I apologize for the long wait! I hope you enjoy the chapter and I will be eagerly awaiting your reviews. :)
Chapter 10 – A Piece of Hope
He was running. There was nothing left to do. His feet carried him almost automatically to his haven. He smiled bitterly as he thought about it. Any time he was overwhelmed by emptiness, he returned to same godforsaken place; the very place where everything had changed for him. But this time there was no need to leave. He would stay there, let himself rot with the rest of the garbage. There was no longer any point in continuing. His hope had broken with that kiss.
x x x
He wasn't entirely sure how he'd gotten home. He just remembered pulling himself together, shoving all of the broken picture frames and the shoebox of Kurt's things into his backpack, and leaving before he was caught lying on the floor like a broken mess.
He threw the keys on his desk and let himself fall flat on his bed. His eyes searched the ceiling, as if he could find some reassurance or comfort there. It had been years since he'd had such a dangerous breakdown. He hadn't felt the urge to self-harm in a long time, but it had come back. And though he hadn't given in to the impulse, the fact that it had come back at all was cause for concern. He groaned to himself and sat up. Dumping the contents of his backpack on the bed, he began to rummage through them.
He stared at the pile of pictures, little objects and the several bits of scrap paper that had been a part of his and Kurt's world. Should he throw them away or store them somewhere in case Kurt's memories returned? But the doctor said he would get his memory back, Blaine tried to assure himself. He picked up a picture they had taken at a photo booth. He felt the tears stinging his eyes again. What's the point? He already forgot you. Even if he does remember you, you can't make him like you again.
It was crazy to believe that someone could like the same person again. Their slate had been wiped clean. If Kurt didn't get his memories back, the likelihood of the two ending up together was slim. Blaine bit his lip, willing himself not to give in to the tears again. He punched his fist to the bed in frustration. He heard the clattering of something that had fallen to the floor. Looking over the side of the bed, his gaze fell immediately to the plastic CD case.
What was it? Thoughts of Kurt momentarily left his mind. This hadn't been a part of their keepsakes; they had never shared mixed CDs or anything of the sort. He picked it up and inspected it. There was a gold star stuck to the corner of the front lid. Blaine almost smiled. He searched his mind quickly and recalled the vague memory. He followed his mind's eye as he walked with Kurt to the car on his first day back at McKinley – watched as Rachel slipped the case surreptitiously into his hands. The memory felt hazy; broken. It was as if years had passed since that day; since he'd danced with Kurt in the open courtyard, since they had shared chaste kisses or warm embraces.
He opened the case and took out the disc. Not knowing what it contained, he inserted it into his laptop. He took a seat on his bed, back to his headboard and laptop firmly resting on his lap. Almost immediately, Windows Media Player opened up and he saw the video loading. A video? A video of what?
"Hello! Rachel Berry here!" She smiled broadly as she held the camera facing her while she tiptoed across the halls of McKinley. Blaine couldn't help but breaking into a small smile. "Of course, you already know that, but that's beside the point. My journalism teacher said that it's important to always present yourself in an enthusiastic and proper manner no matter what the situation—"
Blaine bit his lip, trying to suppress his laughter. Usually, someone was always there to interrupt Rachel before she went off on her rants – maybe she had become so accustomed to it that she had done it herself. But she merely gave an even broader smile and put up her index finger to her lips to signal that she had to be quiet. After a moment passed, she continued, this time in a whisper. "I'm doing some investigation today, dear viewers. I've been following my friend Kurt Hummel to keep an eye on him. You might ask where the interest in that is – but you'd be surprised! I've just caught him doing something he's never done before; something completely unimaginable and uncharacteristic; something so unlikely that my journalist senses told me I must investigate further!" Her voice had increasingly become more passionate, a feat that Blaine considered incredible considering she was still whispering. Rachel looked directly into the camera and paused for dramatic effect. She took a deep breath and continued: "Kurt Hummel is cutting class!"
Blaine snorted and brought his fingers to the bridge of his nose. Only Rachel.
"Let's take a peek and see how Kurt Hummel acts in his natural habitat." Rachel whispered, and turned the camera to film through the crack in the door of the choir room.
