Blaine wakes to the sound of an ear wrenching scream. His whole body jolts the second the sound pounds his ear drums and permeates his skin. He's on his feet in a instant, rushing towards his bedroom where Kurt is sleeping.
"What the hell, Blaine?" Wes grumbles sleepily from his doorway as Blaine passes.
"Sorry, Wes. I'll- I'll handle it," Blaine apologises hurriedly.
"It's three in the freakin' morning," Wes complains as he goes back into his room.
In his own bedroom, Blaine finds Kurt tossing about on the bed, still screaming and sobbing and he seems to be clawing at his own skin. Blaine takes a seat on the bed and pulls Kurt's arms away from himself to prevent him from harming himself, shushing him as he slowly begins to wake up, becoming conscious of Blaine's presence.
"The wires," Kurt whimpers, still half asleep as he desperately tries to rip his arms out of Blaine's grasp, however Blaine holds on tightly while Kurt is still weak. The thinness of Kurt's arms is a little worrying but Blaine has bigger issues to deal with currently.
"Calm down," Blaine hushes soothingly, "it's okay." Kurt doesn't seem to hear him.
"The wires are on me," he howls and Blaine flinches at the noise. "Get them off! Please! BLAINE!"
He's screaming again and he begins to thrash. His arms almost slip from Blaine's grip but he holds on tighter, afraid he might be hurting Kurt but more worried about him hurting himself.
"Kurt, it's okay, shhh," he says calmly, bringing a hand to stroke at Kurt's hair, damp with sweat. "It's just a dream, it's not real."
Kurt doesn't seem to hear him but his body does settle down, his screams dying into a whimpering sob.
"Kurt?" Blaine tries, gently. He brings his hand down from Kurt's head to stroke softly against his cheek.
Drowsily, Kurt's eyes begin to flutter open, blinking in the darkness as he begins to realise where he is.
"Blaine?" he asks, voice croaky from screaming. He sits up in the bed and Blaine automatically wraps his arms around Kurt. He's shaking and sweating but at least he seems to have calmed down a little.
"It's okay," Blaine soothes as Kurt nestles his head in the crook of Blaine's neck. "It was just a nightmare, it wasn't real."
"A nightmare?" Kurt asks, "What's that?"
"It's a scary dream, but it can't hurt you, it's all in your head, okay?" Blaine explains, keeping his voice calm and even as he slowly begins to rock Kurt like he remembers his mother doing when he was a child. He doesn't remember ever having a nightmare this bad, though.
"That's never happened before…Am I broken?" Kurt asks and he sounds so defeated that Blaine can't help but squeeze him tighter, too afraid to let go.
"Of course not," Blaine tells him sincerely. "You're not broken, you're perfect." Blaine can feel Kurt tense as he says it and he wonders if maybe he used the wrong choice of words. Still, he means it, Kurt is perfect.
"I feel like they're on me," Kurt whispers as his whole body shivers in Blaine's arms.
"They're not, I promise. It's not real, not anymore."
"No, I mean...all the time. I feel like they're still on me all the time. It's like they're trying to pull me away from you and drag me back to that place."
"It's okay," Blaine says, unable to think of anything else he can say to comfort Kurt. He's way out of his depth, he has no idea of the trauma Kurt must be experiencing so all he can really do is be there for him. "I'm here. I'm not going anywhere and neither are you," he assures him, rubbing circles into Kurt's back.
Kurt eventually falls back to sleep in Blaine's arms and, as carefully as possible, Blaine lays him back down on the bed, wrapping the covers around him and letting him sleep. His face looks so peaceful, a stark contrast to the distorted screaming from before. Blaine watches him for a short while, just to make sure he's sound asleep. The way his chest rises and falls is almost mesmerizing and Blaine is comforted by the fact that he's breathing so normally. Underneath everything, Kurt is still human and as much as he hates it, Blaine still needs a reminder every now and then. He's weak and frail and on the verge of falling apart, he's everything that is human.
Eventually, Blaine retreats back to the living room and collapses onto the sofa, falling back to sleep himself.
The apartment is quiet as Kurt tiptoes into the living room. He sees Blaine asleep on the sofa, brow creased as though in deep thought. Kurt considers waking him – he doesn't like the fact that he's alone and it's so quiet – but he knows Blaine hasn't been getting a lot of sleep lately. He has seen the dark circles forming under his eyes, and he can't help but observe the way he fumbles around and the increasing amount of times he runs a hand over his face in exhaustion. Kurt can tell he's frustrated.
