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Dead Hearts are Everywhere

Chapter Text

PART ONE:

In the way your hand hits the wave

In between the dreamer and the breath

Long beside the bitter of the skin

Today won't know when to begin

On a Wednesday, twenty-four year old Blaine Anderson will tell Kurt Hummel that he believes in love again, that the reason he now believes again that love exists, is simply because he loves Kurt.

The morning of this particular Wednesday, it will rain; Blaine will not yet know this as he runs out of his shop, without a coat. He will not know that as he smiles and laughs with Kurt, as they kiss in the rain, that his father is writing his last words at his desk.

On the day that Blaine starts to really love again, he will come home late to find his father, slumped at his desk, a pen still in hand. Blaine will sigh and attempt to wake his father, thinking fondly that the poor old man has once again fallen asleep writing.

Blaine will not yet know that his father will not wake this time.

 

-0000-

 

When Blaine is eight, he will hold his crying sister in his arms as they watch their mother leave the house, perched on the steps of the staircase. Their father will plead and try to reason with their mother, but she will leave anyway. Cooper will make them sandwiches, turn on a Disney movie and try to pretend that everything is okay.

Nothing is the same after that; none of them are the same.

 

-0000-

It is a sunny day when he finds out his father is dying. The boys at his school run around in unbuttoned dress shirts; birds fly around, chirping happily. Blaine will sigh as he walks to his car and deposits his duffle bag into the back seat. He will wave at his friends, Wes and David, and then make the drive home for the weekend.

He will miss a party this weekend – a party specifically thrown for him by the Warblers as a belated sixteenth birthday present - because his father requested his presence at home. This does not happen often, as his father is usually so busy typing away in his study, and Blaine would much rather stay at Dalton.

The news will not come about in a dramatic way; there will be no rushing to the hospital. He will not carry his father into the doors and shout frantically.

No, instead, the news comes with a cup of tea and his little sister clutching his hand.

There will be no tears, no confused frowns or shouting. They will accept this hindrance and try to live life normally, knowing that their father is slowly dying, day by day.

 

-0000-

Immidiatly after he graduates from Dalton – top of his class, naturally – they pack up and leave for New York. Blaine goes to college, his sister goes and starts her junior year of high school, and their father buys a book store. It is a small building, with a loft over the shop; the store itself is cozy and welcoming, the loft a cold and lonely little space.

Charles recruits Blaine to help with the shop, and soon enough Blaine is practically running it himself. Blaine finds himself splitting all his time between his family, his shop – yes, his, his father finally tells him one day – and school.

When Blaine graduates college, he does not celebrate or go out with his friends – Quinn and Mike, the only two friends he really does have - instead, he takes his weak father home, makes sure his sister gets back to her dorm safely, and falls asleep at his shop doing paperwork.

He doesn’t mind waking up alone, shivering, at his desk; it’s much easier this way, he thinks, to be alone, rather than let himself be with someone, only to have them ripped away.

 

-0000-

Blaine is closing up shop when a tall, blonde young woman knocks on the window. She startles him, and the pile of books he had been carrying falls to the floor. He lets her in, partly because she is soaked to the bone from the rain, and partly because he can’t seem to say no the hopeful smile on her face.

She thanks him as she steps inside, shivering, and sets the box she carries on the floor while he searches for a towel for her.

Blaine returns five minutes later to find the woman cooing at the box.

When she sees him she stands, takes the towel gratefully, and rubs at her face and hair while Blaine gathers his fallen books.

“I’m Brittany!” she says, a wide smile gracing her features. She sticks her hand out as she speaks, waiting for his to glide into hers.

He does, with a small smile, shaking it with minimal force.

“I’m Blaine,” he replies, in a quiet voice.

Brittany lifts herself onto her toes and laughs.

“I know! My girlfriend came by last week to pick up a book about cats for me! She told me all about you; she told me that you’re gayer than a dolphin in the Atlanta and that you ordered that book just for me. ‘Tana gave me that book for my birthday and I loved it, so I thought I could come by and thank you.”

Blaine’s not sure what to think, or do, so he nods dumbly.

Brittany claps her hands and bends down, reaching into the box. She pulls out a small, squeaking thing, and Blaine finally gets that it’s a puppy. It’s shivering violently, the coat pure white, the eyes a piercing blue.

“’Tana said we had too many dogs anyway and Lord Tubbington agreed so I thought this is the way I could say thanks. She doesn’t really like rain because someone left her and her family in a box and they were all wet, but you look like you don’t like rain too so maybe you guys can keep each other happy when it rains.”

She hands it over to Blaine, who fumbles with the puppy until he finally settles it against his chest.

“Her name is Boy, and she already told me that she loves you, so you should probably thank her by buying some mints. Boy likes mints, especially the green ones.”

Boy whimpers against Blaine’s chest, so Blaine tucks her into his sweater; he can feel her nuzzle into it and he tries more than anything to hate it.

“Why is her name Boy?”

Brittany looks at him as if he’s just said the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard; it’s plausible it is.

“Because that’s who she is, silly!”

Brittany leaves with a kiss to Blaine’s cheek, and Boy’s head. She promises she’ll be back soon, and Blaine isn’t sure if he’s happy or sad about this. Brittany’s obvious joy is painful to Blaine’s heart, but it’s also infectious, and so he finds himself smiling as he locks the door and heads home to settle for the night.

He catches himself though, when he settles Boy next to him on his bed. Blaine knows that Boy will grow old and die, or will die early, either way, she will die; and so Blaine removes his hand from her head, turns over, and tells himself that he does not love Boy, that he never will.

When Boy dies, Blaine will not be affected, because Blaine does not believe in love, and he does not love Boy.

He tells himself this with conviction, and almost believes it to be true.

Chapter Text

PART TWO:

Did you see the closing window?

Did you hear the slamming door?

They moved forward, my heart died

They moved forward, my heart died

When Blaine is a sophomore at Dalton Academy, he will be late one day to a Warbler performance. He will wake up disorientated and will get ready in a rush, having only gotten two hours of sleep due to nightmares, and will quickly make his way down the stairs.

A phone call will stop him in his tracks, just as he’s reaching for his pocket watch to check the time, and he will thus miss meeting a boy just three steps away from him.

He will also miss the performance, and many more after that.

-0000-

Blaine will meet Kurt Hummel, not by chance, or accident, but by the hand of his sister. He will stop by the small theatre to pick her up after her rehearsal ends with the intention of quickly grabbing a coffee before they return to their father and Cooper. Blaine will already be tired and in a bad mood, brought on by Cooper’s utter lack of interest in helping them with their father.

It will not be monumental, their meeting, just a quick shake of hands in Kurt’s small office in the theatre; a short exchange of words and an offer for Blaine to replace a piano player.

Blaine will nod and agree, and that night he will try - and fail - to forget the color of Kurt Hummel’s eyes.

-0000-

Blaine’s junior year at Dalton will be devoid of Warbler practices.

Instead, Blaine will spend his time alone; studying, reading books, and writing prose. He will perfect his piano playing skills, get a job at the library and take care of his father and sister.

He will stop doing his hair, stop wearing contacts, stop smiling, and he will stop singing. His friends will worry, of course, but after mulitple failed attempts of trying to coax Blaine to hang out with them, they will simply stop their efforts.