Natural habitat? How did she go from investigative journalism to animal planet? For a moment, Blaine had almost completely pushed his current situation from his mind. He didn't even realize that he had smiled genuinely– something he hadn't been capable of for weeks. But as soon as Kurt's back came into focus, his heart ached again. He was sitting at the piano, poising his hands over the keys.
Remember those walls I built?
Well baby they're tumbling down,
And they didn't even put up a fight,
They didn't even make a sound.
I found a way to let you in,
But I never really had a doubt,
Standing in the light of your halo
I got my angel now.
It's like I've been awakened.
Every rule I had you breakin'
It's the risk that I'm takin'
I ain't never gonna shut you out.
Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace.
Baby I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace.
You're everything I need and more,
It's written all over your face.
Baby I can feel your halo
Pray it won't fade away.
The camera focus shifted. Rachel had tiptoed in unnoticed, setting the camera down on a desk. She made her way to the stands and sat down in a chair. The new angle allowed Blaine to see both Rachel and Kurt. When his eyes landed on Kurt's face, he felt all air leave him. His eyes were closed, but a small blush tinted his cheeks. The tears were making their way to Blaine's eyes. Kurt was singing to him.
I can feel your halo, halo, halo.
I can see your halo, halo, halo.
I can feel your halo, halo, halo.
I can see your halo, halo, halo.
Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night,
You're the only one that I want
Think I'm addicted to your light.
I swore I'd never fall again
But this don't even feel like falling,
Gravity can't forget
To pull me back to the ground again.
Feels like I've been awakened,
Every rule I had you breakin'
The risk that I'm takin'
I'm never gonna shut you out.
Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace.
Baby I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace.
You're everything I need and more,
It's written all over your face.
Blaine watched as Rachel made her way to the piano. She leaned her elbows against it and listened more closely. In between the tears, another smile found its way to his face. When Kurt noticed Rachel was there, all hell would break loose.
Baby I can feel your halo,
Pray it won't fade away.
I can feel your halo halo, halo.
I can see your halo, halo, halo.
I can feel your halo, halo, halo.
I can see your halo, halo, halo...
And just as he predicted, when the song came to a close, Rachel's elbow slipped and banged against the piano, startling Kurt. His face was overcome by surprise, fear, and anger.
"RACHEL!" He shouted, falling back from the piano seat and hitting the ground.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" She said as she ran to him to help him up.
Blaine snickered, shaking his head.
"Jeez, I'm not even back for four hours and you're already acting insane." He muttered as he shook the dirt off his clothes.
She smiled apologetically at him as he took his seat back at the piano. There was an awkward silence during which Rachel looked at him with unreadable eyes and Kurt simply stared suspiciously at her. Blaine waited patiently for them to continue.
"You really like him, don't you?" Rachel said softly.
Blaine felt his ears grow hotter.
"Why don't you sing this to him? You were thinking about him while singing it weren't you?" She asked.
Blaine held his breath, the tears pooling once again at his eyes. If he had not pressed his face so closely to the screen of his computer, he might have missed that almost imperceptible nod. But he'd seen it. There was no denying. For the first time in weeks, he felt a tiny butterfly at the pit of his stomach, beating its wings weakly. He watched raptly, bringing his hand to his mouth, as if he had to keep the butterfly from escaping. Kurt's face visibly turned to gaze at his feet. He was silent for a moment.
"I just...I don't want to go too fast."
"What do you mean?" Rachel said.
"It's been a few months since I first met him, and only three weeks since we started dating...I don't want to mess this up by singing an overly-clingy song for him or suffocating him." Kurt mumbled.
"But singing this wouldn't be overly clingy would it? It's not like you're telling him that you're in love with him." At this, Kurt almost choked. Blaine seemed to have mimicked his actions; an irksome cough had made its way to his throat at the mention of the word.
"...You're not...in love with him, are you?"
Blaine's eyes grew wide. He felt the rhythmic drum beat of his heart pounding against his chest.
"No, no! It's m-much too soon for that. That's why I don't want to give him the wrong idea. It's only been three weeks Rachel." Kurt blushed beet red and then stood up.
