Chapter 25: Lost and Found

There was a streak of light cutting through the din of the basement from upstairs, but Blaine hardly had the energy to lift his head, much less turn around to see who it was. He already knew, anyway. Sebastian. It was always Sebastian. He knew Kurt was doing everything in his power to find him, but Blaine was beginning to lose hope that someone would come in time. He was weak, far too weak, and he knew in the back of his mind he wouldn't be able to last much longer.

"Good morning, babe," Sebastian greeted with his familiar leer. But it looked…off. Or perhaps Blaine was just imagining things. Sebastian crouched down next to him and set down a tray of food by his feet, just out of arms reach. He stroked a hand lightly down his bruised cheek. Blaine bit at his fingers; Sebastian smacked him.

"Although maybe I shouldn't be saying 'good morning.' It seems your precious little boyfriend has gone and gotten Chandler arrested. Fuckin' bastard." He didn't sound particularly worried; more just annoyed. "Of course, poor Chandler wasn't an idiot – there's nothing in his house that could possibly link him to me." The confidence in his voice grew with each word, and Blaine's stomach churned. "Don't worry, love, you're not gonna be leaving anytime soon. So maybe if you start behaving you can move up to the main house. There's an empty side of my bed just calling your name…"

Blaine clenched his teeth to keep from saying anything.

With an impatient sigh, the taller man kicked the tray closer. "Eat up, baby. Don't want you to waste away now do we?"

Once again, Blaine held his tongue. He hadn't eaten a thing since his abduction and he was starving. The ropes around his wrists had been lengthened sometime while he was unconscious so that they were just long enough for him to reach the food, and he immediately grabbed for a piece of toast. Sebastian left, the slice of yellow light disappearing as the door closed behind him, leaving the basement in almost complete darkness yet again.

It hurt to chew; his swollen jaw throbbed with each bite and tears pricked his eyes, but he powered through it. He chugged half the glass of orange juice before he realized there was a small bottle of Ibuprofen sitting on the tray next to the bowl of fruit.

He hesitated; he knew he shouldn't trust that the pills inside were actually what the label claimed them to be. But on the other hand, his ankle was killing him and the constant pain, the soreness, the dull ache all over his body had been present for far too long. He was desperate for some sort of relief. So he swallowed down four of the tiny red painkillers, chased them with the rest of his orange juice, and then settled back, waiting for them to kick in enough for him to finish eating.

Apparently it really was Ibuprofen, because after a while the pain seemed to ease. When he was done with his food, he nudged the tray away and closed his eyes, wincing as the cold, hard pillar pressed mercilessly against his bare back. He needed to sleep. He needed to rest up and recover his strength. He needed to stay as strong as possible.

He needed to survive.

Burt flew in as soon as he found out. Kurt hadn't wanted to tell him – said it would be too stressful, and there was no way he could handle his father getting another heart attack on top of everything else that was going on – but Mike pointed out that Burt would probably be even more upset if he found out about it after the fact.

So he flew in, and the second he arrived at Mike's apartment Kurt collapsed into his arms.

"We're gonna find him," Burt muttered firmly. His arms were strong and familiar around his son. "He's gonna be alright. Blaine's strong, he's gonna survive."

"Where is he?" Kurt choked out, face buried into his collar. "I n-need him, Dad."

"We'll find him," Burt repeated. He rubbed Kurt's back soothingly. "The police know what they're doing. They'll find something soon enough. We just gotta stay positive, okay? They caught the bastard who took him, so it's just a matter of time before they get him to talk. In fact–"

Kurt's phone rang. He fumbled for it, hope flaring in his chest like it did every time it rang these days. "H-Hello?" he answered on the second ring.

"Kurt Hummel?" a deep voice said from the other end of the line. "This is Officer Rider, from the NYPD."

Kurt's heart leapt, and he drew in a sharp breath. "Yes! Yes, I'm Kurt Hummel. Do you have any news about Blaine?"

He listened as if in a dream. The men that had done the actual kidnapping – the ones apparently hired by Chandler – panicked when they found out he'd been arrested and came forward to try and get immunity by confessing everything. Blaine was at Sebastian Smythe's house, according to them. A squad had been dispatched immediately, and they found Blaine tied up in the basement. He was currently being transported to the hospital – stable but in need of immediate medical attention. Sebastian Smythe was apprehended and is now in police custody.

"He's alright?" Burt pressed the second Kurt hang up.

"He's alright," Kurt confirmed, breathless and a little lightheaded with relief. "He- He's at the hospital. We- I have to–"

"Let's go," was all Burt said, leading the way to the front door.

When they arrived, Kurt was surprised to find someone else waiting outside Blaine's room, pacing up and down and fiddling absently with the charm on his cell phone. When he spotted them approaching, he froze in his tracks.

"You- You're Kurt Hummel, right?"

"Yes," he said impatiently, really not in the mood to autograph anything at the moment.

"Hi, I'm- My name's Cooper Anderson. Blaine's older brother."

