1 : a power that is believed to control what happens in the future
2 : the things that will happen to a person : the future that someone will have
Blaine is sixteen and being held after class; that's how their story starts.
Mrs. Richards, his AP History teacher, calls his name as everyone's filing out. "Blaine, I'd like to see you. Could you stay for a moment?"
And really, he can't. There's an impromptu Warblers performance being held in the senior common room in less than five minutes and they kind of can't start without their lead soloist present and accounted for. He sighs to himself and turns away from the door to walk back up to her desk. Blaine tries to remind himself that his parents are paying a ridiculous tuition for him to learn, not sing.
"Is there something wrong?" he asks after the room has cleared out. Blaine runs a few ideas through his head but nothing makes any sense. He's got an A in the class, he turned his report in early for extra credit, and really, he's one of the smartest kids in the class, as arrogant as that sounds.
"No, no, not at all," she says with a smile. "I just wanted to run something by you."
He takes a seat and resists the urge to look at the clock. "Sure."
She pauses for a few seconds. "How do you feel about tutoring?"
His eyebrows shoot up. "Tutoring? I thought I had an A in this class?"
She laughs. "No, how do you feel about becoming a tutor?"
"Oh," he says with a frown. "I didn't think that was something really available to sophomores."
She gives him a small shrug. "Typically it's not but you've got a very impressive grade in this class, Blaine. This is a difficult course, I'm sure you know that."
He nods. He's definitely aware of how heavy his course load is.
"I think some of the students that are struggling could really benefit from the help of a fellow classmate." She pauses and thinks something over. "And I think it could be something positive for you, too."
Blaine gives her a confused look.
"Maybe," she starts. "Maybe you could get to know some of your classmates a little better."
He frowns. "I know my classmates." Everyone knows Blaine. He's not exactly shy.
"I know," she agrees. "You're very social and clearly a very talented performer. I know everyone likes you, Blaine. That's not hard to see."
"I'm sorry but I'm a little confused, Mrs. Richards."
She sighs and sits on her desk so she's facing him. "You know most of the students in this school, Blaine. But how many of them are you actually close with?"
Suddenly, he feels awkward about having a conversation with his History teacher about his personal life. He glances at the clock and sees he has a little more than 2 minutes.
"I have friends here," he tells her in a measured voice, which really doesn't answer her question.
Mrs. Richard gives him a small smile and seems to admit defeat. "Well, think it over. I've got some paperwork for you to read and fill out," she says as she stands to make her way to the file cabinet.
Blaine glances at the clock again and fumbles around with the watch in his pocket. Wes is going to be so annoyed.
"Here's all the forms you'll need to look over," she advises. He takes them as quickly as he can without seeming impolite and then stands.
"Thanks for thinking of me," he says, already headed towards the door. "I'll definitely get these back to you."
With that, Blaine's out the door and heading towards the main staircase. He notices that pretty much everyone else is headed in the same direction so word must have gotten out.
He takes the stairs quickly and steals a look at his pocket watch. Wes is going to be seriously irritated. Blaine is never, never late and today really isn't the best day to start.
Blaine reaches the foot of the stairs when he hears a voice behind him. It's quiet and soft and definitely unfamiliar.
"Excuse me. Um, hi. Can I ask you a question? I'm -- I'm new here."
Blaine turns and, oh. His immediate first thought is, Wow, there's no way he goes to this school without me knowing it.
His second thought, a little more rational, is, Yeah, there's no way he goes to this school. So, okay, a spy.
It's sadly not the first spy they've had show up to Dalton to check out the competition and every time it happens, Blaine's always surprised that high school kids care this much about their show choir competitors but whatever, to each his own.
Blaine's pretty sure it is the first one, however, that's shown up and tried to blend in. And he's beyond positive that it's the first one that's shown up with a smile like that.
They usually have a format for when they catch spies hiding out in the auditorium; Blaine's heard David give the speech a handful of times now. That speech does not include inviting the spy to sit in on the performance and the format definitely doesn't include grabbing the spy's hand and running down an empty hallway like they're in some sort of Julia Roberts rom-com.
But that's totally what happens and Blaine's really not too sure what to make of it after the fact.
There's something off about this kid, this Kurt. Blaine has this absolutely bizarre feeling coursing through him, this sense of familiarity, a surreal sort of knowing. Like he knows this kid already, or at the very least that he will soon.
He can't shake it.
It's a weird feeling at first but after a few weeks, he chalks it up to his subconscious letting him know ahead of time that the quiet, timid boy on the stairwell would be his friend someday, someone he could relate to, someone Blaine could be strong for.
Two months after that, he wonders if it was maybe more than that, if somehow it was a sign that he just met his best friend.
But by April, Blaine's head over heels in love. Sometimes he idly considers the 'what if' of it all: what if Kurt had used the side entrance and never stepped foot on that stairwell, what if Kurt had stopped someone else, what if he had just watched the performance from the hallway, what if?
During the last week of his sophomore year, Blaine hands Mrs. Richards a pre-printed Thank You card; inside he writes, You changed my life.
1 : a force generated by a person's actions believed to cause good or bad things to happen
2 : doctrine of inevitable consequence
Blaine is seventeen and sitting in the William McKinley choir room surrounded by five football players.
It's not really how he pictured his junior year but as Blaine glances behind him to look at the incredibly attractive, extremely well-dressed kid sitting in the corner with impressively sexy posture and reading the newest Vogue, he can definitely say he has no complaints.
As it stands, New Directions is falling apart. It's a little over a month until Regionals and everyone is fighting. Today's glee club rehearsal was the first time Blaine had ever really seen Mr. Schuester yell and it was more than a little worrying. After the bell rang, he told the class in no uncertain terms to get their crap together, sort out their problems, and be ready to work as a team by tomorrow.
Which is how Blaine finds himself sitting amongst five newly single football players all commiserating and making excuses and whining.
"Okay," Blaine interrupts. He feels a little weird taking charge like this but someone has to put an end to all of the drama, even if the rest of the club seems to feed on it. "So why don't we figure this out?"
Five pairs of eyes turn on him. No one says anything.