Blaine's smile faltered, but he recovered quickly. Kurt was visibly flustered. He bit his lip. Breath held in anticipation, he watched intently.
"Well, listen...It's just a song about appreciation. He was there for you when you needed him right? Maybe this could be your way of saying thanks." Rachel smiled at him, patted him gently on the shoulder and then approached the video camera, picked it up, and left the room quickly. Once she was out of earshot of the choir room, she turned the camera back to herself. "Well, Blaine, there you go. I'm sure you can decode that all for yourself." Then she gave a forced wink, and shut off the camera.
Speechless. No words could come to mind. He seemed to have lost the ability to form any coherent thoughts. The fresh tears gathered at his eyes as he leaned back against his headboard. His face was red and hot; he could almost feel the heat emanating from it. The steady thump thump thump was increasingly getting louder in his ears, and he became highly aware that another few butterflies had joined the first at the pit of his stomach. Kurt had been flustered. And Blaine knew that blush all too well. It happened only when Kurt was caught in a lie, or when he was embarrassed.
There was something more. There had to be. And the song! Kurt had sung that song to him; surely it was for him. He had to clutch his chest, as if to keep his heart intact. Somewhere in that soft, yet strong voice, he found passion and gratitude and maybe even love. Something in that voice was making his heart grow exponentially; was making the butterflies beat their wings with haste. Somewhere in Kurt's voice, he found hope.
Sure, who was he to say that Kurt did love him? But the possibility of it was enough; Kurt's blush and faltering voice was enough to give him hope and that's all he needed. Because if Kurt had loved him once before, or at least felt strongly enough about him to sing that song, then maybe there was a chance not all was lost. Maybe there was a chance those feelings could simply grow again.
Blaine wiped the tears from his eyes and managed his second genuine smile of the day. He pressed the play button again and watched the video on repeat until he fell asleep.
"Dad, who was that kid?" Kurt asked, looking up from his plate of mashed potatoes and steak.
Burt shared glances with Carole and Finn, but hesitated in responding. "You mean Blaine, kiddo?"
"Yeah. How do I know him and why does he keep avoiding me?"
"But I thought he sat down to talk to you." Burt said, concern growing in his eyes.
"Well, yeah, but the first few days all he could do was say one thing and then walk out of the room as if my amnesia was contagious or something." He replied, shortly adding: "Or maybe it's because I'm gay."
The reaction at the table was notable. The lemonade Finn had been drinking shot out from his nose and mouth all at once, Carole's fork clattered to the floor and Burt almost choked on a piece of his steak. Kurt looked around the table with annoyance.
"What? You think I'm wrong? He got all uncomfortable when I told him I had a boyfriend and then he went and pulled you two out of the room!" Kurt said indignantly.
Burt's face had grown red from the lack of oxygen and it was only after Carole patted him on the back that he was able to swallow the small piece of steak. He grabbed his own glass of lemonade and drank to soothe himself, then turned to look at Kurt.
"Oh right, I forgot to ask – I'm guessing you knew I had a boyfriend right? Because if you didn't know this is a really awkward way to find out."
The humor that had been clearly painted on everyone's faces seconds before was wiped clean and replaced by anger. Tension hung thickly in the air.
"Did I say something…?" Kurt asked slowly, looking to everyone and waiting for someone to finally respond.
"No, Kurt, it's just—" Burt began, but he was cut off my Finn.
"Okay, we're not seriously going to do this are we?" Finn said, standing up. His voice was loud and had a certain tone of annoyance that surprised everyone at the table. "Kurt, no one is telling you, but Blaine is your –"
"Gay best friend!" Carole yelled, standing up as well. She shot Finn a burning glare. "That's why we thought it was funny. He can't be avoiding you because of your sexuality, sweetie. He's gay too. He's just a little upset right now because you don't remember him. It's hard on him."
She sat down again and reached across the table to place her hand on top of Kurt's.
"Yeah, kiddo. He's been a really good friend to you over the last year. He might be acting crazy, but…it ain't easy seeing your friend get hurt. And it's not easy being forgotten either." Burt said, aiming a kick underneath the table at Finn, who had sat back down and folded his arms defiantly over his chest.
"And I know him how?"