The apartment is small, but Kurt hasn't had the chance to really explore yet. He has spent the last few days sleeping and while he knows he needs to try and get some of his energy back, all he wants is to see everything that he had been missing out on while he spent his whole life inside the lab.
There are black wires scattered about the floor attached to a socket in the wall. Kurt swallows heavily as lightly steps around them, wondering why he suddenly feels sick.
Kurt moves silently to the window, looking out and squinting a little as his eyes are still sensitive. It's early so it isn't too bright outside but still, it seems darker than usual even for this hour. He looks up to the sky and is confused to realise that it isn't blue anymore but instead a moody mixture of dull whites and greys. Is this normal?
He can't see much else out of the window. Opposite is a tall, grey building and down below is a narrow ally-way decorated with litter. He can't see any further, there are no people, no cars, Kurt wonders what exactly is out there. He has been out of the lab for three days now and he still feels like he's seen barely anything. He's gone from one locked room to another.
Blaine makes a disgruntled noise in his sleep, Kurt's head snaps around immediately, hoping he could be waking up, but Blaine stays asleep, turning restlessly to his side and curling into himself. Kurt bites his lip, wondering what he's supposed to do until Blaine wakes up. Carefully, he slips into the tatty recliner next to the sofa Blaine is sleeping on. He sits cross legged, resting his elbows on his knees and waits.
He watches every miniscule movement on Blaine's face mesmerized by the way his tongue pokes out to lick licks his lips every now and then to the point where he can't take his eyes off of Blaine's mouth. He misses it.
It only takes several minutes for Kurt to grow bored; he isn't used to this. In the lab, he was always doing something. Everything now seems pointless if he can't enjoy the freedom he's been granted.
It kills him to admit it, but there are parts of the lab he misses. He had spent his entire life building up to something, learning and learning, absorbing new information every day. Now he can't help but feel so very miniscule, he wants to learn, he needs to. It's the only thing that gave him purpose in the lab, it drove him to do better, to be better. He still wants to be better, for Blaine. And now he has a whole new world of things he can learn about but no way to access it because he's stuck here.
Still, at least he does have Blaine. He smiles at the sleeping boy, wrapped up in a thin blanket, legs tucked up into himself as the sofa is just a little too small for him to lie comfortably. He thinks about how close he came to losing him, remembers him lying unconscious on the floor but he pushes them away, far back into the recesses of his mind. Kurt just wants to cuddle up with him instead. He wonders how amazing it would feel to fall asleep wrapped up in Blaine's arms.
A soft tapping at the window pulls Kurt's attention away from Blaine. He steps slowly back to the window, cautious as the tapping stays insistent. There's nobody at the window, Kurt doesn't know why he thought there could be, but what he does see is far more peculiar. The window pane is covered in tiny droplets of water. Kurt presses a finger against the cool glass, noting that the droplets must be on the outside. A small cloud forms on the glass around his finger, disappearing almost instantly after he takes his hand away. He looks up to the sky, noticing that it's a darker shade of grey now and…
And water is falling from it.
Startled, Kurt jumps back from the window.
"Blaine!" He screeches.
Blaine wakes with a start as Kurt rushes to him. He hauls himself up as Kurt pulls him by his wrist to the window pointing frantically.
"Water! It's…there's water falling from…what's happening?" Blaine slumps when he sees what Kurt is referring to, bringing a hand up to his eyes to rub the sleep away.
"It's just raining, Kurt. God, you scared the hell out of me," he snaps, still half asleep and having been woken for the second time that morning.
"What does that mean?" Kurt asks in a small voice, not missing Blaine's annoyance. He feels ridiculous now that it's clear the water isn't as big a deal as he had first thought.
"It's the weather. It does crazy stuff like this, you'll get used to it," Blaine says dismissively as he goes back to the sofa.
"Oh…" Kurt says, still not really understanding. He'd hoped for more of an explanation and what on earth was The Weather? He follows Blaine, kneeling in front of him as he lies on the sofa, arm draped over his face.
"Are you okay?" he asks worriedly, not used to Blaine acting this way. Blaine turns his head, smiling in a way that would be convincing except for the dark rings circling his eyes.
"No you're not. Something is wrong, Blaine." Kurt knows there is, he might not know about the weather or exactly how anything really works but if there's one thing he's good at then it's observing. Something has changed in Blaine and he needs to solve the puzzle to figure out why, it's no different to the puzzles and problems he worked on at the lab.
