This chapter comes with its very own theme song: Hammock- I Can See You. I would highly suggest looking it up (even though I know most of you won't because I know I never do when an author suggests it). If you do look it up I would also suggest playing Rainymood in the background. Both Hammock and Rainymood are my current obsession. As always let me know what you think and thank you times a million for reading.
Rachel woke up on the floor of Puck's living room spooning Brittany. She quickly looked around to make sure Santana wasn't in sight (she hadn't even been at the party, but she had a creepy sixth sense when it came to Britt and frankly Rachel will always be a little bit terrified of her) and stood up, stretching out her sore limbs.
Seventy-five precent of the party was now passed on the floor, all still asleep. Sam was sitting upright on the end of the couch with Puck's head in his lap. Finn was starfished on the rug, his head under the coffee table. If he woke up too suddenly he was sure to end up with a concussion. Various other members of the New Directions plus a few people Rachel didn't know were all tangled together in combinations that could only have resulted from an alcohol-induced haze. Rachel, however, had carefully trained her body to wake up at six every morning regardless of whether she had only fallen asleep at three the morning of, and as such was up before anyone else.
Carefully she scanned the intertwined bodies for Kurt. He would kill her if she left without him. Mostly because she drove and there is no way in hell he would walk anywhere in his new boots. Or so she imagined.
Yet her friend was nowhere to be seen. Thinking back on last night, or at least the parts she could remember, she had seen him disappear into Puck's bedroom at one stage. She had also spotted that Blaine from New York, who was strangely familiar, and his friend talking to Puck.
With a sly grin she picked her way through the sleeping partygoers and made her way towards the bedroom. What she found was a single tan back, naked from what she could see. His eyes were open and staring at her from where his head was resting on the pillow. There was a dark, fresh bruise on his neck and his hair, which Rachel remembered being gelled down to within an inch of its life, was sticking out at all angles. But what she noticed most of all was his eyes. Blaine looked so inherently sad. She felt as though she were suffering second hand heartbreak.
Rachel knew Kurt had been here without any actual evidence of his presence. There were no clothes left behind, or not left on the pillow. Maybe the heartbroken boy in front of her was evidence enough.
'Sorry, I was just, uh, looking for someone.' Blaine didn't react when she spoke. 'But I guess they're not here.'
With one last look she left Blaine on the bed, now sure Kurt was not in Puck's apartment.
'What did you do!' Being woken to the screech of Rachel Berry's voice was not the most pleasant way to start a day. Especially when sporting a hangover.
It was barely seven am and Rachel had crashed her way into the spare bedroom of her dad's place where Kurt had collapsed once arriving home only hours ago.
'Rachel, I promise I will figure out what you are going on about. But first I need to, you know, wake up. Coffee?' Kurt rubbed at his eyes, trying to adjust to the daylight that crept in through the curtain.
'Fine.' With a flick of her hair Rachel stormed out of the room and took off downstairs. He could hear the clicking of her plastic heels as she went.
Kurt pulled on a pair of pyjama pants over his boxers, all that was left of last night's outfit since he had made it back to the Berry's spare room, and a soft cotton t-shirt over his head before heading downstairs. Normally he would have at least run a comb through his hair, but his need for coffee was too great and Rachel had already seen the mess that was currently residing atop his scalp.
Rachel was standing in front of the toaster, two mugs of coffee already sitting on the kitchen table. Kurt sat down just as the toast popped and Rachel put two slices on a plate for him before busying herself with removing various jams and vegan spreads from the cupboards. Neither of them spoke as they ate, the room filled only with the crunch of toast and sips of coffee. When they had finished Rachel took both hers and Kurt's plates and loaded them into the dishwasher, she then returned to her seat and raised her eyebrows at Kurt.
'What?' Kurt asked defensively. Except he knew exactly what she was talking about, or more accurately not talking about. When she woke up at Puck's this morning she would have gone looking for him and what she would have found instead was Blaine.
Kurt knew he hadn't done the right thing, though he wouldn't necessarily call it the wrong thing. He had known that since the moment Sebastian had handed him all that cash weeks ago. But last night was different. Last night there was no money involved, it was just them. Admittedly they had both been pretty drunk but Kurt had always believed alcohol brought out honesty in people, it removed the filter and only left the truth. And the truth was he and Blaine had had sex.
