Heart and Soul
Kurt put the last of the dishes from dinner away, humming "I Could Have Danced All Night" as he went. Burt was watching some sporting event, Finn was out with Puckerman and Sam and Carole was having her weekly girl's night at the mall.
The doorbell sounded just as he kicked the dishwasher closed, spinning on his toe and finishing the song. He smiled to himself. "I'll get it!" He called, jogging through the kitchen and to the foyer. Why someone was out in this weather, he didn't know. Thunder shook the house again, making him jump a little.
"Who is it?" He sang.
"It's me, Kurt." He brightened at the sound of his boyfriend's voice, swinging the door open with a broad grin. It vanished when he saw him.
Blaine was completely soaked. His arms were folded around his chest, goosebumps covering his skin. His blue polo was plastered to his body, curls dripping and stuck to his forehead. He was pale, lips purple and trembling with the rest of hm. His eyes were red-rimmed and swollen. He looked lost and wounded, the look on his face breaking Kurt's heart.
"Blaine?" He asked, breathless.
"Kurt," he said, voice breaking, "can, can I come in?" Without a second's hesitation Kurt reached through the doorway, pulling him inside and into his arms. Blaine squeezed back, his face in his shoulder.
"Shh, shh, what's wrong, sweetheart? What happened?" Kurt said softly.
"I don't like going home, Kurt," he whimpered. Kurt closed his eyes, pained. He'd seen while he was at Dalton that Blaine didn't go home on weekends like most of the other boys. He only went home when he had to. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and during the summer when the school was closed. Kurt never knew why, and he wasn't bold enough to pry into his home life, be he supposed he was about to find out.
"Why not?" He asked gently. Blaine let out a dry sob, still shaking from head to toe.
"M-my dad…h-he and I we…we don't get along," he trembled. Kurt nodded, understanding.
"Okay, okay, it's okay, baby." Blaine felt his heart swell at his words. Kurt's use of pet names was usually limited to sweetie and honey and that word…that word was reserved for when Blaine really needed him, and it was weighed with compassion and tenderness he didn't often receive. When Kurt said that word he knew he loved him. "Can you wait right here for just a second?" He asked. Blaine nodded, keeping a hold of his hand as long as he could before he walked away.
Kurt hurried into the living room, damp from holding Blaine.
"Who is it?" Burt asked, glancing away from the screen.
"It's Blaine…something's wrong." He quickly relayed what Blaine had told him as quickly as he could so he could get back to him. "…and I wanted to know if I could take him upstairs and talk to him and see if he's alright."
Burt nodded thoughtfully, thinking for a moment. "Go ahead. If you need anything just holler."
"Thanks, Dad," Kurt said graciously before running back to his boyfriend.
Blaine was standing right where he left him, staring at his shoes, dripping water onto the rug, still shivering, his hand clasped around the opposite bicep, looking small and fragile. Kurt went up to him, gently lifting his chin. "Can you follow me upstairs, Blaine?" He nodded, bending down to unlace his boots. He kicked them away, glowering at them.
"Those are ruined," he whispered harshly. Kurt smiled sadly.
"They were last season anyway," he said, trying to cheer him up. He took his hand, wincing at how cold it was and turning around to lead him up the stairs to his room. Once there he shut his bedroom door, immediately going to his bathroom to retrieve a towel. He wrapped it around Blaine's shoulders, smiling assuredly before going to his dresser to dig out clothes.
"These are gonna be a little big on you," he said quietly.
"It's okay," Blaine croaked. Kurt set the bundle on the bed before going to his boyfriend again. He wiped his face with the towel, then dabbed his hair. Blaine tried to stifle his shivers but found it impossible.
"We need to get you out of these wet clothes, okay?" Kurt said, touching his cheek. He gasped. This was the first time he'd seen him in the light and he saw the cut and purpling bruise under his eye where someone had hit him. He carefully touched the skin around it, tears in his eyes. "Blaine, what…?" He shook his head. "We need to get you warm."
He carefully eased the polo from his torso, making him shiver more. "Shh," Kurt soothed. "Just for another minute, alright?" He nodded, shaking. He helped him out of his jeans, apologizing when the denim rubbed against raw patches on his skin. It took a moment for Blaine to become aware of Kurt's gaze.
Bruises, dark ones…everywhere. They decorated his torso, all either a violent red or purple. There were old scars on his ribs and the inside of his thighs. Blaine shrunk into himself, looking vulnerable in scared.
Kurt wrapped his arms around him, hugging him tight. Blaine shook against him, squeezing his eyes shut. Kurt rocked him slowly, gently rubbing the back of his neck and kissing his cheek.
"Shh, hey," he gently touched his face, "get dressed before you freeze to death, okay? We'll talk after that."
Blaine nodded, sniffling and taking the clothes from Kurt and going into his bathroom. He dressed quickly, trying not to cry. He sighed when he was clothed, taking a deep breath. They smelled like Kurt. He hugged his chest for a moment, looking in the mirror. This is who he was, a small, shaking weakling. A coward. A vulnerable, jaded bitch. He hated this person. Hated him. He looked away, ashamed.
