

“I’m trying to figure out how to tell you why that happens,” he murmured, biting at the inside of his lip as he paused. “It’s kind of hard.”

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want, it’s fine, Blaine.”

“It’s not fine,” Blaine said evenly, shaking his head. “It’s not, Kurt. I know I don’t have to tell you but I… I want to.”

“Okay,” Kurt said, thumb rubbing against Blaine’s shoulder as they sat in silence for a few seconds. “You can tell me whatever you want, no rush. I can sit here all night and be fine.”

“Okay, so... remember how I said before that I went to a school dance with a friend once?” Blaine felt like all his insides were twisting up together as he started to speak, and he had barely said anything. He never talked about it – not to his parents, Cooper, Santana, anyone. Starting with the less difficult part, maybe that would make it easier.


“It was my friend Danny. He was the only other guy I knew who was out.” His fingernails dug into his palm, and Kurt kept rubbing at his shoulder. “It was the Sadie Hawkins dance. I asked him to go, just as friends. I wanted to go and it wasn’t like any girl was going to ask me because, well, obviously… and I couldn’t exactly ask them because that kind of defeated the purpose of it being Sadie Hawkins.” He took in a breath, letting it out slowly before continuing. “But we went. I mean, I don’t remember much of the actual dance except I remember having fun. It was nice to be able to be there with him, be able to dance with him.

“We weren’t being ridiculous or anything. It’s not like we were dancing like, um, you and I did. Not that it was ridiculous when we did that,” he added quickly, shaking his head. “Just, I mean, we were being careful. We weren’t stupid, we knew that there were people that wouldn’t like… us. I didn’t get picked on a whole lot in school but Danny did. I blended in a little better, I think? That sounds horrible to say, but it’s… looking back, it’s true.”

Kurt hummed softly beside him. It was so quiet, like a reminder that he was still there and listening.

“They were waiting for us in the parking lot,” Blaine whispered, finally getting to the part of the story he never wanted to say out loud. Kurt’s hand tightened on his shoulder. “After the dance. We were headed to Danny’s car, holding hands, and they just… jumped us. I don’t remember much about it, just that everything hurt and there was so much yelling. I… sometimes, I can still hear what they said, all those horrible words…” He shook his head, swallowing hard. His chest and throat felt so tight, but he didn’t want to cry. “I’d barely gotten called any of those things before, then all at once…”

“Blaine…” Kurt’s voice was quiet, soothing almost, but it wasn’t much help considering. He couldn’t stop now that he started, and he didn’t want to.

“I remember curling up, trying to make myself small like maybe that would help.” He forced his hands apart, feeling like he might actually draw blood if he kept digging into his palms like he had been. Talking about it made it feel like it was happening all over again. The fear that had taken over. The way Danny had screamed in pain. How he had screamed. “It didn’t.”

Tears streaked down his cheeks despite his best effort to keep them in. He swiped at them with the back of his hand. “I don’t remember… it just hurt. It hurt more than anything I’d ever felt and then it stopped. I woke up in the hospital after a week in a coma. My mom said they weren’t sure if I was going to wake up. So I guess… not being able to see anymore wasn’t that bad compared to dying.”

Kurt seemed to hesitate, unsure if Blaine was okay with being touched just then, but then his arms were wrapping around him and pulling him in close. They sat in silence, Blaine occasionally brushing tears from his face as soon as they fell, and Kurt held him tight. He felt like he was going to burst and the only thing keeping him from that was Kurt, solid and warm there beside him and making him feel safe against all the memories flashing back and making him relive the worst day of his life.

“That’s why,” Blaine mumbled eventually, trying to reel himself back in. “Pretty much for all of it. Why I don’t like being surprised, being around a lot of people, when it gets loud and stuff… it kind of just, hits me. And I feel bad about earlier because I like when you kiss me, I just couldn’t… there were so many people and…” It made him feel worse to try and explain it, feeling like it sounded as if he were somehow ashamed and wanted to hide, but that wasn’t it at all. He could still hear the jeers, the hate spit out at him just from daring to hold hands with his friend.

“Don’t feel bad.” Kurt’s voice sounded tight, full of emotion. Blaine swallowed hard and made himself nod, despite the fact that he knew he was going to keep on feeling bad and that was something he couldn’t help. “God, Blaine, don’t you dare feel bad.” He paused, pressing a kiss against Blaine’s temple like he had earlier in the evening, but it was lingering and damp. Blaine realized belatedly that Kurt had been crying too. “I would never want to make you uncomfortable. We don’t have to, in front of anyone, hold hands, any of that. Not if you don’t want.”

“It’s not… it’s not that,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “I don’t want to be scared of any of it. I like being able to do that stuff with you, it’s just that sometimes it… I can’t, and I don’t want you to think it’s because I don’t want to.”

“It’s okay. It’s…I totally understand.”

“Will you stay?” Blaine asked meekly before he could talk himself out of it. He felt drained, emotionally and physically. He’d been tense, so wound up, and he hated the thought of Kurt leaving for the night. “Sorry, that was… you don’t have to, it’s fine.”

“No, I want to,” Kurt cut in, and Blaine let out a breath. “As long as I can borrow something to sleep in.”

Blaine got them both pajamas to wear, and changed in the bathroom so Kurt could have his room. He wasn’t even thinking when he washed out his hair – it was just something he did every night before bed. Sleeping with all that gel in made for a headache in the morning, so he always got it out before crawling into bed. It wasn’t until he knocked on the door to his room lightly and got the okay from Kurt to come in, not like he would have been able to see anything if he’d been mid-change anyway, that he realized what he’d done. It was the soft, startled sound that Kurt made that clued him in.

“Oh God, this is horrible,” Blaine groaned, hands immediately flying up to his hair and attempting to smooth it down. Thankfully it was still damp and therefore not nearly as crazy as it could have been. “Please pretend like you can’t see how awful it looks.”

“Absolutely not,” Kurt said, tugging his hands away from his hair and guiding him over to the bed.

As they lay there, both on their sides and facing in, breath playing across each other’s skin as they were barely inches away, Blaine realized it was the most exposed he’d ever let himself be with someone. He felt completely stripped down to the core, all his cards out on the table – crazy hair included. It seemed like such a small thing compared to telling Kurt about what had happened before, but it was just as much a secret he kept solely to himself.

Their hands were linked together between them, and Kurt’s other arm was angled up across the pillows so he could run his fingers through Blaine’s hair. If that was going to be what happened every time his hair was gel-free, Blaine thought he might be able to let himself go every so often. It was soothing, gentle, and that small gesture was enough to cause the tension he’d been holding in his body to melt away. It felt so right to be there in that moment with him, and the lazy strokes of Kurt’s fingertips against his scalp lulled him to sleep.


[A/N: For anyone who is curious... The Candle Lab // Betty's.]

Chapter Text

Blaine woke up wrapped in Kurt. Sometime in the night they had shifted and when he woke up, Kurt was pressed up close against his back, arm tight around his middle, and his knees were even tucked in behind Blaine’s. He could feel his breath playing against the back of his neck, soft and warm. No way was he going to move. He didn’t want to, and he didn’t think he’d be able to if he tried. Laying there, having Kurt so completely curled around him, he felt safe and secure and without any of the anxiety or stress that he’d felt the night before.

He didn’t know how long it was until Kurt woke up, but he could tell when it happened because his breathing changed and his arm twitched in around him tighter. Blaine smiled, his arm resting over top of Kurt’s. “Morning.”

“Morning,” Kurt murmured, his voice sleep rough, and damn if Blaine didn’t think that was one of the best things he’d ever heard. “You sleep okay?”

“Mhmm. Did you?”

“Yes. Your bed is much more comfortable than mine.” Kurt stretched out a little before going right back to how he’d been before, and Blaine thought he could really get used to being the little spoon. “Especially because there’s a Blaine in it.”

“Blaines are known to be found around here, yes. It’s their natural habitat.” Blaine smiled as Kurt huffed a laugh out against the back of his neck. He laced their fingers together and gave his hand a squeeze. “Thanks for staying.”

“Wouldn’t have left for the world,” Kurt murmured, sighing and pressing a soft kiss against the crook of his neck. Blaine shivered, caught off guard by the gesture, and his hand tightened over Kurt’s. “Except now I’m going to because I have to go to the bathroom.”

“So long as you come back,” Blaine said with a mock sigh, and Kurt dropped a few more kisses against his neck and cheek before pulling away. It felt so lonely to be there without him, listening to the soft padding of his feet against the floor as he went to the door and then down the hall to the bathroom. He turned onto his stomach and burrowed his face against his pillow, smiling into it and staying that way until he felt the bed dip down beside him again.

“Mmkay, now I’m good to be here for a while,” Kurt sighed, half draping himself over Blaine and nuzzling against his hair. It was perfect, how cuddly and affectionate he was when he was sleepy. Blaine had been worried that maybe after hearing everything the night before, Kurt would have shied away from that sort of thing. He didn’t want that, didn’t want him to worry any time he wanted to do something like that. “What are you doing for fall break?”


“Fall break? It’s next week. Well, not this coming week, the one after.”

“I know when it is,” Blaine murmured into his pillow. “I wasn’t going to do anything?”

“Is that a statement or question?”

“Statement. I mean, I didn’t have any plans other than not go to classes.”

“I’m going back to Lima for the week,” Kurt said, his hand rubbing gently over Blaine’s back. “Did you want to come with me?”

Blaine popped up almost immediately, propping himself onto his elbows and angling his head toward Kurt. “You want me to come with you.”

“If you want.”

“To Lima.”

“That’s where I’m going, yes.”

“Where your dad is.”

“Yes,” Kurt said, hesitating before going on. “I’ve, um, I’ve told him about you. He’d like to meet you sometime and if this is way too crazy and soon that’s totally fine, I was just putting it out there--”

“No, it’s... it’s fine,” Blaine said, shaking his head, a slight blush rising in his cheeks. “He sounded really nice when you told me about him. I just don’t want to... impose.”

“Impose? Blaine, I just invited you,” Kurt chuckled. “You wouldn’t be imposing.”

“Then, um, yes. I think that would be nice.”

That was how Blaine ended up in the car with Kurt for almost two hours the next Friday afternoon. The week had flown by, whether just by good graces or because he was feeling nervous about it. It had taken a lot of careful packing, both of his own things and what he needed for Roscoe, and he still wasn’t sure if he everything he would need or want. It hadn’t hit him until he’d agreed to go that he was very nervous about meeting Kurt’s dad. This was the person that Kurt said was the most amazing person he knew. It was a scary thought that he was going to meet him, and that he was meeting him as Kurt’s boyfriend . He’d never had to do that sort of thing before.

“It’s fine, Blaine, he’s going to like you,” Kurt offered reassuringly as they drove up the street toward his house. Blaine had been mostly quiet the whole drive, and had voiced his concerns right as they took the exit into Lima.

“But what if he doesn’t?” Blaine whispered back.

Blaine .

They pulled into the driveway and Blaine gripped his seatbelt tight in his hands. There was something about being there, actually being there out in front of Kurt’s house, in which was Kurt’s dad, that made all the anxiety he’d been avoiding all week come to the front of his mind and make him want to sink down into his seat and hide. Kurt had told him time and time again that it would be fine, but what if it wasn’t ? What if his dad thought he wasn’t good enough and it was the most awkward week of his life because he was stuck there in a house with a man who hated him? What if he didn’t let him stay once he decided he didn’t like him? What if he had to find some way to get back to Westerville from Lima on his own? The more he sat there, the more he thought, the worse it was building up in his head.

“Hey, stop that.” Kurt’s voice was gentle, just like his hands as they cupped Blaine’s face. “I can see you thinking, you know. You do this thing where your forehead gets all furrowed when you think really hard about something.”

“I’m not trying to,” Blaine muttered, but he did feel touched that Kurt had noticed something like that. He didn’t even realize he was doing it, half the time, but apparently Kurt did.

“I know you’re not,” Kurt said, thumbs stroking against his cheekbones lightly before he let his hands drop. “So are you ready?”

“No,” Blaine said honestly, but he knew they couldn’t sit in the car forever.

“Well we could sit here all night, but I have a feeling at one point we’ll get hungry,” Kurt mused, linking their hands together. “And if we get hungry, that means Roscoe would be hungry, and then he would start eating us. I, for one, don’t plan on being eaten by a dog today.”

“Don’t be silly, his food is back there,” Blaine said, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth despite himself. It was always incredible when Kurt could just say one thing and make him feel worlds better. He was still nervous, of course, but no longer in the way that made him feel like he couldn’t get out of the car. “I’d give him that before he tried to eat either of us.”

“Still, I’d rather not risk it.” Kurt squeezed his hand. “Ready?”


As it turned out, Blaine didn’t have to be ready at that exact moment. Kurt’s dad had to go back to work for an emergency, or at least that’s what Kurt told him it said on the he’d left. That meant that Blaine had a little more time to pump himself up and get less anxious.Or do the opposite, where he retreated back into his nerves and made himself feel like he might be sick thanks to it all. It was usually the second option, almost always the second option.

Kurt might have knowingly been trying to distract him, or maybe he was just doing what seemed right at the time, as he gave him a tour of the house. New places were always hard for Blaine, and it took him awhile to adjust. He chalked it up on the list of things he resented about being blind. No one else thought about how something as simple as walking into a new room could be difficult. An entire house full of new rooms was even worse. Each time they stepped across the threshold, it was like he opened up a new file in his head and started storing away information about it to help him for the next time. Couch against the far wall, door on the right, coffee table in the middle so don’t run into it.

It was a small house, but Blaine supposed that made sense considering it was just Kurt and his dad. His own family had a house that was too big considering there were only four of them and Cooper didn’t exactly count because he didn’t live there anymore. Of course he stayed there when he was in Ohio, but it wasn’t like he actually lived there. Kurt’s house seemed nice and from the way he talked about it, it seemed very homey.

They’d just gotten back to the living room, and Kurt had started to say something about how he was going to call his dad to see if he knew when he was going to be home because dinner was something that should be thought of, when a car pulled up in the driveway. Any distraction that Blaine had been feeling by Kurt talking aimlessly about the house was completely gone, and he was right back to feeling nervous.

“Don’t freak out,” Kurt murmured, giving Blaine’s hand a squeeze and kissing him on the cheek. “He’ll adore you, just like I do.”

There was no chance for Blaine to question that statement, because the door opened and Kurt’s hand left his as he moved to hug his dad. “Whoa there, bud, I’m glad to see you but I know you’ll be mad at yourself later if you get grease all over your clothes.”

His voice was kind of gruff, but much softer than Blaine had expected. He wasn’t sure what he’d based his expectations on other than knowing that he worked on cars all day so that must mean he was super rugged and manly, right? His fingernails pressed bluntly into his palms in an attempt to pull himself back into the moment. You are an Anderson , he reminded himself. Andersons were good in social situations, they were proper, and hell, even Cooper could pull off being a gentleman. He could do this.

“Mr. Hummel,” Blaine said, mentally kicking himself for how meek he had sounded. He unclenched his fist and held out his hand, taking in a deep breath. “It’s an honor to meet you, sir.”

“You must be Blaine,” he replied, giving his hand a firm shake. Kurt’s dad had rough hands, calloused and big and completely unlike Kurt’s. “You can stop that Mr. Hummel business, kid, my name’s Burt, and I don’t know about that honor business but it’s good to meet you too. Sorry about being late, there was a car that got into the shop right when I got home the first time and Larry needed a hand with it.”

“That’s alright, I just showed Blaine around a little,” Kurt piped up, slipping his hand back into Blaine’s. It was such a contrast, soft with long fingers, familiar and comforting.

“Well I’m going to go get cleaned up, you boys figure out what you want for dinner. There’s not much in the kitchen, so order in something if you want, okay?” Burt’s hand clapped down on Blaine’s shoulder and then he was gone. He had meant it as a friendly gesture, Blaine was sure, but it had still been startling and a little bit jarring.

“See? Not so scary,” Kurt whispered, nudging him lightly.

“Not for you maybe,” Blaine mumbled, and he rolled his shoulders back.

Burt came back once they were in the kitchen trying to decide on dinner, and apparently he’d changed into something clean because Kurt gave him the biggest hug. They settled on ordering dinner from a local place after Kurt shot down Burt’s choices of pizza or KFC, mentioning something offhand about his heart. It wasn’t that long before they were all gathered around the dining room table and Blaine was carefully dissecting the mandarin chicken salad he’d ordered.

“So,” Burt started, and Blaine froze with his fork halfway to his mouth. “Kurt tells me you play the piano.”

“Oh, um, yes I do,” Blaine said, taking the bite off his fork and chewing it down.

“I don’t know a whole lot about music except I know what I like,” Burt continued. “I haven’t heard a much piano, but sometimes that classical stuff is nice to listen to, so you’ll have to recommend me some of it to get.”

Blaine sat up a little straighter, honestly shocked. Kurt had described his dad as a good old fashioned guy, someone who loved flannel shirts and ball caps, classic rock and nothing too fancy. He would listen to Kurt sing anything, and gladly so, but he’d never much cared for any of the operas or oratorios that Kurt had shared with him over the years. Yet he was sitting there, asking Blaine for recommendations of piano music to listen to. It took a few seconds but then it hit him – Burt was trying to make him feel comfortable, accepted, welcome, all those things, and he was using what Kurt had told him to do so.

“I could do that,” he said slowly, nodding as a smile tugged up at the corners of his mouth. “I have a lot, I could probably make you a bunch of playlists.”

“You should start recording yourself when you play,” Kurt mused, nudging Blaine’s foot under the table. “That’d be better than anything else.”

“That’s… not true at all,” Blaine said, blush creeping up into his cheeks. “There are tons of better people out there, and the notes are all the same anyway.”

“Not in my book. At least, as far as I can remember. I haven’t heard you play in a while…”

“I haven’t been in the mood,” Blaine replied, quickly taking another bite of his salad.

It was a complete lie, of course. He’d been in craving it, but he still couldn’t quite make himself go and do it. The anxiety that came with the thought of going into the fine arts building definitely outweighed the desire to do it. He’d even gotten to the point of getting out the keyboard that usually lived under his bed and tried to play on that instead. It didn’t work as well, it never did. It didn’t have weighted keys, didn’t feel the same under his fingertips. If there was ever a time that he felt like the most untalented person that ever tried to play the piano, it was every time he tried to use that keyboard to play.

“Well if Kurt says you’re good, I’m going to believe him,” Burt cut in. “I know my kid, and he doesn’t just go around saying that sort of thing unless he means it.” The subject was dropped after that, and Blaine was grateful.

The rest of dinner passed without incident, and mostly it was full of Burt and Kurt catching each other up on what had been going on in their lives. Blaine knew that they talked on the phone often, and emailed occasionally, but that didn’t mean everything was always said. There seemed to be endless amounts of people in Lima that Kurt knew, or at least knew about, of whom Burt had stories to tell.

Afterwards, Burt asked Kurt to clean up from dinner so Blaine could introduce him to Roscoe. They’d put all of Blaine’s things in the guest room on the first floor when they’d gotten there, and Roscoe had immediately curled up in his bed and settled in. He tended to be the laziest dog ever when he wasn’t working, and that suited Blaine just fine. None of that stopped Blaine’s nerves from kicking in again as he walked with Burt toward the room, just the two of them.

“Thanks for letting me bring him,” Blaine said, chewing on his lip a little as Burt leaned down to pet at Roscoe. He could hear his tail smacking steadily against the floor, so clearly he was happy with the situation.

“Hey, doesn’t bother me any,” Burt said, and then his hand was on Blaine’s shoulder. It wasn’t like earlier, when Blaine thought his knees might give out – partially because of the force of it, and the rest because of shock. It was gentler than before, reminded him more of when Kurt did it. “Listen kiddo, I wanted to talk to you for a minute without Kurt around.”

“O-okay,” Blaine stammered. He hated how that always seemed to happen when he was caught off guard. He just wished he could talk to Kurt’s dad of all people without sounding like an idiot.

“You seem like a good kid,” he started, and Blaine’s heart sank. Here it was, the moment he’d been expecting for the entire car ride. The ‘you seem nice but not nice enough’ moment. He’d thought maybe he was okay, considering how dinner had gone.

“Mr. Hummel, I really like your son,” Blaine interrupted before he could stop himself, not wanting to be dismissed before he was able to put himself out there. “I’m sorry if you don’t think I’m good enough, but Kurt… I would… I would do anything I could every day to try and be good enough.” He took in a deep breath, half-startled by the words that had come out of his mouth. There was nothing but silence from the man beside him, so he added quietly, “I’m not… I don’t mean to be disrespectful, sir.”

“Blaine…” It was the first time Burt had used his actual name since they’d first met – since then it had just been all kid or kiddo. Blaine could feel himself flushing as Burt squeezed his shoulder. “I wasn’t going to say that. You’re a good kid, I can tell. Not just that but Kurt seems to like you a great deal, and he’s a good judge of character.” He paused. “He’s talked to me about you a lot, and anyone who can make my Kurt sound that happy is a-okay in my book. So don’t you worry about that.”

“Okay,” Blaine practically whispered, waiting for the other shoe to drop. “What did you want to talk to me about, then?”

“Kind of what just happened,” Burt said gently. It was the little things that made Blaine notice bits of Kurt in him. The way he’d said his name moments before, that same way Kurt did when he knew Blaine was being irrational and needed to refocus and calm down. The way it sounded like he was choosing his words carefully because he wasn’t sure how Blaine was going to take them, just like Kurt did. “You seem like you’re stressing yourself out over being here. Now I don’t want you to spend your break thinking you have to walk on pins and needles, trying to get me to like you. I already do, so you can relax, alright?”

“I’ll try.” That was all he could promise, really. He knew his head took over sometimes, so he definitely couldn’t say for sure that he would be able to.

“I’ll do my best to make it easy for you.” Burt patted him on the back, and Blaine nodded a little. “Kurt told me you got like that sometimes, a little, uh…”

“Skittery?” Blaine offered.


“That’s what my brother always called it.” Blaine rubbed at the back of his neck. More accurately, it was what Cooper had called him but he didn’t exactly feel like delving into the wide array of nicknames his brother had given him over the years. “I can’t help it. I try, but I’m sorry…”

“No need to apologize, everyone has their little quirks,” Burt said. Blaine found it very nice of him to be referring to his jumpiness as a quirk, considering it was pretty much a vice. “You don’t worry about it for a week at least, cause you’re just fine here. Well, so long as you cut that Mr. Hummel and ‘sir’ stuff. I know you’re being polite, and I appreciate it, but I’m just Burt.”

“Burt,” Blaine repeated, as if that would somehow help beat out the years of etiquette and manners telling him not to call him by his first name. Then again, Burt was very much unlike any other parent he’d met before. All his friends growing up, they’d been in similar situations as his family, that was how he’d gotten to know them – it was always etiquette and politeness and not much other than a façade. “I’m really glad I get the opportunity to meet you, after everything’s Kurt told me.”

“Well that makes two of us,” Burt said with a chuckle. “What exactly did he tell you?”

“Just that, um, you’re the most amazing person he knows and that you’re an incredible dad.” Blaine could feel his face getting warm, and he felt so awkward saying those words but it’s not like they weren’t true. “You seem like a really great dad.”

“I got lucky,” Burt said. “It’s easy to be a good dad when you’ve got a great kid.” Not true , Blaine thought, but he wasn’t about to argue that point with him. He wasn’t saying he was the best kid to have, or that he’d always been perfect, but if what Burt said was true then his dad would have been better. That point got pushed to the back of his head, just like most of the rest. “I can see why he said what he did about you.”

“What did he say?” Blaine asked, his head cocking to the side, and he could practically hear the wink in Burt’s voice when he spoke again.

“Now that I can’t tell you.”

Chapter Text

Maybe no one would have believed Blaine had he told them, but Lima was the perfect place to spend break. It may have been just another city in the heartland, but to him it was so much more. Being there in Lima, it was like getting window after window into Kurt. It wasn’t like Blaine had felt he was lacking for information about him before then, but it was different getting to be around him there.

Some things were small – the way he talked under his breath when they were driving or walking around, like a running commentary on the people around them. Lima wasn’t small, but it wasn’t exactly big – just the right size for running into everyone. Except Kurt didn’t so much run into people as he walked right past them. Blaine couldn’t blame him for being less than friendly, considering the side stories he got with every person they avoided. High school hadn’t been a good time for Kurt, and he was well within his rights to not want to deal with people who gave him nothing but bad memories.

Kurt seemed to carry himself different there, or at least Blaine thought so. He couldn’t tell for sure because he couldn’t actually see him, but he could feel it. He could feel the tension beside him, the way Kurt felt like he was a coil wound tight and ready to spring. It wasn’t always like that, just when they were around certain places, but Blaine could tell. That was a feeling Blaine was used to, so that made it easy to sense.

Every morning, despite Burt’s insistence that the coffee he made at home wasn’t that bad, they went to the local coffee shop – The Lima Bean. Kurt insisted that it was because he couldn’t get a mocha at home, and Blaine probably wouldn’t want to brave the plain, black coffee there, but deep down they both knew it was because they liked the tradition of starting their day out that way.

That was another thing that stuck out to Blaine – the whole start of the day, the fact that he woke up in the same house as Kurt every morning. The first morning had been a little awkward. He’d sleepily stumbled his way to the bathroom that was on the first floor and then gone to the kitchen to get a glass of water, which had caused him to (literally) run into Burt. If that hadn’t been bad enough, he hadn’t even thought to do something about his crazy hair. Burt hadn’t seemed to care but Blaine did, even after he’d gotten a pat on the head and Burt had gotten him the glass of water he’d been after in the first place. He hadn’t planned on Burt seeing anything but his normal very put together self, but he’d managed to fail at that right at the get-go.

After that incident, Blaine had taken to staying in bed until Kurt was awake. He could hear his light footsteps on the floor above, a stark contrast to Burt’s heavy footfalls. Besides, it was nice to stay curled up in bed until he came to find him, because Kurt always did. It usually didn’t take long, they both tended to be early risers. There would be the quiet creep of footsteps in the hall leading up to the door, the slight creak of the door opening, and then the pressure of Kurt crawling up onto the bed beside him, pressing soft kisses against his shoulders. It was the perfect way to start the day, save for waking up with Kurt there already.

Burt never elaborated on what he’d hinted at before, what Kurt had told him about Blaine before they met. He was full of stories though, and that was enough to distract Blaine from what he could have possibly meant. The way Burt talked about Kurt, Blaine could just hear the pride he had for him. Equal amounts of pride for when he’d been on the football team and when he’d been a cheerleader – both revelations which made Blaine almost choke on his drink at the time. Kurt, meanwhile, seemed horrified that any of it was coming to light.

Being around Burt was enough to make Blaine feel more comfortable there. He had such a warm, welcoming presence, and even though Blaine was still a little anxious about the whole situation, he couldn’t help but feel like he wasn’t at all out of place. It was an odd feeling, considering how he’d anticipated the week going, but then again he always tended to anticipate the worst and then not believe it when something better happened. That was why mid-week, after spending several perfectly relaxing and lazy days with the Hummels, he took the opportunity to call home while Kurt was getting ready for the day.


“Hi Mom,” he said, letting out a sigh of relief. It wasn’t like he’d expected his dad to be home, considering that it was a weekday and he always left early for work, but it was still nice to hear her voice instead.

“Blaine! What a pleasant surprise. How are you today, sweetie?”

“I’m fine, you?” He settled back against the pillows on the bed, legs stretched out in front of him. Burt was gone to work and Kurt was upstairs in the shower, he knew, but he couldn’t help but keep his voice down just in case.

“Just wonderful. To what do I owe the pleasure?”

“Did you want to, um, have lunch or something sometime?”

“Of course. You have to tell me all about your classes and everything, as you’ve managed to be completely silent about them so far.” Blaine winced slightly at her words, mostly because they were true. He’d barely spoken to his family at all since school had started. It was equal parts being busy with classes and also Kurt. He hadn’t figured out how to broach the topic of Kurt with his parents, and he’d figured it would be difficult to talk about how he was doing without mentioning him. “I’m free this afternoon?”

