Summary: Blaine promised Kurt that he’d keep an eye on Burt while he was going through prostate cancer treatment. Kurt never realized the lengths Blaine went to in order to keep his promise. But a weekend trip home to Lima finally gives Kurt the opportunity to see things with fresh eyes.
Inspired by Love Lost by The Temper Trap
Our love was lost, in the rubble are all the things that you’ve, you’ve been dreaming of. Keep me in mind. When you’re ready, I am here to take you every time.
Kurt was sprawled across his bed, absently flipping through an old copy of Vogue as he impatiently waited for the phone to ring. It had been nearly three hours since his dad’s oncology appointment began. And as each minute ticked by with no word from his dad or Carole, Kurt felt his anxiety swell. What was taking so long?
Kurt jumped a mile as his phone finally chirped, the screen lighting up with an incoming call. He rushed to pick it up, gratefully answering the phone on the first ring. “Dad?”
“Hey buddy – sorry for the long wait,” Burt spoke, his voice gruff but even, yet still seeming a little too carefully controlled to Kurt’s nervous ears.
“Is everything okay, Dad? What did the doctor say?” Kurt asked, desperate for information.
“Everything’s fine, Kurt. The doctor said my test results were good, all things considered. But he still wants to do a biopsy, just to confirm that the cancer hasn’t spread to any of my lymph nodes,” Burt explained patiently.
“A biopsy?” Kurt gasped, his stomach lurching suddenly. “Like surgery?”
“It’s a simple outpatient procedure,” Burt reassured calmly. “I’ll be in and out of the hospital in a few hours. It’s really not a big deal, Kurt. The oncologist is just being careful.”
“When?” Kurt managed, already fighting back tears.
“Next Friday – the biopsy’s scheduled for 7 AM and the doctor said I should be out of there by noon if all goes according to plan.”
“I’m coming home,” Kurt insisted, his mind already racing with plans he needed to make - plane tickets to buy, assignments to turn in early, and work shifts that would need to be covered.
“Now Kurt,” Burt began warily, “you really don’t need to do that. You’ve got classes and your job at Vogue. You can’t ju—”
“I can,” Kurt interjected. “I’m coming home, Dad - end of discussion. Isabelle will understand. And I’ve only got one class on Friday.”
Burt sighed heavily. “If that’s what you want to do, I guess I can’t stop you. But Kurt, it’s not gonna be like it was before…with your mom. You know that, right?”
Kurt drew in sharp breath, swallowing hard against the growing lump in his throat. He couldn’t cry, at least not now. “I know, Dad,” he answered at last, his voice shaky and strained. “But I’m still coming home, okay?”
“Alright kiddo, if you insist. Just text me the info when you book your flight, okay?” Burt requested, sounding resigned.
“I will, I promise.” Kurt was quiet for a moment, thinking. “And Dad?”
“Umm, is Carole around?” Kurt asked delicately. “I just wanted to get a little more info about the uh – the procedure. It…helps me, knowing the facts, I guess?”
“Carole had to go back to work, I’m afraid. But I’m sure she’d be happy to explain everything to you once she gets off work,” Burt offered. “Or you could call Blaine?”
“Blaine?” Kurt squeaked, confused.
“Yeah, he came today. He’s been to every single appointment I’ve had, come to think of it. And I’m pretty sure he was taking notes when the doctor explained everything,” Burt shared with a wry chuckle
Kurt’s eyes went comically wide, his mind reeling. Blaine went to the appointment? Blaine went to every appointment? And took notes? It hadn’t been that long since Kurt had seen Blaine at Mr. Schue’s wedding that wasn’t. Needless to say, he and Blaine hadn’t spent much time…talking then. Kurt felt a sudden rush of fondness for Blaine. It made sense, really – Blaine had promised to keep an eye on his dad and Kurt had come to understand that Blaine never did anything halfway. But this was truly above and beyond the call of duty.
“Kurt?” Burt called, bringing him back to the present.
“Yeah sorry, I’m still here,” Kurt responded quickly. “That’s a good idea – I think I’ll give Blaine a call now. Love you, Dad.”
“You too, kid. See you next week.”
Kurt was beyond exhausted by the time his plane touched down in Columbus. He’d been in classes all day, dashing to the airport with barely a moment to spare (or so he’d thought) only to find out that his flight was several hours delayed due to unspecified “maintenance issues.” By the time he boarded the plane, Kurt had managed to work himself into a frenzy. Rationally, Kurt wanted to believe that his dad would be okay, but knowing how his family had been wronged by the universe so many times, it was equally terrifying to let himself hope. He knew how badly it hurt to have the rug yanked out from under him, to have every last bit of hope extinguished, and Kurt wasn’t sure if he could survive it again.
As he exited the plane at last, Kurt hiked his overnight bag higher on his shoulder, rubbing at his bleary eyes. When at last he blinked, the world drawing into focus once more, he was shocked to see a grinning Blaine holding a poster board sign favored by chauffeurs and travel guides. He couldn’t hold back a giggle as he read the name written in Blaine’s scrawling script: His Royal Highness Kurt Hummel.
Kurt and Blaine met in the middle, with Kurt dropping his bag to the floor to wrap Blaine in a tight hug. He sighed with relief as Blaine held him securely, his face nuzzling into Kurt’s neck on instinct as they took a moment to simply breathe each other in.
Finally, Kurt pulled back, smiling as he stared into Blaine’s warm, familiar face. “Hey.”
