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Kurt isn’t quite sure when he agreed, or if he did agree at all, to go with Finn to see a hockey game in Columbus, but as soon as they pull up to Nationwide Arena, he’s absolutely certain he will come to regret it.

“Dude, this is going to be the best night ever!” Finn shouts from the passenger seat. One of Kurt’s stipulations as they left the house was that under no circumstances was Finn to get behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.

“I’m quivering with excitement,” Kurt deadpans and curses a group of fans in hideous blue and red jerseys that cut him off as they cross the street.

“Do you think we’ll be able to meet any of the players?” Finn asks, waving to a group of people walking by. “Oh! You gotta take a picture of me by the cannon!”

“Whatever you say, Finn.” Kurt turns into the parking area and scoffs as the attendant tells him it will cost $10. He looks at Finn expectantly, but finds that Finn is too eager to jump out of the car to pay any attention to him.

Kurt forks over the cash reluctantly and is directed to an empty spot. Once he gets out of the car, he has to chase after Finn, since he had taken off just before Kurt put the car in park. They eventually join the quickly growing crowd in front of the arena and Kurt starts to feel overwhelmed. He’s surrounded by a sea of guys that looks disturbingly like the type to harass him, and it brings back memories of high school, complete with mullets cold beverages.

Finn grabs Kurt by the arm and yanks him away from the line, not stopping until they circle around the side of the building.

“What the hell are you doing?” Kurt yells, smoothing out the sleeve of his coat. He glares at Finn, who seems to be off in his own ice-covered world of wonder. “Finn Hudson! I did not come here to let you drag me around in the cold and - “

“Oh my god, Kurt! Look!” Finn cuts off Kurt’s rant and points to a black truck that just pulled up to the curb a few feet away. Kurt watches as the door opens and a guy - an extremely attractive guy - gets out. He barely registers Finn talking next to him. ” - Blaine Anderson, he’s the best forward they got. He’s tiny but he is so awesome and he got, like, a million goals last year.”

Finn keeps going, but Kurt has no idea what he’s talking about. He vaguelly hears something about a magic trick.

Kurt is too busy blatantly staring at Mr. Gorgeous-In-A-Well-Tailored-Suit as he drapes a large bag over his shoulder and starts walking toward the arena. Other fans notice his arrival, too, because Kurt can hear people shouting and rushing over to where he and Finn are standing.

Kurt gasps as the guy - Brian? Bobby? Blake? - looks over toward the crowd and waves, flashing a brilliant smile that makes Kurt swoon. He is shaken out of his stupor by Finn, who is nudging Kurt’s shoulder a little too hard for comfort.

“What?” Kurt snaps, looking up at Finn and putting a hand on his hip.

“I could be wrong, but dude, I think Blaine Anderson just smiled at you.”

Kurt glances to where the guy - Blaine - is standing, holding the door open for a couple people and very steadily looking in Kurt’s direction. Kurt can feel his face heat up and it takes every ounce of willpower he has to turn away and refocus on Finn.

“Whatever you say. Let’s go.”

They walk through the arena toward their seats and Kurt looks around at the pictures of the current Columbus Blue Jackets team on the walls. He isn’t looking for anyone in particular, of course not, but then - oh.

There he is.

The photo is black and white and looks like it had been taken during a game. Kurt’s mouth goes dry at the sight of Blaine Anderson in full uniform, padded shoulders and strong legs, crouched down with his helmet off. Kurt takes in the curls matted to Blaine’s forehead, wetness trickling down from his temples, and he’s both turned on and slightly grossed out with himself for thinking that Blaine is unbelievably hot covered in sweat.

“Kurt, come on!” Finn shouts impatiently, balancing a tray of nachos and a hot pretzel in one hand and a large soda and a bag of popcorn in the other.

Kurt follows Finn down the aisle toward the ice and they take their seats, waiting for the game to start. Kurt still feels out of place, but every uneasy thought is quickly taken over by what Blaine might look like under his jersey.

The announcer starts to introduce the teams, and when Blaine Anderson is called, Kurt may or may not have made the effort to cheer loudly. He gets a questioning look from Finn, but shrugs it off.

After all, he still hates hockey. Hockey players, however, are a whole other story.

Chapter Text

"Kurt! Hey, Kurt! Wake up, dude!"

Kurt groans and tries to pull the cheap, hotel-issued sheet over his head, but no amount of yanking is a match to Finn's weight at the end of his bed.

"Why are you jumping on my bed like it's Christmas morning?" Kurt whines, rolling over to bury his face in the pillow, which is quickly yanked out from under him.

"I was talking to some guys at the game last night," Finn says, much too cheerful for so early in the morning. "And they told me that they let fans come and watch the Jackets practice."

Kurt is not interested. No, he is absolutely not. What he does want is to go back to sleep for a couple hours to prepare for the drive back to Lima with the Gargantuan King of Bad Music.

"So, I was thinking we could go and, you know, check it out." Finn does waver a little, but he’s still sitting on the bed and Kurt is two seconds away from kicking him in the kidney if he doesn't get up. "There's players that will even hang out after and sign autographs. One guy said that he met Blaine Anderson once, and, dude, that would be so awesome."

Maybe Kurt is a little interested. He groans again, kicking his feet under the sheet, hoping that it comes across as irritation and masks his growing excitement for the possibility of meeting a particular hockey player. The idea of seeing Blaine again sparks something in him, and he makes a mental note to give his dad an extra hug for suggesting that they spend the night in Columbus rather than drive back after the game.

"What time does the practice start?" Kurt mumbles, his face still half hidden by his reclaimed pillow.

"Uh, 10."

"And what time is it now?"

"9:12."

"Finn!" Kurt scrambles up from the bed and tries to untangle himself from the sheets, nearly falling face first onto the carpet in the process. "Why didn't you wake me up earlier?"

Kurt runs for the bathroom, going over his clothing options in his head and trying to figure out what style would be most appropriate to wear to a hockey practice. He can hear Finn pacing outside the door.

"So does that mean we can go?" Finn calls out. Kurt shouts a 'yes' around the toothbrush in his mouth and almost smiles at Finn's cheers. Almost.

Forty-five minutes and two cups of coffee later, Kurt follows Finn to the seats designated for fans. Finn points across the ice, showing Kurt where the player’s bench is, and Kurt nods with only mild interest while scanning over the players skating around the ice.

"Oh, man, that's Nick Foligno!" Finn says loudly, pointing to one of the players bouncing a black disc - no, it’s a puck - back and forth with his stick. "His dad kicked ass in Buffalo back in the day, and the whole family does this leaping thing when they score. So cool."

"Sounds great," Kurt mutters, still trying to find one particular person. He looks over to the player's bench and gasps when he sees a familiar head of dark curls. "Hey, isn't that the guy we saw last night?"

Nice, Hummel. Totally nonchalant.

"Yeah, that’s Blaine Anderson." Finn nods, looking over to where Kurt is pointing. "He's got a wicked slapshot for such a small dude."

"He's not that small," Kurt argues, his eyes glued to Blaine as he hops over the wall and starts to skate with a grace that Kurt didn't expect, even after watching him play the night before. He wonders if Blaine ever took dance classes, but then he figures that would be absurd. Blaine is just another jock, Kurt tells himself. Jocks don't take dance classes.

Kurt and Finn watch as the coaches join the players on the ice. Finn tries to explain the different drills to Kurt, who nods along and throws in some 'uh huhs' and 'rights' for good measure. Unfortunately for Finn, Kurt is preoccupied. He is completely mesmerized by Blaine and the way he moves, handles his stick, and does little tricks with the puck. Never in a million years did Kurt think hockey could be attractive, but Blaine Anderson makes it sexy.

Blaine is practicing hitting the puck into the net thing, and that’s when he skates close by where Kurt and Finn are sitting. Kurt tries not to stare, but he can feel Blaine looking right at him, and when he does glance in Blaine’s direction, Blaine’s lips quirk in a small smile. Blaine skates away quickly after, and Kurt shrugs it off as his mind playing tricks on him. However, Kurt can't deny that Blaine suddenly starts to pass by their side of the rink more often, and Kurt tries extremely hard not to get his hopes up. The last thing he needs is a silly crush on another straight guy, especially considering the last time he did that, he ended up with a brother instead.

"Finn, is this really necessary?" Kurt asks after the practice is over, mainly to deter any thoughts Finn may have that Kurt wants to be there. He is standing in a hallway somewhere in the arena, waiting with Finn to see if any of the players will come out to sign autographs. It was Finn's idea, of course, but Kurt is curious - not that he would ever admit it - if only because he doesn’t want to miss a final opportunity to see Blaine.

A nearby door opens and Finn lets out a surprisingly high-pitched squeal as a few of the players make their way over to them and the other waiting fans. Kurt notices a group of college-aged girls standing a few feet away, whispering to each other and batting their clumpy lashes at each player. Kurt rolls his eyes and thinks that the day has been a gigantic waste of time, but then Blaine appears. He has obviously showered; his curls are matted down and slicked back with an obscene amount of gel, and he is wearing tight high water pants with a polo shirt and a bowtie.

Kurt is floored.

Finn chats with another player and bounces on his heels as he gets an autograph, while Kurt stays a bit behind him, leaning back against the wall and trying not to make it too obvious that he is practically drooling over Blaine. Kurt watches him as he moves from fan to fan, always smiling and talking with genuine joy behind every word.

Blaine eventually makes it over to the group of girls and Kurt feels his jaw clench when they start to flirt blatantly with him. Blaine seems to be enjoying himself and is winking and laughing with them, and when one of the girls asks him for a hug, Kurt scoffs at himself for feeling a pang of jealousy when Blaine complies with the request. He also swears he sees the girl slip a piece of paper into Blaine's back pocket.

That trollop, Kurt thinks, suddenly itching to get out of there as soon as possible. He moves to grab Finn’s arm so he can somehow manhandle him back to the car when he notices a pair of honey-brown eyes staring at him through unfairly long lashes.

“Hi, I’m Blaine.”

Kurt blinks a few times before he realizes that Blaine Anderson is standing in front of him and holding his hand out.

“Kurt.” He takes Blaine’s hand and hopes that his palm isn’t as sweaty as he thinks it is. Blaine gives his hand a squeeze and flashes him a huge grin that makes Kurt’s knees turn to jelly. Their hands separate after a couple seconds and Kurt wants the contact back immediately.

“Dude, Blaine! I mean, Mr. Anderson,” Finn stammers, stepping into Kurt’s personal space and sticking his hand out toward Blaine. “It’s so cool to meet you. I’m such a huge fan. Can you sign my pad?”

Kurt stands there and gapes at Finn, who has suddenly seemed to have lost a large percentage of his verbal skills. Blaine laughs and takes Finn’s notepad from him, signing it and continuing to smile as Finn narrates a full review of Blaine’s last few games. Once Finn stops to breathe, Blaine turns his attention back to Kurt.

“So, Kurt, you a big hockey fan, too?”

I’ll be anything you want me to be.

“Oh, um, no. Sorry. I tend to stay away from anything that requires sliding around on sharp objects.”

Blaine laughs again, ducking his head and looking up at Kurt through those damn eyelashes.

“I saw you in there during practice. You were quite distracting.”

Oh my god, is he flirting?

“Oh? Well, I’m sorry for being a nuisance.” Kurt would have patted himself on the back for keeping his cool, if he could move properly. “You were good with your stick.”

And there I go.

“I’m glad you noticed,” Blaine responds without missing a beat. “Listen, I don’t do this, like, ever, but if you’re interested, I’m off until tomorrow. Do you want to maybe grab some dinner later?”

Holy. Shit.

“I – “ Kurt starts, but is immediately cut off by Finn.

“Nah, we gotta get going home soon, but it’s awesome that you wanted to hang out with us.”

“Where do you guys live?” Blaine asks. Kurt detects something different in Blaine’s voice. Disappointment maybe? “I live in Westerville.”

“No way! We’re from Lima!” Finn replies while Kurt watches the conversation unfold. He catches the girls from earlier glaring at him out the corner of his eye and fights the urge to smirk at them, stick his tongue out, or do something equally immature. “Well, I still live in Lima. Kurt’s just visiting. He lives in New York.”

“I can speak for myself, thank you very much,” Kurt remarks, turning back to Blaine. “He’s correct, though. I’m only in Lima for the next couple days.”

“Well, here,” Blaine gestures to Finn’s notepad and Finn hands it to him right away, like he was giving him something extremely important, like a medal or Tony Award. Blaine scribbles on a piece of paper and rips a piece off, handing it to Kurt. “Here’s my number. The offer still stands, if you’re interested.”

Kurt can only nod like an idiot as Blaine waves at them and walks away.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I think he might be a little bit gay.”

At this point, Kurt is in too good a mood to smack Finn, so instead he walks out to the car with him and tries to wrap his mind around what had just happened. He even lets Finn pick the radio station on the way back to Lima as he contemplates whether or not he should make use of the piece of paper burning a hole in his pocket.

Once they are back home, Kurt seizes an open opportunity – Finn had bombarded Burt and Carole with a full recap of the previous night’s game as soon as they walked through the door – and retreats to his old bedroom. He stares at Blaine’s name and number, smiling at the small heart that Blaine had drawn, and makes his decision. He sends Blaine a text before he can convince himself not to.

It doesn’t take Blaine long to respond, and before he knows it, Kurt Hummel has a date with a professional hockey player.

Chapter Text

“This is insane! You don’t know anything about this guy!”

Blaine winces and holds the phone away from his ear. His brother, Cooper - who lives in LA and is an Assistant Equipment Manager for the Kings while trying to start an acting career - called just as Blaine was trying to pick out an outfit for his date with Kurt. Cooper has always been protective of Blaine, as well as his greatest source of support. Blaine’s parents may go to his games, but Cooper actually watches him play.

Their relationship had its ups and downs over the years, especially once Blaine became the one all the scouts were interested in. Cooper’s talent as a player was never quite what they were looking for, and as a result, there were a few arguments and awkward holidays over the years. Despite all that, when Blaine signed with an agent at 17, Cooper had been the one to make sure Blaine didn’t get screwed over.

“He doesn’t know anything about me, either, Coop,” Blaine argues, pinching the bridge of his nose and sighing deeply. He is beginning to regret telling Cooper about his date. “Just trust me, okay? If he seems shady, I’ll politely bow out.”

“I just don’t want you to get hurt again, Squirt.” Cooper sounds more sad than angry, and Blaine can understand why. Blaine doesn’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to dating. Most of the time, he’s too busy with traveling for games, going to practices, and attending charity events to date anyone at all. The few times that he had met someone that he thought really liked him, it always turned out the same, with the other guy only being in it because Blaine had money and growing fame.

“I know. I don’t want that either, believe me,” Blaine says softly, his irritation now reduced to a low simmer by the worried tone in Cooper’s voice. “Like I said, trust me on this one. Kurt’s different.”

“You don’t know that. You talked to him for, what, ten seconds?”

“Look, I gotta finish getting ready. I’ll call you later, okay?” Blaine knows the conversation is far from over, but he only has an hour before he has to leave, and he needs enough time for a shower and a pre-date freak out.

“Fine. Just be careful, alright?” Cooper warns. Blaine mumbles out ‘I will’ and hangs up, returning to the task at hand: making himself look good enough to impress his date. Kurt had seen him in his street clothes, and if he recalls correctly, Kurt also saw him in his pre-game suit. Blaine smiles to himself, remembering the way Kurt had blushed when their eyes first met. He wonders if Kurt has any idea of how dazed Blaine felt after seeing him for the first time, or how much Blaine had hoped to see him again.

Kurt had agreed to meet him at an Italian restaurant half way between Lima and Westerville. The whole date is extremely cliché, but Blaine knows the owners and values their discretion. Blaine isn’t a huge celebrity by any means, but chances are high that at least a couple people will recognize him, especially so close to Columbus.

Blaine has always tried to keep his personal life as private as possible. It isn’t so much because of his sexuality. That issue is old news; Blaine never had to hide who he was. He also followed in the footsteps of a handful of other players that came out over the past couple years. Blaine just figures relationships are hard enough without the added scrutiny of the media, and really, it isn’t any of their business.

Once he manages to get dressed – he only changed four times, which he is quite proud of – Blaine grabs his keys and starts the drive, singing along with the radio on the way to try and tame the million butterflies flying around in his stomach. Cooper was right in that Blaine doesn’t know much about Kurt, but that’s what the date is for. Blaine wants to know Kurt. He just hopes that Kurt won’t find him to be dull or obnoxious, or think that he’s pathetic for pursuing a career where he plays games all the time.

Blaine hates having to explain that hockey is, in fact, a real job that requires an endless amount of physical and emotional exertion, and that he really loves what he does. He can remember one guy he dated who assumed that Blaine was just in it for the money, and yeah, that part is nice, but Blaine isn’t someone who can do something solely for a good paycheck. He isn’t one of those guys who only continues to play because he happens to be good at it. He plays because he loves the game and the travel, meeting new people, and constantly improving himself. He loves the energy of the crowds and the moments when he finds that perfect shot. Blaine honestly can’t imagine doing anything else.

He arrives at the restaurant much faster than he anticipated and looks around the parking lot anxiously to see if Kurt is there, only to realize that he has no idea what kind of car Kurt drives. After one last check in the mirror, Blaine locks the doors and heads inside. He’s about to check in with the hostess when he feels a hand on his arm and hears a soft ‘Hey’ from behind him. Blaine spins around and almost forgets to breathe.

“Hey,” Blaine replies, clearing his throat to stop his voice from sounding so high-pitched that he thinks it might crack. “It’s good to see you. Again, I mean.”

Kurt smiles and Blaine wants to kiss all over the blush in his cheeks. Kurt looks stunning. He’s dressed impeccably and holds himself with unabashed confidence. As much as Blaine is afraid that he will come off as agonizingly boring, he is certain that Kurt is the most interesting man in all of Ohio.

