And because Raven is such a generous woman, she will give you Klaine in every chapter from here on out. :) Also I'm hoping updates will come sooner since this is my last week of school :D Read, review, and enjoy.
As soon as he wakes up a few hours later he forgets his dream, but knows that what woke him was a familiar, musty and tangy smell.
His eyes blink confusedly open and the smell overtakes his nose, growing stronger and stronger with every inhale and he brings the fabric of his cotton tank over his nose to serve as a filter. The sound of water furiously rushing by fills his ears, and Blaine figures that the river is rising. But why, and how, and the smell is everywhere-
A spike of fear punches through Blaine.
He gets hastily to his feet, pack already swinging onto his back, and scans the river as best he can in the night's darkness. The river has been drained, and through the sewage holes lining its walls pours a clear liquid that's definitely not water. Blaine is scrambling to make the connection, trying to think fast but the smell is everywhere and his brain is muddled with it.
His answer is bestowed upon him soon enough, though, when the gasoline begins to level off and bright orange flickers down the river on both sides.
It finally clicks, and Blaine realizes he has little to no time to act.
The gasoline threatens to spill over to his side of the street just as he climbs down the ladder and hops to the ground. The fire is quickly roaring down both sides of the river, well on its way to colliding in the middle and burning the bridge to the other side.
Blaine gives out a yell as the manhole next to where he stands rumbles threateningly, and stumbles away just as it topples open to reveal several disoriented, poisonous-looking snake-like creatures slithering onto the asphalt.
"Jesus fuck," Blaine mutters under his breath as he backs away, but one quick glance up and down the street tells him that this side of the street will soon be infested with the deadly, bloodthirsty mutts.
The gasoline spills over onto the street, and in the distance Blaine hears screams echoing on both sides, one cannon and then another firing in quick succession. Footsteps begin to rumble towards him on either side of the street, and Blaine realizes that he's situated himself right in the middle of what's soon to be another bloodbath.
In a split second, he considers his choices.
One: stay where he is and get either shred to bits by the snakes advancing upon him, stabbed to death by a panicked tribute, or go up in flames once they catch up with the spilt gasoline.
Two: run across the bridge and risk not making it across before the flames reach him and if he does, outrun the flame.
Well the second option at least doesn't include venomous snakes, so he decides to pursue that one.
He sprints, running across the bridge and already feeling the heat from where the walls of fire are closing in. There are footsteps behind him, letting him know that he's not the only one who's chosen this plan of action but he can't think about that right now.
Hissing and screaming and roaring fill Blaine to the brim, pushing him faster as the heat closes in on him. Flames flicker in his peripheral vision now and he's so close, so close-
The bridge, already somewhat unstable from years of disuse, groans as the flames push in and Blaine finally hits the other side. But he's far from safe; gasoline still splashes under every stride he takes. More screams from the bridge, and moments later one more cannon. That's five since this morning, he thinks somewhere far off in his head, pushing down the panic that comes with the thought that one of those might have been Kurt.
Heat is closing in on him fast, and he knows the fire is on his heels but he doesn't dare look back lest he trip and fall. Gasoline is splattering onto his pants and his still-healing cuts are screaming with pain but his survival instincts are kicking in, adrenaline easing the agony as he pushes harder.
Screams and hissing are long gone, leaving only the uncontrollable roar of the fire. Blaine doesn't know how long he can keep this up, is again feeling helpless and alone against an unstoppable force, and is about to give into his fatigue with a cry of defeat when rain starts hammering down from the sky.
"Oh God," Blaine huffs in relief, catching the end of a rusted fire escape and heaving himself up onto the ladder and holding himself there, watching as the flames attempt in vain to counter the rain.
Blaine climbs up higher on the ladder to the platform of the fire escape, watching as tributes run this way and that. He looks beyond to where the bridge used to be and immediately knows the motivation behind the fire and snakes; anyone remaining on the other side of the bridge is now dead, whether it be by flame or snake bite, and since the bridge is gone, only half the arena is free range. The gamemakers have successfully corralled what's left of them into a smaller, concentrated space.
Rain pours down, drenching Blaine to the core and soothing his various scratches. He collapses onto his back and opens his mouth, gladly drinking in the fresh water. When he's had his fill he fishes out his water bottle from the pack and twists it open, letting it fill and overflow with cool, fresh water. Through the sound and haze of pouring rain the Panem anthem plays and the faces of dead tributes for the day flash across the sky.
