Title: "Until My Dying Breath" -- Chapter Four
Warnings: Vampire AU with all the unpleasantness that entails. Violence, bloodplay, blood drinking, sexualized violence, grotesque descriptions, dark setting, fear, minor past character death, minor dubious consent in sexual matters. Warnings on a chapter by chapter basis.
Length: 11,500-ish for this chapter
Story Summary: On his way home from campus to his apartment on the Upper East Side, Blaine Anderson happens to come across a beautiful young man with bewitching blue eyes. It doesn’t take long, though, for everything Blaine thought was real to fall to pieces. For his world to dissolve into a twisted dance of fear and heat and blood.
Notes: Here we are, lovelies! This chapter was originally supposed to cover about double as many things, but it became apparent very quickly that there was too much to talk about in one chapter. So I made the decision to make it two chapters instead of one, which makes much more sense in terms of pacing and update rate. Thank you so much for reading, as always, and thank you so much for letting me know what you think! :) (Also, my tumblr is here if you're interested!)
It’s late at night on Blaine’s familiar route home from the subway, no stars in the sky and his feet impacting softly with the pavement as he walks. His book bag is heavy on his shoulder, and the night air is fresh and dark and enveloping around him. The buzz and hum of the city is muted, turned down, everything more still and quiet than it should be.
There’s something familiar about this. Like déjà vu but not quite; a word on the tip of his tongue, eager to be spoken aloud but not quite able to remember itself.
He’s just turning the corner, feet following the path his body has committed to memory without being told, when a noise jumps out at him. The sounds of struggle just to his left, tucked into a dark space and calling out to him. Blaine turns sharply, and all at once there is an alley there where he could have sworn there wasn’t one before. Dark and dank and not right, none of this quite right, but it doesn’t matter because there are two figures struggling in the half-light of it.
And Blaine knows this part by heart, somehow. He’s done it before.
Don’t, he wills himself desperately, a sudden rush of clarity and focus and perspective bursting along his senses. Don’t, no, stop it. This is where it starts, you don’t have to – don’t --!
“Hey!” Blaine hears himself shouting, lips forming the words and sound flowing from his mouth like water he can’t hold back. He isn’t in control anymore, is screaming in his mind to run away as fast as he can, to getawaygetawaygetawaygetaway. But his body is acting out the scene without his permission; his consciousness with its sick knowledge of what comes next trapped inside the head of a puppet acting out a play. “Hey, stop it!”
Inside, Blaine frantically tries to clamp down on himself, to slam on the brakes of his own body – but it’s no good. His feet are already speeding him into the alley, toward the two men with his hand ready squeezed tight around the strap of his book bag.
It is like watching dominoes crash into one another, toppling down and down and down around him. Blaine runs in, the two people separate, the burly man wrenches back with a sickly pale look on his face. Like stage directions, one after the other, and the man is giving him a terrified look and fleeing the alley as fast as his two feet will take him.
He’s leaving me here, yells Blaine inside his mind in outrage, thrashing at the restraints of his physical body as proper awareness of the man’s actions clicks in his mind for the first time. He knows what he is and he’s fucking abandoning me –
But when Kurt turns to face him for the first time, the whole world shifts and jars and twists at the edges. Blaine’s stomach lurches at the sensation, stumbling back with wide eyes at the change.
What should happen next, some distant part of head knows, is that smile. The sick, false twist of lips and the parade of deceit and trickery as Kurt puts on a show of being human for god knows what reason. To mess with Blaine’s head, or get himself closer, he has no idea. Blaine remembers how this goes, has it memorized down to his core.
It doesn’t happen, though.
Instead, Kurt’s eyes narrow. With inhuman speed, he rushes forward and slams Blaine against the solid brick wall so hard his head snaps back against the bricks with an audible crack. Pain bursts in front of his eyelids, bright white and jagged and dizzy as his vision swims with stars. The book bag slides off and onto the ground as Kurt holds him there, pinned by the shoulders, and it hurts. The pain of it drags him back from the way the world is dimming and fading at the edges, and Blaine blinks hard to bring everything back into focus.
At once, he wishes he hadn’t.
