Author: Lily M Richards
Summary: Kurt/Blaine angst oneshot. Blaine's ill. Terminally.
A/N: I write most when I'm in a dark place, so it's not surprising I come up with stuff like this so often x_x Maybe I should attempt to write something marginally happy next... The song Blaine sings is Make Believe by The Burned look it up if you don't know it, it's absolutely beautiful!
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I merely dream about it
Warnings: Angst and character!death, so be warned.
High up above or down below,
When you're too in love to let it go,
But if you never try you'll never know,
Just what you're worth.
When Blaine sings his heart out for 'Something's Coming', Kurt can feel the tears pricking his eyes. He isn't jealous anymore. Just afraid.
There's a bead of perspiration on Blaine's upper lip that Kurt manages to focus on only because he's looking for it. When he clenches his hand to let his nails dig into his palm, his hand meets another. Fingers wrap themselves around his tightly, securely. Santana levels him with a warning look, and between the evident message in her eyes and the comfort he finds in her preventing his hurting himself, he calms down just a little. Because he is about to go on stage, and in this state he can't even muster a show smile.
In the final bow, Kurt elbows Mike out of the assigned order of Maria-Tony-Riff-Officer Krupke, and finds Blaine's hand, entwines their fingers, measures every tremble, any weakness. His eyes never leave Blaine's, the smile breaks before the curtain falls.
He's stopped coming to boot camp. Will says it's because there are no concerns about his dancing and Mike nods along to that, smiling. Behind him, Finn can hear his brother suck in a breath, and he thinks to himself that he'll have to have a brotherly chat with Kurt to tell him not to feel territorial about talent, because it can break up a relationship so easily.
The next few sessions, Kurt memorises every move, every gesture reverently. His dancing has lost its flash and the pizazz. He begins to blend in with the more mellow dancers week by week.
Finn begins to catch sight of Kurt attempting the moves in different ways, asking Mike if there's an easier way to perfectly execute them. One day, he comes home to hear voices from Kurt's room. When he peeks in through the crack in the half-open door and sees Kurt and Blaine seemingly tangled together as though in the middle of a complex Twister session, he leaves red-faced to go listen to some very loud REO Speedwagon in his room. But when both boys perform the dance routine in Glee club without mistake, Finn reckons Blaine was probably simply helping Kurt get them right.
Will asks them to sing 'Fix You' that week, says "Miss Pillsbury is going through a rough time with her parents. I want to sing this for her", and Blaine puts a hand on Kurt's arm and squeezes lightly, sensing the blazing glare his boyfriend sends the teacher.
Apart from him, only Rachel notices the tears escaping Kurt's eyes. Everyone else's eyes are trained on the auditorium, on Emma, who watches Will with a watery smile. For the chorus, Blaine reaches behind him, captures Kurt's hand in his, holds on tight.
They stay like this; chorus fades into verse. Verse fades into chorus, until both their faces are streaked with tears. Kurt belts out the last chorus louder than anyone, closes his eyes and tries as hard as he can to convince himself that he's speaking the truth.
Blaine doesn't want people to know. When Kurt insists on the phone one night that they talk, Blaine asks "Are you alone?" and Kurt sighs, turns to the window. There's a small square outside, like a secret balcony, created by the bay window of the living room downstairs.
He tells Blaine to hold on for a second and lifts himself up to the ledge and outside into the freezing air, thanks god for the flexibility cheerleading gave him.
Instead of speaking about Vogue or Marion Cotillard's latest movie, they talk about themselves. And it doesn't matter that they're not together, that Kurt isn't there with Blaine to hold him, keep the panic at bay as it struggles to surface, bubbling in his chest like sped up clockwork.
Kurt says: "Eventually, someone will figure it out" and Blaine shivers and draws the blanket he's huddled in closer. He doesn't resent Kurt for saying it. They have both been thinking it for weeks.
"I know", he whispers instead. "But the longer they don't, the easier it is to pretend."
Kurt subjects himself to an hour of sports at school at least once a week, because Coach Sylvester lets him train with her Cheerios that day. When Blaine asks to be excused from class, the teacher lets him go, because Mr and Mrs Anderson told the school to go easy on their son.
The stage of the auditorium is empty. When Blaine enters and calls out a tentative hello, he receives only a questioning echo, as hollow as he feels inside. A solitary spotlight throws a tranquil sheen of light on the stage and Blaine steps in its middle, closes his eyes and just feels.
