Summary: No matter how much the two boys wanted to turn back time, they had to accept that this was the way life went. (Future!Klaine)
Warnings: Character death. Some swearing.
Rating: T for language.
Length: 1,730 words.
Author's Note: I have literally no idea where this came from. Seriously. I just sat down to write some completely AU Pirate!Klaine and then this appears out of nowhere. I'm very, very sorry for my messed up mine - I usually keep it under control and make myself write fluff. Anyway, now this is out of my system, maybe my AU Klaine will arrive. But, this is my second oneshot in less than a week! Maybe my epic writer's block is passing. Well, whatever. Enjoy. If it's possible to enjoy 1,730 words of angst... (Lyrics from Broken Strings by James Morrison and Nelly Furtado).
Let me hold you for the last time
It's the last chance to feel again.
It started with a fight.
"Look, I'm not asking that much of you!" Kurt exploded. "I'm sure you can spare one night a week for your boyfriend, you can't be that busy."
"I am, Kurt! I'm not coming home this late because I enjoy it, I would much rather be here with you."
"Then why aren't you?"
Blaine threw his hands up in frustration. "Kurt! I've told you this a million times: I'm busy. Work is hectic and trying to juggle a university degree along with it is almost impossible."
"I thought you loved me." Kurt crossed his arms over his chest – something Blaine knew he only did when he was feeling particularly vulnerable or upset.
He sighed. "I do love you, Kurt, I do. You should never doubt that. It's just hard to find time for you right now. But we've got our whole lives ahead of us which we're going to spend together."
"So that's it? It's 'hard to find time' for me?" Kurt echoed.
"I'm sorry. As soon as this semester's over I'll be all yours."
"The semester has barely started! I have to be worth more to you than this."
Blaine attempted to placate Kurt – placing his hands soothingly on the younger boy's shoulders. Kurt shrugged the touch off, pointedly looking away from his boyfriend.
"We're both tired," Blaine said. "It's late and we should be in bed. Why don't call it an evening and talk about it in the morning?"
Obviously Kurt didn't think it was as reasonable a demand as Blaine did as he whipped his head back to glare at Blaine through eyes that were bloodshot from lack of sleep.
"That's what you always say! And then tomorrow morning I'll wake up and you will be gone already and I'll just have a shitty note on the kitchen table from you saying 'Sorry, babe, had to go in early – I'll be back later'."
"I promise I-"
"No, Blaine! I don't want to have to deal with any more broken promises from you, okay? I want you to be a proper boyfriend and to try and sort this problem out with me. I want you to listen, for once in your life; I want you to listen to what I'm saying."
Blaine finally rose to the bait and responded angrily instead of soothingly. "What? Am I not a good enough boyfriend for Kurt Hummel?"
"For god's sake, Blaine! Is this why you're never at home?"
"I've told you this again and again, Kurt, I'm not at home because I am busy. Why does this enter your thick skull?"
With this, Kurt stormed to the door, his hands set in tight fists by his sides and his face etched into a glare. Blaine sighed and reached out to catch his shoulder to prevent him walking out.
"Kurt, I'm sorry, that was completely out of line. I'm just tired and stressed..."
The glare softened slightly, but it was obvious that Kurt still wasn't prepared to forgive Blaine just yet. They played this game often (far too often for either of their likings) – there would have to be a few days of tense silence until one of them caved and apologised their heart out and the two of them retired to their bedroom for the night to make up for the days spent ignoring each other. It was a routine that was almost etched into their DNA now. And they both hated it.
"I need some time, Blaine," Kurt said mechanically, barely thinking about the words that slipped through his lips.
"Can't we just skip this bit and move onto forgiving each other?" Blaine asked quietly. "I hate it when we fight."
Kurt merely shook his head and opened the door onto the street, shivering as the cold New York winter wind blew into their small apartment. He hopped down the steps, leaving Blaine to watch helplessly from inside. Still unwilling to take 'no' for an answer, Blaine scooped up Kurt's coat from the back of the couch and bounded out after him, calling out to the boy he loved.
"Kurt, wait. Kurt!" he yelled, stopping only to pull the door closed before sprinting down the block to where Kurt was torn between turning back and carrying on walking. "Kurt! At least take your coat!"
Kurt did stop at that, slowly revolving in the road on the spot to face Blaine as he ran up and handed Kurt the black bundle.
"Thanks," Kurt muttered and then looked up into Blaine's hazel eyes. "...I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"
"I'll get back early," Blaine promised. "So we can sit down and talk."