No uniform to hide behind, no crowd to perform for, no front that he could give. He wasn't strong, he wasn't brave, he was weak…and he didn't deserve the boy in the other room.
He stepped out of the bathroom, feeling exponentially worse than he had when he went in. Kurt draped his robe over his shoulders, rubbing them to get him even warmer. He guided him to his bed, holding his hand. "You want to tell me what happened now?" Blaine nodded. "Alright, just start at the beginning."
"I…I told my dad about you," he breathed. "And he…he got so angry." Kurt pursed his lips, eyes bleary. Blaine took a shuddering breath, blinking rapidly. "I've never seen him that mad before. He screamed at me, grabbed my shirt, tossed me around a little. He talked about God-" Kurt scoffed. "And then he…he called you, he called you that…that awful name. He said that word and it pissed me off. No one gets to call you that, no one. I yelled back. That's when he hit me…when he beat me."
Kurt had never seen Blaine cry, not ever. He'd never seen him this upset either, and it broke his heart to witness.
"I got away from him. I ran out of the house and I…I came here," he sniffed, a tear trekking down his cheek.
Kurt stared at me for a moment. "You ran here? In the rain?" He nodded slowly, lips quivering. "Blaine, you live across town."
He looked at him, so agonized. "I-I didn't know where else to go. I wanted to see you. I need you so badly right now, Kurt." He collapsed against him, sobbing hard.
"Shh, shh, it's alright, beautiful. It's okay now. Shh, I've got you." He ran his fingers through his wet curls, rocking him gently.
"He hates me, Kurt," he choked. "He doesn't want me around. He doesn't care about me."
"That's not true," Kurt assured. "He let you go to Dalton to get away from the people of your old school, right?"
"He only did it to send me away," he spat. "He didn't do it to keep me safe…not, not like your dad did." He was sobbing again, folding himself against Kurt's chest.
Kurt held him for what felt like a long time. "Blaine?" He looked up with vulnerable, wet eyes. He kissed him, feeling the pain and desperation in his lips. "Is this the first time he's hit you?" He shook his head.
"N-never this bad, though."
Kurt could only look at him, his eyes sad and anguished at the sight of his battered and broken love. He cradled his cheek, thumbing tears from his face.
"Did you eat dinner?" He asked. Blaine shook his head. Kurt smiled gently, running his fingers through his curls. "Okay. I'll be right back, honey." Blaine nodded and sniffed. Kurt gave his hand a squeeze before leaving the room, keeping the door open just in case.
He ran down the stairs, hurrying into the kitchen and grabbing the Tupperware holding the leftovers out of the fridge and tossing it in the microwave.
"Kurt?" Burt came in, getting his attention. "Everything okay?"
He shook his head, sniffing a little. "What's goin' on?" He asked.
"Blaine's home life is…unsatisfying," he said, still busying himself in getting Blaine something to eat to keep himself from crying. He took the dish out of the microwave, dishing out the remaining macaroni and cheese, piling it neatly on one side of the plate.
"Unsatisfying how?" Burt said, watching his son whizz around the kitchen.
Kurt swallowed, setting a small bundle of grapes on the plate. "Unsatisfying as in he has a black eye and bruises."
Burt's eyes grew, his frown deepening. "From…?"
"His father," Kurt spat, pouring a glass of milk and wrapping an ice-pack in a dish rag.
"What?" The older man blurted.
"His father hit him. He told him that he and I were together and he…he freaked out. Blaine got out of the house and ran all the way here," he looked at his father, tears in his eyes. "I can't make him go back there, Dad, I can't.
"Neither can I," Burt said firmly, lips pursed. "He's stayin' here. The air mattress is in the closet." Kurt nodded rapidly, a tear on his cheek.
"Thanks, Dad," he whispered, unable to speak any louder. Burt nodded, briefly rubbing Kurt's shoulder before leaving the room. Kurt quickly arranged the dishes on a tray, carrying it upstairs to his wounded boyfriend.
Blaine was staring at his hands, breathing slow, suppressing tears. Kurt placed the tray on his lap, smiling a little. Blaine smiled back, swallowing hard. He chuckled at the tray in front of him, his smile now endearing.
"You cease to amaze me, darling," he whispered. Kurt blushed. He picked up the ice pack, gingerly holding it to Blaine's eye. He winced, hissing quietly.
"Sorry," he said.
Blaine ate slowly, smiling again. "This is really good," he chuckled. Kurt shrugged.
"It's just macaroni and cheese. Well, baked macaroni and cheese…with three different cheeses," he said, smiling meekly. "Dad said you can stay here. You don't have to go back there." Blaine looked at him with that tender, teary-eyed expression.
"Can, can you tell him I said thank you?" he said, voice trembling. Kurt nodded.
"Of course I will." He moved the tray away when he was finished, digging a vibrant golden-rod and pink paisley sleeping bag out of his closet and tossing it on the floor.
"You need to get some sleep," he smiled. Blaine sat up, moving to get up. "Hey, hey, no. You can sleep up here, baby." Blaine's bleary eyes looked at him,
"No, Kurt, this is your bed," he choked, shaking his head, on the brink of tears.
