DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee, FOX does. This story is like super old. Like, last June old. I based it off of the Supernatural episode, "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid," where people come to life as loving zombies before eventually turning and killing their loved ones. Bobby's encounter with his dead wife Karen was the main inspiration for this fic when I first started it.
Warnings include: minor swearing, mentions of blood/gore, character death, slight sexual situations.
"Look, Kurt, I know what day it is, but… Come on; answer your phone, please. We can go out and see a movie or something. You used to always go to the movies. Call me back, pleas—"
Kurt angrily presses the seven key on his phone, erasing the last seconds of Finn's voice. Tears well up in his eyes and he shakes his head, trying to prevent them from falling down his face. How dare Finn try to get him to go out, and on tonight of all nights?
Collapsing onto the couch, Kurt pulls a pillow up over his stomach, curling his legs up under him. He stares blankly at the TV, worrying his bottom lip between his teeth. On the table next to the couch is a turned-over photo, black velvet collecting gray-white swirls of dust. His slender fingers clench into the fabric of the pillow.
"I—" His voice cracks in the silence of the room. He swallows, and whether it's a quieter way of clearing his throat or if he's just choking back tears even he doesn't know. "I miss you, Blaine."
Says, "Happy birthday."
The photo has been turned over for five years.
Kurt's usually-perfect hair is unkempt and unruly. He can't remember the last time he had a shower, wonders how and why he's let himself get this bad. Every year he gets like this. He forgets to eat, forgets to live. Forgets that he was once a functioning member of society. That he had it all.
And he doesn't care, doesn't give two shits that Blaine's keys are still on the hook by the door as if he's going to still leave for work every morning with a sunny smile and a promising kiss, that all his clothes are still intermingled with Kurt's in their closet, that his toothbrush is still in its holder on the sink.
Kurt had never realized how much like his father he was becoming.
Blaine had been his first real love, his only love that he truly counted. Kurt's living in a pristine bubble of clichés now, he could say, but lately anymore he doesn't say much. It's a change from the Kurt Hummel of Dalton Academy-McKinley High, the one who was too over-the-top, too himself to blend in, the kid who wore a kilt to his junior prom and was crowned prom queen and took it all in stride, the one who could belt selections from Gypsy or Wicked like it was nobody's business, now reduced to a shell of his former self.
Call him melodramatic. He eats take-out every night for dinner, most of the time that being the only thing that he eats. He hates sleeping in his bed; it feels too cold, impersonal, and big. All the pictures featuring two happy boys, one dark-skinned and one a near-perfect porcelain, are all turned over or hidden. My heart is fragile; he tells himself, had told himself the day all the pictures were moved. I can't stand any more of this breaking.
One thing he never mentions to others when he actually does speak up is that Blaine died in his arms. Kurt had watched as the life slowly left his boyfriend, watched as Blaine gasped wetly one last time, fingers loosely digging into Kurt's bloodstained shirt, the expensively beautiful Ralph Lauren number reduced to a crimson rag that would soon be met with licking flames. It's a nightmare that frequently prowls Kurt's subconscious like a vicious, hungry panther.
If someone asks about Blaine, Kurt gives a short, concise answer.
"We were in the wrong place at the wrong time."
Why are they asking, anyway? That was five years ago and the wound has never healed, each new question just becoming another tear into it, opening it up further and further until it will inevitably swallow Kurt whole. Kurt rests his head on the back of the couch, swallowing. He doesn't want to speak anymore, knows that Blaine can't hear him no matter how hard he wishes that he could.
In the beginning, he had even pushed his atheism aside, praying to God every night to just let this be a dream, please, God. Let me wake up with Blaine's arms wrapped around me.
Every morning he woke up on the couch, cold and alone and with an empty sadness burrowing itself even deeper into his soul.
In the corner of the apartment are a dusty acoustic guitar and a slightly-dusty keyboard. Kurt hasn't touched them, not even to stroke a finger lazily, reverently across an out-of-tune string that would fill the small apartment for a few seconds with melancholic, discordant notes. Music only ever reminds him of Blaine and their teen years when solos and performing at Regionals, Nationals was everything, Blaine's voice lulling him to sleep when sleep just wouldn't come on its own.
Kurt doesn't want to cry. He's spent way too much time crying, but he can't help the torn feeling in his heart or the tears now rolling down his cheeks, tracing all-too-familiar paths down the moisturized skin. The realization that he'll never again have another set of arms wrapped around his body is just too much.
