A/N: This story is sequel to my previous oneshot Scarlet on Snow. It'll make much more sense if you read that first. Warning: This contains vivd images of self-harm, so if that will affect you negatively, please close this. It isn't worth it.
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee.
It's been two weeks now. Two weeks with urges that haunt him every second of every day. Two weeks of needing to be constantly reminded of the light at the end of the tunnel. If there even is one.
He's gone longer before. He went almost two months back in sophomore year, when it was still new. Back when he was scared. But still, for some reason Kurt wants to celebrate, and Blaine isn't one to turn down an opportunity for dinner with the boy he barely knows. He wants to learn more about him. He kept his secret from his closest friends for years. Kurt uncovered it in a month.
He tells Kurt a lot of things. He tells him when he feels those same dark urges he felt for so long. He tells him when he needs support. He tells him about the day that seems darker, the day where he almost loses it all.
He doesn't tell him that it gets harder every day to stay away from the blade. He doesn't tell him how much he misses the delicate patterns of red on white.
There are some things no one needs to know.
I'm on my way to your dorm –k
See you in a minute –b
Blaine stands in the middle of his room, clothing strewn everywhere, wearing the first outfit he'd chosen about twenty minutes before. He'd fixed his hair in the mirror, dutifully ignoring the cramped space that was calling to him. Two weeks.
Finally, Kurt knocks on the door and Blaine actually smiles to himself.
"You look dapper, as usual," Kurt smiles as he walks in.
"Thanks, you look great too," Blaine replies, pulling nervously on his long sleeved sweater. It's a bit long and the sleeves go halfway down his hands. He picked it for a reason.
They walk down the empty corridors in companionable silence and Blaine wonders, not for the first time, if anything is going on between them. He almost feels helpless at how little he knows for sure about their situation. He thinks again of the feeling of control, of the rush of happiness just one little cut would make, but tries to push it away. No.
"Two weeks, Blaine. I'm so proud of you." Blaine looks up to see Kurt smiling happily and feels unbearably guilty for even thinking about the cool feel of the metal blade. But, like the excellent actor he is, he just flashes a smile and makes some generic reply about how great it is.
He is still fidgeting nervously with his sleeves when they get into the car, and Kurt looks concerned. "You okay?"
"What? Oh, yeah. I'm fine. Why?"
That is quite possibly the least smooth Blaine Anderson has ever been in his entire life. It's starting to make him nervous.
"You just look a little on edge. You- you haven't…"
"No! No, it's been two weeks and I- no," he says firmly, realizing where this is going. He may not have done anything physically, but he's certainly thought about it.
Blaine isn't dumb. He knows that thinking about something doesn't equate to doing it. He also knows that if something appears in his dreams it's no reason to freak out. He's trying. He's trying so hard to stop. But he also knows that it keeps getting harder. Every day his resolve is slipping more and more. Because did it ever really hurt him? Was it really wrong? Did it really cause any problems outside of the fear and scars? Because the scars he can handle. He handled the fear for years.
He never wanted to stop.
The thought is one that has been plaguing him since the first night. In the beginning it wasn't too difficult. The image of Kurt slumped against the bed was enough to deter him, but he never really understood why it was so awful.
Kurt seems to respect Blaine's silence and they arrive at the restaurant in a few more minutes. Kurt takes Blaine's hand as they walk in and Blaine immediately feels more grounded. He feels like maybe there is a chance for him.
He could hold Kurt's hand forever. Nothing could touch him. But all good things must come to an end, and his hand feels cold and empty when they sit down across from each other.
"Are you sure you're okay? You can tell me anything, you know." He thought he got rid of the fear when Kurt found out, but it's still there, eating away at him. He doesn't want to confess to the forbidden thoughts. He doesn't want to say how much he misses it, how much he craves it.
So, with a monumental effort on his part, he forces a smile and says, "Everything is fine."
But even as he says this, his mind flashes back to those nights in the bathroom. To the secret thrill. To the beautiful pain that consumes everything. To the delicate drops of crimson that he misses so much. Maybe he can compromise…
"What would you like to drink?" asks a perky blonde waitress. He notices she is completely ignoring Kurt, and Blaine sighs.
"Just water for me." Kurt matches his order and Blaine goes back to his morbid thoughts.
"Please, Blaine, talk to me."
For once he doesn't know what to say. He isn't use to being so close to someone. And with Kurt it's like Blaine is made of glass. Easy to see through and prone to shattering.
"It's just- It's hard. It gets harder every day," and there it was again, that look that made Blaine just start saying whatever is on his mind.
"Why couldn't you just tell me?" The pain in his voice is obvious, but Blaine doesn't want to look up. He doesn't want to see more proof that he messes up everything. Inexplicably he feels anger start to flare up. Who does Kurt think he is, anyway? His mom? Blaine can take care of himself. He has been for the past two years.
"You wouldn't get it," he says darkly, still staring at the table. And it's true. Nobody gets it. It's his issue and he should get to deal with it the way he wants, shouldn't he?
"I'm sorry?" The question is deadly, laced with dangerous double meanings. This could be it.
