But Now I See
It's been 5 years since Kurt and Blaine messily broke up. Kurt hasn't seen Blaine since that night…until he gets a call to go visit Blaine. But the man he finds isn't the same Blaine he left.
Kurt stared at the white door. He'd been standing there for God knew how long, trying to convince himself both to knock and to run away. He wasn't sure he wanted to do this.
But he knew he had to.
When he got that call from Brittany saying she'd found Blaine he'd been thrilled. After a few years of searching he'd kept coming up empty handed. He and Blaine hadn't exactly parted on good terms. But after the dust had settled Kurt felt awful, he wanted to make things right with Blaine.
Only problem was Blaine had disappeared off the face of the Earth.
Kurt had texted and emailed and of course called but he never was able to get in contact with him. He even enlisted his fellow Gleeks from high school to help in the search but over the next few years he came up empty handed.
He didn't ask Brittany how she'd managed to find him, and here of all places, but lord knew he wasn't going to complain. He was just…going to stand here for a while. He brought his hand up, preparing to knock, but for some reason he couldn't bring himself to do it. He rested his hand against the cool wood, wondering how the hell things had gotten so bad.
Well, he didn't need to wonder. He remembered that night.
"I can't just drop everything, Blaine!"
"I did for you, Kurt! Remember my family? They won't talk to me anymore!"
"That wasn't my fault, don't you dare blame that on me!"
"You're the one who convinced me to leave them and everything behind to move with you!"
"Well that was your choice then!"
"You can't be serious right now!"
"Blaine do you understand what you're asking me to do here? You're asking me to lose this huge opportunity!"
"No I'm not! I'm asking you to put it on hold!"
"Well I can't do that, Blaine! Some things are too important!"
"So my family wasn't important? My parents weren't important?"
"This is different and you know it!"
"No, Kurt! It's fucking not!"
"Well then that's too fucking bad, Blaine! Because I'm not doing what you did!"
"So clearly I'm not worth as much to you as you are to me."
"Blaine, come on."
"No. Kurt. Thank you, you've shown me how you really feel about me. This is good. It just shows me that we shouldn't be together."
"You're not serious."
"Do I look like I'm joking?"
"Well fine then! Fucking leave, Blaine! But who are you going to be without me, huh? You're just a blank slate without me to write on you! You're not going to make it one your own in that big bad world!"
"Fuck you, Kurt."
Kurt had never heard a door slam louder. He could still hear it echo in his head.
He had left that next week. He went to Italy and interned Gucci for the next few years and didn't hear from Blaine that whole time. When he came home he started the search.
But that was all in the past. Kurt could make things better now, couldn't he?
But as he stood here, in the Sandusky Sanitarium, he wasn't sure he could.
Forcing himself to move he finally knocked lightly on the wood. It wasn't until he heard a faint 'come in' that he realized he'd done so. With a slow move of his wrist Kurt turned the knob and stepped into the room.
It was small, about the size of Kurt's first dorm room in college. It was white, there were no pictures or personal items. There was a rather thick book on the chair, a spiral book on the nightstand, but that was it. There was only a light colored bed, a similarly colored easy chair, and a dresser. There was one lamp on the dresser but it wasn't even on. The room was poorly lit, dim light streaming in from the single window.
Then Kurt's eyes fell on Blaine.
He sat cross-legged on his bed, face turned towards the wall the window was on. His hands were folded tight in his lap, his eyes closed. He wore no shoes, a pair of pajama pants, and a white t-shirt. His hair was longer than Kurt had seen it during their relationship. It was un-gelled, curls flying free in a small afro. The only item of color on him, or in the room really, was a small beaded bracelet that Kurt recognized.
The bracelet Kurt had given him when he graduated from McKinley.
"Are you going to stand there all day or are you going to come in?" Blaine spoke softly, his voice reserved and defeated. He still had yet to open his eyes or turn towards Kurt.
Kurt didn't know what to say, so he didn't say anything. He just walked softly, slowly, towards Blaine's bed. He watched as Blaine, still with his eyes closed, furrowed his brow and tilted his head to the side. Kurt froze next to the bed, waiting for Blaine to open his eyes. Blaine did nothing, just sat with his brow furrowed, waiting for something to happen. So Kurt carefully sat on the edge of the bed.
Neither said anything for a long moment.
"I know that walk." Blaine finally whispered. "And that smell." His voice sounded hopeful.
"Blaine." Kurt finally whispered, his own voice wet and when the hell did he start crying?
"Kurt." Blaine whispered. He practically mouthed it, and had the room not been so dead silent Kurt would have been sure he hadn't spoken at all.
Blaine finally turned to Kurt and opened his eyes.
Kurt bit back a hard gasp. Blaine's eyes were a light color, they didn't even look real. They weren't looking at anything. Around his eyes and other parts of his face were fading scars. If Kurt didn't know Blaine's face so well he might not have even noticed them.
"Blaine." Kurt found himself whispering again.
"Are you really there?" Blaine whispered, lifting his hand but then dropping it back into his lap. "You're really here, Kurt?"
