Chapter 2

"There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds." ― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral's Kiss

Blaine guessed that he ought to be pretty used to feeling lonely; it was pretty much something that had stayed with him after he came out, but now he just felt worse. It was like someone had carved a hole in him, and he didn't have the energy within him to fill it. Not only did he feel lonely, but he also felt hollow – like he was inhabiting an empty shell of a person. He guessed that was preferable to feeling pain, or sickness, or loathing.

He raised his phone slowly to his eyes when he heard it chime, if only in the hope that it was a message from Kurt. He knew it had been a mistake to tell Kurt what he did because he felt even worse and more worthless, but he didn't deserve Kurt; not anymore. He blinked when he saw David's name flashing on the screen. He considered throwing it away, but then there was a knock on the door and he could hear David yelling.

Rolling his eyes and dragging himself off the bed, he padded down the stairs and opened the front door. He felt his face fall further when he saw that Sebastian was standing by his side. Thad, Nick, Jeff and Trent were also there, but he didn't bother to give any of them a greeting. David held up the pizza box, and Sebastian showed him the extra coffee cup in his hand. Rolling his eyes at their attempt at an intervention – why did they even care that he'd broken up and how did they know? – he let them in.

David made a beeline for the sofa and dropped himself down in the corner that reclined out. Sebastian sat down next to him, leaving Blaine to perch on the end as the others dropped onto the floor. Sebastian handed him the spare coffee cup, and he took it feeling the warmth burn his hands and remembered all the times that he'd accepted one from Kurt and how their friendship had started with a coffee cup being slid across a table. All gone. Because of Blaine.

"Eat," ordered David, uncompromisingly when he'd grabbed plates from the kitchen and dumped half the pizza slices in a pile onto the one he shoved into Blaine's hands. Blaine looked, tiredly, down at it and wondered what the hell was the point. Eating didn't make him feel better.

"Blaine…" threatened Sebastian and, rolling his eyes, he took a bite from the cheese and tomato pizza. Nick had crawled over to the DVD collection with Jeff and pulled out Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, inserting it into the player and turning the TV on. The Warblers all ate their pizza and sipped on their coffee like they hadn't just turned up in Blaine's house or were there for any particular purpose, and the lack of pressure to talk helped Blaine to relax.

It wasn't his most enjoyable viewing of the first Harry Potter film that he'd ever experienced, but it certainly gave him an ability to sink into the sofa and munch on his pizza. He didn't feel better – he was still hollow and empty – but he felt a little closer to other people, a little more normal. Sebastian, Trent, Nick and Jeff made little comments throughout the film, and Blaine couldn't quite manage a laugh, but his lips quirked slightly.

When the film was over, Blaine suddenly realised that some of the sickness he'd been feeling was because he'd been so hungry – though the rest of it was still there because he felt self-disgusted – and there was some false warmth inside of him because of the hot coffee instead of the coldness that was hatred. It didn't change anything. Nothing could change it, but he had been given a pleasant escape all the same.

"So Blaine," said David, turning around to look at him, and Blaine knew that the Spanish Inquisition had arrived. "what the hell happened?"

"How do you know anything happened?" he intoned in a monotone. David and Sebastian shared raised eyebrows before turning back to him with unimpressed looks whilst the boys on the floor all rolled their eyes

"Apart from the way you look and all the rest; the internet. Facebook has been ablaze with the story." Blaine looked over at Trent with empty eyes because he didn't know what he was talking about.

"Right…" he said, looking away from them.

"Blaine," said Jeff in a gentle, soft, voice. "We're not here to judge you or anything…We just want to make sure that you're okay…We want to try and give you a break from all the self-loathing that you're doing." Blaine gave him a small smile in the attempt to convince him that that was the case. Sebastian raised an eyebrow at him, disparagingly.

"Really, Blaine, you expect us to believe that you are in anyway "okay" or not hating yourself at this very moment with that pathetic attempt at something akin to a smile?" Blaine shook his head, averting his gaze from the snarky Warbler.

"Blaine, just tell us honestly, do you feel bad about it?" Blaine felt tears well in his eyes at the thought of what had happened and nodded furiously. "Then give yourself a break. You can't turn back time, so all you can do is regret it with every breath that you breathe, but…that doesn't mean that you should tear yourself to pieces with grief and remorse." Blaine shook his head because he was an idiot, and nothing could ever make it right.