Kurt’s face is inches away from his. Close, too close, with his beautiful features twisted up into something ugly and awful and ruthless. He looks as sharp and otherworldly and breath-taking as always, but the danger emanating off of him in waves makes it impossible for Blaine to feel anything other than stark terror. He thrashes hard, trying to buck Kurt off so he can run and hide and livepleasegodlive, but agony rips through his shoulders and he can only scream into the night.
Impossible pain is bursting where Kurt is gripping him, and Blaine howls as blood pours out of the wounds and soaks up into his shirt. It’s hot and wet and slippery, and Kurt’s hands are stretched and distorted and slicing into the flesh and sinew with sharp claws even as his face remains angelic and sweet and unmarred.
There isn’t any point in struggling anymore. All Blaine can do is sob and twitch and flinch away as Kurt leans right up close, inclining his head and inhaling deeply at one of the two open wounds at Blaine’s shoulder. Smelling the blood, dragging the scent up into his nose and eyes rolling back like it’s some kind of grotesque drug.
“Oh, there you are,” sneers Kurt, that beautifully high voice dancing on the night air as Blaine whimpers and trembles in front of him. The claws clench hard into Blaine’s shoulders, excruciating and all-consuming, and Blaine cries out in agony. He blinks, and the innocent face is gone, replaced by the twisted features of the monster in front of him. Growling, Kurt (the monster is Kurt, Kurt is the monster, they’re the same) moves in so that their faces are right up in front of each other, his lips ghosting over Blaine’s as his hisses the next words. “I’ve been looking for you forever.”
And then he’s crashing his mouth into Blaine’s neck, teeth shredding skin and ripping him open as Blaine convulses and sobs beneath him. He can feel his skin separating from his body, sinew and bone crunching as Kurt takes and takes and he’s dying, Blaine is dying, everything blacking out and pain and terror and –
The sound of Blaine’s ringtone, harsh and grating and set to full volume, wrenches him out of the dream with a gasping drag of air and a full body spasm that sends one hand crashing into the side table with enough force to almost topple the whole thing over. It cracks against the wood and makes him suck in a sharp breath of pain as he grabs at the edge to steady it.
The room pitch black and Blaine’s whole body is shot through with adrenaline as he pushes himself up, frantically throwing himself sideways to grope semi-blindly for his phone. The lit screen and the loud, screaming ringtone in conjunction with how vital it is that he answers quickly allow him to find it even in a darkened room without his glasses on. He hits the ‘accept call’ button with shaking fingers, brings it up to his ear as quickly as he can.
“I’m here!” Blaine rushes out in desperation, whole body rigid with panic, trying to get the words out as quickly as he possibly can. Can’t risk taking his time, has to let him know. He snags his glasses off the bedside table blindly, shoving them onto his face too quickly in order to reach out and turn on the lamp. The room floods with warm light; the glasses are still skewed on his face, and the all-consuming pounding of his heart in his ears is all he can hear. Which is terrifying because he has to talk to Kurt, Kurt has to be listening. “I’m here, I’m picking up, you don’t have to do anything, please don’t do anything –”
“Why, hello to you too. ”
Kurt’s voice purrs at him smoothly over the line, vague sounds of traffic and life and the city and people around him in the background. It sounds as though he’s walking somewhere, the always-slowness of his breathing edged up almost imperceptibly at the small exertion. He can hear the smug, pleased tone in Kurt’s voice at the speed at which Blaine picked up; at how obviously frightened he was at what would happen if he didn’t. When Kurt speaks again, there is faux-concern dripping from every syllable.
“Having a good sleep?” Just how innocent he sounds catches Blaine off-guard at first; young and sweet and genuine, almost. The slight twist to the words is the only hint at their underlying meaning.
In any case, there isn’t anything Blaine can say to that. He doesn’t say anything at all, instead; just breathes into the receiver in desperate gratitude, trying to calm his body down from high alert. The fog of sleep has been destroyed all at once; banished by the rush of fear he’s been expecting for days now.
He runs a hand through his curls and straightens his glasses instead of trying to respond, and the hot pounding in his chest beginning to simmer down into something slower. Less fight-or-flight. Blaine is not relaxed, not by any stretch of the imagination. But the frantic terror of moments before is lessening; shifting into the state of ever-present anxiety and buzzing nerves that has become the normal state of being for him over the past few weeks.