"Listen, I'm happy you tried to help and all, but it isn't your problem. It's mine. That's all. I'd appreciate it if you let me be."
"Fine," Kurt says with a tight smile. He gets up, grabbing his bag, and leaves without even a parting glance.
Blaine doesn't even have a chance to react. The doors are swinging, letting in a gust of cold air, and Kurt is gone.
This pain isn't something he can control. He leaves a crumpled mess of bills on the table before half running out of the place. He needs to feel the bite of the blade against his skin like he needs air at this point. He needs this pain to go away. He is infinitely happy he didn't look up because that would be too much to handle.
He makes the two-mile walk back to Dalton alone. Kurt wasn't so kind as to leave the car. He doesn't care. Nobody does. But what else is new? All Blaine focuses on is the comforting thought of a locked door.
Tonight is a full moon. White on white on white.
He gets to the school some twenty-five minutes later, and makes his way resolutely to his dorm. He says a few friendly hellos, finding himself back in character easily. When you pretend for so long it's hard to forget how.
"Hey man! Haven't talked to you in a while, how've you been?" He looks up to see Thad smiling directly at him and replies smoothly.
"Fine, just fine. You?" He almost smiles because this is the normal he's always known. Still, something is nagging him in the back of his mind. Something about a certain blue-eyed countertenor…no. He can't think about that right now.
He hears Thad say something good-naturedly and makes his excuses. He has something he needs to do.
He walks purposefully up the now empty halls, it's almost curfew, and when he reaches his room he doesn't hesitate to enter. It's days like these when he is especially happy to have a single room. Putting his hand on the cool handle of the bathroom door, he doesn't even pause. Its familiarity is comforting.
The second he hears the sharp click of the lock he sighs, releasing a breath he hadn't even noticed he was holding. Two weeks. He made it two weeks. But it's all ending tonight.
He hid two blades the day he went through his hiding places with Kurt. Because some promises can be broken. Now he is so thankful he did. Pulling out a drawer, he reaches underneath it, feeling the taped blade.
Gently, he removes it from the wood, turning it over in his hand. It shines in the low light, glinting. The room is pristine. He couldn't have asked for a better moment.
He puts the blade down on the tiles of the counter for a moment and pulls up his sleeves. Now, in his room by himself, there is no fear. The scars are the only things stopping this from being perfect. Running a hand over his left arm he feels the slight raise of the pattern, the lines that cross over themselves too many times to count.
He remembers the fading pink line from two weeks ago, the lone scar on his wrist. It's deeper than most of the others, but he doesn't think about it too much. He isn't here to reminisce. Because seeing that scar makes him think of the look in those eyes, the tears welling up out of pity. The look he never even wanted to see.
He shakes his head. The fear is gone. He knows why he can't stop. He's been through the arguments, the counterarguments, it isn't wrong.
He isn't dumb. Kurt ought to know that.
Without even thinking he presses the blade firmly to his arm, and- oh.The blood wells up at the tip of the blade and all he can see is how beautiful it looks. He realizes how much he missed it and almost laughs at Kurt's worry. It's harmless. How can it be bad if it feels so good?
He sees his phone vibrating again and reaches for it with the uncut hand. The other is being rinsed methodically in the sink, but not before he lets a few drops fall. The beauty almost takes his breath away.
4 missed calls
10 new messages
All from Kurt. He glares at his phone, but opens the messages anyway.
I'm sorry. It was my fault; I shouldn't have walked out on you. Can you call me?
Blaine? Can you answer this?
I was an idiot and I overreacted completely. Forgive me?
Oh god, you're not in the bathroom are you?
I'm coming to your dorm.
I'll be there in a few minutes, just don't do anything drastic.
Please answer me, please.
I'm coming up.
I'm at your door.
Open your door!
Please, I need you to open up. I was stupid and I'm so sorry. I'm not leaving until you open it. I'm calling Wes right now; I think he has a spare key. Just please don't do anything you'll regret.
He doesn't regret anything, not at all. But if Wes opens the door-
"Blaine! Open up!" He suddenly hears the yelling coming from much closer than outside his dorm. He falls silent, freezing. He doesn't know why he is hiding at the moment. Usually the best way to hide is to blend in. And blending in is what Blaine does best.
But at the moment his body isn't functioning logically.
"I know you're in there, just open the door." And, somewhat detachedly, his hands respond by unlocking the door.
Kurt comes bursting in the second he hears the sound and looks directly at Blaine. He seems to ignore the blade and the blood and the bandage on his arm, but Blaine knows better. Kurt isn't oblivious.
Blaine expects a lecture, or at least an apology of some sort. He also expects anger at him for breaking his streak. Two weeks isn't all that long.
What he doesn't expect is what actually happens.
Everything seems to move in slow motion and suddenly he's in Blaine's arms and on the verge of tears and if Blaine lets go of him he will fall. So Blaine do the only thing he can. He pulls him tighter.
"Oh god, Blaine I'm so so sorry, I shouldn't have just left. I said we were in it together and I just left you there. Please, just promise me you'll never scare me like that again."