"Blaine," snapped Sebastian. "you have only two options; let yourself die over it all, or stick your chin in the air and refuse to be beaten." Blaine shook his head, bowing his chin and feeling some tears sliding down his face because they didn't – couldn't – understand what had happened.

"Blaine…" he heard David get up and move over to him, pulling him into a tight hug and letting Blaine cry a little bit over it all because that he was able to do because he was pathetic and worthless. Nick and Jeff piled on too so that he was buried beneath bodies that burnt with warmth and love and kindness.

"Shh…" whispered Nick, rubbing his back as Sebastian patted his arm in an awkward manner that suggested he would rather be telling Blaine to get his shit together than comforting him.

The thought of doing that, pulling himself and holding it in and carrying on, struck some kind of chord within in him because he didn't deserve any pity or sympathy after it all. He should do that and bear it all because he'd made the wrong decision, and he'd wrecked everything. It wouldn't change anything, but it was the right thing to do.

He pulled back, pushing David away and shaking the other too off. Whilst Nick and Jeff looked affronted by this, David cast him an understanding look that Blaine wanted to slap off his face because he had no idea how Blaine felt and he shouldn't pretend that he did. David seemed to catch the look on his face because he splayed his arms out, gave Sebastian a look that said he'd tried and stood up, moving away.

"Blaine, if you want to scream and shout I suggest you do," said Thad as he moved closer to the sofa. "Just let it all out…you might feel better." And Blaine wanted to – he really did – but he couldn't. He wanted to trust all his old friends, but he couldn't talk to them. No one would understand.

"I can't…" he said, shaking his head. "I just- I just have to…I messed up…I shouldn't have poked Eli and I-" he saw them react out of the corner of his eye. It was blurry from tears, but he saw both Sebastian and David stiffen.

"Eli?" demanded Sebastian in an icy cold tone of voice, and Blaine shook his head because no one could know. No one must know.

"Eli C?" asked David, leaning forward with a frown on his face, and Blaine could feel panic welling up inside of him because he didn't want to talk about it, and he hadn't meant to say anything. Nick, Jeff and Trent were sharing confused looks whilst Thad had spun his head around to stare in the opposite direction.

"So, are you still Warbler Captain?" he asked, diverting the conversation in a manner that was in no way subtle, but he couldn't talk about it anymore. Sebastian gave him an intense glare before shaking his head.

"No, I resigned last year, Hunter Clarington is."

"Honestly," said Nick, rolling his eyes. "All Dalton cares about is getting the effing trophy nowadays. I wish Wes was back."

"Come on…we all complained about Wes while we had him."

"Yeah, but I'd rather have a guy with a stick up ass than actual asshole like Sebastian and Hunter – even if he's won trophies." Blaine felt something drop down inside of him because – whilst he'd successfully moved the topic of conversation away from him – all he had served to do was remind himself of when he and Kurt had gotten together. He also felt a rush of scorn because what good was a trophy? A trophy meant nothing. It was just a cold reminder of something that used to be alive – like Blaine himself – and served as a means to reminisce of fond memories and elated emotions.

He saw that both David and Sebastian weren't keen on the topic of conversation moving on, but he let the Warblers bitch to him about Hunter, and he even managed a smile when Trent told him of the time that Nick and Jeff had locked Hunter's cat Mr Puss in a bin that smelt like fish when it had malted over their uniforms. Blaine that it was a bit of odd means of revenge, but he supposed that might be a way to torture a cat; put it somewhere that smells like fish without there actually being fish.

They talked for a long time until Blaine's mum arrived home, and all the Warblers – well, not Sebastian – decided that it was better to leave than risk Nick and Jeff running into Blaine's dad again. Blaine lied to his mum about having eaten lots with the Warblers because the Warblers had snacked on fruit and bread whilst they talked and managed to get out of dinner by claiming he had an extortionate amount of homework

When he got upstairs he found that David had sent him several texts asking him questions about what had happened which he simply deleted. He logged onto his computer and scrolled through photos that he'd downloaded onto it of him and Kurt, and cried himself to sleep at one in the morning where he was too tired to dream at all.

The next couple of days blurred together as everyone else got caught up in the excitement of Grease whilst he realised that he could never play Danny after what had happened – he could not pretend to be in love with someone whilst his heart was so torn and frayed – and ever persistent texts from Sebastian and David who seemed to have taken it upon themselves to find out what had happened.

