Blaine didn't even know him. He was a passer-by on the street, a flash of pale skin and blue eyes on the subway, a musical laugh heard in the background at the coffee shop. He had as much significance in Blaine's life as the man who served him at the grocery store, as the woman he accidentally bumped into on the train. They'd never met, never had a conversation, and yet Blaine was smitten with him. He didn't even know his name.
They'd had one moment together; they had shared one short exchange: a smile in unison as Bastille's 'Oblivion' came on in the crowded coffee shop near NYADA where Blaine went to school. Their eyes had met as they both smiled, united by their shared love of the band. It had barely lasted five seconds; a petite, dark-haired girl had appeared at the man's side and he had turned away, going to sit with her at a small table in the far corner of the café. Blaine was left with a skipping heartbeat and a lingering regret that he'd never said anything.
It had been four months since that moment, but he still remembered it like it had been yesterday: the impressive swoop of the young man's chestnut hair, the way it had shone in the sunlight streaming through the windows, the green-blue of his eyes, stunning swirls of color like a summer's ocean caught in a gemstone, his soft pink lips curving up into a smile, the way his face brightened upon hearing the song, lighting up even more when he met Blaine's eyes.
He probably didn't even remember their brief encounter. It was silly of Blaine to still think about it.
Blaine had seen him again that morning in the coffee shop. Nearly every time he went to the café before his first class of the day, the man was there. Maybe he worked or lived nearby, or maybe he went to school in the area like Blaine did. He'd made up so many different scenarios in his head about him and why he was visiting that particular coffee shop. He thought about this as he sat sipping his coffee and watching the other man drinking from his cup, sometimes alone, sometimes with a friend. Some days the man got his coffee and left, leaving Blaine feeling disappointed and wondering where he was rushing off to. He wanted to be the reason the man hurried out the door. Sometimes he indulged in a fantasy about this very thing.
Clutching the strap of his satchel tightly, Blaine sprinted across the subway platform, covering the distance between the stairs and the waiting train in a few seconds. He felt a small burst of success when he hopped into the train car just before the door closed. It wasn't often he actually caught the train he ran for.
With a jerky shudder, the train pulled out of the station and Blaine, breathing a little heavier than normal after his mad dash across the platform, cast a quick glance around the car he was standing in – sometimes his roommate took the same train as him – before fumbling in his pocket for his iPod when he didn't recognize-
His eyes caught a glimpse of a familiar profile and he did a double-take.
The man from the coffee shop was standing further down the car from him, leaning against one of the poles and flipping through the pages of the book he was holding. Blaine stared at him, his heart quickening in his chest. In all the time he'd been noticing him, he'd only ever seen him on the subway once before.
He watched the man turn a page in his book and frown down at it, his hand coming up to scratch the side of his nose. Blaine realized he was staring and returned to the task of taking out his iPod, continuing to watch the other man covertly out the corner of his eye as he untangled his headphones.
He looked beautiful, as he always did. His hair was once again impeccably styled, not at all limp or ruffled despite the fact that the day was drawing to a close, and his outfit had obviously been meticulously chosen to accentuate his best features and look on-trend. His skin looked paler under the subway lights, but he looked all the more beautiful for it. He was so tall and lean and striking that Blaine wondered, not for the first time, if he was a model.
Blaine put his earbuds in, but didn't play any music – he was merely using his iPod as a way of making himself look occupied so his staring wouldn't look so strange if anyone were to notice.
The train slowed to a stop at Blaine's station and he reluctantly got off, casting one final glance at the man from the coffee shop before he stepped onto the platform. On the walk to his apartment, he tried to tell himself to stop pining after a stranger, but thoughts of the stranger's smile and daydreams of how they would finally have a conversation pushed any reprimands aside until they faded into the background. He was falling for a stranger and his own daydreams, but he couldn't bring himself to care.
"Do you want one of these?" his roommate Wes asked him in lieu of a greeting. He held up a couple of small hardback books.
Setting his satchel down on the coffee table, Blaine squinted at the books, searching for a title on the cover. "What are they?"
"Notebooks," Wes explained, walking up to Blaine and handing him one. "They were giving them out at this lecture I went to today."
Blaine flipped through the ruled pages and then turned the book over, noticing the small logo of some legal firm stamped on the bottom of the back cover. He shrugged. "Sure, I'll take one. I'm sure I can find a use for it."
"You can use it to keep a list of all the top 40 songs you want to perform at that school of yours," Wes suggested with a teasing grin.
