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I Need You to Need Me

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The way home was faster than the drive to Regionals but felt like an eternity, with Burt silently driving in the rain and Kurt holding Blaine's hand and watching him stare, stunned, out the window.

Kurt thought he wanted Blaine to cry or yell or … something. This silence was not only unfamiliar to a boy who cried as freely as Kurt - - it was eerie, almost frightening. Almost as if Blaine had died along with his parents in the crash. Only Blaine's hand gripping his almost too tightly, and the unblinking eyes fixed on nothing but open, indicated that the boy was even conscious.

"This is it. My house," Kurt said gently when Burt turned off the ignition. Blaine showed no interest, but unbuckled his seat belt and obediently got out of the car when Kurt nudged him, pulling Kurt along by the hand. Kurt scooted across the seat to get out the same door as Blaine and shut the door, guiding his friend as he would a blind or crippled old man along the walkway.

Once inside, Burt cleared his throat. "I gotta go back and get Carole and Finn, bring 'em home. Unless you need me to stay - - I could call Carole and tell her to try to catch a ride home with one of the other families - -"

"It's okay, Dad," Kurt said. "I've got this."

"Remember – Dr. Khan said to wake him up every hour to make sure he's okay, watch for any new symptoms," Burt said uncertainly. "The keys to the truck are on the hook if you need to take him to the hospital."

"I know. Thanks, Dad."

"Thanks, Mr. Hummel," Blaine said robotically, and Kurt stroked his shoulder reassuringly. Burt gave another worried look but backed out of the house.

Kurt guided Blaine up the stairs and into the guest bedroom, with an attached bathroom. The house was almost as unfamiliar to him as to Blaine, since he'd never officially moved in, heading off to Dalton instead and staying here only on weekends. He went to his room and pulled out two pairs of pajama pants and t-shirts, and yanked one set on tiredly, leaving his uniform scattered on the floor for once. He trudged back and handed the other pair to Blaine, who got up stiffly and limped toward the bathroom.

"You feeling okay? The doctor gave us some pain pills," Kurt worried, standing on one side of the door. He heard the water running and after a few minutes, he tapped again. Blaine opened the door and nodded.

"Maybe one," he said, barely above a whisper. Kurt scurried to get a glass of water from the bathroom and open the bottle of pills. Staring at it a moment in the bathroom, and remembering how he felt after just one parent died, he bent down and hid the bottle under the sink. Blaine would have to ask for more medication, he wouldn't leave it laying around until he knew it would … would be okay.

Kurt shut off the light in the bathroom and went over to where Blaine was sitting on the bed. He handed Blaine the pill and the glass of water and reached to take it back when it was swallowed. "Thanks, Kurt," he said, watching him set the glass back on the bathroom counter. "This isn't what I thought your room would be like," he said vacantly.

Kurt pulled down the covers and helped Blaine over in the queen-sized bed. "It's not my room. It's the guest room. I'll be right next door in my - -"

Blaine's eyes flew open wider and he gripped Kurt's hand in alarm. "You're not sleeping in here with me?" he asked.

"Blaine - - I - -" Kurt hesitated, unsure at first but Blaine's pleading eyes finished him. "Okay. It's probably a good idea to stay in the room with you." He climbed into bed beside Blaine and reached for the alarm clock, carefully setting it for one hour. Looking back at Blaine he saw that his eyes were drooping … the medication, probably. Blaine's arm snaked around Kurt's waist and pulled him close, and Kurt draped an arm over Blaine's shoulder and watched as he drifted off into a troubled-looking sleep. But still looking like an angel.

All night Kurt lay awake watching intently, waking him up faithfully on the hour and holding him a little tighter, a little closer each time to soothe him back to sleep afterwards. He couldn't sleep. He was haunted by Karofsky's still form back at the hospital and by the wake of death left in his wake. Only he and Blaine knew that Karofsky had struggled with demons, confusion, unrequited desire. And they had chosen to stay quiet when maybe … maybe outing him to his parents or someone who could have helped might have prevented this. He could never know if those demons drove Karofsky to drink, to drink and drive and by some horrible joke of fate, crash his car into Blaine's family. They had thought they were kinder not to do that to Dave, but now, with only Blaine and his family paying the price for their choice, Kurt was tormented with guilt.

By the last alarm, near dawn, Kurt was so exhausted that he closed his own eyes and let Blaine rest his head on his shoulder, running his fingers through the other boy's thick dark hair and listening to him breathe. Feeling it. He dared to press a kiss against Blaine's forehead and drifted off to sleep himself.

When he woke up, the bed was empty and he sat up, alarmed, and looked at the clock. It was two minutes away from ringing again and he turned it off and got up. The water was running in the shower and stopped just as Kurt reached the door and tapped on it.

After a minute, the door opened. Blaine smiled weakly, his hair still damp and curly from the shower, a towel draped over his shoulders and another tied around his waist.

"I'm sorry if I woke you," he said, and Kurt shrugged.

"You feeling … well – your head - -" Kurt stumbled, and Blaine sighed and walked over to a chair, sitting down on it with a thud.

"My head's fine. I'm sorry about keeping you up all night, and - - I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable." Seeing Kurt's puzzled face, he said haltingly, "Clinging to you like some baby - - I just –needed you a lot last night," he choked, bending down and finally spilling some tears, leaning against Kurt's chest. Kurt rocked him back and forth, relieved to see Blaine letting it out but feeling his heart ripping at the unfamiliar sound of his crying.

"It was no trouble, far from it," Kurt whispered, overcome with tenderness. He put a hand under Blaine's chin and raised it to look into what used to be dancing, mischievous, laughing eyes now clouded with pain and tears, and leaned forward to kiss those tears away, trailing down to his soft, yielding lips.

"Kurt," a voice came from the doorway. The boys turned awkwardly and guiltily toward Burt, standing in the doorway, and Blaine stood up and pulled the towel around himself tighter. "I'll put on something," he mumbled, wiping his eyes with the towel over his shoulders and grabbing his clothes from the chair.

Burt took his hand from behind his back and handed him a set of clean clothes. "Here's some of Finn's stuff for now, Blaine. Leave those things here, Carole will take care of cleaning those for you. And your grandparents called. They're on their way here, should be at the airport in an hour or so. Your school called them."

Blaine looked puzzled, squinting confusedly, and took the offered clothes. "I should have done that – I wasn't thinking right –"

"It's understandable. Kurt, let's give Blaine his privacy, okay?" Burt stood in the doorway with a look that didn't allow for any arguments, and Kurt got up and squeezed Blaine's hand.

"Come on down when you're dressed. I'll be right downstairs."

Blaine nodded hesitantly and went into the bathroom, and Kurt glared angrily at Burt.