So. Hello my lovelies. It is summer. It is the promised time. It is... the sequel! I won't waste your time up here for long, but welcome welcome and I hope you enjoy this, I know it's been a long time coming!
To anyone new reading, this is the sequel for Hiding in Reflections, and this won't make much sense without reading that.
WARNINGS (for the whole thing): angst, mentions/flashbacks of physical and verbal abuse, mental and physical trauma, foul language and probably some quite disgustingly fluffy cuteness, at some point ;)
Kurt was floating.
And god if that didn't sound like the most clichéd drug induced thought ever, but that was the word that drifted into his mind, when he tried to put a name to what he was feeling. Everything was blurred, and misty, and- not safe, exactly, but-
The mist was preferable to a lack of mist, Kurt knew with a bone deep certainty. He didn't want to wake up, because then it would be harsh and loud and it would hurt.
So he floated, with the barest awareness of himself, and he dreamed.
He dreamed of a boy with a bright, beaming smile and shining hazel eyes, of a woman with long chestnut hair and the voice of an angel. He dreamed of laughter and light and music, of happy, bubbly feelings, of the scent of faded perfume, of silk scarves soft against his cheek.
He dreamed of soft fingers wiping away his tears.
Amelia regarded the man in front of her and ruthlessly squashed the urge to sigh out loud.
Burt Hummel was a charming, if slightly rough around the edges, man, and his love for his nephew was incredibly strong, but goddamn if he wasn't one of the most stubborn men alive. She could empathise with his need to know, to know every last detail of what was going on, but over protectiveness and smothering wasn't going to help.
"Mr Hummel, I will only say this one more time. You are not my patient. Kurt is. As his now guardian, you will be kept informed of his progress, in loose terms, but the details of what will go on between me and my patient are confidential. I understand that you're worried, but pushing to know everything isn't going to help him." Burt stared at her with sunken eyes, desperation and worry mingling in his gaze.
"I know, I know, I'm sorry. I just- I'm so worried about him I can barely think, and- just. How did I miss it? How? And why, for the love of god, why didn't he say anythin' - I could've helped, I would've had him outta there in a heartbeat-" Burt broke off, breathing heavily and staring at his clenched fists in his lap. Amelia re-crossed her legs.
"I can't answer those questions - only Kurt can. His reasons for not taking the problem to you or someone else are his own, and we can only speculate. It could have been stubbornness, it could have been denial, it could have been love, it could have been fear. We don't know, and we won't know unless Kurt decides to tell us." Amelia responded, as gently as she could, and Burt nodded dismally.
She'd already extracted his story from him - a lot shorter and rather less helpful than Blaine's account, the significance of which did not escape her. Burt had, with retrospect, been able to connect some elements of Kurt's behaviour to what he now knew was abuse. His more stubborn fashion tendencies, his jumpiness, his shyness, all traits that Burt and Carol and countless other people had noticed and written off, purely because they didn't want to look any closer. Even now, it was difficult to separate out which parts were Kurt and which parts were signs of abuse.
Only Blaine had stuck it out.
Blaine had seen the scared little abused boy and he was the only one who hadn't ignored him. Blaine had reached out, and miraculously Kurt had reached back.
Amelia sighed, and Burt's head snapped up.
"Mr Hummel, thank you for your time. I'll be seeing Kurt as soon as he's lucid and available, and I'll decide how much time I think he should spend with me once I've spoken to him." Burt grimaced, but nodded easily enough, and left the room.
Blaine's bum was numb.
Which was a bit of a stupid thought to be focusing on, he'd be the first to admit it, but that was what happened when you sat on a plastic hospital chair for an hour without moving.
Blaine stared down at where Kurt's limp, white hand was clasped within his own. He wasn't moving any time soon, he thought fiercely, swallowing hard and squeezing Kurt's hand.
He was so focused on keeping his tears at bay that he almost missed the quiet whisper of "Blaine,", but he didn't, catching it on the edge of his hearing and instantly focusing on Kurt's face, his lovely, familiar face; high, too defined cheek bones and arched eyebrows and-
Dazzling, blue grey eyes, open and watching him.
"Kurt?" He whispered back, shifting in his seat and ignoring the way his numbed muscles protested, gripping Kurt's hand tighter.
"Blaine," his name fell from Kurt's mouth in a happy rush of air, and Kurt's chapped lips stretched into a small smile. Blaine smiled tearfully back, holding Kurt's hand so tightly he could barely feel his fingers, and then his tears spilled over and he couldn't hold himself back, couldn't stop himself from gingerly wrapping his arms around Kurt's shoulders and burying his head in his neck, tears overflowing as wracking sobs shook his frame.