“Oh, I can’t today,” he said quickly, shaking his head even though she couldn’t see. “I’m, um, not around. Next week?”



“You’re not around?


“Just how not around are you?” Her tone had descended into something dry, and he could tell that she was more than a little annoyed. Marie Anderson was not a woman who liked being left out of the loop, and he knew that, but still. He really should have told them about going away for break, but… Kurt.

“I’m in Lima,” he said, chewing on his lip. Having that conversation over the phone wasn’t exactly something he wanted to do, and he rubbed at his forehead as he tried to think of how to get out of it short of just plain hanging up. “Hey, I have to go.”

“Oh do you?” Yes, she most definitely was not happy with him. “When are you going to be back?”


“Great, we’ll do lunch then. I’ll pick you up at noon.”

Silence resonated on the other end of the line, and he let the phone drop down into his lap. Lunch with his mom, talking to his mom, those were things he could do. It would have been better if she wasn’t preemptively annoyed with him, but he couldn’t help it. Better her than his dad. He couldn’t imagine talking to his dad like Kurt did with Burt, open and honest and not holding back. Even since what happened, even since his dad started being better about everything, he still couldn’t. There was a huge hesitation any time he thought about it.

Thankfully Kurt came in not too much later, smelling perfectly clean and wonderful, and rescued Blaine from disappearing into his head and making matters worse. It shouldn’t have been built up so much in his mind, he knew, the thought of talking about Kurt to his parents. Kurt was easy to talk about, easy to be with. Maybe it was more that he didn’t want the possibility of someone breaking into their relationship, trying to find some fault, trying to diminish it in some way. Did he think either of his parents would? Not intentionally, at least. There was always room for fear.

Blaine didn’t give it much more thought. He was trying to focus on the moment there in front of him, the week of nothing but Kurt – no classes, no Santana, no distractions, just Kurt. They’d never had that much time to themselves before, and it just proved it to Blaine all over again that everything with Kurt came easy and felt right. There had been a little bit of panic, that first day after they’d gotten there and he realized that they had all day and then so many days after, and it was just them and whatever they wanted to do. Because what if Kurt got bored of him? What if he had all these annoying habits that Kurt hadn’t noticed before because they weren’t ever together for more than just a few hours at a time? Blaine was very good at ‘what if’-ing himself into very deep holes.

Kurt was very good at reaching down to him when he was in those holes and pulling him out. Every day was relaxing, calm. Even if they barely did anything, it wasn’t boring. Just being around each other was excitement enough. Blaine hadn’t ever known it could be like that, and he supposed it should have been scary but it was just the opposite. It wasn’t until they were in the kitchen later that night, making dinner, that he felt the first bit of unease in days.

“Have you really not been in the mood to play?” Kurt asked, and Blaine almost dropped the potato he’d been washing. He’d almost forgotten that he’d said that.

“Kind of,” he offered, chewing on the inside of his lip. “I’ve been busy with classes, and there’s been a lot of writing so I haven’t had much time.” Excuses, all of it. Nothing had ever stopped him before, no matter how busy he’d been. That tended to up his playing time, usually, because when he was stressed he needed it more.

“I wasn’t going to mention it, because I didn’t want to push if you weren’t in the mood, but we have a piano.”

“You do?” Blaine lifted his head up, his brow furrowed. “I thought you said you didn’t really play.”

“I don’t. It was my mom’s, I used it a little in high school to practice for choir and stuff like that,” Kurt said, pausing. “I mean, it’s probably not completely in tune, but it’s there.”


“Hm? Oh, the living room. It’s kind of off in the corner because it doesn’t really get used when I’m not home. Do… you want me to show you?”

Blaine hesitated. Yes, of course the answer was yes. “Dinner, though.”

“We’re almost done, that’s the last potato,” Kurt said, taking it from him and then giving him a towel so he could dry his hands. “Come on, you can play while I finish up.” His hands were still a little damp as they slipped into Blaine’s, and he led him back into the living room. “Like I said, probably not entirely in tune but it shouldn’t be that bad.”

“I’m sure it’s fine,” Blaine said, sliding onto the piano bench. His hands drifted across the lid over the keys, the varnished wood smooth under his fingertips. Kurt leaned down, pressing a kiss against his temple before wandering back into the kitchen.

The lid creaked a little when Blaine opened it, but he barely noticed. The ivories of the keys were cool under his fingertips, worn and smooth and so much better than the cheap plastic keyboard he’d tried to play over the past weeks. It was the weight of the keys that really made it, and that had been the main reason behind him not being able to play the keyboard in his room. He pressed down, feeling the weight, listening to the slightly tinny but still perfect sound of felt hammers hitting strings and resonating through the body of the instrument.

It took a while before he got started and he took the time to acclimate himself, working through scales slowly then quickly as he limbered up his fingers in anticipation of actually playing. There was only so much he could take of that, so much he could force himself to do, before he had to give in and focus. He could hear Kurt milling around in the kitchen, not too far away, but once he started playing it was all tuned out.

It was one of those things he could never explain to anyone in words. He couldn’t ever seem to make someone understand what it felt like to be able to sit and play, especially after not doing so for any length of time. After weeks away was awful. Maybe it was because ever since he started playing, back when he was little, he’d never gone a day or two without sitting down and at least doing something . The first time he had that lapse, a time without playing, was when he’d been in the hospital after the Sadie Hawkins dance and then all the recovery afterward.

He’d had a lot of trouble coping at first, but no one had held it against him. No one but himself, at least. It wasn’t until afterward that he realized he should be grateful for what he had – the fact that he was alive and fine for the most part, and his family. Pity was one of his least favorite things, and he’d spent so much time wasting it on himself. Cooper was the one who got him to play again, weeks after he’d healed and avoided it completely. Blaine had been annoyed at him, frustrated, and mostly convinced that he wasn’t going to be able to do it anymore. Of course he’d been wrong.

In the end, it was what got him through it all better than he’d imagined, so maybe that was why he needed it so much. After everything that had happened, and all the aftermath, it was the one way he had found to cope that worked. It wasn’t always that he needed it, but when he needed it he really did and it was there for him. Most of the time, like just then in the living room at the Hummel house, it was because he just plain wanted to. It felt right to have the keys beneath his fingers, his toes resting over the pedal, music ringing through his ears as well as the rest of the house.

He didn’t hear the quiet footsteps as Kurt came in from the kitchen and settled on the couch behind him. He didn’t smell the delicious scents wafting from the kitchen, the dinner they’d been preparing well on its way to being done. By the time Blaine was done with the sonata he’d been playing, ending fast and borderline out of control sounding, he was still unaware that there was anyone else there at all. What took him back into reality was the sound of Kurt clearing his throat loudly, as if trying to signal something, but Blaine wasn’t exactly sure what that could have been. Then again, maybe it hadn’t been for him. Either way, it took him back to the moment and helped him get out of his own little world.

“Hey, kid, that sounded great,” Burt said, patting him on the shoulder. Blaine sat up a little straighter, flushing. He hadn’t even heard him get home, come in, do anything. From the days he’d spent there, he knew that Burt wasn’t exactly the quietest person when he was moving around the house.

“Thanks,” he murmured, carefully closing the lid over the keys.

“Part of that sounded familiar even, but I don’t know how.” Blaine tilted his head, thinking, but unsure how long Burt had been there listening.

“Well the, um, the third movement has the funeral march in it? Most people know that, even if they aren’t aware of it being from something more than just… that.”

“That must’ve been it,” Burt said. “Sounded really good, I liked that. Kurt’s right, you should record that stuff.” Blaine ducked his head down, smiling. “Dinner smells good too.”

“Should be,” Kurt said, walking over to them. “We worked extra hard on it.”

“Well I’m gonna go get cleaned up and then we can eat, alright?” Burt clapped Blaine on the shoulder again and then went upstairs. Kurt slipped his arms around Blaine’s shoulders, standing behind him and pressing a kiss to his temple.

“That was beautiful, Blaine,” he murmured, hugging him. Blaine leaned back against him and rest his head against his chest.

“I’m glad you thought so,” he said, hands coming up to hold onto Kurt’s arms. “How long was your dad here?”

“Almost the whole time.” Blaine tried not to let that worry him – Burt had seemed to like it, after all. That was more than his own father had said to him in regards to his piano playing in years. “Come on, let’s go get the table set for dinner.”


It was one of the best weeks Blaine had had in recent memory, and it was over far too quickly. He’d gotten so used to the bed in the guest bedroom at the Hummel house, and the way it took them a short drive instead of a short walk for them to get their morning coffee. He’d gotten used to having a piano right there whenever he wanted to play it, and the way that Kurt would sit beside him on the bench and listen, not saying or doing anything, just listening. He was even used to being around Burt, not feeling nervous or anxious with his presence.

The last night there, Kurt had stayed with him in the guest room instead of sleeping up in his own. Blaine had been nervous, not wanting to do anything that would make him fall out of favor with Burt, but Kurt had assured him it was fine. It wasn’t like Blaine was going to argue very long or hard if it was going to end with Kurt being with him when he fell asleep.

He’d gotten settled into bed all dressed in pajamas, hair ungelled. Not much time passed before he heard the door latch quietly, the light switch flicked off, and the quiet pad of Kurt’s footsteps over to the bed. It dipped as Kurt climbed up, crawling in beside him and slipping under the covers. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Blaine replied, a soft smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. There was a pause, and then the soft pressure of Kurt’s lips against his own. “Oh, hello.”

“Hello,” Kurt murmured, his arm looping across Blaine’s torso as he scooted in closer. “You glad to be going back to Westerville tomorrow?”

“Not at all,” Blaine said honestly, shaking his head. “I like it here. Your dad is really great, Kurt, and it’s nice to not have classes and just get to be with you all the time.” His face flushed as he realized the potential weight of his words, but it was dark so he doubted Kurt would be able to tell.

“No, that is nice,” Kurt said, leaning in to kiss Blaine’s cheek. “I’ve enjoyed it, too. And I’m glad you like my dad. I tend to think he’s pretty likeable, but that’s me.”

“He is, when he’s not scaring people,” Blaine teased gently. Kurt huffed out a laugh. “Hey, um, it’s still okay if we leave early enough to get back by eleven, right?” He’d asked earlier in the week, very soon after the phone call with his mom actually, but he wanted to make sure they were still on as planned. Having to cancel wasn’t exactly an option.

“Mhm. So long as you wake up on time, we should be fine.”

“Hey, I wake up earlier than you do most days!” Blaine pouted, mocking offense. It was true, he did tend to wake up early to give himself extra time to get ready, but still. He’d even packed his suitcase completely except for what he was planning to wear the next day and all his toiletries, which were still in the bathroom.

“I know, I know,” Kurt said, his breath playing against his Blaine’s cheek as he leaned in and their lips met again.

The last time they’d slept in the same bed, the only other time they’d slept in the same bed, it had been all holding and nothing else. It had been for comfort, out of need. That didn’t change what it was, just made it a little different. Being there in the guest bedroom with Kurt that night, in his home, his dad’s house, the soft caresses of lips and tongues against each other, was a little surreal for Blaine. The original impulse and question of oh God what if Burt comes down and finds us was quickly pushed to the back of his mind as he rolled slightly up against Kurt and pressed a soft line of kisses along his jaw.

Kurt had this way of humming when Blaine did something he liked, something that felt good. That’s what he did when Blaine kissed along his jaw, trailing back to beneath his ear. He usually still hesitated to take the lead on things like that, but it was hard not to when Kurt was there in his bed and his head was tilted to the side so Blaine’s lips could work their way down his neck and take in the long column of his throat. Kurt’s fingers threaded up into his hair, twisting into the curls, and for one of the first times Blaine didn’t care that his hair was naturally crazy looking because of how nice it felt to have Kurt’s hands twisted into it.

He tugged Blaine up, their lips meeting again and searing together. Kurt’s lips were perfect, soft and warm and pressing against his. No matter how many times they kissed, Blaine never got used to how wonderful it felt, how it made him feel like nothing else in the world was happening except him and Kurt and how perfect their lips, their tongues, felt against each other.

It was the same way he felt whole – oh God that was a scary thought that he wasn’t sure he would ever be able to say out loud – with Kurt there wrapped around him as they fell asleep, arms and legs overlapped and tangled beneath the sheets and blankets. He wasn’t sure how sleeping alone was supposed to be at all comfortable once he knew how it felt to be cradled in someone’s arms and lulled into sleep through the comfort of their breath playing against his neck, slow and soothing.

Chapter Text

Goodbyes the next morning were harder than Blaine had thought they would be. Of course Kurt was sad to be leaving his dad and going back to living two hours away. A week at home went a long way to remind someone what they were missing while they were away. Burt had made them breakfast – pancakes and bacon – early before they’d had to go. Blaine knew he was going to miss sitting there at the dining table in the Hummel’s house, at the seat that had become his over the past week.

He hadn’t expected to be so sad about leaving Burt, but it had been a week of getting to know the man better and truly appreciate him as a person, as who he was as a father. How he supported Kurt, hell, how he supported Blaine in their brief acquaintance. After they’d packed the car, gotten everything settled in the back and ready to go, Blaine had held his hand out to shake Burt’s. Instead of a handshake, he’d gotten pulled into an unexpectedly long and tight hug, with words being murmured close to his ear.
“I’m glad you came home with Kurt, kiddo. You’re always welcome here, alright?”

Blaine nodded against his shoulder, feeling more choked up by his words than he wanted to admit or show. It was easy to see why Kurt considered his dad the best person in the world, and how Kurt had ended up as great as he was. He mumbled his thanks, getting a couple of pats on the back before they pulled away from each other and Kurt swooped in to give his dad a hug.

The ride back felt much shorter than the ride there had been. Maybe it was because Blaine wasn’t as anxious, but the fact was that he still was. It wasn’t the anxiety and nerves that he’d had about meeting Burt, it was all thinking ahead to the lunch he was going to have with his mother. Hopefully she was over her annoyance with him about not mentioning he was leaving town. Even if she was, he still had to sit there and tell her about Kurt, something that made him nervous beyond words.

Kurt’s presence in the car was all that kept him from fully losing himself in his thoughts, working himself up about it when he didn’t even know how it was going to go. Their hands stayed together on the console, fingers linked together and thumbs occasionally tracing over the backs of each other’s hands. Kurt hummed along with the radio, actually singing if he knew the song well enough, and Blaine kept his head tilted toward him, not wanting to miss a single note.

They went to Blaine’s first once they were back in the city, and Kurt helped him take in his suitcase and all of Roscoe’s things. As much as Blaine wanted him to stay, he knew he needed to take care of a few things before lunchtime rolled around. For the first time in a week, he’d had to say goodbye to Kurt, and that was even harder than it had been before. It was full of soft kisses and hands slipped together, but eventually Kurt left for his dorm and Blaine was left to his own devices.

He unpacked his suitcase, sending most of the clothes into the laundry hamper and putting all his toiletries back in the bathroom. Santana was upstairs, he could hear her moving around, but she hadn’t come down to see him. Part of him thought he heard someone else, too, but that seemed unlikely. She was probably just listening to music, or the television, and that was it. It was just unfortunate that she had quicker reflexes than him when it came to the front door because, when there was a brisk knock that was almost assuredly Blaine’s mother, she made it down the stairs and to the door before he could even react.

“Mrs. Anderson! What a pleasant surprise.” Santana was always so good with his parents, it was a wonder she couldn’t be the same way with Kurt.

“Good afternoon, Santana. How are you?”

“I’m well, thank you. You?”

“Just wonderful. Is my son here?” Blaine rubbed his face, sighing as he listened to them exchange pleasantries.

“Yes, Mom, I’m here,” he called from his room, checking his pockets for his wallet, phone, and keys, before moving out to the living room, cane in hand. He didn’t exactly want her to get into specifics with Santana as to why she was there, considering it was a rare occurrence. “Lunch?”

“Lunch,” she confirmed, moving in and looping her arm through his. “I thought we’d go to that Italian place uptown, if that’s alright by you.” She didn’t sound annoyed or upset with him, so that was a plus, but Blaine was still wary.

“That’s fine.” He nodded and ducked his head down as she touched his hair, as if trying to fix something that was out of place. There wasn’t anything there to fix, at least not as far as he could tell – and he’d spent a good amount of time that morning making absolutely sure that there wasn’t.

“Santana, lovely to see you again,” Marie said as she made her way across the living room with Blaine.

“Always nice to see you, Mrs. Anderson,” Santana said pleasantly, and it really was kind of annoying how she could turn that on whenever she felt like she had to but she still refused to be even a fraction of that nice to Kurt.

Of course that took him back to thinking about Kurt and sitting down with his mom and talking about Kurt and he bit his lip as they went out to the car and she drove them the few blocks to the restaurant uptown. They were a few of the quietest blocks in a car he had ever experienced. Apparently all discussion and conversation was being saved for once they were actually sitting down for lunch, and that was exactly what happened. As soon as they were at the restaurant, sitting with drinks and food ordered, it started.

“So, you were away?” Marie asked curtly, and Blaine bit at the inside of his lip as he nodded.

“I’m sorry I didn’t say before I left, I wasn’t… thinking, I guess.”

“Blaine, you know that your dad and I don’t ask much,” she said, and he could feel guilt creeping in already. “You live your own life, and we’re glad you’re able to, but we would appreciate the courtesy of a phone call if you’re going to up and leave town. Especially with someone we’ve never met and don’t know. How long were you gone, even?”

“A week.”

“A week? In Lima? ” Blaine shifted back in his seat, trying not to wince. “What were you doing? Why were you there? Who took you there? Blaine, I trust your judgment usually, but this seems completely out of character for you to do without letting someone know.”

“Mom, can I just…” he started, rubbing his face and shaking his head. “Please, just give me a minute.”

“I have all afternoon.”

“Great.” Blaine sighed, dropping his hands down to his lap and clasping them together. It was the trouble of finding the words, finding the right words. “I met someone, during new student weekend. Kurt. Out of everyone I’ve met at college, he’s my… favorite. He’s sweet and nice and doesn’t treat me like I’m some sort of invalid or delicate person just because…” he trailed off, gesturing up toward his face. “He’s amazing, Mom. He makes me feel like me .”

It was a somewhat ridiculous statement to make, but he wasn’t sure if there were any better ways to phrase it. Of course he felt like himself all of the time, but with Kurt it was different. Kurt made him feel everything and so intensely that he felt like he wasn’t going to remember how to breathe sometimes. Like nothing else in the world mattered but the two of them, and just because they were there together the earth was going to keep on spinning.  

“He’s my boyfriend.” The words came out quickly, rushed, as if avoiding the possibility of him backing out of saying the words, and not giving his mom the chance to break the brief silence between them and interrupt. “He’s from Lima, and he was going there for break and invited me to come with him. I know I should have told you I was going, and I should have told you about him before now but I… I didn’t know how.” His nails dug into his palms as he took a breath. “I like him. I really like him.”


“So that’s why I went to Lima,” he hurried on, wanting to make sure to get it all out. “I went so I could spend my break with him, so I could meet his dad, so I didn’t have to spend a week here without him. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you I was going to, next time I’ll make sure to.”

“Blaine.” Marie reached across the table and touched his arm lightly before tugging on his sleeve a little to get him to bring his hands up to the table. She captured one of them in between her own and squeezed it. “My Blaine.”

“Could you please say something other than my name?” he whispered, swallowing hard and trying not to prepare himself for what was to come. He shouldn’t have to, so he didn’t want to. He just wanted to know what her reaction was beyond saying his name in that way that his family tended to do.

“Sweetheart, I’m so happy for you that you found someone like Kurt,” she said gently, still holding his hand. “He sounds lovely, but I wouldn’t expect you to settle for much less.” She paused, and he bit his lip as he waited. “You know that you can tell me things, right? I’m not going to pretend that it doesn’t concern me that you were willing to meet his father before even thinking to mention his existence to me or your dad…”

“I wasn’t trying to keep a secret,” Blaine mumbled, though he cleared his throat so his words wouldn’t come out muddled when he spoke again. “I didn’t know how to tell you, and definitely not how to tell Dad. I didn’t know how… what you would think.” He flushed, thinking back to the brief conversation he’d had with Cooper and the way his brother had tried to reassure him. Doubt had managed to win out over semi-wisely spoken words.

“Blaine.” Her voice was a quiet control, one that he was far too familiar with. It meant that she was exasperated, but trying not to be. “Your father and I love you very much .”

“I know—”

“You are important to us, and that’s why we worry sometimes,” she continued, squeezing his hand. “But of course we knew this day was coming at some point.” Blaine stayed silent, trying to let her words sink in and actually stick. There was still lingering doubt, though – there almost always was.


“Will be happy for you,” she said firmly. “Sweetheart, I know that he wasn’t always… supportive, but people change and people grow. He loves you and wants for you to be happy, we both do.”

“Okay,” he murmured, trying his best to focus on the dad he had known over the past year or so – the one who raised hell all over his school and their city because of what had happened, who picked up and moved their entire family for Blaine’s interest, who spared absolutely no expense to give him the best education, the best opportunity to succeed in life – as opposed to the dad who had seemed forlorn about the fact that he was gay.

“Do you want me to tell him?” Marie asked, and Blaine’s brow furrowed as he pulled himself from his thoughts. “Or do you want to do it?”

“I will,” Blaine said, pulling his hand away from hers and dropping it down into his lap again as their food arrived. “When, um, I know he’s busy with work a lot…”

“He’s usually home by six on weekdays, six-thirty at the latest,” she supplied. Blaine busied himself with cutting into one of his ravioli as he listened. “He went in today, just for a bit, but he should be home later this afternoon. I won’t tell him anything so you can just call whenever, though I would request that you not wait too terribly long.”


“Of course, sweetie.”

The rest of lunch was far less stressful. Talking about classes and the workload he’d been going through was better, because even though not all of his classes were terribly interesting to him that didn’t stop them from being easy topics. It hadn’t even registered with him that he hadn’t talked to his parents about school at all since he’d started – he’d been far too caught up in everything that school entailed. And Kurt, mostly Kurt. By the time he got dropped back off at his house, with a kiss on the cheek and hug from his mom, he was feeling much more relaxed about everything.

There was just that small matter of calling his dad later.

Distraction was easy enough, as it tended to be when Santana was home and not in a foul mood. Even if she had been it would have been fine, because that would have given him reason to try and get her to talk more. As it was, they just ended up curled beside each other on the couch, the television fixed on Bravo . It was easy for him to ignore the screeching of the Real Housewives of somewhere.

“It felt weird not having you here all week,” Santana murmured, just barely audible. Blaine tilted his head toward her, raising an eyebrow.


“I mean, you’re quiet and all so it wasn’t that noticeable, but yeah it was weird,” she backtracked, and that just made him start to grin. “Don’t look at me like that. So I missed you a little – no big deal.”

“You missed me,” he said with a full out grin, and she huffed.

“Not like I had much time to miss you,” she said, her tone descending into a drawl as she kept going, clearly determined to take all meaning away from what had started it all off. “I had company all week and you probably would have been scarred for life if you’d been here, what with all the moaning and, God, the screaming. Would have been nice to know your mom was stopping by today, considering I’d just barely gotten dressed after getting my brains sc—”

“No, stop!” Blaine said, quickly reaching over to clamp his hand over her mouth. He shouldn’t have drawn attention to the almost compliment that had started it all, because of course she was going to try and play it off like it wasn’t supposed to mean anything and he didn’t want to hear about anything that had happened there while he’d been gone. He shouldn’t have put his hand over her mouth either, because she just licked his palm and he pulled it away with a yelp, wiping it off on his pants. “Santana!”

“Shouldn’t have put your hand there,” she said, not sounding the least bit apologetic. “As I was saying…”

“Please don’t go on,” he mumbled, fully aware that his face was red. “I get it; there were… ladies all over your lady parts. The presence of my manliness in the house would have been a damper on it all.” Santana tittered from beside him, and he buried his face in his hands. “Can we please move on?”

“For you? Sure. How was lunch with Mama Anderson?”

“It was good. I hadn’t really talked to her or my dad since classes started, so it was kind of… necessary,” he said with a shrug, letting his hands drop. He paused, thinking back to the topic they’d dismissed moments before and realizing he actually did have a question – though he wasn’t sure if it was something he should ask. He figured it was worth it. “So, um… was Brittany…”

“No,” Santana cut him off sharply. He slipped his arm through hers, giving it a gentle squeeze, and she rest her head against his shoulder. When she spoke again it was much softer, no edge left in her voice. “No, she wasn’t.”

They stayed like that for longer than he could keep track of, the episodes of the show blending together. That was the problem with Bravo and its tendency to run marathons all day every day – he could never figure out just how long he’d been sitting there with it playing in the background. The only way he knew Santana hadn’t fallen asleep was because she would occasionally give a quiet snort of laughter at something that was happening, or mutter a critical comment under her breath, but other than that there was nothing but silence between them. He almost fell asleep himself; comfortable nestled in close to her. She wasn’t Kurt, but she was still downright cuddly sometimes – like right then.

Considering he was already relaxed, and it was at least past mid-afternoon, he figured it was probably a good time to call his dad. At least he wasn’t starting out nervous and anxious and stressed out of his mind. He pressed a light kiss against Santana’s hair, earning a soft, startled sound in return, and then pulled away so he could get up and into the privacy of his room. His phone dialed through to his dad’s cell phone number as he crawled up under the covers of his bed, wanting to keep as much of that comfort he’d built up out with Santana as possible. Two rings later and Charles Anderson picked up.


“Hi Dad.”

“Blaine? How are you?”

“M’okay,” he murmured, leaning back against the pillows he’d propped up against the headboard. “How are you? Mom said you had to work today.”

“I did, yes.” Charles sighed, and Blaine could almost picture him shrugging. “It wasn’t too bad; just a little work to keep the ball rolling and make sure Monday wouldn’t be terrible. You had a good lunch with your mother, I presume? Wish I could have joined you, but there was no way that could have been possible this week.”

“It was nice,” Blaine said, fidgeting with the blanket lying over his legs. “Um, Dad?”


“I have something I need to tell you.” There was a long pause. He could almost picture his dad’s face, the flashback so strong to the last time he’d uttered those words and how that had gone down. No, that time was going to be different, that was the reassurance he had from his mom and from the fact that he knew his dad had changed. This is different, he’s different , he reminded himself, fingers twisting into the blanket all the same.

“Blaine, what’s wrong?” Charles demanded quietly. “Are you struggling with your classes? Did something happen while you were gone this past week in –where was it – Lima? Is there something wrong at the house? Are you alright?” Blaine faltered, the questions coming at him so rapidly but almost gently, and that was the part that threw him off.

“No, I’m not – I’m fine,” he stammered. “Nothing like that.”

“Oh good.” There was another sigh from the other end of the phone. “I would have hoped your mother would have mentioned if there had been, though you could have always not mentioned it to—”

“Dad, I have a boyfriend,” Blaine blurted out, completely interrupting whatever rambling train of thought had been going on from his father. He took in a sharp breath, fingers tightening around his phone and clutching onto it as he waited. And waited. He started counting the seconds of silence.


Blaine felt his chest tightening, stomach knotting, the anxiety he’d been fighting off so well creeping in and taking hold. Oh? What kind of response was that? Was it a good or bad reaction? Because from that one word, one syllable, one vowel sound he couldn’t tell. “Dad? Um. Are you…?”

“Blaine, you’re going to have to give me a second,” Charles said, and Blaine couldn’t read any more into that than he had into ‘oh.’ Give him a second? How many more did he need? He’d had twenty-three seconds of silence, by Blaine’s count, and he just kept getting more.

“Are you… upset?” Blaine ventured tentatively, his voice sounding small.

What? No. No no, Blaine, I’m not upset,” he said, and that only barely helped Blaine’s nerves. “I thought something serious had happened.” He rushed ahead quickly. “Not that this isn’t serious, I just thought… something bad.”