"Sectionals." Finn mumbled, reaching down to rub his shin. "He's in the glee club at Dalton Academy."
"Oh," Kurt said, his eyes returning to his plate. The uneasy silence settled over the room once more. Burt, Carole and Finn glanced at Kurt constantly, as if expecting him to say something more, but nothing came. There was no use in asking any more questions. He had already been told they weren't allowed to give detailed answers. He had to remember everything on his own.
But that wasn't easy. He felt lost. He felt as though he had been plucked from his life and thrown into another. Looking at the people around him, he couldn't help but feel alone. They were strangers, his dad included. He was missing two years of his life; two years with each of these people that he couldn't remember. And people could change a lot in two years. So the people he thought he knew couldn't possibly be the same. His dad was happier; was much more accepting than he remembered him. And Finn; Finn barely even talked to Kurt from what he remembered…yet now they were brothers and apparently close. There were people all around him that he knew and yet didn't know at all. He was lost.
It felt weird that night, walking away from the dinner table and going down to his room for the very first time in weeks. The decoration was different than he remembered it. There were more pictures on his walls, more magazines on his desk. He felt strangely out of place as he looked around; as if he was in another person's bedroom and not his own. It was a moment before he realized there was music playing in the background. His eyes followed the sound to his desk. An iPod was sitting in its dock. When had he gotten that?
Another missing piece of the last two years. He smiled bitterly and approached the mirror that sat on his dresser. The bandage he'd had on his head a week prior had finally come off. The stitches, however, would have to stay until the wound healed completely. He had a good head of hair though; it wouldn't be noticeable.
His eyes raked over his pale features. There were bags under his eyes from the lack of sleep; most nights he stayed awake trying to force the memories to come to mind, but always without success. He brought his hand up to stroke his cheek, and cringed almost immediately. His skin was dry; he'd gone a few weeks without moisturizing. His eyes quickly glanced to the several different bottles on the other side of his dresser. He smiled. At least that was something that hadn't changed in two years; something he knew very well. Even if it was something as trivial as a moisturizing routine, it was his. It was proof that at least a part of him was the same.
Because if anything had plagued Kurt's thoughts more than the frustrations of not being able to remember friends or anything that had occurred in the last two years, it was the thought that he didn't know himself. Two years had gone by, after all. He must have changed as well. And that was the scariest thing – the thing that brought him the most discomfort – he did not know the present Kurt. Did not know how he acted or how he had changed. He didn't know himself.
He turned away from the mirror, and his eyes immediately fell to something on the carpeted floor. The corner of a picture was sticking out from under his bed. That was certainly curious. What was a picture doing underneath his bed?
He approached it with open curiosity, his brows furrowed together as he knelt down to pick it up. The song on his iPod changed. A familiar melody filled the room. He let his ears listen for the words, closing his eyes in concentration.
The power lights went out
And I am all alone,
But I don't really care at all,
Not answering my phone.
All the games you played,
The promises you made,
Couldn't finish what you started,
Only darkness still remains.
Lost sight, couldn't see
When it was you and me.
Blow the candles out,
Looks like a solo tonight.
I'm beginning to see the light.
A picture flashed in his mind. He was standing on a stage, a group of people in navy blue blazers were singing behind him. He turned to his right and there was a figure there, singing alongside him. He couldn't make out his features. It was as if he had been blurred by Photoshop and all he could make out was the blue blazer and gray pants.
And just as quickly as it had come, it was gone. Kurt opened his eyes. Had that been a memory? Or was it just a fiction of his imagination? He tried to recall that brief image, but it had fallen from his grasp. He did not remember what it held. It had come in a second and it had gone, not even leaving a trace of itself behind. He let his eyes fall to the picture that he had not yet inspected. And there he was, standing alongside that boy, Blaine, on a spiral staircase. The two were smiling at the camera; Blaine had his arm around Kurt's shoulders. Both boys were wearing blue blazers with red piping.
Kurt furrowed his brows once more. Where had he seen those blazers before? And why did the place seem so familiar?
He sighed and stood up, trying to ward off the frustration that was quickly settling over him once more. He saw that Finn had already been inside to leave his things on his bed. His cell phone was sitting there.
