Kurt can feel his moist breath clinging to the fabric of Blaine's shirt as Blaine pulls him in an unknown direction. His hands are locked on Kurt's arm and waist as he allows himself to be guided. A part of him realizes that they've made it, that they're outside, but everything is obscured by blanket of redness. Still he can sense so much. There's noise, lots of it. Amongst the panicked murmurings of the bodies that must be surrounding him, there is a roaring – that must be the fire, he knows that much – and above that something that sounds like heavy machinery; a wet whooshing that sounds almost like the sprinkling of water from the shower only much louder; screaming, he can definitely hear screaming and worried shouts; a screeching alarm-like sound that comes in two alternating pitches comes from somewhere in the distance, growing louder as it nears. Kurt struggles to put an image to these anonymous noises, filling the air with a sense of carnage. Instead he concentrates on the one thing he does know, if he focuses and tunes out the rest of the mindless racket he can hear them. The birds whistle above, oblivious to the scene below. It's familiar to Kurt, reminding him of Pavarotti and his unyielding optimism and he allows his mind to anchor itself on their song.
He can still smell the smoke, burning and destroying all in its path, but out here it is mixed with the scent of something…fresh. He can't explain it; it's like nothing he has ever experienced before but he's insatiable for it already and he longs to see. Hearing and smelling just isn't enough, he needs to witness it with his own eyes.
Kurt of course knows that he's being kept covered for a reason. It's obvious, they're so close but they still need to be careful. What a waste it would be if they were caught now! So he reluctantly keeps his hands by his sides rather than tearing away the veil as Blaine leads him across the crunchy gravel beneath his feet.
They come to a stop and Kurt briefly wonders if maybe they're finally safe; he feels Blaine's grip on him loosen before it's gone altogether and suddenly Kurt feels like he's about to drown. The hysteria builds as the chains on his anchor snap and he's left floundering, unable to see and utterly lost in this vast world that he knows nothing about. Where's Blaine? He tries to voice this but the rush of fear has left him overwhelmed and all that comes out is a choked sob.
"Sorry, sorry!" A voice that is unmistakeably Blaine's pipes up from beside him and the relief is almost suffocating, "I didn't mean to let you go without warning," he apologises as Kurt tries to get his breath back. The momentary nightmare fading away as Blaine places his hand back onto Kurt's arm. There's a click, a beep and heavy thunk and then Blaine is urging him slowly forward.
"I need you sit down," he instructs.
"What?" Kurt responds hysterically. He knows that they're still not safe yet, how is now the time for sitting?
"Just trust me," Blaine begs and Kurt does, so he sits – unsure what exactly he's sitting on – as Blaine keeps hold of him firmly, "Watch your head." When Kurt is confident that he is sitting and not going to topple over, Blaine lifts his legs and shifts Kurt slightly before strapping him into the seat with a click.
"Okay, I'm going to shut the door," Blaine says calmly while Kurt is suddenly finding it difficult to breathe again. Door? What door? Is he going back inside again? "And then I'll be gone but only for literally five seconds okay? Try not to panic, just stay calm." There isn't even a hint of worry in Blaine's tone which allows Kurt believe him wholeheartedly. He nods under the shirt and Blaine presses a kiss against the fabric, painting a smile upon Kurt's face. There's another thunk, slightly louder than the first and then Kurt is enveloped in silence. The overwhelming array of noise suddenly muted and an eerie nothingness taking its place. He counts the seconds.
Kurt can hear his own breath filling the silence though it offers little comfort.
He wants nothing more than to rip off the shirt and just see. It reeks of soot and smoke but also Blaine, reminding Kurt that he trusts him. He needs to stay covered. He keeps himself covered.
Kurt whispers the number under his breath, never feeling so alone in his life until the sound of yet another thunk jerks him from his thoughts and Blaine is sitting on his left side. He didn't even take the 5 seconds he promised.
"Okay, we're getting out of here," Blaine says with determination as Kurt hears him fiddling with…something until a monstrous roar sends Kurt's heart racing and everything around him seems to vibrate with the intensity. The roar settles into a steady humming yet the vibrating refuses to cease while Kurt is both fascinated and terrified. "Just give it a few more minutes, then you can take that off okay," Blaine assures, referring to the shirt still covering everything from Kurt's view. The vibrations suddenly grow until it feels like the whole room – or wherever it is they currently are – is actually moving. In fact, Kurt is certain that is what is happening. A moving room! The outside world must be absurdly brilliant.
Kurt's heart pounds in anticipation, his urge to see the moving room growing as they move faster and faster. He can't stop the grin that erupts on his face, giddy at the fact that he's so close to seeing this world with his own eyes. They travel in the moving room for no more than 10 minutes before it begins to slow again and eventually comes to a complete stop. The roaring abruptly ceases and Kurt wonders if it's some sort of creature that makes the noise and if it's with them in the moving room. No one is looking for them now, everyone must assume Kurt died in the fire and now everything that had worried him seems to have just melted away. Kurt feels at peace.
