Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters; Ryan Murphy and Co. hold that honor. I Have Nothing belongs entirely to Whitney Houston and her associates. I'm simply writing this for fun, not profit.
"Why aren't you giving him this speech?"
"I'm not giving him this speech because Santana's already taking care of it."
I'd rather be alone then unhappy.
My fist connects with the red canvas with a muted thud, sweat dripping off my forehead. It's late to be practicing - almost six in the afternoon - but I can't bring myself to stop. Not until the look of devastation on Kurt's face vanishes from my mind. I walked into the choir room wanting him to finally see what he had done, to understand that something was wrong. I left knowing that I'd gone too far. A private conversation with him hadn't been enough for him to recognize the severity of the situation, but a condemnation in front of his friends - hell, his family - had been more than enough. Too much.
You messed up.
I let out a grunt of frustration as I punch the bag again. It doesn't even rattle on its hinges, ready to take any blow that I can throw at it. My hands ache with each consecutive impact but I can't stop.
All I can see is Kurt's face, morphing from disgusted and exasperated to horrified and disbelieving. Not the same as last night. That was different. Then his disbelief was genuine, his horror stemming from it. He didn't believe then that I was capable of being upset over something as innocuous as a few texts. Now he knew, and he saw what I had seen the moment that I read Chandler's text.
With a snarl, I rip off my gloves, my aching hands momentarily soaking in the cool locker room air before connecting with the punching bag. Pain explodes in them, but it feels good because it's a pain that I can see and feel and fix. For a moment, it even whites out the agony of the intangible knife lodged in my chest, wrenched into place by four simple words.
You like this guy.
I pant and shiver and fall back onto the bench in exhaustion, unable to force my muscles to cooperate. It's been too long and too hard to quit and keep going; the second my momentum falters, I crumple. I halfheartedly peel the red-stained cloth off my hands, hunched over until I'm almost bent double, trying to catch my breath. My vision is spotty and my hands are shaking but I chuckle mirthlessly in relief as the image fades, Kurt's image disappearing from my mind's eye at last. All I can see is the gray tile below and the wooden bench beneath me, a line of red lockers standing at attention down the hall. The distant hoots of football players finishing up one of their practices draws me partially from my reverie even as fatigue threatens to drag me to the floor.
Sluggishly, I toss the bloody cloths into my open duffel bag, kicking my boxer gloves in after them. My mind feels heavy and blank as I stand, my arms hanging limply at my side, hours of cumulative sweat clinging to my back. I saunter over to the stalls and peel off my shirt with the same mechanical precision, tossing it onto the edge and shucking off my pants and boxers in one quick movement. The hot water burns against the open scrapes on my knuckles but relieves some of the aching pressure against my back and shoulders, steam pouring out around me. I crank up the nozzle until it's almost scalding, standing until the spray and letting it wash away my efforts from the past four hours.
Sighing, I jolt in surprise when a sharp, dry voice says, "I don't care what Hummel did, you and him need to get your crap together so that we can win nationals."
Turning to face the intruder, I blink in surprise. "Santana?" I belatedly turn off the shower head, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around my waist. She rolls her eyes at the gesture.
"Trust me, hobbit, I've seen plenty of man parts."
"What are you doing here?"
"I'm here because you two need to stop fighting. And since both of you are acting like prissy puppies, it's time for a Snix intervention."
I bristle at the comparison, stepping out of the stall and grabbing my stuff with one hand, keeping another on the towel as a precautionary gesture. "I appreciate your concern, but Kurt and I can handle it," I say, walking towards my bag.
"That's exactly what it looked like you were doing earlier," she agrees in the same biting, sarcastic tone. "I always sing a song about cheating to my exes to win them back over. Which, by the way, I thought it was very sweet of you to dedicate a song to the entire Glee club."
