Kurt fidgets on his way to their usual coffee shop. Thankfully, the street is full of pedestrians who are good at ignoring the twitchy kid on the sidewalk, like all well-trained New Yorkers are. It's a quiet, cold, cloudy day, and the air feels still between the buildings. Kurt shoves his hands into the pockets of his jacket and loses himself in familiar beat of the city all around him, the traffic lights, the car horns, the construction. He has nothing to worry about. Everything is fine.
Blaine's already at their usual table when Kurt gets there, two coffee cups sitting in front of him. He checks his watch a few times, his back straighter than usual, before he notices Kurt at the door. He smiles when Kurt sits down across from him. "Hey," he says.
The coffee here isn't great. Kurt probably should be disappointed that he's had better coffee in small town Ohio of all places, but one of the reasons he loves his place is that it's quieter, not quite as busy as some of the more popular coffee shops. As much as Kurt loves the speed at which New York runs, he also loves being able to carve out a piece of it that's slowed down, a piece of it that feels like it's just for him. "Hey," Kurt says.
"Look," Blaine says, leaning forward in his chair. "I'm really sorry if I was weird about things earlier. It just took me by surprise. It's really okay with me. It's more than okay. I just--" He holds out a hand palm down, a wry, careful smile on his face. It's an offer. Kurt isn't sure what for. It could just be about friendship, a chance for Blaine to show that he isn't afraid of touching Kurt now that he knows the truth. It could be--
Kurt reach out, palm up. Their fingers slide together first, the barest brush of skin against skin. Kurt's breathing picks up, his heart hammering in his chest. Their palms line up, Blaine's hovering over Kurt's for a moment, and Kurt feels like he's at the edge of a cliff, looking down at all the terrifying possibilities below.
Blaine squeezes Kurt's hand once, warm and gentle, before he changes the angle and wraps his thumb and middle finger around Kurt's wrist. Kurt stares at it, the place where they're touching. It's a formal, old-fashioned gesture, asking someone to sub for you this way.
"Blaine--" Kurt says.
Blaine looks at him with his wide, earnest eyes. His fingers tighten in a way that send sparks up Kurt's spine. "I had this whole speech planned out, and I-- it was mostly about how you're the most incredible person I've met here, and how I'd be really honored if you would be willing to sub for me tomorrow night. We could get dinner beforehand, and--"
Kurt's mouth has gone dry. "You didn't even know I was a sub until two days ago," he says. And there was the guy in Blaine's acting class. Kurt doesn't even remember his name, but he does remember the way Blaine looked when he talked about him.
Blaine lets go of Kurt's wrist. He pulls back. "I-- I'm sorry." He runs a hand over his hair, smoothing out the gel even more. "I know that I'm supposed to know what I'm doing and that I'm supposed to be the responsible one, but I just-- I'm still trying to figure things out. For myself. And you-- I think I always knew how I felt about you. If you just want to be friends, I'm okay with that." He smiles, awkward and lopsided. "I can handle it if you say no."
"I'm not saying no," Kurt says. He doesn't know what to do with his hand now. It's just sitting there, alone. He turns it over, palm down on the polished wood of the table.
"Oh," Blaine says. His forehead furrows. "Is that a yes, then?"
"Yes," Kurt says. His head is spinning. He's pretty sure that's a good thing.
The smile that spreads across Blaine's face is blinding. "Great!" he says, and then he lets the subject slide. They spend half an hour talking about other things, like Rachel's latest audition and the newest rumor that one of the ballet dancers managed to get his main rivals kicked out for cheating in one of his Kinesthetics of Anatomy classes. It would be normal, like any other conversation they've had together, but these small, pleased smiles sneak across Blaine's face, and Kurt can't help feel an echo of them, deep inside his chest.
Unfortunately, it's not so long before Blaine has to run off so that he can grab some time in one of the practice rooms. Blaine says, "I'll stop by your room at seven." He stands up, pushing his chair in behind him.
He gathers his things, circling the table, stopping next to Kurt. He leans over and whispers into Kurt's ear, "Don't touch yourself tonight, okay? Not until we see each other again." His breath smells like his drip coffee, and his hair smells like that raspberry hair gel he uses. He smells so strongly like Blaine, like all the fragments of him that Kurt has kept tucked away in the corners of his mind. Blaine runs the tip of his middle finger over Kurt's wrist and across the back of his hand. The path he leaves behind tingles.
And then he's gone. It takes Kurt a moment to get his breathing back under control, to regain all the feeling in his limbs. He flexes his fingers, his toes, trying them out again. He's never felt so pulled out of himself before, like his body doesn't quite belong to him. They used to talk about surrender in his dominance/submission classes, and it had always sounded uncomfortable and a little terrifying to give up that much of himself to someone, to anyone. Now he thinks of the way Blaine touches him when they're together, the way Blaine smiles when he's happy, the way Kurt feels when Blaine's sitting right next to him, and it doesn't seem scary at all.
