Author's Note: HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT.

I'm sorry I haven't updated in awhile but I was hoping for some more feedback. Plus, I just started college again so I've been kind of stressed out with classes (eeeep!)

I can't believe this is the end.

This is the 8th and final chapter of Courage. And this definitely didn't go where I was originally expecting it to go, but I'm crazy about the ending...

I don't want to tell you too much more about it, but please be sure to READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE AT THE END.

Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of the characters. Kurt Hummel/Chris Colfer and Blaine Anderson/Darren Criss are not mine (unfortunately). (I do own Hunter Birdell).

Summary: "There's a knock at the door and Kurt opens it to see a drenched Blaine Anderson looking lost and defeated." Blaine tells his parents about Kurt with disastrous consequences.

Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort, Angst, Drama

Warnings: Possible language, abuse

Rating: Upped to M (just to be safe)

Pairings: Kurt/Blaine (Klaine)


COURAGE


What the hell? Kurt usually tries to approach things rationally and practically, but seriously, what the hell? He cares about Blaine. Doesn't Blaine understand that? Why else would he be here? And what kind of solely selfish person is Blaine if he doesn't take into the account that other people care about him? That he has friends who are worried about him? That Kurt (and Wes and David and Thad and even Hunter)has feelings and that his feelings are important too?

Kurt looks at Wes, his mouth agape. "What did you say?"

Wes repeats his statement bitterly. "Blaine asked us—all of us—to go home." His eyes are downcast and injury fringes on his voice. He fiddles with his car keys before finally meeting Kurt's eyes, "I guess I can drive."

Every single worried and sick and melancholy emotion that had been coursing through Kurt's veins vanishes. Instead, he is suddenly filled with a blind, unleashed rage that makes him see red. Who the hell does Blaine think he is?

His heart reeling in his chest, he stabs the linoleum with his feet as he stalks furiously back to Blaine's room. He ignores Wes's and David's cries behind him, slams the door of Blaine's hospital room open, and stalks in. Blaine is still prone and still and pathetic on his bed, but the pity and horror at seeing his former boyfriend beaten to a pulp has been dissipated by a ferocious anger devouring every bit of Kurt's compassion.

"What is wrong with you?" is how Kurt starts, nearly spitting his words in his wrath. Seething in rage, he barrels on without inhibition, "It's one thing for you to ask me not to come in—I understand that you're ashamed of your past actions—but Wes and David and Thad? They've done nothing except come and visit their best friend who's in the hospital and you have the nerve to tell them you don't want to see them?"

"Kurt-" comes Wes's meek protest, "Kurt, it's okay-"

"It's not okay!" Kurt interrupts Wes and spins around to confront the slim Asian boy. "We—you—rushed over here as fast as we could, going nearly insane with worry, and I had a mental breakdown over the stress of seeing him like this and now he wants us to leave! Leave without seeing him! Like we're nothing to him!" Kurt turns to face Blaine again. "What is wrong with you?" He realizes that he's hysterical, that his voice has been crescendoing up and down, that his eyes are again spiking with tears, but he wants Blaine to hear his words, to listen to him.

Blaine is speechless from his still position in his bed. His fingers trail uselessly against the blanket. His left eye—the one that isn't swollen shut—zeroes in on Kurt and his busted lip starts trembling. And God damn it, even in this bloody, battered state, Kurt can't help but still think that he's beautiful.

Kurt chokes on his thought, bringing a fist to his mouth to hide his sound of desperation. The tears are flowing freely now; the blind rage has slowly fading to be replaced with an overwhelming fatigue. He loves Blaine, why can't Blaine just love him back?

Blaine's uninjured, unbandaged hand struggles for a small notepad that lays haphazardly in his covers and a pen. Kurt realizes, with a pang, that there's no way Blaine can talk (or without causing a significant amount of pain) due to the extensive bruising and strangulation his neck has endured. Blaine's hand fumbles with the pen as he scratches hesitantly, carefully, onto the notebook paper.

Blaine's writing has always been small and neat and tidy, the quintessential mark of a gentleman's calligraphy, and it is even now in his beaten state. It's Hunter that picks up the notebook and rips off the page, throwing Blaine a look of unabashed pity as he does so, and hands it to Kurt.

What happened to your forehead? Are you okay?

