Cut the Cord

Chapter 2

It’s three AM when Kurt gets the call. He’s just got in from a fundraising party at which seemed to have succeeded in its aim of getting as many of the rich investors drunk as possible. He lost track of how many cocktails Isabelle had shoved into his hands after the second one so, sue him, he may be a little drunk as he stumbles through the door. He tries to close it quietly behind him (Rachel gets angry if he interrupts her beauty sleep, despite her and Brody’s disregard for his) as he slides his phone out of his jeans pocket, a difficult feat when they’re the tightest pair he owns. Cursing under his breath as he almost drops it, he toes of his shoes and then glances at the screen. He promptly panics when he sees his dad’s name flashing up at him. There are only two reasons his dad would be calling at this time of night; either he is hurt (Kurt’s mind flashes to heart attacks and ambulances) or someone else in the family is. He presses the ‘answer call’ button so fast, his finger nearly slips and declines it.

“Hello?” He says breathlessly, a brick of foreboding cementing itself to the lining of his stomach.

“Kurt?” It’s his dad’s voice and although it sounds off, slightly shaky, there’s no trace of physical pain in it. That does little to reassure Kurt. He roughly yanks the curtains shut around his bed, no longer caring if he wakes Rachel.

“Yes, dad, what’s wrong? Is it your heart, have you had another—”

“Woah, Kurt, slow down. I’m fine.” Kurt feels his breath leave him in relief, yet his heart doesn’t stop pounding. Not yet. “But, um, look, there’s no easy way to say this—”

“Oh God, it’s Carol isn’t it? Or Finn, he’s been a clumsy idiot and crashed his car, hasn’t he?”

“No, Kurt, they’re fine. Will you please just calm down and let me finish?” His dad’s voice is controlled, but there’s still an edge to it that’s causing the brick to roll over inside him. He bites his bottom lip to stop himself from interrupting again, not noticing or caring when he tastes blood.

“It’s Blaine.” Kurt’s stomach feels like it drops out of him and he leaps up as soon as his dad says the name, an instinctual reaction of shock. He hadn’t even considered it would be Blaine. “He—God—he tried to kill himself last night.”

His dad’s voice makes this weird little half-choking noise as he speaks, as if he’s desperately holding back a sob. Kurt feels numb. He blinks unseeingly as the words whirl around his head, trying to process them.

“He…no, he wouldn’t…he just—no!” The last word leaves his mouth as a shout and he can hear the rustle of sheets coming from Rachel’s patrician but he does not give a damn because Blaine has tried to take his own life and his dad is murmuring soft, soothing words in his ear and, God, when had he started sobbing? A million different emotions are swirling around inside of him, shock, guilt, anger, grief are all fighting for dominance, but the only thing he can focus on is the continuous chant of ‘tried to kill himself’ reverberating inside his head.

Rachel, looking sleep-mussed and grumpy stomps into his patrician, her silk pyjamas rustling too loudly for Kurt’s ears, but her mouth snaps shut when she takes in the tears streaming down his face and the way he’s clutching the phone to his ear like a lifeline.

“Kurt! What—Is it your dad, is he—?” She rushes over to him, hands trying to wrap around him and stroke his hair all at once. Kurt shakes his head dumbly and her eyes widen, hands clutching tighter.

“Finn?” She mouths and when he shakes his head again, she sinks down onto the bed next to him.

“Is he—Is he going to be ok?” Kurt chokes out to his dad in a lull between sobs. He needs to know, doesn’t know what he’d do if—

“I don’t know yet.” His dad says truthfully and if his voice is trembling, Kurt knows it’s bad. “Carol was on the night shift at the hospital, that’s how she found out, and she rang me ten minutes ago. I just know he overdosed on pain medication and passed out. He was found just in time and he’s had his stomach pumped but—but they’re struggling to revive him, bud.”

“No!” Kurt says again; he’s never felt so helpless. “He’s-he’s going to be ok…He has to be ok…”

“I know, kiddo, I know.” Burt says soothingly but it provides no comfort. Kurt gets up and begins groping for his passport in the top draw of his nightstand. He has to get back to Ohio.

Rachel grabs him again and stops his movements at the same time his dad says, “Look, use that emergency card I gave you to get on the next flight home and I’m gonna hang up now in case Carol rings with news, ok? Do you have someone with you?”

“I—yes, Rachel, she’s with me,”

“Good, ok. I love you, Kurt, and we’ll get through this. I’ll see you soon.”

“I love you, too.” He stutters out before ending the call. Rachel looks at him, practically vibrating on the spot with anxiety.

“Blaine?” She whispers. Kurt can only jerk his head in response, sobs ripping out of his chest again.

He doesn’t understand why Blaine has done this; he’s talked to Finn, thought Blaine had been handling their break-up fine. In fact, he remembers being slightly hurt when Finn had merely said Blaine was a bit quieter, a bit more reserved, than usual. He was angry that Blaine wasn’t really affected while he, Kurt, felt as though he’d been torn up into a million pieces, scattered on to the floor and then clumsily picked up and reassembled, a few pieces missing. But clearly Blaine hadn’t been fine. Clearly, he’d been the opposite of fine because even during those darkest moments on the first few nights after Blaine had told him, even when he thought his heart was broken beyond repair as he watched endless re-runs of Project Runway and cried into his ice cream, even then, he’d never considered taking his own life. What sort of pain did someone have to be in to try something like that? And why hadn’t he contacted him, found out for himself how Blaine was doing? God, he’d never forgive himself if Blaine wasn’t ok. Scratch that, he’d never forgive himself even if he was ok (and he had to be ok, damn it).

