Author's Note: Okay, so if I ever stop sucking at writing long and frequent chapters, I'll let you guys know. As always, comments are appreciated and I'm still looking for a beta. PM me if interested, or if you have a plot bunny.
When Kurt finally returned home, it was with mixed feelings. On one hand, he was thrilled. He was finally free. He could dress in his designer clothes again, he could style his hair and do his moisturizing routine, and he could hang out with his friends. But on the other...he was scared. Everyone knew where he'd been. Everyone knew he was crazy. And he didn't know what was up with Dave. He was afraid he wouldn't be able to keep up with his diet. He was scared he'd give in and start his obsessive weight watching again.
"Kurt? You ready to go, buddy?" Burt's voice broke through the fog that Kurt's mind had settled it, and Kurt offered him a small, tentative smile. Blaine stood off to the side in the blue poly-blend scrub-like clothes that the institution issued, arms crossed and face pinched. Kurt nodded once, swallowed hard, and walked towards Blaine slowly.
"Uh...Blaine. I have to go now," he whispered, biting his bottom lip hard. "I'm going to miss you so much. I'm so sorry I'm leaving, just because it means leaving you."
Blaine wouldn't meet his eyes. "Write? Promise?"
"Promise," Kurt answered solemnly, frowning.
Blaine pulled him into a bone-crushing hug and buried his face in his neck. Kurt hugged him back awkwardly. He'd never been one for much physical contact, even before his anorexia. But Blaine seemed to love hugging Kurt, or holding his hand, or playing with his hair. Kurt didn't understand, but he tried to offer what physical comfort he could. He knew how it felt to be alone.
"We have to go, Kurt," Burt interrupted quietly. Kurt was grateful.
"Oh. Okay. Bye, Blaine." He looked at the boy who was a few inches shorter than him, reflexively smoothing his wild black curls.
"Bye, Kurt," he answered sadly, fingernail of his left index finger digging into the skin of his right wrist. Kurt noticed and put a hand over it to make his hand go flat.
"Blaine. Call me. You have my number," he said gently.
Blaine shrugged and frowned, biting his bottom lip. "I..okay. I will. I promise."
Kurt gave him a kiss on the cheek before pulling away and leaning into his father, who wrapped an arm around his shoulders. He glanced back a few times as they walked, but Blaine was already gone.
Kurt arrived home exhausted. His father granted him permission to take a nap, and he immediately went downstairs, dodging Carole's hugs and Finn's worried frowns. He didn't want to deal with anyone right now. He was tired, so tired. He just wanted to sleep. Falling into bed without bothering to do more than strip down to his underwear, he burrowed under the covers, thin body shaking. He felt like he was freezing. Would he never be warm again?
He dreamt of ice cubes. They were all over him, and then he was on them and they were huge and Dave Karofsky was swimming up the water running off them and trying to grab his hand to pull him into the little wooden paddle boat he was manning. "Kurt...Kurt...Kurt..."
Kurt awoke with a start, eyes flying open and body tensing. "Whasamatter?" he managed groggily, rubbing his eyes with his fists. When he removed his hands, he found himself staring up into the face of...Dave Karofsky.
"Uh, hi," he said sheepishly. "I told your dad you were expecting me. I didn't know you were asleep. You were thrashing a lot though, so I thought you might've been having a nightmare or something. I was, uh...worried."
Kurt smiled slightly, but he blushed more. "I...thanks. It was weird, not exactly a nightmare but nothing pleasant." He suddenly realized he was lying on his bed in his boxers. "Um...I'm gonna put some pants on," he murmured, standing and swaying only slightly before making it to his dresser, pulling out a pair of too-big sweatpants. Slipping them on, Kurt rolled them a little at the waist to make them fit better, and they rested low on his hips. Dave found his eyes inevitably drawn to the strong v of Kurt's hips, no matter how he tried to avert his gaze.
"So, uh...how are you doing since being back?" he asked, trying to distract himself. Kurt came back over and settled onto his bed, patting the spot next to him insistently until Dave reluctantly crawled over and rested next to him.
"I just got back like, three hours ago, Dave. And I've been asleep for most of that time," he pointed out drily. Dave blushed.
"Yeah. Sorry. I just...this is kind of weird. This being friends thing. It's weird."
Kurt nodded his agreement, picking at a loose thread on his sweats. This was weird. Just sitting and talking to Dave Karofsky, of all people. But Kurt felt...safe. It was weird. He felt like he could relax and just be. Like he didn't have to worry about his weight or his appearance or entertaining Dave. Dave seemed content to just let Kurt rest in blissful silence. And it was enough.