Kurt hates Sebastian Smythe. Hates his smug little face with every fiber of his being.
Even when he had just met him, Kurt knew Sebastian was trouble. His amazing ability to get Blaine completely trashed in under an hour did very little to endear him to Kurt.
Lizzie had never met Sebastian, which was a relief. Kurt had only worn the wig to school twice, even though everyone thought it was just the gay kid being weird again and mostly ignored it. When he felt like a girl, he became so anxious, terrified of the judgment he would surely receive, and Sebastian seemed to have a knack for picking at his insecurities. Kurt couldn't put on his best bitch face when wearing a miniskirt.
Unfortunately for Kurt, Sebastian also had a knack for finding Blaine, and really, what was with all these Dalton kids traveling 80 miles to the Lima Bean for coffee?
Kurt eyes Sebastian carefully while he chats with Blaine. Blaine was really too friendly for his own good. Even now, he seemed so uncomfortable with Sebastian's overtly sexual remarks, but they were still here.
“Blaine.” Kurt says softly, “We're going to be late for the movie.”
Blaine looks up at him, seeming more than just a little relieved. “Right. Let me throw this out and then we can go.”
He scoops up their empty coffee cups, even Sebastian's, and heads over to the garbage can across the room. Sebastian takes the opportunity to size Kurt up.
“What?” Kurt hisses. Sebastian smirks.
“Just wondering how long you think you can play this little game.”
Kurt folds his arms across his chest, leaning back in his seat. “Pardon?”
“You're adorable, Kurt, but you aren't much of a man.” Sebastian leans across the table, effectively putting himself way too far in Kurt's personal bubble. “I heard you wore a dress to school. Put on make up and did your hair all pretty and everything.” He looks like the cat that ate the canary, and Kurt shrinks back just a little.
“That- that's none of your business, Smythe.”
“No, but I'd say it's Blaine's,”
Kurt laughs derisively. “Blaine doesn't care what I wear.” He's tempted to mention that Blaine bought the dress, but that's admitting a little too much for his comfort. Somehow, what he's said so far does nothing to erase Sebastian's smirk.
“Your boyfriend's gay, Kurt.”
“I think I'd figured that out for myself, funnily enough.”
Sebastian barks out a laugh. “Your boyfriend is gay. He doesn't want a little girl. He wants a man. Exactly how long do you think you'll be able to keep his attention if you keep up your fabulous little drag show?”
Oh. Oh. He hadn't even thought about that. The thought had literally never occurred to him. He clenched his fists, nails digging into his forearms. Blaine was gay. Blaine liked cock, and just because Kurt could change everything about himself on some stupid little whim didn't mean Blaine could. Just because Kurt could bounce back and forth didn't mean Blaine wouldn't stick to one thing like a normal person.
Oh god, he let Blaine buy him women's lingerie.
His silence is more than enough for Sebastian, who stands with that stupid smirk still firmly in place. “Enjoy your movie.”
Blaine arrives just as Sebastian leaves with no more than a wave. Not a single innuendo. He doesn't have to hit on Blaine, not when Kurt knows he was absolutely right.
Blaine looks at him, a little concerned. “Are you ok?”
Kurt looks at him, weighs the options in his mind, and then gives Blaine his brightest smile. “I'm fine.”
Kurt doesn't remember the movie. He doesn't remember anything other than the overwhelming sense of disappointment in himself.
Blaine hadn't seen a hint of Lizzie in two weeks. He'd gotten used to Kurt's need to switch. He's figured out exactly how to respond to his partner, when Kurt needs to take charge and when Lizzie needs to be held.
What he isn't used to is Kurt staying still. Kurt's never been the same for more than a few days in a row. Lizzie is too much a part of him to ignore, and vice versa. Blaine knows how uncomfortable Kurt can get if he tries to pretend. He knows how strong a presence Lizzie has turned into. It scares him a little, that his partner is trying, for some unknown reason, to stamp down a part of himself.
