It's a bit on the short side I know. But I wanted to end this chapter after Shane left, becuase I'm not going to rewrite Dalton. That would be dumb.
If you recall the last thing that happened was Blaine agreed to tell Shane the gist of what happened to Reed.
Don't hate me.
Blaine took a deep breath, preparing for what he was about to say. He just hoped Shane was prepared, too. He didn't need him freaking out or demanding more answers that Blaine couldn't give him.
Shane's eyes were wide with horror the moment he finally spoke.
Blaine was worrying his lip, looking at the ground. "Let's just say that some people figured out that someone as rich and successful as Hilde would pay a lot of money to save her only son."
The sun kept shining, birds keep chirping, and the distant sound of boys laughing and talking continued. The winds still blew, rustling the trees; everything was exactly the same. But Blaine felt different. And he knew Shane had to be as well, even if he didn't immediately speak.
He glanced up after a long stretch of silence, curious and somewhat scared of what Shane's lack of reaction meant. He was standing there, staring at Blaine blankly, completely void of expression. Blaine's eyebrows shot up when Shane started to lightly chuckle.
"No," he started, shaking his head. "No, that –that's not possible –because that would mean that sweet, innocent Reed would have been like…" he stuttered, no longer looking very amused, "Like kidnapped or something."
He finally glanced at Blaine and he could instantly identify the way he was being looked at as sympathetic. He could hear it in Blaine's voice when he spoke, nearly whispering, "He was."
Shane shook his head again. He didn't understand, he couldn't understand. But Blaine just grimaced, making no move to correct his latest statement. He was. He was kidnapped. Reed was kidnapped.
"No," his voice broke. "No, Reed, he couldn't have been. That… that doesn't make any sense! What are you talking about!"
Shane was frantic now, looking worried and scared and that made Blaine feel guilty, even though he wasn't really at fault. He sighed again. "I'll explain. But not everything. That's for him to tell you." At Shane eager nod he continued. "He was taken when he was seven and held for ransom. Hilde was headstrong, and as you know, very rich. She paid to get him back, and because she did it herself the people who took him were never found." Blaine took in a labored breath, looking into his brother's wide, horrified eyes. "And to make sure it stayed that way, that he didn't tell what they did to him, who they were, or what happened, they… made sure he wouldn't tell by making it to where he couldn't."
A hand was clasped over Shane's mouth, keeping in the slew of things he had to say about this. He was too shocked to speak though, and he could barely move. The thought of Reed going through something like that was impossible to comprehend. Not Reed. How could that happen, how could anyone do that to him?
He remembered being angry every time Reed cried or was unable to do something because of his lack of voice, he remembered being so upset that Reed had to deal with the consequences of what he was sure was at the blame of someone else, and now that that was confirmed, it was nothing in comparison to how he was feeling now. Not only was this someone else's fault, but the circumstance of that was unbelievable. Someone had kidnapped Reed and for who knows how long. How long was he with these monsters, undoubtedly crying and terrified? And then to top it off they had actually cut his vocal foldsto ensure they weren't caught, effectively silencing him for life. And that wasn't even all of it. What else was Blaine not telling him? What else happened to him while he was with them? If they could do something like that to him, what else could they do?
Everything was starting to click into place. Every time Reed was scared because of it, how frightened he was during that nightmare, how he physically could not tell Shane what happened, why everyone had been so adamant about not asking him; it all made sense. He was right when he thought Reed was hurt by someone, he was hurt badly. What he wouldn't give to find whoever did this and return the favor.
He realized he was crying when he had to swat the tears away angrily.
"We still don't know who?" he asked quietly in a hoarse voice.
Blaine shook his head miserably.
"How?" he repeated, and Blaine could feel the emotions behind the single word. "How could this happen to him?"
He bit his lip, trying to stop the tears.
Blaine shrugged sadly. "I don't know. But don't let this change the way you see him. He's still Reed. The same Reed you know and I'm assuming fell in love with."
