Title: Of Pianos and Platinum Promises
Word Count: 2,206
Summary: It’s not the same anymore. He hasn’t felt it- whatever it is – in ages. Something’s gone. The spark, the romance. Trying to ignite it again only sends them up in flames. They burn and lick up his spine; skin burnt a charred black, left in their wake.Author's Note: Holy angst fest this is. It started out innocently enough and then took a turn for the tears. Well, this is like my baby. Sort of. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of good ideas for this and had to write them down, only to have them escape from my grasp once I set at my computer to type them out. So there's more, and I am currently trying to wrangle it out of my brain. I'd like to thank Morgan and Kami for their beta-ing, and Cass for the encouragement.
Kurt’s eyes open; he blinks once, twice, trying to get used to the dim light of his apartment. His alarm is softly playing a recorded track of ocean waves, and the noises of New York echo around it. His hand snakes out through the sheets, ghosting along to find Blaine’s with the tip of his fingers. Kurt’s thumb traces circles around the platinum band circling Blaine’s ring finger. On his own left hand, he mirrors the motion, rubbing the metal warm with the heat. He shifts to face the man lying next to him. Kurt looks at the curve of his shoulder, the mop of curls with a few sticking up at odd angles. Blaine’s mouth is turned up into a slight smile, forehead relaxed like it hasn’t been in months. Kurt’s eyes follow the line of Blaine’s neck, scratchy with stubble, until it disappears into his broad chest. He sighs, remembering the times he’s licked and bit and loved it.
It’s not the same anymore. He hasn’t felt it- whatever it is – in ages. Something’s gone. The spark, the romance. Trying to ignite it again only sends them up in flames. They burn and lick up his spine; skin burnt a charred black, left in their wake.
So Kurt thinks about leaving. Slipping away, tossing Blaine out like a forgotten diary. Blaine knows him better than any piece of paper would; he probably knows Kurt better than Kurt himself. Something in Kurt stops him, says, No, wait a minute, and he does. His fingers tangle further into the sheets as he flips around, his back to Blaine, and eyes on the flashing numbers of his alarm clock.
6:41, 6:41, 6:41
Even though he knows it’s earlier than that, because Blaine’s forgotten to set the clocks like he said he would. His fingers move, deftly pushing the buttons, resetting the time.
It’s accurate now, but Kurt doesn’t feel the satisfaction the thought he would.
Kurt still loves Blaine, he always has. But he wonders if love is enough to weather these storms, brewing for days and exploding with a clap of thunder. Fights stand in sharp relief in Kurt’s mind. Wrinkles in Blaine’s forehead a deep black, teeth a sharp white, the yells mixed with thunder roll through Kurt’s chest and he shudders.
Break, he thinks. I need a break. But he doesn’t want a break; he wants this fixed. He wants dinner dates by candle light, singing in the kitchen bumping elbows and hips as they make waffles, kisses hot and rough, skin on skin and release.
A tear rolls down his cheek and he rubs it away angrily, catching the glint of platinum as he does.
He remembers their wedding ceremony. Blaine’s eyes glistening with unshed tears of adoration as he waited at the end of the aisle. Kurt had never seen anyone look so beautiful, so hopeful - as if Kurt was a mythical creature that had blessed Blaine with its presence, and to his surprise, loved him.
Their vows had been simple, but the tears welling in each of their eyes spilled out anyway. Kurt remembered Puck elbowing Blaine, whispering something about not being such a pussy, before nudging him forward. Blaine stuttered over the words in his mouth.
“Forever and for always,” Blaine had said. “That’s how long you’ll have my heart.”
Then they kissed, and Blaine whispered something in his ear that made him smile and let more tears escape, gripped Blaine’s hands a little tighter.
“You’re mine,” Kurt whispered back. “No one can take you from me.”
Another tear slips down Kurt’s cheek. No one could take Blaine away but himself. What if he left? What if he slipped off into the night, never saying goodbye? Staying hurts, but would leaving hurt more?
