Title: To Be Seen
Pairings: Kurt, Blaine, Hudmels; pre-Klaine
Spoilers: takes place between Special Education and A Very Glee Christmas
Warnings: attempted suicide
Word Count: 5,482 (part one)
Summary: Kurt finds himself in a very dark place, balanced on a precipice without someone to pull him away.
A/N: I am extremely nervous about sharing this fic. It has a very close personal meaning, and it feels like I just ripped myself open to show off my soul. Erm... I hope you enjoy :)
Kurt sits with his back to the wall, legs pulled in tight and arms wrapped around them, holding as hard as he can. His body is nearly vibrating from the tension and a sick feeling is crawling up from his stomach, swirling around to mesh with the horrible headache pounding in his temples. The tears dripping down his face have long since made the thick material of his hoodie damp, and the loose pair of sweats that he is wearing offer little protection from the cold seeping through.
There is no music, no noise except for his shuddering breath, in and out, and in and out. Even the upstairs of the house is silent. No one awake to hear him, no one awake and making noise to distract him. Kurt can feel the melancholy pulling at him, and it makes his face tug back in a grimace, and more tears drip from is eyes as he squeezes them tight.
His room is dark, a blanket of fake security because he can't stand to look out into such familiarity if it is bathed in the artificial light of his multiple lamps and stand-alone lights. Somewhere on his bed, several feet away, he hears his phone vibrate as it receives a text, the sound muffled by the covers. He doesn't know who it is and doesn't care enough to get up and check.
Kurt can feel his heartbeat fluttering in his chest wildly, so powerful that he thinks his back might just pound its way through the wall if he doesn't move, but he can't find the will to do so. His backside is completely numb from being pushed into the hard ground for so long, and his feet are tingling from the cold because he didn't take the time to put some socks on earlier.
There is a small container laying just to his right, about a foot from his hip, and as he pulls his eyes open from their tight clench, he looks at it. It looks innocent, like it could be just another random piece of his life lying in this room, but it's not; it's the end-product of the last few months – fuck, the last year. And all he has to do is grab it.
It would be so easy. There would be no reason to cry anymore, no reason to pull on his best face every morning just to at least look like he's fine. It would hurt his dad more than anything, but his dad has Finn and Carole now. He wouldn't have to suffer through years of the shit Kurt knows is coming; he won't have to watch as his son fails in every aspect of his life. He won't have to watch as his son falls apart slowly over the years as the world tears him limb from limb.
And Kurt, well, he won't have to feel so very alone. He won't have to feel anything.
Unclasping his hands from around his knees and shifting slightly to the right, Kurt sends a trembling hand out to take hold of the small cylinder. It feels small and fragile in his hand, but as he brings it closer, examining the label, it starts to take on a more solid appeal. He can almost feel it speaking to him as though it could think, could tell him "just do it."
Giving out a loud gasp, Kurt feels some of the tension drain from his body and thinks, "It's going to be okay – I do this and I won't have to even think about any of this anymore." If he does this, he won't physically be able to worry about anything.
But then he hears a slight movement from above, just the slightest creaking of a floorboard that wouldn't have been caused by any person walking or awake; just the groaning of a house that would be missed without such silence entombing it. It makes him break from the oddly compulsive mindset that has been pulling him in on and off all night, and he drops the container, hearing the tinkling of small pills shuttering around inside, and pulls his arms back in tight as yet another crying jag holds him.
Letting out a small groan of misery and burying it in his knees to muffle the noise as best he can, Kurt feels the horrid emotions rising again. They are heavy, and it feels like they might climb into his mouth, down his throat, and suffocate him.
The cycle has been playing for hours; the emotions rise and he feels tears coming without end, pulling at his stomach and making his breath catch in tight pants around the pain. And then he'll look over at his solution and feel a kind of calm rise to meet the disgusting pain that seems to be suffocating him – he'll look at that little bottle and feel like it's a saviour. Something that he can rely on no matter how horrible his day has been; no matter how horrible his life has been.
All too soon the cycle will repeat, and before he can go any further then examining the bottle, turning the two little arrows to match and starting to pull the lid open, he'll stop.
