Blaine's throat felt raw from the sheer desperation of his high-pitched screaming, as he fought with all his might, yet to no avail, against his father's bruising grasp. "KURT!" he almost begged, as his tormentor dragged him roughly down the garden path by his now untidy gelled hair. His head felt as if it was going to explode by the combination of his own screamed pleas, his father's harsh yelling, Kurt's crying, which was still audible even from inside the house, and the fact that the tender stiches so carefully sewn into his wounded head earlier that morning were splitting open. Yet he did not stop crying out; this time, he would not put on the brave façade and pretend all was right with the world, and he would not keep quiet like his father constantly ordered him to do. Blaine was being hurled along the garden path, away from his best friend – the one person he loved more than anything else in the entire world, and according to his father, they were never, ever returning. The young boy did not think he could take much more, which is why he did not give a damn that his cries were probably waking up the entire street and neighbourhood. In fact, he wanted them to wake up. Blaine wanted them to open their eyes and see Mr Jonathon Anderson for the crooked, deceitful, violent bully he had always been, but never shown outside their miserable excuse for a home. Only Kurt fully knew of what he had been through, because Blaine had never been able to deny anything to him, and he always worried that Burt suspected. If the loyal, kind car store owner had not known previously, then he certainly did now, which is why it had hurt so much to see him simply standing there, with a pained expression, restraining Kurt as the boy attempted to run after his best friend; he did not look happy about the course of events, but similarly, he did nothing. To Blaine's horror, Burt had simply allowed his father to seize him by the hair; spit horrific words like 'fag' into his ear, and drag him through the door.
Now, not only Blaine's head was hurting, but his whole body. His chest ached as he tried to keep at least one eye on the Hummels' front door, hoping they would come after him; praying that they would stop the pain. But nothing happened. He cried out as his back was hit roughly against the wood of the gate as his father continued to haul him away. With no sign of escape, for the first time in his life, Blaine Anderson was openly afraid. His father had always been bad tempered and had no qualms with using violence, favouring in particular the belt; the feel of which, Blaine knew especially well. However, he was sure that he had never seen his father his angry before, and Blaine was terrified that he was going to die. Worse still, as more distance was placed between him and Kurt, he feared for all the promises he had made Kurt. He promised to forever take care of him; stand up for him against the countless bullies who made it their mission in life to make Kurt's life a living hell. Blaine had stayed strong for years since his mother's death, despite his father's abuse, for Kurt. And for the one day that he finally lets all his barriers down and admits to Burt what has really been going on underneath the Anderson roof, his life falls crumbling around him. Burt had said he was not going to call child protective services. Burt had lied – which was why his father was now furious with him for telling, and it was the reason for their sudden fleeing to goodness knows where.
However, as Blaine's screaming subsided for half a second so that he could breathe and rest his voice, he realised that they were not setting off immediately. Despite the boxes and cases of luggage clearly piled high in the car, his father was dragging him back next door, into their house.
"Kurt!" Blaine wailed out, but even at ten-years-old, he knew when a task was fruitless. No one was coming. No one ever came.
"SHUT UP!" His father roared, practically throwing him through their front door so that Blaine landed painfully on the wooden floor; he was now beginning to feel a little dizzy. "Shut the fuck up!"
Blaine had never gone against his father's wishes. He had always taken the beatings and the verbal abuse quietly and humbly, but this time he would answer back, regardless of how afraid he was. Still dizzy and disorientated, Blaine slowly pulled himself up off the floor into a hunched standing position. "No! Not anymore! I want Kurt!"
Enraged, Jonathon Anderson slammed the door shut, as if emphasising that there was no way of escape and rounded on his son, gripping his hair and chin roughly. "Well, you're not going to see him again! We're leaving! We're leaving this godforsaken town, and that faggy boy behind!"
"Don't call him that!" Blaine screamed, his temper rising as it had never done before.
"WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY TO ME!" his father bellowed, spitting in the boy's face so that Blaine shrank back, even in his rage. "DON'T YOU DARE ANSWER ME BACK, YOU LITTLE SHIT!"
"I love him!" Blaine cried, tears practically blinding him now, as was his headache.
