Whenever Kurt dared to imagine that Blaine might have a mark, his mark – yes, he did fantasize about that sometimes, so sue him – he never actually thought of where it would be. It was always some nondescript stretch of skin, the placement didn't seem important. But now... now, seeing his name right over the waist of Blaine's black jeans, two simple words nestled comfortably just over his hipbone, made Kurt's brain melt a little. It looked so intimate there, so... at home, and his breath quickened at the thought of curling his hand over the warm-brown letters in a gentle caress or a hard squeeze, of tracing it with his tongue. His hands itched to touch.
He didn't let them. Not tonight, not right when he had to go – he wouldn't be able to leave if he touched. He'd never want to stop touching. And tonight, there was no way to negotiate his curfew. It was Friday, and the family dinner, and he'd promised his dad he would be back on time. So if he wanted to go out anywhere at all during the weekend, he had to go home. Right now.
Still, there was so much to say, and so many questions to ask, and he hadn't even processed it yet, and–
"How long?" His own voice sounded foreign to his ears, and Blaine's face was stunned, full of wonder.
"Since... around Christmas."
"Me too." They looked at each other, as if seeing for the first time. Kurt felt dizzy. "God, we need to talk about it. We need to... so much. But I have to go."
Blaine cleared his throat, licked his lips, just the tip of his tongue darting out. He still looked dazed. "Tomorrow. We can talk tomorrow. And I'll call you tonight. Or you call. Or..."
"I'll call you as soon as I can." With one quick kiss, not giving himself time to linger, Kurt was out of the car and fixing his shirt as he walked fast towards the house.
The dinner felt like it would never end. Usually Kurt didn't mind the leisurely conversations at the table, the chance to catch up with everyone at the end of the week – it felt nice, after years of being alone with his dad. But tonight he was distracted and kind-of-very-much in a hurry to flee to his room, and the long rant Finn was delivering about whatever their football coach did today was making him squirm and want to press fast forward. He zoned out, remembering the exact shade of brown on Blaine's skin – was it darker than his own mark, or was it just the poor light in the car? – until he heard Carole's cheerful voice.
"All right then, let's clean up, and then we can all watch it."
"Watch what?" Kurt jerked back to reality.
"The movie, of course. When Harry Met Sally? We were just talking how we haven't seen it in years, weren't you listening?"
His heart sank. "Oh. No, I was, I just– I kind of wanted–"
"Oh come on, buddy, family time!" His dad chimed in. "Didn't you tell me it was one of your favorite movies? All the gushing about Meg Ryan and happy endings? Come on, help me with those dishes."
It was going to be the longest evening ever.
It was nearly midnight by the time Kurt found himself in bed, the door to his room safely closed and the phone in his hand. Blaine picked up after the first signal.
"Oh thank god, I was afraid you were freaking out." He sounded as if he'd been asleep already and Kurt felt a pang of guilt. He really should have found a way to call earlier.
"Sorry, this took longer than I expected. Eons longer. But no, I'm not freaking out, are you?"
"No, Kurt. I'm not." Blaine's voice was warm and solemn. "I'm good. Really good."
Well that was a relief. Blaine hadn't looked freaked out, back in the car, but that was hours ago, and it was a lot to take in. Kurt knew, he'd just spent most of the movie quietly exploding with feelings. Mostly good ones.
There was a rustle of fabric and a muffled yawn in the speaker, and Kurt smiled fondly.
"Do you want to go to sleep?"
Blaine hummed and Kurt could almost see him, sleepy and adorable. "I don't want to but I'm losing the battle. Lunch tomorrow, like we planned? And then talk?"
"Yeah, that sounds good. See you at noon?"
"Mm, noon. Goodnight, Kurt."
"Goodnight." He was just about to hang up when Blaine added softly.
"Wait, would you... um, could you send me a picture of... of your mark? I'd like to be able to look at it in the morning when I wake up thinking it was just a dream."
Kurt smiled, breath catching in his throat a little. "Only if you send me yours."
Two minutes later, his screen was filled with olive skin and the warm sepia tones of his own name (and yes, it was minutely darker than the letters on his own skin, he checked), and he couldn't stop himself from stroking it with trembling fingers. His heart was going a mile a minute. It was real. It was perfect.
He was still clutching his phone and smiling dreamily when he fell asleep.
