Not in My Castle on the Cloud
Some people hated the hospital. The smell of disinfectant that was used to cover up the smell of sickness, the dull calming color that never had the desired effect. But for Kurt, it was familiar, almost home-y. When his mother got sick, he would spend the long waiting hours in kid's section, solving a puzzle or drawing his mom something pretty or just play with anyone that was there. It turned out, kids at hospital were kinder than the ones in his school, maybe they were bored or just too tired of being sick to be mean, or maybe Kurt had just been lucky.When his mother died, though, for a while he avoided going to the hospital, terrified of all the memories it would bring back. Even burning in fever, he pleaded with his dad to not take him there. His mind was delirious but he was persistent. He never wanted to set foot in a hospital again.
But, as he grew older, it felt kind of sentimental somehow. Like poking an old wound to see if it's still there. He'd sometimes go to the kid's section to think. The hospital staff hadn't changed much and Kurt would hate the look of pity and sympathy he met on his way but really, there was nothing he could do about it, so he tried to ignore it as best as he could.
He liked to forget that the world outside this place hated him more often than not, and there, being in the hospital he felt welcome. Sometimes a little girl would take his hand and look at him with so much trust and innocence as he was reading her a story that he'd close the book and just cry right there.
His growth spurt hadn't hit yet so although in high school, he seemed to be in early middle school, which unofficially made him one of the kids. And kids, sometimes, would say the most adult thing one would never expect from them, that made you want to hug them and beg to stay just the same when they grow up.
It seemed like a déjà vu, when they told him that his father had a heart attack and was brought to intensive care unit, and after waiting paralyzed to the chair for what seemed like hours, was informed that his situation was stable, but he was in coma, which could mean…
How could you take him away from me? Kurt wanted to shout up to the sky. Was it a funny joke, his life? Did he not suffer enough? Kurt wanted to shout, to scream… but then again, no one was interested to hear him. Carole wouldn't let him stay in an empty house so he'd have to suffer as he watched, like an outsider, a family caring for each other. A broken family, sure, a mother and her son, but still a loving and caring one, and Kurt found himself longing for the hugs Carole would give Finn, or wanted her to argue with him kind-heartedly, although he was sure their arguments would be quite different than "that's enough cookies for today, Finn".
He couldn't say anything in glee club either. After his confession to being an atheist everybody was out to rock his world, so to speak. The glee club who accepted his sexuality with a blink of eye now seemed to have a problem with which god he'd pray or not pray to. As if that was where they drew the line. Kurt found himself needing to say something, anything. But, the attention, the talking was not doing any good. He'd been on the receiving end of too many comforting talks that usually hinted that his father might not wake up. Preparing him, so they thought. It was too much and Kurt was just too exhausted to tell them to stop… stop all this. They were doing more damage than good.
He'd talk to his dad, though. It helped, lifting the weight off his heart only if for brief moments. It helped him stay grounded. He'd fall asleep in the end of his one-sided rants. Kind nurses would leave him alone and maybe cover him up with blanket.
But no, the universe couldn't see the semblance of the peace he made for himself now, can it? As he was stumbling through the hallways to his father's room, his mind hazy and almost drugged with sleeplessness, he heard some voices. Rachel, Mercedes and Quinn were circled around his father, singing to him. They stopped when they saw Kurt standing stunned on the doorstep.
"We just wanted to help." But this, this was too much intrusion in his life. They brought all these flowers with them that were just too messy, not to mention the smell, and they came to the one place where he felt safe. He opened his mouth but was unable to say anything, his feet just taking him backwards. His mind was a whirling mess.
Maybe he missed a turn or two, or maybe he was just too far gone to realize he'd walked into the wrong door, Kurt would never know, but what registered in his mind was, well, there was a single bed in the room in which rested the most breathtaking boy he'd ever seen. His face was bruised and his arms and a leg were in cast but his eyes were closed. His breathing, too counted, in correct sequence, almost like… his dad's.
The boy was in coma, Kurt realized. He pulled up a chair, pulling it closer to the bed, terrified to make a sound but too absorbed by the silence, interrupted only by steady beeps, to actually get out of the room.
"Hello," he began tentatively. "You look really young, almost younger than me. What happened to you?"
He waited politely, and then it hit him that a reply wouldn't be provided for him. He stared at the boy. Long lashes, dark curls, cute triangular eyebrows… full lips.
"I'm not having the best week of my life, either."
And with that the floodgates opened. He began telling every little detail that bugged him but he'd stay quiet about it.
He didn't realize how time passed until a nurse came in to inform him that the visiting hours had ended. Nurse Nancy, he remembered. He took the nurse's hand and gestured to the boy: "Will he be alright?"
She looked at him with apology in her eyes, "I'm sorry, I can't tell you that. The information is confidential."
"Can't you tell me what happened to him?"
Nurse shook her head once. "Can't you at least tell me his name?" Kurt could feel himself tearing up. He was being beyond ridiculous but he couldn't really let it go.
"His name's Blaine," the nurse said. Kurt nodded once and went out of the room; he glanced back at the door. Room 206.
The next time he went back there was the day after he argued with his father about possibly singing a duet with Sam. He couldn't stomp his feet and sulk like he wanted to, he was too afraid of losing his father to another heart attack to risk it. He just got flowers and some cookies that had survived Finn's ever growing hunger and positioned himself in front of Blaine.