“Likewise,” Kurt agrees, unwrapping his scarf and revealing his strong, pale neck. Blaine realizes quickly that he should have worn looser pants, because getting aroused by someone who was practically a stranger is entirely inappropriate. “Shall we?”

“Yeah, sure,” Blaine says, still a little dazed, and suddenly remembers where they are and that there are other people in line behind them. He turns back to the hostess and checks them in, and then gestures for Kurt to lead the way in following her to their table.

“So, Blaine, have you always lived in Ohio?” Kurt asks, taking a sip of water. Blaine chuckles, because good god, Kurt is adorable. “Sorry, I guess I’m not really sure what to say. Please forgive me for resorting to superficial small talk.”

“It’s fine. Good, actually. We should try to get to know each other,” Blaine offers, giving himself a mental high five for obviously saying the right thing. Kurt looks more relaxed and his smile seems a little easier. “And yes, I was born and raised in Ohio. How about you? You’re in New York now, right?”

“You remembered that,” Kurt says with an air of disbelief that is so strange to Blaine. Kurt could explain the fundamentals of quantum physics to him and Blaine would remember every detail and provide a PowerPoint presentation. “Um, yes, I live in New York now, but I grew up in Lima. Small town boy trying to make it in the big city and all that.”

“Actor? Singer? Both?” Blaine wants to know everything they could possibly fit into one dinner date.

“Tried to be. I work in fashion now.” Kurt takes another sip of water. “How about you? Was hockey always your dream?”

“I think so,” Blaine tells him honestly, fiddling with his napkin in his lap. “My brother played – he’s a few years older than me – and I remember begging him to teach me how to skate, and how to hold a stick and handle a puck. I guess I just fell in love with it and haven’t looked back.”

Kurt nods, smiling somewhat warily, and Blaine worries that he is already boring Kurt to tears. He opens his mouth to say so – played off as a joke, of course, because self-depreciation is not sexy – when Kurt speaks again.

“I think that’s kind of amazing. Being so sure of what you want and actually getting it. It’s… inspiring.” Kurt reaches over the table and squeezes Blaine’s arm gently, letting go after a too-short second. “I’ve always wanted to perform, but being in the city surrounded by so many people that are better and brighter than me has made me question myself, I think.”

“Oh, I doubt there’s anyone brighter than you,” Blaine says and his words make Kurt giggle. “Oh god. That was cheesy wasn’t it?”

“It was. I don’t think I minded, though.”

They continue to talk about anything that comes to mind. Blaine finds it extremely refreshing to be so comfortable and open with Kurt. He doesn’t seem to care at all that Blaine is a professional athlete. The topic barely even comes up, which is definitely new to him. It’s generally the only thing that his previous boyfriends and past dates were interested in. Kurt, on the other hand, knows next to nothing about the sport. For the brief few minutes when Blaine does talk about it, Kurt’s eyes actual glaze over a bit, not because he doesn’t care, but because he is completely lost. Blaine fights the urge to kick his feet under the table in excitement.

Kurt is witty and smart, with so much life in him that Blaine is completely enthralled at every word he says. They discuss their families, sharing anecdotes and fears for the future. Blaine learns that Burt Hummel is probably one of the greatest fathers that ever lived, and he tells Kurt that Cooper is the closest thing to a father he has. They weave between laughter and seriousness, Blaine asking for more information as often as he can just so he can keep listening to Kurt talk.

Kurt is an amazing listener as well, and actually pays attention to everything - minus the hockey stuff - Blaine says. Sometime after their entrees and before dessert, their hands meet in the middle of the table and stay there until their mutual love for cheesecake forces them apart.

Too soon, their plates are cleared away, but Blaine isn’t ready for the night to end. When the check comes, they both reach for it. Again, Blaine gets caught up in how wonderfully new and unusual the whole situation is. Kurt really is different, and Blaine can’t wait to rub it in Cooper’s face. Blaine insists on paying and eventually wins that argument, pointing out that he was the one to invite Kurt out. Kurt agrees with a heavy sigh and Blaine feels giddy when Kurt says that it would be on him next time. Kurt wants a next time.

“I’m really glad you came,” Blaine says, standing with Kurt in the parking lot. He walked to Kurt’s car with him, trying to milk every second of their time together. “I had a really, really good time.”

“So did I. You’re not what I expected, Blaine Anderson.”

“You’re more amazing than I expected, Kurt Hummel.”

Kurt huffs out a laugh and bites his lip, looking away from Blaine for a second. Blaine wants to move closer, but doesn’t want to seem too eager. He settles for grabbing Kurt’s hand and gripping it tightly. Kurt smiles at him, leaning in to kiss Blaine’s cheek. As he starts to pull away, Blaine brings a hand to Kurt’s shoulder to keep him close. He doesn’t know when he will see Kurt again and is determined to end their night properly.

Blaine watches Kurt’s eyes flutter shut before he allows his own to close, just as their lips meet for the first time. It isn’t deep or desperate, and their noses bump together awkwardly until they get the angle right, but it’s perfect. Kurt’s lips are just as soft as they look, dry and tasting like cherry cheesecake. Kurt presses in with just enough pressure for Blaine to feel it in his fingers and toes.

He moves his hand to Kurt’s face, cups his cheek and holds him there, and if it was up to Blaine, he would never end the sweetest kiss he’s ever tasted. Kurt’s hand slides around his waist and pulls him in closer, and Blaine goes willingly, wanting any amount of contact Kurt is willing to give him. Kurt’s lips part slightly before closing again around Blaine’s bottom lip, and Blaine can’t get enough of it.

It’s over too quickly, leaving both of them breathless and flushed. The space between them is charged with nervous energy and filled with blushing smiles and shining eyes. Blaine swallows and takes a deep breath to steady himself.

“So, I’ll see you again?” Blaine whispers, his thumb stroking over Kurt’s cheek. Kurt’s mouth, wet and slightly swollen, stretches into a wide grin that Blaine can’t help but match.

“Definitely,” Kurt replies and leans forward to brush his lips lightly against Blaine’s. He pulls away and gets into his car before Blaine can stop him. He waves as Kurt drives off and ignores the judgmental looks he gets from the people who watch him bounce back to his car, pumping his fist with a ‘whoop’ because Kurt is incredible and interested in him, the real him, and the night could not have gone any better.

Chapter Text

The morning after his date with Blaine, Kurt is floating. Everything had gone exceptionally well, from the conversation to the most incredible first kiss of Kurt’s life. He went to bed restless, not able to resist texting Blaine before finally falling asleep, telling him again how much he enjoyed their evening together. When he received a text back sharing the same sentiments, Kurt had to roll over to squeal into his pillow so he wouldn’t wake up the house.

Kurt was able to avoid any questioning from his family when he got back. His parents were already in bed and Finn was out with some friends, so Kurt had some time to himself to process everything that happened in the previous 24 hours. He rolled his eyes at several texts from Rachel, who was eagerly awaiting details about his new “whirlwind romance”. He promised her that he would tell her everything once he returned to New York, knowing full well that he should have taken detailed notes.

However, after he’s showered and dressed, Kurt regrets going downstairs for breakfast. Finn is incredibly excited for him and wastes no time in asking about his date while Burt and Carole observe carefully, chuckling to themselves and clearly amused.

“It was fine,” Kurt answers. He doesn’t want to divulge too much or release the giddy monster living inside his chest. “I don’t really understand what the big deal is.”

“My brother’s boyfriend plays for the Blue Jackets,” Finn says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world. “That’s, like, the coolest thing that could ever happen to you!”

“We went on one date, Finn,” Kurt points out, grabbing a mug from the cabinet and pouring himself some coffee before sitting down at the table and fixing his plate. “One date does not mean he’s my boyfriend.”

“But you can still score us some free tickets, right?”

Kurt glares at Finn, not feeling the least bit sorry for him when Carole walks by and whacks him over the head with the newspaper.

“I’m happy to hear that your date went well, Kurt,” Carole says with a satisfied smile. “I’ve seen pictures of Blaine in the paper. He’s quite the catch.”

Kurt opens his mouth to agree, but is interrupted by Burt’s loud grunt at the other end of the table. “Something you want to share with the class, Dad?” Kurt asks, raising an eyebrow at his father.

Burt sighs and leans forward with his elbows resting on the table and his fingers folded together. It was a telltale sign that he was about to drop some knowledge, so Kurt sits back in his chair and waits.

“I’m not gonna sit here and tell you what to do,” Burt starts. Kurt, of course, knows that Burt is, in fact, going to try telling him what to do. He figures letting his father finish is the best plan of action, however, and the easiest way to avoid any arguments. “You’re a grown man and you are free to make your own decisions.”

Kurt nods, encouraging Burt to continue. He waits for the ‘but’ to come and has a feeling he won’t like whatever is going to follow it.

“I’m sure that Blaine is a nice guy,” Burt says. “But I don’t know if you getting close to him is a good idea.” Burt puts a hand up to stop Kurt from protesting. “He’s an NHL player, Kurt. He’s not going to be around much, and I don’t want you getting caught up in something that might end before it even begins.”

Kurt may not know much about hockey, but he knows enough to understand that the logistics of his and Blaine’s relationship, if they decide to have one, would be tricky. Blaine travels a lot, sometimes for several days at a time, and even more problematic was the fact that Blaine’s home was in Ohio while Kurt’s was in New York. It doesn’t give them much to work with, but Kurt likes Blaine way too much to let him go without at least giving it a shot.

“I understand where you’re coming from, Dad, I really do.” Kurt takes a deep breath before going on. “I know that the circumstances of a possible relationship between Blaine and I are not the most promising, and I know that it would be hard to keep seeing each other, if that’s what we decide to do. But, I think it might be worth it.”

The way that Burt looks at him has Kurt feeling like he’s being sized up, like his father is contemplating whether or not Kurt’s actually serious.

“You know I’ll support you either way,” Burt reassures him. “I gotta tell ya, though, I never thought I’d see the day when you willingly date a pro athlete.”

Finn, who had been pretending not to listen while eating his breakfast, looks up at them suddenly.

“I know, right?” Finn laughs. “Total mindblower. I didn’t think hockey players would be your type, since you’re not into, you know, sweaty sport things.”

“Why do I get the feeling that I don’t want to know what you think my type is?” Kurt asks, hoping that Finn would recognize it as a rhetorical question.

“Does Blaine know you’re going back to New York tomorrow?” Burt interjects.

“Yes, he does,” Kurt replies, remembering how crestfallen Blaine looked when Kurt had broken the news to him, even though Blaine himself was going out of town for a few games on the West Coast in a couple days. “He has practice this morning, but we’re meeting up for coffee after. Whatever happens after that…”

Kurt trails off and waves his hand in the air to convey that he and Blaine would just have to take it one day at a time. Nobody says anything else about it for a few minutes and they focus on finishing up their breakfast instead. Kurt is pleased that he only had to wordlessly remove the salt from his father’s reach once, which is progress. Of course, Finn is the one to break the comfortable silence.

“So, back to those free tickets – “

“Finn!”

~^*^~

Blaine: Hey I just got out. Do you know where the Lima Bean is?

Kurt: I do. What time should I meet you?

Blaine: An hour? Can’t wait to see you.

Kurt: An hour it is. And likewise.

~^*^~

Their coffee date goes much the same way as their dinner date. They talk more about each other, both trying not to repeat anything from the previous night and laughing when they do just that. Blaine tells Kurt that he would teach him about hockey and Kurt giggles at Blaine’s enthusiasm, but agrees. They’re both more comfortable with each other than the night before, the nerves typical of a first date less apparent. Kurt finds that Blaine is extremely easy to talk to. He really seems to understand a lot of the things that Kurt had gone through growing up and Kurt wishes that he had someone like Blaine around back in high school.

Once their coffee cups are empty, Kurt decides that he isn’t ready for their date to end. Blaine is apparently on the same page, offering for them to drive back to his place and promising to make Kurt some lunch. Kurt agrees, naturally, and only freaks out a little bit in the car as he follows Blaine back to his house. Kurt doesn’t want to get his hopes up or set himself up for disappointment, and he definitely isn’t ready for them to do anything… risqué. It will be the first time they are alone together, after all, and Kurt is both thrilled and terrified at the same time. He just hopes that Blaine doesn’t expect more from him than he is able to give.

While Blaine gets their food ready, Kurt looks around the kitchen and living room, both of which are the size of his apartment in New York, and he shares that space with another person. The décor is nice, if a little cold, like a luxury, pre-furnished condo reserved for businessmen passing through town on their way to bigger and better places. There are several shelves full of trophies, all with hockey players in different positions sitting on top. Kurt also notices a few framed photos of Blaine in different uniforms, some showing a much younger version of him with a happy smile on his face and floppy curls across his forehead. Kurt smiles at the images, at how adorable Blaine had been, and how much he has already accomplished in life.

As it turns out, Blaine’s lunch for them consists of boxed macaroni and cheese with canned soup, but Kurt appreciates the effort and the presentation. Blaine arranged everything on their plates as if he was executive chef at the finest restaurant in Ohio, and Kurt thanks him with a quick kiss on the cheek as Blaine sets the food in front of him. They continue to talk about nothing in particular, mixing their conversation with quick glances and shy smiles. Once they finish eating, they move over to the living room and make themselves comfortable on the couch, both of them sitting sideways facing each other with their knees touching and their hands tangled together loosely.

“I really want to kiss you,” Blaine says suddenly during a lull in their conversation, his eyes shining and so gorgeous that Kurt can’t look away.

“I really want you to kiss me,” Kurt replies, slightly breathless and sure that his face is a bright shade of red. He has wanted to kiss Blaine since they met up at the coffee shop, but he wasn’t sure if he should, or even if he could. He vaguely wishes that there was some sort of protocol for when it’s okay to kiss a potential boyfriend after the first kiss is done and over with.

Blaine leans forward slowly, cautiously, giving Kurt time to back out. Kurt decides to speed things up, because there is no way he’s changing his mind. He wraps his hand around the back of Blaine’s neck and pulls him in, muffling Blaine’s surprised gasp as their mouths crash together.

Kurt doesn’t believe in heaven, but if he did, he imagines it would be a place where he can kiss Blaine for eternity. Blaine is incredibly responsive, sliding his lips across Kurt’s in a smooth rhythm. Kurt traces his tongue along Blaine’s bottom lip, flicking at the soft skin and pulling back when Blaine tries to move in closer to deepen the kiss.

“Tease,” Blaine whispers between short, wet kisses that Kurt thinks are much sexier than they should be.

Kurt slides his hand up to the nape of Blaine’s neck, playing with the short curls he finds there. His other hand rests on Blaine’s thigh with his thumb tracing along the inseam of Blaine’s jeans. Kurt sucks at Blaine’s lip gently, surprising even himself at his boldness, and then lets go with a soft pop, pulling away just enough to whisper, “I have no idea what you mean.”

Blaine shifts so he is sitting against the back of the couch. Kurt pouts for a second at the increased space between them, but then Blaine is grabbing underneath Kurt’s thighs and lifting him up and over to straddle his lap. The movement seems so effortless for Blaine, like Kurt’s weight is nothing. Kurt steadies himself by gripping Blaine’s arms and oh. That’s why. Kurt’s stomach twists hotly as he recalls exactly how he and Blaine met in the first place.

Right. Hockey player. Sports. Muscles.

“Kurt, you still with me?”

Kurt snaps his eyes up to look at Blaine, willing the blush creeping along his cheeks and neck to recede. He bites his lip and looks off to the side, feeling self-conscious about being caught ogling the heartbreakingly handsome man in front of him, who is now under him, between Kurt’s legs, and that line of thought is really not helpful.

“Yeah, I’m good. I guess I’m just a little… overwhelmed,” Kurt explains, speaking quietly and not quite able to meet Blaine’s eyes.

Blaine grins at him, the smile fading as he cups Kurt’s cheek and leans up to press warm, barely-there kisses to Kurt’s chin, jaw, and neck. Kurt’s eyes slide shut and he arches into Blaine’s touch, his arms wrapping around Blaine’s shoulders. Kurt tingles all over from the heat of Blaine’s body against his and Blaine’s breath ghosting over the fine hairs of his skin.

Kurt realizes then that he wants it. He wants Blaine and his mouth and his touch, not just in that moment but for the entire night, the next week, even the next decade and many after. He wants exciting nights out and romantic nights in. More than that, Kurt wants to let himself fall, truly and completely, and Blaine is definitely someone he could fall for. It could be perfect, if it wasn’t for one huge problem.

“Blaine, wait.” Kurt reluctantly pushes at Blaine’s shoulders and there’s that damn distance between them again, but this time there is a purpose to it. Namely, to avoid letting things get out of hand before Kurt can say what he needs to say. “What are we doing?”

“I think the kids still refer to it as making out,” Blaine says, trying to kiss him again and furrowing his eyebrows when Kurt doesn’t let him. “Is everything okay? Did I hurt you?”

“No, no. Nothing like that.” Kurt leans back onto Blaine’s thighs, and he really should move off of Blaine’s lap entirely, but for some reason it makes him feel more at ease and in control. It’s also rather comfortable. “It’s just – I really like you, Blaine.”

“I really like you, too, Kurt.” Blaine slots their fingers together and rests their hands against his stomach.

“Well, that’s good then,” Kurt laughs lightly and tries to figure out how to say what he’s thinking without sounding like a complete idiot. “I want to know if this is really happening, because, I mean, I know it’s happening, but I guess I’m just trying to figure out where we stand. I’m not really sure where we go from here.” Blaine nods and squeezes Kurt’s hands, urging him to continue. “I live in New York, and you live here when you’re not all over the country. I don’t want us to move too quickly and then become resentful of each other because we won’t be able to spend time together, but I also think this could be amazing, if we let it be.”

