DISCLAIMER: I do not own Glee, Fox does. And Ryan Murphy. Title from "Desert Song" by My Chemical Romance.
Warnings are: bullying, minor language, physical abuse. If you're familiar with the red string of fate you'll see, although mine has no red string and is a tiny bit different. See: a lot.

Reviewers, you are my man and my inspiration.
Tumblr is on my user page, if anyone's interested.

xxxxXxxxx

Blaine never begs.

When he didn't get what he wanted as a kid, he kept his mouth shut. When his father didn't accept his sexuality, he never said anything and took it in stride, although many a night were spent staring at his mirror, wondering who he had become. Blaine likes to be composed, in control of his situations and his surroundings because despite his messy hair and casual hipster style Blaine is poised and intelligent with a very level head on his shoulders.

Tonight is the first night he begs.

The moment he's pushed on his knees, he's absolutely petrified. He's heard the stories of the tormented gay kids pushed down and forced to suck off their bullies and the thought makes him want to throw up. He's not ignorant to the severity of his situation, a situation he'd originally thought he could control. Underneath his knees and the smooth fabric of his dress slacks the dirt is rough with leaves and sticks, moist with dew and rainwater and seeping slowly through to chill his skin.

Tears well up in his eyes and he keeps his gaze on his lap. He'd just wanted to enjoy the dance, that was all; it was his right as a student and, first and foremost, a human being. Taking part in such a normal high school event made him feel normal for once. He's not hurting anybody and neither was Colin. But now… now he doesn't even know where Colin is and that terrifies him. He quakes a little, something the boy standing in front of him immediately notices.

"You like this, don't you?" he sneers. Blaine's head involuntarily snaps up, his mouth open and a little wet, his eyes wide and pleading as he wonders what, apparently, it is that he likes. "You like being on your knees, you filthy cocksucker."

Oh. So it's that.

But it's not that because Blaine hasn't even done that. Blaine is gay, yes, but he's only fifteen; he's still a virgin. And sure, he's imagined and gotten off to those images, but never like this, never against his will. Now he's past the point of being terrified.

"Please," Blaine whimpers, starting to stand up before hands are pushing roughly at his shoulders, forcing him back down and bringing the bile back to his throat as he thinks oh god he's really going to do it, he's really going to make me suck him off, or r-r—and he stops there, refusing to let his mind get carried away because that wasn't going to happen. Those things never happen, right? "Please, don't hurt me. I—I wasn't doing anything to you."

"I beg to differ, Blainey."

Blaine squeezes his eyes shut, embarrassed and horrified to feel the tears slip past his eyelids, roll down his face and drop onto his slacks. This can't be happening. It's just a nightmare. The dance is tomorrow and this is only Friday. He's in his bed at home, tangled in the sheets and thrashing in distress but home nonetheless. Safe (in a way). Protected (in a way). Blaine's been taunted, sure. He's been tossed into lockers, sure, but it was never anything severe. He'd be shaken and have bruises but that would be it.

It's escalated, somehow, up into this moment. Blaine's breath catches in his throat, heart pounding overtime, and his steady stream of tears is threatening to evolve into full-blown sobs. His heart squeezes and fear ripples up through him, cascading over his body in numbing waves.

What frightens him the most is his inability to control what's going to happen next. He doesn't want to attempt to stand up again, afraid of another repercussion and whether it would be worse than before. He whispers out another "please" and hates himself for breaking and showing how weak he is.

How weak everyone thinks he is.

And it's not fair, either. It's not fair that these assholes think that they can just grab him and grab his friend and treat them like shit. They think that they own the high school and all the kids in it when they don't. They think that they can crumble Blaine's self-control like a house of cards. No one should have to go through with this.

His eyes harden when he looks up and stares into the cold green eyes of Joseph Asher. He stands up abruptly, shoving off Joseph's hands, and though he's at least four inches shorter than him Blaine tries his best to be imposing. "I didn't do anything to you," he says. "So let me go and when Monday rolls around you can go back to shoving me into lockers."