He fobbed off Cooper with a story that he was fine because, apparently, he also followed Blaine's life through the Facebook of the New Directions. He told him all about not being able to play Danny in Grease and, whilst Cooper tried to talk him into it, he eventually gave up and said that if that's what Blaine wanted than that was fine, though he wouldn't make it big if he wasn't prepared to put aside personal issues for the sake of acting, but he didn't understand so what did it matter?

He lost track of time, and he was rudely reminded that he couldn't live in his own little bubble of hatred and misery by the fact that David and Sebastian frequently decided to kidnap him and drive him to Dalton for another meet up with the Warblers. They always avoided Hunter and kept it just with the boys in their year and watched films, and Blaine had to admit he felt at his best when he was with them.

On one Saturday that didn't matter, he got a knock on the door and rolled off the bed and walked down to see David and Sebastian standing there. He let them in, but he knew what was coming because there were no drinks or food or any other Warblers. They were going to interrogate him about what had happened, but Blaine wasn't going to let them. Blaine wasn't telling them anything.

"Blaine," said David the moment he'd stepped into the house. "please tell us what happened?" Blaine shook his head, looking at the wall, and Sebastian snapped his fingers in front of his eyes.

"Blaine, this has gone long enough! Snap out of it! You are not the only person in your situation!" Blaine shot him a glare because he didn't know what he was talking about. "Now, I hate talking therapy and I think it's a ton of bullshit, but, unfortunately, David's known you longer and he thinks this will help so talk!" Blaine glared right back at him, feeling anger bubbling up inside him because why was Sebastian here?

"Just leave!" he spat. "You don't even care about me! You don't care about anything!" He could feel the tears spilling down his face because why did they have to ruin it? Blaine got a couple of hours solace when he was with the Warblers. He got a change to forget, and why were they trying to take that away from him. "They only time that I'm vaguely happy is when I'm with the Warblers; stop ruining it! I just want you to leave it alone!"

And with that he couldn't take it anymore. He couldn't take being broken. He couldn't take the pain. He couldn't take the guilt. He couldn't take the anger. He couldn't take the hatred. He couldn't take the self-loathing. He couldn't take the looks of understanding. And he couldn't fucking take their stupid pity!

Turning on his heel, feeling ashamed and weak and broken and worthless and useless and stupid, he ran up the stairs to his room, slamming the door behind him like a child throwing a temper tantrum. He pushed a chair in front of the door, blocking it, and threw himself down onto the bed, sobbing. He heard their running feet, and they pounded on the door, yelling his name.

"Leave me alone," he begged, curling into a ball to make himself as small as possible because maybe, then, he could just disappear. He could stop existing. Stop feeling. "Please." There was a moment of silence before he heard David's voice, soft and low;

"Blaine, if we do you have to promise us something. You have to swear on Kurt's life that you will not try and kill yourself." Blaine felt his breath hitch as a heavy silence settled on them. How did they know he'd been thinking about it? When he'd felt at his lowest – most worthless, most useless, most pathetic. When he thought Kurt would never look at him again. When he hated himself so much he thought it would be better to be dead.

But then he thought of Kurt. He thought of how much Karofsky's suicide had affected him. How much he'd blamed himself. He knew – because of their break up and all the missed calls, just like with Karofsky – Kurt would blame himself. And Kurt didn't deserve anymore pain in his life. He was so young and he'd endured and suffered so much in his life. Kurt was strong, and it would be stupid and selfish of Blaine to land another hit against him – just like with what he'd done.

"I won't…" he croaked. "I couldn't do that to Kurt…He's been through too much…" There was a moment in which he got nothing but a disapproving silence before David whispered;


"Eat," added Sebastian. "And sing." Blaine felt the smallest smile curve onto his lips. He did not reply though, and he heard them leave. Picking up his phone, he blocked both David and Sebastian's numbers because he did not want to risk talking to them again. He did not want this conversation again.

The next time he logged onto his computer and saw that he had a new message. Opening Facebook, he saw that Wes had contacted him. Looking at the message, he was surprised with what he saw;

Hey Blaine,

Heard from the Warblers that you were in a bowl of shit; sucks 'cause as far as I'm concerned you're still the little guy that turned up at Dalton that looked like they'd just been hit by a car and smiled at me when I said that it was nice to meet them. Anyways, I wondered whether you wanted me to look in on Kurt to see how he's holding up 'cause I understand that you haven't had any contact.