The night was quiet and there were no signs of life anywhere else in the vicinity. All the nearby houses were asleep and the two boys were the only people braving the cold weather. Kurt's hand lingered on Blaine's as he took his coat. Blue eyes met brown with determination.
"No more broken promises, Blaine. I'll be waiting for you."
Blaine nodded, hearing the unspoken words that Kurt wasn't going to let him avoid the conversation again and pulled him into a quick hug before unwillingly turning on his heel and dragging his feet as slowly as he possible could back down the street to their apartment.
If he had walked a bit faster then he would have been too far away to hear the screech of tires and high-pitched gasp that was too quickly cut off.
It took Blaine ten seconds run back to his boyfriend.
The boy was lying on the road, tossed into the centre like a rag doll. The plain silver car had already bid a hasty retreat – reversing down the road and away from the danger of being tried for manslaughter.
No, Blaine told himself fiercely as he dropped to his knees next to his boyfriend, his hands frantically checking his pulse. Not manslaughter. He's still alive. He's going to live.
"Kurt?" Blaine asked desperately. His fingers pressed into the boy's soft neck, praying to feel the blood still pumping.
He cried out in relief as he felt the gently pulse – but even without a medical degree, Blaine could tell it was too infrequent and weak to be good.
"Kurt, honey?" He asked gently, pulling his boyfriend onto his lap with one arm while searching for a phone with other. He cursed quietly as he remembered they were both back at home – neither boy had bothered to pick them up when they'd stormed out. "Kurt, open your eyes. Please, Kurt, show me that you're in the there. Open your eyes."
Kurt had always been pale, but Blaine didn't like the unhealthy shade of grey that he had become. With fingers numb from the constant wind, Blaine quickly probed Kurt's body – trying to find what was wrong. His fingers left Kurt's hair sticky with warm blood that was rapidly cooling.
"Shit, no." Blaine knew about head injuries; they weren't good. The black coat he had especially given Kurt lay in the road and Blaine reached for it – hoping that it would be an adequate bandage to stop the terrifying amount of blood seeping through his fingers.
"Kurt? Please. Kurt... Open your eyes. Look at me."
Relieved tears fell down Blaine's cheeks as Kurt's eyelids fluttered open, revealing a pair of confused blue eyes. His perfect lips opened and closed uselessly, and the sounds that came out were too soft for Blaine to hear.
"What was that, love?" Blaine lowered his ear to Kurt's mouth. "Say it again?"
"I know, love, I'm sorry. I'll get you inside and warm you up."
"No... Really cold."
His eyelids drooped, almost closing but Blaine's terrified pleading opened them again.
"Kurt, come on, keep looking at me. I know you can do it. I'll get help, okay? You just need to stay awake until it comes."
But there was no one around to help. The night was just as quiet as ever. The icy wind blew against Blaine, but he knew that that wasn't the cause of numbness seeping through his veins. He let a few more tears fall as Kurt's eyes shut again.
It ended with a kiss.
Blaine pressed his chapped lips against Kurt's cold ones, panicking internally at the lack of response. No matter how angry or tired and sad Kurt was, he always kissed back. He pulled back, his eyes roaming over his boyfriend's pale but peaceful face. Kurt hadn't looked that peaceful in years.
"Kurt..." Blaine whispered brokenly. "Oh, Kurt, no. Don't do this to me."
But it was too late.
Blaine pulled the slender boy closer to him, both arms wrapping around the unresponsive body. Everything was numb. Blaine could hardly remember what emotions felt like. Blaine didn't want to remember what emotions felt like because that would mean dealing with the wall of anguish and sorrow that was building up inside him. And Blaine knew that he wouldn't be able to cope with it.
"Kurt," he said, repeating the name while hoping with all of his heart that it would bring him back. "Kurt... I love you. You know that right? You're unquestionably the best thing that's ever happened to me. You're my life. You're the only thing that gets me through the boring days. Even when we're fighting and yelling at each other every night, I don't care because I get to see your face. I get to hold you in my arms."
An unwelcome thought blasted its way into the forefront of his mind.
"This isn't going to be the last time I hold you. This can't be..." He looked down, as if hoping to see some kind of comfort from his love but there was none. Blaine pressed his lips into Kurt's hair, wincing when the sharp metallic taste of blood entered his mouth. He pulled back, and crooned gently, "Let me hold you for the last time."
And then, as if giving up a huge battle, Blaine's heart seemed to break into a million pieces and he sobbed until the pain had numbed him to the core and he couldn't think, let alone move to get help.
Kurt was Blaine's life.
Kurt was gone.
And Blaine couldn't ignore the voices in his head that told him it was his fault.