A/N: Hello All :) This is the promised multi-chaptered fic I've been piecing together the plot for for awhile now. The chapters following this one will tell the back story to this chapter and then when we get to this point on the timeline we'll just keep moving forward. Hope you all enjoy :)
Warnings: Character illness; crude language; minor drug references; potential character death; angst, angst, angst
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee
"I just need five minutes; a drive around the block even…" Elizabeth Anderson ran a shaky hand through her hair; glancing between the boy in her entryway and the door.
"Elizabeth," her first name still tasted funny on Kurt's tongue; he wondered briefly if he should call her Liz the way her husband does, "Take as much time as you want; we'll be fine."
"I promise no more than twenty minutes then… thank you for coming over, Kurt, it—" She glanced toward the stairway, shaking her head.
He touched a hand to her arm, his voice soft, "You know it's not him."
Liz was still gazing up to the top of the steps, "Sometimes that only breaks my heart more."
He waited for her to go before making his way up the stairs, mentally steeling himself with each step. He took a breath outside the door before knocking, "Blaine?"
He didn't get a response. He wasn't surprised.
He turned the handle slowly—a fair enough warning of his impending entrance as far as he was concerned—"Blaine; it's me."
Blaine had his back to him; his gaze focused somewhere outside the window—probably watching his mother's car pull out of the driveway, "What do you want?"
"What do you mean what do I want?" Kurt tried to keep his voice light; teasing, "I wanted to see you, silly."
"So you coming over had nothing to do with my mom needing to be relieved of babysitting duties a little early today?" Blaine finally turned to face him, an accusatory scowl on his face.
Kurt sat down tentatively on the edge of the unmade bed, "Maybe I wanted to be babysitter for a little while longer today; we're home alone you know."
Blaine's frown only intensified, "And why would I care about that?"
Kurt blushed; It's not him. He wouldn't say that; wouldn't even think that. He swallowed down his chagrin and tried again, "What have you been doing today? Paint me anything pretty?"
"You think you're so fucking funny." Blaine snapped, "Kurt Hummel, wittiest fucking kid on the planet."
Kurt fell silent; his usual antidotes weren't triggering anything. He watched Blaine's thumb twitch against his palm—he'd taken to personifying that tiny flurry of muscle spasms into the essence of everything that had gone wrong—that little dance of movement in his hand was the embodiment of the dark passenger Blaine was carrying around, "Is there anything I can do?"
"Do you have a cure for this in your back pocket?" Blaine lifted the hand Kurt had been watching in front of him.
"I wish I did." Kurt said softly, averting his gaze to Blaine's socked feet.
Blaine didn't come to sit beside him; he offered no apology. He paced; pausing at one end of the room only long enough to look disgruntled before turning and stalking the other direction.
"What's the matter, Blaine?" Kurt folded his legs up onto the bed, wishing Blaine would come to him.
"What's the matter?" Blaine echoed with disgust, "what's the matter is that if the tumor doesn't melt my fucking brain then this house sure as hell will."
"Blaine." Kurt reprimanded him gently, "Don't talk like that."
"Like what? Like I'm losing my fucking mind? Like I don't have control over my own body?" Blaine was shouting.
Just the tumor talking. Kurt reminded himself again when he felt the urge to bolt. Blaine did not yell. Blaine did not verbally abuse the ones he loved. This was not Blaine. His disappearances rarely came with warning—The Tumor made frequent appearances whenever it pleased—screaming at his mother for bringing in laundry; emotionally attacking his boyfriend until he could barely stand to remain in the room; tripping up his feet; halting words somewhere between his brain and his mouth so he was left frustrated and mute. Kurt had kept track of the larger outbursts carefully; making little tick marks on his calender in red pen- the marks were farther apart than they used to be- more and more neat little empty calendar blocks separating them. Progress. Kurt focused on anything that symbolized progress.
Blaine had abruptly left his room; Kurt could hear his footsteps on the stairs. He's walking all right, at least; that's a good thing. That's a the-treatment's-working thing. Kurt reassured himself as he moved toward the door. Walking well or not, Blaine was in a mood and Kurt didn't trust him to be wandering around alone.
He kept his distance as Blaine moved from room to room, pulling open drawers only to slam them back shut, checking end tables and letting out short, disgusted sighs. Kurt followed him quietly, shutting the drawers Blaine forgot to close; righting pictures he tipped over. They wound up in the kitchen; Blaine opened every cabinet door until his eyes lit upon his desired item. He pulled the keys down from the shelf and made for the garage. It was time for Kurt to intervene.
"Nuh-uh; nope." Kurt cut Blaine off quickly, stepping in front of him to block his path toward the door.
"I'm going for a drive." Blaine said resolutely; his tone a flat warning; his eyes practically screaming don't-you-dare-try-to-stop-me.