“This isn’t bad.”

“No it’s not.” Charles sounded calmer, more collected. “Okay.”



“Is this, uh, weird? For you?” Blaine held his breath as soon as the words were out. It was one of those questions he hadn’t wanted to ask but it had just happened whether he meant to or not. And there was more hesitation from the other end of the phone.

“A little.” It wasn’t something easy for his dad to admit, he could tell. At least there was that. “It’s different but it’s not like… I’m not used to that sort of thing. Blaine, you’re eighteen. By the time Cooper was eighteen, he’d had at least five girlfriends that he swore were the one .” He chuckled and Blaine almost smiled, but he was still on edge. “Does this boyfriend have a name?”

He was trying. There was something to cling onto – his dad was trying .

“Kurt,” he said, biting his lip. “Kurt Hummel.” Charles repeated it, almost under his breath like he was trying to commit it to memory. “Dad, he’s… perfect.”

It came crashing out of him like waves, words tumbling out and stringing together to form some semblance of sentences at least half of which probably didn’t make sense. It was everything he hadn’t said, not to Santana, not to Cooper, not to his mom. Every feeling that Kurt made him feel, every way that some little thing he did stuck out to Blaine more than anything else. The song, the hand holding, the way he sat and listened to Blaine play and knew to give him space once he was done. How his heart had felt like it was going to explode the first time they’d kissed, and how it still felt like fireworks and confetti cannons every time. And then he’d blushed ferociously because he’d just told his father about his first kiss. That didn’t stop him from going on, from telling him everything except getting drunk at the house party and how he and Kurt had slept in the same bed twice.

“He knows,” Blaine said quietly at the end, his hand moving up to rub at the back of his neck. “About what happened. I kind of… I was being weird, like I get, and I’d been dancing around it so much I just thought…he should know. So he knows.”

“Blaine…” There it was again. The same way his mom said his name. The same way Cooper had called him Squirt after he’d asked him not to tell their parents about Kurt. They all had the exact same way of doing it.

“I wanted to tell him, he should know,” he repeated, drawing his knees up to his chest.

“Blaine, I know how much you don’t talk about that.” More like how he never talked about it. Other than when it had happened, having to recount it to his family, the police, the school principal, he barely even acknowledged the fact that it had happened. It was easier to pretend like it hadn’t, except for the lingering jumpiness, fidgeting, and the fact that he was constantly wondering when the next blow was coming. “He sounds great, from everything you said. I’m glad you found someone that makes you happy, I really am.”

“Thanks,” Blaine murmured, because he could actually hear the honesty in his voice.

“You’ll have to bring him by so we can meet him sometime,” Charles added. That caught Blaine off guard. It was one thing for his dad to be saying he was glad for him, but something else entirely to invite Kurt over for tea or something.

“Yeah, sometime.”

“Well I’m being told that dinner is ready so I should go, but I’m glad you called, Blaine,” Charles said sincerely and Blaine really wished he was there so he could get a hug from him, or maybe just a pat on the back, anything. He sounded so warm and supportive and Blaine tugged his blankets up around himself further to make up for the fact that he wasn’t there.

He called Kurt almost immediately after he hung up with his dad, stretching his legs out in front of him since the potential tension of talking to his dad was over.

“Hey, so I miss you,” Kurt said as a form of greeting.

“I miss you too,” Blaine said, grinning an absurd amount for a person who was just laying there in his room alone. “So much so that I thought you should come over here to see me.”

“Oh yeah?”

“Yeah, and if you didn’t have any plans for the night I figured you could just stay.” Blaine flushed as he realized just how forward he was being. “I mean, I just really liked waking up with you there this morning and thought that it would be nice to have happen again. Plus I kind of really miss you after getting to hang around with you for a whole week.”

“Well then I guess I’ll have to pack my pajamas, because that sounds like a plan. I’ll be over shortly."

Blaine almost did literal kicky feet as he hung up, very much looking forward to another night of him and Kurt and nothing else to think about. Those were easily becoming his favorite nights.

Chapter Text

Getting back into the swing of classes after spending an entire week with nothing but Kurt and everything that came with him was hard. Blaine felt like there was a bit of weight lifted off his shoulders, though, having told his parents about him. He felt slightly guilty, because it wasn’t like he’d been trying to hide it or anything, he just hadn’t known how to get the words out. Not talking to his parents on a regular basis made it easy to avoid conversations. Considering that they lived so close, that was all surprising, but they were busy and so was he.

The biggest thing that got him through the week was that Kurt said that he had a surprise for him on Saturday night. He wouldn’t tell him anything about it, except that it was a surprise.

Which was annoying, because he knew just how much Blaine didn’t like surprises.

“You trust me, right?” Kurt had asked, and Blaine had grumbled out a response in the affirmative. “Well then there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll love it.”

That didn’t stop Blaine from asking again, though. They had dinner together every night that week, always at Blaine’s place – he realized he’d never actually been to Kurt’s dorm but he didn’t really mind because dorm rooms didn’t sound that great, and Kurt didn’t seem to mind always going to the house – and he asked at some point every time. Santana even joined them one night, and it was easily the most civil Blaine had ever heard her be to Kurt. Not that she said much to him, but when she did it wasn’t laced with her usual venom.

It was just like it had been before, too, with Kurt coming over and sitting there in Blaine’s room as they did their homework – separate but still together. Blaine almost forgot he was there some of the time, because Kurt would put in his headphones to study for his listening quiz and then there would just be silence from where he was sitting on the bed. That combined with Blaine being focused when he was writing, reading, working on assignments, could almost make him forget. Except then Kurt would crawl down to the end of the bed and slip his arms around Blaine from behind, dropping soft kisses against his neck, and he would be brought back to reality in the best way possible.

He’d written about Burt for his Relationships and Dialogues assignment. It had been easy. A week of being around him had been more than enough for Blaine to feel like he belonged there, like he was part of their family, and boy what a scary revelation that had been. That was an assignment that he had made sure to get done before Kurt came over to study, not sure if he felt comfortable with him potentially seeing what he was writing. His writing was personal, especially what he tended to write for that class, and it just felt strange that Kurt could possibly glance over his shoulder and see him writing about his dad.

Kurt stayed over a couple times, but not every night. Blaine was just glad for the times that he did. He had his insecurities, and there was no stopping or getting rid of them, but that didn’t stop him from loving having Kurt there. Waking wrapped up in his arms, breathing in and getting nothing but Kurt, it was all amazing. It helped that they both were insanely cuddly and extra affectionate when they were sleep, and doubly so when they were waking up in the morning. Waking up to light kisses and nuzzling and hands roaming to pull in closer, it was the best possible way to start the day.

Friday night he didn’t, though. There was something said about a group project he’d been neglecting, and how he needed to the final details ironed out for their date the next day (a statement which had made Blaine almost shiver both due to anticipation and nerves), and of course Blaine understood. Just because they tended to spend all their free time together didn’t mean there weren’t other people that could use some of their attention. Kurt’s other friends. Santana. They still had their goodnight phone call, though.

“So, about tomorrow,” Kurt said, and Blaine held the phone in closer to his ear. “Do you have a suit?”

“A suit? As in… to wear?”

“Yes, as in to wear.” Kurt sounded amused.

“I… yes?” Blaine rubbed his face, trying to think. He definitely didn’t have one there at the house, but he was sure he could find a way to get to his parents’ house before he needed to be ready. “Should I wear it?”

“It would probably be a good idea.”

“Kurt? Where are we going?” Blaine asked slowly, trying to think of possible options available there in the city that would require a suit .

“To dinner and then somewhere else.”


Blaine , ” Kurt replied. “It’s a surprise.”

“A suits-required surprise?”

“Not required so much as… preferred. You’ll be glad for it, once we’re there.”

That was how Blaine ended up at his parents’ house the next afternoon, Santana sprawled across the bed in his room as he rifled through his closet. He dressed nicer than most people on normal days, that much he knew, but that wasn’t suit nice. He did have them, though, and more than most people his age did. It wasn’t like his parents had parties and events like they had before, but they still had them and he was expected to look presentable. He sighed, fingers fumbling over fabric.

“Want some help?” Santana asked, not moving from where she was. All things considered, she had been remarkably nice about the whole driving him somewhere to get ready for a date with Kurt thing.

“I just don’t know which one.”

“Still don’t know where you’re going?” He shook his head, and she hopped down from the bed and brushed past him as she got to the closet. “Shit, these are nice.”

“Yeah,” he murmured, rubbing the back of his neck. “I was thinking maybe either the grey one or—”

“No. This one,” she interrupted, pulling the hanger off the rod. “You would look really good in this one.”

“Which one?”

“It’s black, the edges of the lapels are kind of shiny, there is a pocket square , oh God you have to wear this,” Santana said, pulling the doors of the closet closed. “There, done deal.”

That was all it had taken and they were gone almost as soon as they’d come. Blaine knew exactly what suit she’d gotten, could remember the last time he’d worn it – at a party his parents had thrown the previous winter around the holiday season. He’d spent most of it in the kitchen, trying to stay out of the way, and Cooper had snuck back with eggnog every so often to keep him company. And he was about to wear it to go to some surprise place with Kurt.

When they got back to their house and found Brittany waiting on the porch, he couldn’t even find it in himself to question what was going on. She’d hugged him as if it hadn’t been weeks since they’d seen each other, and Santana hadn’t sounded surprised or any different than usual. Maybe something had happened between them and that was why she was being so nice, but Blaine didn’t have the capacity to try and think about it. He would have to ask after everything was over, and Brittany wasn’t standing right there. It would be rude to ask Santana about her right in front of her, after all. It just made him wonder what all he had somehow missed after spending his whole week focused on Kurt.

He forwent the usual bowtie in favor of the skinny tie that Santana had grabbed from his closet and insisted he wear. There had been a threat about how she would burn all his bow ties if he tried to wear one, but he hadn’t paid much attention to it. He’d been more concerned about how invested she was in him getting ready, and the fact that Brittany hadn’t left the room when he’d started to change.

“I wanted to watch you turn into a penguin,” she lamented as he tugged her hand and guided her toward the door.

“You can see me after,” he said warily, face scrunching up when she pinched his cheek. He shut the door behind her and sighed, trying to rid his shoulders of the tension collected there before stripping off the rest of his clothes and carefully getting into the suit.

It fit him snugly, but in the way it was supposed to. Thankfully he hadn’t changed much in height or weight or anything since it had been tailored, but he found himself fiddling with the collar and cuffs all the same. After two attempts to get the tie done up right, both of which failed spectacularly, he yanked the door open and called for Santana to come back, making his way out into the living room.

“Well well,” she said with a low whistle, tugging at the lapels of his jacket and smoothing them down. “You clean up really nice, Anderson.”

“Please tell me you know how to tie a tie,” Blaine said, gesturing to the undone fabric around his neck. “Because there is a reason I wear bow ties all the time, and it is partially because I’m much better at tying them than these.”

“Of course I do,” Santana scoffed, and her fingers moved at a quick pace as she did up his tie, adjusting it once she was done and then stepping back. “There you go.”

“Oooo Blaine,” Brittany said softly as she joined them, reaching over and slipping her hand into his. “You’re a pretty penguin!”

“Yes, he’s a very pretty penguin,” Santana agreed, and he could practically hear her eyes rolling. Whether it was sarcasm or not, it didn’t matter because Blaine was blushing either way.

“Thanks,” he murmured, adjusting the tie self-consciously.

“Hey! I did it perfectly and you just messed with it,” Santana said sharply, batting his hands away and fixing it. “God, can’t leave you alone for two seconds…”

“No but, like, you’re really pretty, Blaine,” Brittany said, giving his hand a squeeze.

“As wonderful as this is to watch… do I get to have my boyfriend at some point or are you two just going to keep him to yourself all night?” Blaine’s head turned quickly toward the front door at the sound of Kurt’s voice, and Santana’s hands dropped from his tie. He hadn’t heard the door, and evidently neither had they. Brittany seemed nonplussed by it all, just swinging their hands back and forth between them.

“I think Kurt might be a prettier penguin than you,” she mused.

“I don’t doubt that at all,” Blaine said, pulling his hand away from her and rubbing the back of his neck. “I’ll, um, be ready to go in a minute.” He backtracked to his room, managing to pocket his keys and wallet before Kurt’s arms slipped around from behind and his lips pressed lightly against his neck.

“I am definitely not a prettier penguin than you,” Kurt murmured. “Not when you look like that .”

“Well I’m still going to believe Brittany.” Blaine rocked back onto his heels, further into Kurt’s arms and back against his chest. “So do I get to know where we’re going now?”

“Nope.” Kurt untangled his arms from around him and gave Blaine the chance to turn around, which he did gladly. His hands smoothed up the front of Kurt’s jacket, thumbing at the lapels as he skimmed over them up to his shoulders. Kurt had nice, broad shoulders. “Ready?”

“Ready,” Blaine said with a nod, dropping his hands from him so he could get his phone and give Roscoe a pat on the head before grabbing his cane.

They ate dinner at a steakhouse downtown, and it was easily the most delicious meal Blaine had eaten in as long as he could remember. He did manage to accost their server while Kurt was in the bathroom to make sure he would get the check, a move that Kurt protested vehemently once he realized what was happening, but Blaine didn’t care. It was only fair, after all, considering that Kurt was taking him to some surprise place or event or something .

It was a short drive to wherever they were headed and once the car was parked, Kurt led him up a sidewalk and across the street before stopping, squeezing his hand. “Great, we’re right on time.”

“For what ? ” Blaine asked, and he felt like he had been asking that same question for an entire week with no answer, so he had to hope that he was at least going to get one then since they were there .

“Symphony concert,” Kurt replied. Blaine’s jaw dropped and his grip tightened on Kurt’s hand.


“Mhm. They were doing a piano concerto, so I thought—”

Kurt …” Blaine interrupted, his free hand slipping up to rest on his chest as he leaned in, pressing a quick kiss to his lips before resting their foreheads together. He felt like he was going to cry. His family had gone to the symphony so often before – before everything had happened. Most of the time it was just him and his mom, but they’d still gone, ever since he was a little kid. He could remember back when he was younger, just a kid, and he would sit completely entranced by the conductor and how he seemed to draw the music out of everyone else on the stage. That magic never escaped him, even when he got older, but he hadn’t been since before the incident.

“So this was a good surprise, then?” Kurt whispered, his hand resting on Blaine’s waist and keeping him in close.

“Best surprise.” To the point that Blaine hadn’t even cared that they were standing somewhere on the street in downtown and he’d just kissed Kurt, out where anyone could see.

Their seats were in the first row of the mezzanine, right up against the balcony. Kurt had been right when he had said they were right on time, or maybe he should have said just in time, considering that the orchestra was practically done with warming up by the time they got in the theatre and up to their seats. It felt so familiar, so perfect, and after they got done applauding the concertmaster and conductor coming on the stage, Blaine slipped his hand into Kurt’s and held onto it tightly.

The opening chords got him to the edge of the seat, as if somehow leaning in closer would do something. Kurt let go of his hand, moving his own to rest on Blaine’s back, and by the time the entire orchestra joined in, Blaine had his elbows rested on the railing in front of them. He framed his face with his hands, unconscious of how his fingers were tapping against his cheeks, and just leaned there and listened.

It was different, hearing it all with the orchestra behind it. It wasn’t a piece that he’d played before, God if only he could play like that, but it was one he was familiar with. He had listened to recordings of it, but never fully with the entire orchestra. His heart felt like it was straining against his chest more and more with each wave of notes, and he could barely notice the way Kurt’s fingers traced along his back.

There was just so much feeling in the music, and he related to that more than words could express. It was all in the swells, the crescendos and decrescendos, the powerful rhythms backed by lilting strings that melted into a gentle flowing melody. Everything spoke, every single note, and it was all Blaine could do to sit there and take it in as best he could.

And that was just the first movement.

Sitting there listening to the concerto, he felt transported. It was like he was in a place where time stood still and it was just him and the music, and Kurt’s fingertips making patterns against the back of his suit jacket. It was different than it had been before, too. Before, whenever they went to see a pianist, they’d always gotten seats where they would have a good view of the keyboard and he would just stare and take in their fingers moving across the keys. How they interacted with the conductor, reacted to the rest of the orchestra, committed themselves fully to every note.

It was different then. He couldn’t watch, couldn’t see, but he could imagine, envision.

By the time it was over, the final chords sounded and ended and the audience thundered with applause, Blaine had tears slipping from the corners of his eyes after spending the past however-long trying to avoid them. Kurt’s hand left his back as he clapped along with everyone else, and Blaine brushed his knuckles across his face to try and get rid of the tears before he joined in as well. It was a fruitless effort, but he ignored them until the applause died down and Kurt pressed a light kiss to his cheek.

No words were exchanged as they made their way back down to the lobby of the theatre, and the crowd of people certainly didn’t help Blaine feel any less like his chest was going to explode – though that was more due to anxiety as opposed to pure emotion. He loved how Kurt knew when not to ask, when to just let him be until he was there with him again, because he couldn’t at all be considered there when he was still lost in himself like he got sometimes. It wasn’t until they were in the car, pulled out of the garage and making their way toward the highway, that Kurt spoke up.

“Are you okay?” It was a tentative question, and Blaine half shrugged and half nodded.

“Yeah I’m fine, that was just… amazing.” He bit his lip, questioning whether he wanted to go on or not. It wasn’t really something he had told anyone, other than maybe mentioning it offhand once or twice years before and having it treated as though he’d been joking. But this was Kurt, and he felt like he could tell him anything. But not there, not while they were driving. He needed time to collect all his thoughts. That was why he waited until they’d gotten back to the house and were in the safety of his room.

“I’ve always wanted to do that,” he started quietly, straightening his tie from where it’d gotten skewed by the seatbelt in the car. “Play like that, with an orchestra, I mean. Be a concert pianist. That was what I wanted. I never… told anyone, because it felt like a silly thing to say, and it’s not like I’m that good. I know you’ll say I am,” he rushed out, hands dropping down to rub over the tops of his legs, “but I’m not. Not like that was tonight. That was… so much, Kurt.”

Kurt reached over, taking his hand, pulling it up and kissing it gently. “You could be.”

“No,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “I couldn’t, it’s—”

“Not impossible, not too late,” Kurt broke in, taking his other hand too and holding them both tightly. “Blaine, you are talented . You’re already better than half the piano studio, at least the ones that I’ve heard. This isn’t an impossible dream. There are ways to try, as long as you’re willing, and I know that you can do it. I know you can because I’ve heard and seen how passionate you are about music.” He paused, dropping Blaine’s hands so he could cup his face between them, his fingertips brushing against the apples of his cheeks. “Screw what your dad says. If this is what you want, if this is your dream, you go for it and don’t take any excuse or way out until you’re up on that stage and all those people are applauding for you .

Blaine’s breath caught in his throat, overwhelmed by how genuine and sincere Kurt sounded about it all. It was almost enough to make him believe. Almost believe to the point that he couldn’t remember how words worked, and how to form them and make them come out. So he went with the next best thing, and gently pulled Kurt’s hands away from his face so he could lean in and kiss him.

It was different than before, not as sweet and soft like it usually started, but more desperate and wanting. God, he just really wanted to be as close to Kurt as possible, to help him feel just how much Blaine felt and appreciated everything he’d said. Those words, that support, it was everything he needed and Kurt had given it so willingly and unsolicited. He kissed him hard, almost rough, in an attempt to put all of his emotions into that one moment. His hands slid up under Kurt’s jacket, up to his shoulders, and he felt Kurt give his tie a little tug as he nipped at his lower lip.

They took each other’s jackets off easily, lips not parting, and Blaine’s hand slid up to undo Kurt’s tie. That was when he faltered. He wasn’t wearing a tie, he was wearing a bow tie. His fingers trembled just barely as they traced over it. A bow tie , which was not a Kurt staple at all. Kurt’s hand covered his, and Blaine tilted his head up toward him, almost in askance.

“I thought you might like it,” Kurt murmured, thumb stroking over the back of his hand. Like it? Blaine really did.

Their mouths met in another heated kiss, ties were undone and discarded, and Kurt’s hands slipped around to his back and tugged gently on his shirt, untucking it. Blaine whimpered against his mouth as Kurt’s fingers raked up his undershirt and made contact with his bare skin underneath. They had progressed further over the past two weeks, and Blaine was fully comfortable with all the kissing and touching that had happened (always North of the equator), but skin on skin contact where that skin was always covered by something – that was new. That was nice .

His fingers fumbled as they undid the buttons of Kurt’s shirt, starting at the top and working his way down, and he tried not to think because if he let himself think he would realize just how close his hands were getting to… Kurt . His lips pressed against his neck to keep himself distracted from what his hands were doing. He untucked his shirt and took in a deep breath as Kurt pulled back to draw it over his head and drop it to the floor, and Blaine did the same with his own. He’d been in a t-shirt in front of Kurt before, but that was different.

Kurt tentatively lifted the front of Blaine’s undershirt, his fingertips brushing against his stomach and making his muscles clench. He breathed in sharply and reached out to steady himself, hand settling on Kurt’s chest and knotting into the fabric of his shirt. That didn’t help at all but it did earn him a little hum from his boyfriend, and that was always good. Plus, he could feel the rumble from it in his chest, right under his hand. He had to let go as Kurt slowly dragged his shirt up, and he lifted his arms so he could get it off easier.

He’d never been shirtless in front of anyone before – not in that way, at least. He felt vaguely exposed but at the same time he didn’t care at all. He couldn’t care when it was Kurt and he was working Kurt’s shirt off just as easily as his own had gone. His fingertips skimmed over his biceps, remembering back to that first time he’d held onto them for support, dancing at the party, but now they were bare beneath his hands. So were his shoulders, those broad shoulders, and his chest, and his skin was so smooth and soft that Blaine just kept running his hands over it until he realized that might be odd.


“Blaine, you think I have a problem with you touching me?” Kurt huffed out a laugh, leaning in and pressing a few kisses up his jaw before lingering up against his ear. “I want you to.”

It took Blaine a few seconds to recover from that. Kurt’s voice had been low and unwavering and he’d said he wanted Blaine to touch him . It wasn’t like there were any misconceptions when it came to Blaine’s prowess or experience – of which there was none. He tilted his head, brushing a kiss against Kurt’s cheek before their lips met again, tongues sliding together briefly before he pulled back and rest their foreheads together. “Lay down?”

Kurt obliged wordlessly, shifting further back on the bed. He grabbed Blaine’s hand, tugging him in, and Blaine almost tumbled down on top of him but he caught himself in time. Sitting back on his heels, right beside Kurt’s hip, he hesitantly reached his hand down and ran it along his chest. His fingertips traced along his collarbone, the sharp angle jutting out from the otherwise smooth plane. He let his hand move down, its movement stuttering as his thumb brushed over a nipple.

“C’mere,” Kurt murmured as his hand hooked around the back of Blaine’s thigh, the one closest to him, and he gripped and pulled it up. Blaine let him guide him over until he was sitting against the top of his legs, straddling him, and he tried not to think about how hard he was getting because he wanted to just touch for a while. Not that that would help matters at all.

His hands moved up his arms again, thumbs rubbing over his biceps – he really did love his arms a whole lot – before shifting up to his shoulders, palms flattening out against the sides of his neck and trailing up to cup his jaw. He couldn’t keep still, not with so much bare skin to explore, so his hands kept moving slowly – down over his collarbone, sternum, out over his chest, he could feel the way Kurt kept holding his breath and he knew his own kept hitching but he couldn’t help it. How was it possible for someone to have such hard, defined muscles – and Blaine could feel every single one of them as his fingertips skimmed and explored – and still be so soft and pliant? “You’re so gorgeous…”

He drew in a sharp breath as Kurt’s hands ran up the tops of his legs and to his waist, long fingers taking him in just like his own were doing with Kurt. His hands moved over his stomach, feeling Kurt’s muscles jump and tense under his touch, and out to his hips and then they stopped. Kurt’s hipbones jutted out just like his collarbone did, but it was so, so different. Blaine’s fingertips dug into the grooves there, not very hard but enough to get a soft gasp from his boyfriend.

Leaning down, he pressed a tentative kiss against Kurt’s chest. One of Kurt’s hands slid up to the back of his neck, fingertips threading into the hair at the nape, and Blaine took that as encouragement. He trailed small, open mouthed kisses along his collarbone, teeth grazing lightly against it. When Kurt’s fingers tightened in his hair, his hips rolled forward and down against him of their own volition. He pulled his mouth away, starting to open it to speak, but Kurt beat him too it.

“Don’t you dare apologize.” He pulled Blaine up to him and captured his mouth, tongue tracing against the seam of his lips until they parted. His hips rocked up and he took Blaine’s moan into his mouth, hand pressing against his lower back to keep him close. Blaine pressed his hand down against the mattress, whimpering softly as he felt Kurt hard against his hip, the slow, steady pace of them grinding together making his head spin and every inch of him feel like it was tingling.

His free hand slid its way down, getting to the waistband of Kurt’s pants and toying along the edge of the fabric. He managed to pull back from the kiss, despite the low whine of protest from Kurt, and catch his breath long enough to make his brain function properly and form some words. “Can I…?”

“God yes,” Kurt breathed, and Blaine wasted no time undoing the button and zipper, shifting back off him so he could pull down, dragging the pants down his legs and letting Kurt kick them off once they were bunched around his ankles. He had such long legs, and Blaine couldn’t help but run his hands up them, taking in the lean muscle and feel of light hair over soft skin. His fingertips ran into the bottoms of his boxer briefs and he stopped, his breath catching.

Kurt sat up, fingers hooking into the tops of Blaine’s pants and pulling him in closer. Blaine sat very still as Kurt undid them, pushing them down past his hips. His knuckles brushed, just barely, against Blaine’s hard-on and made him gasp. “I’m—”

“Oh God, please don’t say you’re sorry or we’re going to have a real situation on our hands,” Blaine interrupted, dropping back to sit on the bed so Kurt could get his pants the rest of the way off, which he did with a soft chuckle. He felt fingertips slipping beneath the elastic of his boxers and he suddenly felt self conscious, maybe even a tad too-much-too-fast, and he gently grabbed onto Kurt’s wrists. “Can we, um, not…”

Kurt’s hands disappeared instantly. “Blaine, if you don’t want—”

“No, no I want,” he said, shaking his head at how it must have sounded. “I want, Kurt. I really… want . ” There were no words for just how much he wanted. “Just, maybe…”

“Leave them on?” Blaine nodded, blushing, feeling remarkably childish. It was annoying how his brain kicked in at the worst time and made him actually think when all he wanted to be doing was Kurt . “That’s fine. Better than fine.”

“Are you sure?”

“You… are beautiful ,” Kurt murmured, pulling him back in close and leaning to lie down again, bringing Blaine down on top of him. Well that answered that. Their hips slotted together just so and wow, that was the best thing Blaine had ever felt. There were just two thin pieces of fabric between them but it felt so much different than it had before. He could feel Kurt so much easier, so much better, the perfect way they were rubbing against each other, not each other’s hips but actually each other , with each roll of hips.

It started out slow, like so much else had. Kurt was very obviously letting Blaine set the pace, choose what was happening, clearly not wanting to make a wrong move. Was it possible to make a wrong move when something felt that good? It was still kind of taking a bit for his brain to make the connection that his cock was pressed in against Kurt’s . And the sounds, the little sounds that Kurt was making with every little thrust, the little sounds that he was making himself, though those were undecidedly less amazing and hot as Kurt’s.

His arms were braced on either side of Kurt, carefully holding himself up and trying not to squish him, but they got a little shaky. What had started out tentative, careful and almost learning, had quickly turned fast and borderline dirty. Their mouths clashed together, whimpers and moans swallowed away, as their hips worked in tandem grinding and thrusting and more more more . And maybe Blaine was regretting a little the choice to not be completely naked because he really wanted to know what it would feel like just skin against skin. But there was always the next time.

