DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee, Fox does. And Ryan Murphy. Title from "This Is The Best Day Ever" by My Chemical Romance.
So this story. I've been fascinated with dissociative identity disorder (commonly known as multiple personalities) since I was in middle school and had never attempted fic with them because it's frankly not an easy thing to write since there's a lot more than just having another voice inside your head. I've been nursing this idea of Blaine housing another personality, someone that's the complete polar opposite of him, for a few weeks now.
There's a big possibility that this story could be extremely triggering for some people, and even though it's going to be tame for quite some time I'm keeping the rating at M, just to be safe. It follows "Never Been Kissed" for this installment and will probably stray in the next few chapters when you learn more about Blaine's internal struggles and home life. And even though I don't really like doing this, most of this will be written third-person omniscient since it's rather hard to discuss the two sides of Blaine when it's just Kurt's point of view.
Not really any warnings for this chapter, but I'll post them when there are, just like I always do :)
Kurt has always thought that angels were just some Christmas gimmick, just another way for religious zealots to con gullible, desperate people in joining churches and frivolously tossing their money away, but his first visit to Dalton changes all of that.
He, like most of the word, has always heard the lore of the lovers who see each other and immediately get a pulling in their gut, an aching in their heart as their eyes lock that tells them that they're meant to be together forever. God knows he's seen enough Broadway musicals where a soulmate is as easy to find as a cheap designer knockoff in New York City.
Living in a small town like Lima, though, doesn't offer him much of an opportunity, if any, to find his own personal happiness.
Life hasn't exactly been easy for Kurt, but he's a strong individual. He's brought himself back up as many times as he's been brought down. He's hidden countless bruised ribs and aching shoulders from his father and stepmother and never once vocally complained about it. Sure, he's competitive, but it's only because he wants out of Lima, out of Ohio because here he feels caged, like he doesn't have enough room to stretch his wings and let loose who he really is.
His aloofness that he adopts for McKinley seemingly evaporates almost instantaneously the second he steps into the Dalton entryway. Coming from a perfectly normal middle-class family, from an average public high school, the marble floors and maple paneling of Dalton Academy are far cries from the squeaky, scuffed linoleum and pockmarked plaster walls of his own high school.
Everything here looks like it's jumped out from a history textbook and it's all just so gorgeous that Kurt never wants to leave after the heavy oak doors close behind him. The stair railings are wrought iron, the floor a black-and-white checkered cool marble. He feels out of place with his public-school mannerisms and naivety. He's also spying for his glee club, a tactic that's crass enough to make any number of the boys here cringe, Kurt's sure.
Speaking of, the boys are all dressed the same; impeccably, of course, such a building would seemingly require such rigidity, donning navy blazers with red piping, gray slacks, blue-and-red striped ties, and white dress shirts, a standard-issue item for private schools. Kurt assumes that there must be something going on because all the boys are doing a fantastic job at reenacting The Lion King's fabled wildebeest stampede as they all head for some similar direction.
He takes off his dark glasses as he begins to descend the staircase and tries his best not to stand out too much with his own knockoff NYC version of the Dalton uniform. His bag is a familiar comfort and he feels safe when he wraps his hand around the well-worn leather strap and pulls it close to his side. His shoulders get knocked a few times by passing students and he tries his best not to cringe and flinch away, nasty memories of such shoulder-knocking that resulted in his body meeting rather roughly with metal locker doors surfacing fresh in his mind. These boys don't know him; they don't mean any harm.
Kurt reaches the end of the staircase and sees one boy standing there, head turned away, and Kurt thinks now or never, better find out what's going on so I can come back and say I at least did something, and he utters three sentences that change his life forever.
"Excuse me, um, hi. Can I ask you a question? I'm new here."
The boy turns around. Like a true cliché, Kurt's heart stops and his breath catches in his throat and he can only get lost in those huge honey hazel eyes and kind smile for a few moments before the sound dims and the whole world tunnel visions down to just them.
It's an equally-as-enthusiastic smile, a kindhearted offer as a hand extends in greeting. When he speaks this boy's voice is warm and cradles Kurt like a blanket. Kurt's eyelashes flutter coquettishly, an unconscious reaction, and he takes this boy's hand.
It's the first time he's ever linked hands with another boy. That smile's still there, still warm and Kurt feels so safe, tries to lose himself in the melodic tones as Mystery Boy becomes a little less mysterious with three simple words.