It's not just because Blaine told him not to. Kurt spends the night feeling like he put his skin on too tight, filled with a strange new neediness, desperate for touch. When he tells Rachel about his date, she squeals with delight, giving him a quick hug and a squeeze on the arm, and Kurt's left wondering what it will be like if -- when -- Blaine wraps his arms around him.
He's never subbed for anyone before, and even with the high school classes there to prepare him, Kurt wonders what Blaine might want. He tests out ideas in his head, feeling out the shape and the weight of them, of being on his knees, of a heavy paddle against his ass, of a gag forcing his mouth open. Maybe he'll have Blaine's hands on his neck, around his wrists, leaving bruises, leaving marks on his skin. Thinking about the possibilities leaves Kurt's body hot and shivery, wanting and knowing he can't do anything about it, which just makes the wanting all the more sweeter.
He tosses and turns on his bed, wondering if he could just rub himself off against the softness of his sheets, even though he knows that's a letter-of-the-law sort of argument. He wants-- he likes that this what Blaine wants, that this is what Blaine has asked for. Kurt can be good. He wants to be. He's wired up, a hum of electricity underneath his skin, and it's frustrating, surprisingly intense. It's never been like this before, like all the cells in his body are aligned, ready, waiting.
He closes his eyes and tries to keep still. It takes him a long time to fall asleep.
Blaine picks him up from his dorm room at seven. He's dressed neatly, but not any more formally than usual, in his white collared shirt, gray sweater, corduroy jacket with elbow patches. Kurt's seen him in similar outfits before, but now there's intent behind it. Now it has all sorts of new and exciting meanings.
Kurt himself had spent half an hour on Skype with Mercedes, panicking to her about what to wear (what if he's expecting something subbier and why do I own this, this is awful and it should not take this is long to pick out a pair of pants), until she told him to sit down and get his shit together. "First off, the Kurt Hummel I knew in Lima could put together a fabulous date outfit in his sleep with one hand tied behind his back, and second off, doesn't he live on the same hall as you? Face it, boo, he's already you at your best and at your worst."
Kurt had said, "Stop making too much sense, Mercedes." But he had taken her advice and reminded himself that if he hadn't already scared Blaine off, he wasn't going to do that over dinner if his socks and his shirt didn't perfectly complement each other.
"You look great," Blaine says, his voice warm. He holds out a single sunflower for Kurt to take. They're one of the only flowers that are still in season this late into autumn, and Kurt likes the brightness of yellow against the drab whiteness of the dormitory walls.
"Why thank you," Kurt says. He does a little twirl that makes Blaine smile wider, so that he shows off more teeth. Kurt takes the flower and places it an empty water bottle, leaving it on the shelf next to his desk, where he can stare at it while he's stuck doing homework and remember this night.
They go to a Thai restaurant they've been to before with Rachel and Finn when Finn had been in town visiting them. It's the sort of place you find packed wall-to-wall with students, loud and boisterous and constantly moving. It's not typical first-date material, not the type of place where the waiters are dressed up and there are nice kneeling pads on the floor. Here, there are mismatched chairs, ugly fluorescent lights, waiters frantically wiping down tables so they can seat another party. The food is amazing and inexpensive, and Kurt loves they way it feels like a proper city restaurant, everything happening too fast and all at once.
While they eat, they talk about normal things, Kurt and Blaine things, about music and theater and school work and juicy dorm room gossip. It's just like any other time they've had dinner together, except for the way Kurt is having trouble keeping his nerves from getting to him. He watches Blaine's mouth, his arms, the bob his Adam's apple, the slope of his jaw. Kurt's watched before, but it feels heavier now. It sends a pleasant anticipatory shiver through Kurt's body, from his head to his toes.
Blaine is neat and efficient when he eats, precise in his every movement, and Kurt can't stop thinking about Blaine's fingers where they're wrapped around his chopsticks, and how they--
"Something on your mind?" Blaine asks. The tone of his voice is innocent, but his eyebrows are rising, and there's a grin at the corner of his lips.
Of course, Kurt could play this game, too. "I have no idea what you're talking about," he says, dropping his lashes and straightening the napkin in his lap.
The grin on Blaine's face breaks into a full smile, wide and ridiculous, and Kurt's chest lurches with how much he wants.
After dinner, they linger outside Kurt's door.
"We don't have to," Blaine says. He pulls back, just a half-step, too far away, and Kurt can behave himself like a good sub, he really can. He's not going to pull Blaine into his room after him.
"No," Kurt says. "I'm pretty sure we do."
That startles a laugh out of Blaine. "Okay," he says.
He follows Kurt inside, watching as Kurt turns on the lights, straightens the sunflower hanging over his desk, puts his keys down into his favorite repurposed ashtray. After Kurt's done with his usual routine, they end up standing in the middle of Kurt's room, staring at each other with the stupidest grins on their faces until Blaine manages to drag his eyes away from Kurt's lips.
"Right," he says. "What's your safeword?"
That was probably the only assignment in his classes at school that Kurt had actually liked. He and Tina and Mercedes would sit around his room and giggle to each other about the ones Finn and Puck had decided upon and speculate on safewords of famous celebrities and reality TV stars. "Couture," he says. He likes the way it sounds rolling off his tongue, and he likes the way this moment feels effortless, lighter than air.
