Title: Heart of an Artist
Word Count: 5,352
Summary: Blaine's secret passion of painting causes some unpredictable trouble.
"Kurt, what the hell-?" Blaine asks, his voice more concerned than harsh.
Kurt shakes his head, and Blaine is alarmed to see tears welling in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispers before stumbling from the room.
A/N: Here's another one of the fics I'm more proud of. I hope you enjoy it. (:
[ahrt] - noun
1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
Blaine's fingers hold loosely to the paintbrush as the bristles sweep over the thick paper. Colors blend and bleed, the image twisting and swirling. Blues wash into reds; purple fusing between them. Yellows run down into blues, green bursting from the meeting of the two.
Finished, Blaine sets the paintbrush in the cup next to his paints. Dirty, brown water whirls around the handle.
Leaning back, he wipes his fingers on his smock. He smiles, looking at the final product. Spanned out across the watercolor paper is the waving grass of a hillside, dotted with bright-colored flowers and set in front of a rising sun.
He reaches out, his stained fingers brushing across the damp surface of the soft paper. Sighing, he pushes himself off of the stool and reaches back to untie the paint-splattered smock around his torso.
After hanging it up, Blaine grabs the used brushes and water cup from the table, bringing them to the sink to rinse them.
As he puts the now-clean brushes back in the cupboard, his art instructor, Professor Mindy Pemmingway walks in, her hands full of dried clay.
"Hey, Blaine," she says cheerfully. "How's the new painting coming along?"
"Great," Blaine replies, grabbing a towel from the counter and drying his hands. "I just finished. Might add some finishing touches later."
He crosses the room, joining Mindy at his workspace. After brushing off her hands on her apron, she carefully picks up his painting, admiring it.
"Another nature scene?" she asks, grinning.
"Yeah," Blaine says, rubbing the back of his neck. "My mom and I went on vacation over the summer . . . "
"It's beautiful," Mindy assures, still looking at it. She's silent for a moment, taking every swerving line and brush stroke in. Wide smile on her lips, she hands it back to him. "Don't change a thing, Blaine. It's wonderful."
He nods, feeling the blush that creeps up his neck.
"You know," Mindy continues. "If performing arts doesn't work out, you really could have a shot with traditional art."
Blaine sits in history class, furiously taking notes when his professor breaks off from his lecture and slips him a pass. Thick eyebrows furrowing with confusion, he looks down at the small piece of paper in his hand.
It's a pass from Mindy to come see her next hour. He suspects it's something about his art, but he's not exactly sure what.
David leans over, trying to see. "Who's it from?" he mouths.
"Min- Professor Pemmingway," he replies.
David's expression flashes confused before he shrugs and leans back in his seat. Blaine folds up the pass and shoves it in his pocket, shaking it off.
His friends know he has talent when it comes to art class, but what they don't know how ambitious about it he is. And he's fine keeping it that way. He doesn't want to bother and explain how much drawing and painting does for him.
As soon as the bell rings, he heads for the art department, befuddled, but slightly excited.
Slowly, Blaine eases open the door to Mindy's office, peeking his head around the corner. "Mindy?"
She looks at him, her facing lighting up. "Blaine," she says excitedly. "Come on in- I have some good news."
He closes the door and then proceeds into the room, setting his bag down on the floor as he takes a seat in front of her. "What?" he asks, slightly self-conscious.
"Well, Blaine," Mindy starts. "You've heard me talking about the Ohio State Student Art Festival in class, I'm sure."
Blaine nods, his heart starting to pound a little faster.
"I've talked to some officials who'll be working there and, Blaine, I- I really think you should submit a collection." She finishes, her face still split by a wide, toothy smile.
Blaine is speechless, the thought of showcasing his hidden talents both thrilling and terrifying. It's a great opportunity, but does he have the time, the patience, the determination, the courage?
"Blaine, will you do it?"
He snaps out of his reverie, still shaken with shock, fear, and eagerness.