A knock at his door makes him jolt up. He looks at it curiously, knowing it's sometime around ten at night, and all his friends know better than to drop by unexpected anymore. He waits a few seconds, unsure, and the knock is heard again, a little more urgent this time.
Kurt forces himself up off the couch, body feeling heavy and shaky, and shuffles to the door. He doesn't bother to ask who it is before he's opening it with a lazy flourish. He blinks a few times with unfocused eyes, a little annoyed that someone would come over so late.
Kurt's eyes snap open and he looks up, stumbling backwards and almost falling to the floor. Standing in the doorway and looking exactly the same as he did five years before, albeit a little paler is Blaine Anderson.
A scream bubbles in the back of Kurt's throat but he manages to swallow it down. His heart is racing, his thoughts completely blank. He grips onto a chair to steady himself as he stares unblinkingly at this Blaine impersonator. There's just… It can't be.
Blaine smiles, as warm and toothy and inviting as ever. "But it is, Kurt."
Kurt belatedly realizes he probably said that last part out loud. "I—" He stops, mouth drying up. "Y-you're dead. At least, you're supposed to be." Maybe he's dead. Maybe he finally died of a broken heart or malnutrition. Something that would explain this better because there's no way Blaine Anderson is standing in Kurt's—their—doorway, not when Kurt knows his boyfriend is dead and buried.
Blaine reaches out a hand and Kurt jumps back, afraid. "You… There's no way you're actually Blaine. He's dead. I buried him. I buried him along with half my life."
There's something in Blaine's eyes, a bright gleam in the hazel irises, and he says, "You're still alive. You're not hallucinating. I'm really here because I love you. I miss you, and I was tired of seeing you slowly kill yourself." He pauses and allows himself a little smile before saying, "And Pavarotti is a lousy companion up there, anyway."
Kurt doesn't know what to say, whether he wants to laugh or cry or admit himself to a psych ward right now because that sentence… That just confirmed that it is one hundred percent Blaine Anderson standing in front of him.
Blaine's body looks tangible. He's in the clothes he was buried in, and while most of him is relatively clean, there are a few spots of dirt on his cheek and hands. Kurt takes a tentative step forward, his blue-green eyes intent, and slowly reaches out a hand. His fingertips brush against Blaine's chest and that's all it takes before he flings himself forward, wrapping his arms around Blaine's torso because Blaine is really there.
He sobs, face buried in the crook of Blaine's neck, relishing in that familiar position and just how much he's missed this man. Blaine smells like dirt, wood, and formaldehyde, a disgusting combination that brings home just exactly what's going on, but Kurt doesn't freaking care. Blaine's gentle fingers card through Kurt's hair, other hand pressed flat against Kurt's lower back.
"Look at you," Blaine coos, pulling back a little to look at where Kurt's too-long oily brown hair is twisting around his fingers. "I never thought I'd see the day that you would stop grooming yourself."
"I fucking missed you," is Kurt's honest response.
"I know." Blaine's voice is soft, gentle and a little surprised at Kurt's expletive. "I missed you, too."
Slowly, cautiously, Kurt tilts his head down, eyes meeting Blaine's. They don't say anything for a few minutes, and finally Kurt leans in, presses lips soft and hesitant against Blaine's, shocked at first at how cold Blaine's lips are.
Blaine kisses back, no hesitation, and one hand tightens in Kurt's hair while the other goes to Kurt's side, stroking over his ribs and resting at his hip. There's no head-spinning lust, no aching need, just a deep yearning to be close after years of separation.
Apparently Blaine also doesn't have to breathe, but Kurt does, and he has to pull away for air when he feels like his head is going to explode. He rests his forehead against Blaine's, watches the lines and features on the other boy's face blur until it's a canvas of mocha skin and bright honey eyes.
Breathes out softly, "This is surreal."
Says, "I just… I really want to make love to you. I missed that the most."
Blaine smiles, not that wide, toothy one, but a small, tight-lipped one that stretches out the corners of his mouth as soft as possible. He tucks a lock of Kurt's hair behind his ear, gently trailing his fingertips over the lobe. "I missed that too."
Their hands still fit perfectly together even after all this time.
When they make love there's no words said; everything is spoken through moves so seamless they appear choreographed. Kurt kisses down Blaine's torso as he pushes into him, and Blaine clutches at Kurt's back and locks his ankles around Kurt's waist.
