|Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered
Author: admiller PM
It's 1943 and World War II is in full swing, but Kurt Hummel's got other things on his mind. He's made himself a promise to get out of Lima and into Hollywood. There's nothing to tie him down. Until Blaine Anderson shows up, that is.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Angst - Kurt H. & Blaine A. - Chapters: 20 - Words: 70,012 - Reviews: 1,114 - Favs: 770 - Follows: 1,084 - Updated: 06-12-12 - Published: 10-09-11 - id: 7450140
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
So, I did as much research as I could about what's in this chapter and I'm sorry for an inaccuracies but, unfortunately, there's just not a lot of information available. I'm guessing there will be three more chapters in this, including the epilogue.
Fragmented bits of sound and blinding light broke through the pain crashing across his nerve-endings like fire, scattered moments of chaos that pierced the thick layer of darkness settling like a fog over his brain, leaving him feeling heavy and haggard. Every time he felt the fog thinning, when the pain would come barrelling back and hit him like a speeding train, every inch of him screaming so loudly he couldn't tell if it was real sound or just his imagination, it never lasted long. There was a rush of voices and a sharp pain in his arm followed by slow, wonderful relief that left him floating, drifting between states of consciousness while blood hummed through his ears and his eyelids drooped.
He couldn't be sure what was real though; if it was the pain or the bliss, the light or dark. He wasn't even sure if he was alive. He wonder vaguely if he was teetering between heaven and hell, waiting at the brink for the final, deciding push into eternity.
The lines slowly started blurring together, the pain dulled and everything grew fuzzy around the edges; dark and light muddled into a steady, washed-out grey. Occasionally the world sharpened, like a lens turning into focus, and he would try and push it away, beg with someone until they took pity on him and let the fog settle back over him again.
He woke up.
When, he wasn't sure, but it was the first time he felt solid, more than just something that existed, an entity of pain and helpless anguish. Remembering he had eyes, he blinked them slowly open. There was a dull ache in his bones; he felt weighed down, like his skin had been coated in lead.
Slowly, he became conscious of his own body. It made his head throb painfully, like he was trying to dredge up a memory he knew existed by was lost in the jumble of images cut together like a poorly edited film, bits and piece spliced into each other out of sequence that he couldn't even begin to sort through yet.
It was dark, wherever he was, a dull, yellowish glow coming from somewhere to his right. Muted light, like something was softening it to lessen the burn of the bulb. Faded shadows flickered across the ceiling. He blinked again; whimpering quietly at the onslaught of images in his head, broken and distorted but all built around the same face.
His voice sounded so different, low and cracking from disuse, that he wondered if it was really his own.
His stomach swooped so quickly he felt light-headed, eyes flicking around the darkness in search of the source of the voice he'd been aching to hear for months.
"Blaine? Wh-where... are you here?" It hurt his throat and his jaw throbbed in protest of the movement.
"I'm right here, jitterbug."
There was a solid, warm pressure on his hand and he turned his head slightly on the pillow, lips cracking painfully as he smiled.
"You're here," he murmured, drinking in Blaine's face. He looked young and happy, like when they'd first met, before his face had started to crease with worry and his hair was cut short. He was practically glowing, beaming down at Kurt, eyes warm and familiar.
"I'm here," Blaine said, nodded and stroking over his hand.
"I thought you... were dead," Kurt croaked. "I wanted t-to die. I w-wanted to be with you."
Blaine's face fell a little. "Don't say that," he said quietly.
"But I m-miss you," Kurt said, voice cracking. He blinked again and tears slipped steadily down his cheeks. "I miss you, Blaine."
"I know," Blaine said. He brushed his knuckles gently over Kurt's cheek, Kurt closing his eyes at the touch and swallowing painfully at the ache in his chest. "I miss you too."
"Did it hurt?" Kurt said. "Dying? It can't have hurt this much."
"It'll get better," Blaine said.
"No it won't," Kurt said, shaking his head. "It won't. You're not coming back."
"I'm right here," Blaine soothed, brushing his fingers through Kurt's hair. "I'm here, Kurt."
"Don't go," Kurt said in a small voice. "Please."