"I'm just so alone," he started, "I just want someone to talk to, but everyone's busy. I bet even you wouldn't talk to me if you were awake. What if you were like this big homophobe jerk, a jock who'd mock me if I started speaking?"
Kurt shook his head softly, not accepting his own accusation, "I don't think you are cruel, though. I mean for one thing, you don't look big," he bit back a laugh, but then after hesitating slightly took Blaine's hand in his, "and you don't have jock hands. I mean, I've never held one actually," Kurt blushed. "But only your knuckles are chapped and the rest of your hand is soft, so I suppose… boxing?"
He told Blaine about the duet competition coming up and began softly singing his favorite duets by himself. There, the idea for a way to do his duet assignment formed.
He was almost there every week, sharing crazy events that happened at school or gossiping, throwing sarcastic remarks now and then. The nurse had informed him that he was the only visitor and he shouldn't bring anything that might rot. So Kurt tried a new approach. He brought some of his old decorations with him, a little teddy bear, and some little souvenirs that he had tons of. Anything to make the room less cold. He even brought some plush toys from his boxes in the attic until he was finally satisfied.
"Blaine, I don't know what to do... this creature just goes around terrifying me and nobody seems to notice or care. Hell, they didn't even notice as I slipped right out of the room as they were making decisions about the songs they'd use for boys versus girls."
"He kissed me, Blaine. Karofsky kissed me. It…it was awful."
That day Blaine's casts were gone.
"We had Sectionals today, we won. This acapella group was weird though. They chose P!nk's "Perfect" and right through the second verse the lead broke off crying and then all the group followed soon after, crying their eyes out right on the stage. It was... I mean we won by default."
Less bruises… Kurt could almost see boy's tanned skin.
"I was voted the prom queen. And when the music started, the king, who just happened to be Karofsky, of all people, left and I just stood there, it just… it was the summary of how I felt this year. Alone and broken, like no one cared. It was the worst year of my life and that's saying something, Blaine."
The corner of the bed sheet was wet with tears and everything just … sucked.
He had just recently come back from Nationals in New York. Of course his first thought was to share all the gossip with Blaine, to describe how amazing New York was, to talk about "The kiss that missed" happened and how it put the New Directions in frenzy, but when he reached room 206, it was empty. Clean sheets and everything wiped out. No sign of the sleeping boy.
Kurt had prepared himself for this, he really had. He knew that with every passing day, the chance of the comatose patients to wake up went down a little and someday the doctors would declare him too far gone to return. But the thought of Blaine, dead… lying in a cold grave …just hurt, and he hadn't even had the chance to really get to know him.
The summer was spent in a total funk. No one would encourage or understand his Pip pip Hooray screenplay, so he let it go after a week or so. His days were consisted of working in his dad's shop or trailing behind Tina or Mercedes at the mall. Kurt was almost glad that school started, which really, really showed how much the whole summer sucked.
The first week, he heard that they'd be competing at Sectionals with Warblers again. But something seemed to be different. Even though it was really early for throwing performances, the Warblers had tons of them done already, and it seemed that everyone liked it. So after the insistence of the glee club, boys more so, Kurt was the one chosen to be the perfect spy. Why me? Kurt had wanted to ask, but really he couldn't bother. He'd forgotten the locker slams and slushies, reserved for VIP treatment in McKinley, and to be offered an opportunity to miss school for a few hours seemed like a nice escape.
He drove for two hours, trusting his GPS to lead him right, because honestly, he had no idea where he was going to. He had to also hope that the Dalton Academy wouldn't dwell too much on the ensemble he'd try to make as similar as he'd researched on Dalton uniforms on the internet. He parked the car and entered the school, it was busy and he had no idea where the swarm of the boys were going to. He had to ask someone or he'd get lost in this well decorated maze. He touched the shoulder of the boy nearest to him cautiously, "Excuse me, hi! I'm new here."
The boy turned. Holy shit! The world seemed to stop. It was Blaine. His Blaine.
The boy smiled warmly at him and replied, "My name's Blaine."
I know, Kurt wanted to scream.
"I'm Kurt," he said in his dazed state. His eyes are like green, honey and amber at the same time… those eyes, wow.
Blaine cocked his head to a side, looking at him curiously. Then ever so slowly, he took Kurt's hand and after a brief hesitation he experimentally slid his hand under Kurt's.
The silence dragged on and boys passed right beside them, looking back suspiciously. At some point Blaine laughed awkwardly and shifted from one foot to another.
"Excuse me for freaking you out, it's just the first month of my third sophomore year…"
Kurt's eyebrows went up in utter confusion, "Oh. The subjects must be really hard then."
But Blaine shook his head instantly. "No, nothing like that. Dalton's really great and you could get a tutor to help you out. But, umm, I wasn't around much… some guys thought it would be funny to beat me up twice. I already spent most of my original sophomore year recovering from bullies and right after enrolling here and making it as lead Warbler, they saw me out of school and just…"
Blaine misread Kurt's stunned silence and broke off his monologue.
"I'm so sorry, I don't know what came over me, I just suddenly felt this need to tell you my life story." He tried to laugh it off but when he made a move to take away his hand, Kurt clutched it tighter in his own, almost on a reflex. A tear slowly slipped from Kurt's eyes and he smiled happily. Blaine caught it and smiled too, then added in a barely there whisper, "come on, I know a shortcut."