Chapter 8

"Did you really want to die?" "No one commits suicide because they want to die." "Then why do they do it?" "Because they want to stop the pain." ― Tiffanie DeBartolo, How to Kill a Rock Star

"Bastian," said Blaine, hesitantly, glancing at the driver of the car. Sebastian's jaw tightened.

"My name is Sebastian!" he spat out, and Blaine looked away, hastily, glancing at the pavement that was passing away too quickly for them to be going at the speed limit. One look over his shoulder told him that Sebastian was biting down on the inside of his bottom lip, nostrils flaring – shit, he was holding back tears. Blaine reassessed Sebastian's posture and saw that his pale hands were trembling on the steering wheel whenever his grip slackened slightly.

"Bastian…" he said, seeing that Sebastian's eyes were glazed over, vacant, and not fixed on the road! "Bastian, pull over!"

"Don't call me Bastian!" he yelled, and Blaine looked ahead at the red light. The car was coming up very fast towards the one in front of them.

"Bastian!" he yelled, snatching the wheel and causing them to swerve towards the curb. Sebastian jolted and pulled the car to a stop as the car behind them blared their horn at them. Sebastian took his shaking his hands from the wheel and put them over his face as Blaine leant back in his seat, heart beating fast as adrenaline rushed through him.

"What the fuck is wrong with me?" he asked in a voice that quavered and trembled. Blaine had to admit that Sebastian's reaction was scaring him almost as badly as what had happened to Thad, but at least this he fully understood: Sebastian wasn't good with feelings, and he was definitely only beginning to come to terms with how much he cared for other people.

"I thought you'd had your whole I-care-about-other-people epiphany?" he joked, eventually, because how else could he do this? Sebastian let out a long breath, rubbing his hands over his face.

"I have, but I've never been like this…I mean, what the fuck? I'm shaking – fucking trembling – with fear!" Blaine reached over to rub his shoulder.

"Not to mention getting over protective of Thad's pet name for you." Sebastian shot him a glare that had some intensity in it which was better.

"Shut up!" Blaine smiled even wider at that; it was a dark day indeed when Blaine wanted Sebastian to be sarcastic and bitchy. Sebastian threw off his arm, and Blaine knew that he was going to be able to get them there without crashing.

"I'm a shoulder to cry on," he said with a smile.

"Piss off," muttered Sebastian, starting the car and pulling away from the curb with a glare.

"But you're driving the car! How would I get there?"

"Walk," grunted Sebastian, jaw tensing. They drove on in silence, Blaine deliberately keeping his mind blank. "Fuck it all!" exclaimed Sebastian as they were caught in another red light, smashing his hands into the steering wheel. "Why didn't he call?" Blaine shook his head until he stopped because he thought he knew why. It was one of the reasons he hadn't wanted to tell them – he didn't want to be saved.

"He didn't want to be saved," he muttered under his breath, speaking out his thoughts. Sebastian jolted at the sound of his voice and glared at Blaine.

"What?" he demanded, glancing the road as the horn in the car behind went off. Blaine removed his head from the window and ruffled his hair up and cast him a sideways look. "What did you say?" Blaine swallowed.

"He didn't want to be saved. He one hundred per cent wanted to die." For whatever reason that struck a chord with Sebastian because his hands clenched on the wheel, and he pressed on the accelerator. "Sebastian…" he said in a warning tone of voice. "Getting arrested for speeding isn't going to help us getting to Thad any quicker." Sebastian let out a frustrated growl and went to smash his head into the steering wheel except the turning for the hospital came up before them. Sebastian swore continually under his breath as he looked for a parking space.

Blaine took a deep breath, pushing down the nausea and glancing at Sebastian who was taking steadying breaths. Blaine really wanted to say something to alleviate the tense atmosphere, but what could he say? Sebastian would take any assurance that things would be okay and throw it back in his face. Sebastian would not admit that he was overly worried about Thad. Sebastian would laugh the whole thing off, make a joke about owing it to Thad after what he'd done, but he would never admit to being too worried about Thad.