This seemed to be the final straw because the older man whacked him with brutal force in the face so that Blaine fell back down to the floor, his head pounding. He felt a tearing and he just knew that his stiches had finally torn. This did not seem to quench his father's anger though, because Blaine looked up and even through his now foggy line of vision, he could see clearly that the older Anderson was removing his belt from his waistband. The boy tried to let out a 'please' but it hurt too much to speak now, plus the look of pure rage on his father's face was enough to root him in terror to his fallen spot. The man lunged towards him with the belt and Blaine curled inwardly on himself, futilely trying to cover his face, and squeezing his eyes tight shut.
"YOU LITTLE FAG!" he bellowed. "HE'S NOT NATURAL! YOU'RE NOT NATURAL! YOU WILL NOT SAY THAT AGAIN! YOU WILL NOT!" And with each 'you will not' that followed, Jonathon Anderson emphasised his point with a painful blow. Blaine continued to squeeze his eyes shut and placed his hands tight over his ears, trying to block out all sound of harm. He thought of how peaceful things had seemed with Kurt, only an hour ago, sitting snuggled together on the other boy's sofa, toasty warm in front of the fireplace. He thought about all those times at school where they had hidden away from the other children behind the greenhouse at the edge of the school yard, just sitting and talking together. Those were his favourite moments. He had been able to forget everything at home when he remembered these little things. Kurt made everything go away. He was kind, gentle, beautiful, and he was so funny. Even as the blows continued to rain down on him, Blaine smiled inwardly as he remembered the time Kurt had played the vicar, and he the best man at the marriage ceremony of two Ken dolls. Blaine knew what it was to be unhappy, but with Kurt was around, he could never be miserable. Even when his father returned home from the pub drunk and called him a waste of space, Blaine just nodded and said nothing, just thinking of Kurt's smiling face telling him it was okay.
It was only as the blows finally ended, and Blaine was only half conscious that he realised nothing was ever going to be okay again, because he was never going to see Kurt again. His eyes were closed and his head hurt too much to open them but he could feel his father toss him none too gently into his arms and he recognised cool air, as if he was being carried outside. In that moment, he promised himself that whatever happened, he would come back. He would find his way back to Kurt. He would be there to protect him from the bullies, just as he had previously promised. Blaine forced himself to open his eyes as he heard the clicking of what sounded like the car boot. To his horror, he found himself being lowered into the car boot; Blaine tried to protest and hold onto his father's shirt but he did not get a chance. Before he knew it, the boot was slammed shut; he was cramped into a tiny ball, and engulfed in darkness.
Blaine's eyes flew open and he let out a tiny whimper in reaction to what he had just experienced. Before he took in his surroundings, he tried to focus on the fact that it was just a dream. Or rather it was a memory. He did not dream anymore. Every time he closed his eyes, which was very rarely these days because of the constant fear of being attacked if he did so, a memory returned. Sometimes they were good, but mostly they were awful, nightmarish memories that actually made him detest the human need for sleep. For normal people, sleep was a release from the turmoil of conscious life. But he was not normal, as his father had so often spat at him. He would never be normal until he 'admitted that homosexuality is disgusting'. Blaine had no intention of ever admitting such a thing, but that did not stop him from hating himself. He had never been good enough for his father, or for the people at school, or to his teachers, or the neighbours – all of which stared at him in disgust. Blaine had not seen Cooper since he had come out either. In fact, he had not seen Cooper since before he and his father had fled to San Francisco on that fateful morning, to avoid child protective services. Blaine had often wondered in his most depressive moments why his father had not just left him with the Hummel's and fled himself. The police had never caught up with them, so it was safe to assume that they would never have caught up with his father if he had not been with him. But Blaine knew now that it was not just child protective services which had forced them to flee Ohio. His father's law practice had gone bankrupt and yet he had continued to take customers money for himself, without having any intention of putting it to its proper use, or returning it in some cases. The authorities had realised what he was doing and he had been so close to getting caught. Child protective services were just the final straw. Yet, it was common knowledge even in their new home that his father was a crook, and he was back to his old tricks, scheming for money. Yet he was careful this time. If he was accused, the money mysteriously disappeared from his bank account. This did not help Blaine make friends either. Even if he had not been mercilessly bullied for being gay, he was condemned as 'that Anderson crook's son'.
