Disclaimer: I own nothing. The characters belong to FOX and Ryan Murphy. I just like playing with them :D
Warnings: Angst, Character Death.
I don't know why I like angst this much... for some reason I have a strange love for putting characters into awful situations because I find it easier to write those kinds of emotions. Anyway, sorry about this, please don't kill me. To be honest I have little to no idea what I was writing, the story ran away from me a little... so if it doesn;t make any sense I'm sorry XD I hope you enjoy it, R&R?
In the eyes of the young man, when the end comes, all that remains of the world is a promise of the possibility of returning beauty floating out of sight. The landscape, the memories, they become blurred, reality leaves itself behind a veil of desperation and all the world can cling on to is the promise of a rough awakening, of cold shivers and the steady beat of a heart ripped out of a nightmare.
Beauty is a strange thing. It can come and go, or it can last a lifetime. It can both exist and be absent, is either substantial or fragile, like a statue of marble or the wings of a thousand butterflies.
He had always believed in beauty, had seen it everywhere. Some used his weakness for their exploits, taking advantage of his ability to see even the smallest particle of beauty in something socially accepted to be repulsive. It became his burden to bear, his weakness. And with Dalton, came the promise of escape, of a uniformity that, to him, offered such beauty that resistance became a word much less uttered by him. The hope the building represented made the paths through concrete hallways bearable. It made the taunting fold into mere whispers and when his little sister decorated the blue and black bruises with petals and wings, the pressure of the pen was only a numb ache of the piercing stab it used to be.
The high school years had taken away hope, had taken away self-esteem and confidence from him, stripped him off it like they used to with his possessions, his clothes, his skin if they had had a bad day and no one else to take it out on. But they had given him a wall. A way to shield his emotions, his mind. What was done to him left a scar unhealed and concealed by the fake smile and the laughter that stabbed him every time he realised no one saw past them. But whatever he did, remembering, dealing with the past was the one thing he wanted to avoid more than anything. Picking at those scabs would bring forth feelings he was not equipped to handle.
Still he fought against the crumbling stability he was faced with. From pretending to defending, each action that countered his own was a boulder crashing against the wall of resistance he had built around himself; was a needle pressed against the bubble of safety Blaine tried to maintain to the best of his ability. Late night tears were given to the darkness and taken away by the rising sun, never to be addressed again. Muffled cries of pain and sorrow were etched into the sheets and sank into an abyss of his mind Blaine had long ago sealed shut.
So when his release came, when he saw the rising towers for the first time in his life, saw the dark grey slate roof and the arches that produced student after student in identical uniforms, laughing, cheering, hugging, it brought a sense of peace the boy had not fathomed to exist. He felt safe.
With the unity, his mind quickly learnt to adapt. From beauty arose the simple feeling of right. This was real. This was life. Those scars faded away into oblivion and Blaine lost himself in the feeling of hope, of knowing that he had a future. And he loved it. Loved how easy it became to be, how easy it became to feel needed and wanted and popular. His classmates knew less than they wanted to know, but never pressed for information. Of the whole school, only Wes and David knew that Blaine had moved because of bullying and they never pushed, simply contended with knowing what their friend chose to disclose.
Beauty went away with time. It was no more a marvel to look at Dalton, simply a feeling of bliss, of happiness.
And when a high, juvenile voice spoke up behind him on the stairwell, with a fragility that promised caution to such an extreme it stirred something in Blaine's mind, he still thought his routine of life would continue uninterrupted.
A boy, around his age. He wore a black jacket and if not that, his bright red tie would have given away how little he belonged here at this time of day, with the faint designer logo just visible once Blaine looked for it in the familiarity of the piece of clothing.
It was with the simple introduction, with the "My name's Blaine", with the offered handshake that was received with shock and surprise in the boy's face that caused Blaine to push back his memories of his own mirror, with the simple, grateful smile that spoke of suck relief when Blaine just shook his hand and grinned in a friendly way, that he should have known his life would never be outrun.
The coffee was offered as Blaine sat down opposite him with Wes and David. The boy, Kurt, just looked at it, a careful, calculated glance that seemed to try and pierce through the Styrofoam cup and see the contents to truly be coffee and not poison. Wes and David don't see the spaced look on their friend's face as he observes the new boy.
Conversation is started cautiously, neither party quite sure how far to tread up to the line that screamed of the youth of this hesitant, new friendship. It takes courage to ask Wes and David to leave, but the expression on Kurt's face demands privacy and understanding and only Blaine could hope to fully understand his emotions. The two friends he has gathered here are what holds him to this life of peace and comfort. Letting them go, he knows, means letting in feelings he has suppressed possibly for too long. But Kurt needs this. A helping hand.