Kurt pauses to gauge Blaine’s reaction. He hopes he didn’t come off as too pushy or like he was expecting too much. He has only known Blaine for a couple days, and maybe he is reading too much into things. Blaine sits up, letting go of Kurt’s hands and winding his arms around Kurt, his fingertips gently rubbing the tension out of Kurt’s back.

“I am, without a doubt, one hundred percent smitten with you, Kurt Hummel,” Blaine says softly. “I don’t want this to be some little fling that we both forget about in a month. I actually don’t think I could forget about you if I tried.” Blaine kisses Kurt’s jaw quickly before he continues. “I think we should take things slow and just get used to this.” Kurt nods dumbly, his brain fizzling out slightly because Blaine seems to understand exactly where he’s coming from. “And for the record, I could really get used to having you in my life.”

“So we’re going to give this a shot?” Kurt asks, dropping his head down to press his forehead against Blaine’s. “Even with the distance?”

“Even with the distance.”

They spend much less time talking after that, save for occasional comments about when they can see each other again. They don’t go any further than kissing and they laugh at how much they feel like teenagers, shy and unsure, learning what to do and where to put their hands. By the time Kurt leaves, his mouth is swollen and well used, his pants seem a little too tight, and his heart feels full to the brim with happiness.

Chapter Text

The first couple weeks were all about strategy. Blaine’s schedule had him traveling along the West Coast, and then he only had two home games before heading out again. He sometimes wished it could be easier and that he had the ability to talk to or see Kurt whenever he wanted, but he couldn’t change his career over it. Regardless of the distance, he was confident that things would work out. It was a challenge to keep up with his own obligations, let alone someone else’s, but he was determined to do what he could.

So, they planned ahead of time. Phone calls and Skype dates were arranged around both of their schedules. Kurt had an exciting, albeit hectic, job at Vogue.com, quickly working his way up, and there were some days when they had to accept that they couldn’t talk at all. Those were the days Blaine hated the most. There was no real definition to what they were or were not becoming. The only thing spelled out in bold letters was that they were crazy about each other. When they agreed to try things out, it wasn’t a promise of anything but commitment to what they had and what they could have. Blaine couldn’t deny that his feelings for Kurt were growing, which would seem ridiculous if it was anyone else, but with Kurt, it all seemed so natural, so right, that it made him fall asleep smiling with his toes wiggling happily beneath the sheets.

After weeks of rushed phone calls during the day and sleepy conversations through pixilated screens, Blaine finally has a four-game stretch at home, and when Kurt mentions a free weekend, Blaine jumps at the opportunity. He is aware that Kurt can’t afford to come to Ohio on a whim, so he quickly offers to pay for his flight. Kurt declines at first, not yet comfortable with the idea of Blaine spending money on him, but Blaine insists and persuades with careful words and his notorious pout, and then books the tickets while they are still on the phone. Blaine would walk to New York to see Kurt, and considering how well things were going, he was pretty sure that Kurt would meet him halfway.

Kurt is due to arrive in Ohio on a Friday afternoon and will go to his father’s house in Lima first. Blaine has a game that night against St. Louis and asks Kurt to come cheer him on. Kurt is reluctant; his interest in the sport hasn’t changed much despite Blaine’s best efforts. Eventually they come up with a compromise, Kurt agreeing to meet Blaine at his house afterward.

Blaine is nervous and excited, wondering if it will be weird to see Kurt again in person, without any form of technology acting as a buffer between them. He isn’t entirely sure how he is supposed to act, if it’s okay to hold Kurt or to kiss him like he desperately wants to, or if there is a chance for more now that they know each other better. It’s definitely a strange situation, navigating a relationship without a roadmap, driven only by mutual need and want to get to the same destination. There are times when Blaine is afraid that Kurt may not return his feelings completely, but then Kurt whispers ‘I miss you’ or ‘I wish I could see you’ in the middle of the night with his mouth pressed close to the phone, and Blaine’s heart swells because it means Kurt is still there, still his.

Blaine’s thoughts drift to Kurt as he sits on the bench between shifts. He thinks about whether Kurt is watching the game or listening to it during his drive to Westerville. Blaine told him the security code to get into his house, in case Kurt gets there before he does. Surprisingly, it isn’t as strange as he thinks it should be for Kurt to be at his house without him, waiting for him to come home. He likes the idea of it, actually, like it’s a glimpse into a future that’s just him and Kurt, living together and growing into an adorable old couple. Blaine knows he is getting ahead of himself, but the thought makes his chest tighten and his palms sweat inside his gloves. It’s definitely too soon to think of such things, and if he says them out loud, Kurt will probably think he’s insane and never speak to him again.

A sharp jab against his shoulder snaps Blaine back to the present, followed by the Head Coach yelling at him to get his ass in gear. Blaine stands quickly, adjusts his helmet, and hops over the wall, kicking himself for not paying as much attention to the game as he should have. He prays that nobody notices him trying to figure out which way to go, and when he’s knocked against the boards hard, not seeing it coming, he realizes that Kurt Hummel is going to be the death of him.

~^*^~

…Wisniewski passes it up ahead to Boll, Boll skates over the blue line, long pass to Gillies, back to Boll, over to Anderson, one-timer goes just wide -

Kurt turns off the radio and laughs lightly to himself. As much as he has tried to at least learn the basics of hockey, he still doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on and, really, he isn’t all that interested. He’s able to catch that the Blue Jackets are winning, there are only a few minutes left in the game, and that Blaine is alive and well based on the narrator saying his name quite a few times. Kurt doesn’t need the details. Blaine tried to explain the game to him, as promised, but Kurt found himself losing focus somewhere between a blue line and icing. Well, the icing part had caught his attention, but only because he thought the conversation had shifted to cake.

Kurt glances at his GPS, trying to tame the fluttering feeling in his stomach as the number of miles to his destination decreases. At the rate he’s going, he will arrive around the same time as Blaine. He has no idea what they are going to do, but he hopes that it will involve a good amount of kissing and roving hands, and possibly even more than that. He likes Blaine a lot, he is definitely attracted to him, and he enjoys being with him. Kurt may not have much experience, but he’s pretty sure he’s ready to change that. Then again, even if they don’t do anything particularly intimate, Kurt still wants Blaine near him. He wants to hold him again and reconnect physically after growing so close emotionally.

An hour later, with shaking hands and a pounding heart, Kurt pulls into Blaine’s empty driveway, not quite sure where to go from there. On one hand, Blaine had given him permission to go inside without him, but at the same time, he doesn’t want to seem too eager. He ultimately decides to stay in the car for a bit longer and sing along to the radio to calm his nerves. It’s been so long since he last saw Blaine in the flesh that he isn’t sure how he should act. A part of him wants to stand in front of Blaine and just stare for a bit, memorizing every inch of him all over again until it gets to be too much and he has to touch. Another part of him wants to forget about his own inhibitions, attack Blaine’s mouth, and try to rid him of all articles of clothing in as little time as possible. It’s a hard being stuck between two fantastic options.

Blaine’s house looks colder in the dark. It’s large with professionally maintained bushes around the front. It looks like something out of a real estate catalog and Kurt wonders if Blaine would want to live in the same place if he wasn’t searching alone. A vivid image flashes in Kurt’s head of walking through the front door after a long day at the Vogue offices and waiting for Blaine to return from a game or practice, maybe starting dinner, surrounded by his own decorating – a few of Blaine’s touches mixed in, of course – in a house that they could call home together. Something that was a representation of the both of them and the life they had.

The flash of headlights startles Kurt away from his fantasy and just like that, he feels the thrill of having Blaine so close take over. He shuts off his car and climbs out, debating whether or not he should grab his overnight bag. He doesn’t want to make assumptions, but secretly hopes that his purchase of a new toothbrush was not made in vain. At the last minute, he grabs the bag and drops it next to him, and then turns around to greet Blaine.

“Kurt!” Blaine shouts over the top of his own car, smiling brightly and his eyes are shining even in the darkness of the late hour. Blaine runs around to where Kurt is standing and immediately throws his arms around Kurt’s shoulders with enough force that they both almost end up sprawled across the driveway. Kurt is dizzy with Blaine’s scent - soap and raspberry hair gel - and he breathes Blaine in while returning the embrace.

“It’s good to see you, too,” Kurt says. “I missed you.”

Blaine pulls back but keeps one hand on Kurt’s shoulder while running the thumb of the other over the side of Kurt’s neck, making Kurt’s knees shake. Kurt nearly melts into the ground when Blaine flashes him a wide smile that fades into something much more.

“I missed you, too,” Blaine whispers. They stand there for a few seconds before Blaine grabs Kurt’s hand and starts pulling him in the direction of the front door. Kurt snatches up his bag at the last second and laughs as Blaine tugs him through the front foyer, feeling like he is right where he is supposed to be.

Kurt watches intently as Blaine puts away his things. He drops his keys in a bowl that is not actually designed to hold anything and toes off his shoes. Kurt’s eyes travel down Blaine’s body to where Blaine’s pants stretch over the back of his thighs when he bends down, and, yeah, he’s in trouble. His eyes graze over Blaine’s back, which is covered by thin fabric that’s snug around his broad shoulders and even tighter around his waist.

“Are you hungry? I can make you something, if you want,” Blaine says, turning around, and Kurt doesn’t know when he had taken a few steps forward, but Blaine is suddenly right in front of him. “Oh, hey, there you are.”

“Here I am.” Kurt would normally be embarrassed by his lack of game, but Blaine is looking at him with wide eyes that grow darker when Kurt slides his fingers over his hips, grips them, and tugs him closer.

Kurt can’t remember who moves first and quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. All he cares about is the way Blaine’s lips glide across his own, their breath mixing in the thin space between them, charged with weeks of distance and want. The awkwardness that Kurt feared would stunt them is wonderfully nonexistent, Blaine’s body molding to his own perfectly like they had been holding onto each other for years. Their kisses are messy and desperate, tongues sliding together firmly, taking and giving equally. Blaine’s fingers struggle to untuck Kurt’s shirt, running up Kurt’s back once he succeeds. Kurt can feel each press of Blaine’s fingertips into his skin and it makes him dizzy with how much he loves Blaine’s hands on him, exploring him.

Kurt pulls back just enough to gasp against Blaine’s lips, “Bedroom?”

Blaine nods and presses his lips against the corner of Kurt’s mouth, and then he’s intertwining their fingers and practically dragging him up the nearby staircase. Kurt laughs at how eager Blaine is and it reminds him of how happy and excited Blaine had been a few minutes prior.

Maybe they are moving a little quickly, but Kurt can’t bring himself to stop. It may only been the third time that he and Blaine are sharing the same space, but he feels like he knows Blaine. It certainly doesn’t feel wrong, especially when Blaine stops at the top of the stairs, turns around and pushes Kurt against the wall like he can’t stand the idea of being away from him any longer. They stay there for a minute or two before moving into the bedroom, their hips so close together that Kurt can feel Blaine hard against him.

They stumble around Blaine’s room, grabbing at each other’s shirts until they are unceremoniously tossed in different directions, Kurt happy with his decision to cut down on the layers for the night. Blaine walks backwards, taking Kurt with him, and they are no longer kissing, but the way Blaine is looking at him, hungry and full of adoration at the same time – Kurt didn’t know that was even possible – takes his breath away.

Blaine scrambles up the bed and pats the spot next to him with a wink, and Kurt rolls his eyes before crawling up over him and letting out a loud squeak when Blaine grabs him and rolls them over so Blaine is straddling his hips. Their lips meet again, Kurt leaning up to sitting, boldly sliding his hands down Blaine’s back until they are resting against his ass, squeezing hard and making Blaine’s hips stutter forward. They break apart, panting against each other’s lips, and Kurt takes the opportunity to graze his mouth over Blaine’s cheek and down across his jaw.

“I feel like we’re doing this backwards,” Blaine breathes, laughing lightly and resting his forehead on Kurt’s shoulder as Kurt works his way up Blaine’s neck, licking and lightly sucking at the soft, sensitive skin below his ear. “I should have at least made you a drink first.”

“I don’t drink.” Kurt nips at Blaine’s ear lobe and flicks it with his tongue, smiling to himself at Blaine’s soft groan against his shoulder.

“Neither do I.” Blaine picks his head up and surges forward quickly, knocking Kurt back against the pillows. Kurt wraps his arms around Blaine’s waist, clutching at his sides and pulling him down further, and he needs Blaine’s weight on top of him like he can’t live without it. He can feel hard muscles flexing underneath his hands, firm and warm, and it makes him want to sing his praises for professional sports everywhere.

Kurt shifts them again so Blaine is on his back and latches his mouth onto the dip of Blaine’s throat, trailing down his chest and over his well-defined stomach. His lips map out every inch of skin and line of muscle until Blaine is writhing underneath him, his hands clenching against Kurt’s shoulders and his nails leaving small imprints against his pale skin. Kurt kneels up between Blaine’s legs to work the button and zipper of Blaine’s jeans open, holding Blaine’s gaze the entire time. He feels powerful and sexy and incredibly turned on as he tugs Blaine’s pants down a couple inches and allowed himself to just look.

Blaine’s body is gorgeous. His stomach is perfectly chiseled underneath a light layer of dark hair and flawless, tanned skin. Kurt’s eyes rake over Blaine’s torso, and he has to bite his lip to stop himself from groaning embarrassingly loud at the sight of Blaine’s hips and the deep cut lines traveling south until they are hidden by light grey briefs. Kurt has been with other men before, some of them quite attractive, but Blaine is on a whole other level, and Kurt is starting to ache where his hard dick is pressed against the front of his jeans. Without thinking, he palms himself, moaning at the pressure, and looks back up at Blaine’s face, watching as Blaine’s jaw drops and his breath hitches.

Kurt leans back down, overwhelmed with the need to see if Blaine’s skin tastes as good as it looks. The tip of his tongue leaves a wet trail above the low waist of Blaine’s briefs as he moves over to Blaine’s hip. He follows the line of muscle up and back down, sucking gently at the skin and then biting into it, loving the clean saltiness of Blaine’s skin. Kurt licks soothingly at the deep red mark he makes and starts on another one just an inch away, worshiping the taut flesh with his lips and teeth and making Blaine gasp for air and groan at increasing volumes, begging for Kurt to never stop. Kurt slides his mouth to the other side, giving Blaine’s other hip the same treatment, marking up his skin with wet, red bites until Blaine grabs at his shoulder painfully, expressing without words that he can’t wait any longer.

“Kurt, please,” Blaine begs as Kurt lifts himself back up and ghosts his hand over Blaine’s prominent bulge. He slips his fingers underneath the top of Blaine’s briefs and yanks down, pulling them and Blaine’s pants off quickly and throwing them to the side. Blaine raises himself onto his elbows, his eyes dark and his lips swollen from the press of teeth. “Now, that’s just unfair. You’re still wearing clothes.”

“Mmm. I’m impressed by your keen observation skills.” Kurt feels his stomach twist as Blaine looks him up and down. “How do you suppose we fix that problem?”

Blaine sits up fully and his fingers clumsily grab at the front of Kurt’s pants while he clasps his lips around Kurt’s nipple. Kurt arches his back, bringing a hand up to grip the back of Blaine’s neck, encouraging him to keep doing that thing with his tongue because it is heavenly. He whimpers when he feels Blaine’s knuckles press along the underside of his cock, still covered by his briefs and straining against the thin material. Blaine works Kurt’s pants down, his mouth traveling across Kurt’s chest, pulling away only to allow Kurt to remove his pants completely.

The reality of the situation hits Kurt all at once.

He is naked.

Blaine is naked.

He is naked with Blaine.

Kurt groans and pushes forward until he is settled comfortably between Blaine’s legs. He ducks his head down to kiss Blaine deeply, immediately slipping his tongue into his mouth, impassioned and trembling with the intensity of having Blaine’s bare skin against him. The sudden friction against his cock is exquisite, burning through him and back out again. Kurt thrusts his hips down, earning a deep groan from Blaine, and he nearly comes right then and there because of how absurdly hot Blaine looks with his head thrown back and his mouth lax and open. He rocks against Blaine slowly at first, but then Blaine wraps his legs around Kurt’s waist tightly, and Kurt picks up the pace. The sensation of Blaine’s cock against his makes his toes curl and his fingers clench and twist into the sheets on either side of Blaine’s head, like they are the only thing keeping him from falling apart completely.

They keep going without caring about rate and rhythm, grinding into each other until their stomachs are covered with a thin layer of sweat that makes each movement more fluid than the last. Kurt can feel himself start to unravel, his thrusts growing more erratic as Blaine’s cock slides against his, the slickness from the head mixing with the fluid leaking from Kurt’s own arousal. He was stuck in limbo, needing just a bit more before he could fall over the edge.

“Blaine – ah – m’close,” Kurt whimpers into Blaine’s neck. “I just… I need…”

Blaine seems to catch on, worming a hand between them and grasping both of them as best as he can, lining them up so that every drive of their hips shoots sparks of pleasure through Kurt’s body. He can feel the head of Blaine’s cock catch against the ridge of his own, the sensation completely different than anything he’d ever felt before. It’s intoxicating and strangely intimate, and when he looks down between them, the sight of it has him keening loudly. Blaine slides his other hand over Kurt’s side and up his chest, and then brushes his thumb over his nipple, still sensitive and buzzing from Blaine’s mouth, and that was it.

Kurt thinks he might be swearing loudly, or maybe he’s just moaning a lot. He can’t quite figure out the noises tumbling out of his mouth and seconds later he can’t even remember his name. The last thing he registers is the heat inside him exploding, bursts of flames curling around his spine and seeping through his limbs. Through the white noise he can hear Blaine cry out, shouting Kurt’s name up at the ceiling as he falls, shuddering and gasping for air.