Best wishes and all my platonic love,


Managing a small laugh, he typed out a positive response and gave him Kurt's address, feeling a tiny bit better because Wes was good at looking after people just like he'd looked out for Blaine when he'd first arrived at Dalton. It also helped him give him the focus to get through to the next day. He had to practise for the musical after all.

Again, the days just blurred together in a manner of ignoring Sebastian and David, and reciting Wes' message of; he seems to be holding it together, but I reckon he could do with eating and sleeping more, though I reckon you could too, inside his head. He got through practise and looks and occasional talks with Sam with the single minded determination to put on a good show regardless of his emotions.

On the opening night he got dressed and kept himself to himself, turning over the song lyrics in his head and keeping his mind away from the hollow feeling inside of him. He stood there, backstage, completely absorbed in his own world until he heard the sounds of Wes' voice.

"Wes?" he asked in disbelief, stepping into plain view, and feeling his heart stop and some inside of him flare in panic at the sight of Kurt. He looked away, hastily, into Wes' beaming face. "What are you doing here?"

"I came to see you perform – and to know whether David and Sebastian have a habit of exaggerating…" Blaine shifted from foot to foot, glancing nervously between the Warblers and Kurt because how would Kurt react to the news that he was in touch with Sebastian again?

"Right…" he said, nervous and feeling like he was seconds from having a panic attack, and Wes opened up his arms.

"If you don't hug me in precisely three seconds I'm going to go Chewbacca on you." Blaine felt a tiny smile appear on his face as stepped forward to hug his friend, who crushed him to him and Blaine could feel all the contented warmth, love and kindness from Wes, separated and held back by the barrier that was between them.

"It's good to see you again," he said as he found himself able to smile a little bit more because looking into Wes' eyes he simply saw an excitement to see him again in his eyes apart from anything else.

"You too. Hope you don't mind, but I heard these jackasses upset you so I told them to come as an apology." Blaine shot David and Sebastian a small smile, thankful that they apparently did not tell him everything.

"It's okay…" he said shrugging, hiding it all away as best he could. "It's nice to see you all again." There was an awkward pause before Jeff and Nick decided to throw themselves onto Blaine. Blaine stumbled, but Wes steadied him. Blaine let out what had to be his first laugh in a while at the way it felt like he'd gone in time to when he'd been at Dalton. "Guys…that kind of hurts…" They let go of him, but were still grinning.

"We need to introduce you to the others!" Blaine found himself pulled into the Warblers and introduced to those that he did not know. He could feel the familiar forgetfulness of being around the Warblers envelope him as he was introduced to the ones that they'd kept away when he'd visited.

When he looked around Sebastian, David and Wes were communicating silently, and Blaine had a very sick feeling that, maybe, they were discussing him between them. He saw that Finn, Rachel and Kurt were looking puzzled whilst Thad looked suspicious. Eventually, Trent broke the silence;

"How the hell can you two communicate like that when you've never met before?" demanded Trent, looking between Sebastian and Wes in confusion, and Blaine also frowned in confusion.

"I met him in the summer," muttered Wes, still glaring at Sebastian who simply shrugged. "David thought it would be funny." David immediately cracked up over nothing.

"That was brilliant!" he said, doubling up and slumping over Sebastian as he laughed. Sebastian and Wes exchanged eye rolls as they sucked in huge breaths. Blaine stayed within the residual warmth of the Warblers and tried to pretend that he hadn't noticed that Kurt wasn't look at him.

"You guys should take your seats," said Finn, when no one else wanted to speak, and David just kept laughing. "I think we're nearly ready to start."

Blaine watched the show from the wings with a feeling of tiredness and heartbreak because all the pointlessness of life crashed down on him again. Nothing seemed to matter after he'd messed up and lost Kurt. He knew it was stupid for he'd made it through life without Kurt before, but that was before he'd experienced what it was like to wake up feeling whole and content. To constantly feel loved and safe and protected and wanted. To know how it felt for someone to walk into a room and have that make everything better. To look into someone's eyes and feel like you belonged.

Beauty School Dropout was much harder than he thought because every time he looked at Kurt, Kurt looked away. Blaine's stupidity and selfishness had taken that all away from him. Kurt could not meet his eyes or even look at him. All Blaine wanted was Kurt to look at him and to see those things because he had a ridiculous notion that maybe it would make it all go away and he would be whole again – even though he'd broken it off because Kurt deserved someone better than him.