Blaine will meet Sebastian when they get partnered together for an english project. Sebastian will find Blaine – with his mysteriously sad eyes behind crooked glasses and unkempt curly hair – fascinating. He will attempt to find out everything about Blaine and will ignore his fellow Warblers’ pleas to just leave Blaine alone. Sebastian will manage to drag Blaine to a party that Blaine doesn’t want to go to. He will get Blaine to relax a bit after about an hour. They will drink and dance and Sebastian will hear Blaine’s laugh for the first time. As the night ends, Blaine will find himself in a bed with Sebastian, and he will do nothing to stop what will happen next.

When he wakes the next morning, he will feel nothing.

Nothing at all.

-0000-

Sebastian will foolishly tell Blaine that he loves him the next year.

Blaine will tell him he shouldn’t, but Sebastian will argue and plead with Blaine. It will not end well; Sebastian will get his heart broken, Blaine will further retreat into himself and justify that this is exactly why he doesn’t do that stupid thing called love.

It just ruins people, he tells Sebastian, it always does.

He will leave Sebastian’s room with an, “I’m sorry”.

They do not speak again after this; Blaine tells himself it’s for the better. He doesn’t need a distraction like Sebastian anyway, he’s perfectly fine being alone.

-0000-

Blaine wakes up in the middle of the night a week after meeting Kurt, to find Boy staring at him. Her head cocked to the side, eyes searching his, he feels like she’s trying to tell him something. He stares back for a moment as he tries to regulate his breathing, his body still shaking from the nightmare he was just reliving, but has to look away.

Her eyes remind him too much of Kurt Hummel, and so he hates her even more that day.

But he takes her for a walk anyway in the morning, and tells himself that he hates every second, that when she nuzzles into his leg as he sits on a bench he only scoots closer to her because of the cold.

It’s not like he loves the dog or anything.

Because he doesn’t.

He can’t.

-0000-

Blaine despises the color blue.

It started with his first bowtie, given to him by his older brother for his fifth birthday. Blaine loved his new bowtie; it was a bright sky blue, with white polka dots. He wore it to school the first chance he got.

By the end of the day, it lay ruined in a puddle of mud at the hands of Andy Wilkins.

His hatred for the color grew and grew.

When he’s eight, staring with wide eyes and quivering lips as his mother’s blue skirt fluttered around her legs as she carried her bags to a taxi, the sight of her blue eyes as she looked back at her children before she leaves for good.

Three days after his mother leaves, he scowls at Cooper, his arms crossed, jaw set, as his brother’s blue eyes plead with his own hazel. Cooper is leaving for California, but he tells his young siblings that he’ll call every night, that he’ll visit all the time, and that soon they’ll have a famous brother and won’t that be cool?

Blaine can see the lies in Cooper’s bright eyes. He stomps off to his room and doesn’t tell his brother goodbye.

Then, in his hospital room when he’s fourteen - the first thing he notices when he finally wakes up is that his blankets are blue. Then, he notes with disdain, the nurses scrubs are blue. As they prod and poke him, ask him question after question he takes in his father’s tears, his sister’s hand in his as the rain falls outside. These are minor details to him, however, because all he can see is blue blue blue, taunting him, mocking him.

And now, at sixteen years old, as he watches his father get wheeled away for his first surgery, a blue cap on his head, the blankets blue, always, he just wishes for once that the world would cease to exist in color.

Chapter Text

PART THREE:

It's dull, this dusk, this desk, this dust

My eyes adjust

I'll blow out the flame

Can you and me remain?

 

Kurt does not change Blaine’s life over night; he does not force happiness and love onto Blaine. Instead, he gently eases Blaine into it.

It starts with a handshake and soft melodies, which grow into strolls through the park, a spontaneous trip to Arizona, of all places; it builds through homemade cupcakes, Kurt’s voice when he sings as Blaine plays his piano, the soft smile that Kurt reserves only for Blaine.

Kurt may have eased Blaine into it, without trying, but when Blaine realizes it, it hits him hard and fast.

He runs out of his shop then, the rain attacking his bare arms, the drops of water hitting his glasses and blurring his vision. Blaine runs and runs, until he’s standing outside Kurt’s office door.

Kurt looks up from his desk at the sound of Blaine’s shoes squeaking and blinks in surprise. He stands, crossing his arms as he approaches Blaine quickly. His brow furrows and his shoulders straighten at the sight of Blaine.

“Is everything okay? Is it your dad?”

Blaine exhales shakily, his hands twitching into fists, clenching and unclenching. He opens his mouth to speak, though he doesn’t exactly know what to say until the words are already in the air.

“I love you.”

-0000-

 

Blaine is six when his dog Jack dies.

His father had gotten him Jack after Blaine had begged and pleaded for months with promises that he’d take extra special care of the dog and Charles Anderson had finally caved after Blaine had come home with both a split lip and a rather impressive grade on a book report.

Jack was a shaggy, hyper little dog they got from the pound – who his mother despised from the start – who loved to play fetch and didn’t even mind when Blaine would fall asleep on him.

It is a Saturday when it happens; the sky is not yet dark, but clouds have formed, and a slight breeze has picked up. Blaine is helping his little sister pick flowers for a crown they’re planning to make; Jack is playing the dutiful role of guardian, yapping and running in circles around them. Gemma twirls in place as Blaine lets tiny flowers fall from his hands and onto her head. He giggles as his little sister stumbles and starts to fall, Jack barking at him as he catches her.

Blaine lifts her tiny body and swings her around, not too fast so he doesn’t get dizzy, Jack bouncing happily around their feet.

They pay no mind when their mother and Cooper come out the front door.

The problem with Jack, as they learned soon after they got him, is that while Helena Anderson may hate the fluffy creature, Jack has an immense amount of love for her. So when Helena opens the gate, and Cooper forgets to close it as he talks to their mother about an audition he has - and will she please take him? – Jack follows them through it.

No one notices as Jack runs through the gate. Blaine and Gemma are too busy waltzing through the pile of flowers on the grass, and their mother and Cooper are in the middle of yet another argument on how Helena thinks Cooper’s acting ambitions are pointless and how Cooper wants to prove to his mother that he’s really good, really. While all of this is going on, Jack has run down the driveway, barking, trying to get Helena’s attention, and, consequently, is under a car and sprawled out onto the pavement within minutes.

That night, Charles holds his son as he cries, while Helena sits awkwardly on his bed and explains that everything dies sooner or later.

“Come now, Blaine darling, stop all this crying; big boys don’t cry, you know that. And really, if you had been watching the stupid dog to begin with this mess never would have happened.”

 

-0000-

 

He meets Quinn for coffee the day after meeting with Kurt to discuss sheet music and rehearsal dates. At the time, he isn’t expecting their conversation to be about Kurt Hummel, but then, his conversations with Quinn never really turn out what he expects them to be.

She sips her coffee daintily, before speaking.

“So. You met Kurt yesterday?”

Blaine nods, pushes his glasses back up nose before swallowing a sip of his own drink. They sit inside the small café today, the rain pouring outside preventing them from taking their usual seats. But Blaine doesn’t mind; the café is warm and cozy, and Zoë – their favorite barista – always saves them their preferred table in the corner.

“Yes, I did. Gemma introduced us after I picked her up at the theatre. Why do you ask?”

Quinn shrugs, trying to contain her smile, but failing miserably.

“Kurt and I knew each other in high school. I don’t know, just, you seem like you guys would…hit it off.”