Neither one of them move until Blaine grunts and Kurt slumps off of him and wraps an arm around his waist, settling his head against Blaine’s shoulder and trying to figure out how to make his lungs work properly. After a few moments, their hearts slow down enough to function properly and Kurt leans up to kiss Blaine softly, smiling against his lips, and then Blaine is pulling him back in for more.

“We are – “ kiss “absolutely” kiss, kiss “disgusting,” Kurt tells him. Blaine giggles against his mouth and pulls back, stroking over Kurt’s cheekbone with his fingers. Kurt hums contentedly and his eyes flutter shut, heavy from the late hour and what was one of the best orgasms of his life. “We should shower.”

“Probably,” Blaine agrees, arching his back in a long stretch and settling back down into the sheets. “The bathroom is so far away, though.”

Kurt huffs out a laugh, deciding to take the lead before they both pass out. He pushes himself off the bed, grimacing at the drying come on his stomach and silently judging Blaine for not having at least a box of tissues within reach. He walks around to the other side of the bed and grabs both of Blaine’s hands, chuckling when Blaine makes a big show of resisting Kurt as he hoists him to his feet.

Half an hour later, they are clean and warm in their pajama pants and old t-shirts, sharing ice cream from the carton, and huddled under a blanket on Blaine’s living room couch watching late night TV and snarking at the cheesy commercials. Kurt feeds Blaine a spoonful with a large chocolate chunk on top when it dawns on him that he hasn’t stopped smiling all evening, and he has Blaine to thank for it. Blaine, with his stupidly charming smile, has a firm hold on him, and Kurt doesn’t mind one bit.

Chapter Text

Blaine has never been so nervous to play a game in his life. Well, not in a long time, anyway. The Islanders aren’t off to a good start, and it’s still early enough in the season that points and stats can be easily recovered, but knowing that Kurt will be watching him play is making Blaine’s fingers fumble while he laces up his skates. It isn’t as if Kurt hasn’t seen him in action before - that was how they met - but he wasn’t entirely aware that Kurt was watching back then. Blaine feels an irrational need to be at his best more than usual, because as proud as he is of his own accomplishments, he wants Kurt to be proud of him, too.

As the time before the game dwindles, Blaine stares at the inside of his locker for longer than usual, imagining all the ways this could go wrong. What if he falls on his ass? What if he scores on his own team’s net? What if he gets into a fight and loses? Blaine shudders at the thought. Just as he stands to grab his gloves, his phone buzzes against the metal of the locker shelf, indicating a new text.

Kurt: Don’t know if you’ll get this in time, but break a leg!
Kurt: P.S. Can’t wait to see you xo

Blaine bites his lip as he reads Kurt’s messages a few times, his smile growing.

“I think someone’s getting sexted!”

“Aww, look at the Warbler blush!”

Blaine laughs at teammates teasing him, shaking his head and rolling his eyes at the use of his not-as-badass-as-he-would-like nickname. It started when he first joined the team, supposedly because he was so small but could fly over the ice. It didn’t help that he also had a penchant for singing in the locker room, sometimes jumping up on the benches just to get the team pumped up for a game.

The guys know of his relationship with Kurt, but, thankfully, never give him any real crap for it, the kind that used to make Blaine afraid to be who he was. That isn’t to say that they don’t harass him about it, especially when they know he had been talking to Kurt just by seeing his goofy smile. It’s all good-natured teasing, though, the same as for anyone else on the team. They continue to catcall and try their best to make him blush as they finish padding up, but Blaine just keeps smiling. He has a game to win and somebody to win it for.

The roar of the crowd as he skates out on the ice is something Blaine is confident he will never get tired of. It makes him feel alive. He loves the crisp feeling of fresh ice under his blades as he skates around the rink, the smell of the chilled air as it breezes over his face when he picks up speed. For those first few minutes, Blaine feels free, soaking up the energy buzzing around him. He looks around as the crowd settles before the anthem starts, and seated a few rows up behind the players’ bench, was Kurt.

Blaine swallows hard as they lock eyes, his chest tightening at seeing Kurt for the first time in much too long. Kurt is looking right at him, too, smiling and waving, and Blaine winks at him before turning his attention back to the high school student singing the Star Spangled Banner.

~^*^~

“Oh, these are excellent seats,” Rachel says as they wait for the game to start. “I wonder if this is the VIP section.”

“I don’t think they have VIP sections at hockey games, Rach,” Kurt tells her, patting her hand quickly and grabbing a handful of popcorn from the bag in her lap.

“That girl that sang our nation’s anthem wasn’t very good, was she?” Rachel muses. “I’m seriously questioning the audition process.”

Kurt smiles at her fondly. Leave it to Rachel to judge the poor teenage girl who had looked terrified to sing in front of such a large crowd.

“So, where is this new beau of yours?” Rachel leans into Kurt’s shoulder, talking to him like she is trying to get top secret info. “I’m dying to see what he looks like.”

The players were lining up to do something in the middle of the ice, and Kurt quickly scans over the jerseys until he finds Blaine, crouching down low in front of a guy from the other team. Kurt vaguely remembers the same thing happening at the last game he was at, but he can definitely say he’s paying more attention now.

“Right there in the middle, by the referee.” Kurt points over to Blaine, Rachel following his gaze and smiling broadly.

“He’s kind of short, isn’t he?”.

“So are you,” Kurt sings, earning a glare. “He’s the cutest one out there, though.”

“I’m sure he is.”

Kurt watches intently as the players skate around furiously. He actually doesn’t mind watching the game so much, even though he has a hard time following the puck thing around. It’s better than football, anyway, with less downtime. It’s exciting in a way, he supposes, but that could be because Blaine is there, and anything Blaine does is exciting. Kurt’s eyes follow Blaine more than the actual game, gasping every time someone gets too close to him or he hits the walls too hard for it not to be painful. He tells himself that it’s part of the game, that hockey is a full contact sport where guys practically fly at each other, but he can’t help worrying a little bit. He wants Blaine to stay in one piece.

“Ok, that looked like it really hurt,” Kurt says after Blaine gets slammed in a corner.

“I’m sure he’s fine. I think they wear all that padding for a reason,” Rachel tries to reassure him. Kurt nods absently, wondering how many bruises will be marring Blaine’s skin and how long it will take him to kiss every one of them. This then leads to much less innocent thoughts. Of course, it’s at that moment that Blaine skates toward the bench to take a break. They lock eyes again and Kurt’s face betrays him, heating up with an image of Blaine in a less-than-dressed state swimming through his mind.

It’s not that Kurt doesn’t want to see Blaine naked again. He thinks about it a lot, actually, but then his fantasies end up with him underneath Blaine, or pinned up against a wall, Blaine working his way inside of him. He isn’t sure if they are ready for that step yet, or even close to it, but the mental picture is more than pleasant. Kurt shakes his head to get rid of those thoughts just in time to see some guy from the other team hit the puck into the net, making everyone around him cheer and high five each other. He briefly considers booing, but decides it best to lay low. From what he can tell, hockey fans tend to get a little crazy.

~^*^~

Blaine swears loudly as soon as the Isles score. Sure, it’s still early in the first period, but he doesn’t care. Kurt probably won’t care if they lose, but Blaine still wants to leave a good impression. To make the situation even more stressful, Kurt brought along his best friend, who is both intriguing and terrifying based on what Blaine has been told about her.

It’s a big step, Blaine thinks, to meet The Best Friend. Almost as important as meeting someone’s parents, but he doesn’t think he and Kurt are quite at that stage yet. Granted, he wouldn’t subject Kurt to his parents on purpose regardless of how long their relationship lasts. Cooper maybe, but only if there was no avoiding it, and he would have to make sure his brother wasn’t going to say something horrendously embarrassing at Blaine’s expense. Blaine’s family is their own brand of crazy and dysfunctional, with all the bad stuff hidden under a façade of success. Blaine is the trophy son, thanks to his skill and luck in landing a two-year deal with the Blue Jackets. In all honestly, while he is good, it was luck more than anything that got him where he is. An injury to one of the team’s big players led to Blaine being called down from Massachusetts, where he had been playing for the Springfield Falcons. Somehow, he had managed to impress the Blues enough that they decided to keep him around.

Now, he’s 22 years old, playing in the NHL, and determined as hell to score at least one goal so Kurt can be proud to call him his boyfriend. Blaine smiles to himself, realizing that he’d never thought of Kurt and his relationship as having a label before, since it has always been so much more than that. Either way, Kurt is special, and what they have means a lot, despite being separated for weeks at a time. Blaine remembers how excited Kurt had gotten when he told him about the game against the Isles. Kurt didn’t know at first that the game was in Uniondale and about an hour drive from his apartment in Bushwick, but even after Blaine broke the news to him, Kurt insisted on coming, much to Blaine’s surprise and amusement.

Blaine bites his lip to hide his growing grin at Kurt’s enthusiasm and how genuinely happy Kurt had been that they would see each other, even if it’s only for the few hours before Blaine gets some sleep and catches an early flight to Nashville. Kurt and his friend – Rachel, if he recalls correctly – even got a hotel room to avoid traveling back home in the middle of the night. Blaine’s hotel is close by, and his teammates are obviously the best in the world since a couple of them offered to sneak his roommate to one of their rooms for a couple hours.

It was one of the many things that strikes Blaine as completely unexpected, but in the best of ways. None of his teammates care that he’s gay, which is a world of difference from the guys he had grown up playing with in Ohio, the ones who sneered at him in the locker rooms and accused him on more than one occasion of looking at their junk. Not all of them had been like that, of course, but the few that were helped Blaine develop a tough skin and an unwavering need to prove himself, to stand out, and to be someone that the team needed.

~^*^~

“So, how are things going with you and Blaine?” Rachel asks as they watch a bunch of guys sweep over the ice, removing little bits that Kurt assumes would get in the way.

“We’re good, I think,” Kurt replies, nodding his head as if he needs to reassure himself. “I mean, we don’t see each other as much as we would like, but we do what we can.”

Rachel nods along with him, playing with her cup of hot chocolate that she insisted on spending five dollars on. “Well, it’s not like they play year round, right? Ice does melt eventually.”

“I’m pretty sure the ice down there is fake, sweetie,” Kurt says, patting Rachel’s arm. “But yes, they have a break after March or April, I think. Blaine said it depends on how well they do and if they make it to the playoffs.”

Rachel nods again, clearly just pretending to understand. Kurt can sympathize, not really getting it either, but he’s excited about the possibility of spending more time with Blaine during the spring and summer. That is, if Blaine is still interested at that point, which Kurt hopes will be the case. It’s still a few months away, though, and Kurt’s schedule is filling up quickly with the addition of several new, albeit important, responsibilities at work.

~^*^~

Blaine skates out to the Isles’ end, getting ready for the face off. He lost the last two and is determined to win this one. They have the man advantage, Blaine’s line is playing well, and there is no reason why they can’t pull into the lead in the next two minutes. The score is tied at one and there are only three minutes left to play. If they don’t score, the game goes into overtime, and Blaine really isn’t feeling it. He wants to make a win happen, especially since the sooner the game ends, the sooner he and Kurt can catch up.

As soon as the puck hits the ice, Blaine makes his move, dumping it into the corner and chasing after it as fast as his legs will let him. One of his teammates gets to it first, knocking it around the back of the net to the other winger. Blaine breaks away from the guy covering him and manages to get in front of the net, feeling the goalie’s eyes on him. After that, it’s all instinct. He watches carefully as his teammates pass the puck back and forth, winding down the clock. As soon as the puck makes its way to him, Blaine takes his shot.

~^*^~

Kurt jumps out of his seat, yanking Rachel up with him. A loud horn is going off and Blaine is being swarmed by his teammates, who are patting him on the head and bumping their gloved fists against his. Kurt cheers loudly, clapping his hands and bouncing on his feet, and Rachel yells out an enthusiastic “Go Team!” next to him. Kurt ignores the glares of the people around him, his gaze set on Blaine, who returns to the bench. His stomach swoops as Blaine, with his helmet perched on top of his head, points directly at him and winks, letting him know that the goal had been for him.

“Oh, he is handsome!” Rachel squeals once they sit back down. Kurt looks up at the clock and is relieved to see that there is less than a minute left in the game, and his heart speeds up from the anticipation of feeling Blaine’s arms around him so soon.

“Of course he is. I have impeccable taste,” Kurt says, trying to tame the back flips in his gut. “Okay, so here’s the plan. I’ll go back to the hotel with you, and then Blaine is coming by to pick me up. Promise me you’ll behave yourself.”

Rachel looks at him incredulously. “I’m not a child, Kurt,” she says. “I am more than capable of interacting with other people.”

“I know you, Rachel Berry, and I’m confident that Blaine won’t want to hear about what’s on your resume.”

“There is nothing wrong with being proud of one’s accomplishments,” Rachel replies, sniffing loudly and trying to avoid Kurt’s knowing look. “But fine. I’ll be good.”

“That’s all I ask.”

~^*^~

Blaine presses the elevator button for the third floor a few times for good measure. He had showered and changed, and then put on his favorite mustard pants and white jacket and combed his hair into submission. He thought he looked pretty damn good when he left, but as he steps into the elevator, he turns into a giant bundle of nerves firing in every known direction. Blaine jumps as the elevator jerks to a halt, trying to plan out what he will do when Kurt answers the door. He wants to kiss him as soon as possible, but thinks that may be rude considering they won’t be alone. A handshake? No, that would be much too impersonal.

He stops in front of Kurt’s shared room, takes a deep breath, and knocks twice. He hears some shuffling behind the door and what sounds like Kurt hissing “out of my way, Berry”. Blaine smiles to himself, hoping that means that Kurt is just as eager to see him as he is to see Kurt. The door suddenly flies open, and Blaine finally has Kurt in front of him.

“Hey there, superstar,” Kurt says, his voice low and breathy. Blaine swallows, taking a hesitant step forward and when Kurt’s eyes light up, he closes the distance between them, wrapping his arms around Kurt’s waist tightly and burying his face in his neck. Kurt’s arms are warm around his shoulders, strong and solid and absolutely perfect.

They pull back just enough to be able to look at each other, both of them smiling like idiots and getting completely lost in the moment.

“Hey, yourself,” Blaine says softly, leaning forward to press his lips to Kurt’s. He sighs against Kurt’s mouth, the warmth of Kurt’s breath on his face and the softness of Kurt’s lips making everything around them melt away. Kurt’s hands tighten on his shoulders and his lips part slightly, closing back down gently on Blaine’s bottom lip. Blaine figures they could just stay right where they were for the rest of the night, wrapped up in each other’s arms, and by the way Kurt is kissing him back, he doesn’t think there would be any objection.

The loud, sudden sound of a throat clearing has them jumping apart. Blaine looks over Kurt’s shoulder and sees a petite brunette standing by the door, her arms crossed but a warm smile on her face.

“Right, sorry.” Kurt takes a couple steps back and turns to face Rachel, who is looking back and forth between them so quickly Blaine thinks she might give herself whiplash. “Blaine, this is – “

“Rachel Berry,” Rachel cuts in, sticking her hand out toward Blaine. He grabs it quickly for fear that she will hurt him if he doesn’t move fast enough. “I’m thrilled to finally meet you! I’m sure Kurt has told you all about me.”

“Um, yeah, of course,” Blaine tells her, sharing an amused look with Kurt. He did hear about Rachel a bit, but he and Kurt always found more important things to talk about, like their mutual disdain for some of the contestants on The Bachelorette. “Kurt mentioned that you’re an amazing singer.”

“Well, he does speak the truth,” Rachel preens. Kurt rolls his eyes and steps further out into the hallway, wrapping his hand around Blaine’s elbow.

“Now that your ego has been sufficiently stroked, Blaine and I are going to head out,” Kurt says, starting to nudge Blaine toward the elevators.

“Oh, of course. I hope you boys have a lovely evening,” Rachel says with an exaggerated wink.

“I’m sure we will,” Kurt calls over his shoulder, already half way down the hall, tugging a blushing Blaine along behind him with their fingers laced together. Blaine chuckles at Kurt’s impatience, letting go of his hand and sliding his arms around Kurt’s hips as they waited for the elevator, hugging him from behind.

“I missed you,” Blaine whispers, lightly kissing the back of Kurt’s neck. It’s an understatement, really. He more than just missed Kurt and he hates that they only have a few hours together until they have to go their separate ways again. It’s like a carrot is being dangled in front of him, except instead of a carrot it’s their future, so tempting and wonderful, but still out of reach.

~^*^~

“So, we have approximately one hour and twenty-seven minutes left,” Blaine says, popping another cherry tomato in his mouth. Once they had gotten to his hotel, Blaine insisted on ordering room service, completely disregarding Kurt’s suggestion to find somewhere to eat out. Kurt really hadn’t argued, though, wanting to have as much alone time with Blaine as possible. “Any ideas on what we could do?”

Kurt raises his eyebrows and feels his cheeks heat up. Blaine is sitting back against the headboard with a tray in his lap, arranging the rest of his salad on the plate like a vegetable bouquet. Once he’s pleased with the pattern, he looks up at Kurt, smiling softly with a glint to his eyes. It really isn’t fair how Blaine can make Kurt’s insides twist just by looking at him through his ridiculously long lashes, feigning innocence, his true intentions obvious and not exactly pure.

“We could see what this fancy hotel has to offer in its porn library,” Kurt says and bursts out laughing at Blaine’s scandalized look.

“Kurt Hummel, are you trying to seduce me with poorly acted soft core?”

“Totally. The music itself is enough to make me hot,” Kurt replies while managing to keep a straight face. He has definitely come a long way since his high school years, when just the thought of porn made him want to crawl under a rock and stay there forever. He still hates those types of movies, but now it’s more due to the horrible acting that annoys him more than it turns him on.