The guardian angel Blaine himself was denied.
With time, Blaine recognises the shimmer of gold he imagines to see around Kurt. The glimmer of hope and delicacy praying to be preserved somehow. He begins to see the cracks in that facade, out of recognition more than anything else.
But more than that, he recognises his vision of Kurt as the beauty he has abandoned seeing so long ago. But never as anything more than that.
What he sees, is a swan retreating into the image of an ugly duckling to disappear, a glass doll, dressed in the most expensive, protecting garments that will save it from destruction. And behind it, pure and utter beauty.
It takes him a while to befriend Kurt to the point where he expresses his wishes the boy would transfer away from the horrors. And when the boy simply looks down on the smooth surface of the wooden table at Breadsticks, Blaine takes it as the confirmation he needed that the topic is no longer to be pursued. And he leaves it be with that, diverting Kurt's attention to the salad special scribbled on the menu in large looping letters and eliciting a delighted smile from the boy as he waves his hand to the nearby waitress to order.
They meet whenever possible, conflicting schedules be damned. Blaine cuts class, Kurt cuts the time spent helping out at his dad's shop. They meet at Breadsticks or at the Lima Bean when possible, and share stories over cups of forgotten coffee, steaming away until the temperature fades and they have to order a new batch to replace their icy cups. Their discussions venture into areas of fashion, of music, of films and actors, models and singers, even politics. Never averting from the safety of the topics. Personal stories are only touched on and never asked about. When either boy asks a question too personal, it is ignored and lips are bitten in frustration and regret at having posed the question that was out of the line. They have their comfort zones and stay within them.
But it makes Kurt happy. And it makes Blaine happy to see a smile grace those delicate lips. He locks away that skipping of his heart, calls it the recognising of long forgotten beauty and that's it. It's only when Kurt appears on the doorstep of Blaine's dorm room and his hair is dripping with the rain that pelts on the windows, his face contorted into that particular smile that Blaine himself spent years perfecting and performing, that they begin to talk. To really talk. Kurt's bags are left forgotten in the room next door, unpacking pushed to the back of his mind as Blaine takes his hand and ignores all protests from the younger boy, demanding to know what happened as he pulls the boy into his room and closes the door, motioning for Kurt to take a seat.
He's heard it. The memory echoing through his head. Nevertheless, the scars he worked to conceal are reopened with every word Kurt utters, with every slushie he relates to being the receiving end of and every locker that shares a memory of contact with his shoulder, it's like a new scratch across scarred skin.
The become confidantes in that night. Whiling away the hours with stories that only relate to their experiences. There is no Marie-Claire, no Vogue, no Angelina Jolie or Madonna, no Prada and Gucci that night. There is only the remembrance of pain and of loss and of countless tears that would rejuvenate the Sahara desert, they are sure. Nevertheless, the smile they share in the early morning hour, perched opposite each other cross-legged on Blaine's bed, is the first genuine smile. And Blaine's heart contracts only slightly more than Kurt's at the sight.
There are no more secrets between them after that. And with Blaine's help, Kurt begins to heal himself, begins to see the world for what it could be like, if only the camaraderie he feels at Dalton would spread throughout the world, rather than the diseasing hate that slides into every crack of confidence and manifests itself into a monster inside the nation. But the iron-wrought gates protect Kurt in this world of hatred, of misunderstanding and prejudice. He learns, for the first time in his life, what it's like to be truly happy and what it feels like to be accepted.
And Blaine is there to see it all, not stealing the spotlight or dimming it ever, because this sanctity of happiness is one Kurt needs.
That he is the last to know of his feelings for Kurt, the truth behind the perceived glow around the younger boy, does not surprise him as much as he expects it to. When his friends urge him to forget about "all that mentoring crap" because "what better way to help him than to show him that love is out there for him?", he objects only with a smile and a soft punch directed at Wes's arm. In the end, the Warblers know where he's headed to anyway. They were not as blind to his expressions when Kurt sang Blackbird as he was to every expression Kurt throws at him when he sings.
It feels almost like a long drawn-out, painful breath is released from its hold, when their lips meet in soft synchrony. With them, moves the world, just as fluidly. In their minds, a final puzzle piece clicks into place and forever completes the wall that had permeated itself there with broken shards of confidence to conceal every painful memory experienced.