"Blaine," Kurt repeated, his hand a butterfly touch on Blaine's shoulder which only made him cry harder; this beautiful, beautiful boy lying nearly broken in a hospital bed and trying to comfort him.
"God, Kurt, you're beautiful, you know that?" He gasped, tears still streaming as he leaned back and cupped Kurt's face in his hands, thumbs sweeping across the smooth, fragile curve of his cheek bone even as it flushed pink, Kurt's blue eyes flying wide open.
"I…" Kurt trailed off, blinking and still sleepily confused, before another aching smile spread across his face. "You're beautiful too, Blaine," Kurt sighed happily, eyes closing, and Blaine knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that Kurt thought he was dreaming, and he didn't know whether to grin or cry even harder at the thought that Kurt dreamt about being happy with Blaine, that he thought Blaine was beautiful.
Which was why Blaine kissed him, soft and brief, because with Kurt in this hazy mindset, all it made him do was smile.
There was no panic, no fluttering hands, no terrified glances, no irrational fear of him finding out and taking it out on him later, just- a gentle, happy smile, and Blaine ached with it.
"Blaine? You still here- Kurt," Blaine glanced over his shoulder, tears slowing but still slipping down his cheeks, as Burt came in and then stopped, startled, and staring at the bed as the sun had just risen in it, which was certainly how Blaine felt.
Kurt was awake, and smiling, and it wouldn't last, it couldn't last, but in this moment Blaine could feel a brief flicker of hope, hope that while it wasn't okay now, it would be-
That was when he felt Kurt jerk backwards out of his grip, heard the high-pitched, distressed whimpering that he was making, and whirled back around to see Kurt, eyes wide with panicked fear and fixed on Burt's face, his head moving from side to side in a small but undeniable gesture of denial.
"No… no, no, this- what's going on, where am I? Why are you here, what- let go! Let me go! LET GO OF ME!" Kurt's voice ratcheted, the thin bones of his hand flexing beneath Blaine's fingers as Kurt tried to pull his fingers free, and Blaine's heart sank.
"Kurt, son, it's alright-" Burt started towards the bed, hands out in a placating gesture and every line of his face carved with worry, but Kurt would have none of it, screaming even harder and trying to back away, forcing his damaged body back into the pillows, various tubes and tape tugging on his pale skin.
Blaine and Burt shared a helpless look, before Burt backed away, not so blinded by his worry for his nephew that he couldn't see where he wasn't wanted.
That had to hurt, and Blaine felt a surge of sympathy for the man, before his attention was reclaimed by Kurt's hand tugging again.
"Kurt, Kurt look at me, honey, look at me, it's okay, it's okay," Blaine spoke softly, smoothing his thumb across the tendons of Kurt's hand; pulled tight and jumping with Kurt's panicked spasms, but his flickering gaze snapped to Blaine's face, blue on hazel, and stayed there as Blaine continued to speak.
"It's alright, Kurt, it's alright. You're in hospital, and you're going to be okay," Blaine carried on talking as Kurt relaxed, not because of Blaine but because of surge of drugs being pumped into his system, prompted by his earlier screaming, but Blaine didn't care if it was him or not; he couldn't stop his babbled litany of comforting words, didn't want to stop, not even when Kurt's eyelids drooped shut as the drugs knocked him out; paper thin and fluttering with the imagined scenes of his dreams.
Burt couldn't process it.
He hadn't gone back into Kurt's hospital room since, but couldn't bring himself to commit to leaving the hospital entirely either. Kurt had woken up, his eyes had been open and while he'd still looked sleepy and probably hadn't been all that lucid, he'd been awake, and aware.
And he'd been smiling.
Burt had seen it; a gentle, soft, loving smile that was so reminiscent of his sister that it hurt, directed at Blaine.
And he'd also seen that expression shatter, seen it replaced with panic - at the sight of him. Kurt had panicked. Kurt had fucking cowered into his pillows. Because of him.
Burt supposed he deserved it, for not seeing it for so long.
He supposed that this was his punishment, for leaving his nephew to get hurt, and he knew that he deserved it.
But god if that didn't hurt.
Blaine was at McKinley. It was Tuesday, and his mom had gently pushed him into going back - he needed something to do, something to distract himself, he could still visit Kurt in the afternoon, he couldn't miss too much school and she was so sorry, I'm so sorry sweetheart, I know you don't want to go back without him.
He stood by his locker, watching the flow of people, and wished he could be anywhere but here, here where life was continuing as if nothing had happened, as if Kurt was fine, as if Blaine's world wasn't falling apart.