"Shut up," Blaine said mildly, gazing thoughtfully down at the cover of the book. Wes laughed and wandered off in the direction of his room.
Blaine flipped through the pages of the little book again, an idea forming in his mind. He needed some kind of outlet: a way of saying the words he so desperately wanted to say, but that couldn't get past the sticky block in his throat. Words that came to him so easily in his head, but couldn't get further than teetering on the tip of his tongue: words that he wanted to say to the man from the coffee shop.
Sinking down on the couch, Blaine opened the book and smoothed a hand down the first page. He'd always enjoyed writing – English had been one of his best classes in high school – and he sometimes found it so much easier to express himself through the written word or through song. Writing was his favorite, though, because it was his words and his emotions and his perspective. While the lyrics of some songs came very close to describing what he was feeling, they had still been written by someone else; they still weren't quite right. He could write about this man and how he made him feel, and hopefully it would help with the distracting daydreams; they were becoming far too frequent.
Tugging his satchel towards him, he rummaged around inside, before pulling out a pen. After a quick glance over his shoulder to check he was still alone, he began to write.
He didn't write about his short moment with the man, nor did he write out his vivid daydreams; instead, he wrote about the man's beauty: the eye color he could describe in dozens of words and still not get quite right, the way his smile tugged at his lips and shone through his eyes. He wrote another paragraph on his laugh, heard across a bustling coffee shop. He wrote about the mystery of him, why he was so intriguing and captivating. He described the man in so much detail that when he sat back to look over what he'd written, he felt like he could see the man on the pages, like a glimpse of him through a coffee shop window.
He traced the letters with his forefinger. The man felt more real to him now that he'd written him down; he'd existed too much in his fantasies before. Now, reading back over the words he'd penned, Blaine could hear the man's voice, feel the way the air stirred when he walked by, see how the sunlight played on his skin. He was so much more tangible.
He continued to write in the book over the next few weeks. Anytime he saw the man in the coffee shop or was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of him on the subway or out on the busy streets somewhere, he wrote about it, describing the way he'd looked, the way the rest of the world seemed to slow to a crawl whenever Blaine laid eyes on him. Some days, Blaine would write several paragraphs, but on others he only wrote a sentence or two. It all depended on how he felt.
What had begun as an outpouring of his thoughts from mind to paper had changed. With the increasing time spent writing and expressing his own thoughts, his mind set shifted ever so slightly, and he began to see everything a little differently. The thoughts he'd once scrawled carelessly on the page spun into poetry, and he turned the man he saw in the coffee shop into a work of art.
And then he learned his name.
Blaine tapped out a reply to a text one of his classmates, whom he was paired with for an assignment, had sent him. He was at his usual coffee shop, waiting at the counter for his coffee to-go, and trying to reason with his classmate who was insisting they act out a scene from Hamlet despite Blaine's insistence that it was overdone and too easy a choice. He was halfway through his reply when he felt a pair of eyes on him. He looked up from his phone, and his heart skipped in surprise.
The beautiful blue-eyed man was gazing at him.
As soon as Blaine raised his head and met the man's gaze, the other man quickly looked away towards the coffee machines, blinking rapidly and fidgeting with the strap of his bag.
Blushing, Blaine stared at him for a moment longer, before ducking his head back down to face his phone, his heart and mind racing. Maybe it had just been a case of unconscious staring, but Blaine couldn't help but wistfully jump to the conclusion that he had been staring at him for another reason; that maybe he found Blaine as beautiful and intriguing as Blaine found him.
Without lifting his head, Blaine snuck a glance over at the man again and found him turned slightly to face him, watching him subtly.
Blaine's stomach leaped. He began summing up the courage to go over and talk to him, or at least smile at him so he would maybe come over and introduce himself.
'You can do it, Blaine,' he told himself. 'Don't be such a wimp.'
He screwed up all of his courage and looked up, a friendly smile on his face. There was a moment when, for the space of a heartbeat, their eyes met and the other man smiled, his mouth tugging up at the corners and his eyes lighting up in the way Blaine remembered – then a girl took hold of the man's arm.
"Kurt!" she said, a slight whine to her voice. "What's taking so long? Did you get my tea?" Blaine recognized her from being around with him before.
A barista set two paper cups down on the counter beside them and the girl snatched them up, passing one to the man beside her – to Kurt.
She tugged on Kurt's arm. "We're going to be late!"
