1 - Santana
She couldn't help feeling that if she hadn't called him a hobbit, then none of this would have happened.
Of course, she had called him hobbit about 14 times since he transferred to Mckinley, and a dozen other names besides. But she should have let the insult die in her throat that day; she should have seen the look on his face as he travelled down the hall. She should have remembered that thing Finn said about gay teens committing suicide.
She couldn't help but feel that if she'd stopped and thought, if she'd asked, "Hey, Blaine, are you okay?" instead of calling some clever little insult about how he'd be late for Bilbo's birthday party if he kept shuffling his feet like that, Blaine wouldn't have gone home that afternoon and swallowed all those pills.
Maybe if she'd just said something nice, just once, Blaine would have stopped. But she didn't.
The messed up thing was that Santana had been thinking about it, too. Not pills; pills were too conscious and neat and perfect. A gun maybe; at her mom's house in Lima Heights, or leaving her Dad's Mercedes running in the garage at his house uptown. Her abuela hated her enough now; she might even have helped her. But Blaine had to go first, had to go because of her, had to leave behind Kurt's pale, empty face as a reminder of what would happen to Brittany if she left. It made her sick, in some ways, because Blaine shouldn't have been the one to die. But he did, and now she couldn't.
And it was all her fault.
2 - Mr. Schuester
He should have seen the signs.
The teachers had a seminar on this very thing two months ago; how to catch the warning signs of teen suicide and depression. His girlfriend was the guidance counselor for heaven's sake; how hard would it have been to make Blaine schedule an appointment with her? To tell Finn to knock it off when he started snapping at the younger boy? To stop Blaine, just once, after class, to tell him that he was here for him, and it wasn't his fault?
"I was just so focused on the kids getting ready for sectionals without Rachel, you know?" Will said to Emma as they got ready for bed, "I was worried about beating the Troubletones and making sure that everyone was geared up for Nationals, and I didn't have any way of knowing…." He trailed off, suddenly ashamed of himself.
They had lost at Sectionals, spectacularly. Kurt's beautiful solo rendition of "Perfect" aside, the whole group had been distracted, and the last minute replacements for their lost members hadn't helped. The Troubletones had won, and Mr. Schue had watched with a heavy heart as they accepted the trophy. Kurt had stood by his side, tears silently tracking down his face.
Mr. Schue was getting very worried about Kurt. The boy had withdrawn from the others completely; barely participating in Glee Club except to sing gut wrenching ballads that always ended in tears. It was worse than before, worse than Schue had ever seen a student suffering, and Mr. Schue had no idea how to help him.
Emma's hand covered his, breaking him out of his thoughts, pulling his hand away from the resignation letter freshly printed on his desk. He planned on handing it to Figgins tomorrow morning.
"Those kids need you now more than ever, Will," Emma had whispered gently. Will's eyes filled with tears, and he pushed his face into the soft, faded cotton of her nightdress.
"This is all it my fault."
3 - Mike
He wasn't the kind of guy who liked to talk.
A lot of people did like to talk very much, especially in Glee Club, where all the dramas and pains of adolescence seemed to boil over into singing, screaming, and endless, endless talking. That is, until recently. Recently, Glee Club passed in stunned silence. Even Rachel, who usually had the loudest voice, was silent, holding Kurt's hand through every meeting with a stony face. Sometimes a single voice would rise in thoughtless excitement, or anger, or pain, only to hush, pulled back by the reminder of what they'd lost. Every time they did, Mike fought a grim smile.
They were finally beginning to understand how Blaine must have felt.
Mike had watched Blaine, ever since he transferred to Mckinley. Blaine hadn't been able to speak without someone shutting him down; he hadn't been able to sing without someone complaining that he was hogging the spotlight or making their life more difficult. He watched as Blaine retreated into himself, and he was the only one who noticed that Blaine didn't say a single word the day that he died.
While Mike chose silence, Blaine was forced into it, and just once, he felt that he should have said something.
4 – Mr. Anderson
He shouldn't have stopped for take out.
He knew Blaine had been having a rough time lately, so he'd stopped for some Chinese. Blaine loved Chinese food, ever since he was a baby. In one of the albums scattered around the living room, there was a picture of a three-year-old Blaine learning how to eat with chopsticks.
If he hadn't stopped at the restaurant on his way home, if he hadn't set the food out before trying to wake Blaine up from his nap, maybe his son would have been breathing when he reached him. Maybe Blaine would be in the hospital right now; sick from getting his stomach pumped, but alive.
There wasn't a note. Blaine hadn't gone around giving away his possessions or asking anyone to keep promises for him in the hours before he took all of those painkillers. According to the doctors, Blaine may not have meant to kill himself. One of the doctors had gently explained that people with emotional pain sometimes overdose on painkillers without meaning to. Blaine may have just kept taking pills, in too much pain to keep track and just wanting it to stop, but it never did, and he took too much…
And his father wasn't there to help him.
Mr. Anderson tipped another full glass of burning whiskey down his throat. His eyes were bloodshot and wet, but locked on the tv where he was playing some of the home movies from Blaine's childhood, looking for some scenes to put in a short film for the memorial service. The Blaine on the tv was only five, dressed to the nines in a tiny suit and cap for his cousin's wedding. Tiny Blaine beamed and blew a clumsy kiss to the camera.
"I love you, Daddy."
Mr. Anderson shuddered, and the tears began to fall.
5 – Brittany
She should have used her third wish to make Blaine happy.
+1 - Kurt
Dear Glee Club,
I would write out all of your names, but chances are about half of you have quit or joined since now, and I don't want anyone to be left out.
I'm not writing this so that you can go wallow in your own self-pity. I'm writing this for me, and for Blaine. I'm writing the letter he never got to write. I want you to know that I don't think he was trying to kill himself that night. He was just in so much pain, and he didn't know how to make it go away. It's your fault that Blaine was in so much pain. Some of you more than others, but every one of us did something to hurt him. Even me. I didn't tell Finn to stop being so hard on him, I didn't yell Santana down when she made fun of him, and I didn't try for even a second to help him fit in, even after all the time he spent helping me at Dalton. I killed my heart. I should have known that I couldn't live without it.
I want you to learn something from our deaths. Glee Club is not about tearing each other down. It's not about getting the solos that you want, or hurting the people who've hurt you, or making sure that the new boy knows his place. It's about joy. Even though you took Blaine's joy away, even though you took my joy away, you still made the last years of my life some of the happiest I ever had. I want you to spread that joy to everyone else who comes into Glee. I know you can do it. I truly love you all, and I'm sorry that it had to end this way.
Kurt Elizabeth Hummel and Blaine Joseph Anderson.
Mr. Schue folded up the letter and stared at his group. The Troubletones sat amongst the members of New Directions, but no sharp words were exchanged. No one spoke. They didn't need to; the two empty chairs at the back of the room spoke for themselves.
And it was all their fault.