Kurt feels the weight of the words on his tongue, about to ask, "What's wrong with my forehead?" but then he reaches up his hand and feels the huge lump from when his head met the floor earlier. His words fade on his lips and his head starts reeling. Why is Blaine asking about his bruise while he's in the hospital? Does Blaine care about him still, in the way that he still cares about Blaine? Does Blaine still love him?

"I... I passed out," he admits, sheepishly, "if you must know, my forehead had a little heart-to-heart with the floor."

Blaine's fingers tremble as he raises his hand and points at the piece of paper clutched in Kurt's grasp. Kurt walks numbly over to him, placing the piece of paper in his sheets and Blaine's fingers gesture to the last three, beautifully scripted words on the page. Are you okay?

"I'm fine," Kurt manages to utter, his voice shaking. "I'm fine, Blaine, but what about you? What happened to you?" He tries to mask the utter disbelief in his tone. Blaine is lying, immobilized in a hospital bed, and he's worried about a lump on Kurt's forehead? Why the sudden change of heart? Since when does Blaine ask about how Kurt's feeling?

Blaine's eyes—well one eye—skirts around nervously as he fumbles with the pen. He manages in his impeccable penmanship, These jocks beat me up. I don't know who they are.

His fingers shake as he drops the pen to his sheets.

"Oh Goddamn," Kurt swears, as Blaine's body begins to tremble. "Oh God."

"What is it?" Hunter asks rhetorically, as his eyes glance over the sheet of paper and he receives his answer. "Jocks," he says, addressing Wes, David, and Thad, who look bewildered and out of place in their Warblers uniforms.

"Blaine," Kurt manages, trying to block out the steely taste on his tongue, "where are your parents? Your mom? Dad?"

At the mention of his parents, Blaine's entire frame starts shaking, in spite of the IV tubes and the bandages. His eyes close shut and he turns his head away from Kurt, emitting a small whimper of pain as he does so.

It's silent save the beeping monitors.

And then—"Goddamnit!"

But it's not Kurt who has spoken out.

Kurt spins around to see Wes, whose eyes are hollow and open and pained. "What the fuck Blaine? When are you going to tell him the truth?"

Kurt's mouth drops open. In all the time he has known Wes, he has never heard him cuss. And now, here he is, with a mouth as filthy as any sailor, ranting on furiously.

"Fuck it, Blaine Anderson," Wes rambles on wildly. Kurt shoots a look to Blaine, whose body is now alert, his eye shining with panic. "I know I promised you I wouldn't say anything, but how could you let it get this bad? Don't give me that look! I know, I know," his voice arches onto a higher note, "I promised you, but Kurt is my friend too and he deserves to know the truth."

"What do I need to know?" Kurt asks sharply. "What the hell is going on?"

Thad, David, and Hunter all look bewildered; apparently neither Thad nor David knows anything, and this conversation will happen between Kurt and Wes.

"Blaine loves you!" Wes bursts out, taking two long strides towards Kurt. He grabs both of Kurt's shoulders and looks intensely, his dark brown eyes meeting Kurt's ice-blue ones. "He loves you, Kurt! He has fucking," (apparently since Wes started cussing, he can't stop), "bawled every night since he broke up with you and as his roommate, I have had to put up with his crying! He never wanted to break up with you; he thinks about you all the time and it is unbearable to see him in this much pain-"

"Then why the fuck did he break up with me?" Kurt's yelling back at Wes. "Why the fuck did you leave me?" Kurt turns to Blaine, his heart racing in his chest, his blood boiling. "Didn't you see how miserable I was? How could you tell me that you needed to fix your parents' marriage when it was so fucked up and why wasn't I worth fighting for?"

Blaine is trembling, but any trace of sympathy has once again vanished.

"Didn't you see how much I was hurting? Didn't you see how much I loved you?" Kurt is spitting wildly as he strives to understand the situation. "If you loved me, why didn't you stay? We could have worked it out?"

Wes grabs Kurt and turns him to face him again.

"I wasn't done," he says, trying to steady and calm his tone. "Blaine broke up with you because..." Wes's voice cracks as he remembers the agony his best friend endured, "because his father, that bastard, threatened that he would come and kill you, Kurt. He knew where you and your family lived. His spineless, soulless mother, that bitch, was his father's pawn—and she came and got him from your house and brought him back home to have his dick of a dad beat and threaten him senseless. And then Mr. Anderson said he would come to your house or to McKinley and kill you for turning his son into a faggot."