"You can take it off now," Blaine says softly. Hands shaking with anticipation, Kurt slowly reaches for the shirt and pulls it over his head. The moment his cover is gone however his eyes automatically clench themselves shut as the intensity of the light blinds him. "What's wrong?" Blaine asks worriedly.
"It's bright!" Kurt whimpers back, covering his eyes with both hands as he tries to open them but every time he tries the brightness burns him. He can feel the dull ache behind his eyes, pounding into his skull and despite how much he tries his eyes simply won't stay open. "Blaine I can't see!" he sobs helplessly. After everything they've been through he can't even do so much as look at what Blaine has strived so hard to give him.
"It's okay Kurt, here," he comforts, moving Kurt's hands out of the way and placing something on the bridge of his nose. "Try opening them now," Blaine instructs. "You've never been exposed to natural light; just give your eyes a little while to adjust and keep the sunglasses on." Kurt opens his eyes a crack, relieved when the light isn't half as piercing as before. He opens them wider now, more confident this time as whatever Blaine placed in front of his eyes seems to have darkened everything.
He can see!
Kurt looks excitedly around the moving room. It's more cramped than he pictured and the walls are made up of glass and metal and plastic. It is by far the most extraordinary room Kurt has ever been in. What's more fascinating however is the fact that he can see outside the room, and the things he sees are enough to render him speechless. The sheer vastness of everything blows him away, he's never seen so much at once. They've stopped by a stretch of land greener than any of the artificially printed colours Kurt is accustomed to. The colour is so vibrant it almost seems alive as it shifts seemingly by itself and the colour changes to reveal an impossible number of different shades; all of them are green but all of them entirely different. The green land stretches into the distance and Kurt is certain that it is never-ending, that he could traverse the place for the rest of his life and still never find its end.
He is torn out of his trance by Blaine exiting the strange room and Kurt tries not to let himself panic like before. He watches through the windows, thankful that he can see this time, as Blaine walks around the outside of the room. He opens the door and Kurt tries to get out before remembering that Blaine strapped him to the chair before they left. Blaine chuckles softly before leaning across and releasing the belt. They're so close and Kurt can smell the unmistakeable smell of Blaine. He can't help himself, he gently cups the other's face, bringing him in for a soft kiss. Blaine responds eagerly, pressing his lips insistently against Kurt's and he feels like nothing can ever ruin this moment. Everything seems to fall into place, as if Blaine's lips were destined to be against his and nothing can ever be good enough when they're apart.
"I wish I knew how to explain to you just how much you mean to me," Kurt sighs into Blaine's ear. Blaine responds with a soft smile and somehow, Kurt feels like he already knows. Blaine kisses him again – gentle and brief but still enough to send Kurt's heart into flutters – before entwining his fingers with Kurt's and pulling him up and out of his seat.
Kurt wants to be as close to Blaine as possible, this is everything he's ever wanted but he never imagined it to feel so colossal. He can't help but feel like if he were to let go of Blaine's hand then he would get lost and never find his way again. He's just not used to this openness; everything he's ever known has always been enclosed within four walls. Gripping onto Blaine's arm with his free hand, Kurt allows himself to just take in everything around him.
"Look!" Blaine says pointing a finger up to the brilliant, seamless blue that spreads high above their heads. Kurt knows this must be the sky that he's read so much about but never did he picture it like this. He knows that the sky isn't what Blaine is referring to however when he sees a flock of what must be at least thirty birds fluttering above. Their formation shifts through the sky as if all together they make up one huge beast though Kurt can see each individual bird, alive and free.
"They're starlings," Blaine tells him as Kurt gazes in awe. "They fly in groups for survival. By mimicking the direction and speed of those around them they can create formations like that to avoid predators. It's safer than flying alone." Kurt squeezes Blaine's hand and nods in response.
Kurt's glad he has Blaine yet he can't help but think of Sebastian. He must have gotten away after he started the fire but now he's alone, he's not quite so fortunate to have someone like Blaine introduce him to this world. Sebastian has no choice but to go it alone, vulnerable to predators and whatever else might be lurking out here. It might seem perfect and beautiful now but Kurt's not naïve enough to believe that no evil exists in this world.
"Come on!" Blaine says excitedly, pulling Kurt into the endless expanse of green. It tickles pleasantly at his bare feet, soft and slightly damp. They sit a short distance from the moving room in the greenness which, upon closer inspection, is actually made up of what must be millions of tiny strands making up a whole, much like the starlings in their incredibly formations.
"What is this?" Kurt can't help but ask, fascinated by the green strands. Blaine glances to where Kurt's eyes are focused on the ground as an amused smile spreads across his face.
"Grass!" he responds, "You're gonna be seeing this stuff everywhere! Especially in Central Park!" Kurt loves how excited Blaine is and the giddiness proves infectious as Kurt finds himself unable to stop smiling. "And this is a daisy," he says, plucking one of the green strands from the ground, it's unlike the others in that it has a bizarre yellow and white head but Kurt finds the thing somehow delicately beautiful. Blaine leans forward placing the flower into Kurt's palm and closing his hand around it, "For you!" He seals the deal with another brief peck on the lips before Kurt points to something in the distance: large, towering and green.
