Cut the Cord

Chapter 16

Kurt picks up after the second ring that evening and Blaine gets the suspicion that he’s been waiting by his phone. He sounds too breathless to be doing nothing, though.


“Um, hi?” Blaine greets uncertainly, listening to the muffled voices that bleed into each other, vague and fuzzy, Kurt’s fingers presumably held over the speaker. “I can call back if this is a bad—”

“—No!” Kurt practically shouts, and the voices stop. “No, don’t worry, I’m just—“ Blaine hears the jarring click of a forcefully shut door. “—Going somewhere quieter.”

Based on the traffic sounds, Kurt is outside and Blaine’s confused as to how this is in any way quieter. He knows better than to ask at any rate.

“So, how was it?” Kurt asks and he sounds weirdly nervous. Why? Blaine wonders. Is he nervous because of his own strange behaviour, or nervous to hear about your day?

“It was…okay actually. I didn’t think it would be, but it—was. Sort of.” He hates how much he stumbles through sentences nowadays; he sounds ridiculously unsure of every word. He sounds foreign to himself, like he no longer belongs in his own brain.

“That’s amazing! I’m so pleased!” Kurt sounds elated. Too elated, really.

“Yeah…” It’s funny, he’d meant to say nothing during the therapy session and ended up revealing far too much, and now here he is, having planned to tell Kurt every detail about Dr Marissa and their discussion, unable to say anything at all.

Kurt laughs happily and then a siren blares and he’s drowned out; he’s gone quiet by the time it has passed.

“We talked about you.” Blaine doesn’t know what makes him say it, but it falls out of his mouth like everything else does. There’s a horrible pause on the other end of the line.

“…Oh?” Kurt says quietly, barely a question.

“Yeah.” Blaine doesn’t elaborate; it’s clear that Kurt doesn’t want him to. God, he can already feel himself slipping upwards and out of Kurt’s tentative grip once more; bobbing uselessly into the darkness as the reality of nothing ever changing filters into focus. He feels his chest constrict with that weird panic-come-hopelessness feeling, his vision going too sharp too quickly. The pause goes on and on and Blaine hates it. Then it’s broken by a voice—a deep voice that is clearly not Kurt’s and something in Blaine snaps.

He presses the ‘end call’ button and drops his phone without thinking, as if it’s suddenly burning his hand. Except it isn’t and that’s the problem; Blaine wants it to burn—Kurt should cause fire—but all he feels is dread shivering through his muscles as numbness pours into him once more. It’s like he’s some weird human glow-stick that’s just snapped in two, the poisonous liquid inside seeping out. Fuck, he hates this feeling. He hates himself more for allowing this feeling to happen; it shouldn’t even exist. Or maybe you shouldn’t exist.

Somehow he ends up on the bed, arms tucked protectively around himself, falling apart anyway. He stares at the wall until he thinks he’s about to explode from the irritating whiteness of it and then rolls over onto his stomach, pressing his face into the pillow — not quite forcefully enough to suffocate himself, but just enough to be aware of the option. He doesn’t fully understand why he’s gone so numb and his inability to understand his own stupid emotions prevents him from fighting them. You can’t fight something cannot be punched, he thinks, and slowly the thought transmutes into images of little red punching gloves pummelling into his body, bruising him over and over again. He can’t feel any actual pain, but it’s still satisfying as the punches pick up speed until they’re a wall of dancing red, pushing him backwards inside his own mind.

He watches his door slide open sometime later and registers the intake of breath before his mother’s hands are on him, fluttering at his neck and, oh God, she’s checking for a pulse. He rolls over—he’s pretty sure she swallows a scream—and tries to say something reassuring. It’s okay, I’m not dead, please stop thinking that’s going to happen, I’m so sorry I keep scaring you, I’m fine. His mouth won’t move though so he just reaches out and clutches hold of her arm; he doesn’t know what his aim is until his mother wraps her arms around him, hugging him tightly to her. It’s an awkward angle, made more so by the years of misunderstanding between them, but Blaine needs someone to hold him together for a moment, just while he catches his breath. If it comforts her, too, that’s a bonus.

She sits down on the bed and doesn’t let go of him, stroking his hair like she’s done far too much recently. Blaine hears footsteps approaching and closes his eyes, not ready for the illusion of comfort to shatter just yet. His father’s voice asks various questions — he doesn’t sound angry, just tired—and his mom replies with murmurs of ‘…I have no idea…’ and ‘…on the phone…’ and ‘…contact his therapist…’

After a minute, he blocks them out. Or, rather, he floats up above them, out of their way — out of the mess that he caused and keeps causing no matter how hard he tries not to. He doesn’t understand how it’s possible either; he’s out of air yet he keeps deflating anyway.

Kurt inhales and unconsciously starts counting to ten, unsure what to say. We talked about you. Kurt doesn’t know how to feel about that.

Well, he does, but he doesn’t like it. Blaine talks about him with his therapist; he is one of Blaine’s issues; he is responsible for Blaine trying to kill himself. This isn’t new information, per se, but it is the first time that Blaine has acknowledged it out loud and it makes him feel the raw guilt that he has been pushing away for so long. He wonders how to put his regret into words, and barely registers the balcony door sliding open until Adam is tapping him on his shoulder.

“You okay out here?—it’s freezing!” He asks, and Kurt just registers the hitch of breath on the other end of the line before the decisive dial tone tells him Blaine has disconnected. Fuck.

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