Third in the "Love to Hate You verse" Read the first two first or this won't make ANY sense. I'm so sorry for the long wait, but the last segment should be out in a few days tops. It'll be called "When on the Edge of Hate -Fall in Love" so be looking out for that. Thank you SO much for all of your love and support for these, it's been so amazing. I love you all.
Blaine isn't naïve. Optimistic but not naïve. They didn't fight often, but when they did they made up right after—the same night. So he knew something was wrong when Kurt didn't come home after their fight, he knew something was wrong when they didn't have sex for the next two weeks, when suddenly they had sex multiple times a night, every night, and he definitely knew something was wrong when Kurt left for "Biology group study sessions" nearly three times week. So, really, the condom hadn't been that much of a surprise, more of a validation though the lack of initial shock didn't make it hurt any less. Worse, actually because he knows what Kurt went looking for, knows that there is someone else that has seen what Kurt looks like when his jaw drops and his body arches in the bliss of his release. Someone that has had Kurt hot, keening, and wreathing beneath him—the condom hadn't been his—someone that has held him close as he fell apart, and smelled the sweet musk of Kurt's skin in his nose as they laid pressed together afterwards. And that had hurt, because he has always relished in the fact that it was something only he knew, it had been something they had shared, being each other's only. Being the only one that either of them had, the only one they could be happy with. Blaine doesn't know what hurts worse, the fact that Kurt could be happy with someone else, or the fact that he isn't good enough to keep Kurt happy anymore.
He had known before that the week was going to be difficult—how could it not? But he hadn't known it was going to be this hard. It's only been eleven hours and thirty-three minutes, and it feels like his heart is crumbling in his chest from the distance. From the knowledge that there's still one hundred and fifty-sex hours and twenty-seven minutes left and at the end of it, he may not have Kurt.
He's called nineteen times, Kurt has. It's taken everything in his being to repeatedly forward the calls to his voicemail. Which he can't check because he knows if he does, he'll call Kurt and go running back to New York willing to take anymore prospective emotional turmoil that he might subject him to. Blaine can't do that. Not to himself and not to Kurt. He needs this time, if for nothing other than his sanity. He needs to know that in the end, with no obligations, Kurt still chooses him. He needs Kurt to know that he's sure he wants Blaine. Or the other man—who remains nameless in his mind. He hadn't asked, hadn't wanted to know. Still doesn't. Because what if he's someone Blaine knows? He doesn't need a visual to compare himself to. He feels inadequate enough as it is.
The front door opens and slams shut. Heavy footsteps sound on the hardwood floor leading to the staircase. Cooper's home. If he had more energy Blaine would rush down to meet him to feel the comforting warmth of another body against him, holding him, like he needs. But he doesn't have the energy, and he doesn't move when the footsteps resonate up the stairs, doesn't open his eyes when the bedroom door creaks open ,or when the bed sinks under the weight of a heavy, brother-shaped body. Blaine's eyelids do flicker open, however, when the familiar voice commands, "Scooch over." Blaine eyes the blue-eyed man wearily before sighing and making space on the bed which is immediately filled as Cooper scoops Blaine against his chest. He tucks the head of curls under his chin and strokes a hand down the smaller man's back. "I'm sorry, Blaine." That's all it takes and Blaine falls apart, shuddering as a strangled sobs rips from his throat and into the cool air of the room.
"What am I going to do, Coop?" He doesn't see the pained expression twisting his brother's handsome features, or the way he squeezes his eyes closed for a moment to keep himself together. The hand not stroking Blaine's back, threads into the mane of messy black hair to hold him closer.
"You're going to live, B," he says, "Regardless of what Kurt says a week from now, you're going to live and you're going to be happy and wonderful and successful. We're going to be so proud, we are so proud." Cooper's voice is barely above a whisper, he doesn't know why. Why he's afraid talking any louder will break his baby brother more.
Blaine stifles another sob that threatens to escape him, burying his face in the warmth of his brother's chest. "I don't want to lose him."
One hundred and fifty-six hours later, when the phone rings, Blaine answers it. He leaves Columbus hours later, sights set on New York.