"How long will it- when is everything due?" he stutters, shifting his weight.
"The actual festival is on June twelfth, but your art is due a week earlier," Mindy replies.
That gives him just over a month, and working hard, staying after school with her the next few weeks- he thinks he just might be able to do it.
He lets his mouth break into a huge smile. "I'll do it."
Sunlight falls through the open window, a gentle breeze of spring blowing through the otherwise stuffy classroom. Blaine sits on a stool, tapping the back of his paintbrush on his thigh as he thinks about what he could paint- what he could possibly do a collection on.
"You're good with nature, Blaine," Mindy calls from across the room as she puts away new supplies. "Use that."
Blaine has been quiet for awhile now, his canvas still new, his paints still unused.
"But I want to challenge myself," Blaine sighs. "Nature is so boring sometimes. Everyone does nature."
"Not everyone," Mindy disagrees. "And you have to use what you're good at."
Blaine lets out another sigh, shifting his weight and straightening up. He surrenders, and dips his brush into a can of grass-green paint.
He looks over his masterpiece, frowning.
Something's not right. The colors look duller, the shading off, the lines out of order. Everything's a bit lifeless.
Blaine rubs the heel of his palm into his eye and chucks the canvas into the garbage can, planning to try again tomorrow.
It's two days later when Kurt finds his hidden sketches piled in the drawer of his bedside table.
Blaine has gone off to use the bathroom and Kurt's sitting on the floor in Blaine and Wes's dorm room, leaning against the side of Blaine's bed. He yawns and stretches his arms out, looking at his surroundings. He notices that the drawer to Blaine's bedside table is partially open and tries to shut it, but something pushes back.
Taking the textbook from his lap, Kurt gets up to his knees, pulling the drawer open. He can't help the sudden drop his jaw makes.
Inside, piled in a stack on top of one another are sketches- rough and finished, partially-finished canvases, and entire paintings. He pulls a few off the top, eyes widening in awe as he glances over them.
He turns around to see Blaine standing awkwardly in front of him, his eyebrows creased together.
"What are you doing?"
"Did you- are these yours?" Kurt asks disbelievingly.
A small, almost unnoticeable blush creeps up Blaine's cheeks as he pulls the sketches and paintings from Kurt's hands and mumbles, "Umm . . yeah."
He shoves the papers back into the drawer hastily, but Kurt presses on.
"How come you've never told me- shown me?"
Blaine lowers himself onto his bed, rubbing his arm. "I didn't really- think it was all that . . important."
Kurt smiles. "Well, let me just say- you're amazing."
Blaine thinks about talking to him about the collection, the festival, everything about his love for painting, but in the end, decides to keep it to himself. He mutters something about getting back to the studying and sinks back to the floor, trying to hide the blush that won't leave his face.
Blaine sits in the art classroom once again, wasting his Saturday away as he practically begs for inspiration. His fingers itch to move, to curve, to dot, to splatter, but he doesn't have any idea what to form.
He stares blankly at the off-white canvas, trying to picture something, anything, that could possibly become the leading piece in his collection. Though he still doesn't even know what he's doing a collection on.
The voice startles Blaine and he jumps from his seat, only laughing once he sees his boyfriend in the doorway.
"Kurt, what are you doing here- I mean, Dalton, especially?"
He crosses the room, pulling Kurt into a tight hug and kissing his forehead before he lets go.
"I wanted to come see you, but your mom said you were here," he explains, eyes sparkling.
"Yeah," Blaine says. "I was just, uh- I was just trying to find some inspiration . . . for a painting."
"And how's that coming?" Kurt asks, pulling from his gentle grip and skirting around to the canvas Blaine has set up.
"Uh- not well," Blaine admits, tugging on his smock.
"Well, what is it for?" Kurt asks, taking a seat on top of one of the desks. "School assignment?"
