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Blaine say out in the front of Burt’s and Carole’s just waiting for a moment. Tonight was family dinner. As the two had showered that morning and addressed the whole issues of their relationship, defined what they were and decided to start over Kurt had invited him to dinner. The first one in two years. Blaine sat and cleared his thoughts before sending Kurt a text message. Are you sure I should be here. I don’t want to cause tension.

Kurt stopped in the middle of his salad making to check his phone and text Blaine back. I want you here. You’re not causing anyone tension, but if you don’t want to be here, I can understand that too. I miss you already. I’m sorry I should have called you earlier and just said that.

Blaine smiled and texted back. He could do this. I’m outside. I’m walking up the steps now. I just watched Finn and Rachel walk inside. I feel like hell and probably look just as bad. He pushed the car open and walked up to the steps and knocked a moment before waiting. He normally would have just walked in, but today was different.

Kurt read his text and sighed softly. Blaine didn’t have to be here, and Kurt hated to think he was somehow forcing him. Especially after everything that was happening between them. He wanted Blaine to feel supported and cared for not stressed out and harried. He tucked away his phone, fixed a smile on his face and headed out to say hi to Finn and Rachel. He noted their linked hands and told himself for the hundredth time to just play along. It wasn’t his business really when and how they chose to deal with anything. He knew today was for the family, so he waited his turn and then he pulled Rachel into a quick hug. “You look beautiful,” he whispered in her ear. She did too. Even though he knew she must be on the verge of a breakdown, she looked perfectly put together on the outside. Then he smiled at Finn. “Dinner’s almost ready,” he said. His eyes flitted to the door, waiting for Blaine.

Blaine smiled as his eyes met Kurt’s from the porch, “hey.” He kissed him on the cheek lightly before looking into the living area and seeing Rachel and Finn. He didn’t want to seem avoiding, but he knew the situation was tense. He yawned slightly and sighed, “I hope I don’t look too bad.

Kurt reached for and squeezed Blaine’s hands. “You look perfect to me,” he said. Not quite a lie really. He looked tired like he had before, but he was Blaine and he was here and all Kurt could see was the man he loved and was so very worried for. “Come on in, I think the others are saying hi to Dad and Carole now,” Kurt let go of Blaine’s hands and led him inside. Then he closed the door behind them and smiled at Blaine one more time before leading him into where the others were. “so that’s everyone,” he said, trying to sound light. He caught the look in his dad’s eyes. He’d known Blaine was invited but already he was trying to work out what had changed. Kurt was worried for all of them at this point. With his dad on the case, no one was safe.

Blaine watched as Rachel followed Carole into the dining room. It was obvious that she was upset and this was going to be incredibly rough on her. She had been keeping this painful secret for such a long time. He looked to Kurt after a moment and followed. He felt Burt’s eyes on him, and wondered about whether or not he was trying to either figure out why he was here or why he looked like he might fall over from exhaustion, but the look was indistinct. He sighed and wrapped an arm around Rachel and smiled at her, “Hey.”

Kurt felt his heart in his throat. They’d not even sat down yet and already the tension in the room was mounting. He trailed along quietly into the kitchen and grabbed the first thing he saw that needed to be carried out to the table. Finn was there setting out the plates and Kurt began transporting the food and even though they worked quietly, Kurt shot a smile of support to Finn. It seemed like Blaine had Rachel for the time being so that was good. Burt took his spot at the table before they were even done, and dinner went on.

Blaine squeezed Rachel’s hand softly before sinking into the chair across from her. He wanted to help her escape, but he knew he couldn’t. He followed along with the charade, just continuing with dinner before a wave of dizziness hit him and he closed his eyes. He really felt terrible all of a sudden, and the stress of the situation wasn’t helping. He stood up and excused himself to the bathroom and splashed some cold water on his face before sitting in silence for a few moments.

Kurt watched Blaine as he left the table and he had to fight to keep in his seat. He wanted to run after him, ask if he was okay, obviously he wasn’t but… he wanted to tell him it was okay to leave or lie down or just anything other than sit at that table and pretend they were all happy. Suddenly the whole thing was starting to feel like a bit too much, and he was angry feeling. Not at any particular person but at the situation. He wished they could just laugh and be together but this was a farce, really. He drank down his diet coke in almost one gulp and then answered some questions his dad asked about work and how he was liking his place. All the while he felt sure the room was moments from an explosion.

