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Hospital Beds

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The road to Kentucky was even longer than Sebastian remembered it. Granted, the last time he drove it he had been lost in a haze of anger, so he couldn’t have been counted to recall the exact hours. The drive was just as silent. The difference was having a tense Kurt beside him. He was watching the streetlights absently out the window, but his hand was clenched into a fist on his lap for the better part of an hour. When they reached the highway, Sebastian slid his hand to the middle and a bit further, brushing it against Kurt’s, a request that Kurt ignored. Still, Sebastian kept his hand there, wrapped around Kurt’s thigh. They didn’t drive like this often, either too tired in the morning or too distracted at other times. But it was almost nice, if not for the impending trouble.

“There,” Kurt muttered, pointing out a wood sign just barely lit at the base of it. It was late enough that no one would be there, about an hour after dark.

Sebastian pulled into the parking lot and stopped the car, closer to the center this time and under a light. Kurt didn’t say anything as he climbed out; he stood there shivering slightly in the cold night air. Sebastian came around to wrap his arm around him and finally Kurt responded, melting into him and his warmth.

“So now what?”

Sebastian shrugged. “We wait, I guess. Last time he came to me.”

“Do you think he’ll still be there, even with Tina and Mike gone?”

“He was just waiting last time and that was before Mike got matched. So I think-”

A crack cut Sebastian off and Kurt tensed in his arms, his eyes darting back and forth.

Sebastian spotted him first, peering around the side of the building, just a head covered in a winter hat. Sebastian raised his hand in greeting and B came all the way out. Kurt stepped away as he did, obviously trying to hide his shiver as he did.

B was dressed warmer than before, with a wool jacket and a red scarf. But he still had the tie looped around his gloved hand. He moved closer obviously watching for any police officers and Sebastian prayed that none had followed him.

“Hello,” Kurt said, finally drawing B’s complete attention. The shorter boy gave him a long glance, his face lighting up in a brief but bright smile. It made him beautiful, even with his eyes still dark with suspicion.

B asked in a practiced tone, “So what are you looking for?”

Kurt and Sebastian shared a look before Sebastian answered, “I think we’re looking for a Warbler.”

B’s smile brightened even further. “Well, then you came to the right place.” He relaxed, bringing his arms down from where they had been wrapped around his chest and even his eyes seemed lighter, crinkled at the edges and familiar as he grinned at Kurt. “I was actually just waiting for you to ask about Tina and Mike, but that’s even better. How did you figure it out?”

Sebastian pointed at his hand. “Your tie. I remembered it from last time. I went to Dalton and we were trying to restart the show choir there.”

B blushed and dropped his eyes. “I can’t imagine that would be easy at all. I’m sorry about that. We didn’t want to stop anyone who wants to sing at Dalton. I loved singing there.”

Sebastian shrugged. “I don’t sing there anymore.”

“I heard. The New Directions are pretty famous among groups like ours.”

Kurt asked, “Is there more than just one group…”

“You thought that because they’ve been tricking you,” B said gently, and Sebastian narrowed his eyes at the hand B placed on Kurt’s shoulder. “But there are groups around the world, usually through countries that are outside of the system. The Warblers aren’t the first group by a long shot. We just focus on this area because we all know it well. It’s our home,” B finished with a little shrug.

“It’s still your home, even after leaving it?” Kurt questions, sympathy clouding his voice.

B gave a dejected laugh. “Well, you can’t escape your roots, no matter what.”

Sebastian broke in, harsher than he usually would. But it was bothering him watching Kurt’s eyes fill with admiration for this astonishingly beautiful boy. It hurt in a way Sebastian hadn’t imagined he could ever feel. “While I sympathize and all, this really isn’t what we came here to talk about.”

Kurt nodded, but still didn’t take his eyes off B. “Yeah, we need to find Mike and Tina.”

B replied, “Yeah, they’re safe. We took them out of the country.”

Sebastian scoffed. “Well that won’t help, because the police are demanding we bring them back.”

“No,” B snapped back, making Sebastian retreat at the anger in his eyes. “We will never bring someone back here, not back to the system.”

Kurt tried to placate his anger. “But we need them back or the whole club will be arrested. It’s that or all the same sex couples agree to be reassigned.” Sebastian nodded and was about to tell B just how unwilling he was to lose Kurt when he answered.

