Cut the Cord

Chapter 11

Kurt holds the door open for Blaine as they enter the coffee shop. It’s strange because Blaine was always the one to hold the door open; he was always the one who needed to be the perfect gentleman, to impress Kurt in any and every way possible. It all seems incredibly pointless now.

The café isn’t particularly full, not like it used to be when they came here after school to chat about nothing in particular, enjoying each other’s newfound company until Kurt’s dad called to ask where he was and whether he was planning on coming home anytime soon.

There’s only one other person in front of them in the line so they reach the counter much quicker than usual and it throws them both off for a moment. The woman behind the counter doesn’t look very impressed at their stupefied expressions, brushing her hands down her apron impatiently.

Kurt is the first to recover.

“I’ll get a grande non-fat mocha and he’ll have a medium drip, please. Oh, and could we get one of those oatmeal cookies? Thanks.”

Blaine blinks. “You know my coffee order.”

Kurt’s face lights up as he pays the woman and moves to the collection point. Blaine’s too hung up on how Kurt remembered to even notice that for the first time ever he didn’t even pay for half of their order. It’s not until they’re handed cups of steaming hot coffee and a bagged cookie that Blaine realises he doesn’t have any cash on him. He feels embarrassed again as he tries to explain this to Kurt.

“Oh…I, um, I didn’t pay, and I think I forgot to bring my—”

“It’s on me, dummy.” Blaine’s head whips up in time to catch Kurt’s smile at the opposite wall. Blaine doesn’t know whether to feel pleased or uncomfortable, but he allows the former to win for the moment, and the wall receives two grins as they make their way to their usual spot by the window. Well, what used to be their usual spot anyway.

Kurt sets about splitting the cookie, thumb carefully pushing the middle inwards so that a line falls almost exactly down the centre. It’s almost perfect, but the jagged edges ruin it; Blaine’s pulse picks up slightly in annoyance. Stupid cookie.

“Huh?”

It’s not until Kurt gives him a weird look from across the table that he realises he said that last comment out loud.

“Oh, um, it’s just—it’s not quite even…” He gestures half-heartedly at the cookie.

Kurt snorts. “Well you can have the bigger half.”

“No.” Blaine retorts too quickly. “No, I’d rather have the smaller bit.”

Kurt shrugs and slides the bag over to him so he can pick one. Suddenly Blaine can’t work out which one is smaller; Kurt has split it perfectly after all. He closes his eyes and reaches blindly, picking up the first half he touches. Kurt chuckles as it breaks and falls into smaller pieces on the bag.

“So,” Kurt says, picking up his own bit of cookie more successfully and dunking it in his coffee. “Did you see the travesty that was the barista’s hair?”

The conversation starts up like Kurt never left and Blaine never broke them and it’s—surprisingly entertaining. It’s nice to chatter aimlessly and laugh at things without analysing why he’s laughing. Kurt makes him laugh so he laughs. It’s as simple as that.

Until Kurt stops laughing, looking over Blaine’s shoulder at something as his expression shifts. When he loudly calls out, “Sam, hi!”, Blaine’s heart sinks.

Sam’s blonde head appears at their table and Blaine definitely doesn’t fancy the last mouthful of his cookie now. Nevertheless, he keeps his eyes carefully trained on the raisin poking out, eyes tracing the tiny wrinkles where they disappear beneath the surface of the chunk.

“Uh, hey guys,” Sam sounds distinctly awkward and alarm bells are going off in Blaine’s head because he can see Kurt’s eyes narrowing out of the corner of his vision and that’s never a good sign. “What’re you up to?”

“Having coffee.” Kurt replies brusquely, gesturing to their cups.

“Er, right. Cool.” Sam is shifting his weight from foot to foot but the timing is uneven. “Well, I’ll leave you guys to it—”

“Aren’t you going to ask how Blaine is?” Kurt’s voice sounds like it’s roughly pH 2.

“Kurt, it’s—”

“It’s not fine that your friend here didn’t show up to see you once in the hospital.” Kurt stands up, chair scraping backwards and Blaine’s chest constricts in panic.

“Dude, chill!” Sam looks slightly terrified now that the Kurt Hummel bitch glare is trained on him in full.

“So what, you decided you didn’t want to associate yourself with him now that he needs a shoulder to lean on? Decided he wasn’t worth a half-hour visit? What kind of friend is that, huh?”

Voices inside Blaine’s head are screaming so loudly it’s practically white noise, but Kurt doesn’t seem to notice.

“And the rest of them are just as pathetic! Glee Club is meant to be a support network, but apparently you just abandon each other now—even when someone almost dies—“

“Dude, he’s not even in Glee anymore!” Sam defends himself, eyes flickering between Kurt and Blaine as if the latter has betrayed him; knowing Blaine, he probably has.

“What?” This information stops Kurt short and Blaine finds himself being stared at by two pairs of eyes. Suddenly, it’s all too much and he wishes he had never agreed to come out in the first place. It was such a stupid idea and he’d let himself be dragged into it and now everything around him is cracking again. Or maybe he’s breaking and that’s why his vision is blurring. Either way his feet are pushing him up and stumbling towards the door before his brain tells them to. He pushes past a couple entering the coffee shop, forcing apart their intertwined hands in the process, and runs out into the cool air, chest heaving as he gasps for air.


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