And what had he done to deserve a man so kind, so giving, so loving? He was blessed, why was he thinking of throwing it all away? His finger twists the platinum band around and around, sliding it up over his knuckles and into his palm where he flipped it over and over in his hands.
He needs Blaine, he thinks. He needs to be grounded; he needs a voice of reason. It was something Blaine had provided for him, despite the occasional irrationality of his advice. Blaine was a tether, keeping Kurt attached to the real world. He kept Kurt from floating off to space or making hasty decisions. He kept Kurt from shellacking over, leaving only a haughty shell. Blaine kept Kurt human, feeling things like love and hope and joy which bubbled over and escaped, despite Kurt’s best efforts to keep them in. He kept Kurt open and vulnerable. Instead of running from the vulnerability, from giving up control, Kurt sighed and searched and shared his own secrets, his own weaknesses. Then they built each other back up.
Maybe he wants to leave because it hurts too much. He loves Blaine, and Blaine loves him. They have history, memories, stacked up thousands of pages high. But the good times hurts too much to remember when they fight. It’s funny how one person was his salve, his balm, constantly healing, But he could tear Kurt to pieces without warning. Blaine’s voice, normally so soothing, would rip into him with pent up anger, rough and unforgiving. Knives dug at his soul, cutting and tearing and reducing him to tears he tried his damndest to hide. What do you do when your healer has hurt you? When the only man you want to turn to is the one who cut you in the first place?
Usually, as Blaine would explain afterwards, when he rubbed circles into Kurt’s back, trying to instill some semblance of comfort, it wasn’t his fault. It was work stress, or he’d missed his train, or he tripped over the decorative rug too many times and everything would explode. And Kurt would sigh and turn to face him, saying it was okay, it always would be okay, because I love you and that’s what matters.
Even if he wasn’t the cause of the explosion, the shrapnel still hurt. Despite all the times Blaine had apologized, all the times he’d tried to heal the cuts and bruises he’d caused, Kurt always felt it was his fault. He had pushed Blaine into that job. He had made him stay for an extra cup of coffee. He had wanted that damn rug anyway, insisting it tied the room together, and Blaine had sighed and conceded.
They’ve fought more lately. They toss arguments across the apartment like paper planes, flipping and whizzing through the air and never quite making it to their destination. They leave trails of anger and blame in their wake, so thick it’s hard to breathe.
Break. The word rolls around Kurt’s head, constantly on the forefront of his mind.
Love. The word follows, chasing break around, trying to get it to leave.
Kurt rolls over, trying to get the words to stop fighting, stop arguing. His fingers grip Blaine’s a little harder, hoping for a twitch, a “don’t go,” anything. Wanting some part of Blaine’s subconscious to realize he was leaving and say no, I want to work this out, don’t leave me.
Suddenly their apartment gets stuffy, hard to breathe in. Kurt can almost see hazy ghosts of memories, moving around the apartment.
There they were, dancing. There they were, kissing. There they were fighting. There they were, clothes on the floor. He can’t take it.
Kurt slips out of bed, depositing his wedding ring on the nightstand and pulling on a pair of skinny jeans and a sweatshirt. In the dark, he grabs one of Blaine’s hoodie – his old Dalton one – but doesn’t realize until he’s out the door and already walking down the dark street. It’s a drizzly October night, water droplets hanging thick in the air, and he wraps his arms around himself pulling the hoodie closer to him. He notices then, in the dim yellow streetlight, that it smells too much like Blaine: like fabric softener and his cologne. Part of Kurt wants to rip it off, throw it in some dark alley. Let it drown in some dirty puddle, but he shivers and knows he’d freeze with only the cotton shirt he’s wearing underneath it.
He remembers when Blaine was playing football in it, years ago. Finn had gathered the New Directions in some sort of post-Turkey Day party, and the girls watched as their boyfriends played two-hand touch in the Hudmel backyard. It wasn’t long after Blaine had transferred, and he loved how easily Blaine fit in with the rest of the Glee club. It was almost like he’d been there from the beginning. Everyone loved his easy smile and joy. Plus he was talented, a sure bet for helping them make and actually win Nationals that year - their senior year. Last chance, and all that, as Rachel constantly reminded them.
