Highway Nightmares

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or Darren Criss.

Note: A preemptive strike to 2x08 'Furt.' I just have a bad feeling. Plus, Darren isn't credited in the episode to my knowledge.


When Kurt's name appears on his phone in the middle of the day, Blaine is surprised. The surprise is followed in equal parts by pleasure and concern. Blaine isn't sure which ends up winning out. He ducks into a small alcove in the middle of Dalton's senior commons, Hamlet lying forgotten on the table in front of him.

"Hey Kurt," he says, careful to keep his tone level. Blaine's brow furrows at the silence that greets him at the other end of the line. "You there? Is everything okay?"

"Blaine."

His heart drops. "Kurt?" he repeats, calm be damned. He'd recognize the broken syllable of his name anywhere. "What is it? What happened? Are you okay?"

Blaine hears an intake of breath, followed by "Kurt! Oh my god. Call an ambulance. Finn! Just do it—Sam? Sam! What—?"

And then nothing. At first Blaine doesn't register the sound of the dial tone in his ear. He pulls his phone away, staring in stunned disbelief, before nearly smacking himself with it.

"Kurt? KURT!"

The entire senior commons stares. Unheeded, the boy nearly breaks his phone, stabbing at Call with a violently shaking hand. Wes rises from his chair just a few feet away, dropping his iPod as he goes. It hits the floor in a clatter of noise that falls on Blaine's deaf ears.

Hey, you've reached Kurt. Here's the beep.

"Blaine? What's wrong?" Wes puts a hand on his friend's shoulder, making him jump. He takes one look at the terror in Blaine's eyes and says, "I'm driving."

"Wes—"

"You are not going the eighty seven miles by yourself." Wes is not taking 'no' for an answer. "Now go get in my damn car before an adult can stop us."

He realizes he should probably thank the boy standing in front of him—his first friend at Dalton, his introduction to the Warblers, the one who could read his face so easily that day in the school's little cafe with a meek, beautiful Kurt crumbling before their very eyes. Blaine knows he should be thanking Wes, who has never missed a day of school in his life, but at the moment his mind is too filled with thoughts that are almost crippling in the way they paralyse him.

Blaine doesn't take his things. He doesn't take a coat either, in spite of the November chill. He just grips his phone so tightly in his hand that his mind registers a distant, faint crack. But maybe that's the panic talking. Somehow Blaine doubts it.

k.b

"Seat belt, Blaine," says Wes without taking his eyes off the maze that is Dalton's student parking lot. "I'd really rather not have you die before we get there."

He obeys without so much as a grunt. It takes four tries to get the belt inside the buckle. Wes doesn't comment, just guns it as they finally clear the lot and quickly leave Dalton Academy for Boys behind them. Blaine feels light-headed, dizzy with panic and fear. His friend reaches across the car and takes Blaine's hand in his own, squeezing with a grip that the other boy just barely defeats in strength.

He'll have to thank Wes for that too. Blaine has never been more grateful to have Dalton, Wes, and David in his life; to have them accept him so readily and wholeheartedly, to be unafraid to reach out and dissolve the barrier that their different lifestyles tried to put between them. Blaine wonders later if he'll ever know anyone else quite like his friends. He then adds it to the list of things he doubts today.

Blaine hits redial with such frequency that Kurt's recorded Hey begins to ring in his ears. He can't leave messages because he can't really breathe right now, never mind actually speaking. Or forming coherent, non-shouted sentences. Wes doesn't tell him to stop calling or to calm down, for which Blaine is grateful. He loses track of the number of calls after it climbs into the thirties.

Why the hell wasn't anyone answering? The possibilities, all dark and terrifying, churn like sickness in his stomach. The highway stretches on for what feels like forever. And for a fleeting moment, Blaine actually thinks it does. Maybe they'll never get there. Maybe he'll never see Kurt again. His heart rattles against his ribcage, fast and furious and painful. The impending idea of a heart attack can't be ruled out by his crazed brain. By the time the sign for Lima, Ohio comes into view, tears are blurring Blaine's vision.

k.b

He's ninety percent sure Wes is breaking at least one law as they rip into Lima and make a beeline for McKinley High School. Blaine has to direct him, which proves to be difficult in his state of complete unravelling from the Blaine who woke up this morning. He clings to whatever threads of himself remain as Wes takes sharp lefts and jerking rights and Kurt's school finally comes into view.