"Let's go!" exclaimed Blaine the moment the car was parked. He could see that Sebastian's whole body was visibly shaking. Blaine knew that Sebastian didn't want to go into the hospital and face it all – neither did Blaine – but he also didn't want to just sit here whilst his friend potentially died. Blaine had to be there. He had to be around him for support and help. Sebastian shook his head slightly, like he was trying to clear water from his ears, and then blinked.

"Alright," he said, climbing out of the car. Blaine undid his seatbelt and scrambled out of his seat, chasing Sebastian towards the hospital. Sebastian paused for a second, letting him catch up before marching off again. Blaine knew that there was no point trying to get Sebastian to talk to him so he followed him as his longer legs carried him away from Blaine again.

"Bastian, wait up!" Sebastian turned to him with a frown on his face.

"Why are you constantly calling me that?" he demanded. "You only ever call me that when you're sobbing over what happened to you!" Blaine shrugged.

"I'm just doing it because-" he faltered; why was he doing it? He shrugged. "I call you it when I'm scared," he admitted finally. "It makes me feel like you're not a million miles away on the other side of a glass barrier. You're closer to me…I call you it when I'm afraid you'll drift away…You're one of my only anchors." Blaine stood there in the parking lot, completely unsure he should have just said that. He'd just bared his heart to Sebastian who, at the best of times was not someone who understood those kind of things, in this moment was so full of concern for Thad that Blaine's fear was about as distant as the next galaxy. Sebastian would either ignore it, make fun of him or tell him he was an idiot. Sebastian stared at him with critical eyes before grabbing Blaine's hand.

"Your faith in me is so flawed I don't even know where to begin," he muttered as he began to tow Blaine towards the hospital doors, and Blaine felt himself smiling at that. Sebastian drove him up the wall – well, all of them, actually – ninety per cent of the time, but he somehow knew what to say that would bring a smile, however frustrated, onto Blaine's face.

Sebastian burst through the doors like a whirlwind, causing them to swing back and almost hit Blaine in the face. Darting into the main reception the two of them looked around in a panic, not sure where Thad would be now. Sebastian's eyes flew to the signs hung from the ceiling, and Blaine dipped his forehead into a frown.

"Do we go to A&E?" he asked Sebastian, and Sebastian stared around him with a frown that hid the panic that he was feeling quite well – Blaine could sort of see this weird manic glint in his eye which was enough to make him uneasy.

"I'm not-" his words were cut off, though, by Nick running towards them and shouting;

"Sebaasssssssstian!" at the top of his voice. The general public looked around in shock as the dark haired boy came pelting at the stunned looking duo, drawing up a second before he crashed straight into Blaine. He heaved in a breath, pink cheeks contrasting with the rest of his pale face and wide eyes, and began to babble. "Sebastian! Ohmygod! It'sThadandhetriedtokillhimself ! Ohmygod! Blaineyoushouldbeinschool! Ohmygod! He'snotgood!" Sebastian snatched him by the shoulders and proceeded to shake him roughly.

"Snap out of it!" he hissed. "Where's Thad?" Nick pointed back towards the corridor he'd come bursting from, taking in a huge gulp of air.

"Shit, Sebastian, it's friggin' bad!" Blaine closed his eyes, feeling himself sway on the spot, and then huffed out a breath as Sebastian's footsteps began to stomp away.

"Blainey!" exclaimed Nick, grabbing onto his arm in a painfully tight manner. "It's okay, it's okay, all of us are going to be fine – just like old times, except we have nutty old Sebastian with us too…so not like old times because…" If Blaine hadn't been feeling so queasy he would have told Nick that he needed to shut up, but, as it was, Blaine felt like he was seconds away from throwing up the breakfast that Thad had made – oh God, Thad had made him breakfast; how was this happening?

"Nick…" he said in a weak voice, fisting his hand into the soft material of his t-shirt. "is he going to be okay?" Nick looked at him hesitantly, eyes wide, and Blaine could see it there – the answer he didn't want – and shook his head, furiously. "No, Nick, he has to be okay." Nick looked at him with eyes that had suddenly become bloodshot and full of tears.

