Kurt was too exhausted to make it safely home that night, so Blaine sent Mortimer out to explain to Burt why his son would be absent for a few days.

Blaine busied himself with making a weak Healing potion for Kurt. Too strong and it would do more harm than good, but at just the right potency, it would soothe a sore throat. Violent vomiting tended to wreak havoc on the tender flesh of the esophagus and he was sure Kurt was hurting even more than he let on.

Santana had seated herself on the worktable, occasionally pawing at bottles he'd need to dilute the brew so he would add them in the correct order. For all his intelligence, he was completely scatterbrained at times. Especially when he was nervous.

Finally, he handed Kurt a tumbler of opaque orange liquid. Kurt downed it without a second thought, coughing slightly as he handed it back to Blaine. It took a few seconds, but Kurt blinked and smiled at him in surprise. Blaine had to look away, firmly telling himself that he was not blushing.

Kurt didn't bring up the chain again, though Blaine caught him looking at it a few times as he puttered about. It was hard to ignore, all glinting silver and a tinkling sound as it slithered on the floor. But Blaine appreciated the effort.

He'd nearly been asleep sitting up on the uncomfortable workbench, content to let Kurt take his bed with no fuss (though plenty on Kurt's part) when Santana bolted to her feet with a hiss. She scratched at the door desperately and shot into the night when Blaine lifted the latch.

Puzzled, he'd stared into the darkness after her for a few seconds before moving to close the door. A pained mewl stopped him.

As he squinted into the darkness, he could make out the shape of Santana, dragging something heavy in her mouth. But the whining wasn't the black cat.

It belonged to the wounded Mortimer she was pulling.

Startled, he darted into the yard as far as the chain would allow, using the light of the moon to give Mort's injuries a once over. He decided the most severe looked like a ripped wing and that it was probably okay to pick him up.

Mortimer gave a pathetic meow and buried his face into the crook of Blaine's neck, Santana trotting along behind them.

Kurt was sitting ramrod straight on the edge of the mattress as Blaine cleared off the worktable as best he could one handed. The other stroked blood-matted fur in an attempt to comfort the dragoncat that clung to his shoulder.

Santana had pulled a folded quilt from under the bed, bumping it into Blaine's leg. He spread it on the table, setting Mort down gently. Touching the torn skin of the wing, he muttered apologies under his breath as Mort flinched away from his fingers.

Without him realizing it, Kurt had managed his way over to the workbench, pushing one of their buckets of water with his foot. Blaine gave him a grateful smile and Kurt staggered back to the bed. He dipped a clean rag into the cool liquid and wrung it.

"What happened?" he murmured, using the damp cloth to wipe blood off Mort's horns.

Mortimer snuffled, rubbing a paw over his nose. "Big scary thing tried to eat me. It ran away when I breathed fire, but LOOK AT MY WING!" he wailed. If dragoncats could cry, Blaine would bet his chain that Mort would have drowned them by now. He bit his lip.

"I can't fix this, Mort. I have to get Tina."

Mort nodded, resigned. "I hate the vet," he grumbled as Santana once again shot into the night, a rolled up note grasped in her teeth.


I apologize for the small delay.