A/N: This scenario formed in my head before the Klaine kiss. It happened when I thought Klaine might not get together before Kurt paired with someone else, probably Karofsky. Then, they did kiss, and this idea got shuffled to the back of my mind, then months later, I decided to write it. With a few changes for new information.
"Second or Third Chances"
As the final strains of "Blackbird" resonated through the Warbler practice room, Blaine's heart thrummed hard in his chest.
Yes, Kurt was the boy he had always wanted.
When the Warblers enthusiastically voted Kurt as his duet partner, it seemed like the world itself tried to put them together. He loved his life.
"I'm decorating Pavarotti's casket." Blaine smiled at the rhinestones and glue. A bejeweled casket was fitting for both Pavarotti and Kurt.
"Well, finish up. I have the perfect song for our duet, and we should practice."
"Do tell." Kurt looked pleasantly interested.
. Blaine took a deep breath. "'Candles' by Hey Monday."
Kurt smiled. He likes it! "I'm impressed. Usually you're so 'Top 40.'"
"I guess I just wanted something a little more emotional." Blaine sat in the chair next to Kurt.
Kurt's flickered across Blaine's face, and suddenly Blaine had never felt more vulnerable. "Why did you pick me to sing that song with?"
Blaine blinked slowly. He felt his breath shudder.
Because, I realized I can't spend a day without you in my life. Because, you challenge me and move me in ways I never realized possible. Because…well, because I love you.
"Because we sound great together!" Blaine plastered on a huge, fake smile and swallowed down real confessions. At Kurt's slightly confused face, he continued, "I mean, what you said about sharing the spotlight really made sense…and, well, you deserve to be rewarded for that."
"Uh-huh." Kurt quickly looked away, back towards Pavarotti's tiny coffin. "I see."
Blaine felt panic set in. "I mean, and all our duets sound incredible. Like 'Animal'-"
"You said I looked like I was having gas pains when we sang 'Animal.'" Kurt frowned.
"Well, I-" How could he contradict himself without actually saying what he was feeling? "Yeah, but we really sounded wonderful. And, 'Baby, It's Cold Outside,' it was beautiful! Kurt we just go really well together…" In more ways than one.
"Yes…we match really well, vocally." Kurt stood up, gathering the decorations. "Look, I know we need to practice, but I really need to finish this. Maybe later."
"Oh, um, okay. I'll check on you maybe in an hour or so, okay?"
"Yeah, fine." Kurt quickly walked out of the room.
Blaine prayed that he hadn't made the wrong decision concerning the duet, as he followed Kurt with his eyes, until the boy disappeared down the hallway
As Kurt left his final period, he quickly said, "I can't rehearse now. I need to head over to McKinley. Principal Figgins is having some meeting with my dad, Karofsky, and his dad, and they want me there."
"Meeting about what?"
Kurt turned to Blaine, "I'm really not sure," he said with a sigh.
"Okay, well how about when you get back?"
Blaine couldn't help but feel his plan had backfired. He and Kurt hadn't spent any time together outside of rehearsals. He kicked one of the leather wing chairs, as he left the hallway.
When Kurt returned, he immediately said, "Let's get to work. I know Wes will want to hear 'Candles' really soon."
Blaine agreed, and forgot to ask about the meeting.
Regionals came up far more quickly than Blaine would like, so the next thing he really knew, he was backstage standing next to a Kurt who looked like he was about to throw up.
"Are you nervous?" There is no reason for someone as beautiful as you to be nervous. He really wished he could say what he was thinking.
"Um…yes, nervous." Kurt didn't look at him.
Blaine reached over and gave Kurt's shoulder a squeeze, "Don't be. You and I, we're going to knock this thing out of the park, okay?"
Kurt moved away and finally looked Blaine in the face. "Blaine, I need to tell you something."
"Kurt, Blaine, places!" Wes cut Kurt off, and Kurt practically ran to his place in the formation, and Blaine followed to his.
Their performance had been emotional to say the least. By the end of it, Kurt's eyes had been shining with tears, and it had taken a lot of restraint from Blaine to not walk up to him, in the middle of performing, and wipe them away. But, Wes would have killed him for straying that far from what had been rehearsed.
Blaine saw Kurt standing in the wings. Oh, God, I want to tell you so much. He moved over to the tall, pale boy, "Kurt-"
"Blaine, come here. I need to tell you something."
Kurt had him by the hand, pulling him away from the crowd, before he could reply.
They reached a relatively secluded corner, and Kurt turned to him, biting his lower lip.
Blaine took a step closer to the younger boy. He could almost see him shaking, and Blaine placed a hand on Kurt's shoulder, so Kurt would look at him. "Kurt, what's up?"
"I'm going back to McKinley."
Blaine felt all the air leave his lungs. "What?"