He wasn't sure why he'd gotten the sudden urge to make the call, but he gave in to it. He found the name on his list of contacts and dialed. It rang a few times before the person on the other end picked up and answered groggily.
"'Ello?" Blaine mumbled.
"Er…Hey, it's—it's me." Kurt said, feeling self-conscious. He could tell that Blaine had just woken up; there was a yawn on the other end of the line. He also heard a voice in the background; a voice singing. "What are you listening to?"
"What?" Blaine said sleepily.
"Blaine, it's me, Kurt. Are you tired? Because I can call another time—"
"KURT?" Blaine yelled, dropping the phone and jumping to his feet. His eyes quickly fell on the laptop that had been next to him on the bed. It was still replaying the video. He threw himself back on the bed and struggled frantically for a few seconds before finally turning off the video. He lunged for the phone as fast as he could. "H-hello?" he stammered.
"Was that me?" Kurt asked.
"W-what? What d-do you mean?" Blaine mumbled, trying to compose himself.
"I thought I heard my voice in the background. Were you listening to something?"
"I—" He paused for a second. "I—yeah…I was watching a video…of you." His voice was low and hesitant. He could have chosen to lie, but with the immensity of the lie they were all forced to tell Kurt, he deserved some honesty.
"Oh…why were you watching it?"
"Well, I was looking through some of my stuff and I found the disc in my backpack. I forgot Rachel gave it to me a long time ago."
"Why would Rachel give you a video about me?"
"Uh…well…because she probably thought it'd be good blackmail for me to use." Blaine said, his throat going dry.
"Oh, is it embarrassing?" Kurt's voice had gone up a pitch.
"More embarrassing than Rachel's wardrobe." Blaine said, a small smile forming on his face.
"God, say no more."
"Are you sure you don't want to hear about how you—"
"Blaine, if it's honestly more embarrassing than what Rachel wears every day, do you really think I want to hear it?" He laughed.
"Okay, I'm exaggerating a little. Rachel just taped you singing without you noticing. It's definitely not gawk-worthy, I promise."
"Well, if it's not that bad, I definitely want to see this video that you fell asleep watching. Maybe it was boring?"
Blaine felt his ears redden. "N-no! I was just…remembering." Silence followed his words. It took Blaine a moment to realize that he was still in the present and that Kurt had in fact lost his memory. For a few glorious moments, it was as if they had gone back to normal – as if this was just another phone conversation. He felt a smile forming on his face as relief washed over him. They could still talk effortlessly and with ease.
"I'm sorry." Kurt said softly.
"Sorry for what?"
"I can't—I can't remember you and…I know it must hurt a lot." Kurt whispered.
"Oh, no Kurt – it's not your fault, you—"
"Wow, scratch what I just said. That probably sounded conceited. I don't actually know if it's hurting you a "lot", I don't really know how close we were—"
"Kurt, stop rambling for a second." Blaine said, sharing a sad laugh. "You don't have to apologize. What happened to you wasn't your fault. And yeah, it is a little hard on me because we were best friends…but don't feel bad about it. You'll remember on your own time."
"…Are we not best friends right now? Did I do something?" Kurt asked.
Blaine froze. He felt his heart drop again as he followed his mind's eye. He saw Kurt and Karofsky arguing at the end of the hall; he saw himself stepping across unnoticed to hide in the bathroom; he watched as he glanced from the doorway to the two boys who were kissing.
"Blaine?" Kurt mumbled.
He shook his head, trying to push the images from his mind. He had only just started to feel better; he couldn't let the butterflies in his stomach leave so quickly. "I—I am your best friend, Kurt. We had…a fight, just before your accident. But…even if I'm a little mad at you, I'm still your best friend."
"What did I do…?"
"Kurt, right now, it's not something you need to worry about, alright? Plus, I think that goes under the list of things I can't really explain to you. You just worry about getting yourself situated back in your life and we'll worry about the details later."
"I don't understand why none of you can just tell me everything that's happened until now. Why do I have to stay up all night trying to remember everything? It's not going to work." Kurt said bitterly.