Blaine's skin is cold to the touch, but his breath is warm and moist, something that is a little bit shocking, as he presses his lips against Kurt's carotid artery. He lets out a quiet moan and strokes the back of his hand across Kurt's cheek, eyes wide and reverent, and it all comes rushing back too fast, all their nights together from their fumbling first time in Blaine's empty McMansion to their unbeknownst-to-them last time a day or so before Blaine was killed. Kurt closes his eyes against the onslaught of emotions, channels all his focus on the slick heat of Blaine around him instead, wondering how someone so cold on the outside is so fiery inside.
He lets out an answering moan and presses their lips together, hands sliding from Blaine's hips up to his neck. They come seconds after each other, and Kurt remembers a time when anything in the bedroom was rough and loud, with Blaine's smoky voice cajoling him to scream my name, Kurt, scream it so fucking loud the neighbors give us a lawsuit. He lives only in the moment, not wondering how this is happening, just caring that it is.
Blaine breathes heavily from what Kurt can only assume is memory, Kurt collapsing next to him on the bed, both sets of eyes staring at the ceiling. The way Blaine's chest isn't moving after those few exhales is maybe a little unnerving, but Kurt pushes that thought from his mind as he snuggles next to Blaine, an arm slung across that toned, dark chest.
"I love you," he whispers, nose pressed against Blaine's shoulder.
A hand rests against his hip. "I love you too, baby."
Waking up the next morning leaves Kurt disoriented, and there's a few seconds of panic when he comes to the slow realization that there's another body beside him. Then his eyes slant open and he sees Blaine's familiar back, spine curved as he sleeps.
Kurt yawns and sits up, hair a mix of sex-and-sleep messy, waves sticking up and stuck to the sides of his face at odd angles. Blaine smiles and sits up on his elbows with his own head of curly hair askew, just watching as Kurt slowly starts to wake up.
When Blaine speaks, his voice is soft. "I missed this," he says.
"Seeing you wake up. You were always the cutest in the morning."
Kurt can't help the blush that spreads. He is and always will be a sucker for Blaine Anderson Warbler. The forgotten nickname comes to his conscious almost unwittingly, but he finds himself amused and comforted by the familiar name. He brushes a lock of hair behind an ear—it doesn't stay, he thinks darkly, and Blaine's amused smile shows that he noticed as well—as he tries to piece together the events of last night.
Blaine showed up at his doorstep, kind-of-alive-but-yet-not. They made love like the pining lovers they are. Maybe Kurt's dreaming. Maybe his mind's finally snapped from the years of built-up pressure and he should have admitted himself to a psych ward.
But looking at Blaine's brightly smiling face, running a few strands of that dark hair through his fingers as if testing, Kurt knows this isn't a dream. This is real, and by whatever miracle God had sent him, he was genuinely happy for the first time in five years.
"I love you," is what Kurt says after the comfortable silence he had grown used to when Blaine was still alive. "I love you so much." His voice falters slightly on the last word, and he closes his eyes to fight back the swell of tears.
"But you still blame yourself for what happened to me."
Kurt's eyebrows rise in surprise at Blaine's statement. The scar from the wound is still on Blaine's abdomen—Kurt noticed it last night but never said anything—and now Blaine touches it with gentle fingertips. "You still think it's your fault that we were there when it happened."
"I-I…" Kurt tries to say something, but he ends up looking down at the sheet, picking at a loose thread. "We were out there so late. Everyone else had already gone home and we were still on our second round of drinks."
He doesn't want to break down. He's done enough of that. Blaine says softly, "Kurt." Kurt looks up and Blaine's face is slightly blurred from tears. "It's not your fault. Okay? I can't blame you for that accident." His fingers are cool when they touch the top of Kurt's hand. "Put it behind you."
"That's—that's why you're here, isn't it? To help me cope with my crippling guilt."
Blaine laughs heartily, and Kurt feels the corners of his mouth tugging up as well. "Just don't worry about that right now. I'm here and that's all that matters."
No one else has to know that Blaine's back, Kurt decides. They wouldn't believe him, and Finn and Rachel already think that he's crazy enough. Right now, the two of them are happy to stay in the apartment, curled around each other like Siamese twins. The best company has always been themselves, five years of separation or not.
Of course Finn calls, and for once Kurt answers. He fends off the worried exclamations from his step-brother and says he's all right. Coping better, he says. Finn takes that as a straight answer and gives up, instead telling Kurt how glad he is that his best friend is back to his normal self and that Rachel will be pleased with his progress.