Blaine nods. He steps closer, and something on his face shifts, taking on a certain intensity that Kurt hasn't seen before. "Sit on the bed," Blaine says, and his voice is softer, rougher than it usually is.
Kurt sits on the bed. He has a moment of wondering if he should cross his legs, if his back is straight enough. He almost wishes he'd paid more attention in his classes. He's pretty sure they had an entire class period devoted to proper posture. But then Blaine is straddling his lap, using one of his hands to tilt Kurt's chin up.
"Tell me if I do anything that makes you uncomfortable," Blaine says. His breath ghosts over Kurt's cheeks before he kisses him.
Blaine's lips are softer than Kurt imagined they'd be, gentler. There aren't any fireworks, but there's a warmth that spreads through him from every place that he and Blaine are touching, heating up all the cold places inside of him.
When Blaine pulls back, his breathing is a little short, and his cheeks are a little flushed. "Okay?" he asks.
"Very okay," Kurt says.
They undress down to their underwear apart from each other. Kurt is thankful for that, because he can already feel his hands beginning to shake from nerves, and now there's all this skin everywhere, his own and Blaine's. It makes Kurt wonder if Blaine ever feels exposed like this, stripped of all his defenses.
Kurt reaches for the waistband of his boxers, but Blaine steps in close, nudging his hands away. "Let me do that," Blaine says.
Blaine eases Kurt's boxers down over his hips and over his erection. He kneels at Kurt's feet to get a good angle, and there's something so wrong and illicit about it that makes Kurt squirm.
Blaine doesn't seem particularly bothered by it. "God, look at you," he says. He leans back, letting Kurt step out of his boxers, and he stares at Kurt's cock, which is hardening even further under Blaine's gaze. Blaine puts his hands on Kurt's hips, and his fingers brush over Kurt's mark. Kurt shivers, and Blaine's focus shifts. He runs a thumb over the circle, a feather-light touch, a tease.
Kurt's breath stutters in his chest, because this is new -- he's never shown anyone his mark before, not even his dad. Kurt was never like Puck or Santana, proud to show off their marks at New Directions pool parties, tugging down their swimsuits so everyone could get an eyeful.
And now Blaine is touching it, his fingers moving slow and gentle. It's the most terrifying and wonderful thing Kurt has ever experienced.
"Please," Kurt says. His voice sounds so high and so broken already, and Blaine has barely even touched him.
Blaine surges forward, pressing a wet kiss against the mark, his tongue tracing the lines of it. Kurt whines, his cock going rock hard and leaking. It's never been this sensitive before, like all of the nerves there are wired straight into his dick. "Wow," Blaine says. His voice has gone deep and raspy, and his eyes are wide and dark.
Kurt reaches down to touch himself. He's so turned on it wouldn't take much; he just needs to--
"No," Blaine says, sharp with command. "Don't. I want to--"
Kurt moans, hips bucking against Blaine's hands. His own hands are clenched into fists, and when he looks down, all he can see is Blaine, the shine of his hair, the redness of his lips, the slope of his shoulders. Kurt trusts him with this. "Please," Kurt says again. The waiting was good. The waiting was great. But he's been in at least a low level state of arousal for over twenty-four hours now, and he really really wants to come right now. He wants Blaine to be the one who makes him come.
"Hey," Blaine says. "I've got you." His breath is warm on Kurt's skin.
He stands up and presses soft kisses along the line of Kurt's neck before wrapping a hand around Kurt's cock. It's not like this when Kurt does it to himself. Blaine's hands are rougher and he favors a different grip, and Kurt wants to know if this is what Blaine does when he's by himself, if he's thinking of Kurt when he does this. The thought of it makes Kurt shudder and let out a low groan. "Blaine," he says, drawing out the vowels, his eyes falling closed. He's so close.
"I want to see you come," Blaine murmurs. "I wondered what it would be like if I could-- if you would ever let me see it." His hand speeds up as he nibbles along the edge of Kurt's jaw.
"Yes," Kurt says. "I want you to see it too. Please." He can't get his hips under control. He's fucking the circle of Blaine's fingers, and it's not enough, he wants-- he needs Blaine to say it.
"Now, Kurt," Blaine says, and the he's biting down on the place where Kurt's jaw meets his neck. The pain blossoms there, radiating outwards until every one of Kurt's nerves is lit up, from his ears to his elbows to his toes.
It takes him a few moments to get his vision and his body back under control, and even then he's left feeling limp, slumping forward and using Blaine's shoulders to support himself. Blaine's arms are wrapped around his waist. One of his hands is messy with Kurt's come, and Kurt tries not to feel a rush of heat at the reminder that this actually happened.
"Wow," Blaine says. He helps Kurt onto the bed and climbs on next to him before he straddles Kurt's stomach. "Was that--?" He presses a kiss to Kurt's sternum, his head ducked so Kurt can't see his face.