In the morning when the filter was replaced and the walls rebuilt Kurt realised just how big of a mistake he had made. This wasn't something he could keep doing, he couldn't become attached. As much as his heart ached for Blaine, he didn't want it. Relationships were messy, complicated and someone always got hurt, Kurt always got hurt. And so he did the cowardly thing and left. He ran, just as he had run from Lima, from his dreams, from everything in his past. He could only imagine what he had left behind.
'You know what.' Rachel was taking no prisoners this morning.
Kurt sighed, 'It was nothing.' Maybe if he dragged this on for long enough she wouldn't realise he wasn't actually giving her anything.
Rachel gave him a piercing look. Usually she was in his corner, they hadn't always gotten along but she had always been on his side. For her to turn on him was a big deal. Whatever she had seen, whatever he had left behind, must have been pretty bad.
'It didn't look like nothing.'
'We were drunk, okay? Tell me you didn't consider hooking up Finn last night.' He took a sip of his coffee, emptying the mug.
'This isn't about me, Kurt. This just isn't like you. You don't hook up and leave the poor boy. You haven't even- I mean you're- you know.' She was trying to say he was a virgin. Kurt rubbed a spot of coffee that a dripped onto the table until it disappeared. He didn't answer, he didn't feel like lying to her.
'Kurt, when did we stop talking about things?' Kurt looked up at the tone of Rachel's voice. She sounded…sad, for lack of a better word. 'We used to talk about everything.'
'Things change, Rach. I'm not who I was when I lived here.'
'I know. Sometimes I miss that Kurt.'
They both fell silent, contemplating the conversation. Of course the easy thing to do would be to tell each other they would make more time once back in New York. We'll do weekly lunch dates. But both knew that would never happen, they were close enough to not bother with the lie. Things had changed and that was the way life worked, as unfortunate as it was it would never be the same again. His father had once told him that once things change they never go back to the way they were. How right he was.
'So. What are you going to do?'
'Nothing.' He was going to go back to New York and his job and continue life as he had before Blaine. It was easy enough then, it would be easy enough now. It wasn't like he even really knew the boy, they didn't mean anything to each other.
'And what about Blaine?'
'Nothing.' With that Kurt left and went upstairs to take a shower. Rachel wasn't sure she had any more answers than she had at the start of the conversation.
'Dammit, Blaine.' Wes whispered as he tripped over an unknown foot. He knew leaving Blaine alone last night was a bad idea. Whoever this Kurt was he was no good for Blaine, as if last night hadn't been evidence enough now he had gone missing.
Wes had woken around eight, earlier than most of the other guests, except, he noted, for Kurt and his friend Rachel, who were nowhere to be seen. When Wes had gone looking for Blaine he had only found his bowtie tossed to the end of the bed where he had left him last night.
He wasn't so sure about New York, but in high school Blaine had always had a bad track record with boys. The GAP Attack would go down in Warbler history. Blaine was too kind hearted, he trusted too easily, he was just so damn friendly. But he couldn't express his emotions, unless through song, he fell hard and fast, the other usually having no idea and leaving him behind. And from the looks of things nothing had changed since Blaine had started college. Hanging around with Sebastian certainly wasn't going to help, in Wes' opinion.
Resigning himself to walking home (Blaine had driven) Wes pulled out his phone in an attempt to find his friend. Of course his call went straight through to voicemail. Blaine was prone to dramatics, he wasn't going to make this easy for him. Deciding to change routes and head straight to the Anderson house, this time Wes called a cab, not willing to walk over an hour to Blaine's.
When he arrived Mrs Anderson let him straight up to Blaine's room.
Wes could hear movement in the room and knocked lightly, 'Blaine?'
'What?' More shuffling and a muffled swear leaked under the door so Wes pushed it open.
Blaine's suitcase was open on his bed, half packed and looking like it had never been fully unpacked in the first place. A pile of what was one probably folded washing had fallen off the side of his bed and Blaine was now attempting to re-fold everything and place it back in his luggage.
'Going somewhere?' Wes sat down in Blaine's desk chair, noting the stony expression on his friends face, the way his eyebrows pulled in to indicate something was really wrong. Most people would see anger but Wes knew Blaine well enough to know it was pain and sadness.
'Home.' He was going to make Wes work for information.
'You are home, Blaine.' He said softly.
'No. I'm going to New York. Where I belong. Where there is school and I have friends and where I can just get lost and you'd never know.' Blaine threw a pair of underwear into his suitcase harshly where is landed with an unsatisfactory thud, hating that he gave away so much.