Sunshine, whose machete he stole at the cornucopia. The other dark-skinned, handsome District 3 tribute, David. Blaine's heart throbs painfully as he sees Tina's face, and he takes a deep breath to push imaginations of her death aside.
Sam from 7, who snapped Sugar's neck. Gigantic Lauren from 9, and Brittany from 11.
The light in the sky fades out as the rain subsides, and Blaine lets out a shaky breath. Now reassured that Kurt is miraculously still alive, he lets the simmering smell of smoke lull him back to sleep on the fire escape.
For the first time in the past few days Blaine wakes up on his own, and with no instinctual fight-or-flight hormones rushing through his system. Bright sunlight taints the back of his eyelids red, and he groans and rolls over to his side, hissing in pain when he realizes that's his bad arm. To his slight irritation there's a soft, persistent beeping somewhere nearby, but he blocks it out as best as he can.
Sleeping on a grid of iron all night probably wasn't a good idea, because when he eases himself up to sitting position he feels well-rested, but with cricks in at least five different parts of his body.
And very, very, very hungry.
God, where is that beeping coming from? Blaine scrubs at his face with both hands, cringing when they come away black with ash from last night's fire. He wipes them carelessly on his pants, and can't help but fidget in how filthy he feels. He lets out a small, frustrated cry; he's feeling hurt and achey and famished and hopeless. He has no clue what to do now, doesn't want to do anything, just wants to sit and wait for nourishment to come to him, or Kurt, or death, whatever comes first. He lets out a humorless laugh when he realizes that he would much, much rather be sitting through yet another dinner party than be where he is right now.
He bangs on the rusty iron weakly with a fist, ready to give up, and then tilts his head back against the wall of the building.
"Help," he whispers, fighting the tears stinging behind his eyes.
And that's when he looks up.
Immediately he sees the source of the beeping; a parachute has landed on the platform of the fire escape above the one he sits on now.
Spirits immediately lightened, Blaine whips his head around, making sure that this gift is undoubtedly for him, before mustering the energy to get to his feet. He hoists himself up the ladder and spread-eagles on his stomach on the platform, screwing open the capsule and letting out a hysterical laugh of relief.
A roll of bread, a container of broth to dip it in, and an apple. Blaine reads the note accompanying the meals.
'Keep fighting chick-a-dee! -April.'
He forces himself to savor the meal, eating the whole broth-soaked roll but leaving the rest of the soup for later. He crunches the apple slowly, letting himself eat the whole thing since he has a few pieces of dried fruit left.
He takes out his water bottle to wash it all down, but nearly chokes in surprise when he spots movement in the corner of his eye.
The figure is rounding the corner of a building across the street, keeping to the early morning shadows and moving fast, but carefully.
Blaine quickly ducks as close to the building as he can, hoping the shadows will do a good job of concealing him, but the tribute hasn't seemed to notice him. In fact, if Blaine didn't know any better...
His heart gives a wild thump in his chest.
Sunlight illuminates Kurt as he jumps from one building to the next. He looks a bit beat up - he too is covered in a thin layer of ash, and has a few scuffs and scratches here and there - but by the stealthy way he's moving Blaine can tell his vitals are still in good shape.
Before Kurt can get too far, Blaine quietly climbs down the fire escape and follows.
He makes sure to keep a good distance between them, deciding that now wouldn't be the best time to reveal himself. He doesn't know if he should even reveal himself at all, if Kurt would trust him, or if he should just keep watch from a distance, fending off enemies until he's positive they're the final two in the competition.
So he doesn't exactly have a plan, but he does know that Kurt seems to know where he's going, so he must have a destination in mind.
He follows Kurt for several blocks until they get to a large intersection. The lithe boy darts into a building at one of the corners, and Blaine hesitates a minute or two before deciding to go in after him.
The place has a low ceiling with an abandoned counter at the entrance, and is lined with rows of shelves carrying various items layered in dust. It's large, and Kurt is nowhere to be seen. He begins to quietly examine each aisle.
As quietly as he can, he picks up the nearest can and brushes off the dust.
It's a label he doesn't recognize but it's definitely food, and when he shakes it it seems stubbornly solid. It must have expired long ago.
Blaine frowns and moves along down another aisle and picks up can after box after bottle coming to the conclusion that he's in what must have once been a grocery store. None of the food items seem even remotely edible though, being either way past expiration or practically fossilized. Why in the world would Kurt waste his time here?
And then, as if on cue, he spots a small flash of color a few rows behind in a section of boxes a foot above him.
