I hate having to write this story but it needs to get out and it's also an issue that needs to be shared. I know I should be posting a second chapter of Kiss or something, but this is too important to me to wait on. (Kiss will be updated later tonight, or sometime this morning for those who are in a different time zone.)

This story is a sequel to Slice which, if you haven't read it, is a story of Kurt's history and struggles with self harm. It ends three months after the last time Kurt has cut himself and does infer that he is not cured but on the way there.

Self harm is an issue that does get swept under the rug and is not treated with the respect and understanding it should be. It is not a choice (for most self-harmers anyway, some people choose to do it a few times then don't anymore), it is an addiction. I have been struggling personally for over seven years now and any time I think I'm 'over it,' the struggle comes back. Now, I'm not saying you can't ever be cured from a self-harm addiction. I have a friend who has. I have read stories of people who never get the desire to cut again. But I also read true stories of people who have suffered for twenty-five years and can go five or so years without doing it but the pull is always there. I hate to think of myself twenty-five years in the future still struggling with this, but I know it is a very real possibility.

The reason I am writing this is because I myself relapsed last night. And I choose to admit this to an audience of people because people need to know that it is difficult and is a real struggle that people face. It's not all emo-wannabees who do it to be cool. It's people dealing with real issues who are sometimes just in over their heads and don't know how to deal. That's me.

So this will be very vivid. If this is going to trigger you, PLEASE don't read it. Please.

By the way, it's not all dedicated to Kurt's pain. I thought it was time for Blaine's back story to be revealed.

Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.

It had all started so beautifully and ended so wrong.

Blaine and Kurt were two of the handful of students at Dalton that Saturday after exams. Most of the boys had gone out to celebrate, meet up with family or go on dates with respective girlfriends and boyfriends. The only others who had stayed, apart from a few juniors, were Wes, David and Thad who were in the meeting room discussing Nationals.

This left the choir room unattended and totally open for Kurt and Blaine to enjoy to their heart's content.

It was a very relaxed. Blaine put Wicked in the projector and the two boys cuddled on the couch, quoting their favourite lines. Kurt sung Defying Gravity with such beauty and precision that Blaine just had to kiss him for it. This very quickly led to the rest of the movie being forgotten as they decided to enjoy one another instead.

After awhile, with Kurt leaning on Blaine's shoulder, they talked. Blaine took Kurt's arm in his and, as was his habit, traced his fingers over the multitude of scars running down Kurt's arm while Kurt talked about the previous night. It had been a difficult day of exams for both boys but Kurt suffered the most and had locked himself in his room for most of the evening with a promise to call Blaine if he needed anything. Two hours after Blaine had fallen asleep, he got the frantic call and had spent the next three hours sitting with Kurt and convincing him to let go of the blade.

"I hadn't needed to call you in a month," said Kurt. "I thought I was over it, but it's like it's coming back with a vengenance. What if - what if I -"

But Blaine had moved so he was facing Kurt and looked him in the eye. "Baby, no matter what happens, you have me. I don't care how many times you need to call me, I don't care if I have to move in and sleep on your floor. I will help you through this."

Kurt gave him a swift kiss, then, catching Blaine completely unaware, asked a question that had been on his mind for quite some time now. "Can you tell me about your last school?"

Blaine froze. The subject of Blaine's past had been brought up a couple of times in the past but each time Blaine had stealthily changed the conversation, knowing full well that Kurt was aware of this but letting it go each time. Now Blaine was aware that Kurt was done with waiting.

As if reading his thoughts, Kurt continued to speak. "Blaine, I know you've had a difficult past. But keeping it inside won't help you. I've shared my past with you and I want to know that you trust me enough to do the same."

Blaine hesitated, and that was all it took. Kurt's eyes grew round. "Oh god, you don't trust me, do you?"

"What? Kurt, no, I just -"

"You know what, just save it Blaine." Kurt was firing up and Blaine felt himself starting to get annoyed because Kurt wouldn't listen when he got like this. "I thought you were my boyfriend. I thought we told each other everything. I've been patient, I've tried to help you without knowing what you're going through. But there's a point where I can't do that anymore. I told you everything, Blaine," and Kurt's voice cracked a little on that word. "I didn't want to. I didn't want you to find out all that stuff at first, but once you did, I was so glad you'd found out. And I've stripped my soul bare for you, but you can't do the same for me."

"Well maybe we're not all as strong as you are, Kurt," and now Blaine's on his feet, eye to eye with his fuming boyfriend. "Maybe we don't all have problems that can be solved by a midnight phone call -"

"Solved? You think that's solving the problem? If it were solved, I wouldn't have to call you two nights later, would I? Blaine, I thought you knew me." And suddenly all the fire is gone from Kurt and all that stands before him is a defeated boy, blinking back tears. Without another word, he turns and flees.


But he's gone. Blaine strides to the nearest wall and punches it, hard. A few minutes later, after the stinging has faded and the angry black blur in his head has receeded, he realizes. Swearing violently, Blaine bolts towards the door.

Running through the hallway, Blaine can only think of how badly he's screwed up and he needs to get to Kurt now before -


Blaine screeches to a halt outside Kurt's closed bedroom door where Wes and David are standing with identical looks of disappointment on their faces.

"Guys, whatever's going on, it needs to wait. I need to go and see - "

"Kurt?" David asks and that's when Blaine realizes that they must have seen Kurt entering his room and Blaine feels a pit in his stomach when he realizes how upset Kurt must have looked to warrant this response from the two boys.

