Cut the Cord

Chapter 4

Kurt does come back.

He comes back at least twice a day for the next three days, looking paler and paler each time but always impeccably dressed (there’s never an excuse for bad fashion choices, Blaine!)

It is Blaine’s favourite part of the day when Kurt tentatively opens the door to his room, as if afraid of what he’ll find on the other side, and Blaine gets to fix his eyes on Kurt’s studded sweater, or the scarf that Blaine is certain he’s never seen before (a gift from a new boyfriend, perhaps?), or the lace-up boots that make comforting little scuffing noises when Kurt walks. He enjoys them so much, those few, precious seconds of innocence when he can appreciate Kurt’s fabulousness from afar, as if for the first time. It’s such a shame that the actual visits themselves are always his least favourite part of the day.

He dislikes the awkward silence that squats around them until Kurt settles on today’s chosen small-talk topic; more often than not, it’s the weather, or tales of customers at Burt’s tire shop, neither of which interests Blaine in the slightest. He hates the way Kurt’s fingers fiddle incessantly with his clothing, destroying what little magic it held for Blaine when he’d first entered. Kurt used to hate it when people fidgeted. He detests how Kurt asks every half hour whether he can get Blaine anything, a coffee perhaps? It’s always on the tip of his tongue to tell Kurt that what he’d really like is a new life or, better yet, to not exist in the first place, but he knows it would be futile, cause Kurt yet more unnecessary upset. But the thing that gets to him the most, the thing he can’t stand, is the look in Kurt’s eyes when they flicker over his face, so uncertain, as if they’re trespassing somewhere they’re not allowed. It’s not so much the pity in them; he is used to that by now, his mother and father haven’t stopped looking at him in pity since he woke up. No, it is the hard, almost imperceptible fear in them that makes his stomach roll and his palms sweat, his fingers itching to dig into his palms.

Kurt is afraid of him.

On the fourth day, Blaine is certain he’s about to go insane—more insane, he reminds himself humourlessly—if he’s trapped in this purgatory for much longer. He feels claustrophobic, confined not only by the patronisingly white walls, but also by his own skin, and he longs to feel something other than stale hospital air, anything to remind himself he’s human, that he doesn’t have to live forever. That’s why when the young nurse knocks quietly on the door before bringing in his lunch (she always knocks, though why Blaine has no idea, it’s not like he has any more of his soul to cover up), he asks her when he is allowed to go home.

She starts, taken aback that he’s actually speaking to her, before smiling broadly at him in such an overly-enthusiastic way that Blaine wonders whether she is genuinely one of those imperturbably happy people or whether she is putting on an act for his benefit. Or maybe, says a little voice inside his head, maybe she’s putting it on for her own benefit, sound familiar, Blaine?

“Keen to be out, are we?” She asks, her voice light and melodious and so, so young. “I’ll just pop and ask Doctor Kazaki for you, wait here a moment.”

What else am I going to do, jump out of the non-existent window? Blaine thinks sarcastically as the nurse places the tray down on his lap table and hurries out the room again. She leaves the door open this time, just enough so Blaine can make out the hustle and bustle of the hospital corridor beyond. He watches as an old man limps past with a Zimmer frame, two male nurses in blue scrubs jogging up behind him, clearly in a hurry. He observes the doctor entering the room opposite, catches a glimpse of a bed identical to his, the door clicking shut before he can make out a face.

His nurse re-enters a moment later, a coffee pot in one hand. “Good news,” She sings, pouring Blaine a cup of coffee that he hasn’t asked for. “You can go home tomorrow, if you’d like. Doctor Kazaki will just need to speak with your parents about a few things and have them sign the discharge papers, and then you’re free to go!”

Blaine moves his mouth up into a small smile, his lips feeling dry and stiff.

“Thanks,” He mutters, breaking his sandwich into small pieces like he always does, wondering if today will be the day he actually eats some of it.

He doesn’t in the end, but he feels fuller anyway.

It is late evening by the time his father comes in, sitting gingerly in the seat next to his mom. He remains quiet for a moment, unconsciously twisting the wedding ring on his left hand. It looks too polished, too pristine, and Blaine wonders whether he leaves it off more than he actually wears it. Either way, he’s jealous of its shininess. He wishes he could be unblemished too, but he’s been dropped in the sink too many times for that, mostly by himself, and now he’s covered in thousands of little scratches, invisible unless someone held him right up to their eye. No one gets that close to him anymore.

“It’s all sorted.” His father says as his mother enters, rubbing his hands together as if he’s just successfully completed a business transaction. Blaine wonders why his own definition of ‘sorted’ differs so completely to his father’s. “I signed the papers and took the numbers for those psychiatrists the doctor recommended so you can go home tomorrow.”

A feeling of foreboding creeps over him, constricting his chest.

“Psychiatrists?” He asks quietly, hating the tremble in his voice.

“Yes, sweetheart, Doctor Kazaki said you needed someone to talk things through with and I—”

“—You didn’t want to be that person?” Blaine finishes viciously.

His mom freezes, her eyes wide and scared.

“No, not at all, honey, your father and I just think your needs are beyond us right now.”

Blaine doesn’t miss the way she includes his father in her statement. Safety in numbers.

“I’m not talking about my non-existent feelings with a complete stranger.” He closes his eyes, wondering whether he can get the nurse to make them leave.

“Blaine, don’t fight us on this.” His father’s voice is firm, unmoved when he speaks and Blaine’s eyes reopen of their own accord. He suddenly feels uncontrollably angry.

“When have I ever fought you, dad? When have I ever done anything but obey your wishes?” he shouts, ignoring the footsteps of a nurse hovering outside the door. Of course, he knows the answer to his question as soon as he says it and it makes his blood boil; Blaine has always been the perfect son in every single respect except one: he’s gay, and, despite his father’s best efforts, he can’t change that fact. And he should know; he spent the better part of two years trying.

His father glares at him, disproportionately angry, and then strides out the room, shoving rudely passed the waiting nurse. His mother dithers for a second, like she always does, and then, giving him a sympathetic look, follows his father, like she always does.

Blaine feels like he’s falling downwards again, but he’s not deflating fast enough; he’s going to feel it when he hits the ground, and it’s going to hurt like hell. It already does.

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