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[fic - Glee] These Thousand Names for Gratitude, Kurt/Blaine, R

Title: These Thousand Names for Gratitude
Rating: R
Pairings: Kurt/Blaine
Spoilers (if any): None.
Warnings (if any): None.
Word Count: ~3,000
Summary: Continuing from where we were with Following Home. It's the end of the summer. Kurt moves in. No one has any damn idea what they are doing. It's sad a lot, but everything's also sort of clumsy and scary and perfect.
Notes: I have figured out why I like this fandom. It's the fannish version of a Luhrmann film. There is nothing too romantic to write in this corner of this fandom if it's well executed. It's free of taboos on joy and melodrama. Not always my thing, but when it is, it really is. Rock on.
Notes, part deux: So, I got into this fandom like a week ago (maybe, at most), and it has HIJACKED MY LIFE. And today I saw this awesome art by alishatorn that is now totally my new desktop image, and now, OMG, she has totally, totally made art for a couple of moments in this fic. I am squeeing so damn loudly. Go look at all her stuff, it's seriously stunning.




Kurt's already exhausted by the time he and his father get to Boston, the car so over-loaded with stuff he's pretty sure that they were courting seriously bad cop drama, what with their near complete inability to use the rear-view mirror for any practical purpose beyond Kurt checking his hair.

The worst part, though, is knowing that they're not done yet. They've got to move all this crap, and Kurt's never felt as aggravated by his love of beautiful things as he does when he unfolds himself from the front seat, sore and tired, only to be suddenly gathered up in Blaine's arms.

“Hey,” Blaine says as Kurt melts against him.

It's only been the summer and they've Skyped nearly every day but when Kurt pulls back to look at his boyfriend (and it still feels totally weird, saying that), he can't believe how much older he looks, all collegiate and hot and like he should be out of reach. He's not out of reach though, because he's right here.

Kurt also knows that some of that incredibly handsome age is the result of Blaine having been ridiculously lonely these last months. Kurt's okay with the fact he's only been a small part of that; this has all been a lot more complicated than the two of them just missing each other. Kurt can already feel how much he misses his own friends and family; Blaine's situation is, frankly, both his own worst nightmare and hard for him to comprehend.

But now, even as he thinks about how his boyfriend's – yup, still weird – father is an insecure asshole and how college hasn't even started yet but is clearly going to be difficult, Kurt tightens his grip on Blaine and scrubs a hand through his hair, just to hear that warm laugh that he's going to get to wake up to starting right about now. It's sort of terrifying.

*

While the boys have their reunion, Kurt's father shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot. It's not the gay thing. It's the it's-his-kid thing. His kid, who's going to be sleeping in the same room bed with this really grown-up looking guy that to Burt is still pretty much a stranger.

So he feels like a bit of a jerk, wanting to tell them to knock it off when they're not even kissing, just holding each other like it's a relief, no matter how tangled up they are. He guesses too that it's probably safe here for them to be like this out on the street, because hey, it's a state with marriage and everything (although that means his boy's about to be living in sin, and he's not exactly entirely comfortable with that either, but what can you do?).

But still, he wants to ask if this is okay, and wants to tell them to be careful and suggest maybe they not hold hands on the street at night and to always be sure to lock their doors and stuff like that. Maybe he'll pull Blaine aside and say something later, because that's what you do, right? With the boy that likes your kid?

He shakes his head and turns to the car, wrenching the back door open.

“Hey! Kurt! Let's do this,” he calls, not looking at them. Not his business, not them, not anymore, not really. “Sooner we're done, sooner we can grab some food. You guys can show me around, yeah?”

He's almost happy when it's Blaine who trots up beside him first and tilts his head to peer into the back of the car.

“I cannot believe you fit that vanity in there,” Blaine says in a flat, slightly stunned voice, like it's the most bizarrely fascinating thing he's ever seen.

*

Unloading the car takes longer than expected in part because Kurt keeps telling his dad to take it easy, making him sit on the front stoop to rest. But part of it is that the vanity is harder to get out of the car than it was to get in. Eventually, Blaine manages to crawl into the back seat just enough to unscrew the legs as Kurt looks on in horror.

“That should solve it,” Blaine says into the interior of the car right before he hits his head on the door frame really hard as he tries to get back out. He has to sit down for a good ten minutes as he breathes through the pain while Kurt fetches him some ice and frets about whether they need to take him to the emergency room.

“I told you not to take the legs off,” Kurt says somewhere in the middle of his monologue about celebrity ski accidents and head injuries.

Blaine smiles, kisses Kurt's cheek, and then levers himself up from where he's sitting beside Burt and gets back to the work.

*

It's three o'clock by the time they're finished and sitting in a diner down the block and 'round the corner from the apartment. They're all exhausted, but Blaine can't help but smile at the way Kurt's coyly sipping his lemonade.

“I can't believe you haven't put the bed frame together yet,” Kurt says for like the thousandth time.