"I'm not sure whether Kurt wants to see you right now." Wes says, raising an eyebrow.

"I know, guys. Look, you can scream at me or beat me up or whatever, later. Right now, I need to get in there."

The two boys give each other a look, then step aside and head down the hallway. As Blaine is pulling out his key for Kurt's door (reserved especially for moments like this), Wes turns to deliver one parting shot.

"Blaine, you hurt Kurt and we, along with all of New Directions and his family, will be after you."

It's credit to how upset Blaine is when he doesn't even acknowledge this near-death threat.

Entering the room, Blaine feels his heart break at the sobbing coming from behind the closed bathroom door. Usually that door is left open so Blaine can come in and comfort Kurt, but today Blaine knows he can't just barge in, even if the door doesn't have a lock.

"Kurt," he says gently, knocking quietly on the door.

"Go away!" The voice is shrill with panic and breaks off into a sob halfway through.

"Kurt, baby, I'm so so sorry. I don't know if I'll ever be able to make it up to you and I'll spend every day trying to but please, please, just open the door -" and Blaine's own tears start and break into his voice and he's never cried in front of Kurt before.

There's a moment of silence, broken only by Blaine's soft crying, then a murmur: "Okay."

Blaine wipes his eyes and enters the bathroom, wishing he could prepare himself for what would be behind the door. But the second he steps in and spots his boyfriend, he has to choke back his tears because - oh, Kurt. He kneels gently in front of the shaking boy and takes his arm into his hand, trying to comprehend the amount of cuts he could see. The last time he had seen Kurt after he had just cut, there was just one. This time, there were seven parallel cuts running across his forearm. Blood was dripping onto the floor and now onto Blaine's uniform but to hell with that. Kurt had told Blaine how to recognize whether the cuts were deep or not, and none of them were too deep but Blaine wanted to get them wrapped up anyway. He reaches into the bathroom cabinet and pulls out the bandages and peroxide (which Blaine had argued with Kurt keeping in there at first - "It's like you're preparing yourself for an eventuality." - but Kurt had made him see reason - "And if something happens and they're not there?") and places them onto the floor next to Kurt, who looks at the peroxide like it's poison but allows Blaine to begin cleaning him up. As he wraps the cuts, he begins to quietly cry again because he caused this.

"This wasn't your fault, Blaine."

Blaine's head snaps up to Kurt who still has tears running down his face. He shakes his head and begins to argue because yes it is -

"No. We had a fight. A lot of couples fight. If I'd gotten angry at you, you wouldn't have run off and done this, would you?"

Blaine shakes his head. "But I should have known -"

"You can't protect me forever, Blaine. There's a horrible world out there and I'm going to get hurt a lot. And sometimes it will be from you, just like sometimes I will hurt you. All we can do is be there for each other when we are hurting. It's been building up for awhile and anything was going to trigger me off. It's just unfortunate that it was us having a fight otherwise I would've called you, you know I would've."

"How can you be so calm?" Blaine asks because he's still crying and doesn't think he'll be able to stop for quite some time.

Kurt leans over and gently wipes away a tear from Blaine's cheek. "Because now you're the one who's hurting. I can take care of you now."

Blaine sees the look in Kurt's eyes and realizes how much his boyfriend wants to be able to protect him and see him without those walls.

So Blaine takes a deep breath and tells him everything.

How the boys at his old school had been a lot like the McKinley boys, except a lot more physically abusive. How Blaine had to end up with a black eye and dislocated shoulder ("from being shoved into a locker the wrong way," he explained and watched as Kurt's eyes welled up again), before his parents would realize he was actually in danger and transfer him. How he had gladly run away from all the pain, the taunting.

"But the worst thing is that I wasn't the only gay person who was out at my school." he explains. "There were two of us. The other one, his name is Jake."

Kurt furrows his brow in confusion. "But wouldn't that have made it easier?"

Blaine laughs bitterly. "You'd think so. Jake was - well, he was just like you really. He was so proud to be who he was and he was that person, no matter what. Even when they hit him with a car - just superficial injuries, they were in a parking lot," he adds hastily as Kurt pales, "even then, he stayed strong. And I had to see him every day and know I wasn't as strong as him -"

"You are strong, baby. You have to understand that. You went to that place every single day, knowing you were going to get taunted and hurt, but you still went. And yes, you came here, but a lot of people did when it got too much. You knew when to get out. That's not weakness, that's intelligence."

Blaine shrugs, fighting back tears again.

"Blaine, so many people here look up to you. You're like a mentor to all of the junior boys. Not just the gay ones, all of them. And when I got here - you saw Jake, didn't you?" Blaine bites his lip and nods. "You saw someone that reminded you of the boy who you wanted to be and instead of leaving him to his own devices, you took him under your wing and took care of him. I couldn't have done that. You did. Blaine, you are strong."

Blaine begins to cry again and Kurt's arms wrap around him, his own tears beginning to fall. Nothing more is said as the two boys stay wrapped in each other's arms, both crying for their pasts and the pasts of everyone else like them.

Finally, Blaine detangles himself from Kurt and takes his arm again. He presses a kiss to the bandage. "No matter what we've both been through, we'll get there, one step at a time."

Kurt sniffs and wipes his face before leaning in to kiss his boyfriend. Neither of them are healed fully, but they both know that they're on the road. It may be full of missteps, backward slides and detours. But the road always leads forward.

I really don't know what to say about this. I'm not even asking for reviews.

If you're reading this and this is you, and you need help, private message me.