A/N Oops, how did it grow to be 4500 words?
But it's one of my favorite chapters so far, I admit. I had SO much un writing it! And I'm REALLY curious what you think :D I hope you enjoy!
The first week apart wasn't even that bad. They texted non-stop, rushed to get together after their respective Glee club practices and talked until they were barely awake every night. Apart from not eating lunch together, or meeting in the mornings for sneaky kisses and hot coffee, it almost felt as if nothing had changed. Well, at least when Blaine managed not to think about the fact that Kurt was miles away instead of right there, in the same building. Which wasn't often. But he did his best.
The second week was harder.
On Tuesday, Kurt had to leave after barely a half hour of their coffee date because he had a History assignment to finish and had to catch up on the recommended reading first. Apparently being enrolled in a different school wasn't enough of an excuse for that particular teacher to grant him an extension.
He looked tired and frazzled on Wednesday, after a night spent hunched over books, so they decided to stay in and watch The Fellowship Of The Ring on Kurt's laptop instead of going out. It felt really nice to just sit on Kurt's bed, with a little mountain of pillows behind them and their sides pressed close together, discussing the visual superiority (or lack thereof) of Legolas over Aragorn. But then Kurt's playful banter grew slower, more slurred, and before the Fellowship even set off to their adventure, Blaine realized that Kurt was asleep. Sitting there with his boyfriend's warm weight against his side, Blaine didn't mind pretending that he was watching the movie while in fact he was focused on Kurt's serene face. But when Mr. Hummel checked in on them and noticed that Kurt was out cold, it felt weird to stay any longer. Reluctantly, Blaine slipped off the bed, put away the laptop, covered Kurt with a blanket and went home, leaving a piece of paper with a little heart doodle on the pillow.
On Thursday, the Warblers council proposed an impromptu performance at a local community center after their rehearsal, and with a heavy heart, Blaine called Kurt and cancelled their date. The attendance was completely voluntary, of course, but he was their lead singer after all, and it didn't feel right to refuse after all those times they'd supported him in song when he'd asked them. Not to mention, some of the Warblers had been noticeably cooler towards him lately and Blaine felt a pressing need to fix it. Make them like him again. So he went and sang and danced, even though he'd much rather be in Lima with Kurt.
The strange feeling started when he got home that night.
At first he thought it was just another incarnation of the well-known monster. He'd been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder a year ago and even though it had improved over time, it had never gone away. He was used to it flaring periodically, always in new creative ways to get under his skin, and he'd learned to deal with it by now, at least most of the time. But this was unlike any anxiety attack he'd ever had.
It started with restlessness. It came in a sweeping wave and kept him unable to focus on his homework or the book he tried to read; even something as undemanding as watching YouTube videos was out of the question because he couldn't sit still for longer than a minute. He kept zoning out, his thoughts always finding a way to get to one ultimate destination: Kurt.
Of course, they hadn't seen each other all day, and barely exchanged a few sentences on the phone, so it was only natural that between his feelings and the connection their marks provided, Blaine couldn't stop thinking of his boyfriend.
Except it didn't end there. By ten p.m. he was cold – despite turning up the heater and putting on additional layers, he felt as if he'd stayed outside on a cold winter night without a jacket. His skin was warm, and not feverishly so, but none of the heat seemed to register inside, his muscles tense and faint tremors running through his body. He tried crawling under a blanket, but couldn't stand staying motionless and quickly resumed the nervous pacing across the room. Was he getting sick? Was it this flu everyone spoke about?
An hour later he was almost certain it must be because his whole body ached – except it wasn't the usual muscle ache brought on by the flu. This felt different, almost like... over-awareness of every bit of skin and muscle and bone. A deep, annoying feeling like something was wrong with all of it, something lacking, an itch that made him want to rub at his skin – or maybe claw at it, he wasn't sure. It was like a pain that didn't really hurt, but didn't let him forget it even for a second.
By this point, he was sure something was wrong with him. He was falling ill and probably should tell his mom because it was clearly getting worse by the hour. Instead he just wanted to find Kurt – find him and cuddle up with him and wait for it to pass. Kurt would make him feel better. Blaine knew he would.