He's scared. Scared that he will actually do it, actually leave this all behind to end the pain. Scared that he won't do it, that he will have to get up in two hours and start the day anew. So much fear is racing in his mind that he can't decide, can't figure out what he wants to do, no, needs to do.
Kurt's felt this way before, he's sure everyone has at some point, but the past few months, the last few years, they've been weighing down to this, and the pressure just won't stop. Nothing, no matter how it used to make him happy, is keeping him floating like it used to. Shopping has become something that he does out of habit, not because it makes him feel good anymore. Singing is a release, but only some of the time. Some days singing seems like it will be too much, like every word he belts out is pulling him closer and closer to an edge that he just can't back away from.
It would be so very, very easy. He's scared how easy it would be, how much he wants it. He wants other things too; he wants to have a life, he wants to have a kiss with someone who he cares for, one that counts. But it seems like nothing that he wants will ever happen.
Pulling his arms from his legs once again, Kurt reaches out and pulls the bottle back into his hands, turning it around in front of his face. The label is peeling at the edges from where he's fiddled with it over the last three months, and the words are blurred from handling. He knows that he will have to take all of them, and that each little 10 mg pill will be one step closer. Of course they alone won't suffice – Kurt's done his research, he knows that the best chance of this actually working would be to mix some other types of drugs in, too. Or climb in his, admittedly lavish, tub and let the pills pull him under.
But he's prepared, and the second bottle settled comfortably (safely) under his mattress can attest to that.
Popping the top off, Kurt tips the bottle and taps three of the little pills into his hand. They're small enough that he won't need water, that he won't need to move anywhere past his place on the floor. Pulling in his thoughts, he smacks his palm to his open mouth, throwing the pills to the back of his tongue, swallowing as soon as they hit.
They don't get stuck or have trouble going down – they slide smoothly and are gone from one second to the next. Kurt can almost feel disappointment in how easy it was.
As he taps a few more pills into his hand and goes to throw them back too, his phone starts up again, the vibrations sounding tinny and small.
His bed looks good. He has many aches and pains, and he's so very thirsty from hours of sitting in one place and crying. If he was more concerned right now he'd grab a glass of water, but all Kurt wants to do is lay down on his bed, wrapped in his duvet, and drift away.
Quickly swallowing two more of the pills, Kurt caps the bottle and tucks it into the pocket of the large hoodie he's wearing. Standing is difficult – he's been in one place for so long that his knees creak and pop, and his back can barely straighten to accommodate upright movement. But he feels calm, calmer than he's been for a long time.
The distance to his bed is short, and he crawls in, curling on his side with the covers piled over him. He snakes a hand down and pulls the bottle back out of his pocket, flips the lid off, and starts tipping more of the pills into his hand, holding them carefully up to his face. It's dark enough that he can't see clearly, but some light allows him to be able to make out hazy edges to each of the tablets.
He briefly considers reaching over the edge of his bed and beneath the mattress to where the other bottle is hidden, the one that he knows he'll need too. After a moment, he snakes an arm out from under the duvet, feeling the cooler air of the room raise goosebumps on his flesh, and digs around under the mattress. Soon, he feels the plastic cylinder in his palm, and brings it back under the covers with him, setting it down near his chest.
Taking one of the pills from his palm with his other hand, Kurt places it on his tongue and swallows. He's really doing this.
Reaching for another, Kurt is suddenly blinded by his phone as it accepts another text message, buzzing away just in front of him on the bed. The face is up, and when his eyes have adjusted to the light, he can see Blaine's name flash alive.
Slowly pulling another of the small objects from his palm, placing it on his tongue and swallowing, Kurt makes sure he won't loose any of the pills in his hand as he reaches over and grabs his phone.
It's 4:23am and he's been ignoring his phone for about eight hours, by far enough time for a good 20 text messages to accumulate. Most of them are from Blaine.
Tapping with one hand on the screen to bring up the messages, Kurt brings his other hand up, the one filled with about five more pills, and starts to throw them back when he notices the message staring up at him.
Courage. - Blaine
It's the same message that Blaine has been sending him since they met, and even though he's since transferred to Dalton, Blaine still sends it to him at random times. It is only one word, and before he met Blaine it wasn't even an important word to him. But now. Now it means so much. It means fighting, and not being beaten down; it means tipping his chin up and smiling when all he wants to do it scream and cry. It means living on in the face of adversity. Living.