The door is intimidating: dark, painted metal, cool to the touch—were he to knock at it. His knuckles dangle inches away from the surface with only air particles separating them. Hesitation. That's what it's called. He's hesitating. He knows he has reason to. All the reason in the world, but somehow that doesn't sooth him, because he feels like he shouldn't be. He's finally coming home and he thinks that in itself should send him plunging through the door. Instead he waits, hand hanging in the air, fist at the ready and…he does nothing. Doing nothing is the safer choice. Maybe he should have thought of all this before he jumped on the first plane back but he didn't. He's thinking about it now though, oh is he thinking about it now. Blaine's hand drops from its place in the air as he turns and lets himself slide down the length of the door.
It's cold just the way he knew it would be, and the floor is hard, only a thin layer of cheap carpet separating the concrete from his body. He's uncomfortable but relieved at the same time, for reasons he can't even fathom because the two feelings are completely unrelated. Blaine's knees give out at some point and his legs fall flat, stretching out in front of him like two slabs of wood. He knows he must look ridiculous. He feels a little ridiculous, but doing nothing is safe. Sitting against the door—the one that separates him from Kurt—is safe. Being alone right now is safe. Because out here, alone with the hard floor and the cool, painted metal, and the silence, no one can hurt him. He should feel a little guilty—and he does, sort of—because Kurt is waiting on him, expects him back at any moment so they can talk, because Kurt chose him. Him. Not the other guy. And they're going to work through this like they have with everything in the past. It's going to take patience and forgiveness and tears and persistence and words. But most of all it's going to take him pulling himself up off of the floor and he just doesn't know if he can do that. Blaine thinks it might be more difficult than answering that last call was. Shit. He can't do this. What if—
He falls backwards, the back of his head landing on a plush burgundy rug as he spazzes against the unexpected motion. Blaine's eyes land on a pair of wide, confused blue ones that are looking right back down at him as if they can't quite figure out where he came from. "Blaine?"
"Hi." He winces a little internally at his ineloquence.
"W-what were you doing outside the door?"
"Sitting." And now he's mentally kicking himself, progressively getting more violent towards his subconscious as it continues to spew complete shit from his mouth. Eww. Not the greatest mental image, that one.
Kurt looks more confused if that's even possible, but he nods slowly offering a hand out to Blaine. "Help?" He takes it, shivering a little at the familiar touch, and once he's on his feet with a closer view of Kurt's face, he notices the puffiness around his eyes, the red on his cheeks and the dishevel of his normally kept hair. Kurt fidgets a little under Blaine's searching gaze and clears his throat. "I um…I made lunch. If you—if you're hungry, I mean."
If he tries he can imagine everything is the same as it was before. If he tries he can imagine the waver in Kurt's voice and the hesitance in his movements aren't there. If he tries he can imagine away his own uncertainty, the hurt feelings residing just below the surface. So he does the only thing he can think to do. "Sure. Sure, yeah, that sounds good."
They skirt around each other for weeks, all pleasantries and tiptoes. Blaine tells himself it's just part of the process. But they've never been that, and they haven't even tried to talk about anything of real substance. He doesn't know what to do.
The sharp clang and crash of china sends Blaine bounding into the kitchen, his book completely forgotten on the living room floor. He didn't even mark the page. There's a mess of glass and a recognizable piece of a plate so he knows that's what was dropped. Kurt stands in the middle of it, stock still with wide eyes that dart to Blaine's face for a second. He looks fine, not hurt as far as Blaine can tell. "Kurt?" A shrill scream cuts through the air, making Blaine jump. A square plate sails through the air and smashes against the wall, shattering upon impact. It is followed by another, then glass, a bowl. Kurt continues to scream as he wreaks havoc on their kitchen. A sob chokes out part of a scream. Blaine is almost scared to intervene, but he needs to or Kurt is going to hurt himself so he inches around the larger mess of glass and secures Kurt's wrists from behind, crossing them over his chest even as he struggles. "Let me go!" he wails, "Let go!"