"The meeting," That…I forgot… "It was decided that I'd go back. It doesn't matter what happens, now. That's why I wanted to tell you before they announce the winner. It doesn't matter who goes to New York. I just need to go back to New Directions. That's where I belong."
But, you belong with me… Blaine forced back a whimper, as he asked, "But what about Karofsky? Kurt, you need to be safe."
"I will be safe." Again, Kurt wouldn't look in Blaine's face.
"How can you say that?"
"I…I talked with him. He's different."
"No, he's not!" Blaine wasn't sure if he didn't believe Kurt or just wouldn't let himself. "Kurt, how naïve can you be? You think he's going to change?"
"I know he's changed."
"How?" He could see the flash in Kurt's eyes reacting to his incredulous tone.
"We're together, Blaine."
Blaine felt like the silence between them stretched forever. No sounds seemed to come from the teams around the stage. "What?" He asked low and dangerous.
"Well, we haven't been out yet, but he asked me, and once I'm back at McKinley, were going to go out." Kurt's voice was soft but even.
He felt the burn of jealousy start in his gut and work his way past his throat. He takes everything that I want. The kiss with Kurt, Kurt at school, Kurt… "How can you do that?"
Anger at himself and Karofsky came out at the only vent. "Kurt, what is wrong with you? I thought you had more self-respect than that!" His arms flailed in gesticulation. "He shoved you into lockers! He threw you into dumpsters and slushied you! He practically sexually assaulted you! And, he threatened to kill you! That's in no way a healthy relationship!"
"Oh, and our relationship has been so healthy, Blaine!" Kurt's face was completely red, and his eyebrow was raised higher than should be possible.
"I was in love with you, Blaine!" Kurt nearly screamed at him.
Blaine felt his heart sink. Was…
"I loved you, and you never let me know where I stood with you. You sang 'Teenage Dream' to me. We went on almost dates to see Rent. We sang fucking 'Baby It's Cold Outside' together! I thought you liked me, then Valentine's Day comes around, and you serenade Jeremiah from the GAP!" It was a mistake. "I think, fine, maybe I just misread him, so I tell you. I tell you what I see and what I thought. You could have told me then. You could have said, 'I just want to be friends!' It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I'd deal with it, but, no. No you give me some vague crap like 'I care about you,' and then we sing at Breadstix, and half the times you said 'I love you,' you looked directly at me!" Oh…I did. I remember that. It just felt natural to look at him…shit. "So, I think maybe I have hope, so we go to a party. You kiss Rachel, and then GO OUT with her. When I try to be sexy, you say I look like I have gas pains. Blaine, I didn't want to be sexy for anyone else. I wanted to be sexy for you! And, now, now you suggest we sing this stupid break-up song," It's not supposed to be, not for us. "But you still say things and look at me, like you want to be with me, what the HELL am I supposed to think, Blaine? And every time I think and hope it just knocks me down harder than any of the bullies ever did!" Kurt angrily wiped a few tears from his eyes.
I never wanted to hurt you like that. I…I'm sorry… "But…Karofsky-"
"Dave, his name is Dave."
Blaine swallowed hard. "Dave. Do you actually like him? Love him?"
"I-" Kurt closed his eyes, "He's not out yet. He's not out, but I know where I stand with him. I know what to expect. Furthermore, he wants me and needs me in a way no one else ever has." That's not true. "I deserve that Blaine."
"Guys come on." David came out of nowhere, and pulled them onto the stage.
Blaine's heart clenched when the New Directions won. If there was any way to convince Kurt to stay, it flew out the window the moment that drunk woman announced first place.
"Kurt." Blaine ran after Kurt, as the taller boy quickly walked offstage. He caught Kurt by the arm. "I'm sorry." For neglecting you, for not loving you like I should have at the beginning. "But, what about us?"
"What about us?" Kurt looked unimpressed, his jaw set. Blaine couldn't stand the fact that Kurt didn't seem to want to even talk to him anymore.
"Can we be-are we still friends?" He clutched Kurt's arm like a lifeline.
"I…" Kurt looked away and sighed. "Maybe after a while. If we stay like we are now, I'm going to keep wanting things you can't give me." I can! "Blaine, I just need to get settled, first."
"But, Kurt," Blaine whimpered, "I can't…" Live without you. Blaine couldn't understand why he was so scared, couldn't understand why he couldn't just say what he thought. "Just wait for you like that."
Kurt's eyes opened. His mouth fell slightly agape. Then, he closed it and took a breath, "Then, don't."
As, Kurt turned on his heel, and quickly walked away from him, Blaine felt tears well up in his eyes. His breath hitched in his throat. By the time he reached the bus, he was sobbing. Kurt sat next to Nick and already had the earbuds to his iPhone in his ears. Blaine walked past him, and sat next to Wes, who said, "Blaine, I'm upset that we lost, but it's okay."
