Pairing: Kurt Hummel/Blaine Anderson
Word Count: 4,496
Chapter: 1 (of 7)
Summary: The evolution of Kurt and Blaine, from the back seat of a car at Mr. Schue’s wedding, to Bushwick, to I am a work in progress. (Or, the one where Kurt Hummel becomes Kurt Hummel-Anderson, a decade earlier than planned.)
Notes: This is more or less a series of missing scenes, some within episodes, and some outside of them, starting mid-S4, but mostly focused on seasons 5 and 6. Canon-compliant, Kurt POV. Also my first Glee fic, because I am forever late to the party ;) My best guess is that this will be around 30K total and I'll do my very best to update regularly - my goal is every two weeks, if not sooner. Thanks for reading :)
A big thank you to Tiff for her help with this first chapter, and to Ginnie, for encouraging me to come to Klaine in the first place <3
Also posted to AO3
“So, about Mr. Schue’s wedding,” Blaine says one cold January night, his voice crystal-clear in Kurt’s ear, despite the miles between them.
Kurt is on his way to meet Rachel for dinner, and he’d considered not answering. It’s too cold, for one thing – his fingers are bright red and freezing, exposed to the air like this, as he presses the phone to his ear tightly. For another thing, Blaine is not his boyfriend anymore, hasn’t been for a while. There are things Kurt has had to let go of.
And then Blaine says, “I know it’s a lot to ask, but…” in a voice that moves a tiny sliver of something in Kurt’s heart, just a little. He can feel it deep inside of him, tentative, and familiar, and really, really terrifying.
Blaine sounds nervous, and hopeful, and for a while Kurt just listens to his voice while Sixth Avenue bustles around him in the darkness of rush hour in Manhattan in the middle of winter.
Blaine is saying, “If you don’t want to, that’s fine. No pressure. It would just be as friends, of course. And if you don’t want me to be there, and you want to go with Mercedes, or Rachel or…whoever, that’s fine too. I don’t have to go.”
And Kurt realizes in that moment that of course he’ll go to the wedding with Blaine, even though he’s not sure he’s ready, because he is sure that this is exactly what he wants, regardless.
“Okay,” he tells Blaine, and starts walking again, sub-freezing air numbing his face until Blaine asks, hopefully, “Okay, you’ll go with me, or okay, you don’t want me to be there?”
Kurt just laughs, and sniffles against the cold.
“Yes, I’ll go to Mr. Schue’s wedding with you, Blaine.”
He doesn’t realize until after he hangs up the phone, until he’s halfway down the stairs to the subway and touches his hand to his face to find that it it’s wet and practically frozen stiff from the wind, that he’s crying.
There are a lot of moments like this with Blaine. Moments when Kurt doesn’t realize what he’s feeling until it’s too late, until the words have spilled out of his mouth, or his body has moved on its own, carried forward by some kind of invisible momentum that Kurt suspects he’s always been powerless against, like a thread that lies underneath everything, pulling him back when he loses his way.
It makes things possible that shouldn’t be possible – Blaine’s body pressed up against him in the backseat of a car at Mr. Shuester’s wedding, their hands all over each other, eyes desperate and in denial and full of hope at the same time.
Blaine had said it was no coincidence – Christmas, Valentine’s Day - and he’d been right. About Adam, he’d said you’re not in New York and it’s not exclusive and he’d been right about that too. He could have said you knew this would happen or you wanted this or this will happen over and over again no matter how much you try to convince yourself otherwise or any number of things, and probably, Blaine would have been right about all of them.
Because the truth is, there are things that Kurt has held on to, also. He’d felt something that night, walking down Sixth Avenue, listening to Blaine ask him out, as friends, after so many months, and then later, swiping his MetroCard through the turnstile and trying to wipe the tears from his face at the same time.
He’d felt something shift inside of him, had been waiting for it, maybe.
It had started long before that, of course, with a boy on a staircase – bright eyes, and an honest, open smile, as if a switch had been flipped somewhere. As if sixteen-year-old Kurt had been asleep his entire life until this moment, and now he was finally here, he’d arrived.
Blaine had disarmed him, changed everything in an instant, made Kurt feel like he could do anything, be anything - and the feeling had never faded, not really.
There’s something powerful and almost sacred in Blaine’s eyes when he looks at Kurt, like Kurt is the only person in the room, every single time. It’s always made Kurt feel strong, and sure of himself, and maybe a little magical, like a superhero, or the unsuspecting heroine in a fairy tale.
