Title: Heart-Shaped Bruises
Spoilers (if any): none
Warnings (if any): none
Word Count: 1,033
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee, this is a work of fiction. Title from “Toothpaste Kisses” by the Maccabees.
Summary: Blaine imagined a cashmere-sweater-string at the nape of Kurt’s neck—Blaine creeps beneath Kurt’s collar and tugs at it and he unravels. The string seemed to be pulled every time Blaine kissed him, every time he took Kurt in his arms or they settled back with Blaine’s head on Kurt’s chest and talked about things heavy and different.
Guys, I don’t even know what this is. I went into this with the intention of cuddle!fic and nothing more. Then I got slightly angsty and I don’t DO ANGSTY, but just…go with it, I guess. My brain is tired from its own antics regarding this story.
There’s this one jacket Kurt has, gunmetal grey with silver chains strung across the back. It’s structured and closely-carved; it makes him hold his shoulders higher and neck taller. It makes him feel like the most magnificent bitch that ever was, Blaine knows, and Kurt loves it. When he wears it, he’s the Kurt that the rest of the world sees.
* * *
There’s another jacket Kurt has, a worn red hoodie with a raggedy hem. Technically, it’s Blaine’s, but Kurt loves wearing it and Blaine loves seeing him wear it. It lives in Kurt’s closet, but sometimes Kurt asks Blaine to take it home and wash it, just so it will retain the smell of the Anderson’s laundry detergent. Kurt will wear it while they watch movies together, his right hand holding Blaine’s, his left brought up to his nose with the fabric pulled over his knuckles. He wears it when they’re just talking, when they’re just lying in Kurt’s bed and discovering things they haven’t talked about yet—things a bit sad, things a bit serious. He wears it and it allows him to slump, to melt into Blaine’s shoulder or his lips. When he wears it, he’s the Kurt that Blaine, and only Blaine, sees.
* * *
Ties stayed on and shirts stayed white-starched and pressed (even when it seemed rather unreasonable) in the first few months of Blaine knowing Kurt. They would sit together on the long leather couch in the commons while they did homework; Kurt’s eyes would drift closed and shoot back open. Blaine would smile.
“Give in. Sleep.” Blaine had said, giving Kurt’s shoulder a little pat. So Kurt had. Not in the sprawled-out, face-in-the-pillows kind of sleep. In Kurt’s calculated, buttoned-up kind of sleep. Hands pressed palm-to-palm and tucked under his head, knees pulled to his chest, body curled tight. Even while sleeping, he’s fiercely protective of himself, guarded with a self-inflicted armor.
* * *
Blaine could pinpoint the moment he realized he could loosen Kurt’s tightly-wound muscles, the stiffness of his shoulderblades and the way he holds his neck statuesque and towering. A month after they started dating, they had watched Project Runway reruns on the couch at Kurt’s house.
“Austin Scarlett was too talented for any of them.” Kurt had murmured sleepily, knocking his shoulder against Blaine’s. And Blaine had pulled him in closer and felt Kurt melt and sink and ease into him.
Blaine imagined a cashmere-sweater-string at the nape of Kurt’s neck—Blaine creeps beneath Kurt’s collar and tugs at it and he unravels. The string seemed to be pulled every time Blaine kissed him, every time he took Kurt in his arms or they settled back with Blaine’s head on Kurt’s chest and talked about things heavy and different.
* * *
Instinct took over Kurt when he was around Blaine—his body loosened and so did his tongue. They get around to talking about his mother sometimes, and seeing Kurt’s crumpled face and bitten lip hurts Blaine more than anything.
And suddenly, it’s not about sinking into kisses or sleeping sprawled-out anymore.
“I isolated myself a lot after she died. Didn’t really have many friends to start with—really didn’t have any after that. She was my best friend.” Kurt says, eyes settling anywhere and everywhere, then only to Blaine’s eyes.
“I wish I could have known her.” Blaine whispers, holding Kurt’s hand.
“She would have loved you. Oh my god, Blaine, she would have loved you. She would have loved…seeing me this happy.” Because of you is implied.
Kurt speaks softly then, an almost-whisper while he traces the slopes of Blaine’s knuckles. “You’re the only person I’ve ever talked to—really talked to—about her. Because I just know you’d be…so important to her.”
As if pulled by intuition, Kurt draws Blaine in for a kiss—it’s lazy and lingering and grateful.
* * *
The anniversary of Elizabeth’s death comes, and Kurt invites Blaine to the gravesite with him and Burt. Blaine trembles in the car on the way there, and Kurt holds his hand and whispers Thank you in between kisses to his knuckles.
Wintertime and the graveyard’s air is frozen and there are leafless branches of dead trees spiked sixty different ways to formulate a wooden cobweb—a lattice weave of black twig against grey sky. It’s eerie, spine-chilling.
Blaine hates graveyards. There’s always the nagging feeling that he’s stepping on bodies, invading on people that weren’t his to invade upon. And honestly, he’s scared to visit Elizabeth’s grave. He can’t quite recognize why. But he’s doing it, because this is the closest he’ll ever get to meeting her, and if he dies without telling this woman just how much she has indirectly affected his life—well, he doesn’t think he’ll ever forgive himself.
“You wanna minute alone with her, buddy?” Burt says to Kurt, who nods with his lips pressed together. Blaine moves to step aside with Burt, but Kurt grabs his hand.
So he does.
“Hi Mom. So…I know I talked to you a lot when things were really bad, but…I never really talked to you when things got really good. And they’re really good. They’re really good, Mom. Because of Blaine. I never really told you about Blaine. But…he’s everything. And I’m in love with him and I’m so happy because of him and it’s just…I’m glad you didn’t have to see me at my worst, but I wish you could see me now. I wish you could see him. I love you and I miss you. Every day.”
Then he’s just weeping and not holding anything back and clutching at Blaine and clutching at him fiercely.
“It’s okay…it’s okay, just cry…” Blaine whispers, rubbing his back and letting Kurt’s hand wrap around the back of his neck (he needs to be closer, so much closer).
“Thank you…” Kurt whispers after a while, hot breath against Blaine’s neck, a dry press of lips to the underside of his jaw.
“Thank you.” Blaine says into Kurt’s shoulder.
Wintry-bitter air still numbs their laced fingers, but Kurt’s body is still warm and pliant in between Blaine’s arms.
So they stay.