He wished he could be with Kurt- what if he wakes up again, what if he wakes up and he panics and I'm not there, what if- but more, he wished Kurt was with him. He wished that Kurt's father was a loving man.
"How you holding up, short stack?" Blaine started, raising his head to meet Santana's worried gaze - oh, it wasn't obvious, but Blaine could see her concern, and he appreciated it more than he'd ever be able to say.
"I'm- okay." He answered quietly, un-protesting as she linked her arm through his and started to lead him to his homeroom (he was pretty certain Santana wasn't in his homeroom, but that didn't seem to matter to her, and now that she was here he suddenly didn't want her to leave him because he was going to break if she did). "I'm- wishing."
"Wishing?" She repeated, clearly confused, and a wry smile tugged at the corner of Blaine's mouth.
"Sometimes I wish for as many as six impossible things before breakfast." He answered, and she raised an eyebrow at him.
"It's believe, not wish," she said eventually, and Blaine couldn't help but grin at her, because of course Santana had read 'Alice in Wonderland', of course she had.
"Thank you." He murmured to her gratefully as she sat down next to him. She stared at him a moment, before pulling him into a hug, and Blaine breathed in the laundry smell of a freshly washed (and probably pressed) Cheerios uniform and tried not to cry.
"So, guys, this week's theme is… Blaine?" Blaine jerked his head up, trying not to scowl at Mr Schue, because of all the times for the man to actually open his eyes and notice something, it had to be the one week where Blaine wanted to be left alone with his red rimmed eyes and his iron grip on Santana's hand.
"Are you alright?"
"Fine," Blaine answered, clearing his throat slightly and silently willing for Mr Schue to move on.
"Are you sure? Because-"
"He said he was fine, Schuester, now back off," Santana snapped, and god if Blaine were straight and not in love with Kurt he would marry her, he really would.
Mr Schue frowned, and closed his mouth, and Blaine breathed a silent thank you as he returned to his lesson. His luck didn't hold though, as five minutes later, just as he dropped his head to Santana's shoulder - "Are you sure you're fine Blaine?"
"Kurt's in hospital," Finn blurted, and Blaine's eyes went wide as silence filled the choir room and everybody turned to stare at Finn.
"God, I'm so sorry Finn, Blaine," Mr Schue folded his arms, looking sympathetic and nodding at Blaine in such a condescending way that Blaine wanted to punch him.
"Oh my god, what happened?" Mercedes cried, hand over her heart and wide brown eyes filling with tears. Blaine's gaze snapped to Finn's uncomfortable face, fury rising in him-
"Don't, Finn, don't, it's not your story to tell-"
"Hudson don't you dare say one more word-"
Eyes turned to Blaine and Santana, muttered 'oh my god's and questions and 'how do you know's and 'what's going on's floating around the choir room, until-
"His dad beat him up," Finn admitted, shamefaced and staring at his clasped hands. He never even saw Blaine's fist coming.
He stood over Finn, watching him clutch at his jaw and stare up at him, his knuckles throbbing and Santana's hand a steady pressure on his shoulder.
"You fucking bastard," he spat, and Finn's eyes widened as Blaine advanced, throwing off Sam and Mr Schue's attempts to hold him back, even as Santana moved with him, refusing to leave him alone. "You had no right to tell them that, you had no right at all!" He screamed, before turning and running from the room, hearing Santana's footsteps behind him.
He scrubbed at his eyes furiously, and wished for Kurt.
Sooooo yes I'm back and equipped with angst, as always!
A few things - I WILL BE FINISHING THE DRABBLES! I know I haven't posted all of them yet, (I think there are about three left) so if yours hasn't appeared yet, don't fret! It will be posted :)
And as always thank you to my lovely beta, Abby, even if her beta'ing made writing chapter two really hard (shared google docs can be a bitch) I love you :D
Some info about the sequel:
1) Right now it's shaping up to be about fifteen chapters.
2) There will be parts of this aftermath - mostly on the legal front - that aren't 100% accurate/properly detailed etc. This is due to a couple of things, such as me being unfamiliar with American legal system and also unfamiliar with child abuse cases. Another reason for there being less detail in those areas is that for the purposes of this fic, I'm more interested in the emotional fall out than the processes and technicalities. Sorry if that's disappointing for anyone!
3) As I said above, I am unfamiliar with the American legal system, and have grilled Ripple (rippleklainebagels on tumblr, xbleedingblackrosex on ff) about it, and THANK YOU VERY MUCHLY TO HER AND HER WONDERFULNESS!
I think that's all for now, I hope you guys enjoyed, and please review and let me know what you thought! XD