Blaine stood up and sighed before slumping back down onto the toilet seat. Coming to Lima had been a terrible idea. The doctor had even suggested he not take the trip because of the stress, but he didn’t listen. He was thankful he hadn’t because he was able to reconcile with Kurt but he didn’t really want to go back out to the party because he felt Burt’s eyes on him along with Carole’s. It was obvious to those who hadn’t seen him in years that he was tired, overworked, and sick. He sighed again as he pulled out his phone and sent Kurt a text, ‘I’m sick. I need you. I’m in the hall bathroom.”

“Dad did you say something about getting a driver for when you’re in Washington? Is that really something you do now?” He stuffed a big bite of tomato in his mouth and chewed. God this was really the most ridiculous night. Maybe they could keep his dad talking about unimportant issues and give everyone else a break. Kurt felt like an asshole sitting here so upset. It’s not as if any of it were happening to him. No, just the people he loved most in this world. That’s when his phone chirped quietly. He read the message and then took another bite. “Be right back,” he promised. He slipped out of the room but not before he shot Finn and Rachel a look that he hoped told them exactly where he was going.

Blaine looked up at Kurt when the door popped open and he slid down on the floor next to him, “I can’t take the stress. It’s killing me.” He sighed and closed his eyes tiredly, “I should lay down and you should tell Burt and Carole everything. Tell them we’re back together, and about the cancer. It’s not going to be long before we have to anyway, and it might take some of the pressure off Rachel and Finn.” He leaned his head over on Kurt’s shoulder and sighed, “I’m sorry I’m such a drag.”

Kurt pulled Blaine against him. “Can I drive you back to the hotel or do you just want to climb into my bed? You’re not going back to that table, and yes I will handle everything, I promise. I love you Blaine.” he kissed the top of Blaine’s head and fought back the need to hold this man and cry all over again.

Blaine let Kurt help him upstairs to bed before he leaned over to him and kissed his cheek. He could hear the yelling coming from downstairs, and it really was about time it came to a full head and exploded in the room. He could only imagine what would have happened to him if he had still been down there. He brushed his hand one more time over Kurt’s and whispered, “go pull focus,” before closing his eyes and dozing off.

It was after Kurt tucked Blaine into bed gently before kissing his forehead one last time that things got bad. He heard the crying and screaming from downstairs, and knew that Rachel and Finn had finally exploded, facing their marital issues and loss head on at the dinner table, and it was time to face the music. Literally. He headed down the stairs, approaching the dining room with caution. While he wasn’t about to interrupt, he wanted to be on hand if he was needed. for parental distraction maybe, or to drive either Finn or Rachel somewhere. He rested his hand on the wall on the edge of the room and took in the scene before him as Finn stormed out and left without Rachel.

Blaine resigned to not sleeping after a few moments. He might feel like crap, but the screaming from downstairs followed by the door closing, footsteps on the stairs and Rachel’s crying were enough to pull him out of it to go investigate. Once in the doorway of the living room he looked at Kurt before nodding at him that he was okay and taking Rachel in his arms.

Kurt just stayed put where he was. He felt sure that if Rachel needed to leave, she would say so, but just maybe what she needed more was to be able to get this off her chest. He hoped so, he hoped it gave her even the tiniest bit of relief. “I know that’s how you feel, I do,” he whispered, still stroking her hair. He glanced up at Blaine in the doorway and he felt the first tears start to prickle his eyes. Nope, he wasn’t crying. Not right now. later, preferably tucked into bed with Blaine asleep in his arms. Then he could cry, right now he just stayed by his friend.

**

Kurt knew it wasn’t going to be easy to tell his dad and Carole about Blaine. It was going to get rougher still when he explained that they were back together. Kurt knew he was still young in their eyes, but he was smart. he knew what he was doing, jumping back in with Blaine. When he’d weighed the options, and he had, he just couldn’t justify waiting to see what happened with Blaine’s health. After two years of hurt, Kurt wasn’t going to waste another minute of his life being apart from Blaine and no one could tell him otherwise.

The timing was bad. He knew that too. In the aftermath of a rough family dinner that had revealed Finn and Rachel’s marital struggles and miscarriage, it was going to be hard to deliver more bad news, but what choice did he have? This was happening right now and Blaine wanted them to know. Kurt wanted them to know too. Whatever else happened, Blaine would need all the support he could get, and really, so would he.