It’s been three days – three whole nights – since the heart was left outside his doorstep, and this is the first time that Kurt has made any move to contact him since then. Three nights without the tell-tale scrape of fingernails down wood, or the sing-song voice outside his door, or even another phone call.
His absence hasn’t been a comfort. Instead, it had served to reduce Blaine to an utter mess in record time. Desperately searching news sites and watching local channels for hope of some news of the woman who was killed – and waiting. Staying up until all hours of the night waiting for to hear that unmistakable voice, staring at the phone and willing it to ring. Blaine has been on edge and desperate to hear from Kurt for so long now, because at least then he would know. The sudden withdrawal after such a gruesome message had been almost impossible to bear.
The worst part had been Blaine’s uncomfortable realization on the second day of silence that Kurt was been treating him like a badly-behaved child with a time out. A way to say think about what you did, not a real chance at letting him escape. If he tried to run, Kurt would follow.
Kurt would always follow.
His absence has also made Blaine very much aware of the fact that, unless Kurt chooses to contact him, he has absolutely no way of reaching him whatsoever. Kurt is entirely, one hundred per cent in control of how and when they speak; even when Blaine had desperately wanted to yell, to scream, to find Kurt and ask him why, he’d had no power to do so. He had been left for three whole days, helpless and stranded in the cage of don’ts and can’ts that Kurt had made for him.
The sickest part is how much relief he feels now, hearing Kurt’s voice in his ear. Because at least now Blaine knows for sure; isn’t left floundering, not knowing what he can or can’t do. It’s all wrong, and backwards, and awful, and it makes shame and guilt coil feebly in his chest.
After a minute, Kurt continues on as though Blaine has responded, making a high, amused noise at the back of his throat.
“Are you pleased to hear from me, Blaine?” Kurt asks, voice high and curious and playful. More sounds in the background. The chime of keys. A door opening, closing. Street sounds gone. Inside now. “I’m definitely pleased to hear you. It’s been so long, beautiful thing. ” There is a pause, followed by a small, self-satisfied noise. When he speaks again, the words are full of something darkly seductive: “Did you like my present?”
The memory of the woman’s heart, tucked in a box and touted like a gift, hangs between them without being spoken aloud. The slick fat hanging off of it, the smell as he had opened the box. Blaine feels something tighten in his chest.
“Don’t,” Blaine murmurs quietly, shaking his head and breath hitching slightly in his throat.
He had got rid of the present as soon as the sun had risen; the whole box wiped free of his fingerprints and wrapped in three garbage bags, one inside the other inside the other like Babushka dolls. Taken down to the basement of the building and tucked under a pile of refuse in the large, industrial-sized garbage container. He’d scrubbed the floor of his apartment with watered down bleach for twenty minutes when he got back upstairs.
Blaine lets out a shuddery breath. “That... that wasn’t fair,” he says, and the words come out soft. Almost child-like.
“Are you feeling a little less stubborn now?” Kurt asks without heeding Blaine’s words, and there is a hardness beneath the apparently casual question. Unrelenting and rigid at the core, much like the man himself. There is the barely audible bing of an automated noise in the background of the call. An elevator, perhaps. “Avoiding me only gets people hurt, pretty. I thought we’d established that already. ”
Blaine takes a deep breath. “Last time,” he begins, hands twisting in the sheets at his sides. “Last time, when you... when you left it outside. I wasn’t ignoring you. I was asleep, I wasn’t ignoring you.”
There is a pause.
“Hm. ” The single syllable is so terribly neutral that Blaine has no idea how to interpret it.
“Because I wouldn’t do that,” Blaine continues, keeping going because he needs to say it. Out loud, to someone who isn’t himself. The words have been sitting, stewing inside of him for days and nights and they feel heavy and awful in his stomach.“I’m not stupid, okay? I wasn’t... burying my head in the sand, trying to hide. And I’m not what you said, I’m not – I’m not ruthless. I know what you’re capable of, I wouldn’t risk –”
“Do you, now?” asks Kurt sharply, and Blaine winces and presses his lips together. Now that the adrenaline has worn off, his mind is experiencing a resurgent struggle to make the shift from sleeping to waking; the dull fuzziness of the night is clinging to the edges of his head.
