Same disclaimers apply.
Kurt realizes it's been awhile since he's really talked to Blaine, and the pieces he puts together of the months he's missed cause him more worry than anything else. He shows up at Blaine's door over Thanksgiving week in an attempt to reach out.
Companion fic to this which delves into Blaine's headspace when Kurt gets there.
A/N: This is less therapy!fic and more what I wish could've/would've happened. Also, cliche title is cliche, but it's also from next to normal. I hope Kurt doesn't come off as a save-all for Blaine here, but I'm aware that he might. It's more that I'm hoping Kur'ts support will give Blaine the push he needs to get past the initial awkwardness and painfulness of counseling, and get to the real healing.
Anyway, here you go. I'm at a strange place emotionally, so take that as you will.
From: Kurt Hummel
Dad's planning the Thanksgiving menu. How many rolls do you plan on eating this year? :)
Blaine reads the text message from Kurt, the words hovering in front of him but not really registering. Hadn't he told Kurt that he'd be spending Thanksgiving at school? His parents are in California on business, his dad accepting some high-profile award for his latest business model. It's not like Kurt will miss him all that much anyway-he's been doing fine without Blaine, living his life in New York City, spending weekends exploring the theater district and meeting up with Rachel to rush whatever they can.
He doesn't hold it against Kurt-if he were the one in an exciting place like New York, he'd probably forget about his boyfriend every once in awhile, too. And it's not like Kurt's forgotten him, and he hasn't really forgotten Kurt-they just don't talk as much as they used to, when Blaine was still in high school. It's a function of the distance, how busy their schedules are, and Blaine doesn't really blame Kurt for the drift. It's probably natural that a relationship like theirs should start to fizzle after so long.
In all honesty, Blaine doesn't know if he has the capacity to reciprocate in a relationship at the moment, anyway. Everything seems to take too much effort. Blaine's been in counseling for two weeks, and he's seeing Dr. Nasser later in the week to discuss possible medication therapy, but it all seems useless to Blaine, so he keeps his routine the same, falling asleep whenever he can and sleeping until late afternoon, ignoring everything and everyone he can.
Andrew is past the point of being frustrated with him, and has taken to spending as much time as possible out of the room-he's slept down the hall in Brandon's room five times in the last two weeks, but Blaine can't really bring himself to feel badly. Andrew threatened to call his parents, before realizing how empty that threat was when Blaine revealed they hadn't been home for more than three days in a row since January. Blaine is pretty sure Andrew's gone to their RA as well, but when Katie knocks on the door calling his name, he pretends he's out or asleep, and he's managed to avoid her thus far.
All in all, Blaine still feels like shit, and he's starting to withdraw from social interactions of any kind, never returning phone calls or emails unless he absolutely has to, never spending longer outside his room than it takes to walk to the coffee shop or attend the occasional class he still goes to. Part of him hopes the therapy starts to work soon, and part of him wants to call Kurt and let everything out, rely on Kurt like he used to. But most of him can't see past moving moment to moment, so that's what he keeps doing.
From: Blaine :)
I can't come home. Have a good break with everyone.
Kurt frowns when Blaine's reply finally comes through, and it's not at all what he wants to hear. This is the first he's hearing of Blaine staying at school for the holiday, and Kurt's a bit worried about the reason why (even though he knows deep down that Blaine's parents are probably out of town-out of the country-and can't be bothered to be home for the holidays).
Scrolling back through his recent messages, Kurt realizes this is the first time he's had any real interaction with Blaine in a few weeks. Their conversation has been mostly one sided, Kurt sending one-liners and observations about his classmates, the weather, life in New York. Blaine's responses are short, spread out, and lacking the usual humor Blaine tries to send him. Frowning, Kurt goes back further, trying to find the last time they'd exchanged anything other than small talk.
He reaches the beginning of October before he finds the last time they'd exchanged "I love yous" via text. In itself this isn't that strange-after nearly three years together they know the sentiment is there. But combined with the lack of phone calls and Skype dates, Kurt feels the beginnings of worry in the back of his mind.