Once upon a time, Blaine had been able to plaster a smile on his face and say everything was okay. He could build walls around himself and separate himself into two different personalities. There was Blaine Anderson, the bright, confident, polite young man who was out and proud and did not give a damn what anyone else thought, and there was Blaine Anderson, the little boy who was ruthlessly verbally and physically abused by his father. Except now, the two had merged. There was no confident façade anymore. He simply kept his head down, mumbled words when he had to, and accepted the beatings without question. He had decided that life was easier that way. Blaine did not even have his last name anymore, because his father had changed it to avoid them being tracked down. Instead, he was Blaine Warbler. Warbler had been the first name that occurred to his father when asked his last name in the new city, because a tour bus for some preparatory school show choir had been passing in the street entitled 'The Dalton Academy Warbler's'. The name had stuck, but this was the least of Blaine's worries. In fact, aside from the fact that nobody really knew who he was, he actually quite liked the name. The word 'warbler' reminded him of a musical bird, and he had once loved to sing. He would have joined his high school show choir if he had not repeatedly been beaten and whittled down by his father to follow his every command. Blaine rather thought he might have found at least one friend had he joined the show choir because they were always the underdogs at school. Yet it was not to be. Instead, when his father raged in his often drunken state, beat him, and shoved him in the cold, dark basement, locking the door behind him, Blaine often curled up on the floor and thought of Kurt, singing both new songs and the ones they used to sing when playing in Kurt's back garden.
His father's temper had grown worse since Blaine came out. The beatings had been more constant and painful than ever, and often, Blaine had been unable to even get out of bed to go to school, which of course, displeased his father even more. The older Anderson had a group of equally crooked friends who rallied around him and attended his house every so often for a 'booze day'. This was quite literally what the day consisted of – drinking beer, and often, chemicals much stronger. It angered his father when Blaine was in the house for these, and he bitterly led his other 'friends' in throwing empty beer bottles at his son's closed door. Or when Blaine was visible, they threw empty bottles at Blaine. Thankfully, Blaine had learnt to patch his injuries up expertly from a very young age, and so nothing much worse than being knocked unconscious ever happened. However, a year previously, he had been unable to heal himself after being violently beaten at a school dance by four bullies who made his life a living hell. Even though he had not even attended with a date, they had harmed him just because he was there, and there were no teachers around. Much to his father's displeasure, Blaine had spent two weeks in the hospital following the incident. Not once had Mr Anderson visited and when Blaine eventually made his own way home, he was greeted by his father and his friends, who were overjoyed to have their favourite punching bag back. The teachers, the doctors and the nurses had been sympathetic about the incident, but it was clear that nobody really cared. Blaine had learnt from them the hard way that if you were gay, then your life was probably just going to be miserable.
Yet despite being bullied himself, Blaine never forgot his promise to Kurt to always protect him from his bullies; to make his way back to them so that they could experience their dreams together as they had always planned. There was always the nagging worry that Kurt would not want to know him anymore. After all, it had been six years since either of them saw each other, and for all he knew, Kurt may not remember him even if he did return. What if he condemned him like everyone else did? It was all Blaine could do to force himself not to think like that. Because in his heart of hearts, he knew that Kurt was not like that. Kurt was different. And even though Burt had helped cause his father's violent temper that morning they fled by calling child protective services, even though he said he would not, the man had been more like a father to him in those early years than his own father had been in a lifetime. Blaine would have done anything in the world to see those he loved again, especially Kurt, and more than once he had tried to plan to run away.