"I'm really here, Blaine." Kurt whispered, swallowing a sob. "Blaine…you're…"
"Blind." Blaine answered, his voice soft and defeated again. "Yes."
Kurt made a small choking sound, trying to swallow down his emotions. "How?"
"A fire." Blaine said quietly, looking to his lap…or rather giving the illusion that he was. "Fell asleep with some candles lit. Woke up blind." Blaine shrugged, Kurt could tell there was more to the story but he let it drop.
"When did it happen?"
Blaine shrugged as if he didn't know but said, "November 5, 2019."
"Nov—two months after I left?" He whispered, horrified. Blaine just nodded. Kurt swore under his breath, Blaine had been suffering this whole time while Kurt was off in Italy for half the time. "Blaine, I—I'm so sorry." He whispered, unsure of what else to say.
"Not like you started the fire." Blaine mumbled, though they both knew the apology was for more than that. The two sat in total silence for another long moment.
"I've been looking for you, you know."
Blaine lifted his head up again, looking towards Kurt's face. "You have?" He whispered, voice disbelieving.
Kurt nodded but remembered Blaine wouldn't see it. "Yeah. I…ever since I came home. I got everyone to help too…we've been worried about you."
"How did you track me down?" Blaine whispered, voice wavering.
"Britt did. She told me a friend of hers worked here or something. I'm not really sure." Blaine nodded, looking back towards his hands, "Why are you here?" Kurt finally whispered.
Blaine shrugged again as if he didn't know but once again spoke, "Parents finally found a way to dump me somewhere where I couldn't fuck up their lives. With everyone thinking I'm an invalid or that I was about to off myself it wasn't hard."
"What?" Kurt asked, "Off yourself?"
Blaine bit his lip, "Everyone…they thought the fire was intentional."
"What!" Kurt said, voice rising. Blaine flinched and Kurt quickly lowered his voice. "Why would they think that?"
Blaine continued to chew on his lip, looking so troubled and lost. "I…I had been having trouble after you left." He finally whispered, "I wasn't sleeping, wasn't eating. I'd stopped going to class. I just…I'd given up. I'd been taking sleeping pills at night, and I took them the night of the fire. Everyone thought I was trying to end it and I just…why bother correcting them?"
"Why—because Blaine! They have you locked up!"
"What does it matter? I'll just be a burden on whoever takes me in anyway. And it's clear my parents don't want me so where else would I go? This place…it's my home now, I guess."
Kurt bit his lip, trying not to openly cry. He wanted to badly to reach out and hold Blaine but he felt like he'd lost that right the night he left. "If you had called me I would have come." Kurt whispered.
"Would you have?" Blaine didn't sound vindictive or angry, just lost. Like he honestly didn't know the answer to the question.
"Of course." Kurt found himself whispering, "I would and will always come when you call, Blaine. Please…please know that."
Blaine nodded, tears welling up in his unseeing eyes. He pursed his lips, looking unsure, before he finally whispered, "I haven't forgotten your face, you know."
"You face…I…I've forgotten most things. The way my parents looked. The way Dalton looked. But you…I've made sure never to forget you." He gestured to the sketch book on his nightstand, "I've made myself draw you every night so I don't forget. I'm sure they're not even remotely right…but at least I can still see you in my head."
Kurt stared at the sketch book, then back to Blaine, tears escaping his eyes. "Blaine…" He choked.
Blaine's fingers twitched in his lap again. "Can I see you again, Kurt?" He whispered.
Kurt's brow furrowed, "What? I…I don't…" But Kurt saw Blaine's hands twitch again and suddenly he understood. Blaine didn't say anything, turning his head back to the window as if embarrassed he'd asked.
Without a word Kurt reached over and lightly took Blaine's hand, touching him for the first time since he'd walked in. It was like a shock went through the two of them. A link that had been thought lost was connected as Kurt slowly lifted Blaine's soft hand to his face. He lightly rested it against his cheek.
Blaine's eyes slipped closed. He lifted his other hand and slowly brought it to the other side of Kurt's face. His fingers lightly traced across Kurt's face, from his chin to his hairline. His fingers lingered longest on Kurt's lips.
"You're even more beautiful than I remember." Blaine whispered, tears slipping from his eyes.
Kurt let his own eyes slip closed as he lifted his hands to Blaine's, resting around his wrists as Blaine's hands rested against Kurt's cheeks.
"You're crying." Blaine whispered.
"So are you." Kurt choked out, laughing a quiet, single laugh. "God I've missed you, Blaine." He sobbed inaudibly.
"You don't know how much I've missed you." Blaine whispered back.
Kurt let his hands slide from Blaine's wrists down his arms, up to his shoulders, and circle around his back. "God, Blaine." He whispered, pulling the man he still loved to him. "Blaine."
"Kurt." Blaine sobbed out. Arms wrapping tight around Kurt, fisting the back of his sweater. "Don't leave me again, Kurt."
"I'll never leave you again, Blaine. Jesus, I'll never leave again."
The two sat like that for a long moment, not letting the other go. Despite where they sat, or Blaine's lack of sight, or the time that had passed, or the things that were said…things finally felt right again. Because they were in each other's arms. Where they belonged.
"I'll never leave you again."