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Title: "Until My Dying Breath" -- Chapter Six
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, intense dark emotions, brief contemplation of suicide. Warnings on a chapter by chapter basis.
Length: 17,000-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: Thank you so much for your patience, everyone! School is as absurd-busy as ever, but I'm trying my best to keep to a fairly consistent schedule. :) I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think! (Also, my tumblr is here if you're interested! :3 I tend to post updates there about how chapters are progressing. :))
Frozen in place, Blaine’s heart feels as though it is stammering and stopping in his chest. Spluttering like a car that won’t come to life when the keys are turned in the ignition, the bookstore distorted and out of focus around him as he stands and stares and doesn’t comprehend. He can’t move; can’t run or hide or fight because his legs are numb and useless beneath him like wooden blocks, and his body is stark and deadened and useless. There is only static screeching in his mind, high and shrill and crackling, and he can’t make himself do anything at all. His own body is out of his control, and Blaine can’t think: can only gape uselessly at death as terror pulses under his skin.
The moment stretches on endlessly between them as Kurt continues to stand and stare right at him with that too-broad smile, eerie and elastic and grinning, still stretched across his lips. There is blood beginning to drip down from his clothes and onto the hardwood floors, a steady drip-drip-drip that echoes in the petrified silence.
And Blaine’s mind is torn, utterly torn between the two incomprehensible, impossible, nightmarish horrors in the room with him. Between Amita’s body in pieces behind him, everything that made her special and human and alive gone and only hunks of meat and bone left and Kurt Kurt Kurt Kurt Kurt in front of him like a monstrous, grinning vision right out of one of the dreams. His mind flits uselessly back and forth like a frightened bird, unable to fixate on either one or comprehend both at once. His brain keeps flashing back and forth between Amita and Kurt and Amita and Kurt, between the two world-ending things in the room, the bottom falling out of his stomach like a lead weight and Blaine is going to die. He’s going to die here, helpless and screaming and torn apart like his friend and left on the ground in pieces, and all at once he can’t make himself move or think or feel beyond that singular, sickening knowledge.
With a hot burst, the thought comes from somewhere deep inside; far beneath the white noise and bleak panic on the surface of his mind. The two words are nonsensical, empty sounds without meaning: like something in a foreign language as they echo in his mind. The curtains, get to the curtains, the curtains –
Without any truly conscious thought, Blaine’s whole body lurches forward toward the windows. Toward the tiny scrap of thin material that is the only thing holding back the torrent of sunlight outside form flooding in. It’s right there, so close, and if he can get to it before Kurt does –
But Blaine has only taken one step forward, breath caught in his throat and arm extended out towards his only hope when Kurt cocks his head to one side — and lets out a high, delighted chime of laughter.
“I’m faster than you are,” says Kurt quickly, blue eyes flashing briefly to the large window swathed in heavy curtains before they come back to settle on Blaine again. That sly smile still there on his face, stretching his expression into something impossibly distorted with pleasure and power. “Do you really think you could get there before I caught you, pretty?” Sculpted eyebrows rise delicately upwards, smirking and heated. “Do you really want to chance it?”
Almost before his body has properly moved, Blaine jolts back as though he has been electrocuted. He opens his mouth to speak before closing it again, stumbling back a step helplessly and not daring to take his eyes off Kurt for a second. Inside, his heart is hammering so forcefully that the feel of it shakes his body, and his hands are vibrating so hard that they’re twitching almost spasmodically at his sides. In front of him, Kurt is dragging his eyes up and down Blaine’s body as though he’s looking at a three-course meal, and the terror is so raw and unrestrained and real as it pounds through him that he can’t even attempt to speak.
Any words – begging, or crying, or screaming so hard the whole building could hear – all get stuck in his throat and refuse to leave. Lodged there like a physical presence, choking on all the words that won’t make any difference at all. Wild hysteria is bubbling and frothing inside of him, the whole world blurring and unfocused around the edges as the all-consuming knowledge of what is about to happen rips and echoes and shakes through him.