"I don't want him to go either, Blaine, but…he…" They were interrupted by Sebastian, who had come storming back again and looked about ready to tear down the hospital in anger.

"Take me to Thad!" spat Sebastian through gritted teeth, and Nick stared at him in shock. Blaine blinked at his reaction as he wiped away tears, but then realised that no one else had seen how close Sebastian and Thad were. Nick glanced at Blaine, seemingly asking whether this was the real Sebastian, and Blaine managed a small smile and a nod.

"Okay…" he said in a hoarse voice. "follow me." He was shooting Sebastian looks that asked him whether he was mentally stable, but began to lead them down the corridor that was too loud and too busy, and Blaine latched his hand onto Sebastian's wrist by instinct – his anchor – and Sebastian did something unusual; he slipped Blaine's hand into his and squeezed it. Blaine was shocked at first, stumbling over his own feet as Sebastian dragged him along in Nick's wake, but he soon understood.

Sebastian could not come to pieces – he'd come close in the car, but he'd held it in – because, out of the five of them, he was meant to be the unflappable one. He was the one that took all the punches and was meant to pull them through. He was meant to be able to weather any storm – Thad and Blaine both held that belief strongly – and right now he couldn't. Sebastian just couldn't hold it together anymore after all that had happened. Sebastian had come too far from the boy that Blaine had met over a year ago to carry on like he didn't care about them; about Thad – he still didn't care about ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-nine-recurring per cent of the human race – but their expectations, their beliefs about him, weren't shifting. Sebastian had to hold it together otherwise he'd fail them all, and Blaine got the impression that failure wasn't something that Sebastian dealt with in an effective manner.

He wanted to say something, but he was too choked up and too scared to mention any of it. Blaine had no idea how aware Sebastian was of any of this anyway. Blaine didn't know if Sebastian himself still thought that he should be the same. In fact, he probably did think that; he wouldn't make allowances for himself because he cared about people when he saw caring as a disadvantage and a weakness.

It made Blaine's head hurt, but, as he followed Nick and Sebastian down corridors that all looked the same and to a group of beds masked by curtains where several other Dalton boys stood, he knew that he couldn't worry about that now. In front of people like Nick, Jeff and Trent, Sebastian would not break or falter for the sake of his stupid pride.

David stood in the middle of the little huddle, looking stunned and nervous, and Blaine wanted to be sick when he saw that his white school shirt was stained red with blood. Sebastian let go of Blaine's hand abruptly, and Blaine was floating, drifting, and panic welled up inside of him like the water was rushing into his mouth, and he was suddenly drowning in fear and horror and failure and every other – fuckingthing that he felt.

Suddenly he couldn't hold it back anymore, and he retched. Dry-heaving and choking and coughing, he stumbled towards a wall, colliding painfully with it as the tears began to fall down his face again. He couldn't get a handle on his body – everything was shaking, and when he wanted to move his arm to find something to hold onto it only gave a feeble lurch – and he couldn't stop gagging, even though nothing was coming up. He slid down the wall into a crouched position and felt David's hands fall onto his back.

"Hey, hey, take it easy there, Blaine," Blaine gulped in a breath of air, fighting the urge to vomit and tried to find some form of purchase on his best friend. David wrapped his arms tightly around his shoulders, letting Blaine press his face into his shoulder and break down completely. His chest felt impossibly tight, and the fear was going to choke him. He didn't know what to do because – of course – he was the one that understood what Thad was going through best, but the tables had just been turned on him; it was Thad had been giving the advice, supporting Blaine, not the other way round!

Blaine sniffed once the thought had crossed his mind and let go of David to wipe his eyes because that was nothing short of selfish and stupid. Thad had helped Blaine in a way that Blaine could not describe – his very presence just reassured Blaine that he would not have to go through this alone – and the least Blaine could do was help him in return. He sniffed again, trying to get a hold of himself, and accepted David's hand that pulled him to his feet.

The six Warblers – well, five Warblers and Blaine – stood in silence for a moment until David turned to Sebastian, who was standing very stiffly like a soldier on parade, and reached into his pocket. He took several steps towards him and proffered him a white envelope with his name written on it.