"I'm just tired. I've been having trouble sleeping I guess. I'll be fine." Kurt looks into Blaine's eyes, searching for any sort of sign that he's not telling the full truth, but all he sees is dullness. Grabbing Blaine's wrist once again, Kurt tugs him to his feet. He stumbles slightly, falling into Blaine as a rush of dizziness hits him.
"Whoa, Kurt, stop. Maybe you should sit down," Blaine says, steadying him.
"It's fine," he says. He'd begun to get used to the frequent bouts of dizziness despite Blaine's promise that he should be starting to get better.
"Why don't you rest in here?" Kurt says, leading Blaine to his bedroom. Kurt had made the bed neatly after he woke up, placing everything back the way he had found it when Blaine told him he could sleep there two nights ago. Blaine smiles gratefully, climbing under the covers and falling asleep almost instantly. Kurt stands somewhat redundantly, feeling awkward and wondering what he's supposed to do now.
The bed itself is perfectly comfortable and has that familiar smell that envelopes him in everything that is Blaine as he drifts off to sleep and Kurt wonders yet again just how much more blissful it could be if he was in there with Blaine. Sleep had never seemed like something leisurely to him before. It had always felt like nothing more than the bridge from one day to the next but he supposes that was because he had only ever slept in a metal tube, never anything as comfortable as Blaine's bed. He fights back the urge to climb in with Blaine. He doesn't know if that is something that would be acceptable or if Blaine would just feel uncomfortable so, as quietly as possible, he leaves Blaine to his slumber, shutting the door gently behind him.
He wanders back to the living room, now empty and twice as quiet as before. It's still early, not yet five thirty but Kurt doesn't want to go back to sleep. He's done far too much of that, he feels like the whole world is just passing him by while he sleeps the days away. Today he vows to stay awake.
But what is he supposed to do in that time? He takes a seat back in the tatty recliner, looking about the room aimlessly. His eyes fall on the bookshelf and he wonders if Blaine would mind him reading for a while.
Growing more and more restless by the second, he decides he might as well see what sort of books there are at least. He scans the shelves, looking for his favourite – the one about the nightingale – but Blaine appears not to have that one. He reaches up, standing on the tips of his toes and grabs the first book on the far left of the top shelf. He sits cross legged on the floor in front of the book case and starts reading.
"Morning," Blaine says mid-yawn, finding Kurt reading intently. Kurt looks up, wondering why Blaine is up again already before he glances to the clock and realises he has been reading for almost 4 hours already. He places the book down on top of the two others he'd read that morning. "Have you stayed up since five?" Blaine asks, noticing the small pile of books that Kurt had gotten through. Kurt nods, picking them up and placing them back on the shelf. They were nothing like the books that were supplied in the Rec Room at the lab. Those books had been picked carefully and especially for him while these ones contained a seemingly endless amount of things he knew not a thing about.
"Come on," Blaine says, moving towards the kitchen, "I'll make you something to eat then you can sleep, okay?"
"I don't need to sleep," Kurt says hurriedly, seeing this coming.
"Are you sure? You've been awake since five and…" Kurt nods, taking a seat at the breakfast table as Blaine starts making him some soup. "Okay, but any time you start to feel tired, go take a nap, alright?"
"Actually…" Kurt says hesitantly, noticing the curious way Blaine looks at him, "I want to go outside today." He swallows thickly, looking pleadingly into Blaine's eyes.
"Kurt you're…you're not well."
"I'm getting better!" Kurt says eagerly, "I don't get quite so dizzy anymore and I've been eating all the soup you give me and –"
"It's raining," Blaine reminds him firmly, Kurt crosses his brows.
"So?" Kurt says, not understanding why this changes things.
"You'll get sick. You're not exactly in the best of health right now as it is, you don't want to get any worse."
"I told you I'm feeling better!" Kurt argues back, feeling desperate.
"Kurt, no," Blaine says with finality, placing a bowl of soup in front of Kurt. He looks at it with disdain. He picks up the spoon and moodily starts eating, still not used to the fact that he needs to eat every day. It still feels unnatural to him.
He hates this, he feels trapped, like he's suddenly just stopped moving. He couldn't even enjoy the books he read that morning because there was so much in them that didn't make any sense to him. He might be out in this world now but he's still not a part of it.