Blaine sighs deeply, rolling his eyes as he fiddles with his napkin.

“Quinn –“

“I know, I know. How many times have we had this conversation, B? Look, I know you’re busy with running your store, and taking care of Gemma…and your dad, and all of that, but... I just, I worry about you. When was the last time you went on a date?”

“It doesn’t matter, Q. I’m sure Kurt is a great guy, but…you know how I feel about relationships or whatever. I’m not interested in one. And even if I was, I’m too busy anyway.”

“You’re lonely, Blaine. I know it and you know it, so don’t even try to deny it. I know you care about your dad and want to take care of him, but, you can’t do all this by yourself.”

“I have Gemma. Cooper calls all the time. And I have you and Mike. I’m not…lonely.”

“Gemma is at school most days, and Mike and I aren’t with you all the time. Plus, I’m talking about something different and you know it. Mike and I are your best friends, yes, and Gemma and Cooper are your siblings, of course they care, but -“

“Look can we just drop it? I’d really like to go to Mike’s show without being pissed at you the whole time.”

Quinn sighs, her jaw tightening as she stares out the window. They sit for a moment, sipping their coffees, and ignoring each other. Finally, Quinn looks away from the window, her shoulders slumped, her eyes searching Blaine’s.

“I love you, you know B? I just want you to be happy.”

Blaine averts his gaze, stands and slips into his coat, helps Quinn into hers. They walk out of the café huddled together under Blaine’s umbrella; Quinn’s arm is tucked into Blaine’s as they walk down the street.

“I know.”

Chapter Text

PART FOUR:

Let's paint the city Eiffel Tower green

And go on a holiday, go on vacation.

This is the closest that you've ever been,

But you're still far so away from your destination.

Kurt bakes Blaine cupcakes for his birthday. A dozen cupcakes, all with different designs and colors. The treats are in a medium sized box – white, with a red bow.

Kurt walks into the book store early in the morning while Blaine is in the back and slips them onto the counter, along with a note – ‘Blaine, I hope you enjoy these treats-- red velvet, chocolate, and strawberry, oh my!--on your special day. All my love, Kurt’.

He leaves without ever seeing Blaine.

When Blaine spots the box, he is confused, but pleasantly delighted at the gesture. Kurt’s managed to include all of his favorite flavors and Blaine can’t remember the last time he’d felt so happy on his birthday.

Kurt continues to surprise Blaine, with his gestures and surprises; his words and touches leave Blaine seeking more, wanting the warmth Kurt provides to fill the gaping holes in his cracked heart.

Blaine shakes his head with a small grin, grabbing a cupcake as he thinks.

He doesn’t even remember telling Kurt his birthday.

 

-0000-

 

Blaine – even though he can handle himself rather well in a kitchen, compared to other young men – tends to only live off of Top Ramen noodles, crackers, coffee, and tasteless, sugarless cereal.

Under different circumstances, he might have instead thrived on homemade pizza – his specialty – or a meal with steak and even a tossed salad.

But tonight, with his father locked away in the bathroom, the sounds of his retching make Blaine stop eating his poor excuse of a dinner.

He jumps up, throwing the half eaten container in the trash, and runs down the hall.

Blaine goes for the handle to the bathroom door, but like every time this happens, it is locked.

“Dad? You okay?”

A tired, hoarse voice answers him through the barrier of the door.

“Fine son, just fine. Go and eat, Blaine, you’re getting too skinny.”

They both know he’s not the only one under weight, that the one they should worry about is not the son, but the father.

He ignores his father’s request, and instead slides down the door, sits on the warm carpet, resting his head against the cold wood.

“I’m not hungry. Do you want me to make you some tea?”

He hears his father sigh, and they both wait as another round of vomiting passes.

“Yes, please, son.”

Blaine stands on shaky legs, closes his eyes briefly, and walks back into the kitchen.

 

-0000-

 

Their Nana comes to live with them after their mother leaves.

Ondine Anderson is a kind, lighthearted woman who always has a story to tell, and Blaine is pretty sure she’s his favorite person in the whole world.

Blaine has always felt a little guilty for enjoying her company over Grandfather and Grandmother Deline’s, but he can’t help it.

Nana lets Blaine cuddle up with her and always squeezes him extra tight. And as he lays his head against her neck he can smell her and it always brings a smile to his face; she smells of flowers and cookies, and somehow, books.

Blaine likes to think she smells like home.

Ondine moved into the house just a week after Helena packed up and left, and now, it seems as if she’s always been there. She makes them all breakfast in the morning with a smile, takes Blaine to the elementary school around the block and Gemma to preschool. And, after, takes them to the park. She teaches them how to play the piano, sings with them loudly in the large house, and always has time for finger painting.

Before she tucks them in at night, she cuddles with them on the couch and tells them fantastic tales, filled with both dramatic voices and sound effects. Sometimes, if Charles manages to get out of the office early enough, he will join in with his mother. Blaine and Gemma will sit with wide eyes as they listen to the sounds of their Nana and father narrating enthusiastically.

The stories will always manage to get little Gemma to fall asleep, but never Blaine.

He will follow the two adults to his room, his father carrying his tiny sister in his arms, as he shoots question after question at them.

“Did the prince go back and save the poor dragon from the evil witch Nana?”

“Why did the knight marry that Lady though? Didn’t he love his best friend too? Why didn’t he just marry him?”

“Okay, but what happened to the mermaid daddy?”

Over the years, the stories continue, but instead of Blaine’s lingering questions, he starts telling his father and Nana exactly what happens to those he wonders about.

They develop a routine then, with their mother absent and their older brother living in LA. Ondine immerses herself into their lives completely, bringing life back into the house.

Every Sunday, she always wakes early with Blaine. They, unlike Charles and Gemma, are early risers; the subtle light calms them, the quiet of the morning makes them want to whisper, to not disturb, just until the sun rises. They cut up fruits together for their breakfast, and get out the good china to drink their tea.

After they have finished their light breakfast, they move on then, to the family room where the precious piano is. Blaine will sit on the bench, his feet not yet touching the floor, while Ondine sits in the armchair next to the window. He will play for her, a soft, quiet medley, until his sister and father wake.

But on this peculiar morning, Blaine – who this morning, has a spring in his step; as it is his tenth birthday - walks into the kitchen to find no china set on the table, and no fruit. Nor does he find his Nana waiting for him.

He frowns, standing rumpled and confused in the dimly lit kitchen. Blaine walks into the living room, looks outside, into his father’s study, and leaves the family room feeling discouraged.

His Nana is nowhere to be found.

Blaine takes a deep breath, and walks down the hall towards her room; maybe, he thinks, she isn’t feeling well, and he can make her breakfast and tea this morning.

Blaine reaches the door at the end of the hall, and pushes it open slowly. He steps into the dark room, squinting until he sees the form of his Nana in her bed.

She’s still sleeping, he thinks with a smile.

Blaine grins, bites his lip as he thinks for a moment, and then quickly slips his feet out of his slippers. He tip toes forward, and then slowly, gently, lies down next to her.

He closes his eyes for a moment, breathes deep, and then-

He stiffens, his eyes snapping open.

Something isn’t right.

“Nana?”

Blaine shakes her gently, his hands shaking, but he gets no response.

His voice wavers as he speaks again, still shaking her with his trembling hands.

“Nana, wake up. Nana!”