And even with all of the ways he’s been in contact with Kurt over these weeks – talking on the phone, through the door, the dreams the dreams the dreams – there is something so very, very different about seeing him in the flesh. A discordance with the world as Blaine stares at the physicality of him; so jarringly different in real life than he has been in the night behind Blaine’s eyelids. Sharper, more real, and so incomprehensible that for a second the world spins and Blaine thinks he might be about to pass out.
It doesn’t make any difference. You’re dead either way, he has you. You’re dead, you’re dead, you’re dead –
In front of him, Kurt appears to be almost drunk at the sight of him: eyes roving up and down Blaine’s body and drinking in every miniscule reaction. But Blaine can’t censor himself; can’t try to put on a front and look brave, not now. He can hear his own breathing in his ears; weak and ragged and panicked, filling up the air around him with the sounds of blind terror.
And slowly, slowly, with that sick smile still spread across his face like a taunt, Kurt takes a purposeful step forward.
Instinctively, Blaine takes a shaky step back. To keep the space between them equidistant, even as his legs feel as though they might give out with every movement.
“How—” Blaine chokes out, high and frightened and more of a noise than an actual word. He swallows, heart stuttering in his chest and whole body vibrating with tremors, before trying again. He isn’t sure where the words are coming from, or why: as a way to prolong the inevitable, or try to find a way out, or simply because there isn’t any point in holding back any more. Not now. “How did you get in here, it’s daytime, you can’t –”
“Mmmm,” Kurt hums, low and deep and amused. “Of course you’re still concerned with the how of it, pretty, until the very end.” He licks his lips, catching a few drops of the splattered blood that have landed at the corner of his mouth, and Blaine has to fight not to retch as another horrible burst of realization of exactly whose blood that is shoots through him. “It was very easy. There’s an underground parking lot for this building, did you know that? Mostly for the residents in the top floors. I broke in while it was dark out, came up here, closed all the curtains and waited. It’s just a shop, not a residence, silly thing. I hardly need permission to enter a public space, now, do I?”
He takes another purposeful step forward, and Blaine stumbles back another step. He almost missteps and falls, but manages to just barely keep his footing.
“Why?” asks Blaine, quiet and shaky and disbelieving. The guilt that floods his mouth is like sickness, bitter and vile. “Why would you –” The image of the ripped off arm flashes across his mind, torn away and draining on the ground and pieces now, she’s just pieces. “You didn’t have to –”
“Of course I did,” Kurt snaps bitterly, and for a second his smile falters. Changes into something serious and convicted, eyes growing dark and slightly narrowed. “She was poking her nose into our business, wasn’t she? I told you I would kill anyone you brought into this, Blaine, but you didn’t listen. You never listen. I had to show you that I take my promises seriously.” He shakes his head, dismissing the momentary seriousness and letting out a small laugh. “Besides. As much as I’ve enjoyed playing this little game with you, beautiful, it was getting a bit tedious, don’t you think? And you were actually starting to think you had a chance of winning. It was getting cruel, watching you think you had a chance.”
Everything is upside down, whirling spinning wrong. Because Kurt... Kurt had known. Had been aware of everything for God knows how long, and every single thing Blaine thought was fact has suddenly dissolved into illusion. All of the secrecy with which their meetings had been conducted, making sure to do it far away to keep them safe and being careful, so careful... Kurt had be aware of them the whole time.
That day when Blaine had asked about Kurt’s past, had worried about giving the game away – Kurt hadn’t been angry because Kurt had already known.
“How?” asks Blaine, voice small and unable to even finish asking the question, but the look of disdain that steals across Kurt’s face lets him know that Kurt understands. How did you know about what we were planning? How did you know where to find her?