'Look, Wes, I thought it meant something but it didn't. That's okay. At least now I know. So now I just want to go back to my apartment in New York where there is a tub on Ben and Jerry's in my fridge and Sebastian will hand deliver me coffee because he is strangely obedient that way. Okay?'
Wes simply nodded, 'Okay.'
When Wes left the Anderson house after helping Blaine finish packing he immediately pulled out his phone, scrolling through his contacts for a number he was always meaning to delete but for once in his life was glad he hadn't.
'Blaine, honey are you sure you have to go?' Blaine fidgeted a little as his mother fixed his collar, sometimes she forgot he was nineteen and lived on his own. It was her instinct to fuss over him, or maybe it was her obsession with perfection.
'Yes, Mom. I told you I forgot that summer class was starting next week and I want to be back to prepare.' There was no summer class, but it was the perfect excuse. There is no way his father would argue if he was doing something to further his education and his mother pretty much let Blaine do what he wanted as long as it was within his fathers expectations.
'Okay then, dear, just don't work yourself too hard. Have a safe flight.' She laid her hands flat on his shoulders, apparently satisfied with his appearance. 'Make sure you call me when you land.'
'I will, Mom.' A cab pulled up in the street and Blaine pressed a kiss to Mrs Anderson's cheek. 'Love you.
And with that he was on his way back to New York.
With his bags checked in and his ticket in his hand Blaine was sitting in the departures lounge simply waiting when his phone rang. Sebastian.
'Hi, Seb.' Blaine answered in a weary voice.
'Guess what?' When Blaine didn't answer Sebastian sighed, 'You're not going to guess are you? Fine. I'll just tell you. I'm coming to pick you up at the airport!' His best friends excitement was thinly veiled.
'Wes called you.' It wasn't a question.
'Uh,' Sebastian answered awkwardly, having just been caught out. He was a little bit disappointed in himself, he thought he was a better actor (liar) than that. 'Yeah, he did.'
Blaine sighed again.
'Look, he was just worried about you.' Though Sebastian would never use the words himself his tone told Blaine he felt the same way. Blaine hated that, he didn't want their sympathy.
'He shouldn't be.'
'Doesn't mean he isn't. So look,' Sebastian said, trying to steer the conversation in a different direction, 'I'm going to replace the ice cream I stole from your freezer, test out my ID at the new bottle shop around the corner from you apartment. Though the last time I took you out drinking didn't end so well, so maybe I should just buy extra ice cream…'
'Sebastian!' If Blaine didn't interrupt soon he was going to be on the receiving end of a tangent.
'Oh, yeah, right. And I'm going to meet you at the airport with coffee. Sound good? Wonderful. See you then.' He hung up without leaving Blaine room to argue.
'Yeah, see ya.' Blaine pressed 'end' on his phone just as his plane was called for boarding.
Kurt spent the afternoon in the Berry's backyard, reading. It had been so long since he had just taken some time for himself and done nothing. At first he had been anxious and unable to just sit still, something in the back of his brain was telling him there were things to be done, he had somewhere to be, something to pay for. But as the afternoon wore on and the sun shone he relaxed on the blanket he had set out under the oak tree and lost himself within his reading. It was nice. He couldn't remember the last time something had been simply nice. Maybe he wouldn't kill Rachel for dragging him here.
He had just finished a chapter in his book, the sun was starting to set now, and the heat of the day had burned off, when a thought occurred to him. It was really more of a memory he supposed, but within the haze of the alcohol of the night before he couldn't be sure, everything was a bit of a blur as though pages had been torn out of his book, only leaving him with parts of scenes and his imagination to fill in the rest.
Kurt remembered the conversation he had with Blaine, there was something about what Blaine had said, something Kurt didn't quite understand. Blaine had said it meant more to him. Kurt hadn't questioned it at the time, thinking more of his own problems than what Blaine was actually saying. But now he had time to think about it he could see the deeper meaning. It had meant something to Blaine.
All this time Kurt had imagined Blaine thinking of him only being a stripper and a prostitute, only good for one thing. But Blaine said it had meant something. What did that even mean? Was it just the alcohol making him emotional? No, Kurt told himself, it was more than that. As he recalled the look in Blaine's eyes he knew it was more than that.
And then there was something else Blaine had said, that he was just using Kurt "to fulfil his own fantasy". What the hell did that mean? Kurt didn't want to admit to himself that that was exactly what he had been doing with Blaine. Using him instead of the faceless boy of his dreams. The same one who took him on dates and who he bought flowers for. The boy he would have introduced to his parents...