In the end, he had not even had time to plan. Running for his life from that house one night, tears streaming down his face, shaking uncontrollably, his sweater torn – the journey had not been planned. He had only the clothes on his back, and initially a little money. That had all been spent long ago. In his terror, Blaine had no idea where he was going; he just had to put as much distance between him and his father as possible, whilst simultaneously blocking out images of that night. It was only two weeks after he ran, that he realised his instinct had taken over. Subconsciously, he had been getting closer and closer to Ohio. It was a long journey and Blaine could not remember the last time he had eaten. Food cost money, and the only other option was to beg. He had learnt that people just ignored beggars, which he actually vastly preferred to being yelled at, demeaned and hit each day. The small amount of change he did receive was spent on water or if he was very lucky, some hot tea, because his body could survive a little while without food – but not drink. When he had been fortunate enough, he had stayed in homeless shelters, or stowed away on freight trains. However, once he had been caught on a freight train and had been carted off to the station manager, who promptly demanded the boy to give his parents' number. Terrified of going back, and alarmed when the man rested a hand on his arm, Blaine had lashed out subconsciously, knocking the man over. He had no time to apologise for his actions however when two station guards came careering along and Blaine's first instinct had been to run. Fortunately, he was small and extremely skinny so he had no problem in hiding in a small bush near the station until the men had given up the chase. Blaine had lost everything – his family, his home, his dreams of performing, Kurt… He had no intention of losing his freedom, and indeed, his life, by returning to his father.
Blaine had been careful from that moment on; never staying on a train too long if he was stowing away, and when walking, he always avoiding policemen in the street. He would be accounted as a runaway and he was underage, which meant that if he was found, he would be sent back. He never wanted to go back. He had walked most of the journey, without much food and he was exhausted, hungry and he did not feel at all well. But in his view, that was preferable to going back.
Two nights ago, he had made it. He had entered Ohio and tonight, he was in Lima. After allowing his brain to process all these headache-inducing thoughts, and awakening fully, Blaine gave himself some time to take in his surroundings. In some ways, the shops were different from what he remembered, but in others, features were still the same. He could see McKinley High in the distance from the park bench on which he was sleeping; the park in which he and Kurt had used to play in and walk through on the way home from school. He could also see the building where his father used to keep his law practice, and he shuddered inwardly. He did not want to remember his father anymore. He had been on the run for months and he wondered when the painful memories would go away. The building, like most buildings on the outskirts of Lima, was now a takeaway place, except one building on the corner which appeared to be a restaurant or café of some kind called 'The Lima Bean'. Light was just beginning to dawn and he guessed that it was the early hours of the morning. With the park directly next to a road, he knew that traffic would come along soon, so he supposed he had better get a move on. Slowly and tiredly, he got to his feet, swaying slightly. He felt even worse today and despite the fact that the early October weather was chilly, he felt very warm. Groaning because he knew a fever was the last thing he needed, he forced himself to move slowly through the park, towards the road.
Unlike the buzzing, busy city streets he had become accustomed to in San Francisco and on his journey, Lima was quiet – almost unbearably quiet. So much so, as he walked, he kept turning round suspiciously because he had the distinct feeling that someone was watching him. He tried to convince himself that he was paranoid due to the upcoming fever, but even so, when he heard several twigs snap behind him as he approached the exit of the park, he could not help but turn around and look. Clearing his voice, he asked a little hoarsely because he so rarely used his voice these days:
Once again, there was complete silence and no one said anything in reply to his nervous question. Not that he had expected anyone to. Swallowing, and telling himself not to be afraid, he turned back around again. He convinced himself to man up, just as his father constantly yelled at him to do. He had lived in, travelled through and survived dangerous cities. There was nothing in small-town Lima that could hurt him. Was there? Again, he shook himself. It was probably just a bird, or even a badger. In a park like this in the very early hours of the morning, badgers would surely be returning to their burrows to sleep. Turning around, he walked a little further towards the exit. He heard another sharp snap and he whirled around.
This time, he felt a hand slap across his mouth to stop him from screaming out as he came face to face with a tall hooded figure. He could not see the person's face as they were wearing a striped, woollen balaclava, and his heart seized up. He tried to struggle, but the person was so much bigger and stronger than he was. Weak from hunger and exhaustion, Blaine put up a poor fight as terror flooded through him, and he was forced onto the ground.
Carole hummed absently to herself as she picked up her keys from the table by the door and exited the house, locking the front door carefully behind her. She was running a little late today because she had spent too much time cleaning up after breakfast. She loved her family dearly but living with three males had its downside sometimes. She and her son, Finn had moved in with her partner, Burt, and his son, Kurt, several months ago, and she supposed they were all adjusting.
