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[personal profile] throw_the_ashtray
Title: You're Young Until You're Not (3/7)
Fandom: Glee
Characters: Blaine, Kurt, Rachel
Rating: PG 15+ (occasional language)
Word count: 2,111
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 | 2

Part Three

Rachel Berry and Blaine Anderson sat in silence. It was not awkward, but at the same time, not comfortable. Both were so engulfed in their own thoughts. Rachel thinking of the value of life, Blaine thinking of all the times he’d had with Cooper.

They were so deep in thought that they didn’t notice Kurt standing at the door. He coughed. Blaine jumped.

‘Not stealing my man, I hope, Berry,’ He joked, joining the pair at the table. He sat directly in front of the portrait. Blaine decided that this was probably for the best. It would at least take his mind off Cooper for a moment.

‘Wouldn’t dream of it,’ Rachel replied with a laugh. And the three plunged into another silence.

‘When are your parents getting back?’ Rachel finally asked. Blaine shrugged.

‘It’s like a 36 hour flight from Manila to Ohio,’ He told her, ‘So, any time in the next few days, depending on when they were able to get a flight.’

Hours past. The three spoke occasionally, but kept to their own thoughts. They sat around the table in a silence that bordered on awkward. And then it was seven o’clock.

‘I really should be going, Blaine,’ Rachel said, yawning. ‘School and everything…’

Blaine nodded. He wanted to go. He wanted to be back to normality. To escape the feeling of loss. But he couldn't go. He needed to be home. He needed to wait for his parents.

'I can stay...’ Kurt whispered. But Blaine shook his head.

'I'll be fine,’ Blaine said to his boyfriend. 'Could you... maybe... tell Mr. Schue about... it. I don't think I could.’

Kurt nodded. He could see the hurt in Blaine's eyes at the thought of his brother. He smiled sadly, and then kissed Blaine on the forehead.

'Once school's over, I'll be here,’ Kurt promised. Blaine smiled in acknowledgement. Rachel and Kurt left. Leaving Blaine alone once again.

***

'He's coping well,’ Rachel said to Kurt once they were out of the door. Kurt shook his head.

'He's dying inside,’ he told her as he opened his car doors. Rachel climbed into the passenger side.

'He's hiding it so well,’ she said, mostly to herself. 'If I lost you, or Finn, or my dads I'd be a wreck for months , years. Forever.’

'Blaine's family were never good with emotions,’ Kurt informed her. 'Shutting down emotionally is his coping mechanism.’

Rachel didn't know how to respond. The next half an hour was spent in silence. She'd been lucky. Her parents had loved her - she even had a relationship of sorts with Shelby. She couldn't imagine what it would be like to have parents who were less than supportive.

Kurt pulled into the student parking lot. Neither had had time to go home to change out of the clothing from the previous day. Of course people would notice, and questions would be asked, but neither cared much about that. Blaine was the only thing on their minds.

They went to the choir room first. Finn, Quinn and Tina were already sat in the chairs. Tina and Quinn talking about something of minimal importance. Finn was ignoring them, his arms folded in his lap.

'Rachel!' he exclaimed as she walked into the room. He looked around for Blaine. He was not there. He looked at Kurt, who just shook his head.

'Was it wise to leave him alone?' Finn whispered, loud enough for Kurt to hear him, but quiet enough not o draw attention to them.

'There's nothing more we can do,’ Kurt said, but he didn't fully believe it. He, Rachel and Finn went and sat down, acting as normal as possible.

The choir room was nearly full, people occasionally asking about Blaine and believing Kurt when they were told he was 'just sick'.

It was just before the bell rang that Mr. Schuster finally walked into the room, a coffee in one hand, and a pile of student essays under his arm. He placed them both down on top of the piano.

‘No Blaine again?” he asked, looking around the room. Kurt shook his head.

‘Mr. Schue?’ he asked meekly, desperate not to draw attention to himself, but knowing that this would only create more questions. ‘Can Rachel and I talk to you?’

‘Can it wait until after I’ve set this week’s topic?’

Kurt shook his head. ‘It’s urgent.’

‘Alright then,’ He said. Kurt and Rachel followed him outside. ‘So this is about Blaine, I take it?”

Kurt nodded, and launched into what he had been planning all morning. He did not pause for breaths; he did not let Rachel interrupt. He felt that he needed to be the one to say it.

‘And that’s why we haven’t been here,’ He finished. Will took a moment to take in everything he had heard. He was shocked, and saddened.

‘Um… okay…’ was the first thing he said, still unsure of how to approach what he had been told. ‘How’s… how’s Blaine coping?’

‘As well as can be expected,’ replied Rachel. Mr. Schuster took a deep breath.

‘If there’s anything I can do…’

‘I’ll let him know,’ Kurt replied. The three went back into the choir room. Conversation had died down. All eyes were on them as they entered, and they followed Kurt and Rachel back to their chairs. It’s going to be a long day, Kurt thought.

***

Blaine's parents arrived back the next day. Once again Kurt and Rachel were there, supporting him.

'Nanay and tatay should be here any moment,’ he had been saying every half an hour since they had called to let him know.

'Did you want us gone when they get here?' Kurt asked. He knew how Blaine’s father had reacted when he’d come out, and felt that the fact that he was Blaine’s boyfriend would cause added tension that Blaine did not need.

Blaine shook his head in response. ‘I need you here,’ He said. ‘Both of you,’ he added as he noticed Rachel make a move towards the door. ‘You’re my moral support.’