He walks away, shaky-limbed but clear-minded, his back tense like a waiting mousetrap. He only gets a few feet away before three of Joseph's friends are swooping in from nowhere and grabbing him, punishing hands on arms and curling around his sides, fingers digging painfully into flesh. He cries out, thrashing against their hold fruitlessly, and unceremoniously he's dragged back to where Joseph is still standing, his arms crossed and his nostrils flared. Blaine's knees come back into contact with the wet ground and he can't help but look up with wide, pleading eyes.

"You're a waste of space, Blaine Anderson," Joseph says. His friends crowd around Blaine, blocking any routes of escape. By now there are no more tears: Blaine looks up, eyebrows creased and mouth parted, as he silently accepts his fate.

Because tonight, the night of his first Sadie Hawkins, a night that's supposed to be memorable to every student who attends, Blaine learns what real fear feels like. He learns the bitter taste of pleas as they roll off his tongue and fall onto deaf ears. He understands what it's like to go numb and await the heavy blows of fists and feet, hear and feel the slurs and angry words cut deep into his skin like, as Charles Lightoller said, "a thousand knives stabbing you all over your body."

A part of Blaine agrees with Joseph, acknowledges that there's got to be a reason he's treated like this and that it must be all his fault; his fault for existing, for being different, for taking the only other known gay kid in the school as his date. This darker part of Blaine is calm, eerily so, like the bated-breath feeling before a huge storm. This part of him has accepted it.

The other part, the one Blaine used to be before high school, before his mom's death and his dad's cold rejection, screams against the injustice of it all. It goes unheard.

"You know what we do with wastes of space like you?"

The other three boys edge closer. Joseph leans down and brushes away a lock of Blaine's curly hair from his forehead; Blaine flinches and jerks back, staring but not seeing. His vision edges in dark, noise ringing in his ears, and somewhere in the din he hears Joseph say, "We get rid of them."

And then pain.

Blaine can't cry. He can't swallow. He can't breathe and he can't move. He can only jerk and sway with the punches, one to his eye and one to his jaw, and fall to the ground on his side and curl in on himself as they kick; with a strangled noise that sounds like half-laugh, half-cry, he thinks I guess I can't return this suit now.

His face is pushed roughly into the mud-mulch mixture, the scent of dirt, fertilizer, and bark invading his nose, taste bitterly flooding into his mouth. It hurts, oh god it hurts in unspeakable ways and he's so powerless, like he's floating above, watching this unfold, watching four boys surround a prone figure on the ground, kicking and stomping like they don't care.

A crack, a flash of pain as bright and sharp as the blinding glare of an oncoming car's headlights, seeping through his nerves and racing up toward his brain to paralyze him. The heel of a dress shoe presses in on the cracked rib and Blaine lets out a muffled moan of pain, keening high in the back of his throat as he draws his arms up to his face.

Copper floods his mouth, the rich, salty flavor of blood seeping through his parted lips, staining his teeth and gums and the ground below him. They aim for his groin; the first time Blaine tucks, drawing his knees up to his chest despite his body screaming in violent protest. Someone lets out a feral cry of anger and suddenly he's on his back, prone and vulnerable, and when they kick this time their aim is true.

Blaine's eyes squeeze shut and he moans, a low sound that rumbles in his chest, feeling bile rise up in the back of his throat but he still can't move, can only lay there and pray for it all to be over. In the dark abyss behind his closed lids he hears who he thinks is Joseph say, "That's so you can't have your freaky queer sex, you sick freak."

They walk away, leaving Blaine battered and bruised and bleeding from lacerations, blood trickling out of the corner of his mouth as he coughs painfully. His eye is already swelling considerably, he can feel it, and his jaw aches if he so much as tries to open his mouth.

Then, as he stares at the moonless sky, he lets himself cry, tears sliding down his temples and into his matted hair. He doesn't know how long it's going to take someone to find him. He doesn't know where Colin is, he doesn't have his phone on him, though even if he did it's more than likely smashed by now, and everything aches.