“Please,” says Kurt dismissively, contempt dripping from every syllable. “I could track down your scent halfway across the world, Blaine. Did you really think it would be a challenge to track this place down? Every inch of it stinks of you.” He rolls his eyes delicately, scoffing. “I’ve known about this pathetic little attempt at playing hunters since practically the very first moment. Now, I’ve had a fun time chasing you, Blaine, but there are a million ways I could have got my hands on you. You do know that, right?”
He takes another step forward. Automatically, Blaine takes another step back, not daring to look behind to see where he’s going for fear of taking his eyes off of Kurt.
“Why are you still trying to get away?” asks Kurt curiously, glancing down at Blaine’s feet. The casual manner in which he is holding himself does not for a moment speak to the blood slicked over him from head to toe; there is no urgency to anything he says or does. Just patience, and pleasure, and mild amusement. Kurt raises an eyebrow, staring at Blaine as though he is an animal behaving in a peculiar fashion. “It’s over now, lovely. I win, you lose. You know that.”
“Why should I make it any easier for you to kill me?” Blaine manages to bite out, voice almost steady as he takes another determined step backwards. But it isn’t courage bolstering him into bravado: no clinging, ridiculous hope that he can get away this time.
The shock of it all is starting to lessen, and now... now, the dawning comprehension has wiped all pretensions away. Blaine is going to die here, today, right now. Life drained out, punctured deep and torn to pieces like Amita, and it’s only a matter of waiting until Kurt gets bored with talking. There is absolutely nothing stopping Kurt from taking what he’s wanted all along; to rip Blaine’s throat out and drink until the screaming ebbs away into twitches and choked gasps and he finally, finally stills.
There is nothing Blaine can do to stop it from happening.
But if there’s any way to make killing him harder, even if it’s something small and petty and pointless? Then he’s just going to have to take it. The stakes he always carries with him are tucked into his bag, left slumped at the front door behind Kurt’s back and utterly useless to him now. Blaine is utterly defenceless in all of the important ways. But he still has this: can still move steadily and slowly backward, steps getting more and more certain and sure, and he’s only going to stop when his back hits the wall or if Kurt decides to speed things up. The next few minutes are all he has left, and he isn’t going to hand them over complacently like his life doesn’t mean anything at all. Like Amita’s life didn’t mean anything at all.
All at once, however, Blaine realizes that Kurt’s expression has shifted. Head cocked to one side, Kurt stares at Blaine with a wondering, dumbfounded expression on that perfect pale face, his sculpted eyebrows drawn together and nose crinkling in disbelief.
“Oh my god,” says Kurt quietly, shaking his head with tiny movements as he comes slowly closer. “Are you still stuck on that?”
“Am I still stuck on that?” exclaims Blaine frantically, hysteria bubbling up in his chest and coming out of his mouth as sick incredulity pounds in his skull. He shakes his head defiantly. “You were human once. Don’t tell me you don’t understand why I feel this way, because that’s a fucking lie. I don’t – I don’t want to die, I don’t –”
But the words dry up in his mouth when he glances up, eyes stinging, to look at the man in front of him. Kurt has stopped his slow progression forward, shaking his head slowly back and forth as he stands and looks at him. Looks, and fixates, and it’s the most intent, steadfast expression that Blaine has ever been on the receiving end of. There is something quietly mocking in his eyes, yes – but also something softer. Something unknown, hidden beneath the surface.
“Oh, my Blaine,” says Kurt quietly, a blood-soaked hand coming up to trace delicately along his own collar. The long fingers ghosting over the exposed line of his own neck, stroking at the skin there absently as he stares. “Oh, my silly, beautiful thing.”
His fingers leave smudge marks along the pale skin of his collar and neckline; impressions of fingerprinted blood smeared haphazardly in meaningless strokes. Kurt closes his eyes briefly, opening them again after a moment to intently hold Blaine’s gaze across the room.