He stuck out his hand. Kurt, although shocked at the unexpected meeting, shook it. Now that he actually took a second to look, Kurt could see the same olive skin, the same twinkle in his eyes, the same thick dark hair. He was quite a handsome man, but right now the only man Kurt could think of was the one behind that door.

"I came as soon as I heard. Mom and Dad didn't think to tell me about Blaine getting kidnapped until last night. I went straight to the police station when I landed, and they told me that he'd been found. I just got here a few minutes ago and so far all I know is that they're not letting anyone in to see him yet."

"They said he was stable, though!" Kurt said, quickly escalating towards hysterics as he stared at the bland door numbered 309. "He's stable! Why can't we see him?"

Burt put a steadying hand on his shoulders. "Calm down. Take a breath. I'm sure they're just checking him over. Come on, let's sit down and wait for the doctors."

Kurt reluctantly sat down between his father and Mike. Tina offered to go fetch them some coffee, which they accepted gratefully. Cooper remained standing, returning to his pacing and fiddling. Every time a hospital personnel passed them they paused and looked up, but it was never for Blaine.

Until finally, the door to room 309 opened and a doctor stepped out. He looked temporarily taken aback at the number of people standing in the hallway, all staring at him expectantly.

"Are you here for Blaine Anderson?" he asked.

"Yes," they chorused.

He cleared his throat. "Well, the good news is that we expect him to make a full recovery. He's got a badly sprained ankle, a minor concussion, and a bit of internal bruising. He's showing signs of dehydration, and he lost a lot of blood, but we're confident we'll be able to bring him back to full strength in time. He's got a fair amount of contusions that make him look a lot worse off than he really is."

"Can we see him now?" Kurt said breathlessly, itching to just push the doctor aside and go in.

"I'm afraid he's very weak at the moment, and tired from all the tests we administered," the older man said apologetically. But at their identical expressions of distress, he added, "I suggest that only one of you go in. For now. Are any of you his family?"

They all turned to Cooper. He, however, looked to Kurt. "He is," Cooper lied, nodding to indicate Kurt. "Let him go in."

Kurt's eyes widened, and he mouthed a silent 'thank you' before turning the doorknob and slipping inside.

Blaine looked so small lying there in that hospital bed, all pale and bandaged up. After a moment Kurt pulled over the chair from the corner of the room, right up next to the bed, and took his boyfriend's limp hand between his own. "Blaine?" he whispered. No immediate response. "Blaine, it's Kurt. I'm here. I'm right here next to you." His voice broke, and he tried to swallow around the lump in his throat. "Please, open your eyes. I- I need to know you're okay…"

Blaine groaned. Kurt leaned in, hands tightening around Blaine's fingers. "Blaine?" The musician slowly blinked his eyes open. (Or at least as much as they would go; the left one was still pretty swollen). His hazel gaze landed on Kurt, and his eyebrows twitched together.

"Kur'?" he rasped out.

Kurt grinned through his tears. "Hi, honey."

"Is it really you?" he breathed. His fingers twitched weakly in Kurt's hands. "Are you real?"

"Yes," Kurt half-laughed, half-sobbed. "Yes, it's me, it's really me. I'm here. God, Blaine, you're alive. I thought- I was so scared–" He broke down, burying his face into the blankets and holding onto Blaine's hand like a lifeline.

"Don't cry, Angel," Blaine whispered. He gently squeezed back. "Please, don't- please stop crying. I hate it when you cry. Please…"

"I'm sorry," Kurt choked, straightening up and brushing at his wet cheeks. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Blaine. I'm sorry–"

"Hey. Why are you apologizing?"

Kurt's bottom lip quivered. "If it weren't for me…God, if you'd never met me none of this would have hap–"

"Don't you dare finish that sentence," Blaine said, his voice firm even though it was quiet and hoarse. "This isn't your fault. None of it. You can't blame yourself. The only people to blame are the bastards who put me in this bed: Sebastian and Chandler."

Kurt's jaw tightened just from the sound of their names. "They're behind bars, where they belong," he assured.

Blaine flashed him a weak smile. "Good. Now will you please give me a kiss?"

Kurt laughed wetly and leaned forward to press his lips gently to Blaine's, careful not to apply too much pressure. Blaine's face was stained with red and purple and yellow and Kurt didn't want to bring any more pain to him than he was already in.

"I'm so glad you're alright," Kurt murmured, stroking his hair back from his forehead and pressing another kiss to his temple. "I'm so glad. I- I don't know what I'd do if you- if you weren't…"

"Ssh," Blaine soothed, lacing their fingers together. "I'm here. I'm fine. I'm not going anywhere. It's going to take a lot more than that to keep me away from you."

Kurt laughed again, bubbly and a little hysterical. "Same for me."

Blaine smiled tiredly up at him, eyes sliding shut again. "Love you," he mumbled before falling back under the power of the painkillers being pumped through his veins. Kurt allowed himself one more lingering kiss, thanking whichever deity was responsible for bringing Blaine back to him, before gently slipping his hand free and stepping outside to let everyone know he was alright.