Blaine Anderson, 25, is in the apartment he just finished furnishing with some money left to him by his grandfather, three blocks up from Prospect Park, Brooklyn. It consists of a lounge, kitchen, bedroom with en-suite and another room known as "the studio". He is studying law and performing arts at NYU. It's twenty past eleven in the morning. His boyfriend of six years has just left him.

No Mercy For He

You left a blood-stain, on the floor.
You set your sights on him.
You left a hand-print, on the door.
Like all the boys before, like all the boys before...

The sound rang out in the pristine kitchen. The tiles were cold and stained red; crimson streaked across the floor in clumsy, porcelain pools. The angry words hung in the air, buried deep into his flesh like bullets shot across the granite-topped battlefield. The white cupboards, smooth and plastic, shone with fake warmth as the light buzzed above them. Blaine was breathing heavily, each breath sick with the weight of what had happened and landing on the floor in a heap. Kurt hadn't moved. He was still standing on the other side of the kitchen, his knuckles clutching whitely to the counter-top, his eyes flashing with a stunned green and dangerous grey.

Blaine turned, wanting to look anywhere but the man before him. He was fuming, raging, and all he had wanted was to storm and scream and shout until Kurt could take no more from him. But Kurt had been different tonight. He was tired, drained. He was not the imperturbable, proud force that Blaine sought out when he needed a fight, or took refuge in when he needed shelter. The man holding onto the kitchen counter tightly, almost as though he would drown in the tiles below if he let go, was not the man Blaine had expected to come home to.

Kurt's whole form was shaking. Blaine could see him out of the corner of his eye, but no sound came from him. Nothing filled the air of the kitchen but Blaine's breathing and the echo of the broken plate, scattering pasta and tomato on the floor. Blaine closed his eyes and willed his heart to stop beating the way it was, wished with all his might that the past anger would return and help fuel him again. He wished to feel something other than the inescapable desperation now pouring into him.

Blaine opened his eyes as he heard the china clink together, scraping the floor coarsely. He looked down and saw Kurt on his knees, picking up the pieces of the plate one-by-one. Kurt's slender fingers picked up the mess delicately, his alabaster palms holding the red-splashed pieces in a stark contrast that made Blaine's breath catch in his throat.

Kurt's cheek was still peppered pink from the force of the slap.

Blaine watched as Kurt rose from the floor gracefully. The knees of his grey jeans were stained, and there was speck of sauce on his loose, white jumper. Blaine remembered buying him that jumper from Abercrombie and Fitch months ago, unable to leave it when his mind had wandered to how it would show off Kurt's shoulders. Even now, despite the bitterness and fury rising like thunder between them, Blaine still caught himself observing the way Kurt's skin moved across his collar bone, highlighted by the jumper's low neck.

Blaine's heavy winter coat suddenly seemed too constricting and the desire to remove it and throw it almost consumed Blaine as rapidly as his fury at Kurt had, but he resisted. He wouldn't do anything to scare Kurt any more than he already had, and so he stood in the kitchen feeling stuffy and awkward, watching the way Kurt's knuckles quaked together. He felt dirty. Tainted; an angry, petty man in a rain stenched coat, standing in a kitchen with someone who had spent months working to have it at the level of grandeur and design it was now.

The remainders of the plate crashed into the bin. Kurt turned from the corner of the kitchen and approached the sink. Light streaked across Kurt's promise ring, the water from the tap running down through his fingers like glistening sand. The silence was becoming almost suffocating and Blaine found himself no longer able to restrain himself.

'I'm so s-'

'Stop. Just- stop.'

Kurt's words silenced Blaine immediately. There was something undeniably low in his voice, a new emotion Blaine had never heard the man he loved express before. But it was there, strong and present, holding all the cracked syllables together. Blaine swallowed, almost choking on the words he had resting on his tongue.

