DAY 1 – Hummel residence; Lima, Ohio
Blaine Anderson looks around the neighborhood with shielded eyes as he exits his car. He rubs his temples and sighs as he pops two pills, shoving the small orange pill container back into his pocket before he makes his way up the driveway.
The house looks fairly normal, not too old, but not too new. The yard is perfectly maintained and the house is freshly painted. He’ll have Tina research the property later anyway. Blaine pauses before he reaches the front door, sighing in relief when he spots Quinn’s old VW racing around the corner.
He runs a hand through his messy hair, raising his eyebrows in surprise when he sees a horseshoe hanging on the door. Blaine takes a step forward and narrows his eyes, now noticing more oddities about the house. There is a thick line of salt around the perimeter of the house, a bowl of what Blaine assumes is holy water sitting on the ledge of the porch, and he can smell the lingering scent of sage in the air.
Blaine turns and manages a half smile for Quinn, a low chuckle escaping his lips as she distractedly waves while simultaneously trying to balance her bags and papers.
“How’s it going, Quinn? How’s Beth?”
He can see her smile, her face still turned down towards the floor as she leafs through her papers. “She’s great. We’ll come over Friday for dinner, sound good?”
Quinn finally looks up, blowing a strand of hair out of her face with a huff and frowns when she finally looks at him.
“Oh, sweetie, you look awful. Are you sure you’re okay to do this today?”
Blaine shifts uncomfortably, pushes his sunglasses further up his nose. “I’m fine. And we’re already here, anyway. Plus, have you seen this stuff? Something is seriously messing with these people and they’re clearly desperate.”
Quinn’s eyes roam quickly over the house, her frown deepening and her voice becoming somber and serious as she nods decisively. “Well, we’ll help them.”
He smiles awkwardly and gestures for her to walk in front of him. Quinn rubs his arm as she passes, straightening her spine and clearing her throat before she knocks precisely three times on the door, the horseshoe swinging on its nail from the force.
A moment passes and then the door opens slowly, a tired, frazzled, pale looking woman answering the door with wide eyes. Her bleary eyes study them and Blaine quickly averts his gaze when she looks at him.
“Hello, I’m Quinn Fabray and this is Blaine Anderson. We’re here to-“
“Oh thank god! Please, please come in. I’m Carole Hudson-Hummel. It’s so nice to meet you. Please, sit!”
Quinn smiles warmly at Carole, Blaine twitching away from her as Carole tries to guide him into the living room and onto the couch.
“Thank you, Mrs. Hudson-Hummel-“
“Please, call me Carole.”
“Carole,” Quinn says with a smile, laying a hand discreetly on Blaine’s knee when he starts to fidget.
The house is quiet, but it isn’t a calm quietness. More like a stillness, like the air is frozen in time, neither moving nor changing. Blaine starts to look around the room as Quinn begins her standard interview with their client.
Their client has obviously done her research. There is a sprig of fennel hung from each doorway and a cross hung on every wall.
Despite all this, Blaine can feel so much energy it almost chokes him.
He tunes back into the conversation when he spots a dark blur appear in the corner.
“…and my step-son Kurt has become withdrawn and sad. He doesn’t look like he’s slept for weeks and he barely eats. I know it’s been hard on him coming back from New York to help take care of his father, but this is just too much. Please, you have to help us.”
Quinn lays a hand on Carole’s arm and gives her a comforting smile, completely oblivious to the dark figure hovering over her. “Don’t worry; we’re going to help you.”
Blaine walks silently behind Quinn and Carole as they go through the house. They’ve just finished with the master bedroom and are now walking into Carole’s step-son, Kurt’s room. Carole opens the door wide and waves them.
Immediately, Blaine sucks in a deep breath and staggers into the wall.
“Blaine? Blaine, what is it?” Quinn’s voice rings out, but it sounds distant to him, muddled like it is underwater.
He tries to breathe, rubbing a hand over his face and blinking rapidly. A spirit flickers into the room, her dress swirling around her like smoke. Her eyes are empty; deep, dark sockets filled with black. Her red hair is tangled and matted with blood, her neck bruised, and her smile crooked and quivering.
“Who are you?” he asks her quietly, taking a shaky step towards her.
She doesn’t answer, just continues to stare at him and smile, until she turns towards the door and beckons at something with a flick of her long, bony fingers.
A giggling little girl comes running into the room, her strawberry blonde hair fanning down her back, her smile wide, and her bright blue eyes shining.
Carole scoops her up into her arms and the spirit frowns, moving forward silently, slowly.
“Ellie, sweetie, you’re supposed to be taking a nap!”
The little girl just shrugs her tiny shoulders and lays her head down on Carole’s shoulder, still looking at the spirit.
The spirit edges forward, her smile diminishing, and the air around her turning dark.
