June 21st, 2014
‘At 7:47 PM on Saturday, May 19th, Kurt Hummel passed away after a year long battle with cancer.’
Blaine’s eyes flickered over each word and he felt his fists clench in disgust. He couldn’t stand the word battle. It was so detached and overused, and in no way did it describe the last year of Kurt’s life. If it had been a battle, his body would’ve fought back, but it didn’t. It crumbled and surrendered almost immediately, no matter how much his head disagreed. Also, Kurt didn’t pass away. He shuddered to a halt in compete agony, when the cancer had finally decided to put him out of his misery. Blaine screwed the paper up in one hand and threw it against the wall, breathing heavily. It was an issue of the NYADA school newsletter, in which someone had written an article about Kurt’s death. It was factual and forced, devoid of emotion. Because Blaine knew that half of that narcissistic drama school had never given a damn about Kurt and never would. It was all guilt induced, because it had taken them a month and it was a small section of the paper.
Blaine felt fresh tears fall as he shuddered, lacing his fingers into his hair and leaning forward. None of them cared about Kurt, not like he had. This isn’t what he wanted. Kurt wanted the whole world to know his name, yet now, at the end of his life, it had barely traveled around a High School in Ohio and an arts school in New York. And Kurt was gone, so he couldn’t do anything about it, and anybody who did know Kurt closely was too destroyed to do anything. This wasn’t fair. God, none of it was fair. Blaine had been thinking that over and over since the moment of Kurt’s diagnosis. Since he’d sat on the bathroom floor beside him, rubbing his back while he vomited. Since he’d held him as he sobbed, because one of the things Kurt had cared so deeply about was looking good, and now his hair was falling out. Since Kurt had moved into the hospital on the long term ward, and Blaine spent most of his time sleeping on the couch beside him.
Since Kurt never came home.
Blaine wasn’t truly sad yet, even after a month. He was still so unexplainably angry. Angry at cancer. Angry at Kurt for leaving him. Angry at the world. Angry about things that couldn’t be controlled. His grieving consisted of riding out wave after wave of violence, at himself and others. He let out a strangled sob and stood, picking the ball of paper up off of the floor and removing the lighter from his pocket. In one quick motion, the paper burst into flames, which Blaine dropped. He watched it burn, before stomping it out and leaving it as a small pile of blackened ash. Blaine closed his eyes, but the moment he did, Kurt’s face began to materialise behind his eyelids. Without thinking, Blaine slammed his fist forward, directly into the wall. He failed to the register the pain as he began punching, over and over again. It was only when he saw his blood staining the light blue painted walls that he stopped, and turned, collapsing on his bed and sobbing.
Tomorrow, everyone was going back to McKinley for a Kurt tribute week. Blaine wasn’t ready.
He lay face down on his pillow, praying it would suffocate him, thinking about seeing everyone Kurt loved; about standing in the choir room; about hearing songs that Kurt had sung or that reminded them of him. He wasn’t sure he could do it. When suddenly, that same face materialised in his head again. Kurt smiled softly at him. When Blaine shot up and opened his eyes, Kurt was still there, leaning against the wall. Blaine sighed. This wasn’t the first time this had happened. Regardless, it was his fiancé, so he felt himself straightening up and flattening his hair. Kurt still gave him butterflies.
“So what song are you singing for me this week?” Kurt asked. Blaine shifted, his eyes flickering over his late fiancé. He didn’t look how he’d looked in the last few months of his life. Blaine’s mind wanted to see Kurt the way he knew Kurt would want to be remembered: he a full head of hair, pushed upwards in a perfect quiff. He was wearing a tight fitting blue shirt that showed off the muscle he’d built up since moving to New York. He was gorgeous.
Blaine shrugged, looking down at his bloody knuckles. “What do you want me to sing?”
Kurt rolled his eyes. “That’s not the idea, babe.”
“Well, I don’t know, do I?” Blaine snapped. “How I condense how I’m feeling into a song? I don’t remember many artists who’ve written songs about when your fiancé dies and you’re only nineteen and you’re completely loosing it because he was your world and now you feel like there’s no point in even being here anymore!” He shouted.