Kurt’s hands moved down from where they’d been gripping onto his shoulders, sliding down his back and over his ass, and Blaine’s arms almost gave out instantaneously at that. He dropped down onto his forearms and the shift in angle sent sparks through him, heat pooling low in his belly, and he tore his mouth away from Kurt’s so he could bury his face in his neck because he knew it was coming and he didn’t want to accidentally bite his lip or tongue or something embarrassing like that. Kurt’s name was a murmured litany on his lips right up until the moment he broke off in a choked moan as he came.

He didn’t even have a chance to recover before he felt Kurt tense up beneath him, a soft cry muffled in against Blaine’s shoulder, and it took a couple seconds for Blaine’s still-hazy-from-orgasm brain to realize that he had felt Kurt come. And then a few seconds after that, he realized that maybe keeping the boxers on hadn’t been such a great idea because wow that was incredibly sticky and growing uncomfortable quickly. He couldn’t help but drop kisses along Kurt’s neck and shoulder while he tried to catch his breath, head still spinning so gloriously, all his nerves feeling raw and exposed from everything .

Blaine let his arms slide further out from under him, feeling boneless and limp, to where he was practically laying on top of Kurt. His face burrowed against his chest as he breathed hard, listening to Kurt’s heart race and feeling his chest rise and fall sharply with the ragged breaths falling from his lips. He hummed, just barely, as Kurt’s arms moved up to wrap around him, holding him solidly to his chest. Blaine had never imagined it would feel so perfect to be held so tightly, bare skin against each other, slightly sticky and slick from sweat and with breaths panting out like there wasn’t enough oxygen in the room. Then again, maybe there wasn’t.

“Sorry about… it’s messy,” Blaine mumbled once he’d regained the ability to speak. He knew he should move, should get up and cleaned up or something, but he couldn’t. Not when he was there with Kurt and they’d just done that and especially not with the way Kurt was clutching Blaine down against him.

“Still apologizing,” Kurt muttered, but it sounded almost affectionate. His fingers tickled against his sides, and Blaine squeaked in response. “I’m just going to steal a pair of your boxers to sleep in, that’s all.”

Blaine’s breath caught in his throat at that particular thought and it really was not a good night for him and words. Kurt had that way of knocking them all out of him and leaving him scrambling to find something, anything to say, but failing because how could he say anything at all? He did wriggle in his arms a little, making him loosen up his grip. “I should go, um, clean up. And get those… for you.”

“Just a few more minutes,” Kurt whined, tightening his arms around him again. Blaine couldn’t help but grin, because somehow he had that ability to go from sexy as hell to completely adorable with the snap of his fingers.

There was absolutely no way he could deny him a few more minutes.

Eventually they untangled, and it was even more awkward feeling once they were apart. Blaine stumbled across the room, legs unsteady still, and grabbed out two pairs of boxers, tossing one back toward Kurt. There was a surprised sound, then a laugh, then some mumbling about how he shouldn’t have such good aim for someone who couldn’t see what he was throwing at.

Kurt claimed the bathroom first, and Blaine waited until he was back to escape from his room. The last thing he’d needed was Santana coming downstairs and finding him waiting to get into the bathroom – and only in his boxers. His very sticky-with-come boxers. Then there was that realization that he’d done that. Kurt had done that. He and Kurt had done that . So he waited, then hopped into the shower quickly to clean off as well as get the gel out of his hair. By the time he got back to his room, he was very clean and less wobbly on his feet, but still just as amazed and content as he had been before.

“You smell amazing,” Kurt murmured as Blaine clambered back up onto the bed, flopping down beside him and almost immediately being enveloped by his arms. “All clean and fluffy haired.”

“So do you,” Blaine whispered, and it was true. It was all Kurt but with the very distinct lingering scent of sex. He’d never understood what people had meant before when they said that sex had an actual smell but it really did. And it was all there in his room, radiating from Kurt’s skin, hanging in the air around them. It definitely wasn’t a bad thing. Kurt hummed in agreement and tugged him in closer.

Blaine used Kurt’s chest as a pillow, and the steady thumping of his heart lulled him to sleep.

Chapter Text

Waking up in Kurt’s arms was still one of Blaine’s favorite things in the world. Even when he was asleep, Kurt still held him like he was afraid of letting go. Slowly waking up, realizing all over again that they were both barely one step away from being naked, made Blaine flush all over again and bury his face against Kurt’s chest. Which was bare. That certainly didn’t help matters at all.

Blaine took in a deep breath, still getting hints of Kurt’s cologne through everything else. His hand drifted along his side, not wanting to wake him up but still wanting to explore. Thankfully, Kurt seemed like he wasn’t going to wake up that easily. Blaine’s fingertips played along his ribcage, trying not to tickle, and down to his hip where they dipped into the groove and lingered before brushing down to the top of his boxers. Blaine’s boxers. On Kurt.

Part of him still couldn’t believe that it had happened, because there was Kurt – amazing, gorgeous (as far as Blaine could tell and he was pretty damn sure), practically perfect Kurt. And he was Blaine. Just Blaine. He tried not to let himself get into his head too much, because he really didn’t need to ruin what had easily been the best night of his life just because he couldn’t stop himself from overthinking everything all over again. Kurt was there, that was all that mattered.

He carefully untangled himself from his boyfriend’s arms, pressing a light kiss to his shoulder before slipping out from under the covers and headed for the door. His mouth and throat were dry, as they so often were when he woke up, and he really needed something to drink. He had full plans of crawling right back into bed and staying there as long as he could, once he’d gotten some water. As soon as he got to the kitchen, it struck him that he had no idea how late it was – mostly because he could smell coffee and that meant Santana was awake, and she never got up before him on the weekends.

“Morning, hobbit,” she greeted sleepily as he shuffled his way across the threshold. “How’d your date go?”

“Good,” he mumbled, grabbing down a glass and getting a drink before trying to elaborate, considering how scratchy his voice sounded. “It was perfect. We went to the symphony.”

“Hence the suit.”

“Hence the suit,” he repeated with a nod, gulping down the rest of his water. “It was amazing, Santana.” He paused when he heard a door open, and footsteps – Kurt’s footsteps – going down the hall.



“You have boxers with little polar bears on them.”

“Yes?” He reached down self-consciously to make sure that there wasn’t some sort of problem going on with his boxers, but they seemed fine.

“No, yours have candy canes on them. Not very appropriate for the season, but I’m not that surprised.” He swallowed as the realization swept over him. “Back to the polar bears. Either Kurt has those same boxers—”

“Shut up.”

“—or he is wearing your boxers.” He didn’t say anything, just clutched the glass in his hands as he felt the warmth spread steadily up his chest and neck as he blushed. It certainly didn’t help when Santana full out hit him on the chest, either, the loud smack of skin on skin contact echoing through the kitchen. “You had sex with him!”

“I’m kind of concerned about the fact that you’re so familiar with my underwear,” Blaine said, trying desperately to change the subject. “Why do you know about my boxers? Maybe… maybe they were a popular design, everyone probably has them. Polar bears are pretty cool, after all. They’re the largest bear and–”

“You are standing in the kitchen in your underwear right now. Do we really need to ponder how I could possibly know about them?” Santana interrupted dryly. “Jesus, I see you in your boxers all the damn time. It’s a good thing you’re cute or it’d be annoying. Back to the topic at hand… last night’s sausage-fest—”

“Can we talk about this later?” Blaine pleaded, setting the glass back down on the counter. Or never , he added in his head, but he knew he’d never be that lucky. He decided not to wait for her response and started out of the kitchen again. “I have some questions for you, too, so we’ll have to sit down later… and discuss… things.”

“Mhmm.” Santana slurped at her coffee and he could practically feel her watching him as he went back to his room. He climbed back into bed and under the covers, and less than a minute later he heard the door latch shut when Kurt came back.

“You’re all pink,” Kurt observed as he crawled up next to him on the bed, his hand drifting up Blaine’s chest to his shoulder. That definitely didn’t help matters.

“I’m going to have to kill Santana,” Blaine mumbled, tilting his head into Kurt’s touch as his fingers moved up to his jaw.

“I’ll help.”

“I figured I could count on you.” Kurt laughed lightly as he leaned down, pressing a kiss against his lips.

“Always.” It was a murmur, a whisper, a word that had barely been spoken, but it was still there and enough to make Blaine tingle all the way down to his toes. Kurt settled in beside him, tucked in against his side but still propped up on his elbow to look down at him. “So, about last night…”

Just like that, the tingle was gone and replaced with panic. Blaine swallowed quickly, hand moving to tug the blanket up closer to his waist. What if it hadn’t been good enough, he hadn’t been good enough? What if Kurt was regretting it? What if Kurt thought polar bear boxers were ridiculous? There were so many possible things that could be coming after ‘ about last night …’ that he didn’t even know where to start. Though he knew just how stupid he was to be going to those places, those thoughts, with Kurt pressed up against him and distinctly nestling there. “Yeah?”

“I meant what I said,” Kurt started, fingers carding through Blaine’s hair soothingly. “You should go for it. If you want to go into music, study it, you should do it.”

Oh, that.

“I want to,” Blaine murmured, biting his lip. “I really do. I don’t know… how I would, but I do.”
“Okay, well don’t get upset or anything, but I think it might not as out there as you think,” Kurt said, and Blaine’s brow furrowed as he tilted his head toward hm.

“What do you mean? Why would I get… upset?”

“Dr. Salido asked me about you weeks ago, you know, after she heard you playing,” Kurt said, speaking quickly. “Like I said before, she felt really bad about scaring you off and she’d seen us talking so she was trying to find out more about you, because obviously you’re amazing. I mentioned, um, how you’d said that it was hard to study music when you can’t see it, and she said there were ways around that, especially since you read Braille. It’s different with music, but it’s still basically the same, and she started looking into it just in case you showed interest in wanting to change over to music or even if you just wanted to learn something new sometime, even though God knows how many pieces you have up there in your head—”

“Kurt,” Blaine whispered, but then he stopped. He couldn’t wrap his head around everything he was saying. The fact that without any real cause, someone had gone to lengths to figure out how he could study what he wanted. Someone he didn’t even know, save for running away from them once. The thought that he might actually be able to go after what he wanted, after convincing himself there was absolutely no way that would ever be possible.

“Come with me tomorrow,” Kurt breathed out, as if he’d been building up to it but wasted all his energy on getting out all the words before. “After your classes, come to the music building, talk to her. She’s nice, she’s been working on the whole Braille thing, she wants to work with you if you want to try. You don’t have to if you don’t want, but if you do… there’s a way, Blaine. At least to try. It’s not impossible.”

“I’ll… o-okay,” Blaine stammered out, jerking his head in a slight nod. The whole concept was so foreign, still impossible in his mind. It was the least he could do considering that someone had gone out of their way to try and make it possible for him. It would have been awfully hard for him to say no with how Kurt’s fingers kept stroking through his hair, scritching against his scalp, and they were still pressed skin to skin almost all the way from shoulder to toes. “If she’s… not busy, I mean, I can go and see what it’s like.”

And after spending almost an entire Sunday in bed with Kurt, curled up together and talking and cuddling and only getting up for food, and getting through his classes on Monday, Blaine found himself sitting in a practice room in the fine arts building. There hadn’t been a time decided, not with Kurt just saying to go there after classes, and he’d never actually spoken to Dr. Salido other than whatever he’d said in that rush of panic that made him flee. So he just sat and played, not noticing the time pass by and not trying to think about how he was waiting for something that might not actually come.

There was a light knock on the door, breaking him out of his reverie. Whether it was Kurt, Dr. Salido, some random stranger, he had no idea, but he lifted his fingers off the keys and dropped his hands into his lap. “Um, yes?”

The door creaked as it opened. “Blaine? Hi, I’m Dr. Salido. We met previously…”

“I’m so, so sorry,” he started, hands smoothing over the tops of his legs. “I was having a really bad day, I swear I’m not normally… so rude like that.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said, her hand gently resting on his shoulder. “I’m just glad you’re back. Kurt said… he spoke with you?”

“Yeah he did,” Blaine said, chewing on the inside of his lip. “He said you could teach me, maybe. Not that, uh, I expect you to, just that—”

“Blaine,” Dr. Salido said, in that exact same way that his entire family did. Patient, yet tried, and he was half-certain that he’d annoyed her already. “How about you and I go back to my office? It’s quieter there than it is here in this hallway, and I have some things to show you.”

They made their way there, down a hallway of the building Blaine had never had reason to visit before. Her office was quiet, a welcome change from the practice room. He was trying his best not to be nervous, but it wasn’t that easy. He settled in on the piano bench and kept his hands in his lap, waiting for instruction. It had been such a long time since he’d had any lessons or any interaction with a private teacher.

“There’s no need to be nervous,” she said gently, pulling her chair up beside him. “I swear I’m not a scary person, no matter what you may have heard.”

“No, that’s not – I don’t think that,” he said, shaking his head. She laughed, touching his shoulder lightly.

“How about you play through some scales for me? Just start with C major, two octaves, and work your way up chromatically. I’ll stop you when I’ve heard enough.” That was easy enough, and Blaine did as she asked, making his way up through the scales and getting halfway through all of them before she told him he could stop.

He’d never tried to read Braille music before. It seemed like a hassle, almost impossible, because how was he supposed to read it and play it at the same time? Unless he had more than two hands, it wasn’t plausible. Dr. Salido described it as like taking small bites of a big meal, having to read one measure at a time and learn it, and then eventually, bite by bite, the whole meal would be eaten – the whole piece would be learned.

“Now, I’m not proficient in reading Braille,” Dr. Salido said, shuffling some papers around. “Not at all, really, but the Braille used for music is slightly different than the normal alphabet. It’s the same basic format, of course. All the different symbols you would usually see on music, they have different notations, so you can still read them. It… sound like a lot to take in, I know, but I think once you learn the language of it, it won’t seem nearly as intimidating.”

Blaine took the small book she offered, smoothing his fingers over the cover. Learning a new system of reading shouldn’t be that difficult – not after learning Braille at first had been. That had been a trip in itself, but he was used to it by then. He just felt bad about the fact that someone who wasn’t even his teacher had spent so much time thinking about it for him. “This is, um, great. I mean, I don’t know how good I’d be at it, and I’d hate for you to think that you have to work with me—”

“Blaine, I would love to be able to try and teach you about this,” she said, her hand resting on his shoulder again. He really wondered exactly what Kurt had told her about him. “This isn’t something that is taking time away from other things in my life, I’m honestly interested in how this system works and also in you because clearly you’re talented. I know I barely heard you play before, but it sounded amazing. Technique, talent, you have that in spades. It’s just the language that you need to learn now.”

There was that guilt again, the fact that someone was going out of their way to help him completely unsolicited. He was going to try, though. He desperately wanted to be able to study music, despite what he’d told his dad months before, and if that was the way to it – he was going to do it. By the time he left Dr. Salido’s office, he’d promised to try to learn the notation method and to go back the next week, hopefully to show what he’d learned and start learning how to read music in earnest.

Santana was home when he got there, which was good because he’d spent the entire day prior focused on Kurt Kurt Kurt and avoiding a conversation with her about his (not entirely lacking anymore) sex life. Did he want to talk to her about that? Not at all. But he did have questions, and he thought maybe the enticement of it would give him enough leeway to ask them. That was why he tried to beat her to the punch after they settled down together on the couch.

“So what was Brittany doing here?” he asked, trying to sound casual but knowing the question was anything but. It was all in how she tensed up beside him as soon as he said the other girl’s name.

“Just hanging out.”

“No, that doesn’t work,” he said, shaking his head. “She wasn’t around, wasn’t even mentioned, for… like, a month, and then she was here like nothing had ever happened? I don’t buy it.”

“Not everything is as simple as you want to think,” Santana muttered, and Blaine reached over to take her hand.

“Okay, well, tell me about it then.”

“I don’t want to,” she snapped, but he kept his grip on her hand and very slowly could feel her melting away beneath his grasp. “It’s complicated.”

“Well I’d kind of figured—”

“It’s complicated,” she repeated, fingers tightening in his. “It’s hard.”

“Most things are.”

“We met at the beginning of last year,” Santana started, completely unprompted. Blaine wasn’t about to stop her, not when she was actually starting to talk. He didn’t care where the story began, honestly. “We became friends so fast, I didn’t… know she might be interested. And then once I did, she started acting like this – all interested one minute and running off with someone else the next. I can’t just spend my time chasing her around. And then she was here and acting like it was something I did.”

“What did she say you did?”

“Not give enough of a shit,” she mumbled, pulling her hand free of his.

“Maybe you should have called her or something, after the party,” Blaine said, trying not to sound like he was telling her that he’d told her so – even though he kind of had. “You could have tried to figure all this out then–”

“No kidding, Blaine. Thanks. You’re being super helpful.”

“Are you guys… okay? I mean, she was here, you talked, so now…”

“Now I know that I fucked up.” Santana shifted further away from him on the couch. “I don’t chase people, I just don’t.”



“You’re an idiot.” He hurried on as she sucked in a sharp breath next to him, knowing that if he didn’t talk fast that she would lay into him and he wouldn’t get the chance. “You say you don’t chase people but you’ve spent how long sitting here wanting to chase her? Just… go for it. You want her, want to be with her. You should start acting like it, instead of just sitting around and waiting. Do something so there’s no question about it.”

“Blaine, I hardly think that you’re some sort of expert on this kind of thing.”

“No, I’d never say that,” he said, flushing slightly. “I’m just saying that it couldn’t hurt. She said you weren’t… giving enough of a shit, so prove her wrong. Just go for it. Do something that doesn’t leave any doubt about how you feel.”

“Any bright ideas about how?” she asked, a slight dryness to her tone that made him think that maybe she wasn’t buying into his suggestion, but it wasn’t like she’d shot it down completely.

“You suck at talking about how you feel,” he said, and she snorted lightly. “No, I didn’t mean like that, just… find a different way. Maybe you should sing her something.” He paused, folding his arms across his stomach. “Kurt sang for me, and it made me feel like the most special person in the world. You’re always singing stuff around here, you’re really good, you should do something like that. Some big gesture that can’t possibly be taken any other way except that you want to be with her.”

“You’re a sap.”

“Maybe.” Blaine shrugged, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth, and he could feel the heat of blush creeping into his cheeks as he went on. “But considering that I’ve got an incredibly hot and amazing boyfriend, I think I’m allowed to be.”

“Like you’d know if he’s hot or not,” Santana shot back, but then she stopped. “Wait. You need to tell me what happened. Because all you said was that you’d gone to the symphony but you were totally post-fuck.”

Santana .

“Polar bear boxers!” She sounded practically cheerful, which was at least better than the slightly defeated tone she’d been stuck in previously.

“I am not discussing my sex life with you.”

“But the point is that you have one!”

“Why are you even trying to bring it up?” he asked, his voice practically pleading her to stop. “It’s not like you’d want to hear about it. We have the wrong parts.”

“True. I don’t want details of any sort about your junk.”

“Good. So let’s talk about something else. Anything else, really.”

“How would you feel about throwing a Halloween party?” Santana asked, and just like that they were off in a different direction. Blaine was grateful.

“A Halloween party? Um, that’d be okay. I mean, the house is still standing after the first party you had, so I doubt it’ll get burned down or anything.” He tilted his head, considering for a moment. “What are you dressing up as?”

“I’m kind of torn,” she mused, turning and stretching her legs out across the couch, over his lap. “There are so many amazing possibilities. I have this killer belly dancer outfit costume, but who knows. I might see something I want to do more before then.”

“I hadn’t even thought about it,” Blaine admitted, shrugging a little. “So you might have to help me out.” He stopped, thinking, and then he shook his head with a slow smile. “Nevermind, I know what I want. I’ll just need your help actually getting it.”

“What is it?”

“Nope, I’m not telling you until we’re there.” He grinned, cowered away when she smacked his arm lightly. “Now, back to before – Brittany. I’m not kidding, I think you should sing for her or something, in some public setting so no one could question it.”

“I don’t know, Blaine.”

“Santana. Do you want to be with her?”

“More than anything,” she said, and it almost took him aback just how sincere she sounded. There was no pretense, no underlying tone, just pure honesty.

“Then do something to show her and everyone exactly how you feel.”

“Like I said, you’re a sap.”

“But I’m a smart sap. I’ll help! We’ll make sure it’s perfect.”

“Fine, we can work on something, but no promises.” He knew that was the best commitment he was going to get out of her, but he could work with it.

Kurt came over that night, after dinner had been eaten and Blaine had spent most of the night trying to familiarize himself with the book of Braille music notations that Dr. Salido had given him. He’d gotten his keyboard out from under his bed, just so he could make sure he was reading things correctly. There were just so many additional things to pay attention to, and he really just wanted to be able to see.

Reading tempo markings and expressions was easy when all he had to do was glance at the page once and take in the black notations scattered above and across the staves. Reading music was easy when it was something he’d been doing for most of his life. When it came to the Braille though, it wasn’t quite like that. It was new, a completely different way of trying to figure it out, and he was doing his best not to get discouraged.

Learn the language. That’s what Dr. Salido had said he needed to do, and that was what he focused on when Kurt got there. He was doing his best to memorize everything from that book so he didn’t have to keep going back every time he tried to go through one of the music examples. The door to his room clicked shut, but he didn’t stop in his efforts until Kurt’s arms slipped around his shoulders from behind.

“Having fun?” he murmured, pressing a soft kiss just below Blaine’s ear.

“No,” Blaine answered honestly, leaning back against him. “This is hard.”

“You just started with it,” Kurt said, slipping around and sitting on the bed beside where the keyboard was perched. “It’s not going to come easy right away, but once you’ve had more time with it, I’m sure it’ll get better.”

“I know, I just think… I’m done for tonight,” Blaine said, shutting the book and slipping it onto his desk. His head felt full and tired, and Kurt was there which meant the last thing he wanted to be doing was focusing on trying to get his fingers to take in so much information. He grabbed the keyboard and slid it back underneath the bed before crawling up next to Kurt and laying down with his head resting against his shoulder.

They spent the rest of the night just lying there talking, curled up in close. Blaine discovered that Kurt actually knew Brittany, or had gotten to know her over the beginning of the semester because of how much time they both spent in the fine arts building. That meant that he was able to help with the whole Santana situation, and thankfully he was willing to do so. Anything that made Brittany happy was good for the rest of the world, he’d said, and that applied even if that something was Santana.

Chapter Text

Days filled easily with school work and a newfound focus on piano. Being into the second half of the semester meant that it was all piling on, and Blaine was glad that he had a good handle on his classes otherwise he might get seriously behind. He met with Dr. Salido once a week to go over what he had been working on. Thankfully leaning the Braille had sunk in quickly and he had moved on to actual pieces. It still wasn’t easy or fast, but he was getting there. She seemed pleased, at least, and so was he.

She’d mentioned briefly, fleetingly, that if he was considering switching majors (“no pressure, of course I’m not trying to push you into something you don’t want to do, I’m just putting this out there in case you do want to…”) that he could audition at the end of the semester. It was either that or wait until spring, when all the normal auditions were. Either way, he was hesitant to consider the possibility. As much as he wanted to, and he was feeling better about it all since starting to work with her, there was still the issue of his dad.

There was nothing wrong with working like he was going to, though. It was an opportunity to push himself. It’s not like he couldn’t audition with any of the pieces he knew already, even Dr. Salido had said that, but it was a good idea to get as good as he could with working on new pieces. That way he would know his limitations, should there be any. He figured he knew the biggest one already, and it wasn’t like there was any way for that to change.

Santana had stayed stubborn on the Brittany front, even though she did invite her to the Halloween party. She barely spoke a word about her, didn’t mention Blaine’s idea again of doing something for her. That was the thing about Santana that he’d learned so early on after starting to live with her. She could shut herself down faster than anything else, and that left no hope for anyone trying to get in.

Blaine hadn’t known that she had invited Brittany until they were out getting his costume, a venture that made him doubly glad he hadn’t told Santana what it was up front because she’d said that if he had, she would have gotten him the stripper version so he could just rip it off as the night went on. That was exactly why he’d waited to tell her until they were at the store in the first place. He’d wanted an actual costume, not a tear-away one.

By the night of the party, Blaine had been assured that it wasn’t going to be as bad as the start of the semester one. At least, that was what Santana told him over and over. There were plenty of Halloween parties going on, people were probably going to be in and out, and who knew who all would show up. All Blaine knew for sure was that there was no way in hell he was going to let Brittany make him any drinks, if she showed up at all, and he definitely wasn’t going to drink as much as he had before.

The last thing he wanted was a repeat of the party prior, though he seriously doubted that would happen even if he did get drunk. He wasn’t about to take the chance, even though he knew he had Kurt and if there was anyone there who knew how to deal with his moments of paranoia and completely frustrating anxiety – it was Kurt. So he hid out in the kitchen as people started to arrive, sipping at the drink Santana had made him, and waiting.


It had taken Kurt a lot longer to get ready than he’d thought. Part of him was glad that he hadn’t offered to come and help set up because even though Santana had been less horrendous, he didn’t want to chance it. He was even gladder about it once he was headed to the house, because there would have been no way for him to get ready in time if he’d helped.

He was always someone who appreciated the details, which is why it had taken him so long. His hair had to be perfect, makeup perfect, and costume just so before he found himself fit to head to the party. Unfortunately his roommate had been there the entire time he’d been getting ready and that had led to some great conversation.

“Wait, I thought your boyfriend was blind.”

“…he is.”

“So why are you bothering with all that? I mean, couldn’t you just not even bother and he wouldn’t notice?”

Finn . Just… shut up.”

“I just don’t get why you’re going to all the trouble if he isn’t going to see it anyway.”

“It’s such a mystery why you don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Hey, I’m just saying that if I did and she couldn’t see me, I’d wear sweatpants every day.”

“…you already wear sweatpants every day.”

“You know what I mean.”

Kurt really didn’t. Then again, that was why he was headed to party completely decked out and Finn was staying at the dorm playing Call of Duty all night. Kurt had invited him along, but he’d already made plans with his gamer friends. He’d driven, really not wanting to make the walk in his costume. It may have been Halloween, but that didn’t matter, it was easier just to drive the few blocks and park a few houses down. Plus he had a bag with a change of clothes and his shower things – because no way was he going to bed without taking a shower first.

As he crossed the spookily decorated – well there were cobwebs everywhere, at least – porch and into the house, he stopped just across the threshold. There were people swarmed in the living room, furniture pushed to the walls to make room, bass thumping and bodies moving, taking up the whole floor.

That wasn’t what made him stop though – it was Blaine. He was just leaning against the doorframe to the kitchen, a red solo cup clutched in his hands, and looking just… devastatingly handsome. It really was unfair for him to be in a police uniform and Kurt had to hand it to him, he pulled it off far too well. Especially with how the shirt seemed to be the tiniest bit too small and that just meant it fit him perfectly snug. The aviators were an added touch that he was almost certain he would have to thank Santana for, considering how Blaine avoided sunglasses on a normal day. His hat was just the slightest bit off kilter and Kurt was torn between wanting to fix it and wanting to knock it off completely before kissing him.

Either way, he made his way through the crowd and to the kitchen, grabbing onto Blaine’s arm and tugging him in with him, slightly away from the deafening blast of music. It was amazing the difference it made to have a wall between them and the living room, as opposed to being in the doorway.


Blaine startled when he felt someone’s hand on his arm, but he knew it was Kurt. There was no mistaking his hand, his fingers, the strong but gentle way he steered him back into the kitchen. He’d been on his second drink but it was mostly gone, and he set the cup down on the counter so he could hug him in greeting. He didn’t let go right away, taking in the tight leather that was clinging to his boyfriend’s body, and the fact that his cheek had been pressed against the bare skin of his chest, and his brow furrowed as he pulled back. His hands didn’t leave Kurt’s waist, fingers skimming down his sides.

“Kurt… what are you?”