"Not really," Blaine admits, and he knows this is the point where he opens up to Kurt about his secret passion. "I- I'm attending this art festival- the Ohio State Student Art Festival- in June. I'm contributing a collection of pieces that all revolve around the theme- whatever them I pick."
Kurt just sort of stares at him, caught between pride and astonishment. "Blaine," he finally breathes. "Honey, that's incredible."
He jumps up from his spot and gives Blaine another hug.
"You're incredible," he whispers. He leans forward to peck Blaine lightly on the lips, and when he pulls away, the sunlight hitting his face in the perfect angle, inspiration hits Blaine at last.
"I've got it," he says quietly.
His hand flies across the page, sketching out the circular lines, shading just enough so he knows where to blend the paint.
Kurt watches, and as he does so, something in his expression falls the slightest, but Blaine's too caught up in his artwork that he doesn't notice.
Blaine waists no time, dipping his brush into teal paint and swathing it across the pencil mark-littered canvas. In a little over an hour, he has much of the coloring done in the most important part of the piece. He turns back, grinning and showing Kurt what he's created.
He watches Kurt's expression turn from bored to choked up.
Swirled into a hurricane of blues is the iris of Kurt's eye, painted perfectly across the canvas.
"What do you think?" Blaine asks, biting his lip. "You inspired me."
"I think- I- don't even know what to say," Kurt replies.
"You don't have to say anything," Blaine says softly. "Just come here."
Slowly, Kurt stands up and walks over to Blaine, unsure of what he's doing. Blaine takes his hand, holding his fingers gently. He picks up his paintbrush, dipping it in a light blue color.
"What- what are you doing?" Kurt asks.
"I need your help," Blaine replies, a sly smile on his face. "Take it." He hands Kurt the paintbrush, who takes it hesitantly.
"Blaine, I- " Kurt starts, but Blaine grabs his wrist and carefully, he directs the paint across the canvas.
In a flash, Kurt rips his hand from Blaine's grip and blue plaint splatters, creating a line down the painting, ruining it. It hits both Kurt and Blaine in the face, in spots on their clothing- everywhere.
Kurt takes a few quick, awkward steps backward.
"Kurt, what the hell-?" Blaine asks, his voice more concerned than harsh.
Kurt shakes his head, and Blaine is alarmed to see tears welling in his eyes. "I'm sorry," he whispers before stumbling from the room.
The room is silent, broken only by the sound of Blaine's paintbrush moving back and forth across the canvas as he tries desperately to fix his painting and the rain pounding on the roof of the expensive school. He spreads another layer of white paint, stifling a shiver.
The weather and the lack of human interaction do nothing for his lonely mood. He hasn't talked to Kurt since the day before when he'd darted from the room, more than just a little upset. The situation is awkward, and Blaine doesn't want to bother Kurt with a call, expecting his boyfriend to come to him when he's ready.
Lightning flashes outside the classroom windows, thunder following quickly, crashing loud and long.
Blaine swipes his brush just a few more times, covering up the previous image. As soon as all the blue outside of the iris is gone, he pulls back, sighing and dropping his brush in his water cup.
He leans backward further, looking carefully at his painting, but before he can take it in, a gentle knock sounds on the classroom door.
Blaine turns, and slowly entering the room is Kurt.
A smile flashes across Blaine's lips for a fraction of a second before he sees the anxious look on Kurt's face.
"Hi," Kurt says quietly.
Blaine hops down from his chair. "Sweetheart."
"I came here to apologize," Kurt continues.
Blaine closes the last few spaces of distance between them, wrapping a sturdy arm around Kurt's waist, his other hand moving up to grip Kurt's cheek gently. "You don't have anything to apologize for."
"Well, I owe you an explanation at least," Kurt protests.
He slips from Blaine's grip, walking cautiously towards the renovated painting.
"It's my mother," he says softly. He keeps his back turned, eyes scanning over all the art supplies. "She- she used to paint," he whispers. "And draw, and- " He heaves a deep breath. "I was fine at first. I was too happy for you. But then- stuck here all yesterday, watching you paint- all- all those memories- I'm usually so good at keeping control, but. . . then you had me try- " He breaks off, brushing his fingers across the surface of the canvas.