He sits at his desk, powers up his laptop and clicks through to Facebook. He finds Blaine's profile easily and scrolls through the recent posts. Blaine's profile picture has been the same for months, the two of them wrapped around each other at Pride, when Blaine had flown out to stay with Kurt for the weekend. Kurt smiles, the picture reminding him of a time when Blaine was still at McKinley and they both had a lot more free time. Kurt's been meaning to sit down and Skype with Blaine for awhile now, to catch up on everything he's missed in the last few months since Blaine started college and Kurt started his sophomore year, but time is valuable and neither of them has much of it,
Kurt's smile wans as he scrolls down Blaine's profile, reading the statuses and updates. The last tagged picture of Blaine is from late September at a football game, Blaine posed in the middle of a group of guys Kurt vaguely recognizes as Blaine's floormates. There aren't many other updates-Blaine's last status is lyrics to what might be an old Jack's Mannequin song, posted three weeks ago. The lack of updates gives Kurt pause-Blaine had been a Facebook junkie in high school, constantly posting song lyrics and stupid videos of cats-but that doesn't give Kurt as much reason to worry as the three newest posts on top of the page.
Kelsey Christianson Blaine, I have the notes for Schorey's class, I gave them to Brandon. He asked about you again. When are you coming back to class? I can't keep covering for you like this.
Brandon Smith Dude, I've left a pile of notes outside your room every day this week, are you going to pick them up anytime or...?
Cooper Richardson Are you coming to orchestra tonight? We started that new piece last week, I have your sheet music if you want to come a few minutes early?
Skipping class, having other people lie for him-none of these things seem like Blaine, at least not the Blaine Kurt is in love with. Kurt imagines for a moment that there are little red flags littering the screen in front of him, each more glaring than the last. Scrolling back down the page, he finds Blaine's last status again and actually reads it, absorbs it.
Blaine Anderson "This flood is slowly rising up, swallowing the ground beneath my feet, tell me how anybody thinks under this condition so..."
He recognizes the song now, pins it as lyrics to Dark Blue, from the summer Blaine had spent trying to convince Kurt of the value of alternative music. In light of everything else-missed phone calls, terse text messages, skipped requirements-the lyrics practically glare at him from the screen. Is this a call for help, or is this Blaine simply posting the song he's currently listening to? Deep down, Kurt thinks it's the former-Blaine isn't one to ask outright for the things he needs, and the song is one that so many people know, it would barely register as out of the ordinary.
Kurt's not sure what the picture he's painted means, but it isn't pretty and he's definitely crossed the line from worried to borderline panicked. Grabbing his phone, Kurt flicks through to Blaine's number, presses SEND and waits for the call to connect. He gets Blaine's voicemail four times before he leaves a message, asking Blaine to please, please call him as soon as he can.
At a loss, Kurt scrolls back through Blaine's Facebook, looking for signs that he missed, signs that something was going wrong or the point where things might have turned. Nothing else stands out, but he notices that Blaine's posts decreased in frequency drastically sometime around early October. It's when he reaches a post from Andrew McManon that Kurt gets an idea.
He types a quick message to Blaine's roommate, a brief inquiry into whether or not Andrew's noticed anything off about Blaine lately. He doesn't expect the quick reply, nor does he expect Andrew's plea.
From: Andrew McManon
I don't know how much you know, how much Blaine's told you. He's just-he's not in a good place right now, and I don't know how to help him. I don't know what's wrong with him. I made him go to the counseling center, but he doesn't talk to me, Kurt. I don't know if it's helping him, if anything's helping him. He doesn't go to class anymore-he went to one math lecture last week and skipped everything else. He's failing tests and he's not turning projects in; he hasn't picked up his violin in weeks. I'm just-I'm not sure how much longer I can keep trying to get through to him. It's exhausting, and I'm just-he's always in bed, he's always sleeping when I come home from class, I don't know how he functions anymore.
I know it's Thanksgiving, and I know you've probably got plans but, like-I think he needs you, Kurt. I think he needs someone and doesn't know how to ask. I don't know how to ask you this, but-can you come be with him? I think he needs someone who loves him right now.
Kurt's eyes are stinging when he's done reading, and he has no idea how to process the information. Blaine is obviously hurting, but Kurt has no idea why. He doesn't think anything's happened recently that would make Blaine like this, anything that could trigger such a drastic change. Blaine was never like this in high school, never this upset to the point of what sounds a lot like depression to Kurt, who's only real experience is with the girl in his freshman studio who'd dropped out halfway through first semester.