Kurt freezes. Behind him, Thad, David, and Hunter are rooted to their spots, their mouths open in wide "o's" of horror. Blaine has curled up in pain on his bed, tears dripping from his eyes, his one good hand folded uselessly over the notepad.

Kurt shakes his head in disbelief. No, no, this is too fucked up.

This is not true.

This is not true.

"What?" he manages, shaking in shock. And then he repeats himself. "What?"

"Don't you see?" Wes is almost crying now. Kurt has never seen the Warblers' chair council member lose his composure, and here is Wes in front of him, falling to pieces. "He broke up with you to protect you. He was so afraid, Kurt; he was so afraid that his dad would actually follow through on his promise and he told me, 'Wes, I'd rather not have him and let him find someone else who can love him without fear. If I'm with him, he'll always be in danger and I can't let anything happen to him.' He called himself a coward. And when you started dating Hunter, he said, 'I'm willing to let him go and be happy with someone else because I love him that much.'"

"But the girl? The blonde girl?" Kurt rambles, searching for an answer.

"Jamie," Wes answers automatically. "She's a lesbian who goes to Dalton Academy's sister school. Her parents threatened to disown her and she needed a beard and Blaine is a good friend and a very convincing actor."

Kurt's head is spinning. All this time, all this time that he spent hating Blaine—Blaine was hurting him to save him?

"Do you know how hard that is, Kurt? To let someone go so that he can be safe, even if that means you can't have the one you love? To let the one person you love hate you because you're afraid that if you're with him, he'll be in constant danger?" Wes's voice is lined with unspoken agony for his friend. "And I am so sorry Kurt that I didn't tell you, but he made me promise him that I wouldn't say anything. But yesterday night he told me he was going to go home and tell his parents about you and how he wanted to be with you, and I didn't hear from him all last night and I was afraid when he didn't show up for the performance today, but you have to believe me, Kurt, I didn't know it was this bad. But now his father's gone and beaten the living daylights out of him and I can't just let him keep on lying to you. I can't cover for Blaine anymore. He needs help. No, he needs you."

Kurt forces himself to breathe.

"I need to sit down," he stammers, and Hunter pulls a chair for him. Kurt collapses into it, folding his head into his hands.

"God, I am such an awful friend," moans Wes beside him, who starts pacing furiously. He kneels down next to Blaine's bedside, "I'm so sorry, Blaine. I'm so sorry. God, I should have done something. Why the hell did I let it get this far? You told me you had everything under control but that's no excuse," he wails, raking his fingers through his hair. "I should've called the police from the start but I was afraid we wouldn't have any proof and oh my God, I'm so sorry."

Kurt works through the newly divulged information. Blaine's father threatened to kill Kurt. Blaine broke up with Kurt to protect him. Blaine's "girlfriend" is a lesbian and Blaine was just being a friend. Blaine lied about the jocks. His father did this. His father, if Kurt can even bear to call Mr. Anderson a father. Kurt thinks about Burt—his own selfless, sweet dad who sat through endless tea parties with him, who allowed Kurt to makeover his closet. His own dad who supports him, who stands up for him, who loves him so much, who he is so blessed to lastly, and most importantly, Kurt singles out this fact: Blaine loves him. Blaine never stopped loving him. Blaine loves him.

Wes knew everything—Blaine confided in him, and Kurt can't imagine how hard it was to keep all of this secret. A small, selfish part of him wishes that Blaine had told him this, told his boyfriend, and Burt and Carole would have known what to do. But he can also see how terrified Blaine must have been.

He pictures it now like a stop motion film in his head: Blaine coming home, expecting for his parents to sort out their problems and reservations about his sexuality. Blaine, under his father's fists, begging him to stop and pleading with him to leave Kurt out of this. Blaine, in his bedroom, fabricating a lie that was convincing enough to allow him to break up with Kurt. Blaine, after The Phone Call, clutching the phone to his chest, sobbing and breaking down in pain, but thinking in some kind of whacked-up way that this agony was justified to protect the one he loved. Blaine, coming to Dalton, and trying to put on a fake face of happiness in practice. Blaine, going to the Lima Bean like it was a normal routine, while he was dying on the inside. Blaine, crying, as he watched Kurt and Hunter together, wishing he could be in Hunter's place. Blaine, confiding in Wes after his confrontation and fight with Kurt, sorting through the furious words Kurt threw at him and wondering if Kurt actually hated him.