“No, you can’t ever do that! You can’t be thrown in jail for the rest of your lives. And damn it, you cannot ever be reassigned!” B huffed, biting his lip before continuing, just as forcefully. “Don’t you get what you are? You are hope for millions of people out there. We rebels can fight back behind a mask and a letter and that’s fine. Hell, that’s almost safer for us than it is for you. And people see that, but they are still. They see how we hide and they hide too. But then comes along you and your club. A group of normal people like everyone else, who aren’t afraid to tell everyone how unhappy they are; people see you singing about how wrong it is and everyone has to listen. Music is a message that people can’t ignore and that’s why the system is so damn scared of you. You can’t give in, not ever!”

“Didn’t think we were that important,” Kurt murmured after a moment of silence, his face tinted with red.

B smiled at him still bright with emotion. “Well that and you have a beautiful voice.”

Sebastian broke in, still fighting the nausea building in his stomach. “So what the hell are we going to do? Because Mike and Tina still screwed us.”

“No, they didn’t,” B replied. “We figured there might be some kind of backlash. So we planned a way to get you all out; we can do it tomorrow if we need to. We’re ready if you are.”

“Why couldn’t they just tell us about it?” Kurt asked.

“Because if there wasn’t a backlash you’d be in more danger just for knowing.”

“Then what is your grand solution?” Sebastian demanded. “Because we have to go back and tell the club what we found tomorrow and without it, we’ll have gotten nowhere.”

B nodded and began to explain. “We want you all to go home and pack a small bag, only the essentials and enough to last for three days. Sentimental things are fine as long as they’re small.”

Both boys agreed and Sebastian could see Kurt already begin to mentally plan what he would bring.

“Tomorrow night, have everyone drive out here, in separate cars. Maybe three or four cars would be the best, and at different times. It’ll look bad if you come all at once. You can wait in the visitor’s center; it’ll be unlocked for you all. Then we’ll come at 10:30 sharp and everyone will leave.”

“Where are we going?” Kurt questioned.

“Mexico. Canada is an option too, but Mexico is safer and it will null all marriages. They aren’t legal there if matched by the system.”

Sebastian blinked in shock. “Excuse me?”

B gestured between the two of them. “You won’t be married any more there. You’ll be free to choose whoever you like.”

Sebastian swallowed hard and for a wild moment thought of refusing to leave, just so that he could keep Kurt. He wanted to run and never look back. Free. What a miserable word.

But that thought died when Kurt tilted his head in agreement and glanced at Sebastian with hard acceptance in his eyes. “Free. That would be good.”

Sebastian just couldn’t trap Kurt like that. Wasn’t that what Kurt wanted, someone sweet and gentle and a new home? He could just imagine Kurt on a warm beach, laughing and wrapped in the arms of someone else. If that was what he wanted, Sebastian certainly wasn’t going to keep it from him.

B was speaking again. “There will be someone to meet you, someone familiar so that everyone knows they can trust us. I know how hard it can be to trust a random stranger.” He leaned in to mock whisper to Kurt, “I think he got off to a bad start when we first me.” They laughed together and suddenly there wasn’t just a mystery man in Sebastian’s vision. It was B holding Kurt and whispering how much he loved him over the sound of the surf.

Kurt pulled back from B and shivered once more as the wind started to pick up. “It’s late and we have a long way to go.” B nodded in agreement as Kurt continued. “Thank you. This means a lot to us B.”

B jumped a little and gave a small chuckle. “Wow, I didn’t realize that I didn’t tell you my name.” He held out his hand. “I’m Blaine.”

Kurt smiled softly at him and took his hand. “Pleased to meet you Blaine. I’m sure you know that I’m Kurt and this is Sebastian.”

Blaine grinned and pulled back his hand to offer it to Sebastian, who stared at it for a moment before clasping it in a firm shake. He could be a gentleman; he could honorably duck out and let Kurt have hid happiness, no matter how much it killed him. He cleared his throat and spoke, “We should go.”

Kurt agreed and gave Blaine another smile as they walked back to the vehicle. He climbed into the passenger side and spoke with a voice tight with emotion. Sebastian supposed it was simply nerves. “We’re going to be free. I never thought we would have this chance.”

Sebastian didn’t trust himself to speak, sick as he was with dread.