"That was fantastic," Kurt says. He yawns, feeling sleepy, but Blaine's still hard, and Kurt wants to make him come too, wants to be the one who makes Blaine feel good enough to come. "Can I?" he asks, reaching for the waistband of Blaine's briefs, where Blaine's own mark, two simple vertical lines, peek over the cotton.
"Yeah," Blaine says. He shifts his legs to make it easier for Kurt to get them off. "I'm close. Won't take much."
It feels a little weird to think about it that way, but Blaine's dick is beautiful, hard, leaking, curved upwards in a way that's almost inviting. "What do you want?" Kurt asks. He's not-- he needs some direction here.
"Just your hands," Blaine says, rushed, out of breath.
The feel of another boy's cock in his hand makes Kurt feel giddy, ridiculous. It's almost as nice as the way Blaine moans and says, "Crap. That's so good," and the bright warm feeling that chases its way across Kurt's cheeks at the praise.
Blaine kisses Kurt when he comes, wet and sticky, all over Kurt's chest. He worries Kurt's bottom lip between his teeth, his hands solid and strong on Kurt's shoulders.
They stay like that for a moment, Blaine covering Kurt with his body, their cheeks pressed together, and Kurt can feel the way the way Blaine's breathing begins to even out again. Kurt wonders for a moment if he's managed to cheat his way through this somehow. He thought-- he thought sex, submission, might be difficult, the way most things in Kurt's life are difficult, but it's easy, the way most things involving Blaine are easy.
Kurt cleans them both off with some tissues from his nightstand while Blaine smile dopily at him from the bed. "You're even more amazing than I thought you might be," Blaine says, his voice soft and almost awed. Kurt flushes with pleasure from the compliment.
Kurt throws the tissues away and curls up next to Blaine on the bed. The mattress is narrow, so they're pretty much on top of one another, a messy tangle of limbs. Blaine runs an absent hand through Kurt's hair. "Sleep?" Kurt asks. It's not that late, but he's already tired, and Blaine is so warm and so comfortable in his bed.
Blaine yawns. "Sleep," he says.
Kurt wonders if the other shoe is going to drop in the morning, but Blaine wakes up and gives him a messy, inexperienced blowjob, refusing to let Kurt touch him until Kurt comes down his throat while Kurt's fingers twist spirals into his sheets. He kisses Kurt afterwards, the taste of Kurt still in his mouth.
"This means we're dating, right?" Blaine asks afterwards. He buttons up his wrinkled shirt and slides on his slacks, and it's something of a relief for both of them that his walk of shame is so short. His shirt is tucked in, but his hair is a mess, breaking out of its gel into unruly curls and his morning stubble is beginning to come in. Kurt can't help but be charmed by it, the sight of Blaine so undone.
"Of course," Kurt says from where he's sitting on the bed. He tilts his head up so that Blaine can give him a kiss.
"Good," Blaine says. He grins before he pulls Kurt's door closed behind him, and his smile is bright and warm.
When they're in public, not much changes besides the way Blaine is more casual about touching him, hands on his shoulder, at the small of his back, around his wrist. Kurt remembers the way Quinn used to make Finn do her hair after Cheerios practice or when Lauren Zises had Puck gagged for an entire day for mouthing off at her at an inopportune time (granted, it was a weekend day, but it had made last-minute rehearsing for Regionals more than a little awkward).
Blaine doesn't really seem into any of that. At first, it's a relief, because a lot of those things used to make Kurt really uncomfortable, and he's sure if he and Blaine ever get around to negotiating a real contract, public humiliation would be on his list of hard limits. Kurt likes that Blaine doesn't make him kneel during meals in Blaine's room, surrounded by Chinese takeout boxes, that Blaine will let him choose awful, awful Off-Off Broadway shows to go see together, that Blaine never gets mad when Kurt doesn't refer to him as 'sir.'
It's-- good, better than Kurt ever imagined a real, actual relationship would be. They scene together, of course they scene together, and they do normal things like Blaine tying Kurt to the headboard and fucking him slowly, refusing to let Kurt come until he's so desperate for something, anything he can barely remember his own name; like feeding Kurt chocolate by hand and letting Kurt suck the melted bits off his fingers; like leaving mouth-shaped bruises on Kurt's stomach, his thighs, the curve of his ass. Blaine always lets him set the pace and listens to what Kurt says he does and doesn't like about what they do together. Kurt isn't into all of it. Handcuffs are mostly just uncomfortable -- Kurt likes restraints with more give to them. The thought of hot wax just sounds deeply unpleasant, and ice cubes don't really do anything for him either way. Blaine never pushes the issue when it comes up. Maybe it's a problem, that Kurt doesn't like everything that Blaine seems to be into, but Blaine doesn't say anything about it and Kurt doesn't want to have that conversation either.
Then Rachel breaks up with her latest boytoy.
"He was just this passive aggressive asshole, and he was really bad at taking direction, always coming without permission and ignoring orders when he didn't feel like following them. I hate it when subs think they just have to be hot and show up and expect me to do all the work. Ugh." She waves her broccoli floret in Kurt's face.