Kurt didn’t return his passion, instead watching him carefully. Blaine stared back with glassy eyes. Neither of them spoke for a while.
“You don’t have to condense your feelings in song, Blaine. They all know you’re hurting.” Kurt sighed eventually, sitting down on their bed beside him.
“Hurting?” Blaine repeated in shock, “I’m more than hurting, Kurt, I’m—“
Blaine was interrupted by the sound of someone who wasn’t Kurt clearing their throat. He hadn’t even heard Finn and Rachel sliding the front door of their loft open. He hadn’t heard them walking across the floor, or pulling back the curtain that separated his room from theirs. But they had heard him. And they stood, watching him talk and shout at thin air. Blaine’s head whipped round and he felt Kurt’s presence lift. He was gone for now, but they both knew he’d be back.
“Who were you talking to?” Finn asked quietly. Inside, he felt a pang of fear. But outside, Blaine shrugged, looking down at his hands again, mumbling something inaudible. Rachel’s eyes slid to his bloody knuckles, then to the stain on the wall that looked like someone had been shot.
“Oh, Blaine…” she mumbled, putting her bag down and sitting in front of him. She took his hands, ignoring how he jumped when they made contact, and began to inspect the damage. Her heart broke for him. This wasn’t a new thing. As they locked eyes she gave him a knowing look. Rachel had been so good to him, even when they all knew she was hurting too. Blaine felt a pang of guilt and pulled away.
“Let me clean these up. Finn can pack your things for you.” She said gently. Too mentally and physically exhausted to start a fight, Blaine just nodded, and let Rachel lead him out into the kitchen and sat him down at the table. Blaine listened to the sounds of Finn putting random items of clothing into the suitcase and he almost smiled slightly - Kurt would’ve arranged them by colour, then made up an outfit for each day they were away from home, then a spare, just in case. He watched Rachel pulling the first aid kit out of the drawer and prayed she wouldn’t ask him anything, but he knew her too well.
“Were you talking to Kurt?” She asked, setting it down on the table and sitting opposite to him. Blaine cringed at someone else saying his name out loud.
“I wasn’t talking to anyone.” He muttered hoarsely.
“It’s okay if you were talking to him—“
“I wasn’t.” Blaine repeated more firmly, flexing his fingers.
“Okay.” Rachel said, letting it slide, taking Blaine’s right hand and gently wiping the blood away, cleaning the area. Blaine had managed to take almost all of the skin off of all of his knuckles, but he barely flinched as Rachel wrapped a dressing around his hand and fastened it with medical tape.
“Do you know what song you’ll sing this week?” She asked. Blaine sat for a minute and admired her bravery. She’d lost her best friend in all of this. She was grieving too. She wasn’t sleeping. None of them were. Yet here she was, cleaning him up again and asking him what he was going to do.
“No,” Blaine answered honestly, then, “you?”
“I could sing a million songs when it comes to Kurt.” She said with a sad smile, wiping down Blaine’s left hand and doing the same with the dressing as on his right hand. “But I can’t say I’ve chosen one yet.”
Once she’d finished, she let his hand go, right as Finn came out of Kurt and Blaine’s bedroom, pulling his suitcase. “You guys ready to go?” He asked, his voice cracking slightly.
Blaine nodded slowly. “Just give me a minute.” He said, standing and walking back into his bedroom. He went to Kurt’s chest of drawers and his eyes immediately glazed over. He pulled out the top drawer slowly, his bandaged hands shaking, eyes scanning over a selection of Kurt’s jumpers. He loved the way Kurt had dressed, no matter what anybody else ever said. Eventually, he lifted up a more subtle navy blue patterned jumper and held his face to it, breathing in heavily. He missed the way Kurt smelt. Like clean and warmth and safety. His smell boosted Blaine and, holding the jumper to his chest, he turned and walked back out of their room, meeting Finn and Rachel, who were ready by the door with their own cases. They gave the jumper sympathetic looks but neither of them mentioned it.
“Okay,” Rachel said, trying to force a ready smile, “Let’s go home.”