He makes a decision, simultaneously pulling up his flight details while dialing his home number. Burt picks up after three rings, a laugh in his voice and Carole chattering in the background.
"Hummel residence, this is Burt speaking."
"Dad? It's Kurt."
"Kurt! I wasn't expecting to hear from you until 's up, is your flight changed?"
"Dad, I know-I know you and Carole have been planning Thanksgiving for awhile, and I know you had plans but-I think I need to go be with Blaine this weekend."
"Blaine's not coming here?"
"His parents won't be home, so he's staying at school. I just-I think he needs me, Dad."
"Is something wrong with him? Is he sick?"
"I'm not sure. I just-we haven't talked in so long, and then his roommate said that Blaine's been feeling pretty down lately and he asked if-if I could come be with him. I really don't want to miss dinner, and I'd love to see you guys but-"
"You're worried about him."
Burt can read the underlying sentiment in Kurt's tone, and knows immediately exactly how worried Kurt is. He's spent years figuring his son out, and though Kurt rarely shows it, the people he cares about are almost always at the forefront of his mind. He's slightly disappointed that Kurt will miss Thanksgiving dinner, but Christmas is less than a month away and they'll have Kurt to themselves for nearly four weeks. Blaine's become as much a part of their family as Finn and Carole now, and Burt himself feels the beginnings of worry when he thinks about what could be wrong with Blaine.
"Go ahead, Kurt. I'd rather you be here, but if Blaine needs you than you should be there for him. We'll see you over Christmas, I think we can cope."
"Kurt, it's fine. Go to Blaine. Give him our best while you're there, okay? And keep us updated if anything happens."
By six pm that night Kurt's plane tickets have been changed and he's called all of the people who'd miss him to explain his impending absence. The following Tuesday he's boarding a plane for Pennsylvania.
"Blaine, are you coming out with us? We're going out for coffee before everyone heads home."
"Andrew, I'm fine, okay? I just-maybe I'll work on that Philo paper I have to do."
Andrew snorts, knows Blaine will do nothing of the sort. He fully expects to come back from coffee and find Blaine asleep, or playing some mindless game on his laptop. It's getting exhausting, making the effort to reach out, draw Blaine out again. Getting Blaine to the counseling center was difficult enough; Andrew's ready to stop trying, because he can't keep spinning his wheels, waiting for Blaine to get his head out of his ass.
It's emotionally and physically draining at this point, and Andrew really hopes Kurt takes his advice. Blaine needs someone, someone to listen to him and to show how much they love him. Andrew likes Blaine well enough-they'd gotten along fantastically at the start of the year. But he can't give Blaine the support he thinks Blaine needs at this point, can't be there for Blaine like Blaine needs someone to be.
Whatever Andrew wants to say is cut off by a knock at the door. Blaine raises his head from his pillow in mild interest, before flopping back and turning over, his back to the room. He's asleep within seconds, and Andrew sighs, crossing to the door and pulling it open. He doesn't expect the person on the other side, even after their brief exchange a few days earlier.
Kurt Hummel is standing at the door, scarf draped around his neck and a designer duffel slung over his shoulder. He smiles at Andrew, holds out his hand.
"You're Andrew, right?"
"Kurt. You actually came."
"I did. Andrew, where is he?"
Andrew steps aside, and Kurt can see clearly to Blaine's bed. Blaine's back is rising and falling shallowly in sleep, and Kurt feels a sudden pang. Andrew grabs his coat, heading past Kurt before Kurt can really process.
"Listen, I'm heading out, okay? Just-good luck, Kurt. And thanks. For coming."
Kurt nods, and Andrew's gone, the door clicking shut behind him. Kurt sets his duffel beside what must be Blaine's desk-there's a picture of the two of them at Rachel's last birthday party pinned to the bulletin board-and unwinds his scarf, draping it and his coat over the desk chair. He toes his boots off and leaves the next to the bag, eyes raking over Blaine's desk and the pictures he's put up. He finally turns, taking in Blaine's form on the bed.
Blaine hasn't moved since Kurt arrived, but Kurt wonders if Blaine is actually asleep or just pretending. It's clear now there is something actually wrong with his boyfriend-the pile of clothes overflowing out of the hamper has to be weeks old, and there's a stack of untouched textbooks on the desk. Kurt sees several marked papers scattered across the desk, various grades well below passing scrawled across each of them. Blaine's got the comforter pulled past his neck, his ungelled curls sticking out against his pillow.
