Kurt watches himself very carefully junior year.
He and his dad eat a lot of salads and deboned fish fillets and anything he can make without bringing out the knife he keeps razor sharp in the drawer.
He locks away the Vanquish Extra Strength Pain Reliever (do not take more than one pill every six hours or you risk liver damage and death) that he started taking freshman year, after his dad asked him why he was wincing when he sat down and he started lying to his dad for the first time in his life.
He stays away from unlocked windows, and opts out of helping his dad in the garage. Too much heavy machinery there.
(it’s too dangerous)
He watches himself very carefully.
Sometimes he sees his dad watching him too. After he transfers to Dalton his dad is less subtle about it.
(his dad had told him he had to start working every afternoon in the shop back in sophomore year, after The Call, as Kurt put it, came in. Kurt couldn’t even hate him for taking away his afternoons, now that he (finally) had friends with whom to share them, because every time his dad looked over the hood he just looked so relieved to see Kurt. See that Kurt was still there)
Kurt tells people his mom died when he was six. That they didn’t bury her until he was eight.
Both are true.
(it just took her body two years to realize she was a dead woman walking)
Blaine’s the only one to ever question it. To notice that his stories don’t match up, on the outside at least.
Which is good, because Blaine’s the only one Kurt would ever answer.
Kurt tells him about a wild woman with frizzy red hair who wore lilac perfume with her trucker hats and pearls with her hiking boots. Who his dad met on a hunt and who kept every one of his fumbling love letters, tied together with a red ribbon with all of Kurt’s carefully monogrammed-in-crayon tea party invitations. Who stayed up all night to sew him a butterfly costume that he wanted and then another night to make a matching pair of wings for herself. Who would bake sheets and sheets of cookies with him until he got the recipe exactly right. Who woke him at 3 in the morning because her “brain was buzzing” and showed him how to find his way by the stars. Who laughed a little too loud and sang off-key and loved her family so, so much.
She died when he was six years old.
It just took two years for anyone to realize.
(he knew though)
(he hugged her and she didn’t look at him and she didn’t smell like lilacs and he’d known)
(his mom was dead)
(Kurt had his own private funeral for his mother that night, sneaking into the yard under the moon to light a lilac-scented candle and bury her pearls under the rose bushes. The grass had been wet under his bare feet, and Kurt thought that maybe the world was crying too. Or maybe he'd just cried so much that the earth was soaked in his misery no matter where he went)
(he’d caught fireflies and thought about crushing them, smearing their luminescence against the rock that served as her tombstone so that it would be as bright as she was. He’d let them go in the end, and watched them glitter against the sky. He wondered if that’s what stars were, fireflies who had gone so far away that they got stuck in the sky and couldn’t come home)
Blaine watches Kurt, who’s gone silent and still, like a statue that Michelangelo himself would have been honored to bring into being. He doesn’t need to wonder where Kurt’s gone.
“They found her with my picture.”
Kurt’s voice is completely flat, and it’s the only time Blaine has ever heard it that way.
Kurt’s looking out the window, at the rose bushes in the backyard. He looks entirely calm, a step past numb into serenity.
Blaine can feel tears sliding off his chin and hitting his collarbone with splashes that are obscenely loud next to the quiet sounds of their breathing. Blaine supposes he must be crying.
He can’t move his hands to wipe them away. They’re firm in Kurt’s, and Blaine will never ever move them. He’ll live his whole life holding Kurt Hummel’s hand, if Kurt will let him.
So he just sits there and listens to the sound of his tears crashing down against his skin like bombs, and the soft sound of Kurt’s even breathing.
(Blaine’s never been so very aware of Kurt’s breathing before. The miracle that is the sound of life being sucked into Kurt’s lungs and death being softly exhaled)
“I guess she wanted it to be the last thing she saw.”
Blaine wonders if he’s supposed to say something. I would want your face to be the last thing I saw.
He squeezes Kurt’s hand. Kurt’s fingers curl slowly around his.
Don’t let me.
I won’t. You won’t.
I don’t want to.
What if I do?
You’re the strongest person I’ve ever met.
So was she.
But you know what she didn’t.
What to watch out for. What would happen if you did.
I don’t want to do that to you.
I’m so scared sometimes.
I’m scared of being scared.
I love you.
Talk to me.
I slept with a knife under my pillow after Sadie Hawkins.
I buried the kitchen knife in the garden. Under the rose bushes. I didn’t want it to be where I could see it.
I box because I need to hurt something. Sometimes it’s the bag, sometimes it’s me.
I don’t want you to get hurt.
I don’t want anything to happen to you.
Stay here a little longer?
“Do you want to watch a movie?” Kurt murmurs softly, still not looking at Blaine. He’s looking at their hands though, and that’s enough. More than enough.
“Sure. How about Legally Blonde?” He thinks they could both use some mindless giggles right now.
“You just want to stare at Luke Wilson,” Kurt huffs, sticking his tongue out. But he finally looks at Blaine when he says it, and he looks so fucking beautiful and adorable and Blaine is so, so in love with this boy.
“Can you blame me?” He says, as cheekily as he can while biting the inside of his cheek to keep from crying.
“I’m more of the Team Owen side of the Wilson brothers personally,” Kurt says airily, “I like blondes.”
“Oh, it’s on now.” Blaine launches himself at Kurt, tickling him breathless. They both end up on the floor, shaking with residual shrieks and determinately not looking at each other. Every time they catch each other’s eye they start giggling all over again. Blaine feels a little hysterical, like he’s about to vibrate out of his skin, and he’s glad that he can blame that on Kurt being so goddamn adorable.
“I’ll get the movie,” Kurt hiccups, still giggling a little. He hops up, and walks out of the room with an exaggerated hip waggle, humming The Beatle’s “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” under his breath as if not quite aware of it. Blaine loves when he does that, when he doesn’t even realize it and just is music.
Blaine watches him go, memorizing the sight of Kurt’s back as it walks away from him.
Once he goes home, he knows he’s going to cry. He’ll probably cry until he throws up, and then sleep with ice on his eyes so in the morning Kurt won’t see his puffy eyes. Kurt will know anyway, Kurt always knows, but he’ll appreciate the gesture.
Once he goes home, he’ll probably have a little bit of a breakdown under the covers because no. Kurt can’t. No. His mind won’t even go there. It goes screaming off at a right angle to avoid the black pitch of oblivion that is Kurt-
Once he goes home, he’ll have nightmares for weeks, if not months. He knows this with the same bone-deep surety that he knows Kurt Hummel is the love of his life. That in his dreams it won’t be his body lying there anymore, shaking as blood swirls around him on the concrete like paint, blooming across his skin like the rose on his lapel.
(he honestly never thought anything could replace Sadie Hawkins as his worst nightmare. He wishes he could go back to thinking of that as the worst thing that could happen to him. The knowledge that someone could tear his still beating heart out his ribcage without even touching him is something no seventeen year old should have to live with)
But right now, he’s got a (wonderful, beautiful, amazing) boyfriend who’s getting a movie perfect for making out in the middle of. Blaine kisses the side of Kurt’s mouth when he gets back.
Kurt smiles back at him, eyes lowered shyly so his lashes fan out against his cheekbones in a dark fringe. He looks like an angel, and Blaine suddenly realizes that he’s clutching Kurt’s wrist so hard his nails are leaving dents in Kurt’s skin. He starts to let go, to apologize, but Kurt covers his hand with his own. He leaves it there, fingers pressed into Kurt’s skin like puzzle pieces.
They both watch Elle Woods get ready for her big date.
It's the perfect day
Nothing's gonna bring me down
I could stay, forever as I am
On this perfect day