Kurt's heard a few variations on this rant from Rachel before, but this is the first it's ever bothered him. "Were you ever serious about him?" He gets the feeling that Finn is still waiting around for her to figure things out while he's back in Lima, like some weepy story of a sub waiting for his dom to come home for him, and Kurt doesn't know if he thinks that's romantic or just kind of sad.
She shrugs while she chews. "We never really talked about it. Like, we negotiated a contract, but it never specified a length of time, and I think we were planning to figure it out later. Of course, caring for a needy sub would be a major time commitment and even now, the world can be hard on career women. I'm not sure if that's what I'm really looking for, you know?"
Kurt nods. When he and Blaine do talk about relationship things, it's mostly things like classes they could take together and the bow ties Blaine will be wearing for Christmas and whether or not Blaine is allowed to offer advice on how to fix the first verse on the main theme of Pip, Pip, Hooray.
They don't talk about the future, about what any of this might mean for them down the line. He knows that college is all about trying new things and experimenting. He also knows that Blaine likes him, likes spending time with him, likes the dinners and the scenes and the everything else about being college boyfriends, but maybe that's all it is, long term.
Blaine doesn't talk about his parents all that much, but he did mention why they'd wanted him to go to Dalton over a more arts-focused private school, something about developing character and strong moral fiber. Kurt can just imagine what kind of sub they're expecting their son to date, a quiet obedient thing who they could coo over for being so sweet and well-behaved. Knowing the way Kurt's life has gone, Kurt would probably make mean, snarky comments about celebrities and tease Blaine about his awful taste in music and would wear clothes far too flashy and attention grabbing for a respectable male sub.
Kurt knows his own dad would love Blaine, would love his polite manners, his open, earnest face, the way Blaine laughs and smiles so easily. The two of them could talk about sports things, share embarrassing stories about Kurt, maybe even rope Finn into a conversation about action movies. Knowing the way Blaine makes friends, he'd slot into their family unit like he was always meant to be there.
Kurt can't say the same thing about meeting Blaine's family.
He remembers what the doms used to say, back in the hallways of McKinley, about nobody ever wanting him, and it's not true. Kurt hasn't been crying himself to sleep here in New York all by himself. He has Blaine, and he had Adam, and he has all the other people who have looked at him and wanted him. Kurt left those stupid insults behind when he left Ohio, but sometimes when he sees a beautiful, obedient sub in the subway, a worn-in collar around his throat, a blissed out smile on his face, looking like everything that Kurt isn't, those words still linger at the back of his mind.
That night, Blaine has him blindfolded with a necktie, one of the fatter ones with blue and red stripes that Blaine never wears. Kurt kneels on the soft throw rug that he stole from Rachel's freshman dorm room, curling his fingers into the threads. Blaine's hand is warm on Kurt's naked back. The blackness in front of Kurt's eyes is a little unsettling, but with Blaine here, it's just quiet, comfortable. There's only one person who can see him like this, naked and exposed and vulnerable.
"Color?" Blaine asks.
"Green," Kurt says.
Blaine presses a soft kiss on the top of Kurt's head, and he runs his fingers across Kurt's back, leaving a pleasant tingling sensation in their wake. A thumb presses against Kurt's lips. Blaine must have moved in front of him. Kurt sucks on the thumb, scraping his teeth over the knuckle, enjoy the feeling of part of Blaine inside him. It always makes him hot, always makes him feel open and needy. Kurt takes as much of it as he can, relishing the pressure Blaine puts on his tongue, the reminder that Blaine can-- Blaine can do anything and Kurt will want--
This isn't enough. Kurt's so hungry for it, he let's out a moan around Blaine's finger, sucking down on it as hard as he can as a reminder, as a promise.
"Okay," Blaine says, and there's a smile in his voice that makes Kurt want to preen. "Open."
There's another hand at his jaw, the slightest bit of pressure. Kurt opens his mouth obediently, and Blaine's thumb slips away. Kurt hasn't thought that being blindfolded would do all that different, hadn't realized how every touch, every sound, every smell would feel more, more than enough to make him gasp and shiver. He's at Blaine's mercy right now, and even though Kurt's known he's a sub for a while, it stills catches him by surprise how much he enjoys it.
For a moment, all he can focus on is the sound of Blaine's breathing, the rustle of his clothes, the slide of a zipper being undone. Kurt expects the brush of Blaine's cock against his lips, the tip already slick with pre-come. Anticipation coils low in his stomach.
"Color?" Blaine asks again. His voice is breathier this time.
"Green," Kurt says.
Blaine slides his cock into Kurt's open mouth, a hand on the back of Kurt's head to steady him. The sensation of Blaine filling him up, stretching his lips, the deep musky smell of him here, is more intense than Kurt had realized. He can't see the look on Blaine's face, can't hear anything over the rush of blood in his ears. He wants-- he slides down faster than Blaine's hand is moving him. He can be good. He can be so good.
Distantly, he feels Blaine's cock bump the back of his throat, and then his gag reflex acts up. He pulls back, coughing, angry at himself. He's been trying to work on deep throating for weeks now, and he hasn't quite figured out how to do it right. And Blaine isn't going to want some sub who can't-- Kurt reaches out, trying to find Blaine again so he can -- Kurt's hand collides with one of Blaine's legs, and that's something Kurt can work with.
