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[personal profile] throw_the_ashtray
Title: You’re Young Until You’re Not (2/7)
Fandom: Glee
Characters: Blaine, Kurt, Rachel
Rating: PG 15+ (occasional language)
Word count: 2,225
Warnings: Character death
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. Except a few OCs. And even they aren't original...
Summary: In which Blaine loses somebody close to him and must face the grim reality of death.

Previous chapters: 1

Part Two

Blaine pulled the phone out of his pocket. He went into his contact list. Credit Ratings. He dialled, pressing the phone to his ear. He needed to hear Cooper's voice once more. He couldn't process at the moment that he would never hear his brother's voice again.

'Hi. You've reached Cooper Anderson,' Blaine smiled, tears welling in his eyes. 'I'm auditioning for something really important right now. Probably. So get back to me. Or don't. Whatever. Your loss.’

A beep followed. Soon, Kurt and Rachel were either side of him, Santana and Finn stood back in the darkness awkwardly. Both knowing that they should do something, but both unsure of how to best handle the situation.

Kurt and Rachel took charge, helping him up off the floor. Blaine allowed them to do so. He was too exhausted - emotionally and physically - to put up a fight.

The pair led him upstairs to his bedroom, Finn and Santana following behind sheepishly.

Blaine Anderson was now in his bedroom. He collapsed on his bed, and Kurt laid down next to him.

'It's going to be alright,’ he muttered over and over again. Blaine ignored him. He looked forward, staring into the distance. His mind full of Cooper in happier times.

His first memory of Cooper. He must have been about three. It was a trivial memory, but one he felt would be powerful enough to conjure up a patronus, if he was given the chance to. It was Cooper smiling down at him. They were in a park somewhere. He wasn't sure of the context, but he found himself smiling.

And then the smile faded away. Cooper was gone. Blaine would never see him again, would never have any new memories with him.

They stayed with him all night, Kurt never leaving his side, the other three taking turns to join him. And as the sun rose, Blaine Anderson felt the entire reality sink in. He had to let people know. He had to let his parents know. He had to plan. He had to throw himself into work. To forget.

Rachel turned on the television. One of those annoyingly chirpy breakfast programs was on. Just as they were every morning. Everything was normal. Nothing else in the world had changed. Blaine Anderson's whole world had been turned upside down. Yet everything else in the world soldiered on.

'I'm staying here,’ Kurt whispered to his boyfriend. 'I'm not going to leave you.’

It was Wednesday. Just an average Wednesday. School, glee, home. That's how it was for Blaine every Wednesday. Every Wednesday but this one.

'Please, don't tell anyone,’ Blaine pleaded to the other three as they got up to leave. There was not much more they could do. It was all up to Kurt now. They wanted to stay. Even Santana. But it no longer felt right.

'We won't,’ promised Rachel. Finn and Santana nodded in agreement. And they left, offering one final condolence. And then it was just Blaine Anderson and Kurt Hummel. Alone. But together.

'I'm going to miss him,’ was all Blaine said to Kurt before he pulled out his cell. Scrolling through his contact, he came to 'Uncaring Bastard' and dialled. It rang out. He tried again and again, and still no answer.

He tried Nanay. She usually answered his calls. He dialled, grabbing Kurt's hand for support. Kurt squeezed back lovingly.

One... Two... Three...

'Hello?' her soft voice answered. Blaine smiled sadly.

'Hi nanay...’ Blaine said in a small, childlike voice. Something so typically not Blaine. All confidence had left his voice. 'Are you with tatay?'

She replied in the positive. Blaine asked her to put him in speaker. She obliged.

'Blaine,’ his father's emotionless voice greeted him.

'Hi tatay,’ he said, his voice cracking.

'What is it?' he asked. Blaine hesitated. He didn't want to do this. He couldn't. But he must. He knew he must.

'Nanay... tatay...’ he took a deep breath. 'Cooper was in an accident.’

'What kind of accident?' a tone of concern was evident in his mother's voice.

'A car accident,’ he had remembered clearly Cagney or Lacey telling him so.

'And...?' his father asked. His voice was no longer emotionless. There was a slight tone of concern. It was not as evident as it was in his mother's.

'He...’ tears. More tears. 'He's gone.’

Kurt could hear a scream come from the other end of the line. It was disconcerting. A sound that he knew would stay with him forever. A sound of pure grief and anguish. The sound of a mother losing her son before his time.

Blaine's fingernails were digging into his hands. But he suppressed any pain it was bringing him. His mind was on the scream. On the grief he could see in Blaine. He wanted to hug him, to kiss him, to tell him everything would be alright. That he would forget and move on. But he knew Blaine would not believe him.

The phone call lasted at least an hour, but it had felt like more. And it had also been the first time Blaine felt like his family was a normal family. Which given the circumstances...

'How do you do it, Kurt?' Blaine asked him. They were still sat on his bed. They had not moved. It had been hours.

'How do I do what?'

'Move on?' replied Blaine. 'You lost your mother. And yet you're here. You're so positive and amazing.’

'The pain never goes,’ Kurt answered truthfully. 'But it eases. It becomes easier. Over time you forget the tragedy and remember the good times.’

'It doesn't feel like it.’

'But it will, Blaine,’ Kurt told him. 'My mother is always there. In my mind. But I forget. I allow myself to forget. And you will too. Cooper will just be a distant memory. A happy memory.’

The boys cried. Wept. And soon they were joined again by Rachel, who swore that they had told no one. Not even Schue, no matter how tempted they were.

'Thank you, Rachel,’ Blaine said to her. She sat down next to him and rested her head on his shoulder. ‘You have no idea how much it means to me.’

He wrapped an arm around her shoulders. And did the same to Kurt. He felt comforted having them so close to him.