Blaine put away the book, glanced at the clock and unlocked his phone for what felt like the hundredth time this morning, just to look at that picture again. He knew it by heart by now, every little detail of it, and yet he couldn't resist. The shock of his own handwriting (so rough, so imperfect – why has he never taken the time to develop nicer handwriting?) on the canvas of Kurt's smooth pale skin still made his breath hitch a little, and seeing his name there, as if he signed Kurt, gave him some kind of weird, swoopy feeling in his chest.
There was Kurt's collarbone in the picture, too, the delicate curve of bone and the hollow above, a gentle play of light and shadow. And the fact that Kurt's fingers made it to the picture was another little thrill. Blaine knew it was probably because he was holding his shirt out of the way, but it looked like Kurt had just been stroking the mark.
Thinking about stroking Kurt's mark was a sure way to get very, very distracted.
It felt like forever, but finally it was time to go.
They'd agreed to meet at the new salad bar they wanted to try, roughly halfway between their houses, and when Blaine pulled into the parking lot a little early, Kurt was already there, leaning against his car. He walked over and gestured for Blaine to lower his window as soon as he parked.
"Hi!" Kurt sounded a little breathless, eyes wide and bottom lip bitten, and Blaine had to kiss him right then. Kurt laughed when they parted. "Oh. Hi. So, how hungry are you?"
"Hardly, why?" He'd barely been able to eat any breakfast, his stomach full of butterflies and anticipation.
"How about we skip lunch? I don't think I can eat anything anyway, I just want to–" Talk. See. Touch. Blaine knew. "I mean... if you don't mind? I wanted to be patient, I really did, I promise, but... god, Blaine, you have my name on your skin."
Yeah. That about summed up Blaine's feeling too.
"God yes. We can go to my house right away, instead?"
Kurt frowned. "Won't your parents mind?"
Blaine laughed and shook his head. Right, Kurt didn't know how his family worked. "They won't even notice. I don't know if my father is home, but if he is, I doubt he'll peek out of the office until dinner, and my mom is out doing... I don't even know what today, one of her many clubs. We can hole up in my room. And close the door."
"Oh." The blush that blossomed high on Kurt's cheeks told Blaine he understood the implications perfectly. "Okay. Lead the way."
Imagining it was one thing, but actually having Kurt in his room, with his door closed and, as it turned out, no one home, was immediately distracting. They started kissing as soon as they entered the room, all impatient lips and searching hands, and it wasn't long before Blaine found himself gravitating towards the hem of Kurt's steel blue sweater. Kurt shivered and broke the kiss when Blaine's hands slid under the soft fabric and to the cotton of the t-shirt underneath.
"Weren't we supposed to talk?" He didn't pull away though. "If we don't stop, we'll end up shirtless and–" He swallowed, his fingers flexing at the small of Blaine's back.
"Can we?" It was daring, and probably too forward, and Blaine hoped he wasn't wrong when he thought he saw the same yearning flickering in Kurt's eyes that he felt himself. "Not to do anything, just... to see. I want to hold you, and I want to see my name on your skin when we talk. I promise, I'll be good–"
A short burst of laughter. "Don't say it like you think I'm afraid of you. I'm not. And... yes, I want to see, too."
They undressed each other slowly, almost reverently, layer after layer until there was nothing but skin and they both stared then, eyes wide and hungry because... so much. Not just the marks, though they pulled focus immediately, but... everything. Blaine couldn't stop, couldn't look away from Kurt's smooth skin, his dusky pink nipples, his trim waist over the snug fit of his pants. And, yes, the brown letters right under his collarbone.
"Yes." They were both breathless, and Blaine's fingers were trembling as he reached and brushed lightly, barely there, over the mark. Kurt's gasp made him look up, concerned.
"What does it feel like?"
Kurt just put his hand on Blaine's hip, the heat bleeding through the fabric, and slowly stroked his thumb over his own name. Sparks danced under the marked patch of skin. Kurt smiled. "Like this."
For a moment, they just stood, eyes and hands on each other. Blaine was the first to recover.
"Okay, talking. Can we... on the bed?"
They ended up lying on their sides, a foot apart, their hands linked between them.
"So, am I right to assume that we both know a little about them?" Kurt started, gesturing to his mark.