“I could see that. It’s like the perfect soundtrack to half-clothed humping,” Blaine agrees, his lips twitching in the corners.

“Ooh, half-clothed humping. Such a dirty mind you have. Tell me more,” Kurt teases.

Blaine sets his tray on the bedside table and slips off the bed, sauntering over to Kurt, who is sitting at the small desk in the corner of the room, his chair turned to face the bed and his own food long forgotten on the tray behind him. Kurt feels his heart pounding as Blaine sways his hips and moves closer, coming to a stop barely an inch away. Kurt leans against the back of the chair, watching intently as Blaine slides onto his lap, straddling him and winding his arms around his shoulders.

“Baby, I’ll tell you anything you want,” Blaine drawls, exaggerating every word and smirking as he wags his eyebrows. “You make my penis so hard… in my pants.”

Kurt laughs loudly. “Consider the moment ruined,” he says, shaking his head fondly at the adorable, silly man in front of him. “I don’t think there’s any chance of recovering from that.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Blaine argues, suddenly making his voice low and extremely sexy. He shifts closer so their chests are pressed together and he leans forward until Kurt can feel his lips ghosting over his own. “I think there’s hope yet.”

Kurt closes the space between them, his tongue sliding along the seam of Blaine’s lips. His hands work their way underneath the back of Blaine’s shirt and smooth over the warm skin he had missed touching for so long. It doesn’t take long for their mouths to wander, brushing over each other’s necks, testing out new spots to nibble and lick. Their shirts disappear quickly, Kurt too caught up in the feeling of Blaine rocking against him to care where his had ended up. Their hips move in a fast rhythm, not quite in sync, and it’s deliciously sinful.

“I think, ah, we should move this to the bed,” Kurt pants as his fingers skid across Blaine’s back. “And m-maybe, um, lose the pants.”

“Yeah. Yeah, definitely.” Blaine sucks gently on Kurt’s shoulder and stands. He pulls Kurt up with him and Kurt pushes him back until they both topple over onto the bed, mouths reconnecting and legs tangling as Kurt settles his weight in between Blaine’s thighs. He wedges his hand between them, working Blaine’s pants open and lowering his zipper while Blaine does the same to his. Blaine raises his hips and they scramble to get rid of both articles of clothing as fast as possible, and then Kurt tugs Blaine back down eagerly, whimpering against his mouth.

Neither of them worry about dragging it out. Kurt gasps as Blaine flips them and starts to suck at a particularly sensitive spot just above his collarbone and kisses his way down Kurt’s chest and stomach. Kurt’s eyes slam shut and his fingers clutch at Blaine’s shoulders, and a low whine escapes his throat when Blaine takes him into his mouth. Blaine devours him like a he can’t get enough, and Kurt can definitely sympathize. If they had more time, he would map out every inch of Blaine’s body, memorizing every perfect imperfection of Blaine’s skin and the rhythm of his blood pumping underneath.

It doesn’t take long for Kurt to moan loudly, a long and drawn out noise that he can feel more than hear. His back arches and his hands grasp Blaine’s hair as his hips shake from the sublime suction of Blaine’s mouth, and he spills deep into his throat, Blaine swallowing him down like he’s starved for it.

Blaine scrambles up the bed, looking completely debauched and gorgeous. His eyes are dark and glazed, his lips look worn and a luscious shade of deep red, and if Kurt didn’t just come his brains out, seeing Blaine like that would have done it.

“Good god, Blaine,” Kurt gasps, still trying to collect himself. Blaine smirks at him, latching onto his neck and nudging his erection against Kurt’s thigh. Kurt grabs the back of Blaine’s hair and yanks him down into a hard kiss, dipping his tongue into Blaine’s mouth and growling when he tastes himself. He gets a firm hold on Blaine’s hips and rolls them so he can straddle Blaine’s thighs, determined to return the favor tenfold.

~^*^~

“So, are you going to walk me back, or am I doing the Walk of Shame?” Kurt jokes several minutes later, his head resting on Blaine’s shoulder and fingers dragging lightly over the soft hair of Blaine’s chest. Blaine huffs out a laugh and holds him closer, kissing his hair.

“Don’t wanna move. Like it here,” Blaine says lazily and his voice is rough from having Kurt in his throat and also from begging and moaning while Kurt’s mouth worked him over. “No shame for you, though. You’re awesome.”

“Your pillow talk is so eloquent,” Kurt says, nuzzling into Blaine’s skin and inhaling the scent of Blaine’s soap and sweat and skin. “I do have to go soon, unfortunately, and you need some sleep.”

“It would be better if I could sleep with you,” Blaine says softly, cupping Kurt’s face and tracing his thumb along his cheekbone. “I hate letting you go.”

Kurt sighs deeply and closes his eyes. “Me too.”

Neither one of them says anything for a few minutes, content just to hear each other breathe.

“We’ll have to plan another visit soon, then,” Blaine suggests. Kurt hums in agreement, not sure when he will have the time. He has an overwhelming amount of deadlines coming up and will be busier than usual over the next few weeks, except for the short break he is pretty sure he will get for the holidays.

“How much longer until you’re done for the season?” Kurt asks, looking up at Blaine and kissing his jaw. He knows the answer. He’s asked the same question more than once before, but he keeps asking in case it changes.

Blaine shifts so he is facing Kurt. His fingers wrap around Kurt’s wrist, thumb stroking gently over the thin skin stretched over Kurt’s knuckles, and their are noses so close they are almost touching. “A couple months. More if we keep doing well,” Blaine replies, nudging Kurt’s nose with his and then leaning up to kiss the tip.

“Is it bad that a part of me hopes that you guys bomb the rest of your games?”

“Hey, stop that. We’ll have a couple months together soon enough,” Blaine whispers.

Kurt pouts, making Blaine laugh. “Can’t you switch teams or something? That happens, right?”

“I suppose I could get traded eventually. My contract is up at the end of this season, so who knows where I’ll end up.”

Kurt was pretty sure Blaine was happy where he was, and it would be unfair for him to hope that Blaine would get sent elsewhere or that his team would choke and not make it to the playoffs. Kurt knew it was selfish of him to think that way, but it was hard not to. On the other hand, there is always the chance that Blaine will get sent to a team even farther away.

“Yeah, I guess.” Kurt takes a deep breath, knowing that he has to get moving but really, really not wanting to.

“Christmas is just around the corner,” Blaine offers. “I’ll be free for three whole days.”

“And I’ll be in Ohio,” Kurt grins, feeling a bit better. It’s still a couple weeks away, of course, but just knowing that he will spend time over the holidays with Blaine makes him ridiculously happy.

Kurt never expected to be in a long distance relationship and always scoffed at those that were – Finn and Rachel’s relationship was a huge disaster – but now that he is in one, he realizes that for every moment spent missing each other, there will always be an amazing moment just around the corner when they will be together again.

“You could meet my dad,” Kurt says, smiling wickedly as Blaine’s eyes grow wide. “I’m sure he’ll love you. And you know Finn already does.”

“Ha. Well, if I know my brother, he’ll want to meet you, too,” Blaine says, squeaking as Kurt pinches his side playfully.

“I’m sure I can handle that.”

Blaine just smiles, looking a little smug.

A few minutes later, they slowly get out of bed and gather their clothes, taking much longer to get dressed than usual. They draw out the time as best as they can and fill it with small touches and lingering kisses. Their fingers lace together the moment they step out of Blaine’s room and don’t part until they reach Kurt’s, needing the contact for as long as possible before it’s gone again. They hold each other for a while, swaying and whispering reassurances, until Kurt gives Blaine one last kiss and opens the door. He watches Blaine walk backward until he reaches the elevators and waves as he steps inside.

Rachel is still up and obviously waiting to hear about Kurt’s date, but when she looks at him, she simply pats the spot on the bed next to her. Kurt doesn’t bother kicking off his shoes or getting undressed before he lays down next to her and lets her hug him. She’s a pain in the ass, but she’s still his best friend and she knows him better than almost anyone else. Kurt is grateful that she doesn’t ask questions or try to lighten the mood. Apparently, his somber expression speaks volumes. He sniffs lightly and realizes that there are tears on his face.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to blubber all over you,” Kurt says quietly.

“It’s okay. I know it must be hard to say goodbye.”

“No. No goodbyes. I’ll never say that to him,” Kurt mumbles, sitting up and wiping his eyes. “Besides, I’ll see him again soon.”

“You really like this guy, huh?” Rachel asks, giving him a sympathetic look.

“Yeah, Rach. I really do.”

Chapter Text

Blaine: Last chance to change your mind.

Kurt: Hello to you too.
Kurt: Not a chance. And don’t worry so much. It’ll be fine.

Blaine: He is way too excited about tonight. Nothing will ever be fine again.

Kurt: Stop being so dramatic and get over here

Blaine: We’ll be there in about an hour. There’s still time.
Blaine: I can drop him off along the way. Tuck and roll and all that.
Blaine: Miss you.

“Hey Kurt, can you give me a hand?”

Kurt turns away from the pile of potatoes he’s peeling to find Finn looking quite panicked with a tie hanging from his hand he’s holding it out to Kurt like it had offended him somehow. Looking closer, Kurt realizes that Finn is also wearing khaki pants and a button-up shirt.

“Are you going out or something?” Kurt asks, taking the tie from Finn’s nervous hands. “Because in case you forgot, it’s Christmas.”

“Dude, I know.” Finn sighs loudly, clearly irritated. “I just figured since we’re having guests and all, I should look nice.”

“It’s just Blaine and his brother, Finn, not the Queen,” Kurt says, smiling fondly at Finn, who looks much too serious for the occasion. “Go upstairs and put on your normal clothes. I’m not even dressed up.”

It’s mostly true. Kurt does have standards, after all. Comfortable jeans and a soft, long sleeved shirt are a far cry from his usual, more fashionable outfits. The jeans do make his ass look fantastic, though, so Kurt doesn’t think it too much of a sacrifice.

“You’re always dressed up,” Finn mutters and snatches his tie back. “Blaine is a big deal, man. He’s like, famous.”

“He’s just a regular guy, I promise.” Kurt grabs Finn by the shoulders and spins him around in the direction of the stairs. “Now go.”

Finn mumbles something that Kurt doesn’t quite catch, but then proceeds to trudge up the stairs and Kurt considers it a victory. He shakes his head to himself and returns to the task at hand. He’s nearly satisfied with the quantity of potatoes in the pot when his father enters the kitchen. Thankfully, he wasn’t trying to dress up at all, wearing his usual t-shirt and jeans ensemble.

“When are they getting here?” Burt asks, leaning on the counter next to Kurt. Burt hasn’t really said much about Blaine since Kurt got the okay to invite him and his brother over for Christmas dinner. Kurt still isn’t sure if that’s necessarily a good thing.

“They should be here within the hour.” Kurt busies himself with making sure all the other dishes are either on the stove or in the oven. “And please, be nice. I really like him, Dad.”

Burt raises his hands in surrender. “Hey, I didn’t say anything.”

Kurt looks at him and raises his eyebrows. He knows better than to think that his father doesn’t have some preconceived notions about Blaine, not to mention the fact that Kurt’s relationship with Blaine is heavily based on hastily scheduled visits and phone calls. It isn’t that his father openly disapproves. He just doesn’t want Kurt to get hurt if things fizzle out, and Kurt understands that.

“No, you didn’t. Let’s keep it that way, shall we?”

“My lips are sealed,” Burt says and tops it off with a zipping motion across his lips. Kurt narrows his eyes at him for a moment, but then Carole bustles in, ready to finish all necessary preparations, and Kurt is swept away in crafting the perfect cheesecake.

~^*^~

“Getting cold feet yet, Squirt?”

Blaine purses his lips and drums his fingers on the steering wheel. “We’re not getting married, Coop. And please don’t call me that.”

Cooper ignores him and turns his body in the passenger seat to better face an extremely anxious Blaine. “Why do I get the feeling that you aren’t thrilled about this? Trouble in paradise already?”

“What? No! Not at all, actually,” Blaine protests. “Things are good. Great, even. I just want them to stay that way.”

“Why wouldn’t they?” Cooper asks, and when Blaine doesn’t respond right away, he gasps loudly. “You don’t think I would do something to sabotage your budding relationship, do you?”

“Ok, first of all, I am pretty sure Kurt and I are past the ‘budding stage’ or whatever you want to call it.” Blaine wishes he could drive with no hands. Air quotes could have made his point more impressive. “And secondly, I know how you feel about Kurt.”

“Well, now I’m curious. Please, tell me what I think,” Cooper says calmly and folds his hands on his knee, looking at Blaine expectantly.

“You don’t like him.” Blaine figures it best to just lay it all out. Cooper hasn’t said it out loud - yet - but Blaine knows a tone of disapproval when he hears it, and in his family, he hears it a lot. After Cooper’s initial protests to Blaine’s first date with Kurt, Blaine had been expecting continuous disapproval. Cooper sounded just like their father, sighing deeply and telling Blaine to “think of his future” when Blaine told him he would continue to see Kurt as often as possible. “You don’t think he’s good enough for me.”

“That’s where you’re wrong, little brother,” Cooper argues. “It’s not that I don’t like him. I’m sure he’s great. I’m just concerned for your well-being. People nowadays… they’re shifty.”

“Shifty? Really?” Blaine glances over at Cooper and tries to look as judgmental as possible while paying attention to the road. “If you think he’s some kind of gold digger, you will be sorely disappointed.”

Cooper hums in contemplation, although he appears more amused than anything else. It always infuriates Blaine that his brother has the ability to drive him insane so easily. He loves him, but Cooper’s calm arrogance is one of the main reasons why their visits are often limited to holidays and vacations. They talk on the phone a few times a week, but Blaine realized a long time ago that if he can’t see Cooper’s smug face, he can tolerate him for longer increments of time.

“I don’t doubt that you think that this guy is the bee’s knees or whatever – don’t give me that look.” Cooper points his finger at Blaine, who is staring at him incredulously while waiting for a red light to change. “I’m just looking out for you.”

“I appreciate it, but you’re not Dad,” Blaine says. He immediately wonders if he’s gone too far bringing up their father, and also if Cooper knows that he was more of a father to Blaine than anyone ever tried to be, despite their rough patch early in Blaine’s career. That, in itself, was a sore subject for both of them. Cooper had been the golden boy until Blaine took over the spotlight. Their father spent a great deal of energy over the years reminding them of that shift in dynamics as often as possible. Miraculously, it made Blaine and Cooper closer rather than tear their relationship apart.

“No, I’m not. I actually want what’s best for you.”

“Yeah, I know you do,” Blaine says. “Just give him a chance. Please. He means a lot to me.”

“Will do.” Copper pats Blaine’s shoulder. Neither of them say anything for several minutes, and Blaine’s nerves make him shake from head to toe as they approach Kurt’s father’s house. It certainly doesn’t help that he’s sure Cooper will feel the need to embarrass him as often as possible.

“You think Mom and Dad are having fun?” Blaine finally asks, breaking their silence. His voice is quiet to his own ears and tinged with an illogical amount of sadness considering the lack of surprise he and Cooper feel at being alone for the holidays. It has become a tradition over the past few years in the Anderson family. Their parents go on some extravagant vacation rather than spending time with their sons. It had taken Blaine and Cooper a while, but eventually they accepted it and were almost happy to enjoy the holidays without the added stress of trying to please people that were never satisfied. Blaine doesn’t question his parents’ pride in what he has achieved, but he isn’t naïve enough to think that pride can’t easily turn into disdain if he gets injured or stops scoring consistently.

Cooper is a lost cause to them despite his own success with the Kings, something that Blaine knows bothers Cooper more than he lets on. Blaine is the only person in their family aware of Cooper’s current dreams of making it in show business. The fact that Cooper trusts him with that kind of information serves as proof that they really have come a long way. Their parents would probably tell Cooper that it’s a waste of his time or that he should focus on working up the ranks so that he could become a head coach someday. Blaine tells him to go for any audition that he can and ‘no part is too small’.

Blaine suspects Cooper’s aspirations to spend his life in the world of hockey died a long time ago.

“My guess is that mom hasn’t left the beach and Dad has his laptop glued to his hands,” Cooper says with only a small hint of irritation in his voice. “I’m pretty sure that I’ll have more fun than they ever could once we get to your boyfriend’s house.”

The way Cooper smirks and wags his eyebrows does nothing to help Blaine’s nerves.

~^*^~

Kurt can’t stop moving. He feels the energy buzzing under his skin while he waits for Blaine and his brother to arrive, caused by his fear of making a poor first impression on Cooper and the excitement of seeing Blaine. Kurt has found that he always misses Blaine the most right before each of their visits, like all the desire and longing simmers for countless hours until it’s ready to burst out of him just before Blaine is back in his arms.

Carole walks up behind Kurt as he looks out the window for the third or thirtieth time. He’s lost count, really, and is starting to appreciate the efforts of the elderly woman across the street who can always be seen watching over the neighborhood.

“You’re going to wear a hole in the floor, you know,” Carole teases, smiling gently and patting his arm. Kurt laughs lightly and acknowledges that yes, he probably should relax a bit, especially since his nervousness has started to influence Finn, who is staring off into space on the couch with both legs bouncing uncontrollably.

“I know. This is kind of big though, isn’t it? The big family meeting,” Kurt says, unable to stop from peeking out through the curtains again. “I mean, it’s not his parents or anything, but from what Blaine’s told me, he’s closer to his brother than anyone else. What if he hates me?”

The question comes out quietly and Kurt wonders if he sounds as young as he does to his own ears. Carole doesn’t comment on it, but she does give him a reassuring smile.