After Mr. Schue’s wedding, Blaine texts. He calls, sometimes - not too much, but more often than before. Once, he sends flowers. They’re officially for Rachel, congratulations for some NYADA competition that Kurt had only been vaguely aware of, but there’s a smiley face, and a Hi Kurt! in the neat slant of Blaine’s handwriting, squeezed into the right margin of the tiny card. The flowers are a brilliant mix of white and yellow roses with carnations and wild heather, too, and they brighten up the apartment for weeks.
Blaine has always been very good at reminding Kurt of exactly why he fell in love with him.
Adam starts to feel peripheral - not on purpose, really, but Kurt is surprised by how easy it is to walk away, is a little shocked to learn that something resembling a clean break is a thing that he can do.
Blaine texts, calls, Skypes.
He assures, and reassures, and offers support. He’s a good friend when Kurt needs one, and Kurt is grateful. When his dad’s test results come back with the best possible news, Blaine is the first person he tells - the only person he needs to tell, really. Kurt watches Blaine’s eyes mist over in relief, and resists the urge to pull him close, to bury himself in Blaine’s shoulder, to press his lips against the soft skin of Blaine’s neck.
He lets Blaine relay the news to Rachel because it feels right, because, Kurt realizes, he trusts him. Realizing this makes Kurt feel warm and happy and content, like the balance of the universe has finally been restored, or at least part of it, anyway.
They spend an entire Saturday afternoon together, watching movies in Blaine’s bedroom – a classic movie-musical marathon on TCM. Their shoulders press against each other on the bed. During Singin’ in the Rain, Blaine’s Gene Kelly impression is so spot-on and charming, and yet still so fundamentally Blaine, that Kurt can’t help but blush.
They make dinner for his dad and Carole the next night. Nothing fancy, spaghetti carbonara, with a side of sautéed brussel sprouts, and afterwards, Blaine falls asleep on the couch watching reruns of Mad Men. For several long moments, Kurt just watches him – the rise and fall of his chest, the shadow his long eyelashes cast on his skin.
After so many months spent measuring his words with Blaine, and limiting his contact, it feels kind of wonderful, just being here like this, not having to hold himself back.
Kurt realizes that he’s happier, sitting on this sagging old couch in his basement in Lima than he’s been since he arrived in New York. It’s as if he’s been holding his breath for forever, and now he can finally relax, he can let go.
And while it’s Blaine who takes the leap one sunny afternoon on the steps of McKinley, honestly, as far as Kurt’s concerned, things had already changed between them, long before that day. He just hadn’t quite gotten around to saying it out loud yet. Or allowing his heart to fully believe it.
Spread out in front of him in picnic form, Blaine’s bowtie is like a beacon, and it all seems so obvious.
Hearing Blaine say it out loud - boyfriends - makes Kurt feel giddy, and a little reckless. Everything is bright sunlight and brilliant color and Blaine. Blaine, who is officially, exclusively his again. He thinks his heart might bounce out of his chest, that he might just let it.
He settles for a searing kiss that sets his entire body on fire, and the promise of many, many more to come.
And then they’re back on that staircase at Dalton, and there are actual rose petals raining down over Kurt’s head- it’s like he’s stepped inside some kind of beautifully-designed, but still-a-little-insane musical fantasy.
The music stops, and Blaine says all I’ve ever wanted is to spend the rest of my life loving you and Kurt thinks maybe time has stopped too. And then he’s saying yes with his voice, which is shaking and breathless, and also with what feels like his entire being.
He allows himself to be folded into Blaine’s arms, allows Blaine to hold him so tightly he thinks he actually stops breathing for a few seconds, and for so long that he forgets there are people watching and cheering and waiting to congratulate them, waiting for a photo-op. For several long moments all he can hear is his heart hammering in his chest.
It feels crazy, and it’s way too-much, too-soon, but it also feels more right than anything Kurt has ever felt in his entire life.
Kurt doesn’t know how else to explain it – it wasn’t possible, it shouldn’t be possible, but it is, because it’s Blaine, and so of course. This is happening. This has always been happening.
Kurt had wanted to head back to New York quietly. At the very least, he’d wanted to avoid the heart-wrenching, tearful airport goodbye that he knew would mortify at least one of them later.
Instead, next to of a row of self-check-in kiosks for Delta Air Lines, Blaine looks Kurt in the eye, and in front of at least a half a dozen people who may or may not be paying attention, he says, “I know I’ve said it a hundred times already, but I’m just so happy, Kurt. I’m so happy you said yes.”
He grabs both of Kurt’s hands, and with an unguarded look of joy in his eyes, very nearly convinces Kurt that maybe, just maybe, getting on a plane back to New York isn’t the worst decision in the world. After all, Blaine is his, now – forever - whether he’s in Lima, or New York, or anywhere else.
