by: mal

word count: ~1,000

inspired by: x (and possible spoilers)

"You’ll never guess who I saw today," Rachel blurted, just as Kurt was about to stuff his face full of chinese food.

This was not an uncommon conversation starter for them, especially since they moved to New York a year ago, but there was a hint of a crease in Rachel’s forehead that suggested that this wasn’t entirely news Kurt was going to like.

Kurt chewed slowly and swallowed his mouthful before prompting, “Who was it?”

Rachel bit her lip, setting her food down. She appeared to instantly regret bringing anything up.

"Rachel," Kurt said patiently, setting aside his own meal and folding his hands neatly into his lap. "You can’t just bring this up and not tell me."

"I know," Rachel whined, eyes darting around their apartment. "I mean, you’ll probably find out sooner or later but-"

"Just tell me," Kurt cut in.

"It was Blaine," Rachel admitted quietly.

The name stirred in Kurt, but he was almost certain he heard wrong. “What?”

"I saw Blaine today," Rachel repeated louder, like a confession. Her eyes were wide with anxiety, bright and glassy from unshed tears.

Kurt’s veins turned to ice, and he suddenly felt like puking. He pushed his food further away just so it wouldn’t unsettle his stomach further. The two of them were quiet for a long moment and Rachel watched Kurt warily, waiting for him to speak.

"Where," he finally said, folding his arms over his knees to hold himself together.

He and Blaine hadn’t spoken in a really long time. Despite all the promises they made to each other, after their painful break up soon after Kurt moved here, they lost all contact whatsoever. There were a few unanswered text messages and several missed calls, but nothing more. It was better to forget, Kurt decided, but now that Blaine was here, this changed everything entirely.

What was he going to do?

"NYADA," Rachel replied carefully, and before Kurt could question further, she continued. "I-I don’t think he saw me though. I got out early of my second period, and just for kicks I strolled by Cassie July’s dance studio to check out the new freshman being tortured by her."

Rachel paused, and Kurt rose his eyebrows, waiting, his breath tight and trapped in his throat.

"He was in there, dancing like I’ve never seen him before."

Rachel looked like she was almost in awe, and it made Kurt feel even more sick, his heart constricting and thumping dully in his chest.

"He got accepted into NYADA," Kurt realized, and he almost felt betrayed in a way.

Hadn’t Blaine realized the consequences of applying there? How it would affect not just him, but Kurt too? But just as these thoughts came to him, like a swift punch to the gut he realized how selfish he was being. New York was a dream of Blaine’s too, not just his.

"There was something about him," Rachel further divulged. "There was this sense of.. hardness. Determination. He looked cold, Kurt. Blaine was always a fresh ray of sunshine, but now he just looks like another robot amongst the talent."

"Don’t say that," Kurt lashed out, feeling like an injured animal trying to nurse himself. "Blaine would never change."

"Apparently he has," Rachel said somberly, taking Kurt’s hand, who didn’t refuse the contact right away. "According to Sam and Artie, Blaine went to Dalton not soon after.."

"Don’t," Kurt cut in, his voice full of anguish, tears now threatening to fall from his eyes. 

Kurt felt horrible.

He never realized more than now how much Blaine has done for him. Did for him. He transferred schools, changed his entire life, made new friends. He even stayed at McKinley even though Kurt was no longer there. And no matter what Blaine told him, or what he accomplished or what he did, Kurt didn’t pay enough attention. He was too caught up with himself.

Kurt was definitely sick then, running to the sink to dry heave since the bathroom wasn’t close enough. Tears burned his eyes to match his flaring throat, but it was nothing compared to the new fresh wave of heartbreak that came.

There was something he had to do. But what?

***

It was crazy, Kurt decided. But what other choice did he have?

Rachel had given him a map since he still didn’t know his way around, no matter how many times he’d visited to see Rachel or Brody. 

After being rejected a second time, Kurt immersed himself fully into fashion, where he finally got recognized for his talent but it did completely consume his life. It was bad for him at one time, but it was good for him since then because of all the pay offs.

So this is exactly why this was crazy. Nothing has changed, at least not for the better in this respect.

But Kurt followed his heart for the first time in a year, and he couldn’t just ignore it now.

Especially when Kurt spotted him, familiar maroon shoulder bag tossed over his shoulder. But he looked different, Rachel was so right. Seeing Blaine after so long made his heart squeeze in his chest, his head suddenly feel heavy and murky with emotion.

Blaine was wearing tight black jeans and a polo to match, his hair gelled in a much different fashion and his eyebrows were drawn together as he made his way to class. His belt sparkled, but his skin looked pale, as if he hadn’t seen the sun in quite a while. However, he had gained quite a bit of muscle mass, and Kurt noticed a small Dalton ‘D’ stitched to his bag strap.

Kurt watched as Blaine halted, gazing up a deserted staircase, his hand on the banister. Kurt didn’t quite understand it, but this was his one and only chance and he didn’t care if he was going to regret it later.

He acted purely on instinct when he jogged forward to tap Blaine on the shoulder, who jerked in surprise at the contact, but he didn’t know what he was in for until he turned around.

Like a flash, Blaine’s hard mask fell and all Kurt could see what pain. So he said the first thing he could think of before Blaine took flight from him again to never return.

"Excuse me, I hear you’re new here. Do you mind if I show you around?"

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