The next few hours pass in a blur of booking plane tickets and emailing teachers to tell them he’d be missing Monday’s lessons and lectures, Rachel helping him pack because he’s in no fit state to remember such inconsequential things as socks. She calls him a taxi to the airport but he doesn’t really remember checking in or waiting in the departure lounge. He has a vague recollection of sitting on the plane, staring blankly at the seat in front of him, and knows he’s probably going into shock because he still feels numb and can’t focus on anything but Blaine, Blaine, Blaine and how it’s all Kurt’s fault until he’s racing up the stairs of the hospital, the elevator having taken too long to arrive.

He half-walks, half-runs through the doors leading to the corridor where Blaine is, the oh-so-slow lady on reception having given him directions. He jerks to a stop when he sees Carol conversing with a male doctor outside what he assumes to be Blaine’s room, two more men standing outside it.

“Carol, is he ok? What’s going on?” The words slur into one slightly as he rushes to get them out, but Carol seems to understand him, placing a comforting but firm hand on his shoulder and guiding him to the seats opposite the door. She forces him to sit down before perching next to him.

“He’s better—more stable, but he’ll need to be monitored closely over the next few hours and he has to remain under suicide watch indefinitely. Doctor Morton was just telling me they’re hoping he’ll wake up soon.” Her voice is gentle and understanding, yet also matter-of-fact in that nurse-like way. Kurt nods and gets up, walking over to the door. But as soon as he approaches it, the men block his way, one of them smiling sympathetically at Kurt.

“I’m sorry, sir, but you can’t go in. He’s not allowed visitors yet, only his parents have permission to see him.” The man (a security guard?) explains nicely. To Kurt, it sounds condescending.

“I need to see him,” Kurt protests, but they don’t budge. “I’m sure his parents won’t mind, I’m his b-” He cuts himself off as he realises he doesn’t even know what he is to Blaine now. Friend? Ex-boyfriend? Someone he used to know? Kurt sags a bit, feeling defeated and so, so useless.

He crosses back over to the chairs and sinks down heavily into one, resigned to waiting. Carol wraps an arm around him and he leans into her touch slightly, grateful for the warmth if nothing else.

It’s another hour of numbness and frustration as his thoughts loop round in an endless slideshow and he tries not to let his anxiety grow into a fully-fledged panic attack. It isn’t until early evening, once Carol has finally gone to get them both coffee, that the door opens, the security men stepping aside as Mrs Anderson walks out, her face pale and drawn, dark circles and smudged eyeliner around her eyes. Kurt has never seen her anything but completely made up and put-together, always in a skirt suit even when at home, as if poised to rush into work at a moment’s notice. Often, she is waiting to do exactly that. Yet today, she looks exhausted and, well, a mess. That scares Kurt.

He rises shakily from his chair and steps forward slightly to get her attention. Her mouth opens when she sees him, eyebrows rising in recognition, and then she does something Kurt had never expected Mrs Anderson to do in her life: she hugs him.

“Oh, Kurt, I’m so glad you’re here.” She murmurs as her fingers clutch at his back. “He’ll be thrilled to see you when he wakes up,” She awkwardly withdraws her arms from round him, patting him on the arm.

“How—How is he?” Kurt asks, heart in his throat.

“He’s…He’ll be fine.” She says after a pause, no conviction in her words, and then glances down at her hands before looking back up at Kurt. “Would you like to go and sit with him for a bit?”

Kurt nods far too quickly and she smiles weakly, gesturing to the door behind her. The security guards look annoyed but are clearly under strict instruction not to argue with Mrs Anderson so reluctantly step aside to let Kurt through. She pats him on the back one last time before walking through the main doors out towards the stairs, possibly to make a coffee run of her own.

He holds his breath as he pushes the door open, not quite sure what to expect. He feels too much of nothing when he sees Blaine’s tiny form, so much smaller in the big hospital bed, and takes in the paleness of his usually-tan face, the drip sticking out of his arm and the faint bleep of a heart monitor.

He takes two more hesitant steps into the room, the door swinging shut with a soft click behind him as he stares at Blaine’s emotionless face, and then he can’t stop himself; he rushes to Blaine’s side, gently capturing his hand between two of his own.

“Blaine,” He says, somewhere between a moan and a whisper, bending down slightly to press his lips against Blaine’s limp, cold fingers. He doesn’t let himself think how they feel like a corpse’s fingers. It’s not until he hears the soft, awkward cough that he realises he’s not alone; Mr Anderson is sat in a chair on the opposite side of the room, arms folded across his broad chest as he watches Kurt.

“I—sorry,” Kurt murmurs, carefully replacing Blaine’s hand on top of the blankets , not missing the way Mr Anderson’s eyes follow the movement. He hears him sigh and prepares himself for some homophobic comment but it never comes. Instead, Mr Anderson just sighs again, rubbing his hands over his face and then tugging on his hair in a very Blaine-like gesture.

Kurt draws a chair closer to the bed and sits as close as he can get to Blaine, his knees digging into the side of the bed. He doesn’t speak again, not out loud anyway, but he never takes his eyes off Blaine’s face. The lump that seems to have taken up permanent residence in his throat swells until he thinks he might suffocate. He knows that face too well, and yet he feels like he doesn’t know it at all anymore.

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