Still post bashing trigger warnings
'-and Mercedes stormed out and Sam ran after her and Rachel immediately cornered Mr Schue,' Kurt talked absently and flipped the pages of his textbook. 'Sometimes I feel sorry for him,' he scanned down the list of answers with his pen, 'but then I remember how hopeless he is,' Kurt shrugged and scratched out half his working. Blaine remained still and silent on the bed in front of him, just the quiet beep of the various monitors and Kurt's one-sided conversation inside their little world. With the curtains drawn around the bed the voices and sounds of the hospital seemed far away. Kurt's maths textbook and workbook lay on the bed beside Blaine and he sat half out of the chair, elbows propped on the mattress as he talked quietly to Blaine and studied.
'Kurt,' Blaine quietly broke through Kurt's rambling monologue. 'Hey,' he said weakly and tried to shift, smiling as Kurt immediately wriggled the pillows behind him. Three days later and bruising had swelled his face, turning what was visible around the bandages shades of purple and blue. Not as bad as shock had made it the first day Kurt came in, where he'd burst into tears and stood gulping and shaking at the foot of the bed until a nurse came.
'Everyone from glee club came around before,' he informed Blaine, trying like always to keep his tone light despite the clench of his throat each time he looked at the swathes of bandages around his face. 'Rachel somehow made you a singing get well card with her voice.' There was no response as Blaine's attention wandered absently. Smile fading, Kurt traced the tube where it went from Blaine's arm to a bag above his bed. Blaine spent most of his time asleep with painkillers or drifting in a vague state of awareness that scared Kurt more than he could possibly say, scared each time Blaine looked blankly at him before recognition gradually dawned.
Blaine swallowed and blinked slowly before speaking again. 'Thirty-six not thirty-nine,' he tapped his thumb clumsily over the workings on Kurt's page. The bandages and dressings covering his hand rasped over the paper and Kurt waited in horrible silence for him to move his hand away again. 'I-' Blaine muttered and Kurt wordlessly slipped his hand under Blaine's wrist and lifted it back onto the blankets. His stomach twisted into knots as it did each time Blaine froze, almost like he just forgot how to move, when his hand would get halfway there then just stop. Blaine had muttered that the doctors said it would fix itself, effects of medication and concussion, but Kurt had found him the next day with his hands draped over his chest and tears soaking down into his bandages. Kurt didn't mention the violin and Blaine didn't say anything but he could take a guess at what was going through Blaine's mind in the long silences where he stared down at his hands. Piecing together what information he could, Kurt learnt the physical damage to his hands had been done when he'd tried to protect his face from being kicked. He'd never thought he could hate people as much as he did in that moment. Kurt knew the men responsible had been caught but it wasn't enough.
Kurt opened his mouth to change the subject and slowly closed it again. Blaine had drifted again. Swallowing around the now familiar lump in his throat, Kurt picked up his pen and started the maths in silence. Nurses came and went and Kurt didn't bother with checking the time, everyone knew where he was.
'How you feeling?' Blaine twitched his finger up where Kurt's fingers lay absently over his. He blinked hazily up at him.
'I'm fine,' Kurt said automatically and withdrew his hand, closing and neatening his little pile of homework.
'Don't have to come in every day, you know,' Blaine shifted uncomfortably again and his voice was fuzzy from sleep and the swelling around his mouth, 'm'not going anywhere.'
'The nurses are used to me now,' he said distractedly, 'they even bring me food,' he forced a smile and held up an empty container of jelly. Blaine stared silently up at him and Kurt straightened his books again, flustered and eyes prickling.
'Not your fault.'
Kurt shook his head in a quick jerk.
'It's not,' Blaine struggled to say clearly.
Kurt's face crumpled and his head sagged even lower. Tears he had promised himself he'd never show before Blaine ran down his cheeks and he splayed his hands over his face, hunching forward into his hands.
'Hand,' Blaine ordered as firmly as he could through slurred, awkward vowels. Kurt shook his head miserably. 'I'm going to reach up and take it,' he threatened.
'No,' Kurt tried not to sound so pathetic and young as he twisted his face blindly away from Blaine. He felt stupid and utterly to blame.
'I'll pull my stitches and the nurses will be angry and they'll stop bringing you food and you'll starve doing your homework.'
