FULL WARNINGS: character death, depression, self-harm, suicide attempts, psychiatric hospitalization, hospitalization for heart issues, bullying, gay-bashing, homophobia, talk of drug and alcohol abuse, talk of involvement with gangs, talk of ocd

[ prologue. ]

It's funny how one person can have such a huge effect on your life.

Or, in Blaine Anderson's case – the remains of a life he'd been clinging on to. You see, Blaine Anderson hasn't really had what you would call "a life" in little over three years. He's been caged, stifled, and smothered by this horrible dark cloud of anger and anxiety and sadness.

And in fact, more than once, Blaine had tried to end his life. It had only resulted in failures – just like everything else he'd ever done. And with each suicidal thought, with each suicide attempt, death only seemed further and further out of his grasp. Blaine had begun to wonder if he'd ever escape the torture called life, or if he'd just be forced to go through it until he'd gone completely insane.

Blaine had given up on life.

That was when someone came into his life and completely turned it around.

It was fate or destiny or maybe just some freak accident that Blaine Anderson met Kurt Hummel, but once the deed had been done, there was no turning back.

It probably would have been easier, would have been better if Kurt had made a real difference. If Kurt had shown Blaine the goodness that the world had to offer. If Kurt had taught Blaine how to appreciate what he had and not worry about the things he didn't. If Kurt had helped Blaine to believe in hope and happiness and It Gets Better.

But he hadn't.

Yes, Kurt had turned Blaine's life around, but it had been a full circle.

Blaine may have experienced those things for a moment, but they don't matter anymore. Here he stands, locked away in the bathroom he shares with his sullen roommate, staring at himself in the mirror.

He stands, head held high, chin up, and eyes wide. His face looks hollow, and there's a sallow tone to his skin, an incredible darkness to his eyes, but Blaine's used to that by now. He takes a deep breath, calming himself. Puck will be gone for an hour, now is the time to do this.

It's amazing Blaine has even gotten a hold of a blade, but he supposes he should thank the shitty security of the hospital. With another deep breath, Blaine pulls his hand up, and in one, quick movement, drives the blade through the skin of his wrist. Blood beads in a line immediately, stark against the white of his skin.

Blaine has cut many times before – it's a natural reflex now. Any time he's upset, his wrists itch, ache, long for that sharp flick of pain. But this is different. This time, Blaine isn't going to stop at one or two or three cuts. This time Blaine is going to keep going until he bleeds dry.

Blaine can't help but smile, taking a shaky breath.

Maybe this will be the time it works.

He cuts again, the blade coming down right underneath the last cut. More blood pools on top of his skin, running down his arm, dripping into the sink.

Blaine cuts again.

And again.

And again.

He keeps going, and by now his arm is a mess of flesh, blood seeping from his skin and into the tiny sink. Blaine turns the water on as the red glares up at him, and he continues to smile lazily as the blood loss starts taking effect. He wonders briefly how long he's been in here, cutting away at his skin and letting the blood fall freely, running him dry. With a heavy sigh, he decides he doesn't care.

Blaine sits down on the toilet, keeping his arm over the sink. He leans forward, resting his head on the edge of the porcelain counter, and closes his eyes, praying desperately for death to finally take him away.

But as usual, with the click of a door, he fails.