"Dear god..." Wes mutters a colourful string of curses at the ambulance and throng of people amassed in the parking lot. Blaine can't breathe anymore. He sees Finn, recognizable by photos Kurt's show him, and Karofsky, clearly separated by four adults, each sporting a large manner of bruises all over their faces. Through the open doors of the ambulance a blonde boy is being prodded by a paramedic. He thinks he spies the top of Mercedes's head in the depths of a circle of people. But no Kurt.

Blaine is out of the car before it's even stopped moving. He's running before he remembers telling his legs to go, and calling out just before his body slams into three others trying to hold him back. "KURT!"

"What the hell, man?" growls a boy with a mohawk. Puck, right? Blaine can't be sure. He's too busy trying to wrestle his way through Puck and an Asian boy and Finn, who has basically materialized out of thin air. Blaine rips an arm free, only to have it yanked back with brutal force.

"Kurt!"

"You're not...going anywhere..." Finn is easily twice his height and probably strength, but perhaps Blaine's sudden heroic movement is fuelled by complete and utter desperation. In fact, he's sure of it. He's down to his knees now; the combined weight of the three other boys pressing down on him like the Earth that Atlas carried on his back. But he remembers thinking Atlas couldn't possibly have suffered as Blaine does now.

"Blaine?"

At the sound of his name, he redoubles his efforts to get closer. Finn, Puck, and the Asian, Mike Chang he remembers finally, all hesitate. Just for a second, which is all Blaine needs to jerk free. He's shaking on his hands and knees on the concrete.

"Kurt, don't..." says a voice warningly.

"Dad. Please."

Blaine's heart roars with such force that he might actually be sick there in the parking lot. The circle of people a few feet away parts in the middle. He can see Mercedes now; tears staining her cheeks and anger storming her lips. But Blaine can only see her for a moment. His eyes zero in on the object of his journey, who stands shakily and whose beautiful face is swollen and dark and bleeding.

"Kurt..."

Blaine takes a grand total of two steps forward after getting to his feet. He can't quite comprehend what he's seeing. The remaining distance is covered by a limping Kurt (Karofsky is going to be destroyed) whose speed is surprising and whose weight careens into Blaine's like a tackle. Air bursts from the elder boy's lungs and refuses to come back. The pair crumples to their knees because Blaine can't hold himself upright, but manages to rise higher to accommodate their difference in height. The other boy sits crumpled in his arms.

Kurt's nose and chin dig into the side of his neck and hot tears roll past the collar of Blaine's shirt. His chest heaves with sobs. Blaine can feel Kurt's heart hammering through his clothes and thinks briefly that they match. He grips Kurt like a vice, burrowing his nose into his sweet-smelling, soft hair and tries to breathe. And then he manages to speak. Just barely.

"Oh Kurt..."

The younger boy's lips brush against Blaine's neck, making him shiver, and he registers the very faint sound of his name, over and over again.

"Shh. I'm here. It's okay. I've got you."

Blaine is crying. Tears slide past his nose and into Kurt's hair and he doesn't really give a damn who can see him. They sit there for a long time, until at last Blaine has to see. For sure. He pulls back, taking Kurt's face in his hands. Bruises swell around both his eyes. Blaine can just barely make out that captivating colour. His lip is bleeding, as is his nose. His heart breaking, Blaine draws his thumbs across the stream of tears on Kurt's cheeks with as much gentleness as he can manage.

"You'd be my favourite Vogue cover of all time," he whispers, leaning his forehead against Kurt's and blinking still more tears from his eyes. "Gorgeous New Kid."

Kurt laughs. It's a choking, barely there, exhale of light air. But Blaine counts it. He pulls Kurt back to him, murmuring in his ear. "You're so strong, Kurt. You're stronger than I ever was."

"Don't leave me," is the whimpered, barely audible reply. Blaine tightens his grip.

"Never."


Author's Note: Wow definitely teared up a little bit writing that. I just hope I'm wrong about what's going to happen.

Questions? Comments? Concerns?

Annie