Blaine clears his throat. "I'll admit, I'm not currently up to date on who's dating who right now so you might have to refresh me."
Someone coughs. And then it's silent again.
"Right," Blaine says slowly. "Look, I really think we should figure this out by tomorrow. Today was super uncomfortable." He looks around. "Any volunteers?"
Puck gives him a skeptical look. "No offense, dude, but what makes you think you can solve our problems?"
"Yeah," Finn adds. "Don't take this the wrong way but, well, you don't really have a lot of experience with girls."
Blaine blinks. "Okay, well, don't any of you take this the wrong way but I'm the only one of us in a relationship."
Sam frowns and mulls that over.
"That is true," Artie says.
They all glance over at Kurt, still engrossed in his magazine in the corner and definitely not paying any attention to the rest of them.
"Okay," Puck says tentatively. "So what do you do when the girl you're sort of dating accuses you of using her for sex and then stops putting out?"
"Uh," Blaine answers. "That's -- I have no idea. Are you using Santana for sex? Or is it more than that?"
He shrugs. "I kinda like her, yeah."
"I'm assuming you've told her that?"
He frowns. "I sang her a song. That counts, right?"
Blaine stares at him. "No."
Puck leans back in his seat. "Okay so you're saying I should tell her I like her?"
"Yes," Blaine says simply.
He hesitates. "Isn't talking about feelings kind of… gay?"
Blaine looks at him blankly. "Just tell her you like her. I can't be any clearer than that."
They sit in silence for a minute.
"Okay," Finn says finally. "What if your girlfriend is mad at you for hanging out with your ex-girlfriend?"
"So Rachel broke up with you for hanging out with Quinn?" Blaine asks, trying to keep up. Apparently Kurt isn't keeping him as informed with the ever-revolving relationships as he should be.
Finn doesn't answer and for the first time, Blaine notices that he's steadfastly avoiding Sam's gaze.
"Right," Blaine says. "Well first I think you need to figure out why you're hanging out with your ex-girlfriend instead of your current girlfriend."
"Nothing?" Blaine tries. "No ideas at all."
"Well," he starts. "I guess maybe because she's been talking about college a lot. And where we're going to live. And it's starting to freak me out."
"Perfect," he responds. "That's a totally valid concern, Finn. So what did she say when you told her that? Was she defensive?"
"What?" Finn asks, sounding totally stunned. "Are you crazy? I can't tell her that!"
"Wait, what? Why?"
"Oh my god," he answers, eyes wide. "Have you ever seen her angry? It's scary, man."
"I -- okay," Blaine says, sounding unsure. "I'm not really sure what to tell you then. You really need to be honest with her. If you're not, or if you can't be, then you're going to have way bigger problems."
Finn watches him carefully. "I really don't want to do that."
Blaine resists an eye roll. "You're the captain of like, every sport, Finn. I think you can man up and do this one thing."
Finn sits back and looks defeated.
"I've got one," Artie offers.
"Go for it," Blaine tells him.
"What if she tells you she loves you and you don't say it back?"
Blaine raises his eyebrows. "That's a tough one. If you're not in love with Brittany, you should definitely tell her as soon as possible. Trust me, you don't want to drag it out and make it worse."
"Oh, no," Artie says. "I'm in love with her."
Blaine waits for the rest of the sentence but apparently there isn't any.
"Uh, I'm lost then. Why aren't you saying it back?"
Artie gives him a dubious look. "Dude, you can't give the girl all the power. If you tell a girl that you love her, then she'll know that you love her." He pauses and thinks. "Should I just sing to her? That usually works."
Blaine scrubs his hand over his face. "I -- I'm actually at a loss here."
They all stare back at him, confused.
"I'm trying to make sure I understand this," Blaine says carefully. "You would all rather break up than talk to your girlfriends?"
They look at each other and shrug in agreement.
Blaine gapes at them.
"You're new to this," Artie tells him after a long silence. "But singing a song in front of everyone really does work, yo."
"But why do you have to do that?" Blaine asks. "Can't you just have an actual conversation instead of, you know, breaking up?"
"Okay, wait a minute," Finn says instead of answering. "Are you trying to tell me you guys have never broken up? Not once?"
Blaine's almost insulted at how incredulous he sounds. "Yes," he responds. "That's exactly what I'm telling you."
"Bull," Sam says immediately.
"What?" Blaine asks, sounding defensive. "Why is that so hard to believe?"
He starts to shift uncomfortably as they all stare.
"Kurt!" Finn calls, turning in his chair to face him.
Kurt looks up and glances between all six pairs of eyes. He doesn't say anything.
"When's the last fight you two had?" he asks Kurt, gesturing to Blaine.
Kurt frowns slightly and thinks. "I have no idea. Is it relevant?"
"Apparently, yes," Blaine answers. "They seem skeptical about how stable we are."
"Oh. No, we're pretty solid," he tells the rest of them. He goes back to reading.
"But -- there has to -- I don't buy it," Finn sputters. "You have to have fights. You're in high school."
Blaine says, "Sorry, no," just as Kurt looks up and says, "Maybe every once in awhile."
Blaine gives him a puzzled look and twists in his seat to face him. "Wait, what? When do we fight?"
Kurt closes his magazine and tilts his head. "Well, maybe that one time on our way --"
"When we went to the zoo?" Blaine finishes. "No way. You told me you knew a better route than the GPS and I told you that you definitely didn't. That doesn't count as a fight."
He scrunches his nose. "It doesn't?" Blaine shakes his head. "Okay, how about when you almost --"
"The sweater? I didn't even buy it. As soon as you said it was ugly, I put it back. Still doesn't count."
"It wasn't ugly," Kurt says with disdain. "It was a transgression against all mankind. Literally."
"Not literally," Blaine corrects.
He rolls his eyes and mutters, "You're literally the most annoying person I know."
Based on who he's currently surrounded by, Blaine seriously doubts that but lets it go. "The point remains: not a fight."
"Okay," he sighs. "Then maybe over Christmas --"
"Still no," Blaine interrupts. "Not immediately agreeing on which movie to watch first really isn't considered a fight, Kurt. Especially since we ended up watching both."