"We'll go out as soon as you're better, okay?" Blaine says sympathetically.
"I just feel like nothing has changed," Kurt blurts out, regretting it the moment he says it. He sees the way Blaine's face falls and knows he has hurt him but it's impossible to take back the words now. "I just meant…I feel trapped. I still don't really know what's out there."
Blaine sighs, avoiding Kurt's gaze, looking regretfully at the table.
"Blaine...? I'm sorry. I am glad to be out of there and I'm so happy that I get to be here with you because that's all I really wanted…to be with you. I just can't help but wonder what else there is. What you consider to be normal. And…well…You've been kind of not yourself lately and I miss you. The you that taught me about music and birds and…and kissed me." Kurt's voice is reduced to barely a whisper by the time he finishes. He's not sure if he's just making things worse but he needs to tell Blaine how he feels. This is everything he wanted but it just doesn't feel right. Blaine has hardly looked at him and aside from a few pecks on the cheek, has barely shown any indication that he still likes him in the same way he did before.
"No, you're absolutely right. But you have to understand that I need you to get better first, I mean if you get ill, seriously ill, then I can't just take you to a doctor and get you medicine to make you better like everyone else can. I know you want to be a part of everything and to be like everyone else but…it's a little more complicated than that. I need to figure everything out first and it's gonna take a lot of work." Kurt bites his bottom lip nervously. He feels like Blaine is mad at him, like he did something wrong or that he's not getting better fast enough.
"I'm trying," he says in a small voice.
"I'm trying to get better, I-I'm eating all of this soup and resting a lot like you said but it…I don't know what else I need to do, I don't know how to make myself better," Kurt confesses. Blaine keeps saying he needs to get better but he just doesn't know how. It's not something he's ever had to do before, he's never felt like this before.
"Kurt…" Blaine sounds like he's on the verge of tears. He reaches over across the table, taking Kurt's hand into his own. Kurt chances a look at his eyes and can see for himself how earnest they are. It's impossible for him to look away. "Kurt, you don't have to do anything else. I'll take care of you, I promise. All I need you to do is be patient." Kurt nods solemnly. He finishes his soup in silence, unsure of what he's supposed to do now. Blaine takes Kurt's bowl and his own plate, placing them in the sink before he begins to rinse them. Kurt watches with curiosity before rising from his seat and standing beside Blaine. Resting his hands on the edge of the counter, he leans forward and watches with interest. Water is flowing rapidly from some sort of spout angled above a rectangular basin and foamy bubbles begin to rise. It only takes him a moment to realise that Blaine must be cleaning the plates.
"Can I help?"
"It's okay, you don't have to –" Blaine attempts before he is interrupted by Kurt
"Please? I just need to feel useful." Blaine stops for a moment before he smiles and nods in consent. He picks up a blue and white dish towel, handing it to Kurt.
"You can dry up if you like," he suggests. Kurt nods and gets to work, methodically scrubbing the plates and bowls, stacking them neatly on the work top when he is done. There is still a lingering tension between them. They clean up in silence and it feels as though the first one to speak will be struck by ten thousand volts.
Once the dishes are done and dried, Kurt wanders back to the sofa while Blaine puts away the clean dishes, sitting down carefully and bringing his knees up to his chest. There is nothing left for him to do now. The days seem so incredibly long now that he has nothing to fill them with. He considers reading again but decides there would be no point since half of the things in Blaine's books don't make any sense. Most of the words don't mean a thing to him, making it difficult to shape any meaning at all.
"You're bored, aren't you," Blaine says gently, taking a seat next to Kurt. Startled, Kurt's head snaps to Blaine before lowering slightly.
"Would you hate me for saying yes?" he asks feebly. "I-I've tried to keep myself occupied but…I was reading and-and nothing really makes any sense."
"Why would I hate you?" Blaine almost sounds amused but there is a tiny seed of concern nestled in his tone.
"Because you risked everything to save me and…and I'm just," Kurt's breath hitches. This isn't the fantasy he had created in his mind of running away with Blaine, there were too many complications. Why isn't everything perfect like it's supposed to be? Everything should be perfect by now. He's overwhelmed by sudden realisation that that fantasy may never come true, that things aren't going to end up the way he thought they would and that life is so much harder than he thought it would be.
"Kurt! Kurt, please look at me." Blaine takes Kurt's face in both hands, swiping away the tear that had fallen in Kurt's panic. "I don't want you to feel like you owe me, okay. I saved you because it was the right thing to do and because I really, really lo… I really care about you, okay."