Looking down at the pills in his hand, Kurt hesitates. He doesn't suddenly want to throw all of the ones he has already swallowed back up, but he doesn't know if he wants to take the rest. He doesn't know how he's feeling right now, how he wants this to go.
The implications feel huge, bigger than they had just moments ago when the calm had settled in and everything seemed so much surer. He looks down and sees the outline of the other pill container, and he can feel his hand starting to sweat around the pills clenched there.
His phone buzzes again, and this time he can feel it against his hand. The message pops up on the screen and it's from Blaine.
David and Wes are insane. This history test is doomed. Save me? :P - Blaine
A small smile tugs at his lips, and Kurt clenches his hand around the pills there. He wants to take them, wants to finish this. He also wants to go back and never pull either of the containers out from under his mattress where they have been hidden for so long.
He can feel his heart start to pound louder, and the calm is beginning to dissipate. It feels like he's coming out of a haze, clearing a thick fog from his body and leaving open, raw pain behind. He feels sick, and the tears are already rising again.
As if suddenly realizing how tightly that he's been clenching the pills, those stupid pills that just a minute ago he was so sure were the answer to all of his problems, Kurt releases his fist. The pills stick to his palm for a moment before plopping to the sheets below with a short, muted quality.
Before the anxiety and tears can fully form, before he can calm himself down again and feel that smooth pull that he so desperately needs, but which scares him so very much, Kurt pulls his phone in and hits call on Blaine's name. He does it quick, doesn't want to risk hesitating for a second. If he thinks about it now, he might just chicken out. He's pretty sure that's the opposite of courage.
He's curling into himself and pulling the phone to his ear in the same motion, and he can feel the tiny forms of the pills on the back of his hand that he tucks under his head. The other one is holding his phone to his ear like a bandage to an arterial spray. He saw that on TV once, and the intensity of the hold, the importance of it, seems rather the same.
It only takes three rings before the other end is answered.
"Hey, Kurt! I didn't wake you up, did I? I figured your phone would be on silent overnight, I didn't even think. I'm –"
"Blaine," Kurt cuts in, his voice much shakier than he thought it would be.
There is a short silence on the other end, and Kurt can only just hear two quietly talking voices in the background before Blaine starts speaking again. "Hey," he says quietly, gently, "are you okay?"
Kurt feels his lips pull back as a sob starts to erupt, and the tears are suddenly in his eyes. "No." It comes out broken, cut into pieces by the sudden onslaught of feeling that accompanies talking to Blaine now. It didn't feel this bad when he was alone and everything was quiet, but right now every little emotion that he's been soaking in forever feels ten times amplified. The sobs that have been light and muted since he'd opened the bottle are pulling out of him against his will now, and no matter how hard he tries to reign them in they are bursting out.
"Jesus Kurt, are you hurt? Do you need an ambulance or something? Where's your dad?" Blaine's voice is urgent in his ear, and he can almost see the concern that would be masking the other boy's features.
"No," he manages to gasp out between the sobs, "I – I'm fine. I just –" he cuts off again, trying to take a few calming breaths.
Blaine almost sounds like he's there with him when he speaks, and Kurt is at first washed in a feeling of comfort, and then dread as he only feels the soft duvet around him. "Kurt? Come on; tell me what's going on."
Kurt can't seem to shake the sobs, and they are stealing his breath faster than he can bring it in. He's feeling lightheaded and panicked, and the duvet he'd crawled into for comfort is heavy on his form, and so hot he's sure he's burning. Sweat is beading on his forehead even as he feels chills trailing his chest and upper arms. The turmoil is building and building, engulfing him like he's never felt before.
"Kurt. Kurt! Come on, calm down. Hey, it's okay. It's okay. You need to breathe. Come on, listen to me, Kurt. Okay? Just breathe with me. Come on, you can't keep that up or you'll be sick." Blaine's voice is in ringing in his head along with everything else, and slowly, Kurt starts to feel it working. "Yeah, that's better. Just slow everything down and keep listening to me, okay?"
Kurt can still feel his heart pounding in his chest, and his breathing is almost squeaky as he pulls it in through the tightness of his throat, but he's calming gradually. A few more deep breaths and the sobs are starting to abate, and all through it Blaine's voice is washing over him, soft and reassuring.