"Shh, shh," Kurt said gently, holding his cheek. "It's okay. I can sleep on the floor. You need the rest." Blaine succumbed to his tears, unable to handle the kindness his boyfriend was showing him and too tired to keep fighting. Kurt held him tight, rocking him, shushing him. After a long moment, Kurt spoke. "Blaine?"
"Yes?" He sniffed. Kurt hated to ask him, he really did, but he had to know just how badly his beloved was hurting. He put his hand on his shaking chest.
"What are these scars from?" He whispered. Blaine winced, shutting his eyes.
"School," he gulped. Kurt stared at him in disbelief, feeling as if he'd been punched in the stomach. A million questions came to mind, but he didn't press. Not tonight. He had another more pressing matter to attend to. He instinctively hugged him closer, holding the back of his head.
"Okay," he said softly. He gingerly placed his hand on his thigh, right over the other, deeper scars. "What are these?" There was a beat of silence before Blaine gained the oxygen to speak.
"Kurt," he sobbed harshly, leaning into his neck, hiding his face. "Y-you know what they are." He took a few long, shaking breaths. "Sometimes the abuse a-at school and th-the abuse at home was too much. I-I…Everyone else hated m-me, why shouldn't I d-do it too?" He shuddered. "I don't do it an-anymore. I haven't for three years, since I started going to Dalton. Since I got friends." He swallowed hard. "I still want to sometimes. I wanted to tonight. I know it's bad Kurt, but I…it hurts so much sometimes." He looked up at him, his brown eyes as naked as his face, broken heart apparent in his voice. Pain soaked his tongue and words far deeper than any rain could. Kurt held his face, caressing his cheek and his neck. "That's why I c-came here. I need you, I need you so much right now."
He cried for a moment; Kurt held him, unsure if there was anything he could say. "I've never told anyone that before," he gulped. Kurt offered a small smile, touching his face.
"Can I tell you a secret I've never told anyone before?" He said gently. Blaine nodded, sniffling, feeling absolutely pathetic. "I used to starve myself. I hated the way I looked. I hated my voice, my personality, everything about me. I thought there must be something wrong with me. I thought I was hideous…so I figured if I didn't eat, if I was skinny enough that I'd be, ya know…" He trailed off.
"Really?" Kurt nodded.
"I, I didn't stop until, um, until you and I started dating," he said softly.
"Wh-why?" Blaine asked, unable to see why Kurt would do that to himself, or why he would have any sort of influence on him.
"Because you…you wanted me. You wanted me the way I was. You didn't see that there was anything wrong with me-"
"There isn't!" Blaine said, hugging him once more. "Don't change anything, Kurt. You're perfect just like this."
Kurt hugged him back, bringing his lips to his ear. "So are you."
Blaine was in tears all over again, shaking everywhere. Kurt combed his fingers through his hair, humming the lullabye his mother used to sing to him. Blaine clung to him, tears stinging his swollen eyes and working down his raw cheeks.
He rubbed his back and his neck, soothing him. It scared him how small Blaine felt, how fragile and the baggy pajamas only heightened the illusion.
He finally slept, cradled neatly in Kurt's lap, looking beautiful and adorable without meaning to. Kurt didn't have the heart to let him go, and even when he tried to lay him down he refused to let go, even whimpering a little.
"Okay, okay, Kurt whispered, holding him again. "I'm here. I won't let go. Hush…" He drifted to sleep holding him, refusing to hurt him by letting him go. "It's okay, Blaine," he assured. "Everything's gonna be alright."
Burt came upstairs, wanting to check on the boys. He'd told Finn and Carole the abridged version of the little he knew, advising them not to pry and leave them alone.
He carefully pushed the door open, hoping they were getting some sleep after this whole ordeal.
His instinctual reaction when he saw them on the bed was to yell and make a fuss. But then he really looked. Blaine, pale and weary, was curled against his son like a small child, his eyes still swollen. Kurt was clinging to the boy, his cheek resting on top of his curls, peaceful, protective. God, he looked like his mother in his sleep.
The sleeping bag rested on the floor, unzipped and folded with the intention that someone was ready to sleep there. He smiled a little, unsure why. He walked over to the pair, tucking Kurt's heavy fur blanket around them. He set the warming ice pack on Kurt's nightstand, trying not to wake them.
He looked at Blaine, checking to see if his eye was alright. He winced at the coloring, but Kurt had taken care of most of the swelling. That's my boy. He thought with a smile.
Kurt stirred, his eyes peeling open. "Dad?" He whispered.
"Shh, go back to sleep, Kurt," he said gently. The boy's eyes grew, realizing where he was and who he was with.
"It's alright. Just get some sleep."
"Okay," he nodded wearily, heavy eyes closing. Burt waited until he was asleep again, brushing his son's hair back. Everything could wait until tomorrow. Blaine's father –who he'd like to sock in the face, and every other bit of drama could wait until tomorrow. Right now they just needed to rest.
He flicked off the light, leaving Kurt's lamp on for a dim glow. He took another look at the two boys, at their hands linked tightly together.
They'd get through this. They had each other.