“Of course I’m going to feed from you,” says Kurt quietly, eyes heavily lidded and voice full of want. “I want it so badly, Blaine, I’m reeling. I can smell your blood beneath your skin, and I now? Now I can finally taste it. I’ve wanted you so badly, and for so long, and god. You have no idea how hard it is to stop myself from having you right this second.” He licks his lips, eyes sliding down to trail over Blaine’s neck, hidden and covered up by a coat collar and a scarf. “I’m going to drink, and drink, and... yes. It’s going to kill you, eventually.”
Blaine flinches violently as the words are spoken out loud for the first real time, feeling incredibly exposed despite his many layers of clothing. Everything has been insinuation, in the past; careful words and hints and leaving everything to his imagination. Before, Blaine had thought it had been even crueller, leaving his imagination to its own devices – but the light in Kurt’s eyes as his lips wrap around the word kill is almost enough to make his knees give out beneath him. The inevitability of it all is clenching at his chest in hard pangs, and he lets out a sobbing breath as he takes another unsteady step back.
Eyes dragging up and down his body, Kurt’s tongue darts out over his lips. He tilts his head to one side, eyes burning as he raises his gaze back up and locks them on Blaine’s eyes. Blaine cannot look away as he speaks, locked in place by the intensity of Kurt’s gaze.
“But then?” says Kurt quietly, conviction and need throbbing along every word. “I’m going to bring you back.”
For a few seconds, the whole world ceases to exist.
It falls away as the room burns white, everything reduced to flashes and bursts of incoming information that Blaine’s mind simply cannot process. He tries to speak but no words come out, catching in his throat as reality gets turned on its head. Blaine can’t feel his body anymore; can’t feel his feet on the floor or his arms in his sleeves, or even his pulse as it bounds through his body. He blinks, mouth falling open as he desperately tries to grapple with the words. To arrive at some conclusion that makes sense, Kurt... Kurt simply cannot mean what Blaine thinks he does.
Because that would mean that Kurt wants to... wants to...
“I’ve known since the second I laid eyes on you,” says Kurt heatedly, taking a step forward that Blaine is too shocked to counter. “Since the second I smelled you, god. You smell like forever, Blaine. You smell like mine.”
“What?” Blaine whispers weakly, heart stuttering in his chest as he stares in disbelief. “You – no, you don’t – you can’t –”
“I’m going to make you like I am,” Kurt continues, voice smooth as silk and hard as steel at the same time. His eyes are searing into Blaine as he speaks, and it feels as though Blaine’s heart has been ripped out of his chest. “That was always the plan, Blaine, from the very beginning. I thought you knew – or at least suspected by now, god. Did you really think I would follow after you like this for weeks if all I wanted was a quick fuck and a nice meal?” he asks contemptuously, gesturing broadly in the air. “There are thousands – millions – of people in this city that I could’ve had instead if that was all I wanted. God, I have been having them. Waiting for you has made me so hungry, Blaine, I can barely stand it.”
“No,” Blaine chokes out, the denial small and useless in the room. Events from the past week are piling in front of his eyes, a mounting heap of incidents and moments and phrases that seemed normal at the time, but everything looks different when viewed through this new lens. Words from deep within his memory are taking on new implications; every interaction is altered, every moment laced with new and horrible meaning.
And worse – worse than anything else is the realization that, in some buried depths of his mind, Blaine has always known that this was how it was going to end. Not consciously; not on the surface, where everything is words and actions and thoughts. But deep below, in his gut and bones and spine, this is only the final confirmation of a suspicion that already existed. Growing quietly and unnoticeably at the back of his mind throughout everything, reverberating back to him now through the haze of shock and disbelief.
The fact that Blaine had only ever been able to ignore because of his own incredible capacity to not hear the things he doesn’t want to hear.
A low, pleasurable noise floats through the divider between them.
“Everything,” whispers Kurt. The word a drawn-out exhalation of heat and certainty.