"That's good. Good." It almost sounds like Blaine is comforting himself as he says that. Kurt is nodding slightly, taking short and shuddering breaths as he listens. "Better?"
Kurt closes his eyes tightly and takes another calming breath. "Yeah. I – yeah."
"What's going on?" Blaine says it softly, and Kurt doesn't know what to say.
The silence stretches for a few seconds, and then Kurt hears the sound of footfalls on Blaine's end as he moves somewhere. A door shuts, and then there is a creaking sound that Kurt supposes is Blaine sitting down.
Kurt's just about to try and articulate what he's feeling, what he was about to do, when he realizes that his limbs feel heavy. The arm holding his cell phone to his ear isn't pushing strongly, it's barely holding on, and he can feel a more artificial calm descending slowly, having built up as he cried. "Oh God," he mutters, even though he doesn't believe. "Blaine. I – fuck. I can't believe I just, oh fuck." Kurt knows he's not usually that vulgar, but the words are just slipping out. And starting to slur.
The urgency is back in Blaine's voice, and Kurt can hear the other boy moving again. "What's going on Kurt? What's wrong?"
"I just," Kurt starts, pausing momentarily, "I took something." Kurt's voice ends in a whisper, and he is so washed out that the tears from a moment ago feel like they will never flow again.
"Kurt, where's your dad? Can you get to him? Jesus, I'm calling an ambulance."
Kurt jolts when he hears that, exclaiming, "No! Wait! Wait, Blaine – don't do that. It's okay, I-I didn't take enough to really do much, I promise."
"How much, Kurt? You have to tell me, or I'm dialling 911."
Thinking back over the last little while, Kurt finds that he can remember every single one of them – what they felt like, what they tasted like. "Seven pills. Just seven. Not even enough to really do much - they're only sleeping pills, I swear. Please, just don't call an ambulance – I don't need a hospital. Please," he pleads, finding himself feeling desperate.
The other end is quiet, and the only thing that Kurt can hear through his phone is some harsh, but jagged breathing. It occurs to him that, maybe, Blaine doesn't exactly know what to do right about now, either. It's a terrifying thought because of anyone Kurt's ever known – even his father since the heart attack – Blaine is the most put-together. And he can dole out life advice better than Kurt's closet can supply scarves.
The effects of the pills are becoming more obvious now, and Kurt feels how the trembling in his legs, arms and shoulders has let up, allowing him to lie more comfortably.
"Kurt," says Blaine through the speaker, his voice shaking just enough that Kurt knows he's worried, unsure, but still in control. "Kurt, I need you to do something, okay?" When Kurt doesn't answer right away he continues, "Kurt? Hey, you've got to answer me here."
Swallowing and licking his lips, Kurt whispers, "I'm here. What," his speech stumbles a bit, but he picks up quickly, "what d'you want me to do?" Kurt doesn't really want to do anything right now. Maybe he'd like to push the 'pause' button on his life and figure that out, but it isn't an option that is available.
"I need you to go and get your dad. Can you do that for me?" Blaine's voice is briefly overpowered by a static crackle at the end, and Kurt wonders if he's passing through a place with bad reception, but then brushes that off. Blaine's in his dorm at Dalton, and they always have good reception from there.
Kurt entertains the request for a minute, and he's even started to pull back the covers, letting the cool air of the basement wash over him. But then he decides that it's really much nicer where he is; besides, he's getting tired and his limbs feel heavy and numb. Pulling the duvet back over him and sinking into his old, curled position, Kurt can feel the little pills resting under his hand again. They've become tacky from his warmth, and probably from the remnant tears, and they feel like they might just be the size of mountains if he really wants to dwell on it.
Shaking his head a little, Kurt realizes that Blaine has been talking with increasing desperation into the phone.
"Kurt. Kurt? Co-"
"I'm here," he interrupts. "I don't really wanna move right now, Blaine." He closes his eyes, and the darkness is comforting, like it has been all night. The smooth feeling of calm that has also overcome him is also comforting, even if it is accompanied with a dim recollection of fear. He can't really figure out why that is right now, though.
"Come on, Kurt. You can't be alone right now. Go get your dad – I'll stay on the line, okay?"