“Why are you angry?” Blaine asks her, his eyes wide, hands shaking as comes to stand in front of Carole and the little girl.
She snarls at him, rushing forward and crashing into him, disappearing into the air like smoke, Blaine falling to the floor as her energy passes through him.
“Blaine!” He hears Quinn scream before his eyes roll back and he loses consciousness.
He wakes to a cool hand on his forehead, a damp towel dabbing at his nose.
“Blaine? B, can you hear me?”
Blaine groans, the sound ringing through his head. He slowly blinks his eyes open, Quinn’s worried face the first thing that comes into his view.
“Hey, sweetie. How’re you doing?”
“Ugh. Feel like shit.” He says as Quinn helps him up, handing him a towel stained with dull red.
She nods, her eyes still raking over him in concern. He waves her away, closing his eyes and breathing deep, trying to combat his dizziness. A new voice, male, melodic and quiet, addresses him.
“Are you alright?”
Blaine blinks his eyes open, his vision blurry for a moment before it clears. He looks around the room, sees Carole standing nervously, her eyes closed, hands clasped in front of her. And sitting in the armchair next to the couch he sits on, is a man more beautiful than Blaine can comprehend, the little girl from before sitting contently in his lap.
He clears his throat nervously. “Yes, I – I’m fine.”
Quinn rubs a hand over his back, her other coming up to feel his forehead. Blaine would glare at her, but he kind of appreciates her familiar warm touch.
“Blaine, this is Kurt Hummel and his daughter Elise.”
Blaine nods at her, smiling tightly at Kurt and Elise. He studies Kurt out of the corner of his eye while Quinn starts to talk Carole through what they’ll do on their nighttime investigation. The man looks tired, deep purple rings around his eyes, which on different circumstances, Blaine would bet are bright and lively.
Now they just look dull and lifeless.
Elise wiggles out her father’s arms and settles herself next to Blaine. Kurt gives him an apologetic glance, but Blaine merely shrugs and smiles at Elise.
“I don’t think Nanette likes you very much, Mister Blaine.” Elise plays with Blaine’s fingers as she speaks, her gaze never leaving their hands.
“Who’s Nanette, Elise?”
“She wants you to leave.”
“Elise, who is she?”
“It’s a secret. She said it’s our game!”
“Do you two play games a lot?”
Elise nods her head, humming, her small fingers creeping up Blaine hand, towards his wrist. “We have lots of fun. And she tells good stories!”
“Hmm. Does anyone else talk to you or play with you?”
Elise tilts her head, thinking, and then she frowns. “Sometimes the bad man tries to talk to me, but Nanette tells him to go away. She doesn’t like him. He hurted her real bad. And the other man is real quiet, he doesn’t talk to me. I think he’s sad.”
Blaine sighs heavily, tensing when senses a presence behind him. The hairs on the back of his neck stand up and his body goes cold. Elise’s fingers make their way under the sleeve of his sweater, her touch light and exploratory against his scars.
Blaine barely feels her.
Suddenly, a picture frame hanging on the wall flies off its nail and sails across the room, the glass shattering and falling to the floor.
Carole starts to sob, Elise’s grip on Blaine’s arm tightens, and Kurt jumps up and sits next to Elise, his arms coming to wrap around her.
Quinn turns in place, her camera poised, the red light blinking. Blaine stands, Elise still attached to him and faces the dark presence.
This spirit is a man, half his face scarred and burned, making his evil grin look distorted. He laughs darkly, advancing on Blaine and Elise, his body flickering when he passes through the couch.
“You need to leave,” Blaine tells him, his voice low. “You don’t belong here.”
The man circles them like a lion studying its prey. He licks his lips, his voice silky when he tells Blaine, “No, no, no, little boy. You need to leave. I won’t go until I get what I want.”
Elise’s grip on his arm turns almost painful, her other hand coming up to tug at the hem of his sweater.
“Be careful, Mister Blaine. He can see, he’ll make you hurt.”
Blaine frowns, tries to shield Elise with his body.
“You should listen to the little brat, Blaine. I can find out all your dirty little secrets, just like I did with all the pitiful fools living here.”
“Who are you? Why are you doing this?” He yells, teeth chattering from how cold he is, his skin becoming itchy and uncomfortable.
In response, the man knocks Blaine into the wall, Elise falling to floor. Blaine gasps as the man leans in close, the overwhelming feeling of despair, so similar to what he felt years ago overwhelming him. The man smiles wide, his cold eyes seem to stare into Blaine’s soul.
Distantly, he can hear Elise screaming at the man to stop, for Nanette to come and help. He can hear Quinn shouting his name, Carole sobbing, Kurt trying to console his daughter.
But Blaine is frozen, stuck staring into the dead eyes of the evil man, letting him take him apart.
