Coming Back As We Are
Summary: Kurt realizes there is way more going on here than here than Blaine meeting someone new.
Spoilers for 4x04. Allusions to Blaine being depressed, potential self-harm and suicidal thoughts. This was my attempt at being cathartic so trust me, it has the happiest ending possible.
At two in the morning Blaine starts crying and he doesn’t stop.
They’re both awake. It isn’t even within the realm of possibility for Kurt to sleep. He’s been on the edge of getting out of the bed completely for at least twenty minutes, suffocating under Blaine’s presence.
Then he hears the first gasping sob and it’s not like the tears before. It’s unhinged, the bed trembling from the force of it, and it doesn’t stop at all. Blaine sounds like he’s hyperventilating and he curls even more tightly in on himself and Kurt’s heart starts to thump hard with panic.
“Blaine?” He whispers, his own voice hoarse from tears shed.
Blaine just cries harder. He’s wheezing now, uncontrollable tears. Kurt puts a hand on his shoulder and fuck, fuck, he doesn’t care what Blaine has done, Kurt can’t take that look on his face. He looks terrified and ripped apart and wrecked and Kurt breaks into a million pieces with a million times more pain than the words I was with someone because that is about them, them maybe not working. But this - this is about Blaine.
“Come here,” Kurt says, and it takes some manhandling to get Blaine into his arms but once he’s there Blaine latches on and squeezes so hard that Kurt thinks he’ll have bruises, but he doesn’t stop crying.
At some point Rachel stands in the fluttering part of the curtain partition with a concerned look on her face. Kurt just waves her away and she frowns, wipes a tear from her own eye, and goes back to her own little personal misery.
“Blaine,” Kurt says, stroking over his back. Blaine’s skin feels cold and clammy and damp with sweat. “Blaine, breathe, honey.”
“I, Kurt, I can’t-”
Blaine’s voice is almost worse than the tears and there is more going on here, so much more than I was with someone, and Kurt has never felt more hopeless or useless in his life. “We’ll talk about it later, Blaine.”
He wants to say we’ll be all right and it’s going to be okay but he doesn’t know if it will, doesn’t trust himself to make that promise even if it might be what Blaine needs. Blaine is still going to have to go back to Lima alone and Kurt is still going to be in New York and some mysterious faceless guy who now knows some part of Blaine that only Kurt was supposed to know will still exist.
But this is Blaine, this is the love of his life falling apart, and Kurt could no more stop being here and caring than he could stop breathing.
Blaine shoves out of his arms and his breathing is choked now. Kurt’s confused, reaching for him, until he realizes Blaine is bolting for the bathroom. Kurt follows and strokes Blaine’s hair back from his head and doesn’t avert his eyes as Blaine throws up until there’s nothing left but painful retching through the tears that still don’t stop.
When he’s finished Kurt flushes the toilet and dampens a cloth and wipes the sweat from Blaine’s face. Blaine watches him with those terrified eyes. When he speaks, the first sentence he says is a disgusted, “Why are you being nice to me?”
Kurt doesn’t know how to answer that, not really. He lets the words tumble out knowing that it’s the middle of the night and they probably won’t make sense. “You hurt me very badly tonight, but I think you hurt yourself worse. And I don’t like it when anything hurts you.”
Blaine drops his face into his hands again and, god, how can someone have so many tears inside of them? Kurt rubs impatiently at his own eyes with his hands. His head is killing him and he feels like if he focused too long on the churning inside that he’d probably throw up, too.
There’s that terrible hitching noise again and he can see Blaine fighting through something.
“Breathe, Blaine,” he says, kneeling in front of Blaine. “Can you do that?”
Blaine struggles and nods and manages to get it under control, hysteria held at bay.
He leads Blaine into the kitchen starts to make tea. When Blaine sinks to the floor, back against the counter by Kurt’s legs, Kurt doesn’t say anything.
He’s still crying, but it’s quieter now. His face is pale with red splotches and there’s sweat on his forehead. When the tea is done, Kurt joins him on the floor.
“I can’t do this anymore, Kurt.” There’s a rawness in Blaine’s voice that hits Kurt before the impact of the words.
Then he realizes what Kurt is saying. “You’re breaking up with me?”
“No! God, no, Kurt, no.” Blaine’s voice wobbles and he says it with such intensity that Kurt knows beyond a shadow of the doubt that it’s a truth.
“Then what? What can’t you do anymore? Long distance? Because I can’t just come back to Lima, Blaine-”
“Life.” Blaine squeezes his eyes shut. “Living.”
Blaine has needed him.
Blaine has needed him and Kurt didn’t know.