"It was too much."
It's soft, quiet; a little less than a whisper. A single, glistening tear falls from Kurt's eye. Blaine catches it on his fingertips before he pulls Kurt into a warm hug, whispering,
"I'm going to help you."
"Are you sure you want to do this?"
Blaine lays the paints out in front of Kurt, watching him with concern in his hazel eyes.
Kurt swallows hard, then nods. "I need to."
Blaine bites his lip, then hands Kurt a pencil. Kurt closes his eyes, taking a long, deep breath. Blaine is silent as he moves over to grip Kurt's shoulders with reassuring fingers, trying to give him strength.
"What- what should I- ?" Kurt cuts off, poising his pencil over the sheet of paper.
"Whatever you want," Blaine replies softly.
He waits as Kurt stares blankly on, unsure and anxious.
"Start easy," Blaine advises. "Try something universal, like- like a tree."
"A tree?" Kurt questions, a bit skeptical.
"Do you know how many trees I've drawn throughout my art career?" Blaine says, rubbing Kurt's neck and shoulders. "Of course, it's known that I have a bit of a nature fetish."
Kurt is absolutely silent for a moment before he whispers, "She did too." He gives a shuddering breath and then begins drawing.
A small grin appears on Blaine's face as the shape of an elementary, generic tree forms on the paper.
All through the next week, Blaine spends his after school (well, after Warblers) time shut away in the art classroom.
He works hard on the next piece in his collection, careful and cautious. It's more difficult than most other pieces he's done; he's always had trouble with human body parts.
When he finishes on Thursday night, the last layer of paint applied, the picture on the canvas shows a hunched-over figure. The person's back is to the viewpoint, their elbow sticking out, a pencil held in their clenched fist as they draw.
Blaine smiles, feeling that he's done Kurt justice.
"Can I ask you something?" Blaine says softly.
He and Kurt are snuggled up on the couch, legs entangled, arms around waists. Kurt has his head resting on Blaine's chest, his eyes closed as he tries to relax.
He's silent as he thinks about Blaine's question, contemplating the best way to answer. Finally, he says quietly, "I need to get over it. It's embarrassing."
"Embarrassing?" Blaine asks' "You- you're embarrassed about missing your mother?"
"No," Kurt sighs. "Not at all, but- I just." He huffs, shifting his weight around. "Blaine, do you know that I've never taken an art class? Not since the third grade- I started Art History in the middle of the year and have been taking that over and over ever since because I can't bear the real thing."
Tears start to fall again, and Blaine wipes them gently, smoothing his palm over Kurt's soft, warm cheek. His heart wrenches inside his chest as he watches his boyfriend go through all that pain.
"And I don't want to be afraid anymore," Kurt whispers. "I want to be there for you without worrying about having a meltdown. I want to focus on you-only you. I don't want to think about my dead mother every time I watch you paint. I- I care about you so much, and I don't want mem-memories to ruin that."
His breath begins to come up short, and Blaine now wraps both of his arms around Kurt's waist, pulling him into his lap, holding him tightly.
"Sshh," he murmurs. "Sweetheart, don't worry." He kisses the top of Kurt's silky head. "I told you I was going to help you, and I will. You'll get through this."
Kurt tries to stop the tears, the oncoming sobs, but it doesn't work. Memories and thoughts come to the surface, and he breaks down, letting it out. Blaine's fingers find his and he grips them tightly in desperation, the hand-holding reminding him of his father and helping to calm him down.
Neither of them let go until Kurt's body stops shaking and the sobs are silenced.
Kurt does his best to get past this haunting fear, and with Blaine around, he starts to make progress.
He's been sitting in that familiar classroom for over an hour now, watching in awe as Blaine paints. He notices that Blaine does things the same way his mother did. He strokes back and forth the same way. He taps his brush against the cup when he washes it in the same way.
