Blaine waits until he hears Kurt reach the bottom of the stairs and then rolls over to stare at the ceiling again. He’s pretty sure it’s the only thing stopping him from floating out of the house and into the vast expanse of winter sky. He’s not sure whether to be grateful or infuriated. He settles on a maddening confliction of both. Everything about him is conflicted nowadays.
Kurt’s frightened again, only this time it’s worse because he can’t stand to breathe the same air as Blaine. He knows, logically, that this should create a whole new level of hurt, but it doesn’t. The numbness is still lodged inside him, a comforting pillow and an unbreakable restraint all at once.
Maybe the numbness is conflicted as well, Blaine thinks as he stretches his hands above him, palms facing upwards, fingers outstretched. His nails are probably too long, he can see them peeking out over the tips of his fingers, but locating nail scissors and then actually cutting them is far too much effort. What difference does it make if they keep growing anyway?
He’s still a balloon and he hates it. The string he’s attached to keeps entwining around people who stand too close to him, pulling inwards and gently ensnaring them against him. Then, without warning, the string unwinds rapidly, pushing away with too much force, strangling them and breaking pieces off himself in the process. Everyone else disappears after the first wring of their necks, but Kurt, he keeps coming back for more, the process repeating itself in one long, masochistic cycle. How many times can one person be strangled before their neck snaps? Blaine isn’t sure, but he knows it can’t go on for much longer. It’s exhausting, it really is.
Kurt returns ten minutes later, eyes definitely red around the edges, clutching a tray of turkey sandwiches like they’re the only thing preventing him from falling through the floorboards. Blaine can’t be bothered to roll over again so he watches silently as Kurt places the tray on his dresser, pushing Blaine’s cheerleading trophy out of the way to create more room.
He carries the plate over to the bed, hovering awkwardly until he realises Blaine isn’t going to take it and then placing it gingerly next to him on the blanket. Blaine continues to ignore it, his eyes still following Kurt as he retrieves his own plate and perches gingerly on the other end of the bed, careful to avoid Blaine’s feet. He begins to eat and Blaine feels decidedly wrong as he watches his mouth open and close round the bread, then chew delicately. He doesn’t stop though.
“You need to eat something,” Kurt says after he’s swallowed, his voice slightly scratchy.
Blaine sighs and sits up, pulling the plate on to his lap. The motion earns him a small smile from Kurt and he immediately regrets it. He stares down at his sandwich, the neatly cut triangle with the perfect layers of meat and salad stacked inside, a tiny bit of mayonnaise leaking out one corner. He lifts the bread off the top and peels the turkey out, starts tearing it into little pieces.
“I wish I’d succeeded.” He comments suddenly, not really aware he’s saying it out loud. He doesn’t care either way.
“What?” Kurt asks nervously, his sandwich dropping onto his plate as that dreadful look of fear augments.
“I wish I was dead.” He continues, piling the now-shredded turkey into a neat stack next to the bread. “I wish those pills had done their goddamn job and I was lying in a morgue right now, my pulse stopped and my eyes permanently closed. It would be a lot easier, really. If I were dead, that is. Sometimes I wonder if I should try it again, but if I didn’t manage it the first time, what are the chances of it working this time, you know? I wish it had happened the first time. I really wish I was dead.”
Blaine looks up at Kurt’s fierce command, watches the fire filling his eyes.
“Huh?” He asks and for some reason that makes Kurt angrier because he stands up so fast that the plate on his lap falls to the floor, smashing loudly, the pieces flying off in all directions.
“I said stop it.” Kurt looks so livid and Blaine loves it, feels his pulse pick up for the first time since the pills made it slow; it’s as if all the numbness fades, just for a second, and Blaine can feel vicariously through Kurt. It’s glorious.
He shrugs and laughs internally as the fire in Kurt’s eyes intensifies, the sparks mingling beautifully with the natural waves of blue that run through them.
“Don’t you dare say that! Don’t you dare ever say that!” He shouts and the fire is pouring out of his mouth now too. “God, you have no idea do you? Did you not even think about—what the hell was going through your head?”
Blaine feels his forehead wrinkle in confusion; isn’t that part obvious?
“I wanted to die.” He says, wondering why Kurt is being so stupid. In fact, it’s sort of irritating him in a detached way.
“It was just so selfish!” Kurt continues, his eyes flashing, the waves clearly unable to extinguish the flames. “Did you not even think about what it would have done to everyone around you?”
“Fuck off, Kurt.” The cuss feels wrong, oddly shaped in his mouth but he spits it out anyway.
“What would I have done, hmm? What would Sam have done? And Cooper? Christ, what would your mom have done?” Kurt is gesticulating wildly now and Blaine watches his pale fingers swish through the air. They’re such pretty fingers.
“Bought a new dress for the funeral and then swept me under the rug along with all the other embarrassing incidents connected with me probably—and believe me, there are quite a few.”
Kurt’s mouth closes and his shoulders slump, the life falling out of him. Blaine flinches as the fire goes out instantly, no glowing embers to soothe the transition.
“God I—sorry, I shouldn’t have—ugh!” Kurt punches his own thigh in frustration, his pretty fingers scrunching up. “Look, I shouldn’t have said any of that. I shouldn’t have called you selfish, I didn’t mean it. I don’t actually think that about you.”
Blaine blinks at him.
Don’t you see? He thinks, his pulse slowly retreating back to normal now the fire has gone. I’m not annoyed because you think I’m a selfish burden, I’m angry because it’s true, because I think that exact same thing fifty times day and you just reminded me of it again. Fuck.
“I think—um, shall I— I’m going to go now, ok?” Kurt says in a hurried babble, his voice unnaturally quiet after the shouting.
No, not ok.
“So I’m sorry, again, and I might see you before I go back to New York?”
Please do. Please don’t leave me. I need your fire so much.
“Bye, Blaine.” He pauses, dithering and looking like he did when Blaine first laid eyes on him: small, defeated and afraid. “Just—just remember to breathe sometimes, ok? It’s alright to stop and breathe.”
Please teach me how I can breathe without hating myself for it. Please, please, please.
Kurt pats his shoulder awkwardly—everything is so awkward all the time now, Blaine hates it but loves the momentary ache it causes in his chest, even as he flinches away from the contact—and then walks out, pulling the door to behind him with a timid thud. Blaine lies back down again, lets the ceiling fill his vision.
Please. I can’t bear the cold.