There's no other possible explanation. At first, Blaine had just thought it was a mood. Sometimes, Kurt couldn't decide between himself and Lizzie. Some days were just harder than others. Then Kurt had been so quiet and withdrawn for the fourth day in a row, and Blaine couldn't ignore it any more. Something was seriously wrong. Kurt was making himself unhappy. Kurt was refusing to be himself, trying to force himself back into a box he'd been so happy to leave, and it wasn't ok.
Kurt won't let him in, though. Kurt is an expert at deflection, and he knows exactly what buttons to press to get Blaine distracted. As much as Blaine hates to admit it, Kurt is also an excellent actor, and while he can't hide his feeling all the time, he can put on a good show long enough to keep his secrets.
No more, though. Blaine can't let this go on. Kurt is hurting, and it's hurting Blaine.
Blaine is asking too many questions. It's hard enough as is, cramming Lizzie down. Mercedes is side-eying him, his dad keeps checking his temperature, and his stupid-wonderful-perceptive boyfriend looks shocked every single morning Kurt shows up.
It's for his own good, though. It's better for everyone involved if Lizzie just goes away. No big deal. Kurt was just Kurt for years. He was fine. He doesn't need to... to cross dress just to feel good about himself. He's not a woman. He's never going to be a woman. And if he was, Blaine wouldn't love him.
That's the thought that keeps returning. Every time Kurt opens his closet and stares longingly at the dresses and skirts and blouses hung neatly along the left side. Every time he digs past the panties to pull out another pair of briefs. Every time his hand reaches for the nail polish and he has to dig his nails into his arm to correct himself.
That makes it a little easier. He'd figured that out the first day. Scraping his nails along his skin made things so much simpler. It made the world sharper, made it easier for him to get a hold of himself. It hurt, but it was a good hurt. It was a solid hurt that felt the same every time, that always made sense. It was soothing. He could get in a few good scratches and feel relaxed. It meant he didn't have to worry about anything.
Sometimes, it was punishment. Sometimes he needed to be reminded why he couldn't have those things anymore.
Either way, it worked. It was good. It made things better. (Something, deep in his head whispers in protest, but hey, it's not like he's cutting himself or anything, right? He doesn't do anything that would scar. That makes it ok. He's ok.)
But Blaine is asking too many questions. Blaine is too intuitive. Blaine knows something is wrong. He knows that Kurt is wrong, and that's just too much for him to handle. Kurt needs to make things ok. He needs to end this nonsense. He needs to end Lizzie.
Burt Hummel looks a little withdrawn when Blaine knocks on the door. Blaine guesses that he's picked up on it too. Mr. Hummel has always tried so hard to be understanding, to give Kurt and Lizzie the support they need. It's got to be confusing for him, to see Kurt acting like this.
He ushers Blaine inside. “Kurt's in his room. Can't get him to come out, so he might not want to see you.”
Blaine nods, but he takes the stairs two at a time anyway.
He doesn't bother knocking. If Kurt won't come out for his dad, he isn't coming out for Blaine.
The room is a disaster. Cloths are scattered across the floor, regardless of how expensive they may be. Blaine hears a little crunch as he walks in and realizes he's stepped on one of Lizzie's lipsticks. One of Lizzie's many bits of make-up that are currently littering the floor, some of the powders and liquids actually spilling out and staining the hardwood. Blaine's heart nearly stops when he realizes that things are still flying out of the closet.
“Kurt?” He says gently, stepping carefully over his favorite of Lizzie's dresses to poke his head around the door.
A pair of lace panties lands on his head, something which would be hysterical in any other situation, but right now just makes something clench painfully in his gut. He tugs them off gently, keeping them off the floor, and everything inside him just tightens up painfully.
Kurt is tearing down everything that Lizzie has ever worn, and a few things she's never touched. His hair is mussed, there are tears still flowing down his cheeks, and his arms... oh god his arms.
They're streaked with painful red scratches. Blaine can see a few spots were little dots of blood have started to form. His brain can't quite make the pieces fit until, as he watches, Kurt sobs loudly and rakes his nails across his skin.