It's too much.

He cries and cries, his breath hitching as his ribs and lungs flare sharp with pain, the sad whimper-whines of his voice filling the still night air. He feels pathetic.

"Oh, angel, don't cry."

Blaine starts with a noise of shock that very quickly morphs into pain as his body is jolted. He lifts his head slightly and through the blurry film of tears in his good eye he sees the pale outline of a boy around his age crouched down near his side.

He's never seen this boy before; Blaine would remember such perfect looks. This boy is clad in all gray, all the way up from his skinny jeans to the collar of his form-fitting sweater. His dark brown hair is styled artfully and pulled away from his flawless face. His eyes are a shifting blue-green-gray, his lips a pretty pink splash of color on his face. He's the one who should be called angel, not Blaine, not this broken shell of a boy who may as well be dead right now.

"Don't think that." The should-be angel frowns and gently touches a hand to Blaine's cheek, fingers caressing the scratch marks tenderly. Oddly, there's no pain, just a feeling of gentle warmth, soothing like a damp washcloth. "If you were meant to be dead you would be by now."

Blaine starts to open his mouth and stops, wincing at the pain. He wants to know how in the hell this boy found him, where he's from, and most importantly, how did he know what Blaine was thinking?

The boy looks at him sadly, trailing his ivory-skinned fingers down the column of Blaine's throat to settle above his heart, feeling the sluggish pulse. He stares at Blaine for a few long moments, moments that seem to stretch into eternity, his ice-blue eyes never faltering or even blinking.

Finally, with his hand still over the bloodied white shirt covering Blaine's chest, he speaks.

"We're similar," is what he says quietly, smiling and showing the barest hint of blood coating his teeth. Suddenly his appearance morphs, the silvery perfect façade melting away into the night, like rising smoke off of a candle. Now he's in a ripped, bloodstained blue jacket and torn black jeans and bruise marks on his throat that look disgustingly similar to fingers. There's a gash on his forehead and at his temple and now his eyes are dull, listless, the shadow of a bruise arching over his left eye.

"I used to live in Lima," he says, moving his hand away from Blaine's chest, taking the phantom warmth with it. "I'm Kurt. Kurt Hummel. I would have been your age now."

Lima. That's not that far from here, a couple hours at the most. Why hadn't Blaine heard of this? He wants to speak so badly but knows the most he can get out are noises. Since Kurt can apparently read his thoughts Blaine decides it's best to communicate that way. 'Would have been'?

"I was jumped," Kurt says simply. "After a late night working at my father's garage. They tracked me down and I never stood a chance."

But why?

Kurt smiles again and Blaine can clearly see the dark red pooled in his mouth, shining wetly, but oddly it never spills over, even when Kurt speaks in that high, beautiful voice of his. "Because I'm like you," he says quietly with a little secret grin. "Because I was always meant for you, Blaine Anderson."

Blaine wonders if maybe he's hallucinating from the pain coupled with the blood loss. He closes his eye for a second and concentrates on his short, staccato breaths. In. Out. Pain, relax.

"If I had lived," Kurt says slowly, pain edging its way into his voice like an impending scratch on a record, "if I had lived to see my junior year at McKinley, I would have been sent to spy on a rival glee club, and there I would have met you for the first time."

I—I don't understand.

Kurt laughs, a tiny musical chuckle, and takes Blaine's hand. The feeling is like holding a handful of rose petals or a wool scarf if it were magnified tenfold; Kurt's skin is soft beyond anything Blaine's ever held before and lighter than a bird's wing. "No, you wouldn't," he replies. Blaine fixes his eye on the finger-shaped bruises lining Kurt's elegant neck. "It was fate."

Fate?

Kurt nods and drags his thumb over the top of Blaine's hand slowly, like he's Helen Keller mapping out a word. "I was bound to you," he explains. "After tonight, you'll find out about Dalton Academy and you'll transfer. There, you'll heal. You'll become yourself again, but stronger. You'll join their glee club and be happier than you've ever been in your entire life."