Kurt is silent. "Then I guess not, Finn," he admits, sounding almost amused.
Blaine turns to see all five boys staring at him, gaping. Then they start firing questions at him:
"Nobody's slept with anybody's best friend?"
"So have you bought him a promise ring?"
"Does he get mad when your mom comes along on your dates?"
"You don't ever get mad when he says he's going to stop fooling around with you unless you buy him stuff?"
Blaine's eyes widen and he stands up abruptly. "Okay, maybe I can't help you. You all seem to know what you're doing. Just sing them a song or buy them things or do whatever it is you normally do because it's clearly worked for you this far."
They're all just staring at him expectantly.
"I'm going to --" he starts, pointing towards Kurt. "Yeah. I'm going over there now."
He takes the seat next to Kurt, who's resumed reading his magazine. "Wow."
Kurt hums a response and turns the page.
The boys start talking amongst themselves but Blaine tries to ignore the conversation. They're planning some grand gesture (and he thinks he hears something about a Billy Joel mash-up with T-Pain) which Blaine decides he really just wants no part of.
"How did you turn out so normal?" he asks Kurt.
Kurt looks up then and raises an eyebrow. "The next time you correct my vocabulary, I'm going to stop fooling around with you."
Blaine stares at him, trying to gauge how serious he is. "Liar."
They eye each other. "God, these guys are such terrible influences on you," Blaine groans. "Please don't start following their example now."
Kurt goes back to reading his magazine and Blaine scoots his chair closer so that they can share. "Just buy me a promise ring," Kurt says quietly and Blaine can tell he's trying not to laugh. "I'm sure that'll solve everything."
Blaine lets out an exaggerated sigh. "I think the last thing I would ever do is listen to the advice of the guys in this glee club."
"Honestly, the girls aren't much better."
"Really," Kurt says seriously. "Really."
"We could just keep doing what we're doing," Kurt suggests.
"Talking?" Blaine asks theatrically. "Communicating? Sharing?"
"It's worked so far," Kurt answers with a grin. "We must be doing something right."
They flip through the magazine for a few minutes while Blaine continues to ignore the mash-up discussion taking place ten feet away.
"I don't see why they're so skeptical," Kurt says after awhile. His tone has changed and he meets Blaine's eyes. "I mean, you haven't impregnated my best friend or joined New Directions for the sole intention of sabotage. To the best of my knowledge, you're not sending racy texts to other guys or using me to get popular for a prom king nomination."
Blaine furrows his eyebrows. "You're popular enough for me to use you for a prom king nomination?"
"No," Kurt sighs. "Not the point here. Focus."
He closes the magazine and takes Blaine's hand. "I just mean -- you're really good to me."
He squeezes Kurt's hand. "We're good to each other," he clarifies. "We're good at this and we're good at us because we work at it and make it important everyday. So yeah, we're good to each other, we're good for each other, because we're in love."
It comes out sounding earnest and incredibly cheesy but Kurt graciously lets it slide. "Well let's go be good for each other on the basement couch. My parents aren't home."
He hums and grins back at Kurt. "You always know just what I'm thinking."
They pack everything up and head towards the door without a backward glance to the rest of the glee club boys; they're still planning their unlikely romantic musical number and don't even notice Blaine and Kurt sneak out.
Blaine thinks about it as they hold hands down the empty hallway, thinks about how everyday they earn this.
1 : a hypothetical force that unpredictably determines events favorably or unfavorably
2 : the turns and courses of luck accompanying one's progress through life
Blaine is eighteen and freaking out about college.
It's a rough decision but he and Kurt agree to not talk about it. It's nearly impossible because Kurt is his best friend, his boyfriend, and not being able to talk about something so monumental with the person he's closest to means he just doesn't really talk about it all. He internalizes it which only makes the process more stressful and tense.
Breaking up after high school and letting each other start over isn't really something they ever discuss in great detail. It's the beginning of senior year and they're both at the public library during the only real conversation they ever have about it.
Kurt's leaning over a book about which grants to apply for and Blaine's skimming one about schools geared towards Political Science. Kurt's head pops up and Blaine looks at him when he realizes that Kurt's eyes have been on him for a few minutes.
"What's up?" he asks.
"Are we --" Kurt stops himself and just keeps watching Blaine.
"Are we what?" Blaine asks.
"After high school," Kurt says after a long pause.
Blaine's definitely confused. "What about after high school?"
Kurt swallows. "That's what I'm asking you."
It clicks then and Blaine's heart rate picks up a bit. "Oh. We're not -- or wait -- are we?" As dense as it sounds, especially from someone as self-aware as he is, Blaine never even thought of the possibility of breaking up.
"I don't want to," Kurt says quietly with wide eyes. Blaine can tell he's nervous.
"Me either," Blaine tells him just as softly.
Kurt sighs in relief and nods. They both return to their books. It's the only time they ever question it.
But it doesn't change the fact that they've decided not to talk about colleges. They both agree that they don't want to make a decision about the next four years based on someone else, regardless of how important that someone else is. They're both well aware of how concerned their parents are that they'll be those kids, the ones that pick a college together just to stay together. Blaine really doesn't have the heart to tell his parents that it doesn't really matter where he goes to school or how far away Kurt is for the next four years. Their relationship is pretty solid; he's not even remotely concerned that they won't make it. Blaine knows it sounds naďve so he keeps it to himself.
Still, the idea of being far away from Kurt for four years is pretty depressing. As awesome as college sounds and as excited as he is to get out of Ohio, every once in awhile he just wishes everything would slow down so he could enjoy his time with Kurt without the idea of the future looming over them like a threat instead of the promise that it's supposed to be.
So they don't talk about it.
Blaine tries to focus on what schools would be a good fit for him, which schools have the best Poli Sci programs, which schools are in his tuition range. He considers location, looks into their musical program just for the hell of it, and Googles nearby attractions to each school. The harder he tries not to focus on what details Kurt's looking into, the more he fixates on it.