Kurt shot one helpless look back over at Blaine, and then he was gone, pulled from the coffee shop by his friend.
Blaine let out a shaky breath, his blood rushing behind his ears. They had come so close, so close to actually meeting each other, to talking, to becoming friends, to-
Inhaling deeply, Blaine cut off his thoughts before they could spiral too deeply into fantasy. It was then that he noticed the barista had set his coffee on the counter and had been trying to get his attention.
"Sorry," he apologized, still feeling dazed. He accepted his coffee and left the café, feeling rather as though a rug had just been pulled out from beneath his feet. As he walked slowly to college, his cloud of frustration and disappointment at what he'd missed out on began to lift in the wake of the bright spot in his morning: he knew his name.
The man in his daydreams, the one he wrote about, the one whose pulse beat in the pages of the little hardback book in his satchel – he knew his name now. He could finally stop referring to him as the beautiful man from the coffee shop in his head. His name was Kurt.
Kurt… A small, dreamy smile spread across Blaine's lips. As silly and schoolgirl as it was, he liked the sound of their names together: the smoothness of his own name paired with the sharpness of Kurt's. Kurt and Blaine. It sounded good to him.
The thrill of finally learning Kurt's name carried Blaine through an entire week of only catching the briefest glimpses of him. The name crept into the verses he wrote in his book and into the fantasies that filled his head during the ride home on the subway or a long, boring class. He only wished Kurt himself had been the one to tell him his name, but, starved as he was of any real contact with Kurt, he took what he could get.
His newfound enthusiasm for writing and attachment to the little hardback book didn't go unnoticed by Wes.
"I'm glad you found a use for that book, but what are you writing in it?" Wes asked one afternoon when he arrived home to find Blaine sitting on the couch scribbling in the book. "I swear every time I see you these days you're writing – you're obsessed!"
Snapping the book shut, Blaine shrugged as nonchalantly as possible. "Just notes and things for college," he replied casually. "I like to make notes on people's behavior to use for when I'm acting."
He tried not to show how much Wes' use of the word 'obsessed' had affected him. He'd been thinking about it lately in terms of how he felt about Kurt and how he was going about expressing those feelings. He wasn't sure Kurt would think all too highly of this if he were to find out. Maybe he did have an obsession that he needed to control; an obsession with his fantasies.
Wes didn't think anything of his response. "If you keep that up you'll be able to play just about any role that comes your way," he remarked.
Blaine shot him a quick smile as he slid the book back into his bag. "That's the plan!"
By the next month Blaine had slowed his writing from his frantic, obsessive pace. He still wrote on most days, but it was only a little each time, just a few sentences here and there. It wasn't that he'd lost interest in Kurt or that the enjoyment and release of writing was any less for him, he had just written about Kurt so extensively that he was running out of words to write about him. There were only so many ways he could describe Kurt's appearance and behavior and the way he made him feel. Until he got to actually know Kurt, his writing material was very limited, and running dry.
But then Kurt disappeared.
Blaine didn't think anything of it at first. It was the time of final exams and as he assumed Kurt was at college, he didn't think there was anything odd about not seeing him at the coffee shop or on the subway or street. He was a little disappointed, but was sure Kurt would appear again once the madness of the end of semester was over.
Once all of his final recitals and performances were over, classes broke for a few weeks of vacation. Blaine went back to Ohio to visit his family for most of it, returning to New York a couple of days before classes started again. He missed seeing Kurt while he was away and took out his book a few times to read from it, the words he'd written enabling him to hold a clear image of a smiling Kurt in his head. Then college went back and he returned to his usual routine of taking the subway and visiting the coffee shop before morning classes at the same time as Kurt always used to – only Kurt wasn't there. Days, and then an entire week went by, and Blaine still never saw him. His heart sunk when he realized that Kurt's classes probably started at a different time this semester and he didn't think enough of Blaine to visit the coffee shop at the same time as he used to. Blaine was just a passer-by to him; a single violin in the orchestra of life. He didn't matter to him.
Blaine lost the hope that he would see Kurt again slowly – it bled from him in a weak trickle. It was weeks before he stopped looking up with a racing heart every time someone entered the coffee shop; months before he stopped searching it hopefully whenever he stepped inside. Wes noticed his sinking spirits and voiced his concern over dinner one evening. Blaine claimed he was under a lot of pressure with his heavy workload at NYADA, which wasn't entirely a lie. He had wished for a relationship of his fantasies with a complete stranger and had fallen in love with his handsome looks and the idea of him. Now that stranger had disappeared from his life, as he was always going to do, and Blaine was left with a broken heart, crushed hopes, and a notebook filled with verses and poems describing the stranger's beauty and his own fantasies. He had been so naïve.