"My name's Blaine."
Blaine is the haven Kurt's never allowed himself to have. Around him Kurt can let his guard down, speak freely about his trials and tribulations and not worry too much that tears drip almost steadily down onto the plastic of his coffee lid. Blaine, who just serenaded Dalton with "Teenage Dream" like he was born to work a crowd, who quietly and politely asked his friends Wes and David to leave them alone once the first few tears shone like crystals on Kurt's pale skin.
Kurt knows he's damaged. He can't face his bullies anymore. The slam of a locker is enough to make him jump and look around for an exit. The physical ache has faded to a dull, ever-present throb but the emotional ache is fresh and new and Kurt sometimes wants to curl in on himself to try to make the pain stop. It never does.
Blaine, he tells him it's okay. He spins his own tale about how he ran away from his own bullies, how he regrets it and doesn't want Kurt to go through the same things. Kurt trusts this new kid, the one with large, expressive hazel eyes and well-coiffed hair. The one who's gay and damaged like him but has managed to turn his life around since transferring to Dalton.
"Music," Blaine tells Kurt with a little half-smile. "Make your life all about music. It's theraputic. The first day that I came home from school with a couple bruised ribs I locked myself in my room and sang Simple Plan until I physically couldn't anymore." He laughs at the appalled look on Kurt's face. "Believe me, the raw power and emotion helped me through one of the roughest times in my life. Don't knock it."
His mood dims quickly as he wraps his hands around his mostly-empty coffee cup and looks around the deserted common room, searching for a distraction but clearly not finding one. Kurt watches rapturously, taking in the set of Blaine's jaw and the furrow of his brows.
"It didn't work for long," Blaine says after a heavy silence, his own insecurities leaking through cracks in his well-preserved mask, unraveling the corners of his immaculate uniform until little threads of navy and red are piled on the floor. "So I came here. But I love Dalton, I do. And it's not up to me whether you come here or not because I know it's expensive, but Kurt—" He takes Kurt's hand and Kurt tries not to shudder at the warmth. Blaine's gaze is serious yet inviting, "I just want you to know I'm here for you, one hundred percent."
"Thanks," Kurt says. His voice cracks and he studies the wood grain of the table until he gets his emotions under control. The last thing he needs is to lose it in front of someone that he's just met. The smile is back on Blaine's face when Kurt redirects his gaze upward and Kurt gives him a watery smile in return, wiping at his eyes with his free hand and shakily laughing. "Sorry, I just… This is a lot for me. I'm not used to people paying so much attention to my problems."
Blaine gets up and tugs Kurt into a standing position using their still-interlocked hands. "If you need anything, anything at all." He pauses to toss his empty cup in a nearby trash bin and then rummages in his own bag for a pen and piece of paper, releasing Kurt's hand in the process. He tries not to lament on this fact. "Call me or text me. The lines are always open."
He hands the hastily-torn paper to Kurt, his phone number written with black fine-point pen in surprisingly tidy, all-caps scrawl. Kurt accepts it with unsteady fingers and pockets it. He feels a sense of pride at scoring a—for lack of a better word, hot—boy's number without even asking. Who knew all he'd have to do was be broken almost beyond repair?
Blaine squeezes Kurt's shoulder encouragingly, taking a few steps toward the door. "Promise you'll call?" His eyes seem to sparkle and almost change color. "Because, I mean, you didn't give me your number."
Kurt laughs and promises Blaine that yes, he'll call, and then Blaine's footsteps echo down the hall and Kurt is standing alone in the Dalton common room surrounded by expensive cherrywood tables and chairs and the spicy notes of Blaine's cologne. His pocket feels heavy with the piece of paper that Blaine had given him.
When he exits the school the sun somehow seems brighter, his future seems brighter. He doesn't care that his plan of spying on the Warblers had technically failed; he'd gained so much more instead.
And that was enough to put the bounce back in his step.
Hey. Uh. It's Kurt. Kurt Hummel. You know, that weepy kid that was at Dalton yesterday.
It's stupid and too insecure and not like his usual self, but Kurt doesn't really care. It's more than enough that Blaine had so readily given his number out, offering not just to chat but to be a rock, a shoulder to cry on. Kurt doesn't know how busy Blaine is, whether he has a job or not, so he doesn't expect a reply for at least a couple hours. He's pleasantly surprised when his phone vibrates on his desk five or so minutes after sending the text.