“Hey,” Blaine replied, searching Kurt’s face for a long moment. “Long flight?” he asked, picking up Kurt’s bag and slinging it over his shoulder.
“Long day,” Kurt sighed, following Blaine as he began to weave through the crowd. Without thinking, he slid his hand into Blaine’s, threading their fingers together.
Blaine squeezed Kurt’s hand gratefully. “Well, you’re home now. We’re just over this walkway – I parked in the guest lot.”
Thirty minutes later, Kurt and Blaine were traveling down a quiet, nearly abandoned stretch of highway, having left the airport and city of Columbus behind. Blaine switched on the windshield wipers as a light rain began to fall. Kurt was quiet, listening to the steady patter of drops against the car roof, a million thoughts and emotions churning through his head.
Blaine’s eyes flickered over to Kurt, giving him a shy smile. “You’re quiet tonight. Everything okay? Besides the obvious, of course…”
“Yeah,” Kurt replied, managing a wan smile. “Just a lot to think about. I didn’t know you were to going to be picking me up…”
Blaine frowned, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. “I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to at first, because I had Cheerios practice. But then your flight got delayed and Carole and I both figured your dad didn’t need to be out driving that late when he had to be at the hospital at 6 am and I just thought— I hope it’s okay that I’m here?”
“No no, not like that!” Kurt rushed to reassure. “I didn’t mean— Of course I want you here, I always want you here. I was just surprised, that’s all. But it’s a good surprise.”
“Really?” Blaine asked, looking equal parts unsure and relieved.
“Really. And Blaine, I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve done for my dad. He told me that you’ve come to every appointment and that you even took notes…”
“I promised you that I’d look out for him,” Blaine said simply.
“I know you did, but I honestly didn’t expect you to do this much. But it means a lot to me…and to my dad and Carole too, I’m sure,” Kurt spoke in a hushed whisper, feeling his eyes well with tears unexpectedly at how stupidly grateful he was for Blaine.
“Of course,” Blaine breathed, reaching out a hand and draping it across the back of the passenger seat, rubbing gently at the nape of Kurt’s neck. Kurt leaned into the familiar touch, looking out the window as he struggled to regain control, swiping at a few errant tears.
“Nervous about tomorrow?” Blaine finally asked.
“Yeah,” Kurt sniffled, “I know it’s stupid, but after everything that’s happened, I’m always expecting the worst, you know?”
“Yeah, I can’t blame you, given what you’ve been through as a family,” Blaine started tentatively. “But I was doing some research on Stage 2 prostate cancer, and the five year survival rate is 100%. Even if you look at ten and fifteen year survival rates…”
Kurt turned, staring open mouthed as Blaine continued to spout off statistics and survival rates for prostate cancer, explaining the various surveillance methods and treatments with confidence. Suddenly, the full weight of everything hit Kurt. Blaine had done more research on prostate cancer than even he had. Blaine had made the two hour trek from Lima to Columbus just to pick up Kurt. He’d even gotten special permission to miss school tomorrow so he could sit with Kurt while Burt had his procedure. And even now, Blaine wasn’t asking for a single thing in return.
Kurt gazed at Blaine, suddenly seeing him with fresh eyes. Echoing in his head were familiar words…
Kurt, there’s a moment when you say, “Oh – there you are…”
“Kurt?” Blaine called, looking at him strangely.
“…I’ve been looking for you forever.”
“Can you pull over?” Kurt asked, his voice hoarse.
“Yeah, of course,” Blaine replied, looking worried. “I’m sorry, did I just completely overwhelm you?”
“No,” Kurt managed, shaking his head slowly. “I just need you to pull over.”
There was a moment of hushed silence, followed by the persistent tick of Blaine’s blinker and the low hum of the windshield wipers. Blaine turned into a truck stop, slowly easing the car to a halt, and putting the car in park.
The second the car was still, Kurt released his seatbelt, flinging open the passenger door and climbing out, scarcely registering the cold rain falling all around him.
“Kurt?” Blaine called, concern evident in his voice. His eyes followed Kurt as he walked around to the driver’s side, opening Blaine’s door. Kurt reached out a hand and Blaine tentatively took it, allowing himself to be pulled from the seat and out into the darkness.
Kurt launched himself at Blaine as soon as Blaine was standing at his full height, his hands cupping Blaine’s face as he pulled him in for a fierce kiss. There was a moment of stunned stillness before Blaine was returning the kiss eagerly, parting his lips to allow Kurt’s tongue to dart into his mouth as they were drawn inexorably closer. Kurt slid a hand to the nape of Blaine’s neck, giving a gentle tug to the familiar, albeit slightly damp curls, groaning as Blaine keened softly. The two of them were lost in each other, trading frantic kisses as rain drops and tears from Kurt’s cheeks blended together, At last, Kurt pulled back, breathless, resting his forehead against’s Blaine’s as he struggled to find solid ground again.
“Kurt,” Blaine murmured, his eyes still closed. “I – what was that for?”
“I love you,” Kurt said.
“I love you too,” Blaine replied immediately, finally blinking his eyes open, drops of rain dotting his eyelashes.
“Can we just…” Kurt began, taking in the hope and desperate longing emanating from Blaine, “…just start again?” he finished.
“Yes,” Blaine whispered, tears of relief mixing with the rainwater. “God yes, please,” Blaine continued, breaking out in a wide grin as he gazed back at Kurt.
Kurt smiled back at Blaine for a long moment, before surging forward once more, capturing Blaine’s lips for a kiss that was sweet and desperate and grateful. But most of all, the kiss felt like home.