Pairings/Characters: Kurt/Blaine, Wes
Word Count: ~2,900
Summary: In which Blaine has a plan he is failing to execute on.
Song Notes: The song Blaine and Wes try and fail to sing is Astronautalis's "The Wondersmith and His Sons," which I think crossed my path from someone in fandom, but I can't remember who. If it was you, please let me know.
Other Notes: 1. This may be the sappiest thing I've ever written. 2. I'm about to go on a two month trip around the world. This fic is far from done, and I plan to be updating while I am away, but the situation may be less predictable, as such I wanted to have a bit of closure on this issue, but this series remains, I hope, the animal it has always been -- neither fluff or angst... just life.
The series so far:
Boston: Following Home | These Thousand Names for Gratitude | All the Honesty of Politics | Circles as the Dark Winds Down | The Distance Between Ohio and Boston | All the Pretty Little Horses | Languages You Don't Even Know | Fauna and Flora | Where Water Doesn't Speak | Under Glass We Are Expected to Blossom | You Were Someone Else Before We Came Here
D.C.: Strategies and Tactics | The Many Shades of Sugar | When Sea Levels Rise | The History of Sand | Tales of Minor Gods | A Little Bit Ruined | The Numbers Held by Ghosts | Weights and Measures | Anamnesis | Hello, I Must Be Going | And I Have Heard You Speaking | More Honored Than the Other Animals.
Blaine chickens out on the proposal the next two times he visits Kurt.
Things are better, in that knows now to wait for Kurt not at the theater, but in his hotel room, reading a book or wasting time on the Internet.
Sometimes, Kurt even lets Blaine shower with him. They laugh through the steam and the sex, and it's almost like home, except that it isn't.
Blaine calls Wes a few days after his last visit to Raleigh as the tour flies on to Minneapolis.
“You,” Wes says, “are a coward.”
“You are. And if you don't do it soon, I'm going to start wondering if you somehow think I'm willing to call him and do it for you. Which I'm not.”
Blaine groans and puts his head into the hand that isn't pressing his phone to his ear.
There's a beat. “All comedy aside, are you all right?” Wes asks.
“No,” Blaine says.
“Do I need to come down there?”
“No,” Blaine says, scrubbing a hand over his face. “I started therapy this week.”
Wes gives a low whistle. It's not that he disapproves; in fact, he really, really doesn't. It's just that he's surprised. “Overdue,” he says as neutrally as possible in the hope that Blaine will elaborate.
“Right, so I'm fine. Doing all the things I'm supposed to be doing.”
“You don't sound fine.”
“No. Just... it sucks. This is the best thing that's ever happened to Kurt, and I respect that but I haven't let myself get angry about it and now I'm angry. I mean, how would you feel, if our situations were reversed?”
“Gay?” he offers.
“So tell me about Minneapolis,” Blaine says in the phone, his voice sweet and slightly flirtatious.
When they talk, Kurt is so often tired (after a show) or preoccupied (before one), that Blaine has to coax him to connect, especially when so little of their lives overlap right now. It's the first time in years they've had stories to tell that do not involve each other.
It's probably healthy, Blaine understands, but they don't really know how to do it.
“I hurt,” Kurt says out of the blue.
It's matter of fact, and it lacks despair, but it brings Blaine up short. “Oh,” he stumbles. “I'm making a quizzical face and you can't see it.”
“I know. It's okay.”
“Eight shows a week and airplanes. I'm spending a lot of time icing my knees.”
Blaine has questions but doesn't know where to start. “Is that – ?”
“Oh god, no, it's everyone. Apparently this is what you do on tour. Ice your knees and make blow job jokes,” Kurt says a little bit viciously.
Blaine snorts. If nothing else, the whole situation is definitely expanding the range of things Kurt is willing to say aloud.
Kurt sighs. “I miss you.”
“Because of the blow jobs?” Blaine asks.
Kurt dissolves into peals of laughter. It's not what he meant, but it's not untrue. “Because of the blow jobs.”
The severity of the temperature shift from Raleigh to Minneapolis does no one any favors, and it only takes three days for the first plague of the tour to start making its way through the cast.
Kurt has never been so glad that he's a little bit afraid of people and that all he ever wants is Blaine, because he doesn't get sick, and nearly everyone else does.
Jay loses the top of his range in a rehearsal twelve hours after the sneezing starts, and Kurt knows what it means before anyone says anything.
He feels dizzy, and pages Blaine with nothing other than tonight.
“Are you scared?” Blaine asks when he calls him in response to that.
“Are you?” Kurt teases.
“I wish I could be there.”
“If it were closer, I'd tell you to get on a plane right now.”
“I'm not scared at all,” Kurt says, full of wonder.
Suddenly, Blaine isn't either.
After the show, Kurt understands for the first time that all those stories about men who sell their souls to the devil are not actually about ambition, sacrifice and the fleeting nature of pleasure. Rather, those stories are about loneliness and how, on the nights of your greatest triumphs, in glory, you will necessarily be alone.
Backstage he lets anyone who wants to hug him, and pressed in amongst the bodies of their dancers who like him best, Kurt feels hungry for the easy and warm world.