"I won't," Blaine said. He stroked gently over Kurt's cheek; his fingers felt like velvet against his skin.
"Do you still love me?" Kurt whispered, tilting his head into Blaine's hand.
"Of course I do," Blaine said, his hand moving to press over Kurt's heart. The cool weight of the tags was suddenly so amplified he wondered why he hadn't noticed it before. "I'm always here, okay?"
Kurt nodded, exhaustion seeping through him, and curled his fingers loosely over the spot where Blaine's had just been. There was the gentle, phantom brush of lips on his forehead and then he was sinking back into the fog again.
"Do you think he's ever going to be...Kurt again?"
"I don't know, Finn. I hope so but... he's alive."
"I can't believe I wasn't here. I'm supposed to protect him."
"Finn, none of this is your fault."
"He barely remembers me."
"At least he's not like this. He's awake, he's...walking. He's remembering things, too, the doctors just said to give it time."
"I wish Blaine was here. He'd get Kurt to wake up."
Kurt struggled for a moment to open his eyes, ignoring the gasps and hurried footsteps as he blinked against the harsh light so different from the soft glow from the night before.
"Kurt? Finn, get the nurse in the hall. Kurt?"
"Dad?" Kurt screwed his face up against the light to try and focus on his father's face. He looked thinner and paler than he remembered, perhaps even more lined than before, though it could have been the combined look of concern and relief he was wearing.
"How are you feeling?" he said, hands hovering over Kurt's body like he wasn't sure where to set them without hurting him.
"Where's Blaine?" Kurt muttered, twisting his head to the side only to encounter a white curtain obscuring his vision of the rest of the room.
Burt opened his mouth, closed it, and swallowed.
"Kurt," he said gently. "Blaine is... Blaine is dead. Remember?"
"No," Kurt said, shaking his head though the movement sent pain spiking down his spine. "No, he... he was here. Last night. I talked to him."
"You must have been dreaming, son," Burt said sympathetically. "The doctors said the morphine can make you... see things."
"No," Kurt said, voice breaking as he raised it. "I saw him! He held my hand and... and he kissed me."
Burt looked mildly uncomfortable, frowning faintly and clearing his throat. He looked relieved when a nurse jostled him out of the way to check Kurt over, asking him questions and prodding him and stretching his limbs. He saw Finn hovering in the background with his father, leaning heavily on a crutch.
When the nurse was finished, propping him up carefully on his pillows, the effort of which left him sweating and shaky, she talked for a few minutes with Kurt's father and Finn, speaking in a low voice and glancing over at him every now and then.
Eventually she left, promising to bring something for Kurt to try and eat. She said something about a doctor checking him over but Kurt didn't pay much attention. He was starting to ache all over, a dull need burning low in his gut that he couldn't quite place. Suddenly he wanted to be alone again; he turned away from his father and Finn as they sat in the chairs pulled alongside his bed.
"How are you feeling, kid?" Finn said nervously.
Kurt glanced back at him, his stomach lurching unpleasantly at the sight of his empty pant leg pinned up at his knee. A wave of nausea hit him and he closed his eyes, taking a deep breath to calm himself down.
"Where am I?" he said at last, frowning at the bed across the aisle from his own—it was identical, brass with neatly folded sheets and a single pillow, save for the fact that it was empty.
"The hospital," Finn supplied immediately. "Um, in Lima."
Kurt turned to look at him, careful to keep his eyes on his face, and Finn shrank a little in his seat.
"When did you get back?" Kurt said.
"A few days ago," Finn said. "They discharged me last week. Still getting used to it though. Sometimes I feel like it itches and then I go to scratch it and it's not there anymore." He gave Kurt a tight smile that he ignored.
His father cleared his throat and continued. "You've been in and out for awhile," he said, patting Kurt's hand in what he knew was meant to be a soothing gesture, though it just made him think of Blaine holding his hand the night before; he blinked rapidly and pulled his hand back into his lap. His father's face fell but he didn't say anything about it. "The doctor said you were lucky. Nothing major was broken, just some ribs and your nose and...and your skull was cracked but otherwise..." He cleared his throat. "You'll be okay anyway."