“Of course I said yes,” Kurt tells him, turning his hand over in Blaine’s, letting Blaine run his fingers back and forth over the ring, like he can’t quite believe it’s real. (It is – Kurt loves the solid weight of it on his finger, loves its closeness.)
“You didn’t really give me much of a choice, you know,” Kurt says, thinking of the swirling insanity of Blaine’s proposal, of Blaine, professing his love for Kurt in front of pretty much everyone either of them had ever known.
“Did you need much of a choice?” Blaine squeezes Kurt’s fingers, staring fondly into his eyes, and the rest of the airport is suddenly miles away.
“No,” Kurt says quietly.
He realizes something in that moment that he honestly hadn’t known when he’d asked his dad for advice on the way to Dalton, when he’d been more than a little terrified about making such a huge decision when they were still so new at this, at being with each other like this again.
He leans forward and presses his forehead to Blaine’s.
“I would have said yes wherever and whenever you asked me. You know that.”
Then Blaine’s arms come up around Kurt’s waist, tugging him close, possessive and sweet, and Kurt wants nothing more in that moment than for Blaine to hold him like this forever, for the next two months, until he can come back to New York with him. He’s not looking forward to Brooklyn and Rachel and Broadway and sleeping alone, again.
Kurt has never been much for public displays of affection, but he presses his lips to Blaine’s, in full view the entire terminal because he just doesn’t care, because he’s saying goodbye to his fiancé and because it’s really important that he get it right. He has to make Blaine understand that he’s in this for the long haul, that nothing is going to come between them anymore. Blaine will remember this kiss, will carry it with him to McKinley tomorrow and the next day and the next day and so it needs to be good; it needs to be everything.
Kurt nearly misses his flight, but it’s worth every second, and he’d do it again, right now, in a heartbeat.
Back in New York, of course, no one really cares about his fiancé back in Ohio. He’s lucky to get an obligatory congratulations, which is a little disappointing, because Kurt is eager for everyone in New York to love Blaine as much as he does. He needs them to, maybe. Needs people to see them as formidable together, a force to be reckoned with. Which, of course, they absolutely are.
And when he thinks about it that way, he’s sure he has nothing to worry about. He likes his odds when it comes to Blaine, he always has – and he likes their odds together even more.
After all, he’s Kurt Hummel, counter-tenor extraordinaire, best friend of up-and-coming Broadway ingénue Rachel Berry. And Blaine is, well, Blaine. And it takes a pretty special person to resist Blaine Anderson's charms, in the end.
He relates this theory to Blaine from his bedroom, on unseasonably chilly Tuesday night in April. He can hear Rachel’s TV from across the loft, a muffled din of voices, even though Kurt is sure she’s already asleep.
Not for the first time, he silently thanks the universe for the invention of Skype. Now that they've started this nightly ritual, Kurt has a really hard time falling asleep if he can't say good night to Blaine's actual face, first.
"And what exactly are these charms you speak so highly of?"
Blaine waggles his eyebrows for emphasis and Kurt rolls his eyes.
Blaine hasn’t changed clothes yet, even though it’s late - his sweater is draped over the chair next to the bed, and the shirt underneath is a little rumpled. Kurt stares at Blaine’s plaid-covered chest for a moment, eyes flickering up to his neck, to the tiny triangle of skin that’s exposed there, and then to his face.
"You have plenty of charming qualities, Blaine, but those eyebrows are not included. Seriously,” he tells him, mostly kidding. “You have heard of waxing, right?"
"Anyway,” Blaine says, ignoring him, “don’t let it get to you. You know it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, because we’re going to prove them wrong. It’ll be fun."
"I know," Kurt agrees, but he’s not sure he's convinced.
Blaine grins at him then, his eyes scrunching up at the corners, and a wave of nostalgia washes over Kurt. He misses Blaine’s bedroom, misses curling up under Blaine’s blankets, the smell of his stupid hair gel, misses everything about him.
“Come on. You know it’s going to be great – you love proving people wrong.”
"That’s true,” Kurt admits. He sighs. “I just want..."
"Oh, I don't know.” Kurt stalls as he watches Blaine’s face change from curious to mildly concerned. “Mostly I just want you," he admits.
"Well, I miss you too, Kurt." Blaine looks pleased, and a little incredulous.
"What? Is it surprising that I'd prefer to have my--my fiancé in bed with me, rather than hundreds of miles away?"
"No,” Blaine says, but there's something else going on in his eyes. He looks away for a second, and then smiles. “Of course not.”
Kurt shakes his head. "Don't do that. What are you thinking?"
Blaine fiddles with his fingers in his lap, with the cuff of his shirt for a moment.
