The first thing that Blaine notices is that he’s no longer drifting, but neither is he lying deflated on the ground. He’s caught somewhere in between, a makeshift string haphazardly attached to him to stop the falling, just enough air pumped into him to keep him suspended in this limbo state. The second thing he notices is the dull, pounding ache in his head and the soreness of his stomach. Then he registers the bleeping inextricably associated with hospitals.
His eyes try to fly open but can’t, instead fluttering uselessly against the brightness. When the dancing black spots eventually fade, he sees a white ceiling with a high heel-shaped stain in the corner. He turns his head to the side slightly, wincing when his brain seems to rattle inside his skull, and his eyes meet his father’s where they’re fixed on his face. He almost feels guilty when he takes in the dark circles shadowing them, but the friendly numbness has returned and quickly puts a stop to it. It’s then that he notices that someone else is sat near him and turns his head the other way to see Kurt—Kurt—perched much closer than he’d expected.
“Hey, you,” Kurt says softly, but it doesn’t sound like Kurt. It sounds like desperation.
Blaine’s about to reply when he realises he has nothing to say. What could he possibly say to right such a long list of wrongs? I’m sorry I cheated on you. I’m sorry I tried to kill myself. I’m sorry I failed. I’m sorry I’ve disrupted your life-again- with my stupid melodrama. I’m sorry I’m such a burden. Why don’t you hate me? Please hate me.
Kurt takes his hand in his, interlocking their fingers together, and doesn’t even pull away when Blaine doesn’t respond, his fingers remaining lifeless. Blaine’s certain that if it weren’t for the numbness he would be crying by now and he almost misses the hot burn of tears as they crawl out of his eyes. Kurt doesn’t speak again, and neither does Blaine’s father, all three of them staring at his and Kurt’s interlocked fingers.
His father gets up after a moment and walks out the room, closing the door quietly behind him. He returns soon after, accompanied by a doctor and his somewhat hysterical mother.
“Oh, my baby, I’ve been so worried!” She sobs, rushing over to the bed and wrapping her arms round Blaine in an uncharacteristic show of affection. The movement causes Blaine’s hand to slip out of Kurt’s grip. He buries his head in his mother’s neck and inhales the familiar scent of her perfume, allowing himself to be comforted by the illusion of childhood innocence. She hasn’t called him ‘baby’ since he was ten. When she finally pulls away, Kurt has gone.
“How are you feeling?” His mom asks, placing a shaking hand on his forehead. Blaine looks at her, but still has nothing to say. He wishes he’d succeeded, wishes he was lying blissfully unaware on his bed and never had to find anything to say ever again. Why do I fail at failure? He wonders, closing his eyes so that he can see nothing but black once more. The doctor does her various tests, checks his physical symptoms and asks him questions he doesn’t know the right answers to. After a while, he simply ignores her. Instead, he counts his inhales, each one forcing more air into his lungs, air that he shouldn’t be using but somehow is.
He still feels like a balloon, only now he’s got a gash in his side that can never be undone. He has been haphazardly patched up, before the last wisps of air could drift out of him. But, really, who were they kidding? It is only a matter of time. They don’t care whether he’s shrivelled and lifeless, a rubbery mess on the floor—No, as long as he doesn’t disintegrate completely, as long as he doesn’t hit the rocks under their watch, they’re perfectly content for him to be as broken as he likes. He feels sleep dragging him downwards again, not quite down enough, but it’ll do for now. He thinks about nothing and hopes that the puncture will rupture while he’s asleep. Not much longer, he promises himself, maybe you can rest soon.
It’s dark when Blaine wakes again, but he can make out Kurt’s silhouette next to him, his magazine long since discarded on the floor. Kurt’s murmuring fragmented sentences to himself, presumably not aware that Blaine is awake. He only hears little snippets when Kurt’s voice rises in volume slightly.
“…and I should’ve done…fault…didn’t realise…you hate me…”
“I don’t hate you.” Blaine speaks before he even realises his lips are moving and digs his nails into his palm when he hears Kurt inhale sharply.
“Then—then why wouldn’t you look at me properly?” Kurt asks, his voice so quiet as if he’s scared of startling Blaine, of chasing him off.
Blaine wants to say that he’s looking at him right now, but he doesn’t. “I don’t have anything to say.” He answers instead, truthfully.
Kurt doesn’t speak again for a long moment, presumably contemplating Blaine’s statement. “Okay,” he says eventually. “That’s...okay.”
“Sorry,” Blaine says, unsure whether he’s apologising for his lack of words or something—everything—else.
Suddenly, Kurt’s cool fingers are touching his again, only now they’re forcing them to uncurl. It’s only once he’s managed it that Blaine notices the warm flecks of blood on his palm from where his nails have been digging in too hard. He thinks he should find the little red crescents beautiful, but he doesn’t; they’re ugly little smiles smirking up at him, aware of their victory.
Kurt sighs and Blaine rolls over, facing the empty wall instead, cradling his injured hand with his other one. He doesn’t speak again and after a moment, Kurt picks his magazine up and slips quietly out the room. Blaine wonders if this will be the time he doesn’t come back.