Shane didn't bother wondering how Blaine knew that. He knew his brother could read him like an open book.
"But…" he started, gasping to override a sob that threatened to escape. How could Blaine expect him to go about normally as though nothing was wrong after what he was just told?
Feeling oddly determined Blaine stood up straighter. "No buts. He's fine, Shane. He's here, he's happy, he's moved on. It was ten years ago. He knows it won't happen again, even though he still has memories and nightmares, that's all. He knows he's safe. And he's alive. That's all that matters. It could be a lot worse than losing his voice. He could have lost his life after sustaining an injury like that."
Shane's head was spinning. He could barely keep up with what Blaine was telling him. Reed almost died because of this. "He… almost died?"
Blaine sighed, seeing Shane wasn't going to think about the positive when there was so much negative to focus on. "Did you know when someone is kidnapped they're most likely dead within the first three hours?" Shane took a painful breath. "Well Reed wasn't. Yes he almost died, but he didn't, Shane. He survived, and now he's here with us, laughing and smiling and living normally. He could have easily ended up a statistic, but he didn't. He's alive. Other people aren't so lucky."
Shane glanced up. His brother's words actually helped a lot, but the emotion behind his voice in the last sentence suggesting there was a deeper meaning behind it was not lost on Shane. "…Like who?"
Blaine sighed, running a hand over his gelled down hair. "Dwight's little brother."
Shane's brows furred together. "I didn't know he has a little brother."
"Had. He was kidnapped, too. But he wasn't as lucky as Reed. He was found dead days later. So be thankful these people had another reason for taking Reed. Or he wouldn't even be here. Even if he can't talk. His heart is still beating."
Shane clawed through his hair. It was too much. All of this. But he knew Blaine was right. Reed was alive and that was all that mattered. He sighed tiredly, wiping the last of his tears away, ultimately deciding to see things the way Blaine seemed to. Reed's heart was beating, and when he was ready to tell him everything that happened, Shane would be there to listen.
"Just don't treat him differently know that you know. Remember it's still the same Reed." Blaine gave half a smile. "And Reed's past doesn't define who he is now."
Shane nodded, swallowing the lump in his throat. Reed was still Reed. And he loved him more than ever.
He limped back to Windsor numbly, clothes still stained every different color imaginable, carrying the painting Reed had given him, the lullaby. He still remembered how scared Reed was during that nightmare that made Shane sing to him in the first place. And now he knew why. Or the basics. He couldn't imagine what Reed dreamed about. He just hoped he never would again.
He struggled to walk up the stairs, ignoring Blaine when he asked, "Why did you go out without your crutches anyways? You probably did more bad than good by making that smart move."
As soon as he was in his brother's room he collapsed on his bed, staring at the celling and trying to remember how his life went before he found out. Wasn't he a cheery person? Could he still act like that?
"Thank you for getting paint all over my blankets." Blaine commented light heartedly as he collected Shane's things.
"Any time." Okay, so maybe being himself wasn't so hard. He just hoped he could in front of Reed.
Blaine rolled his eyes. "I'm going to go get your crutches from Kurt and Reed's room. Do you need anything else?"
"Yes," Shane sat up with a little difficulty. "Reed. Bring him in here and then get out. You can take me home after that but you have to let me do this first."
Blaine studied his brother carefully, finally sighing in compromise. "Fine. I'll be right back."
He exited his room, not bothering to shut the door, and knocking on the one across the hall.
"Come in," he heard Kurt's voice answer, beckoning him inside. He entered to see Kurt on Reed's bed, pulling a brush through the other's hair, trying to get the remainder of the paint out. Reed's was wearing different clothes and he looked completely clean, a strong contrast to Shane.
"Hi," Kurt smiled a smile that Blaine found impossible not to return.
"Hey. I just came to get Shane's crutches," he said, picking them up from where Shane had stupidly left them.
He saw Reed's head snap up in alarm at this.