Blaine is good at hiding things but Blaine has been slowly unraveling since Kurt waltzed into his life and gave him something to want more than a solo at regionals or a good fencing match. Kurt understands a lot of these things about Blaine. He’s seen the dark moments, he knows the scars on Blaine’s skin, he knows in a peripheral way enough about Blaine’s home life just from the way Blaine never seems to have one.
But it’s three in the morning and Kurt can’t process all of this over his own hurt and betrayal right now. He can’t make rational thought of everything Blaine is telling him and not telling him, he just knows that this is so much more than he can deal with on his own.
He reaches down and takes Blaine’s hand. “Don’t say that, Blaine.”
Blaine won’t look at him now. Blaine doesn’t say more; he doesn’t say whatever is weighing him down in his mind, but Kurt’s gotten enough glimpses and glances at the staggering level of self-doubt Blaine is capable of that he knows how bad this much be if this is what it takes to break Blaine.
“Blaine, I love you. And this is not the end of us unless you say it is, and even then - I’m not saying goodbye, I’m not letting you say goodbye.”
The next morning Blaine is gone.
Kurt cries for a good, long time - normal tears. Hurt, my-boyfriend-cheated-on-me tears. Aching, I-can’t-help-the-boy-I-love tears. Tears of missing Blaine, tears of being angry at Blaine, tears when he sees the bouquet of roses.
He doesn’t call Blaine. He wants to. Part of him would happily let Blaine continue to rely on him and only him for the rest of their lives if it worked for Blaine, but it’s clearly not working for Blaine.
He emails Mrs. Pillsbury first. He knows her well enough to know that she’ll talk to Blaine but probably never confirm to Kurt that she has. He spells out the whole story: his worries, what she needs to look out for. It feels a little like spilling secrets that aren’t his to spill but right now he doesn’t care. Someone needs to know. Someone qualified, someone that can help him.
He emails Sam and Tina next. He says that he and Blaine are going through a rough patch and that he’s hurt over what Blaine did but he needs them to be there for Blaine and not be angry at him. Sam, he knows, genuinely likes Blaine - but Sam and Kurt spent the last year living in the same house. They’re not exactly brothers but they’re close and even though Sam doesn’t seem like the type that would hold a grudge on behalf of a friend, he doesn’t want to take the chance.
He stops then, because he has to go to work.
The roses come later that afternoon.
His eyes sting and he gets through the brief exchange with his co-worker before going to the bathroom to cry. It’s not because Blaine cheated; it’s because Blaine is still reaching out to him. He’d be gutted if Blaine didn’t, but what hurts him now is that he knows he can’t accept the gesture yet.
When he gets home he calls his father.
Burt is livid when he hears what Blaine has done. “I never woulda thought that kid… well, damn. He worshipped the ground you walked on, Kurt.”
“Dad, I don’t even think it’s about me. Don’t be mad at him, okay? I’m not anymore.” It’s the truth. He’ll be mad - later, when he knows Blaine is okay. They’ll talk about it and he’ll unlock the vault of hurt and pain he’s keeping a lid on, he’ll make Blaine swear to never do something so stupid again. But not right now.
“What the hell does that mean? You think he’s already with this other kid? He wouldn’t just forget you like that. Kid ain’t that stupid. And you’re forgiving him just like that?” The passionate concern in Burt’s voice lets Kurt know he’s doing the right thing here.
“I’m worried about him, Dad. He doesn’t have anyone there. You know what it’s like at home for him…” It’s not something they’ve ever explicitly discussed, but Burt had dropped plenty of hints that it wasn’t right how Blaine’s family never cared how much time he spent at Kurt’s. “His brother is a flake and his parents don’t remember that he exists half the time. He has no one to be there for him.Could you check on him? Make sure he’s okay? Or ask Carole to? Have him over for dinner, or just… I just need to know he’s got somewhere to go.”
Burt doesn’t respond for a few beats. “You sure you want me to do that?”
“Dad, I need him to know someone cares, so he doesn’t do something stupid.” Kurt’s voice cracks on the last word.
There’s more silence on Burt’s end. “You really think he would?”
He sounds upset at the concept. Even in Kurt’s darkest days, it’s not something he really worried about. His focus was always on escaping Lima, not escaping life as a whole.
Kurt doesn’t answer because he can’t bring himself to say that yes, he thinks Blaine would.
Blaine tries to call him twice that night.
Kurt doesn’t answer.
He wants to. He wants to so fucking badly but the idea that he’ll talk to Blaine and say something wrong terrifies him. Instead he sits at his computer and looks over his bank account. He’ll have to ask his father to help him out with next month’s rent, but he knows his father will.
He doesn’t have words for Blaine. He doesn’t know what Blaine needs to hear, but he knows that he needs to see Blaine, alive and safe and in front of him.
He sends Isabelle and email to say he won’t be available after 5 pm on Friday and books a roundtrip weekend plane ticket to Lima.