Love. Blaine was about to say he loved him. Blaine had told him he loved him before so why did he refrain now? Though Kurt's still not completely certain as to what it means, he knows that it meant something the last time Blaine said it.
"Why don't you kiss me anymore?" Kurt blurts out with a sob. He promised himself he wouldn't bring it up but the more he looks at Blaine, the more he misses the soft press of his lips against his own and he can't deny it any longer; ever since he's been here Blaine has refrained from kissing him anywhere but on the cheek and Kurt hates himself for letting it get to him. But it does get to him. Are kisses on the cheek the same thing? Are they worth as much? Kurt hasn't been in this world long enough to know the difference. Blaine is the only thing in existence that he can call his and if he loses him as well as everything else then he's not sure if he can survive. Blaine's mouth opens as though to speak but nothing comes out, he's at a complete loss for words.
"Can I tell you a secret?" Kurt's eyes meet Blaine's. He says nothing, wondering if he really wants to know. Blaine continues speaking, however, and Kurt listens with baited breath. "I'm…I'm trying to be strong but I am equally as terrified as you are. About everything. I have no idea what's going to happen, how we're going to work this out but I know that we will. Somehow." Kurt nods in response, focusing all of his attention on remembering how to breathe evenly while his heart sinks at the fact that it looks as though Blaine is avoiding the subject again.
"We can be scared together. You're literally all I have, Blaine. Without you, I'd probably be dead and –"
"Kurt, don't," Blaine pleads, shaking his head at the thought.
"It's true! And I just…I really want back what we had before but…I mean, if you don't want to…" Kurt trails off, looking purposefully at his hands as he holds his knees tighter to his chest.
"Of course I want to!" Blaine exclaims, reaching out and gripping Kurt's knee tightly. "I'm so sorry. I've been so caught up in what I thought you needed that I didn't bother stop and ask what is was you wanted. I guess I've kind of been avoiding…I thought I'd give you time to adjust and settle in before I complicated things even more by, you know, talking about us."
"So there's still an us?" Kurt asks hopefully.
"Of course there is."
It takes all of Kurt's courage for him to crawl over and press his lips gently against Blaine's. If Blaine is just as scared as he is, then Kurt needs to show him that they can still be brave despite the fear. Only three days have passed since the last time they kissed in that field but he has missed this so much. His stomach twists in delight at the way Blaine's breath catches before he's kissing back too and everything he'd felt during that first time when they had come together like this comes rushing back.
Blaine pulls back slightly, warm breath tickling Kurt's upper lip as Kurt leans in to capture them again, not quite ready to let them go just yet. The corners of Blaine's lips turn upwards in a smile and Kurt can feel every miniscule movement, every twitch and every breath. He can't push back the urge to be as close to Blaine as physically possible. Though they are currently as close as Kurt imagines two people can get, he still yearns for more, to just experience everything that is Blaine in every way. Blaine's lips part slightly and Kurt surprises even himself as he pushes his tongue inside experimentally. He lifts a hand up to cup Blaine's jaw as he tastes and explores, the action leaving him unbalanced and causing his weight to push into Blaine; into the kiss. Blaine falls backwards and Kurt follows persistently, lying on Blaine's chest and willing the pounding in his chest to calm. This position is entirely new to him and he's pretty sure he stops breathing when Blaine's arms slip around his waist, holding him protectively.
They stay like that for what feels like an eternity as Kurt tries to work out why the faint but still noticeable ache in his groin area feels so good. He pushes harder into the kiss, filled with nothing but sheer want when suddenly he finds himself overwhelmed with need as he finds himself filled with pleasure the moment he presses himself just a little too firmly against Blaine's thigh. He moans into Blaine's mouth and the instant he does so, Blaine pulls out of the kiss, eyes blown wide and darkened to the point where they are almost all black. He's panting heavily but manages to catch his breath enough to say, "We should stop." Kurt whines in response, the last thing on his mind is to stop but then Blaine is gently pushing himself and Kurt into an upright position and he knows the moment is gone.
"Why don't we try reading again?" Blaine suggests, his voice breathy, "I'll help you. Anything that confuses you, just ask me and I'll explain to you what it means. That way you can learn about everything and keep yourself from going crazy with boredom at the same time!" Kurt smiles as his heart rate slowly returns to normal.
"I'd like that," he says