They have it all carefully planned. When Blaine comes over two days before Christmas, everything will be ready: the little tree set up and decorated with scraps of colorful fabrics, the food prepared, the candles lit–
But when the time comes, Kurt can only hope everything goes according to that plan. He wouldn’t know, seeing as he’s been stuck on the subway for the last hour, after a man – either drunk or suicidal – fell on the tracks just in front of his train.
Kurt’s sympathetic, of course, and a little shaken, but mostly, he just wants to go home. They should be eating their faux-Christmas dinner with Blaine right now, spending their last precious hours together before his departure to Lima. Instead, Kurt is sitting here in a crowd of annoyed people and he can’t even call and let them know what’s going on, let alone instruct Rachel on everything she needs to do to put the finishing touches to their food. He’d prepared it all so carefully, but how can he make it perfect when he’s not there?
When Kurt finally runs up the stairs to their loft, he’s winded and anxious, but he pauses as he reaches the door. There’s music coming from the apartment, two familiar voices singing Santa Claus Is Coming To Town at the top of their (very capable) lungs. He quietly slides the door open and stops in the doorway, just watching the scene before him with a growing smile.
Rachel has set the table right next to the Christmas tree, and even with their mismatched collection of dishes and the simple paper and fabric ornaments on the tree, it looks spectacular. There’s a white tablecloth on the table, the four red candles in the evergreen centerpiece are already lit, and the air is filled with delicious smells from the kitchen.
And then there are these two people, so dear to him that the wave of affection almost chokes Kurt as he watches them silently. Blaine is sitting on the couch with a guitar on his knees, Rachel shaking a rice container for lack of bells and twirling around, and they are both so lost in the song that they don’t even notice the draft from the open door. They sound amazing together, so carefree and joyful, like in their best Lima moments.
And then Blaine looks up from his guitar and notices Kurt, and the song stops as they both put away their instruments, matching delighted smiles on their faces.
It really feels like coming home.
Kurt isn’t used to alcohol – he’d only drank a couple of times – and even the first glass of red wine that Blaine brought is enough to give him a pleasant buzz. The conversation, lively to begin with, gets more and more animated as they go through dinner and the bottle. Rachel’s cheeks are flushed and she’s even more giggly than ever, and Blaine seems more affectionate, less careful with his closeness and touches. Kurt just feels happy and warm, at peace with the world.
And then it turns out they have another bottle, something pink and sweet to go with the dessert – or so the senior who bought them for Blaine said – so it’s really no wonder that soon, the guitar and the rice box make a comeback, and they end up going through every Christmas song they can remember. There’s Jingle Bells and All I Want for Christmas Is You, The Most Wonderful Day of The Year and even Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. At some point, Rachel starts singing Last Christmas, but stops as soon as she sees Blaine’s face falling and Kurt trying to strangle her with his glare. It hits too close to home for them.
She’s quieter after that, leaving them to sing a playful version of Baby It’s Cold Outside together, which she emphatically declares to be the best one she’s ever heard, but by the time they’re done with Let It Snow, she’s bouncing again, looking out the window.
“Guys, it really is snowing! Come see!”
Indeed, it’s coming down heavily, the view obscured with the thick white flakes flying everywhere, blown around by the sudden wind. Blaine looks at his watch, reality setting back in.
“Oh, wow. It’s midnight already, I have to go.”
Rachel looks at him, worried. “Now? In this blizzard?”
Blaine shrugs. “Well, I have to catch some sleep before my flight tomorrow. And it’s not that bad. The snow shouldn’t be a problem on the subway, anyway. I’ll be fine.”
“Can’t you stay the night?” Kurt finds himself saying without really thinking it over. “I mean, it’s late and the weather–“ he bites his lip as his mind catches up with his mouth. But it’s too late to take it back.
Blaine raises his eyebrows.
“I could, it would definitely be preferable to the hike home, but are you sure it wouldn’t be a problem?”
“Not in the slightest,” Kurt lies. Beside him, Rachel is nodding enthusiastically.
And so it’s settled. Kurt finds a spare toothbrush for Blaine and something to sleep in, and then spends the time Blaine needs to shower and change trying not to panic. Because truth be told, there is a problem.
Their couch is unfit to sleep on. For one thing, it’s small, but with Blaine being on the short side, he would manage if it was just that. But it’s also hard and uneven, sagging terribly in the middle, and the one time Kurt accidentally fell asleep there, his back hurt for a week. They can’t possibly make Blaine sleep there. They didn’t invite him to stay over so that he could get some knots in his back.
There’s only one possible solution.
“Rach, I’m gonna sleep with you tonight.”
It won’t be comfortable – both of their beds are narrow, just simple twin beds, but they will survive. They slept in much worse conditions before New York.
Except Rachel looks at him with a perfectly surprised expression. “Oh. You can’t, I’m on my period.”
Kurt rolls his eyes – like that ever mattered – but she shakes her head. “No, really. I need room, I have to curl up, it helps my cramps. Besides, I’ve gotten used to sleeping alone. I mean… Blaine, you won’t mind sleeping with Kurt, will you?”