The semester continued to pass by in a rush of dance classes, obscure plays, and vocal exercises. Blaine still frequented the same coffee shop, but he would be surprised if he saw Kurt there now.
Kurt wasn't completely gone from his life, though. Blaine kept him alive by reading and re-reading his notebook, the spine of which was now cracked, the pages becoming crinkled and worn from how often it had been read. Even if he never saw Kurt again, he would be with Blaine forever through the pages of his book.
It was the beginning of summer when he saw Kurt again.
The academic year had wrapped up at NYADA a few days ago and Blaine was looking forward to a summer free from deadlines and rigorous classes. He had a trip back home planned and several auditions for various productions lined up thanks to his connections at college. He was celebrating all of this by having iced coffee with Wes and a few of their other friends at his usual coffee shop. It was when he was listening to a story one of Wes' classmates was telling that he heard a familiar laugh.
He spun around in his chair, his eyes searching in the direction he'd heard him – Kurt. He quickly spotted him. He was just entering the coffee shop, holding the door for his petite female friend. The late morning sunshine lit him from behind, forming a halo of light around his head. He was still smiling from whatever had made him laugh, his eyes scrunched up at the corners. Blaine's stomach flipped.
Kurt and his friend made their way over to the counter, talking. Blaine made the decision there and then to talk to him. He wasn't going to spend his days pining and wishing anymore.
He waited until Kurt and his friend had their drinks, ready to spring to his feet should they show any signs of leaving the café, before he excused himself and stood up. He smoothed out his shirt, tweaked is bowtie, wiped his trembling, slightly sweaty hands on his pants, and then wound his way through the tables and chairs to where Kurt was sitting.
Kurt looked up when Blaine neared their table and his hand froze halfway to picking up his coffee. His eyes widened and his lips parted slightly, one side of his mouth curling up into the start of a smile.
Blaine stopped beside their table, his heart beating so hard and fast he could hear his pulse pounding behind his ears even above the buzz of café noise. The girl sitting with Kurt turned to look up at him, a curious frown on her face. She opened her mouth to say something, but Blaine beat her to it.
"H-Hi," he stammered, his eyes on Kurt. "We've bumped into each other a few times, but never actually been able to introduce ourselves, so I thought-" He stuck out his hand. "I'm Blaine."
Kurt took his hand, his skin soft and warm against Blaine's. "Kurt." He held onto Blaine's hand for perhaps a fraction longer than one normally would, before he let go. He gazed at Blaine for a moment with a small smile on his face. "You know, I was going to come talk to you that day we were waiting for our coffees, but Rachel here dragged me away before I got the chance."
The girl, Rachel, stared at him, affronted. "When did I ever-"
Sparing Rachel a brief glance, Blaine smiled reassuringly at Kurt. "It's okay. I wasn't brave enough to come and talk to you until now."
Out the corner of his eye, Blaine saw Rachel give him an odd, knowing look. It was then that he suddenly realized something; something that had never occurred to him in all his months of fantasies and writing in his notebook: what if Rachel was Kurt's girlfriend? He had no idea about Kurt's sexuality and he had allowed himself to become infatuated with him; which was fine except he had approached Kurt today in the hopes of maybe getting a date with him. It wasn't that he had seen Kurt's fashion choices and jumped to conclusions, he had just simply never considered the fact that Kurt may not be interested in men. He wanted to date Kurt, so he had fixed it in his head that there was a possibility Kurt could be interested in him. He couldn't believe he had been so foolish.
Kurt shot Rachel a look Blaine couldn't decipher, before flashing Blaine a shy smile, a light blush staining his cheeks. "I like your bowtie – Calvin Klein, right?"
Blaine glanced down briefly, touching his bowtie with his fingers. "It is actually. It's one of my favorites."
"I did notice you seem to have a fondness for bowties," Kurt admitted, his blush darkening.
Muttering something under her breath, Rachel pushed back her chair and stood up. "I just remembered I have to make a phone call," she announced. She grabbed her phone from her purse and scooped up her drink. "I'll be back in a bit!" She scurried off towards the doors, leaving Kurt and Blaine alone at the table, watching her go.