He smirked. "Don't worry, Reed. He's not leaving just yet. He wants to see you in my room." Blaine motioned for Kurt to follow him out, and he did so, squeezing Reed's shoulders playfully before jumping off the bed.
As Blaine and Kurt dropped the crutches off in his room, grabbed the rest of his things, and headed to the car, Reed made his way slowly to where to Blaine's room, butterflies kicking in stomach. He didn't know why he was so nervous though, he had obviously been alone with Shane before. Maybe it was because he was about to leave and Shane requested to see him and only him.
He stepped through the open door cautiously. As soon as he saw Shane sitting on Blaine's couch, his brother's guitar in his hands, he smiled and walked in, closing the door quietly behind him.
"Hi," Shane breathed, and it sounded just as breathless as every other time he greeted him. It was like Reed took his breath away every time. But he was glad it seemed to go unnoticed by the boy of his affection. Reed was only smiling at him sweetly, making his heart melt. He wondered why he thought he would have been hard to act naturally around him, Reed made it so easy.
Reed's eyebrow was raised curiously as he moved to sit beside the boy still covered in paint.
"I have to leave," Shane started explaining and Reed frowned as he was reminded of this. "And I'm going to miss you. A lot." He smiled at Reed's rapidly coloring face. "So I thought a simple goodbye wouldn't really do, and maybe I could convey it to you in song. Is that okay?"
Reed blinked in surprise, nodding quickly so Shane wouldn't think too much of his hesitance.
"Okay so um," he coughed nervously, "You'll just have to excuse my voice and guitar skills." Reed swatted him playfully, making Shane smile. "So this is my goodbye song to you I guess."
Reed watched him expectantly, noticing Shane was lightly blushing as he started strumming the guitar, chords of a familiar Bob Dylan song filling the air.
Shane looked nervous but all it took was one smile from Reed to work up the confidence to find his voice.
I've seen love go by my door
It's never been this close before
Never been so easy or so slow
Reed was already blushing. He knew it was sincere when Shane smiled at him singing the ever true words, "You're gonna make me lonesome when you go."
Dragon clouds so high above
I've only known careless love
It's always hit me from below
This time around it's more correct
Right on target, so direct
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go
Reed smiled sadly. He really didn't want Shane to leave, but he knew there was no way he could stay.
Purple clover, Queen Anne's Lace
Crimson hair across your face
Reed giggled as Shane wiggled his eyebrows, nodding to gesture Reed's messy hair.
You could make me cry if you don't know
Can't remember what I was thinking of
You might be spoiling me with too much love
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go
He couldn't help but laugh as Shane tried to hit a higher note.
"I could stay with you forever and never realize the time!"
Shane grinned at the precious laugh from Reed that earned him.
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go
His grin faded into a sad smile as the end of the song approached, signifying the end of their time together. He loved this song but it nowhere near described how hard it was for him to leave the beautiful boy who was smiling at him as he sang.
You're gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I'll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go
He took a deep sigh, stopping the strumming of the guitar and singing the last line quietly.
"You're gonna make me lonesome when you go."
Setting the guitar down, Shane pursed his lips together in a tight smile, "So that was my goodbye song. I hope you don't think it's too –" He didn't get to finish, for Reed had jumped forward, pulling him in a small hug.
Shane stared ahead of him, momentarily stunned before he snapped out of it enough to hug him back.
Reed was still smiling when he leaned back, mouthing, "I'll miss you."
Seeing Reed mouth something with no voice pulled Shane from his fantasy. He suddenly remembered that Reed couldn't talk (when did he forget that?) and remembering that reminded him of why.
Here he sat, the same boy Shane had got to know over the past weeks, the same boy who was amazing at everything he did except walking, but that seemed to make him even cuter. He was same boy who was sweet enough to put up with all Shane's crazy, but he was the same boy who went through something so horrific but still came out beautiful inside and out.
"You're incredible," Shane murmured, knowing for fact what he said was correct, just not meaning to say it aloud.
Reed's blush was back as he stared at Shane in surprise, wondering where that came from.