That night, he and Blaine have phone sex for the first time. Blaine does most of the talking, and Kurt feels both grateful and sad.
“Here's the essential problem I'm having with this process,” Blaine says to his therapist. “If I reject your perspective, I look like I'm unwilling to face my shit, which, you know, obviously I am to a certain degree. But it's not doing me any favors to let you be right when you're not, either.”
“Wes,” Blaine practically moans into the phone that night when his friend answers.
“What are you doing this weekend?”
“Why do I suspect I'm coming to see you?”
Blaine takes a deep breath. “Yeah, that would be good.”
Dinner is awkward, and Kurt phones in the middle of it, Blaine excusing himself to take the call outside with the smokers.
“Wes is here,” Blaine blurts out, because it's strange to mention it, but it's more strange not to.
“Is that weird?”
“No. That's good. That's... I'm glad. I mean, I was going to have to call him and tell him to visit you if you didn't... you did ask, right?”
“Okay. Are you okay?”
Blaine hums, as he tries to think of the right answer. “I am working on actively managing my not okayness?” he offers.
“Mmmm, you worry me, you know?” Kurt says fondly.
“I know. So how is it going back to being a mere mortal?”
“Oh my god, Blaine, pay attention. Even in the ensemble, I'm still undead.”
Blaine laughs, and he can hear Kurt smile.
“Are you coming to see me soon?” Kurt asks.
“The second you're out of Minneapolis,” he says; the flights had simply been too expensive.
“Wow,” Kurt says. “Texas.”
“Texas,” Blaine confirms. He can't believe he's going to propose to Kurt in fucking Houston.
“You want to tell me why this is awkward?” Wes says as he watches Blaine set up the air mattress.
Blaine shoots him a dark look.
“Hey, you can answer or I can.”
They start drinking the next day at brunch, and that's... easier. Wes matches Blaine glass for glass for the sake of it as opposed to any real desire to be wrecked by four. Like Kurt, he is all about go big or go home, and Blaine smiles as he realizes how much that explains.
Blaine must make a face at the thought, because Wes says, “What?”
“I just realized how you and Kurt are similar. It''s comforting.”
Wes laughs. “Maybe for you.”
They go to the piano bar in the space between late afternoon and early evening. It's habit, because it's where Blaine and Kurt have always taken guests, but the truth is also that Blaine's been neglecting it, and he knows Kurt won't be amused should that become clear.
The effusive welcome he gets when he creaks the door open makes him bashful, but that's nothing compared to the head-smacking levels of embarrassment he feels when he finally places the look the bartender and a couple of the regulars are giving Wes.
“Oh my god,” Blaine mutters.
Blaine shakes his head. “Wait here,” he says once he's deposited Wes at a table.
He snakes his way up to the bar to explain that he's known Wes since he was fourteen and that no, he is not stepping out on Kurt. The whole thing would almost be funny, except for the fact that Shanghai and history mean it's not.
Somehow, that Wes decides to sing “Route 66” makes everything worse.
“So you want to explain to me how it is that everyone in there loves you but none of them trust you at all?” Wes asks as they try to look less drunk than they are as they slide into a cab.
Blaine angles himself into the corner by the driver's side door and Wes mirrors him, the space between them ridiculous even as Wes kicks absently as Blaine's ankles.
“Kurt made everyone promise to watch out for me while he was gone.”
“How often have you been back?”
“Twice,” Blaine says. “Other than tonight.”
Wes shakes his head.
“No you do not,” Wes says, kicking Blaine's ankles again. “How are you more stubborn than Kurt?” Kick. “How is that even possible?” Kick. Kick. Kick.
Back at the apartment, they sit side-by-side on the piano bench, Blaine pounding out a song he and Wes had been obsessed with at Dalton. They're laughing as they sing it together, because they know it's about to crash and burn because of a rap bridge they could never nail even then and have less than no hope of vanquishing now that they're drunk.
Wes hasn't even thought of the damn song in years, but with all its daddy issues he's not surprised Blaine remembers it.
When the song inevitably collapses, Wes slides onto the floor. And leans against the bench. Blaine, when he catches his breath, gets up to open a bottle of wine Henry brought to one of Kurt's earliest cabal gatherings.
“Blaine,” Wes says as Blaine pours.
“Just ask him already. It's going to be fine, he's going to say yes, and, god help me, I would much rather be cooing over wedding magazines with you than whatever this is.”
Blaine smiles. “Why are we still complicated?”
“Because we made that choice.”
Eventually, after what does, in fact, turn out to be a ridiculously long and probably futile conversation about what Blaine imagines the wedding will be like (after all, that's going to be a Kurt Hummel production and everyone knows it), Blaine nods off on the couch, his face resting against Wes's shoulder.
Wes shakes his head and kisses the top of Blaine's before reaching for his phone and texting Kurt.
I know you know this, but since he's too drunk to tell you right now, you are Blaine's _world_.
Are you drunk? Kurt's text comes back.
Good. He okay?
More than he knows. The big q's coming soon.
Wes Montgomery, I will kill you in your sleep if you spoil this for either of us.
Oh right. You're a vampire now.