"It is going to work. You obviously don't know yourself, Kurt. You have such an attention to detail and such an amazing memory, it'd be almost impossible for you not to remember." Blaine said, trying to reassure himself as much as he was trying to reassure Kurt.
"That's exactly the problem! I don't know myself, Blaine. I don't know what kind of person I've changed into over the last two years. I have no clue who I am. I walked into my room today and couldn't even feel like I was at home – the only thing that I know hasn't changed about me is my moisturizing routine. Otherwise, everything else feels completely foreign to me. I feel like a stranger in my own body. This is the only moment I've been able to feel remotely at home—"
"What?" Blaine asked, his heart pounding loudly in his ears.
"I—" Kurt's voice faltered.
"What…do you mean?" Blaine whispered.
"I just—" Kurt could feel the blush creeping up his cheeks. "I've just felt really out of place…and for some reason talking to you makes me feel…normal again." He paused. "I guess that's why you're my b-best friend, right?" He couldn't help but stammer.
Blaine's smile faded to a grimace. "Yeah…best friend."
"Anyways, even if it's terribly embarrassing, I'd like to see the video."
"If you aren't busy tomorrow we could go for coffee and I'll bring my laptop."
"Sounds like a plan." Kurt said.
"By the way, was there any particular reason you called?"
"Oh…I found this picture of us on my bedroom floor…and I just got an urge to call you." Kurt said.
"What?" Blaine hissed. "I thought I—"
"You thought you what?"
"I—nothing, nothing. Never mind. I'll text you tomorrow alright?" Blaine muttered.
"Okay. See you later, alligator."
"What…?" Blaine said breathlessly.
Kurt fell silent.
"Did you—" Blaine could feel tears stinging his eyes all of a sudden. "Did you remember something?"
"What?" Kurt asked. "No, I just…I didn't really think about it…it just came out."
Blaine stayed quiet, willing himself to regain his composure. He didn't say anything for fear that Kurt would hear the pain in his voice. He was always particularly good at that.
"What is it, Blaine?"
"It's just…that's how we used to end all conversations on the phone. You'd always say 'see you later, alligator' and I would always answer with 'after a while, crocodile.' I just thought that maybe you—" He hesitated. "I guess it's such an ingrained habit that you still said it even though you can't remember it." He forced a laugh.
"Please don't tell me saying something that ridiculous was my idea." Kurt said, laughing.
"Hey, it's not ridiculous!" Blaine said indignantly.
"Oh, so it was your idea. Good. My taste in friends has clearly changed in the last two years." Kurt sighed.
"What's that supposed to mean?" Blaine scoffed.
"Nothing. Can we just stick to normal goodbyes?"
"Yeah, sure…" Blaine said, trying to hide the disappointment in his voice.
"Bye, see you tomorrow." Kurt said lightly.
"Bye…" Blaine replied, holding the phone to his ear for a few more seconds before hanging up. He looked to his laptop. Would it be a good idea to show Kurt the video? He bit his lip. It was probably against the rules, but did that really matter? Kurt had let an old habit slip – maybe if Blaine showed him the video he would be able to remember that moment and who he was singing to. And if Kurt remembered, then they could avoid any damage Karofsky was sure to make.
He sat alone at the park. One hand was wrapped tightly around the small orange bottle; the other was holding a handwritten letter. His eyes were unfocused; he sat staring absentmindedly into space, unaware of his surroundings.
And then he caught sight of him. He was heading in his direction; the dark-haired boy didn't seem to even notice him until he stood up. "Hey…" He began, but the sudden rage that had overcome the boy's face silenced him.
"How—dare—you?" Blaine hissed, taking one step forward with every word. "How dare you have the audacity to even talk to me?" He was now chest to chest with Karofsky.
"I just—" Karofsky began, but Blaine cut him off.
"You fucking asshole—" And suddenly, all control was lost. His fist reared and struck Karofsky's jaw. Karofsky took a step back, raised his hand slowly to his face, and simply stared back.
"What's wrong? You're not fucking man enough to fight back?" Blaine spat, pushing Karofsky back further. "You think you can just walk into our lives and ruin everything?" Another punch, this time to the gut. Karofsky stepped back again, but didn't fight back.