So he curled in the middle of the bed with his phone, shivering and aching and trying to make himself stay still long enough to make a call, and he whimpered as soon as Kurt picked up.
"Kuuurt, I think I'm dying. I feel awful, I don't know if I can manage to come see you tomorrow and I just need you here..."
"Oh, we have to meet tomorrow." Kurt said and Blaine heard his teeth chatter. The immediate worry almost overrode everything else.
"Are you alright? Did I somehow give you whatever I have?"
Kurt huffed out a mirthless laugh. "You could say that. It's the separation sickness, or at least that's what Tina calls it. Apparently with the marks, our bodies don't like to be away from each other for more than twenty-four hours, or they get out of balance or something. So believe me, I know how you feel."
"Wait, that's... a mark-thing?"
"Yeah. Tina says the first few times are the worst, like... the body goes into withdrawal, but it's not dangerous. It feels terrible, but supposedly it's still possible to function."
Blaine groaned. "How? I feel like I'm falling apart. Will it pass when we meet?"
"She says it clears out quickly with renewed contact, and it dulls when the separation is prolonged."
"I don't want to prolong it, can't we just meet now somehow? I'll come to you, just... make it stop."
Kurt let out a pained moan, the sound ripping at Blaine's heart. "I know. Believe me, I had the car keys in my hand ten minutes ago, ready to go to you. But it's late and I don't think either of our parents would be too happy about it. We'll have to survive somehow. Sleep should help, right? And if you can somehow skip Warblers practice tomorrow, we're having a performance at McKinley that I think you may like. Not to mention – god, I want you with me as soon as possible, please don't make me wait till the evening."
"Oh, you bet I'll be there. If I can survive the whole day at school first."
Sleep didn't help, not really. Talking to Kurt seemed to settle the worst of his restlessness, as if his body stopped demanding Blaine had to get up and go look for him, so at least he could go to bed. But he got no real rest that night. He kept waking up after minutes of fitful sleep, still aching and chilly, and it took a lot of effort to fall asleep again, only to repeat the cycle moments later. He was exhausted in the morning, slumped heavily under the weight of the sleepless night. The separation symptoms didn't feel as sharp now in the light of day, but they were still overwhelming, an ever-present discomfort. It was going to be a long day.
A hot shower helped some, but then the whole process of getting ready and driving to school lay before Blaine like a long string of impossibly hard tasks, and even though there was hope on the horizon, it didn't really help all that much, considering he had to crawl across the whole vast desert of his school day to get there.
He approached it just like he did the days when his anxiety was the worst: one step at a time. One minute, one task, one tedious conversation in the hallway.
Being busy and focused on something else helped with the achy emptiness crawling under his skin, but staying busy without getting distracted was nearly impossible. He had a test after lunch that he'd studied for last weekend, and it should have been easy, but his mind kept getting away from him no matter how hard he tried. Time ticked away at a deliriously slow speed, from the beginning of his first class until he could get into his car and drive. It felt like forever, like it would never end – until it did.
Blaine was out of the last class of the day and on his way to the parking lot as soon as the final bell rang. He didn't even stop at his locker – there was no use, not when he had no idea what he might need from there, what homework he had, not even what classes were tomorrow. Everything was Kurt. He had to go, now – now.
He was almost at the door when he very nearly collided with Wes.
"Whoa, Blaine, hey. What's the hurry? Do you need something from your car before practice?"
Blaine groaned, his hand flying up to thread his shaking fingers through his hair – a nervous habit he'd been trying very hard to eliminate because his hair was a total mess when he did that, but even increasing the amount of product didn't help when he had a really bad day. Like today.
"Wes, I'm sorry, I can't... I can't go today, I just... I can't."
He was unable to come up with a decent lie, not when it was so hard to even stand still, his feet trying to get him to run to his car and go at last; he could just look at Wes, his eyes probably a little wild and pleading. Don't ask, please just let me go, don't make me stand here a moment longer. Wes frowned, concerned.
"Are you alright? You don't look too well."
"No. I'm not. I'm sorry Wes, I just..."
"Of course. Go home, get some rest. I hope you feel better by Monday."
He was moving before the Thank you left his mouth; out the door, into the car and off, off – to Lima, to McKinley, to the auditorium where Kurt said he would be.