When Blaine turned back to Kurt he was sure he saw a flash of gratitude in his eyes before he gestured to the chair Rachel had just abandoned.
"Do you want to sit down?"
"Thank you," Blaine said, taking the seat offered. This all felt so surreal to him. He felt like he was in an extremely vivid version of one of his dreams. All of his movements were slower than normal and there was the slightest tint of surprise over everything. He couldn't believe he was actually sitting across a table from Kurt.
Kurt had his head tilted slightly to one side, watching Blaine with a contemplative smile. "This is maybe a little creepy, but I've noticed you around a lot: here, on the streets and the subway, in the halls at NYADA…"
"Wait," Blaine interrupted, holding his hand up to stop him. "You go to NYADA?"
Nodding, Kurt took a sip of his coffee. "Yeah, I just finished my second year."
Blaine couldn't believe what he was hearing. How had he never seen Kurt at school? "First year," he replied, dazed. "I can't believe I've never seen you there."
Kurt shrugged. "You were always focused on something else whenever I saw you: reading a book or talking to one of the teachers."
"Oh." Blaine shifted in his chair, unconsciously moving closer to the table and to Kurt. "That explains it then." He fidgeted with a paper napkin Rachel had left in the table. "I just really want to do well. I'm the smallest guy in my classes, I'm not the best dancer, and I haven't got the most powerful voice, but I work at everything really hard and I do everything to be the best I can be: I study all the recommended texts and ask my teachers how I can improve…" He gave a little shrug, dropping his eyes to the napkin he was fiddling with, becoming bashful under Kurt's unwavering, curious gaze. "Everything's a competition at NYADA, and I don't want to be the one coming in last."
"I know what you mean," Kurt said. "I came from a high school where I had to fight for everything and even I was still surprised by how competitive everyone is at NYADA and how bitchy some people are because of it."
Shy embarrassment fading, Blaine lifted his head back up to look at Kurt again. "It's almost like being in high school still – in some ways."
"In some ways," Kurt agreed, nodding. He eyed Blaine for a moment, looking intrigued. "So, what's your background?" he asked. "School theatre group? Local productions? Show choir?"
Delighted at how easily he was managing a conversation with Kurt, Blaine told him about his acting and music experience of show choir, school and community theatre productions, and summers performing at theme parks and anywhere else that would have him. Kurt followed with a description of his own background and Blaine lapped it up eagerly, reveling in the fact that he was finally learning all about his beautiful mystery man. Rachel was also mentioned in Kurt's stories, and Blaine had to fight back hope when he learned she was Kurt's best friend and roommate, not girlfriend. Conversation flowed effortlessly onto other topics and the bustling coffee shop faded into nothingness in the background, causing both of them to be startled when Rachel reappeared at the table, grabbed her things and told them she would see them later, before hurrying away again. Blaine had forgotten his own friends completely, but when he looked round at the table where they had been sitting, he found they were gone. He wasn't complaining.
An hour later, Blaine bought them both lunch and coffee refills, brushing away Kurt's insistence that he pay for his own food. They continued to talk whilst they ate, never running out of topics of conversation. Blaine was just glad it was summer and he didn't have to keep a reluctant eye on the clock. He wanted to spend as much time as possible with Kurt.
It was only when they had finished their third round of coffee and their phones were buzzing with texts asking where they were that they both reluctantly agreed they should leave. Blaine tidied up their cups and trash slowly, wanting to prolong the departure and the return to his fantasies. He had no idea what this time together meant to Kurt. While they had hit it off and the potential to be friends or something more was there, it could still have only been a one-time thing for Kurt. He wished he could be the one to broach the subject of seeing each other again, but he was too scared of rejection to do so. He'd used up his daily dose of courage by approaching Kurt in the first instance.
When their table was cleared and they'd gathered up all of their things, Blaine looked tentatively across at Kurt – he had been avoiding his eye while they got ready to leave. Kurt was hovering by the table, drumming his fingers softly against the top of the chair he had been sitting on. When Blaine met his gaze, something shifted in his expression.
"Do you- Could we do this again?" he asked, a hint of hope creeping into his voice. A light flush began to appear on his pale cheeks. "I really want to see you again."
Blaine's heart soared and his stomach swooped with delight. "I'd love to," he said. He pulled out his phone, pressed a few buttons, and held it out to Kurt. "Give me your number so we can set something up."