Blaine couldn't form enough of a sentence to tell him how wrong he was.
Monday, Blaine kept searching the halls for Kurt, scanning everywhere for a sign of the perfectly coiffed, brunette hair. He never found it.
When he walked into the Warbler practice room for rehearsal, he immediately asked, "Has anyone seen Kurt? I haven't seen him all day."
The council members looked at each other for several moments before David said, "Um, Blaine, he transferred back to McKinley."
"What? Already?" Blaine choked out.
"Yes. He told us immediately after competition that he wasn't coming back. He assured us, it wasn't because we lost, and he really enjoyed being part of the Warblers, but he needed to go." Wes answered.
Thad cut in, "We assumed you knew."
Blaine noticed the confused looks from people like Jeff and Trent but ignored them. "He didn't tell me. He didn't say 'goodbye'…"
Wes spoke slowly, carefully looking at Blaine's face, "I'm sorry, Blaine."
Over the next few weeks, Blaine was the least pleasant person to be around, ever.
At lunch, Blaine forcibly stabbed the salad he was eating.
"Blaine," Thad said, "You're scaring us."
"I hate him." He stabbed the lettuce again. " I hate, hate, hate, hate him." On each "hate," he stabbed at a tomato, until it flew from under his fork and hit Wes in the face.
Wiping the caesar dressing from his face, Wes asked, "Since when?"
"Since he left. Since he didn't say 'goodbye.' Since he…" Blaine trailed off into sobs.
"Blaine, idiot, you love him." David shook his head.
Blaine snapped up to look at them. "I know, and I hate that I love him. I hate that I can't deal with anything without him, and that everything reminds me of him. I want-I miss him so much." He buried his face again and returned to sobbing.
"Blaine, please go talk to him. This isn't good for you." Wes implored.
"I can't." Blaine shook his head adamantly.
"On the contrary," replied Wes, "I think you need to."
Blaine found himself sitting alone in a booth at Breadstix. He had driven to McKinley and stood outside the gate, but the moment the school bell sounded, and students began to exit the buildings, he bolted and drove to the restaurant. He didn't want to face Kurt now.
His eyes glazed over his menu, without actually reading or thinking about what he wanted. By the third time the waitress asked if he was ready, she looked incredibly annoyed.
"Come on, Dave, it'll be fine. Guys meet after school all the time."
Blaine blanched and held the menu directly in front of his face.
"Yeah, I know. I just worry, you know."
Blaine gritted his teeth, when he heard Karofsky's voice. The hostess sat them at the booth next to Blaine.
"Sir, are you ready yet?" The waitress's voice hid none of her annoyance.
"Um, I'll have lasagna. Thanks." Blaine mumbled, hoping Kurt wouldn't hear him.
"Great." She looked relieved and held out her hand.
"Actually, can I keep the menu for a bit?"
The waitress looked at him for several moments, gauging his seriousness. "Okay. Fine." She spoke curtly, before turning back to the kitchen.
Blaine stared at the menu and propped it up, when his food arrived. He listened to Kurt and Dave talk softly about Dave's fears about being gay and coming out. Kurt comforted him. Blaine couldn't help but know that Dave Karofsky was much calmer and kinder than he had seen before.
The two ate their meal in silence. The waitress came with their check, and she glanced in confusion at Blaine, but she left without a word.
Blaine heard Kurt sigh. "Dave, what are we doing?"
"No, you know what I mean. We shouldn't be together." What? Really? Oh, God, please.
Karofsky groaned. "Is it about everything before?" Blaine felt his anger rise. It should be about everything before. You were a monster. What you did was unforgivable. "You know I'm sorry-"
"No, no, it's not that." Blaine could picture Kurt reaching out to cover Dave's hand with his own. "I know you're sorry. I know you've changed. We're just too different. We-we don't have anything in common other than being gay. And, that's important, I mean I didn't take that into account with Finn, but it's not enough for a relationship. We only talk about your issues. You don't care about musical theatre and fashion, and I just don't care about football. I tried," Kurt chuckled slightly, "But I don't."
Kurt sighed and continued. "And, I just need someone who's out. I really do. Dave, I don't want to force you into anything you're not comfortable with. You deserve to come out at your own time, but I want a boyfriend I can talk to in the halls without censoring what I want to say. I'd like to hold hands in public and introduce him to my dad. And…I'd like to go to prom and dance with him."
Blaine clenched his jaw.
"Kurt, I can try-"
"No. No, you shouldn't come out unless you would without me. The longer we're together, the more I'll eventually expect that, and that's not fair to you."
There was a long silence before Dave said, "And, you still love him, don't you?"