Blaine inhales carefully, running a hand through his sleep-tousled curls.
“It wasn’t fair,” he says again softly, staring down at the blue of his sheets and trying not to think about the woman whose heart he had held in his hands. She is an indistinct shape in his mind; voiceless, without any sort of appearance or even a name. And Blaine doesn’t understand how the idea of her can hurt just as much as the officers whose information he’d desperately soaked up and horded close to his chest when he knows absolutely nothing about her. Who she was, or where she came from, or what her dreams were.
All he knows is that her life shouldn’t have ended like that. Hard and painful and cruel, and because of some stupid kid she’d never even met before. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t right, and it makes him feel sick with himself for still existing.
Intellectually, Blaine knows that he is not responsible for Kurt’s murders. He’s doing everything he possibly can, and it isn’t enough, no. But he isn’t actively doing anything to hurt anyone.
That logic sits ineffectual and empty in his chest despite his own voice of reason.
There is another bing in the background, followed by the sound of doors sliding open. Almost certainly an elevator, and high up as well. A top floor of an apartment, maybe. A high-rise. But that isn’t anywhere near enough information on its own for him to be able to track Kurt down, not in New York City of all places. He hears Kurt begin to move down the hallway.
“Well,” Kurt says breezily, after a long pause. “My game, my rules. Maybe now you’ll make an effort to be a little more alert when I try to get your attention.”
A frustrated sound worms its way out of Blaine’s throat, and he slams a hand ineffectually down on the mattress beside him. Ridiculously, he imagines throwing the phone across the room in a childish gesture of anger. He never would – there are too many lives on the line – but the temptation is very real.
“You don’t even think about them at all, do you?” Blaine asks harshly, marvelling internally at the fact that he can feel something as simple and everyday as irritation with the kind of monster he’s talking to. “It never even occurs to you to think about the people you kill.”
“Of course not,” Kurt says simply, and Blaine can hear the chime of keys as they turn in a lock on the other end of the line. “They don’t matter, they’re not anything, why should I care –?”
“I’m not worth it,” Blaine insists, voice hitching in frustration and grief and self-hatred. There is a persistent stinging at his eyes, and he swipes the back of his hand over them. He blinks at the wall across from him, feeling very much small and alone even in this cramped space. “Please, just – I’m nothing, like them. I’m not worth chasing, please. I’m not worth killing for.”
Nothing comes from the other end of the line for a long, long minute. Blaine can hear the sounds of a door closing in the background, movement, settling. The shuffle of what can only be a coat being removed. A noise that could perhaps be someone sitting, perhaps lying down; it’s impossible to tell.
When Kurt finally speaks again, he sounds tense and stilted, with his voice drawn taught like a rope. “You might be like them,” he admits, and there is something almost weighing about the word. “I’ll admit that. But you are most certainly worth chasing, lover. ”
“I’m not your lover,” Blaine mutters, shaking his head.
“I am in your dreams, though, aren’t I?” Kurt responds immediately, with heat in his voice, and Blaine’s breath catches in his throat. He pauses, fingers tingling and eyes wide in horror as the shock of the words resonates over the line. After a while, Kurt lets out a breath. “Now. Don’t be stupid on purpose, and stop trying to trick me into feeling something for squishing bugs under my shoes. ”
“Why are y–?”
“Stop arguing about this, sweetheart, or I’ll go out and kill another one, ” he says calmly, and Blaine’s blood runs cold. He clenches his hand around the phone, fingers shaking from the effort of holding it steady. “You’re being contrary, and it’s annoying, so stop. Now.”
Mouth dry, Blaine gapes as though struck across the face. He desperately searches around for words; tries to make sound come out from between his lips. A tiny noise escapes instead, so he gives his head a firm shake and tries again.
People are counting on you, and you’re gambling with their lives. People are relying on you. Play his game. Do what he wants.
“Okay,” babbles Blaine apologetically, raising his free hand in the air in a gesture of surrender despite the fact that Kurt cannot see him. “Okay, I’m stopping, I’m sorry. Please.”
There is a pause.