“Ziggy Stardust.” Blaine managed to keep his jaw from dropping, though he wasn’t exactly sure how he managed. He wasn’t exactly the biggest aficionado of David Bowie but he was well aware that Ziggy Stardust meant a leather jumpsuit. On his boyfriend . He could pretty much blame the alcohol on the next words out of his mouth, though it was entirely Kurt’s fault that he was thinking them in the first place.

“That’s… I’m sure that has to be illegal. I’m putting you under arrest. I have handcuffs around here somewhere. And, um, the prison is my room.”

Blaine Anderson. ”

Officer Anderson to you!”

“Save the role playing for later, boys, this isn’t the time or place,” Santana said as she walked past them. Blaine ducked his head away and he blushed, suddenly very aware of what he had been saying and implying.

“Santana, it’s Halloween, you were supposed to dress up,” Kurt commented, and Santana snorted lightly.

“So were you, but I wasn’t going to mention anything,” she shot back, grabbing the drink she’d made and heading back out into the throng.

“I think she did that just for you,” Blaine said, his arms resting around Kurt’s waist.


“She was going to be a belly dancer, and then when we went to get my costume she saw that devil one and decided to change hers,” he said, a grin tugging at the corners of his mouth. “Which I think was for your benefit.”

“Well it does suit her quite well,” Kurt said before ducking his head down and pressing a firm kiss against Blaine’s lips. “You, however, look incredible, Officer Anderson.”

“As do you.” Blaine didn’t have to be able to see him to know that, this was Kurt after all. Kurt who probably looked amazing every day of the week but there he was covered in leather. “Please tell me there’s a lightning bolt on your face.”

“Blaine, please,” Kurt scoffed. “Like I would do this halfway.” Blaine grinned, tugging him in closer and wow, his costume really didn’t leave anything to the imagination. Like he’d said – it had to be illegal. “Did you do any of this food stuff?”

“Huh?” Blaine’s head tilted up, cocking to the side. “Oh, no. I did very little of any of this.” He pulled his arm back so he could wave his arm around, signifying all the decorations. “Apparently Santana really likes Halloween. She specifically mentioned that she loves when food looks creepy enough that people aren’t sure if they want to eat it. I’m assuming there’s some of that going on.”

“There really, really is,” Kurt said, pressing a kiss against his forehead. “I’m going to get a drink though, I think. Unless you’re going to arrest me for drinking underage.”

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to spend the whole night trying to arrest you, as soon as I remember where my handcuffs are.” Kurt pulled away to get himself a drink and Blaine just leaned back against the counter, waiting. “I think I might have left then with my K-9 unit.”

“Oh my God, did you dress up Roscoe?”

“Not really. I mean, he’s already dressed up enough for that. Cause… German Shepard and all. He was out here with me to add to my outfit until people started showing up, so I put him back in my room.” Blaine rubbed the back of his neck, shrugging. Kurt finished his drink quickly and slipped their hands together.

“Come on, let’s dance.”

There was no way Blaine was going to put up a fight about that. It was all harkening back to that first party, except that time he was much more clear headed and less nervous. They made their way into the living room and immediately drew together, arms slipping around and holding each other close as they swayed with the music. Once again it felt like there wasn’t anyone in the room but him and Kurt, despite the heat and sweat of bodies around them.

It was so different than it had been before. They knew each other, were comfortable with each other, the slide of hands along fabric and brush of lips against skin. There was no anxiety of what was happening or about to happen, and definitely no running away. They just moved together, the two of them and no one else, until the night grew long and people started to leave.

Kurt excused himself long enough to go out to his car for a minute and Blaine waited out on the porch for him, taking in the crisp night air. It was a welcome change from the hot, heavy air that had been hanging around them in the living room for hours. He really did love fall. October was probably one of his favorite months, the way it usually served as the perfect fall weather month – all cool air and crunchy leaves. His took in several deep breaths of the night air as Kurt came back up the walk, grabbing onto the front of Blaine’s shirt and tugging him lightly toward the door.

“Is it alright if I take a shower?” Kurt asked, his hand dropping down to take Blaine’s as they moved back into the house and through the sparsely populated living room. “I just really don’t want to get my lightning bolt all over your pillows, and there is so much product in my hair…”

“No, that’s fine,” Blaine said, nodding. “I need to take one too, get out all this.” He took off his hat and gestured up to his hair. There was a pause, the both of them stopping as they got to Blaine’s room, and he thought they might be thinking the same thing.

It wasn’t like they hadn’t done things. After that first night, the night after the symphony, it was like the door was open. It was always with careful touches, permissions being asked both through words and gestures, and slowly but surely they opened themselves to each other more. Blaine was certain he’d never forget the first time he’d felt Kurt’s hands on him, nothing but skin against skin, and how it felt like electricity had been coursing through his body.

There were still many, many things they hadn’t touched upon, and that was what had stopped them both in their tracks as they stood at the crossroads – whether they should both head toward the bathroom or split paths. It was like a silent conversation, the way they both just stood unwavering. Thankfully it was Kurt who broke the silence, because Blaine wasn’t sure if he’d actually be able to say anything.

“Well, I won’t look if you don’t.”

Blaine blushed, but nodded, and they moved their way into the bathroom, locking the door behind them. He took his shoes off, feeling Kurt doing the same next to him, and he set down his hat and sunglasses as well before Kurt’s hands gently took his to stop him from going any further. His head tilted up, brow furrowed, but Kurt just leaned down and kissed him tenderly, slowly releasing his grip on his wrists so he could move his fingers to the buttons of Blaine’s shirt and start undoing them.

That was something Blaine would never get used to, in the best possible way. His hands moved to Kurt’s waist, a soft sound making its way from the back of his throat as his fingertips skimmed along the tight leather fabric. He couldn’t imagine being in that all night, the heat and sweat and dancing and wow, Kurt felt really hot all pressed up against him. His fingers fumbled as they found the zipper on the front of Kurt, easily dragging it down and letting his fingertips run up over his chest.

He slipped his shirt off, tugging up his undershirt too before letting his hands move back to Kurt, but his boyfriend was peeling himself out of his outfit. “Kurt, how did you… get in that?”

“Very carefully,” Kurt said with a soft laugh, and Blaine let his hands drift along his sides. He was sweaty, but so was Blaine, and that was why they were where they were, he supposed. Well that and all the hair product. Kurt’s hands moved to the waistband of Blaine’s pants, and it was incredible how the brush of his fingertips against his stomach still made Blaine shiver. He pulled him in for a kiss, tongue swiping over his lips before he pulled back. “I’ll get the water started.”

Blaine nodded, leaning back against the door for a moment as Kurt moved away, and the water started running in the shower a couple seconds later. He took the opportunity to shed off his pants and boxers, feeling vaguely exposed but not terribly vulnerable because this was Kurt. And he’d said he wouldn’t look after all – though it wasn’t like it was something he hadn’t seen before.

“Let me know if it’s too hot,” Kurt murmured as Blaine moved in closer, carefully stepping into the shower and in under the steady stream of water. It wasn’t, it was perfect, and he tilted his head back to get all his hair drenched. Kurt slipped in, pulling the curtain shut around them. He reached up past Blaine, and there was a soft click, and then the feeling of Kurt working shampoo into Blaine’s hair with gentle, scratching fingers.

“Mmrph.” Blaine whimpered quietly, his head lolling underneath Kurt’s hands. He couldn’t remember the last time anyone washed his hair for him, except maybe the last time he’d gone to get it cut but even then he couldn’t remember it feeling that amazing. His entire body seemed to relax from that first touch, and he let Kurt guide him back under the water to rinse the suds out, fingers stroking through his hair to get it all. He reached his hands out to Kurt to steady himself, thumbs rubbing absently against his hipbones.

Kurt leaned in, pressing kisses against his neck and lightly sucking off the lingering drops of water, before reaching up for the conditioner and repeating what he’d been doing before. It felt so… intimate, just standing there and letting Kurt wash his hair. Blaine wanted to return the gesture, but a big part of him was concerned that he’d accidentally poke him in the eye or something. It was a genuine concern. He waited until Kurt was done, all the conditioner rinsed out and kisses being trailed along his jaw, before humming quietly and tugging at his hips to pull him in under the water. “Your turn.”

“Mmmhang on,” Kurt mumbled as Blaine started to reach back for the shampoo. He pulled away, ducking down, and then pressed a bottle into his hands. Of course he’d brought his own. Blaine stepped out from under the water, pouring some into his hands before very carefully reaching up and starting to work it into his boyfriend’s hair. It didn’t always hit him, the height difference between them, but it really did just then. Kurt tilted his head back, rinsing it under the water, and Blaine’s fingers trailed through it over and over to get rid of any lasting suds.

The conditioner quickly followed, Kurt grabbing that up off the floor of the shower from where he’d left his things. There were a few minutes of lingering kisses, because Kurt insisted on leaving it in for a while, but Blaine wasn’t about to complain. Not when he could lean up and kiss him, tasting the faint aftertaste of alcohol on his tongue. It was another moment he was glad that he’d decided not to drink too much again because he doubted he would have been upright in the shower if that were the case.

Once his hair was all rinsed, Kurt apparently decided he wanted more, and once again, Blaine wasn’t going to complain. He grabbed Blaine’s hips and pulled them flush together with his own, arms twining around his waist and holding him in close. Blaine groaned softly at the feeling of hard cocks pressed in against hips, water still running down their chests and in between them. Kurt’s mouth captured his again, hard and a little rough, as Blaine rolled his hips in, his hands moving up to grip onto Kurt’s arms and steady himself.

It was the slick slide of skin against skin, and he felt the muscles in Kurt’s arm shift beneath his hand as he reached an arm between them and wrapped his long fingers around both of their erections, holding them together as their hips rocked together. It wasn’t exactly perfect, considering that Blaine would have had to stand on his tiptoes for them to line up just right, but it was still enough to send sparks shooting through him. Kurt moaned into his mouth, tugging harshly on his lower lip before pulling away and starting to suck open mouthed kisses all along Blaine’s jaw and throat.

Kurt didn’t always get like that, all possessive and with the occasional soft growl in the back of his throat, but sometimes he did. And man, did Blaine think it was incredibly hot when he did. He tilted his head to the side to make it easier for him, and choked back a gasp when Kurt lapped lightly at his Adam’s apple before mouthing at it. Maybe, just maybe, he should wear that police officer’s costume more often, if that was what was going to happen afterward.

His hands shifted up to Kurt’s shoulders, the back of his neck, as his kisses trailed lower, down over his collarbone and chest and he gave a soft whine as Kurt’s hand moved away from his cock but then his lips were against his hipbone and Blaine’s hips jerked back in surprise. They’d gotten kind of close to that point before, except he’d stopped Kurt when his kisses had drifted down to his bellybutton – not because he didn’t want, because he really did, but because quite honestly he had been a little shy about the prospect.

Except Kurt was kneeling there in his shower and gently tugging his hips closer again, quiet pleas being murmured against his skin, and the last thing Blaine wanted to do was think. He braced his hand against the shower wall as Kurt’s teeth grazed against his hip, kisses trailing down and down and Blaine’s knees just about gave out.

Kurt’s name fell from his lips in a breathy moan as he slowly pressed light kisses up his length, pausing a brief second when he got to the tip. Blaine’s breath caught in his throat, and then broke free with a groan as Kurt licked a wide stripe up the underside of his cock before sinking his mouth down over it.

“Oh s-shit,” Blaine half-stammered half-moaned, breaking off to bite his lip hard. Kurt moved back fast, and that soft popping sound that happened when he pulled off him was not helping matters. He could feel himself flushing, but he could always try to blame that on the steam of the shower. Except there was no way that would ever get by.

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you swear before,” Kurt said, his voice low as his hand stroked over him, slow and steady. Blaine tried to respond, but all words failed him as Kurt took him back into his mouth. His tongue pressed up, caressing against him as his head bobbed, and Blaine’s free hand found its way into his hair, fingers threading in and just staying there.

It wasn’t like anything he’d ever felt before – the wet heat of Kurt’s mouth so tight around him. His fingers tensed against the tile of the shower wall, as if trying to grip onto it even though he knew that wasn’t possible. Kurt just took him in further with each movement, keeping his hand gripped around the base of his cock, and he moaned around him. That made Blaine’s toes curl.

Kurt pulled back almost all the way, keeping his head in his mouth and sucking on it as his tongue traced around before dipping into the slit. Blaine’s fingers tightened in his hair as he hissed out a breath, feeling the familiar tension building up inside him, gathering low in his belly, warm and threatening. He managed to choke out Kurt’s name in some semblance of warning, but that didn’t stop his boyfriend from sinking back down, cheeks hollowed out and dragging against him – a few long drags of his tongue later and Blaine came with a cry.

His body shuddered as Kurt swallowed around him, his hand braced against the wall but not providing much help. Kurt’s hands were on his hips, keeping him from swaying, and Blaine gave a quiet whimper when he felt Kurt pull back, his mouth leaving him. He slowly became of aware of the water still pounding against his back. His hand shifted down from Kurt’s hair, cupping the back of his neck and drawing him up to his feet.

“Kurt,” he murmured, his heart thudding so hard against his ribcage as he pressed kisses against his jaw. Pulling his hand back from the wall, he slid it down between them and wrapped it around his boyfriend’s cock. Kurt let out a moan at the contact, pressing into his loose fist and clutching an arm around his waist. “Do you want…?”

“Not if you don’t,” Kurt responded quickly, resting his forehead against Blaine’s shoulder and nipping at his skin. Blaine hesitated. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to – he did. There was just the lingering thought of what if he wasn’t good at it? What if he was really bad at it? What if Kurt didn’t like it? What if he didn’t like it? So many ‘what ifs’ that immediately started to eat away at him like normal. It was Kurt, though. Kurt who was pressing kisses against the crook of his neck and thrusting shallowly into his hand, no pretense or expectation.

Wiggling loose of his hold, he turned them so Kurt’s back was up against the water. He carefully shifted down to kneel, his hands running up the sides of the long legs in front of him, thumbs rubbing against the crease of his hips. Taking in a deep breath, he leaned in and pressed a kiss against the coarse hair of Kurt’s groin, feeling his cock nudging against his cheek. He turned his head, brushing a kiss against it almost experimentally. Then another. Kurt whined from above him, and Blaine tried to not psyche himself out as he mouthed along his length, working his way up to the tip. He pressed a kiss against it, and succeeded in smearing his lips with precome.

Oh. He tilted his head back for a moment, licking his lips without really thinking about it, taking in the taste. It was different than he’d been expecting, but definitely not in a bad way. Quite honestly, he wasn’t even sure what he’d thought it would be like. Kurt’s fingers found their way into his hair and that took him back to the moment, made him remember that he was there with his boyfriend’s cock right in front of his face. He gently wrapped his hand around the base and leaned in, hesitantly taking it into his mouth.

That was different than he’d been expecting too, but he tried not to think too much. Blaine just focused on remembering what he’d liked when Kurt had been doing it – besides everything – and try to do those things. He loved the weight of him on his tongue, though, and the little breathy sounds Kurt was making that were so different than anything he’d sounded like before. And then there was the way he moaned when Blaine ran his tongue over the head of his cock, and God Blaine wanted to make him sound like that over and over again.

He worked his hand in tandem with his mouth, knowing that there was no way he’d be able to take all of him, and he really didn’t want to choke or gag or anything embarrassing like that. Kurt’s fingers tightened, twisting into his hair, and that made Blaine groan. Kurt choked out his name, which only succeeded in spurring him on to do more. He hummed softly, his free hand moving to grab onto his hip as he felt him start to tremble.

“BlaineBlaineBlaine,” Kurt gasped, his fingers moving down to scrabble at the back of his neck, his shoulders, and Blaine just hollowed out his cheeks a little and sucked even harder until he felt the hot pulse of Kurt coming in his mouth. He swallowed without even really thinking about it, tongue smoothing over him a few more seconds before he pulled back, pressing a kiss against his hip.

Kurt grabbed onto his arms and hauled him up to his feet, kissing him hard and licking his way into his mouth. The taste of both of them mixed on their tongues, and Blaine whimpered, hands coming up to wrap around his neck. They clung together, kisses slowing until they were both just standing under the water, trying to catch their breath. It was quickly turning lukewarm, and they parted long enough to clean off the rest of the way before it went completely cold.

Towel dried and with still slightly damp hair, they gathered their clothes and crept back to Blaine’s room, each tugging on boxers before tumbling into bed. That boneless and sated feeling took a while to wear off, and Blaine was honestly shocked he’d been able to stay on his feet that long all things considered. He fell asleep with Kurt draped over him, face buried against his neck and breath playing across his skin, covers kicked down to the foot of the bed as the heat from each other’s skin was more than enough to keep them warm.

Chapter Text

Blaine woke up alone in the middle of the night. Part of him thought the being alone was what made him wake up in the first place. The distinct lack of Kurt, lack of warmth, lack of weight against him. That was what he deserved for getting so used to having Kurt’s strong, solid frame keeping him comfortable all through the night. Yes, it was definitely the lack of Kurt that had woken him up, and he was wide awake because of it.

He heard the sink running in the bathroom, and he scrambled to get to the end of the bed and reach down to where Roscoe’s bed was. His dog was very warm and very asleep, thankfully not disturbed by Blaine nudging him over to the side to retrieve the handcuffs that had been attached to his harness earlier in the night. By the time Kurt slipped back into the room, trying to be as quiet as possible, he was back up where he’d been before.

Kurt slowly climbed onto the bed, and Blaine rolled over, pinning him down onto the mattress. “And just where were you?”

Blaine! You scared the crap out of me, I thought you were asleep.”

Officer Anderson ,” Blaine corrected, his throat still dry and voice still rough from sleep.

“Oh Jesus,” Kurt groaned softly, tilting his head as Blaine nipped at his jaw. “Blaine…”

“First you ran off and now you’re being subordinate. Tsk tsk.” He sat back on his knees, between Kurt’s legs, and reached over to grab the handcuffs from where he’d stashed them under his pillow. “Now I really am going to have to arrest you.”

“I feel like I should point out that you’re out of uniform, so technically you can—”

“Hush, or I’ll have to find you in contempt.”

“Are you a judge now? I thought you were a police officer.”

Kurt . Come on, I just woke up, you can’t expect me to be that aware of what’s going on.”

“Oh you seem to be very aware of what’s going on,” Kurt said, his tone pitched a little low as he reached his hand down and pressed his palm against Blaine’s half-hard cock through his boxers. Blaine groaned, but then grabbed his wrist and clicked one of the cuffs onto it. “Hey!”

“Shh!” Blaine whispered conspiratorially. “There is a sleeping lesbian upstairs and you do not want to incur her wrath.”

Kurt snorted with laughter, and Blaine took that opportunity to fumble his way along, slipping the chain of the handcuffs around one of the rungs of his headboard before putting the cuff on Kurt’s other wrist. “Blaine…”

“Like I said, under arrest,” Blaine said, grinning a little as moved, knees settling on either side of him as he straddle his hips. He ran his hands up Kurt’s sides, leaning forward so he could continue the line up his arms, feeling them flex beneath his touch. The metal wasn’t too tight around his wrists, still loose enough that Blaine could fit a finger between it and Kurt’s skin, and he rubbed his thumbs against his wrists lightly before trailing them back down his arms.

Kurt whined softly as Blaine’s fingertips traced over his chest, rocking his hips up just barely but enough for Blaine to feel his hardening cock pressed against him. He ducked down, brushing a kiss against the crook of his neck and trailing his lips up until he reached his ear, nibbling on his earlobe lightly before whispering, “Shh, just let me.”

It was just that he never could get enough of touching Kurt, resting his hands on his chest and feeling him breathe underneath him. The lines of muscles underneath his fingertips, seemingly never-ending. He liked to think that he was the only person who knew just how fit Kurt was, like it was their secret. For all he knew it could be common knowledge, but he was pretty confident, considering how it always seemed like Kurt was covered in almost as many layers of clothes as he was.

Every time was like an attempt to discover something about Kurt he hadn’t noticed before, because he doubted he’d ever be able to memorize every bit of him even if he had all the time in the world. His mouth dragged back down his neck as his hands traced lower, feeling the muscles of his stomach jump beneath them as they touched just barely on it. He rolled his hips down, thin cotton fabric the only thing between them as they slotted together, and he sucked open mouthed kisses along his collarbone.

“F-fuck,” Kurt gasped, his arms clenching and managing to pull himself a little further up the bed, dragging Blaine with him. Blaine moved his mouth down to cover a nipple, a low sound rumbling in the back of his throat as he swirled his tongue around it. He had the urge to touch and taste every bit of Kurt he could, since he was just laying there beneath him and wasn’t going anywhere.

Besides, he kind of liked how Kurt seemed to lose the ability to control what he was saying when his tongue was flicking against his skin.

His thumbs hooked into the waistband of Kurt’s boxers and he let his fingers play with the fabric before he shifted back and slid his hand down inside. Fingertips traced up his length and Kurt’s hips jerked up at the contact. Blaine’s teeth grazed against his skin as his hand wrapped around his cock, slow drags of his fist drawing moans out of his boyfriend.

“Blaine. Blaine undo these please God ,” Kurt managed to get out, the chain of the handcuffs rattling against the headboard as he pulled at them. “I need… touch…”

“Mmmrph,” Blaine groaned against him, but he shifted up and reached to fiddle with them. The attempt only lasted a few seconds before his brow furrowed and he lifted his head further.

“What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know,” he mumbled, his other hand pulling out of his boxers and moving up to trace along the metal as well. “Won’t open.”

“Please tell me these are trick ones that don’t actually require a key.” Kurt twisted beneath him, like he was trying to look up at them.

“I… I don’t know,’ Blaine admitted, tugging gently to try and pull at them. “Santana gave them to me.”

“Oh fuck .”

“She didn’t get them for me; she had them already and let me borrow them.”

“I don’t know if that makes me feel any better about this,” Kurt said with a groan, his legs tangling around Blaine’s and pulling him back down flush against him. He thrust up against him and Blaine’s hands faltered on their attempt to get the handcuffs off him.

“K-Kurt, I can’t concentrate if you—ooh,” he broke off, head dropping down against his shoulder. He couldn’t really move, even if he’d wanted to, the way Kurt’s legs were holding him down. His fingers fumbled against the metal and managed to find the release button, and the cuffs sprang free.

It wasn’t even a split second before he was on his back, boxers yanked down around his knees, and Kurt was pressed on top of him. Their cocks slid together, precome slicking them with the first few thrusts, and he gasped in a breath as Kurt’s hands slid up his arms, pinning his wrists up above his head. “P-prison break…”

Blaine .


“Anderson,” Kurt finished, his breath hot as he panted against his neck, biting down against it as he moaned. Blaine’s wrists twisted in his grip, taking in the feel of Kurt’s fingers wrapped around them. It didn’t hurt, wasn’t too tight, but he hated not being able to reach out and touch him. Which, that was exactly what he’d done to Kurt, so it was really no surprise that he was on top of him and thrusting so hard and rough that Blaine was on the verge of coming already.

“Let go let go please let go,” he whimpered, tugging at his wrists, and Kurt was nice enough to comply, letting go of them one at a time and keeping himself balanced as he snaked a hand between them to hold their dicks together as their hips moved. Blaine’s mouth dropped open with a moan as he felt the pressure of Kurt’s fist, the way it kept them sliding together so perfectly. “ Kurt .

“Shh, just let me.” Blaine swallowed hard, choking back a groan as Kurt’s tongue swiped over his Adam’s apple, mouthing at it and then sucking and he was so close . His hands moved to clutch at Kurt’s shoulders, scraping down his back and Kurt let his thumb stroke over the head of Blaine’s cock as he twisted his hand around them, and Blaine came with a cry that he did his best to muffle against Kurt’s skin.

Kurt followed him seconds later, and their hot, sticky come mixed on Blaine’s stomach, his muscles trembling as he came back down. They just stayed like that, Kurt propped up on his elbows over him, breathing hard and heavy. Blaine had to swallow a few times – okay more like seven or eight but it wasn’t like he was counting – before he felt like he could make his voice work again.

“That’s what you get for breaking the law.”

Chapter Text

Blaine could have stayed in bed all day as long as Kurt was there. The pressure and weight of his boyfriend half on top of him was comforting, reassuring. That was why he didn’t mind that he woke up first, because he could just lay there and enjoy the feeling as he hazily drifted in and out of consciousness. His arms stayed snug around him, fingertips playing his back as they traced along muscles and the slope of his spine.

Kurt didn’t stir at all, not even when Blaine nuzzled against his hair. It was so soft and had that perfectly familiar scent of his shampoo, which only succeeded in making Blaine think back to their shower the night before, and that just made him grin and bury his face into his hair a little more. He pressed a few light kisses against it, his hands skimming along and taking in Kurt’s soft, smooth skin. He really didn’t think he’d ever get enough of touching Kurt, memorizing everything he could.

His hands stilled when he heard the door to his room click open. He took in one last deep breath against Kurt’s hair before he lifted his head in the general direction of the door. “San?”

“Yeah,” she whispered, tiptoeing her way across the room to the bed. His brow furrowed as he felt the foot of the bed dip down, and she crawled her way up on the opposite side of him as Kurt.

“San tana what are you doing?” he mumbled, trying not to shift or talk too loudly, because he really didn’t want to wake up Kurt. She didn’t say anything, just laid down next to him. It wasn’t like his bed was that big, and there definitely wasn’t enough room for three people to fit comfortably, but Kurt wasn’t exactly taking up a normal amount of space because of how he was laying so it wasn’t incredibly awkward for her to be there. Just normal amounts of awkward, slightly amplified by the fact that the covers were still kicked off.

“I was going to make breakfast,” she murmured, her breath playing across his shoulder as she spoke. He slid his hand up Kurt’s neck and into his hair, keeping his head cradled against him as he tilted his head to face her. “Did you want some?”

“You couldn’t have asked me that from over there?” She didn’t answer right away, and he bit the inside of his lip. Something had to actually be wrong to merit her climbing into bed with him and Kurt, especially considering their almost complete lack of clothing. No way was it just breakfast.

“I didn’t want to wake up Kurt,” she offered quietly, and that was the final proof for him.

“What were you going to make?”

“French toast.”

“That sounds great.”

“Mkay.” Santana murmured, then sat up and scooted her way back down the bed, closing the door behind her but not latching it as she left.

“It’d better be some damn good French toast,” Kurt spoke up, his sleep laden voice muffled against the crook of Blaine’s neck.

“Hey, sorry,” Blaine said quickly, arms tightening around him as he kissed the top of his head. “I didn’t mean to wake you up.”

“You didn’t,” Kurt mumbled, shaking his head a little before stretching out. His arms and legs extended as far as he could get them, and then he just twined them even more with Blaine’s. “I was starting to wake up before…”


“Maybe.” Kurt pressed several kisses against his neck before untangling himself and rolling over and sighing. “Breakfast sounds good, though.”

“Mhm,” he replied, rubbing at his face. “Something’s wrong. I don’t know what, but… something is.”

“Something’s wrong? What do you mean?” Kurt asked, shifting back over and moving Blaine’s hands away from his face so he could cup it in his hands. His thumbs stroked over his cheekbones and Blaine felt like he was melting back against the bed, and words would be impossible if he were to wait much longer.

“Not with me,” he said, running his hands up Kurt’s arms to rest on his shoulder. “It’s Saturday.”


“What time is it?”

“Uh, no idea,” Kurt said, pulling away to grab his phone and check. “Nine-thirty.”

“So it’s Saturday, it’s before noon, and Santana is awake and making breakfast,” Blaine said slowly, sitting up and stretching his arms up above his head. “Everything about that is weird.”

It was true – there were very few times Santana had gotten up earlier than noon on the weekends, and usually breakfast consisted of cereal and not much else. The promise of breakfast wasn’t enough to make him get out of bed, but the smell of coffee managed to do it just fine. Blaine tugged on a t-shirt and some sweatpants, Kurt got into the pajamas he hadn’t worn the night before, and they made their way out to the kitchen.