"That was a mistake," I admit hollowly, tossing the dirty clothes in the bag and pulling out a fresh set from my locker. I tug on a shirt, hastily pulling on a fresh pair of boxers and sweat pants when she rolls her eyes and turns around obligingly. "Why do you care?" I ask as I toss the towel in a hamper.
She turns around and stares at me blankly. "I don't."
I pause in the process of zipping my bag, wrong-footed. "So you're here to - "
"I'm here to tell you that if you do care, you better make your move soon."
"I already did," I point out quietly.
Santana shakes her head, stepping forward until she's barely three feet away. "If that's the last move that you're going to make, then you've already broken up with him."
"It's your choice whether you and Hummel get back together," she says simply. "It's still your move."
I open my mouth to say something, trying to find words. "Do you really think he'll listen?" I ask quietly.
"I think," she says, stepping forward and taking my left hand, ignoring my grunt of protest as she wraps it in a fresh cloth, "it's your turn to listen."
I stare at her hands as she wraps mine quickly, stepping back when she's done.
"What if he doesn't want to talk any more?" I ask.
"Then he's done with you. Simple as that."
Shaking my head, I pick up my duffel bag, slinging it over one shoulder and wincing at the strain. "So, I have to wait?"
"You have to be ready," she corrects, her voice oddly soft. Then, rolling her eyes and making a dismissive gesture, almost as though to erase the momentary breach in her sharp demeanor: "Britt and I have our rough patches, too, but we always get through them. Just because you and Hummel have finally realized that you're not perfect, doesn't mean this is the end of your great, gay, fairy-tale romance."
I wrinkle my nose at the analogy.
"Give him time," she says, turning away from me and walking towards the door, "if he responds, then you two can be sickeningly in love again, and if he doesn't, then you can stop trying to get back what you'll never have."
I listen to the empty thud as the door shuts behind her, absently wondering why she knew to come down here. Why she wanted to find me here.
Looking down at my hands, I shake my head and follow her. She's already long out of sight by the time I pry open the door.
You have to be ready.
I walk out to my car, tossing the bag in the back before hurrying around to the front, a light misting of rain soaking into my clothes in the process. Slowly, warily, I dig into my satchel and pull out my phone, unlocking it.
The empty inbox hits me like a blow and I toss it back onto the passenger's seat, cramming the keys in the ignition and driving off.
I pull up near the Lima Bean and see Sebastian sitting alone at a table near the window. Without a word, I keep driving.
It isn't until I reach my house that I realize I'm still shaking. I can't help it - the sudden warring desires to call Kurt and apologize and text him and tell him that we're done make my head ache before I'm through the door. The house is empty this time - Cooper must be out visiting friends again, my parents out for a formal dinner together - and I sit down heavily on the couch in the living room with my phone clasped in my bandaged hands.
At last, quietly, I type two words and hit send.
Three minutes later: Hi, Blaine.
I swallow, suddenly at a loss for words, unsure what to do. My fingers hesitate over the keys. The phone vibrates again before I can respond.
Do you want to talk?
I hit call without another word.
"Hi. I - I'm sorry. For singing that song to you."
". . ."
"You don't have to . . . accept it or anything. The apology, I mean. I understand."
". . ."
"Are you still there?"
"I just . . . don't know what to say."
A long pause. "I miss you. Us. I miss us."
I swallow. "I miss you, too."
"I didn't cheat on you."
I pause, trying to formulate a response. "I don't think . . . you did it willingly," I hedge.
He sighs. "But you still think I cheated."
I say nothing.
"Chandler . . . he makes me feel good. Happy. I haven't had a friend like him since I met you."
"I feel like I'm not your friend any more," I admit softly.
"I . . . we don't talk any more, Kurt."
"Of course we do."
I chuckle bitterly. "We talk about . . . New York, and how amazing it's going to be for you. We talk about how much fun it's going to be once you've left . . . all of this behind. We talk about your future, Kurt. But we don't . . . we never talk about what it's going to be like for us when you're gone."