That couldn't be what Blaine was doing, could it? Surely Blaine didn't think of him in that way, as someone he could spend time with. Kurt had spent the last few weeks convincing himself that Blaine didn't want to see him again, didn't want anything more than sex. But all this evidence kept suggesting otherwise. First there was the phone number, but Kurt could put that off to Blaine being polite. But last night… last night was something else.
Rachel's shrill voice broke through his reverie, calling him to dinner. He sighed, his mind suddenly feeling very heavy. Kurt packed up his blanket and book, turning down the corner of the page to mark his place, before washing up and joining the Berry's for dinner.
Later that night he lay in bed, eyes wide open and mind turning. He had never met a person who was as bigger mystery to him as Blaine Anderson. Maybe Blaine could be the one person who would see him as more than just his occupation.
Sebastian met him at the airport with a cardboard cup of coffee in each hand, as promised. From the moment Blaine stepped off the plane he felt better, more at home. Even within the walls of the terminal it was so New York. No one looked anyone else in the eye; they kept their head down, rushing off to wherever they had to be, always off to something more important. Or coffee. Coffee kept the city that never sleeps running.
Sebastian clapped him on the shoulder as he passed Blaine his coffee, 'Come on, B. Let's get you home.'
They didn't say much, only the occasional comment on the weather, Sebastian asked after Blaine's parents. The cab pulled up in front of Blaine's apartment building, he insisted on paying since Seb has brought the coffee (it wasn't really a fair trade off, but Blaine was used to that with Sebastian and it probably evened out in the end anyway). Blaine dumped his suitcase in his bedroom and collapsed on the couch without bothering to unpack. Sebastian sat up the other end with a tub of ice cream, two spoons and two bowls, not that he expected to use them but just in case. He handed Blaine a spoon and opened up the container, offering it to Blaine first. It was only after they had both licked their spoons clean Sebastian spoke.
'So, are you going to tell me what happened?'
Blaine dug another spoonful of ice cream, considering the question.
'Maybe.' Sebastian knew that was Blaine-code for "yes, I just have to work up the courage to actually say it out loud first". So he ate more ice cream and waited.
'Kurt was there.' Blaine said eventually.
'Porcelain?' Sebastian immediately regretted the use of Kurt's stage name when Blaine flinched.
'Okay.' Blaine's fragile state was starting to make a little more sense to him.
'I ran into him in this coffee shop and he was with this girl I swear I know from somewhere. And he looked so freaked out, so I lied about how I knew him.' The words were all starting to come in a rush now, as though once Blaine started talking he just couldn't stop. 'And then Wes took me to this party. You know how I get when I drink, and I drunk a lot. I did something stupid and I think I may have said some things.'
Blaine was breathing hard; his eyes had a slight panicked look. Sebastian held out the ice cream in front of Blaine, hoping the time it would take him to eat a spoonful would calm him down slightly.
'Blaine, its fine. So you said some things while you were drunk. He probably doesn't even remember. It's not like you two had sex.' And, shit was that the wrong thing to say.
Blaine's expression was so pained that Sebastian thought he was about to cry. He had his arms wrapped around his waist, holding himself together as though if he let go his emotions would spill over, as though he would physically and mentally fall apart.
'And then he left. I woke up and he was gone.' Before he even knew what was happening Blaine threw his spoon across the room, leaving a small dent in the plaster of the wall.
Sebastian had left people after, when they had been sleeping, he had also been left, but he had never cared and as far as he could tell neither had the people he slept with. Blaine wasn't that kind of guy, he cared, this had meant something to him.
He watched Blaine; shoulders now slumped in defeat after his outburst. He wasn't crying, he looked beyond that, he looked tired, like he had been putting up a front for way too long and it had simply become too much of an effort.
If Sebastian had been a hugging kind of guy he would of reached over and wrapped his friend in his arms, instead he offered up the ice cream and picked out a movie.
Hours later Blaine had fallen asleep on the couch, spoon still clutched in his hand, eyebrows scrunched in the middle. Sebastian pulled the pillow off his bed and placed it under his head so he wouldn't wake up with a sore neck. He draped a blanket over his waist, because although it was still fairly warm he knew Blaine liked to sleep with the weight of something wrapped around him. Triple checking to make sure Blaine was definitely asleep, Sebastian pressed a kiss to his hair and wandered off to the guest bedroom.
I have such a problem with line breaks in that I love and use them way to often. Sorry about that.