Kurt stopped abruptly in the doorway, and Blaine ran straight into his back. “Hey…”

“How long have you been awake?” Kurt asked, reaching back to touch Blaine’s arm gently in apology. Their hands slipped together as they went the rest of the way into the kitchen.

“A while,” Santana said noncommittally. “Breakfast’s almost done.”

“We’ll set the table,” Kurt said, and it was much more of a statement than an offer. Blaine’s brow furrowed, but he took the plates that Kurt handed him and followed him into the small dining room. Their shoulders bumped together as they stood close, setting down the plates and silverware. “Okay, I believe you,” he murmured. “Something’s wrong.”


“Everything’s… clean, like there weren’t a ton of people here last night.”

“Like I said, everything about this is weird,” Blaine muttered, turning and going back into the kitchen to get some coffee. By the time they were all sitting around the table, and he really hadn’t realized how hungry he was until he had food in front of him, curiosity was eating away at him. He gave it a few minutes, but he’d only just finished off half his breakfast before he couldn’t stop himself anymore.

“Santana, what’s going on?”

“Can’t a girl just want to make breakfast?”

“Not when that girl is you.” He cupped his coffee mug in his hands, warming them up as he took a sip. Part of him thought maybe she wouldn’t want to talk if Kurt was there, but if that was the case why would she have bothered with breakfast? Besides, they’d been getting along better for the most part. He wasn’t trying to push, but he really didn’t want to have to play twenty questions to get a straight answer out of her.

“I think,” she started, “that maybe you were right.”

“I usually am,” was Blaine’s sage reply, and Kurt sputtered next to him, coughing and sounding like he’d almost choked on something. “What?”

“Well I didn’t realize I’d be getting a show with my breakfast,” Santana said dryly. “I don’t really want to be showered in coffee, Hummel, so if you could just keep that to yourself…”

“Sorry, I… not that you’re wrong about stuff, that just caught me off guard,” Kurt said, taking a long drink to make up for the last one. “Carry on. What were you right about?”

“Good question. What was it?”

“Brittany.” Blaine figured he should have been ready for that answer, but he hadn’t been.

“Brittany,” he repeated, nodding slowly. “I was right about Brittany.” He took another bite of his French toast as he thought back to what he had said, and he swallowed quickly once he did. “I was right! How right, specifically?”

“Oh shut up,” Santana said, fork clattering down onto her plate.

“Do you want my help or not?”

“Fine.” She sounded terse, but for once not unyielding. “You were right. I was being difficult about the whole situation. I want to… prove to her how I feel.”

“Perfect,” he said, a grin tugging up at the corners of his mouth.

“How exactly is this being proven?” Kurt asked between bites. “Since I missed out on everything on the topic of Brittany up until this point.”

“Public declaration of affection,” Blaine said, grinning even more. “Santana’s going to sing a song for her in front of a lot of people.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have made you breakfast,” Santana grumbled. “Now you’re all sugared up and bouncy and… giddy and shit.”

“Did you make me breakfast to butter me up so I would help? Because you know I would have anyway.”

“No. Well, kind of. Mostly I just needed something to do.” Blaine tilted his head, thinking back to how Kurt had said everything was clean, and he frowned. “What?”

“San, did you… sleep at all?”

“It doesn’t matter, I just need to figure out… what I’m going to do. I couldn’t think of anything, and you’re the genius that came up with this plan so you figure it out.”

That was how Blaine knew she was actually serious about it all. When he got anxious or nervous, he bolted. When Santana got anxious or nervous, she stressed. Both of them tried to keep as busy as possible when that happened. The fact that she probably hadn’t slept at all, and had spent the night cleaning and fretting and trying to come up with a plan, just proved that she was serious. That also meant that she was most likely going to be on edge and snap at a moment’s notice, but he hoped not.

“What do you mean you couldn’t think of anything?” he asked, finishing off his breakfast while he waited for her to answer.

“I mean I couldn’t think of anything,” Santana repeated, and he could almost feel her rolling her eyes at him. “You make it sound so easy, all sing her a song, Santana .” Blaine almost choked on his last bite as she impersonated his voice. “But what song. If it’s the wrong one, then it doesn’t matter. It has to be perfect.”

“Lucky for you,” Kurt began, sounding vaguely smug, “you have me. I happen to be pretty good at finding the right song for the occasion, and I also know Brittany. Not as well as you but at least well enough to know what I’m talking about.”

That was how the three of them ended up sitting on the floor of the living room, crowded around Santana’s laptop. Blaine was mostly there for moral support and to offer his opinion when they threw out song titles, but mostly it was Kurt and Santana scrolling through her music library looking for inspiration. Shockingly, not one rude word had passed between the two in the entire time they’d been there.

It took over an hour, maybe two, Blaine really wasn’t sure. By that point, he’d laid down flat on his back and just taken to listening to the snippets of songs that played before being skipped over. There was nothing wrong with any of them, because Kurt was really good at picking out music, but none of them were perfect. He could hear the frustration in Santana’s voice with each choice they ruled out, and then it hit him.

“Wait, I’ve got it,” he said, propping himself up on his elbows. “You said she loves Disney, right?”

“Right, but we already went through all of the Disney songs I have and none of them work,” Santana said with a groan. It had been a shock, the amount of Disney music in her library, but she was right – none of them had been the right song. She didn’t have everything, though.

“Just trust me.”


It took two solid weeks of planning. First there had been the matter of finding a karaoke bar that even had that song, and then getting Santana to learn it and be able to make it through without stopping because she felt like she was going to panic. She’d managed to convince Kurt and Blaine that they needed to be her backup singers, something that Blaine still wasn’t sure how it happened.

Getting Brittany there that night had been easy. It didn’t take much to get win her over, and she really liked hanging out with people, so it had just been making sure that she was available that night to go downtown and enjoy some dancing and music. Honestly, getting Brittany to the right place at the right time had been the easiest part out of everything.

Sugar was the one who got her there. Apparently Brittany frequented Java Central only slightly less than Blaine did, though she always got the blended freezes with as much whipped crème as possible. At least, according to Sugar. They were friends, a point that had not surprised Blaine in the least, and he was glad to have a cohort to help. Besides, he had great plans to get the whole thing on video on his phone because he knew Santana was sappy deep down and would probably watch it over and over again if it was available.

That was, if everything went well and according to plan. Which it definitely would, if Blaine had anything to do with it.

“I don’t know if I can do this.” Santana sat next to him, clutching onto his hand. They were crowded against a table in the corner, but still near the stage. Surprise being the name of the game, they were just trying to keep out of sight until it was their turn. Kurt had seen Brittany and Sugar come in, and as soon as that had happened he’d put their names in for karaoke.

“Yes you can,” Blaine said, giving her hand a squeeze. “I promise. You’re going to be great.”

“What if I’m not?”

“Then you can, um, torture me somehow, I don’t know. You won’t get the chance, though.” Up on the stage, someone started warbling their way through Tainted Love .

“We’re up next,” Kurt said as he got back to the table, his arm sliding around Blaine’s waist.

“Fuck fuck fuck …”

“Santana.” Blaine held her hand between both of his, bringing it up and kissing her knuckles lightly. “Calm down.”

“Do you think I have time to go get a drink?”

“No,” Kurt and Blaine answered in unison. She fell silent, but her grip tightened on Blaine’s hand.

It really had to be one of the most terrifying things for her, Blaine knew. This was Santana , after all, who hid behind sarcasm and harsh words to keep herself from being exposed. She had more walls built up than anyone else he’d ever met, and doing something where she was laying herself completely on the line was not what she did. It had taken weeks of living together before she’d started being herself with Blaine, and even then it was little bit by little bit. She still wasn’t completely okay with Kurt, though she had softened up a lot during the weeks prior. Blaine kind of thought that the only reason she still snapped at him sometimes was because she was nervous and needed an outlet and by that point, it was habit. There wasn’t actually any lingering bite behind her words – there hadn’t been for weeks.

“Next up we have… Satan?”

Kurt .”

“I couldn’t resist,” Kurt said, and Blaine could tell that he was grinning.

“You’re an ass,” Santana muttered under her breath. The three of them made their way up onto the stage, and she shoved a microphone into Blaine’s hand before he could even ask where one was. She was shaking; he could feel it from the brief seconds their hands were touching. Kurt nudged his shoulder as he stood by him, and Blaine just held onto the microphone tightly.

Singing in public wasn’t exactly his thing, he was much more comfortable behind the keys of a piano, but it was all for Santana and Brittany. Besides, no one was going to be paying much attention to him or Kurt anyway.

“This is going out to a very special someone,” Santana said over the intro music, and Blaine felt a twinge of concern at how shaky her voice sounded. “So Brittany, this one’s for you.”

Open up your eyes take a look at me
Get the picture fixed in your memory
I am driven by the rhythm like the beat of a heart
And I won’t stop until I start to stand out

Any apprehension the crowd seemed to have about her singing some random Disney song seemed to dissolve about halfway through the first verse. At least, that was when there started to be some cheering. Blaine had to hand it to her, because any nervousness that had been so clear in her voice at the beginning was completely gone by the time she hit the chorus and he and Kurt chimed in behind her.

It wasn’t like Santana couldn’t sing – she really, really could. Once her voice was steady, and boy was it ever, it just sounded honest beyond anything else. Even if she hadn’t said anything before she’d started, it would have been easy to tell that she was singing for someone and not just to sing. At least, that’s what Blaine thought, though maybe he could hear it better because he’d been listening to her sing it just to sing over and over again for weeks. It was different, with Brittany right there in front of her.

Kurt’s fingers laced with his and he tugged on his hand lightly, swaying from side to side as they sang their little bit of backup. Blaine knew he was trying not to dance around like they had any number of times when they were practicing, because what else had they been expected to do when they were just standing there in the living room listening to the same song over and over?

All I need is every chance, a second thought, a second glance to prove, I’ve got whatever it takes.

There was such determination in her voice, such conviction, such truth , that there was no way anyone in the bar wasn’t rooting for her.

When the song ended, there were cheers – and then those cheers were abruptly interrupted by whistles and cat calls and actual hooting and hollering. There was the distinct sound of a microphone being dropped, and Kurt leaned over to whisper in his ear.

“Well I think we can consider that mission accomplished.”

After Blaine got his phone back from Sugar, complete with lots of fawning over how wonderful and romantic it had been and how she was so happy for everyone , he and Kurt left to head back. Santana was more than preoccupied, though they’d both gotten hugs and kisses from Brittany before leaving, and that was fine. It was perfect, in fact. That had been the plan after all – get her the girl and leave them to themselves.

“Kurt, can I ask you something?” Blaine rest his head against the cool glass of the window as Kurt drove up the interstate. It felt nice after the heat of being inside, though the short walk to the car had been brisk.

“Of course.”

“Why don’t we ever go to your place?” It wasn’t exactly like it was something that had been bothering him, but it was a curiosity.

“Oh.” Kurt sounded a little startled. “Well, I mean, you usually have Roscoe. Plus my dorm room is super small and my roommate is there. Santana has her own room, so that’s not that bad, but Finn is like, less than ten feet away at all times. Did you… want to go there? We can if you want.”

“No, it’s okay, I kind of figured those were the reasons I just… wanted to make sure, I guess.”

“Also your bed is much more comfortable and spacious than mine.”

“Since when does spacious matter? Anytime you’ve stayed over, I’ve never woken up without you all over me,” Blaine teased.

“I can’t help it, you’re very warm and cuddly,” Kurt shot back, reaching over and poking him in the arm. “We can go there, I’m just saying it’s very small and cramped and my roommate would probably ask you a lot of awkward questions.”

“It’s okay,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “I like you staying at my place. I was just curious.”

“Believe me, you aren’t missing much.”

They got back to the house and went through the familiar routine of getting ready for bed – not that it was late, but they were bound to be more comfortable in pajamas. Everything was so matter of fact, with such an air of domesticity that Blaine was constantly amazed. He didn’t feel awkward about changing in front of Kurt – though how could he, considering just how much Kurt had seen of him and how much they’d shared together? – and nothing felt strange about curling up in bed with him and just lying there for hours, talking, kissing, feeling, anything. Everything felt right, and he knew that should have been scary but it wasn’t because it was Kurt .

“Hey are you going back to Lima for Thanksgiving?”

“That’s the plan,” Kurt murmured with a half-hearted shrug. “Why?”

“I was thinking maybe, and it’s okay if you don’t want to because I know you probably just want to have it with your dad, but maybe you could come have it with me and my family?” Blaine chewed on his lip, a tad nervous – both at the question he asked and the fact that if Kurt said yes, he was going to be meeting his family . “Your dad could come to, I mean, I’m not trying to take you away from him or anything.”

“You’re ridiculous,” Kurt said with a soft laugh, pressing a kiss to the top of his head. “Of course I want to, I’d love to meet your family and spend Thanksgiving with you. I’ll have to clear it with my dad but I’m pretty sure he won’t object to getting to spend the day with other people. Just the two of us can get kind of lonely on holidays like that.”

“Okay,” Blaine whispered, nodding. “Just let me know for sure what he says so I can let my mom know how many people to expect.”

“Wait, does this mean I get to meet Dreamboat McAnderson?”

“Oh my God, stop.” Blaine groaned, pulling his arms away from Kurt and covering his face with his hands. “That’s it, I rescind my invitation. You can go to Lima and stay far away from my brother. No Anderson Thanksgiving for you.”

“Hey,” Kurt said, rolling over onto him and pinning him down, gently pulling his hands away so he could lean in to pepper kisses all along his cheeks and forehead. “There is absolutely no way he could be a dreamier boat than you.”

Blaine blushed, trying to free his hands so he could hide his face again but Kurt wasn’t letting up. He wriggled beneath him, but all that succeeded in doing was making his boyfriend shift, pressing down against him even more to keep him there. “Kurt…”

“Nope, not going to happen,” he said, dotting kisses up his jaw until he reached just beneath his ear. “Not until you believe me that you’re ridiculously handsome and that I’m not going to stop thinking that once I meet your brother.” He nipped at his earlobe. “No matter who he is or what he looks like, there’s absolutely no way he could ever hold a candle to you.”

Kurt kissed Blaine full on the mouth, a long, lingering kiss that made him feel like he was going to melt away beneath him. By the time he pulled away, Blaine was breathless.

“So what, are you going to try and convince me?”

“Oh Blaine,” Kurt murmured, kissing his neck and smirking softly against his skin. “I am supremely confident in my abilities to convince you.”

And he had every right to be, because by the time they were falling asleep –very much sweaty, sated, and tangled in a mess of sheets and limbs – Blaine had absolutely no doubts.

Chapter Text

Thanksgiving break came quickly, and Blaine thought maybe time was flying by because he was looking forward to it so much. As much as he rarely talked to his family, mostly because he got overwhelmed with school work and then with trying to focus on piano on top of that it was hard to make time for anyone who wasn’t someone he was around on a regular basis – Kurt, Santana, and then Brittany, he really couldn’t wait to get to spend time with them. Besides, Cooper was home.

The dorms were closed for the week, which meant that Kurt had essentially moved into Blaine’s room. There were no complaints from anyone about that. Santana had headed home for the holiday week and that meant they had the whole house to themselves. If Blaine had thought the week spent in Lima had been great, it was nothing compared to that. It was just them, all the time.

Mornings were spent staying in bed as late as they could force themselves to, then bundling up to face the chilled November weather and walking uptown to get coffee at Java Central. They were creatures of habit, after all, but the monotony didn’t bother either of them. It was a comfort to have, to know that that was how the day started. After all, that was how their days had started off together back at the beginning of the semester.

Blaine thought briefly that they could just stay at his parents’ house the whole time, but that seemed unnecessary when they had a house of their own to occupy. Besides, he knew what the week leading up to Thanksgiving was like at the Anderson house and he didn’t want to subject Kurt to too much of the stress. Not that it was that stressful, but Burt struck him as a laid back guy and not someone who took Thanksgiving so seriously – so that made him think that maybe Kurt wouldn’t be used to crazy holiday stress.

Wednesday morning they made the trip to Java Central and settled at a table by the window, splitting a plate of biscotti and drinking their coffee leisurely. They had plans to head to the Anderson house later that afternoon, but until then the day was destined to be lazy and calm – just like the days leading up to it had been.

“So I’m going to talk to my dad about my playing,” Blaine said, between sips of coffee. “How Dr. Salido said I could audition at the end of this semester and potentially be accepted into the department.”

“Does he know that you’ve been working on it at all?”

“No.” He bit his lip, shrugging. “I didn’t want to say anything until I was sure it was something I wanted to do – could do. I’ve gotten a lot better and faster at learning, though, and it is what I want to do. So I need to talk to him and then figure out what to play for my audition. We made a list of pieces that would work, I just can’t pick.”

“Well no matter what you play it’s going to be amazing,” Kurt said, reaching across the table and taking his hand. “And you’ve been working so hard at this, if your dad has any problems with it then there’s something wrong. Any concerns about you being limited at all, you’ve kind of disproved them already.”

“Thanks,” Blaine murmured, giving his hand a squeeze.

“If you need any help deciding on pieces for your audition, I will gladly sit and listen to you play all day and give you my completely biased but still somewhat knowledgeable opinion.”

“Gee thanks, Kurt,” he said, grinning. “So glad you’ll suffer through that for me.”

“It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it, right?” Kurt took a long sip of his mocha and Blaine attempted to nudge his foot under the table, but it ended up being more like a kick to the shin. “Ow!”

“Sorry, sorry!” Blaine brought Kurt’s hand up, kissing it quickly. “That was an accident, I swear.” He rest his forehead against their clasped hands and sighed. “Great, now you’ll never listen to me play again, you’ll be so worried about me kicking you.”

“I think I’ll manage so long as there’s a piano between us,” Kurt said dryly. He paused, then pulled his hand away. “I’ll be right back.”

“Where are you going?” Blaine asked, his brow furrowing.

“Nowhere, just… I’ll be right back.”


Kurt was used to people looking at him differently, he’d dealt with it most of his life. It wasn’t like he’d ever been one to hide in the shadows, hide who he was. That was what had caused all the problems in high school, but he’d never stopped being himself just because it made someone else look at him like that.

He was even used to people giving Blaine second glances when they were together. It wasn’t harmful or hurtful, it was just curiosity, he supposed. It only really bothered him when people stared, partially because it was just plain rude but mostly because he knew that Blaine would hate it if he was aware of it going on.

So when that guy at the corner table kept staring at Blaine over the top of his newspaper, it really bothered Kurt.

He got up from the table and made his way over, folding his arms across his stomach as he stood in front of the man and raised an eyebrow. “Can I help you?”

“Help me?” The man sounded amused more than anything, and his eyes were almost twinkling as he folded his paper and set it on the table. “Help me with what?”

“Considering how you keep staring at me and my boyfriend, I assumed you needed something,” Kurt said, his tone clipped. “Either that or you’re just being rude.”

“What would you say if I told you it was neither?” It was annoying how nonplussed he seemed about the whole thing. “Maybe you’re just in my line of sight and it’s purely a coincidence?”

“I wouldn’t buy that at all.” Kurt rolled his eyes.

“How did you know I was looking at you? Were you watching me?”

“No, I just tend to notice when people are staring,” Kurt said, shifting his weight to one side. What was more bothersome than the staring was how funny the man seemed to be finding it all. Clearly talking to him wasn’t going to get anywhere. “You know what? Forget it. Just read your paper.”

He turned on his heel and went back to their table, leaning down and kissing Blaine’s cheek. “You about ready to go?”

Blaine tilted his head back toward him, cocking it to the side, and he really was the most adorable thing ever when he did that. “Sure. Are you okay?”

“I’m fine, I just figured we could head back since we’ve been here a while.”

“Okay, I just finished my coffee anyway,” Blaine said with a shrug.

They bundled back up, gathering their cups and plate and dropping them off in the bin for dirty dishes by the trash can. Kurt hazarded a glance back to the corner as they started out the door, and the man was still watching.


Getting ready to go to his parents’ house wasn’t nearly the ordeal it had been to go to Lima. For one, it wasn’t for as long, and also they only lived a few miles away so if he forgot anything it was just a short car ride back and forth. That didn’t stop Blaine from being a little jittery, though. It was a combination of knowing that his family was going to meet Kurt and the prospect of talking to his dad about changing his major. Well, he was going to talk to both his parents but he wasn’t expecting much resistance from his mom.

“I think we have everything,” Kurt said, shutting the trunk of his car. “Suitcases, Roscoe things, Roscoe himself, me, you… that seems to be it.”

“I guess we’re good, then,” Blaine said with a nod, getting into the car and buckling in as Kurt started down the street.

It was a short drive, mostly weaving back through side streets, and it only took a few minutes before they were pulling up into the driveway. Blaine hadn’t actually been there since he moved into the house with Santana – it was much easier for his parents to come to him if they wanted to see him than for him to try and find a way to them.

“I’m guessing this is it?” Kurt said, putting the car in park and killing the engine. “You said 1901, right? Disgustingly gorgeous house?”

“Oh, well, I don’t know about that part,” Blaine said, shaking his head. “But if we’re at 1901 Vine Street then yes, we’re in the right place.” He got out of the car, letting Roscoe out of the back and walking up to the front door with Kurt. There wasn’t even a chance for him to get out his key before the door swung open and he was crushed into a hug.

Cooper gave some of the best hugs ever – always full and long and almost bone crushing but full of love. They hadn’t always been close but ever since the incident, Cooper had hugged him like the world was about to end and he just had to let him know how much he loved him. The first one had been painful, as he hadn’t waited until Blaine was fully healed, but after that they had been great. It almost made him think of Brittany, the way she threw herself into things so fully, but Cooper wasn’t like that with everything like she was.

“There’s my favorite little brother,” Cooper said, swaying from side to side with him and not letting go.

“I’m your only little brother,” Blaine reminded him, but the sentiment wasn’t lost.

“I still mean it!” He let go of him, ruffling his hair, and Blaine quickly moved to smooth it back down.

“Coop, this is Kurt.”

“You.” Kurt said, sounding slightly off than usual.

“Me!” Cooper said cheerfully. “Kurt, it’s so good to officially meet you.”

“Cooper,” Blaine started slowly, his brow furrowing. “What did you do?”

“Nothing at all!” Well that definitely couldn’t be true. He was holding Kurt’s hand and could feel Cooper shaking Kurt’s other hand and not letting go, just shaking and shaking and something was weird.

“I met your brother this morning,” Kurt supplied, still sounding apprehensive.

“When?” Blaine thought back, and they’d been together the whole time.

“Well Blaine, you refused to give me any information whatsoever about Kurt so I decided to take matters into my own hands.” Cooper sounded positively gleeful and that was concerning. “I got in yesterday and decided to camp out at your little coffee shop, since I know how much you’re addicted to that place.”


“Kurt here’s a good guy, I like him.”

“Thanks?” Kurt said, pulling his hand away. “Sorry for… snapping at you, I guess.”

“You snapped at him?” Blaine asked, tightening his grip on his hand. “Cooper what did you do?”

“Nothing! I just wanted to make sure everything was hunky dory in Blaine-land and you wouldn’t tell me anything so I had to find out for myself.”

“Cooper, why are you just standing there with the door open? It is cold outside, dear.” Marie interrupted them, and took in a short breath as she saw them standing there. “Blaine!”

Blaine was wrapped up in his mom’s arms, which effectively stopped him from questioning his brother any further. “Hi.”

“And you must be Kurt,” she continued, pulling back. “So glad you could join us. Your dad is coming in tomorrow, I believe?”

“Yes, he had to work today and didn’t want to drive in late,” Kurt said, and Blaine could hear the faintest waver in his voice. Was he nervous? Maybe the whole thing with Cooper had thrown him off, because Kurt hadn’t seemed nervous at all at the prospect of meeting his family before then – at least not as far as Blaine could tell. “Thank you for having us, it’s very nice to meet you, Mrs. Anderson.”

“The pleasure is all mine, and please call me Marie,” she said, clearing her throat. “Cooper? Why don’t you go get their things from the car? Boys, you can come on inside.”

“I can get my stuff,” Kurt offered, but Blaine knew that was no use.

“Nonsense, Cooper doesn’t mind.”

“No of course not,” Cooper piped up. “After all, you guys drove all that long way. What, five whole minutes? I only had a four hour flight, no big deal.”

Cooper. You got in yesterday. Go get their things.” That seemed to dismiss the topic well enough for them to go into the house. “Feel free to make yourself at home, Kurt. The guest room is all made up for you, it’s right down this hall.”

Blaine lagged behind as Marie gave Kurt a short but concise tour of the house. He liked it alright, but it wasn’t the house he was used to. It was weird, knowing that he’d never know what it was really like. He could still picture his childhood house so vividly – his room, the tree house in the backyard, his dad’s office, everything.

The house where they were, it wasn’t the house where he’d tripped down the stairs and scraped his knee when he was five. It wasn’t the house where he’d learned to crawl, learned to walk, learned to play the piano. That house, the piano had been back in the family room, where he could sit and play and his mom would be able to listen while she made dinner in the kitchen in the next room over.

He heard the thud of suitcases landing by the door and he trailed back to where he knew his brother was. “Coop?”

“Squirt!” Cooper hugged him again, as if they hadn’t just greeted each other minutes prior.

“What did you do to make Kurt snap at you?” Blaine asked, face buried against his shoulder since he wasn’t letting go.

“Hm? Oh, that! Nothing much. He apparently didn’t appreciate me staring at you.”

“You were staring at me?

“No I wasn’t! Well maybe I kind of was. I was watching. I wanted to see this Kurt fellow outside of the walls of this house – see what he was really like.”

“And?” Blaine asked patiently, pulling back enough to tilt his head up toward him.

“Well Santana was right, you two are sickeningly adorable,” Cooper said, patting him on the back and releasing him from his arms. “I haven’t seen you smile like that in years. Plus now at least I know that if he does something wrong, you’ll kick him in the shins!”


It took a little while for Blaine to save Kurt from his mom, considering that she seemed determined to learn absolutely everything about him in as short a time as possible. Blaine felt overwhelmed by the amount of questions being asked, so he couldn’t imagine how it felt for Kurt. If he felt uncomfortable at all, it didn’t show. He was very polite about the whole ordeal.

“Sorry about that,” Blaine said once he’d gotten Kurt away. He’d taken him off to his room under the pretense of setting up Roscoe’s bed.

“Why? Your mom’s nice.”

“She is, but she was also grilling you as soon as you got into the house.”

“I don’t care,” Kurt said, slipping his arms around Blaine’s neck and shrugging. “I was kind of anticipating some questions.”

“I don’t know what it’ll be like when my dad gets home,” Blaine said, biting his lip briefly as his arms slid around Kurt’s waist to pull him in close. “It won’t be bad or anything, I can promise that much, just…”

“Blaine, it’s fine. So far as I can tell, your family is very nice. I wouldn’t have expected any less considering how you are. Cooper could probably stand to get smacked around a little, but I think he means well. I can see how he and Santana get along like you say they do.”

“He does mean well.” Blaine grinned. “You should probably avoid smacking him, though. He’d take that as a challenge, and he’s very competitive.”

“Duly noted.”

“He likes you, though,” he added, his head tilting to the side as Kurt pressed a kiss against his temple. “Though I’m not sure how anyone could not.”

“Of course you would think that,” Kurt said with a soft laugh, resting their foreheads together. He paused, his fingertips rubbing lightly against the hair at the nape of Blaine’s neck. “Were you going to talk to your dad tonight?”

“Yes,” Blaine said, letting out a breath. “I mean, I think so. We’ll see. It’s kind of now or never, and I really don’t want to wait until tomorrow in case something goes awry.”

Charles Anderson got home not that much later, as indicated by the garage door opening, interrupting what had been a not very heated debate over what dinner should be. It had been very clearly expressed that it was going to be ordered or delivered, because the kitchen was not about to be messed up when there was a big meal planned for the next day. Blaine and Cooper had narrowed it down to pizza or Chinese, and Kurt was mostly just sitting back and watching, his thumb absently rubbing over the top of Blaine’s hand.