"Here," he said, gesturing with it in front of Sebastian who was staring at it like it was a bomb and might explode in their faces at any second.

"What is that?" he asked, voice constricted, and Blaine could see Jeff and Trent sharing shocked looks at how affected Sebastian was by the whole situation.

"You know what it is," said David, angrily waving it around in Sebastian's face. "Thad left it for you; take it."

"What does it say?" he asked, not making any move to take the envelope from David. David looked at him incredulously.

"Thad is one of my best friends, Sebastian, and he left this for you. He went to great lengths to try and-" he broke off, choking, before he composed himself again. "I would never read this because he wanted you to." Sebastian took a deep breath, still eyeing the envelope with an air of suspicion, before taking it from him.

Blaine was unsurprised to see that Sebastian's hands were trembling violently as he took hold of the envelope, looking down at it as he took deep, calming, breaths. He stared at it for the longest time, gazing at his name which had been neatly inscribed on the front, and then shook his head, putting it in his pocket. Everyone stared at him with wide eyes and frowns.

"Sebastian, those were his last words," said Jeff in a voice of quiet anger. "and you're not going to read it?" Sebastian looked at Jeff with cold eyes.

"I don't have to," he replied, shortly. "because he can tell me himself." David sighed, closing his eyes and looking around in anguish.

"I don't think he will," he said in a soft voice that was filled with tears, and Blaine felt some of his own spill over his lids at that because David was no pessimist so if genuinely believed Thad wouldn't come back…

"He'll live," said Sebastian, confidently, staring down at David with ice in eyes, daring him to disagree. David shook his head.

"Sebastian, you have always been realistic – sometimes that drove me crazy, but now I think you need it. I know that you care a lot about him, Sebastian, but…" he broke off, shrugging. "You have no idea of the lengths that he went to try and make sure that he didn't come back."

"What is that meant to mean?" demanded Sebastian as Blaine leant his head against the wall, clenching his jaw as Trent put his head in his hands, and Jeff worked his arms around Nick's waist so that his boyfriend could rest his head on his shoulder.

"That he- he cut his wrists and overdosed and went to hang himself, and I was right there the whole time!" Tears were pouring down his face. "I was on the other side of the door whilst he did that, Bastian, you have no idea!" Sebastian grabbed David by the shoulders, face still composed but his eyes were wild as Blaine put his hands over his face as he cried.

He could not believe that Thad would do all those things. It made him want to be sick because Thad had tried to kill himself three times over! Not only did he not want to be saved, but Blaine found it really, really, hard to believe that that was a spur of the moment thing. Thad had at least been prepared for it. Thad had made his contingency plans; he had devised it all. That just made it all so much worse for reasons that Blaine couldn't quite understand. He had had no idea that Thad had been suffering because of all this for so long – he had seen that he was hurt, but he would never have guessed that it was that bad.

He felt stupid and selfish because he'd assured himself that Thad was okay because he had Sebastian looking after him, that he would never do anything stupid again, but Thad didn't have what Blaine had. Blaine had his love for Kurt and his desire to do right by Kurt anchoring him to this life – along with David, Sebastian, Thad and Wes – but Thad didn't have that. Blaine would have naturally assumed that Sebastian or David was grounding him here, but he obviously thought they could all go on without him. Blaine had never asked because Thad was his beacon of hope, and if Thad wasn't okay than that it like Blaine could never be okay, and Blaine couldn't handle that.

Sebastian and David were still arguing back and forth, but Blaine wasn't listening to them. He could hear them yelling about something in the summer and what could have swung it from Thad wanting to live to making him want to die, but he found that he could not be bothered to listen to them. He made his way, with legs that were heavy, over to Jeff, Nick and Trent. Jeff took one look at him, sniffed, and opened up his arms to allow Blaine to huddle against his taller frame. Trent stepped in close, putting a hand on Blaine's shoulder and the other on Jeff's and the four of them stood there whilst David and Sebastian did what they did best.