"What I mean is," Shane was quick to cover his mistake, "You're an amazing person to have put up with me and my singing voice."
Reed raised his hands and Shane could see the protest before he made the first sign. He grabbed his hands, stopping him. "No, no. Don't disagree. We all know it's true. Just," he dropped the hands, "Thank you. For putting up with me… and being amazing."
Reed's blush was brighter, but he laughed, looking confused as he signed "you're welcome" with a small shrug after.
Shane laughed but his moment of sanctuary was disturbed when Blaine opened the door.
"Mind hurrying up? Everyone is waiting down here to say goodbye."
"Yeah, okay mom," Shane replied, never taking his eyes of Reed's flustered form.
Reed looked down at his hands, blushing brightly and waiting until he heard Blaine leave before he looked back up to find Shane watching him with a dazed look in his eye that only made him blush deeper. He stood up, extending a friendly hand to help the injured boy off the couch.
Shane took it gratefully, partly because any excuse to hold Reed's hand was an opportunity he wasn't going to pass up.
He tried not to feel too disappointed when Reed dropped his hand once he was upright, handing him his crutches, and opening the door for him instead. He followed Reed out of the room and down the stairs, going slow and being careful to prevent anything bad happening to either the injured or the clumsy.
As soon as they exited the building, Shane could see his brother had the car pulled around with all the boys waiting around to tell him goodbye.
"Wow," he grinned as he reached Blaine who was leaning against his car. "You just couldn't wait to get me out of here could you?"
"Actually," Blaine smiled, raising his eyebrows pointedly, "I was making it to where you wouldn't have to walk very far."
"Oh," Shane nodded, still grinning as he looked around at everyone gathered, "Well… I guess this is it. Again. See you around."
Wes stepped forward, "No mountains. Far far away from mountains."
"I study in Colorado, near the Rocky Mountains—that's not really helping the cause…"
Kurt spoke up then, walking over to give Shane a quick hug. "He's right. Stop making us worry about you, will you? Sometimes you can be as danger prone as Reed, you know?"
Shane glanced over at the boy in question quickly, noticing he was standing there beside him, still lightly blushing and staring at his hands. It made him smile.
"Me? Nah… Can't be injuring myself. Because between Reed and I, someone has to keep the other on their feet."
That got Reed's attention, he looked up, hitting Shane's arm playfully.
Shane laughed just as Dwight scurried forward, thrusting something at him so quickly Shane couldn't tell what it was. Even when he had a chance to look at it up close, he still didn't know what it was.
"Uh…" he held the crystal pendulum up to the light. "What's this?"
Dwight's face was tinted with red when he mumbled a quick explanation, "A good luck charm. Keeps you safe. Makes it easier to find you if you were…you know…lost again. I gave Blaine one too."
One glance to his brother, who only smiled and shrugged, told him to play along which Shane found all too easy to do.
"Thanks! I could use this! You know, I'm a geographical idiot, honestly. Let's go out hunting again sometime."
"If you can keep up with me and not end up being fodder, why not…" Dwight returned to his original position beside the twins, who were grinning at him.
A light tug on his shirt made Shane glance down. Reed was standing next to him, wearing the cutest doe look Shane had ever seen. Instantly everyone else disappeared, no one else mattered except the smaller boy who was giving him such a hopeful expression it made Shane's heart stop.
He smiled nervously, handing Shane another paper tube which undoubtedly held another masterpiece painting.
Shane smiled at him curiously, taking the tube from him and moving to open it only to be stop by Reed's soft hands over his. He glanced up to see Reed shake his head quickly, retracting his hands to sign a single word that Shane didn't recognize.
But he understood what Reed was trying to tell him. Don't open it yet. He didn't know why, but he knew he'd do whatever Reed asked him, and he wanted him to open it later, he would.
Blaine stared at his brother with a single quirked eyebrow. He noticed the way his ears turned red, the way he glanced at Reed's hands covering his, the way he stared at Reed like he was something from out of this world, and the way his voice seemed to display the same lightheaded dreaminess he was sure Shane was feeling when he said, "…okay. Sure. Whatever you want."
