Title: You're Young Until You're Not (4/7)
Characters: Blaine, Kurt, Rachel
Rating: PG 15+ (occasional language)
Word count: 1,432
Warnings: Character death
Disclaimer: I do not own any of this. Except a few OCs.
Summary: In which Blaine loses somebody close to him and must face the grim reality of death.
A/N: So, I subconsciously recreated a Summerland scene here. I think that's my brain telling me something. Probably that I watch too much television...
Previous chapters: 1 | 2 | 3
It took an hour to get from Lima to Blaine's house, and as always, Kurt was prompt. As soon as he arrived he sent a text. Blaine peered out of the window. Kurt was across the road. He opened the window and climbed out. Cooper had taught him how to do this.
He managed to scrape his back against a tree, and his arm. And his stomach. He was in much pain when he finally got to Kurt's car.
'That didn't go as well as planned,’ he admitted, as the wound on his hand began to bleed.
'Why didn't you just use the front door like a normal person?' Kurt asked, starting the ignition once again.
'I'd have gotten caught in another of their fights,’ he said, 'that’s all they do. Fights about the funeral. About Cooper. About me.’
'They're grieving,’ Kurt said, before changing the subject. 'Where to?'
'Anywhere secluded. Empty. Quiet,’ Blaine said, looking out of the window, at the house. 'Anywhere away from here.’
There was silence the whole journey, apart from the occasional sob from Blaine.
The lack of traffic made the two hour drive to Toledo pass in no time. Kurt came to a stop near Lake Erie. They both got out of the car and walked down to the mass of water.
'I miss him Kurt,’ was the first thing Blaine said as he looked across the deep blue water.
'I know you do.’
'You said it would go away. That it would get easier,’ Blaine sounded on the verge of tears. 'It hasn't Kurt. The pain gets worse. Every moment Cooper isn't there, I just want to give up. I just want to run away. I want to walk off into the distance. Into the ocean. Into the lake. Anywhere. I just want to make the pain go away.’
'Don't say that Blaine,’ Kurt said, although he did not cry. He would be strong. Blaine needed him to be strong.
'I just want all this to go away,’ Blaine said through tears. He was still looking out across the lake. He began to walk towards the water. Kurt could not let him. He grabbed Blaine's hands. He pulled his boyfriend into a hug. 'Please... don't... please,’ Blaine tried to push Kurt away, but he could not.
'I'm never going to let you go,’ Kurt promised, squeezing tighter. 'As long as I live I am never, ever, letting you go.’
They kissed softly.
'I love you Kurt Hummel,’
'I love you too, Blaine Anderson.’
They sat at the lakeside. Neither one speaking much.
'We're in Toledo,’ Blaine announced. Kurt nodded. 'As in two hours from home?'
'You said you wanted to get as far away from there as possible.’
'But what about you?'
'Dad's in D.C.,’ Kurt told him, 'Carole's working the night shift. And Finn understands. He's a fantastic brother.’
'Coop was pretty amazing too,’ Blaine interjected. 'He was the only one who didn't treat me differently when I came out.’
Kurt smiled sadly. He rested his head on Blaine's shoulder. 'Tell me more about Cooper,’
Blaine launched into a speech about how amazing his brother was. Competitive? Sure. Annoying? Always. But he had never looked down on him. He had always been nothing but supportive when nobody else was.
'He was meant to be picking me up from Sadie Hawkins. But he got sick and couldn't,’ Blaine told his boyfriend. 'He never forgave himself for that.’
More silence. More contemplation. More tears.
'It wasn't his fault,’ Kurt whispered soothingly. He rubbed Blaine's back.
'I know that. But he didn't...’ Blaine burst into tears of anguish, of hurt. Kurt whispered comforting words, even though he knew that they would do no good. 'They're not letting me help plan the funeral. They're not letting me do anything. I feel so useless.’
'They only want what's best for you…’
'They just want to keep up appearances,’ Blaine shouted angrily. 'That's all they ever care about. They have to make Cooper's funeral the most middle class thing in the world. That wasn't Cooper.’
'What was Cooper?' Kurt whispered. Blaine took a few deep breaths.