Kurt sneaks a glance at Blaine, who's lounging on the couch in nothing but low-slung sweatpants, re-familiarizing himself with his guitar, and smiles. Coping better indeed.
It's going on the third day when Blaine starts to act weird. He gets shaky at odd times, and he sometimes zones out when he and Kurt are talking or making out. At first, Kurt isn't too worried about it. Whatever this thing is that brought Blaine back to life, it could have adverse effects. Maybe it's only a few minor speed bumps.
They can get through it, right? And most of the time Blaine is as normal as can be. He even goes so far as to cook for Kurt, though he himself is unable to eat. "I missed cooking," Blaine says wistfully as he sets down a plate of scallop linguini in front of Kurt before taking a seat across from him.
The food is delicious, and Kurt says, after he's done swallowing a particularly large mouthful, "I missed your cooking too." He does; Blaine had made their first few years in their little tenement building in New York bearable with his stunning culinary skills and penchant of singing whatever Top 40 song he could think of whenever he wanted with the claim that it was to keep his voice "limber" for his vocal classes.
It was all a load of crap, but Kurt loved him all the more for it.
Blaine doesn't sleep now, Kurt's figured this much out. So while Kurt is sleeping, he assumes Blaine watches TV, or strums on the not-as-dusty-as-before acoustic, or cooks as he now has learned. Blaine never divulges what he does and Kurt never pries. They're both content with their lives gaining some semblance of normality.
Well, besides the fact that Blaine is a reanimated corpse.
"Why did you never cook like this when you were alive?" Kurt jokes as he gets up to rinse off the now-empty plate. "I mean, you still made awesome food but nothing ever this fancy."
"You get a lot done when you can't sleep," Blaine replies. "Experimenting is pretty cool."
Kurt raises an eyebrow and drops the plate carefully into the sink. "Oh, really?"
Blaine purses his lips and crosses his legs. "Really." Kurt's advance goes unknown.
Kurt notices that where Blaine's hand is resting on the wood grain of the countertop, the digits are twitching rapidly and Blaine's wrist occasionally spasms. Blaine looks down and shakes his hand, holding it in the air until the twitching stops. He notices Kurt's hawk-eyed gaze on him after he gently sets his hand back down on the countertop.
A shrug is Blaine's answer. "Muscle spasm, I guess."
Kurt doesn't want to worry, but he is.
Blaine gets worse on the fourth day. He's sluggish, and more than once he's dropped something. A fever begins to escalate, rising up from 99 degrees to105 degrees in the span of only a few hours. Blaine begins to tell Kurt he's hungry, but for what he doesn't know, and with the worried bite of his lip, the sallow tinge that's slowly starting to take over his skin, Kurt gets horror-movie visions of spilled blood and ripped limbs. He doesn't try to stop it.
Kurt really doesn't want to think about side-effects, doesn't want to think of Blaine as anything but normal. The zombie factor doesn't register, even though that's what Blaine is, plain and simple. Kurt isn't in denial, and he's certainly not ignoring what's there, but this is Blaine, a knight in shining armor of sorts.
In the end it's Blaine who tells him. They lay in bed together, shoulders touching, and Blaine breaks the silence with, "You know I'm turning." There's such a frigid air of certainty in there that Kurt shivers and closes his eyes and forgets how to breathe again.
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Like hell you don't." Blaine's voice takes on that fiery tone it had on those rare occasions when they would fight. "I don't have much time left before I turn into a full-fledged zombie and want to start munching on you in a way that's decidedly not sexual."
Kurt laughs bitterly and tries to stave off tears. "How do you even know?"
Blaine gets up on his elbow and glares down at Kurt. "Stop ignoring this, Kurt. I don't want to hurt you. This is happening. I took my temperature earlier; it's almost 111 degrees."
A tear slips its way down the side of Kurt's face to disappear into his hairline. His voice cracks when he speaks. "I—I don't want to lose you again, Blaine. It was hard enough the first time, but the second time?"
Blaine nods, placing a comforting hand on Kurt's shoulder. "But this time you control it."
Those six words are close to what Kurt had wished he had heard those five years ago. When he could have controlled what street they went down, what men they would encounter, whether those men would be LGBT-friendly or not, whether or not Blaine would live or die.
He couldn't control anything, couldn't control his voice or his body when the men barreled down on top of them, grabbing Blaine from where he was twisted around Kurt like a tipsy snake. He couldn't control the silver glint of the knife in the grimy city light, the hateful words that spewed from various mouths.
Variations of "Looks too straight to be a fag, right?"
The words had floated hazy and slurring in Kurt's mind. He could only concentrate on the absolute fear in Blaine's eyes, his panicked intakes of breath. The bloodcurdling scream when the knife sunk deep into his stomach, drawing up, and then down. The way the men dropped Blaine like a useless rag doll, polluted water splashing up around his body, the way his blood dyed the water a deep red as their cowardly, hateful footsteps faded into the night and life went on for everyone else.
Kurt would have given anything, been like Ariel and sacrificed his voice, his body, to keep Blaine alive, to prevent himself from ever having to feel Blaine's fingers clutch uselessly at his shirt, from ever having to see blood trickle out of his mouth and see the light slowly dim from his eyes until his words of I love you so much, Kurt and I'm never saying goodbye, even now gradually fade into a stomach-churning gargle and he breathes one last time before his fingers fall slack from the stretched collar of Kurt's shirt.
Kurt looks into those eyes again, now alight with life but containing something darker, something more sinister, and he takes Blaine's hands in his and says, "I control it now."
A gun is too loud even for New York, they decide. They wonder back and forth between various objects until Blaine looks up at Kurt, mouth drawn in a thin line as he ponders for a few seconds. "What?" Kurt asks, stomach tying itself into knots as he awaits an answer.
Blaine takes his hand and interlocks their fingers, just staring at their clasped hands until he says, almost in a whisper, "Be a master of my fate this time." He kisses their fingers and Kurt shivers at the mix of hot and cool. "Use a knife."
"Blaine," Kurt gasps and desperately wishes that Blaine would take those words back. He wants to figure a quick and painless way, maybe push it off until tomorrow even though he knows that time is running out as quickly as turning a page in a book, as flipping over an hourglass.
"Please, Kurt," Blaine replies, "I need you to do this. I don't want you suffering even more after I'm gone this time."
"But I will!" Kurt cries, nearing hysteria. "I know I said I wanted to be able to control everything, but I don't want to be responsible for your second death!" He almost laughs at the ridiculous words as they leave his mouth and feels, once again, like he's landed a leading role in a low-budget horror film.
"And you think I want to be responsible for your first death?" Blaine's eyes and tone are hard, unrelenting. "Kurt, I will hurt you if we don't do something. I don't want to do it, and I trust you. Please."
Kurt bites his lip and looks away, squeezing his eyes shut. Blaine's right: being able to play God this time would undoubtedly dislodge that lump in his throat, and Blaine has that puppy dog look that Kurt hasn't been able to resist since they were juniors in high school. He takes a deep breath, debating before he finally presses a kiss to Blaine's lips and shakily says on an exhale, "I'll do it."
By the next morning Blaine is undeniably worse. His eyes are bloodshot and no longer the sparkling hazel Kurt has grown accustomed to. His limbs shake almost severely and in more frequent waves, and he complains of hunger on an hourly basis.
Kurt fingers the largest kitchen knife that they own. It hasn't been used in awhile, so it's still sharp, and Kurt takes the time to admire the sheer power held behind the steel blade and wooden handle. The edge slices through his fingertip grooves and small crimson droplets of blood well up ominously.
Blaine, either sensing the blood or just strolling through the kitchenette, stops behind Kurt. "That it?" he asks in a low undertone. Kurt can't bring himself to answer so he nods instead, closing his eyes briefly.
"We can't escape this, Kurt," Blaine murmurs, hands tracing cool trails up and down Kurt's arms. "It's now or never."
"I want it to be never." A few tears slip unbidden from Kurt's eyes and he turns to face Blaine, burying his face into his neck. They stand, pressed together, still as statues, Kurt's hitched gasps permeating the air.
"It's now," Blaine says as he rubs up and down Kurt's back. "I can't stay here, Kurt."
Kurt nods, wiping his eyes as he takes a few steps back to grasp the kitchen knife, fingers clenching around the smooth wood. A single tear trails its way down his face and he takes one last look at Blaine, Blaine in his white v-neck and tight jeans, his unkempt hair and bushy eyebrows, his kind eyes and his trusting smile.
Takes one last look, says, "I love you, Blaine."
Steps forward and drives the knife into Blaine's stomach just a few centimeters from the old scar. Tries not to sob as he thinks, say hi to Pav for me.