Despite himself, Kurt spluttered a weak, messy chuckle into his hands and lowered them to slump and gaze directly into soft hazel eyes. 'It was my fault,' he said simply. Unable to keep looking as Blaine just stared at him, he looked away with a discreet sniff and fumbled in his pocket.
Blaine's eyelashes were still as long and beautiful as ever as he blinked softly. 'You'll come back tomorrow?' He asked quietly.
Something snapped and sagged in Kurt, the tiredness that fear and guilt had overwhelmed spread through him and he wiped a scrunched tissue over his face. 'Couldn't keep me away.' He stuffed the tissue into his bag and busied himself with his books, willing himself not to break down completely. 'Do you want me to bring you anything?'
Blaine just shook his head and twitched the corner of his mouth up in a smile, his eyes starting to lose focus once again.
'Blaine?' The edge of the curtain twitched back and Kurt glanced vaguely over his shoulder, expecting the familiar blue uniform of a nurse. He drew in a sharp breath as he recognised the same man from that day at the coffee shop, Blaine's father.
'He's asleep,' Kurt said woodenly. He didn't need to look down to check, he'd lost count now of the number of times he'd seen Blaine fade from speech into unconsciousness within seconds.
'Oh,' the man withdrew his head and murmured something to someone else then the curtain twitched back further and two people slipped through. 'You are-?'
'Kurt,' he hitched his bag in tighter to his side, 'I'm a friend of Blaine's. I was there when-' he choked and pressed his lips tightly shut.
'Ah.' It was like Blaine's parents didn't know where to look, his mother's eyes running over the equipment and the frame of the bed while avoiding the unconscious figure lying under the green blanket. They both looked so...normal. Blaine's mother was tiny, slim with soft blonde hair and brown eyes. Her hands were clasped together in warm looking mittens and her husband rubbed his hand absently up and down her arm. Where Blaine's father was a mirror image of him, there was nothing of his mother in his face.
Kurt glanced between Blaine's still form in the bed and his parents standing several feet away and awkwardly stepped aside.
'No, no,' his father saw his hesitant step, 'don't leave on our account, we're just going.'
'Oh,' Kurt almost recoiled, 'but,' he couldn't help saying, 'he'll probably wake up soon,' his voice trailed off as they remained silent and at the edge of the curtain barrier.
'Best not bother him. Mention we stopped by if he wakes up. I'm Jack,' he added quickly and thrust out his hand. Kurt leaned awkwardly over the bed to shake it. Stopped by. Like they dropped in for a visit on their way through the neighbourhood, not coming to the hospital to visit their son.
'Sara,' Blaine's mother smiled quickly.
The curtain twitched again and Kurt was left alone by Blaine's side.
The issue of Blaine's parents had never been brought up and never was. He knew they'd been there that night when Blaine was brought in but other than that he didn't know. Blaine briefly mentioned they were flying out somewhere the day he was being discharged and Kurt just nodded and talked lightly about something else until they could both pretend Blaine hadn't been on the verge of tears.
Fear clutched at his throat as Kurt padded from his dad and Carole's bedroom. He dropped his phone into the small bag of clothes on his shoulder and closed the door behind him, hearing the sleepy murmur of voices as Burt explained to Carole.
'Okay?' Finn poked his head around his door and blinked sleepily at him. 'Nightmare?' Kurt could see him struggling to pull himself into proper wakefulness. On more than one occasion Finn had come staggering into Kurt's bedroom at the sound of panicked screams and Kurt had woken up to find Finn patiently sat beside him, comforting hand on his shoulder.
'I'm going to Blaine's. Dad knows,' Kurt hurried past, snatching his shoes up and hopping to jam his feet into them on his way to the door.
'Blaine okay?' Finn trailed after him.
'I think he's just-' Kurt didn't need to say any more for Finn to understand. 'It's his first night out of hospital.'
'See you at school?'
'Yep,' Kurt called over his shoulder. He rubbed his arms in the cold night air as he jogged quickly over to his car and threw himself into the seat.
The key was under the mat where Blaine said it would be and Kurt let himself into the silent house and kicked his shoes off. He ran silently up the stairs in the dark and stopped outside Blaine's door, the light from inside spilling out over his toes. Kurt inched the door open and Blaine's face turned towards him from the bed.