He wants so badly to promise. He wants to say he'll never cut again and be done with it. He wants to do anything to make this boy happy. But he can't do that. Not when the proof of his weakness is sitting right there on the counter.
Blaine is afraid. Because in the same way that he remembered why he started cutting, he remembers why he tried to stop. Feeling the brunette boy trembling in his arms makes him feel selfish for doing what he did. It makes the scars seem infinitely more shameful. It makes it seem like it isn't worth it anymore. But it also causes more pain. And the more painful it gets, the harder it is to resist. A vicious cycle, indeed.
"I'm sorry," he finally manages to choke out. It's the best he can do.
"I just got s-so scared. You said you tried to kill yourself before and I didn't know what was happening, and then you wouldn't open the door…"
And Blaine gets it. He gets the fear of something going too far because he felt the same way in the beginning. When the adrenaline wore off from the first time he was terrified. He'd read stories about people who died, and people who went to rehab because of 'self-harm.' He remembers the night he actually does try to kill himself, and remembers the almost perverse pleasure he feels at seeing all of the blood spilling onto the floor. He remembers his panic when he starts to lose consciousness. He remembers all of it.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," he repeats, pulling Kurt even closer than before. It's nowhere near enough but Blaine feels lighter, somehow.
"Let's clean up," Kurt replies simply, wiping a hand across his tear-streaked face purposefully. Without waiting for an answer he opens the cabinet, finding the stain remover and the old rags he put there himself two weeks before.
He works methodically, erasing the droplets that Blaine couldn't resist. He sees the blade and rinses it off before putting it in his bag.
"Are there any more?" he asks steadily, and Blaine is completely torn. There is only one remaining. What if Kurt leaves again? What if the pain is too much? What if he just can't resist the way the bright red looks on the beautiful white tile in the pale moonlight?
Kurt doesn't miss the hesitation. "Where?"
Hanging his head in shame, Blaine shuffles over to the shower, taking the blade out of its perfectly chosen hiding place. With an inaudible sigh he places it in Kurt's outstretched hand. They meet eyes, and by some unspoken agreement Kurt knows that this is the last one.
No more hiding. There's nothing left to hide.
"Hey," says Kurt softly, reaching out and touching Blaine's arm, "It's okay. I'm here for you."
It's the first time anyone's ever said that to Blaine.
And for the first time since he was about fifteen, there is no fear or pain or panic. Only a warm feeling in his chest that makes him shiver in happiness. The bright crimson is in the back of his mind because suddenly his favorite shade of red is the one on Kurt's cheeks, and the tinge of his lips, and the way the blush creeps up his face when someone looks at him. Kind of like…now. He's never felt this way before. Nobody cared about Blaine, so why should he care about anybody else?
Blaine looks away reluctantly, a ghost of a smile on his lips. "I don't think we should keep track anymore. Can we just take it a day at a time?"
"Of course we can. I really care about you, Blaine; I need you to know that. If I'd known that walking out on you would…I'm not leaving again. Not even if you want me to."
"You- you care about me?" The words feel strange as they come out. Blaine started cutting because nobody was paying attention anymore. The only people that even looked at him were the same ones who shoved him up against the lockers. Blaine started learning to love the way blood looks against a pristine backdrop because nobody cared about him. Nobody ever paid enough attention to notice.
"Of course I do." It's so honest and heartfelt that Blaine almost starts to choke up. Almost.
"Then I want to try again. It's not going to be easy, I'm just warning you now. I'm addicted. Not only did I need to cut, I started to enjoy it. I loved it." But not as much as I love you. It's on the tip of his tongue, but for some reason he can't explain, Blaine holds back. He wants to be able to say it in the future. He wants to know that they will have time together. He wants to know that one day when the time is right, it'll come out on its own.
As Kurt's smile lights up his face, Blaine imagines a time with no pain. He imagines them sitting together, holding hands. It doesn't matter what they're doing because they're happy. And Blaine feels another foreign emotion: hope.
"No one said it was easy. But I know you can stop. You don't need to do it to make you happy. You have other things, too, you know. I just want you to know that no matter how hard it gets, I'm not letting you go back. You deserve so much better."
He started cutting because nobody cared. Maybe, just maybe, he can stop because somebody does.
A/N: After writing Scarlet on Snow the other night I had this idea for a sequel. Again, not sure what possessed me. I have absolutely zero personal experience with self-harm, so I looked it up. Scary stuff. I also don't know why my work is so angsty considering how happy I usually am. I have this feeling that people read my stories and consider me to be an emo person, which kind of scares me. Have no worries, I am actually quite bubbly in real life. I guess all of the angst is just me getting out my inner sadness so I don't have to deal with it :)
So I'm actually relatively happy with how this turned out. I prefer Scarlet on Snow just because I feel that one is more powerful, but I also felt like it needed a sequel. I would absolutely LOVE to hear what people think of this, because I'm not sure if I portrayed Blaine's emotions quite right or not. Any and all constructive criticism is appreciated as well!
Is anybody else excited for Funeral? I know I am!
Reviews make me want to sing!