He feels so lost and sad, the phantom pain of his scars throbbing and making him weak. The last time he felt this much, so intensely, was when he was sixteen, lying in a pool of his own blood, his parents and his brother staring down at him with empty, dead eyes as they pleaded with him.
His legs give out and he sinks to the floor, the man grinning and towering over him.
“Go on, Blaine,” he says, his hand caressing Blaine’s face, “no one wants you. You almost succeeded once, maybe this time you can actually do something right for once. The glass is right there, all you have to do pick it up and cut, Blaine. Go on, Blaine, it’s so easy, it’ll make everything better. You’ll see your parents and your brother again, Blaine, don’t you want that? No one loves you, no one wants you-“
“Quinn, get me out! Get me out, GET ME OUT!”
He squeezes his eyes shut, refuses to look at the man or the shards of glass. It takes some time, but eventually he can feel two people pulling him up and carrying him out of the house. Once he’s out, he takes in a deep breath of air and throws himself onto the grass, his stomach lurching.
He empties the contents of his stomach while Quinn rubs his back, whispering comforting words to him. He coughs a couple of times, spitting out the acidic taste in his mouth. Blaine breathes in the fresh, crisp air, sighing in relief when his head clears and the dark feeling in the pit of his stomach starts to fade.
When he looks up, he sees Quinn and Kurt crowded around him, Carole and an older man in coveralls holding tight to Elise, and another man running up the driveway towards them.
“Call the team, Q. And get a priest out here. We need all the help we can get.”
Blaine sits in his car, running a thumb over the scars on his arm. He needs to get a hold of himself before going back in that house. In all the years that he’s done this, he’s never felt such a strong presence.
He sighs, leans his head back against the head rest of his seat. A knock on his window makes him jump and he turns to find Kurt standing there, smiling sheepishly at him. Blaine opens his door and Kurt sighs.
“Sorry for startling you.”
“It’s okay,” Blaine says quietly, his voice hoarse from yelling earlier.
“I just – I wanted to see if you were okay. You kinda took off pretty quickly and I – I mean, Elise and I are worried about you. So. Are you okay?”
Blaine chuckles, rubbing a hand self consciously over the back of his neck. “I’ll be okay. Um, are you okay? And Elise? I know it got pretty intense in there.”
Kurt smiles wryly, laughing bitterly. “That’s an understatement. I just want all this to stop, ‘ya know?”
“Yeah, I know.” He says softly, his eyes flickering briefly toward Kurt’s face.
“So - you’re a psychic or…?”
Blaine nods. “Yes, psychic/medium.”
Two cars pull up and Quinn comes walking up to them, smiling briefly at Kurt.
“Alright, B, everyone’s here, so why don’t we gather and you can tell us what we’re dealing with.”
“Okay. But can we do that outside? I’m not ready to go back in there yet.”
“Of course, sweetie.”
Blaine closes his car door and walks with Quinn and Kurt to where his team has congregated with their clients, introducing themselves and reassuring them that everything will be okay.
Mike and Joe hug him, Artie grips his arm, and Tina rubs his back and asks if he’s alright. He’s then introduced to Kurt’s father, Burt, and Finn, Carole’s son.
Blaine clears his throat then, blinking in surprise when Elise grabs his hand. He smiles down at her, blushing, and starts to speak.
“Okay so based off of what Elise has told me, we have three spirits here. I’ve yet to see the third, but I have already experienced two. The first is a woman, maybe around thirty four? The second is a man. I’d say he’s at late forties, early fifties.”
Tina opens her moleskin notebook, her pen poised, and asks, “Can you give more details on the woman?”
“Red hair, fair skin, tall. She was wearing a blue dress, pearls around her neck. She was barefoot, though.”
“Do you know what color her eyes were?”
Blaine sighs, lowers his gaze to the floor. “No, her – her eyes were, they were um, they were empty.”
He hears gasps around him, but he continues on. “She had blood in her hair and her neck was bruised. I don’t know her name or why she’s here; she wouldn’t talk to me, but she seems to take in interest in Elise. I don’t particularly think she likes Carole, but I also don’t think she wants to harm her.”
“And the man?”
Blaine’s hand wanders to his scarred arm and he winces. “He’s – he has a burned face. And he’s evil, completely evil. His voice is like silk and it just – it surrounds you, picks apart your deepest secrets, fears and insecurities. His eyes are cold and he wears all black. Um, his hair is brown, I think.”
“Is he the one who attacked you? Made you faint?” Mike asks, frowning.
“No, that was the woman, but I don’t she really meant to do any harm. She was more agitated than anything.”
“And the second time?” Artie asks him, his eyebrow raising.
“That was the man. He’s strong. He feeds off of negative energy. And he said he’s not leaving until he gets what he wants.”
Blaine looks up, startled, when the gruff voice of Burt speaks nervously, “And what does he want?”
At this, Blaine sighs wearily. “I don’t know. But I’m going to find out.”