'Hey,' Kurt breathed.
'I'm sorry,' Blaine shivered, eyes big and scared in the soft light of the lamp. 'I just didn't-'
'How bad is it?' Kurt let his bag fall to the rug as he walked across to the bed.
Blaine shook his head and curled up with another shiver. 'Just feel weird.'
'What sort of weird?' Kurt persisted gently and laid his hand over Blaine's forehead.
'Just weird,' Blaine turned his face into the pillow and kept shuddering under the duvet.
Kurt kept his voice steady as he inched his hand blindly into his pocket. 'Blaine, Blaine, look at me. How the doctors said you might feel from the medication?' His fingers brushed the corner of his phone.
Blaine nodded weakly and a tear squeezed out the corner of his eye to sink into the pillow. 'I'm sorry,' he whispered thickly.
'Hey, don't apologise,' Kurt said soothingly with a calmness he didn't feel and stroked his hair back. 'Are you sure?' Another nod and Kurt kicked out of his shoes and clambered over the bed behind Blaine's curled up shape. 'I'll be right here,' he promised and settled his head on edge of Blaine's pile of pillows, careful not to jostle Blaine's head as he moved. Just in case. He draped his hand lightly over Blaine's side through the duvet. 'Wake me up any time you want, okay?' Not that he'd be sleeping, not with Blaine lying so fragile just inches away. Using one hand, he sent a text to his dad and then tossed the phone to the end of the bed.
'It's my hands.' Blaine broke the silence.
'Do they hurt?' Kurt pressed carefully on Blaine's shoulder and waited as he shifted slowly and painfully onto his back. 'Blaine?' Kurt followed his gaze down to the two still bundles of bandage pillowed on his chest. His chin creased as he pressed his shaking lips together. Finally he pressed his face sideways into the pillow and rolled back onto his side.
Kurt laid silently behind him with a hand on his side and pretended he couldn't hear him crying.
Finally he felt the rise and fall of Blaine's side steady under his hand and the shivers eased. Rolling over and his knees up against the cold, he fixed his eyes back on Blaine's head nestled amongst the pillows. Fuzz had grown over the shaved patches and the angry red scars were partially hidden at this angle where curls flopped over them. Blaine had been horribly embarrassed about the shaved patches and Kurt had ended up carefully rearranging his hair to prove that, really, you could barely see them.
Kurt woke from an uneasy doze with just the vague sense that something was wrong. Blinking blearily, he struggled up onto his elbow and gazed around the room and waited as everything slowly came into focus. Blinking again, he looked down and sleepily stroked his hand along the curve of Blaine's side through the duvet. Nestling back down with just the quiet creak of the bed, Kurt laid in silence and concentrated on the peaceful rise of Blaine's side under his hand. After a moment Blaine shivered. The push up onto his elbow was quicker this time and Kurt was scrambling across the bed and thudding down to his knees at the same time Blaine started to twitch and whimper.
'I'm here,' Kurt repeated continuously as he leaned over Blaine and slipped his arms under the pillow. He lifted the sides and trapped Blaine's head carefully between them as Blaine started to thrash. Biting his lip helplessly, Kurt held his arms steady and kept talking to him, even as his voice cracked and he started to sob. Blaine gasped in terror and babbled desperately. The rug burnt at Kurt's knees as he shifted and curled his toes, holding himself together while every whimper and jolt of Blaine's body brought him closer to the night it happened. He didn't know what to do. Blaine kept jolting, crying, the bed squeaking, and he didn't know what to do and his tears ran hot over his cheeks as he sobbed and a scream built up in his throat.
Blaine's eyes snapped open and he struggled desperately against the sheets and Kurt blindly reached behind him just as Blaine collapsed over the side of the bed and retched into the bowl. Kurt cupped his forehead and whispered soothingly, rubbing his thumb through sweat damp hair. His heart raced in his ears in the sudden stillness. With one final heave, Blaine just hung there, head down and body shaking weakly.
'I'm sorry,' Blaine whispered.
It wasn't until he felt a shaking bandaged hand run through his hair that Kurt realised he hadn't stopped sobbing. He looked up into Blaine's pale face and tried to twitch a smile. 'S'fine,' he whispered. Pushing the bowl under the bed, Kurt slowly pushed himself up onto the bed beside Blaine. He tucked in as close as he could with Blaine's arm around his back.