Blaine had pushed up the dark blue sleeves of the hoodie, exposing slightly tanned forearms. His hands were raised in victory; Blaine was standing just past the yellow cones Finn had found in the garage somewhere, and Kurt assumed he’d scored, because he hadn’t really been paying attention. Blaine escaped from the tackle hug Finn tried to smother him with, and ran over to Kurt, breathless and sweaty. He touched their foreheads together, and gave Kurt a quick kiss.
“Good job,” Kurt whispered against his mouth. “But you’ll need a little more to score with me.”
Blaine smirked slightly, and kissed Kurt harder, slipping his tongue into Kurt’s mouth and biting his lip. He pulled back, still smiling, and yanked off his hoodie in one fluid motion.
"Here," he said, tossing it into Kurt's lap. "Looks like you'll need it more than I will."
Kurt tugged at the scarf on his neck and arranged the hoodie so it formed a protective layer around his legs.
"Thanks," Kurt said, and Blaine leaned in for another quick kiss.
"For luck," Blaine said, smiling, as he turned and jogged back onto the field.
Mercedes nudged Kurt with her elbow and gave him a wink. "Damn, boy."
Kurt just smiled to himself, decidedly not looking at Blaine's ass. But who was he kidding? Of course he was looking at Blaine's ass, and the way the looser cut denim still showed off his, er, assets. And suddenly he'd needed to readjust the hoodie again.
Apparently Kurt's good luck kiss had done the trick; Blaine and Finn's team won by what appeared to be an overwhelming amount. Kurt hadn't really paid attention to meager things like score. He'd had a boyfriend to stare at. An attractive, muscular boyfriend, who could also sing and shower him with affection. He thought he would never get over being able to point Blaine out in a crowd and say, “That’s my boyfriend.”
"Did I score enough for you? Do I get a kiss?”
Kurt wrinkled his nose. He could appreciate sweat from far off, but now Blaine was a foot away and, well, he smelled. "Mmm, no. I think you'll need to shower first."
"First? Then what?"
Kurt just smiled. "My bathroom is connected to my room, if you don’t remember," he told him, before giving a saucy wink. Because he’d spent nearly the entire game half hard, thankful Blaine had given him something to cover it up with. Maybe it had been on purpose.
Realization dawned over Blaine's face before a touch of apprehension crossed it. "What about the rest of the club? Or... your dad?"
"What they don't know won't hurt them."
"Yeah," Blaine muttered darkly as he followed Kurt into the house. "But they might hurt me."
"Oh, hush," he'd said, before taking Blaine forcibly by the hand and all but shoving him up the stairs and into the bathroom.
Blaine had come out not long after, swathed in a towel and dripping on the floor before Kurt wrapped his hands around the back of his neck and pulled Blaine's mouth to his. They shared breath and heat and tongue as Blaine bit Kurt's lower lip, a moan caught in the back of his throat. He kissed Blaine's jaw and throat and bit his collarbone and moved downwards, licking and kissing as Blaine writhed above him. His fingers undid the folds keeping the towel around Blaine's waist and it fell to the floor.
It was still new, still awkward and fumbling, but hot and wet and so, so good.
Kurt had been right, of course. No one questioned why Blaine had taken a shower that lasted nearly an hour, or why Kurt followed him downstairs, hair slightly disheveled and playing with his lower lip. Only Santana made some lewd remark and Puck had smirked knowingly. Kurt glared at the both of them before settling on the couch next to Blaine and leaning up against him, tangling hands and legs and hearts.
Despite himself, Kurt smiles, before he remembers that world. Before he remembers the same boy who gave him that hoodie grew up.
But he grew up too.
Kurt walks down the street, taking in the neon and streetlights reflected in puddles. Splashing through, he ruins their perfect mirror images.