“I don’t think that will happen, sweetie. You’re a wonderful young man,” Carole tells him affectionately, in a way that reminds Kurt of his own mother. “And I’m sure that Blaine wouldn’t want to introduce you to his brother if he didn’t think the same.”

Kurt opens his mouth to respond, but a pair of headlights pull into the driveway and his mind goes blank for a few seconds. The lights then shut off and Kurt springs into action.

“Okay, they’re here. Dad, remember what we talked about,” Kurt says before he turns to face Finn, who has jumped off the couch and is now hovering near the door. “Finn, don’t make me want to maim you.”

The doorbell rings and Kurt takes a deep breath before he strides over to answer the door. Finn runs for the door, too, but Kurt is able to cut him off before he can get there. He glares at him for good measure before he pulls the door open.

The first thing Kurt sees is a giant bouquet of red roses, which are being held up so they are blocking the person behind them. He’s reaching for the flowers when Blaine pops his head out to the side, smiling brightly. Kurt thinks about all the parents that warn their kids to stop making weird faces because they would stay like that. He wishes it was true, but with Blaine’s smile and the way his eyes squint and his eyebrows take on an entirely different shape. He wouldn’t mind if Blaine’s face got stuck like that forever.

“Blaine!” Kurt returns Blaine’s smile until he’s sure his mouth will split his entire face open.

Cold air is sweeping into the house, but Kurt barely notices it as Blaine steps forward, holding out the roses. Kurt grabs them and reaches for Blaine’s shoulder with his free hand to pull him in, not able to wait another second to touch him. He feels someone take the bouquet from him, but he doesn’t know who – probably Carole – and, quite frankly, he can’t be bothered to care. All that matters is Blaine’s arms around his waist and the way his skin smells of the cold winter air with a hint of raspberries. Blaine buries his face into the juncture of Kurt’s shoulder and neck, where he fits perfectly, and Kurt feels like his other half has finally come back to make him whole again.

Kurt breathes deeply and holds onto Blaine tightly. Blaine melts against him and Kurt understands completely. The days of not seeing each other make these moments so much sweeter. It’s never just a quick greeting; it’s a reawakening of senses and hearts. Kurt leans back to look at Blaine properly and finds that Blaine is looking at him just as intently, affection radiating off of him. Kurt slowly starts to move closer, to kiss Blaine before he explodes, but he jumps back abruptly when a flash goes off in his periphery.

“Look at that. Adorable.” A man is standing just behind Blaine, looking down at his phone with a mischievous smirk. He’s taller than Blaine, Kurt notices, and rather handsome. He’s also holding up his phone, the photo he just took of Kurt and Blaine glowing on the screen. The image shows their faces barely a couple inches apart. “The lovebirds’ first Christmas.”

“Cooper,” Blaine grumbles and takes a step away from Kurt. Kurt bites his lip to keep from whining at the loss of contact.

Kurt can see that a large bag had been set down near the door, but he doesn’t comment on it due to suddenly being very aware of his environment. Everyone is standing around awkwardly except for Cooper, who is beaming as he looks between Kurt and Blaine. Unsurprisingly, he’s also the first to speak.

“You must be Kurt.” Cooper holds out his hand and Kurt takes it with as much confidence as he can muster. “Blaine hasn’t shut up about you, so it’s nice to put a face with the name.”

“And you’re Cooper,” Kurt says. He tries not to stare too much at Cooper’s eyes or his jaw or any other part of him. He is starting to think that the Andersons have some kind of gene mutation that makes them all incredibly attractive. There’s no other explanation for it. Kurt glances over at Blaine, who is watching the exchange carefully and looks like he’s fighting the urge to attack Cooper if he gets too close.

“And who is this lovely young woman?” Cooper turns to Carole, who seems to be having much of the same thoughts as Kurt, if her awed expression is anything to go by. Cooper is a charmer, too, Kurt thinks. Definitely genetic.

“Right, um, Dad, Finn, Carole,” Kurt says, gesturing toward their guests. He then reaches for Blaine and sighs in relief when he takes his hand and threads their fingers together. “This is Blaine Anderson and his brother, Cooper. Blaine, Cooper, this is my father, Burt, my stepbrother, Finn, and my stepmother, Carole.”

Hands are shaken and greetings are exchanged. Cooper sweet talks Carole to the point of giggles. Burt is obviously taking some pleasure in how panicked Blaine looks when they make eye contact, and Kurt doesn’t miss the glare Burt shoots Cooper as they move into the dining room. His father is apparently more than a little disgruntled at how flirty Cooper is being.

Kurt watches Blaine look around. Thanks to Carole’s love of the holiday and Kurt’s supervision during their first couple years as a family, the entire home is filled with Christmas lights and decorations, the smell of spices and pine, and a strong sense of family and love. Blaine’s eyes are wide and bright, like he’s entered some kind of spectacular alternate universe, and Kurt wonders what kind of holidays Blaine experienced with his own family growing up.

“Dinner will be out in a few minutes,” Carole tells the group. “Finn, can you grab everyone something to drink?”

Finn quickly walks toward Blaine, and it’s almost comical to watch as Finn gets into Blaine’s personal space and Blaine’s face shifts into looking both confused and terrified. “Hey, Blaine, I’m Finn.” Finn shakes Blaine’s hand enthusiastically for the second time since Blaine’s arrival. “I don’t know if you remember me, but we talked a little last time I saw you and I am such a big fan. It’s so awesome that you’re here and you and Kurt, man, wow, I would have never thought that would happen.”

“I do remember you, Finn, and I’m happy to be here,” Blaine laughs, making Finn smile proudly. Kurt struggles not to stuff a dinner roll in Finn’s mouth, but Blaine doesn’t seem to mind Finn’s rambling, and that makes Kurt feel a surge of tenderness that warms him all over.

There’s another flash and everyone’s attention is swiftly focused back on Cooper.

“Meeting the in-laws. Your kids will thank me for this, Squirt.” Cooper smiles and waves his phone at a very red-faced Blaine. Kurt stifles a laugh at how scandalized Blaine looks and how precious the nickname is, and he files that one away to ask about later. Blaine then starts chatting with Finn again, while Cooper asks Carole if there is anything he could do to help, which then causes Carole to blush and giggle.

“Finn, stop bugging Blaine and get drinks, please,” Kurt calls from the doorway of the kitchen. He then turns and goes inside to start bringing out the dishes. The kitchen is quiet, and Kurt leans on the counter for a minute or two to catch his breath. So far, things are going well. He looks over at the table and catches sight of the bouquet Blaine brought him. He smiles to himself and grabs a vase from the cupboard, quickly putting them in water and making a mental note to trim the stems before he goes to bed. Kurt stops inhale their scent briefly, and then he places them back on the table. He’ll take them up to his room later; where his old vanity is next to a window and a perfect spot for them.

Half an hour later, everyone is finishing up their food and chatting amicably. Burt and Carole are listening to Cooper go on and on about how careless some players are with their equipment, and Kurt is sitting next to Blaine, listening in on his conversation with Finn about an upcoming game. Well, he’s somewhat listening. He’s mostly just looking at Blaine, watching him talk animatedly about his team and admiring how much passion he has for his job. Blaine looks absolutely stunning in his fitted jacket and dark green bow tie with white Christmas trees on it. His eyelashes are mesmerizing in the way they flutter when he laughs, and his hands move constantly, making Kurt want to grab onto them and hold on forever. More than anything, Kurt focuses on Blaine’s mouth and fights the urge to kiss him in front of everyone because he hasn’t yet and he really, really wants to.

“So, who’s ready for dessert?” Carole asks and everyone answers enthusiastically in the affirmative. Kurt offers to help clear plates and bring in the pies and cheesecake he and Carole spent most of the day preparing. Once everyone is served their desserts, Kurt sits down and moves his chair a little bit closer to Blaine. He squeezes Blaine’s thigh under the table and the grin that Blaine flashes him is enough to make his breath hitch.

“I’m really happy that you came,” Kurt says quietly enough for only Blaine to hear.

“Me too.” Blaine covers Kurt’s hand and keeps it there, gripping tightly.

The snap of a photo being taken startles Kurt and he immediately looks to Cooper, who is looking at him with an ‘it wasn’t me’ expression.

“Sorry. Puck didn’t believe me,” Finn explains, holding his phone up and looking sheepish. “I figure he can’t argue with a picture.”

Once everyone is sufficiently full, the party is moved to the living room, with the exception of Kurt and Blaine, who volunteer to clean up. Kurt gathers the dessert plates as Blaine starts to rinse off the dinner plates and place them in the dishwasher. Once Kurt joins Blaine in the kitchen, he is struck with how much he wants this type of domesticity with Blaine. It’s a feeling Kurt is familiar with. It sneaks up on him every time they do any type of household chore together, or even when they just curl up on Blaine’s couch in their pajamas and watch movies until they fall asleep. The familiarity of his thoughts does nothing to bring down their intensity. Instead, they grow more vivid as Kurt realizes that Blaine may very well be it for him.

~^*^~

Blaine is finishing rinsing the serving plates when Kurt joins him at the sink.

“Need a hand?” Kurt asks. Blaine watches the corner of his mouth curl up and practically beg to be kissed.

“No, I’m just about done. Anything else I can do?”

Kurt turns to look toward the living room quickly before he faces Blaine with a mischievous smile. “You can kiss me. I think that will help me out quite a bit.”

“That I can do.” Blaine smiles against Kurt’s lips, even though the kiss is too short and too chaste for his liking, especially since it’s been so long since the last one.

“I have something for you,” Blaine says, once they are back to cleaning up. “I have something for your parents and Finn, too. I hope that’s okay.”

“You didn’t have to do that,” Kurt replies, still a bit flushed from their brief kiss. Blaine thinks Kurt looks amazing and can’t wait to get him alone so he can watch his blush spread down his chest.

“I know I didn’t have to,” Blaine answers. “I wanted to.”

“I have something, too. For you, I mean. I gave everyone else their gifts this morning,” Kurt confesses, but then his eyes widen. “I didn’t get anything for Cooper! Oh god, I didn’t even think of it. He’s going to hate me now, isn’t he?”

“Hey, no, none of that.” Blaine wipes his hands on a dish towel and places them on Kurt’s hips. Kurt relaxes at the touch and brings his hands up to squeeze Blaine’s biceps. “Cooper already likes you. I can tell.”

“You think so?”

“Of course. What’s there not to like?” Blaine leans in to kiss the corner of Kurt’s mouth. “Besides, I like you, and that kinda trumps his feelings anyway.”

Kurt snorts and kisses him again. Their lips move fluidly, slowly, and Blaine sighs against Kurt’s mouth when Kurt wraps his arms around his shoulders. Kurt is solid and warm, and Blaine tries to focus on every point of contact, every slide of Kurt’s lips against his, and every hitch of breath and small sound, so that when he leaves that night he can take it all with him, tuck it away close to his heart, and keep it safe until he can have the real thing again.

The kiss is over much too soon, again, and Blaine chases Kurt’s mouth when he pulls away.

“I missed you so much,” Kurt breathes. The warm puff of air tickles Blaine’s cheek and makes him shiver despite the warmth of the room and Kurt’s body against his.

“I love you.”

Kurt gasps and Blaine wants to rewind the last ten seconds and internally smack himself for blurting it out like that. Kurt’s family is less than twenty feet away talking with his brother, and Blaine can’t believe he didn’t wait - couldn’t wait - for a time when he could make it more romantic. He can’t take them back, though, and now those three little words are out in the open. It’s not like he and Kurt have been together that long, but Blaine knows that he means it. He’s pretty sure he’s loved Kurt since their first date.

Blaine watches Kurt’s throat bob as he swallows and is about to apologize when Kurt speaks.

“I love you, too.”

Kurt says it quietly, but Blaine can hear it clearly and it makes his heart swell in his chest and his lungs suddenly incapable of expanding properly. Blaine kisses him again because he has to and because he needs something to ground him before he floats away.

“We should get back out there,” Kurt says when they break apart.

“Probably. I’m perfectly happy standing here for the rest of the night, though.”

“I know the feeling.” Kurt’s smile is enough to make Blaine want to give him the moon and the stars and the sun all at once in a neatly wrapped package.

There’s laughter coming from the living room, with Cooper’s voice louder than the rest, and he is no doubt enjoying showing off for his audience. Blaine takes Kurt’s hand and lets him lead them back into the living room, following closely while smiling like an idiot.

An idiot in love, he thinks, and smiles even harder.

The rest of the night goes smoothly and Blaine is extremely relieved that Cooper only manages to tell a handful of stories about their childhood, and Burt doesn’t hold back on telling Blaine and Cooper about the elaborate tea parties Kurt used to throw.

Blaine sits on the couch comfortably, tucked into Kurt’s side, and nobody looks at him with disgust or anger. He doesn’t have to recite his stats from his last game or come up with a plan for how to improve them. When Blaine and Cooper hand out gifts, Burt and Carole thank them profusely for the weekend at a Columbus Bed and Breakfast, and Finn looks like he’s going to pass out when he opens up an envelope with tickets to every Blues home game for the rest of the season. Nobody criticizes the gifts or scoffs at them for not being good enough.

Everything is just so easy. The conversation, the jokes, and even the ongoing banter between Kurt and Finn is lighthearted. They barely talk about hockey, except for the few times Finn and Burt ask Blaine questions, but those are based on curiosity and not disappointment or scrutiny. It’s so much different from what Blaine is used to, and he is happy to be a part of it.

Blaine saves Kurt’s gift for last and hands him a small, square box while nobody is looking. Kurt raises an eyebrow and opens the box carefully. His jaw drops when he sees what’s inside.

“Oh god, Blaine, it’s gorgeous,” Kurt breathes. He pulls out a brooch of a blackbird, embellished with small gemstones that the jeweler had told Blaine were black sapphires and pretty rare.

“I’m happy you like it,” Blaine says, all too aware of Burt’s eyes on them. He hasn’t had a chance to talk to Burt alone yet, but he suspects the time will come and he will be appropriately petrified. However, the thought is immediately forgotten when Kurt surges forward to kiss him in front of everyone, not at all concerned with who is or isn’t watching.

“I love it,” Kurt affirms, then kisses him again. “I love you.”

“I love you, too,” Blaine grins and presses his forehead to Kurt’s. He doesn’t even flinch when Cooper takes another picture and coos about how darling they are.

“Oh! Wait right here,” Kurt says suddenly, getting up and heading for the stairs. He comes back shortly with a large gift bag. “It’s nothing elaborate, but I thought you might like them.”

Blaine reaches into the bag and pulls out a small item wrapped in glittery tissue paper. He sees that there something else in the bag, but he opens up the small bundle first to find a reversible red, white, and blue striped bow tie, the colors matching his team’s uniform. He then pulls out the larger item, an impossibly soft knitted cardigan in a deep red with large black buttons. He looks up at Kurt, who is worrying his bottom lip with his teeth.

“I noticed you wear a lot of red, so that’s why I picked out that color yarn, and I figured the bow tie might be good for game days, to bring you luck,” Kurt says quickly.

“Wait, you made this?” Blaine asks, holding up the sweater. Kurt nods and drops his gaze down to his lap. Blaine can feel the stinging behind his eyes and is completely stunned that Kurt would go to so much effort just for him.

“I made the bow tie, too. I’m sorry that it’s nothing extravagant.”

Kurt.” Blaine carefully puts the sweater and bow tie back into the bag and sets it to the side. He slides closer to Kurt and uses his fingers to tilt Kurt’s chin back up. “Thank you, so, so much. I love them.”

Blaine pulls Kurt even closer until his arms are woven tightly around his back. Kurt whispers “I’m glad” into his shoulder and Blaine hopes that every Christmas is as amazing as this one.

~^*^~

Eventually, it’s time for Blaine and Cooper to leave. They thank Burt and Carole for having them and promise to come back soon. Finn asks Blaine for an autograph for his friend Puck, who had apparently been sending him texts asking for one ever since Finn took that picture during dinner.

Cooper walks out first to start the car, and Blaine is about to give Kurt a final hug and a few more kisses, but Burt approaches him first.

“It was really nice meeting you, sir. Thanks again for inviting us,” Blaine says nervously, holding his hand out.

“Listen, if you’re gonna be coming around, you need to stop with that ‘sir’ crap,” Burt tells him and pulls him into a hug, which was the last thing Blaine expected to happen. “Call me Burt, alright?”

“Yes, sir. I m-mean Burt. Sorry,” Blaine stammers once Burt releases him.

“No problem. It’s was good to meet you, too,” Burt says. “I look forward to getting to know the guy that has Kurt all flustered.”

“Dad!” Kurt yells from next to Blaine and the blush that Blaine adores forms high on his cheeks.

Burt chuckles and says goodbye to Blaine. He walks back toward the living room, followed by Carole and Finn, leaving Blaine and Kurt alone in the hallway.

They hug and exchange several short, sweet kisses and a few not-so-short kisses that leave them both a little breathless. Cooper honks the horn and Blaine laughs against Kurt’s lips, hating that they didn’t have much time together.

“See you soon?” Kurt asks after they separate. Blaine straightens his coat and kisses Kurt’s cheek softly.

“Definitely,” Blaine says, smiling even though he is trying not to cry. “I love you.”

Cooper honks again and Blaine promises himself that he will give his brother a nice, long lecture on the value of patience during the drive home.

“Love you,” Kurt laughs. “Now go before he comes back and drags you out.”

Blaine kisses him again - he really can’t help it – and heads out the door. Cooper whines that he took so long, but Blaine is way too happy to bother arguing.

Chapter Text

January passes by in a blur of long days and short nights. Kurt has just about had it with the wide-eyed intern currently trying to figure out how to start up a conference call and he hopes he was never that irritating when he first started out. He has deadlines and meetings to attend, interviews to sift through, and photos to review. It’s all the things he’s wanted since he first stepped into the Conde Nast building, and Anna Wintour herself wouldn’t be able to make him leave without killing him first.