But surprisingly, it doesn't hurt too much. Instead, it makes him love Blaine even more. It feels like some sort of sign that they were meant to be- his mother speaking to him from above, telling him that this boy is a keeper.
He smiles to himself as Blaine touches up a small part on his painting, cocking his head after he's done to admire it. He sets his brush down in one of the water cups and grabs a towel to wipe his hands.
"You okay?" he asks as he looks over at Kurt.
Kurt nods, trying to reassure himself more than Blaine. "That painting looks wonderful."
Blaine turns his head to look at it. "It's not even finished," he laughs.
Kurt lets a few sincere chuckles leave his lips. "It will look wonderful- I can tell."
Blaine blushes, biting his lip.
"What is it, anyway?" Kurt asks, folding his hands together on the desk in front of him.
Blaine grins and pulls him up from the desk. "Can't you see?" He pushes him forward, gripping his forearms.
Kurt looks at it for a long moment, and when he finally realizes what it is, his jaw drops slightly, his lips quivering.
"It's you and your father's hands," Blaine clarifies. "I was thinking about the story you told me of your mom's funeral, and . . "
Kurt whips around, throwing his arms around Blaine's neck.
"It's beautiful- I love it."
Blaine only has three days left before his collection is due and he needs one last painting to pull it all together. Right now, he'd love to be working on something- or thinking of inspiration, rather, since he has no idea what he'll be painting, but he's with Kurt, helping him through his issues with art.
They sit side by side at a desk, and Blaine holds Kurt's free hand while he adds more detail to a new tree sketch.
Kurt lets out a contented sigh, scribbling away at the texture of the leaves, his tongue caught between his lips in concentration.
Blaine smiles widely and murmurs, "That's shaping up wonderfully."
Kurt sighs again, rougher, frustrated. He leans back, holding the sketch up towards the light. "I don't like it," he declares.
"It's perfect," Blaine argues, but Kurt's already crumpling it up into a ball. "Hey- hey!" Blaine protests, grabbing for Kurt's hands. "Don't, Kurt- stop."
Kurt lets the ball of paper fall, huffing and hanging his head back. After a moment, he snaps his head forward again, turning to look at Blaine. "I'm sorry- I think I should be done for today."
"Kurt, just try again," Blaine encourages softly.
"No," Kurt argues. "I'll try again tomorrow or something."
Blaine grabs the paper quickly and attempts to smooth it out on the desk. "Paint it, Kurt- just try."
"Blaine, no," Kurt says, a forceful tone overtaking his voice.
Blaine jumps up and runs over to his supplies. He pulls out a jar of green paint, cracking it open. He swipes a paintbrush and heads back over to Kurt. Holding them out, he pleads, "Kurt, come on. You wanted to do this."
"Not anymore," Kurt mumbles, standing up. "Give it up, Blaine."
"Kurt, why are you being like this?" Blaine asks desperately, his face falling. "I'm only trying to help you."
"Well, don't!" Kurt says loudly. He turns to leave, but Blaine grabs his arm.
"Kurt, seriously- you never treat me like this." His voice is starting to waver, his heart beating fast and painful. "Just- please."
Kurt is silent.
"Please, Kurt," Blaine continues, starting to sound angry. He holds out the supplies again.. "Just try- Kurt. Goddamnit."
"Blaine- no!" Kurt shouts, but Blaine doesn't listen and shoves the paintbrush into Kurt's hands. "Fuck- I thought you understood!"
Tears start running down Kurt's cheeks as he jumps away from Blaine, knocking the art supplies to the ground. Green paint and shattered glass fall around Blaine as Kurt runs from the room.
Blaine's heart feels swollen inside his chest as he wipes the paint from his face, his hand shaking. He bends down to pick up the mess when he notices Kurt's bag on the ground next to the desk.
Sighing, he picks it up and a photo falls to the floor.