He pauses, closing his eyes. Blaine sees pain etched onto the broken lines of his face, twisting his lips into a thin line as he takes a deep breath (or not, maybe just the muscle memory of doing so) and continues on. "Your junior year, you'll have all the solos and everyone will love you. They won't care that you're gay or that you got beat up for it; they'll only see Blaine Anderson, the boy with the amazing voice and boundless energy."

But… where did you come in?

Kurt raises Blaine's hand to his face and presses his lips gently to the back of it. A shiver runs involuntarily through Blaine, igniting him from the top of his hand all the way to the tips of his toes. The energy being passed is sizzling, almost electric. "I would have met you on a staircase and it would have been love at first sight, though it'd take months and a song about a dead bird for you to realize it." He laughs sharply, like his story is affecting him just as much as Blaine.

Kurt's voice is cracking now, his eyes misting with tears that would never again fall. Blaine wants to mimic Kurt's earlier move and reach out to stroke his cheek but try as he might none of his limbs would obey. Everything felt heavy and dead, the only part of him feeling normal being the hand Kurt was currently holding.

If this is true, if Kurt's his… his soulmate, why is he getting told this now? They won't ever be together because of small-town ignorance, and hearing Kurt spin the tale of their would-be romance makes his heart clench painfully and causes the tears to roll faster down the sides of his face.

"You're almost dead, Blaine," comes Kurt's soft reply, and that gets Blaine's attention.

"What?" he croaks out, ignoring his jaw and the scratchiness of his voice. He pushes the pain to the back of his mind as he lifts his head up to look at Kurt. Kurt is nodding solemnly, thumb still stroking absent patterns on the back of Blaine's hand.

"I'm only here because you're straddling life and death. But you'll fight through this, Blaine. Colin's gonna come back. He'll be hurt but he'll be better off than you. He'll call his dad and they'll take you to the hospital and everything's gonna be okay."

Blaine lets his head drop back to the ground as he ponders the unfairness of the universe. This boy, Kurt, he said his name was, could have been his? They could have met, become friends, boyfriends, something much more?

They could have maybe had a life together, been happy and so, so much more, but now Kurt will never be his no matter how much Blaine wishes and wants to get to know him better. He'll never get to grow up and experience a world outside a small-minded community. He's dead and Blaine is almost there with him.

This isn't fair he thinks with a small whimper. Why do I live and you don't?

"Fate," Kurt reiterates. "Life isn't fair, but it makes us stronger, Blaine. You'll be all right without me, sweetheart. I've been watching you for a long time."

Kurt stands up, his battered human body blurring and fading until he's clad in all gray again, skin ivory-colored and flawless, eyes bright and lively and mouth readily pulling up into a smile. It's like he's never been hurt a day in his existence. "Help's coming," he says, turning slightly and crookedly smiling at Blaine. "Everything's going to be okay."

A flash of light and Blaine catches blurred, fuzzy images of large, wide white wings perfectly framing a lithe figure clad in gray and with a sad story about the injustice of the universe surrounding him like an invisible cloud. Then suddenly, he's gone and the only sound remaining are crickets and the rustle of the leaves in the trees.

The only thing that remains is the faint scents of roses and lavender. Blaine's world swims out of focus until it's all dark.

xxxxXxxxx

There's a frantic voice, familiar sounding but unfamiliar at the same time. There's the crunch of tires on the asphalt next to the earth mound where Blaine's laying, broken and listless and half-conscious, blood staining the black fabric of his suit and his white button-up underneath. More voices and then sirens, a painful car ride and finally, Blaine blacking out fully, dreaming of blue-eyed angels with wide, feathery wings and sad tales on their pretty pink lips.

When he awakes with the sterile smell of hospital surrounding him, the steady beeping of the heart monitor and the IV drip, the feel of a numbing all-over pain, he doesn't remember anything besides a strange, distant dream that he can't grasp no matter how hard he thinks.

He doesn't see the angel in the corner and he won't again for a long, long time.