It was involuntary, the way Blaine’s grip tightened on Kurt’s hand as soon as he heard the door open. There wasn’t anything to be scared of, nervous about, but he knew he’d always done a good job of building his dad up in his head to the point that talking to him was borderline terrifying at times. Like when he’d called him to tell him about Kurt in the first place. He just tried to keep reminding himself that his dad had been so obviously trying when he’d done that, so that meant it was going to be okay. He hoped.

“Sorry I’m late, traffic was worse than usual.”

“That’s alright, we were just deciding on dinner,” Marie said, and Kurt’s hold on Blaine’s hand squeezed in tighter before he managed to let go, getting up from beside him. Blaine pushed up to his feet, taking in a deep breath. “Charles, this is–”

“Kurt Hummel,” Charles said, before anyone else was able to introduce him.

“Mr. Anderson, it’s great to finally meet you,” Kurt said, voice not wavering like it had earlier when he’d met Marie. Maybe it was because he was feeling comfortable there around them, or maybe it was because he’d been steeling himself for meeting him, but either way Blaine was impressed.

“Likewise. I’ve heard so much about you.”

“Wait, what?” Cooper sounded practically offended.

“Hush,” Marie said, and it sounded like she swatted him with the magazine she’d been reading. “Go order some pizza.” He grumbled as he wandered off to the kitchen to find the right number, and Blaine felt himself pulled into a gentle hug.

“Hi Dad,” he said, arms slipping around him to return the hug before pulling back. There was no time like the present, he figured, and he knew if he gave himself more time to think about it he might just delay it until it was too late. “Can I, um, talk to you about something?”

“Of course,” Charles said, sounding surprised. “Give me a minute to get off my coat.” Blaine nodded and shifted back toward the couch as his dad walked over to the closet.
“Did you want me to go, honey?” Marie asked quietly, but Blaine shook his head as he sat down.

“No, stay.” Kurt sat beside him, taking his hand again, and Blaine was really grateful for him being there. Cooper would have been good to have for support too, if he had any idea of what was going on, but all things considered it was probably a good thing that he was off in another room.

“Alright, now. What is it?” Charles had settled into his normal armchair, just beside Blaine’s end of the couch. He could hear the patience in his voice, and that made him less nervous about the whole conversation.

“I know that when I was applying for colleges, we talked a lot about… what I could do,” Blaine started, all the words he’d thought of before suddenly failing him. He’d planned it out, what to say, arguments to make, but everything was gone. “I know we agreed on me going into English, and I enjoy studying it, and writing, and all of that, but that’s not what I want to do.”

Kurt slipped their hands together and Blaine took a deep breath. “I want to study music. I always have, and that didn’t change just because of this.” He gestured up toward his eyes and his brow furrowed. “I know we didn’t think it was really possible, I didn’t really think it was possible, but it is.


“There’s a teacher at college,” Blaine hurried ahead, not wanting to be stopped before he could get it all out. “She heard me playing one day, and she… looked into it. Well, she talked to Kurt and he told her why I wasn’t doing it and she researched about Braille music and how to read it, teach it and learn it, and she’s been working with me so I can do more. She said I could audition during finals week to be accepted into the department for next semester.

“I know the… it can’t be the impracticality of being a musician that you’d objected to before.” He was practically clutching Kurt’s hand, trying to remember at least part of what he’d planned to say. “It couldn’t be that, because Cooper’s an actor and that’s just as bad in terms of practical professions. So I have to believe that the only reason it was a problem was because it didn’t seem possible, but now it is, and I really want to know if you’re going to be mad when I audition in two weeks.”

“Sweetheart,” Marie began, but Blaine had already known she would be in his corner. Hers wasn’t the reaction he’d been worried about.

“Of course we’re not going to be mad at you,” Charles said, reaching over and resting his hand on his shoulder. “I know we haven’t always… seen eye to eye, but Blaine, it was never about what I wanted, this is your life. My concerns weren’t ever based on your abilities, more like the inabilities of others to be able to teach you in the way you would need. I didn’t want you going into a situation where it wasn’t going to be possible for you to succeed, no matter what you did.”

“It’s not like that…”

“Clearly,” he said smoothly, giving his shoulder a squeeze. “If you’re confident that this will work, and that this is what you want to do, I’m not going to say you can’t.”

“We just worry,” Marie added. “It’s not that we don’t think you’re talented, we know you are.”

“Very talented,” Kurt murmured, and Blaine wasn’t sure if it was meant to be loud enough for anyone but him, but it made him flush slightly all the same.

“I know, it’s just that you’d been rather adamant before,” Blaine said, rubbing his face. Deep down he’d been a little concerned that if he tried to go into a field that his parents didn’t agree with, they wouldn’t continue to fund his education. Not that they were the type of people who would do that, but he knew he tended to think irrational thoughts at the worst time.

“Is this really what you want to do?”

“Yes.” There was a long pause, and Kurt squeezed his hand.

“If it’s what you want, and you’re willing to work at it,” Charles began slowly, “then you should audition.” Blaine was sure there had been a lot of glances exchanged, some form of silent conversation and confirmation between his parents, but those words were all he needed.

“Audition?” Cooper repeated as he came back into the room, flopping down on the couch on the other side of Kurt. “Who’s auditioning for something? I have a ton of pre-audition rituals I could share – totally helps with any jitters you get. I even have a special morning of an audition smoothie that not only is refreshing and delicious, but also instills confidence and bravado.”

And just like that, any lingering question or tension from the situation was gone, and Blaine felt much more comfortable with the upcoming audition – though he doubted he would ever try anything Cooper suggested.

Chapter Text

There was something about Blaine’s bed at his parents’ house that made him sleep later than usual. Maybe it was the thread count of the sheets the different mattress, the down comforter so light and warm above him – he wasn’t sure. Maybe it was the fact that it was a holiday and those generally meant relaxation and sleeping in, though there was no way his mother wouldn’t contend those points, but no matter what it was he slept in.

He really should have set an alarm.

A pillow coming down hard across his back was what woke him up, and he groaned into his own pillow in response. Out of all the ways he could have possibly been woken up, of course it was that. He much would have preferred being cuddled awake, kissed awake, even gentle shaken awake, as opposed to a pillow attack. And when he didn’t move right away, it happened again.

“Rise and shine, Squirt!”

“Go away.” His voice was muffled, but it was still loud enough for his brother to hear.

“No can do,” Cooper said, and there was the smack of the pillow again. “I was sent up here with specific instructions to get you out of bed.”

“Should have sent Kurt,” he said, turning his head to burrow his face in even further.

“Right. Because that would have gotten you out of bed, as opposed to kept you in it.”


“Get. Up. Now. Blaine.” Each word was emphasized with the pillow hitting him on the back and he managed to roll over and grab it, yanking it hard to get it away from his brother. “Hey!”

“I’ll be down in a minute, just go away,” he said, throwing the pillow in the general direction of Cooper.

“Alright, I’m just saying you’re the last one to get up and Mom might not let you have breakfast because she’s about to go into cooking mode.”

“In a minute.” Blaine sat up and rubbed at his face, immediately missing the warmth of the cocoon he’d had in his bed. Cooper left, the door closing behind him, and that gave Blaine the chance to process what he’d said.

He was the last one to get up. That never happened. More than that, it meant that Kurt was awake and probably being subjected to his family. How long had he been awake and why hadn’t he come to get Blaine?

Blaine scrambled out of bed, still sleepy but getting there, and tugged at his pajamas to make sure they were all in place before he made his way out of his room. After a brief stop at the bathroom, because teeth being brushed was a must, he went down the stairs and straight to the kitchen. The threat of not having breakfast was a very real one, and he needed coffee if nothing else.

“Morning, sleepyhead,” Marie greeted, resting her hand against his back as he came up beside her.
“Did you want cereal?”

“Yes, that’d probably be a good idea,” he murmured, swallowing a few times to get the roughness out of his voice. “Please.”

“Go on and sit, I’ll bring it over. There’s stuff all over the counter.” He shuffled over to the island in the middle of the kitchen, sitting on an empty stool and smiling a little when he felt Kurt’s hand reach over and squeeze his knee.

“I think,” Kurt said quietly, leaning over and pressing a light kiss against his shoulder, “this might be the most you’ve ever slept in the whole time I’ve known you.”

“I was comfy,” Blaine said, running his hand through his hair to keep it off his forehead. The standard rule of fixing his hair before being around people didn’t apply when it was his family – it wasn’t like they didn’t know he looked like a Muppet unless he tried not to. Besides, there had been a time constraint in order to get breakfast, so his shower had to wait. “How long have you been awake?”

“About an hour and a half.” There was the clank of a bowl and mug being set in front of him, and Blaine was very grateful for food and coffee so he could feel more like himself. It took a few sips of coffee before he registered Kurt’s words.

“An hour and a – why didn’t you come and wake me up?” he asked, brow furrowing as he tilted his head toward him.

“I was going to, but you looked so content. It’s fine, I’ve just been sitting and talking.”

“Talking to…?” Blaine started into his cereal, and he hadn’t realized just how hungry he was until that first spoonful hit his tongue.

“Everyone?” Kurt laughed lightly, his hand not moving from its resting point on Blaine’s knee. “Mostly Cooper and your dad.”

“I’ve been listening,” Marie said from her spot across the room. “Been a tad busy for talking.”

Blaine hummed a little in acknowledgement as he kept eating. He hadn’t meant to leave Kurt to the whims of his family, especially not for that long, but Kurt seemed to be okay with it. At least, he hadn’t run away before Blaine had woken up. It wasn’t that they were intimidating, at least he didn’t think they were – except for his dad sometimes and he figured that was just because it was his dad – but still, they were his family.

“Yes, but we did come to the agreement that you’re going to let me help get things ready for dinner,” Kurt said.

“Very true, and I’m grateful for the help. Blaine, you have to help, too.”

“What?” Blaine said, dropping his spoon into the empty bowl.

“Oh, we decided that you should practice for your audition,” Kurt supplied. “So you can do that while Marie and I get everything prepared.”

“Just like you used to when I would make dinner,” Marie said, swooping over to take the cereal bowl away and put it in the sink. “So we can hear what you’ve been working on. Kurt said you haven’t picked your pieces for sure yet, so maybe we can help you choose.”

“Oh, yeah, that sounds… nice, actually,” he said, his hands wrapping around his coffee mug and just holding it. “What time’s Burt getting here?”

“Not too late, he said he’d call when he was on his way. He’ll definitely be here in time to watch football, which is apparently a good thing according to your dad.”

It wasn’t that he had thought that his family and Kurt’s wouldn’t get along; he just hadn’t been sure how well it would work. He knew that his family could seem stuffy at times, even though the level of stuffiness decreased exponentially when Cooper was home, but Burt was so down to earth. Kurt seemed completely at ease in the situation, which was a far cry from how Blaine had been when he’d first met Burt. Then again, they’d been together much longer by the point that Kurt had been exposed to his family, not to mention the fact that Kurt seemed to take so much more in stride than Blaine did.

Still, the thought of his dad and Burt sitting down and watching football together made his head spin.

That was exactly what happened when Burt showed up, though. There was the initial hug of greeting for Kurt and then Blaine as well, which had made him feel really good actually, and then the introductions happened. It went smoothly – handshakes all around as far as Blaine could tell, and then Cooper and his dad managed to whisk Burt away to the den to watch the game.

“Sorry your dad kind of got… accosted.”

“He’ll manage,” Kurt said, shrugging as he pulled Blaine into a hug.

It still felt a little strange, being there at his parents’ house with Kurt. He’d never been in a situation like that before, and it’s not like they were being as affectionate as usual – there were far less kisses, for one – but still the fact that he was standing there just hugging Kurt in close was wonderful. The kissing could wait until they were behind closed doors, he was just glad to be able to hold his hand, hold him, and know that no one there would give it a second glance.

True to his word, Kurt helped in preparing everything for their dinner. Blaine was sure his mom appreciated the help, since Cooper wasn’t ever focused enough in the kitchen to be of any use. Sitting at the piano was a better place for Blaine than in the kitchen. It was a much less stressful environment, especially on a holiday, and he really did need to figure out what he was going to play for his audition. He felt much better thinking about it knowing that there was nothing holding him back.

The piano there at the house wasn’t anything like the ones in the practices rooms at the college, and definitely not like the one that was on the stage. There was nothing wrong with it – exactly the opposite. It was the piano he’d played more than any other. It was the one that he’d sat at when he’d first started taking lessons, young hands with small fingers pressing down keys and fumbling their way through scales.

He’d spent more time in front of that piano than he had anything else, which was apparently a strange thing in a generation of video games and computers. His focus had always been much more music based than anything else, which was how he’d ended up like he was and why he wanted to keep going. He was aware that there were other things going on in the house – the football game, for instance – but the den was in the basement and it was unlikely he was going to disturb anyone by playing.

Choosing pieces was almost automatic by that point, the way his mind would settle on one and his fingers would start seconds later. Maybe Kurt had been right when he’d said he was like a player piano, but he thought maybe that was a good thing. It was easy to focus, to let himself go and get lost in the music flowing from his hands and resonating through the instrument in front of him.

Most of the pieces were ones that Kurt had heard before, and all of them had definitely been heard by his mom before. She’d been subject to all of his practicing from lessons, for recitals, everything. Even when she hadn’t been paying attention, she’d heard it all. None of the pieces he’d been working on with Dr. Salido were anywhere close to audition ready, and he wouldn’t have been comfortable with them if they were. He wanted to play something that he knew like the back of his hand – something he knew he could play with his entire heart and soul invested.

So he played. The pieces didn’t always come out in order, movements of sonatas broken up by etudes in between, but the point wasn’t for everything to be cohesive. It was more so the want to get it all out there figure out what he wanted, what he needed. It was like he was taking every piece he was playing and throwing them up into the air, up against the wall, to see what stuck and would stay.

Time never registered when he was playing, and he had more than enough in his library to keep going for as long as he could unless someone stopped him. That was usually what happened, anyway. He wasn’t oblivious enough to cancel out the amazing scents of dinner wafting out of the kitchen, though, and that was what made him decide to stop more than anything else.

“You have good timing,” Marie commented as he walked into the kitchen. “Everything’s just about ready, but I think we need someone to taste test.”

“I happen to be very good at that,” Blaine said sagely, nodding and scooting into a stool at the island again.

“That all sounded amazing, by the way.” Kurt’s arms slid around his waist from behind, hugging him back against his chest. “You make it really impossible to choose favorites.”

“Well someone’s going to have to choose at some point,” Blaine said, tilting his head back so he could brush a kiss against his cheek.

“We’ll figure it out. At least you don’t have to narrow it down to one, because then we’d really be in trouble,” Kurt murmured, kissing his temple.

“Ahem.” Marie cleared her throat, causing them to pull away from each other. “There is serious business to attend to here.”

“Right. Taste testing. I am ready to take this very seriously.”

All the food tasted incredible, at least the little bits of everything that he got to try. There really wasn’t much like Thanksgiving dinner, all turkey and mashed potatoes and everything, comfort food beyond anything else. It wasn’t long before Marie had made Cooper set the table and they were all gathered around it, sitting with all the food laid out in front of them and empty plates just waiting to be filled.

“I don’t know how you guys usually do Thanksgiving,” Marie said, obviously directing her words toward the Hummel men sitting at the table, “but we usually start off by going around and saying what we’re thankful for. It’s… cheesy, I suppose, but there’s an awful lot to be thankful for and I don’t think we take enough opportunities to recognize that.”

“Cheesy or not, that’s always a good idea,” Burt said, and Blaine ducked his head down a little as he realized that yes it was really cheesy and what if his family seemed super weird and sappy? He couldn’t really care that much, though, because it was Thanksgiving.

“I guess I can start,” Charles began, and of course he would, because he always had for as long as Blaine could remember. “I’m thankful for my family, because I don’t think I could have asked for a better one. Having both my boys home at the same time is always a blessing and a reminder of just how lucky I am. I’m also thankful that we get to share this time of celebration and family with Burt and Kurt, both of whom I’m glad to have had the pleasure of meeting today – and hopefully there will be many more gatherings of everyone here in the future.”

“Can I just say ditto to all those things?” Marie asked with a light laugh. “I share all those sentiments, of course. Nothing means more to me than having my family together, even just for a few days, and adding people in is always such a joy. I’m also very thankful for having Kurt’s help and expertise today in the kitchen, because this meal definitely wouldn’t have ended up nearly as wonderful without it.”

“Well I’m really thankful for the call I got from my agent last night,” Cooper said, taking a sip of his water before continuing. “Getting a job is always something to be happy about, and I’d been on a bit of a drought, which didn’t make sense because I am just made for Hollywoo—” He broke off as Blaine poked him in the ribs, and he cleared his throat before continuing. “ Anyway . All that hoopla about family, yada yada. I am really thankful about my new role, though, so don’t you poke me again Blaine or I will—”

“I’m thankful,” Blaine interrupted, hearing Kurt muffle a snicker on the other side of him, “for the past several months. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with being me, and I know I owe a lot of that to you, Kurt. Before any of this, I had pretty much given up on my dream in life, and you were right there to make me realize that I just had to try something different to make it possible again.” He felt slightly awkward saying all of it in front of his family, and Burt , but if they were saying what they were thankful for, it was supposed to be honest. “And to Burt, for keeping me from dying of anxiety over the whole meeting my boyfriend’s dad for the first time ordeal.”

He drew in a deep breath and rubbed his thumb hard against his palm, where his hands were clasped in his lap. “I know I don’t ever say enough how thankful I am for you, Mom and Dad. It’s not one of those things that gets said ever, except for once a year like now, but I am. I know you’ve done a lot for me, so much more than I could ever imagine or expect, and I really do appreciate it all.” He paused, chewing on the inside of his lip, and then grinning a little. “And I’m also thankful for Cooper’s new gig, because obviously any reason to keep him out of Ohio is a good one.”

“Hey!” Cooper exclaimed, hand automatically going to mess up Blaine’s hair, and he had to swat it away as he ducked.

“No, stop it! I’m happy for your job, leave me alone!”

“Boys,” Marie said warningly, and that was enough to make Cooper draw his hands back and Blaine straighten up. “Are you done?”

“Yes,” Blaine said, somewhat sheepishly.

“I’m thankful for a lot,” Kurt said softly. “I’m thankful, as I always have been, for having such an amazing dad. I’ve never had to look far to get support, or for a role model, and I know not everyone is that lucky. Not everyone has someone who accepts them when they’re different, but I do.” He hesitated, and his hand slipped over to take Blaine’s. “I’m thankful that I barged in on Blaine when he was practicing one day, and didn’t let him run away like he wanted to.” The corners of Blaine’s mouth twitched up slightly, but he stayed quiet. “And that he let me into his life, that wonderful place that it is. Being here today, with all of you, is just so much more to be thankful for.”

“Well I don’t know how to follow any of that,” Burt said gruffly, clearing his throat after a few moments of silence. “I’m not as good with words as all of you are, from what I’ve heard, but there is a lot to be thankful for. Being here with all you fine folk on a day when it’s normally just me and my kid, it’s a whole new kind of Thanksgiving. You’ve got a great family here, and that’s not something you always see these days.

“It’s not that hard to be a good dad when you’ve got a good kid, but I’m sure you know what that’s like,” he continued, reaching around and clapping Blaine on the shoulder. “Cooper too, even though I don’t really know him except that he knows a good deal about football so he’s okay in my book. I’m also kinda glad that Blaine put that piano in my house to good use, cause now I’ve got another kind of music to listen to. Plus I’m awful grateful that there’s someone out there that can make Kurt’s face light up like that. I don’t know if I’d ever seen him smile like that before. It’s always something to be thankful for when your kid’s happy.”

Blaine couldn’t help but blush at Burt’s words. It was nice to know that he made Kurt smile in that way – he’d always hoped he had, but never could know for sure. He wished, he wanted , to be able to see that for himself. That was impossible, though, so he had to settle for Burt’s reassurance. If there was anyone who was a straight shooter with the best of them, it seemed to be Burt. If he said that Blaine made Kurt smile, made him light up, then he was going to believe him.

“Well,” Marie said, her voice wavering slightly – was it with emotion? – as she spoke. “I think we can all be thankful for everything that’s been shared. So I guess there’s nothing stopping us from digging right into the food, then.”

The meal was perfect, but Blaine had already known it would be. He’d been the taste tester after all, and it had been delicious then so it definitely was going to be just as good by the time everyone else got to have it. Conversation flowed easily, not nearly as heavy or intense as it had been at the beginning of the meal when they had all gone around, but just as genuine and sincere. It was the best Thanksgiving Blaine could think of – everyone all together, honestly enjoying each other’s company. The Hummels were such a welcome addition to his family, and that alone was enough to make it amazing.

There was time to waste before dessert, but it was all put to good use. Blaine, Kurt, and Cooper took over the kitchen to clean up so the ‘adults’ could just sit and relax. Marie was pretty much banished from doing anything, considering how much she’d done in preparation, and the boys set to work. Kurt washed, Blaine dried, and Cooper put away. By the time they were halfway through the dishes, they were like a well oiled machine. The leftovers were put in the refrigerator, and Blaine could almost guarantee that they were going to be sent home with Burt when he went.

Pumpkin pie and ice cream were brought out afterward, even though Blaine was certain he wouldn’t be able to eat anything else. But it was pie and ice cream, and there was always room for that.

Burt headed back to Lima, despite the invitation to stay. Kurt had told him days before that he would have a place, but there was something said about the shop and how there was bound to be some kind of emergency on Black Friday and he’d better be there, so there wasn’t too much of an argument put up. Blaine would have loved for him to stay, and he knew it would have been good for Kurt as well, but there wasn’t much that could be said to convince him.

His goodbyes were given with handshakes and hugs, dependent on the person, much like his greetings had been when he’d arrived, though Blaine was almost confident that he’d gotten a few extra pats on the back with his hug. Marie made sure to pawn as many of the leftovers onto him as possible, just as Blaine had expected, and just like that he was gone. His visit may have been brief, but there wasn’t a single person in the house that wasn’t glad for it. Just one more thing to be thankful about.

Kurt sneaked up into Blaine’s room that night, after everyone had gone to bed. Blaine had been so used to the slight creaks of the floor in the house where he lived with Santana, but there wasn’t any of that there at his parents’ house. It was like the place was built for stealth. The door clicked closed quietly behind him, and there was a rustle of sheets and a dip of the bed before he was there curled up against him. “Hi.”

“Hi,” Blaine murmured, half-asleep like he had been before Kurt had come in. “Your hands are cold.”

“Sorry,” Kurt whispered, pulling them away and tangling them into the comforter as if that would warm them up instantly. “I just wanted to come and see you. It’s lonely downstairs.”

“That’s cause everyone else is up here.” It was true, the only bedroom on the first floor was the guest one. “I bet it’s super quiet down there though.”

“Super quiet,” Kurt repeated in affirmation. “Too quiet.”

“Did you get scared?” Blaine teased, turning slightly to be facing him, his arm slipping over his waist. “I promise there are no things that go bump in the night.”

“No, I didn’t get scared,” Kurt huffed out, feigning offense. “Can’t a guy just want to see his boyfriend before he goes to sleep?”

“A guy can definitely want that.” He leaned in, kissing him softly. “I’m thankful.”

“I’m thankful, too.”

Chapter Text

Finals week loomed, though Blaine wasn’t that concerned about most of his classes. Most of his classes didn’t have actual exams, just papers. It helped keep the stress down, but it meant at least the same amount of work – if not more.

The only two things weighing on his mind were his audition and his presentation for his Relationships and Dialogues class. He had finally settled on what pieces to play, after much deliberation and help from Kurt, so that wasn’t a problem. It was just the matter that he was going to sit down and play for people and it actually meant something. It wasn’t just him playing for fun, playing for someone to listen because they wanted to – it was for a purpose, and the most important purpose he could think of.

“You should play the Bach.”

“But I don’t like the Bach. It’s boring – all technique and no heart. Like Bach.”

“Technique, though. Besides, you’re supposed to play two pieces that contrast each other. So you can seriously make up for how clinical it is with your other one.”

“What did we narrow the other down to?”

“Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin.”

“You choose, I’ll play whatever. I’m just so tired of trying to pick.” It was true, he’d spent so much time going over the possibilities with Dr. Salido and then all the time afterward thinking about what he was going to do. He was comfortable with any of them, just not comfortable with choosing any of them.

“No, that won’t work. What do you enjoy playing the most?”

“Beethoven,” he answered honestly, not hesitating at all.


“Well I know they said to try and choose something from a standard sonata,” Blaine began, mulling it over in his head as he spoke. “No matter what I choose, it’ll be that. Beethoven though, I think it’d be a good contrast to Bach. Lots of feeling and more me.” Never mind the fact that Beethoven had always been his favorite – he felt like he couldn’t really go wrong if he went with it. Plus that’s what he’d been playing when Dr. Salido first found him, and he couldn’t deny the existence of fate.

Because Kurt.

“Which sonata?”

“Appassionata, the first movement.”

“That sounds perfect,” Kurt said, and Blaine wasn’t sure if he was talking about the choice of piece or how it actually sounded when he played it. It didn’t matter – either way, they were decided.

Even trickier than all that was his presentation.

There was something to be said about open ended assignments being more difficult than those with closed parameters. When Dr. Birk had first gone over the final project with them, it had sounded amazing. Put together a five to eight minute Powerpoint presentation about a topic of your choice, the only caveat being that it needs to be about some form of interpersonal relationship and tie in somehow to what we’ve talked about in class. We’ll present them during our exam time during finals week. It sounded easy – just choose a topic and go for it.

Choosing a topic was harder than Blaine had thought. It wasn’t like he’d waited until the last minute, either. The whole assignment had been explained to them weeks before Thanksgiving, in order to give them a good amount of time to put it together, but he hadn’t been able to settle on what to do until after the holiday. That had given him two weeks to get it done, but that was on top of all the other work he had to do – final papers, practicing, everything.

Dr. Birk had told him he didn’t need to make a Powerpoint, he could just make a speech if he wanted, but he didn’t think that was fair. He understood the reasoning, obviously, but he knew what he wanted to do. All he did was check with her that it was okay for him to get some help putting it together – his words, ideas, thoughts on the slides, just with help on the formatting end of things – and he was good to go.

Santana and Kurt were the people he went to for help, and he needed both of them for what he was doing. It was weird, a little crazy, to have them both helping with separate halves that would eventually become the one final whole, but there were reasons. Well, the one very good reason that he didn’t want either of them to know he was doing it about them. It wasn’t like he was going to have a lot of slides, just enough for what he needed, so it didn’t take much time for them to help him out – and then less than five minutes with Brittany to join the two together.

The Powerpoint itself was done a week before finals. Blaine had wanted to make sure it was completed and ready before he was done figuring out what he was going to say, because that was the part he didn’t have complete control over – his words he could figure out on his own at his leisure. Little by little it came together, because he wanted to make sure he chose the right words, the perfect words.

It was bound to be a stressful day – his presentation was right before his audition and both made him nervous. That was why he’d spent his Sunday, the day before it all, trying to relax as much as possible. He hadn’t let himself practice, forced himself to stay away from pianos and music, not even listening to anything because he thought it might psych him out. Mostly he needed distraction, and that was what Kurt did best.

There wasn’t much that could take Blaine’s mind of everything else quite like Kurt. Sitting, talking, cuddling, it didn’t matter. Kurt simply being there was enough. Thankfully, he somehow managed not to have any finals on the first day of the week like Blaine did. That meant he was free to be there all night, and he’d assured Blaine that he would be there when he auditioned. He knew once he started playing he would be fine, it was just the getting to that point part that was concerning.

Knowing he would be fine didn’t stop him from being slightly anxious, even when he was lying in bed next to Kurt. That anxiety slowly melted away with the feeling of Kurt’s fingers running through his still damp, gel free hair. There was something to be said about the way Kurt would twine his curls around his fingertips, as if trying to form them better, and then let them go. It was methodical, repetitive, and soothing.

