A/N: In which I am a Blangst whore and sometimes I just need Blaine to hurt a little. Inspired by my own headcanon in which everything suddenly makes sense because Blaine's brother is in the picture. Takes place around the time of 'Original Song'. Special thanks to Allie, Cait and Maria! Reviews are always helpful and appreciated!

Update: I've decided to venture into the world of multichapter-dom! I've started to work on the forthcoming chapters but I won't start posting them until I have at least a few done (so don't forget story alert!). I have a loose idea in my head and plan on taking this at least through to season three (where we are now) but who knows what my boys have in store. Kurt will be coming up soon, so keep a lookout! xx

"Blaine, you know, eventually you'll have to tell me what happened."

Blaine sat quietly on the couch, clutching his legs to his chest, his head resting heavy on his knees. Still, silent, empty. He stared at the blank television while his brother looked on with concern, unsure of how to draw this out of Blaine.

It's not that he didn't know his younger brother, and it's certainly not that he didn't care, it had just been so long since they'd lived under the same roof or spent any time together. Sure there were birthdays and holidays, shared glances over tense dinner tables, encouraging pats on the back to say 'you can make it through this,' and 'only a few more years.' He knew Blaine, he loved Blaine, but he had never seen Blaine like this before.

Blaine was broken.

"Is it Dad again?" he asked tentatively, hoping maybe closing the physical distance would encourage Blaine to uncork, letting whatever it is that brought him to this place to pour out. Blaine remained silent but his body tensed, his arms tightening around his knees as he breathed deeply, inhaling air like it was the only thing keeping him from drowning in murky waters.

"I'm gay."

Zach cocked his head with a furrowed brow, "Blaine, I'm not following here."

"I'm gay, Zach. G-A-Y Gay!" he spat out, his hands carelessly wiping away the salty tears that burned a trail down his cheek.

"I know that, Blaine. You told me years ago, remember? I'm fairly certain this couch and an entire truckload of ice cream were involved," he elbowed Blaine's side, his attempt to lighten the mood falling stiffly between them. "I know that Blaine. Dad knows that. What does that have to do with anything? What happened?"

Blaine closed his eyes, biting in his bottom lip as he steadied himself for the truth. Up until this point he'd been able to ignore it, push through the hurt as if it didn't exist. 'It's not real,' he had told himself, 'this isn't happening, he still loves me.' Anything to distract himself from the enormity of it all. But now his older brother was staring at him like he had two heads and the vice around his heart was threatening to tighten with each minute that passed. He had to tell him, he had to be honest with his brother and with himself, no matter how suffocating it was.

"Kurt happened."

"Wha-" Zach started, his eyes widening as the realization hit him. "Oh god, Blaine, you didn't.." he ran his hand through his hair, "he didn't, I mean, he didn't see you with...what's his name? Kurt? He didn't, you know?" he waved his hands emphatically in the air.

"No, no nothing like that," Blaine tossed his head against the back of the couch, hopelessly staring at the ceiling. Why couldn't his brother just know? Why did he have to find the words to tell him? How could he tell him? 'By the way Zach, our father is a huge asshole, and oh yeah, can I live with you?' No, that probably wouldn't go over well.

"Kurt, he's my best friend, he has been for awhile. I've mentioned him a few times to mom, he's even been over to the house - you know, when Dad's been on trips and stuff," he paused to glance around the room, as if to check that his father wasn't there, as if he could somehow hear him. "I could tell, you know, I could tell that it always bothered him when I talked about other guys, even if they were just friends. It's not that he didn't try, Zach, he has been trying I think, but that's the point isn't it? He shouldn't have to try, right? It should just be, I don't know..normal. I am normal!" Blaine let an exasperated sigh slip from his lips and Zach pried his hand off his knee, taking it in both of his own.

"So things have changed, with Kurt and I. He's my best friend, but god he's so much more than that you know? It took me a really long time to figure it out, but I get it now Zach. I get it! He's kind and compassionate and the strongest person I've ever know..I came home from school the other day, I was so happy. I hadn't been that happy in years. Years! You know why? Because it hit me, Pavarotti died and I should have been sad, but I couldn't be because Kurt was there, he was there and he was singing and wearing his heart on his sleeve like he always does and for the first time it just seemed so obvious, like my future was just sitting in front of me waiting for me to take it, you know? I was ecstatic and I just wanted to tell them, because I should want to tell them. They're my fucking parents for god's sake and they should have been happy for me!"