"It’s just that, well, six months ago, I wasn't sure if you'd ever speak to me again. I mean, deep down, I figured you probably would, but..." He flashes a self-conscious smile. "You know, if your new friends are less than excited about our engagement, it's probably just because they don't want you to get hurt. You can't really blame them."
"Blaine,” Kurt says, measuring his voice. “My friends don't know anything about us. Do you think that I went around badmouthing you to everyone I met when we broke up?"
"No. I don't know. I'm sorry." He looks up at Kurt, apologetic and a little sad. "I think I'm just in a weird mood tonight."
Kurt stares at his laptop screen, at the person staring back at him. Not understanding what’s going on in Blaine’s head, even when he thinks they’re in a good place makes everything feel off-balance, makes him wonder if there's something wrong with him, with them, that he can never seem to see this coming.
"Blaine." Kurt’s voice is softer this time. "It’s okay if you're in a weird mood. I still want you to talk to me. I want us to talk about stuff like this.”
"I know. I’m sorry."
“And trust me, everyone’s going to love you as much as I do once you get here, if I have anything to say about it. And I do. I have rather a lot to say on the subject.”
Blaine stares at him for a moment, and then says, as if it’s the most natural thing in the world, "I love you so much, Kurt.”
Kurt suspects that sometimes Blaine says this when he doesn't know what else to say, as if it’s the one thing that he can always fall back on. He’d like to say it’s annoying, or that repeating the words lessens their value, but honestly, it’s one of the things that Kurt loves most about him.
"I love you, too,” he says. “And I don't kiss and tell. Or break up and tell. Okay?" He studies Blaine's face, which is curiously unreadable at the moment, but it might just be the time lag. He waits until Blaine’s face stills on the screen. "I also feel like this would be a good time for me to remind you that I’ve forgiven you. For everything. You know that, right?"
Blaine is quiet for a second, and then another.
“Come on, say something, you’re making me nervous.”
"Sorry,” Blaine says quickly. “I know you’ve forgiven me. I'm not saying you haven't."
Kurt nods. He waits. And when Blaine doesn't say anything else, he asks, very quietly, "And what about you? Have you?”
"Have I what?"
Blaine doesn’t say anything, just stares at him, so Kurt keeps going.
“For coming to New York without you. For pushing you away,” he says. “For not being there when you needed me. I knew something was wrong and I should have talked to you about it."
It’s taken Kurt a long time to come to terms with the fact that something hadn’t been right between them for a while before Blaine ended up in someone else’s bed. He'd ignored it, had chosen not to focus on it, in favor of a new city, a new life.
Blaine is quiet for a moment, and then he says, seriously, "I really wish I could kiss you right now."
"Blaine Anderson, that is not an answer to my question."
Kurt disappears off-screen for a second, and when he returns to view, he's got a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.
“Sorry, it’s freezing in here tonight,” he explains, pulling the soft fleece a little tighter to his chest.
"It's so drafty in that place. When I move in, I'm bringing insulation with me. Or at least an extra blanket or two."
Kurt smiles wishing he could reach through the screen and pull Blaine close to him.
"Look, I know you wouldn't have asked me to marry you if you hadn't forgiven me. I think I just wanted to hear you say it."
"I know." Blaine’s voice is quiet. "And I forgive you, of course I do. I forgave you a long time ago."
Kurt closes his eyes. He’s a little taken off guard by the warmth in his cheeks, the tightness in his throat.
"Thank you," Kurt says, meaning it, and then he realizes that there’s something else he needs to say. “You know we’re not going to get anywhere if we keep blaming ourselves for the past, right? You have to forgive yourself, too. Please."
Blaine stares at him with a look so intense that Kurt can practically feel it, even a million miles away like this, as if he’s just unearthed some great secret of the universe. Then he shakes his head, and smiles. Soft, just for Kurt, the one that makes him melt every single time.
"You’re right. Of course you are.”
"What can I say, I'm a genius. Admit it,” Kurt says lightly, because nothing weighs anything when Blaine is smiling at him like that.
"You really are, and I love you for it."
Kurt lets his insides go a little warm and squirmy at that.
"Why do you have to be so far away," Kurt says, which, if he’s being honest, is what he says when he can't think of anything else. He also means it, of course.
“I’ll be there soon. I promise.”
Kurt closes his eyes. He focuses on Blaine’s voice, doesn’t say anything else, because he doesn't quite trust his voice.
When Blaine says, “I love you so much,” for the second time, the words settle somewhere deep in Kurt’s chest.
“I love you, too,” Kurt says.