"You're such a fucking coward—" Blaine said, his voice dripping with hatred. He aimed another punch at Karofsky's nose, causing the other boy to hiss in pain. But he couldn't stop himself. "Fight back, coward—" Blaine pushed him, "FIGHT BACK!" One more push and Karofsky was on the ground.
He raised himself up on his elbows, but did nothing. Blaine took a step back and wiped his mouth, trying to steady his breathing. He'd only just realized Karofsky's nose was slightly bleeding.
"Why don't you stand up and fight back like a man?" Blaine asked coldly. "You never hesitated to push Kurt around – what's the difference?" Blaine kicked a small rock on the floor bitterly, but Karofsky stayed quiet. His face was completely void of emotion. It was then that Blaine noticed the dullness in his eyes. There was something wrong. His own eyes flickered to a crumpled piece of paper on the floor and an orange pill bottle.
He bent down to pick up the bottle. "What the hell is this for?" His voice was far calmer, but the hatred was still evident.
"Mood stabilizers." Karofsky said in a monotone voice. "I have borderline personality disorder."
Silence followed. Blaine's eyes widened in shock as Karofsky stood up.
"Look, Anderson," Karofsky began, "I don't know what the hell is going on with me most of the time, alright? I know it's not an excuse. But…I have outbursts and I act on impulse and I barely know what I'm doing or what's going on while it's happening. I just—" His voice broke. He walked past Blaine to sit back down on the bench, pressing his palms to his forehead.
Blaine picked up the sheet of paper that was on the ground. "What's this?" He asked.
Karofsky glanced at the paper and then looked back down. "It's nothing."
"It's a suicide note, isn't it?" Blaine whispered.
Karofsky's head shot up, his eyes widening. He opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out.
"Kurt…uh, found another one, a while ago. He seemed to be worried about you…" Blaine took a few steps closer and awkwardly stuck out his handkerchief for Karofsky to take.
"I'm stuck between feeling angry and confused and anxious – or feeling absolutely numb…I just—" His voice broke again, but he forced the words out. "I'm exhausted of never understanding what's going on or why I'm so pissed off all the time – I just want to—" He took a deep breath before continuing, "disappear…" He lifted his eyes to look straight into Blaine's. "Kurt's the only one at McKinley who gave me a second chance…I—I'm sorry—"
"Don't make more stupid mistakes than you already have. If you were stupid enough to steal my boyfriend, at least stick around to enjoy him until he remembers me." Blaine said coldly, shoving the pill bottle back into Karofsky's hands. "I'm not going to take pity on you, you know? You've been a complete asshole. But if being around my boyfriend for a while keeps you from being stupid, I'll tolerate it on occasion."
Karofsky gave him an appreciative smile.
"This doesn't mean I hate you any less." Blaine stated.
Karofsky handed him back his handkerchief.
"Keep it." He took one step away. "These mood stabilizers, do they make you act like you're acting now?" Blaine asked.
Karofsky only nodded in response.
"Good. You're not allowed around Kurt unless you've taken your pills. Because if I hear you've done anything to him, anything at all – I won't stop at a bloody nose." Blaine said coldly. With one last glare in Karofsky's direction, he walked away. Note to self, he thought, no more walks to the coffee house.
Blaine sat alone at a table, taking the laptop out from his backpack as he waited. In hindsight, it probably wasn't a great idea to try to instigate a fight when he had such fragile material on his back. He shut his eyes and pressed his index finger and thumb to the bridge of his nose. You can't lose your temper like that again, he reprimanded himself.
Upon opening his eyes he saw Kurt walking through the double doors. He immediately stood up and approached him, extending his arms as he did so. Kurt walked towards him, but stopped in his tracks. It took Blaine a second to remember that they were no longer together – and Kurt wasn't aware that they usually hugged upon greeting. He awkwardly brought his arms back down to his sides.
"Oh, I'm sorry!" Kurt said, his cheeks flushing. "Do we…hug?"
"No, it's fine – I was just—" Blaine stammered. But Kurt stepped forward and extended his arms. He looked uncomfortable and awkward, but Blaine smiled and reciprocated his actions. They quickly wrapped their arms around each other and pulled away. Silently, they moved to the line to order their coffees. When they approached the front, Blaine opened his mouth to speak but was instantly cut off.