When he stumbled off stage, his head was spinning a little bit and he felt sick. He dashed off to the bathroom and retched up the acid from his empty stomach. Leaning against the wall of the bathroom stall he felt his head spin, and he remembered Sebastian's order…He hadn't really listened to him. Walking back out, he splashed cold water onto his face he waited in there for at least half an hour before risking coming back out. He hung around backstage until he heard the applause of the final performance. Leaning against the wall he wondered whether he should try and talk to Kurt or not…maybe he should be honest, but no… No he couldn't.

"Blaine," looking up he saw Wes, David and Sebastian standing before him. He instantly knew that Wes was not here to see him perform; this was another intervention. Well, Blaine was sick of them. He turned around.

"Leave me alone," he said, walking away from them. "I don't want to talk about it all. Please respect that." He continued to walk away from them until he felt Wes' hand descend onto his shoulder. He sighed, turning around.

"Blaine," said Wes in that kind voice that he could use. "look at me. Just answer yes or no; was it Eli C? Was he one of the people you met at those LGBT meetings I took you to in Westerville?" Blaine stared up at him, wanting to say no and deny it all because that's what he had to do to keep going. Slowly, he nodded, feeling his lower lip tremble so he bit down on it. "Blaine…" he said, softly. "Blaine, that's okay…just tell us what happened – tell me everything." Blaine shook his head.

"Blaine…" snapped Sebastian. "Talk to us." Blaine shook his head, shaking off Wes' hand.

"No," he began to walk away, feeling the tears almost fall down his face. "Just leave me alone!" he cried letting some of his anger bubble out of him as he stormed away.

"Blaine, stop!" cried David, reaching forward to catch his elbow, but Blaine tore it away.

"Leave me alone!" he repeated. "I've told you everything I can! You can't help me because this is my fault!" Why couldn't they stay out of his boundaries? Why couldn't they just leave it be, and why did they seem to know?

"It's not your fault," said Wes softly, taking a couple of steps towards Blaine. "We can help, I promise."

"No you can't!" choked out Blaine because there was nothing they could do. The only thing that would change it was if they could stop it from happening, and they couldn't turn back time.

"We can," said Sebastian in a voice that was surprisingly gentle but at the same time icily firm. "We know what happened, Blaine, we know everything. We've tried getting you to tell us, but I think your reaction has said it all." There was a pause in which he saw Wes and David glare at Sebastian who was staring at Blaine. Blaine shook his head, taking a step away from the three boys in disbelief because they weren't allowed to know.

"You- you can't know…" he whispered, and they shared resigned, saddened looks that told Blaine that, somehow, they did.

"We do," said Wes, simply. "because you're not the only one." He gulped in horror because what was that meant to mean.

"I'm- I'm what?" he cried in shocked dismay because how was that possible? There was a heavy pause.

"You're not the only one," repeated Wes. "He- it happened to someone else too…Only the three of us know about this, and we're sorry, Blaine, but we can help you if you let us…We know it's not easy, but we know all of what you're feeling because we've done this before. Let us help you, for all our sake's Blaine, let us help." There was a moment of silence in the hall before Blaine burst into noisy sobs, choking and almost screaming out as he fell into Wes' arms because he was relieved and a burden had just been taken from him, but at the same time he was horrified and there was a small part – even though it was hypocritical – that was angry.

"It's okay, Blaine," intoned David in a soft voice as he circled round behind him, rubbing his back soothingly. "It's alright now, you're going to be okay." And for the first time he felt like he could believe it.

"I'm so sorry," sobbed out Blaine because he felt so horrified and guilty about lying, and Sebastian patted the top of his head in an awkward manner.

"It's not your fault, Blaine, don't make me tattoo it into your brain…" Blaine let out a strangled laugh at that because he wanted to laugh because he was relieved.

"Come on," said Wes, tucking Blaine under his arm. "Let's go." Blaine leant his head against Wes' shoulder as David and Sebastian flanked him, feeling secure and warm and finally happy.

“You- you have to promise that you won’t tell anyone – especially not Kurt.” He couldn’t bear the idea of Kurt knowing – he still couldn’t – because maybe that was the best thing in the long run.

"We won't," they said as one, and Blaine felt a comforted smile appear on his face because he felt hope.

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