Kurt turned off the tap and leaned onto the counter. Slowly, dully, noise began to fill the kitchen again. The bustle of New York's roads softly pressed against the window pane and the sink spluttered as the last of the water drained away. The Brooklyn lights blinked from the window before Kurt, casting shadows across his face, his eyes closed, mouth tight. Blaine watched as Kurt's hands seemed to quiver beneath his weight, his head down and his eyelashes fluttering as though he were dreaming. Blaine was not sure how long they had been like that, silent and swelling, but each moment dragged for what felt like years, ageing Kurt in the passing of nothing. Suddenly, Kurt spoke, his fingers clenched onto the edge of the counter, his eyes tightly shut.

'I am not cheating on you,' Kurt whispered, slowly and heavily. Blaine felt his heart pull painfully in his chest. His hand was still stinging from the force of the strike. 'Jasper is just a guy from my class who needed help with a deadline. That's all. God, Blaine- I can't believe you... I can't believe you just-'

Kurt's face contorted as though in pain, as though Blaine had done it again. Blaine felt his stomach churn, every inch of him disgusted by what had happened. How angry he had gotten, how jealous he had been. The repulsion and fear that had consumed him at the thought of someone else being with Kurt like he was; of Kurt loving someone else. The memory was vivid and horrible in Blaine's mind; the furious words thrown like stones, the accusation, the way he had grabbed Kurt, knocking the plate from his hand, the sound of it crashing to the floor, the venom in Kurt's voice right before he-

Blaine felt the bile rise and gagged suddenly, lunging forward to lean on the kitchen's island, his stomach roiling viciously. Kurt moved quickly at the sudden movement from Blaine, and Blaine felt every ounce of his being begin to bite. Kurt was scared of him. Scared of him; Blaine, the man Kurt loved, the man Kurt had known for six years, the man Kurt wore his ring for, the man who could never, ever hurt him...

'Kurt, I can't even- I am so sorry,' Blaine sobbed dryly; the tears wouldn't fall. They merely swirled in the corner of his eyes like gathering storm clouds.

He looked up to meet Kurt's gaze, which flickered briefly away from Blaine, glancing at the kitchen door, (which was flung open before the fight), before returning fearfully to Blaine's once more. Tears leaked silently from Kurt's glasz eyes, blinking in the kitchen's light in two glossy lines. But his jaw was set, his breathing even. Blaine felt a surge of affection for the man stoically standing before him, mixing sourly in his stomach with the guilt. Kurt was so brave. So brave.

'I know,' Kurt breathed, letting go of his tether of the counter. He stepped cautiously around the island, his socks making no sound on the tiled floor. Blaine kept his gaze, terrified that if he looked away Kurt would vanish. Run out the door and slip away into the New York streets.

Suddenly, unable to restrain himself, Blaine moved quickly over to Kurt, his arms encasing his slender form and pulling him flush against Blaine's heaving chest. Blaine felt Kurt stiffen beneath him, arms frozen just above his coats heavy shoulders, but Blaine could not pull himself away. He rested his forehead against Kurt's and watched as Kurt's eyes fluttered shut. Blaine mimicked him, red darkness swerving before him.

'Kurt,' Blaine moaned, and Kurt made a strange movement against him. 'Kurt, Kurt, Kurt...' Blaine repeated his name like a prayer, letting it fall as easily and beautifully as it had the thousands, millions of other times he had said it. 'I am so sorry. I would never, ever hurt you. I couldn't- I'm so sorry, Kurt. Kurt.'

For not nearly long enough, they remained that way. Entwined and shaking as Kurt's fear seeped out from him in quivering sobs and Blaine's disgust in himself leaving his hands trembling on Kurt's waist. But all too soon, Kurt was pushing himself away from Blaine. His left cheek was still flaming and Blaine finally felt something run down his own face, hot and fast.

'I'm- I'm going to bed, Blaine. I'm tired,' Kurt sighed dejectedly, his glass hands strong against Blaine's chest as he pushed himself away. He seemed unable to look Blaine in the face. 'Forget about dinner, and the mess, I'll clean it up tomorrow. Just... I think you should stay on the couch tonight.'

