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Etched Into My Skin - chapter 22


A/N: A short chapter tonight, but I may have another, more meaty one ready for you by the end of the week. And I’m sorry for being so behind with replying to all your lovely comments and messages. Moving sucks, y’all.

Big THANK YOU to tchrgleek for a speedy beta! <3

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CHAPTER 22

Getting drunk the day before the West Side Story premiere turned out to be one of Blaine’s less-than-stellar ideas. Not that he’d been planning it. One beer really shouldn’t have had such an effect. Even now, hours after he’d woken up with a truly dreadful hangover, his head was still pounding and his mood sour for more reasons than just physical pain.

All around him, there was a flurry of last minute preparations. Artie was visibly nervous as he tried to correct everything and everyone. Rachel rambled a mile a minute at the vanity next to Blaine’s, analyzing their scenes and pointing out where they – meaning: Blaine – needed to improve.

This morning’s dress rehearsal hadn’t been his best work.

Rehearsing with Rachel these last couple of weeks had been challenging at times. It wasn’t that Blaine felt like he had to be at odds with her just because Kurt was, but the truth was, her actions and attitude were hurting his soulmate. It wasn’t something he could just brush aside. They were both professionals though, so on stage they worked together seamlessly, even if Blaine enjoyed the rehearsals with Mercedes much more. Now, however, he snapped.

“Rachel, okay, we’ll be fine. Please stop that.”

She looked at him, startled, and then deflated. “I guess you’re right. It’s just that… Tony and Maria were soulmates. And… and you know what it’s like, to meet and love your soulmate, and know you are forever, but I– I don’t, and–“

“You’ll do just fine, Rachel.”

It came out sharper than he intended. He should probably be more reassuring, offer some comfort to her obvious anxiety, but her words touched a raw spot.

He and Kurt hadn’t spoken since Blaine got out of his car last night. All day today he couldn’t meet Kurt’s eyes, and now he was about to go out on stage not even knowing how badly he’d screwed up.

Okay, he knew that he did screw up pretty epically. Flirting with Sebastian, getting drunk, practically assaulting Kurt in the parking lot… he still felt slightly sick just thinking of his behavior last night. But did he destroy their relationship entirely? He was desperate to know, yet dreading the answer.

What if he ruined it all? If Kurt could never forgive him?

What did soulmates do if they weren’t together anymore? How did they stave away separation sickness? Did they meet every day and touch briefly, like a business transaction, just to balance out their chemistry and be able to function? How did they exist next to each other, still able to feel each other’s emotions, still sensitive to each other’s touch and proximity? How did they ever have sex with anyone else without their thoughts slipping back to their soulmates and giving them involuntary phantom orgasms again?

When two people were so entwined and connected, how did they ever separate?

His hand trembling, Blaine applied more blush to his suddenly pale face. The show was starting.

***

Sebastian was in the audience. He sat with the other Warblers, the whole group sticking out in the crowd in their Dalton uniforms, and he looked like he was having a great time – smiling, cheering, clapping. His eyes never once left the stage, his face almost hungry whenever Blaine was on.

Kurt saw him from behind the curtain before he went out onto the stage. Yesterday, it would still have made him stumble.

Today, he couldn’t care less.

He’d had enough time last night to calm down and rationally analyze the situation. All day today, he’d watched Blaine to confirm his conclusions. And the conclusions were simple.

Sebastian didn’t matter unless one of them made him matter: unless Blaine wanted him, unless Kurt let him get under his skin. Otherwise, he was just a guy, just the first, but Kurt was sure not the last, who would take interest in Blaine in the years to come, here or, later, in New York. Their being soulmates wouldn’t change that. What mattered was how they would deal with it. What mattered was Blaine’s response.

Blaine’s response couldn’t be less interested now that he was sober.

Kurt didn’t know if the emphatic connection they shared was getting stronger with time or if he was just getting better at handling it, but today he was able to practically turn it on and off at will, and tune into Blaine’s emotional aura with more precision that ever before. He could read the worry, the regret, the self-blaming. He could see the flash of annoyance when Sebastian waved to him before the show.

When the performance ended, Sebastian stuck around until the audience was almost completely empty. Kurt knew whom he was waiting for. He knew that Blaine knew, too – he’d seen him glancing through the curtains. But Blaine didn’t come out, and eventually Sebastian left, summoned by the rest of his group.

The auditorium was almost empty now, most of the beaming cast and crew had already left for the party at Breadstix, but Kurt stayed behind. He changed and sat in the choir room for a bit, just thinking, making sure there was no more doubt in him. Then he went to find Blaine.

They needed to talk.

He knew where to look. He knew his boyfriend and his coping techniques when he was stressed or anxious. Besides, he only needed to focus to know Blaine was close by, anyway.

Hands in his pockets and serenity in his heart, Kurt walked back to the auditorium.

***

Blaine felt him first, before he even saw him – felt his warmth, his smile as surely as if Kurt was standing in front of him. Felt his love, all around him, embracing him like strong, invisible arms. Startled, he stopped mid-step and looked around.

“Kurt?” he asked, feeling silly. He was sure he was alone.

Kurt came from between the curtains.

Blaine’s eyes widened. “How did you do that?”

Kurt cocked an eyebrow, a silent question, and Blaine rushed to clarify. “I thought the empathy only worked with the most intense emotions?”