They sat in the living room, and Carole took Burt’s hand before Kurt could say anything. They were worried, and really, they were right to be worried. It made Kurt feel young and nervous, but he took a deep breath any way. His dad jumped in before he could start.

“What’s this about, Kurt. Is this about Finn and Rachel, because last night you were pretty clear about not getting involved,” he said.

“No, dad, it’s not. It’s about Blaine.” Kurt told them.

“Oh, well, you don’t have to tell us you’re back together with him, I think it was pretty obvious last night the way you ran after him. And you were texting at the table. Anyway, you’re a grown man, now. You make you’re own decisions. It was pretty good seeing Blaine again, even if the dinner didn’t work out.” Burt looked like he was going to say more but Carole stopped him. She must have seen something in Kurt’s expression.

“Right, sorry. Go on Kurt, we’re listening.” Burt said finally.

Kurt folded his hands and sqeezed them tightly together. “Blaine and I are together,” he bagan. “But what I need to tell you is that he’s sick.” Kurt had to stop, he was already feeling choked up and he hadn’t even gotten past the first couple of sentences. His parents looked concerned and Carole spoke up in the silence.

“Kurt, honey, what is it?” she asked softly.

“It’s cancer,” Kurt wished he could find a way to say those words without crying but the few times he’d said them he’d burst into tears. Now was no different. He folded over, his hands covering his face as he wept.

“Kurt, hey…” He felt the love seat give and his dad and Carole squeezed onto it on either side of him. They wrapped their arms around him, which felt really good but also just made him feel like it was okay to cry harder. He’d only known about this for such a short time. He’d not really been able to deal with it as a reality, even though he knew it was. When he could talk again he explained that it was testicular cancer, and that he was having surgery when he got back to New York. The three of them sat like that on the couch for a long time. Kurt wasn’t even sure how long he cried but it was totally self indulgent and he didn’t care. It felt good to give into the grief and the fear for a while. After that, Carole began to ply him with hot tea with honey and it helped sooth his raw throat and nerves. She told him what she knew about testicular cancer, which wasn’t much but she promised to help point him in the right direction for research too. He wasn’t surprised when his dad finally spoke up about their relationship again.

“I’m worried about you now, Kurt,” he began. “Maybe getting back together with Blaine isn’t the best idea right now. Maybe you two ought to slow it down a little.”

“What happened to me being a grown man and making my own decisions?” Kurt asked. He didn’t want to hear these things but he’d known they were coming anyway.

“Well, now Kurt, that’s still true, but I can’t help but think you’re rushing back into things with him because he’s sick. That’s not fair to either of you.” Burt said.

“It does seem a little sudden, if you two only just saw each other at the reunion.” Carole added softly. Kurt hated to be putting that worried look on her face.

“It is sudden, I know that. We know that, but I just don’t feel like it’s worth wasting time over. I’ve always been in love with Blaine. You know there hasn’t been anyone else that important.” Kurt felt his voice raising.

“I know that, son, I do. You gotta be patient with me. I love you, and I love Blaine, but times are about to get really rough for him. Don’t you think it would be better to be his friend right now?” Burt asked.

Kurt could feel his defenses coming up fast. “You mean, things will be easier for me if we don’t get too involved. Easier when he dies.” Kurt accused. He could feel his face getting hot with anger.

“That’s not what I said Kurt, don’t put words in my mouth. Of course I’m worried for how this affects you and what it would be like if you lost Blaine, but I’m smart enough to know that it wouldn’t matter if you were together or not, you love Blaine and losing him would never be alright or easy.” Kurt noticed tears in his dad’s eyes then too.

“I meant just what I said. This is going to be hard on Blaine. Maybe harder than either of you know.” he looked over at Carole and she nodded, her eyes welling up all over again too. “He’ll need you sometimes and other times he might not want to look at you. He’s going to get angry and sad and everything in between. So are you. I know what that’s like, and I never wanted you to have to face that. But, Kurt, if the two of you think it’s best to do this together, then we’ll support you all the way. Both of you.”

They wrapped Kurt up in another long hug and when they’d calmed down just a little bit, Carole said they’d be happy to come to New York, to help if they could and his dad reminded him to keep them updated on everything. They made Kurt promise to give Blaine their love and to tell them they’d be thinking of him every day. When Kurt finally left for the airport that evening, he felt just a little bit calmer knowing he had his family behind him, and behind Blaine as well.