Burt had the kindest heart she had ever known in a man; he was your typical 'manly man' who was obsessed with football and any other kinds of sports, owned a car repair store, worked as a mechanic, and wore threadbare flannel shirts, baseball caps and oily overalls, yet he was gentle, moral and understanding. He had passed these moral traits over to his son Kurt, who was without a doubt, Burt's son, yet in so many ways they were opposites. Kurt was as gay as they come, and he was proud of it. He wore the latest fashion designs and accessories bought apparently on bargain websites, although, even for Carole, who was a woman and accepted styles of clothes as a necessary thing, she thought some of Kurt's fashion ideas were quite eccentric. However, as he constantly told her 'fashion has no gender', and he would hear no more about it. Unlike Burt, he hated to get his hands dirty with oil from tinkering with cars, and he could maintain no concentration with sports at all, however his interests lay in other areas, namely performance and fashion. According to Burt, performance had been something Kurt had been destined to do since he was little, when he would put on one-man shows in extravagant outfits. Kurt had also apparently been a little nervous in coming out to Burt, but of course, the kind-hearted man simply loved his son for who he was, and although the man sometimes really did not know how to verbally express this, it was obvious in the way he looked at Kurt, and was fiercely protective of the boy. Kurt, in turn, was fiercely protective of his father and she had heard from Burt that the boy had once deliberately flunked the chance for a much-wanted solo to protect his dad from hateful phone calls concerning his son's sexuality. They both had wonderful hearts and she felt very lucky to have them.
Finn was still slightly awkward around the two of them and seemed very reluctant to share her with the other two males, but Carole guessed that he just needed a little time to get used to the changes. It had been him and her living on their own for many years after his father died, and to suddenly move into a house with two other males probably irritated him slightly from time to time. Initially she had been aware of the slight wariness he had of Kurt, as if he had been expecting the boy to throw himself and him at any moment, but he now seemed a little more comfortably around him. It helped that they were both in their school's glee club together, which for two very different people, at least gave them one similar hobby.
But now, not only living with Finn but also Burt (Kurt was admittedly very tidy), meant that there was double the mess around the house, and she could did not really like leaving dirty dishes around after breakfast. So she had taken the time to wash up before she went to work, because she was the last in the house. Burt had wanted to finish off some work for a customer who was coming to collect his car tomorrow and Finn had driven both he and Kurt to school as they sometimes took turns doing so. Her shift as a nurse at Lima hospital was not until a little later so she had been able to relax and eat her breakfast unhurriedly.
Carole unlocked her car door, settled inside the driver's seat and set the car in motion. Deciding which way would be quickest at this late time of seven o'clock; she decided to take the less popular route, taking her past the park and The Lima Bean. It was a little further that way but she knew it would be quicker than the main road where a small queue of traffic would possibly be forming, of businessmen who were based in Lima, trying to make it through to Westerville where the majority of the posh businesses worked. It was handy to have the other route to Lima Hospital, and the traffic rarely beat her to it because the little back roads next to the park were relatively unused except at night when crowds were drawn in to The Lima Bean and the various takeaway joints that littered the streets these days.
Her mind was on other matters as she began to pass the park, such as what she was going to cook for tea tonight because it was her turn. Now that they were a family, and with her scheduled to marry Burt within a few months, they had all decided that to get them used to the future situation, they would take it in turn to work as a family unit, and that included chores such as cooking, cleaning, and washing. Carole also made a mental note to make sure Finn completed his fair share of the washing today, because it was his turn, and last week, Kurt had done this for him because her son had conveniently been on a dinner date with his girlfriend, Rachel. Carole supposed Rachel was a pleasant enough girl, though perhaps a little self-centred at times, but she could also talk for America, which meant that Finn returned from the date too late and too tired to do the washing. Thankfully, Kurt had sensed this was going to happen, because he also knew Rachel Berry well, and had offered to do the washing himself instead. When she had said he should not be doing her lazy son's chores, Kurt just insisted that he liked washing and would also prefer to do it himself rather than having a tired Finn flooding their kitchen. With all these thoughts, Carole barely registered something lying in a heap just inside the exit of the park. Still, the sight drew her attention and as quickly as she looked out of the window, she slammed her foot onto the brakes.