It’s hard. The cattiness of his coworkers, men and women always dressed to impress with personalities overflowing with subtle aggression, Kurt could handle. He’s okay with the hours and demands and has learned to work around them, and he makes himself available when the opportunity presents itself to shine as bright as he knows he can. The sketch pad in the bottom drawer of his desk has been filling up over the months with drafts of accessories, suits, and dresses that are meant to flatter rather than turn someone into a walking cartoon, cinched at the waist and unable to walk like a normal human being. Kurt knows his drawings are good, he’s not modest enough to ignore that, but the time hasn’t been right to show them off. Not yet.

So he waits, pen tapping on the folder in front of him, for his phone to light up with the call that he’s already late for and he wonders if it’s really that hard to push a few buttons. Kurt’s gaze drifts to the thick silver and black cardstock sitting against the base of his lamp. Vogue.com is having an exclusive employees-only party, and he had been encouraged to bring a date. Of course, he would love for Blaine to join him. They could wear suits and have cocktails and he could show Blaine off, not as a professional athlete, but as the man that has completely flipped his world upside down and back again.

Kurt doesn’t know whether Blaine would even be able to attend. Weeks have passed since Christmas, and since then they’ve only been able to see each other twice, once for only one night. Valentine’s Day had came and went, too, and while Kurt loved the large bouquet sent to his office, as well as their extremely hot Skype session, it wasn’t the same as actually going on a date with his boyfriend, who had been in Dallas at the time.

He supposes that the Blue Jacket’s website, or even the NHL website, would have a schedule, but he doesn’t want confirmation that there’s no point in asking Blaine about the event. If Blaine can’t make it, Kurt wants to hear it from him directly without any prior knowledge. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to spend the rest of the day sulking even more than he already is. He’s about to scream in frustration when his phone buzzes.

Blaine: Heading out now. Call you when I get done. Wish me luck! Love you.

Kurt reads the text a few times, sets his phone down, and rubs his hand over his face. He has been looking forward to Blaine’s meeting with his coach and team manager just as much as he’s been dreading it. The possibility of Blaine moving to a different team looms over their relationship like a storm cloud, and while there is a chance that Blaine may move closer to New York, there is just as much of a chance that he’ll move farther away. Kurt wants to stay positive, needs to if he wants to stay sane, but the reality of the situation is that he doesn’t know what will happen. Neither of them do. And that absolutely terrifies him.

He picks the phone back up and replies quickly. There is still the chance that Blaine will end up staying in Columbus, and while it’s not the most convenient option, they’ve figured out how to make it work and can keep it going as long as they need to.

Kurt jumps when his desk phone finally rings. He takes a deep breath and answers, back in work mode, setting aside his worries for later. They can wait. He can wait.

~^*^~

The day drags on and by the time Kurt walks into his apartment, his nerves are shot. He hasn’t heard back from Blaine yet, even though it’s been a few hours since they last texted. If it wasn’t for his own amazing self-control, Kurt’s sure his fingernails would be down to bloody nubs. He tosses his bag and jacket onto the couch and heads for the fridge. After staring at the shelves for a solid three minutes, he pulls out half a cheesecake and grabs a fork.

Kurt is half-way through the cheesecake and a rerun of Jersey Shore when Rachel comes home. He’s not even ashamed of his state, having spent many nights dealing with her sobbing into his shoulder because something earth-shattering happened, like when she was cast in the chorus of NYADA’s production of Chicago in her freshman year instead of getting the role of Roxy.

“What’s going on?” Rachel asks, carefully setting her purse down and watching Kurt closely. “You’re getting crumbs on your shirt.”

“M’fine,” Kurt grumbles around another mouthful. He brushes at this chest, but he’s been hand washing his clothes since he was ten, so a couple crumbs are no match for his exceptional laundering skills.

“Uh huh. Okay, Hummel, start talking,” Rachel demands, sitting next to Kurt and snatching the cake pan from his grip. She sets it out of his reach and Kurt stares at it for a few seconds before sighing deeply. He knows Rachel won’t leave him alone until he tells her what’s bothering him, since she is a pint-sized menace put on the planet to torture him.

“It’s Blaine. I haven’t heard from him since - “ Kurt stops when Rachel grabs onto his arm in a way that he thinks is supposed to be comforting but is actually cutting off circulation to his hand alarmingly fast.

“You broke up, didn’t you?”

“What? No!” Kurt cuts her off. “Thanks for that vote of confidence, by the way.” He reaches forward with his fork, but Rachel smacks his hand away. He scowls at her and continues, “He met with the team people today. They were supposed to talk about his future and whether he is going to stay in Columbus or not. I don’t really know the details, but... what if he has to move farther away? What if he ends up in Canada? I can’t move to Canada, and I don’t know if I can keep up with an international relationship.”

“Okay,” Rachel says. “What I’m hearing you say is that you’re worried your relationship with Blaine won’t last if he’s further away.”

“Don’t you dare Dr. Phil me, Rachel Berry.” Kurt spits out. “But yes. That is exactly what I’m saying.”

Rachel opens her mouth to deliver what Kurt is sure will be a long speech about what she learned from her own failed attempt at a long distance relationship, but before she can get a word out, his phone rings. Kurt lunges for it and answers quickly, Rachel watching his every move.

“Blaine! Hi! I was just thinking about you,” Kurt says, waving his hand at Rachel and hoping she’ll take the hint and leave him alone. Thankfully, she stands up and starts to head toward her bedroom.

“Hey, you. How was your day?” Blaine answers, and Kurt closes his eyes and takes in the sound of his voice. It never matters how long it’s been since they last talked. Each time still sends a thrill through Kurt’s body and straight to his heart.

“Good. Long. Not as interesting as yours, I’m sure.” Kurt picks up his fork again and leans forward, poking at the cheesecake even though his appetite is gone. “How did it go?”

“It wasn’t bad.”

“And?” Kurt prods, gesturing for Blaine to continue and feeling only mildly ridiculous when he remembers that Blaine can’t see him.

“Well, don’t freak out, but I might be leaving Columbus.”

Kurt's stomach immediately drops through the couch and onto the floor. The fact that Blaine his telling him not to freak out is certainly not helping, because all his body wants to do is go into a truly exceptional state of freaking out. Sure, he knew this was a possibility, and it really shouldn’t be much of a shock, but now it’s happening and Kurt’s mind can’t seem to process the information rationally.

“So that’s it then? You’re going to be gone away to some far off city and I’m going to be here, the scorned lover who never stood a chance?” Kurt could hear Blaine sigh deeply through the phone.

“Kurt, calm down. Nothing is set in stone yet, and I haven’t even told you where - “

“Do not tell me to calm down!” Kurt catches a glimpse of Rachel peeking out from behind her bedroom privacy curtain, but he doesn’t care if she overhears. He does, however, take a deep breath before he asks, “Where?”

“Well, according to my agent, there is some interest in Vancouver, LA, and New Jersey.” Blaine speaks evenly, calmly, and Kurt isn’t sure if he wants to kiss him or thrash him for sounding so cool about everything. “Columbus can still make me an offer, though.”

“Right. You said New Jersey? That’s... pretty close.”

“It’s closer to New York than Columbus, if that’s what you mean,” Blaine confirms. “But, Kurt, you know I can’t base my decision on us, don’t you?”

Kurt wants to be angry. He wants to tell Blaine that he doesn’t care what the other teams are willing to give him and that he has to take the spot or job or whatever it’s called in New Jersey. A part of him is hurt that Blaine isn’t taking their relationship into consideration at all, especially after everything they had shared already.

“Yeah, I know. Vancouver is so far away, though,” Kurt finally says. As much as he wants to yell and cry, he knows it’s pointless and more likely to push Blaine away than keep him close. “Where, um, where do you want to go?”

“Obviously, New Jersey has it’s perks, but I have been really impressed with LA lately, and Cooper lives there, so I could always stay with him when I’m not on the road.”

“LA is still far.”

“It is. Like I said, nothing is set in stone,” Blaine soothes, sounding relieved. “And no matter where I go, my heart stays with you, okay?”

“Such a sap,” Kurt teases, smiling at Blaine’s soft laugh. “I miss you a lot, you know?”

“I know. I miss you too.”

They listen to each other breathe for a moment, and then Kurt remembers the invitation tucked away in his bag.

“Hey, would you be interested in going to a party with me next Saturday?”

“Kurt, I would love to, but I can’t. I have a game.”

“Of course you do,” Kurt scoffs, his temper starting to flare up again. He stands up from the couch and starts pacing, fighting back the urge to chuck the phone at the wall. He’s being unfair and stubborn, but his self-awareness doesn’t stop the anger from bubbling up. “I’m sorry. I don’t know why I bothered asking in the first place.”

“Come on, don’t do that. You know there’s nothing I can do about it,” Blaine’s voice is no longer calm and gentle. There’s annoyance there, and frustration, and Kurt feels a little guilty for putting it there, but not enough to let it go completely.

“Yes, of course I know that, Blaine. You only remind me every time you cancel a phone call or Skype date or tell me you can’t come out to visit.” Kurt’s ranting now, but he’s annoyed and frustrated, too. “I don’t even know why we bother trying if it’s always going to be like this.”

“Really, Kurt? You’re going to use my job against me?” Blaine shouts, and Kurt flinches. “The job you knew damn well I had before you agreed - before we agreed - that this was worth it because it’s what we wanted and because we love each other. You want to give up because of one stupid party?”

Blaine’s words sting like sharp pinpricks that linger and burn. Kurt’s eyes are starting to tear up again and he rubs the heel of his hand over them furiously. “Maybe I do,” Kurt blurts out. “Maybe I don’t want to sit around and wait for you to have time for me anymore.”

“You don’t mean that.”

“What if I do?” He doesn’t. Not at all. It’s the worst kind of lie, but Kurt can’t stop himself from saying it. He is too wound up, and the whole argument may have started because of a party, but it wasn’t about that anymore. Not really.

“Then I guess there’s not much else to say.”

Kurt’s chest ached at how strained Blaine’s voice sounded. He could end it now, apologize for being selfish, and take it all back, but that wouldn’t erase everything that had been said.

“I guess not.” Kurt ends the call and freezes, realizing what just happened.

“Kurt?” Rachel is suddenly behind him, her hand resting carefully on his shoulder. He doesn’t even remember her walking toward him. “Is everything okay?”

“No,” Kurt tells her, his throat tight and his eyes burning. He shakes his head and clenches his phone in his fist.

Call him back. Call him back, you idiot, call him back, he tells himself, but he can’t bring himself to listen. Instead, he brushes past Rachel and walks into his bedroom, hoping that she’ll leave him alone for a while. He sits on the edge of his bed and stares at the floor, not really sure what to do next.

Call him back.

When he gets a text a minute later, his phone still wrapped tight in his hand, his heart speeds up and then slows down again when he realizes it’s from Rachel, telling him that she’s there if he needs to talk. His phone stays silent after that.

Chapter Text

Kurt wakes up the next morning still wearing his clothes and winces the dull ache on his face that turns out to be caused by the corner of his phone. His eyes burn as if he’d been rubbing them for hours and his mouth is sticky and dry. It only takes a few seconds to break out of his post-sleep daze, and then he remembers what happened the night before and suddenly feels nauseous.

He peels himself out of bed and makes it through a too-hot shower, dragging his feet as he gets ready for the day. Heartbreak or not, he still has a job to do and if he’s ever going to make it in the fashion industry he has to learn to suck it up and not let his personal life get in the way of his career. Oh, the irony, he thinks while on the subway.

In theory, it seems simple enough to keep his brain on track, but when everything around him reminds him of Blaine, it’s damn near impossible. Even the blue on a street vendor’s umbrella reminds him of Blaine’s stupid uniform and then he thinks of how gorgeous Blaine looks in that uniform, and, well, that train of thought surely doesn’t help. He ends up babbling his way through the daily office staff meeting and by the time late morning arrives, Isabelle - also known as the most wonderful boss ever - sends him home just in time to stop him from ordering 2,000 yards of leopard print faux leather.

Kurt is used to being in control. He carefully crafted the world around him so that nothing is out of place and he is always a step ahead. Now, he feels like he’s stumbling, physically and emotionally, and he spends the ride home on the train trying to figure out how to regain some kind of grasp on the mess he’d made. Except, by the time he reaches his stop, he feels just as helpless as he did when he got on. The smart thing to do would be to call Blaine and apologize for overreacting and throwing a tantrum that put even the most stubborn of people to shame.

He trudges up the stairs and makes it inside his apartment, hoping for some time to think of a plan of action. Unfortunately, Rachel is home, and as soon as she sees him in his sorry state, she goes into ‘mothering mode’, demanding to know what happened while fixing him a cup of his favorite tea. Resisting her prying is useless, as Kurt has learned during his time living with her, so instead he recaps his conversation with Blaine from the night before, and miraculously, Rachel manages to keep from interrupting him until he’s done.

“I think you owe Blaine an apology.” Rachel says after a few minutes of silence. Kurt glares at a chip in his cup.

“Brilliant deduction. Why hadn’t I thought of that?”

“No need to be mean, Kurt.” Rachel purses her lips, which is a sign that the next words out of her mouth will be either things he already knows or doesn’t want to hear. “You’re scared.”

“I’m not scared.”

“Yes, you are.” Rachel waits a few seconds before continuing. “Long distance relationships are hard, I know that. Finn and I are a prime example of - “

“Can we skip the part where you compare my destroyed relationship to your doomed-to-fail-from-the-start teenage romance?”

“Fine. You want to insult me, go ahead.” Rachel stands and slams her empty cup in the sink so hard that Kurt jumps. “But your habit of shutting people out is what got you into this mess, and you know I’m right.”

Kurt doesn’t say anything right away. He isn’t dumb enough to openly agree with her, but it would be a complete lie if he didn’t admit that she’s at least partially right. Relationships in general aren’t his strong suit, but with Blaine it was different from the very start. So, naturally, he overreacted to something that shouldn’t have been a big deal and pushed him away.

The more he thinks about it, the more guilty he feels. Blaine plays for a professional sports team. He doesn’t work a nine-to-five in an office. He has to travel a lot and might need to relocate sometimes. Kurt knew all of that when they first started seeing each other and circumstances haven’t changed since then. On the other hand, it sucks that Blaine lives in another state and it would suck even more if he lived across the country. Kurt is - was, oh god - his boyfriend. Doesn’t that mean that he should have at least some say?

Still, it wasn’t right for him to demand that Blaine make such a huge decision and Blaine had every right to stand up for himself. If the tables were turned, he sure as hell wouldn’t take too kindly to Blaine telling him what career moves to make. Kurt groans and drops his head to the table, pressing his forehead into the cold metal surface. “What do I do now?”

Rachel, ever patient despite practically thrumming with the need to give him advice, patted his shoulder. “You could start by talking to him.”

~^*^~

Blaine drops to the bench, the small door closing in front of him. It’s his second time in the penalty box. He’s making stupid mistakes, not paying attention to his stick, and to make things worse, the other team scored last time he was out. His head isn’t in the game, and at this point in the season, he can’t afford to screw up.

The possibility of switching teams is still hanging over him, and Blaine knows that a decision will be made soon. He may have some choice, based on pay and how many years are offered to him, and of course, the Blue Jackets can still match an offer, making the decision a little simpler. They were already going to the playoffs, but now it was a fight for home ice advantage, and Blaine would love to open up the first round in Columbus. He just needs to get through the next couple weeks.

Blaine tries to gather his thoughts and refocus. Unfortunately, it’s a little hard to do so when he hasn’t spoken to Kurt in over a day and is still trying to figure out what the hell happened. Their fight was so sudden that it wasn’t until six minutes after Kurt hung up that Blaine realized he had basically called off their entire relationship. He’d decided to let Kurt cool off, sure that he would call back and they could fix whatever broke between them. Blaine waited until he couldn’t stay awake any longer, and then he waited the next morning and through his afternoon practice, checking his phone as often as he could in case Kurt tried to call or text him.

When nothing came, Blaine tried to put all his effort into his game, but that wasn’t working out too well, either. Maybe he shouldn’t have gotten so upset, but he’s under so much pressure already, from his agent and coaches and Cooper, that he hoped for Kurt to be supportive. Instead, he felt worse after it all blew up in his face.

The sound of a horn blew and Blaine hit his stick against the wall, swearing loudly. The other team scored with the man advantage, again, and it was his fault because he couldn’t get his brain and body to function properly. He’s definitely in for a long night.

The next morning, Blaine lifts his head from his pillow to look over to the nightstand. His phone has been ringing for the past ten minutes, but it’s Cooper’s ringtone and he isn’t in the mood to talk. He wants to be left alone to sulk. He has practice in a few hours, and judging by his performance the night before, it’s going to be a rough one. His coach was visibly frustrated with him, as were his teammates. Blaine tried to focus on work, but his mind was filled with thoughts of Kurt and what he may or may not be doing. It was especially problematic because he was due to meet with his agent later in the morning to discuss his potential move.

The phone goes off again and Blaine groans before picking it up. “What do you want, Cooper?”

“Check the attitude, Squirt. This is important.” Blaine only grunts in response and Cooper takes it as a sign to keep going. “I talked with our head coach this morning. The Kings are still interested, despite the fact that you forgot how to skate last night. If you want the spot, it’s probably yours.”

It wasn’t exactly new information. Blaine knew LA was trying to come up with a deal for him. It would be pretty awesome to play for the Kings, especially since they’ve gotten pretty damn good over the past couple seasons and managed to win the Cup last year. Still, it was a huge move.

“I don’t know, Coop. Maybe.” Blaine rubs a hand over his face and scratches his fingers through his hair. “I’ll see how today goes, alright?”