They were already onstage when he sneaked into the auditorium, the whole colorful group of New Directions gathered together, so Blaine had no way to give into what his body wanted – no, demanded: find Kurt, touch him, hold him. Make the world right again.
Quietly, he glided closer to the stage and settled in a chair a few rows from the stage to watch just as Rachel appeared. She was talking, but Blaine couldn't care less about her words because he could finally see Kurt at the back of the group, dressed in black and red, twirling a drum stick between his restless fingers.
Just seeing him was enough to ease the ache and send a wonderful wave of warmth all over Blaine's body. It wasn't nearly enough to make him feel okay again, but it helped. And as Kurt moved to the center of the stage and noticed him, Blaine could clearly see the same relief washing through him. He seemed tense and tightly wound before but now his body went loose, though still in control as he straightened and took position.
From the moment the music started, Blaine was mesmerized. He could see that the separation had affected Kurt as well – he was paler than usual, dark circles under his eyes and hair messier than he'd ever seen it before – but somehow all this only added to the strong, raw presence with which he commanded the stage. And then he started the song, his voice low and slightly rough, and Blaine was done for.
He'd never really had a chance to see Kurt like this before, truly in his element. Yes, he'd sung like an angel at Dalton, but here, in his natural environment, his own clothes – his t-shirt said Likes Boys, for god's sake – among his friends that were so diverse and yet so good together, it was a whole new level of breathtaking. And Blaine fell in love with it on the spot – this bold, stunning boy, so unapologetically himself.
Watching Kurt – all of them, really – in action finally made Blaine begin to understand Kurt's longing to come back. He hadn't comprehended it before – he'd supported the idea because it was important for Kurt, but why exactly his boyfriend would want to return to a place where he'd been tormented and bullied was a mystery to him. Now, seeing this unlikely group of friends perform a song that expressed their individuality – and free to do so just for the fun of it – stirred a strange kind of longing in Blaine's chest.
He hadn't felt it in over a year – this independent streak, the need to express his true self, no matter what others said. The uniformity and safe containment of Dalton suited him, helped him breathe easier and calm his inner demons after what had happened at his old school. He'd thought the amount of letting go he enjoyed in singing with the Warblers was enough. Now, however... he was not so sure. Something deep and forgotten was waking up to life again.
Kurt was flying down the stairs and into Blaine's waiting arms as soon as the song ended, and the good – right – perfect feeling when their bodies connected in a tight embrace was like nothing else he'd ever experienced. It was like pieces clicking together, like a warm bath after a cold evening, like being exactly where he belonged. It was what perfect happiness must have felt like.
Well, almost perfect. Because there were too many layers between them where Kurt craved skin – he needed direct contact of bodies right now, and so did Blaine if the way his hands were traveling up and down Kurt's bare arms was any indication. But this was not a place to get closer, not when Puck was whooping at them from the stage already, the rest of the group pretending not to watch them, but stealing badly concealed curious glances. Tina smiled at them knowingly.
"Come on." Kurt grabbed his bag and discarded jacket and pulled Blaine by the hand towards the exit. Two of the nearest classrooms were locked, but the next door gave way and they stumbled inside, clinging together as soon as it closed behind them, their bags landing on the floor with a thump.
Blaine's hands were under Kurt's t-shirt immediately, broad and so warm, and he moaned a little at the absolute pleasure of touch. It wasn't even sexual – just the need to be close, skin on skin, finally satisfied after so many hours apart. He tugged at Blaine's uniform shirt with impatient fingers to pull it free of his pants and finally – finally his fingers connected with that one perfect spot over Blaine's hip and –
Yes. That's what he needed, exactly what he yearned for, especially when Blaine followed suit, pushing Kurt's shirt up to cover his mark with his palm.
Kurt could feel his body calm down, wave upon wave of better descending upon him until he felt right again, focused and centered and complete. Only then did they kiss, slow and sweet, a little breathless. Kurt leaned his forehead against Blaine's when they parted, their hands still holding onto skin but less urgent already. It was enough, for now.
"Never again." Blaine groaned against Kurt's lips. "I'm not leaving your side for more than twenty-four hours ever again. It was hell."