“Kurt!” He yelps, darting in to grab Kurt's wrists. Kurt jolts in shock. Somehow, he must not have heard him come in. Blaine looks at him, at his wide-eyed deer-in-the-headlights expression. “Lizzie?” He questions gently.
The way her face twists up and her body begins to shake is enough for him.
It's all happening too fast. He was just trying to get rid of Lizzie, trying to make it all go away, and now Blaine is here and Lizzie is crying, choking on her own saliva and Kurt just wants it all to stop, he's being over dramatic and she's not real he's just made her up and he doesn't need her and she just wants to lie down and oh god she doesn't even know who he is anymore.
Everything is too much too fast. He's been trying to push it down so hard, she never knew disappearing would make everything explode like this. He never realized how comfortable he was just being Lizzie, how much of himself he'd put into her. He hadn't expected it to hurt. It hadn't hurt before but admitting he wasn't right, admitting he wanted to be a girl sometimes, somehow that had broken down a wall in his head.
“Lizzie, come here honey.” Blaine's voice is sweet and Lizzie just wants him to shut up. She tugs away from him, everything bubbling over. She reaches a hand up to her hair (her ugly, stupid, short hair) and tugs. She's a bit surprised when she hears a rip and finds a few little tiny strands clinging to her hand. Things sharpen again, more than they had from a few scratches. The scratches weren't working anymore, she'd tried, but this? This was new.
Blaine was staring at her in horror but she couldn't help herself. She reached up again, this time focusing on only a few strands.
“Lizzie, don't! Stop that.” Blaine grabs her hands again, and she lashes out. She doesn't mean to, but he's touching her and talking to her and he needs to stop, so she just swipes out, trying to scratch him and send him away, but he's got such a tight grip.
He's eyeing her carefully. Checking for damage, she thinks wearily. Let him check all he wants. She's checking out. She doesn't have the energy for this anymore.
"Oh, Lizzie. What did you do to your fingernails?”
She bit them, of course. Bit them down until they were jagged and could give her that little bit of bite. But she doesn't answer. She can't. Today has been too much and she's just so tired. She puts up a token protest when Blaine pulls her out of the closet and towards the bed, but she quiets herself when he chides her gently.
“Come on, Elizabeth, sit down. Let me take care of you.”
He pulls her into his lap, rocking her gently. She feels like a child. Like a stupid child. Blaine pulls a lotion off the floor and begins rubbing it into her arms. It's face cream, but she can't bring herself to tell him that. Especially because of how good it feels. Her arms were burning, when did that happen?
“I'm sorry.” Blaine says, and that brings her back to earth a little.
“I knew something was bothering you. I should've tried to talk to you sooner.”
“I wouldn't have said anything.”
“I know. But I should've tried.”
They sit there for a while, curled together in the silence. She knows Blaine is waiting for her to be ready to talk. She doesn't think she'll ever be ready. But she has to say something.
He stares at her, a hint of amusement in his eyes. “I'm aware.”
“No, Blaine, you're gay. And I'm...” She gestures to the scattered clothes and make-up, “this.”
Blaine frowns. “Is that... Is that what's been bothering you?”
She nods hesitantly.
“Oh, honey.” Blaine pulls her up to look directly in her eyes. “I love you. I love you when you're Kurt, and I love you when you're this. If you ever got that button you wanted, I would love you as a physical woman as well.”
“Maybe I'm Lizzie-fluid.”
She can't help it. She laughs, and Blaine laughs, and when her father pokes his head up the stares an hour later, they're still giggling as they work together to wipe up eyeshadow.
It's not over. That goes unsaid, but neither of them can deny it. If Lizzie can freak out once, she can do it again, and a handful of words aren't going to erase the underlying issue. Later, Blaine will make her tell her father what happened. Later, they'll discuss options, contemplate a therapy group. Later, they'll have to make some major decisions. Later, Lizzie will still decide not to tell him about Sebastian, but no one said all her decisions would be good.
But for now, this is enough.
For now, it's a start.