"Stop it," said Jeff, suddenly, as Sebastian and David continued to pour all their frustrations, fear and failure into tearing each other apart. "Stop fighting, it isn't helping anyone." Sebastian glared at Jeff, clearly asking him why he thought he had the authority to butt in, but Jeff stared him down with heavy eyes. "We've known him far longer than you have, Sebastian, we're just as scared as you are, but stop fighting each other, alright?"

Blaine could see that Sebastian wanted to point out that they didn't know Thad half as well as Sebastian did, but he caught himself in time because spilling Thad's secret right now was not going to do any good. Jeff squeezed both him and Nick tightly, and he saw David stand down, exhaling heavily and looking around sadly.

"Why can't we see him?" Blaine asked, eventually, when the silence had hung over for them for a long time, and David and Sebastian made no move to start tearing into each other again. David sighed and scrubbed a hand over his eyes.

"His parents are with him right now…He's really pretty unstable because they didn't know that he'd overdosed on paracetamol until I came to the hospital – I saw the packet in the bin – and so they pumped his stomach late… I don't really know, but he lost a lot of blood, and I think they're worried he might fall into a coma."

Blaine clenched his jaw at the news, after letting out a long breath, because that did not do anything to make him feel better. He saw Sebastian raise a hand to his eyes and rub furiously at them whilst Jeff dropped his forehead against the top of Nick's head, trying to keep calm, and Trent squeezed Blaine's shoulder even tighter.

"Have his parents said anything?" asked Nick from where his face was pressed into Jeff's shoulder. David shook his head.

"No, I think they're in a state of shock, and I can't exactly blame them…I mean, yesterday he was winning Sectionals and hanging out with us and today he was…committing suicide…I don't think him being gay is at the top of their priorities list."

"So, they've not said anything?" clarified Jeff, looking up with a small flicker of hope in his eyes. David shrugged and then shook his head.

"No, but…they're sitting by his bedside, and his mum started crying hysterically after I got the door down and they saw… so I don't think that they're…you know…angry at him being gay. They're more scared that he's somewhere between life and death…Frankly, I don't think that they care right now." Sebastian nodded, pinching the bridge of his nose and looking around the hospital with narrowed eyes.

"Did you call Wes?" he asked, and David rolled his eyes.

"Yes, the moment I got here…He's booking himself onto the next flight down. He should arrive sometime this afternoon or maybe tomorrow morning." Blaine bit down on his bottom lip, fighting tears for no reason other than the fact that he was glad that Thad's parents were still there with him, and that it really seemed possible that his friend might slip away right in front of them.

"Boys," Thad's dad was walking towards them. The boys, who had been sitting in the emergency waiting room with only their iPods to break the silence, looked up at the man before them who wore a rumpled suit and whose hair had become a wild mess. "I think you better head back to Dalton." Blaine glanced at Sebastian who had pulled his sleeve up to see his watch and looked at the time, blinking in shock.

"It's five thirty," he muttered, and Blaine couldn't quite believe that they'd been in a waiting room for the entire day – except for when David had dragged them all down to get food from the cafeteria – and had not actually seen their friend. "Can we please see him?" asked Sebastian, breaking through Blaine's thoughts, in very polite tone of voice, perfect mask of concern on. Mr Harwood looked between the dishevelled boys before nodding.

"Alright, just because you sat here all day…" David, who still wore a shirt with blood on it, managed a small smile at the prospect of seeing him whilst Blaine got to his feet with a feeling of great trepidation. Jeff took Nick's hand, the two of them squeezing very tightly, and Trent let out a puff of air as Sebastian moved in an agitated fashion from foot to foot.

"Is he getting better?" he asked, briskly, and Mr Harwood shrugged.

"I have no idea," he said, leading them back towards the bed that they'd gathered outside originally. "The doctors say that if he pulls through the night then he should stand a get chance, but it sounds like a big if." He pulled the curtain aside and allowed the six boys to step in.