The rational part of Blaine, the part that's been Kurt's best friend for the better part of two years, kind of thinks Kurt might not go too far. Yeah, he's been dying to get the hell out of Lima since before he can remember but when it comes down to it, Blaine really believes that Kurt won't be able to leave his dad too far behind. This same rational part thinks that Kurt will probably find a relatively liberal city somewhere around Ohio and apply to the schools with the best Musical Theater programs.
The less rational part of Blaine, the part that's been Kurt's boyfriend for a year and a half and the part that's desperate to keep him close, that part can't stop stressing about L.A. About San Francisco. About Seattle. Sometimes Blaine looks half-heartedly at schools out west but after about an hour, he always stops himself because he knows that there's exactly one reason he'd possibly apply anywhere that far away. The West Coast schools just aren't his thing and applying to any of them would defeat the entire purpose of everything they're trying to accomplish.
He looks east, sometimes. Boston, New York, Baltimore maybe. He applies to a few colleges out that way: University of Rochester, Penn State, University of Maryland, places he can really see himself being happy.
Hard as he tries to push the thoughts away, it never quite works completely. Blaine tries to envision a future where he's sitting in a dorm room somewhere in Philadelphia and talking on a cell phone to Kurt, who's studying in a library someplace in Berkley. It's always an unpleasant visual and it bothers him every single time it pops into his head.
They make a routine of going to the library and setting up camp at one of the back tables with all of the college guides and brochures and reference materials that they've accumulated over the summer. Every once in awhile Kurt will hint at something or try to fish for details. He'll say something like, "A big city might be fun but a small college town could be interesting, too." And then he watches Blaine for a reaction, like maybe he can read something on his face that'll clue him into what Blaine might be considering.
It makes Blaine's heart ache every time. But he nods and keeps his expression neutral.
They get their letters over the course of several weeks but when Blaine sees his acceptance envelope from the University of Chicago, he realizes that he's already made up his mind. He's terrified to tell Kurt but excited at the same time. Blaine can't wait; not being able to share these moments with Kurt always seems to dampen his excitement and make it feel less important.
He only has to wait for three days. Blaine's in the Hummel living room before a Friday family dinner while Kurt goes to check the mail. They're alone; Burt and Carole aren't home from work yet and Finn's at the mall with Rachel.
When Kurt comes back inside, he looks pale and he's clutching an opened letter so tightly that his knuckles are white.
"You okay?" Blaine asks, shifting to make room on the couch.
"Yeah," he answers, sitting next to him. He holds up the envelope. "This is it. This is the one."
Blaine's stomach drops for a minute. Please don't be California, is all he can think. Please don't be Washington. He's hoping for Ann Arbor. He's hoping for Oberlin.
"Okay," Blaine says on an exhale. "Just tell me."
Kurt looks at him with wide eyes and Blaine sees that his right hand is shaking. "You go first," he whispers.
It's this horrible feeling and it makes Blaine momentarily bitter. College should be so promising and hopeful but it's just not right now. Instead, he's sitting on his boyfriend's couch terrified of the next two minutes. For the first time, he wishes that he and Kurt were those kids that chose their college together months ago.
"Chicago," Blaine says quickly. "University of Chicago." He stares at Kurt and waits.
Kurt blinks. "What?"
"Chicago," he repeats. "I decided on Chicago." The words tumble out; the faster he's done talking, the sooner Kurt will just tell him.
"Are you serious?" Kurt asks instead, eyes still wide.
"Kurt!" he says, frustrated and leg bouncing anxiously. "Will you just tell me?"
"Oh. Northwestern," he says quietly. "I got in to Northwestern."
They don't say anything for several minutes.
"Northwestern?" Blaine whispers because there's no way he's getting his hopes up yet. "As in the Northwestern University in Illinois?"
Kurt nods, a smile slowly spreading across his face.
"Are you serious?" Blaine asks. He can feel relief flood through his body, the tension he's been carrying around for months finally easing away.
"Yes," he answers. "Are you?"
He nods and before he can say anything, Kurt's in his lap, clutching at him. He's wrapped his arms around Blaine, burying his face in the crook of Blaine's neck, and he's letting out ragged breaths.
Blaine clutches back. "I -- that's crazy. I was positive you were going to L.A.," he says, his voice coming out shaky.
Kurt laughs and pulls back to look at him. "God, I thought for sure I'd lost you to New England."
Blaine smiles at him and rests their foreheads together. "This is -- I don't even know what to say. I'm so excited for this."
Kurt beams back at him.
After they finally detach themselves, they check out MapQuest. "Thirty minutes," Kurt sighs happily. "They're thirty minutes away from each other, Blaine."
"Probably at least an hour with the city traffic," he corrects, mostly talking to himself. His eyes are still on the computer monitor like he's trying to memorize the directions.
He makes a noise and Blaine looks over to see Kurt giving him an incredulous look. "Oh my god, Blaine. That's what you're gonna focus on right now? Really?" He shoves Blaine lightly and mutters something under his breath.
Blaine briefly thinks about what his parents will say, about how Burt will react. In all honesty, though, he really doesn't give a damn. He and Kurt, they did this the right way, Blaine's sure of it. There was no influence, no pressure, no persuasion or manipulation.
Not that he's ever really doubted it but now more than ever, it's so clear how definite they are, how inevitable, how ridiculously fortunate.
1 : a force that brings good fortune or adversity
2 : the circumstances that operate for or against an individual
Blaine is nineteen and sitting in a wall of traffic.
He's on his way to Northwestern for a surprise visit. He skipped his last two classes in the hopes of beating out rush hour but apparently, there's just no way around it.
Blaine tries to keep positive and sing along with the radio but the longer he sits in the standstill traffic, the more impatient he gets. It's February so the weather's not great and it still gets dark kind of early. That, in combination with the three fender benders he passes, just makes him more irritated. He could have been there an hour ago.
By the time he gets to Kurt's dorm, it's dark out and he's pretty pessimistic about the whole ordeal. Blaine opens the double doors and heads up to the security desk to sign in, thankfully recognizing the girl sitting there. She's in a few classes with Kurt and her dorm is the next floor up from his so he's met her a few times before. Plus, Blaine tries to make it down on the weekends when he can so it's not like he's a totally unfamiliar face.