He looks around. Still no sign of Kurt, but he hears some shuffling in the back of the store so he must still be in the building. He places his pack quietly on the floor to use as a step-stool, and reaches, shifts a box a little to move it out of the way-
"I knew it!" Kurt calls out from down the aisle.
And then Blaine goes toppling to the floor, a pile of boxes following in his wake.
He struggles to free himself from the dusty cardboard and spots the red box; he reaches for it eagerly just as Kurt's boots enter his vision.
"I knew someone was following me," Kurt continues breathlessly. "Drop your weapon and show yourself!"
Blaine emerges from the pile of boxes, clutching the red box. He can't help but blurt out, "I don't think I'll be doing much damage with a box of-" he checks the label- "Crackers."
He doesn't miss the way Kurt lowers his bow and arrow (when had he gotten those?) a fraction before straightening out again.
"Anderson," he sneers, and even with venom laced in it, his last name name sounds glorious on Kurt's tongue. "Thought you could have in on my food source if you finished me off, huh?"
Blaine thinks he sees something in Kurt's eyes begging him to prove him wrong. It's probably imagination, but Blaine succumbs to it anyway.
"N-no, I don't-"
But Kurt doesn't let him finish. "Well you thought wrong. I've got the last of the food in here-" he gestures to the small pack over his shoulder- "And an arrow pointed straight at your head. S-so I've got the upper hand."
Blaine doesn't miss the way Kurt stutters, giving away his fear and cracking his mask of confidence. He drops the crackers and stands slowly, both hands raised above his head. To his surprise, Kurt's grip on the bow loosens a bit.
"I'm not going to hurt you," he says as convincingly as possible.
Kurt raises a single eyebrow.
"I'm so sure," he drawls.
"Listen," Blaine says, choosing his words carefully. "I know what we said in the elevator two nights ago doesn't matter. But... it does. To me. And I know it shouldn't but I want it to. I - " Blaine throws his hands up but lets them flop down when his cut stings painfully. "You're the only person I've even talked to other than my prep team and mentor and chaperone and Tina- and even Tina stopped talking to me and now she's d - d - God, I don't want to kill you, Kurt." I want to protect you.
Kurt's eyes soften considerably, and a few moments later he lets his hands drop to his sides helplessly. "God," he whines, "You're so stupid."
"I- what?" Blaine asks, confused.
"You can't just - this is life and death, Blaine. You can't just throw your entire heart into a speech like that and expect people to go easy on you."
I threw my entire heart into you, Blaine thinks, but says instead: "Are you going to go easy on me?"
Kurt's mouth hardens into a line as he levels his gaze with Blaine's.
"So you were looking for me?" he finally says, avoiding the question entirely.
"Yeah," Blaine sighs before he can stop himself. It's true, after all.
Silence stretches until Kurt breaks it again. "I'm not allowed to form alliances."
"Please, Kurt," Blaine whispers brokenly. He's so close to being exactly where he needs to be that he's grasping at straws, desperate to convince Kurt to let him stick around. He thinks back to a few days ago, straining to keep the doors closed against the rats ramming against the door. He thinks back to last night, running endlessly from the fire, and feels a small prickle of panic rush through his veins. "I - I don't - I think - I can't do this. Alone."
"Why me?" Kurt whispers back.
"Because your favorite color is violet," Blaine blurts. Kurt is taken aback by the statement, and Blaine holds out his hand.
Kurt debates for a moment, eyes flicking suspiciously between Blaine's eyes and his hand, before taking both bow and arrow in one hand and taking the outstretched hand.
It's barely a shake before Kurt drops his hand again, and Blaine is puzzled by its roughness but is awestruck all the same at his touch.
"Okay," Kurt says.
"Okay," Blaine smiles.
They shift a little on their feet, unsure of what to do next, until Blaine leans down to pick up his pack.
"So... where to?"
Kurt shakes his head a little, brown bangs flopping into his face. Blaine tries in vain to swallow down his heart that's jumped up into his throat.
"I um- I have a place. That I found yesterday, that I think will be really good for shelter. We can go there and... talk? I guess? Figure out what provisions we have and what we need?"
"Great," Blaine says. "Where is it?"
Kurt smiles softly and points up to the ceiling. "Old apartments above the store."
"That seems convenient," Blaine says skeptically.
"There's a catch," Kurt affirms. Blaine cocks his head curiously, so Kurt stakes a deep breath before continuing:
"The Careers are living across the street."
Wow I managed to end it on something other than Blaine falling asleep.