Ficlet: Just a Matter of Time (G)
Klaine Week Day 7: Reunion
Includes a song spoiler for 4x17.
When Blaine comes out of glee practice, Kurt is sitting on the floor in the hallway, his back against a row of lockers. He doesn’t look up at first, just sits, staring at the floor tiles and twiddling his thumbs. He looks so beautiful. He looks so sad. Blaine’s breath catches and his voice stutters when he says Kurt’s name.
Kurt’s eyes are a bit red and swollen, like he’d been crying a whole lot, though maybe not for a while. He smiles, small and wobbly, his fidgeting hands finding and grasping his bent knees. “You busy?” he asks.
“No.” The answer comes without thought; it’s instinctive. Because nothing else is more important and nothing ever will be.
Kurt gets up from the floor, dusting off the seat of his pants and then offering Blaine his arm, which he takes without hesitation. Blaine doesn’t hear Tina say they were supposed to go for coffee, doesn’t notice Sam shush her or see his leap into the air or the triumphant fist pump that follows. He just watches Kurt’s expression for some clue as to what is going on in his head. He searches his eyes, his jaw, the set of his mouth, his bobbing Adam’s apple. He’s looking for hope; he’s looking for the lack of it. He’s terrified to find either one.
In the parking lot Kurt leads him towards Burt’s truck. “Can I bring you back for your car later?” he asks once they reach it, and Blaine nods his head. He is loath to let go of Kurt’s arm, but is forced in order to go around to the other side of the truck and climb in.
By the time Kurt has snapped on his seatbelt and turned the key in the ignition, Blaine has lost all patience.
“Why are you in town? It’s not your dad, is it? Because I just talked to him the other day and he said his appointment went well –”
“No, Dad’s fine, Blaine. He’s doing very well.”
“Okay,” Blaine says softly when Kurt doesn’t elaborate, doesn’t answer Blaine’s initial question.
And so they drive in silence. Blaine recognizes the scenery as it flies past outside the window. He recognizes it, but remains confused as to their destination. He’d suspected the Lima Bean, but they’d gone past and veered too far west and then he decided to stop trying to decipher Kurt’s plans and simply trust in them.
He turns away from the window and watches Kurt instead. He looks stoic – his face calm, his hands loose on the wheel. Blaine’s attention is finally torn away when they turn onto a familiar country road, the truck jostling them up and down as they drive over bumps and through potholes.
“Kurt? This is where –” Blaine’s heart picks up speed.
“Yeah,” Kurt answers. He parks the truck and opens his door without elaboration or explanation. Blaine follows after him.
Kurt takes his hand as the make their way to the tree. When he bends down to brush the debris from Pavarotti’s grave, Blaine speaks up.
“Kurt, why are we here?”
Kurt turns to face him, the clasp of his hand tightening around Blaine’s. “This seemed like a good place. I didn’t plan on it, I just started driving and I – Dalton didn’t seem like a good plan, so… I just needed, I need, I… Blaine… Sam sent me a video of you at the piano… that song. Is that how you’ve been feeling? Against All Odds. You were so sure of us before –”
“You’ve been calling less and less since March and I thought – After the wedding I thought it was only a matter of time and then – I guess I’m feeling less sure. Not of my feelings, but of yours.”
“Blaine –” Kurt’s eyes fill with tears but they stay put, flooding the blue and dangling precariously from his lashes. “I’m sorry if I made you – I’ve been thinking a lot. Figuring things out. I just needed a bit of space.”
“You could have told me that.”
“I know. But I didn’t want you to think that it meant something bad.” Kurt runs the back of his hand over his eyes. “God, we really need to work on our communication issues.”
“So it’s not? Something bad?”
“No. I – I love you, Blaine. That has never been in doubt. But I needed to be sure that I could do this again. I didn’t want to lead you on or hurt you. I needed to know for sure. After what happened in February and then I had a sort of epiphany thanks to Santana and a snow storm and Moulin Rouge and I –”
“Kurt, are you saying that you want – Kurt.”
Kurt nods his head. Simple. Just like that. And Blaine feels bowled over, like his knees are about to give out and leave him falling to the ground. Months and months and so many tears and doubts and regrets and pain and Kurt just nodded.
“We got each other out of all this. Remember?” Kurt says and Blaine lets out a wet-sounding gasp and collapses forward into Kurt’s arms.
“I love you.” He presses the words to the underside of Kurt’s jaw like a promise.
“I love you, too, Blaine.”
They have much to discuss: issues, plans, promises, logistics – but for now they are content to stand together, sharing warmth and comfort in the shadow of the tree, birds singing and twisted limbs reaching up towards the sun.