Cut the Cord

Chapter 10

His tears have extinguished the fire, just like he knew they would, but Blaine still doesn’t feel numb. No, he doesn’t feel right, nowhere near in fact, but he doesn’t feel numb either and he allows himself to revel in that for several long, glorious minutes. He listens to his own heartbeat thrumming in his ears, slowly synching with Kurt’s underneath his head, and for the first time in months, he feels grateful for it. It’s a newly-appreciated reassurance that he is here, that he is a real, palpable living thing.

He cries and cries until his eyes are aching, his nose is running all the way down his chin and the only thing he can taste is salt. He lets Kurt’s whispered nothings sink through his hair into his scalp, caressing him from the inside out. Each time his breathing grows too fast, the air puffing out of him too quickly as the sobs constrict his chest, he concentrates on the press of Kurt’s nose against his cheek, allows it to comfort him until the hyperventilating stops again.

A million thoughts are flicking through his head, but they’re moving too fast for his brain to catch them. As soon as he grasps onto one of them, starts to process something that he hasn’t thought about in months, it slides away into the jumbled mess of feelings spinning around inside of him. He doesn’t know how to start puzzling any of it out so he simply allows his mind to do as it pleases, giving it freedom to think what it wants for a change without being carefully controlled.

He’s definitely stopped crying now, his cheeks stiff with the drying moisture, but Kurt makes no move to pull away, obviously waiting for Blaine to decide on his own. But Blaine is terrified that if he moves so much as an inch from the enclosure of safewarmcomfortfeeling that is Kurt’s arms, he’ll give himself up to the numbness again. Eventually, it’s his bladder that forces him to shuffle sideways, Kurt’s arms falling onto his own lap once more. It’s such a basic biological need, but it makes Blaine feel laughably human in a way he hasn’t for a while.

“I need to pee,” He says in explanation, and Kurt snorts, his worried gaze relaxing beautifully as he glances back to the forgotten television screen. “What? I do.” Blaine defends himself, but he feels an outline of a smile glance off his face.

He follows Kurt’s eyes and realises with a start that the credits of You’ve Got Mail are playing. “We forgot the movie.” Blaine states dumbly.

“Hmm, I wonder what happens…” Kurt raises his eyebrows at Blaine, teasing, “It’s not like we’ve seen it so many times we can recite the dialogue in our sleep.”

“Exactly! I’m going to have to watch it at least twice more now to pick up on all the bits I missed.” Blaine quips back, and Kurt grins at him in such a way that Blaine doesn’t even listen to the voice inside his head, the one telling him how disproportionately happy Kurt is over a bit of joking around.

“I thought you needed to pee…” Kurt says after a moment and Blaine sighs.

“Mmm I’m getting to it, but my feet are still waking up.” He flexes his toes for extra effect.

“Well, don’t wait too long; dad’ll kill me if you make a mess on the couch.” It’s a mindless joke, but both of them freeze as certain memories resurface. Frantic, clumsy kisses; teeth scraping sensitive lips as shirts are tugged off; whispers of ‘hurry’ and ‘I love you so much’ and ‘unf…feels good’; snatches of common sense drowned out by feelings of passion, Kurt’s half-hearted reminders that they really shouldn’t be…mmm….doing this here and if my dad realises we—nhh Blaine—on his couch, and his own murmured replies that Kurt should take care not to get too messy then, before all semblance of rational thought left him and he couldn’t comprehend anything beyond Kurt, Kurt, Kurt.

Suddenly, Blaine is very capable of jumping up and heading to the bathroom, a muttered “Be back in a minute, then” thrown carelessly over his shoulder. He doesn’t dare look at Kurt’s face.

When he returns, Kurt is idly flicking through some football magazine and if that phenomenon alone isn’t enough to expose his forced effort at normalcy, his stiff posture and unfocused gaze certainly would be. He looks up nonchalantly when he hears Blaine come in, and offers him a smile, but this time it doesn’t show his teeth, nor quite reach his eyes.

“So,” Kurt says as he perches on the edge of the couch. “What would you like to do?”

Well, at least Kurt had asked his opinion this time, although suddenly Blaine doesn’t feel much like doing anything besides going home.

“Um, I sort of thought I’d head off actually—”

“—Let’s go for a drive.” Kurt says it so quickly and firmly, as if it’s an instinctive reaction to cut Blaine off.

“I—what?” Blaine is slightly confused as to why that would be beneficial to either of them in the slightest. He’d tried long evening drives those first few nights after he had destroyed everything and quickly found out that empty roads and fading lights only made him impossibly lonelier.

“Let’s just—oh I don’t know, let’s go to the Lima Bean.”

“The…Lima Bean?” Blaine repeats stupidly, unsure what Kurt is aiming for here. Is he trying to be polite, make it seem like he doesn’t want Blaine out the door as soon as possible?

“Yes, it’s that coffee place on the edge of town. Haven’t you heard of it?” Kurt’s attempting to joke again, but there’s an uncomfortable weight in the room now and the light is shining off Kurt’s fake attempt at joviality, revealing the desperation beneath. The words fall flat.

“You want to get coffee?” Blaine asks, wishing Kurt would give it up already because he hates this awkwardness so, so much.

But Kurt just nods and then catches Blaine’s sleeve and half pulls him out into the hall, handing him his shoes and rummaging on the shoe rack to find a suitable pair of his own. He picks up two and briefly considers them before settling on a pair of boots; Blaine wonders if the others hadn’t quite set off his outfit and that’s why they were rejected. More than likely, he thinks.

He slips into his own shoes and stands there awkwardly as Kurt finds himself a coat in the hall closet. For some reason, his hoodie feels too small all of a sudden, and no matter how much he snuggles into it, tugging his chin into the neckline and his hands into the sleeves, he isn’t covered enough. He sort of hopes that Kurt will change his mind and they can go back into the sitting room and watch another movie, and then Blaine will cause another argument and Kurt will yell at him and kick him out—

“Do you want to drive or shall I?” Blaine blinks at Kurt who’s back in front of him, dangling his car keys from pale fingers.

“I can’t. I mean with the—the medication I’m on, I’m not allowed to drive.” Blaine doesn’t know why he’s blushing; it’s not like it’s a shameful admission per se, yet somehow it feels like it.

“Oh.” Kurt says and he clenches his hand around the keys, hiding them from sight. “Right, okay then, I’ll drive.”

Blaine follows Kurt out of the door, watches as he locks it and pats his coat to make sure his phone is still in his pocket. It’s such a familiar routine, but so foreign at the same time, as if Blaine has returned from a long trip and everything about his old life is covered in a thin but visible layer of dust.

Kurt’s car smells just like it used to as well. Blaine supposes it’s only been sat in the Hummel’s driveway for months, waiting for Kurt to come back from New York and its abundance of taxies. The only visible difference is the lack of CDs in the central console; presumably Kurt took those with him. Kurt follows his gaze as he starts the ignition and smiles slightly.

“You can turn the radio on if you want,” Kurt offers, pulling off the driveway. They have to stop as a random kid clutching a football and his mother walk past, presumably headed to the park a few blocks away.

Blaine considers it, but as he settles back into the familiar seat and stares out the window, the streets no longer seem empty despite the lack of other traffic, and the sky no longer looks angry. For once, Blaine needs no music to set the scene or distract him. For once, he is perfectly contented with the stillness. So he shakes his head at Kurt who smiles briefly and the beautifully comfortable silence lasts all the way to the Lima Bean parking lot.

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