“You’re going make me fall asleep,” Blaine murmured, his head lolling to the side.

“So fall asleep.”

“Don’t want to fall asleep, want to kiss you.”

“So kiss me.”

Blaine reached up to pull Kurt’s hand from his hair, brushing his lips against his knuckles as he brought it down. He peppered the back of his hand with light kisses before letting it go and gently nudging him onto his back. Shifting over, he pressed a short, chaste kiss against his lips before scooting in a little closer and tracing along the side of his face with his fingertips.

He never really could get over the strong line of Kurt’s jaw, how it almost seemed to contrast with his soft (really soft) skin. His thumb rubbed against it for a lingering moment before he leaned down and trailed kisses along it, starting back at the hinge by his ear and working his way up to his chin – then over to the other side to do the same there too. Kurt’s breath was quickening by the time he reached his mouth, and his fingers tangled up into the back of Blaine’s hair as he pulled him down to kiss him deeply

Not fighting it at all, Blaine cupped Kurt’s face in his hands, fingers holding it in place as his thumbs stroked over his cheekbones and his tongue made its way into his mouth. There was nothing frantic or needy about it – it was almost on the verge of lazy, the slow and studious way he let himself explore. Kurt wasn’t a mystery to him, and he was very familiar with every facet of his mouth, but that didn’t stop it from being wonderful to be able to kiss him like that.

By the time he pulled back, they were both breathless. Kurt’s fingers loosened their hold on his curls and his hands slid down to his shoulders. He didn’t want to stop, though, not even to take a moment to catch his breath, so he ducked his head down and kissed along his neck. Kurt’s breath hitched as he grazed his teeth against his skin, and it wasn’t like he needed any encouragement but that definitely gave him some. So did the way Kurt was raking his shirt up his back.

It was always nice when they were all changed and ready for bed, the ease of t-shirts and pajama pants as opposed to their normal attire. Amazing what a difference it made when there was just simple layers of soft cotton or flannel between them as opposed to the methodically planned outfits that took time to shed. He sat up to let Kurt pull his shirt up over his head, and then pushed Kurt’s shirt up his torso, fingertips dragging against his skin and feeling the muscles jump and tense beneath them.  

Once both their shirts were off, Blaine shifted over and sat straddling Kurt’s lap. He ran his hands down Kurt’s chest, pads of his thumbs lingering in light circles over his nipples and making his breath catch. His fingers splayed out as his hands traveled further down, and he leaned in to press open mouthed kisses along his sternum and up to his neck. Kurt’s hands gripped onto his hips, fingers digging in lightly as his hips rolled up against him.

“Kurt…” Blaine breathed out, tilting his hips forward a little to angle them better and groaning softly as they rocked together. He buried his face against the crook of his neck and latched his mouth onto his skin, sucking softly and running his tongue over it. Kurt’s arms twined around him, fingertips trailing up his back and resting against his shoulders, little breathy sounds making their way from his mouth. “Wanna feel you…”

“Can’t you?” Kurt murmured, tilting his head to the side to give Blaine better access to his neck as he pressed his hips up extra hard against him. That, plus the fact that Blaine hadn’t even realized he’d said the words out loud at first, shorted his brain out for a few seconds. He hadn’t meant to say, he’d just been thinking it, but since it was out there it wasn’t like he shouldn’t keep going.

“No not that, I mean yes I can,” he mumbled, fighting the blush that he knew was creeping up his neck. It wasn’t like they hadn’t talked about it, because they had, it was just very difficult to put his thoughts into words when he could feel the hard length of his boyfriend’s cock pressed against his hip. He dropped another lingering kiss against his neck and then lifted up to press their foreheads together. “I want to feel… all of you.”

Kurt’s hips stilled and he made a soft sound. Blaine wasn’t entirely sure if it was one of surprise or of understanding. His grip definitely tightened on Blaine’s shoulders, but that could have been either good or bad – there wasn’t much of a way to tell from that alone. He gave it a few seconds, and then a few more, and he tried very hard not to panic. This was Kurt, there was no reason to freak out. Kurt. “Kurt?”

“Yes,” Kurt said, his hands sliding down to Blaine’s hips again. “Sorry, yes I was just, I don’t have… anything…”

“I do,” Blaine said, biting his lip.

“You do?” Kurt definitely sounded surprised that time.

“Yeah, Cooper…” Blaine flushed a little, thinking back to that high embarrassing day. “Cooper decided to be helpful and give me condoms and lube back when I moved in here. It was really awkward.”

“I can’t even imagine,” he murmured, his thumbs rubbing against Blaine’s skin. “Where is it?”

“I can get it.” He shifted over off of him, stretching up the bed and reaching for his bedside table. It was all stuck down in the bottom of the drawer – he’d stuck it there right after Cooper had given it to him. His fingers fumbled as he dug, but it didn’t take long for him to find it. Kurt wasn’t helping him concentrate, the way his fingers kept walking their way along his side and then down his back all the way to play with the top of his pajama pants.

“Got it?” Kurt asked, leaning back once Blaine sat up, and he nodded. He dropped them onto the bed and moved back to kneel between Kurt’s legs, kissing him deeply and sucking on his lower lip a little as he ran his hands down his sides, fingertips dipping under the waistband of his pants. His heart was racing, pounding hard in his chest as he tugged off Kurt’s pajama pants and boxers, running his hands up his bare legs once he’d worked them off his ankles.

“You’re… sure?”

“I want to feel all of you,” Kurt replied, and Blaine’s breath hitched.

Kurt was the one who got the lube open, taking Blaine’s hand and putting it on his fingers. Blaine sat back on his heels, feeling like his chest was going to burst as he carefully trailed his fingers back along Kurt’s perineum. He leaned down, kissing his stomach as he listened to the quiet moan breaking from his boyfriend’s throat as he traced back to the puckered skin.

They both gasped, and Blaine bit his lip as he slowly rubbed circles around his asshole. He breathed hard against Kurt’s stomach as he gently pressed the tip of his finger inside, oh it felt so tight, and Kurt whimpered. It was different than any whimper Blaine had heard from him before, much more wanting and borderline desperate as his finger worked into him.

The whimpers turned into moans when a second finger slid in, and Blaine kissed up Kurt’s torso to his chest. He couldn’t get over how it felt, the way Kurt’s muscles were clenching around his fingers – and they were going to be doing that to his cock before too long and that thought alone was enough to make him groan. His free hand moved up, wrapping around Kurt’s cock and stroking it slowly in rhythm with his fingers.

“Blaine, more, please,” Kurt whined, his hips jerking back and forth – down onto Blaine’s fingers, up into his fist, over and over. Blaine rest his forehead against his chest and hesitated for a moment before adding a third finger, taking in the deep moan that ripped itself from Kurt’s chest. It felt more natural by that point, the way his fingers worked in and out of him, pressing in deep and dragging on their way out, pulling all kinds of sounds out of him.

It wasn’t long before Kurt was pushing at his shoulders, getting him to stop. At first Blaine thought he’d done something wrong, but then there was the sound of the condom wrapper ripping. His mouth dropped open as Kurt rolled the condom onto him, and the even strokes of his hand as it spread the lube on made him fall forward onto his hands, pressing into the mattress on either side of him.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he whispered, his only real fear about the situation coming tumbling out of his mouth as he found himself with the tip of his cock pressed against Kurt’s entrance.

“You won’t, I trust you,” Kurt murmured, hands running up Blaine’s arms and squeezing his biceps. “Promise.”

Blaine nodded, pressing in slowly and finding it really hard to keep going slow once the head of his cock was past that tight ring of muscle. His hands tightened in the sheets of the bed and he stopped, and Kurt’s hands gripped onto his arms tightly. Even just stalled, staying still as he felt the tightness around his cock and listened to Kurt breathe sharply, it was the best feeling he’d ever experienced in his life.

“Okay,” Kurt whimpered. “You can move.”

“Okay,” Blaine repeated, his voice a strained whisper as he kept his arms braced and he carefully thrust in a little more before pulling back, whining as he felt the dragging tightness against him with every movement. He felt dizzy, the perfect feeling of Kurt all around him completely overwhelming in every way he hadn’t ever imagined. Every little thrust into him was better than the last, and he didn’t think he was hurting him; at least it didn’t seem like it from the quiet keens coming from beneath him. “You okay?”

“Perfect.” Kurt’s hips rocked down to meet him and Blaine moaned, pushing in deeper and dropping his head down, his chin hitting his chest.

“You feel so good, Kurt,” he whimpered, knowing that the words didn’t even come close to what he meant. Kurt didn’t feel good – he felt amazing, wonderful, perfect, like heaven. Blaine just didn’t have the ability to put any of that into words with how hot and tight Kurt felt around him.

“So do you, Blaine, so good.” Blaine leaned in so he could kiss him, their mouths meeting for a brief moment before Kurt let out a soft cry.

“Oh God, sorry,” Blaine said, quickly pulling back but stopping when Kurt’s hands scrambled to bring him back again.

“Don’t be sorry,” Kurt said breathily, hands running down and pressing into the dimples of his lower back. “Felt good.”

As Blaine thrust back into him, he knew he wasn’t going to last very much longer. All the time he’d spent fingering him, he’d been teetering on the edge before he’d begun – and the fact that Kurt felt so perfect was pushing him closer, and fast. The fact that Kurt was encouraging, it made him not worry about hurting him. This was Kurt – he wasn’t going to hurt him, intentionally or otherwise.

He felt Kurt shift, then heard the familiar sound of skin sliding on skin and he could feel the backs of Kurt’s knuckles grazing against his stomach as his hand fisted over his cock. If he hadn’t been so close already, that would have made sure of it. He could feel his body trembling as he struggled to keep his weight up off Kurt, the steady thrusts of his hips building the tension even more.

Kurt gave a shout as he came, and the feeling of him tensing and clenching around him was more than enough to finish Blaine off. He moaned, biting his lip hard, and dropped down onto his forearms as he fought with himself to try and remember how to breathe. Moving wasn’t an option, at least not right away – he wasn’t even sure if he could if he wanted to. He nosed his way along Kurt’s jaw until he made his way to his mouth, kissing him sloppily but he didn’t care.

“Mmphh,” Kurt mumbled against his mouth, sucking on his lower lip before pulling back and huffing out a breath. “Need a second.”

“Me too,” Blaine whispered, pressing a kiss against his cheek and staying like that for a few long seconds before feeling like he should move. He slowly shifted back, pulling out of him and letting out a low whine as soon as he felt the lack of Kurt surrounding his dick. Kurt didn’t seem thrilled either, hissing softly and squirming against the bed. “I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Mkay.” Kurt dragged his fingertips up Blaine’s back, but let his hands drop away as he moved off the bed.

Blaine stumbled his way to the bathroom, unsteady on his feet. He got rid of the condom and grabbed a washcloth, getting it damp and cleaning himself off before making his way back to his room and up onto the bed. Kurt hadn’t moved, or at least it didn’t seem like it, and Blaine carefully wiped him off, getting as much come and lube off as he could manage.

“C’mere,” Kurt murmured once he was done, dropping the washcloth down onto the floor and pulling Blaine down tight against his chest. They were a mess of sweaty limbs and still uneven breath, but there wasn’t much more comforting or warm than being held in close against Kurt when they were both naked and worn out beyond words. Blaine hadn’t ever thought that he could be as comfortable with someone as to be like that, but it wasn’t surprising that it was true with Kurt.

That was how he knew the next day was going to be just fine.


Routine was what kept Blaine from being a nervous wreck. He and Kurt had woken up, showered, gotten ready (Blaine knew to dress nicely for an audition but apparently what wore on a regular basis was fine, according to Kurt), and gone straight to Java Central. Coffee, biscotti, and Kurt – the best way to start the day, guaranteed to start it off right.

The exam time for Relationships and Dialogues was from nine to eleven, which hadn’t exactly been a thrill for anyone. Dr. Birk had informed them that they were lucky it hadn’t been the seven o’clock time slot, because the likelihood of anyone staying awake through the presentations – herself included – would have been slim. As it was, they were lucky to have it on the first day and get it over with, so everyone would be free to focus on other things thereafter. At least, that was the optimistic way to look at it.

Blaine had convinced Kurt to come with him. He’d said it under the pretense of having him keep an eye on Roscoe for when he had to do his presentation, but that wasn’t it. Kurt hadn’t seemed to believe that was the reason, but Blaine figured he was more likely to think it was just to keep him from being nervous. It wasn’t like public speaking was one of his strong suits, after all. That still wasn’t it.

Kurt didn’t seem to mind; after all it had been one of his favorite classes the year prior. He’d greeted Dr. Birk when they got to the classroom, and Blaine had double checked that she’d gotten his Powerpoint. She’d offered to get it set up for him once it was his turn to go, so all he had to do was click a button to make the slides switch. He’d spent so much time working on it, so much time thinking about them, he knew exactly what each one had and how it went with what he was going to say. At least, he hoped he did.

“Alright, has everyone had their coffee so they can stay awake?” Dr. Birk asked as the last of the students filed in and made their way to their seats. Kurt sat behind Blaine, feet resting on the back rungs of his chair like a reminder he was there. “Let’s get started! I’ll take volunteers, but if no one offers themselves up then I’ll just have to start calling on people randomly. Everyone has to go, so no need to be shy.”

There were presentations about romantic relationships, presentations about abusive relationships, and everything in between. Blaine sat listening, waiting. A lot of the connections people were making with the material they’d covered in class were very loose connections, which made him feel a little better about his. He knew his nerves were going to get worse the longer he sat, but that still didn’t do anything to make him want to jump up and volunteer.

Except that it got to the point where it didn’t matter if he was ready or not, because he was the only person left.

“Hi, I’m Blaine,” he said, once he was up in front of the class, fingertips resting on the arrows of the keyboard for the computer. “I tried to make this as coherent as possible but I kept thinking of more stuff I wanted to say, so… sorry in advance.” He shrugged, a slightly apologetic smile tugging at the corners of his mouth as he pulled up the first slide.

[A picture of the Anderson family.]

“Families are something special. You have the one you’re born into, or adopted into, or fostered into, and that is your family. There’s never an expectation that there should be love, it’s just a given. Of course parents should love their children, and kids their parents in return. It’s almost like an adoration, the way family members feel about each other – it’s natural. Of course sometimes there are disappointments, moments of emotion that lead to things being said that aren’t entirely meant, but at the end of the day it’s still love.”

“Families aren’t always biological, or the standard makeup of parents and children. There are different types. There’s always that family you never expect, the one that catches you off-guard when it appears – a family of friends.”

[A picture of Brittany, Santana, Kurt, and Blaine.]

“Before this semester started, if you’d told me that I would be standing here today saying these things, I never would have believed you. Like I said, they sneak up on you. It’s those people you spend more time with than anyone else. You live with them, eat with them, spend every waking hour around one or another, and it’s something that almost feels like it might surpass the bond of your actual family because these are people that chose you, or you chose, not just people you were born to.”

[A picture of Santana curled up on the couch with Blaine.]

“Just like with your actual family, there are bound to be problems. Communication is a big part that often gets skipped over, and that’s where a lot of problems start. With a family of friends, there isn’t that underlying link of blood or overarching relationship holding you together, though, and that could cause doubt. How are people supposed to know how you feel if you don’t tell them? You could always show them. Even the littlest show of affection means something, but it doesn’t always make up for the words that aren’t being said.”

“It doesn’t always have to be something big, it really depends on the person. Some people only need a few words, a reassurance, an anchor to hold onto.”

[A picture of Kurt and Blaine’s hands, fingers linked together.]

“Other might need something more – a convincing gesture or proof that they’re really wanted.”

[A video clip, sound muted, from Santana singing to Brittany at karaoke.]

“In the end, as long as people are willing to talk, willing to communicate, those families can stay held together through the love involved.”

[A stock picture of two people sitting at a table, hands linked, staring at each other.]

“Love is different things to different people. Sometimes it’s easy. When you meet that person and you instantly know that no one else could possibly come close to making them feel the way they do. When every time you touch it’s like sparks shoot through you, and every time you kiss it’s full out fireworks – no matter how many times it happens, always the same. It’s not just about the physical, it’s about how they make you feel. When the simplest of words can turn a bad day into the best day. Like you could take over the world if they believed you could. How absolutely anything feels possible so long as they’re right there by your side.”

[A picture from a Pride Festival.]

“I’ve never understood how love could make people angry, especially when it doesn’t involve them. Who I love is my choice, it shouldn’t affect anyone but me and the other person involved. I’ve never understood how something that is supposed to be so pure and full of joy can be darkened by other people and their hate, based solely on body parts and gender. It’s a difficult concept to grasp, the fact that there are people out there who hate me just because I’m gay.”

“There’s so much more to me than that, just like there’s so much more to me than being blind. Those are small pieces of the bigger puzzle that is Blaine.”

“Those articles that we read, the ones about marriage equality and discrimination, those were what really got to me. I knew about it all before, but it felt so much more to have it there in front of me in writing, telling me about how there are people out there who consider my love to be lesser compared to theirs, simply based on who I love. My relationships have no direct impact on anyone else’s except the other people involved, so why does it seem like so many people feel like they should get to impact it?”

“I know what it feels like to be completely and utterly in love, and for the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would find something that feels that amazing to be bad.”

His mouth felt dry by the time he finished, and his heart was racing. The light applause from his classmates, echoing around the room just as it had at the end of every presentation, steeled him slightly as he made his way back to his seat and slid into it. Dr. Birk made her closing comments, about how she would email them her evaluations and how much she’d appreciated hearing everything they had to say – not just then but throughout the whole semester.

Blaine barely heard any of it. The buzz of all the students getting up from their seats, gathering their things, it didn’t even register with him. He got up, turning to say something to Kurt – because really he should address how he’d just professed that he was in love with him in front of his entire class – but he didn’t get any further than starting to open his mouth before Kurt’s arms were tight around him and their lips were pressed firmly together.

“I love you,” Kurt murmured, his fingers tightening briefly into the back of the vest Blaine was wearing. “I love you so much, Blaine.”

“I love you too,” Blaine said softly, a light thrill running through him at how those words sounded rolling off his tongue.

“I kind of got that impression.” Kurt pressed another kiss against his lips before pulling away, hand sliding down Blaine’s arm and into his own. “I’ll never get tired of hearing you say it, though.”

“You say that now,” Blaine teased, nudging him lightly before reaching down for Roscoe. “But I’ll bet you change your tune after the first week.”

“Absolutely not. I love you too much for that.”

As they walked across the campus, headed for the fine arts building and Blaine’s audition, he knew what he’d said was true. Months prior, he never would have expected to have those things to say. He hadn’t expected the friendships, the piecework family, the Kurt of it all. But there he was with all of it.
For the first time in his life, Blaine found himself welcoming the unexpected.

Chapter Text

Christmas was Blaine’s favorite holiday – there was just something so magical and wonderful about the whole season. The food, the eggnog, it was all part of the perfection of the holiday. Even the way Cooper liked to sneak snow into the house and stick it down the back of Blaine’s shirt whenever he got the chance, though Blaine usually managed to get his brother back in one way or another.

Of course he missed Kurt, who spent the holiday in Lima with his dad, but it wasn’t like he didn’t enjoy everything that happened. It wasn’t about the presents, the gifts; it was simply about being with his family and having that time to spend. The vibe around the Anderson house was much more relaxed and comfortable than he remembered, but he figured he might be able to chalk that up to how much better he felt being around his dad.

Getting an email from the music department letting him know that he was accepted was easily the best Christmas present he could have gotten. He hadn’t been worried about it, not except that tiny bit of lingering doubt in the back of his mind that was almost always there, but getting that email had felt like he was proving to everyone that he actually could do it.

After the holidays with his family, going back to the house he shared with Santana was strange. Well, it would have been if Brittany hadn’t been more into Christmas than even he was. He hadn’t expected it to still be like that when it was New Year’s Eve, though. The first step he took through the door, it almost hit him like a ton of bricks. Everything smelled like cinnamon, spices, pine needles, Christmas , and the soundtrack from A Charlie Brown Christmas was playing loudly from the speakers in the living room.

And then Brittany did hit him like a ton of bricks.

“Blaine!” She flung herself into his arms and kissed him full on the mouth, and he stumbled back a step – half not to fall over from the impact and half because she kissed him. “Merry Christmas!”

“Merry Christmas to you too,” he said, carefully stepping inside again and shutting the door. “Why, um… not that I’m really complaining, but why...”

“There’s mistletoe over the door,” Santana offered. “If that was what you’re asking.”

“Yes, it was,” Blaine said, shedding his coat and hanging it up by the door.

Santana .

“No, I’m not kissing the snow covered hobbit,” Santana drawled.

“Santana, you have to. There’s mistletoe .”

“No really, Brittany, it’s okay,” Blaine said quickly, making her sigh but at least she gave up on her efforts. “Did you have a good Christmas?”

“Yes! It was amazing!” Brittany said cheerfully, hugging him again and then pulling him further into the living room. “It’s still going on, now that you’re home!”

“We’ve been waiting, clearly,” Santana added, though Blaine wasn’t sure how long she could have meant. She’d gone home for the holidays just like he had, except her family didn’t live nearly as close. He didn’t know when she’d gotten back.

“Come on, we’re going to make cookies!”

Blaine didn’t have much of a chance to argue, nor would he have anyway, but he did manage to get rid of his shoes and change into more comfortable clothes before meeting them in the kitchen. It had been years since he’d made Christmas cookies, and even though the holiday was passed that didn’t take anything away from what they were going to do. Brittany had declared that Christmas lasted until the New Year started, and why would anyone want to argue with that?

Making cookies was a process, and their kitchen wasn’t that big to begin with. It was definitely a team activity – Santana measured the ingredients and poured them in, Blaine mixed, and Brittany scooped them out onto the cookie sheets. It really did feel like the Christmas all over again, the three of them huddled in close around the counter, singing along with the carols playing in the living room.

The front door opened and there was no way Blaine could have ever reacted faster than Brittany. He faintly heard Kurt start to greet her and then an almost strangled, surprised sound.

“Brittany!” Santana yelled over her shoulder, huffing out a breath indignantly. “Stop it!”


Kurt’s arms were still chilled from being out in the cold when they wrapped around Blaine’s waist, hugging him back against his chest, and his lips felt like ice against his neck.

Cold! Cold cold cold!” Blaine whined, squirming to get away from him.

“You’re so warm though,” Kurt said teasingly, nipping lightly at his skin. “Warm me up!”

“Warm yourself up,” Santana said, giving Kurt a nudge. “Brittany, you’re on decorating duty. Kurt, you can scoop. Maybe you’ll get more actually on the cookie sheet than in your mouth.”

“It was so yummy.” Brittany didn’t sound at all apologetic, but she didn’t seem too bothered about being put on a different task.

“Two seconds,” Kurt said, loosening his hold on Blaine enough so that he could turn around away from the counter. It had been too long – well, longer than they’d had to go ever – since they’d been together, and there was only so much that nightly phone calls could accomplish. Blaine slid his hands up Kurt’s chest and up over his shoulders, pulling him in for a kiss.

No amount of Christmas food, eggnog, presents, any of it, could ever be better than kissing Kurt. His lips were still cold but quickly getting warmer as Blaine sucked on his lower lip, running his tongue over it and sighing contently. He was leaning back against the counter, Kurt pressing as much of his body as he could manage flush against his, and oh he had really missed the feeling of Kurt’s weight on top of him.

“As much as I’d love a show, oh wait, no I wouldn’t…” Santana started dryly.

I would—”

“…could you two not have sex in the kitchen?” she continued, interrupting her girlfriend before she could go any further. “Because the cookies will burn, and then the fire department will have to come, and by that point I would be more than happy with the house burning down since I wouldn’t be able to be in here without thinking about that.”

“Hush, Satan,” Kurt murmured, dropping a few more light kisses against Blaine’s lips before pulling back. He slipped his arms around his waist and tugged him into a tight hug, his breath playing against his ear. “I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“I love you too.”

Brittany .” Santana sounded caught between annoyed and amused.

“What?” Brittany asked innocently, her arms slipping around Kurt and Blaine and hugging them as best she could. “I do love them. That doesn’t mean I love you any less – it’s different. I have a lot of love to give. I’m like the Grinch, when his heart grows super big!”

Well no one could really argue with her about that.

Once all the cookies had been baked, Kurt and Blaine worked on clean up while Brittany and Santana decorated – though Blaine questioned how much decorating Brittany was doing as opposed to just eating the icing. He actually whispered as much to Kurt, but he was assured that she was making very artistic choices when it came to the cookies she was decorating. The best part about cleaning up was that they could leave the kitchen while the girls waited for the rest of the cookies to be done.  

They abandoned the music that had been playing, taking over the sound system for the purpose of putting on White Christmas . It was Blaine’s favorite Christmas movie and he couldn’t think of anything better to listen to while he got to curl up on the couch with Kurt. They sprawled out across the length of it, blanket pulled over to keep them warm as they nestled in close.

It was an afternoon full of whisperings and lazy kisses. The laughter and conversation in the kitchen was tuned out easily enough, though it was nice to hear Santana in such good spirits – Brittany too, but she was almost always that way. Blaine wasn’t sure if he could express through words how glad he was that Kurt was there, how much he’d missed him and how so very much he loved him. He was fairly certain Kurt understood, but he did everything he could to put those feelings into every kiss, every touch, every word.

Kurt sang along with most of the songs, and Blaine hummed along for some. He’d much rather listen to Kurt than sing himself, and Kurt was singing so softly right by his ear it was almost like a secret that he was doing it at all. By the time the movie got to the end, the girls had joined them and brought a plate filled with freshly iced cookies. It meant that they had to sit up, to make room and to eat, but by that point the cookies were worth it.

Brittany wanted to watch Elf once White Christmas was over, and they went on like that most of the day until the New Years Rockin’ Eve show started. Dinner was a hodge podge assortment made up of all the leftovers that had made their way into the fridge from the various family holiday dinners. Santana had procured several bottles of sparkling wine, surprising no one, and by the time the countdown to midnight started they were all at least a little buzzed.

10… 9… 8…7…

Blaine couldn’t remember the last time he’d been at any sort of New Year’s Eve party – his parents usually kept it low key if they weren’t going over to a colleague’s house for the holiday. If they had gone out, it was even more low key because that meant it had just been Blaine at home with a friend or two, It was never a big deal, never a celebration for much of anything.

6… 5…4…

It just kind of went to show how far they had all come in a semester, considering that Santana hadn’t even thought about having a big party like he would have assumed months prior. The topic was never even broached; it was just an assumption that it was going to be the four of them bringing in the New Year together. Because that’s what families did.

3… 2…

There were only so many times that Blaine could feel overwhelmed by the love around him, but he hadn’t seemed to run out of them yet. The way it practically radiated off of Kurt, how Santana had started being her normal self (as in how she was around him when no one else was watching, her real self) all the time, which he knew he could attribute to Brittany and how much they loved each other. It really was amazing what love could do.


For the first time in his life, Blaine had someone to kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve. It was a long, searing kiss, tongues slipping and sliding against each other as Auld Lang Syne blared in the background. They pulled apart by the time the chorus hit, and Blaine was immediately accosted by another pair of lips on his own – bubblegum lip gloss smearing against his lips, just like it had when he’d gotten home. Then another, cherry lip gloss that time, quicker and more chaste than Brittany’s but the thought was still there.

Kurt tugged him in again and Blaine ran the tip of his tongue against the seam of his mouth, tasting the mixed flavors of lip gloss on his lips too. The fact that Santana had kissed Kurt, too – even though it was just because it was New Year’s Eve at midnight – made his heart soar even more. The fact that the most important people in his life were getting along made him feel like everything was falling into place perfectly.

They didn’t stop kissing the entire way back to Blaine’s room, nor when they toppled over onto his bed. And as they tangled together, limbs and sheets and everything, he knew that couldn’t have imagined a better end to a year.