“Yes,” Kurt counters insistently, taking another step forward. The space between them is getting smaller and smaller, and Blaine stumbles back a few paces in a daze to make up for it. For a moment, his heart freezes as he thinks his back hits a wall – but the object swings back at the touch, and it’s only an opened door. Vaguely, he notices that he is passing through a doorframe into some kind of back room. “And I’m never, ever letting you get away from me,” Kurt growls, low and possessive in his throat. “You don’t get to leave, Blaine, you never get to leave. Not to run away, and not to someone else, and not to death. You’re mine, Blaine, since the first moment I saw you. Now, and forever, and always.”
This is worse, worse than anything Blaine has ever dared to let himself consider before. Worse than any scenario he’s ever thought about, or dreamed about in the so-real visions that plagued his nights like clockwork for so long.
Because as much as Blaine has feared death over the past weeks – has fought against it, and done his best to protect the lives of others, and been petrified of the day when Kurt would finally manage to kill him – death, at least, is an ending. It is final, and conclusive, and a way to finally rest. He’s so exhausted, now; hanging on by a thread, the mere thought of the gore he’s been the cause of making his mind feel unhinged and frantic to find a way out of this insanity, this pain, this torture.
After the living nightmare that his life as degenerated into, death would be peace.
Instead, that chance at peace is being stripped away and peeled back as he watches. And the mere idea of being turned, of becoming a monster like Kurt is, makes something heavy and horrible sit in his stomach. Having what makes him human – what makes him Blaine – being dissected and soured and turned rotten, twisting it into something dark and not-him and wrong... it makes him desperate for the death that was never offered to him.
For a split second, he tries to imagine getting the same joy out of killing people that Kurt obviously does. Of not being able to tell whether he regrets killing someone he loves. Of losing any kind of morality and goodness and having it replaced with sex and blood and death, only sex and blood and death for the rest of ever. Of becoming the monster.
Blaine stumbles back blindly, and Kurt follows with increasing speed. The space between them is beginning to close, getting smaller and smaller as Kurt comes ever closer. The stalker in the night, the predator closing in on its prey.
“It’s okay,” Kurt purrs in a low, comforting voice, coming towards him with steps that are getting quicker despite his obvious attempts at control. “Sweetheart, it’s okay, I’m here. You don’t have to fight anymore. You don’t have to be strong, or lonely, or scared any longer. I’m going to make you better, pretty thing, you’ll see. You’ll understand, I promise. Don’t I keep my promises?”
Kurt is almost right in front of him now, only a few precious feet keeping them apart. Explosions of panic and fear and denial are going off inside Blaine’s chest, but there is nothing he can do. Nothing that will stop Kurt from taking what he wants, just like before. What Kurt wants has just always been different from what Blaine assumed it to be; blind to what was right in front of his face.
Whole body shaking, Blaine lets out a desperate sob – and finally stops moving. He’s never prepared himself for this; for the promise of being kept, held close, changed into something he was never meant to be. Doesn’t know how to fight it, to cling on anymore. It’s too much, all too much, and Blaine simply cannot struggle anymore. Hasn’t got the energy; hasn’t got the will.
Bottom lip trembling and throat growing thick, he straightens himself up. Holding himself in place here, as though his feet are glued to the ground. Surrendering, throwing his hands in the air, and finally, finally giving up. Giving in. He closes his eyes, squeezing them tight and dragging in broken gasps of air as he stands in place and waits for his world to end.
“That’s right,” murmurs Kurt quietly, sweetly, from the blackness behind his eyelids. Blaine can hear his footsteps coming closer, delicate and soft, and he chokes in a helpless gasp as terror resonates right down to his core. His whole body is shuddering violently as he waits, each second dragging on endlessly long. “It’s all over now, Blaine. I’ve got you. I –”
But the words are cut off, suddenly and abruptly, as an unexpected thud cracks across the air. Blaine startles, eyes flying open at the noise – and he stares in utter incomprehension at the sight in front of him.