"Kurt, calm down. Please, talk to me. What's wrong?" Blaine pleads. His grip tightens around Kurt's wrists and he presses closer into his back hoping that the gesture will help relax him like it has in the past.
"Blaine, just—just let me go! Leave!" It hurts, those words, because he never thought he'd hear them as long as he lived. They stop him short. Kurt goes still as he feels Blaine go stiff against his back. He realizes what he said all too quickly as Blaine begins to pull away. "No! No, I-I didn't mean that!"
"Then what the fuck do you mean, Kurt?" Blaine demands. Hurt and incredulity eat away at him because he was the one wronged and he doesn't understand why everything had to be so difficult, why everything has to hurt so bad. "Because honestly, I can't figure it out. Do you want me to leave, do you want to stay? Do you want him, do you want me? What do you want?" Blaine is pulling at his curls, ready to just rip them out to give himself something more tangible to hurt about.
Kurt tugs at Blaine's hands, "You," he whimpers, "just you. I want you to stay. Please stay." He finishes in a whisper which is probably a result of all the screaming he did earlier. A tear escapes out of the corner of his eye and Blaine deflates.
"Yeah. Yeah, okay. Okay, but we need to talk, Kurt. We have to talk about this and—and everything." Kurt sinks against him, nodding into Blaine's collarbone as he takes a shaky breath. The position is familiar to Blaine. Almost reflexively he wraps his arms around Kurt's waist and pulls him closer. "What was that about, Kurt?" he whispers in his boyfriend's ear.
"We've been dancing around each other this whole time," Kurt starts, his voice has dropped an octave with the soreness of his throat and their whispers seem to have set the volume. "I just…I never knew how to start, and I guess you didn't either. And I was washing dishes just trying to gather what I was going to say because I was going to just do it. You deserve that Blaine, you deserve so much, but what do you say to someone you've hurt so badly? How do you ask them to forgive you when you can't even forgive yourself?" His voice cracks as he confesses, wavering at the last until he's forced to stop and gather his bearings
"Whenever you're ready," Blaine mumbles, rubbing a soothing hand down his back.
"And then the plate fell. And I looked up and you were just—you were just there. Life you heard a noise and you didn't even think about it for a second and I just wanted to scream. Wanted to scream until I couldn't scream anymore because I felt like it would be better than not saying anything. But it just wasn't enough, it wasn't enough noise or enough chaos to express how I felt so…"
"The dishes," Blaine finished.
Kurt nods, standing up straighter to tuck his head into Blaine's neck. "I'm sorry, I'll buy new ones, I swear."
"Don't worry about it."
"I'm so sorry, Blaine." There are tears soaking into Blaine's shirt. He doesn't even know when Kurt started to cry.
"Hey, hey. I told you, it's okay." The pressure against lightens significantly when suddenly Kurt pulls away and looks him directly in the eye.
"N-Not about that, Blaine. About…about being with Se—someone else. I know an apology isn't enough—"
"No. It's not enough," he affirms, "But it's a start."
"I'll spend eternity trying to earn your trust. I know I don't deserve it."
"Perhaps not," Blaine concedes, "but I doubt it'll take that long. You've always had a way with making me forget what was good for me." It earns him a watery half-smile. He's not sure why he's suddenly so calm about this, but he supposes that maybe it's an emotional response to Kurt's freaking out. "One thing."
"Of course," Kurt nods.
"Why? Why him? Why—everything?" It's the age old question, the most prominent one on his mind." Kurt's eyes widen a bit. He looks startled, but really how could he not have known it was coming?
"He—I don't know—I…Blaine," he pleads.
"No. I need to know, Kurt. I can't do this unless I know. And I…just. Please. I need to know why." Kurt pulls away again, as far as the shards of broken glass at their bare feet allow and refuses to meet his eyes. "Please, Kurt."
"It wasn't—I don't…I don't know where to start," he says finally.
"The beginning would probably be a good place."
His voice shakes slightly, "Right. Okay, the beginning."