Hi, kurt :) you didn't seem too weepy... but then again, i was a wreck when i transferred.
Kurt pushes his English assignment on the latest five chapters of "The Bell Jar" aside and rests his elbows on his desk, contemplating his next move. It was refreshing and also really depressing for this to be the only means of communication between them.
Blaine was very attractive, Kurt had noticed this even before he had turned around—he had some extremely nice profiling—and while having another boy who knew what he was going through was nice… Kurt couldn't deny that he wanted this to go somewhere. But without the open, airy halls of Dalton and the comforting sound of Blaine's voice everything was somehow awkward, the same step that had been skipped the previous day.
Kurt didn't want to lose him, not yet. He creates and erases several drafts of the same message before he's finally comfortable enough to thumb the send button and watch the little green bubble appear underneath the gray one that contained Blaine's message. I just wanted to say thank you for listening yesterday. It really meant a lot to me.
Of course, kurt. I told you i'm always here for you. And i'll always have coffee for you—nonfat mocha latte, right?
Kurt is, needless to say, impressed. He could easily be someone who changes their order every time that they go into a coffee shop, but somehow Blaine knows that a nonfat mocha is Kurt's usual, like he's known Kurt's been getting them exclusively since his freshman year when he'd first tried them. Kurt smiles almost dreamily.
Where have you been all my life?
Kurt can almost hear Blaine's laugh as he replies Westerville ;)
He follows up with When are you coming back to dalton to spy on us? We could have another coffee date then and you could tell me some more about yourself.
He tries his best to ignore the excited flips that his stomach is doing at the mention of the word "date." Blaine wants to be his mentor, just a friend and close confidante, and here Kurt is, being hasty and letting his feelings run rampant at a simple text message.
That stupid suggestive winking emoticon, though. Kurt groans and wills his brain to stop being so hasty and so teenage-ish and so damn wired to his dick because he wants to let it just be a friendly remark because he knows that he's definitely sent winking faces to people he considers only friends before. He's really just looking way too far into this situation and all because some attractive prep school boy had paid attention to him.
Ugh, was I really that obvious?
Painfully so, im afraid to say. Most new kids don't forget their uniforms if they want to make it the full day. They're pretty strict about that.
Well, for the record, spying wasn't my idea. I was sort of conned into it. But your glee club is amazing.
The warblers take their craft seriously. Glad we could at least entertain you for a few hours.
Kurt had, truthfully, been shocked at how well-trained the Warblers were. They were disciplined but charismatic, and not one single boy looked like he'd rather be up front singing Blaine's solo. Kurt thinks back to Rachel Berry's dramatic storm-outs when she didn't get her way, how everyone was almost constantly fighting over who got the next solo even though they were all a team and it shouldn't matter because they're all equally talented and everyone gets to shine at some point.
New Directions could take a note or two from the Warblers, Kurt thinks darkly as he texts Blaine that Thanks, you did. But I have to go; English homework about Sylvia Plath's spiral down into depression.
Avoid any ovens is Blaine's response.
Kurt can't help but laugh and reply with :) because it won't hurt to indulge in his bourgeoning crush, right? He locks his iPhone with a self-satisfied nod and flips open his notebook to begin the essay questions, picturing Blaine's kind face and wise words of prejudice is just ignorance and adorable smile.
In Westerville, in the semi-darkness of a single dorm room lit only with the yellowish light of a small desk lamp, Blaine smiles at Kurt's last text and locks his phone, placing it gently on the desk next to his laptop. It's eerily silent in the East dorm, the usual distant, muffled music or voices rare. Most of the boys have already gone to bed.
The cuffs on his white shirt are rolled up to his elbows messily, wrinkles creasing and crossing the thin fabric with reckless abandon. He stares at the closed lid of his Macbook, tapping his fingers restlessly. This kid, Kurt, seemed so nice but so naïve, so desperate for a human connection that he must not have a lot of back at home.
He'd been soft-spoken and almost unwilling to open up but also oddly trusting in a way, as if Blaine could say anything and he'd drink it all in like he was James Franco as Aron Ralston and Blaine was the last few drops of water remaining in the bottle in 127 Hours.