Blaine shakes and shakes her, his voice getting louder and louder, until they turn into yells.

His sister comes stumbling in then, rubbing her tired eyes and pushing her dark hair out of her face.

“Brother? What’s wrong with Nana?”

“Nana! Wake up, wake up, wake up!”

Gemma’s eyes widen in fear from the doorway at the sound of her brother’s voice, her lip starts to tremble as she watches him shake their Nana.

“Blainey? Why isn’t Nana waking up?”

Blaine ignores her, his hands gripping his Nana’s arms, tears steadily making their way down his cheeks. He feels like he can’t breathe; his Nana’s face is too pale, her skin is too cold and she isn’t-

She isn’t breathing.

“Daddy! Daddy, help! Daddy, daddy!”

Charles Anderson will never forget the sounds of his son’s frightened screams that morning, will never forget the sight of his once so lively mother lying so still in her bed, his daughter crying silently on the floor.

But, Blaine, he will never forget how his Nana broke her promise.

“I have a special birthday surprise for you after you play for me tomorrow, “ she had said the night before, touching Blaine’s cheek with her fingertips as she spoke, “This year is going to be your best birthday yet, my Little Lion, you’ll see.”

Chapter Text

PART FIVE:

Thousands of ghosts in the daylight

One day we all disappear

We'll walk till we get to the harbor

They'll never know we were here

The morning after he gets out of the hospital – finally, after three months in a coma and two weeks more after that – Blaine will stand in front of his mirror. He will lean on his crutches, staring at his naked chest and legs, one of which is still bound in a cast, with a frown.

Blaine will run his fingers over pink, tender scars. Jaw clenched, brow furrowed in anger and pain, he will stare in disgust.

He will close his eyes, repulsed by what he sees, and as he opens them, his gaze will fall on the containers of pills sitting on his desk.

If he takes enough, he wonders, will the pain go away?

 

-0000-

Blaine bites his lip, watching from behind his glasses as Kurt narrows his eyes and watches the girl on stage. Kurt licks his lips before looking down and jotting down some notes in his notebook. He then leans over to Blaine, his hand coming to rest on Blaine’s knee.

Your hand feels like fire and ice at the same time; will it ever stop feeling this way? Am I going to be subjected to this torture every time I’m with you?

“I’m pretty sure I’m sold on her playing Annie, what do you think, Blaine?”

Blaine swallows hard, shakes his head a bit to clear it; he pushes his glasses back up his nose before answering Kurt, in a far more steadier voice than he feels capable of at the moment.

“Well, it is your play, so…”

Kurt smirks at him, squeezes Blaine’s knee.

Blaine is finding it harder and harder everyday to not kiss him.

“I trust you, though. So what do you think?”

If Blaine were honest, or if he were brave, if he believed he could love, or if people could love him; if Blaine thought that people didn’t have ulterior motives, or if he knew they wouldn’t eventually leave him – if Blaine were to open his mouth, and tell Kurt what he was really thinking, he’d say this:

“I wish you wouldn’t trust me. I wish you wouldn’t touch me, or look at me, or make me want to kiss you every second. I hate the way you make me like the rain, or how you bake me cupcakes and cookies for no reason. I don’t want you to make me smile or laugh; why must you insist on doing that? Why are you even here? Stop making me feel happy, I don’t want to be happy. I’m fine this way; I’ve always been this way. My father is dying Kurt, and I feel like I am too. Maybe I already am. Please, just stop.”

Instead, when he opens his mouth, he says, “I think she’d be perfect for the role.”

 

-0000-

Blaine still plays the piano every Sunday, but now, his audience and routine is much different than when he was a boy.

His sick, tired father lies on the couch; Boy is curled up at Blaine’s feet. After a couple melodies is played, the sound echoing throughout the small house, Boy gets up and trots toward the couch, jumping up and curling next to Charles, laying her head in his lap.

Like every Sunday since they can remember, they must have a routine.

Blaine will play the piano, they will skip breakfast – with Charles begging for Blaine to eat and Blaine pointedly ignoring him – and then Charles will sleep until lunch. Blaine will take this time to read, take Boy for a walk or get coffee with Mike or Quinn. Gemma will then come by for lunch, which will consist of Blaine picking at his food, his father attempting to stomach the food, and Gemma providing a steady stream of quiet, stilted conversation. When they finish their excuse of a family lunch, Gemma will try to get Blaine to go out again, to see friends or go on a date; he, like every time she suggests it, will say no, they will argue pointlessly until their father suggests they sit down and watch a movie.

Now, as Blaine’s fingers glide over the keys, Charles pets Boy’s head absently, wincing when he hears Blaine falter, his breath coming out heavy.

Charles slowly gets up, steadying himself with a hand on the couch. He sits next to Blaine on the bench, lays a hand on Blaine’s shoulder, sighs when his son stops playing and rests his head on his father’s bony shoulder.

“Happy Birthday, Lion.”

Blaine sighs shakily as he stiffens, removing himself from his father’s side.

“Don’t say that.”

“Blaine-“

“I’ll make you some tea.”

Charles sighs deeply, feels it echo in his bones. He presses his fingers into the piano’s keys as Blaine walks into the kitchen.

 

-0000-

The funeral is on a Saturday.

Blaine holds Kurt’s hand in his right, his left being clutched painfully in Gemma’s. Cooper stands next to Gemma, his arm wrapped around her, his face pale, and for once, he has no words to say.

Mike and Quinn are huddled together next to Kurt, and Blaine can even see Santana and Brittany holding hands, giving him worried looks, off to the side.

He watches as they slowly lower his father’s casket; it shines in the sun, and the flowers that rest on top of it flutter in the breeze.

And then-

“Wait,” he says, quietly, softly.

Kurt squeezes his hand, but let’s go when Blaine pulls away. He approaches the casket, staring down at it for a moment, and then grabs the lone blue flower, crushes it in his hand. The petals fall to the ground, useless and ugly.

Blaine reaches into his pocket and withdraws a folded sheet of paper and places it where the flower used to be.

When he steps back, he glides his hands back where they belong.

“Okay,” he says.

Okay.

 

-0000-

 

Dad,

I think I’ll be okay.

He says he loves me, and I’m finding it easier to believe each day.

I miss you, so much, with every beat of my heart, I do.

Love,

Your Lion - Blaine

Chapter Text

PART SIX:

Steady eyes staying level on me

I hope I never see what they see

You'll always feel it, you're the sweetest one

Let's let them live their whole lives bored

Unbeknownst to Blaine, his father clutches his less injured hand in his as he waits while Blaine-

Charles refuses to say anything other than sleep, refuses to think of it as a coma, insists to every person that asks that no, his son is merely sleeping.

And as Blaine sleeps, Charles sits by his bedside and reads to him, the same way he used to when Blaine was so young – he’s still so young, still just a boy, he thinks.

Charles does this for many reasons; he needs the familiarity as much as Blaine does, and it’s much easier to stare at the worn pages of his books, than to look at the cuts and bruises and bandages that cover his precious son’s face. But most of all, it’s easier to pretend he’s simply reading a fantastic tale to Blaine so that he’ll have pleasant dreams, and wake up with a smile, than to admit the truth that Blaine may not wake at all.

Charles visits everyday – before work, at his lunch, with Gemma after work – and now, Cooper joins him, when he finally comes back into town.