"Come on." Blaine wraps a firm hand around his elbow and tugs him carefully out of the kitchen. "We'll talk in the living room." He proceeds to push Kurt onto the couch then seats himself in the chair across from it. Not too close, not too far. When Kurt glances up at him he nods then prepares himself for something he knows is going to push the knife in a little deeper.
"After…after we had that big fight I left and I…I went to a bar. I just wanted to drink and not think about anything anymore. Nothing else I just—that's all I wanted and then this guy sat down next to me after I told him to go away." Blaine doesn't know if he can handle where he thinks this is going. He doesn't think he handle Kurt cheating on him for revenge. He says nothing though, just sits quietly, watching the emotions play of his boyfriend's face. "He…he kept saying things. Cruel things." That pulled Blaine up short. So comfort sex with someone after the jackass? It didn't make it right, didn't ease the pain but at least that was easier to swallow. "About—about me being a girl. About how I wasn't worthy of a real man. H-how I couldn't handle one." Tears fall freely from the gray-blue eyes. Blaine's heart aches a little for him, he wants to reach across and comfort him, but then remembers why Kurt is crying and he steels his resolve. He needs to hear the rest. Kurt isn't innocent, he reminds himself. "I was so d-drunk. I don't even remember much after that. Just. I remember thinking, 'I'm going to prove him wrong,' 'I'm going to show him who's a little girl.' And I…I slept with him, Blaine." Blaine flinched at the words. That hadn't been what he was expecting. "When I was leaving he had been so…appalled I guess. Like he didn't understand how I could just leave like that. Like I'd hurt his feelings by doing it. And I-I felt so powerful. Like I had gotten back at him. Blaine are you—"
"I'm fine," he cuts in, swiping quickly at his eye. "Continue."
Kurt looks unsure, and watches him for a moment before biting nervously at his bottom lip. "I'm so sorry."
"I…I felt so disgusted with myself after, I couldn't come home and sleep in our bed w-with him all over—I stayed at Rachel's that night. When I got back I didn't even want you to touch me I felt dirty," he admitted. "You deserved—deserve—better than that. And then…two weeks later I got a text. It was—well it was an offer. And I didn't feel good enough for you anymore. I felt like he was what I deserved, dirty, hate-filled sex, that didn't mean anything. But after I just wanted to feel like yours and so…"
"The crazy rabbit sex," Blaine fills in, dropping his head down into his hands. "Fuck, Kurt."
"I'm sorry." Blaine almost doesn't catch the whisper.
"That wasn't the last time."
Blaine doesn't know what he's feeling right now. He's mostly in shock, he thinks. Because he can tell he hurt and that he's frustrated and confused and angry, but it's like the emotions are numbed down. Just ebbing below the surface. He has to hear it all. "Tell me."
"Tell me, Kurt."
"After I was doing it, it just got easier and easier to lie to myself and tell myself that it was okay. That I wasn't hurting you, and you wouldn't find out and that I would stop. I started liking how…Blaine are you sure you want to hear this?"
"Kurt. I'm not going to say it again. This is the only condition for us. Please."
Blaine has to strain to hear him now. "I liked how…passionate it was. Even if it wasn't the right kind of passion. And sometimes before we'd meet for coffee or just…talk. And I don't know when that happened. I tried not to ever think of those times because it always really felt like—"
"Cheating?" Blaine sneers.
Kurt winces, but nods. "He knew…things. Things about what my body liked that I didn't even know of. I got sort of roped into it. Addicted I guess. But after I'd always—I'd always leave right after. I didn't want to-to think about it. And he—I didn't want to give him a chance to either."
A sudden realization smacks Blaine in the face and sends him whirling for a moment. "He had feelings for you. This guy. He had—and you did too. Didn't you." Kurt doesn't answer, but he doesn't need to because that in itself is as loud as anything he could have said aloud. But somehow that eases the feeling of betrayal a little. Maybe because he knows that feelings are a little less controllable, that they're there regardless of what you do. It still doesn't justify anything, nothing ever will. But at least he knows that Kurt isn't a completely different person from the one he's always known, the one ruled by his emotions, by his heart—regardless of the pain it caused him, at least he knows that much. "Why did you—why me if you had feelings for him?"