At that Kurt's mind goes to what might happen if he goes and gets his dad. It's not something he wants to entertain, he finds, when his mind supplies the image of just how disappointed his dad will be. How upset, and worried, and stressed. His dad can't take more stress right now, not after the heart attack, and especially not brought on by him. Kurt can't do that to his dad; and as he's contemplating this, he realizes that maybe he couldn't do it even if he wanted. His body is starting to feel even heavier, and his mind feels slow and uncoordinated so that he has trouble following through on each thought process.
"No. No, I can't. Blaine, I can't – he. I. I can't do that to him. I just. I'm so stupid." Kurt knows he sounds bad – he can almost feel the thickness of his words in his mouth. It reminds him of what getting drunk off of the stuff April gave him was like. All of his vocal elegance went out the window then, too.
"Okay, okay – calm down. It's fine." There is an edge to Blaine's voice that Kurt has never heard before; rough, dark, upset. He did that, he's made Blaine feel that way.
"Oh God, Blaine. It's not fine. I-I'm so sorry. So sorry." Little hiccupping breaths are interrupting the flow of his speech and the words come out slurred and broken in turn. "I don't know what to do. I'm so sorry."
He hears a harsh breath hit the speaker on the other end. "Hey, no. Don't be like that; it's okay. You know what I want you to do Kurt?"
Kurt closes his eyes and shakes his head against the bed, back and forth. "No."
"I want you to sing me a song."
"What song?" he whispers back, sniffling lightly. The arm that Kurt had been laying on in his now loosely-curled position is starting to go numb, and his fingers are tingling uncomfortably. Shifting to lay more on his back than on his side, Kurt's hand brushes over hard plastic. Wrapping his hand around the cylinder, he brings it up to rest against his chest, where he can feel his heart beating a steady rhythm. As he waits for Blaine to answer, Kurt allows his fingers to absently traverse the grooved edge of the cap, twirling it until he can feel the larger section where the arrow resides.
"Whatever you feel like. Okay? Just sing me something."
Kurt tries to think of something, anything, but nothing seems to be right. While lately he has found that singing has been more difficult, more strained, he's never actually been at a point when nothing felt right. There has always been a song that described how he felt, that would compliment any situation, but right now, in this moment, he just does not have the will to choose one.
Kurt, as he contemplates this revelation, can just barely hear the sound quality on Blaine's end of the phone change. He misses the sound of Blaine's breath as it hits the speaker almost instantly – it has been peripheral, steady and comforting behind everything. Everything sounds tinny now, and there is more background noise, too, and he wonders if Blaine is watching TV with David and Wes. But, no, he remembers, they were pulling an all-nighter to study for a history exam on Monday.
"Kurt?" comes Blaine's voice after a moment, reconnecting Kurt to the moment, to reality. "Hey, I want to hear your voice."
Closing his eyes, Kurt bites his lips for a second, and then responds as best he can. "I don't. I can't." Frustrated with his inability to articulate words properly, Kurt pinches his lips together and huffs out a soft breath. "I can't, Blaine."
Still allowing his fingers to absently rub over the bottle in his hand, hearing the sounds of the pills tinkling in their confinement, Kurt lets his mind drift. He feels tired, exhausted. He wants to close his eyes and never open them. He wants to feel warm arms hold him tight. He wants to feel good. Or nothing. Anything is better than this, what he's feeling now.
Blaine hasn't said anything, and Kurt might have thought his friend had been disconnected if it wasn't for the dull tapping he can hear on the other end, the constant background growling of noise. But Blaine isn't talking, and for every second that silence reigns, Kurt feels the dark pit in his chest growing.
He misses being able to sit in silence with someone and not feel alone.
"Are you still there?"
"Yeah, Kurt. I'm still here. How are you doing?" Blaine's voice is in his ear, and no matter how much he loves hearing the other boy sing, it has never sounded more beautiful than when he's directing all of his attention to Kurt.
Shrugging to himself, Kurt feels sleep start to pull at him. "I'm," he says, and struggles a moment for the words to say. "I'm tired. So, so tired."
"You need to stay awake for me, okay? Just for a little while longer."
"I'm sorry, Blaine. God. I just." Kurt closes his eyes. "I'm sorry."