"What about those? Do they have a name?" he wonders.
The two sit for a brief time, enjoying the warm sunshine as Blaine names everything for Kurt. He soon finds that the moving room is actually called a car and almost feels foolish for referring to it the way he did. But Blaine doesn't make him feel idiotic in the slightest; he patiently explains everything around them in as much detail as he can while Kurt eagerly soaks up the new information.
"We should probably get going," Blaine says eventually, Kurt can tell he's reluctant to leave the lavish field and he doesn't blame him; he feels like he is in paradise. But it is beginning to get darker, and he knows they can't stay in one place for too long. Kurt finds that he take off the sunglasses now, and see without hurting his eyes. "The sun's beginning to set," Blaine says and at Kurt's confused look he elaborates, "At the end of every day the sun goes down, making everything dark for a while. That's when people usually go to sleep but we've got a long drive ahead of us."
Kurt doesn't really know what to do with himself on the drive. Blaine is too occupied with controlling the car to do much more than just talk. He barely even looks at Kurt as he's too busy concentrating on where they are going. Noticing how awkward Kurt must feel, Blaine fiddles with the console on the front panel of the car until music starts playing and Kurt finds himself able to relax for a while.
He looks out of the window only to see hundreds more cars whirring past at impossible speeds. He hardly feels like they're moving at all but they're travelling just as fast as the other cars. He listens to the music, interspersed with the voice of an overly optimistic man and tries to keep up with some of the lyrics to the songs, though he doesn't understand half of them.
The scenery is dreadfully monotonous and Kurt soon grows bored, even with the music playing steadily to alleviate some of the dullness. He wants to explore, this can't be all there is to this world, he refuses to believe that, but he knows he has to stay where he is until they arrive at this 'New York' place. It's getting even darker now, and the cars surrounding them all have bright lights attached to the front of them in order to light the way. Other than that everything seems to stay the same.
The high speed at which everything seems to move past eventually starts making Kurt's eyes weary. He closes them, allowing the relief of just about everything overwhelm him as he allows himself to just slip away. The world isn't going anywhere; it will still be there when he wakes up.
Blaine glances to the side, making sure to pay attention to the road while grinning to himself at how adorable Kurt looks right now. He's leaning against the window, using Blaine's shirt as a makeshift pillow and it's probably the most serene Blaine has ever seen him. He turns the volume on the radio down slightly so as not to wake him.
The hours blend into each other as Blaine drives, forcing his eyes to stay open. He glances at the clock on his dashboard; 5:30am, and the first traces of the sunrise are visible just over the horizon. It's beyond foolish of him to drive in such a state but there isn't anywhere for them to stop; Blaine has no money with him and all he wants is to be home. After spending the last few couple of months at home with his parents and then another week without even leaving the lab, Blaine has been longing for his untidy and rundown apartment. Far from perfect but it's his. Despite the time, he sends a text message to his roommate, Wes, letting him know that they'll be having a guest stay with them for a while. He's not entirely sure how he'll explain Kurt to everybody but he'll cross that hurdle when he comes to it. For now he just needs to focus on driving.
Kurt sleeps all through the night and when they finally make it back to New York, the sun bright in the early morning sky, he still hasn't woken up. Blaine grabs his keys from the glove compartment, before rounding the car to open Kurt's door. He doesn't have the heart to wake him, so instead, unclips his seatbelt and takes the boy in his arms, carrying him bridal style to the apartment block. Kurt in his half-awake state is conscious enough to wrap his arms around Blaine's neck before murmuring something unintelligible and burying his face in his vest.
He struggles slightly getting the door open, juggling both Kurt and his door key in his attempt to unlock the door. When he finally does, it feels as though every happy feeling in the world rushes through the door, washing over him like a tidal wave and he just feels so content and relieved and home.
Wes isn't there; Blaine assumes he spent the night at his girlfriend's place. Knowing how much he hates being in an empty apartment, it wouldn't surprise him if he spent most of his nights there while Blaine has been away. He's grateful for it though. Driving nonstop from Ohio has left him too exhausted to even speak and he knows he wouldn't be able to come up with a coherent explanation for Kurt right now.
Carrying Kurt over to the sofa, he gently lays him down, arranging the cushions to ensure that he's comfortable. He barely stirs.
They made it. Blaine can hardly believe it. A month and a half ago Kurt was nothing more than an inanimate object to most people, something to ogle at and test on. Now he has a future, the potential to be anything he wants to be.
Blaine wants to bring him outside and show him everything the world has to offer; not just New York, but every minute town, every sweeping monument. But that's tomorrow. Right now, Blaine really desperately needs to sleep.
He collapses ungracefully into an adjacent armchair; falling into a deep asleep seconds after closing his eyes with the promise to himself that tomorrow he'll show Kurt the whole world.
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Update: Sequel can be found on my profile hooray!