"Because I love you, Blaine. I—I know I'm a complete asshole who doesn't deserve your forgiveness, but it's you. We know everything about each other. How to make each other laugh or smile. What makes each other tick, how to calm the other down when the world is falling to pieces. You've been my forever since high school. Why wouldn't I pick you?"
"God, I love you. I love you so much. I'm so fucking sorry."
"Let's go sweep up the glass."
Things for Blaine and Kurt aren't perfect, but they're better. As good as can be expected, Blaine supposes. He presses a kiss to Kurt's chest and slides out of bed as quietly as he can. It's early, but his biological clock is still set for his morning classes, though the semester ended a few a few weeks ago, and he can't force himself to sleep any longer. He glances back when he reaches the bedroom door, trailing his eyes over the relaxed features of Kurt's face. He never sees him so at peace anymore, he's so conscientious of everything he does, so careful not to step out of line, afraid to prove that he's not worthy of his second chance. Blaine shakes his head. He doesn't know how to explain to him that worth has nothing to do with it, that love isn't based on who is most worthy of it. It just is what it is. And Kurt has Blaine's love. For better or for worse.
One day it all stops. They're barreling forward full speed ahead, until suddenly they hit a brick wall. Blaine doesn't know how to fix it, because really, nothing's broken. They laugh and hug and fight and makeup the way they always have. It's been four months and Blaine had been so sure, had convinced himself that the worst was behind them. That they were back on track.
But Kurt drinks his coffee black this morning—and everyone morning after. Kurt skips his morning skincare routine and forgets to iron his clothes. Kurt's bangs hang over his forehead, loose and free of product. Kurt's jeans sag slightly as he walks, kept on his hips only by the leather belt threaded through the loops. Kurt stops singing in the shower. Kurt stops singing all together.
"Kurt, sweetheart, are you okay?" The blue-eyed looks up from his test book, barely even startled by the intrusion. He smiles.
"Of course, honey. Why do you ask?" Blaine can almost believe him like this, carefree, effortless smile on his face, and wide eyes sparkling with something meant just for him. Almost. If he hadn't witnessed the past month or his face moments before Blaine had made his presence known, but he had. He's seen it all, has that look of misery ingrained in his head.
"You…haven't been yourself lately. The clothes, the hair, you haven't even been singing. Please. Tell me what's going on. Let me help you."
Kurt stands, a look almost like confusion scrunching his face, and crosses the small distance between them. "I'm just tired," he says as he hooks his arms around Blaine's neck. "That's all."
He presses a chaste kiss to Blaine's lips. "That's all." Blaine kisses back, letting his lips linger a little longer. He knows that isn't all.
He probably should have called first considering he hasn't seen Sebastian since he learned of Kurt's af—it's been a long time. He probably should feel bad about only finding time to see him when pieces of his life are falling apart considering they really aren't even close friends. And he should probably find someone else to get advice from considering Sebastian Smythe is likely the last person on earth that will ever understand the inner workings of Kurt's mind—or want to. Despite this though, Blaine raises a steady hand and knocks out a random pattern on the door. Seconds later, it gives way to a familiar figure. "Hi."
Sebastian blinks a few times like he needs a moment to register something then opens the door the rest of the way in an invitation. "Can I get you something to drink?" he offers as he treks into the kitchen. "Coffee?"
"No, that's alright." Blaine seats himself into an armchair, going over the speech he has prepared in his head. He doesn't notice Sebastian take the seat across from him until he speaks.
"I'm assuming this isn't just a friendly visit." He takes a sip of his coffee, watching Blaine with calculating eyes.
"Well I—no, I guess not." The confirmation appears anything but shocking as Sebastian merely nods and fiddles with the sleeve of his sweater. It's nice actually, the sweater, and a little familiar. Not a cut he would have pegged Sebastian to wear, it's more Kurt's style, but it looks nice on him. Aside from that though, his appearance is a little…lacking. He looks good, of course, he always looks good—always had—but he lacks the usual Smythe spark he normally sported. His eyes are dull and tired, rimmed with just noticeable circles, his skin pale, not sickly, but a far cry from his bronzed, "beach boy" look. It may just be a trick of the sweater, but he looks as if he lost a bit of weight as well. "You look tired."