Blaine shrugs. “I thought you might want us to do it together. I mean, I know it adds to the work. I guess I didn't really think that part through.”

“It's okay. I think it's sweet,” he says, fidgeting with his straw, knowing exactly what he looks like. It's one of the things that fascinates Blaine about Kurt; he always knows exactly what he looks like. It's a performer's sixth sense, one Blaine almost has, but doesn't (his deal is that he just doesn't care), and one Kurt oddly can't seem to apply when he's actually performing.

Burt clears his throat. “So I figure, I'll get going after dinner or something.”

“No,” Blaine says immediately, half reaching towards Kurt's dad. “You've done a ton of driving, and we've got the extra room and an air mattress and –”

“It's your first night together and I... you should be alone.”

Blaine briefly flicks his glance over to Kurt, because they hadn't really talked about this and probably should have.

“At least let me put you up in a hotel,” Blaine says.

Burt holds up a hand, and his voice, when he speaks, sounds a little wounded. “You've already been plenty generous to me and Kurt.”

“It's not –” Kurt starts to say, but Blaine grabs his hand and finishes for him.

“It would really mean a lot to us, actually,” he says.

Burt wonders if having somehow acquired another gay kid is going to make this whole parenting gig easier or harder.

*

That night, with Burt safely ensconced in a hotel three blocks away and Kurt and Blaine having abandoned most of the unpacking beyond getting clothes put away and the bed actually assembled, Kurt finds himself sitting up in it in his movie star pajamas (cream-colored silk with brown piping and entirely vintage, thank you very much) while Blaine, still in a ratty red t-shirt and jeans stares at him from the doorway.

“Did you buy those just for tonight?” he asks.

Maaaaaaaaaybe,” Kurt says. “You don't think they're silly, do you?” he asks, suddenly insecure.

Blaine shakes his head. “No. I think they're lovely. I bet they feel nice too.”

Kurt likes that Blaine understands he's a hedonist, even if he's somewhat of a demure one, and smiles.

“This is strange, isn't it?” Blaine asks.

“A little,” Kurt says coyly.

“You're not nervous are you?” Blaine says, mostly teasing.

“Well, I'm sort of counting on you not even trying to seduce me tonight because right now everything hurts.”

Blaine laughs. “You take anything yet?”

Kurt nods at the small bottle of Tylenol on the night stand. “Thanks for doing all the work today.”

Blaine shrugs.

“How's your head?”

Blaine makes a face and reaches back to press his fingers into the egg that's formed there. “Hurts.”

Kurt laughs. “Come to bed?” When Blaine turns out the light, he manages to add, “Thanks for being so good with my dad today.”

“Thanks for letting me,” Blaine says, voice quiet and rough, as Kurt watches his shadows strip in the near dark.

And sure, he'd been too tired for anything, but they can't stop kissing now and new silk pajamas or no, Kurt's perfectly happy to come weakly into Blaine's hand right before sleep catches them both.

*

The morning is half-disastrous as they navigate around all the damn boxes and Kurt hogs the shower. He wants the legs back on the vanity too before they go to meet his dad, so Blaine complies as best he can because that's how the script goes, until they both realize when the thing's upside down with the legs they've managed to reattach pointing straight up that they have abandon the project for later. Otherwise, they'll be late and it'll seem like they got distracted with sex or something. That, Kurt says, would be entirely not okay; they should be trying to make today really great for his dad. None of this is easy for him after all.

Somehow, they get to the hotel with five minutes to spare, and when they offer Kurt's dad a list of possibilities all he really wants is a tour. Not just of Kurt's school, but of Blaine's too. At that, Blaine is clear, yet again, that it's not his own father that's the most generous person in this mess.

Kurt just beams.

Maybe, Blaine thinks, all it really takes to save the world sometimes is to love someone.

*

College proves to be hard. Or at least commuting to college proves to be hard, because people make friends in the dorms, and they're not living in the dorms. So when people invite Kurt to something in a common room at some ridiculous hour when he'd rather be home with Blaine, Kurt tells people he lives off-campus. Usually they respond by assuming he lives with his parents; it's extremely awkward, although somewhat satisfying to correct them. When the same thing happens to Blaine he just says he's living with his boyfriend right off, and so instead he gets asked how old he is.

“It sort of sucks,” Blaine says, stretching, his feet up on their coffee table.

“I'd hate it though, you know. The dorms,” Kurt says, although it sounds a little like he's trying to convince himself.

“You don't think it would be better there? I mean, it is a music school.”

Kurt drops his head back on the sofa dramatically. “I'm a countertenor, Blaine. Even in music school that's not something most people are exactly comfortable with.”

“I really miss singing with you,” Blaine says.

Kurt seems to come back to life at that. “Then don't miss it,” he says before they are instantly bouncing through a deeply random collection of songs at full volume until their downstairs neighbor bangs on his ceiling (their floor) with a broom handle or a golf club or something because it's well after midnight.