"Hey," he says to her as he approaches.
"Hi," she says with a smile. "Blaine, right?"
He nods and grins. "Good memory."
"Here to see Kurt?" she asks.
He nods again. "He doesn't know I'm coming, though. It's kind of a surprise."
It's worth a shot, he thinks. They're really not allowed to let visitors just like, walk right in but Blaine figures he can at least try. He's got a mental image of waiting outside Kurt's room, maybe calling him and telling him to open the door for a surprise. He can't wait to see the look on Kurt's face and it'll all be kind of ruined if he has to call Kurt downstairs to sign him in.
So he decides to test his luck out a little. "Is there any way you could let me in to surprise him?" Blaine gives her the most innocent, pleading look he can muster. "I promise we'll come right back down so he can sign me the proper way."
She hesitates. "We're really not supposed to do that. Last year, a kid came to surprise his girlfriend on their anniversary and he walked in on her cheating on him with another guy. It was really bad."
Blaine gives her a smile. "No worries on that front. I'll bet you a hundred dollars that Kurt's not cheating on me with another guy."
She laughs. "No way, I'm not taking that bet. You should hear how he talks about you."
He grins and feels the tips of his ears get hot.
She gives him a considering look. "You really can't tell anyone I did this. And you have to promise to come right back down."
"I will, I promise." Blaine smiles at her until she waves him away. He bolts up the stairs.
When he gets to Kurt's floor and heads over to his room, he sees that the door is cracked open slightly. And there are voices.
He raises his hand to knock but pauses when he hears Kurt laugh. Blaine idly wonders who's in there making Kurt laugh so hard. It's a weird feeling. He gets a little closer and starts to listen, pushing his embarrassment and shame about eavesdropping on his boyfriend aside.
"He's perfect," Kurt is saying. Blaine wonders what that means. The weird feeling in his stomach doesn't go away.
Whoever's in there with him says something Blaine can't quite make out.
"And he's gorgeous," Kurt adds. Blaine frowns slightly.
"Here's a picture. That's us at prom but it really doesn't do him justice. I mean, he looks amazing there, sure. But I swear he's even more attractive in person. Like, incredibly so."
Oh, Blaine realizes, face flushing.
"So it's not hard going to different schools?" the other guy asks.
Kurt doesn't say anything for a minute. "Sometimes, maybe. We're not that far away from each other so it could be worse, obviously. But we both have scholarships to keep up so it's not like we can slack off, either."
"You ever, uh, like, talk about seeing other people?"
"No," Kurt says immediately. "Never." Blaine smiles and tries to talk himself into making his presence known. This really isn't all that mature, standing outside his boyfriend's door like a peeping Tom or something.
"Oh," he responds. "So you're not worried about him meeting someone else?"
"No," Kurt scoffs. He pauses and then, "I'm going to marry him someday."
Blaine freezes and realizes that he probably shouldn't be listening to this. He's smiling, though. He's definitely smiling and he's got butterflies.
He knocks on the door softly and hears some rustling. "No way," he hears Kurt say quietly and Blaine wonders how he knows.
And then Kurt's opening the door and they're beaming at each other and Kurt's launching himself into Blaine's arms.
"Blaine," Kurt sighs into his neck. "What're you doing here?"
"It's okay, right?" he whispers into Kurt's hair.
Kurt squeezes tighter. "Are you kidding me? God, I've missed you."
It's only been three weeks but it feels like longer, especially since they're a little spoiled and can usually meet up over the weekend.
Blaine waits for Kurt to let go first. When they separate, Blaine sees some guy standing in Kurt's doorway looking a little uncomfortable. "I'm gonna --" He waves his hand around for emphasis.
Kurt nods at him. "Okay, I'll talk to you later."
And then Kurt's dragging Blaine into his room and nudging his door closed. He's kissing Blaine, hard and fierce, and he pauses to say, "Kyle's still in class. Come on, we have like twenty minutes."
He's laughing into Kurt's mouth as he pulls Blaine towards him and then unceremoniously shoves him onto his very, very tiny twin bed.
"Kurt, wait, wait." He pulls away and tries to catch his breath.
Kurt's leaning in and ignoring him. He's kissing Blaine's neck and clawing at his shirt and for a minute, Blaine can't remember what the hell he was going to say. They're kissing again and Kurt's pushing him down and trying to pull Blaine's shirt off when he snaps back to reality.
"Hey, hey," he gasps. "Kurt, hold up for a minute."
He makes an impatient noise and straightens up. "What?" he asks, annoyed. "Twenty minutes!"
"Yeah," Blaine tells him, trying to sit up. "Exactly."
Kurt gives him a confused look and sits back on his heels.
"I haven't seen you in three weeks, Kurt. I'm going to want a lot longer than twenty minutes." His voice comes out sounding husky and his breathing hasn't quite returned to normal yet.
Blaine watches Kurt flush. They stare at each other and Blaine's resolve begins to falter. God, he's beautiful, he thinks.
"Kyle's going home this weekend. He's leaving tonight after class," Kurt tells him, unblinking.
"I know," Blaine responds. "You told me. I've been thinking about it all week."
They watch each other a little longer.
"Let's get something to eat," Blaine says to break the silence. "He'll be gone by the time we get back, right?"
Kurt nods. "Let's eat quickly."
After Kurt signs him in downstairs, they end up going to the cafeteria closest to his dorm. They sit close and Blaine can't get the feeling of want out of his system.
They eat in silence for a few minutes until Blaine works up enough courage to start the conversation that he's wanted to bring up since Christmas.
"So," he starts. "You want to marry me someday?"
Kurt's eyes get wide. "So you did hear that."
"Yeah," he answers. "I was kind of eavesdropping but only for a minute, I swear."
Kurt raises an eyebrow. "I bet you looked pretty creepy just standing outside my door."
Blaine gives him an apologetic shrug. "So. Do you want to talk about this?"
It's Kurt's turn to shrug and suddenly, he finds his salad tremendously fascinating.
"Okay, I'll go first," Blaine offers. Kurt gives him a grateful smile.