“That’s better,” Kurt tells him after a minute, sounding almost rewarding, and it occurs to Blaine to wonder why on Earth Kurt is so desperate to talk to him anyways. It’s not as though their conversations through the doorway have ever been particularly stimulating, for one thing, and he’d been under the impression that Kurt had no real interest in anything he had to say until the missed calls a few days ago.
It doesn’t make sense, just the same way that nothing Kurt does makes any sense, and Blaine can feel his grasp at the world slipping with every passing hour.
Blaine grasps at something to say to fill the silence. “... how did you even get my phone number, anyways?” he asks, trying to make some other kind of conversation but sounding more than a little petulant in the process. Kurt lets out a sharp laugh that resonates harshly over the line.
“Oh, pretty, ” Kurt sighs, sounding amused and condescending at once. “Word of advice: when you have someone stalking you, you should probably double-check your Facebook security settings. And not have any personal information up on your profile. Your Aunt Amabel said hello on your wall, by the way. ”
There is a beat.
“What?” Blaine asks in disbelief, barely able to keep himself from spluttering. “But. You’re not – you’re a—” He shakes his head, feeling stupid and small and caught off-guard. “You use the internet? But. It’s all... new. And stuff.”
“I was around when television was new, silly, and I don’t exactly eschew that either, ” Kurt teases him in an almost playful tone, and they’re talking. Actually talking, having a conversation like normal human beings. It feels tremendously surreal. Somehow, the pull of Kurt’s personality –his being—is still drawing him in, even when he’s not physically close, and Blaine wants to talk with him like this.
Until it occurs to him what, exactly, Kurt said a few minutes ago.
Stop arguing about this, sweetheart, or I’ll go out and kill another one.
It has taken far too long for Kurt’s words to properly sink in, but when they do something cold and hard and awful clenches around Blaine’s chest. He falls back against the pillows, feeling very much as though the breath has been knocked out of him.
“Wait,” Blaine whispers, terrified to ask. “Another one?” He sounds horrified and stilted to his own ears, but he has to know. “Did you... did you just...?”
Kurt doesn’t say anything for a drawn-out minute, but the silence isn’t an angry one. It’s charged, excited. Pleased. Eventually, Blaine hears a small sigh of pleasure on the other end of the line.
“I love hearing your voice, you know, ” murmurs Kurt approvingly, the wet lick of lips audible in Blaine’s ear. “You said you used to sing, and I believe it. I very much want to make you sing, one day. ” He laughs, an amused little noise high up in the register – and the horrible duality of it always shakes Blaine to his core. That delicate voice, the beautiful face. The monster underneath.
“I’ve missed hearing your dulcet tones for the past few days, pretty, ” Kurt admits, and Blaine’s heartbeat is thrumming along his skin. “But I figured you needed the space.” There’s a beat before he continues, voice twisted round and pleased with himself. “And...yes. To answer your question. I did. ”
Blaine sucks in a breath, eyes squeezing shut. The dull blow of devastation impacts his chest at the death of some nameless person he’ll never meet. It hurts, he discovers, not only when he doesn’t know the person’s name or face, but even when Blaine himself isn’t the cause. It still feels like a personal failure; for not being able to find a way to stop Kurt from doing what he wants. For not finding a way to kill him and stop all this before it could go any further.
“He was young, ” Kurt continues smoothly, and no. Nonononono, please no, Blaine doesn’t want to hear this. Doesn’t want to know, but he can’t stop listening; is hanging on every word as though his life depends on it. “Well-dressed. Good-looking. Not as pretty as you, though, dear. Don’t be jealous. ”
“Kurt...” Blaine implores quietly, squeezing his eyes shut and curling into himself on the bed.
“Shhh, beautiful, it’s okay, ” murmurs Kurt softly, sweetly, and Blaine shakes his head wordlessly and bites down on his bottom lip. “He begged very nicely when he realized what was happening. It was a shame to shut him up, and oh, how he struggled. I got blood all over my new shirt, though, which was more than a little bit irksome. ”
Humming in a low tone, Kurt sounds much less flippant when he speaks again:
“He wasn’t you, Blaine. I wanted it to be you. I want them all to be you. ”
“... please...” Blaine whispers, not caring that he’s begging, not caring if it’s pathetic if it will make Kurt stop talking about this.