"I-I…yes, I do." Love"him"? Me? Thank you, God! If I'm right, that is… "I've tried to stop caring, but I can't yet."
"Kurt, you deserve someone who's going to love you for everything you are." I DO!
"So do you, Dave, and besides, if you really thought about it, I doubt you'd think you actually loved me." There was another silence. "I'm still here though. We're still friends, and you know I'm always here to talk about things, when you need help. I want to help you through this."
"Thanks. Well, I'll see you at school." There was a sadness in Dave's voice. "Here's some money for lunch."
"No, I've got it-"
"Uh-uh. We're not together anymore. One of us shouldn't pay for dates."
Blaine heard the football player's heavy footsteps, as he left the restaurant. When they silenced, Kurt groaned loudly. "Dammit, Blaine Anderson, get over here."
Blaine let the menu drop. "You-you knew I was here?"
Kurt was glaring, "When you ordered, I recognized your voice, and then you kept that stupid menu in front of your face, like that was going to hide anything."
As Blaine walked to the other booth, he didn't look Kurt in the eye. "I'm sorry. I should have left."
"It was nice to know you cared, anyway." Kurt rested his chin on his hand. He sounded tired.
"I've always cared, Kurt."
"Oh, yes, I remember that now. You 'really care about' me. Yes, I know." The biting tone hurt.
"No, I love you." Blaine still didn't look up at him.
Kurt froze. "What?"
"I love you."
"Blaine, look at me." Blaine snapped his head up to face him. "Love, love? Or what? What do you mean?"
Blaine sighed. The confession was several months too late, but it would have to do. "I mean, I can't deal with life without you there. Since I met you, you became someone who understood a deeper part of me, and when you sang 'Blackbird,' I realized you challenged me and moved me in ways no one had ever done. I wanted you at my side, always. That…that was the real reason I wanted to sing the duet with you. Everything else was true, but I wanted to spend more time with you."
"You wanted to sing a break-up song with me." Kurt looked relatively unimpressed, but his eyes were softer.
"It didn't mean that to me…I mean, I suppose I just misinterpreted the song, but to me, it meant that you would get everything you ever wanted. We both would."
"Or," Blaine continued, "At least, I thought you wanted it. Me, I mean."
Kurt frowned, "I did. I wanted you. Why didn't you tell me? You knew-"
"I thought I knew, yeah, but I wasn't sure!" Blaine pleaded. "I thought you might like me, but I was afraid that you would reject me, that we would be awkward, that I would fail you, everything! I didn't want to let you down or lose you, and it was just easier to keep you as a friend, even though I started wanting more…That's why I ended up confusing you. I wanted things, but I was afraid to tell you."
"Mr. Courage, and he was afraid to tell me." Kurt's sarcasm was coming out, and Blaine wasn't sure if that was good or bad.
"I told you, I didn't know what I was doing."
The two shared the first awkward pause of their life. Finally, Blaine cleared his throat, "Um, Kurt, what you said to Dave, did you mean me? Do you still love me? Or was it a show for him, or what?"
"It wasn't a show. I wouldn't lie to him about that." Kurt took a petulant sip of water. "And, I did mean you. Something about you, I just couldn't get rid of."
Thank you, God in Heaven! Blaine smiled in spite of himself. "So, we love each other."
Kurt nodded, a very slight smile graced his beautiful lips. "Yes, we do."
"Um, does that mean we can be together?" Blaine knew the hopeful puppy face was coming out, but he didn't care.
"Eventually. But, maybe we should just try to be friends again first." Kurt looked directly into Blaine's eyes.
"You're worth the wait, but…"
"But?" Kurt raised his eyebrow again.
"I've just always wanted to do something."
Blaine stood up and walked around the table. He slid into Kurt's side of the booth. He gently raised his hand and cupped the side of Kurt's face. He gently stroked the younger boy's cheek and ran a thumb along his bottom lip. Kurt shuddered under the touch. Blaine slowly leaned in and pressed their lips together. It was soft and chaste. Kurt lifted his hand to Blaine's temple, softly playing with Blaine's hairline. After a moment, they both leaned away. Blaine grinned, and he saw that Kurt was trying to be angry and failing. Hooray!
"You know, you're really failing at the 'just friends' thing." Kurt smirked.
"Haven't I always?" Blaine sighed.
"No, not always. You did a few things right. We were good friends, and…" Kurt hesitated, "And, I think we'll be good boyfriends with some work."
"Can I start?" Blaine gazed at Kurt so sincerely, that Kurt couldn't even point out, Blaine had already started.
Kurt nodded, "Okay."
"Kurt Hummel, may I take you to prom?"
Kurt grinned, "Yes, you may."
"A good start?"
"A good start."
They leaned in and kissed one more time, and Blaine thanked his lucky stars for the second, well maybe fourth or fifth, chance.