And every day, he tells his daughter, just shy of twelve, that yes, of course Blaine will wake up, it’s only a matter of time.

As the days pass, they turn into weeks, which turn into months; Blaine’s bruises fade, his cuts heal, but Charles slowly starts to lose hope - that maybe his bright, selfless and kind son will never open his eyes.

He just wants to see those hazel eyes once more.

Is that so much to ask?

--

It has been two months now, and Blaine still sleeps.

His arm is still in a sling, his leg still in a cast, but his face is no longer marked – the only reminder visible is a small scar, barely noticeable, by his hairline.

Charles still reads, but stops after an hour so Gemma and Cooper can sing and talk to their brother. Charles watches Blaine like a hawk during this time; keeps an eye out for any changes, for any twitches, as Cooper and Gemma harmonize quietly, Cooper strumming Blaine’s guitar.

But like every night since, nothing happens.

--

Charles slips away one night while Cooper talks to Blaine and Gemma works on homework.

He takes out his phone and dials a number he wishes he didn’t know.

“Hello, Charles.”

“Helena.”

“What is it then? Be quick about it, Steven and I have dinner reservations and-“

“Why haven’t you visited?”

“Visited…Blaine? Is he awake then?”

“No, he’s still – he’s still sleeping.”

“Charles, don’t be ridiculous. He’s in a coma, not having a nap.”

“You should come and see him, Helena. It’s the least you can do. The doctors say it’s good for him and he needs all the help he can get.”

“Charles…I don’t know why you and Cooper – you shouldn’t bother. He can’t hear you and those doctors should be sued for telling you lies and giving you false hope. I have to go now, dinner is in an hour and I still have to-“

“Fine. Go to your dinner and your events and parties instead of visiting your comatose son!”

“Charles-“

“I’ll call you if he wakes up, if you care to know.”

After he ends the call, Charles sinks to the floor, suddenly exhausted beyond belief, and puts his head in his hands.

His jaw set, hands shaking, he only realizes he’s crying when Cooper comes to sit next to him, wrapping his arms around his father, murmuring words of comfort in his ear.

Charles often wonders why bad things happen to good people; he wonders why his son, who has already had to go through so much, is stuck in this sleep state just because of who he is.

--

It is nearing the end of the third month when Charles stops reading to his son.

Instead, he starts to talk.

On Wednesday:
“Do you remember when I first read you The Wizard of Oz? I don’t suppose you remember that first time, since you were so young – two, maybe three years old, I believe. Cooper had told me rather adamantly that it had to be the first real book you heard.”

“Cooper had been calling you Lion since you were one, and after I finished reading, you finally understood why.”

“When I think about it, you are rather like the Lion. You don’t really see how brave you really are, son, but you have to know that you have so much courage.”

“I admire it you know.”

“You are so brave, my Little Lion, so brave.”

Thursday:

“I hated building that car. I was only trying to spend more time with you and instead I made – god, Blaine, I made you think that I – but I don’t and-“

“You were just becoming so distant, and I was working longer hours and one day, I just, I realized I no longer knew you, not really. So I came up with all of those stupid bonding activities.”
“Cooper told me how you felt about the car. Blaine you must know, I am so sorry for how I made you feel. I wasn’t trying to change you, son, I would never, you have to know that. I love you, every part of you.”

“Please wake up, Blaine. I can’t lose you too.”

Friday:

“The boys who hurt you and Seth were released.”

“Why is the world so cruel Blaine? I just want you to be safe, to not have to worry when you walk down the street. I want you to hold a boy’s hand in public without being scared or-“

“I want…”

“Blaine, I just want to protect you. From everything; the hurt, the pain of life, sadness and loss.”

“But I can’t.”

And then, a Saturday:

“Seth and his family are moving to California. His parents told me he hasn’t been doing well. I asked him if he wanted to come and see you, but…he said he couldn’t.”

“I can understand that. In the beginning, it was hard for me to look at you. My little boy…you looked so broken. All I wanted to do was to fix you.”

“I miss your laugh, Blaine. I miss you smile and your eyes. I miss hearing you sing with Gemma and listening to you playing the piano.”

“Please wake up, son. We can’t lose you too, we just can’t. Please open your eyes, my Lion. I would give anything to see your eyes once more, I – Blaine? Son, can you hear me? Open your eyes Blaine! Please, oh god, Blaine, squeeze my hand if you can hear me! Oh Blaine, there you are. Nurse, nurse!”

--

Blaine wakes on a Saturday, confused and heavy limbed.

Charles holds his hand as the doctor asks Blaine question after question. He stares at Blaine, takes in everything; from his son’s frown, sometimes unfocused eyes, and lazily moving mouth.

Charles jumps when Blaine slowly uncurls his hand from within his father’s hold, and unsteadily wipes a tear from Charles’ cheek.

His voice is quiet and slow when he speaks.

“Dad?”

Charles wipes his eyes, gives a short laugh and promptly reclaims his hold of Blaine’s hand.

“It’s just so good to see your eyes again, son.”

Blaine gives him a small, shaky smile, and Charles tries to burn he image into his brain.

--

Blaine is never the same after that, but then, he’s not really sure who he was to begin with.

Chapter Text

PART SEVEN:

You sold me some cheap ecstasy

So you could have some sex with me

I don't want your body

I don't want your body

We don't want your body

Even though Blaine is drunk and smiling and laughing way too much, he still doesn’t let himself go completely.

So when Sebastian kisses his neck and reaches for the bottom of Blaine’s shirt, he shakes his head and moves Sebastian’s hands away. Sebastian frowns, so Blaine kisses him, flipping them with a laugh.

It continues then, with Sebastian forgetting about Blaine’s shirt in favor of his pants.

After though, when Sebastian is sitting at his the desk the morning after, he ponders over Blaine’s odd behavior.

It isn’t until Sebastian barges into Blaine’s room, months later, ready to ask Blaine if he can borrow a book, that he understands why.

Blaine is in the middle of changing into his pajamas when his door is opened. The two boys stare at each other for what seems like hours; Sebastian is stuck where he stands, shocked at the sight of Blaine’s naked upper body, and Blaine, petrified and angered that another person has seen him like this.

Eventually, Sebastian’s eyes lower to the ground, he nods at Blaine, and then leaves without a word.

They never speak of it, but it is silently agreed that Sebastian will forget what he saw, and Blaine will forget that another person has seen his scars.

--

Sebastian doesn’t forget; he’ll never get the image of Blaine’s chest and back out of his head – the patchwork of lines and jagged edges, meeting an area of roughened skin will be burned into his head forever.

 

-0000-

Blaine hates getting sick. It’s inconvenient, annoying, and not to mention dangerous.

When he does fall ill, he makes sure the house is stocked with tea, soup, crackers – anything and everything that his father can stomach. He then makes sure the house is clean, packs extra blankets and his warmest clothes, and gets Boy and her food all stuffed into his car.

He informs Cooper, Gemma, Mike and Quinn of his ill state.

Mike and Gemma will go to the house everyday while Blaine is gone and take care of Charles, Cooper will call both Blaine and Charles every morning and evening, and Quinn will bring Blaine tea and soup and medicine and make sure Boy gets taken out for a walk each day.

Routine, routine, routine, he thinks.

What Blaine hates most about getting sick, is that he has to stay in the loft above his shop until he gets better. The small loft is barely furnished, has no piano for him to waste away his free time on, and it is always, always cold, no matter what he does.