"Hey," Blaine says, but that doesn't mean anything.
Kurt should be-- he can-- he manages to get his hands on Blaine's hips. He leans forward. Blaine's cock brushes against his cheek.
"Kurt, hey," Blaine says, "slow down."
Kurt stops, loosening his grip on Blaine's hips. He wants his mouth on Blaine's skin again, wants that bit of connection, but he can do this. He can wait for Blaine's direction. He can.
Blaine pulls back, too far away for Kurt to chase after, and all of a sudden it's too dark and too cold and too alone. Maybe this is it, the point at which Blaine decides that Kurt's not worth the effort and he's just going to-- going to find someone else, someone who is better at this, who can-- Kurt starts to shake. "Blaine?" he chokes out, his voice going high and strangled.
All of a sudden, Blaine is there again, wrapping Kurt up in a tight, warm hug. "Hey," he says. "I'm here." He pulls the blindfold off Kurt's eyes with clumsy, frantic fingers. Even with the lights dimmed, Kurt has to blink a few times before he can focus on anything.
Kurt returns the hug, clinging to Blaine's shoulders. He rests his forehead against Blaine's neck, where he smells like sweat and aftershave and raspberry hair gel, familiar, comforting. "You weren't there," Kurt says. "You were gone."
"I'm sorry," Blaine says. "I didn't-- I didn't realize."
"I wanted you to stay," Kurt says, and he's not sure whether or not he's making any sense.
"I want to stay," Blaine says. He stands up, tugging Kurt up with him. Kurt sways, unsteady on his feet, but Blaine just pulls him onto his bed so he doesn't have to worry about making his legs work properly.
They curl up together underneath Kurt's comforter, and this has always been one of Kurt's favorite parts, the way Blaine in his bed has always felt so warm and so safe. The night is still young, but Kurt doesn't want to move, and the thought of having sex right now is deeply unappealing. He's strung out, exhausted. He dozes off.
When he wakes, Blaine is still there, still warm, still safe. The sky is dark outside his window. The clock on his bedside table reads 1:07am. "Hey," Blaine says. "You've been kind of weird tonight. Do you want to tell me about it?" He speaks quietly, like they're sharing a secret. It's more of an invitation than an order.
Kurt huffs out a breath. Anytime, anyplace else and he'd be afraid of articulating things, of making them real, of giving them weight, but this is Blaine. This is the safest Kurt could possibly be. "This is-- this is actually serious, right? I'm not making it up in my head?"
Blaine's forehead furrows, eyebrows going flat. "Yes, of course it is. Why wouldn't it be?"
"Some of the guys, the doms, in my high school used to say that no one would-- that no one could ever want me," Kurt says. If he closes his eyes, he can hear the jeers that would chase him down the hall, that he wore his hair wrong, that he dressed funny, that he was way too frigid and dominant. "And there was this whole thing with Rachel and her newest guy, and--"
Blaine runs his thumb over Kurt's cheek. "I want you," he says, quiet and fierce, like he can wash away all those years with just three little words. "I never dreamed that there were subs out there like you. I didn't realize-- and then there you were. There were times, in high school when I was so angry it used to scare me. I was always afraid that I could-- I didn't want someone who would let me hurt him."
And that's all wrong, because Blaine could shatter Kurt to pieces, and there's nothing Kurt could do to stop him. It has nothing to do with sex or power exchange, but it's true all the same.
"I was thinking of getting you a bracelet," Blaine says. He brings Kurt's wrist to his lips and presses a kiss to the underside of it. "But then you said that all the modern day styles were tacky and they wouldn't go well with any of your outfits."
"They are and they wouldn't," Kurt says. He imagines a thick leather band around his wrist, having to coordinate it against the colors of a shirt, how much to show and how much to hide, and then whether or not it would unbalance an ensemble with the asymmetry, ugh, he doesn't even want to think about that. (But on the other hand, something rests warm and low in his chest at the thought of having a reminder of Blaine to carry with him, to show off to the world, so that they could look at Kurt and know exactly why he's so happy.)
Blaine laughs and tugs Kurt closer, which is pretty impressive considering they were already half on top of each other. "I'd still get you one if you wanted it," Blaine says. "Even if you ended up hating it and shoved it into the back of your sock drawer, never to be seen again." His eyes say everything that he can't quite put into words, and Kurt can't quite believe that he'd somehow missed all of this before.
Kurt curls a hand around Blaine's hip, feeling the hard knob of bone against his palm. "If I bought you one, would you wear it?" It wouldn't be so weird for a dom to wear a bracelet. It's coming into fashion for couples to get a matching set. Kurt imagines the black leather against Blaine's skin, seeing it when they're walking together in the hallways of NYADA or on the streets of New York, a public sign that Blaine is as owned as Kurt feels.
Blaine kisses the tip of Kurt's nose. "Every day," he says.