"No way, Blaine." Kurt mirrored Blaine's movement to keep the exit blocked when he tried to step around him.
"I am not staying in this fucking house for one more goddamn second. I can't breathe." Blaine snapped.
"I know you're sick of being here; if you want, I'll take you for a drive, how about that?" Kurt held out his hand, praying to God or anything that might be out there that Blaine—the real Blaine- would make an appearance and hand over the keys good-naturedly.
But, as luck would have it, he did not drop the keys happily into Kurt's outstretched palm. He made a quick side step around Kurt toward the door.
Kurt caught him by the arm, "Blaine, please be reasonable."
Blaine tried to jerk his arm away, but Kurt only pulled him back closer, "Let go; Kurt, I mean it."
Kurt did not let go; he made a grab for the keys. But then Blaine was trying to twist away and loosing his balance simultaneously. They toppled to the floor. Still, Blaine tried to scramble up and toward the entryway. Kurt pinned him underneath him, hoping the episode would end soon—it was a rarity for them to go on this long.
"Lemme go." He was struggling hard, but his movements were clumsy.
Kurt didn't respond; he pressed his weight down harder. For a little guy, Blaine could be incredibly strong.
"Kurt, fuck," Blaine growled, trying to use a handful of his shirt he's managed to catch a hold of to pull Kurt off of him, or at least throw his balance off enough so he could wriggle out from beneath him.
"You're not fucking driving like this!" Kurt bit out. The shirt would be ruined. He didn't care. He dug an elbow between Blaine's shoulder blades. "Stop fighting me!"
"Stop pinning me to the fucking kitchen floor!" Blaine screamed back, but then he stopped struggling; he groaned.
Kurt let up just a little, his voice soft, "Are you all right?"
Blaine let go of Kurt's shirt to press a palm into his forehead, "Jesus, my head…"
Kurt slipped off of him, still panting from their struggle. He brushed the hair off his forehead and watched Blaine.
Blaine remained where he was; his eyes closed, his hand still pressed against his head. He drew his knees up to his chest.
"Do you want water?" Kurt finally asked softly.
Blaine didn't respond.
Kurt spotted the abandoned keys on the wood floor. He quietly dropped them into his pocket before moving to the sink.
Blaine didn't move from his place on the floor. He raised his other hand to his head; burrowed his fingers in his hair.
Kurt sat back down beside him, his voice gentle, "Sit up."
Blaine remained prone on the floor for another long moment before using a clumsy hand to push himself upright; when his elbow buckled awkwardly, Kurt caught his shoulder gently with his free hand, pushing him up into a sitting position.
He handed over the glass wordlessly.
Blaine took a small sip from the cup, but then sat it back down beside him. He felt sick with the pressure in his head; he closed his eyes, "Thanks."
Kurt couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief. There was Blaine—tired and half-sick with pain, but it was him and that was all that mattered, "Lets get you back up to bed."
"I don't think I can do the stairs right now." Blaine mumbled.
"All right, that's okay," Kurt glanced toward the family room; that wasn't so far, "How about the couch then? Do you want to lie down there?"
Blaine opened his eyes to look at Kurt with something that was akin to sadness and embarrassment.
Kurt didn't make him explain—whether he was too tired, in too much pain, or maybe he just wasn't sure he could get his legs to cooperate, it didn't matter, "We can stay right where we are; come here."
Kurt leaned back against the counter and Blaine scooted in closer to him, dropping his head down in Kurt's lap, curling his knees in close again. Kurt rested an arm on Blaine's waist; Blaine reached up and tangled his fingers between Kurt's, "Thank you."
"Anything for you," Kurt soothed quietly, running his free hand through Blaine's hair. He wasn't always sure if Blaine remembered the episodes or not; if he remembered this one, he said nothing about it. But he seemed sad.
"Kurt?" Blaine's voice was quiet; muffled against his legs.
"Like you for always," Kurt could feel the rhythmic dance of Blaine's thumb against his palm.
"Love you forever." Kurt murmured back; squeezing Blaine's hand a little tighter. He listened to Blaine's breathing as it grew more even and then slower with sleep. He closed his own eyes, tipping his head back against the cupboard doors behind him. When had their lives spiraled so far out of orbit? He tried to remember when he should have first noticed something was wrong; when he could have said something; when he could have forced Blaine to a doctor sooner; when he could have done something so things would not have reached this point. He thought back and back and back until he hit the closest approximation of a memory he could come up with. Could have, would have, should have. But he hadn't and he couldn't now. Still, it was a comfort, to remember back when things were simple. When he and Blaine had cared for nothing more than music and dreams of New York and kisses in the backseat of a car with fogged over windows. When they had still been young and invincible.
A/N: So just a reminder: the next chapter will go back to Kurt's approximation of when he could have first noticed something was wrong with Blaine- and we'll cover anything else confusing over time; let me know what you think :)