"Long nights at clubs, you how it is," he comments dryly, "Anyway, you had a reason for coming here?"
Why get involved if Sebastian wasn't open to share? "I need some advice."
"Well, yes. I don't really know who else to go to about this."
He sighs, "Spit it out, Anderson."
"It's about Kurt." Sebastian's body stiffens almost unnoticeably.
"Cheating on you again?" he quips, smirking a little, though it was lacking.
"No, no. We're good. I mean, as good as we can be right now. He just looks so…miserable lately," Blaine finishes lamely.
He straightens and runs his hand down his sleeve, "Miserable?"
"Yeah, he—well, he hasn't been himself and sometimes he has this look on his face like his whole world has been ripped out from under him and stomped on."
"Have you asked him about it?"
"Yeah, he just keeps saying he's tired and gives me this adorable little comforting smile. I don't know what to think." Blaine's face drops into his hands and a little frustrated noise puffs out of him. "What am I supposed to do, Seb? I feel like I'm losing him again and he's not even gone."
"Blaine, listen to me." His head pops up to catch a visible flame in Sebastian eyes. "Kurt is yours. He chose you, he's with you. He's not going anywhere." Sebastian takes a deep breath, running a thumb over the collar of the sweater. "You take your ass home and you talk to him. Demand to know what's going on with him and don't take no for an answer. He's yours, Blaine. Don't you dare give up on him." He stands and saunters to the door, ripping it open.
It takes a moment for Blaine to comprehend exactly what just happened but when he finally does, he stands shakily to his feet and follows Sebastian to the door. "Thank you." He pulls the taller man into an unexpected embrace, burying his face into his neck. "Thank you so much." Hands rub his back awkwardly. It feels good though, and Sebastian smells nice if not achingly familiar. And then he catches it. Blaine gives an experimental sniff and everything clicks into place. He rips away like he's just been burned. God, he's been so stupid. Of course, how did he not see it before? "It was you." Sebastian only looks confused for a second before his features melt into understanding and acceptance. "This whole fucking time it was you. I came here for advice, not even just once, twice. And it was—you even fucking smell like him. And that's the sweater he bought himself for his nineteenth birthday. I'm so stupid!"
"And you," he fixes Sebastian with a glare, "Did it even bother you? You know how much he means to me. The two of you hated each other, but you and I were friends and you knew it would kill me. Did you even fucking care?" he scoffs, "Of course not, why would you? The only thing that matters to you is that you have a hole to stick your dick in." For his part, Sebastian just stands there and lets Blaine tear into him. He looks like he wants to run and be anywhere but here but he doesn't.
Eventually Blaine runs out of insults and breath so he stops and just looks at Sebastian—back stiff, eyes sad and tired, stock still and accepting of his fate, not even trying to defend himself. It reminds Blaine of Kurt. "I love him," he says simply, testing the waters.
Sebastian doesn't look up from the ground when he responds thickly, "So do I."
Tears prickle at Blaine's eyes. Fuck, he knows. He knows Sebastian does, must, because there's no other reason for him to react the way he did, or say those words that were so very unlike Sebastian. The same Sebastian who doesn't believe in love just one-night stands and making money. But then, Blaine thinks, if there's anyone in the world who could teach someone to love it would be Kurt. His Kurt. With a strangled sob, Blaine sprints out the door.
Kurt isn't home yet when he gets there, but he doesn't try to call him. Instead he swipes a hand across his damp cheeks and curls into a ball on the bed. Blaine's never thought of himself as a masochist, but as he tucks his face into Kurt's pillow and takes a deep breath, he knows he can't let it go on like this, and he thinks maybe he is.
Let me know what you think? Big thanks to the best helper in the world XxBlackShadowMagicxX, who helped make this possible. :) Go check her out.