"It's something I've wanted to bring up since Christmas, I guess, when --"
"When Finn called us --"
"An old married couple," Blaine finishes. "Yeah."
"And I've wanted to say something but I was nervous because it seems so…" he trails off.
"Huge?" Kurt fills in.
"Huge," he agrees. "Exactly."
They're quiet for a minute. "I wasn't serious so you don't have to get freaked out by it. You know how I can get," Kurt blurts out. "Unless you're not freaked out by it, in which case I was totally serious."
"I wasn't freaked out," is all Blaine says.
After a long pause, Kurt takes a deep breath. "And it's not like we're talking about right now."
"No, no, of course not," he says quickly. "We're talking about someday. I just wanted to make sure we were still on the same page."
"Aren't we always?" Kurt teases.
And he's got a point, Blaine realizes for the first time. Yeah, they usually are. He wonders if that's normal, if this thing that's so easy between them is just as easy for everyone else. He's pretty confident that the answer is no.
"I don't know if I tell you this often enough," Blaine says suddenly.
They're still sitting in the cafeteria, right in the middle of the room, surrounded by hundreds of Kurt's classmates. It's not exactly the most romantic location and it might not be the best timing ever but Blaine's pretty sure that there's not really a right place or time to tell someone how much you love them.
Kurt's waiting for him to continue.
"But I want to be with you," Blaine continues. "Like, until we're old and gray and you need a hip replacement."
Kurt smiles but then gives him a look of mock indignation. "Until I need my hip replacement? So what happens then? You're just going to abandon me with my artificial hip?"
Blaine bites his lip to keep from laughing. "Maybe. Play your cards right and we'll see."
Kurt plays with his salad some more and thinks for a minute. "I'm glad we had this conversation."
"Me too," he agrees. "See, it was lucky I was standing outside your door eavesdropping and being creepy."
Kurt rolls his eyes. "No, you're lucky that I love you."
Trust me, I know, Blaine thinks.
Blaine's well aware of how special they are, how rare, and he knows Kurt's well aware, too. Blaine tries to never take it for granted, to always appreciate what they've got, but sometimes it's so easy to feel invincible when he's got Kurt by his side.
1 : something to which a person is destined : fortune
2 : a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power
Blaine is twenty and counting down to Thanksgiving break.
Going to separate colleges isn't exactly hard but it doesn't mean it's always easy either. The second year of college is definitely harder and comes with a lot more added distractions. He doesn't make it to Northwestern as often as he'd like, definitely not every weekend, and every time Kurt breathes a soft, "I miss you," before they hang up at night, it makes Blaine's heart ache.
The drive home for Thanksgiving break is almost as relaxing as Blaine assumes the long weekend will be. It's only him and Kurt in the car; they talk and laugh and catch up during the several hours they have alone. But mostly, they just appreciate the opportunity to be together again.
Blaine drops him off in Lima and has a brief visit with Kurt's family before he has to leave to make his way home. Kurt walks him back out to his car and pulls him into a fierce hug. "You'll be back up Thursday, right?" he whispers.
"Thursday," Blaine agrees, holding on tightly. "We're having our family thing around noon so after everything dies down, I'll be on the road."
"I'm glad you're coming," Kurt says.
"I'm glad I'm invited," he responds. Holiday dinners with the someday-in-laws are a big deal.
"Thursday," Blaine repeats as he and Kurt detach. "I love you."
Blaine has a good visit with his family but two whole days is definitely long enough and by Thursday, he's ready for some air. They start the big meal about an hour after they originally planned so Blaine texts Kurt to let him know that he'll be a little late and to start without him. He gets a text back almost immediately: Dad says we don't start until the whole family is here.
Blaine grins despite himself and glances up from his phone to see his mother giving him a funny look. "You'll see him in a few hours, honey. Do you really need to be doing that now?"
He bites his tongue and pockets his phone.
They don't approve; Blaine knows this. It's not Kurt they have an issue with, it's how long they've been together and how close they are. His parents seemed to like Kurt a lot more when they were in high school, when his parents probably thought it wasn't going much farther than graduation. Blaine tries not to take offense.
They never say anything but he still knows. They compromise, which Blaine appreciates, and offer to move their Thanksgiving dinner several hours earlier so that Blaine can make it to the Hummel dinner later in the evening. It's a nice gesture, sure, but it's still glaringly obvious when they don't invite Kurt.
He's on the road by three-thirty and calls Kurt to let him know. There's tons of noise in the background and Blaine can barely hear Kurt's response over the laughter and TV. Blaine realizes that he's looking forward to this family holiday meal than his own family's.
Dinner is amazing and a sense of belonging washes over Blaine as they finish up. He's missed all of them: Finn's bizarre non-sequitors, Carole's perpetual warmth, Burt's unending acceptance.
Blaine's helping with the dishes when Burt's hand claps him on the shoulder. "You want to help me with garbage?" Burt asks him.
Blaine dries his hands and catches Finn's eye. He gives Blaine a shrug and goes back to eating his pie.
He follows Burt into the garage with one of the trash bags and after he drops it into the bin, Burt gestures to a couple of turned over milk crates. "Sit down for a minute," he instructs.
He does as he's told and keeps his eyes focused on Burt as he sits across from him. The garage is pretty chilly and Blaine's only wearing a t-shirt but he figures it's not a good time to run in and grab a sweatshirt from Kurt.
Burt clears his throat and Blaine waits.
"I just wanted to talk to you about a few things," he starts. "I gotta be honest, though, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to say."
Burt looks around and scratches the back of his neck. "I know what I'm supposed to say here. I see those parents on TV and in the movies always telling their kids they're too young to settle down, telling them not to hitch their wagon to the wrong horse too early. I know that's what a father's supposed to say here."
Blaine blinks because while he was always a little prepared for this, he never actually thought it would happen.
"And I gotta tell you, kid," Burt continues. "I really don't know how to bring myself to say those things."
He takes a long breath and looks like he's still thinking so Blaine doesn't say anything, not yet.
"I see how Kurt looks at you. He looks at you like you're the moon and the sun and his birthday and Christmas all rolled up together. He's been doing it since high school and he's still doing it now."