The cuff that Kurt buys for Blaine is simple with an edge of sophistication, elegant braided black leather, a simple metal clasp. Female doms tend to wear flashy ones, brown leather, brightly colored studs. The expensive ones have actual jewels. Male doms wear black ones, and it's in fashion to have metal spikes. Some of the gay male doms Kurt knows tend to make theirs flashier, colored studs on black, just incongruous enough to feel transgressive, like a 'fuck you' to the mainstream.
That look doesn't quite fit Blaine, who wears his flashes of color in ways that are smooth rather than sparkling. Kurt likes the old-fashioned subtlety of this one, and when Blaine wears it, he makes it look timeless.
When they're out together, Kurt likes to touch it, likes the way Blaine smiles when he does so, likes the texture of the leather against his skin, likes the looks they get sometimes, curious and confused.
"What do you think?" Kurt had asked, the first time Blaine tried it on.
Blaine had run his fingers over the twined strands, and he'd had this look on his face, five different emotions chasing across it at once. "It's perfect," he said, and his voice had been hushed.
When they scene together, Kurt likes to nuzzle Blaine's wrist, likes the way the smell of the leather mixes with the scent of Blaine's sweat, likes the way Blaine obviously takes care of it, keeping the leather smooth and supple. It's not so different from the way he takes care of Kurt.
I love you, Kurt thinks, as he presses a kiss to the palm of Blaine's hand, but he's not ready to say it out loud, not just yet.
Kurt has heard people talk about having a 'hell week' before, but he's pretty sure all of those people are talking out of their asses, because they have nothing on what Kurt has to deal with this time around.
Kurt has three final papers due this week, each one of them longer than ten pages. Tech week for the Tennessee Williams play reading group's annual play reading is going disastrously because two of the seniors have somehow decided to hold a competition to see who can do a better job undermining the whole show with their passive-aggressiveness. Kurt doesn't even know what it's about - something to do with the staging of a monologue, not that anyone will tell him which monologue it is or what's wrong with the staging of it. The Apples are going through some kind of deep philosophical split over whether or not they should sing ironic covers of songs written before 1973, and it's almost at the point where a civil war might break out amongst the club. Finn is having some kind of existential crisis about his future, and Kurt keeps getting weird e-mails from him about sweater-vests that he does not have time to deal with. Rachel is thankfully not having a meltdown, but she's convinced that Ms. July is still after her and it makes her twitchy and paranoid while she's anywhere near the dance studios, and that makes Kurt twitchy and paranoid too. To top it all off, Blaine's joined the sole all-male a cappella group at NYADA, and now Kurt's free evenings and Blaine's free evenings no longer overlap. They still see each other, but they can only make it work late at night. By then, Kurt is either wired on coffee because everything is imploding or he's so tired he passes out after five minutes of catching up.
"If I have to hear them snipe at each other one more time, I am going to kill them both with a rusty spoon," Kurt says. He's sitting at his desk in his room, and he's trying not to break things while reading his Facebook feed. There's all this reading group drama all over the place, and Kurt is just not ready to deal with any of it. He types up a cranky Facebook message and then deletes it.
"You've had a rough week," Blaine says. He wraps his arms around Kurt's neck and rests his chin on the top of Kurt's head. If it were any earlier in the day, Kurt would be angry at him for messing up his hair, but it's too late at night for it to matter. The leather of Blaine's bracelet brushes against Kurt's neck.
Another update shows up on Kurt's news feed, and he swears there is actually some kind of red haze appearing in front of his eyes. If there was some sort of technology that allowed him to strangle people through the internet, he wouldn't even hesitate right now.
Something of that must have shown itself in the tensing of his muscles, because Blaine tightens his arms and says, "It's going to be okay."
"Yes," Kurt hisses. "It will be once I find a way to dump their bodies into the Hudson without getting caught."
Blaine spins Kurt's desk chair around and holds Kurt's face in his hands, leaning forwards so their foreheads touch. "Hey," he says. "Close your eyes."
Kurt, somewhat reluctantly, does so. Blaine almost never gives Kurt direct orders outside of a scene, and when he does, Kurt knows it's because he thinks it's important. Kurt isn't compelled to follow them, not really, but it can be nice when they're alone together and it isn't even sexual. They haven't tried blindfolds again, but he still likes this part, where it's dark and all he has to do is focus on Blaine's touch, his orders.
"Take a deep breath," Blaine says. Kurt does. "Now let it out."
When Kurt breathes out, he does feel a little better. Not better enough to get through this week without seriously maiming someone, but the immediate desire to hurt someone has passed.
"Again," Blaine says.
Kurt does it again. He sinks a little, his heart rate slowing, his whole world reorienting towards Blaine.
"One more time," Blaine says. His pinky bumps against the lobe of one of Kurt's left ear.
This time, the world seems to slow, like Kurt's life is no longer on the verge of spinning out of control, like maybe he can survive this. He can feel the way his lungs fill in his chest, the way they collapse again afterwards. As a singer, he's always been aware of his breathing in a way that most people aren't, but this feels different, entirely mundane, the sort of thing that happens every moment of every day.
"You can open your eyes again," Blaine says.
Kurt blinks his eyes open. Blaine is still there, his eyes soft and concerned. Kurt finds himself smiling. The world's sharp edges feel sanded down, smooth. "Hi," he says.