His body aches, his throat is on fire, his head pounds and he shivers underneath his two sweaters and beanie, but he makes his way down the stairs to open up his shop anyway, sniffling as he unlocks the door.

Once the door is unlocked, all the blinds and curtains drawn, the Open sign turned, he starts to set up the corner where Brittany will read from her new book. Blaine had initially been surprised to find that when he made a bulk order of the popular new children’s book, a Brittany S. Pierce was the author.

But then, he supposes it makes sense.

He’d offered for her to do a reading of the book the day it hit stores, and she had been ecstatic, jumping up and down, hugging him tightly.

Brittany walks in then, her arms full, a bright smile on her face.

“Blainers! Look what I have! Santana made you tea and Quinn made you soup!”

Blaine frowns in confusion, taking the mugs of tea and soup from her hands.

His voice is hoarse and scratchy when he talks, and Brittany grimaces when she hears it.

“Wait…Quinn? Quinn Fabray? How do you know Quinn?”

Brittany snorts a laugh, playfully slapping his arm and giving him a silly little grin.

“We were the Unholy Trinity in high school, duh. But you should really drink your tea, Baby B; Santana made it with extra special love – she even added lemon!”

“But…Brit, your girlfriend hates me.”

Brittany laughs at him, giving him the look that always makes him feel like he’s five and has said something stupid. She takes off his beanie and ruffles his hair as she passes by him.

“No she doesn’t, silly. You’re like, one of her favorite gays. You should feel honored.”

“Um-“

“Hey, do you think I brought enough Skittles for the kiddies? Also I made macaroni and cheese too, but that’s only for the gingers.”

The event is a complete success, of course. Brittany has an infectious energy, the kids love her, and they especially love her book. However, with every happy customer and every small child’s smile, Blaine only manages to feel more ill.

He leans against the front counter, his head swimming as he tries to stay upright. Suddenly, a gentle hand on his shoulder startles him, and the hand steadies him as he sways on the spot.

It’s Kurt. Kurt, who is holding him up, glancing up at him with concerned eyes.

“Blaine? Hey, are you okay? You don’t look too good.”

Blaine wants to answer him; he wants to let Kurt wrap him in his arms, and wants Kurt to keep him warm in his bed upstairs.

He tries to tell Kurt all of this, but unfortunately, his mouth and brain are just not cooperating right now.

But it doesn’t matter, because whatever would or wouldn’t have come out of his mouth is interrupted by Mike barreling through the door, a worried look on his face.

The next moments happen in a blur. Suddenly, quickly, he is ushered into a cab with Mike, who tells him how one moment his father seemed fine, until he just…wasn’t.

When they get to the hospital, they don’t let him see his father, which is understandable. But Gemma is with him, so everything should be fine.

Everything is not fine.

His father’s doctor eventually comes to speak with him, tells him how they have to do another surgery, how this one could be the most dangerous one yet. They tell him it’s risky, that he might come out of it worse than when he went in.

Blaine is then presented with the gut wrenching fact that everything is not fine, nothing is ever just fine; he has been deluding himself, indulging himself lately, and how could he had done that?

Mike helps him return to the shop late that night, and surprisingly, they are met with Kurt.

He’s sitting in an armchair by the window, Boy sleeping soundly at his feet.

Kurt stands when he sees them enter, Boy wakes and pads over to her master, nuzzles into Blaine’s calf, but he pushes her away, a cold, distant look in his eyes.

“Take – take her away Mike. You can have her or give her to Quinn or something. I don’t want her. Take her to the pound, I don’t care.”

Mike’s eyes widen, he swallows hard and reaches for Blaine’s arm, but Blaine pulls away, his voice becoming detached and flat.

“Just go and – don’t come back. Leave…leave me alone Mike – you and Quinn both.”

“B, don’t – don’t do this man-“

“Please just leave.”

Mike sighs, eyes watering as he stares at his best friend. Eventually he nods, picks Boy up in his arms and heads for the door; he turns and stares at Blaine, his eyes flickering to Kurt before settling on the floor.

“I’ll be here when you’re ready. We all will.”

He leaves then, and Blaine almost forgets about Kurt until the man in question steps forward. Blaine automatically steps back, his eyes fluttering closed, a heavy sigh escaping him.

“Kurt-“

“I’m not leaving. I stayed here all day, waiting for you to come back, so no Blaine, I am not leaving. Now, you will follow me upstairs and you will let me take care of you, okay?”

Blaine wants to tell Kurt no, he wants to tell Kurt to leave and never come back; he wants Kurt to forget Blaine’s name, to forget his birthday and how he likes his coffee.

He tells Kurt, “Okay.”

Chapter Text

PART EIGHT:

Sunrise

Oh sunrise

When will you ever come?

Sunrise

Oh sunrise

When will the night be gone?

It won't let me go

From the journal of Charles Anderson:

I’ve decided to keep this journal, to write everything down. While this is how I have always done things, this writing, it is different somehow. I am not writing about someone else’s life, or their family, their conflicts and dreams…their memories.

These are mine, and mine alone.

It is odd though, I will admit, but it is also comforting, therapeutic.

I keep forgetting things, so maybe this will help. I hope it does. The doctors say it is normal, but every time it happens – whether I forget to take out the trash on Tuesdays or that I need to pick up Blaine’s prescriptions, or that Gemma doesn’t like mushroom, Cooper likes to be called early in the morning, rather than late at night – I feel a wave of disappointment and deep sadness.

Especially when I look into Blaine’s eyes.

This thing may be killing me, but I’m afraid it is also sucking the life out of my son too.

//

I forgot Blaine’s birthday.

How could that have happened?

The worst part is, he didn’t even mention it. The whole day, he just acted as if nothing were different. A week later, and I still don’t know what to say.

He turned twenty-one this year. He should have gone out with friends; he should have had the time of his life. Instead he stayed home with me; he took care of me and never once complained or reminded me.

He shouldn’t have had to remind me.

God, what have we become? My son used to be such a joyful and happy child; his eyes used to light up, he used to sing and dance and laugh. Where did that boy go? When exactly did it all go so wrong?

//

Gemma has landed a leading role in a…ballet…something.

Or is it a play?

She is dancing, of this I know.

I wish I could go and see her, but I am so tired.

//

I can’t remember the last time I saw Blaine’s smile.

Cooper called me today, with good news. He nailed an audition, he told me, and will be in a new show.

I am happy for him, I’m happy for Gemma too, who seems to be doing so well.

But I worry about Blaine.

//

Blaine smiled today. It was a smile that he used to have as a child; the kind of smile that light up his eyes and warms your heart.

He told me about a man named Kurt while he thought I was sleeping. He sounded so happy, talking about how Kurt needed a piano player, how Gemma introduced them and how Kurt’s eyes didn’t bring him pain when he looked into them.

Please don’t let Kurt go, Blaine.

//

I think my time is nearing its end.

I have so much to say, so much that I want to see and do, but for now, I will say what I can and hope that it is enough.

Cooper, you are a star, you always have been. But don’t burn out, or try to outshine everyone else. You are special, of this we all know, but learn to be humble, teach others how special they can be as well. Look after Blaine and Gemma; they will need you, just like before. I love you, Cooper, always, always, just like the moon loves the sun.