He gives Blaine a look and raises his eyebrow.
"And I see you, too, you know. I see how you look at him."
Blaine feels his face start to flush at the idea that Burt's been watching them, at the idea that their private glances maybe weren't always so private.
"And truthfully, I can't bring myself to tell you two that there are other fish out there, that maybe you two need to spend some time apart to see if this is actually what you want."
He thinks again and Blaine waits.
"There used to be a lot of things I was afraid of," Burt confesses. "Like what kind of things I was gonna tell my kid when his first boyfriend broke his heart. Like what I would say when he came to me with boy troubles. I didn't know what the hell I was gonna say or how I was gonna fix it because half the time with him, I was running blind." He swallows and gives Blaine a significant look. "I've still never had to have either of those conversations with him."
Somehow, Blaine can tell it's his turn to talk. "I know this sounds cliché but I really do want what's best for Kurt," he says. "And if I ever thought I wasn't the best thing for him or if I was holding him back, I swear I would do something about it."
Burt watches him.
"But I am the best thing for him, I know it. I love your son. People could spend their whole life trying to love him like I do but they'd never get it right. He makes me better and we're good for each other."
Burt takes a deep breath. "Look, I didn't mean to make you feel like you had to justify your relationship to me. All I wanted was to say that it looks like maybe you two have something special. You've done a good job of not hurting each other and that's the best advice I can give you. We hurt each other, it's part of life. Just try to keep it to a minimum and don't let it go on too long and you'll be fine."
He stands up and Blaine follows suit. "In other words," Burt says, "keep doing whatever you two are doing."
They head back inside and Kurt looks up from the board game that he and Finn are playing at the kitchen table. He gives Blaine a quizzical look and Blaine shrugs his shoulders, giving him a smile.
He was made for this, Blaine knows it. Some people are meant for the priesthood or to be groundbreaking political activists. Some people are destined to make earth shattering medical discoveries or to become famous movie stars.
Blaine was made to be the best thing in Kurt Hummel's life.
1 : a person who is perfectly suited to another
2 : a person who strongly resembles another in attitudes or beliefs
Blaine is twenty-one and moving into his new shithole of an apartment with his boyfriend.
It's a one room efficiency apartment and it's pretty much awful but it's their senior year and they're as broke as most college kids are. Plus, trying to find a place halfway between both campuses really limits their options.
When they meet their potential-future-landlady for the first time, she eyes them both suspiciously and Blaine's not too surprised. They're two guys applying for a cramped one room efficiency and he knows how it looks. He and Kurt aren't so good at staying out of each other's personal space so it's pretty obvious that they're not two frat guys trying to save some money.
She starts fishing around for information and Blaine's relieved when he realizes that she has a problem with partiers, not two gay kids. He admits that they've probably been to the bars five or six times between the two of them over the course of their college experience. She immediately warms to them.
Blaine is warned by practically everyone he knows that it's a bad idea and he assumes Kurt's getting the same advice from people on his end. The reality, though, is that they still don't see each other all that much. Blaine camps out in the library to work on his senior thesis and Kurt stays late almost every night tirelessly working on set designs, props, lighting cues and rehearsals. Everyone tells him they'll get sick of each other, especially in such a tight space, and so Blaine's half-prepared for tension or fights about dishes or whose turn it is to vacuum.
Instead, it still feels like he can't enough of Kurt. Blaine sometimes wonders if he'll feel sixteen forever, if he'll always get those goosebumps when Kurt comes home from a long rehearsal and stares at Blaine lying on their bed like it's the best thing he's ever seen.
Blaine is twenty-two and having a hard time becoming an official adult.
They're still in their shithole of an apartment trying to save as much money as they can. Blaine's got an entry level job at an insurance company, a job that has nothing to do with his degree and that he pretty much loathes all the time, especially since it barely pays the bills. Kurt's working with a youth theater company and it's non-profit so they pay him what they can, which isn't much.
They spend weekends in the apartment watching movies or hanging out at the park. Their friends accuse them of being distant and isolating themselves but things are tense enough with money so they try and keep things like restaurants and impromptu road trips out of the mix. It's hard sometimes because Blaine so desperately wants to be irresponsible like the rest of them: rack up credit card debt, live in the moment, act twenty-two and not forty. He knows Kurt longs for it as much as he does: weekends in New York, pretentious wine tasting with pretentious friends, an unaffordable classy wardrobe.
Instead, they act responsible and remind themselves that they're building something important. Blaine wants a home, he wants a reliable car, he wants a life. Skipping a few movies with friends seems totally worth it when he pictures their future together.
So he goes to a job he hates to save up some money and Kurt wears himself thin so that they can make it through those first few difficult years, that awkward time between college grad and adult.
It's terribly cliché but Blaine spends all day thinking about five o'clock because Kurt is still still the absolute best part of his day.
Blaine is twenty-three and pacing their new apartment.
He's been offered a transfer to Seattle and it's a ridiculously insane amount of money but Blaine assumes that it's because of the ridiculously insane cost of living. He's waiting for Kurt to come home because he knows he can't make this kind of decision on his own. He's freaking the hell out because he knows he can't ask Kurt to come with him.
Kurt would say yes, Blaine knows that. But he can't bring himself to ask. He can't ask him to give up his life here, his friends, his job, his family. Trips home from Chicago really aren't that big of a deal but Seattle, on the other hand, is not exactly a cab ride away from Lima.
So Blaine spends forty-five minutes pacing the apartment trying to come up with something to say. It's a great opportunity and an amazing place to start his future but for the life of him, he can't picture that future without Kurt.
As soon as Kurt steps into the living room, Blaine stops pacing and stares at him with wide eyes. "They want to send me to Seattle," he blurts out.
Kurt blinks a few times and watches Blaine have a mini-freak out. After a minute, he takes off his coat and hangs it in the closet. He nudges off his shoes and finally makes his way over to Blaine, still frozen in the middle of the room.
"Come here," Kurt tells him quietly. "Lay down on the couch."