“Fine, but this is a huge opportunity for you and I - “

“Goodbye, Cooper.” Blaine hangs up and tosses his phone to the side. “Goodbye, Cooper.” Blaine hangs up and tosses his phone to the side. He closes his eyes and tries to clear his head. He needs to get out of bed soon, but a few more minutes wrapped up in sheets and avoiding the world won't hurt.

~^*^~

Kurt grips his phone and takes a deep breath. Maybe Blaine won’t answer. Maybe he’s at practice or out with the guys or out with a guy or -

“Hello?”

Kurt panics and almost drops the phone. “Hey, Blaine.”

“Hey, um, how are you?”

“I’m... well, I’m alright.” Such a lie, but Kurt’s pretty sure Blaine knows that. Or at least he hopes Blaine knows that. He had a whole speech planned, which included various forms of apology and several suggestions of how they could make things work. He can’t think of any of it. “I miss you.”

Kurt,” Blaine says softly, reverently, like a sigh of relief and a prayer mixed into one sound. “I miss you, too. I know it’s only been a couple days, but - “

“I know. I’m sorry, but I need to say something, and if I don’t say it now I might not have the courage to say it later.”

“Okay.”

“I was a jerk. I shouldn’t have gotten so defensive, especially with everything you already have on your plate. It wasn’t fair to you.” Kurt stands up from his bed and starts to pace around his bedroom. He hates the hesitation and awkwardness that’s palpable between them, even over the phone. “I don’t want to fight with you, and I don’t have any right to tell you what to do with your life. If you want to move to Canada and shack up with a family of moose, then that’s your decision.”

Blaine chuckles quietly. “I don’t want to fight with you either.”

“Good, because we’re not going to do that anymore. Not now, anyway.” Kurt swallows and fights the prickling of tears that have been threatening to fall since he heard Blaine’s voice. “Wherever you go, I want you know that I will fully support you. I love you, and even if we can’t see each other every day, it’s okay because that just makes the time we do spend together even better.”

“I - I love you, too.” Blaine clears his throat. “And I’m sorry, too. It was wrong of me to snap at you.”

“I deserved it.”

“No, you didn’t.” Blaine pauses, and Kurt opens his mouth to break the silence, but then Blaine continues. “I do have to tell you something, though.”

Kurt’s stomach drops. It’s over. We’re done. He loves me but can’t be with me.

“I signed a new deal today. With Columbus. I’m staying in Ohio for another six years.”

“Wow, Blaine, that’s... that’s great.” It’s not the worst outcome, but Kurt is still disappointed that Blaine isn’t moving closer.

“Well don’t sound too excited,” Blaine laughs. “I do have an idea though.”

“Oh?”

“The season’s going to be over soon, and then I have three or four months free.”

“I’m listening.”

“I’m looking for a place in New York for the offseason, and for any other time I may want to spend a few days in the City.”

Kurt smiles and bounces on his heels. “So, you’re moving to New York part-time?”

“That’s the plan. And if you know anyone that might be interested in sharing the space with me, you send them my way.”

“Is this your long, horribly drawn out ploy to ask me to move in with you?”

“Part-time,” Blaine corrects him, and Kurt can picture his eyes crinkling like they always do when he’s teasing.

“Then it’s half a yes.”

Chapter Text

Kurt rolls his shoulders as he leans against the concrete wall. There’s the usual line of fans waiting for the players to come out. Most of them are young women, which Kurt has long since gotten used to. It used to make him jealous, but now it’s amusing.

When he thinks of how long it’s been since he was here the first time, it’s unbelievable. Three years ago, he never would be caught dead hanging around a locker room, but here he is. It’s almost nice being back in Ohio when he has people he loves to come home to. Finn certainly enjoys the free games he manages to score. A perk of having a brother-in-law that plays for the the team, he always says. Sometimes Burt and Carole come out to cheer Blaine on, which makes Kurt’s heart swell with pride and affection.

It’s been a long road, but they’ve made it. Kurt has long since gotten used to Blaine’s demanding schedule, and his own career has taken off. Fortunately, being one of the head writers at Vogue.com also comes with more time to travel and the benefit of being able to work anywhere that has a Wifi connection. Sometimes he flies out to see Blaine play, but most of the time he just watches the games at home with the volume on the TV turned down low. Some nights he doesn’t watch at all and waits for Blaine to call to tell him how it went, even if he still doesn’t understand everything Blaine’s saying. Blaine gave up trying to explain the game to him a long time ago.

There have been scares caused by various injuries. Blaine was out for three months with a broken leg, and Kurt did the best he could in taking care of him. During that period, Kurt went from living in Blaine’s New York brownstone part-time to full-time, and soon after, they were engaged. When Blaine got into a particularly bad fight during a playoff game - something that Kurt does not condone, but cannot help not finding ridiculously hot - and lost a tooth, Kurt spent days teasing him about it. Then there was the terrifying incident when was knocked out cold during a game, which Kurt still remembers vividly. They are both aware of how dangerous the sport could be. It truly makes every day count.

The locker room door opens and the team starts to file out, some of the guys stopping to sign autographs and all of them greeting Kurt as they walk by. Finally, Blaine comes out, hair perfectly gelled and with a fading bruise on his cheekbone from an unfortunate run-in with a stick. Kurt watches him charm the ladies, rolling his eyes at their delighted giggles. He waits against the wall and makes small talk with a couple of Blaine’s teammates. When Blaine eventually sees him, he says goodbye to the woman that was trying to flirt with him and hurries over. Kurt smirks at her scowl.

Blaine greets him with a kiss and tangles their fingers together, and Kurt, being the kind person that he is, makes sure that the women staring longingly at Blaine can see his very shiny wedding band.

“Ready to go home?” Kurt asks him, starting to lead them down the hallway.

Blaine leans over and kisses his cheek. “With you, always.”

The End

Chapter Text

It’s a rare night when Kurt actually watches one of Blaine’s games on TV. They’ve been dating for over a year, and Kurt finds that he’s pretty well versed in hockey at this point. He may not ever be as into it as Blaine is, or even as much as his dad or Finn are, but he can at least follow along and tell if the Blue Jackets are winning.

He’s half-watching, half-working, and he’s balancing his tablet on his lap while the game goes on at a low volume. He smiles when he catches short glimpses of Blaine out on the ice or sitting on the bench, then focuses back on his sketches for a few minutes, a bag of popcorn and a bowl of melted ice cream on the end table next to him.

Blaine is currently in Tampa Bay as part of another long road trip and they haven’t seen each other in over a week, but just being at home - at their home - makes Kurt feel close to him. Watching Blaine in action also helps, and Kurt always swells with pride when Blaine has a good game, even if there’s nobody around to hear him cheer Blaine on after a goal.

Kurt sets his tablet down and stretches his arms over his head, wincing at the crack of his shoulders. He’s about to get up and grab another glass of wine when he catches the end of what the announcer on the TV is saying.

Anderson is on the ice and he’s not getting up. Medical team is heading out…

With his hands clamped over his mouth, Kurt watches a small group of men run onto the ice, where Blaine is face down and not moving. He feels like he should be doing something, anything other than sitting there, but he can’t move. Kurt’s vision starts to blur and he remembers to blink just before the tears that had been welling up spill over onto his cheeks and trickle down his fingers.

Blaine’s arms and legs finally move, but now there is a stretcher out on the ice and Kurt can’t breathe properly. His phone is ringing but he’s stuck, watching as the man he loves is carted off to who-knows-where hundreds of miles away. Kurt’s phone rings again and Kurt pries his hand from his face and picks it up, his fingers shaking as he presses the ‘Accept Call’ button.

“Dad?” Kurt can barely hear himself over the sound of his heart thumping in his ears. “Did you see?”

“Yeah, bud, I saw. That’s why I’m calling. I wanted to make sure you’re alright,” Burt says, but Kurt isn’t paying much attention. He’s still watching the TV intently, cursing the stupid commercials playing. Who the hell cares about laundry detergent when Blaine is hurt?

“Oh god, Dad, what if he’s - ”

“Kurt, don’t. I’m sure he’s fine. This kind of stuff happens all the time. They’re used to it.”

“Not helping.” Kurt jumps up from the couch and sprints to his bedroom with the phone pressed to his ear. “I need to go there. I need to see him to make sure he’s okay.”

“Kurt, you can’t just drop everything just because he got hurt,” Burt says firmly. “These things are gonna happen and you’re gonna have to sit tight until you hear from him.”

Kurt is already throwing clothes into his largest carry-on bag. “No, I’m going. I have to.”

Burt sighs loudly and Kurt grabs his toiletries from the bathroom. “Keep me in the loop, alright?”

“Yeah, I will. Love you.”

 

~^*^~

Four hours later, Kurt is running through Tampa General Hospital’s front doors. He finds the reception desk and asks for Blaine, but he’s told that since he’s not immediate family, they can’t tell him anything. Frustrated and struggling to breathe properly, he pulls out his phone and dials Cooper’s number, thankful that he’d saved it the last time he and Blaine visited LA together.

“Cooper? Blaine’s hurt and they won’t let me see him and I don’t know what to do.”

“Kurt? Calm down. What happened?”

“He got hurt during a game and he’s in the hospital and I’m in the hospital and the heartless demon at the desk can’t tell me anything.”

“Okay, listen. I’ll make a couple calls and see what I can find out, alright?”

“Fine, whatever, just hurry up, please.” Kurt hangs up and starts pacing. His carry on bag swings from his shoulder, bouncing off his thigh with each step. Too many minutes later, a man Kurt recognizes as one of Blaine’s trainers appears.

“Kurt, hey,” he says, offering Kurt a handshake. “I was just upstairs. Blaine’s alright, but he’s got a concussion. Took a big hit to the head, but the doctor said he’ll be okay.”

Kurt collapses into one of the discolored chairs lining the reception area, dropping his bag to the floor at his feet. “Thank god. When can I see him?”

“Visiting hours start at 9 am.” He pats Kurt’s shoulder, aiming for reassurance but failing miserably. Kurt is shaking with the extreme need to see Blaine alive and well with his own two eyes and no friendly pat is going to cut it. “Get some sleep. He’ll be here until tomorrow just in case.”

Just in case, Kurt thinks. That’s what they say right before something awful happens.

Kurt nods and gives Blaine’s trainer a feeble wave as he walks away, leaving Kurt to his own panicked thoughts. He checks the time and sees that it’s after two in the morning, but sleep seems like the last thing he should be doing. Kurt sends a quick text to his father and tries to get more comfortable in the stiff chair. Eventually, he dozes off, but not before setting his alarm for 8:45am.

~^*^~

In the morning, Kurt freshens up as well as he can in the bathroom, then approaches the reception desk again and asks for a pass to visit Blaine. Cooper must have pulled through because he is on the approved list of visitors and he quickly snatches his yellow visitor ticket and heads for the elevators.

Once he reaches Blaine’s room, Kurt is taken aback with how much he’s feeling. He has spent too much time in hospitals in his life and it was never because of something good. Ever since his mom died, hospitals have been a source of sadness and dread, and this time was no different. Sure, Blaine may be fine now, but Kurt knows that can change at any moment.

Nobody else is there yet, so Kurt quietly walks into the room. Thankfully, there are no scary machines other than an IV tower, which he takes as a good sign. Blaine is still sleeping with his mouth open, drooling a little on the pillow and snoring softly. Kurt sets his bag down and sits in the chair next to the bed, taking Blaine’s hand as soon as he’s settled. He watches the rise and fall of Blaine’s chest closely and eventually finds himself breathing in the same rhythm. After a few minutes, he lays his head down on the edge of the bed, exhausted from a restless sleep, and soon his eyes slip shut.

Kurt wakes up to the feeling of fingers running through his hair and automatically tilts his head toward the touch. It takes him several seconds to remember where he is, but when he does he jumps up to Blaine watching him and laughing.

“Easy, tiger. It’s just me,” Blaine says, his voice scratchy from sleep. Kurt regains his composure and sits down next to him, looking him over for any signs of physical distress or abnormality. “Kurt, I know what you’re doing. I’m fine.”

“Yeah, well,” Kurt huffs and plays with Blaine’s fingers. “I just want to make sure you’re okay, that’s all. I was worried.”

“I know. You didn’t have to come all the way here, though.”

“Of course I did.” Kurt swallows the lump that’s starting to form in his throat. “I was watching. I saw you on the ice, and you weren’t moving, and god, I was so scared.”

Blaine sits up higher in the bed and scoots over, reaching his arms out, and Kurt climbs up next to him. Kurt curls up against Blaine’s warm body and buries his face into his shoulder. As much as he misses Blaine while he’s out of town, this was not the reunion he wanted.

“I’m sorry for making you worry,” Blaine tells him, kissing the top of Kurt’s head.

“It’s not your fault. Just don’t do it again, alright?”

“I’ll do my best.”

Chapter Text

One of Kurt’s favorite things about his job is that he can work from anywhere, which means that he has the ability to travel and still meet his deadlines. His boss at Vogue.com is also more than willing to send him to different cities, since he has proven time and again that he has a remarkable eye for local trends. When he’s really lucky, his trips coincide with Blaine’s road games, allowing Kurt to spend some extra time with his husband if they plan it right.

On more seldom occasions, Kurt attends Blaine’s games. Usually, they’ll meet up afterward at Kurt’s hotel, but sometimes, he likes to surprise Blaine by showing up at whatever venue the Blue Jackets are playing and cheering him on. It’s a little strange when the majority of the arena is rooting for the other team, and Kurt isn’t shy about sticking up for Blaine and his teammates. He’s gotten into a couple near-fights over it, actually, but he’ll be damned if he’d let some punk trash talk his man or their friends.

It’s one of those rare nights, and they are in Chicago. The game is in overtime, and Kurt pulls his sweater tighter, trying to keep warm despite being pressed between two families of Blackhawks fans. His row is right next to the Blue Jackets’ bench, though, so getting see Blaine between shifts makes up for his discomfort.

Kurt sighs in relief when one of Blaine’s teammates finally manages to shoot the puck into the net, ending the game. It’s late, and Kurt hasn’t seen Blaine in person for a couple of weeks, so he’s more than a little eager to spend some quality time with him.

Standing up and stretching his arms over his head, Kurt allows the people sitting to his left to pass by him, shooting them satisfied smirks just because he can. He then walks over to the glass that separates his row from the bench area.

Blaine catches his eye and waves, and through the various gestures they’ve perfected over the years, he indicates that he’ll meet Kurt outside the locker room. Kurt nods and blows Blaine a kiss, and then he watches a few kids crowd around the player’s bench, hoping to get a glimpse of their favorite players. Kurt has grown to truly appreciate how much the team does for children, from different charities and school visits, to hockey camps and scholarships. He knows that Blaine doesn’t mind doing press and other functions, but it’s always the events involving kids that Blaine gets genuinely excited about.

All the kids stare in awe as the players walk by. Some of the guys wave or give high fives. Kurt notices a little girl standing on the end of the bench, with an older man standing behind her to make sure she doesn’t fall. She has to be six or seven, her hair in braids and a missing front tooth visible as she grins broadly. She’s wearing an ‘Anderson’ jersey that’s so big it hangs down past her knees, and Kurt sees her face light up as Blaine approaches her. Blaine’s helmet perched is on top of his head and his forehead is matted with sweaty curls, and he looks exhausted, but he smiles brightly as he gives the little girl a fist bump. Blaine’s gloved hand looks huge compared to hers, and the sight of it makes Kurt melt.

The girl says something, and then Blaine leans in close to her and hands her his stick. Her eyes widen as Blaine winks, and Kurt can just barely catch him say “it’s yours” before walking away. The girl’s smile is like no other, and she starts squealing and giggling so loudly that even the bulky security guard at the exit starts laughing.

Kurt feels something pulling in his gut. Blaine is such an amazing man, and it’s little things like giving a stick to a random little girl that make Kurt’s emotions start to spiral out of control. He practically runs to the locker room area, needing to get to Blaine as soon as possible.

He gets there just in time to see the first couple of players come out. Kurt is grateful that they aren’t in Columbus, because there are only a few fans hanging out instead of a small crowd. He doesn’t think he would have the patience to wait as Blaine signed autographs and took selfies, which he always does because he’s Blaine.

Kurt is pacing by the time Blaine walks out and he wastes no time, running toward him and throwing his arms around Blaine’s neck.

“You. Are. Ridiculous,” Kurt says, peppering Blaine’s face with kisses and not caring in the slightest about who is watching.

“Whoa, hey,” Blaine laughs, catching Kurt’s lips. “Missed you, too.”

Kurt pulls back and shakes his head fondly. “You made that girl’s night.”

“Ah, you saw that?” Blaine smiles sheepishly, ducking his head and scrunching his nose. It makes Kurt want to kiss him senseless. “I don’t know why I did that.”

“I do.” Kurt grabs Blaine’s hand and starts to lead them down the hallway. “It’s because you are the most wonderful man on the planet.”

“I think you’re a little biased, Mr. Hummel-Anderson.”

“Nonsense,” Kurt says, swinging their intertwined hands between them. He brings his other hand up and pinches his thumb and forefinger together. “I am this close to demanding babies.”

Kurt grins as Blaine throws his head back and laughs. They’d talked about starting a family, back when they first got married and everyone seemed to wonder when they would take that next step. Ultimately, they decided that while kids were great, their lives were too hectic and unpredictable, and they didn’t want to raise a child when one of them was away most of the time. Still, there were moments, especially after watching Blaine interact with children and how easily it came to him, that Kurt wondered what if.

They walked in silence out of the arena, happy to just be in each other’s space again.

“For the record, I think that we would be awesome dads,” Blaine says as they get into Kurt’s rental car.

Kurt leans over and kisses him softly. “Yeah, we would.”