"We talk about how we're going to Skype all the time," he points out quietly. "Call each other. Visit each other."
"Kurt, that's. . . ." I swallow. "You're going to be living a whole new life there. I'm not going to be a big part of it, and I don't . . . I don't want to hold you back."
"Of course you're a big part of it, Blaine. You're . . . you mean so much to me, Blaine. You could never hold me back."
I look aside, shaking my head even though I know he can't see it.
"You're not going to lose me, Blaine."
Come to Glee club practice on Thursday?
I blink, staring down at my phone.
My hands are still bandaged, but I unlock the screen with minimal effort as the message goes briefly dark and hurriedly tap out a response.
Then, two minutes later: Okay.
I wait for another response, an invitation, a request, an acceptance speech that doesn't come.
Closing my eyes, I tilt my head back against the couch and say nothing.
He's not going to forgive you easily for that one.
You have to listen.
Unwrapping my hands slowly, I look down and examine my knuckles. They look almost normal, red around the edges but otherwise fine. Still sore, but nothing that I can't handle.
Getting up, I trudge upstairs and into my room, shutting the door quietly behind me. I walk over to my dresser and pluck the moisturizing cream off the top, dabbing some onto my palms before rubbing it into my hands. I hiss softly at the burn as it covers the scrapes, relaxing when they're concealed. Frowning at the slight discoloration between my wrists and hands, I shake my head and toss the bottle aside, vexed.
You look good with a little color.
I only use moisturizer on my hands, Kurt. It looks weird if a person has tan hands.
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, listening to the rain patter the roof and sidewalks, I hold my phone, waiting, waiting endlessly for some other indication that this will work out.
That we will be okay.
It isn't until the sun reappears that I realize I have no choice.
I have to be ready.
But I have to let him choose now.
Author's Notes: Hello, everyone.
It's been a while since I've updated this, and I wasn't actually ever anticipating writing this scene, but here it is.
This takes place after Blaine has sung It's Not Right, But It's Okay in front of the Glee club shortly after his fight with Kurt over the Chandler fiasco. Kurt takes over in the next chapter (Honesty) to sing I Have Nothing in response. Mercedes is the one responsible for encouraging him to try to make amends with Blaine and see it from his perspective, even though Kurt is initially reluctant. Blaine is present for the I Have Nothing scene and as a result, Kurt and he end up in counseling (see: Counseling), where they finally make amends.
Originally, I had planned to write more about Blaine and Cooper in the aftermath of Blaine's conversation with Kurt (which ended, canonically, when he said, "It's not right, but it's okay." Here it ended when Cooper came into Blaine's room to comfort him). I had also intended a fourth piece entitled Cheater that would accompany this as a prelude of sorts: following Kurt's point-of-view from the time when he tells Rachel about Chandler (see: locker scene in "Dance With Somebody" when Rachel asks who Kurt's texting) up until and possibly through the fight itself.
This scene, therefore, is more of a deleted scene than anything. When Kurt talks to Mercedes before singing I Have Nothing to Blaine (a week after the Chandler fight began), he asks her why she isn't giving Blaine the same speech about making amends (read: "Why aren't you giving Blaine this speech?"). She tells him that Santana is already taking care of it and leaves off there.
TL;DR: This takes place after school on the day when Blaine sings It's Not Right, But It's Okay.
P.S. If there's still any interest in it, I'd be willing to write Cheater to finish this little mini-series. My initial plans also included a scene between Blaine and Cooper and Burt and Kurt, but they would fall more in the 'deleted scene' category like this one does.
P.P.S. In case it wasn't clear:
"At last, quietly, I type two words and hit send."
This sequence was only a possibility that Blaine didn't take, since he didn't call Kurt. The conversation between them is, therefore, purely theoretical. In the end, the only thing that he responds to after sitting down is when Kurt texts him to come to Glee club practice. (Where he will perform I Have Nothing.)
Sorry if any of that was unclear.
Review if you want another update!