"Better?" Blaine asks.
"Much better," Kurt says. He leans forward and presses a quick peck to Blaine's lips. "I love you." It takes Blaine's sharp intake of breath for him to realize what he's said. "I mean--"
"I love you too," Blaine says. He gives the back of Kurt's neck a little squeeze, warm and affectionate.
"Good," Kurt says, and Blaine laughs.
They find themselves in Times Square again, because Kurt can't seem to keep himself away. Blaine grumbles a little bit, but Kurt has seen his music collection, and he knows how much of it consists of original cast recordings of Broadway musicals. Blaine isn't fooling anyone but himself. New York never seems more at its best or at its worst than it does right here, and one day, it will be where Kurt lives, because home for Kurt has always been a stage. (And being with Blaine has always been like that, a chance to perform for someone he loves, a chance to earn every bit of his applause.)
They climb to the top of the TKTS booth steps together, Kurt grabbing Blaine's hand and leading the way. The air is chilly, January cold, drafty from the winds that howl between the skyscrapers. It's almost too much, trying to take it all in at once, but Kurt wants to. Kurt wants to remember every bit of this moment, the sight of the square lit up, every billboard screaming for attention, the sound of people, the tight crush of Manhattan traffic, yellow cabs threaded through the rest of it, the feel of Blaine's fingers tangled up in his.
Kurt's heart feels so big, so open and so ready, like he could hold all of New York City in it.
"I heard Rachel wants to move off campus next year," Blaine says. The spring semester is about to start up, and they need to make plans for the next year.
"Yes," Kurt says. "I think she's hit her breaking point." There's no question that he's going to be going with her. The dorms are, well, they're fine, but they're not great, and he does miss having Rachel around. It'll be nice to have some place where he can step back, where he won't feel like he's marinating in the crazy of NYADA 24/7.
"I'll miss you," Blaine says. He slides his hand up so that he can wrap his fingers around Kurt's wrist. Somewhere close, a car horn blares.
Kurt blinks. "You could-- You could come with us," he says. Blaine isn't required to stay in the dorms, and it would be easier to afford an apartment in the city with three people as opposed to just two, especially if Blaine's parents are willing to help him pay the rent. Blaine and Rachel get along well, perhaps a little too well for Kurt's taste, and Paul likes to joke about how he has a single for all the time that Blaine spends in his own room these days.
"Really?" Blaine says. He beams. "I'd love to." Kurt can just imagine it. A tasteful loft with exposed brick and a cramped bathroom, windows that show their age, an old cathode ray TV in one corner taking up too much space, Rachel's re-appropriated rug underneath their coffee table, Blaine napping on their worn-in, second-hand couch, his hair sticking up on one side.
They climb down the steps. Blaine hops off the last step, ridiculous as always. The lights of the city reflect in his hair, and Kurt remembers the first time they were here together, the way his stomach had dipped and curled. His stomach decides to do it again, just for old time's sake, and Kurt says, "This is where I fell in love with you."
Blaine's eyes widen. "Oh," he says. His smile gets smaller, but it doesn't lose any of its warmth. "I heard you singing in the showers the first week of school."
"What?" Kurt says. It seems ridiculous to think anything could have happened that long ago, before they had ever properly met.
"You were amazing," Blaine says. "I always knew that there would be all these incredibly talented people in New York, but that was just..." He trails off, shrugging like he can't quite find the right words.
"Please," Kurt says. He feels so full right now, filled up to the brim, and he wants everything, wants to hold it all in his hands, wants to feel it.
Blaine just looks confused. "Kurt?" he asks, his eyebrows arching.
"Please kiss me," Kurt clarifies.
And that time, Blaine gets it. He grins and dips Kurt, kissing him right there, in the heart of the city, next to giggling tourists and underneath the light of a billboard for NBC's newest sitcom. Kurt swears he can almost feel the steady pulse of New York all around him, or maybe that's just the rush of his own blood, his own heart skipping a beat. Blaine's hands are steady at the small of his back.
When Blaine pulls him upright again, they get a few cheers and some weird looks from the small crowd that's gathered around them, but Kurt doesn't care about any of them. "Just for the record, I'm still in love with you," he says.
"Me too," Blaine says. He tucks his fingers underneath Kurt's belt, gives it an experimental tug that makes Kurt's blood run hot.
"I want to go home," Kurt says. Times Square will still be here later, still waiting for them, and right now, he just wants Blaine to put him on his knees and make him beg. They'll live together next year, and Kurt will have it, the apartment and the dom and the ridiculous roommate and the glamorous New York life he's dreamed about for so many years.
"Okay," Blaine says. "Let's go." He grabs Kurt's hand, squeezes it once. His smile is so wide and so bright, and his eyes are sparkling, and Kurt thinks of ridiculous things, like always and forever, but maybe they're not so ridiculous when they come to Blaine.
Blaine gives Kurt's arm a gentle tug, a question in his eyes. Kurt answers by chasing after him, and they run off together like that, laughing as they disappear into the New York night.