Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters; Ryan Murphy and Co. hold that honor. I'm simply writing this for fun, not profit.
The silence strikes his very soul.
It possesses a terrible, methodical proximity. A quiet, barely there I am so sorry, Kurt.
He has been there before in that unthinkable realm where Mommy isn't coming back, Kurt.
His eyes are already welling with tears and he breaks as he latches onto the handle of Finn's door, vision swimming with it. Wrenching the door open, refusing to hear the world at his back, he stumbles blindly into the room, delving with shaking hands into the stack of Finn's leftovers from college.
The first thing in the box is the letterman jacket. Kurt's fingers shake as he grabs it and, without saying a word, pulls it on.
You'd make a good football player, Kurt. The team's really proud of you.
Pressing his face against the fabric, entire body trembling with restrained violence and fear and anguish, he doesn't hear the soft knock on the door over the sound of his own sobbing. He doesn't pay attention to the scuff of shoes on the carpet, nor does he react to the arms that come up and around him, hugging him tightly.
I'm not gonna let anyone mess with you. You're my little brother now. Brothers are for life.
He's sobbing openly now, great, weeping shudders that make it impossible to breathe and even harder to stop shaking, Blaine's arms tightening around him, holding him, grounding him. Kurt, I am so sorry, I am so sorry, I am so sorry.
It doesn't help. Nothing can.
He can hear Burt and Carole arguing below, a gentle, fervent clash of wills. It doesn't last long; Kurt doesn't need to see to know what transpires below as soft conversation devolves into silence.
"Kurt, I'm –" That's as far as Blaine manages aloud because it is incomprehensible, the words strangling in his throat as he settles for squeezing so hard Kurt can feel the strain in his ribs.
"Please just – give me a minute," Kurt begs, sniffing and choking back tears, trying not to trigger the cycle.
It's been a week – a week – and yet he's barely stopped crying since he heard the news, he's supposed to be doing better now but it just feels infinitely worse, knowing that –
Finn isn't going to come back. He isn't going to burst through the door, wide-eyed and bewildered, asking why Kurt's wearing his uniform – it's way too big for you, bro – or maybe just requesting one of those soft, gentling hugs – it's gonna be okay.
Kurt crumples. Blaine catches him, scrambles to do so, in front of him now where Kurt can see him but he doesn't last,burying his face in his shoulder and weeping.
Blaine clutches the back of his jacket – Finn's jacket – and suddenly it's that much more real, that there's this space in the world that can't be filled, won't be filled, and it's too real to bear.
He grieves for – hours, decades. It's hard to tell. His knees ache and he's soaked the jacket with his tears but he can't stop, aware that – perhaps for the first time – Finn isn't coming back.
It hits him deep in his soul, and it hurts more than he could have imagined.
When Kurt has little left in him but sniffles, watery sounds in the quiet, he becomes aware of Blaine's palms rubbing even circles across his back, the brush of steady hands against smooth leather soothing. He can hear his breathing, slow, deep, a parody of normalcy as he holds Kurt close.
Kurt lets him, leaning shamelessly against his battered strength, cloaking himself in the warmth and solidarity of his one and only love.
It's gonna be okay.
He doesn't know how Blaine knows, and it occurs to him, then, that Blaine doesn't know. He can't. He can make promises and assure Kurt with steady hands and even voice that everything will work out, but he can't know.
It's a terrifying prospect and somehow, deeply reassuring. Even Blaine doesn't know what the path ahead will look like, yet he knows.
He knows that they must continue.
As he clings to Finn's jacket, Kurt sniffs, shaking his head slowly at first, then more emphatically, struggling to keep a lid on his emotions, to keep from lashing out and screaming and demanding answers, anything, anything to avert the truth.
The costly, devastating truth that he can't stomach, can't handle.
The slow, steady trickle of tears doesn't abate, and it takes him a while longer to become conscious of Blaine's tears. Everything about Blaine seems strangely detached, his presence starkly there and also inexplicably not.
Kurt feels like he's floating, caught in the grips of a terrible dream, and he hopes, prays, needs to wake up, tucked in his bed in his loft with Rachel snoring one wall away and Santana on the other side. He needs Blaine calling him in the morning to tell him what the Glee club is up to and the newest insanity that Sam has dragged him into and what's on Tina's mind this week. He needs coffee and warm coats and friendly, unexpected texts in the afternoon, clipped, nonchalant movements throughout his day punctuated by small bright moments and a resonating, ubiquitous certainty that all is well.
The disruption of the last is the worst.
Because he knows, at his core, that even Blaine can't fake a smile over this. No one can.
And as he clings to the front of Finn's jacket and breathes, he can feel Blaine's arms around him, tight and certain and – unafraid.
"I've got you," Blaine breathes, a countless time later as he rocks them, very gently, still crimped on the floor and utterly unconcerned about it. "I'm here."
Kurt leans against him, clutching Finn's jacket to his face, breathing out softly, "Thank you."
The gratitude will not come for hours – weeks, really – but right then. Right there. It's enough.
Blaine kisses the top of his head and says nothing, wordlessly sharing his pain.
Author's Notes: Hello, everyone.
I don't expect to receive many reviews for this. I would be surprised, actually, given its nature.
I wrote this because ... after watching the promo for the next episode, I needed it.
I needed this.
I am so sorry.
I love you all, and my inbox is always open.