Then he reaches over and turns off the lamp next to his bed, so that the only light in the room is the light from his laptop. The darkness makes him feel small, five years old and begging his mom for one more bedtime story. He hates that he has no way of knowing if it’s a real memory, or an imagined one. Something he’s holding on to because it matters, because it’s real, or something he’s just constructed in his head.
The city outside the window is quiet and still, miles and miles of darkness between Lima and Brooklyn.
“Oh, I keep forgetting to tell you…”
To Kurt's great relief, it’s the start of a story Blaine had promised Kurt earlier, Tina had apparently refused to sing a duet with Kitty, and Mr. Schuester was threatening serious repercussions. Typical New Directions drama, the kind that feels new every time, but has happened a dozen times before, and will probably happen a dozen times again before graduation. Kurt listens, grateful for the sound of Blaine's voice.
Blaine doesn’t seem tired at all. Kurt wonders if it’s going to be one of those nights where he stays up until odd hours reading or poking around at music until the sun is practically up. Kurt hates pulling all-nighters – it wreaks havoc on his skin, and throws his schedule off for days, but he thinks he’d be up for it tonight. If it meant being there in Blaine’s bedroom with him, he might consider giving up sleep for a week.
Kurt is aware of the fact that pining for Blaine like this is ridiculous. That Blaine is graduating next month, and that he’ll be here with him before he knows it. Sometimes he wonders if he’s making up for lost time, all those nights last year when he wasn’t allowed to miss Blaine, because he was angry and anger like that didn’t allow for this kind of visceral longing that makes his chest, his entire body ache sometimes.
Kurt takes a shaky breath, lets it out slowly.
“Hey,” Blaine says, and Kurt realizes that Blaine has stopped talking, that they’ve been sitting there in silence for a few seconds. “What are you thinking about?”
Kurt says the first thing that pops into his head. “Do you know how many miles it is from Lima to Brooklyn?”
“Why do I feel like this is a rhetorical question..."
Kurt narrows his eyes. “Five hundred and ninety-three. I may have looked it up. More than once.”
Blaine sounds confused, and maybe a little concerned, and Kurt can’t really blame him. They don’t really need to discuss the specific number of miles between them, as if that has ever mattered.
“Sorry.” Kurt is suddenly exhausted. “It’s late and I really need to be downtown before eight tomorrow. I should probably try to get some sleep.”
“Kurt.” Blaine’s voice has that scary-serious tone, the one that always gets Kurt’s attention. “What’s wrong?”
Kurt feels tears blossom behind his eyes, and panics a little, grateful for the darkness. “Nothing. Nothing’s wrong, Blaine.”
“Kurt,” Blaine says again, his voice still urgent.
“I’m sorry that it’s so far,” Blaine says, like it’s his fault, like he’s to blame for the size of Ohio, or the drawing of state lines.
“It’s not really that far,” Kurt argues. He feels silly, exposed. “And it’s not something you need to apologize for, anyway.”
“I meant that I’m sorry I can’t be there.” Blaine looks genuinely upset now, which is really not helping. “I want to be.”
“I know. I didn’t mean--"
“Kurt,” Blaine says. “I miss you, too. So much. Sam and Tina keep telling me I never shut up about you - and I just… I promise I’ll be there as soon as I can. Hopefully I’ll get into NYADA, but even if I don’t. We’ll figure something out. I’ll be there.”
Kurt listens. He decides maybe he’ll just let Blaine do what he does best right now, which is make him feel happy, and loved, and not alone.
“Five hundred ninety-three miles…” Blaine is saying. “That’s a lot of miles. We should really do something about that.”
“We could eliminate the state of Pennsylvania?”
“That would definitely help.”
They laugh for way too long at that, so hard that Kurt’s afraid he might wake up Rachel.
And then it’s quiet again and Kurt just listens to Blaine for a moment, to his soft intake of breath, and wonders for a second how on earth he had ever stopped doing this. How he’d ever convinced himself it was okay to put distance between them on purpose.
“I’m sorry it’s so far, too,” Kurt says after a moment.
“I know. But we’re going to be okay.”
Blaine says it with certainty, like he’s seen the future or something.
“How can you be so sure? Because we both think there are too many miles between Ohio and the center of the known universe?”
“I can’t explain it. I just know. I can feel it. That’s why I asked you to marry me.”
Kurt is quiet for a second. There’s a very real sense of clarity that descends on him in that moment. For once, everything feels uncomplicated, honest, and certain. The feeling is big – oh, there you are – and it doesn’t leave room for anything else, it crowds the noise out and leaves a calm silence in its place.
“Well,” Kurt says. “I guess that’s a good thing, because… I’m pretty sure that’s why I said yes.”