Heart beating wildly, she turned her head again to look out of her side window, to ensure that she was not merely seeing things. Sure enough, her eyes landed on the same crumpled mess just inside the park's gates. To anyone not looking out of the window, they would have assumed it was a pile of mud and leaves (for it was dirty enough), or simply not noticed it all. Yet as Carole trained her eyes hard on the heap, she realised it was a human being… on the floor… unmoving.
"Oh no." she whispered, her heart in her mouth. As a nurse, she had seen plenty of injured and even dead people, and she prayed she was not about to find the latter. From the distance, the person seemed to be wearing dirty, worn clothes, and she briefly considered they might simply be homeless and passed out on the floor after too much alcohol and too little food. She had encountered many alcoholic bums in the past. These bums also tended to become quite violent if you treated them in a way they did not like, or disturb them from sleep, but still, Carole knew she had to check that the person was alright. Carefully, she pulled onto the curb and got out of the car, hurrying across the street.
As she grew nearer, she could quite clearly see from the body shape that the person was a male, and she could feel a dry retch in her throat as she realised that it was a boy, perhaps a little younger than Finn and Kurt. As Carole finally reached the poor boy's side, she simply knew what had happened; her heart broke and she felt like she wanted to sick up her breakfast all at once. The boy's jeans and boxers, which were now brownish-red and caked in sticky mud and blood, were hanging around his ankles, whilst the damage to his lower body was quite plain to see, as blood continued to trickle. Carole bit back a sob as she assessed the extent of the boy's injuries; his sweatshirt was also filthy, soaking wet and clung to him, only emphasising his obvious malnourishment, whilst his mass of dark, curly hair was matted, tangled and mingled with sweat. As she checked his pulse, she noticed that his arm was splayed at a clearly odd angle and made a note that it was probably broken. Carole heaved a sigh of relief from a breath she had not realised she was holding when she felt a weak but definite pulse.
Springing into action she quickly paged for an ambulance from the nearby hospital before setting about making the boy comfortably. Even though he was currently unconscious – passed out from what Carole could work out because there was no sign of a specific head wound, she could see from the child's sleeping face that he was, or had been a lot of pain, and she tried not to cry. It made it even worse when she thought about what she would do if either Finn or Kurt had been harmed like this. Needing to do something other than sit there whilst the boy was suffering, Carole removed her coat and arranged it so that his small form was almost entirely covered by it. The coat would be ruined but that did not matter. For the first time, the boy stirred and let out a small whimper of pain, and Carole shushed him, brushing a soothing hand gently across his forehead. She gasped as she realised how feverish he was; the boy's temperature was sky high and it cannot have helped with him lying outside in the cold air, half-naked and doused in his own blood.
"Don't worry sweetie," she whispered to him softly, even though she knew the boy could not hear her. "Help's coming really soon. You'll be alright. It won't hurt for much longer."
As she predicted, the ambulance came with record speed less than ten minutes later, and Carole was extremely thankful for the perks of being employed by the hospital. As the ambulance parked directly next to the park, two paramedics approached them and Carole informed them of the boy's injuries. One of them carefully removed the warmth of Carole's coat and replaced it with a foil wrap, before removing the boy's ruined jeans and searching for any form of identification. They could find none. Between the two of them, they gently lifted him onto a stretcher and placed him in the ambulance, Carole stepping in behind them, informing them that she was a nurse. She decided to leave her car where it was and have Finn come to pick it up for her later, because although help was now available for the boy, she felt a strong sense of responsibility and care towards him. On top of the blatant attack and rape, he child looked exhausted and malnourished and Carol could not help but think he came from a happy home, if he had a home at all. The ambulance was set into motion and it sped them towards the hospital.
Halfway through the journey, the boy's eyes started the flicker slightly, displaying the signs of coming round, and he whimpered again in pain. The paramedic who was riding in the ambulance made to lean forwards, looking up from the clipboard on which he had been furiously scribbling. However, Carole reached out a hand to hold him back. She had never actually had a male sexual assault patient because it was not her department area, but she had seen and heard of cases from other nurses about women. She was worried that the boy might start to panic if he saw the male paramedic and this seemed to dawn on him too because he nodded and gestured for her to take charge. Again, the boy whined softly, his eyes opening slightly before he slammed them shut again, presumably to block out the light. Opening her mouth to diagnose this, she saw that the young paramedic had already written down 'possibly hypothermic', and she nodded, resuming her attention with the boy. Carole reached out a hand and took the boy's hand on his unbroken arm, saying very softly to him so she would not cause him alarm:
"Sweetie, do you think you can open your eyes for me?"