Kurt crosses to the bed, eases himself onto the edge and settles his hand on Blaine's upper arm. He leans in, drops a kiss to Blaine's temple before whispering in his ear.
"Blaine? Honey, are you awake?"
Blaine's head rolls on the pillow, and his eyes blink open. He focuses on Kurt's face, surprise registering in his eyes as he does.
"Andrew asked me to come. How are you, Blaine?"
Blaine takes a breath, fully intending to answer, but all that escapes his throat is a choked sob. His hands shoot up, fisting in Kurt's sweater as he pulls himself up and into his boyfriend's chest. His shoulders start to shake as he buries his face into Kurt's neck.
Kurt gasps, momentarily stunned, but his arms settle around Blaine and he holds the smaller boy to his chest. He runs a hand up Blaine's back in an attempt to soothe, but Blaine's inconsolable now, his shoulders heaving as tears finally start to fall. Blaine's hands remain fisted in Kurt's sweater, clenching and unclenching around the fabric as he sobs.
"Blaine, honey, what's wrong? Talk to me, sweetheart, I need you to say something."
But Blaine can't and he doesn't, because he doesn't have words to express what he's thinking, feeling. He hasn't cried yet, not at all and not like this. Something about Kurt's presence grounds him and he feels something within him release, and then he can't stop. The tears don't seem to have an end, and his breath starts to come in harsh gasps the longer he cries, the longer he clutches at Kurt.
Kurt, for his part, lets Blaine cry after his first attempt at getting Blaine to talk. He holds Blaine to his chest and finds himself crying, too, his own tears falling into Blaine's curls as they sit. They stay entwined like that for close to an hour before Blaine's sobs finally let up somewhat, and it's another forty minutes before Blaine can pull himself away from Kurt, his eyes swollen and red. He keeps his hands fisted in Kurt's shirt, almost in an attempt to keep Kurt close to him.
"Blaine? Are you ready to talk?"
"I can't," Blaine whispers, his voice rough from the tears. He adjusts his grip on Kurt's sweater but doesn't let go. "I don't-I don't know what to do anymore."
"Blaine?" Kurt removes one hand from Blaine's back and goes to brush Blaine's curls form his forehead, letting his hand rest along Blaine's cheek. "What's been going on?"
"I just-I can't, Kurt, I don't know. I just feel so-so empty all the time, and I can't do anything anymore, I don't have the energy or the patience or-"
"Hey," Kurt whispers, his thumb stroking across Blaine's cheekbone. "Deep breath."
He waits for Blaine to follow his instruction, watches Blaine's eyelids flutter closed again as he exhales. He strokes his thumb across Blaine's cheek again before speaking.
"How long have you been feeling like this?"
"And how long is a while?" Blaine doesn't answer, but he opens his eyes to meet Kurt's and the pain behind them takes Kurt's breath away. "Since October, isn't it? Before that?"
"Since the first month of school," Blaine admits, his eyes filling again but his gaze not leaving Kurt's.
"But why, Blaine? What's going on? Is it your family? Is it because we haven't really been keeping in touch? What happened?"
Blaine disentangles himself then, folding his arms over his chest and sitting back against the wall. He closes his eyes again, lets his head fall back before answering.
"It's-it's nothing like that, Kurt. It's not you, it's not us. It's not even my dad. I just-it just happens sometimes. Some people are-some people are like this. At least, they tried to tell me that."
"Like what, Blaine?"
Blaine gets up from the bed then, crosses to his desk and pulls a stack of pamphlets from his bottom drawer. He drops them in front of Kurt and settles himself back against the wall, watching Kurt pick through the titles carefully.
Kurt's not really surprised, he's had an idea formed for a few days now, but seeing it in stark writing-"Depression and You" and other similar titles-makes it all the more real. He doesn't know much about depression, conjures up images of women with their heads bowed and over-dramatic commercials on television. But Blaine looks relatively healthy, if not worn-down, and Kurt has trouble visualizing what exactly this means for them.
"So I apparently have a chemical imbalance in my brain that makes me like this."
There's a hint of bitterness in Blaine's voice, a hint that he doesn't quite accept that life handed him bad genetics with a side of unfairness. Kurt slides the brochures off the bed, reaches forward and takes Blaine's hands in his.