"Hey, you're not going to fall asleep on me here," Blaine says, his voice less urgent now, but still intense. "Why don't you tell me about your weekend? You were supposed to go shopping with Mercedes yesterday, right?"
Kurt can feel a slight clench in his chest when he thinks about the last few days. "It was," he starts, then pauses, and whispers, almost to himself. "It was lonely."
"What do you mean?" Blaine inquires gently.
Even with as tired and listless as he feels, Kurt's throat tightens and his breathing starts to become more laboured. "I feel so horrible. Just… so disgusting and upset. All the time." He feels so stupid admitting this, especially to Blaine, who's been so great, and wonderful, and strong. "And I just. I'm all alone," he murmurs. Two tears escape his right eye, dropping to the mattress below.
Before Blaine can start in, either in protest, or in support, or whatever Kurt imagines he might say to a confession like that, the door at the top of the stairs opens, and a flood of light flows into the room. Through the earpiece on his phone, Kurt hears a buzzing signifying that Blaine's just received a text message.
Kurt hears footsteps start down the stairs, and as he peaks out from beneath the covers he sees Finn making his way down, and he also hears Blaine breathe out, "Finally."
Panic grips at his chest, and Kurt reacts. Limbs heavy, he scrambles at the mattress to find all of the little pills that he had dropped, to shove the second pill bottle into the pocket of his hoodie where the other one still rests. Anything to get all of this out of sight.
He can't have Finn see this; he doesn't want that kind of embarrassment, can't stand the thought of it. But he can't seem to get his hands to work properly, and the little pills are difficult to pick up. His fingers graze over them a few times, but even though he knows this should be easy – he's always had nimble fingers - it feels like his digits have tripled in size and are on a two second time delay.
As he reaches for the unopened bottle his hand grazes it uselessly, and as he tries again the bottle skitters away and over the edge of the bed. The sound of it hitting the ground is muted by the carpet it lands on, and Kurt wants to scream in frustration.
Kurt can hear Blaine's voice distantly from where he's dropped his phone, and he can hear the creak of the stairs as Finn reaches the bottom. Pulling his pillow down to cover the pills instead of continuing to try and pick them up, Kurt lays back down and pulls the covers up, hoping that it is still too dark for Finn to have seen him moving, or that he was quiet enough that Finn hadn't heard him before.
Finn's footsteps are stumbling but cautious as he makes his way across the room, and Kurt tries to stay still as he hears Finn say, "Kurt? You awake?" The voice is from only a few feet away and Kurt wishes that Finn will give up and leave, hopes that he will stumble his way back up the stairs and forget he ever ventured down the stairs.
There is a brief moment of silence before Kurt hears the sound of rattling as one of his lamps is turned on, illuminating the room in light bright enough that Kurt has to clench his eyes closed. His reaction is obviously enough to alert Finn that he is awake, and the taller boy moves to stand at the edge of the bed.
"Jesus, Kurt. What the hell." Finn's voice is wavering, unsure. "I just got a text from Blaine, and I come down here and, and… What the hell, man?"
Kurt opens his eyes and sees Finn looking down at his feet, and something heavy and thick settles in his stomach, and he feels nauseous. The bottle of pills that he had sent skittering away is inches from Finn's socked toes, its hard plastic glinting in the light of his lamp as Finn stares at it with a deep furrow in his brow.
Closing his eyes, Kurt knows that he can't lie – that he won't be able to pretend that none of this happened. Soon Finn will run upstairs and get their parents, bring them down here where they will see what Kurt's done. See how weak he is.
Kurt doesn't open his eyes again, sequestering himself in the darkness behind his lids as he hears Finn reach down and pick up the bottle. He can still hear Blaine over his phone, can make out the occasional "what's going on?" as it floats through the speaker, and he tries to tune it out.
The sound of Finn's footsteps as they thud across the room and up the first few stairs, the loudness of his voice as he calls out to their parents, it all makes Kurt want to drift away. Makes him want to grab onto the hand of sleep and follow it down into nothingness.
As his mind churns slowly through possibilities and wishes, his body wilts into the mattress as his muscles relax further. With the pounding of hurried footsteps plucking a staccato on the edges of his consciousness, the world fades away into a creeping abyss, taking with it the last vestiges of his thoughts.