In front of him, Kurt is standing at the doorway that Blaine had passed through moments before. Eyes wide in incredulity and his beautiful, angelic face twisted up in an entirely new expression as he presses his hands hard against the air in front of him. It takes a long moment for the image to make any sense, but after a moment’s utter confusion it dawns that Kurt must have hit some kind of barrier.
“What?” asks Kurt sharply, his voice raising in pitch as he presses his hands against the invisible wall. His eyes fly over the doorway frantically, scraping over it from top to bottom as he slams a hand against the barrier. It doesn’t do anything; only shudders and vibrates with some unseen force that pulses throughout the entire store.
Blinking in confusion so profound it shakes him to his core, Blaine turns and looks at the room in which he has found himself. He had assumed that he had been stumbling blindly backward into some kind of storage room, but now that he actually looks at it...
There is a couch against the wall directly in front of a television, tucked into the small space with a plush-looking throw rug in the space between them. A desk piled high with books and printed-off articles and a laptop perched on top. Around the corner, he can see a small kitchenette; there is a doorway that leads off into another room, and Blaine can see the corner of a bed peeking out from around the corner.
The room that the two of them had always been coming in and out of. The one with the No Public Access sign.
Entirely by accident, Blaine has found himself standing right in the middle of Amita and Jack’s apartment in behind the bookstore. And somewhere out there, Jack is alive.
And the inherent protection of being inside someone’s home is still active.
“No,” Kurt mutters frantically, disbelievingly, fists slamming against the barrier with increasing force as the furious desperation grows and bursts in his voice. “No, no, no, no, no!”
For an endless moment, Blaine stands stock-still and stares in utter shock, unable to even comprehend the magnitude of what has just happened. Kurt is growling, throwing himself against the barrier know with his full weight and shouting.
“Blaine!” he screams, face twisted in fury, and Blaine stumbles backward further into the room. Where composure and control had been moments before, Kurt has utterly degenerated to a creature of rage bordering on frenzy. All of that calm certainty is falling to pieces in front of Blaine’s eyes, replaced by the jilted outrage of someone who has been utterly cheated. “Don’t you fucking dare, Blaine, don’t you fucking dare! If you run away from me, I swear to god—!”
Without even taking the time to weather out the threat, Blaine turns on his heel and runs deeper into the apartment. Feet on fire and flying, the soles of his heavy shoes pounding on the well-worn hardwood as he throws himself through the rooms in search of another way out. Kurt’s high-pitched screams and bellows and denials fall on deaf ears, because there is absolutely nothing Blaine can think about except for finding a way out.
The bathroom window is too small to crawl out of, but when Blaine throws open the bedroom door all the way his heart nearly gives out at the sight of the full fire escape right outside its window. He stares at it with uncomprehending eyes for one second, two, three – before hurling himself towards it and fumbling with the catch, hands slipping on the partially fogged-up glass as he puts his weight against it and shoves, the burst of frozen air hitting him square in the face as it yields and slides open. He’s small and compact, and it doesn’t take much to fit himself through it; in the background, he can still hear Kurt shrieking and pounding his fists against the barrier, the doorway, the walls in a frantic attempt to get to him. But he’s already out; out into the sun, out into safety, out where Kurt can’t follow him.
Even soaked in blood and waiting for him to arrive, Blaine’s never seen Kurt that unhinged before. He’s always been controlled and reserved, manipulative and sly, almost never raising his voice – but there isn’t time for him to panic. The metal of the fire escape stairs is partially frosted over and slippery underfoot, and he has to cling to the railings in order to get down as quickly as he has to, he needs to, without falling on his face and potentially down the whole way. The apartment is only on the second floor, and it only takes him a moment to get the final staircase leading down to the ground to release. He goes sailing down those last few steps, trying not to slip on the frosted metal, and once he hits the ground it rebounds up and back into place.