The boy groaned in response, his eyes still tight shut so she repeated the question. Not wanting to pressure him, she gave him time to work out how to obey these questions in his disorientated state. Eventually, he responded and slowly opened his eyes. They were slightly unfocused for a moment, and Carole waited patiently, taking their contact one step at a time. Gradually he focused on her and let out another small whimper.
"Very good sweetie," she encouraged him warmly, squeezing his hand gently and she felt relief when he at least did not pull away out of her grip. "You're doing very well."
The boy opened his mouth, producing a small gargling sound as if trying to figure out how to form words, before he croaked heartbreakingly, "H…hurts."
"I know," Carole agreed softly. "You're going to be alright. We're going to help you."
The boy suddenly looked a little more alert and his eyes widened slightly, "W…Where… where am I?"
"We're on the way to the hospital sweetie," she replied gently. "You've been hurt, and we're going to help y-"
"N…no." the teenager whispered, his voice hoarse and broken, whilst his eyes looked absolutely terrified. "N…no hospitals… no… don't send me back," he pleaded feverishly, trying to sit up on the gurney but Carole shushed him softly, gently pushing him back down into a resting position. "I… I can't go back… please…"
Carole's heart broke at the sight of this young boy, so full of terror and anguish but she kept her voice firm and unwavering. "We're not going to send you back anywhere alright? We're just going to make it so that you don't hurt anymore."
Looking at this boy, she knew this was a lie. He would probably need a lot more than just some antibiotics to stop him from hurting. The physical pain would be easy, but the emotional…
"Please…" he whimpered, his eyes beginning to close again slightly, so Carole kept talking to get him to stay awake.
"My name is Carole," she said, producing what she hoped was a comforting smile, squeezing his hand again. "What's yours?"
The boy looked at her for a few instants, as if trying to work out if she was playing some kind of cruel trick on him, but it had the desired effect of keeping him from passing out again. "B…Blaine." He whispered softly.
"Blaine." Carole repeated, still smiling, although this was the last thing in the world she wanted to do right now. "That's a lovely name. It's very unusual – I've never met a Blaine before."
Blaine did not respond; he shifted uncomfortably and let out another whimper of pain, so Carole ran her hand gently over his forehead again, whispering words of comfort. After a few seconds, he quietened but she kept smiling at him, trying to be a comforting presence in what she knew was a horrific situation.
"Do you have a last name Blaine?" she asked gently, but apparently this was the wrong question to ask because several tears began to roll down his dirty cheeks from bright amber eyes, and he became slightly distressed, shaking his head from side to side in desperation.
"No? Okay… that's okay…" Carole hushed him quietly. "That's fine. You're just Blaine. Blaine the nice name." she said, her eyes sparkling slightly as she smiled, and this time, she felt as if the smile was genuine when this attempt at rhyming comforted the boy somewhat. "How old are you, Blaine?"
It took another few seconds for Blaine to gather his voice to answer with a soft, "Fifteen."
Again, Carole felt her heart break. This boy was so young and he had experienced something horrific; something which probably would not go away for a long time, if ever. And worse still, he seemed too traumatised to even give his last name, although she knew he must have had one at some point. Judging from his dirty, and admittedly smelly complexion, she realised that he probably had not seen the inside of a home for a long time, and he was so skinny that she was almost certain he had not eaten in days. Thus, she understood why he was an easy target to any lurking rapist; he would not have had the strength to run in his state, let alone fight someone off. Catching the bastard that did this was fairly low on her priority levels right now, because Blaine seemed so distressed, but ultimately, she knew the police would have to be called. Her thoughts turned to finding any source of family the boy might have, who could come and help him through this time of need.
"And do you have any family we can contact Blaine?" she asked kindly. "Anyone at all? Your mom?"