‘What are you going to do now?’ asked Rachel. Blaine shrugged.

‘Nanay and tatay are going to be back in about a day, so we’ll leave it until then,’ He told her. ‘But apart from that, there’s not much I can do. They won’t release…’ he hesitated. Taking a deep breath, he powered on. ‘They won’t release the body until my parents get here. I’m too young.’

And he was soon asleep. Blaine Anderson was emotionally exhausted. And physically. He welcomed sleep. He slept for what seemed like forever. And then he awoke. It was early morning. He awoke with a feeling of emptiness. Of loss. His mind was once again on his brother.

Kurt Hummel and Rachel Berry had stayed with him. They were also asleep, one on either side of him. He did not move. He did not wish to wake them. His shoulder was numb where Rachel’s head was laying. He shifted his arm uncomfortably. She stirred, but did not awake.

He could hear the sound of the occasional car outside. A dog would bark, a cat would hiss. He’d never noticed before. He could hear Rachel and Kurt breathing; he watched Kurt’s chest rise and fall. All the small things.

He and Cooper had had some good times. They’d also had some bad ones. He remembered the time Cooper had stood up for him when he was getting bullied. He was in the first grade. Cooper was in the sixth. He came home one day. He was determined not to let his hurt show, but Cooper could see right through him. He’d noticed when everyone else didn’t. And the next thing he knew, he was no longer being targeted. He was safe. And he knew it was all down to Coop.

There was the time he’d come out. His mother had taken it as well as he’d expected. And his father had completely shut down emotionally. He was nearly fifteen. Cooper had moved out the previous year to move to Los Angeles, determined to pursue a career in acting. He’d called him up later that night in tears, squawking unintelligibly into the phone.

‘Yo, Blainers,’ Cooper had said to him. ‘Take a deep breath and slow down.’

Blaine did as he was told. He composed himself. He took a few deep breaths and explained everything as calmly as he could.

‘Is that all?’ asked Cooper once Blaine had finished. He laughed. ‘If that’s who you are, Squirt, then accept it. Work it. Have courage.’

Courage.

‘And don’t let tatay get you down. He’s an emotional cripple, you know that,’ Blaine smiled and nodded, even though he knew Coop couldn’t see him.

‘You’re amazing, Coop,’ Blaine told him. Cooper laughed again.

‘I know I am,’ He replied. ‘You’re kind of awesome too.’

‘Thanks Coop,’

‘Now, I have to get back to sleep. Because it’s important,’ He said in mock seriousness. ‘Call me tomorrow… well, later today, and we’ll talk more.’

‘I will,’ He had answered. ‘Bye Coop.’

‘Bye Blainers.’

Blaine smiled at the memory. At that stage, he was the only person to accept him fully. To treat him as the same person as always. His father shut off emotionally for weeks. It was a long time before they spoke two full sentences to one another. His mother mourned that Blaine would never have children. He had mentioned surrogacy and adoption, but she chose to ignore it.

Rachel shifted, leaving Blaine able to move his shoulder. And then she rolled back onto it again. He rolled his eyes. He looked at his watch. It was nearly five. He guessed he’d been out for nearly fifteen hours. Emotional exhaustion would do that, he supposed.

His shoulders were getting uncomfortable. He shifted slightly, careful not to awaken his friends. When he’d managed to struggle free, he got up off of the bed and covered the two up with a blanket. He then walked downstairs. The kitchen was still a mess. Broken crockery was strewn across the floor. He’d better clean it up before his parents got back, he thought.

But he did not start what he intended to. Instead he found himself sitting at the small table in the adjoining dining room. He was directly opposite the family portrait and smiled. That day had been such a hassle. This was before Ohio. This was New York. They’d lived there for the first ten years of his life. And then his father was promoted, and they moved to Ohio. But the day the portrait had been taken was one Blaine would never forget.

Blaine Anderson did not like getting his photo taken. He grew out of it, eventually, but when he was nine, he was shy. And he’d just had his hair cut, so all his curls were gone. He hated that look. To top it all off, he was sick. Not with a cold, but some stomach bug. But his mother was determined, and when she was determined, you forgot all about stomach bugs and illness and everything.

Cooper was going through the mandatory Goth stage of adolescence. Black nail varnish, heavy black eyeliner. The stereotypical look. Black clothing and fake piercings. Their mother had spent the whole morning begging him to ‘look respectable’. He refused, and she had let out a frustrated sigh and spoke to their father. He would stand for none of this nonsense.

Somehow, Blaine had never thought to ask how, they had come to a compromise. Off came the eyeliner and piercings, but the dark clothing was allowed to remain, as were the black fingernails.

So came the time for the photograph to be taken. Try and try as hard as they could, they could not get Blaine to smile. It took six shots before Coop finally managed to get him to laugh. This was the shot used. There was no opportunity to take anymore anyway. After this photo had been taken, Blaine had vomited all over the floor, and the front of his little suit. Cooper had been in stitches. His parents were not. But they knew they couldn’t blame him.

‘Penny for your thoughts?’ Rachel’s voice came from the door, bringing him back to reality. He looked over and saw her standing with her arms folded across her chest.

‘They’re worth so much more than that,’ He told her, before looking back over at the portrait hanging on the wall. Rachel moved to join him. ‘You and Kurt didn’t need to stay.’

‘It was no hassle,’ Rachel said, taking a seat next to him. ‘My dads were going to a Judy tribute concert tonight anyway.’

She looked at the portrait and smiled. Blaine had been such a cute child. And Cooper was just as handsome as she remembered him to be.

‘Nanay and tatay were so devastated,’ He said out of the blue. Rachel smiled sadly and put her arm around his shoulder and squeezed.

‘A parent should never have to say goodbye to a child.’

Blaine nodded in agreement.

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