Like the first time in the hallway, Kurt's hand melds into Blaine's perfectly, but this time, it's with a promise of adoration and of love and of forever.
To the outside world that sees them in shops, discussing fervently the merits of this tie compared with that one, picking outfits for the other, sharing heated discussions about fashion and politics over the table farthest away from the crowd in the restaurants, they seem like the epitome of happiness, perfectly content with their own world and in need of no company apart from that of each other.
But Kurt knows how broken Blaine is as much as the other boy knows about Kurt. The subject draws its line across the sand of approachable conversation topics. Neither breach it. They are, for now, content to make do with their bliss. And like any other couple, their honeymoon phase is one to be prolonged as long as the possibility of it prevails.
Because only Blaine sees the way Kurt's voice will always be a fraction more hushed than the quietest person present to make it easier to slip from the public eye if he feels the need to, that as outrageous his clothes may be, he will always walk with the pride and stance of someone who tries to hide just how much they wish to fade into the background wallpapers and not be seen by the world.
Because only Kurt sees the way Blaine will adapt to any social convention with the agility of one well trained in disguising his true self. That the register with which he speaks will always be of a formality that speaks pure professionalism and puts his conversation partner off any personal issues of discussion and how Blaine will go from truly being himself in the comfort of his own presence and Kurt's, to the chivalrous armour that protects this fragility in public.
It's never addressed. And when it comes back to haunt them, to take away their dreams and their hopes, there's absolutely nothing either boy can do about it.
The air around him is silent. There is only the occasional breeze drifting by him, raising the hair on his arms on end and almost caressing the loose curls of his hair, devoid of all gel and product.
He feels the touch of the icy wind as it stings his skin, bringing the subtle pain that can no longer harm him. He feels empty already, devoid of any feeling that can be numbed or pierced by the cold. And as much as he tries, the tears that trickle softly over his cheeks and freeze mid flow, will not stop coming.
It wasn't his time. And yet it came, nonetheless.
His fingers reach out weakly, trace the outline with a care and a perseverance as though he hopes to create life out of it, bring back what he lost. The inscription on the cold, polished stone remains still and Blaine lets the roughness of the stone etch more tangible memories into his mind as he closes his eyes softly and draws over the words again again. The words that have already embedded themselves into closed eyelids and weaved themselves into the patterns of his dreams.
Part of him wishes he could scream for revenge, like in the movies they spent countless hours watching. Part of him wishes he was that person to hunt relentlessly until he was avenged. But he isn't like that. Isn't the strong, put-together character everyone makes him out to be. The parts of him that Kurt fixed slowly dissolve again, the bricks of his wall tremble and collapse and the next thing Blaine remembers is the cold, wet grass as it stains his jeans, the water seeping through the fabric and staining it a dull, dark green that Blaine distinctly remembers being a shade recommended to him once. His palms find the ground as he breaths heavily, his chest heaving.
And the single rose in his hand pricks through the soft layer of skin, draws a single drop of blood that trails down his palm and onto the grass like the rain that falls softly. And with the weakest movement, he manages to place it on the earth in front of the large stone. And then his vision blacks out as his hands press against his face and he tries to forget, tries to overcome this, tries to make the world, make reality go away.
He goes through this scenario day after day. People have learnt not to ask him where he was going anymore, why he was leaving class unexcused. It's because at this time, this exact time, being anywhere else would kill him even more than being here does, than remembering does. Because as much as the loss and the memories hurt, it's nothing compared to knowing that if he doesn't come here, he will revisit that section of his mind that tells him again and again you should have been there. You weren't there for him when he needed you.
Because his screams never deafen the voice in that part of his mind.
So he comes here, to find the closest thing to solace he will ever reach again. In silence, he stands or sits at that spot for hours on end, returning home at an hour he knows will procure no questions from parents, from fellow students. But today is different. The succumbing to the feeling he has so long denied himself leaves him on the floor, shaking, unable to move, unable to recollect his stance of protection. His walls are down, shattered into shards of glass so tiny repairing them is hopeless.
When it feels like all the tears are spent, joining in with the rain on the wet floor, the wind dries his cheeks, leaving them uncomfortably tight and cold, but Blaine barely notices from the curled up position on the grass. He only sees the grey stone, the words, the rose that, despite the cold, manages to stay open a little longer, before his eyelids droop and lead him into the dark oblivion of tormenting sleep.
And in Blaine's innermost thoughts, all that remains in the vast hollow space is an echo of the one name and the one promise of their forever.