His whole body tenses up, however, and the pleading words are cut off at the unmistakable sound of a zipper being pulled down. Blaine’s eyes fly open, wide and shocked and oh god oh god oh god.
“I’ve been thinking about you, ” Kurt’s voice breathes into his ear, dark and heated and private. There is a rustle of fabric, a shift of movement; Blaine feels his face heat up with the uncomfortable flush of embarrassment at the realization of what, exactly, Kurt is doing. “There are so many things I want to do to you, Blaine. I think about it all the time, lovely. I linger.”
“I can’t—” Blaine chokes out, face red and hot and suddenly feeling sweaty with humiliation beneath the blankets. He wants to pull the phone away, turn it off, shut it down, but he can’t. He’s frozen like this, unable to move, unable to think but for the tiny noises he can hear Kurt making over the tininess of the line. Kurt should be the embarrassed one because people don’t do this, it’s not right, but Kurt isn’t human and he sounds confident and sure and it makes Blaine’s palms sweaty.
“Don’t hang up, ” Kurt orders him firmly, but his voice is hitched with something that Blaine can’t think about too closely without wanting to bury his face into the covers and hide. In the background, he can hear the muted slide of skin on skin.
But Blaine couldn’t hang up if he wanted to. Against his will, pieces of the past few weeks’ worth of dreams are slipping back across his vision, back into his mind like through cracks in a wall – like pressure points being touched. Stealing behind his eyelids and worming their way into his chest, making him shiver and close his eyes and hate himself for not being able to tune it all out.
Kurt’s own breathing is growing heavier and quicker, fast for him, and Blaine squeezes his eyes shut against it. His whole body feels tense and coiled tight, and he licks his lips absently. “You can hear what you do to me, beautiful. How you make me feel. ”
Kurt groans breathily into the phone, and when Blaine closes his eyes he can practically see him: that angelic face twisted up in pleasure like Blaine has seen it so many times in his dreams, graceful hand twisting around his cock and thrusting his hips up into his own touch in desperate little movements. Blaine’s face is burning with humiliation and stupid arousal and it’s like something is twinging inside his brain, bringing these feelings to the surface at the command of Kurt’s voice.
“But I’ve lived long enough, now, to know that this is all there is. Sex and death, sex and death, all wrapped up in a –” he hisses, keening slightly, “— in a pretty bow, that’s all life is, Blaine, god –”
“Kurt,” Blaine chokes out, hard and quiet and in tatters into the receiver, and apparently that’s all it takes. In his ear, Kurt exclaims out a high, wanton noise of pleasure as Blaine squeezes his eyes shut and clenches his hand around the phone so hard his fingers go white.
The sound of laboured breathing lasts for a little while afterward as Kurt recovers, practically purring into Blaine’s ear in satisfaction. Between his legs, Blaine’s treacherous cock is hard and wanting and desperate to be touched, to find the same relief that he’s just heard Kurt experience firsthand, and his body is betraying him and Blaine can’t understand why he has to feel this way. Why it can’t just be simple, and easy, and black and white.
After a long minute, Kurt’s voice makes a satisfied little noise into Blaine’s ear.
“Mmm, ” he says happily, letting out a little contented sigh that makes Blaine shiver. “Thanks for that, lover. Sweet dreams. ”
And without any other warning, Kurt hangs up.
The empty noise of the disconnected call rings in Blaine’s ears, shocking and incomprehensible as he pulls the phone away from his ear to stare at it in disbelief. He blinks. Bites down on his lips as he looks unthinkingly at the screen, barely able to believe what just took place.
Something awful is tugging at Blaine’s chest; curling around his heart and pushing at his insides, making him cringe and the heat of arousal flee from his cheeks. His cock is still hard and wanting between his legs, but all Blaine can feel is used. Balled up and thrown away, discarded. He blinks hard, putting the phone and his glasses back on the bedside table and turning off the lamp unsteadily.
The room floods with darkness. Blaine rolls onto his side, tries to ignore the treacherous heat between his legs, and wishes he could hate Kurt as much as he hates himself.
Click here to continue on to part two.