Beaming, Kurt tapped his number into Blaine's contacts and sent a text to himself so he had Blaine's number. He passed the phone back to Blaine.
Blaine smiled down at the new contact, before slipping his phone back into his pocket. "Since classes are finished I have a lot of free time at the moment," he told Kurt. "We can go for dinner, coffee – whatever you like."
Kurt seemed to hesitate for a moment, before saying, "How about dinner tomorrow night?"
Blaine blinked in surprise. He had never expected Kurt to be as eager as he was to see him again. "That sounds perfect."
Kurt's smile crinkled the corners of his eyes. "Great," he said. "It's a date."
One date turned into many more and soon after that conversation in the coffee shop, Blaine was calling Kurt his boyfriend. He was overjoyed – in a state of perpetual happiness. Even in his fantasies he'd never imagined Kurt to be like he was, nor had he dreamed it would be this easy to date him. But being around Kurt was like being with an extension of himself. They had so much in common, had a similar sense of humor, and always seemed to know what the other was thinking. It was wonderful.
Blaine no longer wrote in his notebook. He'd placed it in a drawer in his room when he'd arrived home after meeting Kurt at the coffee shop and hadn't looked at it since. He didn't need it anymore; he had the real Kurt in his life now. Kurt was in his life and heart and soul, he no longer needed the Kurt in the pages of his notebook.
He did miss writing, though, and he often found himself creating lines and verses in his head to describe the smell of Central Park on a hot summer's afternoon as he enjoyed a picnic lunch with Kurt, or the experience of walking back to his apartment on a balmy evening with his hand in Kurt's. Eventually, the craving to write became too much and he started jotting down some of these lines on post-it notes, napkins, or scrap pieces of paper. He kept some of these little scribbles to himself, but he gave most of them to Kurt, slipping them in his satchel or sticking them somewhere around his apartment to find later, like little love letters chronicling their time together.
It was a night in mid-October that Blaine finally showed Kurt the notebook.
Kurt was spending the night at Blaine's apartment after they had enjoyed a quiet night in, eating Blaine's home-cooked meal and watching a movie. Blaine had just hurried into the bathroom to grab a damp towel to clean them both up while Kurt lay naked, sweaty, and blissful in his bed. As he'd wet the towel slightly, words to describe how he was feeling and how beautiful Kurt looked wandered into his mind and he made a quick detour on his way back from the bathroom to write them down in a post-it note.
When he returned to his bedroom, he passed the towel to Kurt and waited for him to clean himself up, before reaching over and sticking the post-it note to his forehead.
Kurt knew what it was without having to ask or look. He peeled it off his head and read it, an adoring smile crossing his face. "Blaine," he said, fondly.
Blaine shifted closer to his boyfriend and Kurt pressed a lingering kiss to his mouth.
"How can you still find new things to write about me after all these months we've been together?" Kurt asked, sounding amazed. He cast a fond smile at the note in his hand. "You have such a way with words."
Blaine bit the inside of his bottom lip, wondering if he should finally come clean and tell him about how he'd actually been writing like this for around a year now. He'd almost told Kurt numerous times, but had always chickened out at the last minute, too scared of how Kurt would react to what he'd been writing back when they didn't even know each other. He knew Kurt could be either flattered or disturbed by it, and the worst case scenario stood out more starkly in his mind, sapping his courage. But he knew he had to tell Kurt at some point; he didn't want to keep something like this from him.
Clearing his throat, Blaine shifted on the bed, trying to decide how it would be best to tell him.
"I've, uh- I've actually been writing these since before we were together." He admitted quietly.
Kurt looked up at him in surprise and Blaine felt his cheeks heat up in a blush. He avoided Kurt's eye, not wanting to see his reaction.
"You-" Kurt stammered out after a moment. He paused. "You were writing poems about me before we met?"
Voice stuck in his throat, Blaine nodded.
"I-" Out the corner of his eye Blaine saw Kurt glance at the note in his hand again. "For how long?"
Blaine cleared his throat again. "I started writing about you a little while after I saw you for the first time. It was last December in the-"
"Coffee shop," Kurt finished for him. "When Bastille started playing."
Surprised, Blaine lifted his head to meet Kurt's gaze, his embarrassment momentarily forgotten.
"I remember," Kurt murmured.
The blush faded from Blaine's cheeks as he and Kurt stared at each other, the air between them heavy with something Blaine couldn't name, but which made his heart race and his stomach flip.