To her horror, Blaine became even more distressed at this and he began to move to sit up restlessly again, tears falling, his body shaking as he muttered, still high with the fever, "N…no… no…"
"Your dad then?" Carole pressed gently, catching hold of him and lowering him back down carefully again. His terrified cries of distress only increased as she uttered the word 'dad', and it was all she could do to keep him still. The male paramedic clearly felt he had to intervene because he suddenly appeared next to her, trying to keep the boy still. As soon as Blaine's eyes fell on the man he let out a scream of fear and tried to back away. His broken arm however prevented him from hoisting himself up properly and he fell back with a sob of pain. The paramedic seemed to take the hint and he backed away out of Blaine's field of vision, whilst Carole gently hushed the boy again.
"Blaine sweetie, calm down okay?" she encouraged softly. "You're doing well… you're doing so well… just try not to move around so much okay otherwise you're going to hurt your poor arm even more."
Blaine's eyes had closed again, and his head was thrashing around, as if trying to avoid painful memories. Carole had a feeling that it was not just the attack he was reliving, "Please…. Please make it stop… no more… please no more…" he kept crying over and over again like a mantra.
Even Carole could feel her calm, firm tone slipping as she said quietly, "Blaine, no one here is going to hurt you okay? You're safe. You're on the way to the hospital where good people are going to look after you alright?"
Blaine had stopped shouting the mantra now as it was gradually reducing in sound to a quiet plea, and Carole gently tried again, from a slightly different angle, "Is there no one you want here with you? Do you have anyone you need to be with you?"
Blaine stilled at this, and although his eyes were still squeezed tight shut, she knew he had heard her, because he stopped his frantic mantra. After a few seconds he began to whisper desperately, though Carole put this down to the fever getting worse, "K… K….Kurt… I want Kurt… please… I want K… Kurt."
With how close she had gotten to this particular patient already, it shocked Carole as she uttered a familiar name, but she was sure he did not meant her Kurt. Kurt had never once mentioned a family member, or a friend named Blaine, and Kurt always spoke his mind. If they knew each other, then she would surely know. The boy on the gurney in front of her was beginning to get worked up again, as he kept muttering 'Kurt' over and over again. Gently, she squeezed his hand to alert him back to her presence as she asked:
"Is Kurt a family member? A brother? An Uncle? A friend?"
"Please," Blaine pleaded in a heartbreakingly faint voice, and she could tell he was close to passing out again. "I just want Kurt…please…"
"I know sweetie," Carole whispered sympathetically, brushing a gentle hand through his tangled curls to soothe him. "I know… you want Kurt. Does Kurt have an address? Or a phone number?"
Blaine just continued to cry softly, lulling further into the depths of unconsciousness. Carole hated to press him, but it was so rare for a rape case in Lima not to have any family at all, that she continued despite her instincts. She wanted the boy to have someone there for him, although when she reached the hospital, she had every intention of getting out of her shift and staying with Blaine until someone came.
"Does this Kurt have a last name that could maybe help us find him?" she asked tenderly to Blaine's semiconscious form.
She swore her heart started pounding a hundred to the dozen when he whispered, "Hummel. I… I just want Kurt… and Burt Hummel," before passing out completely.
Carole swallowed. There were not many Hummel's in Ohio to start with, but there was only one Hummel family in Ohio, and their Christian names just so happened to be the ones Blaine had muttered. She held tight to Blaine's hand as they finally reached the hospital and he was lifted onto a gurney to take into the ER. Once she found out the extent of Blaine's injuries, she knew she had a phone call to make.
So that was the first chapter of my first Glee/Klaine fanfic, and I really hope some of you liked it enough to review, or even if you didn't - tell me what you think. As you will probably tell as I get further along in the story, it's set as a parallel to the show. There will be some things which intertwine with the actual storyline of the show and AU moments like this, but I promise to try and make it good. Apologies if it's a bit angsty - it's certainly a little angstier than other stories I've written. But this story came to me a little while ago and it wouldn't go away. It's probably going to be quite long... Alternatively, if you don't like it, or if it offends anyone, I won't continue and will take it down. The planned next chapter sees Burt arrive, and Klaine get a reunion after six years!