Gemma. Do you remember how you and Blaine would pick flowers in the yard? Blaine would make you a crown of them and would sing for you while you danced. You were always so quiet, you still are, but when you danced, it was like you would come alive, and you didn’t need words. My sweet little girl, my Dorothy, you lead us all home you know.

Blaine – my Little Lion. You aren’t so little anymore, are you? Please don’t…you have to open your heart again, Blaine. Don’t let the bumps in the road stop you from living the way you should; full of love and happiness. There is so much I long to tell you, but, for now…

I love you son. I am proud of you, more than you will ever know. I just want you to be happy.

//

I think

it might rain

today.

 

-0000-

 

After their Nana dies, Blaine and Gemma try to keep up with her flowers.

But whatever they do, they simply wilt and brown.

Eventually, Blaine starts middle school, and in an effort to reduce getting bullied so much, he joins soccer, baseball, and the swim team.

It helps only a little.

The flowers get forgotten, but the ache that comes with seeing the dead bushes never fades.

 

-0000-

The day that Charles goes into surgery for the first time, Blaine gets restless.

He paces the waiting room, his hands clenching into fists at his sides. Everything seems wrong, he feels out of place, wants to feel grounded and real.

So he leaves, drives and drives in his car, past streets and shops and fields, until finally, he stops. There, to the right of his car, is a large tree, is branches sprouting out and drooping over the street. Blaine gets out of his car, and the noise that he makes slamming the door sends dozens of birds flying up into the air.

He breathes deep, watches them fly away, and wishes he could do the same.

Blaine looks down at the ground, and is surprised to find a sparrow on the ground, staring up at him. The sparrow hops unsteadily on the ground, its left leg bent awkwardly. Blaine bends down slowly, rips a small section of his shirt off, and coaxes the bird onto his palm.

He ties the bird’s leg, glancing at the sparrow nervously. It stares back, a quiet chirp the only sound in the still afternoon.

Once he is finished, he sets the bird back down, watches it flutter its wings. The sight brings Blaine back to reality, and he gazes transfixed as the bird rises and flies away, its head turning back to watch Blaine before taking off in the direction of the flock.

--

He doesn’t know why he’s here, or when he got here. This is a rash decision, a stupid one, one that Blaine has never once considered before.

It is the first time he willingly removes his shirt in front of another person.

As he lies down though, his head cradled on his arms, he doesn’t feel like this is something wrong.

The needle pierces his skin repeatedly, and somehow, the sensation numbs all the other pain he feels.

Before he knows it, he is finished and standing in front of his mirror. The sparrow stares back at him, its wings spread, and the skin around it is red and swollen.

For the first time in a long time, he doesn’t feel so disgusted when he looks at himself. The sparrow somehow grounds him, makes him believe that one day, he will be fixed, and he will fly away too.

--

When he returns to the hospital, he hugs his sister close to him, singing softly in her ear as they wait for news – good or bad – to come.

 

-0000-

Kurt kisses him softly, his fingertips skimming down his chest lightly. Blaine doesn’t pull Kurt’s hand away, he doesn’t grab his shirt to put it back on or turn off the lights. Instead, he arches into Kurt’s touch, holding tight to his waist.

Kurt breaks away from Blaine’s lips, kisses Blaine’s jaw, behind his ear, down his neck, until his lips follow the trail that his fingers makes.

Over and over his lips touch the raised skin, down to the bird on Blaine’s hip, back up to kiss over his heart.

“You’re beautiful.”

Blaine closes his eyes, laces his fingers with Kurt’s, and lets himself believe the words. He shivers when Kurt reaches the long scar on his ribs, his thumb rubbing back and forth over Blaine’s heart.

“Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.”

Chapter Text

PART NINE:

Fake statistics, and the collected home

With all the hunger, that keeps you climbing walls

It’s the one thing you can count on

We all end floating away, we all end floating away

Dear mommy,

Why did you leave? I am very sorry for whatever I did bad. I promise I will never do it again.

Please come back home. I will make you cookies and get you flowers.

Love,

Blaine

~

Dear mommy,

My hair isn’t curly anymore. I took some of Coop’s hair stuff and make my hair all straight like you like it. Will you come back now?

I love you.

Hugs and kisses from,

Blaine

~

Dear mommy,

I promise I won’t sing or dance or talk or laugh if you come back. I know how much that it annoys you so I won’t do it anymore. I will be the bestest, quietest boy ever and you won’t ever have to scold me or anything.

Love,

Blaine

~

Mommy,

A boy pushed me of the monkey bars today and I fell really hard. Daddy and Nana had to take me to the doctors. Will you please come home and kiss my wrist better?

Blaine

~

Mommy,

Why aren’t you coming back? Don’t you love me anymore? Zach from school said that you left because I am a fag. What does that mean? I am sorry for being that. Zach isn’t very nice to me and calls me mean names all the time. Do you think you could come home and talk to his mommy for me?

Blaine

~

Mom,

Nana died yesterday. She left just like you did. She didn’t even get to tell me Happy Birthday.

I’m really sad and I need you to come home. So does dad and Gemma.

Blaine

~

Mom,

Zach was right, wasn’t he?

Why did you have to leave dad and Gemma too though?

I’m sorry for making you leave them.

Blaine

~

Mom,

I got released from the hospital today. You didn’t visit, but that’s okay, I guess, because I wouldn’t have known if you did anyway.

I hurt all over mom, especially in my heart. Would you care if I had died? Would you care if I took all my pills and just stopped existing?

Would you come back then?

I can’t sleep. I don’t want to eat; I don’t want to even be here. All I want is for you to come home and tell me everything is going to be okay.

But you can’t do that, can’t you?

I guess you were just never meant to love me, and that’s alright, I guess.

Not everyone is meant to be loved, or to love. I think maybe I might be one of those people.

Everyone just leaves anyway, so why bother getting invested, huh?

~

Mother,

Do you think people’s hearts can die? Like, they’re still living and breathing and functioning, but their hearts just…stop.

I think I might have one – a dead heart. Don’t get me wrong, I love you and dad and Gemma and Cooper. But it’s different, I think. It’s like, my love for all you, it’s something I know exists, so therefore, it just is. My love for you is in my brain, it is knowledge, but it isn’t in my heart or my soul.

I know I love you guys, just like how I know how the earth moves or how two plus two is four.

I wonder sometimes, if I got my dead heart from you.

Maybe you and I, we were just meant to live and know about, but to never actually feel it.

Having a dead heart though, it isn’t so bad.

Things don’t hurt so much, you know.

In fact, sometimes I rarely feel at all.

~

Dad is sick. It’s bad, really bad. The doctor’s say he has five, maybe ten years tops – but that’s stretching it.

Figures, huh?

~

We’re moving to New York. They have some really good specialists out there that might be able to help dad.

I won’t write as much anymore, I’m running out of things to say anyway.

I’ll let you know when he dies though.

Sincerely,

Blaine

~

Dad is dead. I know I told you I’d let you know when it happened, but I don’t think I actually would.

To be honest, I haven’t thought of you in years.

This feels so foreign, writing to you. I can’t believe I did it until I was eighteen. I was pretty pathetic, wasn’t I?

But, no…no I wasn’t. I was a child who just wanted their mother back. That isn’t pathetic, I know that now.

Things have changed so much. I’ve changed.

My heart – do you remember that? – well, it isn’t as dead as I once thought. I love someone, mom. His name is Kurt, and he’s wonderful. He loves me, can you believe that? Kurt loves me, and I love him. The concept still seems a little wrong, a little…foreign.