“Taxi!” Blaine shouts in desperation, running down the road and waving his hand like a lunatic as he goes. There’s a cab coming down the road, and people on the street are staring at him as though he’s insane, but he has never cared about anything less. “Taxi, taxi, please god, taxi!”
When a cab screeches to a halt, he hurls himself inside and yells out his home address as he gulps for air, telling the driver to go please go you have to go as he clutches at the car door and tries to swallow the feeling of his heart pounding in his throat. Slamming through his whole body, a drumming noise in his pulse, letting him know with every breath he takes and every heartbeat how very close that came to being the end.
It’s only when Blaine finally fastens his seatbelt after a few minutes and a couple of irritated reminders from the cab driver that he reaches up distractedly and feels the wetness on his own face. Hot tears streaming down his cheeks in twin lines, dripping down his chin and making the world swim.
He rubs them away with his coat sleeves, drags in a breath, and doesn’t feel relief. Doesn’t feel relieved at all.
The cab drops Blaine back off at his apartment, after the driver getting more and more irritated as Blaine taps his feet against the floor of the car and grips the back of the seat and urges him to drive faster, faster, please faster. It’s the only place he can think to go; nowhere else is safe, and he hadn’t even thought about staying in the backroom of the store. Not with the body in pieces on the ground right outside the door, where the whole space would grow thick and cloying like rotting meat as time would pass and he wouldn’t even be able to go and bury or burn the remains because Kurt would never let him. Would stand outside the door all day and all night, screaming at him and howling and not again, not like that, Blaine wouldn’t have been able to stand it. Had just wanted to run as fast as his feet could take him, to get away so that he could think.
Only as he unlocks the door to his apartment and shoves his way inside (had thrown money at the cab driver like it was nothing, bills fluttering down onto the passenger seat with bad aim because it hadn’t mattered, none of that matters anymore), Blaine still can’t think at all. His mind is numb, switched to ‘off’ as he locks the door with shaking fingers and his keys fall to the floor with a clang, but he barely even notices. Doesn’t even bother to turn on the lights. Just strips off his coat, drops it onto the floor, and begins to set a frantic pace around his living room as he clutches at his hair.
Blaine can’t even see the world in front of him, and he can’t go outside because outside isn’t safe anymore, never was safe, it was all a ruse, and he can’t stop pacing. Pounding the floor with his shoes that he hasn’t taken off yet, hasn’t even thought about it, and it’s like a compulsion under his skin and he can’t stand still, can’t let it catch up with him.
Because Kurt wants to turn him, and Blaine can’t stop reeling at that because it’s so obvious. Right in front of his eyes all along, in plain sight, and even though something shameful in his heart twinges painfully at the idea of someone wanting him forever, the idea of it is so much worse than when he thought it was as simple as dying. The room is swimming and liquid and his eyes are burning, a few tears spilling out over his cheeks when he blinks and they don’t feel like anything, anything at all, and it hurts.
He’d thought that he had known guilt, before, and grief. With the police officers on the news and the wife whose photo had kept coming onscreen over and over again, a reminder and a memento of his failure. Had thought he’d felt it with the heart, holding a piece of a person in his hands; feeling the weight of it and knowing that it came from inside someone, that Kurt tore it out, that it didn’t have to happen at all. Or all of those nights spent being regaled with the tiny, gruesome details of Kurt’s murders; night after night, Kurt’s voice in his ear, never being able to tone it out and just having to listen.
But all of that is nothing – nothing – compared to this. Because Amita... god, Amita was torn to pieces and killed terrified, and it’s all his fault. She came to help him when no one else did, and she died because of him; if he’d never met her she’d still be breathing. And it’s so, so much more real than any of the others because he’d known Amita. He liked her. She’d been a real person, with a face and a name and a smile and a personality. She put honey in her peppermint tea, and did crosswords in pen when they were taking a break from research, and there had been a photo of her and Jack on their wedding day on the shop’s front desk all in bright reds and golds and smiling faces. There’s nothing left of her now, none of those important things. Just pieces, torn up and left and what made her her lost somewhere, gone, gone forever and –
It feels as though something icy and hard is clutching at Blaine’s chest, and for a second he thinks he stops breathing. He stutters and stops his pacing of the floor, a hand flying up to cover his mouth and eyes blown wide with horror.
