Blaine had always been a passionate person. Yes, Kurt knew he was vulnerable and insecure, too; that much he had discovered when they’d begun dating and Kurt had stopped flat-out idolising him. But nevertheless, get him talking about why he enjoyed performing, or which were his favourite Broadway shows, or why he loved his brother so much, even though sometimes Cooper made him want to tear his hair out, or even what made him so angry with his father all the time, and Blaine’s passion was undeniable. And that’s exactly why Kurt finds his current apathy about everything so terrifying. Because he might have seen Blaine cry and scream and shout, might know exactly what to do in those situations, but he’s never seen this total indifference to everything and, as a consequence, has no clue how to act around him. The worst part is that he’s certain Blaine knows this, that he can tell Kurt is struggling and it’s making the unrelenting tension that stretches between them even more painful. And Kurt knows better than anyone that things that stretch eventually break.
So, yes, he is terrified when he pulls up on the Anderson’s drive the day after Blaine is released from hospital and walks up to the large, imposing front door. Mr Anderson opens it before Kurt can knock, and Kurt is grateful for small mercies.
“How nice of you to visit, Kurt.” Mr Anderson says, standing back to let Kurt in, his stiff posture and forced smile suggesting the very opposite of his words. “You can go straight up—he, er, hasn’t been down for breakfast yet.”
Kurt nods and makes his way up the stairs, ignoring the fact that the clock in his car had said 1.37 when he’d arrived and that Blaine therefore had no intention of coming down for breakfast. When he reaches the top, Kurt stops to look at the picture on the landing wall (probably one of Mrs Anderson’s ‘priceless’ masterpieces passed down to her from her father) where a group of shepherds wearing long, Biblical tunics seem to be squinting at him, their narrowed eyes conveying a sense of superiority despite their lowly occupation. He’s suddenly very aware that he has always hated that picture even though he has never taken the time to properly look at it before.
He wonders what Blaine is doing shut up in his room by himself and various horrific scenarios, the majority containing excessive blood, fill his head as he crosses the landing and knocks on Blaine’s door. When there is no reply, he knocks again, this time receiving a muffled “I’m not hungry.”
Stealing himself, he opens the door slightly, wide enough to poke his head round and survey the room. Blaine is lying on his bed, still in pyjamas, face up on top of the covers, with his arms and legs spread out on either side of him. He looks like a child making a snow angel.
Kurt moves a bit further into the room, taking in the untouched water and toast on his nightstand and the overnight bag lying by the door, presumably abandoned when Blaine got in from the hospital yesterday. Kurt internally winces at the discarded items of clothing flung on the carpet, but he lets them be, unsure whether Blaine would want him to sort them out.
Blaine looks up, momentarily startled, and then he sees Kurt. Sighing, he rolls over onto his front so that his face is pressed into the duvet.
“Hi, Blaine,” Kurt says cautiously, standing in the middle of the room awkwardly. “I just came to see how you were today…” He trails off, aware how stupid he sounds.
Blaine rolls his head to the side long enough to mutter, “I’m doing wonderfully today, Kurt, a night in my own bed did the trick!” in a bitingly sarcastic voice, before turning it back into the duvet.
For a moment Kurt is so taken aback by how Blaine-like the remark is, that he moves towards the bed, as if being physically pulled, and perches on the edge, carefully placing a hand on Blaine’s pyjama-clad back. He’s brought back to reality when Blaine flinches so badly that the whole bed shakes and quickly removes his hand, apologising without really knowing what he’s sorry for.
I’m sorry I tried to touch you. I’m sorry I let you down. I’m sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me. I’m sorry you don’t trust me anymore.
“I brought the latest issue of Vogue with me. I mean, it’s not even officially published yet but Isabelle let me have a copy so I could be even more ahead of trend than I already am—God, I love that woman—anyway, I wanted to show you how divine the new Marc Jacobs collection is because, honestly, I was speechless when I first saw it. I think you’ll love it.” Kurt stops when Blaine doesn’t reply, his face resolutely pushed into his duvet, his upper body shifting slightly as he breathes.
“Or, um, or I could go and make you some of my renowned turkey sandwiches?” he tries again. “Your dad said you hadn’t had breakfast yet so I could do a sort of lunchtime brunch?”
Blaine remains silent, doesn’t so much as turn his head and suddenly Kurt feels like the ceiling is lowering on them. As if someone is pushing it downwards, it gets steadily closer to the top of their heads and soon, if he remains sitting here like this, it’s going to descend far enough to engulf them, breathing swirling whiteness swirling around until they are dissolved into nothing. And even as Kurt feels the dizzy, rapid breaths of a panic attack coming on, he knows he can’t let the ceiling consume them. He just can’t.
He gets up too fast, the room slightly out of focus, and almost trips over Blaine’s discarded jeans as he walks to the door. He doesn’t even notice whether he closes it behind him or not, he only knows he needs to get away from the foggy confines of the ceiling.
As he crosses the landing, the disparaging eyes of the shepherds follow him, wondering why he fears whiteness so much when, to them, it is merely a deliverer from evil. Suddenly, Kurt feels a profound sympathy for the shepherds.