'We'll get there,' Blaine murmured. 'It'll work out.'
Kurt closed his eyes and waited until exhaustion pulled him into sleep.
Blaine was curled up and sleeping when Kurt woke up, remaining asleep even as Kurt fumbled around his room and wrote him a note. Kurt propped the note on the bedside table in front of him and flicked off the lamp that had remained on all night. He padded quietly down the hall, bag clutched to his chest and pushed tentatively on likely doors until he found the bathroom. The hair products said it was definitely the one Blaine used.
Kurt whirled around with his hand pressed over his mouth and heart pounded.
Grace stood at the end of the hallway like something out of a Victorian horror, white nightdress and slippers and some deeply bizarre things trapped in her hair. 'Kurt Hummel?'
'Blaine called me last night,' Kurt said hastily, feeling some explanation of why he was sneaking out of his bedroom was needed and needed fast.
Grace's shoulders slumped slightly and something drooped in her hair. 'I don't know how to look after him,' she confessed. They stared at each other in the silent understanding that both of them were out of their depth. 'Would you like me to put some toast on for you when I make mine?' She offered finally. 'Towels are in the second cupboard.'
There was...something about showering in Blaine's bathroom. Seeing his razor and toothbrush jammed in the mug beside the sink and the half used bottle of shampoo on its side on the shower floor. Knowing this was where Blaine stood and what Blaine saw when he showered. Kurt blushed furiously and tilted his face up into the water as his thoughts wandered. He felt disgusted with himself for thinking that when Blaine was...as he was. But he'd get better. He had to.
School felt pointless and Kurt slumped over his history textbook during class and fell asleep. Much as he longed to, there was no point texting Blaine when it took him so much effort to reply with his hands still partially bandaged. The stitches were still in, Kurt put a note in his phone during maths class to remind him to take Blaine to the doctors on Saturday to get them removed. Neither of them spoke about it but Kurt walked everywhere at Rachel's side between classes. The yell of voices and the bright fluorescent lights of the halls during breaks was too close a reminder to that night, even while the crowd of people around was what calmed him. It was the emptiness that Kurt couldn't take. Going to the bathroom during class, Kurt had broken into a panicked run down the empty hall and huddled outside the classroom door, panting until he could breath steadily enough to push the door open. In the silence he felt like he was back at the McDonalds, that people were going to walk up behind him on silent feet and there would be no one there to hear him screaming.
Kurt slumped down onto the couch when he got home and fell asleep.
It was almost dark through the window when he jolted awake and shoved at the blanket someone had laid over him. Disorientated, he scrabbled for his phone and gazed in bleary panic around the dark lounge room. 'Blaine,' he muttered and swung his legs off the couch.
'Woah,' Burt placed a firm hand on his shoulder and steered him back to the couch. 'Sit.'
Rubbing his hands roughly over his forehead, Kurt sank back into the couch and waited for his heart to slow again. They sat together in silence for a moment before Burt spoke.
'Was Blaine okay last night?'
Kurt scratched his nail over the fabric of the couch. 'The medication makes him feel strange. And he has nightmares,' he added after a pause, stomach clenching at the memory of his panic and the hot press of Blaine's forehead in his hand. He released a shuddering breath and stretched his legs out along the carpet. 'He needs someone there.'
'I know, kid.' His dad was solid and comforting beside him on the couch. 'You've been with him every hour you possibly could, no one could ask for more.'
'He deserves more,' Kurt said fiercely into the deep blue shadows of the room. The sounds of Finn and Carole eating and talking drifted from the kitchen.
'Let his parents take over for a bit, Kurt, you can't do everything,' Burt nudged him gently, 'as hard as you try.'
Kurt didn't trust himself to speak and laid his cheek on his dad's shoulder. 'They left him,' he said eventually and this time his voice did crack in a mix of anger and frustration. 'They just left.' And it started pouring out, the hospital, the empty house with Grace, everything.
'So he's alone in there?' There was a spike of anger in Burt's voice.
'Grab your coat,' Burt pushed up off the couch.
Also if any of you are reading Business I've done some fairly major structural edits and a few plots bits over there. Mainly because I've been meaning to for ages, a little bit because I had wisdom teeth out and got a bit whacked. Heads up anyway.