Blaine nodded silently, at loss of what to say. His eyes fell down from Kurt's face, trailing along Kurt's body and finally scanning across the kitchen floor, landing on the splatter of the dinner Kurt had made a mere two hours before. Kurt raised a hand to his cheek, touching it tenderly before walking softly out the door and probably disappearing into their bedroom.

A door closed with a snap, it's lock clicking into place down the hall, leaving Blaine alone in the kitchen, the hum of New York buzzing in his ears. Blaine didn't mean to do it. He would never have wanted to do it. But he did. He had hit him. Blaine had hit Kurt.

This is our luck, baby, running out.
His clothes were never off.
We still have hours to run about.
To get us back on track.

Blaine awoke a few hours later. Pushing himself off the couch, he felt groggy and cramped from collapsing in his clothes. It was bright outside, the lounge illuminated palely in the morning sun as it ghosted through the chiffon voiles of the window. Sitting up from the crumpled cushions and shedding his wrinkled coat, Blaine unbuttoned and tossed his shirt aside onto the floor. The chalk-coloured walls suddenly seemed cold in the new light, the grey suite looking dark and ominous in their carefully selected places. Like tanks waiting for the signal to charge. Blaine leaned forward, holding his face in his hands. The memory of last night lingered in his mind like a bruise, sore and tender.

The lock clicked open from down the hall, and suddenly Blaine felt far more awake. He stood up from the couch, casting a nervous shadow in the curtained sun across the couch. He saw Kurt step out of their bedroom, dressed impeccably, hair styled, as though nothing had happened last night. As though there had been no fight. But the air was cold with the hauntings of what Blaine had done. The sound of him hitting Kurt resonated between them, creating miles. Kurt turned silently to look at Blaine. He stepped into the hall fully, closing the door behind him. For a long time, neither of them spoke. Blaine simply watched Kurt, studied the way his eyes-lashes curled, the way his wrists were slightly bent. But then his eyes fell to Kurt's feet, and the bag.

All the air vanished from the apartment and Blaine found himself suddenly feeling faint.

Kurt walked timidly down the hall into the lounge, his eyes only flickering to the kitchen door once. He walked around the couch with a slight girth, before sitting down on the shining, black coffee table, his eyes dancing in strange colours before Blaine. Blaine looked down at him for a few moments, before retreating back down to the couch's welcoming cushion, level with Kurt.

'Blaine,' Kurt said softly, his fingers knotting together on his clasped knees. They looked too white against the black denim and deep burgundy of his cardigan. (Blaine wished he had worn something else. He didn't think he'd ever want to see the colour red again). Blaine watched as Kurt fiddled with his promise ring, the silver glowing in the dim light. Kurt breathed out shakily and looked down at his hands.

'Kurt,' Blaine whispered, an echo of desperation beneath the name. The shadow of a wince cast across Kurt's face, but in a moment it was gone. Blaine reached out, trailing his fingertips as lightly as possible across Kurt's purpling cheek. 'Oh, God, Kurt. Look at you. I'm so...'

But the words wouldn't come. Kurt closed his eyes and gave a nod in response jerkily, the edges of his lashes suddenly weighted with moisture. Blaine swallowed thickly, the presence of the packed bag in the hallway suddenly crushing down on him. He withdrew his hand.

'Are you leaving?'

'Yes,' Kurt replied immediately, his voice breathy. He still didn't look Blaine in the eyes. 'But not for long, just- just until I get a chance to... to clear my head a bit. It'll only be for a while.'

'A while?' Blaine repeated, the words spoken so softly, but breaking Blaine like bricks through glass. Guilt poisoned him. He knew he had no right to sit there, begging silently for Kurt to stay after what happened. But the thought of what would happen once Kurt shut the door behind him was almost too much to bear. Blaine clenched his fists on the couch's edge, the fabric scratching.

'Only for now, Blaine,' Kurt answered, the words constricted. Blaine thought fearfully of what Kurt was holding back, what he wasn't saying. 'As for the kitchen, I cleaned it up last night. I couldn't sleep and-'

'How long?' Blaine found himself asking, interrupting his boyfriend. Kurt's fingers stilled on his ring.