He doesn’t know. Her husband doesn’t know.
The air gets caught in Blaine’s chest as the realization washes over him, sick grief impacting him in the chest all over again as he reels and sways on his feet. A hundred little things flash before his eyes – the way they’d looked at each other, the little touches, the casual intimacy that had made Blaine’s heart hurt so badly. And now Blaine has to tell Jack that the woman he loved – the woman he married – is dead because of some stupid kid.
He stumbles over to the couch before he can collapse, crumpling down onto it like a marionette with its strings cut, numb fingers shaking like a leaf as he tries to get his phone out of his pocket as his chest heaves. The screen lights up too bright in the darkened room, but it doesn’t matter, he needs to call. Except he goes through his contact list twice, scrolling through with unseeing eyes, before he realizes that he never got Jack’s number. Never bothered to write it down because he already had Amita’s, and that was supposed to be good enough, was supposed to work and it isn’t and it’s not okay. He has no idea where Jack is staying, or how to contact him, or how to tell him to stay away.
Someone else is going to die for him because he never got a stupid fucking phone number and it’s all Blaine’s fault, his fault, everything is his fucking fault.
There’s a loud sound filling up the air, dragging and ragged and pained, and it takes Blaine far too long to realize that it’s himself breathing. He’s gasping for air but he can’t get it in fast enough, clutches at his chest as the world spins, everything too numb and too sharp all at once around him. The room is hot, too hot, too stuffy, and Blaine grabs at his sweater and strips it over his head buttons and all because he can’t breathe.
The whole room is heightened, on edge, his body sweltering and gagging for air like he’s drowning, and it’s all too much, and Blaine can’t handle this anymore. Can’t deal with pieces of Amita’s body thrown around like slabs of wet meat over books and the promise of death, always death, death and sex for the rest of always and he doesn’t want this, didn’t expect this, can’t fight this. It’s too much, too much and he’s too weak, ready to break like fragile china full of fault lines and cracks, ready to break into a hundred pieces, Blaine just can’t fucking do this anymore.
Hands tangling in his hair, digging them into the gelled strands and tugging hard. He’s been styling it for the past weeks, since Amita, someone to impress and count on depend on and prove that he can be an adult, be a grownup and face this but he can’t, there’s no point, it’s a joke. Sweating hard and face hot with shame and guilt and failure and despair, Blaine gasps for air in desperate gulps as his heart spasms in his chest like a caged bird, banging against his ribcage and the sound of it filling up his ears. Chest aching and the world swimming and breathe, breathe, why can’t he just breathe?
Blaine has no idea how long he sits like that, perched on the couch as though ready to spring up at any moment and run out into the street. Hands buried in his hair and breathing so hard the world spins, skin a mass of pins and needles all over and eyes blurring up and coming into focus over and over until it’s easier to just shut them, force out the world, close his eyes and concentrate on the sound of his own sharp, quick breaths and the heart pounding against his chest. The grief and guilt inside is like a hot element; whenever he dares to reach out and touch it, it sends pain searing all through his body. Leaves him shivering, and wrecked, and hurt beyond words.
Eventually, though, his body gives out. Wrings himself out with the white hot panic of it, slumping back onto the couch to lie down with closed eyes and concentrate on the sound of his breath ebbing back, pulling away, slowing down. The room around him is pitch black, same as behind his eyes, so there’s no point opening them up. Just lies in the dark as wetness spills down his cheeks and drips off his chin, dripping back into his ears and onto his lips. He doesn’t bother to push any of it away; can’t even feel it at all.
The drumming slows, and the world drifts, and the dark of the room dims into an even deeper black.
Click here to continue on to part two.