Of course Blaine had to choose this moment to come back from the bathroom. He looks between them, clearly caught off guard. “I… no, of course not.”
Okay, it would be completely justified to strangle your sister when she’s being a Machiavellian brat, right?
Kurt glowers at Rachel, getting only a wide grin in return, before turning to Blaine. “Are you sure? I could sleep on the couch.”
Blaine has already found his footing though and is smiling brightly. “Oh please, I know that couch is a medieval torture device. And it’s always nice, sleeping with someone.”
“Great!” Rachel says brightly. “Goodnight then. Just remember I’m here, will you? No wild sex please.“ She ducks, shrieking with laughter when Kurt grabs a pillow from the couch and throws it at her. And then she disappears behind her curtain, and there’s only the two of them.
Kurt takes his time in the shower, nervous and quietly hoping that Blaine will be asleep by the time he gets to bed. It would make this night so much easier – not that it’s going to be easy either way, with Blaine’s body so close for hours. They only had the chance to sleep together once – those two nights in the hotel at Nationals – and they had to keep a respectable distance in the large bed then so as not to give anyone reason to suspect there was anything between them. This time, there’s no chance for distance even if they wanted it.
Kurt wonders if Blaine has slept with anyone else in the time they were apart. The jealousy that claws deep in his chest at the thought doesn’t make it easier to go join him at all.
Of course, when he finally does, Blaine isn’t asleep at all.
“Hi,” he whispers when Kurt slips under the covers. He’s lying on his side, facing Kurt – not that there is much room for any other position for either of them – and even in the darkness, his golden eyes shine and crinkle in a smile.
It’s hot under the comforter, so hot where their knees and thighs brush in the process of settling in, even with their hips and torsos kept carefully apart. But it’s impossible not to touch without falling off the bed, so eventually, between whispered apologies and stifled giggles, they end up with their hands touching where they lie between their bodies and their legs entwined. Blaine’s warm breath ghosts over Kurt’s lips with every exhale. He smells like toothpaste and Kurt’s body wash. It’s ridiculously appealing.
Kurt closes his eyes. Sleep isn’t going to happen any time soon, he knows, but the alternative is talking, and if they do that right now, right here, he’s pretty sure his heart will spill out and he’ll end up pleading for another chance. No, pretending to sleep is an infinitely better option.
He waits for what feels like hours before opening his eyes, the temptation to just watch Blaine while he sleeps too great to fight any longer. But he’s not the only one wide awake.
It’s the faintest whisper, and then there are fingers, warm and calloused, intertwining with his own on the shared pillow. Over the pounding of his own heart Kurt can hear the hitch in Blaine’s breathing. He’s not sure which of them moves, but suddenly they are even closer, and it’s instinct, taking the hand that is trapped uncomfortably between their chests and putting it on Blaine’s waist over the soft cotton of his t-shirt.
Blaine lets out a quiet, broken sound and then there are his lips, hot and urgent, pressing against Kurt’s.
The world stops. So does Kurt’s heart, he’s pretty sure, if only for a second before he kisses back, pouring all of his longing and love into the feverish press of their lips. He’s thought about this so many times. Remembered it, craved it, dreamed about it. Kissing Blaine was always amazing. But now it’s even better, because Kurt had lost the right to it, he’d left, believing he’d never get to kiss Blaine again.
And now they’re here.
Blaine pulls away after too short a moment, breathless and wide-eyed, and Kurt whines helplessly, barely resisting the need to follow his lips. But Blaine just asks, “Okay?”, and with a fervent nod from Kurt, he’s back, kissing deeper, more passionately, opening his mouth just a fraction, an invitation. And Kurt dives into the kiss like he would into cool water after a long, hard journey through blistering desert heat.
They don’t resurface for hours. Their bodies are pressed close, their blood simmering, but they do nothing more than kiss and hold hands and kiss and hold each other and just breathe each other in, close, close, so close at last. When Kurt finally falls asleep, just floating away in the safe, solid embrace of Blaine’s arms, their lips are still brushing.
The first time he wakes up the next morning, it’s still dark and Rachel is peeking into his bedroom, her hand pressed against her grinning lips, holding in the rest of the tiny squeal that startled him awake. She’s in her coat and hat, on the way to work no doubt, and normally Kurt would get up now, to spend the morning at the sewing machine. But today it’s different. Today, Blaine’s shoulder is warm under his cheek, Blaine’s arm wound possessively around his waist even as he sleeps on with his lips red and parted, his hair in soft curls over his forehead and his beautiful face utterly peaceful.
No, today is not a day to get up early. Kurt closes his eyes and floats again.
The second time he wakes up, it’s a few hours later and he’s alone. He springs out of bed, already cursing himself for not noticing Blaine getting up and hoping with all his might he hadn’t left entirely yet.
But no, he’s there. Sitting on a stool in their kitchen, already back in his clothes and with a cup of coffee in his hand, Blaine looks like he belongs here, like he should be here every morning to greet Kurt with this warm smile.