Kurt’s eyes sparkled with excitement, a smile breaking out on his face. “You felt that? Really? Okay, how about now?” He closed his eyes, looking focused, and Blaine gasped as his thoughts shifted, making room for something new and foreign, though not exactly unfamiliar.

It was nothing like the few times when Kurt’s explosive emotions had resonated through his mind, taking over and blocking his own for a moment. This was gentle, a soft infusion of feelings, separate from his own but not overwhelming. It felt as if Kurt touched Blaine’s mind with his own, leaving behind not thoughts or anything concrete, but a vague sense of what Kurt felt. It was weird. It was breathtaking. But, most importantly, it told him something he really needed to hear.

“I love you too,” he replied to the wordless knowledge that filled him. His eyes were getting wet. “God, Kurt, you’re not mad at me.” It wasn’t even a question. He just knew.

Kurt smiled softly. “Not anymore. I was last night, Sebastian sort of turned me into a jealous mess.”

“Kurt, Sebastian doesn’t mean anything to me,” Blaine said, taking Kurt’s hand and trying to show him, to open his mind to him somehow and make him see. He wasn’t sure if he succeeded, but Kurt nodded.

“I know now.”

“And you were right,” Blaine added. “A quickie in the back seat is not what I want for our intimate moments. You deserve so much better than that. I was drunk, I didn’t think and I’m sorry.”

Kurt flashed him a cheeky, lopsided smile. “I’m not saying quickies in the back seat are entirely out of the question. You know, when we’re both sober.” Blaine inhaled sharply and Kurt chuckled, but then his face turned serious. “But I’m sorry too. I wanted to be your gay bar superstar, but try as I might, I’m still just a silly romantic.”

“It’s not silly,” Blaine said, and it only took a light pull on Kurt’s hand for them to fall into each other, lips aligning automatically, every point of contact buzzing even through the clothes. The world tilted back to normal. Blaine couldn’t ask for a better end of the day.

But Kurt, as always, was full of surprises. “Were you planning to go to Artie’s party?” he asked, a little breathless, when their lips finally parted.

“Not really. Why?”

“Because I want to go to your house.”

Blaine’s mouth went dry. “Okay.”

***

The ride to Blaine’s house was so very different from last night – and so much better. They talked about the show and the audience’s reactions, and sang with the radio. They touched whenever they could, Kurt’s hand leaving the wheel to hold Blaine’s for a moment, Blaine’s fingers skimming the top of Kurt’s thigh. Blaine practiced focusing and sending his emotions to Kurt, but the only thing he managed to communicate was being horny, and Kurt wasn’t sure if it had anything to do with the mind connection. They were laughing together as they got out of the car in the Andersons’ driveway, and Kurt felt warm and safe, secure in Blaine’s love. He went easily when Blaine pulled him into his embrace as soon as he shut the passenger’s door behind him.

“I’m so glad you aren’t angry with me. I messed up so bad last night, with the drinking and Sebastian and–” Blaine buried his face in Kurt’s shoulder and Kurt’s arms tightened around him instinctively.

“He saw us, you know,” he murmured, cheek on Blaine’s hair that felt stiffer than usual tonight, almost like a gelled helmet stuck to Blaine’s head.

“When?”

“Last night, when we were… arguing. He was standing in front of the bar, watching us. I think that’s why he was waiting for you tonight. Probably hoping we were on the rocks and he could swoop in and take the opportunity.”

“But we aren’t?” Blaine raised his head and looked up at Kurt, a trace of anxiety still in his features.

Kurt smiled. “No, Blaine. We aren’t.” He kissed Blaine’s temple.

“Thank god. Not that I would be interested in him even if we were, but I’m really glad we’re not. I will call him tomorrow, okay? Tell him to leave me alone. I have a feeling he won’t listen until he’s told explicitly. Probably several times.”

“I won’t cry if I never have to see him again,” Kurt admitted. “Now, can we stop talking about Sebastian and get inside? There’s something I want to do in your room.”

Blaine grinned. “Oh yeah? What is it?”

Kurt took his hand again and started towards the door. “I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.”
 

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Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
blue_eyed_shaz
Oct. 29th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
:D
theromanticnerd
Oct. 29th, 2013 08:43 am (UTC)
This verse <3 <3
whosgotyou
Oct. 29th, 2013 09:10 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed seeing both of their thought process about the drunk night. Is wrong that really hope that Sebastain get the message that he's not available?
mugglegato
Oct. 31st, 2013 03:44 am (UTC)
Love that Kurt is able to project his emotions to Blaine. And so glad they talked through it and are better! ♥
alura_embrey
Oct. 31st, 2013 06:03 am (UTC)
I will wait however long is necessary for updates from you, dear. No worries. <3
punkkitten2113
Nov. 5th, 2013 07:01 pm (UTC)
Oh my goodness, what a lovely little run through canon! I really love how Kurt and Blaine's POV differed! All throughout Blaine's part I kept thinking, "Oh you silly silly boy. Look at you try to rationalize soul mates who aren't together and how they might act! It's so ludicrous it's sweet!" Blaine is still a big ball of anxiety, but hopefully this new tie between them with Kurt's handle on their mind melding will convince him he's worth it.

I also really love the little moment you had when Kurt felt Blaine's hair being extra gelled that night. That one little thought told me so much more about Blaine's psyche.

Now bring on the porn!
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )