Missing The Center
AN: This is a sequel to my story Trust and Honesty. It's set four years in the future. To understand this, you must at least peruse Trust and Honesty. Please read and review.
Disclaimer: I own nothin! GAH!
"Baby, I know, but I still can't cook for shit and you won't be home till late and you've been tired lately. So I'm ordering a pizza, and you can heat it up when you get back." Blaine explained through the phone. "I'll get you the healthiest thing they have alright?"
Kurt huffed. "Okay, but don't make this a habit Blaine. Just because my work load's gotten bigger doesn't mean you can start eating like a caveman, or Finn."
"I'm going to tell him you're still insulting him after three years of not living together. I'm going to tell him and he'll whine to his mom and Carole'll tell Burt and you'll get yelled at." Blaine teased.
"You're nearly twenty-one years old, stop tattling like a little girl." Blaine could practically feel Kurt's glare through the phone. "Besides, if you do that I'll tell your uncle about our walk in Central Park last week."
"I only wore a collar because I had too!" Blaine exclaimed, but embarrassment flooded him. He'd needed to run around and stretch his four legs; it had been the only option. They'd went early in the morning to avoid as many people as possible.
"I'm not going to tell him that. I'll tell him it was bright pink, you picked it out, and you put it on yourself." Kurt threatened.
"Okay, fine!" Blaine gave up.
Kurt was surely smirking. "I knew it. I always win." Blaine stuck out his tongue even though Kurt couldn't see him. "Put your tongue back in your mouth, Puppy."
"I hate you." Blaine grumbled.
"You love me." Kurt laughed.
"I love you." Blaine agreed. He wasn't even able to properly joke about that, it felt a little wrong when Kurt wasn't in front of him. However, it wouldn't stop him from teasing his boyfriend every once in a while. "So when'll you be home exactly you think?"
"Two hours, maybe two and a half, depends on the subway." Kurt answered. "Order your pizza, I'll get home as soon as I can."
"Alright baby." Blaine smiled. "I'll see you in a bit."
"Bye for now." Kurt made a kissy noise and Blaine laughed. Then they hung up and Blaine called the pizza place. It was the best one he and Kurt could agree on that was close.
He'd just finished ordering and was being told how long the wait would be when he felt his stomach rip out of him. He let out a loud gasp of pain, actually looking down to see if he was physically hurt. His body was fine, but his mind suddenly swirled with intense pain accompanied by complete and utter sadness. Blaine didn't even notice the tears streaming down his face as he sunk heavily to the floor.
He couldn't move. His head hurt too much. His insides felt like they were gone. This was completely different than anything that had made him use that metaphor before. This felt like he was shifting without cutting off his nerve endings. This felt like his entire body was going to explode and implode at the same time from the sheer pain.
The sadness that permeated his entire being was just as bad as the pain. He had no idea why it felt like his entire world was ending, why it felt like there could never be anything alright again. This was worse than anything he'd ever felt before, worse than anything he'd ever even imagined miserable could feel like.
Everything in him wanted to make him scream, the pain that was ripping his body apart and the sadness that made it all throb. But he couldn't scream, he couldn't get enough air in his lungs to scream. The only thing he could do was gasp.
Kurt had come home to an empty apartment and a note from the super taped to his fridge. He'd read the note and quickly descended into a panic. He hunted down the super, waking her up from her sleep and demanded to know which hospital Blaine had been taken too. He also wanted to know what happened!
He found out from the super's helpful and detail oriented son that when the pizza guy came fifteen minutes after they had hung up and heard him, he knocked on the door only to find it open with the pressure. Blaine had a bad habit of not padlocking the somewhat broken door. He couldn't seem to get it through his head that the knob was broken and didn't always close all the way.
The pizza guy had seen Blaine gasping on the floor, holding onto his sides as if to keep them exactly where they were, he'd taken pity and called 911.
It took four minutes for them to get to the room, and another two to get Blaine back into the ambulance. The super's son had called her out into the hallway then, and she had locked their door for them. She didn't know Kurt's number, only Blaine's, so all she'd been able to do was leave a note.
It took twenty minutes to get the name of the hospital out of them, and he was off like a bullet once he finally had. He lied to the nurses and told him he was Blaine's cousin. He wasn't sure if they believed him or if they just took pity, but either way he was let in.
Blaine was lying in his bed, completely still. The heart rate monitor attached to him was beeping evenly, at the perfect rate for a human. Kurt instantly freaked out. Blaine's heart wasn't meant to beat that slowly! He ripped the monitor off Blaine and pulled the IV out of his arm. An alarm went off and a nurse was quickly in the room. She yelled at Kurt for what he'd done.
Kurt had almost told Blaine's secret in that second, but only the thought of being put in the mental ward and being too far away to keep them from killing Blaine stopped him. He was immediately dialing Blaine's parents. He got Nenette.
"He's in the hospital, and they got his heart rate down to what's normal for us." Kurt explained frantically. "You have to help me get him out!" He didn't even care that the nurses, and the doctor that had come in, were giving him strange looks.
"Kurt calm down." Nenette told him, her voice strong and authoritative. "I know what's happening to him. He needs to get out of the hospital. Put the doctor on the phone with me right now." Kurt handed the doctor the phone. He guessed he told the doctor it was Blaine's mother, because the woman took the phone.
"He's got…"The doctor listed off a list of symptoms that Kurt didn't listen too. He glared hatefully at the woman who put the IV back in Blaine's arm. That stuff was killing him!
"What's his temperature?" Kurt asked.
"It was high but we brought it down." The nurse answered. Kurt wanted to cry even harder.
"You're killing him." Kurt whined. He had no idea how loud his voice was, but nobody looked at him, so he guessed they didn't hear.
"He's not a minor; you don't automatically have power of attorney over him. I can't even be sure you're actually his mother. You're a woman on the phone."
The words 'power of attorney' struck deep in Kurt. "I'm his power of attorney." Kurt said loudly. Everyone stared at him. "I have the papers in our apartment."
"Get them." The doctor said. He bid Nenette farewell and returned the phone to Kurt.
"I have to hang up now Nenette. I'm his power of attorney."
"Keep him safe, get his heart rate back up and make him warmer. He'll be okay; don't worry about any of the rest of it. I'll tell you once he's not being hurt by them anymore. Oh, and don't worry about the bill. Send it to me when you get it" She answered and they hung up.
Kurt raced to his apartment and back as quickly as possible. Blaine's life literally hung in the balance. He thought enough to bring a few sweaters and a pair of sweat pants with him. After the doctor couldn't deny him, Kurt had them remove Blaine's IV and take the heart monitor off. "He's not sick." Kurt insisted. "I know how to take care of him."
The doctor didn't like it, but Kurt didn't give a flying fuck. "How long until the drugs wear off?"
"An hour at best." The doctor answered. "It's really dangerous for his heart to beat that fast, you shouldn't be doing this Mr. Hummel."
"You don't understand." Kurt shook his head and pulled a sweater over Blaine head. He struggled until Blaine's arms poked through the sleeves. He put another sweater on, thankfully this was a zip up and he could just put it on backwards to fix later. The sweatpants were a little tough, but he managed it.
"You're going to make him overheat." The doctor had said. It was obvious she didn't agree with what Kurt was doing, but she couldn't do anything about it.
"C'mon Blaine." Kurt whispered. He pressed his fingers into Blaine's neck at his pulse point and counted. "C'mon." Kurt whined. He looked at his watch and counted again. It wasn't any better. Blaine's heart was still too slow. "I hope this doesn't backfire on me." Kurt mumbled to himself and pulled a chocolate bar out of his pocket. He liked to tease Blaine sometimes, and he'd been planning to tonight. He bit off a hunk and pressed it into Blaine's mouth.
"Listen, as much as I hate saying this. If you refuse to let him have treatment, you're going to have to leave with him." The doctor said after a few minutes. Kurt ignored the woman. Instead he pressed a bit more chocolate into Blaine's mouth. He checked Blaine's heart rate again. It was a little faster.
"Blaine, baby, wake up." Kurt pleaded. Blaine's eyelids fluttered. "C'mon baby."
"Hurts." Blaine mumbled and Kurt wanted to cry with joy.
"It's okay baby, I can make it better." Kurt wiped Blaine's curly hair away from his forehead. "Can you get up baby, or do I have to wheel you out?"
Blaine tried to move, and failed. "Wheel." Blaine answered. His voice was rough, but still so perfect.
"Can I have a wheelchair for him?" Kurt asked the doctor. The woman looked shocked, but she nodded. She left then. A few minutes later a nurse came with a wheelchair. Kurt shooed her away as she tried to show him how to work it. Instead he lifted Blaine as best he could and deposited him in the chair. He'd had to do it for Artie a few times, not as much as Finn or the other boys, but enough that he could keep the chair in place as he maneuvered his boyfriend. "You're heavier than Artie, babe. Maybe you should cut down on the bagels."
Blaine tried to laugh but it came out as a groan. His eyes still weren't open, and he wasn't supporting himself in anyway, but he was already doing better than he'd been before. Kurt rubbed up and down his arms to create friction. He was really worried about Blaine right now, those doctors had messed him up.
He got Blaine almost all the way to the lobby before the doctor caught up. She tried to talk Kurt into having Blaine stay, but Kurt ignored her. He hailed a cab and loaded Blaine in. His boyfriend was no help whatsoever. When they got back to the apartment this became a bigger problem than it had been before. Kurt was only half way up the stairs before he had to either put Blaine down and rest, or drop him. Kurt opted for the resting plan.
The super's son found them a few minutes into Kurt's rest and valiantly picked Blaine up, he tried to pick Kurt up as well but Kurt was having none of that, and carried him to their apartment. "I like you guys, you're really cool to me." He'd said before he'd left. Kurt wished he knew his name.
Kurt turned the heat on in the bedroom despite it being July and turned the water on its hottest setting in the shower. He stripped Blaine of the clothes he'd painstakingly put on him, pushed him under the spray, propping him against the wall and managed to get out of his shirt and pants before Blaine started to slip.
"You need to lose weight." Kurt huffed into Blaine neck as he caught him. Blaine nuzzled into Kurt, seeming to finally wake up a little more.
Blaine felt like he'd been in a train wreck when he finally came too enough to actually think. He was in the apartment he shared with Kurt, wrapped up in the boy he loved as well as three blankets. The room was abnormally hot for July, and Blaine was sweating profusely.
The pain and sadness he'd remembered feeling before had dulled into a constant ache behind his eyelids and under his skin. He shifted and that seemed to wake up Kurt. "Blaine?" Kurt asked.
"What happened to me?" Blaine asked. "And why's it so hot?"
Kurt chuckled softly, but it wasn't pure. He was sad about something. "I might have gone a bit overboard with trying to get you warm again. You were curled up and in pain when the pizza guy came and he called 911. They thought your heart was beating too fast and your body was too hot, they brought you down to human levels. You were like that for at least two hours. I was so freaked out.
"I invoked power of attorney on you and got you home. It took so long to make you warm, I was so scared." Kurt nuzzled into him. Blaine felt like crying, but his eyes refused to make enough moisture for that. "And the drugs they gave you to slow your heart down wore off after about an hour, but I'd already freaked and given you too much chocolate so I could get your heart rate back up. Then it was beating too fast and I was worried about you having a heart attack, and…" Kurt trailed off and pressed himself closer to Blaine. As hot as he was, Blaine couldn't bring himself to mind adding Kurt's body heat to that.
"But what happened? I don't even know. One minute I was ordering pizza, the next I felt like the world was ending." Blaine shook his head and curled an arm around Kurt. He pulled his boyfriend on top of him more, enjoying the way the pressure distracted him from his constant ache.
"You're mom told me. You're not the only one this happened too." Kurt said softly but clearly. "You're Uncle Jack died."
Blaine felt his throat tighten, his eyes working harder to create moisture. "No." He gasped.
"I'm so sorry, but he did. It was a hit and run, they don't even know who did it. He was just walking across the street, and he got hit by this guy coming around a turn too wide and too fast. He was in his wolf form, so they can't even investigate with the police." Kurt held onto him tighter, pressing him more firmly into the mattress.
"I…I can't…" Blaine stuttered.
"It's okay baby. You don't have to do anything." Kurt comforted him. "Whatever you need, that's what will happen."
"I need to go back." Blaine said. He had to go back and see his uncle. He loved that man and would miss him like hell. But the thing that outshined even that grief was the need to submit. Blaine let out a choked laugh. "My sister needs to become our new pack leader."
"I'll schedule our flight." Kurt leaned away for a second, long enough to grab his phone, before he was back on top of Blaine. He got busy clicking away at his phone. Blaine stared at the ceiling as this happened. "We leave in half an hour for the airport. We need to get up and pack." Kurt squeezed Blaine so tightly he overshadowed Blaine's pain, and then he got out of bed and attacked the closet. Within twenty minutes he had two bags packed. He went into the other room for five minutes and came back with a coat on and Blaine's over his arm. He didn't even speak as he pulled Blaine up and got him ready to go.
Blaine felt numb to anything that wasn't his pain and grief, and the wait at the airport, the boarding, the flight, all of it faded out of his mind. He only perked up when he noticed familiar trees leading up to his childhood home.
Suddenly everything became too much. He was out of his clothes before he was even thinking about it. He changed without fully shutting off his nerves, barely having time to scream about it before he was a wolf sitting in a rental car. He whined and panted and tried to claw at the car door.
"Don't do that Blaine!" Kurt begged gently. Blaine looked to him, he loved his Master; he wanted to make his Master happy. He shouldn't do that. He just wanted out. Blaine whined and sat down. He pushed his nose against the glass and sniffed. Outside didn't smell like that. He put his paws on the side arm rest and pushed his nose higher.
He stuffed his muzzle out the window when it suddenly opened. His tongue came out of his mouth and he barked loudly. He loved the smells.
Then a familiar one he hadn't smelt in a long time hit him. He whined and clawed at the door again, paws on the glass. Master yelled at him again, but he wanted out!
As much as Kurt loved wolf Blaine, he was annoying as hell. He never listened. However, given the circumstances, Kurt was willing to let it slide. The man had just lost not only a family member he was close with, but a person he was linked too in a way Kurt wouldn't truly understand. If Blaine wanted to retreat to a form where he couldn't feel as strongly and in the same way as a human, who was Kurt to deny him.
Kurt pulled into the Anderson driveway. It was two in the morning. Suddenly this seemed a stupid plan. Still, Kurt went to the door, making sure to leave Blaine in the rental car, and rang the door bell. Nenette came quicker than a person asleep would have.
She threw her arms around Kurt the moment she saw him. Kurt saw a tail disappear behind her into the living room. "They all had the same idea then. Blaine's in the car."
"I'll go get him, you sit." Nenette ushered him in. Kurt did as bid. He found three wolves in various spots in the living room. Melanie sat among them, in her human form.
"Hi." Kurt said lamely.
"Hi." Melanie smiled sadly. She didn't have the same air of utter hopelessness Blaine had, just normal grief.
"Why haven't you shifted?" Kurt asked as he scooted someone out of the way so he could sit. The wolves were really subdued, Kurt suspected they wouldn't be so docile normally.
"I can't." Melanie answered. "When I do I'll have to take over pack leader, and I can't just do that whenever."
"Oh." Kurt said. He suddenly found himself with a lap full of Blaine. Blaine licked his hand once before whining and dropping his head down. Kurt automatically started petting him, running his hands through Blaine's coarse fur.
"He never would have made a good leader." Melanie sighed. "He takes things too hard."
"Can you explain this to me? This isn't just normal grief. You're mom tried, but she was crying." Kurt asked softly. Melanie looked like she at least wouldn't break down crying in a minute. Nenette came and settled on the couch next to Kurt. A large black wolf with some gray in him got up to sit at her feet. Kurt assumed it was Reece.
"We're connected. We're all connected." Melanie explained. She looked at the wolf at her feet. "This is my boyfriend by the way Kurt, his name's Henry."
"Hi, Henry." Kurt waved.
A short boy walked into the room then, a tray of food in his arms. "Hi Keegan."
"You came." Keegan came farther into the room and put the food on top of the bookshelf where the wolves couldn't reach it easily. He turned around and found Blaine on Kurt's lap. "Blaine." Keegan sighed and sat on the floor. The remaining unclaimed wolf slid over to him. Kurt assumed it was his wife, though he'd never seen Jennie in her wolf form before.
"As I was saying." Melanie brought attention back to herself. "We're all connected. It's not the same as a normal wolf pack, it's a bit different. But we're a bit different so you shouldn't be surprised." Kurt wasn't. "Uncle Jack has…had been teaching me. He said that pack leaders are the most connected, the center of the wheel. Everyone radiates out from us. It's a bit abstract, but that's the best I can explain it."
"Go on." Kurt prompted.
"So, when the center of our 'wheel' was suddenly gone, it was like ripped the connection away. It was…painful. Not only is everyone missing the center and the strength that was there, they're missing everyone else that fed into and through the center. It's like I can't feel anyone anymore. I didn't even know I could before, because it was always there, but now it's gone? I feel it so strongly." Melanie finally looked like she could cry any second. "I was made the heir, don't ask how, it's just a bunch of rituals and people agreeing and not truly important for you to know. But I wasn't supposed to take this spot for at least five years, now I have to take it early.
"Uncle Jack is gone, and the second I shift, I'll become the new center. I need to call a meeting." Mel took a deep breath and slunk away from her sadness. "Until I can reasonably do that, I can't shift."
"That must be hard on you." Kurt said. He dug his hand into the spot behind Blaine's ear that always made his tail wag. He had no such luck this time.
"I'll manage." Melanie made herself smile.
"We've all had a long day, we should go to sleep." Keegan suggested.
The humans nodded, Mel shook her head. "I can't right now."
"You have to little sis, I won't take no for an answer. I'll carry you if I have too." Keegan threatened. "We'll eat and then go to sleep."
Blaine snuggled into Master. He was so warm and he petted him so nice. Master's breath in his face calmed him down. His head was spinning with something wrong, but he didn't know what. Or know how to find out.
"You feel lost don't you baby?" Master asked. Master rubbed into the itchy spot behind his ears he could never really reach. It didn't feel as good as it normally did. Still, Blaine licked Master's face. Master's skin always tasted best, only food was better. The salt on Master's face made Blaine's tongue dry.
"I love you." Master said. "You're a good boy, Blaine." Master moved his hands down to Blaine's belly and Blaine rolled over. He loved belly rubs. "You're such a good boy, and I'll never leave you."
Blaine loved Master.
It took two days for Mel to call everyone into a meeting. It took some maneuvering, and a lot of human involvement, to get everyone together, so many had reverted to wolf form. Kurt helped as much as he could, his time fully focused on Blaine's pack. He even forgot to call his dad until the second day.
"Blaine's Uncle Jack died." Kurt explained. "We're in Ohio for the service."
"Come by here too kid. I miss you, and Blaine. It'll probably do him good to get away for a little while anyway." Burt had answered.
"Do you need anything else, Mel?" Kurt asked. About twenty wolves were roaming around the clearing in broad daylight. They were far into the woods, but still, this was dangerous. Exactly eight humanoids, five of which weren't werewolves, were also in the clearing.
"No." Mel shook her head. She called to the other two werewolves in human form and told them to shift. Kurt looked away as they stripped. "Here I go." Mel gave a bittersweet smile. "Wish me luck."
"Luck." Kurt whispered and turned his eyes skyward as she pulled off her clothes right next to him. He felt the change more than anything else, and looked back in time to see her jaw open in a howl. She was beautiful, gray and shaggy. She almost looked like a husky. She wouldn't have to go to Central Park at five in the morning to run herself out. She could have went at three in the afternoon.
Nearly thirty wolves took up her howl. She ran into the pack, and Kurt was horrified to see several of them attack her. Keegan threw an arm around him, and Kurt realized he'd tried to go save her. "It's alright. She's got to assert her dominance. She'll fight a few of them, get them on their backs, and then they'll hunt. It'll be alright. See, she's already winning." Keegan explained.
Sure enough, Melanie was kicking ass. Kurt looked away from her, satisfied that she'd be fine, and searched for Blaine. There were six black wolves in the pack that he'd counted. Blaine was the smallest. When everything was okay again Kurt was totally going to make fun of him for that. Though, size obviously had nothing to do with strength. Melanie was kicking ass and taking names and she was the smallest adult wolf he'd seen.
He finally spotted Blaine hanging back from everyone, sniffing at a tree. Kurt looked away so he didn't see Blaine pee on it. "He's done now." Keegan laughed at him. Then he cut the laugh short, the smile fell from his face. Kurt knew that feeling, like he wasn't allowed to laugh yet.
"Thank you." Kurt nodded. "Blaine!" He called and whistled.
MASTER! Blaine had to go, Master was calling him. But…he smelt a rabbit and he wanted to chase it.
"Blaine!" Master called again. Blaine took a last whiff of the rabbit and turned around. He skirted around Leader fighting the rebellious ones and trotted up to Master. He sat at Master's feet and looked up at him. Master knelt down, getting his face close enough for Blaine to lick, so he did. Master tasted a bit of dirt, so Blaine licked him again. He had to make Master clean. "Stop it." Master pushed his face away. Blaine whined. Master was still dirty. He licked at Master's hand. "Blaine!" Master snapped. Blaine whined but stopped. Master was angry.
"Are you okay now?" Master asked. "Is he okay now?" Master asked Other Human. Other Human was one of Blaine's favorite humans. Human was his favorite before Master. She always fed him.
"I think they'll all be fine now. Now we just have normal things to be sad about." Other Human answered. Blaine cocked his head, Master smelled sad. Blaine licked his hand again. Blaine loved Master.
"Blaine, honey, can you change back now that you're all settled?" Master asked.
"They've got to go on the pack hunt first Kurt." Other Human said. Blaine watched as Master turned his head, Master launched forward to lick Master's neck.
"Stop it!" Master took Blaine's head and pushed him away. "You're terrible with that, bad boy." Blaine whined and his tail retreated between his legs. He hated 'bad boy'.
Leader barked. Time for hunt. Blaine looked up at Master and wagged his tail a little while it was still down. He whined louder and sniffed. He still smelled that rabbit.
"Go on pouch." Master patted his head. "Go be a good boy." Blaine barked happily and trotted to Leader.
Keegan and Nenette pulled Kurt away shortly after all the wolves disappeared into the woods. "They're not coming back until late tonight, maybe even tomorrow morning." They explained. "Now we can deal more with the funeral."
In the chaos of making Melanie pack leader, Jack had been set a little on the back burner. Because he'd died in wolf form he couldn't be put in a coffin and laid out at a funeral home. Nenette called and ordered one to be brought to the house for a private wake that would last all day after the hunt. Then they'd burry him. It had been three days, he was going to start stinking soon. As they waited for the pack to come back, they went through old photo albums and gathered all the good pictures, and some of the bad ones, they could find of Jack. Keegan and Nenette both occasionally broke down in tears, and it fell heavily on Kurt's shoulders to keep them on task.
Around nine he called his dad. "Dad?"
"Hi kid, how's Blaine holding up?"
"Good enough." Kurt answered. "He was really close to his uncle, it's hard for him to think about it. We've been going through pictures all day."
"For the wake?" Burt sighed. "That's always tough to do. I couldn't…"
"I've been doing most of it; I've known him for five years, but not like his family. Reece has been a wreck." The man had stayed in his wolf form the entire two days, but unlike Blaine, Henry and Jennie, he'd been completely unable to do anything excitedly. Every move was slow and weighed down. He'd lay for three hours straight without moving the day before.
"He lost his brother. I know how hard it is to loose someone you're really close with." Burt agreed. "How have you been holding up?"
"It's really depressing here." Kurt admitted. Although sometimes the wolves were able to have a happy moment, they were all still quiet solemn. Kurt knew a lot of that had to do with their feelings of being lost, but he also knew that they stayed in their wolf forms to avoid having to feel the human equivalent. "The wake's tomorrow, and the burial's right after."
"When are you going back?" Burt asked. Kurt knew he wanted to know how long Kurt would be staying.
"I haven't booked the flight yet, but I did call the super. She's holding the apartment for us for at least the rest of this month and next. I had to pay in advance, but we've been saving, so it didn't hurt us that much. Besides, we won't have to pay next month anyway 'cause I already paid. I had her fax the receipt and the written agreement with the date and her signature before you ask."
"Good, I don't want you swindled." Burt sighed. "So you're thinking you might be here until August?"
"I don't really know, Dad." Kurt answered. "I got the rental for a week, so I'll have to drive that back in a few days." Kurt thought to the scratches Blaine had managed to make in the door, he couldn't fix it, so he'd have to pay the damages.
"If you plan on staying awhile I have a car you can use. It's one I've been restoring. I finished it about a month ago." Burt offered.
"It's nothing expensive is it, Dad. I know you like to remake the expensive ones." Kurt had always thought he got his expensive taste from his mother, but then he remembered Burt's affinity for expensive cars and rethought.
"Nah. A friend of mine had it rusting in their backyard and asked if I wanted it. He gave it to me for free. The engine was still good, just a few parts. Mostly it was just rust removal and a new paint job. I've been using it as an extra rental for the long jobs."
"That would be good, Dad. How's it on gas?" If it was good he'd bring the rental car back early and get some of his money back, it should be enough to pay for the damage.
"It's alright. Not the greatest, but it doesn't burn a hole in your wallet. It should be alright."
"I'll come pick it up in a few days then."
"Can't wait to see you."
"I miss you too, Dad." Kurt smiled. "Tell Carole I miss her too. And if you see Finn wandering around…I guess I miss him too."
"I'll tell 'em." Burt laughed. "G'night, Kurt."
Blaine was tired. His belly was full of deer and his pack mates were calm around him. Leader was curled up in front of him. He sniffed and barked quietly at her.
She lifted her head just enough to yawn in his direction before she lay still again. Leader's Mate padded around in a circle, pawed a little at the ground, and then lay next to Leader. He stared at Blaine a second, barred his teeth for just as long before he put his head next to Leader's.
Blaine closed his eyes and turned his head the other way. He didn't want Leader. Leader was Sister before. Blaine only wanted Master. Master made him happy. He made Master happy. Blaine didn't need anything else. He sighed and drifted off, thoughts of Master running around his head.
Kurt woke up in Blaine's old bed to find himself with company. It wasn't the furry company he had been getting used to either. Blaine lay beside him, his human face relaxed and his human arms curled around Kurt. Sometime between falling asleep without Blaine next to him, and waking up with Blaine in bed beside him, Kurt had rolled himself onto Blaine. His boyfriend had always liked being laid on, and Kurt had always been content to make Blaine a body pillow.
Kurt sighed happily and nuzzled his face into Blaine's bare chest. The chest hair tickled his nose a little and he nuzzled harder to null the sensation. Blaine groaned a little, but didn't do anything else. Kurt knew it would take a lot more to wake his boyfriend.
"I love you." Kurt whispered into Blaine's chest.
"...ve...ou…K…t" Blaine mumbled brokenly. Kurt smiled and pressed a gentle kiss to Blaine's skin.
After the pack hunt, and their nap, the pack had disbanded. Most didn't have a change of clothes, so they ran back home. Blaine was one of them. He and his family members had all run. His mother had left the back door open just enough for them to nose their way in. Reece had been the only one with the presence of mind to remember closing the door again.
Blaine had found his old bedroom door closed, and had whined and scratched at it for a full minute before he remembered his human form. He'd huffed and changed back quickly. He'd opened the door and found Kurt snuggled into the bed.
His human thoughts had raced back to him. He'd been in wolf form for three days, the longest single stretch he'd ever done. He'd stopped remembering his human form after a while too; just thinking it was the Big Pain Thing. After the hunt his mind had quieted, the wolf calmed and the human simply grieved. After remembering the sheer pain that had been his last day as human, Blaine felt he could handle the grief well enough.
Then Kurt had moved and all Blaine wanted to do was touch him. He'd slipped under the covers without bothering to get dressed. Kurt had immediately rolled over and thrown a leg over him. Blaine had relaxed then.
When he woke up it was to Kurt hovering over him with a tray of fruit and an egg white omelet absolutely filled with vegetables. "We've had to feed you dog food for three days." Kurt explained as he set the tray down on the bedside table. You're human body needs the fruit."
"What time is it?" Blaine asked as he sat up. Kurt handed him a fork and the omelet.
"It's nine. The wake starts in an hour." Kurt answered. Blaine looked at him and blinked. Kurt sighed and produced the hot sauce. "I wish you'd at least taste it first. I even put pablanos in there for you!"
"Really?" Blaine asked and forwent the hot sauce for a bite. It tingled his tongue slightly, but not pleasantly like he was used too. "This is good, but use another one next time." Blaine poured the hot sauce next to it so he could dip.
Kurt glared at him. "Who says there'll be a next time?"
"You love me?" Blaine asked hopefully.
"No, I hate you." But Kurt smiled and Blaine couldn't help but smile back. He took a bite as he remembered he shouldn't be smiling. "I know it doesn't feel like its okay, but you're allowed to think something's funny or cute. You're allowed to smile and laugh. It won't take away from the other things you're feeling. Being perpetually depressed isn't good for you. Or for mourning."
Blaine looked into Kurt's eyes. "Okay."
"Good, now eat your breakfast. I picked out the grapes, but be careful in case I missed one." Kurt ruffled his hair. "I'll get your clothes ready and I'll do your hair."
"You spoil me my dear." Blaine let himself smile softly.
"Only so you'll never get rid of me. How would you feed yourself if I wasn't around?" Kurt asked dramatically.
"I could never get rid of you, though if you stopped feeding me I might think about it."
"There you go, all the excuse I need to spoil." Kurt brushed his fingers down Blaine's face. "It'll be okay. You'll never stop missing him, but you'll get used to being without him. You'll learn how to stop expecting him to be there."
"I love you." Blaine whispered.
"I know you do. And I love you too." Kurt answered. He leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss to Blaine's lips. "You're my heart."
"You're mine too, even if you are really corny sometimes." Blaine kissed Kurt again.
"I haven't had you human in days, excuse me if I'm still used to speaking in simple sentences." Kurt snipped, but he wasn't angry.
"It's okay. I call you 'Master' in my head whenever I'm in wolf form. I never really noticed before. We're both corny." Blaine admitted.
"Well good, I am your Master."
Jack Vincent Anderson
December 8, 1962- July 10, 2015
Loving Husband, Devoted Leader
The headstone was simple, carved from a slab of granite named 'Gray Wolf'. It had seemed appropriate when it had been bought all those years ago for his wife, and now that Jack himself would be put under it, it was no less appropriate.
Kurt had ended up having to write the eulogy. Reece had gotten lost in all the stories he loved about his brother, breaking down crying more than once whenever he got to something funny or sad. He was in no shape to have written the thing, so Kurt wrote it for him and gave it to him and Nenette to look over. They hadn't changed a single word.
All twenty seven members of the pack showed up throughout the day to pay their respects and greet Melanie in human form. At five they'd all gather outside and held a short service run by a pack member who had acted in this manner for over a decade. Then they'd loaded the coffin into the hearse the pack owned for this purpose and brought him to the family graveyard.
Keegan had called the day before to have the hole dug. He'd stayed afterwards to see it filled.
Blaine had cried and laughed in equal parts as his father read the eulogy Kurt had written. The stories he'd heard a million times suddenly sounded like Kurt. Kurt's words, inspired by his father's stories, had let Blaine relax enough to react as he was meant too.
God, he loved Kurt.
The day after the funeral Kurt drove up to Columbus to return the rental with his Dad following behind in the car they'd be borrowing. Blaine sat in the car with him, quiet but for the occasional hum along with the radio. Kurt let him have his quiet. The past few days had been hard on him.
"I'm sorry about the scratches." Blaine said as they pulled into the airport rental area.
"It's okay. You couldn't help it." Kurt answered and put his hand on Blaine's knee. He squeezed gently and got out.
They stayed at Blaine's old house for another week before they even started talking about going back to New York. Kurt explained the deal he'd made with the super. He'd been thinking that they should stay the month. It would set them back a little financially. But Kurt was between jobs and Blaine had only had gigs he sought out, so it's not like they would get fired for taking a month off. They'd gone too long without seeing their family, seeing Burt again, being with the Andersons, had taught Kurt that. He explained all that to Blaine.
Blaine agreed. They begged to stay where they were, and Nenette had held Blaine for two full minutes before she'd stopped crying enough to say yes.
On August 19th Blaine sat across from Kurt at Breadstix. It was cheesy maybe, but it had been the place of their first official date, and Blaine wanted that for this moment. He took a deep breath, stared at Kurt's lovely face across the table, and put his hands out. "Give me your hands." Blaine said.
Kurt raised a single eyebrow, something Blaine still couldn't do, and gave his hands easily. Blaine stared into Kurt's eyes, basking in the glasz glory of them. They looked more gray than anything else in this light.
Carefully Blaine slipped the ring onto the appropriate finger, grateful for the five months he'd had freshmen year absolutely obsessed with learning sleight of hand. "Kurt, I love you." Blaine said.
Kurt didn't notice what had happened for a second, so Blaine pushed gently against the ring, pressing it into Kurt's skin. His eyes widened.
"Will you marry me?"
Kurt took his left hand from Blaine's, stared at the ring. "It's beautiful." Kurt sighed at the simple white gold band edged with yellow gold. A single diamond rested almost inside the band. Blaine had looked hard for something Kurt could wear with everything. "Beautiful just like our wedding will be."
"So…yes?" Blaine fished. He really wanted the 'yes'.
"Absolutely yes." Kurt beamed. "Like I'd actually say no to you."
AN.2: Thank you to my beta, TrulyShadowKissed. She's awesome sauce.
And that is it dear readers, please leave your thoughts.