“I thought you left.” Kurt is surprised at how breathless he sounds, but it’s not that strange, really – his heart is going a mile a minute and his stomach is full of butterflies awakened with the memory of last night.
Blaine stands up and crosses the kitchen to the coffee maker. “Without saying goodbye? Or giving you your Christmas present?” he says and puts a cup of fresh coffee in front of Kurt. “I wouldn’t.”
“Oh, right!” Kurt shakes his head. He’d forgotten in all the fun and excitement of last night. “Presents! I have something for you too. Well, it’s from both of us. But I chose it,” he can’t resist adding. He’s feeling giddy and light this morning, feels like teasing and flirting because now, he can. He finally knows.
The gift, wrapped in silver paper, is waiting under the Christmas tree, so Kurt skips over there to fish it out and hands the small package to Blaine, and then bites his lip as he watches him unwrap it carefully. It was a challenge to choose it, to come up with something meaningful and thoughtful that they could afford, something not saying too much, not implying the level of closeness Kurt wasn’t sure of, yet. There’s a bowtie in one of Kurt’s boxes, made lovingly from some Superman-patterned fabric with Blaine in mind. But Blaine had already received a bowtie from him once – along with the cookie recipe, it was the only gift Kurt had ever given him, back in school, for their only Valentine’s Day together. It felt not only unimaginative, but too personal now, to give him another. So he came up with this instead.
Blaine grins when he opens the simple black notebook, clean blank pages on the left, staff lines just waiting to be filled with melodies and harmonies on the right.
“Wow, thank you, Kurt. I didn’t realize Moleskine makes music notebooks. This is perfect. I always seem to have the best song ideas when I’m out and about, with nothing but some scraps and napkins to write on.” He gets to the little note tucked between the pages, a simple red card filled with Kurt’s handwriting, and smiles as he reads it. His eyes are soft when he looks at Kurt. “I’m not sure if there will be any hit songs from me any time soon, I don’t even know if I’m any good, but thank you for having faith in me.”
“Always.” Kurt breathes. He wants to hug Blaine now, already missing the closeness they shared, but they’re separated by the table and Blaine is reaching to his bag standing on the floor. The hug can wait.
“Now, this might seem like an impersonal gift,” Blaine says, pushing a simple red envelope across the table with a self-conscious smile. “But believe me, it isn’t. I’ve been thinking for days, but I just couldn’t decide. It didn’t seem fair to take the choice away from you.” He bites his lip as Kurt carefully cuts he envelope open with a clean knife. “This is for both you and Rachel, I hope she doesn’t mind she’s not here to–“
“Blaine.” Kurt gasps as a single colorful sheet of glossy paper slides out of the envelope, a Broadway.com gift coupon. The value printed on top makes his eyes go wide. “Oh god, this is too much, we can’t–“
Blaine catches his hands that have already started to slide the paper back to him. His eyes are earnest and intense. “Yes, you can. You’ve never seen a Broadway show. I want you to be able to experience it now that you’re really here in New York. I was thinking of just getting you the Wicked tickets, but I wasn’t sure if there isn’t another show you’d rather see, or when you are both free to go, so I decided on this instead.”
“But it’s so expensive…” Kurt knows his face is flushed; his little gift seems so puny in comparison.
“I calculated it based on Wicked prices. And I didn’t look at the most expensive seats, I promise. I know how you feel about me buying things for you. But please, Kurt. It’s a Christmas gift. I want you two to go, feel the magic, have some fun.”
The warmth of Blaine’s hands is steadying, his eyes like a pleading puppy’s, and Kurt finds himself giving in. “Okay. Oh god, Rachel will be over the moon. I will be over the moon once I recover from shock, thank you so much, Blaine. Will you go with us?”
Blaine’s smile is dazzling. “With pleasure.”
There isn’t much time to talk after that; Blaine needs to run, finish packing his bag and get to the airport. The snow had stopped falling some time during the night and though there’s a white cover over everything, the air is clear and the clouds don’t threaten with more precipitation. He should be able to get home tonight just fine.
The thought of not seeing each other for ten days makes Kurt’s heart ache, but after last night, it’s a different ache than he expected when thinking about it even just yesterday. It’s the sweet ache of longing to start something new, to step into the next chapter of their relationship when Blaine gets back. He can’t wait to to actually talk about it, to shape and decide things between them, to take their sweet time discovering what it means to be together, without hiding this time. Out in the open.
But he needs a little more patience still. There’s no time today for anything more than a quick goodbye kiss before Blaine leaves.
Except… when Blaine pulls him close, already in his coat and all ready to go, he doesn’t lean up to Kurt’s lips. He just hugs him, short and tight, and kisses his cheek, and then he’s out the door with the last Merry Christmas on his lips, leaving Kurt confused in the doorway.
Chapter art: Stay the night
Chapter song: Irresistible by One Direction
The next chapter will be posted on Monday 07 October.