'I'm- I'm not sure,' he stammered, eyes opening and looking somewhere to Blaine's left.

'Where are you going?'

'I don't know.'

'Would you tell me if you did?'

'I don't know.' Blaine's stomach flipped uncomfortably. There was a glutinous feeling of dread curdling his blood, making him stiff and sickly. Blaine wanted nothing more than to reach out and touch Kurt. Pull him close, tightly against him. Feel his warmth, breath him in. But Blaine knew better. There was a reason Kurt was sitting here now, a reason for that God-damn bag in the hallway. He nodded slowly, his grip tightening on the cushion to stop himself from drawing Kurt to him.

'This will be good. For both of us. You've been under a lot of stress lately, and I need some time for myself.' Blaine barely registered what Kurt was saying. All he could think was how foolish he had been. This couldn't be happening. Kurt couldn't be saying these things. Kurt wouldn't say these things if-

Suddenly, something ugly and hideously familiar burst into being within Blaine's chest. It squeezed his heart tightly in it's unforgiving tendrils, injecting a venom Blaine recognised too well.

'Are you going to him?' He had said it so quietly he almost thought Kurt hadn't heard him. But he had, and Blaine watched as Kurt's whole body crumbled shiveringly. His own ears were suddenly filled with a ringing as Blaine realised too late that he just fired the fatal shot of the postponed fight of last night.

'I can't believe this. After last night, after all you did...' Kurt whimpered furiously, more to himself than Blaine it seemed. Blaine reached out, but Kurt withdrew sharply. His bottom lip trembled and Blaine watched as the blue in Kurt's eyes turned a sour green. 'No, Blaine. There is no "him", just you. Despite everything. Only you- you idiot.'

Kurt rose from the table in one fluid movement. Blaine was caught off-guard by his departure and was frozen a few moments, staring at where Kurt had been. Blaine distantly heard Kurt's bag scraping against the floor as he picked it up down the hall, Kurt's converse squeaking on the laminate-wood. The sound of the front door clicking open brought Blaine tumbling back to earth. Kurt was leaving him.

Kurt was leaving him.

Blaine launched himself off the couch, running straight down the hall and out the door. It slammed violently against the wall, but Blaine didn't care. Kurt was standing in front of the elevator, his arms crossed and that fucking bag hanging loosely over his shoulder. He turned to look as Blaine bolted towards him. Kurt opened his mouth as though to cry out, but Blaine already had his arms around him, encircling his waist and tying knots behind his willowy back. Blaine buried his face into Kurt's shoulder, barely aware of how the cotton of Kurt's sweater itched on his bare chest.

'Don't do this,' Blaine begged, the words falling from his mouth and staining Kurt's cardigan. 'Don't do this. Please, please, don't.' Kurt's hands rose to meet Blaine's shoulder, feeling icy cold against his flaming skin.

'Blaine, please- Ms. Wall is coming out of her apartment,' Kurt murmured frantically, his fragile fingers pressing into Blaine as the sound of a door opening drifted up the corridor.

'I don't care!' Blaine all but shouted. Kurt started beneath him, but Blaine refused to let go. He could feel Kurt's back arching in his attempts to escape, sinewy and beautiful. Blaine's heart twisted and he gritted his teeth into designer cotton.

'Blaine,' Kurt whispered softly, a sorrow soaking in the word like it were a sponge. He took Blaine's face in his porcelain hands, pulling him up gently to look into his eyes. Blaine watched the way Kurts lips shook pinkly, the way his cheeks paled. The way something in his eyes screamed "goodbye" though he didn't utter a word.

Then, slowly, meticulously, Kurt pulled away from him; water draining from sand on a shore. His fingers left a ghosted chill on Blaine's face. Blaine could feel his eyes sting as the elevator door creaked and scraped open. It sounded out of a tune with the murmured "not for long" and "I'll call soon". Kurt stepped back, his head tilting down the way it always did when he was lying.

'I have to go.'

An idea that would not leave me alone. Any mistakes are my own. Constructive criticism is always wanted.