And it brings Kurt here.

He forces himself to stand up; his legs feel like jelly, and he approaches Blaine's bedside and looks down on the damaged boy.

Blaine strains to meet his eyes and then his eyes flicker away nervously.

"Is it true?" Kurt struggles to steady his voice. "This... all of this, is it true?"

Blaine doesn't answer, but tears trail delicately down his bruised cheeks in rivulets. The answer is evident itself in his soulful eye, and with a strained, hoarse whimper, he latches his good hand onto Kurt's hand resting next to his head.

In this simple motion is so much. an apology. A "I am so sorry" for everything that Kurt has been through. A request for forgiveness for not telling Kurt the truth, a plea for Kurt's understanding.

And Kurt accepts.

He knows that this entire situation is fucked up beyond belief. He knows that Blaine has wronged him and that he treated Blaine like shit but he didn't know the truth so in some sense, his actions were justifiable. He knows that he loves Blaine and that Blaine loves him.

He presses a small, chaste kiss to Blaine's matted, chocolate hair. And another, on Blaine's blood-encrusted forehead. And then another, on his bruised lips. And then he uses his free hand to wipe a tear escaping from Blaine's eye.

Kurt looks up briefly to nod at Wes, Thad, David, and Hunter, who all turn and leave the room, whispering quiet goodbyes. They understand that this is a moment reserved for Kurt and Blaine.

And then Kurt turns his attention back on Blaine, back on the selfless, lost, crazy boy who loves him—who is absolutely crazy about him. And Kurt squeezes Blaine's hand. One time. Two times, to reaffirm his reassurance. To let Blaine know that he's not going anywhere.

Kurt doesn't know what will happen. He doesn't know what will happen with school, what will happen to Blaine's life. He doesn't know what will happen when the police come by, when the social workers pass through. He doesn't know who Blaine is going to end up with after the custody battles. He doesn't know if Blaine is going to end up staying at Dalton. He doesn't know if Blaine is going to remain in Ohio. He doesn't know if in the long run, he and Blaine will end up together and make it through. He doesn't know if the love he and Blaine have for one another will get them through this.

But Kurt does know this.

He does know that Blaine is terrified and scared of being with Kurt. At the same time, Kurt knows that Blaine loves him, right now, in this very moment and wants to be with him more than anything in the world. And Kurt knows that he wants to be with Blaine. Kurt knows that he loves Blaine, fully, in spite of everything that has transpired between them, in spite of all the pain they have caused one another. Kurt knows that he will do anything in his power to make sure Blaine is never hurt and abused like this ever again. Right here, as he sits in the hospital bed, with Blaine's body cradled protectively against his chest, Kurt makes a promise to do everything he can to protect Blaine.

And last of all, Kurt knows that here, with Blaine's hand intertwined tightly in his, is where he belongs.

Fin


Author's Note: ...AND END.

HOLY FUCKING SHIT (apparently I have become the wild cussing sailor Wes LULZ), it is done.

And I am sad.

This is my favorite fanfiction story I have ever written. (Well that has been completed at least).

I know the ending was really melodramatic but I ended up loving all this Klaine angst. I'm not sure if you guys liked it as much as I did, so let me know?

Originally, this story was supposed to be a one-shot. Can you believe that? And now, with 47 pages single spaced on a Microsoft Word document... I don't know who would have actually sat through a one-shot that long.

And the final stats as of this chapter:

Hits: 18,401

Favorites: 114 (MOST FAVORITED OF ALL STORIES!)

Alerts: 268 (MOST ALERTED OF ALL STORIES!)

BUT, please, please, please. Reviews would be so appreciated.

I have a few questions for you guys:

1) What did you think, now that it's over? Did you like it? Do you wish that it had ended differently? Did it end too abruptly? Do you want more?

2) SEQUEL?

3) Alternate ending?

4) Story from Blaine's POV?

In the mean time, PLEASE check out my other stories. Other good places to check out KLAINE would be any of the Finn!Kurt! brotherly one-shots or seriously, Crackedly Ever After for a sassy gay Kurt and Blaine.

To all of my faithful reviewers and readers, thank you all so much for hanging tight. Especially my reviewers-I appreciated and loved your feedback so much. The longer the review the better :)

Thank you.

All my love,

-strawberryfinn