I shouldn’t be happy, but in a weird way, I am. Don’t get me wrong, I miss dad every day. Losing him is like…like losing a part of myself.

Kurt makes it better though. He understands loss. He helps me, helps me get used to not seeing dad every day, and helps me fill the void.

Kurt makes me feel like everything will be okay. Not now maybe, but someday. And when he tells me he loves me, when he says he isn’t leaving, that we’re forever, I believe him.

I think maybe all the bad things that have happened to me were necessary. They lead me to Kurt. And Kurt he’s so, so strong. He’s had things happen to him too, but he’s stronger because of it. I think Kurt was meant to save me.

I’m ready to let you go now, mother.

This will be my last letter.

I have a man who loves me, I have Gemma and Cooper, and I have friends. Hell, I even have a dog.

I don’t need you mother.

I do hope you are happy, though, I hope you have someone you love, who loves you in return.

It’s the best feeling in world, to have love and give it.

Goodbye mother,

Blaine

Chapter Text

PART TEN:

My hands are tied

Because I won't say goodbye

I tried

I told you I was brave but I lied

It happens in pieces, in moments and whispered conversations. And like all things, there is a beginning:

Gemma pulls Blaine along, a small smile on her face.

“Gems, really, we have to go. Cooper’s only here for one more day and I doubt he remembered to wake dad up so he could eat.”

Gemma sighs, her grip on Blaine’s hand tightening.

“I just want you to meet our director, okay? He’s great – Quinn and Mike both know him too – and he needs a piano player desperately. Just, please B? For me?”

Blaine sighs as they turn a corner. “Alright, fine, fine.”

“Good. I promise, B, this is going to be great, you’ll see.”

Blaine rolls his eyes at his sister, but follows her when they go through a door, entering a small office. A man is sitting at a desk inside, his brow furrowed as he clicks away at his computer.

He looks up when they enter, and a smile lights up his face when he spots them.

“Gemma, hey! How are you?”

Blaine watches as they hug, the man rocking Gemma slightly before pulling back.

Gemma gestures towards Blaine. “This is my brother I was telling you about.”

The man raises an eyebrow, a grin forming as Blaine holds out his hand for him to shake.

“I’m Blaine.”

“Kurt.”

-0000-

Kurt pulls Blaine up and into his arms, swaying them back and forth to the soft music playing in the background at the cafe. Blaine smiles and ducks his head, hesitantly lays it on Kurt’s shoulder, ignoring the people around them.

“So, how do you like your birthday so far?”

Kurt speaks quietly into Blaine’s ear; a hushed, secretive whisper. Blaine bites his lip and breathes in Kurt’s scent; soft lavender, a hint of rich coffee, laced with the citrusy smell of Kurt’s hairspray.

“I think this is best birthday I’ve ever had.”

Because of you, he thinks, it’s all because of you.

 

-0000-

Blaine stumbles as Kurt pulls him out into the rain. Kurt looks so different out here, with his laughing face and free hand clutching his hat. Blaine is rendered speechless by him, the man he’s come to know and love – love, yes, love, he thinks – who looks so free in the rain; his usually perfectly coiffed hair plastered to his forehead and his expensive clothes clinging to lengthy body. Kurt turns to Blaine and pulls him into his body, resting his hands on Blaine’s waist.

Blaine breathes in and out shakily, holding onto Kurt tightly and staring into Kurt’s bright eyes. He has to remove his glasses because his vision is becoming blurry and doesn’t want to miss any more of Kurt’s face. Kurt takes Blaine’s glasses from him and tucks them into his jacket with a grin.

He brings Blaine in close and Blaine goes willingly, ready for anything Kurt has to offer him.

What he gets is a kiss, soft and wet, the raindrops hitting their faces. Blaine sighs into, clinging to Kurt’s arms, pushing back and giving, getting lost in Kurt’s arms and his mouth and his heart.

 

-0000-

He watches him sleep, traces fingertips across his skin rests his hand over his heart to feel it beat. The room is quiet save for the sound of their breathing and the tapping of Boy’s claws as she pads across the room to her bed. It is hard for Blaine to understand how this man - this wonderful, perfect man – can love him. But he doesn’t need to understand it, just accept it.

There is a freckle on Kurt’s jaw and Blaine reaches over him to place a feather light kiss upon it. He wants to kiss every freckle on Kurt’s body, learn every story of every scar and lean his head on every curve.

Hopefully he has the time to learn Kurt’s body. Blaine wishes and hopes that Kurt will let him, that won’t leave Blaine or crush him.

“Hey, there,” he hears Kurt beside him, in a sleepy, rough voice.

Blaine presses his mouth against Kurt’s chest, right above his beating heart and whispers, “I feel like I’ve been looking for you forever.”

-0000-

EPILOGUE:

There was a strange goodbye outside the station.

There was a letter three weeks later in the mail

We didn't know we knew you 'til we lost you

There is a light breeze today, though neither hot nor cold.

Blaine walks calmly past stones and trees; in one hand he carries a small bouquet, in the other, a leather bound journal.

He keeps waking, down a path lined with statues and trees, and around corner, passing a stone bench, until finally, he stops.

“Hey, dad,” he says, bending down and replacing the wilted flowers on the ground with the new ones in his hand.

“I brought you your journal. You used to keep it with you all the time, and I thought it didn’t belong anywhere else than here.”

He smiles, traces his fingers over the etched in stone words.

“We all read it, you know. And, uh, you got the message across, I promise you.”

Blaine chuckles, runs a hand through his curls. “I just…I wanted to let you know that I really listened. I um, I didn’t let him go, dad.”

He looks up at the sky then, watches as a flock of birds make their way across towards the park. The sky is a beautiful bright blue, and he smiles, squinting at the glare of the sun.

“I’m happy, dad. I really am. I miss you though. Sometimes I wake up early on Sundays to prepare your tea, and then I remember that you aren’t there to drink it. I still play though, especially for you. But lately, I’ve been playing for Kurt.

“I’m not alone dad, I’m really not. It’s a strange thing to say, sometimes it catches me by surprise, but…when I think it, I do believe it. It’s nice, feeling that.”

He sighs contently. “I love you, dad. You don’t have to worry about me anymore, I promise. Gemma, though…”

Blaine laughs, leans his chin on his hand. “She has a boyfriend now, apparently. Don’t worry though, me and Coop have been practicing our intimidation tactics on Skype. Personally, I think he points too much, but.

“I’ll see you soon, ‘kay dad? I’m meeting Kurt’s family today, so uh, wish me luck!”

A laugh from behind him startles Blaine, but when he turns, a wide smile settles on his face.

Kurt grins, walks toward Blaine and offers his hand. Blaine takes it, pecks Kurt on the lips when he stands.

“Ready to go?”

Blaine glances back, smiles, and turns back to Kurt, nodding.

“Yeah, yeah, I am.”

They set off back toward the entrance, their hands linked and swinging between them.

“You know,” Kurt starts, with a sly smile, “those flowers sure looked a lot like the color of-“

Blaine interrupts, staring at his boyfriend with a serene smile. “Your eyes? Why yes, yes they did.”

Kurt laughs quietly, raising their hands and kissing Blaine’s knuckles.

“Love you.”

“Mhm, I love you too. More than you know.”