Blaine wakes up on his living room sofa confused. When he manages to open his eyes he sees Wes, lying on the air mattress reading one of his papers for school.
“What the fuck?” he asks, although when he hears his own voice that more or less answers the question.
“You got wrecked and passed out on me. I got wrecked and drank a liter of water and took some tylenol before I found an actual bed-like object.”
“Have I ever mentioned that I hate you?” Blaine asks.
Blaine smiles at the fondness in Wes's voice, but it makes him miss Kurt, who always lets him feel like an adult even when he's not.
In the afternoon, Wes sits beside him as he buys tickets for Houston and emails the itinerary to Kurt.
In the evening, Blaine goes with Wes to the train station. His friend kisses him goodbye on the mouth, quick and hard.
“I feel like I'm in the mob,” Blaine says.
Wes points at Blaine and laughs, saying, “Once a Warbler, always a Warbler,” as he drifts away.
On his day off, Kurt roams the second-floor city of Minneapolis with Jay.
“It's like habitrails,” he says.
“Most gay-friendly city in America,” Jay says.
Kurt makes a face of disgust. It's nice enough, but it's not enough. He's underwhelmed by the shopping and he's heard some really terrible things about mosquitos.
“Can I ask you a question,” he says after a while.
“I'm not cut out for touring, am I?”
“Nope. Not really. Do you care?” Jay says with a smile.
“No, actually. I don't think I do. But I think I wanted you to know that.”
Jay pokes him hard in the arm. “And this is why I like you.”
Houston, Texas, baby! Kurt texts Blaine when the tour arrives in what everyone keeps reminding him is a whole 'nother country.
Four days, cowboy, is what Blaine texts back.
He can do this, this time. He is sure of it. Mostly.
“Hi,” Blaine says, when Kurt gets back to the room after his Friday night show; it had been empty when Blaine arrived.
“Hi,” Kurt says, and while Blaine could do without the awkwardness the tour has brought them, he really doesn't mind the coy.
"How was tonight?"
“Good,” Blaine says, waiting for a cue about how this night is going to go. “Do you need a shower or do you want food or....”
“Can I just look at you for a moment?” Kurt says, wondering if this is the moment. He hates Wes for that stupid text but at the same time maybe it means he just needs to give Blaine space to do this.
“Yeah,” Blaine says, then, after a moment, “Come here,” as he pats what is always Kurt's side of the bed.
Kurt joins him, and he's so comfortable and not prim at all, Blaine can't help but be surprised. When did he grow up? When did they both grow up?
“I feel like I'm about to do this wrong,” Blaine says, scrambling off the bed and digging for a moment in his weekender. “But as much as I want this to be perfect for you, I don't think I care.”
He watches as Kurt's eyes go from amused to wide and weirdly expectant, and then gets down, not on one knee in front of Kurt, but on both of them. It is, Blaine thinks, truer this way, and really, fuck what his therapist would think of that.
He shoves the box awkwardly into his back pocket and takes both of Kurt's hands in his.
“I am about to say a whole bunch of stupid shit, but I think I've been married to you since the first time you touched me. I am poisoned and exalted and made whole by you, Kurt, and, more importantly than anything else, you convince me, every single day, that none of that actually matters, and that I'm just ordinary and loved.”
He pauses for breath and is grateful when Kurt doesn't interrupt him.
“I know you need different things than me... from me, but I want to spend my life trying to give them to you, no matter how antiquated, scary and fucked up this entire proposal is,” he says, rolling his eyes at himself and laughing. He feels like he should have written something, instead of rambling, but it's too late now.
“So, will you marry me, Kurt Hummel?” he asks. “I hear it's legal, you gave me dispensation on the school thing, and there's a bright shiny for you in my back pocket, but I just really don't want to let go of your hands right now, so just... please... say yes?”
Kurt smiles, slowly, and Blaine feels like that he hasn't answered yet should be the most terrifying thing in the world to him, but it's not. Because Kurt is taking a moment to register how ridiculous it is that he's being proposed to in a mediocre hotel room in Houston, Texas by his currently long-distance boyfriend while they each stink from airplanes and vampires.
It's glorious. And Kurt's yes is bright and clear before the tears start falling, and Blaine leans up to give him a kiss both ripe and solemn.
Later, when they are no longer both shaking and giggling and crying all at once, Blaine sits next to him on the bed and shows him the bee.
“It was my great-grandmother's.”
“What was she like, that she left it to you?” Kurt asks, petting its rough back of diamonds with a single finger as it lies there still in its box.
But Blaine smiles and shakes his head. “I never knew her,” he says. “My father gave it to me. For you. For you... and, I hope that's okay.”
Kurt bites his lip and shakes his head; they always do that, mirror each other. “Put it on me,” he says softly.
Blaine's hands tremble as he does it, nervous even at slipping so much as a pin through Kurt's clothes incorrectly, but when he's managed it and closed the catch they look at each other and the thing feels done.
“I'm getting married,” Kurt breathes out in wonder as if he's been waiting his entire life.
“That you are.” It's easy suddenly and almost no big deal.
But then Kurt stands up. “Oh my god,” he says. “We have to go tell everyone.”