"I- I still have the notebook I wrote in," Blaine stuttered when he was able to speak. "Um- Hang on…"
Rolling over in bed, he pulled open a drawer in his nightstand and rummaged through it until his fingers brushed the hard cover of his notebook. He tugged it out, shut the drawer, and then turned back to face Kurt. He stared down at the book's cover for a moment, his heart hammering, before he held it out to Kurt.
There was the smallest of frown lines between Kurt's eyebrows as he took the book, and there was curiosity in his eyes, but Blaine still couldn't really tell how his boyfriend felt about this. He wasn't really ashamed of what he'd written, or what his thoughts about Kurt had been before they met: he was just a little bit embarrassed over how smitten and pathetic he had been over a total stranger.
Kurt opened the book and read the first page while Blaine watched on with his heart in his throat. He watched Kurt's face carefully for his reaction. Now that Kurt was actually holding the book in his hands and reading what had been written about him, Blaine was desperate to know how he felt about it. He willed Kurt not to keep him in suspense for too long.
Kurt's expression didn't change as he turned the page and began reading the next one. When he reached the bottom of the page and his gaze moved up to the top of the next one, however, Blaine was sure his eyes softened. By the time he had turned another page, Blaine became more certain the response would be good: the corners of Kurt's mouth had tilted upwards into a gentle smile.
Kurt finished reading another page and then flicked quickly through the rest of the book, like he was checking to see how much Blaine had written.
"You wrote a little poem every time you saw me?" he asked, sounding both touched and pleasantly astonished.
"And sometimes when I thought about you, or about what I wished I could say to you," Blaine told him. The tightness in his muscles began to loosen and his heart rate slowed – it didn't look as though Kurt was taking it badly at all.
Kurt gazed down at another page in the book, about a quarter of the way through, where a long poem about a time when Blaine had spotted him through the crowds at a subway station was written. "I- I don't know what to say…"
Before Blaine could react, Kurt darted forwards and pressed his mouth to his, immediately parting Blaine's lips and swallowing his small noise of surprise. Blaine reached for him, clutching at his waist. He hadn't expected a reaction like this, and, as such, he was completely caught off guard.
Kurt gave him one last kiss before sitting back, his arms still looped around Blaine's neck. "I can't believe you wrote such beautiful, sweet things about me for so long." He gave him a small smile. "All I did was perv on you from a distance."
Blaine chuckled lightly, still feeling slightly bashful, despite how relieved he was. He'd never intended for anyone else to read his poems and silly musings, and now the subject he'd captured in all of his writings, his muse, was reading them – and he actually liked them. His insecurity now wasn't so much about his feelings for Kurt that were written on the pages: it was the Kurt he'd written about; his fantasy Kurt. Though there were similarities between the real Kurt and the ink-and-paper Kurt, there were also a number of stark differences, and he didn't want Kurt to think he'd been disappointed in any way when he'd gotten to know him. It couldn't be more different from that.
As if hearing his thoughts, Kurt's smile faded, being replaced by a more serious expression. "I won't read anymore if you don't want me to," he said. "I know this wasn't something you ever planned on sharing."
"No, it's okay," Blaine told him. And it was, he decided. There was nothing he should be ashamed of in that book, especially now that he knew Kurt didn't judge him for writing about him. Keeping the book hidden away no longer seemed important. There was still one last thing he needed to tell Kurt, though.
"I just- Just remember that I didn't know you when I wrote all of that, so anything I say about you is what I made up in my head – but I don't wish you were like that or anything," he added hastily.
Kurt smiled. "So you just made up my-" He flicked back a number of pages and scanned an early passage in the book. "-'summer ocean eyes and smile like the sun'?"
Blaine blushed a deep red and dropped his gaze from Kurt's teasing grin. The early days of his writing sounded like the diary of a teenage girl.
A soft kiss was placed on his jaw, just below his ear.
"I love you," Kurt murmured into his ear. "I've dreamed of romance ever since I was a kid watching Disney movies, and you- you're my prince."
Biting his lip in a futile attempt to hold back his giddy smile, Blaine tilted his head to look up at his boyfriend. "I wrote you poems instead of singing you a song."
Kurt absently wound one of the loose curls at the back of Blaine's neck around his index finger. "I rescued you from having to go to that party as Rachel's date – I guess that makes me your prince."
Resting his forehead against Kurt's, Blaine let his smile spread across his face. He gazed into Kurt's eyes, seeing his own joy reflected there. "I guess it does."