'Cooper was Cooper,’ Blaine told Kurt simply. 'Cooper didn't care what other thought.’ He paused. ‘It feels so strange to be talking about him in the past tense,’
'That gets easier too,’ Kurt reassured him. 'Even if it doesn't feel like it.
'Cooper was a liberal, new-age hippy,’ Blaine finished, before adding, 'and occasional Goth.’
'I bet your dad hated that.’
'He loathed it,’ he replied. 'Cooper didn't believe in religion. Or capitalist culture. Or pants,’
'So everything your dad values, then?'
'Pretty much,’ Blaine smiled. 'When Coop told tatay he wouldn't be going to church anymore, it was the funniest thing ever.’
Kurt's phone began to ring. 'Hold that thought,' he said, checking the screen. It was Rachel. He put the phone back into pocket, which was not an easy task. Blaine watched on in amusement as Kurt struggled to slide the small device back into his abnormally tight jeans. By the time the phone was back in there, it had stopped ringing.
'There was no point getting it out, really, was there?' he laughed. Blaine found himself in a fit of giggles, unable to contain himself. Laughing through tears. And then hiccups. This caused the pair to laugh even more.
'What were you saying?' Kurt asked, wiping a tear from his eyes, suppressing his laughter.
'Coop became an atheist at fifteen, and tatay was so mad,’ Blaine carried on. 'So was nanay, but she accepted it. Coop went on this long rant about the benefits of atheism. I don't think I've ever seen tatay so red.’
'Cooper sounds like he was amazing.’
'He was,’ Blaine sighed sadly. 'Just thinking that I'm never going to hear his voice again, see him again, it just makes going on seem impossible.’
'Parents lose their children every day. Siblings lose siblings. But they carry on,’ Kurt reminded him. 'It's an almost impossible task, but you're brave. You need to be brave. For Cooper.’
'For Cooper,’ Blaine repeated. 'We went to Manila when I was ten,’
'How was that?'
'Amazing,’ Blaine answered. 'Lola and Lolo were such inspirational people.’
'And they are...?' Kurt was confused. He'd always occasionally slipped into Tagalog, usually when he was most angry, but it had been happening more and more of late.
'Grandmother and grandfather,’ Blaine told him. 'They were born into tragedy. The war had decimated Manila. But they got past that. They worked their way up. They had strength, courage. Cooper and I would spend hours listening to their stories,’
Blaine spoke lovingly of Manila, of his family. Kurt looked down at his watch. It was nearing four in the morning.
'Did you let your parents know you were going out?' Kurt asked, 'it’s pretty late.’
'Or very early.’
'I left a note,’ he pulled out his phone. It was just as difficult as it had been for Kurt. 'I really need to wear loser jeans.’
'You and me both,’ Kurt laughed in response.
Blaine turned his phone on. Four calls from Nanay and none from Uncaring Douche. Once again he was not surprised.
'I'm safe. I promise,’ he texted.
He looked back out across the Lake. Kurt wrapped an arm around his shoulder, also looking out at the mass of water.
When Kurt finally took him home, it was nearing seven in the morning. His parents were sat up at the dining room table, piles of paper surrounding them. His mother looked a cross between worried and upset.
‘Where were you?’ she snapped, rising from the table and walking over to him. ‘I tried calling you, I was so worried!’
She pulled him into a tight hug. He hugged back. He did not want to let go.
‘I was with Kurt, nanay. Like I said I would be.’
The atmosphere in the room changed. It became awkward. Charles balled his hands into fists, his jaw tensed. His mother let go of him reluctantly. She sat back at the table, next to Charles. Blaine sat opposite them, looking at some of the paper.
‘Have you decided on much?’ Blaine asked. The paperwork consisted of different funeral homes. Cooper was to be buried alongside Charles’s mother, who had died not longer after Blaine was born. All the way in New York. Away from his comfort zone. But Blaine understood. He accepted. But Ohio had been Cooper’s home. It didn’t feel right.
‘We’re finalising things today,’ his father said in an emotionless voice. ‘We fly out tomorrow.’
Blaine just nodded.