Blaine knows that this is Ohio, that boys like them are sparse. He's had his own share of demons, his own reasoning for leaving public school. Blaine's not exactly proud of himself for doing what he did, but there's no going back now and he really has become a better person, a better student, a better citizen now because he's overcome.
What Kurt needs, Blaine thinks as he flips open the laptop and powers it on, is a mentor. Someone to guide him and help him through the bullying—the kind of person that I didn't have in public school. Someone who can give him courage and self-assurance.
The voice, when it comes, is low and menacing; a continuous, monotonous bass note.
Of course that's you, isn't it, Blaine? Always helping the charity cases.
Blaine blinks and rubs at his eyes with his index finger and thumb, typing quickly on the keyboard. The clicking is the only noise in the otherwise-silent room and the sudden feeling of something lurking in the shadows with huge claws and dripping fangs swims into his mind. Goosebumps appear on his arms, unbidden, and he tries to shake the feeling off but physically can't.
He feels like he's drowning, suffocating, choking and he draws his shoulders together, hunching up and trying to lose himself in the comforting blue-white glow of his computer screen that reflects in his tired eyes. His jaw sets and he tries to channel all his focus and energy on reading the article for his history class that he should have read two days ago.
My, and he is a charity case, isn't he? Crying and you hadn't even known him for an hour.
The same sentence about freight steamers is read three times without Blaine absorbing any of the information. There's a buzzing at the back of his mind, like white noise or a hive of bees, and he tries to ignore that taunting voice and those dagger-sharp words. He's knows it's futile, that he's never been able to ignore him.
Then again, all gay men are like that, aren't they, Blainey?
"Shut up," Blaine growls, squeezing his eyes shut and clutching at his hair, the painful tugging and separating of the strands from where they're gelled together offering a momentary relief that's over way too soon. The words don't hurt as much anymore—he's heard them all his life—but he can't escape them, especially not now, when they're thrown from inside his head, when it's a part of him that's doing it.
A dark chuckle seems to echo all around the room, swallowing him whole like the whale that swallowed Jonah, making him hurriedly flick on the overhead light followed by his bedside light to stave off any shadows. His heart pounds in his chest and his breath comes in rapid bursts. You can never shut me up, Blaine.
Blaine's laptop hums gently on the desk, paragraphs of tiny text on the evolution of the shipping industry beckoning him like a cloying scent or a beautiful picture. Reading is a sanctuary; it's something he knows, something he can control the speed and duration of. His knees shake when he walks back to his desk and he sinks into his chair like a weary traveler.
The deep voice is gone—for now. Blaine scrubs a hand over his face, sniffing back the mixture of tears and snot that always, always come when he's attacked when he's alone. Suddenly catching up on his homework when sun is slanting through the Dalton-blue curtains seems more appealing.
The world is always kinder when the sun is up. With a resigned sigh and a forlorn look at the article and the possible repercussion if he forgets to read it Blaine powers down his Macbook, closing the lid gently and switching off the desk lamp, then the overhead light.
His fingers shake as he undoes each of the buttons on his shirt. It takes him a good five minutes to do a task that could usually be done in under a minute as he pauses frequently to try and abate the flow of tears prickling hotly at his eyes, his shirt hanging loose and open, draped over his shoulders. His quiet hiccups are the only noise in the room.
He tosses the shirt and his slacks in a heap on the floor, leaving him in just a pair of Homer Simpson boxers—a gift last birthday from Nick, the humor in them something that he can't appreciate in his anxiety-induced state. The ever-present bottle of water sits pressed against the white wall by his bed and Blaine shakily grabs it, twisting off the top and taking a short swig, letting the semi-warm liquid slide down his throat, a temperature that would usually disgust him and have him refilling the bottle before going to bed. Right now it feels like heaven.
The small white pills—Klonopin, for his anxiety—rattle inside the little orange bottle as Blaine screws it open, dumping the correct dosage after a few tries into his palm and popping them into his mouth, chasing them with a larger swig of water. He makes a face, a habit left over from his childhood.
Blaine climbs into bed and shuts off the light after a moment's consideration. He closes his eyes and lets the silence of the room, of the dorm wing, engulf him. He hopes that he wakes up still in his own bed the next morning. He doesn't want to hear the voice again, not tonight. Not ever, but Blaine knows that won't happen.
They always say you're your own worst enemy.
He knows firsthand how chillingly true that really is.