So they go to bed laughing, pulling each other out of their clothes; Kurt doesn't even bother with pajamas and Blaine is mouthing at his hip bone before they even hit the bed.

After, sleepy and sated, Blaine says, “We should get a piano.”

Kurt nods. “We should have a party,” is his own, not exactly relevant, reply.

*

The party is easier than the piano. The party, in fact, is exactly what they need. And Blaine feels lighter than he has since this whole thing with college and the apartment started as he watches Kurt wander around making sure everything is just so two hours before the guests arrive. He's cradling his cell phone between ear and shoulder chattering with Mercedes about all the gossip amongst the McKinley kids that Blaine always thinks of as Kurt's friends, despite having spent a year with them too.

Somewhere, in the middle of exclaiming that he has to call Rachel and get the rest of some story, Kurt looks up from peering into the refrigerator to check on all the supplies they've laid in, turns to Blaine and mouths I love you like it's no big deal. But neither of them has ever said that before. Blaine feels so giddy at it and so much like he might fall over that he actually has to go into their bedroom for a moment just to remember how to breathe.

When Kurt's done on the phone, he comes looking for him.

“I love you too, you know,” Blaine says instantly when Kurt enters the bedroom, wanting to get that cleared up.

Kurt smiles, still like it's completely not a big deal at all, and says, cheerfully, “I know,” before rummaging through their closet and babbling about whether they should coordinate their looks for the evening or not.

*

The party is a complete success, and as the last guests wander out (or, in the case of Jamal, Christie and Lena, crash in a heap on the living room floor, snuggled under an extra duvet), it's clear that they have a monthly event for a couple of dozen of their nearest and dearest on their hands.

Kurt's beaming. “This was perfect,” he says, eyes flitting around the apartment even as he backs Blaine into their bedroom and drops to his knees.

*

Three weeks later they go dancing with some guy in Blaine's macroeconomics course and the dude's boyfriend. Kurt thinks they're a little bit boring and so gets drunk (which is really quite pleasant when he's the one getting kissed) and discovers that Blaine is absolutely filthy on the dance floor. At one point, as Blaine grinds back against him, Kurt blurts out, “I have to have you tonight,” even though he doesn't really say things like that, even euphemistically, especially about stuff they haven't even done before. But Blaine gets it and moans; the music is too loud for anyone to really hear it though, and Kurt only catches it because of how it travels through his bones.

But they don't leave, not right then. It wouldn't be polite, and besides they both really, really have a thing for anticipation. It is, Blaine says, the porn version of romance.

*

When they get home, Blaine flicks on the lights as they move through the apartment, Kurt turning them off again as he follows.

“Let me have the dark for this. Please,” he says softly, as Blaine pulls him out of his sweat-damp clothes.

*

It's a lot more intense than Kurt expects, actually. Blaine, who's always so loud, can only gasp as they're up on their knees, against the headboard, against the wall, Kurt fucking into him, insistent and syncopated in the dark.

After, even collapsing into the bed seems like too much work for a moment and Kurt's horrified to find that the whole experience has his mind buzzing with a sharpness and clarity he loathes. He's never, ever wanted to talk about all these sorts of things before, but when he opens his mouth, all that comes out is, “Thank you,” the ferocity of his synapses still oddly private.

Blaine curls into him, resting his head on his shoulder, his breathing still heavy, but slowing into something strong and regular, like when he comes back from his morning jogs as Kurt is just getting up.

“Multiple things,” Blaine says breathlessly.

“Yes?”

“You are incredible,” he says.

“I agree,” Kurt agrees, finding feeling smug easier than feeling everything else that's zinging around their room.

Blaine chuckles. “And we must go dancing all the time.”

“Fabulous,” Kurt says, smirking at the ceiling.

“And I....” Blaine trails off, and Kurt isn't sure whether to prompt him to speak or not.

Kurt rubs his fingers over Blaine's scalp, remembering that stupid bump he'd gotten because of the over-packed car. “You don't have to say anything, you know?”

“I know you're different about sex than I am.”

Kurt shrugs a little. “It's very important,” he says, a little wonderingly. “But it's also not very important. And I sort of like it because it's both. It makes it true. I didn't used to think that, that it could be true. But what was it you were going to say to me, before I rambled?”

“Honestly?” Blaine asks.

“Honestly.”

“Just... I feel so honored by you.”

Kurt doesn't know what to say to that, and is grateful Blaine falls asleep shortly thereafter. But Kurt lays there, petting the mop of his curls, pleasantly sore and overwhelmed with gratitude.

He'll sing tomorrow, because he sings every day, mostly pieces he hasn't even chosen for himself, because that's the reality of being a first year in the program he's in. But he hopes that maybe they'll be a little bit finer tomorrow for being a product of the only language he truly knows – song – on a day when he suspects he will secretly need to speak as he never has before.

Next: All the Honesty of Politics
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