Blaine plucks it from the ground, holding it carefully in between his fingers.
It intensifies the guilt and regret he feels, but he knows what his last painting is going to be.
It's a misty morning when Blaine pulls into the Dalton parking lot, the sun hanging just behind the horizon, spreading pale light across the dew-sparkled ground. He rubs his eyes before exiting his car and running into the lobby where Mindy is waiting for him.
"Hey, Blaine," she greets, chipper as always.
Blaine gives a grunt in reply, heading over to his paintings which lie in a box. He'd sent pictures of them to the judges at the festival just one week ago and they'd accepted them all.
He hoists the box into his arms, carrying it out to his car where he disposes it in the trunk. Mindy follows him outside, and they stand awkwardly together, waiting for the few other students to arrive. As soon as everyone's there, they leave the school and pull onto the highway, forming a train of cars as they embark on the long three-hour drive to the art center they'll be displaying their work in.
As he flies along the road, his paintings rattling in the back of the car, he tries not to think about the empty seat beside him, turning up the music and singing along.
The empty seat that was supposed to belong to Kurt.
Blaine had tried to call him all week, but he refused to answer. And with all the preparation he had to do for this festival, he couldn't find time to drive down to Lima.
His heart feels heavy in his chest and he heaves a sigh, hoping that he can somehow make up for his immense stupidity when he gets back.
People mill around, looking intently at his work and complimenting him on a job well done, but he hardly has the heart to thank them. He simply sits at his table, hunched over with his arms crossed in front of his chest, engulfed in loneliness and wishing that he could be with Kurt. Apologizing to him, making it up to him, promising to be there and to never push him again.
He waits impatiently for the judges, and really, for the end of the day. He's sick of moping around here where he's supposed to be happy and cheerful when's so obviously not.
"Blaine? What's wrong?"
He lifts his head slowly, welcomed to the sight of Mindy standing over him.
"It's- it's nothing," he says, but he doesn't sound very convincing.
"Seriously, Blaine," Mindy urges. "What's going on with you?"
Blaine sighs, not exactly comfortable talking to a teacher about his relationship troubles- though she hardly acts like a teacher to him at all- more like a friend.
"Boyfriend issues," he replies shortly.
She nods her head, understanding. "Yeah, I thought that when he didn't show up to accompany you here." She looks around awkwardly. "Did you guys get in a fight, or . . ?"
"Yeah," Blaine replies. "But I don't really want to talk about it."
Mindy presses her lips together, looking as if she's about to say something but refrains from it. She offers a small smile and walks away toward one of the other Dalton students attending the festival.
And just when Blaine thinks he'll get a few minutes to feel sorry for himself, the judges finally reach him.
The only woman in the group approaches him first, smiling artificially. "Hello, Blaine," she says, sounding almost robotic. "I'm Hailey, and we're here to evaluate your collection for this year's Student Art Festival."
"Oh- um.. yeah. Hello." Blaine stands up, smiling nervously, and shakes her hand, moving around the table to stand by his paintings, which are hanging on the wall.
"So, Blaine," she asks, scribbling down on her clipboard. "What is your theme?"
"And can you introduce us to your first painting?" she asks, still writing.
"Uhh-" he steps over to the painting of Kurt's eye- the perfect capture of an ocean-like iris. "This piece is called, 'Eye of the Storm,'" Blaine starts. "It belongs to someone I've given my heart too. They're the first thing I saw when I met them, and they're the most beautiful thing about that person."
The judges scribble away, silent but authoritative. Blaine shifts his weight from one foot to the other, anxious.
He moves along the row to the one of Kurt drawing. "This piece is 'Closure', and in it, a young man mourns the loss of his mother by doing what she loved to do most- drawing."
"Interesting," one of the men in the back murmurs, and Blaine hopes that means something good.
"Yeah- uhh.. this piece is called 'Holding Tight,'" he stutters, gesturing to the one of Kurt and his father's hands, gripping fiercely. "A younger version of the man from the previous painting holding onto his father's hand at his mother's funeral."