"So we'll deal with this, Blaine. You'll deal with this."
"Kurt, I'm wrong. I'm the definition of messed-up. I can't control my own brain anymore. I'm failing everything but I can't drop out because I can't go home if I do. I have nowhere to go, Kurt."
"You'll always have somewhere to go, Blaine. My dad will give you a place to stay if you get kicked out. But I think-I think you need to take the time to focus on yourself, to help yourself."
"But it's just-it's too hard, Kurt. I don't have-I can't do this."
"It's going to be hard, Blaine. It has to be, because it's going to take a lot of work. But I have faith in you, Blaine, even if you don't in yourself. What did they-how are you approaching this?"
"I go to talk therapy once a week. They made-I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week."
"So you'll take medicine then?"
"Probably. I don't know what-I don't have any idea what that'll do, if it'll help, I just-"
"One step at a time, Blaine. But you're getting the help you need, now. I know-I know it doesn't seem like that, I can tell you're frustrated and ready to give up. But-give it a little longer, okay, Blaine? For me?"
"Do you remember what I told you in high school? After we fought about Sebastian the night West Side opened?"
"I was so proud to be with you," Blaine whispers. He's never forgotten, even though they've fought and drifted apart and grown up. Kurt's words have stayed with him the whole time.
"I still am, Blaine. I may not have shown you lately, and we might have hit a bit of a rough patch but I'm still so in love with you. So you've got to deal with this-it's not going to change who you are. This-this thing, it doesn't change you, Blaine. It's just-it's something you'll go through and you'll come out the other side."
"There's a chance this will be with me for the rest of my life, Kurt. I can't-I can't put that on you, I can't make you stay with me when there's a chance I'll end up-"
"Blaine, you are one of the bravest people I've known. You've already overcome so much. If there's anyone that can do this, I have full faith it's you. And if you relapse in the future, then we'll deal with it then. But you can't give up, Blaine. You have so much to keep going for, so much to live for."
He squeezes Blaine's hands in his, brings them to his lips to press a gentle kiss to Blaine's knuckles. Blaine sighs, pulling Kurt back to him and wrapping his arms around Kurt's torso.
"I miss you."
"I miss you, too, Blaine."
"How long are you staying?"
"I'm here until Sunday."
Blaine thinks, tries to draw back once he processes that.
"But it's Thanks-"
"I explained to my dad that you needed me more. He's not mad, Blaine. He'll see us at Christmas."
"Shhh," Kurt hushes, bringing Blaine back close to him and holding him again. "I promise, Blaine. It's okay. Let's just-let's enjoy the time we have, okay?"
Blaine nods, and they wind up curled into each other in Blaine's bed, Kurt holding Blaine to his chest as they rest. He slowly processes everything he's learned-everything that's changed-in the past few days. He wishes his presence could take it all away, make all of Blaine's pain fade and ease. He wishes there was a magic fix, something he could do to make sure that Blaine never has to suffer like this again.
But he knows that can't be the case, knows that this is bigger than anything he can do. The little bit he did read of the brochure told him as much-this is something Blaine needs to do for himself, something he needs to work through. It's going to take time, and Kurt quietly thinks that Blaine should take a semester off to focus on healing, but they'll cross that bridge later. Kurt just hopes that his arrival, his support, will give Blaine the courage he needs to keep going, keep waking up and keep trying to get better.
They fall asleep together, and when they wake up they go out for Thai, Kurt managing to coax Blaine from his room for the first time in days (which Blaine admits quietly as they walk back hand-in-hand). Kurt spends the next four days distracting Blaine from his feelings, and when he leaves Sunday night he feels somewhat better that Blaine has the capacity to handle what's to come. Blaine promises to email his professors, ask for extensions and leniencies and to explain what's been going on, and he promises to text before he leaves for class in the mornings, so Kurt can keep tabs on how he's doing.
Kurt knows it might not be enough, that his daily "I love yous" and their nightly phone calls might not be giving Blaine the strength he needs. But it's all he can do from his apartment in New York, all he can give Blaine from a distance. Blaine starts going to class again, even if he comes home and falls asleep as early as seven most nights. Kurt knows this isn't a fix-Blaine's still not himself, still struggling, but at least he's trying and right now, that's all Kurt can hope for.