"As much as can be found on the internet: First observed some eight months ago, fairly unusual but appearing randomly all over the world, origin and function unknown, if there is any. They don't seem to pose a threat to the bearer's health–"
Kurt nodded. "It's always a name, though it's unclear why a particular name on a particular person. But it's extremely rare for it to be mutual, you know."
Blaine shook his head. "Not anymore."
"What do you mean?" Kurt frowned.
"I had too much time last night, waiting for your call, so I went and researched some more. Apparently, the number of people with these marks is steadily growing, and matches are happening more and more often. If someone knows the person whose name appeared on their body, chances are the other person also has the mark. Not always, but it's not so rare anymore."
"Oh." Kurt looked like he was pondering something. "That would explain–"
Kurt sat up and reached into his bag by the bed for his phone.
"Give me a second." He was already choosing a number, his face focused. Blaine faintly heard a girl's voice from the speaker when the call connected. "Tina, hi! Listen, can I talk to Blaine about what you told me in Rachel's laundry room? I'll make sure he won't tell anyone." Blaine arched his eyebrow, curious. Kurt was nodding and rolling his eyes. "Yes, okay, I will, I promise. Next week. Okay, thank you. I love you too!"
"What was that about?" Blaine asked as Kurt put away his phone and settled back against the pillows.
"Just something she told me in secret. I didn't want to speak about it without her permission but... she and Mike have each other's names, too."
"Oh wow, really? Nice!" Blaine grinned. He liked both of them, and they were an adorable couple.
"It fits with what you found out, doesn't it? That it's happening more often now. I mean, at least two couples in Lima alone? Or, well, the Lima area."
"Two couples we know of; there can easily be more. I imagine most people don't tell anyone since it's so weird." Blaine said.
Kurt nodded. "True. I didn't."
"Tina will pull it out of me though." Kurt winced. "She's already suspicious because I knew what it was when I saw Mike's name on her wrist. Do you mind if I tell her?"
"Not at all." Blaine smiled and found Kurt's hand again, his thumb stroking over the pulse point. "Her wrist then? It's interesting, how those marks form in different places. There are so many questions no one seems to be able to answer yet."
"Yeah." They were both silent for a moment, just looking at each other, before Kurt cleared his throat and asked. "So, have you noticed anything... unusual, since the name appeared?" He reached to trace the letters with his finger and Blaine hummed at the sensation.
"You mean... like the sudden increase in the intensity of your touch?"
Kurt laughed. "Oh yes. I thought I'd jump out of my skin when you touched my hand for the first time after Christmas."
"Oh my god, in the Lima Bean?" Blaine's jaw dropped a little. Wow, he hadn't thought about it earlier, but so many moments looked different now, through the filter of knowledge. Kurt's behavior, his reactions... wow.
"Oh, so you remember, too. Yes, then. The pull towards you was unbearable; it took me weeks to get used to it." Kurt was blushing, smiling bashfully. He looked adorable.
"Tell me about it." Blaine nodded, frowning as a thought occurred to him. "Although now I'll be forever unsure whether you like me because of me, or it's just the side effect of this weird mutation."
Now that he thought about it, it stung. Hard.
Kurt's snort surprised him, as did the soft kiss on the lips that followed. Kurt kept his hand on Blaine's cheek when he pulled away and looked him in the eyes, his voice soft. "I was already in love with you before it appeared, silly."
Blaine's breath hitched. It was suddenly hard to speak in more than a whisper. "Oh, so I wasn't the only one..."
And then they were kissing, slow and deep, luxurious. Kissing like this – on the bed, when they had time and there was no risk of anyone walking in because his parents never did – felt even better than before. The knowledge of each other's marks and feelings made everything so much more. It required heroic efforts of will not to follow Kurt's lips when he pulled away.
Kurt was saying something and Blaine had to blink a few times before he managed to focus on the words.
"... the emotions sharing thing? It freaked me out last night."
Kurt shuddered and Blaine automatically reached to stroke his arm in comfort, even as the cogs in his brain kept whirring, trying to make sense of what he heard, without much success.
"What do you mean?"
Kurt frowned. "Oh, you don't... um. It's like... last night, when you pushed Karofsky, I could feel your anger. Not just from outside, because I saw it – I literally felt it, like it was my own. I think it was because you felt it so strongly, and I was so close? I don't know, but it was... scary. Like my mind wasn't mine anymore."