He sings, for the first time in days. A melody he heard somewhere that haunted him until he got hold of the song. It resonates with him now more than ever and deep down, he wonders if he can embed the lyrics into the truth somehow.
The spotlight illuminates him, marks his slow swaying shadow as the only sign of life in the hall, but he hasn't felt this exposed in as long as he can remember.
His car is stored at home now. To pacify his mother's worries, Blaine agrees to let Kurt chauffeur him to and from school, not that his boyfriend minds in the least.
When Blaine sees Santana leaning against the hood of Kurt's car, smirk in place, he frowns slightly, calibrates just how scared he should be.
She addresses Kurt first, curt nod and points at Finn standing sheepishly by the side. "You need to get your brother home so he can get his football stuff and then back here for practice. I'll take Super Mario home." Kurt has barely opened his mouth before Blaine kisses him softly, tells him it's okay, he'll call later.
Santana drives Blaine to a roadside diner. The kind that Kurt dubs 'fuel for the American stereotype dipped in grease and full-fat coke'. The kind that Blaine's parents disallow him from visiting any longer. The kind Blaine used to love for its retro American style, even if some apparent sixth sense in Santana doesn't let him order anything but a milkshake, with a firm promise that he can have some of her fries – and she'll be counting.
"So what's up Blaine?" she states simply, eyes fixed on the boy, a penetrating stare and he averts his eyes, searches for a response.
"No nickname?" he tries lamely, "You almost had me convinced that you didn't actually know what I was called."
"The situation seemed appropriate."
"Yeah, well I'm not sure why you bother asking. I'm sure you already know anyway." There's a bitterness in Blaine's tone. A resentment at his failing to keep it a secret.
For a minute or two, they both stay silent. Blaine sips on the strawberry milkshake and Santana plays with the fries on her plate, drags them one by one from one side to the other.
"Let's pretend that I don't then" and that's an unexpected comment from her. She looks at him sincerely. And for once, unlike most people by now, not pityingly.
When a tear rolls down his cheek, Santana reaches over, wipes it away and he looks at her questioningly, trying to find some ulterior motive in her olive green eyes, wonders where this sudden care came from. But she's not ready to talk about that.
"So tell me about your life, Blaine." It's such a simple gesture from her that it makes Blaine stop. He's never been asked about his life before, not like this. Kurt asks him about events, but in general they know everything about each other already.
Blaine realises then, that this is all he needed right now. Just to talk about something other than the future.
It gets worse then.
Blaine's attendance becomes irregular. A long time ago, this would have been the moment of defiance where he would drag himself to school and suffer for the sake of education and keeping his attendance record as perfect as the rest of the façade, Blaine thinks ruefully. That doesn't seem as important anymore now.
When Kurt comes over with the homework after school and says "I asked Mr Schuester to make sure you get a ticket for Sectionals and Nationals and I'll make sure there's someone to take you there and back – me preferably, so even if you don't feel well halfway through you – "
The exasperated sigh of his name makes him stop. He eyes Blaine afraid, concerned.
"I love you", the smaller boy says, leaning forward and drawing Kurt into his weak arms. "Shut up." Kurt allows himself to let his eyes flutter shut and inhales, scents of apple and cinnamon shampoo that he will retain in his memory for ever. A silence settles over them. Outside, the first sheet of snow slowly falls in mosaic pieces intricate and beautiful and so very peaceful.
When the morning sun shines a sliver of light onto the bed, where the lovers lie entwined, it retains the last of the summer warmth, a reminiscence of intertwined hands and chapped lips and the pearly laughter that made Blaine's still strong heart skip a beat.
It strikes Kurt immediately how empty the room seems.
Nothing has been moved and Kurt knows that it will remain untouched, a small space that is Blaine and Blaine alone. Not a shrine or a commemoration, just a piece of Blaine Anderson that will remain in the world even after he has left it.
And yet, even with the fedoras strewn across the room, even with the picture of Kurt on his desk and the quiet, fast-paced Roxy music he puts on in a desperate attempt to reminisce, there is a certain bubbliness that's missing, an air of exuberance Blaine transferred into the atmosphere so easily.
Kurt sits down on the desk chair heavily, massages his temples as he blinks away the blurring onset of tears.
On the bed, there is a single purple Dahlia, blooming with a life force that almost chokes Kurt, and it comforts him to know who the last person to touch it was.