Blaine felt his breath catch in his throat as he stared down at Thad. He was lying in the bed, blankets pulled up to his midriff, hooked up to a myriad of machines. There was one that monitored his heart rate, another that seemed to be supplying him oxygen through a cannula in his nose, and two bags hung from an IV stand with wires that ran up his arm and into his arm. Both wrists were bandaged, and there were contusions from the rope on his neck. He looked tiny surrounded by all the medical equipment, and, without the beep of the heart monitor, Blaine may have assumed – from the paleness of his face and the stillness of his form – that he was dead.

He pressed a hand to his face as he processed the thought, sniffing deeply and trying to hold back tears. Nick had hidden his face in Jeff's shoulder, and Jeff had circled his arms around his shoulders and placed his face in his hair so that they did not have to look at their friend. Trent had a completely blank on his face, like he couldn't quite believe that it was Thad in the bed, whilst David was taking steadying breaths. Sebastian took a couple of deep breaths, stared at Thad with wide eyes, and then turned on his heel and walked out of the room, completely unable to face up to the reality of the situation.

Thad's right hand was being held between his mother's and, as Blaine watched Mr Harwood step forward to rest his hands on her shoulders, he knew that, when he woke up, they would whole-heartedly accept his sexuality because they couldn't bear to lose him. He sniffed, raising a hand to his nose as a couple of tears fell down his face. David reached over and put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing and reminding Blaine that he was there for him.

"We're staying overnight, and if…" Mr Harwood broke off, swallowing. "If anything were to happen I'll be in touch," he pulled out his son's phone and held it up with a small smile. "I'll call you, David." David gave him a weak smile.

"Thank you," he breathed and then looked at the others. "Let's go." Blaine nodded because he couldn't keep staring at Thad for much longer without breaking down into a complete mess, and he allowed David to lead him from the room.

Sebastian was leaning against the wall outside, the envelope in his hands. His breathing was shallow, and his face was incredibly pale. One look at the back of the envelope told Blaine that Sebastian had read it. They all stared at him as he tucked it away and hesitantly looked up at them with bloodshot eyes. Sebastian sniffed, looking away, but Blaine could tell that he'd been crying. Any curiosity over what Thad had left Sebastian died at that moment because he didn't want to know what could reduce Sebastian to tears; that was too frightening.

They arrived at Dalton and all piled into David's room. The whole school was moving around in a state of shock; silence where there was normally a deafening cacophony, and Blaine knew that none of them could comprehend what had happened. No one said anything to them – the Warblers came to join them for half an hour or so, even Hunter came to sit with them baring a look of saddened shock, but they remained in silence – and it was when Wes arrived that they decided that they couldn't quite face the night alone and silently agreed to pile all their blankets into David's room.

Blaine felt strangely nostalgic and scared as they sat there, watching Peter Pan, because this was his old room where he'd sat when he'd first come with Wes, David, Nick, Jeff and Thad, watching old Disney films and Harry Potter and laughing. Now they were in silence and there was no Thad, but Trent and Sebastian instead. However, Sebastian had withdrawn himself to a corner of the room and sat there with the envelope in his hands, staring at the TV with glazed over eyes.

It scared Blaine because everything came and went, and if they did lose Thad then this was what they had to look forward to; a deadened silence and the feeling of being incomplete. It also made Blaine think about Dalton. It was still his sanctuary, and he still felt safe there. He wasn't sure that he could back to McKinley on Monday, after everything that happened, and carry on. He was unhappy there, really he had been since Kurt had left, but at Dalton – even if he wasn't happy – he felt something that was indescribable… He wasn't content, but he was alright. He felt could manage here, day in day out, but he couldn't do that at McKinley.

He looked around the room at Nick and Jeff who were lying side by side, whispering to each other and wrapped in their lover's embrace. Trent was sitting near them, both their pairs of feet in his lap as he stared at the screen with a little too much focus. Sebastian had fallen asleep against the wall, hands clamped around the note, and his breathing had even out – he finally looked at peace.

Blaine was sat between Wes and David, who had been talking over his head, and, as he felt his eyelids grow heavy with tiredness of two late nights and all his fears and worries, he felt like he could get through it all if he could just fall asleep in two warm arms that were there to look after him every night.

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