He knew that was his cue to step forward, before Shane's IQ dropped any further. "Shane? Let's go before we add brain damage to your list of injuries."
A glare was directed towards him before Shane turned back to Reed, staring at him with the same awestruck eyes. "Thank you for this. I guess I'll see you again some time."
Reed's hands were still over Shane's but he couldn't move them. It was hard to breathe as he stared up at him bashfully, his heart pounding. He knew he couldn't say anything. Even if he could he didn't know what. But the thought of what happened last time they parted ways, how empty it felt when they last said goodbye, made him find the words.
He lifted his hands, signing quickly before he lost the confidence to say it.
That was too fast for Shane to even try, so he looked to the twins with a questioning look, surprised to see them each staring at Reed with an eyebrow raised. The startled expression soon changed into a smirk as they translated simultaneously.
"You mean that? You won't suddenly disappear on me again?"
Shane smiled easily, feeling his heart speed up. He held onto Reed's hands. It was pleasantly surprising. Reed didn't want him to disappear again. And, as usual, whatever Reed wanted, he'd get. "I'm not going to disappear. If you need me, I'll be right over."
Reed took a shaky breath, nodding as his face got redder. He released Shane's hands, stepping back slowly.
Shane just smiled and let him go. He knew Reed didn't return his feelings, but at least he thought enough of him to want him around. And that was good enough.
"See you," He looked around at everyone, stopping at Kurt to say "Take care of my brother please! He's like a snail—solid outside and too soft and gooshy inside. His pace with romance is explained that way too."
He resisted laughing when he heard Blaine's irritated sigh. "Shane—let's go!"
"Don't worry. I've got it covered," Kurt said as Blaine got into the car, starting it and motioning for Shane to get in.
The twins came forward to help him in, putting the crutches in the back, and waving goodbye with huge grins on their faces.
Shane waved to Reed, taking in the image of him standing there, waving and smiling with cheeks still lightly pink, one last time before they disappeared from view.
Kurt walked over to Reed as everyone else dispersed, noticing he was still watching the direction of the car, even though it was gone, and holding onto the ring Shane gave him for Christmas. He raised an eyebrow, slightly smirking.
"Well that was interesting." Reed smiled faintly, ducking his head to hide the new blush, making Kurt smile. "Are you planning on telling him any time soon?"
Reed shrugged, keeping his head down. He knew he wanted to. But it was still a scary thought. And he wasn't so brave yet.
He looked up to find Kurt studying him intently. "I know it's scary. But I know you'll do it when you're ready." He smirked again. "And I'm looking forward to it."
Reed grinned at him, a silent thank you. Kurt was right. He would tell him when he was ready.
When Kurt offered his hand so they could walk back to Windsor together, he gladly took it, not minding when Kurt laughed at his giddy expression or the way he skipped when he walked. He didn't really notice his actions. A song was playing around in his head, one that fit his situation perfectly, and matched the mood he was in.
I don't know but I think I may be fallin' for you
Dropping so quickly
Maybe I should keep this to myself
Waiting 'til I know you better
I am trying not to tell you but I want to
I'm scared of what you'll say
So I'm hiding what I'm feeling
But I'm tired of holding this inside my head
If he could hum along he would. If he could sing along he would. But he couldn't. And that wasn't going to ruin his mood.
For right now, dancing around his room while the song blasted out of the speakers more than sufficed.
I've been spending all my time just thinking about you
I don't know what to do; I think I'm fallin' for you
He felt on top of the world, and he wasn't going to let his lack of a voice ruin it.
I've been waiting all my life and now I found you
I don't know what to do
I think I'm fallin' for you…
Kurt was laughing at him again but he didn't care. He would dance around the room, jumping on the bed, tripping off the bed, and lip syncing along to the song as much as he wanted.
He finally knew what he wanted to say.
He was falling in love with Shane.