"And . . next."
Hailey smiles, looking up and waiting for Blaine's final piece. It's the largest, hanging right above his table- the most colorful, most carefully created of them all. "And this one is called, 'Mourning of Mae'- spelled M-A-E. A portrait of the mother the boy in the collection has lost."
Looking down at Blaine, is the pristine and perfect image of Mae Hummel.
The picture of reference tingles in the front pocket of Blaine's jeans, stolen from Kurt's messenger bag.
"Well done, Blaine," Hailey says after discussing with the other judges, and she hands him a slip of paper. Leaning closer to him, she asks in a low voice, "Did those paintings come from a personal place?"
"Yeah," Blaine replies. "The boy in the paintings- the whole inspiration for this theme of love- well, he's the one person in my life that I really love- deeply and truly."
Hailey smiles. "That's good, Blaine. Personal inspiration is always a great key to successful art. Keep doing that."
She nods and walks away.
Blaine looks down at the score in his hand.
41/50- which is more than amazing for his age.
He feels just the slightest bit better.
Kurt hides behind a sculpture, peering at Blaine as he talks to the judges about his paintings. He's been sitting there for over and hour now, debating on whether he should approach Blaine or not. Every time he'd thought about going, he'd chickened out at the last second, finding a new place to stay hidden.
Blaine gets to the last one, and Kurt has to cover his mouth to keep from uttering a noise- he can't believe he hadn't noticed it before.
His mother looks at him out of the canvas and his eyes suddenly burn.
He blinks fiercely as he watches the judges form a circle to speak and Blaine hangs his head, still obviously upset. The woman of the group approaches him a few minutes later, handing him a piece of paper. Kurt watches as she leans in, whispering to him.
Kurt leans forward then, trying desperately to listen. His heart pounds and he somehow knows that they're talking about something good.
All he can make out is, " . . . boy in the paintings- the whole inspiration for this theme of love- well, he's the one person in my life that I really love- deeply and truly," and it's enough to make his heart swell, tears of joy falling down his cheeks.
The woman leaves and a gentle smirk graces Blaine's lips as he collapses back into his chair.
Kurt heaves a shuddering breath, just realizing that he'd forgot to breathe. He backs out from behind the sculpture, deciding that now isn't the time to talk to Blaine.
He rushes from the art center, wiping his eyes.
The door is locked when Blaine reaches the art classroom and he curses under his breath. He balances the box of his paintings on his thigh while he digs in his pocket for the keys. He shoves them into the lock, huffing.
The door opens and Blaine is surprised to find the light on in the office next to the room- the space used for art supplies. He deposits his paintings on one of the desks and proceeds cautiously to the light source.
Peeking his head around the corner, a surprising sight meets his eyes.
Kurt stands there, startled, an apron tied around his waist and paint smeared across his face. He smiles shyly.
"Hi," he says.
"What are you doing?" Blaine asks, weary. He doesn't know if they're okay or not- if Kurt's still mad at him or what's going on.
"Painting," Kurt replies simply.
He turns back around and picks up a small canvas.
"I made this."
He holds it up, showing Blaine a very mediocre painting of a tree. But it's a painting nonetheless, and Blaine feels his jaw drop.
Blaine barely has the chance to force out, "I'm sorry," before Kurt swallows hard and says breathlessly.
"And I love you too."
Confusion crosses Blaine's expression, so Kurt continues. "I drove up there today, and- and I heard what you told the judge."
Blaine smiles, a little half-laugh escaping his lips. He moves forward, laughing a little louder as he puts his hand on Kurt's jaw, his thumb running across the green paint on his cheek, and before Kurt can comprehend what's happening, Blaine is pressing his lips against his, one hand flying to Kurt's waist, the other moving up to grip his messy hair.
Blaine pulls away what seems like a lifetime later, paint smeared across his nose.