Blaine stares at Kurt then finally does as he's told. Kurt gently pulls Blaine's t-shirt over his head and carefully pushes him onto the couch so that Blaine's lying on his stomach.
"You need to relax," Kurt instructs. He sits on Blaine's calves and starts to massage in between his shoulder blades.
Kurt's proximity and easy touches calm him immediately.
"There's no need to freak out," Kurt says softly. "This is a great opportunity for you."
Blaine doesn't say anything; he focuses all of his attention on Kurt's hands running soothing circles on his lower back.
Kurt stills. "I'll come with you. If you want me to."
Blaine swallows. "Kurt…" He doesn't know what to say.
"I know you don't want to ask me," Kurt whispers. "So I'm just trying to help."
Blaine closes his eyes. "I can't ask you to do that, Kurt." God does he want to, though.
He starts to shift until he's lying on top of Blaine, sprawled out over his naked back. His breath is steady and controlled right into the shell of Blaine's ear. He knows right then, without any shadow of a doubt, that he can't give up these moments, not for Seattle, not for anyone.
"You've got two choices here, Blaine. You can either feel guilty and stress out about it and make yourself miserable. Or you can believe me when I say that I want to come with you. That I'll go wherever you are." He pauses. "Assuming you want me to."
Blaine can tell he's mostly kidding about the last part but it's not funny.
"I love you," Blaine says into the couch cushion.
"I know," Kurt tells him and Blaine can tell he's smiling.
Blaine loves him so intensely in that moment, loves Kurt for knowing when Blaine needs his help and for knowing how to fix it, for knowing how to be brave enough for the both of them when Blaine can't find the strength on his own.
Blaine is twenty four and sleeping on the couch on a Friday night.
It's a comfortable couch, one Kurt picked out when they first got to Seattle. But it's a couch and definitely not his bed. Blaine is miserable and on the other side of the closed door leading into their bedroom, he's guessing Kurt's just as despondent.
It was a dumb fight that started with something about the DVR and ended with increasingly bitter accusations about neglect and infidelity. All in all, not their finest hour.
The truth is that Blaine's been working insane hours and he's rarely home. He's practically pining for a few hours alone with Kurt but it's not like he's told him this. It's not like he's told him anything, really, because it's been weeks since they've just sat and talked. He flashes to a conversation in their high school choir room about communication and functional relationships and starts to feel frustrated all over again. He tosses and turns on the couch.
But Blaine knows he can't take all of the blame. Kurt practically lives at the local community theater and spends pretty much every free moment with a few of the other actors. One of the other actors in particular. Jeremy. Pretentious ridiculous condescending Jeremy.
The fight escalates with Kurt yelling at him for becoming so corporate, so impossibly monotonous, and he's so mad that he's shaking. Blaine yells right back, asking if Jeremy fed him those lines, Jeremy his ridiculous boyfriend.
Kurt stares at him open mouthed and walks into their room, slamming the door behind him. Blaine's angry but mostly because he didn't think of the dramatic door slamming first.
The fight lasts for almost two hours. Kurt opens the door slowly around midnight and peeks out, eyes red. Blaine launches himself off the couch and practically dives at Kurt, pulling him into his arms and holding tight.
He loves him so much right then, loves Kurt for putting aside his impenetrable stubbornness to fix this, loves him for making this more important than the need to be right.
"I'm sorry," Blaine says first, because that's the least he can do.
"I'm sorry, too," Kurt says with a shaky voice. "I'm so sorry."
Blaine can count on one hand the number of times they've fought which is impressive after eight years. He tells Kurt this, he tells Kurt a lot of things, and they stay up for hours just sharing everything they've missed over the past two months.
The fight lasts for about two hours on Friday and they spend twice that making up on Saturday.
Blaine is twenty-five and Googling instructions on how to cook a turkey.
The Hummels are flying to Seattle for Thanksgiving, despite protests from both he and Kurt saying that they miss Ohio.
"It's time for me to come and visit," Burt tells Kurt over speaker phone. "I want to see my son's apartment. I want to see his life."
So Kurt begs Blaine for a big dinner, a production really, with a turkey and real cranberries and homemade stuffing and the works. And Blaine agrees because, well, because saying no to Kurt has never been his strong suit.
The dinner ends up being perfect and Blaine's actually pretty impressed how well he and Kurt pull it off. It just so happens that they make as good a team in the kitchen as they do everywhere else.
They're in the living room later, just Blaine and Burt, while Kurt and Carole are puttering around in the kitchen.
Burt clears his throat during the second quarter of the game and says, "I'm real proud of you, Blaine. You two have something real nice out here."
"Thank you," he says. Blaine doesn't realize how desperate he was for Burt's approval until the moment he has it.
After a few minutes, Burt clears his throat again but this time he looks over at Blaine instead of keeping his eyes on the TV. "You know, I never really thought there was someone out there good enough for my kid."
Blaine waits, unsure if there's more.
"Guess I was wrong," Burt adds.
Blaine recounts the entire conversation to Kurt in a hushed voice when they're in bed later that night. Finally, finally, everyone else is starting to see how good they are together; they see what he and Kurt have known since they were sixteen.
Blaine is twenty-six and doing absolutely nothing on a Sunday morning.
They're on the couch, Kurt's head in Blaine's lap. Kurt's reading a script for the latest musical he's directing for the community center while Blaine flips through the Arts and Leisure section of the paper.
He puts his book down suddenly and Blaine's hand stills in Kurt's hair.
"Do you think soul mates exist?" Kurt asks him.
Blaine laughs softly. "Are you serious?"
Kurt's eyes flicker. "I take that's a no?"
Blaine stares down at him and tangles his hands in Kurt's hair. "Of course it's not a no," Blaine says quietly. "How else do you explain the last ten years?"
Kurt grins, intense and real, and Blaine's heart skips a beat or two.
"Just wondering if we're still on the same page," Kurt tells him.
"Aren't we always?" Blaine teases.
He's quiet, still grinning up at Blaine.
"Let's test it. What am I thinking right now?" Blaine asks.
Kurt hums. "You're thinking about how awesome and perfectly amazing I am and about how much you love me."
They grin at each other. Yeah, still on the same page.