"One medium drip and a nonfat mocha, please. Grande." Kurt said automatically. He pulled out his wallet and handed over a couple of bills. Blaine stood rooted to the spot, mouth agape.
"Are you coming?" Kurt called to him as he sat down at their usual table.
Blaine followed him, his heart pounding wildly again. "You know my coffee order?"
Kurt glanced up at him. "What?"
"My coffee order, you just–" He turned back to look at the cash register as if trying to figure out if what had just happened had been real. "And how did you know to come sit here?"
"I think you're psyching yourself out. You were sitting here when I came in, remember? And it's the only table with a laptop on it." Kurt laughed as Blaine took his seat.
"But – the coffee order, how did you know?"
"I—I don't really know. It just kind of…came out." Kurt said apologetically.
"Right." Blaine said, forcing a smile.
"Can you get the drinks?"
Blaine nodded and went to get the drinks. By the time he had come back, Kurt had already pulled his chair beside his own to watch the video.
"And hey, if we're best friends as you say, you don't have to pretend like you're happy when you're not." Kurt said as Blaine handed him his drink. Blaine opened his mouth to speak, but Kurt continued. "It's not that big a deal. I get that it's disappointing for you."
Blaine smiled. "Not nearly as disappointing as—"
"—The warblers shooting down your idea to go with red jackets and blue piping?" Kurt said almost mechanically. He furrowed his brows as the words escaped his lips, an action mimicked by Blaine.
"How did you—"
"To be honest, I have no idea Blaine. I don't know. It's like my brain finds bits and pieces of things that I didn't even know it had. They're not really memories – I don't actively remember things or make connections with them, you know? They kind of just come, like it's something I've heard before. Like déjà vu I guess." He shot another apologetic smile his way, but Blaine waved it off.
"Don't worry about me. I'm fine. The fact that you have these moments that slip out of you is a good sign." Blaine smiled.
"You know, I've never actually asked – where exactly do I know you from and how come you know about Rachel's awful wardrobe?" Kurt wrinkled his nose as he imagined Rachel in his mind.
"One thing at a time. First, the video. And then I'll decide whether I can tell you about our friendship."
Kurt rolled his eyes, but slipped an earbud into his left ear as Blaine plugged them into his laptop. He put on the opposite earbud and pressed play.
Blaine watched Kurt's face the entire time. He opened his mouth in horror at the mention of Rachel following him around; started blushing as he began singing and then turned a much deeper shade of red during his conversation with Rachel.
When the video was done, Kurt sat back in his chair and closed his eyes.
"Did you remember anything?" Blaine asked eagerly, suddenly aware that his throat had gone dry and his heart was pounding loudly in his ears.
"I remember…one thing..." Kurt said slowly. "I was singing it with my eyes closed because I was thinking of someone – but I can't make out the person's face…" He paused for a second. "I guess—I guess I was singing about David…"
Blaine's face went rigid. He tried to keep his voice calm and level. "Yeah, must've been."
Kurt opened his eyes and turned to look at Blaine. "You know, I didn't think you'd show me the video…"
"Well, isn't it kind of against the rules? Everyone in my house has been positively obnoxious about what they can and can't talk about…" Kurt huffed.
"Oh…right. I guess I just hoped that it would help you remember something. Sometimes we all need a little boost." Blaine smiled at him and turned away. He could feel the tears rising and he shut his eyes, trying to keep his composure.
"Thank you…" Kurt said softly, and put his hand over Blaine's. He too turned away, letting his hand rest there for a few seconds before pulling it away. He felt warmth settling at the pit of his stomach, but couldn't quite pinpoint why. He shot another quick glance at Blaine, whose head was turned towards the window – he couldn't help but notice that his ears were red; he wondered why. And then his eyes fell to Blaine's left hand, where he saw a hand-made friendship bracelet wrapped snugly around his wrist. He felt the same wave of familiarity wash over him, and an unexplainable blush rose to his cheeks. But neither boy noticed; they were far too busy caught up in their own thoughts.
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