‘I love you so much,’ Kurt whispered, leaning his head into Blaine’s shoulder. Rachel moved back over to them and took a seat on Blaine’s other side.

‘I love you too,’ Blaine told him, wrapping his arm around Kurt’s shoulder. He smiled at Rachel. ‘And I kind of like you too.’

‘If you weren’t such a good singer I’d like you more,’ she responded playfully. Blaine laughed. It was the first time he had laughed since he’d found out about Cooper. And he felt guilty. He felt himself grow red. Tears were threatening to fall already.

‘Good to know,’ He shot back, his voice shaking. He looked down at his watch. It was already four o’clock. He grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket. To call or not to call? He looked down at the screen.

A car. He could hear a car. The engine stopping. His parents. He didn’t know what to do. It had been two months since they’d last seen one another. He began to hyperventilate. Kurt pulled him into a hug.

‘Courage,’ He whispered. Blaine nodded. The door opened. His mother was in tears. Sobbing, crying her heart out. Kurt and Rachel stood back, feeling like they were intruding.

‘Nanay…’ Blaine said, before breaking into tears. His mother grabbed hold of him. She pulled him into a tight hug. She would not let go. She would not allow herself too. She needed him. And he needed her. His father stood back much like Rachel and Kurt. Unsure of what to do. How to react. What to say.

‘I love you Blaine,’ she whispered, and Blaine hugged back as tightly as he could.

‘I love you too, nanay,’ He said in between sobs.

After what felt like a lifetime, his mother released him, letting him go sadly. He walked over to his father, who was still stood awkwardly.

‘Tatay,’ He said in acknowledgement. His father nodded. Blaine waited for him to say something, anything. But nothing followed. He had been expecting this.

‘We’ll be on our way…’ Rachel whispered to Blaine, passing by him. Kurt followed. This was an intrusion, family business. They had no place there.

‘Don’t… don’t go,’ Blaine pleaded. He looked Rachel in the eyes. She could see it in his eyes. The desperation, the hurt, the sadness. She just nodded. She could not leave. The look in his eyes said it all.

Rachel and Kurt went back to the corner of the room they had been standing in.

Charles William Anderson took a seat at the dining room table. The mess from the night Blaine had found out was all gone. The room was still bare. Vases destroyed. Drab and plain. His eyes were red. Blaine could see this. He did not bring it up. He could tell his father had been crying, he was only just holding it together.

The family sat around the table, nobody sure of what to say to the other. The silence was unbearable. Regine Anderson was sat opposite the portrait now. Her tears fell faster. Her eyes were on Cooper. His smiling face.

‘I always disliked that portrait,’ Charles said, following her gaze. She ignored him. She was too deep in thought to care.

‘I like it,’ Blaine said, his lips curling into a smile again as he thought of the memories. Of Cooper in happier times. His smile fell almost instantly. He felt wrong to be smiling again so soon. It was not right. Not appropriate.

‘Are you going to introduce us to your friends?’

Charles pointed at Rachel and Kurt, who were looking on sadly.

‘Uh… yeah… okay,’ He looked at his mother. She was still staring intently at the photography. He then looked towards his friends. ‘You’ve met Kurt before.’

‘Mr. Anderson,’ Kurt said in acknowledgement, nodding his head. Charles nodded.

‘You two went to Dalton together?’ he asked. Kurt nodded.

‘And this is Rachel Berry,’

‘I’m so sorry for your loss, Mr. Anderson,’ Rachel said sincerely. He nodded again.

‘Is Miss Berry your girlfriend?’

Blaine sighed. And so it had begun. He took a deep breath and shook his head. ‘Rachel’s just a friend, tatay.’

Charles Anderson rolled his eyes and looked back at his wife. Tears were falling down her face, she was silently sobbing. He awkwardly put his arm around her shoulders.

***

As with all things secret, Cooper’s death was common knowledge amongst the New Directions by the end of Friday. And Blaine’s phone exploded with text messages, voice mails and missed calls. And once the New Directions knew, so did the Warblers.

Blaine turned on his phone Friday evening. Everyone from Sebastian to Mike had tried to get in contact with him. No sooner had he turned his phone on, another call. He ignored it. He didn’t feel like talking. Sorry Wes, he thought as he once again turned it off. His parents were deep in funeral planning. They wouldn’t allow him to help. It was too much for him to handle. Blaine had scoffed at this idea. They’d been out of his life for so long. He knew him so much better.

But he gave in. He couldn’t put up a fight. Not with his family in such a volatile state as it was. He paced his bedroom. He did not want to go downstairs, did not want to spend time in the company of his father.

He had spent his day in his bedroom. He could hear his parents fighting. They had always fought, but it had intensified the moment they arrived back in Ohio.

Blaine Anderson cried. His family was falling apart and there was nothing he could do about it.

He turned his phone back on, ignoring everything. My Angel of Music. He dialled. Kurt answered almost immediately.

'Blaine?' he sounded surprised. He had every reason to. Blaine had sent him away the previous day, and he hadn't heard from him since. All his calls went straight to voicemail.

'I need to get out of here, Kurt,’ Blaine told him. 'I need to get the fuck away. I can't stand it. All this fighting, hatred, anger. I need to escape. To run.’

'I'll be there as soon as I can,’ was all Kurt said. Blaine thanked him and hung up. He pulled a scrap piece of paper out of his notebook and scrawled in his less than neat handwriting a note to his parents.

'I'm with Kurt. Don't worry. I'll be back,’ he wrote. Not that his father would care. His mother, she'd worry. But she was preoccupied. She wouldn't even notice.

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