"Yeah," Kurt muttered. "Lucky." The silence grew tense and he shifted, wincing at the pain in his limbs and chest, which he was sure were covered in healing bruises. "Why didn't they just kill me? I know they were going to."
"Dave," Finn said, sobering. "He, um, he said he was with them at first but he... he changed his mind. Called the police from the garage and scared the ones hitting you off by telling them what he'd done. He stayed with you and Puck until they got there and brought you here. There was so much blood, they thought you weren't going to make it." He smiled almost proudly. "You're tough, though."
Kurt didn't answer, looking down at his interlocked hands, letting his eyes travel up the visible portion of his arms where dark, yellowish bruises stained his skin, blooming and twisting across the surface grotesquely. There was a tiny needle stuck in his arm, something dripping slowly through the tube running from it to the glass container hanging upside down on a little rack beside his bed. He had the sudden urge to rip the thing out of his arm and throw the bottle against the wall, anything to rid himself of the awful stillness, the crushing silence that was all but suffocating him.
"I want to go home," he said sharply. "Please. Just take me home. I don't want to be here anymore. I know what they all think of me." He wet his lips, eyes still fixed on his hands. His father still hadn't said anything about what had happened at church and he was terrified to look at him, to see disgust or disappointment or rejection. The thought made his skin prickle uncomfortably.
"Son..." His father took a deep breath and Kurt felt his eyes start to burn in anticipation. "I don't... I wasn't expecting what you said. And I don't know what to say to you or... how to act. And it's going to take me some time but...Finn talked to me and to Carole and we both know you wouldn't have done what you did for no reason. It's hard for me to accept it but... you're my son, Kurt. And if that's who you are then... then there's nothing I can do about it."
Kurt turned hopefully, eyes still swimming with tears, and returned his father's tentative smile. It wasn't perfect, but just knowing his father was willing to try, for him, lifted so much of the weight off his chest that he felt momentarily light-headed.
"Thank you," he said, nodding and wiping his eyes hastily on the short sleeves of his hospital gown.
Burt's smile warmed genuinely and he patted Kurt's hands.
"It doesn't hurt as much as I thought it would," Kurt muttered, lightly touching the back of his head, which he was surprised to find was bandaged with a thick pad of cotton.
"It'll hurt more once the morphine wears off," Finn said, grimacing and glancing at the tube in Kurt's arm. "It's not fun...once they take it away from you."
Kurt nodded absently, vague memories of waking into blinding pain pulling themselves to the forefront of his brain. His stomach whined and he ran his hand over his ribcage, wincing at how prominent the bones were under the bandages.
"I want to go home," he said, smoothing his hands over his blanket.
"We will soon," Burt said, half-glancing at Finn. "We have to wait for the doctor to say you're alright first."
"I brought this for you," Finn said, reaching under his chair and pulling out a familiar, thick leather jacket trimmed with soft fleece. He smiled when Kurt straightened at the sight of it. "I thought it might...help you sleep or something."
Kurt nodded mutely, spreading Blaine's jacket over his legs and tracing the little wrinkles in the leather he'd come to know by heart. "Thank you," he said quietly, resisting the urge to bury his face in the leather to see if it might still hold some scent of tobacco and cologne, though he knew it had long since faded.
"When you're feeling better," Finn said, scooting his chair a little closer to the bed. "I thought we could, um, take the bus down to Arlington. They... they didn't have a body but they still have a marker for him there. At the cemetery. If you want to go?"
"I'd like that," Kurt said, smiling. "I'm just really tired right now," he lied. "I think I'd like to sleep until the doctor comes."
They both nodded sympathetically, though he saw his father cast him a doubtful look as he stood and hugged him carefully.
"We'll be back in a little while," Burt said, Finn struggling a little with his crutch and flashing him a smile before hobbling out of the ward into the hall.
"You know I still love you, Kurt."
"I know, Dad," Kurt said quietly, brushes his fingers through the short, worn fleece of Blaine's jacket. He didn't look up as his father left, tugging Blaine's jacket up his chest and turning away from the door to rest his cheek against the cool leather. He closed his eyes and touched the spot where he'd felt Blaine's lips against his forehead the night before, so real he wondered if maybe what he was feeling now was the dream instead, and the smallest part of him wishing he'd never woken up at all.