"Woah woah woah, you have to slow down, Blaine," Zach squeezed his hand, giving Blaine space to settle with his thoughts. "Just, calm down a little okay? I don't want to miss anything."

A few minutes passed before Blaine found his voice - and his resolve - again. "So I told them. I marched in the door and I told them that Kurt and I were dating. That's it, just dating. Nothing like 'oh hey, I'm going to suck his face in front of you' or 'I'm having big gay anal sex!' Just dating. Completely innocent. They knew, Zach, they knew how hard these past few years have been for me. I thought they'd be relieved or something." His voice broke, the sobs wrenching through his body, his knees falling from his chest.

"What'd he say Blaine?"

He wrapped his arms around his torso, open, exposed, vulnerable. Trying to regain some sort of protection from the way the memory seared his eyelids every time he blinked, the way his father's voice, strained and threatening, rung through his ears. But there was nothing to protect him; no armor, no shield. This was real and Blaine was bare.

"He told me to get out."

"He what?" Zach nearly choked on his own words. He knew his father, he'd fought his fair share of battles, paid his dues. But nothing, nothing could have prepared Zach for what his little brother was about to tell him.

"He said 'get the fuck out of my house,' as if I was a murderer or something. Just like that. No preamble, no warning just 'I can't deal with this anymore,' and then he left. He walked out of the god damn kitchen and that was it."

"But Blaine.." he looked helpless, Zach noticed, and suddenly it was as if Blaine was seven years old again, sitting on Zach's bed after he accidentally broke the left tail light on his father's new Mercedes. Tiny. Defenseless. Scared and confused with a look that could break even the strongest of hearts. "Blaine how do you know that he really meant it? That he wasn't just, I don't know, angry from work and taking it out on you?"

"Oh COME ON, Zach!" Blaine barreled off the couch, the tension rising in his blood, the breath stolen from his lungs. "I know you've been absent the past few years but I didn't think you were that much of an idiot!"

"And Mom?"

That was it. Those were the words that cut through him, tearing into his insides, gutting him with disappointment and hurt. He half-expected this from his father, but his mom? She was always on Blaine's side, always fighting his battles, always looking out for him when his father was a little too stressed or a little too drunk. She was there, she was always there. But now 'always' suddenly felt like an ugly lie, traded for convenience. He fell to his knees, one hand clutching his stomach, another gripping his forehead. "I think I'm going to be sick."

Zach had just enough time to scoop him up and carry him the few steps to the washroom before Blaine was doubled over the toilet, his body heaving, expelling his lunch and his demons in one violent motion. Zach kneeled beside him, rubbing his back and suddenly Blaine was ten years old and their parents were out of town. Zach begrudgingly foregoing plans with his college friends to watch his little brother who, with just his luck, managed to contract a nasty case of the flu and spent the entirety of the weekend on the bathroom floor.

Twenty minutes later Blaine was back on the couch, lying on his side curled against the cushions with a cold cloth pressed against his forehead. He drifted in and out of sleep as Zach paced the floor, trying to calm his temper before picking up the phone and giving his father a very honest piece of my mind.

"Zach?" Blaine stirred, trying to lift himself up; his arms, still weak with sickness and disappointment, gave out, causing him to fall back with a soft 'thud.' Zach moved to the couch, hoisted Blaine's body up and placed his head gingerly in his lap.

"It's gonna be okay bud," he said with a heavy sigh, removing the cloth from his forehead, soothing his hands through his little brothers hair. "This is your home too," he paused, wondering for just a moment if he was ready for this, if he could take Blaine in and love him and give him a home his parents were never able to make. "It'll be so much better than being over there anyway."

Blaine looked at him curiously.

"Would Mom and Dad let you invite your boyfriend over without supervision?" he said with a knowing smirk, ruffling Blaine's hair for good measure.

A slow smile spread across Blaine's blushing face. It wasn't much, but it was a start.

"Yeah, that's what I thought."