Kurt chuckled softly and kissed him. "I know. I don't think we're gonna have much choice about that, though. What about when I go to New York for Nationals? And I'm sure there will be days when we can't meet before that, too – it's only to be expected when we're at different schools."
"Nope." Blaine pouted. "I refuse. How can people live when they have to be apart more often? I can't imagine functioning like this."
Kurt stroked his back with his free hand. "Well, Tina said it's more like a buzz at the back of her mind now, and it's been seven or eight times for them. So I guess it gets better?"
Blaine shuddered, burrowing closer into their embrace, and Kurt smiled and kissed his temple.
"Come on, let's not worry about it right now. We survived our first separation, that's something to celebrate. And we have all afternoon."
Kurt closed the door behind Blaine and leaned against it for a moment with a dopey grin. They'd spent a few perfect hours together, first out at the coffeshop and then here at home. It was surprisingly empty until Carole came back from her shift at the hospital ten minutes ago, making Blaine remember he should probably start on the drive home. And god, it was so good...
He unglued himself from the door and ran back upstairs, hoping to get to his window fast enough to catch one last glimpse of Blaine as he crossed the street to his car.
He was out of luck. The car door was just closing as he pushed the curtain aside, and in the darkness under the large tree where Blaine parked he was unable to catch even a glimpse of his profile. Oh well, he would just watch as Blaine drove away, maybe wave to him in case he looked in his rearview mirror.
Except... he didn't drive away. A full minute passed, and then another, and the car still stood there, dark and immobile. Kurt was just considering calling Blaine to ask if everything was alright when his knees nearly went out from under him as another one of those weird non-orgasms hit him like a freight train.
It took a long while until Kurt removed a fist from his mouth, stopped gasping for air and unfolded himself from the floor. By the time he looked through the window again, Blaine's car was gone.
He was just lazily considering jerking off before dinner because those phantom orgasms, while delightful, always left him with a raging hard-on that was hard to ignore, when something clicked in his head, connection sparking. Blaine's car outside... the state they'd been both in while saying goodbye, after an hour of the most delicious making out imaginable... oh.
Was it... could it be... No, surely not? But... it made sense. The more he thought about it, the more sense it made, actually, no matter how much it made him blush. If only he could test his theory somehow–
For the next hour, Kurt was plotting. Or, well, he plotted for ten minutes, and then spent the next fifty wondering if he could go through with it.
He kept his hands firmly away from his pants, even though it meant a certain level of discomfort through dinner. He waited until he received Blaine's text confirming that he'd gotten home safely, then waited some more for him to get settled. And then he shut the door to his room, put on music to keep his family from overhearing, took a deep breath and called.
"So is everything alright with your car?" He started as soon as Blaine greeted him with an enthusiastic hi.
"Um, what? Of course, why?" It was clearly nowhere near any question Blaine was expecting. Good. Kurt needed him a little confused. Even if he felt slightly Machiavellian about it.
"Oh, nothing, I was just looking out the window when you left and noticed it took you a really long time to start the car, you know." He kept his voice innocently curious.
"Wait, you watched me out there?" It sounded almost panicked.
"Well not you, technically, I couldn't see you in the darkness. Just your car. I planned to wave goodbye as you were driving away, but then you weren't and I started to worry..."
Blaine latched onto the worry just like Kurt knew he would.
"Oh, no, Kurt, it was nothing like that. Everything's fine with my car. Everything's fine, period."
"Yeah, I was just... thinking about you."
"You were sitting in your car in front of my house thinking about me?"
Blaine groaned. "Well... I needed a minute. I was trying to get you out of my head before the drive – but... your skin, your mouth, those little sounds that you made... God, you're really distracting, Kurt, you know? You don't want me driving distracted, do you?"
"No, of course not. So... how did you deal with your distractedness?" Kurt let the teasing bleed into his voice. He could practically see Blaine squirm when he spoke.
"I... took care of it?"
"Blaine Anderson, are you saying what I think you're saying?" Kurt put on his best scandalized tone.
Blaine sounded defensive now. "Well I was distracted and unable to sit straight, and this little thing you do with your tongue makes me shiver just thinking about it and... how was I supposed to drive like that, Kurt? But okay, now that you say it... I'm sorry, it was creepy, I wasn't really thinking–"
Kurt laughed brightly, interrupting before Blaine managed to spiral into full-fledged guilt. "No, not creepy, it's alright. I don't mind. I just wanted to get you to tell me."