Something clicked in Blaine's memory. "Wait. Waaaaait. Back at the GAP. When I was singing to Jeremiah." Kurt groaned and hid his face in the pillow, but Blaine squeezed his hand urgently. "No, really. It's important. You were upset, weren't you? Really upset."
"No kidding." Kurt mumbled into the pillow.
"So that's why I stopped!" Blaine felt – and sounded – awed. Kurt turned his head at last to look at him.
"What do you mean?"
"I couldn't continue, I got so upset all of a sudden, it was... overwhelming. I just stopped because it was too much, and then it stopped. So that was it? I channeled your feelings?"
"Huh. Looks like it." Kurt's eyes were wide, wondering.
"Yeah." Kurt shook his head. "This connection is getting crazier the more we learn." Kurt murmured. "I wonder..." He paused and bit his lip. Blaine leaned in and kissed it until Kurt let it go.
"Wonder what?" He asked.
"It's just... something Tina said. Probably nothing important."
Blaine cupped Kurt's cheek and kissed him again. It was getting harder not to. "Can you tell me anyway?"
"Can't you just keep kissing me?" Blaine laughed and made a show of pulling further away until Kurt pouted and sighed dramatically. "Okay, okay. It was just an interpretation of this whole name-on-your-skin thing, I guess. Apparently, some people in the Asian community believe that when two people have each other's marks, it means that they're... soulmates. Destined to be together. But it's just guesswork, it doesn't mean anything. I mean, even scientists don't know at this point, do they?"
Kurt was blushing now, looking away. Blaine felt the word settle in his mind, warm and comfortable, as if it always belonged there.
"Hmm. Soulmates... I like this interpretation."
Kurt's eyes flitted back to him, incredulous. "You do?"
"I really do." He leaned over, back to Kurt's lips, only to kiss his mark instead. Kurt gasped softly and wound his fingers in Blaine's hair, holding him there. Blaine laughed softly against the warm skin. "End of talking?"
"Mhm. Shh, kiss me."
They were alone. They had a bed and the rare luxury of time, and all that naked skin to explore, reactions to learn, sounds to kiss off each other's mouth. Blaine held back at first, careful not to push anything, but Kurt was eager and willing, fingers and lips everywhere he could reach, and soon they fell into each other, skin on skin, touching and kissing and tasting, and oh, it was divine.
No hickeys in visible places, that was the rule, but no one said anything against those that were safely hidden under clothes most of the time. The ridge of Kurt's collarbone just above the mark was perfect – perfect – and Blaine nearly growled when he pulled away and saw the series of little red marks surrounding his name. They said mine, confirmed what the letters spelled, and wow, who would have thought he had a possessive streak?
Kurt kept squirming and moaning quietly as Blaine lavished him with attention, hands and lips exploring all of the exposed skin but always coming back to Kurt's mark to stroke, trace, kiss. And then suddenly the world tilted and Blaine found himself on his back, pinned to the bed by his boyfriend's weight.
Kurt took full advantage of his new position, letting his hands roam while he kissed Blaine languidly, his tongue hot and sure as it stroked its way in and out of Blaine's mouth. When Kurt moved to suck at his neck next, Blaine whimpered, and then he couldn't stop whimpering as Kurt moved slowly, maddeningly lower, his fingers never leaving the mark over Blaine's hipbone, sending sparks of arousal everywhere.
And then Kurt's tongue flicked over a nipple, just curious little licks, and Blaine gasped and arched and suddenly everything was so much – too much, too close – as Kurt's hard length pressed against his own. He didn't even realize he flipped them until they were on their sides, both panting and flushed, a few blessed inches of space between them.
"Sorry. That was too soon, I got carried away." Kurt was the first to recover, before Blaine managed to untangle himself from the mix of emotions and sensations. His own reaction surprised him. He'd thought he was ready and open to everything, that Kurt would be the one to go slow. Huh.
"No, it's okay." He breathed out. "We both got a little too caught up in it."
"Cool off?" Kurt was smiling, not freaked out at all, maybe just a little shy.
"Yeah, good idea." Blaine reached for his undershirt, found Kurt's T-shirt instead and passed it to him before going back to his search. A moment later, they were both somewhat covered and the urgency, the desperate need to be closer had passed.
And then Kurt's stomach rumbled.
Blaine grinned. "How about that lunch now?"
Kurt pressed a kiss to his lips, short and sweet. "Mm, yes please. Turns out talking makes me hungry."