"You..." Blaine paused, swallowed thickly. "You wanted me to admit that I jerked off in my car. Because you were too hot for me to wait until I was at home."
"Yup. Thank you."
Blaine let out an incredulous sound. "Kurt Hummel. I will never fully understand this complicated mind of yours."
"Oh good, then you won't get bored with me. Okay, get back to your homework, and call me later to say goodnight."
He took his time. In the privacy of the shower, with blissfully hot water drumming against his skin and muffling any stray sounds that may escape him, Kurt let his hand slide down his body and rest exactly where he'd ached for it for hours now. And then he did something he'd never done before: he let himself think of Blaine while he stroked himself slowly – of the plush heaven of his lips, the way his fingers curled and dug in Kurt's skin when his breath picked up, of that helpless little whimper he let out when Kurt pressed him onto the bed this afternoon.
His hand picking up speed and breath hitching, Kurt let himself get even bolder, take one more step. In his head, there were no longer any clothes between his heated skin and Blaine's; they were naked and wanting, and it was Blaine's hand on his cock, making him bite his lip to hold in the moans, making him come–
It was a heroic effort to stay quiet and his whole body was shaking, and he ended up on the floor because his legs were no longer able to support him as he tried to catch his breath coming down from what was surely the most intense orgasm of his life, and wow. Why hadn't he always done it like this?
He didn't give Blaine too much time – assuming he needed any time at all, which was yet to be determined – only as much as Kurt needed to get himself dried off, into his PJs and to bed, in the safe darkness of his room. If he was right, it wasn't a conversation he was quite ready for in the light of day.
Blaine was breathless and dazed when he picked up his phone, and if Kurt had any doubts left at all after their earlier conversation, they just evaporated in a small cloud of steam.
"Hey. Are you alright?"
"Yes. No. I don't... something weird just happened to me and–"
Kurt hummed happily. "I know."
"No, but really... wait. You know?"
"Mhm. For the record, I think this is exactly what I felt when you were in your car earlier tonight."
It took a moment to sink in, but when it did, Blaine's voice got squeaky. "Wait, you mean– You were–" He seemed to choke a little on the next words so Kurt decided to be gracious and help him out.
"I was just taking a shower. And... thinking about you." Blaine stayed silent, his breathing fast and erratic in the speaker, so Kurt added, helpfully. "It was a very nice shower."
"Yes, I think I know how nice it was." Blaine said, his voice weak. Then he seemed to shake out of it a little. "Oh my god, Kurt, no, I need to ask. I'm sorry. Did I just... channel your orgasm?"
"Looks like it. It's interesting, isn't it?"
"Interesting is one word to use..." Blaine still seemed dazed, incredulous. "But... why aren't you more freaked out? You don't even seem surprised!"
Right. Here came the hard part. "Well... it wasn't the first time. I've just never connected the dots until tonight."
"It wasn't... Oh god," Blaine sounded like he was going to faint. "When did it start?"
"Let me think... around Christmas?"
Blaine whimpered. "You felt it... every time I've gotten off since Christmas?"
"I don't know. How often do you get off?"
"I can't believe we're having this conversation." Blaine mumbled, then seemed to perk up. "Wait, how come I've never felt that before? You never...?"
"I've never let myself think about you... during. Before."
"Oh. Oh, so you're saying it only transfers when we're thinking of each other?" Blaine was clearly starting to process it. Good.
"It seems so."
"Okay." There was a pause then, and Kurt could almost see the cogwheels in Blaine's head spinning frantically. "Should I... stop thinking of you then?"
Kurt felt his cheeks burn with a sudden blush. "Um... As long as you're reasonably sure I'm not somewhere in public or, I don't know, eating dinner with my family? I don't mind. At all. Do you?"
"God no. Feel free to think about me all you want. It's... insanely hot. Weird, right now, but I'll get over it. And who else gets to feel their boyfriend's orgasm? It may be the best side effect of these marks so far." Blaine was getting bubbly now, excited, and Kurt smiled into his pillow.
He hadn't had time to consider all the implications of this new development yet, but something told him it was going to be a lot of fun.